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The Running and Marathon Thread

Rather than bumping the old losing weight thread, thought I'd post this one up.

Anyone else run regularly? Anyone training for a half/full marathon at the moment?

I didnt get a place in the ballot for the VLM, so rather than go for a charity place, I opted to run the Paris Marathon instead on 6th April, same day as Brighton and the week before London.
I'm hoping to get around in somewhere between 4:10-4:20. My club mates reckon I'm more than capable at running sub 4:00 but as its my first marathon, I'm intending to take it as easy as I can just to see how the body reacts and then try and break the sub 4 at a later date.

Until a few weeks ago, the furthest I'd run was 13.1 but having ran a pretty easy-paced 17.2 (inside my 4:10 pace) I feel a lot more confident I'll get around now.

Dare I say I feel a million miles away from where I was when I ran in the CL Run to the Beat challenge in 2008 where running a HM in 2:45 very much destroyed me for the best part of two weeks!

Any tips any of the marathon veterans care to share???




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Comments

  • Doing Brighton this year which will be my third & final marathon. Done London last two years. Am training towards a 3.45- 3.50 time. I'm currently up to 14 miles so if your at 17, you're in a very good place. Only tips are to enjoy it & get the miles in which you clearly are. Make sure you take loads of gels on the big day & that your trainers are in good nick but well worn in.
  • Part of me wonders whether I'm doing too many miles but I guess the body will tell me sooner rather than later.

    For my 17, I went through a whole packet of jelly babies (15 I counted) and just a 600ml bottle of High 5 4:1. Ran out of liquid at 14 and was bone dry there after. Have since bought a double bottle belt carrier so hopefully the next long one will be more enjoyable...
  • I'll be running London this year then the Kent Roadrunner marathon about a month later (17x2.5km laps of Gravesend cyclopark)

    My last marathon was Berlin 2012 where I completely blew up after 28 km as I hadn't done enough long runs and struggled round the last 1/3 to finish in 3:19. I'm nowhere near that sort of form at the moment so looking to treat the spring races at training before having a crack at getting closer to the 3 hour mark in the autumn

    Have a look at doing some proper organised training runs for your longer outings. Gade Valley have a 17 miler near hemel hempstead that I'll be doing in 2 weeks, it's only £5, they have water stations and there's tea and cake at the end. There's also a 20 miler I'll be doing a month later as my last long run but that's only 2 weeks before london/brighton so a bit close for you guys
  • JB - you're doing well on the long runs already, hopefully get a couple over 20 - my single biggest tip would be to back them up each week with a midweek run of 11-14 miles.
    Tip 2: don't increase weekly mileage by more than 10% in one go or you'll probably get injured.
    Tip 3: once a month have a cut-back week where you do about 10% less, to help recovery.
    Tip 4: do a flattish half-marathon 4 to 6 weeks ahead of marathon.
    Tip 5: if you can run 17 miles on your own at 4:10 pace then you should be aiming for 3:50 - 3:55! Try a couple of 8:3x miles in your midweek runs.

    I'm doing London for the third time this year, last year was 3:01 so hoping for 2:59 this time.
    Good shoe advice from SS but personally I don't use gels, each to their own.

    PS Clapham Chasers do a good "race or pace" 20 miler in March.
  • Cheers Salad, didn't know about the Clapham Chasers one, have now pencilled that in the diary so my Sundays now look like this
    Feb 23rd- Gade Valley 17 (with an extra mile added to make it an 18), March 2nd- Clapham Chasers 20, March 9th Finchley 20, March 16th- not sure but probably a nice slow 16 miles somewhere, march 23rd- Gade Valley 20, then it's time to taper
  • I'm running the Surrey Spitfire 20 on 16th March with a couple of guys from my running club. That's 3 wks before Paris so hopefully I would have done enough by then.

    Salad, you're a bad man getting me thinking of sub 4 again. That's for next time :)

    Am glad to say I've been using two pairs of running shoes at all times and have been alternating between runs so both pairs should be fine by April. I hope :)

    Been looking at shorts today. Knowing my luck, Paris will be hit by a heat wave in Apr after months of cold weather training. Wondering about getting some Skins compression ones? Any thoughts?
  • JohnBoyUK said:

    I'm running the Surrey Spitfire 20 on 16th March with a couple of guys from my running club. That's 3 wks before Paris so hopefully I would have done enough by then.

