First London Marathon!!!!!

Hi - just found out I have a place in the London Marathon next year and need all the help & advice I can get!!!!!! Any tips out there for a novice like me?!!


  • What is your fitness level at the moment Hilly and how many miles can/are you running?
  • How did you find out so early ? thought it wasnt until October ?

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭


    3.30 or bust - you're right that it's not until October that we hear the results.

  • GFA Entries are confirmed already too.

    I'm in and it'll be my first London. The best possible advice is to spend the next few months, up to the 16th December getting used to running lots of miles.

    When you start an 18 week plan you need to find the training levels comfortable already, which means having done long runs of up to 16 miles and weekly volumes of 50 plus wherever possible.

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    Not knowing what your current level is I'd say start now if you are a complete novice, don't leave it till December when most plans start.

  • If you are a novice I wouldn't try running 50 miles a week!

    build up gradually from whatever level you are at now. Have you done any running at all?

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    For my first marathon (Paris 2009) I started building up my base training in October. Making sure that by the end of the year I could comfortably run 8 miles at a steady pace without walking. I was also running 3 / 4 times per week. This made the transition into a proper training programme a lot easier in January.
  • Get yourself to HM fitness by Christmas and then find a 16 week marathon plan that fits your targets for the big day.  But all of the above will depend where you are at now

  • I applied via the Tadworth Children's Trust last week, they e-mailed me on Friday! So far, the most I have managed to run is 3 miles! I'm thinking of trying the jog / walk training that I've seen on line from the end of September, also theres a local 5k at the end of October but not sure if I should be aiming higher?


  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    There's also the couch to 5k programme that's popular.  Get started now image

  • I too already have a place (GFA). I have already started doing 18 mile long runs at the weekend as well as some speed work in the week.
  • But it's only August???
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    Need to make sure that you're fully prepared!

    I know a friend went from 0-26miles in 2 years because she was taking it nice and steady. It's just the pace she wanted to build on
  • Can never start too early.  Currently doing around 40 to 45 miles a week plus gym session.  Will ramp it up in January.  Besides I enjoy doing long runs.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Good for you Surrey Runner. Good luck with the training

  • Hilary: congratulations on your place, and on starting thinking about this now, not waiting until January.

    Start running regularly now and gradually increasing what you do. I'd suggest starting with three runs a week, always with at least one rest day in between runs.  Find an online "couch to 5K" programme and see how far along that you are - if you can run 3 miles, you're there already (5k is 3.1 miles) so you could already go find a local parkrun and do that on Saturdays - they're great, fun, friendly and free! (Just remember to register online beforehand and take your parkrun ID with you). 

    Once you've got to the end of a 5K programme, find say a 10-12 week half-marathon training program (they usually require you to be able to run 20-30 minutes in one go at the start) and follow that - try to find an actual half-marathon to do when you get to the end (a nice friendly local one, perhaps). Once you've completed that, start a marathon training programme appropriate for your speed. If you think it's too early to start the marathon programme, then start increasing the length of your long slow run, and work up to four or even five runs a week.

    Note: once you get to a marathon training programme, I'd advise you to start it at least two weeks early - so, if it's a 16-week programme, try to start it 18 weeks before the marathon. That way, if you're out of running for a week or two at any point due to illness (e.g. bad cold) or injury, you're not panicking and worrying that you won't get enough long runs in (a theme that comes up repeatedly in the "Heath & Injury" forum).

  • Thanks all for your advice. I cannot believe this but I got my route wrong and in fact, I can only run a mile! Panic has set in!! I plan to walk/jog, at least I can power walk at this stage!!!
  • you still have a lot of time

    google 'coach to 5k' - this is a plan to get you running up to 3 miles, follow that then start working towards 10K

    so long as you start now and take it steady you have lots of time

  • Thanks mathschick! Managed a mile in the rain tonight so feeling better!!!
  • well done

    have you got the couch to 5k program? I didn't do it myself but have heard from loads of people that have and have been really successful with it. Maybe you should follow that to build up to 3 miles? Then find a 10k training program etc to get you up to xmas.

  • I've seen a few but ran more tonight, I think I should probably stick to a programme otherwise I'll think I'm not making progress! Need to remember its only August!!!
  •  Hi Hilary, I found out also that I’ve got my place through a charity which I’m super excited about. I used to run about 10 years ago so a long time ago now but always wanted to do the marathon. I’ve been running about 4 weeks now and ive already gone from 1 mile to 3 miles comfortably and now pushing myself to run 4 miles this week- although im only doing it in about 10 mins a mile image 

    As someone has already said though, its important to have a rest day in between and I try and push myself when I have more time at least once a week to go that little bit further. Also vary your routes, I did the stupid thing of running the same lap through town and it got so boring!

    *I wouldn’t mind some advice though from someone- I try running in the mornings when I get up, but it makes me feel seriously sick and I don’t feel comfortable doing more than 2.5 miles- what can I do to stop this?!

    I wouldnt mind some advice though from someone- I try running in the mornings when i get up, but it makes me feel seriously sick and I dont feel comforatble doing more than 2.5 miles- what can i do to stop this?!

  • Are you pregnant ??

    The first 20 mins are always the worst I find - your body is just warming up. Just like a car on a cold morning.

    Once you start to extend the runs you get to spend more time in the 'warmed up' zone which is much more enjoyable. 

    If morning runs make you feel sick - try running later on ?  And 10 minute miling is good - could you chat at that pace ? If not try slowing down. 

  • Well done Nicola! Is this your first marathon? Are you a member of a running club? I'm not sure whether to join my local one. Just been away for a week so trainers are going back on tomorrow!!!!!
  • Nicola, try simple calcium carbonate antacid tablets - I used to suffer horribly from acid stomach in the mornings and they helped me a lot. Try taking one before you start, and maybe carrying another one with you to chew if you start feeling sick.

    Hilary: yes, join a running club. If nothing else you should learn some new running routes (I've got a lot more than that out of joining a club, but it was a very obvious immediate benefit).

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