Sub 3

For anyone trying to crack the 3 in any marathon anywhere in the world

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12/10/2012 at 13:08

MtR - nice to see you!! Re njord - don't be surprised if he shows up at the Liverpool Mara this weekend either. The man is a beast!

Dan - nice one. If you're thinking of entering then details are here Entries open at 7:00am on Sat 20th October, and it will be full be 10:00am at a guess - so don't hang about! Not sure if you're just running or thinking of bringing some stock too? If it's the latter then Race HQ is York Racecourse so a decent spot, and cos it's always freezing everybody makes use of the indoor facilities! No idea what the crack is re trying to get a stand there or whatever, but I'm sure someone from the organising club can help (info on link above). You're more than welcome at my spot though mate. Got loads of room, and lots of room for stock if you do bring some kit up. Marders got the coach when he came up, but if you drive then we've got secure parking. Yes be good to catch up at Abo, but you'll have to enter the BM before then if you want to get a place!

Interesting stuff re Armstrong too. As I've written elsewhere today lots of folk are still in admiration for how he overcame cancer. Whilst I don't disagree with that sentiment, it does irk slightly that some people's perceptions are that he overcame it due to his desire and willpower. Again that is important yes, but the implication is that if you want to beat cancer bad enough then you can, and that's the bit that I take exception to.

Anyway, not to worry. On a lighter note surely I wasn't the only one to smile at Brian's post saying he hoped joolska 'does justice on the 10 miler'!!

12/10/2012 at 13:10

Glad you'll be on for your half after all Al_P, sorry you won't be on for the GER PP. (My net cursing effect is zero then, TR!)

ZaTTu -- are you planning a 27-week campaign for VLM there? You have to be the first to start training for it if so...

I'm Officially Tapering for the GER half on Sunday. My week so far has looked like this:
Sat: 3.4M tootle round town at brisk pace
Sun: 13M including 5M @ 5:50/M cross-country race
Mon: rest
Tues: 5.3M @ 6:27/M avg, including 1M in 5:28
Weds: 3.3M @ 5:59/M avg including 2M @ 5:39/M
Thurs: 3.3M inc 1M in 5:28
Today: 2.3M inc 0.5M @ 4:58/M [ :- ) But sportstracks said 5:01/M...]
(Tomorrow: maybe 1M with 0.25M quick.)
-- so I'm going for low mileage (actually it's 30 so far this week which ain't that little for me), but with a bit of fast running each day, tapering down to very small amounts but hopefully keeping the mitochondria in my muscles ready for action. I'm even carbo loading a little bit. Biggest worry now is avoiding ill colleagues/family members -- I feel slightly odd but my legs & lungs seem OK. I'm faster than I expected for this one, but maybe not fast enough for a sensible attempt on that elusive 75 mins...

Good luck to all racing this weekend.

12/10/2012 at 13:20

Glad you posted that Wardi becasue I wouldnt have checked!

Good point on the cancer and can understand why you take exception LS21.

Lots of quick miles there Charlie! Not a plodded mile to be seen.

Edited: 12/10/2012 at 13:22
12/10/2012 at 13:30

Welcome back, Matt!  (It's like a thread reunion - even CRaB has crawled out from under his stone to share words of wisdom with us.)

Yes, I shall be running around the streets of Portsmouth, deciding on the balance of probabilities where the answer lies...  Traditional court garb is neither aerodynamic nor comfortable, however, so I shall be undercover, disguised as a member of B&WAC.

12/10/2012 at 13:35

Cheers MtR. I had intended more effort during the taper, but a migraine in the middle of the 2 weeks messed up my plans.

