Author Topic: Couch potato to marathon  (Read 4478 times)

Offline AtADeadRun

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Couch potato to marathon
« on: September 01, 2009, 07:02:42 PM »
Not me, but the missus.  She's declared her interest in doing next year's Honolulu marathon with my dad and I, so I've had to whip out the old couch-potato-to-5k stuff I used to do with folks in the Navy, and cobble together a transition from that to a beginning marathon program.  I figure it'll take something along the lines of 10 months from seriously starting to being ready to finish 42k.  Therein lies the rub; I have no earthly idea how to help keep someone motivated to maintain an exercise program for nigh on a year when she's really not into running (not like my family is, I'd sooner go without a shower than without a run).  Any suggestions/tips/experiences?  Thanks!

Offline barnesglobal

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 08:26:46 PM »
I did something very similar 5 years ago.  I used the Gallaway run walk routine.  By objective was to finish, and I finished in 5 hours and 40 minutes.  Not bad for someone who had not run much the 4 or 5 years before.    http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon.html

Goatdog62

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 08:39:30 PM »
I've used Jeff Galloway and Hal Higdon. I liked Hal but only because I met him once (in Chicago 2001). I found him to be the greatest guy and I didn't like the fact that Galloway suggests you walk a minute every mile or so. Once I walk, the mold is broken, and I'm inclined to walk too much after that.

I think both have 16 week plans for a beginner. I pretty much don't use either anymore. I just make sure I build up the mileage three weeks in a row, step back for one week, then build up for three more. I'm still under four hours, but think I will slow down next time to get more enjoyment out of it. The hardest run for me is the 20 miler about two weeks before the actual marathon. With no crowds to cheer you on and no water stops every mile or so, it is a little difficult.

Good luck and let us know how she is progressing.

I need to find me a marathon come springtime.


Offline AtADeadRun

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 08:59:37 PM »
I used Higdon for my first 'thon back in 2003, liked the program a lot, so that's what I've based her 6-mile-to-marathon portion of the program on (since Higdon's beginner program starts under the assumption you can do a 6 mile long run).  We'll see; if she objects to continuously running for that long, I'll switch her to a Galloway-style run-walk mix.

Offline daveinmichigan

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 06:49:56 PM »
Also take a look at the program that the Hanson's ODP group put out. It is pretty simple and you can't argue with the results (one of their guys made the 2008 US Olympic Marathon team for the Beijing Olympics). Their guys are all over the place out here by me and BOY are they fast. It is crazy when you see these people running workout with mile after mile of sub 5:00/mile pace.

http://www.hansons-running.com/

Look on the left side of the page about 2/3 of the way down for the beginner program.

Dave

Offline AtADeadRun

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 07:06:22 PM »
...ouch.  I'd venture to call that an intermediate program for a decent athlete switching sports or a relatively competitive short-distance runner, not a true beginner's program.  I'm a firm believer in building base, then working speed; combining the two, if you're not already in good condition, can lead to injury, overuse, and burnout.  The only significant difference between the beginner and advanced programs is the length of time spent doing speed and strength training; their endgame mileage is within 10 mi/wk of each other (presuming longer strength/speed workouts for advanced runners).  While their program might be something I'd adapt for use myself, I don't think I'll put the missus on it.

Goatdog62

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009, 07:23:45 PM »
Simple and enjoyable is what I make sure of.

Anymore, I just make four runs a week, with the longest being on Sunday.

A sample might be;
 Week 5 - Tues (5), Weds (6), Friday (7), and Sun(9)
 Week 6 - Tues (6), Weds (7), Friday (8), and Sun(10)
 Week 7 - Tues (7), Weds (8), Friday (9), and Sun (11)
 Week 8 - Tues (4), Weds (5), Friday (6), and Sun (8)
 Week 9 - Tues (8), Weds (9), Friday (10), and Sun (12)

I drop back every 4th week and if I miss a run, I just skip ahead to the next one, I don't try to make it up. I've been known tom run at 3am because that's what I felt like doing.

No speedwork or fartlek. Sometimes i do "burst" for a bit and I always sprint my finishes. I never stretch either. Stretching has never seemed to do anything for me and I've never had a sports injury that sidelined me. So I do what workd for me.

This is not a program for someone trying to get the top time. It does keep me under four hours without making me look like I need a doctor. I have done the difficult programs but really didn't enjoy them much, even though my PR was excellent. Life's too short for me to stay that involved in it. ;D
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 01:58:49 PM by Goatdog »

Offline barnesglobal

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2009, 07:36:29 AM »
The other thing I would strongly recommend is to find either a running partner or group to run with.  This is especially important for maintaining motivation for your long runs.  When I ran my first - and thus far only (health reasons) - I did it alone, and was really envious of those who had a partner or was part of a group.

barnesglobal

Goatdog62

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2009, 01:59:32 PM »
I have no idea why smilies showed every time I typed the number 8 (eight). It won't let me fix it either.


« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 02:02:46 PM by Goatdog »

Offline AtADeadRun

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2009, 03:13:36 PM »
The board engine interprets "eight close-parenthesis" as a sunglass smiley.  You can kill it by clicking on "additional options" under the text box and checking "don't use smileys."

Offline AtADeadRun

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2009, 06:07:23 AM »
Completely unrelated to getting the missus in shape for next year's marathon:  I just finished my first solo race (of any distance) since pulling a hamstring in the spring of 2005.  Rocked out a half-marathon in 1:47:58.  Not where I want to be, not where I was before I got hurt, but a decent start, particularly since I figured my best possible time was 1:52.

/toot-own-horn

Goatdog62

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Re: Couch potato to marathon
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2009, 08:59:06 PM »
Completely unrelated to getting the missus in shape for next year's marathon:  I just finished my first solo race (of any distance) since pulling a hamstring in the spring of 2005.  Rocked out a half-marathon in 1:47:58.  Not where I want to be, not where I was before I got hurt, but a decent start, particularly since I figured my best possible time was 1:52.

/toot-own-horn

Good job man!

That is not a bad time at all really...low eight minute miles for 13.1 is great!