Shades Marathon Training



  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Rcouture-Yes I usually run to about the same effort,being doing it a few years now so pretty dialed in to the effort needed.
  • Shades 100% need to get some decent training in to make the start line of the 50 miler, good luck tomorrow, hope the weather is kind to you and Big G, does seem a lot of faffing for such a small field.

    Big G I also wonder if RD use cup less as convenience too, anything road or racing for fast times I prefer bottles, I’m not a fan of cups either. Anything off road and not racing then happy to go cupless.

    Ian seems some race directors have had it tough but I’d be happy for them to be more transparent, had an email from an RD once to say we will limit the goody bag (part of it was a holder to link the two medals from the series) as they needed to cut costs.

    Will see how I feel tomorrow if I go parkrun or not, panshanger (we’re i fell) is no longer my closest parkrun as the route has changed used to be less than 2 mile run away now is 3.5 miles away.

    had my first aid course today, was a bit boring without the normal interaction but all signed off for another three years.
  • panshanger parkrun new course compete, 3.5 mile run there and back so 10 miles in total (another 3 miles on top because the new start is further away).

    course was enjoyable, couple of small climbs in the first half then some enjoyable downhills in the final mile, 28:50ish 
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I don't understand the cups thing at all...what if you'd rather take your own bottle or hydration pack - is that not enough?
    I'll have to come up and do Panshanger, Rob...but we both have a date with Jersey Farm don't we? We ought to sort that out.
    I am so happy parkrun is back. I went to Bushy as my clubmate was doing his 250th - a few of us where there to support/accompany him so it was fun. It was my second visit to Bushy and it really is a lovely park, and while there are very large numbers here, the single lap route and wide paths meant there was room for everyone. 
    I started with a mile warm-up around the lake and managed to inhale one of those nasty little flies which meant that I spent the next 10 minutes coughing. Not really what you want during a pandemic.
    The start of Bushy always reminds me of Charge of the Light Brigade and I tried not to get too swept up in it. First mile was 8:35 and then I went through the next two in 8:40 each. There was a guy alongside me who was breathing hard and every time I tried to go ahead, he pushed himself a bit more. Once we got to the last .11 (I am die-hard imperial, sorry) I felt I had enough to push a bit and got clear of him. My pace for that bit was around 8 - almost back to my old 5K pace. 
    HR was high for the run but I wasn't pushing myself to the point that my breathing sounded like someone sawing logs. Finishing time was 26:56 - I'd given myself a target of 27 so happy enough with that. Still two minutes off my best, but I'm getting closer and I didn't fade on the last mile as I have done with recent tempos.
    One thing about Bushy - it's such a large parkrun they had over 70 volunteers! Amazing. I've been to small parkruns with half that number of runners.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Nice Cal and Robert. I too am pleased parkrun is back. Cal, I’ve done Bushy the one time, and the start is something else. Reminds me of the stampede at the National Cross Country event.

    Today didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, in that I struggled much more than I ideally would have liked!  It’s a new event and the route is picturesque, and it’s 8 out-and-backs for the marathon. When I glanced up the route from the start area I was quite looking forward to a possible fast(ish) time (keeping in mind I’m supposed to be doing tomorrow’s as well, so certainly not a PB or anything!!). I got to half way in around 1:50 I think, which I was quite happy with really and I was running quite well at this point. But the course is a funny one as basically you’re either running up a slope or down a slope with very little flat.  It’s most certainly not steep but it comes out at 1375ft on my Garmin.  As I say, nothing huge, but not as flat as it appeared initially. From about the 6th lap I was having to dig in more than I’d have liked, and I wasn’t the only one to mention it. In the end it was a ‘get it done’-job and I made sure of a sub-4 finishing in 3:56, but there was lots of walking in the last 6 miles, and my mind had already turned to tomorrow.....

