a thread for all new runners who're doing VLM 2013.

afternoon all fellow nube's.

i've seen a load of separate "i'm a new runner and i've got a plae in the VLM next year" threads and i thought it would be nice for us all to have a place to hang out, compare improvement times, share worries about the big day and all that.

my own personal story (the short version) is:

10th anniversary of mums death from cancer, runnning for a local hospice that really helped us all.

started in june and now down to 44 minutes for a 10km. 

runnning 4-5 times a week, sticking to the "10% increase max per week" rule and just did my first 10 miler yesterday.

come in, sit down, shake off those hot trainers and i'll get the kettle on.



  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    Hi Sofaboy

    Anyone who offers to put the kettle on wins my vote, shove up and I'll settle meself down, feet up, ready image

    Been running for a few years with the very occasional race. Did the Royal Parks Half a couple of weeks ago (2h 22 so not quite last lol). It was my third attempt to do a HM. First time scuppered by shin splints, second time diagnosed with cancer - gulp - remember the day i was diagnosed laughing with my cancer nurse that I was supposed to be doing a half marathon in a couple of months and she said 'well maybe not this year' so I though ok then, next year - so I did.

    Somewhere along the way I decided that life's too short etc etc and entered the VLM ballot and to my surprise (?horror) I got a place. Thinking of running for Macmillan in tribute to that lovely nurse.

    BTW I'm now in robust good health. Still not convinced I can run a marathon though ...

  • Wow, sorry if i sound patronising but you seem really brave. You certainly deserve a chocolate biscuit to dunk in your tea. mcmillan were my second charity choice if i didn't get in with Isabel hospice .

    One of my mates who is also a new runner and first time marathon victim next year did the royal parks run. Ended up with a stress fracture to his tibia.

    That's what happens when you try to run too far too soon, folks...

    Glad you're now healthy.
  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    Not brave at all just unlucky. Or lucky, depending on how you look at it.

    Stress fracture - now that sounds like bad luck. I survived tired but unscathed. Last three miles were really hard despite doing a comfortable 12 in trainng. Spent much of them thinking how am I ever going to run a marathon! Bit of a reality check to tell the truth but had a lovely couple of runs this weekend and feel like I've got my mojo back.

    Are you following a training plan?
  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    Oh and the choccie bikkie went down very well thanks image
  • i find the mojo comes and goes. i had a horrific 8km run a couple of weeks ago that felt awful. everything ached, i felt like i was constantly on the verge of pulling something and i was absolutely knackered at the end. usual warm up routine, nothing different in eating and drinking patterns. just wierd.

    but the next run was fine. just one of those things i guess.

    not following a training plan as such at the mo. waiting to see where i am at about 25 weeks to go and then i'll start a training plan starting at where i am at that point. if you see what i mean.

    currently working up towards a 1/2, doing a long run each weekend at hopeful marathon pace of 5:30-40 p/km, adding on a bit more distance each week. currently at 16km so should hit the 21km mark in about 3 weeks time.

  • I guess this is the point where I stop lurking and say Hi !image

    After 5 years of trying to get in through the ballot, I have finally got a place on the London Marathon!   I am running for a tiny charity that cannot get a gold bond place in the marathon.  They helped lots when my dauhter was diagnosed with Erbs Palsy....and I wanted to give something back.


    I am not a natural runner and spend a lot of time driving a desk, but I have completed 2 x half marathons @ about 2 hrs over the past 3 years and trying to run 3 times a week [2 lunchtimes @ 5 miles and a distance run on a sunday].

    A bit of a plodder and hope I make it.  Building a good base until Christmas and then looking for a training plan to follow after christmas.

    Averaging about an 8/9 minute mile (as I said....a plodder).

    I have signed up for the Reading Half and the Wokingham Half as training runs - anyone here doing those?

    Good luck everyone !

  • Hello Windfarmer, pull up an easy chair and get yourself a cuppa. the kettle's just boiled.

    not that i've run for a big charity before, but it does feel nice runnning for a small one that doesn't get as much help as the big boys.

    8/9 minute miles don't sound that plodding to me. if you can keep it up for all 26.2 of the buggers then you're looking at a sub 4 hour. that's what i'm aiming for and i reckon that's pretty good for a first attempt by an amateur runner.

    i'm doing the same as you. building up a good solid base of mileage until the new year and then i think i'll be getting myself on the RW 'intermediate' 16 week schedule.

    good luck and i'll see you at the start line.

