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When will I be ready to run a marathon? (Read 1697 times)

    Hi all,

     

    As some of you may know from other threads, I've been running for about a year (starting from absolutely no running or fitness whatsoever).  I ran/walked my first half marathon in April in 2:50, and just completed my second half last weekend, running the whole way and finishing in 2:29.  I've signed up for another half marathon in March 2013, and I think I'll probably also train for a 10k in January.  However, I'm also wondering if I'm getting to the point where a full marathon would be a possibility.  If I did one, it would probably be the Auckland Marathon, which is in late October or early November each year.  Do you think it would be too ambitious to aim for the full in a year's time?  Or is it better to keep doing halves while I try and try to build some speed first?  How do you know when you're ready?

     

    Thanks heaps for your help!

    Samantha

    TJN


    S Army Kettle run...

      I'm by no means an expert and I'm sure you'll get some excellent advice from the runners on this board. 

       

      Here's my thoughts ... it's not so much speed you'll be working on, it's going to be distance / endurance.  You want to build a base where you can consistently run 25-30mile weeks...with 10 -12 mile long runs.  Once you get that base built and are feeling comfortable, pick out a program and go for it!    

       

      Most marathon training programs will be 18wks.  They'll get you up to 18-20 mile longs with many runs in between.  There are many programs out there ... I personally like Hal Higdon's.

       

      Have Fun!

      Tim 


      Joggaholic

         How do you know when you're ready?

         

        I also started from nothing about 2 years ago, and for me I did not seriously consider training/entering a marathon (with a goal to just finish) until I was comfortable with doing regular halves as my long runs. That's just my experience, doesn't mean I did it right or not.


        Feeling the growl again

          It partially depends on if you just want to finish the distance, or want to run the whole thing, or want to run it for a goal time.

           

          If you actually want to run the whole thing, I recommend you get to where you can run 50mpw...irrelevant of pace...with a typical long run of 14-16 miles.  Once you can do that, throw in a few longer 18-20 mile runs and you can run a marathon.

           

          If all you want to do is cover the distance, I know people that have done that on little to no training.

           

          IMHO over half the people doing marathons these days aren't really doing the training to support it.  They also don't want to hear my advice.  Smile

          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

           

            I read somewhere to get myself under 25 min 5k before thinking of a marathon. Something to consider. I think without that speed the long runs for the marathon just take too much time.

              IMHO over half the people doing marathons these days aren't really doing the training to support it.  They also don't want to hear my advice.  Smile

               

              Well spoken words - like always Spaniel..........First and foremost Samantha - YOU"RE DOING GREAT - Keep it up...

               

              I always wonder why everyone is so anxious to run a Marathon when there is a lot of work to do on 10K and HM....Don't misunderstand me because I respect what you have done so far but why??  would be my question for you right now.    I'm surely not saying you cant do it, I'm simply saying that you have plenty of great work to do and strength to build first.

               

              If I were you, I'd continue to build my mileage up into the 40is 50ish arena, and work on some speed/strength and focus on getting the HM pace down in the 1:50 to 2:00 arena THEN start thinking about a marathon....

               

              Of course it's only my opinion (and that ain't worth much) but if it were me, I would rather run a 1:50 HM than to run a 5:30 marathon.....


              I say give it a couple more years....continue to build your mileage - run some hills - and all that other stuff --- get your HM times down and build a better training base and THEN start thinking Marathon.....,,You'll enjoy your Marathon a lot more if you do so.......

              Champions are made when no one is watching

                Thanks to each of you for the advice and support.  As to why I want to run a marathon, I guess just for the challenge.  I thought that for me, running a half marathon would be impossible, and I proved myself wrong.  I'd like to do the impossible again. :-)  Having said that, I hear what you're saying about needing a bigger mileage base first and it being a good idea to build more strength and speed.  For now, I'll try to keep focussed on the half marathon and 10km distance, and work on building up my k's.  Another reason to run a marathon sooner rather than later is that my schedule is fairly flexible now, which is good for accommodating running, and that might not always be the case.  However, it should be for the next couple of years, so maybe I'll make it my goal to do the Auckland half again next year and shave as much time as I can off, and then rethink the idea of the full for the next year.  I've got plenty of time to think about it anyway.  Thanks for your thoughts. :-)

                rlemert


                    "Why is everyone in such a hurry to run a marathon?"