    Although there was all the faff with the waved start times, due to the nature of course, runners saw each other very often, so although small it was quite social.  I saw Shades out on the course each ‘out’ and ‘back’. 

    My right hammie, which I’ve been struggling with since DD, is a bit sore again, so at the moment I’m unsure if I’ll do tomorrow’s event, but I’ll see how it is in the morning.  I probably need to get it looked at really as my stretches/massage isn’t clearing it up completely.   I brought the van and decided to stay at a site nearby, and I’m pleased I did, regardless of if I do the event tomorrow or not, as it’s very relaxing :)
    Ian - MK are having the t-shirts back next year.   This year many races are recovering financially from losses last year and don't want to risk the outlay for t-shirts or similar costs that may become redundant if event has to be postponed again .

    Good your speed is coming back, stay injury free and you should have a cracking marathon in the autumn

    Robert - that's a decent days training and I'm so pleased you didn't fall over at parkrun.  ;)

    Cal - yes, you can take your own bottle or hydration pack and that can be refilled at the drink station, going cupless means they won't provide a drinking vessel so you have to stop and be refilled.

    Tough day for me today, lack of long runs/training really showed.   Course was deceptively tough, although there isn't a hill in sight, it's a very gradual uphill and then gradual downhill.    Surface was first class, smooth lovely tarmac, each lap was 1.65 miles out and 1.65 miles back, so 3.3 miles per lap.   First mile of each lap is very gradual uphill, then 0.65 to turn around point is gradual downhill, turn around 0.65 uphill and last mile of each lap downhill.    My Garmin has recorded 1731 ft as overall climb which for a flat course is pretty impressive.   We had heavy rain during the night and it started again when I left home but had eased off when I got to the race.   Walk across two fields to race HQ, one field with very fresh cow pats to be carefully avoided.   Wave starts of 10 mins apart, I was in 2nd wave as I'd said I might do the ultra  :o    Very friendly and social race and the odd rain shower kept the path clear of non runners, just a few dog walkers all very friendly and supportive.  I started fairly cautiously, ultra in mind, and kept a fairly steady pace, on my third lap I was running with a Trotter who I hadn't met before, she had started 30 mins after me and we ran together and had a good natter until she had finished her half marathon.    I started to struggle after 15/16 miles, although it wasn't hot it was incredibly humid and I struggled to eat as the humidity made me feel slightly nauseous.   Then I was starting to get spasms in my calf, I've had this recently but usually after a leg session in the gym but I haven't done a leg session this week so there must be a bit of damage there.   Then my knee started to niggle a little, same leg, might have been because I was trying to nurse the calf.   So from 17 miles I took walk breaks and I actually walked almost all of the 8th lap to take me to marathon distance.   Although I couldn't really take much fuel on board my head was in the right place to carry on to do an ultra but I was concerned about my calf so I was happy to pull up at marathon point.   Despite all the walking finish time 5:27 so 32 minutes slower than Shepperdine, but longest run since then has been one 14 miler so I can't really expect too much.   Nice medal and good race organisation, there was no faffing about all the Covid stuff.

    Big G - xpost, my Garmin has it at 1731 feet, that's a big difference but I would expect yours to be more accurate.   I think the high humidity was more of a challenge than the overall incline of the course.

    Good luck tomorrow, I don't envy you at all.  ;)

    Keith - hope you have a good race at Solway tomorrow.   :)
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Shades, if I do turn up tomorrow, I think it’ll be a slow one!  Hammie is kind of ok, but it hurts a bit to sit. It’ll be one of those that if I turn up, I’ll probably finish it (presuming the injury doesn’t get any worse) but it’ll be a ‘get my head down’ and a case of ‘ticking it off’, I think.

    Yes, it was humid. I was soaked with sweat and I’m very dehydrated. I’ve drank a lot since the event but I’m still dehydrated and I’m trying to replace the salts with electrolyte tabs as best as I can. I’ll have to try and take more on tomorrow but I did find it frustrating having to stop and get refills :( I’ve just checked and I was only stood still for 3-mins, which isn’t too bad, but it felt longer!

