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Doable or fooling myself? (Read 592 times)

    A question for the experienced folks before I head off to bed.
    In my (very first) solo run marathon last month, I ran the first 21km in a 6:09/km pace (too fast, in hindsight) then bonked. Total pace for the 42.2 6:58/km, slow even for a 50yo. Training for this was a 16 week plan from the Runners World site. Plus there were 4 weeks less organised training prior for a 12km fun run. So all in all, not a lot of training to date.

    My goal is to spend the next two months speed training on a 5k plan, then a 16 week marathon 3Plus2 training plan for a late June marathon. I WOULD LIKE to get my marathon pace down to 5:40. I have no problems committing to the training. But do those experienced ones out there think this is a possible goal or should I aim for something slower and possibly more realistic?

    JML


      I find training to meet a future goal time to be difficult and I would look at it another way.  I find it hard to predict a future race time at the start of training as I do not know how I will respond as the weeks go by.  I have modified my approach to focus on getting in a good stretch of training, and then checking my fitness level with a short race (not full effort....maybe 90%) a few weeks before my goal race.  I used this approach for a recent half marathon by running a 5k time trial a two weeks before my goal race.  This gave me valuable feedback on my fitness at the end of the training cycle which allowed me to plan for and run solid effort on race day.

       

      You may want to consider running a 10K or half marathon 3-4 weeks before your marathon and see where you are.

       

       

      Good luck

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


      A Saucy Wench

        If your goal is to lower your marathon time then dont focus on speed training right now.   5K plan is going to do very very little for you where you are right now - especially if it is a RW or similar 5K plan that is going to back your mileage way down.  I would spend the 2 months building a bigger base.  Run more, dont worry about running faster yet.  If you want to once a week or so throw in something faster, but focus on consistent miles.

         

        Speed isnt your issue, endurance is.

        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

        Jeff F


        Free Beer

          If your goal is to lower your marathon time then dont focus on speed training right now.   5K plan is going to do very very little for you where you are right now - especially if it is a RW or similar 5K plan that is going to back your mileage way down.  I would spend the 2 months building a bigger base.  Run more, dont worry about running faster yet.  If you want to once a week or so throw in something faster, but focus on consistent miles.

           

          Speed isnt your issue, endurance is.

           

          +1

            If your goal is to lower your marathon time then dont focus on speed training right now.   5K plan is going to do very very little for you where you are right now - especially if it is a RW or similar 5K plan that is going to back your mileage way down.  I would spend the 2 months building a bigger base.  Run more, dont worry about running faster yet.  If you want to once a week or so throw in something faster, but focus on consistent miles.

             

            Speed isnt your issue, endurance is.

             

            I agree, if you run more you can build yourself up to be able to run a 5:40 pace without any speed work. I know because I did it with about a year of running and I was 54. Ran my 2nd marathon which was only 3 weeks after my 1st, in 3:53:41 (5:32 pace).

             

            P S, I ran the 2nd marathon only because I too completely botched my 1st.

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


            Right on Hereford...

              +1 to most of what Ennay said, but I would add this...

               

              Don't totally ignore speed. Plodding along miles upon miles (or kilometers upon kilometers in your case) at your "easy" pace is not the ideal way to train, even at the beginner level (not that Ennay recommended that). And, you'll be missing out on some of the fun, too. Below are two things you can do to include some speed (and fun, and more) to your training.

               

              Add some strides to your runs 2 or 3 times per week. Strides are short accelerations where you focus on running fast, smooth, and relaxed (not 100% effort). To do a stride, accelerate smoothly to a fast clip that's not quite a sprint, hold it for around 20 seconds, and then coast back to your normal easy pace. Jog easy for 1 minute as a recovery. I usually do 6x 30-second strides several times a week. You can do them in the middle or toward the end of what would otherwise be just an ordinary everyday easy run. Strides help improve your form and develop your ability to run at faster paces, without adding much training stress.

               

              Add some racing at the 5k and 10k distances. Do one or two races a month for fun, and to get the hang of it. These are great workouts that will improve your fitness, and you'll learn a lot, too. Don't worry about "training" for these races. As you build your mileage and jump in some races, you will get faster.

               

              One last thing...don't get injured! Injuries occur when you ignore small aches and pains until they become something more.

                Thanks everyone! Great advice. I'll work on some MAF base training and then go into a 16 week marathon course (3Plus2) for my first marathon end of June.

                 

                Great to be part of such a helpful community!