Manchester Marathon 2017



  • OuchOuch - nice work. Having had a calf tear in 2014 and then a groin strain during marathon training last year (December 2015-Jan 2016) I really sympathise. Glad things are going well this time around.

    Si - yeah, the hunger is real!
  • My first time doing Manchester, and I was just wondering what sort of times the pacers do?  I mainly do hilly trail races so pacing isn't my strong point, and neither are roads to be honest, or crowds :smile:
  • NickW2NickW2 ✭✭✭
    Si - I did similar last year which was my first marathon, only did one 20 miler in training which actually went pretty well for most of it, but last mile or 2 were horrible. The general wisdom though is that if you can do 20 on tired training legs then you can do 26 on race day with a taper behind you, and I think it hold true.

    Cal - great PB! Well done! And a PB when you weren't feeling in top shape means you can probably knock a few more minutes off if you can get to the start line feeling good :smile:

    Daz - don't worry too much, we all have days when runs are a lot harder/slower than we think they should be. Possibly your legs were more tired this week to start with, or perhaps it was just "one of those days".

    Nell - great PB for you as well! What was Wrexham like as a race?

    OuchOuch - nice long run

    My long run went well yesterday, plan said 18.5 at close to MP, ended up doing 20 @ 7:57 average. It got progressively harder through the last 5 miles but held my pace well and didn't take the option to bail at 18 miles (went past the end of my road) so really pleased with that.
  • NickW2NickW2 ✭✭✭
    Andrew - I found this link, think it relates to last year's race but I expect it will be similar. In short, every 15 mins from 3 hrs through to 5 hrs, with a couple of extra groups around 3:30 and 4:00.

  • Si- I will just add to the encouragement here, the long runs are all about building the stamina into your legs and body, its training! It will hurt a bit, and its as much about training your mind to increase your stubborness and push the thoughts of the pain out of there as anything else. 

    I really struggled last sunday with my long run, but this sunday it was much better. The brighter weather and lack of beer watching the rugby on the sunday probably helped alot!

    I am aiming to go 3:05 or under. (I have done 3:16 & 3:08 last year) Whats peoples advice, try and hold on to the 3 hour pacers or just go and focus on my own? I think it probably is the better option, the 3:00 pacers will probably be running much too fast. 
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    Hi all, thought I'd join this thread as doing Manchester too and first time at this marathon.  I did deliberate whether to do it after all the issues of past years, but friends who were at those events still said it was worth doing and as the course is now accurate I'm actually looking forward to it.

    PH - If you're looking to go sub 3.05 unless you're confident to be able to run 3hr pace at the start I'd not even try.  You would probably be better off setting off slightly slower than goal pace and look for an even paced or slight negative split race.  Much better to be in control than struggling in the final miles.
  • Thankyou for all the comments of encouragement and advice after my 20 miler, i feel alot more positive now and after a rest day today i feel ready for a gentle 5 miler tomorrow.

  • Understand from Running Commentary the Manchester sub 3 pacer in 2016 finished in 3:01 ouch!

    Mr Potato Head - certainly possible I did 3.08 / 3:13 last year and ran 3:00:14 in Gran Canaria last month. I've never used pacers so no experience.  But on this marathon as I was confident I had the distance in my legs, this was a 'training' run and I had travelled a bloody long way to get there went off at sub 3 pace with a plan to keep it for as long as possible, which on this occasion was 26 miles and around 100 yards!  Surprised myself as suspect I / others normally run too conservatively. See how your training goes and decide closer to the day/ on the day.
  • Thanks (again) Nick :) Wrexham is an excellent race... great organisation, nice medal, crumpets for all, lovely marshals, sufficient loos and a lightning fast course (I also hold my 10K PB from July last year on part of the same HM course, which should tell you how fast the course is!) - and many thanks for the pacing info, I was looking for the same thing but couldn't find the information!

    So - I have two questions for the experienced folks on here...

    (1) Having just run a new HM PB of 1:43:53 (per my marathon training plan that required a sub-1:45 HM) do my goal target times for Manchester, as my first ever marathon, sound sensible? In my head I have an A target of sub-3:50, a B target of sub-4:00 and a Z target of "just get round"... sound doable? How far away might I be from the A target (I know... how long is a piece of string - but I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts)?

