New Marathon Stirling Scotland



  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Thanks guys. The good news is that with the help of a very good physio the back has cleared up nicely. What back? Didn't lose too much training in the end, and training in general going well. Starting to worry about the Boston hills, so trying to get the long runs done over the local hills, and managed a 26.2 miler on Sunday - I know going beyond 20 increases injury risk and all that, but no problems and it's really given me a psychological boost. Alloa half this weekend (must discipline myself - not going for PB so don't race all-out!) then only one more long run before taper for marathons.

    Meadower - see you there and we'll find out how these crazy loops are going to work. Could be good, could be terrible............?
  • Well I've been stuck in Virtual Grantham North Services for over a week now. Pulled up at the end of a 10 mile run with a very tight calf and pain in my shin (both right side) - been completely unable to put any running through the leg at all *sigh*

    Been battering away on the Indoor bike trying to keep some aerobic fitness - but its looking like I have to accept that a Sub-4 is now off the table for me. Getting round is now my goal. Just hoping I can get back to running soon - I'm going stir crazy in on that damned bike.

    Regarding the loops, it looks on the website like they have been smart enough to put the timing mat after the turn for the finish - it's going to make any cheats pretty obvious lol.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Steven, have you thought about aquajogging? OK, so you'll look like a twat, but my physio reckons it's a great way of keeping the running muscles active but without loading up the joints - could be worth a go?
  • I did think about it, but as luck would have they shut my local pool about a month ago and the replacement isnt open yet ... otherwise I'd be hamstering away in the pool right now as opposed to sitting in the back bedroom pedalling like a deranged flintstone.

    Delighted your back running, I'll keep a thought for you as i watch London on the box ... stay healthy mate.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Did Alloa half yesterday, could see the Wallace monument as we ran, and I was thinking that it's not that long until we'll be running under it. Weather forecast was horrific, so was braced for the worst. Cleared up when we arrived, so set off and finished in glorious sunshine with just one wee rainy squall for about a mile or so.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Meadower - my target was 2:30 and I finished in 2:29, so pretty happy.  First couple of miles were a bit faster than planned, but I was glad that I managed to not blow up because of it. Post-kids PB for me (take everything you can get!).

    10 miles yesterday felt quite short by comparison :)
  • MeadowerMeadower ✭✭✭
    Nice one, Nessie!  Well restrained, too...very easy to get swept up in the excitement to be underway.

    You've come through Alloa unscathed then, rodeo?  Most folk I know seem to've faired pretty well despite it still being a bit blowy out there!

    Where did you see the timing mats, Steven?  Had a look for them on the site the other day, but couldn't pick them out.  Would make sense, though, and I hope you're right.

    Covered 21 miles on Sunday, and just like the last time I did 21 miles four weeks ago, I've pushed my luck a bit.  I've had a nagging glute/hamstring problem since the start of the year, which 90-95% of the time is manageable, but certainly wasn't during tonight's aborted recovery run tonight.  I'll rest up until the weekend (like I did before) and keep mileage low until Blackpool (same day as London) and same again until Stirling.  I can take a month off after that, if I make it that far!

    We're falling apart here.  Stay safe, Nessie!
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Meadower - the joys of marathon training - sometimes I think the most important attribute of a marathon runner is the ability to tell the difference between serious injuries and those which are temporary, combined with the stubbornness to keep going with the temporary ones! You've got nearly five weeks to recover so take it easy, sounds like your training has generally gone pretty well.

    Alloa was good, but yes, was a tad windy. There was a 4 mile stretch on a very straight road back towards Menstrie which was straight into the wind, and everyone was trying to tuck in behind everyone else, so it was almost single file along its length, felt like we were all doing a 4 mile conga! First time I've done Alloa, and have to say it was pretty good, really handy having the sports centre next to the start / finish - lockers, showers, place to wait beforehand and £2.25 for a pint of Carlsberg afterwards, happy days.

