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3802 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 8, 2011 9:08 AM by lenzlaw
converse81 Rookie 3 posts since
Dec 3, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 3, 2011 3:56 AM

can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

firstly hello to everyone on this forum, i hope i can benefit from the shared knowledge and experience on this site!


I plan to run the Canberra Marathon on the 15th of April next year. Currently, i am 86kgs 6 foot tall, and have just finished my amateur field sport career so my cardio is pretty good.

I am planning on using the intermediate plan on this website and I would like to think I have a sub 3hr 30min time in me, provided I adhere to the required schedule.

My main issue/fear is that, for work, I am a brick layer, my job is extremely active and at the end of a normal work day, I am pretty wrecked, in peoples experience, will it be possible to maintain my standards at work and take on the training routine?

BTW i forgot to say, Im a 30 year old male, any advice is welcomed!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 3, 2011 6:48 AM (in response to converse81)
    can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

    What's your current RUNNING experience?  I'm not talking about running on the sports field, but distance running.  You would hopefully build a running base of about 25 miles per week (mpw) before starting to marathon train at anywhere near the level you're talking about (3:30).  Distance running can help you on the field, but the opposite rarely holds true.  If you have that 25 mpw base, you would also have a very good idea of how marathon training would affect your job performance.  I would recommend you put off your marathon ambitions to 2013 while your start a regular running routine.




  • James Grove Amateur 14 posts since
    Feb 27, 2011
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    2. Dec 3, 2011 7:30 AM (in response to converse81)
    can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

    I ran my first marathon last month.  Unlike you, I started from a sedentary lifestyle.  I am an eye doctor and my job is not physically demanding.  I started running in August 2010.  I decided in April 2011 that I wanted to run the Harrisburg Marathon in Nov 2011.  Used Runner's World's SmartCoach Plus training plan.  I started at 26 mpw and built to a maximum of 57mpw.  Although my job is not physically demanding, it does require a lot of hours.  For me that was the biggest problem.  Not that I was physically tired but that I had difficulty finding time to get runs in. 


    You will need to make sure that your job and family will allow for the time commitment.  When you get into your higher mileage weeks, you will routinely run 6 to 10 miles for your shorter runs.  At training pace, your runs will last an hour at minimum and will often be 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Long runs should be scheduled on off days b/c they will take upwards of 3 hours.  I had set up my training plan such that I ran 4 days/week.  However, for next marathon, I think I'll set it up to run 5 days/week.  It will schedule the same weekly mileage but spread over an extra day, each day's run will be shorter.


    I encourage you to do it if you decide you will be able to make the commitment.  Just make sure you consider not just the physical demands but also the time demands.  Good luck.  It is worth it!


    "Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda

    11/13/2011 Harrisburg Marathon 4:08

    10/9/11 Harrisburg Half Marathon 1:40:41

    11/24/2011 New Castle Turkey Trot 5K 21:22

    8/6/2011 Attack the Gap 10K 49:19

    4/17/2011 CVRT 15K 1:14:53

  • 6xchampsfan Pro 184 posts since
    Jul 4, 2011
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    3. Dec 3, 2011 7:56 AM (in response to converse81)
    can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

    converse81 Lenzlaw is right on the money. Just finishing a marathon in that time frame if you haven't done any distance running is alot to ask. Your goal of sub 3 30 time is really going to be hard to accomplish. As of the question of your training effecting your work I do mechanical maintence work which involves alot of physical work. Plumbing, elecrtical, hvac, construction just to mention a few. I know you do more heavy lifting on a daily basis so I can tell you from my experience that it makes those end of the day workouts pretty hard some days. Trying to train so hard so quickly opens you up to the possibility of injury and in your job as in mine it makes it a real concern. I am 52 now and realize I could handle things much better at 30 but in my humble opinion you may want to give this alot of thought. Good luck in whatever you decide and either way get out there and run.

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Dec 3, 2011 4:01 PM (in response to converse81)
    can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

    Although your natural muscle strength may be in good shape, the amount and intensity of your training is most important.  Consider entering some other races over the next four months to push out your endurance and gain experience in a competitive environment.  Actually, it might be more productive to work up to a half-marathon before entering a full.  I agree with Len about building a running base over a period of time because you have to be able to go the distance. 

    (P.S. The average age of U.S. marathoners is 38)

    Wishing you great progress.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 3, 2011 5:39 PM (in response to converse81)
    can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

    You're on a very short timeframe.  What you have to watch out for is the stresses distance running puts on your tendons, ligaments, joints and muscles, which can lead to injury if not managed.  There really is no other activity that can prepare your body for those stresses.  Most of us have had a more gradual buildup, so listen carefully to your body.  Take rest days or easy days when it's complaining.  Make sure it has adequate recover time.  Easy days have their role in recovery too.


