Marathon queries

OK - first marathon looming, have tried to fake injury over the summer but can still walk so that excuse won't work. Exposed myself to the sick and infirm but can't seem to catch a cold - so it may be that I'll actually have to do it.

Initially had a firm plan fixed in my mind but now am rife with uncertainty - so turn to the forum for advice:

1. I have never used immodium before but am wondering whether I should - completely against all advice not to do anything new on race day.

2. Drinking / Eating: I have toyed with the idea of taking my camelbak but feel that over 26 miles I might regret it. I'm keen to take on fuel in the first 10-15 miles and need a reliable way to get it on board so I'm now thinking either bottle belt with plain water and take energy gels or bottle belt with Isostar. After 10 miles I would jettison the bottle.

3. HRM: Have definitely decided not to use my HRM........probably definitely.

4. Had plan to wear recently broken in Asics 2070's but now think they might be a bit firm so will probably revert to Addidas - slightly aging but comfortable.


  • Tim

    Target time exists on three planes:

    1. "Perfectly acceptable" (my aim at the start of this year and allowing for this being first marathon) 3:30.
    2. "Race dictated goal" (time suggested by recent racing performances and assuming no major mishaps on the day) 3:20.
    3. "Dream time" (assuming everything gels on the day, weather good, taper goes well etc.etc.etc.) Sub 3:15.

    I have a degree of fear it would be fair to say because I know no matter how well it goes it going to hurt!
  • I've always found that the drinks provided (every mile) are sufficient to offset the need to carry a bottle.

    However you may find it comforting to carry a bottle of lucozade/isostar and sip it regularly over the first 10 miles before chucking it ( I do this for long training runs anyway).

    I don't use gels but you may find that there are kids handing out sweets.

    I'd advise not using immodium if you haven't used it before (after all you were OK on your long training runs why shouldn't you be for the marathon ?)

    Go with your gut instinct with the shoes.

    Good luck and enjoy your taper & race.
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Martin, are getting worried?

    1. Not a good idea as you've never tried it before. If you haven't had any problems in this area then you shouldn't have to worry about it anyway. Just go before you start.

    2. Depends how they intend handing out the water. If it's those silly little plastic cups you may not get enough water. Take a cut down straw with you, just in case, as this allows you to get a full cup at each drink station. + gels, unless they are handing out full strength energy drinks at the water station.

    3. For your first marathon it may be useful having your HRM to ensure you don't do the first section at too fast a pace. You could then ignore it after maybe 15 miles or so. It is soooooooo important to start off at a realistic pace, no matter how good you feel.

    Good luck and can't wait for the report.

    4. Whatever shoes you feel most comfortable in.
  • My first marathon in 4 weeks plans are:

    1. Wasn't going to then read "runners trots" thread to confuse things. Still not going to.

    2. Bottle belt with usual training drink and gels for use later on.

    3.HRM - no way. I will have a fair idea about how much I am struggling without the beaping on my wrist to confirm it.

    4.Bought a newpair of shoes a month ago, the older ones may be comfy but 26 miles is a long way on worn out insole cushioning.
    What one are you doing MH?
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    You've been given very sound advice so I'll just wish you good luck!

    You too Sarcy1. Hope you have a good marathon.
  • Thanks guys

    1. I think you're probably right - I have been caught short on the odd occasion, but so long as there is a bush nearby.....
    2. I think I will look at the weather - if it looks like hot then I'll go with the camelbak - at least then I can guarantee a decent fluid intake.
    3. Definitely agree to go off cautious.

    .....and yes Drew I am getting worried!

    Scary1 - I'm doing the "3 - laender" marathon which goes along the shore of Lake Constance - starts in Germany, through Austria, small loop into Switzerland and back to finish in Austria.
  • Sorry Sarcy1, I would wear the HRM but turn off the beeping. If it gives data for the whole run you might find it useful for reference afterwards. Mine (Polar M51) gives average HR for the session and my ave for my recent half marathon pb was exactly the same as a half in Feb this year which took 11 minutes longer on a less hilly course. So that suggests I'm a damn sight fitter now and it's nice to know!
  • Am I really qualified to offer marathon advice on the basis of one done 21 years ago? Here goes then....

