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Training for a marathon?

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Well I was just thinking it would be cool to have other CC member around who are also training for a marathon. You can post your goal, nutrition, progress or anything else that is related to your upcoming event.

I'm training for the Chicago marathon, 111 days to go, I want to lose about 8 lbs more just to get a bit faster, I do 3 strength sessions a week, run 4 times a week, swim 2 and cycle 2-3.

My objective for the next month is to achieve a 45min 10k, so I can build from there, I hope to qualify for Boston (My goal is 3:40, but who knows?). I'm female 36yo 5'9" 147lbs.

In terms of nutrition I zig zag my calories,  from 1450- 2200 cal a day, I have not been losing much in the past 8 weeks (but I have been eating more on weekends) I eat about 40%protein, 40%carbs 20%fat.

I hope to hear from someone!

Take care:)



19 Replies (last)
Is this your first marathon? If so 3:40 is quite a goal!!! But I see from your profile that you're in great shape and do triathlons, so you might actually be able to get that time.

I really think you need to run 5 days a week. I know you must love biking and swimming, but you should focus on the running. I am training for the Marine Corp marathon in October and I run 5 days a week, strength train 2x a week, and swim 2x a week. I think swimming is great cross training because it's a full body workout. Biking works different muscles in your legs than running, but it's still lower-body intensive. I suggest swimming twice a week and cutting back the biking to once a week. Definitely still do weights.

Oh, and here's the training schedule I'm using for my marathon... h_2.html

What training plan are you using? Good luck!!!
Oh and oops I read your post again and see that you're not asking advice lol. Sorry, I hope I didn't sound pretentious!!

Anyway here are my goals:

Lose 5 more pounds Stick to my training schedule Compete in a very short sprint triathlon in August

As far as nutrition goes, how can you get by with only eating 1450-2200 calories a day??? I hope it's closer to 2200 on most days. My stomach is a bottomless pit, lol. I seriously wake up in the middle of the night with my stomach growling. I eat constantly and can never seem to get hungry. Oh, and the weight keeps on coming off even though I'm not restricting food intake. I bet you don't have to restrict your calories and you'll lose weight anyway.
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Hi jcl76!

Don't worry about your recommendations its perfectly OK! :)

I have a professional personal trainer, he used to be an elite runner and triathlete, and he is quite reliable, the reason I'm running 4 times a week is that in July and august i have Olympic distance triathlon events and in November I'm doing a half iron distance event and can't afford to stop biking altogether, in 3 or 4 weeks I will probably be doing 2 running sessions a day 2 times a week, so It Will really be 6 running sessions.

In terms of nutrition, unfortunately I'm not the kind of athlete that lbs just melt away with training (I have been competing in tris and road races for many years)  If I eat more that 2200- 2600 cals i just maintain, if more that 2600 I gain, stupid metabolism... for the first months of my diet I ate around 1400cals every day being very careful about time and nutrition it worked and I was able to complete several races feeling excellent. This is not for every one this is what worked for me.

I did read your other post regarding muscle loss, and in my particular case I have managed to gain 5lbs of muscle since August, and lose only fat, I go to a nutritionist that has a high tech body scale and I go every 5 weeks so I have all my progress in print, I know no one is supposed to be able to build muscle while on a calorie restrictive diet, but I have, I started with 37% body fat and now I'm 18.5%, started with 63lbs of muscle and now I have 68.2lbs.

My time objective for Chicago its based on my current race times, and the estimations my coach is making, this is actually my first marathon, I have done many half marathons and odd distance races like 26.2k, but never a marathon, so I'm very excited, I live in Mexico city and we have wonderful altitude for training, this gives us an edge when racing at sea level.

What are your time goals for your marathon? how many marathons have you done before?

I'm a rookie...this will be my first marathon!!! I actually was peer pressured into doing it by my roommate, who wanted me to do it with her. I said what the hell, lol.

