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I'm 50, female, runner for 12 years, training for my second Marathon. My last one was at age 44. I'm 5ft tall weight 135lbs.
I used the cool running beginner program last time peaking at just under 30km and ran the actual Marathon in 5:17.
I'm using the same training program but training for time. I want to run it in under 5 hours. From the website it says:
"Unlike many other marathon programs, your long runs here build up to include the actual marathon distance. This is based on the common-sense idea that to be prepared to race any distance, you should train at that distance.
For runners (particularly first time marathoners) who are interested in simply finishing the marathon than in racing or running for time, it's not necessary to run the complete marathon distance during training"
What are your thoughts on this? I feel like I'm training too hard. I've had issues, first a knee issue that is sorted out, now it's foot issues which was due to Asics running shoes that had a small ball in the foot that is supposed to stimulate when you run. All that did was cause me serious pain, however it's taken me 6 weeks to figure that out. I bought new shoes and that is helping, but the healing process on the feet is slow.
I'm starting to feel a little discouraged. My body hurts, I have issues where I never had issues before. I really want to run this Marathon. It will likely be my last one. So, what are your thoughts on running the whole marathon before the marathon? Is this helping me or hurting me? Do I need to do it to knock 17 min. off my time? Is it just me or does everyone hurt when they are training for an event like this?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Since you offered your height and weight as relevant data, I will mention what you probably already know: you should lose at least 20 pounds. That alone would take tremendous stress off your body and make you run much faster. It would render moot the issue of whether you needed to run the "whole marathon before the marathon" to break 5 hours.
Assuming you don't lose any weight, because most people don't--even when it is often the most obvious thing they could do to become better runners--I would advise against running the "whole marathon before the marathon." You would risk injury and it isn't necessary anyway. Elite runners, yes--they should do long runs; amateur runners, no. But I would recommend at least one pre-marathon run in the 15-20 mile range.
Before my one and only marathon, at age 48, I did only one run longer than 10 miles--a 13-miler the week before the race. I did fine in the race (3:57). But being injury-prone, I started having knee issues after the race. They went away after a few months of rest.
I'm a dark horse, running on a dark race course.
I am 52 and have ran 8, I have never ran more than 22 before any race. My last marathon I ran 3:30 which was 25 mins faster than my others which have been around 3:55-4:00. During this cycle I only got up to 18 miles, but ran a longer run the day before and had pace work in my long runs days every other week. Doing the long runs on tired legs I believe help my last 10K of the marathon. Most plans don't have you run the full 26, mostly because the risk is not worth the benefits. You have to listen to your body, with that said your body is going to feel it during a cycle, so some issues are normal. I like the 20 min rule run easy for 20 mins if you are no worst then run, (you should feel better after 20 mins). Good luck
I agree with the advice from the others in that you do not need to run the actual marathon distance. However, if there are other elements of the training plan that you feel comfortable with, then just adjust the schedule to best meet your personal goals. If you are motivated by the extended LR schedule, for example, then focus on that aspect and just determine what the limit should be (maybe somewhere between 17-21 miles as an average estimate).
The main thing is that this event is important to you and if you feel there are other issues to be cautious about, then follow your best running instincts and the signals from your body. (We are close to the same age, so I can relate to some of your experiences).
You have been doing this for over a decade and you are the expert on your own performance, limitations and capabilities, so it is perfectly fine to improvise with professional training plans and utilize them as "generic guidelines" because that is exactly what they are. There are some benefits for certain individuals with a variety of proposals depending on age/fitness levels and so one, but the key is finding the best combination for your individual circumstances and expectations...so it is a very personal journey to the finish line.
You have been there before and you will get there this time. Believe in your talents, slowly prepare for the obstacles, overcome the doubts, and look forward to securing the positive results....You have this one, for sure!
Thank you for your comments. I know in my heart that I must listen to my body. It's just so darn hard when you want to push yourself & your body protests. I know I will get to the finish line :)