From 0 to a Marathon in 22 weeks.

Preparing for a marathon from scratch, in 22 weeks.

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20/07/2012 at 14:19

bootrunk - firstly, congrats on where you've got to which is a VERY long way. I think you need to give your leg a proper rest of at least a week and maybe do some swimming in the meantime to keep your fitness.

Also, what sort of intensity do you run at ? And how has your mileage increased over the past few months ? It seems to me as though you are having some big increases in your long run ie you jump from 5k to 7k ( ~40% ), then 7k to 10k ( ~40% ) then 10k to 10 miles ( ~60% ). These are big increases that will put a strain on your body when you consider it's generally accepted that 10% is a safe increment.

Maybe you should go back to the sort of mileage before you got injured and start from there after a rest and increase slowly. As for the marathon, don't worry about the time and if you have to walk some of it so be it - better that than injure yourself.  

Good Luck

20/07/2012 at 14:33

Thanks for the encouragement.

Yeah the jumps are occasionally a bit over the 10% I think I need to train more often, but slightly shorter distances giving me a longer overall amount of time on my meet but with less pressure on the individual runs.

It's juggling it all around and fitting everything into having a life outside running as well.  I think it's only 84 days to my first marathon so once my thigh is going again I just need to accept I have to ditch some other things as I really need to put a bit more low intensity running in.  I think less worry about speed more about just getting some slow miles under my belt so I am confident I can plod around the 26 miles.


24/07/2012 at 23:16

I'm sort of following you, a couple of years younger - 74 days till my 1st marathon (Chester) and I jumped up the miles too quickly.  I started June 16th and last Saturday did a LSR of 17 miles (after 15.6 the week before and 2 13.1 milers the 2 weeks before that).  This week I've had to have 3 days off so far from achy legs/knees/calves etc..

I'm in week 6 of training and only just realised what "easy" means - it means very. very slow - which takes more time, which means less of a life.  But I agree, it's less about speed and more getting slow miles into your legs.

Keep it up, recover properly before ramping up the miles again and good luck!

26/07/2012 at 17:56

Spend an hour n a Hal in the gym yesterday. This morning I went out early 6:30 and did 5k not a million miles but hey I did it no stoping etc... So back in the saddle. Hurrah, going out torres morning either another 5k or maybe a gentle 8k

But... I am back and running. Thankfully

27/07/2012 at 16:32
Wanted to run today, but ended up going out with the dog for a walk.... Did end up walking for 3h 49m so not to bad.
28/07/2012 at 22:54

We all know that I am the worlds slowest and my marathon objective is to get around in 6h which is a walk to some of you.

Anyway, After being out with my thigh injury I came back thursday, so today was boiling hot and I did another 5k.

I have no idea but I ran the first 1k as fast as I've ever run one, don't laugh 7m30s I then somehow ran the next 4 all faster so it's crap and slow but I ran 5k in 36:50 which as it's the first time below 39omething felt bloody amazing to me.

Slow yes, but I am so happy that I did that the weigh loss is helping, so ... I feel alive again, and that I have a small chance of actually doing this again.

Oh, just don't talk about sunburn.. Long walk with dog in sun yesterday was a really bad idea.
31/07/2012 at 21:59

I've loved reading this inspirational thread thanks booktrunk. I am training for marathon liverpool 14th october and losing weight and just upto10miles I never thought I could do it but have kept plugging away.

02/08/2012 at 09:00

Well done Rachel. 

We can feel each others pain and excitement on the 14th

Did 8k last night 5k tonight, 5k Saturday and 12k Sunday.  Then the Sundays are always 16k (10 miles or longer) so last lazyish week for me. 

The leg is holding up ok at the moment, so fingers crossed I will just be able to keep on plodding.  I'm slower then some things say I should be to even get around in 6 hours, but the plan i'm on say 5h 30ish and i'm going faster then the speeds it's telling me to do now, so it's got me to this stage so I cannot give up on it now, just keep plodding along with it.

Downloaded all sorts of programs but i'm still with my original one from just seems to be working well for me.


02/08/2012 at 14:21

rachelhen - well done and good luck

booktrunk - i'm sure if you take it easy your injury will hold up and the stronger you get the less chance of it recurring. Good to hear you are making progress. The great thing about running is that as you gradually get fitter you can do more and it becomes that much more enjoyable.

