VLM 2012 first timers???



  • kiwiscanfly - ha ha, yep, must remember to start slowly! 

    Is anyone else planning to do a run/walk strategy from the off?  I'm wondering if it would be more sensible to do this and practice it in training rather than try to run it all and struggle. 

  • hi everyoneimage

    kiwi                                                                                                                                                                                       yeah this is my first marathon, have done a few halfs, i've started the schedule which includes speed which i can honestly say i am really not enjoying this part of the training, i would rather do a long run then speed but its all about getting out of the comfort zone, but it certainly feel strange but nice just having to do 4 miles the next night,

    is it just me or does anyone else hate running in the wind, i love rain, snow, cold runs but if i can find an excuse not to run when its blowing a gale

  • Geena - I am planning a walk run strategy i think Jeff Galloway is a big advocate of this but I am not going to follow his plan am thinking of doing my own and breaking it into 6 mile chunks.

    I dont have any experience of this but it just makes sense to me as I am pretty comfortable with 6 mile runs so plan to run 6 then walk a mile and recover take on fluid etc. I need to try this in training as soon as I am able but that is my current plan image

    I always struggle with speedwork and seemed to just always run at one pace but as kiwi has said pacing is one of the most important aspects of marathon running even with the elites as seen in this years New York Marathon

  • Andrea - I've read a Jeff Galloway book and it did make some sense to me.  Your 6 mile plan sounds like it could work well. 

    I think I'll take some planned walk breaks to get some drink and gels in, I'm fine on a bike taking on nutrition but find it harder when running, but I keep practicing!  Haven't figured out how often I'll take the breaks though, or even how many gels I'll need - something to work on during the long training runs image

    I'm a very one paced runner too and struggle with speedwork!

    Sarnie - yep, I hate the wind too!  Was very happy this morning that it was just cold and not windy.

  • Oooh Sarnie you got a pet peeve of mine there- absolutely can't stand the wind, always feels like you're pushing a few extra tons around!

    How's everyone holding up in the cold? I've been relegated to the bike-injured my popliteal muscle (tiny thing in the back of the knee) so have to rest for a few weeks and cross-train meanwhile. Frustrating is not the word for it.

    One last question for the masses- what gels do you find the easiest to keep down? And do you rely on using other energy sources such as jelly beans? This year I managed about 3 lucozade gels during Brighton, but it was stil gnarly trying to get them down me in practice image
  • Hi

    Nicole I was going to ask the same question regarding gels/jelly beans.  I don't tend to take on much water on my runs perhaps the occasional slurp in the half marathon... unless its really warm and I will drink more.  Keep reading that I will need to carry gels etc.  Is this right? or can you manage with just the water station and carrying isotonic drinks.


  • Hi Pip,

    It's a very personal thing, but you WILL need some sort of energy gel/glucose source to rely on in the later stages of the marathon...and you need to take it before you come anywhere near to hitting the wall (because then otherwise you're pretty stuffed either way)! I tried using isotonic drinks like Gatorade but found they made my mouth feel sticky so that it affected my breathing and then proceeded to also annoy my stomach, and I had decided to try that on a 12mile run - horrible!

    I usually prefer the orange flavoured lucozade 'body fuel' tablets as I can keep them down when running, I find the only way I can get gels down is to take them on with a lot of water and then you just end up with the unpleasant sensation of a stomach full of fluid sloshing about. Also, try different gels, to my mind they're all awful but the best ones I've come across are the Hi-5 gels.

    Same goes for hydration- drink little sips even if you're not thirsty, because if you get to the stage where suddenly you're feeling dehydrated and want to drink the ocean if you could, your body is not going to be able to come back from the dehydrated state AND keep you running very successfully (your times will reflect it, too), so it's a case of prevention being far better than cure....another thing to practice on the long runs!

    I would advise especially the water practice, if you're doing a spring marathon and it ends up being a hot day which you're not prepared for because you've just trained through winter it tends not to be such a nice race. Especially when you're running for 4+ hours, as it neared 12 and 1pm the heat really did sap the strength out of me in Brighton.

    Do tell us how you get on though-what you prefer/find useful? And best of luck on the gels!

  •   Why don't you try a few on your long runs to see what suits you best ?  
  • Hi Nic

    thaanks soooo much for your prompt reply definately do as you suggest.  Will try a few before hand as I don't want an upset tummy on the Big day ......... hmmm could be embarrasing !


