Couch Potato to Marathon in 18 weeks?

Hi Everyone,

First of all, I have to confess, I have no interest in "being a runner", however, I have for many years hankered after the ambition to run a marathon.   Yep, it's an ambition, an end in itself....

I have signed up for the Edinburgh marathon in May.

My background - I am totally unfit.  I even drive to the corner shop.  In fact, I drive EVERYWHERE. I hate even walking anywhere.  It seems pointless.  I watch films like Back to the Future;  Kick Ass and Iron Man and just want a hoverboard;  jet pack; or Ironman suit to get around... I am almost 40 and have never done ANY exercise.  I am incredibly lazy!

I have ordered a pair of trainers and a "Non-runner marathon"book from Amazon the other day (both still to be delivered) because I had some vourchers...

The book says I can do it in 16 weeks, other places say 18 (reviewers say 20 if you're rubbish like me).  It's about 20 weeks to Edinburgh... do I have any hope of even walking it round?

I'd be really gratefulfor any advice.  I'm the sort ofperson who works better with a definite, short-term goal.

 Thank you.

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Comments

  • Yes you do.

    Get a good pair of shoes.

    Build up gradually - as your plan will no doubt say.

    Try and aim for a race of shorter distance - say 10k or possibly a half marathon in April to give yourself an inerim target to work towardsand get used to how races work.

    Good luck

  • There's only one question...WHY?

    You have no interest at all in 'being a runner', you cant see any point in putting any physical effort into anything and yet for some reason you've always 'hankered after the ambition to run a marathon'?

    Why?

    What is the point? 99% of running a marathon is the training and it doesnt seem like you'll be too keen on the effort involved in that.

    In all honesty, you'd be better off finding something that more closely fits your  lifestyle.

  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭

    I'm no expert and am also running my first Marathon this year. I started running about a year ago though to simply feel better about myself.

    I'm doing London this year in April and am currently running 40-50 miles a week with a long run of around 10-14 miles at this time and I still feel that the task is a daunting one. I have been building up my base mileage and strength since about October.
    To be honest undertaking this task seriously has given me a vast amount of respect for anyone who has accomplished a Marathon. I feel that my life revolves around my training at the moment. I even went for a run Christmas day and am panicking a little now I have a cold and sore throat.

    At this time my own experiences mean that I can not believe that it is possible for many people to go from the couch to marathon in 18 weeks and have an enjoyable experience. I really expect such people to be punished hard for attempting it.
    If your ambition is to complete a Marathon and you have a lot of determination and do not mind walking or discomfort then I expect it is possible.

    If you want to enjoy the experience and accomplishment of running a Marathon, I honestly think you are very optimistic at best.

    Im a little bit curious as you stated "do I have any hope of even walking it round?" if you ambition was to run a marathon or walk one? 

    Good luck though as I think you will need it.

  • I'd also just get a once-over from the doc if you really are completely new to exercise after a long long period off.
  • Yes you can get round it.  However you will have to put some effort in and you sound like you hate any form of physical activity so it is not going to be an easy ride!  If you walked it at 4mph (brisk walking pace) it would take you 6.5 hours so if you factor in some running/jogging its definately do-able.

    The difference between you and for example Squeakz above is that he is already a runner and will have a running programme worked out with the aim of getting him round in the fastest time he can manage.  You just need to finish before the cut off time.

    You never know - this could be the start of excersize becoming a big thing in your life........ or it could put you off for ever!  Its up to you - rise to the challenge or not.  26.2 miles is a long way for a sendentary person to walk let alone run.  I wish you luck and respect your ambition.  image

  • Hello Everyone,

     Thanks for all your replies.  Thanks TigerLily for the really helpful point that If you walked it at 4mph (brisk walking pace) it would take you 6.5 hours to get around a marathon course.  Edinburgh is supposedly one of the UK's "fastest" courses, so that's a really positive base point for me to work from.  I have read that it is best (in terms of your muscles and psychologically, to get around faster) if you "mix things up" a bit by running and walking, so I would like to learn to run. 

