RW Forum Six – Sub 2.50 Kier with Parkrunfan

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08/02/2013 at 12:23

Keir - Again, being disappointed with pace is something to forget about.

If we come back to the basics of training, it is:

Run plenty miles and run a few of them a bit faster.

Thats it in a nutshell. During this period the only purpose of faster stuff is to keep us in touch with speed so that we dont go suddenly accelerating like mad in a few weeks time and start snapping things.

When I do a parkrun I just go for a good graft but certainly dont strain anything. It is more important to be concentrating on running efficiency and keeping everything nice and tidy at speeds a bit quicker than you're going to be dealing with on marathon day.

Just go through a routine of 2-3 mile w/u and then run 3 miles of effort, whether that turns out to be 6:10, 6:19, 6:30 will not affect your marathon time. You will be running much quicker than this in a few weeks but it will be due to the overall training load, not due to the speed you run these 5Ks at.

Again, it is not a case of faster is better. So to answer your question I wouldnt change away from doing them in the morning if the only reason was that you think you might be able to run them a few secs quicker later in the day.


Going back to yesterday's discussion it is interesting that running is just about the best stress relief activity there is and yet a lot of runners manage to turn it into a stressful activity. The body can actually train itself - if you programme into the brain that you want to run a marathon on April 21st and just go out for a run 6/7 days a week there will be some days where the legs naturally want to go long, some where they naturally want to go fast and some where they want to do neither.

But the chances are that just by stepping out of the door 6/7 days a week and going with the flow you will end up in pretty decent shape on marathon day.

All this structure that gets handed down in schedules is mainly because it takes some time to become au fait with, and trusting of, the body's natural training inclinations. So the structure should be a means of assistance in getting from A to B but if structure itself starts producing stress then surely it has become self defeating?


08/02/2013 at 13:07

I hear that you are saying PRF, - running should be about getting out there and enjoying it. It was the need to de-stress which brought me to running in the first place. However as soon as we race we start a competitve desire. As we become more competitve - either with others or against ourselves we look for ways to improve our performance. To maximise these we end up pushing our limits a bit (whether time / physical / lifestyle etc) and that in itself causes stress. I don't think it is possible to get the best out of yourself in anything* without it causing some invcreased levels of stress.

*Exceptions being Yoga and meditation.

08/02/2013 at 14:19

Keir - I get stressed at the thought of yoga and as for meditation - well lets no even go there!  I couldn't sit still for long enough to do either.   

I think you're right in that you can fit everything in so long as things go right but as soon as something goes wrong it all falls apart.  Especially if you're doing well with your training and something external gets in the way.

I am a complete slave to the schedule (sorry prf) but that is how I best work.  My life is so busy that it would be easy to miss sessions due to lack of time but if its written down in black and white then I just gotta do it.   ie intervals late on Wednesday evening (in a 10m run) followed by 10 miles at 5am on Thursday morning.  It would have been so easy to drop one of them but the schedule said do it so I did it!


08/02/2013 at 19:04

Keir - Now thats interesting because I would class stress as being a negative emotion that hinders your progress whereas competitiveness is a very positive, focussed attribute that is anything but stressful.

I'm sure this came up on MG as a discussion a while back and there were differences of opinion on whether races were 'stressful' or not. I think it came down to personal definitions in the end.

Minni - No problem with schedules if the structure helps, it is just when it becomes a burden and starts taking the enjoyment out of the training.

At the end of the day, we spend 3 or 4 hours running a marathon and 3 or 4 months training for one so need to get plenty enjoyment out of the training.

I opted for a rest day today

Plenty miles over the weekend though.

08/02/2013 at 20:27
Top posting over the last few days from TR and others.

Although sessions can definitely cause me stress both in terms of fretting about them leading up to them and then physical stress at the time, I find I need the schedule to give me structure. Like Minni I don't have a flexible enough day to decide on the day whether I will go long or whatever. Fair enough swapping the days around ( when planning the week) often happens but the reality is pretty well every session has a window in the day that it fits in

My week is a source of great amusement to some of my pals cos in some ways you could predict where I'm going to be at what time and on what day like a little robot. Rather tragically I find the routine helps me. Paradoxically I always find annual leave or holidays more difficult. I suspect many are the same

I find races very stressful but always (unless totally cocked up) am pleased free wards that I've done them. Nothing to touch that feeling of a proper personal effort reaping rewards.

