/ HELP: half marathon in 2 months (unfit)

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Gaffalynch - on 11 Jan 2013
Hi, I lost a friend last month and I am planning on running the half marathon as he would e proud, its on the 17th March in liverpool, I am fit as I hill walk, climb and kayak, I am a freelance but not fit for running, went o a 3 mile run tonight and was ok is there any supplements or anyone got diet help which will help me out any information on anything will help me right now.

I hope someone can help.
The New NickB - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

Run, run then run some more. Get out three or four times a week, build up you mileage on one of the runs. Eat well, plenty carbs and protein, but don't over do it, milkshake is really good for aiding recovery after a run.

Do you have a target? Or is it to just complete. How fast was your 3 miles today?
Gaffalynch - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB: did the 3 miles in 40mintues I was fine after it could beat that time I think. I had some brown rice with a tuna steak once I got back in too, what type of milkshakes are good been looking and there is so many I don't know where to start, Target it to run 8 miles I would love to finish in 2hrs 30minutes but as you said I just want to finish. how much should I move up ? running tomorrow should I try 3.5 or 4 miles? or like 5?
Wilbur - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

If you have some fitness and can run 3 miles you shld be able to run 6.

If you can run 6, you can do a half with minimal training no problem. I mean really minimal if you just want to get round!

Are you after a particular time?
Gaffalynch - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Wilbur:
I would't say I am fit I can get up hills and stuff but I eat bad really bad, I work alot of nights so I don't sleep much at all, 1 all nighter most weeks. I have 3 jobs, plus I study in Uni, and run DofE for 2 clubs so as you can tell I am always running about and have no time for myself I am going to be running at either 6:30 in the mornings or 10/11pm

I did 3 miles but I would be dead at 6 I think
The New NickB - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

Whatever flavour milkshake you like, nothing fancy, milk is the perfect protein drink the suger will just give you some fast acting carbs, try and eat within half an hour.

Just try going further, whatever feels good. If in six weeks you can run ten miles, you will run 13.1 miles on the day. Keep doing the shorter stuff as well, you will get faster, but I guess you are looking at a target of about 2:30.
papashango - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

Running 3/4 times a week, you'll be sub 2 hours in 2 months I would have thought! Eat well after your runs, and with regard to distance, listen to your body when you're out there, don't give up and call it a day unnecessarily but don't push yourself too far and injure yourself! Loads of training plans on the internet, a quick google search would produce lots of good material!

Good luck!

Wilbur - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

You might be dead first time you run 6 but you will be able to run 7 or 8 the following week...
papashango - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

RE milkshakes - Nesquick Strawberry powder + milk is my fave!
The New NickB - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to papashango:

I think sub 2 might be a bit of a stretch in the time, unless the 3 miler was much slower than it should have been because it was a first run. 40 min 3 miles is 13:20 minute mile pace, which is nearly 3 hours for the half.
Gaffalynch - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to all:

Thanks all this is good advice, I just went on map my run my run was 2.74 miles so a little disappointing but still almost 3. I think I need to change my diet alot, whats best for breakfast and lunch? as I am in Uni its hard to eat as its all junk.

I really hope I can do this yeno it means so much to me.
Gaffalynch - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Sub? what does that mean????
papashango - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

True! Depends how motivated the OP is to do a quick time? ~55min 10k pace isn't unachievable I don't think. With committed training and a decent diet!
papashango - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

Sorry, sub 2 hours just means under 2 hours :)
The New NickB - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:
> (In reply to The New NickB) Sub? what does that mean????

Fast than! So if you are targeting sub 2:30, 2:29:59 or better means you have hit your target.
papashango - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

For breakfast you can't go wrong with a big bowl of porridge. Tesco value porridge oats cost pence per kilo. Warm and filling! Add a tin of peaches (also pence per tin)for more energy/tastiness.

Lunch, dunno. Cook a pasta/rice meal with chicken/fish and put it in a plastic container for eating at lunch? Or sandwiches.
Gaffalynch - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to papashango:
Thanks for all your help I am going to do this all! I will let you all know what I am like next week.
jamesc88 on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne: Good on you, this sounds like great fun. My first (and only) half marathon I managed to do on minimal training, I'd never run 12 miles in one go.

As for as advice goes it pays dividends to eat regularly as you train, don't bother with huge amounts of carbo loading. Try run more each week, capping at about 4 runs a week, any more and you risk injury.

Stop running completely the week before, don't even be tempted, in this week you'll want to up the protein slightly and the carbs a lot. Try for something like 60% carb diet.

Don't eat too much the night before, it's all well and good eating a huge plate of spaghetti but not when you need to drop the kids off at mile 6...

Try out some energy gels, these things got me round. If you haven't had them before then get a coulpe and find a flavour you like and a brand that doesn't make you feel too rough (possible upset stomachs). Take one every 3 miles or half an hour, whichever is quicker. You'll need a little water to help it down.

