Sub 3

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

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11/12/2012 at 22:21
Think there was some sub3 action on the Today programme this morning. MtR wull be able to confirm. Not running related, but very assured performance.

Frustrating build up to the eighteen week schedule with a bad cold and now, Dr. Web tells me, pleurisy, with painful breathing and very sore neck. Better now than later, though.

No winning tapes here, just one victory in a XC mob match. Felt good though!
11/12/2012 at 22:30

Lord Didsbury, you ( & I ) will be glad to hear that those shorts have been relegated to the back of a bedroom draw somewhere, they served me well through may races, deffo 2 victorys possibly 4 in those shorts, but it got to a point where I was feeling a little bit too self conscious / uncomfortable at the start of a race worrying that my Jacob's were on display.

I treated myself only the other week to a couple of pairs of shorts from the same company that are a little bit longer in length, so hopefully I will not feel as self conscious at races in the future, there's definately been a few occassions running through villages during races wearing those short shorts where I'm not sure if the locals were offended by the spectacle or liked it haha

11/12/2012 at 22:49

TR & Lord Didsbury you are right.

I've never followed a specific (16 week?) marathon training program before so if you've got a recommended one I could start getting my head around? For the past 2 years when all the road races have started up after the New Year, I was racing a lot on most weekends so my 3 (4 max) long runs had to fit in on the rare weekends I wasn't racing leading up to my Spring marathons.

If I'm going to follow a program I know I wouldn't be able to race a lot which is fine as I'd have this bigger goal in mind and it would free up more time and energy for longer runs. I also think that finding a long run training partner would help to motivate me. I've always tended to go on my own very early in the morning so I've stuck to the same well lit areas and it hasn't been very riveting. I do take music but I'm wondering if some company would help be more helpful.

My husband calls himself a social runner so he wouldn't want to go for long runs but he's offered to follow me on his bike or meet me at different places on my long runs before so I 'd be silly not to take him up on the offer . A much faster lady from another local club has offered to do long runs with me so I must take her up on the offer too and not think that I'll be holding her back all the time.

12/12/2012 at 06:26

Al_P - Stubby 10k (if fixtures allow - I have a number), Chichester 10K and maybe Salisbury 10 for me too. DOnt think I'll be doing any 20s this time, but possible MMH20.

CW - with more run frequency and miles you might get closer to 2:40.

CaroT - you can still race, but you will still need to do the long runs too, either around the races or on another day. Also do most of the races untapered. Learn to run long alone, and embrace the boredom (no music) you have to get to know yourself ready for when the going gets tough. You wont have a long run partner there at race time. If you still dont like long runs or arnt prepared to suck some up then you are in the wrong game. Do something else that you might enjoy more.

Where's my bike, I'm late now.

12/12/2012 at 07:59

I've won a few races over the years (not any major ones obviously!) and don't think I've ever had a tape to break. Never really thought about it before now!

Al_P - don't blame you on binning that session part-way through. Even without the other reasons, 3x5k would be really hard!

ZaTTu - the hill up to the castle is a bit of a beast. The route up I took the second time was much steeper, and I was on the verge of walking (must have been doing 9-10 min/mile), but annoyingly there were lots of people around and it would have been too embarrassing. Then I hit a huge flight of steps and had to run up them too!

CaroT - running with others will make a massive difference on the long runs. When I used to run them on my own I dreaded them, but now I do them with clubmates (or at least do a large chunk of my long run with clubmates), it's just a social thing to do on a Saturday morning. Running with a faster runner will be good for you too!

Track session was 15x400 last night but I didn't fancy running that fast, particularly on a slippery track, so while they did a 100m walk/jog back recovery I did 300m to meet them back at the start of the next rep. Meant that the 300m had to be fairly quick (starting the reps every 2:30) and it was more like a fartlek. 12M total with a few extra miles beforehand.

12/12/2012 at 08:58

CaroT - on 2nd thoughts, listen to Padams rather than me. I was looking for an email earlier and was in a "how long does it take to accept a game of cricket, the other 5 accepted Saturdays email by Sunday and you still havnt accepted/declined and it's Wednesday" mood.

Padams - more like Fartlek indeed, ever do Parlaufs (sp?), I remember doing them as a nipper. Cant remember what they were though.

remembered that I didnt do any pre VLM races this year, not sure its ideal but maybe it did me good.

12/12/2012 at 08:59

No tapes broken here, but I've beaten Marigold  ;-)

TT - No plans as of yet, last year I planned to do 5 easy(ish) then 15 hard but abandoned that on the start line for 20 hard! 

I managed to twist my ankle on saturday hobbled home and have been resting since, 3 miles this morning felt o.k so hopefully no lasting damage.  I was panicking for a while as it's the ankle that I broke a few years ago.