    I'm still training for Boston / London, so Alloa was really a training run. I pushed myself last Sunday to do a 26.2 mile long run, and it was good at the time and good for a psychological boost, but still had some tiredness in my legs at Alloa, really felt it in the second half of the race. One more long run this weekend and then it's taper time.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    *wraps self in cotton wool*
  • Meadower: Timing mats are shown on the course map loaded onto the official site 'Google' map excerpt, at 10K, Half and 30K but I'm guessing they'll use it to count everybody has crossed it at least twice before the finish.

    I'm still working away on the bike, 2 hours on Sunday was pure mental torture ... but slowly my leg is coming back to me - fingers crossed for getting to run this week.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Keep at it Steven - no other pool you could use for aquajogging? Good to hear that your leg is improving.
  • MeadowerMeadower ✭✭✭
    Sounds like a good set up at Alloa, rodeoflip...will try to get myself in for next year.  That's impressive you're doing marathon-distance training runs, too; what did your week look like off the back of it (finishing with Alloa)?

    Steven - cheers, I'll have another look.  Have you been tempted into an experimental run as of yet?  The bike'll help, and depending on your goals for the year, you could probably stick with it for another week or so yet and still do an element of justice to yourself on the day.

    One hundredth parkrun for me tomorrow morning, and then the Road Relays in Livingston on Sunday.  Provided I make it through the pair of them okay, I'll get back on it from Tuesday.
  • Rodeoflip: There are a few nearby, but having an 8 month old in the house makes finding free time murder - the wife already has the hump with me about the amount of time I've spent training (especially the 3hr+ long runs) leaving her with the wean. The new pool opens at the end of this month, just in time for the injury to be gone lol.

    Meadower: Tomorrow morning, the plan is to try a flat 4 miler and see how the leg goes. I can cut it shorter if I have to very easily - fingers crossed, I don't need to. I was running 5 times a week before the injury, but if the leg allows me run on it tomorrow then I'll cut that down to 4 times a week until race day and use the bike in place of a run. I just might get lucky and get back to where I was relatively quickly and then who knows? It might just be possible to have a tilt at sub-4 hrs. But I'm getting ahead of myself, 4 miles tomorrow morning and judge from there.

    P.S. Pre-emptive congratulation on reaching 100 park-runs - park-run is a thing I keep thinking about doing, but haven't done yet.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Steven, I understand your pain - I have 2 young kids and a very understanding wife who lets me run all the time, but it can be hard to find the time for running without taking the piss.

    Meadower - well done on 100 park runs, amazing. I've done 2! Hope they make a fuss of you tomorrow.
     My week leading to Alloa was 26.3 miles on Sunday at 8:05 per mile, 3.8 on Monday at 8:26 per mile, 6.9 on Wednesday at 7:05 per mile, 6.7 on Thursday at 7:20 per mile. The full distance run left my legs pretty tired all week TBH, but felt ok after the Alloa half (36 miles since Sunday, including today). One last long run this weekend (not sure how far, probably around 22 miles) and it's taper o'clock time!
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    I have 2 kids too - 8 and 5 - and it is hard to fit everything in.  Heading out at 6:30am tomorrow to do my 14 miles, hopefully to be home in time to take 5 year old to her dance class (possibly hubby will take her while I shower, then I'll meet them there so he can head to work), then shopping for a new swimsuit for 8 year old for the Easter holidays, Tesco shopping, then home to do laundry, hoovering, and if the weather is nice, some tidying up in the garden.

    Sunday, being Mothers' Day (don't forget lads!), the kids want to take me swimming as a treat (?), hopefully fit in a 4 mile recovery run, and out for tea if we can find anywhere not fully booked. 

    Clocks forward this weekend too.

    I've done 35 parkruns, and 5 volunteer stints. 
  • MeadowerMeadower ✭✭✭
    I really can't grumble in comparison; no kids, and complete control - work withstanding - over when my runs are slotted in.  That sounds like a mad day, Nessie!

    Steven - Hope the run went without a hitch

    Rodeoflip - Impressive mileage, I'dve been a messy heap trying that I suspect!