                   

                    I would turn that around a bit and ask - why is everyone so down on 5:30 (or longer) marathons?

                   

                    Finishing a marathon is a great accomplishment regardless of how long it takes to do so. I was right at six hours in my marathon, and I ran it 13 months after starting to run. No one can deny me the euphoria I felt as I crossed that finish line, and no one can tell me that it would have felt any better if I'd been even an hour faster. For some of us 5:30 is as fast as we're ever going to be capable of - are you going to deny us that sense of accomplishment?

                   

                    One could also question whether the faster, "better trained" runners really are "better off" than those in the back of the pack. I've seen plenty of "front runners" barely functioning when they've finished, and many back-packers who looked like they could keep going when they were done. Which of them had the more enjoyable time?

                   

                    Don't get me wrong. The marathon is not something to be taken lightly. It is also, however, not the indomitable beast that some would make it out to be. Thousands of people complete marathons every year with "substandard" training. Most of them find the experience satisfying. Some decide to stop at the point; others continue on and eventually join the ranks of you "speed burners".

                   

                    I have no problem with people recommending 50 mpw preparation and two years training. I have no problem telling people that it's going to be hard. Heck, I tell people the same thing. But anyone who contemplates doing 26.2 needs as much FACTUAL information as they can get before making the decision as to whether or not to go the distance. However, it must be their decision. They are the only ones who know what they want to accomplish and why. They don't need people belittling them.

                   

                    (Besides, something a noticed a few years ago and commented on in a similar thread; Many of the people saying "take at least two years to get ready" seemed to average no more than about fifteen months between when they started running and their first marathon. Some of these guys tried to claim that they realized they had made a mistake - and they might have made the wrong choice FOR THEM.)


                  HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                      "Why is everyone in such a hurry to run a marathon?"

                     

                      I would turn that around a bit and ask - why is everyone so down on 5:30 (or longer) marathons?

                     

                    ...

                     

                    The answer to that doesn't seem very mysterious to me; I think it is because you're reading answers from experienced runners who like to race.

                     

                    I think spaniel laid out a really good distinction between finishing a marathon, running a marathon, and racing a marathon.

                     

                    I have the impression that most of the experienced runners that post here, are people who run marathons to RACE them.  I suspect they have very little interest in going out and just jog-walking 26.2 miles.

                     

                    Whether or not they "look down" on people jog-walking 26.2 miles, I suspect their experience and expertise are focused (deliberately) on the skill of racing marathons, not the skill of jog-walking 26.2 miles.

                     

                    So from them, you're naturally going to get advice aimed mostly at how to race a marathon, or at least how to run one -- not how to jog-walk one.

                     

                    I'm not trying to put anyone down; I'm trying to describe my guess as to why what you see, is a fairly natural product of the selectivity of what "experienced marathoner" generally means on these forums. I think it usually means someone who races marathons. Maybe not always, but my guess is that that is what it often means.

                    It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                      Samantha,

                      I like to train.  I enjoy racing, but I don't need to race.  Over the last couple years, I only race 1x/year.

                      I've raced only a few times in my life

                      5km - 2

                      10km - 1

                      1/2 marathon - 2

                      marathon - 1

                      sprint triathlon - maybe 5

                      olympic triathlon - 1

                      1/2 Ironman - 1

                      full Ironman - 1

                       

                      For me, it's training that I love with the realization that I can always do more.

                      I'm not fast.  I'm not slow.

                       

                      As Spaniel said, there's a difference between racing a race, running a race, and completing a race.  You can do it and finish it and enjoy it.

