VLM 2019

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  • Absolutely Wardi, same here.
    I take the view the race is on a set date, no matter what the weather it will still be the same distance for all.
    If it is one's first race or first London, just go out to enjoy the day.
    In two weeks time, I will be running Tokyo marathon to complete my Marathon Majors - despite the cost (over £3000 for flights and four nights) i intend to just relax and take in the atmosphere as it has taken me ten years to get the ballot place.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    edited February 13

    Ahh Tokyo, enjoy HS2! I just need Boston, but I've never been fast enough. Will probably have to cough up more than it's costing you HS2 sometime if I want the set and the additional majors medal :( I am actually running Boston Lincs 3 weeks prior to London this year :) will be a good costume test if I have managed to cobble it together by then.

    I'm with you; London should be enjoyed for the amazing spectacle that it is; I'm not after any records on the day, just a fantastic heap of fun.

  • Cheers 1owrez,
    I did Boston in 2014.
    My lifetime PB is 3:11:36 (over 35 years ago).
    This year's London will be my 150th marathon and 35th consecutive London - oh, and I am pacing again too.
    If I win the Euromillions I will pay the £40k to do the 777 World Marathon Challenge (7 marathons in 7 days in 7 continents).
  • How's everyone's training going?

    I started some intensity training this week and today ran 6 miles in 50min 2secs, that's with 20 mins of easy pace running - I'm beginning to see some improvements by following a training plan and an indication of what i may be capable of at London (sub 4).
    I've got my first HM race in 4 weeks time, and thinking to start off at 8.30 pace and see how i feel in 2nd half if i'm capable of some negative splits. 

  • Just had my VLM Pacer place confirmed - this year I have been allocated the Red Start and a much slower pace than normal.  It is a privilege to be offered an opportunity to help others on their big day.  The slower pace will allow me to enjoy the run even more. 
    Will practice the new pace in the four marathons before the VLM.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Wow Portlanders you are fleet of foot. Halves are a great format to understand your engines so do have a go at that like you have explained. Just be aware that you will be unlikely to carb-out on a half, a marathon is a different ask though, especially at that rate of knots. I do know some people who are so used to the marathon distance that they can cover it without bothering too much about taking on fuel. But if you have never been there before, at a pace you are pushing the envelope on, you need to fuel up well in the few days prior and take on fuel throughout your run otherwise you are likely to hit the wall so badly at between 16 and 18 miles you will think all your bones have been sucked out through the top of your head and your mind will crash into a pit of despair like you've never known before. That horrible experience is recoverable from but it'll probably take 3 miles of crawling and seventeen plates of jelly babies to get you back to a trot.

    Have you been testing out sweets and gels and other such carb rich delicacies in training?

    Grand news on your pacer place HS2 and plenty of runs to test your autopilot prior too :) What pace have you been allocated?

  • Hi Lowrez, yes i've done a couple of 16 mile easy runs, and got my sis gels and lucozade energy drink agreeing with me, just trailing intake intervals. The gels, i take the first after an hour, have played with 30min and 45min durations after that, am trailing 1hr interval on my next long run. 45min worked just as well as 30min, although i have to consider my race pace will be quicker, so imagine 30 or 45min intervals maybe the sweet spot. I will take a gel or 2 in the HM, if anything to give me experience of taking them in race conditions. I actually just purchased new shorts with nice deep pockets, which i've trailed running with the gels in and i didn't notice them, and they didn't fall out, so all good there. 

    I appreciate the advice and will have to look at what my meals should be like in the week running up to the marathon. I've realised the days before intake is probably more important, as the night before i'm staying in a hotel so concerned where i should eat and what i should eat, as last thing i want is something to disagree with me the night/morning before. i.e wary of trying pasta with sauce or bolognese, perhaps straight noodles or a fried rice might be a safer bet?

    Thanks again for your advice, and well done Harm on confirmation of your pacer place.  
  • Hiya,

    Hope everyones training is going well! I am running London as my first marathon and due to injury stalled at 10miles for my long run a couple of weeks ago. Completed 10 miles on Monday with no more niggles and felt good throughout, planning 12miles for tomorrow.

    Provided I increase the long runs gradually up to 20-22miles over the remaining weeks does being at 12miles at this stage still seem doable to complete the race? Not aiming for a time at all just aiming to get round without walking really.

    Thanks so much for any advice!
  • Hi ac2000,

    I would suggest take a look at the training plans on the London Marathon webpage, I'm following the 'improver' training plan, and on week 6 of 16, and the long run this week is a target of 10 miles. So i would say you have no worries and spot on plan. 

    No problem in running longer than the plan states, I see it there only as guidance, but have reigned in my long runs a bit as don't want to peak too soon and cause injury. Aim 1 is to make it to the start line fit. 
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    The slower pace will allow me to enjoy the run even more. 

    Enjoying even more sounds fantastic! Congratulations. It's amazing that this will be your 35th consecutive London - what an achievement (and helping so many people by pacing so many times too).

