A bit like sub-4 (but 15 minutes quicker)

Sub 3:45 Group

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25/02/2012 at 07:51

Quite anxious about this weekends run in all honesty... From my heart rate numbers last time I checked, I should be aiming for around 176 on a brisk run.

My concern is that with all the training I've been doing, I'm barely hitting over 180 flat out, yet my initial MHR was 196. I appreciate what was said before about my low range getting stronger, but over time and training is my MHR expected to reduce too? Or is it because so much of the training has been at relatively low HRs that I'm no longer as conditioned to run at high HRs?

My speed at the lower HRs is definitely quicker - I'm around 1km/h faster at similar HRs to where I was only a few weeks ago, but should I be working harder or should I just aim for a "feel" for effort until I can reassess my MHR?

Any advice or help gratefully appreciated

25/02/2012 at 19:11

Hi Andy. The way you train is obviously a personal thing but I have to say, all that Heart rate stuff would do me crust in!

I just run by feel mainly. I do keep a check on my pace but I'm not looking at my garmin every few minutes. I seem to have a good judge of pace, i.e i run at a pace that feels right, then after a while I check my pace and it's usually very close to target pace.

I have different concerns for my LSR this weekend. After a 6 mile tempo run the other night, I'm getting a twinge in my hip that feels very much like an ITBS injury I had about 18 months ago . Will be taking it very steady tomorrow.

25/02/2012 at 20:46

Ive always just run on feel. Like an automatic pacer of running just inside the pace I can manage for the run Im doing. Tuesdays run had my body over ruling my heads earlier decision to run easily, as I surprised myself running hardish up the hill. Out at 7 today n ran harder up the hill n then took it easier coming home for 7.43 miles at 8.08 pace. I think its 8 weeks til our half race, so thatll creep up.

Dundee drew 1-1 with leaders Ross County today which probably means we wont win the league. I'm becoming a Woking fan now..

Good luck all long runners tomorrow.


25/02/2012 at 21:10

Hi Luke - this is a new approach to training linked with the SportsTrack Software and my Garmin 305. I've followed training programs by "feel" before and whilst I have seen improvements, I can see much more complete results using my HRM and Garmin. This is the first time I've followed a training program this closely and I just wanted to use science this time around.

So far the results have been very encouraging. The heart rate stuff is easy - the software analyses my Garmin when I get in and I can see every little detail about my run. The heart rate ranges are from this website, and I've been using them quite well until I saw I had this 15m brisk run

Thankfully, I completed the 15m this morning. Some of my best splits were just past the half way mark, but I put that down to the fact that it was the flattest part of the run. The last couple of miles felt incredibly hard though - like there really wasn't anything left in my legs. It took a lot of stretching and drinking fluids and re-fuelling to start to feel normal again, and I haven't felt like that at the end of a long run in ages. 

Still, tomorrow is a rest day for me and my body seems reasonably confident that it needs it!!

26/02/2012 at 20:36
Hello all

some good running

re heart rate thingy- never done it, even the pacing min/mile calculations do my nut in <erm>

since last been on , done some fell running - some intervals (SLOWLY.....getting faster)
today did a 10mile road race in just under 79mins- thought was reasonable. undulating course and almost died at mile 8 running uphill into the wind along the coast. next LSR is 20miles Trimpell 20 race, which needless to say I will not be racing but plodding along.

re nutrition I can heartily recommend shot blocks- easy to stick in your gob and don't have to tear them open.

only 6 weeks to go till mara now for me, but the LSRs are coming thick and fast- baaaah

27/02/2012 at 08:33

Hi all

Looks like the training is generally going well

I didn't run for 10 days because of the heat and humidity so I'm going to do 16 miles today and hope that isn't too far or I'll never get up to 20 miles before race day.  I've just over 6 weeks to go and the panic is starting to set in!

27/02/2012 at 10:38

Hi all

AM - I'm in the "run by feel" camp with Lm and LS, but I've dabbled with science in the past, including HR monitoring. I've never read anything that conclusively says that your MHR reduces with anything but age (btw don't place too much trust in '220 - age', its way off for me), whereas your resting (RHR) will reduce with fitness. However, what I noticed from average HR during races was that even during short intense runs like 5k and 10k - where I'd expect my HR to be pretty high throughout - this reduced slightly as I got fitter/faster, just a few beats and perhaps not consistent (every day is different). So what your seeing is probably an efficiency saving, you've probably taken a massive fitness leap with increased training and your HR is unlikely to get so near to your maxHR in any run. I didn't record maxHR very often during training, but I never usually got that close to it. If you feel ok during intense sessions, despite lower maxHR and the pace is comparable or better than before your marathon training, then I wouldn't be too concerned - marathon running is all about running efficiently and keeping the HR from drifting up as long as possible. When the marathon is done and you concentrate on training for something shorter and sharper you'll probably find that during the race you'll get closer to that MHR figure, but average will be lower than in previous races of the same distance, as your legs and core are more conditioned to being placed under strain.

