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

Share your wisdom with us first-timers!

201 to 220 of 272 messages
03/03/2011 at 12:27
When I'm down the club tonight I'll be sure to tell our 78 year old that his 5+ hour marathon doesn't count as he must have been walking
03/03/2011 at 12:31
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. 


PJL

 I ask again, you...hal higden/jeff galloway, or any one else you wish to quote... are saying that the Runners World own pacing groups that are over 4hrs are simply not runners ?????

03/03/2011 at 12:34

Where is the dividing line between RUNNING & JOGGING.

M.r Zuvai    pirate
03/03/2011 at 12:38

^ oh no! he's opened that can of worms!

<pull up a chair to watch!>

03/03/2011 at 12:44
Peter John Lewis wrote (see)

Where is the dividing line between RUNNING & JOGGING.

Is that a question with an answer? Is that a question?

Oh, I see, its a 'where?' question. I'll have a stab in the dark and say Madagascar!

Do I win a prize?

03/03/2011 at 12:56
parkrunfan wrote (see)
Peter John Lewis wrote (see)

Where is the dividing line between RUNNING & JOGGING.

Is that a question with an answer? Is that a question?

Oh, I see, its a 'where?' question. I'll have a stab in the dark and say Madagascar!

Do I win a prize?

definition of "jog" by oxford dictionary:

run at a steady gentle pace, especially on a regular basis as a form of physical

so a slow run. still running!

03/03/2011 at 13:30

I can see you're trying to clever (which you're failing miserably at btw) and wind people up about this PJL, but your original comments definitely said 'must have walked some of the way' and now you're adjusting your position to talk about 'jogging' rather than 'running'. At least have a consistent argument please.

03/03/2011 at 13:38
parkrunfan wrote (see)
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.


Not sure I agree with that.  London has only around 20 significant turns, and if you just do the maths you'd be hard pushed to add really any significant distance unless you were really zigzagging across the road the whole way.  If you ran a marathon doing a hundred and whatever laps around a track (so ten times that many turns) and you ran every turn in lane 2, you still wouldn't run 27 miles.  I think this is a bit of a myth spread by Garmin enthusiasts, and perhaps caused by the tendency of satnav signals to go haywire in Canary Wharf.  Plus the course is perhaps a little long as course markers are obliged to be quite conservative.

I've seen quite a lot of people barging others out of the way in their determination to stick to the blue line and it's the single most unpleasant thing of all of the many unpleasant things about London.  What's more, following the blue line often means running on a camber and I'd always avoid that when I can.

03/03/2011 at 13:46
parkrunfan wrote (see)

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.

Lol, I've a friend who did London recently, in 2:42. He walked a bit.

What a loser

03/03/2011 at 14:02
DTB, Ultra Cake Pim.p wrote (see)
parkrunfan wrote (see)

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.

Lol, I've a friend who did London recently, in 2:42. He walked a bit.

What a loser

Why's he a loser?

He did a 2:42 marathon.

03/03/2011 at 14:02
Peter John Lewis wrote (see)

Where is the dividing line between RUNNING & JOGGING.


Well in marathon terms, by you reckoning, over 4hours must include walking, so how's about this?

 sub 2hr 30 marathon  is running

2:30 to 4 is jogging

over 4 is walking

make you feel good?

03/03/2011 at 14:06
Tmap wrote (see)
parkrunfan wrote (see)
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.


Not sure I agree with that.  London has only around 20 significant turns, and if you just do the maths you'd be hard pushed to add really any significant distance unless you were really zigzagging across the road the whole way.  If you ran a marathon doing a hundred and whatever laps around a track (so ten times that many turns) and you ran every turn in lane 2, you still wouldn't run 27 miles.  I think this is a bit of a myth spread by Garmin enthusiasts, and perhaps caused by the tendency of satnav signals to go haywire in Canary Wharf.  Plus the course is perhaps a little long as course markers are obliged to be quite conservative.

I've seen quite a lot of people barging others out of the way in their determination to stick to the blue line and it's the single most unpleasant thing of all of the many unpleasant things about London.  What's more, following the blue line often means running on a camber and I'd always avoid that when I can.