    I’ve just been Googling if my watch is accurate with regards to the elevation. I think it probably is fairly accurate, from what I’ve read. I calibrated it at sea level and I have it set up to calibrate continuously (both when doing an activity, but also when just wandering around with it on my wrist). Atmospheric conditions do impact it but it’s set up as best as it can be.  I suppose a test will be to see what it says tomorrow if I do the whole event. On my other Garmin, on the same course it could still vary quite a lot. I hope this one would be similar one day to the next, but I’ll see.  

    I don’t know if you know them, but Rik from Phoenix Running was there. He was actually running but I think he only did about 20-ish. Andy from WSR was there too but not running. The new RD’s help out a lot at their events so I suppose they were showing support for the new venture. I think Davey and Brian (Winding Paths) should be there tomorrow and again the new RD’s help them out too. 
    Big G - even though we had inclines today my legs felt like I was running on the flat with no change of cadence.   That might have not helped my calf, could be the same for your hamstring too.   

    I was very dehydrated too afterwards and only now feel that I've got the balance right, I was very sleepy too after my bath, unlike me.   I did take a caffeine tablet, maybe I needed more.

    Yes, I know Rik, and Andy but not so well.   Rik used to do the marathon circuit and when he did his 30 in 30 days I picked up his number for him in Dublin and met him on race morning.
    Incidentally the Flake in our goody bag was from N doing her 99th today.

    I lost 6 minutes non moving time.

    Davey won't be there tomorrow either, he was pinged via a work colleague, JL told me.

    I'm so pleased you're running tomorrow and we can have a double check on the elevation.   ;)
    5 miles recovery run for me this morning, very humid again, well into the 90's.    Saw my kingfisher, beautiful. 

    Knee was niggly when I walking round my flat pre run but not a twinge when running, quads were tired and achy, calf OK but that is sporadic, think I will strap it for longer runs.   Usual slog for the first 3 miles then my aches go away and the last 2 miles a very pleasant run.
    I ran the marathon yesterday in my NB1080's and had no problems with them, no sore toes, first marathon in neutral shoes.   But I suspect I do need a mild stability shoe for longer races, wore my Adrenalines this morning and knee was pain free.  The Adrenalines were not that comfortable during and post Shepperdine but I do have an unworn pair of Guide 9's which I might use for next marathon in 2 weeks.

    Results are up for yesterday's event, race distance for the marathon runners is measured at 26.32 miles, my Garmin recorded 26.47, it normally measures 26.35 to 26.4 for a 26.2 race so that's about right.
    There were 21 marathon finishers, Big G was 6th overall and I was 11th and technically I was 2nd lady  :wink:   
    Only 3 went on to do ultra distance, the guy that ran the furthest was really good, he ran 46 miles in 6 hours, he did look good and strong. 

    This is my wave starting, synchronise watches....

    and me finishing

    There are some great photos of Big G.
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Shades/Big G-Well done on the race and placings.
    Didn't seem like any point at all to the wave starts,wonder if that was the terms from the landowners to grant them permission?
    Cal/Rob-Good to see you guys back parkrunning again.
    Ian - I think it was mostly to avoid congestion at the start/finish area which you can see from my start photo was no wider than the path.  I think they were concerned that they would do whatever they could to avoid complaints from other users of the paths.   It worked as the waves were so far apart, 10 minutes, it meant we arrived just a few at a time, I didn't see Big G until we passed each other on the course.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Shades/Big G - excellent results! I would not have liked that race, but you both did well to get through it, and achieve high positions too. Shades, how can you wear long pants in this weather?!

