Healthy Beginner to Marathon in 32 weeks?

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  • Hi ER, it's all just putting miles into the legs. The weather is starting to turn and the dark evenings are upon us, running often feels like a struggle at this time of year. No chance of finding a running companion or running club? It's so much easier when you're not on your own and you have other people to gee you along.

    Stretches, etc. are important but TBH as long as you set off on your runs at a reasonably slow pace then you'll warm up as you go. You just need to find the time to run, twice a week isn't a problem for now but you will need to do more than this once you're in the New Year. Three times would be good, four even better.

    Don't worry about the time taken for your runs just now, the speed doesn't matter. It's just steadily increasing the miles so that your body adjusts to the training load without breaking itself. Try to make one of your runs a longer run each week (run it slow!) and try to push the distance of this up slowly (maybe 10% or 1 mile more per week). You will be fine, just keep an eye on any niggles and rest them if they start to really hurt.

  • Don't beat yourself up... with the runs...and the times.... your goal is a long term goal... and it will take time to increase the mileage.. remember every run you put in now.. even if its just getting out the door and doing a two miler is building your legs up for later on...  are you able to run a 5k once a week yet as a long run, and then do other shorter runs, even if they are1-2 milers, a couple times a week. The parkruns on Saturday mornings are brilliant for keeping the enthusiasm going.

     

  • Good news today! I did a 6 miler for the first time ever after starting my running schedule in August. I did it in 1.42 hrs with plenty of walking breaks in the second half ofcourse but v happy that I kept moving my legs for that long. I was not tally crashed either but felt like I cudnt do anymore after my Strava hit that 6 miles mark.

    The pace was a bit higher (14 ish ) and I really need to practice this slow run. Also I have few questions below 


    1.should I worry about stride? My step sare v small and not that long.
    2.Is uphill running necessary as part of training ?
    3.Is taking walking breaks OK ? My best interval is 11 min without stopping


    I will come back with responses for your suggestions above in a while, just cudnt stop myself sharing this news in the little break I got at work.
  • 1. No - in fact short strides are probably helpful in reducing the force you hit the ground with, so reducing injury risk. There's some evidence that shorter, quicker strides are beneficial for distance runners.

    2. Again, no. Uphill running is a bit like sprinting, it is stressing your body hard so that your body adapts and is stronger afterwards. If you want to improve your marathon time, then hill training (repeat sessions running hard up hills) is a good way to do it. However, it's hard work and you may get more out of just spending time on feet in general.

    3. Yes - there's no rules, walking breaks are fine. In fact running for a certain time / distance then having a walking break is a strategy which lots of people use for marathons. If that's the best way to get around then that's fine. There's no "shame" in walking, but perhaps as the training continues, you might want to reduce the length or frequency of the walking breaks?

    Well done on the 6 miles BTW, no mean feat. Pretty much a 10K - just shows that your training so far is working - keep it up!

  • Well done on your 10k.. you should be chuffed to bits...you have come a long way already. 

    I agree with rodeoflip.. walking is fine, a lot of people do it...  and if it helps you get round.. do it... just enjoy the experience of training... it does get tough sometimes, but as long as you're out there running every few days, then you'll find you'll minimise the walking the more training you do... it will become easier... the thing is not to stretch yourself every run... most runs should be easy runs.. try and get out 3 times a week... 

    I found the best guide to use was a 6 month marathon training plan, it will give you a good idea of what you need to do.. there are lots on line if you google for them... 



  • Hello Liam,

    1. No - in fact short strides are probably helpful in reducing the force you hit the ground with, so reducing injury risk. There's some evidence that shorter, quicker strides are beneficial for distance runners.
    ---Am so glad to know this as all my trials to take longer strides have been proved futile and reduced my interest so I will carry on with my current structure

    2. Again, no. Uphill running is a bit like sprinting, it is stressing your body hard so that your body adapts and is stronger afterwards. If you want to improve your marathon time, then hill training (repeat sessions running hard up hills) is a good way to do it. However, it's hard work and you may get more out of just spending time on feet in general.
    --That makes sense , since am not targeting for any personal best finish time, I will not take this into account and carry on with flat course training.

