UKC

/ London Marathon

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Phil79 - on 16 Apr 2018

Any UKCers running London this weekend?

Its my first marathon and feeling a bit nervous, but happy with my training and no injuries so confident I cant get round ok.

Any words of wisdom or tips from marathon vets on here? 

wbo - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79: take it easy at the start and don't go bonkers drinking , there are water stations all the way through. Enjoy it! The crowds are a bit thinner 15-22 miles but normally there are people to run with

 

Rampikino - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Don't do anything new!

No new kit, shoes, food etc. You would think it makes sense but there are those that cause themselves problems every year for pulling on new shoes for the marathon or guzzling down sports drinks they have never tried before.

Enjoy it - amazing experience.

Phil79 - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

Yeah, got all my kit sorted and 'run in', food/gels sorted, and have a plan for how often to eat, know my pace etc.

More concerned that forecast is hot, and almost all my training runs have been in the wet/cold!

Tony & Sarah - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Hi Phil I am running London (Tony) 26001 Totley AC (GFA V60)

Training has been generally cold & wet often very wet hopefully it won't be to hot

Still not decided on pace due to an injury last year so not confident I'm back to full speed 

Enjoy 

Tony

 

JuneBob on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

If you completed your training program and you run at the right pace it should be just fine. I don't know how practised you are at drinking/eating while running, but I often slow to walking at the later drinks stations so I get a proper drink instead of it all ending down my shirt. Particularly important to hydrate as it looks like it might be warm and sunny. I also only drink the water, I don't think it's a good time to try out the sponsor's energy drinks that they often offer at these events

I'm currently following a friend (via web) running the Boston marathon. He's having it tough - huge headwinds, heavy rain and very cold. Worst conditions in 30 years, so a grim day out for that lot!

Greylag - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Don't eat too many gels, it might get you round but you'll be on the toilet for the entire evening or is that just me!? 

iccle_bully - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

I ran it a few years ago, lived in Glasgow at the time so most of my training was in the cold, dark and wet (did quite a lot of running in the snow too) and on the day it was roasting and I got sunburn. I suffered with dodgy knees and hips and my longest training run was 17 miles. 

 

BUT I got round in one piece in a slow time but I ran the whole way which was my goal and I absolutely loved it. The crowds and other people around you are amazing. Make sure your name is on your shirt and when it gets tough run towards the sides of the road so the spectators can see you, when someone shouts personal encouragement it's a massive boost. 

 

I'll be there shouting on my sister in law with a mixture of relief and disappointment that I'm not doing it this year .

 

Good luck!!

 

 

yorkshireman - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

> Its my first marathon and feeling a bit nervous, but happy with my training and no injuries so confident I cant get round ok.

It was my first ever marathon and I felt the same. Just enjoy it. The crowds and the atmosphere are out of this world. I remember being blown away by the constant noise - you're running through a tunnel of constantly changing cheering and music for 26 miles and I found it quite exhilerating.

I was told that docklands would be a bit quiet but it was good weather (think this was 2008) and the crowds never let up. 

I remember cramping up around Blackfriars so I guess around 22 miles in, and stretching my calves at the barrier. A lady trying to offer me Ibuprofen and paracetamol, offering to help stretch, giving loads of encouragement. It definitely helps.

In terms of running - like everyone has said don't try anything new. If you've done your long runs and trained properly then that and the crowds should carry you through. Don't be tempted to overhydrate either.

Take a black plastic bin bag - cut a hole in the bottom for your head and use it as a poncho to keep warm at the start as there'll be a lot of standing around while the various waves set off.

Yanis Nayu - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

I’ve never done it, couldn’t do it and won’t do it, but good luck!

Phil79 - on 17 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Thanks for advice all.

I've run 21 miles at marathon pace in training, so should be good for the final 5. Just going to try and enjoy the day now.

 

Roadrunner6 - on 17 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

1. Change nothing, do what you did in training. Breakfast, pre-long run fueling, toilet visits.. etc.

2. Don't bank time.. that banks a right bitch for claiming back with interest later on..

3. The first 8 miles should be pretty comfortable.

4. Concentrate on running form, when you start to go to shit go back to your basics. Head up, breathe, nice leg lift, arms. No side to side movement.

5. Relax and enjoy it, sounds corny but being relaxed will reduce stress and anxiety. 

Post edited at 17:40
Stig - on 17 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

im doing it - first London Marathon and I’m looking forward to it. Second road marathon after Manchester last year. 

I’m 33004, Stockport Harriers. You can sponsor me here if you like - I’m raising money for Brain Tumour Trust in memory of UKCer gregoritos/Greg. Some may remember him... https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-rees14

My tips:

keep warm and limber at the start, easy jogging etc

take it steady for the first 10miles at least, you should feel like you’re holding back.

gel every 6/7 miles or so , drink around the same time but don’t overdrink

relax but try to maintain form/posture

best advice I had was you don’t start pushing/racing till the last 10k. Push off other people in the last mile or so.

