From 0 to a Marathon in 22 weeks.

Preparing for a marathon from scratch, in 22 weeks.

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22/07/2013 at 23:15

Nice one Trilla - the mere idea of a 50K fills me with dread in this weather!  After I posted on the 17th I had a long run on Sunday, found it really hard and though it was meant to be a 21 miler, ended up as 18 as I made my loop too short and couldn't bring myself to head out again - I've got the fear of long runs that they are getting slower/harder!

I'm pretty sure it is the heat and it just takes some getting used to (I despise any temperature above 23C, and sun just makes it worse as I burn quickly even with sunblock).

Managed a pretty hilly 45 or so mile cycle today for something different after being enthused by the TDF - ouch... It was an out and back to where I work on my day off, way out 1h35.. way back 2h30+!  I really am impressed with the Tour cyclists who can just go and go.

Steph, my last 2 HM distances (as part of slightly longer runs) have been in the region of 2h15 (this off a 1h45 PB and estimated 1h40 in my next HM race) - you do well to cope with the heat, it has generally made me lethargic and tired from 2 weeks of poor sleep.

25/07/2013 at 00:26

Trilla:  WOW that is brilliant!! A great time especially considering all the hurdles. Silly site isn't sending emails again so didn't know about any updates on here. But, congrats that is awesome.


i was coming on to say done 12km in 73;09 which got me midweek is good consisting I drove 140 miles and had an 8 howoodwork day on top of the drive Etc.. But not compared to your ultra.

So proud for you, and you didn't get lost

Thanks for that Daeve good to know, so I'm not doing to bad my 12km was about 20 seconds faster than the fastest 1palm on my plan for my sub 4:30 and I'm meant to do that in 7 weeks time. So I feel I'm really pushing on and starting to dip below the estimates, but knowing how steep the last km or so is I want to be ahead of schedule

25/07/2013 at 00:30

I'm guessing I need to run 2:10 at most for the first half to get a 4:30 marathon. i also know that I need to work on my endurance I think I have the raw speed for a sub 4:30 now in me it's just holding it together over the distance which will be my key. 

I think I need to up my weekend runs as I've now done 5 or 6 weeks of st least a half. I now need I think to say at least 25km on my weekend run. 

26/07/2013 at 01:01

Trilla, you made me smile at 'short' Ultra! Kudos to you for going the extra miles!

Daeve, I'm amongst the worst for sleep and 2am seems to be an early night for me these days (hence the lack of morning runs). I'm no good on a bike and love the TDF but the Giro d'Italia seems to be tougher?

Steph, I've not had email notifications since april and it's becoming a pain I wonder what odds the bookies will give me on you going sub 4:30? I know you say the last k or so is hilly but have read that the 'best' marathon times are even or negative splits? 

Bad start to my week with a 3 mile run on Monday and became the talk of the town... was my bite from a Horsefly or Adder! (Adder was the winning thought, and quite lucky with a scratch rather than proper bite) Ended up in hospital at midnight as my hand had swollen quite badly and felt quite sick  Antihistamines, Antibiotics, Anti inflammarotories and raised hand for a few days has brought the swelling down nicely Had a very nice 6 mile jog in the rain today - much nicer than running in the heat we have been having.

26/07/2013 at 11:24

Andi: EEEEEK!! regarding the bite!! Glad that you are over it now.  That must have been slightly on the scary side. Just the not being sure what's going to happen.


I'm quietly thinking I can do this, I might even get sub 4:20 but then I realise how much work there is still ahead of me. But, i'm excited.  I've done 12k faster already than any 12k in my plan.  I can stagger along and do a 2:15 half even when it's hot and i'm not feeling great.  I think though i really need to be able to get my half time down to something like 2:05 - 2:07 and know that I can keep going after that to give me a bit more resolve, and of course it can all go brilliantly or horrible on the day. 

Looking at my stats in the last 8 weeks. Since the 1st of June i've done 320.8km at an average of 6.12 per km.  so that's an averge of 9m 56/57seconds per mile for 200 miles over those 8 weeks.  I need something like 6:21 per km to get my sub 4:30 so I think it's on. 