Pleased your life stresses have settled down Keir.
09/02/2013 at 15:44

Quiet today!

I know YD was at up at the crack of dawn to do some long stuff today and Keir was planning a hilly 5 miler so will be interesting to see how they panned out.


Since it is Saturday I decided to go and do a parkrun

Considering the work that has gone into the legs in the last week, it was nice to feel how strong the legs were, especially on the uphill sections.

It ended up as 18:37 (5:58, 5:54, 5:56)

Since this is a hilly 4 lapper which we class as a +40 course, that represents being back to 17:xx fitness, which I'm quite surprised by given the amount of weight to lose to get back to racing weight.

The Dewsbury parkruns over the last few weeks have been:

1/12 20:14
15/12 19:46
25/12 21:48
29/12 19:51
5/1 20:36
12/1 19:28
19/1 20:06
2/2 18:58
9/2 18:37

So, although the times of individual runs are unimportant, there is a clear pattern showing evidence of the aerobic boost from the string of 20 milers.

09/02/2013 at 16:37

Nice progression in times PRF. Forgot to say, thanks for the commentsa of the 5k @ 10k pace. I'll keep the session going on at the same time and not stress about it. 

7m over the hills and far away. Always my favourite run, up over the downs with some beautiful views over the channel. I'll have to take some pictures and post them here at some point to show that we do have some nice countryside down souff. Off out later to see sheffields finest

10/02/2013 at 20:47

Even quieter today! Anyone running or all snowed in?

22m unfueled for me. Early awakening (6am) to sort my son ready for a trip to the Natural History Museum with my parents. Then sorted the other 2 and household chores until my better half had a lie in. During that time I resisted the urge to eat anything and hit to road. at 10am. 

Very windy, cold and a bit wet. Happy with 7.30s being consistently hit although by mile 17 this had dropped to 7.28m/m ave and my form was starting to go. I was a bit achey on Weds and with that session followed by 1hr circuits my hip flexor area has felt tired since. Not tight, not painful just tired.

Aware that the final 5m contained a hill and headwind I reset the Garmin to stop the temptation of chasing pace to maintain 7.30 average and instead focused on running tall, shoulders back, hips forward and holding my stomach and lower back tight. Surprised to see ave pace for those final 5m was 7.39m/m. Tired but was almost tempted to complete another 4.2m just to be able to claim an unfueled, unwatered marathon on a nasy weather day. Luckily some ray of sense shone through and instead we had lunch and went swimming.  

As (you have noted PRF), Charlie Spedding would say. A Perfect training session. 

10/02/2013 at 20:56

Weekly summary - week 2 of magic8.

Started the week a bit disappointed with not achieving a faster 10k time. I believed I had the form for faster, but at the same time I could understand why I didn't get a 36.xx.

8 runs (Friday I ran a double inc 3m easy in the afternoon). 72 miles. Feel the healthist now that I have for 14 days. Onwards and upwards...

Plan for week 3 of magic8:

Mon 5m easy
Tues 14M inc Prog 10M (2m w/u 5m @7.15-6.45 then 6:25, 6:20, 6:15, 6:05, 5:50)
Wed 12m MLR / circuits and core session
Thur 5m easy
Fri Medium-long run 12M inc 3M @ 10k pace
Sat 8M w/ 6xuphill strides 
Sun Fast Finish 22M (Miles 17 - 21 @ 7:30, 6:40, 6:10, 5:50) - that should hurt! 

Total 78m. 


10/02/2013 at 21:07
parkrunfan wrote (see)

 which I'm quite surprised by given the amount of weight to lose to get back to racing weight.

If you don;t mind me asking, what is runing weight? I am 5'10" and maybe 154 lbs in the off season, try and train at 147 lbs, get down to 144 for race season and maybe race at 140.

