Beyond #asics262: life after Target 26.2 for sub-3:30 runner Malcolm

What happened to Malcs after the Paris Marathon?

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seren nos    pirate
13/12/2013 at 16:40

i loved the long sessions where on one or two a month i either increased the pace every 5 miles till the last 5 were at marathon pace...or i did the last 10 at marathon pace...really helped to speed up......but i did have a lot of m,iles in my legs at the time

13/12/2013 at 16:43
I like a lot of 20+ mile runs - I've done eight for each of my last two marathons, around MP+60 seconds on average, apart from a few that I put some MP miles into. Longest was 23. I find it hard to slow down more than that, so just go with what has worked for me!

Prior to VLM this year I included 3 races of 20 or 21 miles which were great for a pacing strategy, as I always find it easier to settle into the right pace when I'm running with other people. The first of those didn't quite work out (I wasn't 100% well on the day), but the second 20 mile race I ran at MP (7.30s) the whole way, very even, and it was perfect - gave me great confidence I could hold it for the full 26.2, which I ended up managing. Then the final one was a 21 mile race, which I split into three sections - MP+60seconds, MP+30 seconds, MP. That worked really well too.

This year I'm aiming for sub 3.15 and looking at 8.20-8.25 average pace for my long's working so far....18 done this morning in fact @ 8.25s. Looking to do my first 20 this side of the new year - that way I can build in a few cut-back weeks as I go along and still get eight or so in.
seren nos    pirate
13/12/2013 at 16:48

Part of me is a bit suspicious about the asics plans .........and have they picked candidates that look like they could easily get the targets so that whatever plan they followed they would achieve them.....when i seem to think that more longer miles would get them even more benefits....

But then no plan fits all i suppose......

13/12/2013 at 17:20

Wow some great insights here, this is excellent!

Sticky - I'd also love to know if there's more to running long runs slow than just self preservation. I'll be sure to ask Steve.

Millsy - good point, the mental benefits are huge. So there's another one Sticky.

ArrowsLou - I can't see what you'd get from running for 4 hours if your aim is to be on your feet for less than 3:30....other than knackered that is 

Freemers - I'd really like to try running a 20 at MP but I'd be worried it would take too much out of me. The confidence benefit would be huge though.

That said, I think you can get a nice compromise by running some MP at the end or doing two sets of MP and two sets of slow. I think this is one you favour Minni, am I right?

You're flying already - wow, 18 @ 8.25 is amazing! 

Slowkoala - jeepers creepers not sure I could do all my long runs at that pace! If it suits you I guess you stick to it. Just seems a bit risky. Or maybe you are running your long runs slow and you're actually capable of a much faster marathon pace?

DS2 - excellent! Hmm, slightly scared that you're talking about doing something similar to me when I know how quick you are!

Seren - we'll wait and see how close to those our plans are. I'm sure Ady and Sarah's were significantly tweaked.

Edited: 13/12/2013 at 17:21
seren nos    pirate
13/12/2013 at 19:12

I think they were so tweaked that I can't see why  they don't just get steve and sam to write programmes instead of sticking to asics seems wrong that they are saying all our 5 followed asics and were successful...( when the final plans were nothing like it

reminds me of the cheryl cole advert for hair products that gave her such wonderful hair.......and it turned out it was all extensions

13/12/2013 at 19:23

ArrowsLou - Its all about recovery.  You need to make sure you bank the long run but also get the rest of the sessions/miles in during the week too.   I do some duration runs but no longer than 3:15.

Freemers/Malcs The 20 @ MP definitely worked for you Freemers.  Not sure I'd try it but there again there are no 20m races anywhere near me for it to be an option. Freemers - you're with me in the 3:10 - 3:15 bracket! ;-)

Malcs Yes you're right I love the 20 milers with blocks at MP.  Incidentally my coach would say that 20 with 10 @ MP is more of a test whether or not that is a realistic MP.  If you manage that run then its all looking good but if you struggle then the MP may have to be revised.

I've got my second 20 this weekend (last weekend was 20 @ 7:49 but 13.1 of that was in a race) and marathon training hasn't started yet.  Last time I did 9 of 20 or more miles and would expect the same this time.

I remember a lot of tweaking going on last year, especially by Steve, so looking forward to see what plans he has for you Malcs.

13/12/2013 at 21:20

I agree marathon pace in your long run will definitely find you out!


