Sub 3

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

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25/02/2013 at 09:52

CC2 - Top 100 is cracking.  And thanks for getting the course nicely churned up for us!

LS21 - Excellent 10 mile time!  You might've tried a little bit harder though; for a number of years my own PB stood at 1:00:07.  And thanks for the support on Saturday.  For a second I thought one of our crew had gone all Northern on us!

SL - That must rank amongst the most chilled out sub-3's on the thread.  Are you Charlie Spedding?

I know where LS21's coming from with the stag-do comments.  I've just spent this weekend mainly drinking, watching people fight in pubs, drinking some more, and fitting in the occasional bit of running.  Had a good one at the National. Plucked a target of top 250 out of the sky, and despite face-planting with just over a mile to go, spent most of the race overtaking people to come 181st. (Just over 1,000 runners.)  Turns out this was also good enough for 6th over-40 (incl. 2 x V45s), so I'm pretty happy with that.  The club came 6th in the 6-to-score (7th in 9-to-score, I was 8th scorer).

Then after a rather messy night out in Sunderland involving much memory loss I dragged myself out of bed at 8am Sunday morning, for 18 miles mainly off-road in the company of three much quicker runners, from Sunderland to South Shields and back, 6:57/m but cruising along at ~6:40/m for most of it. Was still pissed, and running on fumes by the end of it.  Think my brain had run out of glycogen by the time I rolled up to Wetherspoon's for breakfast.  So begins hangover day two...

25/02/2013 at 10:11

PP - quality.  are you Dave Bedford?

LS21 - I've only done a couple of 10 milers but my first in 2006 was a 1:00:01 (although 1:00:00 on my watch).

CW - target race is Barcelona marathon on March 17th.  Third time there (best two times 2.45 & 2.48 were set there in '10 & '12, so makes sense to go back).  Timing suits me as I get really busy in March - May with marathon expos and the like, so I like to get my main target out the way early.  Hadn't even entered VLM, but opportunity to be a pacer came up so I thought, why not?  Also, Barca is the only marathon I know with 2.45 pacers and it's easily the best marathon course I've run.  Can't think of anything they can do to make it better/easier/faster.  Padams will back me up.

Anyone else noticed marders last 4 weekends.  Watford (2nd), Wokingham (2nd), Brighton (1st), Tunbridge Wells (2nd).  He'll go far. 

25/02/2013 at 11:25

Wow, looks like you guys have spent the whole weekend either running or posting on here!

Congratulations to Jools, great week of training capped off with a 5M PB, keep it going.

Top training marathons from Charlie and SL.

More great long runs from TB, ES, CC2, Jools, Dan, LD, Marigold, Padams, AW, CD and Postie.

Marigold - nippy parkrun, looking good for Bath.

LS21 and Wardi - well done at Snake Lane, good time for LS and excellent display of lotharioism from Wardi.

PP and Speedy - very well run at the National XC.

By the standards on here I ran a piddling 20M in about 2.32 yesterday, was quite hungover and didn't want to run at all beforehand but felt pretty good by the end and should have been good training so glad I got out for it.  3rd consecutive 100M week, time for a cutback before a half on Sunday to test if this training is working properly.

25/02/2013 at 12:16

LJ - Solid training there. Didn't realise you were putting in those kinds of miles. It'll be interesting to see what results you get.

Nice 10miling Wardi and LS21 - given a flat course and flatter hair, that's got to be worth sub-60.

Well done to PP and Speedy (and LS21 for 'supporting') at the Nationals. Conditions looked about as rubbish as the Northerns. Glad I didn't travel up for it.

No training for me this weekend as I took 3 days off to rest my shin. I ran an easy 4 this morning with no issues so hopefully that'll be the end of it. This week was meant to be a cutback after 3 weeks of 80 but as last week was only 26 I'll see if I can resume the higher mileage straight away. Final XC of the season this Saturday, presumably after that it's summertime?

25/02/2013 at 12:17

Congrats on the stylish PB, LS21.

CD -- I've found doing a parkrun or other short race followed by extra miles gives me some of the defuelled feeling of a much longer run -- I wonder if it has similar training effects?

Still a good quality outing there, postie^2.