LM - Hope it all went ok? Lots of twinges in a marathon training progarm usually, not many serious, though overdooing things is very possible if you increase mileage overall, or of your long run too quickly. This gets better with each marathon training campaign as most peoples average mileage increases so they retain better muscle memory.

LS - I'm expecting sub-8 for your next hill run

CR - Good 10miling. With your fell running background, are you finding it hard to adjust to more running on tarmac/concrete? e.g. sore feet. After doing mostly trail for a long time, even a slight shift in momentum to harder surfaces has given me various aches and niggles.

bec - Don't panic. How much longer do you have to face the heat/humidity? Could you do some early morning or late evening runs? If you can face that and get some decent training in you'll find the marathon easier. Always suprised me how much the heat effected me at London marathon, even on not really hot days (15c or so), just because its a few degrees cooler in Hull usually, more breeze, the heat kicks up a notch in April and the heat generated by so many hot bodies around.

Since my last look in; SAT before last: 18.4m night/morning run on blubberhouses moor (nasty wind), MON: recovery run, TUE: 9m hill run, WED: recovery run, THU: 5 x 2k @ 10k intensity with 1min breaks and long Warm Up and Cool Down with club (very tough), SAT: 22m on canal towpath from Keighley to Leeds (flat, slightly downhill). Brings the four week average over 49m at the moment, best marathon training mileage I've ever done, easier paced and on the feet trail miles are really helping I think.

27/02/2012 at 15:41

Well done everyone - keep it up!!

Another week done, 32 miles in total with an 11m LSR at stupid o clock Satuday am... 1st 5m @ 8m 55m, next 6@ 8m 20s.

My 3hr 45min training plan generally consists of 5 runs a week (Midweek - 1x intervals, 1 x increasing distance slow run (around 9m miles +), 1 x steady run (approx 8-8m 15s), 1x LSR (approx 9m-9:15m miles), 1 x 4m slow run.  

I am trying to stick to the distances and roughly the paces in the programme, in the hope that come race day (Edinburgh 27/05/2012), that it will all come together to get me round.   The person I am doing Edinburgh with is doing slightly different.  Although following the same mileage on the various days, his pace is all very much one dimensional.  So even his LSR at run around 7:30s – 8:00m miles… 

Is there a higher risk of injury doing this or does it mean his target should be quicker than 3:45?

27/02/2012 at 15:56

Arnie, I think it all depends on what happens to you when someone pins a number on to you!  My other half joins me for some of my training runs and is definately quicker than me.  I have talked him into a couple of races and I always beat him comfortably as he goes at the same pace in a race as he does in training, I on the other hand have a very competative edge which kicks in on race days and I run about 1 min quicker per mile.(based on 10k).   All that said if your mate can keep up the 8 min miles for the marathon then he's on for 3:30!

27/02/2012 at 17:50

Arnie - Even if he can stick with that pace when close to 20m for an LSR, it could all go wrong in the next 6.2 quite easily. It's true that a few seconds too fast in the early miles adds to a whole lot slower than desired pace later on. This is noticable even in quite a short session, if you've ever done the first few intervals in a session a bit too fast and had a big slowdown in the last few.

This is even without hitting the wall, which can cause a reduction in pace of more than a few minutes per mile as your body struggles to start burning a higher percentage of fat, even slowing you to a walk (which for most is not much faster than15-min/per mile). Stick to your plan, the structure and balance is what should give you the endurance without breaking you before race day.

Edited: 27/02/2012 at 17:54
27/02/2012 at 18:10
Hi Guys,

I am currently training for brighton. Currently running about 45 miles a week ( sometimes 40, sometimes 50 depending on life )

Today I did 16 miles. I did the same yesterday. So pleased to have done 2 MLSR in two consecutive days. When running was circa 9:30-9:40 buit stopping to buy water and or loo breaks slow this down to circa 9:58 pace. I decided to run the last mile today faster and did it in 7:39. A good confidence boost. Average pace was sub 70% based in my calculated MHR from my PB race. ( in fact average was 63% MHR)

I also did 10 Miles at the end of Jan in 73 Mins in a race in Canterbury.

That 10 Mile race says that I maybe able to do a marathon in 3:30 based on running calculators. But I do not trust that prediction, as I do not think I am that fit. Hence thought 3:45 would be a good target - as it would give a 24 Min PB compared to abingdon if I achieve it.

My main question is what speed do you all do your LSr at? Is 10mm average about right? is this what I should be doing - or should I do quicker?

Do you think the target is sensible for me ( i.e. achievable? ) ?

