RW Forum Six – Sub 4 Running Rachel with Cheerful Dave

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Cheerful Dave    pirate
02/03/2013 at 18:30

Rachel, there's enough time, what you'll miss are the repeated 20 mile runs but you'll be up to distance.  Your run today shows you haven't lost much, you're just a bit behind on building it up.  You'll see the consultant before your half so no need to decide anything before then.  That was a good 12 this morning.

My race went OK, I was a bit behind target (3:03) but that reflects my lack of bike miles more than anything else.  The two 8 mile runs were in the same ballpark as previous goes at this race, but on the bike the three climbs up Box Hill were lacking that extra spark.  I was still running pretty well on the last climb, which bodes well for the marathon.

02/03/2013 at 19:14
Rachel - sounds like the reduced training has done you no harm... That was a nice 12 earlier!

Dave seems like you were pleased with the running legs of the race which is the main focus so that's good. Which marathon is it you are doing again and is a PB on the cards?!

Just a 6 miler for me this afternoon at a fairly easy effort. Picked a nice country lane route which is picturesque but hilly. Must say I really enjoyed just being outside and it even felt like Spring!
Glad I took the last 2 days off as today I felt much better and it felt like an easy effort. Watch said 8.50 pace and avg HR of 146 which is down near my LSR HR zone.
Cheerful Dave    pirate
02/03/2013 at 19:23

Ricky, if 8:50 feels easy then you're clearly on the right track.

I'm doing VLM.  I think I'm a little off PB but the last 5 I've done have all been in a 4 minute window so another one in there would be great.

02/03/2013 at 19:30

Sounds like a fun race Dave! 

Glad you enjoyed your run today Ricky! The weather has been amazing hasn't it!

I hope to get out for a recovery run tomorrow,then I'll had a decent week running all round

02/03/2013 at 21:02

Rachel - I agree with Dave. See what your consultant says and then you can make the call. You have got a good base built up and are running well at the moment. If it is meant to be it will happen.

02/03/2013 at 21:03

Dave- good running today particularly on that last hill. What is your PB and was it London that you did this at ? You have probably told us before but my memory is lousy.

02/03/2013 at 21:13

20 mile LSR from me today with 8 miles of MP thrown in for good measure.

4 miles slow at 9:29 min/mile avg.

4 miles MP at 8:09 min/mile avg.

4 miles slow at 9:27 min/mile avg.

4 miles MP at 8:09 min/mile avg.

4 miles slow at 9:15 min.mile avg.

Legs were gettng a little heavy towards the end.

Overall 20 miles in 2:58:08.

After a week that started with a tough HM, this was agood test. Short recovery run tomorrow.

Next week will be more challenging as I am in the States from Monday and do not get back until Saturday morning. Only time next weekend to do the LSR will be Saturday afternoon. My OH has planned a night out at a school quiz on the Saturday night. Not sure how I will stay awake for that. I am going to a footie match on the Sunday so that wipes that day out.

I plan on swopping the MP and slow banks of 4 miles during this LSR and will most lijkely slow them a little to get a feel for running closer to the 8:30 min/mile range as this is likley to be all I am able to do from the start in the marathon itself.

22 mile slow planned for the following weekend so that I will be running for about 3:30 and then I begin my taper.

Marathon day is getting closer.



02/03/2013 at 21:36
Rachel - good work, really impressed that you have maintained fitness for a long run like that.

Ricky, an easy 8'50 pace eh ;o) nice one

Carl, that is a very impressive 20 miler indeed, you must be just about there for your mara except the taper - feeling confident I bet?

I did 18 miles today at 8'59 average pace and most of it was between 8'55-9'05 but pushed out an 8'33 mile at mile 17... Mostly felt pretty comfortable, happy days
03/03/2013 at 10:37

Will - some great running from you too. Looks to be coming together nicely.

For me its all about settling in on a race pace that I am comfortable holding so as to reserve enough during the second half. This is what the next few weeks are all about. I have run three 20 milers, and plan 2 more so I think I am in a reasonable place.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
03/03/2013 at 10:48

Nice long run Will.  Good pace and you had something left if you picked it up at 17, but you might want to think about slowing the long run a bit as we head towards race day - it sounds a bit counterintuitive but increasing your endurance is as much about time on your feet as anything else and you want to keep some powder dry.

Carl, nice long run also, good effort in there but good to see the last one will be slower! 

Yesterday you basically ran 20 miles at 3:50 marathon pace after the first 4 took 38 minutes.  If you'd had to knock out a 3:45 marathon after those first 4 you'd have had no problem.  Goes to show you don't need to hit MP straight from the start, so when you get held up in the first few miles in Paris you won't worry about it.  I'd even suggest that when you swap around next week that you stick a mile or two of 9 mins or more in at the start, to simulate the real race a bit more closely.  It'll also get you used to trying to hit your MP when you pick up the pace after that, because it's very easy to overdo it when the roads get a bit clearer.

Since you've asked, my PB is 2:35:21, London 2009.  Just to be consistent I did 2:35:56 in 2010 and 2011, but lost a few minutes last year for 2:39.


03/03/2013 at 11:26
Good pace over 18 Will... Training is kicking in!

