>General Running>? on training for first full
So I am about 7 weeks into a a 16 week training program and all was going pretty well. I am slow, 11:15 - 11:30ish pace. This week I noticed that I am feeling very tired and sluggish and really struggled to complete my 12 mile run today. The conditions here have been terrible, snow, ice, wind, cold but I have managed to get almost all my runs in. Only missed one last week do to traveling. My question is, is it normal to feel horrible towards the end of your long run? The longest I have ever run is a half, last april. I am looking at a 15 mile run next weekend and I am not sure that is possible at this point and really questioning if I am ready to take on the full, or should I drop back to the half again. Any thoughts?
Queen of 3rd Place
You had a sudden, large increase in mileage this last week, from several weeks of low to mid-20 mpw to 33, why? That would explain your tough week. Also, you don't really have enough miles during the week to support those long runs. What does the rest of your 16 week training plan look like?
Feeling the growl again
Your marathon experience will be much better if you wait until you can comfortably run about double the mileage you have been averaging.
"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
I agree with ariahile-- the increase from ~25-33 mpw in one week is probably the culprit for your increased tiredness.
Everyone has a bad run sometimes. Two weeks ago I cut a 20 miler short at mile 8 because of weather conditions and just generally feeling terrible. That doesn't necessarily mean anything; I had run 18.5 a week before and I ran 20 a week later without issues-- sometimes a bad run is just a bad run.
That said, in this case, I think your mileage is a little low to support 12 mile long runs, and it's not surprising that you wouldn't be feeling good at the end of one considering that this is basically (other than your half) the furthest you've ever gone. And I'm not sure why your plan would have you increasing from 12 to 15 in one week-- that's a little much by most standards. If you're not feeling pretty good at the end of mile 12, I doubt that you're going to be feeling good at the end of mile 15 next week.
Remember that a 16-week training plan isn't really 16 weeks-- it's usually 13 weeks plus a 3 week taper. That means that you're more than halfway through, and you only have 6 weeks to gain all the necessary fitness to run the distance you just ran, and then run it again, and then run two more miles.
I don't think it's your fault that you're short on mileage; I believe that you're doing what the plan calls for with the expectation that it would prepare you to run a marathon. I am just not really a fan of these beginner plans that (IMHO) basically prepare you to run 20 miles at a comfortable pace and then walk/jog the last 6.2 in pain. I think you will most likely have the ability to complete the marathon in 9 weeks, but I doubt that it will be particularly pleasant. If I were you I would probably wait a week or two if you can and see how your long runs go; if today was a fluke and your other long runs go just fine, stick with the full distance. If you feel the same way next week and the week after, drop down to the half. That said, if you decide you want to wait and go into your first marathon more prepared, I think that would be a fine decision also. Think about starting your training around 30-35 (or more) mpw, not just having that be where you end up.
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You also had a large jump in overall volume 2 months ago (or maybe that was return to normal volume after a recovery period). You ran 5 days in a row - vs at most 3 days in a row. Also, if you're running in snow, that can take a lot out of you. I usually train by time when dealing with snow. (I was on reasonably plowed asphalt a couple days ago, then snowshoe-packed a trail yesterday. Same duration but very different mileage.)
And your next long run is a jump of 25% (12mi to 15mi)? No cutback weeks?
I agree with meaghansketch's comment about some beginner programs have huge jumps in mileage that may not be supported by the earlier weeks of the program. (this is a reason I've never used a canned pgm)
Any long run, heck any run, can feel bad. Sometimes it's a bump in the road, but sometimes it's your body talking to you.
Sometimes it can be a bump in the road due to your body not being used to training. Take a day off and see how you feel.
My run today sucked and I attributed it to the fact that I had been over training. I came in and decided to rest and try it again next week.
Some days will just be bad days. You can bounce back the same week, feel great, and wonder what the problem was. Don't think about throwing in the towel because of one bad run. If you're in a marathon training cycle you're bound to be tired or not fully recovered from a previous run. Your body is adapting to conserve and process fuel more efficiently. Be sure to bring a few calories or small snack with you on longer runs, this could be part of the issue. If it's a mental thing with the weather or short days you might try to knock out your long run on a treadmill at least once. As bad as it sounds, it can be a real game changer from time to time when training through the winter months.
Back when my base was 20 miles per week, I could do a 10 mile long run. I tried a 13 mile long run, and walked the last two miles. When my base was 30 miles per week, I could do a 12 mile long run, but not longer. I tried a 20 mile long run on a 30 mile per week base. The last 7 miles was a death march.
When my base was 45 mile per week, a 20 mile long run was merely tedious with sore feet at the end.
When I refer to doing a long run, I mean starting out at a training pace and maintaining that pace to the end. It will be more difficult toward the end, but still well below race effort.
Your experience points toward a good half marathon. Just cap your long runs at 10 to 11 miles. Like Spaniel said, you really need about double the base mileage.
Let me clearify a few thing, the plan I am using is through a local running shop and is a group training program. My miles last week were off by 4 because I did skip one run because I was on vacation and flying that day. I have run all the other days. Every fourth week is a down week. Next week is supposed to be a down week and while the daily runs are less, they jumped the long run up. Not sure why, other than they have a 1/2 scheduled the following week (that they sponsor) and have included that in the plan. If next weeks was less miles on the long, then the 1/2 the next week, we would have a huge jump the following week. I think at least that is why they did that.
I think runners here say that your long run should be no more than 20 or 30% of you weekly mileage, something like that. And don't attempt a marathon until your miles get up to 35, 40 or more a week. I didn't do either of those things for my first marathon- ran it slowly and had fun. Came in in the middle of my age group. I'll never be competative or get good times, but it is possible- as Rose's Revenge says- Don't get hurt, have fun, don't come in last. You can look back at my 2008 log if you want to see details. You will also catch hell from real marathon runners.
I think at least that is why they did that.
This sentence really jumped out at me. If you're committed to following their plan, don't be at all hesitant to ask them questions. Find out why they did that. There might be solid reasoning behind what they're prescribing that you agree with, there might not, but if you don't ask, you'll never know. Better to be informed than to follow blindly, and if the reasoning is solid I'm sure they'd be happy to break it down for you. It's their training plan, but it's your training.
I changed this, and you noticed. Hurray for us!
You also jumped the interval distance from 4 miles to 5 AS WELL AS increasing the long run distance quite a bit (7-->7-->9-->10-->12-->15). It seems to me that you're actually doing all the deadly combination that you shouldn't be doing all at once. If you weren't feeling tired and worn out, there's something wrong with you. Don't do things because you think it's necessary. Do things that you can do comfortably and let the progress come to you naturally.
Glad to report the 15 miler went pretty well today. Did great through 12 miles. At 13 things got a little rough. My running partner and I just kept pushing through and got it done. No where near as hard as last week's 12 miler. Did things a little different with my nutrition this week. Not sure if that's what made the difference but I will take it.
well the latest update is not good... had a slight pain on the top of my foot for a
couple of weeks. the training group I'm in has a physical therapist there and I went to him. he thought it might be a stress fracture. went to sports med Dr yesterday and I have TWO stress fractures! luckily it was caught early and she thinks I should still be able to run at least a half on race day. stinks that I can't run the full but just hoping to heal quickly so I can get back to running.
Too late to the thread to be of any help, but best of luck with the recovery! Frustrating to lay off, but better a small layoff now than a big one later.
That said...two stress fractures and still cleared to run a half? That seems...surprising. But I'm certainly in no position to second-guess a trained sports medicine doc.
"God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people