First marathon - am I mad?

Is it too late to only start a training plan for a marathon at the end of October.  I am only jogging 3-4 times a week. I have a training plan but am unsure if its realistic to think I will be ready to jog 26.2 miles in 4 hours especially when the longest distance I have ran to date is 6 miles. last week I ran 4 on Monday / 5 in tuesday / 3 on Wednesday/ 3 on Friday and 6 on Saturday.


  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    I started on the 1st of May only about to run about 50 yards, my first marathon is scheduled for 14th october *gulp* so I know how you are feeling.

    My training plan for the next week is a 3, 3, and 5k runs.  I don't think you are going to break any records but like me I reckon you will get around.  The first one is just about completing it for me, and getting an official finish.  Then next year I can worry more about PB's this first one the PB is to complete it for me.

    Oh are you mad, maybe slightly, but it's a fun madness.

  • It's not impossible. I think you should expect to be running for more that 4 hours over that kind of distance. 

  • KatyVKatyV ✭✭✭

    Hi Helen, I've only run one, but if it helps I did the typical "start training in January for London Marathon at the end of April" thing and got round fine (on four runs a week), so I'm sure you can get round between now and Oct. I aimed for sub-5 though as I'd done a few halves so had a better idea of my likely first marathon time. Could you pencil in some half marathons and use them as markers?

  • 5 month's is plently of time to train for a marathon. All depends on your starting point and what you hope to achieve. From what miles you've said it shouldn't be a problem I would just take a deep breath don't panic and get a training plan sorted. The shades thread on here will be very useful as well. I marafun isn't as scary as you might think just need to get the training in and enjoy it. image

  • Hi, My marathon is on 14th Oct too booktrunk - which one you doing? 

    Helen, Ive only just started to get into it too so Im panicing abit like you but people on here have been really helpful. I also downloaded a 16week training programme from Runners World and thats really good too!

    Hope your training keeps going well!!

  • I went from 13 miles to full 4 hour marathon in 14 weeks following a program. 5 /6 runs a week. I followed it to the letter. I was in my thirties then.

    Hope that helps. KK
  • PS you are mad, they are addictive.
  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭
    Hi LazyMaisy Leicester as it's local to me I'm in Loughborough.

    My plan is from asics website. I am on a 3 run a week plan, the four run a week plan seemed to pretty much have Tuesday and Wednesday as copies of each other, so I am tempted to up it to four times a week from July I'd have had two months training by then.
  • I will be doing the  Liverpool Marathon on the 14th October,this was my first Marathon and I have started my training plan this week and hope to get about round in about 4 hours image

    You should have plenty of time just ensure you stick to your training  plan and watch out for injuries (plenty of warm ups) image

  • Im doing Lake Garda in Italy.  It seemed a really good idea to say I was going to do the marathon when I was pregnant!  Now Im not too sure.  If I can do around 4:30 I will be over the moon!

    Helen, have a look at the Asics website too as Booktrunk has suggested.  I think their training schedule and RW schedule are pretty similar but will give you something to follow.  I blindly thought I could just don my trainers and build up the miles but there is sprint training and marathon pace running to consider too.  Plenty of research though and Im finding it very beneficial to read up and see that I could possible do this!

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭


    Lake Garda



    What is it about the letter L and 14th October.  C'mon someone else needs to find another L marathon to do on the same day.  Bet i'm the slowest image

  • image Don't know I've not booked one for oct yet and while probably going to Liverpool done Leicester in the past and really enjoyed the course. If I end up doing it I'll race you for the slowest prize. image

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    hehe, deal image it looks like they stop counting at 6 hours so have to time it well to be last.

    Knowing my luck i'll fall over just before the line and end up crawling over it in 6H and 1 second.


  • I've just started an 18 week plan leading up to my first marathon at the end of September. I'm using one of Hal Higdon's plans: and it looks like it'll do the job for me.

    Good luck!

  • JimineyJiminey ✭✭✭

    HEP- Just be sure to build up gradually, you say you are up to 6 miles as your long run, try and increase that by no more than 10% every week. That way you will be up to running about 20 miles by the time your marathon comes around . As Katy_V says pencil in some half marathons (treat them as training not as races) to build your confidence in your abilities. Running a marathon is largely psychological so you need to feel happy that you can do it in your mind and your body will follow.

  • Book top advice above. Only thing to note about leicester is it have a small hill near the end. but on the 25 mile it feel's a lot bigger. If you have any family and friends who want to shout you on thats the place for them to throw jelly babies at you. Your going to get a lot of support and shocked shopper's as you go throw the city centre. image

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    I heard about that, and as i'm going to be right at the back i'll have to fight through the shoppers image Wonder if I can pop into M&S image must remember to take my credit card image

  • evening hep,

    so, you're running miles every day?

    i'm a new runner, so i dont know how things may change with the experience one gets, but i thought one had to have a day without running in between.

    good luck for your first marathon!

  • We should start a thread for all Oct 'L' Marathon runners to plot our progress over the coming months!!

  • kaffeegkaffeeg ✭✭✭

    congrats everyone.  I've only done one marathon, and done it rather terribly, so if you want to learn from my mistakes:

    1) don't build up your training too quickly

    2) if you have a 'niggle', don't feel obliged to run that day. best to have a day of rest so you don't cause yourself an injury. Missing one run is better than missing a week or more if you cause a niggle to become an injury (this is the SINGLE most important peice of advice to listen to, i would say!)

    3) get proper trainers sorted now.

    4) get a realisitic training plan.

    5) start your training plan 2 - 4 weeks early. e.g. if you have a 16 week training plan, start it at 18-20 weeks before the race.  Therefore if you ignore advice number 2, you have a few weeks to play with if things go tits up.


  • It's not 14th but I want to run a first time marathon in Lausanne on 28th October.

    Guess that makes another October L!

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭
    Ignore me.... I already posted my date D'oh
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