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

Sub 3:45 Group

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29/02/2012 at 10:42

Little Stoker, thanks for your comments and well done on you 2008 race. Its a good point you make. I think the slow runs should have helped the aerobic engine and the faster ones should help the confidence )

Simon,  sounds like a tough choice, but think your doing that your doing the right thing. A year to get right, get strong and  build up with have yousorted.

01/03/2012 at 11:31
Grrrr... struck down by heavy cold / cough and general feeling of unwell... I'd been doing so well with the training too but there's no way I can run in my current state without making things worse... Hugely disappointed but would now like to know where I pick up from if I end up missing a few days training as a result of this...
01/03/2012 at 11:45

Little Stoker, some good comments - I regularly wonder how by doing long runs at say 9mm could I then xfer that in the race itself to 8:30s?  I know I will have done alot of other tempo / interval stuff to increase the speed side of things but even still......

My last LSR was 11miles.  Because I do them at stupid o clock on a Saturday am, I don't seem to have the energy to just go out and run them faster, even if I did, I think it would seriously hamper my ability for the following weeks mileage.

However I split the 11 miles up - ran 5 miles at 9mm then for the last 6, ran them at 8:20s.  It meant I eased myself in gently, but managed to get a good part of the run in at better than race pace without leaving myself too knackered for the coming days... I think as the LSR get longer this might be a strategy I stick with as it will then (hopefully) give me a bit more confidence come race day....

01/03/2012 at 11:51


I have read its all about a mixture of running. If you do not do some of your LSR slowly then you do not gain the body benefits of adaption. Without this many folk blow up between 20-26 Miles.   All the advice I read tells me that some long runs should have MP in them and some should just be Sloooowww = eg MP + 90 secs.

Just repeating the advice I have read. It seems contrasting info, but can seethe benefits of mixing it u pa little !! 

01/03/2012 at 14:58

Arnie - Do you have breakfast before you run? Ideally you want a good one at least 2 hours, preferably 3-4 before you run your LSR. If your running very early Saturday be necessity so can't get a decent sized breakfast digested before, x1.5 you evening dinner portyion the night before and have something light like a banana or some toast 30mins before you start your run.

LS is an example of somebody who is very good at very early, pre-breakfast run, probably because he's got used to training at that time. But, because I don't do it, I like most people lack an edge of speed in pre-breakfast runs. I could still run marathon pace, but not for very long or comfortably at this time. if you think about it, if its 12 hours since previous evening meal, you might have slept 6-8 hours of that and your bodies been using fuel to "rebuild" from the inside out during a lot of that time, so you really need a substantial energy top up before intense or prolonged exercise.

I'm going to play devils advocate against SB/LS advice and agree with AGF here. Running lots of marathon pace in most long runs is only a good plan if your following a minimal mileage, high intensity program like FIRST (which if I recall is 3/4 intense sessions per week and never really exceeds 35 mpw. It does help confidence to put some marathon pace in long runs, but only do this during an easier mileage, or cutback week, if your building or running mileages your not used to (i.e. first marathon, or return to high mileage after a gap of a year or more). If your following a 5-day or more per-week style plan like the RW ones used to be (not looked in a while). Then do your marathon pace in prescribed sessions, such as 10-12 'steady' or marathon-paced runs. Or skip a session and maybe do up to 15m at this pace (or slightly faster) - I wouldn't recommend more.

I'm not saying a fair chunk of marathon-paced mileage in your LSR won't work, but its best in a plan where some mileage has been traded for intensity. If I recall SB, did you set your, very good, PB off quite low mileage per week?

01/03/2012 at 15:27

Thanks for the advice Drunken.... 

I normally have a bowl of porridge, slice of toast with peanut butter, glass of OJ and an energy gel...but the most I have run at 6am on this brekky is 13.1m, which was the week before my 16wk plan started...  I do my LSR at that time simply to minimise the impact on family life (i.e. 2 kids demanding my attention from the minute they wake...!!)

I don't think I would run every LSR with a 'marathon paced' chuck in the middle...and every 4th week as you say could be a good suggestion when the mileage has been slightly reduced....especially as you say, this is my 1st marathon...!

4th week in so far, mileages been 26, 32, 33 and a 28 this week and feeling good so far - all runs done, just a little bit tired...!  

