Valencia Marathon



  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    How's everyone doing? LT, I know exactly what you mean about the swings in confidence. It sounds as if that session where you struggled could just have been down to general tiredness - hope your training has continued to go well after your good 20 miler. I also did 20 miles on Sunday, which went well (and it felt great to get the last very long run in the bag), but my 8x800m intervals on Tuesday were really difficult! All the interval sessions have been tough, but this was worse than usual - I managed it, but only just. Decided to take a complete rest day yesterday, but will be back for what I hope will be a more manageable tempo run tonight. I have the Conwy half marathon on Sunday, which I'm really looking forward to, as it looks very scenic, if a touch hilly in places.

    It looks as if there's quite a lot of rain in Valencia this week - would definitely prefer dry weather for the race! In all my visits to Valencia (a fair few, as we have friends who live there), I've not seen one drop of rain, so I just tend to assume it'll be sunny, silly though that is. Realised my 'to pack' list contained nothing for wet weather, so have amended it accordingly!

    Hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of the taper and not getting any niggles! The marathon organisers have released pictures of everything that will be included in the 'runner's bag' - usual mixture of random samples and snacks, including a can of Radler (shandy). You also get a free Radler after the race, which will be refreshingly welcome, as well as an entire bag of oranges, which was also really nice last year! Glad to see that the bag itself looks as if it'll be a re-usable drawstring type.

    You also get a wristband that's worth wearing if you're in Valencia for a while, as it entitles you to quite a few discounts around the city. It also gives you free food at the marathon 'paella party' on Saturday - I didn't go to that last year, but am tempted this year!
  • Yeah, I might go to the paella party this year as it’ll fit in with when I’ll be visiting the expo. The fact that it’s free and you don’t have to find a pasta restaurant that’s not fully booked up has it attractions.

    Gipfel sounds like you’re in a similar situation re tiredness. I’ve had no more setbacks since then but was spectacularly stiff on my Monday and Wednesday easy runs. However, I recovered enough both times to be able to complete key sessions for me on Tuesday and today which included 10 miles at MP. The first half felt comfortable but had to work harder on the second part.

    Where did you see the contents of the goodie bag? Ive looked on the app but can’t find it.

    Good luck with Conway on Sunday. Are you going to treat it as a faster training run, possibly at MP, or will you be racing all out? 

  • Dean NDean N ✭✭✭
    Hi All , 
    starting to count down ; 2 weeks today I will be in Valancia .

     I also know the feeling re confidence, the Sunday before last I ran 22 miles at a silly pace and felt shocking all of last week with some negative thoughts then 

    ran 19 last Sunday at a slower pace and felt fine , had a fairly easy week and on Sunday will run 12 miles , it’s strange how some days are a lot better or worse than others .
    I really like to ease off now and let all the muscles recover so that on the day I am flying .

    Best of luck with the half on Sunday , surely your treating it as a training run , my legs wouldn’t like a race two weeks out !
    I always take a cap for either rain or sunshine , thanks for the tip re the wristband . The weather at the moment for the Sunday is between 11 and 19 c which I am sure could change either way a few degrees , let’s hope down rather than up .

    The paella party sounds like the way to go , I was going to ask if any one knew what the deal was with Italian restaurants, can you just turn up and pay for the paella party ?

  • The Taper is a funny beast. I think it’s common to have some days that feel really good and others that feel awful. I guess it’s just your body adapting to a lower workload and recovering from the previous weeks of high(er) mileage.
    I try not to let them spook me too much but it’s hard; it can be very disconcerting doing a session that makes you doubt you could even get round let alone in the time you are aiming for!

    I’m taking a weekend off long runs and doing a 10k race instead. I haven’t raced any distance since May (except one other 10k in early September) so I’m very interested to see where I am fitness wise.

    Looks like good running weather this weekend so hope you all get out and enjoy your penultimate weekend runs safe in the knowledge you’ve done the hard work!
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the good luck wishes! I'll definitely not be racing hard on Sunday - by good fortune, my training plan actually has me doing a HM run on that day at MP, so I'll try to stick to that (and not get carried away, which is sometimes easier said than done during a race).

