RW Forum Six – Sub 4 Running Rachel with Cheerful Dave

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23/02/2013 at 20:42

Carl - small steps up those steep climbs and just bury yourself if you can. You're a strong runner now so you will recover fairly quickly when you get to the top and then get back into your rythmn. Good luck mate !

Good luck to everyone else racing tomorrow too.

20.5 miles of off road for me today. 3:38 on my feet thanks to a good breakfast and proper fuelling strategy on the run. Confidence restored.

Rachel - great time for your tempo run, not bad for an old bird like you Good to see you out again tomorrow so have a good one then too ! 

24/02/2013 at 10:39

10 miles done. This is still a long run for me, for most of you it will seem quite short I imagine. Anyway, I set out at what I thought was a very slow pace, so was surprised that at 2 miles I was under a 9 min mile pace but it felt easy, so I carried on. There is a killer hill at around mile 8, which slowed me down a little, but I made it back in 1 hour 31 (9:08 min mile) and sprinted the last leg home. I know long runs should be slower etc etc, but since my mileage is way down, I don't think this will be a problem? Dave? Any thoughts?

Carl- how did you get on?

Carter, if I get to run this marathon, the thing that will drive me to a PB mate will be the thought that you will be beaten by a WOMAN who is OLDER than you!!!!! 

24/02/2013 at 11:30
Rachel - great running from you this morning!

What glorious running weather - just back in from 20ml LSR .. Hilly but scenic route. Averaged 9.10 pace with last 3 mls @ MP.
24/02/2013 at 13:41

Wow Ricky! What a great 20 miles!! What time are you aiming for on marathon day?

24/02/2013 at 13:56
Rachel - I will be happy with sub4 but hoping for 3.45ish. That would be a goal pace then of 8.35 ... Here's hopin!
24/02/2013 at 14:13

Nice running Rachel and Ricky!
Completely agree - lovely cold morning for a nice lond run. 18 miles at av pace of 9.40 with last 4 at 9.20 (apart from the last one as definitely got a bit lost!)
Looking at past few long runs its always the middle miles where the pace drops off a bit and that's regardless of hills etc. Probably just my mind switching off a bit. Any tips on race day to help this, but without having to constantly stare at my watch!? Guess I'll try enter the 20 miler which has pacers and have a go running with one of them. 

24/02/2013 at 14:49

No 3G signal at the top of the hills where I was running. No sunshine. Snow in the air and the last 4 miles were so cold with the wind either into the face or crosswind.. And I aquaplaned on some ice at one point.

This was a seriously hilly course and elevation gain was 674 ft according to my garmin whatever that means.

I was chatting with a chap before the start who has been racing for over 30 years and he said this was the worst conditions he has ever run in.

I only used my watch to keep an eye on my in lap pace and ran very much on feel.

The first 2.5 miles were all uphill. I felt very comfortable even though I was running faster than I thought I should. After a downhill section it climbed again upto the first village. A short section across a field and then another climb. This was a long hill but this was when I knew I was going well. I was passing people steadily all the way up. Through the second village where it just kept rolling up and down. Then off road for a trip through a woodland. Looped back through the vilaage and then on a gradual descent. I was picking up speed here but trying to be sensible judging my pace against those around me. This was where I skidded on some ice.

Got to the 9 mile marker and turned to head uphill straight into a headwind. This was horrible. Uphill for about 0.5 miles and then down again before the beast of a climb. I found myself trying to slow down before I hit this climb.

The climb was on the most exposed part of the course and the wind was whipping across the course. It was very cold. But again I felt really good so I just pushed hard and started passing peple out. There is something nice about passing people on steep hills.

Got to the top, a quick but short descent back to the first village and then another climb.

I decided at this point that I would not look at the watch but knew that a good time was on so I began to pick up the pace as there was about 2.5 miles left. It was a case of focussing on the people ahead of me and reeling them in.

The last mile was tough. I was tired. It was on gravel and quite twisty. The finsih was on an uphill part of the narrow path and I found a little bit more to pass out 2 more people.

So my split times were as follows :

1 - 8:12min; 2 - 8:11 min; 3 - 7:48 min; 4 - 8:05 min; 5 - 7:57 min; 6 - 7:50 min;

7 - 7:39 min; 8 - 7:31 min; 9 - 7:34 min; 10 - 7:49 min; 11 - 7:34 min ;

12 - 7:10 min; 13 - 7:07 min; 0.14 - 0:52 min (6:24min/mile)

But I seriously nailed this. A new PB of 1:41.

