Valencia Marathon



  • Hope everyone's running is going well, with no new injuries or niggles. I'm quite happy with my training at the moment - have managed to stick to the plan so far (just started the 5th week now), so am pleased with that - the sessions are hard, and often I find myself wondering near the start if I will be able to finish them, but I have so far and I think they're paying off. Amazingly, my 20-mile race the weekend before last went pretty well. Starting off at a steady pace is definitely the way to go in long runs. I stuck to my planned 60 secs slower than marathon pace for a while, but when approaching 15 miles, I realised I was feeling really good, so increased the pace - this meant that I had an overall negative split and my last mile was my fastest mile, which is a very rare occurrence for me! Plus the overall pace was slightly faster than I ran Valencia last year... I enjoyed not feeling really awful throughout the last few miles, and to be running with some energy left past others who were walking. I also learned that less is more when it comes to nutrition (ate porridge for early breakfast, a small piece of flapjack closer to race time, then two PowerShot sweets during the race - and felt great). I also practised slowing down to take water from the stations, but carrying on at a slow jog while sipping, rather than stopping running completely, and managed that ok - I found it a lot less disruptive than the walking that I've done in both my marathons. I'm sure all these things should be obvious, and probably show my inexperience with long races, but better to learn them late than never - and before Valencia too!

    Only just over 12 weeks till Valencia now...

    Cal, how did your half go?
  • Well done Gip, sounds like you nailed that 20 miles. A lot of my training involves quickening the pace for the last few miles so hopefully this is the way forward!

    What plan are you doing or is it your own bespoke plan?

    I had my first race since pre-VLM at the weekend. A fairly uninspiring 10k which although not quick was about where I’d expect to be at this stage. I’m planning another 10k a month before Valencia so it’ll be interesting to see how the time (hopefully!) improves. A 15m race at the end of this month will be a guaranteed PB, given I’ve never raced over this distance before!

    Happy running all!
  • Hey Gipfel, glad your 20 went well! Maidenhead didn't go well for me unfortunately. I wanted to have a stab at 1:55 (PB was 1:57) and stayed on track for the first lap but then died horribly. It was pretty warm and I just got slower and slower, so not only did I miss my target but I didn't even get a PB. I think it was my 4th fastest time - not awful - but I felt like it was a bad race as I was hating every second on the second lap.
    But I have another chance on Sunday at Richmond (if the 5K on Saturday doesn't ruin me!).
    I've another 21 in the bag from last week and am now tapering down for Chester.
    They key for me is to not mess myself up between Chester and Valencia. I've done the Manchester/Liverpool double twice, and got high hamstring tendinopathy in between the two the first time and a dose of shingles the second time. I'd rather like to avoid anything like that this time around!
  • That’s excellent Gipfel, well done. Definetely agree that starting off steady and naturally building it up is the way to go. I had to learn the hard way too but it’s so much better when you’re the one doing the overtaking in the closing miles.  Good that you got by ok on less nutrition, something that’s worked for me too. Connected to the steady early pacing? Anyway, you seem to have found a decent pacing strategy for Valencia. I think it sometimes takes time and some bad experiences to come to these conclusions.

    BB - I’m also a big fan of the fast(er) finishing long run. First race back after a long time without racing is often hard going but it sounds like you’ll be well sharp come December 2. I really like 15k races. As you say, not many about, unfortunately. Do you get many 10 milers in the UK these days (assuming you’re  based there)?

    Sorry to hear that Maidenhead didn’t play out as you wanted. Sounds like that second lap was hard going in the hot weather.Definetely look after yourself for Chester & Valencia. Good luck for Sunday.

    On Week 1 of my 12 week training plan. Did 5 x 1650m at MP this morning and it was a bit of a shock to the system. Will hopefully manage around 55 / 56 miles this week.

