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Is anyone else currently training for a virtual marathon? Feeling pretty demotivated.

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 512 ✭✭✭ biketard


    I signed up for the Edinburgh marathon last year (I live in Edinburgh). It got postponed to September 2020, and then again to May 30th 2021 (virtual race). There's an easy option to move your entry to next year's "proper" marathon, but I'd said I would do this for a charity, and I'm aware that a lot of charities have missed out on fundraising big time during Covid, so have decided to go ahead with this.

    I'm pretty comfortable doing half-marathon distance, but as I've increased the miles each week, I've found it harder and harder to keep up my motivation and it's turning into a bit of a drag. I think this is a lot to do with doing the training runs on my own and knowing that the marathon itself will be exactly the same. I'd originally been looking forward to the big crowds, support stations, and running alongside thousands of others to carry me through the pain and monotony. Knowing that won't be there is really not helping.

    Is anyone else going through something similar?


Comments

  • #2


    Currently training to do the virtual Cork marathon on June 6th. I did a few virtual races last year and I needed the structured nature of a training plan to keep me going, so I did a Garmin 10k plan which took me up to new year's day.

    For motivation and because it's for a great cause, I signed up to do the Ray Darcy Challenge. I set myself a target of running 5 days a week, with a long run on a Sunday. I switched to a dedicated Garmin marathon training plan, when it's long runs were longer than my planned runs.

    I do find all the running by myself tough, but the challenge community on strava is excellent, plus trying to match some running buddies on connect has helped.

    One thing that works for me, is getting an email reminder of my run for the day, plus google calendar has all my runs so very hard to ignore them.

    For your longer runs, use an app that allows live tracking and pick a route close to family and friends and have them come out and give you water or gels etc. I'm not really worried about my time on June 6th, because like you I'd have taken energy from other runners and the crowd. I've done a 30K run and mentally I've viewed it as just a 10k away from the full. I did a time trial 1/2 last weekend (as per the plan) and will do over 30K this weekend so mentally I'm getting myself set for June. I'm allowing myself to be not concerned about stopping for lights, getting around people and having to stop and eat/refill water bottles etc. In saying that, I will treat it seriously diet and proper taper wise, but accepting that it won't be the same, for me has made it easier.


  • #2


    Must admit my own running had become fairly aimless last year but now I'm on week 9/14 of a Garmin half plan for the virtual Cork half. So far it's going fine & the bit of variety of runs makes things more enjoyable. Assuming all goes ok then I'll crack on with a plan for DCM in the hope it goes ahead in Oct, have the small matter of the Kerry Way ultra lite in Sept but I'll treat that as a fast hike more than anything else.

    Definitely having some plan is worthwhile I think.


  • #2


    Do you know any other local runners? Check out some local running groups and see what they are up to. Figure out a route that has you finishing somewhere good such as a pub where someone has a table and pint booked for you. If you have any running buddies locally then see if you can figure out a route to get them to join you for the last half or last 10km. Are Edinburgh sending out race numbers like London did last year? If not then make your own and running around the city that morning you'll probably encounter a bunch of other people doing the same and get decent support.

    Not sure what the route is for Edinburgh, but is it possible to run along where the finish would be, even if you don't do the rest of the official route, and you'll again probably find a bunch of other people out doing the same that day and get some good support.


  • #2


    Thanks, all. I truly appreciate all of the replies. I guess it's too late to do a training plan or join any challenge communities, but maybe next time!

    What's keeping me going now I think is the knowledge that I'll be raising money that could make a difference to someone's life. I'm also going to have a couple of people be at a few points along the route on the day to give me some encouragement and refreshments, and I really think that'll help.

    I've also decided to reduce the miles a bit this coming weekend. I was up to 31km last weekend (with three more potential big runs before the day itself) and I just totally bonked and felt nauseous from about 27km. Also my legs have been feeling really tired since and my knees are complaining a bit. I've been increasing the mileage by 1km each week, btw, which I had thought was pretty sensible.

    As for the route, I've decided not to follow the official Edinburgh one, although there may be some overlap. Instead, I'm going to head along some cycle paths to the coast and follow a pretty nice coast road for most of it. That way I won't really have to worry about crossing roads, breathing in fumes or running on slanted pavements. Plus the scenery will be pretty nice. Thanks again for the replies.


  • #2


    biketard wrote: »
    Thanks, all. I truly appreciate all of the replies. I guess it's too late to do a training plan or join any challenge communities, but maybe next time!

