Marathon First Timer

Hi all,


I am new to the forum, so firstly a big hello to you all.  I have enjoyed reading the threads here in the past, so thought I would reach out for some personal advice...


I have run two half marathons in the last 15 months or so, first one in 2 hours, and second one I got down to 1hr 41 mins.  I have signed up for my first marathon in October, and would appreciate some friendly advice on how I can improve my speed, and stamina.


I am running three times a week currently, it is hard for me to get out more times than this.  I usually do 1 x 5k, 1 x 10k, and so far my long run is up to half marathon distance.  I struggle to run very slowly, as I often hear is the advice, but am interested to hear opinions on what I can do to improve myself.


Looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say image


Thanks in advance,




  • M First off I'd have a play around with some training plans and also work out what day's times your free to train. Your going to need to biuld up your miles to at least 16 miles before the big day. 20 to 22 miles for your long runs would be better. If you do a search on the threads the shades thread is a good one to take a look at.

    Which marathon is it? Because bet you can get some local knolewdge of here.

    Must of all through don't panic the distance is harder than a half but not as hard as some people make it out to be the rest is down to what time you finish. image  

  • Thanks for the reply Cake. 


    Yes I want to build up my long runs, I plan on getting up to 22 or 23 miles before the big day, which is still almost 5 months away.  The marathon is in Budapest, so I wonder if anyone has local knowledge!


    I was hoping some people might be able to give me advice on doing some intervals/speed trainings, as I haven't tried doing them at all as yet, I tend to run roughly the same pace all the time.


    I would love to be able to get to the stage where I can complete it in 3.30 but I think 4hrs is more realistic!



  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Marathon training plans are typically 16 to 20 weeks, so you're at the right time to start training.  However this does mean you are better concentrating on either endurance or speed, as you don't really have time to significantly improve both.

    As you are going from HM to Full, I wouldn't worry about speed at the moment.  If you concentrate on endurance and building up the mileage. You are likely to see some speed improvements without doing any specific "speed" workouts, as what is currently your long run becomes a medium length run and you feel more confident running it faster.  This doesn't mean you have to run every thing at one speed - but the focus should be building your endurance and time on your feet.  

    A tempo run will help your marathon training, whilst intervals won't. For example, think about making your 5k run at marathon pace, with your other runs 1 or 2 minutes per mile slower.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Have a look at some if the Hal Higdon plans they got me to 3.38 for my first 26.2. I was running a max of 4 times a week.

    If you find a plan you like work out when you would need to start the plan and then start it 2 weeks early, as life can get in the way, so it's always good to have some room to move things about if work, injury or holidays get in the way.

    If you are looking for 3.30 to 4 hrs the majority of your running should be between 9.30 to 10.30 mins per mile.

    Consistency is the key.
  • Thanks guys.


    I had a decent week, I did a quick (for me) 10.5 k on Tues (51m20s), a gentle 10.5k Thurs (57m30s) and a long slow run of 23.5km today (2hrs15m).  Today's run was the longest I have ever done, although it was tiring, I feel like I will be able to train again in 2 or 3 days.


    I find that I physically can't go any slower than 6mins/km, anything less than that and I really feel like I am holding back, and it is of no benefit.  On the other hand, I don't think I can run faster than maybe 4m30s for up to 10k.  I seem to be pretty consistent.  I am going to concentrate on building up the miles, and if I can fit in another run per week maybe get that in too.


    I am also considering doing a spinning class once a week, I tried before and it was great fun.  Anyone find any benefits to their running for partaking in these classes?


    I would also love to hear from other first timers preparing for their marathons, it is hard to find people to discuss this sort of training with in real life! 


    All the best,


  • That "holding yourself back" feeling? That's what you want.
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