Sub 3

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

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06/02/2013 at 14:14

Taper schmaper.

My best 10k (36:30 at Salford 2009) came after 12miles incl 9.5 ~mp the day before! I was in very good shape as I peaked too early for London!!??!!

This lunchtime was a tired 7miles with 8x40s hills.

After feeling that we were settled on Amsterdam, a friend of mine has put a spanner in the works with a club trip in October to do one of the following marathons:

Brussels, Munich, Marato del Mediterrani, Frankfurt, Venice

Has anybody any experience of the above? Thanks in advance.....


06/02/2013 at 14:26

Brian - a very speedy club mate ran Frankfurt for his debut marathon and was very positive about it.  I can get you some more info if you like.

Hmmm... maybe I should revise my VLM taper to include a few monster cycling sessions!  In all seriousness, I'm definitely not overdoing the taper (or carb loading) this year, just avoiding really big sessions and throwing in the odd rest day in the last week. I'm not coming down from huge mileage anyway but I've also got the gym sessions/cycling to drop, for getting the energy levels properly restored.

Took the bike threshold session up another notch this lunchtime, 1hr w/ 2x20mins with each effort split into 10mins @ ~240W / 10mins @ ~260W (100 rpm). Definitely hard enough.  New tri shoes recently arrived in the post so next tempo session will be on the turbo in TT set-up dress-rehearsal mode. Duathlon in four weeks! 

06/02/2013 at 14:28

I've done the Venice marathon, which was one of the best.  Venice has quite stable weather at that time of year (I realise that's a daft thing to say), it's a nice flat course, and best of all it had hot lemon tea at the end.  Only drawback is that the last 2 miles on the island itself have a succession of small bridges to run over, but they're small and have wooden ramps to lessen the gradient and I didn't really notice them.

06/02/2013 at 15:02

Starter for 10: (and big caveat that I appreciate a county vest isn't that important in the grand scheme of things, but it would be kind of nice...).  I'm in a pool of 6 for the combined Avon & Somerset Team at the Inter-Counties XC.  2 will be selected to run and 4 to be reserves.  Final decision being taken after this weekend.  Do I throw caution to the wind and try and run faster than MP on Sunday at Wokingham to show I'm in good shape (had only intended on MP run), or do I stick to MP?  Realistically I'd say I'm not in the top 2-3 in the pool of 6 so the inclination is not to bust a gut for a county vest, but thought I'd see if anyone had a different view...

06/02/2013 at 15:18

Brian - I've done Frankfurt twice (my two fastest times were done there) and went to Munich when my mate and Er Indoors ran. Both very good, flat, fast, well organised etc. 

Frankfurt was easy to get to, easy logistics, loads of hotels near start/finish. Decent support as you run through a few villages etc. City mainly concrete/banking territory.... think Munich was pretty much the same.

Obviously Venice is a nicer setting though. I have watched that live on telly when I was in Italy and those bridges did make me wince.

Anyway, the word on the street is that the Istanbul Marathon is THE place to be this year! Well, that's where I'm heading.

06/02/2013 at 15:24

Jools - why aren't you running flat out at Wokingham for a PB?  I suspect you are in PB shape.

Brian - I have also run at Venice (more memorable for the Cornetto at the end rather than the lemon tea).  Only the last 5k are on the island of Venice, as seen on TV; the previous 35k are run on the mainland and then across a massive long straight bridge, so it's not exactly picture postcard the whole way.  I did enjoy it, but was running with the missus at 4.15 pace (in my defence, I had run a sub3 at Abo the weekend before).  Don't know what size the field is at a quicker speed.

I'm with Jim Peters in the taper shmaper dept.  Did my best result at Bramley 20 last year (6.06 pace) after 93 miles in the previous 7 days, including a parkrun the day before on snow, which annoying comes above the 20 miler in % rankings on Po10.

06/02/2013 at 15:32

DanA: because P&D say 12 @ MP this weekend and I am a slave to my schedule...

06/02/2013 at 15:58

Brian.. meself & Al P are booked in for Frankfurt, music, tickertape and pom pom girls at the finish.  Last year's winner only missed the WR by a few seconds last year so it must be flat!

We are booked into the Hotel An Der Messe which is only about 500m from the start/finish area apparently.  There is a speeded up  tour of the course video, it just takes a minute or two to download.

I went to Venice as part of a holiday and found it very overcrowded and incredibly expensive.  Nice place to visit but I wouldn't go back.  You can buy about 4 litres of beer in Poland for the price of 1 in Venice!


06/02/2013 at 15:59
Interesting stuff the taper. One of my best runs was at the East Hull 20 in 2011. After doing the first 5 miles with wardi I did the next 15 at 6'11 pace and had a bit left in the tank at the end. I honestly think I'd have been close to a 2'44'xx if I'd have ran a Mara that day. And that 20 mile race rounded off a 95 mile week.

Sadly I've been sh*t ever since
Cheerful Dave    pirate
06/02/2013 at 16:00

Jools, stop being a schedule gimp and man up.  Run a pb for the half, then tell yourself that was what your MP actually should be.

You're in pb shape, it'd be a shame to waste it.

Intervals today were less windy than last week, but I'm still not over the lurgy of the last few days.  I need a proper rest if I'm going to run at Wokingham.

06/02/2013 at 16:06

Phil/Tmap/Dids, Thanks for the feedback. I like the look of Venice - but the weather was atrocious last year apparently. But I suppose it's luck of the draw as far as the elements are concerned. That reminds me, where is the resident forecaster?

Dids, why Istanbul?

06/02/2013 at 16:08

Just popping in to say hello again.

