Slow Overweight Runner w Goals

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    Hi all,

    I’m looking for a little advice on plans. I bought the Marathon 0 plan – I’ve been running my whole life on and off but more consistently the past 4 months. Running for 30 minutes isn’t a problem (prerequisite), but the first long run of this plan is 6.2 miles. My long run is more like a 4.5-5 mile right now.

    I’m a plodder, trying to stay in Zone 2, and become a runner again. Achilles can be a recurring annoyance so i’m incorporating a strength plan as well and going very slow. 15lbs of weight loss is a part of the plan as well.

    Maybe backing up to 5 or 10k is smarter? A marathon within a year is my big goal.

    Thanks all, K

    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by kacyb6.
    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by kacyb6.

    Coaches can provide specific guidance regarding plan selection.

    You might find Matt’s most recent blog post insightful

    You want to do more despite a recurring achilles problem, you run off and on, and you have found a “groove” and are recently displaying consistency. Why have you run off and on in the past, and how did you become consistent lately?

    Your goal is a year away and you have chosen as short-term race plan. With one year to prepare you have a lot of options. I’ll leave it to the coaches to give you guidance.

    We’ve all been on that path, asking for more than we are ready for, only to fail. Fix the issues that lead to failure; it’s easy if you are patient.



    Hi – I resemble that remark! Am also working towards a first marathon although in my case after 25 years of not running beyond the bus stop. I’ve been in training for 7 months and have 4 to go. I have also had achilles/calf and now periforms issues and lost 30lb so far (want to lose another 15 too). Oh – and I’m a plodder too.

    My observations – FWIW:
    – a marathon is achievable
    – “Zone 2” will vary as your fitness changes – follow the guides to testing regularly and resetting your zones. I think if you’ve picked your pace now and are just trying to reach the end then you may miss the opportunity to go faster at the same time.
    – I bought a Stryd footpod and run to power now – I find that with little experience on what to expect, controlling my training to prevent over (or under) training is far simpler with this device rather than HR or pace which I find can vary wildly depending on many factors
    – invest in a few programs here (or subscriptions). Either talk to the coaches or on the forum but map out your year backwards. Start the Marathon 0 plan 18 weeks before the race. 10 weeks before that maybe do the speed enhancer program. Before that maybe one of the mile builder programs or a weight loss one. 8020 has lots of programs that you can string together to reach your goal. Definitely don’t start a Marathon program of 18 weeks 52 weeks before the race and just keep repeating it. In that time you could probably do a 5k then a 10k then a half then a full program with less risk of injury caused by the jump from 5 to 6.2 miles and with steady progression off a decent fitness base
    – add in the mobility and strength add-ons to programs. I only just discovered they existed and both (2 gym sessions and 2 dedicated stretching sessions a week) are improving my injury prone-ness as well as awareness of my body.
    – find a join a run club – for the company, advice and enjoyment of sharing your accomplishments with people who understand.

    Hope this is of use and good luck!


    If you are training for a marathon then a marathon plan is the right choice, if not then I would recommend a goal focused or lower volume plan to get started with to build up your resilience and reduce the risk of injury. Consider adding a strength program if you are working on body composition.



    Hi Leyla – if Kaycyb6 is considering a “Marathon within a year” then surely he wouldn’t start a marathon plan until 18 weeks out? Should spend the next 34 weeks building strength, distance and speed. Otherwise they peak in 18 weeks and then what?


    Sorry If I wasn’t clear – I was stating that if you are training for a marathon then a marathon plan is the right choose (ie you have a race date and now specifically training for that distance) before that its better to choose appropriate plans for where you are – so if you are just getting started – a starting back/starting out plan is ideal, if you are working on body composition then a “racing weight plan” is great, want to then start with a 10k, pick a 10 k plan and so on. You choose the plan now for where you are in your training, not the plan for where you want to be in year.


    Thanks, Leyla! This was a big help. 🙂

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