    Salad, you're a bad man getting me thinking of sub 4 again. That's for next time :)

    Am glad to say I've been using two pairs of running shoes at all times and have been alternating between runs so both pairs should be fine by April. I hope :)

    Been looking at shorts today. Knowing my luck, Paris will be hit by a heat wave in Apr after months of cold weather training. Wondering about getting some Skins compression ones? Any thoughts?

    Shorts & underwear is another important consideration. I bought a pair of shorts with the pants built in & I got severe chaffing & that was running ten miles. I now run in lycra shorts with a pair of running shorts over the top & plenty of vasoline!
  • From my years of cycling, I've learnt definitely no underwear under the Lycra...and plenty of vasoline!
  • A 20 miler 3 three weeks before is perfect but don't forget to taper down afterwards as the temptation will be to panic that you haven't got the miles it. The most I run in marathon training is 21/22 around that time then maybe a half to 15 two weeks before then 10 at most the week before. If you're at the right club they'll look after you and make sure you arrive at the start line in Paris.

    As it's your first marathon be aware, you will get niggles and aches and pains right the way through training and the race. It's just what happens when you stress the body like that but you've an endurance sport background so you're probably used to that.

    I'm always amazed at geezers who turn up to run a half in Dunlop Green Flashs and a rugby shirt. Even now 15 years after technical fabrics came on the market. I always use dual layered shorts now so you've got compression shorts built in with longer ordinary shorts. Also use compression shirts as well as anything that helps stop it all wobbling can only be a good thing in my book...
  • Doing my 1st half marathon at the end of March (Paddock Wood), hoping to do around 1:30 probably move up to marathons next year. I may do Abingdon to try for a good for age time to get in to London.
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  • I did the Paris Marathon in 2009 certainly a different experience to the London Marathon i had a woman trying to stop a group of runners which I was in whilst trying to back her husbands car out of there drive!!! It is a nice flat marathon with plenty of landmarks to view on the way and all different types of fruit at the drinking stations.Also inside the last mile they were handing out glasses of wine which I just couldn't stomach after 25 miles! Just started running again this year after injuring my back and leg in last years London Marathon and am now thinking of a few half marathons to enter.
  • Numbers said:

    Doing my 1st half marathon at the end of March (Paddock Wood), hoping to do around 1:30 probably move up to marathons next year. I may do Abingdon to try for a good for age time to get in to London.

    Sorry to break the news but GFA entries have to be in in June/July plus Abingdon sells out quick http://www.abingdonmarathon.org.uk/news.php#news053
  • I bought some of this stuff in Sainsbury's at the weekend , did 2 10k runs day after each other, my legs feel like new , 2 handfuls in a warm bath , soaked in the bath for 20 minutes , amazing stuff, wish i'd discovered it years ago.

    Dr Salts Muscle Therapy Bath Salts

    http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp?bmUID=1392155701329
  • Last year I did about 15 runs for charity which included the Great North and South Run. After latter run in Southsea in October '13 got injuredand decided to rest. Unfortunately I aggravated problem again and recently undertaken physio. I was given a place for the VLM this April but had to decline it due to the injuries. I am back on the mend and have The Silverstone Half Marathon on March 2nd to do plus others this year. My usual time for a half marathon is 2h10 but at this rate, I will be happy with just finishing the events. Stretching before and after is absolutely vital. Good luck fellas.
  • Interesting reading Pork Pie's comments above and sorry to go slightly off topic for you proper runners. I'm just starting to train for my first ever 10k in May, never done more than 5k in my life. I've been looking online about stretching before and after running and there are massively varying in views. For going from 5k now to hopefully 10k what would you recommend? From what I've seen online the general consensus is stretch after your run?!
  • To be honest, 10k is my favourite distance and there are so many events in the UK to choose from. Stretch before and after the run and yes I agree the difference in information on line is massive which leads to confusion and injuries. For proper advice, see a physio and go easy on the training. To train for a 10k, put it this way if you have no problems running 4 miles then you will be fine but build up the distances slowly to that 4 miles and please allow yourself rest days. Also introduce other sports as part of the training and not just running. Cycling for instance as well as swimming to build up your upper body strength and reduce impact on yer knees.
  • pork_pie said:

    To be honest, 10k is my favourite distance and there are so many events in the UK to choose from. Stretch before and after the run and yes I agree the difference in information on line is massive which leads to confusion and injuries. For proper advice, see a physio and go easy on the training. To train for a 10k, put it this way if you have no problems running 4 miles then you will be fine but build up the distances slowly to that 4 miles and please allow yourself rest days. Also introduce other sports as part of the training and not just running. Cycling for instance as well as swimming to build up your upper body strength and reduce impact on yer knees.

