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My first question

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My first question

Post  Jordan S. on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:18 am

Here goes nothing. I am training for my first marathon which is in December. I work 8-5 Monday through Friday and sometimes it is hard for me to get out there during the week and put in a lot of miles. I trained for a half marathon back in February and my training went something like this. I would run 3-5 miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays, then on Sunday I would run a long run. That long run increased 1/2 to 1 mile each week. It worked pretty good for the half. I know that a full marathon is a lot more demanding. So far I have been trying to do the same thing though because of my work schedule and having a family at home also. What other training suggestions do y'all have?
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Re: My first question

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:54 am

Hi, and welcome! Smile

First, it IS possible to run a marathon on 3 days/week running.  Will it be an extremely pleasant experience?  Probably not, though that largely depends on your goals.  If you were able to add Saturdays to your weekly schedule, that'd be a vast improvement over 3 days/week.  If you could throw in Wednesdays, too, I'd say you're in very, very good shape.  I'll let those with steady work hours chime in on how to do that - I work as an independent contractor and tend to have a few hours to squeeze in a run daily.

There are a ton of resources available re: training plans online.  Hal Higdon's are some that many of us have used/still use, as well as McMillan's (personalized) and others.  I'm sure someone will jump in and provide a link or some more names.

Good luck!
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Re: My first question

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:30 am

Here is a link to Hal Higdon's 3-day-per-week plan: http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51151/Marathon-Marathon-3-Training-Program

Note that Hal designed this for experienced runners.

I've run a marthon on training that was 4 days a week, and found that to be somewhat challenging. I would definitely recommend that you do at least 4 days a week for your first marathon.

Is it not possible to do 5 a week? Even if you can't do a longer run on Wednesday, could you do a run of similar distance on Wednesday, and then do the same on Saturday? I think that is more likely to get you to the start line in decent enough shape to finish a first marathon.

Good luck!
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Re: My first question

Post  Chris M on Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:36 am

Work gets in the way of a ton of my running as well and so by necessity, I typically run longer on BOTH Saturday and Sunday.   Even if you have to slow down the paces to do it, I'd recommend taking advantage of those non-work days by running each of them.
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Re: My first question

Post  Jordan S. on Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:51 am

Thanks for the tips so far. I am going to try and get a run or two in Mondays or Fridays. Wednesday is out because of church after work. If I can do that, it will give me at least 4 runs a week with a long run on the weekend. I don't know if I can handle two long runs on consecutive days though.
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Re: My first question

Post  ounce on Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:21 am

I would review some of Hal's Novice plans, particularly the training for the Novice.  You may well decide to do the 3 day/per week plan.  But get information!

A marathon demands respect for the distance.  Your goal should be to finish, regardless of time.  Just finishing is a great accomplishment.

My schedule is such that I have to run my long runs on Friday mornings, e.g. around 1 a.m. for a 20 mile run, then I don't run until Monday morning.  In fact, I rarely run in the daylight, except for the race.

Be creative with accomplishing it.
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Re: My first question

Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:28 pm

You're getting some great advice here, Jordan. I'd add only to build on Ounce's point: for those of us with busy/weird schedules, creativity in making time for runs ends up being the key to success. I ended up doing a lot of runs very early in the morning (headlamps are a lifesaver), and I know of some runners who can convince their employers to let them take a long lunch break and squeeze in a short-to-medium run then.

Four days is probably preferable to three in training for a marathon, mostly so you don't overdo it trying to get the miles in. Adding a second weekend run is one option. Just remember to follow the hard-easy training principle and vary the distance/intensity of your runs to get the most out of the training.

Also, Hal Higdon's plans are definitely worth reviewing. I used his plans for several of my races, and they worked well for me.
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Re: My first question

Post  Jerry on Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:17 pm

Welcome on board Jorden!

If you can run both days over the weekend, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday is a good structure.

Sunday: long
Sat: whatever you can handle without jerpodising Sunday's long, but at least 30 minutes to maintain general fitness. You have to figure out how much you can handle on Saturdays yourself. 

There is a theory that we start losing training effect after 48 hours of rest.

For the same reason, you do some miles on Tuesday and Thursday.
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Re: My first question

Post  Schuey on Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:40 pm

Alright I completely understand the challenge of training, work and family. I currently have a 1 year old and I work the 2nd shift.

I have finally found the balance to were I run twice a day (most week days) and run back to back long runs on the weekend.

My suggestion would be forget about running for miles during the week and run for time. Plus the body doesn't know miles rather time. And run for miles on the weekend (when you have the time), do you have to run every day? no.

Maybe plan to run  3 days m-f with a mix of running for 45 mins to hour on these days. Then focus on running for distance on Saturday and Sunday, which you can do these runs early before the family gets up. I think by doing something like this you will build your aerobic engine and be more than ready for race day. Plus I feel it will be a very enjoyable experience!


Last edited by Schuey on Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: My first question

Post  KBFitz on Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:43 am

Jordan,

My colleagues have it covered. Your body will thank you in the last 10K (after mile 20) if you are able to be consistent in training every other day without fail in your 18 week training buildup. This could be TUE, THU, SAT, SUN or simply every other day. Endurance is built through consistency. Three days a week will make for quite a rough marathon after mile twenty (the half-way point in terms of effort). Do four... be happy. Cheers!
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Re: My first question

Post  Paula Sue on Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:43 am

Welcome, Jordan...and congratulations on your decision to run a marathon.  The only thing I have to add to all of the above excellent information and comments is you really need the support of your wife and family.  Training for a marathon is physically demanding as your mileage builds over an 18 week program.  Without their support, it becomes harder and harder to keep up with the consistency you need.  If your family is open to 'crewing' for you on your long runs or even riding bikes along side or on your route periodically to cheer you on helps them to understand your commitment and goal...and they become part of that.  Good luck, Jordan...I hope you keep us posted.
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Re: My first question

Post  nkrichards on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:55 am

There's some great advice on here but I wanted to make sure that you didn't give up on your goal to complete a marathon if you couldn't run more than 3 days a week. 

Hal's 3 day program mentioned earlier and Run Less Run Faster (Brad Hudson) are both 3 day programs that have worked well.  BUT they require much longer runs during the week than you've mentioned and they also require some cross training on the other days.  I was in a very similar place in my running life when I trained for my first marathon using Hal's program and ran a very satisfying 4:15.

There is another option depending on your goals.  My daughter decided she wanted to complete a marathon and based on her half time chose a 6 1/2 hour goal (run/walk).  She did exactly what you've described...two short runs during the week and a long run on the weekend.  She did play soccer once a week but that was about it.  I ran with her and we had a blast!  We enjoyed the scenery, entertainment, volunteers and other participants.  She exceeded her goal...finishing with a huge smile on her face in 6:15.  She used her training to lose some weight and relieve some of the stress of planning her wedding.  It was a great experience for her.

Good luck...just choose the goals that fit your life.  Remember this is supposed to be fun.Very Happy
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Re: My first question

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