Hello, I've got the chance of a place in the New York Marathon on 3rd November. I've only just started running last week, but I train fairly regularly. I done a 5 mile on  Friday in 60 minutes, but I'm about 4 stone overweight. Do you think it's achievable? I like running, but I'm a bit worried about injuries because of my weight.

Any advice, positive or negative appreciated,




  • Hi Biggun, Newbie here also (so pinch of salt advice).

    Do you have a time in mind or just want to finish? 0 to 26.2miles is (reasonably) easily achievable in 5 months if you put in the work. I'm sort of following 2 plans for my first Marathon in September but mainly following HADD and this may help your injury worries as it's based around heart rate and easy running. The 0 to a Marathon in 22 weeks thread may also be a good place for advice.

    Kudos for taking this on and I'm sure with the right determination and training you can do this image Get yourself into a decent eating routine and am sure the running will help lose some weight (if you want to).

  • Thanks Andi. I'd like to do around 4.30, if possible. Started trying getting the eating to something approaching normal. I'll have a look at that other thread as well. How's your training going? Where were you at when you started?

  • 4:30 would be a great time, my goal is sub 5 for my first Marathon, Loch Ness 29th Sept. I started running (again) last July but not seriously and, like yourself only recently managed to run 5 miles without a walk break in 60 mins

    My training is already behind schedule due to injury, moving home and laziness so need to buck my ideas up! Thankfully I started my 18 week schedule 3 weeks early to take injury/illness into account. 

  • JindaleeJindalee ✭✭✭
    Hi biggun

    It should be possible for you to finish the Marathon but I would not concentrate too much on the time. Look for a beginners marathon plan to prepare you. Mine was 16 weeks so it still fits your timeframe.

    Good luck and enjoy the experience!
  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Just worry about finishing. Get the first under your belt, then you can relax and worry about time.  I was in a similar boat with my first. After the rushed prep etc... You will be so proud just finishing it.

    Then you can say right now I'll get more organised for my second next year image 

  • I realised after I posted that 4.30 was a bit ambitious, I'll just take the advice and work towards being able to get around. Thanks all, anymore advice still welcome. Just started reading your posts, booktrunk, they're brilliant, going to use them for inspiration.

  • Will any exercises, weights etc, improve my running, or is it just running that I need to do?

  • Again going by what I have read, Lunges, squats and Core excercises should help you - Core excercises are oft ignored and imo can help in lots of ways.

    And be careful with Booktrunk, her enthusiasm is infectious and you'll be doing ultras next Yearimage

  • Cheers Andi. I seem to remember when I was doing a bit of running a few years ago, I started doing kettlebell exercise classes, and my running seemed to really improve, not sure if that was all in the mind, or just a co-incidence.

  • Losing weight would help you massively.

    For every pound of fat you lose - you'll run 2 secs a mile faster.

    Don't rely on exercise alone to do this. It won't. You need to eat less too.

    If you could lose that 4 stone - that's worth at least 48 minutes of time off the marathon - and it would lower the risk of injury too.
  • Cheers cougie. Food is my biggest weakness, but when you put it like that, it makes it worthwhile. Started eating better, giving myself a 'cheat' day once a week, on a Sunday, so going to have that after my longest run of each week.

  • How do you carry water with you when running? At the moment I wear a windcheater jacket (I think they're called) with a small bottle in the pocket. Is there a better way?

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Ohhh.... so many answers...

    Posh - CamelBak rucksacks with built in water packs so you drink from a tube on the go, cheaper more generic versions available.

    In between waistbelts with various bottle holders.  Some hold  1 large bottle some hold lots of little bottles. So large to small.

    I have a OMM 6 liter waist pack, (about as big as you can go i would think without getting silly for a waist pack) has a big water bottle and lots of storage.  I don't use it that often but it has enough room to put 3 500 ml handheld bottles in the back as well as the 600ml bottle it comes with can get you through quite  a lot. image

    Easy and cheap... Hand held bottles.  The best that i've found are in Tesco's they look ugly as they are more square then round, but they don't leak easy to use to drink from and work a treat around £3 a bottle.  they look like empty doughnuts you just wrap your hand around the bottle and run with it.  They hold around 500ml of water or your liquid of choice and are simple and do the job.

    You will see on these forums runners saying ohh you don't need water until you are running x distance, but it's up to you.  When I started I needed loads of water. Over time and when you build up the distances you don't seem to have the same urge to drink as much, but you do need water again over x distances. 

    So as a beginner i'd personally suggest you just get a cheap doughnut shaped water bottle and go with that, fill it with water stick it in the fridge, so it's nice n cold, then take it with you. added benefit in the hot weather when you carry it, the cold from the bottle is great for cooling you image Can always wipe it across your forhead whilst it's still cold if you get hot image

  • What drinks do you take on a long run? Is water enough?

  • Water is fine up until you get to 15 miles or more.

    No need to be the guy at the gym knocking back sports drink for a 20 minute workout. Pointless calories.
  • Yup, a decent eating plan is the best way to go, running helps but what goes in your mouth is more important. You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1lb in weight  (LBm as well as fat). I'm an 'ideal' weight and burn less than 500 calories for each hour of running and whilst you burn more calories the heavier you are 'diet' is the way to go.

