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half marathon?

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Old 10-29-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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So I think I've found my race to train for.....

The see Jane run half marathon in June 2010

I'm just curious if 7 months is enough time to go from beginner (I've been exercising for 12 weeks and my endurance has improved a bunch) to being able to do a half marathon??? I know that I can do anything if I set my mind to it, I just want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for failure by setting an unrealistic goal because maybe 7 months isn't enough time. It doesn't seem like it would be unrealistic because last season on the biggest loser, contestants were able to run a half marathon after only 12 weeks! I know that they do TONS of exercising on the ranch so 12 weeks would be too short a time for me, but 7 months seems doable.....I just wanted to ask the more experienced runners what they though?? Any suggestions??

Thanks for reading!
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:23 PM   #2
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EveLHaelf I'be heard of people doing it, but usually they recommend slightly longer. It will likely take you about 12-14 weeks just to learn how to run 30-60 minutes if you're not already running, and that doesn't leave a lot of time to ramp up and let the body adjust. Not only the muscles have to adjust but your ligaments/joints/bones etc. have to get used to the pounding.

However That being said It's possible, but you'd have to work extra hard on the weight loss and follow a program/plan pretty strictly. IMO.

As an example: I re-started running this June (I had a little bit of a running base from the prior year doing Triathlons but not much) and I can do over 9 miles or about 2 hours now and I would think by New Years I could probably do a half so that's just over 6 months.

Don't know if I'm the best example though and I tend to take on big things like that before most people advise it... but I'm a big fan of I think we are capable of WAY more then we think we are.

Just be really careful and not take on too much too soon that's how running inuries occur. The general rule is don't add more then 10 percent per week.

But I say go for it... if you find that you can only run 8 miles by then... then you walk the last 5. No big deal.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:09 PM   #3
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I don't think you'll know until you start to train and can gauge your physical ability. I was just slightly lighter than you when I started running in February. I had been an exerciser for maybe a year or so on the elliptical and cross trainer but honestly, running is an entirely different story (at least it was for me). I trained for a 5k for 6 months and am doing my first 10k in November. Next May will be my first half mary (so 15 or so months after I started running) and next October, my first marathon. Even though I was an experienced exerciser, running was just a different ballgame.

That said! You don't have to commit to the HM today so why not start out with a running program, get some racing experience under your belt (5ks, a 10k or two), and see where you're at in May? You can typically register for races up until race day so you have plenty of time to make a decision. So give running a shot... it's GREAT to have a goal and train for it... knowing I have races coming up really keep me motivated with my training. Good luck!
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:21 PM   #4
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Great advice both of you! I agree that running is very different from the elliptical or my biggest loser dvd's I've been doing, lol.

I like the idea of just going for it and doing my best. This particular race doesn't have a time limit that you have to finish in so it would be no big deal to walk towards the end.

Fat pants, I have until february to decide and register (otherwise the registration price nearly doubles ) So I will definitely take your advice and just start out and see how it goes. I do plan on doing some 5k's first, but whenever I search for upcoming 5k's in 2010 I don't find anything so I guess it's too soon maybe...idk I'll keep looking though.

Thank you both for responding! I will keep yall posted.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:28 PM   #5
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Yeah I think in general they don't list smaller races until after the new year I'm having trouble finding them here as well which makes planning my season next year a bit tricky.

FatPants has the right idea though - Just try it and see how it goes. BTW The first few weeks you'll likely hate it, but once your body gets adjusted it actually gets pretty addicting. Also, take it slow speed wise at first. Too many new runners try to start out too fast!

Sounds like you have some exciting plans though! Woo Hoo!
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:34 PM   #6
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Haha yeah I totally second what Ideal said... I hated it for probably the first5-6 weeks but I kept coming back.. then suddenly I started seeing improvements which was so motivating! I think you'll love running!

Too bad the registration fee doubles in February, but that gives you at least 12 weeks to get comfortable with running. Check out Hal Higdon's novice half marathon training program. Once you build up a good base (3 or 4 miles), his training program can give you a good idea what's needed next.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:42 PM   #7
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Thanks a lot guys! I'm really excited to get started, and now that I have a race in mind I'm even more motivated! Fat pants, I will certainly check that out once I get my good base goin'

Thanks again, for your honesty, advice, and encouragement!

