Anyone else REALLY scared??!!


I am total beginner to running (been running prob last year and a half) and am running London 06. Sticking to training plan and currently just finished week 3 and done my 7 miler which is furthest i have run so far.

So far so good.

But..... Feeling very nervous about it all and 7 miles seemed such a huge effort i cannot possibly believe i am going to be able to run another 19.2

Just want to know other people are feeling like this!!



  • Hi there, which plan are you on, I am trying the sub 430 but I think unless I can loose about 5 stones I will be more like sub 6!!!
  • How did you feel after 7 miles?
    Which training plan are you using? What time are you wanting to finish?

    No I looked forward to my 1st marathon. The only time I was nervous was on the start line.

    This is one of your best days of your life, trust me
  • well i too need to lose good couple of stone. Following a plan from a fab book called "the non runners guide to marathon running" specifically designed for total beginners. Its a good book and sensible plan but.....
  • Hi!

    I go through periods of doubt as well as ones where I think logically it really shouldn't be that bad.

    The best thing is let your training be ruled by your head. That is stick to the plan, follow sensible advice if injured and ill and there's no reason why it shouldn't go ok.

    Deal with the psychology separately. What I find keeps me going is imagining the crowds cheering me on. Provided you've done the training that should be all you need to get round!

    Good luck!
  • I did 8.5 at the weekend, follwing the run walk method for the long run as per the schedule, I ran early in the morning, probably will not do that again!! Schedule said 7 but I went a bit further.

    Are you just running steady or are there fast runs in your plan?
  • Well my schedule is not run/walk but does say walk if you need to/don't feel bad about it etc.

    I think i could have gone on a bit further although not sure i could have ran much more. I am getting over a bad cold though and had not been eating much leading up to run so i am not being too hard on myself...
  • This is only a suggestion. If your training plan says 7 miles stick to 7 miles. The key to endurance running (that is what you will be doing) is progression & patience. How would you have felt if you had twisted your ankle badly yesterday at 8 miles???

    There is plenty of time to do 8,9, 12 & 18 miles, dont hurry them or you could damage yourself
  • Hi Becky,

    No need to be scared, just imagine yourself crossing that finish line with the crowds all cheering for you!

    I completed the marathon last year for the first time. I had only started training in the January, having not run since the days of cross country at school- a good 14 years ago!! On my first run of just 2 miles I really wondered what I had let myself in for. It can be done though!

    If you've got a training plan, great, stick to it but don't beat yourself up if you are not able to follow it exactly (obviously you want to be following it as as close as you can) each week.

    Take advice from all sources and go with what feels right for you.

    Good Luck,
  • Rebecca,

    I don't think you're alone in feeling scared about what we've taken on. I did 10 miles at the weekend and from the way I felt in the last mile, I was having serious doubts about whether I'd be able to make it all the way round 26 of 'em. But then I realised it wasn't what I could run today that counts, but what I can run on the 23rd April, and there's another couple of months of training to go first.

    Like you, I started running about 18 months ago (well, started again, to be pedantic, after a 27 year lay off). I've done a few 5 and 10k's over the last year, and from my PB times for those, I went into FLM training thinking - fantasising would be a better word - I could do a sub-3:30 marathon and maybe aim for a GFA time. Then that changed to 'maybe I could do sub-4:00' and finally to "I hope I can get all the way round in one piece". With that more realistic outlook, I've settled on doing the Hal Higdon Novice program and it's full of sensible and reassuring advice.

    The other thing is, whatever time you do you'll be able to tell people you set a PB for the marathon.
  • Thanks all for your advice! It really helps. Most of the time i tell myself not to think about the 26.2 and just work at it week by week but....

    Also, one other thing worrying me is that i am running with sister and her boyf. They are faster than me and i would love to run with them on the day but it seems with every training run we do together it is becoming more unlikely.

    Is it worth trying to run with them??
  • Rebecca

    Unless you know for a fact you'll be in the same pen at the start there is no chance you'll be able to run with them.

    It's normal to be scared by the distance - it's a bliddy long way! You won't know if you can do it until you've done it. All you can do is trust your plan, do the training and hope for a bit of luck and a tail wind on the day...

    I started running last year and after my first 6 mile run thought "no way can I do another 20". And then after my first 10 "no way can I do another 16". I did 15 at the week-end and thought "no way can I do another 9", but the length I can do goes up week on week. Instead on focusing on the 9 miles I still have left, I just tell myself that all I need to do is add 1 mile a week. Now surely, it can't be that hard, can it???
  • it all makes perfect sense when other people say it!! need to ignore voices in my head!!
  • Difficult question - depends on how much faster they are, how long they've been running, whether they've done a marathon before etc etc.

    Basically the balance is between the benefit of their company on the run and the stimulus it gives you to do well against the risk of being dragged around at a pace faster than you can sustain and burning out, at worst not being able to finish. It's a dilemma because challenge is good. As Browning put it "A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for?" But it has to be a realistically achievable goal.

    If they're a lot faster than you - more than you could make up in training between now and then, then since it's your first marathon, I'd say you have to concentrate on what gives you the best chance of getting round. My instinct is that it's going to be hard enough anyway without the added pressure of trying to keep up with other people. This goes slightly against the grain for me, because I'm naturally quite competitive, but I've seen people in races disappear off at the start at a good fast pace only to pass them later as they're either stopped or struggling. My mantra now at the start of each race is "run your own race, run your own pace". I think you maybe ought to plan on running your own race too.