Am really pleased with this.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
24/02/2013 at 15:16
What happened to "I'm never going to get a PB on this course"?

That's a fantastic result Carl, superbly paced. That's worth a fair few minutes off on a flatter course in better conditions. Your biggest problem now is working out your new marathon target!

Well done, hope you're enjoying a beer or two after that.
24/02/2013 at 15:43
Dave - standing in the freezing cold on the start line I really thought I was just going to try and put in a decent shift. Running a PB was not on my mind.

But a few miles in I felt really comfortable. After climbing upto mile 5 I figured that if I could keep this going until the climb at mile 9/10 that I might get a good result. All the way round I was trying not to get carried away and just keep going steady. But I grew in confidence as I passed peopel on the hills.

I guess as you say this puts the cat amongst the pigeons now. But this is a nice problem to have.

Celebration needs to go on ice as OH is away this weekend tending her elderly mum and I had to get back to pick the kids up from various activities which I did. I am trying to encourage the little ones to occupy themselves so hat I can have a little quiet time.
Cheerful Dave    pirate
24/02/2013 at 16:16
Sometimes the best runs happen when you least expect it. If you'd had a flat course on a nice day you'd have targeted 1:45, run at that pace all the way and got it but with the feeling that you could have gone faster. You're obviously a good judge of how you feel running-wise: get it right like that in your marathon and you're certainly looking at something in the 3:30s, if not quicker.
24/02/2013 at 18:40
North west half in Blackpool today felt great and knocked 5mins on my PB finishing at 1.45.19 gutted now didn't get under 1.44 seeing I was so close, weather was good a bit blowy on the top loops but sheltered on the bottom
Learnings for today - snow slowed me down on the motorway so only arrived 20 mins before gun time' struggled to get chip on my laces, watch would not get a signal so I started dead last and ran stopwatch trying to keep close to 8 min miles, won't make same mistakes again!! Rachel great Long run _ Carl and Ricky you guys as well
24/02/2013 at 19:13
Dd - great running from you today especially after your fast 10k training run yesterday.

What marathon race are you doing ?

Was chatting with another runner today and we were talking about races we have been to where we got caught in traffic. It does cause chaos with our preparations when this happens.
24/02/2013 at 19:30

Carl- mighty impressive stuff there today. Surely you are rethinking your target marathon time??

Dd- a PB for you too. Great stuff!

Ricky, I'm sure you'll get close to your faster goal time.

Everyone is running so well!!

24/02/2013 at 20:03

Rachel - great run from you this morning. I dont think running as you did is much or=f a problem in the grand scheme of things. Once you start running 12 - 14 miles again that is when you will need to keep an eye on the pace and keep it a little slower.

I started this journey around Christmas wanting to be sure of breaking 4 hrs and secretly hoping to get close to 3:45.

There is no doubt that today and being fair some of my speed sessions too that i can run much faster than that.

But how fast.

Should I aim for 3:30 and risk blowing up in the last 6 miles and then miss 3:45. That would be gutting.

I have 3 more LSR's left before I taper. The plan was to run 2 of them with some MP miles and the third one real slow. I am also planning on running some of my MLR's at MP.

3:45 is around 8:30 miling and on the face of it after todays performance that looks a bit slow. On the other hand I have never run in sunshine and I am told that while Paris is cold at the start it almost always gets very hot. This is another factor to consider.

Carter clearly thinks I can get close to 3:30 but that is 8 minute miling for so much longer than a HM.

I think I am going to experiment this week and see how I feel with something around 8:15 miling for MP. The LSR next weekend is going to be the test.

The following weeks 22mile LSR will be a real challenge as I am away across  the pond all week with work getting back to the UK on Saturday morning and I am going to a footie match on the Sunday.

24/02/2013 at 20:37
Carl Manchester marathon for me so I few more training weeks to go, I have one more half booked in on 17 March in Alloa
Unfinished business with MCR as I had real poor run last year coming in at 4.25
Working from home This week so hoping to get some good sessions in during the week
24/02/2013 at 21:00

Another great weekend of running & two more PBs

Carl  - bonkers fast running, big negative split & very fast last 2 miles & sprint finish. Perfect race - well done. Enjoy that PB on what sounded like a horrendous course TBH.
I think 8.15 sounds about right fror your MP .... from memory there is general rule of thumb somewhere that says your MP should be about 30sec pm slower than your HMP.... so that's just about spot on.

