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I signed up for a marathon that runs on March 15th in DC. I have been running on a regular basis for the last year and started using this www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_130.shtml training program. However I am only on week 5 of the program scheduled to run 12 miles this Saturday. My problem is that my race date puts me at about week 13 of the program which would have me running 22 miles on that day for the first time. I have already payed $150 for the marathon and was really looking to accomplishing this because it would be my first ever marathon and it would be in my home town. Is it physically possible that I can finish this race with the time I have left to train? if so what adaptions should I make to the program and or my diet or any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am a 30 year old male. Thanks!
For some reason I cannot post a good link. It is the begginer marathon plan advised by this website.
There is absolutely no reason why you cannot finish the marathon you've already signed up for; just don't plan on setting the world on fire from a time perspective. Long story short, just make sure you run at a slow and steady pace (as in much slower than what you would otherwise employ for say a half marathon or other similar distance event) and you should finish without causing undue harm to your body.
Thanks for the heads up that is encouraging to hear. Is there anything I should do differently in the day or week leading up to the race? Assuming I run 20 miles as my long run two weeks prior should I just keep my program status qouo all the way to race day or would I benefit by altering it? Also would I bennefit by pushing farther then required on my long runs in preparation or would that do more harm then good? Thanks Again!
I would recommend not altering the plan. Why? Because there is a phenomena which I call TFFFS (Too Far, too Fast, too Frequently, too Soon) which causes folks to get hurt, and most plans I've looked at do a pretty good job of keeping those following them below the threshold of injury. If you can run 20 miles two weeks prior to your scheduled marathon, you should be able to start the race at a slighly slower pace, stick with said pace for at least 15 miles (20 would probably be safer), and then be able to judge from there how to run the last miles. Like I said, you probably won't set the world on fire with your time, but if you take it easy, you will finish, and that's an accomplishment in and of itself.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Okay that is what I will do. Thanks for the advice!
I'm looking at the plan, and the calendar, and I'm assuming you're doing your long runs on Saturday. Following the plan as written would have you finishing week 11 with a 20-miler on Feb. 22. (I've checked this, like, 5 times, to make sure I'm counting right.) That's 3 weeks before the race and gets you a 20-mile long run and leaves you with a fairly traditional 3 week taper. After week 11, do weeks 18, 19 and 20. The long run for week 18 could be up to 14 miles (if it will make you feel more confident) and for week 19 can be anywhere from 8 to 12 miles. Judge by how you feel and how well you recover from your other long runs. Tapering is difficult mentally but you want to be pretty well rested for the marathon (leaning slightly toward shorter in week 19). And, of course, the final 2-miler in week 20 will have to be on Thursday or Friday, since the race is on Saturday.
You should be in decent shape for the marathon. Since it is your first, run the first 15 to 20 miles fairly conservatively, like shipo said. This will make for a more "comfortable" race overall and and leave you in better shape for the final miles.
Thanks for the advice lenzlaw. Do you think it would benefit me to try to push for extra miles on the long runs (like the 20 miler)? Like if I could get up to 21 or 22? Or would the risk of potential injury outweigh the benefit?
You do DO NOT NEED TO PUSH FOR EXTRA MILES! That is the quickest way to injury! Lens advice is very good! As the others have stated pace wisely early if you don't you will have more issues in the last 10K than you want. Good luck!
You don't need to push for extra miles. There is no particular (physiological) benefit to doing 22 instead of 20. And, yes, the increased risk of injury as you tire outweighs the possible benefit. Following the plan as I described, up to week 11 and the 20-miler, then tapering, will have you reasonably prepared. Hard to believe, isn't it? But that comes with being a first time marathoner. You're never quite sure what you've gotten yourself into!
Thanks again for the help. I was extremely dismayed when I realized I had misjudged the time of my training by so much. I was watching people bonk at 20 miles on you tube and just want to do my best to ensure that doesn't happen to me. Since this is my first one I am really just trying to finish. I feel better equipted now that I have recieved some good advice. Thanks!
Most all Bonking comes from unrealistic goals and pacing to fast in a marathon! Pace wisely early!