Marathon Training Question - KickRunners.com
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#1 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 11:51 AM - Thead Starter
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Background:

I am contemplating running Dublin Marathon this October. It would be my first marathon.

I am not interested in time, though I'd like not to crawl it completely. Somewhere around 4:15-4:30 probably would be a nice conservative goal.

My issue:

I am prone to overuse injuries. In fact, I've suffered several back to back stress fractures when ramping up mileage before.

My question:

I know there are different ways to train. Some have you running 6 days/week, 1 rest. Some have you 4 days/week. Some have you ramping up mileage during the week as well as for your long run. Some have rather large jumps in long runs. Some have you not running the full distance pre-race. Etc.

What I want to know is there a benefit or cost to say running a smaller, but consistent mileage during the week throughout the whole program (say 4 miles at a go) and slowly ramping up only your long runs by a small bit each week? I'd have nearly 20+ weeks to train from June.

I worry about my body's resilience at this point and think that mediating potential damage would be key. I would like to finish at least one marathon in my lifetime...with relatively little pain if possible.
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#2 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 11:55 AM
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i'd say - given your hx with stress fx - that consistent mileage during the week (w/only increase in long run) will allow your body the opportunity to acclimate to a particular level of stressors, and perhaps that will make the diff. in preventing future injuries.

that said, i've never had a stress fx. i have had issues in the past with loss of periods due to low body fat, but i made sure i ate ample amounts of dairy and green leafies, and got enough vitamins D and A. even at my thinnest, i probably outweighed you by 35#... have you spoken with a physician or nutritionist?
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#3 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 11:57 AM
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How much running do you do now in both days per week and mileage?
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#4 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 11:58 AM - Thead Starter
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I haven't talked to a nutrionist. But I am taking in a significant amount more calcium than I used to. My previous ED history has harmed me permanently in this arena, for sure.
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#5 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 11:59 AM
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I have had a lot of trouble with this as well, each time I've gone over 30 mpw I've been hurt. The strategy this time around is to max at 30 and do some cycling/hiking as well.

GOOD LUCK!!!

Spiral, spin, ride the whirlwind. Knowing when the drumming stops, There'll be no second dance.
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#6 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 11:59 AM - Thead Starter
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I'll be starting from scratch, basically. Coming off injury and after time off for moving overseas.
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#7 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 12:02 PM
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What kind of mileage were you running when you got your over use injuries? In addition to the mileage, were you doing much speedwork of any kind? How long ago was that?
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#8 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 12:04 PM - Thead Starter
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Relatively low mileage, actually. Probably 20-25mpw or so. No speedwork. But no strength training either.

I think, Liath, that crosstraining may be my saviour.

Gotta run to a meeting...be back in an hour or so.
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#9 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 12:07 PM
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This may not be practical for a race this fall, but the Japanese (who are famous for doing massive volume in their marathon training) often begin by doing high volumes of walking. I remember reading about one plan in which the athlete took an entire year devoted to walking high mileage to encourage musculo-skeletal adaptation and build up the soft tissue to handle the coming training.
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#10 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 12:08 PM
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swimming may be your very best bet. it will allow for consistent aerobic conditioning w/no impact (provided you know what you're doing). but, you'd need access to a pool.

do you have a bicycle (oh, EU inhabitant)?
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#11 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 12:15 PM
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I might also suggest hill training. It gives you the high milage benefits- muscles that don't fatigue and lungs that are bullet proof without necesarily putting your bones and tendons through the **** of the high milage training.

HP, I sort of imagine you like Barney- with less hair. -Maccabeth
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#12 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 12:18 PM
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I am sure you have seen them but just in case Hal Higdon has a nice maratahon schedule that does not appear to be too demanding. I haven't tried it but I had a friend who used it for her first marathon and was quite happy with it.

http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/novices2.htm

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#13 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 12:29 PM
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1

but, be careful with running downhill - the strain on your shins can lead to some pseudo-stress fx type damage...
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#14 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 12:41 PM
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I'm no expert, but it seems possible that a person prone to stress fractures maybe shouldn't consider running a marathon.

Or, at the very least, you should make sure you have a very long time to gradually build up some base mileage.

Your friend,
TG, who has only completed two marathons, and is a novice and really knows nothing about physiology and stress fractures. (In other words, take what I say with a grain of salt.)

