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London marathon

Harry BHarry B Posts: 1,239
edited October 2008 in The bottom bracket
I've just signed up to this and wondered 2 things:

1. Firstly how much help will regular cycling be? Someone has told me that running uses different muscles so the cycling won't help to much other with general fitness.
2. And secondly what would a respectable time be for a relatively fit fortysomething?

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd say sub four would be a decent target - but get some halfs planned in for next year - double the time and add twenty mins or so for a better idea.

    Cycling will help with your heart and lungs - but you do need to work on your running muscles - or you'll be in bits. Long runs are the key !

    Get some decent shoes from a proper running shop and look up a training plan - its a blast ! Good luck !
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    I've just started running (~6 months) after I lost my biking commute and wanted to stay fit.

    I'm running 6 miles or so fairly easily now, it's not the cardiovascular system that's wanting but lots of muscle groups that whinge at me after a layoff. Calves particularly need stretching - running takes it's toll on you more than biking.

    My cycling fitness has plummeted unfortuneately (then I've hardly been doing any). I suspect that there's not too much crossover from one discipline to another once your heart and lungs are happy with long workouts.

    I'm running 10-11 minute miles on my gentle lunchtime potters around this bit of Bristol, hardly any faster if I look at my watch and try and do a quick mile. I'm just making sure I take it easy and enjoy it otherwise I won't get out there, gotta keep yourself motivated.

    Good luck with your marathon, aiming for some build up races between now and then seems like a great plan.
  • I'll be there too Harry; got in through the ballot at the first time of asking, actually forgot I'd entered until the payment went out of my account!

    Agree with what's been said above; cycling will get your CV capability sorted out, but once that's done the only way to get good at road running is to run on the road. Might be worth doing some running-specific weights/circuits to get your legs in shape for taking a pounding, but other than that it's run run run.

    As for targets, there's race time predictors on various websites you can use. Run a hard 10k early on in your training and plug that in to the predictor, should give you a vague idea of what's achievable.

    Good luck!
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    I'm in too. This will be my 3rd marathon and 2nd London (the other was 11 years ago while I was still at school!). I got in last year but had to defer through tearing my ankle ligaments. I've probably done about 100 other types of races over the last few years, so have done a bit of running.

    My advice would be to take it very easy to start off with, let your legs get used to running, if you do too much too soon your joints/muscles/tendons etc..... may not be too happy. We have 6 months to build up to this so no need to rush.

    Cycling will help keep you fit, and your cv should be fine.
    I'm currently not running as i've b*ggered my other ankle through keeping running with a sore knee, knee now feels fine, but I think I compensated on the other side and did my ankle in. Physio visit planned for Wednesday.
  • So what's the general training plan/timetable Hammerite? I'm usually not too keen on road running (only ever done one 10k race), but since I've got an entry to London I figure I may as well give it my best shot. Trouble is I think if I start doing loads of road stuff now I'll get sick of it long before April, and I've not very good at following traning plans (partly because of work, partly because that's just me). What sort of training have you done for marathons previously?

    Cheers,
    N
  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    Hmm, I never got in!! :( (so I entered the Belfast one)

    I know a guy who's running 3 hour marathons and he's 49!! I thought my target of 3.5 hours was good and I'm 33!!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    3.5 hours is still well above average !
  • Harry B wrote:
    I've just signed up to this and wondered 2 things:

    1. Firstly how much help will regular cycling be? Someone has told me that running uses different muscles so the cycling won't help to much other with general fitness.
    2. And secondly what would a respectable time be for a relatively fit fortysomething?

