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Preparation for First Marathon (Read 255 times)

ckerr1999


    I started running last August, and did my first half marathon in November. Currently I am preparing for my 1st Marathon this coming October. I am not big on doing a lot of races. I just finished reading the Hanson's Methon book. Given the marathon is so far away I am just focusing on building my weekly mileage. Last week was my first week over 30 miles. But given I was very sick over the holidays, it was a bit too much too soon. Hence I have been worn out this week. I am hoping to be up to the 50 mile per week mark by the end of June, and then that will give me a good 16 weeks of following the Advance Hanson Program before the marathon in October. However I am struggling with my Pacing. I think I am running every run at my race pace.How fast should I be running my easy runs vs tempo runs vs long runs? How do you force yourself to run slower??? For the marathon I would like to run  8:00/mile and that will give me a finishing time of approx 3:30. If you look at my runs last week, I was able to drop my pace to belo 8:30. So I have 9 months to drop my pace by 30 seconds. So is my goal realistic, or am I going about it the wrong way? Starting next week I am going to start incorporating interval training by running 400m splits. Thanks for your help.

     

    P.S. In my log I have 2-3 runs in my log around the 10 min mark. The timing on those runs are wrong as I was using an uncallibrated footpod. The time on those runs is closer to 8:55/mile

     

     

     

     


    day after day sameness

      Frankly...picking a target pace now is sheer folly. The pace you run the marathon at will be determined by your fitness on race day.

       

      Ok, having said that...this web site is chock full of threads on this topic...you might poke around and find some nuggets of wisdom. Look for "Run lots, mostly easy, sometimes hard".

       

      If I'm reading your message right, you're trying to run faster in your every day runs when you really want to be running slower...easy...so that you can run lots of miles without being "worn out" from a 30 mile week.

      Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless


      Feeling the growl again

        I know this does not directly answer your questions, but....

         

        Given the short time you have been running and your level of knowledge/experience, you would be wise to put a marathon off for at least another year...especially if you expect your first effort to be a 3:30.

         

        You may not like racing a lot, but how do you expect to get experienced enough to pace yourself through a marathon if you don't get pacing experience in shorter races?

         

        Regarding pacing, the McMilan calculator gives decent approximations of paces for various workouts (www.mcmillanrunning.com).  But you need to run a race effort to get a baseline.

         

        I am not sure why people feel the need to rush to the marathon so quickly.  Is it a box-checking exercise?  Shorter races are so much more fun and easier on the mind....this form a marathon specialist who chased the Olympic Trials for a number of years.

        "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

         

        JML


           

          Given the short time you have been running and your level of knowledge/experience, you would be wise to put a marathon off for at least another year...especially if you expect your first effort to be a 3:30.

           

           

           

          This.  I made the mistake of running my first marathon after less than a year of decent training.  If I had it to do over again, I would get at least two years of consistent training under my belt before attempting my first marathon.  My recommendation is to focus on getting consistent mileage in on a weekly basis and perhaps to race some shorter distances [10k - half marathon].  The marathon will always be there waiting for you when you are ready.

           2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

          Julia1971


            Pretty much everything Spaniel said.  Just start running more miles and see where you are at the end of June.  And, don't lock in a goal marathon pace until you're well into your plan, have run some races, and can honestly assess where you might be.  Otherwise, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment.*  Congrats on the 30 mile week, though.  It's a good start.

             

            As far as slowing down, I haven't had this problem since I've started running high mileage.  But, some things that have worked for me over the years are: 1) consciously telling myself, "Slow down!!!" 2) getting a Garmin to get a better sense of pace and slowing down after I hit that pace, and 3) running on the treadmill or track to get a good sense for pace.

             

            *Every runner is different but if you want to use me as a data point, I ran a sub-3:30 in March 2011.  The year before in May, which is roughly the time span you're dealing with, I was about a 1:40 half marathoner.  Edited to add: I also ran a lot of miles in between, which I would NOT recommend you do.

            The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb


            Mmmmm...beer

              I am not sure why people feel the need to rush to the marathon so quickly.  Is it a box-checking exercise?