    I'm glad you mentioned respect for the distance.  Include respect for the training and you've got most of it.  Injury prevention / avoidance is the rest. 




  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Dec 5, 2011 5:48 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

    Good luck, Len's advice is very sound.  My 1st marathon cycle (I was a lot older than you) the long run days I was very tired.  After the 1st one the 20 mile days I felt fairly normal, my job is fairly active not as hard as yours.  I also ran most of my long runs on days off from work.  

  • Grahamfc Rookie 3 posts since
    Dec 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Dec 6, 2011 2:34 AM (in response to converse81)
    can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

    That seems sensible. It's difficult to predict a marathon time with such limited evidence to support it, it could get very messy.


    I ran Dublin some years ago, it was a great race and obviously a great place to recover afterwards. A serious effort there will be much more approriate given your time-frame and experience.


    Between now and April, I am sure you'll get out there and run some races, these will help you to set a realistic goal for the April race.


    Of course the number one objective for the first marathon is to finish, but anyone that doesn't have a secret target time is probably not being entirely honest.

    Good luck, enjoy the running and as for your concerns about your strenuous job: it can be a juggling act, but some of the best runners I know do very physical work.

    Graham Chapman

    Running Training Plan

  • SMARIETTA Legend 302 posts since
    Oct 3, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Dec 8, 2011 4:52 AM (in response to converse81)
    can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

      It's good to hear from a fellow working tradesman---( I am a roofer)


      I am 49. the closest I have come to what you are planning is a Half marathon in 2010 at age 48.


    most of the people i have intereacted with on this site over the years have office type jobs-they will give you extremely well meaning advice but I have never felt that they( in general) really grasp the reality of the situation.


    time to train is not the issue-we all have 24 hours in the day-and in theory we can all get up earlier in the AM and get the run in. for your purposes( and mine) the early  morning run is the only possiblility.-


    As you and I know-running after laying bricks 10 hours in the sun or humping shingles/slate/tile on a roof 10 hours in the sun is just not feasible-so the early hour run is  the only possibility.


      2 things in your favor- you are only 30-which is a lot better than 48-49------------------and your race is in april which will allow you to train and run your heaviest mileage during the coolest months( and presumably your slowest work months)


    My Half was in  early Oct.-which had me doing some of my heaviest mileage in the Hottest months. small blessing----the bad economy had work slower than normal for me in 2010 so running AND working wasn't as brutal as it ordinarily would have been. I was planning to run the same Half again in Oct. 2011- but work wise 2011 has been our best year business wise in 25 years-so by late july 2011 I knew that I wouldn't be able to take the pounding training for a Half   for Oct..


    I am looking  for a half to do late march/early oct. 2012 because i know i  can train adequately for it this winter during my slow months.


    for the record, I don't personally know ANY runners with  occupations remotely similar to yours or mine, nor do I know any active tradesman( roofers, bricklayers, cement finishers) who run. I know a few finish carpenters who run 5k's and 10 k's and more who bike.


    i want you to know that i really respect what you are planning- it will be un-imaginably hard because of your occupation but at least you are at the age when it is possible(30)


    absolutely my very best wishes to you,


  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Dec 8, 2011 9:08 AM (in response to converse81)
    Re: can i run a marathon/keep up job intensity?

    converse81 wrote:


    great advice folks, im glad of it all.


    after reading tis and thinking about it a bit more, i have a slightly different stragety to propose to you guys!

    I propose doing the marathon in April, albiet with a view to finishing only, i am going home to Ireland for a wedding in Oct 2012, which will fall in line with the Dublin marathon, maybe attempting a good time in this would be sounder logic?

    maybe not, i dont know, Im sorry its just I am extremely keen:) thx guys

    This does sound reasonable.  Since you seem to be doing OK at about 25 mpw, you should be able to get into a marathon training plan in time for April.  It sounds like you're living in Australia.  If so you'll be training through the summer, with longer days (helpful) and higher temps (not so helpful).  Of course, only you will be able to judge how well it fits with your workday.  Assuming Canberra works out OK, you will have an excellent idea of what you need to do for Dublin, whether you decide to run it for time or not.  When it comes to marathons, experience is the best teacher.  I can tell you about it all day, but you won't really know until you have one under your belt.  Best of luck, and keep us up-to-date.


    BTW, you might want to check out the FIRST training plan, which has you running only 3 days per week, though it does require more cross-training than most plans.




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