VLM 2018!!

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  • Thanks for your replies, Harmander and andyc209, much appreciated - all wise words are gratefully received.

    I'm fairly happy about the intervening days... I was more thinking about the key training sessions: strength training, increased volume, hill sessions... all of the above? (I suspect this is the answer)... rodeoflip said "ramp up your training" and I was wondering what would be the most effective and appropriate way to do that to specifically prepare for back-to-back marathons.

    Harmander, a marathon every weekend is your bread and butter... what do you recommend I do to prepare for one reasonably fast (-ish... for a FV45) race and one "get round without destroying myself" run? Is it mainly increased volume/mileage?

  • Little Nell, well done and I'm sure you'll have a fantastic race at both cities. They are both very special races. In terms of training inbetween the 2 races, forget it. You probably won't be able to anyway, but the priority after the first one should be recovery. There's nothing to be gained by training inbetween (except maybe a very short and slow recovery run?). Treat one of the races as a training run - for me that was Boston, on the basis that I knew I'd be knackered for London either way. Your training overall needs to get you to a point where you can run both, so a little more than a regular plan. I focussed on distance just to build a really good base. I knew that I was training for more than a marathon and this thought helped me push myself over winter.

    Unfortunately I ran Boston on a really hot day and got knocked for six, but hopefully you'll have better luck.

    I know it seems mad to run both, but there are loads of people who do it every year. You will be fine. I'm jealous!
  • Little Nell,

    The two courses are completely different - Boston for the most part is downhill and to be honest I didn't even notice the so called Heartbreak Hill at about 21 miles or so - this is partly because I train mainly on hills combining mileage with strength.
    I would use the midweek training sessions to just relax and stretch.
    If I had to push myself on one and enjoy the other, I would go enjoy the Boston - partly because it is harder and more expensive to get into. A GFA at London gets you another shot at VLM too.
    On sunday, I ran the new Birmingham International marathon - carrying a flag to support the City's bid for the Commonwealth Games 2022. It was my fifth marathon in as many weekends and am packing to go to Toronto to do my sixth - only four more to go when I come back.
  • Thanks guys!

    I reread my post and I hadn't made myself very clear... I was thinking that I probably wouldn't run between the two (or at most 1-2 miles on the Friday maybe - just to make sure my legs do at least work!). I'm also lucky enough that the hotel that I've booked for London has a spa with a variety of massages on offer, including sports massage - so I think I'll be going for that :smiley:

    I appreciate the training tips... carrying the thought that I'm training for longer than a marathon is a good one. Hills and strength training will also be built into the winter prep.

    It's interesting you both say go to enjoy Boston - I was thinking of pushing harder for Boston and just getting round London but maybe I'll rethink that and switch them around in my mind.

  • Dear Nell,
    Reason for me saying enjoy Boston is that because of the course being predominantly downhill no world best/record can be set there and the PB's recorded are just personal to you and do not count towards future qualifying times - whereas a GFA at London will get you another chance to do Boston as well as VLM.
    IMO, New York is over hyped (just a yank thing), Chicago is much better and friendlier and Boston is special because it has such a long history.
    I think I should start packing for Toronto now and hope Storm Brian does not affect my flight tomorrow as the flight path is right through it.
  • Hi everyone.

    Does anyone have experience of Hal Higdon training plans? I was going to use his Novice 2 plan to train for London, but start a few weeks earlier. However, having come across quite a lot of negative reviews recently, especially around low weekly mileage I have my doubts.

    London will be my first marathon. I have run two half marathons this year, one in Spring and one this month. Although the one recently was very much a 'get round' half as I'd been injured and a bit under prepared.

    Would greatly appreciate any thoughts on this.
  • Littlecoconut,
    All plans are as good as they are followed - people making comments (good or bad) are doing so based on their achievements on the day - this is often related to how closely they followed them.
    I posted a 24 week plan earlier to help one get around in 5 hours. I can only comment on what I have learnt through experience.
    I know the VLM course fairly well and can say it is one of the best in the world - added to the best atmosphere in any marathon I have run. One makes the day good or bad by going in with a particular mind set - as it i your first marathon I suggest you look forward to it, enjoy the run and you are guaranteed to get a PB (obviously).
    If you are already up to half marathon distance in training, I would say you are well prepared - be positive.
  • Hi Little coconut :) I used the Hal Higden novice 1 plan for my first marathon. It worked really well for me and I'm using his intermediate 1 plan for VLM 2018. If your goal is to just finish I think it will be fine. I had the same worries as you based on reviews I had seen, but I found the lower weekly mileage compared to other plans meant that it didn't feel totally exhausted with with training and I was more likely to keep up with it as a result. It was enough to get me round but if you are looking to improve your time you might want to look at a different plan or his intermediate one.
  • Hi everyone

    I received a place in the ballot, much to my surprise (and, I think, delight, though I'm still not quite sure). I have done a few half marathons and training runs up to 14 miles so I feel in a reasonable position to start training, although it's going to be a challenge.

