How does one aim and train for a marathon(7 Posts)
I'm sat at home watching the marathon (having last night managed to complete 5k on week 5 of my c25k program) feeling totally inspired.
So, where do I even start? Are there websites/magazines/resources to teach you what you need to do and when?
Oh, and if any of the marathon runners catch up with this post, kudos to you, you're bloody amazing!
I did c25k then entered a 10k fairly soon afterwards, which I dragged myself round. Entered a half marathon 5 months later and just increased my long run distance by a bit every week. Think the furthest I ran prior to the half was 9 miles. Found out the week before the half that I had unexpectedly got a ballot place in the London marathon, which was 6 months later. Googled marathon plans for people with no time and found one that involved two short runs in the week and long run on the weekend. Started it on Boxing Day and ran London in just under 4 hours so totally doable. I'm watching the marathon today and finding it all really emotinal, it was such an amazing day and I'd love to do it again.
Build up. Complete your 5k training programme. Then do a 10k programme, then once you're comfortable with 10k distance, do a half marathon plan. Again, once, comfy with regular half marathon distance you move on to full marathon training programmes. There are tonnes of apps out there, very similar to the couch to 5k style of training.
If you are doing long distances, over 10k, you really need to make sure you are cross training. Doing other exercises to support your running (swimming, cycling etc), they will help prevent injury too. Also nutrition is important when you start getting into big mileage.
I'm not great over 10miles, my left knee gets very painful and stops me. I'd love to do a marathon though, in theory but I think I'm a bit too fragile for it
You've started! Many of us started with c25k and built from there!
I ran London last year and like welsh found watching today very emotional. Would love to do it again. Trouble is getting a place. I ran for charity last year and had to raise over £2k which was fine as my employer matched my fundraising, but am aware that a total like that is very difficult for lots of people...
...but if you can go for it!
Firstly, do you want to run a marathon or do you want to run the London marathon? I only run majors as I mainly focus on trail, but it's good to decide up front, because as pp said, getting places for London is a bitch and if you're on a charity place, you probably only want to do it once, unless you are minted and can just put the money in yourself. Either way, running majors is a lot more expensive in terms of the cost (if you basically buy yourself in) or time if you need to fundraise and don't have a lot of rich friends. However, London (and maybe NYC) are different animals in terms of crowd and atmosphere - I have seen postings where people have been really disappointed to discover that very few other marathons have that level of continual crowd support, organisation etc. Therefore, if you really want to do London rather than just "do a marathon", then do it.
Either way, I would set a marathon as a two year goal to give yourself time to consolidate at shorter distances, so build up to 10k, once your times start coming down and you feel comfortable at that distance, build up to half and then use that as a base for a marathon training plan. Sure, you can go from scratch to marathon in 4 months (people do it- I've done it from an 8 mile base, there were probably tonnes of people on Sunday who did it) but it's risky in terms of injury, and "results will vary" , so if you want to get a good time, then consolidation and giving your muscles and joints time to strengthen pays off.
Best of luck
I definitely agree with building up through other distances; you learn so much about running and about your body, what works for it, what doesn't and also about the sort of running and races that you like. Marathon training is a bit tougher and more time consuming than that for half marathons and I don't know if I could have done it without the fitness and mental resilience I had already built up.
Doing London on Sunday was amazing. It is a pretty unique experience, I have run the Edinburgh half which is big and well supported but it was quiet compared to London! The noise at London can become hard to deal with at some points too so I think it is good to have a bit of racing experience to make it easier to cope, although everyone is different.
But basically, if you want to run a marathon, build up, train well, loads of advice out there in magazines like Runners World and Women's Running; Paula Radcliffe has a book which is very good and online there are plenty of plans to be found. Most guaranteed way to get into London is to do a charity place but the fundraising can be immense. I got in on the ballot first time though, so it can be done! Good luck!
As others have said, build up to it. I went from 5k to full marathon in a year. Takes a lot of self motivation & forcing yourself out on a wet November morning to run 10 miles, when you really can't be arsed but, it's doable. I lost 4 stone in the process as well, which was a bonus
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