General Question

freckles's avatar

How can a n00b train for a marathon? Is it realistic to train over the summer and run a marathon in the Fall?

Asked by freckles (363points) March 23rd, 2010

I have never been a runner. I definitely have never run a marathon, haven’t even considered it until recently. I used to be totally out of shape, but I wouldn’t say that anymore. I do cardio multiple times a week and I have a decent level of endurance now.

The other day I went for a long hike and made it to the end without getting winded, and today I ran on an eliptical for 1½ hours.

So, an baby runner, with a little bit of cardio endurance, but a long way to go. How would I go about training for a marathon, and could I run one in the Fall if I start training in the summer?

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8 Answers

Judi's avatar

Team in Training has a great program and benefits a great cause. Google it! I did it and I am no athlete.

lilikoi's avatar

I think it would be tough. Why not start training now? Training with a team like @Judi mentioned is a good idea. Also, keep in mind that “running” on an elliptical in a controlled indoor environment is quite a bit different from running on pavement outdoors in less than ideal weather. Clocking miles on an elliptical is not a bad way to start off, but you’ll want to get outside and run hills and stuff eventually. I used to run cross country and we’d mix it up between sprints, long distance running, and weight training throughout the week. Building strength complements endurance. You don’t want to train too hard over a short period of time as this increases the likelihood of injury. The more time you have to prepare the better.

gailcalled's avatar

Why not start with smaller ambitions, like a 5K run? Then increase your distance gradually. 26.2 miles is a lot of ground to cover if you have never been a runner. It’s a lot of ground to cover even if you have been a runner.

PadmanJones's avatar

It also depends on how fast you want to run. If you want to be able to lightly jog through the whole thing, then that training schedule has a chance to work. But probably not; 26.2 miles is longer than people tend to think. If you’re not already a runner, and you want to be able to jog through the whole race, then you need to start training now. If you do so, you’ll also be able to afford yourself little breaks in training that you couldn’t if you tried to pack it all in later in the year.

Judi's avatar

I walked my marathon.

njnyjobs's avatar

For some people it is doable… it will depend on your will, stamina and time you can devote to training. If you’re a working stiff that relies on a regular paycheck, then I doubt you will have the time or the energy to put into the endeavor.

msbauer's avatar

i third the time issue. im a full-time student and i hardly had enough time to train for the half-marathon i just did. if you DO have lots of time, and super strong knees and great running shoes, go for it! but just know that running on an elliptical is really very deceiving and should not comprise the majority of your training because the impact on your legs and whole body is almost non-existent on that machine. when you run on the ground, especially pavement, it’ll mess a lot more with your knees. for me personally, no matter how strong i get my legs (on an elliptical or ground running), what starts hurting me around mile 9 or 10 is always my knees…i can’t imagine continuing for a full marathon!

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