I ran 3:14 in London yesterday in my 2nd ever marathon, having ran 3:29 in 2013. If you're looking for a plan, I would recommend P&D's schedules. I followed the lower millage plan, 5 runs a week, peaking at 55 miles. I altered it a bit so that I ran 7 long runs of 20 miles plus, including two 22 milers and a 20 mile race. I ran a 1:29 half in February which I think is a good indicator of sub 3:15. I didn't run A marathon in 2014 due to injury but I actually think this was a blessing as it allowed me to shave time off my 5k, 5 mile, 10k and 10 mile times which I think all helped.
I didn't sleep that well and got up just before 6am feeling quite drowsy. After hot cross buns and a banana, I got a lift to the tube station to get the 1st train into town. Comedy moment on the tube - I got off at Charing X to get the train to Blackheath (along with 100s of other runners) and a Scottish lady stopped me to ask the way to Blackheath - it was as if I was the only other runner in London as she proceeded to follow me all the way there! Met my mum at the station (luckily without the dog which she had planned to take) and she managed to wangle her way into the green start area too. I sat down on my bin liner while mum ogled Jenson Button and other celebs. After 2 loo trips (one where one of the official photographers took my pic in the queue, nice!), I got into the front of my pen. 5 mins later I tutted to myself when I saw a man who had obviously jumped forward a pen, or so I thought...Then realised that I was in the wrong pen - I was standing in pen 4 but should have been pen 3. So moved pens and tried to move to near the front. Quite cold at the start so I kept my plastic poncho on till the last minute. Watching the elites now on TV, I'm tempted to get some of those armbands. So the gun went and I could see the 3:15 pacer at the back of pen 2. Plan was to start at this pace and hold on for as long as possible. Mile 1 was the slowest (7:45) due to congestion and everyone seemed a bit frustrated. But I didn't panic as I was still the same distance from the pace maker. Mile 2 faster (and I overtook Ewan Thomas!) and mile 3 was 6:56 (downhill) so back on track. By this point we merged with the mass start but there was still enough space. I ran alongside the pacemaker for a couple of miles which was good as at the water stations he made sure the bottles were passed around. The pace felt easy which really surprised me, so I moved a bit ahead of the pace maker and the surrounding crowd. Saw some club friends spectating at mile 6 which gave me a boost and then my family at mile 9. I'd listened to music when I ran London in 2013 but opted not to for this race - right decision overall but at times I found it all a bit overwhelming with the crowd. I also can't remember hearing as many bands on the route versus 2013. Passed halfway in 1:37:13 feeling strong still. Next highlights were seeing some friends spectating at mile 18 and then seeing my club mates with family at the 30k elite water station which is manned by my club. Loved the RunDMC cheer point at mile 21 with all the faces. Felt strong in the last miles but my legs went very tight and stiff in the last 2 miles. Luckily my arms were fine so I just pumped them fast to pull me along. The 3:15 pace maker caught up with me at mile 22 and I was determined to stay near him. He told everyone that we were ahead of target by 15 secs and I knew that I had started about 10 secs behind him so I felt optimistic. I remember 1.5 miles to go, thinking this is just one lap of my local parkrun. And then seeing the 800m to go sign, thinking this is just once round a track. Then seeing 400m realising that I had another track lap to go! Welled up at the end (almost welled up on the mall as I could see Paula's face on the big screen) and took a while to find my bag and family at the end as my legs felt sooo stiff. Second half was 1:37:16, giving final time of 3:14:29 (a positive split by only 3 secs!!) So pleased as this was my 'A' target. Got the tube to Waterloo for a free GBK burger and then home for a bath followed by party held by a club mate. Our V50 ran 2:32 and ran with Paula for the 1st 5 miles!
My mantra that I used all the way around was 'Strong and light, upright' (as at times I can slouch a bit). But near the end I kept saying 'uptight' instead of 'upright'! And then down the mall I just chanted 'don't be shit, don't be shit'! Debate this in the forum
1 to 10 of 11 forum discussions started by Slowkoala