    I am also planning to follow a Hal Higdon plan, Novice 2, which starts me off on 18th December. However I generally run 6 days per week, and the week 1 mileage is a bit lower than my average weekly mileage now, so I am going to add in easy runs on 2 of the rest days to start with, see how my legs take it, and drop them again if legs aren't happy.

    Am I right in thinking that the route is fairly flat? I live in a hilly area so all of my routes tend to be quite hilly, which I am hoping will lead to better overall fitness (not that I have much choice - it's hills, or up-and-down-the-railway-path in three mile chunks).

    I will be following the thread with interest and have already learned quite a lot from you all!

    NB
  • NorthernBelle,
    The course is flat - any climbs are short (less than 100m and there are loads of downhill - one after 19 miles is nearly 800m long.
    What finishing time are you hoping for?
  • Hello everyone,

    As promised earlier, I will be happy to meet up at Tower Hill tube or Thames Gateway DLR station next weekend to run from Tower Bridge to the Finish line (about 14 miles) at about 12 minutes a mile pace to help you familiarise yourselves with the course as part of your training. the options are:

    Saturday 18 November, meet at 1 O Clock 
    or Sunday 19 November meet at 10 O Clock

    After finishing you will be asked to either buy me a Big Mac Meal at McDonald's on Whitehall or make a donation to Essex Disabled Sports Foundation.

    Please bring your drinks etc. with you, there will be toilets at two petrol stations and ASDA along the route - these will be at 1 mile, 5 miles and 10 miles along the route - and at McDonald's at the finish.

    Depending on numbers, I am happy to run both days - please respond by Thursday 16 November on this Forum

    This offer will be repeated in January and February 2018.

    In March, I will repeat this offer but it will be a 20 miler as we will be starting at Cutty Sark DLR station which is just before the 7 mile mark on the VLM route.
  • Thank you Harmander! I can do downhill.

    No 1 goal is to finish in one piece, no 2 goal is 4:40 as predicted by the pessimistic RW calculator, no 3 goal would be 4:15 (Riegel prediction from my 5k & HM times). We'll see how training goes!

    Appreciate the offer of the group run but I am Very Far North so will not be able to join you. Hope it goes well.
  • Thanks so much for your replies Harmander, Mielebee and NorthernBelle.

    That's great to hear that you got on well with it Mielebee. To answer your question - and similarly to NorthernBelle above - I haven't finalised a goal yet and depends on training, but I suppose 1) finish and run the whole way 2) maybe 4:45-4:50 mark. Does that sound unrealistic given your experience with this plan? Hope your training is going well for 2018 so far :)

    Harmander those training runs sound great, unfortunately I'm not near London either.
  • I understand
  • > @"Harmander Singh 2" said:
    > Hello everyone,
    >
    > As promised earlier, I will be happy to meet up at Tower Hill tube or Thames Gateway DLR station next weekend to run from Tower Bridge to the Finish line (about 14 miles) at about 12 minutes a mile pace to help you familiarise yourselves with the course as part of your training. the options are:
    >
    > Saturday 18 November, meet at 1 O Clock 
    > or Sunday 19 November meet at 10 O Clock
    >
    > After finishing you will be asked to either buy me a Big Mac Meal at McDonald's on Whitehall or make a donation to Essex Disabled Sports Foundation.
    >
    > Please bring your drinks etc. with you, there will be toilets at two petrol stations and ASDA along the route - these will be at 1 mile, 5 miles and 10 miles along the route - and at McDonald's at the finish.
    >
    > Depending on numbers, I am happy to run both days - please respond by Thursday 16 November on this Forum
    >
    > This offer will be repeated in January and February 2018.
    >
    > In March, I will repeat this offer but it will be a 20 miler as we will be starting at Cutty Sark DLR station which is just before the 7 mile mark on the VLM route.


    I just joined the forum and reading above seem to have missed the running offer.. Are you free any weekend in Dec for this run? I will be happy to match big-Mac and top-up with the donation :)
  • Dear RSR,
    I have races every weekend till Christmas - have our club Ultra on 17 December and even doing Dymchurch Marathon on 23 December - BUT am able to run midweek except for Mondays if you wish.
    I take it you would want to run the 14 miler?
    2:00pm start with a few days notice is good.
    Harmander
  • Harmander Singh 2 said:
    Dear RSR,
    I take it you would want to run the 14 miler?
    2:00pm start with a few days notice is good.

