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 50 Weeks to Marathon '09

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PostSubject: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:18 am

Friends,

Unaligned on the quitting smoking thread got me thinking about the business of setting goals and this might be one which would appeal to a few posters out there.

It's 51 weeks to the Dublin City Marathon - a wonderful, friendly and easy going event which I took part in a couple of times. My times are around the 6.30 mark for walking the 26.2 miles/40k.

It's 52 weeks to the New York Marathon, which I and some of my siblings plan to do this year, all of us within the 4.30 mark.

A year is plenty of time for anyone, no matter what their background is, to prepare for a marathon as a walker, jogger or runner. All you need is the will and a pair of good shoes. Any takers?

Even without too much training, walking is doable for just about anyone and as we get into the depths of winter, a goal like a marathon might be just what some of us need to pull us through. Marathoners, especially those who were turning up at the finishing line an hour and two hours after even I did, are all members of an elite bunch of people with endurance and determination.

Indeed, if you're giving up smoking, want to lose weight, are generally unmotivated but feel itchy to be doing something productive, it might just be a terrific target to aim for.

I've promised myself that I'll keep this thread going over the next year, with hints, tips, ideas and motivational bits and pieces for anyone interested in getting involved.

Visualisation is one of the key skills in achieving success, so I'm going to start with that.





Ar aghaidh linn!!


Last edited by Kate P on Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:39 pm

I've occasionally thought about doing this as a one off 'only get one life' thing. But really I'm too afraid of failing. Right now I couldn't run up a stairs.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:45 pm

Went for a jog this morning myself. Felt brilliant especially after a particularly decadent weekend. Might give it a go, or at least see how far I can take it. I have to worry about an ankle which can play up if I run too fast, so it will depend on that.

Good luck Kate. Great idea.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:55 pm

This is a great idea. It is only right and correct that the onward march of the glorious Machine Nation should extend itself to sporting pursuits!
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:59 am

EVM,
the great thing about doing a marathon is that you can do it entirely at your own pace.

In fact, if you're very afraid, you could be quite sneaky about getting started. Pick a spot that's 5 mins away from your work or house and walk there three or four times this week. Then go a little further next week and a little further the week after. When you can walk 20 mins in total without calving, you've done a mile. No one will even notice. Besides, once you've started you're on the road to success - you fail already if you don't try.

Don't think about running until and unless you feel it's viable. If you can build up your fitness in the next few months between now and April/May, you'd still have 6 months to train to jog it.

Baby steps does it.

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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:06 am

Quote :
Went for a jog this morning myself. Felt brilliant especially after a particularly decadent weekend. Might give it a go, or at least see how far I can take it. I have to worry about an ankle which can play up if I run too fast, so it will depend on that.

Nothing like a decadent weekend!

Be gentle with your ankle and yourself. There's no rush on either. The last thing you want to do is get an injury. There are probably lots of sunny Spanish marathons and half marathons that you could do too.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:18 am

Can't even dream of doing a marathon but coincidentally, at the weekend, I dug out the "Official British Army Fitness Programme" booklets that came with the Guardian one week in October ... What a Face pale

Having had a particularly indulgent all-inclusive fortnight in the Caribbean in Sept. and now facing into Xmas, a few lbs / kgs must be lost before mid Dec.!

Best of luck to you all, I'll follow with interest and probably a lot of envy.

Your points on walking are really important. My mum and some of her friends do the Half-Marathon in Dublin every year (for a disability charity). She's no runner, but a ferocious walker and I tell you, I couldn't do what she does, not at the moment anyway. ... but I will ...
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:20 am

Kate P wrote:
Quote :
Went for a jog this morning myself. Felt brilliant especially after a particularly decadent weekend. Might give it a go, or at least see how far I can take it. I have to worry about an ankle which can play up if I run too fast, so it will depend on that.

Nothing like a decadent weekend!

Be gentle with your ankle and yourself. There's no rush on either. The last thing you want to do is get an injury. There are probably lots of sunny Spanish marathons and half marathons that you could do too.

There's a wonderful 10k through Malaga City. Thousands of people, all shapes and sizes, including little children dragging their parents behind them.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:27 am

Atticus wrote:
Can't even dream of doing a marathon but coincidentally, at the weekend, I dug out the "Official British Army Fitness Programme" booklets that came with the Guardian one week in October ... What a Face pale

Having had a particularly indulgent all-inclusive fortnight in the Caribbean in Sept. and now facing into Xmas, a few lbs / kgs must be lost before mid Dec.!

Best of luck to you all, I'll follow with interest and probably a lot of envy.

Your points on walking are really important. My mum and some of her friends do the Half-Marathon in Dublin every year (for a disability charity). She's no runner, but a ferocious walker and I tell you, I couldn't do what she does, not at the moment anyway. ... but I will ...

Machine Nation doesn't do boot camp, Atticus.

You just have to start. Somewere. No need at all to be envious.


For those who would like to start walking, there are some useful guides on the net. This one starts off quite positively and gives the scope to improve or vary.



Quote :
Walking form: Walk holding your body in a natural upright posture with your back straight, shoulders down, and neck relaxed. Look straight ahead focusing three or four yards in front of you, not down on your feet.

Your heel should hit the ground first, then follow through your stride, pushing off with your toes. Hold your arms with your elbows bent at a 90° angle and pump them back and forth in an opposite rhythm to your feet - when you stride forward with your left foot, your right arm comes forward and vice versa.

Keep your stride at a natural length. If you want to walk faster, don't lengthen your stride. Take smaller, quicker steps instead. Also, don't lean forward as you walk. Good posture not only enhances your carriage, but also helps prevent injury.

