Sub 3

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

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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
22/01/2013 at 20:20

Sx9 - PnD know their onions, follow the weeks as the plan details them.

I think safety was the issue with that XC as it was pretty rutted, cut up and waterlogged and now all thats frozen. Wont bother me as Unattached Harriers don't send a team ! 

22/01/2013 at 20:49
Lovely conditions for a interval session on the prom tonight...... A real pleasure and was in no way questioning what the hell we were all doing there

Struggled a bit with the 6min / 4 x 90s / 6min / 4 x 90s session and really lacked that extra bit of motivation for the ones into the wind!

Good turn out for sub 3 thread participation though with Al P , Clearly (doing some tempo) and the stunning return of CRAB....... made it all worthwhile!

Welcome Simon, I follow quite a strict 2 weeks up / one week down routine with about 75% for the down week., keeps the general fatigue levels from building too much and I also find it helpful mentally to break my campaign up into blocks of 3 weeks.
22/01/2013 at 21:21

Meant to say, hope to see LJ and Jools at the Midlands XC.

22/01/2013 at 21:28

Sx9: I did 3:13 then followed P&D 55-70 the following year and managed 3 seconds under 3hrs. I've used the up to 85mi since and pb'd a couple of times but didn't make the start line once. They're popular schedules with a sensible 3 week taper.

Just about 5 weeks into the schedule now, couple of niggles niggling but getting fitter. Managed to do 20 with an attempted 10 at MP on Sunday; think it came out at 6.20m/m against a target of 6.15m/m but it was bloody cold and into a slight breeze for most of it along the seafront so happy overall. Just realised it's the Bath Half in about 6 weeks so better have half an eye on that.

22/01/2013 at 21:31

Welcome Simon, perceived wisdom reckons you need to be nearer 1:23 for a half to convert to 2:59.  No matter, you have made decent progress from 1:28 to 1:24 in the space of 2 years so more room for improvement (unless you're about 60 years old! )

Sounds like a good thread evening out Marigold, even if only part wind assisted!

AW.. 20 x 400 is some session on the canal bank.  Did you have to jump over any fishing rods?

TR.. good luck with that knee, I'm sure the cold weather dosen't help with niggles.

Nice treadie sessions TT & OS.

Sorry to hear the Southerns have been cancelled already, bizarre.

4m on the treadie early doors, 7m on slush & soft snow tonight.

22/01/2013 at 21:47
PP-Missed your offer earlier (but did spot coach Ken on way there - those guys are dedicated!)

Anyway, we found a dryish slope and a snowy trail and had a good session. So that's ??2.45 track fees saved!

LD - Agree about the way XC was seen as a punishment for not playing rugby.
22/01/2013 at 21:57

Thanks for the welcomes and thanks Wardi for the 'perceived wisdom', sounds about right to me. 1:28:56 was actually my pb till September. Reckon I could do sub 1:24 on a flat half now, Hastings isn't flat by any means but the up is in the first half so I'm hopeful for that in a couple of months, but whatever happens I'm in the 3h ballpark and will be gunning for 2:59  - what would be the point in pacing for 3:02!


Well done to anyone doing dreadmill - I couldn't bear it -   luckily the snow here isn't as bad as elsewhere.

22/01/2013 at 22:02
Yes indeed 'the big man is back' Rooney-stylee was the shout at BAC (not) on this fine evening. Days like today when you've got to be grateful to live by the seaside...if you like horizontal sleet. Thought it couldn't get worse and then someone (not Clearly) started waxing lyrical about trainers on the way back to the club. Crikey and I thought the running was painful.

Well it's a start.

As you were.
22/01/2013 at 22:13
SX9 - Impossible to know whether you can sub3, but you are showing the commitment. If your recent HM improvement was off substantially less training then I'd say that you can expect a substantial improvement at Hastings which should give you the confidence to push on. I actually got reasonable times at Hastings as I think the profile encourages you to hold some back for the second half and it repays with long downhill stretches and a long flat run in (whihch cab seem to go on forever! I think 55-70 is quite high mileage, so don't worry about backing off a bit - especially if you need to clear up a niggle.
22/01/2013 at 23:57

Wardi - Dipping back into the dim and distant past for a moment.  The first time that I started following any thread on RW was when you were one of the super 6 aiming for a sub-3 with Steve training you.  I remember him banging on about speedwork to you at the time and IIRC you got a nice PB out of the whole thing.  Does what he did continue to have any impact on how you train today? 

