This is the 11th year that Boards has offered support and advice to DCM Novices. In 2009, -amadeus-- composed the opening symphony. Rainbow kirby took over in 2010, Raycun in 2011, followed by Younganne in 2012. career_move kept the show on the road in 2013, succeeded by Ososlo for the 2014 stanza. Dubgal72 with her expert coaching managed to get her crew through in 2015, while the 2016 edition was hosted by the notorious (not really!) nop98, in 2017 Wubble Wubble did a sterling job to bring Wubble's Wonders to the start line, in 2018 ariana' took over the reigns and expertly guided her troops (yours truly included) through to October. And so here we are with the 2019 edition......
About the Novices thread
This thread is aimed at anyone considering doing the Dublin City Marathon for the first time this year, on October 27th. It isn't limited to those who haven't run a marathon before, maybe you ran one but it's a few years ago and you're getting back into it or maybe you ran it but it didn't go well and now you're looking for a different approach...
In a fresh twist for 2019, the marathon is currently sold out! However, fear not, as additional entries will be available from the 1st of July. The record setting numbers for 2019 speak to what a great event DCM is.
Training for any marathon is tough, especially if it's your first! It helps if you can spare a lot of time to devote to it, it can involve a fair amount of running at stupid o'clock as your runs get longer.
Our training plans commence on Monday, June 24th, which is 7 weeks from today. We recommend that you have been running quite regularly for a year. Come June 24th, you want to be running comfortably 3-4 times a week, every week, covering at least 20 miles per week. If you want some advice on how to build your mileage up to 20 mpw over the next 7 weeks then we're here for that too
Have a look at the two training plans on offer and see if you can find a way to fit one of them into your life for 18 weeks. Can you fit this in your daily routine, your holiday plans, your family life? If you're unsure, just try it out for a couple of weeks and see how you get on. The mileage in the programs will go up, so be realistic in your self-assessment. If you have doubts post here and we'll give an honest assessment if we think you're ready, and which plan will suit.
The Hal Higdon Novice 1 plan is a widely used novice marathon plan. It's a simple, and straightforward plan, which slowly increases the weekly mileage to eventually include a 20 mile training run, and has step-back weeks built in to help the body adapt. It uses 3 mid-week runs, which will slowly increase in length, and a longer weekend run. Ideally, you mix in one day of cross-training, too.
The Boards plan for 2019 is for slightly more experienced runners. It includes more variety in paces (either "easy" pace, or PMP ("planned marathon pace")), it includes strides on some of the easy runs, and generally covers more miles - e.g. 2 * 20 milers.
Both plans include all the Race Series build-up races (the South Dublin 10k in Clondalkin on July 21st, the Frank Duffy 10-miler on August 24th in the Phoenix Park, and the Dublin Half Marathon on September 21st in the Phoenix Park). You don't have to run these races, but it is recommended to try one or more of them or an alternative race of similar distance during the program to give yourself a feel for running at race pace and to see how much you've progressed. If the dates of your chosen races don't tie in exactly with the plan then don't worry - we can advise you on how to restructure the plan as we go on.
There are many more plans out there of course, but we recommend that you choose one of the above and trust the plan you choose! Both of these plans have got countless runners across the line over the past 10 years and they can get you across the line in 2019!
The longest runs are the most important. You can of course switch runs around within a week if you need to. If you have to skip a run, try make it one of the short runs. When it's gone, it's gone. Do not go chasing lost mileage in subsequent weeks.
Run slow. Once you think you run slow enough, run even slower. You will hear this on repeat for the next 26 weeks and for a reason, you will not be able to complete all the training miles if you don't run the majority of them slow (slower than you will run on the day itself and possibly slower than you have ever run).
Once the program is about to start, we'll talk about how to determine your training paces.
Be realistic. A marathon is no mean physical or mental challenge - hopefully you will have raced at some of the shorter distances already. Don't set your heart on hitting a particular time. You won't have a pace car in front of you to block out the wind, or have water bottles handed to you, a la Kipchoge and co. If you do want to set a target time, be conservative. The marathon has so many variables that can impact on your time.
Listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, stop your run. If it continues, seek professional guidance. As per general Boards guidelines, we cannot offer medical advice.
You'll have to make sure your wife/husband/partner is on your side. Believe you and me, it does make a difference when he/she is ready and willing to support what you're doing.
And Here Is Your Host...
This time last year I tentatively set foot in the 2018 Novices Thread and I haven't looked back since. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Running a marathon is tough going, but training for one is equally demanding. I ran 99% of my training runs on my own, but the crew here offered a great sense of community and a feeling that we were in it together. My abiding memory of the training was the camaraderie here as everyone offered encouragement, advice and support. Genuine bonds were formed that have only grown stronger since.
DCM itself was such a great experience. I came up short of my dream target, but I genuinely didn't care. The support around the course just blew my mind and helped me through the tough closing miles. I didn't take too long to decide I wanted another taste of it this year!
But I won't be the only one looking out for you - two of my fellow 2018 novices, Huzzah! and ReeReeG, will be here to share their knowledge and experiences. Alongside that, the whole Boards Athletics and Running community is behind you, and will be dropping in with even more great advice and support. However you got here, whether you stumbled into this thread by chance, were directed here, or have lurked for years before finally taking the plunge, you will not regret making us part of your DCM journey.
YOU CAN DO THIS!!
To finish, I'd really appreciate if you could tell us a little bit about yourself, and answer the following questions:
- Have you raced before? If so what are your PBs? (Date and distance please!)
- Do you still need to take walk breaks in your training? (No problem if you do)
- How much training do you currently do ? Distances, how many days a week, cross training - whatever you think is relevant to your current fitness level.
- What do you want to achieve? Dream finishing time and realistic finishing time? Or just complete it in no specified time?
- How many days a week can you train? And what plan do you intend to follow?
- What is your biggest worry/fear/doubt (if you have any!) in signing up?
- Why are you running this marathon?
Thanks for reading. Once again, welcome to the thread. Now step forward and introduce yourself - you will not regret it!