Newbies FIRST MARATHONing in 2011



  • LOL with nearly 15,000 posts, methinks you will soon overcome any shyness image
  • Anyone got any tips on avoiding blisters? The increase in mileage isn't a problem in terms of fitness, but it's taking its toll on my feet, not to mention my cronky knees!

    I've plumped for the no-nonsense intermediate schedule as a starting point, because the beginners one seems a step back from what I'm already doing. Anyone else following this? 

  • Robin

    try , and i only say try

    making sure your trainer laces are not to tight or to loose

    making sure your socks are right

    apply vaseline or something

  • Luckily I've never had blisters (from running), but one tip I had a very long time ago when skiing, was to use chiropodist's felt (thicker version), cut a piece larger than the blister, cut out a piece in the middle the size of the blister, then stick the felt on your skin, around the blister.  The thickness of the felt absorbs the pressure so prevents rubbing and the hole allows the air to circulate, drying off the blister.

  • Robin could be you need different (or new) shoes. I find when my shoes are on their last legs (no puns intended) I start to get a blister on one foot. My daughter had problems with blisters until she went from Asics to Brooks. 2nd what Micknphil says about socks too.

  • Think socks will be the first thing I try.

    Don't think it's the shoes, I think it's happening because I was unable to run for a couple of weeks when I came off my bike and clouted my knee, and going from that into a marathon schedule has given my feet a surprise. Same thing happened last time I took a break from running - just need to toughen up the skin on that part of my feet - might try applying surgical spirit to help it along. Having almost no arches probably doesn't help much! 

    Just about to invest in a pair of trail shoes, so I suppose I can compare comfort between them and my road shoes and see whether they are indeed the problem. 


  • Welcome Robin and A-A.

     Robin - I think your plan for 10km, half and then a marathon sounds good. I'm going to do a half about 6 weeks before my marathon but just using it as prep not racing as such! Great to run for your sister, good for you. I'm also running for my sister - she has M.E and has been house bound all of 2010, I think she is so brave so i reckon i can do the marathon if she can cope with what life has gave her.

     Thats me back running again after nearly two weeks off due to xmas/weather/boozing! Got a new running jacket - took it for its first outing today and i run the fastest yet!

  • once this next week is over - and realisation of fitness training begins

    try and settle and get on with it then, excuses like Christmas and new year will not help anyone 

     HM's are superb

    but one needs to understand thay they are not enough for a FM

    dont try and compare the two - because you cannot

  • yeah appreciate your advice - i'm ready for the next 5 months now. going to be totally dedicated now.

    I thought a lot of people done halfs in the run up to a marathon. I haven't booked mine yet. I would of course be running more than HM in training.

  • casslass and ALL

     good luck always

    if i can say -

    try and train little and often, little is better than nothing

    training and sleep, food and fliuds is imperative,

    DON'T try following someone like myself - for two reasons

    one - i get little training in now a days, because of personal commitment 

    and two

    dont do too much hard training ( like me when i do ) as i am highly expereinced - and u may end up hurt

     take care all of you and get fit and happy

  • Casslass, I think that you may need to do the HM more than 6 weeks beforehand.  Ideally, you'd want to allow 3 weeks or so for taper,  if you've already gone further than the HM by that stage, then it should be OK, but if the HM is the first time that you'll have reached that distance, then you'd be pushing it to make up enough mileage in the 3 weeks immediately after.
  • Hi Jeepers image I know coaching isn't as much fun as running, but you are very good at it image
  • marathons are a tough sport,

    it normally starts at around 20 or 21 miles, they are all on the day , such as life

    i've seen top sportman of other sports try marathons, and they admit they cannot handle it well

    people can be going along at 16 - 20 miles thinking " oh i've got this now,

    and before they know it, their on the sidelines wondering just what did go wrong

    there's no room for any compleceancy

  • Hi jeepers - thanks. I've got one in mind for 6 weeks before the marathon. I'm also hoping to have done more than the half marathon distance at that point. I think i will just try and treat it like a long run and learn how to prepare for the race etc.
  • Wise words micknphil I really appreciate your advise.

    Micknphil and Jeepers

    My long runs are 10 miles every Sunday (have built back up after returning to running in April after major surgery) and a couple of shorter faster runs (3 miles ish ) in the week, have been at this level since end of Septemberish . I'm aiming to train for a November mara (and a May half) but I'm now wondering if I have enough of a base to even be contemplating a mara. I'm no spring chicken (50 next year) so am more wary of injury. I know I need to crank things up with regard to mileage which is what I plan to do gradually from now.

