VLM 2012 first timers???

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29/12/2012 at 17:30

Hi Bigeater.

Thanks a million for your reply on this thread.

I am literally heading out the door to hit the hills !! as part of my training.

A  bit later I'll be back on the thread. Which marathon are you aiming for. Is it London?

There is plenty there to get our teeth into and absolutely no cause for concern at all !!

I mean that.

Speak soon


29/12/2012 at 19:13

Hi again bigeater.

Back from the hill session. Just beat the downpour !!

Going back to what you were saying. Are you in training for any particular marathon ? I assume it is London. If that is the case you have no need to worry at all. You have plenty of time.

You seem to have a good training base behind you anyway. I am just going by what you said. Probably telling you something you already know. But if you were under the weather you would feel a little rough anyway. I wouldn't mind betting you were already succumbing to something when you went for your run. You would lose no fitness over just 5 days and have plenty of time to hit the road again. Don't attepmt it until you are totally fit.  You will also find that if you do lose a little fitness, you will soon get it back. It is not as if you have had  two or three weeks off. Even then I still wouldn't be too concerned. You have nothing to worry about at all. Run again when ready.   

29/12/2012 at 21:03
Thanks, yes it's London marathon and I will be a first time marathon runner. As said December went well but I know I was silly on boxing day. I definitely do not take this challenge lightly and I am actually looking forward to putting the training in and so glad I made the effort during December.
29/12/2012 at 21:22

Good for you. To put it into perspective, some  london marathoners probably don't start any real traning until the new year. But you are already underway and that is great. Do you mind me asking you if you have already been training quite a bit, or are you a club runner who runs regularly anyway ? or have you really started from scratch.

In many ways being a first timer you are quite lucky. unless you do this already anyway, you don't need to hit the track, or worry about tempo runs, speed work or anything intensive. It is just a case of hitting the road and progressively increasing your mileage. Pip and the others on this thread have heard this already last year, but it is true. Unless you are a competitive club runner who races regularly to a fairly good standard you  only need to worry about getting round. It is as simple as that !!

30/12/2012 at 16:49
Hi, yes I,ve been doing a bit of running for a while purely for my own enjoyment. I,ve did a few 10k with a pb of 48.30 and even one half marathon 1.54.18. this I suppose is my next challenge. I genuinely will make the most of it and it's more important to me I enjoy it first and foremost and when I cross the finish line it will be a marathon pb for me.
When training for the half that's exactly what I did, increased the mileage each week and it worked well for me. I don't want to get too technical and will continue to increase mileage and hopefully be as ready as I can be on race day.
30/12/2012 at 18:07
Big eater - hello and good luck! Careful and increasing mileage each week, give yourself a break every two- three weeks by not increasing.

Kiwi, my two main fears this time are:
1 - not having the determination to do the training. Last time it was a lifetimes ambition, which helped so much with all the ups and downs ( and there were plenty of downs!) in training. I was TOTALLY determined to do it as I had so much emotion invested in it. This time the motivation is purely just to get a better (maybe even decent....?) time. And I'm just not sure I'm cut out to do it again. Which leads me onto fear number two....
2- I know how much IT HURTS. I remember it well. Too well. I hated it. I'm scared about it! I need to get over the hate for it. Any tips?!
30/12/2012 at 18:09
Went for my 14 mile run today...stopped short at what I thought was 12 miles and slower than last week. But actually when I measured it up it was 13 miles and quicker than last week (even though I thought I was going really slow). So not bad in the end! And not bad seeing as I didn't run since my long run last week.
Now I really need to start training properly again....!
30/12/2012 at 22:06

That is a great attitude Bigeater. Just aim to increase mileage by about 10% per week and aim to do your only 20 miler a month out from the actual marathon. Kafeeg is totally correct have a step back week once every 2-4 weeks .

