Author Topic: Marathon Tips?  (Read 99550 times)

nkotb

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Marathon Tips?
« on: June 18, 2007, 04:11:00 pm »
So I'm crossing off another item on my "101 Things To Do Before I Die" list, and I'm running my first marathon this November in NYC.
 
 Prior to this, I've maxed out at about 7 miles at a time, so I'd like to prepare as best I can.  Granted, the race isn't until the first weekend in November, but I'm starting my real training tomorrow.  Any advice for a novice?  Any websites I should check out?  Any excellent training regiments?
 
 For those of you that are experienced, I'm not doing this cold turkey (or is it "hot turkey" if you start something out of the blue???).  I've been running 5 times a week all year so far, building up to my current 5 miles a day.  I'd just like to know what I should do to keep from dying or harming myself, and to find good resources on what to bring during my training/race, what to eat, what not to do, etc.

vansmack

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2007, 04:23:00 pm »
I'm in the same boat.  Love to hear other peoples advice.
27>34

ggw

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2007, 04:24:00 pm »
I'm jealous.  My back is just now getting back to the condition in which I can start running again.
 
 
 I liked this book:
 
 Four Months to a Four Hour Marathon
 
 My recipe was to run increasingly long runs each weekend, maxing out at 25 miles about 3-4 weeks prior to the marathon.  In between, I would try to do a couple of short runs and/or bike rides or some other form of cross-training.
 
 Try to run some shorter races (10k's; 10-milers; half-marathon) in September or early October.
 
 Drink lots of water on a regular basis.  
 
 Avoid red meat the day before you go on a big run.
 
 Run for a specified amount of time rather than a specified distance; to build up endurance rather than concentrating on pace.
 
 Once a week do sprints at a high school track (sprint 400 meters; walk 800 meters; repeat; repeat...)
 
 Basically, try different things now to find out which seem to work for you and then build on them over the next couple of months.
 
 I always found the best part of marathons to be the discipline you get into in the training months.

Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2007, 04:25:00 pm »
Congratulations on your decision!
 
 25-30 miles spread over four or five days a week is a good start. But you want to spread that out such that one of those days is a long run. Try adding two miles to your long run every second week until you hit a base of 12. Then do that 12 for awhile until it's old hat and easy breezy (or the marathon date dictates that you better start adding more mileage to your long run.) After 12 is easy breezy, again begin adding two miles every other week.
 
 You'd do a long run schedule of:
 
 Week 1: 12 miles
 Week 2:8-10
 Week 3: 14
 Week 4 8-10
 Week 5: 16
 Week 6: 8-10
 Week 7: 18
 
 etc. until you hit 24 two weeks before the marathon. Meanwhile, keep doing your short runs 3-4 times a week. But sticking to your long run is the key.
 
 NYC is a wonderful marathon to run. The crowd support is awesome and keeps you going. I just wish they had the chip in the first few NYC marathons I ran, when I did my personal best. It would have knocked 5-10 minutes off my time.

vansmack

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2007, 04:33:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by ggw?:
  Avoid red meat the day before you go on a big run.
I'm out.
27>34

grotty

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2007, 05:09:00 pm »
my first marathon was one of my fav things ever.
 
 i agree strongly with ggw:
 " always found the best part of marathons to be the discipline you get into in the training months"
 
 it was probably the best I've ever felt.
 
 i used this book: How To Train For And Run Your Best Marathon by Bloch.
 
 i used training program 2 exactly & cruised through my 1st race @ 4:00.
 
 my best advice:
 
 get a training partner. unless you are really going for time - pick someone who actually tends to run @ a slower pace than you. probably the worst thing you can do during training is run too fast. you'll wear out & get injured - guaranteed.
 
 be up to running 7 miles - with the ability to run long ~ 10 miles BEFORE you start official training. Otherwise the jump up in mileage may be a shock that results in injury. (that program above has a 105 min run in the first week)
 
 Cross-train! biking is a good substitute.
 
 i'm sure i'll think of more...

grotty

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2007, 05:14:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by vansmack:
   
Quote
Originally posted by ggw?:
  Avoid red meat the day before you go on a big run.
I'm out. [/b]
after your first couple long runs - you will feel like crap. stomach will be destroyed. i spent many early weeks curled up on the couch after a 10 - 12 mile long run.
 
 but it's amazing how your body will adapt & get very hardy.
 