PP -- are you swapping personas with Njord? Big hung-over miles from you too LJ.

Dan -- got you, hope the taper leaves you on top form. You can pick up some pacer group leader tips for VLM if you follow the Barcelona ones!

Rest today, but while my legs have a certain creakiness, I haven't got any proper DOMS (which I have managed to inflict on myself through overzealous training in the past). Back to it tomorrow.

25/02/2013 at 13:08

Nice multi-sporting from CD.

Phil - you ran well on Saturday, I was most impressed. Although having read that you don't remember what time you got back Sat night or how you go there I'm even more impressed with Sunday's effort!! And I noticed your mud-splattered face at the end too and thought you'd had a fall somewhere!

LJ - top top mileage there. I had noticed you on the Fetch league thing, but you've left me for dead on there now!

And fingers crossed re the shin for Andy - hope the rest has done the trick!

Cheers for the well dones etc - much appreciated. But just to clarify - yesterday wasn't a PB for me as I have broken the hour before (just the once mind). Meant to say as well - I was running with Drifter for a while yesterday and he finished just behind me. So he's still doing a bit and running pretty well. Oh and I almost didn't make it yesterday. Did a bit of a warm up and then headed to the start. Except I couldn't find it. Cue me and my mate running around Pocklington (Benny Hill style) trying to find where the hell we should be (and I've done the race 3 or 4 times before as well.....) We collected a few other equally lost runners (but alas no scantilly-clad nurses to complete the Benny Hill theme - they were already at the start swooning after wardi apparently). Anyway, after asking a couple of folkk for help we finally made it - at 10:59am, and the race started at 11! At least we were warmed up properly!

25/02/2013 at 13:11

PP - It was churned up already, thank the juniors!

Lord Dids, don't think you're suggesting something I hadn't already considered! The de-restriction road with hidden dips and no footpath ends roughly 1 mile from my place of work, so really not worth running from there. If I drive the way I would run home (the 13 mile route with footpaths) I could reduce the driving time to 35 mins each way and park 5 miles away from work. I did this once. On paper it looked fine. When I arrived it was not so fine. Dodgy estate where I was watched by many eyes as I parked up and put on my rucksack to head off, for what would clearly be a long time. I feared for the car/contents on my return. I arrived at work sweaty and starving. My suit was crumpled, my hair was a mess and my lunch was so battered I had to replace most of it with purchases from the canteen. Then in the evening I had to put the sweaty running kit back on, but now with no lunch in the rucksack it bounced about all over the place, making running really awkward. Luckily the car and its contents were still there. I got home and had to launder my suit after just one wearing. This saved me no money at all, caused me extra work and I didn't get any decent training from it either. Safe to say I haven't done it a second time. 

25/02/2013 at 14:24

Oh dear Ms Goth, yeah that's not workable.

Thankfully in the semi-civilised city of Manchester we have pavements, no one wears suits anymore and we have shops that sell butties. (I don't run with a rucksack. I just have some spare clothes here, a bar of soap and spare hand towel).

Right - a different line of attack. A 7:45am to 5:45pm work day still leaves plenty of time for a 40 min morning run and 60 min evening run? How about an occasional lunch time run?

25/02/2013 at 14:47

LS21.. re the Snake times - I got the feeling they had a problem with the chips buried in the numbers.  When I finished the funnel timekeepers were asking everyone to 'keep in order' and were noting numbers & times down manually - surely not necessary with chip timing.

CC2.. when I run home from work (circa 13m) I have to catch 2 buses in and make sure I have the right kit in the right place.  I just take a very thin card size wallet so I can fit it into a pocket along with my phone for the return home.  I never run with a rucksack, and besides, a battered lunchbox dosen't bear thinking about!  BTW if you would like a jet black cat to fully accessorise your Goth status, it just so happens that I have one!  If you fancy a swop - playful & affectionate, doesn't eat too much and not bothered about chasing birds.  Also impossible to see in dim light when sitting on dark carpets/surfaces.

PP.. cracking run in the XC, sounds like a fine night out too!  Newcastle is much more classy, and I never thought I would find myself saying that!

CD.. a lot of exercise in there, good stuff.

