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Training for my first Marathon - Advice Please (Read 2302 times)


Climbing Mt Ruapehu

    Hi folks

     

    I am now just a touch over 3 months away from my first marathon at the age of 40.  I am not an experienced runner and have only really given the 5km a bash in a series and only have a a couple of half marathons under my belt both run last year.  My last 2 months have been about "training to train", getting the body equipped to hit the rigors of a programme proper.  My log is open for all to have a look.

     

    Up until now I have built my loose programme around a few ideas:

    1) Slowing my training pace down (I used to train at a 'magnificent' speed). Easy runs at 5:00-5:30 per km

    2) Slowly work my weekly mileage up to avoid injury (have operated really a monthly milage target so far)

    3) Every 2 weeks do a good long run <>30km at a comfortable pace

    4) Turn my sub 10km runs into 10km runs where possible

    5) Train on trails especially after a long run for recovery

    6) Allow myself only one either interval or up tempo run or one harder hill run a week, the rest easy pace flat or rolling

    7) Eat and sleep!

     

    I am now looking to put in place a more detailed plan leading up to Oct 31 race day

     

    I am also struggling with the idea of setting a time goal which obviously then I would set a race plan around. Any general advice on training/running a marathon greatly appreciated.  Any tailored tid bits thrown this way will be gobbled up

     

    Thanks!!

    Personal Race Records:

    M 3:52:48 (Auckland 2011), HM 1:38:16 (Taupo 2010), 10km 45:05 (Sir Barry 2010), 5km 20:21 (How Pak 5km 2010)

     

    2012 Goals:
    Run the 75km Hillary Trail in a day (done 10/3/2012)


    Consistently Slow

      Your present training looks good. Just keep adding miles to the the long run. My log has a 12 week training plan you are welcome to use as a guide. Pete Pfitzinge up to 55 plan.  I did adjust the plan. Since you only have 12 weeks I would go with  tempo runs( need to pick a goal time)  and mileage build up.

      Based on your HM time1:38:18  RA predictor 3:27:45**7:56 pace.Be conservative and go with 8:20 pace/ 3:40:00

      Run until the trail runs out.

      2014***1500 miles

      50 miler 13:26:18

      Race Less Train More

       

      Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

      "The Marble in The Groove"

       

      unsolicited chatter

      http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

      Scout7


      CPT Curmudgeon

        Well, firstly, I think the training plan you implement should be a reflection of you as a person, your goals, and your life.  Do you thrive on structure, on knowing what you are doing every day, or do you prefer a little looseness, where you have an idea of what to do that week, but the order, the details, aren't real important?

         

        What you have been doing seems perfectly fine to me, and I would say that you could continue with what you've been doing and be successful.

         

        As for a goal time....  I wouldn't focus on that right now.  Your goal is to finish, and to be honest, I do not generally advocate for selecting a goal time for a race; your training will dictate what is a realistic goal time.  Use your long runs to learn how to manage your effort properly over extended periods of time, and to determine what's realistic for a finishing time in a race situation.

          +1 on what Scout said about a time goal.  I think the race should be a gauge of your progress, rather than trying to twist your training to hit some arbitrary number.

          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

             

            As for a goal time....  I wouldn't focus on that right now.  Your goal is to finish, and to be honest, I do not generally advocate for selecting a goal time for a race; your training will dictate what is a realistic goal time.  Use your long runs to learn how to manage your effort properly over extended periods of time, and to determine what's realistic for a finishing time in a race situation.

            From my first (and only) marathon experience,  I'd add about 10 minutes to the finish time that you come up with as being realistic.  I really though I was on pace until the last 6 miles, the pace slowed down a bit, walked a bit more than I wanted to, shoe laces came untied (at mile 22 and mile 24 I am not kidding, and it takes longer than what you expect to tie a shoe lace at that point) etc.

              Why not pick a goal time now? Or at least a range. For me, it helped picking several goals. Sometimes you acompish your goals, sometimes you dont. Thats just life. My biggest issue was adding strength and miles per week, not so much speed. So training amounted to being able to safely add miles every week. 

               

              A 30k long run does seem really long. But, whatever, as long as you dont have to skip a hard day or feel too bad after, its not so awful. I think the general rule is the long run is 15-20% of your weekly total.  Last, the best workouts I had were the progression runs. Being able to do something hard at the end of a workout is harder than it sounds. Its hard to run 17-20 miles, but to close with a tempo effort can be great fun.

               

              The whole marathon thing, for me, was one big experiment. Learning about your body and being able to read what you can and can not do on any day / week is very difficult. Knowing when to pull back on training might be the hardest lesson.

              Dont call it a comeback

              Scout7


              CPT Curmudgeon

                Why not pick a goal time now? Or at least a range. For me, it helped picking several goals. Sometimes you acompish your goals, sometimes you dont. Thats just life.

                 

                I would argue against picking a goal time now because there is a lack of basic self-knowledge at this point to be able to pick a reasonable goal.

                 

                Missing a goal is one thing.  Picking an arbitrary goal with no basis behind it is something else entirely.

                  His log is long and includes two separate half marathons last year. He was doing 25-28 mile weeks and knocked out a half in 1 hr 38 min. 

                   

                  Vino, what time do you think is reasonable? 

                  Dont call it a comeback

                  Scout7


                  CPT Curmudgeon

                    His log is long and includes two separate half marathons last year. He was doing 25-28 mile weeks and knocked out a half in 1 hr 38 min. 

                     

                    Vino, what time do you think is reasonable? 