    And thanks, Johnny - I will take your advice and do an interim race first, to get used to how the process works.

    Parkrunfan - I am dismayed at myself for my lack of willingness to do any physical exercise to this point in my life,  but I've realised that I admire "runners".  A friend of mine ran a number of marathons in the past (unfortunately, we live hundreds of miles apart and he's mainly taken up biking instead nowadays) and I have enormous respect for how disciplined he is.  We were chatting on Christmas day - he was staying at his parents' without his bike - and he'd been out on a run!  Which didn't surprise me at all, but again, I was struck by such admiration for him for doing that.

    Lately, as I've been driving, I keep noticing runners.  It's the fact that the weather has been the worst ever and yet they are still out there, putting in the hours, on the streets. It's moved me.  It's made me think that there is nothing stopping me from being the sort of person I admire, if I just get out there and make a start.  So Parkrunfan, you have caught me out - I secretly want to "be a runner" after all!

    Signing up for a marathon straight away is one of the first instructions of the marathon for non-runners book I've ordered (according to the Amazon reviews).  It seems like a good idea to me.  If the date -the goal - was too far off, I might never stick to the training.  Seeing an end in sight so soon works better for me.  Who knows, if I actually got round the whole course, I might want to do another for time (but that idea right now is just laughable).  Squeakz - what you've achieved so far sounds an amazing feat to me - good luck for your first marathon.

    Thanks again.

  • Be aware that Edinburgh does have a cut off, 6.5 hours I think.  Also, it may be a fast course, but the weather can play a major part.  Last year it was 26 odd degrees, loads of people pulled out around the course, loads got taken to hospital and one bloke actually passed away (I'm not saying any of these were heat or fitness related, btw).

    Not trying to scare you, just think you should be aware of the challenge yo have set yourself. 

  • Lazeegirl wrote (see)

    Signing up for a marathon straight away is one of the first instructions of the marathon for non-runners book I've ordered (according to the Amazon reviews).  It seems like a good idea to me.  If the date -the goal - was too far off, I might never stick to the training.  Seeing an end in sight so soon works better for me.  Who knows, if I actually got round the whole course, I might want to do another for time (but that idea right now is just laughable).  Squeakz - what you've achieved so far sounds an amazing feat to me - good luck for your first marathon.

    Thanks again.

    Okay, so you do actually want to run and it sounds like you are interested in finding out whether you actually could become less sedentary longer term.

    That is far more encouraging than your first post that sounded as though you would were on a mission to get from cradle to grave with the minimal effort possible.

    However, if the above is true of the book you just ordered then the first thing you should do is throw it in the bin...it might just about be worth keeping it to tear up and use for scooping up dog poo, but thats about it!

    Muscles, including the heart, only retain enough strength to deal with the regular workloads that they are asked to perform. They retain the capacity to do more, lots more, but have to be cajoled very gradually over months and years into taking on the increased stresses.

    Sedentary for years to running a marathon in 18 weeks, or 20 weeks or whatever, is just bonkers and potentially will leave you with a very serious and/or chronic injury of some sort.

    There will be plenty 'encouraging' people on here who will tell you what you want to hear (they always do!) but if you want to have long term health to go with your marathon completion a more appropriate timescale is a minimum of 2 years. The first 6 months should be used to gradually build up walking capacity only and then gradual introduction of some running thereafter.

    Build the engine first before you stamp on the accelerator and shake the bodywork to destruction!

  • Hi LG. Check out Jeff Galloway's walk/run plans. There will be a ration of run to walk that suits you somewhere. If you can't keep up the runs, at least walk for the full recommended time or distance.

    As well as following a plan (and do follow it - with so little time to go, you can't afford to skip sessions during the week), get in the habit of walking everywhere as much as you can. "Time on feet" will help both your fitness and confidence and get you in the habit of putting on your shoes, braving the weather and just getting out there.

