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My Thoughts on the Upcoming Edinburgh Marathon

May 24, 2019 | Race Recaps, Running, Wellness | 4 comments

After my total freak out on Instagram on Tuesday, I’m feeling in a much better place ahead of Sunday’s race. I have had so many messages from runners who have taken part in the full marathon over the years, describing how much they love the course, how it is downhill/flat, and how awesome the crowd support is.

I’ve been told that the out and back course can be tough mentally, particularly when you turn around at mile 18. I’ve got music and podcasts to keep me going, and have been listening to Tina Muir’s podcast this week which has been focused on mental strength. In particular I found the episode with Justin Su’a.

No Pacers. I had an idea that I would run the first 18/20/22 miles with the 3.30 pacer and then try to take off. However, I discovered a few weeks ago that the neither the Edinburgh Marathon or half marathon have pacers, and that plan went out the window. I’ve actually never stuck with a pacer throughout the race (I ran the first few miles in Chicago with the 3.35 pacer but didn’t have a great day), so maybe this is a blessing in disguise. I’ve spoken to multiple people who think that running your own race, running on your own feel of pace (ebbing and flowing) is better than trying to stick with a pace group.

People encouraged me about settling int o a pace with those around me (hopefully around a 7.50 min mile)

Water every 5K. I’ve been spoiled by Marathon Majors that have water nearly every single mile. With water only every 3 miles on the course, thankfully in bottles, I’ve had a chat with Tina Muir (an elite runner) and my coach, and decided to adjust my fueling strategy. Typically I take a gel every 5 miles, however I take gels that need water, so am now going to take 3/4 of a gel every 3 miles. My pockets will be bulging with gels at the start but it’s worth it to keep my energy levels topped up.

No electrolyte drinks on the course. During the Indy Mini I drank (and enjoyed!) Gatorade on the course. Although there are four aid stations with gels on route, there isn’t any information about electrolytes being available. So I’m giving a bottle with Nuun to my friends and one to my parents to hand over if necessary.

No Tracking. This is a bummer. But also takes the pressure off slightly, knowing that I don’t have people worrying at home about the finish time, where I am on the course or if I’m on pace. This was I can concentrate on staying in the moment, and share my finish time (whatever that may be) when I’m ready!

Someone messaged me to say that the 10K splits were available on the website if you searched for them… fingers crossed!

The goal… the goal is obviously to run sub 3.30 and earn a BQ. That’s what I’m going to the start line going for, knowing that it’s going to be hard, that it’s going to hurt, and that it’s going to be a fight from start to finish. But I also know that a lot can happen in 26.2 miles, and I don’t want to miss sub 3.30 and think that it was a waste if I don’t get my BQ. So with that in mind, I’ve set myself 4 goals for Sunday’s race:

A-> Sub 3.30. The BIG goal. I want this so badly.

B-> Sub 3.35. The old BQ standard, and one that I was aiming for before they changed the qualifying times in September.

C -> Sub 3.40 (and a Chicago qualifier)

D -> Sub 3.44 (a PB) At the very least I’d love to walk away with a PB and a London Good for Age time for 2020.

Thank you for all of your messages over the last few days/weeks. For once I’m not going to be filming or photographing my race at all. It’s going to be head down, game face on.


  1. shineonsyd

    Good luck with your BQ target time, and I hope the elements don’t jeopardise your time, I can only dream of being that fast so will be some way behind you aiming for a 4:15 PB
    I have done the EMF half marathon a couple of times which has a small out and back section but this will be a real mental test for most of the race.

  2. W.Purves.

    Good Luck Charlie! Your Scottish Blood will help. 3.29.9 will suffice! G

  3. David Dawson

    Good luck – I’m running it as my first Marathon, nervous and excited!!

  4. Richard Mudie

    Glad your feeling in a better place for tomorrow. Run well, it is a pretty course with some fun areas – good luck!


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