Should I run a marathon?(11 Posts)
I have two young children...a ds who is 3 and DD who is just over 1. I'm going back to work soon for 3 days a week. My diet and fitness has been poor since having ds 3 years ago. I recently committed to doing something about it and trained for and completed a half marathon last month. However since then I've gone to pot again and done no exercise and diet has been poor. I definitely need the motivation/threat of an event to keep me going! So...I'm thinking of signing up for a marathon in May next year but I'm worried about finding the time and energy to commit to the training. Any advice from anyone who has completed a marathon? Especially those with small children. Really how much training will I need to do...3 days a week or 4 or 5? Any tips from marathon veterans?
I'Ve only run halfs, purely for the kids sake. I run with a club and we do our long runs on Sundays, starting at 5.30am. So if doing a marathon i'd be running for a good 3 hours plus towards the end of training and then probably sleeping in the afternoon and personally I think it's a bit unfair on them. But mine are older (8 and 4) so yours might not notice as much! Can you not do another half?
I'm not saying don't, but do think carefully about the time you have.
I did this. Didn't have kids but was/am super lazy when it comes to exercise. I figured if I said I was doing a marathon and had everyone asking me about it, I'd just have to do it. And I did. And it was one of the best days of my life (I did the London marathon).
Once I got into the training and past the early 'Oh dear I think I'm dying' bit I actually really enjoyed the training outside in the middle of winter.
I can't offer much in the way of training advice as I was totally clueless (it was about 15 years ago and there wasn't as much info) but i still completed it. Certainly expect to do 3 to 5 days of training a week.
I trained for a marathon with two under 5 and it does take a lot of your time. 3/4 runs a week, and because I am slow my long runs took me 3-4 hours or so and I was knackered after and good for nothing. If you are a bit speedier it might be easier.
Honestly I hated my marathon though. I was anxious about the training the whole time. I didn't enjoy the run on the day as it was just hard work. And that promised post-marathon buzz never came.
I have decided to stick to half marathons in future.
Thanks for the advice and well done Kai on your marathon achievement! I agree with the threat of telling everyone you are doing it acting as a motivator to complete the challenge. That's exactly what I did with traditional recent half and it worked a treat.
ladycassandra you've summed up one of my main concerns in your post which is do I really have time to commit to the necessary training without it interrupting family life too much. But then I wonder if now is actually a good time to do it in that respect because the kids are still with me on a Thu and a Fri to spend lots of time together and then I can do my long run at the weekend whereas if I postpone it a few years then the kids will be at school and we will only have the weekends together and that time becomes a lot more precious. Plus they are in bed by 7 so I have my evenings free just now too (which are currently spent doing nothing more useful than watching TV and eating get rubbish). Doing another half is definitely an alternative option. I just need to decide if now is the right time for a marathon or hold off for a few years.
lucygravity Well done you for sticking with it even when you hated the training! I do keep reminding myself of my recent half when toward the ends i thought to myself I would never ever sign up for a marathon as it would be just awful.
Maybe I should look into a half marathon in the new year and make my aim to do it in a quicker time as although I ran the whole way in the recent one I was slow so my goal could be to improve my time.
I did mine for charity to ensure I actually pulled it off and didn't quit!
It is a thing to experience and I don't regret doing it. But it is a lot of effort as well. And I think you make a good point about now being a better time as weekends aren't your only family time. Although if you work part-time you could do long runs while they are at school.
One thing I do regret is that I kind of did my marathon training from a bad start as I'd let my half training slide and hadn't been running much at all. You might enjoy marathon training more if you do another half first, because you'd be starting from a fitter base.
I have 3 kids but they are a bit older than yours (between 4 and 8). I did 2 halves, 2 marathons and an ultra this year, triathlons for the two previous years before.
My thoughts are:
- How can you fit in running most efficiently? I run my commute to work some days (and cycle the other journeys for cross training) as it doesn't take so much longer than getting the train so is very efficient time-wise. Is that an option? Or a run in your lunch hour some days?
- I think it is definitely worth getting more running experience in before doing a marathon. Do some more halves and get your weekly mileage more consistent for a longer time and it will be much easier on your body.
I agree with Pootle- unpopular though the view is now, I really do think runners benefit from consolidating at shorter distances before building up to marathon as it takes time for muscles, joints and connective tissue to adjust and to build a good cardio base. I'd spend another 12 months focusing on improving your half time, and then build up to marathon.
There is a plan for running 3 days a week called the FIRST marathon training plan which I've used for 2 marathons so it needn't take out too much time from your life.
I want to do a marathon (been running since 2012), but having 3 DCs aged 5-11 Ive decided I dont really want to make that committment just yet. I have done 2 halves before (GNR this year was my second) and Im entered into another half in January and have a further 2 planned next year.
Im going with the plan mentioned above. Going to concentrate mainly on 10 miles and halves for the next couple of years after mainly doing 10Ks in the past. Then look to do a marathon in 3/4 years time.
Im going to do the Yorkshire marathon in October time when I get round to doing it.
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