baRUNNER - a website for the British Airways Athletics Club
2013 London Marathon Training
For the 2012 Marathon the British Airways Athletics Club provided a huge team of people to help with the running of the marathon. 149 sector managers, deputies, team leaders and helpers were rostered on marathon day. In return, we received a score of places from the organisers. Here are the training stories of some of our runners this year…..
We are now into the first week of March and my training is going quite well. I have now introduced some interval and hill work into my weekly schedule following some advice from a guy with a coaching badge at my local running club (Ealing Eagles). It means a 4th early morning training session for me before work but hopefully come VLM day it will all have been worthwhile.
At the end of January my long run (not so slow) distance run was the Marrakech Marathon which I managed to complete in 3:27:59. Sadly this form did not last and in February I had rather a miserable time running the Punchbowl Marathon on a very cold and wet day. Along with quite a few other competitors I got lost and completed the race in 9:16:00 having completed over 37 miles rather than the 30 it would have been if I had stayed on course! Part of the problem is my inability to tune into the language of the LDWA directions (especially when trying to run at the same time). Here is an example:
“2.3M Cross drive, thru gate, over stile & ahead (260o) across 2 fields via stile to go thru field gate. BR across RD, up steps & thru gate. TR along RH side of field. In 200y over stile on R & TL on FP then via gate to RD. Cross, thru K-gate and ahead (240o) across field. Over stile & thru K-gate, down thru trees, over TK & continue down on FP. At 2nd TK TR & in 25y FL down FP. At bottom continue ahead & in 150y join metalled drive. In 50y FL on TK (FP). Keep ahead & in 550y at X-TK, ahead over stile to R of gate (Hole Farm).”
Did you follow that?
In mid-February I had 10 days off from running when I went on a skiing holiday with my brother and another friend. Although the skiing was great and we covered an average of about 45 km per day on the slopes (my brother kept track via an iphone app) it turns out not to be any good as marathon training. A week after returning (3rd March) having done about 3 short training runs I did the Cambridge Boundary Run. This is a mixed road/trail marathon run by the Cambridge University students. The first half of the run was fine and I kept to my planned 8 minutes/mile pace but then my 10 days off took its toll and I ended up just scraping home in under 4 hours – 3:56:01.
Hopefully the extra training I am now doing and with no other planned breaks in my schedule I will return to my Marrakech form (and better) by April 21st when I will be running my 67th marathon in a time of less than 3:30:0!
A bit of light relief……..
The above link should take you to a video of the Ealing Eagles song which was put together for their Christmas party - performed and written by Godfrey Rust. About half-way through I get a mention (guess why!). Everyone thought the song was so good Godfrey and Paul, another guy from the club who dabbles with video, put together the above version which they recently released on ‘Vimeo’.
If the link does not work go to the Ealing Eagles club website and you will find a link from the front page http://www.ealingeagles.com/ .
Last year I did 3:39 and this year I hope to get back to doing under 3:30 -
the last time I did this sort of time was 6 or 7 years ago.
To this end I have just joined Virgin Active in Ealing to do some extra
training - this is mainly swimming which I manage to do before work 2 or 3 times
My training plan for the next few months is to try and do a run 6 days out of
I manage the above perhaps every other week but often work, family or the
weather get in the way and cause me to miss a session here and there.
In the latter part of 2012 I picked up a hamstring problem which meant I
could not run at my fastest but this is now nearly cleared up and my last
parkrun time, at 22:02, was quite close to my PB of 21:16. I'm aiming to beat
this in April. Over the Christmas holidays I did some extra parkruns going to
Richmond Park on Christmas Day and on New Years Day I managed to fit in both the
parkrun at Bushy and the one at Kingston.
I recently heard about the 100marathon club (after seeing a few runners in
races with their vests) and after counting up what I have done over the years
realised that joining the club was realistic goal. The club allows ultras to be
included and luckily for me they also allow DNFs as long as there is an official
record of your time and distance at a checkpoint beyond 26.2 miles - this gave
me an extra 5 - I have tried to do 100 mile ultras and failed each time. I'm
going to try again later this year.
