Signed up for first Marathon

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and new to running in general. It has been a goal of mine for a long time to run a marathon (bucket list and all that) so I have finally taken the leap and signed up for the Edinburgh marathon next May.

Having had a read through several threads on here I'm starting to feel a little bit over whelmed with all the information, training plans, pace and times etc.

So I thought I would post up what I intend to do, in the hope of getting some answers from you lot, who seem to be very well versed in the art of running.

In terms of nutrition I am fairly confident as I already like to keep an eye on my diet. Where I am falling down is how fast, far and intensely I should be training. There are several threads on here with training plans but they seem very confusing (as I'm unfamiliar with the terminology used). For example they say to train at 3000meter pace or do 10x100's etc. I have no clue what any of those terms mean.

I started training less than a week ago and my PB for 5k has been 31:30.

My plan (in my head) to train for this marathon is to run a 5k 3x per week for 6weeks (Mon, Wed, Fri). Then to introduce a 10k on the Wed for 6weeks then gradually change all 3 runs to a 10k all in 6 week increments and finally introduce a 25k run on a Sunday and maintain from there. Is this a sensible approach? Will this work? Is there anything I should change or add?

Throughout my training plan I also intend to compete in 5k and 10k races or charity events to get the overall feel of race day and an idea of competitive timings.

Any help is really appreciated.



  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    Don't overcomplicate it at the start.  Marathon training plans are usually 12 or 16 weeks but you need to be fit enough before you start one.  

    Your approach seems mostly sensible to start off with.  Try setting runs by time rather than distance.  3 runs a week for 30 mins, then try 4, then try extending one by 10 mins a week until you can run an hour or so. Then extend another to 45 minutes.  By this point you will be a running a decent amount of miles per week.  Keep it all comfortable pace.

    It's all about getting your legs strong enough to do the distance and your lungs and heart strong enough to cope with the stress.  The more easy miles you can do a week before you start a dedicated training plan the better.  Some will say 50+ miles a week for a marathon but you can complete one on much fewer.  
  • Hi JGav thanks.

    Would you say that time would take priority over distance at the beginning? For example within the 30 min runs if I only cover 3/4k that will still be sufficient?
  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    The focus at the start should be building up your resilience to running.  Time on feet, little and often are mantras that I and many on this forum believe in. 

    There are other ways to structure training, but until you have a decent base mileage than I just wouldn't worry about it.  Once you're at 4 runs, with 1 being an hour, one 45 mins and 2 x 30 mins that's 2h45mins total.  At your current 5k pace, that is approx. 27km a week.   From there, you can add in a 5th run, 30 mins and/or extend the hour run building to 2 hours and beyond.  Increase slowly and make sure you have an easier week every now and then if you're feeling too tired.

    Keep posting in one of the big threads for encouragement, it will take a number of months to build and then ask for more advice.
  • Sound advice thank you. Will take it on board.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭

    Well done on signing up for a marathon - a brave step for a new runner! But you'll be fine. Edinburgh marathon is May, so any sensible training plan would probably start around Xmas time. But the more ready you are before this time the better. You need to basically do two kinds of runs - shorter, faster runs like intervals, reps, hill sprints, etc. that build up your muscles, lungs, heart, etc. The  mix this up with longer, slower runs which build endurance. Make sure you get plenty of rest / recovery inbetween, e.g.- always take a day off after a long run. This is particularly important as your training progresses to avoid injury.

    3000m pace - this is the pace you would run at if you were racing a 5K - in your case, 31:30 or roughly 10 minutes per mile.

    10x100s - this is intervals / reps training. Run as fast as you can for 100m. Have a brief rest then do the same again. Repeat for 10 times total. The idea is to try to run your last rep at the same pace as your first.

    The best thing you can do now is just keep running. The worst thing you can do is get injured. So enjoy the good weather and get out getting some miles in. If there's a running club nearby, think about joining them, it's always good to have someone to run with and there will probably be someone there who can give you good advice on training.

    One last thing - the training does get easier, I promise!

  • Thanks rodeo.

    I have looked at joining a running club but I figured that was mostly for experienced runners I didn't know they had beginner programmes or something similar. Shall have a look again, there is one very local to me.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭

    Most running clubs have fast runners, slow runners and everything inbetween. If you're running the Edinburgh marathon, then maybe you live in Scotland? If so, there are a number of clubs which do a "jog Scotland" programs, which gets new runners up to 5K and beyond. If you can already run 5k then I'm sure most running clubs would be fine. You would certainly be welcome at ours (Troon).

    Alternatively, do you have any friends who might want to join you? Running is so much easier with other people.

  • Im in Hamilton, Troon might be a bit of a stretch. Could always run there and back? Haha. I'll have a look out for some programmes.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Wouldn't fancy that run. There's a good club in EK, and I'm sure there will be one in Hamilton. You also have the parkrun at Strathclyde Park?
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