My biggest problem is if I get below 4:30 i'm thinking does that mean i want below 4 next year and that's a speed that I just could not conceive off when I started in May 2012.  Heck it's 3:50 or 3:45 for good for age for London.... hey that isn't to far away...... that is a really bad though that I keep having at the back of my head that i should really be aiming to get a GFA place in the 2015 London Marathon.  But I keep telling myself to stop thinking that far ahead, and that i'm possibly going to do shorter runs and concentrate on speed and  the odd very slow ultra and not worry about marathon times... But you never know this getting to a target is I find fun.  I also love the fact that i'm spending months planning for something which is so differnt to my normal life as everything else is instant i do things with no planning / no notice and yet my running is the opposite it's all planned out, and if I adjust things it's only because i'm trying to go further or faster.


28/07/2013 at 00:10

Steph, EEEEK is right! and yes, got a bit worried on Monday night but all is well again txs

You really are an inspiration and am pretty sure you'll achieve all your goals! You got me to look at my stats and since 1st June I've 'run' 351k but (sadly) at just 7:20/k so over a min/k slower than yourself However, looking at your training pace-V-goal pace it looks like you might be running too quickly in training? I'm happy plodding along at my (current) pace though a little worried that I've had motorists stop 3 times in 8 days to offer me a lift - I must look a mess lol

29/07/2013 at 23:35

Maths is not my strong point. Would I be right in thinking that if I ran 5.3 miles in 58.07 my time would be 10.95 min/mile? (58.07 divided by 5.3). The reason I ask is my Asics plan says it's 10.58 min/mile. Every time I log a time in it gives a different answer to mine. What's wrong?

29/07/2013 at 23:53

Biggun, my Maths went bad when we went decimal Though looks to me as if 10.95 min/mile is decimal? (never been 95 seconds a minute in my lifetime) and 10:58min/mile is actual time? Hope that makes sense?

Are you calculating these times in a spreadsheet? if so set the result column to

30/07/2013 at 00:00

Ha, ha. Cheers Andi. Is it too late for me to delete that?

30/07/2013 at 00:02

Don't need a spreadsheet to work it out mate, just use my brain. 

30/07/2013 at 00:08

lol, we can just put it down to the time and maybe a beer or two and I love my spreadsheet for telling my how badly I'm  doing 

01/08/2013 at 10:16

hehe I always do it approx in my head each 6 seconds is .1 and each 3 seconds .05 I find that's the easiest way to convert time to decimal and back etc...

so 10.95 is .05 so 3 seconds short of 11 minutes I guess so 10:57



01/08/2013 at 10:35

So how's my week been, well last weekend I was really crap, not sure if I was ill or just bad running.  But after 5 or 6 weeks of 25 miles plus weeks I think i ended up needing a bit of a rest anyway did 7.25k last Friday went out saturday evening to do 21k + and gave up staggering and feeling really faint after 7k.  I phoned my oh and said come pick me up before i faint.  Just felt awful. The boss is away at work and i'm in charge for two weeks no idea if being boss hasn't helped as i've been driving lots more then normal as well as a result. So generally not a great week.

So I have been a bit frustrated and i said I wasn't going to run again till at least Wednesday, but by Tuesday I had the big itch to see if I could still run it's daft after 16 months one bad run and i felt like i couldn't run!! Mad, but hey that's the way it goes.

Anyway, Tuesday I came up with a plan as i'd been running long and fast I decided to slow the whole darn process down.  So Kept garmin on to measure distance but I did not once look at it. I set out with a plan of doing between 8 and 12k.  Every time i felt that i was going slightly quick I forced myself to slow down, almost like i was actually running the start of a marathon.  I was really hard on myself saying slow down.... I concentrated on staying very upright, and just trying to run gentle.

It felt brilliant, I had no idea what speed I was doing but forcing myself to keep slowing down. I wanted to be really fresh at the end and feel like i could just keep going for a long time at the same pace.

Anyway I managed 12.16k I felt so good. Didn't stop once just went with it and felt awesome got my mojo back in one glorious run where I just ran gently and controlled no trying to hit x time just concentrating on keeping it smooth and pure. It was such a relief i was like thank ghod I really can still run!! hehe.

Anyway i looked at the watch after 79:34 for the 12.16k If I kept going at that speed that's around a 4:36 marathon.  I'd like to think when it comes to my marathon maybe that's the way to go really slow and controlled beginning and instead of doing my normal of just getting slower, keeping that up for a long time and trying to accelerate over the last 10k.  Anway that's for another day to worry about but seriously.  Just occasionally just run.  It felt sooooooooo good.