    What do you reckon, am I  daft contemplating it?

  • k, I'm older than you, so noimage  and a laydee too, so guessing that you are too, we're in more or less the same boat.  (If I'm wrong re the laydee thing, then whoopsimage)

    Can't post more at the moment, house seems to have turned into hospital (lots of sick /flu-ey family members) so off to sort them out, but will think about it and post when more time.

  • My plan is to hit the 13 mile mark in two weeks time. Should be ok - did 9 miles without any problems this weekend, 11 this coming sunday, then 13 the week after.

    My long runs don't increase routinely every week - the plan I'm following takes me up to 21 miles, but mixes it up a bit with several runs up to 20M mixed in with a couple of 15 miles, HMs and a 10k - hopefully will stop me getting too bored!

     The plan for not crashing and burning on the day train hard now and take as long as I like about it on the day. I intend to burn off all my competetiveness at the Bath Half, and just make sure I finish the marathon within the time limit! 

    New socks seem to be helping with the blisters btw image

  • So much for getting back ASAP! 

    Thanks for your comments, lacebylady, comes of having a headmaster for a father and current job working with ankle-biters.

    k, no, you're not daft, and you've given yourself plenty of time to reach those goals.  FWIW, my advice would be to look at your HM and mara plans, see how long they give for training, assuming that they're probably starting from little base mileage.  If you can, spend January and February building up mileage - what's your current weekly mileage?  If you're aiming for a half, then a weekly mileage of around 25 - 30m should be fine, if you're hoping to do a marathon, then I'd look to build up your weekly mileage a bit before you start the training, if that's possible with family commitments.  There are a lot of people who say that they get around on a lower mileage, but as a lot of mara training is about endurance / stamina etc, then the more miles that you can get in regularly the better.  There's also this thing about the ratio between LSR and weekly mileage.  You're going to have to get up to 20m in your LSR, so if you're only doing 20m or so a week, that's going to be a problem.

    I managed to increase my mileage by going slowly, using HR.  I did it in a month and without injury, so it can be done.  You could do split runs - so you run the total amount in the day, but just half in the am, half in the pm.  Doesn't give you the same experience as running the full distance in one go, but better than nothing.

  • Jeepers no problem my house was similarly struck down so I really appreciate you taking the time to reply, you are an absolute star. Oh, and you were correct I am a laydeeee.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom I was sort of coming to the same conclusions but your comments have given me a much clearer idea of what I need to do. Fortunately family are old enough to look after themselves and OH and one daughter are runners too so plenty of support there. Plus doing a mara in the Autumn will mean more daylight hours to train during the summer. Also work with ankle biters (high 5) so have summer hols for plenty of training.

    @Robin glad about the socks!

  • Hi there everyone. Great thread I hope its ok to be joining  a little bit late. I read it before Christmas but it really became relevant to me on Sunday night when I took the plunge and entered the Nottingham marathon in Sept.

    Bit of history. I Started Running 12months ago... the wrong side of 40, and like several others on here an asthma sufferer since childhood.  I did a number of runs through 2010 -  5k , 10k, and 1/2 maras the last of which was the Great North Run. I also got long listed for this years ASICS super six day in Birmingham and was sort of glad/sad to have not got to the final six given the effort required to get to the finish line by April but much respect and good luck to those that made it.

    I am not underestimating the challenge a full mara represents and I have a number of runs and other events planned for the year. (10ks in March and May, and a 1/2 mara in June). I would be interested to hear how all the other Newbie Marathon runners get on with the spring marathons and will listen to all advice and lessons learned applying the good ones through the summer ..... Hopefully.

    Cheers Steve

  • Welcome Steve good to have someone along who is also aiming for a marathon later in the year.

    Sounds like you are building a good base and are keeping motivated with a number of races planned. My next will be a half in May - just hope it isn't hot. Know what you mean about not underestimating the challenge of the mara too, it is a huge commitment in training time alone (at my speed - super slow - it's an awful lot of hours on your feet in training) I've been thinking long and hard about it and getting advise (thanks Jeepers etal). Definately not something to be undertaken lightly or on a whim.

    Do you belong to a club? I found mine to be very supportive and encouraging, I'm one of the much slower runners in the club so I really have to push myself on club runs which is excellent. There's always someone to ask for advise too as we have a whole range of runners at different speeds, distances, experience etc.

  • Steve - another fruitcake catches the bug then, although you have been more sensible and given yourself plenty of time to train! Well done you, and good luck!

    Is anybody else doing some cross-training as part of their preparation? I commute to uni by bike which, while only a relatively short distance, is at the top of a steep hill - and as I am always late is something of a sprint, which I'm guessing should help with the cardio?

