For anyone trying to crack the 3 in any marathon anywhere in the world
So, next VLM training plan will be a 10 year base-build followed by a couple of years of increasing quality. Sorted!
OS - that was the point I was going to make. The advantage of being a full-time athlete is not so much the additional time for training (which as LD says, most people actually have time for, if they are efficient with the rest of their time), but the time for resting, access to masseurs, physios, good facilities etc. etc.
Jools - obviously there are exceptions (you probably being one), but IMO very few people actually work much more than 8-9 hrs/day. When I say work I mean actually doing something productive rather than making tea, having lunch, going to the loo, chatting about their weekend etc. I have no idea why people insist on exaggerating how many hrs/week they work - my aim is to do my job as well as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. Obviously depends on the job though - I suspect yours is one where you actually do need to work long hours.
Speaking of which, I'm heading home now. Think it's km reps tonight, followed by mince pies apparently!
CD - that should have finished with: other than to confirm what condition they are currently in, which a race can do for much less cost.
It's more the truly inflexible deadlines which floor me. Over a year I doubt I average more than 45-50 hours a week, it's just that when I have a very busy week (in the middle of one now - started with 9 hours in the office on Sunday) it can mean more than that and concentrated on certain days depending on when documents arrive and when the hearing is. You just learn to cherish the weeks when a trial collapses and suddenly you've got a couple of very quiet work days when I get a bunch of running and violin practice done!
Wardi - a fitting place to finish a race. Sounds like a decent race too.
Dids - excellent prize swapping and your relatives get the benefit. You must feel proud about that prize now.
Jools - you do get stuck with long hours, I'm sure you get well paid for it though.........(runs for cover ! )....................and you spend too many hours asleep............(runs further away for more cover !)
Padams - pro athletes have it easy. esp runners 20M a day is only 2hrs if you are Mo ! Made me laugh when they said he had to run 10M even on Christmas day, an eay 10 is 60min tops for Mo and plenty on here run for more than an hour on Christmas day.
Interesting discussion. And I have to say that I’ve changed my mind on the subjects on training philosophies / professional vs amateur runners / washing machine manufacture etc about half a dozen times in the last couple of pages.
Whether we follow one plan or another, I think it’s fairly important that we believe in what we’re doing - Paavo Nurmi’s “All that I am, I am because of my mind”, if you like. And this psychological strength is as crucial during training as well as in a race. When the mind is in a good place, hard training becomes easy. Progress is rapid.
I find it hard to believe that different people will not respond differently to alternative training plans due to natural or nurtured physiological differences. But belief (or lack of belief) in a training plan, mentor, Phiten necklace, energy gel, massage stick, barefoot shoe etc* should not be underestimated. Unfortunately, this effect is inevitably impossible to measure!
From my own experiment of one, I think a rested mind and body is important. And here’s where the professional athlete, or amateur athlete from less stressful environments have an advantage. If my sleep pattern is disrupted, or if I have a tough week at work, I run like a fat drunk bloke.
*strangely though, I don’t think the whiteness or your whites depends on whether you believe in your washing machine or not.
NtS – great to hear things are going well for you sir! Things are fairly good here at Castle Njord. Njordette gave me some significant stress a few years ago when she was diagnosed with autism, and then repeatedly excluded from school by the crappest headmaster on the planet who thought physical restraint was the best way to deal with a scared child who’s neural pathways resembled Piccadilly Circus at rush hour with Running Bhoy in a shop window. Njordette is now at a different school, much happier, and life is good for both of us.
Running-wise, I ran a reasonably quick marathon in 2010, but have since sought solace is the twin preserves of the ageing (and slowing) runner – beer and ultra-marathons. However there are rumours that I may attempt another quick marathon next year, before switching focus to gaining a Silver Medal at Comrades in 2014 (before the arthritis gets much worse!).
Njord - I think that is a key point, belief in what you are doing! I'm with you on the disrupted/lack of sleep. I still don't know how coro deals so well with it!
