To marathon or not?: I never thought I... - Marathon Running ...

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To marathon or not?

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon

I never thought I would post that question! So in 2018 I did the Southampton half (2.23) in April and kept my longer runs going and ran gsr (1.56) in October. I am not speedy but have kept my longer runs (10-12 miles) going until now. This year I have toyed with a marathon, unsuccessful for vlm but pos Southampton on May 5th. I don't know if I can cover the distance or not. I am in a small run club where 2 people are going to vlm for the first time. They know my plans but I am largely excluded from the long run plans unless I happen to be available on the day to run. I thought it would be great to share in the training long runs and for support but the opposite seems to be happening. That means long slow runs alone and I don't know how I will do them. I have emailed a couple of coaches but they don't seem to accompany on long runs so I am unsure of the benefit. So what should I do? I really could do with a running buddy to train with, help!

36 Replies
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Whatsapp
WhatsappHalf Marathon

If you want to run the marathon then go for it. You don't need anyone else to run.

I don't really run with others (occasionally with my daughters). I find that running is my time; no pressure from others on pace, distance or route. Just me and the run.. Bliss!

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to Whatsapp

Yes I see the advantage of my time alone but I know my pace can get a bit fast. Others slow me nicely and as I chat I don't notice the miles so much. I guess I need to get used to training solo again like I did for my hm.

Whatsapp
WhatsappHalf Marathon
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

Think of it as an opportunity to learn a new skill. I enjoy working on my pace. Negative splits are a particular focus of mine. Not sure sure I would worry about negative splits for a marathon though.

linda9389
linda9389Moderator

Definitely go for it! Is there a facebook or strava group for the event? you may find someone on there looking for a running buddy if it doesn't work out with your club members (although I'm not sure about the safety of running long distances with strangers you meet online :D :D :D )

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to linda9389

I agree the safety of running with strangers is daunting. There is an event fb page but no posts relating to training sadly. That's why I went down the coaching route but it seems the coach's are offering short interval runs whereas I would like accompanied long runs!

Lordi
LordiMarathon

Training upto and beyond 30 km is a lonely old time consuming business to be sure! Why not run the club runs to benefit from the slower pace then continue after the clubbies have finished? Run the route twice?

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to Lordi

Yes I think that's an option so at least some is accompanied. The vlm runners may post their long runs which I will join if I am free and there is enough notice. Otherwise I am considering running with the three kids, kid 1 on bike for first lap, then drop kid 1 and pick up kid 2 on bike for 2nd lap and the same with the third lap. 6 mile laps would get to 18 miles with some variation on lap route. Kids can carry my drink bottle and snacks too! May have to get planning.

linda9389
linda9389Moderator
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

very creative :D

Lordi
LordiMarathon
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

Who'dv thunk kids could come in handy sometimes?! Great kids if the're up for it!

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to Lordi

Over the summer they made a Rota for who was next to come out on their bikes for my runs. One of them has done 10 mile rides with me running, an excuse to get out on their bikes you see!

Langley-Loper
Langley-LoperHalf Marathon
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

Mine are teens. No desire to accompany me sadly.

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to Langley-Loper

Oh I am sure mine will get to that stage, I am enjoying this whilst it lasts!

Madge50
Madge50Half Marathon

Hi RFD, get you! Marathon no less! Wow, you go for it 💪🏃‍♀️👍

I’m happy with HM’s , they’re enough of a test for me! Anyway, my suggestion was going to be parkrun, do you go to any? Do you have any near you? There may be other runners there who will be doing marathon training - I know of some at my one, I’m sure the core team/run director will know ...... an option anyway.

Power to you! 🏃‍♀️💪👏😎

Mx

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to Madge50

I wonder if I should stick to hm too. But I thought maybe I could try the marathon training and see how I get on with the longer runs. We do have parkrun very local to me so I could ask the RD. I have made contact with another local running club aswell.

Madge50
Madge50Half Marathon
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

I must admit, I’m one of the many thousands of hopefuls who’ve applied for the vlm , and so far received the ‘sorry’ top (it’s a nice top, but hey, would prefer the vlm place...) that would be a one off, once in a lifetime event. So it’s not as though I haven’t thought about it, I would be concerned about the training commitment - time more than anything, fitting it in etc., as in my case it would definitely be a walk/run plan as a 6 hour (ish) finisher.......so I guess, if I did do it, a lot of the training would be on my own.....

So far, other than the vlm, the urge hasn’t consumed me any further.....😂.....

Hope you find something that suits.