YD - yep, I was using Canova principles this time around. In 2011 I wasn't really in the mood for running for a lot of the time, so a lot of the effort work I done was shorter and sharper, plus it was good experimentation. For this year, the specific phase was the last 8 weeks (including a 2 week taper). I used the last 3 months for the stats because I already had figures for the last 12 weeks before Berlin last year, so it made it a more valid comparison. These were the specific sessions I done (% of eventual MP in brackets):
Week 1: Tuesday: 20m with 16m @ 6:14m/m (91%) / Friday: 15m with 12m @ 6:06m/m (93.5%).
Week 2: Wednesday: 22m with 18m @ 6:16m/m (90.6%) / Sunday: 20m with hot and hilly HM in 76:33 (98.2%).
Week 3: Friday am: 14m with 10m @ 5:53m/m (97.4%) / pm: 16m with 3 x 4km off ~3mins rec, averaging 13:55 (102.4%) and 4.5m @ 6:13m/m (91.5%) - total of 30m for the day with 22m averaging 5:50m/m (98.3%).
Week 4: no sessions.
Week 5: 15m with 10m @ 5:43m/m (100.4%)
Week 6: Wednesday: 8 x 1600m @ avg: 5:26m/m (105.1%) / Sunday: 20m with HM in 74:07 (101.4%)

As you can see, most of the sessions are specific by virtue of a combination of distance and pace. I also included the 8 x 1600m @ ~HM as specific because it's a slightly more voluminous session than the norm for that kind of pace.

12/10/2012 at 13:37

CW - not as such, no. I'm looking to get in good general shape, then to get in good 10k/HM shape before I start Marathon work, which will be 10 weeks. I'm planning on doing Wokingham at the end of the 10k/HM phase, so that's my initial target all being well. Good luck for Sunday.

12/10/2012 at 15:00

Zattu – thanks for the session stats, you must keep detailed training logs!!

That 30 mile day in week 3 is a monster day, how were the legs for the few days after that? Mashed I would have thought, I noticed you had no quality the following week, was that planned?

I have been reading a little about Canova, and my understanding of his basic principle (to put it very simplistically) is specificity. So for a marathoner, less of the traditional type two sessions and a long run type week, with more in line with what you posted, one or two big sessions included into the long run i.e. the  22miles with 18 @ 90% of MP that you did in week 2 and so on.
The idea being that in training you are stressing the same systems you would expect use in a Marathon, not necessarily at the same intensity as race day but for longer periods than the traditional approach. Have I got that right?

The problem is for runners at my level is not sure if I could contemplate any of those sessions, I don’t have the years of aerobic conditioning for the job or legs tough enough either. Would you recommend using this approach for a short period with some tailored down Canova type sessions? Say something like 17m with 15m @ 90% of MP?  15m with 13m @ 95% and so on…?

12/10/2012 at 15:23

Y D - not really (detailed training logs); I just use a standard diary and put any workouts in red ink so they stand out if I flick through
I had intended to do some quality later in week 4, but a combination of work and a migraine meant I didn't. I basically took the approach throughout that I wouldn't do a workout until I'd recovered from the previous one.
Canova is about more than just the specific work, but yes, you've pretty much summed up that aspect of it.
None of the sessions I ran would be in his 'handbook'. They were, in the main (possibly bar that Friday double in week 3), watered down versions of his sessions, or altered to suit my strengths. I posted some questions a while back when he was posting on, which, luckily, he answered, which helped me form some ideas on how to bridge from where I am to those sessions as it is something I've been actively looking at as I've not been running long either (started Jan '07, but spent the best part of 1.5 years ill/injured/recuperating, and then some time when I coudn't be bothered).
I've got a few bits and pieces that I'm happy to share. If you want them just drop me a message on here with your email.

Off for a 4m walk now with a pair of snips  - the last time I used my Nutcracker loop it was already overgrown and if I wait for the council to sort it it will be the middle of next year I suspect.........

12/10/2012 at 15:38

Clearly - cheers for the input. As you say, I'll target the 2 races I'm more interested in and take the others a bit easier. I'll have trouble letting people get away when i know i could catch them though

12/10/2012 at 15:42

According to my AW mag Marders is down for the GER.  £1000 on offer for 1st Brit though he's up against Martin Williams & John Pepper to name but two.

Al P.. good to hear that the calf is much improved, best of luck to you & TR for the half.

Great stuff from the young cricketers!

Charlie.. nice sharp tapering there!  Are you going to have a crack at 75?

LS21.. can't believe you've got chauffeurs in Barnsley.  Didn't you bring Marders to the BM Steptoe & Son stylee?  I reckon we could accomodate a Southern afleet at Wardi Towers for the BM.  We can offer a whole floor with bathroom all to yourself, with access to my treadie & TV suite just down the corridor.  The bedroom has a magnificent view over the town taking in all three breweries!  Only 7m from the start so handily placed.

