the Marathon of the North



  • Welcome to the thread Daisy.

    10 grim miles tonight, in the sleet and rain 2 hours after a large Sunday dinner. I felt like Mr BLobby with all my gear on to keep warm and dry. 

    Lily can I also recommend Strava works with most gps watches and smart phones great for tracking times and finding local rivals to test yourself against on something called segments.

  • hi thanks for the welcomes image


    Well done on those 10 grim miles Tim, they count more than 15 on a lovely summer night for sure!


    I am the other person in the universe who doesn't have a smartphone lily image so all these apps are beyond me too...


    I've just had a litany of illness all winter (poor me), so it's been ticking over but feeling like I've been going backwards pace wise, bit depressing!  But I'm still out there and no reason not to do the race, so got to focus on the positives.  This will be mara no.3 for me lily, but my first road marathon so am a bit apprehensive about having only my pace and mile markers to focus on.  I don't really train on roads - wonder if I should throw in some more road miles?  But don't want to risk injury either.  I love mud image


  • just done 6 miles in freezing rain, tough but had a friend for company which certainly helpedimage Good for you Daisy keeping going and hope you are feeling better. I only ever run on roads, impressive running off road. I guess it might be good to do a bit of road running before the M of the N. I wonder what other people think. As well as mile markers we will hopefully have lots of support. I remember at Manchester the encouraging comments and clapping and smiles from the spectators and the water stations etc, the children giving high fives, people waving from their houses and also taking in new scenery....all more of a blur near the end but I will never forget still being cheered on after 5 hours! We did have stretches on country lanes with no spectators but I think that will be less so in Sunderland.

  • I'm lucky to have lots of "easy" trail running round where I live lily - don't imagine I'm fell running my long runs!  Did you do Manchester last year?

  • oh I see further up you did - kudos to you, it sounded like terrible conditions!  I ran just over 7 miles today in the snow.  On a cutback week this week and I'm glad looking at the weather forecast...


  • Daisy I am also a trail runner and am also very luckly to have access to loads of great trails. I live  in Washhington which is on the outskirts of Sunderland, Durham and Gateshead. The marathon of  North was my first and only road marathon that I have run so far.

    For anyone interested here is my write up of my run there last year

  • Cool thanks Tim will have a read of that.  I'm in Durham by the way!  Trail-tastic North East image

  • Hi Daisy, good to have you around!

    Training continuing here. When will Spring be Sprung? Cold,wet long runs are dragging now. Good speed work last night (robbed myself of a 5k and single mile PB by misreading the garmin!) and have planned my longest run ever (and peak of training) this weekend.

    Aim is to complete 26 and then meet my wife to complete a further 4 and break the 30 barrier. Lol. Sounds a bit mad but I've got it in my head and can't shake it!! Heh.

    I will feedback!

    Oh and good running to all!
  • Lily - I'm another Garmin fan.  I found that once I purchased a Garmin my training (and thus my running) really improved as it tells you immediately your pace and distance, without having to do calculations in your head, without having to mess around with pace bands and without having to run with your smartphone.  Before getting one, I think I sometimes may have over, or underestimated how fast I was running.  Plus, like others, I love pouring over my statistics after a run ... I love the geeky stuff like that.

    I've got the 305 and did worry that it was going to be too big for my girly wrist, but I've never had a problem with it.

    Hope everyone's training is going well.  Mine was, until my holiday in Benidorm ... the weekend before jetting off I'd managed a tough cross country at Alnwick followed by 18 miles the next day.  Then in Spain I managed 2 x 6.5 mile runs along the coastline, with the sun glittering on the green sea as I ran in just shorts and t-shirt ... just wonderful to lift the spirits after our horrible summer/autumn/winter.

    Unfortunately on the plane coming home I seem to have picked up a bit of a chest cold, so have been a bit wiped out by that.  Unadvisedly I went out on Sunday in the cold and rain and did 17.5 miles.  I took it really slowly, and felt ok(ish) at the time, but since then I've had a pain behind my left knee which I'm a bit worried about (I've never had pain there before).  I'm keeping everything crossed that it's just a niggle that will go away after a few day's rest.

