/ Running help. 0 - marathon in 4 mnths. Doable? Help!

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Runningforglory - on 10 Jan 2013
Very stupidly I've said yes to a friend and we are going to try for a marathon in 4 months. I would appreciate any tips on training. If you assume I know nothing you're bigging me up a bit.

Currently my training which is only two weeks old includes hill walking at the weekends where I'm trying to push the distances but only doing 10 -15 miles per trip right now.

Running is going a bit slower. I'm ashamed to admit my first run was less than a mile before intense pain around the midriff and a collapsed lung closed play. After two weeks of running every morning I am now up to around 1.75 miles but very sore in the legs and midriff still and still getting very out of breath.

Has anyone done anything like this in this time scale? Is it doable? Any good tips for a complete beginner on how to structure the training better?
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory: I would take a rest day rather than run every day if you're not used to it. You will need time to allow your muscles to repair and adapt. I'm sure there are some free training plans if you search google, but I would think if you are not running 10k comfortably in 4 weeks, then it maybe tough.

Good luck
jfw - on 10 Jan 2013
I think you may have to aim at covering the distance with jog/ walking. i.e. jog a bit run a bit.

The time on your feet from hill walking will stand you in good stead - but you need to condition your legs/feet to the less forgiving road.

I would look at couch to 5km training plans to get some ideas for jog a bit walk a bit approach

Also from the sound of it you are trying to run too fast - think "jogging " rather than running and what you can maintain over a long time.
bentley's biceps - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory:

There are some plans on here that may help you: http://www.greatermanchestermarathon.com/training/training-plans
andy - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory: Look on Runners World for a "get you round" programme.

Most mara programmes are 16 weeks - all good. But most of them expect you to be able to run for an hour or so before you start - all bad.

You've plenty of time to get to a position where you'll get round, but do make sure the collapsing lungs/intense pain are just signs of your body being a bit "surprised" by the effort rather than something more serious!

Good luck.
Irk the Purist - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory:

You will undoubtedly hear stories of how easy it is to run a marathon from people who did no training and got around. Sadly, not everyone is able to do it so easily. Stick at it and 1.75 miles will become 2, which will become 3 ...

Think of how pleased you'll be, knowing how much effort YOU have put into it. Vary your route so you don't get bored and also so you don't know where you 'usually' start to get tired. Leave the watch at home. Walk if you have to.

4 months is tight, but doable. Good luck.


mattrm - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory:

As others have noted, going straight into a run every day plan is a really bad idea. You need to take a couple of days off to let your body recover. If you can get to do some other races before the marathon, that would be good. Even if it's just a local 10k it'll give you an idea of what to expect on the day. When you're at the race, give yourself plenty of time to park, find the start, go to the loo etc. If the weather is cold, buying a really cheap jumper and tracksuit bottoms to wear and then abandon is a common plan. Some folk wear binbags and the like. Some races pick up the clothes after the start and donate them to charity.

A really good idea in the race is to take regular walk breaks, eg run a mile, walk a minute. Also go slow at the start. Really slow. You can always speed up.

A common running plan is something like this:

Mon - Rest
Tues - short fast run
Weds - Rest
Thurs - slightly longer steady run
Fri & Sat - Rest
Sun - long slow run

I really like Jeff Galloway's site, specifically:

http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html
Moley on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory: As you only have a short time, and are clearly not a natural runner who will find it easy, I would say play to your strengths - hill walking. Concentrate each weekend on long hard hill walks adding any downhill or flat jogging, but only if you feel like it (don't overtrain and risk injury).
During the week put in any short flat runs you feel up to doing, but don't overtrain and listen to your body rather than a set schedule.
LDWA events are great to train on if you can fit some in at weekends, up the mileage/time on your feet in a very unpressured atmosphere, if you can fast walk a hard 25mile you will walk/jog it on the day.
http://www.ldwa.org.uk/challenge_events/events_list.php?list_type=L&event_type=N
Eric9Points - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory:

Here's an 18 week training programme for a novice: http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51137/Marathon-Novice-1-Training-Program

If you start at week 2 and miss out one of the taper weeks at the end you should be OK for a half decent time. You may need to walk bits or try walking for one minute during your runs when it all gets a bit much but the important thing is to get in that kind of volume of training, 4 times a week.
Cappa - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory: It is definatley do able, cant say it will be enjoyable, but do able.

I would advise spending some time on recovery, especially after long runs or sprinting sessions. Get the frozen peas out and ice the main muscle groups in your legs if your brave enough go for an ice bath after big runs. This should slash your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness the next day.

Plenty of streatching to but never after applying ice
mick.h on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory:

Completing the 26 miles - yes

Completing it without walking at times - probably not

Completing it in less than 4.5 hours - no
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P.Goldstein on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Runningforglory:

It's definitely doable - I did a similar thing for the 2010 Edinburgh Marathon. Went from not running to Marathon in about 5 months and did the marathon in 5:08. It was also 30degC that day so I'm blaming some of the terrible time on that!

Runner's World do some half decent, no thought required, plans. Just follow this and you should get round, albeit slowly and painfully.

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/racing/rws-basic-marathon-schedules-get-you-round/108.html

Good luck!

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