10/02/2013 at 21:48

I'm 5'11". Currently 158 lbs and not looking to drop more than 2 - 3 of those. I did a fat test in the summer, whilst 161 lbs and was told I have 7.8% body fat and that 154 lbs would be below 5% and should be as low as I should ever try to go.

Considering you are talking about 1 stone lighter than me PMJ, I either assume that despite height, ideal weight is a very personal thing, or perhaps my brain is denser than yours! 

10/02/2013 at 22:02
Well toughed out today keir. I had a similar run. XC in the North East Harrier League yesterday and completely amazed myself finishing in 8th position with promotion to the faster pack next time . The xc was 4 miles but did 10 in total yesterday and today's 20 felt tough.

I watched the boy play rugby thus morning and got cold and wet before i even started running. I was on my own, which I quite like, but when the weather closed in I felt as if I was the only person on earth. (I can run 20m without seeing anyone!). I got to 16 and considered jacking it in. (Thinking about PRF saying don't be a slave to the schedule etc) but then I realised I had no other way of getting home and I needed to log 20 on Febulous! Anyway pleased to report I didn't speed up in the last 5 miles (because I couldn't!) but was pleased to see almost even splits throughout despite the hills. 20m avg 8:28.
10/02/2013 at 22:08

I guess that is one of the disadvantages (and I suppose advantages) of leading the world famous 'Team Minni' on marathon talk! You of all people can't let the side down!

Excellent XC result 

10/02/2013 at 22:35

Exactly Kier!  I give people a hard time if they slack (actually they don't slack because of this) so I have to make sure I lead by example!!

10/02/2013 at 22:48

Well done Minni, I got up on the hill today and was very pleased to make 20M last me 2h41, so not much quicker than you. Coped ok with the distance and time, I like it when I bag slow long runs, more than fast ones as I just think of all the matches I've saved myself. Its amazing that it soon comes back if you have a few campaigns under your belt, I was struggling with long runs a few weeks ago. 

There is a school of thought that says that you must still train in awful weather cos sometimes race day is in awful conditions - I managed to blag an AG win in the Sept 1/2 IM in such conditions when folks were being dragged off the course with Hypothermia, now VLM isnt going to end up like that but its good for the memory banks on the embankment when the going gets tough and the reasons why you "can" are needed over the "can't" voices.


10/02/2013 at 22:49

Keir - you already pre-empted my comments on the 22 miler, it was perfect in terms of what it was intended for, ie just getting the miles done without breaking anything and at least attempting to keep form tidy while tired.

The fact that you even entertained the idea of adding more miles on the end means that endurance wise you're shaping up pretty well, probably better than you thought I suspect?

With next week's fast finishes, dont kill yourself but it is perfectly normal for the quads to do a bit of moaning towards the end when the pace picks up.

PMJ - Current weight is about 72.5 Kg compared to in Aug?Sep/Oct

Minni - You cant complain with that as a marathon training weekend. It should provide a nice boost forward when it beds in.

Went for a 20 mile run today and ended up doing 23.1 miles while spectating around the Liversedge Half Marathon.

Was speaking to Njord at the end of the race, he of the recent two sub 3's in successive days, when he introduced me to the chap standing next to him.

It just happened to be the thread's own Brian

The week totted up to 81.1 miles as detailed here.

11/02/2013 at 09:40

PRF, As you said it's good to put a face to a name. Good to meet you, albeit feetingly. The weather wasn't conducive to standing around. Well done on the (very) long run, and good mileage.

Keir/Minni, Top long running from both of you.

Liversausage was good and bad. Having looked at the entry list beforehand, I stalked my dodger rivals. There were 2 guys that would beat me (by minutes), but then a guy who normally beats me but is coming back from injury, so I knew I had a chance of 3rd. Spotted the 2nd of the faster guys at 7M and he was coming back to me slowly. Amazed to pass him going up the hill at ~9M and I eventually finished 31st and 2nd dodger.

The podium came at a cost though. After the long gradual climb, at about 10M I felt my calf, a bit like cramp but the tightening came on gradually. Should've really stopped and stretched but hung on, knowing that beating the guy I had passed was too good an opportunity. The tightening steadily worsened and ended up limping over the line in 86:24. I have been having niggles for a few weeks now down my left side, the calf the main culprit. But returning to the gym recently seemed to sort it out. But this calf problem is on the right side!

