This is so B****y hard!

As the title says this marathon training is tough. I now know that running the marathon is going to be the hardest things I have ever done and I only hope I can do it. After each long run I do have doubts.

My long runs for the previous 6 weeks have been 14.5, 16, 17, 7 (bit of an injury), 16, 18.5 and I have found each of the long runs comfortable until about the 14/15 mile mark and then it is such a battle and I need to dig really deep.

Last week I was exhausted at the end, felt nauseaus and felt really dehydrated. This week everything was ok until mile 11 when I started to get pains in my knee. At the first the pain was like a spasm and really affected my stride. I was able to run through this but then at mile 16.4 the pain returned and forced me to stop. I could not run up or down hills, I walked a bit to get up a hill and then ran the last couple of miles. I covered 20 miles but ran 18.5 miles. I felt really flat at the end not been able to cover the 20 miles planned but the pain was just too much for me to run through.

I have had quite a heavy cold from last week so I ma hoping this is making me more tired, I think my trainers need changing, as well as the knee i could feel every stone i went over on the base of my foot leaving me thinking that the support/sponge on the shoe is not as good as it could be.

My knee is still sore when going up and down the stairs or pushing off the leg from a seat for instance but ok when walking.

Hoe are others finding the longer miles? I ma meant to have another long run of about 20 next week then a half marathon race, a shorter long run say 10, then another 22  before tapering down. I would sdo like to have a long run that goes well and ends strongly to help my confidence. I fear my stamina is not as strong as i need


  • Im smiling as I read this because I know after finishing you will want to do another one.

    Your preparing well not taking anything for granted so I would say get the knee looked at by a sports physio. New shoes maybe needed and be the solution. Do what you need. 14-15 miles is not easy to run end of.

    Dont panic when on your runs take water a little food, keep your form dont slump shoulders back let the air in.

    Silly school boy talk but it works.

    Good fortune

  • thanks for the kind words stephen, i am having real crisis of confidence re the distance so it is nice to hear reassuring words.
  • At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, you need to get that knee sorted before you do any more harm.  Can you get in to see a physio somewhere?
  • Someone once ask a training partner and I (my training partner was a 2:29 marathon runner) what it was like to be so fit - his reply pretty much summed it up -- You are tired, all the time tired. You go to bed exhausted and wake up tired, and then you do it all over again!!!  - Looking at what you are doing you will be fine - you say you have a heavy cold - of course that will effect you -  get the trainers changed asap as you need to break them in -  and forget the crisis of confidence, it sounds like you have done far more than many - so good luck to you and have a great day (one thought I sort of assume that you are doing London  - but may be way off on that - could you perhaps do your longer runs over a flatter terrain?)
  • Grendel,

     thank you, that helps. I am doing Belfast which is two weeks later. I have changed the trainers for a replacemet pair. I assumed my old ones were ok but when comparing the soles I can see that there is a big difference. Thankfully my knee is not too bad today, I can feel it but can climb the stairs without any discomfort.

    It is really helpful to hear encouraging words from others, I know I have put in the miles and I am a stubborn so and so who will get around no matter what. I have just had two bad long runs which have knocked the confidence and given that i have never hit these kind of miles before I dont know what to compare it to. I get to 14-15 miles ok and then its so tough... Thanks again for the supportive words.

  • I completely agree, it's really really hard!!!

    I'm running London, my first marathon. Done long runs of 14,16,18 miles and 20 this morning. I find it fine until 13ish miles, bearable until about 16 but the last 4 miles this morning were torture!
  • wetherbyrunner, that sounds so like my runs. For the first 13 or so I feel like i could run forever, i then work hard for the next few and then from 16 onwards i am hoping a car will be at a junction so i can stop running for a second. At that point I look at people walking with such envy. I just cant imagine doing another 7.5 in my case (longest I have done is 18.6 miles. I am like a youngster just wanting someone to tell me that it will be ok. The last few weeks havve seen a number of niggles and illness which in one hand give me hope that the runs will be easier when they pass but on the otherhand leave me fearing that my body is falling apart. A friend told me the problem was too many birthdays, he may be correct.

    wetherbyrunner what marathon are you running? Do you have a target? I did at the outset but have long since ditched any thought of a time. According to my 10k macmillian calculator says i should be aiming for 3.45 (oh how i could laugh) if i brake 4.30 i will be happy...

  • Maybe you are running your long runs too fast try slowing down a bit.

     I find if I go out really slow I end up feeling strong at the end rather than going out too fast and end up slowing.