  • Ah Tea.....refreshment of champions Sofaboy!      Just about to 'carb-load' on a couple jammie dodgers to accompany the tea.

    Not sure I could sustain 8/9 minute miles for the full 26.2 miles but just completing it would be good enough for me, although 4hrs is my target.

    May the force be with you image)


  • *pops head around door*

    Is this where the Cake is image

  • battenberg do ya?

    now you're here.... how was the first marathon? and what was the fastest you'd run in training?

  • Mmmm go on then,just a small slice. image

    Well I just wanted to pop on to help out a bit really as Im not the best or fastest runner and I have never done VLM. I will admit I had only got to 18.5 miles in training but will make sure I do at least 2x 20-22 milers before doing one again as those last miles were tough. Having said that it was a very low key Marathon with very little support en route so I imagine the crowds drag you through at VLM. I had only been running very slow too and didnt do any Marathon paced sessions which was another thing I would change. I managed to get my fuel right which I was pleased about and no blisters so bonus.

    I am planning to run (if I get my place but its almost certain) I am hoping to run with a Giant Teddy strapped to my back to raise some dosh for Charity.


  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    Eckytump if the Giant Teddy doesn't work out can you strap me to your back it's the only way I think I'll get round - you lot all sound a bit speedy compared to me!
  • afternoon Katrina (Kate, Kat?)

    if ever the phrase "it's not the winning, it's the taking part", (or in this case, the finishing) was appropriate, surely it's for people taking part in their first marathon.

    when i first decided to do it i wanted a sub 5 hour time - 4 hours something sounds sooo much better then 5 hours something. now i've done a fair bit of training i'd be happy with a sub 4:30 but am aiming for sub 4 (just about).

    however, come the big day i'll have raised a dump load of money for a cause i care about and will have been cheered on by thousands of people. when i'm sat in a pub afterwards with my friends and a pint, i'm sure just finishing will have been more than enough of an achievement.

    so don't worry about your time hon, it's not important. what is important is that i've just opened a pack of dark chocolate digestives, and at least two have got your name on.

  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    Aw Sofaboy thanks for those lovely words, you're right of course it wil be an amazing day - bit overwhelming even - can't believe I'm actually doing it.

    We live in London area and I took my daughter to see it a couple of times when she was little and I always used to watch and think - I really fancy doing a bit of running - until one year I decided right come on girl it's now or never and I took myself to Sweatshop and spent a significant sum of money on some shiny new 'proper' running shoes so then I had to get out there and now here I am 7 or 8 years later and i'm actually running the London Marathon.

    That's if I don't get too fat from an excess of chocolate biscuits image
  • Katrina,it took me 5h 41 mins to do mine. I wanted sub 5h but it didnt happen in the end and it became more about staying with a friend and raising dosh. The one we did had a cut off time of 5h so a lot of the support had gone home but London is for everyone and just being there and taking part has got to be the best thing ever. And if you need a piggy back I can dump Trev (the teddy)


  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    Oh dear no, I couldn't do that to Trev he would be very unimpressed.

    The charity thing is interesting in that it seems to be a big motivating factor when the going gets tough. I did RFL last year during chemo, really wanted to run all the way and managed it - def thinking of all the people who had sponsored me helped me to keep going. I was feeling quite relieved that getting a VLM ballot place meant not HAVING to raise money but I'm thinking it might be one of the things that helps me round!

    During the Royal Parks Half I was struck by the huge support the charities were giving their runners - even felt a teeny bit jealous - how daft is that lol
  • Katrina, I have to say I think you are amazing. I cant even begin to imagine running and being the one who is going through treatment. I suppose I better keep hold of Trev too. Its looking likely that I will get a place through my club as so far Im the only one who has asked for one image. I will raise money but want more awareness for a very small Charity.

  • 18km yesterday morning. oooh, feel those achy calves today. i was temped to just do the last 3km and make it a 1/2, but decided to stick to the schedule. and i'm glad i did to be honest. i'd have felt like a right numpty if i'd pulled a muscle or something, and now i have the righteous glow of self-discipline as well. lol....

    also tried energy gels out for the first time. wierd things. the initial hit is not so much a taste as a sensation of 'density', i guess. it's a bit unpleasent, but then the taste comes in and boy is it strong. banana and strawberry, quite nice actually, and makes a noticable difference to energy levels.

    how's was everyone's week? good runs?

  • imageHi Sofaboy. Well done sticking to the schedule. I am going to start my plan on the 31st Dec after a rest.

