RW Forum Six – Sub 2.50 Kier with Parkrunfan

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24/12/2012 at 16:38

A further thought on this relates back to the point about Hilly and myself.  HM is my best distance so I can really go to the well and hurt myself.  Other runners who may not be as strong over HM may incur less damage.  E.g. I would have expected Hilly at her peak to have been able to run a 1:22 HM, so when she did a 1:26, 1:25 and 1:24 within two months before her 2:56, she recovered reasonably quickly due to having an excellent base and not quite hitting that peak.

24/12/2012 at 16:41

Fraser - I would say, ideally, 2 or 3 of those during the 8 week period.

But variations can be employed to fit in with whatever else is planned, eg for a HM race I might do a reasonable warm up before the race and then run the race with only one aim, to run the last 5K as strongly as possible, which would mean an 18:xx usually.

This, in total, amounts to a reasonably similar session to the fast finishing 22 miler but with the fast finish coming off a stronger earlier pace,

Edited: 24/12/2012 at 16:46
24/12/2012 at 17:03

To twist the debate about a bit, in light of Keir’s excellent conversion from shorter distances up, wouldn’t he get more benefit from working on his 10k through to HM speed? Whilst maintaining a long run and medium long run more in line with a Marathon schedule? Basically working on his weaknesses. I am not necessarily advocating running fast 400s, but 1k, 1m, 2k repeats at 5k and 10k pace, shorter more aggressive progressive runs (5 – 6m), shorter threshold sessions and the like. Or at least for a portion of the campaign.

24/12/2012 at 17:09

A very interesting thread full of discussion.  One thing is for certain reading shows there is no one way to train for a marathon to produce the goods.  I'm a bit of a fraud posting on here as I'm not looking to run anywhere near the times people have on here as their goals, but I follow the same training principles and am looking to try and hit sub 3 again.  I'm not sure if it's now possible, I think I'll need a lot of discipline and a change to my lifestyle along with losing a stone in weight, but hopefully if things go right that's my goal.

I also think doing longer races in the build-up to a marathon can be detrimental to the marathon.  I would say that I had got myself into sub 3 shape a few times in the last few years, but each time raced longer races including 4 x 20 miles on consecutive weekends one year and then faded out to 3:08-3:10 on the marathon.  Therefore this time there will be no longer races apart from a HM in January, which is far enough out to have no lasting effect.  If I hit 2.59.59 or quicker I'll retire from the marathon

Edited: 24/12/2012 at 17:11
24/12/2012 at 17:22

Bath half on March 3rd  is 7 weeks out from London so I'll have a long clear run of long runs leading into the race this time. Have always done a half 4 weeks approx before a marathon in the past.

24/12/2012 at 17:53

It's moving along nicely on here now, but its getting a bit complicated for me. I'm off.

Edited: 24/12/2012 at 17:54
24/12/2012 at 18:02
TR - get yourself over to the Carterusm and spoons thread. I can assure you we are discussing things at a very simple level
24/12/2012 at 18:04

YD - I would think that Keir has fairly standard conversion times.  Therefore I would be looking at periodisation working on the different elements in turn.

TR - see you at the Red Lion

24/12/2012 at 20:18

Should be interesting to follow this. Best of luck with your respective campaigns folks. Keir's finest hour taking the silver medal at the World Orpington Marathon Championships of the World...


24/12/2012 at 20:27

Some really interesting reading already on previous campaigns and training styles.

My schedule last year was made up from previous experience but mainly consisted of:

January - Base building.  Mainly slow and easy apart from a couple of shorter runs which were no faster than 6.50 pace (PMP in January).  214 miles in total.

February/early March - Mainly consisting of 1xinterval session (6x500m, 5x1000m, 6x1000m all around 6.00 pace except for fast last rep), 1 x progressive or tempo run (7-10m in total) & 1x long run (inc some MP miles). Other runs were short and slow.