Carl, you are in a good place at the minute ... The donkeywork is done so to speak and it's all about the finishing touches for you now.

Dave great PBs - respect sir. If I ever get within an hour of that I will be over the moon!

14 miler today - 2:03 and avgd 8.50 pace... Ran it on feel with little reference to the watch. Chatted until last 3 miles when we did a progressive finish with fast sub 8m/ml last mile. Avg HR for run was 143bpm which is bang on the usual for an LSR so happy with that.
Felt v strong finishing and really pushed last half mile - garmin showed a best pace of 5.51!!

A 21 LSR next sun - Dave should I do any of this at MP or concentrate on SLOW and time on feet now? I will be running this one solo which is no bad thing as I will be solo on marathon day.
03/03/2013 at 14:09

Feeling a tad frustrated. 20 mile LSR and as first 20 miler, and first week of over 40 miles, figured it was very much a 'time on my feet' run...that said, it was very slow. Been doing LSR's at about 9.40 pace very confortable, and last two ones of 18 have been at this speed (naturally at this speed as not been checking my watch)....this one was so much slower....average pace of 9.57. Didn't even feel hugely slower and first time I've used a gel as well. The middle 10 miles were just so slow...last few I managed to up the pace to 9.30 and didn't feel drained from that, but just concerned at just how slow this is. I know LSR's are meant to be slow...but it's a big drop off rom my last few long runs and it feels like a massive step back . Need some reassurance! (Also I know this is a lot slower than some of you lot, but aiming for sub 4.15 this time round, and sub 4 next time)

03/03/2013 at 15:32

Well done Will, Carl and Ricky! Impressive stuff!

Runwtw- I definitely remember going through something similar in my build up for Liverpool- some days felt easy but were slow and then vice versa! You will be fine!! I even had phantom pains in my leg the week before I was due to run. My training had all gone so well that I was terrified something would go wrong! 

I'm off for a recovery run for a bit.....

03/03/2013 at 15:35
V quick training 14 Ricky.

Dave my remaining LSRs are;

20m at 9'10
Reading half marathon
15m at 8'50
20m at 8'50
13m at 8'50
10m at 8'50

I hear what you are saying but don't really know how I would change paces within my overall plan/strategy which works on less mileage than others?

My weekly mileage is around 30 although 36 this wk just gone which is my biggest wk in the whole plan. And I only do 3 runs which are supposed to be higher intensity than other plans on the basis you get more recovery...

Interested to hear you further thoughts... Cheers, will
03/03/2013 at 16:53

Recovery run done: 3 miles at 9:18 min mile. 4 days running and my best running week for ages!! 

Cheerful Dave    pirate
03/03/2013 at 17:27

Ah yes Will, I'd forgotten that you were on the low mileage plan!  It's interesting because I've never been a huge mileage monster myself, and I used to run marathons on the back of 20 mile runs at MP - although that ended up quicker than MP because I inevitably struggled in the last 10k.  I don't train like that now and times have fallen, but whether that's down to improved training or simply a result of accumulated marathons over several years is anyone's guess.  Probably a bit of both!

If you get plenty of recovery then you might be OK.  If that last 20 miler is feeling hard then you'll probably get more from it by backing off a little rather than trying to push through. 

You might want to vary the paces a little in those last two runs, just for a bit of variety - a few miles at 8:30 or so in the middle of those will make 8:50 seem easier come race day.  Whatever you do, those last 6 miles of your marathon are going to be hard, you'll need some mental toughness but if you know it's coming you'll be well placed to deal with it.

RWTW, we all have runs we're not happy with, especially long runs as we're building towards a marathon.  It could be you're shaking off a virus, have had a hard week or it could be a sign of overtraining and you need a rest.  Take a day or two off, or at least have some lighter days, and you'll come back stronger.

03/03/2013 at 17:42

Thanks Dave and Rachel. I have a cut back week next week and am very busy so will probably end up being a very easy week, and then back to it. Hopefully it's just a stepping stone - got a few 20's planned so should get on track . Just frustrating when you can't quite put a reason in it and things have been going well. Hey ho, things will get better.

03/03/2013 at 17:43

Also, I'm not feeling tired or achey as such so I'll take these as positives - it was a very easy run and I didn't push myself so definitely have more in me

03/03/2013 at 18:48
Thanks dave, I like the idea of mixing up the pace on the last 20 miler and also being aware of the looming marathon and not pushing too hard just 3 weeks prior. I guess mixing the pace will be v useful as relevant to what happens on race day.

Do you think there's any value in me doing 22 next Friday at say 9'15 (rather than 20 at 9'10)?

Cheers, will
03/03/2013 at 21:13

Rachel - glad you are enjoying running regularly again! Makes us appreciate it when we have previously been curtailed a bit doesn't it.

RWTW - I think you are being hard on yourself... if you target is your more optimistic goal of a 4 hr mara then that's 9m/miling. General concensus seems to say that LSRs should be somewhere between 30 - 90secs slower than your MP.... so based on that your pace is spot on - 60 secs slower than MP. The fact you found it an easy effort is a very postive one.

So Dave - you are in demand - my next 21 LSR (3rd of 6 20mlrs+).... run SLOW at this stage for time on my feet or still inject some MP?

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