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Training for a marathon in 5 months: realistic? (Read 1133 times)

    After running for 4 months, I had to stop following a traumatic move to London. Trying to start again, and would like to set an objective that can keep me motivated. Do you think it can be possible to train for a marathon in mid-April (Flora London Marathon) or should I plan my training thinking about 2009 event?
    PRs 5K 21:44 10K 51:35 51:09 48:41


    Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

      Is it possible? Yes. 5 months is plenty of time. Is it a good idea? That depends. What kind of shape are you in? Not so much running wise, as you've obviously taken time off, but are you generally in pretty decent shape and health? How long has it been since you ran? Would you be comfortable with running a 5 mile race in a month? That's probably a pretty good baseline question. Are you looking to run a hard marathon, or just to cover the distance? In terms of training the body, 5 months is plenty of time for most people that aren't horribly out of shape. Whether they should do it or not is more dependant upon their frame of mind.

      Run to Win
      24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



      Ed4


      Barefoot and happy

        How long has it been since you last ran regularly? It's possible to complete a marathon on 5 months training, but personally I think it's a bad idea. The risk of injuries is very high, and the marathon itself is guaranteed to be much more painful than it would be for a runner with more miles in the bank. Of course being sedentary is even worse. So if the only thing that will get you out the door is an imminent marathon, then do it. But I think you'll have a more rewarding experience if you take the time to do it well. A half marathon in 5 months may be a reasonable compromise.
        Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.


        Needs more cowbell!

          Of course being sedentary is even worse. So if the only thing that will get you out the door is an imminent marathon, then do it. But I think you'll have a more rewarding experience if you take the time to do it well. A half marathon in 5 months may be a reasonable compromise.
          Yeah, a half would be a much more enjoyable experience after 5 months, IMO. And it's still an excellent goal! Smile

          Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

          '14 Goals:

          • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

            First off, thanks a lot for your replies, I *knew* this forum was the most appropriate place for this kind of a question Smile To answer yours, here is my running "history". In April 2007 I could barely run for 4-5 minutes. After that short time, at a slow pace (~12 min/mile) my heart rate skyrocketed to 180+ bpm (I'm 28 y/o). I followed the mighty C25k plan, and three months later I was running regularly 3 miles 3/4 times a week (day in/day off), having lost 20 lbs (I'm 35lbs slimmer by now!). I adopted running (mostly on a treadmill) as a part of my daily routine, if for some reason I couldn't go out I felt I "lacked" something (a feeling most of you I'm sure know perfectly). Then I finished my Dissertation, which I was writing during the summer, and to my surprise I had to move to London. I have planned moving back home (I'm originally from Spain), but failed to get a job there and had to move to the capital of the UK. I had to find a new home in a city of 7 million inhabitants I've never been before, and literally had no time to run. I am more settled down now and I've started running again. I can see that my shape has got quite worse (now I am struggling to run 25 mins (~4km) on a treadmill), but I hope that I can go back to my previous shape in a couple of weeks. Would that be an appropriate starting point? Of couse I am not trying to run a sub-3hr marathon, I just want to experience an amazing event running in the streets of London and make it to the finish line (even if I have to crawl the last two kilometers...) to tell my grandchildren that once I was able to run 42195m... Tongue I've been thinking of registering anyway, even if I only run 10 miles or whatever, but of course it wouldn't be the same... To be honest, from my eyes of a beginner to running I think it is absolutely impossible to make it to 2008's marathon, but wanted to check with more experienced people before setting less ambitious goals.
            PRs 5K 21:44 10K 51:35 51:09 48:41
            RunningHammer


              Hi Roark....you do realise that the closing date for entries into the London Marathon was in October (assuming you haven't already applied of course). You could still get a charity place but you're likely to be asked to raise at least 1500-2000 GBP to get one.......
                Hi Roark....you do realise that the closing date for entries into the London Marathon was in October (assuming you haven't already applied of course). You could still get a charity place but you're likely to be asked to raise at least 1500-2000 GBP to get one.......
                Oh, that's interesting... Black eye Do you happen to know any cool half marathon in the London area?? Clowning around (My god, the deadline is 6 (SIX!) months before the actual marathon... Guess this is what happens when you are a n00b...)
                PRs 5K 21:44 10K 51:35 51:09 48:41


                Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

                  I think that aiming for an Autumn 2008 or the 2009 London marathon would be better for you in your circumstances. However, I think that you should find a 5k in 2 or 3 months and aim at running that. Then find another one or an 8k or 10k another month after that, etc, and just have some fun with it. I don't know the racing scene over there at all, but there is probably a half marathon at some point that is reachable from London.

                  Run to Win
                  24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



                    before setting less ambitious goals.
                    I don't think running a HM next year is a "less ambitious goal" ! I think it's a much smarter goal ... and ya know, running 13.1 mi is nothing to sneeze at. IMO, better to be well trained and run a smart, injury free race then try to push it. You can certainly run London next year !
                    2009: BQ?
                      I am fairly new to running myself. I started last spring and could bairly run around the block without stopping. Today I completed my longest run to date of 13.5 miles. I want to do a marathon as well but I'm willing to take it slow. I want running to be a part of my life. This year I ran in a couple of 10Ks. I've signed up for a half marathon in the spring (May in NJ). Once I do the half, I'll see how I feel about the marathon. I know I can run the half distance but I'd like to go faster than 9:50 miles.
                      "If I control myself, I control my destiny."


                      Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

                        If it makes either of you feel any better, I didn't run my first marathon until I had been running for over 7 or 8 years. And it took almost 3 years after that before I ran my second one.

                        Run to Win
                        24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



                          Oh, that's interesting... Black eye Do you happen to know any cool half marathon in the London area?? Clowning around (My god, the deadline is 6 (SIX!) months before the actual marathon... Guess this is what happens when you are a n00b...)
                          not just that - its a ballot entry and you only have a one in four chance of getting in through the ballot. lots and lots of people want to run london marathon! thats why the charities can get away with requiring such high minimum fundraising for one of their places. anyway - half marathons around the london area. my favourites are probably Watford, Roding Valley and especially Windsor (lovely run through the Great Park) http://www.runwindsor.com/. the best way to find one (and to find any event in the UK) is to use the Runners World UK site. the event finder is here http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/defaultevents.asp?sp=&v=2. if you put in the distance you are after and select the region as "south" you should get plenty of choice. don't use county to search though as it is too restrictive. also - if you are new to london and are looking for a running club you could do worse than serpentine. its a big and pretty friendly club with a good reputation for looking after its members. http://www.serpentine.org.uk/
                          Ed4


                          Barefoot and happy

                            ...to tell my grandchildren that once I was able to run 42195m... Tongue
                            Why only once? You have the rest of your life. I plan to show my grandchildren that I can run a marathon.
                            Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
                            Ed4


                            Barefoot and happy

                              I want to do a marathon as well but I'm willing to take it slow. I want running to be a part of my life.
                              That is a great attitude.
                              Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
                                Why only once? You have the rest of your life. I plan to show my grandchildren that I can run a marathon.
                                That is an awesome goal.

                                "You can't untrain for Monkey" - bdub

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