Sub 3

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

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21/01/2013 at 17:26

Marigold - really? That would be a strange decision considering it's XC (so you'd expect some rough/slippy terrain), and we're not really forecast much snow for the rest of the week anyway.

To be honest, I'm not really bothered. I doubt I'll run particularly well, it's usually the most painful race of the year, and in the time it takes to get there etc. I could get a lot more training done at home.

21/01/2013 at 17:54

A lot of great long runs over the weekend, I have been envious reading about them (apart from Andy D's, that's just too far!).

Nice 10k from Al P too, especially given the weather.

I've had 4 days off now as I tweaked my achilles on a run last week when I slipped on the ice.  Will be getting some new offroad shoes as my Saucony Peregrines are rubbish in mud (and ice) and have gaping holes in the uppers even though I haven't run that many miles in them.  Think I will try the New Balance 110s as they are cheap and light and seem to have quite decent studs.  Midlands XC for me at the weekend so hopefully my achilles will be fixed by then, will test it out tomorrow.

21/01/2013 at 18:04

the world's biggest mystery is why, in an age of 3D, Dolby Surround Sound and an array of the world's greatest actors and directors that Er Indoors and my kids still insist on going to the boring old theatre all the bloody time. 

The next most mysterious thing is why most of you lot do cross country? It's just an unhealthy public school pastime - invented so miserable teachers could be nasty and vindictive to young children. If you want to be a bloody toff, then buy a horse and go and kill foxes. Normal people long ago realised that cross country serves no logical purpose at all. It's miserable, painful and destroys the planet with the washing powder it needs. Normal people also recognise the blood, sweat and toil of the honest british workman and run on the roads/pavements they built for us. 

Down with the Upper Classes - Power to the people! 

21/01/2013 at 19:39

Just realised it's 3 months until the running themed charity carnival, so train tickets are now available. Can't decide whether to get a standard or treat myself and go cross country class 

21/01/2013 at 20:14
Andy D - I agree aesthetics are essential pictures are included...
21/01/2013 at 21:03
Blisters    pirate
21/01/2013 at 21:29

2h 20m on the turbo, covering 37 miles. Every 15 minutes got a 3 minute hill or high speed session. Odd time or distance? Nope, it was exactly one feature film.

21/01/2013 at 22:13

Midlands XC for me on Saturday as well, LJ.  Hope they aren't cancelled!

The only way of getting 6M in today without playing 'dodge the ice patches' was 13 laps of a local square.  Safe to say I don't now crave a track 5000m.

21/01/2013 at 22:53
LD - XC also prescribed for borstal boys - see Loneliness of the long distance runner.

4m 'recovery' tottering round packed ice pavements. Would have preferred parliament hill.

PP - Do you know what condition Ladywell is in?
21/01/2013 at 23:11
CL - As of early evening Ladywell was closed and covered in snow according to my spies. We're not very hopeful for tomorrow, so coach Ken has done a local road reccy and apparently spec'd out a snow and ice-free stretch for a hilly 10 x 800 session if you fancy joining us?
Cheerful Dave    pirate
22/01/2013 at 09:58

With all the potholes on the roads down here, road running is turning into XC anyway, Dids.  More blood, sweat & toil needed, perhaps?

Isn't fell running, which is basically cross country with some proper hills in it, a good honest working man's activity?

6m yesterday on a mixture of icy pavement, clear road and snowy tracks.  Looks like more of the same today.

Shame about the cancellations.  Cancelling an XC race 5 days in advance seems a bit premature to me.

22/01/2013 at 11:51

Nice week Marigold. That was actually my first ton-up (and first over 20 long run) since mid-September. I'll swap you the 11m for your current speed

Any improvement on the knee TR?

Nice 10k Al_P. Bodes well for a significant pb in good conditions!

No day off after a long run for me Dan, but I do take a day off every week nowadays (usually Saturday), but that's mainly for family time than anything else. I have found other benefits in it though, such as it tends to focus me more on the other 6 days of training and make sure I make them worthwhile. I also make sure I get a good session in on Friday too so I appreciate the rest the next day

I bagged a split 16m this morning (had to take the car to the garage for it's MOT), with the last 7m around a nearby park. If the xc venue is anything like that I can understand why it was cancelled. Most of the park was covered in very thick ice.

Big treadie session yesterday. 1.5m, 1.5m, 2m, 2m all at ~ current HM pace, and then 1m @ ~ current 10k pace, all off of ~4min recs. It helped, mentally, that I'm guessing current HM pace is about mara pb pace.

22/01/2013 at 12:07

9M across town and back to work today, with thick hard ice on most of the pavements here in Cambridge; I didn't see anyone crash their bike this time (did a couple of weeks ago), but there were a lot of hairy moments. In fact I was avoiding being in the path of anyone who might lose it on selected sections with corners.