I love the Maurice Greene/Robson Green line NtS I'm the opposite with the flu jab; I'm supposed to have it because of my asthma, but I find if I get it I end up worse off. Some interesting ideas there. Funnily enough, I've been trying to mix up my morning runs a bit in the last few weeks. Previously they would have just been jogs (at around 8:30 pace), but, for a number of reasons, I have started with maybe a 2m jog and then sped up a bit for the rest (anywhere from slow to steady). I find that I often feel more refreshed after it than I would do maintaining a jog throughout. It will be interesting to see if it continues like that as I get back into proper training.
LD - give me a few mins
Christ alive that's a lot to take in, espcially off 4 hours sleep (Daughter has a chest infection)!! Some very interesting thoughts. I can't add any insight as I'm reletively new to all this and still "finding my feet" although I'm adament bosch make the best washing machine.
17 yesterday (11+6), 7 this morning 5 later. No triples for me the wife would go mad at the extra washing!!
LD - some good points raised there. Bear with me, this could get long
You have misread some things though. I didn't say anything about 10 years of hard training, I said that he believes it takes 10 years to build your aerobic house before you are ready for hard training. The simple fact is that the Kenyans, much like the British/Irish runners of yesteryear have a much better developed natural base than we do.
I guess, overall, my main point is this - how do you improve? As I see it, you provide a stimulus to the body, the body has to adapt. Once the adaptation has taken place, re-applying the same stimulus in the same manner will simply produce the same results, so the stimulus has to change to bring about further improvement, otherwise you will plateau.
In Canova's case, his runners' progression tends to eventually see them running the marathon after serving an apprenticeship at shorter distance (similar to the idea that you run 800m when you're young and marathons when you're older, but with a quicker progression). Within that approach, the marathon training will change as you become a more mature marathoner.
As an aside, I only gave Canova as an example of how training can evolve. I didn't say it was radical, or the 'right' way. How it differs from other training though tends to be that it funnels paces towards specificity as you approach your target race.
I think you'll find that Bill Adcocks ended up retiring due to knee problems related to his job, so there is a lot to be said for a more relaxed working environment (e.g. office work as you've pointed out). Bill Adcocks training also evolved over time, incidentally, thereby providing a constantly changing stimulus.
In respect of runners aged 19 or 20 who have run a sub-60 marathon, well I've had a look, there are 14. Of those, at least two (Eric Ndiema and Geoffrey Kipsang) had serious question marks raised about their ages. One of them achieved the mark on an assisted course, and only 3 others were actually under 20 (Wanjiru being one). None of them are names I recognise as being trained by Canova.
Running 3hrs a day? Yes, Ron Hill and Dave Bedford might not be the best of examples, but as you've said, there are always outliers - Geoffrey Mutai's standard training As I understand it, this is what he has progressed to as his standard week. What he done, training wise, to get to this stage I don't know, but it is interesting as a stand-alone moment in time.
Like Njord - I would be interested to see your standard training. I've identified some deficiencies in mine, and some of what I was previously doing sounds like it could be similar to yours. I beginning to think more and more, that the key to maximising your marathon potential is to improve your 10k potential. I've found a surprising amount of commonalities across various approaches that seems to back it up, so that's personally where I'm heading as I, similar to you, don't run good 10k times relative to my marathon time (my mara/10k conversion comes out as 4.5, which is just incredibly tight).
I hope your daughter is better soon SL.
Listen gents, consider the following:
The overwhelming picture, when you disentangle the minor detail is that before the 1970s all sorts of different things were tried and failed. Jim Peters flogging his body in all-out speed sessions, Dave Bedford doing ridiculous 200 miles/week. Since then all runners have, in one form or another, generally just run high miles, combined hills, fast and slow running, and peaked towards the end. I don’t think the marathon world record has improved much over the last decade, not improved by more than 2 or 3% since the mid 80s despite the huge influx of dedicated Kenyans, more research and science.
