RW Forum Six - Sub 3:30

Minni v Dubai Dave

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23/01/2011 at 21:56
For once I have no words of wisdom for you as I have never suffered from either cramps or stitches.

By only thought it that you're obviously not too old Minni so stop that nonsense thinking immediately.
23/01/2011 at 22:14

AA  when did you drink it?  All the time, during runs, after runs...?  I'm really good at hydrating so I think it has more to do with pace, but I'm willing to consider anything. 

Another point, I dropped about 3 pounds last week, which is normal for me at this stage but maybe that, along with other factors had something to do with it,

Probably I went off too fast....

Dubai Dave    pirate
24/01/2011 at 05:21

Morning All

Ok so it didn't go quite the way you wanted it to go but what are the positives?

Well for starters you seem to have run about a 44 min 10K and then a 74-36 10 mile, as per your post both of these are PB's for you. For the record I have run sub 3-30 marathons off times very similar to those for 10K & 10 miles. 

Cramp: A quick troll through several articles on the internet appear to show that dehydration and mineral deficiency are no longer considered the likely cause of cramps, and "altered neuromuscular control" is the current favourite, to prevent cramp percieved wisdom appears now to be

  • Improve fitness and avoid muscle fatigue
  • Stretch regularly after exercise
  • Warm up before exercise
  • Therefore it may well be that Morgahan is right and you need to look at your training. I guess the first question to ask is did you warm up before your race yesterday? I would normally trot about 2 -3 miles before a 1/2M slowly speeding up throughout the session with the last 500M at race pace, aiming to be done 30 mins before race start.

    The next thing I would look at is speedwork in your training, you set off at 7-15 minute miles yesterday but I don't recollect you running at that pace in training at all over the past few weeks (I could be wrong and please correct me if I am). Its my opinion that if you want to race a pace you must train at the pace sometimes.

    Stretching well I'm the worlds worst at that so we will leave it alone!

    If we stick your time yesterday for 10 miles in the Macmillan calculater we get the times below up to marathon, in fact even your time for the 1/2 almost falls in with the predictions.

    10K 44-31 10M 74-35 1/2M 1-39-03 Marathon 3-28-54, so you have the ability but need to work on speed and endurance together.

    So what do you do ? I would suggest that you run your LT & VO2 sessions faster then you are at present. Incorporate higher speeds for the last portions of your long runs.  Don't dwell on it, have a rest and get back out there, from failure comes strength.

    Edited: 24/01/2011 at 05:24
    Dubai Dave    pirate
    24/01/2011 at 05:51
    Oh yeah forgot to add that 41 is most definately not old. If can still PB in my 50's you most certainly can in your 40's.
    24/01/2011 at 06:27

    Thanks Dave.

    Warm up -  We arrived at the race HQ about 10 to 9 and it was chaos to say the least.  There were hundreds of people trying to fit into a very small area to collect numbers and chips.   It took forever and although they delayed the start I only had time for a 10 minute warm-up.  I couldn't go far from the start line because I wasn't sure exactly what time they were going to start. So, the warm up wasn't long and was just a jog really.

    Start pace - you're right, that was faster than I've run in recent weeks.  I got carried away with the crowd and even had to slow to that pace at times.  Not disciplined enough to slow it down.

    As I said, I was plagued by cramp on shorter runs a couple of years ago and it really knocked my confidence and I'm worried that its going to happen again.  However, logic head on, I'm sure with tweaking the speed sessions and just sticking to paces that I know I can maintain will help this. 

    I've found another half on  6th March that I can fit in.  I'm wondering if it would be wise to do it - firstly to see if there's any improvement over the next six weeks, and secondly to help bury this one. 

    Dubai Dave    pirate
    24/01/2011 at 07:45

    Minni: as per your schedule that weekend has a 8K to 15K warm up race and a 17 mile LR the next day. I don't think a 1/2M would hurt, add a 3 mile warm up and you have a long run with a warm up race, switch the next day to a 10K recovery? 

    I happen to be a great believer in racing yourself to fitness which rather goes against the modern views that less is better, others may well disagree with me, so it boils down to what you want but me I would go race!

    24/01/2011 at 08:19

    Minni I'm sorry it didn't go to plan yesterday, but it looks like you're already onwards and upwards. Looking at the splits it does look like you set off too fast, but it's always difficult when you're feeling good. I think we all know the logic about only racing paces you've trained, but then we've all probably hit PBs when the training doesn't justify it so it's hard to be disciplined.

