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Everything posted by Rostov

  1. Honestly, I'm not sure about the answer to any of those questions, especially (4), and I'm not sure that there's a clear consensus about them. Seems to me that there's a lot of heat and noise around these issues, but less useful sound and signal. A lot of people seem more interested in validating their own choices and that they're doing it right than anything else. My opinion - for what it's worth - is that it's really about what feels comfortable and what doesn't cause injury. If you have the option of running on softer surfaces than sidewalks, I'd recommend doing so, but it's not a deal breaker in my view. Some people are very critical of "heel strike" running where the foot lands heel first, and recommend a forefoot strike. I'm a bit reluctant to mess around with running form, but I did so after going on a develpment course, and what helped me was worrying less about which bit of my foot landed when, and more about talking shorter strides faster while running. That helped me run faster and further, but that was a way into my running development. My other tip is not to do too much, too soon. Cardio vascular fitness for running develops much faster than musculo-skeletal, particularly if you're already reasonably fit, because adaptations take longer. So take your time, building up slowly. Oh, and that goblin is probably kiting you. It's a trap!
  2. I'd suggest seeing a physiotherapist about your knee problems if that's feasible for you, and if you can find one who specialises in sports injuries, even better.
  3. This sounds like a question for a qualified medical professional rather than for an internet forum. I think if you're getting knee pain that takes three days to stop, it's not something to try to run off. You mentioned a physical examination - was that with a doctor or a physio, and was it for this issue in particular? I've found that local/family doctors typically don't know a great deal about these kinds of injuries, and if this was a general medical, chances are they're not looking for knee issues. I'd suggest seeing a physiotherapist if that's possible. The fact that this hasn't got better after a period of rest is new information that could help a diagnosis, so if you've not sought help since your break, that's another reason to do so. Not having the right running shoes can cause problems, but pain for three days afterwards sounds like a bit more than a shoe issue, though that may turn out to be part of the problem
  4. "Wipe someone's butt and you sanitise them for a day... teach someone how to wipe their butt and you sanitise them for life"... or something. More seriously.... I think a really good starting point for leadership is to think of examples of good leaders and leadership (ideally from real life/personal experience, but fiction/popular culture will do too) and reflect on what they do well and how they do it. Conversely, think about who is terrible and reflect on their mistakes, why they make them, and how to avoid them. One idea is to adopt a few leadership heroes and think 'how would X handle this'? Secondly... some people have very fixed and quite narrow ideas about what leadership can be. They tend to think of it as loud and extroverted and in people's faces and being better than everyone they lead and having all of the answers, but it needn't be that at all. I think good leadership can be much more subtle, much more collaborative and consultative, much more... humane. My own philosophy is that there are two great evils in leadership/management.... alienation (where people don't understand the context of what they're being asked to do, so the work becomes meaningless) and micromanagement... telling people how to do something, rather than merely what outcomes are needed. Obviously how something is done often does matter and sometimes is of critical importance, but I'd rather (say) ask an experienced administrator to organise an small event and keep track of registrations via whatever means they prefer, rather than mandate a particular platform or spreadsheet for them to use.
  5. Trust the programme, or find another one! For a half marathon, most experienced runners will run the full distance (and possibly longer) in training - the marathon is different and I think only a small proportion will run the full distance in training. I'd run the half marathon distance in training, but not the full. If your goal is to get round and get round well, running to 11 is fine. For your third half, if you're chasing a faster time, you probably should consider running the full distance in training, but that depends on all kinds of other factors. Here's why running 11 in training means you can run 13.1 on race day: Adrenaline, sense of occasion, crowd support, the power of group activities. sheer bloody mindedness. The taper. The programme should ease off before race day, allowing you to rest and recover. When you run your 11 miler, you'll be running in carrying the fatigue of all of the rest of your training. Your long run will be simulating running the last 11 miles, not the first. Your taper buys you the first. If you do want to run 13 before the race, then find a programme that's built for that. Don't just extend the 11 to running 12 or 13 the week before, because you need the taper.
