I wondered how others got on with their first marathon training, so I have been reading other peoples first marathon training blog posts, or should I say trying to find some but there are not many about.
As you have probable guessed I am planning on running in a marathon for the first time, it is 2018 and I am 66 years old, I have just over 3 months training left before I take part in the Chester Marathon on October 7th.
Up until now the training has gone well, but I can’t say the same about some of the races I have taken part in this year, I have had mixed results in them using the run/walk/run method.
The reason I am using this method is because I don’t think I could run the full 26.2-mile distance.
Before I decided that I was going to run in a marathon, I picked out the Running Club races that I was going to take part in this year.
I was a bit concerned about racing on weekends when I had my long runs, apart from one run early in my training program the races have fitted in nicely, and most of them have fallen on the short run weekends.
I have used the races as speed training sessions, there is no speed training in the training plan I am using, the plan is designed to just get me over the finish line in one piece.
A Short Over View Of The Training Plan
My runs Sunday’s alternate between short and long runs, Saturday’s are rest days especially before a long run, during the week there are two maintenance runs, these are timed runs rather than distance.
The maintenance runs are now near their maximum times, and will be 60 to 90 minutes in duration, like all the other runs these are done at a slow pace, this should be at least 2 minute slower than race pace.
The long runs started at 3 miles and have increased by 2 miles ever second week until I reach 17 miles, they then go up by 3 miles ever third week till I have ran 26 miles, which will be 3 weeks before the race.
It’s Hard To Run Slow
My time intervals for the run/walk/run are 1 minute running then 30 seconds walking, in theory my pace for the marathon should be 11 minute including the walk breaks, well that’s the plan.
Up till starting the training for the marathon my runs have been continuous and at an average pace of 11-minutes a mile, but as I mentioned earlier I am using the run/walk/run method.
Trying to keep the same pace is quite difficult, while running you seem to be running faster than you should be, then when walking you feel like you are going backwards.
What I find difficult about running the 13-minute mile is you don’t feel like you are working hard enough, this could be another reason why it’s hard to maintain the slower pace.
It is certainly good pace for holding a conversation as it hardly affects my breathing, except on the hills.
I record my runs on Strava and on most of my training runs I have been running between 12 and 13-minute miles.
Last weekend I ran 13 miles and looking at the split times on Strava I was running under 13 minutes and there are some under 12 minutes.
I did not feel that I was running at less than the 13-minute mile, although my legs started to feel heavy towards the end, I did feel that I could have ran a bit longer if I needed to.
No Carb Loading
The last time I ran 13 miles was last year in the Scottish half marathon, before I ran I carb loaded as per the suggestion on the majority of the running sites.
On the day before the race I made sure I had some pasta for my evening meal, during the day I drank some shakes that were supposed to help me carb load.
The morning of the race I had toast and jam for breakfast washed down with some black coffee, about an hour before the race I had another shake.
My pockets were full of gels to take during the race, as instructed I took the first after the 45 minutes and one every half an hour after that, thinking that this will get me over the finish line without any problems.
By the end of the race I was very tired and in a bit of pain, and at this point did not think I could run a marathon, I was glad when I was turned down for the London marathon the next month because I did not think I could do it.
When I ran on the Sunday just gone, all I had was a cup of black unsweetened coffee, on the Saturday I ate what I would normally have on the low carb healthy fat diet.
If I am going to be honest and I should be, I foolishly had 4 cans of beer while watching the TV, anyway the next morning I had my coffee and took with me a bottle containing a quarter of a litre of water with an electrolyte powder mixed in.
I did not break any records but I did finish it feeling that I could have carried on running if needed.
I did use the run/walk/run method on Sunday, could this have made a difference last year in the half marathon, I suppose we will never know.
Have Your Say
I would be interested to hear from anyone who has some thoughts about this post or any questions you might have, please use the comments below.
If you liked the post please Share it or Like it.