Loch Ness Marathon 2012


Been out of the running "loop"2now for over 3 years

Previously done numerous halfs (hundreds) PB of 1:35 and 12 Londons PB 3:42 but never done any other marathons

Now have decided to get back into it and do Loch Ness in 2012. I am currently 1.5 stone to heavy and only tunning 4 miles at the moment but have set myself this goal

Anyone else aiming for this as a target ?



  • 2012 for definite, just finished the 10k
  • The VLM route is a fun run in comparison to the Loch Ness route.
  • Hi

    Hope you're all well.  I've been looking at this Marathon and would love to do it.  I'm a relatively new runner (and still very slow), but have done 4 x HMs and my first Marathon was last month in Liverpool.  I've heard mixed reviews about this - some saying it's beautiful and amazing, some saying it's worse than hell!

    I think I'd like to give it a go and take a full year to strengthen my legs to tackle the hills.  Any advice for a newbie and someone who's ran it before to give a description of their experiences would be greatly appreciated.


    J xxxxx

  • I've run it for the last few years - its my nearest marathon and the only full marathon I've taken part in so i've nothing to compare it with. Yes it is hilly, the hill at 19 or so miles seems never ending, but I would recommend it, if you only do one marathon, do this one.  The weather be a bit unpredicatable too - but this adds to the experience!
  • I have done a couple of halfs and was looking at this one as my first marathon. Was hoping that it would be flat but having seen these posts I am concerned that its anything but!! Is there a route profile anywhere does anyone know? Also does anyone have anywhere to stay that they can recommend? Thanks, Steve
  • Looking for an October marathon for 2012.  Did Beachy Head this year and loved it, so am tempted to enter that again.  Would anyone recommend Loch Ness instead?

  • I've just signed up. It will be 3 months after my first ultra. I hope I'll be able to do it!
  • Elli - how long is your Ultra?
  • To anyone considering this, do it. I have done a few marathons, Belfast, Chester, Berlin and Edinburgh but the three times I have done this are without doubt the best. It is a real challenge but train for the hills, expect that after about 18m you get to the bottom and dont look up!! The hill lasts about 4 - 5 miles or thereabouts but there is plenty of flat sections (and downhill stages as well) to make up time.

    I got my best time at Loch Ness two years ago - seven days after Berlin. The scenery is superb and the town is lovely too. I am back up this year and looking forward to it. 

  • Yes- I'm in, paid up, hotel booked and all ( do this early, it's dificult to get good accomodation near the time).

     It will be my 4th go at this one...............just need to get over Lochaber, which is in 2 weeks, then back into training.

    I WILL get up that hill at a decent pace one year!

    For anyone who's still in any doubt- just do it! 

  • I'm doing it this year... one I've always wanted to do... 

    Extra hill training required then?!?!

  • Aww no! After Signing up for this a couple of nights ago i am now really worring my marathon might be over before it started - a charity has approched me to run it but i can only run 3 miles just now!

    are the hills that bad?? what should i incorporate into my runs to help?

    lots of training ahead for me to finish - does anyone have any helpful tips to make this marathon more possible to finish?


  • I did this as my first marathon in 2010, it is a great race well organised with a very friendly atmosphere. The overall profile is down hill and undulating, as referenced above the most challenging climb comes around mile 18, happily thereafter its pretty much down hill / flat to the finish.

    A couple of suggestions from me:

    Try and resist the natural urge to run the initial down hill sections too quick you may as I did set a new 1/2 marathon PB but find the next 13 miles a tad tougher than it ought to be!

    Train both for uphill and downhill the overall profile is downhill and your quads will take a battering. A common way to train the downhill is to alternate running fast up, slow down / fast down, slow up on a hill of decent gradient around a quarter mile in length.

    Take a bin liner and some old race tops for layering / water protection at the start and discard as necessary at the water stations. Nervous of the October weather I wore full length tights and long sleeved top and was freezing at the start, perfect for 3-4 miles and then absolutely boiling for the next 22 miles.

    I seem to recall in 2010 it felt like there were many sports drink stations and fewer plain water, I carried a camelback with sports drink in it and remember craving plain water.