Hi Kaffeeg. Just as I thought. I had guessed one of your fears. That is the latter. The 2 main fears with many runners ( you really are not alone here by any stretch of the imagine) are fear of failure , and as you said fear of the overwhelming fatigue that sometimes comes with running.

Firstly. You said that you may lack the motivation that goes with the training. However, you have already ticked one positivity box ! Your last post said I really need to start training again. That is great. I know , it is motivation and what have you. But, ask yourself this Do you desperately want to improve , or are you happy to just get round again. If the latter, that is absolutely fine. You will still be completing your second ever marathon, one more than many other people have ever done. That is a fantastic notch to put in your belt. Tell yourself this. You only need to do one long run at the moment once every1-2 weeks or so and this shouldn't be that long. Can I also ask you why at this stage you feel you have to do 14 miles !!! I went out today for 8.5 and that was enough. I will probably do 10 next time, but don't have to. maybe you should think like this too. I should imagine you are putting too much pressure on yourself too early !! Unfortunately I am not a psychologist and can not get into peoples brains, but I can speak rationally and tell you exactly what works for me. We are all human after all even if we all run to different standards. We are all made of the same stuff.

Could you do me a favour ? Tell me what your typical training week is at the moment . We can have a look at it and perhaps you will find your weekly mileage is far higher than it perhaps needs to be !! at this stage  your longest run should only be 6-8 miles !! That's it !! During the week you can get away with a 2-3 runs of only 3-5 miles. Your weekly mileage should only be up to about 20-25 miles. No more. Not 14 in one go. That is over half your weekly mileage in just one run. !! Go easy on yourself. Go out and run very relaxed and steady. If you have motivation problems, can you join a club or find someone else to run with. They do not have to be doing the marathon at all, however if they were, even better. But it is company and it will force you to go out. Very important for you to not look too far ahead. One week at a time, or even one run at a time.  I am the same. It took me a while to get out the door today. But the thought really is worse than the action. Once you have finished there is a real  sense of achievement. Once I am out on the road I am fine.

You also said the last time it was a lifetimes ambition. Take some pressure off yourself by saying , I have done it once, so now there is nothing to prove to anyone. You may think this will take away some of the determination and go to get round. Why ?? It is still a marathon and your second. This is something to be doubly proud of, however as you have done it once,the pressure is actually off.  To me the real fear for first timers is the fear of failure, not getting round fear of the unknown, the list goes on and on. You do not need to worry. You have conquered it once . I hope this makes sense. You are cut out for it again. I don't think you would be having a go if you were not. I know, sometimes you just need some encouragement to keep going. We'll give you that. Do you really feel you have to do it faster !! Again you are putting pressure on yourself. You will probably find that you will anyway. Worry about that later on once your confidence has grown and you actually have miles under your belt. Again, don't look to

30/12/2012 at 22:34

Sorry Kaffeeg. I  had written a lot more but got cut off somehow.. I was just going to say don't look too far ahead.

As for the overwhlming feelings of fatigue, take it much easier on your runs. You should be running at a steady conversational pace. It should not be hurting. Your runs ahould be at a minimum at the moment, so you should not be running outside your comfort zone. Don't worry about the marathon at the moment. That is a long way off yet. Just worry about what you are doing at the moment. We will discuss later nearer the time about how to try and tackle fears of the long slog and the discomfort etc. You are putting unecessary pressure on yourself at the moment and don't need to. The marathon does not have to be as scary and painful as you think it is going to be, or as it was last time. let's just get through one week at a time. We can all talk on this thread as we are all doing the same thing and we can certainly help each other. But at the moment put the marathon at the back of your mind and just think about what you are doing next week and no further. This should take some of the these fears away from you. Easy steady jogging and not outside the comfort zone. We can look at your weekly training as you progress if that will help.

I hope this helps. Or is a start anyway.  Keep me posted !!

Cheers Kaffeeg. Speak soon..

