Advice for Beginner

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27/04/2008 at 19:53
Our 29 th Full Marathon

Sunday 27 April- we celebrated 6 years together on the road-

It was our 29 th Full marathon, - 280 th race in total

What a 6 years it's been - conqueing races all over the UK

what a month of April 2008 it's been- one to remember with much pride and joy -

April 10 - ( Winners of Runners World ) Jane Tomlinson Inspiration Awards ( UK Heroes of Running )

April 11 - phone call from Flora London Marathon - giving us just 36 hours notice to get there to compete, what a day it was - i shall remember it for the REST of my LIFE

Then of course

April 27- Shakespeare Marathon - in 5.01 - our day to remember proudly in style of 6 years together on the road, we conquered Britain proudly

The organisers gave us a send off to be proud of, though sadly we never lived up to our expectations- the road was hard and long, and it gone harder - we clocked an ok 5 hours 1 minute

i was in desperate trouble fluid wise, could'nt get the fluid fast enough, i'm sure my levels dropped

I really knew from 6 miles on wards that it was going to be a long haul - needing me to dig fairly deep in to my physcologial stamina box - though we survived - proudly suvived - it was our 4 th Full marathon this year

But the support from fellow runners and spectators was simply fantastic

Just goes to show, what i've always said, and i'll always maintain- there's no room for complecancy in the marathon

we are very happy, but i'm also extremely sore and tired - Phillip really did feel top heavy - there was and is no getting away from it

Even with all my vast experience and skill - it was a battle,

But having said that- Like Draycote it can do you good

I'll rest now with Half Marathons and 10k's for a while

11/05/2008 at 19:34
Tewkesbury HM in 2.12 - It was HOT

Today we ran Tewkesbury HM in 2.12 - i can only describe it as hot, humid and sapping- sapping both physically and mentally - there was NO escape from it, and i cannot be in denial of it

But hell, this builds stamina, this is what is needed, a challenge in life - we did'nt get to wear we are in life without challenges beyond the limitiations

Having said that, ( Before ) i go putting myself down too much, we've had a busy week, last Sunday we had a long drive to run the warm and hilly GWR HM at Exeter- then Tuesday night we ran Silverstone 10k in 57 mins quietly, then Wednesday night we ran Hilly DK 10k in 57 mins, so perhaps my legs were heavy

Ok, we prepared for Tewkesbury - an interesting start and finish, ( but you cannot have it always ) we set off, the slow start i think was ideal to stop anyone going off to quick

we had NO problems getting fluid at all on route, and i was drinking lots, and spraying myself in water, but it was HOT and HUMID, both physically and mentally sapping, i really had to think deeply into my physcological and mental deep, as to what to do and how , and just settle best i could, but by then we were at 8 or 9 miles, we were on the way home,

We'd done it ALL before, today was nothing special or different

But, i knew from early on that any fast times were completely out - so it was - revert to fun and jog pace, but then i found people in trouble, so stopped several times to offer words of comfort and water from my bottles

then i was on the pavements more than once - which hurt my back like hell - all of which started to sap me even,

I freely admit, it was a hot hard run, - with ALL my experience and fitness and skill and strength , i had to OR decided bodly to revert to get there when we get there

i was just short of 12 miles, when my wife rang my mobile to say a ambulance was emergency on route - was we ok ?? YES, i said were fine

I found the finish tough, but satisfying, indeed it's made me think ( Mick you can still do it ) actually thinking back about things - i found the whole event satisfying, it really was the least of my problems with what every day life has thrown at me over 20 years

so, we move onwards in life to next weeks HM , maybe we'll go on the track tomorrow night - i'm not sure yet, it depends on what my wife might think

i do hope you all had a good day, and i'm really SORRY if things were NOT what you'd expect

regards to all of you and take real good care - NEVER say NEVER again and or give up hope, WE could have EASILY have given up today - NOT a chance !!