On the day continue your regular routine, don't try to shock your body, if you wake up every day to a cream cheese bagel and pint of white coffee with sugar then do it today. Hopefully you'll have had a good 8 hours sleep. When you get to the start line try some dynamic stretching, nothing static as it ruins your legs for running.

When the gun goes start SLOW. Runners run in negative splits, i.e. the first half is slower than the second half. You should be below pace for the first half and slightly over pace for the second, you're legs will come to you, don't worry about that.

This is kind of a personal thing but there is some science to it. Don't get it on with your partner the night before, it absolutely kills the mojo. If I got lucky the night before a big run/ride my legs feel rubbish. Don't risk it.

Most importantly, enjoy it. I had an absolute blast the whole way round. Bring friends/family and dot them around the route, you'll be lifted by anyone cheering. It's also good to give these guys a gel/some water so you aren't carrying it.
The New NickB - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to jamesc88:

I wouldn't try using gels in the race unless you are absolutely certain your guts can take them, I also think every three miles is excessive, I actually don't think you need them at all for the half marathon, but obviously not everyone is the same.

Not starting too fast is good advice, but don't start too slow either, most runners actually don't run negative splits and the half is a short enough distance to start faster than you finish and hang on for the last few miles, there is a balance.
jamesc88 on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Lucky he's got 2 months to find out - gut wise ;). I've never had any trouble with gels though, the first time I took one I wasn't ready for the caffeine shock but no bloated feeling.
The New NickB - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to jamesc88:

Just wanted to reinforce that they must be well tested. I still don't think they are really needed.
orejas - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
I did my first half last year and found using something My Asics to put together a training plan helped with the motivation. I never did quite the training it suggested but I found it helped.
Eric9Points - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to jamesc88)
>
> I wouldn't try using gels in the race unless you are absolutely certain your guts can take them, I also think every three miles is excessive, I actually don't think you need them at all for the half marathon, but obviously not everyone is the same.
>

Agreed, also no one has asked how much he weighs just now. It may be that a diet is in order! I found that an energy boost after 8 miles or so is useful for a race but that I can go for maybe 15 miles without running out of energy completely - and I'm an old git. I'd have thought that packing your face every 3 miles would only slow you down.

To the OP. Conventional wisdom is that you can increase your maximum distance by about 10% a week. That seemed about right for me. Increasing by 10% for 7 weeks is only going to double what you can do now so maybe you need to think about trying a walk/run strategy to get you to 13.1 miles in 8 weeks. Certainly getting out 4 times a week is the thing to do but only push the boat out on one of those days, the others should be taken a bit easier.

Here's a suggestion. This weekend do 6.5 miles as a combination of running and walking. Run until you feel it's getting a bit uncomfortable and then walk until you feel OK to run again and repeat as necessary. Next weekend do 7.15 miles in the same manner the next week 7.9 miles and so on. During the week do three runs that are much shorter maybe 1 mile/2 miles/1 mile and increase those by 10% a week as well. See how it goes.
Run_Ross_Run - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

Another thing that helped me was Kendal Mint cake. Give it a go during your training and if you can stomach it then take some with you when you race.

Agree with not training hard on the preceeding week but i wouldn't write off a few light jogs. I found that a short 20 min run loosed things up nicely the night before i ran the marathon.
Uluru on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne: If you look at the Run Bristol Website they have some good training plans which are based on the time which you would like to achieve and the level of running you currently do.

I totally agree with Nick B be careful with gels and test before the day. If you need energy during the race the humble jelly bean does wonders as does a banana (but they are not as easy to carry).
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

9 weeks easy. Do this:-

This weekend run 5 miles. It's ok if you stop but make sure you complete the distance.

Week 1 - 3 runs of about 3 miles each, one run 6 miles
Week 2 " one run 7 miles
Week 3 " one run 8 miles
Week 4 4 runs of 4 miles each
Week 5 3 runs of 4 miles each One run 9 miles
Week 6 " One run 10 miles
Week 7 " One run 11 miles
Week 8 " One run 12 miles
Week 9 2 runs of 2-3 miles


Make sure you get the long runs in on the week end. Try and increase the pace and intensity on one of the lower mileage runs during the week by doing intervals or hill runs. Take it easy on the last week but don't do nothing. Stretch, jog and concentrate on eating right.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Seb
Gaffalynch - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to all:
well its been 2 days, I have done a 3 mile run as you all already know, a 3.5 mile run then this morning a 4.3 mile.

all this information is out of this world I feel like you all have helped me fight the 'I cant do it' I feel proud to be doing this not just for my friend but for my own fitness and health. At present I am 6ft and weight 13st 2Ib is this over weight I am a 32 waist in jeans,pants ect but buy 34 as my top of my legs dont think in 32 pants most of the time, I thought I was ok till I found out I was 13st that seems alot.
JamButty - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne: If you check your BMI you're the same as me around 25 which is top end healthy weight, so your not overweight. I feel I could drop another 1/2 stone or so, but that would mean too much effort on what I think is a fairly good diet, but also wine and chocs when I want.
I do enough exercise not to worry about, and I expect you'll find your weight will drop a bit anyway with all this running.

