Cake - thanks for the input. Tapering - I was thinking I'd continue with 3-4 runs per week but maybe easier sessions during the week (difficult for me as I live in valley, so hills everywhere). Then long-run-wise, something like 12-14 miles 2 weeks before the marathon and no more than 10 miles the weekend before.
One other query. On my long runs to date, I've been averaging 9 minute miles which is what I'll be aiming for on the day (works out as 3:56). Given my Half Marathon pace is 7:30, running 90 seconds slower than that feels pretty comfortable (until the later miles at least). However, most schedules suggest the long run should be slower than marathon pace. Just wondering how much slower? I can't imagine slowing down to 10 minute mile pace plus it'd add 20 minutes to a 20 miler which surely doesn't help in terms of time on your feet.
Sorry to hijack - but as there's a lot of good advice, I thought I'd throw my 'freaking out' worries into the mix which are a bit different to the opening post! I've also got a place for VLM and having had what I would say was a dissapointing first marathon attempt 3 years ago, I've ramped up the training this time.
For a bit of backround, my previous marathon time (3 years ago) was 5:04:08 but since then I've done 10 half marathons and regularly averaged 25 miles a week. My predicted marathon time is now 3:45ish according to some websites based on other PB's but I'd be estatic with 3:59:59.
My worry is I'm overdoing it in an attempt to boost my confidence for the marathon and not fall apart after just 16 miles like last time. Therefore I've already done 12, 19, 15 and 20 milers over the past 4 weekends with 2 midweek runs (usually speed / hills / or just extra mileage), and a recovery run the day after the long run. Is it advisable to continue hitting around 20 miles on the long run every other weekend? My plan was something like 15, 20, 14, 21, 15, 19, 14, 22 over the next 8 weekends before tapering.
I did 2013K in 2013 so going for 2014K in 2014 as I was happy that last years mileage got me out regularly and improved my times at all distances without going over the top.
Actually had a very high mileage start to the year as I'm training for VLM (2nd marathon but other one was in 2010). After Day 21 I'm on 154k - so well ahead at the moment but it'll definitely calm down post marathon.
Fair enough. I think I'll give it a go then. I know this is a bit of a difficult one to measure, but how difficult is it to overtake in terms of congestion at the start? Are you very likely to end up doing 10 minute miles at the start as you have no choice or with a bit of ducking and weaving, is it possible to get near to whatever pace you want? I've done Cardiff and Bristol HM's which have 15,000+ entrants so as there's different starts for London I'm thinking it'd be about the same?
Stuart - about 3 months after I started running I was probably around that pace and a sub 60 minute 10K seemed impossible. Natural ability does play a big part as I still find it hard to take that some people can just average 9 minute miles or even quicker with limited or no training. However, if you work hard at it, you pace will improve.
If you are following a half marathon program, you should be getting in the mileage and the interval training will definitely help. I think it's just a matter of time and keep going at it. I did get under 60 minutes in my first 10K which was about 5 months into my running. A year later I was down to sub 55. Another year later down to sub 50 and another year later now down to a 10K PB of 44:17. A lot would probably consider that slow progress as well!