DanA.. how about £25 for a 5k??  The Gunpowder Plod on York Racecourse next bonfire night.  You do get to run around in the dark during a big feck off firework display and you do get a wicking t-shirt etc..  £5 a k for the privilege!

I think Jools will be the best judge of her performance and won't feel guilty if she misses her target.  I look forward to the summing up on Sunday afternoon after she has completed her long stretch.


12/10/2012 at 15:54

The race isn't for 2 weeks, Wardi - I'm just getting some race-specific paced sessions in.  But I'm enjoying the legal puns, after a couple of days of fish-based puns on the 3.15 thread.  You could say we had a shoal-full.

Just had a quick look at that race, Wardi.  As far as I can tell they promise to ensure that you freak out due to loud bangs every kilometre, getting thrown off your stride.  Brilliant value PW race, by the sound of it!

Edited: 12/10/2012 at 15:57
12/10/2012 at 16:05

Wardi - I think your offer of accommodation beats mine - might book in there myself! I have to point out to any interested BM parties that I haven't got a TV, so bring a book or some such! Don't want people there under false pretences!

12/10/2012 at 16:22

Armstrong - there's a bit of an obsession with delving back into the past and putting wrongs right. Jimmy Savile and others, Hillsborough ...... and everything judged on today's terms. I'm just waiting for that b*stard referee Ray Tinkler to be brought to book for his conduct/crime in the Leeds v WBA 1971 league game that denied Leeds the title. There's 37,000 impartial witnesses ready to testify, and I've got a pot of paint in the garage to daub his grave with*. Strip Arsenal of the title (and the double!) and hand it back to the surviving relatives of Billy Bremner and Don Revie. That's what justice demands.

(*note - this is not a real threat.)

12/10/2012 at 17:12

Birch - all the best with that knee.

PP - thats a tidy score and Dan with 20no, not surprised Tim Stimpson could whack a ball, he was a monster.

MtR - about time you bagged another sub3 too, when was that 2:51 when I was towing. must be a few years ago now ?

12/10/2012 at 17:13

I met Jimmy Saville when I was about 16, he never tried it on with me. I was running with him at the time though, he was pretty slow too !

12/10/2012 at 20:29

Wardi : Are you going to have a crack at 75?
-- umm maybe run the first couple of miles at 5:42's and see if it feels ridiculous, which it probably will. Maybe I can slipstream Marders for the first 5 metres. But hey, I've got beetroot juice in again (now in carton form), so anything's possible. I'm sure if Jools were me she would deliberate carefully, probably in some private and convenient place, but at this stage there is more than reasonable doubt.

TT -- that training log is eye-watering!

12/10/2012 at 22:33

Wow Wardi. That is a bit nuts. £25 for a 5km. Especially given some parkruns will do a night run around Halloween as well!

CW - really? I thought it was pretty watered down, particularly in terms of the amount of running done at, or quicker than MP. Be positive for the sub-75. Do, or do not. There is no try

13/10/2012 at 00:37
Edited: 13/10/2012 at 01:56
13/10/2012 at 11:20


6th in Newcastle park run, new pb of 17.30 (my watch) maybe 17.31 by theirs but results not up yet. Lovely morning out, met some of the club down there and a few others and great conditions. Drinks and cake at the finish! Went out too fast though which cost me a sub 17.30 so need to hold back a bit in the 1st km in the next few.. It's coming gradually.......

13/10/2012 at 11:40

Nice work RS78

Similar 'good news' report this end too. I headed off to Hull parkrun for a pop at my 5k PB (Hull is a quick course, Barnsley definitely isn't!) Previous official PB was 17'47 - managed to knock 32 seconds off that today to give me a nice shiny new PB of 17'15. Also finished 6th as well!

Again that's watch time and not official, but it's still a PB - my first one for over 18 months!

KM splits were 3'26, 3'30, 3'31.3'26, 3'22 - total avg pace 5'34/mile - I've not gone that fast for a long, LONG time!

Very pleased!

Edited: 13/10/2012 at 11:42
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