I did my first triathlon in was the shortest triathlon I've ever heard of, though lol. It was a 350m swim, 12mi bike, 2 mi run. Swimming is my best - I swam competitively in high school, but a 350m is so short I wasn't able to get much of a head start anyway. I did fine on the biking, and did 8:26 minute miles on the running part. Running is my worst!! I figured a marathon would be a great way for me to improve on my running and endurance. I think I can hold about 8:30 minute mile pace for about 10 miles, but I haven't yet run more than that so I don't know. Honestly, I'd be quite happy with 10 minute miles. We'll see, though.

Congrats on the 18.5% body fat!!! I'm looking to lower mine, as well. That's encouraging that you gained muscle. I'm starting weights so hopefully that will help. Question - do you take a protein supplement? Do you think that will help me gain muscle?

Anyway, I might be bugging you with more questions, especially about triathlons. They are just so much fun! After I finish my marathon in October, I'm planning on doing an Olympic triathlon. Then maybe a half Ironman the following year, we'll see :)
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Jcl congrats on your first triathlon, they are so much fun, and soo adictive, I think you will do great in your marathon, I do take protein suplements, In the morning for breakfast a protein shake (pure protein whey twin labs) and mid morning snack a proteinplus MET-RX bar, I find this bars to taste good and gave 32gr protein so by noon I have eaten about 50-60gr of protein, then lunch and dinner take care of the rest with a lean meat like chicken, fish or beans, I do not eat beef, usualy I get around 120-140gr of protein a day.

Take care

I will gladly help with any tri questions you have


I am training for the Philadelphia Marathon which is Nov 22nd! It will be my 3rd marathon.  I've done a few halfs, my most recent finishing in 1:51:24.  I think I could have done better though.  As I live in Boston, my goal is to run a qualifying time, so I am looking to finish somewhere in your range.

It sounds like both of you ladies do quite a bit more working out than I do, and also a lot more calorie watching.  I average probably 2,000-2,200 a day.  I am 5'10'' and approx 150-154 lbs (haven't weighed in awhile).  I am following Hal Higdon's advanced I training plan, but my "real" 18 wk program doesn't begin until July 20th, so for now I generally run something like this:

Monday-off or XT

Tues- 3-4 miles

Wed- 8.5 miles

Thurs- 4 miles

Fri- off

Saturday- *if I'm not hungover, which is rare! 3-5

Sunday- 5-12

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dplatzer, nice to have another marathon trainer around :), I train hard because as I said before I have a couple of triathlons before the marathon, also I'm a little compulsive about training your approach is probably healthier than mine, the reason I'm watching my cals is that I'm in the final process of losing a lot of weight, for a while (like 4 years )I used to be the really big athlete, and really slow. And hated it, so finally I'm almost where I want to be in terms of weight so I can race faster.

My last half was 3 weeks ago and did 1:49, I was happy with that time, thinking I have enough time to improve.

Hope to hear back from you.



I'm training for Whistlestop that same weekend.  I'm trying something different this go around.. instead of beating my brains out training I am going to get down to an optimum weight.  I PR'd at 177 three years ago at Chicago.  My goal for this one is to train less and try to run it at 175.  I let my weight get a bit out of hand and went up to 195.. it really slowed me down.

I'm using to CC to make sure I get enough protein and the right balance of carbs.

My mix has been about 21% protien, 23% fat and 56% carbs with about 2,200 calories a day.  At that rate I shed weight pretty quickly.


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Hi Kent

I don't know how much you workout but I would probably increase the protein and lower the carbs, to lose more efficiently and avoid losing  muscle, but mainly I think that Training properly has no substitute, obviously if you weigh less you can run faster, but you definitely need to train.

What was your PR?


For this marathon I'm going to try to average about 50-55 MPW.  My PR was in 2005 at Chicago where I ran 3:25.  I need to run 3:35 now to BQ.  In 2005 I was at a recent low and only weighed 177.  I would like to get down to 175.  I'm not doing much for speed work.  I need to add some tempo runs to my normal week.  Not sure I can get down to 3:35 as I was only running about 25 MPW from January through May.  Now that I've lost 8 I can feel things coming back.  The next couple long runs will tell me a lot!


Hi again

I think I can help a little in terms of weight loss and training, if you see my profile you will see I have lost 50lbs in the past year, i have always exercised a lot but despite burning 2000 calories in a workout I managed to eat them back and more thinking I could because I exercised so much, long story short weight management for athletes is 80% diet and 20% physical activity. I strongly recommend you find that magic calorie intake number where you lose and feel energetic through the day.

