Having applied for the VLM for the last few years, I finally got in for 2013. I've never run a marathon (or any competitive race to be honest) and having started to build up the miles over the past month I'm after a bit of advice on what time to aim for and a proper training plan to follow.
I'm 27, male, and up until October I would only run once or twice a month, often about 5-7 miles or so each at about an 8 min/mile pace (sometimes slower), though did try the odd longer run up to 13 miles (never tried further). Over the last month I've built up to doing 3-4 runs a week, say 2 x 5 miles at around 7:30-7:45 pace, 1 x 4 miles of intervals (1/2 mile fast, 1/4 mile slow, repeat etc), and 1 x 10-12 miles long run. I tried a half marathon in my training after a few weeks or so and did it in 1:44.
I had been thinking of aiming at sub-3:30 in April (average 8 minute mile). However, the RW Garmin plans for that start off easier than what I'm doing at the moment. Also these are 16 weeks, so technically wouldn't start until late Dec/Jan. Does sub-3:15 sound like a push? I feel like I've improved over just the first few weeks of training, but just not sure what sort of improvement I should expect over the next 6 months (particularly when any distance over 13 miles is such an unknown for me)? Would appreciate any advice/training tips!
Congrats on getting into VLM2013. It's very easy at this stage when new to marathon running to start thinking about times and the nitty gritty but my advise would be concentrate for now on building that base mileage - forget about the marathon itself for now. Your plan looks quite good at about 25 miles per week - you could add some strength training in like some hill work. Now is all about getting a good strong base for when training starts in late Dec/early Jan. I wouldn't worry that you havent ran over 13 miles at this stage and don't be tempted to up that long run mileage either at this point - 12 miles is about right IMO.
What might be a good idea is get along to a Parkrun at the start of marathon training and see where you are fitness wise then and plan your marathon training around the time you achieve, especially as you are getting good gains quite quickly at the moment. Then pick a marathon plan - there are plenty of marathon plans out there depending on how much time you have available to train or your prefered method (HR, pace zones etc).
its very easy to get carried away and start thinking of the end goal but there's a long way to go yet so just focus on what you need to concentrate on for now which is base building.
I started running this year, and it took me a while to understand and actually run at slower paces than I was expecting in training. I can understand where you are coming from - you want to work to a particular target and shape your training around this.
At the moment it is the time for base building - slowly clocking up the miles, and by December / January you should be running close to the base mileage expected of the plan you go with, and capable or running the longest session that you have in the first week or two of the plan.
If you really want a target time now, then I don't put much faith in 5k times. You have a 1:44 Half with little training. This would suggest a a marathon time in the 3:40 region with training for the marathon. But, I would expect you to improve on this half marathon time with consistent training. Maybe start off with 3:30 so that you have some training paces. For my first marathon I started off training at sub 3:30. Following a couple of half marathons and good progress in training, I changed to sub 3:15 which was achieved comfortably. As an alternative, training to Heart Rate removes any pacing questions - you run to set heart rate zones for different types of run. Personally I prefer pacing.
Like me you are a relatively new runner and will probably be weak on endurance. Most Marathon plans will have plenty of sessions that are long and slow. For now as has been suggested, it is all about base building. Its a long way to VLM - slow and steady, and the odd tempo run will put you in good stead.
I would think twice about trying to get a good time in your first marathon, esp London.
The start of London is hellishly crowded and remains that way for quite a few miles. Often 'runners' find themselves walking and I have heard standing still. Even with a predicted 3:30 finish time you'll find yourself quite a long way back. I don't know why this is, are too many people over optimistic about their finish times or do they lie or what?
Use this marathon to see what you can do, then find a quieter one to push for a good time. You've got youth on your side still so don't try and do too much too soon.
When you've run one marathon you'll have a good base and the endurance to run another. You'll be better placed to get sub 3:30 and aiming for 3:15. It'll be something to inspire you to continue running because if your anything like any of the first time marathoners I know, you'll be buzzing for ages afterward.
My other feeling is that you don't really want to be putting that much pressure on yourself. It's hard enough just getting the long runs in.
hi, i will be running london marathon for the first time, really looking forward to it. never done a marathon before, the furthest being a half, the great scottish run in 1.54.18 which i was delighted with. my aim is simply to complete it and enjoy it and raise as much money for my charity as possible(breast cancer care). my time is very much secondary.
not been doing much running recently, 4-5 miles twice a week but will be looking to increase this in the next week or two probably just by doing 10% extra each week, did this when upping the training for the half and it worked well for me.
good luck to everyone with their training, hope you stay injury free.
But Mo did run those 100s of miles....
Bob _ I'm a vet (V60) and would be interested in your actual mileage too......how much more (from 10-20 mpw) do you think you will add through Feb & March?
Last year I ran VLM on about 45 mpw and got round in 3:32:xx which I have subsequently improved upon, so if you have a target time I'd love to know what it is so that I can maybe adjust what I am doing this time around.......it might save me a lot of unneccesary shoe leather!
can i join in on this thread, i'm now upto 10 miles at a struggle due to an injury before xmas, my times are very slow and plodding around 10 to 11 min miles which is very slow for me, and the panic has all of sudden kicked in, 15 weeks to go
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