wanting to run my first marathon next year

Hi all, I'm a newbie here and a fairly new convert to running, having turned 42 last year I had a mid life crisis moment and decided I should get fit, used the gym a bit and then started running in October. I completed the Hastings H/M on Sunday in 2hr 17 image not a great time for most of you I'm sure, but I was pretty chuffed as I was aiming for 2 1/2 hrs. Anyway, I'm hooked and want to race again with a view to maybe attempting the Brighton marathon next spring. It seems well supported and relatively flat (compared to Hastings anywhere is flat! lol).

what tips/advive can you give regarding training. I work 12 hr shifts and so find it difficult to follow any set training plansimage as some weeks I can only fit in 1 run others 2 or 3. should I just work on time on feet,increasing mileage steadily or are there any other methods that would help. I'm not looking to break any records but I don't want to disgrace myself either, I'd like to get round in 4 - to 4 1/2 hours ish (realistic target or not?) should I aim to complete some races alomg the way, 5-10k ?

Also I'm currently about 12 1/2 stone, would it be of any real benefit to loose a bit more wieght? I've lost about a stone and a Half scince October.

Any tips greatfully recieved, Thanks All. image


  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭
    Find a race, then find a plan, as you are planning for next year see if you can get a 20 week plan, but anyway start the 16 or 20 week plan a couple of weeks early as you might loose a couple of weeks due to injury etc.....

    Until then keep running if you want variety then do things like park runs, add in the odd 10km / half to keep you in training, above all enjoy yourself.

    Weight.. The lighter you get the less weight you have to carry around the 42.195km it's a long way I read somewhere if your fitness level is the same loosing each lb takes 2 seconds per mile off your marathon time? (This could be utter rubbish) but if so 1lb = 52 seconds off your time.
  • The big thing here is not to lose your fitness before you start your ~18 week or so training plan for the marathon.  I did a marathon last Oct but then stopped until Feb and it took me a while to get back to where I was (I'm past that point for HM speed, but still under endurance-wise where I was for the marathon).

    As boring as it may be, just base building doing long slow runs until you're ready to start your plan may be best doing ~30 miles a week?  Check out the HADD training thread in the Training forum.  If you can run for 2 hours a couple of times a week for several months at ~70% of your max HR (i.e. pretty damn slow!) it'll work wonders.

    Otherwise as next Spring is such a long way off I'd sign up to several more races so you are always focused on a goal - do a couple of 10K's, then a HM in Sept/Oct ready to start your training for the marathon at Christmas with a realistic goal time calculated from it (2.23ish x your HM time I think is reasonable, though I was told 2xHM and add 30 minutes for your 1st marathon and it generous for me!).

    4h-4:30 is a decent goal with enough time to train, but it is much harder than a HM unless you put in the long slow runs (Ideally your 5 longest should be as close to 100 miles as possible) - I faded badly to 4:18 off a 1:46 HM time.

    But then.. what do I know - I'm still a beginner too, only 3 sporadic years in image

  • I am also planning my first marathon for next spring - April/ may . I have my first HM booked for June this year and planning to just put milage and running regulary after that. I am doing bike events also .

    I work very odd patterns too , my longest shifts are 14.5 hours which can mess with strict training plans , but with careful planning and time management you can fit it in

    I quite enjoy doing a 5 mile run at the end of my long days , but not when my long days are back to backimage
  • Thanks for the tips folks, I think regular long slow runs is the way forward for me, and then try and adapt a training plan as best I can nearer the time. I'll also look for some races through the year to keep up the motivation. I'd love to fit in runs before work but that would mean getting up at stupid o'clock which isn't fair on the rest of the family and I'm usually too knackered to run after. Daeve if your still a newbie after 3 years of running what does that make me lolimage how do I calculate my max heart rate, I don't really know much about training to heart rates, I've just been working on time on feet and pace?
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