                     

                     

                    And he says this is his first marathon and is not an experienced runner.

                     

                    Goal times may work great for some, but as someone else mentioned, I would be concerned about setting one so early and warping training to try to get a goal, rather than letting the training dictate the goal time.

                     

                    And the race is 3 months away....  Lots of time to develop a goal.


                    Consistently Slow


                      And the race is 3 months away....  Lots of time to develop a goal.

                       12 weeks. Not long.At  age 40  I finish my 1st marathon in 3:46 xx and I was injured from over-training.18 months of hard training. No pain No gain( hanging with the wrong crowd). His 10k was and still is my PR at the time.I think he should pick a goal time.

                       

                      1:47 for the 1st half--1:53 2nd half 3:40 finish.

                      Based on his HM time1:38:18  RA predictor 3:27:45**7:56 pace.Be conservative and go with 8:20 pace/ 3:40:00

                       

                      PS: No matter what you decided. Enjoy the run above all else.My most memorable marathon was a 5:45: xx with a friend for her 50th birthday.

                      Run until the trail runs out.

                      2014***1500 miles

                      50 miler 13:26:18

                      Race Less Train More

                       

                      Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                      "The Marble in The Groove"

                       

                      unsolicited chatter

                      http://bkclay.blogspot.com/


                      HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                        And he says this is his first marathon and is not an experienced runner.

                         

                        Goal times may work great for some, but as someone else mentioned, ..

                         

                        I'm sure they work great for some. I was happier to do my first just to finish. Part of it may have been that I was afraid of the distance -- of the unknown -- the first time.

                         

                        (Same thing was true of my first 50K and first 50M.)

                         

                        Second time was different -- not dauntingly unknown anymore.

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

                          In my experience, you are either the type of person that generally sets time goals for most races or are not.  If you are not, there is nothing wrong with this.  If you are, this can be good too, but you have to be realistic.  I do not recommend that you pick a time goal just because someone tells you that you should.  Your heart most likely will not be in it, and it could cause you to completely fail your goal, rather than simply being happy to finish.


                          Climbing Mt Ruapehu

                            Thanks for the advice so far.

                             

                            Time goal for me is more about race planning. chunking up the race. eg with my half marathons my half way point target was 47:30.  I think I would have a 10.5,21.0 and 31.5km split target and a full course target. All relate to each other of course

                             

                            I am not running as fast as I was last year.  5km I struggle to get into the 21's now and I would suggest a 1:38 half marathon could be out of my reach at the mo (though I may surprise myself). I used to be able to knock out 4:45/km easily on a 18-20km run.  I think I would really struggle to do that now.  Part the reason I decided to step up to full marathon - a guaranteed PB for me I have however increased my aerobic fitness and can handle more km's, recover quicker etc.

                             

                            Now I realise I will soon whack a few more strength speed workouts into the routine but I am not expecting to be as sharp as I was last year.  So maybe count my HM time as more like 1:42 now.

                             

                            At the moment I am thinking on a good day I could perhaps look at 3:40 - 3:45 if all goes well

                             

                            The Auckland course is hilly for the first half but basically flat as a pancake for the last 25km.  There is a good chance though that the last 10km will be into the teeth of a prevailing westerly wind so tactics may depend on weather forecast and the day (hoping for a day like they had last year which was God given perfect conditions overcast cool calm)

                             

                            So thoughts are a conservative start and ratchet it up on the flat.  I have a friend (3:30 marathons) who easily negative splits this course and is encouraging me to adopt a similar strategy. Perhaps 1:48-1:52 first half then see what can be done after that.  The second half of the course I know extremely well and have trained hundreds of km's on it. If I have energy left to burn it would be ideal for the type of runner I am (a bit of a flat track tall lanky tick it along pony)

                            Personal Race Records:

                            M 3:52:48 (Auckland 2011), HM 1:38:16 (Taupo 2010), 10km 45:05 (Sir Barry 2010), 5km 20:21 (How Pak 5km 2010)

                             

                            2012 Goals:
                            Run the 75km Hillary Trail in a day (done 10/3/2012)

                              I think the general rule is the long run is 15-20% of your weekly total.

                               

                              Parklife - does this apply at all mileages or only at higher mileages (say 100kms per week or more?).

                               

                              I am trying to get into the habit of running 50km weeks consistently before upping the mileage, but during the weekends i try to get in a run anywhere between 16km to 20kms or so. Thats more like 30%-40%.

                              I dont sweat. I ooze liquid awesome.

                              Julia1971


                                I like the idea of setting a time goal more than the idea of going in wanting to reverse split the course.   Sub-3:45 doesn't sound all that unreasonable to me (my race times were similar to yours for my first marathon and I ran a sub-3:40 on a course that I'm guessing is less hilly on about 50 mpw).  And, there's no reason why you can't change that goal the closer you get to race day.  I know I changed my goal time about 2 or 3 times for my first - not widely, but 5 or 10 minutes up and down based on training, races, and feedback from other people. 

                                 

                                But, I think it's really hard to reverse split a marathon.  This is not to say you can't do it - I'm not one to tell someone else their limitations and maybe the hilliness of the first half of this marathon is a game changer.  But, I think you could be setting yourself up for some disappointment.  I would advise something like planning on even halves going in, but letting yourself pick things up after Mile 22/23 if you feel like it.  (You may want to also look at last years results and see how many people actually reverse split.  It may give you a sense for how big a difference the elevation change/wind made for the field vs. your friend).

                                Run the mile you are in.

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