Sub 3

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

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14/10/2012 at 22:03

Congrats Chrono! Well executed race and sounds like there's more to come in the future.

15/10/2012 at 08:05

RS and LS – great PBs in the parkruns, bodes well for the longer stuff.

Andy – very sensible to get a taxi back, hope it recovers soon.

CW – fantastic, sounds like you paced it absolutely perfectly and couldn't have got much more out of yourself on the day. Still plenty of time for PBs!

RJ – great to break that barrier. I was well chuffed when I managed that one! Couldn't get anywhere near it now though….

TR – that's a massive improvement on last year, especially considering the training on Saturday and earlier in the week.

Chrono – awesome race, sounds like there's more to come as well if the last mile was the fastest.

PP – good plan, you'll have a good weekend either way!

Loads of other good racing and training as well, can't remember them all I'm afraid!

18M for me on Saturday morning, then 5M in the afternoon with Mrs Padams (i.e. slow). Then about 54M cycling yesterday with the lads (11 of us this week). Absolutely freezing at first but at least it was sunny and some great views in the Chilterns.

15/10/2012 at 08:34

Chrono - well done, nicely (if a bit too easily) paced.

PP - you should have turned the gadget off and just raced, but I respect that you have CP10 instead next week. I only monitor HR on the turbo and it can fluctuate a lot day to day depening upon a few factors.

Padams - nice training there, in the Peleton too ! I had an extra week after the 1/2IM this time, but I'm probably running better than I was a year ago.

I'll mull over my Gosport/Nadbuster/Downton options and see how they fit around the fixture list.

60min turbo bagged which felt ok, I'm off to Anglesey in a mo (I'll take my camera in case Kate fancies posing !) for a few days on business, so its running only until later in the week, I'm hoping that my legs wont be too sore from y'day to run on this evening and then Tomorrow and Weds. 

15/10/2012 at 09:17

wow, great racing over the weekend. Some really big milestones achieved, well done.

15/10/2012 at 09:44

Thanks all, and congrats to all racers this weekend - RJ, that sub-70 is inspiring stuff. Liverpool isn't the fastest course, you're right, evidenced by the winning times for the 2 years it's been run - 2:38 last year (windy, and a lot of the route through criss-crossing park paths), and 2:29 I think yesterday. Part of it may be elites not using up a marathon cycle on a new and untried route, but there's 1200 ft of ascent, which definitely affected the way I ran.

I agree in retrospect that my pacing was conservative. I'm usually a 'guts & glory' kind of guy, but seeing as though I blew up in my only other marathon at 18 miles, and only trained (P&D) up to 22 miles, I wanted to at least get a sub-3 out of this training cycle - and a PB that reflected my ability better. Race experience counts for a lot, and there wasn't going to be any way to substitute for that (although I've been trying to learn as much as I can from this thread!). 

What I got right: carb loading went perfectly. Felt great throughout and 'charged' on the starting line. I took 6 or 7 gels, too, mostly in the first half. They didn't cause a problem, and I think probably helped, if only as placebo. I'd like to try with less next time. 

Stuff to work on: Getting a better sense for non-critical muscle discomfort. My quads started 'talking to me' from mile 12, only slightly, and steadily more until 20, after which adrenaline/excitement distracted me from that. As I'd never felt that in training, I was trying to gauge as I got closer to the end whether it was 'significant pain' or not. My opinion now is that there are two things that might stop you in a marathon - 1) running out of fuel, and 2) muscle damage. So with more race experience, I hope I'll get to know how to push the second one closer to my limits.

I reckon shorter races will help with this, too. Marathon training is so often packaged as 'max miles vs damage limitation'.  So, the Half with Brass Monkey for me next, Wardi!

15/10/2012 at 09:48

Morning all, Fair bit to read back through from the weekend, autumn racing season is in full swing!

Top 5k PB & Parkrun results from LSRS, Jamesito 

Congratulations to CW & Race Jase for great (and very satisfying not doubt) results at the GER  

Good effort Wardi, that sounds tough for a XC race (I find them hard enough without having to climb over things as well!)

Dan - Got fingers crossed for you at Abingdon next weekend

Very nice 10k time from B Kins, especially if it was hilly

Chrono - That's a brilliant PB and an awesome improvement in marathon time, it's a amazing what is achievable when you put your mind to it  There's definitely more to come from you judging by your pacing (looks slightly nevously over shoulder) Nice report btw, 

Andy D - Hang in there, all the good work is done, like others have said, get some ice on it and maybe a spot of non-impact exercise to keep you occupied and take your mind off running (I do steady freestyle swimming and water running - if you can source a float belt)