  6. The only treadmill running I've done is when trying on new running shoes, so I'm probably not the person to answer this, but... I think first step would be to get comfortable on the treadmill and its controls before starting running on it or starting a couch to 5k programme. I think you need to get confident with what the various buttons and settings do, how to turn it on and off, to work out how not to fall over, that sort of thing. Perhaps don't go faster than some of the walking settings until you're comfortable and confident on it and then perhaps look at some of the easy running pace settings and find one that feels right. As for speed, it's really hard to say - it depends on your natural gearing. I'm helping my running club with c25k at the moment, and we have people running at barely past walking pace, and people running much faster at what I'd regard as my 'easy' pace. People are built differently, and running more slowly than your comfortable slow pace can be difficult. There's a temptation in c25k to want to run quickly, but obviously it's not about speed but running the distance at whatever pace suits. So I think I'd recommend starting slowly and keep the speed constant for all the running bits of that workout. If it feels too slow - unnaturally and inefficiently slow - then try turning it up a bit next time. You needn't turn it up just because you feel you can - one of the points of the programme is that each run should challenge you but not wipe you out utterly. I would recommend running outside rather than on the treadmill, but I quite understand the motivation to start in relative private, especially if the weather outside isn't ideal...
  7. I'd suggest seeing how it goes. A slight acceleration of the programme without running on consecutive days seems like a reasonable approach for the early weeks of C25k, but I'd suggest reviewing it as you go and being alert for any twinges or tweaks, and perhaps drop back to the recommended 3 runs per week later in the programme, especially if it turns out that you have a bit more time once the fundraiser date is settled. This is my favourite article in terms of an explanation about new runners and injury risks. https://theconversation.com/taking-up-running-heres-what-you-need-to-know-to-make-it-to-february-70497 Best of luck!
  8. If you're literally feeling physical exhaustion, feeling sick, and limping home, (or even some of those) then I think you're doing it wrong. Especially as a new runner. There's a real problem with the "no pain, no gain" philosophy, and the idea that you have to push yourself to the limit every time. If we push ourselves to the limit every time we risk injury, and perhaps just as bad, it makes it much less likely that we'll do the exercise again. The way that the couch-to-5k programme is designed is that for most people each session should be challenging, but not exhausting. If it feels exhausting, the advice is to repeat the week. I'm at a stage in my running now that I have the experience and confidence to manage higher levels of discomfort - some of which is physical, some of which is psychological. I can go training with my club and sprint up hills, knowing that it's really going to hurt, but knowing that in a few minutes I'll get my breath back and in a bit more time my legs will feel less like jelly. I can find pleasure in pushing myself hard, in what I'm able to accomplish, and in being finished, knowing that I worked hard in that session. Point is that I'm starting to think that no-one should be pushing towards exhaustion at the early stages of acquiring skill, unless you're one of those odd people who really enjoys it. I think newer runners on couch to 5k should be running as slow as they like (different people have different 'gearing') when they carry out the workouts. The last x% of time for each run will hurt because the last little bit always hurts, but ideally the feeling on finishing should be a feeling of having worked hard but not to exhaustion, and a mixture of relief/pride for being finished! Now... I'm never in the business of converting everyone to running because I just know that some people aren't wired that way, but I think a similar approach might work with other forms of exercise too. Work out hard enough so that you're sweating, breathing hard, but not so hard that you half-kill yourself, get DOMS so hard you can't move for a week, and never want to do it again. Gradually what becomes manageable increases over time, and you start seeing results. On endorphin rushes... I think there was discussion of this early in the thread. It's not a matter of exercising -> get endorphin "rush". I find real rushes relatively rare - typically what I get is a form of satisfaction, pleasure in achievement, gratitude to the universe for being able to do what I'm doing... and relief at being finished. As regards podcasts... I find them great for running, but I never got on with them for circuits etc - needed music for that.
  9. It might also help to read a few articles on the 'Spotlight Effect' - we all tend to think we're the centre of the world and others are paying much more attention to us than they actually are.
