Am I ready for a marathon?

Hi guys! 

I've been running consistently 4-5 times a week, 30-34miles, since January. My longest run is around 14 miles. Does anyone think I'm ready to build towards A marathon? I read somewhere that you should Be running for at least a year, and I only started in September. And I've never raced before, at any distance. Any advice? 

Many thanks in advance!



  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Sounds like a good foundation for an Autumn marathon, I reckon.  You're at a similar stage to where I was when I decided to do a marathon with 9 months' preparation, from scratch.  Do you have any sporty background before running?  Have you had any problems with injury niggles building up the miles?  Done any racing?

  • build towards one? yes

    ready now? not if you want to finish in any decent time/low level of pain.

    imo, get some shorter races under your belt, 10k's and hm's, learn some race experience, almost everyone i know does shit on their 1st races because they end up flying out the blocks, takes a while i think to learn how to run your own race, ignore those around you and run at your own pace, not the pack. 
    Learn how to do your race, running a race is not the same as the same distance on a training run (for me) i push in certain places, pace differently, save some for the end etc. 

  • Ben

    You seem to have a good base. I would actually target a marathon for Spring 2014.

    You have time to get shorter races in build up to halfs. Remember a Spring Marathon would have you starting a training plan in January 2014. But as other have said its your own expectations as well. What time would you have in mind etc?

    26 miles is a long way when your longest is 14 miles and you need time to build. O fcourse if your aim is to just do a marathon in however long it takes then go for it in the Autumn. Personally I would hold off until Spring 2014 at the earliest. Set a goal and look up some training plans see what they look like for the time you want to do. In some ways you need to train to get fit enough to train for a marathon. If you took on a marathon in Spring 2014 as I say your training plan would start in Jan 14 so look one up and see whats expected 

    I myself ran seriously (for me) I ran dozens of halfs and 10 Londons PB of 3.34 took a few years off and now am back doing just 4 miles. I am targetting a half in 2014 and a marathon in 2015 as when I do a marathon I have a target and do noy want to be doing it ending up walking or doing 5 hours, as that's not my ambition (not being rude to anyone who does 5 hours but everyone has personal goals)

    From my experience I know you need to be really prepared physically and more importantly in a waymentally for really giving a marathon the respect it deserves.

  • That's probably more miles, (in 4 1/2 months) than I ran my first marathon on (over nearer 6 months with a little training for a HM a year earlier-  admittedly ending a poor 4:18 after an 18 mile fatigue induced injury) - marathon should be no problem at all if you get 3-4 months of a training plan with long runs (~5x20 miles) in.  I think it just depends on what you mean by "ready" to build for a marathon?  Fast time/completion without walking/finish feeling fine ready for work the next morning with no aches...?

    I know several people (mid to late 30's, couple of stone overweight like myself) who have gone from practically no exercise to a marathon in under 9 months - yeah, not great times I suppose (sub 4:30's) but not exactly destroying them either - then there's booktrunk's "0 to marathon in 22 weeks thread" over in beginners which shows it can be "done" from almost any level of fitness if you have the will.

    Without knowing your fitness levels it's hard to say but I'd imagine if you wanted sub 4:30 then you'd have no issues if you follow a 16 week plan from now.

  • Very good advice from the others. I would definitely do a few halfs this year and park run will be good to. Running a marathon is very hard and can ruin it for you if not well prepared. I did my first recently and it was great but could have been a lot better and more fun as I was only trained for a half. And I have been running for the last 15 years  so had a good base. Next year get my vote to. Build youmuchle sand get used to racing first. 

  • Nelis glad you agree with 2014

    The thing is marathons are (well obviously) different from halfs. In a half if you find yourself struggling you can usually adjust the pace and get home OK  with no real harm.

    But the marathon is really pushing your body to its limits, and if the wheels fall off can be a painfull and mentally sapping experience. The step up to a marathon is huge especially if you set a challenging goal - for a good marathon experience preparation is everything that why I am looking at 2015 and sub 3.50

    As I say its what Simon wants out of it. It does really depend on your goals for the distance. But BE PREPARED look at the tried and tested training plans for your goal time see what your looking a needing to be doing in the months leading up to the race

    Running a marathon needs good tactics I shall certainly be running my next one differently


  • Hey everyone,

    thanks for all the advice so far! Obviously just finishing without any significant discomfort would be the aim for my first 26. Although I do have a sub 5 hour time in mind! I can fully understand what you're saying about giving the marathon the respect it deserves- thanks! I guess I'll try a couple of halves and 10k's beforit thinking of doing a proper one. 

  • Chicken!image (joking)..  I'd imagine not many finish a marathon without significant discomfort no matter the training! - But the more preparation you do the easier it is, and the more sensible you are.  I still reckon you'd easily be under 5 hours if you followed a training plan for an autumn one based on your 4 months+ of 30+ miles a week.

    I was very disappointed with the time for my first marathon for about a day (sub 4h aim), then looking back so happy I finished it - it just made me more determined for the year after (and an easier PB to smash next time!).

  • Dave928Dave928 ✭✭✭

    I've been doing 10k's for years but training has always been 20 miles per week max. Did my first marathon when up to 5 days before had never run further than 12 miles in my life. On the Tuesday I did 15 miles and was very, very, sore. Rested until the Sunday, took it really easy, managed to run the whole thing in 4h20. Very happy. Can't imagine with 30-34 miles a week for the last 4 months you would have any serious problems. 

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