Lost a week too the snow and ice and then another week to the cold from hell. Normally I'm only down for a couple of days but this one saw me off work and coughing my guts up for several days. Finaly sleyed it with some paracetemol and am back training again. Not sure about Wokingham as it looks like my lift is pulling out but won't know for sure until Saturday. On a brighter note I've entered Abingdon.

15.14 @ 7:26 commute this morning with 8 @ 7:01 from yestrday.

06/02/2013 at 16:10

Ooops! Cheers Dan and Wardi.... I'm a very slow typer.

06/02/2013 at 18:59

I had my doubts about tapers and then learned a bit more when I did the IoW and Solent 1/2s and Hayling 10 after deliberately training even more in the last few days and still ran ok.
Similar to LS21 (you were doomed at VLM after doing that 20M 5 weeks out) I did an untapered 2:06 (and defo could have done lots more) at MMH20 and then crashed an burned at FLM 2009, MMH was 8 weeks out then too, but I should never have been that running fit 8 weeks out. Fckn madness ! No chance of getting that fit 8 weeks out this year though !

In other news my Saucony M3-KGB-TSB-blah-blah (or whatever other silly name they give them) went up from iteration 8 to iteration9 last yr, no probs I thought. My pair of iteration 9s had been going strong since the summer so I thought I'd do the decent thing and start January with a new pair, which is probably around when my knee started aching. mmmmmmmmm, but I went back to iteration 8 in January cos there were holes in the uppers of the 9s and that never happened in the 8s. So I have got a new pair of 9s to try, just in case.

7,1,10 for the day

Edited: 06/02/2013 at 19:00
06/02/2013 at 19:13

I was  feeling a bit flat after last nights "speed" session, even if it was into a hoolie. I was struggling to go faster than my last proper speed run at hm distance in March last year! Spent so long getting ready to run/walk long for Ultras that I have badly neglected my short game! Advice welcomed on sessions to help improve speed. I need to up my speed work by 30 seconds a mile from current form! How feasible is this and what is a realistic timescale?

Some balance has been restored to my universe  today when Marathon talk recognised my talents as Britain's up and coming marathon running granddad in the North West and West a bit by North East of England. They have awarded me a Jantastic prize of an Adidas high viz jacket. (Rumours circulating that my name was drawn at random are a complete lie!)

Edited: 06/02/2013 at 19:18
06/02/2013 at 19:59
LS21 wrote (see)
Interesting stuff the taper. One of my best runs was at the East Hull 20 in 2011. After doing the first 5 miles with wardi I did the next 15 at 6'11 pace and had a bit left in the tank at the end. I honestly think I'd have been close to a 2'44'xx if I'd have ran a Mara that day. And that 20 mile race rounded off a 95 mile week.

Now that is surely 'talking a good marathon'.   BTW there were two reasons that you zipped off at 6:11 pace..  a).. my Poundstretcher deodorant, and b) .. the generous spread of tucker put on by the host club at the finish - no bliddy pies left when I finished! 

A good day's graft there TR.

Nice commuting Postie.

TB.. I found 5 x 1k @ 10k pace was a good starter when I was coming back post injury.  Once you are happy with these graduate to 3/4/5 x 2k @ the same pace. 

6.3m recovery tonight.  A gazelle like blur held up a hand as he passed me going the other way, t'was Mr Bilton bidding me a good evening.

06/02/2013 at 20:44

Brian - Istanbul looks like a real up and coming marathon to me, plus it's cheap there and nice weather in mid november, so will spend three days there. A 15K race for Er Indoors too. That is all. 

06/02/2013 at 20:50

When I look at Jim Peter's training the week before his 2:17, the first thing that springs to mind is I wonder how fast he would have been if he hadn't trained like a complete spoon! He was obviously super talented to be able to train at that intensity so if had trained like the current elite do then I'm sure he would have been more like a 2:10 man.

For me, the key is not how many miles I run in the 6 days before a key race - it's how consistent the previous 2 months have been and that will determine whether a taper is required or not. I know for a fact that if I have had a consistent high mileage Jan-Mar period of training, I'm never going to be able to run much more than around 20 miles at MP unless I do a two week taper. 14 - 7 days out is always the important period for me to take easy , not the 6 days leading up to the race.


06/02/2013 at 20:50

Jools -- give it full welly, regardless of the county vest. Live for the moment -- you might get injured or something in another week or two, and then rue missing the chance to have exploited your very impressive recent training if you didn't give it full beans. (So long as you don't get injured because of giving it full beans of course.)

Looking cold and wet for Sunday, if not too windy, at the moment -- no overheating problems for us then...

Forgot to say 4x0.5M @ 5:36/M, with 0.5M light rests, then 2.5M @ 6:09/M this morning with my 2kg rucksack. Still slow on the short efforts but noticeably better than the pitiful paces of a week ago. Only 7.5M total for my "MLR" this week -- a late start, and a hint of taper for my weekend race anyway.

Edited: 06/02/2013 at 20:55
06/02/2013 at 21:13

Wardi - you are right next door to where we stayed (Fleming Hotel). You can indeed tumble out of your hotel, jog up the road and find yourself warming up in front of the start line with the elite Kenyans and leading Hun. 

we did this both times, but be warned! the second time my knotted hanky headgear gave the game away that I was not likely to be in the running for a WR, nor Germanic in any way and I was almost manhandled over the railings by stewards, despite my pitiful pleas for mercy. Thankfully it was so close to the gun going off that they let me go....and I slipped behind the kenyans.The rest is history.

You can also have your own personal drinks laid on. It's supposed to be for sub 2:45 runners, but with a little bravery you can simply go into the expo basement and put your drinks there. No-one mans the drop off. Take some little flags to strap to them so you can recognise them.

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