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Basically, I'm interested in running a marathon quite soon. Initially, I'd been planning to enter one in May as quite a few people from a charity I help out with are doing that one, as are several of my friends, so I'd really like to join in. I've entered it in the past as part of a relay team but I don't really enjoy racing short distances and would like to try something longer. However, training didn't start as planned. Is it totally unrealistic to still plan to run the full distance in early May?
As a rough idea of my running base, at the moment I only run 20-25 miles a week, mainly three 6 mile runs and one shorter 3-4 mile one. I did 10 miles one evening last week, and plan to try about 12 tomorrow but other than that, I haven't been doing long runs. I've raced a couple of 10ks and 5ks in the past six months, nothing further. To be honest, I've been pretty lazy. I first thought of running this particular marathon a month or two ago but when I didn't start training as planned, I forgot about it until last week.
If I was to start now, and say, for example, in a week, do 5 miles, 6-8 miles, 3 miles and one long (starting from 10 or 12 miles) run, would 3 months training be too little? I'm not really aiming for a good time but don't want to totally embarrass myself either.
I'm in good general health and have been running on and off for three or four years now without ever being injured, and I don't need to lose weight or anything so (if I'm right in thinking) it would really be a matter of aerobic fitness.
There's another marathon I could enter in October instead if the goal does sound a bit far-fetched.
I would be very grateful for any thoughts on this!
20-25 miles is good base mileage so as long as you slowly increase your long weekend run liek you have said then you should be up to the challenge. Of course, there is a difference bwtween just getting round the course and setting a new world record, but if all you are looking to do is finish without your legs compeltely giving way then you should be fine!
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You definitely have a sufficient base mileage to enjoy your first marathon in May
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If your goal is to finish, upright, with perhaps some walking but preferably not too much, you can still be ready to run a marathon in May. If you can already run ten miles without stopping, you're far enough along to complete a marathon in May without fear of embarrassment, provided you work out (or pick out) a training plan and get fairly serious from here on out.
I agree with the other suggestions to push out your long runs and increase your weekly mileage. Honestly, I would not recommend going from a 10k to a full. If you have the opportunity to participate in a half in the coming months, take that into consideration or, in the alternative, maybe think about doing some additional 10k (or beyond) races. Overall, 3 months is really not a good training base for a full marathon and 12 miles for the LR schedule would not be an adequate plan. However, as others have suggested, it also depends on your fitness level, expectations, devoted time to additional endurance routines and so on. Again, I would really encourage you to do a half before the full.
Wishing you all the best in your goals!
By all means try, and if you can't finish, regroup, reevaluate your training strategy and enter the one in October. That said, I completely agree with Jasko123 about completing a half first. There's a BIG difference between being able to run 10 miles and finishing a marathon. I wish you the best, keep us posted on your progress!
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Can or should may be the question: Most plans are 18 weeks and with your base you should be able to do a 18 week plan. I would be a little worried since you stated your training didn't start as planned, that is asking for a injury during your cycle if you do not train as planned. Sure your probably can do it, but should wait to train correctly for the one later (your May race will be pretty close to 18 weeks). Good luck
Hello again. Thanks for the replies and advice; I read them earlier and had been intending to reply but kept forgetting my email password.
Just a quick update: I'm still hoping to attempt a marathon in May. I've been training regularly since the first post; most weeks, my schedule is something like:
Monday- 3 miles
Tuesday- long run (increasing it gradually as I go along of course- 18 miles last week)
Thursday- 6 miles
Friday- 5 miles
Sunday- either rest or 6 miles
I know my overall mileage is still pretty low for this stage in training, but I walk for at least two hours on weekdays as well (not all at once- combinations of 20/30/50 mins at a time) so I don't really want to overdo it.
I've been finding the long runs ok so far; the first few miles are normally a bit of a struggle for some reason but I'm fine after about mile three/four. I haven't been running the whole distances continuously- in long runs, I'll normally stop and walk for about 30 secs after every 15-20 mins running- I tend to be too tired the next day if I don't, and since I'm pretty slow anyway, it doesn't make a huge difference to my times. Just wondering if I'll look really silly, stopping every 15 or 20 mins right from the start on race day?
You probably won't be alone, a lot or people do run/walk, usually on the order of run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute. Repeat as needed to finish 26.2. I'm impressed that you are up to 18 miles already. You should be fine for the marathon. Don't forget to taper the last 3 weeks. Basically cut to about 70% for a week (total miles and long run) then 50%, and 30% the week before the marathon. It may make you crazy mentally but it will leave you fresh for the marathon.
Sorry for dragging up an old thread but just one more update: finished the marathon! I did it in 4 hrs 20 mins which I guess is still pretty slow for someone my age but I was really happy. The run itself went quite well; the weather was a bit of a letdown (very cold, heavy rain the whole way through, hailstones in parts) but of course everyone was in the same boat so it wasn't so bad. I'd imagine it's definitely better than blazing sun! I walked a bit more than I probably should have during mile 22 and again in hilly parts of miles 25 and 26 but I didn't feel overly bad or anything. I definitely feel I could improve a fair bit next time; I felt like I was only really learning what pace I'm comfortable with towards the end of training. Also, now that I've got an idea of what the full distance feels like, I'll have a better idea of what to expect and what speed to run at next time. I know I entered it a bit hastily but it wasn't the disaster I was half-expecting. It was a really fun day and I hope to have another go either next year or the following year (with better training though).
Congratulations! 4:20 is a pretty decent time, particularly given the conditions. Cold is do-able, but add rain and it's just miserable. But you did well. Here's to continued success!
That's awesome Ally!! That's quite an accomplishment! I've set out to train for 3 marathons over the years but have yet to even start one due to injuries. You should be very proud.
Great job!! Which marathon did you run? I'm going to do St George in October... not nervous yet but might get that way as it gets closer lol. I'll have 4 halfs under my belt by then and hopefully several 20 mile training runs. Despite the horrible weather, did you feel pretty good during the race?
Ontario Mills 10K Jan 21st 2012 - 49:32 3rd place women (PR)
ARMC 5K March 10th 2012 - 23:02 1st place AG women (PR)
SoCal Ragnar April 19-20 2012 Huntington Beach to Coronado Island - 24.5 miles total, 8:30 avg
RoC Race Del Mar May 19th 2012 38:28 8th for div
Fontana Days Half Marathon - June 2nd 2012 - 1:37 PR!!!! (1:48 in 2011)
Wasastchback Ragnar June 15-16th 2012 Logan to Park City UT - TBA!
Mojave Narrows Half - June 30th 2012 - TBA!
Rockin the Desert Mud run - August 25th 2012 - TBA!
Red Rock Relay - Sept 7-8th 2012 - Brian's Head to Zion UT - TBA!
St George Marathon - Oct 6th 2012
Las Vegas Ragnar - Nov 9-10th 2012
Yes! Well done, Ally! Getting your first marathon successfully behind you is a great thing, and 4:20 is bloody respectable.
In contrast, I ran my first Marathon since 1984 last Sunday and DNF'd, bailing at 23 miles. I have no excuses. The wheels just fell off and it wasn't worth doing damage to finish. I did have a lovely 17 miles to begin with, though.
Your story is MUCH better. Carry on!
Barefoot / Minimalist Runner
...not maintaining this these days..
07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race
07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)
04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )
03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)
02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20
11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40
10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)
Started running (again) May 5, 2010