  • Flo Po, there may be something in that, i run my long slow miles between 9.30-10 min miles. In truth that is pretty close to what my marathon pace will probably be. I had thought my marathon pace would be about 9.15-9.20 (now not so sure). When i start hurting a lot ie over 15 miles i am slowing to 10.20-10.30 min miles. I have genuinely tried to slow earlier but struggle, my form goes and it feels like i am shuffling.
  • I have the same problem but you have to try why don't you start off at the pace you end up slowing to and see how you go!
    If the training runs are slower they will help with your stamina as you will run longer!
  • dprovan I think you may have cracked it - you are basically putting in a marathon type of effort each week - slow down and go flatter!!!   Good luck and keep us posted!!!
  • thanks Grendel3, given your experience I am certainly going to listen.

    I am reassured that as the day has gone on my aches have eased gradually. I think i will go out tomorrow or monday for a really slow run to see how i go.

    Grendel3 how hard did you find your first marathon? What kind of shape were you in at that time? I need to remember that i am doing this off 7 months running! Although i am 39 I am still a baby in terms of running

  • My first marathon was done off much lower LSR mileage thatn that- and I managed not too bad ( 4:20). Don't continue on trainig runs if you are limpng!- you'll end up with injuries to all sorts of other areas from the odd gait- get the knee looked at, or try strapping it up, or something.

    You'll be fine on race day, as long as you remember to taper beforehand, - the race day atmosphere, and fresh legs will get you through.

  • dprovan -you look on target to me. I am just at the 20 mile point although my training is Run/Walk 5min/1min - due to COPD. It all started off hard and some claimed I would not do 10 mile RW let alone 20 due to it.
    Keep long runs slow and fun and taper as tricia says.

    I am just gonna get 'round VLM and have fun in the processimage


  • thank goodness I must be doing something right! image

    Grendel3 wrote (see)
    Someone once ask a training partner and I (my training partner was a 2:29 marathon runner) what it was like to be so fit - his reply pretty much summed it up -- You are tired, all the time tired. You go to bed exhausted and wake up tired, and then you do it all over again!!!
  • Slow down a little bit, right from the start.  If you run to heart rate, knock off 10 BPM - makes a huge difference.

     Eat and drink more.  Dehydration by as little as 2% can really hurt your performance - but feeling hungry and empty can have just as bad an effect, purely psychologically.  Try upping your drink, and take a bag of jelly babies with you and eat one every mile.

    Finally, if you're really struggling - try ProPlus caffeine tablets.  They lower percieved exertion, and make a huge difference.  Try 2 at 10 miles, then 2 per hour.  Laying off the coffee/tea/cola/chocolate the rest of the time helps with this.  (Caffeine came off the banned list a few years ago - it's completely legit!)

  • dprovan wrote (see)

    As the title says this marathon training is tough. I now know that running the marathon is going to be the hardest things I have ever done and I only hope I can do it. After each long run I do have doubts.

    No, running the marathon is not the hardest thing you will ever do.  The hardest part is the training.  On the day you will have prepared perfectly - got enough sleep, start of fully hydrated, eaten the right things, tapered and rested the legs.  In training you often do a long run without worrying about all the prep and so you will find it harder.

    On race day you also have the adrenaline and support to get you round, whereas in training you have to deal with yoofs and inconsiderate public.

    I have never felt as bad the day after any marathon than I have after my longest training runs.

  • Can you get a friend to be a support team for you. My husband is driving with us for our 22 and we had friends on bikes for our 20, they have water food etc and it really helps.
  • I used to really struggle with the longer runs, but eventually I realised that my problem was that I wasn't preparing properly for them. If I was racing on a Sunday morning, be it XC, 10k or half marathon, I would make sure I prepared properly the day before (or 2 days for a Half). By this I mean eating and drinking properly, making sure I got a decent night's sleep etc. It occurred to me however that I was not doing the same when attempting to do my long runs, which in many regards are far more strenuous - I was just rolling out of bed on Sunday morning, eating some porridge, drinking a cup of tea and heading out the door. I therefore started to make a conscious effort to prepare for the longer runs as I would if it were a race, making sure I ate and drank sensibly the day before etc. Straight away my long runs were easier and I wasn't running out of steam towards the end.
  • some wonderful advice guys, thank you so much. I can take something from everyones comments. I know I dont prepare as well as i should for the long runs, i do pretty much get out of bed and go.

    I am injured now itbs and a tweaked thigh muscle so much too my disgust it looks like no long runs for this week anyway

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