2012 Marathon thread

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01/10/2012 at 09:16


Well done.  Great report.  Hope you recover quickly.

01/10/2012 at 11:26
Stuart well done for seeing that through. Think i'd have called it a day at 15!
Kudos to you. Recover well and don't lose heart.

I also managed a significant positive split.

Any word from YC yet?

Killing time while waiting for train - stairs in shops seem like himalayan ascents!
01/10/2012 at 13:17

Very well done Stuart, amazing that you carried on. Marathons certainly can be cruel with the amount of training we have to invest and if something goes wrong on the day you can't just run another a few weeks later. Hope you recover well.


01/10/2012 at 13:45

Stuart – feeling for you , that sounds like a bloody tough run.  At least you can take a positive from it though in that you toughed it out and finished. I hope you can recover well from it and carry that positive on with you. As the saying goes , “ what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger !!”

At 46 I’ve yet to run a marathon, but I can now say I’ve done a HALF ….


Folkestone Half Marathon – Sunday 30th Sept

With 2 full days rest , good hydration and plenty of decent kip I arrived in Folkestone with the wife and kids in plenty of time for the 10am start. I didn’t feel at all nervous but did feel a bit strange in a “ not knowing what to do with myself “ way. So I spent half an hour watching the other racers and feeling slightly intimidated especially when about 10 Gurkhas joined the starting line up … well that’s 10 I won’t be finishing in front of !!

My plan was to run to Heart Rate. “Brian” on the HADD thread had advised me to run progressively, doing the first 4M @ 75-80% ( 132-140 bpm) , aim for about 85% ( 150 ) @ 8M then as I feel after that. Sound, sensible advice.

 I’d worked out that all being normal this would roughly replicate my recent sub LT runs and would get me round in about 1:40 … maybe even a bit quicker depending on how that last 5M actually felt. After all, the sub LT’s ( 10M) had been pretty comfortable and now was the time to find out how hard I could push myself.

I’m standing towards the back of the pack on the start line with seconds to the off and I look down at my Garmin ….. 120bpm, touching 70% … WTF!!?  Quick fiddle with the HR strap, yep nice and tight , re-check Garmin and it hasn’t changed. 

WE’RE OFF ….. and so is my HR as I hit 80% inside the first 100 yards and by the time we get to the top of the slope which loops us through a housing estate and back down through the Folkestone Leas, I’m at 150bpm ( 85% ) which was my plan for mile 8 !! This isn’t looking good, my pace is about 8:30 for the first mile but my HR is 15-20 beats up on normal.

So I decide to stick to 8:30 and head down the Road of Remembrance into mile 2. This is a bitch of a descent and I can already feel it in my quads as I look back over my shoulder and imagine when I have to run back up it at mile 13 . NEGATIVE THOUGHTS … CALM DOWN !!!!  Mile 2 is a touch over 8:00 and my HR is still around 150 as we head onto the promenade and make our way to Hythe.

The re-hashed plan now is to stick to 8:30 into the wind and tuck in as much as I can behind other runners. I quite enjoyed this and got talking to a couple of other runners. One even had a joke about us towing along behind him. By the time we reached half way HR is around 155 which although slightly higher than I’d planned I felt better about than at the start. The first half was done now, slower than I expected but so be it. I hit HALF WAY at 55:00 and as I look up the leader is passing me on his way back to Folkestone.

Another mile goes by and takes us through a housing estate in Hythe and back onto the promenade … the wind is now behind me. I now make the decision to pick my pace up and run “ as I feel “. Miles 8-12 are the most enjoyable of the race as I pick off runner after runner …. pretty much as “Brian”

01/10/2012 at 13:47

had promised.  I must have passed a good 100 runners including several who had overtaken me on the outward run. I get to the bottom of Remembrance Road and turn the corner and I’m at the bottom of the hill looking up. All sorts enter my head in a split second …. “This feels great. NOBODY HAS PASSED ME SINCE WE TURNED AROUND IN HYTHE !!” …. “SHIT … HR is 5 beats off max @ 170” ….. “ THIS HILL IS TOO MUCH “ …. “ LISTEN TO THEM LOT HALF WAY UP THE HILL SHOUTING ALL SORTS OF OBSCENITIES AT IT “  … “ LET’S TRY AND CATCH THE HALF A DOZEN OR SO WHO ARE WALKING UP IT “ …. “ I NEED WAAAAATTEEERRR !!!!! “