    Although I love running, my real passion is sailing and dinghy racing, so I need to continue weight training on my rest days to keep my weight at 70 kilos... (I'm particularly talented and making life difficult for myself!) I just wonder how I'm going to afford all the food I'll need image

  • Afternoon all,

     I have entered my first Marathon so thought I would join this thread!  I've gone for the Berlin Marathon as I have a couple of friends that have been there and got the t shirt and it's somewhere I would also like to explore.  That and the fact I have 9 months to train for it!

     I entered my first tri last year at Blenheim and am down to do it again, along with an olympic distance in July at the London Tri. 

    Longest I have ever run is around 10 / 12 miles which was when I was training for a half a few years ago but I twisted my ankle before the race so never completed it!

     I have started using a Forerunner 305 and it's really helping my motivation to see my runs with all the stats there in front of me.

     I am based in London during the week (Isle of Dogs) so if anyone can point me in the direction of a friendly running club near by, please do.

     good luck all ! (great thread by the way)

  • Hi guys thanks for the welcome.

    K. I don't belong to a club my local one is Wesham Road Runners which a friend of mine was encouraging me to join but not sure I feel confident enough. Though I know it would improve my running so I think I need to sort it out.

    Robin. I swim as well as running which I find helps take the stiffness out of my legs and also gym sessions for core. But as for 70kg its been 10 years since I saw that weight image.

    Sebastian. I did a sprint Tri last year (Fleetwood) and have entered the Liverpool Olympic distance this year. Although I still need to invest in a road bike  I did the sprint on a mountain bikeimage. I use my trusty old Forerunner 301 which is about the same size and weight as a half house brick I am pretty sure that if I didn't wear it I would be 2min a mile faster but I would never know.

  • Oh dear - didn't quite stick to my schedule over Christmas - only did 4 runs in 2 weeks. Got back to it last night though with a 10 mile run. Felt pretty good and at a push, probably could have done 3-5 more miles which would have beat my long distance of 13.1 for half marathon back in October.

     Only 13 weeks until the Great Welsh Marathon - quite a scary thought. Really need to be 100% focused and stay on track after the Christmas blip. I keep a record of all my runs and December was a big record breaker for me in terms of most runs / most miles in a month - so I'll be aiming to smash those records again in January!


  • Oh dear - didn't quite stick to my schedule over Christmas - only did 4 runs in 2 weeks. Got back to it last night though with a 10 mile run. Felt pretty good and at a push, probably could have done 3-5 more miles which would have beat my long distance of 13.1 for half marathon back in October.

     Only 13 weeks until the Great Welsh Marathon - quite a scary thought. Really need to be 100% focused and stay on track after the Christmas blip. I keep a record of all my runs and December was a big record breaker for me in terms of most runs / most miles in a month - so I'll be aiming to smash those records again in January!


  • Well the inc is back in Edinburgh, but instead of avoiding it and heading to the gym to use the treadmill I braved the ice. I had a really good 6.7 mile run although a bit slippy at times. I've had a really good training week this week and acheived everything I planned, just need the next 19 weeks to be the same....

    sounds like everyone is moving along nicely, Ledgend - i was the same over xmas - easily done.

  • How the training going folks? It would seem that, like me, everyone's got caught up in work after New Year and the thread's gone quiet - thought I would wake it up again!

    I've just come to the end of my fourth week of serious training and it seems to be going pretty well, despite all sorts of things trying to get in the way - managed 16 hilly miles in about 2 -1/2  hours today - my longest run ever! Well chuffed. 

    Got back to the gym for some weight training on friday for the first time since before christmas - I am officially gving up squats until this marathon is done, only did a really light couple of sets and my legs were burning like hell on yesterday's run!


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  • Haven't been on here for a while - doesn't look like anyone else has either. Just thought if anyone does check back that I'd post to inform everyone that I've completed my first ever marathon.

     It was the Great Welsh Marathon in Llanelli yesterday. Did it in 5 hours 4 minutes. Primarily was aiming to just finish which was achieved but slightly gutted to miss out on secondary target of sub 5.

    I was told a million times, don't go off too fast but as it seems 90% of newbies do, I went off too fast... and not just for the first mile. I went way to quick for the first 13 miles and suffered as a result having to slow down between 13-18 miles and then walk more than I ran the last 8 or so miles.

    Lesson learnt though and I'm confident if I get my pacing right next time, I could knock a good 10-20 minutes off that time.

    Good luck to everyone else first marathoning in 2011. Let us know how you get on image

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