Share your wisdom with us first-timers!
It depends on many factors - for my first I wouldn't have been able to go to 22+, but some people can. If you are using fueling then I doubt if it makes any difference anyway since you wont be training your body for fat adaptation as much as if you are training on empty.
Also I wouldnt go super long with less than 4 weeks till M day.
Its like 20 mile races. Personally I would never race a 20 miler because its really exhausting, I would run one at MP though, but I think for beginners its best to run them at usual lsr pace.
There are so many nuances to good marathon training and the best way to discover what suits you is practice, which may well involve stuffing up a few times along the way
My two top tips (having now completed my first Marathon!! ) would be:
If they supply an official kit bag (a la London/Silverstone) pack your stuff into a rucksack that will then fit inside the official kit bag. I didn't do this, and saw some who had, and thought what a brilliant idea, as those official bags arn't very easy to carry, especially at the end when you are cream crackered.
Second, if its a warm day, take your own drink, in a bottle you are happy to throw away after 3/5 miles or so. I did this. I had a £2.99 runners bottle, that i've had for ages, and it had developed a bit of a leak, so i didn't mind chucking it. I filled it with half n half water and lucozade before the start....and it meant that i could run through the bun-fight that was the first water station.
That I could run the full distance and I didn't need to stop and walk 100yds at mile 24 just because my body was knackered and my mind was telling me to quit
That I should have faith and belief in myself after 5 months of training on hills, in weather, around family/work/life and that if I can do that, a marathon's a piece of piss (relatively speaking)
That listening to my body is definitely the best way to look after myself in a marathon.
What little gem would I impart?
If you know you hate Lucozade sport drink, don't pick it up at mile 12 and make yourself ill up to mile 19 - wait until the next water station
Post marathon nookie is the best and most efficient way to minimise doms. Just find a room first please.
Crazy Diamond wrote (see)
My top tip would be that when you are a month out and you've run no where near a sensible distance do not panic. Nor should you panic when you then sprain your foot two weeks away and cannot run.
Go along run your race conservatively and you'll realise that whilst you'll run ten minutes over what you'd hoped for you'll still feel better than about half the people around you and will feel you had better have another go at the distance as you underperformed!
Sorry, I didn't realise that they supply the Nestle water. I've not run the VLM since they changed.
I wish I'd known it was no big deal! I thought about running one from my 20s into my 40s and just wish I'd done it earlier, it's just a run, no big thing, just a run, and when you've finished you'll say to yourself either "well done, you've achieved your ambition" or you'll say, " I could have gone further, I wonder how far I could go?" I'm in the how far camp, and just sorry I waited this long to do it
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