Abingdon Marathon 2018



  • Stevie solid tempo from you – good effort. How did the long run go?

    Nonstick hope the cold clears off. Better now than a week’s time. I wouldn’t worry about this weekend. Just stick with 12M (at most), especially if doing a hard parkrun as well.

    LFSF to aim for a PB makes sense – that is the ultimate after all!

    I did 18M on Sunday, with some race pace and tempo intervals in there. Really pleasing session. Today’s mini session was less so. The 10 mins at MP came out a little slow, and the 8 x 2 minute intervals as well. I think I was being a little cautious as it felt cold and my back and quad are a bit stiff. Sports massage booked for tomorrow to hopefully iron out any kinks.

  • Long run went really well, 22m in 3.00.28 with a 1min negative split and average HR of 140. Felt really good. Got my final MP test on Friday so will see how that goes. Expecting it to feel slighter tougher then expected.
  • Thanks Sorequads, cold almost completely gone now so should be good for next Sunday.

    I ran planned VO2 max 8 miles with 3 X 1600 m @ 5K race pace on Wendnesday, this was fine, miles around 5:33 pace. Rest day yesterday and 5 recovery with 6 x 100 strides tonight. Still not sure about park run tomorrow, will see how I feel and the plan states rest day.

    StevieWh, let us know who you MP test goes.

  • Whoa, nonstick, rapid intervals. You'll be flying away from me. Remind me of your plan for marathon day?

    Great long run, Stevie. Yes, MP always feels hard. I wouldn't push too many miles at it - although you may already have done it depending on what time you run.

    My quad felt very stiff on Monday so I got a sports rehab/massage appointment from a (very strong) lady I really trust. Diagnosed a pulled Sartorious muscle. An horrifically painful massage and some taping and it seems fine. Definitely creaking at the edges a bit, but I guess that's what happens when you push a training block. A few strides this morning and then will do 10-12 slightly progressive on the weekend. 

    What do you guys do in race week? I tend to do usual recovery Monday, and then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday do a few 90s at MP reps (not many). Rest Friday and then super easy 3 or 4 miles on Saturday.
  • That is rapid Nonstick! That wouldn't be far off my mile pace.

    SQ I hope the quad holds out, I'd take it easy from now. For London I did a 5k at MP and 2 easy 4 mile runs .I only ran 4 times a week back then though. Haven't got my plan through for next week yet so not sure what I'm doing.

    MP test was a disaster, legs just wouldn't get going and I was struggling to get under 7mm. Was supposed be 10 miles at MP but I bailed on 7 as I was getting slower and didn't think it was worth flogging myself anymore. Coach said he was expecting it so I'm just going to move on!
  • Hi. I'm after some advise. I'm doing Abingdon next weekend and I'm not sure what sort of time I should aim for. I did a 1hr36 half last weekend which if I put into a race predictor recons I can run a 3hr20! But my training has not been very good to say the least.

    Over the past two months I have only run about 20 mpw on average and my longest run was 18 miles which was 6 weeks ago. Since then I have only run 2 half marathons and a 10 mile race.

    Would I be crazy to set of at 03hr30 pace? The 01hr36 half was comfortable and hardly an all out effort, that pace is about 40 seconds faster than 03hr30 pace. But I'm scared my I will get to 15 miles and my legs & body will say WTF do you think this is where not going any further.
  • bigballer69, was the 1:36 a training run or a race? Not sure the time predictor is going to be a good indication unless it is a time you've achieved while in a full marathon training plan and was a recent race. Is there a reason for the low recent mileage?

    I am no expert but from my understanding to run a fast marathon takes many weeks of conditioning. I have done several fast half marathon while training for 10ks, my best was about 79 minutes but training for Abingdon, it took a while before I was ready for 20 miles plus as per the 55 P&D plan.

    Sorequads, I had set a goal of 2:50 when I started 18 weeks ago but I have had a few set backs so not really sure now. As it is my first marathon, I am going run at a pace that feels comfortable and hope it's decent, then try and push on in the second half.

    I did a test 10k run today at around 6:19 mile pace and felt I could have maintained that for a half marathon.

    I am looking for a good for age time for London, unfortunately I am 44 so minimum is 3:05, year older would give me 5 extra minutes.

    StevieWh, The fatigue from 22 miles must be the cause, I am sure you'll be strong on the day

  • NonstickNonstick ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    Sorequads, forgot to mention my last week. This is from P&D up to 55.