    My weekend went largely without a hitch.  parkrun in glorious sunshine at a bimble, and the Road Relay today was pretty brutal.  I'm still feeling the injury but I really don't want to stop running before Blackpool - I might end up reducing mileage but trying to maintain intensity and float to the start line.  It's only four weeks, after all; what could go wrong!
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Nessie - my kids are 8 and 5 too, and I was out at 6:30am yesterday to get my run in before family stuff kicked in. With the clocks changing overnight, getting up at what my body thought was 5am wasn't easy, but I was rewarded with a beautiful morning for running - ran a new route I've been meaning to try out for ages and really enjoyed it. 23 miles done, training for Boston now officially over and let the taper commence!

    Had my kids out on Saturday at an obstacle race for kids called "MacTuff" - sunny day, t-shirt, medal, mud, they loved it! Only problem was when they said it was much better than running on boring roads - not looking so good for this year's Great Scottish Run kids race?

    Meadower - think you're right to reduce the mileage (especially if it's on hard surfaces), but keep up some faster running to maintain the CV system. I would maybe think about a pretty relaxing taper, maybe no running at all for the last two weeks. Two weeks won't affect your fitness, but might help to let things settle down? Difficult decision, though. Hope you got an announcement and a cheer at the parkrun for your centenary!

    Running is just so much better in this weather, isn't it?
  • Rodeoflip: Well done on all your work, try not to succumb to taper madness lol.

    Nessie: thankfully I remembered Mother's Day - it being my good lady's first - I don't think I'd be here to tell the tale if I hadn't. I hope you enjoyed your swimming treat after your run.

    Meadower: Thanks for asking about my test run, 4 miles necessarily became 2 miles - calf was not happy about running and I was limping as soon as I stopped running ... it's been pretty grumpy with me since Saturday so I'm back on the bike. Keep going, you sound like you're doing great after injury and being eminently sensible into the bargain.

    Less than 8 weeks to go to Stirling ... time is not on my side. But at least (as RF says) the weather has been good.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    14 miler went pretty well.  Experimenting with gels, as I haven't run far enough in years to need them.  Took 2 SIS Go gels at 5 and 10 miles, without any immediate or later side effects, and they didn't taste too awful, so happy with that.

    I had a bizzare sensation after walking for a bit to take the gels - when I started running again, I had what felt like electric shocks at the top of my glutes (ok, bum) for a few steps.  It was a bit like the feeling of a TENS machine, or one of those ab-belt things.  It passed pretty quickly, and I didn't have any problems on my 3 mile recovery run last night, and no particular back pain or unusual stiffness after the long run. Anyone else ever had this?

    The swim didn't happen on Sunday - it was too nice a day to be inside so we went to the forest adventure park at Carrbridge.  It wasn't fully open for the season, so the kids had a good session on the climbing frames/slides and we did the treetop trail and the labarynth, had a nice lunch and enjoyed the sunshine. Got a major shock that my 8 year old is now tall enough for the Skydive - basically climbing a telegraph pole in a harness, then stepping off the top and the harness breaks your fall.  I had promised her when she was about 5 that when she was tall enough I'd go on it with her, thinking she would be 12 and probably have forgotten about it by the time she was tall enough.  Just as well it wasn't operating on Sunday, so I have a couple of weeks to get used to the idea - Ulp!
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Healing vibes to all the injured, and taper well, Rodeoflip!
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Nessie, thanks for that and I realise this will sound barmy but re gels, if you plan on running all the way in the marathon without stopping then you need to practice taking gels on the run. It's a little bit more tricky to get at your gels and to get the top off without covering your hands in goo if you're running as opposed to walking. Sounds crazy, I know, but worth practicing, especially when you think that on the day you're going to be tired and nothing will quite work properly. If you're planning a run / walk strategy then that's different, but if you plan to run all the way, then practice taking gels on the run. This is important because if you're anything like me then if you stop or walk once, then you have "broken your duck" and you'll know that you can do it again, and again. If you don't allow yourself any excuses to stop or slow down then it makes it easier to keep on running.

    Find a secure way to carry your gels (I use duct tape to form them into a loop which I then pass a belt through so that they can't come off) and remember to take them evenly throughout the run, don't wait until you think you need them. Also remember that they need to be washed down with water, so maybe plan them around the water stations?
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Good tips - I always walk through water stations to make sure I drink enough and don't choke, so I was planning to do the same with my gels.  My current marathon PB came from walking for 1 min at each mile marker, and I'm very strict at starting again.  It does take practice, but convincing yourself that those walks "don't count" because they have a purpose helps.

