Marathon, the last training sessions before the race. What to do

In the week leading up to the 42.195km runners are still looking for the ideal training between finishing and low muscle engagement. here are a few tips

Luca Tocco

It’s the longest week for everyone. Runners who have already run at least one marathon in their sports career know this well. The days lengthen considerably and time seems to stand still. Like Giovanni Drogo who from his fortress tries to see the arrival of the Tartars, so the marathon runners, in the week preceding the marathon, try to see those signals that communicate the approach of the day of the race and the passage of time. It’s a pretty normal feeling anyway, mainly due to the reduction in workload and, perhaps (rightly), the introduction of a few days off. Somehow the runner’s routine is changed and the time spent running is reduced. But what workouts should you do the week before the marathon?

run to feel

Of course, you shouldn’t do more than one specific workout, preferably on Wednesdays or even Tuesdays. For the rest of the days simple regenerating runs not too long. Better to run according to the feeling and not get stuck on the rhythm to be respected. Finally, on Friday, you can also think about doing a slight progression in the last kilometers or some stretching with the shoes that will be used on race day. One or two days of rest are essential depending on the number of sessions that usually take place in a week.

So the main theme is what to do in the last specific work.

The parameters that should guide are the length or duration and the intensity of the training. You must not exceed 10km or 60′ of training and the rhythms to be followed must be maintained between the rhythm of the marathon and, at most, the rhythm that is held on the half-marathon.


A great classic (more suitable for experienced runners) are the 5×2000 with recovery of 2′ or 3′ minutes depending on the level of the athlete in question. It would be good to carry out this training in progression, increasing the pace with each event. However, with the idea of ​​pushing, only in the last two.


Another workout that could very well go is a fartlek, over the distance of 8/10 km. Also in this case, it would be good not to exasperate the intensity. Therefore, it would be better to set it to variations of medium duration: 2’/2’30” maximum with a similar recovery. In this case too, the ideal would be to run the fast part at the pace at which you run the semi- marathon while the slow-paced recovery portion of the bottom.

the progressive

There is also the progressive, that is to say a race to be conducted at an incremental pace. It all depends on the athlete’s level of preparation and athletic prowess. For the more trained, you can think of reaching races of 14/15km, increasing the pace every 5km. For amateurs of good level this can be attested between 10/12km while for the beginner 8/10km can be enough. Also in this case, borrowing a metaphor from the world of motors, one must try to “insert three speeds”: marathon pace, half-marathon pace and, only in the last kilometers (or in the last kilometre) ten kilometer pace.

Net of all, it should not be forgotten that the last week of preparation is intended to recover a maximum of energy and that the last specific training will not bring any contribution to the improvement of the sports performances. As they say in the jargon, it’s just a matter of “turning the legs”

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