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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay some background: I am a 25 year old female who is *thinking* about running my first marathon. I have completed 2 half marathons- 1st one in 1:30:58 in Dec2004 and more recently (Jan2007) the second in 1:47. I was training a lot for the first one (probably around 30-40 mpw and I sort of slacked off for the second one- around 20-25 mpw).<br><br>
Here's the deal, I'm considering using the Pfitzinger 24/55 plan but I havn't been running very much lately- sometimes close to 20 miles per week, but sometimes less (mostly due to lack of motivation). If I do the 24 week plan I would need to start the first week of training July 30th. If I count this week, that gives me 5 weeks until "official" training begins. If I start ramping up my mileage 10% every week until then (e.g. 22, 24, 26, 22, 29) do you think I would be ready to start the Pfitzinger plan or would I be setting myself up for injury?<br><br>
I don't consider myself overly prone to injuries, but I did have an overuse knee injury after all the training for my first half marathon (most likely due to running a lot of downhill during training). After taking a month off and wearing a brace for another month I was back to normal.<br>
Okay that's probably an overabundance of information, but I hope to get some good feedback from you all!<br>
Thanks! MB
 

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I think you should be fine, as long as you listen to your body-- if you start going along and it starts "complaining" Back off and don't let some paper tell you that you shouldn't (because you don't have a full base.)<br><br>
But you'll want to wait for some people experienced with Pfitzinger's plan.<br>
I don't think the increased quantity will hurt you but the quality + quantity increase might be hard-- I dunno.<br><br>
You certainly seem to have some talent... 1:47 slacking? I wish! I train hard and am not. even. close. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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as a general rule... you need to be able to run 25mpw, consistently (not just once) and easily before beginning a marathon training plan. no pain, no walking, no marked shortness of breath.<br><br>
pfitzinger's plans are not easy. they aren't necessarily prohibitively difficult, but you can't fool around.
 

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I think it'd probably be OK on the 24/55 plan. Though one thing you might think of doing is just working on ramping up base mileage for the next couple of months, then do the 18/55. Maybe I just don't like The Man and The Man's Plans keeping me down, but twenty-four weeks is a long time to follow a plan, even a well-designed plan like Pfitz's. Still, the first six weeks on the 24/55 plan are pretty gentle & base oriented. My guess is that you'd be OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<br>
Yeah- I saw that in chapter 1 and 2 which is why I wanted some opinions on if the 3-4 weeks of running 25+ miles would be enough... or maybe I should just concentrate on running some more base miles and do the 18 week plan? I could pretty easily run 25 miles per week now- but I didn't know if it would be wise to add that much more mileage at once. Thoughts?<br><br>
Thanks for the kind words QN!<br>
MollyBella<br><br>
Edited to say: Hairy Trotter and I are thinking the same thing!
 

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My question in return to you is: why are you running this marathon? Do you want to qualify for Boston (BQ seems like it's possible based on your HM times)? Do you want try on the "ultimate challenge" for size, as it were? Has it been a dream of yours for sometime? Do you just want to improve your overall fitness? Of course, it could be some or all of the above or even something else.<br><br>
If this has been your dream for some time, I hope that you will go forward with it. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, as Thoreau said.<br><br>
If you want to BQ, everyone I have heard says Pfitz's plans are good vehicles for that. The complaint that I have heard is that they can lead to injury. This happens, obviously, because your mind wants to follow the plan while your body does not or cannot. It's a fine line between slacking and taking an extra rest day. But if you need the day, take it by all means.<br><br>
There are many different schools of thought regarding training. Pfitzinger's plans embodies his views. If you are training for fitness, you might want to check out low heart rate training. I myself have not, in part because it seems to involve a very long period of basebuilding, during which time you run very, very slowly to keep your heart rate low. This apparently pays huge dividends if you are willing to make the investment. There are other schools of thought as well. A little investigation might be in order.<br><br>
For whatever reason you are running, I think it would help you to get a baseline for what other coaches recommend Hal Higdon has <a href="http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/Mar00index.htm" target="_blank">some pretty good plans</a>, which have the virtue of being available for free.<br><br>
All of that said, to directly answer your question, I think you could ramp up as you suggest and be ready to do the plan. The secret to marathon training and to marathoning in general seems to me to be that you have to <i>want</i> to do it. You can't want to do it just a little bit. You have to really want it. That's what gets you up at 5am (or 4 or 3), and what gets you through miles 20-22. The Pfitz plan will definitely test your level of desire. I worry that it could defeat you in training. Don't let that happen.<br><br>
Live your dream, whatever it is.<br><br>
All my best,<br>
Billy
 