               

              Not saying this is the case for the OP, but I think it is for a lot of people.  A lot of people I talk to tell me that I need to bump my upcoming half to the full.  Some have even said, "You've already done a half, you should do the full", like I only need to do each race one time, just to say I did it.  For me, it's not the distance, I already know I can run a marathon, I ran 26.25 miles on a long run in Dec, just to see what it felt like.  For me, it's about putting forth the best effort I can, so I want to make sure that I'm fully prepared to race a marathon, not just run it, since I already know I can run it.  Which is why I'm not doing a full until this fall at the earliest, but probably not till next spring.  But everyone is different, I don't begrudge anyone who is doing a marathon just for their bucket list.

              -Dave

               

              2014 Goals | sub-19 5k done! | sub-40 10k | sub-1:25 HM | BQ done! | sub-3 M

                 

                Not saying this is the case for the OP, but I think it is for a lot of people.  A lot of people I talk to tell me that I need to bump my upcoming half to the full.  Some have even said, "You've already done a half, you should do the full", like I only need to do each race one time, just to say I did it.  For me, it's not the distance, I already know I can run a marathon, I ran 26.25 miles on a long run in Dec, just to see what it felt like.  For me, it's about putting forth the best effort I can, so I want to make sure that I'm fully prepared to race a marathon, not just run it, since I already know I can run it.  Which is why I'm not doing a full until this fall at the earliest, but probably not till next spring.  But everyone is different, I don't begrudge anyone who is doing a marathon just for their bucket list.

                 

                Amen, brother.

                Runners run.


                Not dead. Yet.

                  I say go kill it in October.

                  How can we know our limits if we don't test them?


                  Hungry

                    I support the bucket list goal, if that's what it is. Perhaps the OP has the kind of time to dedicate to this goal between now and October, and may not have the time or desire to shoot for it ever again. That's cool. But he/she lists some very specific goals, including a sub 3:30 time. I'm no expert, but that seems a bit aggressive given the recent 2:12 finish in a half marathon. A 4-hour finish would be quite an accomplishment in less than a year's time given this piece of info. I would also guess that the pacing of his/her runs is too fast from looking at the log and the post. The guidance I was given for easy runs and long runs was something like 60-90 seconds per mile slower than the goal marathon pace. So, for a 4 hour marathon, the easy training pace should be something like 10:00 minutes per mile, or even slower. It just doesn't seem like a good idea to be working on dropping the pace below 8:30 already, AND to be starting Intervals next week given all these factors.  I'd slow down. If you need something to force you to slow down, the GPS and treadmill suggestions work for me.

                    Coastal


                      OP:

                      The usual advice you will see is: Work up mileage slowly and safely.  Most miles should be easy & 90 seconds to 2 min or more slower than current capabilities for marathon pace (not your eventual hoped for goal pace).  Some will be at recovery which is even slower.  Right now you are building your ability to run long so limit the speedwork and reduce injury potential, and more folks seem to think the longer the goal race the longer the distances used in speedwork.  Follow the 10% rule with cutback weeks every fourth week or so, depending on your need.

                       

                      How to run slower?  Slow down.  Use your watch to time your miles.  if you are on the road use a mapping tool like Map My Run or the one on RA to figure out where your miles are and memorize them.  If you run too fast, slow down.

                       

                      As you progress you'll likely find that you'll need to do a couple shorter races or time trials to set your paces.  Go out and run a 5K and time it.  Do a race or figure out the distance on a road and run it.  Give it all you've got.  Use one of the online training tools such as VDOT or McMillan.  Plug in your time and get your current training paces. (I haven't read Hanson's so maybe they have these paces in the book).   Use them until you do your next time trial and adjust.  Try to use a 10K next as your endurance should be improved.  The longer the distance the more accurate your training paces for the full will be.

                       

                      Cross train to strengthen your core and hips.  They will tend to be weaker than your running muscles and this imbalance leads to injuries.  Run hills -- 8 to 10 second sprints or longer distances once or twice a week.