Off up the hill I go and the first 20 yards are ok, then the quads start to scream. I’m passing people as they walk and I refuse to give in, I didn’t come here to walk. Half way up and there’s a face I saw at the start … it’s one of the GURKHA’S  and I’m going past him. I pull myself alongside yet another runner as I reach the top and he glances across as we reach the brow and I pull away from him. Quick glance at the Garmin and I’ve hit a new MAX of 178.

I’m on the gradual uphill home run now and decide to go all out after briefly catching my breath. Runner after runner are targets in front and as I pass them it spurs me on to catch the next one. Another look down at the Garmin …. 180 and 6:30 pace and I hit the 13M marker.

With 100 yds to go there’s nobody in front of me to catch and I weigh up easing down with having a heart attack in front of my family on the finish line. Coasting over the line wins and my first HALF is in the bag.


Ist half  55:00

2nd half  52:00

Time 1:47:00



An invaluable experience and I learned loads about myself and the race experience ( like how very difficult it is to drink and run at the same time )

But what's all that about with my elevated HR ??? 

01/10/2012 at 14:12
01/10/2012 at 14:33

Mace - well done and great report !!!  6:30mm finish - great pacing!  I can't open the garmin file (access denied), but I think you've vindicated what Gaz said earlier - use the HRM to train, not to race - the adrenalin must really have been pumping around your body

Revised HRmax also means you've been training 8 bpm lower than you could have - just think how much quicker your next sub-lactate run will be!!!

good running fella

01/10/2012 at 14:37

Cheers guys - In a fair bit of pain today, but a lot cheerier than yesterday! After telling myself, and anyone who would listen yesterday "Never again!" I'm pretty sure I'll be back for LN2013.

OH - I've taken the option of not going downstairs since I came in last night!

Mace - Well done on completing your first race! Great time too It must have been a great feeling steaming passed people in the 2nd half of the race. Full marathon next?

01/10/2012 at 20:33

Thanks gents !!

Stuart - my quads are hating life at the moment and i can only imagine how you're feeling. But i'm sharing a bit of the pain with you. And of course you'll be back and stronger for it.

Tek -  despite hydrating well once we were off i felt like i'd been drinking dust for days, dry as a bone. I bunged a jelly baby in my mouth to try and moisten up a bit and it was like chewing cardboard. Very strange and surely first time nerves kicking in.

Re the garmnin link, i've seen people post these before and i've been able to read them so why won't mine work for you? Have i done something wrong maybe ?

Edited: 01/10/2012 at 20:34
01/10/2012 at 20:39
Well done Stuart and Mace!
01/10/2012 at 21:21


Well done.

01/10/2012 at 21:22

Some gutsy runs on here from the racers at the weekend.

My first marathon on reflection was ok.Didnt quite get the time i hoped for but pleased just too finish safely in one piece.

Got a good nights sleep in the guest house and woke at 6 and had some porridge and by this point i was really pumped up and focused on getting the job done,after my recent achilles niggle i knew sub 4 wasnt the target and was planning to get round at 4.15 pace.after quite a long bus journey too the start and dumping my bag i lined up in between 4 and 4.30 markers right beside the music speakers blasting out some quality tunes,when 500 miles came on by the proclaimers i felt myself welling up a wee bit,had to look at the ground for a moment to get myself focused again and then we were off.

first mile a tad fast but soon reined it in over the next 5.First hill at 5 came and went with no problems,undulating over the next few and i was bang on target for a 415 finish till after the big hill at Dores at 18 miles,got through the village fine then bang halfway up the hill the pain started.this hill wasnt as steep as the earlier ones but just when i thought i had seen the summit of it ,it only goes round a blind corner and up further,by this point my legs were totally gone and from here till 23 miles it was a run/walk stategy.

