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4 months to train for a marathon..Possible?

(18 Posts)
Millie5512 Wed 13-May-15 10:50:43

Hey everyone! I did my first 10k at the weekend with a time of 1hr6. This was without any serious training and a few walking breaks blush but I have already signed up for another in July and aim to beat my time!

I have been asked to join somebody in a marathon in October. Part of me thinks that there is absolutely no chance I can do this, but the other part of me knows how bloody good I'll feel afterwards if I do!

How is 4 months to train? Am I being realistic or would I be being silly to even contemplate this?

I am going to join a running club next week and plan on going twice a week to improve my stamina. I go to the gym too. I'm not massively unfit but I am trying to lose a stone and up my overall fitness. My only problem is my confidence - I have ran once or twice on the roads and get put off when cars beep me :-\ and I HATE the treadmill haha I am defo an outdoors runner!

Thanks for any tips xx

Buttercup27 Wed 13-May-15 10:52:27

Go for it. There's only one way to find out!

Variousrandomthings Wed 13-May-15 11:04:20

You basically need to do one longer run and two/three shorter runs each week. The longer run needs to slowly elongate till you get to 22 miles. So add one mile on to the longer run each week. So do 7 miles next weekend, 8 the following weekend, 9 the following weekend after that and so on - till you reach 22 miles. Don't worry if you have to walk for a minute here or there. Taper off with your milage a week or two before but keep the shorter runs going until three days before the marathon.

Millie5512 Wed 13-May-15 11:09:44

Buttercup but I'm scaaaaared! Haha! I know how good I will feel though so that's persuading me!

various I have got the Nike training app which has set me out a coaching programme with one long run per week smile I had a brief look and the thought of just 20k at the moment is scary! I am working overtime this week therefore zero free time, but I plan on really pushing myself on one long run this weekend.

Variousrandomthings Wed 13-May-15 11:12:23

Milk - the little in between runs do help lots so do try to make time other weeks.

Variousrandomthings Wed 13-May-15 11:16:53

It's weird but once you can run 9 miles ok, the longer distances suddenly seem to get much easier. Less of a jump.

The difference between running 3 and 8 miles is HUGE. However the difference between running 10 and 15 miles is more manageable.

RiskManagement Wed 13-May-15 11:17:24

It is possible but it would be so much better for you to take a year or two to build up properly.

IME people who do their first marathon within a few months of starting to run never really run again afterwards. People who build up more sensibly with a series of 10k and halves get the bug and run for life!

In my coaching role, I would always advise 2 years of consistently running 30 miles a week before you consider training for a marathon. A Marathon is tough and it takes it's toll. Until you've trained for one you have no idea just how tough it's going to be, the tiredness you'll feel in between training sessions is like nothing you've ever experienced before, especially if you haven't got a good base before you start.

That's not to say you shouldn't do it, but to avoid injury and damage to your health, wellbeing and relationships, I would recommend supporting your friend in other ways this year and doing the marathon next year (or the year after)

SummerHouse Wed 13-May-15 11:17:47

Go for it. But take it easy at first. You can do it! I am in for one at the end of sept.

You can get a free training program from the runners world site.

Nell mcandrews book is good for beginners.

Always stretch after a run and drink plenty.

Good luck!

SummerHouse Wed 13-May-15 11:28:01

various I am glad you posted that. I am running 9 miles 3 to 4 times a week and finding that easy. About to start marathon training proper and got a bit daunted by risk's post. I really want to do this but don't want to take risks. The sept one I am in for could also be a half so perhaps I should do that and aim for a full in April. Perhaps that's the compromise for you too op? Perhaps your Oct one has a half option?

RiskManagement Wed 13-May-15 11:36:34

This is making my finger's itch there's so much I could write. I'm a bit of a running bore, I love it so much but there's so much running to be done (and Loved) that doesn't involve marathons thatI wold really recommend taking it more slowly.

As I said, I woudln't attempt training for a marathon unless you've been consistently doing 30 miles per week and running at least 4 times a week.

