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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:45 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Very good point made by drystonepaul and 02gf74 - the crowd and other runners get you through it.

I've marshalled, watched and run London and it's amazing. I did a half this year at a much smaller event after what I would describe as a "prolonged period of tapering and carbo loading" and despite the pain, driving wind, pain, mud, pain and did I mention the pain, there was great banter between the runners and the odd startled dog-walker who made up for most of the spectators!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:06 am 
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Not sure how many marathons I've done now but lots, we did 3 last year and we're doing Tenby next month and Snowdon in October.

The first couple of marathons I did I actually put on weight during training as I thought I could eat what I wanted because I was running so many miles :lol: so don't fall into that trap.

You'll find what suits you in training after a while, I've tried following plans but they just don't work for me :? but what I do know is that its very easy to become obsessed with your weekend long run and drift into being lazy during the week.

If you don't get your miles in during the week you can guarantee that your weekend long run will be a miserable, painful experience you'll endure rather than enjoy.

I've found that once my weekend runs are up to about 17 miles if I run on the Friday and Saturday my long run suffers but my wife runs 7 days a week and feels fine so we're all different.

The bit I find hardest about marathon training is getting out of the door, its so easy to come up with an excuse to just sit down when you should be out running 10 miles.

I find getting everything ready so your not searching about for things helps, so you can come home get changed and be straight out of the door before you've had time to think about it and you'll always enjoy it once your out.

The other big mistake I made when starting out was getting carried away in races leading up to the marathon :oops: its great to have a few 10k and 1/2 marathon races in the build up but remember to use them as training runs and not to race them hard.

As you start getting the miles in your times will start dropping like a stone, so its really easy when racing in distances you've run before to get carried away and push too hard.

I did it in a 1/2 marathon before our first Snowdon marathon, I felt great on the day knocked 10 minutes off my best time but could barely walk for 2 weeks let alone train :lol:

Some people swear by tapering in the final weeks but it doesn't work for me at all and ruins my races :? I do drop the miles of my final long run to about 15 but then I have a near normal final week of running up to the Thursday before the race.

Everyone says start off slowly but don't make the mistake of being too nervous and going off too slowly, if you've done the training you'll know what pace is comfortable for you so stick to it and don't get dragged into running at other peoples pace.

The crowds and other runners will definitely help on the day so go out and enjoy it, which is what its all about at the end of the day.

I'm hoping for around 3 hours in Tenby and hoping to go sub 3 in Snowdon so I'm doing silly miles at the moment, all offroad and and as hilly as I can find :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:09 am 
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I've ran a few and just to add to some of the advice above, I'd say consider your nutritional needs. You'll definitely need to take on some extra calories during the race, try some gels/shot blocks etc and find out which is the least disgusting. Think about how many you are going to take and use as well and start introducing them into your training. Have a think about pre race breakfast as well, see what works, personally porridge,banana and honey worked for me.
A half marathon somewhere in the 18 weeks period would also help, give you an idea of where you are at, should give you a ballpark time and importantly a pace.
Another thing to consider is that as a cyclist you'll have a fair aerobic capacity, this might enable you to run alot further than is maybe good for you, let your body adapt to the pounding running will dish out, with your 10k history it might not be too much of a worry but keep an eye out for any niggles.
Also as a cyclist and if you think you work well with schedules/plans have a look at the F.I.R.S.T training plan. Based around 3 runs a week with two other aerobic sessions which means you can still get some biking in.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:19 pm 
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I've run two marathons. Unsurprisingly I have self-serving tales about both. Not sure whether this is what you are after Russell but for what it is worth.....

London 1991
Six weeks before London, a distant acquaintance decided that he didn't want to run London. His place was up for grabs. I grabbed. And only then realised that I was well out of my depth with no rubber ring to hand.