    I've been meaning to join this thread for a few weeks now - I can't quite believe we're only just over 10 weeks away from the Big Day! I won the draw for my club's place - they only did the draw in mid January, so it has felt as if I've been playing catch up with the training, as I wasn't really expecting to win it (somehow it felt that if I officially trained before the draw was done, I would be tempting fate NOT to win it!). Still can't believe I won really - I'm very excited. 

    My training is going ok now. I did a 16 miler the weekend before last, which went relatively well, so I have felt better since then. portlanders - I did an HM at exactly 8.30 pace 9 weeks before my last marathon, and achieved a sub-4 in the marathon itself. So your aim sounds perfectly possible to me, although marathons are always a bit of an unknown, as it's so far and there are so many variables on the day! 1owrez, I love your description of falling apart at 16/18 miles :D there is way too much truth in that!

    I am no expert, but I think my biggest 'learning' from the marathons I've done previously is: do NOT, under any circumstances, start off too fast. You'll feel good, and the pace will feel easy - but you will regret it later. Definitely good to experiment with gels and suchlike (I actually find more = less, as one too many in the later stages can make me feel a bit queasy) - the other thing I practised, which sounds a bit weird but I found worthwhile, was taking water at the stations while keeping going. In my first two marathons, I slowed to a walk when getting water and found it was really hard to start running again! In my last (third), I carried on at a slow jog, and it was much better. It wasn't really something I'd thought about before, as I don't tend to bother with water in shorter races, but it's worth considering.
  • Thanks everyone,

    for the last few years I have been pacing at 5 hour pace (aiming for 4:58 pace actually) and done 4:58:55, 4:57:59, 4:57:41 at VLM, I am not a speed merchant at my age (60 next birthday) but just enjoy and help others enjoy the occasion.

    I also paced for 5:10 at Toronto and come in 5:09:04.  At Richmond Runfest where I organise the pacers for the half and full I did 4:31 and pacing for 4:45 at Luxembourg I did 4:44:28.

    I have been allocated almost waking pace this year (5:45) and even slower pace at the Big Half next month.  I feel privileged to be able to help those who no doubt at pushing themselves to their personal limits.  30% of the runners at the VLM 2018 finished after 5 hours - these 14,000 runners deserve the assistance more in my opinion than the sub 3 and sub 4 runners.

    Apologies if my thoughts offend others, it is not my intention.
  • No offense to me Harm, people all have differing abilities, although some do take it more seriously and better prepare themselves than others. Your record speaks volumes of the many people you've helped, not only in the race but with the knowledge you share here. 

    Gipfel, thank you for sharing your experience. I am trying my best to be disciplined with pace and will practice that in my HM, hoping i can concentrate enough to keep it all together at the start. Knowing that energy wasted at the start by going too fast, will take its toll at the finish, is what will spur me to be super-disciplined. 
  • Good advice about starting slow Gipfel.  As pacers we are asked to do an even pace throughout.
    Here are my results from 2017 when I was just one second within my target time of 4:58 (I was going for 7 minutes every Km)

    SplitTime Of DayTimeDiffmin/kmkm/hPlace
    5K10:48:3200:34:3534:3506:558.68-
    10K11:24:0901:10:1335:3807:088.42-
    15K11:58:4301:44:4634:3406:558.68-
    20K12:33:3902:19:4234:5707:008.59-
    Half12:41:1802:27:2207:4006:598.60-
    25K13:09:0402:55:0727:4607:078.44-
    30K13:43:5603:29:5934:5306:598.60-
    35K14:19:0204:05:0535:0707:028.55-
    40K14:54:0304:40:0635:0107:018.57-
    Finish15:11:5604:57:5917:5408:097.361851
  • Portlander,
    My 4 hour marathon pacer friend suggests that you go for/practice at 9 minute miles which still gives you 9 seconds a mile leeway.
    You will feel much better for longer even though there are no real hils at London - maybe a little bit as you climb up Westferry Circus (just past 18 miles) and an interesting bit straight after the 24 mile mark at Blackfriars.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    HS2 you are a metronome :) amazing consistency.

    ac2 I echo Portlanders :) to ward off injury it is good to ease off a bit once in a while, so I think we have 11 weekends left, its not an exact science but something like this would give your bones some recovery as you build up that long run:-

    12 miles
    14 miles
    16 miles
    13 miles
    18 miles
    20 miles
    15 miles
    20 miles
    15 miles
    10 miles
    Marathon

    It is very handy how 9 minute miles will get you a sub 4 and 11 minute miles will get you a sub 5 with a bit of leeway.

    Wise words on pace Gipfel, well done on gaining your club place :) I'd also say don't let congested spots perturb you. I've scarily dropped to a walk through Cutty Sark and other spots at times simply due to numbers of bodies on the route. It can be very frustrating when you are after a time but there is nothing you can do about it. In the first half you will be well strong and it is very true that you need to hold back but you can also use that effortlessness to ease back on to your perfect schedule over a couple of miles or so if you do get tied up in traffic. It doesn't tend to happen in the second half as the field has riggled itself into a decent flow by then.

