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Thinking of running a full marathon

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Myname posted 9/16/2013 09:49 AM

So one of my goals I set for myself in the beginning of the year was to run a full marathon. I've never run before but I am in excellent physical shape and cardio is my strength. When I first brought this up SO freaked out because she was afraid I would die. She kept saying that I couldn't do it. Which for me is nothing but motivation.

I talked to my brother who has been running full marathons for years and he said I could do it. He said it is more about mental toughness than physical toughness. When there is a goal I will get there at any cost.

There is a marathon (not exactly close to me) coming up in a couple of weeks. It would be my last chance of the year to do one. What do you guys think? Should I go for it? What kind of training should I do in this short period of time? How long does it take to run a marathon? I have to eat every 2 hours and when I'm working I eat every hour. My biggest concern is that I won't be able to eat while I run and I will end up not having the energy to finish.

Oh, and I don't own good sneakers. I have high tops that I haven't worn in over 10 years. I'm thinking that running in work boots is a bad idea. Any cheap but decent running shoe recommendations if I do this? This will be a one time thing. I have no desire to ever run again. I just want to be able to say that I did it.

MovingUpward posted 9/16/2013 09:58 AM

Being able to do it and being able to do it quickly are 2 different things. A marathon is a grueling 26.2 mile adventure. If you haven't been running so far then it will be tougher for your body which isn't used the that type of use for that distance. I'd skip cheap shoes for a nice pair of running shoes that meet the needs of your feet. You only get 2 feet in this life and you don't want to damage them for a few $.

So how long will it take? 10 min miles might still be a bit fast but if you did that over the whole marathon it would take you on the order of 4 hr and 20 min.

My advice would be to build up to it. Start with a 5K then try a 10K then a mini marathon before thinking of a full marathon.

forced2moveon posted 9/16/2013 10:01 AM

I run the LA Marathon every year. I have done it with no traininng and with months of training. 2 weeks really isn't enough time to start training but you can still do it. Just walk, run and take your time. You'll feel very accomplished when you cross that finish line and get that medal! I would recommend taking the day after off so you can recover. Good luck to you!

nutmegkitty posted 9/16/2013 10:22 AM

I have had good luck with Saucony running shoes. Invest in a good pair, it will make a world of difference.

gahurts posted 9/16/2013 11:15 AM

I second what Moo said. I've been slowly building up - I've done two 5k's now and a 10 K and want to do a 10 mile by next spring. I'm setting a goal to do a full marathon for late 2014 or 2015. Take it slow and build up your endurance.

Also, think about running more as a way to fight the rough times. I found that I feel so much better once I get to running regularly. I've been fighting a funk for a while and I've noticed that I'm not running like I want to. It's tough to get into a routine but once you get there you will feel a lot better.

She11ybeanz posted 9/16/2013 11:39 AM

it is more about mental toughness than physical toughness.

^^^THIS is so true!

I set my goal to run my 1st marathon after my divorce and ran it on "what would have been" my 6th wedding anniversary! I got my PR of 4:39 at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN on April 30th, 2010! It was a great experience!

My tips that helped me:
1. Do not drink or eat after 3am the day of the race and you won't have to stop at a porta john DURING the race. (you will be well-hydrated the night before)

2. Walk through every water stop and drink 2 cups of Gatorade or water. This way you will walk less or not at all along the course and it conserves energy. I tried running through the water stops at my last marathon and my time was almost 30 minutes slower by the end because of more walking on the course.

3. Have fun with it! Wear something fun and just take in the scenery and the cheering crowds! They are there for you and you are a SUPERSTAR for the day!

And, you can totally do this! I'm currently training for my 3rd marathon and will run the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th, 2013 (which is my 1st marathon after having my daughter last August!

ALSO prepared if you have not trained at all for this to be miserable.... I won't lie. I'm training now and I'm getting VERY minimal mileage in but am getting the token long-run....and fully expect the last 8 miles to suck the big one! So, if you haven't been running or training, I would recommend waiting until you can train a little more or you won't have the best overall experience. I have no doubts you can finish.... but finishing in 6-7 hours and feeling like death might not be the experience you want.... just my 2 cents.

10 min miles might still be a bit fast but if you did that over the whole marathon it would take you on the order of 4 hr and 20 min.

If you do the above I will be SO jealous! I can't even do that and train perfectly. Without training....I would be happy to finish in 6 hours. My goal with training minimally is going to be around 5 hours. But, you could be superman genetically and be able to coast 10 minute miles for that distance! Who knows! Don't set a time goal! Just go into to finish....walk when you need NOT push the pace or you WILL pay for it the last 10 miles.... and just have fun!

