Marathon Training and Discussions


War Stories - Worst Marathon Preparation (Read 2330 times)

Queen of 3rd Place

    C'mon Ennay, tell us!

    Ex runner


      As some folks prepare for their first or 31st marathon, I thought it would be useful to share some stories, not of hard work that pays off, but of rampant stupidity, ill prepared, completed marathons. I'm doing this as a public service for all those well prepared dedicated folks that are still doubting themselves. If we (the stupid out there) can do it despite all our lack of preparation and mistakes. Surely you're going to do just fine. Submissions will be evaluated under 5 criteria. 1. Finishing Time - must have one. Faster is actually better. 2. Pre-race mileage - Logged miles from 2 weeks prior to 12 weeks prior must average less than 40 miles per week. Bonus points for total miles over 10 weeks lower than 250. Lower is obviously better. 3. Long Run - Should not be longer than 16 miles in the 12 weeks preceding the race. Waivers may be considered if total miles are low enough. Lower is better. 4. Pre-race, or race mistakes - Poor nutrition, lack of sleep, or missing turns are only some of the mistakes that could be highlighted. 5. Injuries - Before, during, or after. Extra points for HTFU marathon finishes (See Rvelich). Let me start with my own submission. USMC 2007. 1. Finishing Time - 4:16:54 2. Pre-race Mileage - Average for 10 weeks (starting from 12 weeks prior to 2 weeks prior) = 18.36 3. Long Run - 13.7 (two weeks prior to the race) 4. I didn't decide to run this race until 3 days prior. I got a bib off of Craigslist and ran it to support a friend. At the start of the race, I wandered into one of the tents set up for workers and ate a Jelly Crispy Cream donut. Thought they were for runners. Overall, I probably lose points for starting slowly, walking a bit around miles 5 or 6, and finishing strong over the last 6 miles. 5. None There's a good mark on the wall. Lets get some submissions.



      I definitely can't beat what has been listed so far. So I don't meet all the criteria but I think it counts as stupid and ill prepared... especially for an unathletic person like me who typically needs LOTS of prep!

      My first marathon was Chickamauga, which I have since done every year.  I like streaks.  So, in 2008, I gave birth by emergency c-section at the start of August.. and ran it in November in what was for the time period, a good time for me.... Having a kid makes you tough!. 


      1. Finishing Time - ~5:06 ; not fast but a PR from my previous 2 marathons, though, that had more training.

      2. Pre-race mileage -  Unsure ... Well, I didn't run at all in August and the start of September until I was cleared post C-section.  (I was down to running about 15-20 mpw by the time i gave birth)  Then I probably went up but not so much as my fitness was just gone from the pregnancy of reduced mileage to the 5 weeks completely off, half of which I was told to not even walk or drive.... just sitting in bed. Peak was probably 35/40 a couple weeks before the marathon (quick ramp up)

      3. Long Run - Oops, hit 20 miles once two weeks before the race.  It was a quick ramp up though from no running at all and my first "long run" of 9 miles at 6 weeks postpartum (7 weeks before the race)

      4. Pre-race, or race mistakes -Well, of course I didn't sleep with a 3 month old at home, and my husband was out of town.... Going out faster than I'd really run lately so I could run with someone I knew.

      5. Injuries - Does the abdominal surgery and birth 3 months prior count?  Big grin 


        My preparation for the monkey was pretty stinking.  Not as bad as my first, but pretty far up there.  But so damn worth it!


        Trent led me to believe there was no preparing for the Monkey, so I prepared by running a PR and BQ marathon the weekend before. Big grin 

        straw man

          5. Injuries - Does the abdominal surgery and birth 3 months prior count?  Big grin 

           Impresses the heck out of me.

          He who has the best time wins. Jerry

            My next race....


            Having not learnt from past experiences I have entered a marathon in the beginning of December and did my first long run in over a year this morning..... 7 kms!  I can just tell this is going to be painful.


            Worse than that though is the fact that the only reason I am doing this marathon is that I need a qualifier for the Comrades Ultra Marathon next year.  At least I have a few more months to prepare for that!


            You would think I would have learnt my lessons.  I did an Ironman in 2007 with minimal training.  Well, my training started off strong (as strong as it could without a bicycle) but then I met my future husband 5 months before the race and well, the training sort of went out of the window.. One of my friends later said he would have bet his house that I would not have finished the race.  I did - painfully but I made cut off in 16hours 32minute.  On the cycle leg a spider started to spin a web across my handlebars., yes, I was going that fast. I thought to myself at the time. "Hmph, I probably should have cycled a bit more for this....."


            Injuries, not being able to walk for 3 days, a swollen knee and sunburn so bad it blistered and 3.5 years later I still have the scars.