Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon


Looking to enter Portsmouth Coastal Marathon. Anyone entered previously with stories to tell ? Any info would be appreciated or links to an existing thread.



  • Never done it, never done a marathon before but I have done lots of races organised by the guy that runs this so should be good, 

    medal looks nice for this yyears have entered this so better start training!

  • I have entered it so it better be good!!

    I have heard it's a good one and if you go to the web page the video of the route looks like it should be good and a little challenging if you are not used to narrow footpaths and running on shingle. 

    I have also read somewhere that there is more then water and gels given out...including Jaffa cakes and rum and brandy shots, so a little treat to warm you as you runimage

  • The bits of the route i know look fun and it gets great reviews. I enteed last year but injury ruled me out. Thinking of entering this year, about 80% set on doing it, need to know what i am up to in december a little more before I can totally commit.

  • Thanks everyone, checked out the website and it does look a good one, a bit different to the usual although I have only done 2 marathons it would be interesting to try a course a bit different without it being too demanding !! I think 26.2 miles is demanding enough ! Look forward to know how you are all progressing with your training, if you have started or when you do start ! What type of training programmes do you follow, how many times a week do you run etc ?

  • Oz, if I do this it will be my first one. my whole year in 2012 was blighted by injury and illness and this was the 3rd marathon than I was forced to DNS and my head fell off after that so I concentrated on drinking cider and plenty of late nights rather than any exercise for a big chunk of this year!

    I have a rough training plan in mind, I'm off to Greece next week and plannning a few runs in the early morning sun for around an hour or so. The rest of September will feature intervals/hills and a steadily increasing weekly long run with a 10km race at the start of October (and hopefully a sub 48 minute PB), October, less intervals, more steady miles and the Luton half marathon at the end of the month (targetting a sub 1hr 49 PB). If I achieve that then I figure I'll have 8 weeks to get ready for Portsmouth and will just focus on increasing the long runs each week. Oh and on top of that, weather permitting a 30 mile round trip to and from work by bike...

  • I'm tempted, as my lunchtime escape from work takes in part of the course and i'm training for a half in October that would naturally lead into the long runs in November for a December marathon. Already entered for Brighton 2014 so it might make a nice base of fitness too.

    The bits I know don't look to make it a PB course, but it's flat and a nice route in parts too, so maybe one to relax and enjoy rather than attack.  Would guess that it gets quite muddy in parts around Langstone too in winter

  • It's a great, socialble run... Flat but with bits of off-road which were muddy last year so probably not a PB course, also a couple of potential bottlenecks which could cause problems if you were gunning for a fast time.

    I came down from Cardiff to do it, and will probably do it again this year - worth price of the trip and overnight B&B, if only to keep me honest for a bit longer over Christmas image

    Oh - and watch out for the brandy at the water stations - I threw back a shot thinking it was squash, gave me quite a surprise, (though not unpleasant)



  • I only want to run 3 times a week so will have to amend a plan to suit me,

    some plans I have found the longest run has been 18 and others 22 miles? Any advice here, I think mentally 20 plus would be good for me

  • Zoe Windsor wrote (see)

    I only want to run 3 times a week so will have to amend a plan to suit me,

    some plans I have found the longest run has been 18 and others 22 miles? Any advice here, I think mentally 20 plus would be good for me


    I'm certainly no expert as my first (and so far only) marathon was Brighton in April this year, but FWIW I did one weekend long run and one midweek 6 miler which is quite low by most plans but I found I needed plenty of recovery from the long runs and couldn't really sustain a higher weekly milage. In the end I did a comfortable 3:57 with an 8-minute final mile which I was happy with, wanted sub-4 and to enjoy it and got both of those.

    Anyway, for the long runs I did three 13-milers, three 17-milers, two 20-milers, and a 23-miler and I was very glad of those last few. Out to sixteen miles always felt comfortable, but the 20s got me used to keeping going as I started to really get tired and stiff. First time at 20 left me thinking that another 6.2 was going to be agony, but the second was better and the 23 was ok. Mentally it helped a lot on the 'road to hell' on the day. 

