Anybody think I'm being over ambitious?

Ok so I have lost 5.5 stone in ten weeks and the energy levels are sky high. I have always wanted to do the London Marathon and get the feeling that 2010 will be the year of George. Im still 21 stone but am totally committed.

 Ive got 36 weeks till the marathon and have read loads of stuff about the schedules and what to expect.

 I want the advice from anybody. What I will say is that its unlikely anybody will deter me from attempting it. I just wanna know what people think. I went for a 30 min walk/ run yesterday and will do that 2 to 3 times a week along with exercise bike every day to improve my fitness.

 24 weeks before the marathon I will start the running with the aim of running a 10k race nearer the time of the marathon. I would love to get in contact with someone who can give me some proper advice!

 I dont care how long it takes to finish on the day as long as I cross that finish line. I feel it will cap off an amazing achievement of going from 27 stone to hopefully 13 stone!



  • 5.5 stone in 10 weeks?, hells bells man, that some serious weight loss.

    I lost 10 stone, but in nowhere near the short timescale you have, it took me the best part of 18 months to 2 years.

    You got to have a goal I guess, but I would be a little concerned about how you've managed to lose that amount of weight, in such a short period of time first, and how you are going to maintain that (obviously you've had some serious calorie deficit to produce that amount of loss), with the demands training for a marathon is going to have on you, in my experiance, losing weight AND training for races is bordering on counter productive, you need to eat enough to train, but then the factor of calorie deficit for weight loss comes into play, making it a big juggling act.

    Maybe set the sights a little lower for the near future untill you are nearer your weight goal, and then try for a marathon.

    I just think you are putting yourself under immense pressure trying to lose a stack of weight and train for a marathon at the same time, it will not only be a huge physically demanding period of time, but also mentally very, very demanding.
  • I see where you are coming from. The weight loss program I have been doing is lighter life. Basically Ive estimated that by December I will have got to around 15 stone and will be able to start eating conventional food hence increase my calorie consumption along with the increasing intensity of the training?
  • And how much training would you have done by December?, what happens if you aren't at 15 stone by Decemeber?.

    It may sound like I am being negative, but I am not, I know from personal experiance how badly setting goals that you may not hit belts your confidence, and then its a slippery spiral.

     I think the transition from lighter life (which I am dead set against FTR, but thats my personal opinion), to normal eating isn't going to be something you will take to overnight.

    Personally, while I admire your ambition, going from 27 stone, to a marathon runner in that period of time is a heck of an undertaking, and I am not for one minute saying you will fail, all I am saying is, think smaller, 5k - 10k - half marathon - marathon maybe, and see how it goes, set plenty of achieveable, small goals, rather than pin all your hopes on these two massive goals.

  • That's really good, well done. I know it's not seen as healthy to lose weight so fast but for someone weighing what you did, the weight can come off fast to begin with. I would say though, don't be disappointed if and when it levels off a bit to more like 2-3lbs a week because it most likely will. That doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong, just that the initial burst is over and you'll be moving into long term steady weight loss.

    I don't think it's necessarily too ambitious to run the marathon, especially as it gives you something to aim at. But I would be sure to make sure you're physically capable and medically fit before doing so. I would start your running now, build up till you can run for 30 mins without stopping, don't worry about speed. Then add a couple of mins to each run depending on how you're feeling and listen to your body, it will warn you in the way of aches and pains etc. if you're attempting too much. When you start running longer, aim for one hour session a week to begin with and 2 x 30 min  and gradually build up your distance, whilst making sure you have plenty of recovery time.

     Also if you haven't already done so, go to a proper running shop and get some decent running shoes. My advice is to look for the discounted last seasons shoes (ask assistants for help choosing which type if you don't know already), look for a pair around £40 reduced from £60-80 so you'll know you're getting a quality shoe.

    Finally (the boring bit) get checked over by your GP before starting to train intensely just to make sure your body can cope with the stresses. 

    Other then that, keep it up and well done. Best of luck

  • I would have hoped that before you went on the LL plan you'd have had a once over from a GP anyway.