  10. Hi @Segev! I never want to be 'that guy' who tells everyone that they ought to do what I do, and tells them what they shouldn't and shouldn't enjoy, but for what it's worth.... What I'm hearing is a lot of 'social' pain around sports and exercise... being made to go by your parents (lack of control/autonomy), feeling like the worst play on the team (negative comparison to others, perhaps worries about letting each other down), feeling like you've come bottom of your particular league. It sounds to me like team sports in particular might not be for you, and perhaps directly competitive sports might not be for you either. And that's entirely fair enough - not everyone is competitive, and it drives me nuts when too much youth sports are about competition, rather than developing healthy habits. The other thing I'm hearing is frustration at lack of improvement, or perceived lack of improvement. And it's very had to notice improvements if you're *still* feelling like the weak link, because others are improving too and perhaps improving faster. Easy to say that we shouldn't compare ourselves to others, but the reality is that we do. TL:DR - from what you're saying I'm in no way surprised that you don't like physical activity, and I'm absolutely not saying that you're wrong in that. However... from what you've said I would say that there's at least a chance you might enjoy more - or hate a bit less - forms of exercise which aren't directly competitive, which don't involve groups (to minimise comparison), and where there's a chance to see improvement or development. I'm not sure how important the latter is to you. I'm a runner, so I'm biased... but you can do a couch to 5k by yourself, you're not competing with anyone, and you should see improvements quite quickly. With running more generally you could enter organised races, or you could just run your own routes and your own pace. You could keep track of your pace and distance, and keep track of PBs. I tend to think that there's a difference in temperament between people who are runners and people who are lifters, and I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to say that much the same applies to either lifting weights or doing bodyweight workouts, and they'd be right. @DevilSlayerDante - this is probably a stupid question, but have you tried combining exercise with listening to podcasts? Some people listen to music, but for all except my speedwork/hill work (and on race days) I'll be wearing headphones and listening to podcasts. Sometimes on a long run I lose myself in my running and tune out the podcast, sometimes I lose myself in the podcast and forget I'm running.
  11. I wonder if there are physical activities that include elements of problem solving? Orienteering, perhaps, but that's not easily accessible to everyone, everywhere. Is Geocaching (?) a bit like orienteering? Presumably it's still a thing... More generally... what is it you hate about the physical activities that you've tried? Is it physical (pain, discomfort), psychological (boredom, stress, fear, anxiety) or social (embarrassment, vulnerability)? Or a combination of factors for different activities? My sense from helping out with c25k courses with new runners is that while some don't enjoy it at the start, some will probably never enjoy it (and so won't stick to it), while some will enjoy it more once confidence grows/anxiety reduces/social worries reduce. Is it worth thinking in terms of 'don't enjoy doing X now' and 'can't imagine enjoying X ever, even with proficiency/confidence'?
  12. Tapeworm This one amazing trick that doctors don't want you to know Oh... are you mistaking me for my twin? No, I'm actually just *further away* In terms of honest answers, I prefer to describe it as "eating smarter" rather than "eating less". Definitely moving more, though...
  13. This isn't something I've experienced directly, so this is pure speculation... I imagine that some of those kinds of comments that people make are really more about themselves... if other people can be healthier, it follows that they could be too, your success shows up their failure or at least threatens the web of self-justifications and reasons why they're not doing what you're doing. One way to keep the self defence going is to say that the problem is your "obsession", not their relative failure. However... if it's not that, and if people are genuinely concerned, I wonder how they'd respond if you were to ask them what they're afraid of happening - what doing "too much" might do or cause. At route might be reasonably sensible worries, but perhaps more likely they're not particularly sensible or serious worries and asking that might show that up. Or it might provide a way to reassure people. A worry that I've replaced one slightly addictive behaviour (food) with another (exercise) might be a reasonable one... worries about sustainability might be reasonable... fears of not allowing yourself to enjoy life or fears about injury less so, but perhaps people are reassure-able. But I think RisenPhoenix, Bean Sidhe, and Raincloak's points about shutting down or not engaging with these kinds of discussions can also be a very good idea for your own sanity and wellbeing if they're not going to end well. In my own way I used to acknowledge compliments/signs that people had noticed, but wouldn't engaged or offer any more unless asked.
  14. Probably obvious, but I'd also suggest warming up and warming down first, especially if it's cold. Perhaps a very brisk walk or slow jog, rather than going cold into sprinting. I'd also suggest being generous with yourself about recovery time between sprints. Quality as well as quantity is important. One option might be to do a set of x sprints with y rest between, then allow yourself a longer rest and do another set. I sometimes fall into the trap of seeing resting for longer as a sign of weakness, only to regret it a few seconds into the next rep! Have you come across "strides"? They're a lot like 100m sprints, but rather than an all out sprint, they're a more gradual acceleration, holding about 95% effort for a few seconds and then decelerate gradually. I'm often at training early, so I'll warm up with them, and where possible I use them to warm up before races. I'd definitely recommend incorporating them somehow, perhaps as a warm-up, perhaps to alternate with 100m sprints, or perhaps in place of all out sprinting entirely. This article discusses strides in the context of additional training for people who already run a lot and want to improve, rather than in the context of starting running/sprinting, but hopefully is a good explanation. http://strengthrunning.com/2012/10/what-are-strides/?doing_wp_cron=1510828568.3354449272155761718750 Oh, and watch out for cars!
