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Thread: Marathon

  1. #1
    Seasoned Pro passinginterest's Avatar
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    Marathon

    Any runners out there?

    The girlfriend has got it into her head that she wants to do the marathon in 11 weeks time to raise money for MD which one of her good friends, who passed away recently, suffered from.

    Would it even be possible for her to get through it with approximately 10 weeks training, considering she's coming from a base of zero?

    Once she gets an idea into her head it's very hard to talk her out of it! I think she'd be better of starting a training programme now with a view to doing next years.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by passinginterest View Post
    Would it even be possible for her to get through it with approximately 10 weeks training, considering she's coming from a base of zero?
    It really depends on what you expect. The nearest I've come to doing a marathon is one leg of the Cork marathon - 5.3 miles - based on a conversation the night before. I jogged bits and walked the rest (did it in 1:09, which wasn't bad at all, I thought). So I'm sure it's possible to finish a full one on reasonably little training provided you're sensible about what you can do - you might take eight hours, but you should get around. Bear in mind too that it's actually really boring; particularly over a longer distance like a marathon, it's a mental as well as a physical test. Also, the slower you are, the less likely you are to get water on the way around.

    Aberdonian Stu has done plenty though - which you, shall we say, wouldn't guess from looking at him - and is doing this year's one again, so he'll give you better advice.

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  4. #3
    First Team Aberdonian Stu's Avatar
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    10 or 11 weeks of prep is fine so long as she doesn't plan on running too much of it.

    There are a few underlying factors she should look at which you/her could do well to think about (as I'm not going to ask you for personal details online, well at least not on this website).

    1. What's her general level of fitness? And I mean fitness not weight, would she be knackered after running a mile for example?
    2. Injuries, has she any underlying leg or back issues?

    While I emphasised fitness over weight that's more because I know some incredibly unfit thin people. Overweight people, like myself, do have the extra burden of forcing more load onto their joints, thus increasing impact and pain etc.

    If she has a good level of total fitness as of now, as in before she starts prepping, than realistically running 5/6 miles of the 26 isn't unthinkable. Just dear God don't let her think of doing them consecutively. If she alternates between running and walking (1st mile run, 2nd mile walk, 3rd mile run etc) and walks the rest that would be doing pretty well.

    Personally I would suggest she walks the whole thing if its her first unless she's comfortable with her fitness. Well not quite the whole thing. One thing I always do is at every mile marker, as they are easy to spot landmarks, I run for 50 to 100 yards. It's a fairly simple reason. You use different muscles when you run as to when you walk so those short jogs loosen you up a little.

    I'll try to post a more detailed response tonight or tomorrow as it's that time of year when people have questions about marathons and my, um, unique physical traits mean I'm well placed from the side of someone who knows the bad bits to help out.

    If you want to PM me feel free with any questions feel free and I can go into more specific detail.
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  6. #4
    International Prospect bennocelt's Avatar
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    How many marathons have you ran Aber Stu?

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    FORMERLY: Harpsbear Mad Moose's Avatar
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    I've always been a runner and until the last 3 years since moving to England I considered myself a lazy runner. I've competed at varying levels since moving here which started off as running at work in Ipswich and competing in a series of five friday 5 mile runs at various Suffolk towns. Since then I've moved onto 10k runs and my longest run to date is the worlds first Kilomathon (26km/16.3 miles) from Nottingham to Derby. That one hurt alot though I ran quite well and was happy with my time. I've pushed it on and have half marathon's in Budapest and Amsterdam this year. I have applied for a place in the London marathon 2011.

    I guess the advice i'd give and you may get from above is start off at comfortable distance and work your way up. I've struggled with serious injuries and so I've varied in fitness. If your doing a marathon I'd expect a good level of running fitness and give yourself a year training on top of that. I'm comfortable and strong at half marathon distance and I'm still taking a year to give a marathon a good shot.

    You want to enjoy a marathon and 11 weeks is not a realistic time frame to prepare. My 16 mile run from Nottingham to Derby was for a hospice for terminally ill children and young people. I raised quite alot of money and it encouraged me in the run. The last thing I wanted was to raise money for a cause and not have it in me to compete.

    On top of that she needs to look after her health. A marathon is not to be taken lightly.

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    First Team Aberdonian Stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennocelt View Post
    How many marathons have you ran Aber Stu?
    I've done 5 to date but 'ran' only parts of them. Most I ever ran in one was 7 miles, I walk the rest. I also walked 500 miles in 28 days last year (well a little over, averaged about 20 miles a day). I love doing marathons, they hurt like hell but so long as you're not an eejit they aren't dangerous. I know a lot of people are nervous before them, heck I still get nervous before every one I do, but once you're under way it's generally grand. It's all about knowing your limits and not being stupid.
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    Seasoned Pro passinginterest's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice, I'll pass it on. If I can get my shin splints sorted I'd consider giving a try next year myself.

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    I've been running & doing triathlons for years. I stepped up to Marathon distance last October (Dublin) and struggled, despite having trained well. However, I rarely went over 18 miles in training & I completely underestimated that last 6 miles. Also, I entered the race with a specific time target in mind, which I missed. I picked up a cold 3 days before the race and this was a factor, but so too was not putting in enough long runs.