    I don't know how tall you are George, but, again from personal experiance, I know how much excess skin you may have after losing such a large amount of weight in a short period of time, this will impact on your goal weight, because this excess skin will not go without surgery, and as such will add to you overall weight, just something else to bear in mind.

  • First off George keep up the good work image, from 21stone to 13 is a massive journey, as is walking to completing a marathon.

    As in any journey you set yourself goals and re-assess from time to time.  Your first goal should be to finish a 10km walk, followed by a 10km jog, etc , with a more realistic goal a half marathon in 2010.

     In any case all the very best of luck, go for a good half marathon first, thats no mean achievement.

     Take a leaf out of the football mangers book, take one match at a time.

  • I am so glad someone else has injected a word of caution. My first thought when I read your post was ' try for 2011'. I know there are plenty of people who watch the FLM (now VLM) on the telly and think wow I want to do that - stick on their trainers and then actually do it, and I am sure you could too - however it will prob be a hellish experience and I would really doubt you would manage to run it comfortably. Why do that to yourself.

    If you continue with your weight loss and start a sensible exercise plan and work up to the running - do a 10K, do a half then do a marathon. Trying not to state the obvious here but it is a REALLY long way and DO NOT LET THE TELLY FOOL YOU. It is SOOOOO much harder than it looks.

    Yes London is a great marathon to do - think about your plan of 24 weeks. Thats 21 weeks of actual training (you need a 3 week taper before the race so take those weeks away). I would certainly recommend that you run a 20 miler before race day but i know lots of beginners only go up to 15 - so lets be kind and say you will go up to 15 miles.

    That means for 15 of your 21 weeks you will need to be adding a mile a week to your long run. Giving you only 6 weeks to get the cold, get tired, get a niggle - get snowed in (it happened to me one year!) and do other races - really it's not long enough. And if you do decide to train up to 20 miles then that's a mile a week for your entire training time and that's you going from not running at all now!

    Scratch to 26 miles in 24 weeks - I would NOT consider it for a second. It would be different if you were already an athlete but you are DRASTICALLY changing your body at the moment and then you want to put it through a huge amount of physical exercise pretty much straight away - one thing at a time mate.

    Reality check and do a half marathon first. - 24 weeks is almost long enough to do justice to a 13 miler and a half marathon is def a long enough race to get a real sense of satisfaction and achievement.

    The london marathon is NOT some huge dragon that everyone has to slay- there are lots of wonderful races out there that you can do and ENJOY. Why bother slogging round london (and it would be a SLOG of epic proportions) when you could train properly for a year and then really enjoy it in 2011.
  • ANd on the weight loss front. If you are anything like me and everyone else I know who runs marathons - the training makes you really really hungry. Again, why go from something like lighter life and massive calorie restriction to a training programme that is going to make you want to stuff your face all the time. That would mess with my head something wicked.

    You presumably need to come off the LL prog, relearn good food habits and then get on with life.

    How much your body will crave extra calories depends a lot on your fitness. i.e. gentle exericse that is well within your capability doesn't really make you hungry - but hard intense exercise does - and those cravings can be for sugary stuff (empty muscles want instant sugar) NOT exactly the eating patterns you will be wanting to teach your body after the LL prog. BUT if you started running gradually - you would not be putting such pressure on your system and would not then be having to battle sugar cravings.

    I must sound a bit negative - sorry - I am 6 weeks out from my next marathon and tired and hungry all the time from the training - that is what it does to you and if you are trying to do anything else at the same time (i.e. maintain weight loss - relearn good food habits) - well that just makes it even harder.
  • I'll be honest with everyone on here.

     I am gutted that no one has said that I can do it.

     Yesterday I did a walk / run for 30 mins, covered 2 miles and felt fantastic! Yeah I woke up with a little soreness but its expected. I understand the task ahead is huge and yeah there's a chance I will get injured or something might come up but what I dont want is to be in a situation where I am physically able to run the marathon but not be able to because I didnt set that as my target.

