My dad's 1st marathon

by Ash
(Yuma, Arizona, USA)

I have run over 15 marathon and several other races of various distances. I am currently helping my dad (62)train for his first marathon. He began running again about a year ago and ran a half marathon 4 months ago(2:59). I made him a training schedule and he is currently running 4 days per week including a long run. We are about 6 weeks out and he is having a little difficulty with the long miles. He has a physical job with very long days and we live where it is very hot (SW Arizona). His energy level is low and is too tired when it comes to running his long runs. Do you have any tips that might help? He (and I) are too stubborn to quit but I don't want to push him to where his health or job is in jeopardy.

From Ash

I understand why you wouldn't want to give up on things now since you are only six weeks away from your big race. Hopefully one simple change to your running schedule can make a big difference for you. I aways suggest doing the long run on the weekend. Is it possible to work this long run in on early Sunday mornings (a day where he doesn't have to work). If possible, I also suggest running an easy run on Saturday.

If you are able to group two runs on the weekend, and then only have him run two of his other runs during the week, his physically demanding job won't be as much as a factor. Maybe schedule the runs on Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun.

Another option to consider is an idea that I got from Marius Bakken's 100 Day Marathon Plan. This plan stresses some longer run/walk workouts. The idea is that you don't have to run the entire long run, but you should be out there moving and on your feet for an extended period of time. It doesn't wear you out as much physically, and it prepares you mentally for the amount of time you will be on your feet for the marathon. Basically you run for a certain time period, walk for five minutes, run more, walk more, and finish with some running.

Can you also help him on his long runs as a far as giving him water or have him run a loop where he goes four to five miles, comes back for water, and then goes for another loop?

These are all ideas to hopefully keep you going. I hope one of them can help you continue marathon training. You're close. I don't want you to give in yet.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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