  15. Think this is great advice. Not everyone is a fan of counting calories, but it definitely worked for me. Making a few changes (like you've already made, water for soda etc) is definitely the way to go, and once they're working it's time to make a few more. But I recognise the stress elements...I remember staring, paralysed by indecision, at a chiller cabinet full of sandwiches, unable to make any kind of decision. But I got through that. One thing does give me pause... if you're depressed and on medication that enhances appetite I think this needs to be factored in. I've been on medication (not for depression) that had some similar side effects and I think any plan (and your associated expectations) need to factor in these additional challenges. It could be that actually - under the current circumstances - not putting on any more weight is an achievement in itself. I don't want to be negative, or limit your ambitions. It might be that weight loss (and exercise) may help with the depression, so it may all end up being a virtuous circle, and it makes sense to do all this at once. Making plans and being positive about the future is good. On the other hand, it might be a time to be gentle with yourself and your expectations. All of which is a long-winded way of saying the obvious, that I think you should discuss your weight loss plans with whoever is seeing you for depression.
  16. Think what's needed first of all is a definition of what a "good" runner is. Does it mean someone who's regularly competitive for age group prizes at local races, does it mean someone who meets Boston or London good-for-age qualifying time? Does it mean someone who's run a marathon in under 3 hours... in under 3:30, in under 4... under 5.... or at all? Does it mean completing couch to 5k? Is it just someone whose running aspirations fit their commitment/plans? Is it just someone who runs regularly? And so on.... For me, I'd say the best predictor of someone becoming a good runner (however defined) is that they enjoy running. If someone enjoys running, or can imagine enjoying it, they've got a chance. If not, they'll last as long as their willpower does. I think expressions like "fulfilling true potential" are a bit of a red herring. If I want to fulfill my true potential as a runner, I'd have to save up, quit my job, concentrate on it full time and sacrifice everything or nearly everything else in my life to that end. And that's true for everyone. Who knows how long or how fast I could be after a year or two of that? But I'm not going to do it, and I think very few people would do that even if they had the means.
  17. It's a difficult one this, and I think a lot depends on how much autonomy you have to make decisions for yourself in terms of food and exercise, and how much you have to fit in with what other people want and what options are available. I found what worked for me when I was losing the weight was looking for compromises - so I'd go to the restaurant with friends and have a meal, but order lower calorie but still tasty options that didn't draw too much attention to me. Sometimes I'd still end up eating more calories than I'd like, but I was in the fortunate position of having a lot of autonomy with my other meals, and so would try to adjust accordingly. Ultimately weight loss isn't a sprint or even a marathon, it's the rest of your life, and there are going to be times where compromises have to be made and where you an treat yourself. It's much more of a problem if it's going to be a constant and ongoing issue, and worse still if people are trying to sabotage you. Then I think there's no option but to say something if it doesn't blow over. It's amazing how threatened some less healthy people feel when someone around them starts trying to live a more healthy lifestyle - because it raises uncomfortable questions about why they're not doing anything, and some people don't like that. Something I used to do was say as little as possible about it, be gracious in response to compliments, but give further details about what I was doing only if asked/pushed. Otherwise I'd be firm, say little, not feel obliged to offer detailed explanations, and generally try to shut it down, and try not to rise to any teasing. And then change the subject. As a man I think I had it easier. My sense is that more people (men and women) feel entitled to comment on a women's eating/exercise/appearance than they would to a man.
  18. Thanks for that, much appreciated. I've done a bit of searching and there are a lot of options, but it's great to have a personal recommendation.
  19. I'm getting married in almost exactly a year, and it's time to get organised as regards wedding planning, particularly a guest list and something to record responses to get a sense of likely numbers (separating definite +1s, possible +1s, whether those with kids are bringing them etc). My first thought was to start creating a spreadsheet, but it quickly occurred to me that the future Mrs Rostov and I aren't the first people to get married and face these logistical challenges. Does anyone have any experience/recommendations regarding particular spreadsheet templates or software that we could use? Free options would be great, but given how much the rest of the wedding will cost it would be weird to rule out paid options, given how much time this could save. I think I'm looking for something that would help us put together a guest list (including contact details), keep track of numbers under various scenarios, record responses (or perhaps even automatically receive them), any dietary/access requirements, and perhaps feed into some sort of seating planner. I've done little or no research so far - google seems to produce a whole bunch of options, most of them from a few years back. Rather than diving into the rabbit hole and trying to find something that way, I thought this might be a particularly good online community to ask first!