05/08/2012 at 11:19
Long slow run this morning. Made myself plod along for 2 hours and 10 seconds. Felt awesome, was going quicker at the end then the beginning. Heart rate was only at 144 at the end.

Over the moon. 10 weeks to go, and I feel like I can do this feel excited now, c'mon I can do this.

12/08/2012 at 19:01


How did I do this week.  I was meant to do more in the middle of the week then i did but just felt a bit underpar in the week.. So 5km and 8km should have done a bit more.

But today, Sunday the 12th of August.  I managed to run 20 km.  How good is that considering on the 1st of May about 100 days ago i couldn't run 50 yards.

So i looked on the scales today and just edged into the 11st category... 11st 13.8 when I started my diet on 21st of March this year i was 15st 8lbs. 

So i bet you can imagine just how bloody good i feel tonight being able to do that.

Oh.... It's amazing after my 20km run today my dog wanted to lick me non-stop and when i felt my skin i realised it was totally covered in Salt.  I must have sweated so much my skin was encrusted with salt.  I felt like a pile of poo for 5 minutes, had a 2 minute lay down on the bed and that got me back together, thankfully I had a diet coke a cold shower, and a egg and bacon sandwich, I felt graet after that

I took about 10 jelly babies with me and popped one each km from 5 km onwards until i ran out.  I wish that I had a bigger pocket

Slightly stiff now ok bloody stiff when I walk up stairs but well on the way to recovery.  So 9 weeks to go and i can do 20 of the 42.2ish km.

I have to confess I have a problem I am to slow I just cannot get myself much quicker and if i do the marathon takes 1.3 x half thing i'm screwed with a strict 6 hour cut off.  But I will get that bit faster I hope .... and I think at my speed i'm also hoping there will be less of a drop off.

One really hard thing was my brain.  About 12.5 or 13k in I had this insane 5 minute section where I just felt emotionally crap.  I was saying to myself it's stupid you are useless and cannot do the marathon, 7h yes, 6 no.  Your just wasting your time so stop now.  Just walk home and give up. lie and say you have an injury just STOP.  I felt awful in my own skull, but thankfully it was only for a few minutes, and i got my head around it and just kicked myself metaphorically and just got my arse back into gear and kept going.

I'm lousy at this running lark, but i'm not a quitter.  I guess someone will wave at me 24 or 25 miles into the marathon saying sorry your time is up... But, if that happens then so be it.  I'm not darn well quitting, and i'm going to give it everything that i've got over the next 9 weeks.


15/08/2012 at 23:00

My OH wanted to come on a 5k run with me tonight, amazingly I dropped him after 2k but felt guilty, so crossing a wooden bridge decided to turn round and find him... Of course after the rain the bridge was slippery as hell, as soon as I tried turning I went straight over, landed on my left hip, and elbow, also managed to scrape my leg below my knee... Annoying, but I think I'm becoming a runner, as my first thought was to stop my garmin watch

Fine now hip still a bit sore, and I found a real reason for having a garmin watch and not just my iPhone today. It would possibly be broken or st the bottom of the canal, watch is perfect

Sad thing is I want to sync my watch to see if my heart rate spiked when I fell over!!
19/08/2012 at 13:29
Well a quiet week. Hard in the heat, about 31km I think it was a bit of a recovery week, after building up the mileage last week.

But, a great thing is that I ran a 10k training run on Thursday and lowered my fastest 10km time by 5 minutes.

I'm still slow, but I am slowly getting a bit quicker. I still gave everyone else out jogging pass me, but hey I'm getting there.

20/08/2012 at 07:26

Hi booktrunk,

Just wanted to say how fantastic you are doing, from where you have come from to where you are now is very inspirational - and the kick up the backside that I need 

I am currently planning on doing a HM next spring (not sure which) and a full marathon next autumn but am now toying with the idea of doing the full marathon sooner, thanks to your thread!

Keep up the good work.


20/08/2012 at 10:41

Thanks Lisa

Good luck on your training.  You are probably taking a much more sensible approach doing the half first then a full i'm a bit mad going for it like this.

It's great knowing that you can just do it. There is no-one to beat but yourself, The more I train the more i believe it's a challenge in the mind a lot of the time rather than the physical side.

For me it's getting through the mental barrier of I cannot be bothered, or it's to hot, or it's raining, or i've done half the distance and i'm tired, can't i just stop now.