    Energy gels are brilliant but they can make you a bit image. Good idea that you are tring them now. I got through Abingdon with 2 gels, Lucozade and some energy sweets.

    I did a blog on Abingdon if anyone wants to read it. Its a bit of an emotional rollercoaster but it shows that if I can do it anyone can imagehttp://yorkshirepuddingnearly40.blogspot.co.uk/


  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    Hello everyone just checking in to revive the thread. Hope your pre-training training is going well.

    I have a slight injury - bit odd - pain in the back of my knee. I wore my Skins tights last weekend for 7 miler and I'm tall so they're a bit short and after about 4-5 miles just felt a pain like they were digging in too much cos the compression is slightly out of kilter with the length of my legs! Tried a short run on Tuesday was ok at first but pain started again after about a mile. So now enforced rest until there is not so much as a twinge image

    My daughter (nearly 14) wore the offending Skins for parkrun this morning and they fit her perfectly ... grr ...
  • Hi everyone i have got a place in VLM first time and the longest race run ive done is 10km in an hour so a jogger not a runner, At the minute im working on getting my distance up and run 3 times a week 2x 3or 4 mile   and longest run to date 6 3/4 mile and i really felt it.  plan on doing 7m this weekend and just keep slowly increasing over the next few months  i have no plan to follow just looked at a few different ones but couldnt decide on one. do compression socks help and how. i have a rodolf run in a couple of weeks 5m,and have entered a half marathon takes place 3 weeks before vlm if i cant do that im buggered.image

  • Room for a little one? It's cold outside and I could do with some motivation. There's only one thing worse than dark nights and thats cold and wet, dark nights.

    Well, I too am foolish enough to be attempting VLM2013. Its my first try at the distance and I really can't wait. I got in first time on a ballot place (wooo hooo!) but have decided it would be a real motivator to raise money for a charity. I'm running for Stand Against Violence, a charity that works with teenagers and young offenders, trying to show them that violence solves nothing. I lost my elder brother 10 years ago to a violent nightclub attack, so needless to say that it is a cause very dear to my heart.

    Anyhow, enough of the maudlin'. How excited am I? The training 'proper' is on hold till 16 weeks from race day, (New Years Eve, who plans these things!), but i run socially with a club twice a week and have completed four halfs this year. Really can't wait to line up and go for it. I know that I will be a gibbering wreck at the end of it, both physically and emotionally, but it is something that I just have to do.

    Best of luck to everyone and I look forward to sharing our progress over the next five months or so. Go get em guys!

  • Hi all

    Great that there's a thread for VLM newbies.

    My background;

    I've a Charity place in the VLM 2013 too, I've only been running this year and completed 3 half marathons in the last 3 months after only having run a 10K before. Best HM time is now 1.50 and hoping for a sub 4 hour VLM  which is ambitious, but I'm told achieveble (we'll see).

    I'm currently trying to find a decent running plan and it looks like I'm going to use a RW 4 hour plan downloaded to my Garmin, with a few mods in line with the Shades plan.

    If it sounds like I know what I'm on about, its a ruseimage - its all new and I'm keen to learn as much as possible.

    I'm running the 8 mile GRIM this weekend more for fun :eek: than anything, but its all good base training.

    I've been trying to sort out nutrition, hydration, clothing, gadgets, shoes etc etc - its a minefield.


  • morning all.

    sorry i've been away and not tending the hot beverage needs of my guests.

    good to see lots of brave souls doing a marathon for the first time. best get a bigger kettle and some more biscuits i think.

    i ran my first 1/2 2 weeks ago. i was aiming for around 1:50 but managed to pull a 1:45 out of the bag from somewhere. so i was well chuffed.

    yesterday's run was the first since where i haven't felt completely shattered after only a couple of km though. it did worry me a bit. i thuoght i might have overdone it on the 1/2 and hurt myself, but after asking the wise people on here and doing a little reading, it seems that this is perfectly normal.

    so, newbie advice of the day is:

    when you do a big race and put in understandably more effort than on your usual training runs, you can expect to take a day a mile to recover. so as i found, 2 weeks for a 1/2. before this you can expect to feel quite fatigued during runs. apparently after giving yourself a few days for your legs and feet to recover a bit you should get back out and do GENTLE short runs, gradually getting back to full training pace.

    it's taken me two weeks but i'm now back to running 10km comfortably in about 50min.

    as for the race itself, it was a local race, doing a loop between villages. the weather was cold but beautifully clear and the views across misty fields were really quite lovely. i was on 1:50 pace for the first 10 miles but ended up pumping in a few 6 minute miles at the end and crossed the line in 1:45. this felt like my first "big" race, having done a few 10kms (45min PB) and i was quite surprised how emotional i felt afterwards.

    to all of you who have yet to do a 1/2, good luck. it is a long way, but success really makes you feel that you're getting within grasping distance of the BIG ONE.

    carry on talking amongst yourselves. i'm off out to buy some ginger hobnobs.

