Training for the Chester Marathon in 5 months

I'm getting scared now...

4 messages
12/07/2012 at 15:56

Hey folks!  About 3 months ago I decided I would (apttempt to) run the Chester Marathon for charity.  I was aware that this would give me about 5 months to train for it, and I thought this would be enough time given that I went to the gym pretty regularly and played football once a week...although I was by no means a runner (and I still don't consider myself to be one now).

Anyway ("get to the point!" I hear you cry!), at the weekend I managed to run about 14.5 miles in a just under 2 hours 30 mins, and I felt like I could have carried on.  This was a big deal for me, because I think for the first time since I started training, I actually felt like I have it in me to run a 26.2 mile distance. 

However, just today I was idling and reading some running forums, and I stumbled on a couple of threads where people said experienced runners should leave at least 8-9 months before running a marathon or they risk seriously injuring themselves, or just not finishing.  I guess I should have read that before I started training, but it's actually left me feeling quite concerned...is 5 months too soon to train for a marathon?

I've been running 6 nights a week for the last 3 months, and I'm planning to do the same until the time of the marathon, but do people think this is enough?  Good people of Runners World, I need some reassurance now more than ever!

12/07/2012 at 16:05
Hi Rory - I ran a couple of marathons a few years ago from a similar position to you. I'd say you definitely can do it in 5 months if you're reasonably fit and do plenty of running in those five months. The fact you're at 14.5 miles now shows you are doing enough - just keep increasing that a bit over the next few weeks and you should be okay.

Most beginner schedules only suggest a long run of 18 miles before attempting a marathon - and I took my first one on with only a 16 mile run under my belt. Not the best advice, but definitely doable if you're not bothered about time and just want to jog along.

And 6 nights a week is more than enough! If anything, you might be doing too much, remember to build in rest days so your muscles can adapt.

Also - listen to your body, if something hurts get it checked out, and scale back the training a bit. An 'easy' week will do you more good than harm, you should be able to pick you the training at the same level after a short enough break.
12/07/2012 at 20:54

I think you're on the right track. Just keep building up gradually and listening to your body and you'll be fine. I did 1x 20miles, 2x 18milers and lots of smaller LSRs before my first marathon.

If its your first marathon - just enough the experience and dont worry about the time/

13/07/2012 at 10:49

Great advice, thanks guys


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