Valencia Marathon

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  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Hi all, hope everyone's running has been going well over the last few hot weeks. My 'serious' training has gone slightly to pot in favour of slower tourist running - seafront visit, London 'see the sights' route when down for work (very slow as I kept having to consult phone map to see where I was, and GPS was patchy among all the buildings!), a couple of pootles on a trip to Wales where I was lucky enough to have a week of wall-to-wall sunshine, and even an unexpected club run on the local fell tops the other evening, where it was so unusually dry that my road shoes were perfectly sufficient (it's generally so boggy/muddy up there that you'd struggle; mainly walking territory for me rather than running, for which I stick to the lower trails!). Heading to the treadmill for intervals this evening, though, as we're back to the status quo of rain...

    They've just announced a slight change in the Valencia route, with the aim of making it even faster than before! I've not studied the new route in detail, but it looks pretty similar as far as I can tell – seems as if they've just ironed out a couple of twists and turns.

    Only another few weeks to go until training starts in earnest! Still a long way off yet, but the anticipation is building. The organisers have restarted the 'stories of 42.195k' feature on their website, which I enjoyed last year and think is a nice touch: each week, they have a short article about someone who's entered the event, with their reasons for doing it and so on. I also must admit to feeling pretty excited every time I see a video clip or photo from last year – takes me back to the moment!
  • Yeah, saw the changes although the course looks pretty much the same to me. Still, 34 bends instead 40, or something like that.

    Gipfel -  Sounds like you’ve been doing some very scenic running recently. Seems like a very long training cycle you’ve got lined up. 20 weeks? Do you do your own thing or follow a training plan? I’ll be starting my Valencia training at the end of August and plan to do a few months of easy running and base building over the summer. A 12 or 13 week build up seems to work well for me.

    Had a half marathon a fortnight ago and took a minute and 17 seconds of my best time, which was very pleasing. Got a 10k race tomorrow but the legs have been trashed since the half, much more so than usual. Possibly because it was another hard race four weeks after the Madrid Marathon. Might well be the last race of the season tomorrow.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I've entered this today. Vienna (next April) was going to be my first foreign marathon, but I found out a bunch of my clubmates are doing Valencia, so I'm in.  I'm doing Chester 8 weeks prior, so I'll have time to recover.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Hi Cal, excellent news – it really is a great event, and I'm sure you've seen the many positive comments on this thread. I had actually seen your own thread in which you asked for marathon recommendations and I considered mentioning Valencia, but thought it may not be the right timing. So it's good that you've managed to fit it in among the other races! Valencia last year was my first foreign race (and only my second marathon) and I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

    LT, sounds as if your running is going brilliantly at the moment! Congratulations on the half. How was the 10k? When I said a 'few' weeks till training starts, it was more like 'quite a few', as my training officially kicks in 16 weeks before with the FIRST programme. (It will be the first time I've followed a plan properly, rather than mainly doing my own thing – sometimes I find the inflexibility of a plan difficult, but am hoping this will be easier to stick to as it's only three 'key' runs per week.) So I'm ticking along for now, but I have been trying to fit in a decent interval session most weeks, as those went by the wayside a bit last year – I've been taking random sessions from the FIRST plans, as they've been nicely taxing.

    I have a 5k on Sunday – it's my PB course from three years ago and I'm not in PB shape, but am at least hoping to shave a good few seconds off last year's time. Then my race calendar is looking pretty empty until December: a 20-miler at the end of September, which I'll use as a long training run, and the Conwy Half a couple of weeks before Valencia, which by coincidence has tied in perfectly with the training plan, as the prescribed run on that day is 13 miles at marathon pace!

