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wejo
co-founder
Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/21/2012 9:35PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Jedward which is apparently an Irish pop duo of identical twins, John and Edward, bandited the LA Marathon this past weekend on no training:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2116959/No-food-training-Jedward-manage-make-way-end-LA-marathon.html

That caused the BBC to write an article: Can You Run a Marathon on No Training?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17456672

So it got me thinking, what's the littlest training you've heard of for a marathon.

Related what's the fastest marathon you've heard of on very little training.

A guy I went to high school with ran a marathon in 3:30, maybe it was under 4 hours, and he didn't run more than 6 miles beforehand if I remember correctly.
not sure
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/21/2012 11:27PM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
my husband trained much less than me, does that count?

Curious, what time did the twins finished? Looks like they had a decent pace/jog b/c the commentator had a hard time keeping up with them and she looked like she was in good shape too.
coach d
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/21/2012 11:36PM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I remember 3 or 4 years ago, the local NBC station (KNBC) was interviewing certain people while the marathon was running. One person they talked to was a woman in the RW 3:30 pace group. She claimed to have done no running at all. Her entire training consisted of spinning. I have no idea of whether she was telling the truth or not.

If you go back some more years, you can find a fairly active thread for a time about a weightlifter who "trained" for a marathon by only weight lifting. As I recall, he ran something like 4:11 or 4:17--it was a bit over 4 hours. I'm sure somebody here other than me will remember this.
Not my usual name
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/21/2012 11:51PM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
People at the gyms I've worked at routinely went 5-6 hours with pretty much no running. I hesitate to count that though. My sophomore year in high school I ran a 2:54 off of 28 mpw and a single long run of 13 miles.
nameee
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 1:22AM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was recovering from an injury and signed up for the marathon as motivation--and I promptly reinjured myself the week after paying.

With no training (and no cross-training besides my daily 2 mile bike commute to school) and $85 in the hole, I decided to run it anyway, slow. I got to about 15 miles with the 4:15 running group before I felt a new pain in my knee, and by mile 17 I was walking 50% of the time. By mile 21 I was only walking.

I walked the final miles cause I wanted the medal really bad (which I got). I also wanted one of the free massages afterwards (which I was the first rejected cause they were breaking up shop).

I rode my bike a couple miles to the course thinking I could ride it back. Instead, I was carried into my friends car, up my stoop, and to my living room sofa. I couldn't walk the first day, and by day two I had upgraded to using a cane. I couldn't manage more than a shuffle for about a week- really slow, and really small steps, with a cane. My legs had a shooting pain ever step I took, and it didn't go away til about a month later (the sensation was similar to the burn of stabilizing muscles when you lift for the first time).

I still, 1.5 years later, have that injury return and I have to lay off running for awhile.
mlbfan24
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 1:35AM - in reply to nameee Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I ran one off of very little running, so not quite zero training. I signed up for the Long Beach marathon in June of 2010 (the race is in mid October), and broke my heal shortly after this. I didn't bother cross training and had basically written off the marathon as a loss, but after running 2 miles without pain about 4 weeks before the race, I decided I'd still jump in and shoot for a BQ (stupid idea). I ran weeks of 15, 27, and 70 (yes 70), then took off almost a week right before the race because that 70 mile week just about wrecked me.

So I jumped in the race and got out a little too fast. I was on 3:05ish pace through 10 or so and started feeling really good, so I picked it up and was on sub 3:00 pace through 16. During mile 17 I started feeling pretty lousy, and at 18 the cramps began. My calves, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, arms, shoulders - you name it, it cramped up. I was reduced to a slow jog and stopped numerous times to stretch. I ended up finishing in 3:26:25, but those final 8 miles were by far the most painful and miserable miles of my life. It took me a good 10-15 minutes just to get out of the finishing area and I was lying in the grass in pain for another 30 minutes trying to rehydrate.

Considering I do have a running background, and the fact that I got in 3 weeks of running beforehand, I'd say it's not a stretch to run a marathon off of minimal training. Just don't try to race the whole thing like I did.

As far as no running whatsoever, I guess it can be done if that person has been active in the past, but it'll have to be at a low intensity.
virginia runner
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 6:59AM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I imagine for a hs or college athlete with a good mileage bank, finishing a marathon is no problem. For anyone who puts in a 16 mile long run and like 30 miles a week, finishing a marathon is probably doable. Of course, this won't get you a good time. The better question is why would you want to do a marathon when you are so underprepared.
umbrella fight
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 7:29AM - in reply to virginia runner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
This thread should be called the dumba$s marathon running thread.
sub240
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 7:33AM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Wow, I don't even know where to start:

1. The article doesn't say what time those guys ran. Anyone should be able to finish a Marathon in 5-6 hours, if they're not disabled or really old
2. How did they get medals when they were running as bandits?
3. The definition of "no training" - what does it mean. Arguing that someone did a Marathon with no training runs longer than 6miles could still mean that guy ran 42mpw.
4. What about cross training? Someone who never "runs" but plays soccer three times a week probably still runs >10mpw

Ok now to the question if anyone can "run" a Marathon under 4 hours with no training. In this case, I will take the definition as "no running training" but some other physical activities, occasional bike ride, playing tennis once a week etc.

I believe I could run around 4h without training. And here it is how it would have come down:

First 10k: 50 min (easy)
Second 10k: 55 min, going thru the half in ~ 1:50h)
Third 10k: 60 min (run/walk)
Fourth 10k: 70min (2/3 fast walk, 1/3 run)
brit runner
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 7:52AM - in reply to sub240 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Not read the artical but Jedward did run club level over in Ireland until late teens.
eamon devalera
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 8:00AM - in reply to sub240 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Jedward ran just outside four hours - they were both reasonably good junior athletes until fairly recently.

