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Marathon Training Book

lnewv52010-05-02 07:25:50 +0000 #1
Hi All -

Sorry if this has been asked before, but does anyone have a recommendation for a good marathon training book? I've decided I'm going to go ahead and start training for my first marathon in hopes of doing one in March at Virginia Beach over St. Patrick's day.

So, I'll basically have 2 1/2 to 3 months to train for the marathon. Is this enough time? I can run 30 minutes now, but have not been really consistent about exercise. However, I don't consider myself out of shape and my body responds pretty well to exercise. I trained for my first sprint triathlon this past June in 6 weeks and it was such a wonderful experience that I would like to try a marathon before the next triathlon season.

Thoughts? Advice? Thanks ladies!!
kiwi girl2010-05-02 07:42:30 +0000 #2
You are probably not going to like what I have to say but from being able to run for 30 minutes, 2 1/2 months is quite short to train for a marathon . Assuming you run around 10 minute miles (picking it because it is a nice round number and about the speed I run) you are running 3 miles.

This training program (which I used for my first marathon) assumes you could do a 'long' run of 6 miles and still takes 18 weeks to get you through to a marathon. You might be able to find a program that is less than 18 weeks but I would think that would start with a longer run than 3 miles. Some people consider Higdon's program to be close to the minumum you would want to do.

Regardless of what you think about his specific training program, Higdon's book provides a good overall guide to marathon training
Bikingmomof32010-05-02 07:44:56 +0000 #3
Kiwi Girl,

thanks for the book recommendation. I could use a training program that is structured.
Grog2010-05-02 08:17:40 +0000 #4
I am sorry to be a bit harsh here, but I think one has to be realistic and just a bit careful.

I cannot recommend a good marathon book, but I cannot recommend running a marathon with so little preparation either.

I have been running consistently through 2006 (with a pretty good base in 2005, at about where you are now), taking my running from 5K in the early months to 10K around May to 17K this December. I will run a half-marathon next weekend, at a "relaxed" pace, hopefully within about 2 hours. I am in excellent running shape (although primarily a cyclist), have no biomechanical issues, and I would NOT run a marathon in March.

Running is a BRUTAL sport for your joints and for your whole body. I think trying to train for a marathon from scratch (sorry to consider 3mile-runs "scratch" but compared to 26 miles that's what it is) in three months is the best way to make sure you'll stop running after that marathon. You risk injuries and burn-out.

I think the race you're looking at also has a 8K and a half-marathon distance. Why not start there? You'll have fun, you have lots of chances to walk out of there with a smile and an appetite for more. Then you can aim for a half-marathon in the fall, maybe, and a marathon next year?

Be kind to your body, it will reward you with years of pleasure!!
kiwi girl2010-05-02 08:04:48 +0000 #5
If you take Grog's advice you could try one of the following

8 km:

1/2 marathon:
colby2010-05-02 08:32:26 +0000 #6
I bought the Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer, based on a class taught at some University. While I didn't use it to train with for my recent marathon, it is about a 16 week course, I think. The goal of the book is to finish, not to be fast, and in fact they say if your primary goal is something else, to look elsewhere. In the book's course, you never run more than 18 miles.

The book:

I have used it for other guidelines, just didn't follow their plan. It's great for motivation, tips, and guidance. You're essentially following a class through the process as you go through the process. They do have some guidelines that say "don't do this if you can't do X" but I can't remember off the top of my head what X is. I want to say a 5k is about right, it might be longer (the 6 mile number I read earlier sounds familiar, too).
seychelle2010-05-02 08:49:59 +0000 #7
Lots of good advice above, so I won't repeat what has already been said. I will say, however, that it's recommended that you have a good running base for at least 2-4 months before you start training for a marathon. The number that is thrown around and considered a "good base" is 20 miles/week. Marathons aren't going anywhere so you have time to properly build a base and train without injury or burn out.

In addition to the above Hal Higdon books/links, I also like The Runner's Handbook : The Bestselling Classic Fitness Guide for Beginning and Intermediate Runners (2nd rev Edition) and The Competitive Runner's Handbook: The Bestselling Guide to Running 5Ks through Marathons both by Bob Glover and Shelly-Lynn Florence Glover.

You may want to work yourself up to the distance. Do some 5K, 8K, 10K, 15K, etc so that your joints/muscles, etc gradually become accustomed to the stress of running.

Good luck !



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