  • hi everyone

    i have started playing around with gels and jelly beans, i have started using the lucazade gels, am finding them a bit sweet and not sure if they actually work, am sipping lucazade drinks at around 6 miles onwards and a gel at 10ish miles but not feeling any benefits using them

    did a very very slow 14 yesterday and today i really do wonder how on earth i am gonna do a marathon even after all the training,

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Hi Everyone,

    After having a "quieter" 6 weeks working on my base fitness -i'm back to the grindstone and have started my training in full. Still a little scared.... but excited to be getting into it!

  • Help - need a bit of support here!  I've already had nearly 4 weeks off training due to bronchitis, now I have a painful knee.  Pain is down the outside of my right knee and feels almost like muscular pain.  I know if I rest/ice/take anti inflammatories it will be fine, but I am starting to panic about missing all this training!  image
  • Sarnie - I agree on the lucozade gels, found them really sweet! Have you tried any of the Hi-5 gels? And when you say you're not feeling any benefits, do you mean your times are the same or you're not feeling a burst of energy when taking them?

    Emmy_bug - Hello, glad things have started underway for you now!

    Moyna - A bit of RICE and cross-training will set you right, injuries take a lot of patience! Have you been to see a physio to confirm what is wrong? Don't panic, I'm chafing at the bit with a muscular injury in my knee too so know how you feel! (I'm supposed to have another 3 weeks of strengthening stuff and spend time on the joyous bike, the machine that all physio's love and I especially hate). If anything we can set it right now before training really starts to get serious image
  • Evening everyoneimage

    Nicole - i haven't heard of the Hi-5 gels, what are they like and who sells them?, with the gels i have tried i take them around 8 miles just before i start to lag, i have done the same mileage without them and i feel no benefit, times are no different as well,

    I should have gone out for a 5 miler tonight but after a very busy day at work i didn't have the energy so will go tomorrow night,

    hope everyones training is going ok

  • Hi Sarnie,

    Hi-5 are generally pretty cheap so I usually use them (find them less gloopier than SIS) but as said before it's a very personal thing to find what works for you! I find the Clif shorts pretty good too, but in the later miles any gel is going to taste pretty awful as it warms up from your bodyheat. They all have different mixes of electrolytes and sugar sources in them. You can also try Nuun (or Zero) tablets for rehydration/electrolyte replacement, I find them easier to stomach than lucozade, powerade or gatorade. Gels are a quick fix, meant to last roughly 20mins or so before you slump again, a lot of the more old school runner's advocate actual food whilst on the run i.e. Clifbars or Powerbars, but I find eating on the run is just a no-go area for me!

    I limped through an easy 3 miles tonight (with a surprise 30min circuits workout in the middle-thank you Nike running club)but it felt good to get the old lungs turning over....bad Nicole! Still...I got a free mince pie out of it!

    Moyna- How long have you been laid low for?
  • Morning all.

    MOYNA, it could be the ITB ( illiotibial Band) if it is down the outside of your leg as you said. It may pay to have it looked at. If you have missed 4 weeks of training that won't matter. You still have plenty of time.

    Do you stretch properly after your runs. I used to be quite lazy at doing after session stretches . As soon as I started stretching after any run or session my sports masseur noticed a big improvement in how my muscles felt. Especially the ITB. It normally feels 'grainy' but after being more particular on after run stretching it felt smooth and she said this was great as it felt 100x better. Just a bit of useful info. You may already know this, but NEVER do static stretching before a race or workout. Only dynamic stretching. You do the static stretching afterwards. If you static stretch before a race or run you run the risk of picking up an injury by %33. Worth knowing !!.

    As for the gels and jelly beans  while running. I use SIS Gels. I find them not too thick . It is a personal thing. I have a cast iron stomach so can have anything. I always use jelly babies. I carry half a dozen or so. " in each pocket and take them every half an hour until I finish. I don't always finish them but know they are there if needed. It is up to you as to how many you carry. But they are power packed with carbs and easier enough to eat.

    Also one other thing I can fire over to you concerning drinking fluids etc.

