Freaking OUT.

Hi! new to here, been running on and off for years (badly) then all of a sudden got a ballot place for London this year. I started the training programme in jan and I'm getting on ok, but I'm suddenly freaking out that I'm not getting enough miles in and won't be ready. I'm on 8 miles for a Long run at the moment, (been hovering there for a few weeks now, I've been trying to get a good base to build on, and not ramp it up too quickly)

Also I did the hyde park 10k a few weeks ago, managed to do 1hr 12 which was the same as my practice time (with a neg split.. check me out!!) but I really didn't enjoy it, found it super hard and was pretty ill afterwards. I'm so worried I'm going to get to the marathon after working hard for months and not actually enjoy myself? and I'm worried that I'm not going to be able to increase my mileage enough to even get round image

I'm having a bit of a moment it seems image I'm sure it'll be ok. trust the training and all that!!!




  • Hmmm - working hard for months and you're just up to 8 miles ?

    Are you following a plan ?

    Anyhoo - you have 10 weekends before the race. You need to add 2 miles a week until you get to run a 20. Then back it down to say 14 the next week and then back up to 20. Then do another 14, then another 10, then an 8/10 the week before the race and then its race day.

    You need to get your ass in gear and get those miles ramping up - or else you will have a crap day.

    Do not race your long runs. Take them easy. Do any speed work you are doing on a short run in the week.

    Train hard - race easy - that should be the way. The marathon is a bloody long way -- you should be scared of it - but get the training in and its not that bad.

    Trust me !
  • Are you following a training plan? Which one? How many miles a week are you doing outside of your long run? How many runs per week? over what speed - are they all the same speed?

    Make sure that you do easy mileage. Slow. Slow enough to hold a conversation even if it seems pedestrian. 

    And you really need to be upping your long run mileage. You are 10 weeks out, and 2-3 of those should be tapering. So you need to start increasing that for sure.

    Ultimately it all depends on your expectations. If you have your heart set on a time, then you need to put more running in. But if you just want to enjoy it and finish don't stress about it too much, concentrate on building your long run. At the end of the day, plenty of people will run/walk it, and by doing that you can focus on enjoying the experience.

  • Why are you "hovering" on 8 miles - what happens when you get that far?

    I'm thinking that run/walk may be the way to go, especially as you are 12 minute miling at the moment. If you aren't speedy you might be better concentrating on getting round an enjoying it rather than looking for a time - there are always other marathons you can do if that's your aim.

  • I'm confused.the 10k you say was at practice you mean the speed you train at or the pace you want to do the marathon in....

  • I'm following the virgin beginners plan, which I've had to adapt slightly as my half race sits in the wrong week. according to that I'm 2 miles down on my long runs at the moment. however I should be able to make that up by the end of feb if all goes to plan.

    The reason I stayed at this distance for a little while (other than following the plan) is I wanted to get used to running several miles before ramping it up to properly long distances - the last thing I wanted to do was injure myself before I even got going properly.

    my mid weeks involve 3 runs, two using fartlek / hill sprints and one thats fairly steady at about 5 miles. Saturdays I do core and more hills as long as my legs feel ok. I'm taking my long runs VERY slowly at the moment but I hope to increase speed a little as I go along. nothing drastic.

    I had a really awful week running wise last week after the hyde park race (hence the fact I'm 2 miles down on the plan) where I found all the other runners really distracting and really couldn't get into my stride, i just think my confidence has taken a bit of a hit. I've got 2 more proper races to go before the big day so hopefully I can practise zoning everyone out a bit!!

  • Goodness - if you found other runners distracting in Hyde Park how on earth are you going to cope at the VLM? There will be about 38,000 of you image

    Anyway, if I were you I'd consider cutting your midweek runs from 3 down to 2 and I would definitely forget the hill sprints or any sort of speed work, that's more likely to injure you than anything else.

    Your long run is the one you need to concentrate on. Put your efforts into increasing this. Your aim is to get to 26.2 miles so this is the thing that's most important.