Good weekend for me, did a steady 7ml on Saturday (av 6:46/ml) including 3x0.5ml HM pace to test the calf out prior to Sunday's 1/2, with no complaints. Sunday dawned cold, clear and still, it was beautiful in the New Forest, and ideal race conditions. Wasn't sure how I was going to pace myself, the club mate I was going to run with was a bit  hungover and revealed he hadn't been running much lately so he wasn't an option (ended up blowing up a bit & came in in 1:35ish). So I set off and did it on feel. spent a few miles settling and decided around 6:05-6:15 felt good without pushing too hard. Not seen TR before the race and ended up pulled along side around mile 2. It was a lovely run around the Forest, with only the odd group of stampeding horses to watch out for. Had a bit of a chat with TR along the way (we got told off by one marshall for talking rather than concerntrating on running!). My calfs were a bit sore, but not the lower bit that I'd injuried, so I put that down to the new shoes I was trialing ahead of the GSR in 2 weeks, Around mile 8-9 I decided to push on a bit (had a few guys in my sights up the road) and over took 6 runners in the last 4miles for 16th place in 1:20:25 and our club 2012 Half Champs to boot (bit of a soft title though, one of our best guys did 1:15:02 at Cardiff yesterday). Overall very happy to get round with no complaints in a solid time, calves need a few days rest though!

Well doen to TR for a getting a PB (however soft it was), thanks for a very pleasant run, hope you didn't mind the company! The even pacing was great, very satisfying to reel in a few towards the end...managed a small -ve split by 11secs.

I make that 7 forum PBs in one weekend 

I'm off to Grenoble in France tomorrow till friday (work) planning to do a 10ml pace tempo along the river in prep for the Great South and maybe a jog up the 'Bastille' next to the town centre 200m of up in less than 1.5ml...


15/10/2012 at 10:08

On a shoe related note, done a few runs in the New Balance MRC1600s now, including yesterday's 1/2. Feeling very nice so far, bit hard on my calves in the Solent 1/2, but that might just be because I've not run much in the last 2 weeks. They are really light but with a decent amount of cushioning in the soles, so they didn't start to get uncomfortable towards the end. Only problem so far has been the width, they are quite narrow. I find them a bit too narrow in the forefoot and the outer edge of my little toes rub. I've solved this by wrapping the toes with proper zinc oxide tape which did the trick nicely. Other than that they are super comfy  I made sure I got a 1/2 size bigger size than normal to ensure there's enough space in them for my feet (especially if I marathon in them).

15/10/2012 at 10:37

Hello Everyone.

I've been reading this thred for a little while now and have found it really interesting, inspiring and helpful with my running. So I thought it about time I contributed rather than continuing to lurk!

A little about me, as you would guess I have sub 3 marathon goals. My previous best was a 3.06 at London in 2008, and didn't run another marathon until Edinburgh last year where to cut a long story short I got injured and spent until May this year sorting out a the knee injury, including some minor surgery.

Any how, now fit again I'm back to proper training and racing. spent the last 3 months mainly concentrating on shorter 10k and 5k stuff to build up my basic speed which seems to be paying off. Stepped up to the Oxford half marathon yesterday and took nearly 4 mins off my 4 year old PB fininshing in 1:22:31.

So now my sights are set on Hamburg marathon in April where hopefully I will finally be able to nail it!

Im a little unsure as to where best to focus my attention over the next few months, should I concentrate on 10k to get a little more speed? My 10k PB is 37.57 which is only a couple of weeks old. 5K PB is 18.31, set in early September. I want to make sure I get the most I can out of myself for Hamburg!!

Any advice on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

15/10/2012 at 11:34

AW, I'd say it would be a good idea for you to look at improving your 5k time, namely Parkrun, its free, you can do it every week & you can gauge quite accurately any progress you might be making.

I think the general rule is that you should be trying to stress the systems ( V02max etc ) more over a shorter distance, so that when it comes to the longer distance, things seem more comfortable than they used to be.

I dont think you will have any bother at all going under three hours, but good luck with it all the same.

15/10/2012 at 14:01

PP.. hope you can get back to 'rude' health soon.

Chrono.. massive congrats on a sub 3 & big PB.  Oh, some good advice - if you want to run the York BM DO NOT join host club Knavesmire Harriers until after the event.  Seemingly they do not allow their own club members to run the race under any circumstances!  BTW I should be at the York Park Run this week if you happen to be there for a post marathon loosener or volunteering.

Al P.. a cracking run from you, well done on 16th place.  Congrats to DanA on 6th place too.

B Kins.. nice double header yesterday.

Padams.. another decent weekend of mixed exercise!

TT.. hope you enjoy the return to action!


Edited: 15/10/2012 at 14:03
15/10/2012 at 16:15

Wardi - I thoroughly enjoyed it, but bloody hell, who'd have thought an 8m jog could be so tiring! About an hour after I finished I felt like lying down for an afternoon nap!

Sounds like a nice comfy run Al_P.

Welcome A.W. You don't say how much mileage you do per week, or how it's structured, but for my money, the marathon is an aerobic race, so aerobic running is what's required to maximise your potential over the distance. There is, of course, a time and place for training other systems, but really your training should be heavily structured towards your main target.

