MK Marathon

Hi all, I've just signed up for my first marathon.  The Milton Keynes Marathon.

I've just downloaded the Hal Higdon 18 week training program which I aim to start in the first week in December.  This leads my up to the beginning of April, so perfect timing.

Has anyone else used this training schedule or done the MK Marathon.  Do you have any tips for me?  

I've done plenty of 10k races before, and I was planning on using the training schedule as well as running some races starting from the lowly 5k races and working my way up.


  • Isn't it 5th of May? What are you doing for the last month? 

  • yeah it's the 5th.  So using that training schedule I should be marathon fit by first week of April, so for the three or so weeks between finishing the schedule and the marathon, I'll need to keep up the training...essentially go backk three weeks of the training plan.  Should be good.

  • sounds good, will also give you some leeway in case you get injured. This is my slow plod from last year. The course is quite busy as it's narrow redways most of the route after the start which is on the main roads.

  • I'd be over the moon with that time and result to be honest.  First marathon, I really want to enjoy it.

    What garmin system did you use?

  • That was on the 610 nor cheap, but the fr10 can be got for around £80 and has 95% of the features and the plot on the Garmin site would look just the same as on mine.

  • Thanks, will check it out.  I normally use Nike+ but that's not massively reliable.

  • Paul, I am not sure I understand why you aim to finish the plan 3 weeks early. The plan is designed to have you peak on race day, not 3 weeks before. The last 3 weeks are designed to taper off training to aid rest/recovery. You should schedule the plan to start 18 weeks before race day. Until then, plenty of easy running. A little bit if leaway is fine, but planning to repeat the final weeks is wrong imho.

  • Milton Keynes will be my first marathon too. I'm working with my trainer as he is a very experienced ultra runner who got me fully prepped for my first half three years ago.

    I am nervous about moving to the full 26.2miles. Lots of positive thoughts needed! 

  • MR: you could do a half 3 years ago, and have an ultra runner as your trainer.... I don't think you have to much to worry about image

  • The MK marathon is generally good, and quite fair to do as your first marathon. Make sure you add some hills and strength work, perhaps doing a few long undualting runs... the marathon is basically flat, but where-ever you find a roundabout, the race does underneath and the underpass up-ramps feel mighty hard towards the end of the run!

    I don't know about Hal's plans as such, but would accept his experience and coaching prowess!

  • Off to run hills this morning. Well one very steep hill repeatedly as part of a weekly off Road session mixed in with some core work. Just hope not too many cow pats!

  • It will be nice to know when they announce the new route. First 26.2 for me - looking forward to the training come January!

  • What new route? didn't know it was changing they will of course need to do something for the half.

  • They have said they are working on a new route to try and include more running along tree lined boulevards!

  • Ahhh

  • I did MK this year (2013). Mostly quite enjoyable, but I failed to hit my sub 4 target, partly due to the unexpected heat, partly because I paced it wrong. It's a little narrow in places, but not that bad. Certainly not so bad that you'll need to stop or slow significantly. The finish in the stadium is pretty cool.

    A few parts of the route seem a bit random, through residential cul-de-sacs and there was a bit going through a park around half way, or a bit further, that was really busy with non-runners (because it was such a nice day and there were people enjoying the sun in the park) so it got a bit crowded there, but otherwise it was fine.

    As iccle jim mentioned, pace it right because if you go off too fast those little bridges towards the end will seem like massive hills.

  • I am also doing this one, have not done this marathon before but it's very local and have done a fair few half's there.  Good luck with the training image

    I will be doing Brighton 1 month prior to this so just enough time for a bit of a rest/2nd taper ready to go again!

    For a regular training plan though I would think they have built in a taper for the last 3-4 weeks so perhaps do an extra few weeks of foundation runs before you start the program then finish the plan time for the marathon? Or if needing to repeat weeks perhaps repeat a middle week?

    Think all my marathons have not been totally to plan due to holidays/injuries etc so i too usually plan for 1-2 weeks extra time just incase! Earlier this year a 20 mile race was cancelled 3 weeks before my marathon due to snow, I was planning to use this as my final longest run so had to decide whether to leave my longest run at 18 miles and do a long taper or try and run my own 20 miles a few days later but that was a shorter taper (I did this).

    Anyway I'm waffling so good luck!!!

  • Paul Gunn 9 wrote (see)

    I've just downloaded the Hal Higdon 18 week training program which I aim to start in the first week in December.  This leads my up to the beginning of April, so perfect timing.

    Has anyone else used this training schedule or done the MK Marathon.  Do you have any tips for me?

    As others have already mentioned, the schedules are designed to taper at the end so that you peak for the race, so you're best of finishing the schedule on time rather than finishing 3 weeks early and then mincing around with unstructured training for a further 3 weeks. The latter risks either peaking too early and losing fitness or overdoing it and burning out when you should be tapering.

    The Hal Higdon 18 week plans work in three-week cycles of build/build/cutback for the first twelve weeks, then maintains and leads into a taper for the last few weeks. If you've got three weeks to spare then I'd suggest turning it into a 21 week plan by repeating any three-week block from the first twelve weeks. Eg if you find the first three weeks tough then repeat those before moving onto week 4. Or if you're already comfortable at that sort of mileage then you could benefit more from repeating weeks 10/11/12 in the middle of the schedule.

    Which of the HH plans are you following? There are several, eg I used "Advanced 1", because its starting point most closely resembled the level of training I was already confident of coping with.

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