RW Forum Six – Sub 4 Running Rachel with Cheerful Dave

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19/02/2013 at 17:32

My first 4 miler on a Tuesday for a few weeks  8:43 min mile. The sun was shining after work, so I thought why not! I'm going to try and get out a bit more this week, especially if the weather remains so good!

19/02/2013 at 18:18

Nice one, Rachel! I was also out running in the sunshine today. It was a nice change from the usual harsh conditions!  I don't think it is due to last, though. It looks like it's going to get pretty cold later in the week...

19/02/2013 at 19:09
Nice going Rachel - I cudnt resist the sunshine earlier either and bunked off early to do my tempo session. 6 miler - 1 mile w/u followed by 5 miles tempo. 46:37 for the run at an overall 7.46 pace avg.

Hopefully Carl gets back into the groove this evening.
19/02/2013 at 19:27

Wow, Ricky, nice pace!

Caz..I wanted the weather to last  Boo...will just have to make the most of it then!! I need to get back on track a bit whatever!!

 

19/02/2013 at 20:13

Excellent work Rachel, well done. Thre is nothing better than getting out on a crisp day with a nice blue sky. Hang on, it was pitch black and freezing when I went out tonight Are you planning on getting out a few more times this week then if you can ? Inbetween your shopping and skiving that is !!!

19/02/2013 at 20:20
Good work everyone, lovely weather today.. Did some mile intervals at 7'23 before work...
19/02/2013 at 23:36

Good running all.

After a week out with manflu (both above and below the neck) and although not 100% better I decided to get back in the groove tonight and step back into my training plan as if everything was normal.

With my HM on Sunday I thought this would be a good test of what impact a week off has.

Boy was it tough.

1.75 mile wu - 8:44 min/mile

6 miles tempo - 7:44 min/mile

2 mile cd - 8:58 min/mile

Overall 9.75 miles at 8:10 min/mile.

Have been wrecked since I walked back in the front door and must admit that I expected to be tired but not this .. maybe it was a bit ambitious to start straight back into a tempo run. The first 3 miles of the tempo were at about 7:30 min/mile and consistent. Then I got a stitch and mile 4 was a litle ropey and I drifted out to 7:40 ish and mile 6 was just plain tough as the tank was empty and the breathing all over the place.

But on the positive side I did it.

Not sure what this means for the HM yet. It is a hilly course so I was not expecting a great pb anyway but now not sure what my strategy is. Hopefully I will work it out before I get to the start line.

Edited: 19/02/2013 at 23:37
Cheerful Dave    pirate
20/02/2013 at 08:07

Seems everyone decided to run fast yesterday.  Good to see Rachel getting out there, if 8:43 is just ticking over then thereonce you get the all clear you'll be flying.  Exceptionally quick stuff from Rick, Will & Carl.  That's so much faster than 3:45 or 4:00 marathon pace it's shocking!

Carl, it sounds like you're not 100% over your illness, plus the first two of your tempo set were maybe a little too quick given it was first time for a week.  Ideally tempo is contant pace, if you'd started at 7:40 you'd more likely have held that.  Easy to say with hindsight though, it's difficult to judge.  I've found that my breathing pattern is a good indicator of how hard I'm working - I naturally fall into one of 3 or 4 patterns depending on the effort going in, and when I change to the quickest pattern I know I only have a couple of miles left at that pace at most.  Controlling your breathing also helps with stitches.

A hilly half is going to break up your running rythym and it's even more important not to go off like a greyhound out of the traps - you want to be strong enough so you don't slow down too much on the upslopes in the second half, and can pick up speed again over the top.  If you've burnt your bridges in the first 5k each hill becomes a real slog and you can't pick it up again on the way back down.  Even an extra minute in the first mile or two will be gained back with interest at the end.