    As far as drinking goes the body can actually put up with quite a bit of dehydration. It is actually better to drink when you are getting thirsty than than throwing it on board when you are not. OK, there is a limit. You don't do a run and wait until you are so thirsty you are going to get yourself into trouble, that is lunacy. But you can put up with some dehydration. Drink when you feel like it,and not too much. London has water stops around every mile or so , therefore you can not get into any trouble here. There is plenty there, so just have it periodically when you feel you need it. The VLM uses lucozade sport isotonic which contains a mix electrolytes and carbs. These are also in abundance around the course. get use to drinking this and experimenting on your long runs. It may not agree with everyone. So best to find out before the big day rather than find it does not agree with you when running the VLM.

    Just one more thing. There is a bit of a myth concerning heat exhaustion and dehydration. Heat exhaustion is caused by the muscles generating heat, which is not then easily dissapated by the body, so therefore your core body temperature increases. Not through dehydration !!!. Therefore on hot days run slower. It's as simple as that. You could drink all the fluids under the sun, but that won't cool down your overall body temperature. It will make you feel bloated and ill. Drink sensibly. When you are feeling a little thirsty and little but often if necessary. Sorry for the lecture. But it's important.  

  • VLM will be my first marathon and I'm having a rest until begining of January as all of this year I've been training mostly 6 days per week and putting in an average of 40 miles, with my current weekly long run being 13.5m and a second long run of 9m. This was mainly to achieve a target of 2011 miles in 2011 (see the 2011 thread).

    In the schedule next year I'm actually going to be reducing the number of runs per week down to five and concentrating on the 3 quality runs in order being the long run, tempo and interval training, also starting off by reducing the total weekly mileage down to around 25 and then a gradual build up over the weeks.

    Hopefully this will provide more running resilience and endurance as this year I've had injury niggles that have affected my raving performance. 

  • Hello everyone, I've just stumbled upon this thread.  I've gained a charity place for the VLM 2012, I've never done any running before or even much activity at all!  For the last year I've been going to the gym three times a week and have lost a stone in weight, doing mixed cardio stuff but never much running.

     I work for The Prostate Cancer Charity and we are the official charity for 2012, joint with Breast Cancer Care.  When they invited staff to apply I did, and now I have a place!  It's pretty daunting, in fact I am terrified!  But I'm quite determined to raise money for a worthy cause and challenge myself and my new found fitness (sort of)

    So I've got a traning plan which involves increasing my long run by a mile a week, when I started I was at 4 miles and my plan is to be by 6 at Christmas, so I'm attempting 6 this weekend.  I'm doing three treadmill runs a week, one interval run of 3 mins comfortable pace, 1 min run, and two comfortable runs of around 30 minutes / 4.5 km.

    Reading through this forum you guys are WAY ahead of me!  I think I have shin splint on my left leg, it hurts when I press it but from what I've read I think I should run through it?  It doesn't hurt too much during running. 

    I'm really looking forward to it getting lighter in the mornings / evenings, It's not great running outside in the dark in east London! 

    How does everyone feel about training over Christmas?  I'm optimistic it will be a good chance to get out of the house, run outside and burn off all the cheese and booze!

  • Evening all who's excited for Christmas never mind running image

    It sounds like most peeps are doing well I wouldn't worry about super high mileage now but just slowly building this up, and your base fitness. I would aim to be running half marathon by the end of January latest early Feb and feeling like there is defo more in the tank  - loads of time image

    Aside from running its good to work on core strength and this puts a bit of variety into the mix. Working out the fuelling strategy is also really important i only ever used lucozade body fuel upto half marathon distance, after that I tried lots of different things but to be honest they all made me feel sick and I dont think i got the fuelling right for really long runs. Maybe this time round things will be different, will let you know once i actually get going - 2 weeks and counting image

  • Hi

     thanks for everyone's advise re fluids/gels etc  found your info very informative kiwiscanfly, makes a lot of sense.  Hear so many stories about people having problems with taking on too much fluids.  Went and bought some new running shoes [ christmas pressie] and was amazed/astounded at the number of gels/bars etc available. So bought a couple to try........ still not totally convinced but will give it a go. Started my 18wk training plan this week got soaked to the skin on Tuesday....... never mind it will all be worth it at the finish line in April eeeeeeeeeeeeeek  still terrified.

    oh and I shall be running on Christmas Day 6 miles according to my plan.

