Sub 3

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

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03/01/2013 at 10:08

Morning all.

Happy New Year!

Good to see some old faces popping in - coro, a sub-2:30 off of ~45mpw would be bloody impressive. I never ceased to be both amazed and impressed by how much you can do with so little!

A hectic holiday period this end, particularly as I spent the last week or so playing nursemaid as the rest of the family came down with the flu. Needless to say, not much running was done. As a result I've decided to ditch the idea of trying to get in good HM shape for a race in just over 5 weeks time before starting mara training and will just focus on London instead and train through the HM.

Courtesy of the extra food and reduced running I've got quite a bit of ballast to shift, so the Fred Hughes 10m in just over 2 weeks time should be 'interesting' (and way outside target pace for VLM!!!)

To top off the less than ideal break, my laptop crashed with a lot of my running stuff on there, so I have no idea how many miles I ran, but from last check it was around a 70-71mpw average across the year with a peak of 114m. A massive amount of rest days though - over 115 certainly, so basically a rest day for every 2 day of running!

I guess the obvious target for 2013 is consistency, but I'm finally in the mood to start running properly again, so I should be good to get out 6 days out of 7 (will have 1 rest/family day most weeks), which should also see a higher average mileage.

OS
03/01/2013 at 10:25
Greetings all, and best wishes for a fast and niggle-free 2013. From this thread and others it seems clear that we obsessives are now fully obsessing about spring Maras. Nice advice to ES above in a very concise fashion, which does make you wonder how we fill thousands of pages every year.

Loved the spreadsheet Phil. Do you use it in a forward looking way, or is it just for recording and comparing?
Edited: 03/01/2013 at 10:25
OS
03/01/2013 at 10:36

Morning everybody and Happy New Year.

Good to see some big miles being put in over the Christmas break, LD, SL, Jools and TR particularly.

Hope the injuries clear soon, sounds like Wardi, RS78, TB and Al_P are on the mend.

Welcome to the new guys, I'm another who saw their results improve with an increase in mileage.

I had a nice Christmas and then got the norovirus or something like it so managed to get rid of the extra turkey pretty quickly.  Did mean I only managed 11 miles last week but I'm feeling mostly better now and should be mid-80s again this week with a XC race on Saturday.

Edited: 03/01/2013 at 10:37
03/01/2013 at 11:03

Good morning everyone, and thanks once again for all the advice. As OS said, it was both useful and concise, and saved me reading 92,000 other posts...!

I will be thinking long and hard over the next couple of days about exactly what I think I can accomplish mpw-wise in the 16-and-a-bit weeks until my first marathon.

03/01/2013 at 11:03

My marathon times have dropped with increased mileage, but that's a two-way street isn't it.  If I was running my debut marathon again, I don't think I'd do anything differently, i.e. as an inexperienced runner, max 55mpw with the only fast running being a few tempo runs, a handful of warm-up races, and some decent MP efforts once I had most of the miles in my legs.  I'll go up to 75-80 mpw with a lot more quality this time (with loads of cycling on top), but only because I can handle it.  Hopefully!

OS - That colourful spreadsheet is merely the end result of me logging simple training stats every day on fetcheveryone.  I could analyse the hell out of it but I doubt it would change much about how I train this year.  *secretly hoping CW wants to run a multiple-regression analysis and produce some nice graphs for me* 

Finchley 20 entered!

03/01/2013 at 13:13

20M on extremely tired legs to bring up 85M in 7 days...  Not ideal (and 7.59m/m felt harder than I would expect) but necessary evil as South West Inter Counties Cross Country champs are on Sunday so needed a couple of easy days beforehand for the legs to freshen up.

03/01/2013 at 13:48

CRAB - erm yes, a quick look behind the headlines and I would have seen that there was a bit more to Tracey Morris. However, she was only doing 40 mpw at the end of Sept 03 (and managed 1:17 HM off it, and then a 34:14 for a 10K). Prior to this she was doing around 37 mins for 10K off three runs/week and a 1:29 half).

On the 9th April 04 she did 33:22 for the 10K just prior to her 2:33 marathon - when the miles had increased since xmas.

In a similar sort of vein I did a 1:28 half-marathon off about 35 miles/week in 1989, was doing 1:24 for a half off about 50 mpw around the years I fannyed around trying to break 3 hours, but as soon as the miles went up to 80-90 my times for 10K, half and full came down to 34:20, 1:17 and 2:42 (on a hot day!) 

Anyway, I think we all pretty much agree that higher mileage is pretty certain to bring a dramatic improvement. Maybe we may disagree about when to up the mileage?

In my opinion, with the benefit of hindsight I think running any marathon without hitting around 70 mpw is a half-arsed, ill-equipped affair. Your body is just not prepared for the challenge. So, I'd say go for whatever it's safe to increase to.

If Electric Sheep has been running for three years around 30-35 miles/week I'm really not sure where the difficulty in gradually increasing to 70-75 of slow/steady stuff over the next couple of months is? It leaves himself room for some quality interval training in the last six weeks, whilst holding the high miles prior to a two week taper. Obviously it's too late now to aim for a full on 80/90 mpw, but 35 to 70/75????

I enjoyed breaking 3 hours, but wish someone had told me how essential, normal, and not that difficult it is to run high mileage at a slow pace. I wasted years in the dark.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
03/01/2013 at 14:26

Conversely, I converted a 1:15 HM and 35 min 10k (off 40 mpw) to a 2:35 half-arsed negative split marathon by increasing to around 45 mpw.  Maybe I could have matched Tracey's 2:33 by going to 80 mpw, but maybe not, and frankly would it have been worth it?  I don't know about wasted years in the dark, it certainly saved me a lot of running in the dark!