    Massively appreciate that PP. It all started because of the CL lose a stone thread and I'm really enjoying the running side of it. I started with couch potato to 5k but have been inspired by a friend to sign up for the BUPA 10k. Massively out of my comfort zone but really want to get to that point.

    Trying to lose weight was my first objective (going quite well), and it's hard doing those rest days as they help hugely with the calories but I'll stick to it. The BUPA site itself has a good plan which I'm trying but the stretching thing had me a bit vexed.
  • For those of you that want to track your results may I suggest www.athlinks.com
  • red_murph said:

    Interesting reading Pork Pie's comments above and sorry to go slightly off topic for you proper runners. I'm just starting to train for my first ever 10k in May, never done more than 5k in my life. I've been looking online about stretching before and after running and there are massively varying in views. For going from 5k now to hopefully 10k what would you recommend? From what I've seen online the general consensus is stretch after your run?!

    I'll be honest, the only thing I stretch before a run are my calves as I had a couple of problems with both when I first started running again 18 months ago. I basically stand on the edge of the curb in the road with my toes on the curb and my heel overhanging the road then lower the heel as much as I can. I dont stretch my quads, hamstrings or groin before I go. If I'm running a 10k race, I'll tend to just do a 10 min very slow jog to warm up and then stretch out the calves again before the start but if its just a training run, I'll always run the first 1-2 miles slower than my intended pace and then ramp the pace up there after.

    After a run, I always try and do a 5 min cool down then stretch everything. Not for long though, about 5 mins max. 300ml of low fat chocolate milkshake with skimmed milk within 10 mins of finishing the run then can shower or bath and then eat when ready.

    I'm not saying that would work for everyone of course but it seems to work for me. When I was running at a much heavier weight, my legs used to hurt for days afterwards. The only time I get discomfort in the legs now is when I'm really pushing my pace over longer distances and as the HR goes up, the lactic acid builds up and the soreness begins to creep in. (Not sure I could ever run or ride without a Garmin HR monitor again!)

  • don't stretch cold muscles - stretch after a warm up or after run, which is what I do. Personally I think hip-flexor stretch is the best because many injuries are supposedly down to tight hip-flexors - plus it stretches other muscles at the same time, especially if you hold the back foot up at the same time. I find 10ks very tough but satisfying afterwards.
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  • edited February 2014
    Used to do 10k every Sunday. Done a 7 half marathons. Never done a marathon, but might happen in a couple of years time.

    Decided to get back into my weekly run, but lost my running shoes, so have decided for something completely new. Vibram Five Fingers Bikila. Apparently you need to have a lot of patience with these ones. More of less barefoot running, but it's good for your knees (apparently). You instantly change your running style (again, apparently...).
    Shoes should arrive any time soon. Always keen on trying something different.

    image
  • Danepak said:

    Used to do 10k every Sunday. Done a 7 half marathons. Never done a marathon, but might happen in a couple of years time.

    Decided to get back into my weekly run, but lost my running shoes, so have decided for something completely new. Vibram Five Fingers Bikila. Apparently you need to have a lot of patience with these ones. More of less barefoot running, but it's good for your knees (apparently). You instantly change your running style (again, apparently...).
    Shoes should arrive any time soon. Always keen on trying something different.

    image

    I look at those things and one word comes to mind...blisters.


  • I look at those things and one word comes to mind...blisters.

    I will find out, but from various reviews, it shouldn't be too big a problem.
  • Danepak said:



    I look at those things and one word comes to mind...blisters.

    I will find out, but from various reviews, it shouldn't be too big a problem.
    Be interested in how you get on. I think I'm a bit long in the tooth to give those a go plus a bit on the heavy side :-(
  • Danepak said:

    Used to do 10k every Sunday. Done a 7 half marathons. Never done a marathon, but might happen in a couple of years time.

