Almost beginner to marathon in a year?

Can it be done?

1 to 20 of 27 messages
25/04/2007 at 23:24
Hi everyone!

I'm an occasional runner, currently hovering around week 4 of the couch-to-5k program, but I'm feeling really inspired to do the marathon next year. I am young, fit (in terms of other forms of exercise) and healthy, apart from the occasional knee twinge and back problem, both of which I do exercises for and am prepared to have more treatment for if it stops me running.

SO, if i can get to 5k, and then 10k within 6 months-ish, is a marathon in 12 months do-able? It's hell for almost everyone, isn't it? Am I delusional?

Any advice would be fantastic!!

Thanks for your help :)
25/04/2007 at 23:30
if you have this motivation and determination then you are half way there.
Work on a gradual increase in mileage up to 85 per week and try to find a training partner to spur you on during those cold, dark nights when you are pounding the streets for 10 miles after work!.But think of the glory and achievement of passing the line in about 3 hours.
Keep at it and work hard till it hurts.
26/04/2007 at 00:00
I went from non runner in Jan 06 to do 4 x halves in the same year. I've just done FLM, so that's 16months. It can be done if you are lucky enough not to suffer too many injuries. I've had one that knocked my mara prog into a cocked hat but I was still able to get round last Sunday.

Plan your year carefully and you should be OK. Start with a 10k, then a half before summer gets too hot. More halves in Autumn and winter with a good programme thorugh the winter. I'm assuming you want to do FLM, so don't forget that the best chance you have is probably a charity place. You'll need to show some aptitude for fundraising befor they give a mara virgin a place. And also that you have a good running background too. i got lucky with my charity, they trusted me and I don't think I've let them down.

Good luck.

Oh, and join a club too.
26/04/2007 at 00:48
StetsonUK - v'course you can go from couch to 26.2 in 1 year; but it'll take all of that year in effort. the biggest risk is doing too much too soon and getting injured.

add a bit of strength work to the running (gym stuff and core strength training) and that should keep the knee twinge at bay and keep you on the roads.

the RW schedules are good but don't stretch to more than 3-4 months so get yourself a copy of Advanced Marathoning by Pfitzinger & Douglas - don't be scared by the title! The best bits in it are the long term schedules which are quite bendable to an individual's requirements

good luck - 26.2 is the best!

the bat
26/04/2007 at 09:36
Ooooh, I'm so excited now reading all of this! I already do yoga, pilates and resistance/weights training, so hopefully that'll help, as well as half an hour on a cross trainer every morning before work, so I'm not too much of a flump.

I'll definitely be doing it for a charity, officially or otherwise, seems a shame not to!

And thanks for the book recommendation batfink, I'll definitely check it out!

Darn, now I'm pumping with energy and have a day at my desk to look forward to.

SK :)
ImRio    pirate
26/04/2007 at 09:40
85 miles a week????
I have never run that many miles in the 4 years of training.
It can be done on much less

The secret is build slowly
An increase in either speed or distance of no more than 10% per week.

Get a good schedule sorted now and you will be joining us on the start line in 2008
26/04/2007 at 09:41
Quite so Rio

85 miles a week for some people may be a sure fire route to injury
26/04/2007 at 10:00

Absolutely no reason why you should not try a marathon 12 months from starting running.
I went from not running at all, a 5 spell in hospital after a 'bit of an accident' (see my website for more info), to running a cross country marathon in 12 months.
So if you are reasonably fit and take it easy ou won't have a problem, the key for me was believeing that I could do it.

So multiple fractures and severe head injury to marathon in 18 months was what I did, so if you are quite fit, not a problem


26/04/2007 at 11:01
Definitely possible if you really want to. Biggest issue will be finding the time to do the training - 85 miles/week is more than most will do but you do need to work at it.

Another book I've found useful is 'Marathon Running for Mortals' (or something very similar) by John Bingham and Jenny someone or other. Its written in a similar style as JB writes his 'penguin' columns in the RW mag and covers everything from getting started up to a reasonably comprehensive training schedule.

26/04/2007 at 11:12
I used the Hal Higdon begginers schedule for my first marathon, I also had the
'The Runner's Handbook: The Best-selling Classic Fitness Guide for Beginner and Intermediate Runner by Bob Glover and Jack Shepherd (Paperback - 29 Aug 1996) ' which I found to be a good reference.