To achieve my goal of 100 marathons I have just started running one every
calendar month. My total is now at 63 marathon/ultras with the last one being
the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon which I did on 23rd December in a time of 3:52.
This was a very flat course from central Portsmouth which went east following
the seafront promenade and then went over to Hayling Island before turning at
13.1 miles to head back the way we came. 75% of the course was off-road on very
wet and muddy ground. It was also very windy which came from the west which
meant that for the last few miles we were running straight into it. At the
half-way turn seasonal 'refreshments' were on offer by way of a tot of brandy!
My January marathon is in Marrakech on 27th which I hope to run in under
3:45. For February I'm doing the Punchbowl Marathon in Surrey (a 32 mile ultra).
In March I'll be doing the Cambridge Boundary Marathon (on 3rd) and for April I
should be well and truly ready for the London Marathon.
After walk-jogging just 4 short runs over a 3-week period due to some stress in the right shin, I have managed to complete a 10-mile race last Sunday (03 March) - Surrey Tempest - in a time of 1:38. The niggle is still present but I'm planning to get on track with a 18 miler this Sunday (10 March). To avoid further injury issues I'm sticking to 3 runs a week, one short and 2 longer ones, and a couple of cross training activities - spin class and boxercise or gym workout.
It's 3 weeks to my longest run before VLM - I'm running the Northampton Marathon on Easter Sunday, and I've just found out that the course is 12 laps of a 3.5km course. This is going to be interesting! I had thought the course was 26.2 miles of the 35-mile course around Northampton countryside I did last year with the same organisers. After this long run I would be cutting back in the run-up to VLM. My aim is to complete VLM without too much pain and since everyone seems to have a target time, I hereby declare that I will be very happy to be anywhere under 4:30!
I put my name forward for a club place because I was asked so many times whether I'd done London. I have completed many marathons and several ultras but never had the inclination to run London because I think the London marathon is too busy and too noisy. I might change my mind afterwards!
When I was told I've got a place, I was preparing for the Singapore Marathon which took place on the 1st Sunday in December. Because I suffered from plantar fasciitis for nearly a year in 2011, and had some recurrences in 2012, I am not planning to do too many runs a week - just 2 short runs weekdays and 2 longer runs weekends, with a spin class and a boxercise class for general fitness.
So far training is going OK. My weekday runs are around 30-40 minutes and at weekends I go out for an hour or two. To get into the momentum of racing I entered the Surrey Tempest (10 miles) at the beginning of March and the Northampton Marathon at the end of March.
Thought I would give you an update. Things haven't gone well the last couple of weeks as I picked up a virus that has kept me in bed for a few days. Back on track now, but a bit behind where I would like to be........
I have a street Orienteering event in Canterbury tomorrow which should be a good workout & I will know better just how I am after it.
Regards to all
I thought I would drop a few lines to let you know how my Marathon
preparation is going along. I am very grateful to the club for the entry; this
will be my 15th London Marathon. However much I enjoy helping as a marshal, I
always end the day with the intention to come back & run it the following year.
All is well & I am following the same schedule as I did in 2011. The old legs
don't like too much running these days, so to the avoid lower leg problems that
have bugged me for years I get a lot of my overall fitness from using the Gym
(about three times a week) & from cycling a couple of time a week also. I run
for about an hour every Thursday eve taking part in the Kent night orienteering
league, being a competition it keeps the effort level high. Mostly this takes
place in the woods of deepest Kent using a headtorch and it's generally great
fun. Last night I came across a whole herd of deer deep in the woodlands, all I
could see were hundreds of eyes looking at me! Who said orienteering isn't a
The league finishes in mid March & the plan then is to convert the Thursday
evening run into distance on the road over the next four weeks, increasing the
distance by 15 mins or so each week until I peak at running for two hours about
two weeks before the big day. This is what I did in 2011 when I managed to
finish in just over five hours. I would be pleased to get a similar time this
I also managed to attend the club Wednesday night handicap run in December
and hope to add this monthly event into the training schedule. Maybe see you
there on the 30th.
