My first completed Marathon

 I don't mean to annoy those marathon purists out there. I don't mean to make some people feel bad about marathon experiences that may not have gone the way they had hoped. I just thought I would offer some encouragement to those that are contemplating doing a marathon or those that owing to the advices of others' may be thinking about pulling out of a marathon they've signed up for. I have posted on various forums, I may have lied on those forums about how much training I had completed but that was only owing to guilt as my marathon training was far from what it is supposed to be. I started running earlier on in the year. Perhaps the only other physical activity I pursued was playing soccer every Sunday for an hour and a half. Anyhow, I started off with a few miles here and there, building up to a maximum of 30 miles for the week, although such mileage only occurred on maybe two occasions. I then suffered a couple of injuries through football so missed a few weeks at a time, which is not good. Anyhow, I started building my long runs. 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 were completed with the latter being done about 8 weeks before the marathon. I never did anymore, attempted a 20 miler but stopped after 13. The marathon I was running was Chicago and I was nervous after reading about not being able to get through it without a great deal of training. Coupling that with being a 15 a day smoker as well as having plenty to drink on plenty of occasions and I am sure you will argue that I would have struggled to complete it. I did complete it. I ran the whole way to 21 miles when I started to incorporate some walking (through the drink stations). I managed to get over the line at 4:21:40 and thus proved that it's not the hardest thing to do.  I had some tight legs but they've since recovered and I want everyone to be aware that you can do it. You all can! I now will train properly for my next marathon, hopefully around April, and I will aim to cut 4 hours. Thoughts? Thanks,


  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    Yep, not the ideal preparation, but a pretty good result.

    I've completed 10 marathons now, and haven't trained as much as I should have or would have liked to for any of them.  Injuries, illness and life always seem to get in the way of my carefully planned training schedules.

    I do wonder how my times would have compared had I done the "correct" number of 20 milers, and how I would have felt (physically and mentally) having achieved those times.  But I did what I did, and I survived the process.

    Good luck on the training for the next one, Sam.  I'm sure based on your training for your first one that with the right preparation you will beat 4 hours.

    Me, life is still getting in the way (15 month old baby), so I reckon it'll be a few years before I'll be able to do "proper" marathon training.  (Might not stop me running another one in the meantime though)

  • Last marathon i did, i didn't do any training, and it was one week after the previous one. And i beat the previous years time!
  • So, I have entered my first marathon. London 2010. There so much information and do's and dont's floating about. Who do I listen to? Where do  start? I have been running for about a year or so now, on & off. But I enjoy it a lot, once I get into it.  I completed a half in March in 2:07:38. Was chuffed to even make it.

     Anyone have an genuine, non complex advice for me?

  • Yep - just make sure you do the long runs...

     My wife, who is a fair runner, has done seven marathons, and has got away in the past with low mileage, but always doing enough long runs (15-19 miles, once a week). 

  • Obviously I have to build to that. Any tips for early parts of training?? 
  • Sorry didnt mean to sound rude!! Just typed it out & didnt mean to send quite so instantly.

     To me honest i am being inundated with information about HR montiors, speed work, tapering, etc etc etc, its all never ending. Ha! I am just trying to work out what the best plan for me is.

    Thanks for your help Tim!

  • Didn't think it sounded rude! If you've done a half already you will be used to going out and running for extended periods. i don't know what your training was like for the half, but I found that I could get round a marathon on three runs a week, with a gradual build up in length for the long run (up to 20 miles about 4 weeks before the big day. Don't be afraid to walk on the long runs - its more imprtant to be out on your feet for extended time periods than to worry about extact distances, so perhaps look to train on time running rather than distance, at least on the long, slow runs.

     Hope that helps!

    Remember - everyone is different, so what works for one, won't for everyone.

     Good luck!

  • Thanks for your help Tim! Fingers crossed!

  • Just like to say this thread has really put my mind at ease, i've got under two weeks to go until my first marathon (Loch ness) and have not been training as much as most threads have said I should be but I cant understand how you can work full time, have a life and run five times a week. Oh well, here's to hoping and I cant wait to do it which is the main thing!

  • Hi Sam,

    Well done in finishing that Chicago marathon.

    In addition, I would like to point out that many people can get caught up with what they say and actually do. For instance those who say they have caught a fish bigger than it was. They can't get away with it as much now, as cameras of one form or another many people have today.

    Your also doing distances far bigger than me. Im increasing my runs by ten minutes a week, with increasing from 2 minutes jog, then one minute walk. Im now doing between 4 or 5 minutes jog  to one minute walk, once in a 40 minute jog. My goal is to complete the Manchester MoRun on the 24th of November 10k. Experience has taught me to build up listenning to what my body is feeling, on my particular training days.

    The major point to make here is to listen to what your body is telling you. Up and running do a training program from zero to a marathon. I'm not saying follow it implicity, as you have completed one marathon. I'm saying take a look at a training plan, and use what information they give and then find the right pace for yourself.

    good luck with training for your next marathon.

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