    I know a lot of plans max out at 16-18 miles or a three-hour time limit and I repeatedly went past that during training, but i'd take a couple of minutes to walk/eat and stretch out every 5k and that seemed to make it ok. I had a plan B for the marathon of run/walking the second half if I started to hurt but in the end never needed it.

  • I did this last year and although I said never again ' check my review, but i had writren it 2 hours after I finished!)! I have changed my mind and will definatly imagebe back this year. 

  • Nice slow 11 miles for me today, 


    i just can't imagine doing double that distance!

  • Hi all. Thanks for the info will definately look out for the brandy Geeem ! Did a 10 last Sunday . Started a 16 week schedule this week with a 6 today probably 5 Thurs and a 10/11 this Sunday. Did 2 marathons last year (my only 2 to date) and lost my mojo slightly after just making a sub 4 in Oct in Chester. But the sound of this one excites me and I'm looking forward to getting back in the game ! I appreciate it's not a PB course but was looking for something a bit different to get me back on track ! (no pun intended) with the idea of doing Manchester in April which I had entered this year but got injured quite late into training. So here goes !

  • Hi Zoe. I only run 3 times a week also and use Smart Coach for a training plan. You can tailor it to suit yourself and have used it on my 2 previous marathons. It takes me up to 20 miles on 3 different weeks and previously I have increased one of them to a 22. Try it see what you think ? It's a free tool.

  • I will definitely look at smart coach

    ran 5 miles around queen Elizabeth county park near peters field and managed to trip over and slide on the floor, pesky tree roots! 


    Hope to get a long run in this weekend

  • For 3 runs/week have a look at F.I.R.S.T. (Furman) there's a thread over on Fetch about it and I think one here in the Training forum somewhere?

    I used it for my first marathon - it's based around 2 speedwork sessions in the week, (1 tempo, 1 interval) and a long run close to marathon pace. You're also supposed to do 2 cross-training sessions to complement the running.

    Furman Link http://www.furman.edu/first/

    Fetch Link http://www.fetcheveryone.com/viewtopic.php?id=39828

    From a purely anecdotal viewpoint - it worked for me, I was going for sub-4 at Palma 2010 and did 3:35 image However - it is tough if you do it properly. I got into ultras immediately after finishing that marathon and have never looked back! So - be warned, it may be a 'kill or cure' regime!

    Good luck!


  • Hi all!

    I'm thinking of entering this too - first marathon - eek!

    I was planning on waiting to see how I get on in a half marathon at the end of this month before committing...

    I'm currently training 5 days a week with total miles of around 30 - my longest runs are around 13 miles at a very slow pace!!


  • Go on enter!

    i did 4 yesterday and a very slow 12 today, have the new forest half next weekend but dreading the hills on that!

    what do people drink on the way round?

    personally I always take a drink, when I was in the army I was denied water and ended up with a heat injury even though it was not even a hot day and now I think I would panic if I did not have one, I do realise that it's just psychological!

  • There are 3 other races in and around Portsmouth before the marathon itself that I have entered. The distances get progressively bigger too so I hope this will be ideal build up for the marathon itself, which I have now entered as well. The races I am referring to: -

    - Southsea Pieces of 8

    - Great South Run

    - Gosport Half-Marathon

    There is also the Hayling 10 the week after the Gosport Half. After the Gosport Half (mid-November) I intend to have a few days off, then just carry on with regular distances, followed by a 20 miler - marathon before the race itself.

    This will be my first marathon also. If anyone has any further advice or tips on my schedule, I would be pleased to hear!

  • I will be at the start of the pieces of 8 but only doing the 10k, medals look nice for both events,

    also doing great south run and gosport half,

    i dont really have a time in mind I just want to get round!

  • Portsmouth..... Mince Pies and Mulled Wine, to enter or not to enter?.

