Short-notice marathon training

GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭

Myself and some work colleagues normally try to do something active together each year; this year we've decided to up the ante and run the Bournemouth marathon. We did the Winchester half last year without a minute's training; it was ok and we never stopped running, but we were walking funny for the rest of the day. Obviously I can't just rock up to a marathon with no running under my belt.

I did a 5k last night as my first bit of running since September, it took a little under 28 minutes. I was thinking about doing two short/mid runs during the working week, and a long run at the weekend - increasing it by 1 mile per week.

Does this sound like a viable plan? I'm not looking to get a great time, just get round it as comfortably as I can manage with the time available. The half was 2:12, so I'd be pleased with anything around five hours.


  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    You have 14 weeks. I would download a plan (London marathon has some, so does RW but there are plenty of others). Most people run a marathon on 16-18 weeks training having run for quite a few months before. Some members of my club train really hard to go under five hours. Basically saying you could do it but it will be tough. 
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    Ah thank you, that's good advice; and at least now I know that 5 hours is probably less likely. I will check out some training plans and see how I get on.
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Hi...14 weeks is a good period to prepare for a marathon, but not your first one, off of zero base. However, a half marathon in 2:12...with no preparation, sounds like you have a measure of fitness from other activities? There is an 'accepted' training, long run distance of 20' as an indicator, and many runners would ideally try to include 3, 4 or 5 of them in their build-up. Clearly, this is not going to happen in your situation. 
    If your early weeks go well, and you avoid injury, you could add more than one mile to your previous week's long run; say 2 or 3, but that could be sailing close to the wind. 
    All the best...and be prepared for some 'funny walking' for the rest of the week!
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    Cheers! Yes my fitness is ok, I regularly do HIT training and some weighs. It doesn't translate that well to endurance running, but it's something.

    I will try and ramp up the earlier runs a little and see how they go. :)
    Grenage - if you message me your email address I have a basic plan on 3 runs a week, it's been very successful to get runners round their first marathon without hitting that wall :)
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    Great, thank you :)
    Grenage - I've just emailed you.   I expect there'll be a delay in you receiving my email as gmail doesn't like my email address, but you will get it later today some time.
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    The plan looks brilliant, thanks for sending it on. I'll tackle that 10 miles this weekend and see how I waddle afterwards. ;)
    Keep the pace down and take a drink with you as it looks like it might be warm, I'm sure you'll be fine
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    Just to say cheers again.  The 5 miles went ok; the 10 mile has left me a little sore - I really struggled to keep the pace down and kept reverting to my regular speed.

    Aerobically it all felt fine. :)
    Grenage - well done, that's a great start to your marathon training.  Keeping the pace down for the long runs does take a while to get used to but it's really important.

    Hope the soreness eases soon, a little gentle stretching might help.
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    The 14M was alright - pace a little slower at 2.5 hours; I was still sore this morning for the 5M, but not too bad. I'm assuming that you can just run through aches and pains unless it feels like an injury.

    Definitely great that I've got your plan; I'd have simply opted not to run again this morning - or done a very short jog.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Grenage -the ability to tell the difference between normal running niggles / fatigue and onset of injury is really important, and can make the difference between making it to the start line or not. You can and really have to run through aches and pains, just take it easy and don't do back-to-back hard sessions. Getting "miles in the legs" is a huge part of marathon training, but some (most?) of these miles should be easy and not taxing. 14M is fantastic, the speed really doesn't matter. The fact that you were able to run that far one day and still be out running 5M the next day bodes very well. You're now getting into distances and mileages that will get you through the marathon, but can also break you if you're not careful. "Listen to your body" and remember that recovery is a necessary part of training.
    Grenage - you can always swop the days around if you feel you need an extra rest day.    Your long run this coming weekend is probably a shorter distance and that will give you a chance to get your full energy levels back.    Although the distance may be shorter this coming weekend still keep the pace to your long run pace.

