Run a marathon with no long runs

Right now I have your atentionimage I could do with some advise from some real experts who run long. I have run 6 marathons but during the last London I picked up a stress fracture in my heel so no running for 8 weeks. To my amazement after a couple of weeks I was back to my old pace up to 10K and only 5 mins off my best for a half (and this was a training run) However that was the longest Ive done and now toying with running Nottingham in Sep for the following reason. I want to do comrades next year so stage 1 is sub 5 (best marathon 3.52) want a sub 4 again to move up the pens but would at least get me in

Am I mad or is this a good way to know how Im going to feel at some point of comrades

Thanks for reading and any comments you have


  • I am trying to understand what you are saying but I do not think it is amazing.

    After perhaps some hard training sessions for a marathon and then having a good rest afterwords your body has had a good recovery and is fresh. Your body is ready to run again and is telling you so.

    However to run another marathon you still have to put in the miles. You simply can not run a marathon of little or no training. You are fit and can get away with a 10k or even a half marathon but not 26 miles or further 

    I have ran 28 marathons and my best was 03.01. I trained six days a week, more often than not twice a day, and built my milage up to 90 +  for the final 3 weeks before the taper. I was 49 years old at the time if that makes any difference.

    To be a runner you have to run. There is no short cuts. Also I would advise you to look at your footwear If you are getting injuries. and do not neglect the stretching.

    Best wishes in your endeavours.


  • I did the Disney marathon in january off six weeks training with two long runs of 16 miles, took 4hrs 28 and was hard work.

    I have just done Ironman UK after 20 weeks of training and that was still a struggle

    Have you actually considered whats involved with the Comrades marathon, this is not a run you can do without long training runs. It is possible to blag a half marathon and even a full one but there is no way you could do the Comrades without doing a couple of marathons in training and thats without the additional problems of heat and humidity.

  • I've done a marathon (as in completed and enjoyed, not talking peak performance here) with a longest run of 13 miles, with my physio's blessing - and a caveat that I would need along time to recover after....  

    What you can get away with as a one off is probably less than you think, but it's not necessarily wise, depending on your longer term goals? For me, it was one that I particularly wanted to do for personal reasons, and I was willing to accept a few months on the bench in return, which wouldn't be an option for you.

    Stress fracture sounds nasty though - you might be better asking your physio for advice / finding a physio who specialises in runners rather than forumites who, with the best of intentions, don't really know anything about your injury? I guess the last thing you want to do is get a great time at Nottingham and then have a recurrence of your injury. In terms of building to Comrades, whilst recovering from an injury, would you not be better doing slightly shorter runs but on consecutive days? 

  • As had been said, if youve a reasonable endurance base built over a number of years you can 'do' a marathon off little training.  With 6 marathons under your belt and a 3.52pb you could expect to finish around 5-6 hours off maybe 6 weeks of 15 miles a week.

    If you want more than to just get round but to manage a recovering injury, you could achieve good results by concentrating on frequency rather than distance.  If you're legs up to it you could build up to 5-6 sessions a week of pretty easy running, with your long runs being 8-10 milers.  At peak training you could be covering 30 miles a week.
  • i might be misunderstanding, but are you asking if not training for a marathon and then running one will in some way simulate, in a helpful way, the experience you will get whilst doing the comrades?
  • My understanding of the question is,  that as he wishes to run Comrades next year and needs a qualifying marathon time and having run a marathon off no long runs, can he run another one off very little training and get the qualifying time that he needs?
  • Assuming you had trained for London and therefore had a good base, and can get in one or two runs of 16 miles or so before Nottingham you'll be fine for well under 5.  IMO, of course. image

    But as others have said or hinted, you might want to look at how you got the stress fracture in the first place.  You'll need to do significant mileage for Comrades and you won't want another one.

  • Is the Nottingham marathon the qualifying event for Comrades? image

  • I did 4:20 off a long run of 16 miles earlier this year, which was about 30 min outside my PB. Yes it did hurt and yes the wheels fell off towards the end, but definitely blaggable. It would be the recently healed stress fracture that would put me off doing it...
  • I'll answer my own question.

    As in 2009, runners will be able to enter before they qualify. This means while all entries will have to meet the entry criteria above, runners will still be allowed to qualify in official qualifying races up until the month of April, with the 26th April as the final closing date. Upon qualification, runners simply need to give the time and details of the qualifying race through to the CMA office. Upon receiving the qualifying information the runner’s entry will be confirmed.

    Any IAAF accredited road race of 42.2 kilometres or longer (refer to qualifying table) during the period 24 May 2009 to 26 April 2010 may be used as a Comrades Marathon qualifying event.

    I'm not a long distance runner - but surely doing a marathon on limited training when returning from injury isn't the best preparation for Comrades. Why wouldn't you build up more gradually and do a couple of marathons early next year to get the time you need.image

  • I did the Medoc last year after 6 weeks of training, longest run of about 13 miles, with 3 month lay-off before that because of injury.

    Finished in 5:30, after 22 wine-stops, and as happy as Larry

  • Thanks all

    Im sorry the question was not clear, but adding all the answers together the simple answer would seem to be I can blag it as in answer to the main question yes I had trained well for London with 3  x 20 milers but have always used the FIRST prog (3 runs a week but quicker)

    Stress fracure wise. Still seeing sports fizz once a month and being a good boy and doing all stretches that I have been given

    Yes it would be a qualifying time for comrades but in he prog Ive been working on Draycote on March will hopefully be my sub 4. And yes relise just how much I need to do for comrades. I must be mad but the idea of running a marathon or 2 as training runs has a very strange apealimage

    Newark half on Sunday and theb decide will let you all know

    Thanks again

  • compo 1compo 1 ✭✭✭
    I broke my ankle in 2008 and was out of action for 4 months but when given the all clear I started by walking my routes then steady running and building up slowly it is not best to rush it
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