    Sounds as if everyone's doing ok, albeit with ups and downs - I'm sure it is all the fault of the taper. Was listening the other day to someone talk about getting grumpy because he spent an entire day inexplicably being unable to walk without a limp a week out from his marathon (it cleared up before the race) - had to laugh, as I know the feeling of suffering from weird phantom taper niggles!

    LT, I saw the bag contents on their Facebook page originally, but there's also a picture somewhere in the massive brochure that gets given out - of which there's an electronic version online now: (I know it's in there because I also saw the link to the brochure on Facebook yesterday and read pretty much the whole thing while procrastinating before going for my tempo run!!). I've had a couple of runs myself with 10 miles at MP and have found exactly the same as you - second half definitely feels as if you have to put more work in. 

    BB, hope your 10k goes well. It'll make a nice change to do something shorter and faster at the weekend!

    Dean, the paella party is completely free with your wristband - it's on between 1 and 3.30 pm, and I think you just turn up - non-marathon runners can go too, but need to pay (I think) 5 euros. I ended up eating tapas last year, so not sure about pasta restaurants. Valencia's full of cafes generally - and I do also remember (from previous non-marathon visits) that there are a lot of extremely good/cheap pizza takeaways around!
  • Dean - there seems to be a clear message there about how to pace your long runs. I think I sometimes do mine a bit too quickly but at least they usually come out as a negative split.

    BB - think you’re right about the body recovering from the higher mileage during taper. Good luck for Sunday, a nice sharpener for a fortnight’s time.

    Did an 8k recovery this morning and was once again stiff as a board. Not really had too many niggles on this training cycle but have had a lot more muscle stiffness. This has led to a much greater difference in pace between recovery runs and key workouts, which might not be a bad thing. I used to do pilates but have had to stop this autumn and I wonder if the two things are connected as the class really used to sort out a lot of this kind of stuff.

    This week has been a bit of a halfway house between a full week and taper. Shorter recoveries but normal type of speed sessions and 29k (18 miles) scheduled for this Sunday. Next week gets easier and includes a rest day but still some intensity, which I don’t think is a bad thing.

    Some very heavy rain and flooding in Valencia today. Parts of the metro looked more like an underground canal and the streets were awash. May well be completely different in a fortnight’s time, of course.

    Thanks for the link Gipfel. Go well on Sunday.

  • Has anyone had any luck trying to find their details in the ‘Live’ Tracking App? I’m guessing the data hasn’t been loaded yet as I can’t find any runners (even Garcia returned a ‘No participant found message’!)
  • I reckon you’re right about the data not being loaded yet BB. Hombre, if you can’t find any Garcias.....
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Wow - hadn't realised Valencia had had so much rain! Just looked at a live webcam and we seem to be back to blue skies. Fingers crossed! Here's a webcam link to one of the main centre squares for anyone who's not familiar with Valencia - route passes here around 29/30k:

    Hope everyone had a good weekend's running. I had a really enjoyable Sunday morning at the Conwy half - it's a very scenic route, especially in the sunshine we had. It goes around an area of headland called the Great Orme - there's quite a bit of climbing to be done to get up one side of it, then an amazing downhill coming down the other side where you feel as if you're flying! My average pace was very slightly quicker than planned, but I didn't go too crazy and felt absolutely fine at the end/day after, so I don't think I overdid it. Was good to run the race at a relatively relaxed pace, enjoying the views and sauntering over the finish line in one piece!

    Pictures were being posted on Facebook yesterday of the finishing platform (over the water) being constructed - it's all feeling very close now! No data for me either on the tracking app - I remember they get you to test your timing chip at the expo after you've collected your number - wonder if they load the data at that point. 

  • I had a bit of a setback - achilles flared up, as did my hip and my left shin got sore too. Physio told me to rest for a bit, which I did most of last week, but I was back for a parkrun on Saturday (not a fast one this week) and 15 miles on Sunday. Should be fine for the race.
    BBC Weather seems to think it'll be sunny in Valencia for the race, and relatively warm (could get up to 17). After the cold weather here, that could come as a bit of a shock so hydrate well, folks.
  • Hello all!

    First post so go easy, though deighted to finally have taken the plunge after garnering so much advice from the site. Valencia will be my second marathon after running 3:36 back in May - I’m targeting 3:15 - 3:25 this time around. Couple of questions for you.