    Good luck!

  • What Parkrunfan said image

    A marathon, if done well, tests your body to the limit.  If your body is used to riding around in a car and sitting on the sofa the limit won't be the finish line.  It'll be somewhere long before that.

       

    I suggest you set yourself a more achievable 18 week target and keep your eyes on a marathon in a couple of years.  You will then be better prepared, run a better time and feel better when you finish it.  You will also have become a runner, rather than someone who once dragged their complaining body round a marathon in a less than impressive time but is back sitting on the sofa and riding in the car.

       

    Please don't be discouraged by these comments.  We would be delighted to help you with whatever challenge you take on but we'd very much like you to become a lifetime runner rather than a one off.

  • It's taken me years to get my legs to a point where they are resilient enough to handle marathon training- I nearly had to bail out of my first one due to injury, and that was after a preceeding 5 year period of gradually building up from JUST managing on 10k on the treadmill, via multiple 10k races, half marathons, to the marathon.

    I was the same age as you,  when I first wondered whether my body would hold out long enough to get me round a marathon course in one piece- the answer was "only just!". You MAY, I suppose be one of the lucky ones, who is genetically suited/ inherently talented, and able to get round with little preparation ( by which I mean starting a training plan about 3 weeks ago!), but the odds are, you'll put yourself off excercise for life!

    Be careful, be prepared to stop training if injured, and DON'T try to do the race if you haven't managed the training- you'll just become another statistic for the first aiders.

    If you MUST do it- you'll have to start with walk/ run anyway, so you may as well resolve yourself that the fact that you'l probably end up walk/ runnig the race. The other thing to think about is a plan that involves less than the usual 5 days per week runnning- that will almost certainly wreck your legs, perhaps 3 days runnnig, and 2 days crosstraining- it just might reduce the risk of overuse injuries- pool running is probably the best option , or stationary cycling in the standing up position.

  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭

    Hi Lazee Girl.
    I'm a very slim bloke (62.86 kg) and the fact that I do not put on weight allowed me to be lazy. It was not until my six year old niece really exhausted me that I felt I needed to do something to keep fit. I had not run since my last school PE lesson until the age of 38.
    I work in IT and push a computer mouse for a living. Being a geek by nature the thought of driving about to do things never really crossed my mind. I just ordered everything online.

    To be honest I think I only started running because I was to lazy to go to the gym and caught the bug. It has not been easy at times and I have suffered issues with impact to my knees simply because I was not used to it.
    I got in the habit of getting up early on Saturday mornings and going to my local parkrun which is a free 5k run in local parks around the UK. At parkrun I met people in the same position as myself and together we got quicker and healthier, I also made friends. Check out your local parkrun as this will give you a great introduction to running.

    parkrun.com

    I love running now, it gives me balance and helps me handle stress. I can always take something positive from my run and feel proud of what I achieve.
    The most important thing for me was to enjoy running at the start and the support structure provided by forums and parkrun ensured I continued in the difficult times. If I had attempted to undertake a Marathon straight away I do not think I would be running now and this is my concern for you.
    I believe that running has been a great experience for me and when I cross the finish of my first Marathon I know I will be in tears, not because I have completed the task but because I will be reflecting on the journey which got me to this point.

    I would still advise you to taking the time to learn how to run, listen to your body, overcome the challenges you will face and have the complete experience. I believe that you could do yourself proud by giving the Marathon your very best shot in the future, rather than in effect settling for attemping a long walk before you even start.
    I honestly can not see how anyone can go from couch to marathon and have a good experience, it would be painful.

    Remember at some point your life will flash before your eyes, make sure its worth watching !!

    Although some of the comments people make may seem harsh they are most certainly honest and based out of concern for what you are considering attempting

  • Lazeegirl

    There is some really good advice here.  I've been running (albeit slowly) since 2009.  That year I worked up to 5k races and in 2010 I worked up to 10k.  I've now started training for Edinburgh, but it is the half marathon I'm doing.  I know that it will take me another couple of years to work up to a full marathon.