12/12/2012 at 09:15

CL - am sure you are right, i also saw MtR on the BBC/london news just after 6:30 last night for a good few minutes and agree with your assessment on the assured performance!  looks like is 60 days (or however many it was) of fat to fit is going alright to me!!

12/12/2012 at 10:58

I won a very low key local 10k a couple of years ago.  The two kids who were asked to hold the tape had wrapped it around their hands and didn't think to let go.  I was almost catapulted backwards 10 yards 

In a fit of enthusiasm I've entered Brass Monkey in Jan, and Wokingham & Bramley 20 in Feb.  Probably won't do both (possibly race one & treat the other as training), but nice to have the option.  Have re-entered Barcelona marathon in March as the main spring target.  Got my best two marathon times there (2.45 & 2.48) so makes sense to go back.  Calf is still troubling me, but the motto for the next three months is...No Pain, No Spain.

12/12/2012 at 11:48

Al_P - it's one of my standard runs. A long (13-18m), sub-MP tempo, run by feel. I've done it often enough that I can rely upon myself to stick to the effort and not worry about the pace. In this case it was 18 with 13 @ 6:21. 8 weeks out from Berlin it was 20 with 16 @ 6:14. I was slightly wrong though saying 19 weeks to find 19-21s. It's actually 11 weeks to find 19-21s and then match the progression I made in the last 8 weeks pre-Berlin. Much of a muchness really. IMO, you don't need to benchmark. Your 10k pb tells you what shape you're in, so just concentrate on nailing the workouts at the appropriate effort. I'm glad you've found the Canova stuff useful, but remember that it's the aim, not the method, that is important (though as you've already said you'll scale down the workouts, etc, it sounds as if you've got that aspect nailed).

Sorry Padams, but knowing the terrain I actually lol'd at that Were the steps those annoyingly sized ones which are too deep to run properly? I remember some that seemed to go on for ever!

Lucky on that ankle SL! I guess in my case a lot of it with Bramley will come down to how I recover from Wokingham, but I was thinking I may just run it evenly and (reasonably) hard, rather than trying to do any specific kind of workout.

Nice motto Dan A

12/12/2012 at 11:52

Well after a full and frank discussion with Mrs B about the merits of running a 30 mile trail race on the 01/01/2013, I am withdarwaing from the event. Which now excludes me as a Grandslam entrant for the 4 race series. 

As I am one to always look for the silver lining in what was a difficult discussion last night! I have kept up my training through the dark months. I guess my main race in this series was the 110 miler(my first attempt at a 100 mile run) and entrance to the 55 and 60 mile races is still fine. I am also able to start giving my spring marathon training my full attention. 

Oh and to top it all. My man flu has now taken full control of my body. So no running for the next few days at least.

Tis the seasons to be jolly .... 

Edited: 12/12/2012 at 11:56
12/12/2012 at 13:31

Running streak broken at 54 days by yesterday's crash course in media tartdom.

We launched a new project yesterday ( and I managed to complete 19 media interviews during the day, some of which ran multiple times on various outlets. From 5 live at 5am to BBC London TV news at 18:45pm it was a pretty full on day - with a conference presentation during the middle. The tough part was going to a little radio studio in Broadcasting House and being given a list of 11 local radio stations that wanted to interview me - one after another!

Today programme was the highlight - tick that one off the bucket list!

Felt pretty knackered afterwards and went to the pub instead of home to go for a run in the freezing fog.

Out again this morning with the dog for 4 miles. Still tired, and still freezing fog, but really enjoyable.


12/12/2012 at 13:54

Tim – Not sure what the cons of your 30 miler could be? Was it one of those “and what am I going to do whilst you are out enjoying yourself” discussions? NYD is, in our household, as dull as dishwater so I’d be tempted to take your place. However, it is also usually a day for just lying around hoping that at some point you’ll be well (sober) enough to boil the kettle or reach the remote control. So, best not. I’m thinking of doing a Boxing day race though (after a guaranteed tee-total day at my parents) and a risky one on the 30th,  after hosting another of my near disastrous pie-eating evenings.


CaroT – motivation for the high mileage is key. Running with friends helps on the long ones, (although I always look forward to the long ones)  but at some point you are largely on your own for the majority of the bread and butter boring 7-8 mile runs. I would imagine that different people find motivation in different ways? Perhaps fortunately, (or more likely because the chances of me winning a race anywhere are zilch) I have an obsessive focus on a marathon to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. And a target time, of course. I don’t care about other races, but I care passionately in having, say, run 95 miles at the end of the week. With the benefit of hindsight, I know I’ve missed out on a lot of good races as a result. 

