I decided I want to buckle down and train for a marathon, I have been running off and on for a few years - it's not til January (42 weeks away now), so I have a while. I have done a lot of research, read books, got the gear I need to start (running shoes, heart rate monitor), I started a training program last week. I am doing a half marathom training first and I will move up, so I don't get injured. I get shin splits really bad, especially right above the inside of my ankles (how do I get rid of that?) I plan to run a few 5k and 10k races in the next few months and a half marathon in July or August to prepare for the whole scene.
I just want to know if anyone has run a marathon, experiences, tips, advice. I don't know anyone who has run one. Some of my work buddies are training for it as well, but we're not training together and none of them have done one before either. Any help would be greatly appriciated!!!
Last edited by Steph@nie; 03-28-2005 at 08:15 PM.
I ran cross country for 4 years, at our meets we would run 5k. We would practice 6 days a week, and run anywhere from 3-6 miles for training (per day). We would usually do sprint running 1x a week to work those extra muscles. This one sprinting exercise we did, you sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then jog for 30 seconds, keep alternating the 2 for a period of 30 minutes (no breaks!). Other days we would run the 5k, as if we were at a meet, trying to bump down our time from the previous week. Some days, our coach would pick some really "hilly" terrain, to get us good at tougher courses. And we also had distance days, usually a 5 mile run at a steady jogging pace. I would highly recommend a diverse program like this, something that incorporates all the leg muscles, and keeps you from getting too used to a program- by changing things up. When the running gets easier, change it up & kick your own butt- try running up hill with weights, or jog in the sand!
Also, eat LOTS of carbs. Your body uses carbs for fuel first, you need to make sure your body has enough fuel for you training. So, the night before you marathon, eat a carb rich food, such as pasta. It sounds counter-productive with the whole carb craze going on right now, but trust me, this will fuel your workouts & increase energy. You will not gain weight from carbs unless you are completley sedetary.
As far as the shin splints go, make sure it is COMPLETELY healed before you run again. This could take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks, do not run again until the pain goes away- ignoring this could cause more pain/damage. You can prevent shin splints in the future by stretching before every work out- and always do a 1 mile warm up (jog) and a 1 mile cool down (jog). Don't count those miles as your training, think of them only as a warm up/cool down. Don't skip the cool down either, after running at a moderate pace for a while & then suddenly stopping, will cause lactic acid to build up in your system. The cool down helps eliminate that build up.
Hi Steph@nie... I'm in the same place you are... I'm also training for a marathon, although mine is the weekend before Thanksgiving.
You're doing the right thing in reading and researching all you can. I think that's the most important thing you can do before you even tie your laces.
I've broken my training plan down into four "cycles." Cycle one (which I am in right now) is leading up to a 10 mile race. Average weekly mileage is 12-17 miles during this phase, with a long run of 5-7 miles each weekend. I'm also doing a little cross-training on the bike in preparation for the warmer months, and weight training pretty hard.
Cycle two is much the same as cycle one, except I am adding a good-sized layer of bicycling, as I will also be competing in duathlons over the summer. So the running stays pretty much the same, but I'm logging 100-150 miles a week on the bike too. I'm still going to be weight training during this cycle, but not quite as hard.. more maintenance than anything.
Cycle three starts focusing in, with a half-marathon as the target at the end of that cycle. Weekly running miles jumps to 15-25, with the long run being 9-12 miles each week. I start decreasing the time on the bike during this cycle, and I probably won't see the gym as much either.
Finally, cycle four really gets down to business. The bike gets put away, the weight room is off limits, and the weekly running total is 30-40 miles. Long runs are 12-16 miles, with an 8-10 mile run added in mid-week. There's also another half-marathon in there.
Anyway, that's my plan. I look forward to hearing yours and keeping each other motivated on this board. One thing on the shin splints... if you have them, you just have to deal with them the best you can. Stretching before and after the workout is important. A day or two of rest will help, but if it gets to where you will be missing training time because of them, you will want to seek professional attention.
One other note about shin splints, they should dissipate after you're a little more conditioned (it's not a bone condition, it's sore, untrained muscles on the front of the lower leg). So build up your time running slowly and they shouldn't be a problem. Also, make sure it's not a problem with your shoes. Even very expensive shoes are not always the best for your specific gait. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
Keep your body lean, your blood clean and your mind sharp. -Rollins
Thanks for all the advise everyone! I will deffinitly keep you posted, and will probably have more questions along the way! I am glad to know that there are a few of you that have experience and can help me along!