advice please



okay so ive set myself a goal of running the 2014 VLM but i have no idea how to get started nor have i done any exercise in roughly 2 n half years even then it was just t bit of light stuff in the gym.i do however have decent running shoes from this but as to how to go about setting up a training regime that will work with shift work and entrance into the race im completely puzzled!


advice would be great thanks.



  • The hard part is getting a place in the London marathon.

    But there are a lot of other marathons you can enter easily and they are just as long.

    As to starting - look at doing parkrun. It's a free 5k that's on Saturday mornings and there's probably one near to you. That's a good way to start.

    Good luck.
  • Hi Claire why dont you come and join us in "starting again from the beginning" we have loads of advice and helpfull people in there!! image

    Link to our friendly thread!!

  • Hi Claire, first, congratulations on giving yourself more than a year to go from zero to a marathon - I was a bit concerned you were wanting to run it THIS year, then I saw you'd written 2014 - phew!

    The bad news: there's no guaranteed way for you to get VLM entry unless you're willing to raise a lot of money for charity, or turn out to be a fast runner and can get a GFA (good for age) place by running another marathon in under 3 hrs 50 (present limit for women of most ages) - but you're not going to reach that GFA in time for London 2014 anyway. You can enter the ballot when it opens, but are unlikely to get a place, I'm afraid.

    The good news is that there are lots of other marathons held around the same time, so even if you don't get into VLM, you can still run a marathon. If you're dead set on VLM, then you need to find a charity with guaranteed places that you're happy to raise say £2,000 for.

    The other good news: you start gently, and work up. First, I'd recommend looking online for a "couch to 5K" programme - I'm sure there's one somewhere on this website and there are lots out there. Don't try to increase too much too soon, or you'll get injured and be unable to run. Once you're getting near to that 5K goal (or sooner if you can run-walk 5K) look for your local parkrun (hopefully there will be one near you - there are more all the time). Sign up (online, once only), print out your ID barcode and go along - they're FREE, friendly, timed 5K runs, held at 9 am every Saturday (9.30 in Scotland). Hopefully even with shift work you'll be able to get there occasionally. They're great for motivation.

    Once you're comfortable running 5K, look for a programme to take you to 10K... then half-marathon... then marathon. Remember that programmes are guides, and many people have to fit them in around work etc., even shifts - you just have to adapt them, while making sure you keep to basic principles like taking rest days (initially you'll probably run or run/walk three times a week, but even at training for a marathon you'll quite possibly only be doing four runs a week - five if you really want to).

    Also, once you're running regularly, consider joining a running club. The shift work might make it impossible for you to get to sessions regularly, but again lots of people have to juggle things like that, and some clubs have sets of long runs in the lead up to VLM and the other spring marathons.

    Good luck, and enjoy the running!

  • +1 for the above! image

    Start slow, build it up and most of all have fun!!

    oh yeah and remember to smile! image

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