Training for first marathon

16 messages
05/11/2012 at 17:18

As long as everything goes to plan, the Brighton marathon in April should be my first marathon and the following is a rough idea of what I would like to achieve:

1) An obvious one, finish 

2) Finish by running across the line.

3) To run the whole distance.

4) Finish in under four hours.

I've run 13.1 miles quite a few times and the longest I have run is 18 miles. From the chip timed races I have done for 10k and HM, the times do equate to under 4 hours based on the McMillan calculator and that is why I put the fourth point, but the first is the most important. I've also entered the Berlin marathon  so sub four could wait until then if need be.

Anyway, the reason for this post. I want to be as prepared as possible for when I start training proper, but I have been reading that there are so many different plan's, one thread about heart rate should be factored in, nutrition etc etc. To be honest, I'm lost.

I've got Shades training plan, but is there anything else I should be looking at plan wise? Also, how can I sort nutritian out and are there any good books that I should read? I just don't want to get to December/January and think 'Right, what do I do!'!

If anyone says 'Run' to that last sentence........

05/11/2012 at 17:22

read the Big Book of Endurance it'll tell 90% of what you want to know.

I think plans are a very individual thing, so find a few then use these as a basis to form your own to fit you and your lifestyle.

hal higdon, full first are decent plans

05/11/2012 at 17:42

What's your age, what's your resting heart rate, how many miles are you logging just now and why not just look at the RW plans? They're all more than adequate. Enjoy, now Run!!!!

05/11/2012 at 19:01
I believe the real key is developing good habits: people on other threads have talked about "consistent consistency"...getting out there and routinely, and progressively "doing it". I would be looking for a long run at the weekend, and a medium-long run midweek: these would gradually increase in length, and intensity. And lots of other miles.
There are indeed lots of plans out there: many of these will do the trick, but only with that constant commitment over the next 4 or 5 months. I coach a couple of people and the most frustrating thing is the lack of that "consistent consistency"..."I was too tired/a friend persuaded me to go the pictures/pub/shopping" etc.
05/11/2012 at 19:52
Sleaver - I'm in a very similar position to you in the fact that I have run at least 13.1 in most of my recent LSR with the most about 19. My first marathon is Manchester in April so I have also been looking for a training plan. As people have stated previously here it's a case of finding a plan that suits you and tweaking it a bit if necessary. I have ended up choosing the Hal Higden advanced 2. However, due to my current mileage I am going to start at week 9 (of 18) and double up each week. My targets for Manchester are the same as your 4 above. I have already found people on here are very knowledgeable and helpful and intend to use their advice and opinions to complement my training plan.
Good luck
05/11/2012 at 21:33
Sleaver

I think reading some books on training principles is a good idea - but I know what you mean when you say that there are so many plans out there that it is easy to get lost and confused....

Two books I have read and keep going back to are Jack Daniels' Running Formula, and Advanced Marathoning by Pfitzinger and Douglas.

I would also spend some time reading some of the popular threads on this forum - there are lots of very experienced people on here who are incredibly generous with their time and knowledge...

Good luck with it
06/11/2012 at 11:32
find out where your plan needs you to be when it starts and maintain that level. Good habits have definitely worked for me..for hm anyway!

Brighton will be my first full marathon so if you havent done already ..head over to the Brighton 2013 Forum...a friendly bunch of mixed ability.

I know what you mean about all the other stuff ..nutrition..heart rate. I would say get advice but don't get too bogged down with it all. Your main aim is to finish so just run! ..wise words from someone who has never run a marathon in her life!!!!!!!
06/11/2012 at 12:08

Just remember to enjoy it!  Once you get into marathon training its not as daunting as it first appears, especially if you have a history of running half mara distance already.