If anyone wants to correspond with me about the challenges associated with
running Marathons on low mileages & dodgy legs, then please feel free to drop me
Last year's London Marathon saw me clock a PB of 4hrs 7 minutes with several other PB's achieved during training on the lead up. So it's going to be a hard act to follow this year with sub 4 being the obvious target, I'm certainly not up to that pace just yet. I always find it hard to keep up the momentum after the marathon, first there's the weeks it takes to truly recover, followed by a lazy summer and before you know it you've lost all of that hard earned fitness. So I've started my training schedule with a few pounds extra to shift from Christmas and the hope of picking up the pace as I go along. I'm following a training schedule from a book called "Run less run faster' it's based on running three times a week, an interval session, a tempo session and a long run. Then filling in the gaps with cross training, e.g swimming and cycling. The idea is that the sessions are hard but you have enough recovery time between and the reduced miles hopefully lessens the injury risk. I'm up to week four and have just completed a 17 mile long run this weekend. It was tough going and slow, however the windy conditions on my 'out and back' run along the canal were in my favour on the way back which helped. I'm hoping that I can get a good long run in each weekend so that when the day comes it's not so much of a shock to the system. For me tiredness/endurance and refuelling seem to be the key things to work on. I have really enjoyed some runs around Richmond park in previous weeks and hated two and a half hours on the treadmill last weekend when it was too snowy to venture out. (how they can put on so many cookery programs on a Saturday morning beats me). I hope to get out around Richmond park a bit more as having somewhere pleasant to run takes your mind off the strains and pains of the last few miles, even if it is a bit hilly. I'm also looking forward to completing a half marathon or two in the run up with Berkhamsted being my favourite as it's the first one that I ran back in 2005.
Hi all hope your training is all going well with no injures, just tired muscles like mine. Just a quick update on how my marathon training is going.
Well so far so good, training up to 60 miles a week now with a long run on Sundays, and also on the Wednesday night run down at the club. Monday's I'm now doing a morning run of 3 miles easy then half an hour of core work, then off to the track for some speed work in the evening. So far races wise I've done a few cross country's and last week I did the Berkhamsted half marathon with a time of 1 hour 32 min (very hilly), so good marathon training. This week I'm doing the Finchley 20 mile then next week doing the Cranleigh 21 mile. So hopefully still on course for the 3 hour 15 min that I'm looking for, but you never know the weather come marathon day so fingers crossed.
I like to wish every body the best of luck on marathon day it's going to be hard, but one of the most rewarding days of your life when you cross that finish line.
Just to let you know the London marathon committee will not be in touch with you until the end of March.
So my training week looks like this. Sunday: 18 miles Monday: am 3 mile run + core work. pm speed work Tuesday: rest day Wednesday: 17 miles Thursday: am 3 miles easy. pm 8 miles tempo Friday: hill work Saturday: park run or 5 mile easy
Once again good luck on the day and hope to see you at the start. (I'll be in front of big TV screen with a British Airways vest on in Greenwich park)
Hi all hope your training is all going well. I've been running with British
Airways now for about 14 years and in that time I've managed 14 marathons. 1 New
York, 1 Boston, 1 Chicago and 11 London marathons with my best time coming in
London of 2 hours 58 min. This year I decided to enter and try to get a
qualifying time of under 3 hours 15 min. But it did not start to well with a
knee injury, but with a little bit of rest I soon started running again. So i
started going down to the track on Mondays with Eddie & Steve for some speed
work. It certainly helps to make the long runs easier. (hard but highly
recommended) Done a cross country race since and a 8 mile race so far and both
have gone well. Long run so far is 13 miles, little bit of hill work, (must do
more) and some good tempo runs of 10 miles on Wednesdays down at the Concorde
club, mixed with 5 mile handicaps & 5km. I've also entered 3 races before race
day 1 half marathon & two 20 mile races.
Remember don't do to much to soon.
Thanks to BA for my Marathon place. Training is going well having set off on a 16 week program I’m up to 14miles, this week will be down to 10 then push on to 15miles will end up with 5- 20mile runs which will hopefully stand me in good stead to break 4hrs having done 4.04 in 2011 and Las Vegas in 3.50 in 2012. All my long runs take me along the Thames, Walton to Kingston area only 1 half planned at fleet. I’m training 5days a week fitting in Bedfont parkrun and some speed sessions in the gym. Looking forward to what will be my 10th London.
Pleased to report that all muscles have mended but stamina still hasn’t properly returned to normal. Did the Gade Valley 17 miler which went reasonably well with just a few walks but struggled again with the Thames Riverside 20 – went off with the 9 minute/mile pacers which was fine until about half way where I flagged somewhat and had to walk/jog to the end again – wasn’t helped by a really grotty cold at the time. The end of February club 5mile handicap went well although a few gremlins came back again last week in the CIE Forrester Folly where a few walks along the way were necessary despite a good time – Steve H suggested that an ‘interval running’ approach may be the way at the moment. Been doing some steady 17 miler training runs in Windsor Park alone which have been OK, but the Reading half marathon this last weekend was a bit of a shambles for me, in atrocious weather where I had again to adopt a walk/run strategy to get there. Anyway, have decided now to ditch the prescribed blood circulation tablets as muscle fatigue is listed as a side effect so hopefully that may help ! Next Sunday is the Windsor 20 mile trainer and I am hoping to get over to the club family fun day afterwards to hobble the 100m. Two years ago I came third (…only 3 runners) after having just completed the Windsor half marathon the same day ! Still not really in shape for London but hoping still time……I think I really have to concentrate on getting my pace right. Hope everyone else are OK in their preparations, let's hope for some better weather soon.
Joe Nolan (18 March 2013)
My calf muscles seem a lot better now after some recent new physio work although I pulled a quad last Saturday after a slightly quicker than late parkrun but that has healed now and I must try another long training run before the end of the week. I have the Gade Valley 17miler (mara trainer) on Sunday which is crucial to get through an my critical path now to London. The Wokingham half wasn't too good - it was freezing cold with sleet and rain, didn't see any of the other guys there. I got half way reasonably OK but ran out of puff and did the second half in 500yd jogs/50yd walks but somehow got a good looking time of 2h0m59s ?????????????
Firstly, a big thank-you again to the club for awarding me a London marathon place – it will be my 5th marathon now after my first pounding of the London streets in 2011.
Well, I think I finally started my training last Saturday morning with a 1mile canter in the snow taking about 10 minutes ! A terribly late start compared to others in the BA team who have already reported being well up on their mileages in their inspiring reports ! Some explanation is necessary of my ‘here it goes again/injuries’ (later) but to start with to clear my conscience of not giving a final report on my 2012 campaign I’d better start with a quick summary of last years’ event and what followed.
Last years’ marathon was going steady up to about half way point at Tower Bridge where I began running out of steam. Up to that stage I was being uplifted by friends spectating on route and also knowing that I was being monitored on-line by a dozen others by the result tracking system every time I crossed a 5k mat (who all saw that I started to drop off…). I had learnt a lot by my first London the year before and slogged on more carefully towards the end until I suffered terrible hamstring cramping at the top of Birdcage Walk and had to stop for a few minutes. I’ll never forget Kat, who was marshalling, so kindly offering twice to help carry me the last kilometer but after some stretching advice I limped on despite suffering 2 more bad attacks on the final run in. Got there again but still not managing my ultimate sub-4 target.
My summer was troubled by repeated calf muscle injuries and I had to take a few months off from running. I had long before booked to do the Loch Ness marathon in September but with no preparation went up just for the holiday….but on the day boldly decided to make a ‘comeback run’ with a gentle ‘walk up the hills’ and ‘slow jogging down’ strategy which miraculously got me there in 4h45m (not too bad considering) although another massive hamstring cramp just 400m from the end muddled things. A very scenic marathon course but alas no sign of the monster !
I plodded some more races to the end of the year but on a Boxing day parkrun the calf gave up big time again so I had to take a rest and sign back up with a (new) physio. This is where we came in above here, as after a few torture sessions I was advised to do the 10 minute test run last Saturday which went well, and after another treatment session this evening have been advised to try a 20 minute jog tomorrow – all looking promising now so let’s hope it’s full speed ahead ….
