40 year old Virgin seeks advice & technique

Six years of fumbling about & I'm ready to go the distance!

I must be lucky or something. Never done a Marathon & applied for London next year and only got a place. This is probably going over old ground, but as I have never done a marathon before, I'm not sure what my estimated time would be/training plan to follow. Sure enough there are race time predictors, but how can you predict something you have never done? Half marathon PB of 1.25.26 this year. Is having marathon experience reflective of predicted time?

Just got a couple of other simple questions:

When is the best time to try & find accommodation - any advice on places/costs?
Never done weights before, just running - is it a good idea to build add this to the training?


  • You are probably looking at a shade over 3 hours - close enough that you might decide to have a crack at sub 3 - though the risk is you end up blowing up and getting a slower time than you otherwise might. 

    Weights tend to divide people as to whether they are useful or not - personally irrespective of whether I thought they can help some distance runners - I wouldn't add weights into the programme if you've never done them before.  Additional risk of injury as they are new to you and as you'll be upping your mileage adding weights too might be too much of an increase in training load in too short a space of time. 

    When I did London I stayed at my brother's place in Bermondsey - it was no hassle getting across London on the tube so if you can't get somewhere close to the start just get somewhere a convenient tube ride away.   

    The biggest mistake I made training for marathons was peaking too early - thinking I'll keep adding more to get a faster time and then getting injured a few weeks out and not making the start line.   Usual stuff - never try and catch up on missed sessions, be conservative with niggles and all that - you've got to be on the start line to be in with a chance of a decent finishing time.

  • Thanks for the tips Popsider - good point on peaking too early. Sounds ike you have a bit of experience behind you. Got a half marathon this weekend & then I am taking 2 weeks off to give my body a break. I don't feel like I have stopped all year. With the weights I was thinking of going just once/twice? a week from November - December before I start the 16 week training plan, then maybe cutting back on the weights. I want to try & build up the core muscles and am intriuged to know if it will help with enudrance?

     I have some friends who live in Hanwell and some others who live in Bromley - maybe both a touch too far for the trip in? Last thing I need is the stress of having to travel a fair distance to get to the start so might have to look for a Hotel deal.

    I'd be well happy with 3.15 / 3.20 but depends on training/endurance. There's a 20 mile race near where I live in March which I'll have a go at - that should give me a good idea of finishing time. 


  • KR - I agree with popsider in terms of target times - your target based on current HM could be anywhere between 2.55-3.15.  I would suggest if I was you joining one of the other forums on here - either the sub 3.15 one of the sub 3.00 one. I did FLM last year from scratch and learnt so much from helpful people on those threads - especially sub 3.15.  Other advice would be to find a training plan that you like and works for you and your body - there are lots of schools of thought (high mileage - P&D plan, low but fast mileage - Furman plan) - none is better than others, just find what works for you....

     Good luck....

  • Thanks for the advice - I'll out for the sub 3.15 thread somewhere.
  • If it's your first marathon then I'd be more inclined to think about 3:10 - 3:15. You don't know how your body is going to cope!

    If you can do a 20-mile race nearer the time (Bramley for example) then try the 3 hour pace there to see how you feel. I don't decide on what time I'm going for until the night before a race so there's definitely no need to worry about it yet.

    I'm personally pro-weight training for a marathon. Not a humongous amount but making your legs stronger can only be a good thing in my book.

    Don't know about accomodation I'm afraid, but the trains into London are pretty good on marathon day. It takes me 30-40 mins from Camberley and gives me plenty of time. So don't necessarily restrict yourself to central London.

  • Getting under 3 hours would be an ultimate goal, but probably not realistic for a first marathon. Like you say Mikey, you don't know how your body will cope. I'm going to give the weights a try and see how I get on from a strength point of view.
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