  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Portlanders I will be dining out on the eve of the race with friends; pasta restaurant; probably something simple like Bolognese actually :) On other occasions being Johnny no mates I have just dropped round to a local supermarket and taken a cold pasta chicken and sweetcorn tub away with dark choccy digestives, bottle of full sugar coke, bag of chocolate raisins, some flapjacks, scotch pancakes, grapes, custard donuts... I was also catering for breakfast amongst that lot :)

  • ac2000,
    You will be fine as long as you follow a plan and not miss out the regular training.
    I have mentioned it before but if you are able to join me and other first time VLM'rs I will be doing an easy 20 miler (from Cutty Sark to the Finish line) on Sunday 17 March starting at 10:00 am.
    All it will cost is buying me a Big Mac Meal (seriously).
    It will calm your nerves on the day as you will know exactly what is ahead of you which is often a worry for first timers who are not sure whether to keep pushing early on just because they get dragged along by others around them or foolishly rise to the cheers of the fantastic crowd along the course.
  • Thanks so much to everyone for their advice! I've been doing 2-3 runs/cross training sessions in the week and then long runs at the weekend. Felt pretty good out this morning so complete 13.1 miles in the end.

    Just panicking as it's my first marathon I think but all of the advice on here is very much appreciated :)
  • Thank you Lowrez, never thought of a Supermarket pasta bowl - that will suit me well, brilliant! 

    Harm, thank you for the advice, will pace my long run 13-16 mile tomorrow at 9mile pace and see how it feels. Previous runs of 16 miles have been at an easy 9.30 pace, so should be comfortable enough. 


  • How did it go Portlanders?
    I did 16 yesterday at 9.10 pace but that was very comfortable and we chatted the whole way. I would be hopeful I can go faster on the fay
  • Hi Prince, I went out this morning with a mixed mind of what i should run - training plan said 10 mile easy, but i got my first HM in 4 weeks and all these easy runs were making me unsure what pace i should run in the HM. So after the first few miles at a steady pace, i decided to go HM distance - but then i realised i had left an energy drink on the grass verge at what would over 14 miles - so i just kept going till i got home. Result was 17 miles at an average 8:42 pace. My longest distance ever! and felt i had some good miles left in me too. As i say pace was more steady, i could say hello to cyclist and have a conversation with a horse rider on my run - it all felt rather comfortable, but previous easy pace has been 9:30 which i now realise is very easy pace, and will pick it up to 9:00 on my next easy runs. So yeah a very good, positive run - used just one bottle of lucozade energy drink, and 2 x gels, and wasn't faltering - good to know i will only need to carry 4 gels in the marathon. 

    Fantastic to hear your run went well, we both seem in to be in a good place with our training, long may it remain that way. You seem in very good shape for a sub 4 which is also my target. 
  • Great running Portlanders. Really well done. I think you are going to smash your half marathon. 

    I also have a 17 done but now sh*t gets real as have an 18 and three 20 milers in my plan (Along with step back weeks and like you a half marathon race)

     All the advice I read is to run the long ones easy and woew hard during the week so don't worry to much about the pace on the long ones. But well done on the confidence  building run
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Definitely go easy on the long ones. They are all about having your body accept the endurance, building your resilience, confidence... if you push too much you will destroy all that positivity, and risk injury when mixed in with harder mid-week runs, its called "tearing yourself down", which is effectively what you will do in going for that special time on the big day, that's why you go slow now, so you can make that super effort on 28th.

  • New extra wide shoes broken in with the parkrun sandwich yesterday, toe bandaged tighter than my turban, I set off a the Rayne Anniversary Challenge (marathon distance for me today) with the aim of helping two groups with pacing - the Half marathoners with 2:30 and full marathoners with 5:30.  Results were:
    HM = 2:29:50
    Full = 5:29:45
    I can live with that.
  • I hear you Lowrez, appreciate the advice and will take that onboard - all long runs will now be slower - although have a HM in under 4 weeks time which i'll run similar pace to yesterday, as long as i get sub 2 i'll be happy. Woke this morning with no stifness or aches. Rest day for me, but will go for a 5k walk. Thanks again.

    Good pacing again Harm, well done. 
  • Don't sell yourself short on the half Portlanders. 9 min mile gets you a sub 2 hour. You ran 17 at 8.42. 
    You can well afford to aim a bit quicker if your plan says a race effort 
  • Indeed it does Prince, but i have an 18 mile easy the Sunday before with no real taper, so will see how the legs feel. 
  • What's a taper? lol
    Just kidding - it's just that I advise it but don't practice it. My schedule f races doesn't allow it.

    My fault
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭


    I know what you mean HS2; these days I have marathons as long slow training runs as I have tended to go a bit crazier. But it does remain the case that to run a pb and pitch effectively at a marathon you need a nice taper to settle your bones and be ready for your assault. I'm doing a 40 miler in May and a 56 miler in June and currently looking for something a little longer later in the year. My marathons will therefore be long slow training runs with a bit of fancy dress thrown in for more fun along the way. But go back a few years and I was pushing for that Boston qualifier and have a pb of 3:47... I've kinda taken the long route to getting back to that... not sure I will ever return to that with this current addiction to "the long" :)

  • You guys are Machines! 
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