  • Thanks, all! Bertie, your 15m race sounds good - could do with a few more 15 to 20-mile events generally, I think - if nothing else, they make good long runs on different routes to stop you getting bored during your training! I'm following a plan called FIRST - it's a bit unusual in that it's based on only three 'key runs' a week, but each of those runs is relatively tough. Run 1 is horrible intervals (all at what I think are pretty mean paces - the plan is very prescriptive on pace!), run 2 is a tempo-type session and run 3 is the long run. You can do extra runs if you like, as long as they're easy enough not to affect your 'key runs', but you are also meant to do at least two cross-training cardio sessions during the week, which suits me quite well, as I enjoy spinning classes and find that I can do one of those the day before or after a tough run quite easily. It's low mileage compared with many plans, which is maybe cause for concern, but we'll see how it pans out! I am actually really enjoying following a plan, rather than making up my own (fairly rubbish) training as I've done previously.

    Cal, bad luck about Maidenhead. Although having said that, still well done on your fourth fastest time - but I know what you mean - it's a nightmare when you feel awful for ages during a race. Good luck for Richmond, and for the tapering, which I think is never fun either - for me, it seems to result in lots of phantom niggles and related paranoia. (Having said that, I'm getting paranoid about injuries/illness for Valencia already - purely because the training is going well so far! You can't win!) Sounds to me as if you will be in great form by the end of Chester, so let's hope you can just maintain that without succumbing to anything horrible.

    LT, all the best for the rest of the first week of your plan. Is it one you've followed before? I think you did say earlier in the thread what you were doing, but I can't remember now.

    I have 18 miles planned for Sunday - in the rain again, by the looks of it. Rain also due in Valencia, but at temperatures in the high 20s, so a little different there!
  • Thanks Gipfel. I did better at Richmond. I realised after 4 miles that 1:55 was going to be tough, so I settled down and aimed for my PB (1:57.01) instead. Although I did slow quite a bit towards the end (it was getting warm, and the stony towpath wasn't easy to run on either) I managed to hang in there for a new PB of 1:56:47. So I'm happy with that (especially as I did the 5K yesterday!) The bling is quite outrageous, especially the special medal you get for completing two races. I am very tired now, though.
  • Well done Cal. That’s an excellent comeback after the disappointment of the other week. 

    Gipfel, I’m doing Hansons 12 week 50 to 70 miles but plan to add some extra easy miles. Did 13 miles today to make 56 for the week. Was out early this morning so I could watch Berlin and glad I made the effort. Kipchoge was just sensational. The marathon GOAT.

    Hope everyone’s training is going well.
  • Cal, belated congratulations on your PB! You must have been delighted - plus it must be making you feel confident in the run-up to Chester. Good luck for that - slightly wishing I'd entered the 'metric' distance, as it would have been a good training run.

    LT, I completely forgot about Berlin and really wish I'd watched it! Of course I've seen clips, but can imagine it would have been amazing to watch Kipchoge properly. He's just inspirational - and seems like a really nice, down to earth guy too. (Wish there were more marathons to see. I ended up watching rather too much of Boston back in April when I should have been working - only meant to catch a tiny bit of it, but Yuki Kawauchi was fascinating, and Desi Linden brilliant, so found it difficult to stop!)

    I'm pretty happy with my training so far - just hope it continues to go well, as there's a long time to go yet! Did 18 miles today at a faster pace than I've ever done that distance before, and felt ok, so that was encouraging. I did an out and back along the seafront and was helped by a tailwind coming back - but I guess the headwind on the way out cancelled out that benefit to some extent!

    Hope everyone else's training is going well too. 
  • Good to read that your training is going well Gipfel. Always encouraging to get a training run ´PB´, especially when it feels comfortable. I think the headwind would definitely have cancelled out the tailwind so well done. Have you got any prep races coming up?

    It was something else watching Kipchoge break the WR. Agree that he seems like a top bloke, very humble. I watched Boston start to finish this year and was lucky enough to be able to organise my work around it. It was a gripping race. I actually ran it in 2016 and it was a warm day and a very hard race. However, I’d recommend it. Boston seems to live and breathe the race and it’s wonderful to be a small part of. Anyway, I think it’s Chicago next Sunday and both Mo Farah and Galen Rupp are due to run along with some top East Africans so should be another good race.

    Just over 16 miles this morning. Went pretty well.
  • 2 hours 20 mins run this morning. Felt tough at first but once the sun came up and I was able to get out into the country I got into a groove and finished strong.