    1. I selected my start box as 3:31 - 3.45 way back when I initially signed up. Unfortunately, my request to move box has been unsuccessful. Any tips with regards to starting in a slower box than your target pace?

    2. The marathon I completed in May was in Edinburgh, and there were no pacesetters. Any advice with regards to using pacesetters? I suppose using the 3:15 pacesetter may be quite tricky to follow due to my start box?

    Thanks in advance all - hope everyone else is as excited as I am. 12 days to go.
  • Cal, sorry to hear that. Hopefully a few days extra rest will help and it won’t hinder you come race day. You’ve already had a very successful marathon this autumn so I guess the pressure is off but it’s so very frustrating nevertheless. 

    Gip, sounds like a good confidence boosting run. Well done for keeping it sensible, racing a half two weeks out I’d not recommend but sounds like you were spot on with your pacing so well done.
    As you probably know that part of Spain can suffer with freak weather conditions. The winds (Levante) in September and October can be quite distructive and this time of year heavy rain storms are common. Hopefully not on the 2nd December though!

    Welcome MKW. I wouldn’t be overly concerned about being in a pen slower than ideal. In fact it could help with not going off too fast. My advice would be to stay relaxed and not worry about the clock/pace for the first mile or so. By then you will be able to run at your own pace and you’ll still have 24+ miles to make up for the few seconds you’re behind your target. As they say, it’s a marathon not a sprint!

    Weather forecast is looking good. Cool start with very light winds and only slight chance of rain. Perfect for all those PBs we’re all going to bag!

    Eleven more sleeps!
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    MrMKW..Totally agree with BB. Don't worry. From my experience last year, each pen gets moved up to the start line, and sets off with a distinct gap behind the earlier pen. So, unlike some starts where all the barriers get removed, and everybody ends up in a scrum, you will probably find that you'll have space to run your own race. Enjoy!
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Cal, that must have been worrying - it's a relief that you're back running again and feel ok. At least it's taper time now, so less chance of overdoing it than usual! Fingers crossed that things don't flare up again.

    MrMKW, welcome, and I also agree with the above comments. It is worth arriving in good time for the start - last year I was rather last minute and ended up joining the pen behind the one I was allocated (struggled to get into the correct one because it was full and I couldn't find the entrance). I was quite close to the front of the slower pen, though, so had the 'correct pen' pacers in my sight even after crossing the start line - it would definitely have been possible to get gradually closer to them over the first couple of miles without having to speed up too much, although in the event I was too slow anyway! As MrM2 says, there's a good amount of space at the beginning because of the staggered start - pens felt very crowded when waiting for the start, but the scrum magically vanished as soon as everyone crossed the start line.

    Funnily enough, Edinburgh was my first marathon too, with Valencia last year being my second! Although I really enjoyed Edinburgh, Valencia beat it for me in pretty much every way (hence returning this year). You'll love it. I'm also hugely excited.
  • I'll be in the slowest pen as I'm over 4 hours - I guess they are expecting a lot of faster runners as most races have a bunch of pens from 4 hours onwards (even smaller races like Liverpool). I'll have to get myself near the front of that if I can. What time do you recommend arriving, Gipfel?

    Did 7 miles this morning. Achilles grumpy as usual but I'll be wearing Zoom Flys at Valencia and they tend to take the stress off it more than my regular training shoes (Epic Reacts). I got a new pair of the flyknits and wore them for my 15 on Sunday and they are a lot more comfortable than my older standard Zoom Flys.
    Shin doesn't feel bad - I guess the rest did it good.
  • Thanks all for the fast response - makes me feel much better about everything, and will definitely make sure that I arrive in plenty of time.

    Delighted to also hear that Valencia was better than Edinburgh in every way - can’t wait, just hoping for some cool weather.
  • MrMKW, I’d second what BB and the others say. One thing you might want to do is ensure that you’re towards the front of your pen if you’re a little worried about getting too stuck behind other runners. Just get there in good time to secure the position you want as there tends to be a late scramble to get in the pens. As BB says, it’s a marathon not a sprint so the running room will come.

    For what it’s worth, I think Valencia is a really good course for naturally building up pace. I actually managed a negative split last year and an even split the year before.