    Monday: Rest.
    Tuesday: 6 miles
    Wednesday: 7 Miles with 2 miles @ marathon pace
    Thursday: Rest.😀
    Friday: 5 with 6x100 strides
    Saturday: 4 miles
  • My coach said he completely expected me to not hit paces on that session, I've forgotten about it now! 12m to do today, hopefully the rain will have eased up later. The plan for this week is:
    Mon - Rest
    Tue - 4m Easy, 6 x 1min strides, 1m easy
    Wed - Rest
    Thur - 4m Easy
    Fri - Rest
    Sat - 3m Easy
  • 13 miles yesterday, ran it steady and was pleased as it was around 1:31, average hear rate was 147, that's 43 miles for the week. Going to buy some shorts that can hold gels, never needed them before. Cold almost completely gone, just a bit stuffed up in the morning but fine after.
  • Nice run Nonstick, I also did 43 miles last week. Sunday was 12 for me in around 1.37 for a HR of 134. I hope you have tried gels before to make sure your stomach can take them? I have a cheap Karrimor running belt to hold mine. How are you feeling about it?

    My resting HR has returned to normal so I think I have avoided the slight cold that I felt on Friday, feeling nice and relaxed so its all systems go for Sunday

  • I wouldn’t worry about the MP test run, Stevie. I always find it ridiculously hard in training. Your coach sounds sensible in this regard. I’m pleased the cold has shifted. Just watch out for it returning post-Abingdon.

    Bigballer I would follow the following general advice, given to me by my father in law. Run very, very easy to half way (13.1M), then steady to 20M (this is the real half way!), then everything and anything you have left to the end. At least with this progressive effort, you shouldn’t die on your arse too early.

    Nonstick I wouldn’t be surprised if we bumped into each other then. I’d definitely decide upon a target and ensure you don’t start too fast. Bank energy, not time!

    11M easy for me on Saturday. Today saw my first classic taper run (thank you for your details, everyone). 5M including 6 x 90s at MP effort. A bit fast, so a good lesson in not going out too hard.

  • DNS

    In bed with migraine Friday to yesterday evening. Very little food and drink. 

    Ran mk 2 weeks after similar a couple of years ago and it hurt enough to decide I wouldn't bother next time .I am glad it was such a shit build up now. 

    Few fun events to come in 2018 and then roll on Manchester. 

    Good luck all 😀
  • Thanks Nonstick and Sorequads for the replies. I think I will take it steady from the beginning, off 20 mpw train just finishing comfortably should be my goal. 
  • StevieWh, yes I've tried gels before on some of my longer runs, I brought some shorts will loops for gel packs so will try then out this week for a trial run.

    How do I feel about the race? Extremely nervous but also excited! I prepared the best I can so and will have some family support there also, once I get running it will be business as usual and I'm sure it will be fine. How about yourself?

    Sorequads, I go with just under 3:00 pace and see how I feel later on in the race.

    LessFatStillFat, sorry to hear you will not be starting, I know how that feels, this is my fourth marathon attempt but looks like I'll make it for first  time. Good luck on your future events.

    bigballer69, hope it goes well on the day.

    Easy 6 miles yesterday evening and 7 miles with 2 MP miles tonight.

  • I'm feeling good at the moment, my nerves don't normally kick in until I'm in race kit and on the start line. Will feel sick then! Sounds like a sensible pacing plan, you should be around about my pace then.

    Did 4 easy last night (132HR), 6 x 1min strides and then a 1m jog cooldown. Just 5 to do tomorrow, 3 on Saturday then its game time!

  • Good luck to all on Sunday in case you don't check on here before! Please say hello if you see me, I am number 1030 and will be dressed exactly as in my profile pick!

    Bouncing off the walls with all the extra carbs so I'm raring to go. Just 3m easy to do on Saturday now

  • NonstickNonstick ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I'm slightly worried at the moment as I have picked up a sore calf, not normally an issue but it's been hanging around all week, it's better than it was though. Missed one session and might give tonight's one a miss also. Crossing fingers all will be good on Sunday.

    StevieWh, I'll dig out my number and post it when I'm home from work.
  • Sorry to hear that LFSF - hope you recover soon. 

    Hope the calf is ok, Nonstick. Get rolling on it and I'm sure with the extra rest all will be fine.

    Best of luck everyone and hope to see you there! My work computer won't let me see your profile pics, so do feel free to say hello if you see me. Purple and Yellow Almost Athletes Cheltenham vest. JOSH in ridiculous sparkly writing (definitely not what I ordered) on it! Really hope everyone enjoys the day. 
  • Weather looks good too:

  • My number is 748, good luck will for tomorrow 
  • How did you get on Nonstick?

