UKC

/ 9-mile marathon

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Rampikino - on 09 Jan 2018
Hi all,

Anyone seen or heard anything of this training plan that apparently tells you to cut out long runs and hit your marathon goal in 90 days running no more than 9 miles at a time.

Not much in the way of reliable peer-reviews online, but it looks like semi-scam/gimmick to me.

I'm curious because I'm a regular marathon runner, back on the road again and past 14 miles, and just wondering what the concept is...

M
The New NickB - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

I’ve not seen that, but I have seen all sorts of crazy Marathon plans. Doesn’t make sense to me, the difference between how my first 20 mile run and second 20 mile run feels is huge, I will probably run 20-22 miles 8 times before marathon day. I’m a big fan of lots of marathon pace 10 milers, but not running further than that is going to leave you seriously under prepared.
Rampikino - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

I agree. I also feel that there a major psychological barriers to overcome, especially if you are not used to running long distances. The head-game needed to get through a marathon is not going to be won during 9-milers IMO.
Jim Hamilton - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

If you run 9 miles a day you can't go far wrong ??
ClimberEd - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

Well I race long distance triathlons and in training I have probably only run longer than 2 1/2 hours 3 times in the past 5 years.

In fact, I can say I haven't run longer than 2 1/2 hours in training for the last 3 or so years, and I typically only run that once or twice before a race.

All my training is time not distance based.

And my results are okay.

I guess a couple of things, which is that my overall training volume (for the swim bike run) is large so I am getting an overall endurance effect from that. Also I mainly run hills which builds strength which is what you need for a triathlon marathon, rather than speed for a fresh 3 hour event.
yorkshireman - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

> Anyone seen or heard anything of this training plan that apparently tells you to cut out long runs and hit your marathon goal in 90 days running no more than 9 miles at a time.

I guess the crux is what is the goal being referred to? Is it just to complete it? Get round in <5 hours? Or run a 2:50?

It sounds dubious to me although I'm a big fan of harder, shorter sessions (as ultimately you need to raise your overall fitness so that your race pace isn't so close to your absolute limit) but there's no hiding from needing to do long runs just to prepare the body for the battering it will take.

If it was a sure-fire success I guess we would have heard more of it.
summo on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

There is a rough theory that whatever you regular maximum distance is, you can absolutely kill yourself and treble it. There are caveats that you must be running that distance weekly for a while and the 3x distance requires huge motivation as it will be a complete sufferfest. Not the best way to embark on a marathon.
wbo - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

I think the other thing you overlook is that mentally you're used to putting in continual efforts of 2 hours plus so the mental 'surprise' of just how long it can feel is pretty much removed.

It's another plan. It has the advantage of you're way less likely to get overtrained and I confess I am not a fan of seeing people wobbling around for 3 hours plus. On the downside it ain't going to get you very fit nor mentally ready , and if it doesn't work for you it might make a long day feel very hard
The New NickB - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

I’m assuming your 2:30 run is a lot further than 9 Miles, I won’t run for longer than 2:30 in my marathon training, but I will be doing 20 miles or a touch more.
ClimberEd - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

yeah it is, I have no idea how far actually, I guess about 28-30km depending on how hilly, or further on the flat.
I was more generally drawing attention to 'shorter' distance training rather than the 9miles specifically.

Regarding the 9M, the OP doesn't say if there is running more than once a day.
You could do 9miles twice a day. Or various other combinations such as 9M and 6M, or even 9 & 3 & 3, or mix it up over a few days etc.

Additionally, it could propose a run/walk strategy in the event. Say run 5M, walk 1 and so on. This would probably be possible off 9m runs.

Sounds a bit silly to me.

Rampikino - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

The thing is, the plan is something you have to buy, so I can't say anything about the content beyond the blurb!
Yanis Nayu - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

Sounds like bollocks to me, not that I’ve ever trained for running long distances.

Marlies Kort - on 01 Mar 2018

Hi. This is Marlies Kort. Author of The 9-Mile Marathon System. By coincidence I got on the UKC site and read your discussion about my 9-mile program.

