A year to train for a marathon ...

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  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
     

     

    Lou Diamonds wrote (see)

    Xine - I would recommend considering how you will fit 8-10 hrs of training into your week; understand the purpose of all the various workouts; find good location for intervals, tempos long runs etc; get into the habit of strength and stretching.

    Basically make sure that once you start your 16 week prgramme next Christmas you minimise the reasons (excuses) for missing sessions.

    Good shout.  Once you've picked a good schedule to work to, you can do worse than to follow it, knowing that it's having the right training effect, BUT if you do a bit of background reading*, it's much easier to buy into it, because you appreciate why you're doing what you're doing - and you're much less likely to miss the key sessions (as opposed to the odd easy run).  It also helps you become critical of the schedules themselves.  Don't believe everything you read on the interweb.  image

    *Highly recommended, for marathon runners at any level: Pfitzinger & Douglas: Advanced Marathoning.

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    +1 for P&D - I read the whole thing before starting the programme and it did give me a much better idea of why I'd been doing the things in the half marathon programmes I'd more or less blindly followed before.

    I've thought of another point about stretching, which is sort of related to the above, which is that when I was quite new to structured exercise, I didn't really know how to stretch and felt quite self-conscious about doing it either in the gym or outside before/after a run. I would only do a few perfunctory calf stretches etc. that I already knew. Now I feel I have a much better understanding of not only what stretches there are, but also what they're all for. So my advice would be:

    Join a sports club or exercise class that has a proper coached warm-up and stretching routine if you're not already confident that you know how to stretch each muscle group properly.

  • PC -PC - ✭✭✭

    Hi Xine267,

    I've just finished the Paris Marathon after 4 months training.  Perhaps learn from my mistakes and I can learn from your thread.

    I was training 3 times a week, hills, intervals, LSR. However I skipped the stretching so due to the rapid increase in milage and lack of care for my legs, my muscles got tighter.  I cramped up during my taper period and although the physio helped a lot, it was too late and my legs became very stiff halfway round and it was a very long walk home.

    I'm going back to the drawing board.  I'm looking to improve my running technique, form is so important.  It would be great if you can join a club, someone would be able to advise you.

    Building up slowly so you body can adapt. The muscles are connected, strong glutes will support your hips, guiding your legs, knees and feet.  Weak glutes can lead to injuries, often knees.  Physio is a good idea, I shouldn't have waited until I was injured.

    I like Intervals, strengthens the heart, gain speed, fixed objectives. I pushed myself hard then walked.  It would have been better pushing myself less and jogging between Intervals.

    LSR, perhaps too early to think of this but the idea is DISTANCE not time. I built up with the 3 up/1 down method.  12k, 14k, 16k, 10k, 13k, 15k, 17k, 11k .  Where every 4th week is a shorter run.  I have to read up on recovery runs.  I did several 30-32k runs late at night, a reason why I skipped the stretching.  Hindsight tells me that it would have been far better to do 25k and cool down properly.

    Gradually increase your distances and speeds even if you feel you can do much more.  Save energy for the next training session.  Rest is also important, respect the cut back weeks.

    Eat heathly mainly because if you're carrying extra weight then it's going to slow you down. Save the carb loading for the races.

    Best advice : Enjoy ! Have fun.

  • PC -PC - ✭✭✭

    DF3, the physio can treat the problem but they don't fix the cause.  I read this earlier which made me think about form.

    http://www.championseverywhere.com/why-gait-analysis-doesnt-work-future-of-the-shoe-industry

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭
    David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

     What if you can't be bothered to listen to someone elses advice and would rather do things your own way?

     

    Um, in that case, perhaps don't come on a marathon training advice thread?

  • Lou Diamonds wrote (see)

    Xine - I would recommend considering how you will fit 8-10 hrs of training into your week; understand the purpose of all the various workouts; find good location for intervals, tempos long runs etc; get into the habit of strength and stretching.

    Basically make sure that once you start your 16 week prgramme next Christmas you minimise the reasons (excuses) for missing sessions.

     

    Interesting - and very good! - point about understanding why you need to do certain sessions. Otherwise you end up doing what I did and skipping half the interval sessions because the program had them on a day that was difficult for me to regularly commit to image

    Thanks for the link to Advanced Marathoning Phil, I have seen it before (popping up in my Amazon recs!) but I just thought ' Well, I'm not an Advanced Marathoner, no point buying something meant for the Paula Radcliffes of the world' image  I will give it a go! My sister bought me a copy of the Lore of Running recently but I've yet to dip into it, anyone read that one?

     

  • David Falconer 3 wrote (see)
    literatin wrote (see)
    David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

     What if you can't be bothered to listen to someone elses advice and would rather do things your own way?

     

    Um, in that case, perhaps don't come on a marathon training advice thread?

    Touche! You hoisted me on my own petard!

     

    That made me image

  • literatin wrote (see)

    +1 for P&D - I read the whole thing before starting the programme and it did give me a much better idea of why I'd been doing the things in the half marathon programmes I'd more or less blindly followed before.

    I've thought of another point about stretching, which is sort of related to the above, which is that when I was quite new to structured exercise, I didn't really know how to stretch and felt quite self-conscious about doing it either in the gym or outside before/after a run. I would only do a few perfunctory calf stretches etc. that I already knew. Now I feel I have a much better understanding of not only what stretches there are, but also what they're all for. So my advice would be:

    Join a sports club or exercise class that has a proper coached warm-up and stretching routine if you're not already confident that you know how to stretch each muscle group properly.

