Where am I?

Can someone help me please, not sure if I am on track to meet goal...

13 messages
03/03/2013 at 22:00
Hi All, I have been training for the last 8 months in preparation for the London Marathon in April. Between July and December 2012 I did between 100 and 150 miles each month with an average pace accross all runs of around 7:25 per mile. Within that stretch of training I did the Birmingham half marathon in October in 87 minutes (I tapered properly for it and felt good on the day). Since the start of the year I have upped the distances I have been doing and have done just under 180 miles for both Jan and Feb (daily breakdown is here: http://screencast.com/t/xvHGhi9lAw2W - I have done 3 half marathons and 3 long runs close to 20 miles within that training) and intend to do 200+ in March (with at least 4 20+ mile runs included and then taper at the start of April). To try and gauge my progress I did the Silverstone Half today. I did it in 88 minutes which is slower than I was hoping for by a couple of minutes but the run today took me to 50 miles in total over the last 6 days so I would be really grateful if anyone could help me answer a couple of questions please: Does anyone know what sort of time could have expected to do if I had not done this run after doing 33 miles in the 5 days before? Do you think it is possible that I could do a sub 3 hour marathon in London or will I have to aim to do one later this year instead? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks Al
03/03/2013 at 23:43

I'd say slightly over doing things but I'm no expert

03/03/2013 at 23:46
I would say it is going to take another really decent month of training to improve, plus everything going right on the day (such as health, pacing, no traffic slowing you up) to stand a chance. As a comparion I did a 1:22 HM about 6 weeks before a 2:59 marathon. The half was run untapered off about a 55m week. The marathon was uncrowded. On the upside I was a little injured and recovering from illness.

Provided you are well trained, currently you are about 3:00 to 3:05, but you are entering a critical part of training so make it count - without overdoing it.
seren nos    pirate
04/03/2013 at 07:33

You say all your runs are done at the same pace.....is there a reason for it.......most running schedules mix the pace up.......just wondering the reasoning behind running all runs that pace

04/03/2013 at 10:50

Thanks for the responses.

Also-ran - sounds like I am really going to have to have a really good period of training in without over doing it, always hard to get the balance but with London so close it may be easier to focus.

Seren - sorry, I was not clear, they are not done at the same pace, 7:25 is the average of all runs. I do my 5-8 mile runs at all different variety of pace, some have been at 6:30 per mile but they are most between 6:50 and 7:10. The longer runs (between 15-20 miles) have been at 7:30 to 8:00 pace but I have been told that I should do them a bit slower than that.

04/03/2013 at 12:59

Al, is this your first mara?

I am at about the same HM pace as you and improving very quickly off the back of only running over 6 miles for the first time in August last year.  I have wondered whether my rate of improvement could be such that off the heavy training i'm doing now, could I threaten sub 3 hours?  The reality is, very few runners will ever do sub 3, let alone on their first shot at it.

I think it might be dangerous to push for it so I am expecting a finish between 3.10 and 3.30.  I'd gladly accept 3.15 right now.  I will then have a much greater feel for what it felt like and what I might be able to do and then I can really go for it on the next one.

Just some thoughts that might help.

04/03/2013 at 14:09
Al, good luck. Some more colour to the conversion from half to full: last year I also ran an 88 during training and ran a hilly first marathon in 3:02. Everything fell into place, and the race itself went perfectly - probably would have been capable of sub 3 on a flat course. In the autumn a 1:22 half lead to a 3:04 - everything went against me in the last few weeks incl injury & sickness. Week after the 3:04, I achieved sub3 - an unconventional path to a sub 3. All the conversion tables & calculators provide an average statistic. Sometimes belief in yourself and a bit of stupidity can go far.
04/03/2013 at 14:17

I'd say you are about there or thereabouts.

Running the half off a heavy week is really quite different to running it when suitably recovered.

At the end of the day the choice is yours - go for sub 3 on race day, and bear in mind it could get a bit tasty towards the end, or play it safe as it's your first marathon, and aim for 3:10 and be pretty confident it will go okay.

I know what I'd do - faint heart never won fair maiden! (Just make sure you don't set off faster than that though!)

04/03/2013 at 14:51

It is actually my third marathon - I did London in 2008 and last year.

In 2008 I did it in 3:40 but then broke my leg 3 days later. I then broke it again 6 months after that and ever since I have been working my way back to being able to run at all and then to be able to do a proper training schedule.

In November 2011 I was able to start training properly again (i.e. at least 100 miles a month) but managed to get injured in Jan 2012 so had to take about 6 weeks off. I managed to about 100 miles in March and 75 in April before doing last year's in 3h 35m. 

I took a couple of months off after that and it is since July last year that I started planning aiming for 3hrs this year. I will definitely go for it on the day, will have to hope things go in my favour but your comments are giving me hope that I am not being too unrealistic so thank you all

04/03/2013 at 15:18

I typed a reply ot you this earlier... I must have somehow deleted it before posting!

Anyway, looking at your running record, there doesn't appear to be enough variety of pace. I'd have thought your shorter runs should generally be a bit faster, and your longer runs should be slower.

You've already recognised, the long slow runs are not slow enough.  And actually, I think you really need to concentrate on getting more long runs in.  Doing them at 9 minute miles might bore your to tears, but I suspect that would be a good pace. This would build your aerobic ability, get miles in your legs, and not wear you out such that you can do your midweek training without problem.

Are you doing interval work?  Are you doing any cross-training? Are you doing any hill work?

04/03/2013 at 15:44
Run Wales wrote (see)

I typed a reply ot you this earlier... I must have somehow deleted it before posting!

Anyway, looking at your running record, there doesn't appear to be enough variety of pace. I'd have thought your shorter runs should generally be a bit faster, and your longer runs should be slower.

You've already recognised, the long slow runs are not slow enough.  And actually, I think you really need to concentrate on getting more long runs in.  Doing them at 9 minute miles might bore your to tears, but I suspect that would be a good pace. This would build your aerobic ability, get miles in your legs, and not wear you out such that you can do your midweek training without problem.

Are you doing interval work?  Are you doing any cross-training? Are you doing any hill work?

Agreed, looks far too quick to me.  With a similar HM pace and Mara goal, my long runs are 8.45 m/m average at 74/75% of HR max.  I want to get this down to 71/72% or 9 m/m whichever comes first as I think they are just a fraction too swift.

04/03/2013 at 17:46

I am doing interval work but not as frequently as I would like as I have been nursing a heel injury that flares up when I go too quickly (it seems to be able to cope with any distance, it is just when I add speed it gets really painful). I do some hill training too but not a great deal but have not been doing any cross training as I have been running 6 days out of every 7.

On reading all the points I am going to try to do at least one long slow run each week, two interval sessions and 3 easy/mid range runs with a total of about 50 miles per week. If I do this would it be counter productive to increase the long 20 mile runs to say 22 or 24?

04/03/2013 at 20:41

I'm not experienced enough to reliably advise further.  From reading, I'd say stick at 20 miles, with perhaps allowing one to go to 22 miles... and make sure it really is slow. 

Maybe take one extra day off running, and do something in the gym - I did find hard on the rowing machine was good and a bit on the exercise bike instead.  That just gives the body a chance to repair a little from the repetitive impact - but keep leg-strength, cardio-vascular good...  and a bit of core strengh work, which I believe to be very valuable.  It could also help to avoid that burn out that somebody warned about on the other thread.


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