Running Mileage

Hey in about 4 months time I'm going to be running the London Marathon and I'm about to start on a 4 month training programme leading up to the event. The thing is with most of these programmes they say you should have some running under your belt (like 20mpw or so) before you start following the programme properly and I've not really done that. I'm at university studying, however I've participated in sports requiring cardio such as football (mostly twice a week, at the very least once) and badminton (same frequency as footie) and I'm consider myself good in terms of fitness (in terms of mileage, I can complete several miles at a decent pace without breaking much sweat). The advice they give about running for some time before your programme, I feel applies to proper beginners with not so much cardiovascular fitness or am I wrong? And will it still be ok to get into the training programme, follow it properly?

And sorry if this is in the wrong section, I'm a newbie here lol. 


  • I think you're wrong. Whilst you sound as if you're fit - your legs arent used to running so it could be quite a harsh start to the plan.

    Is there a plan one down from that ?

    The key to doing a successful marathon is not getting injured and being consistent with your training. You may be running a risk of injury jumping in like this.

    Good luck with the training.
  • Exactly as cougie says- you are probably at high risk of injurung yourself if you are quite fit generally, but not used to running regularly- if you ramp up the mileage quickly, you will probably suffer an overuse injury to some part of your legs after about 6 weeks.

    Probably the most important thing, as you are suddenly doing more mileage, is to do it all as slow as you can- don't do any speed stuff until you are really used to the regular runs, and don't be afraid to walk /run some of the longer runs, if it stops you getting injured.

    Good never know, you may be one of the lucky ones that gets away with a non- textbook trainig approach, but be prepared to stop and get help if you feel an injury coming on.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    ^^^^ what they said seems like good advice to me. General fitness and marathon fitness are very different things
  • Ah makes sense, thanks guys! I guess I'll take it easy for the first few weeks at least, not go in too intense, get used to running

  • Tamim - your fitness will outgun the ability of your legs to take what you are dishing out to them. Your mind and body will tell you to increase mileage but your tendons and leg muscles will not be up to the strain. The problem is that your lungs will not give up and so you won't have anything to stop you pushing too hard on your legs. 

    FYI - I'm out with injury right now and I was really careful to follow a plan and not overdo it. As far as I understand it this is pretty standard and is all a part of the body getting used to running long distances. Definitely take it easy.

  • I am doing my first marathon next April, and i am slowly clocking up the miles, but a training run for me is about 8 miles twice a week, with a long slow run of 10-11 miles. I am planning on adding a mile on a week, then stopping when i get to 19-20, to save the rest for the big race.

    The bottom line though, is i am used to doing distance running, having clocked in many half's also, so my training to marathon day isnt that steep, and my body will be ready in time give or take injury. I have seen so many people go from zero to 13 or 26 and end up paying for it.

  • I can testify to the above. Started running last year and prior to that did a lot of MTBing and badminton once a week. Due to my general fitness I was able to run parkrun in 22 mins pretty much straight away. I then decided to do a HM and was able to increase mileage with relative ease. I then missed 2 weeks of training due to a business trip and when I returned I only had 3 weeks left. In the following 2 weeks I ramped up the mileage so that I knew I could cover the distance then backed off in final week. I then developed a stress fracture in my Fibula during the race, didn't have the sense to stop and spent the next 10 weeks in a cast, followed by another 5 weeks before running again. I then started running but after 2 weeks, due to a weakened and inflexible ankle, twisted my ankle and broke a metatarsal. I'm quite sure it won't happen to everyone and I was quite sure it wouldn't happen to me. If perhaps I'd taken note of all the available advise then I'd have trained differently, accepted that I wasn't superhuman and the end result would have been that I wouldn't have spent the best part of a year out.
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