 Rhett is correct - something magic happens after about 12-14 miles. i got to the point where i'd carry cold pizza to eat along the way. and i clearly remember craving an all-you-can eat chinese buffett @ about 15 miles one day.
 
 By the time race day came around - i was like a goat. Eating anything/anytime.

Barcelona

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2007, 05:32:00 pm »
I have run five marathons (a couple of mountain marathons included) and never followed a training program, I like running (that is the key) I would run 10-12km 4 days a week on average prior to a marathon. I would say it is important to see how you respond to some longer distances while you are preparing for a marathon. I would do 10 miles at least once every month and would try one or two half marathons a few months before the marathon. I like pasta and I think it was helpful eating it the days before some long distance running, but I am not sure this is recommended, I might be wrong.
 
 One key aspect is how ready you are psychologically. To me the last five miles in the marathons I have run have always been very difficult. I remember being tired and thinking why in hell I had decided to run such a long race. The challenge is to beat that moment during the race.

Mobius

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2007, 06:09:00 pm »
Run with a group for the long runs, if possible.  I think it makes the experience more enjoyable, makes it much easier to break through any walls you might hit on your way to running 18+ miles, and makes it easier to follow through (i.e. it helps to have a scheduled run rather than 'winging it' on your own).
 
 Another good running book is 'Chi Running.'
 
 Down the road, I'd get to NYC Friday if possible, or early Saturday.  Its somewhat of a hassle picking up your stuff at Javitts center . . . and you want to relax and enjoy the day as much as possible.
 
 And this is a biggie for race day - if you take the shuttle from Manhattan it takes awile - like 1.5 hours.  And as of 2 years ago the bus did not have bathrooms.  You'll be hydrating leading up to the race so plan accordingly!
 
 Good luck!!

Celeste

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2007, 07:42:00 pm »
I've done three and agree with GGW and Rhett's advice wholeheartedly (Rhett was my coach). The long runs are really key, in my opinion because during the week I'd just do 4- or 5- mile runs maybe three times a week, nothing too serious, with a long run every other week, alternating 12 miles with a longer one (14, 16, 18, etc. as Rhett said). I never cared too much about speed til race day. If you care about speed, then you gotta do the short ones more seriously, with intervals, sprints, etc. But I don't know if I'd bother with that for my first race.
 
 Running a marathon and even training for one is enormously satisfying.
 
 After NYC, definitely do Chicago. It's flat, cool outside usually when they run it, and the neighborhoods are great fun to run through.

terry

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2007, 07:59:00 pm »
For my first marathon I used this training program: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-244-255-11937-0,00.html. For me, the long run is key. Not only physically but it gets you into a particular mindset. As you've heard and will continue to hear, alot of it is a mental, especially those last few miles.
 
 Also, besides water you need to make sure to drink gatorade or something else with electrolytes. There is such a thing as too much water so be careful, especially when you're training in this heat/humidity. I know, you can't win. Either you drink too much water or not enough. It can drive you crazy. Some of those sport drinks do fun things to my stomach (and by fun I mean ick.)
 
 I'm also a believer in going to a store staffed by experienced runners (Fleet Feet; Metro Run & Walk; or Pacers) and get fitted for a proper pair of running shoes. I did that several years ago and have been wearing the same basic model ever since. Most people get a shoe 1/2 size larger than their normal shoe size because your feet swell on long runs (my running shoes are a full size larger--I had to lose a few toenails to learn that lesson.)
 
