Marathon Training and Discussions

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undertrained and overoptimistic for first marathon (Read 681 times)


HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

    The only marathon in my area is in early March, so I've not nearly enough time to do a nice preparation for it. But I want to try it, with the goal of finishing (so that even if I get tired and slow down, I still have strong hope to achieve my goal). I was looking at Jeff Galloway's web pages on running & walking alternately, and decided I'll adopt that approach, in hopes of reducing my chance of injury. http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html I've never done that, so this weekend I'll try it for a long run, and decide to go for it, if I'm happy with how that goes. My plan is to try the ratio he lists for 9min/mi, because that is a comfortable distance pace for me - that is, I'll try running 4min, then walking 1 min -- and repeat ad finitem. I figure I'll use that pace both for my long weekend runs, and for the actual marathon as well, because I only want to finish my first marathon -- I have no interest in doing it fast. I would prefer to be a happy accomplisher of finishing, and leave some nice space for improving time on my next one, assuming I'll do another later on. Actually, if I get a little scared going into the marathon itself, I might decide to go with a 9:30 pace on the running part that day, to make it easier to finish. (I won't know until after my first test this weekend what kind of per-mile pace that combination results in.) I've not been doing much distance since the summer. Last summer I did a few long runs -- I did a 15mi run one weekend, with the miles at either 9:00, 9:30, or 10:00 (min/mi), and felt good through it. A month or so later, on the day of the Marine Corp Marathon, I went out to see if I could do 26 mi, but I felt tired from even the 2nd mile, and only managed 18mi -- and all miles were 10:00-11:00, or even a bit slower near the end, and my feet hurt for the last two miles. The only long run I've done recently is just before Christmas I ran 20K with someone, starting at 8:20 and speeding up to 8:00 by the end, and then while he continued, I did a very slow (13:00) 5K recovery. It was 5K loops, and I'd planned to try one at that pace, and continue only as long as I felt comfortable, but I surprised myself by making it through 4 loops at that pace. I decided I'll do one long run a week, like so: 16mi, 10mi, 18mi, 10mi, 20mi, 10mi. But I've just realized I already have 11mi in this week, and if a I do at least one more short run this week, I'm going to have kind of too many miles in for my week, so I think maybe instead I'll shoot for (long runs): 14mi, 10mi, 17mi, 10mi, 20mi, 10mi. I haven't put it on a calendar -- I think that doesn't quite get me to the marathon week, but I figure it gets close, and I probably won't do anything long for the week or two after that before the actual marathon. I'm probably undertrained and overly optimistic, but I figure I'll post and see what criticism and suggestions I might be fortunate enough to elicit. I checked that my log is public -- but I only started uploading data in Sep I think. I started running last April, with a ~29.5min time on 5K (oddly, my first run was a 5K race -- at least, first in decades). Not long after that I went out to run 2mi out and back, and found myself tired after the 2mi out, and walking, and discovered that the walking part wasn't so bad Smile But in the following months, I got used to running, adopted a philosophy of "try to not run two days in a row" to limit myself from burning out, and didn't do any more walking, and forgot about walking.

    It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


    HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

      PS: I've never run a marathon -- meant to mention that up front.

      It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

        It would prove nothing, imo, and woudn't be that good for you. Thousands and thousands are plodding through marathons these days off grossly subpar training so it's really not a big deal. Why not dedicate yourelf to a couple years serious training and do something you can be proud of?
        Age 60 plus best times: 5k 19:00, 10k 38:35, 10m 1:05:30, HM 1:24:09, 30k 2:04:33


        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

          > Why not dedicate yourself to a couple years serious training and do something you can be proud of? Insufficient short-term gratification, or lack of long-term commitment Smile I guess, really, I just run for fun, so I am not yet ready for goals involving years of preparation. Maybe later.

          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

          JellyFish


            if you run for fun then why not do fun runs instead of marathons?


            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

              B/c the only run in my area in the next 3 months is a marathon. Really.

              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


              straw man

                You may be under-trained, but it doesn't seem to me like you're overly optimistic if your goal is just to finish. You can finish your marathon, plodding through it, and still feel proud. Maybe not as proud as you would be if you ran it faster, but everyone on the marathon course determines how much they are putting into the race, and how much they are trying to get out of it. Don't be discouraged. And marathons and fun runs are not exclusive. You can run both. One race can even be both. He who has the best time wins. Having said all that, I also think that there's no need to rush it, and if throwing yourself into a marathon on too little training makes you think of running as something painful to be endured, and prevents you from adopting a healthier lifestyle, then of course it can be a bad thing.