Late March/April - More MP specific mileage within long runs and pushing progressive & tempo runs harder.   Also increased Intervals to 5 or 6x1m, but with pace no quicker than 5.50 pace apart from last rep.  PMP now looking around 6.30ish.  Long runs eaither finished fast or had good chunks of MP or HMP miles contained within them.

VLM - 2.49.44 when aiming for 2.50.

Main focus of training last year was not to burn out too early as I have done in previous years hence I kept mileage down to average 49mpw with a max of 58mpw.  I concentrated on alot of MP or slightly quicker miles without going all out.

Not so sure about 2013 as work commitments over the last 5 weeks have meant only 10 runs.  Minimum target is to keep GFA (3.10) but would like to break 3hrs for a 3rd year.  All depends on the amount of running I can fit in, but I may become a bit of an experiment on what can be done on minimal training.


24/12/2012 at 23:20
Race Jase wrote (see)

Should be interesting to follow this. Best of luck with your respective campaigns folks. Keir's finest hour taking the silver medal at the World Orpington Marathon Championships of the World...


Definately room for improvement on the shorts - a decent aerodyamic pair could save minutes off the VLM2013 time

Edited: 24/12/2012 at 23:23
25/12/2012 at 11:46

Unfortunately I forgot to ask Santa for some nice red Speedos SBD.

Merry Christmas everyone. 

26/12/2012 at 08:11
RJ - thanks for sharing that vid again. Keir makes it look so easy....

Fraser - I'm sure you'll be brave enough to get your balls out this year and nail the marathon time you're chasing.

Great thread folks. So much to read - it could be made into a book in April.
26/12/2012 at 08:43

Hope everyone had a good day yesterday! Unlucky on the speedos Keir

Barnsley Runner wrote (see)

YD - I would think that Keir has fairly standard conversion times.  Therefore I would be looking at periodisation working on the different elements in turn.

I disagree BR. When Keir ran his 2:54, his HM PB was 83:58. Even if this was a compromised half in the build-up to his full Marathon, it still represents a very decent conversion IMO.
The two most common Half Marathon to Marathon predictors are 2xHM time+10 mins and the more conservative 2xHM+10%. Those calculations would have predicted a 2:58 or 3:04 respectively for Keir at Abingdon at that time. Conventional wisdom on the Sub 3 thread is that an 83 HM is generally needed to convert to sub 3 (outliers such as Hilly obviously exist). So with that in mind I think Keir converts very well from half to full Marathon.  He has since improved his half time down by 1:20 or so, even with that improvement the 2xHM+10mins predicts a 2:53:20 Marathon.  So a good converter IMO, 5 seconds per mile over HM could pay off quite nicely over the full distance.

Keir – I have to say, prf’S 10mile progressive runs are excellent sessions, I have used them to good effect to get me in shape for shorter races in the past + they are very enjoyable sessions to do IMO.  Working through the gears is certainly good mental prep for race day, it also probably has a similar physiological effect to racing at an even pace as well. Don’t get in the habit of racing thesessions though or turning them into time trials though, that’s a sure fire way to burn out.

– your plan looks solid enough, you mentioned introducing some MP work into the mix as part of the midweek ML are you planning on doing any at the end of long runs?
Reason I ask, is that as first timer I think this is the part of training I will find the toughest. It’s not something I have done much of, and when I have I have done it, I found it tough to do.

PMJ – I know few who have run the Newcastle Town Moor Marathon, including my long run buddy who won it this year. A low 2:5x time would win it most years, not sure if the BMAF champ thing will up the quality of the field though.
As for your approach and adapting P&D. I sometimes wonder if I would be best off doing similar as this is my first time at a Marathon. What do you think is good and bad about the P&D schedules? I often hear people say its light on long runs.