20/02/2013 at 18:12
Good session Carl - don't beat yourself up, you're still not 100%recovered from the manflu! You should take it little easier this week as you recover from illness and also to allow more chance of a decent HM performance on Sunday.
20/02/2013 at 18:40

Hey everyone,
Having lurked for a while, now looking for a bit of advice...not sure exactly if I'm sub 4. This will be my first marathon, so conservatively aiming for sub 4.15, but possibly sub 4. Definitely sub 4 for my second one
So, advice. Doing the MK marathon on may bank holiday, so got a few weeks left. I've built my LSR up to 18 miles (my pace on my long ones is always between 9.40-9.50 for overall average, and usually get a few miles around 9.20-9.30 towards the end, hence thinking sub 4 is possible, but think I need the experience etc). My mileage for the past few weeks has been a bit low for various reasons, but building it up to 40 for next week (36 this week, 40 next week).
So my plan for the remaining weeks goes like this. 18 mile LSR this week, with a weekly mileage of 36, 20 mile LSR next week with weekly mileage of 40, easier week, 20 mile LSR with mileage of 40, 20 mile LSR (possibly do a race and run at 9.30 pace to see where I'm at) with mileage of 40, easier week, 22 LSR with mileage of 42-45,  23 LSR with mileage of 45, and then 2 weeks taper.
Does this sound ok? My mileage is lower (hence I'm probably not on for sub 4 this time round), but this is due to a number of commitments, and also I do quite a bit of cross training. Any advice would be brilliant!
From the lurking - lots of fast running on here!! Well done on all these good runs! 

20/02/2013 at 19:45
Runwiththewind, hello! Your mileage is higher than mine although I may fail spectacularly given this is also my first marathon effort! I think mine was 31 next wk... I'm not really qualified to comment but you'd need to do 9 min miles all the way for a 3'54/55 finish and if you factor in running wide on bends/GPS drift on watch etc that may be around 4-5 mins as well so reckon really you need to run 8'50 miles all the way to be sure of a sub 4 marathon... Which I suppose also means you need to do build upto incorporating a significant amount of 'marathon pace' running into your mileage...

My plan is a bit different as I do 3 runs a week only, that's the less mileage bit!, but at higher speed perhaps than other plans...

We'll see how I go I suppose..

Cheers, will
20/02/2013 at 21:08

Hi Runwiththewind and welcome!! 

 

20/02/2013 at 22:31
Cheerful Dave wrote (see)

Carl, it sounds like you're not 100% over your illness, plus the first two of your tempo set were maybe a little too quick given it was first time for a week.  Ideally tempo is contant pace, if you'd started at 7:40 you'd more likely have held that.  Easy to say with hindsight though, it's difficult to judge.  I've found that my breathing pattern is a good indicator of how hard I'm working - I naturally fall into one of 3 or 4 patterns depending on the effort going in, and when I change to the quickest pattern I know I only have a couple of miles left at that pace at most.  Controlling your breathing also helps with stitches.

A hilly half is going to break up your running rythym and it's even more important not to go off like a greyhound out of the traps - you want to be strong enough so you don't slow down too much on the upslopes in the second half, and can pick up speed again over the top.  If you've burnt your bridges in the first 5k each hill becomes a real slog and you can't pick it up again on the way back down.  Even an extra minute in the first mile or two will be gained back with interest at the end.

Dave- dead right. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It was slightly ambitious to try and pick up where I had left off and while I thought I was compensating for not being 100% I clearly did not compensate enough. Lesson for the future.

The HM on Sunday is going to be a challenge. The fortunate thing is that the first 4 miles or so are more uphill than down so this should make me take it steady. There is some off road stuff in that section as well and again around 6 miles. There is what is described as a 3/4mile climb around mile 10 and then the last 2 miles are downhill.

Realistically beating my HM PB of 1:47 that I set in the Royal Parks Half in 2011 is probably not on. I would need to run consistent 8 min miles. It is not really about losing the week it is more about needing a little more time to be 100%.

That said I had a good session tonight.

Was not really sure what I was going to do when I went out into the bitterly cold night air.

Set off, felt comfortable during mile 1. Settled into a slightly faster pace during mile 2 and decided that I would keep this going for a few more miles. I increased my pace a little for mile 6 and increased it again for mile 7 before slowing for mile 8.

