Advice for newbies or for those with less than 2 years running.
“if running hurts or you suffer while running, even if it makes you feel like Rocky, you are doing something wrong.”
Half marathons and Marathons are trendy among runners and it is common to hear time DOESN’T matter but to finish, make an effort and gain experience.
ALL THAT it’s true, but it’s also true that an elite runner’s heart sustains the maximum effort for 2 and a half hours, a well-trained recreational runner will do the same for less than 4 hours and MOST runners will have to sustain maximum effort for 5 hours. That’s double the time of an elite.
Our body has to withstand a tougher test than an elite athlete does and ends up with more damage due to the fact that we spend more time running in a LESS EFFICIENT way.
THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS in distance running! It takes years for your body to become more efficient, for your lung volume to increase and your muscles to become stronger and recover faster.
Training for only 12/16 weeks for your first marathon or running it during your first year just because it’s trendy makes no sense because your body it’s not ready yet for such a strenuous test.
Running over 1,500 miles during your first year as a runner without good reason or guidance or running several times a week while working full time behind a desk it’s more likely to lead you to injury than success or at best you won’t be able to reach your full potential.
Why do you want to hurry? Enjoy the process to become stronger
When you are able to run a 10k in less than 65 minutes, then you are ready for a half marathon, and when you can do a half marathon in under 2 hours then it is safe to start training for a marathon.
If not able to meet this times keep running, lower your times and let your body become stronger before ENJOYING the experience of running a marathon.
Don’t subject your body to over 5 hours of torture by trying before you are ready! The more overweight you are or the slower you run results to more damage to your body because it is subject to an effort for which is not fully prepared because it’s not yet efficient enough.
Running is not only about training to lower your times. Nourishment, rest, sleep and stress level are also key things to keep an eye on or you will ALWAYS pay the price when running long distance.
The two runners I admire the most, Deena Kastor and Kara Goucher are a good example that sometimes less is more. While some runners log over 2,000 miles a year, Deena only logged slightly over a 1,000 miles and Kara slightly less than a 1,600. We are talking about two different age categories here.
Remember that you are NOT an elite athlete and if you do want to become one it’s not only about logging miles.
Running for fun and not caring about lowering your times it’s okay and sometimes healthier. If so, try to run races at a moderate level. That means a 6 on a scale from 1 to 10. That way you’ll be able to run many races without risk of injury.
During 2014 I only logged slightly less 1,000 training miles, which for most standards it’s not much, however, I posted better times than my friend Kitty who is the same age, has a similar body shape and insists that she must train a lot in order to withstand the marathon effort.
It’s not about RUNNING A LOT but more about KNOWING HOW TO RUN and how many miles does your body needs to log in order to get to the next level and become stronger instead of becoming chronically fatigued. If you want to run a faster marathon you should train more often and log more training miles but you must get to know your body and how to get prepare it for those efforts.
That’s something you usually learn with time, but you need a professional guide and coach to be able to reach your goal without injury.
Between Kitty and me the main differences are, years as a runner, 17 vs 3, Training method, what we eat, but most of all rest periods and logged miles.
In long-distance racing, sometimes less is more, especially for us mere mortals who are far from elite runners.
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