Sub 3

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

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22/10/2012 at 16:10

Padams, thats a good read. But it made me tired (and it doesn't take a lot) Zzzzzzzzz

10miles with 4miles at 75%. As much as the legs allowed for now.....

22/10/2012 at 16:18

Some true fred heroics over the weekend.  I'm absolutely stunned by the World Class performances from Marigold and Marders.  Feel like I should be collecting autographs or something.  Top bombing guys!

LS21 - congrats again for yesterday.  Really chuffed for you.

Padams - I don't feel best qualified to advise on silly-mileage races, but don't those ultra folk like doing back-to-back weekend long runs, to get used to running long on tired legs without doing it all in one go?

I seem to have spent most of the weekend either drinking or racing.  So that's a bloody good weekend really!  We managed to win our first match in Surrey XC League Div 1 against the likes of Herne Hill and Thames Hare & Hounds, and I managed to just squeeze into a strong scoring 10 with what was admittedly something more than a hard tempo effort, with the following day's Cabbage Patch 10 on my mind.  Legs were pretty stiff yesterday morning then, but actually felt reasonably comfortable running at pace with a decent little group and clocked 56:01 for 21st place and 3rd V40.  (Some bloody impressive oldies out yesterday - 55:10 for 1st V50; 56:49 for 1st V60!!)

Best of all, I think I'm back to 100% health, since heart rate was behaving itself yesterday (average 175 / 86% max) and apart from XC-weary legs I basically felt good.  Time to ramp up to some last-minute training volume for the Ballbuster...

22/10/2012 at 16:35

PP - good point about the back-to-back long runs. I would quite like to do that, but I want to keep the weekend long ride (and I'm hoping that would achieve something similar). I'm hoping to do a run of at least 30M in the next month or so - just going to do it really slow, with a rucksack for water, food etc.

Now you mention it, I will try to find a weekend where I can do say 20M both days though. All the Bank Holidays in December are usually helpful, but that might be a bit close to the race (3 weeks out).

Nice weekend of racing and drinking! 55:10 for a V50 is ridiculous. Quite pleased I'm not doing the Ballbuster now as I suspect I'd spend the whole morning trying to keep up with you.

22/10/2012 at 16:46

*shudders remembering the horrors of doing back-to-back 20M training runs*

22/10/2012 at 17:30

LS21 - as per FB, delighted for you. Didn't realise it was a negative split too! Obviously you didn't try hard enough in the first half

Sorry to hear about the DNF Dan, but sounds like the right decision. Congrats to the bro.

Nicely done on the CP10 PP. Especially as part of a weekend double. Glad you're recovered too.

Padams - why not find a marathon and tag a few miles on either end as an overdistance run? There seem to be a few around over the next few months. You could always back up your long run with a 10m+ double the next day as well.
I've got a question for you actually - the Fred Hughes 10; what's the course and field quality usually like? Between my wife's exams (ACCA - last one all being well!!!), my son's birthday, and various other things, the races I was looking at between now and then are out of the window and that's the only one left on my list of potentials before Wokingham.....

A very easy, but undulating, 14m this afternoon (longest since Berlin actually), followed up with a few sets of squat jumps. I'm hoping to get my finger out and run a few hard hill reps tomorrow morning.

22/10/2012 at 17:40

LS21 - well played, I'm pleased for you. Thats one of your quicker ones too.

PP - nice 10M, is that a PB ?

Padams - if you want to keep the long ride then you'll be needing something like a longish run Friday evening and then a long run Saturday morning, or a midweek 10 and 10 double.

I'm defo not doing Ballbuster, I struggled to do 12M y'day and it appears that I have only (just) made it over 100M once in the last 5 months so I have nowhere near enough miles in to be taking that on.


22/10/2012 at 20:24
Hi all, quick post from sunny Devon! Thanks for all the kind words. for those that haven't seen it and want to hear me waffle on at length about running round in circles for 3 hours see below for my report!
22/10/2012 at 21:14

Nice report Marigold (& pics) & congrats on the win again.  Bet those Peronis didn't touch the sides! 

LS21.. over the moon for you young fella, bet Mum & Dad were dead proud.  Hope to see you at a Yorkshire race soon.

Andy D & LJ.. good news on both your pesky shin problems, hope you can stay off the bench.

DanA.. sorry you had to pull out but sounds a wise decision.

PP.. very impressive double at the weekend.  Pleased to see that you are back in good health.

5.4m run around York's business parks tonight.  A local road closure meant the traffic was awful at rush hour.  By the time I had finished everything had calmed down so a leisurely drive home was had. 

22/10/2012 at 22:04

Congrats to LS21, sounds like it was an emotional day. 

Off to read Marigold's report. I hope it doesn't take 3 hours to read!

23/10/2012 at 06:19

Marigold - brilliant win, all that seafront running must have done you good.

Off to make a puddle.

23/10/2012 at 07:44

ZaTTu - yes, I could do a marathon as a training run. My clubmates do a long run every Saturday anyway, so it's quite easy to get up to a good distance e.g. 5M before, 17M with them, 5M after.

Fred Hughes is a good race - nice country lanes, all on tarmac. It's a bit undulating - largest hill is about half a mile at maybe 5% - but not too bad. I would guess it's about 1-2 minutes slower than a perfect course. The field won't be particularly great i.e. you would definitely be in the top 3, although often at least one fast guy shows up which would give you some competition.

TR - Good idea. I'm already doing a longish run on Thursday evening (12M+) so maybe running on Friday morning before work (or on Thursday morning) for 10M or so would give me a good double.

Swapped swimming for an easy run last night, partly because the Mrs was making a nice dinner and I wanted to eat with her rather than a reheated version when I got home from swimming at 9:15pm. Put on the rucksack I'll be wearing in the ultra to see if it made any difference to pace - didn't seem to have much effect (maybe 10s/mile), and it is really comfortable.

