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I am wondering what marathon training program I should go with. This would be my first marathon. I have heard good things about Hal Higdons program...but was doing some reading and have looked at Galloway's Book of Running, and The Marathon Runners Handbook. Galloway stresses that it is important to run the full 26 miles during your training regime. Most of his training programs have you running that distance. Other sources say you really do not have to run the full distance during training. I am wondering what is the a good training program?? I have read about hitting the wall at 20 miles and grinding out the last six. Any advice would be much appreciated. My goal first and foremost is to finish....but ideally I would like to finish under 4 hours. But maybe I am wrong to set that goal??? Any insight would be great!!!

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First off, welcome aboard!

Second, I am not qualified to give advice since I've never run a marathon.

I know a few peeps here will chime in and give you excellent advice.

Sorry I couldn't help, but welcome!! :wavey:
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I want to train for my first marathon as you can see from my first post. Is anyone out there who can respond to my questions and give me some advice?? Would appreciate any posts with some advice!!!
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For your first marathon, I don't think you'd need to run the full 26 miles. Up to 22 would be the farthest I'd go.
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How about a bit of background Cooker.
What sort of time frame are you looking at ?
More important, what's your running history; how long have you been running; race experience; times, etc. ?
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i enjoy running but have never really committed to running a marathon but have always thought it would be a great challenge...and a satisfying achievement. i usually run in a couple of 5k runs every summer but never really have committed to running long distances(rarely run longer than a 10k).

i am looking for a marathon in september or october. and am thinking about the whistlestop marathon up in ashland, wi. any suggestions for other marathons in late fall would be appreciated. i feel like i have plenty of time to train until that point. as stated before, i would appreciate any advice on which training program i should follow. i typically run 5k's in 21-22 minutes.

i am not sure what other information would be helpful to you. i havent been running much over this past winter but i do cross country ski. so i am getting back into running now usually running 3-4 miles/run. i am slowing building up my mileage as spring progresses. Thanks to anyone who can help me with some advice!! I am kind of new to this forum stuff.
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Not many responses out there. I was hoping some experienced marathoners could give some advice to me on how best to train. Can anyone help me out?? Is there a way to get people to respond to this thread?? I am new to these forums...how do i get more feedback?? Please look at my previous posts for my questions. Thanks!!!
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Sorry Cooker, see my comments in Mid Packers
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There is no one BEST way to train - the best way to train is what works best for you! There are a gazillion training programs out there - you need to decide on your goal for the race (finish, certain time, qualify for Boston?), then determine how much effort/time you can put into training - there are 3x per week programs (FIRST, I think it's called), then there are 7x per week programs - programs that include cross-training, programs that are all running.
All that said - I used a modified Hal Higdon for my first Half, then a program given to me by a coach that knew me well that called for 1 off day (no running), 3 easy days, 1 day of heavy speedwork, 1 tempo run, and 1 long slow distance - it worked for me!
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What program you use probably depends on what you are looking to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. It also depends on how strong your base training is.

Personally, I like Hal Higdon's program. There is no best way and I don't feel that you have to run a full 26.2 to finish the marathon. But the stronger you get in running and training the easier it will be.

If you are already comfortable running 4-5 times a week at 3-4 to the occasional 5 miles midweek and a 6-8 mile weekend run, you are probably ready to begin a novice level program. This assumes your sole goal is to finish. If you start basing your primary goals off of time, I can't really help you except that you'd need a stronger base of running and perhaps racing to help determine what is possible/realistic for your first marathon.
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I am tapering for my first marathon and my longest run was 23 miles. I hit the wall on a previous run of 21 miles because I did not hydrate enough. My 23 miler was a piece of cake compared to the 21 because I did hydrate.

I do not think it is necessary to run the full 26.2. As a matter a fact, a local marathoner recommended to me not to run 23, but just 20. My 23 miler was a good day, I could have easily ran 26.2 but was it necessary? No. But we are all different, the 23 miler gave plenty of confidence for the run.

Best of Luck.
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My sugestion.Increase weekly mileage every week by cca 2 miles.One long run can be max. 30% of weekly mileage.Every 3 or 4 week you have to decrease mileage by 30% be cause recovery.Once in week you can run 6.50 per mile,slow run in 9 min. and very long run in 9 to 10 min. mile
I am open to questions.
I am from abroad,sorry for my bad English.
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