    +1 - that is exactly how I felt when I first started running. I'd do a couple of half-hearted quad stretches and that was pretty much it for my stretching routine. No wonder I got injured within 3 months, and that was just from regular 5-10km runs not even marathon training.

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    I suspect that when people come on here asking for advice and they get told 'stretch more', a lot of them probably just go off and do more of whatever few stretches they already know. My dad goes to the gym and stretches religiously after each workout, but he only ever does the same few stretches he was taught on his induction 25 years ago!

  • PC91 - that's a great post for newbies (and marathon-returners like me). I'm planning to do Paris next year, so hopefully I can put your expert knowledge to good use image

    I completely agree about weak glutes. That's pretty much my standard response to all the 'my knees-ITB-ankles-lower-back hurts when I run' threads on here! And good point about not needing to load up with extra weight. 26 miles is a long way, without hefting an extra half stone along too image

  • literatin wrote (see)

    I suspect that when people come on here asking for advice and they get told 'stretch more', a lot of them probably just go off and do more of whatever few stretches they already know. My dad goes to the gym and stretches religiously after each workout, but he only ever does the same few stretches he was taught on his induction 25 years ago!


    Very true! And sometimes you need to tweak it to get the best stretch for you. I find tsome of he typical hamstring stretches pretty ineffective because I have really good flexibility in my back, so I used that to compensate for the tightness in my hamstrings. I didn't think I had a problem with tight hamstrings until I was shown a different stretch and it hurt like hell!

  • David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

    Stretching is just time that could be better spent running ......


    and Googling how to fix yourself when you get injured image

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    How's that knee injury coming along, David?

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    xine267 wrote (see)
    My sister bought me a copy of the Lore of Running recently but I've yet to dip into it, anyone read that one?

     

    imageimage  That's a bit of weighty tome.  It's even too big to put under my front wheel when I've got my bike on the turbo trainer!  I did actually attempt to sit down and start reading it from chapter one onwards but didn't get very far, but have since dipped into it for specific queries.  If you want to read up on a certain topic it's probably pretty useful for info, and will be backed up with scientific references, but it's definitely more of a reference work than anything else.

  • Did my limited range of stretches in front of a mirror today. Didn't realise that during my right calf stretch, my right knee actually points right across my body (instead of straight forwards)..... weak hip flexors, weak glutes, or "just too ugly to live, too weird to die", no-one seems to know for sure.

     

    It's not the first time I've noticed my knee does weird stuff, (it's probably why I get injured) but that really shows it up.

  • imageActually I've just remembered that the physio I went to see was actually on the NHS through my GP and was therefore actually free - after first appointment she gave me an open appointment for a month (and then again after the second appointment) so I could actually get to see her with less than a weeks notice.

    This would of course simply shorten DF3 post above to

    'Its exactly the same as if I had seen a physio.'

     

  • xine267 following the recommendation of some posters on this site I bought P&D's advanced marathoning, it's great! There's a section on stretching and strengthening too.

     

  • Thanks vellooo, I'll have to check it out!
  • I'll second P&D even though never run a marathon yet. Unlike many training books, which can be a bit dense, its very readable. And it explains the principals well so they can be applied to shorter distances.
  • PC -PC - ✭✭✭
    Hi Xine,



    Paris is a great marathon and there is a dedicated thread which is a must to follow if you do decide to go.



    P&D seems a good buy.



    I'm a real novice but you have done several races. What are you looking for with this tread? I would love someone to post a year long plan, however after following the target26,2 thread who received expert advice, their plans were 4 weeks long, updated every month. A year is too long.



    I would like to know more about technique. Run smarter.
  • My advice would be to find someone who knows about running who does sports massage. I ended up with itbs training for 1st marathon. In hind sight I had felt everything getting tighter and tighter for weeks before hand.
  • Hi Xine,

    I'm glad you started this thread as I am targeting my first full marathon next Spring - which will be Brighton! 

    I'm currently off running due to a niggle I had in my hip flexor / groin area which turned more severe and forced me to hang up my trainers for a while image which leads me to my best advice tip I can offer - strengthen and stretch your glutes, then strengthen and strecth them some more! image image

    I think they are such a neglected muscle group amongst runners despite it being the most powerful muscle group in the body. I really wish someone had told me when I started running the importance of glutes in preventing injury. They help keep everything level and in balance, from your hips down to your feet. In my case they're incredibly weak and lazy - my physio was actually quite impressed with how lazy they were. When they're not active they are quite happy for all other muscles to take up the slack - which leads to niggles which then leads to injury.

    So definitely invest in a good overall strength & conditioning programme - you'll be putting your body under so much stress when training, give it a helping hand by getting stronger. 

     Happy running! x

  • My physio 2009 was an NHS one.....got an appointment for every 2 weeks for about 6/7 sessions......

    he was very good and got me running again....image

  • Hi Runner Bean, sorry to hear about your hip flexor injury! I hurt mine back in October (doing mountain climbers in circuit class!) and it's still not healed 100%. Glute strength is definitely something to work on.



    I've ordered the P&D book - thanks for all the recommendations image
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