    Currently planning gels every 5 miles, but that will depend on how the fuelling goes on my longest run - I may revise it to 4 miles if I feel I need a bit more, or possibly taking some of the energy drinks they will be supplying once they tell us what they are!
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Nessie, if you know what drinks will be supplied on the day and you've used them in advance with no problems then that's fine. But if you're not sure or if it's a drink which is new to you, I'd give it a wide berth just in case. Better to be self-sufficient and stick with gels. FWIW, I try to use gels in training as little as possible (2 at most for a v. long run), but take them at pre-planned mileages in the race, my thinking is that my body isn't reliant on them but the extra energy is a boost. I'll go for 6, 10, 14, 17, 20 & 23 miles (6 gels in total) - fairly evenly spread so that I'm not waiting until I need them to take them.

    I admire your discipline - in most marathons I have to work hard to not let myself stop or walk for anything. I'm great at thinking up reasons why I need to stop when tired, but really I just want a rest. Problem is, once I've done it once, then it's no big deal to do it again. And again. So I can't let myself stop running at all, wish I had your willpower!
  • MeadowerMeadower ✭✭✭
    I now have a head cold. Gah!  I've managed 5 miles since the weekend...hopefully I'll be able to jog the 5 miles to/from volunteering on Saturday, but I feel rotten.

    Steven - not sounding too great for you, but again, you're being sensible about it at least.  Fingers crossed.

    On the gels, I'm similar to rodeoflip with the number (6) though I tend to start at mile 4 and finish at 20. I've also got a hydration belt and I empty three gels into a small bottle to manage the messiness, taking the first three - while I'm still feeling strong, normally - in the 'normal' way.  Someone over on the Paris thread put me on to that!

    Nessie - I know a few folk that have had great success with walk/run strategies.  I'm impressed with anyone who can stick to their guns like that, especially early on.  It's something I'll consider if/when I decide to ultra...

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Haha!  It's not so much discipline as necessity.  The marathon I did the 1 minute a mile I was doing with a friend for the first 5 miles (she'd been injured) so we kept each other right.  Once I knew I could (and that it felt ok) I kept it up.  I've always done the water station thing since my very first race, when I choked on the water and spent nearly a mile unable to run because I was coughing so much. I don't allow myself to think of them as walk breaks, just making sure I get fluids in, so I can trick my mind into thinking that I haven't stopped running.

    I'll definitlely avoid the supplied drinks if I haven't had a chance to practice with them - been there, done that too!

    I was looking back over previous years' running logs last night, and I've already run more miles this year than I have for any other marathon, and my longest run is already longer too (which at 14 miles probably explains why my marathon PB is so slow ;)).  Still 7 and a bit weeks to go and 5 long runs before tapering, so going in the right direction.  Although having kids impacts on when you can train, it certainly (for me) seems to focus the mind and makes you get out there when you have a planned session.  All to often in the past, I'd plan a long run on a Sunday morning, then couldn't drag myself out of bed, thinking I'd do it later in the day.  Then of course something else would come up and it'd get binned or shortened. Knowing that you have this one window to get the miles in actually seems to be helping me.

  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Know what you mean Nessie - I really need to be back in for 10am-ish at the weekend if my running isn't going to screw up plans for the day with the kids, so as the long runs get longer, I need to be out earlier and earlier. But if I don't get my arse out of bed, I don't get my run in, so I know I just need to get on with it.
  • Hi all. All the above comments make for interesting reading. I am in training to (hopefully) run my 1st marathon at Stirling. With no running partner and no running experience (other than 3 Scottish 1/2 marathons between 10 - 8 years ago) I find pacing myself and identification of an appropriate training plan/method difficult. I ran 18.75 miles last Sunday (time was 2hrs 40mins) and I plan to run the same distance this weekend coming. My plan was then to run 8 miles on the treadmill in 1hr on the following Tuesday and Thursday before doing an easy paced 1/2 distance on the Sunday. The Sunday after that I plan to do 22.5 miles. I was not intending to run any longer distances than the 22.5 miles before the Marathon. I am 43, male and tend to run 1st thing in the mornings before work. During my long runs I quickly open my car (at 11.25miles and 15miles) and take a quick squirt of water and a glucose tablet. I like the tablets and have not really heard of these "gels" before. Am i running too little? Too much? Too quickly? I would like to finish in under 4hrs. That is my goal and without stopping. I am experiencing very sore knees after around 15miles and very feet (front sole area). Some advice would be very much appreciated and welcomed.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    There are loads of training plans available, and they can vary significantly. If you assume a 16-week plan, they will all have a few things in common:

