T Nation

Need Advice From The Brotherhood

Like a lot of use here at T-Nation, I am a “muscle head,” or more accurately a lifter as opposed to a bodybuilder, or semi-pro athlete. I’ve been training for about 8 years, but didn’t get real serious about it until about 5.5-6 years ago.

Back in February my best friend of about the last 15years John, was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer. John and I are still in college (we’re both workin’ on our 7th year of it) and naturally John doesn’t have health insurance…long story short I’ve decided I’m going to participate in a “cancer run” or benefit type marathon where people pledge so much money and part of it goes to helping cancer patients & research.

But here’s the catch, I do know how train towards a bigger/stronger body… I don’t know how to train towards running 50 miles in a morning/afternoon.

Normally I run as a warm up before lifting, just to get the heart pumping, or on non-lifting days doing some HIT. Never in either case running very far, i.e. a long Cardio day would be a 3-5 mile, or 1.5 miles at max effort. Even as a Marine (until a knee surgery) I never ran more than about 10-12 miles.

So that being said, I’d like to open the flood-gates and build a training regiment to (hopefully for one time only) run a marathon to help out my best friend. So if you have experience with marathon/tri-athelons, etc. fire at will. Post it or PM. Hell, you never know, maybe we could score some good notes from Waterbury, TC, Shugart, and the rest of the T-Nation crew.

a Marathon is just over 26 miles, not 50. So your goal has been cut in half!

Believe it’s great you’re doing this to help your friend. I participated in my first marathon last year at age 50. I believe if you train with the intention to finish as opposed to running it hard you can do it with a fairly small impact on your lifting.

IMO, the biggest challenge is getting your body accustomed to the pounding you take over 26 miles. i would suggest you get a marathon training program (take a look at this link):

http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/Mar00novice.htm

Many people have completed a marathon using Hal’s programs and I assume many aren’t in as good a shape as you are.

I would modify the program by substituting a HIT workout (sprint, etc) for the shorter runs during the week. This will build your aerobic endurance while avoiding breaking down your muscles with low intensity cardio.

You will need to do the longer distance work on the weekends as suggested, again more to get your body used to moving for that long.

Good luck.

You may need to consider lightening your load more than you would like… but I can’t think of a better reason to allow yourself to burn off some muscle.

Personally, I’ve never been much of a runner, but I found it easiest on the knees and shins when I weighed under 200 lbs… the further under the better.

Thanks for all the advice. Now should I keep my current protein intake, or or increaase? I planned on sticking with some Spike on the harder days just like I do when in the gym, and sticking to my basic supplements ZMA, BCAA’s, fish oils, etc…

Go ahead and up your protein intake. Also, your profile says you’re 225 lbs. Go to a real running shoe store (not located in a mall), find the most experienced looking worker there and have them set you up with some shoes appropriate for your body/foot type and what you’re going to be doing. Good Luck

I ran the Seattle marathon in 2005 and can give some tips.

Training wise, you want to be increasing your mileage weekly. This is what I’d suggest:

Run 5 days a week.
-Day 1: Run 50-60 minutes at medium intensity
-Day 2: HIIT
Rest
-Day 3: Run 30-50 minutes at higher intensity
-Day 4: Run 50-60 minutes at medium intensity
Rest
-Day 5: LONG run. Push yourself every week and try adding about a mile per week to your long run.
Rest and repeat.

You want to get your LONG run up to at least 20 miles 3-4 weeks prior to the event. Then you start tapering down to let your body prepare for the 26.2 miles you’ll be running on the day of the event.

Tips for marathon day:

  1. GO TO BED EARLY. Let yourself have a comfortable 9 hours of sleep.

  2. Eat and drink water prior the the event. Most marathons have water stations at certain mileage points too.

  3. Wear comfortable clothing. If its cold in the morning, it might get warmer as the marathon goes on. Wear what you normally train in - don’t make changes on marathon day.

