RW Forum Six – Sub 4 Running Rachel with Cheerful Dave

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Cheerful Dave    pirate
28/12/2012 at 08:51

That's a good question.  At this stage we're really just finding out what Rachel's paces are.  Her 4 hour target is a bit arbitrary based on her first marathon where she finished in 4:04 having set out trying to maintain 8:20 pace.  That would indicate that the pace she could actually maintain evenly throughout is probably a bit quicker than 9 m/m (to put it in perspective, I can't race 5k at 40s/mile quicker than my marathon pace, let alone anything longer).  She also did a 10 mile race recently that she 'jogged' (her words!) in 90 minutes. 

The long runs are where pace management really counts at this stage - if the shorter runs are quicker then that's not really a problem, especially if Rachel still describes them as 'easy'.  We'll revise her target nearer the time based on how her training has gone: setting the target based on the training, not the other way round which given she's only done one marathon is sensible.

28/12/2012 at 09:11

If I can add, when I say "easy" I mean just going out and running at a comfortable pace. My "problem" is that for ages my "prefered pace was around an 8 min mile, but that's only for distances up to 8-10 miles.After that I can't maintain it, plus I then suffer midweek when my pace drops...My long runs I think I need to do slower. Will do my "Blind" 10 miler on Saturday, to see what pace easy is then. I suspect it will be around a 9- 9:30 min mile, depending on how full of energy I am. 

Dave, a question....fuelling for a 10 miler? I would usually have a SIS energy gel at 4 and 8 miles..? Too much?

Cheerful Dave    pirate
28/12/2012 at 09:27

I was afraid you were going to ask me about fuelling: it's a tricky one because it's more about time rather than distance.  Personally I wouldn't have anything for a 10 miler, but OTOH I usually take one for my 16 mile runs.  Taking one at 8 miles seems a bit late - by the time it's properly in your system you're nearly finished.  Try taking one at 5 and leaving it at that.

28/12/2012 at 10:11

Ok, will try that Enjoying a rest day today!

28/12/2012 at 21:46
Just want to wish you the best of luck Rachel! I'm aiming for a sub 4 at the end of April, but your paces are faster than mine. I might have to work a bit harder!!

I'll be following your progress with interest...
28/12/2012 at 22:26

Thank you Suzie! I think my "faster pace" was my downfall last time as I couldn't maintain it on the day...I think I have a steep learning curve ahead! Keep us posted with how your training is going!!

29/12/2012 at 11:04

10 miler done without my Garmin! It was sooooooo wet out there, had to sidestep a couple of HUGE puddles and watched many a wave rise over the kerb as cars went past! Anyway, time was1:33:50, which seems to equate to a 9.23 min mile. It certainly felt like I was running quite slowly at times and I had energy left at the end for a short sprint. Had one SIS energy gel at 5 miles, which I had to stop to open, don't know if my hands were just so numb from the rain, or it was a dud, but I finally got a pinhead sized hole made by tearing at it with my teeth!! Anyway, very glad to be in and dry now!!

 

Edited: 29/12/2012 at 11:05
Cheerful Dave    pirate
29/12/2012 at 12:05

Nice one Rachel.  Sounds like you would have been good for a few more miles at that pace which is a good sign.  Keep the pace easy for your long runs as you build up the distance, with perhaps a little push on in the last couple of miles.  There's some science behind that but for me it's as much about confidence in being strong at the end of a long run.  If you're struggling to hold on to pace and are slowing at the end of a long run then guess what's going to happen on race day?

One thought - bearing in mind that your run today was at near enough your average pace for your previous marathon, which do you think would have been easier: running like that for 26.2 miles or starting at 8:20 pace and fading like you did on the day?  It might be 'only' 10 miles and the first of your programme, but I hope you got a lot of confidence from that.

I've had problems with SIS gels like that myself, they're not the easiest when your hands are cold and wet.  Before you start your run, try precutting the bit you tear off with scissors, down from the 3mm or so you need to tear to 1mm.  They're a lot easier to open if you do that.

I hope you're dried out.  My parkrun this morning was the first dry one for a while, but it's chucking it down here now.

29/12/2012 at 12:21

I hadn't really thought about the fact that today's pace was my average for the marathon...that's certainly food for thought! My problem in Liverpool was that my legs started to seize up at about mile 15 and by mile 20, I actually had to stop and walk to stretch out a bit...they never really "unseized" to be honest and I wonder if I "hit the wall" as at 20/21 miles I just felt like I had nothing left. It was so frustrating as I had done 20 miles in 2 hours 56 a couple of weeks earlier. Which probably caused me to be over confident on the day....

So when you say keep the pace easy...is that todays pace then? Or do I need to run slower?

Nice lazy day planned now!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
30/12/2012 at 16:36

Hope you enjoyed your lazy day - rest day tomorrow isn't it?