    That's one of the worst things about marathon training ... not the hours of running in the winter, but the constant worry in the final weeks that you're going to pick up an illness, or injury, or both image

  • Tim - I just read your report from last year ... it's really good.  It sounds like conditions were pretty good last year.  Fingers crossed it's the same this year, though the way things are going with the weather it may not be so pleasant this time.

  • Hi Shielsy, hope you manage to shift the chest cold.  You're right though, you have the plan in your head and see the runs slipping away from you, it's a bit panic inducing.  Have to keep the faith (been telling myself that all winter!).  Mainline that Vit C!


    Tim I enjoyed the report thanks!  I did the 10k last year on that day, fingers crossed we get a lovely sunny day again.  Or no blizzards as a minimum image  So do you put in some more road miles when you know you're doing a road race, or just train as usual?


    Adrian that is a looong run!  Are you training for an ultra too or is this part of the marathon training?  Best of luck with it!


    8 miles for me today, managed a bit faster than I have over recent weeks so hoping the pace will recover.

  • Shielsy hope you are feeling better and running again.

    Thanks for the feedback on the blog post.

    Daisy - for me a road marathon is good reason to do more speed work. I run on smoother trails for road running image The Sunderland to Conset coast to coast route is almost like running on a road these days as it has been resurfaced as well.

    Been having a very easy week so far, as I have my longest run of my marathon plan. Which will be a 55 mile race between Guisborough and Helmsley (The Hardmoors 55). Not pushing for a time on this one, just hoping to survive the weather and the hills. Weather forecast is not looking too good for Saturday image

  • 55!! Makes my planned 30 puny in comparison!! Lol. Good luck fella!
  • Shielsy glad you had a good hol, run along the seafront sounded lovely. Hope your cold and knee niggle are better. Know exactly what you mean about the worry of injuries as race day gets closer. But hopefully we will all be ok. Adrian and Tim, wow with that mileage! Look forward to hearing about itimage. 19.2 miles for me today and the sun is shining. But I have to wait for a washing machine to be delivered and plumbed in first this morning. image

  • Tim - good luck on your 55 mile race ... here's hoping the weather reports are wrong!

    Lily - thank you.  I'm feeling a bit better and my knee pain has improved too with the 3 days of rest.  I'm planning on going out tonight after work to test it out.  I've just got some new running shoes - the Nimbus 14s.  I always run in Nimbuses, and I loved the 13s but have heard bad reports of the 14s so I'm a bit apprehensive.

    Hope the washing machine arrives in good time image

  • thanks Shielsy, wash machine arrived and I was able to get out by 11.30. Long lonely 19.2 miles, v tough but fab views and sunshine. Exhausted, exhilarated and ready for a big cake image.

  • Planned 30 miler moved down to 26.5 (to best previous longest run). 3.53 time so pleased as it took 40 mins off my last time at the MOTN.

    Can't bloody sleep now though!!!
  • well done Adrian!  40 minutes is a huge amount.  It's not fair all that exercise and still can't sleep!  Do you find your legs get juddery when you're trying to relax?

    I hope you got your big cake lily!  How many more LSRs are you planning on before the day?

    Hardmoors!  One of the few races not cancelled this weekend.  Tell us what it was like when you're back Tim.

    Hope the Nimbuses work out for you Shielsy, it's always a bit scary changing shoes isn't it?  My trail shoes kind of fell apart this week image so had to park run in the snow with my road shoes on.  Not ideal!  So I want to get new ones, but also have this foreboding...  Will do my LSR tomorrow in the road shoes, might well head up Lanchester/Consett way like you say Tim, it is good underfoot.  The other way, towards Stanley Crook, is currently being resurfaced and a bit of a quagmire in places.  Alright when it's frozen!


    Happy running everyone image

  • I was planning on doing 20 miles yesterday (I can't run today, I'm working all day) but sadly I had to admit defeat after 13 ... I was desperately cold, despite having 3 long-sleeved layers on, gloves, a baseball cap and ear muffs, and the strong wind, which seemed to be against me no matter which way I ran, just got the better of me. 

    Plus my hamstring started to niggle towards the end, so that was another reason to stop.

    I felt so demoralized, waiting at a bus stop miles from home in my running gear, knowing I was 7 miles short of my schedule.  My OH tried to cheer me up when I got in saying that running 13 miles in those conditions was commendable, but I'm still frustrated.