Mx

Decker
DeckerModerator

I think if its calling you then as the swooshy shoe people say ‘just do it’ 😁. Lordi’s idea of partial runs with your group sounds like a good solution. Many of the marathon people in our group run from home to our long runs to add distance to their sets. Long runs alone can be tough. I use podcasts or CBC radio shows to pass the time. Do you have a run watch to gauge your pace? My watch allows you to set a pace zone and buzzes when you drop out of it (both too fast or slow) I still am habitually staring at it though :) Go for it!! You’ll be awesome 😎

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to Decker

Thanks Decker! I will keep doing the long runs that the vlm runners advertise and try to adapt other runs as you suggest. I will see how far I can get. I did add an extra mile or two after a long slow run with others and my pace remained the same. If I run before I might need to set up my watch for pace, good idea!

If I did a 10k event and then ran 8 miles home, would you do a fast 10k or an easy 10k because of the run home?

Decker
DeckerModerator
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

Hmm that may depend on your energy level. I usually play it by ear. If feeling strong then I’d go for it.If feeling so-so, then ease your pace. The main thing is to get yourself used to getting the long runs in single or double sections. Then once you get used to the distances, you can improve your pace. Just like going from 5k to 10. At least that is how I approach it usually.

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to Decker

Thanks Decker, I will see how I feel on the day then!! Maybe not a pb day if combined with a longer run lol.

Decker
DeckerModerator
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

haha yes, may be best to forget trying for pb days while you adjust :)

Hi Runfasterdoyle, Well done you on all the amazing progress to reach this considering marathon time. I should imagine that you feel beautifully fit.

I am not in a position to help your question, but I am a little confused! I am sure that I remember a forum member with your name, but you have only one post. Have you perhaps deleted your old posts and started afresh on the forum. Maybe I'm imagining things about reading about a Runfasterdoyle in the past!

Whichever, all the very best for your onward running journey.😊🏃🏻

Yes you are correct I am the same person but have refreshed/removed my previous posts. I feel I have progressed since my hm training last year, not necessarily faster but more comfortable with 10-13 mile runs. I guess that is why I question whether I am able to go further though doubling the distance is daunting! My previous posts would highlight that I lost my brother to a sudden cardiac arrest post exertion, so therefore I need to consider training with others should something happen.

Lordi
LordiMarathon
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

Ah, ok I understand now. I too have a heart condition called Long QT syndrome (luckily not too extreme) so I try never to go into Zone 5 heart rate zone. I do run on my own most of the time though.

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to Lordi

I have family who worry greatly about me running longer distances alone. I have used a tracking app for hubs to follow me but that is not somewhere there with me. Cardiology have been happy with test results but won't stress test me (that is the final result!!) due to risks involved. Mind you I think running events does just that!! How do you manage the psychological part of running with long QT?

Lordi
LordiMarathon
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

I just have an alarm set for max HR (HrZ 5 limit) and pull back. In a way I am sort of just cruising along most of the time at 130-140 bpm because I don't want to push things and I know I'll never break any world records. I've signed-up for Roseabi's speed challenge but again it will just be trying for a 10k PB purely on the back of better fitness and no extreme exertion! As far as the psychological side of things goes I just run for fun and don't push it at all. If my hr drifts up I slow down. I'll never try a 400m or 800m all out blast just to be on the safe side but I do enjoy a quick spurt now and then just to see how fast I can run for 100m or so. In my marathon I got up to 150 bpm ave towards the end so had to slow right right down (cardiac drift a.k.a being totally knackered and a bit dehydrated). It is a worry in the back of my mind but apart from sitting on the sofa instead (which could have a worse heart health outcome) it's something to live with/manage. Hope your condition is not too extreme. I think very extreme LQTS results in an exercise ban fullstop, which woukd be horrible.

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to Lordi

Thank you Lordi for a very honest reply. I do watch my resting and running HR. I cannot set an alarm on my watch for an upper limit. I am generally in zone 3/4 but sometimes in 5 which I need to monitor. The long slow runs keeps the hr down but I shall note caution for dehydration and fatigue. I want to keep running for heart health but it feels like a narrow path to walk between being good for you and pushing over the limit. I am becoming more accepting of the situation as time moves on until something comes up or my parents relay their fears etc. I haven't told my parents about marathon training......

Lordi
LordiMarathon
in reply to Runfasterdoyle

Might be worth getting a watch with hr zone alarms? Mine is the cheap Garmin 235 A bit old now (so cheaper). I am in zone 2/3 in training but go into z4 in races, so yes, you have to be careful that the race day adrenaline doesn't fire you up too much (a little firing up is good tho). We are connected on Strava so you can check how my marathon training runs hr compared to race day (Sept 9th). Edit - watch did warn me a few times during marathon at around 35-40km when I was struggling a bit. Garmin says 79% in zone 3 and 21% zone 4. No sustained time in z5 only spikes.

mountaindreamer
mountaindreamerHalf Marathon
in reply to Lordi

Interesting to read how many of us are running with heart conditions. All my pulse comes from pacemakers and it has done since my 20s. I don’t push things too hard mainly because my pacemaker can’t always give me the right pulse rate now I’m getting older, and I want something spare in the tank in case my pulse rate suddenly drops in half. (More me trying to avoid the possible embarrassment of passing out rather than it killing me!) I’m about to start trying to run up hills, which makes the chance of me lacking enough beats even higher, so it may not really work...

