Struggled finishing 1/2 marathon and full Marathon in 7 weeks.


I have been running on and off for 5 years and I am following a marathon plan running 4 times per week (26-32 miles per week), but yesterday I struggled finishing a 1/2 marathon (1hr 57) and I have the full Marathon in 7 weeks.

Plus the plan seems a bit severe as I get one day off (today) and then have 7 mile tomorrow and 5 miles Wed... so really just the one day break, plus an 18 mile long run this Sat. I know I'll slow down the run for the marathon, but to be honest it all seems a bit much. Any advice?


Best Answer


  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    Hi RonanM

    I'm pretty new to here and running. Sorry to hear that you are struggling . I'm around 4 weeks off my first marathon and I felt very flat after my half marathon which was at the end of Feb. And well done on your time. 

    I have completely changed how I run as I was really struggling to extend my distances. I did 14 miles in December and injured myself, so slowly got up to 15 before the half. Since the half I've been using the Jeff Galloway run walk method and it's made a big difference. I've tried a few different times and settled on running 3 min then walking 1 and then run. It's not really altered my pace radically, it's fairly similar, and I manged to get a 20 mile run last week and felt OK. Knackered but not in distress. I have been running 3 times a week (usually 2 runs of 6 to 8 miles and my long one) plus a pilates class. 

    Maybe have a go at run waking this week and see if it helps. There's lots of info online. 

    I hope this helps. I know what you mean about it feeling like it's too much....I have had several wobbles but still seem to be running! Not sure why some days...low level madness maybe 😉 
  • Thanks Daisydoo

    I'll have a go at the Jeff Galloway method and see if I can keep away from exhaustion after the 15 or so miles. I did head off too fast on my 1/2 - 8:05, 8:10. 8:15 etc... pace(well fast for me). My thinking was that if I'm exhausted but can get to 10 miles, I'll struggle the last 3 and still do under 2 hours... Which I did, but I don't think it was a great plan.
    And I've decided to take 3 days off and get back in again, starting with a 4 mile jog, and build up from there over the next 7 weeks.

    cheers :)
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    No worries. Your pace is far faster than mine. I did my half at 2hr 9min 50 (😂 to squeaking in under 10 mins) and it was a fairly fast pace for me over that distance. I aim at 9.30 to 10 mins at that distance. On the actual day I started slower than I would have (my experienced friends banged this into my head and I for once listened). 

    I've also been told by my GP to really up more protein intake as I've been really tired and it seems to be helping even if the shakes are a bit blurgh 😉 

    I think at the end of the day it's doing the distance and not the speed. My experienced running friends keep reminding me that it's a huge thing to train for a marathon and just to put any idea of times and paces out of my head and go out and enjoy the day and finish it happy. I hope this helps. I've been an emotional roller-coaster with it. I feel like I'm back doing school exams. Anyway we are almost there. I've less than 4 weeks now! We'll do it! 
  • I definitely should have started off more slowly but I think I was worried that I'd be slow "and" then still be struggling at the end, and be nowhere near the time I wanted.

    And a morning protein shake too I guess, to see if it helps.

    I downloaded an App to do a 5 minute run, 1 minute walk like the Galloway method and I'll give it a go this weekend . See if I can get 18 miles done.

    Good luck in 4 weeks for you :)
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    Just chalk it up to experience. I didn't drink enough water on my half and I have learnt a valuable lesson. It's just a dress rehearsal for the Big Day! But it still niggles too. I was cross for about a week and it's passed now. 

    I'm sure you will be fine getting through the 18 miles. Just go slow and try to enjoy it (😂 it's what I tell myself through the snot and swearing 🤬 ) and I have discovered that Fruit Pastilles are the bees knees for these runs. A little treat every 3 miles. I can't do gels as my stomach won't entertain them. 