I seem to have put on quite a few pounds since Christmas so another objective before marathon day is to lose a stone – I seem to be carrying a couple of rucksacks of potatoes compared to the club ‘built-for-speed machines’ such as Gary R, Barry W, Eddie G et al, so it’s got to help.
I’m hoping to step up my training carefully now, which will include the following events, as well as my own separate plodding, which I can recommend to others: (I probably won’t be ready for next Sunday’s Gade Valley 12miler though)
Gade Valley Harriers marathon trainers
27 Jan -12miles; 24 Feb – 17miles; 24 Mar – 20miles)
£5 registrations on day, marshalled/water + lots of delicious free cakes at end !)
10 Feb – Wokingham half marathon (entries full now)
3 Mar – Thames Riverside 20miler
(entries open, marshalled/water/pacers + free cakes at end !)
17 Mar – Reading half marathon
24 Mar – Datchet Dashers 20mile marathon trainer in Windsor Park
(clashes with Gade Valley 20miler but am more likely to do this one – just turn up on day, no fee, marshalled/water)
29 Mar – Maidenhead Easter 10miler
…until next time !
(21 January 2013)
want just to give you an update of my runs and preparation for the London Marathon. I was so glad, happy and delighted to have had a fantastic and pain free 20-Miler on the 3rd of March. I enjoyed every single mile during this lovely Sunday morning without wind, rain and mud. The start was at Putney bridge followed by the route along the Thames to Richmond. It was great. One of the other joy was my 50th parkrun in March. Parkrun is always a great event for me. Otherwise I have every week my 2 midweek runs after the work. For further preparation I'm looking forward to having one Half marathon and a few 10-15 miles runs on Sunday morning.
Anyway, wishing all of you a lucky and injured-free preparation for the big day in April. All the best and THANKS a lot, Kerstin Luksch.
today I want to write a few lines because I am absolutely delighted of having the opportunity to run the
Marathon in London. As a runner it was and is my dream to run in London. Thanks for that!
I am a new club member since December 2012 and I have heart about the BA club through Alan A. during my
weekly parkruns on Saturday.
On the 13th of January I had a lovely 8 miles run at Windsor park with pleasant weather conditions. I enjoyed it
and I am thankful that Helen informed me about that event.
Otherwise I have every week my 1 hour runs on two evenings with pace varieties. Every Saturday I enjoy the
parkrun (5K) at Gunnersbury park and on Sunday morning I have my long runs (Gunnersbury park or along the Thames) or some official races.
For the upcoming weeks I have entered a couple of 10K races, Half marathon in Richmond and Silverstone, 16 miles run and I really want to run a 20 miles race but I couldn't find any races. Does somebody know anything about a 20 miles race? That would be great...
I am looking forward to the great day in April.
Good luck to everybody with the training and the runs!
All the best,
Since my last update towards the end of January I have managed to reach 15 miles which was this Saturday just gone. I was hoping for a few more but had a couple of niggly injuries and other commitments that have got in the way. I am doing the reading half marathon in a couple of weeks and looking forward to that. Then going to try and do between 18-20 miles the following week before bringing the miles right down in time for the race. My times have been good even on 10+ mile runs for what I want to achieve which is under 4 hours 30 minutes. But I know I need to be disciplined on longer runs as I tend to blow myself out too early. Hope all the other guys training is going well and unfortunately haven't been able to come to any of your training sessions because work doesn't allow.
From mid November I have been training twice a week with a running partner Tracey Mills who you may recognize, she has run it once before and also marshalled for BA. We started slowly doing just 3 or 4 mile runs in our local area just trying to beat our time each week. In mid December we upped it to a 5 mile and a 7 mile each week which we generally found fairly comfortable. We had a break over Christmas for 2 weeks and started back last week with a 5 mile which was in just under 50 mins. This week we are doing a 5, 7 and 9 mile run as we are looking to get to half marathon distance by the end of January. I have also been playing football once a week and going to the gym twice. Since New year I have also quit smoking as I know I would have little to no chance of performing highly if I continued. So far since 5th Jan I have not had a single fag and am determined to continue. I have also contacted Gary Rushmer and will be looking to do some of the Monday night training starting from next week as and when work allows. I am enjoying the hard work and know it's only going to get harder although more rewarding the further I go. I hope all the other BA members are enjoying their training and wish them all the best over the next few months. Hopefully see some of you down the club some Mondays and pick up some advice along the way.