LJ..  another good week in the bank, hope you enjoy the mini taper.

Good news re. the shin Andy D, hope that's the end of it.

Edited: 25/02/2013 at 14:50
25/02/2013 at 15:09
Some excellent racing training as per. Wardi and LS21 in particular at SL. Also cracking weekend from PP (especially the hangover run). Congrats to jools on the pb, one or two more to come methinks. Choo choo back from london village having given those people from the valleys a jolly good lesson in singing.
Need to tim the trainers and sweat the over-priced bevvies out of my system.
25/02/2013 at 16:03

Nice bunch of long running going on this weekend past (hung over or not), well done all  and some great race efforts as well (LSPP,Marigold,SL), SL's long run sounded ridiculously laid back for the pace and top marks to CW for carrying off the multi-pace/sub-3/over distance combo!

Not a great weekend from my perspective, started well with an easy 8.5M on Friday where my quad niggle had gone. So decided to pull my planned long run back to Saturday, as originally intended, but swap the 20M with 10M of MP based stuff for a straight LSR instead. The plan had been to catch the train to Bournemouth and do the run on the prom, meeting the rest of the family for brunch on the seafront at the end, so tweaked that to instead do a TR 'glug of water and fresh air' run from home to the east end of the prom (about 12M) and then do as much/little as I felt comfortable with down the prom and back. Generally a very pleasant run down along the beach at Highcliffe, to Christchurch habour and around to Southbourne, I hit the prom feeling pretty good averaging around 7m/M. Kept going past Bournemouth Pier and by the time the total mileage hit 21-22M (allowing for turning round and back to cafe meeting point) I decided to go the whole way and turn around at Poole Harbour. Unfortunately that left about 6M into a not strong but noticeable headwind... with a couple of miles to go the effort required started to ramp up and I got some twinges in my lower left calf/achilles region. Sense would have dictated that I should slow down, but carried on to the end as I was cutting it a bit fine for the brunch appointment (and I was getting hungary!). Did 24.75M in the end @6:58/M, but paid for it 

The leg felt fine afterwards when stretching and generally for the rest of the day, but when I went out on Sunday morning for a v easy run it was noticable and a bit sore from the word go, so I opted to rest it instead. Another (running) rest day today with a mile in the pool first thing, and will try it out tomorrow before deciding whether to do the (lighter) speedwork session planned. I think it's a spot of over-use in my left soleus (too high up and offset from centre back of calf for Achilles IMO), similar to what benched me between christmas/new year but less severe this time I think.

Edited: 25/02/2013 at 16:33
25/02/2013 at 18:24

Al_P - step away from the trainers ! Wokingham, Bramley, 24.75M, if you go and hurt yourself doing a speedwork session that you dont need you'll be at risk of a mouthful from me  - I thought I should be polite at this time !

5M, 1.75k, 10M

25/02/2013 at 18:25

Wardi - Perfect planning and execution of your run home. But how do you carry your comb and gents vanity case?


25/02/2013 at 18:52

Wardi - sorry, but I'm not swapping my cat!

Lord Dids - There's way more time available than 60 minutes in the evening. I frequently train for up to 3 hours after work. 6 - 9pm. Lunchtime runs are out, we only get 45 mins for lunch (on a good day) and we're not allowed to eat at our desks outside of specified lunch breaks as they consider that you're taking more than your allocated time. I require the entire 45 mins to stuff in as much grub as is humanly possible! I only train on Monday mornings as I can get an early night on a Sunday. Any other day of the week I'd miss out on sleep, and that's a valuable commodity and training aid!

25/02/2013 at 19:45

LS21 great race report and brilliant PB.

CW I ran at Sunderland last year as I used to be in a club (Sunderland Strollers) and they used to take the pee out of me for running ultras as easy running etc. So I entered a road marathon to take the piss back and said I might try some shorter speed work for a while and see if it helps my ultra running. I beat all of them To cut a long story short I am not in the club now either I learned a new respect for the marathon though as it has made me a much better runner and marathon training is far more disciplined than my ultra training. I had toyed with going to Boston until I priced up the flights for me and Mrs B. London next year sounds like a great idea. I plan to run fewer Ultras next year and concentrate on the marathon as my primary running focus.