  20. I think there's a shared fiction that the players have to buy into about plots and adventures and pretending that it's a much more open world with a lot more free choice and a lot more randomage than there really is. It's no fun playing if you acknowledge for a moment that the whole world revolves around your characters, and everything is set up for you to just about succeed at everything you do! I think it's pretty common for very new DMs to want to do everything by the book and be a bit reluctant to "cheat", because that's what they've always done as players - follow the rules - and perhaps that's what they've seen (or think they've seen!) GMs do. Also, if they follow the rules they can't be accused of getting it wrong - they've run it mechanistically and it's all down to chance. The problem is that it takes up a lot of mental energy to be constantly thinking about rules and mechanics which then isn't spent on being entertaining and building an atmosphere or being creative or descriptive. But perhaps it's a bit like jazz music and other forms of art.... maybe you need to know the rules and be confident in them before you can start breaking or ignoring them.
  21. I liked Fenyx's suggestions too. I've sometimes used a slightly different approach, and by "slightly different approach" I mean "cheat". I tend to think in terms of how important success or failure is in terms of the overall adventure. There are sometimes where one or more of the players needs to succeed for the good of the adventure - either because it's an essential plot driver or because it gives them a strategic or tactical edge that they'll need to win a future encounter. For example... I need someone to notice that what looks like the bloody aftermath of an attack by orc raiders might have been staged to look like that. Or I need our heroes to know that they'll need defence against attack X when they fight the big bad monster, or they'll be toast. When that happens I don't really have a target number - whoever rolls highest will notice, perhaps more than one person will notice if more than one person rolls well. In the example of the orc raiders, I might decide that someone has to succeed, but that I don't want anyone to succeed to the point of being sure. Hopefully this leave the players with the impression that they could have failed and could have succeeded better - though as a DM I can get unlucky with a bunch of pathetic roles or through the most perceptive character rolling really high. Though in both of those cases I can confuse people by asking for further checks (heal for assessing injuries, survival for looking at the tracks) and say that the perception check only bought them the chance to make further skill checks now that they're suspicious. Roll enough dice and they'll forget, and hopefully believe that they'd know more if they rolled better or less if they'd rolled worse. Although, as Fenyx mentioned this kind of 'assess the scene' thing is very amenable to different grades/levels of information. But then I'll cheat to make sure that the players have no less than the minimum or no more than the maximum that I want them to have. Unless they do really well and I feel like rising to the challenge of giving them much more and then responding to that. Other skill checks rolls either don't really matter in terms of the overall plot, or just give the players a bit of a bonus insight, or an extra bit of treasure. Again, here I sometimes cheat. Often I'll have approximate target numbers in mind, but I'll also think in terms of what different characters have been able to contribute so far, and how much fun I think everyone is having. If a player has been quiet because their character isn't ideal for the scenario, or a player's D20 is rolling like a D10, or one player is doing too much, or being too successful relative to others, I'll cheat to level the playing field a bit. This needs to be done with a great deal of care, because it's a slippery slope from this to favouritism, or to penalising someone who's just pissing me off, or to pandering to people who winge and complain. One particular problem can occur with rogues, who are supposed to be good at detecting and disarming traps. But there aren't usually that many, and they're normally hard to deal with, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's played a rogue who only ever disarms traps with his face. He's supposed to be an adventurer, but he looks like a clumsy buffoon with permanently singed eyebrows. Can be a similar issue with rangers and tracking under some systems, or clerics who know less about religion than the wizard, and so on and so forth. There is a general problem at low levels with D20 + skill with the random factor being far too important. Ultimately it's about having fun. As a DM I cheat much less with combat rolls, checks etc, but with skill checks and other stuff, I'll regularly cheat and fudge and make things up to get the best result for the adventure and for fun. The trick is hiding that fact and letting the players believe that their dice rolls and good and bad fortune make more difference than they really do.
  22. *subscribes to your newsletter* I've run a whole variety of stuff... mainly D&D of various types up to 3.5 and then Pathfinder, nothing more recent. I've also run a lot of 7th Sea (first edition) and I'm now trying to get my head around second edition. I think running a Traveller campaign might be my next DMing challenge, especially as I want my own setting. Well, I say my own, it'll be a combination of Eve Online, Mass Effect, Faster than Light and various other influences. The challenge with running sci-fi games is finding a technology level that makes sense and is internally consistent and allows characters to have the skills without making problems rely on players guessing the right technobabble. But this means suggesting courses of action, which may look like railroading. Worth an experiment anyway...