    I think I underestimated how warm and humid it would be today, as well as how knackered I'd be after the race on Wednesday and yesterday's parkrun. I did a mix of a few routes - down across Tooting Common to Figges Marsh, along the Mead Path (trail) to Collier's Wood and then along the Wandle to Mitcham, across Mitcham Common, up to Pollard's Hill, through the two Norbury parks and then home. I'd hoped to do 16 but once I got to Norbury Park (or rather the railway bridge on the way there) I realised how fried my hams were and decided to forget my intended detour to Streatham Common and head back. A real slow plod of a run (a lot of 11+ miles), and I managed to reflux bile four times.
    On the plus side, quite impressed I managed to find my way across Mitcham Common as I usually get lost there.
    Only one heron spotted on the Wandle - there are usually a few - but a lot of foxes. An enjoyable route (just wish I'd had a bit more energy).
    Cal - I always wear tights, and 2XU are really cool in warm weather, my legs never feel too warm even in hot weather.   My skin is very sensitive to the sun and wouldn't risk exposing more than I do, despite that I tend to cope better than many in hot conditions when running.

    Well done on your run today, it is humid out there and the humidity is draining.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    I stayed over at the site and it was a great one, but I think the best I can say is that I tested the van in rainy conditions and it doesn't leak :)  I hardly stepped foot outside all afternoon and evening, but it was fine as I caught up on a book and had a relaxing afternoon.

    I woke up this morning and I was honestly thinking about going back to bed.  I just didn't fancy it this morning and I was worried about the hammie.  It was no better but equally it was no worse and with the knowledge that, generally speaking, it's not too bad when running, I went to HQ with a "let's see what happens" approach!  Often events with this mindset go badly for me....

    Anyway, my allotted start time today was 8:15 but as I was there earlier and a few had dropped out, they put me in the 8:05 wave and I was off within 2 or 3mins of arriving, which suited me just fine.  This may sound strange but literally within a few steps I knew I'd finish, barring a disaster, so that settled me a bit as I immediately felt I'd made the right decision in turning up.

    I started off really steady, this time making sure I took plenty of water (I was stood still for 4.5mins today, up from 3mins yesterday) and I was just ticking the laps off and making sure I took it well within my control on the uphill slopes, but also didn't go crazy on the downhills.  Just nice and steady. 

    I went through half way/4 laps in 2:01 on my watch, so to keep me motivated I set a sub-4 target.  Genuinely I wasn't sure if I'd manage it, what with the stops at the aid stations and how much I slowed yesterday, but I knew I had to do a bit quicker 30-mins per lap (including stops), and I'd get it done, which was really motivating breaking it down into 15/30-min chunks.  I just kept ticking them off and left something for a slightly faster last half a mile or so, and finished in 3:56 again!  I think I was about 40secs slower than yesterday but I'll await the results.  I'm pleased with that; I know it now looks like I was sandbagging yesterday when I was on about a slow time today, but I really wasn't sure how today would go, so I am really pleased.  Basically there was far less walking today!

    Only a small thing but I wore a vest today and this time carried a larger bottle with me in a bottle belt, and left all my food at the aid station.  Yesterday I only had a small bottle so I could carry some food in a bum bag, but I preferred what I did today as I had water whenever I needed it.  Vest was a bit cooler obviously, although I was still dripping with sweat within the mile, even though I was taking it fairly steady.  

    Elavation today was 1306 on my Garmin, against 1375 yesterday.  With nothing else to really compare it to as I've not done the course before, I think that's fairly consistent?  Any thoughts on that?  

    A couple of pics from yesterday.  I know these were early on as my race number is still intact, as later in the second half it disintegrated and ended up in the bin!

    Big G - well done for getting to the start line, I know how tempting it can be to DNS when you have a niggle that you really don't know how to deal with, or know how serious it is.
    And to get your mind sorted as soon as you started was brilliant.   Great running today and nothing wrong with equal times, humid conditions really make a difference.

    I find a vest is significantly cooler than a short sleeved top.   In hindsight I should have done what you did today re water, I washed out my collapsible cup this morning and it's really small so not enough fluid even for me, I only used it once before and that was in very cold conditions.