    a mixture of shorter, faster runs
    a long slow run probably once per week
    days off in between hard runs to allow recovery
    every 3rd or 4th week will be a "cutback" week with reduced mileage (by say 50%) to ensure recovery
    long runs building in distance / time to around 20 miles
    ideally about 4 long runs at 20 miles
    3-week taper where mileage is reduced before raceday to allow muscles to recover from training and to allow energy / glycogen to recover.

    You're running your long runs at 8.5 mins per mile - this is about 3:55 marathon pace - this is too fast. You are effectively racing your marathon every weekend. Long training runs should be around 1 to 1.5 minutes per mile slower than race pace (so if race target is sub-4, then long run pace should be around 10 mins/ mile). Of course, the reverse is also true, if you're comfortable with this pace in training, then perhaps you're capable of a faster time on the day? But the knees and feet may be telling you to slow down - in which case, maybe some time cross-training might be good to maintain the fitness but without the impact - I wouldn't try to squeeze in any more running, but can you do any cycling or swimming instead? Your knees and feet would probably thank you for it.

    What you're doing already sounds good - don't go any further than 22.5 miles, there's not too much benefit but it's hard on the body and the injury risk increases. If you can run 7.5 mins/mile for an hour (treadmill) then again, this seems fast for training for a 4-hour marathon. It sounds like your fitness is already pretty good but as the mileage goes up, your knees / feet are suffering. Slowing your long runs and maybe even some of your inbetween runs might help with this.

    For long runs and races you need to figure out a bit of nutrition / hydration - not necessary for a half, but definitely a good move for a marathon. Taking water on training runs is a good idea, and gels are just another way of getting carbs / energy on board - if the tablets work better for you then stick with them, or if you try the gels then make sure to try them in training and don't just use them on raceday, they can be an "acquired taste"! You can buy gels in any running or fitness shop, and if you find some you like, you can buy them cheaply in bulk online.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    I'd say you are running your long runs too fast.  For a 4 hour marathon (9:15min mile) you shouldn't be running 19ish miles in 2:40 (just over 8:30min mile).  Long runs should be at least 1 min/mile slower than race pace, otherwise you will be burnt out before the marathon.

    You shouldn't need to run much more than 20 miles in training, but you could get away with 22.5 if you take it easy. That should then be your last really long run (assuming I've got my sums right and the 22.5 would be on the 30th April) as you should then taper for the 3 weeks before the race (say 15 miles/10 miles for the "long" weekend runs, and similar reductions in your other runs).

    Ideally you would be running 5 times a week, but this close to the race, you would be more likely to injure yourself, and you can run a marathon on 3 runs a week if you are otherwise active.

    Glucose tablets are fine, as long as you take them with water.  If they work for you, stick with it - again, too close to the race to be making major changes.

    Good luck!
  • rodeoflip and nessie: massive thanks for your advice! This is much appreciated. I try to run slower but my calf muscles and shins do not like it. I have printed loads of different training programmes but have not managed to follow any either due to getting flu, some sudden family deaths and work all getting in the way (I don't mean to sound insensitive). By the sounds of it I will not manage to get 4 x 20mile runs in before the big day but I may try and get 2 x 22.75 miles in by accelerating programme and doing the longer run this coming Sunday.

    Something I cant find is where the water stations will be on the day. I don't want to carry any water with me but obviously will if I need to. Do you guys have any information on this?

    PS Great to have some advice on this. Very much appreciated!

    Thank you both.
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