    Take things slowly and give running a decent chance.  If you get hooked, you will be able to work up to these things.  If not, try something else, but make your goals realistic.  Trying to do too much too soon could result in an injury and that is not what you want.

    C xx

  • It's going to really hurt.

    Start slow.

    I've not seen your schedule but..... 

    Maybe 3 weeks to get to running constantly for 3miles.

    Add a mile or two a week up to 13 miles say another 9weeks.

    Then a 15, and an 18miler. That's 14 weeks.

    Then another 15 and an 18.

    Then a 4 week taper.

    Doable and probably in under 5hours. BUT it's going to really hurt.

  • TimR - what do you base all this on?

    I came back from a three month injury lay-up last year, using a run walk programme. I'd run for about a year before my injury. By week 3 of my run/walk programme I could just manage 5 miles, but that was still run/walking. As a total beginner, running for three miles after three weeks is a bit of an ask.

    The mileage increase rule is 10% per week. Adding a mile a week from 3 miles to 13 miles blows this away, seriously putting anyone at risk of injury.

    Friend of mine who has run for a number of years did London a couple of years ago, just over 5 hours. If a complete beginner managed to get through marathon training without injury and then go sub 5 hours, they would be an amazing natural talent.

  • Indeed. If Layzeegirl is not running 3miles by the end of the third week I seriously doubt that she will be able to get round a marathon in less than 7hours within 18 weeks.

    10% is a guide 10-20% is acceptable. In any case she'll need to do two walk/runs of 18miles and a taper. So needs to get up to that distance quickly - whether this is running or walk/running.

    When I started running I struggled to do 3miles on my first run but once I realised I was running too fast and I slowed down I was doing 3miles in about 40mins within 3 weeks. This is a little over 4.5mph which she will need to be able to do to get round in under 7hours- especially as I expect that she'll be walk/running the last 6miles.

    It's all about distance not speed.

    It's going to hurt!

  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭

    The OP (Layzeegirl) states that she is nearly 40 years of age. If you make the assumption that the last time any real attempt at fitness was made at school which may have been left at 16 years of age, it means that no real excercise has been done for over 20 years. 
    We all know that the impact caused by running makes your bones stronger and increases bone density. A person who has not participated in excercise for the majority of their adult life and admits that they drive everywhere is likely to get injured very easily due to the bidy not being used to it.

    Im concerned that it could end up as similar to Jade Goody's experience of attempting the Marathon distance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6R01aC96k4

    Being a popular figure Jade Goody had masses of support but still got punished because she did not take it seriously enough to prepare and because of this she become a burden on the voluteers of the St Johns ambulance. 
    If you view any Video of Jade Goody on the London Marathon after the first 5 miles she never looks like she is having an experience she would want to cherish or remember. At times she looks in real discomfort and she deserved nothing less at that time imho.

    Don't get me wrong I loved Jade's outlook on life in general but this time paramedics spent 50 minutes frantically trying to regulate her breathing before rushing her to hospital for emergency treatment.

    QUOTE FROM THE SUN :

    Spectator Richard Lankshear, 22, saw the mum of two after she keeled over on the Isle of Dogs

    He said: “Jade looked like she was turning blue as she was put in the ambulance.

    “She could hardly get her breath and then got hysterical.

    “She was clearly overheating and you could see lots of steam coming off her. She looked in a bad way and was obviously in a lot of pain. She was shouting to medics, ?I’m dying, I’m dying’!”

    Tim Harper, 33, of North London, said: “She was clearly in a lot of distress. She was crying and clutching her stomach.”

    This I fear is the reality for people who do not give themselves enough time to prepare or underestimate the challenge. I dare say there are the odd exceptions however a large majority will become burdens to the first aiders and medical people who give up their own time to help.