    Training’s been a bit disjointed so far, one good week then a poor week with a few missed sessions through work/illness etc. Guess that’s an advantage of an 18 week plan that you can miss the odd session and still have time to catch up. 

    Missed out on Japan again for next year, so the Majors medal will have to wait for at least another 12 months. 

    Sounds like everyone is ticking along nicely. Great to hear. Next few weeks will be key so hope you all keep up the good work!
  • Hi All, 
    i have just signed up for this one , booked flights and digs some weeks ago but because of a knee problem put off signing up , but ran 18 miles today with no issues so things are looking up .
    only 9 weeks !
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Dean, welcome! It's a good thing you signed up when you did, as I read this morning that it's sold out - record number of entries this year (22,000) apparently. Sounds as if you should be over the worst of your knee problem if you can manage 18 miles without issues. Valencia is a great event and I'm really looking forward to running it again. I can't quite believe that it's less than 9 weeks away!

    LT, I actually have the Oxford half marathon this Sunday - which was entered on a whim after seeing adverts for it - I have family/friends down there, so it's a nice excuse to visit. I was going to run it at a relatively conservative pace (I've jiggled my training plan around so that last week's 13-miler falls this week instead) but am wondering whether to go for it a bit more. It's relatively flat, I think, and I haven't run a flat half for ages - all those I've entered over the last couple of years or so have involved well over 1000 feet of climbing! So it will be interesting to see how I feel on Sunday. I'm slightly inspired by a friend (who has also entered Valencia), who achieved a massive unplanned PB in a half last weekend - she had planned to stick with the 1:55 pacer, but somehow ended up feeling really good, kept speeding up, and finished in 1:46! (I will certainly not be running 9 minutes faster than whatever time I decide to aim for, but it just shows you can never tell how you'll feel on the day.) Sadly, I've realised I'll miss out on watching Chicago - will have to catch up with that later. It's brilliant that you have run Boston - not surprised to hear it was a good experience. Not sure if the heat of your year or the freezing rain of this year would be more difficult!

    BB, so Japan is the only Major left to go for you? That's amazing. If only these things weren't so hard to get into! Agree that an 18-week plan should mean you can catch up with your missed training - and finishing strong after 2h 20 the other day sounds encouraging. Let's hope for no more pesky work/illness getting in the way of training - I am definitely getting paranoid about both of those, although I'm hoping to be past my busiest work period after this week!

    Best of luck for everyone's training! It was 800m intervals for me today - tough as per usual for the interval session, but not as hard as some of the other sessions in the plan. 
  • Gipfel - hope that Oxford played out well for you this morning and has given you a confidence booster for Valencia. Certainly, a flat race is good preparation for Valencia. Look forward to hearing how you got on when you have a moment to post.

    Didn’t realise Valencia had sold out this year but not surprised. I’m going to make sure that I get to my starting pen in really good time this year as it can be a bit of a scrum if you leave it too late.

    BB - impressed that you’ve done five of the big six. Bad luck on missing out on Tokyo though. Hope you can get a good block of training in over the next month or so.

    Hi Dean. Sounds like a good run last weekend. Hope you’ve been able to build on it.

    Done just under 65 miles this week but some of the key sessions were a bit up and down. Very stiff at times, more so than usual. However, had a very encouraging 16 miler this morning. Just tried to stay relaxed and not push it but the splits kept (pleasantly) surprising me. Have to say that the Sunday long run is my favourite run of the week and not just because of today.

    Really looking forward to Chicago this afternoon. Should be a cracking race and loads of interesting sub plots going on.

    Hope everyone’s had a good week of training.

  • Dean NDean N ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the welcome Gipfel and Little Theodor .

    Gipfel- I didn’t realise I was so close to missing out on the entry , always thought you could leave it late for Spanish Marathons, talk about cutting it fine!
    hopefully Oxford was a good workout , did you go flat out or treat it as a training run?
    Little Theodor - A 65mile week , that impressive ; I am quite a bit behind you in weekly mileage , I done about 35 mile last week and my top weekly mileage will be just over 40 .
    I done the same as you today 16 and as you say the favourite run of the week!
    what do you watch Chicago ? Tv or stream?