A bit more context. I was living in a house of runners (the lean, quick type) and was regularly running cross country races plus cycling to work but tennis was the main source of fitness. Never having run over an hour I decided that running a half would be a good idea so entered City-Pier-City in Holland. The sight of Ingrid Kristenson heading back in was awe inspiring and I managed to finish in 1.22 so was reasonably pleased (although I was 7-8 minutes behind my housemates). However I was very weary indeed so the idea of doubling up the distance was even more daunting than it had been the day before. But the best thing to come out of it was my housemates claiming I'd "never finish London". No one had seen the glove swiped across my cheek and then dropped at my feet but as far as I was concerned my manliness (and perhaps even integrity) had been challenged. I was 24. And very dumb.

Preparation continued to involve tennis and I didn't again run over 10 miles. But the Saturday before the Big Day did involve watching VHS movies (Maniac Cop 1 and 2 featured, if memory serves) plus, for reasons that I really can't begin to comprehend, attempting to eat my body weight in dark chocolate and kiwi fruit.

The Big day dawned overcast but I was in a state of grace - this was simply something that had to be done. I slipped into my shorts and pulled on a trusted pair of socks. And then, inexplicably, a second pair. And off I headed.

Memories of the start are of congestion and taking 15 minutes to cross the start line (this was in the days before timing chips so I just used a borrowed digital watch with a timing function). The initial miles were at a very steady pace as the road was so congested - in hindsight, this modest start was a very sound approach) and I got to half way a fraction under 1.30. This was promising as I was tired but not done in. Even having Sebastian Coe pass me just after 13 miles didn't detract (aside - I never likened Mr Coe's preening being more of an Ovett/Elliot fan but at this stage my contempt hadn't sunk yo the levels of winning the Olympic bid when Seb announced "Lord Coe is going to have a beer". Knobber).

And so it went on - the miles were ticking away at the same pace although I was finding it harder and harder to maintain my progress. 20 miles were reached and I took a sip of water from a proferred plastic cup That was fine until I spilled some on my legs and couldn't really feel the wet. I also realised that I'd stopped sweating. The fear of The Wall emerged but I plodded on. Approaching Embankment I realised that I was really hungry (this in the days before Powerbars and energy gels, I'd only taken on water and Capstan Full Strength squash - perhaps the kiwis weren't the secret power source that I had believed?). As if my magic I heard my name being called from the crowd - it was my friend's really attractive sister (no, not Bob's, another one) which lifted my spirits considerably - Laura had always considered my a dilettante waster and to be honest her astuteness only added to her allure - as this was my chance to prove myself. Laura was very sensible so I knew she'd have bananas with her or similar - I made the request and she said 'hang on" and disappeared into the crowd, re-emerging seconds later with the words "do you want onions on it?" I did, and rarely has a burger tasted so good, even faced by the taunts of the tubby Cockneys in the crowd.

That was it but for a battle royal with a nurse in fancy dress up The Mall - it may have been Paul, who knows, but proudly I dropped her when she stopped for a jelly baby.Crossing the finish line I even remembered to stop my watch - 3.08. Not bad for a first go, surely sub 3 hours was in sight with some training? Things were to take a different turn and it would be 13 years until I approached the start line of a marathon again.....

Vienna 2004
Having moved back to the UK in mid 2002, I'd taken to running again with much more commitment, joining a club and racing regularly on road and turf. Failing to get into London in 2004 I scoured the listings and found a marathon in Vienna which was ideal as we had friends. I'll cut to the chase and say that, as ever, things didn't go to plan although I did quite a few longer runs in preparation. I'm not sure where it first started to deviate from The Plan but suspect singing accordian accompanied songs at 1 a.m. in a vineyard on the Austro-Hungarian border 32 hours before the start didn't help although I'm confident that the lederhosen did not contribute towards the chafing. The dehydration did lead to over compensation on the morning though which ended up with me urinating horse-like behind a tree after 5km with 2Unlimited blaring from 7 foot high speakers (and believe me, there appeared to be 'no limits' to how much urine my body could produce).

