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  • Writer's picturecoachmk

The Secret Sauce of Marathoning

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

Over the past 3 years I have chafed at the categorization as "the coach who doesn't believe in speedwork" because speed is included in every plan I write. All of them. Strides are in all of my plans. Strides ARE speedwork, they strengthen the neuromuscular connections that lead to sustained speed at higher levels and improve efficiency and form without fatiguing the large muscle groups. We have to lay the aerobic foundation with strides before we can layer anything else on top.

This morning I was pulling references for an article I'm writing and paused on this plan from Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas with a forward by Ryan Hall. Yeah, THAT Ryan Hall. He applauds the authors for sharing the 'secrets' to marathoning that aren't commonly accepted by runners these days.

You guys, when Ryan Hall talks about 'secrets' he is specifically referring to strides. There's a lot you can say about the guy and a lot of it may not be positive, but he ran clean. His records and his wins will stand. When he talks about what made him faster, I take that seriously.

Maybe you aren't where you want to be YET. Maybe you are in here hanging out, not doing the Monday and Wednesday runs, maybe you haven't joined our Strava club because you don't want to be seen. In times of self-doubt it's easy to look around and think of the work you do as lesser since you don't see anyone else doing it. I promise you, you are looking at the wrong people. Look at the folks who are #coachedandloved we are all doing strides and winning at life.

Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLCwhere she coaches all kinds of runners for $29 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her most popular training plan, Tenacious AF!

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