                      If you want to race faster and finish stronger, there are things that are essential, but to finish it and enjoy it, yes, you can do a marathon next fall.


                      Cheers,
                      Brian

                      2014 Goals:

                      #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                      #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                       

                          "Why is everyone in such a hurry to run a marathon?"

                         

                          I would turn that around a bit and ask - why is everyone so down on 5:30 (or longer) marathons?

                         

                         

                         

                        It's not that people are against running a marathon slowly. It's what is often associated with it that is the problem. Namely, people often push for too much when jumping in. They know the marathon is coming, its long and they need to be prepared. So they get over aggressive (especially with long runs) and wind up either injured or totally hating the training because they are doing an awful lot for what they are currently capable of. That or they are way under-prepared and while they finish the race, they end up with a negative association about running because of how miserable the marathon was.

                         

                        The other issue here is that when you jump into a marathon really quickly, it's almost 100% about just running alot, usually at a very slow pace so you can handle it. Not many people doing marathons that are very new to running are out there doing quicker long runs, tempos, mile repeats, etc; let alone true "fast" work. This is fine for getting "in-shape" but ultimately I'm not sure it's the best way to get to be a better runner. You get really good at plodding for 5+ hours, but this doesn't do much to help you be able to run faster; and many times, especially as people push for distances that are probably more than they ought to be biting off they develop strides that are good for surviving long plods, but not necessarily for running faster. 

                         

                         

                          For some of us 5:30 is as fast as we're ever going to be capable of

                         

                        There are probably rare exceptions, but I believe most people are capable of much, much faster than 5:30, especially if they aren't starting very late in life. 

                        They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."


                        Consistently Slow

                          It partially depends on if you just want to finish the distance, or want to run the whole thing, or want to run it for a goal time.

                           

                          If you actually want to run the whole thing, I recommend you get to where you can run 50mpw...irrelevant of pace...with a typical long run of 14-16 miles.  Once you can do that, throw in a few longer 18-20 mile runs and you can run a marathon.

                           

                          If all you want to do is cover the distance, I know people that have done that on little to no training.

                           

                          IMHO over half the people doing marathons these days aren't really doing the training to support it.  They also don't want to hear my advice.  Smile

                           His advice is normally pretty solid. 50 miles a week is BQ territory. 125  miles a month  for 6 months gets you to the finish line standing and probably <5. I did not see your age.

                          Run until the trail runs out.

                          2014***1500 miles 09/28/14

                          50miler 13:26:18

                          Race Less Train More

                           

                          Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                          "The Marble in The Groove"

                           

                          unsolicited chatter

                          http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

                            Thanks everyone.  I'm 30 years old (for runnerclay who asked).  It's an interesting discussion!  For me, the idea of running a marathon is more about the experience than a "race".  I'd like to actually be able to run the whole way though, preferably without feeling like I'm going to die (or at least not until close to the end :-)).  At the moment I see it as a once in a lifetime experience, but I thought that about the half marathon at one stage!  I'd like to at least wait until I think I'll be able to do it under 5 hours.  4 something sounds a lot better than 5 something for a time, and I'm sure not going to be able to do it in 3 something. :-)  At the moment, based on my half marathon time, my predicted marathon time would be 5:11. 


                            Consistently Slow

                               

                               

                               

                              There are probably rare exceptions, but I believe most people are capable of much, much faster than 5:30, especially if they aren't starting very late in life. 

                               +1

                              Run until the trail runs out.

                              2014***1500 miles 09/28/14

                              50miler 13:26:18

                              Race Less Train More

                               

                              Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                              "The Marble in The Groove"

                               

                              unsolicited chatter

                              http://bkclay.blogspot.com/


                              old woman w/hobby

                                 

                                 

                                There are probably rare exceptions, but I believe most people are capable of much, much faster than 5:30, especially even if they aren't are starting very late in life. 

                                 

                                This.    Depending on your definition of very late in lifeBig grin

                                steph  

                                 

                                OCD  If you don't laugh...   

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