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I am 2 weeks away from my first marathon (The Portsmouth Coastal on the 23rd Dec in the UK) I am a 42 year old female that started running nearly 2 years ago. I ran 4 half marathons this year (3 in the last 3 months as part of my training plan). The training plan was a 20 weeks intermediate one that turn out to be too demanding for me as I got physically exhausted after 12 weeks of training. I took a bit of resting for a week or so and I switched to a beginners training plan more focus on time run than miles run. I am feeling comfortable with the training as it is going and strong but I am worry that my longest run was a 18 miles run and I am not sure if that is enough training or experience to complete the marathon. I am starting the tapering phase now so I will not attempt to run any more long runs. Until now I've been running an average of 30 miles a week. So the question is, will all these help me to finish my first marathon or I am undertrained? Thank you for any comments!
I was in the same boat for my first marathon (except I didn't run any halves beforehand). The best advice I recieved from another female runner is that your first marathon will be a PR regardless of your time. She encouraged me to just finish my first. You will see people stop and walk a bit. No big. As long as you cross that line. Take the time that you need, go at your pace, and listen to your body. I hope that you run many more marathons so don't stress yourself out. It's a mental race after about 18 miles anyway. It sounds like you have a good background for your training!
Most 1st timers go to around 20, it's just a number. Make sure you do not go out to fast walk thru the water stops be sure to take some fuel! I have run several for my 1st I went to 20 now I just go to 18, it's a mental game after that stay positive! You will be fine! Enjoy
You should be fine to finish. Just remember to start easy. By that I mean the first 15 niles or so. My understanding (I've never really checked) is that many plans based on metric distances peak at 30k, only a little farther than you went. As others said, once you hit 18 - 22, it becomes a mental game. But the less you use at the beginning, by starting easy, the more you'll have left at the end. Last, as mentioned above, don't be afraid to walk, or even take regular walking breaks. Your goal is to cross the finish line, preferably standing. Time is very much secondary.