London 2014

Hello All,

I'm after some advice.

I am guaranteed entry to the London Marathon in 2014 after 5 failed ballot attempts.

I was into running up to about 3 years ago and did a few Great Norths and loads of the 10k's but have basically given up due to various factors but have completely lost motivation.

Any tips would be welcome on a long term plan for getting in good enough shape for 2014 Marathon. Where is the best place to start, is it better just to get out doing anything for now or is there something more structured i should be doing.


Cheers in advance, Paul


  • I think they changed the 5 strikes and you're in rule recently so you will be back in the ballot with the plebs I'm afraid.
  • The "guarantee after five fails" ended.  You're not guaranteed a place anymore.

    Best tip: find a different marathon to focus on.

  • I realise they have ended it now but I had an email in march reminding me to apply for 2013 in order to maintain guaranteed entry after 5 unsuccessful. I was unsuccessful again this time and presumed that 2014 will be the last lot of this type of entry, there is a thread elsewhere confirming it.
  • No, as people have said, they ended the five strikes and you're in rule when Virgin took over. You might be thinking about the 'priority ballot', which is what I was entered into for two years before getting in last year.

    That just meant that you got to enter early and may (or may not) have more chance of getting in. I'm assuming that, if you don't enter one year, your right to enter through the priority ballot would end.

  • Ah bollocks, just have to keep fingers crossed for ballot place then, or as the guy above said do another one.

    What's a decent 'event' type marathon to do as an alternative?
  • Brighton is supposed to be good, so is Stratford (although someone has mentioned that they have a cut-off point and they're strict) and Edinburgh is also supposed to be good, although at almost £50, it's not cheap.

    Having said that, I've only ever done London marathons.

  • Cheers Nykie, really fancy London, might have to look at the charity route but to be honest I hate chasing people for sponsors.

    Brighton sounds good, nice town.
  • Keep entering London (don't bequeath so if you don't get in, you don't pay) and do other ones until you do get in.

  • i know they got rid of the 5 strikes and then you are in .but i thought they were still honouring those who already had 2 rejections whne they took over.they give them priority each year to ensure they are in the ballot but they would still get the place after the 5 rejections

  • FFS. Paul - you are correct! you will have a place in 2014.

    You were already in the 5 consecutive rejections system... Or you would not have been sent the priority ballot application in march 2012. I assume you had it in 2010 and 2011 too? You were unsuccessful for 2013 so you will be guaranteed entry next year after 5 consecutive rejections.

    So to answer your question rather than jump all over your enthusiasm, plenty of easy runs between now and January, building to a long run of ten miles or so and 25 miles a week total would probably put you in a good place to start a structured 12week plan.
  • I thought so Mr P....

    glad to see some sense on here.....

    just build up slow and steadyimage

  • Thanks Mr Puffy, I thought that was the case but reading these forums and elsewhere there is so many conflicting opinions it made me doubt myself.

    Cheers for the advice anyway.
  • Fine, I'm senseless image  But having gone through the priority ballot, I responded with how I believed it worked.

    FFS... image

  • Hi Paul, as someone who never ran at all anywhere except for a bus until recently, and has frequently tried 'taking up running' only to run a mile, twice, and then give up again for a year, trust me when I say I know about being demotivated! It completely changed for me when a friend persuaded me to sign up for a half marathon and even though I haven't done half the training I intended to, the first time I ran 10 miles in my training I was so pleased with myself to realise that it wasn't as hard as I thought that I immediately got my sights set on running a marathon next year, something I'd never dreamed of til recently! 

    So if you're looking to boost your motivation again, why don't you start by entering a few easier races and competitions - maybe a 10K followed by a half-marathon, to get you back into the goal-focused mindset and training buzz - I don't know about you but if I wasn't training for a half now, the idea of starting to train for something that starts in a years time wouldn't get me out of bed that often in the morning - but having a goal in only a few months time (that I'd told all my mates about) definitely does!

    The other thing that really helped me was discovering (thanks to runners need) Park Run - do you know about them? totally informal but timed, organised 5k races at 9am every saturday morning, in parks across the country. I think. Going along to a couple of them and starting to set yourself personal bests might help with your motivation! 

    Best of luck with the London 2014 - and if anyone knows when the ballot opens for 2014 entries let me know as I really want to have a go at entering! 

  • Hi Paul,

    Don't worry, you've got plenty of time to prepare for London 2014 (I guarantee there will be people in much worse shape trying to cram all their training for the 2013 marathon in now, and some who haven't even started!)

    I'm in the same boat as you, I'm taking a year off from long distance races to focus on building a good base for a spring 2014 marathon. I'm still entering events but I'm not doing longer than 10km (although probably will do longer in training runs)

    One thing I'm doing this year is spending a lot of time on cross-training. Lots of strength sessions and even more yoga and Pilates to sort out some of the issues that flared up during marathon training last year. It's the kind of thing that gets neglected when I'm following a marathon training program because I spend so much time running, so I thought it was a good opportunity to work on it.

    So I'd say, try to fit in 3 runs a week - they don't have to be very long, but get in the routine of running that often - and take advantage of the extra time to cross train, working on any niggles you may have noticed when you were running lots.

    Mols suggestion of parkrun is great, and it would be worth checking out your local running club too.

    Good luck image

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