What next? Advice please!

Hi all,

I hope you can give me some advice. I only started running a year ago, so see myself as a beginner. I have done 2 half marathons, with a PB of 1:56:47. I ran my very first marathon last weekend in Edinburgh and have taken this week off. I'm away next week, so will have 2 weeks of rest in total. The marathon was OK...I had a slight hamstring problem 4 weeks out which I managed conservatively and felt fine on the 2 long slow Sunday runs leading up to the marathon (18 miles slow and 12 miles steady).

Unfortunately, it flared up again 10 miles in...managed to get around another 3 before my calf started cramping image. Went through the first half in about 2:01, second half took me 2:50!!! Had to go down to run-walk and pretty much walk the last 7-8 miles. My target time was 4:30 (revised from 4:15, due to the injury) so considering the hamstring injury recurring, I didn't do too bad to only be 21 mins outside.

However, as I couldn't run properly in the last half, I don't feel completely battered from the marathon. I wouldn't want the 16 weeks of training to ebb away now and want to continue. As said earlier, I will have 2 weeks of complete rest, stretching aside, and am wondering what to do next. I genuinely feel that if I get my leg right, I would be able to do another marathon pretty soon. 

I have a few complicating factors, my wife and I are expecting a baby at the beginning of October, so the Liverpool marathon (which I really fancied) is out of the question. Also, travelling a long way will be a challenge before that. I considered the Wye Valley Marathon on 4th September. This would give me 13 weeks of training time from 5th June. It is local to me (I'm in Chepstow) so would be convenient for the family (unlike Edinburgh ahem!). I feel that I am at a good base level and would be able to enter a 16-week marathon plan at week 3/4 (maybe have a warm-up week first! image)

What do you fellow runners think? Do you think that this plan is over-ambitious? I am conscious that it is an off-road marathon and this fact makes me a bit apprehensive. I really want to do another marathon but I don't feel I can target a marathon between October and  summer next year due to the baby. I wouldn't want to go into any marathon under-trained and take somebody's place who would have been able to put the effort in.

I'm grateful for any thoughts and am grateful for you taking the time to read my very long post! image



  • MoraghanMoraghan ✭✭✭
    I would strongly encourage you to spend the next year and a half concentrating on getting your 10k time down.
  • Hi Moraghan,

     Thanks for the reply. I actually haven't done a 10k race yet. From the training plan I had for the marathon there were several 6 mile slow runs, which I found relatively easy at the pace specified. I remember doing a 7mile run that I went through much faster than I should have. Unfortunately I don't have my garmin to hand (I'm away at the moment) to see how quick I went through 10k. That was probably the quickest 10k I did...around the 50 minute mark I think.

    Can I ask why you think I should concentrate on 10k? Like I say, I'm an inexperienced runner, so am curious. My thinking was that if I shouldn't do the marathon, then to target halfs should be OK. However, am happy to take on advice! image

  • Hi Alex,

    Well done on all you've achieved so far!

    I would just ask you why you are so focused on the marathon distance? I would guess that you want to improve on all you've done so far but with a baby on the way I would suggest that you spend some time just enjoying running and perhaps enter a variety of shorter races so that you have something easily achievable and enjoyable to aim for in the short term.

    Then, when the new baby is settled into the family, go for a marathon again!

    Just an idea!

    Good luck whatever you do! image

  • I did my first Marathon in April, and missed out on most of the real training, but I knew I'd finish, I do train all year round and I added a couple of 18 milers to make sure I could get the distance but since then have only done up to 10 miles, I'm doing another full marathon next weekend and will aim to beat my first time.

    On the 10k issue my 10k time has gone slightly worse while I have been marathon training, but I put it down to less speed work and more long runs, so I'd also be interested to know what it would achieve to improve 10k

  • Hi AWTY & Andy,

    Thanks for the comments, I'm certainly proud of my achievements so far. 

    AreWeThereYet? wrote (see)
    I would just ask you why you are so focused on the marathon distance?

    I think my thoughts about the marathon distance stem from the fact that I had a slight disappointment on the day due to the niggly injuries. I was just thinking that I may be able to settle back into the training reasonably quickly. Also the fact that I know it would be late 2012 or 2013 before I could realistically do another. Just didn't want all that training to go to waste and wanted a good crack at my original target time of 4:15.

    Andy - Good luck with your marathon next weekend! image Let us know how you get on!

    I'm not hung up on the marathon. I spent most of yesterday trawling the forums. I found and bookmarked Moraghans thread about training for the right distance.This answers why he thinks I should focus on shorter distances. Also a really interesting insight into marathon training!!

    So, I will cut down on race distance, and try to improve my training. Off to trawl some more to get some tips and training plan ideas. I used a garmin-ready schedule for my marathon training, so time to revise that! image

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