I usually have 2 weedays off a week and often one of the weekend days too, but if it stays this icy I'll be doing 5 straight commuting doubles for a change, as I don't fancy cycling on this stuff.

Edit: just seen that Mara Yamauchi is retiring (at 39). And she never did quite catch Marigold...!

Edited: 22/01/2013 at 12:11
22/01/2013 at 12:52

CW - thanks for the info on lightweight shoes, much appreciated.

Al_P - I'd be interested in seeing your spreadsheet.

LJ & CW - hope to see you both at Stafford Common for the Midlands XC, hope it doesn't get cancelled.

22/01/2013 at 13:37

CW - I'm safer on the roads on my MTB that I would be on the pavements. Most of the City side of the hill has thawed now, but its still a bit frozen when you leave the steaming Metropolis and venture over the hill (which is my commute route).

TT - swelling behind the knee has mostly reduced (another reason to suspect ligamant damage as the swelling was there when I originally hurt it), still aches at times, but I expect that it will for a while now. Havnt tried to run on it yet, maybe later this week I'll try. Still got 12 weeks from the weekend coming, so plenty of time to have a steady few weeks and then a 6 or 7 week more focussed block. Would like to be back to running more consistently by next week.

22/01/2013 at 18:35

Hi there - I'm new to the thread, will pop in now & again! Did VLM11 in 3:14 and hoping to go 14+mins quicker at the second attempt. Using P&D 55-70 18 week schedule as a guide, although doing a couple less weeks and a little less mileage. I'm having this week as a recovery week, in the book they talk about dropping to 70% of volume but the schedule only drops to 87%.


Any thoughts on this?

22/01/2013 at 19:15
It wouldn't surprise me if XC was a borstal sport. How better to inflict misery on young thugs? At our school it was either get the shit kicked out of you playing rugby or endure the humiliation of running through mud and hail in a vest and shorts.
It was designed to break the spirit and put kids off running. Certainly worked for me. I never ran after school, but might have done had I been shown the pleasure of running on roads.
Typical, short sighted approach we have in this country. No wonder distance running is in the appalling state it is. Obviously the toffs don't really care - if it's not going to help your career in the city (like rugger and cricket does). You got school colours (stripey blazer and tie), made a prefect if you got in the rugby team, and nowt for running at our school.
No doubt the plebs that run athletic clubs aspire to higher class and that's why they foolishly embrace XC.
Should be banned along with the boat race.

Fell running is different. Lunatics need something to occupy themselves.
22/01/2013 at 19:32

Hi Simonx9, welcome! I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be along soon to answer your question. 

Can't believe they cancel XC because of the snow, surely that adds to the experience!? Unless of course its on safety grounds, people getting there etc. But surely that's not the issue.

Got 20 x 400M reps done today, all between 1.18 and 1.22, so very happy with that and how my fitness is coming along. Found a nice stretch by the canal which was ice free, was a bit mundane though running the same stretch 20 times!

22/01/2013 at 19:34
Not sure I have an opinion on cross country, other than that I generally can't be arsed traveling to running events that last less than an hour and don't really see why I would want to lie down in some mud.

Hi Simon. Are you related to Malcolm? I wouldn't worry about the super fine details and just go with the flow. It is reasonable to assume you will benefit a lot from experience in your next marathon.

Core session at lunchtime- as brutal as ever. Then 30 mins at 6 27 (what I am cautiously proposing as MP) on dreadmill this evening followed by 10k jog home. Felt nicely hollowed out at the end. As usual I can't see how I could possibly run that fast for nearly three hours, or understand how I ever managed to run much faster for longer as a matter of course. Funny old game, etc.
22/01/2013 at 20:19

some impressive running on this thread! I did 17.5 miles xc in the snow on Sunday, pace wasn't quick (9.5) but then I never xc around here, slightly hilly etc.

DId a good fartlek session today - almost 3miles warm up then 2/3/4/5/4/3/2/1 with 50% recovery.

After thinking more about it, I guess in answer to my own question ... it depends .... injury & strain free then don't need to wind down as much as if carrying a niggle or two. I am carrying a couple (from the autumn, not fully recovered yet) so I'll wind down more than the schedule suggests. I need to be firm because I am always tempted to run more (hence injuries!).


6.27 sounds brutal for 30mins lunchtime session, not sure I could do that outside of a race. That's a point - 2yrs ago my half pb was 1:28:56 and I did 3:14 at London ... my half pb (from September) is now 1:24:20 and I'm hoping to go sub-3 at London. For those who've already go the T-shirt, how did your times compare? Not sure my half is quite indicative of sub-3 yet - doing Hastings half in March and hope to pb of course.

Edited: 22/01/2013 at 20:21
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