30/12/2012 at 23:04
Kiwi - quick answer- I was feeling quietly confident about Brighton next year from the moment I entered, right up until I started my training plan. Suddenly I looked ahead to week15 which is the highest mileage week, and I was quaking in my running shoes.

I had a week or so of real "I can't do this!" but just stuck to the training plan and got week 1 and 2 out of the way.

During my first long run, I gave myself a good talking to, and convinced myself all I need to worry about is each week's training as it comes along. I finished London this year with an injury and disrupted training, realistic targets this time are completed training and less walking!

I fully expect to have more crises of confidence as I go along, but for now I'm not looking too far ahead!

Hello to everyone else - will post properly soon!
30/12/2012 at 23:19
Kiwi - awwwwww. You're brill.
I suppose I want to start my training from a good base level. I've been running about 10-13 miles for my long run since September. I have been (trying) to run three times a week. About 3-4 miles twice during the week and then a long run. Kind of alternate building up a week or two and then drop down.
My plan for my marathon training is to build up every other week for my long run. I want to ( or have planned to) run two 18 miles and two 20 miles. But won't stick to it f my body can't take it. And this time, I'm going to have a 4 week taper.
I found that last time my body couldn't take running more than three times a week, so going to stick to that. I'll do my pool running (doing intervals) once a week and then core training once a week. This is my homemade plan!
30/12/2012 at 23:21
Started posting this hours ago and hadn't seen Kaffeeg's post or Kiwi's reply. Sounds like we have similar worries and a similar solution!

Kaffeeg. - same boat - take it easy and see how it goes. Remember Mick'n'Phil who posted on here? Their motto is 'easy easy easy' and I find it helps in many contexts.
31/12/2012 at 10:24

Hi Kaffeeg and Black and Tabby.

Have only just got back on here.

Firstly Black ad Tabby. Absolutely Right. Don't look too far ahead at the mo. One of the things I hear when I am taking both new runners and even those who are more used to hitting the road who after slogging round a 4 or 5 mile run say how on earth will I ever do a 20 mile run let alone 26.2. The answer is you will,the other thing is no one at the beginning would ever hope to go out and do a successful marathon after a handful of runs. Not trying to sound condescending here at all, but as you become  more experienced you just know that there is a progressional training regimen and you do get there. We go into our schedule just knowing that bar  any total disasters out if our control we will get there. It is just the way it goes. Progressional training is  tried and tested and has worked for over  100 years !! . It can not go backwards. It just doesn't happen ( unlesss you are ill or injured etc.) Once you get this into your head and accept it you can forget about that and.just concentrate on the task in hand. In the back of your mind you will never forget you are marathon training. It is just back somewhere logged out of the way and the thoughts of what you are doing at the moment to get there is at the forefront of your mind. I like your atttiiude, but don't be afraid to walk . I have in more than one marathon, it is allowed and even elites have done it. I stopped completely to shake off some cramp etc and still did 2.48 this year at London.Not what I wanted as my PB is much quicker, but !!! I was always going to finish.If you feel you want to walk, then walk !! Don't listen to anyone who says you have to run all the way . Total BS !! you still cover the distance and in marathons that is allowed.  I then walked on a bit stopped again and then picked t up , I stopped  because I had to, rather than  because I wanted to. Wrong way round. Again if your primary aim is still to finish , which it should be this is a very good way of minimsing any  risks of picking a DNF , which are hugely at the minimum anyway.

    You have your head in the right place now I think B and T. One week at a time. Just what I was trying to pass on to Kaffeeg. I know you wanted a quick answer but I can not make this any shorter to get over what I need to  you.


Hi Kaffeeg. You are practically ticking all the right boxes, that is encouraging. If you are finding your much shorter runs still taxing and at an uncomfortably hard pace , just ease off a bit and run slower. I totally understand your reasons for wanting a good traing and aerobic base to take into your training. For many first timers it is a good idea to have a good years running under you. You have, already, run and trained for a marathon !! Your mileage in your shorter runs is spot on at the moment. 