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#15 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 12:46 PM
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I am no expert but I would think that ramping up the long run without the daily mileage to support it could be far worse for you in the long run because your body just isnt ready for the mileage (ie doing what you usually do in a week in 1 day). I think the best bet for anyone would be to take a beginner training plan and follow it to the T since the training program writers really do know what they are doing. My running partner is very injury prone (2 knee surgeries, a foot surgery, etc) and her main thing is just not to run more than 2 days in a row.
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#16 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 01:43 PM - Thead Starter
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Thanks all. There has been some good advice in this thread.
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#17 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 01:45 PM
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In general, long runs without enough supporting mileage are going to cause more injuries than balanced training.

If you're starting from scratch and have a history if o'er use injuries, basebuilding for 12 months might not be a bad idea.
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#18 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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I'd be concerned some by the 2 previous stress fractures. I don't think it's impossible, but may need to evaluate your past experiences that led to stress fractures, any potential dietary influences and other ways there might be to help skin this cat.

Oakdawg's mentioning of using walking for some basebuilding is a good idea. I think also worth consideration would be some sort of strength training program, lifting weights is a good way to build bone density and the fact that it promotes the body's response to thicken up the bones without the repetitive nature that running uses means a good strength training program would have significantly less risk of stress fracture. Extra strength would also mean the muscles would be better able to handle the fatigue -- I believe that fatigued running is sometimes implicated in patients incurring stress fractures.
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#19 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 01:52 PM - Thead Starter
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Thanks, Scratch.

I think weight training would be of a lot of help to me....in lots of ways. Now to find an affordable gym.
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#20 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 02:29 PM
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My $ .02 worth (and worth every penny!!)

Run consistently for a year before starting marathon training.
Then
Run every other day.
Mid week build a run to at least 10 miles at the peak.
Build long runs every weekend, but cut back every 2nd weekend.
When you get to over 15 mile long runs, start a run five minutes, walk one minute, method, while you build to 20 milers.
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#21 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 02:37 PM
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I'm having to restart my running after a serious illness. I'm up to 1 mile each day doing 2/1 run/walk ratio. Works out to about a 12 minute pace. Once I get to 3 miles I'll work on cutting out the walk breaks and putting everything together.

On cross-training days I'm using a pool to help build back up my endurance.

I know a lot of people don't like run/walk but it does wonders in extending my range without stressing me. And I know quite a few other runners who swear by it.
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#22 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 02:58 PM
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There are some good suggestions in this thread. I'm in the walkie crowd. Find yourself a good TM and spend an hour or so each day with the slope at 10% or more. It will avoid impact, assist leg strength and is better cross training than swimming or biking.

I would analyze where those stress fractures occurred. They are usually the result of over stressing the muscles that attach to the leg bones. You may have a mechanical problem requiring correction, or perhaps a shoe problem.

As for the marathon training, I'm a miserable failure at marathons, so my advice isn't worth a whole lot. But I would ramp up my overall miles without worrying about the long run. After 8 or 9 weeks I would try to extend the long run until I was up to about 3 hrs to 3.5 hrs. (two thirds to three quarters of marathon time goal) if possible. In deference to my stress fractures I would avoid speed work, except for a few striders, and possibly a semi hard portion of one weekly run, where I would try to approach threshold for a half hour to 45 min.
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#23 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 03:25 PM - Thead Starter
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Ilene - I want to do it this year...for various emotional reasons. Even though I know waiting would be the smartest...probably.

Walking is good, I know. Right now I walk, on average, 5 miles/day (to/from work, around town, etc.). Not having good public transport and no car is a good thing.
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#24 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 05:13 PM
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Interesting thread-I was planning on a fall marathon but am currently dealing with PF. I don't know if this would work for you but I had read about a 3 day/week training program. 3 other days were spent xtraining. The 3 running days including a tempo run, speed work and a long run. If I can find the link I'll post it later. Has anyone tried doing a marathon on 3 days?
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#25 of 28 Old 05-27-2008, 06:04 PM
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After reading ferrelk's comments about walking I just went for a 5k walk around my subdivision. Took 49:04 but hey at least I know I'm good for that distance. Tomorrow I'll run 1.5 miles and then Thursday walk 4, run 2 on Friday and see if I can build up that way.
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