RW Forum Six – Sub 2.50 Kier with Parkrunfan

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03/01/2013 at 21:00

First things first.

Thanks for the feedback PRF. Point 1 is a good one. I like the 3 Jokers plan. Point 2 - I ran an actual marathon 6 weeks out from Abingdon. It was a lumpy HM and a flat but lonely 2nd half. I was comfortable all the way and PMP+60sec should have been 7.45s but came in at 7.31m/m. Here are the 5k splits form that run:

Distance Split pace Avg. HR
5.00 4:45 140 (73%)
10.00 4:45 146 (77%)
15.00 4:43 146 (77%)
20.00 4:33 157 (82%)
25.00 4:36 159 (84%)
30.00 4:43 157 (83%)
35.00 4:43 161 (84%)
40.00 4:31 167 (88%)
42.48 4:43 171 (90%)

This is why I planned on PMP+60sec for the 4 week out 26.2m LSR. However with the closer proximity (4 rather than 6 weks out) and also the 10m race 5 days later I am fine with slowing this to PMP+90sec (8m/m).

Point 3 - I hadn't really stressed over the total distance of the Progressive 10milers. I know I can get 11m done in the morning twice per week without too much hassle, but not run more than that on a school day morning. I think when I wrote them down I started being optimistic regarding rolling out of bed 10mins earlier to make the 12, then started getting tired form all the typing - hense the 10!  Realistically, I guess 11 - 12m would be what I could probably do as the total distance, especially early on, but as the sessions develop and I need to be hitting a faster pace from mile 1 then a longer warm up (and earlier alarm bell) will be necessary.

As a point of note, I usually find 1m jog followed by 1m faster with a few strides sufficient as a warm up. Not sure what others tend to do for a warm-up? 

Glands and sore throat come and go - but today and yesterday seem better, so fingers are crossed. LSR tomorrow so it will be interesting to see how I am on Saturday.

03/01/2013 at 21:03

Looking at week 9 I'd be on my knees!

03/01/2013 at 21:06

Keir, from what I see you  have all the right ingredients but seem to want too big a quantities in a small size mixing bowl.  Maybe your mentor would would like to comment on this? 

03/01/2013 at 21:13

Fraser - Thanks for your comments. Point 1 - The ultra was just something which tickled my fancy. No reason at all for doing it really. I just thought something different mid campaign might be interesting. At the time of writing the original plan I had duathlons, cycle training and this Ultra all down. I was planning on the combination making up for my lack of miles last year and as a way to rebuild my endurance along with the previous two months of HADD style easy running. 

I was pleased / surprised / concerned / worried when PRF approved the Ultra - in that I can't bottle it as easily now . In all honesty, I don't need to do it, and maybe it is not the wisest thing to experiment with, but I am pretty confident in my ability to keep the pace under wraps and think that the tme on feet will honestly be beneficial come VLM. 

Point 2 - I basically took PRFs progressive 10milers and slotted them in place of where I had a VO2 max session previously. So for example - week 6 did read:

2x`15m MLR 
VO2max: 9M w/1x2m 4x1M @10K race pace; jog 3min rec
1x18m LSR

I replaced the VO2 with the 10m inc 10m progressive and the 18m with the 22m Fast Finish. 


It should start to become apparent that although I sort of know what I am doing, I can be overly optimistic at times. 

03/01/2013 at 21:33

Keir - fair points. As Hilly and BR have said there's some big weeks in there ! I suppose you'll never really know what you're capable of until you get in to it. Certainly no one could accuse you of under training. Just a niggling worry you'll burn yourself out....

03/01/2013 at 21:37

Hilly - You do more than the contents of week 9 every week  And it isnt as if there are four 20 mile races in successive weeks or such like.

Keir - The thing to keep in mind is that if you're going long, you're going long and that is the only purpose, so 7:30/mile isnt 'better' than 8:00/mile. in fact, there is no point at all in looking at a watch when doing the long stuff, just concentrate on keeping it easy and look at the watch at the end.

In terms of warm ups, I'd normally do 2 miles very slow, followed my a progressive 2 miles before doing anything involving pace. It works well in terms of avoiding injury.


03/01/2013 at 21:39

I agree with Fraser on both points he makes earlier, especially the Ultra, however, you know your own body and its ability to recover Keir. You might need a few of those jokers in the week following the ultra! The jokers are a good idea prf btw.

On the 10 milers, I concur with the warm up approach you highlight Keir. I have found that the first few require very little warm up as the first mile or two you are still in warm up territory, so a mile jog before you start is plenty. I have even run them as 10 miles including warm up, so nothing beforehand, but you have to run the first mile in the 7:xx/m territory and not jump into MP too quick. However, once you are running them more aggressively a couple of miles before you start might be in order, not an issue if you are running them as MLRs with progressive 10s in the middle of course.

