Strange have posted a few comments on this site and they have all disappeared!!
For those who havn't done this race before , I'd say that the hill at about 19 miles is not too bad- you can just walk up it anyway, unless you are looking for a sub-4 time. I think the thing that trashes your legs is the downhills early on- you need to train for downhill running- it is much tougher on the legs than the flat is- practice on a hill- slowup, faster down- it is well worth the effort- and remember on the day not to get too carried away at the beginning.
I'm in for Loch Ness 2013. I did it in 2012 as my second marathon (first being Edinburgh 2012).
I trained very badly for Edinburgh and marginally better for Loch Ness...
The hill at 18/19 miles at Loch Ness hurts if you've burned yourself out early (as tricialitt mentions) on the downhills and the hill at about 22/23 miles is almost as bad. I stupidly went faster than I planned in the first 10 miles or so which are generally downhill and then was back on average pace over the next (flat) 6 or 7 miles. I toiled badly from about mile 18 to mile 23 (ish). Even with that, I really enjoyed the marathon and signed up for 2013 within the next few days! Finishing time was 4:24.
I've been training "properly" since the start of this year for 10k distance and now half marathon distance. I'm looking to knock at least an hour off my marathon PB this year...
As has been said - if you don't have accommodation already, you'll need to get on it soon as the accommodation fills up very quickly. If you've got anyone going with you in a car that take any luggage etc. then an option away from Inverness is to stay at Drumnadrochit or Fort Augustus where there are bus pick up points. We stayed in Drumnadrochit last year and that worked well. Inverness City Centre this year though to save my wife (now with added baby) having to find parking etc. on the day. We'll be staying walking distance from the finish line!
Another tip. It was bloody freezing at the start line with a decent amount of time to wait before actually getting going. If you can take something warmish to wear to keep you warm that you're not bothered about chucking away at the start or soon after, then it would be advisable. The bag drop is good too - I went dressed in my hoody and jogging bottoms and kept them on for as long as possible before throwing them into my rucksack and onto the back of the trucks. The pick up wasn't far from the finish line and I had my joggers and hoody back on in no time after finishing.
tricialitt/Calum, thanks for the heads up, it's always good to get tips to avoid common mistooks. Calum, knocking 30 mins off your previous time sounds a massive improvement!
How close are hotels from the shops, as the wife likes a mooch while iam running?
well, if you get somewhere in the City Centre I guess you'd be close to the shops? Only been there once before sorry so can't really help.
Can anybody point me to somewhere I can see the total incline/decline? I've seen the profile but would like to know exactly what I'm letting myself in for and maybe to help me choose training routes. It may be me but not found the course on Garmin Connect.
Edited to say I found several runs on mapmyrun and the total incline seems to vary from 205-250 metres. Feel better now as today's 6 mile run was 240 metres, just need to get some stamina in me
Andi, I ran it last year and according to endomondo the total descent I did was 1936ft and the total ascent was 906ft. While the hill at 18-20 miles is tough it's more to do with the stage of the run rather than the total incline. It is one of those hills though that you think you might be at the top and then you turn a corner and see another long stretch, can be a bit of a morale sapper.
Eastham75, Inverness is a compact town and as long as the hotel is in the town itself it won't be a long walk to the shops or anywhere else. The last mile or so is by the river, spectatator friendly and only a short walk from the shops. Also worth considering self-catering, lots of places within 10-15 min walk of town centre and it gives more home comforts, including fridge/freezer for cold beer and ice packs!
Andi - the stats from my Garmin for last year's marathon:
Elevation Gain:971 ft
Elevation Loss:1,932 ft
Min Elevation:32 ft
Max Elevation:1,013 ft
Eastham75 - Last year, we stayed in Drumnadrochit which is closer to the start than the finish, but still only 30 minutes or so from Inverness. This year we're staying in self catering apartments (I forget which ones) about 10-15 minutes walk to the finish. (There are buses from their to the start line). I think this will be much better post-race than having to sit in the car afterwards. Staying the Sunday night this year too, as I've got the following day off work (which I didn't last year!), which will be way better.
Txs for the stats Jaggy & Calum, makes me feel a little easier and agree that last hill will be harder as it will be around my max planned LSR. Looks like I'll be upping my Hill running in reverse
I ran this last year as my first marathon and loved it . Would love to do it again this yr but as I live in the south of England it was a bit of a trek . Amazing views . The worst bit is the first 9 miles which are down hill , killed the quads for the hill at 18 miles . If I have one training tip it's train running downhills as well as up and add some lunges to your weekly workouts.
So jealous of you all.
Just wanted to say Hi,
have put my money down, time to get on with it! Always hankered about doing a marathon. And now I am Just did my first ever competive race aberdeen 10k.
Felt pretty good and finished strong in 49:33. Weight is falling off of me now and of course that makes the body able to go faster! Would love to get a decent time first time out is that realistic, near 3:30 ish would be amazing can that be done in 17 or so weeks!! Or am I dreaming people! Have entered Stonehaven half marathon in early July in preparation for the big one! But hear Stoney 1/2 is no push over with 4 miles of hills to start with.