    Good luck too. And thank you for the chat. You've helped me too as I thought I was going nuts after my half as I did feel rubbish and nobody else around me seemed to get it. So thank you 😊 
  • :smiley: Pleasure. Let me know how you get on and I'll let you know how my Run/walk goes too...
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    Oh and which marathon are you doing? I'm signed up for Brighton .
  • Milton Keynes. The half was Milton Keynes too :)
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    Sorry I have to make the roundabouts comment 😉! I did my half in Brighton  It's nice running along the coast ☺ 
  • LOL Roundabouts = Less Traffic lights. Smooth flowing traffic. Honestly it's a great thing and the landscapes here are amazing... but, I do like the coast myself too :)
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    I confess I've only driven through Milton Keynes on the way to Bletchley Park, but yes there's some lovely scenery around there. I am from up north but have settled in the south. I do miss the beauty of the Pennines but glad I'm not running up them 😂. Mind you I would love a few canal banks to run on like my Dad dud back in his marathon days! 
  • you are definitely carrying a lot of fatigue at this stage of training. tapering will make a huuuuge difference. i tried to run a half marathon just a few seconds faster than my projected marathon pace, failed utterly. taper...i felt like someone had taken the brakes off. 

    for a lot of fatigue, it's also worth considering your iron status. running can deplete that somewhat...something that can be checked at GP if you have a history/low iron diet/are female
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    Hi Christine5....yes I agree on the iron. My GP did a full set of bloods and they were OK but she said to make sure I have lots of leafy greens alongside increasing the protein. 

    And yep....I've never been so tired in my life (more tired than when my children were little). I sleep lots! 

    Thank you for the words of encouragement....☺ 
  • it's hard to even absorb sufficient iron from greens alone - so vit c alongside will help a little. 
    i think relatively normal to be quite fatigued as the big day gets closer. ( course it shouldn't be totally debilitating/making you miserable is a hobby after all :) )
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    😂 Yes I keep having to remind myself of that.....I am looking forward to getting back to just doing 5 and 10k outings once I've done this! 
  • RonanM Did you use any gels or other fuel during the half? I know some people will say you don't need them but I think they are good to take. Providing you are able to stomach them and don't give you the trotts whats the harm?

    Also if you are tired all the time you may be low on iron. Possibly ask the GP to check but you can get iron tablets for a few pounds so they might be worth a try. It takes ages (months) to get your iron levels up though.  
  • Thanks bigballer69

    I did. I took the one after mile 8, which was ok... I eat really well, so my iron should be fine. I'd guess I just went off too fast and didn't have enough miles in my legs from training.

    I took Daisydoos advice and tried a short recovery run this morning with a 4/1 minute running/walking split. Did the three miles in a 10 min pace... which felt ok. I might try it with an 18 mile run Saturday...

    That said I wasn't sure in the marathon in 7 weeks time whether I could get away with running a steady first half 9 min 30 pace and then start the 4/1 split for the 2nd half and see how that works.
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    Great news RonanM. Glad you have a positive run ☺ 
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    Hi RonanM

    Just wondering how you were doing and how your long run went? 
  • Hi Daisydoo. All good thanks. I did 18 miles on Saturday in 3:02 (mainly running with a little walking when I cam accross 60 second hills, or I wanted a drink/gel) and then did a 6 mile tempo run this morning. Meant to run 8 miles tomorrow, 5 on Wednesday and then 18 again on Saturday, but I might skips tomorrows as my legs feel a bit battered :)
    Only three weeks for you now I'd guess?
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    Yep 3 weeks  Did another 20 mile run last week and looking forward to tapering  Did a 9 miler today pretty much ran all the way  Still think I'll be run walk running on the day. 

    Great news on your runs. Really pleased to hear the legs are holding, even if tired☺ 
  • :) Well done on another 20 miles.. Nice and easy before the race and you'll be great :)
    I didn't do Tuesday (thought I need a break). SO I plan on running just three times a week for the last 6 weeks, with A long run of 18,20, and 22... I reckon that's enough for me without overdoing it.

    Good luck :)
  • DaisydooDaisydoo ✭✭✭
    Hi RonanM.....How's it going? Been wondering how you are coping with the taper crazies and the pre-marathon build up? 
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