Do you use a chest strap with your Garmin Lordi ? I know I can’t with a pacemaker, but wonder if that would give you better accuracy. I trust my Fitbit far more than my Garmin Forerunner 35.

The Fitbit has matched a hospital exercise test ECG machine almost exactly, though you have to wear it optimally and keep sweat wiped from under it. I’m really not so convinced the Garmin is as accurate, and keep meaning to just switch HR off on it. I know it gives me readings above and below my possible rates (ie my pacemaker settings), and that Garmins have been reported to have issues mixing up cadence and HR. Some of the traces it comes up with during runs, though, look very odd (as do those I’ve sometimes spotted in other people’s Strava data), with sudden drops and shifts in pulse rate that I suspect I’d feel.

For example, during my first HM distance run on Monday, my Garmin showed my pulse to be far higher for about the first half of the run, but to then drop and stay consistently lower for the rest. (Some runs it shows the opposite.) In the fast rate period it said my pulse went as high as 193bpm (my absolute max is 175, but I don’t often get that from the pacemaker).

So if you are relying on the Garmin to judge safe zones and don’t use a strap (which I believe makes them more accurate) then I think I’d be a bit wary of what readings you’re seeing?

I get the impression you’ve been running massive distances for ages, though, so may be you’ve really got enough feel for how much your heart is pushing without needing the exact data? 😊❤️

Lordi
LordiMarathon
in reply to mountaindreamer

Yes, there do seem to be a few of us with heart issues! We rock!

I only have the optical hr Garmin 235 watch. I think that because I never ever go above 60-70% max effort I never get that "My heart's about to explode and I feel like about to die" feeling. I agree it does sometimes say I had a spike to, say 183 bpm momentarily on a run, but I know that that is nonsense when my whole run has been pretty relaxed and easy going. So yes, I use my (limited) experience/how I feel mostly. The alarm only goes off on sustained high hr though and not v short spikes (which may be artefacts/error/noise). I did experience cadence lock at Parkrun last week which gave 170 bpm (my normal joggy cadence) when my real hr must have been about 130- 140 (jogging). I may well get the chest strap for my Garmin though as it would be nice to have more confidence in the 235. I do also have a Polar watch with a chest strap so I might wear both to do some comparisons.

Hello again Runfasterdoyle, I am very sorry indeed to hear about your brother. I had not read about that; I am so very, very sorry.

It was your name that I remembered rather than the contents of any posts. My memory is seriously no where near as I would like. Also rather random. Sometimes I am amazed at what I remember and other times embarrassed at how little I can recollect.

I now have Garmin Forerunner 35. It won't seem to use the maximum heart rate that I have entered using a web max heart rate calculator that was recommended as the best available by a forum member, but continues to base its calculations on 220-age. The 220-age calculation cannot be right for me as my watch frequently informs me that I have a heart rate well over maximum e.g. 116% of max! Nonsense!

All the very best whichever direction your running journey takes you. 😊🏃‍♀️

I have the forerunner 30 which tracks wrist based heart rate but I cannot set an alarm. I tend to watch it only if I feel I am exerting too much, sometimes I just seem to run too fast for me!! I always check my data afterwards for any issues.

I can obviously see why heart rate matters for you. I am not convinced about the data my Garmin provides. I can set hr alerts, but I haven't. I'm in the enjoying the learning process phase.

Nice to see you back H 🤗

misswobble
misswobbleMarathon

I thought you’d post this question before too long 😃

Training alone is fine. I do it all the time. You’re never that far from civilisation generally speaking, but you can run with the group and the kids as well when they’re available

The distance is something you work up to I went as far as 20 miles, once, and that’s it. No running beyond three hours in training as apparently it’s a bad idea, according to the AudioFuel voice over guy I used the First and Second Hour podcasts. Music is AudioFuel of course 😬🤨🤷‍♀️😁

I take my tunes, snacks, bit of cash just in case. A bit of peace and quiet is lovely 😃

Runfasterdoyle
RunfasterdoyleMarathon
in reply to misswobble

Thank you for your advice misswobble. I have also heard that 3hrs is the max otherwise there is higher risk of injury. My plan is in distance and covers up to 20 miles. Anything over 13 miles is unknown territory so somewhat scary!!

misswobble
misswobbleMarathon

Don’t be afraid It’s a challenge for sure but an exciting one. Having done one I was a bit worried about a second but I needn’t have been We can talk ourselves out of things based on what-ifs, but - as humans - we like to challenge ourselves. It was killing me to find out what a marathon would be like 😁

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