01/03/2012 at 17:42

Arnie - Been there, first marathon (2005) training was a right topsy-turvey affair for me. Some of the LSRs were killers, I missed a fair few runs injured or aching. Weekly mileages from xmas were: 15, 19, 22, 28, 19, 31, 28, 20, 37, 35, 23, 39, 22, 20, 40 (inc marathon).= 4:11

2nd attempt (2006) I got injured and withdrew.
3rd attempt (2007) training was so much easier - hit over 40mpw 3 times and 50+ once = PB by 25mins.
4th (2008) didn't live up to 3rd.
5th (2009) was an improvement, but not by much (I blame working too hard at this time, on top of hard training.
6th was a non-serious run at Snowdonia (autumn 2009) a few weeks after my first trail multi-day stage event (3 maras in 3 days on South west coastal path), despite big hills and tiredness I was quite happy to sub-4. 

Then I gave up road marathons until now. Hopefully the experiance I've gained from lots of trail ultra's, multi-day stage races and strength/endurance from far bigger training miles will make no. 6 a decent improvement.

01/03/2012 at 18:56

 My Weekly mileage leading up to brighton this year has been,  42,47,43,51,40, 28, 45, 50, 45.   This week will be 52.  This is circa 25% increase on my first marathon when I did 4:09.

I am hoping that this increased mileage ( which has helped me lose 1/2 stone too) will help me improve to around 3:45 based on similar theory to DEOT's experience above.  It has helped me to 2 PB's already this year (10m= 73mins and 12km=53 Mins)   ....so I am hopeful ....... but we will see...

A 5km Race on Saturday will see if this slow running has helped when it comes to running at speed? ( as per hadd theory ) 

01/03/2012 at 21:18
- just to throw a spanner in the works

this will be my 7th mara.

my experience has been - train like a devil for a spring mara- have a mare on the day, disappointed by time.........

run to 'enjoy' myself over the summer- enter a autumn mara 'just for fun' ie hilly/trail one and hey presto! have a great run and a PB
best laid plans and al that.....................

PS Andy- I feel your pain. but revel in the enforced rest and you'll come back stronger mate
02/03/2012 at 13:58

My last marathon was in 2009. I went from 3.47 (2006) to a PB of 3.25. If it hadn't been so bloomin' hot I'd have hit sub 3.20. I was 41 years old and doing around 45 miles PW at my peak in March and early April  and running 4 times each week.

The runs were LSR, Recovery, Tempo, Interval.
The Tempo and Interval session had increased distances each week, starting from 5 milers in January to an epic 12 mile tempo on a Tuesday night in April at 6.52 pace.
I made sure I did at least 6 a 20 mile LSRs.
I did a 3 week taper
3.25 was 7.50 pace. My LSR pace started at 8.25 but on the final 22 mile LSR before taper, it was 8.10 pace. I ran these on feel rather than religeous clock watching. I knew it was not my race pace.
They were run early on Saturday mornings and I could only ever face a banana for brekkie. I got friendly with SIS Go gels to help me round as well as a bottle of Lucozade Sport in one hand and water (in Lucozade Sport bottle) in the other.

On getting home I would have a recovery drink made of water and Nuun tablets (look 'em up!)

I tried to keep that campaign as relaxed as possible. I learned LOADS from my 2006 experience, discovered what worked for me and the results were extremely pleasing.

A good mate ran with me in 2009 in his first ever marathon, followed my plan and did a 3.27...it works but may not work for everyone. he did the same plan last year and did 3.15...GIT!! (I didn't get in)

I hope that helps and gives encouragement.

Go for it!!!!!


02/03/2012 at 14:27
Good work Sporty ....... Well done......A summary and  experience shared is much appreciated.
03/03/2012 at 14:28
A new 5Km PB today = 21:05..... Getting a little hopeful that this 3:45 will be doable
03/03/2012 at 19:32
26.5m trail was promise today in the Golden Fleece LDWA challenge. Ended up 27.9m and we only went .5m wrong! Good distance and pace too for the surface and course, so a good overdistance training session.
04/03/2012 at 12:49
Drunken, that really is an excellent run. Well done.

16 today for me with some MP chucked in!
04/03/2012 at 19:48
good runs everyone
I had a good one too
trimpell 20 race lancaster 2.48

got to mile 5 and thought 'doh! no hills here'
05/03/2012 at 08:37

Some cracking stuff there Drunken and AGF, well done.....!!!  Keep up the good work...