    (2) I have two more races scheduled before Manchester (they were booked and paid for before I had my rush of blood to the head and entered the marathon). I've got a 10K on 5th March (scheduled to be a 21-mile LSR) and another HM on 19th March (scheduled to be an 18-mile LSR) - what's the best way for me to run these two events?

    I'm thinking run the 10K at about HM pace then maybe take the following Monday off work and do the 21 miles on Monday (plus Pilates on Monday night). I want to support the local race - but I know I can't race it... or can I, four weeks out from the marathon?

    The HM is a bit more difficult because I'm hideously competitive and there will be a big team running from my work. Last year I was the second lady home from the work team and the first lady home only beat me by about 20 seconds. This year I was hoping to be first work lady - but that might cause me to run too hard (the times last year were a long way from my current PB, ~1:54, but I don't know the fitness level of my colleague as she works elsewhere). What's a sensible way to approach this race/run?

    In this case, I was thinking run a bit faster than goal marathon pace (8:45/mi. for sub-3:50, so ~8:40/mi.) which will get me near or just below last year's time and hope my colleague hasn't done loads of training... and just live with it if she has! Then add 5 miles on to the end of the race at a very slow pace to make it up to the planned 18-miler.


    P.S. Sorry about the HUGE wall of text - thank you very much to anyone who wades through all that!
  • Tucky4Tucky4 ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    I raced Bramley 20 on Sunday. Great event, 850 finishers in the 20, plus another 600 odd in the 10, so a nice busy field.

     I was planning to run 3 hour marathon pace (6:45-50ish) for the first half and see how I felt to step it up a bit.

     However, went through 10 in 65, and managed to up the pace a bit for a negative 63:30 2nd 10 for 2:07 (6:20 pace).

     Which gives me a bit of a dilemma. My ultimate aim for Manchester was 2:59:59. Do I aim a bit quicker, or do I stick to the original goal?

     My PB is 3:21 but that was my only Marathon back in 2011 in Dubai.
  • Nell, having only done the one marathon I'm not really one to advise you as I don't have the experience, but I'd have thought you'd have time to recover from the half even if you race it. I'm doing a club relay race the week before the marathon myself (I got talked into it. It's only 5K though).

    As for the goals, it's good to have a few, but as anyone who's done a marathon knows, anything can happen after 20 miles. My A goal is sub 4:30 and I averaged 10:28 for my 20 miler so, in theory, it should be possible, but I'm not confident I can run at 10:15 pace for another 6 miles given what happened last year (fatigue, spasms, the works). So my B goal is just beat last year's time (4:44:37). My training has been going well though, aside from hurting my back at yoga last week.

    On that note, given that I'm doing Manchester and Liverpool (8 weeks apart) - what do people think of me doing a half in between them? There's one I like on 30th April but I'm not sure if it's a smart move or not. Last year I did a 10K 5 weeks after the marathon and got a PB, and I'm recovering better now (HM PB this weekend, one week after my 20 miler).

    And speaking of recovery, 4 rather fatigued miles today for me. I really hammered myself at Hampton Court so it stands to reason I'm pretty knackered. Mileage will be quite low this week as I'm doing Thorpe Park half on Sunday.

  • NickW2NickW2 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    Nell - re your target, I think sub 3:50 looks very achievable. You sound like you do a lot of miles so I would expect you to cope well even though it's your first marathon. Regarding the races - I would think it's fine to race the 10k (if you want to), I'm no expert but certainly think you should be able to recover fine from that 4 weeks out. Last year I raced a half 4 weeks out and don't feel that affected my marathon at all so can't see that recovery should be an issue. Then it's just fitting the long run around it - how many other long runs have you done? I guess it might be a case of seeing how much the 10k takes out of you, I would probably do a long run a bit shorter than 21 miles either later on Sunday (taking it very easy) or on Monday. The main thing is to not push yourself too hard on the long run and injure yourself. Making it a few miles shorter or skipping it entirely won't affect your marathon too much - you've put in a lot of the hard work already. With the half I would use it as an opportunity to see how marathon pace feels. Having said that you sound like your training has been going well so maybe 8:40 will be marathon pace! Maybe speed up the last mile or 2 if you need to beat your colleague :wink:

