Lochaber Marathon 2012



  • Oh dear, I'm only up to 13 miles....................20 milers seem a long way off. However, I did feel like I could go for ever today, so onwards and upwards. Soon it'll get light enough/ dry enough underfoot that Ican run my 11mile commute to work at the beginnig/ end of the day, rather than just at the weekends- that will make a huge difference- it allows me to do loads of mid- week mileage, which compensate to some extent for the lack of really long LSR's.

    Sorry to hear of your ongoing troubles, Goldeagle, how frustrating!

  • 25K for me today (I have gone metric after making some dodgy miles->Km mental calcuations during the Berlin marathon last year). I was hoping to target 3:45 but training has been hampered by a stubborn cold that restricted my running for a couple of weeks. Berlin has been my only marathon so far and I finished in 3:54, so it would be nice to beat that. All depends on the next couple of months. Summer training is much easier!

    Sorry to hear about the calf problem Goldeagle. Hope it improves soon.

    Welcome Cumberlandrunner. Would 3:45 be a PB for you?

    Well done 14May - I am probably about 3 weeks away from a 20 miler.

  • This years Lochaber marathon will be my first as well....image

     I'm looking for some advice from all you guys on here that know more about training than me!!

     Up until last week i was doing shorter runs at varied pace during the week and longer run at the weekend (got up to 18 miles 2 weeks ago). For the last two weeks i have started running in and back from work on at least 2 of the week days ( 4 runs total of 32 miles).... my question is....should i still be doing a long slow run at weekend or just a steady 10k or thereabouts??

     Had a rest day today and will be heading out tomorrow for a run....hope it's a bit warmer and less icy!!!!

  • THe weekend LSR's are very important, dave, and if you're up to 18 miles, that's looking good, ideally you want to get in 5 x 20 milers, and you don't want to do them all on sucessive weekends, so you can alternate them with slightly shorter lsr's which contain some marathon pace running. For the midweek mileage- that's a great bonus- Pfizinger & Dougles suggests medium long runs during the week- they go up to 12 miles. These are done at long run pace, occaisionally with a block of tempo pace in them. The problem is that you need to get the occaisional very long run in, or you'll struggle in the latter stages. This will give you quite a jump in mileage, I guess, so do a lot of it slow, and hopefully you won't damage yourself.

    i'm going to be adding an out-&-back of 11 miles each way, and a partial out and back of 6 miles each way, now that there's more day light- but I'll still need to do a proprer LSR, too , so you're not alone.

  • Simon, I suspect that Lochaber is going to have mile markers so you may need to switch back....... image. I had a similar experience in Palma where at one stage I couldn't remember if I'd run 16 or 17 miles. I knew I was running 9 minute miles but of course by that stage of a marathon your brain is a mush anyway. So the mental arithmetic of finding  how many minutes I'd been running and then dividing by 9 was just impossible.

    Welcome, Dave. It's great that you're up to 18 miles already on the long runs. I'm no expert but the long runs at weekends are the absolute foundation of marathon training and time on your feet is everything. So you must continue those but aim to run them at least 1 minute per mile slower than your hoped for marathon pace (if you know what that is).  Do you have a target time or are you just looking to get round? Have you done any other races which will give you an idea of your likely marathon time?

    There's lots of great info in the forums on here and I suggest you have a look at some of the marathon training schedules if you're not already specifically following one. 

  • Yes- course is marked in miles, rather than km. I stick to km on my Garmin, as that's what I'm used to, but also carry a pace band marked in miles, so I cn check that I'm roughly correct- also means if the Garmin fails, I still have ordinaty watch + mile markers+ pace band ,so know where I am.
  • Thanks folks, but now that I have gone metric I think I'll stick with it. Kms pass quicker than miles, which I like, and I seem to pace myself better. The pace band in miles is a good idea though.

    Just back from a half hour recovery run in beautiful crisp conditions. Feeling good...
  • Hi guys,

    goldeagle- sorry for your woes image if its any consolation I had a similar problem a few years back -had six weeks out but still managed round langdale mara- so all is not lost.

    Simon- my mara PB is 3hr 50, so sub 3.45 seems reasonable. bear in mind it took me four attempts to get sub 4........I think it all comes down to the day itself, you never can predict what will happen in the mara.

    legs currently wrecked after 8mile fell run with club (don't think fell runs are in the training plan...but hey ho.........) was very snowy and great views- a bit of variety from pounding the roads- talking of which I'll be back on the roads for a recovery tomorrow after work

    stick with it everyone image
  • Cheers, CR. Problem is although I had a great running year in 2011 with eventually 3 maras, 5  halves and various other races, the start of the year was very similar to this injury wise resulting in me trying to run Paris Mara on the back of 10 weeks training. That wasn't one of my brightest ideas so I'm reluctant to make the same mistake. Having said that my base fitness is much better than this time last year. So we shall see......image
  • Thanks for the advice tricialitt....i was worried that doing too much mileage would lead to some injury, but i guess if i take it at a slow pace i should be ok.