    Less than six months to go!
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Thanks Gipfel. I have a 10K this weekend and a 10 mile the weekend after, but I'm also doing a club relay tomorrow evening (5K legs) which I wasn't planning on but someone dropped out so they're short. I hope my legs hold up. My achilles has been grouchy for a couple of weeks so I'm keeping an eye on it.
  • Little TheodorLittle Theodor ✭✭✭
    edited June 17
    I liked this little Sorolla inspired promo for the race: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZxQn-a7KlY&feature=youtu.be

    Gipfel, hope your 5k went well today and that you are happy with your time and enjoyed the race. I must admit that runnng a hard 5k almost fills me with more trepidation than a marathon. I was listening to an episode of the Final Surge podcast a couple of months ago about 5k training and racing and they were talking about “riding the pain train from a long way out.” I hope that wasn’t your experience today.

    It’s funny how different things suit different folks. I’m the opposite to you Gipfel. I really like the structure of a training plan and the routine and discipline it brings but that’s just me.

    The 10k went ok thanks. It was a course pb in my sixth running of the race and third best time ever at the distance. Had a half marathon today and another course pb. Held it together well in the closing stages mainly into the wind. Third race in 28 days, a lot for me, and what with the recovery between races my monthly volume has been well down and I felt that my fitness was ebbing away a little. Still, not a bad finish to a really good season. 8th in my age group and 35th overall. 

    Cal, likewise, hope your 10k went well and achilles is holding up. Good luck for your 10 miler next weekend.

  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    edited June 17
    Thanks folks - smashed the 10K (it was my 51st birthday so it had to be done!). Previous best, set back in 2016, was 53:35 and I ran 52:43 today. That's a pretty hefty chunk of time for a relatively short distance. I wasn't sure I'd be able to go fast twice in one week (the relay was fun but quite tough - off road in Richmond Park and, ahem, undulating) but I did better than even I expected. Pain train is about right!
    I find it quite interesting that, last year, I ran two halves (both PBs on consecutive weekends) and two marathons in the Spring (PB in the first one) but then my form went to hell and I struggled the rest of the year, got injured and had to take most of the Autumn off.
    This year I did the same two marathons (PB in the first one - got within 4 minutes of that for the second which was warmer, hillier and I'd managed to get shingles between the two so I consider it a minor miracle) but I've since had a run of good form. Hopefully that'll hold for the 10 miler next weekend.

    Good results for you, LT, and I hope your 5K went well, Gipfel.
  • Excellent result Cal and happy birthday for yesterday. That’s definitely a good chunk of time off your pb. Well done.

    Do you think it was fatigue that led to your loss of form and injury last autumn?

    Good luck for your next race.


  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Well done to you both for your recent races and various PBs! LT, sounds like an excellent end to your season; it'll be interesting to see the effect of the good racing you've done, once you start to increase the volume of general training again. I'd certainly hope that despite your perceived feeling of fitness ebbing away, the races will have had some benefit overall. Cal, happy belated birthday (great occasion to set a PB), and fingers crossed for a continuation of your current good form/health. Good luck for the 10 miler too.

    My 5k went pretty well, thanks. I shaved 21 seconds off last year's time, so was happy – particularly as the 5k this year was part of a series of three races, which included a 5k trail race on Tuesday evening and, more problematically, a 5.2-mile fell race on Friday evening. I tried to take the latter steady, but the amount of climbing made it impossible to have an 'easy' run, especially for a non-fell-runner like me – when Sunday's 5k rolled around, those of us who had entered the series could definitely still feel Friday in our legs! I know exactly what you mean about feeling more trepidation before a 5k than a long race. Also, because I really wanted to do well, I found myself feeling really nervous beforehand, which was annoying and not enjoyable! At the same time, I think(?) I enjoyed the race itself. I also won 2nd lady in the series – not an amazing achievement as there was not much competition (and a huge gap between me and the 1st lady, who was extremely fast), but I wasn't complaining – I don't win prizes often!

    It's back to some semblance of normality for me this week, after the three races last week. I went for a 7-mile run yesterday – a standard loop I do all the time – and, despite going out with no particular expectations or plans, was surprised to find myself running it a good 20 secs per mile faster than I usually do! Perhaps training through races is a good thing now and again? I really need to get back to some proper long runs soon, though. LT, I think I will actually really enjoy sticking to a proper training plan for this marathon, when it does kick in – while picking a few random speed/tempo sessions from the plan to try out over the last few weeks, I did very much like the feeling of knowing exactly what I should be doing when!