That pace would be fine for your long runs, but it would be better not to think about the pace but to do the long runs at the same effort as yesterday.  If that ends up being a little quicker on any given run then so be it, but you're looking to run them at a nice easy, consistent effort with enough left for a little bit more at the end.  By race day you should know what that effort feels like, or more to the point you'll know when you're working too hard in the early miles.  

You've got three shorter runs this week, what did you have in mind for them - I mentioned intervals & a tempo run earlier on, are you going to try those?

30/12/2012 at 16:56

Yes, I'm up for that. I've never really got my head around intervals. Could you clarify again. And "tempo run" would be at which pace? Have skipped today's recovery run as we have been round for mulled wine and mince pies at friends' house, but Tuesday (or maybe tomorrow) sees the start of the plan proper! Woo hoo!!!!!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
31/12/2012 at 20:12
A bit late replying, it's been one of those days. A tempo run should be a fairly quick one, not maximum effort but just beyond conversation pace. Again you're looking to maintain the same pace throughout - it might take a few goes to find the right effort level.

Intervals are where you alternate fast pace (pretty much maximum effort) for a fixed time or distance with periods of light jogging. If you're using a garmin you can set it to beep at the end of each interval. For marathon training long intervals are the norm, so you could start with 3 minutes fast, 2 slow, repeat 6 times for 30 minutes total (not forgetting a warmup beforehand!). Although I say maximum effort, you really want to be able to do them all at a consistent pace so bear that in mind on the first one - don't go completely mad!

Oh, and happy new year!
31/12/2012 at 20:33

interesting forum - i am also aiming for a sub four hour and after missing both Mcr and Chester by 20mins earlier this year i am not going take anything for granted, training for both marathons this year i thought was good and i hit sub 3hrs for twenty miles regulary but on the day i died around 20/21 miles and limped home in both, looking back at my training logs i just did not do enough of the easy mid week runs and relied to much on a weekend long run, lesson learnt for Manchester this year - good luck everyone.

01/01/2013 at 00:36

Dd, sounds like we had a similar problem on the day! Let us know how the training goes this time round!

Dave: intervals tomorrow (or is it today now *checks watch*??)

Happy New Year!! May it be a sub 4 year for us all!!

01/01/2013 at 00:50
Been lurking with interest. Happy new year to all.
Cheerful Dave    pirate
01/01/2013 at 08:52
Runningrachel wrote (see)

Dd, sounds like we had a similar problem on the day!

Yes, welcome Dd: you've reminded me I was going to quote something Rachel said:

Runningrachel wrote (see)

It was so frustrating as I had done 20 miles in 2 hours 56 a couple of weeks earlier.

There, in a nutshell, was your problem: basically you ran the first 20 miles of your marathon 2 weeks early!  Two weeks isn't enough time to fully recover from an all-out, marathon-paced run.  Add in the over-exhuberant start that often comes in a marathon and you've doomed yourself to a difficult last 10k. 

It's very easy to give in to the temptation for one last 'confidence booster' but it's usually counter-productive.  We all do it though: I doubt there's a marathon runner on on the forum who hasn't run too long, too hard too close to their race.  I know I have, more than once!

01/01/2013 at 10:31

Ok, first attempt at intervals done, though dragging myself up this morning was FAR from easy! Tried to remember what you'd said, but got the timing slightly wrong...but this is what I did...

  • 1 mile warm up (8:49) hmmmm...was that too fast??
  • 4 mins at effort, though wasn't max effort (feeling tired!!!!) distance 0.51 mile
  • 2 mins recovery
  • 4 mins effort- 0.5 mile
  • 2mins recovery
  • 4 mins effort 0.48 mile
  • 2 mins recovery
  • 5 mins effort (clearly I couldn't still add at this point, it should have been 4!) ) 0.6 mile
  • 2 mins recovery, then sprint home
  • Total time (4.1 miles) 35.05

So...could definitely have gone faster in the effort bits...but can try that next week?

Happy new year Happy Chap!

Hindsight...a wonderful thing when it comes to pacing....

So, this "tempo run" tomorrow. What pace shall I aim for?

Off for a walk with the family now, have a great day everyone!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
01/01/2013 at 19:18
That's good stuff Rachel, that should get you used to running fast. Not that you'll be running your marathon at that pace, but it'll help your marathon pace feel easier, something you don't get if all your running is at the same pace. Variety and all that, eh?

It's a bit of a guess, but based on today's effort I'd suggest something around 8:30 for your run tomorrow. For anyone lurking, that's not a fixed pace aimed at achieving a 4 hour marathon: rather it's an individual thing, you should be running just beyond conversation pace, but not quite up to full 5k or 10k race pace.
01/01/2013 at 20:12
10k race \ run in Beith ayrshire tomorrow, Scottish bank holiday so no work !!!
3 miler today so hard to run at an easy pace especially with rain and Gail force winds,
Rachel well done on the tempo run defo I missed doing those last year will aim to do one this week
01/01/2013 at 20:14
Almost forgot happy new year to all
Happy chap do you have a race planned?
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