    I spent the last 160 days logging all my food/excercise over at - a cool site to help manage weight (and free).

    With the hot weather I'm using my 2ltr Camelbak for runs over 90mins and it has pockets for bits and pieces and a jacket. I tried 'wristies' but found it difficult to drink from them and they only hold about 300ml so don't recomend them myself. Somethink like the doughnut booktrunk suggests might work and may even try one myselfimage

    Oh, I pop a Zero high5 Electrolite/Magnesium Tab in my drink but have heard of DIY alternativesimage

    Cougie, interesting stats with the weight/time thing, I'm contemplating taking my Camelbak on my first Marathon so might lose a couple of pounds leading up to the raceimage It has gel/blok stations along the way, they seem expensive (to someone living in Scotland) would you advise trying the brand now to see how I get on with them? My current plan is Jelly Babies and Bananas.


  • How's your training going Andi? On course for September? Where did you start from?

  • I use MFP too Andi - only started about 6 weeks ago and I've lost 12lbs and I'm getting PBs just on that basis (i think ?)

    I'd not take a camelbak unless it was really hot. Most marathons have decent water stations. Shot bloks are ok but I'd not want to race full pelt and have them. I prefer gels. No chewing - easy to take at water stations.

    I'd try the gels - they're about ??1 each ? You only need to try them on your long runs to see how you get on. Once you're happy they work for you I use penny sweets on my long runs and just take it slowly whilst i'm scoffing.

    In races gels are the way to go i think.
  • It's going slowly at the moment and had a failed 14 miler on Sunday (ended up walking about 9 miles home with a pain in my calf). I started HADDing in February and Marathon Training is now on week 6 of 18 though I did start 3 weeks early incase of Injury/illnes, the plan is to redo weeks 14, 15 & 16 if I ge that far unscathed.

    I could run just over 70 mins (6 miles) without a walk break when training started and 11 miles was my furthest distance then. The plan I chose has 2-3 speed sessions a week and have decided to forget most of them and carry on HADDing, mainly on Hills.



  • I was going to do my sprints on a treadmill so I can do a bit of other stuff in the gym. Good idea, or not? How about walking or swimming on rest days? Should a rest day be complete rest?

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    No can do other things, but don't stress any muscles that are already tired, recipe for an injuryimage

  • booktrunk speaks (ok, types) sense. There are those that train every day (HADDers and the like) and others that have complete rest days, then more that cross train. I guess you should do as you feel? there is a world of difference between an ache that goes away and a pain that can stop you running long term though I (for one) am still not sure what is what image

    I recently did a stint of 10 slow running days (maybe 40 miles total) and became very tired though no pain, 2 days off and my body recovered and seemed to run easier and and a little faster.

    Can't comment on the treadmill sorry as never used one but there are plenty that do. How far is the gym from home? maybe run there and back?

  • Blimey, I done 6 and 1/2 miles today, thought to myself 'That's a 1/4 of a Marathon, I'm going to be able to do this.' Then I realised it would be another TWENTY miles. Bit of a wake up call.

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    I do things like that i always calculate the percentage i've done so far when doing a marathon image I find it helps pass the time. 

    8.74 Miles is good as that's 1/3 of the marathon out of the way image

  • hehe, I think lots of people think like that however, I did read a seasoned Marathoner who said a Marathon is split into two halves, the first 20 miles then the rest!

    Well done on 6.5 miles Biggun image 

  • Cheers Andi.

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    I've heard that a lot, and was thinking it's right, as that's about when you do run out of the energy you started the race with, and when fuelling plans start to kick in if you have made one.

    Now I am a slow runner so it's not quite the same I guess, but to me it's all about the mental attitude running a marathon is more of a head f**k then it is the physical effort. I really loved in my 2nd using the mantra that it's only 10k to go.. Got to around 20 and that's it.  I find the two races thing a bit negative.  My attitude was hey.... I've done X amount of training for this, and i've now just got 10k left and then i've done it!! I think it's a lot better thinking that way.... I mean after all your training your x weeks of 18-20 mile runs heck knocking out a 10k not 10 miles just a weedy little 10k between you and the finish line. 

    The last 10k is going to possibly be the slowest, but this is where you should start to enjoy it, forget the panic at the start line, and the worry about going to fast or to slow etc early on... This is it, your less than 10k away from the glory of the finish line, ENJOY IT BABY!! This is what all your training has been for! This is it..... Don't wallow in self pity or pain, or any rubbish like that you enjoy it because this is where you become awesome.  image


  • Well said Booktrunk! Can I book you to be my pacer and motivational coach for Loch Ness?

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    hehe. Take your phone.... I'll give you a call after 4 hours.... image

    EDIT: Actually is it the last week in Sept... ohh, i have the week before that off on holiday! (mind you I might be a little tired... having the week to recover and chill out after my first Ultra 50.9M).

  • lol Booktrunkimage If you ran a Marathon a week after your Ultra I might be able to keep up with youimage

    Biggun, have you found/started a training plan yet?


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