    By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
  • To be fair, Jade Goody had undiagnosed cervical cancer at the time.

    Plenty of people do marathons from scratch starting after Christmas. If Lazeegirl aims to do the entire distance in a training plan but does a mainly walk schedule (such as the Penguin's walk/run plan) it'll be tough but not painful and possible in 6.5 hours.

    Taking it easy will be a great step towards long-term fitness.

    No-one tells mainly sedentary people not to go for a long hike on holiday, do they?

  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭

    Berry Nice wrote (see)

    To be fair, Jade Goody had undiagnosed cervical cancer at the time.

    Plenty of people do marathons from scratch starting after Christmas. If Lazeegirl aims to do the entire distance in a training plan but does a mainly walk schedule (such as the Penguin's walk/run plan) it'll be tough but not painful and possible in 6.5 hours.

    Taking it easy will be a great step towards long-term fitness.

    No-one tells mainly sedentary people not to go for a long hike on holiday, do they?

    My example was to show how a Marathon can end up to show both sides and nothing more, however I would like to respond.

    To be fair, Jade Goody underestimated the task. She even stated in an interview that she did not know how far 26 miles was and proudly announced prior to taking part that  she had been out the night before drink and eating curry. Jade was also an honest person and accepted that her lack of preparation was the reason she failed and stated "I was just so exhausted I couldn't carry on - but the doctors say I'm OK. I'm gutted I didn't get my medal, but I've only got myself to blame as I did hardly any training." Compare this to Jane Tomlinson who was running marathons successfully, despite being terminally ill and knowing it.
    The fact remains that Jade was not prepared and because of this became a burden on St Johns ambulance service while Jane Tomlinson did not. The difference was in the preparation.

    Although plenty of people do marathons from scratch starting I expect many more fail or do not even make it to the start line. I think people are less forthcoming in announcing failure in general.
    Most Marathons are now heavily oversubscribed simply because the organizers know that many people will not even reach the start and this is a warning in itself.

    I personally feel it is a shame that people do not commit to the training and have the complete Marathon experience so they can enjoy the fruits of their effort and have a great experience, and do them selves justice. Any less than that an they are letting themselves down.
    Although it would be possible to walk it, you must remember this is a person who has not walked much, let alone exercised in 20 years by their own admittance. I would have thought that Lazeegirl would get blisters and joint discomfort at the very least.
    Coming from a similar, if not worse level of fitness this is what I experienced and for me, it was not only tough but it was painful at times.

    I honestly believe that  Lazeegirl has the potentional to complete a Marathon. I think many people can however I also think that when undertaking the task you should also do yourself justice.
    How many people do you know who proudly annouce.. I walked the London Marathon for example. Nobody has aspirations to do that, people aspire to run a marathon.... Why not have the complete dream rather than short change yourself?

  • Hello Everyone,

     The discussion on this forum about my plans to "get around" the Edinburgh Marathon in May has been really informative.  I really should have signed up for the Loch Ness one in October instead!  It was the hills that put me off (and the bus run to the start)...

    Anyway, I just got back from my first session of exercise - just over an hour's brisk walking with my auntie (who's like a sergeant major, and in her 50s).  I could hardly keep up the walk at a fast pace and at times, I found it difficult to keep talking.  My thighs were aching before half-way.  Not a good sign.

    However, when we both parted company to go home, I started running with the dog.  It actually felt really good to be running and not so painful on the legs as walking.  It was a bit painful to breathe in the frosty air, but it was really enjoyable!  I loved being outside too and when I got home, I felt fantastic.  And really hungry.

    Luckily, like Squeakz, I'm naturally very slim (at 5 ft 6" I'm just under eight and a half stones a stone heavier than I had been until a year or two ago), so I don't want to lose weight through exercise.

    I realise I need to find out how to stretch my legs properly afterwards, so I might look on YouTube for some exercises for that.  Any tips?