     Its something that I have thought about for such a long time and I wish there was a way of 'knowing' if I can achieve it. I dont care if I come last and I dont care how long it takes, just to be able to say that I have achieved the, as everyone seems to be suggesting on here, "impossible" is something I am seriously considering.

    One side of my head is feeling deflated now while the other is pretty steamed and even more determined.

     36 weeks is pushing it and yeah an injury would rule me out completely but from where I was 10 weeks ago to where I would be if I just miss out is still something I would be proud of!

  • NO IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE - but it will probably be HORRIBLE - and put you off running and marathons for life. The alternative is that you calm your jets, give yourself a more sensible goal and do the marathon in 2011 and have a fantastic time and spend the rest of your life fit and healthy enjoying this fab hobby.

    i also think that you are giving the london marathon too much kudos. It is much more impressive a goal to get fit and healthy than it is to do some random running race that is only a big deal cos it's on the telly!

    Tell a real runner that you ran/walked/crawled the london marathon in 7 hours or whatever and they will probably say 'why?' Tell them you did your first 10k and ran the whole way in 70 mins and they will be THRILLED for you.
  • On the flipside, no one has said you can't do it either.

    This is the problem with fixating on one large goal, rather than breaking the whole thing down into a dozen manageable goals.

    To be honest, if you are feeling deflated after having lost 5.5 stone in 10 weeks, something a stack of people would kill for, I would be extremely suprised.

    Go for it, no one is saying don't, but you need to understand the ramifications of the task (something that GA hit on with the seeing it on telly thing) at hand, and potentially, be prepared to re-adjust your ultimate goal when its clear that you may not achieve what you want.

    It would be all to easy for someone to say, "yeah man, you can do it, go for it", but what would be the point in that, it would be saying something that no one knows.

    Its a long hard slog mate, and losnig weight is hard enough without having to get your ass out of the door to do a 20 mile run in freezing sleet.

  • and i bet you say to yourself that it's not about what anyone else thinks -it;s just about what I think. If that is really true then why not pick the shakespeare marathon or the edinburgh marathon.

    London gets waaaay too much emphasis put on it, like it's some big deal. it is fun - don't get me wrong - but it's just a running race - you do it and then you do sign up for another one to try and get a few more mins off.

    A marathon is a great goal but you need to pick a target that not only is achievable but one that will leave you in good shape to continue on the path of fitness and health that you are on at the moment.

  • Great achievement well done.  Just to add to the words of warning - I actually gained weight when training for my first marathon. I ate what the schedule said but because I walked/slow jogged obviously didnt use the calories to burn it all off!  And I was still hungry all the time too and craved sugar. 

    But it depends what your aims are.   I walked the whole of my first marathon apart from the first and last miles.  I loved every part of it and the feeling when I crossed the line was euphoric.  That experience made me more determined to get fitter.  I trained from nothing  (couldnt even run 5mins - but I was a regular hiker so had some stamina) over 6 months and if I'd have put off to the next year don't think I would have maintained the momentum to do it all.  Did you see the run for glory series a couple of years ago?  They showed it was possible but they hurt /picked up injury so be prepared.  I agree A GP check-up would be a good idea if you've not exercised much  before. 

    You sound pretty determined.  But I also agree that half marathons can be equally rewarding and there are some great ones for first-timers in spring such as Reading in April.  That finishes in a stadium so a good buzz. 

    So yes, do an event - but chose carefully.  Good luck whatever you decide.image

  • Right then

    So my thinking is this, Im gonna still attempt to be ready for the London 2010 as I feel a big target like that will keep me focused.

    Before then I plan to get at least one race under my belt.

     If I dont end up at the starting line on the 25th April it wont be the end of the world and like everyone has said there is always another race.

    Thanks a lot everyone for the advice, I have taken everything on board and am so happy that I got a lot of advice.

    Fingers crossed I can achieve my target and I will be doing everything I can to achieve it but I am aware of what I am asking of myself and will take each week as it comes.

    Thanks again everyone.

  • Well done on the weight loss and starting your exercise program.  

