2012 Marathon thread



  • Hi, I have just entered the Brahay Windermere marathon.  It will be my first ever one and apparantly its very undulating so could be a toughy!  Im planning on using the 4.30 marathon plan from runners world, though I'll just see how I come on with it at first may be that I need to go slower than the plan asks. 
  • Im going to do either chester or liverpool, did my first in 3.41 but that included nearly 55 minutes for the last 5 miles so I'm aiming for sub 3.25 if I do choose to do a marathon
  • Brighton - 1st Marathon - want to get as close to 3:30 as poss - really looking forward to the challenge.

    A bit confused on marathon training programmes - so far have I read about:

    - high mileage programs running 6 out of 7 days
    - the FIRST program (3 days a week - tempo / sprints / long run)
    - Run / Walk / Run school of thought

    What do you guys reckon?!!! Thanks

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    If you're looking for sub 3.30 then I'd choose the first option so long as you have a good base.  image
  • LC, I agree with Minni. Could also be 5 out of 7 days but 3 days does not seem enough for 3:30.


  • Cheers Minni / Fiona - it would make sense to me that a higher mileage program is better preparation, but according to this article there are veteran marathon runners who have knocked minutes off their PB after switching to the FIRST/'less is more' program:


    interesting reading!

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    What is your running background Luke?
  • Started running last summer for a couple of months working up to a 10k, then stopped for the winter. Started up again this Spring and have been running regularly since - have been doing 1-2 10ks a week, and 2-3 10k's a week more recently.

    Recently did a couple of half marathons, both at 1hr45. Plan to keep on with 2 to 3 runs a week (10k's with a longer run on a Sunday) until I start a marathon program in earnest in January. (Im 31 years old)
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Luke it might be an idea to start increasing your weekly mileage a bit more now to help build a good base.  

    The three day a week schedule does look tempting but it doesn't work for most.  Every run is hard and unless you're used to this you run the risk of injury.  In my opinion you also need to be doing some pretty intensive cross training. 

    I tried followed it roughly a few years ago and couldn't hit the required paces and even though I was cycling along side this just wasn't enough. 

  • Hi Luke,

    Minni & Fiona are right (they're women so they would be). 3 days a week very rarely works. I would say minimum of 4, preferably 5. 6 might be a bit much if you are not used to it though. Spend the next couple of months gradually increasing your mileage. Make sure you are running nice and slowly. 3:30 marathon is 8 minute miles. You should be running the rest of this year at 9-9:30 pace.
  • Might sound daft but I'm only up to six miles at most because I cant run "slowly" not that Im super fast but I always seem to do the same speed, and can't slow down because then I feel I need to walk!  How can I make myself slow down? 
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    So what pace are you running those 6 miles at Rachael?
  • Minni / Spoon - thought it sounded too good to be true! In what scenarios would it work effectively though? If you already have an excellent level of fitness??

    Would you advise pushing mileage and dropping pace for all of my runs or just my long Sunday run?

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Luke I'm not sure because I don't personally know anyone who has achieved it. However, there is a thread over on the Spring Marathon page where people have followed the plan and its worked.  I don't know who started the thread..... image

    What pace are you running at the moment for your training runs?  Just now you want to be building a base and not worrying about any speed.

  • I'm generally doing 10k training runs at 8:15 or thereabouts - this includes elevation gain of about 300ft spread over a 3k section of the course
  • Luke - I think it has worked for a few people. I guess they are naturally strong at endurance, do a lot of cycling or similar and are happy not fulfilling their actual potential.

    At the minute I would concentrate on base training, so slowing down all the runs. This will also reduce fatigue so you can start upping the mileage / number of runs per week with less chance of injury. Once you are comfortably running 40 miles a week then you can worry about speed.
  • cheers for advice - will start to push weekly mileage up bit by bit once im done with upcoming races!
  • Minni not sure how to calculate in to miles per minute but it takes me about 55minutes to cover just over six miles

  • 9 minute miles x 6 = 54 minutes
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Rachael if you'd said you were running 15 m/m I might have agreed it would be hard to slow down but you can slow down from 9 m/m!  Its hard though and does take some practice.     You need to run much further than 6 miles in marathon training so take the chance now to master running closer to 10 m/m in preparation for that.
  •  rachael leach wrote (see)

    Might sound daft but I'm only up to six miles at most because I cant run "slowly" not that Im super fast but I always seem to do the same speed, and can't slow down because then I feel I need to walk!  How can I make myself slow down? 

