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I've run for about 3.5 years, 10 half marathons and can squeeze them in at 1:55 at my very best. Having signed up for my first marathon (Greater Manchester - the flattest) I've found I'm struggling to increase distance. I managed 18 miles a few weeks ago and felt great. I was raring to go the following weekend planning 20 miles, but had a cold coming on, went out too fast and on more hills than I expected and just completely ran out of juice at 15 miles. Last Saturday I took it much more slowly and gently but my thighs were killing me and I had to stop at 16 miles feeling like something was going to give. I'm keeping my mid week runs going.
I will have another go at 20 miles and am hoping to get a sports massage in too.
My question is if I can't get another run in more than 18 miles, should I give up on Manchester or have I done enough to get round in under 5 hours (I was hoping for about 4h30m)?