Burger aside, progress was much as 13 years previously, a gradual slowing but getting home in 3.23, effectively 2 miles slower than 1991. Disappointinly Vinia and her friend were more interested in looking at men's legs to spot me finishing so I was soaking in the bath at home before they realised that I must surely have finished by then.

Moral of the story - sometimes having no idea of what you are letting yourself in for is better than more rigorous preparation, visualisation etc. Then again, perhaps age and dumb luck is a better explanation.


Anyway, not sure if that has helped but best of luck and be sure to report back afterwards.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:44 pm 
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@Ed awe inspiring stuff - you are, indeed, the retrobike reincarnation of James Hunt.

Didn't the Maniac Cop films have Robert Davi in? Personally, I think his zenith was his performance in The Goonies, although surely he must have deserved some sort of nomination for Raw Deal? I'm just saying...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:22 am 
Pumpy's Bear
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Neil wrote:
@Ed awe inspiring stuff - you are, indeed, the retrobike reincarnation of James Hunt.


Funnily enough, several people were muttering about James Hunt yesterday when I launched into another "I'm a great guy" tale but they sloped off soon enough.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:10 pm 
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Thanks chaps.. Knew I could rely on you lot.

As an athlete (sic) I lean towards the 'It'll be alright, I'll get through this with minimum training' side of things. Before my half marathon I did one 9 mile run the week before to make sure I could get close to the distance and figured that the roar of the crowd would get me through the last few miles. I didn't take into account the fact that the race was the Tewkesbury half marathon and that if everyone in the town turned out to support the runners, there would still be little more than a murmer from the crowd, certainly no roar. As it happened, the fact that I could see blood seeping out of the top of my right trainer turned out to be the best motivator for the last three miles as I wanted to get across the line to see which of my toes were so badly damaged by the previous ten miles that they'd blistered, cut and bled.

When I ran the London 10K in 2011, we were late so 20 minutes before the race we grabbed a pasty in a London train station and ate it on the way to the start line.

You're getting an idea of how seriously I take these things, which is a problem because a marathon scares me... I'm guessing I probably do need to actually prepare.

I like the look of the F.I.R.S.T programme as I don't want to give up cycling, and the thought of doing nothing but running 6 days a week bores me senseless.

I'm a bit 'heavy' to be a fast runner so I've been cycling a bit more recently to lose some weight. I've lost a stone, and I don't think I'm going to do any real running until I've lost a further half. I'm not fat, but for every 1lb of weight you carry, the knee deals with 4lb of pressure when running so lose half a stone and its the equivalent of saving 28lbs of pressure on your knees with every step.

Thanks for your input so far... keep 'em coming, and I might engage you all with a narcissistic blog.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:37 am 
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Russell, I have done the F.I.R.S.T plan, which I used for my first marathon, I found it good, some of the paces, especially for the longer runs can be a bit daunting (18-20 Miles @ Mara Pace + 30 secs a mile is a workout and then some), I also found that mixing cycling with it didn't work out too well, the tightness of different muscles after the runs was a pain, still got me round in 3:29.

For the 2nd I adopted the Advanced Marathoning (Pfitzinger and Douglas) book's schedules, a lot more miles (anything up to 100+ per week if you want, I did upto 50), but at a lot slower pace, this was defintely my preferred plan, it just takes a bit more time out of your week. Got me round in 3:14.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Location: No brakes? Way to commit soldier.
Not that anyone is interested I'm sure but its 5 weeks in with 11 to go and I can now comfortably run 10 miles.

Running in this weather is hell, days when I desperately want to grab a bike and go cruise some cool trails I'm doing tempo runs round the concrete jungle... hot, sweaty work.

The plus side is that my cycling is improving too, the combination of weight loss and CV work I suppose.

I wouldn't say that I'm 'enjoying' it, but I certainly look forward to a long run now and as long as I don't kill my knees, I can see running (I mean proper, long distance running) becoming a part of my life. Didn't think I'd be saying that 5 weeks ago.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:51 am 
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Keep up the good work Russell, what training plan did you go for?


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