    It's pretty much standard fare to prepare for the London marathon as it is to do the Etape:

    Start preparing with at least 6 months
    Join a local club
    Go out with said club on their long runs every Sunday
    Go out with said club on their midweek training sessions
    Throw in some 2 x 20min interval sessions and/or 1hr threshold sessions and/or VO2 max intervals (around 6mins per interval) during the week
    Do some easy recovery sessions
    Choose some races between now and your target as strategic intermediate goals
    Do off-road racing during the winter to develop your strength

    Specifically, the more running you do the better. Cycling is great to develop your aerobic ability but tbh, it won't replace doing long runs from a physiological development point of view
    You will need your 5 longest runs to equal 100 miles in the run up to the event and a 2 week taper is the norm

    Start steady now and build up and you'll be fine.

    I'd aim for 3h30mins as a good time
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    nasahapley wrote:
    So what's the general training plan/timetable Hammerite? I'm usually not too keen on road running (only ever done one 10k race), but since I've got an entry to London I figure I may as well give it my best shot. Trouble is I think if I start doing loads of road stuff now I'll get sick of it long before April, and I've not very good at following traning plans (partly because of work, partly because that's just me). What sort of training have you done for marathons previously?

    Cheers,
    N

    Believe it or not but Matchstick Man could well know my usual training plan!!! I don't keep a strict schedule but base it around the following.

    Apart from my long club runs are on a Saturday.
    2 x midweek club runs one of which is usually a speed or hill session.
    Then one recovery run.

    I suffer from dodgy shins, knee, ankles if I do too many miles so I generally don't go over 40 miles per week, I'd recommend at least that though for anyone. I'll do 3-4 long runs 20-22 miles.

    To stop the boredom I'll do a few training races, usually 1 per month. I'll probably do Folksworth 15 (nr Peterborough) at marathon pace, Stamford 30k at marathon pace, Ashby (de la Zouch) 20m and/or Oakley (nr Bedford) 20m both at long run pace (60-90s per mile below marathon pace). And will probably do a half marathon somewhere in there as a PB attempt :lol: .

    My previous marathons have had far from ideal preparations. One I was still at school and really only wanted to get round. The other I was going really well early on in training (probably too well), then my legs messed up on me so I had to cut back on training. I managed 3h 50 in what was an off road marathon in the Peak District, off poor preparation, I'm aiming for 3h 30 this time round (like I did last marathon before injury!).
  • Harry B wrote:
    1. Firstly how much help will regular cycling be? Someone has told me that running uses different muscles so the cycling won't help too much other with general fitness.

    Lots of good advice from the other posters, especially matchstick man.

    Additionally, a few comments on interaction between cycling and running as I've done a kind of control experiment:

    I did the London marathon in 06, with mostly the right sort of prep: building up the distance over 9 months; mixing 'tempo' runs with long runs and one or two interval sessions; average 2 runs a week and the odd commute cycle. So certainly not over-training. I was really thrilled with 3hr 23 (I'm now 37), and felt I'd given everything.

    Then I 'took up' cycling in around spring 07, and cut my running to <1/week. I got a last minute entry to the seville marathon in Feb this year, so did a couple of longer runs and had a one week taper (still cycling 1-2x per week). Took it easy but 3hr16!
    To top it all, having upped training to 2x a week, plus still a bit of cycling, I did 3hr06 in the London in April, with significantly less running training than the 3h23 2 years previously.

    Clearly, cycling would have helped my cardiovascular, in particular because I had a relatively light running regime, so cycling compensated. Also, I get bad knees and I'm not alone in this among runners, so it can't be bad to keep up the cycling so you don't have to bash your knees so much running. Put another way, it may be you can do 2/3 runs a week plus 1-2 decent cycles, with the same benefit as 3/4 runs without cycling.
    But also, and this is speculation, cycing built up my previously feeble thighs, and when running I have slightly lengthened my stride, which seems to use my thighs more, and my thighs were much sorer after the 08 marathons than the 06. So perhaps there is even a bit more muscular cross over (at least in one direction).

    To be clear, I'm not suggesting running a bit and cycling a lot, just that cycling might be more helpful than people think in cross-training terms.

    Hope that's useful; however, everyone's different!
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