first ever failure---help!!

Hi everyone,i need some advice please....i am unbelievably pissed off with myself and ive given myself a kick in the arse for it!!

i am currently "training" for the Liverpool marathon which is only 34 days away. i had been following a 12 week plan and up to 3 weeks ago was going well. I done my longest ever run of 14 miles and i felt confident of progressing.

I ended up feeling really ill and weak, went to the doctors and i had a chest infection...this totally wiped me out for two weeks, i tried one small run and couldnt breathe.

thursday gone was my first decent distance back and i done 11 miles quite easily.

yesterday my friend and i had an 18 mile run planned (in the weeks off he has done 15 and 17). Started quite well, got up to 9 miles no problem and then felt really drained like a dying iphone battery!! the worst thing was my head starting telling me i had to stop. ive always believed running is mental (literally!!) but usually fight through this. but at 12 miles yesterday i stopped. i tried to restart, done a bit and stopped again. ended up walking home quite desolate.

i have thought long and hard over eating habits have been poor, i am just getting over an chest infection (i dont believe that hindered me yesterday though) and i was drinking booze for my birthday friday.

maybe it was cockiness of the thursday run but i fully expected to complete the run yesterday.

in my own head now i have decided to curb any alcohol until after the marathon, and start taking the food side of things more seriously.

but where i need help is two fold

1- is there any quick fix ways of getting me up to standard and soon (i cannot dodge the marathon, doin it for a disabled childrens charity)? i do not mind doing circuit training or extra gym work.

2- how can i mentally get past the failure of yesterday? i am still angry and upset with myself over it and feel like if i dont do it people will think "oh i knew he wouldnt".

thanks for any advice, even typing up my anger has helped a bit haha!



  • sounds to me like you are trying to over compensate for the time you had off. Your body won't have had time to recover after the 11 miler to be able to tackle the longer run. Recovery is as important part of training as actually running. Effectively you have hit the wall as your body energy is completely depleted.

    Are you following a specific training plan or just running with mates when you can?

    Not too late to put together a sensible schedule to get you back on track. Curb the alcohol and eat more sensibly will also help. Plenty of hydration - water!

    good luck
  • thsnks tim, i do have a plan which three of us are following so i have dived back in and rejoined them as stipulated on the plan.
  • You have jumped in at the deep end, trying to comensate for time missed as well as probably still have the tail end of a chest infection.

    Don't worry about yesterday - put it down to experience. Going from 14 to 18 miles is one hell of a jump esp after running an 11 mile run, 2 weeks off and a chest infection. Don't worry about walking home - it's all time on your feet / mileage, it will help with the mental attitude while running your marathon as you still had physical work to do past the point of comfort.

    I would advice that you don't try and keep up with your friends unless you really need the motivation.

    rest this week with 2 or 3 easy short runs. at the weekend go for your long slow run, if you choose to run with your friends only stay with them if it feels easy. The idea is just to run very slowly for as long as you can while still feeling comfortable. You may find that you need to run slower than you have in the past.

    Slow and easy.

    You can't run to your plan now, it really isn't surprising that the wheels came off. You need to reassess.

    I think with an easy week this week you will surprise yourself with your next LSR - don't try to overdo things.

    Good luck with the rest of your training.
    I can only tell you what I would do which would be to run slow and see how far I can run then add to this next week and the week after with a much reduced tapper period and take the marathon very easy.

  • Good advice from IM - thats what I would do too!
  • Aw brilliant....thanks imelda. i planned to go back at the 18 miles again this saturday and do it....shall i try that really really slow?
  • Dont be so hard on yourself. 

     Its only a failure if you dont step foot out the door and try.    11 miles followed by 12 a few days later, while recovering from a chest infection !  I think you did amazingly well .

  • aw cheers minnie, i just know in my heart that with 10 pints or so in me from friday and not eating proper fuel im not doing as well as i should. that has annoyed me no end...i am thinking positively now and planning on smashing it this weekend, and a life free from all enjoyments too!!
  • Stop beating yourself up about it!!, Can't change it, just move on, You'll be fine.

    Can't give any training advice (not really qualified), just wanted to encourage your spirits!!.

  • gedgino wrote (see)
    aw cheers minnie, i just know in my heart that with 10 pints or so in me from friday and not eating proper fuel im not doing as well as i should. that has annoyed me no end...i am thinking positively now and planning on smashing it this weekend, and a life free from all enjoyments too!!

    Now that's taking it a bit too far. image

    yup - go out slow to ensure that you have the energy to continue.

  • imelda my plan states this

    tonight 5 mile aerobic
    thursday 8 mile aerobic
    sat 18 mile (replay of last week!!)long slow

    tuesday 6 mile aerobic
    thursday 12 mile aerobic (7 at LT)
    sat 5 mile recovery
    sunday 20 mile long run

    tuesday 5 mile aerobic
    thursday 1o mile aerobic
    sat 10k race
    sunday 14 mile long run

    tuesday 6 mile aerobic
    thursday 8 mile aerobic
    sat 5 mile recovery
    sunday 10 mile long run

    tuesday 6 mile aerobic
    thursday 2 mile recovery
    sunday MARATHON

    is there parts of this i need to change? add to or take away. i plan to go the gym a few mornings to stretch and maybe some light weights.

    any advice is appreciated xx
  • It should be doable so long as you are over your infection and well rested.

    I'm slightly concerned about the 10k race so close to your marathon - are you planning to race this or run it at marathon pace - I would run it at marathon pace myslf - this is what I did proir to my first marathon.

    Also on the fri or sat before that mara I would through in some strides and more dynami strtching - maybe a short warm up jog, .25 - .5 of a mile then strides - just run loose and fast, not flat out, concentrate on form not speed maybe 3 or 4 reps of no more than 100yds.

    Don't try and be a super hero or push yourself too hard, at this stage you only risk injury, if that means take things easy then take things easy. After Sunday you will know how you feel after having run 18 miles, if you do not recover well then keep the milage for the following week low and the intesity low. Play it week by week. You might actually be feeling really good after a period of rest, don't burn out before the marathon.

  • ok imelda, thanks for all the really is much appreciated. i'll just do the 10k as a slower pace.
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