    I enjoyed that Sorolla promo video. The colours of Valencia seem quite appealing while staring at grey skies out of the window here! Although I'm looking forward to the return of the warm weather shortly – it may be harder to run in, but I still prefer it overall.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Well done, Gipfel - you're obviously quicker than you give yourself credit for!
    LT - not sure. I turned 50 last year (51 this weekend) so I'm in the menopause zone, unfortunately, which is like going through puberty in reverse. One thing it has affected is my sleep, which is pretty dreadful, so my body is not going to do a great job of repairing itself on less than 6 hours a night.
    Speaking of which, my achilles, which hasn't been an issue since 2012, has now decided to act up. I've done a fair bit of fast running the past few weeks so it's probably that - I do suffer from tight calves. I've just been out to buy some Epic Reacts which have a much bigger drop than the Frees I usually train in (10mm vs 4mm) so I hope that helps.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Well, I got my sub-90 at Harry Hawkes 10 today.... 1:28:58. Big relief to get that done especially as it was hot. I got pretty thirsty and although there were water stations, it was cups, which I find hard to deal with (seriously...second stop I threw most of the water up my nose).
    On that note, does anyone know if Valencia is bottles or cups?
  • Thanks Gipfel. I seem to have come out of that final half marathon quite well, much better than the one a month ago. Did just under 24k this morning to complete a 72.5k (45mile) week but all at a very easy pace. Going to repeat this coming week and then have a break early July before doing some base building prior to hitting the Valencia plan at the end of August.

    Excellent result for you in your 5k. That’s a good chunk of time off last year’s time. Congratulations too on taking second prize in the race series. As you say, a great achievement. Hope they gave you a nice trophy.

    Glad you enjoyed the Sorolla thing. His house, now the Sorolla museum is in Madrid and is a nice, low key alternative to the ‘big three’ art museums there.

    Cal, I have sleeping problems at times too (for different reasons) and know what you mean about how it affects recovery. I find that the difference is incredible, however, when I do get a really decent night’s sleep. Anyway, hope you’ve been sleeping better of late.Re the achilles, it might be worth looking at ‘eccentric heel drops’ on You Tube. Big congratulations on your sub 90 minute half, that’s a big landmark and you crushed it, going straight to 1:28:xx, in hot weather too. What do feel might be possible in Valencia? (Don’t answer that question if you don’t want to!). It has been bottles the past two years in Valencia.


  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I already do the heel drops, LT. I think a lot of this is down to very tight calves, particularly the soleus, so I'm doing a lot of rolling right now.
    Valencia...not sure at this point. I'm hoping to go 4:15 in Chester - I'll have a better idea after that. Current PB is 4:18:21 set in Manchester this year. The ultimate aim is a sub-4 but I'm a ways off that yet - my HM PB is 1:57 (and 1 second) but that was a year and a half ago.
  • Sorry Cal, I misread your previous post. Thought your 1:28 was for a half. Well done anyway and good luck with Chester.

  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Ha ha, I wish!
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Got my first official long run done since Liverpool - 16 miles, starting at 5:20am. The temperature was bearable at that point. Pace was good although I did roll my ankle on a paving stone. Not much damage done, fortunately, but I iced it to be on the safe side.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Well done on everyone's recent running; sounds as if things are generally going well! Cal, strangely enough I have also not had Achilles problems since 2012 (when I was quite new to running) but both of mine seem to have flared up recently! It took me a while to twig what it was, as the pain in both is much lower down the leg than when I had issues before, but of course now I've realised, I'm paranoid and noticing it much more. Grrr! I'm pretty sure it's nothing too major, but am also aware that you have to be careful of these things, so am keeping an eye on it and digging out the old stretches/exercises.

    Cal, the start time of that long run shows some commitment! Hope your ankle is OK. Sadly, I am not good at getting up really early if there is no time pressure, so rarely manage it at a weekend, but really need to make more effort in this weather. I've been out for a pleasant social 5-miler tonight with a friend I hadn't seen for ages (who has also entered Valencia on my recommendation); Sunday's 'long' run was only 10 miles, which I barely managed as I struggled with the heat!