    2.55.48 for me, absolutely over the moon! I've written a report on the Sub 3.15 thread
  • NonstickNonstick ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    That's a great time StevieWh, I'll take a read of your report later.

    I still had some discomfort in my right calf before the race and had not done any running since the Tuesday before, I half expected not to make it round the track but thankfully this was not the case.

    I was on 2:50 pace and feeling good up to about 17 miles and then the wheels came off. My chest became really tight and I had to stop several times, as you can imagine, chest pain in a marathon can be a bit worrying but I think this was due to the chest infection I had recently and maybe it still had not completely cleared. Then my quads and calf's seized up and it became a real struggle for the last 6 miles, I have done a lot of races over the last 15 years but this pain was something else, I really didn't feel I could finish, my pace dropped massively but still thought sub 3 was still possible. 

    I somehow managed to continue to the end but because I stopped a few times, I completely forgot my watch automatically pauses, so coming round the track thinking I had a couple of minutes in hand, I realised too late that I had a lot less but it was too late and there was no way I was able to sprint to the line, I was gutted to say the least.

    Today I fell a bit better about it, I think to do a sub 3 hour on a 55 P&D plan, you need to have a good run in, especially last 8 weeks, that just did not happen for me. Also the stress starting the race with a calf injury did not help either. I'm not sure why my quads and calf's took so much of a battering, may be a loss in form or too many missed runs, I'm not sure.

    Good bits is that I did managed to finish and was really close to sub 3, even after stopping several times, I also got the good for age time (currently 3:05 for as I'm 44) which was my original aim. This was my first marathon after several previous failures of getting to the start line, I had a lot of physio this time to get to the bottom of a lot of issues that I've had in this and in the previous attempts so have learnt a lot how to manage them.

    I think I will go back to the shorter distances for a while and work on some long overdue PBs, this has been my longest period of no major injuries so a good building block for future events. My 10K PB is 36:24 but I feel I am in better shape now so well find on in the next few weeks, I also intend to do the Reading Half in March as this is my home town and I've done this 4 times before. I will definitely think about another Autumn marathon next year though.

  • Just seen that the results have been posted, my chip time was 3:00.01, I knew it was close not that close!
  • Nonstick - gutted! Well done for toughing it out, though. BTW, I ran 3:00:00 at VLM this year!

    Super result, Stevie and lovely to meet you after. Really interesting to see what can be achieved on a different kind of training.
  • Abingdon Marathon 2018 race report:

    Way back in December last year, I entered Snowdonia Marathon as my Autumn 2018 goal. It remains my favourite marathon of all time, and I will certainly return to it; however, the heat of London 2018 put paid to any hopes of a fast time (3:00:00…), and so I decided to do Abingdon instead. I was motivated, enjoying training and able to steadily increase mileage. Since London, I have run 15 70M+ weeks, 6 80M+ and peaked at 87M. For long runs, there have been 13 20M+, including 2 x 24 and a 23. I followed all 15 BAC sessions, really enjoying these longer tempo sessions – a real foundation of each week’s training. For the three weeks leading into the race I really focused on eating – primarily stopping overeating after dinner. I felt lean and ready to race.

    The weather looked pretty ideal, with temperatures from about 8C and misty at the start, not much wind, through to about 13C and sunny by the end. The 9am start really helped in this regard. If it had started at 10.30, a la VLM, there would have been a lot more running in the warmer weather. I had a nice chat with Jooligan – I had forgotten how tall you were! We agreed it was a great day for it. Sorry not to stick around for a beer in the end.

    Manual split on mile marker, garmin pace, mean mile HR, peak mile HR

    Mile 1 – 5: 6:40, 6:34, 145/156

    6:06, 6:07, 154/159

    6:22, 6:25, 151/161

    6:27, 6:29, 152/158

    6:21, 6:26, 155/158

    The race begins with 300m around the track. In retrospect, I positioned myself slightly too far back. This resulted in more overtaking than necessary early on, and I missed a group that would have been very useful to run with. I was surprised my first mile was 6:40, I was hoping for 6:20-25. I then overcompensated with a 6:06 second mile. Whoops – although it is downhill. I wonder about the impact of this. As you’ll see above, the garmin pace wasn’t as severe as this – I should perhaps have had this likelihood in mind.