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you are 25 and that will work to your advantage. When i was 24 i went from zero to marathon in 6 months, and i really credit a lot of it to my age. I had a couple friends in my marathon training group who were older and they had a lot more aches and pains than me. If it is your first, i would suggest maybe looking at Hal Higdons Intermediate Plan. I think it is a great plan for a first marathon. Once you complete the distance, then you can move on to more advanced plans. that is just my opinion though. You could even look at Galloway's run/walk plans which a lot of new marathoners have a lot of success with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you guys so much for all your responses. I think they have really made me think. In response to your question Billy...I would LOVE to qualify for the Boston marathon- I grew up on the East coast and it was always a pretty big deal so it would definitely be a huge accomplishment to run it someday. However I also realize that this would be my first marathon and I wouldn't be completely devastated if I didn't qualify on my first try.<br><br>
I think the Higdon plans that you mentioned might be a good answer- giving me a big challenge but not creating as much pressure. Just knowing myself and my type-A personality I would probably follow Pfitz's plan exactly even if I needed a break, which might lead to injury- but I do like his logic and the setup behind the plan.<br><br>
The only concern I have is the mileage difference- do you think the Higdon plans will provide me enought mileage to possibly qualify for Boston if I train smart?<br><br>
Thanks for your thoughts everyone- I knew I could count on you!<br>
MollyBella
 

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Boy, I'm a long way from qualifying for Boston. That said, the math is easy to do. The weight of authority, in my opinion and without giving you any cites, is that the best way to run a marathon is with even splits - first 1/2 is about the same time as second 1/2. This means you have to find a way to keep a consistent pace of 26.22 miles. If you want to BQ, it's probably a consistent pretty hard pace. For me (36 y/o male), that would be a 7:20ish m/m pace. Higdon's Intermediate plans have the virtue of having your practice your marathon pace. You'll only practice it for up to 10 miles. But if you can't hold your BQ pace for 10 miles, well, you never know but I wouldn't be encouraged.<br><br>
The only thing that I would add to the Intermediate Plans is running on hills. I still have not done "hill workouts" or "hill repeats" per se, but every time I have trained for a marathon where I have not found some hilly ground to practice on I have regreted it. Hopefully, you have some hills around where you live. Otherwise, I'd suggest playing with the incline on the treadmill. Even if you want to do a very flat race like Chicago, please please please consider doing some kind of hilly running.<br><br>
Cheers,<br>
Billy
 

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Based on your speed, if you train smart no matter what plan, I think you could BQ. Though I wouldn't necessarily set that as a definate goal for your first, esp. before you get into the longer (18-22 mile) runs<br><br><br><a href="http://runningtimes.com/rt/articles/?id=6765" target="_blank">http://runningtimes.com/rt/articles/?id=6765</a><br>
You said you slacked on the second half marathon.<br>
1:47 is equivalant to a 3:47 marathon<br><br>
The first halfmarathon is equivalent to a 3:13 marathon.<br><br>
You need a 3:40 to qualify.<br><br>
Definately not unrealistic, even without a really tough plan, IMHO.
 

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Um, yes - you can qualify for Boston with just about any sound plan and just a little discipline. I'd say shoot for a plan that has your mileage peaking in the mid 40's - it sounds like what you really need is a disciplined, consistent approach and with your natural talent you just need to have a good day.<br><br>
Most programs will have you do two or three 20 (or more) mile runs, and one quality workout per week (speed, intervals, tempo run, etc). Add in 2-3 other days of running 4-8 miles and you're around 45 miles at your high mileage week.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Dude! I am so excited that Pacer Chris is in the house!!<img alt="headbang.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/headbang.gif">
 
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