23/10/2012 at 08:38

Well done to LS21 and PP, great running. 

My other half is building up to the MDS in spring, and big doubles will be a fairly big feature in her training. Shes done quite a few ultras and in her previous races has found the big doubles really beneficial, running on battered legs and all!

Would normally do reps today but going for 8 miles with a section at tempo pace later as have a 5K on Friday.

23/10/2012 at 08:42

PP, Sounds like an idyllic weekend. Great 10miler on tired legs. What were you drinking? I had an Old Speckled Hen and tried a Stella Cidre on Sat night. Speckled Hen was lovely, the cidre was a little sweet/bland.

Padams, what Zattu said. Feels/sounds "easier?" using a marathon as part of your long run. But I know nothing about ultras. Did once contemplate the 24hour track thing. But my mates didn't want to know, thankfully! The very best of luck with the training (and the ultra).

Marigold, Loved the read. Can only day dream about the pain and the mental toughness to get you thru that. Sounds a real tough way of getting a sun tan! Many, many congrats. 


23/10/2012 at 09:09

Padams - or what about a friday double and then a Saturday long run with your group and then the 3hr bike on Sunday ? I did this a few times before VLM this year and made the 2nd Friday run 9 or 10M.

23/10/2012 at 09:44

My pre-marathon weekends are all about long bike ride one day and long run the next (with the odd XC or road race thrown in to disrupt the pattern.)  I've just found out that the velodrome will be open all year round now, which is nice.

Marigold - Hats off to you again, great report.  I take it Peroni isn't on the banned substance list then?

TR - Sunday was a 4-minute PB!  Says more about my utterly pants previous PB than anything, but I always like a PB!

Brian - I like a bit of Old Speckled Hen, although I'm sure it's got a bit weaker in recent years.  Anyway, starting Friday evening and up to Sunday afternoon... 1x Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, 1x St Stefanus Blonde, 1x La Chouffe, 3x Maredsous 8, 3x Fuller's ESB, 1x Adnams Southwold, 1x Fuller's London Pride and 1x Red-somethingorother.  No red wine though - everything in moderation!  Think I'll dry out till next weekend.

Oh, anyone doing the Chichester Priory 10k in Feb? I've just signed up.  Now there's a quality field!

23/10/2012 at 09:50

Padams - I’ve run a few ultras, including that 45 miler for the last three years.  Even so, I’m not sure I have any authority to give advice to someone with your history of achievement in rowing/running/triathlon.  But I’ll take solace in the fact that you marathon PW is slower than mine, and who needs authority when tapping away behind a keyboard anyway!

Most important thing is to state the bleeding obvious:  there are myriad ways of training for an ultra.  Follow your instincts.

From my own experiment-of-one, I believe that running lots of miles is good because you have to train SLOW – important to develop an aerobic engine and an efficient running style (at slow paces) that will not cause serious problems after 4 or 5 hours constant running.  I think back-to-back long runs are most important from a psychological viewpoint – teaching the mind that although you feel dead on your feet, you can still run for another 2 or 3 hours without slowing down.  To this end, you have an advantage already - climbing off the bike at the end of an Ironman bike leg and dealing all manner of mental doubts within the first few miles of the run more than trumps back-to-back long runs in training.  The problem you might face is that most of your running is probably quite quick – and so your running efficiency at slower paces could be relatively poor.  Not sure you should dramatically change your training to deal with this (your slow pace efficiency could be just fine anyway!), just hope for the best on the day .  Maybe the odd back-to-back long run could be useful, but only as long as they go ok!

The course is undulating and muddy during the first half (and lots of navigating required – no course arrows for this race!), and then flat as a canal path and good underfoot for the second half.  Run at a comfortably hard pace, take walking breaks on steep climbs or when navigating during the first half to protect the legs, and then pick back your ears and release both plums after 30 miles.  Best of luck anyway –you could definitely finish in the top three.  If Craig Stewart turns up again, and is on top form, I think you might have your work cut out to finish within half an hour of him though!  I don’t think I’m doing it next year – much as I’d like to, I’m running back-to-back marathons the following weekend with the (probably unrealistic) aim of two sub-3’s on consecutive days so will need fairly fresh legs.

23/10/2012 at 10:01

Thanks for the well dones etc - much appreciated!!

Re my negative split - I think Ode can take some credit for that. I was chatting to him before the race re running to heart rate, and I basically stole Ode's marathon race plan! So I stuck to HR for the first 15ish which meant I ran a very evenly paced race. My 2 half splits were 1'26'45 and 1'26'18, so it worked out great really. So thanks Ode - I know you're lurking

Some other great performances at the weekend too. Fantastic to see wardi getting a bit of return for all that hard work - well done mate, and yes, be good to see you at a race soon.

Top XC-ing from padams, CC, joolska and PP. Great PB the next day too Phil, and an impressive drinks selection

Glad to see Andy D and LJ's shin issues seem to be on the mend. Good luck this weekend Andy - hope it all goes to plan.

SL - shame you weren't there on Sunday as I reckon you'd have probably won it (2'32 was winning time) - but probably a wise decision in the end.

Oh and in tribute to zaTTu I had a few Hobgoblins last night. Feel like shite today. Cheers fella

23/10/2012 at 10:02


23/10/2012 at 10:02


I think

23/10/2012 at 10:13

Cheers njord although you make a very valid point.

Oh and to clarify - I think my post above makes it sound like Ode was running on Sunday. He wasn't. I picked his brains via email a couple of weeks or so before the race, as I remembered that he'd raced VLM to HR and had a very strong finish. Sorry for the confusion!

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