To map out my runs in terms of mileage, I use this helpful tool:
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

Also, take a look at this:
http://www.halhigdon.com/marathon/novices.html

I know you’re curious about diet/nutrition, but I can’t offer much except that keeping protein high is a good thing. Other than that, as long as you have a healthy diet, plenty of rest and water, I think you’ll be fine in terms of training.

pick a distance, ten miles sounds good to start. make sure you finish even if you have to barely jog or walk for part of it. the next time you go be sure to finish again but finish slightly faster and so on until you are running the entire ten miles.

up the distance to 15 or 20 and do the same until you reach fifty miles.

when you at least go the distance, you get a feel for just how far you are going,pushing yourself to even walk at least lets your body know you will be going that distance and the speed will come in time.

don’t be scared to take a few days off to let your feet and knees rest though.

Another nutitrional tip: do NOT fear the carbs. You will be burning through them like crazy, with all the running you will be adding.

[quote]texasguy wrote:
pick a distance, ten miles sounds good to start. make sure you finish even if you have to barely jog or walk for part of it. the next time you go be sure to finish again but finish slightly faster and so on until you are running the entire ten miles.

up the distance to 15 or 20 and do the same until you reach fifty miles.

when you at least go the distance, you get a feel for just how far you are going,pushing yourself to even walk at least lets your body know you will be going that distance and the speed will come in time.

don’t be scared to take a few days off to let your feet and knees rest though. [/quote]

Look at some of the marathon programs out there and follow them in regards to building up to long runs (substituting some HIT for the shorter mid-week runs). You do not have to train any longer than 20 miles to run a 26 mile marathon.

Thanks for all the advice, FYI I’m going to post this same thread over in Strength Sports too.
I haven’t started my cutting cycle as yet, I’m still slowly working my diet down to prepare for it, right now I’m sitting at about a disgusting 19-21% bf (pending on method), chest is sitting at 50", bi’s are at 17 3/4", and my neck is slowly disappearing into my shoulders (finally), and my waist measures a little husky at 37".

As of now when I run I’m running 3-5 miles every session. so far haven’t gone much further than that, farthest so far last week was 5.25mi mainly due to time constraints, and a low iPod battery.

Got a hold of my physical theRAPEist (rim-shot) and talked to her about proper shoe fit, etc… basically use the same type shoe (semi-control for over pronation) but with a little more cushion from the severe beatings that I’m about to put my legs through.

I ran a marathon about 5 years ago for a charity. When I started training I was about 220 and was down to 205ish by marathon day. My only goal was to finish.

The general outline was as follows:

Run 4 days per week.

Day 1 Short Run
Day 2 Medium Run
Day 3 off
Day 4 Short Run
Day 5 off
Day 6 Long Run
Day 7 off

The medium run was always half of the long run distance. The short runs were always between 3-5 miles (about half of my medium run) and were done at a faster pace.

I would build for 3 weeks and then taper one week, and then build 3 more, etc.

So a typical progression for my 10 mile week looked like:

Day 1 - 3 miles
Day 2 - 5 miles
Day 3 - off
Day 4 - 3 miles
Day 5 - off
Day 6 - 10 miles
Day 7 - off

The next week I would go up to 11 miles.

The next week 12 miles.

Then I would drop back to 10 miles.

Then I would go 13, 14, 16…

After 14 miles I would make 2 mile jumps each week.

I trained up to 22 miles, and the last 3 or 4 were always killer. On the day of the marathon, after everyone said “you only need to train to 20, if you can run 20 miles, you can run 26”, I ran the first 18 miles and my legs began to feel pretty fatigued as usual. By the time I hit 22, they were spent. The last 4 were torture.

Apparently, unlike everyone else, after running 20 miles, the last 6 miles, the last hour of running, was not so easy for me.

It was a great experience, I raised $7,500 for charity, and learned a lot about myself. But if I could do it again, I would train to 26 miles. Most people seem to be able to get away with training to 20, but I’m not a natural runner, and I think I would have benefitted from the extra training.

Good luck with your endeavor!

Thanks again for all the advice… Just for shits and giggles I might post a link to my “myspace” page that has a widget of my last five runs (started monday). with another popping up later this evening. In case anyone is interested in donating or pledging I’ll post the URL for the event page for my team as soon as its completed.

www.myspace.com/98108654
p.s.
you’ll need flash player to see the runs.

ok so My iPod is has officially FUBAR’d its battery… runs will come up after its fixed.