First 1/2 Marathon



  • I offered to take the cat - he just snored on
    I offered to take the horse and he nearly has a coronary!!
    So I trudge the towpath and see lots of wildlife and waterlife!

  • Simon, as someone else who looks for races in both the Milton Keynes and Essex areas (where I live v. where my parents live!) I can say for sure that the MK 10K is 6 July - see (if this isn't the race you've already entered!). The only race I'm doing in Essex around that time is the Mersea Round The Island 13 - but I guess a 13-mile off-road race isn't what you want as preparation for your first half!
  • Just noticed that you've entered the NSPCC Half - there's a thread over on the 'Events' forum which I'll boing for you.
  • Slug - thanks :) I bought the Hal Higdon book - MARATHON--The Ultimate Training Guide - though all his schedules are available on As an added bonus - if you order a book from his website, then he'll autograph it with your choice of message for free :)

    My wife is a Dublin girl, and my mother in-law is a Dr and volunteers for St John Ambulance, so will be on hand at the end of the marathon! It's at the end of October, on Bank Holiday Monday.

    If you fancy a run in Dublin, then you can always check out the Adidas series of races leading up to the mara - perhaps you could do the half? Info from the Dublin Marathon site.
  • GR,
    Had a look at the Hal Higdon schedule, it seems to build up more gradually than the one on this site. It has you running 5 days per week instead of 4. Also it recommends running at <75% MHR for all training runs, wheras the RW schedule has a fast run each week. Who knows which is best, or if there's a difference. If it is working for you then that's all that matters.

    The Dublin 1/2 and 5m races are too close to other things I've got booked, but the 10m is a possibility. Any idea how many runners they expect ? I'm very slow (hence the name) and I'd like some company.

  • I suppose I could offer to take my cat out too IMM, but I don't think she'd be too keen. She only runs when nextdoors cat comes into our garden. Although she did knock out her flap on Saturday, such was the force of her exit.

    On the subject for training, I prefer a mix of faster and slower runs. Running at the same speed all the time doesn't build up your ability to run faster only further. At some stage it's good to get faster at what you know.
  • Puffin - certainly true about the fast bits - was just introducing some of that into my runs before I was on the subs bench - will have to get back into the swing of it again now..
    another 4 miles planned on weds and see how it goes
  • Slug - I don't know - they're hoping for 10,000 for the marathon, but I have no idea about the other events.

    I'd love to join you in the 10m, but I won't be able to make it over for it.

    I didn't notice anywhere that he recommends that all the runs are below 75% MHR! I found Hal because a friend of mine used his schedule to train for the FLM - in a year he went from not being able to run more than 10m(etres) to being able to run 20m(iles) in 3 hours. (The FLM was a different story, having been doing really well, he then stopped for a pee at 20 miles, and his knee completely seized up)
  • GR,
    That's certainly a good recommendation for Mr Higdon. I reckon I'll try to finish the schedule I'm on though - I've started so I'll finish !

    Who is running today ? Simon you have a 3m slow don't you - W2D1 ? Let us know how it goes.

    I'm on a rest day :-(. Strange isn't it - I look forward to running days now. I'm going to do some cross training tonight. 4m tomorrow in Dublin - W4D3.

    Miles=Smiles :-))

  • Hi all.
    I've got a hilly 6m to do this afternoon on my schedule. And I'll probably do some core stability exercises as well.

    I know what you mean about rest days Slug. I usually take Friday off, but always feel a bit restless and envious of everyone who's running. Having said that I've noticed on other threads that some people rarely take rest days. Any thoughts on that?
  • Puffin,
    I think rest days are as (if not more)important than running days. I figure your body adapts to the change in load you put on it by running. The adaption probably happens more when we're resting than running. So sleeping and rest days are v. important - especially for tubby beginners like me. Also the over-enthusiastic burn out is such a common story on these forums. How many people do too much, get injured and give up ?
    Sooooo a long way of saying I think it's better building up gradually and giving the body time to slowly adapt. It's probably different for fitter and younger runners.

    Which schedule are you following and what is the target after the big long relay ?

  • Slug - I think you've hit the nail on the head. When I (re)started running I built up the mileage quite quickly, and went from running a couple of miles a couple of times a week, to running 4.5 miles 3 times a week, and I got shin splints. It took a new pair of shoes (cos my old ones were knackered anyway) and 2-3 weeks of no running (which was very depressing and hard) to sort them out.

    I also just treated myself to a pair of Sorbothane insoles to replace the ones in my trainers - they're lovely and squidgy :)
  • My current plan is relay in June, Gloucester 1/2 in July, local 10km in August and Bristol 1/2 in September. Will probably apply for the Stroud 1/2 in October too. If this all goes well I'd like to train for a marathon for spring. I don't want to do London though, would rather try a smaller event first. I'm using a 1/2 marathon training schedule at the moment. It's a cd rom one that came with Runner's World in December or January. It seems okay. Measures training by distance not time, which I prefer. And includes a good bit of speed work.

    I do tend to get caught up in other things as they come up though, so may end up in other events before the year is out! There was talk of man vs train at my running club!
  • Puff - sounds like a good fun club to be with!!
    I keep meaning to join the local club but just havnt got round to doing it as yet....
  • Puffin,
    That's quite a racing schedule. Is it one race a month intentionally ? Was the disk the Puma one ? I dug that out and had a look. I guess you must be on the intermediate or advanced schedules on week 8 or 4 respectively. Is that right ? In fact having checked all three are exactly the same as the ones on this site ! I'm on the beginner one.

