General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard? Rss Feed  
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2013-10-04 1:15 PM
in reply to: Jtiger

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?

Not happy to read the unanimous opinions!   I did a century (or close to it... 90 miles) this year, thought it was very tough.  Way tougher than my half marathon.

Now I'm signed up for a full marathon in June.   I think I'll stop reading this thread.  Smile



2013-10-04 1:18 PM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by msteiner
Originally posted by Left Brain

100 miles on a bike....piece of cake

26.2 miles running.... slice of hell.

This.  You can BS a century.  You will have a much rougher time BS'ing a marathon.

Totally.

In fact I BSed a double century (over two days) and was fine. 

2013-10-04 1:23 PM
in reply to: Jtiger

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by Jtiger

Originally posted by happyscientist

I have never run a marathon, but I think centuries (unless they are incredibly hilly) are easier than half marathons. I can ride all day and never get tired. That isn't the case with running.


Then you aren't riding hard enough.

Maybe it's a matter of individuality. I can lay off running but because I've run so many half marathons I could go out there and run one now. Obviously it wouldn't be a PR since I laid off. A marathon on the other hand is far harder than a half marathon.

A century on flat ground is not to bad IF you trained for it a little so you can not have saddle sores and such. If your long rides are 25 miles then you are in for a world of hurt and misery.

I proved that this season with the three century rides I've done. One was VERY flat but VERY hot. I cramped up at mile 20 and it stuck with me the rest of the ride. The other one was VERY hilly but good temps. My long ride had been about 40 miles. I was very lazy this summer and it showed up on the century rides.

I saw so many people getting rides back to the finish on the SAG wagon.


In my last century, I averaged more than 18 mph on the hills of WV. I even took a side trip because I wanted to check out a town I had never been in. That was a week after doing the MS150, where I remember being disappointed that my average was just a hair under 20 mph. I can knock out 100 miles a day on a heavy touring bike carrying camping gear. Tomorrow I need to go ride to work and run some errands. It will end up being between 60 and 70 miles on the 35 lb touring bike (so I can carry stuff). Centuries are easy. Running is much harder.

I think we all have natural proclivities, and mine is the bike.
2013-10-04 1:24 PM
in reply to: audiojan

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?

Originally posted by audiojan I agree with most other posts... A century is truly not that difficult (it a challenge, but very much doable by most, even if you would be undertrained), a marathon is quite a different story. I would say that the only way a century could be close to the agony of a marathon would be if it had LOTS of long and steep climbs and only then if the marathon was flat... To match the marathon, I think you would need to look at a double-century...

I'm not sure this would be enough to level things out. I've done one fairly flat marathon (Marine Corps) and one hilly century (8k+ ft climbing). Both slow.  The century was a piece of cake in comparison, especially in terms of recovery. 

2013-10-04 2:31 PM
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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by RussTKD

When the world's greatest runners can do 26.2+ miles a day, 7 days a week for 3 weeks, at a competitive pace every day, I'll think marathons are easier.

 

But they don't.  Nor can they.

Don't some people do this though. Like this hike of the PCT. 

http://www.irunfar.com/2013/09/doing-what-she-most-wants-to-do-heather-andersons-pacific-crest-trail-fkt.html

Or crazy ultra races

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Transcendence_3100_Mile_Race



Edited by jeng 2013-10-04 2:38 PM
2013-10-04 2:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?

For the record, I have no idea if they are equally hard. I have never and probably will never run a marathon. I do 100 mile rides many times each year, with no specific training or much forethought. However, I have walked the distance of a marathon with no training and not much effort either. So I completely agree that the pace matters.



Edited by jeng 2013-10-04 2:33 PM


2013-10-04 2:42 PM
in reply to: RussTKD

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by RussTKD

When the world's greatest runners can do 26.2+ miles a day, 7 days a week for 3 weeks, at a competitive pace every day, I'll think marathons are easier.

 

But they don't.  Nor can they.




Dean Karnazes comes to mind Ran 50 marathons in all 50 states in 50 consecutive days in 2006.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Karnazes

I think mere mortal would collapse after 2 days. lol.
2013-10-05 11:19 PM
in reply to: Tmanishere

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
It's unanimous.

Done both. There's something that happens around Mile 16-20 depending on where your glycogen levels are when you're running. It's the end. Every step thereafter hurts a little bit.

Dean Karnazes himself would tell you a century's easier than a Marathon and he can run a marathon before breakfast and another after lunch.