Week 4 of training plan done - total 33 miles with a 11m LSR.  Before the weekly mileage starts to really increase, decided to split the LSR up a bit, first 5 @ 9m miles and the last 6 @ 8m miles....now the weekly mileage goes up and the long runs get longer!  12 weeks to go... 

I never thought I would say it, but I have to admit, although a bit tiring, the LSR at 6am on a Saturday morning is becoming quite enjoyable - a nice time of the day to run....!!!

Edited: 05/03/2012 at 08:37
05/03/2012 at 12:44

Some good running going on, keep it up, gang!

Arnie, I know what you mean. The toughest part of doing a 20 miler at 6.00am is getting up to do it. Once out the door, it's a great time to run.

After spending all morning getting soaked at the the side of a football pitch yesterday, I went for a rain soaked 7.6 miler with a few bumps along the route for extra effort. I love running in the rain and thoroughly enjoyed yesterday.

Looking at my stats, I only did two 7.6 milers last year...and the were my longest runs! Oh the shame!!
Mind you, I was recovering from the bone reshaping in the hip but nevertheless, I've be playing too much football and finding reasons not to run more. So, I'll be upping my distances over the next couple of weeks and structuring some speedwork into the schedule.

To help motivate me, I'm buying a Garmin Forerunner 405. I've resisted for so long but a bloke in the office has one and I MUST have that gadget!!


05/03/2012 at 14:59

Good LSRing all! 
AGF - Good back to back speed and distance.
Arnie - Agreed earlier the better, morning runs are great. especially on a saturday so you know you've done your whole weekends hard training before lunch (or even breakfast).
CR - But you're just spoilt for hills in your area, some good flatter pace coming on there.

SB.... yopu could have that.... but look at this!......

http://www.sweatshop.co.uk/details.cfm?ProdID=7929 - does the whole 'shebang' for all tri disciplines, navigation functions and a barometric altimeter. The gadg to have (if only I had the cash) - though maybe the altimeter and longer battery life are a bit of a specialist requirement, I'll give you that the 405 is sleeker.

I have spent a bit on a gadget, not for marathon running though, but for the longer challenges to follow... http://www.zweibrueder.com/ENG/produkte/html_highperformance/html_Hserie/h7R.php?id=h7r 

06/03/2012 at 17:33
A 4 miler accomplished last week & right knee showed no ill effects, a 6 miler tonight with running club, hopefully the same. Considering doing the Tewkesbury half in May
06/03/2012 at 19:26
Well done all runners, just for running!
Did my old favourite 9.57 miler in Brechin on Saturday morning after another night on the setee.. On the 26th, that'll be a year separated from the missus. Took the non working cocker spaniel. She's done less mileage this last year, so was reluctant for the first 4 miles but got into it. 8.20 pace n it felt good. New trainers. Bog standard adidas Falcon. I just pick a sturdy pair in the £35 price bracket. Typical tightfisted Jock. 7 weeks til my half, so last night I went out again. 7.4 miles was my long run, but thats now my midweek run. Ran a hilly route but felt really comfy. Maybe extra spring in the new trainers. Just jogged it home, without the hard finish n did it all at 8.06 pace. Jan n Feb I only did about 37 miles each month. Want to get all my runs back under the 8's.
When I did my marathons, as Euph said, it was all at 6am in the countryside around Brechin. Get up. Brush my teeth. Like clockwork my bowels would rumble for an emptying then out the door. Ok. Once or twice I had to poo by moonlight halfway round. Squatting down under a starry sky in absolute silence miles from anywhere is something non runners dont get to experience.. No nanas or gels. On my long runs, Id hide a lucozade in bushes at 10 n 15 miles the night before. I used to love battering out 20+ milers at a pace that gradually got quicker at 6am on a Sunday. Walk the dog down for the papers. Soak in the tub, then eat my brekkie listening to Steve Wrights lovesongs, wading thro the papers, feeling great, all before the rest of the house got up, then itd be my boys rugby or football or whatever else Sunday had to offer.
Havent had a text or email from my mate in ages. Im worrying that he's training like an Olympian to annihilate me in 7 weeks time. Even if he isnt, Im gonna train well as the bugger out-ground me coming up the tough last mile n a bit last year.

Cheers all.

Little Stoker

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