Anyhelp would be appreciated... Cheers AGF
Edited: 27/02/2012 at 18:12
27/02/2012 at 19:57

Just had to phone my other half to get him to come and pick me up after 15 miles because I was exhausted I think I might have to abolish any notion of a good time and just go for getting round it is my first marathon and I can worry about times in the future.

27/02/2012 at 19:57
Hi all, just to let people know that I have a spare officially transferable Edinburgh Marathon place for 27th May if anyone is interested as I am doing the London Marathon now for Children In Crisis. If you would like the place email cicgav@gmail.com. Many Thanks.
27/02/2012 at 21:25
Euph - Went o.k. I decided to play it safe and halved the planned run (8 instead of 16) even though the ITB felt o.k. Plenty of icing after and alls feeling good at the moment so hopefully I can get back on schedule.
28/02/2012 at 09:25

think 3.45 is more than achievable after 73min 10mile.
for what its worth my LSR pace to start with was 9.45m/m but is now around 9.20 m/m after some weeks training.

I think the philosophy is the slower the better on LSRs and reserve pace for the speed sessions

good running!
28/02/2012 at 09:37
Bec- it will all come together eventually- honest

Euph- you're flying mate! can't remember when is your mara? yip- the tarmac is wrecking my bones......every road session after the fells is a jolt to the system. road running just feels so much HARDER, mentally and physically- can't believe I used to just road run all the time. after lochaber the fell season starts in earnest so I am hoping this increased fitness pays off and I can have some FUN!
28/02/2012 at 12:52

Some good running go on here...well done everyone!

On the LSR pace, I think almost 10min/miles is a little slow. I know LSRs are supposed to be slow but if you want to achieve sub 3.45, I think some quicker stuff is required in the LSR.

It might be worth having a quicker mid-section? So for miles 5-15 in a 20 miler, aim for 8.30 or 9.00 min/miles. Having some longer miles in there at what will essentially be race pace will train your body to get used to that pace.

Keep up the fast pace work in the mid-week runs but gradually increase those distances e.g. if your tempo session was on a 5 mile course, increase it by half a mile each week. I got up to 12 miles on my tempo session and it worked wonders (along with the increased distances on intervals and doing at least 6 x 20 mile LSRs before the race).

Best piece of advice I ever got on this thread. A marathon is a race of two halves, the first 20 miles and the final 6.2. Preparation for the other side of the 20 mile threshold is EVERYTHING!!

Good luck everyone, keep going!! 


28/02/2012 at 18:45
Cumberland / Sporty,

Very many thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions. The responses have given me a bit of confidence and also confirmed a few areas that I plan to work on.

So far I have done my long runs slowly = circa 10mm (once water buying/loo stop breaks factored in ) This has given me enough energy left to complete the next weeks 45 miles without being shattered. I am hoping that the 20%+ increase in mileage compared to my only marathon (4:09) will give me the increase that I am looking for.

That said, I also keep thinking that I need to prepare for the last few miles as per Sb comments. The wheels came off at 23 miles last time. In two weeks time I have a half marathon. Think I will do 2 miles warm up and then run the half in circa 8-8:15 Min Mile pace followed by 2 miles warm down afterwards. Hopefully that will add some quality into a "long run" and make the 8:30 pace seem "reasonable"

I then have a 20 Mile race the week after. Thinking that if I run the first 10 at 9:30 pace and then ramp up to 8:30 pace for the last 10 then that will help teach my body.

That would leave one last long run that I could do a slow 10mm 22-23 Miles before a 3 week taper....

Sorry for ramblings - just getting straight in the mind !!

Thanks for your help...

28/02/2012 at 21:20
Me n Badger have said many times before how we gained confidence for the big day by having run so many 20+ milers at about race pace. Ask yourself if your head will be full of doubts n negative thoughts when you have to leg it at 8.30 pace or quicker if youve only run before at 9.30's? I was able to tell the devil on my shoulder to bugger off because I knew Id run my long runs in some cases at 8.15-20 pace. Id started off maybe at 9's for the first 3 or 4 then just got into a great feeling groove, n flew home the last 4 miles which brought the overall pace down. Everyones different, but I knew Id need help banishing the negative thoughts late in the race. Thats Badgers last 6.2 miles. Ive only done 3 marathons, but FLM08 went perfectly for me. If you have the patience scroll back n read how it all unfolded. As Badger so famously put it," Stoker beat the cook! !"

28/02/2012 at 21:48

Hello people, thank you for all your prior advice. I've not been doing any training for the last months or so due to a dodgy knee, just started seeing the physiotherapist to try and sort it out, so I'm going to pull out of this years marathon and keep my entry for next year due to injury. The way I see it, I want to do well and get lots of sponsorship for macmillan so I intent to get in tip top shape for next year, which I hope will be the case.

I will keep you informed of my progress anyway. Haven't been for a run in 3 weeks, so I'm gutted to say the least - but hopefully good things come to those who wait.....

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