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As Jim said, I agree that 40-45 year olds are probably the fastest group on average--not at the front but in depth. These are people settled enough in life (settled job, kids not so young, etc) to give them some time to train but have not yet hit the aging factor. It is certainly true at almost all my local races that the masters is more competitive than the open category, even though the overall winner often comes from the open category.
It does not bother me if people want to train or not or powerwalk or anything else. I think, unless we are professionals, we are all running for our own reasons. I want to see how fast I can run a marathon
completion means nothing to me. However, even within that I am limited by time constraints, other duties, etc. None of us (or very few) are really "training properly" compared to what we should be doingat least 100 miles a week year round + workouts. So I am trying to see how fast I can run a marathon given my other priorities and constraints in life.
Time is not a proper measure. I do not have anywhere near elite talent, but at the risk of bragging, I do have some talent. I respond fairly well to training and improve rather well. My ceiling is pretty low, but my floor is fairly high. I am certain I can run sub 4 hours in a marathon with much less than optimal training. Partly this is due to age and gender, but it is also partly due to genetics (which of course include age and gender). I am simply a faster runner than many other people on the same amount of training (I am also much slower than others). Yes, I think most people if they are dedicated could do much better than they are doing. An average time of 4:30 is testment to that. But I don't know what the average time "should be" or what the ceiling for most people is.
I try not to take my hobby so seriously and am glad there are lots of other people also enjoying it at whatever level they are able.
The reason that I don't train the same way as you (that doesn't make it not proper) is because my goals are different. I frankly hate running and yet I plan to run a marathon because 1) I'm very goal oriented and running has very discreet goals 2) Pushing yourself to do something that you don't love helps you out in other parts of your life. If a person has a list of things they want to do in life, should they only do it if they're going to be the best at it? Training for that amount of time in a week for months takes work and if you don't absolutely love it, why bother to do it over and over again to get good at it, you don't need that much for fitness.
If you complete a marathon and the training without injury, then you've properly trained. I spend a fair amount of time in airports/airplanes and you can be darn sure that I'm not going to spend it uncomfortable and on crutches so that I can push myself to satisfy your marathon goals.
Finally, as more "common" people run marathons, they're going to have bodies that are less optimized for running. I'm short and I frankly have no desire to have a marthon runners body, naturally I'm going to be slower.
I have to admit, I only read the first page, but I wanted to respond.
I'm a 33-year old female who's 5'2", used to weigh 270 pounds up until about two years ago (meaning I was morbidly obese), and only started running about a year and a half ago.
I am preparing for my first half-marathon in May, which I expect to run at an 11-minute mile pace. I am ECSTATIC about this. And I AM training properly. Although I don't run quickly, I put in as many miles on my training plan as anyone else does.
Speaking as someone who couldn't even walk down the hall without being out of breath, I say that anyone who scoffs at me should go ahead and lose 130 pounds through hard work and exercise, as I have, and then tell me that what I'm doing isn't good enough.
Before anyone remarks that I should do more shorter races, I want to say that I have. I've done 14 5Ks distances, and brought my time down from 42 minutes (during a blizzard for my first) to just under 30 minutes, which is perfectly respectable in my own world.
Although I don't run quickly, I put in as many miles on my training plan as anyone else does.
I'm training for a 1/2 marathon and I'm putting in 80-100 miles/week. You do too?
Ah, touche! Let me be more precise and say that I am logging as many miles as anyone else following one of the standard half-marathon training plans. Neither Hal Higdon's nor Marathon Rookie's nor any other half marathon training plan I've read mentions running 80-100 miles per week as being a requisite for being able to complete a half marathon.
However, the fact that I am following one of these plans and not logging that much mileage a week isn't an indicator, by any means, of my readiness and preparedness to run a half marathon, which is the original topic of this thread.
I suppose I could put that much mileage in, but it would mean dropping one of the following things: my martial arts classes, my weapons class, my Spinning class, my job, and/or my boyfriend. And quite frankly, while I love running, I like to also have enough time to devote to each of those things.
Good luck on your race!
