Marathon Running and Race Support
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Long Distance and Long Time Advice Please

Hi all, I'm a C25K graduate (last August) and have given myself a huge challenge to raise funds for Alzheimer's Research. I've decided to run the year that is 2018kms in 2018. The basic rules are I have to run a minimum 5k for a run to count and the warm up/down walking elements don't count towards my kms.

In November I reached 10k and since then my max distance has been 16km. But here's the rub, I have done a total of 125km in January and that was hard. But for the rest of the year I have to do 172km each month to reach my target. I want to do it safely of course, but I cannot find any training plans that seem helpful. Most focus on one specific event such as a HM or marathon, whereas my target is consistent, heavy kms week on week, all year.

Does anyone have any helpful advice or idea of a plan, that would be good to follow. A slight complication is that from April to October I am in Italy and the temperatures are high ( in and around 35-40 in summer) I have no expectation of doing the kms with speed - typically I average from 6:30 per km on shorter runs to 8:00 per km on my longer ones.

So far I am sticking to running every other day and understand that it is safe to do 'streak' running after a year of running regularly.

Any help would be most appreciated

Thanks a lot

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I am running the Brighton half for the same cause in Feb for the second time. It seems yours is harder! 38 km a week at least. Maybe join a running club helped me with distance. I do 2 short runs a week 5k and a long one on a Sunday between 8 and 13 Miles. But no where you need to do, I think you need a couple of interval run, walks in the week rather then pure running everyday.

Good luck it is a cause close to my heart as my Mum died at 68 having had aggressive dementia.

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Thanks I think the varying distances idea may help it’s certainly worth a go.

And yes my dad has Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia, so I am very committed to doing this challenge

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Good luck. I know how hard it is to have a parent with dementia

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That's quite a challenge! Do you use any apps that help you log your distance? That can help with motivation. I understand that you don't want to focus on an event, but they do help you keep your mileage up. Maybe you could focus on several small events throughout the year?

Try the streak and see how it feels. I tried a streak one year ago, and only managed for a week before the niggles got to me. I think the main culprit was that my mileage was too high. I did another streak in December, and focused on one long run, one interval run, then lots of short runs, which was fun. This went really well, and I only stopped after 20 days because I had a marathon coming up and I figured I should rest for a few days before it!

The only other advice I have is to get out and run early in the morning when you're in Italy. That's what I've done on the few occasions I've holidayed in a hot country. Good luck!

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Yes I use Map My Run and also I have looked at a couple of events, but in Italy where I am they aren’t quite so regular/often. And as standard I run early because it’s a killer otherwise👍

But I may try some lower mileage streak works maybe one week on one week off. That’s worth a punt too.

Thanks for your best wishes

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What are you wanting from a plan? most plans are geared towards increasing distance or speed to a specific goal, but you are already running the distance you need to do, its just a question of doing it every day, and staying injury free. 5.5k a day is not an excessive amount in terms of stress on your body, so once your stamina is used to doing it daily then you should be fine. I would personally try to do .k/day rather than 11k every other day. All the usual stuff about hydration, fish oil, sleep and looking after your feet will apply, obvs.

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Ah you make a good point I had thought of trying the every day kms, but I must admit being a newbie runner, I thought it wasn’t advisable until you had run for a year, so I had thought of doing every day running round about June time when I hit my anniversary of running. But I think I’ll give everyday running a go for this coming week and see how I go. Yesterday I did 21k, but now I definitely can’t run today as am aching everywhere! Point taken about hydration by inclination I am a lizard, and I think that’s a behaviour I need to change...

thanks for the pointers

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I think what would be most useful for you would be to do a sort of backwards plan, such as ju-ju- has mentioned doing in the past, where you have a basic idea of what you need to do, i.e. run 5.5-6k every day for the rest of the year, and write down afterwards what you actually did, including notes to monitor how you're coping with it. As Rignold said, it's not an excessive distance to do daily, and you will quickly get used to it. Many people really enjoy doing a running streak, and you have the additional motivation of your fundraising :) As '3PO suggests, you'll want to get up early (or go at night) while you're in Italy. And this leads me onto the other thing I think you could do, which is set yourself up a calendar somewhere, Google or whatever, where you can plan your runs on a weekly or monthly basis. There may be days when you really can't run, family occasions coming up, work commitments and suchlike. If you have these in your diary, you can add in a 10k run, for example, to take up the slack. This is as good a plan as any you'll find in a book or on a website, and in fact it's better because it's tailored to you!