  • Hi Shippers81, I too am new to all this marathon malarky.  Take the advice of the guys on here as most of them of seasoned marathoners and to me, they have become my on-line running club!  I think your biggest weakness is confidence.  Confidence comes with running, running and more running.   I also wouldn't worry at this stage about's when you start to increase mileage that you start to experience little niggles (I'm coming back from shin splints after running 15 miles, so had a big gap in my training schedule).  The one thing that I've been banned from is speed work and hill work (all of which you are doing)....maybe cut out the fartlek/hill training and put in some more miles?   Don't spend you time and energy worrying about your training...just get out and do it and enjoy it...the marathon is meant to be fun....I wish you the best of luck!




  • I would also advice to ignore any speed work or hills are not at a stage for them to benefit and can cause injury.....

    The best advice was for you to have started running when you applied for the place and then as soon as you got the ballot place start increasing your mileage more......but its too late for any of that...

    so your best option is to concentrate on 2 or 3 easy runs in the week and then increase your long runs..keep them slow and put in walk breaks to help recovery and to reduce injury

  • Thank you for all the helpful advice. 


    just to clarify its not something I just picked up when I got the marathon place. I have been running for a long time. not very well clearly, but running all the same.




  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

     Sitting on the train en-route to the last London Marathon I over heard several people talking about the amount of training they had done. Longest run, 5 miles was one, trumped by zero running at all.

    Good luck. You're in better shape than most.

  • Shippers most of all DON'T PANIC!!!! top advice above. Confidence will come with experiance and training. If you can keep a positive mental attertude it will be worth it. If your having problems with other runner's at races can you get some park run's under your belt? I've heard of hyde park but never done it but heard it can be a lot of runner's in a small space half of who go to far forward at the start for there ability so I wouldn't worry to much about it.

    Assuming your a cockney from hyde park there are some races in Richmond park  (half & 10K) weekend of 23nd Feb if you want to have anouther go at a race with plenty of time before London.

  • haha! thank you image

  • Thank you cake image I booked in my final long run as a race (hyde park again) to get more practice. I'm doing the fleet half in march too. I'll definitely look out for a few in between.. Kent based so easy to get to town..

  • I'm a northern monkey so rarely head down your way I think through you should be able to find some races around ashford as well if any good. Kents a big place through so would be surpiced if you don't find some gem near you if you don't want to head into London village.

    My wife's done hyde park and said much the same as you so I wouldn't dwell to much on that one race.

    Come london your going to find you have a few thousand new friends helping you out. Just trust in your training and trust in yourself and enjoy it. Everyone worries even old f*rt's like me but makes the finesh line all the sweeter. image

  • Thank you so much. thats just what I needed to hear image


  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭

    Shippers I did the Hyde Pk 10 and I'm doing Fleet and I have a ballot place for London too ... !  I actually really enjoyed the 10k it felt like a quite low key well organised race BUT it's taken me quite a while to get used to racing with other people.  I really recommend parkrun it's the one thing that's helped me get used to a racing environment with absolutely no pressure and it's free - what's not to like - I did London last year too and you are surrounded by huge crowds every step of the way ... and if you have your name on your shirt half of them will be calling your name ... i found it really distracting and am gonna be as anonymous as possible this year!  Whatever happens don't stress and just relish the experience it is unique!

  • The more you are brave and get the long runs in, the quicker the recovery time after the marathon image 

    You can turn a weeks suffering into a day or two of exhaustion. 

  • Sorry to hijack - but as there's a lot of good advice, I thought I'd throw my 'freaking out' worries into the mix which are a bit different to the opening post! I've also got a place for VLM and having had what I would say was a dissapointing first marathon attempt 3 years ago, I've ramped up the training this time.

    For a bit of backround, my previous marathon time (3 years ago) was 5:04:08 but since then I've done 10 half marathons and regularly averaged 25 miles a week. My predicted marathon time is now 3:45ish according to some websites based on other PB's but I'd be estatic with 3:59:59.

