Got a VLM 2013 place - now trying to make sense of run plans & nutrition

Hi, I'm new to the site and this is my first post, so hoping for some positive help.

This is a great site and full of excellent info, which I've now read a lot of.

I'm running the 2013 VLM as my first marathon and I'm trying to formulate a training and nutrition / fueling plan, but there's so much info around it's a bit confusing.

I'm 47 and have only taken up structured / competitive running this year, (I used to run as fitness for motorbike racing), so in reasonable shape. I've done 2 half marathons in the last couple of months and have 4 more planned before the VLM, I'm just under the 2 hour mark for the half (with little structured running) and would like to get as close as I can to 4 hours for the full, but I will look to maximise my time whilst ensuring I enjoy the event.

I've a few questions if I can;

- I sweat a lot when exercising, what types of sports drink should I be using for my longer runs (90min+) - can I make a dliuted sports drink with added pinch of salt (does the type of salt matter)? Or just use water with some salt? Any recomended brands of sports drink contain more salt?

- I intend to train /focus individually for the 4 upcoming half marathons (currenty running 20 miles / week) - is this a sensible approach considering the VLM? Or should I really just use the halfs as training for the VLM and temper/control my pace in line with the bigger VLM picture?

- I'm looking to run 5 times a week from Jan (each of 10K approx) and look to just increase just the Sunday run as I get closer to the VLM, is this reasonable? I want to simplify this as much as poss to ensure I can stick to it.

I know that's more than a few questions, but I'm trying to understand as much as I can at the mo and want to perform my best and really enjoy the experience.

Thanks in advance





  • Liquids - I mainly just use water. Maybe when it's hotter you could try something like a nuun tab. But water should be fine unless you find yourself cramping.

    With the Halfs you could aim to race a couple of them at least flat out - but definitely have an eye on the big picture. Don't race one too close to the big day.

    Once you have a time from a half then you have a good idea of a goal time for london.

    If you're doing 5 x 10k and a long run a week from jan then you'll be on 50 mile weeks. That seems like a lot of miles.

    Also you'd need a mid distance run too to be efficient. I would run less but have a mid distance run. And also do a fast run once a week.

    Maybe 800m intervals to begin with and extend it to mile repeats ?

    You have plenty of time so I would look for a plan that's already been devised that suits you.
  • Thanks Cougie, I appreciate the response and advice. Perhaps my mileage does look a bit high, I'll try to mix this with some shorter quicker runs.

    I'll look into Nuun tabs too...




  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I would reccomend following a plan it helps with focus and stops you doing too much or to little. A lot of people start their plan in the first week of Jan but until then it would be good to get working in base fitness and making sure you can manage an 8 mile ish run before you start on the plan.
  • OK thanks, I've done 2 HMs over the last couple of months and doing 2 more in Nov and December, so hopfully base fitness won't hold me back.

    Following a plan makes sense, but there are quite a few that I've read about. Need to choose one and stick to it.

    I appreciate the advice.


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    With those 4 halfs in the bank that should set you up really well for starting your plan in Jan. good luck.
  • Hi

    Also new to site!

    Have got a place in London 2013. Have been following an app & now can run 30 mins-just wondered if anyone has any advice on any good training apps that will help me get round!!!!!

    Many thanks

  • Hi

    I'd suggest you join your local running club.  You'll find lots of worldly wise runners there with lots of experience and advice to help you along the way as well as company for those long runs.

    I quite like Hal Higdon's training plan -

    He's a man who really does know what he's talking about.  I run with a club with coaches who tailor plans for us, but if you're going to follow something this is better than many IMO.

    Finally make friends with the people in your local reputable running shop (see suggestion about running club for recommendations - I use Runners Need) they will  help guide you towards the right gear, supplements etc etc.  A decent running shop usually has a few marathon runners working there.




  • Thank you so much for your advice-just finding it all a bit scary!!!!

  • Hi EM,

    I'm in a similar position, although I've done a marathon before I've let things go a little in the last couple of years so really I'm starting out again.  I'm also the same age although about to become 48 in a few weeks time.


    Lots of good advice from people a lot more experienced than me.  But if I could say one thing it would be make sure you do your long runs - most training plans will include a long run once a week, whatever they say I'd advise try and go longer if poss.  aim for a few runs of 18 miles between now and April and maybe try and step up to 22 once or maybe twice.  Last time I did a full marathon which was 4 years ago I got to the point where I could run a half marathon with relative ease - not overly quick but down to 1 hour 50 ish.. stepping up to 16 miles was hard but I coped, I did 2 runs of 18 miles which seemed really hard but this time I'll aim to do more...

    Running the marathon was an amazing experience, I did Berlin and loved every minute until I reached unchartered territory and went over the 20 mile mark... you tell yourself you've only got to do a further 10K and you've finished... dead easy! but phsychologicaly the last few miles were hard.

    Sounds like you're doing really well and your Half Marathon times sound good if you've not really done any structured training - it sounds as though 4 hours would be a realistic aim for the full marathon. 


    Good luck with it,



  • Great advice, thanks. miles & miles & miles is the keyimage

  • I meant to say Hi Rattler Rattler at ther start of my message not Hi EM - no offence EM but was really trying to say I'm in a similar position to Rattler,


    Anyway, hello all... hows the running going?




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