Whats the one thing you wish you'd known before your first marathon...

Share your wisdom with us first-timers!

181 to 200 of 272 messages
02/03/2011 at 17:21
Oh, and just to add, of course I don't think someone is 'elitist' simply because they think 3:30 is better than 4 or whatever - but if they use their superior abilities as a platform to put down others, then yes I do think they're being 'elitist'. Hope that clears that up, as I thought your response was pretty patronising tbh.
02/03/2011 at 17:44
Dicky M wrote (see)

Tower Bridge - a big highlight, and somewhere that I've always found to be quite an emotional part of the course...

Big Ben never appears to get any bigger as you run along the Embankment.

And another tip for first timers, don't get too thrown if you don't pass any of these landmarks on your first marathon, you haven't taken a wrong turn.
02/03/2011 at 17:52
Daren F wrote (see)
Oh, and just to add, of course I don't think someone is 'elitist' simply because they think 3:30 is better than 4 or whatever - but if they use their superior abilities as a platform to put down others, then yes I do think they're being 'elitist'. Hope that clears that up, as I thought your response was pretty patronising tbh.

 Ah well, I dare say I'll get over it!

02/03/2011 at 17:53
Wobbled wrote (see)
Dicky M wrote (see)

Tower Bridge - a big highlight, and somewhere that I've always found to be quite an emotional part of the course...

Big Ben never appears to get any bigger as you run along the Embankment.

And another tip for first timers, don't get too thrown if you don't pass any of these landmarks on your first marathon, you haven't taken a wrong turn.
I never realised I had passed Big Ben on my first FLM. It was only when they sent the photos that I saw it. To be fair, I think it can become a blur especially the last 6 miles as you just focus on finishing.
02/03/2011 at 18:17
John66 wrote (see)
Peter John Lewis wrote (see)

The whole point of running a marathon (which most first timers will not do because to run a marathon you have to break the 4hr barrier otherwise you will have walked some part of the race is) is to do it to the best of your ability and however talented at running you are you will not do this in your first year of running.

What a load of complete garbage!!  The 4 hour bit.


LOL at the have to break the 4hour bit. The official VLM" Good for age" time for me is 4.15.    Its too wrong on all levels to be offended at.

03/03/2011 at 09:23

If any member would care to read any of Hal Higdons or any other respected writer on athletics its a recognised fact that those runners who finish the 26.2mile course in any marathon in over four hours have not run the entire distance.

A persons pace for a 4 hour marathon indicates that someware during the race they have had to walk usually due to fatigue.

I wrote the article having read several books as well as other internet forums regarding correct pace judgement for running a marathon.

Ive run a fair number of marathons and have been running for 32yrs so i have some knowledge of what running a 26.2mile race involves.

If my comments appear to be arrogance to some then its not intended but its scientific fact that the pace of a four hour marathon runner is not considered running the entire distance.

03/03/2011 at 09:31

  What a shame that this very useful and motivating thread that I was enjoying reading very much has taken this turn.

I remember you from the Great North Run thread a year or so ago.  You got people's backs up there too, as I recall.

03/03/2011 at 09:38

twaddle. 

 http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0723710#m_en_gb0723710

Oxford dictionary definition of "run":

move at a speed faster than a walk, never having both or all the feet on the ground at the same time:

I am not intending to  walk and i will be around 4 hours 45  . I may run slow than some others, but i am still going to run the whole thing,  you are talking absolute twaddle to say you must have walked to get over 4 hours.

03/03/2011 at 09:47

I cant really see what point you're trying to make with this one.

For a start, I could go and run a marathon in over 4hours and run every step so this 'scientific fact' is a wee bit ropey.

Also, a 'scientific fact' cannot be defined by something that is 'not considered'. Proof man?? Stats? Evidence?

Running a fair few marathons over 32 years doesnt exactly help in developing a reasoned argument by the looks of it........

03/03/2011 at 10:28
Wobbled wrote (see)
Dicky M wrote (see)

Tower Bridge - a big highlight, and somewhere that I've always found to be quite an emotional part of the course...

Big Ben never appears to get any bigger as you run along the Embankment.

And another tip for first timers, don't get too thrown if you don't pass any of these landmarks on your first marathon, you haven't taken a wrong turn.

...and as 'Wobbled' has correctly pointed out, sometimes even thinking about your first marathon can make your attention to detail go to pot !
03/03/2011 at 10:50

Peter, I just don't understand why you keep trying to defend a completely indefensible and illogical argument.

I am genuinely confused about exactly what it is you're trying to say... for instance, if a runner takes more than four hours to complete a marathon but runs even pace throughout (say 9.5 minute miles) are you saying they have, according to your 'scientific' facts, actually 'walked' the whole way because they weren't going fast enough to be classed as 'running'? Or are you just saying you don't believe that they actually ran even pace and they must have walked at some point to take that long? Please enlighten us...

03/03/2011 at 11:09
Daren F wrote (see)

Peter, I just don't understand why you keep trying to defend a completely indefensible and illogical argument.

I just don't understand how this person's input could be considered a tip to newbie marathoners, which is essentially what this (up-till-now) very helpful thread was for  .

They did the same thing on the Great North Run thread a year or so ago ... popped up out of nowhere, slagged off every aspect of the event, and then once he'd irked everyone, disappeared. 

Understandable if the thread had been along the lines of 'over-rated races' or whatever - they're allowed their opinion of course ... but it was just a very jarring couple of posts, since the rest of the posts were people talking about their training, giving advice to those new to the event, etc.

03/03/2011 at 11:29

Anyway, getting back to useful info for people attempting the marathon for the first time!