     Goldeagle i don't know whether to aim for a time with it being my first marathon...tempted to just get round and be happy with a finish.

     My times for smaller races are:-

    5k - 22 mins 31 sec

    10k- 46mins 09sec.

    And through training my rough times for half is approx 1hr 54 and my longest run to date was 18 miles that i did in 2hrs 40 mins....pushed myself for the last 4 or 5 miles!!

    Thanks again for help..cheers

  • Dave, if you're just looking to get round then slow miles and more slow miles will definitely do the job. If possible peaking at minimum of 50 miles per week. Having said that what does 'happy to finish' mean? My 10k PB is 46:40 and my marathon PB is 3:54:52 so realistically you could be looking at under 4 hours (although the RW calculator predicts, I think optimistically, a 3hrs 32 Marathon from your 10K time).

    What I would say at the moment is that for a 4 hour mara you're running your long runs too quickly. It might be a good idea to try and enter a half-marathon race and the time from that will give you a better idea of where you should be aiming. 

  • I see that there are a number of us who are between 3.30 and 4.00 and also that some are wondering about RW calculator predictions based on other distances.  I think I'm a classic example of why these are pretty basic and can only give a rough estimate of what might be achievable rather than a definite forecast.  

    Agree with others comments on KM to mile conversion - after halfway in the Paris heat last April, I could barely subtract the number on KM indicators from 42 never mind converting into miles and as an accountant I really should have no excuse for not being able to do this!

     18 miles for me yesterday - it's all going almost too well so far..... touching wood as I type...... 

    Hope everyone is going well - nice to see afew new names on here

  • Goldeagle, i know exactly what you mean. At the moment i am going along with the 'happy to finish' line of thinking...but i guess i do have an idea that i would like to finish as near to 4 hours as possible... although i know i will  be happy with even 4.5 hours!!!

    I totally understand your advice to take my long runs SLOW!!! I do try and go slower but end up getting into a constant rhythm of 8.30 min/mile pace no matter what distance i am covering on a long run....

    SLOW...SLOW...SLOW.... I am planning for a 20 mile run next saturday morning and will need to keep a control of my pace.....SLOW...SLOW,......SLOW!!!!!!!

    As a beginner to all this info, training, etc i am really grateful to any tips that other people have tried and found worked for them.


  • dave 8:30/ mile is tooooooo fast for LSR pace- if you do 20miler at that pace, you'll wreck yourself- remember that you need to have some energy left for the race, at the end of all the training!

    My 10k and half times are similar to yours. I've had a few marathons- vary between 3:56, and 4:21- so either side of 4hr is a possibility. Remeber 4 hr is 9.09 min/mile, so your LSR's are suppoed to be slower than that! You can argue that any LSR that takes more than 3-3.5 hrs is counter- productive, becuase it takes too long to recover from, so if you're just shy of the 20 mies in that time, don't worry, but PLEASE don't speed up!

  • Interesting discussion on LSR pace.  I'm on the Furman 3-runs a week programme and their long run paces are a lot faster than other programmes - presumably to make up for the far lower base mileage (e. 32 miles this week for me - 20+6+6). 

    My marathon times are mostly grouped around 3.35-3.40 and I run my long runs at c8.15 pace which I find OK - whether I'd be better off running longer and slower I'm not sure.  It seems to have worked OK previously but then maybe it hasn't as my 10K and HM times suggest I should be able to do 3.25 for the marathon. I've never got near doing target time of 3.30.and ending up averaging c8.15 in the race itself anyway?!

    Ah it gives me a sore head just thinking about all this....

    Watched the BBC 2 dpocumentary on the WW2 commando training in Lochaber last night - some nice ariel shots of the A830 road to Mallaig whetted the appetite a bit...

  • Always interested to read what more experienced and stronger runners than myself have to say on these things.

    I'm after a target of sub 4hr so from what I'm reading here maybe I've been trying to do my LSRs a wee bit too quickly in the past. I've certainly had bother with injuries in my 2 other marathon training periods.

  • Kenny-yan - I suspect that there is no single "right answer" - everyone is different and you have to listen to your own body; what works for one person might not for another and we've all got different stengths and weak points from an injury perspective.