    I'll amend the elevation on my spreadsheet to 1340, the humidity must have made my Garmin give me rogue readings.

    They are lovely photos of you, SM is very good with the camera.

    My number didn't disintegrate yesterday, maybe I was under the trees when that shower damaged most of the runner's numbers.

    Good to know the van is fully watertight.
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Big G - Great stuff. Two sub 4 marathons two days in a row is absolutely insane to me. 

    Shades - Well done toughing it out despite the lack of long runs. Great pics though I feel very stupid in only now realising why you’re called Shades 😬

    Cal - Nice long run

    16 miles for me this AM. Enjoyable route along the river except for the humidity which according to Strava was 93% and it certainly felt it. London does really feel alive again and the touristy area around the south bank at the London eye was absolutely packed. 
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    RCouture, thanks I am really pleased, but there are people who do them far, far quicker.  Adam Holland (Tango) has done 10 in 10 days, averaging 2:45:52.  He was supposed to be at the event today but he didn't show up; I asked the RD and he said that Tango had car trouble (in that his wife needed the car).  In 2018 I travelled up to Inverness for Loch Ness Marathon and he was on the plane, which from memory landed at around 8:30am, and is a bit out of the centre of town.  He jumped off the plane and went and 'won' a parkrun in 16:04 (they start at 9:30am in Scotland - plenty of time!) and then he went and did 2:24:24 for second place at Loch Ness Marathon the day after, which I'm pretty sure is still his PB.  He's a great guy, but his training seems odd to me....I.E., he doesn't seem to train in any conventional sense, and he is not banging out huge miles by any stretch of the imagination.  He races a lot though, all distances, any terrain.  I've seen him a few times just get out the car, no warm up, old looking running shoes, doesn't really seem dressed properly for running, but still go and smash out a fantastic time.
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Big G-Well done on a second good race,and more good pictures.
    I managed 11 today,25 miles for the week so now to work on increasing that.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    RCouture, for info Shades did 10-in-10 back in 2008, hoping to be the first woman to complete that challenge.  

    There's a write up here, but it looks like there are no pics, presumably following a reorganisation of how the site was managed.  

    It is much more common place with a relatively large number of people doing it these days, but I think that is at least partly because there are many, many opportunities in the year as more RDs are putting 10-in-10 events on, and even without official TiT events, there are way more marathons to chose from now and it is now possible to do 10 in 10 combining different events.   I am pretty sure Rik from Phoenix Running puts on a 20 in 20 now as well.  
    edited July 2021
    Rcouture - impressive you're keeping up the long runs, even in this weather.

    Ian - that's great progress.

    Big G - congratulations again in your double and your first place in the marathon yesterday.  :)   Hope the hamstring is OK today.

    I think Tango must do some fair mileage, albeit unstructured.   I know one year I was talking to him at Yeovil marathon, 8 days after his win at DD, and he said he'd run every day since DD.

    Thanks for the link to the RW piece, I didn't have a copy of that.   No pics as it was a telephone interview and pre smartphones so any photos were limited and we didn't use FB then.

    We did have a thread on my 10 in 10, it's mostly waffle but it does have a write up from me on each day's run.   There was only one PC for us to use at Brathay and the slowest internet in the world, plus we had very limited time to use it.   Whenever I think I might have another go I read this.   RW forumites were so supportive and most of my sponsorship money was from them.  

    SHADES - 10 Marathons in 10 Days 9th to 18th May — Runner's World UK Forum (

    7 miles today, quads still a bit sore and I forgot to strap my calf and had a couple of instances when it felt like it might go into spasm on the downhills.   Will strap it after my bath and be careful in the gym later.
    Rcouture - when I started running more marathons and seeing the same runners all over the country some of them started calling me Shades as I do always wear shades when racing.   I do remove them at times, on Saturday there were stretches quite dark under the trees and I did take them off then.