    LT, thanks. I did indeed get a nice trophy! And that's good to know about Sorolla's house in Madrid; may try to visit while we're there. Hope you enjoy your 'break' week before the base training starts. I have a week's holiday in the Swiss Alps coming up, which will probably not involve much running but lots of walking at altitude! Then it really won't be long till I start the 16-week programme. It's funny how '16 weeks' sounds a lot shorter than 'August to December', which seems like ages but will go quickly once the training begins...
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    How far is Valencia from Madrid?

    I totally surprised myself last night. I'd entered a local evening 10K (Runthrough Clapham Common Chase the Sun) on a whim, and was dreading it a bit as it's been so hot. Did the same race last year and really struggled, but not last night. Given the fact I ran 16 on Sunday and 10 on Tuesday (plus a 4 mile recovery run yesterday morning) I wasn't expecting much - I figured anything under 55 would be a major win. Instead I smashed my new 10K PB by over a minute, coming in at 51:40. I really don't know how I managed that, especially as a good chunk of the three lap route is on dusty, rooty dirt path.
    On the minus side my stomach's been hurting horribly so I slept terribly last night. I'll have a rest day today.
  • Big BertieBig Bertie ✭✭✭
    Sounds like you’ve earned it Cal! Well done. 
  • Big BertieBig Bertie ✭✭✭
    Madrid and Valencia are about 350ish Km apart. The AVE (Spain’s excellent high speed train network) connects the two cities in about 1hr 45mins. Tickets vary in cost but from memory if you book in advance and not in peak times you’d probably be looking around €30/40
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Thanks Bertie.

  • That’s a semi - coincidence Gipfel. I’m currently in the Austrian Alps doing a bit of hiking. We were in northern Italy before and took the train up from Verona through the South Tyrol, a beautiful journey. We’re hoping to hike the Zillertal Circuit tomorrow but that depends on the weather. I get your username now! Anyway, enjoy your trip.

    Cal - well done on the new 10k PB. It’s interesting that it came on the back of a lot of recent running. I’ve had similar experiences, running a race with little or no taper with no great expectation and then having a really good result. Funny how that happens sometimes. Sorry to hear about the sleeping. Hope its better now.

    Can second BB’s comments about the AVE. It’s a great way to travel and for me beats flying hands down. The marathon have had a promotion with RENFE (Spanish rail network) for the last two years offering discounted rail tickets to Valencia for the marathon weekend. I think it gets announced late September ish.


  • WardiWardi ✭✭✭
    We took advantage of the the RENFE train discount last year - (Alicante - Valencia).  This is off the price of a full price ticket which pretty much brings it down to the cost of an advance ticket.  The main advantage of the full price ticket is flexibility - should you miss a connection etc.  The Valencia organisers assured me by email that one discount document would cover everyone (5 of us) in our group.  However at Alicante Station the man at the ticket booth didn't seem to know this and said we should have one each - he let us through anyway.

    Best of luck with your training everyone - I can't attend this year due to the revised date so I'm very jealous of you all!  Hope to be running Barca in March and maybe re-visit Valencia next year.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    LT, yes, the username was inspired after a trip to the Austrian Alps! That sounds fantastic - hope you got to hike the Zillertal Circuit (which looks really good), but even if the weather didn't oblige, I'm sure you had an excellent time anyway. We really enjoyed our walking in Austria (we were around Zell am Zee/Kaprun) and were actually looking at Mayrhofen this year before we booked Switzerland. Whereabouts were you in Italy? It was a trip to the northern end of Lake Garda that originally inspired my love of mountain walking holidays! (And since then, one of our favourite trips of all time has been to the Dolomites – absolutely stunning.)

    Cal, your running is going amazingly well at the moment! Well done on another 10k PB. Hope you've now recovered.

