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Where do I go from here? (Read 913 times)

    Folks, I'm pleased to say I've now completed my racing goals for this year after starting from absolutely nothing in January. I've run a 10k. I've run two 1/2 marathons, Great Scottish and Great North Runs posting 2:03 and 2:04 respectively. I've lost 30lbs in weight and don't smoke 30 a day anymore. and................. I've now entered a FULL MARATHON!!!!! Surprised Shocked It's in May '07 which gives me plenty time. But! I'm feeling a bit like I did when I entered the halfs this year. A kind of "How am I going to do that?" feeling. From a mental point of view I know I can put it together (despite the aches, pains and mental battles of yesterdays half being fresh in my mind), I just look on it as another unknown that I need to learn and conquer. It's more from a training perspective. I am where I am now and I feel my biggest weakness is my leg strength which I plan to tackle with more hill/trail/speed stuff through winter if this is a good plan?? My main questions though are; with the time I now have how do I now approach the step-up in distance? Should I maintain/ ease off / increase my distances in the short term? Should I work toward an incremental program for the final couple of months as you see described in magazines? Should I keep up my long running? I need to train 'smart' as I train no more than 3 times a week for family reasons. Can anyone advise? FC Smile


    Needs more cowbell!

      I have no advice, but I can't wait to see what others advise. I am also contemplating a full marathon in a year or two, assuming that my upcoming HM and next Spring's 25k go well for me (I have to wait until my son is in school full days to be able to devote enough training time to that event, too). Good luck to you! I'd say you're well on your way to being up to the challenge! Big grin k

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        Hi, Keith! Congrats on finishing all your goals for the year! Awesome job! Are you logging all your runs? When I looked at your log to see where you were coming from it looked like you're running once, sometimes twice a week, and those are pretty much all long runs. Is that right? I'm still working towards my first HM, but it seems to me that your first priority would be getting in the habit of running three times/wk if that's going to be what you plan on doing your marathon training at. Good luck and keep on running! Janell

        Roads were made for journeys...

        bas


          I need to train 'smart' as I train no more than 3 times a week for family reasons.
          As you need to train 'smart' you might try RW's 'smart coach' program. Smile Good for you to take the plunge! I'm definitely not ready for that yet - if I ever will be. Half marathon is max for now... bas