    Um, sorry to inject a note of reality...but have you already entered for London?  the ballot is now closed, so you'd need a charity place if you haven't already signed up.  (And even if you did sign up, there is a high no-place rate in the ballot...I'm on my 5th year of entry without getting a place)

  • Maybe I should have mentioned this earlier lol

    I didnt enter the ballot image

    I am applying for a Gold Bond ticket. My thinking is that if its meant to be I will get a place with the charity I have chosen. And if I dont, well then I'll have to look at a marathon later in the year and like many people have said will be the most sensible option.

  • George, just a quick question. Have you applied for the London Marathon? Ooops sorry, didn't see that post.
  • If something is worth doing, then it's worth doing properly.  What's the big rush?
  • I think there is a lot of good advice on here. Tempering your enthusiasm with caution and saying pick a goal that is realistic is maybe not what you wanted to hear, but  I think many people are typing advice to give you a lifetime change, not a quick fix. Don't dismiss the idea of VLM George, but don't make it key to you becoming a runner.    

    Running is for me a long term committment. Some can chuck on shoes, leave the house and run 10 miles...... I can't!   I have been running for over 3 years and couldn't run a marathon in 24 weeks training.  I have had recurrent injuries and am just plodding on ...maintaining the ability to go out and run without injury. Depends what you want really?  Do you want a lifetime change?   One of the best things about running for me is the mental discipline of plugging away at something that I find really hard, I fail to achieve at (so no reward) and I'm not(seemingly) in control of. If it was that simple......pick a race and do it.........believe me, I would have.

    If you lost your weight and had your grand finish to VLM............what then?     Possibly.... you'd give up.  Look long term and make this a habit for life with the only reward for effort coming from inside you

    x posted massively!   Seems you're already adjusting goals anyway. Good luck  image

  • So what will be will be then George......keep us posted.   image

  • Nam - did you not see Elmodiddly's status?  It answered your question
  • LOL not spotted that! image
  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭

    George, keep this thread alive and let us know how you're progressing. There are lots of people about who will give you advice and support. What you're trying to do is brave, difficult, foolish, impressive and all sorts of things but it's your goal so go for it!

    Also, I'd suggest you approach more than one charity and sooner rather than later if VLM is really the one you want to do.

    Good luck.

  • Good Luck whatever you decide to do.

    If you do decide to train properly is great for beginner training progs.

    In my experience some of the charities don't give out good training advice (I ran for Children with Leukemia twice and their training programme was ridiculous and would have left me woefully undertrained and probably dead by mile 15!)

    I really really hope you change your mind, pick a really fab half marathon and learn to run properly and enjoy the experience and end up a mad running fanatic who does london many many times.
  • I would probably recommend against the gold bond place, although it could spur you on, I am not sure the added pressure of having to raise the required monies will help.
  • I know a few people think walking a marathon is an achievement. I don't. Any healthy adult should be able to walk a marathon. I think it's a bigger achievement to run all the way in a 10K, and an even bigger achievement to run all the way for a half.

    Totally agree
  • Totally agree, on the face of it, running a marathon can seem like, dare I say it, an easy, or simple thing to do, but that 26.2 miles is just the end result of a culmination of months of hard training and long runs.

    Untill you get into training for long distances, you really don't appreciate, or respect, the amount of time and effort (both physical and mental) that has to go into it.

  • George, well done on your weight loss.

    As others have said there's no rush for a marathon. Why that particular distance is hailed by some as the ulitmate achievement is IMO questionable, and often more to do with hype than anything involving running / training.

    Build up to one if you want to do it, but get some training and conditioning in first, as you can't assume what you're doing now will transfer to distance running when you increase the mileage - too many factors.

    Consider as well your immune system in rapid weight loss - it needs time to recover and adapt to the stress of running for longer. At the moment, understandably, you feel like Mr Invincible! Don't push it...

    I'm not being negative, and I think many ppl on this thread have pointed out the pitfalls in a positive way. There's no reason why you can't do a marathon. Later.

    Why would your first 10k or HM not be as much of an achievement if you did that instead?

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