Still, it appeals to my vanity when you get someone who is almost overawed when you tell them your marathon PB. (Although I think a lot of people stop listening after you say the "two hours and....." bit)

I'm sure you could work something out that will let you combine things. Much as it pains me to say it, latching on to these disciples of Canova might do you good - it's not dissimilar to other plans, and you'll be able to compare your fortunes here with others that are following it. 

12/12/2012 at 14:02

MtR - any links to clips of your interviews?

I used to write foul-mouthed poems pretending to be "Chantelle", a 14-year old Man U fan with an obsession for Ryan Giggs, and was asked onto Radio 5 to read them out, (sanitised versions) with boring old John Inverdale interviewing me. I then did the same for "Women on Top" which was a feminist sports programme on the same channel.

Today, I would probably be under house arrest.

12/12/2012 at 14:22

This thread has been moving way too fast for me to keep up, but I notice a good win by SL, and Al_P joining the sub-35 club (welcome!  I take it you haven't heard about the induction process yet.  It'll happen when you least expect it...). Good to hear that illness is subsiding for ZaTTu and LJ.

And welcome all the new people.  Advice from this thread certainly helped me not completely disgrace myself on my first marathon, so I'm sure it'll be useful to you all.

I've been keeping my head down trying to string some consistent mileage together, after a couple of weeks torpedoed by separate bouts of illness, and some minor niggles on what seems like almost every joint below my waist, but have now managed a couple of 50+ weeks in a row.

Also finally did Woodley Parkrun, which is right in front of my door, and is, I like to imagine, essentially a parkrun in my front garden.  This of course engendered a Lord Dids-style belief that I am the rightful holder of the course record, so I set out with the aim of being the first to break 17, which would have given me that record (it hasn't been going long).  In the end, I was way off with 17:29, albeit it was a win.  Next time though,,,

12/12/2012 at 14:27

Dachs - you ARE the rightful holder.

three options:

1. break that record

2. move house.

3. there's no third option.

12/12/2012 at 14:51

TR I have done Parlauf's a couple of times with my old club. It involved running half way round the perimeter of a football pitch as hard as you could, tagging your parner and jogging across the halfway line whilst they ran round the other half of the pitch. Repeating the exercise several times.

The difficulty of the session very much depended on your choice of running partner

12/12/2012 at 15:20

ZaTTu - the steps weren't too deep, but I'd been running up a very steep hill for at least 5 mins by that point. Initially I tried taking them 2 at a time, but gave up pretty quickly - had the jelly leg lactic sensation at the top!

TR - yes, we do paarlaufs once every couple of months as Old No7 describes.

MtR - you've overtaken Marigold on the media stakes in one fell swoop!

Dan - good to hear you're having a crack at Barca again. I'm planning to run a marathon around the end of March too, for training, but probably just going to do a local one (there's a trail one in Northampton). Already planning quite a few overseas trips next year so I don't think another one is going to happen.

Edited: 12/12/2012 at 15:22
12/12/2012 at 16:16

Media - whilst I remember, I was interviewed by Sky TV on the day Cameron's wife had sprogged with their new baby, florence.

We were in Polzeath in Cornwall, a few hundred yards down from where they were staying (Cameron was often on the beach playing cricket with his kids) and Sky came down looking for him. I approached them and said "if you are looking for a bloke called Dave, with a daughter called Florence then you've found them".

(My daughter, although 16 years older, is also called Florence).

Anyway, realising after a while that nowt much was doing they came across and interviewed us.

We came across like right numpties.

12/12/2012 at 17:08

Wardi - it was indeed a Sam Smith's pub and they had beer in there for £1.35 a pint!!  I did buy Mrs LJ an orange and lemonade as well which bumped the total bill over £10 but she was driving and there's only so much pop you can drink. Amazed you managed to delay your honeymoon for running, I thought I'd done well convincing Mrs LJ to spend our first anniversary standing by the side of the road in Stratford upon Avon while I ran my first marathon.  She is a lucky, lucky lady...

Al P - well done on the 10k, another PB for you, it's been a good finish to the year.

MtR - I didn't catch any of it but sounds like you had fun with the media yesterday, good to see you're running a fair bit too.

SL - I twisted my ankle too a couple of weeks ago, had to hobble home 2 miles into a 10 miler.  Good news was that although it was still really painful to walk on the next day I was running again after 3-4 days off and have had no problems since, hope the same goes for you.

Dachs - good target for the Parkrun, you can't get beaten in your own front yard!

TR - you may not have raced but I remember you did a fair bit of faster training this year which worked well for you.

Fitness seems to be improving, went to the club for the first time in ages yesterday and did about 5.5M with a clubmate at about 6.15 pace then he peeled off to go home and I did 4.7M on my own a bit quicker, overall pace exactly 6 by the end.  Followed that with a slower 15M on the grass this morning so it should be another good mileage week.


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