Ran home from work tonight with my brand new trainers on NB 1080TS2. Decided I need to start actually trying to run at MP (02:48) more often before writing myself off as not being able to do it. Managed to run 8.4 miles and average 06:42 which included 1/2 a mile on a steep mud bank (my lovely new trainers arrggh) and one mile recovery jog at the end. My legs seem to have recovered well from the longs runs. So I think I need to be do be doing a little more speed work! Missed running my first ever sub 40 minute 10km by 9 seconds. Two reasons for wishing I had missed out the mud bank at mile 5! Might try and find a local 10km and see if I can bag myself a proper attempt at running sub 40 minute 10km

25/02/2013 at 20:28

Dids.. I have a mini combined comb/mirror that I got from a Xmas cracker.  I can tuck that away in whatever pocket I have but the Brylcreem is a problem!

CC2.. we inherited our cat from my old folks & he didn't like being moved - at all.  Spent 2 months sulking & living under the u-bend in the spare toilet before he decided we were alright really.

Nice commute on tired legs TB.

Al P.. you're as fit as a butchers dog, you could easily take a few days off without losing any fitness.  If your legs are digging up old niggles it usually means they are wilting under the strain of miles & races.  'Protect what you have before reaching out for more' is good advice in such circumstances.   

5.2m steady loosener tonight. 

26/02/2013 at 08:59

TR Wardi  - Thanks for the (slightly) stern and sage-like words of wisdom guys Advice taken, so just another 1M swim first thing this morning for today... It feels pretty good and I can do one-leg heel lifts with no discomfort, so should be good to return to the trainers (gently) tomorrow  I think. This week is a cut-back week anyhow, so not bothered about mileage. I'm keen to have a go at the last Boscombe prom 5k on Friday evening if all turns out ok and have entered a XC 1/2 on Sunday, but that's not going to be a race effort (probably be around MP).

Forgot to see well done to CC for a great position in the nationals XC

Is 4 halves in 4 weekends all part of Marders training, or is he on some sort of month long pot-hunting campaign?

26/02/2013 at 09:41


I am doing the Surrey Spitfire 20 miler on the weekend and wanted to get some opinions about what time would indicate that I am in sub three shape without a taper. My PB for the distance (with taper) is 2:12 (but that was at Worthing last year). I am currently on 50 mpw and doing one speed session per week and a long run but only started training properly again three weeks ago. Sub 2:20?

Edited: 26/02/2013 at 09:43
26/02/2013 at 11:34

not read back fully but well done to LS21 on sub hour 10 miler. Was ski-ing last week and found (hot) gym with treadmill for apres-ski altitute training (4 visits, avg 70mins) , went straight to Wembley on return to watch the Swans win the league cup, so long run postponed till 6am yesterday morning. Oh my god, worst training run ever!

Meant to do a slow 20 miles, but didn't realise how tired my quads were, they felt heavy from the off but thought they'd warm up and be okay. They didn't. Wished I could have stopped at 10M but not an option. Did an undulating 19M of strugglesome slog, the last 6M were at an average of 10'42 pace!! It's a bit embarrasing reading others' efforts above. Think I'll refer to it as an impressive 2h56 time-on-feet effort.

Hopefully I'll be okay to get some reasonable easy runs in this week ahead of Thameside 20 on Sunday which I'm doing at 7mm pace rather than race. That's the plan anyway.

Edited: 26/02/2013 at 11:41
26/02/2013 at 11:49

Carl - something around the 2.12 mark would suggest you could be in sub-3 shape.  But be careful not to go flat out or else you will compromise the next week or two's training.

You should consider the marathon as a race of two halves.  1st half = 20 miles, 2nd half = 6.2 miles.  One thing that I have found out after years of good 20 milers and poor subsequent marathons, is that if you spend all your time training in the "first half zone", there's no reason why you will be good at the "2nd half".  As such, I think that a 22 - 24 mile run is much more valuable than a 20 mile race in marathon training.  The Bramley 20 this year was my slowest ever 20 mile race (a 2.16 training run basically), but left me able to run 200 miles in the week before and week after combined.  Really glad I didn't attack it like in previous years.

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