I always eat before and immediately after my workouts, that is key! and please try to eat 45-40% protein, 25% fat and the rest in carbs you will notice a huge difference in how you feel and start to look.

I'm running 45-50 mpw plus 2 bike and 2 swim sessions and I have to admit I'M TRIED! but feel good, marathon training is very intense, only 79 days left!

Hello... How do you get that much protein?  What foods??  I've been getting between 90-130 grams a day.  I like grilled chicken which is great protein. 


Hello all.

Currently I am just trying to get through the summer heat in South Louisiana and keep my base miles up but will start my training cycle around the end of August.

The first race is just to pace my wife through her first Half and that is December. Then I plan to BQ in February at the Mardi Gras Rock and Roll Marathon. I BQed back in 2007 by running a 3:15:29  and that took alot out of me. I only had 30 seconds to spare. This time around I will get an extra 5 minutes due to turning 40. My dilemma is my plans to run an ultra in March. I have bridged between races before but the ultra is a 130mile race that I will be doing with three other team members. That means I have a 32 mile leg of the race. I have done 50ks so the distance is not my concern my concern is that they are just two weeks apart.

What is the groups thoughts on this  is it just to close? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Hey running man, I feel ya on the summer heat. I also live in South Louisiana (baton rouge) and it's absolutely brutal. every now and then I cheat and go to the gym and run on the treadmill or elliptical :)

Yeah, your two races are very very close. I wouldn't be able to do it, but if you've done those kind of distance races before then maybe you'll be fine.

This actually leads me to another much recovery time do you take after completing a marathon? Mine's in October, and I was hoping to do an Olympic triathlon after the New Year. Should I do a full week of complete rest, or 2 weeks? And then slowly build up again?

Another thing...I'm so jealous of all of you who have qualified for Boston or who are very close to it! I can't imagine ever doing that. How long did yall run for before qualifying?

How long do yall stretch before/after a run?

Hey jcl I live just outside of Baton Rouge and do alot of my long runs out at the lakes,

I may be different but I normally will only take about 2 to 3 days off after a marathon depending on how much effort I put out for my race but I will run easy for a week or two after.I truly think it just depends on how you feel everyone is differant. As far as stretching I will only do about 20 minutes of light stretching before a run but after I do not do very much at all.

I qualified on my third marathon but actually it was my first try to actually qualify.

Hello to all!

Kent, for protein I do take protein suplements like a shake or a protein bar, andI eat chicken, fish and eggs also low fat cotage cheese its very high in protein.

Running-man I also have the same dilemma I will run Chicago in October 11th and I'm planning on doing the Miami-man a half Iron distance triathlon on November 8th, my training is definitely focused on the marathon but I do really want to do a half this year. So I'm in the same boat, my thoughts are that if your body recovers well from the effort of a fast marathon you can probably pull it off, I think that I will register this coming week.

jcl the time between your events its enough to recover an train properly, no problem there... I  don't ever take 2 weeks of complete rest, my trainer likes to give me 2 max 3 days of full rest and then start with slow short runs, with 2 weeks of total rest you will lose fitness (i think).

I really try to strech for about 10minutes after I run, Its basic to avoid injuries I use  the Jim Wharton Method.

cool!! haha we could've passed each other running around the lakes and not have even known it! that's my favorite place to go running, i just live on the other side of town so it takes me 20 minutes to get there. I usually end up running in my neighborhood.

Man, you only take 2-3 days off? What about after your first marathon? I dunno, I feel pretty exhausted already, and my marathon isn't until October. I did a 14 mile run yesterday and it really pooped me out, haha. I'm doing a 16 mile run either Tuesday or Wednesday (haven't decided yet), and I'm dreading it!! Anyhow, I imagine I'll take at least a week off, but then again I'm not nearly as strong or in shape as you are!

I do not know about being strong right now I am simple trying to get through the summer then I will ramp up the training. I do not know if I could even run 16 miles right now in this heat .

I also do most of my running around my house but I do love to go out to the lakes for sure.

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