Pre Marathon Assesment

I'm doing my first marathon later this year.

I'm quite interested in getting a more bespoke training plan as I want to run a competitive time and I've seen Bupa do a run check which gives you various information such as clear running plan, various stretching and stability exercises and shoe and injury advice.

Currently I was looking at taking an 18week plan from the Advanced Marathoning book.

So, I was just wondering if anyone had any Pre-Marathon Assesements they would recommend around London? And what peoples general take on them is.


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Have you been running for long? My impression from your post was that you are about to start running, but I might be getting the wrong end of the stick.  

    I wouldn't follow the Advanced marathoning plans if I was a beginner (i.e. running less than a year), or didn't have a few Half-Marathons under my belt.  If you've ran a couple of half-marathons, I can't see what the BUPA test would tell you that you don't already know?

  • Cheers. no ive been running for a while. I did a half marathon last year in 1hr 22minutes. But thats the only one i've done.

    Training for that was ok, struggled to stick to a plan, I tended just to do 8-11k runs and did 1 10mile a week before my race.

    Thereofore, I had just been considering if it was worth a programme more specific for me than a general one from a book.

  • 1'22" is a great time for your half, and properly trained you could be on for a good time. I'm not sure what you class as a competitive time though - it's all relative.

    The Advanced Marathoning book is an excellent read, and even if you do not use their plans, it provides a lot of info to get you through a marathon campaign.  Last year was my 1st year of running - I used the 'knowledge' part of the book during my first marathon, and an approximation of one of their plans in my second (I tailored it a bit). I found it the best book out there

    I can't imagine BUPA giving you a bespoke plan, more likely it will be a standard target based plan that they may adjust pacing based on the tests they perform. What sort of info are you wanting from the assessment,  VO2 / Lactate threshold info or more generalised info? Personally I would save the money until I need it in case of needs for physio further down the line, or perhaps get a detailed assessment of gait/biomechanics as I know I have some weaknesses to address.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Ah right, it makes a bit more sense.  I'll admit to some bias as I know a feel people who took up a "deal" to get a health check at a reduced price through work, and it was useless.  However, I've not done the BUPA one, it may be a lot better and at least sounds geared for a specific reason compared to the general "wellness" one that my colleagues undertook.

    I've also used the P&D schedule to prepare for VLM on Sunday and I'm very happy with it. The book has definitely improved my running and I now understand the reasons behind the sessions, and why easing up at the end of a tempo is not a good idea etc. Personally I haven't broken any PBs in training, but a lot of other people that have been following it have smashed their PBs (one guy just knocked a whopping half-hour of his marathon PB at yesterday's Brighton).

    I'd see it as using a generic plan devised by one of the leading marathon  coaches that has worked sucessfully for a lot of runners, against a tailored plan from a BUPA employee who may or may not run, who is using a generic plan with some customisation based on a series of tests.  

    As I said, I'm biased, especially as the book is probably less than 10% of the cost of the assessment image 

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    Didn't the Asics 26.2 people have an in-depth running fitness assessment? I'm not sure if that was Bupa or not, but if you go to the Spring Marathon section and look towards the earlier part of some of their training threads I'm sure at least one of them did an in-depth review of the process. That might help you decide.

    Aha! Here it is!

  • One of the things that puts me off some of these tests, is that you woud get some good info on your vo2, lactate etc, but to see the imporovement over time, I would be wanting retesting.
  • Thanks for the feedback. I think I'll avoid the assesment and safe the money. I was probably just after some more information to help me improve my training.

    Good luck sunday Stutyr, which marathon plan have you been following? and do you have a target time?

    **Just to add thoughts and prayers with everyone involved in the Boston Marathon.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Thanks RobC86, I'm on the sub-55 plan and I'm aiming for 3:15.  Hopefully Lit doesn't mind me saying, but she's also following the P&D upto-75 plan and should easily go under 3:15.  There's been an active thread of people doing spring marathons following the P&D plans, and there's quite a few with similar HM times to you that are going under-3:00 with most of these following the upto-75 plan, but some following the sub-55 plans.  Whilst there's no guarantees in marathon running, the P&D plan seems to have got everyone into their best condition for the event, and there are some very experienced runners in the group.

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