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Help (me?) assist a friend (Read 686 times)

    Okay, so basically situation is this. My friend has been running now for about 2 years and we pretty much agreed that this spring we were going to do a marathon together. However, he has recently decided that it would be really cool if all of us (brother possibly joining the madness) qualified for Boston and were able to run there.

     

    On the one hand, this isn't too crazy as he has been running for several years, with fairly respectable mileage (probably 40-80mpw typically), so he is somewhat in a place to consider training for a marathon.

     

    The issue is that he basically has no idea how to train, and while he is very motivated to get better with this goal in mind he definitely isn't in any sort of position to be able to afford anyone to coach him and basically wanted to know if I could help him. So the first question is, how bad of an idea would this be, or is this potentially okay (I really have no idea, hence why I am asking here first)?

     

    The situation with him and his running is basically this:

     

    He runs decent mileage, and is a master of cruising at around 8:45-9:00 pace. He adores long runs and frequently runs anywhere from 13-20 miles, not seeming too phased by them. The downside is...that is all he has ever done. No tempos, speedwork, strides, sprints, MP work, and has raced like 4 times (5ks in 23:43, 21:32, and two miles on the track in 6:23, 6:17). He is the epitome of someone with no speed, as he struggles to run under 16 in the 100m and would probably struggle with a 75 second 400m. His stride is fairly ungainly, very much a shuffle with minimal back-kick and a super low cadence (south of 150 at times). Basically I was thinking (as he plans to run some 5ks in the fall) that he ought to train for those, and if he can start running south of 20, or even better 19:30, then it might be a little more realistic to consider training for 3:05.

     

    They are both pretty gung ho about this idea, but I'm not worried about my brother as his is a completely different situation, as the kid naturally has great running mechanics, is fast (11.7 100m of a little two step start), and has decent ability for endurance having run 8:55 mile and a half off of very minimal mileage. I imagine if he just runs alot, with some tempos and MP work, and a few long runs he will be just fine. 

    They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."


    Bushrat Runner

      Sounds like a bit of a headscratcher. Probably no harm trying to help him understand how to get faster. But I would not buy into the focus on a relatively high quality performance for the first race unless he is willing to focus on raising the bar in training to the extent he will need to. What he wants to run doesn't sound to me like a first marathon time based on the training paces and 5k times you post...

        Sounds like a bit of a headscratcher. Probably no harm trying to help him understand how to get faster. But I would not buy into the focus on a relatively high quality performance for the first race unless he is willing to focus on raising the bar in training to the extent he will need to. What he wants to run doesn't sound to me like a first marathon time based on the training paces and 5k times you post...

         

        I'm inclined to agree, which is why I am thinking see how he does with some proper training for 5k/10k in the fall (which he has indicated he wants to do); and if he makes strides to where thinking about 3:05 is realistic, take a new look in mid/late fall. Obviously 3:05 is in no way realistic for his fitness right now, and wouldn't even make sense to think about training for. 

         

        I get the impression from him he is willing to raise the bar in training, or more accurately, train in general. He runs alot, but has never trained and I get the impression he is pretty psyched to start doing some real training and get faster. What he does have going is the right personality, in that if he decides to do something he doesn't lose motivation much and can be pretty tenacious going after it. 

        They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."

          Why not try Nobby's programs from the running wizard.  It's well thought out, the prices are very reasonable -- much less than he'll spend on shoes.

            Why not try Nobby's programs from the running wizard.  It's well thought out, the prices are very reasonable -- much less than he'll spend on shoes.

             

            +1

            steph  

             

            OCD  If you don't laugh...   

            JML


              Why not try Nobby's programs from the running wizard.  It's well thought out, the prices are very reasonable -- much less than he'll spend on shoes.

               

               

              +1 on this as well.  I am midway through a running wizard based plan and find that the structure of the plan is leading to some solid fitness gains.  I like the plan more than others that I have used and am looking forward to seeing the results come race day.

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


              Black-Toe-Nailed

                What about taking a look at this classic ?

                 

                          http://goo.gl/X2JhG

                 

                It helped me through my first marathon and to get reach a BQ (I'm not in the USA but it's a nice target)

                 

                You can get is second hand for a few bucks and for less than $14.

                --

                "If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years,
                then will power is no longer a problem. It's raining? That doesn't matter.
                I am tired? That's besides the point. It's simply that I just have to."

                Emil Zatopek

                Julia1971


                  I think this all depends on your time horizon.  We're talking Boston 2014, right?  Because to qualify for 2013, he would have to run his BQ this fall.  So, yeah, I think that's an okay goal.  That gives him a year to build mileage, which is pretty much what I did before even officially training for my first.  As far as plans, I'm not familiar with Nobby's but you got some recommendations for that one.  I did a modified Pfitz for my first.  I don't remember off the top of my head what I modified but I thought it's a pretty straight forward plan for a novice to follow.

                   

                  My only other general advice (as one of those people who thinks too many runners jump to the marathon too quickly and don't fully appreciate all the great racing that can be done between), is to encourage him to race a lot.  After focusing on the 5 and 10Ks this fall, stretch his race distances out longer next spring.  I think it'll help him as far as racing confidence - I know having done shorter races for years helped me for my first - and deter him from becoming an ex-runner after the Big Goal Race.

                  The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb