Sub 3

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

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05/12/2012 at 17:20

Last week, I had a stand at the Running Show exhibition right next to one of the two seminar areas.  For two days I heard people presenting on how to improve your running with anything from compression gear to minimal shoes to supplements to barefoot running etc.  More often than not the presenter represented the company selling the corresponding product.  Dozens sat enthralled nodding along all day.

A triumph for marketing perhaps; but not once did I hear "more miles, more often & more quickly".  Do that and you will surely race faster.  No?

05/12/2012 at 17:47

DanA - indeed, run lots of miles, mostly slow and some a bit faster.

CD - valid points, this is all despite having a job, family, kids sports etc for all of us. I'm only prepared to give up ceratin times of the day to this.

05/12/2012 at 18:12

Hi there Sub 3'ers!

Some of you may remember as I was once a regular on this thread before I realised you were all getting faster and faster and I was.......... well, I wasn't

I still lurk and follow the results avidly but it's best to be realistic.......

Many of you speak to me on the Sub 3:15 thread but I'm on here today to ask for your support. I entered the Asics target 26.2 and to my great surprise have made it through to the public vote and would be grateful for any votes that would come my way.

I am the only one in my category to be a regular poster. The others have discovered it now they are through.

I'm in the GFA category and I've, also, started thread to let people know a bit more about me. It's headed 'Vote DS2' under the 'Spring marathon' heading.

I think my story is a good one and I hope to inspire many others to try to relive former glories!

Much appreciated and happy running!

05/12/2012 at 18:15

Vote for DS2 here....

I hope this link works!

05/12/2012 at 20:33

In terms of training methods the only one that I have followed so far is the Hanson Brothers plan. I followed it last winter for my first 50 miler. I  stuck to it the plan, apart from one 30 mile run to learn the course for the 50 miler. I believed in the plan 100% and as others have said believing in the plan is big part of getting success from the training. I then followed Hansons for 8 weeks for my road marathon and was more than pleased with the results of that as well. 

Over the summer I switched to running longer and easier miles as I was getting ready for my first 100km run. I am not convinced that my training over the summer left me with more stamina, speed or strength.

I plan to start more formal training after a 30 mile ultra on the 01/01/2013. So for now I am just building base miles and fitting in one speed session and one hard session and  2 or 3 easy runs of between an hour and 3 hours (I will sometimes throw in some tempo on the longer runs as well). That is was Hansons taught me though. Is that the tempo runs and qaulity speed/hill session are a key part of the training week. Some where in my drift towards longer distances I forgot that these are just as important as the longer runs. The Hansons Plan also took me at least 3 weeks to adapt to what felt like running on tired legs as I adapted. By the fourth week I could tell that  I was getting better stamina and endurance. 

So for my more focused training starting in January. I am going to make my speed sessions and hill sessions much more of a focus(especially as I get into late Feb) giving them both more time and energy. As I literally love to run on trails my long runs are never a problem. But I might start running to run and from work on a Friday (8-10 miles each way, depending on route and time). Then do a longer run on a Saturday morning of about 2 to 4 hours. Which will hopefully mean I get Sunday off to be a full family member for the day! Will run up to up to 60 miles a week some weeks and 40 in other weeks. I think the Hanson plan would work again but I feel as though I need a change to stay motivated in training.

Anyone else had any success with Hanson brothers plan? 

05/12/2012 at 21:12
LD. You do protest a bit too much but I very much support your points. Having read a fair few of the big books on running, and run the odd mile and marathon myself, as well as following many stories on here, i conclude that there does appear to be relatively little magic involved. Instead people seem to get out a reasonably predictable product of their talent multiplied by hard work. Some like a very simple approach and others enjoy complexity. And to Dan's point on 'go-faster merchandise', I enjoy very much the none-stuff side of running: once you have a steady supply of shoes, a pile of dull and essentially everlasting clothes, and perhaps a gps gadget you are set for a few decades of fun.
05/12/2012 at 21:56

Some really interesting stuff being discussed regarding training methods, I've never really followed any specific plan as such. I've just made sure in building up to a marathon I get my long run done and 2 bouts of quality a week in the way of a tempo session and then a reps session.

But having not run as well as I would like over the marathon, maybe that's where I'm going wrong and not putting enough structure in to my training.

9 miles done for me this afternoon, got a nice set of 5 mile reps done at 5.50 average, was a bit nippy out mind, took a bit of coaxing to get myself out the door!!!

I too along with DS2 above have got through to the vote stage of the Asics Target 26.2 comp, in a different category though. I'm in the PB hunter section, so if any of you nice people fancy slinging me a vote that would be great!

You can vote for me here, if you want to that is!!!

06/12/2012 at 09:50

Morning all, another newbie here. 2013 is going to be the year of my 1st marathon and am gunning for a sub 3 time. Appreciate there are many philosophies when it comes to training plans, but can I take a quick poll of what sort of weekly mileage people are doing to be in sub 3 form?

06/12/2012 at 10:06

Howdy, I've been offline a bit recently, with a holiday in Belgium (lots of beer.....) and then a business trip to Dubai (not so much beer), where I still am until tomorrow morning. Running has been a crap mileage wise as a result, but I did a couple of decent sessions last week with 8x3min and 10x1k (1min recovery) and some short (5ml) but fast treadmill workouts this week. Actually managed to go and run outside this morning, as the temperature is a much more bearable 20-25 degrees in the early morning. Did 7ml inc a 2ml section at HM pace and a couple of 400s thrown in for good measure towards the end. Got the Christmas Pudding 10k in Christchurch on Sunday so it will be interesting to see how that goes, a PB should be on the cards as it currently stands at 35:40 from the summer...