Okay, the point was to be aware of the shortest route.

I wouldnt be concerned about the 'little extra' that the course measurers have to allow, that amounts to 0.1% or approx 40m.

I recently took part in a track marathon and it was very difficult to get near lane 2 for most of it. Once you get into lane 3 you are literally talking about 27 miles. Still good fun though..

People barging each other out of the way to get to the blue line? You cant be serious? 

Edited: 03/03/2011 at 14:22
03/03/2011 at 14:39

1) Don't presume just because you've already run X marathons that you'll breeze through the next. Each has its own beasts - even if it's the same race and course!

I got a PB by 4 minutes at my 5th Mara in October yet my 4th Mara (6 months before this), I finished 15 minutes OVER my 1st Mara time! (due to having to take 30 minutes out on the sidelines after fainting at mile 18)

2) If you're doing a course that involves laps, make sure you include laps in your training - especially the long runs. They can be mentally exhausting especially when you're already tired on the first lap thinking you've gotta repeat it all again

3) If you're running a Mara that runs a Half Mara alongside it, try and speed up past that half way point - the music and cheering is not for you - you've got another 13.1 miles to go so best to pass this as quickly as possible

4) Feel smug when you pass a runner wearing an iPod even though the rules have clearly stated no iPods allowed - they may as well be wearing a sign on their back saying 'I am an exception to everyone' and are clearly not as 'ard as you

5) Spring/summer maras - women - wear a sports bra and shorts ONLY. You will get too hot in a vest. Even the thinnest extra layer adds more unnecessary heat, slap on the sunblock and wear shades. What looks like a cloudy day ahead in the morning could turn into a gloriously sunny day - only, it won't be all that glorious if you're blinded by it

6) Be nice to every runner around you - it's most likely you'll be playing a very slow game of chase in the final last miles. Plus, keep close to runners who have perfected the art of carrying a drinks bottle and running - you can steal a sip when the going gets tough if you've made the effort to make conversation on the way round

7) Don't kid yourself that you won't hit a point where you start questioning yourself and thinking about quitting. It's normal. We all do it. You might be lucky enough to escape 'The Wall' but there'll inevitably come a point where you're hurting so much, you want to throw in the towel. DON'T. Just think of all the effort you've put in and the DNF next to your name later on that afternoon. Winners never quit, quitters never win.

8) If you want to walk/run for a bit, do it - no one is going to disqualify you or think any less of you. I took about 5 mini breaks at my last Mara in October and still got a PB of 3.41 - confident I could have got 3.30 if I hadn't took these but still... was a traumatic time for me. Remember though, it might be hard to start running again after you've been walking even just for a few minutes!

9) There is such a thing as eating and drinking TOO much. Don't stuff yourself so you can't run efficiently. I can only seem to take on a very small amount before feeling sick... I ran last Mara on water entirely and 1/4 bottle of iso. Everyone is different - do what suits you and what you have trialled in training.

10) Don't be surprised if the words 'never again' come out of your mouth after you've crossed the line. You don't mean it. You'll be back again next year

03/03/2011 at 15:36
parkrunfan wrote (see)
People barging each other out of the way to get to the blue line? You cant be serious? 

I had that twice in last year's race and one of the guys who did it to me barged past a whole load of people in front of me too.  As Devoted2Distance puts it, it's not only polite to run considerately, it's also in your interests, as it's good to use other runners later for pacing, shelter, drinks or just company.  Those are all great points there.

You're right to point out the need to run efficiently though, parkrunfan; in particular, no point darting around through gaps in the crowd in the first couple of miles as you can waste a lot of effort.

03/03/2011 at 15:53

i have spent from 9am reading this whol thread copy and pasted most of it to read on the way to london on the friday night

2 things:

dont wear a thong i know its obv but i literally chaged into my running gear at work monday night to do a 18mile even tho i completed it i have to say sitting down after being cheese grated isnt nice!!!!

reading the last few pages debating the run/walk/jog thing if/when i complete this years marathon i was going to tell people i have run the london marathon but if i stop to walk for a few minutes or even a mile do i then have to say i ran this years marathon but i did walk for a bit? 