    3. Yes - there's no rules, walking breaks are fine. In fact running for a certain time / distance then having a walking break is a strategy which lots of people use for marathons. If that's the best way to get around then that's fine. There's no "shame" in walking, but perhaps as the training continues, you might want to reduce the length or frequency of the walking breaks?
    --agree my walking break times have reduced to a greater extent compared to the first few weeks of training but I do take them now and then.and the fact that everyone else keep running has put me down lately a bit. perhaps I shouldn't bother

    Well done on the 6 miles BTW, no mean feat. Pretty much a 10K - just shows that your training so far is working - keep it up! Thank you very much for all the help you do here for new comers like me :smile:
  • Hope you are doing well Dave. am slowly getting used to a strict routine of at least 3 runs a week, the other day I could not even make it to 1.5 miles but felt happy for the fact I got up early and hit the road at least.Big pressure of my head for you assured me that taking walking breaks is not something to be ashamed of!!

    I have signed up for an official 10K in November and a half in March 2019, hoping these will give me good motivation.
  • ER - when you're training, especially on a long run, walking breaks don't make any difference at all. If I'm on my own doing a long run then I'll stop and have a rest whenever I want, usually at a nice point on the route where I can stop for a minute and enjoy the view / have a drink / whatever. I wouldn't sit down or anything, but if having a break for a minute means that your run is more enjoyable, then you should do it. I can't think of the last time I did a solo long run without any breaks. It's still putting miles in the legs - if it's bothering you, maybe restrict it to one minute or so, and every mile. Then make it every 2 miles, then maybe every 3? It's whatever works best for you, and as long as you're out running and getting the miles in, there's no rights or wrongs at all.
  • How are you getting on with your training for the 10k?


     



     


  • <blockquote class="Quote">
    <div class="QuoteAuthor"><a href="/profile/dave%20turpitt">dave turpitt</a> said:</div>
    <div class="QuoteText"><p>How are you getting on with your training for the 10k?</p><p>Sorry to say that my training is not going well for the past 2.5weeks due to illness and personal issues. I have started with a 3 miler this week and decided to be consistent no matter what. The 3 miler after gap wasn't much hard so it motivated me enough. I will report here on w weekly babus for some self kick! </p><p>
    </p><p>Thanks to checking on me Dave.its much needed for me. </p><p> </p><p>
    </p><p>
    </p><p> </p><p>
    </p></div>
    </blockquote>
  • Lots of things get in the way of running... but its good to take time off sometimes and come back refreshed... you've broken the back of running by being able to do a 5k after a break... so well done on that... when is the 10k? 
  • Hope everyone ia doong good.am back here after a bit of gap and that meant I also did not train myself well in this gap.

    @Dave I cracked the 10k in 1:26:44 yesterday  I can clearly see there is a lot of room for improvement . I think am unable to maintain a slow pace uniformly and getting it v uneven at times. 
  • Well done a 10k under your belt... don't worry about the time.. keep on with the running
  • Hi All,

    A very happy New year To you all!
    Am back from hols and starting my official plan from tomo. U have picked up a basic first timers plan from VLM website and going to give it a go!! 


    It's a 16 week schedule and am all rest for it ! Wish me good luck and will keep updating here. 
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Good luck Englishrose. Having a plan is important but don't worry if life gets in the way a little bit. If you can't fit in a scheduled run, just do something else when you can fit it in, one run makes no difference to the grand scheme of things. Just push yourself a little bit further each week, and remember to not skimp on recovery time. The training might seem hard going at times, especially towards the end of the longer runs, as you push yourself out of your comfort zone, but these are the miles which will make the difference in London. I read somewhere that you can suffer a little bit in training or you can suffer big-time on the day, but you can't run a marathon without suffering somewhere along the way.  But it will be worth it, there's a  reason why so many people want to run VLM.
  • Good luck.. it will be interesting to hear how you are getting on..
  • Hello All,

    My training is going well . am on WEEK 3 with the first time finishers plan from VLM website.

    Good news is that I have recently achieved my PB for 5k(37 min), so little achievements like that keep me pushing further. I have a winter 10K race planned on net week , so will see how it goes.