    Gipfel, seems like you used the race really well. From what you say about how you felt after, it sounds like your pacing was spot on too. Course sounds very nice as well.

    Cal, good to read that the shin is feeling better. Hope the Achilles begins to clear up too. Keep resting and take care. Worth doing some cross - training to give the Achilles a rest?

    Managed to get my accommodation changed today. Was going through the original reservation and wasn’t really happy with what I was getting for my money. Did a last minute search not expecting anything but got a Black Friday
    deal at a better hotel. 64€ less, so cancelled the old reservation and booked myself in. Further away but the other place wasn’t exactly close and there seem to be quite good public transport links.

    Starting to look forward to it now and begin to think more about things like pacing. Would definitely settle for 11 - 18 degrees. A bit of cloud cover would also go down well. 

  • Quick question to anyone who’s run Valencia before... are there km markers for every km or only every 5km?
  • Just been going over the final instructions and see that you have to wear the wristband they give you at the Expo to be allowed in your starting pen and get your medal at the end. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case last year. Would seem that. wearing your race number isn’t enough this year.
  • BB - km markers for every kilometre.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Sounds like good news about your shin, Cal - shame about the Achilles, but I guess if it's just usual grumpiness and nothing more major, it's probably not so bad (especially if the race shoes are likely to be kinder). Hope a little bit more rest will do it some good.

    Last year, I think I arrived at the pens about 15 minutes before the start - my hotel was really close (meaning I knew exactly how long I'd take to get there and I didn't need to use bag drop or anything), so I was quite blasé about it and hadn't anticipated the pens being so crowded! Will aim to be in the pen by 8am at the latest this year, just to avoid any potential stress. It is definitely a race that attracts a lot of fast runners, but I also find it slightly surprising that there's just one +4 hour pen. Just looked at last year's results/numbers, out of interest - people finishing before 12,000th place (out of just over 16,000 total finishers) were still well over 4 hours, so surely that would justify at least one other pen...

    LT, good work on the hotel change - that's a decent saving. Agree that once you get further away than a shortish walk, it doesn't make much difference if you're a little bit further - especially as everything seems to indicate that the transport should be good on the day (free buses, etc.). I also noticed the info about the wristband and am pretty sure that is a change from last year. Maybe they're being more strict about it because of the increased numbers of people running this year. Looking forward to the medal, in any case - looks to be a similar design to last year's, which is one of my favourites - nice and weighty :D
  • Yes, Gipfel, same design as the last two years, at least. As you say, nice, chunky medal.

    One of the free bus routes seems to start pretty close to the new hotel so shouldn’t have any issues being able to board due to overcrowding. Might get a taxi, not sure. Last year I booked one to take me to a mate’s hotel which was just around the corner from the start and it didn’t turn up. There was no one on the hotel desk to help so I had to jog with a wheelie suitcase for a few kilometers before I was finally able to flag down an available cab, get to my friend’s hotel and leave my gear there. It was all very fraught and didn’t leave much time to spare. Not exactly ideal pre - race preparation even though the outcome was good.

    Like you, I definitely want to be in my pen 30 minutes beforehand. The scrummaging to get in the pen late on all added to the above last year.
  • Dean NDean N ✭✭✭
    Hi All ,
    A week today It will all be done and dusted hopefully !
    Thanks for the tips re the pens scrum , I am always a bit of a last min arrival man but will certainly get in the pen a bit earlier this time .
    I will have to look in to the free buses , my hotel is about 1.75 miles away in the old town ,I don’t normally mind a walk to the start to get the legs warmed up .

    cal - I hope the niggles have cleared up , it’s amazing how the body plays up prior to a Marathon and on the day seem to come good.

    Mr MKW -Welcome ,as others have said don’t worry about being in a slow pen , it will help you put the brakes on that first k or so , not too sure how everyone else runs but it normally takes me a few ks until I settle in to the desired pace on the garmin and once on the pace I stick to it religiously.

    The weather forecast seems to be sticking to 11- 18 with sun which is probably 2 to 3 C more than I would like to run a marathon in but perfect for relaxing in after!
    As you say Cal it may come as a bit of a shock to the system after running with tights and gloves on a couple of occasions over the last couple of weeks ,
    very important to hydrate this week .
    I hope  you all had a good relaxing session this weekend and take it easy this week .

