Sub 3

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

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12/05/2013 at 17:57

LS21.. between 19th & 24th yesterday there was 1 x V60, 3 x V55's & 1 x V65.  We all shook hands after the race, had a mug of Horlicks from the coffee van and climbed back onto the Saga bus for our journey home.  BTW there is a Barking Parkrun - ideal!

Charlie.. Hilly used to have compartmental syndrome, I think it is similar to cramp in that it pulls you up mid run/race. 

TR.. hope that means you are on your way out of the woods.

Brian.. nice MLR, it is sometimes difficult to hold back if you are feeling spritely.

HR.. nice long run, BTW Mrs Wardi enjoyed the book.

Lev.. some great training there.  Good luck with the 10k, you should smoke it!

12m this morning, can't say I enjoyed it, cold & windy - felt more like November!  Good to get it done 5 mins before the heavy rain arrived though.


12/05/2013 at 18:06

Tempo: I believe a reasonable guideline is the pace you could race flat out for an hour. So that's somewhere between your 10M and HM race paces for most people.

The P&D tempo run with 7M effort at 10M race pace was one of the hardest ones I did!

I thought next time around I might try a couple of longer efforts, e.g. 10M but closer to HMP.

12/05/2013 at 18:13

Wardi...cant say spritely...used to shorter distance and really want to do to indoor masters come  November/ December. Sub 3 hr marathon is a goal that needs to be ticked along the way. Hence my dilema re RW  v the hard mileage brigade. Have to say views expressed, sessions posted and general advice here is very motivating and P & D is now avid reading.

12/05/2013 at 18:23

Hmm sure you have all read that only 1 person completed the Marathon of the North this year!

What a complete joke, I really feel for everyone that used this race for a PB attempt or GFA attempt. Even worse is for all those people that classed this event as their marathon to be told it does not count.

All results wiped from power of 10 and a measly 25% refund! Can any of legal eagles on here verify if they can get away with that?

Hopefully my first marathon result last year will still count for a marathon next year. Even though MOTN is my local event I will not run or support it again.

In fact the next time I bump into Mr Cram when training at Kielder resevoir I am going to tell him exactly what I think of the course disaster this year!

12/05/2013 at 19:08

TB - very harsh on the part of London organisers if they won't let it count. In fact, since London is a point to point downhill race, why should times from there be eligible?

12/05/2013 at 19:22

OS - would like to give you credit for the 21 miler I've just completed, but I hadn't read your post before I got back. So no credit!

anyway, seemed pretty effortless today and was running at about 6:45 pace most of the way. 129 miles for the week.

Most importantly I'm breathing right down Big Johnny's tattooed neck. Can't see him running today after a 48 miler in 88 deg heat on hills, but am going to hold off uploading my run till tomorrow, just in case. I'll have another 10 miles for him to stuff in his west coast hippy  pipe and smoke by then.

(This Aussie bloke in 2nd place will, I assume, be swatted over the boundary fence for 6 after another few days. )

you're obviously under an NDA til then!

12/05/2013 at 19:35

Dids.  Great stuff!  I knew you wouldn't let us down. Mums the word. That run posted yesterday by the big tatooed one was simply awesome, but I think your approach looks more sustainable. Likewise the Frenchman must be doing too much with mega runs and bike rides every day. Australian looks like a wild card. 

I have done some strava research and found a whole new bunch of segments to hoover up. ( I am only going after ones presenting a reasonable challenge- I will leave the 11mm ones alone).  Should keep me busy for a while, in an unfamiliar part of town. My attempt yesterday ended in comedy when I took the wrong turn having sprinted up a fecking big hill. Will have another go this evening.  

Great to see you getting some fun miles in, LS. 

Edited: 12/05/2013 at 19:35
12/05/2013 at 19:40

Evening all, not been on the thread much in the past week, had a week off work for a bit of family R&R (mostly doing DIY catch up jobs in the end!) so running hasn't been a priority... Had a bit of a read-back, well done to Dachs for the 10k win, CW for the off-road marathon and keep up the quest for world domination Dids, the pride of the nation is in your hands 

Calum - I had a tibia stress fracture scare a few weeks prior to London, manifested itself as a sore point on the front of the bone about 2/3rds down. Didn't hurt much when I ran or after just felt like I had been kicked in the shin (bit of a lump there too). Course of investigation went thus; sports massage (got v worried, recommended physio and/or X-ray), GP (really not bother IMHO, only advice was take vit D/calcium! But managed to get a consultant referral), physio (also not really concerned, reckoned it was down to the Periosteum, the tissue sheath around the bone, getting inflamed), Orthopaedic consultant (also totally unbothered, but got an xray done anyway. Then got very concerned when the results showed a distinct line across my tibia, so got it MRI'd, which was pretty inconclusive) Sum total of all that was I was none the wiser as to what the problem actually was, but was pretty sure it wasn't a SF, so ran VLM anyway without any (shin) issues. The soreness receded after the marathon with a 1.5wk running break, but it's back a bit now. Personally I think it's possibly connected to biomechanics/form and the high mileage of the marathon campaign, so going to experiment with a few gait tweaks/shoe choices and see if it makes a difference. It's worth getting an Xray to rule out a SF, but they are often not conclusive. The advice/info I read was that generally if you have a fracture you will definitely know about it when you run. The difficulty arises when you have some of the preconditions for a fracture (for example stress hot spot on bone) which, if ignored, could lead to a fracture developing, but these preconditions are difficult to diagnose (even with Xray/MRI/dye injection bone scan) as they can show up in some results but not others. If it doesn't hurt much, get an Xray booked but carry on as normal and then rest from running after your target race.