    I think also you have to bear in mind that you went into this after a tough race last weekend and fairly near the beginning of marathon training. There's no way you'd have been peaking this weekend and yet the indicators are still good for a 3.30 mara. 

    Moraghan would you agree with DD on how the training could point towards cramps? 

    24/01/2011 at 09:04
    Wobbled wrote (see)

    Moraghan would you agree with DD on how the training could point towards cramps? 

    Given an explanation of the causes of cramps have defeated the men in white coats for so long it's hard to be adamant.  It's not that common to have good fitness and get cramp so early in a race so DD's explanations make sense in light of previous problems in short races. 

    Cramp is more common where both duration & intensity are something new.  Whenever you race having not trained at either the pace or for the duration you are taking the chance on the unknown biting you.

    These 1m wu in the RW schedules are very bad practice.  (I would also add strides in before any work / racing at faster than MP).

    Minni - I wouldn't worry too much but it is worth looking at your training diaries before previous races where you have cramped to see if there's a common theme.

    DD - well done in Dubai.

    24/01/2011 at 09:37

    Minni – I’m new to this thread but have just read the first and last 5 or so pages. Sorry to hear about your disappointment with your HM but you should be very happy with the excellent 10k and 10 mile PB’s that you achieved during it.

    From what I’ve read I think you have an issue with running shorter distance work. You’ve mentioned that you believe you lack speed and suffer from cramps when running fast shorter races. Due to these problems you seem less keen on working on this part of your training while it’s the complete opposite to what you should be doing. I think you need to work harder (faster) in your interval and tempo sessions so that your speed will improve and you’ll be less likely to cramp in the future.

    Oh and by the way, I’m 41 year old and had a PB of 3:48 going into 2010 and ran 3:28, 3:26 and 3:13 all negative splits in marathons so you’re definitely not too old!

    24/01/2011 at 12:24

    Hi Minni, and sorry about your disappointing run.

    I don't think you need to anayse back too far. You wouldn't have recovered fully from your ten miles at 20s off MP 48 hours beforehand, and small muscle pulls from the fell race would easily have set off cramps. As we get older, we need more time to recover. Plus you went off too fast. I'm sure you know all of that anyway ! All fully remediable, though your high baseline training mileage may not have helped either. Like BB, I think you might benefit from a little more quality and less quantity. Though as my official HM PB is 1:47, my opinion is probably rather dubious!

    DD - great performance, and testament to the power of this thread (and of IM bike training....)!

    I'm just starting VLM Week 5 on the RW schedule, which has a fartlek session as Tuesday's speedwork - almost an enjoyable session, I hope!

    24/01/2011 at 14:22

    Minni - hope you are feeling more positive now.

    I did my 4x1600s today at 6:36 min/mile pace on the treadmill and my legs were still aching from Saturday. But thought it would be good just to get on with it. Slight twinge in right calf so have compression bandage on it now and will ice a bit later.

    BB - that's an amazing improvement in a year - did you change anything in your training?

    24/01/2011 at 15:00

    Thanks for all your comments. 

    Moraghan - The common theme is going off too fast.  I'm now really starting to understand the logic of not racing faster than you've trained.  I have loads of endurance but really need to work on that speed. 

    DD - running LT faster.  I find it hard on my own to push the pace faster than about 7.40 but clearly I am capable of it.  I'll have to sweet talk club members and see if I can get someone to push me that bit further in training, even just for those few miles.  

    Badbark wrote (see)

    From what I’ve read I think you have an issue with running shorter distance work. You’ve mentioned that you believe you lack speed and suffer from cramps when running fast shorter races. Due to these problems you seem less keen on working on this part of your training while it’s the complete opposite to what you should be doing. I think you need to work harder (faster) in your interval and tempo sessions so that your speed will improve and you’ll be less likely to cramp in the future.

    You've hit the nail on the head. 


    Badbark wrote (see)

    Oh and by the way, I’m 41 year old and had a PB of 3:48 going into 2010 and ran 3:28, 3:26 and 3:13 all negative splits in marathons so you’re definitely not too old!

    Please stick around Badbark....  That progress is awesome; can you give us some more details of training etc? 

