GULP... London Marathon?

11 messages
07/04/2012 at 13:24
Hi everybody,

I'm a newbie so not too sure about forum etiquette, apologies now if I get it wrong...

I've always wanted to run the London Marathon, and have decided to enter in 2013. I'm currently running 5K on the gym treadmill at a 1.5% incline in 36 minutes. Do we think if I carry on training from now onwards till the 2013 marathon I'll be able to make it? Also, any handy advice you have would be very much appreciated

Thankyou in advance for your help,
Sarah
07/04/2012 at 13:44

Hi- at least you've started actually doing some running before deciding to do a marathon- that's a start! You will need a full year of progressive;y increasing your distances if you want to do yourself justice, but  it is possible.

First thing to undertsand is that your chances on getting in on the ballot are very small, so , go ahead and enter, and start trainig, but be prepared that you will hear, in a few months time, that you have been unsuccessful. The best option is then to choose another spring marathon ( there are many) and keep trainig, there are lots of great races out there, and while you're at it, get off your treadmill, out into the big wide world, and start doing some local events. You can already do 5k- so find a park run, then a local 10k to enter, aim to be doing half marathons by the autumn, and the world's your oyster! 

I started as a treadmill runner, and it's a good way to start, and great for speed trainig or bad weather trainig, but now it's the spring, - run outside, it's so much better!- it will take time to get accustomed to pacing yourself ,and feel very odd at first, but go for it, slowly, and soon you'll wonder why you ever preferred the tready.

If it MUST be london, you'll probably end up having to go down the charity route, in order to get a place.

Godd luck, join a newbie thread, get your self a good 5k>10k plan, and get out there!

PLD
09/04/2012 at 18:04

Hey Sarah,

That all sounds very familiar! I am seriously considering a marathon in spring 2013 and have started entering 5k's. I completed my first 5k in a reasonable time and am doing my first 10k in June before the great south run in October. I do all of my training outdoors which I prefer.

I have heard how difficult it is to get a place in the London marathon like tricialitt mentions so will probably try for the Brighton if I can get the courage up to enter!

Good luck with the training

10/04/2012 at 08:19

Go on, you know you want to! I'm about to run my first marathon at Brighton on Sunday. Entries will probably open Monday, you know you want to...  

I decided on brighton as my first because I wanted to start building up to a marathon, knowing I had a place. And for London you can't do that - or at least not without going down the raising loads of money charity place route - and I decided running the thing would be pressure enough for the first time. You can always decide to raise money without a charity place, and that brings with it no pressure to reach a particular amount.

I took a little more time building up, 2 years from starting again to being ready (or as ready as I'll ever be). But a year would seem a reasonable time frame. but I'd make sure you've got some milestones on the way, to make sure you don't slack. I'm not sure where the last year has gone! Aim for a summer 10k and an autumn half. Also check out the longer distance (15 to 20 mile) races in spring to use as race day practice.

In my limited experience, I think you need to make sure you've got used to running double figure miles regularly before the start of a marathon programme. Have a good look around for a marathon plan to start december. From looking around, I thought a lot of beginners plans ramp up the miles quite quickly, and that can be quite daunting. I went with a plan that started from 10 miles for a long run, meaning it ramped the miles up more gradually, over 18 weeks - and I put 2 contingency weeks in, in case of colds. I used the one by Shades, thread to be found in the training forum.

There's loads of support to be found on here, the threads in "spring marathon" for people after similar times are great, and make sure you pop into the thread in "events" for the one you enter. They're full of people who've done it before, and they have loads of information on how the race is laid out, organisation, where to stay etc, that just makes things a bit easier.

Training can take over your life, and I'm going very slightly dotty with nerves, but it's going to be fab. *fingers crossed*

10/04/2012 at 10:00
Aww thankyou guys, that's some great advice! I'm going to enter an autumn half marathon and a summer 10K as you suggested, to give myself some milestones

I've got a copy of Shades' training plans, and they seem very do-able so I'm going to go with them!

Any advice on kit? I'm thinking of carrying on in my current Adizero trainers because they seem pretty good for 5K or so runs, but I'm going to fork out for some properly fitted ones soon and was wondering if you seasoned runners had any tips!
10/04/2012 at 14:17

Well done Sarah that's the spirit! Pop in and say hello on Shades' thread, the regulars have all been very friendly to a first timer and they've got bags of experience, so are great sources of information.

Shoes - take yourself to a "proper" running shop, one staffed by runners, not the local oiks. They'll give you advice on what shoes suit you and your running style. Buying new shoes ought to take time and you will end on trying on half the shop - that's how it's suppose to be. Once you know what you're comfortable in, and you'll need to know for a half, let alone a full, buy 2 pairs. Do 90% of your training in one pair, and keep the other pair back. Use the second pair for racing and a few of the very long runs - that way they're nicely bedded in, but still fresh, come marathon day. You don't want to be running in either worn out OR new shoes - not that far anyway.

24/04/2012 at 16:59
Thanks for the advice guys! I've finally taken the plunge and entered the Brighton Marathon- seems a bit more approachable for a first-timer
24/04/2012 at 19:27

25/04/2012 at 07:36
I know Helen Liz! So excited I put 4h30-5h as my finishing time, since we can change it up until February

I am SO excited! How's your training going?
25/04/2012 at 08:01

Well I'm in recovery post first marathon - Brighton last weekend. I've been out for a short run and the legs have remembered what this running lark is all about.

It was an experience I'll never forget. Not saying I enjoyed every minute of it, but I'm very pleased I did it. Not yet back in formal training, but the summer will be spent doing shorter distances - knocking off PBs for 5 & 10k - making use of all that extra endurance training.

Get yourself some races booked over the summer, to keep the mind focussed. Also race day is quite different from training - you need to practice dealing with race day nerves, running with people etc as much as you need to do the distance training.  Aim for an autumn half marathon, then get into training over the winter.

25/04/2012 at 08:06
Aww well done! Sounds like a fun summer

I've booked a half in October and am perhaps going to do a 10K in the summer- like you said, it gives me some focus and will be good practice!

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