26/12/2012 at 09:02

YD - semantically speaking I would maintain that Keir's times are within a normal range.  In that I mean there are no glaring standout times that have not been converted across other distances - e.g. no 16.xx 5k or 35.xx 10k in there.  Yes his HM to Marathon is on the very good side of a normal range (x2 + 6.5 mins) but as he has since moved those shorter distance times down further in the past year, I would not think that this would be a particular area to work on.  He has created that potential for further marathon improvement, as you say so I would be looking to work at paces across the board as his times point to no particular area of weakness.

26/12/2012 at 09:10

Put another way, Keir's HM pace at Folkestone was 6:25 and his pace at Abingdon was 6:39, pretty much bang on the Horwill / Hadd rule of thumb that if you double the race distance, look to add on 16 secs per mile. Yes, a couple of seconds inside so a slightly stronger marathon, but nothing excpetional which would have me asking questions about particular areas of weakness.

26/12/2012 at 09:15

Therefore whilst with most runners I am thinking `how do we convert those good shorter distance times up the scale', with Keir I would agree that we seem to have no such issues; however that does not mean that he is weaker at one distance as opposed to any other.

Off for a run now with the master mentor, so will let someone else have a turn 

26/12/2012 at 09:32


YD - yeah that's something I'd plan to do in the latter part of the schedule certainly and again not something I've done before in marathon training. I think more of my 20s will be 22s as well just to give that bit extra endurance. Bit daft to start all this planning properly really tho as I'm not back into good, confident, regular running after my injury yet.

On half times conversion, I think I've always put too much emphasis on this going into a marathon. It's never really worked for me so not much point in using it as a predictor this time. I suppose it could indicate what might be possible and a 1.17.59 at Bath would be a good confidence booster.

Edited: 26/12/2012 at 09:33
26/12/2012 at 10:07

I nearly enetered that Orpington race about 3 years ago but after reading the description of the previous year's race I was terrified of getting lost, never to be seen again.

As someone who can go 2 miles wrong in a parkrun I could have ended up in France!

Am I right in thinking that this is the one where the drinks station and loo stop is someone's house?

Anyway, you were looking very comfortable in that shot, Keir. What stage of the race was it?

YD - I see where you're coming from in talking about Keir as a good converter, which cant really be argued with.

However, in terms of looking for weaknesses, I would suggest that in this case an alternative approach would be to look at the area for most potential gain.

Keir is still a relatively newbie in marathon terms and at a similar stage to where I am in my comeback phase.

As such, you find that you have to build the mileage up from campaign to campaign. It is always going to be a trade off between total mileage for the campaign and including a sufficient quantity of marathon specific quality work.

If you go for too much mileage too quickly it can compromise the ultimate performance by limiting the speed endurance stuff.

I went for a 75-80mpw average for Amsterdam and ended up with a below par 3:04 and then ran 2:55 at Chester off 58 mpw. That doesnt mean that 75-80mpw was 'wrong', it was just too early in my comeback to maintain that level in a balanced structure.

But I now feel able to handle more mileage while maintaining a balanced level of faster stuff and I suspect that is going to be the same for Keir.

Too much VO2 work will probably push things the other way and lead to difficulty in maintaining, let alone increasing, mileage in comparison to previous campaigns, especially Abingdon.

Overall mileage/Speed endurance/Vo2 work volumes are all variables in a balanced mixture, but the balance has to be felt for rather than scientifically calculated. That is why this is endless fun

26/12/2012 at 12:45

YD - Keir is a relative newbie to all sorts of running not just marathons (he was a cyclist), so he hasnt run many races and hasnt really had a chance set a balanced portfolio of PBs yet. P of 10 and PBs dont always paint the whole picture. His best running was deliberately saved for Abo in that campaign. I've never run a 1/2 mara in a mara build up and have some pretty weak PBs as I dont chase them in other races which are all B races.  Keir would make massive gains just running more consistently and building more (impact) miles into his running, as to how that balances out vs the Rocket Science side of things is for PRF and Keir to find a path. Keir likes stats and thinking about things.

Edited: 26/12/2012 at 12:53
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