  • Nice work, the 6min / mile at the end is very good, but maybe that's why you've felt it sinceimage

    I ran the GRIM at the weekend, enjoyed it, but it was colder and tougher than I thought. Not sure it can be a proper part of VLM training, but it was fun all the same.

    So I've now run 3 HMs and the GRIM in the last 4 months and its now time to put in some Long Slow Runs to get the Endurance sorted. 

    My 3 HMs were the first races I'd done (apart from a local charirty 10K in 2011) and they went 2.11, 2.01, 1.50 , so my pace / performance is improving. I did the GRIM in 1.20, but feel this is more for fun and training and difficult to balance against normal distance running / training. 

    So hopefully I have the pace for a sub-4 marathon (traffic allowing) and need the endurance to see me past the 20 mile barrier with energy to get all the way through.

    I'm skiing over Xmas, so just looking to ramp up the mileage for December, then follow a formal 16 week plan starting after Xmas. - anyone else doing similar?

    So, some LSRs for me, got to learn to run slower at this stage in order to go faster in April :eek:. Aiming for a 15 miler or so tomorrow at 9.30-10.00 min / mile - will get the IPOD primedimage


  • Hi Tim. I too am doing the 16 week plan after chrimbo. The one from the lucozade training site I think. I'm hoping for a sub 4hr myself, maybe even 3:45, but we'll wait and see how it goes. I was going to take it easy in December but I'm beginning to think that may be a mistake.

    What is everyone else doing? Lazy December or starting to crank up the miles. I'm also jumping on the wagon after Xmas untill after VLM. Commitment or what!?

  • From all I've read on here and elsewhere, it points towards building long runs early in the schedule (and it's not so early now its December) to build endurance and limit the chances of injury once the mileage / activity builds up with 16 weeks to go.

    It's longer mileage and not fast pace that's needed in the bank at this stage as I understand it.

    As for the wagon, save me a space, its only 4 months !!!image


  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    Hi folks

    Well I sort of started my training plan yesterday with an 8 miles long run which coincides with the Hal Higdon plan i want to use. Otherwise I'd just drift along forever then panic! I'm using a 18 week plan and want a few extra weeks in case of emergencies/illness or just want to repeat the odd week. I actually had a really comfortable run which was good especially as I'd been partying half the night at a family wedding image

    Sofaboy well done on your HM time that's a mighty effort and you must be well pleased with yourself. I too was knackered for ages after my half in Oct, think it's mental fatigue as well. More experience of racing should help and I'm dying to do another half and make a better job of it lol

    When do people run? I can run afternoons as I work part time but it doesn't half cut into my free time when I need to do everything else family and children related. So I'm considering the morning/evening-with-a-head-torch option as I do all my running in Richmond Park in London and it is traffic free and unlit after dark. Hate running on pavement it plays havoc with my old knees!

    I went to The Running Show at Sandown last week, sat in on a couple of seminars and obtained handfuls of freebie gels, energy bars etc. the marathon talker recommended basically LSRs of 2 hours Jan, 3 hours Feb and 4 hours March. Seems like a nice straightforward guideline to go by.
  • morning all.

    good to see so many people making plans for their 16-18 week trainig schedule. i'll be hitting one of those in the new year myself.

    @rattler: wish i was skiing over xmas, but we've got a small chap who's too young. and he's pretty much eaten up any ski funds there might have been anyway. where are you going? good improvement on those 1/2 times BTW.

    @stilts: i run partly in the evening after work, or i duck out for an hour or so during the day if i'm working from home. then the big one is on sundays.

    so what are peoples "happy with", "aiming for" and "chuffed to bits" times for the biggy in april? mine are 4:30, anything sub 4 and 3:45.

  • Morning.

    When does everyones training start?

    I start mine on the 31st Dec.

    Sofaboy, I would love to get a 4.30 but as I am carrying a giant teddy, I suppose just to get round would be good.



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