What a fabulous challenge - good luck and have fun!!

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Thanks I do monitor every run, and then diarise anyway, I have a big excel spreadsheet and use Map My Run to monitor each km. I really do think dropping my kms but doing them daily may be the way to go. Yesterday my big run, took a lot of time and today I am aching, so a run isn’t on the cards but I know I can usually run between 7-8 km happily. So your idea of regularity with an occasional slack take up run makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the advice

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Sorry I didn't mean to come across as condescending, it's just that recently I've seen a few people on here getting hung up on the idea that they need to have some sort of official training plan, but then getting confused and worried when the plans they choose don't fit for one reason or another. Your situation seems nicely mathematical in comparison :)

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Hey no need for apologies I didn’t read it that way at all! I think I am hung up on when am i “allowed” to do streak running. I read somewhere you should wait until you’ve been running for a year, so in my head i thought I had to wait until June. And if that was true then of course I have to do long distances every other day and that was my issue, as I am concerned as to what I may do to my legs running 13k every other day...

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Jan, try this and see how it works for you:

halhigdon.com/training/5113...

Best!

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Checking that one out, thanks. Here’s to a Lucifer free summer!

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Hell yes...

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You are doing so well Jan.

I lost both my dear father and my MIL to dementia. It is such a difficult illness to deal with for everyone involved.

Have you read ‘ What I talk about when I talk about running’, by Haruki Murakami? If I recall correctly he aims to run 6 miles six times a week......that gives him the flexibility to ‘make up distance’ if he cannot fit a run in......he has a scheduled day off to draw on. I not suggesting you run 6m a day, just pointing you to his strategy.

It’s an interesting read but also an encouraging read.

Not sure when you might fit it in though 🤔

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Thanks Millsie-J, I haven't read it, but sounds like it is worth a read. My conclusion after seeing all this information is that I probably need to change the running timing, so every day shorter distances sounds more doable, with the 'slack' pick up option if I run out of time.

I am going to try a running streak from tomorrow, as today is rest day and frankly I'm shattered after 21kms. Then I will see how my bod holds up to the streak. I can always do three days on and then take a day off and then do another 4 and gradually build to 6 days running a week.

It's that balance between racking up the kms and making sure I don't end up on the IC. Thanks for the support and help

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Don’t forget that as you begin to regularly run a given distance it will get easier, thereby possibly allowing you to extend occasionally.

Good luck

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What was your mileage last year? You need to be realistic about your goal. No more than 10% of last year, allowing for rest weeks, injury, life and other unnanounced occurences. I managed to do just over 2016k's in 2016 ( that was my goal too) but last year was just under the 1000 mile mark ( so I didnt get my goal). Its very tough.... be realistic.

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Well that's put the cat amongst the pigeons... I'd forgotten about the 10% rule. So last year 850 km, so yup more than doubling it! Having said that other than the other day when I ran 21km for the first time, I'm not finding it too horrendous to run 10km each time out and a little more. I am very lucky in that I don't work, so I don't have to rush anywhere to try to fit in running. I do take your point it's a big target, it's an ambition and if injury etc happens, then I will have to woman up and take it on the chin and not meet the target. I am also doing some strength work outside of the running. Thanks for the advice though, it's really made me think, if you a long term experienced runner managed just over 2km, then for me it may be beyond doable. I promise to be sensible, there's no point in killing myself on a self inflicted target.

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I don’t want to put you off, I’m only speaking from what I e learnt. I’m an every day runner and so far I’m up to Day 390 on my runstreak ( yay!!) and it’s jolly hard but incredibly fulfilling. The main thing to avoid is injury and exhaustion. I have a reset week every 4 where I go much less miles. Your body needs that. Don’t forget your Vit D too.

