Should I enter?!

Hi, I'm new to the forum and fairly new to running so please bear with me...!

I started running 3 months ago. But it's been an inspirational 3 months and i have really been bitten by the running bug!

Anyway, as I was looking around JJB today i picked up a copy of the marathon news, and have consequently read through it. It laid the marathon out to me in a very simple light and left me with the niggling desire to go for it!

I'm 18 at the moment, and am currently running ~ 20 miles a week, via a combination of 5K's and 10K's. My 3-month average pace is roughly 9.30 per mile. (thank you nike+apple!) I have never run an official race in my life.

I have looked at the runners world marathon guides and concluded that i should be aiming at a Sub- 4.00. I have printed this guide off and will be following it next week!

So my question to you all is can i do this? Or am i being a bit too pre-active, and need another year before I consider this challenge? i guess the way I see it is that i AM going to do a marathon in my life, it's a must. So is now not the time to do it? (grab the bird of opportunity while i can - while my health is on-side?)

I am about to go to university and will be joining the running club and hopefully get some races under my belt before the year is up.

So, should I fill in the form or dream on until next year???

Thanks for reading and thank you in advance for any replies.


  • (if it's of any help, I will be 19 at the time of the event)
  • Marathons are not compulsary - the only reason to do it is if you really want to.
    Marathons are not good for you physically - but the training is.
    Having got all that out the way, if you are doing 20miles per week now, you could be ready to get round a mara in as little as 12weeks.
    Yes join a club.
    Yes do some races.

    Note: The Flora London Marathon is not the only mara.
    I did it this year, and spent most of the way round tripping over people.
    But whatever you decide to do, remember to enjoy yourself.
  • what uni are you going to asha? id recommend getting a few races 5k, 10k, half mara etc before you try a marathon...
  • Ashaplan

    It is a ballot so you might not get in, but at least you will have one rejection. It 5 rejections and you get guaranteed entry on the 6 ballot. So go for it, you might be lucky.

    Running clubs are fun, and what you save on spending money in the bar, you will spend on shoes etc.
  • I would, that way after 5 years of rejections you will get a guaranteed entry when you are 24!

    Seriously, if you do get in next year and you’re not ready, you can always defer it to 08.
  • Thank you all for your input!

    I do really want to do a Marathon. and I've now decided that I am going to go for it. My means of entry would be via the ballot so it'll be interesting to see how my luck fares! Is the ballot basically a big hat from which the entry forms are picked?

    I'm thinking about using the sub 4.00 runners world marathon training program. Is this is a wise move or are there any other training programs that people recommend/swear by?!

    Also, If I did begin the training on 1st october i would finish the training program by the end of january. So would it then be a good idea to pick up two months of a sub 3.00, just to ensure I have the fitness for a sub 4?

    Sorry, i'm full of questions!
  • I ran Shakespeare in 2004 as a fall back in case I did not get into FLM (I did not)

    I came off 20 miles a week at the end of 2003 having been running 1/2m's for a couple of years.

    Yopu have plenty of time. Look at the training schedules on here, take it slowly and build the miles and you should be fine. Do have an alternative and do not wait until December until you start to train. That way you should avoid many of the injuries that poeple seem to get when the push it. Good luck.
  • Go for it, Ashapalan :o)

    Don't worry about the training schedules at the moment. The most important thing is to build up your weekly mileage gradually over the next few months so that when you do pick up the sub-4 schedule at the end of December or thereabouts you'll be adding speedwork and 20+ mile runs, all of which are quite hard on your body, to an established ability to do 30-40 miles a week.

    Good luck :o)
  • If you want to run London thats fine. That was my reason for starting running.

    Resign yourself to the fact that you prob won't get in this year. Its only something like a 20% chance, so you may want a back up plan. Another marathon, or maybe stick at halfs if you don't get in.

    Good luck !
  • You have started running Cougie

    You surprise me
  • Thanks everyone!

    For the next 2 months i am going to follow the advice (No Toes and Velociraptor) of building up my endurance and speed, establishing a good weekly mileage.

    I also entered my first race last night, the Wesham 10K in late november. So at the moment my plan is to follow a strong 8 week 10K schedule for a enjoyable/succesfull run here, and then begin my marathon training 1st december, all things permitting!

    I do appreciate the 20% odds, and it's fair do's if i don't get in. Cougie, my back up plan is to focus on half marathons like you said and go for a marathon late next year, or try FLM again if my luck ain't around come ballot time!

    So, 10K training starts monday!

  • Plum - only in a bizarre fashion... ;-)
  • Ashapalan - I'm in the same boat as you, apart from two things 1) I'm 30 ;) and 2) id love to to do a Marathon but i've decided to wait a year or two as i've only been running 4 months.

    I dont think its anything to do with i cant do it, its just my personal preference to wait until i'm used to that kind of mileage and i know i can do a good time.

    Im doing my first half marathon this weekend (GNR) and when i started running 4 months ago, i joined a local club and i have to say its the best thing i ever did - training wise. They push you more than you can yourself (in my case anyway!) and you have the banter and motivation you get from running with others. I'm looking to do the GNR in 2hrs and 4 months ago i couldnt do 2 miles in 12min pace.