 I also tend to race alot when I'm training for a marathon. I run harder plus it's nice to have somebody hand you water/gatorade every few miles. There are a bunch of races available in this area.
 Check out www.runwashington.com. DCRRCs 20 miler in September is pretty popular. The Army Ten-Miler, if it's not already closed out, is also a good one.  
 
 Good luck!

PigIron

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2007, 08:53:00 pm »
Hal Higdon
 
 Try Hal's program.  Its what I used on my first marathon and it works if you can stick to it.  7 miles is a great place to be with five months to go.  Preparing for a fall marathon can be a bitch though - you have to practice long runs in the summer heat.  
 
 Make sure you drink water when you get in to the longer runs.  Carrying water is a pain in the ass but it works.  Get the clip-on containers and a belt.  It sounds retarded but it works.  I have four 5 oz. containers that I carry for marathon-type training stuff and it doesn't look too bad.
 
 Also, pound down the proper nutrients.  I didn't even hit "the wall" on the first marathon because I was chugging sodium packets every five miles.  They, like water, are a pain to carry but they work and save some pain.  If you want, try carrying something for sugar too - people eat gummi bears.  Bring a small pack and eat one every mile.
 
 Don't overdo it.  Limit long runs to once a week and remember that you can be ready for a marathon without getting too close to the 26.2 miles.
 
 Good luck!

PigIron

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2007, 10:40:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by Charlie Nakatestes,Japanese Golfer:
  Congratulations on your decision!
 
 25-30 miles spread over four or five days a week is a good start. But you want to spread that out such that one of those days is a long run. Try adding two miles to your long run every second week until you hit a base of 12. Then do that 12 for awhile until it's old hat and easy breezy (or the marathon date dictates that you better start adding more mileage to your long run.) After 12 is easy breezy, again begin adding two miles every other week.
 
 You'd do a long run schedule of:
 
 Week 1: 12 miles
 Week 2:8-10
 Week 3: 14
 Week 4 8-10
 Week 5: 16
 Week 6: 8-10
 Week 7: 18
 
 etc. until you hit 24 two weeks before the marathon. Meanwhile, keep doing your short runs 3-4 times a week. But sticking to your long run is the key.
 
 NYC is a wonderful marathon to run. The crowd support is awesome and keeps you going. I just wish they had the chip in the first few NYC marathons I ran, when I did my personal best. It would have knocked 5-10 minutes off my time.
No offense, but 24 before the race seems like too much.  That could be the case for some people, but it takes awhile to recover from a run like that, especially for someone going into their first marathon.  There are different programs out there I know, but I wouldn't advise this, and I've been doing races for a long time.  I would top out at 20-21 two weeks prior - just my opinion.

Celeste

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2007, 04:36:00 am »
Quote
Originally posted by PigIron:
  No offense, but 24 before the race seems like too much...I would top out at 20-21 two weeks prior - just my opinion.
This is somewhat true, I seem to recall actually doing more like 22 miles as the highest, and also having two weeks rest before the race (instead of one, and by "rest" I mean 12 mile runs those weekends, continuing short ones during the week).
 
 Whichever you choose, just go as slow as you need to go when you do these runs that are over 20 miles, I'd say. I never got injured, sick to my stomach or f-ed up in any way during training or racing because I pushed myself, but not too much speed-wise. I wasn't like painfully slow, but for me, it was enough just to do the runs. (My thing, though, is I will not walk...which is actually part of some programs...I just won't do it.)
 
 One last tip...I kind of change up HOW I run throughout the longer runs in terms of stride, how  I position my legs, etc. It makes you feel like you're kind of getting a break if you run slightly differently when you start to get a little achy or tired.

grotty

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Re: Marathon Tips?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2007, 07:49:00 am »
I'm actually a big advocate of the walking bit.
 
 Not much - but for 30 seconds every 5-8 miles - I'd walk fast.
 
 The theory is - as descibed above by Vessel - that your body - legs especially - really benefit from the change. minimizes cramping from repetition.
 
 it's perfect for the water stops. it's hard to drink & run anyway