Running Thread

So, I signed up for a full marathon in September. I’m not quite sure whether it’s a great or a terrible idea, but I am committed to train and go through with it. The longest run I did was a half-marathon in about 2h05, but that was in very comfortable spring temperatures. The summer heat will be something else.

Any tips from the runners in there?


When someone is chasing you, run faster :wink:

But seriously, good on ya. I’m failing on my fitness routing miserably this year, with the exception of walking about 10 -15 miles per week. Something.

Depending on your age I suppose the tried and true advise is: start small and work up.

I’m an ex-runner. I really enjoyed running but too many years in the Army and too many miles pounding the pavement have destroyed my knees, so low impact only for me these days…

I have never done a marathon, but for me 5km was a warm up and I would cover 20km in about 80-90 minutes.

I’m guessing that you are physically prepared? but don’t rule out mental preparation - Just the word “marathon” evokes nervous feelings in people. What I would do when going on a longer run was don’t think of it as a single distance - if I was doing a 15km run I would think of it as 3 x 5km runs and as I passed a ‘milestone’ think to myself… c’mon Harry 5km is easy, one down, two to go.

Other than that: hydration, don’t overdo it, don’t be afraid to quit if you need to and most importantly have fun.

Good luck and congratulations, running a marathon is a genuine achievement. Let us know how you go.


I don’t do marathons but what I heard is sensible:
If you can’t do it in 4h comfortably, pull out as that means you’re underprepared and likely to hurt yourself or at least have a very bad time.

Heat is a component you have to train for. Do some research wrt preparing the body for it. This might seem obvious but pay a lot of attention to your body while exercising in heat. If you feel the chills coming on, go seek some shade to cool off. It is surprisingly easy to fry yourself running in broad daylight.

I last ran a marathon in 1993 after a multi-year break due to injury, but I remember the things that got me through. As soon as I decided I was running it I started runs every evening with breaks only for injuries. With slight injuries I still ran, but slower and less distance (5km). Just in case I had to do that on the event.

10km in 45 minutes was fine for me (bearing in mind I already had arthritic legs) every evening. When it came to the big day I resisted the temptation to “go for it” like I’d done in my previous marathon and ended up being too knackered by half distance. Always did a 5km warm-up jog before the 10km run.

I would advise to just run within yourself and what you know you can keep up. Take it easy and don’t get out of breath and if you’ve done the groundwork you should be fine. Drink as much as you feel comfy with on the way round (you can stop or pace on the spot to drink to avoid problems swallowing while running) and run under any spraying hoses offered at the side of the road. If you start breathing hard, you’re going too fast.

Running like that I got round in 3:25:58. On the previous one where I wore myself out early it took 4½ hours. And at that time I was regarded as a “fitty”! In my defence - I had applied to do the SAS selection and my OC gave me a target time for the marathon to get his approval, and like a fool I really went for it and totally blew it! :smiling_face: I walked the middle few miles and ate an entire platter full of mars bars :laughing:

Learned a lot from it, though.


At least it was your choice :stuck_out_tongue:

We had a Platoon Commander who thought he would have a crack and decided that if he was doing the pre-selection PT program, then so was the rest of the Platoon :frowning_face:


Good on ya! I’ve never run one (I beat my back up before Marathons were a “thing”).

But my wife has run 17. Like others have said, it’s as much a mental challenge as physical. My wife tells me that, at mile 18, your body runs out of stuff to burn and the urge to stop is primal.

She also mentioned that there are a few “systems” that seem to be popular, essentially walk/running and slowly increasing both distance and the ratio of the running parts.

They seem to be methodical and help prevent going hard early and injuring yourself in training.

My wife did it the “hard” way and just started running every day of course. She can be stubborn! :wink:

Oh, and they can be addictive apparently, though I can’t for the life of me imagine why! :joy:


I think a lot also depends on your running history - if you’ve never done it properly before you will find it a lot more difficult. If you are used to a bit of running, then it will be mentally much easier to start doing it regularly.


I run regularly in the 3-7 mile range where I plod along at a slow pace and listen to the birds. A marathon would kill me!


Same here most assuredly.


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Aside from what has already been said, make sure you give yourself and your body time to adapt. Overdoing the mileage increase will risk injury, even as far as a stress fracture.

There are countless training plans out there online, so check those out and find one which works for you…

Have an idea of what pace/target time you want to run and train accordingly. Do not short cut the training, also don’t over do it either.

Finally on the day, enjoy it, if it’s not going to plan and you see your target time going away from you, don’t beat yourself up. No plan survives etc.

Good luck :crossed_fingers:


@BeachAV8R will chime in any second.

But if he doesn’t, you’ve gotten some sound advice already.