    Like Big David said. Join a club and definitely definitely do races, 10ks for speed, 10milers/halfs for distance.. try the hard hilly ones as well.

    Apply this year, and if you dont feel ready come the time (if you get in!).. defer.

    Hope it goes well.

  • I admire you Ashapalan, this is a big race to go for.
    I have been running seriously for about a year now and have done 5ks, 10ks and two half marathons. I am itching to go for the full mara but personally I feel I need a few more halfs first.
    My main problem is that I am a real snail,my last half was 2hrs 20 so I need to get my speed up (that's what my trainer says anyway!)if I want to do a decent full.
    At 19 you have loads of time so don't be in too much of a rush, you don't want to get injured.By the way I am approaching 44 so I'm not doing badly!!
  • Angie

    You're still a youngster at 44

    I am 53, and I am far from being the oldest on this forum.

    My first race was 18 years ago, and my first marathon was 10 years ago.
  • I have just applied for London having been running for 2 years and i've run 4 halfs.
    I got my traing plan off the net ( and this allowed me to specify how long i need to prepare, i chose 24 weeks, this means that i start in late October and if i don't get into London i haven't had to do any runs longer that 8 or 9 miles by the time the ballot results are out and i can choose to taper off and prepare for a half instead, i know there are other marathons out there but my heart is set on London.
    If i do get in having the 24 weeks means that i increase my mileage gradually and lower the risk of an injury.
    Your age is a big plus for you and, as a few other have said, if you don't get in at least your a step closer to getting in next time

    Good luck to all in the ballot, hope to see you on the start line.
  • Thanks Big David, I know there are lots of 'mature' runners out there.

    I might not have the speed of the younger ones but I certainly have the determination.

    I can't rememeber the last time I was called a youngster!!!

    Godd luck to all going for London, I will be there one day.
  • Hi Ashaplan

    I have trained numerous people to run the FLM, and your plan sounds very sensible. My only suggestion is that (if you dont already that is) you start to build in a 'longer', slow run at the weekend. I try to have my runners running around 10 or 11 miles by Christmas. This gives you a very solid basis for your full schedule in Jan and also a good target to aim for by the end of the year.

    Oh... and don't rush things too soon. Other guidance, is to try to do a half marathon towards end of feb/beginning of March. The Silverstone one is excellent...

    Good luck!
  • Thank's Will, I certainly think it would be a good idea to build in one of these weekly long runs, i appreciate how usefull it will be when the training begins. My current 'long' run is just a 10K, but as time goes on i will increase this. At the moment i'm just softly telling my body that it needs to get used to this running. It's slowly responding!

    If I where to get in, the Silverstone half would definatly be on my calender!

  • Hey Will!

    How are you? Fancy training me????

  • Hi Ashapalan,

    I'm surprised no one has suggested applying for a charity "Golden Bond" place, whereby you pledge to raise a certain amount of money (usually upwards of £1,500) in exchange for a guaranteed place. I don't know if this is something you'd consider, given that you're then committing to a training schedule AND a fund raising schedule. (Apply through the ballot anyway to build up your credit for a guaranteed place.)

    I'm also in a similar boat to yourself, having started running regularly only in the past couple of months or so. This was on top of a very good general fitness base (even though I say so myself!) and I've built up my weekly mileage to about 25 miles a week, with a weekly long run around 11 - 12 miles. I've applied for a charity place so that I'm a little more confident that my training will actually be leading to the FLM '07. I've also booked up a 10k race (Nike 10k in Hyde Park, Sunday week) and have my eye on 10 mile and HM races in the new year (possibly including Silverstone).

    So, maybe see you on a start line at some point. All the best!
  • just started erunning a few months ago, completed bristol 1/2 in little over 2 hrs, form is gathering dust... oh what should i do? is it really that hard????
  • Ashapalan - I think that 12 months ago I had the same dilemma as you - that of should I or should I not do the FLM? I began my running career (again) at the start of 2005 and did 5 Half Marathons that year. After my 5th Half of the year, a charity that I have supported approached me and asked whether I would run FLM 06 for them. Like you, I was in two minds and I gave it some serious thought for about 2 months, given that it is a serious commitment if you are going to try and prepare for it properly.

    I remember posting on RW at the tail end of last year and discussing my dilemma and I think it was Andy from Embsay? replying and urging me strongly that if you get the chance to do the FLM, to go for it because it would be an event that you would never forget. I took that on board and to cut to the chase, I reckoned that I was lucky to be offered a place to take part in one of the best races in the world when there were so many who wanted to do it but couldn't get a place.

    I went for it. The training was hard, painful at times but come race day I had one of the best times of my life - probably 2nd only to being at the birth of my two sons!! The whole experience from start to finish was simply incredible. I could never have imagined the atmosphere and level of support that lined the whole course - wall to wall noise - I'll never again underestimate the help that can be gained from a crowd! Even now, just thinking and writing about it, I can feel my pulse quicken and an adrenalin rush!!

    I was quite literally on a natural high for two weeks after the race and I'll never ever forget the sensation that I felt as I turned into The Mall. I looked around and thought about all of the times that I had sat watching the event on TV and there I was, not just watching it, but living it!!

    So the only advice I would convey to you about your dilemma is if you get the chance - go for it!! Don't put off the dream - live the dream - you won't regret it!!
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