[This message edited by She11ybeanz at 11:46 AM, September 16th (Monday)]

Crescita posted 9/16/2013 12:46 PM

I find you either need good training, or expensive gear. Itís really hard not to hurt yourself and be miserable without one or the other. There is a bit of a misconception that people should work their way up to good gear, that it only makes a difference at the top level. That might be true for tennis rackets or golf clubs, but people without training are much more likely to feel the effect of a heavy pack on a trail, or bad running shoes in a race. If your body isnít adjusted to the specific activity, and doesnít have time to adjust, give your knees and shins that little boost and splurge on a nice pair of shoes. Even if you never run again, you can still wear them to walk the dog or go to the store.

Iíd also recommend you run 10 miles before you sign up. Just to make sure your legs can handle the constant impact. I have no doubt you are in great physical shape with all the exercise you do, but cross training =/= training.

ninebark posted 9/16/2013 12:53 PM

I can tell you first hand that proper footwear is a must! I had shin splints and all kinds of problems until I got fitted properly and wear good shoes. As nutmeg kitty said Sauceny's are really great.

Running that long a distance without training is guaranteed injury. You can be in the best shape in the world but your body needs time to adjust to that kind of work. You should not increase your distance more than 10% each week. Cardio is only part of the equation, running is punishing on the joints and muscles.

My advice is wait until next year, sign up for a running class. Our Running Room has classes for learn to run, 5k, 10K, half marathon and Marathon. Or there are online training programs like Couch to 10K ..etc. Try one of those.

DeadMumWalking posted 9/16/2013 16:49 PM

I have run 3 marathons. I would most definitely NOT advise you to do one in a few weeks without a base of running training. Even though you are very cardio fit, if you aren't used to the impact of running then you are asking for an injury.

I also strongly agree with the suggestion that you need a good pair of running shoes, a pair that is appropriate for YOUR feet. There is a lot of information on the internet about fitting running shoes. It is often possible to buy good shoes for knock-down prices online or when shops want to get rid of older model shoes because the new ones are coming out.

All of that being said, you are right that the mental toughness is a major component. But I still wouldn't do one with little running-specific training.

Go for it, Myname!! Just not the one in a few weeks.....

Bebba1171 posted 9/16/2013 16:58 PM

Amazes me that so many betrayed women are runners!

Where were all you gals 25 years ago!

My suggestion is that you train for this and follow a program. I have done a number of half marathons and half Ironman's, but don't really aspire to do a full marathon since it takes so much time in a single sport.

As far as shoes, I just started running in Hoka shoes. They are super plush and bouncy!

You should definitely get some good shoes and get fit for them if possible. I always wear cushioned insoles to reduce shock even more.

tesla posted 9/16/2013 17:45 PM

Go to a running store and have them fit you for me, completely worth it to have the right pair of shoes on.

I've done many marathons. Once I tried running one with no training. Not smart. Ended up hurting myself and I'm a pretty seasoned runner.
You really need to teach your body to handle the long runs and since you have special nutrition requirements, you will want to experiment with having the right amount of energy gels with you so your body doesn't fatigue.

There are a lot of great training programs to help you get trained. I would just hate for you to try it on such short notice and have a bad experience. Finishing a marathon is one of the greatest feelings!!!

Jen posted 9/18/2013 19:43 PM

I think it is a great idea !!! I have several friends who run daily and do the marathon thing all the time, and they love it !!! It clears their head, they think clearer, and it is like a natural anti-depressant ...

AND I found the most fabulous shoes for you ... I mean really HOW freaking awesome are these ???

Oh and I think it would be a great, wonderful, fabulous idea if you had a running companion ... say of the four legged hairy kind ??? Just saying.

She11ybeanz posted 9/18/2013 20:06 PM

I just started running in Hoka shoes. They are super plush and bouncy!

I SWEAR BY HOKAS! I'm on my 3rd pair and I used to have foot problems but no longer!!! I haven't had foot pain or issues since I've been wearing them. They look big and bulky but are actually lighter than most other distance shoes and they are magic when it comes to distance! Well worth the price because they last twice as long as other brands like Nike, Saucony, Adidas, Asics, etc! Just my 2 cents!

UndecidedinMA posted 9/19/2013 11:17 AM

I have run 3 marathons. I would most definitely NOT advise you to do one in a few weeks without a base of running training. Even though you are very cardio fit, if you aren't used to the impact of running then you are asking for an injury.

ITA!! I did my first after going from non-runner to obsessed but it took a year to train. Since you are in good shape it might be quicker but 2 weeks is nowhere near enough time. I set my sights on the Goofy in WDW, it is a fun no pressure that some even walk.

Also if you are getting shoes, 2 weeks wouldn't be enough to break them in - never marathon in even semi new shoes. I would recommend going to a store that does nothing but running gear, here I go to Marathon Sports in Brookline. They will help you choose the best shoe for your foot.

Pick a race that is in the cooler weather for your first, marathons are a whole other animal.

A great book for non-runners is Marathoning for Mortals, has multiple traiining programs for every type of race.

[This message edited by UndecidedinMA at 11:18 AM, September 19th (Thursday)]

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