sub or about 4h30 hopefully



  • Dear All,

    Just a short note to say I ordered a running/marathon book last week from Amazon which I haven't put down all weekend.

    Don't be put off by the title:

    The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer

    I wouldn't class myself as a 'non-runner', more an 'almost-runner', but was convinced by the good reviews the book got at Amazon and elsewhere.

    It's an excellent 16 week marathon training course that places a lot of emphasis on the psychology of running. The authors teach psychology and exercise physiology and their approach is very much driven by preparing you mentally for marathon running.

    I have to say yesterday I knew I needed to get out, but just couldn't find the energy... An hour of reading this book had me feeling motivated, out to the local leisure centre and into the pool for 60 enjoyable lengths.

    Here's a link:

    If anyone wants to ask specific questions - what's in it, etc. - contact me direct and I'll assist. Hope everyone's training is going well.


  • Hi Chris, I think the mental preparations are there in the long runs that one does. For most these will be done on their own and therefore lonely and hard.It is your mental strength just as much your physical ability that is being tested here. There will be times when your mind will be saying "stop, I've had enough" but you know that there's still another ... miles to go. I know in this sport the old adage "no pain no gain" is a no no but I think you have to run thru the pain a little bit just to know that you can handle it. If it happens in the FLM you have two choices; quit or run thru the pain however much it hurts.From what little I know about marathon running, from around the 19/20 mile mark it's all going to be about how mentally tough you are. There are no two ways about it, on the day EVERYTHING has to fall in place for one to complete it. If one has done the training,they will have the confidence to go into it knowing they are fully prepared. But I have read about individuals who have done the training and "talked" themselves out of a good run because of lack of belief, nerves or whatever. So one must have a positive approach, it's very important.
  • Wise words well put,Stylish. As far as FLM goes, I think (hope!) the course changes will alleviate the boredom of following the river for most of miles 20-25. There's all sorts of ways to prepare mentally./ When I used to 'do a bit of running' in the '80's, I used to divide the race up into distances of favourite training runs, i.e. the last 10k of London was the same as the old club handicap run.
  • With most marathon training schedules being around 16 weeks long, I guess there'll be a lot of thought into which one to follow. I used Hal Higdon's 10 mile schedule for the Great South Run and it worked great for me. On this basis I think I'm inclined towards using his for FLM too. One good thing about his website is the fact that you can click into each week and find words of encouragement and support.

    Regarding speedwork, I think that at this stage it's more about getting miles under your belt, and the speed will come naturally. A comment has been made on here before - why get to the finish line only to be disappointed that you came in at 4:30:01?! For me it's about getting round and completing my first marathon, I chose this thread because I know my long run pace fits in or around the 4.5 hour mark, but 5.5 hours would do me fine!

    That said, HH's schedules have at least one 'short' run a week. As the miles build up you will invariably use this run to try a new pace or simply just run a little faster so you feel like you've had a good run in comparison to the longer ones. This training technique seems to work for me - from being over the moon about running 5 miles at 11 minute mile pace, I did the Nike 10k in 55 minutes, and the Victory 5 on Sunday in 42, so improving all the time. I'm currently doing 3 runs a week, one short and fast, one middle of the road, and one long and slow. Add a 5 a side game to that and I think I've found the best way for me to train…. so far!!

  • Dear Normski and Stylish,

    Having done the FLM once before I agree partly with what you're saying, doing the long runs will help to build mental toughness. However, I found myself reading the book (link above) and thinking, "I wish I'd had this last time around!"

    The book has some fantastic and very clearly written advice about creating visualisations and other running-related psychology advice. It also has lots of other useful information on picking the right shoes, diet, etc.

    The other thing I think I'll find extremely useful is the fact that there's a chapter devoted to each of the weeks in the 16 week training programme. This alone makes it a bargain for me.

    It's only about £8.00 (from memory) and with the full training schedule and weekly notes seems a bargain compared to some of FLM's training schedules that are £5.00 'ish.

    Just my £0.02 worth!


  • Sounds like a bargain! Might give it ago.Thanks for the tip. Just starting to look around for a 'hydration pack'. Any reccomendations?
  • I use a Camelbak Flashflo - £30 on, but plenty of discussion on this in the gear forum!

  • Here we are again. After only a couple of short runs last week, I got out for 80 minutes this morning : relatively easy, although still tough towards the end. Now it's a half marathon on Sunday !
  • Hi Chris, yes the book sounds good and at a reasonable price too.I'm pretty clear in my own mind as to what I need to do and will just concentrate on that otherwise I'm going to get distacted with "shall I do this or shall I do that" and get caught somewhere in the middle.

    Thanks for the rec though.
  • I read the book that Chris is recommending, as part of my build-up for FLM 2002.

    Overall, I think it's a good read, and if you can excuse the occasional 'Americanism' (it's a bit over-emotive and saccharine in places), I think the combination of psychological and physical training plans are actually quite useful. That said, I didn't follow the training plans in the book to the letter, but incorporated elements into my own 'hybrid' training plan...

    Roll on April - I'm aiming to get down from 4:57 to sub 4:30.....

  • Hello All I'm hoping & dedicated to running sub 4:30 I ran the FLM this year as a beginner whose only other race was the Nike 10k the previous Sept! Unfortunately I had a car crash in Feb and needed stitches so only did 5:13 determined to beat that by loads-by any chance does anyone here run out from Croydon or Victoria?
  • normski, I'm sure I will do at least one race before the marathon, probably a half-marathon but I haven't looked into it to see which one. Transport is difficult whilst at uni so it'd have to be local to Oxford or easily accessible on the train.
  • You'd be more than welcome to doss here if there was a race locally (Brighton/Shoreham area)There's quite a few between now and FLM
  • I've got the Sussex Beacon (Feb 20) and Bath (March 20) Half Marathons in my schedule.