Although the usual caveats about that running mileage being acompanied by cycling miles apply.  But that was true for the lower running mileage too.

Edited: 03/01/2013 at 14:27
03/01/2013 at 14:29
Cheerful Dave wrote (see)

Conversely, I converted a 1:15 HM and 35 min 10k (off 40 mpw) to a 2:35 half-arsed negative split marathon by increasing to around 45 mpw. 

It's a good job Paul Kimmage isn't a running journalist.   etc...

Cheerful Dave    pirate
03/01/2013 at 14:41

Sssh Phil.  I've still got some A+ in the fridge if you need some.

03/01/2013 at 14:44

PP *secretly hoping CW wants to run a multiple-regression analysis and produce some nice graphs for me* :- ) -- careful, my plots here usually look like a snowstorm with a listing plank cast haphazardly across the middle...

ES -- in case you hadn't noticed, there seems to be more than one way to train effectively. A lot depends on whether you happen to have chosen your parents wisely enough to be quick regardless, and whether your legs are kitted out to resist injury either from too many miles or too much intensity (or both)... I'm a relatively low-mileage lightweight, but I'd find it hard to fit 80 mpw of slow trudging around the rest of life anyway, so I may never discover the benefits of long slow miles.

03/01/2013 at 15:06
Wondering if it might be useful (?) for newcomers if in addition to stating what you think are the best ways to improve you provide some personal (anecdotal) evidence to back up the proposed changes in training to achieve specific results?
03/01/2013 at 15:09

I think we all pretty much agree that higher mileage is pretty certain to bring a dramatic improvement.

On what basis do you make that comment? (See CD above if you think I'm alone on this.)  Rather than insert the words fun and runner to support a tenuous argument this time you've gone for all and dramatic. I refer the honorable gentleman to the answer I gave some time ago about a mixed bag of ovals in terms of results.

'On a hot day' - what in London Village, in April?  Hot enough to need referencing this many years later?  Oh hang on it supports your argument better with that in. Yes as a sample of one maybe the improvement is significant (I'm not buying dramatic at 2:42) and is linked to higher mileage but we're still several steps away from One-size Fitzhall(-Simpson).

CW's got a very valid point about genetics* but they will stop very few getting to 2:45 if they are prepared to work hard enough...or decide to make a documentary about making the 2008 Olympic team. Whatver happened to that self-promoting twunt?

As you were. 

* as we're talking Kimmage it's pretty clear that Lemond (VO2 ~92bananas) is a lot more genetically blessed (and naturally talented judging by early results) than Cancer Jesus (reported up to 81bananas but only ever tested as high as high 70s)  hence would ride faster regardless of cadence or femur length or changes brought about by chemo or Chris Carmichael or wind tunnels or weighing what you eat or whatever else it may be.  Not normal.

Edited: 03/01/2013 at 15:10
03/01/2013 at 15:47

I've really missed CrAB's posts

OS
03/01/2013 at 17:05
Some cracking posts here. Just to chuck my anecdotal reckons into the mix, my two fastest marathon runs we're a 2 53 and a 2 54. The former came absolutely from nowhere (barely 30+ mpw, few long runs and a last minute decision). The latter was at the end of a period where I took huge chunks off every PB, and could have reasonably anticipated a good sub 2 50, but made about 5 major errors in the hours, days and weeks before. So my point is that you can feck it all up much more easily and in many more ways than you can meticulously prepare for a great result.
OS
03/01/2013 at 17:15

Glad I was able to stir things up Jools!

Thank you all yet again for your opinions and advice. I do agree that there are many ways to train and I am just going to have to see what works for me. What's sauce for the goose may not be for the gander and all that. So lots to think about over the weekend...

TR
03/01/2013 at 17:54

how about we get ES to put himself (?) forward for a sub3 (NFR) science experiment where he does a week of LD's high mileage, a week of CDs 45mpw, a week of CWs 20M extravaganza followed by 6 days of bone depositing, a week of,,,,,,,etc.......... at the end of it he should be a nicely balanced average of all those on here, Simples !

or.................ES - I think you should start by working out how much time you are prepared to commit on a weekly basis, and then build a schedule from there.

been reading a bit on other threads about MP, HMP, intervals etc.....already in the campaign too. So I think that my planned 4 word book "left after right, often" might be doomed ! Folks want to make it harder than it needs to be.

03/01/2013 at 21:11
TR wrote (see)

how about we get ES to put himself (?) forward for a sub3 (NFR) science experiment where he does a week of LD's high mileage, a week of CDs 45mpw, a week of CWs 20M extravaganza followed by 6 days of bone depositing, a week of,,,,,,,etc.......... at the end of it he should be a nicely balanced average of all those on here, Simples !

Yes but then when I go sub-3 you'll all fight over who should get the credit as "trainer"

TR wrote (see)

or.................ES - I think you should start by working out how much time you are prepared to commit on a weekly basis, and then build a schedule from there.

Exactly what I was about to do... Discussions with the family are underway!

TR
03/01/2013 at 21:23

ES - come back here when you have how worked out much time you have each week and on which days, and then they can all argue over the best way to use it !

03/01/2013 at 22:25

Let's say that 3 weekdays are going to be restricted to an hour max. That's my main issue. One weekday I could do up to 2 hours, and the remaining one as a rest day, at least initially. Saturday is good for an hour or so and Sunday is long run day so more or less anything goes.

Argue away

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