Surrey - Racing a 20 miler in a marathon build up is a very risky thing to do. If you do, you'll probably have a 90% chance of having scuppered your marathon right there.
A bit slower than expected marathon race pace is about where to pitch it.
Thanks PRF, this is interesting as I tend to do 4 or 5 half's in the 3-months prior to London and a 20m race about 4-weeks out. I would have thought this was good for building up race speed. Is this considered bad practice then?
Thanks all, will especially look out for some speedwork plans as this seems to be the most obvious gap in my schedule. Some other great tips above though and I will be paying attention to them over the course of the next 6-months.
Thanks all, I thought I was going to be fairly close this year after the 2.15 20m but then ended up with a stinking cold 2-weeks out which really put me back - was still not quite over it on the day. Perhaps not the best option either to run another, hilly, marathon 3-weeks out from London too so legs were probably still tired.
Will leave the extra marathon for next April and concentrate on London. Just feel 2.15 for the 20m doesn't leave me enough for the final 6m but as Birch/PRF says is dooable if you have the prep beforhand. Perhaps I was on the way this year but need to find the extra 5% or so to be sure.
Thanks Stevie, perhaps I worded it wrong - my normal marathon trainign takes place in the months leading up to London where I certainly do put in the long runs (plus a 20m race which I did in 2.15 this year) but used the Chester example to illustrate some core fitness is there at least!
Plan to keep the long runs going from now through to April (if it helps!).