  • Not great news for me - I've come down with a full-blown cold. I hope I can shift it in time. I guess the silver lining is that, at least it'll give the niggles a rest.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Cal, that is beyond annoying! Hope you shift it soon - I guess as well as giving you a chance to rest, the timing could mean that you've got it early enough to be past the worst of it come Sunday. My fingers are crossed for you - it's hugely frustrating to have avoided major injuries, etc. only to be felled by a cold. My other half (who's doing the 10k at Valencia) has one right now, and my office seems full of germs, although luckily I work from home most of the time - am really hoping to avoid anything, but in the end there's not much you can do.

    It hasn't quite sunk into my head yet that all the hard work is over. I had 10 miles at MP on Saturday, which felt (dare I say) really quite comfortable - touch wood/fingers crossed and so on! Tuesday has been my hard interval session day for the last 16 weeks - had easier intervals yesterday instead, so it feels odd to be sitting in my normal clothes today rather than running clothes 'looking forward' to a killer session later.

    LT, your pre-race experience last year sounds very stressful! You did well to get a PB after all that - maybe jogging with a wheelie suitcase is a good warm-up...I hope you have a smoother start this year.

    Dean, if you decide that you don't mind the 1.75 miles of walking to the start, you'll find you can take a really pleasant route through the Jardin del Turia (former river bed, now a park/gardens since the river was diverted after some major flooding in the 50s) - it's a brilliant spot and, in my opinion, one of the highlights of Valencia.

    I've noticed that weather forecasts/current weather reports on different sites are varying wildly, so no idea which is correct. For example, one online source says it is 8 degrees right now, while the weather app on my phone is saying 18 and predicting a high of 21 later in the afternoon - interesting!
  • I had an easy 90 mins on Sunday which was nice and comfortable. I'll do half my normal track session tonight and another easy 45 mins tomorrow, then nothing more other than a few strides on Saturday. Lovely!

    Cal - sorry to hear you're under the weather. I came down with tonsillitis the day before Chicago last year which was horrible but like Gip said hopefully the worst has passed and the enforced rest may be a silver lining!

    The early(ish) start looks like being a blessing if the temperature is expected to climb up to 20+ degrees!

    When is everyone flying out?

  • Did 2 x 3km at marathon pace this morning and it felt pretty good, which kind of worries me in a funny kind of way! Rest day tomorrow and then short and slow over the next few days.

    Cal, hope the cold is clearing up. Might be a blessing in disguise and leave you nicely rested for Sunday. You’ve done a lot of running this autumn what with Chester and all the training two marathons close together entail.

    Gipfel, yes, it was extremely stressful. I’ll be doing everything I can to avoid repetition. Good to read that your 10 miler at MP felt good. The hay’s in the barn, as someone once said.

    I guess the weather forecast could be slightly better but they had some really bad flooding a few weeks ago so am loathe to complain. Besides, it looks like there might be some cloud cover and the there is some shade on the course.

    Carb loading starts on Thursday and I always quite look forward to it. In the past, I’ve supplemented the rice and pasta etc with dates, figs and raisins but will be cutting right back on them as they made me feel too bloated and uncomfortable last time. Any favourite carb loading foods?

    Arriving Saturday morning and looking forward to it.
  • Dean NDean N ✭✭✭
    Cal - sorry to hear about your cold ,like other have said at least you will be recovering by the end of the week , I have been trying to keep clear of infected people and it can happen to anyone anytime .I once was struck down with flu when I should of been running London .

    Gip , BB and LT I am very impressed with your hard workouts so close to Marathon day , I virtually do nothing the last 6 days ,a couple of 2 mile easy runs only .

    LT - never been too much of an expert with the carbon loading but I am fond of hot cross buns as snacks , 
    thursday , Friday and Saturday will be the usual pasta , potatoes and rice and I have porridge with a banana honey and raisins mixed in for breakfast.

    I am flying to Madrid Friday morning and catching the train to Valancia in the afternoon . 

    i normally use the met office weather forecast which which seems to be the most reliable in the uk but not sure about abroad as you say Gip the forecasts certainly differ.

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