Realistic expectations for 1st marathon

1 to 20 of 28 messages
24/06/2012 at 17:48
Well I've bitten the bullet and signed up for the Dartmoor Vale marathon on 21st October. Left it too late for Abbingdon so running a tougher one instead. What would be a realistic target? A bit of back ground - half pb 1.23. 10k 36.45. 46 year old vet. Can easily run 1.30 Half at fairly easy pace in training. I am not silly enough to believe the calculators which predict sub 3 hours! Although I am prepared to give it 100% and follow a tough 16 week programme. What would be a sensible target? Really want to give it a lash and not leave too much time on the table.
24/06/2012 at 21:02

Have a butchers at this thread  using actual times form runners on here, the average conversion half to full is 2.25 x half time. 

Concensus was the calculators are a "best case" predictor, not an acurate one.

good luck.  

25/06/2012 at 08:45
Thanks Helen. Some great info on that thread. According to that outcome should be around 3.07. Factor in a couple of hills and a few wobbles 3.10 would be a good target.
25/06/2012 at 09:02

If you were running something flat and fast I would say there'd be nothing drastically wrong with having sub-3 in mind as a potential target, but if Dartmoor Vale is tougher (I know nothing about the course) then 3:10 sounds like a sensible one.  If London holds any interest at all, the Good For Age target for you would be 3:15, so that could be a back-up target if you start struggling.

With those times, you've definitely got a sub-3 inside you, but there's a good deal of training needs to be done to convert as well as the predictors predict.  Pop over to the sub-3 thread and let us know how the training's going.


25/06/2012 at 09:11

Dylan I think you should zip up your man suit and go for sub 3 with those times! I'm 45 with 42 (Aug 2011), 1:29 (Mar 2012), 3:15 (Oct 2011) - I'm doing Dart Vale too and going to give sub 3 a shot! I've done 3 ultras this year (1 more to do) so I know stamina is not an issue so will be working on speed between now and then. There are a couple of hills but it is not a hideously tough course. A big focus for your first is to get fuelling/hydration strategy right.
You live in Devon?

25/06/2012 at 09:11
Thanks Phil. 3.15 was always in my mind as based on last years results that would get me 2nd in v45 and a trophy which would be nice. I will definitely follow a sub 3 programme and will join in the sub 3 forum. Any ideas on a good 16 week schedule? I am able to run 6 times a week. Was going to download a RW garmin ready at last resort but they always seem a wee bit aggressive? Thanks again.
25/06/2012 at 09:14
Jeremy. Live in Bristol but folks in Plymouth about 30 mins from course hence why I chose it. Was going to do Abingdon but too late! Any tips on fueling and hydration would be most welcome! All new to me as generally do a half without a drink.
25/06/2012 at 09:21

I'm not verly familiar with the RW plans but from what I recall they're a bit heavy on the intervals.  Since my first marathon where I used one of Hal Higdon's intermediate plans I've made up my own schedules.  HH goes the other way from RW if anything, with very straightforward schedules which you can tweak by adding tempo runs etc. so may be worth checking out.  Otherwise a lot of sub-3 threaddies swear by Pfitzinger & Douglas, whose schedules are based on overall weekly mileage targets.


25/06/2012 at 09:36

Plus one for Pfitzinger & Douglas, used it on my last 3 marathons to improve each time (3:42, 3:29, 3:15). Also has a lot on fuelling etc. Like you for a half I don't really have a drink. For a full I will take about 3-4 gels but start 1 hr before having 1/2 every 30 min. You need to find which brand/flavour work for you and how many you can stomach - also have to make sure you drink the volume of water required by each. Too little and you won't absorb anything which is why I only have half at a time so I can drink less more often. Use your long runs (20+) to practise fuelling etc as I am sure you know.

25/06/2012 at 10:19
Just ordered the Pfitzinger and Douglas advanced marathon book and will arrive tomorrow!!
25/06/2012 at 11:01

Look forward to the trophy smackdown!

25/06/2012 at 11:16
No doubt there will be some fresh talent arriving who didn't enter last year. Always the way!! Did a local 10k recently where I thought I was nailed on for a top 3 but a big club included it as one of there runs and ended up with 6th. Grrrrrr.
27/06/2012 at 07:25
Hty984 I think you have a serious amount of fucking off to do. Start now.
27/06/2012 at 08:08
seren nos    pirate
27/06/2012 at 08:12

Dylan were spammed..but one of the spam moderators have removed the post as they try too...........which now makes Dangerous Gavins post a bit stupid.....well more stupid that it was

27/06/2012 at 08:35
Thanks Seren!!
27/06/2012 at 08:45
Got the Pfitzinger book yesterday and started a 50 to 70 mile a week 18 week schedule last night. Kicked off with an 'aerobic' 8 miler. Very nice it was to. Feels great to be on the road to a new goal. Read a few chapters of the book already and very impressed. Nice and easy to follow. Looking forward to the 16 miler on Sunday. Oh, also got a copy of nutrition for marathon running by Jane Griffin.
27/06/2012 at 09:19

I'm more familiar with the first part of the book than the actual schedules.  Yes, that's a very good read and I tend to recommend the book to people who want to understand the fundamentals of marathon training even if they're not following the schedules.  Probably the clearest explanation I've seen of the different types of training required for exercising all the elements of fitness required - LT, VO2, endurance, etc. 

Unfortunately they've updated things since the edition I've got so you don't get photos of 80's dudes running in day-glo socks, tight shorts and ray-bans! 

27/06/2012 at 09:33
I'm also busy digesting Pfitzinger & Douglas, it's quite an enjoyable read with a plethora of salient information. Some of the training plans are probably best described as intimidating.
27/06/2012 at 09:45

Big fan of Pfitzinger & Douglas, although Steve's RW plan took me to a new PB by over 10mins in Paris, so I wouldn't discount them either, if your looking to go fast the reps really are key.  On targets, I subscribe to the 3 target plan, acceptable, good and perfect.

as it your first marathon the acceptable target has to be get round

Good would be sub-3:15 for the GFA place

Then Perfect would be 3:07 based on the converter stats put together on the thread mentioned by HL above.  (I was an outlier on this as my conversion is 2.05)

1 to 20 of 28 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump