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Marathon for novice? (Read 1544 times)

aditya83


    Hi,

     

    I've been running for the past 8 or 9 months now (since Nov 2011) and have seen a great improvement in my running capacity. When I started out, I could hardly run for 10 or 15 minutes without getting breathless and having to stop. Last Sunday, I ran for about 90 minutes and covered about 12 kms. My current weekly mileage is about 35 kms (275 minutes). I train in Mumbai (India) where the temperature is close to 30 C (80 F) with humidity of 90% and I take it really slow - as you can see my average pace is about 7.5 minutes per km.

     

    I am following Tim Noakes' "Beginner's Marathon Plan" and have completed 13 weeks out of the total 26 weeks. I am running my first HM in Delhi on 30 September. I am fairly confident of being able to complete the race comfortably and injury free, although I haven't set a time target for myself. My estimate on current pace is that it should take more than 2h 30m for the race.

     

    I have 2 questions:

    1. I am debating if I should register for the Mumbai Full Marathon (20 Jan 2013). The only goal will be to finish the training and marathon injury free. I know the best advice would be to take it slow and go for the 2014 edition, but running a full is something I really want to do!
    2. The longest run in my training schedule is only for 150 minutes and that too in week 23. Given my slow pace, would this schedule be appropriate for me. I don't think I will be able to cover more than 20 kms in 150 mins. Is that good enough as the longest run in a FM training schedule?

    You can see the full training schedule here

     

    Thanks!


    an amazing likeness

      Why don't you run the half marathon first and see how you do with the 21KM before moving on?  You really aren't running that much of a base at this time, and don't have a lot of time building that small base.

       

      Now, I have no doubt that you (and any reasonable fit person) could complete the 26.2 miles, but how miserable of an experience do you want?

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

      JML


        I will take a stab at your first question.  The only regret that I have about starting running again after an 18 year break is that I should have taken more time before I ran my first full Marathon.    I went from beginner to Marathon in about 11 months with only one half marathon at about month 5.  I wish that I had taken the time to get a few more years of running under my belt before I tackled the marathon.    My suggestion is  to run for two years before you ramp up for a marathon with some shorter races sprinkled in along the way.   You will learn more about how to run long and develop a good base to build on. 

         

        After two marathons, I am now focusing on half marathons for a while for the express purpose of improving my base.  More miles over a longer period will make for a better marathon experience.  Don't rush it and enjoy the journey.

         

        Good luck,

         

        Jon

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


        Feeling the growl again

          Why the rush to the marathon?  I know you really want to do it, but why so quickly?  Would you not rather give yourself time to really prepare for it, gain experience, and learn yourself well enough to really do it some justice?

           

          I had been running for 10 years before I ran a marathon.  I don't regret that it took that long at all.  Nor am I recommending you take that long.  but get a good track record in shorter records, learn yourself better, and train until "not getting injured in the race" doesn't have to be one of your top concerns.

           

          Most able-bodies adults can FINISH a marathon if they want to.  The number of marathon finishers annually shows that this is not that big of a goal.  I'm not trying to belittle your desire at all, but rather give you some perspective.  The marathon is not the end-all, be-all of running.  Frankly, half marathons are twice as fun and a quarter the effort.  Why not work your way up?  2014 is a fine year for a marathon.

           

          Regarding training schedules -- I urge you to look up Hudson or Higdon.  Frankly I like some of the Hansons philosophy as well, though it is not as well known (less over-emphasis on the long run for slower runners).  The thing to understand is that is your mileage is low (yours is low), even if you plan on taking 5 hours to run the marathon, you can't be regularly running 3-4 hour long runs.  If a well-trained runner only runs 2-3 hours for long runs regularly, how can a very less-trained runner be doing 3-4 hours regularly?  They can't.  It forces them to spend too much energy on the long run at the expense of consistency and volume the rest of the week.

          "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

           

            If you want to do it then do it.  I went from not running at all to a full marathon in 9 months.  The last miles of that marathon were very, very hard but I learned a lot and, overall, had fun.  There is a sense of accomplishment that one gets from completing that distance the first time.  It's empowering. You don't get that feeling from shorter races.  For what it's worth, I used Hal Higdon's novice plan for that first marathon and it worked pretty well. Have fun.  

            aditya83


              Thanks for all your advice. I am grateful to benefit from the wealth of experience here at RA.

