Marathon strength tapering

? I have seven weeks to go in my 18-week training program for my sixth marathon. I am 32 years old, and do strength training three times a week, with a lower body session the day after my long run. Since the long runs are up to 18 miles now, should I cease doing my lower body workout? What about strength training in general as the marathon draws closer?

Michael Martin, Odenton, MD

The day after a long run should be an easy day–you certainly shouldn’t be doing strength training. You goal at this point should be to maintain strength and maximize explosiveness. You can accomplish that with just two workouts a week, focusing on heavier weights. It’s a little late for this race, but you should move away from body-part training many weeks prior to any major event. Your strength training should reflect that the body works as an integrated whole, not in parts, particularly with running.

Stephen Holt, CSCS, PES, Lutherville, MD

COPYRIGHT 2003 American Running & Fitness Association

COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning

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