03/01/2013 at 21:42

Essentially, you are probably right Hilly. I like the analogy. 

Thanks for identifying particular weeks YD, PRF, BR. Here is the week 7, 6 and 5 breakdown:

Wk 7:
Mon - Rest (after 20m progressive day before)
Tue - MLR 14m - either 5am or evening (would I be better with a 10m am / 5m eve?)
Wed - 10m Progressive
Thur - 5m recovery
Fri - 10m MLR - after work run
Sat - 7m inc strides
Sun - 2m w/u / HM race / 3m w/d (that's 5m for your 'S' BR! I did this session this year, but made 2 mistakes: 1) I did 7m w/d to make 20m which took will Thurs to recover from. 2) I ran w/u and w/d in my racing shoes and got some bad blisters on the balls of my feet - which lead to altered gait / injury and DNS at VLM.

To be honest, I thought this week would be ok. 1xHM with a few miles either side, some strides, 1 session in the 10m progressive and an 14m steady run. What are your recommendations / alterations?

Wk 6:
Mon - Rest or gentle spin on the turbo (my legs will be battered from the HM)
Tue - 15m MLR (I am at Uni today so I can start later or run slower - hense a good day for a gentle long recovery run)
Wed - 5m recovery run - (Wife's birthday so being cheeky squeezing this one in)
Thur - 10m progressive (Legs should be better now)
Fri - 15m MLR (too much? I guess I'm trying to increase the size of Hilly's bowl)
Sat - 8m with strides (I can't get away for more than 90mins on Saturdays).
Sun - 22m Fast Finish (because week before is the HM, week before that the 20m progressive, week before that the 33m Ultra, week before that another 22m Fast Finish).

Wk 5:
Mon - Rest or gentle spin on the turbo (my legs will be battered from Sunday!)
Tue - 10m Progressive (getting sessions done early in the week as 26m on Saturday)
Wed - 15m MLR (could be split into morning and evening 10m / 5m)
Thur - 8m with 3m @ 5k pace (I have 90mins between the end of school and a 4 hour school governors meeting - ideal recovery time (no 4 yr olds jumping on me!)
Fri - 5m recovery
Sat - 26.2m training run - pretty flat, PMP+60 (or is that 90sec?)
Sun - 5m recovery - Sat and Sun swapped round so that I have an extra day recovery before a hard 10m pb attempt on Good Friday the following week. 

Comments on a forum post please.....


Oh yes: a tad over 8miles run tonight, a touch over 1 hour, a smidgen under 8m/m. 

03/01/2013 at 21:45

One other general point re LSRs - I see Keir is proposing to do most of his off road. Do people think they are better then road or bike path long runs (less taxing on the legs, better overall workout, less boring), worse (not specific enough for teaching the legs to cope with running a predominantly road based race) or does it really not matter !


03/01/2013 at 21:54

Keir - more semantics.  What's a long recovery run?  Surely a recovery run is about recovery.  In my experience, once it gets past an hour, you're no longer in recovery territory, but putting in a (semi) hard effort.  It looks to me as if you're underestimating week 6 in terms of how you will recover from a half marathon pb.  I can barely jog for four days if I've really smacked a HM hard, hence my shying away from them anywhere near a marathon.

Fraser - good question. I like to vary.  There are three variations - we have 10 miles of nice flat, soft trail 1/4 mile from our front door which is the default surface.  Secondly we have a 5 mile hilly loop for strength and endurance work.  Multiple laps of these at required efforts.  Thirdly I shall enter a couple of 20m races where I shall run harder for longer - one a flat one (Wymondham) and one a hilly one (Spen).

Therefore variety is the key.  Run all your long runs on tarmac and you increase the risk of injury.  Run them all on soft, forgiving surfaces and you won't have the robustness to last VLM.

03/01/2013 at 21:54

Week 9 also includes a 5m recovery run and 2 total (non exercise) rest days Hilly (I suspect you don't have many of those 

Fraser / YD - All plans need adapting to how you feel at the time. Although perhaps a bit optimistic - is it better to underplan and then want to do more or over plan and drop a session? If I don't feel great (or if the weather is shite ) then I won't put myself through the ultra. I know it is the opposite of BRs marathon on no longer than 18.6m LSR, but I think the longer stuff tends to suit me and I am curious to see how it could benefit my marathon performance. 

PRF - I am totally fine with running 'slow'. Although I've always been fine with pootling round the countryside, running to HADD these past months has made me run even slower and been happy that I am still 'getting fitter'. If the object if time on feet, 9m/m would be fine by me. For the 33m Ultra and the 26m I can set an ave pace alert on my Garmin to ensure I keep it slow and steady.  