At London the noise after the tunnel and on Embankment is apparently immense and carries you to the finish

 

Jim Nevill - on 17 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Definitely don't go too fast for the first half, you can easily speed up later. But then, it will probably be so congested that you will find the first mile or so like the January sales! And watch out for potholes - hard to spot amongst the crowd. Great day though, so enjoy.

iccle_bully - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to Jim Nevill:

Actually out of all the races I have done London Marathon was one of the least congested, there are lots of people but the course (including the start) was really well thought out and well managed.

Phil79 - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to Stig:

Good luck!

subtle on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Not done the London one but just go at your own pace and enjoy it - and let us know how it went afterwards.

Good luck.

Moley on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Good luck and enjoy it, i've avoided ever doing a road marathon but sure you will be ok.

Looks like being a warm day so go steady, I'm doing a 25 miler from crickhowel on the black mountains - will give you a wave from the tops

The New NickB - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to iccle_bully:

What races are you comparing it to? I’ve never done London, but most of the feedback I get from friends is that it can be quite congested.

I tend to avoid races with congestion problems, but the worst I have experienced have been Leeds Abbey Dash (10k) and Great Manchester Run (10k), although in both those cases I’ll admit to part of the blame, assuming other people would start where they are supposed to.

Post edited at 11:57
malc - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Have a pace you want to run at and stick to it! Don't go off too fast, think about your nutrition and hydration. I ran Manchester last weekend, i stuck to my marathon pace of 5:30/km, which I was consistent with until about 22 miles when I flagged a little. I took one gel/hour and sips of water from 6 miles. This worked for me and I finished in 3:54:20, just missing my London time from 2015 by a narrow margin. 

 

Whatever strategy you adopt, if this is your first marathon, the most important thing is enjoy the day. London is a fantastic experience.

mountainbagger - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to iccle_bully:

> Actually out of all the races I have done London Marathon was one of the least congested, there are lots of people but the course (including the start) was really well thought out and well managed.

In comparison to Brighton, I would agree with this. Brighton is a bit of a pain at the start (unless you are in the elite start up the road) - you have to go around a corner a straight up a hill which gets quite congested with parked cars and slower people.

I tried for sub 3:15 at London (and failed!) last year and that pen was great - we all set off pretty much the same pace, despite there being loads of us. The only issue was when we merged with the other starts - they seemed to have slower runners further ahead (must have taken less time for them to cross the start line). It was a little bit frustrating for a couple miles. Without that it would have been totally fine - at no other point in the course did I feel significantly hampered by congestion.

I will be watching London this year (I did Brighton last weekend - wasn't as hot as it will be this weekend), so best of luck to all who are running!

Phil79 - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to mountainbagger:

> I tried for sub 3:15 at London (and failed!) last year and that pen was great - we all set off pretty much the same pace, despite there being loads of us. The only issue was when we merged with the other starts - they seemed to have slower runners further ahead (must have taken less time for them to cross the start line). It was a little bit frustrating for a couple miles. Without that it would have been totally fine - at no other point in the course did I feel significantly hampered by congestion.

Yes, I was wondering how mixing runners of different pace might pan out.

When I applied for my ballot place I think I said I was aiming for 4:30 (as I'd not done any running further than a Half at that point). However, my pace is such I'm now aiming for 3:50ish (back stop being under 4hrs).

I understand you start in pens according to predicted time? So I might struggle to hit my target if thats the case....   

mountainbagger - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

> Yes, I was wondering how mixing runners of different pace might pan out.

> When I applied for my ballot place I think I said I was aiming for 4:30 (as I'd not done any running further than a Half at that point). However, my pace is such I'm now aiming for 3:50ish (back stop being under 4hrs).

> I understand you start in pens according to predicted time? So I might struggle to hit my target if thats the case....   

I wouldn't worry too much - once you're in the pen (according to predicted time), you can squirm your way to the front in a very relaxed way (before the race actually starts) - don't feel to shy about it, but be polite! I usually only get in the pen at the last minute (after a nervous wee) and people don't mind (I don't when others want to move past me) if I am in a slow (for me) pen.

The main thing is, don't try and make up time at the start if you find yourself behind slower runners - relax and wait for gaps to open up. Weaving around people and getting worked up about pace will not help you. After a while things will open up and you can relax into the target pace. Plenty of people start far back and end up hitting good times.

Good luck, and let us know on here how you get on!

Post edited at 16:42
Phil79 - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to mountainbagger:

Thanks - advice much appreciated.

I'll let you know how it goes.

helix - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Lucky you! I did it in 14, it was an amazing experience. Noise around Canary Wharf and last few miles incredible.

I'd wanted to do sub-4, in the end ran 4.09, and I was just delighted to have made it round. The last six miles were a very tough mental challenge. I think it's quite difficult to get a good time, not just for obvious reasons like it's a long way! but because there are so many people. My watch showed I'd run an extra third of a mile, not really what you need on top of 26.2..... Watch out for all the plastic bottles strewn everywhere near the water stations.

