Marathon panicking

Any advice welcome... I'm not sure what I should do.. I've a place in the Snowdonia marathon for 27th October, and keep getting sick! I've had a chest infection that knocked me out for a couple of weeks and lost me two long runs and a tendon problem that knocked another one out.

Longest run was 13 miles on Saturday and I'm not that far off schedule in reality, biggest problem is that I'm soooo very tired and each long run is a major struggle - I just feel as though I was OK that day it would be much easier, 12 miler was a nightmare, nearly gave up at three as felt so dreadful, 13 miler had to virtually walk the last two miles in due to stomach pains!

Is this normal? Or have I just been overtraining and am not up to this amount yet and my body's telling me I'm just being damn stupid?

Should postpone this until next year, and look for another one in April next year and build up much more slowly?

or .. should I expect it to be like this, and buckle down for the next 9 weeks!!! I'm using the Universal FIRST plan which seems to be good - three times a week feels ok with the lots of cross training.

Sorry if this seems like a moan - one minute I'm beating myself up for being wimpy and forcing myself to get on with it, followed by a minute later of "what are you doing to yourself - there's always another race". What's people experiences of their first marathon training??


  • Hi Toomuchtodo, sorry I dont know the answer to your problem, but I hope it shouldnt be like this, because it would put me right off trying to run a marathon in the future.  Sounds like you are worn out, but I'm no expert on this subject.. just a newbie!

    Good luck if you do the marathon - sounds like you have certainly taken on a huge task!


  • ScreamScream ✭✭✭

    Do the marathon but change your schedule.  Why not try tagging on to the last nine weeks of the RunnerWorld schedule on the blue training tab above?

    A few questions:

    I assume you're just wanting to get around and not pushing for any time?

    What do you mean by lots of cross-training?

    Sure enough, marathon training and running is tough but achievable if you find the right schedule.  Definitely don't give up though - as long as you have the long runs in you should be alright on the actual day as your adrenelin will keep you going.

  • Getting around would be just fine - however it is a tough marathon (didn't see that when I got all giddy about it)..

    Swimming 2 - 3 times a week, to get the cross training in, but get off my feet too, with the FIRST plan (which is on Runnersworld and as been recommended by a few people) you are supposed to do two hard cross training sessions as well as the three run days.

     The problem is the long run's - I feel soo bad during and after, I'm a bit bewildered if it is supposed to be this hard or if its just me not up to it.  The cross training and the speed/tempo sessions up to 7 miles I've really enjoyed.  I'm not sure if I'm also getting the nutrition right, maybe dehydration could a possible problem?  How much water should I be taking with me - I've got a 500ml bottle that I fill with Lucozade sport and make it last?  I've been having a carb gel at an hour in, but do I need more?  I've only ever done a half marathon once before so the distance is a complete mystery as to what I should be doing, and if I'm doing it all wrong and causing more pain than I need to.  Or if I need more time on my feet to build up to this and maybe would be best to postpone Snowdonia until next year, and find a flat one to aim for in April next year instead (or a flat one in october I can shuffle around!)..

    Just all a bit confused now! 

  • ScreamScream ✭✭✭

    I wouldn't recommend cross training three times a week.

    Make sure you're drinking enough before you start your long runs as fluid takes around 90 minutes to be absorbed.

    Try dropping one or two of the swim sessions, allowing more time for recovery.

  • Hi TMTD, I'm doing the same program as you but I don't do any cross- training at all. I picked that schedule as I can only train around 3 times per week and as far as I'm aware the cross-training is optional, so perhaps you could either drop that or reduce the number of sessions?
  • Hmm I could drop the swimming, however I suspect that won't make that much difference as its more recovery help than a session.  Screamdelica - I suspect you might be right - going to give it a go this weekend, extra water well beforehand, extra gels etc. I have a feeling I've been forcing myself out when I've not really been well enough to cope with the extra strain and wondering why I'm half dead. 

    PQ - cross training aside - how have you found the increase in mileage?  Are you ok afterwards or are they really straining you?  Have you missed any sessions? 

    Thanks guys image

  • Are you doing the long runs slowly enough Toomuch?  I know that the only long run I really suffered on during mara training was my 16 miler - when I set off too fast, and managed 13 miles in more or less my HM PB!  And then died completely.

     But the ones I did properly slowly, with walk breaks for gels etc, were absolutely fine, even up to 23 miles.

     if you've been ill thats really not going to help either - take it easy, rest more and make sure you do the key sessions.

    i wouldn't make a decision yet - you've still got time to feel better.  but don't kill yourself either!image

  • Thanks Treacle image  How's you doing?

    How much water are you drinking?  I suspect its dehydration that is also a problem on top of the illness... I guess I worry about needing to pee so probably don't take as much as I need too!

    As much as I would love to go slower I'm already running at snail's pace and any slower and I could walk it! 

    Am swayed by the fact I also have a place in the GNR again and may take this up and use all the speed/tempo sessions to good use and really knock some time of last year's time.

  • TMTD - I'm finding it ok so far having done 6 weeks of it, though I know it's set to get harder.  I usually recover quite quickly, I just feel tired for the rest of the day that I've done the LSR on but haven't missed any sessions. I know I've been lucky so far as I tend to come down with a lot of colds so I'm hoping I can get through the next 10 weeks the same.
  • TMTD, are you sleeping properly? As you are no doubt aware, you're putting your body through a lot, so resting properly is a must. 

    I also agree with Treacle, make sure you are taking enough on board when doing your LSR. During one of the LSRs I did for London I failed to take this advice and suffered!

    I'd also suggest that you use the training schedule as a guide rather than a bible. You'll suffer more trying to eek out every last bit of the program when really you need to be doing something different.  Listen to your body.


Sign In or Register to comment.