  • 14 weeks to go! 

    Not run further than 12 miles yet!

  • Had a few months off post Manchester marathon,  but training is well underway,  long runs up to hilly 18 milers, 45ish miles a week. 


    Manc  was 3.10, training was sloppy and averaged less than 40 most weeks . totally different course but im sure if I put in much better quality miles in each week I can pb. Or at least have fun and destroy the legs trying. 


    Getting pretty psyched already. Portsmouth is nice place too,  been some years though.

  • Blimey - that's quick - I'd be very happy with 4.10 image

    My long runs are up to 14 miles at the moment and about 35 miles a week - after my half marathon at the end of the month I'l lbe working on increasing those numbers!

    And I suppose I'd better actually enter... I'm definitely leaning more towards entering than not these days image


  • Hi all, first time I have something useful to contribute to a forum.

    2013 was the first year I started running marathons - Portsmouth Coastal was my 6th-ish. I managed my first sub 3hr 30mins, which was my aim. The course is as described (flat) but the mix of various surfaces - shingle beach (short distance, but wearying) narrow muddy paths etc plus pavements make it more trying than one might expect; it will be very dependent on weather conditions, last year had some puddles but basically ok. 

    I am 56yo and a tad idle therefore my training is far from scientific; I do not do enough long runs (over 15miles). I just run around quite often...then stop and have a coffee. Seems to work pretty well for me, I've now done about a dozen marathons and my first 'short' Ultra (31miles - Salisbury 54321) and my last 6 half marathons have all been inside my 'Good for Age' time of 95mins.

    Just a couple more things; with the same level of fitness etc I would think Portsmouth would be at least 5 (....or more) minutes slower than a flat road run.

    Beware the claims of changing facilities etc at the Portsmouth run. Last year there were no 'proper' changing facilities ie to completely get all your kit on or off and no showers - travelling long distances or rainy weather will be a nuisance. The baggage facilities were a joke...all piled up in a corner making it more difficult and dangerous to reclaim than actually running the race.

    Anyway, I am still going to run it. Happy days.

  • twold4this2 - completely agree with you. The terrain and the sea breeze seemed to suck out energy fron you . 

    Facilities were far from great at the start  , I'm taking a thermos for before and some baby wipes for a quick mud removal afterwards . 

    Are you doing clarendon ? 


  • Hi msth.

    Babywipes - a fine idea...I'll just take some Febreze!

    I am running the new Bournemouth marathon the week before Clarendon, have a good one.

  • 12 weeks today! 

    Not prepared yet!

  • Just a couple of mundane practicalities for the day.

    Plenty of free, on-road parking about 10-15mins walk from Pyramid Centre - I parked just off St. Helens' Parade.

    Do be very careful of the 'street-furniture' at the start of the run along the esplanade - in the crowd and the excitement I saw a couple of runners give themselves nasty knocks last year.


  • I bought my ticket ages ago, currently best pb for half marathon at Bristol was 2:37 and FOD in 2:44 so I'm aware of the slight difference between pbs for road and trail.  If I stick at Bristol pace with a bit of training and luck I might be able to push a sub 5 hours marathon which as it would be my first marathon having only started running in February wouldn't be too bad. 

    Having been to Porstmouth a lot as a kid as I have family down there I would say beware of the pebble beach and the breeze... currently working out energy levels as I currently crash at 9 miles and require energy gels for the rest of the distance.  I guess it's just figuring out timing it right in training.  I get very sore underneath the foot on trails so the pebbles will probably have me hobbling to the next day...

    But heck, it'll be worth it for the Mulled Wine and rum...

    Also worth a note the website states if you're not at half way point by 3 hours they will pull you out due to safety of the tides.  There is also a marathon expo the saturday before and a Christmas jumper compition image


  • I'm in image

    I had a private deal with myself that if I got a sub 2hr time in my half marathon at the weekend, then I would sign up for this...

    I'd best start increasing that mileage!!


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