    Do you find the Sorbothane ones noticeably different to the ones that came with the shoes. I tried some a while ago and went back to the "out of the box" ones.

  • Slug - yes they are a lot better - though you have 2 choices - the first are thin, and are meant to go under the insoles, the other are thicker 'double strike' and replace the insoles. I have the thin ones under mine - and they are noticeably better.
  • IMM, joining a club if definately worth it. Especially if you have a competetive streak like me, I can't stand to be at the back, so go faster!

    Slug, yes it's the Puma one. I like the fact that you record you results, and you can look back at past performances and times. I'm on the intermediate schedule.

    Thought for the day...
    ...don't eat cheesey wotsits before running.
  • Puffin,
    Go on then (I'm such a sucker) - why shouldn't I eat cheesey wotsits before running ? Do they repeat on you through the run ?

    You are right you can record results. Maybe I should transfer my data over to there. At the moment everything is in a little notebook I keep.

  • Simon,
    You haven't posted for a couple of days - how is it going ? Are you running today ?

  • Hi Slug

    Sorry about that, been away on business. Still made sure i did a run on tuesday (not sure how far, was over my 3 miles and much more hills than i was used too) but a good run none the less.

    Off to runners need soon to get some trainers and new shorts etc.

    Also have emailed someone about doing the 10k Run in Ongar in about a months time, hopefully i will get on that.

    Got a run tomorrow, so looking forwrd to that.

    Hope everyone is well and getting their runs in ok.

  • Hi all, hope you've all ahd good days and enjoyed your running. Glad to hear you've still been getting out despite being away Simon. It's always had when your routine is disrupted.

    Slug, of course the wotsit thing is about indigestion! That'll teach me for eating pointless snacks in the afternoon.

    It's my club night tonight so will be doing 5 miles up and down the hills! It's a shame the weather has turned.

  • Simon, enjoy your shopping. It always makes me feel good to do some serious damage to my credit card.

  • Good to hear your still keeping the faith Simon.

    Off for 8 miles (round about route) tonight back to my hotel in Dublin. 5 miles back in the morning. I'm going to need a rest day after this !!

    I haven't had any cheesy wotsits so I'm hoping I'll be OK ! Has the weather turned ? It's gorgeous in Ireland.

  • Mornin' slug
    weather is just right here - bit cooler but that is nice - 4 miles done along the towpath - mummy and daddy swan on parade with the babies!
  • We're expecting rain out west here!!
    Enjoy Dublin, I've always wanted to go, hear it's a fab city. Are you there for work or play?

    Also avoid Brie before running, can be nasty.
  • I'm adding to a list of things not to have before plodding -
    cheesy wotsits
    So what is good??
    I will have either weetabix (organic) or toast and hunny (winnie the pooh moment) for the sugar boost!
  • I have porridge in the mornings, that always sets me up for the day well. Anything beany is best avoided, for obvious reasons.
    If I'm running after work I usually have a banana, they're ok to.
    Oh, and avoid bran muffins, for the same reason as the beans!

    Happy plodding...

    Ran like a jelly baby tonight, legs felt all wibbly after going up hills. But still managed 6.75 miles :)
  • Bagels, with a little jam (sugar boost again!)
  • Puffin,
    You seem to be making a science out of what not to eat before running ! I agree with the porridge thing. In general I try not to eat anything for at least an hour before running.

    Nice one on the tow path for IMM - Swan's with babies - fantastic ! You don't see that in the gym do you ?
    And 6.75 miles of hills for Puffin wibbly legs and all - very nice. The best thing about hills is the view from the top.

    My report is less wonderful:
    8ish miles through west Dublin to the city centre. I'm here on business most weeks. Usually I run along the canal path into the city - about 5 miles. But yesterday I needed to get an 8 miles easy in, so I ran to Pheonix Park, down to the city, along the Liffey, up to St Stevens Green and back to my hotel (a map of Dublin helps visualize that). Sounds great - it would have been except for:
    - the Pit Bull that chased me up the road through a less celibrated part of the city (try keeping your heart rate down through there !)
    - the park being quite hilly - it looks flat on the map strangely enough
    - taking a wrong turn in the park requiring an extra up and down of said hill
    - the two Russian/Czech tourist couples who were having a blazing row in the middle of the walkway by the Liffey oblivious to poor old sluggy trying to squeeze past
    - and finally getting lost with 200m to go and running an extra half a mile in the wrong direction before admitting defeat and looking at my map.

    On the positive side it is a great way to see the city and Pheonix Park is lovely. They say it is the largest enclosed city park in the world.

    Cross training tonight and 4m tomorrow back in blighty.

    Simon - are you doing your 3m today ? Let us know how it goes.

  • Sounds all a bit traumatic Slug! Although getting lost is a great way to discover new parts of a city :)
    My science of what not to eat before running isn't nearly as extensive as my knowledge of biscuits and ice cream! Now that's legendary.

    On a similar note to your tourists, we were stopped in the middle of the road the other day by a couple who had stopped their car to have a row, without pulling over!

    I'm working up towards running tonight. I've been on a training course today, and had to travel on the train. It always leaves me feeling tired and sluggish, I'm trying to decide whether to go for a run tonight or go first thing tomorrow morning. My schedule is for 5m easy today, and a rest day tomorrow.
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