                       

                      You can find all this and much better posted by the real experts on here.

                       

                      My specific advice such as it is coming from some stranger on the internet::  As you know, you're currently nowhere near to a 3:30 pace.  Getting there is quite a jump, which is hard to do in time but a rare few do get there.  There is someone over on the Beginners and Beyond sub group who is like that.  Many of the rest of us got hurt trying this, for what it is worth.

                       

                      For now continue to work on base building.  Right before starting the plan run a half to get a fitness check.  Using that as a guide figure out  what your realistic goals are and which plan to follow.  Then you will have a realistic idea of what you can / will be able to do.

                      ckerr1999


                        Thanks everyone for the advice. For now I think I will focus on slowing down my runs, and building my weekly base. Then figure out where I am come the beginning of summer. I am not big on doing races, but I live very close to a 400m track. So I can probably start doing "Time Trials" on a monthly basis to monitor my progress (varying the distance 5k, 10K and HM) and figure out my pacing. I have a garmin, so I just  need to start paying more attention to the pace field. This is a great forum  to ask questions and get answers. Thanks again

                         

                         

                         

                         

                        ckerr1999


                          **Update**....This last week, I have really focused on slowing my pace, and it seems to have made a big difference in terms of mileage. Prior to this week I was doing all my runs around the 8:25-8:40/mile pace (race pace for me). Now I have dropped my pace to around the 9:55/mile. And I could probably slow down more so that I am running closer to a 10:30 pace. In terms of mileage, I was able to do 10 miles on Saturday, another 6 miles Sunday, and then 5 miles last night without any problems. Whereas the week before I did 8, then 6, and then could barely do 4 miles on the Tuesday. I am thinking on my Garmin I am going to change the current pace field to average pace as it is probably more accurate. The current pace jumps around quite a bit. Was planning on starting intervals tomorrow but probably won't happen as we are in for a major snow storm tomorrow night. I have also decided to run a half marathon at the start of May to get a solid base line.

                           

                           

                           

                           


                          Rusk Runner

                            Average pace per lap is about the best in my limited experience.

                            PRs...5K - 20:36, 4mile - 26:15, 13.1 - 1:32, 26.2 - 3:42

                            Just Run!!!

                              I am not sure why people feel the need to rush to the marathon so quickly.  Is it a box-checking exercise?  Shorter races are so much more fun and easier on the mind....this form a marathon specialist who chased the Olympic Trials for a number of years.

                               

                              I've been there, yes, it's box-checking (referring to my experience, not the OP). I think part of the reason is that being completely new to running, I had wanted to get the most out of it as soon as possible, because I had no idea how long I will stick with this new hobby. A distance goal (compared to a speed goal) is easier to reach and more appealing. To a beginner or non-runner there is more allure to having finished a marathon, than to have (for example) dropped one's 5k pace by a minute (I wouldn't even know what that really means back then). Most beginners also don't know the time required to build the kind of base needed if they have no athletic backgrounds, especially with all the running plans floating around the net saying XX weeks to marathoning. When experienced runners say that you need years to build a base for marathon instead of weeks, it feels like a disconnect somewhere.

                               

                              Regarding shorter races, it's no fun when you had no aerobic fitness. Not that adding too much distance doesn't hurt, but it's less acutely painful.

                              dallison


                              registered pw

                                You are doing well at readjusting your schedule and making sure you are taking the proper time to heal.  I ran 4 years before i did my first full. Even then i wasn't trained for the distance and finished in 3:42.

                                 

                                But, i have a good amount of experience running 5k's and have decently quick times. I have plateued at that level at wat i expected out of it. I have moved up to longer distances and am nowhere near my success in the 5k.

                                Some people are naturals at going quickly in the long races but most have to spend a few years getting the consistant miles in to keep your body used to the distance, and being injury free.

                                It's an art that is so different for every person. There are external factors that allow you to or not to train.

                                 

                                Pay attention to pain and adjust your workouts to keep healthy.

                                2013 goals:

                                sub 19 5k

                                sub 1:30 half

                                3:20 marathon on second try

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