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Thanks for your advice, everyone. As of now, the hardest part is getting used to running in the heat. I hear it takes a few weeks for the body to adapt, and I’m starting to see some progress. However, it makes the longer runs (15+ km) more uncomfortable.


Hope you are running in the evening, then? Much cooler, of course - I did all my running in the evenings. If you’re lucky you’ll have an ideal weather day for the marathon, which is considered to be overcast with a gentle breeze and around 12°C. Or it was in my running days, anyway.

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I’m mostly an evening runner but I’m forcing myself to get used to 25+ deg C. In september it’s not uncommon to still have 30 deg C or more in Montreal.


I’m surprised they have the event staged in those conditions, tbh. Considering the available meteorology in that neck of the woods.

Good luck with training, anyway - if you stick with it you shouldn’t have any real worries for the event itself.

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Update 1

So, I finally bit the bullet and went for a full marathon run last evening. The main goal of this run was to break the psychological barrier of “doing it” and figuring out what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong as lessons learned to better prepare myself for the next runs.


  • Km 1 to 10: started way too slowly, but very comfortable pace. Perhabs a bit too comfy.
  • Km 11 to 17: rain starts pouring for a bit, morale takes a hit but my Spotify playlist keeps my spirits up.
  • Km 18 to 28: I increase the pace gradually, not quite sure of the knees are going to hold or not. So far so good. Once I reach km 25, I’m running into the unknown. Anything could happen!
  • Km 29 to 34: I am expecting to hit the proverbial “wall” around the 30-km mark, but nothing happens. I just keep on trucking, feeling good. I start pushing to a sub-6 pace to see how my body will react.
  • Km 35 to 41: pace slows down a bit, but I have no injuries or real pain to speak of. However, I’m starting to be really thirsty!
  • Km 42: Victory lap! :smiley:

Fuel: 3 x Clif bars, 3 x gels. Good enough.

So, here are my first impressions so far. I feel I could’ve pushed the pace earlier on (I was a bit too conservative at the beginning, a bit worried about going too hard too early), but I think the main takeaway from this whole thing is that surprisingly, the knees did their job without suffering catastrophic damage. That was my biggest scare, especially since I’m mostly physiologically built like a sprinter rather than a long-distance runner. The 4h30 didn’t quite feel like an eternity; the weather was between 19 and 15 deg C, mostly at night. Overall, it was a tough, but very enjoyable experience.

Now, the real fun begins; improving my time for the race in September.


Super impressive, well done :clap:

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Yup - nice one. Despite what you seem to think, that’s a reasonable time for a first marathon. I would also say, if you are not entering for the competition, just for the experience, there is no such thing as “going too slowly”.

The main thing is to enjoy it :+1:


Update 2

So, it happened. I ran my first official marathon race in Magog last Saturday. I did it in 4h47, which is slower than the first practice run I did to get an idea of my baseline performance. The story behind this time, however, is much more interesting.

The starting time was somewhat unusual: 16h00. There were about 45 of us for the 42k, and I remember being very nervous seeing all these athletic types stretching, rope jumping and doing all kinds of “pro-looking” routines to get ready. I mean, I was just a guy who didn’t know if he even deserved to be there in the first place, you know? The weather was sunny, clear sky and hot. We’re talking 35 deg C + humidex. The race consisted of 2 x 21k loops. We’d have to climb the mountain, descend, then repeat it a second time. The total elevation for the race was 600+ meters.

The race starts. Some runners start forming up organically and doing small talk, cracking jokes, complaining about the heat and having a good time. I stick with the slower groups, knowing that in these kinds of conditions I might very easily overdo it and burn myself prematurely. There are water stations every 3 km, so I don’t feel particularly dehydrated, which really helps. The first 10k is a long uphill stretch of asphalt completely exposed to the sun. From the 11th km or so, we’re climbing the mountain proper. As we reach the 21st km (completing the first loop), I realize I’m mostly running by myself at that point. The people that were with me either picked up a pace I couldn’t hold or fell behind.

Then, once I start the second loop, this is where I start to realize how bad things are getting. One of the volunteers at a water station tells me that people are starting to drop from the race like flies. The second half of the race is quite lonely as I start running into people who are walking and look in pretty rough shape. It’s a bit worrying, but the only thing I really care about at that point is the music going through my headphones. As I reach the 35th km, I come to the realization that I still have good energy reserves and I decide to pick up the pace and see how fast I can make it to the finish line without hitting the wall.

Once I cross the finish line, I grab a few snacks and start chatting with the other runners about how things went. Overall, only 19 runners finished the race out of 45. Brutal! I was hoping to do a better time, but some of the more experienced runners tell me that there are races where just finishing is its own reward when conditions are difficult. Once the results were out and I could see the photos from the event, I recognized some of the runners’ numbers and was very surprised to see who made it and who didn’t.

So there it is! Can’t wait to see how things go for my next race.