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12 Weeks to Marathon


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You can try to answer that question yourself. 50 km per week is a decent amount of volume. A runner focused on the marathon distance would be doing more, and someone training for an IM probably would too, but that's a good base to ramp up from. Over the next 7 weeks, could you add 3 km to your long run every week, with week 4 (and week eight) being low volume/low intensity recovery weeks? If you can ramp up to a 30 km long run in 7 weeks, then you can probably get through a marathon, probably without injuring yourself.

Probably. You have to be careful not to overdo the training and be ready to pull the plug if you start to wear out. If it were me, I wouldn't increase my total run volume by much, if at all, over that period. One progressively long run a week, one race tempo run at something like one-third of the long run distance or thereabouts, a couple of shorter runs, and then one or two days on the bike. Leave at least one day a week for rest. I wouldn't do speed work – 12 weeks is not enough time to build both endurance and speed at that distance, so I'd focus on endurance and getting through the 42 km. I would treat the long run as the key workout, and everything else would be supplemental.

But Fitness Buddy asked the important question: what is your goal?

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Easily, with your current running base. I'm a pretty average runner., so what you do will depend on your goals. Last marathon prep for me was about 12wks and I built from about 15km/ week and did probably two weeks of 45-50k near the end. 3-4 runs per week, longest runs got to about 30-35k (did three runs over 30k). That was good for a 3.30, which was my goal.

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All comes down to Fitness Buddy's question.

If it was me, the answer would be NO.  12 weeks out, I would want to be comfortably doing 2 hours for my long run.

Edited by Rob
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Dependent on your goals, very possible.

 

For me 60km a week will get me 90-95% of what I would guess is my max speed. 100km I think would be my personal load limit and my best possible. 32km in a single run is the most I’ve done in a marathon build.

 

The rule of thumb is 10-15% build each week. With this in mind, you have plenty of time to reach both weekly distance and Longest run.

 

Unless you are aiming for sub 2.30.....then no chance!

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12 weeks is plenty. How many weeks have you been at 50km for? A consistent 50km is a great weekly volume!!! 

I echo Melt in terms of volumes to reAching potential. I have never averaged more than 60km for stand alone marathons. 

Honestly, if you are just wanting to finish, keep doing what you are doing - add 3km a week to your long run and consider a run/walk strategy (9 min run:1 min walk) for first 4-6 weeks as you build that up. Hit a 30km long run 6 weeks out, pull it back to 2-3 of 25-30km runs as long runs and start taper. 

You’ll smash this! 

 


 

 

 

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three months, Heaps of time.

How: increase your long run by around 10% each week (faster if you have a good base) and peak at about 32-34km. 

 

Edited by dazaau
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Toolish, how much riding are you doing?

Realistically, if you're doing long miles on the bike you don't need the 30km runs. I was younger, but managed a perfectly respectable Marathon on the end of an IM on no run longer than 20km, and most 17km or less.

If you're not riding long, then yes, increase the long run, but otherwise, just use the long rides as your endurance base, and bump the runs up a little bit to get used to being on your feet for a bit more time.

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5 hours ago, Rob said:

All comes down to Fitness Buddy's question.

If it was me, the answer would be NO.  12 weeks out, I would want to be comfortably doing 2 hours for my long run.

People do Ironman’s on 12 weeks to go.  
We all did back when Forster was around  

easy. Do it.  
you’ll finish. 
 

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40 minutes ago, Peter said:

People do Ironman’s on 12 weeks to go.  
We all did back when Forster was around  

easy. Do it.  
you’ll finish. 
 

But again it comes down to what your goals are.

If I do another Ironman, I'll be aiming for something around 9h30m. If I decided to run a marathon, I'd be aiming for sub 3 hours.  A 12 week build is not enough to achieve those targets. Probably why I don't have any current plans for either.

At the moment I am targeting a 50km Trail Run in 6 months time. But my goals are very different to what they would be for an Ironman or Marathon. Unlike the ambitious time goals I have for the other events, I simply want to finish 50km still being able to jog rather than walk.  I would need a lot more than 6 months to do well, but in this case my goals are far less ambitious, so 6 months will hopefully be enough.

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Goal would be sub 4 hours.  Only marathon previously was in Ironman Melb 2013 and I did 4:20 for that.

Not as fit now, but starting fresh.

Other option would be to try for a sub 1:45 half marathon, never done a non-70.3 half ironman either.

 

Did 11km last weekend at 5:08 pace in a race.  Long run pace is more like 6:10.

Biking is pretty much non existent.

 

Might start ramping the long run up a bit either way and see where it gets me!

 

As for the why Clarkevitch, I have to travel 4 hours to get there, so wondering if I should attempt the full to make it worth the trip.

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11 hours ago, Clarkevitch said:

My question is why??

Why do humans feel the need to go longer ie marathons and Ironman??

It's not the be all and end all.

If you start asking "why", the whole concept of the sport falls apart.

I'm reasonably good at Short Course Triathlon, but struggle as it gets longer. So I'm drawn to try and improve at the race distances I'm weakest at (currently 70.3 rather than full ironman).

Early in my working career (before kids) I took lots of chances, continually stepping outside my comfort zone seeking improvement. It paid huge dividends. Then I got older and lazier and started taking the easy option, my career plateaued.  Sport offers me an avenue in life where I can be adventurous without the financial risk (obviously ignoring the excessive Active fees).  Getting in over you head at work might result in losing your job, in a race it justs means a DNF.

You need to choose events that excite you, otherwise the sport can become stale. Sometimes fear is what generates that excitement which is possibly why the longer events are so popular.  I love Sprint Triathlons and 5km running races, but I'd soon get bored if that is all I did.  Going through the misery of the long distance events can re-ignite my love for the shorter races. Also the longer training often lifts my performance to the next level.

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On 05/03/2020 at 10:39 PM, Clarkevitch said:

My question is why??

Why do humans feel the need to go longer ie marathons and Ironman??

It's not the be all and end all.

You're right, going long isn't the be all and end all.

Shorter events certainly have their own rewards. Running quickly over short distances is exciting and to do it well requires a lot of work and gives a lot of satisfaction, (so I'm told).

Though running and racing long distances brings certain challenges that shorter events don't present. Succeeding, merely coping or outright failing when faced by those challenges is part of both the attraction and the fun.

As for the marathon, for an arbitrarily conceived distance, it's an unholy nexus of speed and endurance...... At least for those who aspire to run it well, which can of course be part of the appeal.

Short, long, fast, slow, competing, completing. It's all good so long as you enjoying being out there.

 

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