    I've been a bit cautious with training over the last couple of weeks – both Achilles are still grumbling (nothing too extreme, but not minor enough to be ignored either). I'm lucky enough to live near a physio who's not only a runner but also both excellent and very reasonably priced – so will book a session soon. I considered going earlier, but decided ignorance was better than to be told I should be resting it entirely just before a walking holiday!

    Was good to get the marathon 'checklist' email the other day. I've yet to read through it fully, but see I'm in the silver start (up to 4:01). I did optimistically put my expected 'best time' as 4 hours when I entered, but wasn't sure if I'd be put in the white start anyway (over 4:01) based on last year's time of 4:17! I ended up starting in the white pen last year, as I was fairly last-minute arriving at the start and it was so crowded in the pens by that time that it proved impossible to get into the silver one. Sometimes I feel sub-4 is possible, and other times it seems unrealistic. Will be interesting to see how the training goes!
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Also, thanks, all, for the info about trains and the reminder about the marathon discount, which is really good. I've used the AVE before and it was indeed excellent. It'll certainly make a pleasant change from Northern, my local train operator here :)
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Gipfel, I'd like to say it is going well because I'm doing some good times, but I'm having Achilles trouble too. Right one mostly, although the left is slightly tender as well. I'm getting through a lot of kinesiotape. I've had a very light week, mileage-wise. It was always intended to be a deload week but I've only done 16 miles total. I took part in the London Relay on Tuesday (10K) which was fun and a bit different, rested Wednesday (stomach upset I had following the 10K flared up again - that gripey tummy turned into a case of the trots last Thursday and it wasn't great this Wednesday either. Fortunately it seems to have calmed down now), ran another 6 miles Thursday, rested again Friday and did my 50th parkrun (plus a mile warm-up) today. Tomorrow I'm volunteering at a tri, so no running there.
    Got a decent time at parkrun - my local isn't the fastest due to the congestion there but I managed a course best. I seem to be hitting sub-26s fairly consistently now.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Incidentally, I'm the white start - my best is 4:18:21 currently. I'm hoping to go sub-4:15 at Chester (or if not there, then Valencia) and I'll start thinking about sub-4s next year. I'm starting to think it's possible given my recent times over 5 and 10K, but all is contingent on my injuries not getting in the way.
  • MatiakezMatiakez ✭✭
    Hi all,

    I know this isn't quite the thread but I've just entered the half marathon in October and had a few questions regarding accomodation. I've found some good value options but they are more central, how easy is it to get down to the start on the morning of the race?

    Hope all your training is going well.
  • Gipfel, yes we did it, a day late to take advantage of better weather, and what an epic hike it was with stunning views. There were a few hairy moments on the Berliner Höhenweg section of the circuit, where the path was a very strip of compacted ice / snow with no margin for error. We were just down the road from Mayrhofen in Zell am Zillertal, a very tranquil little town. It’s coincidental that you were in Zell am Zee as we were there a few years ago (as well as the Salzkamergut). The highlight of that trip was hiking from the Pinzgauer Spaziergang from Schmittenhöhe overlooking Zell to Schattberg Ost above Saalbach. It was amazing and I’d love to repeat it one day. Did you do it when you were there? To answer your question about Italy, we were in Turin and then Verona. Having done the train journey up through the South Tyrol to Austria, I can well understand how your trip to the northern end of Lake Garda would have inspired a love of mountain walking. The whole area looked beautiful from the train. Anyway, hope you’re having a great time in Switzerland and that the weather is being kind.

    Gipfel & Cal, sorry to hear about the ongoing injury woes. Hope you are both making some progress with them since your last posts. I’ve been having issues with my right glute for a few weeks now which is causing some tightness down the back of the right leg. Worse when I get up in the morning or after I’ve been sitting down for a while. My psoas, which I have problems with intermittently, seems very tight right now. Got the physio tomorrow.

    Matiakez, for the marathon they supposedly lay on extra buses. The website is usually quite informative and they do respond to emails (in my experience) so it might be worth checking with the organizers. I think the Half starts in a different location from the Marathon but I guess you know that already.
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