There's SOMEONE who's gonna pop up on this thread who doesn't know how to ride a bike without training wheels and say a Marathon's easier. God bless you when you post.
2013-10-05 11:41 PM
in reply to: dswezey

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?

I've done both.  Marathon much more painful than a century. 

And- if you're going to ask, a Marathon is tougher than a 70.3 Tri as well.

2013-10-06 7:06 AM
in reply to: Jtiger

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
I showed up rode a hilly century yesterday. My last "long ride" was Savageman 3 weeks ago.

Today, I am walking around, feeling about 7/10. If I had done a marathon equally unprepared, I wouldn't be able to walk properly for a week.

(Note, it may be the difference between a century "ride" and a marathon "race".)
2013-10-06 8:49 AM
in reply to: dswezey

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
In terms of the amount of effort expended, I'll say they're about even. An old comparison I've heard is that 4 miles on the bike=1 mile of running, so that puts a century ride at about 25 miles. However, I'd say that a marathon is more difficult due to the pounding the legs and feet take in comparison to the bike. I've definitely needed more recovery time after a marathon than a century ride.


2013-10-06 10:19 AM
in reply to: dswezey

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Agree w/ the century being easier. I've ridden Savannah to Augusta (142 mi) 8 times. A couple times training was less than optimal but did it. Average 18mph....I've trained for the rock and roll 1/2 and done it 2x....I find that just as tough as 140 on the bike. I haven't (seriously) contemplated a marathon, mostly b/c I like the bike and just manage to put up w/ the running. I respect the people that knock out multiple marathons.
2013-10-06 10:34 PM
in reply to: Rad-Onc PA

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
My limited experience is all races, done as fast as you can, suck really quite bad as you get closer to the end. Until the point they start sucking quite bad it is all about pacing. After the point they start sucking quite bad it is about those things that we all know about.

I haven't run that many times as fast as I can, but when I have I found there was no difference in a 5k, 10k, HM or Marathon other then the length of time, proportional to the distance of the race, that you are balled up into a tight white ball of hurt.

I haven't raced a bike ever, I rode as fast as I could a couple times for 10-40k, those times sucked quite bad.

What makes it hard is not the toll on the body, it is the toll on the mind.

2013-10-07 6:44 AM
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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
I think most of my 5Ks have been more difficult then the centuries I have completed.

It seems in most of the century rides I have done, you get in a big pack and get pulled along at 20+ mph. You might get an occasional stint up front, but they are usually pretty brief.

Running a 5K at +90% of your max heart rate for 20 minutes seems to put a lot more stress on the body. I don't recall every being sore after a century, but have been after a few 5Ks where I really pushed it.





Edited by rventuri 2013-10-07 6:45 AM
2013-10-07 6:45 AM
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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by Hoos

Not happy to read the unanimous opinions! I did a century (or close to it... 90 miles) this year, thought it was very tough. Way tougher than my half marathon.

Now I'm signed up for a full marathon in June. I think I'll stop reading this thread. Smile




A half marathon is not comparable to a full. A half is like 30% of a full. Funny things happen to your body after 30km of running when you're not used to it. It's amazing though, good luck with the marathon.

Originally posted by Tmanishere



Originally posted by RussTKD

When the world's greatest runners can do 26.2+ miles a day, 7 days a week for 3 weeks, at a competitive pace every day, I'll think marathons are easier.

 

But they don't.  Nor can they.




Dean Karnazes comes to mind Ran 50 marathons in all 50 states in 50 consecutive days in 2006.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Karnazes

I think mere mortal would collapse after 2 days. lol.


Dean admits that he isn't very fast though, he can just keep going. There are much more extreme races out there. Trible-deca (30) ironman in Italy. 700k runs through show and cold, the Badwater ultra... 50 marathons in 50 days is really cool but compared to some of the other crazy stuff people do it does pale a bit.

Edited by Dnn 2013-10-07 6:45 AM
2013-10-07 11:36 AM
in reply to: rventuri

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by rventuri

I think most of my 5Ks have been more difficult then the centuries I have completed.


oh jeez. a 5K harder than a century?

now we're getting a little carried away.


2013-10-07 11:42 AM
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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by Bunsbert Montcroff

Originally posted by rventuri

I think most of my 5Ks have been more difficult then the centuries I have completed.


oh jeez. a 5K harder than a century?

now we're getting a little carried away.


Really? Why?

There is nothing overly taxing about riding a 100 miles if you stay protected in large group most of the time. I have done a few where my average HR at the end was in the high 120s (my max is approx. 195). All of the centuries I have completed were basically charity rides not races, so I guess if they were 100 mile road/TT races, then I agree my statement would be ridiculous.