15/10/2012 at 16:59

Stephen - I was thinking of mixing in a couple of 5k between now and Jan, but just wasn't sure if that would be beneficial at this stage. I was thinking 10k's might be a better bet, but I'm just in two minds as to what to do. I have a half booked for February so have 4 months to plan for!!

Zattu - mileage is just over 50 a week at the moment. Split over 5-6 days normally, usually a reps session anwhere between 400's and 1.5 miles, a 4-5 mile tempo at around 6:10-6:20 a mile and a long run between 14-19, a midweek 10 miler and couple of recovery runs. Before my other marathons, weekly milage usually goes up to a peak of 65-70 and long runs up to 22. Would a little more volume be good?

15/10/2012 at 17:33

A.W I think everyone has a different angle which is the good thing about these forums.

Going down the weekly, timed FREE Parkrun route was hugely beneficial to me, you can do a 5k every week at full effort & completely recover in time for the next week, if you have a competitive bone in your body, you will be running considerably faster than you would otherwise because at the end of the day, its not about finishing last, its a race, you are also going to be stressing the systems that make you a better / faster runner on a weekly basis, this is my take on it!

I reckon you would be able to lop ten minutes off your Marathon PB quite easily if you have a think about it & approach it in the right way.


I've given you my little angle with regards to Parkrun, but there's a lot on here that will give you the right advice

15/10/2012 at 18:20


Wardi - I think I'm going to have to give BM a swerve as it's smack bang in the middle of my assessment fortnight in January. Will give it some more thought though this week.

Al P - sounds like a nice sunday jaunt. Aren't you doing Gosport for a sub 75 attempt?

AW - I'm definitely benefitting from regular park runs in terms of speed/fitness but the club track session I was doing in London also brought me on. Newcastle park run has some really good runners (much faster than me) turn up each week so it's ideal for /racingimprovement. The one time I've gone under 3 hours, a weekly 14 mile midweek run made all the difference to endurance. That and just more 20+ runs (x8)

I've kind of set myself another target - to run a 16.59 at Newcastle park run by VLM next year. A very tough target and I'm not even sure if I can but it's a good one to have. Anyway atleast I'll get another pb on I've never raced 10 miles before

15/10/2012 at 19:02

RS - Sub 75 at Gosport was my goal at the start of the autumn. It was a bit of a lofty target, think that has to be re-adjusted now  But never mind, since I knew this period was going to be up and down with the arrival of mini-Al P in September!

Going to run the Great South Run at "ultimate half target pace" ie c.5:43/ml and see how it goes (ie see how far I get before it becomes unsustainable), will then guage my pace for Gosport off the results that. Thinking Gosport @ around 5:50 pace for 1:16:30ish might be more realistic, having done 1:17:43 on a hilly course in the summer. Just as long as it isn't windy!

Edited: 15/10/2012 at 19:03
15/10/2012 at 19:13

btw just checked and VLM champs online entry system is up and running now  Processs seems fairly simple, you just need to include the link to your results (I used the VLM results search, but I guess Po10 will be ok too?) or you can attach a scanned file showing the results. I got an email saying they'll get back to me within 7 days to say if I've been accepted or not.

15/10/2012 at 21:18

Short version - it went a bit wrong. Dehydration caused by water being in cups (that I cannot drink from while running to save my life) and my Lucozade at 32km being almost impossible to find on the 'personal drinks table' meaning I had to stop, then it was so warm I couldn't drink it. Miles 23 - 25 were 40 - 55 seconds too slow as I walked through each drinks station in an attempt to get some liquid into my stomach) and I staggered over the line (literally) in 3.09.36 and 27th lady. First lady ran 2.30.xx and got carted off on a stretcher. I never want to feel like that in a marathon ever again. Quite why anyone would plan to run a positive split is quite beyond me, it was horrible, and I was still passing people right up to the finish line. 

Chrono - sterling work! 

Some super fast HMs here too. Well done to all. I have read back, but I'm too tired to remember everything now. Long day! 

15/10/2012 at 21:32

decided to delurk for a bit of 'Mr I run' catharsis....after three years of being injured, old and fat most of the time, managed to keep it together for the Langdale half - i.e. 1:45 - a PW, but hell it was hilly and the main thing is I didn't get injured (nor was I beaten by MG Juinior). Followed up by HantXC on Saturday...which for 4.5 miles was good as a nostalgia trip but which was then suddenly derailed by getting lapped by Marigold (nice celebration btw)....completed the final lap somewhat subdued, and got away with a slight calf strain. Will attempt to do TVXC and HantXC this season to get fit, despite the undoubted humiliation; if it all goes well may attempt a 1:25 half a Reading next spring, and just maybe another mara next autumn. 'You're all doing ever so well'

15/10/2012 at 22:18


Michael - fairplay and don;t knock that time. I've run that exact half route in training a few times. That hill up to Blea tarn is quite frankly ridiculous isn't it, lol

16/10/2012 at 07:51

RS78 - certainly, a bit more than playfull! Was a great day though (weather was perfect), really enjoyed it.

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