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A Marathon improvement question from a newbie

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May 2012
9:25am, 29 May 2012
4,744 posts
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I second Hipps and Gobi - experience! Having some memory of what you have faced before is key as no matter how many accounts you read, you own personal experience will be different, and unlike a 5k or 10k where I know people who still can't touch their very first race time, after going eyeballs out and never quite finding that same gusto or pain level again, for the marathon that would be very unusual (although not impossible, I'm sure someone will popup with a counter example now :-) ) because pacing is such an important element and knowing your optimum pace is something you are more likely to hit with repeated goes. Also how you like running it best - even paced? Negative split? 20 miles hard and then hang on? That's up to you.

Dare I say follow the same schedule again, if you were happy with it last time (just not the result at the end?) unless you felt serious under prepared? Book "Running with the Kenyans" has one coach saying it can take up to 10 years to build up a decent endurance base for long distance running, so don't be discouraged, marathon times can come down by huge amounts in subsequent races (eg half an hour or more).
May 2012
9:27am, 29 May 2012
42,441 posts
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plodding hippo
Ten years?


Lots of useful advice on here

May 2012
9:31am, 29 May 2012
47,677 posts
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Chris - I don't know anyone who has run their best 5km/10km first time out short of world class elites who are stepping up in distance so will have done serious amounts of training so not really going in like a novice. People do not treat the short distances with enough respect and head out longer and longer as sucked in by the lure of the marathon and sites like Fetch and Runnersworld.
May 2012
10:07pm, 29 May 2012
4 posts
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Cheers for the advice everyone.

Gobi - The 12 miler was from the last week of the P&D plan....although you are correct, why I did this at race pace I'm not sure! :-s
I think some of my runs have been at the wrong pace so yes I can learn from that and improve there for Frankfurt and I'll certainly take a look at the Macmillan pace calculator to help me out.
So the P&D plan again will be the way to go at the same mileage - I'll make sure I set out a goal for each of the sessions and stick more closely to them as you say - Might actually use some of the features on my Garmin to set up some activities in certain zones etc rather than just pressing start and stop like I do at the moment! :-)

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