I did a very hilly 5K not so long ago and my HR averaged 187 ... yes it was only for 20 minutes, but it still seemed a helluva lot more difficult than being towed around in a group for 5 hours. Just because the century involves a lot of time in the saddle doesn't necessarily make it more difficult.

Edited by rventuri 2013-10-07 11:52 AM
2013-10-07 11:52 AM
in reply to: morey000

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by morey000

I've done both.  Marathon much more painful than a century. 

And- if you're going to ask, a Marathon is tougher than a 70.3 Tri as well.




Now this is really a good argument. I have done countless Marathons, two Half IM's and one Full IM. I am not sure if a Marathon is always tougher than a 70.3. I would say that an open marathon and a 70.3 are pretty equivalent. The Full IM though, THAT is truly a slice of hell.
2013-10-07 12:11 PM
in reply to: Lock_N_Load

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
There is clearly reason why the run follows the bike leg in triathlons. Better yet, why a marathon follows a 112 mile bike ride. Running, even though many find it more refreshing, is more tasking than cycling.
2013-10-07 5:53 PM
in reply to: dswezey


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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
What happens more? A century followed by a marathon or a marathon followed by a century? No one's doing ANYTHING with their body after running a marathon.
2013-10-08 7:32 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by happyscientist

Originally posted by Jtiger

Originally posted by happyscientist

I have never run a marathon, but I think centuries (unless they are incredibly hilly) are easier than half marathons. I can ride all day and never get tired. That isn't the case with running.


Then you aren't riding hard enough.

Maybe it's a matter of individuality. I can lay off running but because I've run so many half marathons I could go out there and run one now. Obviously it wouldn't be a PR since I laid off. A marathon on the other hand is far harder than a half marathon.

A century on flat ground is not to bad IF you trained for it a little so you can not have saddle sores and such. If your long rides are 25 miles then you are in for a world of hurt and misery.

I proved that this season with the three century rides I've done. One was VERY flat but VERY hot. I cramped up at mile 20 and it stuck with me the rest of the ride. The other one was VERY hilly but good temps. My long ride had been about 40 miles. I was very lazy this summer and it showed up on the century rides.

I saw so many people getting rides back to the finish on the SAG wagon.


In my last century, I averaged more than 18 mph on the hills of WV. I even took a side trip because I wanted to check out a town I had never been in. That was a week after doing the MS150, where I remember being disappointed that my average was just a hair under 20 mph. I can knock out 100 miles a day on a heavy touring bike carrying camping gear. Tomorrow I need to go ride to work and run some errands. It will end up being between 60 and 70 miles on the 35 lb touring bike (so I can carry stuff). Centuries are easy. Running is much harder.

I think we all have natural proclivities, and mine is the bike.


I agree completely. Mine is the bike too. Running I like but I'm not fast usually around 9:30 to 10:00 min per mile but I'll average 18mph on a flat century even though I had cramping issues for 80 miles of it.

On a run I'm just so injury prone.

In fairness to running you never stop unless you stop unlike a bike but I think climbing is harder on a bike as compared to a run. Maybe it's just a personal thing.


2013-10-08 10:36 AM
in reply to: Jtiger

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?

Now that it's been said before, I'll repeat it

It all depends on pace, course, weather, and training. Apples to apples, a flat century without stopping is going to be easier than a flat marathon without stopping. It takes a lot more training to complete a marathon than it does a century.

I've done a bunch of marathons, none of them were easy. There are a couple where I did feel really good afterwards, but in general I was happy they were over. And I sure didn't feel like running afterwards. I have done charity rides of 100 miles which were not hard and afterwards have then ridden home from the finish.

2013-10-08 11:31 AM
in reply to: Lock_N_Load

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Subject: RE: Marathon or Century. Different but equally hard?
Originally posted by Lock_N_Load

Originally posted by morey000

I've done both.  Marathon much more painful than a century. 

And- if you're going to ask, a Marathon is tougher than a 70.3 Tri as well.




Now this is really a good argument. I have done countless Marathons, two Half IM's and one Full IM. I am not sure if a Marathon is always tougher than a 70.3. I would say that an open marathon and a 70.3 are pretty equivalent. The Full IM though, THAT is truly a slice of hell.


A marathon is much harder than a century.

A marathon is roughly equal to a half IM - it comes down to the course as to which is harder (hills, heat, etc.)
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