    Joddly - thanks for your comments.  How are you finding the schedule so far? 

    AA  - as ever, that is more than impressive on the treadmill.   Do you have a slight incline on and what pace do you do your recovery at?  

     I'm having to change my sessions around a bit this week.  This is the plan:

    Monday - 3 miles recovery (done)

    Tuesday - 10 miles with 5 at LT pace

    Wednesday Recovery - 5 miles

    Thursday - General Aerobic 8 miles with 10x 100m strides

    Friday - Medium Long run - 11 miles

    Saturday - rest/ recovery run

    Sunday - Long run 18 miles

    I had hoped to do my long run on Saturday this weekend but I think it would be too much to do Thur, Fri and Saturday?  

    I wasn't sure if I'd manage the LT run tomorrow but my legs feel fine today.  If there's any change I'll add the 5 LT miles into my Friday run.

    24/01/2011 at 15:02

    AA – When I ran the 3:48 marathon in 2009 I only had 9 months running experience and hit the wall badly. I think this was due to using the FIRST training schedule which I now think is weak, especially for beginners

    I then started running 5 or 6 days a week before running the 3:28 and 3:26 which were only 4 weeks apart last May.

    My last 3:13 marathon in October was done running 5 days a week. This included a tempo run or interval session, 11 to 15 miles mid week most at planned MP and a LSR usually finishing with a few MP miles at the end. I think the mid week MP run was the real difference maker as I had ran over five 20+ milers in all schedules.

    Dubai Dave    pirate
    24/01/2011 at 17:02

    So Minni in essence were all telling you more speedwork. BB has found sucess using pretty well the same method I used to transform my self from a 3-45 plodder to more speedy 3-24 marathon runner. You are clearly capable of running at 7-15 min/miles so do some of your training at those paces, endurance only gets you so far. Does your club have a speedwork session? If they don't you want to push for one, you don't have to have a track.

    24/01/2011 at 17:50
    My schedule is based aroud the First plan, with an interval session, a threshold run, but more long slow runs than that plan suggests. I have hit 3:29 on it. This time round though I am adding a recovery run (When possible) and i want to incorporate my threshold run in a 10 mile mid week
    24/01/2011 at 22:37
    You're not too old. You're exactly the same age as me.

    Sorry I didn't catch you yesterday. Onwards and upwards. Put it down to experience I guess.
    25/01/2011 at 07:32

    All is explained for me as I feel rubbish. Shivering, aching muscles and no energy at all.

    What is annoying is how often this seems to happen whenever I have an easy week or when I taper.

    25/01/2011 at 08:48

    Minni – Sorry, my last reply xposted with your last.

    I’m glad you agree that you need a bit more speed work in your schedule.

    I have been looking over my schedule for last year especially my successful 3:30 campaign and another run that I did once a fortnight that I found beneficial was the Yasso 800. I tried running 800m in less than 3 minutes 30 secs ten times with 400 m jog in between. Yasso claims that whatever time in minutes and seconds you can run 10 x 800m equates to your marathon time in hours and minutes. I don’t totally agree with this but do believe it’s a great workout for any distance from 10k to marathon training.

    So for a sub 3:30 attempt you should be trying run each interval in 7:00 minute mile pace or even slightly quicker. I say slightly quicker because I found that I was able to do 10 x ½ mile intervals all in under 3:20 minutes and then ran a 3:28 marathon. Although, in saying that I do have better speed than endurance.

    Dubai Dave    pirate
    25/01/2011 at 09:02
    BB: Yassos are in essence a 800M at 5K pace, to my mind the recovery is too long on them your better off doing say 10 x 800 at 5K pace off 2 minute or less recoveries (if I'm fit I can do this off 1 minute recoveries quite happily) . I normally run 800's in about 3mins 10 secs or less but I can't run a 3 -10 marathon! 
    25/01/2011 at 10:05

    DD – Thanks, and I agree with you totally. I forgot about Yasso’s recovery times as I have always taken around 2 minutes between intervals. Similar to you, I’m now in training for a sub 3:10 attempt and can do the intervals in sub 3 minutes but couldn’t get close to a sub 3 marathon.

    I do think 800m in 3:30 x 10 with 2 minutes jog is a good workout for Minni considering her current speed and fitness level. She should be able to run then faster as the weeks go on.

    Edited: 25/01/2011 at 10:07
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