First Marathon - Please help

I can't get over 15 miles and only 4 weeks to go!!

1 to 20 of 21 messages
30/04/2013 at 11:32

Hi everyone,

I am running the Edinburgh Marathon in 4 weeks and it's my first ever go.  I've been running for just under 2 years now and have done a few 5 k's, 10k's and half marathons.

I have been building up to my long runs for sometime now but just can't break 15 miles and am due to do 18 - 20 miles this weekend, I am really worried that I don't have it in me and if that's the case am I just being stupid trying to do a marathon at all.

Thank you.

30/04/2013 at 11:35

Why can't you get past 15?

30/04/2013 at 11:50
 
Intermanaut wrote (see)

Why can't you get past 15?


They live on a small island ?

30/04/2013 at 12:03

Hi Intermanaut,

My legs just feel that they can't go anymore, even if I try walking for a while I just can't seem to go any further, I am keeping a even pace when I start out but after mile 11 it just becomes really hard, the last time I tried I felt really sick, I don't want to give up though, I am so excited about doing this marathon although I would rather make it over the finish line still standing.  Any advise most welcome thank you.

30/04/2013 at 12:06

Run slower?

Or possibly eat more food.

30/04/2013 at 12:06

How long have you been training for this marathon ?

What sort of training schedule have you been using ?

My usual marathon plan has 4 long runs of 20 miles plus, the last one being 3 weeks before the race, I'm sure you should have been up to this by now

30/04/2013 at 12:16

At a guess, you're running your long runs too fast.

What sort of schedule have you been using?  Does it give you any guidance on pace?

30/04/2013 at 12:27

Thanks everyone,

I did a 10K in November and training since then, the weather over Feb/March didn't help and I hate the treadmile. I run 4 times a week, 2 x 4 miles, 1 x 6-9 miles, including speed work and hills etc.  I also cross train and do yoga.

I agree that food could be an issue and have been working on my carb loading, the last couple of weeks I should of been reaching 16 - 18 but just haven't been able to, so all my long runs are around the 14/15 mark which I have done about 7 of.

So I think I really have one chance left at 18/19 miles will this be enough?

30/04/2013 at 12:30

Too much pace is the most likely issue.... if you run faster than a certain threshold, you start using 'fast-twitch' muscle fibres... which are inefficient with fuel.

But are taking food and water with you on the run.  For many people, 15 miles is roughly the time when your food supply gets depleted...  and you need to be taking on carbohydrates during the run.

Same thing with water.  How are you hydrating?

What are you doing the day or two before the long runs?

Can you answer these....  people can be more specific with advice then.

If you can get up to 18 - 20 miles, I suspect you'll be OK on the day (though it won't be easy)...     Remember that you're doing your long runs whilst tired.. but come Edinburgh, you'll have rested/tapered... and will be feeling stronger.

 

30/04/2013 at 12:30

Which  schedule have you been following ?

what sort of pace have you been doing your long run at ? 

What has been your average weekly mileage ? Not sure you have been doing enough, although difficult to tell without details of your schedule ? 

 

 

30/04/2013 at 12:37

Personally, I wouldn't take on running 26 miles if I'd not done at least three runs over 18 miles.

If you find you simply cannot get past 15 miles now, even though you'll be more rested for the race, I think trying to do eleven more will be very, very hard.

I think you can defer?  It might be better to do that, then have another go next year, following a good training schedule and slowing your long runs right down.

30/04/2013 at 12:41

Jan / Feb we were doing over 50 miles a week ( yep even in that weather ) with 3 runs over over 20 miles finishing with a 22 miler 3 weeks before the race 

30/04/2013 at 12:47
Run Wales wrote (see)

Too much pace is the most likely issue.... if you run faster than a certain threshold, you start using 'fast-twitch' muscle fibres... which are inefficient with fuel.

But are taking food and water with you on the run.  For many people, 15 miles is roughly the time when your food supply gets depleted...  and you need to be taking on carbohydrates during the run.

Same thing with water.  How are you hydrating?

What are you doing the day or two before the long runs?

Can you answer these....  people can be more specific with advice then.

If you can get up to 18 - 20 miles, I suspect you'll be OK on the day (though it won't be easy)...     Remember that you're doing your long runs whilst tired.. but come Edinburgh, you'll have rested/tapered... and will be feeling stronger.

 

I have been trying to follow the Hal Higdon novice plan. On my shorter runs I go at a 10min.mil pace and longer runs about 11min/mile but think that as the miles creap up this could be too quick for me as I drop down to a 12min/mile (which I know must seem really slow, I could probably walk faster). In total about 30 miles a week.