2014 was sunny year, I bought a very light white running cap the day before, inov8, and while all the stuff about don't try anything new is a very good rule to follow, I broke it with the cap, and it was a massive help in keeping the sun off and staying cool.

good luck and have a great time

Cobra_Head - on 18 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Just keep running

 

Flinticus - on 20 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Don't run but the sun would worry me (being Celtic and living in Glasgow)

To avoid sunburn on face (when out walking long distance or up in the mountains) I wear a peaked hat and never put sun cream of any type over or near my eyes.

 

Al Evans on 21 Apr 2018
In reply to Flinticus:

I ran the first ever London Marathon, it was my second one and I started way back so it took ages to get over the start line. In a way this was good as I just overtook people all the way which was a good morale boost, but it was bad since my official time was just over 3 hours, I timed myself at 2.58. If you are not going for a time just jog at a speed you are comfortable with.

 

BusyLizzie on 21 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Best of luck, enjoy the run, cope with the pain - the euphoria of finishing will be yours for ever.

Stig - on 21 Apr 2018
In reply to helix: this I think is a good tip. I picked up a white one at the expo today. Thx 

Good luck everybody!!

PS Al, good to hear from you. Trust you to have a good story!

 

Moley on 21 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Good luck and take it real steady in the heat, was a bit brutal today in the Black mountains.

Brass Nipples on 21 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

 

If you find yourself overtaking some bloke called Mohammad Farrah you are running too fast.

 

Deleted bagger - on 22 Apr 2018
In reply to Brass Nipples:

Not as bad as having to out sprint a phone box at the finish........

Roadrunner6 - on 22 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

How did it go?

goldmember - on 22 Apr 2018
In reply to Roadrunner6:

The splits from the top elites is terrific. Couldn't match them running down a perfect hill. 

 

Then the amazing firefighters in full gear with 30kg on their backs.

Both inspiring 

Roadrunner6 - on 23 Apr 2018
In reply to goldmember:

The pace the elites go at is incredible. go down the track and try to do 400m at their pace.. I was probably in close to 2:30 shape at my peak, 2:36 PR a year or so later, but needed to find another minute per mile.. 

Phil79 - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Well, I survived and got round but it was a brutal experience. Didn't appreciate how energy sapping the heat would be. First half I was bang on expected pace, then second half I fell apart, kept cramping, and lots of walking. 4:27 in the end, half an hour slower than I had been aimed for, but I'm happy with that for first marathon given the conditions. 

Nearly everyone I spoke to said the same about the heat, and must have counted 20 plus people on the course being attended by medics, and a very busy medical tent at the end. 

Crowds were amazing, and it was a fantastic experience. 

Feels like unfinished business now, want to do another one to see if I can hit 4hrs!

Stig - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Very well done! - you're right not to feel bad, the heat was sapping... I noticed a strange throbbing in the head especially when entering into sunny/hot zones around Canary Wharf.

A lot of people I know faded badly. A few of my friends are 3hr-ish marathoners and faded from a 1:30 half to finish in 3:30-45 ish.

Did you drink? I think that was key for me, I had a sip at every mile and doused the rest, although that really hit my pace as it was carnage at the water stations as people dash across for the beginning of the station (!?!). I'm not sure I absorbed a lot though and in future I think I might use nuun or something if it was hot.

As you say the support and camaraderie was amazing. I was surprised how much you have to concentrate - discarded bottles, road furniture, and quite congested all the way - I think Manchester is a faster course.

And yes, the lure of a faster time is pretty addictive!

mountainbagger - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Well done! Some of my friends did it and were between 15 and 30 mins slower than planned. They all had a pretty difficult last few miles, with some walking etc.

They had all run marathons before, so I think you did pretty well considering it was your first!

Phil79 - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to Stig:

Well done, that's a bloody fast time in those (or any) conditions! Your pace looks very consistent too.

I drank at probably 3/4 of water stations, few sips and rest on head/back/arms etc. I'm not used to that at all, training runs have been done with very little water, and I think it probably contributed to cramping, needing to drink because of the heat and diluting electrolytes? Not suffered from cramp in any long training runs, and the heat/hydration was the major difference.     

Yes, absolutely agree its mentally as well as physically draining, having to dodge around so many people, watch for bottles on the floor, kerbs etc.

Might have to look at a more local/less busy marathon if I do another one. I think the stress and hassle of getting to and from London (and performing on the day) didn't help either.

How do you feel now? I felt awful for the first 24hrs, struggled to eat much, but bouncing back today. DOMS is quite bad! 

Rich K - on 25 Apr 2018
In reply to Phil79:

Well done on the run. It was my first marathon too, I was on target at the halfway point but the second half was ten minutes slower than the first. The tunnels on the Isle of Dogs and just before the Embankment were welcome relief from the heat. I’d always been ok on training runs but I found the last quarter on the day very hard going. It’s only today that I can walk down stairs comfortably again.


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