     merry Christmas to everyone


  • Ha ha, your not the only one ... I have 11 miles penciled in for Xmas morning as I will be too hungover to do it on Saturday! Coincidentally, that is the distance to my brothers house and I have been asked around for 10am to watch his daughter opening pressies, I've told him to clean the shower and get the kettle on.
  • Christmas day running is great its so wonderful to escape for a little bit and then you dont feel so guilty when your stuffing your face later on image 

    I hope everyone  has a new years day run penciled in as well - start as you mean to go on by March all of your friends and family will have deserted you because all you can focus on is running ha ha oh the joys of marathon training it is really fun - honest image

  • My longest runs are on Saturdays so I shall be running on Xmas Eve, I had strangely wanted my long run to fall on Xmas Day as I think it would be a great start to the day, but I'm not going to deviate from the plan! 

    Philippa Brooks - hi and don't worry about  where you're up to with your training, I think there's a few of us on here at the same level, my run tomorrow will be 6 miles, so there's a long way to go yet but still plenty of time before the big day! image

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Hey everyone,

    I agree - for me christmas day running is the best. It's quiet, everyone is happy - it's perfect!

    I've completed my first "proper" week of marathon training and am feeling great! I know that i've got a long way to go but at least i've started and made some progress! image

  • Hi everyone

     I've not been on here for a while - so hello all new people.

    Gemmab - thanks for that , will check out the running group - sounds great.

    I'm now into my week 2 of my 16 week training plan that I have given myself 18 weeks incase of my (ever increasing) paranoia of snow. 10 miles tomorrow........although, at this precise moment, I'm not sure a lie in will take over the desire to run.......I thought motivation was meant to wane half way through the training, not right at the beginning??

  • hi everyone

    Happy Christmasimage

    hope you have all had a good xmas, as for me i got food poisoning on friday evening and only got out of  my bed yesterday, am feeling much better and very envious of you guys out running the last few days

  • Hi

    Merry Christmas everyone.  Did my run yesterday got soaked again[ story of my life] extremely wet feet as part of my run goes through lanes which have a habit of being flooded image  never mind just kept telling myself its character building.  Did 6.5 miles [ doing 18 week plan] no problem but had a sudden thought as I was just finishing,' oh my goodness I am going to have to be running for probably another 3 1/2 hours' and had a complete panic attack..... was this really a good idea/ will I ever make it ???.  Ah well I suppose early days yet.


  • Hi all

    Hope you all had good a good Xmas. Seems a lot of you will run regardless of whether it  is a holiday or not. Good for you The marathon can't distinguish between what day of the year it is.

    I have been out for 50 minutes easy running with  mate. I had a lactate test a couple of weeks ago which produced some interesting results. I am getting in some shorter faster stuff on board for the next 6-8 weeks and then increasing mileage again.

    I have just been roped in to talking to a group of 15-20 novice marathoners from our club in a couple of weeks time so that will be interesting . It was only going to be low key, but the numbers are growing. At least it is in a pub !!

    Many of them are doing London and for the first time. 

  • Not been here for a while - but belated Merry Christmas to you all! Didn't manage to run over Christmas as we were away at the in-laws, and our car so so stuffed I literally couldn't fit my running gear in. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!) Very impressed with everyone who did manage to get out - really well done.

    My schedule starts on 2nd January - getting excited about starting now! Actually made it out today for a 4.5M run. hadn't been out since 14th December so my HR was sky high despite going pretty slow/ Ah well - I'm sure my body will remember how to do it soon.

    Going to have a good read back now (such an exciting way to spend New Year's Eve!) and only remains for me to wish you all a Very Happy New Year. May we all have happy, injury free running this year, and may we all become marathoners in 2012!

  • hi everyone

    Happy New Year to you all,

     went out today for the first time since getting food poisoning (xmas eve) and recovering from the flu just a few days ago and OMG it felt like i was starting all over again, only managed 4 miles and had to walk some of the way, hope its because i have been ill and not because i have lost all pre xmas training, might venture out again tomorrow for another gentle run,

    Black and Tabby                                                                                                                                                   loving the logo image

    Pip am so glad i'm not the only one having panic attacks about the distance and how long we will have to run, just before xmas i managed 13 miles and had nothing left in the tank, i started questioning myself if i can really run that distance, but hopefully the training plan will keep us focused

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