Nice to get to know the competion before race day lol
PS was going to do Lochaber 2012 and had entered only to get a small injury which I allowed to fester and turn me into a lazy lump on the sofa! Should have went but allowed a small problem with my foot to make me quit
But have been doing the mileage and no quitting this time!
See you at the start line peeps!
First marathon, don't put ANY pressure on your self time wise, just go along and run and enjoy it, theirs time for that at a latter date.
Lots of marathon training programs out there, and yes 17 weeks is plenty ,build up the millage nice and slowly, all the best, and will see you on the start line.
Hi NST- if you just moving up to the distance, and are doing a 10k in just under 50, 3:30 is a bit of a push, target-wise. The pace convertors you will see online are rather optimistic, I think 50 mins converts to about 4hr. Don't make the mistake of setting off for your first mara with an over-ambitious time target in mind- sure, have an "A" target thar will stretch you, but think of something a little less ambitiiuos as "B" and "C" targets- ie- A= sub 4hr, B=finsh under 4:15, C= finish. You will get a better idea of target pace/ conversion to longer distance after your half mara. Just remember to train SLOW while you are incresing the distances, or you'll re-injure.
Hi Northseatiger, good luck with the training and 3:30 target you'll be back at the hotel, refreshed and tucking into your steak dinner while I'm still running
Like tricialitt suggests, my A goal is to finish and B goal is a sub 5 hours - will be 54 then and smoke and drink so think thats a decent goal for my first Marathon.
Looking at the route profile other than 1 main hill the first 10 miles are downhill then flat (or undulating) for 8 miles till the big hill at Dores so my plan (if you can call it a plan) is to try and run the first 18 miles 30 secs/mile faster than my goal pace of 11:16 and hope adrenalin takes me the rest of the way
Andi, I wouldn't advise increasing pace by 30 seconds per mile in the first 18 miles to be honest. The downhills are deceptively tiring on the legs! Let gravity increase your pace a bit (maybe 10 -15 seconds per mile at the most) but it's flat from about 10 miles to 17 miles, so that should be ran at target pace. The two hills at 18 miles and 21/22 miles are tough but they'll be a hell of a lot tougher if you go out and run the first 18 miles significantly quicker than target pace!! I tried to do run the downhill sections much quicker than target pace last year and by the time I hit 18 miles I was really struggling.
Thanks Calum, thought as much. I guess my main problem is that this is my first Marathon and basically plucked 4:55 out of the blue (11:16 min miles sounded ok).
Will plod on with this target in mind and maybe reassess things after the Mull HM (again, my first). On a positive note they will both bring PB's providing I finish
Andi - the one piece of advice I can give (not being a very experience runner and based on messing up two marathons...) is to make sure your target is realistic based on current fitness and training and stick to it. Don't rush off at the start thinking you'll be able to tough it out because the chances are you won't!!
At the start, running 11 minute miles will feel very slow (same goes for whatever target pace you've set) because you're fresh, raring to go, excited, etc etc. If your target is sensible though, running quicker than that will just mean you're knackered before the end of the race and you'll hit the wall at about 18 miles and the next 5 or 6 miles will be hell.
I was undertrained for the Edinburgh Marathon last year and just set about getting to the end. I didn't really know what my target pace was, but I definitely went off quicker than I should have!! Based on my lack of training, I really should have incorporated a run/walk strategy so that I didn't do all my running in the first 18 miles and then really struggle for the rest of the course. I was a bit better prepared for the Loch Ness Marathon but still woefully undertrained. I set myself the target of 4 hours and if I'd ran a sensible race, I might just have managed it. Instead though, I set off at about 8 minute miles thinking that would be good for the downhill sections. What it meant was that the flat section in the middle was tougher than it needed to be and by the time I hit the hill at 18 miles, the pace had dropped way below my target 9 minute mile pace. I'll never know what would have happened if I'd just set off at 9 minute mile pace but I think at the very least, the last few miles wouldn't have been quite so painful! I might not have made the 4 hours, but it annoys me that I didn't at least try to be sensible! I came in in 4:24 at Loch Ness, which was kind of my target at Edinburgh. I was hoping to run in 4:30 at Edinburgh but came in in 4:48.
The main things I learned from the experiences were (a) training properly is absolutely essential, (b) don't just pluck targets out of the air (base them on current fitness / training), and (c) STICK TO THE TARGET from the offset!!
Sounds like Sage advice Callum especially as it comes from experience
I plugged my guestimate time into the Macmillan calculator and have the 1k, 1 mile, 5k, 10, and HM predicted times in one of my (many) spreadsheets. Currently my 1k and 1 mile times are faster than the predictions, am 20 seconds short on the 5k and a whopping 4:39 short for the 10k. This weekend should see my first 13.1 miles in training so no time yet and my target is 2:35 and 15 minutes shy of the projected time.
I guess this means that right now I need to work on stamina and will train hard(er). It's only now I've started training that I realise the enormity of what I've taken on!
All the advice says to run your long runs slower than target MP - all about building endurance. Something else I didn't do last year and probably hit marathon day on tired legs. I did pretty much everything wrong last year...
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