Marathon Training – Week 3 Reflection



Over train to injuries or under train to no results. How should we fall in the middle? What can your body handle? The key is what can your body recover from quickly? Running, lifting, swimming – all of these activities create very little benefit while you work. The real gains are made when the body works to rebuild itself, afterwards.

It is only during rest that we improve ourselves. In my reflections on week one and week two, I talked about creating beneficial stimuli to drive the rebuilding phase of the body. But really, how much time does it need to do that? In this post I want to concentrate on interval training rest periods. Let’s take sprinting for an example.

Sprinting is fantastic because it can raise the ceiling on our lactate threshold. The breakdown I use for sprint length variations are the following:

1 mile

There are no absolute rules on the allotted time you need to take between intervals, but below are some time tables that reflect effective energy pathway replenishment:

Below 60 seconds of work (3:1 –  Rest:Work)
ie: A 30s run warrants a 90s rest.
50m, 100, and 200m runs

1 to 3 minutes of work (2:1 –  Rest:Work)
ie: A 2min run warrants a 4min rest.
400m runs

3+ minutes of work (1:1 –  Rest:Work)
ie: A 4min run warrants a 4min rest.
800m and 1 mile runs

Test these out and see how your body instantaneously recovers. Then after several practice sessions try throwing them out the window and resting extra short and extra long breaks. Try 200m repeats with only 20 second breaks. Then get someone to take a picture of you lying on the pavement afterwards. Then, you better send me that picture.

Next week I want to touch on periodization and further look at our rest schedule. And as always if you are interested in learning more on functional endurance training contact me, Coach Sean, at And come run with us sometime; join the SICFIT Scottsdale running club SICFEET.

Image by: Eneas De Troya