Marathon training with Mike Gratton

Former FLM winner with weekly advice on RW schedules. An ideal place to post your marathon training questions

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Daniel Benson.    pirate
03/01/2007 at 12:19
Great news - 1983 London Marathon winner Mike Gratton will be available on this thread to give free advice about the RW London Marathon buildup schedules that are in your free RW marathon email each week.

You need to sign up to this email if you haven't already - with schedules, advice and tips.

If you're an RW subscriber, you can also see the schedules, with extra tips, all at once here.

And if you're a Garmin user, you can download them all in one batch onto your Forerunner.

Be gentle with Mike - he's running this thread voluntarily, as he also has a day job running a company that organises training camps, overseas race trips and UK races (2:09 Events). He'll aim to give comments on the schedule's week ahead, so please ask your questions in advance if you can.

Many thanks, Mike. Happy training, all.

Daniel, RW
03/01/2007 at 14:25
I have often dropped in on Mike's other thread and received some great advice from all the super runners there. No doublt I'll have a hundred questions to ask as the weeks go on...
03/01/2007 at 14:36
Thanks for the intro Daniel.

Hi all, I'll be popping back regularly to answer your questions on the RW FLM schedules. I'll be away in Cuba in the middle of Jan and away for a couple of weeks in March on the RW Algarve Training Camps - so please give some allowance if there are a few gaps when I can't get on line....but I hope to be as diligent as possible.

Good luck with your training.

Mike Gratton
03/01/2007 at 19:06
Hi Mike, great news for us all that you're giving advice on this thread - thanks.

Quick question: The 3:30 RW schedule suggests a 10k race on the Sunday of week 4, when you should aim for sub-43min. However, I'm doing a 10 mile on that day instead (the local 10k race dates don't work for me). So I wondered what time I should aim for in the 10M?

I know it's early on in the plan, but I like the way the RW plans have targets which enable you to assess whether you're being wildly optimistic or not! (My 10M PB is 74 mins, mara PB 3:40.)

04/01/2007 at 00:21
Hi Nick, It would be fine to do the 10 miler instead of a 10km, time to go for is difficult to judge since the object is to see where you are, but if you have a 74 pb and training is going well then anything around 75 would be a good indicator.
04/01/2007 at 11:10
Thanks Mike, I'll set out at 75 min pace then and see how it goes. I'm looking forward to the Algarve trip, it will be my first time, and sounds like I'll have a fab time!
05/01/2007 at 15:51
looking at the 3.15 and 3.30 schedules the wed run increases up to 12 miles. I find wed running long distances difficult with family, animals and living in a village with little lighting. It is possible to get away with less or split the wed session to 30 mins in morning, 30 mins at lunch and possibly 30 at night? What to you suggest?
05/01/2007 at 16:40
Hi Mike,
I was wondering if there was a typo on the RW 3.45 thread. On the first 18M run at the end of weeks nine the schedule suggests doing it in 2 h 35, which seems a little fast to me, especially as the 18M for the 3 h 30 runners suggests doing it in 2 h 40! The 2006 3.45 schedule had the 18 miler at 2 h 45min. Could you check if I'm right...we took the pace guidelines very seriously last year and wouldn't want to knacker ourselves by doing faster runs cos of a typo!
05/01/2007 at 16:43
oops I meant 3.45 plan, not thread!
05/01/2007 at 17:23
I'm trying to follow the 3:45 plan but I find it very difficult to run as slowly as 10mins/mile as required by the plan; I always run faster that that even when I'm really trying to be slow! When trying for example, 4 miles/40 mins, I'm taking about 35-36mins max;should I try to achieve the distance or the duration for the Slow runs?
05/01/2007 at 20:59
I am doing FLM (my last marathon was NY in 05 which you helped me loads with)
I'm following the Garmin 4:30 schedule (when my Garmin actually arrives). I was wondering if its ok to run the miles in the program but also do extra cardio 3/4 times a week suck as cycling/ cross trainer. I'm trying to lose a bit of weight while doing my marathon schedule and last time I didn't lose any weight even though I was running 30+ miles a week. Also how often do you recommend doing strength training in a week.

Thanks for any help you can give me

05/01/2007 at 21:55
Hi Mike - I hope you are well.

I'd be grateful for some advice before I embark on a training programme for FLM 07.

I have done London twice now (2003/2005) - both times with a target time of 3:00. Unfortunately I have missed out both times in spite of training really hard and having decent 10k/half PBs that predicted a sub 3:00 Marathon - 34:26 and 1:18 respectively.

Looking back retrospectively I think that lack of mileage/stamina probably cost me as I got calf cramps both times at around 21miles (ouch!!).

I have looked at a couple of your schedules and was leaning towards the 7day a week progressing to 14 sessions per week in order to really bump up the mileage!

....My only concern is injury. I'm more than willing to put the time in but in the past I have suffered from shin splints, tight calves and, more recently a stress fracture in the foot (though this was down to a stupid choice of footwear at tis years GNR)

I would welcome your thoughts... is my best option a mixture of both schedules??

One final question... I have planned races (including county/northern and national X-country races over the next month) do you suggest resting before/after these or carrying on with sessions in addition to these.

Thanks for putting the time and effort into the forum and I look forward to your response.

05/01/2007 at 22:03
I am running the FLM this year for the first time. I have decided to have a running Holiday at on the Costa Blanca. Me and my three running partners are really looking forward to some warm weather training, we really have had enough of these wet, windy, nights and wet running shoes.
05/01/2007 at 22:18
Just signed to this. Thought I'd give it a go :-)
05/01/2007 at 22:34
You look just like my cat
are you as quick
05/01/2007 at 22:44

And I don't normally land on my feet either :-(
06/01/2007 at 00:26
Hi Mike

good to see you continuing to give your advice. As you know I improved greatly with your guidence and I'm sure there will be many more on here who will do the same.

Btw can you answer a few questions for me please:-)) At present I am training with BR so most of my runs are slightly quicker than I used to do, but most of his are slightly slower. In the past you must have trained with people who were not 2.09 marathon runners:-)) How did you and your training partners match up your slightly different training levels? Most of my runs are matathon pace plus 1 min. Any slower and I don't feel BR is getting a workout, but he is happy to run at my pace. He has progressed nicely back from his injury, but I'm sometimes feeling sluggish. Do you think I might be training too hard?

We've been doing our strides at our own level and will run tempo runs, hills and fartlek at our own paces within a run together. Is it of that great an importance that the easy and steady runs are just so?

Btw a little info on life at the moment - change of area, job and lifestyle. Am I expecting too much of myself?
07/01/2007 at 13:02
Hi Sue, It would be possible to do the longer mid-week run in two or three parts, it has less of an effect on your endurance base but is still miles in the bank. Alernatively make a couple of the other runs slightly longer if time permits...what we are trying to achieve is a build up of endurance from medium length steady runs, preferably over 1hr in duration.
07/01/2007 at 13:05
VicnVin, I'll check that time for you - don't have it at hand - but it does sound like a typo.
07/01/2007 at 13:08
Ray, Too thoughts, a) maybe you should be following a faster plan, b) maybe you have a good speed base that issn't translating to a fast marathon yet. I would go for the faster target plan, there's not a huge difference in milage and it may help you to redefine your targets.
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