03/01/2013 at 22:05

Fraser - although I love to go off road, in the winter I usually only manage run for 60 - 90mins totally off road. Therefore the majority of the LSR miles will be on road, with parts which are cycle path, trail or through woods. I always run in my newest Nimbus for padding, but will do 1 LSR in my planned VLM shoes)

ok, BR. I am trying to fit in extra miles to suit my timetable. I have an extra hour of training time on that Tuesday morning and am trying to make the most of it. Perhaps I am too focused on the juicy currents and not stepping back and seeing the recipe book. Last year I had 3 whole days off after the HM, but that was mainly due to the blisters. Should I just have a 5m recovery / or cycle to Uni 2x20miles instead?

03/01/2013 at 22:05

Good stuff Keir, you have a plan to go long to see how that improves your performance, go for it. I wouldn’t feel confident on BRs no longer than 18.6miles LRs either *, but this is my first Marathon, I don’t want under or over do it.

I commented on week 7, others will comment on the other bits I reckon.
In week 7 you have 2 easy MLRs and a 10 mile progressive, so you could say 3 MLRs followed by 13.1miles raced at the weekend in one week.  That’s 64 miles total, with 23.1 hard miles, most of those hard miles are faster than MP. For me that’s too big a proportion of hard to easy mileage.  
I might be tempted to swap the 10 mile progressive with a 10 mile run with 3m tempo.  So you go into the HM with mostly easy miles in your legs, you might race better and will probably recover better if not going into the race shagged.


RE: Long runs, my long run plan is that I will run more hilly routes early on with plenty of those off-road. Closer to the Marathon I intend to run more on flat road, especially those LRs with fast bits. Though I may mix those runs up a bit, for example 10 easy/slow off road with hills followed by 10@MP on flat road. That’s the intention anyway, but prepared to adapt on this front.

* BR had run plenty Marathons at this point and was working on specific weakness with long tempos as far as I am aware, correct me if I am wrong BR.

Oh yes: a tad over 8miles run tonight for me n’all, about the same pace as you Keir.

Edited: 03/01/2013 at 22:08
03/01/2013 at 22:10
Great discussion, helped a lot by your open sharing of your plan, Keir. Consensus seems to be that you would be better with fewer tough runs. It will be interesting to watch this play out. I have learned from this and will follow with great interest, while doingmidwest miles. I have realized in the last two years how poor my overall condition was despite being strong in running terms and will keep some of the cross training going on top of running. I feel this is the best compromise for me as a 43yr old keen to avoid injury. I spent a lot of the last year or so quite tired with 10-15 exercise sessions a week, using lunchtimes and morning and evening commutes, and simply couldn't cope with the kind of program you plan.
03/01/2013 at 22:17
OS wrote (see)
Great discussion, helped a lot by your open sharing of your plan, Keir.

Yep agreed OS.

04/01/2013 at 09:06

Ha ha Kier and PRF, I have rest days/easy days and have learnt from doing too many 20 mile races as races 

I'm enjoying reading this thread even though I have little to offer in terms of what Kier needs to achieve his goal.  It's a very informative thread and good to see how others approach and train for their goals, whether they be experienced marathoners or first timers like YD. 

I basically do similar to BR anyhow seeing as we train together every day.  For us it's choosing routes/races to do the progressive runs at our own paces.  Apart from sessions neither of us ever worry how slow we're going, or I don't worry how slow I'm going, but I guess my slow at times is agonisingly slow for  him, so then he'll put in some strides to mix things up


04/01/2013 at 09:31

Really useful discussions going on here and I'm following with interest. Also explains why the Middle Ground thread is so quiet at the moment . I'm still deciding whether to go for a Spring Marathon so I'll go back to lurking until I've made the decision!

04/01/2013 at 10:50

Sorry just realised I wrote Kier not Keir

04/01/2013 at 13:43

No worries Hlily  - even family still spell it wrong!

YD / OS - It is a win, win situation. I've followed a few of these threads in my time, Hilly's and MM's stand out in particular. The more you share, the more people are able to discuss and question - bringing in a whole new set of views, opinions and ideas. 

Just back from a hilly 20miler. 2hr 35mins - 7.45m/m - 142bpm (75% HR max). That's my longest run since the North Downs way in June. Legs tired now. 

04/01/2013 at 15:50

YD - yes the long tempos were the key in that campaign.  Two 15-18 milers with 10m effort in the middle, so the LSR became a time on feet job.  Hadd was never very keen on lots of time on feet, so used to limit them to 2hrs 30 tops.

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