    If her goal is simply to finish rather than achieve a time target then I'd say 11 weeks is just doable as long as, as Stu recommends, she walks at regular intervals during the race. I personally think 6 months is the approx. required period to start from scratch - but this would require diligence and would run the risk of permanently deterring one from running ever again! It'd be far preferable to run for a year, building slowly and developing a love for it. I can't pass a trail, or a canal tow path or a park without plotting a running route incorporating it. Regardless of the distance, pick interesting and scenic routes as this makes it far more fun than just doing repetitions of the same block all the time.

    www.runnersworld.com is a great source of training tips & programs. The book "Run Less Run Faster" by the FIRST institute (it's on Amazon) is very good although the programmes it prescribes are for experienced distance runners looking to improve rather than beginners. However, the early chapters are very good at describing the science behind distance running, introducing the key concepts of VO2 max, lactate threshold, endurance and running economy. Only by improving all of these components of your overall fitness can you improve as a distance runner and the book shows you how to improve each and for this alone I'd recommend it.

    The good news is that it doesn't prescribe huge weekly mileage like most other programmes - in fact it recommends only running 3 times a week, cycling or swimming 2 or 3 times also.


    If she already has a good base then it's a different story.
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 11/08/2010 at 5:41 PM.

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  13. #9
    FORMERLY: Harpsbear Mad Moose's Avatar
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    Just booked my place for Marathon de Paris 2011. Takes place 2 weeks before London so if I get my London place I'll defer it it until the following year. Only a half an hour to go but registration for Paris opened today for the first 9,000 entrants at the lowest price. I was 4,085 or so so a few places left if anyone wanted something amazing to plan for.

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    First Team Aberdonian Stu's Avatar
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    Best of luck.
    Check out my new sports blog http://www.action81.com

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    Seasoned Pro passinginterest's Avatar
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    Just to update seeing as I started the thread, she decided against the Marathon and will be walking on hot coals instead. The shorter distance was the clincher

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  16. #12
    First Team Aberdonian Stu's Avatar
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    Ah yeah, I've heard that's great craic. A few friends of mine have done it before.
    Check out my new sports blog http://www.action81.com

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    FORMERLY: Harpsbear Mad Moose's Avatar
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    Running is quite strange. I did a half marathon in Budapest a week and a half ago. Now having done that distance a few times I didn't have any real concerns other than I might not feel great on the day. Beautiful city, beautiful event and beautiful weather. I thought my training deserved a more comfortable run but 2/3's the way around I told myself I'm not ready for a marathon. Once I crossed the line and warmed down and chilled out I wanted to do more again. I've got one more half marathon this year and then its Paris. I'll see how I feel after October's but I need to up my training for the coming 6 months to do this. I'll probably do it for charity and that usually gives me a few more miles. I might even ask for support here too.

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    Harps, for me the difference between a half and a full marathon is that in a half you kind of think you can put a bit of welly into it. You know it's only (!) 13 miles and when you start to feel it hurting, there really isn't that much longer left. You know you can do it and, as you say, after you cool down you're raring to go again.

    The marathon is different in my experience (of one)- you run at a slower pace for fear of not having enough left so even at the halfway point you feel OK. By the time you know you're struggling you have 6+ miles left and the end is effing torture. It takes days if not weeks before you feel raring to go again. I had to walk up and down stairs sideways for 3 days afterwards.

    I sat down on the steps on Merrion Sq after Dublin last year. I had to get help getting off the steps - my body was stuck rigid!

    Enjoy Paris.

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    FORMERLY: Harpsbear Mad Moose's Avatar
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    I've got Amsterdam Half in a few weeks and can only improve on my time in Budapest which I didn't enjoy as much as I thought I might. My training is quite good at the minute and I'm quite strong so I expect a better performance in Amsterdam. Crept in 30 seconds short of 2 hours at Budapest which is going back a bit for me but thats an age thing. Its spurred me to better my time.

    Fitting my increased training in, with Paris in mind, is difficult at present and so thats something I need to look at seriously. I don't think I'll have a problem doing it. My problem is pacing myself and I'm not good because as soon as the race comes there's an increase in my pace which means I struggle later. Something I need to work on.

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    FORMERLY: Harpsbear Mad Moose's Avatar
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    I started a blog to document my efforts for April as this will be a move for me from running a 16 mile race to a 26 mile race and thats a huge effort. I decided to focus all those thoughts I have when I'm out on the road into a blog. I haven't gotten the hang of it yet as such so its very much work in progress but I'll keep on at it.

    The site is here

    http://longlonelyroadtoparis.blogspot.com/

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    DCM.

    Doing the DCM this Monday.One of my life goals was to run a marathon and this year i said i'd go for it.Started off from near zero to running a few half marathon's in recent weeks and now am ready(i think) for the marathon.Started doing initial training last January on those very cold evenings and now i cant believe 10 months have flown by and its just day's till the race.
    In individual sports like running the mental side of things can be very difficult.I have done enough training but there's still lingering doubts that have been wrecking my head all week.Plus i keep hearing about these last 6 miles.

  23. #18
    First Team Aberdonian Stu's Avatar
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    It's my 6th one, I imagine I'm a lot bigger than you (close to 20st) and that isn't muscle. If I can manage to still be doing these I reckon you'll be grand. The first one isn't so bad, just basically hang on for the last few miles and you'll be grand. Dublin is a nice course as it flattens considerably after the 19 mile mark so once you hit Foster Avenue it's plain sailing.
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    Now with extra sauce! Dodge's Avatar
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    Fair play Aberdonian. I'd be another big lad and myself and 3 mates have given ourselves 2 years to do it. Fairly daunting task when I think about it but we've decided to talk the slow route to building up to it.
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    Seasoned Pro passinginterest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by passinginterest View Post
    Just to update seeing as I started the thread, she decided against the Marathon and will be walking on hot coals instead. The shorter distance was the clincher
    She did the hot coals thing this day last week and raised well over €1,000 for MDI in the process so she was delighted.

    Best of luck to all you marathon runners. I'd love to give it a try myself one day.

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