The calf is very sore so a few rest days (this was going to be a cut-back week anyway) are in the offing. I'm booked in for a massage Wednesday evening too. Hoping that a week should see me back training again. Don't think it's a tear, maybe a strain as I can feel it when walking but it's very painful if I lift onto my toes. Anyway, bench for me for now.


11/02/2013 at 11:30

PRF, I noticed this snippet from you:

"Since this is a hilly 4 lapper which we class as a +40 course, that represents being back to 17:xx fitness, which I'm quite surprised by given the amount of weight to lose to get back to racing weight."

Think you were talking about Dewsbury Parkrun - Is this your own personal classification or is there a Parkrun list concerned with degree of difficulty?

The reason I ask is that my local parkrun is Bradford and I intend getting round the course more frequently (and hopefully visiting other local Parkruns) in the near future.


11/02/2013 at 11:46

You lot are all whippets!!!
I am 5’10” (and 1/2) and about 11 stone 8lb or 162lb, that’s 75.5Kg ish. I had a fat test early on last year and had 12.5% body fat, I am lighter and leaner now so I will have a lower fat percentage. I would like to drop some weight and get down to close to 11 stone for the Marathon.

Fingers crossed it doesn’t stray too far from niggle to injury territory Brian, still a good performance getting 2nd dodger. One question, now you have met prf do you think he sounds like Alan Bennet?

Keir – those aches and pains you describe in the hip flexor are familiar, I have had similar recently + glute aches (insert your own joke here), a timely reminder to do more core work!
Next week looks like a tasty block of training, close to 80 miles is a big number, not sure I will get beyond 70 miles in this campaign.

prf – a very positive block of training indeed, I am impressed, though I have to argue with your assessment of the Dewsbury course. I recon it’s a 35 seconds course at best  I might be popping over to York parkrun on Saturday, we are in town so thought I may as well have a sighter at 17mins.

Good that you are feeling strong on the long runs TR, and some nice miles banked Minni

66.61 miles for me last week, which is my highest ever week. Friday/Saturday combo was a tough one. Went into Friday feeling tired then did 6m before breakfast, then another 6m at lunch with 8 x 40 seconds hill sprints, the sprints worked out at about 200 meters each. Then up at 6am on Saturday and did 20.68 miles un fuelled.
For the long run, I picked a tough hilly route on purpose; the idea being that I was trying to replicate the feeling I would get in my legs at the latter stages of a Marathon. The theory being, that I had tired out all the fast twitch muscles on the hill sprints, then on the long run when my slow twitch muscles start to tire they would normally try to recruit fast twitch fibres to help out, but as the fast twitch fibres were already in a fatigued state they would not be able to help out; so training the slow twitch fibres to continue performing under fatigue. One thing is for sure, it was tough, and last nights 5.5 mile plod was tough on very heavy legs.

11/02/2013 at 13:00

Having had 20m on the plan, and knowing your tendency to 'beat the distance' I had hoped that my 22m would top you PRF, but no. You ran 23! And you got me on the weekly mileage as well! 

Good to hear you are running long again TR. How's the injury? 

Great work on the 2nd place Brian, but sorry to hear about the calf. Hopefully it will be fully recovered by Weds and it will have been a worthwhile risk (especailly if there was prize money!)

Nice going on the LSR YD, especially for a fat bloke . Although it was hilly, what was your pace / time for the 20m? I like the idea of tiring those fast twitch fibres before they are recruited on the LSR. I reckon you should have covered the extra 0.05 of a mile for the week though!

5m in the snow and slush this morning. After the rain in the afternoon and the snow settled over the top of it last night it made a strange combination. At time the snow compacted underfoot, but a lot of the time my foot would sink through the snow into several inches of cold wet slush. Not very nice. Convienced myself to carry on to the 1m mark, then decided that  can't write 2m in the log so carried on to the 1.5m mark and as I had really wet feet by that point I managed to persuade myself to carry on for the full 5m loop. 

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