A Program to Make You a Thirty-Minute Walker.

Once you're able to comfortably walk for fifteen-minutes, it's time to look at the next stage: working toward being a thirty-minute walker. This means you will be able to do a thirty-minute fitness walk three or four times a week. It's the stage at which many of your overall fitness goals will begin to be realized.

Start each walking session with a gentle warm-up walk for three or four minutes to loosen your muscles. After you finish your workout, cool-down with a few more minutes of slow walking and then some gentle stretches.

Becoming a 30-minute walker

This program allows you gradually to build up to a thirty-minute walk over eight weeks. Not everyone will be able to do the program in that time. Follow the schedule at a comfortable pace but one that challenges you to move forward.

The program is based on the hard-easy training method. You make progress in training by pushing yourself to do more, but your body needs time to recover from the extra effort. The day after a hard workout when you walked faster or did extra mileage, schedule a day off, do an easier workout - less pace or mileage - or switch to an alternative type of exercise like biking, swimming, or strength training. Make it your goal to walk three or four times a week, but don't walk more than six days a week - give yourself a day off. Start each workout gradually, warming up your muscles by slow-paced walking. When you've finished, complete a gradual slow down of your pace with stretching exercises to cool down and relax your body.

No one is judging you or holding you to a timetable. When you reach the point at which you can do a thirty-minute fitness walk as part of your regular routine, you'll have something that you can count on for the rest of your life. If it takes a little more time to get there, don't worry about it, you're in this for the long haul.

Week 1: Walk 10 minutes, rest 3 minutes, walk 5 minutes. Rest 1 minute, then repeat.

Week 2: Walk 10 minutes, rest 1 minute, walk 5 minutes. Rest 1 minute again, then repeat.

Week 3: Walk 10 minutes, rest 1 minute, walk 10 minutes. Rest 1 minute, then repeat.

Week 4 and 5: Walk 20 minutes each session.

Week 6 and 7: Walk 25 minutes each session.

Week 8: Walk 30 minutes each session. If you're comfortable after the first couple of weeks, you may want to speed up this timetable and complete the program in five or six weeks.

TIP: You should always be able to carry on a conversation while you're walking. If you can't, you're going to fast and should slow down.

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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:30 am

The tip at the end is very important!!!

Quote :
TIP: You should always be able to carry on a conversation while you're
walking. If you can't, you're going to fast and should slow down.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:31 am

spillercork wrote:
The tip at the end is very important!!!

Quote :
TIP: You should always be able to carry on a conversation while you're
walking. If you can't, you're going to fast and should slow down.

I will have to walk and take my inhaler simultaneously.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:33 am

Seems like we need a separate thread for asthmatics.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:34 am

Quite right too Kate, I wasn't suggesting it. Only for myself! Desperate measures and all of that.

Actually, something you have over there, or at least in my own hometown anyway, is the Sli na ... this is where my Irish fails me Embarassed What's the Irish for health? Anyway, you know what I mean do you? They are 3km walks. I have only ever seen one of them over here and it's along the seafront in Eastbourne. They even had the Irish language sign, which warmed my heart. It's a simple idea and yet, if you do even just that, hell you're at least doing 3km every day.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:38 am

Slí na Slainte is what you are on about! there is one or two here in Cork
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:40 am

Thank you Spillercork. Highly embarassing for me, blame it on living in the UK for the last 15+ years and speaking no Irish since my Leaving Cert.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:42 am

aye, blame the brits! Razz (says the west brit like! Very Happy )
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:45 am

I love walking in cities best, across whole neighbourhoods and out the othe side. I can walk for hours without realising I'm walking at all, because there's so much to look at.

Beach walks are my second favourite walks, any weather and any time of the day or night.

I used to walk every day here but my dog died. In the New Year I'm going to go to the pound and get an returned Xmas puppy.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:04 am

1. Beach walks - as you say, doesn't matter if the Atlantic is howling in my face, just love it.

2. Woodland walks. Don't get to do that often enough.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:07 am

Have to say city walks aren't my favourite, I love city parks mind you. I think most people prefer walking in the opposite to the situation they live in.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:08 am

cactus flower wrote:
I love walking in cities best, across whole neighbourhoods and out the othe side. I can walk for hours without realising I'm walking at all, because there's so much to look at.

Beach walks are my second favourite walks, any weather and any time of the day or night.

I used to walk every day here but my dog died. In the New Year I'm going to go to the pound and get an returned Xmas puppy.

so agree about cities! Used to regularly get lost in Cologne when I live there just wandering around and finding interesting buildings (and bars! Razz )
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:13 am

Atticus wrote:
1. Beach walks - as you say, doesn't matter if the Atlantic is howling in my face, just love it.

2. Woodland walks. Don't get to do that often enough.

Bluebell woods ...mmmm... Razz
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:18 am

Yip, Kent and East Sussex National Trust sites for that. I love Sheffield Park Gardens too, which has a wonderful mixture of woodland and open area. Beautiful Autumn foliage.

And on a completely different tack, I just love that Kentish coastal area encompassing Camber Sands, Dungeness etc. Maybe too influenced by Jarmanesque end-of-England ideas, but it really does feel like that. Camber Sands is still - well, Pontins rather than Butlins. Denge is weird and wonderful. Worth going for a pint and some fish and chips in the pub with the nuclear reactor in the background.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:19 am

That last comment kinda negates Kate's healthy walking ideas, doesn't it? Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:23 am

Kent and East Sussex Railway was always great fun when I was a child.
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PostSubject: Re: 50 Weeks to Marathon '09   Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:32 am

Did you ever go on the Bluebell Railway, Johnfas? I just loved it!
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