Please feel free and reach out to me when you have any questions about the program: info@freeandfocused.com  Thanks! Marlies Kort

2
john arran - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

It might be pretty good for speed, and potentially adequate for endurance, but one important missing factor is nutrition. I used to have real problems taking on calories during a long race and it's largely because I never did so in training. As a result, during several marathon-type races I ended up pretty much having to stop and sort my stomach out before being able to continue - and this was from having been fairly near to the front of the field beforehand. I'm sure that this could also be trained while keeping to a 9-mile limit but it would take a determined effort to do so.

Dave Kerr - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

> If you run 9 miles a day you can't go far wrong ??

I was thinking that. Say 6x9 mile days with a rest day each week might well work for marathon prep.

Rampikino - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to john arran:

I think this is a really good point.  It's one of the key things that you only learn through experience.

What is your "boing" distance?  You can't learn that by running just 9 miles.  How to fuel for longer distances is something learned from experienced, not extrapolated from shorter distances.  I don't just use longer runs to build up stamina/endurance I use them to experiment and find out how I react to certain scenarios so that, on the day, I can get it right.

Additionally, there is the psychological element.  The head game of long-distance running is a massive factor.  Now perhaps there is a way of addressing this by taking on multiple and consecutive days of 9-milers but I am not convinced - I did this myself while training for my first marathon and it was no substitute for the psychological battle of a long run.

Happy to see a debate about it though.  I'm curious...

Rampikino - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Marlies Kort:

The questions are all here on this thread - why not answer here?

Dave B on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Or a 9 miler. 5 minute break.  Another 9 miler. 2 minute break. An easy 8 to finish. 

I'm sure the 385 yards will be got through by sheer will power on the day of the event... 

 

Dave Kerr - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> There is a rough theory that whatever you regular maximum distance is, you can absolutely kill yourself and treble it.

The similar one I've heard is that you can do in a day what you'd do in a week. Although with a good spell of high mileage weeks followed by a decent taper it needn't kill you and is probably a fairly decent strategy for finishing an ultra.

Marmoteer - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

I have used the Hanson Method. This has 6 runs a week with a weekly mileage of about 50miles for a beginner.  The longest run was 16miles/27km and you do that every 2 weeks.

It has worked well for me...I used it twice as a basis for longer fell runs and trail marathons.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hansons-Marathon-Method-Renegade-Fastest/dp/1934030856

 

 

Wainers44 - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

I worry about the damage done to my old joints etc from training which is too long. I concentrate on the impact of the route, ie plenty of hills, hopefully keep to moorland rather than path and as muddy as possible.

For the recent 44mile ultra my longest prep run was probably 10 miles, with most being 6 to 8?

Load carrying also helps the endurance more than just running distance. In prep for the 100 miler in May I will probably walk around 300k from Feb to April carrying a pack around 14kg. Not surprisingly I rarely find I hit the limit of my legs endurance for running. Food is normally my nemesis. 

As has been said the mind games are the key.

Rampikino - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Wainers44:

That's really interesting. Could I ask what pace you would be training at and then running at?

Wainers44 - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

> That's really interesting. Could I ask what pace you would be training at and then running at?

Normal training around 8 min miles, obviously a bit slower if really bog walloping! 

In the ultra my plan was to run the flats no faster than 9 min miles and see how the uphills went. Overall I did the 44 miles in 8hrs 19min so around the pace I hoped for but to be honest a time better than I expected! I can run shortish distances a bit quicker, a recent 10miler on some pretty wet trails in 1hr 19.

The bit that surprised me most after the recent ultra was that I can honestly say that I wasn't stiff at all afterwards, not even slightly. I think the shorter, harder runs (by my standards, not a proper runners standard) is the way to go. I do throw in the odd longer one, but not as part of a plan, just because I fancy an outing. I have run the straight line N to S across Dartmoor a few times now, depends on conditions and that's around 26miles in under 6 hours, but that is very rough running indeed so always slower! But then I am 53 this year so slower is good sometimes

Rampikino - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Wainers44:

I have to admit that my only Ultra (34 miles last year) was not my worst run - I felt much worse after the Yorkshire 3 Peaks.

Your experience does seem to indicate that shorter bouts of training won't necessarily inhibit your long-distance performance.

Rampikino - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Marmoteer:

50 miles per week seems a lot for a beginner!

I'm doing about 35-40 per week and targeting good for age in my April marathon.