              I guess the reason I am looking forward to do the Full is that it will be a great result to show for all the training I've been doing. I realise that 35kms per week might not be much of a base for a marathon, but it's a big deal for me personally. I need some motivation for going out there 5 days a week and targetting to complete the Full is a perfect excuse! 

              I'll take MilkTruck's advice to run the Half in September and then it take it forward from there.


              Is it okay if I continue with my FM training schedule or should I switch to something specifically designed for the HM?

              Thanks.

                I know how you feel about the full, a lot of us here are kind of, you know, hooked on them. I went from not running 6 years ago to now be training for my 10th marathon in 5 years. I had signed up for the first to be only about 8 months into running and had a minor strain. I cut my plans to a half and was very happy about it in the long run (pun intended). No way was I ready for a full. My first came after about 1.5 years of running 6-7 days a week. I built up gradually. It depends also on whether you want to just survive the race, or run the race.

                 

                Increase your miles, build your base in a smart way. No rush. You can run 100 marathons if you start smart, or make it to none if you overdue it early on.

                 

                 

                 

                  I had a goal of not thinking of a marathon until I break 25 min for a 5K. I was about your pace when I started running, my 5K time being around 29 minutes.  Then ran a bunch of half marathons until finishing one was no longer an issue and I could run one next week if I had to, only then I started thinking about a marathon and even though my first marathon was supposedly one of the tougher courses out there, I finished it well, had fun and no issues with recovery. My process took about 4 years, not saying you should wait 4 years, but you'll really have a much better experience if you train properly and run the race well.

                   

                  That program you are trying to follow will probably work fine for someone who can run about 9-10 min mile pace (or about a 2 hour Half marathon),but at 12 min/miles your longest run like you say is only going to be 14 miles (20-21 KM) and how do you think you'd run another 20 + KM in the race.  Run that Half marathon and ask yourself if you can do that over again if you had to, if the answer is yes/maybe then start thinking about the Full, otherwise keep running until you get that answer.


                  Consistently Slow

                    The marathon starts at mile 20.

                    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/

                    aditya83


                      Thank you all for your advice. I am happy to report that after considering all the excellent advice here at RA, I’ve registered for the Mumbai Half Marathon. I recently raced a 10K and would appreciate your thoughts on a couple of issues I faced.

                       

                      10K Race Report:

                      This was a local race with manual timing and a field of about 500 runners. I’ve never raced before, so this was a new experience for me. I am reasonably satisfied with my time of 1h 10m 15s for the 10K, given that I would have taken closer to 1h 15m or 1h 20m at my training pace. However, I did face a few issues:

                       

                      1)      Finding out my pace: I started out way too slowly, even slower than my training pace for the first couple of kilometers (about 1 minuteper km slower). The idea was to achieve a negative split and make sure that I was strong enough for the finish, but I am not sure if this was required as I’ve finished this distance multiple times in training. As I picked up my pace around the middle of the race, I never managed to get a feel of my pace. Please note that I don’t have a Garmin – just a Casio stopwatch. The issue was that there were other runners who were passing me frequently and I too was passing other runners on my way and I found this a bit disorienting – was I running too fast or slow? Further, I practice in a neighborhood park and take laps – each lap is 1 Kms and hence I know my exact pace while I train but this was not possible in the run.

                       

                      2)      Did I push myself hard enough?: When I tried to push my pace, I would run out of breath and then take a walking break of 90 seconds or so. I wanted to go faster in the second half of the race, but couldn’t push myself as much as I wanted to. The race volunteers were a bit annoying (and I found this out later) as they would keep telling us that there are just 2 kms to go now for the last 4kms or so. I did suspect that something was wrong, but I guess couldn’t think too clearly with the race pressure and ended up sprinting much sooner than I should have. I soon got tired and then took a walk break and basically couldn’t pace myself with little idea of the distance left to finish the race. For the last 75 meters or so, I just sprinted like crazy and ran as fast as I possibly could. This left my heart pounding so hard that I thought it would just explode! But within the next 5 minutes or so I was OK.