    My worry is I'm overdoing it in an attempt to boost my confidence for the marathon and not fall apart after just 16 miles like last time. Therefore I've already done 12, 19, 15 and 20 milers over the past 4 weekends with 2 midweek runs (usually speed / hills / or just extra mileage), and a recovery run the day after the long run. Is it advisable to continue hitting around 20 miles on the long run every other weekend? My plan was something like 15, 20, 14, 21, 15, 19, 14, 22 over the next 8 weekends before tapering. 

  • legend sounds alright to me just listen to your body and evaluate if needed. What are your planing for tapering? Are you going to do some light stuff or chaining yourself to the sette for a week or so? From what training you've put you might want to take a look at the shades thread on here and see if some of the info on there helps.

  • Cake - thanks for the input. Tapering - I was thinking I'd continue with 3-4 runs per week but maybe easier sessions during the week (difficult for me as I live in valley, so hills everywhere). Then long-run-wise, something like 12-14 miles 2 weeks before the marathon and no more than 10 miles the weekend before.

    One other query. On my long runs to date, I've been averaging 9 minute miles which is what I'll be aiming for on the day (works out as 3:56). Given my Half Marathon pace is 7:30, running 90 seconds slower than that feels pretty comfortable (until the later miles at least). However, most schedules suggest the long run should be slower than marathon pace. Just wondering how much slower? I can't imagine slowing down to 10 minute mile pace plus it'd add 20 minutes to a 20 miler which surely doesn't help in terms of time on your feet.

  • I'm not the best person to ask on that one mate so will wait for better minds than mine to anwser. But if it helps the idea is that your long runs build up endurace so if your going at a slower pace your able to get in more miles than if you where going quicker. The extra time on your feet depending on if you have the time for it will be useful. Depending on which schedule your using it should give you details about your running pace.

    Your going to find that with the marathon training your running pace will ever slow down or speed up so worth doing a half in the build up just to evaluate.

  • I'm definitely no expert but if you previously blew up at 16 miles (I know that you've trained a lot since then but still the same principle) and are finding 9mm pretty comfortable until later miles I have a feeling that the same might happen again. There are some arguments though that say it's not beneficial after 2hrs 15 - 2hrs 30 but from everything I've read I suggest you slow down and do the distance as it's all meant to be about time on your feet. Perhaps it's different when you're slow - I ran a similar marathon 3 years ago and then stopped running so I'm at the same place I was then image

  • Well I really wish I hadn't opened this thread and read it image

    I am in a very similar position to OP training wise apart from  I have done 10 miles as my longest run. The difference-I am really enjoying my running, am keeping up with all my training runs, my parkrun PB is reducing and I am happy.  I know I'll go around London towards 6hrs probably 6 something, but am ok with that.  So OP there are others like you, perhaps you need to feel more positive and that will help your running.

    Will be more careful with opening threads in futureimage

  • I did VLM last April - my first marathon.   I am 66 and only took up 'proper' running in 2009.   The best advice I was given was "Just enjoy the will be one of the best days of your life!"   It took me 5 hours and 58 minutes to get round.  I was very cautious because a foot injury had prevented me from running more than once a week for 5 weeks before the big day.  But I knew when I crossed the start line that I would make the finish - I was absolutely determined!

    A seasoned marathoner advised me not to have my name on my shirt.  He said hearing people shout your name when you are on your last legs can be counter-productive.  So I didn't.  Not sure whether that was sound advice or not.

    My long runs are done at 12mm.  I am a slow runner,  but a runner even so.  Be proud, all you slower people!   You are doing a fantastic job!  Ofcourse you will manage to get round and it really will be one of the best days of your life.  I speak from experience.   And guess what.... I am doing Edinburgh in May this year!

  • Thanks Matsmum for your encouragement and inspirational story.  Good luck in Edinburgh.

  • Lainey I've been near the back the last few years for marathons and the one thing know is it doesnt' matter if you finesh it in under 3 hours or over 6 all that matter's is the distance and if you feel you are challenging and enjoying yourself. Everything else is ever a bonus or bullsh*t depending on what it is.

    Just keep the faith. From what I've seen the slower runner's have more fun anyway. image

  • Thanks Cake!  Am determined to enjoy it!

  • He's right Lainey, all the party people are in pen 9 image

  • imagescreampillar

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