    What's everyone else doing?

    Is squeezing in a 10k (Chichester Priory Feb 6) going to far?

  • Morning guys, hope everyone is fit and well and running miles and miles.

    Jon, I hoping to do the Roding Valley half 27th Feb and then another half or may be a 15/20 miles some where in March. The unfortunate thing is that there's a local 15 miler in Feb before the Roding Valley half, pity it's not after as that would be perfect.

    Re the 10K, what I'm trying to do is to see if the race that I do is roughly the same distance as the long run that I would have done that weekend. Otherwise I'm gonna be losing out on the long runs. So If you were supposed to do a 12 mile long run then IMO a 10K is no substitute. Just my opinion though.

    Bananna, hope you're sorted now.I've still got some niggles and a new hip problem to overcome arrrrgghhhh.
  • That's good thinking Stylish, all I need to do is finalise my training schedule... hmmm.

    Santa's bringing me Hal Higdon's marathon book, so should all be in place for the new year.

  • Stubbington Green 10k, Sussex Beacon Half, Kingston Breakfast Run 16,(or Silverstone Half), Paddock Wood Half. Possibly the Totton 10k to finish, off depending on how it all goes.
  • Wow, normski, that's what I call organised!

    Thanks stylish, I'm still taking it VERY easy, just 10 mins jogging last night but very comfortable. Sorry to hear you're having niggles, hope they clear up soon.

    Think I might ask Santa for a running book. I assumed I might getting one having taken up running fairly recently and being obsessed with RW magazine, but I shouldn't take it for granted that I'll get one I suppose. That'll only lead to disappointment!
  • My schedule, should you wish to join me :
    Keyworth Turkey Trot 1/2 marathon this Sunday
    Watford 1/2 marathon 6 February
    Tamworth 10K 20 February
    Ashby 20 on 13 March
    Stafford 1/2 marathon 20 March
    and various shorter club races in between !
  • Bit northern for me ;)
  • Paul A - I'm looking to do a 20 in Mids but you've chosen Ashby v Stafford.

    Any reason for that ?
  • 1st marathon for me - wondering if 4:30 is realistic.

    Only two races previously - did the RunLondon 10k in 59:48 and the GSR 10 miles in 1:42. Gradually getting faster in training. Planning to do a couple more 10ks and 2 halfs before FLM.

    Will I make 4:30 - too fast - too slow?
  • Derby Pob, Only that Ashby 20 is closer to home ! (15 minutes away as opposed to about 40 minutes)

    I'm told that it's a tough race but what the hell, eh ? My only ambition will be to get round, hopefully without walking or stopping.
  • Dear All,

    Out for a 3.2 mile run last night, 33.51, legs still sore, but I'm getting there slowly.

    Lo, where did you go? Hope all's well and your injuries aren't holding you back too much.

    Wanted to ask if anyone has any thoughts on cross training. I've been swimming one day a week (45 minutes/60 lengths/25m pool), wondered if I should up this to two days a week.

    The schedule I'm following calls for four days a week of running, and I thought I should supplement it with some cross-training. I wondered what everyone else was running - should I be aiming for five days a week of running?


  • Chris, maybe you could add a recovery run of about 2 miles on one of your rest days if you feel up for it.
    I would've thought that one good cross-training day a week is enough, others may differ.
    I should do some swimming to help strengthen my legs/knees but with it being so cold outside I don't really feel like it. Much nicer to have a jog on the treadmill at home in the warm!

    roguerunner, I'm about the same as you: first marathon, 10K of 58 mins and 1/2 marathon in 2hrs12. As marathon beginners we may not make it round in 4:30 but I think it's at least worth a try. Just have to remember that finishing it will be an achievement in itself!
  • Note for Urban Princess I belong to a friendly running club based in Croydon that might be able to help you reach your goal. We have a wide range of people and abilites, including a strong female membership.

    Check us out on our web site or drop me an email. Club web site: Striders
  • Got my rejection pack yesterday, boo hoo!! Although the rain jacket is nice...lets just hope that I get a charity place, I really want to run and raise money for CwL.

  • roguerunner/bananna et al. You may find this useful...

    I did my first Marathon in January in 4:27. My goal was sub 4:30 so I made it. I was running in hot conditions and this may have added say 15 minutes to my time according to the pundits.

    So assume I could have done 4:15 in UK conditions. My half pb was 1:47 2 years before and my most recent half 6 months before was 1:52.

    I followed the RW standard plan doing up to 20m long run 3 weeks before.

    Looking at your recent times I would say 4:30 is possible, but make sure you follow the plan! Focus on miles and endurance, speed can wait for your second Marathon.

    Happy running and good luck.
  • Cheers trinirunner, I realise it is a bit of a long shot but I'm willing to give it a go. One of the main reasons why is that I didn't want to follow the RW beginner's schedule as I feel I'm a bit beyond that, but if I don't get 4:30 on the day I won't be disappointed at all. I do plan to follow the schedule very closely!

    Did 17mins on treadmill this morning, and no pain whatsoever in either knee so that's good news!

    Rachel, I called the FLM people yesterday and they said I didn't get in either. Am hoping for a GB place with The Prostate Cancer Charity. With any luck, people will be put off by the huge minimum required (2000) so I'll easily get a place!
  • Well I'm clothed in rejection this morning, nice jacket though. Also have a stinking cold so feeling very sorry for myself. Think I'll just go back to bed with some birthday cake (it was my 21st yesterday).

    Hope everyone else is well and getting into the christmas spirit!
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