    I hope everyone else’s training is progressing well?
    How many of you have done Valancia before?
  • Hi Dean. This will be my third straight Valencia, all being well. The race seems to get more popular and prestigious year after year.

    Didn't see your post earlier. There was a link to NBC on the race website although it didn’t focus that much on the elite race. What I saw of it was good though and Farah gradually burnt everyone else off. The Japanese guy who finished third broke his national record and got a 700,000k bonus in the process. Brigid Kosgei won the women’s race and she’s definitely one of the coming marathoners and has been finishing there or thereabouts over the past couple of years. Sorry if that’s too much info but I follow the sport as a fan too.

    Gipfel & Cal, hope you both had good races today.

  • Dean NDean N ✭✭✭
    Little Theodor,
    yes I found it myself on the same link , Mo or Sir Mo as he has on his vest looked very strong and can only improve.
    3ed straight Valancia for you it must be good , I enjoy Spanish marathons having ran Barca and San Sabastion previously .
    is the water in bottles or cups?
  • I had a great race today thanks and a new marathon PB of 4:10:42. I've got my work cut out if I want to beat that in Valencia!
    Brilliant run by Mo today - glad he got his marathon win.
  • Excellent Cal, congratulations and very well done.

    Dean, water was in small bottles. I was going to do San Sebastián this autumn but actually got a freebie for Valencia this year so decided to save myself the entry fee. However, I want to do San Sebastián in 2019. What did you think of it?
  • Well done Cal, excellent performance! Sub 4 hours at Valencia then??

    I can recommend San Sebastian. I achieved a then PB when I did it in 2012. Well organised, good crowds (was a two or three lap route from memory) and you should have decent running weather that time of the year (as long as it's not too windy!) Starts and finishes at the football stadium (Real Sociedad) so logistically it's straightforward too.

    Another decent 2 hour 20 mins long run in the bag on Sunday, off the back of a decent training week too so that is all positive. Back sore today but not as it was a while back so apart from swapping today's recovery run for a session with the foam roller it should impact on training at all!

    All of a sudden we're less than 8 weeks away!

    Keep up the good work everyone!

  • I doubt that very much, Big Bertie - there's a lot of difference between 9 minute miles and 9 and a half. It would be nice to go under 4:10 but it's likely to be warmer than Chester so I'm not sure how it will go - a lot depends on my recovery now.
  • well done Cal! delighted you got that PB.
  • Dean NDean N ✭✭✭
    Hi Big Bertie , Cal and Christine.
    congratulations on the PB Cal , I am interested what you do for recovery ,do you take a couple of weeks off or are you straight back out there?

    Little Theodor - along with Bib Bertie I recommend San Sabastion , a fast flat course in a great city with some fantastic bars and restaurants to celebrate in after , certainly a pb course ,
    The only draw backs for me personally was that the half marathon starts at the same time which was a bit confusing and it’s quite congested until you leave them behind  , also there are a couple of tight switchbacks which you have to slow down to negotiate but all in all a top marathon which I would run again .

  • Dean, I usually do nothing but walk for a couple of days and then get out for a short run around Thursday and a slightly longer run on Sunday. My left calf is very tight at the moment so I'm going to see how I feel.
  • Dean NDean N ✭✭✭
    Cal - I am impressed ,after a marathon I think once I ran after 10 days ,normally it’s 2- 3 weeks before I can run without soreness.
    Good luck with the recovery , I don’t suppose you need to do a great deal , just keep the legs ticking over and keep injury free!
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Hi all, excellent running going on here! Cal, congratulations on your massive PB in Chester - that's fantastic news :smiley: hope you're feeling ok now. Was it a good event? Was definitely a nice day for running.