    Tucky, great race at Bramley. If you can repeat that in the first 20 miles of Manchester then surely you would easily get under 3 hours (though, slightly confused as 65 + 63:30 = 2:08:30 not 2:07?). If you felt you could carry on for another 10k at the end of Bramley at that sort of pace, then 2:50 might be on the cards, and certainly 2:55 would seem well within range. It depends how much it means to you really though - clearly sub-3 is a big milestone and how much below that might not be something you care about much? So only you can answer that really.
  • FayaFaya ✭✭✭
    Hi all! I've not been here in a while but I'd thought I'd stop by this thread as I'm running this race. I'm actually a little worried, my pace this year has gotten worse and I'm struggling to just do a half. I've run marathons before, they've just not felt this hard before :( Any words of wisdom? 
  • Hi Cal, ultimately the choice is yours and undoubtedly you will receive numerous differing advice.  Personally, I wouldn't race anything too hard in-between two marathons. In your case you are on your feet pounding the tarmac for over 4 hours.  I would bare that in mind, before making any decision, on the choice of races in between.

    Hi Nell, your times look good you should now have a lot of confidence to hit ur A goal.

    Certainly readjust your targets if you are consistently over achieving your training targets.

    Hi Faya,

    Are you poorly?

    if health is okay - have you lost fitness or strength?

    Do you work on Strength?

    Sleep okay?


  • Cal
    I will probably be running near your pace, my (A) target is around 4.15 and my (B) target is sub 4.30, however being my first marathon my ultimate goal is just to finish, as any time will be a pb
  • Nell - sub 3:50 is achievable. The big thing with a marathon is keeping a good pace when your tired and avoiding your various leg muscles tightening with fatigue. So focus on the LSR. For the races do the 10k and half marathons but sandwich then between a pre and post race run to make sure you get the long runs in.

    Tucky - that's bang on for a sub 3 time. 
  • NickW2NickW2 ✭✭✭
    8 mile tempo last night with my running club, started out a bit slower than usual at 7:30 pace as wasn't feeling amazing so didn't want to push it, but last 3 miles I decided to try and reel in the group ahead and managed them at 7:00 pace. So came out pretty much identical to last week at about 7:20 average.

    Trying to decide what my target should be now for Manchester. Original plan was sub 3:30 but my paces have improved more than I thought possible through this training block. Currently thinking sub 3:25 should be very much achievable and close to 3:20 possible if all goes well on the day.

    One thing I wanted to ask people who have done it before - how crowded does it tend to be at the start at this sort of pace? My only previous marathon experience is London which I found really crowded until about half way - I'm assuming it won't be as bad as that but do you still think you lose some time?
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    Little Nell - racing 10k 4 weeks out from the marathon should be fine.  Also, you look well on track for your sub 3.50,

    Tucky4 - I did Bramley 20 last year.  Agreed a really good event.  Tough going through half way knowing it's the finish area though. :)  Excellent time you did!  You're obviously in better shape than just breaking 3hrs, but I can see you're also not experienced at racing a marathon.  You could play safe or you could set off at sub 3 and assess as you get to half way.  I think if it were me I'd set off conservatively and see how I was feeling at half way, but we're all different.  I like to run slightly within myself in the early stages... Good luck at whatever you decide!

    Faya - How much running are you doing during the week?  I often find training runs tough especially during the week when doing them after work!

  • FayaFaya ✭✭✭
    Hey Pete! 

    I had an injury at the end of last year that's probably not helped. I had about two months off. I've gained a little weight and wasn't even able to do much except walk. Strength training was also out of the question during that time. 

    My sleep is strange at the moment. I feel like I need more, but I might end up sleeping all day if I did that. :/ 
  • Hey Faya, loss of fitness and perhaps some strength will be the issue. Two months off with no exercise is your problem. Obviously if you are not sleeping too well recovery could be hindered. Meditation and or a herbal remedy for a few weeks just to reset the sleep mode is worth thinking about.

    Loss of fitness - I am a big advocate of HIT sessions on an exercise bike as they see quick gains on Vo2 max capacity. The low impact of the exercise bike means less fatigue. Supplement rather than replace any of your running.

    Strength - add in some body weight work such as single leg deadlifts. you can also add in core work, calve raises, and press-ups.

    Once you are good at those google (youtube) 'plyometric strength training for runners'.  you'll find stuff like box jumps and bounding etc. This type of strength training is very popular at the moment.

  • Nick - it's pretty crowded but the numbers are colour coded according to your predicted finish time so you'll be starting with people running at your pace. It took a while to get going last year but they were starting from a new venue so hopefully it'll be a bit slicker this time around.
    I can't imagine it would be anything like as crowded as London.