Dave Kerr - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

> I have to admit that my only Ultra (34 miles last year) was not my worst run - I felt much worse after the Yorkshire 3 Peaks.

The Three Peaks is tough though. Something about all the changes in pace, angle and surface make it harder that the distance and height gain might suggest.

Marmoteer - on 01 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

You are right...I think “beginner” in the book’s context means beginner to the programme, not new to marathons.  The book says you should probably have tried a marathon previously and be used to having some fairly high mileage in your legs before starting their beginner programme.

The programme can feel fairly relentless but that is what it is designed to do; cumulative fatigue.  Some weeks are easier than others!

Rampikino - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to Marmoteer:

Sweat Elite lists Mo Farrah's marathon training schedule as this:

Below is the typical weekly training schedule for Mo Farah. This involves running up to a maximum of 135 miles per week with no rest days and two sessions every day but Sunday, when he just does an all out 22-27 miles at 5:40 min/mile.

Monday

AM: 10-mile recovery run (6:00min/mile pace)

PM: 6-mile recovery run

Tuesday

AM: 4-mile warm-up run; 8-12mile tempo run anywhere from 4:40 to 5:00min/mile pace (depending on altitude and terrain); 3-mile cool-down run

NOON: Strength and conditioning session (1 hour)

PM: 6-mile recovery run

Wednesday

AM: 12-mile recovery run, followed by a massage.

PM: 5-mile recovery run

Thursday

AM: 11-mile recovery run

PM: 5-mile recovery run

Friday

AM: 4-mile warm-up jog; 10x200m intervals (with 200m recovery jogs) on grass in 29 seconds each rep; 10x200m hill sprints at equal effort, walk back down to recover; 4- mile cool-down run.

NOON: Strength and conditioning session (1 hour)

PM: 4-miles easy

Saturday

AM: 11-mile recovery run, massage

PM: 6-mile recovery run

Sunday

AM: 22-27 miles, no slower than marathon race pace + 1 minute (for Mo, this means 5:40min/mile)

Total Stats:

  • 126-135 miles per week
  • 15 training sessions in total
  • 2 gym
  • 2 massage

 

Michael Hood - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino: rule of thumb I heard many years ago was that your max race distance (to be able to comfortably race at good - for you - pace) was 3 times your average daily mileage (including rest days); i.e. weekly mileage x 3/7

So for marathon that's 61 miles/week

A couple of caveats; 1. Obviously you can get round on much less, 2. I never found out how long you were meant to sustain that mileage for (just the week before you taper, to be your usual mileage, etc?)

But I reckon if you built up to achieving 60 miles/week for even just one week, then you'd have a pretty comfortable marathon.

 

Post edited at 11:42
Rampikino - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to Michael Hood:

I think you would have more than that Michael!

At 47 I've done my last 3 half marathons at Sub 90 and I'm realistically aiming for 3:15 in the Manchester Marathon which would be good for age.

I'm only running 15-20 miles during the week with a longer run at the weekend.

61 miles a week seems way over the top!

 

Your caveats help put it into context - I definitely manage on less (I'm also doing an Ultra in a few weeks on the same weekly mileage), and there's no way I could sustain 61 mpw without getting seriously fatigued.

The New NickB - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

I’m 12 weeks out from my marathon (Edinburgh). I’m currently trying to sustain around 40 miles Monday to Thursday (10, 8 including speed work, 10, slower 12), rest on a Friday, 7 on a Saturday including a parkrun at faster than marathon pace, but usually not 5k race pace) then a long run on a Saturday, this gets me in the mid to high 60s. Lots of snow this week has meant that I haven’t managed it this week, but I did do 17 in a blizzard on Wednesday.

Rampikino - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Hi Nick,

That seems like heavy mileage so far out from the big day.  Do you have a particular target?  Also, does this leave you fatigued?

The New NickB - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

Sub 3 hours, I know that I need the mileage to have a chance at that. I find it is OK, although I have the odd run with heavy legs. I’ve got years of reasonable mileage behind me, 40 a week is ticking over.

Rampikino - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Good on you.  I can't even begin to contemplate sub 3 - sub 3:15 will be a big enough challenge (realistically I can get 3:12).