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No you haven't put me off, I am very conscious that with your running experience, you know exactly what's coming up. Injury and exhaustion are my two fears. So far the muscle rolling seems to be working and I'm dropping the kms to a very manageable 6/7 kms. But whilst daily running maybe the ideal way, I am thinking in the early days I should give myself time off. So I am really monitoring how I feel after each run, both immediately and the next day and the day after. I'm trying for a 7 day streak just to see how that goes, but if it doesn't work, then I am not so macho and bullheaded that I won't revisit the plan. Vitamin D advice - yup that's on the list. Thanks ju-ju. Fingers crossed I stay sensible.

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You have the right approach- I’m no expert but I’ve certainly learnt a lot about determination and injury too! I do a lot of slow 1 milers and it’s v restorative on rest days. I do longer runs at weekend and I have a v good osteopath as I have had issues with my ankle that are longstanding. I also do spinning for fun and bodypump and KB’s etc to get stronger. Keep posting on your progress your focus is fab! X

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I’m with ju-ju- on this one. In the past I’ve tried running 4-5k every day (because I didn’t know any better!) and after a while it was just gruelling and relentless. Ultimately it just led to exhaustion - and then I stopped. I know I couldn’t do it now either because there’s just no wriggle-room and falling behind would make it almost impossible to catch up. Just one little cold could scupper the whole thing!

But you’re younger, you have more time, you have a great motivation and you have a plan. Plus I’m convinced running helps you avoid colds - I haven’t had one in a whole year anyway!

I will be following your progress with real interest🏃 Good luck!

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Thanks JaySee, I have work to do on this, but I think common sense has to overrule everything. I don't want to run to injure myself, that would be self defeating. So I am happy that for the present I am running at a deficit on the required kms. My belief is that as I get stronger, I can increase the kms. I am with you on running stopping colds, I haven't had one either, and usually I am a dead cert for them at least twice a year.

Any way today's run done and now off for a hot shower and pesky foam roller!

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Sounds sensible about running at a deficit now as you will probably increase naturally. I would imagine that since mileage is your issue, keeping everything as slow as you can will help to maintain the level you need in a sustainable and injury-free way.

I'd never thought about running and colds but now you come to mention it, it makes sense. This year there have been some horrid strains of the flu going around and my kids have had it. I have had several moments of thinking I'm about to come down with it too, but it never really seems to get its claws into me - as if my body is fighting it off more successfully.

I know I've mentioned this before, but if you need to modify your plan at some point, could you do it by removing your 5k lower limit? I'm sure this would give you more wiggle room, by allowing those 2 or 3 k jogs when you are in recovery phase, which over time could bolster your mileage and allow you perhap not to compromise on your overall target.

I'm watching with interest, cheering along, and quietly convinced you'll manage it :)

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Hi Helene

Yes I am happy running at a deficit because if I get too aggressive and target its reduction too soon, I think that's a sure fire way of getting injured. I know already I am doing 50% more monthly kilometrage than my average last year. I am trying the shorter runs every day, to see how that goes - am doing a one week trial, to see if that's manageable, but even though I don't work the running does get in the way of normal life!

And funnily enough I was talking to Mr JCR last night about reducing the minimum km, for precisely the reason you mention. My intention was that I couldn't just run to Marks and Spencer (which is a km away) and count that. So am going to do a review at the end of February, using this month as my trial and error month, to see what works and what doesn't. The thing I have spotted, is that there is no 'contingency' room. If I get ill/injured frankly the target will be compromised. And ju-ju's comments about the rest week really struck a chord and maybe that's where the 2-3km recovery runs could help.

Thanks for your confidence in me, every little bit of support helps. Having a cuppa as rolysmate would say and then am off out for a 6/7km run.

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Started reading this earlier whilst having a cuppa after returning home from my run but had to leave off to do other things and have just returned to it now whilst having another cuppa lol.

Interesting read though and made me think about some of my running

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