Good luck, I'm planning on my first half this year but am a little further down the distances than you, but I'm sure you'll be fine - best advice I got is don't stop!, even if you have to walk, don't stop!
climb the peak - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne: I find a really milky bowl of weetabix works really well for any sort of recovery
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to climb the peak:
> (In reply to Plan Airborne) I find a really milky bowl of weetabix works really well for any sort of recovery


I agree. Warm milk too Mmmmm.
ads.ukclimbing.com
ClimberEd - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

You'll be fine. Follow (most) of the advice on this thread. Build up slowly, watch your nutrition and recovery and you'll nail it.

Oh, and get a decent pair of shoes. And a decent watch if you have the cash.
mick.h on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ClimberEd:

Follow most of the advice on this thread, and you will be stopping for a shit very soon.

Porridge?

Kendal Mint Cake?

No, no , no. Just pace yourself, 13 miles ain't that far if you don't go off too quick.
Gaffalynch - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to mick.h: Did 5 miles today in 47minutes, Proud of myself. breakfast advice anyone as porridge is what I was happening is there anythink better?
The New NickB - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

That is a big improvement, sub 2 hours may actually be possible. Don't worry too much about food, sounds like your diet isn't too bad. Try six miles in a few days.
blossomhill on 15 Jan 2013
hi plan airborne..you could also try a bagel with peanut butter in a morning, or wholegrain toast with jam, both these are good b4 a morning run.
I ran sheffield half marathon without doing the distance in training, only managed 8 mile training runs, you'll be surprised how you feel on the day, excited, nervous etc... but a good positive mental attitude will help, and ENJOY the experience too, you'll get round :-) I wish you all the very best with your run :-))))))
Gaffalynch - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to blossomhill: Thanks alot I will have a look at that for breakfast

reply to everyone: After the 5 miles I haven't been to great I headed to snowdonia instead of running Tuesday and did the glyders in the perfect weather, was rushing around today but went the job before work and did 6.5km in 39.20 on the running machine. 2% hill and of a speed of 10-12km/h very warm after tht.
trish1968 - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne: Do lots of road running get your legs used to the horrible pounding.
Before anyone says it I know it's bad for your knees and joints as I've had 2 knee ops but it's really important your legs are used to the road.
I'm not a fast runner and managed sub 2hr half marathons when I used to run.
Good luck and remember to pace yourself don't get carried away with the fast runners. Start at the back so your overtaking people that's a good confidence booster.
trish1968 - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to trish1968: p.s. I tried gels on a marathon big mistake they are discusting and take a lot of getting used to. Wine gums worked for me not too sickly.
Sweetjesus - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

The first time I ran a half marathon; the Liverpool half I started training in the January (granted I had run my firt 10km race in the previous October) and I managed to get a reasonable time 1:51.

The advice above is largely good just don't punish yourself too much on the nutrition aspect. Whilst it will help the biggest single factor that will help is running more. Run three times in the week and then a longer run at the weekend. I suggest 3-4miles in the week each run and 6 at the weekend to start. You can build this up as you progress and feel fitter and more able. The best advice I had when I started off was to run slower but for longer.

This is now my sixth half marathon at Liverpool I would describe myself as a plodder and not an exclusive runner but it's a good course in my home city. I'm looking for around 1:35 this year depending on how windy it is as the last four miles are usually into the wind down the Mersey.
hnmisty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

A friend told me that if you can run half the distance in training, the atmosphere on the day will carry you through the other half. Her other tip was find someone with a wobbly bum and tuck in behind them, it'll distract you!

The first tip worked for me- did a 10k (having previously never run more than 5k before) in Oct 2011 and having been ill all the week beforehand in 62 mins (in Sheffield, with a lovely uphill finish :p). However...I've now got into ultra marathons, so beware! :D (can't go back to road races now after lovely, quiet races). I didn't follow the second tip, I was too scared in case someone was using me as their wobbly bum distraction!

Good luck, I'm sure your friend would be proud to know you are doing it in their memory.

As to BMI- I was weighed by a nurse, told I was overweight (I'm a UK size 10) and that I might want to lose some weight. Went back a year later, got told well done for losing weight...I'd been doing LESS exercise and lost muscle. It's a load of boll*cks. Did save the nurse from the rant I was going to unleash about telling young women who aren't fat to lose weight!
Gaffalynch - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to hnmisty: this is good information, I feel alot fitter I have been running 5 miles now as a normal. I did 5 miles at 8am yesturday and then a few of the others were running 4 miles but I ran from my house to meet them and did the same on return and ran 6.18 longest run so far and I felt fine. I think I am doing ok but worried not to rush to 8 miles.
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

Sounds like you're doing well mate. To be honest if you build it up to 10 miles you should be able to find the extra 3 on the day.

Seb
Gaffalynch - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Sebastian Fontleroy: just did 7.51 miles I am so happy with myself :) woohooo this is all because of your help everyone.
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Plan Airborne:

Your well on track. 7 more weeks of training and prep. Good effort.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.