    Miles 6-10: 6:17, 6:18, 156/161

    6:28, 6:29, 157/162

    6:25, 6:26, 156/161

    6:22, 6:22, 155/161

    6:27, 6:25, 156/160

    I did then manage to settle into a nice rhythm of about 6:26s once we were on the quieter roads and paths. I had my planned gels at 5, 10, 15, 20M, with a whopping 100mg of caffeine in each. I had used these on three key training runs so was confident they’d work well for me. That sat well and I seemed to remain focused at alert. They are the larger variety that contain liquid. As I wasn’t thirsty, I didn’t take any water in on the course.

    Miles 11-16: 6:10, 6:16, 159/163

    6:22, 6:27, 157/161

    6:15, 6:18, 158/161

    HALF WAY: 1:23:32

    6:30, 6:26, 160/163

    (15 & 16 – missed the mile marker) 13:08, 6:33, 160/165

    At mile 10 you enter the business park for the first time. It takes a lot of flak for being boring, but I don’t mind it – reasonably attractive for a business park, wide, quiet and good quality roads and I had the genuinely unexpected excitement of seeing my wife and daughter. They didn’t travel up with me so it was a real surprise and boost. My HR went up and I definitely sped up for the next mile. Probably not a good thing! I went through half way in 1:23:32. Whilst this is obviously too fast for an even paced 2:50, the last two miles of Abingdon are probably the slowest of the lot (twisty, underpass of doom, marginally uphill, a few kerbs to negotiate). I felt reasonable at the half way.

    Miles 17-20: 6:30, 6:32, 161/165

    6:25, 6:26, 162/165

    6:32, 6:32, 163/167

    6:25, 6:29, 163/166

    I was managing to run about 50% of the time with someone else – but only ever one person at a time. It was frustrating to not get into a group, as I feel this can help so much.

    Miles 21 – finish: 6:34, 6:38, 163/166

    6:34, 6:37, 164/166

    6:40, 6:41, 165/168

    6:43, 6:42, 166/168

    6:59, 7:04, 167/169

    (last 1.2M) 8:47, 7:03, 166/168

    FINISH: 2:50:26

    As I crossed the 20M point, the sage advice of my father in law came to mind: twenty miles is half way. I thought this with probably 50% smile and 50% grimace on my face. The gradual degradation in pace is, sadly, clear from that point, although 6:31m/m for the last 0.2M. Hardly hitting the wall, but it really was all I had left at this point. I had my final (emergency) gel at 23M and was working bloody hard by this point. Some runners were coming back to me, although some were overtaking. It is not easy through town, with a few twists, pavements and, of course, the underpass of doom. I was mentally a bit soft, and looking back, should have realised that even with two miles to go, I had enough in the bank to make sub 2:50 if I just maintained 6:45s. But my maths failed me. My breathing became very loud in the last mile and the final 300m round the track was like running through treacle. Not looking forward to these photos!

    I did my standard collapse over the finish line. The marshals there (and throughout the race) were excellent at looking after me, although I had no interest in the squash they were offering me. After a few minutes of lying down recovery, I managed to collect my t shirt and medal and staggered over to find the family. Understandably, toddlers have no interest in any sympathy for a recent marathon finisher, but did give me a kiss before eyeing up the Mars Bar in the goodie bag.

    For the last couple of miles, I had a tinge of failure in my mouth. This slightly detracted from the immediate enjoyment and achievement of the last lap and finishing the race. My wife quite rightly pointed out it was a 1:01 minute PB. Ultimately, I did run a PB and am, therefore by definition, in the shape of my life. I want to take pride in the race, but also a big training block. As I’ve said before, I do love the training, and in years to come, won’t care whether I run a few seconds quicker here or there, especially for an arbitrary time target. A period of reflection is now helping with this.

  • Nonstick - So close! Well toughed out to the finish. 3.00.01 for your debut marathon is a great time! Congratulations

    Sorequads - Great result and report. You can definitely go sub 2.50, running in a group is a massive help. I was in a group up until 16 miles and the time flew by and felt relaxed. I also think not getting into a group at Cheltenham Half cost me at least a minute.

    Legs haven't felt too bad this week, went for a swim yesterday to help with recovery and I will venture out for an easy run tomorrow to see how they feel. Already looking forward to my spring marathon in Manchester
  • It took 6 days for the soreness to leave my quads, stairs where a nightmare! Not run since the marathon but will have a go tonight.

    Going to do this again next year as I can't leave my PB as 3:00:01, definitely got a better time in me if I had a better run up to the race.

    I may jump on one of the over threads as I've enjoyed this forum.

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