Furthermore, ALL athletes plateau fairly quickly after a short time. There is no-one that, say, is running 59 mins in the half-marathon aged 20 that will be doing 56 mins aged 25-28. They get there and try and stay there for the rest of their careers…. Hoping that they will eek out a tiny bit more at the sharp end, or peak at an Olympics like Kelly Holmes, Baldini, Viren.
Mo Farah could try every freak method his whacky coach can devise, run on underwater treadmills, chase lions in Africa, wear compression socks – he might knock off a few secs but he ain’t gonna break the world 10,000m record!
Canova is merely the latest in a line of gurus (not just running) who hit on something that sounds good, that have a few disciples and case studies. However, it’s nearly always something tried and tested with a load of dressing smeared over the top. He attracts a few good athletes on the back of it – which then makes his method seem even better. The myth magnifies.
The Atkins diet swept the world, but all it was that eating protein makes you feel less hungry. You eat less calories. Big deal. But try telling that to someone who’s just read his book and is entangled with the legend.
Well said Njord, self belief and self expectancy are powerful things esp at my end of the sub3 spectrum, maybe not so much at the TT and SL end. I remember when I was a proper (teenage) runner and saw the light go on for a few kids when they realised they could be good, they went on to bag county honours and international vests.
I'm with Dids (for once) running is a simple sport do it lots and you will get better if you believe you will. That local fella to me was running 1:46 for 800 50 years ago and he was doing intervals and hill reps on the local streets. Long distance running isnt popular and doesnt appeal to the Playstation generation, once it does we will see some folks go faster. Idiots like me shouldnt be finishing near the front of races, I was running 2min 800 aged 16 and couldnt get in the club team. Mo might help inspire a few nowadays though.
And I agree with TR who agrees with Njord. The importance of self-belief, however, is at its most potent when it gets you out on the streets to do the training when, without it, you wouldn't be arsed.
Since you ask about my training, I did a few years unsuccessfully trying to break 3 hours, stepped up my training a little to get to 2:57 for a marathon, then just went loosely into a high mileage Mike Gratton plan. Ie, ran a lot of miles, usually twice a day, added in some hills (although never enough), and then a period of 8 weeks where I combined long intervals (and some short intervals)…. Increasing them in terms of volume and decreased recovery time.
Long runs progressing from easy long runs to fast long runs (eg, 4 miles of MP and 4 miles of half MP during them).
In actual fact, it took me a year of this (two cycles) to get to my approximate peak. Of course, I’ve tried variants since. More races, more tempo, more hills, added cross training…. Maybe it helped a bit, as I was getting older, but it was all in vain. In 2010 I genuinely thought I was in shape to break 2:40, but didn’t. I thought this because I was completely injury free all during the build up, had run more miles overall and had run a lot more races so felt more ready.
My 5K PB is a pathetic 17:20 ish, a decent 10K of 34:30, my half-marathon PB is 1:17:30 and I did four marathons around 2:42-2:43 and another four under 2:50. (One of those in the hot 2007 London Marathon – would have been equivalent to 2:38-2:39 based on my position of 188th). I always feel I could have improved my shorter race times, but only ever used them as marathon warm-ups really.
Blimey, the only point I was making originally was that for those in here, the limiting factor in how quickly we can run a marathon is more likely to be life getting in the way than physical factors that can be measured. Obviously that doesn't apply to full-time athletes, or those with jobs that allow them lots of flexibility to train. Yes, it's perfectly possible for us to get lots of miles in, following whatever plan there is, but it's unlikely to be at ideal training times or allow proper rest etc. I doubt there's a training programme out there that recommends 10 miles at gobi o'clock, and another session at 7pm. True, the difference at the end of the day might be small, but it's a difference nonetheless.
Sounds a bit simplistic compared with some of the posts on here but I'm a simple fella.
Marigold is the only one I know of on here who changed jobs so he could train better. He improved a fair bit, although how much of that improvement was down to his change in job only he can say.
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