Sub-4 Marathon Group

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Can I do sub-4 in a year? (Read 39 times)

Brilliant


    I took up running in August 2011.  My training has been VERY slow - although I have increased my mileage to 25pw, it's all been at the same slow pace.  Shorter runs @ about 12 min miles; longer runs @ 12:30-12:45.

     

    I did a half-marathon last month and finished just under 12 min pace.  (I realize that's well over a 5hour pace for a marathon).  But I didn't "race" it.  After the race, I did some runner's soul searching, and decided that 1) when I race, I should race, as in not giving  myself permission to stop because I'm tired! and 2) I should add quality workout(s) to my week.

     

    If I have 12-13 months to a goal marathon, can this middle-aged mom get close to a 4 hour marathon?  I'm thinking something like 4 months to get up to 45mpw, 4 months at that approx base level, and then a 4 month marathon-specific plan.  I've heard that a good goal for a first marathon is just to finish.  But I'm afraid if I won't have a specific goal, I won't do the work for it.  I mean, I could go out and "finish" LA this weekend, if by "finish" you mean slogging through 6 hours including walking the last 10 miles.

     

    Advice?  Encouragement?  Discouragement?


    Smashy!!!

      Hi OC Mom.

      Welcome to the group.

      Unfortunately, the question you're asking is very difficult to answer. A lot depends on the underlying ability. For some, 4 hours would be underachieving, while for others it could be overachieving.

      But based on what you've written, which I admit is not going on a lot of information, I think 4 hours in a year would be ambitious. I think it would take your body more than 4 monthes to go from 25 to  45. I mean you could go out and run 45 miles this week, but it takes a while for your body to fully adapt to that type of increase. To push it any faster I think increases your risk of injury.

      My advice would be to read some books on marathon training, increase your mileage safely over the year, and race your first full without a definite time goal. That doesn't mean accepting slogging through it in 6 hours. I think something like not walking, as a goal.

      Oh yeah, last piece of advice is to stick around our group!

       

      I took up running in August 2011.  My training has been VERY slow - although I have increased my mileage to 25pw, it's all been at the same slow pace.  Shorter runs @ about 12 min miles; longer runs @ 12:30-12:45.

       

      I did a half-marathon last month and finished just under 12 min pace.  (I realize that's well over a 5hour pace for a marathon).  But I didn't "race" it.  After the race, I did some runner's soul searching, and decided that 1) when I race, I should race, as in not giving  myself permission to stop because I'm tired! and 2) I should add quality workout(s) to my week.

       

      If I have 12-13 months to a goal marathon, can this middle-aged mom get close to a 4 hour marathon?  I'm thinking something like 4 months to get up to 45mpw, 4 months at that approx base level, and then a 4 month marathon-specific plan.  I've heard that a good goal for a first marathon is just to finish.  But I'm afraid if I won't have a specific goal, I won't do the work for it.  I mean, I could go out and "finish" LA this weekend, if by "finish" you mean slogging through 6 hours including walking the last 10 miles.

       

      Advice?  Encouragement?  Discouragement?

      PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)

      DetroitTigerFan


        Oc mom - welcome and congrats on taking up running !

         

        cbus has some great comments that sum it up well.  Anything is possible but just my 2 cents - several on this forum have broken the 4 hr limit and can comment on how they got there.  At the same time, many of us like myself have been training to break 4 hrs after running many marathons already and we are still trying.  It's not easy, but that's what makes it a challenge and a fun learning experience over time.

         

        I would start off by reading some basic marathon books that can help you map out your goals.  Hidgon & Galloway are very popular books. They may help articulate what a reasonable goal is - whether it is some time goal (be it 6,5 or 4 hrs) or just to finish or just to run on effort,etc.

         

        To break 4 hrs for a first time marathon while being fairly new to running sounds aggresive to me.  I know for myself, my first marathon i was shooting for 4 hrs too (just for the sake of setting a goal) but I set the bar way too high.  The first one is always a total learning experience no matter what plan you go through.  In hindsight I should have gone in with the view to try my best and finish when i finish.  That would set the bar for another race, where i could fine tune my plans, continue learning, and try to improve.