12/01/2009 at 15:33
Helllooooooooo!!! I haven't checked in here for ages, but just wanted to give an update to my progress, and get some advice really, as I'm at a crossroads with my training!!. Well on average, I now run 4 times total averaging about 25 miles each week, and pretty much follow that strictly, including 1 long run between 7-10 miles, and a few 10k's. BUT, and this is a big but I'm still very, very slow about 10-11 minutes per mile. Lately I've also been feeling very tired, during a run compared to a few months ago, and can feel that my pace and performance is not as good as it was, and don't feel as energised after. I started the half-marathon schedule but not sure whether it will be as productive to my running, if I'm still slow and not pacing myself very well. I started running about 11 months ago from scratch, and really feel I should be more advanced than this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as to what I should be doing to improve my speed and endurance. Eventually I would love to start entering races, but just dont feeI confident at my current pace, and really dont want to go back to doing the 5k training plan, as I've put so much work into the last year. Please help!! Love from a fed-up runner!! Tash XX
Edited: 12/01/2009 at 15:38
12/01/2009 at 15:58
First thing that comes to mine... are you eating enough?  Increased mileage requires more energy so if you aren't fueling yourself then you will struggle.
12/01/2009 at 16:59

Hi CrazyCaz! Well the last few months have been trial and error with both pre and post-run food. I originally started off with cereal, and felt too heavy then now just eat a slice of toast and a banana, and go out after 30 minutes or so. Post-run I have a glass of milk and 2 boiled eggs for protein. Any other suggestions what I should be eating?

In addition I've been able to check my HR, and it goes up as high as 170+ on easy runs, but when I stop drops to 120 quite quickly. Is that normal?? I'm really frustrated as I don't know if I'm actually progressing or not?

Edited: 12/01/2009 at 17:02
14/01/2009 at 12:44

I meant are you eating enough calories in a day.  It doesn't matter what you eat before or after a run if it is still too little over all.  Just speaking from experience and it might not be a problem for you at all.  I was trying to run half marathons on about 1000 calories a day.  In hindsight it was obvious why I was struggling, but at the time I felt that I was eating loads.

Can't comment on the HR.  I've never measured mine so have no idea what is normal.

15/01/2009 at 16:16
I think I've been eating under 1000 calories, and starting too fast on my runs. I find it very hard to start off at a slow pace, but really do feel it after 10-15 minutes or so. I guess running 4 days and 25 miles a week, has been for nothing, as I haven't worked up a good base to build on....Apart from the fitness side of it,  I really want to burn off as many calories as possible, aswell as building up my endurance. Is there hope for me yet?
15/01/2009 at 20:09
Natasha, you have definately not been running for nothing! You have  built a good base, you are fitter than when you started. I'm still envious of those who can do a mile in 10 or 11 minutes even though I've gone from 20 minutes a mile to about 15. As for burning calories if you don't eat enough it's easier for your body to convert muscle into energy instead of fat. Use Weight as a rough guide as a toned body can be smaller & heavier than an untoned one. I couldn't excersise for a month due to a bug & although I didn't put on any weight everything just seemed to spread out. LOL. I'm back running again now and starting to feel some muscle tone coming back. I also use the Weight watchers points system to control how much I eat as it gives you a good guide as to what is a reasonable amount for your weight and aims to help you loose it at 1 or 2 pounds a week. I know that doesn't sound like a lot but it's weight that will stay off as long as you don't go back to your old eating & exercise habits when you've achieved youl goal. and it does add up to 3 to 7 stone in a year. Don't loose heart, focus on what you've achieved so far rather than how you may have done better.
15/01/2009 at 21:00

Hi rrevin, thanks for your response. Please excuse my stupidity, but I haven't been on RW for a while. From what I read on here, is 'base' meant as running at a pace within the recommended HR? If so, that is NOT what I've been doing, which has concerned me lately, and the fact that my diet needs a complete overhaul. During an easy run my MHR should be about 130bpm, and it gets as high as 160-170bpm within a few minutes? Also, from the minute I start running I include that as my daily mileage, which includes the warm up and cool down period. Should this be separate? As for muscle tone I feel as if it's not as good as it was a while back. I'm trying hard not to let it get me down, but these last few weeks have been  a real strugge, and push myself out there even when I'm knackered. After my run on Tuesday, it all just got too much and I went into complete meltdown, hence giving both my mind and body a break from it all for a few days.

Thanks so much for the advice! 

18/01/2009 at 00:08

Did an easy 7.5km run on the treadmill today. Felt much better and relaxed compared to my last run on Tuesday. My HR reading on the tready and Garmin varied at times, and made it a point to check at different intervals........weird!! But overall my average HR was at 140bpm.

Will try not to stress so much about the HR, but will continue to fuel and pace myself better! 

