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Advice--running first marathon next year (Read 1402 times)

     Sad

     

    I agree with Nobby -- and Ilene, your mile pr is almost a full 2 minutes faster than his minimum! But this is not just advice for slower runners. Practically every marathon runner would benefit from working on their mile/5k PR before taking on the marathon. 

     

    Boiling the marathon down and probably oversimplifying it, training for the marathon is about extending a pace that has already been mastered out to 26 miles. So, if you want to get faster at the marathon -- first, master a faster pace. Then work to extend it.

     

    (By the way I know this sounds like it bucks the traditional advice of aerobic base work first, then sharpening second, but mastering a pace means bringing it into the range of aerobic effort, and one of the primary purposes of aerobic basework is to bring faster paces into the "easy" range.)


    just a simple cat

      Well it is now!

       

      Big grin  But it sure wasn't before my first 10 marathons. 

       

      Running is stupid

        Well it is now!

         

        Big grin  But it sure wasn't before my first 10 marathons. 

         

        I have my doubts about this, but I will trust you on it.

         

        MTA: Plus, there is of course a difference between good training/fun training/what you want to do/what you should do that is hardly ever really fleshed out in these threads... I think Nobby generally speaks from a performance perspective and I probably do too. There are tons of other perspectives, and even some of them are valid ones! Wink

          (By the way I know this sounds like it bucks the traditional advice of aerobic base work first, then sharpening second, but mastering a pace means bringing it into the range of aerobic effort, and one of the primary purposes of aerobic basework is to bring faster paces into the "easy" range.)

          Actually, it makes a perfect sense; I like your term of "mastering a pace".  I always questioned whenever I hear people say something about "Oh, I did 'speed training' by doing Yasso 800s at 11-minute-mile pace..." or someone doing a tempo run at 12-minute pace...  Yes, it IS the interval EFFORT or tempo EFFORT for them; but by learning to be more efficient, in other words, to be able to run faster aerobically, you will have a lot more training effect.

           

          ...I think Nobby generally speaks from a performance perspective and I probably do too. There are tons of other perspectives, and even some of them are valid ones! Wink

          But I'm not so much just talking about "performance" either.  This is  a much better way to prevent injuries--by learning a correct technique and a good posture and foot-plant, etc.  

            I guess I'm OK then on the speed at shorter distances--did the 1 mi run first leg of a duathlon a couple weeks ago in 7:34 (it was on trails with a little bit of a hill, and I wasn't going 100% all out because I knew I still had the bike portion plus a longer run leg afterwards), and my 5K PR pace is 8:05 (10K is 9:02).  I hope as I continue to build my base mileage that it will help with my speed as well as preparing me for the longer distances, but I will definitely try to incorporate some speed and/or hill workouts as well rather than just running easy all of the time.

             

            And Anne is totally correct about the almost 3 hr time on my early September half--it was a very hilly course with some technical sections and hot weather on top of that, so definitely not representative of what I can do speed-wise.  Any races since last August where my pace looks significantly off from my PR at that distance was probably a trail race with some hills.

              I guess I'm OK then on the speed at shorter distances--did the 1 mi run first leg of a duathlon a couple weeks ago in 7:34 (it was on trails with a little bit of a hill, and I wasn't going 100% all out because I knew I still had the bike portion plus a longer run leg afterwards), and my 5K PR pace is 8:05 (10K is 9:02).  I hope as I continue to build my base mileage that it will help with my speed as well as preparing me for the longer distances, but I will definitely try to incorporate some speed and/or hill workouts as well rather than just running easy all of the time.

               

              And Anne is totally correct about the almost 3 hr time on my early September half--it was a very hilly course with some technical sections and hot weather on top of that, so definitely not representative of what I can do speed-wise.  Any races since last August where my pace looks significantly off from my PR at that distance was probably a trail race with some hills.

               

              That's a very big difference in pace between your 5K and 10K PRs.  Was this due to hills or temperature?  If not, then that's another indication of insufficient miles to support longer distances.

                Little bit of everything--there was one pretty decent size hill in the 10K and it was definitely warmer that day than the day of the 5K PR.  Also had some mental issues in the middle of it where I let myself give in to the urge to slow down because I thought I was off track for a PR, then at the end when I realized I still had a shot at the PR I picked up the speed again.  Had I put in a solid effort the whole way I'm sure I could have finished a bit faster than I did.  I also don't run the 10K distance as often, especially on road courses (most of the 10K's I've done have been trail) so I'm not as good at pacing myself.  But, if you look at MacMillan's calculator, my 5K speed says I should be able to run a faster 10K than my PR, and both my 5K and 10K speeds say I ought to be able to run a faster half, so I also think there's a factor of not having enough base mileage.  That's what I'm hoping to remedy between now and the marathon--I see getting more mileage under my belt as the biggest thing I need to do (and it's the main reason why I'm waiting 9 months before running a full to give myself enough time to get my weekly mileage higher, etc)

                  From a Beginner, another perspective:

                   

                  I'm a relatively novice runner, so from a training and running perspective, there are many very good and experienced runners to learn from here.

                   

                  What I would add is a beginners perspective.  There are numerous reasons to run "your 1st marathon."   I think most of us beginners are doing it to see if we can.  The answer is almost always - YES.  And most of us have a time in mind, which we realize afterwards was silly.  That being said, I think most of us can run a 4 to 4 1//2 hour marathon, even with a suboptimal training schedule.  

                   

                  1st and foremost, you should enjoy your running.  If you really like doing your 1/2 marathons, then do it.

                   

                  2nd, most of us can finish a marathon, it is just how long and how comfortable it will be.  You could probably run/walk and complete it in 6 hours, but I don't think that would be fun.  

                   

                  3rd  For novices, anything you add to your training will likely be helpful.  The concept of training paces and time/distance is probably not as clear cut as once thought.  Here is a link that discusses this.  (Steve Magness).  The key to training is to stress your running body enough to have benefit, but not enough to cause too long of a recovery or to increase the risk of injury.  Since the OP has been running the same amount and pace, she is not improving because there is not enough stress.  In novices, we can improve by adding miles, fast paces such as fartleks, tempo runs, etc.  

                   

                  4th  The hardest thing for novices is pace control.  We either start too fast because we over estimate our ability or do not accommodate for weather, or our pace varies too much even on flat, no wind terrains.  The time difference in 5K, 10K, half etc races don't really reflect our ability as much as our ability to control pace and be confident in that pacing.

                   

                  Lastly, if you want to improve the most, I agree that a training program that adapts to your ability and performance is the way to go.  I have been following a running program from Running-Wizard, which I like a lot.  

                  2012 Goals:

                  Stay healthy, stay running

                  Lose those extra pounds 


                  Queen of 3rd Place

                       I have been following a running program from Running-Wizard, which I like a lot.  

                     

                    I should mention that Running-Wizard is "Nobby's program" that I referred to earlier.

                    Ex runner

                    ud32


                      From a Beginner, another perspective.........  I have been following a running program from Running-Wizard, which I like a lot.  

                       

                      Same here - the RW program is the first time I felt like I've had a coach since High School. Thumbs up!

                        Thanks for all the recommendations for Running Wizard--I will check it out!

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