Second Marathon - and I want to improve


I ran my first marathon last year. I ran 4 hours and 40 mins. I was aiming for 4 hours but I think that wishfull thinking for a few reasons.

1 - I competed in the maggies monster challenge 2 weeks before it. (which was a 31 mile cycle followed by a 47 mile walk 9all in 24 hours!

2 - I missed most long runs due to training walks that lasted 8-10 hours

3 - I had the cold 1week before and ended up on antibiotics for a  sinus infection

4 - The Edinburgh marathon 2012 was the hottest day EVER! (hell on earth) so i ended up walking a few times.

I am running edinburgh marathon again this year and am about to start my training (this monday) and am keen to stick to it 100% for 16 weeks as I have no other events or distractions. I hope to loose at least 1.5 stone as I am a hefty 14 st at the moment and was at the marathon last year. 

The question I has is this.......................can it be done? with the above in mind can I improve by 40 minutes? Ive been looking at various forums and could do with some encouragement.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have an opinion?

Thanks again.


  • Simple answer.... if you do everything you say... I think you'll give yourself a realistic chance of success. Definitely doable.

  • I would say the long runs are absolutely vital, though the long walks will have helped. Don't assume, though, that you will necessarily lose weight - I am a similar weight and didn't lose any weight at all in an extended 6 month dedicate# training plan for my last marathon.
  • Thanks,

    Should have said that I am only 5ft 9 or 10 on a good day. I have a bit more "relaxed muscle" that a taller man of the same weight may not have any trouble with.

    Thanks for the encouragement though!!image

  • Have you been running regularly since the Marathon ? I think that if you have a good base going into the training plan and you complete all the runs then you have a very good chance.

  • Kenny,

    Ive been doing a mixture of cycling, running and circuits including kettlercise but nothing more than 10 miles a week running.

    I am very keen to stick to every run as I want to make a better account of myself this time. I think i used the maggies challenge as an excuse the last time.  

  • Train well and barring injury/illness I'd imagine it's amost a sure thing - fall off the wagon and probably not.  You now know you can run the distance (no mental block), you know the route and you know you didn't do enough long runs.  I'm also looking to knock 40 mins off my 1st marathon time - the key is sticking to the training plan.  You can't fail to lose weight if you eat less and excercise more, it's simple physics, just be sensible - even losing 1/2 lb a week will make a difference (only ~250-300 kcal a day less than you need to maintain your current weight) - I've lost about 4lbs on my last marathon weight (and about 8 lbs on Christmas!) and I really notice the difference on my joints, much easier and a little faster at the same energy output - aiming for another 10 lbs by Sept for Berlin.

  • Daeve,

    Thanks for the advice. its good to know that im not the only one trying to take such a time off! i see articles of people wanting to take a couple of minutes of PB's and having to put mega effort in. 40 seems mad..............but like you said i know i didnt do enough the last time, certainly not 150% (which is what you need to make a good show for yourself) Keep me posted on how you do and good luck!

    thanks again

  • I think the thing is we've got a lot of leeway to improve compared to others!  Those wanting an extra 2 mins are already doing almost the best they can.  I know it makes no sense, but I'm quite glad I've got a *good* stone to lose, a better diet to have and longer to train this time - it means huge gains can be made.  I was also nearly 14st (though 5'11").

    I improved my HM PB by 20 mins last year to 1:46 on 365 miles in 4 months from a previous 6 months of nothing (Marathon was 3 weeks after the half in 4:18).

    Having my Garmin log of everything to look back makes me see where I can improve - I didn't do enough long runs either, 3 of around 18-19 miles were the longest.

    Enjoy while it lasts - I fear diminishing returns the better you get image and Good Luck!

  • Daeve, just thought Ide let you know how I got on. I managed to take 22 mins of my PB. So never managed under 4 hours but still pretty happy! 

  • Time was 4 hours and 22 mins

  • Congratulations!  22 minutes off a marathon is a huge chunk (regardless of you rtarget which was very ambitious)  Today was day one of my P&D marathon training (rest day!) - If I can manage 22 minutes off my PB I'll be happy (and just under 4h).

    How did your training go this time?  Did you manage to lose the weight you wanted along the way?

  • like my time never managed to get to my target. Lost half a stone, at least that's something. Training went ok but like most I think I could have done a bit more! Love the rest days!

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