  23. I've acquired a symbol/metaphorical spirit animal somewhat unexpectedly - a swan. I have a slight stammer (the technical term is covert or interiorised stammer, which is a fancy way of saying that it's mild and that I can pass for fluent with a combination of effort and luck to the extent that a lot of people who know me very well have no idea, especially before I started being much more open about it). Anyway, one metaphor used to describe it is the swan - apparently effortlessly gliding across the water the surface, frantically kicking under the water. Anyway, last year I was fortunate enough to win a citizenship award at work, and the same swam metaphor was used about me. Always appearing serene and controlled on the surface, but probably kicking really hard under the water. I was really touched to get one of these awards for a variety of reasons that I won't go into here, but I was very struck by the coincidence of the swan metaphor reoccurring.
  24. Most marathon plans that I've seen include speedwork in some for or another. It's good to mix it up. I've found that marathon training increases my stamina at the expense of speed, and after a year with a marathon in the spring and the autumn I found that my 5k/10k/HM pace was well down on what it was, even with keeping speed work in my marathon plan. I can understanding falling out of love a bit with running at this stage of marathon training, but I wonder if part of the reason for that might be not doing speedwork? There's a joy in running long and slow, but there's a different kind of joy in running intervals, tearing it up, getting your breath back, and going again. Best of luck with the training and the big day - keep us updated!
  25. Have to say I'm with your co-worker on this one. I think the received wisdom for marathon running - for most runners - is not to go much past 22miles in training. I think things are different for elite runners, ultra training, and other special cases, but everything I've heard indicates this. I found this a struggle because my first marathon was the first distance I'd attempted in a race that I hadn't done in training. But just as you reach a point where you can't run faster in training than you do on race day, so you reach a point where it's the same with distance. The way I had it explained to me was that your 20 mile/32k long run is not replicating the first 20miles/32k of the marathon leaving you to find the rest from somewhere on race day. Rather, it's the *last* 20 miles/32k of the race. The first part of the race you get free as a result of the taper. When you run 20 miles in training, you do so fatigued from the rest of your training and from the 19 miles you ran last week, even if you don't feel it. I think it's true that time on your feet/distance run builds resilience and prevents injuries, but I think that's total time on your feet, not time spent on the long run. For my first marathon I tried to reach 20+ miles early and hold it at that, running that distance every week. I picked up an injury, which obviously I can't say was a direct result, but that's what happened. Fortunately just a microtear which I was able to manage and sorted itself out by race day. The plural of anecdote isn't data, of course, but I didn't have any such problem with my second or third/fourth marathons. Undertraining was more of an issue for the third, but that's another story. The other bit of received wisdom is to have the occasional shorter long slow run when you get into the really long runs to allow recovery time. Dropping back to a half marathon distance, but running a bit faster because you can. A really useful tip the coach at my running club gave me before my first marathon was that if I was anxious about getting round I should swap out one long slow run for a walk, and go and walk 26.2 miles. That way, I could show myself that I could do it and would finish one way or another (barring illness or injury). I didn't do it in the end, but just that thought gave me reassurance. I guess my question to you would be whether you want to run over 26 miles in training because you think it's the best training strategy, or because you want to prove to yourself that you can do it in training to give yourself reassurance or confidence for race day. I ran a half in training before I ran it on race day for precisely that reason and got a lot of reassurance out of it. But that's for a half marathon... full marathon is a different beast entirely. If you think it's the best training strategy, then I respectfully disagree. If it's really because you want that reassurance, I wonder if you could find that elsewhere, or else deal with the uncertainty better. Easy for me to say - I was a mess for weeks before my first marathon, fretting and worrying. But I think it's worth remembering that all runners are capable of feats of speed and/or endurance on race day and in race conditions, with crowd support, other runners, the taper, adrenaline, the sense of occasion, and sheer bloody guts that we just can't do in training. Having said all that... the main thing I'd say is that there are better and worse ways to train. I don't think - based on what I've read and my own experiences - that running that long, that often, that close to race day is the best training strategy. But it's not like marathon training is some kind of precise formula which is guaranteed to go right if you follow it to the letter and guaranteed to go wrong if you don't. Many's the time I've seen people arguing about the merits of running training plans when the reality is that both probably offer a great chance of success. But if you are going to run those kind of distances, I can only reiterate Primeval's advice about being alert for warning signs of wear and tear and exhaustion.
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