         

        hope this helps !

        PB's     10K 47:15 (9/13)     HM 1:45 (9/13)     M 3:57 (10/13)

        Running Blog   http://davesdigitaldestinations.blogspot.com/

          in addition to Cbus and the tiger fan, I think running a few half marathons along the way will familiarize your body to race day, race rhythms, fueling, and help with mileage expectations.  And they are a ton of fun.

           

          P.S stick around, its a fun group with every time and experience level. Good to have you here.

          PR's : HM 1:51:15  -  5K 21:27

           

           


          Rusk Runner

            oc - lots of good advice has come your way already, so I would like to ask you some questions.

             

            Have you added any quality (speedwork) to your schedule yet?

             

            How fast can you run a mile or a 5K?  If you have not raced a 5K, I would recommend it (and I do mean train and race).

             

            What is a longer run for you now?

             

            How long can you run a 12 minute mile without having to stop to walk?

             

            Have you looked at any types of training plans yet?

             

            How does your 12 minute pace make you feel?

            PRs...5K - 20:36, 4mile - 26:15, 13.1 - 1:32, 26.2 - 3:42

            Just Run!!!

            onemile


              Everyone's different and improves at different rates. Train to the best of your ability and your time will be what it is. Then next time, try for faster.

              Brilliant


                ...

                Oh yeah, last piece of advice is to stick around our group!

                 

                 

                Thank you for the advice and the welcome.  At first I wasn't sure if this was a super-secret user group of runners who have a real chance of doing a sub-4.  But then I read enough of the posts to realize many of you are still on your way.

                Brilliant


                  ...

                  cbus has some great comments that sum it up well.  ...

                   

                  I would start off by reading some basic marathon books that can help you map out your goals.  Hidgon & Galloway are very popular books. They may help articulate what a reasonable goal is - whether it is some time goal (be it 6,5 or 4 hrs) or just to finish or just to run on effort,etc.

                  ...

                   

                  OK, cbus recommended doing some reading, too.  You mean I can't learn everything I need to know from the internet? Wink

                  I have Galloway's book already, which I'll pull out & re-read (I read it more than a year ago).  And I'll look for others, too, because I'm not sure run/walk/run is the only way to go.

                  Brilliant


                    in addition to Cbus and the tiger fan, I think running a few half marathons along the way will familiarize your body to race day, race rhythms, fueling, and help with mileage expectations.  And they are a ton of fun.

                     

                    P.S stick around, its a fun group with every time and experience level. Good to have you here.

                    Yes, I've done a few of these for fun already.  I have yet to try to race one, as in to really try to do my best, not give myself permission to stop if my feet hurt or it's HOT after the sun comes up!  I've had low expectations of myself.

                     

                    Thanks for the welcome!

                    onemile


                      Yes, I've done a few of these for fun already.  I have yet to try to race one, as in to really try to do my best, not give myself permission to stop if my feet hurt or it's HOT after the sun comes up!  I've had low expectations of myself.

                       

                      Thanks for the welcome!

                       

                      This is the first thing to work on! Smile

                      Brilliant


                        oc - lots of good advice has come your way already, so I would like to ask you some questions.

                         

                        Have you added any quality (speedwork) to your schedule yet?

                        Yes, I've just started -  just 3 tempo runs in the last couple of weeks.

                         

                        How fast can you run a mile or a 5K?  If you have not raced a 5K, I would recommend it (and I do mean train and race).

                        I recently "ran" a 5k but didn't race it.  My time was about 10:24 per mile.  I *Know* I can run faster than that, because last week I did a 3-mile tempo run faster.  That race was more of a fun run; despite my poor time I placed in the top 15% of my age group.  I started at the back of the pack and had to wind my way around 7-abreast walkers, families with strollers, etc.  So I need to find a local race that actually attracts runners & not families.

                         

                        What is a longer run for you now?

                        On a typical weekend I am out there for 8-9 miles.  I have done longer runs (10-12 miles) and also a handful of half marathons.

                         

                        How long can you run a 12 minute mile without having to stop to walk?