     - Harmander, Many thanks for running the VLM course with me yesterday and the guidance. 
  • nicko1981nicko1981 ✭✭✭
    Hi all, running London this year for the 4th time (5th Marathon overall); hoping for a better performance than last year after having to walk/run from mile 16.

    Good luck with training everyone; look forward to hearing about everyone's progress.
  • Good luck Nicko1981.
    It might be too late to enter but the Big Half is the VLM's half marathon on 4 March - it starts at Tower Bridge and sort of runs the VLM course backwards to Cutty Sark.

    I will be pacing for a 2:30 finish
  • nicko1981nicko1981 ✭✭✭
    Thanks @Harmander Singh 2 ; unfortunately I'm away for the Big Half otherwise would have definitely done it.

    Got Brighton Half the weekend before instead as a tester of my pace before London - hoping I can bring it down close to a 1:25; will just have to see how the next 7 weeks prep goes.
  • vodkabobvodkabob ✭✭✭
    Hi, how easy/difficult is it to get from the finish line to Kings Cross after the race? I've got a train booked back to Durham at 15:30 so wondering if I will have trouble making that time!! TIA
  • Vodkabob,

    I would allow 45 minutes from finishing (assuming you are prepared to travel without changing until you board your train at Kings Cross).

    So if your train is at 15:30, you will need to finish by 14:45.  Given the VLM starts at 10:00 and there could be up to 25 minutes to cross the start line you will have to finish in 4 hours 20 minutes - any faster gives you more time to pick up the goody bag and your stuff from the baggage lorries before making way to Green Park station.

    Here is the journey you will need to make.

    11:50 AM

    Buckingham Palace

    Westminster, London SW1A 1AA
    WalkWalk
     About 11 min , 0.5 mi
      12:01 PM

      Green Park

      UndergroundVictoriaWalthamstow Central
       5 min (3 stops) · 
       
      Information
       
      Information

      12:06 PM

      Euston

      WalkWalk
       About 10 min , 0.5 mi
        12:16 PM

        Kings Cross

      • vodkabobvodkabob ✭✭✭
        Thanks Harmander, I am aiming for around 3:15 so the above should leave me with plenty of time. I am just not sure of the area's so wasn't sure how difficult it was getting to KC.
      • Great,

        I would have struggled to make the train as the 5 hour pacer. lol.

        Hope you get the 3:15 - my PB (years ago - 1984) is 3:11:36
      • nicko1981nicko1981 ✭✭✭
        @vodkabob - I'd recommend getting the Northern line from Charing Cross or the Picadilly from Picadilly circus instead - the way you have to leave the Mall I think it will be easier to go straight there rather than out and round to Green Park. Might be wrong, not a Londoner but work in that area sometimes and seem to remember that you can't leave to the left until nearer to Admirality Arch anyway.
      • You are right nicko1981 - good alternative
      • Vodka Bob, 15 minutes from finish to Charring Cross, Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus, Victoria line to Kings Cross, 8minutes, to arrive at 15.15 you need to be at Charring Cross by 14.45, allowing 20 minutes to clear start, that leaves you about 4 hours 20 to complete your run, good luck
      • Hiya chaps, do you know if there is anywhere designated to get changed afterwards at VLM? Or (pushing it) anywhere to get a shower? I'm in the 3:45 estimate start, but deciding whether to push myself and better this time or take it really steady and enjoy the course and atmosphere.

        I've done Yorkshire Marathon twice and last year I detached three toenails at mile 21 and time before got real bad cramps again around the same mark, but finished in these times (approx).The time it took me to get home from York was around 50mins, whereas London I'm looking at realistically a six hour jouney from finish to home up north, possibly more with Sunday connections on the train.

        These are the options running around in my head at the moment:

        1) Try and beat previous times, feel whacked afterwards, stop in London another night, get a shower, go back North Monday, morning.

        2) Run it steady, enjoy the experience, not worry aout finish time, travel back after event.

        3) Take it steady, enjoy it all, stop in London another night, get a shower, visit Tate Modern Monday morning, travel back Monday.

        If there is somewhere to get changed or have a shower after, it makes the deision to trave back the same day easier.

        Trying to decide, what do you reckon?
      • BenjyBenjy,as far as I’m aware the only access to showers after the race is for charity runners,they usually book a venue near to the finish and supply shower,massage and food,otherwise you will have to make your own arrangements,I have heard,in the past,that some hotels,possibly the sponsor ones,allow runners guests access to washing facilities afterwards,but I think you need to check that out,all the best.........
      • Thanks Dave for the response, i suspected as much. Looking forward to VLM, I really want to enjoy this, it's a one off oppurtunity never thought I would get a chance to do this one.
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