Posted: Yesterday at 17:42
snapdragon - our stories are fairly similar. My first marathon was 2010 at London and I went around in 5:15. At that time, I said "never again!" and meant it (it was one of those bucket list things and I now realise I hadn't trained properly for it), but somehow found myself on this thread just over a year ago. I used Shades plan as the basis of a marathon attempt in May this year and got around in 4:08, so although not speedy I was pleased with that. I used the 4-day a week plan so can't comment specifically on the 3-day a week plan.
I think the biggest piece of advice I've had is to slow down! It may seem counter intuitive, but slowing down helps build your endurance which is what you need because, as you know, 26 miles is a long way. What this means in practice is that your Long Slow Runs (LSRs) should be about 90secs per mile slower than your eventual marathon pace. This may seem slow, but stick at it (I confess I sometimes still need reminding about the importance of this!!). Secondly, it is important to do all your running based on your current fitness and not on your goal pace, but Shades can help with your training paces. Thirdly - enjoy it!!
This thread together with me joining a club in Sept 2012 are the two things that have brought my running on. I suppose the third thing is that this all coincided with me losing a fair bit of weight, which certainly helps but I was quite a bit overweight! Like I say, I'm not speedy but I'm chipping away at my times and genuinely enjoying running. I didn't think I'd have said that after my London 2010 experience!
There are some great runners on here and this is a great thread, so good luck with it!