Summer, if you've been doing your 9 miles 3/4 times a week for a year or more you'll be OK. PP is right, increasing from 9 -20 miles isn't as bad as it sounds. Make sure you do it slowly though. No more than 5% increase on your total weekly mileage. I would reduce 2 of your runs to around an hour (assuming you're not super fast and doing 9 miles in less than an hour!) and add those miles onto one long run per week.

PiggyBeekman Wed 13-May-15 11:37:58

I did this about 8 years ago, in fact it was less than 4 months, it was just over 3. I trained every single week, 3 times a week with a long run at the weekend. I'd done a half marathon the year before.

I got round but it was painful! I sort of ran out of steam at mile 16 and had to run/walk, my knees started to hurt...I finished and enjoyed the experience (it was London), but I've not done a marathon since (I did however do 3 more half marathons and 2 10k's, am now training for a triathlon).

So yes, possible, but I would really really advise that you pick a marathon in 2016 and spend the rest of this year building up to that, you'll enjoy it a whole lot more.

Variousrandomthings Wed 13-May-15 11:43:51

Agree a half might be a better option this time, then a full marathon next year

Millie5512 Wed 13-May-15 12:35:29

I think the same! I just feel pressured into this, but my initial plan was to do another 10k and then sign up for a half. I think I may stick to this.

thanks for all the advice smile

Buttercup27 Wed 13-May-15 14:37:36

It's easy to be brave on here millie I'm still trying to get the confidence to run a half marathon in September, I've only just started c25k after 18 months off!
But reading the comments above and giving myself a kick up the backside I'm ready to sign up !

OhOneOhTwoOhThree Wed 13-May-15 14:52:54

It's certainly possible, but it would be hard, and may put you off running for a while afterwards smile. I guess it depends on your age and fitness levels - I am old, and therefore cautious, but I know others who have just gone for it and been successful smile

When I was training for a marathon two years ago, a more experienced runner told me that the achievement was not simply crossing the line on the day, but the months of training and preparation that would get me over the line on the day.

I didn't understand what he meant until afterwards, but he was absolutely right. I already had half a dozen HMs under my belt when I started training, so was not a new runner. I did a 20 week training program, out in all weathers 4 times a week whether I wanted to or not, no matter how tired I might be or whatever else might be going on, juggling work and family to fit in runs wherever we were, including on our summer holiday, going to bed early on Saturday nights so that Sunday long runs would be marginally easier...having said that I loved my marathon, and although I did say for ages that I didn't have any desire to do any more I am hoping to do another one next year.

Good luck with whatever you decide smile

Anglaise1 Wed 13-May-15 21:02:39

I really think it would be hard and it might put you off running for good. I know people who loved their first marathon (who were prepared) and others who weren't and were put off running completely. You can't underestimate the time it takes to train for a marathon - it really isn't something to be taken lightly unless you are planning on walking a lot of it. You need to train at least 3 times a week, with one long run of 3+ hours. It is very time consuming! You should really do a half marathon before too, will you have time to do that? With a 10k time of 1H6m you are looking at a marathon time of 5 hours....are you ready for that? OTOH I know a guy who ran his first marathon with virtually no training at all, then went on to run many more at monthly intervals. In 2H30mins. But I think he is an exception!

holmessweetholmes Thu 14-May-15 12:02:28

I'd give yourself longer to build up. I haven't done a marathon, but am currently training for my first half marathon, having entered myself for two before but had to pull out both times because of injury from over-training.
I'm doing well this time though - I think because I'm doing fewer runs per week to allow for the increased mileage on my one longer run. So if you are going to do it, I'd be careful to keep an eye on your overall distance per week.

AggressiveBunting Thu 14-May-15 12:29:02

The thing is, if you can run 10k, you can get round a marathon under your own steam, the only question is the timing. If you're happy to do a run/walk and get an okay time (like, sub-6 hrs) then yes, 4 months is enough time. If you want to achieve your potential (and arguably if you can run 1.06 on your first 10k with little training then you could get a 4.30 marathon with training) then you need more time to build endurance. Admittedly I'm projecting here, because for me it's all about the time and I don't like doing races where I don't feel I've done myself justice, but if I were you, I'd defer it for a year, and build up through a few halves.

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