My parents and partner were waiting for me at the 25 mile mark and then they could cross the footbridge for a shortcut too the finish too see me cross the line.

So at 23 miles i spotted a young guy just ahead of me on his phone (he looked worse than me lol)so i asked him if i could borrow his phone to phone my partner to tell her why i was passing 25 miles later than planned.He very kindly allowe me to use the phone and i told my partner when i would arrive.Just hearing her voice gave me adrenaline from somewhere and i started running again,soon saw my dad who had walked another half mile along the road too see me(what a star)he even started running alongside me to get back to where my mum and partner were.They were screaming encouragement too me and i just went for it in the last mile(8.17)fastest mile of the day.

crossed the finish line and heard someone shouting my name only too see my cousin and her husband who drove 150 miles too see me as a surprise.What a nice touch.

Finished in a time of 4.36.30,wee bit over my target and a bit dissapointed but on reflection am pleasd too say that i finished a marathon

01/10/2012 at 21:28


Well done.

01/10/2012 at 21:32

was in a world of pain from 18 miles onwards and i know it was only the adrenaline that got me through those last few miles but an 8.17 last mile just leaves me  bamboozled?????

had a good few drinks and a nice meal afterwards with the family ,woke up this morning very sore and the stairs down from the top floor of the guesthouse were very painful.

So what went wrong?

1 not enough base mileage before the 16 week plan

2 thinking that midweek hilly runs of max 8 miles would see me alright on a course like Loch Ness.

3 Mental toughness on the the Dores hill,looking back i was in pain but i think i could have pushed through it a wee bit more cos if it wasnt painful then everyone would be doing them

So im having the week off then its going to be 2 months of base training for me,so Tek im gonna be picking your brains very soon fella



01/10/2012 at 21:41

Mace - nice running and a superb strong finish; a negative split too  So do you fancy a marathon next or an intermediate distance? I was looking for a marathon for next Spring then remembered I've always fancied doing the Exe to Axe 20 [20 miles, 4000ft ascent on South West Coast Path]. No details on the 2013 event yet, but it should be early April

As for the Garmin link, you need to click on the padlock icon on the activity so it can be viewed by others. It's currently "private". Here's mine from the NFM, should work fine:


AGF - Talking of the South West Coast Path, the Jurassic Challenge. Nice one. Have you entered yet? That's a monster. Beautiful scenery though and a lovely area of the country.

Stuart - what a 'mare. Frustrating after all the time and effort put in training but you toughed it out and finished, which is something to be proud of.

YC - Same marathon as Stuart I'm guessing? Well done. I think I read somewhere that only 1% of people complete a marathon so welcome to the club

OH - Another one at Loch Ness. Congrats on the PB... have you started the schedule the next one yet or waiting until your legs feel a bit better - I walked around Beaulieu with the wife and children the day after NFM. Stairs were, er, difficult but I think moving really helped the recovery.

Edited: 01/10/2012 at 21:45
01/10/2012 at 21:53
JayC, not entered yet. Deciding on either 1 day, 3 days or 2014. I will do in next 18 months one way or another.

Mace, well done on your race a great report!!
01/10/2012 at 21:58
YC, have followed your training and chuffed for you that you have completed your first marathon in a very respectable time and more importantly seemed to enjoy/love the experience. The fact that you are already reviewing your training tells me that you will be back for more. Brilliant effort.

Having this week off is a good idea. Also suggest no more than a few 3 milers in the following two weeks to allow your body to recover before increasing training again with base mileage. It takes quite a few weeks to recover properly after an effort like that.

Feel proud
01/10/2012 at 22:15

Fantastic race reports mace and YC. Well done both, amazing efforts and great times.

YC the hill at Dores is a long energy sapping hill and you did really well to keep going.

10 miles on the turbo for me tonight 29 mins.


01/10/2012 at 22:16

YC congratulations...well done on a tough course.  Relax and pat yourself on the back. Great race report, too. And no, I can never understand the sprint finish, either...

Better base training will be key for the next one...happy to help (but AGF is the living proof - results still as yet untested for me...)

01/10/2012 at 22:16

F wow nice turbo...

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