RW Forum Six – Sub 4 Running Rachel with Cheerful Dave

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04/02/2013 at 20:54
High winds here too for the last couple of days and snow on the way. My views are that it's best to get out regardless of the weather, unless it isn't safe. I quite enjoy running in poor weather, especially when I have finished.

Will - I ran my first half in November last year and I gave it absolutely everything. My average HR was 91.2% of my MHR which confirms how had I was pushing. It took me 3 weeks to fully recover although I was still able to go for an easy run a couple of days after my race. I am doing a half this Sunday and will be giving it full beans again. I intend to have a recovery week next week and I'm hoping that the training I have been doing will help me recover a bit quicker this time. My view is that if I have entered a half I will be going for a PB, what's the point in entering otherwise
04/02/2013 at 20:59
Fair point carter! I do badly want a HUGE pb in the half as well of course!!
04/02/2013 at 21:05
What's your current PB and what are you aiming for at Reading ?
04/02/2013 at 21:21

Will - I am running a HM on 24th Feb which is 6 weeks out from my marathon in Paris.

My aim is a PB in Paris. That said I would love a PB in my HM.

My LSR's between now and the HM are both 20 milers, one slow and one with 8 miles of MP run as 4 miles slow, 4 MP, 4 slow, 4 MP and 4 slow.

The HM is during my cut back week and then I go back to 20+ miles LSR's before my taper.

The HM course I am doing is not flat and it is not all on the road either so a PB might be unrealistic. If I get to the start line and I feel good I will go for it. Otherwise I will use it as a training session.

I reckon that all this training must mean that I can recover so if I push it a little I might have to ease off on some the runs the week after but in the scheme of things should be ok.

Makes sense ?

Edited: 04/02/2013 at 21:22
04/02/2013 at 21:43
Carter, pb on the half is 1'54 off minimal training. My target is 1'45 for the half at reading. It will be a push to do 8 min miles all the way but it is a flat course and I've been training a hell of a lot more this yr...

Carl, yes does make sense - good logical advice. Hopefully the 20 mile lsr training combined with tempo runs gives me enough in the tank to recover fully in 3 wks....
04/02/2013 at 22:11

Will I think you'll be fine pushing on for a PB... my half PB also came 5 weeks before my marathon ... and I ran sub 3.45 in the mara (just!) as planned. I suppose the only risk is increased chance of an injury but as long as you don't pull/strain anything 5 weeks is plenty of recovery time for a race effort IMO. You will find that this is the time for a PB with your Mara training having just peaked so why not put it to good use - go for it! Good mental boost too pre-marathon.

Go caz - I suppose the pace is easier to control on the treadmill for tempo running but I'm of the opinion nothing beats a session out on the road/track. Mind you better doing a treadmill session than no session at all.

I just had my 1st treadmill run in years tonight - bit of a novelty running an easy 5 miler while watching Top Gear on I-Player! Forgot about that "floaty" feeling when you get off the machine at the end of the session -  definitely odd

Edited: 04/02/2013 at 22:12
04/02/2013 at 23:27
Thanks Ricky, good motivational chat. Mind made up then!
Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/02/2013 at 09:07

Will, 5 weeks should be fine, as long as you don't do anything silly like averaging 8 min miles by starting at 7 and finishing at 9+.  The good thing about doing a half off marathon training rather than moving up from 10k is that if you find the right pace you'll be able to cruise through at the same speed all the way. 

On the subject of races and pacing, does anyone use a gps for pace in a race?  If you do, beware that they're not always accurate and you're usually better off using the mile markers and taking splits manually.  The London marathon is notorious for this, the gps signals through the high rise buildings around Canary Wharf always through it out.  There are many tales of people doing fancy tricks with their garmin, like setting up virtual pacers and all that, but that's not much help when it tells you you've finished 26.2 miles in 3:58 but you're only halfway down birdcage walk with half a mile to go!

Sorry, that started turning into a bit of a rant! 

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/02/2013 at 09:14

Will, while I remember, a tip for the reading half: they've had problems in the past starting on time: they can't start until all road closures are in place and they don't want to do those too early.  If it's a chilly morning, and you're using a bin liner or old top for warmth, leave it right to the last moment before getting rid.