13/12/2013 at 21:40
And if it doesn't it probably means you aren't pushing hard enough on the day.
13/12/2013 at 21:45

i loved all of Minni's suggested ways of spicing up the long runs with sections at marathon pace.  Sometimes speeding up for a section can help avert tiredness, but as long as you have adequate time to recover

enjoy ur shopping tomorrow Malcs, remember I'm a size small, and trainers in a UK 6.5

13/12/2013 at 23:04

Totally Angela. It's funny how the long slow run can feel like a bit of a slog then inject some pace and it suddenly livens up! 

14/12/2013 at 07:16
The long run debate and pacing is one that goes on most weeks at our running club.

Think I did 3 @ 20 ish last year all at 9:30 pace. Mp of 9mm to get sub 4. Seemed to work, but feel this year I will want to do 5 or 6 over the course of training.
Also one of the runs on the boring, straightest, tiresome routes when it's raining and cold. That way when in the marathon of things get a bit tricky I have in my mind that I've done harder runs than this.

Like minni's thoughts on injecting pace every now and again.
14/12/2013 at 07:30
Agree with Minni that the runs where only the 2nd half is at MP are much harder than just doing the whole thing at MP. I followed the Shades plan and there were lots of mid week runs with 50-75% of the miles at MP. I would find it easier just to run it all at MP rather than having to speed up mid run.

Malcs, unfortunately don't think I was capable of any faster for my marathon so I guess I was just lucky not to get injured from the long runs. This time around I'll try and go slower or at least mix it up a bit. Also, I'm going to do a 20 mile race in the March to gauge progress.
14/12/2013 at 07:44

Have a great day today Malcs. Remember, you have to be at least as funny as Ady was, but please no Lycra pics!

14/12/2013 at 10:57
The 20 I did at marathon pace was 6 or 7 weeks out from the marathon, and I definitely wouldn't do it any closer.

Minni - by 3.10-3.15 bracket I'm thinking 3.14.59 for me. You'll be nearer to the lower range I reckon!

Malcs - have a great day today
14/12/2013 at 12:18

I'll watch this thread with interest. I'm not at 3.30 standard, but maybe one day.... Well done Malcs. Chuffed for you that you got through.

14/12/2013 at 13:33
Enjoy today Malcs! An looking forward to seeing the plan they give you.
Mistake of the day- make sure that the plasters you will use for chafing issues actually stay on when its wet! If in doubt carry spares. I wondered why I was getting such a cheer going down the embankment. When I saw the post race photo I started to understand.

Have the rugby club Christmas do tonight, so tomorrows run is all dependant on the hangover.
14/12/2013 at 13:46

Bearing in mind that this will be my first marathon campaign, so my longest run to date is about 16miles, I often include MP sections; usually along the canal where it's nice and flat.  I find it quite refreshing.  Not sure how I'll feel trying to inject some pace into the end of a 20 miler though.

Quite pleased that I managed a surprisingly pleasant 10 miler with a slight hangover this morning after last nights office outing.  Thought I'd get it out of the way today as it's the running club xmas do tonight with potentially more severe consequences.

14/12/2013 at 16:39

Afternoon all!

Popping on a quick post as I'm not long back and we have a Christmas party to prepare for.

Thanks so much for the good wishes for today. I had an amazing time at the Asics store. The staff from Asics and RW were absolutely brilliant. Had a great chat with Steve and feel very inspired now.

Will report back in full tomorrow afternoon. 

Have a great night and enjoy your runs tomorrow!

14/12/2013 at 19:00

A man multi tasking!!! Malc I'm finally impressed tweetin, blogging, training, shopping & now partying to the list. Have a nice nigh,t training tomorrow so don't turn all celebrity on us staying out late drinking dirty beer, there's work to be done!!

But a well deserved night off


Edited: 14/12/2013 at 19:13
14/12/2013 at 20:43

Can't wait to hear about the partying Malcs  and a bit about the Asics trip too.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate 5 and 10ks but I do them because I know they are good for something.   Today I headed to my local parkrun (100 mile round trip) to nail a good training session by running it as a progressive run.  3.5m warm up then 3 miles at 6:53, 6:42: 6:28 and 6:16 for the last bit.  I've never managed this in a parkrun before as I tend to go off too fast but this is definitely the way to run them - hard but less painful, I think.  The course was measuring long due to a reroute but if it had been as normal I might have just bagged a pb too.  Perfect confidence builder for the start of marathon training.

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