RW Forum Six – Sub 4 Running Rachel with Cheerful Dave

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09/01/2013 at 07:16


Decided to do the tempo run after all....4.1 miles average 8.11 min mile, total time: 33:34

It was so foggy out that I could barely see the road in front of me! ANyway, tis done now, and didn't feel too bad. 

Dave, maybe your advice is going to make me super fast,but if it enables me beat Jess I will be even more impressed. She is seriously fast! Here's hoping!!

09/01/2013 at 09:16

Well done Rachel, very impressive

Cheerful Dave    pirate
09/01/2013 at 10:26

Well done Rachel, that's good going.  Of course, we're training for a marathon rather than 5k, but a structured schedule won't do you any harm at the shorter stuff.  If you really wanted to nail a 5k time then you'd be doing shorter intervals, maybe just 1 minute ones with a minute rest between (more than 4 of them though, obviously!).

09/01/2013 at 10:48

Yeah, come on Rachel, start running faster !!!!! 

09/01/2013 at 16:59

Ooooo Carter, I might just start getting competitive.......

09/01/2013 at 17:23
Runningrachel wrote (see)

Ooooo Carter, I might just start getting competitive.......

hahaha! classic!! Ive got a feeling you might be faster than me already! I seem to have lost all my speed!! SOOO impressed with all your doing!!!

09/01/2013 at 19:07
Bring it on Rachel, bring it on
09/01/2013 at 20:58

Welcome James. Long runs easy, short stuff hard is the simple way of looking at it. If you read back you'll notice that Rachel's long runs are 'easy' rather than at a fixed pace, so as long as you're running at a nice easy pace that you can comfortably keep up for the whole run then I wouldn't worry if it didn't match the RW pace exactly.

All the RW planned long runs on Sundays are at 10.05 - 10.25 min miles. It is on my 4 hour one anyway. Just wondered if 1.15 per mile is a little too much slower than MP?

09/01/2013 at 21:01

Rachel, what is your 10k PB? Your 4-5 mile runs seem quite speedy to me! I struggle to run at any real pace when im by myself over more than about 2 miles. parkruns seem to have improved my basic speed though.

09/01/2013 at 21:14

Hi James, my 10k PB is 48:02 last year. I really have lost speed since starting marathon training last spring though, I can't believe that I was regularly running that same 4 mile route in 31 minutes then....That said, I didn't do any fast runs last time round, I just went out and plodded out the miles...I think I may run a bit slower than last week for my long run on Saturday. We'll see...Which marathon are you doing? (apologies if you already said!)

Carter, I am actually VERY competitive! (ask Jess!!)


09/01/2013 at 21:27

I am doing London for the first time, but it will be my 2nd marathon (I did Dublin in 2010). My 5k PB is 23.42 and 10k 49.07 but I simply can't do 4 miles @ 32 mins when im by myself! Hmm, perhaps I just don't push myself enough? Anyway impressive stuff.

09/01/2013 at 21:28
James - my target is 3:45 which us 8:45 min miles and some of my slow runs are up to 10:30 mins per mile. If you hang around hear expect to be told to go slow on your LSR. Going slow and steady on these along with some speed work in between will hopefully mean you have both speed and stamina come marathon day.
Rachel - 31 minutes for 4 miles isn't too bad, I suppose Not quite as quick as me last night though What have you got planned for tomorrow ?
09/01/2013 at 21:35

That makes me worry less. Im basically following the plan to the letter and although I know it can't guarantee a certain time, it would be nice to know you are doing the right kind of things.

Thats a good fishing rod you have there Carter, wonder if she'll take the bait? ha

09/01/2013 at 21:51
Hello _ just got to my hotel for two nights away working - full running kit BUT trainers left at home ahhhhhhhhhh
Bit of barefoot cycling in the hotel gym for me
Had a good fast 5k last night 21.48 a PB - wll go for at least a lsr of 12 miles Saturday to compensate for lack of mid week runs
10/01/2013 at 08:34

Dd- how frustrating to forget the trainers! But and amazing 5K PB!

James, some speedy PB's for you too!!

Carter-I have nothing to say, other than I'll wave as you cross the finish line, cos I'll already be there!

SO...4 miles general running this morning at average 8:38 min mile, felt quite tired, but glad it's done. Bring on the rest day tomorrow!!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
10/01/2013 at 10:15

Morning all.

Schoolboy error there Dd!

James, if you're following the RW plan to the letter bear in mind that it's based on a 4h finish time.  It's highly unlikely that your optimum marathon finish time is 4:00:00, in fact looking at your 10k time you could be a bit faster than that, if you get sufficient endurance training in.  So the RW paces may feel a little too slow for you: 1:15 slower than MP is fine, but your MP may not match the RW one.  If that makes sense. 

The general idea of running long runs slowly is the right one (although they don't all need to be slow, no harm in a quicker one now & then) but I do think that people get too fixated on their GPS and pace and spend too much time worrying that they're 10s a mile too fast or slow when they should be more focussed on running smootly and efficiently, and enjoying it more! 

If the RW plan says X per mile, maybe keep an eye on pace for the first couple of miles, then if you're in the right ballpark and used to how that feels, just keep running the same way without checking on pace too often.

Nice work Rachel.  This is the week that the long run starts to increase: 12 miles on saturday I think?  After the last two 10s those extra two miles won't hold any problems.

10/01/2013 at 13:47

On reflection, I don't think it's possible for me to aim for a sub 4 at London. My 5k PB is 26:57 (slow, I know) and McMillan seems to think that my marathon time would be 4:22:36. That's 10:01 m/m, so I should probably be doing my LSRs at 11-11:30 m/ms should I? I'm not sure I can go that slow!

10/01/2013 at 13:57

Hi Nykie - I imagine the vast majority of people, myself included, have uttered the words "I cant run that slow". It does seem strange at first but you will get used to it. When you have done a nice long run at your 'slow' pace you may feel fairly good and ready to go on your next session. Just because McMillan gives you 4:22 you may find  that your training goes really well and you can revise your target for London, they are only as a guide. If you do 4:22 then there is always the next one to crack the 4 hour mark ! (Just look at Rachel, she is really really slow )

10/01/2013 at 16:12

Carter- I am rapidly going off you!

Nykie, have you done a half marathon? If so, what time? I don't think your 5K PB is slow, by the way!

Dave, fuelling for a 12 miler? SIS gels at what point? 

10/01/2013 at 19:53

I'm enjoying the sparring on this thread

I've not done a half yet, planning on doing the Liverpool half in March. I've done marathons before, but never really trained up apart from for London last year. But I twisted my knee just before halfway and struggled through the second half, finally finishing in 5:35:08. Then between London in April and Liverpool in October, I didn't run more that 10 miles a week, running usually twice a week 3 miles and 5, as I was supposed to be 'doing' the Liverpool marathon with a friend who was going to walk a lot of it. She didn't turn up, so I gave it my best shot and finished in 5:29:28. If I can do that from that level of 'training', then I can do a hell of a lot better with real training.

And thanks for saying my 5k time isn't slow RR  I'm doing York parkrun this weekend and it's totally flat (I usually do a tough hilly one) so I'm hoping to set a new PB!

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