                He who has the best time wins. Jerry

                  > Why not dedicate yourself to a couple years serious training and do something you can be proud of? Insufficient short-term gratification, or lack of long-term commitment Smile I guess, really, I just run for fun, so I am not yet ready for goals involving years of preparation. Maybe later.
                  Boo, hiss, boo! Oh, alright...sure you can do it if you go slow enough, but plan on being out there for more than 5 hours. I suggest you study up on hydration and fueling issues. It's very easy to do too little or too much in the regard. This will be important in executing your plan. Good luck
                  Age 60 plus best times: 5k 19:00, 10k 38:35, 10m 1:05:30, HM 1:24:09, 30k 2:04:33


                  HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                    re: hydration Hm, yes. I just thought of the idea of weighing myself before and after my next long run. Seems like that might give me some estimate on how dehydrated I'm getting. I've read that ideally one would drink so much as to not lose weight. I'm pretty sure I'm losing several pounds on some of my runs (from dehydration presumably, I mean).

                    It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                      re: hydration Hm, yes. I just thought of the idea of weighing myself before and after my next long run. Seems like that might give me some estimate on how dehydrated I'm getting. I've read that ideally one would drink so much as to not lose weight. I'm pretty sure I'm losing several pounds on some of my runs (from dehydration presumably, I mean).
                      Actually, you don't quite need to drink that much. For each gram of glycogen that your body stores as energy in your muscles, it also stores 2-3 grams of water. As your body burns this glycogen as fuel, the water that was stored with it is also eventually sweated out. As you consume more carbs during the race, these carbs are burned without being stored away with water. So at the end of a long run or a marathon, you should expect to be slightly less weight - not the original weight. I can't remember the source (I think it is Noakes) says to aim to replace about half of what your sweat rate says (for a marathon). Your mileage may vary - but use your upcoming long runs to experiment a bit with it. I normally lose about 2-3 pounds on 18-20 mile runs without suffering from hydration issues. Here's a decent read on hydration for runners from the USATF.

                      When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

                      JellyFish


                        And marathons and fun runs are not exclusive. You can run both. One race can even be both.
                        I agree with you that they can. But I don't think that is true when gross overpreparedness is involved. Course i'm not one to associate pain and great discomfort with fun - just me though! Smile The only race in 3 months is a marathon - what about 4 months? and how close is close? Does the marathon have another race associated with it? I don't mean to sound discouraging because you know you are overly optimistic and all, but it would be ashame to possibly hurt yourself all because you didn't wait a month or two.


                        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                          I tried the Galloway running, and it is not as fun as I expected. And, typing in the pace data here is really a pain -- calculating all the paces so I can figure out what the walking and running paces average separately and together, to figure out the effect, is a LOT of work and putting numbers into a calculator. I didn't do the long Galloway run -- we got bored and switched to regular running. I'll probably switch to just doing regular long runs, and see how that goes.

                          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


                          straw man

                            I did some calculators based on Galloway's book "Marathon" and put it on the web here: http://members.cox.net/runphoenix/gallowayformulas.html I did this a couple of years ago when I went through a Galloway training program. This work is not endorsed by anyone connected with Jeff Galloway. Take it with a grain of salt. I haven't stuck with the Galloway method. It made it easy to recover from some long runs, but when racing, it just seemed to keep me from getting into a rhythm.

                            He who has the best time wins. Jerry


                            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                              Thanks for all the responses, everyone. I don't plan to be out there over five hours, but I do plan to be out there over four hours. I am back to considering Galloway again. I intend to try 17 mi on the actual course next weekend, and I have until then to decide whether to run it or to Galloway it. It has occurred to me that I might run the actual mary faster if I Galloway, simply because I'll set a faster threshold speed. I mean, I intend to pick a pace as my maximum threshold, and keep to running no faster than that. If I run, I will probably start at 9:30 max, and reconsider it after 5 or 10 miles, or halfway. If I Galloway, I will probably start at 9:00 max for the run part. Of course, I don't know what will happen later, and what will happen if/when I bonk... I downloaded that calculated pace chart Jerry, and looked at it, and will be looking at it again -- thank you.

                              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                              JellyFish


                                How's it been going? Are you feeling good? I looked at your log, why are your runs split up? (i look at the calendar view - it's easier for me. That's how i saw some of your runs are 3 different entries) Are you running your slow runs at the same pace as your long runs? Could you try slowing down your long runs? If your original goal of finishing still stands is there any reason you can try a long run or two at 10m/m? Maybe it would be the difference between running and gallowaying.
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