Dd - great PB especially after nearly missing the start - how unsettling that must have been.... nightmare! Don't beat yourself up about just missing sub 1:45 - you have a great PB by a whopping 5mins and another great target to aim at in Alloa!

24/02/2013 at 21:49
Great running everyone! Carl, fab pb, you must be so chuffed with hat. Ricky fantastic 20 miler. Rachel, 10 miles is not to be sniffed at well done. Excellent pb Dd, if I get anywhere near that in reading hm ill be well chuffed...

Spent my weekend climbing in Dorset, bloody freezing! Managed to get my run in sat pm after climbing all day. Was aiming for 15 but knocked it on the head and did 13m at 8'55, half the mileage being uphill!
Cheerful Dave    pirate
25/02/2013 at 08:39

Rachel, meant to say yesterday, that's a decent 10 miler given what's been going on.  TBH the 'long runs should be slow' philosophy is based more on effort than pace, I think - if you were running easily and had enough for a sprint at the end then that's fine.  It's also more focussed on the really long runs (20 or thereabouts) when you don't want to do lots of those close to marathon pace.  That 10 yesterday sounds like it went very well.

When you get the all clear we'll need to build up those long runs but without the repeated 20 milers.  That's not a problem, you can still have a good marathon but pacing it becomes even more important because you'll be lacking a little in endurance.

Very well run Dd, got to be happy with that in poor conditions.  I posted something early in the thread about preparing for what could go wrong, it sounds like you tried some of that out for real!  GPS not working properly is a classic one, though if you're 8 minute miling then you're not losing much just using a stopwatch.  You don't even need to bother looking at minutes - if the watch says X:10 at the first marker and X:05 at the second then you've gone 8:10, 7:55.  You'd know if it was 9, and you'd certainly know about 7!

Carl, you've just shown that you can negatively split a long race, and ideally you'd do the same in Paris.  I wouldn't say that 3:30 is beyond you, but if you start the race with 3:30 in mind and run 8s from the gun you risk suffering late on when (as you say) it warms up a bit.  Worst case, you aim for 8:00 at the start, crowds slow you down for the first couple of miles, then you speed up to make time back up.  A 7:30 at mile 4 and you might as well pack up there and then!  My sugestion would be to aim for 8:15 to 8:20 at the start, and stay roughly on that effort.  Don't try & force any pace at all - if you're going OK then pace naturally picks up a little I find, and you might find yourself ahead of that schedule.  At 17-20 you can think about a finish time - if you're close enough to 8s by then to give it a shot then that's great, if you're not then frankly it wasn't going to happen anyway.

Bear in mind that markers will be in km at Paris, so you maybe need to think about 5:10 per km.  Don't rely on your gps to be accurate, and without mile markers to check against you won't know if it's out.  At least have in mind some target times for each 5k: 3:30 pace would be just under 25 minutes per 5k, so you want to be around 26 for the first 5k.

25/02/2013 at 10:06
Dave - reading your post i just had my first moment where my mind wandered to race day. It's getting closer all the time now, obviously !

Rachel - good running over the weekend old gal. If kicking my ass spurs you on then you carry on doing it Providing you get me a pint at the finishing line !!
25/02/2013 at 16:38

Carl and Dd - really great running! Very impressive!! Seeing results like this really spurs me on...even if the splits seem mentally fast!

I have accepted that this time round I'm not aiming for sub 4....but second time round I definitely will be! How long has it taken people to get sub 4? I'm going to be aiming for sub 4.15 this time round and think sub 4.10 will be likely. Is ten minutes a lot to knock off from your first time? (Very general questions and obviously very personal, just curious how long it can take / has taken people. I am 22, and having spoken to a few people your 'best marathon years' tend to be your 30s? Is there truth in this?!)

Was talking to a friend who has been bitten by the ultra bug and made me realise one day I would love to go on and do one. No idea where to start but will get this mara out the way...maybe get the sub 4 out of the way, then go and be one of the crazy ultra runners! 

Edited: 25/02/2013 at 16:40
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