Michael Hood - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino: I think when I used to do the occasional half, I got to about 25-30 miles/week. That took me to sub 90 a couple of times.

Maintaining 30 might have made that "comfortable" or given me a bit more speed. But having cracked 90, the next target would have been 85 (6:30 pace) and I didn't fancy putting in the extra effort (in the same way as I didn't fancy the effort required to go round a half twice).

 

Andy Hardy on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

> The questions are all here on this thread - why not answer here?


Because he'd be shown for the snake oil salesman he very likely is? (That's just a guess BTW)

Rampikino - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Because he'd be shown for the snake oil salesman he very likely is? (That's just a guess BTW)


Perhaps not snake oil so much as someone trying to make money from giving you a running plan which is otherwise not particularly unique or valuable!

steveriley - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to Andy Hardy:

I think he is a she - http://freeandfocused.com/about-marlies-kort/ 

Decent PBs (and way faster than mine) but not super stunning ...maybe she'd benefit from a few longer runs?

I've never been high mileage, from a mix of laziness and being prone to joint flare ups, but the 'bodge' tactic has taken me past marathon a few times in the hills. Pig headedness can get you a long way, but I'm sure I could have gone into stuff better prepared with more longer runs.

 

Rampikino - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to steveriley:

That link explains a lot.

Natural Law...

Premium retreats in Curaçao... at anything between $8k and $11k...

Post edited at 18:50
wbo - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to steveriley:smarty pants comment is that she is a triathlete - the need for long runs rather reduced as they're replaced by a lot of bike miles.

the upside of 9 miles a day is that you're unlikely to end up over trained, fatigued.  But it will be tough to get very fit.  It was less than my mileage for semi serious 10k

 

The New NickB - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to steveriley:

I like this:

  • Winner New York Marathon Overall Non-Pro Female: 2h52

What it actually means is about 20th woman.

Good athlete, but a lot of slightly grating self promotion.

Post edited at 21:20
Rampikino - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> I like this:

> Winner New York Marathon Overall Non-Pro Female: 2h52

> What it actually means is about 20th woman.

> Good athlete, but a lot of slightly grating self promotion.

Not as grating as the retreat prices!!

Rampikino - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

I looked

She came 364th overall, 28th female and 1st in age.

tonanf - on 03 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

for my only marathon so far, i trained 5 to 7 miles 3 times a week, all on road hills for about 3 months. also rugby every weekend. including sprinting trainning at rugby.

1 or 2 10 milers. my time was 3.15. i didnt need to do lots of long runs.

 

now i like to run long, so i run long. 8 to 10 miles is nice. i want to do an ultra at some point but wont try to run 100s of miles a week to train. just be happy and comfortable running.

enjoy it!

tonanf - on 03 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

the 9 mile authoress has some quality tri credintials. she runs marathons for fun! i thinks.

Roadrunner5 - on 03 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

Thinking about it again, I can see that it would give results, if it was regular and lots of quality. 

Charlie Spedding ran about 70 miles a week, Steve Jones about 90. Everyone is different in what it takes to get the training benefits.

I think long runs are over rated tbh, especially if they are slow. 

However I'd also not have thought 9 miles would give the aerobic challenge.

My best year was lots of 9-12 milers with an African 64 minute half marathoner. We'd finish runs down at 5:20 pace. It was brutal. But I'd run 5 or so 20 milers but lots and lots of 10-15 milers at pace. But we were rarely out for more than 90 minutes.

timjones - on 03 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

> I agree. I also feel that there a major psychological barriers to overcome, especially if you are not used to running long distances. The head-game needed to get through a marathon is not going to be won during 9-milers IMO.

I guess it depends on what type of "head" you have.

 

My real head-game would be overcoming the monotony of multiple longer training runs.

 

Training is boring but it's easy to find the motivation to push for longer on the event that you have been eagerly anticipating.

Moley on 03 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

So much depends on the individual, there have always been training programs but nothing suits everyone.

Going back 30 years when I ran on roads I was never a high mileage runner, but I had an extremely physical job (and long hours) and tended to do shorter runs, at pace whilst relying on work for basic stamina.

I averaged 35-40 miles weekly and sometimes pushed it to low 40s for short periods. Never ran a road marathon, but was sub 1.25 for halves, 60m for 10 mile and did a very hilly 20 miler in 2.20. 