I bring a bottle of water with me and am using the cliff blocks, taking 2 every 45 minutes (long runs only). I sometimes bring walnuts to.I do a 5 mile run 2 days before my long run, then nothing the day before except trying to eat plenty of carbs and drink lots of water.On the morning of the run I have 3 eggs, 2 slices of toast, blueberries and yogurt, applejuice with concentrated beatroot jucie (30ml).

30/04/2013 at 12:55

Thanks for the info scarelt rb.   It sounds like you're being sensible. 

I could speculate but I'm honestly struggling a bit to spot any obvious problems.   Hopefully someone with suitable experience will give you good advice. Good luck.

30/04/2013 at 13:22

from a distance and without knowing you at all, I wonder is it just purely a mental block?

If it is, it might help to do a split run, if you can fit your day round it.  I did some of these last summer so that I could get my LSR in.  So I'd do e.g. a 12 miler in the morning, with another 6 in the evening (I run better in the mornings, you might not want to split it that way, just go with what you think's best).

As I said, I split it because of time pressure, but it might help if you did a run or two like this?  Then you'd know you could do 18, 20 miles in a day.  You might then feel more like you could do it one go!

I hope you can work it out anyway, best of luck.

 

30/04/2013 at 15:47

Thank you Run Wales much appreciated.

Thank you daisybrain. I read an article on this and wasn't sure would it count.  But I do think this has a lot to do with it, I train mostly on my own which suits me, but I do notice I push myself a lot more when I am with others, maybe it's time to think about joining a running club.

I don't feel not competing is an option, I know walking is sometimes frowned upon in a marathon but I really want to complete this and hopefully my passion will be enough to carry me through.

30/04/2013 at 15:53
scarlet runner bean wrote (see)

 

I don't feel not competing is an option, I know walking is sometimes frowned upon in a marathon but I really want to complete this and hopefully my passion will be enough to carry me through.


Why ?  

What is making you do 26.2 miles ?

You do sound as if you aren't ready, Why force yourself and possibly do some damage to yourself ?

Not starting is ALWAYS an option, and sometimes a much braver one than starting

Join a running club, and go out training with like minded people.

It's a gorgeous day here (Cheshire) and tonight there will be around 30 of us meet up at the club and go for a run, Haven't a clue what the coach has planned, But I bet I come back from it shattered without realising how hard I worked.. Cos I will be with a bunch of like minded individuals

cougie    pirate
30/04/2013 at 17:32
If you're running your long runs at about 11 mins a mile - you're probably aiming for a race time of sub 4.30 ?
That would mean your half time should be about 2 hours ?

I'd think you might be running your long runs too fast. A lot of people make that mistake.

I'm sure you'll get round the marathon - I'd not be scared to walk - I did sub 3.15 in London and still passed people walking. Take regular walking breaks earlier on - don't dawdle - but maybe through a water station whilst you take on food.

Ideally you'd get to 5 or so 20 milers - that makes it slightly less painful. Your marathon will hurt - but I'm sure you'll get round.

Get dropped off 18 miles away from home. Then youve no option ?
01/05/2013 at 12:38
cougie wrote (see)
If you're running your long runs at about 11 mins a mile - you're probably aiming for a race time of sub 4.30 ?
That would mean your half time should be about 2 hours ?

I'd think you might be running your long runs too fast. A lot of people make that mistake.

I'm sure you'll get round the marathon - I'd not be scared to walk - I did sub 3.15 in London and still passed people walking. Take regular walking breaks earlier on - don't dawdle - but maybe through a water station whilst you take on food.

Ideally you'd get to 5 or so 20 milers - that makes it slightly less painful. Your marathon will hurt - but I'm sure you'll get round.

Get dropped off 18 miles away from home. Then youve no option ?

Thanks cougie,

I think you and everyone else here is right, I am running my long runds too fast and am going to give it a big push this weekend, I really like the idea of getting dropped off 18 miles from homes, it's what I was thinking I should do.

I know I want be setting any record time, but I really want to do this, enough to feel I have done something to be proud of yet at the same time wanting to get back to training and thinking about improving for the next one.

I was also thinking that since I haven't been clocking as many miles as most I might try for another 18 miles next weekend and have a 2 tapering weeks instead of 3, although I think I will focus on the first one and see how that goes.

07/05/2013 at 10:55

I did 19 miles on Saturday all in one and only walked a bit when eating.  Thanks everyone for all your advise.

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