I want to do a marathon

I currently class myself as a "casual runner", I can run 10k and am relatively fit (cycle everyday to work etc.) but would like to do the Flora Marathon.
Firstly, how long do I need to train to be able to finish a half-marathon (I believe you have to have one of these under your belt first), and then how long to be able to finish a marathon comfortably (I'm not aiming for a brilliant time, just want to enjoy it).


  • You dont need a half marathon, but i expect it helps
    Id only really done a 10k before mine, though did maybe 12 miles in training
    Apparently 16 weeks i=s long enough
  • Latt year I started training 11 weeks before the FLM and completed it in 4:18:59 Hope to see you at the start. SB
  • Hi - I am trying to decide whether to enter the ballot for the marathon in 2003 - I know there is only a limited chance I will get in, but I wanted some advice on whether it is achieveable. I have done one 10k and am doing the Nike one in a few weeks - I have also done a couple of 5k runs this year. Other than that, I am pretty much a beginner and when I have mentioned the idea of marathons to friends/colleagues they have reacted as if I must be mad. Do you think that someone like me should attempt to do a marathon?
  • Go for it Karen - it's really not as hard as people think. Just build up your miles progressively, and get a few 20 mile runs in beforehand.

    See you there !
  • my best suggestion is to use the runnersworld pacers
  • Leading on from Nigel's comment about runners world pacers - i heard they are really fast so for those people who are likely to do the marathon slowly there isnt a pacer slow enough. Is that true? the same applies to the GNR


  • Zoe,

    They do have a "Get You Round Group" which aims for around 5 hours in the FLM. I know - they overtook me last year!
  • Try to do a LDWA Challenge Event or two during the Winter as a build up for your first marathon. They are great fun and well organised with plenty of refreshment stops and they do not seem like training
    Full details can be found on WWW.LDWA.ORG.UK
    Events are held every weekend and all over the country
  • I started running from scratch in Jun01 with the aim of completing FLM 02. In Oct01, with a previous maximum distance of 6miles, I completed the Great South Run (10miles).

    Didn't do a great deal of running Oct-Dec then got rejected in ballot and went for golden bond place.

    Started loosely following RW training schedules in January (which include a half marathon in around Feb/Mar)and successfully completed FLM in 4.58.01 AND enjoyed it.

    I was training three to four days per week, mostly steady runs, no fancy speed work or anything, just 4-5 miles three times per week and one steadily increasing long run.

    I read that if you can do 10miles by Christmas you can be ready for FLM in April.

    Go for it and enjoy. Hope to see you there.

    Oh and by the way, you'll get massive support on this forum which I suspect will get increasingly busy from December onwards!
  • Some people don't even start to train for the FLM until January as a new year resolution, so if you are starting now, you have a head start. Take it easy and you will be able to do it.
  • I WALKED at least half my marathon and still finished in 6 hours
    You can do it!
  • Go for it Karen,negative comments from those doubters around you should be all the incentive you need. Try following one of Runners Worlds schedules.
    Are there any running clubs near you,can be a big help on those long runs at the weekend.Best of luck, you can do it.
  • totally agree with everyone....you can do it....also the atmosphere in a race like flm is so good you'll probably end up doing a lot better than you think...it's a real shared experience....
    i ran my first marathon a year after starting running, and the longest run i'd done before it was only about 14 or 15 miles.....i got quite an ok time and all i had at the end were sore knees and orange feet! you'll have to get used to eating and drinking whilst out training, and also get mentally used to the idea of how far it is....
  • I agree! Go for it! I re-started running in March for a local 5K and am now about to do my first ever half marathon (Guildford if anyone wants to wave to me!) and have applied for the London marathon. Just build those miles up and you'll be there!
  • Others always say you're mad when you mention the marathon!

    I always point out that 80+ year olds & people with one-leg manage it when they say they could never do it.
  • Noone tells you about the toenails though
    My big toenail is now an attractive shade of blue

  • Now I'm confused. I ran the FLM in '01: Fluffa got orange feet and benz got blue toes. I feel like I'm missing out - I had none of this.....
  • Ha, ha..you are all crazy, giving me a good giggle but loads of encouragement too. I'm so inspired now that I know it is within my reach (she says until those rainy cold mornings when it doesn't seem so heroic after all). Thanks for all the info and help, all I've got to do now is buy some orange socks and blue nail polish (for camouflage) and I'm away.
  • Cos when you do a marathon youre in rainbow land------
  • I strongly recommend people to join a running club as their form whether 12 min or 8 min milers over distance will improve faster with the advice and group running.
    Long easy runs are very important for M's and I started these by finding a country route and jogging, and walking when tired. Gradually I found myself running and rarely walking. Every time I get comfortable with the distance and see some time improvement I add a couple of miles on and may have to walk up the odd hill until my body adapts to the distance.
    Ideally it is best to be able to run a half m in one go before doing a full m. It is necessary to do these long runs most weeks but not necessary to race along, just pace yourself and enjoy running without thinking of distance or time until you progress.
    Another way to try a marathon is to do a LDWA event which are in most counties and attract mainly walkers. I would advice a run/walk approach which will give experience of x country marathons without the racing. The countryside may have a few hills but it is far more interesting than roads. And walking up hills fast is the same heartwise as running slowly on a road. Long Distance Walkers Assoc. that is.
  • Go for it! My dad was a lifelong runner (like me)and when he was dying, he told me how he'd always wanted to run a marathon but now it was too late for him. Since then I've tackled lots of things I wasn't sure about before. My advice is - if you really want it, then full steam ahead! There's plenty of time until April. You can do it!
  • Well, my horrible twelve year old son actually posted my London entry form on my behalf, so if I have to run a marathon it's all his fault!!! Curiously everybody I've mentioned it to so far has encouragingly reminded me that eighty year olds do it and it doesn't matter how slowly you go etc (making me wonder exactly how old and sedate I appear to the rest of the world) or even worse, they've observed that 26 odd miles is a long way, and how far do I run now--a couple of miles or so? I wouldn't mind but I clocked up twenty at the weekend! And then there's the charity thing (I've had three people offer to sponsor me already, because it's a known fact that people only run marathons for charity, apparently)--and then the absolute corker, 'There's gotta be easier ways to lose all that weight.' All what weight!!! I squeak to myself. I mean, I may be a bit over-endowed in the bottom department compared to Posh Spice, but then again who isn't. No, there's something far more sinister going on here: regrettably it seems that if you're a thirty-something female you end up being patronised by well-meaning but often misguided folks, probably because you're a mom, and moms are, as everybody knows, stupid. I think I might be, mind, because it hasn't actually occurred to me that 26 miles is a long way, mainly because this time last year I couldn't run 100 metres, so actually building up the distance I can do has been a good confidence builder. Over-confidence, possibly. At any rate, just the thought of a marathon has me plotting speedwork and trail runs and all sorts that I hadn't really considered before... So, so far, so good--maybe my offspring's done me a favour after all.
  • Well after all that fussing I'm doing it! Entered the FLM (Golden Bond place) and am now training for a 4hr finish....watch this space!
  • Whahhheeyy - seems like ages since I started this forum but just thought you might all like to know that I'm well on track with my training. Did 15 miles comfortably last w/e and doing Silverstone half this w/e.
    Karen - how are you getting on?
  • Well done Robs/Bugmond! Keep it up.
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