                       

                      To summarize: I guess my issue was that I wanted to run a bit harder than my training pace but ended up running either too fast or too slow and after 15 or 20 minutes after the run felt that I didn’t push myself as hard as I could have.

                       

                      I am sorry if I’ve rambled on for too long but I wanted to be accurate and detailed about my experience at the race. Would appreciate your inputs / advice on the above points. Thanks for reading.

                        If you want to do it then do it.  I went from not running at all to a full marathon in 9 months.  The last miles of that marathon were very, very hard but I learned a lot and, overall, had fun.  There is a sense of accomplishment that one gets from completing that distance the first time.  It's empowering. You don't get that feeling from shorter races.  For what it's worth, I used Hal Higdon's novice plan for that first marathon and it worked pretty well. Have fun.  

                         This^^^ 4 years ago I went from not running to a Marathon in 11 months. Infact I ran the marathon distance twice in training and went 45km once in training. I ran a 2nd Marathon 3 weeks after my 1st. My time was 3:53:41. I was 54. Sure the longer you wait the faster you'll be but I understand the Getr done motivation.

                        "The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling." - Lucretius

                          Aditya, Congrats on your first race.  You'll remember this one for a long time.

                           

                          For your next race, if you don't already do so, practice some tempo running at close to your race pace, but much shorter length than an actual race.  i.e run a warm up of 2-3 KM, then slowly get up to your 10K race pace or a bit slower and hold for 3-4 KM (20-25 min), if you are getting out of breath slow down, but don't walk  You want to get familiar with that feeling of running hard, that it's OK to feel a little out of breath, and practice how to handle it. Then  finish with a 2-3 KM cool down back at your easy pace.  Do this at least once a week, and you'll see a lot of improvement soon.

                            Aditya, Congrats on your first race.  You'll remember this one for a long time.

                             

                            For your next race, if you don't already do so, practice some tempo running at close to your race pace, but much shorter length than an actual race.  i.e run a warm up of 2-3 KM, then slowly get up to your 10K race pace or a bit slower and hold for 3-4 KM (20-25 min), if you are getting out of breath slow down, but don't walk  You want to get familiar with that feeling of running hard, that it's OK to feel a little out of breath, and practice how to handle it. Then  finish with a 2-3 KM cool down back at your easy pace.  Do this at least once a week, and you'll see a lot of improvement soon.

                             This^^^^. The best way I learned how to recover from running too hard is by running long hills during training. Running long hills will give you confidence that you can recover from running a too fast a pace without having to stop. Just find a long hill and run up and down. You should be pretty well recovered by the time you reach the bottom then turn around and go back up again. Do it as many times as your fitness allows but I would think if you can handle 6 repeats of a 500 meter stretch, you'll have no problem recovering from too much exertion during a race. Pay attention to your breathing when it becomes loud you know to slow down.

                            "The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling." - Lucretius


                            Got Hills?

                              As you run in more races, the pacing will get easier.  You will begin to recognize how race pace feels - so you are running at a steady effort throughout the race.  Don't worry too much about passing others or others passing you - especially during the early miles of the race; run the race at your own pace.  Others will have their own fitness and strategies that may not match up with yours.  During the later part of the race, if you've paced yourself well, you will be able to try to pass runners and try to avoid being passed - it's good motivation for finishing strong.

                              "Not to touch the Earth, not to see the Sun, nothing left to do but run, run, run..."

                                When I tried to push my pace, I would run out of breath and then take a walking break of 90 seconds or so. I wanted to go faster in the second half of the race, but couldn’t push myself as much as I wanted to. 

                                 

                                Sounds like you had quite the learning experience.  You could benefit from tempo runs, where you run 3 to 4 km at a pace where you are breathing hard.  How hard is hard?  Hard enough that you do not want to talk, but not gasping for breath.  If you talk, it's one or two words.  The object of a tempo run is to maintain that effort level for the distance.  You can speed up or slow down, but no walk breaks.  Do that once a week, with the rest of your runs at an easier pace.  If you can average at least 30 to 35 km per week (more is better) between now and you half marathon, you will be ready.  

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