    I'm going to the jogScotland Roadshow tonight to sign up for Sunday sessions.  I can't go the the midweek evening evening sessions though because I'd need a childminder.  I think it will be good to learn the warm-ups and stretches and the walk-jog ratio, as well as to meet other people.

    I  had also found out about Parkrun through JogScotland's website and planned to do that on Saturday mornings. Thanks for that suggestion.

    The idea of cross-training is a good one and I agree that swimming would probably suit me best, but I will also borrow the mountain bike I bought for my mum years ago (that she has never used).  I might start taking my little one to nursery and back on the bike - it's a couple of miles away, so that would soon add up.  So yes, I'm going to take this seriously.  I can't get a refund or a transfer on the marathon in May, so I might as well just do the best I can and not stress too much about it.

    I watched the clip of Jade Goody - thanks for that - I can't believe she did 21 miles!  That's brilliant.  I also wouldn't call that a "burden" on the first aiders because surely that's exactly what they are there for - to assist people?  Anyway, whatever our opinions on that, I think she did amazingly well.  I was going to look up how Jordan and Peter Andre had got on?  I don't watch a lot of TV.

    Oh, and when I got back from my walk my stopwatch had arrived.  I will use it to time how long I can actually run for and monitor my progress.

    I just looked at Hal Higdon's Novice Training Schedule - then read on his website that "Novice" is someone who has been running for about a year beforehand!  So you are right Squeakz.

    And I read somewhere that long runs make your toenails go black - is that true?  This is all very off-putting, but as Randy Pausch said, "Brick walls are there for a reason" (they're there to stop people who don't really want to do something).  Mmmm, do I REALLY want to complete a marathon course without collapsing and before the course closes?  I'm not going to think about that for now.  I'm just going to concentrate on going back out tomorrow and walk/running another few miles.

     Thanks everyone for your advice - it is ALL welcome.

  • Well done on getting out there and having a bit of a run! 

    Long runs don't necessarily make your toe nails go black. It is a problem runners encounter, but you can help prevent it by keeping your toenails short and wearing properly fitted trainers.  Trainers should be a bit bigger than your usual shoes to accomodate your foot as it swells a lot when you run. 

    Good luck!

  • Plenty of experienced runners get injured training for a marathon - it's what happens when you push yourself.

    Ignore the naysayers and give it a shot.image 

  • Johnny Blaze wrote (see)

    Plenty of experienced runners get injured training for a marathon - it's what happens when you push yourself.

    Ignore the naysayers and give it a shot.image 

    What a daft comment! image

    So you're saying that even experienced runners get injured after building up gradually and doing plenty of training, so................................................. ignore all the advice that you may be risking getting yourself seriously injured!

    What is it about this forum that attracts people who want to cause others unnecessary pain?
  • Weeble.Weeble. ✭✭✭

    Has the book arrived yet? If it's the same non-runners book my OH used I think it does recommend slightly more base fitness than you have.

    If I were you I'd strongly recommend deferring your Edinburgh place to next year and focusing on a half marathon this summer.

    But you will probably line up in May and finish the course.

  • Well, I have taken the plunge and ordered a buggy-trailer so that I can cycle to and from the nursery, or use it to jog with my little one in tow.  I'll have no excuse now for not getting out and about and I'll be a better example to my kids.  My eldest will now have to walk to school (I usually drop him off too).

    I just hope this isn't going to be a New Year fad that doesn't last until the second week of January!

    I really do want to get fitter now and exercise my heart muscle especially.  I'm going to do something every day (swimming biking) and the walk/runs at least 4 days a week.  Or should there be days of complete rest?

  • parkrunfan wrote (see)
    Johnny Blaze wrote (see)

    Plenty of experienced runners get injured training for a marathon - it's what happens when you push yourself.

    Ignore the naysayers and give it a shot.image 

    What a daft comment! image

    So you're saying that even experienced runners get injured after building up gradually and doing plenty of training, so................................................. ignore all the advice that you may be risking getting yourself seriously injured!