26/04/2007 at 11:15
yip stets it can. In fact I'm doing the same using Cliff Temples 52 week mara schedule. I'll polish my boots -you yours and we'll kick eachothers ar$e if need be:O)
26/04/2007 at 12:58
I have secured my place for the Marathon next year, (due to an injury this year). Another good book is 'The Non-runners marathon trainer' gets you from non runner to marathon in 5 months. Its a get you round plan but very easy with good advice (and not too pricy on amazon).

This is turning into a book club :-)‘s-Marathon-Trainer-by-David-A.-Whitsett&RCN=5&rgn=5&v=5&sp=
26/04/2007 at 13:09
I've used "Marathon training for dummies" as a core and now on my 3rd Marathon

YES it can be done, my advice is to build the miles as high as you can without making yourself ill (You will learn how high that means.. your body will tell you!)

1st marathon I ran all the way no walking - just under 5 hrs.. my training mileage tops was probably 35 miles a week

2nd marathon I ran all the way no walking in just under 4hrs 30.. my training mileage was probably 40-45 a week

This year I am starting to get a bit more serious and trained longer than the 16 weeks upping the weeks at 16-18miles (probably over 2 months) before getting up to 20-22 this month (3 runs so far, 2,20's and 1 22)

I've been doing 50-60mile weeks.. my body's having a moan this week (head cold)

Think about what your aims are first and then decide what will help.. my first was pureley personal - I wanted to do it on my own and run all of it - I trained alone and ran alone - it was fantastic.. totally my own achievement

Last year I wanted a faster time but to feel better in the last miles.. I trained on my own to get both goals

This year I have joined a club, more for off road side of things but the speed option is there... I might start looking at that.. although be warned I've found looking at others speed has already damaged my attitude for my 3rd marathon because I feel like a slow tortoise compared to the whippets at the club who were moaning about 3:44 marathon last night (reality check!)
27/04/2007 at 18:44
I think it can be done, I have someone giving me a training plan and he said a year is no problem.....
Maybe we will be flm virgins together ha ha!!!
Good Luck with your training.
28/04/2007 at 02:39
hi from a newbie.
yes it can be done. i (stupidly) managed to do the blackpool marathon back in 2001 with no training at all for it. i turned up on the day paid and off i went. managed to run the first 13 miles but had to walk the 2nd half as my legs turned to tree trunks.
kids came along and i never carried it on, but now have the time to start over and do things properly.
just staring with the basic training that can be found on the site and build myself up so i can start to enter marathons again from next year onwards.
after years away its been tough getting into it again, esp after years of cigs and chocolate, but doing my best to cut them down and out and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

28/04/2007 at 08:42
Good luck with the training dave!!! Maybe see you in london marathon 2008
28/04/2007 at 18:48
thanks kayleigh. hopefully so, if not blackpool is my fallback option, and at least not too far to travel.
28/04/2007 at 20:35
Hi all this is fantastic to get all your advice - I started running in January and hated it; with a little push from my running partner i completed the reading half in 2.00 flat. I am hooked I am already involved in a charity and am hoping to get a charity place for the marathon in 2008. I had a son in Jan 06 mentioned I wanted to increase my fitness and now im hooked - my son thinks its great too as i have so much more energy for him and take everything in my stride at home and work (very stressfull job!) If I can make this improvement in this time then Dave I meet you at the finish line FLM 2008. ;-)
Do2    pirate
28/04/2007 at 20:41
Returned to running lasy year (2006) after 4 years of doing not much - had done an IronMan in 2002, then got married, kids came along, and my exercise sort of went out the window.

Decided in Feb 06 to get myself back in to regular exercise and very soon decided to try to get in to FLM 07. Then heard about GFA, so chose two Autumn maras - a first choice and a fall back - to try for sub 3 and auto entry to the "green start".

It nearly all went very pear shaped when I got injured in 1st mara of 06 (September), but excellent sports therapy got me on to the start line of October mara, and I managed 2:59:28 - hence securing gfa for FLM last week.

So, I'd say yes - it can be done. Good Luck.
28/04/2007 at 21:37
hi Sonya, im sure you can make it. i'm walking proof that just about anyone can get round. sure i got passeed by all types as i limped home in 6 hours, (just under 2 hours for the first 13. think we should have a little newbies flm get together afterwards as i plan on staying on the night rather than travel straight back.

ewll done dad of 2 on the times, and getting back from the injury. think theres nothing worse than sitting around waiting it even if you think you're ready. i dropped off a ladder a couple of weeks back, and luckily only suffered a slight muscle tear, had i broke anything my fresh start would of gone out of the window and i'd of been sat around wondering if it was worth trying again.

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