I would say one of the most important things to concentrate on is trying to run as near to 26.2 miles as possible.

By just going with the flow, especially with all the crowding in that London event, you can easily end up running well in excess of 27 miles. Ask most people finishing a marathon whether they fancy running another mile and you'll see why it is pretty important to concentrate on minimising the distance.

Fortunately, in London at least, they help you out by painting a 26.2 mile line (used to be blue but I dare say its now redwith the virgin sponsorship) representing the 'racing line'. Use it.......

03/03/2011 at 11:56
Peter John Lewis wrote (see)

If any member would care to read any of Hal Higdons or any other respected writer on athletics its a recognised fact that those runners who finish the 26.2mile course in any marathon in over four hours have not run the entire distance.

A persons pace for a 4 hour marathon indicates that someware during the race they have had to walk usually due to fatigue.

I wrote the article having read several books as well as other internet forums regarding correct pace judgement for running a marathon.

Ive run a fair number of marathons and have been running for 32yrs so i have some knowledge of what running a 26.2mile race involves.

If my comments appear to be arrogance to some then its not intended but its scientific fact that the pace of a four hour marathon runner is not considered running the entire distance.

not wishing to drag this superb thread down.....

However, there is a Runners World 4hr30 Pacer group, which i fully intend to RUN with, are you saying that the representatives of this magazine are not runners then ?????

 Personally I find your comments insulting, and  could understand how newer members to the sport could become upset by comments like yours.

 Just because someone cannot run as fast as another person, what gives anyone the right on a open forum to suggest they are not runners/running the marathon ????

03/03/2011 at 11:56

According to Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway both experienced writers and runners who have contributed greately over the years to athletics magazines 4 Hours is the dividing line between Marathon Runners and Marathon Survivers whilst 3hr 30 is the dividing line between marathon runners and marathon racers.

Its all relative with most serious club runners considering the 9 minute pace to run a four hour marathon pretty slow.

For a beginner a four hour or better marathon is a major achievement but very few first time runners will ever get close to four hours simply because their bodies have yet to condition themselves to run or jog such a long distance.

I still know one or two serious runners who have been running as long as i have who have still not done a marathon simply because they realise what it takes in training.

They prefer the shorter distances of 10k and Half Marathon.

If first time runners realised what it takes to train for a marathon then people would then treat the distance with more respect.   

I waited 8 years before i attempted my first marathon a long time i know but i did 3hr 43 over a tough hilly Snowdonia course and enjoyed it enough to have done every single Snowdonia Marathon since. 

03/03/2011 at 12:02

What's wrong with walking? I did my first marathon in 3:08, which included walking at about miles 8, 12, 18 and 24.

Some schedules recommend walking breaks as a route to success, as they spare your legs and allow you to maintain about an even pace right to the finish.

03/03/2011 at 12:08

Peter John Lewis wrote (see)

According to Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway both experienced writers and runners who have contributed greately over the years to athletics magazines 4 Hours is the dividing line between Marathon Runners and Marathon Survivers whilst 3hr 30 is the dividing line between marathon runners and marathon racers.

Its all relative with most serious club runners considering the 9 minute pace to run a four hour marathon pretty slow.

For a beginner a four hour or better marathon is a major achievement but very few first time runners will ever get close to four hours simply because their bodies have yet to condition themselves to run or jog such a long distance.

I still know one or two serious runners who have been running as long as i have who have still not done a marathon simply because they realise what it takes in training.

They prefer the shorter distances of 10k and Half Marathon.

If first time runners realised what it takes to train for a marathon then people would then treat the distance with more respect.   

I waited 8 years before i attempted my first marathon a long time i know but i did 3hr 43 over a tough hilly Snowdonia course and enjoyed it enough to have done every single Snowdonia Marathon since. 

Now, the highlighted part is a sensible comment and very reasonable and anyone thinking of doing a marathon for the first time would do well to take note.

It is more refreshing to see that sort of thing than endless 'encouraging' voices telling anyone and everyone 'course you can do it' and glossing over how tough the whole thing is.

However, you are not doing yourself any favours by keeping quoting these artificial time barriers/cut off points that somehow divide one class of runner from another. Quoting 32 years of running as you did didnt seem to have any purpose other than to try to give yourself some sort of extra credibility.

I ran my first marathon in 1984, it doesnt give me any more right to talk bollocks than if it had been in 1994 or 2004!

03/03/2011 at 12:13
iFish wrote (see)

What's wrong with walking? I did my first marathon in 3:08, which included walking at about miles 8, 12, 18 and 24.

Some schedules recommend walking breaks as a route to success, as they spare your legs and allow you to maintain about an even pace right to the finish.

Ah, that old chestnut!

Theres nothing wrong with walking at all, its a very healthy activity and a great leisure activity. Its also great for getting you to the shops and a whole host of other useful destinations.

BUT, as has been debated may many times - you did your first marathon in 3:08, you didnt run your first marathon in 3:08. If you're happy with that, thats fine.

03/03/2011 at 12:15
Are the RW pacers going to be wearing those big flag type signs like I saw in Royal Parks half one year? Just want to check so I know what to look out for.

And fair play if they are!! I'm worried about wearing the right kit never mind adding to the load. How do people wear fancy dress is beyond me

Great thread for us newbies, really appreciate the tips from you guys and gals....well most of you anyway
03/03/2011 at 12:20

There's a new fool in town... love the use of the middle name too  Peter John Lewis. Classy. Like the shop.

To say anyone doing a marathon over 4hours can't have been running the whole way is hilarious. Ever heard of the concept of...a slower runner? Or an older runner?

My club had 7 women doing over 4hours, none of them walked a step.

Edited: 03/03/2011 at 12:29
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