Not had time to fully read back, from a quick skim there seems to be lots of interesting conversation/discussion going on! Got a 7hr flight tomorrow so will spend some time catching up then 

06/12/2012 at 10:14

TR - self belief and self expectancy are powerful things at any level.

LD - like OS, I think you doth protest too much. I'm in agreement with most of what you are saying, but you're not getting my point as you're focusing on the wrong things (e.g. Canova). What I'm saying is not complicated - essentially, adaptation is required to improve, but if you believe you've peaked and can't improve any further, then fair enough.

DS2/A.W. - you've both got my vote. Best of luck.

06/12/2012 at 10:18

OS - yes, you are right .... I've got too much of a bee in the proverbial about coaches and their schedules.

I suppose that the land of the blind still needs its one eyed kings, so I shall henceforth put up with them.

On matters more important, my arch-nemesis Biggsy has hit back. After a very hard and demoralising last few days for him and his followers (they lost 5 course records in 3 days), last night he took one of my course records (by 1 sec) and equalled another. He called his run "a victory for democracy". Not entirely sure his words make sense, but they spell out a clear sentiment ...... it's war out on them there streets.

(I looked at the performance of one of his runs and he clearly had the bit firmly between his teeth as he rocketed away at the start, but then faded. The boy is keen.)

Being a bit of an advocate of the Israeli approach that revenge should be swift and massive, I'm rather annoyed that I did quite a hard hour run this morning. This means I may not have the legs to reclaim what is rightfully mine this afternoon. 

Sadly, this may all be irrelevant as a rather faster runner than me has come on the radar and has started to nibble away at a couple of records. Damn!

06/12/2012 at 10:24

Zattu - take the Canova bit away. the message is clear: Athletes get to a plateau early on in their careers and then don't significantly improve.

The stats bear this out. eg, the times of young Kenyan half-marathon runners.

there is not one coach that has bucked this trend over the last 30 years as the relatively minute improvement in times from the mid 80s shows.

You can focus on the window dressing, or the rest of the house - if you like these building analogies?

06/12/2012 at 10:27

Thanks Zattu. Much appreciated!

 LD - am I right in thinking you recently ran a sub 3 on your 50th birthday?

Cheerful Dave    pirate
06/12/2012 at 10:51

LD, you could always cycle the route, but log it on strava as a run.  Mind you, he might be doing that already...

06/12/2012 at 10:54

LD - Elite athletes who stick with one event throughout their career may well plateau reasonably early, but that wasn't my point. Saying that you've peaked because you believe young elite athletes who have been running since a very young age peak early is akin to picking up a lime and saying "well it's green, so it must be an apple". You don't have their background, so whatever rules you think apply to them do not necessarily apply to you. It's similar to somebody picking up an elite athletes training schedule for one race and saying "if I do that I'll run as well as them" without knowing how they got to the point where they could do that schedule. Do the Evolution.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
06/12/2012 at 11:01

TT, you mean we should point sills at the padams' '2:45 marathon off 5 miles a week' program without telling him the bit about running 70 miles a week for 3 years and a

06/12/2012 at 11:09

I too am having fun with Strava. I live in Washington(UK) and have taken down all the records between work and my home. It is good fun, I  have setup a couple of my own segments ona hill near me to challenge myself as well.

I think I am lacking some local competition, unlike LD!. My only real challenge so far was to take down a one mile segment with a 200 ft climb, about 8 miles from my house. I am convinced that the person set the record  on a mountain bike, as 99% of his Strava activity was cycling. Anyway I jogged nice and and slowly to the start point and walked the 1/2 climb before the start of the segment and then took him down by 14 seconds. Was more than a little pleased, as I am sure this guy seems to go around breaking running records on his bike!

Not sure if anyone would be interested but I have created a Strava Sub 3 group to see if anyone on the thread is interested in joining and sharing times etc.

See for more  

06/12/2012 at 11:10

But Zattu, I have at least produced some statistics over a 30 year period, and a group of elite half-marathon athletes that appear to make your basic claims about training seem completely without foundation.

At least give me some non-anecdotal evidence.

(As for me, all I can tell you is that I am built of muscle, bone and tendon - so am at least some form of shrivelled apple. I have trained to a hard marathon training plan and seen big improvement and a plateau similar to the elites. In the absence of ANY evidence to the contrary, I conclude that I have fulfilled MY potential. for the sake of an argument, you will obviously want to argue that it not the case. However, just saying "no, it can't be so, you are not an elite" proves nothing).

06/12/2012 at 11:31

LD - I have provided/referenced non-anecdotal evidence which you skipped over already and I don't really see the point in repeating myself as I have no interest in an argument/discussion "for the sake of an argument", so I suggest we leave it at you believe that you have fulfilled your potential (your prerogative after all) and I'll stick to my belief that, irrespective, you're failing to grasp one of the most basic principles of training.

06/12/2012 at 11:52

Zattu - maybe repeating yourself may be a good idea, since I'm struggling to find where your non-anecdotal evidence is.

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