20/01/2009 at 20:48
I'm still a newbie myself and not got my head round all the technical side of it yet. I have found my heart rate goes up to 160/175 when running uphill, but starts to drop back down to 140/150 on the flat. I wonder if you're feeling worn out because you've been over training are you getting in rest days ? You build muscle by "tearing" them slightly & when they heal they grow thicker & stronger. I dont mean tearing as in agony just the burn you get when you've had a good work out.
20/01/2009 at 21:11


I had a 3 day break last week, and that did me a world of good, as I was feeling really worn out, due to not eating properly, and the majority of my runs the previous week were done at 85+% MHR. Saturday's 5 mile run was very relaxed, and yesterdays 10K was meant to be an easy run, but the wind just blew me all over the place!! LOL!! I never run 2 days in a row, but realise I will need to in order to build mileage, and pick up my pace.

I'm just finding it infuriating, as last year I was able to do steady 10K's at a comfortable pace, including a few sprints here and there, within an hour, and feel totally fine after, but now struggle with it, unless I'm going really slow.......any slower and I'd be walking!! I'd like to think I could do a 10K sub-40, or at least sub-45 but feel that's a long way off!!

How long have you been running for?

Edited: 20/01/2009 at 21:12
21/01/2009 at 14:50

Today did 3 miles in 32 minutes......was hoping to go further but again felt tired? A few weeks and months ago, I felt so energised to do 10k and longer runs, even 9 milers felt good and manageable. But even todays 3 miler was a struggle. What is wrong with me lately?! LOL!!

Experienced runners please give me some hope!!

Edited: 21/01/2009 at 14:52
23/01/2009 at 16:55

Today was an easy 6.11miles in 1hr 12 mins with my HR at 131bpm. Felt good even though it was lashing down. But, need to do a run tomorrow and Sunday to meet my 5 X runs and 25+mpw.

Just wanted advice again from the experienced runners. Even though my easy runs are stlll quite slow, should I be stepping up the speed a bit more in my normal runs, and how should I incorporate it? I have done a few strides here and there, but it's not been consistent. I really want to be picking up my pace now, as I feel running 25+miles p/w at a slow pace won't benefit me as much. I know I can do it, as I've done speedwork before, and have the determination to see it through. 

Any advice is much appreciated. 

24/01/2009 at 15:08
Hi Natasha,

I started reading this thread and didn't pay attention to the date, assuming it started this year instead of 08, so it was great to skip to the end - almost exactly 1 year on - and read about how well you have done. If your feeling down you should read your first few posts again, from walk/running a couple of minutes to 25+ miles a week is amazing.

I'm afraid I'm not an expert runner, but I too am a bit off the boil lately - I'm putting it down to winter blues - my good runs always coincide with a sunny day.

I too start running about a year ago, and 6-7 is still a long run to me, and that's around an 11 minute mile pace. I have a problem with speed. Or lack of it.
24/01/2009 at 19:23

Thanks Bru for your kind response. All the advice I've been given on here has been great, I just expect alot more out of myself! For some reason I actually enjoy getting out in this weather, and found myself running twice last week in the pouring rain.....needs must!! I find the easiest way to combat the horrid weather, is to put my running gear on, and just head out the door. You'l feel a million times better once you've finished.

How often/much do you run every week? I've been advised in order to pick up my pace, I should try adding in more mileage a week ie; 1 more run a week, and some hills. Well, Holland is as flat as a pancake, but I did some hillwork at the gym today.......40 mins on 1% incline. Depending on what your goals are RW have got some great schedules, that include speedwork, tempo runs, etc.....but to start, maybe sprinkle in a few strides as part of your daily run, take it from there.

I'm thinking of following a 10K 8 week schedule at sub-40, a tad bit optimistic, but that might be a good starting point to incorporating speedwork. I'm hoping someone will say its achievable!!!

Let us know how you get on with your progress.

Edited: 24/01/2009 at 19:29
30/01/2009 at 19:10
Hi Natasha, sorry I didn't reply before, I don't come on line very often, I started running in July 2008 so I really am a newbie. I'm finding it hard work as every where I run I have to go uphill, but I'm still amazed that I can run at all. This time last year I couldn't run 400 yeards now I'm running 4 miles I think the weather & the time of year makes it harder, everyone I know is feeling a bit bluurrr ! if you know what I mean. It's been quite miserable in England lately, not so much rainy more like really cold fine drizzle that seems to go straight to the joints. Still I quite enjoy running in the dark (partly because no one can recognise me and see how slowly I run)

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