Two important things that runners are neglecting keep popping up, so i thought I would scribble some thoughts out here in the hope that I can bring them to your attention and you can get to work training them.
1. Aerobic Fitness
Running long distances is primarily an aerobic activity as highlighted below.
Approx energy contributions:
For some reason though, many runners are spending the majority of their time focused on running intervals and tempo runs without first developing the necessary aerobic base.
Aerobic base is trained at lower intensities (conversational effort) so the majority of your training should actually be spent at intensities that support this development (it’s a much easier effort than most people realise).
2. Lack of strength endurance
Because Singapore is so flat, it’s rare that runners spend a lot of time running over hills. The problem with this is that your strength development is significantly neglected and as a result, so too are your race timings.
In its simplest form, there are only two ways to run faster. Turn your legs quicker (increase your cadence) or take a longer stride. When you spend time running aerobically over hills for a period of weeks and months, you build strength endurance and power. The outcome of this new found strength is a longer stride. If stride length increases and cadence is the same, you are a faster runner.
Aerobic conditioning and strength are major limiters for most runners in a marathon. Few I know are limited by pure speed, they’re limited by their ability to maintain ‘a speed’. By improving your aerobic fitness and strength endurance, you will be able to run at a good pace without slowing down.