Beginners and Beyond

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6 Months to Prepare for First Marathon (Read 76 times)

    So after talking to some former neighbors of mine who still live in Richmond , Virginia area, I've decided to run the Richmond Marathon.

    Why?  As one of my New Year's resolutions,  I wanted to complete my first one this year.

    I turn 55 in November and if someone had told me 2 1/2 years ago that I would seriously embark on training for a marathon, I would question their sanity.

    Running for the past two years has helped me regain my sense of self.  When deciding on a fall marathon either in Georgia or in Richmond, three deciding factors came into play.  One, from my research, it appears much flatter than a marathon that I would encounter in Atlanta ( for a first marathon, it would seem easier than an alternative location). Two, my wife and I met in Richmond, and all our are three children were born there.  We moved away for employment reasons 15 years ago, but the town will always remain special for us.  Third,  I just realized the date of the Richmond marathon is November 16th which would have been my mother's 96th birthday. Dumb sentimentality, but she would get a kick knowing that I chose to run my first marathon on her birthday.

    So I have six months to prepare.  I will review various 18 week marathon plans for novices and build up my weekly mileage until my training plan starts.

    My finish time may suck like it did in my first Peachtree Road Race in 2011 but, I look back and see how that was an impetus for greater things and improvement. So who knows, maybe by the time I'm in the 60 - 65 age range, I will have built up yearly mileage to 2500 for 2 years (as I nod to LTH for his formula) to aim for a BQ.  One can dream, can't they.

    Wish me luck on my 6 month journey.

    “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot


    Muddling through

      Good luck in your preparations. It wouldn't surprise me if you were already at or beyond the point where a typcial novice program begins. Don't assume that just because it's your first that you have to use a novice program. When I ran my first Higdon's Advanced 2 would have been a step down for me. BTW I BQed and ran sub-3:00 on less than two years of running, nowhere near the 2500 miles for two years that LTH says you'd need.

      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

        Good luck, Bo.

         

        If your base-building goes well, don't be afraid to pick a more "challenging" 18-week plan; some of the novice ones seem quite suspect to even finish comfortably, let alone race.


        Bad Ass

          Good luck, Fastie!  I am going to love seeing your training throughout the year!

           

          If you need anything, you know where to find me.

          Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

          Next:  San Francisco Marathon

          Blog

          "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

            Good luck in your preparations. It wouldn't surprise me if you were already at or beyond the point where a typcial novice program begins. Don't assume that just because it's your first that you have to use a novice program. When I ran my first Higdon's Advanced 2 would have been a step down for me. BTW I BQed and ran sub-3:00 on less than two years of running, nowhere near the 2500 miles for two years that LTH says you'd need.

             

            And Sammy Wanjiru ran 2:06 in his marathon debut.  That does not imply that your average person can accomplish such a feat.  The medical director of the Houston Marathon recommends that a person have a minimum of a year or two of running before beginning marathon training but what the hell do those silly M.D's know?  Moreover, you either misrepresented my position or misunderstood it.

             

            The 2,500 miles for two years came from an entirely different discussion.  In that thread, one or two folks had asserted that they could never BQ.  I said that I don't think you can make such an assertion unless you have been running at least 2,500 miles per year over a two year period and had been regularly doing speed work at least once per week and had been doing a run of 2+ hours once or twice per month.  If you have done all that and still are nowhere near being able to run a BQ, then it is entirely possible you won't be able to BQ. I did not say that you need to have been running that much before attempting your first marathon nor did I say that you need to run that much in order to BQ.

             

            Regardless, the OP is in good shape and has been putting in great mileage.  I would agree that a novice program is way below his ability.  For my first marathon, I cobbled together a plan that incorporated elements of the Daniels "A" plan and Pfitzinger's 18/70 plan.  Those are both fairly advanced plans.

            Short term goal: 17:59 5K

            Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

            Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

            Brr


            Uffda

              Good luck! I'm reading these posts of people jumping in to Marathon training and I'm starting to get the itch myself. I have 2 more months of Half Marathon training and racing, but after the 4th of July I might start working on a 14/55 Pfitz mash-up (since I'll only have 14 weeks to train).

