Five Year Plan - help please

A bit longer than the average plan

81 to 91 of 91 messages
01/06/2013 at 18:43

I'm pretty happy that I'm in the right area for my max heart rate. I thought I had posted my earlier thoughts in this thread, but it seems not. If I can find it, I'll pop it in here, which might help my figures make sense (or not ). Long story short....I previously thought my max was 191, but I believe it was based on erroneous readings. My current figure of 181 has more solid evidence.

23/07/2013 at 17:58

I ran a 10K race at the weekend and have a new PB of 49:08. This was slower than I had hoped for, but it is not the "A" race I'm preparing for (which is another 10K race in seven weeks time). Hopefully it will be a bit cooler .

24/07/2013 at 09:09

Congrats on your PB!  It might not have been what you were hoping for, but everything's heading in the right direction, well done!

28/07/2013 at 19:30

Thanks Tiny.

In my training, I'm now placing the emphasis on pace for the hard sessions, rather than heart rate. I'll continue to use the HRM to stop me from working too hard on recovery days.

I have six weeks remaining to prepare for my next 10k race. I've also scheduled a couple of 5k tune-up races this month. I'm in two minds whether to train for a half-marathon in the Autumn, or stick to speed work (not that they are mutually exclusive, or anything like that ).

15/11/2013 at 13:03

To paraphrase the saying... if I didn't have shit luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all 

In the middle of August I was struck by a virus that laid me up in bed for a week and culminated in hospitalisation on the drip. During my prolonged recovery from that, I stubbed my toe and fractured it, then subsequently antagonised the injury while lifting some heavy furniture. The upshot was almost two months with no running at all 

I didn't wait for the fracture to completely heal and tentatively began running short distances in October. Needless to say my fitness had dived. I ran primarily on the treadmill to avoid problems with the injury. That way, there would be no obstacles and I could stop at any time I felt pain (in theory, at least ). I avoided speedwork and inclines, so the running didn't make the toe injury any worse.

Over the last five weeks, I've gradually built back up to 28 miles last week with a "long" run of 10 miles. I'm on target to have sufficient endurance to begin marathon training in just under five weeks. My speed-endurance is currently not where it was this time last year, but I'm hoping I can overcome that with some intelligent training.

I'm planning to base my marathon training on the P&D 18/55 schedule once again, since that was very successful for me this year. I'll be training for the VLM in April, with the Silverstone Half-Marathon booked as part of my preparation in March.

Having the long-term target (A.K.A. 5 Year Plan) has definitely helped my focus, at a time when it would have been easy to say "screw-it". I've had some set-backs, but that's all they are, i.e. "set-backs" and not "showstoppers".

Edited: 15/11/2013 at 13:05
15/11/2013 at 15:20

Hi Tenjiso - that's a shame but some time being laid up is inevitable - shame they all came at once! The fitness will come back soon enough. I'm just recovering from nearly 3.5 years of an inconvenient set back! I suspect my fitness make take some time to recover.. Hoping to get back to training before the middle of next year. Good luck with your training!

15/11/2013 at 16:17

That's some inconvenience, Peter! Good luck with the comeback, and thanks for the sentiments.

18/01/2014 at 14:07

I've just remembered, it's about time I checked-in...

Running hasn't been easy.

Tragic family circumstances have meant that since mid-November I have been juggling life as a (thankfully, temporary) single parent with stress levels through the roof, rapidly diminishing savings and next to no income. However, if ever there was a time to maintain running it was now. It gives me some structure and positive focus.

I managed to get my base level of running up sufficiently to be able to start the P&D 18 week up to 55m p/w marathon plan, and so far I have kept up with the training (this is week six of the program). I'm having to do a lot more home treadmill training to be able to keep an eye on the kids. My mum has been watching them for me on Sundays, so that I can get outside on my long runs (plus, it gives me a rest from cooking all the meals ).

I'm targeting a sub-4:00 marathon at the VMLM. My training runs and heart rate monitoring are at paces suggested for a 3:50 marathon, which is good because I have a tendency to fade in the latter stages. I'll get a better idea what is possible when I run the Silverstone half-marathon in March.

Next week will be my first 50 mile week of the campaign, with a long run of 18 miles.

If nothing else, it keeps me off the pills!

Yesterday at 19:50

I've been meaning to update this thread for ages, but life has been getting in the way. The good news is that 2014 is on a serious upwards trend after a truly dreadful 2013. My wife returned home in February which meant that I no longer had sole care of our children. I began to look for my next job and was fortunate to secure a position within a couple of weeks of searching. That was a major relief! 

Throughout all my problems, I've managed to stick to the vast majority of the P&D up to 55m schedule. It has been stressful juggling a new job, studying with the Open University and keeping up with a demanding running schedule. It's never been easy, but as they say - where there's a will there's a way.

I ran the Silverstone Half Marathon to assess whether my target sub-4:00 marathon would be achievable. In spite of my own doubts, I managed 1:45:51 which was a PB by just over four minutes and was just where I wanted to be. I then followed this up with a 5km parkrun of 22:11 which lopped a hefty 53 seconds off my previous best. Finally, I ran the Oakley 20 as a training run starting out at 10:10 pace, then gradually increasing speed to just under 9:30 pace, with enough energy to run the final couple of miles at sub 8:00 pace. It was a PB 3:08:16, though the time was unimportant in this instance.