I'm starting tomorrow!
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:25 AM   #8
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keep us updates how it goes!
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by EveLHaelf View Post
I'm just curious if 7 months is enough time to go from beginner (I've been exercising for 12 weeks and my endurance has improved a bunch) to being able to do a half marathon???
It depends on your expectations. Do you think you can work up to walking 13.1 miles? If so, then yes, you can complete a half marathon. Many people walk half and even full marathons. The key is to check the race rules and look for the cutoff times and pick a half marathon that is walker-friendly, with a 16 mile per minute pace cutoff or longer. You can choose to run all or any part of the race, depending on your physical conditioning at the time, and still be assured of making the cutoff times.

I ran my first half marathon as a beginner runner with about that much lead time - BUT, I was already running 3 miles nonstop and was not significantly overweight at the time. And, at that, I still increased mileage too quickly, got a mild case of hip bursitis, had to take several weeks off, then ramp up mileage more slowly. The surest way to injury is to ramp up mileage too quickly in your enthusiasm, before your tendons, muscles and joints are ready for the high impact nature of running. It takes time for that conditioning to occur. It is also important to cross-train to strengthen your muscles, stretch often and effectively, and get good, properly fitting running shoes.

Don't get me wrong, I love half marathons. I'll be running my 10th in a couple of weeks. It's my absolute favorite race distance and a wonderful goal to set for yourself. Halhigdon.com is good, and also check out www.jeffgalloway.com for beginner training schedules. He is an advocate of using run/walk intervals as a strategy for running distances that is easier on your body than nonstop running. It worked very well for me, and I STILL take walk breaks in my races, if only at the water stops.

It is a good idea to try at least one race beforehand - a 5K or 10K - to get a feel for the race experience. IMO there is no better motivator than to sign up for a race. It changes my perspective totally - I'm not just "working out", I'm training! I love the events, the crowds, the thrill of the finish line, and the pretty medal. That's why I keep signing up for more!

Please do keep us posted.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:13 AM   #10
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Oh yeah, I forgot about Jeff Galloway! I like his run/walk intervals. In fact I combined both Hal Higdon's and Jeff Galloway's marathon training schedules to create my own training plan.

And what Ideal and MBN have said is so very true and important... and I think probably most beginner runner's make this mistake... but more is not always better. I trained so hard for my first 5k that I ended up sitting out for two weeks after the race because my IT Band was so painful that I couldn't run. It's exciting and addicting to run and race, but above all, listen to your body!!
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:16 AM   #11
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I trained for about 6 months for my first half but ran/walked it. My next one I'll train to run the whole thing (except water stations, of course--I can't run and find my mouth at the same time).

MBN you forgot about the T shirts. I love wearing them in public and know people are wondering--did she really do that? Heck yeah I did.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
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MBN you forgot about the T shirts. I love wearing them in public and know people are wondering--did she really do that? Heck yeah I did.
Oh yeah, and the bigger events like half and full marathons have the GOOD shirts, the hi-tech ones, that you can actually work-out in. I have so doggone many cotton race shirts and I never wear those - end up giving them to my kids or GoodWill. I even scored a cool-max running hat at a couple of events. Those are the BEST!

I can't drink and run either. I've tried. Water gets up my nose, I choke, and it's Not Pretty. If I want a drink, I have to walk. I can run and eat Gu's or Cliff Bloks, but drink ... fergidabboudit.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:18 PM   #13
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Congrats on the 10 half marathons MBN! I certainly will be checking out the jeff galloway link.

And I can't run and drink either. I end up wearing most of it

The shirts are something else I'm looking forward to. I can't wait to show off what I've accomplished! I'll be taking so many pictures!
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:40 AM   #14
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I have signed up for my first race as well, but I am taking it a bit slower. I found a race coming up that has a competitive walk and am going to enter that first, though walkers leave at the same time and do the same course, so I am afraid of getting run over!

But, I have a question that is probably really stupid but here goes...how do you get back to the starting point to get your car if the course ends a good distance away? I will likely not have anyone with me to pick me up at the end, so how does that work?

I know, a dumb beginner question but I have been worried about getting to the end and being lost It is that kind of stupid fear that has kept me from doign this before and I decided just to ask and not let it stop me this time!
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:26 AM   #15
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I wish I could help you but I've never done a race before, I'm really excited to start though! I'm sure someone will be able to answer your question, these ladies are smart!

Good luck with your first race!
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