fast first timers

too optimistic, or am I just slow?

11 messages
13/02/2003 at 13:37
this is my first FLM, my first M of any sort, in fact my first attempt at running. I'll not admit to being fit before i started, although I did used to gym it 2-5 times a week before i started pounding the pavements.

On my entry form I said 415-430 time, but realistically, I'm gonna be happy with sub-five. However, I keep reading on here about other first timers doing it in sub four, sub 330. Am I missing something here, or do other first-time FLMers have a history of running and this just happens to be their first time in a marathon?
13/02/2003 at 14:08
Running is an honest sport - you get out of it what you put in. If you train hard enough a time of sub 3:30 or even sub 3 hours is readily achievable, even for someone without a great deal of running experience.

In my first FLM (which was also my first marathon) I ran 2:55. When I'd started training for it the preceding July/August I weighed at least 3 stone more and was doing about 3 easy runs a week, about 40 minutes each. But I was committed to going under 3:15, and started training accordingly.

Even now, if you train seriously, I'm sure you could go sub 4:15 - go for it!
13/02/2003 at 14:09
hmmm interesting. been thinking about switching to the sub 4:30 schedule but recent crappy runs have persuaded me to stay where I am.
13/02/2003 at 14:20
i think a combination of both - pre-existing level of fitness and non-marathon running experience
and also what the man says too but one would have to start one's training very early if not either of the above?
13/02/2003 at 14:30
cns - this is my first M, and I'm aiming at sub-4 , hopefully 3:45 and I will be 50 and about 100kg. As donutto says, it's all in the committment and training but I'd like to add that you need to be honest with yourself. Look at your training times and calculate up from there - try the Yasso 800 test (series of fast 800m runs where your times in mins/secs equates to hrs/mins for a marathon - so if your comfortable fast 800's are about 3'45, your estimated marathon is about 3hrs 45min - don't however base it on a one-off 800!). After finding this bit of magic my 800 times were bang on what I had already estimated for the FLM. Search the threads for more info on this - there's a link to an article about it in the US Runners World.
13/02/2003 at 14:33,1300,1-51-54-624,00.html
13/02/2003 at 14:45
It depends on a lot of things. Youngish people who've played sport and kept themselves reasonably fit could certainly hit 3:30 or less in a first marathon if they aproach it methodically and have enough time.

Fat oldies like me who hadn't exercised since schooldays, and who spent 25 years addicted to smoking, don't find it so easy. The FLM last year took nearly 6 hours (having started running about 6 months earlier), and another marathon in October took 5:15. If and when I do Dublin in October 2003, I'd hope to be looking at around 4:45. If I carry on running, I'd hope eventually to keep drifting down towards 4 hours but I couldn't realistically hope to get beyond that.

For that first race, I don't think someone like me with my fitness history could have got in at under 4:30, however hard I trained for those 6 months. But you've obviously kept yourself in much better shape, and are probably younger, so you probably could.

Having said that, it's often said that you should just be satisfied to get round in one piece for your first marathon, which will then give you a firm idea of what's possible in the future. Another cliche is that you should listen to your body, and let that guide you.

Notwithstanding Donutto's fantastic achievement, overall I'd say don't get too hung up about times for your first race, just concentrate on doing the distance as comfortably as you can. By all means listen to other people's experiences but we are all different and have different capabilities.

13/02/2003 at 14:50
RC well I'd admit to the being younger, but not necessarily fitter :~) But hey, there's still 8 weeks to go, who knows I may have lost another stone by then :~)
13/02/2003 at 14:55
That's a good point actually. There is no better way of getting faster than by losing excess weight. If you lose a stone that would be a massive help. Just think about that weight - it's like running carrying a case of wine, or a couple of bags of shopping!

Good luck, anyway.

13/02/2003 at 16:15
Its my first Marathon too and I'm probably a stone and a half heavier than I should be (beer gut etc). I play Sunday football which keeps me at a level of fitness one higher than slob!. But I'm determined to break 4hrs if it kills me.
13/02/2003 at 20:00
I did my first marathon in 3hrs 36 after 18 months of running, but had no idea I would run that fast. I had done some racing before the marathon, not great times, then posted pb's at most distances on the actual day of the marathon.

I found the build-up to the first one quite hard going and had lots of niggling little injuries. I remember feeling so pleased just to make it to the start.

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