The physical stuff is there of course, and the first month to six weeks. I didn't have a day without pain, but over time that does disappear, now I can run 10k and within minutes of finishing i'm back to normal.  So the body adapts, I think the brain takes longer to adapt then the body does.

I have a countdown clock on my laptop and it says 54 Days 22 hours and x minutes to go.  I am having days where I am starting to get excited and nervous about it. 

I'm also having days where I am thinking what next... Once I've done it where do I go from here. I wonder what others do after their first marathon.  How many swear never again, compared to those that then do two plus a year from then on!!  Fun and games, and i've got all this ahead of me.

Oh... Weight wise, the diet and running are doing fantastic.  I've now lost 51 lbs at my last weigh in (last wednesday, and look like loosing another 1 or 2 lbs this week) I cannot believe I am the same person that started dieting in March this year and running in May.

25/08/2012 at 18:34
Little bit nervous.... I'm running 15 miles tomorrow, went on a 10 mile hike yesterday, in Derbyshire I guess my 15 miles alone will take nearly the same time.

Got myself a treat a omm 6l huge waist pack. Can take lots of water and it has a mesh side pocket that I will fill with jelly babies, also means I can take my phone, I know it's daft but always nice being able to take it.

Water bottles are in the fridge getting cold, I'm relaxing spending the night eating steak and watching Wallander
26/08/2012 at 07:44

Good luck on your 15 miler today. Just think of how fantastice you will feel when you arrive back home knowing that you have just run that distance.

I am still trying to decide which HM to do next spring

26/08/2012 at 11:10
Oh wow!!!

I did it. According to my Garmin 610 watch, I did 24.01km according to garmin app on my iPhone I did 25.05km so I guess somewhere in the middle is the most accurate. I was 50 seconds slower than the fixed time in my asics marathon plan, which I am really chuffed with.

I've given my legs a cold shower, now waiting for a warm bath to run.

I literally hobbled up the stairs as my legs which felt fine running are all seizing up now I've stopped.

I felt awesome, and my new omm waist bag was great carried 1.5l of liquids drink 1.3l and weigh the same as before my run, so I guess that means I drunk the same amount as I lost through sweat etc... So in this sort of temp I guess that means I need around 2 to 2.25 litres of fluid for a 5h 30m marathon.

I felt fantastic some 12k's I feel crap and dead after 8k but only started to feel tired around 22 km over the moon and I feel I could have gone further if I needed to.

What a week, 51km ran this week and walked another 18-20km

Really excited that I'm going to do this. Still do happy considering my first 1km walk with a few yards running was only 1st of may. It really is just down to being stubborn I think and not giving in to the aches n pains.

26/08/2012 at 12:12

Great thread, well done, you seem to be on track for a great day, Have you tried drinking high5 sports drink on your runs, as this is what they will be providing on the day every 5k, try it now as it might not be palatable to you and you dont want to find this out on race day. Now you are on longer runs do you have walking breaks,maybe 1 min every 10, this works well for me, just freshens your legs up a bit without losing much time, I plod about 10 min miles and walking at a brisk pace only loses me 60metres each time but makes me feel much better. Some of your posts mention speed, have you tried once a week doing a short run and during it run as fast as is comfortable for 50 yards a few times during the middle section of it.

Also your insane 5 minutes, expect that on the day as well, I always have that around about 20 miles, you get over it, the emotions make this distance the thing that makes the finish line one of the best feelings in the world.

26/08/2012 at 17:34
Hi Happy.

I'm actually even happier I got the time from my plan wrong I ended up beating it by 1m and 9 seconds.

In the last two weeks I've taken about 85 seconds off my 5k and 5 minutes of my 10k speeds. I have a couple of slow 5k plods weekly, and a fast 12k.

But, I've also added just for myself a 4k that I've been running hard to help with speeds.

Regarding walking. I cannot decide if it feels cheaty or not. But, today in my 24k I ran 6k, then walked for 200m drinking a lot in the 200m, and I did it again, at 12 and 18km.

I was thinking of possibly Training for that on all of my long runs, so 6 x 200m walks every 6km in the race would leave me with 6 x 6km runs followed by 6 x 200m walks and 5km run to finish with.

Regarding high 5. Yes... I'm really not sure about energy drinks reading up I was thinking of sticking with water, and taking a jelly baby every km. I tried this today from 12km onwards and felt great, and the jelly babies were easy enough to eat.

So I really cannot decide on energy drinks.

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