Running advice requested

I have committed to participate in a 8.5 mile (very hilly) race in November. This is a local “through the villages” race, where the winner will likely break 50 minutes. I have no illusions of getting anywhere near this. My personal target is to finish in 80 minutes. I did a dry run of the race route, which took me 1 hour 50, and I had to walk some of the route.

I am currently able to do 5.3 miles (slightly hilly) in 57 minutes. I am planning on increasing my route to 6 miles in August, 7 miles in September & 8 miles in October, I will be doing this 3 times a week I hope. Does this plan sound like it could succeed, or do I need to be doing more?

Any input appreciated.

You should be fine. Just remember to adhere to the “long run” concept. During the week, you can run as few as three or four miles each day, and once over the weekend run at your longest distance.

Each day meaning every day? Is there a version of this plan that only involves me doing 3 or 4 days a week?

I’m currently in a marathon training program for the second year in a row and the schedule we follow is shorter runs during the week and a long run on Saturday mornings. The schedule is as follows:

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Short run
Wednesday - Medium run
Thursday - Short run
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Long run
Sunday - Cross train (not running)

Good luck!

“Each day” meaning “Each day that you run.” Nobody needs to run more than four days a week, but I would also recommend cross-training on the days you don’t run.

Have you ever run a race before? Thanks to adrenaline and such-like, most people can run a race that’s twice the distance of their longest training run.* I bet you’re already able to finish your 8.5 mile race, and if you continue to build mileage and speed between now and November you should make quite a decent showing.
*Not including marathon distance. This rule of thumb limits at about the half-marathon mark.

Nope, never run a race before. I’m quite lardy (103 Kilos, 5’ 10"). The ulterior motive for this commitment is to shed some pounds.

As you mentioned that the course is hilly,be sure to do some of your running on similar hills. If you find thats more pounding than you can tolerate,try riding a bicycle without sitting on the seat. Good luck.

I followed a very good training plan from for my half-marathon. A few things that I think worked well in the plan are to always do your long runs, gradually build up your distance (meaning one week my long run might be 8 miles but the next week it’s back to 7 and the week after that back up to 8), and taper. It’s very tempting to keep training hard right up to race day but you’ll be much better off taking it easy 2-3 weeks before the race. Also, I read Runner’s World magazine and there are a lot of training plans which only require three days of running per week plus your long run (for a total of four days) which is totally doable when training for a 8.5-mile race.

You can check out for training plans although I find them a bit too technical for my taste. I like the plans that say “run X miles this week with a long run of Y miles” so that I have more flexibility to plan my own runs during the week.

Good luck!

You’re looking to do an average of about 9 1/2 minute miles, so that should be very doable. The key to training is not so much a particular program, but sticking to whatever you decide. It helps if you have a training partner, and if you mix things up a bit. Your training partner will help you not skip out on workouts.

If you build a good base, and you will do that if you start training now, then it’ll be a good idea to take it easy the week before the race. Do a nice long run the weekend before, and then maybe one or two shorter runs during the week.

Be sure to get some good running shoes, and carry some water with you on those longer runs so you don’t get dehydrated. You can buy some inexpensive water bottle straps that either fit around your hand or your waste at any decent sporting goods store.

Don’t get carried away at the start of the race-- most people will sprint out of the start and it’s easy to get swept up in the moment and burn out too fast. Just stick to your pace and don’t worry about people passing you-- chances are you’ll be passing most of them before the end of the race.