          52° 21' North, 4° 52' East

            You can - and you will - do this. If you can run a 2 hour half-marathon, you can probably already complete a marathon. The basics: 1) Give yourself a couple weeks of very gentle every other day running to recover from the half. 2) As somebody else noted, commit yourself to three runs a week, every week. That's one medium distance moderate pace maintenance run, one day of speed work mid-week (that's OPTIONAL though! You could make it another easy run), and one long run, starting once a week, then once every other week once it gets longer. 3) Start with 4 weeks of hill work to strengthen your legs for marathon training. Find a gentle 3-4% slope at least 200 yards long, and run up it at 10-k pace. Walk down slow. Repeat that 3-4 times. Do it once a week - and don't do any speed work yet. Make the long runs not too long ... 10 miles maybe. 4) When you're 4-6 months from the marathon date, pick a program. Pick *ONE* program and stick with it. I'm pasting some links below. I'd pick Galloway, but I'm biased. Daniels or Higdon would be good, too. Just make sure you pick one, and don't mix and match. Galloway has a *great* 3-day a week "to finish" plan. 5) Do *NOT* set a time goal. You'll be tempted. Don't do it. Forget time. Your goal should be to finish healthy and strong, and have a blast doing it. (But you'll almost certainly ignore that advice, and next summer you'll tell me I was right. Wink) 6) Your weekly maintanance run one day a week shouldn't be longer than an hour, and shouldn't be run any faster than 30-60 seconds slower than you could run it if you were really trying. For you, I'd run it at about 10:00 pace. 6-7 miles. 7) If you want, you can make the other mid-week run speed work. It is *not* necessary. The long run is the bread and butter, the one that will make you finish. The speed work might make you finish faster and stronger - but it might also lead to injury. Or you might hate it. Have I stressed enough that this is optional?! But if you *do* decide to do it, you should probably run mile repeats. Start with maybe 4 mile repeats, and walk a full lap between each. Don't run them any faster than 20-30 seconds faster than your estimated marathon time. It will *hurt* you and make you slower if you run them faster. Each week, add another mile if you want. I'd stop adding miles around 8 if I were you. If you want, you could run shorter repeats at a similar pace - I love 800s. But all the experts will tell you mile repeats is the way to go. But again - not too fast! 8) And then the long run - the important part. (Note however: you MUST do the other two runs, too. I learned the hard way that going long once or twice a week does not work!). Start at maybe 8-10 miles once a week. Add a mile every week or two. When you hit around 13 miles, skip each week. In other words, make the long run every other week. On weekends when you don't have a long run, run a 5-k race. Or just a gentle run. Your long runs should be SLOWER than your mid-week runs. 1:00-2:00 minutes slower than race pace. And I am a big, big believer in walk breaks on long runs. I usually walk a minute per mile; sometimes a minute per five minutes. It works. You'll recover faster, you'll get the same aerobic benefit, and you won't get injured. 9) When that long run hits 18-20 miles, you might want to start doing them every three weeks. Then it gets debatable: some experts argue that you should stop at 20 miles; others suggest 23 miles; Galloway suggests going beyond marathon distance and doing a very gentle 28-29 miler. It is nice to go the distance in training and prove you can do it. Personally, I stopped last time at 23 miles. 10) TAPER, TAPER, TAPER: I'm capitalizing here because I screwed this up big time on my last marathon. 3-4 weeks before the run, you'll start cutting back on mileage, eliminating the speed work and long run, and lowering mileage. Whatever your program says to do while you taper, LISTEN to them. Trust me. I didn't, and paid. Even if you screw up the rest of your program, you'll be well served if you get the taper right. And as strange as it sounds, it doesn't seem to help to not run at all the week before your marathon. You'll probably do a couple light 3 milers or something. You'll feel better if you do. 11) More advice based on my own screw-up: do *not* freak out about the carb loading and do not change your diet in the last week before the run. Eat lightly, eat normally, maybe emphasize carbs a bit. I can attest to the fact that having pasta seven days in a row only leads to a sodium imbalance and interesting hallucinations on race day. Again, all the programs will cover this. 12) Race day! Piece of cake. Just keep in mind that unlike a half marathon, there'll be some pain involved. Marathoners like to say that the race has 2 halves - the first 20 miles and the last 6 - and they're right. So save a lot of energy for that last 6-8 miles. Don't be freaked when your feet feel like they're being stabbed. You'll live. Best advice - and you'll here it a lot, and probably ignore this, too! - go out SLOW. Start a good 30 seconds slower than race pace. WALK when you feel like it. WALK through the aid stations. You'll end up running faster if you do all of the above. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Good luck! Here's a few links you might find useful; the basic Galloway and Higdon plans are in there: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon.html http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/Mar00novice.htm http://www.dcroadrunners.org/track/marathon02.htm http://www.marathonguide.com/training/index.cfm http://walking.about.com/cs/beginners/l/blhowmarsched.htm http://www.myjjk.com/viewtopic.php?t=1527 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- P.S. Practice your food and hydration strategy on your long runs. Don't do anything on race day you haven't tried in training. Personally, I stay away from water and drink Gatorade. You might want to experiment with salt tablets, too. There are whole book on those topics, but the main thing is to learn what works for you *before* marathon day. P.P.S. Check out your race at http://www.marathonguide.com and learn all you can about the course, the hills, the crowd, and the aid station support. Other people's reviews are really helpful. P.P.P.S. GOOD LUCK!
            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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              By the way .... where do you live in Scotland?
              E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                Wow! There's alot to take in there!! OK. Let me start by saying thank you all for your encouragement and supportive words. I have to agree with yourself Janell and you Jake; I've got to run more regularly (3 a week) to make this step up. It's been one of the hardest things for me to achieve so far. Not because of lack of motivation but probably because I don't plan my runs very well and with the little fella now on the scene most things need to be planned as I'm sure you know. So that's my action to take. I had managed it earlier on in my training but had backed off when my calf muscle decided to grumble for a few weeks. I never picked it back up after that. Anyway, Cheers! Jake, Thankyou for taking the time to give me such a full response. It's all good stuff! And stuff I hadn't thought of or didn't know Cool One thing in particular that I'd like to comment on is the goal time thing. I think as a beginner this is absolutely spot-on advice. Maybe further down the line I might take a renewed interest but for now this is great advice and I'd urge anybody new to do the same. My first HM I was taking splits and speeding up/ slowing down, all with a sub 2-hour in mind. What a waste of time (pardon the pun!). Second HM I still would have liked to break 2 hours but forgot about the splits, pressed START on the stop watch and didin't pay too much attention to it until I was pressing STOP. I enjoyed my race much more than my first and knew that I'd run far better than in Glasgow (a minute slower but much tougher course). As your quote says "You don't run against abloody stop watch..................." There is a time and place for splits etc. and I don't think it's in the first couple of races one runs. So with that in mind, absolutely I shall have an aspiration of a time next year but I ain't gonna be stressing about it, nor taking splits etc. I can do that some other time right? 26 miles; I've just got to get round it. Anything else is a bonus. OK! Cheers for now, And thanks again Big grin FC PS. By the way am in Aberdeen. A good place for Fish & Chips and other such 'energy' foods as Zoom-Zoom will testify!!


