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marathon training in 4 weeks?

Been looking to do a marathon on the 28th february. Did truro half marathon in september in 90 minutes, a 10 mile race in 64 minutes and the grim challenge (8.5 mile cross country) in 56 minutes early december.
Only did a few 10 and 15 Km runs at christmas but i'm now revising for exams which leaves me little time to train until end of january. Have I got enough time to be ready for D-day?


  • I think you need to ask yourself what do I realistically expect from the event and what price are you prepared to pay in the following few weeks. If you were asking the question can I do a 26 mile sponsored walk the answer is yes you sound reasonably fit!

    What would be a mistake I feel and I am no expert in running is going into the event in a worse state than you are now because of pushing things too hard in training. If your current long runs are around the 12 mile mark as a guess you are not going to be able to build the milage up in that time safely so I would say get in another 13 mile run and then a 15mile long run and leave it at that otherwise you are inviting on a few niggling injuries. My training aim would be to then run consistently at lesser distances 6 times a week to put some overall volume in and tapper this off drastically a week to ten days before the event.

    In the event pacing will be important don't go off at your half marathon pace take at least the first half easy, you can always speed up towards the end if you feel good. Will it be your best ever race time, no, but this doesn't mean it should not be enjoyable.
  • Thanks!
    To be honest I just want to be able to run right to the finish line and i don't want to be injured for a whole month after. Sounds achievable as long as i'm carefull...
  • I think the aim is to get your weekly volume up in a safe way. I have been doing this using the BarryP plan off slowtwitch. Basically I run a 3-2-1 volume per week. A current 80km peak week example for me is Mon 16k - Tue 8k - Wed 16k - Thur rest - Fri 8k - Sat 24k - Sun 8k. In other words 3 x short, 2 x medium, and 1 x long run. I have found I was able to add on 10% overall volume per week quite comfortably building from around 35km a week reducing the fourth week down by half to 3 or 4 sessions but keeping the long run in.

    The secret I think is in not going too hard pace wise on the three short runs which is difficult. To set a realistic pace I looked at the McMillan pace calculator and try and run at the fast end of easy. If you can get your volume up and treat the race week as a week off and your event as a long run I think you have got a reasonable chance of getting through fairly comfortably but importantly keeping your training on track afterwards, good luck!
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    Having been running for too many years now & coaching for quite a few you are going to have to undertake a radical to your marathon preparation.

    Your current race results show that you have a decent turn of pace. So now you need to build endurance as quick as possible. YOu could what a mate of mine does. He has 3 training runs only in the lead up apart from the usual al year round runs but they are only one or two per week. Training is dead simple. 4 weeks before he does a 20 mile run (nothing else during the week), 3 weeks before he does a 20 mile run (nothing else during the week), 2 weeks before he does a 20 mile run (nothing else during the week) and the week before he has a rest from training so as not to overdo it.

    Lots of endurance, specific to the race and lots of recovery. Sub-3 hours every time.

  • fenixfenix Posts: 3
    I'm sure you'll get round - but not sure about running all the way.
    A typical marathon plan is 16 weeks.
    You have four.

    You want to taper as well - so its now two or three weeks.

    You're Half time suggests a 3.20 marathon would be on the cards if you'd trained well - but you haven't.
    I'd think it would be four hours or more - so pace yourself accordingly - and maybe even run/walk.

    28th February is a Tuesday ? Unusual day for a marathon ?

    Good luck for it anyway.
  • I did the Dublin marathon with 6 weeks training (I had a base fitness at the time) - it was a drunken bet so I blame Coors Light and Sambuca shots.

    I completed the marathon in 4:21 (but I was in bad shape for a couple of weeks after). I enjoyed the run up to the 19 mile mark - the remainder was sheer hell (walk, jog, walk, jog etc for the last few miles). I couldn't face another marathon for years and years as I was very put off.

    You have been given really good advice on how to taper your training - I'd go with that.
  • Thanks for everyone's advice.
    I decided against doing it in the end as it didn't seem like a very sensible thing to do... despite all of your excellent training tips
    I'm sure I'll do one soon, with more time to train preferably.
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  • MattFittMattFitt Posts: 4
    If you are coming from not a good stand point, or practically no lenience toward it, it would be quite a challenge to accomplish something like this but totally doable.

    It depends on how naturally fit and ready you are anyway. But as it with normal training and getting ready, you have to make sure that you are going to be open to the idea of going just as far as you can go.
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