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How long before first marathon/pace advice (Read 147 times)

TNRetinaRunner


    Hi all.  I've been following the discussions for a few months, but this is my first post.  I'm very confident I'll find the guidance I need here.

     

    First, I'll say that as I'm new to RunningAhead, I have yet to master training data input, so I'll briefly explain my current situation.

    I've been running for about 5 months.  In those 5 months, I have shed about 20 lbs, and I currently tip the scales at 200.  I'm 5'9".

    I average 25-30 mpw.  My first long-distance race was the Charleston 1/2 marathon on January 19th which I completed in 1:57.  In training for the Charleston 1/2, I ran 3 training runs at race distance, besting previous times with each attempt (first run at HM distance was finished in 2:04:48 six wks before race day).  10 days ago, I ran 13.1 miles in 1:48 (however legitimate or not, as the route was not pre-determined and a few traffic stops were necessary, allowing me moments of brief rest).  4 days ago, I officially began marathon training as I upped my distance to 15.2 miles in an attempt to avoid growing too comfortable at the half marathon distance.  I finished the 15 miles in 2:11:57 for an avg pace of 8:41.

     

    With that out of the way, I have two questions.

     

    First, a coworker/ running friend suggested I wait a year before doing a marathon.  Reason being, my body will "continue to change" for the first year of running.  Is this a valid reason to avoid marathon training for now?  I guess I see some logic here.  I don't want to injure myself, but I also see logic in hoping that marathon training will catalyze some physical change.  After all, I do still weigh in at 200#.  I've caught the bug, and I don't want to temper my love of the sport arbitrarily.

     

    My second question is that of typical pace advice.  Say I throw caution to the wind and dive into a marathon training plan anyway, I'd like to know what kind of time I could reasonably and safely hope to achieve.  I've read the Hansons training plan, and I think I'd like to try it out.  Without any prescribed regimen for tempo or speed training, I've seen exponential and appreciable pace improvements in 5 months.  My current sweetspot for a long run is 8:10 for a sustainable but challenging tempo, and 8:45 for a comfortable, aerobic pace.  If I followed the plan with real devotion and increased my weekly miles, would it be feasible to train for a marathon at ~7 min/mile (necessary for a BQ) in the fall?  Or would it be a better idea to shoot for a less ambitious pace and try for the BQ at a later marathon?  I'm not yet in the tank for Boston.  I wouldn't presume to get there without paying my dues first, but I do have a friend that really wants for us to run it together, and I can't help thinking that would be pretty cool.

     

    Thanks all.  I hope this wasn't too long-winded.

    snapa55


      What are your other race PR's?

      5K: 18:43 (12/13) 10K: 42:50 (12/12) HM: 1:30:10 (3/14) M: 3:34:46 (5/14)

      TNRetinaRunner


        Well, unfortunately, the rest of the pool is pretty shallow otherwise.  I've only run 2 other 5k's, so I don't have a bunch of race experience.  My first 5k was run in 24:20.  My second one was done in the 25:35 range, and I consider that a more dependable number.  According to my watch, the first race was 1/5 mile short, and I'm inclined to believe that because it was not very well organized.  I wish I had some more stats to offer, but I took an early interest in the half marathon and didn't race a lot at shorter distances.


        Feeling the growl again

          First off, doing a 1:57 HM at 200lbs off only 5 months of training is quite an accomplishment.  You should be proud.

           

          That said, why the rush to a marathon?  You are rapidly progressing at shorter distances...you have plenty of improvement to go.  You have tons of experience to gain.  Why jump into that now?  There is nothing special about finishing a marathon, it's not a unique accomplishment anymore.  Why not wait until you are better trained, less likely to get injured in the process, and more experienced?

           

          FWIW I had been running 10 years before I did a marathon.  Now I don't necessarily recommend that but I was plenty happy with what I had to accomplish in those 10 years; there is more to running than marathons.

          "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

           


          A Saucy Wench

            With that out of the way, I have two questions.

             

            First, a coworker/ running friend suggested I wait a year before doing a marathon.  Reason being, my body will "continue to change" for the first year of running.  Is this a valid reason to avoid marathon training for now?  I guess I see some logic here.  I don't want to injure myself, but I also see logic in hoping that marathon training will catalyze some physical change.  After all, I do still weigh in at 200#.  I've caught the bug, and I don't want to temper my love of the sport arbitrarily.

             

            As someone who struggled/s with weight this alone would be enough for me to say , consider waiting.  Not across the board, but of the people I know who struggle with weight, the vast majority struggle MORE with marathon training.  There comes a point where the physical demands on the body start overriding your knowledge about how much food you can eat.  Probably 75% of the people in that category gain during marathon training.   Get to where you want to be before you start.  My 2 cents.

             

             


            I average 25-30 mpw.  My first long-distance race was the Charleston 1/2 marathon on January 19th which I completed in 1:57.  In training for the Charleston 1/2, I ran 3 training runs at race distance, besting previous times with each attempt (first run at HM distance was finished in 2:04:48 six wks before race day).  10 days ago, I ran 13.1 miles in 1:48 (however legitimate or not, as the route was not pre-determined and a few traffic stops were necessary, allowing me moments of brief rest).  4 days ago, I officially began marathon training as I upped my distance to 15.2 miles in an attempt to avoid growing too comfortable at the half marathon distance.  I finished the 15 miles in 2:11:57 for an avg pace of 8:41.

             

            Now on to this part. a) if you are currently averaging 25-30 mpw you have a lot of room to grow in this sport at any distance.  Pace predictions are entirely useless at this point.