    Decided to get back into my weekly run, but lost my running shoes, so have decided for something completely new. Vibram Five Fingers Bikila. Apparently you need to have a lot of patience with these ones. More of less barefoot running, but it's good for your knees (apparently). You instantly change your running style (again, apparently...).
    Shoes should arrive any time soon. Always keen on trying something different.

    image

    I look at those things and one word comes to mind...Floves.


  • Be interested in how you get on. I think I'm a bit long in the tooth to give those a go plus a bit on the heavy side :-(

    I'm not exactly slimline either.
    Will let you know how I get on, but it will take a few months, before I'm ready to do proper running in these ones (according to the reviews + the guy I spoke to in the running shop).
    It will hurt the first few times, but your body will quickly adjust.

    Apparently this is the way we're supposed to run.

    By running in normal running shoes, we're used to the padding. Therefore, we can cause a lot of stress to our knees.
    This should apparently not be the issue with these shoes. You're forced to run in a different way.
  • All good advice re: running.

    In terms of the recovery/maintenance: Make no mistake marathons do a number on your body. I would say 4 times tougher than a half. I've only got back into my stride in last month after NY (November!) - then I'm 47 - but don't take it lightly - respect the distance!! So be pro-active in terms of taking care of yourself. I guess you'll be averaging 35-45 miles a week in the monster month period prior to the 3 week taper - it takes its toll! I always add swimming as a recovery - if you start feeling beaten up - jump in a swimming pool and kick around - nothing too vigorous, but enough to get your legs stretched. Always listen to your body - have used a bike/stationary bike instead of a run (4 bike miles = 1 mile running so my triathlon friends say) - I think cross training is great and enables you to train without impact - as mentioned above. I also grab a bag of ice and chuck in bath after the long runs for recovery. 10 mins of hell, but it makes a difference. Use sports massage - again not to deal with problems, but to stop yourself getting problems. Stretch!

    Assume you have a program? If not tons of stuff on internet. However don't get caught up in the numbers - if you have to skip a run for whatever reason - feeling done in etc - just let it go - don't try to make it up. The idea is to arrive at the start line feeling fresh. The best advice I received related to after marathon recovery. Look that up - because post marathon is where you can do yourself real damage. Try to rush back into running too quickly and you can really set yourself back. Again plenty of stuff on internet - I don't run for 2 weeks - a bit of swimming/light stretching etc, then light stuff for another 2 weeks etc.

    Enjoy it - take it all in - a big city 26.2 is a real trip!
  • Danepak said:



    Be interested in how you get on. I think I'm a bit long in the tooth to give those a go plus a bit on the heavy side :-(

    I'm not exactly slimline either.
    Will let you know how I get on, but it will take a few months, before I'm ready to do proper running in these ones (according to the reviews + the guy I spoke to in the running shop).
    It will hurt the first few times, but your body will quickly adjust.

    Apparently this is the way we're supposed to run.

    By running in normal running shoes, we're used to the padding. Therefore, we can cause a lot of stress to our knees.
    This should apparently not be the issue with these shoes. You're forced to run in a different way.
    True, but if you have been used to running a certain way for 30 years etc it will take time - Yes this was the way we ran - thousands of years ago when we were hunter/gatherers!! - If you insist on getting them I would integrate these shoes in over time. A couple of friends have ditched them already - one very lightweight female suffered stress fracture of shin as a result of using them!

    Be careful - only for those with perfect form - In my opinion!


  • Numbers said:

    Doing my 1st half marathon at the end of March (Paddock Wood), hoping to do around 1:30 probably move up to marathons next year. I may do Abingdon to try for a good for age time to get in to London.

    I'm doing Paddock Wood too, target 99 minutes :)

  • Well, I finally cracked 20 miles yesterday. I managed to stick to my 9:30 min/mile pace until Mile 16 when we came up through Maryon Wilson Park in Charlton. It dropped back to 9:36 by the time I'd got back to Welling via Plumstead Common, so would have been looking at a time of 4:11 for full distance. I'd settle for that now in Paris.

    Was surprised that yesterday's run took in 1,200ft of climbing in 20 miles where as Paris looks almost as flat as a pancake in comparison, around 250ft for the 26.2 so feeling even more confident now.

    I have to say the legs feel a little tender today and I really didnt want to get out of bed this morning but all reasonably good.
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