    Of course, unless they're specifically trying for a fast time, they could always run with you, rather than the other way round. That way they get to encourage you as well as having an easier marathon.
  • When does your schedule say to do 13 miles? Enter a HM race when you can - you'll be amazed how much more acheivable it feels once you have done your first half.

    The important thing is you're taking the training seriously and trying to stick to a plan. Thousands before you have used them and it WILL work for you too!! Just be patient - if you stick to your plan the longer runs will get easier.
    Good luck!
  • Hi Rebecca nice to catch up with you again!
    Think I'm doing a plan very similar to you as I've done a 7 miler at the weekend AND feel exactly the same way you do. I have been texting my sister and a friend to say I've done that days target so I can't cheat but felt terrible after my long run. I also printed out the plan and have covered over the weeks to come so I just see that weeks targets or I will feel overwhelmed by it all. My friends have asked me at work if I am running with anyone on the day and when I said no they were shocked. I'm sure we will meet people along the route and run and chat as after all we all have the same goal.........

    to get to the end!!
  • Don't worry about running with friends. There's 35000 new friends to meet on the day - you can run with them!!! And a MASSIVE number of supporters cheering you on - just write your name BIG on your shirt!
  • Thanks everyone! Really am v grateful for your words of wisdom.

    Hi Fay!!! I promise to email although actually to be honest it's prob easier for us to let each other know when we are on here and we can chat!
  • Rebecca, if you don't start with your friend then trying to find her on the course could seriously mess up your race. To be honest, starting with her is no guarantee that you'll end up running with her. I started with my training partner last year and we got separated after about 4 miles. I found her again at about 6 but had blister problems so sent her on. I then passed her somewhere between 20 and 24 miles but didn't see her.
  • Well we are all running for same charity so am hopeful we will start in same pen and it would be so nice to all run round together but i do get stressed out trying to keep up with people - i have no problem with coming last to be honest!
  • If you really want to run with your friends -
    If you are all running for the same charity on GB places you will probably be on the same start (RED) - there are also Blue and Green starts. However, the pen number you start at will depend on the start time you put on your entry form. If your pen numbers are different, you are not allowed to start from a lower pen, but your friends could move back to start with you. e.g. say you were given pens 4, 5 and 6 you could all start from pen 6.
    If you are not all at the same start they converge after about three miles but you have virtually zero chance of meeting up!!!
    I really wouldn't worry about that. Just aim to meet up with your friends at the finish (easy as there are big letters to stand under) and compare notes then!
  • are RW using their pacers again this year if so it would be a good idea to join in with the bunch on your est time as you will get a lot of support from them all
  • Hi Becky,

    I am really scared to. Its my first marathon and I have just done a ten miler and my legs took days to recover!!!!

    However I am just so excited at the prospect of running the marathon. It is just going to be an amazing day. I spent many times watching it on the tv and now I will be there.

    I read recently that it is the one day when we get to be a hero for the day, although in my case I think maybe I am just crazy, but well done u and dont be scared. Its going to be great fun.

    Sharon x
  • Hi Becky

    I'm in the same boat this year as it is my first marathon. I'm finding the training tough but enjoyable...I really can't wait for the day itself.

    BUT if you have worries try watching this video clip it certainly got me going ...
  • The video's great - missed out some of the best bits of the crowd though!

    BTW - the video is fabulous, but only captures a tiny tiny percentage of the atmosphere.

    Yes, it is tough, and yes, you are pushing yourself beyond known limits - but that's just the point - and why it feels so damn good :o)

    Just keep building up gradually, a piece at a time.
  • Hi all I notice a few familiar names on here. But like you all I am getting so nervous been up a while just trying to re-assure myself I'm doing all I can to be prepared for the day. Feeling the pressure, family, friends and colleagues have been so supportive just don't want to let them down or the charity. You read all these brilliant times everyone is achieving in their training and pre-marathon races and there's little me plodding along at the back. take care
  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭
    Lesley - it doesn't matter if you are 'plodding along at the back'. For most of us FLM will be about the experience rather than the time. Everyone who completes will have achieved something special and will be proud of themselves (I know that I will)!
  • Hi,

    Lesley i will be way way near the back! I think it will take me anywhere between 5 and 6 hours!!!

    To be honest I am not worried about being near the back as last year i saw people still running after 8 or 9 hours and i know i won't be quite that slow.... I hope!

    I went out for a 5 miler last night which is the furthest mid week run so far. Got an 8 miler on the weekend so suddenly feeling like a marathoner although i do walk a fair bit more than a lot of people which sometimes i worry about. But the way i see it, as long as i run the majority and am at least out there covering the distance then that's the main thing surely???!!
  • I would wholeheartedly agree with you Rebecca, nice to know someone else running from PHAB will be finishing in around the same time as myself. Seeing all the good times some of the team are aiming for I just went into panic. Thanks Rebecca
  • hey, you're not alone, I think I'm going to be 5-6 hours. It's my first marathon too and my friends although on the same charity are a bit faster than me. I went on one of the RUnner's World courses last weekend in the forest of dean - some great tips but some scarily keen runners there ( ie 2.5 hours for marathon?!?!). Anyway having been scared witless and wondering if I'm up to it, I have realised that I'm running a marathon because I want to finish. i dont' care if it takes me 3 days quite frankly, or if some tall thin bloke with longer legs than me did finish in record time. I'm a slow and steady plodder, I'm doing my training and trying to lose some weight. When I cross the line with you lot I'll be as pleased as punch (even if I have to walk the last 6 miles); this is why it is such a big challenge and accomplishment for us all.

    I think we all deserve a pat on the back!!
  • Well said Cardiff Staggerer!
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