    Hi Rachel, I think its a mindset thing. In the early days you need to have a mindset of "today I am going to run for an hour at the slowest speed I can go"  or think " Today I am going to run for an hour and get back feeling the freshest I possibly can"

    If you do this you will run slower. you may need to remind yourself every minute. 

    However if you do this enough you will find that on other runs you can run / will have the energy aerobic capacity to run faster than the speed that you currently run at. Your body will be better rested and better prepared to run faster. Sound sweird - but worked for me.....

    Good luck

  • Thanks for the advice guys.  I have a "long"  run planned for sunday so will try out changing my mindset to run slower I'll let you know how I come along.
  • Edinburgh marathon for me....  happy just to finish, put 6 hours on my entry but would like 5 1/2 or there about... cant imagine managing to jog for 5 and a bit hours but suppose the training starts now!!  I have been jogging since August so a complete beginner.  Starting to push my effort up Tue 7.3, Wed 8.5, Fri 5.6 and today managed a slow 11.5 (1hr 58!!), I am finding it hard work, but these forums are helping.   I really want to achieve this so fingers crossed for uninterrupted training! I am not getting any younger (41) Have I bitten off more than I can chew...??  Hope not!!

  • Good luck jennie. Sounds like your doing really well. Don't worry about speed, your doing the right thing by concentrating on upping mileage slowly. You have plenty of time and the fact you can already do 2 hrs is great. Keep up the good work!!
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    How did you get on today Rachael?
  • Hi Minni today went well.  I managed to slow down abit and felt like I could have gone a bit further at the end of the run today rather than my usual "can't take another step" feeling! I have a rest day planned tomorrow, but Tuesday the plan says to do 5miles.  Consisting of 1mile jog, then 2x 1.5 miles fast ending with another 1 mile jog.  Think I might struggle with my pacing again on this!  I went shopping today and was looking at Garmins, does anyone use them and are they well worth the money?  Although Im hoping Santa will treat me!!  Hows everyone else coming along?

  • Jennie, no, you've not bitten off more than you can chew. If you're up to 11 miles, you're already well into the distances that the training plans start - and you won't be doing that for at least another month yet! Keep on getting used to distances above 10 miles, and try to extend the mid week runs so that you've got that habit formed early.

    I'll be turning 40 just prior to my 1st marathon next year, so if I can do it, so can you!

    PB in a half today, under 2:20 (by 2 seconds, but under is under, regardless of margin). Which suggests I should be training for nearer 5 hours than 5.5. Golly, that's mighty quick (for me!)

    Rachel, I ran for a number of years without a garmin, but decided that I'd get one this year. Had it a few months now and I love it! With a passion!! I'm completely the world's worst at judging pace, but this keeps me on track and gives me solid feedback on pace. And it goves it WHILE you're running, no waiting until the end and the clock to tell you that you were too fast or slow. There's something about the data that means you can't hide from it, and I like that almost brutal honesty from it. I went for the 205, as it does everything I need, but I'm completely in love with it. Used it today, and ran just the most excellently paced race (imho, obviously!) First negative split EVER, and finished like an express train! (I've had  a glass or two of rather good red, so you might want to ratchet back the enthusiasm a bit)

  • I have a place at the London marathon and its my first marathon. I am excited and aiming for a sub 3hr30 mins time, have run a few half marathons previously.

    Going into this my concern is injury but also I need to improve my diet and strengthen my core. I will look to be contributing actively and reading posts going forward.

    You can follow my progress here (http://pete-tizard.blogspot.com/) and appreciate any support/advise given.
  • Helen - Well thats a definate plus 1 for garmin then.  The one Im looking at is the 305 because I cycle aswell but I suppose I can just use the bike computer for most of the stuff I do on the bike.  Its  abit of a mine field choosing the right one! Well done on the PB, nothing better than seeing a visiable improvement is there!

     Pete - Hi there are a few people on this thread new to marathons so I think it will be a learning curve for some of us, and this thread should be good motivation and a place to ping back and forth some ideas!

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