(from 2008) In the U17/18/19 combined boys race, twins John and Edward Grimes secured 1st and 2nd positions respectively. What a great season these guys are having. John led the way and crossed the line just ahead of his brother who was in hot pursuit throughout. These performances underline the great talents we have on our hands. John has already gone under 17 mins for 5k this season, won the Lucan Harriers road championship and finished 2nd in round 1 of the league, while Edward was the first junior athlete to cross the finishing line in the Tom Byrne memorial road race in June and was runner up in the club championship race just a month ago. It's really great to see some of our older (young) athletes maturing into very good runners, Toirdealbhach Hopper and the Grimes twins to name just three. Well done to all.

http://www.lucanharriers.com/results_2008.html
I have.
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 8:22AM - in reply to eamon devalera Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have run 2 off of no training (unless you count a 5m run the week before the first one to break in a new pair of trainers?).

The first time was due to a mix-up (didn't know I had a place until a week out and I had stopped running 10 months previously), and as there was charity money riding on it........

Went through 20m inside a sub-3 pace (with VERY!!! erratic pacing :-) ), then popped my left hamstring and hobbled to the finish. The last 10k were around 16m/m pace to give me a 3:54 (and very painful too!).

Second time was 5 years later, by which time I was a heavy drinker and smoker, and hadn't exercised during that time, and was bet (after recounting the above) that I couldn't do it again. I won the bet, getting around in a nice even 4:04 and even managed to go clubbing/dancing that night.

I really was a sucker for stupid bets/doing stupid things generally when I was younger!

My younger brother ran 3:28 off an average of about 20mpw in the 6 months before one last year (but with nothing for the last 6 or 7 weeks of that).
sub240
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 8:40AM - in reply to eamon devalera Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The last two posts pretty much back up my statement. If you're a decently talented former runner, you could run around 4h with no training but the 2nd half would likely be very painful.

Now with no running background and no talent, you can still do it, but it's more likely going to be around 6h. Also very positive splits *lol*
warrior revolution
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 9:05AM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was an 18 year old college freshman out for an easy 4 or 5 mile run, which I did 4 or 5 times a week. It was the Wednesday before the Chicago Marathon and while waiting at a red light I saw a poster up for the marathon that Sunday. When I got back to the dorms I mentioned that my dad had run a marathon with almost no training. My dorm-mates started telling me that it couldn't be done.

So I signed up that Saturday (back in '97 it didn't sell out). I went out and "ran" 3:53 Never walked, although shuffled the last 8 miles near 10 minute pace, and I when it was over I couldn't jog a step for the following month.


As far as running a decent marathon off low mileage, I once run sub 3:00 in Chicago averaging about 35-40 miles a week. And my PB in Boston (2009, 2:48)was run averaging less than 50 miles a week.
joho
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 9:21AM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I ran my first marathon on very little training. I had just graduated HS and was running 3 or 4 miles a few times a week to keep some fitness before going to bootcamp. Some friends decided it would be smart to run a marathon because 'Hey, we all ran XC, how hard can it be?'

We finished. One guy ran sub 4 and 2 of us went just over 5 hours. I was on the couch for the next 3 days because my legs were SO F'IN SORE. I really did not know that muscules could hurt like that. That was over 20 years ago and I have finished 12 other marathons ranging in time from 4 hours to 2:55. I like to laugh about it now.

Live and Learn.
Mowgley
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 9:43AM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I ran my first marathon last year on no more than 20 miles a week for the 3 months leading up to it. I actually only had 3 20 mile weeks. I had a issue with my knee that wouldn' allow me to run more than 2 days in a row without it swelling up on me. And my knee could only handle runs of 5-7 miles. I decided to run it because I wanted to help pace my friend to a BQ(3:30). I knew I was a better runner than him, so I thought I could run at least 3:30. We made it to the Halfway mark right on time. That's when he started having issues and had to back off the pace. I was actually still feeling good and kept running 8:00 miles until about mile 23 when everything went to hell. Cramps in both legs to the point were I had a hard time even walking. Those last 3+ miles were torture. I finished in 3:47 and couldn't have been happier to be done. I know one thing, I won't run another marathon without being properly prepared again.
jzs1
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 3:40PM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
yeah its possible. I did almost zero training for the houston marathon, and ran 3:3x, so pretty solid considering. By almost no training I mean I did a single long run of 6 miles and probably a 20 min jog every other week or so. Maybe a bike ride here and there. Otherwise, I sit in an office all day. The one caveat is that I ran in college and had only stopped two years previously.
iRUNwithSCISSORS
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 5:48PM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
15 days off, then 4 weeks between 18 miles and 38 miles followed with a 2:45 marathon. (Could've gone faster but was pacing someone)
Ninetonite
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 5:59PM - in reply to iRUNwithSCISSORS Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Seriously, Wejo, since when did LetsRun become LetsRunners World?
Mikier
RE: Running a Marathon on No Training? 3/22/2012 6:00PM - in reply to iRUNwithSCISSORS Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
As mentioned about its pretty common knowledge among the running community in the UK and Ireland that Jedward were decent level club athletes until their late teens. I'm not 100 % sure if its accurate but heard one of them was a national 1500m champion medallist in Ireland with a PB in the 4.10 range.

No. 10 in the link mentions running.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/x-factor-top-10-all-you-423637
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