03/03/2011 at 16:12
Hey Muppley can you post your list so I can steal it like I did Squeakz packing one
03/03/2011 at 16:42

Immodium seconded, thirded, whatevered.  Take some with you, not just before you go.

I really like the Jelly Belly runner's beans.  I usually suck one for a while, rather than chomping on it.  Not sure what the carbo benefit is, but its an alternative focus if you're feeling a bit jasiofjdiofjasdiojfdiosfjaos. 

Also - don't be persuaded that chocolate gels taste any less horrible than other gels.  If anything, they're worse, because you're expecting chocolatey goodness.  I've been chomping a Mars bar on my long runs.  I have it at about 14-15 miles, when I'm soo far from the end, but a long way from the start.  Again, not sure that its necessary, or even helpful, carb-wise, but it does make me feel a lot better.

Lochaber will be my third (both previous were significantly over 4 hours, and ran all the way, ta v much.  I guess one tip would be not to let people take away from your experience, whatever their motive for doing so might be) and I'm still nervous.  I'd love to do London one day - that must be phenomenal.  Its the best feeling ever having finished one of these.

Oh, and smile!  Do it lots, and you might even believe it!

03/03/2011 at 23:48

parkrunfan wrote (see)
DTB, Ultra Cake Pim.p wrote (see)
parkrunfan wrote (see)

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.

Lol, I've a friend who did London recently, in 2:42. He walked a bit.

What a loser

Why's he a loser?

He did a 2:42 marathon.

Oh dear, I guess the tone of voice can't be seen in a post, but I did think the winking smiley might have shown that I was kidding.... Of course he's not a loser, he's a good club runner who happens to be very supportive of other runners, even those (such as me) much slower than himself, so he manages to combine being reasonably fast with being a nice human being.

The intention was to poke fun at the notion of an arbitrary line drawn by one poster, with proper runners one one side, and people who might (or might not) have walked a bit on the other, which made me laugh.

It's all rather boring. None of us are going to win the thing after all, not even Peter John Lewis himself!

Achievements deserving of respect come in many guises. I know a lady who is the kind of runner I'd like to be one day. She took over 6 hours last time, but if I can do that when, like her, I'm in my eighties, I'll be happy!

Anyway, back to the original purpose of the thread - things I wish I'd known before my first... that it would be so much fun. It is meant to be fun after all!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
04/03/2011 at 06:56
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.

I hate to break it to you, but you should stick to retailing because you're clearly not a scientist.  The laws of physics are scientific facts.  Whether or not a four hour marathon runner is considered running the entire distance is not.

To claim that "A persons pace for a 4 hour marathon indicates that someware during the race they have had to walk usually due to fatigue" is just nonsense.  I dare say it's fair to say that it's more likely that someone finishing in 4.5 hours walked some of the way than a 3.5 hour finisher, but to claim that a 4 hour time means they couldn't possibly have run the whole way is disproven by the many who do just that, if only out of sheer bloodymindedness not to be labelled a non-runner by those displaying (non-intended, if you're to be believed) arrogance.

I'll leave you with another gem, which I think says it all:

 
Peter John Lewis wrote (see)

That show what little knowledge you posess about running 26.2 miles.

....

So before you make any comments on what is considered running or so called running the marathon please check your facts.

You will find they make no sense whatsoever.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
04/03/2011 at 07:05
Tmap wrote (see)
parkrunfan wrote (see)
People barging each other out of the way to get to the blue line? You cant be serious? 

I had that twice in last year's race and one of the guys who did it to me barged past a whole load of people in front of me too. 

I don't recall any obvious barging to keep on the line at a big marathon, but there's always a few who are obviously intent on keeping every step literally on the line, not an inch to either side.  Given the line has to be a meter out from the curb on any turn it's technically possible to run a shorter line, and as Tmap pointed out it ignores surface variations & camber.

Anyway, things learnt on this thread: Muppley wears thongs at work

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