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As a First Time Marathoner How Many Times a Week Should I Be Running?

by Croucher
(Kent, United Kingdom)

I first did a half marathon last year, the Run to the Beat- I think it was in September. I have not run since then, I have now got a charity marathon place for the London Marathon. I started running straight away, I was very slow but now have got even slower.

When I did the half marathon last year my time was 2hrs and 20 minutes and the training had been very haphazard. I decided that I was going to train properly this time round, but wondering whether I am putting in a lot of junk miles.

I run 5 times a week. My time is even slower I ran 14 miles on Sunday which took me 2 hours and 48 something minutes. Should I cut this down to 4 days?

running tips
Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thanks for your question about your upcoming marathon.

Running a marathon is a great goal to have.

Running five days a week is not extreme.

There is nothing wrong with being slower in training.

You may still be building up fitness compared to a year ago. Also, training runs are usually slower than actual races, so I wouldn't be too worried about not beating your half marathon time in training.

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It is hard to say whether you are putting in "junk miles". Are you feeling tired and run down all the time? Do you have a lack of energy? Is the thought of doing another training run enough to make you sigh?

If so, then yes, you may be overtrained and could do with a cut in running time. If not, then I think you don't have much to worry about.

For a marathon I feel the minimum you should do is to run at least four times a week. There are plans that get you there in three days per week. Not necessarily completely bad, but if running only three, you must complement your running with sufficient cross-training on non-running days.

Even when running four days a week, cross-training is a good idea.

It provides a break to your "running muscles" while still helping you build fitness.

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,
Dominique

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