    1) Immodium? God forbid. A bit of extra fibre the night before (an apple maybe) to ensure a "clearout" early morning would be the method I'd go for to avoid this problem...

    2) I survived in 81 on water only - but only because I couldn't carry anything convenient with me. Think your idea is fine.

    3) If there's one event where the HRM can offer useful guidance it's this one. Take it with you; try to stay as calm as possible, and use the info it gives you to pace yourself accordingly.

    4) Sounds q reasonable.
  • GuyGuy ✭✭✭
    1) I agree with everyone else - stay off the Immodium.

    2) I hate carrying anything when I run, particularly drinks bottles, so for a marathon I always put a couple of gels in my pocket, and have them at the water stops.

    3) If you have been training with the HRM, I would consider using it. I always start too fast in a marathon. In my last one my first two miles were around 6:50, when I was meant to be doing 7:30 - but they didn't feel fast at the time.

    4) Sounds sensible.

    Good luck.
  • 1. - as you have been advised - stay away if you have no problems - some people have said that it induced cramps (stomach) if untested.

    2. Depends on frequency of water available in the run - do not hesitate to walk the ten senconds it takes to drink a cup of water (if that's what is on offer) - you lose little to no time.

    3. If you use the HRM beware that excitement/nervousness may cause a 5-10% increase in heart rate so if you feel absolutely fine try not to worry if you're a touch over target. Do be careful not to go off like a bullet from a gun - target pace (around 7:30 min/mile for you on ideal race day) will feel like easy run pace of 8:30 per mile because of adrenaline.

    4. Sounds good.
  • Well you wouldn't be human if you weren't getting worried at this stage Martin. Just really wanted to wish you luck as you've been so diligent with your preparation it's bound to pay off.

    But Martin - run without your HRM?? You been talking to Ron or what?? Seriously, wear it even if all you do is collect data, you know you'll be wanting to know afterwards (set it to show time rather than HR if it puts you off). As I've mentioned a hundred times, I found the HRM extremely useful in my first m this year;paced myself well with it and only slowed 3 mins in the second half.

    Finally who said go with 'gut' instinct?
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    On the HRM thing I found a useful side benefit was that the chest band seemed to help avoid nipple rash. Must have slightly held my running vest away from them or summat.

    Nice to jot down the splits/avge HR afterwards as well. I reckon it helped me achieve an almost perfect race (for the FLM).

  • Immodium? Camelbak? HRM? 2070's? What are you the bionic man or a runner? All that counts is that you've done your miles. If you've done 1/2M, 15, 18 and 21 in the run up to taper (without injury) you'll make it round.
  • Tim, You probably want to wear more than only a watch - at least some shorts.

  • nothing wrong with being a bionic man....i'm taking my md player, hydropod (read camelbak), and speed distance there!
  • Well, "Fluffa" - from your pic it looks like you've stuffed your Camelbak up your shirt! (Where it belongs, frankly.)
  • Just wanted to wish you Martin all the best for Sunday, I'm sure you will be a winner (I don't mean position or time).
  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    Pernickity, what do you pin the race number to?
  • I ran my first marathon at the weekend (Berlin). Think that the 2 things that I learnt were 1) it is worth carrying drink - in Berlin the water was in cups and found it v difficult to take more than a couple of gulps and then only about half actually found my mouth. Also the first few water stops were mayhem (albeit that Berlin generally was v well organised) and would have been nice to have just run through the early stops - the later ones were easier as by that time, I was running with runners of a similar pace; and 2) if as in Berlin, all first time runners are lumped together at the back, you will spend the first 10km having to weave in and out and constantly change pace - found myself getting a bit depressed when I knew that I'd quickened my pace, but the splits stayed the same!!

    Good luck for the weekend!!!
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