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9171 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: May 24, 2012 6:29 AM by Joseph Tree
Ally456 Rookie 3 posts since
Jan 31, 2012
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Jan 31, 2012 11:08 AM

Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon



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!



  • Kinver88 Pro 80 posts since
    Oct 2, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 31, 2012 1:15 PM (in response to Ally456)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    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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  • motivblogger Rookie 2 posts since
    Jan 30, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 31, 2012 1:36 PM (in response to Kinver88)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    Decide it & you'll do it !

    You definitely have a sufficient base mileage to enjoy your first marathon in May

    "blog for marathon serial finishers"

  • erik-k Expert 36 posts since
    Mar 4, 2011
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    3. Jan 31, 2012 2:14 PM (in response to Ally456)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    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.

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
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    4. Jan 31, 2012 3:42 PM (in response to Ally456)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    Hi Ally,

    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!

  • Pro 58 posts since
    Dec 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 31, 2012 5:35 PM (in response to Ally456)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    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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  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007

    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

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Mar 14, 2012 7:22 PM (in response to Ally456)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    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.




  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    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!


  • AAAJS Amateur 8 posts since
    Jun 8, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. May 18, 2012 5:14 PM (in response to Ally456)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    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.

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. May 21, 2012 10:31 AM (in response to AAAJS)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    Great job!

  • ALatteCrazy Pro 105 posts since
    Feb 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. May 23, 2012 10:17 PM (in response to Ally456)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    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?


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  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. May 24, 2012 6:29 AM (in response to Ally456)
    Wondering when I could realistically run a marathon

    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..

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