Just one thing to remember if using the mcmillan pace claclulator is that the times given are for "equivalent performance".  Most people can't achieve this at their first attempt at the marathon distance, so you may want to add some time onto this for a realistic target (e.g. add one 20 mins)

06/11/2012 at 14:18

Over on the "Health & Injury" forum, one of the things which keeps coming up is someone being ill/injured and "I'm going to miss my (single) 20-mile run in my training programme - what do I do?"  So my advice is: whichever training programme you choose, start it a couple of weeks early so you've got injury/illness time in hand: you can always repeat a week or two if you turn out not to need the time off, and come into your marathon extra-prepared.

07/11/2012 at 12:14

That is such a good idea Debra - I'm already stressing about missing training runs as I have a history of various injuries! Starting a couple of weeks early should give me some breathing space! until my plan starts (on Christmas eve for the Brighton Marathon) I'm planning to just build up consistent runs of 3-6 miles, 4-5 times a week. And keeping fingers crossed that my legs hold out....!

08/11/2012 at 12:39

hi 

just found out i have a place via a charity that is close to me, i now need to start training with only 23 weeks to go and am nervous about doing the distance, i am recovering from an injury and am just managing to do 5 - 6 miles, is anyone else starting from scratch, or is there any advise you guys have for me regarding doing the training, i work 40 hours a week so finding the time train will be difficult, 

13/11/2012 at 11:05

Hi sleaver,

Have a look at this site: http://www.marathontrainingplans.co.uk/

Good overall advice for marathons include nutrition, training plans, stretching etc

All the best!

13/11/2012 at 11:47
sarnie wrote (see)

 i work 40 hours a week so finding the time train will be difficult, 

Look at it this way:

There are 168 hours in a week. Minus 40 for work, call it 50 in case you have to factor in an hour's commute each way. Then minus another 56 for sleeping 8 hours a night. That leaves you 62 hours. Half as much again as you have to spend at work! Yes, making the time to train in an otherwise busy life can be problematic, but it's usually due to inefficient time management, not actual lack of time.

Says the person who got up early to take the dogs out running and then wasted an hour watching Jeremy Kyle...  

13/11/2012 at 12:34
runs-with-dogs wrote (see)
sarnie wrote (see)

 i work 40 hours a week so finding the time train will be difficult, 

Look at it this way:

There are 168 hours in a week. Minus 40 for work, call it 50 in case you have to factor in an hour's commute each way. Then minus another 56 for sleeping 8 hours a night. That leaves you 62 hours. Half as much again as you have to spend at work! Yes, making the time to train in an otherwise busy life can be problematic, but it's usually due to inefficient time management, not actual lack of time.

Says the person who got up early to take the dogs out running and then wasted an hour watching Jeremy Kyle...  

Great post RWD.

Another approach is to do what I did and trim some time out of your sleep. Sleep is important so I wouldn't suggest doing this if you only get 6 hours a night as it is but I was often spending 8.5 hours in bed.  I just decided that I could probably funtion happily off less than that so started getting half an hour earlier than normal to run and then that eventually became an hour. I now operate absolutely fine off 7.5 hours bed time and lose no more than an hour or two a week due to running from the free time that I used to have.

Regardless of that though, regular exercise should be considered by all of us as one of the most important things we do with our free time.

Edited: 13/11/2012 at 12:35
13/11/2012 at 16:30

Fitting in training around a 40-hour work week shouldn't be a problem unless your commute is extremely long or you have a large number of other committments. However, you do need to decide to make traing a priority over, for example, watching TV. The sub-3.45 programme I followed for M'cr last year started at about four hours of running per week and reached a maximum of about 8 hours a week(of which four hours was at the weekend). I too work 40 hours a week and I had no problem fitting in the running, althoough I had worried about that before I started the training. If you -do- have a long commute, can you replace part of it with running?

13/11/2012 at 20:55

thanks everyone 

i have a running schedule that i plan to use, so as from the weekend the training begins, (now the chest infection has nearly cleared up) i think i was a little nervous and worried that i can't do the distance but after being here i am more focused, 


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