First time marathon advice

Hi Folks,

I am planning to run my first marathon at the end of May. I wouldnt describe myself as a runner although have done a few half marathons, 10ks and triathlons. So I am fairly fit. However before training for this marathon the furthest I had ever run was a half marathon.

I am up to 22miles in my training, however when I get to the 16/17 mile mark my legs and feet start to really hurt and by the end of the training run I am hobbling quite badly and even the slightest of inclines becomes quite hard. It is as if DOMS strike a day too early! The frustrating thing is that I dont really feel that tired, my heart rate is still pretty low I just feel that my legs wont run any quicker, I start running like a cross between john wayne and charlie chaplin and my pace drops off fairly sharply.

 Is there any training that I can do to get over this? Will more long distance runs help this to subside, or is this just the marathon runners lot and I just need to open a can of 'man up'?

Any advice would be gratefully received.




  • What's your fuelling/hydration strategy like? You could be hitting the wall, where you're running out of stored carbs. It happened to me on a 20mile run - at 17 miles my HR was fine but legs wouldn't work. I've taken on more jelly babies and eaten a bigger breakfast and that seemed to help me a bit.
  • It does sound like you are either getting your nutrition stragegy wrong or you are trying to build up the miles too quickly and your muscles aren't strong enough to cope.

    Are you using gels or electrolyte and energy drinks, or some other form of nutrition?  Also as someone else said, a bigger breakfast can help.

    Could also be a hydration thing so make sure you drink plenty in the 24 hours before your long run and take liquid with you.

  • Wall............ Carry gels or carbo drinks to help. You're system starts to run on fat after an hour and a half roughly. 2 or 3 gels per hour or regular carb drink {not a full lucozade pouch} after the 1.5hr mark as well as electrolyte drink should see you ok. Those multi bottle pouches are good for training with as you can have a few for carb drink and a few for electrolyte drinks.
  • Guys,

    Thanks very much for the advice. I did another 22 miler last night, I made sure that I ate all the way round the run and smashed last weeks time. I am now considering revising my marathon target time. I still slow down towards the end of the run, but its only by a few seconds per km.

    Thanks again,


Sign In or Register to comment.