I think if you have been churning  out long runs at the moment of up to 14 miles you are putting pressure on yourself. You have plenty of time to get up to these sort of distances however now you most certainly will have a solid aerobic base so it has served a purpose, but you did not really need to do this as you progressional training will cover this for you anyway. There is a risk of injury and overtraining syndrome if you do too much, but by having rest days which you do you will combat this. . You are building your long runs every 2 weeks. Everything you are doing here is perfect and spot on, just ease off the very long stuff at the moment. Build up to half marathon distance over the next month. We will worry about your really long stuff later on. Your choice to decide whether you want to do two 20 milers or just the  one. Either is fine. Depends on whether you do want to improve your time. If that is what

31/12/2012 at 10:28

Sorry sme thing has happened. I think my posts are too long. Apologies for that.

Just to say 2 twenty milers is fine. Your choice. If you do want to improve your time that will be a good move. But don't put pressure on yourself. This is personal. You don't have to.

Look at getting up to half marathon distance over the next month and we can move on from there .

Like wise as Mic'n'Phil said. Easy !!

31/12/2012 at 11:28
Guys thanks for the advice with regards increasing mileage. Can I just clarify the 'step back' bit? Does that mean take a week where I don't do a long run or simply a week where I don't do any more than the previous week or decrease mileage by say 10% from the previous week?
31/12/2012 at 13:47

Hi again Bigeater.

The step back  week is in your long runs at this stage. EG you could go, over 3 weeks, from 8 miles to 10 miles to 12 miles back down to 8. Then 13-14- 16 down to 9 or 10. Just an example, but this will give you and idea. You do not have to do exactly this, it is flexible, but as long as you  adhere to this type of formula and have that reduction in mileage you are doing the right thing.  This will obviously decrease your overall weekly volume of running at the same time as it is still mileage off your total weekly amount for that particular week.remember you get stronger and fitter when you rest and recuperate. After a workout you get fitter about 24 hours to 3 days later. In racing terms a really tough workout comes into its own about 10 days to 2 weeks after, but you don't need to worry about that. later on when you do very long runs it may pay to have a step back week every two weeks. But we will worry about that later. Not yet.

Kaffeeg, when you have decided what you want to do for London, that is just to get around again, or maybe have a go at improving your time please let me know. But DON'T put pressure on yourself. Either way we can help you and please believe me when I say there is no need to worry about this. Either is quite doable and with the least amount of pain and effort. I am not going to lie to you. It is not always a doddle as you know. That is the nature of the beast. But it  certainly does not have to be the awful slog which I think you expect. Forget your last experience ( I know, easier said than done) as we will try and make this as easy as we can for you. Remember you are not alone in doing this. We are doing the same with you.

If it is any consolation. I did my own fairly challenging hill  workout \saturday and went for 8.6  miles at a fairly comfortable pace yesterday. I am suffering with DOMS ( delayed onset muscle soreness ) and it IS quite sore today. Do you know what I am doing today running wise -Nothing !! A very short recovery run is fine, but not compulsory at all. This is why you need rest days !!

31/12/2012 at 15:06
Kiwi thanks, I have found a great thread and I know you will be a great help to me. I have taken in so much already reading through this thread.
31/12/2012 at 15:15

No problem Bigeater. We'll certainly keep in touch and take this on !! You'll be fine.

31/12/2012 at 23:34
Kiwi - thanks! This year's marathon was an exercise in sheer stubboness and mind over matter. I've successfully followed training plans for 10k and HM so logic is telling me it will work for a marathon as well

Kaffeeg - if I can do it, so can you!

Big eater - we're very lucky on these forums, and this thread in particular to have people willing to share their experiences with us, and offer us their help and support. You'all have a blast at London - I know I did this year!

Anyway, thanks for all the friendship and support from everyone on the thread this year. May we all have a great running 2013. Happy new year everyone!
01/01/2013 at 10:37

Happy new year all !!!!

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