                        I have done 8 miles.  That was several months ago.  One of the issues I have is that my running group does run/walk/run.  Most of my long runs are with them, so, it's been a while since I've even tried to do a long run without walk breaks.  For my daily runs (4 miles or so), I try to just run...again, unless I'm running with one of my friends who does run/walk.

                         

                        Have you looked at any types of training plans yet?

                        I've looked at some on the internet, but as far as trying to follow a plan - just Galloway.  I'm thinking I should try to get away from that, as I haven't seen any real improvement over the last year.

                         

                        How does your 12 minute pace make you feel?

                        "I could do this all day"  is literally what's occurred to me while running.  It seems like a fairly easy pace to me.  I've done it at the half-marathon distance which didn't seem quite as easy.  So, sometime between the 4th mile &  the 13th mile I lose the "I could do this all day" feeling. Smile

                        Brilliant


                           

                          This is the first thing to work on! Smile

                           

                          I know!  My motto has always been "No pain, no pain!"

                           

                          I'm a little bummed about tomorrow - I am running in the LA Marathon as part of a charity relay team, so I'm doing the half marathon distance.  I won't get an official time - mine will be lumped in with my partner for a total marathon time.  But I'd hoped to be aggressive for an UNofficial time.  Then 2 days ago, somebody asked me to stick with another 2nd-leg runner for encouragement.  The team I'm with is very social, so it's hard to explain but I decided it was more important to help out the other runner on her first half, than to try to do my best for a time that won't count.

                          SprinklesRunner


                          Whippet

                            Everyone is different.  I broke 4 hours after a year of running seriously and less than a year after running my first half in 2:10.  I did a Hal Higdon Novice 1 plan and did it while planning my wedding.  I was in decent shape beforehand, but I found out that I am fairly strong in the endurance department.  I did, however, spend a large portion of my first year running dealing with ITBS, calf pain, etc., so approach with caution.  I think you shouldn't have too much of a time goal the first time around.  I ran a marathon as a training run for my first marathon.  The training run was 4:07.  The marathon 3:56.  I realized during the training marathon that I could run a marathon faster.  I do not recommend this approach.

                            13.1: 1:45 | 26.2: 3:55


                            White Lightning

                              If I could do it all over again I would have started off building mileage much slower to really make sure tendons and muscles were ready before starting marathon training.  I've fought with all kinds of issues because I built up too fast.  I feel like now after 18 months I'm just barely ready to tackle a marathon training program seriously and I still think its a bit borderline.  I really wish I had a SOLID 30 mpw base for 6+ months before I even thought of starting a training plan for my first marathon.  I'm trying to set myself for a lifetime of healthy running which is something I messed up when I started off.  But like most said, I suggest you ignore the time goal for the first and just try to finish with a smile so you want to run another one.

                               

                              Welcome

                              Play the Game Hard!


                              Rusk Runner

                                So I am thinking in your case you pick up Hal Higdons "Marathon".  Galloway is an excellent read even if you do not plan to use his run/walk/run method (walking during water stations helps alot of folks).

                                I would not add too much speed into your weeks as you start base building.  You have been running about the same amount of time that I have though, so you should easily be able to handle at least one speed day a week.  Dont pussyfoot around with it either.  You need to learn what it means to push yourself.  Tempo runs are great but I wonder if you could start doing some intervals so you can really push yourself.  When you run a 5K, you should try to be spent in the end.

                                Your long runs should be slow and you should feel like you could go longer but you should not be fresh.  In other words you need to push yourself a little for your long runs also.

                                 

                                I also broke 4 in my first marathon with less than 1 years experience with running.  It wasnt the prettiest thing in the world but I pulled it off.  It is different for everybody.  When you can pull off a 20 mile run at about a 10:00 pace and feel comfortable with it, you might start telling yourself you can see a 4 hour marathon in your future.

                                 

                                And there are not to many secrets here.  This is a chatty and enjoyable group that offers alot of advice and support to one another.  Look at some of the training logs and get a feel how some of us train for the goals we have set and you should get an idea of what it might take to get you where you want to be.  I am currently shooting for a 3:35 for marathon #3.

                                PRs...5K - 20:36, 4mile - 26:15, 13.1 - 1:32, 26.2 - 3:42

                                Just Run!!!

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