Monday, February 19, 2007

Running a marathon.

Unlike Finn, who is clearly a gifted and brilliant runner I have always had love hate relationship with running. I hate starting off but I love the feeling at the end of a run. I am further hampered by the fact that is seems to take me an inordinately long time to warm up. Neither am I designed for speed, distance sure, but speed nope. I have two gears, walking, ground skimming joggy trot. That's it.
Bearing this in mind I am considering entering myself into the Dublin City Marathon. It will be on the 29th October. That gives me the best part of eight months to get my act together and train.
So, if anyone has any tips, or has run a marathon before, I would appreciate any and all advice. Currently I can skippity bob along six miles (about 10k) without falling down. I 'm wondering is it better to run a little every day and run long once or twice a week or does that put too much pressure on joints and so on. How much should I be looking to extend that distance and in what time frame and what is the best 'fuel/food' for running.

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Blogger Gerry said...

I'm currently training for a 10k, only able to do about 1k without collapsing. I did find this site which should give you the training info you need. Put in what you currently run, what you want to run and how long you have to train and hey presto, a training schedule.

12:33 p.m.  
Anonymous jmae said...

aaah, fmc! a woman after m'own heart.

marathons are too much fun *not* to do. (yes, you heard me right). you'll see people out there of all shapes and sizes, and pretty much all supporting one another. plus, there's generally food offered every few miles.... bananas, cookies, gu...

anyway. halhigdon has an *excellent* training program, i believe its if you're looking for a book, the non-runner's marathon guide is also primo. running and training plans are different for everyone, so find what works for you. i lack a lot of motivation, and so i need a 6-day workout plan..... it gives a nice little cushion to move days around if need be, and steadily increases mileage. a subscription to runner's world is also wonderful motivation.

i personally also use a journal when i'm training. after my run, i jot a few sentences.... then about 3 weeks into it, and along the way, when i'm having a really difficult day, all i have to do is skim over how far i've come, and 99% of the time i'm back on the street, trotting along!

best of luck, and keep us updated on your endeavors!

1:06 p.m.  
Blogger Caro said...

Jaysus, skinnymammycat, fair play. I got an exercise bike last month out of post-Christmas guilt which is working out really well... as a clothes hanger... *sigh*

Sorry can't be of any help...

1:31 p.m.  
Blogger aquaasho said...


I love your blog, am a regular lurker but have so far been afraid to comment!

I started running almost 4 years ago with the intention of doing the Dublin City marathon. I hadn't a clue at the time about how to train or to take on water or anything like that. But I did it anyway and got through it. For my first I ran about 4 days a week, the long run gradually increasing by a mile or two each week. I eventually built up to a long run of about 17 miles which was the longest I ever got to. You should defintely try and carry water with you for the long runs, especially since for Dublin you could be training in the Summer. The Cycle Superstore in Tallaght is great for different kinds of water carriers and bars and gels, what suits you is trial and error (and sometimes puking!)

A first marathon is really incredible though. It's like nothing else really. I cried before, during and after mine and when the pain died down about a week later I was kinda able to feel proud of myself. I've ran a few of them since but nothing is like your first!!

Runners World and Hal Higdon are both great places to start for advice though. I did blog about my first attempt and have attached the link below, so maybe it will help you get started. My husband could barely run a 100 metres when he started running and he has since run lots of marathons too.

The timeframe recommended to me was about 4-5 months to train for a marathon, a lot of programmes are for about 20 weeks. You have an advantage in that you already run. Best of luck with it, Dublin's a great one to do!

1:32 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Kudos fmc, baby.

My dad's an athletic coach in his spare time and used to run the Stornoway running club. The night before a race everyone would get together and eat heaps of pasta. The carbs convert to glycogen in the liver and are stored there temporalily until your body needs it the next day.

The night after the race everyone got pissed. Alcohol is processed by the liver until your brain needs it several minutes later. The human body's a wonderful machine.

Best of luck with training for that, cat. That's a cool challenge to set yourself.

3:44 p.m.  
Blogger Flirty Something said...

Well done you. I would do the same but exhausted from chasing men. Best fuel is porridge and bananas - slow release of energy. good luck!

6:21 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Thank you for all the advice, darlings, I shall look into the sites, especially halhigdon. Much appreciated!

6:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Primal Sneeze said...

My attitude to exercise is simple: no pain, no pain.

9:07 p.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

Good for you FMC!

I have not ever done a Marathon, lots of 10ks and the like. HoweberI have done lots of distance bike events and a few distance swims. I also have several friends who run marathons. The key is to train smart, instead of just heading out and running. Learn about diet and how your body needs to refuel, (never drink water - you need electrolytes etc so proper energy drinks are the biz). Also your best tool is to buy a heart monitor and learn how to use it. I have a friend who trains high end endurance atheletes and he always reminds us that rest is as important as training.

Many people I know over here have trained with Team In Training (, an organisation that raises money for Lukemia. They have training programs for people that want to do races and in return they get sponsered for the event. If there is something similar back in d'oul sod might be the best way to go.

Good luck with it!

9:26 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Cheers John! I'm thinking to combine my effort at running the marathon with some money raising for cancer research.

10:08 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

You're a champ, so you are, fmc. I'll be with you in spirit every mile of the way. Gin, I think.

Burn tarmacadam, baby!

11:07 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Snarf Miss Sam, I reckon I might fallump my way across the line crying for morphine.

11:19 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

My attitude to exercise is simple: no pain, no pain.

I like it.

11:57 p.m.  
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