    What's keeping me going now I think is the knowledge that I'll be raising money that could make a difference to someone's life. I'm also going to have a couple of people be at a few points along the route on the day to give me some encouragement and refreshments, and I really think that'll help.

    I've also decided to reduce the miles a bit this coming weekend. I was up to 31km last weekend (with three more potential big runs before the day itself) and I just totally bonked and felt nauseous from about 27km. Also my legs have been feeling really tired since and my knees are complaining a bit. I've been increasing the mileage by 1km each week, btw, which I had thought was pretty sensible.

    As for the route, I've decided not to follow the official Edinburgh one, although there may be some overlap. Instead, I'm going to head along some cycle paths to the coast and follow a pretty nice coast road for most of it. That way I won't really have to worry about crossing roads, breathing in fumes or running on slanted pavements. Plus the scenery will be pretty nice. Thanks again for the replies.

    Make sure you are eating and drinking correctly, I made the mistake last Sunday for my long run of not taking it serious, lot going on and I didn't hydrate or eat correctly, was in a heap and I knew it so stopped and walked home; lesson hopefully learned. Treat these long runs like you would the actual Marathon. Run them at the same time you plan on doing the race, eat the same breakfast and eat the same high carb meals the previous days.

    Are you using any gels or energy bars during these runs, again treat them as per the race, make sure you can stomach the gels and make sure you get enough water on board before and during.

    Wear the same gear etc, well done on the 30odd K, look at it as just an extra 10k and you would have done the distance. Don't beat yourself up on time or having to stop and walk while you take on water or a gel/energy bar.

    Best of luck and remember to taper correctly, 3 more big runs before the end of the month and race, sounds at least one if not two too many, particularly if the legs are tired (they will be) let them recover and for you to mentally prepare.


  • #2


    Thanks, Reg'stoy.

    I'm eating high-carbs the night before, eating toast/bagels with peanut butter in the morning, waiting a couple of hours before running. Having a gel about every 8km or so and bringing a hydration pack with me, so don't feel I'm dehydrating horribly. I tried to have two jelly beans throughout my run that time around, but that was the only thing that had changed. I'm also keeping the run really slow.

    So from your post, I think I'm doing everything the way I should, with the exception of overdoing the miles, maybe. I only do two other runs during the week, btw, both 6km. Was planning to cut the long run back to 20km this coming Sunday, do 32km the next weekend and then maybe 20km the weekend after that (the one after that would be the actual marathon). Does that sound too much?

    Oh and I was thinking of just doing a cycle instead of my second mid-week run this week.


  • #2


    Been training for my virtual this Saturday the 8th, the original day for Galway Bay Marathon which was postponed again until October.

    I did two virtuals last October and aiming to beat them, have an 11km loop in Phoenix Park so friends or the car will be my water station.

    Got up to 38kms in this batch of training, 2 weeks ago down to 27km then last weekend was 16km, with a fairly handy week this week ( some 5kms /rest /stretch days) but this is all based on my own goal.

    I find doing the same habits on the longer runs that you will do on the day will make it an easy transition (obviously?! :D ) - Gels every 6/7km for me, wearing the exact clothes as on the day, doing the long runs at the same time of day as the planned marathon. Was doing 10-20s/km above planned marathon pace in the longer runs 30km +. Are you aiming for a time yourself? I'm lucky enough to have a coach so that keeps me very accountable, everything on Strava open to view etc.

    Best of luck!


  • #2


    biketard wrote: »
    Thanks, Reg'stoy.

    I'm eating high-carbs the night before, eating toast/bagels with peanut butter in the morning, waiting a couple of hours before running. Having a gel about every 8km or so and bringing a hydration pack with me, so don't feel I'm dehydrating horribly. I tried to have two jelly beans throughout my run that time around, but that was the only thing that had changed. I'm also keeping the run really slow.

    So from your post, I think I'm doing everything the way I should, with the exception of overdoing the miles, maybe. I only do two other runs during the week, btw, both 6km. Was planning to cut the long run back to 20km this coming Sunday, do 32km the next weekend and then maybe 20km the weekend after that (the one after that would be the actual marathon). Does that sound too much?

    Oh and I was thinking of just doing a cycle instead of my second mid-week run this week.

    The weekend before Cork my plan has me doing a long run of just over an hour and 2hrs the weekend before that and my last 'long' long run is this weekend which is a month before Cork and I plan on doing 32k (20miles) for it.

    Food and drink wise, you seem to doing everything right.


  • #2


    Thanks again to both of you. I'll definitely look to ease off on the miles.