    The Oxford half went pretty well for me, thanks. From originally planning to take it very steady, I revised my target a couple of times, and by the time race day came, I had decided to go close-to-flat-out, and was hoping to get close to 1:52. I came in at 1:51:38, so was definitely happy with that, especially as I'd done a tough 8-mile tempo on Thursday evening that left my legs feeling quite tired. It's the fastest I've run a half for a good while, although to be fair, the course was also flatter than any recent halves I've done! I was quite pleased as well to maintain a relatively even pace throughout (usually a weakness of mine in long runs, though I seem to be getting better), and to find a kick from somewhere for the home straight when I realised that it could make the difference between < or > 52 minutes! Now, of course, I can't help wondering: could this transfer to a sub-4 at Valencia in 7.5 weeks, which would be my ultimate aim?! Some online calculators say yay, one said a massive nay, but of course who knows really (it is a lot to take off my marathon PB of 4:11 something), and so much could happen before and on race day...I have had to ban myself from thinking about it. Have felt a bit under the weather for the last couple of days, but seem better today, so will try my interval session later.

    On a side note, the Oxford event was enjoyable. It was larger than I was expecting (~12,000 runners), and was a little pricey to enter, but the organisation was very slick (bar the missing medals, which got stuck on a ship somewhere and will be posted to us instead!) and the 'race village' (in a park) had lots of space. There was decent support along almost all of the course, and the route was pretty pleasant, with nice start/finish sections in the scenic central bits of the city. Some bits of the course narrowed and so were a little congested, but nothing too bad - definitely lots of PB potential.

    I cannot believe we are less than 8 weeks away. I will also plan to get to my start pen early this year. That was a mistake I made last year - because my hotel was really close and I didn't need to use the bag drop, I left it relatively last minute and found it really difficult to squeeze into the pens - was probably the only stressful part of the whole Valencia experience! I think I've probably said this earlier on the thread, but for those who will be running for the first time, don't be put off by the start pen scrum. I felt quite claustrophobic and wondered if the whole thing would be horrendously crowded, but it really wasn't - as soon as we crossed the start line, the scrum just melted away and everything was fine!
  • Well done, Gipfel, that's a great time. I'd be annoyed about the medal but at least you'll get one! Is it a flat course?
    As for Chester, it's an excellent event and it's obvious why it has won awards. Organisation is spot on, it's well marshalled, there are loos at every water station (not that I needed one) and the goody bag was great (an actual drawstring bag that can be reused, with snacks including a full-size bag of Haribo). The shirt is long-sleeved, which is a nice touch given the season.
    I wouldn't call it a flat race - there are some gradients (down as well as up), but, barring the notorious hill near the end, nothing that would trouble anyone unless they'd hit the wall. The had the Race Angels in action for the big hill which was a nice touch. I was OK as I'd made sure to include hills in my training. The hill itself isn't that bad, it's just that you hit it when you're tired.
    It is a very rural race, so different to Manchester and Liverpool in that there were long stretches in the countryside. I didn't mind that as there were enough runners for company and there was some support in the villages.
  • How was everyone’s weekend runs?

    I managed a Parkrun on Saturday and a good 2.5 hour run on Sunday. Third consecutive 60+ mile week and fourth in five weeks.

    Enjoyed the fresher weather on Sunday although the darker mornings are less fun. 

    Hope we’re all ticking along nicely!
  • Dean NDean N ✭✭✭
    Hi ,
    Big Bertie , 
    well done on 60 miles per week , I struggle to get in 40 however I ran my first 20 mile run yes today and got caught in a couple of nasty showers however I felt quite good and will step up to 22 next Sunday , cycled 45 miles on sat aswell .
    what parkrun did you do ?
    Gipfel - belated congrats on your time at Oxford , it sounds like a great race , I will certainly keep that one in mind .
    thanks for the tip on the start pens , I must admit I am normally a last minute man but will take your advise an arrive early.
    How is every one else’s training going ?
  • I'm still recovering from Chester. My calves have been very tight (particularly the left one, though my duff achilles is on the right). Achilles isn't thrilled either. I've done a few short runs (2, 4, 4 and today, 6) and treated myself to a pair of Zoom Fly flyknits, which I intend to wear in Valencia.
  • Hi guys,

    I missed my time to register on this marathon but desperately would like to go and compete.
    Is there anyone who already register but can't be there for run and would like to exchange his participation slot ?
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