              - Andrew

              MrNamtor


              DON'T TREAD ON ME

                 

                 what the hell do those silly M.D's know?

                 

                My personal experience with MDs and their knowledge of diet and exercise issues? Not much.

                 

                I think MDs have quite a few biases, one being the primary reliance on pharmaceuticals to treat all conditions, including lifestyle diseases like type2 diabetes and hypertension.

                 

                The other major bias i think MDs have is that when looking at activities, they will more focus on the pitfalls and medical conditions occurring in participants over benefits both tangible and intangible. So even (or maybe especially)  the doctor for the marathon will basically see injuries and be concerned with those injures over other matters.

                 

                This is why so many MDs are "anti running" and tell their patients not to run (I was told not to run by a doctor when I was 40.  Unfortunately, i actually listened to this advice for 10 years).

                 

                I'm not saying it's wrong to say the average person needs 2 years of running before marathon training. But I just think that doctors should not necessarily have the last word on this.

                MrNamtor


                DON'T TREAD ON ME

                  oh, anyway, boz, forgot to say Good Luck!! Congrats on going for your goals, and no doubt you will reach them.

                  MrNamtor


                  DON'T TREAD ON ME

                    Good luck in your preparations. It wouldn't surprise me if you were already at or beyond the point where a typcial novice program begins. Don't assume that just because it's your first that you have to use a novice program. When I ran my first Higdon's Advanced 2 would have been a step down for me. BTW I BQed and ran sub-3:00 on less than two years of running, nowhere near the 2500 miles for two years that LTH says you'd need.

                     

                    oh, but i remember you telling Jack Klompus that one needed 2 years of running (in general) before marathon training. Or am i misremembering?

                    fourouta5


                    Hammy Tear

                      Bozy, you certainly can do it, I can attest to that.  Last June at age 52 I decided to run my first marathon.  I chose Disney in January 2013 for my debut because DW is a Disney nut and its warm in January.  I was able to average 28-30 miles per week for those 6 months, comming off the couch.  I ran a 4:12 marathon, hoping for a sub-4 but 70deg and 100% humidity at 5:30am put a crimp on those plans.

                       

                      So while I am not the poster child for saying a marathon is easy, I can say with confidence that it can be done and it can be done to your satisfaction.  Listen to those on this forum who are wiser and more experienced than I, but if that is your desire, I say go for it.


                      Muddling through

                         

                        oh, but i remember you telling Jack Klompus that one needed 2 years of running (in general) before marathon training. Or am i misremembering?

                        You remember correctly. I also didn't have the "advantages" of today's canned programs, research, multitudinous books on training, etc. when I ran my first in 1970. Several training partners twisted my arm so to speak to run my first though I felt inadequately prepared. My own training also had not progressed in a way that would be recommended in today's running culture. At one point in my first year I had to back off significantly on my training because I had increased my mileage too quickly and was approaching an overtrained status. I also focused on speed rather than base when I first started running. Overall there were a lot of things I did that would not be recommended now. I didn't even have any 20-mile runs before I ran my first marathon, just one over 16 miles, a leisurely 18 mile run about 3 weeks before. What I did have was many months of 50+ mpw, a lot of race experience (about 50 races) at distances ranging from 880y and the mile gradually working up to 30K, and some practical advice from several Boston veterans.

                        2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                        happylily


                          Good luck! 6 months to prepare, with 2 years running already in you seems very reasonable to me.

                          PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                                  Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                          4 years racing, 14 marathons, 14 BQs     

                            You remember correctly. I also didn't have the "advantages" of today's canned programs, research, multitudinous books on training, etc. when I ran my first in 1970.

                             

                            Yes, that was only 10 years after Abibi Bikila had to race barefoot because Nikita Khrushchev had stolen his shoes and was using them as gavels!

                              Good luck!

                                Good luck!

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