So I think anything is feasible, but what works for one runner won't for another. These days I'm a distance plodder!!

Roadrunner5 - on 03 Mar 2018
In reply to timjones:

> I guess it depends on what type of "head" you have.

> My real head-game would be overcoming the monotony of multiple longer training runs.

> Training is boring but it's easy to find the motivation to push for longer on the event that you have been eagerly anticipating.

But training works.. It may be boring but it makes racing so much more pleasurable. The last 6 miles of a marathon when you are well trained are hard but immensely satisfying as you finish strong moving through the crowd.

timjones - on 03 Mar 2018
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> But training works.. It may be boring but it makes racing so much more pleasurable. The last 6 miles of a marathon when you are well trained are hard but immensely satisfying as you finish strong moving through the crowd.

I'm sure it does work but time is precious and not everyone wants to spend too much of it plodding away training.

I kind of admire those who have the dogged determination to do it but it just doesn't stack up for me.

The New NickB - on 03 Mar 2018
In reply to timjones:

> I'm sure it does work but time is precious and not everyone wants to spend too much of it plodding away training.

That’s the point of the thread though, training works and there aren’t really any short cuts, although you can train more intelligently to a certain extent, you need to put the time in or accept that you are not going to reach your optimum. 

Post edited at 23:20
wbo - on 04 Mar 2018
In reply to Roadrunner5:I would be very wary of using Steve Jones only did 90 a week as much of a guide - his estimates of distance and pace are painfully conservative.  His 20 mile loop in Boulder is brutal

 

fimm on 04 Mar 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

As someone who has done both a long-distance triathlon and a couple of road marathons - ignore the triathlete! The run leg of a long-distance tri is very different to a stand-alone marathon. I started out on the run of the tri having never run a marathon and having run up to about 2h30 in training (about 13 miles IIRC); but I'd done lots of bike mileage. The run took me 4h30. The following year I did a road marathon, including running about 20 miles in training, in just under 3h30. Totally different experience.

Anecdote 2: my husband has done loads of Ultramarathons but not so much long distnace running in the past 12 - 18 months. He entered the Glentress trail marathon and started building up to it only to get 1) a back injury and then 2) a nasty cold, so he ended up running the marathon after one recent "long" run of 20km ish (12 - 13 miles). He got round in 4h30 (it is a pretty hilly course as well as being off road) and felt fine and has been wondering ever since why he didn't get any DOMS... just to show that endurance can last you quite a long time.

Roadrunner5 - on 04 Mar 2018
In reply to fimm:

I think she's ignoring the endurance benefit being a tri athlete gave her. That will still give the general cellular and anatomical machinery with which to be a good runner.

Rampikino - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Roadrunner5:

I guess there are a number of points about this discussion, all of which is interesting:

For me, I believe that I could run no more than 9 miles at a time and still manage a marathon.  BUT - my expectations in that marathon would have to be seriously curtailed.  I would probably be looking at a 4:30-5:00 marathon rather than the sub 3:15 that I am currently training for.

Another point is that plenty of people have said that longer runs don't matter and they could do quite a lot on existing routines - many of these have additional training that will supplement the running (rugby, swimming, biking).  Without this supplemental training, what is the realistic expectation?

I don't do long runs for a single reason.  The long runs serve 3 core purposes:

PHYSICAL - endurance training, to get me physically prepared and also to understand how I physically cope with long runs.

MENTAL - to win the head game of doing long runs.  To know how I peak and trough mentally on a longer run and to find ways of dealing with the mental side of long-distances rather than leaving it to the race day.

PRACTICAL - to learn.  This is to learn about what kit works, what fuel works, where my boing point is, where kit rubs after 20 miles (that I wouldn't necessarily know after 9), where my energy levels peak and trough, how easy it is to carry and fuel on the go etc. etc,

I genuinely feel that a programme of shorter runs would not give me the mental and practical elements - especially the practical ones.  Mentally it makes a big difference having done multiple marathons and even an Ultra in the past, but you never know when you are going to struggle.  You can pay $8000 to sit and meditate around a campfire if you like, but being in the midst of a long run is perfect preparation for being in a longer run!

That's my thoughts on it...


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