    If you are planning on eating out in the town the night before google the restaurants and reserve a table in advance they were packed in particular of course the Italian eateries.

    Finally ENJOY, there are few better places to run a road marathon with a fantastic atmosphere in the town before and after.

  • Thanks very much for that info i got lots of helpful hints from you there!

    im really looking forward to it but its the fear of 26 miles that is making me nervous considering i only run 3 miles just now!

  • GC2 - I started from a very similar position at the beginning of 2010; I was perhaps just a little further on completing my first 10k mid April. It sounds to me like you have committed fully in mind to doing this and would expect therefore the body to follow.

    I think you have around 21-22 potential training weeks between now and the race, this is ample time so long as you 'stay on top of it'.

    I made the best improvements in weeks / periods where I was following a specific plan regrettably I didn't choose to do this until quite close to the event.

    There are loads of plans available on the web, they will typically range in peak mileage anywhere from 40 - 70 miles and from 4 - 6 sessions a weeks. That said many people do more / less.

    Get some essential race day experience from 10k, half marathons, trail runs etc.

    Hopefully you will forgive me stating the obvious:

    Research and draw up a progressive plan to follow for the next 21-22 weeks, plot in some races and focus on enjoying the journey.

    Listen to your body lots of consistent weeks will be much better preparation than high mileage / high intensity weeks followed by injury lay ups.

    Keep using the forums and asking questions although be prepared for conflicting advice, as we are, after all, an experiment of 1.

  • AS4 - thanks alot, im currently following the 'marathonrookie.co.uk'  26 week plan so hopefully this will guide me towards it ...

    i never thought about race experience so will need to look into that over the next few weeks

    im currently trying to run at about 160bpm heart rate to help set a standard for my runs

    hopefully keeping ontop of stretches will help ward off some amount of possible injury (i hope!!)

    just need to sort out the diet and lose some weight from the 112kg frame and i'll b in a better position!

  • GC2 - Weight loss is usually one of the better side effects of running, I can happily report I lost 20 kilos without trying too hard. Enjoy.

    That said it is by no means essential I bump into a chap on the Ultra circuit who in spite of carrying a good number of extra kilo's has several very good 100+ mile finishes under his belt. When you get on to the topic of weight he normally just smiles and tells you he loves running but just not quite as much as eating.
  • Signed up for this one earlier this week. Hotel booked. There's a crowd of us travelling up from Chorley (Lancashire) although I'm the only one running.

    Lots of hills where I live so perfect for training  for this. Will be my 4th marathon, probably my last, I've said that before mind.

    Not had confirmation yet, although the money only went out of the bank yesterday. I will give them a few more days and then chase them.

    Up to 14 miles already on my long run so quite pleased with that. Doing Chester half marathon on May 13 as prep, need to find a 20 mile race in August, anybody got any ideas? 

    Need to lose a couple of kilos but just love my food too much, besides I feel like I have more energy when I am carrying  a couple of ponds!!

  • So week 3 of 25week plan is going well - so far

    getting a small niggle on the outside my left knee but gonna ice it tonight and hope that works!

    lost 4lbs last week so the weight is starting to come off now too

    after watching the london marathon on sunday it just makes me get the training done to the best ability so i finish strongly

    already hitting hills on my 30 min runs to put some strength in the legs aswell (trying to hit at least 1 hill per run)

    anyone got extra little tips for me?

  • On my  hill runs I run up and back down - both important I think.

     I run up and down the hill 3/4 times so doing about a mile up and a mile down. I then follow that with a mile on the flat at speed - good for the stamina in my view. I finish off with 2 miles at my HM pace.

    Wnen I do my long run I do the same hill - up and down 3 times again just at a slower pace - again great for the stamina.

    Im no expert mind - you just need to find out what works for you.

    I've just decided that during August I will do a 12 mile run once a week during the week in addition to the long run at the weekend - never done that before alwyts concentrated on speed and hill training in the week - I will know if it works come 30th September!!

    Good luck with the training 

  • aww thanks i will maybe try some up n downs myself too - all a learning curve!
  • Can I ask some questions re logistics?