    Also running the Hampton court palace half ,

    I may need to plan my fuel as the miles get longer in the coming weeks? Any recommendations for beginners like me as I am very scared listening the upset stories about gels? Or should I give it a try?
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    I use SIS gels and have no problems. Some people have problems with gels but you will not know until you try. One BQ running blogger I follow freezes mars bars and eats those. It is a matter of trial and error but start now because you might have to try a few options.
  • Thank you TT

    yes I have  shortlisted 

    SS
    Hi 5
    Tailwind

    but the problem with tailwind is that I  may need to carry bottle with me for mixing up which am not very keen.
    Will give it a go on the gels...have got one given to me in a recent race that I completed!
  • Hi Englishrose, I too use SIS gels. I have been incorporating them into my long run after going very light headed weeks ago. On a Sunday I am now up to 9 miles and I take the gel at around 6-7k before I begin to feel anything. I have also tried last week the SIS gels that contain caffeine and I was also fine with that. I actually felt like it did give me a bit of a lift!!! (I have the cola ones).
    On the half marathon I'm doing it is these gels that will be given out on the day - therefore i'm following 'the nothing new on the day' mantra. I intend to have a gel every 40 mins or so. I've also used jelly babies and again I've been fine. I also take an isotonic drink out with me, though last week was the first week I actually drank some of it.
  • Hi everyone, this is not completely related to this post but I am unable to start a new thread. I am running a marathon on the 10th of March and for the last two weeks I have done only one run due to lack of motivation. I can run half a marathon at the moment and I just wanted to ask what do you guys do to get motivated and if you think I will still be ok to do the marathon?
    Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Hi Michelle, a few questions. What is your running history? Have you run many marathons before or done any 20 mile plus runs? Do you do any cross training? Why do you feel you have lost motivation? What type of result are you hoping for in the marathon? 
  • Hi TT.
    I have peviously done two half marathons but never a full. I think I have lost motivation because of the weather and work, by the time I finish I do not want to run. I am running for charity and as a personal achievement before I turn 30, I will be happy to finisb it under 5 hours really....
    I do not know what you mean with cross training. I have been doing strength exercises my physio recommended me
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Hi Michelle, cross training is usually cycling or swimming. Personally I would not do it. Running a marathon on training which only goes up to 13.1 miles would be really tough and you would put yourself at risk of injury. People at my club train really hard to do a marathon in under five hours, and some have done many before they manage that time goal. Having said that if you can start walk running and are prepared to just finish you could do it but you would need to do a lot of training before the 10 March. Just being on your feet for five hours is not something many of us often. You have just over four weeks and most people taper for three weeks before a marathon.
  • Nice post and really beneficial for people.
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Michella - if you haven't done the training for the marathon, long runs etc then I would suggest that you don't do it.    To complete a marathon you need to have that motivation and have within you that ultimate goal to complete 26.2 miles, if you haven't then forget it.
    Marathons are tough and can take you to a level of pain, mentally and physically that only a burning desire to do a marathon will help you finish.

    I would suggest that you postpone your desire to 'run a marathon before you're 30' to another time when you really want to do it.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭

    ^^^ what Shades said. A marathon is a long, long way to run (even with walking breaks) and will ask some very difficult questions of you. Your body will really, really want to stop you from continuing to punish it, especially in the last third of the race, and you need to mentally be committed / motivated / determined enough to overcome this. It's way too easy to give up and start walking when this happens. It's not for anyone here to say you can't do it, but based on what you've said about struggling to find motivation at times, I think you need to ask yourself if you really want to do it enough.

    It's very hard to run a marathon, even if you've trained rigorously. Without this training, it's even harder. You will need an iron will and a bloody-minded determination, and you're the best person to know if you have that in you at this point. Running for a charity and not wanting to let them down might help with this, but I just don't think it will be enough.

    My 2p-worth - cut your losses and set your sights on another marathon. Find a training plan and stick to it, then at least you'll be ready physically. You'll still to find the mental resolve, but this would be a lot easier if you knew you were capable and had put in the effort. Regardless of age and "significant years", if you're not ready then you're not ready.

    Best of luck if you do go for it, but you should expect it to be very tough and have a plan to cop with that.


  • Hello All,

    Hope you are doing good and training well.

    Thought I would give  a little update on mine. Entered into 5th week of training. Am upto 7.5 miles now and gaining confidence day by day.

    I need to start looking into my fuelling strategies  soon but still baffled on what to try first! 
  • Also worth thinking about the sis hydration tablets when you really start running nearer the marathon distance as you will lose a lot of salt on your run, so you need to put it back in..
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