MrB - Good to hear that training is going well after the disruption towards the end of last year.  Out of curiosity did you consider changing to a different training plan?

TR - Hope the knee sorts itself out soon

Simon - Welcome to the thread - not much point in pacing a 3:02 but if you run to effort levels, give it all you've got and end up there it's a result to be proud of.  Assuming that there's progression in your training levels then a 1:24 half leading into a training plan will probably give you sub-3 at least on a good day.  1:24 6 weeks out would be a different story.

OS - Impressive dedication to your core.  Have you got a set routine or do you change it depending on what you think needs targeting?  I'm always on the look out for new ideas because I need to do the work but struggle with the monotony of it.

It's training in the bank but I can't say that I enjoyed tonight.  I ended up in the bath probably for the first time since I was a kid - it was the only way to defrost.  Made the schoolboy error of not bringing my rain jacket (by the way Mr. B I have still got yours - one of these days I'll get it back to you) and paid the price with some very red skin.


23/01/2013 at 00:33

Clearly.. one slight correction - I pre-date the 'Super Six'!  In 2008 I was one of the delightfully titled 'Dream Team' - and only 4 of us!  I was more of a 'lots of miles with the occasional race' sort of runner.  Steve got me doing some quality work (and being fresh-ish for it) 5 x 1m, 3 x 2m sort of thing.  It certainly bore fruit and as you say got me a PB.  No marathon for me 'til Autumn this year so at the moment I'm doing circa 50m a week with the odd Parkrun and a weekly speed session.  Hoping a summer of faster stuff/races will set me up for a decent autumn marathon campaign - I'm still keeping on defiantly, I'll be 56 come my next marathon!

Great to see you out running again, as Rod Stewart once said - an old raincoat never lets you down.   Good to see Mr Boat training well too.

CRAB.. do tell, what do your trainers weigh??

23/01/2013 at 01:54

Clearly: I did consider trying a different plan but I'm a creature of habit. I will tweak the plan this time though as I've noticed that a couple of times I developed calf/achiles problems at about 6 weeks out when the plan calls for 5K pace intervals of up to 1600m. I'm going to try running these at 10K pace ( I was thinking about that jacket the other day; Bath 2011 I rush). Must have been a difficult session on the seafront last night; did my 10 miles at 0830 and got in just as the wind and rain started to build.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
23/01/2013 at 08:43

Yesterday's run didn't go quite as planned: lunchtime had to be aborted after work took over so I thought I'd get some miles in while junior was at his club session.  Turns out I need to check emails more because that was cancelled, but since he was there he could join in with an older group who were using a field rather than the track which was iced over.  So I ended up doing 10k's worth of laps of the same field, CW-style.  Not quite the dashing up and down the prom that the posh boys were doing, though.

23/01/2013 at 08:52

Crab turned up to a club session? Blimey. I'm sure that was a pleasure for all involved!

Last night for me was 7M at the club including some hill reps in the snow, and then circuits. Feel reasonably recovered from the ultra, but my upper body has become feeble (could barely manage 20 press-ups at circuits).

23/01/2013 at 10:23

Padams Probably fair to say the general noise level went up as much as the quality of the running went down as a result of my presence.  Obviously I prefer to think of it as  BAC turned up to one of my sessions but I get your point ;o)

It would appear taking around 90secs off the fastest mile pace you've run at for ~5months is as good a way as any to knock the skin off the old Ambrosia.

There's a lot of point pacing for a 3:02 if you're not capable of 2:59...trouble is you won't truly know until you see Tower Bridge...for the 2nd time!

Guess the Wyke Wanderer's still on the hit and miss in the midlands!

As you were. 

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