To defer or not to defer.....VLM


I'm looking for advice please on whether it is worth defering my place for the VLM this year, following an injury that is, after 4 weeks, still disrupting my training.

To give you some background.....this will be my 3rd marathon, and the last one I did was in October 2012 which I completed in 4.17. Between October and January I was consistently running 25 miles per week, and I started a sub 4hour 16 week programme in January.

Three weeks into the plan I injured my hip and since then, training has been sketchy. Shorter runs have generally been ok, but anything over 5-6 miles has caused me enough pain to stop. I'm now managing to run about 25 miles per week,4 times a week, plus 1 swim/bike session, but this hasn't included a long run of over 11 miles since the middle of January.

My hip seems to be improving, and my physio has oked an 8 miler for this weekend. If this goes ok (6 miles has been fine for weeks), then I am hoping to gradually increase my long runs to 10, 13, 15, 18, 20.

So my question is; Can I possibly recoup the mileage somehow with only 8 weeks left? I realise that I won't be going for a PB, but not sure if I'd be happy to run/walk. Is this my only option? Do I need to go to 20 or is this unnecessary given that I'm now only doing it for 'fun'?

I've got a ballot place so I've not got the pressure of fundraising on my shoulders. However, I did (rather arrogantly) book a non-refundable and rather swanky hotel for two nights which is setting me back £300.

I'm losing sleep trying to work out if it's possible or not, so any help or advice would be MASSIVELY appreciated.


  • It's possible - question is do you want to do it in the circumstances? If you don't mind taking it easy and making an event rather than a race of it you're unlikely to be last! If you want to run VLM and go for a time then defer,if you're not sure, well you don't need to make that decision for ages yet.

    Chances are you could sell your hotel reservation and make at least some, if not all, of the money back - or you could have a weekend in London and support.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • If I were you, and I could be, already having done a couple of marathons, I would say defer.  You'll feel annoyed that u didn't do a better time/that u didnt run it and clearly there's a risk on your injury.

    Enjoy the swanky hotel in London, and watch the race anyway- this is even more fun if know someone else who's doing it.  trust me- I've watched it in the drizzling rain, and still a really fun day.  You might also consider that the hotel could be refundable?

  • SG- I think you're contradicting yourself a bit. You say you don't want to run/ walk but at the same time you're only doing it for fun... which one is it?  If you really don't mind how long it takes you and want to do it for the experience- do it! If you want to give it your best shot and run to the best of your ability- defer until next year. There is no way you can 'recoup' the mileage and make up for the lost weeks of training.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    I deferred last year and it was the best thing I could have done.  All the (self-imposed) pressure to try and get back into running was immediately lifted. Also, I've been able to train much harder this year than I could have done last year, so I'm feeling much more positive in the run-up to the event.

    Admittedly it was slightly easier for me as there was no financial implication, I was able to cancel my hotel booking at no cost.  However, as LMH said, you could still have the weekend away.




  • Thanks for the replies.

    Miss Happy - Yes, I've got some time to make the decision, and I will be carrying on training for now just to test where I am, so maybe I need to reassess in a months time. I've spoken to the hotel and I can sell my room and transfer the name.

    Angela - that is my issue. A slow time (for me) could possibly ruin the overall experience. Plus I'm scared of getting to 16-18 miles and being in too much pain to even hobble round.

    Brolish - I fall somewhere in the middle, hence my confusion! I'm not too bothered about running it slower than past efforts, but I would find it very disappointing not to be able to run the whole course and have to walk because of fitness or injury. Recoup is the wrong word....salvage would be more appropriate.

  • Continue training and say in X weeks time if I am not at Y standard I'll defer. This way you give it a chance and if you have to defer at least you know you gave it your best shot. What's worse deferral to next year or blowing up at 18 miles? 

    Worst case scenario advertise your hotel reservation if you really can't get a refund or as suggested watch the event, it's a great day out and I can't think of anything better to inspire your training for next year. I had the same thing a few years back and through gritted teeth deferred and watched it, seeing the agony on the stragglers told me I had made the totally right decision and I was itching to do it and do it properly.

    The Guinness in my hand helped too.

  • You've got your own ballot place so why not do it for a charity, anything you raise will be great and give you the purpose of doing it and completing without any pressure of fundraising targets. You'll be proud of yourself for helping people less fortunate than yourself and get to experience London in a fun no pressure way.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
  • Just a quick update for this thread.

    I did do the marathon on Sunday and despite finding it really hard, I dragged myself round in 4.25. I think I was undertrained as it felt much tougher my previous marathon six months prior, but I also suffered a bit with the heat. I finished 3 minutes slower than I predicted/expected.

    Thank you for your advice.

    Just need to decide on the next event now.  image

  • Well done HanFran image

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    3 minutes slower than predicted, when the going was tough, is a good achievement.  Good mental strength!

  • Thank you! RW - I wasn't particularly pleased or proud of my time but I was proud that I managed to grind out every mile without stopping.


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