T Nation

Marathon Training

I recently decided to run the Portland Marathon in the beginning of October. I have a sprinting backround and very little endurance experience. I am running 4 days a week and lifting the other three. I have one intense run a week (currently 6 miles) one medium run, and two short runs.

This is my problem: I got fat over winter, I didn’t get any exercise and ate like shit. I only started running and lifting 6 months ago. I am 6’1" 208 lbs. When I am in good shape I only weigh about 180 - 195. I have been eating well in the 6 weeks and training hard, yet I haven’t lost any weight.

I know 6 weeks isn’t a long time, but it seems like I should have lost something with the drastic lifestyle changes I have made. Can anyone think of a reason for my lack of progress. Also if anyone wants to give me marathon advice that would be excellent.

Alex

My diet -

Meal 1: Oatmeal, berries, 2 eggs, glass of milk, glass of O.J.

Meal 2: 1/2 lb. Fat Free Cottage Cheese & Carrots

Meal 3: Whole wheat tortilla with Chicken Breast a little cheese and salsa

Meal 4: Fat Free Yogurt and Berries

Meal 5: 2 scoops of Low-Carb Grow!

Meal 6: 1/2 lb Cottage Cheese

Note: Surge on 3 lifting days and intense running day. Diet is not exact, somedays I will only have 5 meals, and I have about 1 - 3 cheat meals each week. I take about 7 grams of fish oil a day and 3 grams of flax seed oil in capsules.

[quote]APDuncan27 wrote:
I only started running and lifting 6 months ago.[/quote]

Oops! I meant 6 weeks.
P.S. I do have training experience, just became lazy over the winter

I recently completed the Vancouver marathon with only four weeks of actual training. I am not a natural distance runner: the farthest I had ever run before I started training was about 3 miles.

Like you, I am a natural sprinter with a heavier build (5’10" 190 - 200 lbs) than most marathon runners. I ran three to four times a week. Tuesday would be a high intensity interval session: either mile repeats (sprint 1 mile rest 2 minutes and then run another mile) or 800 meter intervals. I did between 4 to 5 mile repeats and built up to 15 800 sprints. Wednesday would be an easy slow paced 5 mile run. Thursday was either high rep dumbell lifts, tabata squats or interval running.

My dumbell circuit was
15 cleans each hand
20 sumo deadlifts into a row to chin
15 one-hand presses overhead each hand
20 sumo deadlifts into a row to chin
2 minute break and repeat 3 to 4 times

Sometimes I did this in the morning and then tabata front squats in the afternoon.
Saturday was my long slow paced run. I ran 10 miles the first week, 14 in week 2, 19 in week 3, and then only 8 in week 4 to taper for the marathon the following week. The key to this run is making sure that you keep a slow pace; the point is to get your body used to the pounding.

I also lifted on Mondays and Fridays. I did things like flat bench, close grip, pull-ups, chins, deads and some cleans. These workouts never lasted more than 45 minutes and I kept the sets and reps low (4 X 5, 3 x 5).
I finished the marathon in 3:38:00. This doesn’t break any records, but my goal was just to finish.

When I was losing weight a few years ago, when I switched from HIIT to distance, my weight loss stopped almost completely, and then after that the weight I did lose was half muscle half fat. Of course I probably did not eat enough.

For training, there are plenty of “26 week” trainig courses for marathons.

Hal Higdon’s site is great and there are forums. He has several training programs on there. (As with all running sites, ignore everything they say about nutrition).

I ran the NYC Marathon in 2001 and finished in 4:24. My suggestion would be to knock off the weights when you start racking up the miles. I followed an 18 week program from Hal Higdon (Runner’s World). It was about the most reasonable training program I could find. The most I ran was 40 miles in a week, and the longest single run was 20 miles. I ran the marathon because I thought it would be cool to do. It was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade my finisher’s medal for the world…but on the other hand, I’ll NEVER DO IT AGAIN! Good luck!

[quote]APDuncan27 wrote:
My diet -

Meal 1: Oatmeal, berries, 2 eggs, glass of milk, glass of O.J.

Meal 2: 1/2 lb. Fat Free Cottage Cheese & Carrots

Meal 3: Whole wheat tortilla with Chicken Breast a little cheese and salsa

Meal 4: Fat Free Yogurt and Berries

Meal 5: 2 scoops of Low-Carb Grow!

Meal 6: 1/2 lb Cottage Cheese

Note: Surge on 3 lifting days and intense running day. Diet is not exact, somedays I will only have 5 meals, and I have about 1 - 3 cheat meals each week. I take about 7 grams of fish oil a day and 3 grams of flax seed oil in capsules.[/quote]

I consider that entire list a snack . What are your reasons for doing this. You need to eat!