Many thanks for the race updates from the Marathon Team and to BA Athletics.
It's good to hear the training schedules for the most part are going to plan. I have to admit I have had recent setbacks myself. I have had to frequent pits-stops after less than an hour on my training runs which has caused me pain as well as having prevented me from increasing my endurance and long distance sessions. This also caused me to pull out of an event I had planned to compete in last week much to my distress. I have tried changing my diet in the meantime and feel I may have found what was causing the symptoms and have since completed a 15 mile run without the inconvenience...so I am hopeful to to attend the Datchet 20 mile event which is planned for 24th March all being well. Aside from that I have luckily not had any further complaints or injuries and have been maintaining a steady 5-6 miles most days with 12-15 mile longer run at the weekends and intend too increase to 20 miles over the next few weeks.
It was good too hear that I am not the only veteran female runner albeit a novice too this event - my aim is to try an complete the race in 4hrs 30mins approx but as this distance is unfamiliar to me I can't say for sure how I will perform on the day - but I am hopeful so don't wait around for me either.
Best of luck to all of the team and any forthcoming races they have entered....may see some of you at the Datchet Dash Club if you're there.
Many thanks, Sue.
I am continuing with my training and have downloaded a pre-marathon training plan from the internet and gaining some ideas for preparing for race day. Two weeks ago I completed a 15-16 mile run luckily with no immediate strains or aches afterwards - which I have to admit I surprised myself and was feeling pretty confident. I then suffered an unrelated injury when I accidentally fell and injured my ribs. This set me back from my scheduled runs for the next few days as I was unsure how much of the strain would affect my recovery. Yesterday I decided I felt strong enough to increase the distance gradually and completed 22-23 miles and although I felt achy and fairly stiff later on - the next day I was back too normal. I am pleased that I am covering the miles without too much in the way of stress related hiccups along the way.....so far so good – let’s hope it continues. I shall keep you up to date on my next training sessions as they become harder and more intense in the next 2-3 months.
Let me start by
saying a big thank you for the chance to run in the London Marathon again and I
will be running for the British Heart Foundation. This is my 7th London having
started back in 1988 and to date my fastest time is 3:43 which was 5 years ago
and the slowest 4:15 the year after !!
Well, I’m over the moon about being able to run the London marathon. A really big THANK YOU to BA. And it’s about time I provided an update on my training.
First, however, I need to explain a little bit of background. I ran the Bedford Marathon back in 1984 and have always wanted to do the London. I’ve been rather intermittent in my running over the years but applied in earnest 9 years ago. In the last 9 years, I’ve applied 8 times and never got a ballot place! Now I'm thinking I’m getting too old (now I’m 55). However, I marshalled last year and now have an amazing place for 2013, thanks to BA.
I ran the Reading Half in 2005 and have just done short runs since. I started training just before Christmas and have a good plan put together by my son who is now a Personal Trainer. Due to the snow and 2 weeks away in India, I’m still building up, a bit slower than planned! I’ve been running once a week at lunchtime with a kind work colleague, once a week in the evening in the dark (from our village down to the town and back), then a longer run at the weekend. I’m still only at 8 miles (my original plan was for 12 miles this week) but positive that the next 8 weeks will let me build up enough! I’ve also been doing circuit training and, in India, I ran 4 miles down the beach at 7am before it got too hot! Also, we used the gym every other day. Today I managed 8 miles in 1 hr 40 mins so I’m slow but steady and realistically have to expect my time to be about 6 1/2 hrs; so don’t wait for me!!!
I’m going to raise money for 2 charities, cancer care and Alzhemer’s Society.
Looking forward to more runs in the day light now that spring is on it’s way – 10 miles next week for me! Many thanks to BA Athletics. I have, at least, provided a few volunteers for marshalling this year.