    I see that the start is reached by bus so where is the best area to book accomodation ? Also the race finishes in Inverness where I pressume the baggage busses are. How do people get back to the area where the accomodation is ? 

    I know I startyed this thread but had a set back and will now target 2014

  • Mate, if you get family/friend to drop you off at the bus pick up point at 8am, they will then get parked later on near to the finish to see you come in. I have always stayed at Premier Inn (theres at least two in city centre-ish) and the signage to get you to the bus pick up point is good.

    Wee tip, across from the finish there is a small foot-bridge. Your family can cross this and see you around 24mile mark then cross back over in plenty of time to seeyou finish. Certainly gives me a shot in the arm!!

  • Steven 

    Will be on my tod so will need to get back from finish to accomodation - understand theres a bus ?

  • 3.30 - sorry mate, not sure. The finish is the same place as the pick up point. If you have a car you will easily get a parking space prior to buses departing. If you arent driving there will surely be an accomodating friendly face around the finish line heading back into town.
  • I've booked into the Holiday Inn Express in Inverness via the Loch Ness Marathon website. Close to the finish and close to the bus pick up point too so that should solve any logistic issues if you are on your own or even if you have friends spectating with you!!

    The hotel has a deal at £75 per night incl brekkie - it's normally £137!! So that's quite good in my view.

    The bridge at 24 miles looks a good place to view from - I have my wife and 2 friends travelling with me as spectators so will suggest that to them. Is there any chance of viewing at about 18 miles? That's when I will need my jaffa cakes!!! I was hoping my wife and friends could be there to hand them out.

    Happy traaining to everybody - 16 miles today for me. Then a two week taper for the Chester HM on 13th May - treating it as a speed session - hoping to do 8min miles. Then off to Italy for a much needed break from work - serious marathon training starts from 4th June - 17 week training plan. Already done 4 x 14 miles for the HM training so that should be a good foundation!!

  • GC2- doing most of your runs at HR 160 seems a bit fast, what is your max HR?

    My runnig "bible" suggests

    Long run 74-84% max,

    "general " running 70-81% max HR

    recovery <76% max

    threshold 82-91max- but only about 1 run at this type of pace per week.

    Another strtategy is to go with "base building"- ie runnig everything slowly - at <70% max hr, until you can do that without any HR drift for 10 miles, and only then beginning to incorporate  runnig at 75%, then,once that is stable over 10miles, build to 80%. It has a whole thread devoted to it on here- HADD training- good way to build mileage, without killing your self, but needs lots of time...............which you have- it usually takes about 6 weeks to see much forward progres, but it is a good way to get the endurance built up without injury.

    3:30- the bus to the start picks everyone up in INverness near the eventual finish. The bags taken back to the finish area, which is right in the midle of Inverness- book a hotel within walking distance of the finish area, and no transport needed at all! (but get in early with your booking- the nearest places are gone by april/ may!!)

  • Hi John, I may be wrong and am open to correction but the 18 mile mark is still well outside Inverness. If your family like a cycle then they can get out there and chum you along the remainder (the field is well spread out by then) or head off to meet you at the 24m mark. Unless they have a bike then the 24m mark is the best point to see you run and be able to get over to the finish. 

     Until you get to Inverness, around 23m (ish), there is only a couple of villages to break up the run along the countryside/loch. It is a superb run and he scenery is brilliant. This will be my fourth and I cannot talk it up enough.

    Plus, memory tells me that there are several lovely decent people out on the route, some of them in the middle of nowhere, with a friendly word and a plate of orange sections/sweets/chocolate. In the good weather, the beer gardens in Inverness are packed with people raising their glasses to you as well. Now that spurs you on....... 

  • Hi Folks,

    I've signed up for this one too. Mostly becuase i want to do another marathon but also because, quite conveniently. my brother has recently bought a house in Inverness.

    I had a knee op 2 years ago and have really struggled to get my running confidence back. I've never been a fast runner but am still 7 minutes off my previous half marathon PB no matter how much i try.

    I thought Inverness was FLAT. Having just read the thread i see i have a lot of hill work to do which is gonna be really hard on the knees.

    OH WELL!! I'm in and the challenge is on.. BRING ON THE HILLS! I think ;o) 

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