Apparently, we're not just supposed to run and run and run and run some more in order to train for this thing. A marathon training regimen, he explains, requires regular jogs of increasing distances, but it also needs to include some speed work to build stamina. Fultz tells us that for most novice marathoners (that would be me), speed work can take the form of strides and fartleks:
A stride is a quicker run of approximately 100 meters, usually run at 80%, 85%, or 90% of your top speed.This might be hard for me, since I have no idea how to sense what 80-90% of my top speed is, unless I'm on a treadmill. I usually just run, sometimes sprinting at the end of my course. Anyway, strides are meant to help a runner stretch her muscles at the end of a run and build her speed, over time. Fultz claims that if I do 6-10 strides at the end of most of my daily runs, I'll be teaching my body "the correct biomechanics of running faster." Hmmm.
A fartlek, from the Scandinavian for "speed play," is used to push one's pace in bursts from 1 to 5 minutes periodically during a 5- or 10-miler. The point is to keep the rest interval short (1 to 2 minutes), when you'll jog slower to recover before resuming your normal pace.
So there you are. I guess I'll have strides with a side of fartleks to help me prepare. And I thought this would be easy ;)