I think the operative question would be why do you ask? I personally believe in stoicism or the concept that the measure of the man (or women) is not where they are or what they have but the challenges they have overcome to get there. It may have been very difficult for you to get to the 80 to 100 mpw mark but I wonder if it was as difficult as loosing 130 lbs. The point being, your reply sounds a bit condescending. Training that many miles a week for a half marathon your time should be less than 1:10 and if it is I congratulate you. You must be nationally ranked and have a couple sponsorships. I would think you might have words of encouragement for struggling newbies.
I agree in some way . I think that if you want to run a marathon you should consider training for it. Why I am saying this? Well I am running/jogging since Jan 2006 and I am still working on my speed. For me it would be gratifying to reach a 1/2 marathon in less than 2 hours, but I can't reach this yet. The idea of walking/ running is not in my agenda, because I want to be able to feel good that I ran the whole **** race.The only thing that could make me walk in a race would be a injury. I mentally always tell myself, that it is easy to walk so why even bother to register for running then? ( in the races here you can register for walking or running: they are organized together) Anyway that's my opinion. Maybe I am wrong, but I will keep trying to get better at this sport and will support anyone who is willing to do so also.
Wow! I can't believe there is such a huge debate here. I feel like a bit of pond scum right now. I thought I was embarking on a journey a "monumental" accomplishment but apparently I'm just a sloth, a loser for thinking I could feel any satisfaction in crossing the finish line at a marathon at any time over 4+ hours.
If your "proper" training gets you your sub 3:00 time then great. That's what you're training for. If my "proper" training or otherwise gets me across the finish line (and that's my goal) why not great for me? I just don't get it.
In these threads there is talk about the average person finishing. Well my friends the average person is NOT embarking on this lifestyle becasue the statistic is 65% of Americans are obese.
How about accepting change and tolerance.
I feel like shite!
Is there really a huge debate? I think I've observed runners, that have run for several years, falling into two groups:
Zen runners, those happy to run along at about 70% MHR often chatting away with a partner or checking out the birds, flowers and trees. Often they run up to 50-60 MPW, have an enjoyable time and finish a run metally recharged and ready to take on the world. While they get a lot of the cardiac and fitness benefits of running they don't necessarily get faster or win age group awards but generally don't care. And
Rabbits, those runners that generally have some success in their age group or even overall which inspires them to want to see how fast they really can go. Generally driven by that damm clock, they develop training programs for optimal speed and performance and often don't like a run that doesn't leave them winded. (Doesn't mean they don't have easy runs; they just don't seem to like them)
The marathon, unlike a 5K say, seems to draw both groups equally and you may see why they don't seem to get along. But I've never understood why members of one group feel the need to devalue the other. Often, for people that run over several decades, runners spend time in both groups (bicurious?) and switch back and forth over time.
The thing is YOU (any runner) have to determine your motivation and do what makes you happy. One of the best times I had at a sporting event was being about 1/2 a mile from the finish at Boston 2 years ago and cheering for the finishers and slapping hands. I was there for the winners and until roughly the 5 hour finishers and it was great because everyone of them was so glad to be finishing. I applaud the goals and successes of all runners but does it change why or how I lace them up? Not a bit.
Hummm, Let me see, I ran a 2:57 marathon 30 years ago. Now age 52 I am running upwards of 70 miles a week, 8 to 9 min miles enjoying the colors and the zen of it all. I will run a marathon sometime this year and figure 3:59 as a goal. 9 min miles. Do it for the love of the run. If the weather is just not right the day of the race guess what we will NOT RUN that day!! That is correct, why in the world would I run 26.2 miles in say 45 degrees and driving rain?? Or 90 degrees and high humidity!!
I have to say I thought you were one of the running snobs with your first post. You seem to be less angry with this one.
Like you said not everyone has your perspective on life. Also, not everyone has your ability or will. Does that mean they shouldn't race? Absolutely not.
It's these "joggers" that support these races and pay the purses that the more accomplished runners win. It's the masses that have kept this sport alive. We don't get the NFL press or the MLB press so we need what we can and if that is a recreational runner who just wants to be in the race then hooray for the recreational runner. Thank you for supporting my sport and giving it the water cooler press. Every little bit helps.
And honestly why do you care how others train?
Keep up the good work!!!!! An 11 minute mile is still faster than a lot of people. Congratulations on your progress.
Wow you are a running snob with horrible grammar. I guess I don't "no" my place. LOL
Wow you are a running snob