    Certaily agree with tricialitt that doing the long runs slower in the first instance is probably a good idea as it reduces the risk of getting injured if you are pushing your body too hard week after week; and you only know how near you are to getting injured after you're injured and then it's obviously a bit late to do much about it.

    Another 20 miler for me this weekend - weather looks poor, so most of it will be spent inside watching the rugby.

     Hope everyone is well and training going OK.

  • You're totally right, 14May, we all have to find what works for us. And because us 'normal' runners can only do one or two marathons a year, there's not much room for experimentation.

    Got 6 miles in today and touch wood, the leg feels right. So hoping that that's the first step on a now not so long road to Lochaber. But have had to knock tomorrow's Watford Half on the head. Loads of snow in the Black Country spreading south so a trip down the M40 tomorrow is not really on. 

     Good win for England image

    Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend image

  • Have been feeling sick all week, haven't eaten a full meal for about 4 days. Last run was 6 milesto, +6 miles from work on tuesday.

     Am heading out now to try a LSR- this could eaasliy be a disaster........................

  • Going to head off out for a 13 miler later.

    10 weeks today until the race - the last 8 weeks have flown in!

  • HHMMMmmmmmmmmm, well, under the circumstances, 9.5 miles was proably the best I could hope for- at least I made it without any major dramas.

    Cold out there, too. 10weeks to go- oh sh1t.........this iss going to be a struggle!

  • Well done on the run Tricia. Not easy if you've not been feeling good.

    Thanks for the reminder Kenny. So that gives me 8 weeks for some serious miles and  2-week taper image

  • 8 miles last night, a bit quicker than I'd planned, but no issues. Don't want to push too hard this week so resting up tonight. 5 miles down the club tomorrow and then a slow 10 on Thursday.

    Hope everyone's fit and enjoying the weather. It's bloody freezing here. 

  • Bright and crisp here, feeling better, tempo run this morning- hard work, as I've been at <75% HR Hadd- style training until now.

    A work colleague has just entered this........suddenly there's a risk I'll get all competitive, and take the trainig more seriously!

  • Spoke too soon about it all going well: hamstring strain for me - not run since 20 miler on Sunday; very sore earlier in the week but a bit better today so I'm off to the physio tommorow - fingers crossed nothing too bad and that a few days rest is sufficient..

    They say that something happens to most people over a 16-week marathon training programme - so this forum is just proving the point.... anyone out there problem free so far want to tempt fate?

  • 14May, hope it turns out nothing too serious. If you're up to 20 miles, missing a few days or even a couple of weeks isn't going to make much difference. The rest may even do you good. Just don't try to come back too soon and risk missing lots of weeks!
  • Picked up another chest infection after Monday's run so all the miles planned for the rest of the week didn't happen. Got out today and managed a slow 12. Longest run since New Years Eve. There's really no room for any more setbacks. Need to get up to 15 next weekend and do plenty of miles in between. Even then I'm probably only looking at 2 20-milers which is the absolute minimum. Not too optimistic at the moment.
  • Feeling like there's finally a bit of light at the end of the tunnel after a getting a good week's running on the board.

    Managed a couple of decent efforts home from work midweek, and today a 16 miler which is my longest run in a couple of months. Granted, I was far more tired than I should have been at the end, but the only way to improve is to do the miles, so.....

    On the downside, speed (or the lack of) is still a big issue as is the extra stone I'm lugging around that I should be doing much more to lose. Time for a bit more dietary discipline while there's still time to make a difference.

    Sorry to hear about your chest infection Goldeagle, had similar last winter and it's the last thing you need, otherwise I hope it's going well for everyone.
  • Injury update - physio session on Thursday; easy 5 miles on Friday and 15 miles easy today - touch wood hamstring seems OK; also broke in my new shoes which made me realise how little padding was left in the old pair and which may have partially accounted for the  hamstring strain.

    Thanks for the advice Goldeneagle - it's firmly planted in my mind and you're right, I probably have a bit of leeway having done a couple of 20 milers so far. Mind you please don't mess about with a chest infection; I tried to run through one when marathon training in early 2010 and ended up on 4 different courses of antibiotics, two blood tests and even a chest x-ray - I coughed non-stop for about two months, felt like someone was sitting on top of my chest all the time and didn't run for about 4 months - not fun!

    Difficult conditions looking at the TV for those from 'Albion's plains' - it's not often Scotland is 7-8 degrees warmer than doen south - hope everyone's finding some way of getting miles in.

  • 14May, pleased the injury seems to have cleared, but I don't think you should be mentioning Albion today...... image
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