I ran it many years ago and they put the start back by half an hour, literally 2 minutes from the scheduled start.  Lots of people in running vests huddled together like penguins for warmth!  Good event though.  I think they finissh in the football stadium these days.

05/02/2013 at 09:16

But a good one CD.  It's the same advice we always give to our marathon runners too.  I even go as far as switching the screen to show time only.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/02/2013 at 09:23

If you take laps manually at each mile marker and display "average lap time" it'll effectively be giving you your average pace.  If you forget at any marker, press the lap button at any point to get you back on track: as long as the total number of laps equals the number of miles completed then you're fine.

Although if you're aiming to average a nice round number, like 8 minutes per mile, you don't really need pace at all: the maths is straightforward. 

05/02/2013 at 18:04

I think the straightforwardness of maths decreases with each mile run! I would agree with you Dave about Garmins in central London. I run along Embankment quite often and the pace always seems to be way out, ie faster than I can possibly be running! So if you just use average lap time, do think it is accurate? I have had problems with even that in the past - thinking I am running a certain pace but it turned out to have been slower than I thought...

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/02/2013 at 19:07

Caz, if you're showing current pace it'll always vary hugely.  Just check the fastest pace during any run, it's usually way faster than you can manage.  Using average pace is better and fine for training, as long as you're not worried about a few seconds a mile.  I find it fairly consistent over routes I do frequently, which doesn't necessarily mean it's accurate, it could be consistently inaccurate, but it does allow comparison of runs.  They're useful tools but lots of people managed to train for marathons before they were invented, so you don't have to be a slave to it.

If you uploaded your runs to garmin connect or strava so you could plot them on a map, you might be surprised where it thinks you've been running.  According to some uploads from VLM, the marathon route goes through at least one high rise block and involves a swim across one of the docks... 

In a race with mile markers the best solution is to turn autolapping off completely and just do it manually.

05/02/2013 at 19:51
Carl - which model garmin did you plump for in the end?
05/02/2013 at 19:54

Thanks Dave, I will try that. I'm not too concerned about training paces, more pacing for races - VLM in particular!

05/02/2013 at 21:26
Thanks for all the advice dave.

And totally agree on gps front. It was 400 yds out on last half I did which resulted in me going too early! The last half a mile was awful as a result!

And good shout on pacing, I was just thinking about this and think I will aim to do a quicker split on the second half. I've actually done reading and there are 2 down hill sections so I think something like 8'30 for first mile, then 8'10, then as fast as poss on the dh, then 8'05 until mile 7 and then see how I'm goin with aim of doing last 6 miles around 7'45 - 8'00 pace. Not that I've been thinking about this a lot!
Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/02/2013 at 22:08

Will, in a race with lots of runners like Reading you can use the crowds to your advantage in keeping the pace sensible early on, as long as you avoid the temptation to speed up at the first sign of a gap.  Some people start to panic when they feel they're being held back by slower runners, but your plan of running it as a negative split (2nd half quicker than the first) is a good one.  I'm not sure you really mean 'as fast as possible' on the downhill though!

Mile 3 at London is downhill, so inevitably it's a bit quicker than mile 2, but ideally it's still run at the same effort rather than an all out attempt to make the most of it.

05/02/2013 at 22:41
I know what you mean dave and I think there are 20,000 runners at reading?! Sorry yes, I just meant that I would use the dh to my advantage and hopefully it would push one of the early miles down around 7'30 or perhaps lower without taking much more out of me than he flat miles at a slower pace. Will see how it feels and really focus on front foot strike for the dh as that almost feels like cheating when I have done it in training (can't train all the time in that way as new to me but good to practise on the odd mile and is particularly helpful on dh I've found).

The marathon itself I will be v conservative and definitely aiming for negative split...

Cheers, will
Cheerful Dave    pirate
06/02/2013 at 10:05

I was pretty sure that's what you meant Will, but I've heard people say in the past that they're going to make the most of the downhill to get 'time in the bank' which is a mistake.

06/02/2013 at 22:23

Well - I'm finally back out on the tarmac after a week out with manflu (although did manage a couple of treadmill sessions on mon & tues)

4.4 miles including a hill session followed by a tempo mile @ 7.07 pace  ..... much more enjoyable & satisfying than the treadmill... no comparison in fact

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