    @rizzee, I did originally hope to beat 4 hours (I've done one other marathon [Belfast] back in, I think, 1992 and annoyingly have a photo of me crossing the line at 4:01). It's entirely possible I completed it in under four hours, but back then we didn't have the chips and stuff to prove it, just the end photo.

    As I've got closer to this, and knowing there won't be crowds, or other runners, I'm just wanting to finish it. I suspect something like 4:15 would be a success, although even 4:30 would be acceptable. Honestly after last weekend, I'll be happy with myself if I finish it! I'm going to be 51 next week, so I'm aware of my limitations, ha.


  • #2


    biketard wrote: »
    Thanks again to both of you. I'll definitely look to ease off on the miles.

    @rizzee, I did originally hope to beat 4 hours (I've done one other marathon [Belfast] back in, I think, 1992 and annoyingly have a photo of me crossing the line at 4:01). It's entirely possible I completed it in under four hours, but back then we didn't have the chips and stuff to prove it, just the end photo.

    As I've got closer to this, and knowing there won't be crowds, or other runners, I'm just wanting to finish it. I suspect something like 4:15 would be a success, although even 4:30 would be acceptable. Honestly after last weekend, I'll be happy with myself if I finish it! I'm going to be 51 next week, so I'm aware of my limitations, ha.

    The great thing is, there's absolutely no pressure on you for a timed result as you're doing it by yourself. At the end of the day, you can dig in and get it finished, see how you feel during it. Plan your gels and water stations/stops and if you feel cramping at the later stages then slow down to a jog. Go out at a slower pace for the first few kilometres, you will make up the seconds during the run anyway.

    How was your long run this weekend?


    Keep us updated!


  • #2


    Hey rizzee,

    I did a cycle instead of my second midweek run and then just ran 20km on Sunday. Legs (and body in general) felt much fresher and the 20km felt pretty easy. Certainly felt no horrible after effects like I had been having the previous couple of long runs. Will try to push it a bit further this coming weekend (maybe 28km or so), then the one after that will be a fairly short one as a taper. Definitely feeling more positive today than last Monday!

    How did your virtual go on Saturday?


  • #2


    biketard wrote: »
    Hey rizzee,

    I did a cycle instead of my second midweek run and then just ran 20km on Sunday. Legs (and body in general) felt much fresher and the 20km felt pretty easy. Certainly felt no horrible after effects like I had been having the previous couple of long runs. Will try to push it a bit further this coming weekend (maybe 28km or so), then the one after that will be a fairly short one as a taper. Definitely feeling more positive today than last Monday!

    How did your virtual go on Saturday?

    Excellent stuff - fair play!! How are the legs today? 28km is the perfect distance 2 weeks out IMO (I did 27km 2 weeks out: 3km wu / 21km @ pace / 3km cd) , 14-16km easy next weekend too I'd say?

    Got on great thanks, 3:28, just over a 2 and half minute PB. Delighted as it was tough conditions and i'm burned to a crisp now! Will have to get out on a short loosener today or tomorrow, calves are on fire.


  • #2


    Nice one, rizzee. Congrats on the PB!

    Think I'll do an exact copy of your long runs for the next two weeks. Cheers!


  • #2


    biketard wrote: »
    Nice one, rizzee. Congrats on the PB!

    Think I'll do an exact copy of your long runs for the next two weeks. Cheers!

    Thanks!!

    How did you get on with the long run this weekend?


  • #2


    Hey rizzee. Did a 28km yesterday. Second half was actually into a bit of a headwind, but it felt pretty good regardless (well, as good as running 28km could ever feel).

    I'd actually picked up the beginnings of shin splints on my right shin on my short run on Thursday and that sent me into a bit of a panic, but I took it seriously, compressed, iced, etc., and thankfully it was gone in time for the long run. Absolutely no sign of it and my stomach behaved too, so I'm calling that a success.

    Looking forward to not having to do a super-long run until the big day now. Also, my race number arrived in the post on Saturday (I honestly wasn't sure if they were going to be sending them out), so it'll be really nice to wear that on the day. I've realised that the route I've chosen to run actually overlaps the official route by quite a bit, so it'll be nice if I see any other runners on the day (or people out supporting), although I'm going to set off a couple of hours later than the official start since I'm a lazy git.


  • #2


    Well done! Did you get out again this weekend? How are the shin splints holding up, all good?

    I suppose it's nice to have the number on, a bit of normality, and like you say - it'll be good to see others out and about too!