    The last time I trained for a marathon all my training went to plan.  This time though the weather and niggles are making things a right pain in the neck!

    Adrian - did you do your long run on Thursday?  I think that was the only decent day we had.  Will this bad weather ever end??!!!

  • THanks for asking after me. I did survive an awesome day out in the Cleveland Hills. Just working on my blog post now and will share here when done image

    Shielsy hang in there, and hopefully on a warmer day soo, you will have the run you hoped to have today. Wearing the extra layers makes it tough, I have been noticed that with my training as well.

    Daisy hope you find good footing. I have ridden my mountain bike on that route many times.

    Adrian great confidence boosting run. 

  • Tim - well done on surviving.  I know someone on FB who did it and he's posted photos and it looks - well, 'nuts'!

  • Great blog - and a tremendous effort.  Bet your never reckoned on those conditions when you signed up for the race image.

  • flippin heck Tim that's amazing, well done!  Can't imagine running (a) that distance in (b) those conditions. You should be really chuffed!


    Shielsy such a shame you had to sack the distance, but it's true 13 miles in this weather (crazy people who run 55 on the moors excepted!) is good going.  My heart was sinking looking at the weather forecast for this week.  But winter has to end sometime (cross fingers).  Probably we'll have a huge heatwave on MoTN day and we'll none of us be able to cope!  Just have to ride the conditions and trust in the training you've done.


  • Awesome blog Tim - really enjoyable read and to be honest, scared the bejebus out of me around the distance and conditions. Tremendous achievement though!

    Shielsy - did my run on Saturday am. No snow here in Newcastle at all - couple of threatening snow showers but they came to nothing.

    Daisy - last years MOTN was amazingly sunny - I got quite sun burnt - I'm hoping for the same!!!

    Keep running all!
  • Ps daisy - re sleep. I always struggle the night of a run above 14/15 miles. My muscles 'move' quite a lot (despite always having ice baths after a run) and I feel, when laying down, like I need to 'move'.

    Weird, right?? I always wake up the next morning with quite a start as well.

    I'm an odd soul!!!!
  • Pps lily - I've been having some cracking cakes recently from Pet Lamb from the Grainger Market in town. Running = Cake.

  • loving the forum image yes Adrian running def = cake and big chocolate bars! Daisy, I am following a plan from the Manchester marathon website I used last year. I cut back to 13 miles as my longest run this week. Then next week is my big one of 21 miles. I find them so hard as I am out for hours on my own and rarely see anyone! How does everyone else cope mentally with their LSRs? Weeks after that taper down to 12 and 10. The plan worked ok for me last time. I would just like to go a bit quicker! After my long run on Thurs I have had a bad back. Am trying to run through the pain but maybe should rest! Shielsy, I am sure you were right cutting your  run shorter, but I understand your frustration. I try to use the mantra, it's what you do, not what you don't do that  counts so 13 is excellentimage. Well done Adrian, amazing time improvement. WOW Tim, I am in complete awe of you, what a challenge and in such difficult conditions. Congratulations!image

  • I did 19 miles today but found it really hard!  I think the cold, even though it was probably colder back in January really.  Anyway, done and dusted.  I like your mantra lily, very wise.


    On the mental side - sometimes I arrange to meet others on "bits" of the run (I had company for 5 of today's miles) which is nice at the time and to look forward to while you're out.  I download podcasts and listen with one ear, though sometimes my pace slows right down because I'm listening too hard and not thinking about what I'm doing image la la la (clue's in the name!!).  And sometimes music, but not for the whole of a long run because it can be a bit intrusive.  On a good day I just enjoy being in the moment, but like today it was so cold and snowy and windy I needed my mind taken off the running!!


    Adrian nothing wrong being an odd soul image  I get a thing like I feel like I'm tripping up, a bit like the sinking feeling you get before falling asleep.  Makes me wriggle around and my other half wonder what on earth I'm doing  - well he's used to me now!

  • Back out and running today an easy 4 miles. But the snow and icy wind were not easy! More than delighted that my legs seem as though are recovering well. Going to try and build up to running 16 miles on Saturday if all goes well.

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