Went out and did another 8.5k last night trying to run faster but not to hard, that was in 52:38 so 4:22 sort of time. 

Feeling a lot better about myself again now after the last two nights.  Need to try to ensure i do another half this weekend.

On holiday week of the 13th of August.  Not sure if i'll stay at home or get away on my mountain bike for a biking holiday in Scotland.  But after that week it will be a month till the Ultra and i'll have double weekends up to it, with no real taper as it all pretty much the taper for my marathon.  So i'll try when i get back to have 3 or 4 weeks of double weekend runs where i do at least 10 one day and at least half the next.  Possibly more I know it's not really enough training, but hey that's all I can do at the moment and I'm not going to win but as long as I can get around it's some sort of achievement only 50.9m then i can decide if I want to improve on that next year

There is a bit of me that is thinking well I can comfortably run 8k in 50m why not run 8k then walk until I hit the 1 hour time and then do the same thing that would be 8.x k per hour comfortably and I think I could do that for a fair few hours.  Heck 5 of them would be about a marathon and half the distance covered in 5 hours leaving

01/08/2013 at 10:38

OOPS!! Long post got cut off!!

leaving... the last half another marathon just under to do in 8 hours.  So around 42k in 5 hours and another 38/39k to do in 8 hours well that's 5k per hour so 3 miles per hour. I am a slow walker but even i get 3m per hour.  If I power walked could do better so I reckon I have a chance of getting around.

I have read so many things that say conserve all your energy for later and go really slow from the start, but have read less but equally valid things saying well you only have x energy so use it while fresh... we shall see

01/08/2013 at 10:45


Total Milage Since I started running on 1st of May 2012.  So 16 months 962 miles / 1539.2km

38 miles / 60.8 km to go to hit 1,000 miles.  That is quite a fun mark to hit 1,000m So if I run less whilst away on holiday it might take me longer to get there but by the end of August i'll have hit the 1,000 miles barrier.


01/08/2013 at 10:46

Do I need a service when i hit 1,000 miles .... might get my first sports massage as a big treat!

01/08/2013 at 11:45

Always good to read your posts/progress Steph

I'm on 769 miles and started 1st July 2012 so you are well ahead of me though have upped my mileage recently and like you seem to have worn myself out so after 55 miles in 7 straight days took yesterday off in the hope I can recharge my batteries.  I'm not doing any speed work for my first Marathon and run slowly eveywhere. My Garmin is now set to just show my Current HR and I get updates on pace at every mile (I'll also take a peek at averages then to see where I'm at).

I'm pretty sure the Ultra will be a 'breeze' for you, you seem to be putting in the work rate! Personally I think you should do more of the slower paced running with 1 (maybe) 2 faster sessions a week?

Yes! you certainly deserve an award for 1,000 miles and a sports massage sounds like a great idea

02/08/2013 at 13:56

Would you rest an injury if it wasn't affecting your running TOO much? My Achilles is painful until about 10 mins into a run, but kills me the next day if I'm walking down stairs, have to walk down almost sideways. Can't really afford to rest, haven't got the time, and don't want to lose my momentum. It seems to be getting slightly worse. any advice appreciated.

02/08/2013 at 17:29

That is a nightmare I had an injury I think it was itband issues might have been something else wrong with my knee. I had it for about 3 months tried resting made no did fence just ran through it and at times had to use lifts / hobble slowly down stairs.

but, I read you cannot really make an it and worse, your Achilles on the other hand might just go ping! Have you got a foam roller, or can afford to see a sports physio? 

I'd be tempted to try 1 weeks. Rest, but as complete as possible, so use lifts etc... Because I think not running I isn't enough rest for an injury. 

i think only you know if you are at the stage where you need to stop we can say carry on,  or stop... But you know your body. If it's getting nearly impossible to walk then I guess you might have to rest it.

Edited: 02/08/2013 at 20:03
02/08/2013 at 23:01

Only 7 weeks I think until my first Ultra so underprepared. 


It's only about 81.5 km.

eeeek, I managed 12.16k Tuesday, 8.5k thurs, 8k tonight and thinking of doing 24 or 32k tomorrow.  Might go a big wild and also get a small run in on Sunday.

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