    Still recovering from Hampton Court so I opted not to venture out in Doris yesterday (Doris rather unhelpfully took down my Sky dish so I'm without TV until next Wednesday, damn it). Lovely and sunny today though and I managed 6.3 miles. First four were really sluggish and awful but I picked up and did the last two at MP, plus some strides. Feel better now. :)
  • Hi Cal/Nick, the start remained the same, it was the finish line that moved. it used to finish at the football ground but now finishes near the cricket ground. The start line was always (in recent years anyway) been outside white city.

    Dependant where you are; it can take a while to get over the start line, but nothing like London.

    I'd estimate about 10 minutes for those near the rear.

  • NickW2NickW2 ✭✭✭
    Thanks Cal/Pete. I think my main issue with London was that I was in the wrong pen - started in pen 9 (of 9) with a target of 4 hours*. I think the 4 hour pacers were in pen 5 or 6. Getting over the start line wasn't too bad, I think it was just under 15 mins (blue start, I've heard red is worse), but it was just really crowded once we got going and I felt I was often having to shorten my stride (I'm quite tall, which probably doesn't help in this respect) and/or adjust my pace to avoid running into people.

    I'm 100% sure I put 3:30 for the expected time for Manchester though, so hoping to avoid that problem. Doesn't sound like it will be as bad anyway.

    * I'm fairly sure I'd put 4:00 as my expected time when I entered the ballot, but it's possible that I put something else. Either that or they don't believe you if it's also your first marathon! I wasn't a runner at all then so didn't really have much of a clue - I had run a 10k off no training (stepped in for my sister who was going to do it for charity and got injured) in just under an hour, a year earlier, so just roughly assumed I'd be able to do a marathon in 4 times that with some training. Turned out to be bang on the money as I did 3:59:52!
  • Hi Nick, last time i ran Manchester, two years' ago, I started with the 3:30s - from memory it was roughly 3 minutes before I started my watch at the start line.
  • Being held at the start with my Garmin on is why it didn't make the full distance, actually - but I have a new watch with a better battery this time around. The old Garmin Forerunner 10 only has a 5 hour battery, and I snuck in just under 4:45.
    No chance that watch would have lasted this year as the battery has obviously degraded some and was giving me warnings at the end of my 20 miler two weekends ago, even though I did it in 3:29.
    Anyway, Pete, thanks for the clarification regarding the start (last year was my first Manchester marathon. Actually my first anything marathon!) Well, I hope they don't bugger up the bags this time.
  • Faya - how are your iron, vit. B12 and vit. D levels? Deficiencies in any one of these could contribute to the feelings of fatigue you are experiencing... maybe get them checked out?

    Thank you very much indeed to all who waded through my epic previous post and have given advice about my next two races - it is very much appreciated! I think I will race the 10K, run my 21-miler on the Monday (very slowly) and aim for a steady pace in the HM... I have another colleague who is going to try to find out the target finish time of the lady who beat me last year so I can try to judge where we are relative to each other ;)

    And also thanks for the confidence boosts re my target time too - you guys are all so helpful :)

    I ran last night after Doris had blown over and then again tonight to practise target marathon pace. Racked up 7.06 and 8.09 miles respectively with tonight's run at an average pace of 8:43/mi. - will be interesting sustaining that pace for an additional 18 miles though!
  • Ha! Me again...

    Just a little 3.6 miles this evening - turning my legs over in preparation for tomorrow's first ever run of 20 miles... feeling both excited and a bit trepidatious about it!
  • Si CSi C ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    15 miler today, which felt ok, a little tired at the end but i went 30 seconds per mile above my planned marathon pace.
    Only 4 more long runs left for me according to my plan a 13, 20, 12 and a 10 the week before the big day. I have a love hate relationship with these long runs, but the best bits is that i can eat loads and have still managed to lose 18lbs since the new year and for the first time in years have a bmi under 25. Need to taper back the food intake after the big day me thinks.

    Little Nell good luck for your 20 ;)
  • bit of a cutback week for me after 2 consecutive 20 milers. Just over 14 miles faster that MP , averaged 8.04/mi and actual ran a pb for a half in 1:45 which I'm pretty pleased with. Back to the 20`s for the next 2 weeks, times ticking.
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