Splits were as follows :

Mile 1 - 8:38

Mile 2 - 8:27 ( downhill)

Mile 3 - 8:32

Mile 4 - 8:29

Mile 5 - 8:28

Mile 6 - 8:17

Mile 7 - 8:01

Mile 8 - 8:46

Overall 8 miles at 8:27 min/mile.

Pleased with this but recognise that as I am still recovering I will probably need to be very disciplined come Sunday.


 

20/02/2013 at 22:37

You are very welcome RWTW & hello!

Your mileage is a little light but you are well on schedule with your Long Runs - the most important session of the week. Like Will if your other sessions are Quality/fast sessions you might surprise yourself and go close to 4 hrs....

Try and get some 9 m/mls in for the last 5 miles of your next LSR and see how you get on.

20/02/2013 at 22:40

MLR tonight - cold & windy..... took it fairly easy as I'm on for a 3rd consecutive 50 mile approx week culminating in another 20 miler on Sunday... so trying to keep fairly fresh for that. Next week cut back week.

8 miles @ 8.43 pace.

Oh and RWTW - your taper of 2 weeks looks a little short to me maybe? However Dave's the man with the experience so I'm sure he will be along shortly.

Edited: 20/02/2013 at 22:42
Cheerful Dave    pirate
21/02/2013 at 08:57

Carl, you're right that the first miles being uphill will help.  It sounds like the key will be that uphill at 10 miles - if you can knock out a couple of quicker miles at the end after that then it'll have been a good day whatever the time and a good indicator that you're on the right track for the marathon.  Just don't keep checking your watch every 200m worrying that you're behind 8 min pace!

RWTW, that pattern of LSRs looks OK to me, as long as that last 23 is properly easy, a 'time on feet' run rather than any effort at pace.  As Ricky points out, a 2 week taper might be short if you're spending half of it getting over a hard 23 miler.

LSRs should always be a fair bit slower than marathon pace (give or take a few quicker miles at the end) so what do you do your shorter runs at?  Are you mixing up the paces in those (some quicker tempo runs, intervals, hills maybe)?  As it's your first marathon you need to be honest with yourself over whether 4 hours is a real possibility - it can be very tempting to say that you'll just try starting at sub-4 pace, and it might feel great for a few miles, but if it's unrealistic it can make the day an awfully long and miserable one.  It sounds like you've got your head screwed on right though, if you're already talking about that as a target for the second one.  No harm in blind ambition in training, but stood on the startline you need a sensible head on!

Mind you, get those long runs in, backed up during the week, and who knows?  No need to decide until nearer the time.  Oh, and I find cross training (cycling & swimming in my case) does help in making up for fewer running miles, so you might be in a better position than you think. 

21/02/2013 at 09:44

Thanks for all the advice! Very helpful!
In terms of my other runs - yes, they tend to be more quality sessions. Usually a tempo run at around 8.50 pace and an interval session. So when putting the mileage up a bit I'm just adding in some more easy miles. And the cross training is swimming. I've been a swimmer for years, but have stepped training down quite a bit to focus on running - needed a new challenege!!
Yeah, I think for first marathon I'll aim for sub 4.15 and start at a pace of 9.20-9.30. Second one I'll get that sub 4. I think it's possible, but I would hate to aim for it and then be dissapointed on finishing!
Thanks for all the advice, great reading people's progress! Fast running all round!! 

21/02/2013 at 18:17

I fail at dates....looked at my plan again, looks like I actually have a 3 week taper. Wahey! Was worrying for a bit! What distance is bet to do on the Sunday runs of tapers??
Hope everyone is good! 

21/02/2013 at 20:17
Hi runwiththewind - you didn't tell us what day you do your long runs ? If its the Sunday you are referring to, then if your plan is like mine, you will go from your current 18-21ish down to 14, 12 then 10. If your Sunday run is the day after your long run then it would be around 5-8 very easy miles. That's what I'm planning on doing anyway !
21/02/2013 at 20:35

My Sunday run is my long run, sorry, forgot to mention! Good plan, will do similar!

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