    The good thing is you can push it out whatever time you want - that's what I did with poor sleep and then heavy rain on the morning of the run!

    Looking forward to seeing how you get on. It's the final stretch now :)


  • #2


    Thanks again, rizzee. I got out for a relatively easy 16km yesterday. Absolutely no sign of shin splints. I've actually been fighting off patellar tendonitis on my left knee for the past couple of months and just about keeping it in check by icing every day. It really isn't too much of a problem, but it's been a worry that it might get worse before the day (which it hasn't). Knowing the last big run is over is a big relief because I feel that I can just push through whatever happens on the big day now (hopefully!)


  • #2


    biketard wrote: »
    Thanks again, rizzee. I got out for a relatively easy 16km yesterday. Absolutely no sign of shin splints. I've actually been fighting off patellar tendonitis on my left knee for the past couple of months and just about keeping it in check by icing every day. It really isn't too much of a problem, but it's been a worry that it might get worse before the day (which it hasn't). Knowing the last big run is over is a big relief because I feel that I can just push through whatever happens on the big day now (hopefully!)

    Hope the week is going well and haven't picked up any niggles, touch wood! Looking forward to hearing how you get on the weekend. Best of luck! Think of the big feed and a couple of beers after :D


  • #2


    Hey, so I did it. Race report as follows:
    Felt pretty much fine going out. No niggles or anything and I'd got a decent enough sleep. Weather was supposed to get hot, so I went with very light clothing. I started to notice the occasional other runner with a marathon number almost immediately, which was AWESOME. A real feeling of solidarity. I also got the occasional show of support when people saw my number/charity t-shirt. My girlfriend was fantastic and was waiting for me at several places along the route along with her dad and step-mum. Everything was going pretty well for the first half, but the haar all the way along the coast was really chilly and was causing my IT bands to tighten up horribly, so by about two thirds of the way through they were actually causing me a fair bit of pain and that was right where I started having to go up some inclines. Things started to go a bit pear-shaped there and I had to have the very occasional walk while I took on some fluids. I got back on the coastal route for the last 6 miles or so and my knees became really, really painful, so there were definite lows there, but even though I ended up walking for a fair bit, I did keep running when I could and the last 2km in particular was mostly running. In the end, I sneaked in at just under 4:45, which was slower than I had originally wanted, but honestly on the day I was surprised it wasn't much worse, so I'll take it!

    Also, Guinness is a great recovery drink!


  • #2


    Well done, sounds like a tough one, but in the bag. Haar - I learned a new word today. :)


  • #2


    Well done! Super stuff - fair play for pushing through and getting it done in tough conditions.

    Get yourself recovered and on the next one :D


  • #2


    Thanks again. And thanks for helping me to get through this. :)


  • #2


    Well, finished my virtual Cork marathon, not going to lie, it was the toughest run I've ever done. Weather was grand, could have been cooler and not quite as breezy between Malahide and Portmarnock, I didn't even mind going astray in Portmarnock and having to retrace my route three times, I had saved a route to my watch and once I went off it, it redirected me through an estate which was a dead end. No, the toughest part for me was bloody people stepping in front of me, particularly around Malahide castle where I got tripped by a dog on one of those long leads, I had chosen Malahide because of the water station.

    Last 10k were a killer ended up walking a K running a K, so finished in 4-54, always knew I was never going to get a new PB but I'm going to give myself a pat on the back for doing a marathon by myself; I will never again underestimate the extra we get from our fellow runners and the crowd during a race.


  • #2


    Reg'stoy wrote: »
    Well, finished my virtual Cork marathon, not going to lie, it was the toughest run I've ever done. Weather was grand, could have been cooler and not quite as breezy between Malahide and Portmarnock, I didn't even mind going astray in Portmarnock and having to retrace my route three times, I had saved a route to my watch and once I went off it, it redirected me through an estate which was a dead end. No, the toughest part for me was bloody people stepping in front of me, particularly around Malahide castle where I got tripped by a dog on one of those long leads, I had chosen Malahide because of the water station.

    Last 10k were a killer ended up walking a K running a K, so finished in 4-54, always knew I was never going to get a new PB but I'm going to give myself a pat on the back for doing a marathon by myself; I will never again underestimate the extra we get from our fellow runners and the crowd during a race.

    Jeez, Reg'stoy. That sounds so familiar. And yes, the difference it makes running with other runners and with crowd support is HUGE! Good on you for finishing and for managing to do the running parts near the end. I was so tempted to just walk the entire last 10km. Picking the legs up at that point was so incredibly difficult.


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