All-in-all things were on target for my sub-4:00 attempt at London. Using Jack Daniels VDOT tables, and knowing how I normally convert as I go up in distance I knew I would be wise not to suffer from goal creep. My plan was to run close to 9:00 pacing and see how I felt after 20 miles. I was all too painfully aware how the wheels fall off in the latter stages .

Yesterday at 19:56

2014 VMLM Race Report

I began carb loading on Thursday with a daily target of 10g per Kilo of bodyweight = 720g with carbs making up 70% of daily calories. My daily totals were:

  • Thursday: 680g (65%) 

  • Friday: 716g (73%)

  • Saturday: 722g (72%)

Probably way too many simple sugars, but at least it was an attempt to round-off preparations. On Saturday night I hadn't pre-planned and I couldn't find an Italian restaurant. So I went for Pot Noodle, rather than walk around too much  I had picked up my pack at the Expo on Saturday morning, and made my way to the Deptford Bridge Travelodge. Having arrived early I coughed up an extra tenner so I could rest up as much as possible.

I didn't sleep at all well Saturday night, though I didn't feel too bad when my alarm went off at 6:00am. Those who followed my progress for Brighton last year might remember I had four poo's on the race morning (a PPB). Well, this year I had poo's at 6:15, 6:45, 7:30 and finally 8:15! I suppose this is the carb-unloading process. I did give it one more shot just before the race, but failed to make a new PPB. Needless to say I took some immodium to be on the safe side during the race. I stopped drinking just over an hour before the race so that I wouldn't want to stop for a pee.

My eight Sis Go Gels were decanted into three small running bottles on my race belt, which made taking them sooo much easier than trying to open the damn packets on the run. After feeling sick in the latter stages at Brighton, and reading in the P&D thread how Agent Ginger had fuelled, I didn't take a pre-race gel this year. I consumed my first one just after 5m, then at 3m intervals until the final one at 23m, leaving one spare one I didn't use. I had no gastric problems at all following this routine. Being a fairly warm day I drank regular small amounts of water. Occasionally pouring some over my head and neck, or soaking my cap to feel cooler under the glorious sunshine.

The crowding and bunching of runners in the first couple of miles meant that it wasn't possible to take advantage of the early slight decline on the course. Though I wasn't unhappy with splits of 9:03 and 9:07. Space opened up more in the third mile and I put in an 8:34 at the same effort level.

Somewhere around seven miles I tripped and twinged the muscle in the back of my right knee which I have injured in the past. This was a worry, but thankfully didn't amount to anything and didn't trouble me after a couple of miles of cautious running.

Among the “sights”, I only actually noticed the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and Big Ben. My overriding memory, that I will dream about for many years to come, will be the blue line  The crowds were incredible. I realised how noisy it was when we went under the tunnels and it went quiet before emerging back out into the cacophony. In spite of this, I maintained focus and concentrated on my plan. I wanted to achieve sub 4:00. There was no “B” plan.

I went through halfway in 1:57:44. I was pleased with my pacing, but also a little concerned because historically I have always faded significantly in the second half. But I felt good. Better than in Brighton and definitely stronger. Although it took a little more effort from sixteen miles, I was still maintaining sub-four hour splits 9:09, 9:08, 9:02, 9:06, 9:06, 9:09. My average pace at 21m was 9:00, and I knew I could do it as long as I kept control.


Yesterday at 20:03


I missed the mile markers at 22m and 24m. I mean, it's not like they are very prominent at London  This is where I started to fade and had to dig in. My average splits dropped to 9:21 and then 9:25. In part though, this was down to the garmin pace being slightly out because of the tunnels and my missing the mile markers.

In the final 5K I was hurting. I reminded myself how close I was to achieving my ambition. How I had managed to stick to my schedule in spite of everything that has happened to try to derail me. I thought how my mum had helped me during my period as a “single” parent by looking after the kids while I went out on my weekly long runs. The early mornings and MLR's on the treadmill. The flooding and the relentless winds. The least I could do would be to tough it out now, so that all the effort was worthwhile. Was the pain I was feeling any worse than running my flat-out 5k parkrun? That's all I had left to go. I visualised the parkrun. I eat 5k's for breakfast. Just keep going. I glanced up at Big Ben – I'm going to do it! Why are these people walking so close to the end? I wanted this so bad, walking was never an option at any point in the race.

I saw the finish line as the clock ticked just past four hours. I had crossed the start line a little over two minutes after the official start. I had done it! 3:58:13. A new PB by 11m 16s. That's 1.25 miles ahead of last year. I was feeling so emotional. My bottom lip was trembling and I was close to blubbing. I couldn't quite believe how well I had controlled my race. A positive split, but by less than three minutes which was about as close to even pacing as I could have dared hope. The temperature during the race climbed from 51F at the start, to 58F when I finished – so it was bound to feel a bit tougher.

Two years ago my marathon time was 4:38:54. By following the P&D 18w/55m schedule twice since, I have achieved my first real dream time. It's a fabulous program and I will continue to use it to progress towards my “ultimate” dream of a GFA time (3:15). When I originally set the GFA target, frankly it looked a bit ridiculous. Now I really am daring to dream. For now, I'm going to bask in the knowledge that I have a marathon time that starts with a three! Thank you again Messrs Pfitzinger and Douglas, and thank you to everybody who has posted feedback on various training threads.

I feel like I have come a long way since the floundering that I was doing at the start of this thread. I still have a long way to go, but I'm convinced I will get there.


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