    Just waiting for Keith to let us know how he got on yesterday at Solway, then I'll post the marathon list.   

    I want to add August marathons/ultras too, apart from mine I only have Big G doing Plym Trail on the 21st.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Shades, I remember you saying it was the hardest thing you've done! 

    I did a slow 3-mile recovery run this morning and nothing is broken, but I need to call a physio to get this hammie sorted.  It is holding me back a bit, so I need to try and get on top of it if I can.   Afterwards, I took Tigg for a walk and he had a dip in the pond to cool off :) 

    Regarding the list, I have nothing else booked for August currently.  I do have a rolled over entry for Thames Meander as it was one of those that I entered pre-Covid, it got postponed, and my entry ended up for this August for when I imagine the path will be very busy and hence not that enjoyable for me.  However, I am not that bothered about it and I am currently not planning to make the trip. 
    Big G - I think the hardest part of it was continuing when injured, whereas in any other situation I wouldn't have carried on so crocked.   So painful, not helped by not sleeping when I was there so not recovering at all.

    Yes, good idea to get some rehab work for the hammie.   Hamstring injuries can last a very long time, I had mine about 10 months, I still managed some PB's but I had to manage it carefully.  

    Tigg likes a little swim then.   :)

    I've had emails offering good discounts on various events but they all involve a fair drive.   I don't mind the driving but this summer the roads are going to stay very very busy and there isn't going to be any quiet time to drive.   On Saturday driving home from Exmouth, all roads fine until I got to the M5, then 10-20mph until Splatford Split  :o   Hundreds of caravans.  😡  I don't mind the camper vans, they're not such a danger.
  • It was hot, i'm a tad red faced and it took 5:09 with quite a lot of run walking cos it hot + 4 miles walking to the end cos it was even hotter ;) I suspect on a normal weather day i'd of been 4:30-4:45 time i think.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Shades, I just had a quick scan through that thread and lots of familiar names from a few years ago. It’s such a shame RW messed up the new site and lots
    of the old regulars left :(

    Keith, well done. Another one ticked off :)
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I can relate on the hamstring thing - I've had mine for years. It just varies in intensity from ignorable to catastrophic.
    Big G, your mate Tango sounds like an absolute machine.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Cal, I don’t think he knows me at all really except to say ‘hi’ to, but he’s very well known locally and also on the marathon circuit.   But yes, he’s certainly a very good runner!

    Has anyone watched much of the Olympics yet?  I’ve caught up on the men’s and ladies road bike races, and I watched the mountain bike race (which was bonkers, by the way!).

    Very strange tactics for the Dutch ladies, who were the favourites. They’ve no race radios at the Olympics and it seems they didn’t know that someone had slipped off the front of the pack, but also they weren’t riding to bring the break back, giving them 10mins at one point! 

    MvdP crashed on the mountain bike on the first lap, which is a real shame for him as he was targeting this event. 
    Keith - well done.   I'd heard that the weather had turned far hotter and sunnier than forecast so you're probably not the only one with a red face today.

    Big G -yes, a big shame the forum is not what it was.   The increasing popularity of FB is also partly responsible.
    We used to have individual threads on most of the UK and European marathons plus all the other threads it was a full time job trying to keep up with it.

    I met Tango at Brathay, I went up to run just day 10 for a few years after my 10in 10.  His sporting background was predominantly hockey, but I suspect he's probably good at whatever he does sports wise.

    A couple of years later this guy came up to me on the start line of North Dorset and was asking how I was etc.  I thought "who the hell is this", then I realised it was Tango but he'd had all his hair cut off.   Thankfully he's now grown it again, I think it suits him.

    I haven't seen a lot of the Olympics, as they're so vague when actual events are being shown.   Great to see the Austrian girl win the road race and Carapaz the men's.  And Yee a silver in the triathlon, he is a great talent.

    I'll watch more next week when the athletics start.
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