Disastrous London Marathon



  • My first too and I tore up my 3:45 pace wrist band in disgust and did the walk of shame for the last 6 miles head down. I feel that because I didn't run all the way I failed the marathon and there are threads elsewhere here that will agree. Having friends, family and people at work telling me I did well to do it in 4:24 and they could not have done 1 mile and at least I finished does not help. I entered to run. Failed to do enough training outdoors because of the cold weather and long runs on treadmills are not the same thing. My quads just stopped firing. Totally gutted. The only thing is that I can hopefully learn from it. So yeah you have to have been there to understand and there were a fair few of us looking like we had only evolved into bipeds that morning.
  • Hi Michael,


    I’ve done some analysis I thought you might be interested in. I downloaded the first 10,000 finishers of VLM 2013 into a spread sheet, that’s everyone under 3:56. I am meaning to do the whole 35,000, but at the moment I haven’t had time and even with 10,000 records the spreadsheet starts to get unwieldy.


    Only 7.2% of those first 10,000 record a negative split, the 92.8% record a positive split, i.e second half is slower than the first half. This is as you would expect, given the sheer distance and also the common mistake everyone makes of going off too fast, out of excitement or because they feel good in the early stages. On average people ran their second half 9% slower than the first half, if I have picked the right result for you, you ran your second half 28% slower but of course that includes the period where you had to stop! Even though it was my first marathon I had a good training build up, and an encouraging 20 miler 3 weeks ago so I thought I could go for 3hrs, but I crashed and burned and came home in 3:19, with a 21% slower second half. What I can’t tease out are the stats specifically for first time marathoners, because my bet is that the average positive split would be well above the 9% recorded by the first 10,000 finishers.


    But for me that’s the beauty of it, and I can see why people get hooked on marathon running. I’m already plotting what I’ll do differently for my next one in September and what I’m going to change to improve my performance. There are so many variables you need to get right both in training and on the big day, that to run a perfect race on your first attempt becomes nigh on impossible.  So get yourself signed up for another one!

  • That's interesting stats. It's got me thinking about my next marathon, can anyone recommend another good marathon which is close to London but not too hilly?
  • Some  interesting and very familiar tales there.

    Last year 3 weeks before VLM, and after finally getting  a place, I had to pull out injured.

    A disappointing time is waaaay better than not being able to run at all.  Chin up fella - its all experience


  • Well I would remind you of what you achieved.  You might be disappointed but i think what you achieved is awe inspiring. I am revving up to running my first marathon in a month and the fact that you puked AND finished faster than last time? Wake up, celebrate your strength and be proud

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