             

            and b)  and then what.?  You are afraid that you'll grow too comfortable with halfs.  After a full a 50K?  then a 50 M then a 100M then a 24 hr?  I mean I know people who do that, but look for how to grow and challenge yourself at ANY distance.  again, you have loads of room to grow at the HM.  Trust me, PR'ing at a half is WAY more fun than bucket listing a marathon.

            I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

             

            "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

            ilanarama


            Hi, Mom!

              You really need to slow your training runs down.  You're new to running and improving a lot quickly, but in order to develop your aerobic endurance (which you will need for a marathon) and not injure yourself, you need to run at true easy pace.  Run another race - a 10K or half marathon - and that will help set appropriate training paces.  Alternatively, get yourself a heart rate monitor, do a field test to determine your max HR (don't use a formula), take your resting HR, and use the HR spreadsheet at http://mymarathonpace.com to keep your HR in the easy aerobic zone for most of your runs.

               

              Just to give you an example, my most recent marathon was 3:29 and my most recent half was 1:38, and I do most of my training runs around 9 minute miles.  Racing all your runs is not the way to improve, especially not with an endurance event like the marathon.

              Ilana is awesome. She lives in a cool place, drinks good beer, and runs hard. She should start a fucking lifestyle blog for chicks. - NC Runner

               

              PRs: 5K 21:03 (4/2012) 10K 43:06 (12/2011) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)

              Next up: Imogene Pass Run 9/6| bloggy stuff at http://ilanarama.dreamwidth.org

                For a 3:05 marathon (guessing that from your 7 min mile pace requirement), you may need a sub 19 min 5k, a sub 40 10K, or a sub 90 min HM.  As long as your speed is getting better why not work at those as short term goals and when you feel you have the pace, train for the full.

                 

                And I'd not try to race each of the long runs to see if you can beat previous week's time, that's a recipe for burnout or injury. Run a 5K or a 10K race best you can, plug that time into one of the many training pace calculators (one example is at http://www.mcmillanrunning.com) and follow those paces.  Each run has a purpose and would get you to your goal faster than racing every week.

                juniordo1


                   

                   

                  ... Trust me, PR'ing at a half is WAY more fun than bucket listing a marathon.

                   

                  +1, love the half!

                   

                  It took me 31 months and three injuries to get to the starting line of my first marathon. I had planned a marathon for the end of the 19th month of my running career. I was unable to run that marathon due to injury.  If memory serves, nobody here was surprised. As a newbie I had a hard time taking perfectly good advice.

                  2013 -Sub 2:00 for 1/2 marathon

                    There is all good advice here.  To add to that:

                     

                    1.  Grow your base.  Build up to 50 miles (or 8 hours) per week.

                    2.  Run long.  A weekly long run of 2-3 hours will yield significant improvements AND contribute to weight loss.

                    3.  Nail the half.  It makes no sense to shoot for a 3:05 BQ if you can't do a 1:30 half.  You can run a fast half much more frequently than a fast full.

                    4.  Maintain consistency.  Running year-round will help keep your weight in check.

                    2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

                      It was suggested to me to run for about 2 years so that my body can adapt to running before trying a marathon. So I ignored that good advice and started training with a few months of running. I completed most of the training plan and on my last 20 mile run I messed up my foot (posterior tibial tendonitis) and was out of running for a month and missed the marathon. After 3 years of running I've done lots of half marathons but no full marathons ( however i am starting to train for a 50k in the fall). That's just my experience for what it's worth......

                      JML


                        First of all...congrats on an outstanding result on your first half. That is a very solid result on 5 months of training. I had a similar reintroduction to running a few years ago and ended up running my first half in a similar time (1:55). I was also drawn to the marathon and signed up for one 5 months after my half.

                         

                         

                        I have really enjoyed running again and my one regret is that I ran a marathon too soon. I was able to complete it (4:08) but it was not the experience that it could have been. I had not yet learned how to train properly and my aerobic base was underdeveloped. After another attempt at the marathon in 2011 that went poorly (4:36) due to a number of factors, I decided that I wanted to take a step back and learn to train properly and race some shorter distances.

                         

                        Since then, I have had a long stint of solid training which has led me to take my half PR to a 1:37 and I am really enjoying the training.  I am now training for a 5K and am looking forward to trying to improve my PR at this distance as well.    I may decide to run another full in the fall but I could just as easily run another half and be happy with the decision.  My view is that I will run another marathon when I think I am ready.   No need to rush it.

                         

                        My advice:

                        1. Take some time and get some more training under your belt before you go for a marathon.
                        2. 26.2 is a different animal in terms of training and recovery and it will be there waiting for you.
                        3. Slow down the pace of most of your runs.  Aerobic development and good long term training adaptations take time, and slower running is the best way to get there.

                         

                        Good luck!

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

                        TNRetinaRunner


                          Thanks to everybody for your insights and guidance.  Your consensus definitely makes it easy to trust that you are all leading me in the right direction.  I think I'll take it slow  for a while and build on all of the things you suggested.

                           

                          To be fair to myself, I'll offer that I didn't realize until reading feedback that I had made it sound like I have been attacking long runs in training with a little too much zeal.  I don't think I'm entirely free of guilt in those regards, but the most recent long runs I referred to were run with a training buddy who has already completed a couple marathons.  Before our 15 miler last weekend, I told him, "I don't want to break any cardinal rules here.  I'm going to take it slow.  I'll catch you at the end if you want to go ahead."  He was fairly insistent we maintain a quick pace together.  That said, I know which brain my legs take orders from, so that's hardly an excuse- only a conviction to say that I do know better (especially having read chapter after chapter of Luke Humphrey trying in vain to drive this point home).  I just don't listen to my own better judgement always.

                           

                          I have a couple halfs coming up in the next couple of months. I think I'll just focus on these races for now, and I'll get back to the marathon later on.  I don't plan to run out of road any time soon.  Thanks again everybody.