                Needs more cowbell!

                  PS. By the way am in Aberdeen. A good place for Fish & Chips and other such 'energy' foods as Zoom-Zoom will testify!!
                  *nods vigorously* I miss that place... Smile k

                  I shoot pretty things! ~

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                  Scout7


                  CPT Curmudgeon

                    3 days a week.....You might want to look into the FIRST program. I think it focuses on 3 workouts a week. http://www.furman.edu/first/
                      Jake, Thankyou for taking the time to give me such a full response. ................ PS. By the way am in Aberdeen. A good place for Fish & Chips and other such 'energy' foods as Zoom-Zoom will testify!!
                      No problem. I type very, very fast. Cool Definitely get it to 3 days a week. I've read several studies that point out that there is an arch to how much you improve that correlates to how many days a week you train. The line is flat - takes a huge jump on days 3-4 - then goes flat again; and your likelihood of injury increases exponentially after 4-5 days a week of training. In other words: 1 day does just about nothing. 2 days doesn't do much more. But then there's a huge jump on day three, and a decent jump on day 4. After day 4 .... each day's training doesn't improve fitness much. Running 6-7 days a week seems pointless unless you're trying to win a gold medal. The point is - get to day 3. No matter what. Run every third day if you want. It's actually not a bad idea. You could run harder and longer on your training days, and get better rest in between. Higdon and Galloway both have 3 day marathon programs. As for the time thing ... well, my current fastest marathon (which ain't fast!) was the only one I ran that didn't have a watch on my wrist. My last - and worst - marathon, I had one of those stupid pace charts on my arm, I was worrying about pace at each mile .... It was miserable. And didn't help. My next marathon, I'm starting slow and having fun. And I'll bet a bottle of Glenmorangie that I finally break 4:00 because of it. -------------------------------------------------------------- Speaking of Scotland: I was actually stationed at RAF Edzell for 3 years (1992-1995). If you don't know it, it's near Brechin or Montrose, just about halfway between Aberdeen and Dundee. My ex and I actually lived in Forfar, so I got to Dundee a lot more often than I got to Aberdeen. In fact, the *last* time I was halfway serious about running was when I lived there ... running those green hills, with the sun still shining at 10:00 p.m., was remarkable ... is there local marathon? I'd love to go back and use a marathon as an excuse ... !
                      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                      Needs more cowbell!

                        ... is there local marathon? I'd love to go back and use a marathon as an excuse ... !
                        Hmmm...now there's some incentive to train for a full marathon--include it as part of a trip to Scotland! Man, I'll bet I could get my DH interested in that idea! k

                        I shoot pretty things! ~

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                          Running 6-7 days a week seems pointless unless you're trying to win a gold medal.
                          I was trying to find some way to agree with this statement while also disagreeing, but I couldn't come up with one. This is just plain wrong. There are lots of good reasons to run 6 or 7 days a week, not the least of which is to become a faster runner. Running mileage 6 or 7 days a week, if you've built up to it intelligently, will not get you injured but it will improve your aerobic base and make you a faster distance runner. In fact my experience has been that almost no amount of mileage on its own will get you injured. Fatigued, maybe. Too much speed--or more speed than you are ready to handle--on the other hand, gets you injured. Also things like trying to time trial a 5k, 5-miler and 10k on consecutive days off of a 30-mile per week base will usually get you injured.

                          Runners run.

                            There aren't many marathons to be had as far as I can see, however we do have a couple of choice ones! Edinburgh Marathon- 27th May, is the one I'm going for. If you want historical sights and ambience this is the place!! Loch Ness Marathon- this year it was 1st October, don't know the date for 2007 but apparently they bus you from Inverness to the end of the Loch and you run back to the city- Cool Of course it does tend to generate a few PB's 'cos you've got to run away from the monster Clowning around