    What is it about this forum that attracts people who want to cause others unnecessary pain?
    I agree whole heartedly with Johnny, Lazee Girl.  For every person who has entered a marathon from scratch as you have done there will be a proportion who succeed and a proportion who don't.  I know of both........  And experienced runners definately do get injured during marathon training even if they build gradually as well - just read the endless injury threads on here.  I have run many marathons - the first as a 10k runner off just six weeks training.  Still came in under 4 hrs uninjured but extremely knackered! But I had been running for many years previous to that - just not the distance. You see, for everyone who's had my experience there will always be someone who has not.  I still maintain it can be done - a significant proportion of the London Marathon will not put in sufficient training but still attempt the course and finish.  Thats the thing........ you need to finish under 6.5 hrs - it will be tough mentally and physically but I still applaud your determination.  You just need the commitment and common sense not to push too hard too soon.  We all risk serious injury just by leaving our armchairs and driving the car to work - but we still do it.  Its by calculating that risk and mitigating it by a sensible plan and keeping to realistic expectations of what we can achieve that we give ourselves the best chance of success.  Good luck and let us know how you are getting on. 
  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭

    Awesome for getting out there, and it sounds like you started the first step of your Journey and you must be congratulated on that image good on you.
    Please do not think im attempting to discoutrage you, I simply believe you can achieve far more than the first post suggested you would settle for, and enjoy the experience.

    You will be glad to know my toenails have not yet gone black (I know I am)

    Im doing the Hal Higdon plan as well image

    Im starting to think there is a runner in you waiting to get out.. image

    Good luck in your journey.

  • image Well done LG - there is only you can ensure this isn't just a New Year Fad!!! As to black toe nails I currently have 2 - from running down a long fellside in shoes half a size too small image.  Never mind - this type of thing keeps the nail polish manufactureres in business!

    I'd definately be taking one day of complete rest per week and two days cross training - either cycling or swimming. Take it easy, build up carelfully and learn to listen to your body - if it says rest, then REST!

  • Hmm the quote function is broken for me image

    "I just hope this isn't going to be a New Year fad that doesn't last until the second week of January!

    I really do want to get fitter now and exercise my heart muscle especially.  I'm going to do something every day (swimming biking) and the walk/runs at least 4 days a week.  Or should there be days of complete rest?"

    Keep coming in here and we'll kick you up the bum to keep you going!

    You can cross-train on off days, but as your long runs get longer you'll appreciate one or two full days off a week.

    You've made a great start, keep it up. If you can do 20 miles in 5 hours four weeks before the race you'll be sorted. That gives you loads of time to work out if you'll get round comfortably. If you find you're struggling, don't give up, just find a more modest goal image

  • Of course in one sense, the whole marathon experience is "unnecessary pain" unless you are an elite runner with a chance of actually winning something - no-one forces you to do a marathon and yet we still do it depite the pain, for a whole range of reasons. 

    Parkrunfan - i don't know how good bad or indifferent you are as a runner - but to say that runners don't get injured if they train "properly" is just plain wrong. I've heard this argument before - usually from people who believe there is one true way - their way - and from people who also seem to spend the same amount of time on the bench as anyone else.

    Look at the Super Six history on RW for instance - a lot of injuries there - some running related and some not.

    The number of injury threads on here and on Fetch prove you are incorrect. I know lots of super speedy runners who spend time every year on the bench.

    We all know that marathons frequently attract new runners -and a lot fail and a lot don't. This lady has best part of five months to train for this and I think she can get round - if you read her original post she asked whether she even has a chance of walking round - of course she does, but run/walk or a plod is also do-able and preferable - assuming she remains injury free - injuries are a risk for any runner, i don't care who you are.

    The time to bail from marathons is when you pick up injuries or illnesses or your training has been pants - not before you've even barely started your training. I can't believe how negative some of the comments have been on here.

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