    You're doing really well.
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    Thanks guys, that's reassuring; I shall crack on and keep the pace.  You're correct that this weekend is back to 10 miles, so that's a bit of a breather.

    I'm going to change my route this weekend, an my usual circuit is up and down with 240m max elevation.  Bit sore on the legs!
    Grenage - yes, vary your routes as much as possible, it really does help running in different places.
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    Well I had to do the 10 miles a day early as we're away tomorrow.  It felt good, though - only minor aches.

    My pace was 9:45, which is still faster than the target long run.  I'm 6'5 so it's awkward running much slower unless I'm knackered.  Is it a problem if it can be maintained?
    Grenage - well done on your 10 miler.  You should recover well and be fresh for next weekend's long run.

    It can be hard to keep the pace down and going faster than you should does mean you won't get the optimum aerobic training.   But now you're running regularly your pace will start to improve.

    Why not enter a half marathon soon and I expect you'll do a good PB and I will then recalculate your training paces.

    A half marathon at race pace is easily equivalent to say a 16/17 mile long run so can be easily slotted into your training schedule.
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    That's a great idea, thanks.  I'll take a look at one of the marathon calenders. 
    Grenage - I'm guessing that you're in the Dorset area?

    If so, there's a half at Sturminster Newton on 4th August.  Good event, undulating course, can be hot but that's to be expected this time of year.
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    Hi Shades.  I'm actually in Portsmouth; I was looking around and there looks to be one in Redhill next weekend, which is only an hour away.

    As you say; can't escape the heat!
    That's perfect and your next weekend long run sorted. 
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    2:03 for the half, which is much better than last time - plus I was able to walk at the end.  It would have been under two, but my running partner's legs gave up near the end, and we had to walk a little bit.

    In the right direction!
  • I am also in the same situation but only have 4 weeks until my half marathon! How did you find your event last year without any training? 
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    It was ok due to overall fitness, but I couldn't walk properly for a few days. :)
    Grenage - that's a great result, well done.  Very kind of you to wait for your running partner, have they been training with you for the marathon?

    I've recalculated your training paces based on a 1:59 finish time

    Easy runs 10:30 to 11:00 min/miles
    Long runs 10:30 to 11:30 min/miles
    Tempo pace 8:35 to 8:55 min/miles

    If you do another PB I'll recalculate your training paces again.  You probably have time to squeeze another half marathon in.

    How are the legs today?
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    Hi Shades!

    We're doing our own training, but both following your plan - our running ability is very similar. We'll be doing the Bournemouth marathon with a few others from work, although the others will certainly be running on ahead.

    Thank you for the updated training pace. Strangely enough, the tempo pace you've given me is bang on the quickest 5M run I've done, at 09:30.

    My left knee was still aching before the half started, but it didn't get any worse throughout the race. A day later and both (especially my left knee) are quite sore; stairs are a bit of a problem! I'll have a very gentle 5M run tomorrow morning and hopefully it will be ok for Thursday and Sunday.

    While my leg muscles have been ok, the jump into the deep end of running has been a bit of a shock for my knees. :smile:
    Grenage - maybe an idea to make sure your shoes are cushioned enough for your forthcoming marathon and all those miles of training that you still have to do.

    It's often the knees that suffer most if there's not enough cushioning or/and support. 
  • GrenageGrenage ✭✭✭
    I have some Brooks GTS Adrenaline running shoes; they haven't done that many miles but a few of the shallow knobbly treads on the outside of my left shoe have fallen off - I used them during crossfit training for a very short period. I didn't really think it would make much difference; I mean, I ran last year's half in my Sketchers because I forgot my running shoes.

    Do you think it's worth shelling out on another pair?
  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Grenage said:
    I mean, I ran last year's half in my Sketchers because I forgot my running shoes.
    I think you just answered your own question. Don't worry about cushioning, stability or support and focus on comfort instead - that'll be one of the factors that gets you over the finish line.

    All the best.
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