Slow return to normal running for me, since VLM mileage has been 0/25/35. This week had my first bits of faster stuff, with a inter-club RR10 XC race on Wednesday and a local 10k today. The XC was pretty good, in so far that I didn't crash and burn  7th place in an admittedly thin front end field. The 10k was fairly reasonable too, not a quick course (60-70% off road) & low on fast runners, but happy with 35:13 and 3rd place. Beaten by a lesser spotted short distance/track specialist from Southampton AC and a a guy who's doing the Swashbuckler tri next weekend, so both probably in better shape than me!

12/05/2013 at 20:03

Some good parkrunning there by OT, nice to see what a spot of righteous anger can do.

Lev - 3 x 2m is one I should have tried in the build up to recent 10Ks, but I never did.  Maybe one to have a shot at at some point.

Al_P - good to see you back in action.

Dids, you've got too many nemeses now I think.  But hope the Strava battle goes the right (i.e. your) way.

Re tempos, if you can manage 10m at HMP in training, surely that can't be your HMP?  I can manage about 7 at HMP on a really good day, and I'm pretty good at pushing myself hard on solo training runs.  Surely 8m + at tempo in marathon training is closer to MP?  Having said that, the P&D book is on order but hasn't yet arrived, so maybe I know nada.

Woodley 10K for me today.  It's my 'home' race, the one that got me back into running after many years, so I like to put in a performace.  Unfortunately, recent exertions, particularly last weekend's 10K PB, seem to have taken it out of me, so I was 30s down on that PB in 33:57 for 2nd place.  Lungs felt good, but the legs weren't having it.  Wouldn't have got near 1st anyway, he came in just outside the course record in sub 32.  Still, I suppose it's gratifying to reach a point where I can be slightly disappointed with sub 34.  Nice to see TT and family out on the course cheering me on too, thanks for that!

Dan A will no doubt be pleased to know I donned his recently arrived sportswear for the small smattering of people watching the presentation.  I did my best with the modelling role, but I could match neither the Eagle-Eyes Action Man (TM)-style intensity of Marigold, nor PhilPub's cheery benevolence.  I'll try harder next time.

12/05/2013 at 20:22

Interesting definitions of Tempo and Threshold. I see threshold as being something very specific. I don't have access to blood lactate testing so It's somewhere between my 10m and HM pace; closer to the 10m pace. It will change as training progresses. Tempo for me is a broader term that could include steady/MP/HMP/10m/10k pace within a session. 

12/05/2013 at 20:29

Parkrun Dog? Well why not? Prince Rupert's dog used to go into battle with Rupert and had magical powers like being able to catch bullets in his mouth. He rose to the rank of Seargent Major General, and died at Marston Moor.


12/05/2013 at 21:04
LS21 wrote (see)


CC2 - I may be being a bit thick here (for a change) - but I can't see what the 'this' is that you refer to?


Oh, my link didn't work. Try again


12/05/2013 at 21:20

Well raced Al_P and Dachs, you're both doing well to show a turn of speed already.

LD -- very impressed at the largely 6:45s there at the end of such a big week. Liking the tactical delayed upload too...

HR -- shoes aren't too knackered, but it's true I've not experimented with using others in my stable.

Al_P/Calum -- Al's story is a bit similar to my experience of getting a persistent sore spot (mine on the inside of the tibia, couple of inches above the ankle bone), though mine was less bad I'm sure. I think changing my gait slightly got rid of it, though that might have been a coincidence -- landing that foot a bit further out from my centreline. I just experimented running in slightly different ways when it was hurting and settled on that as making an apparent improvement. Reading up I understand too that it's a continuum between a small niggle on the bone surface and eventually getting a proper stress fracture.

13/05/2013 at 07:42

Al_P / CW, cheers for the advice.

I'm getting more worried that it is a stress fracture now to be honest!  When I posted a couple of days ago, I said it felt as if I could go for a run and it wouldn't hurt.  It doesn't feel like that now.  I didn't go running at the weekend and didn't even go out for a cycle.  It's just got progressively worse since Thursday.  Got a work from home day today to try and get a GP appointment and hopefully a referral for an X-ray and take it from there.

I don't think I'll be running my target HM in under 2 weeks though.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
13/05/2013 at 08:50

LD, the powers that be have set rules for courses to count for record purposes - the start & finish have to be within a certain distance of each other, and the net downhill has to be below a minimum.  London just about meets those rules, Boston and GNR (to name but two) don't.

Parkrun in the middle of a 15 miler for me at the weekend - the first time I've been inside 18 minutes over 5k this year.  Apart from most of the 5k splits in my two HMs, that is.  It helped that I was chased home by the 52 year old parkrun director, his first run since his 2:50 at London.  I really need to work at the short stuff.

13/05/2013 at 09:23

I saw a distinct improvement when I changed my tempo runs from 3-5 miles @ HMP to 6-8 miles at MP (or a tiny bit faster). Partly this was encouraged by an email from HR's mystery coach who felt that the shorter threshold pace runs were of less benefit as they encouraged sugar-burning.

I don't think TR was suggesting no speed running, what he was saying was that building endurance was more important than building speed for most marathon runners.

As I see it, we can (almost) all run faster than MP for a shorter distance, butif you draw a graph of speed/race distance, it slopes downwards as the distance increases. To improve marathon performance we can either shift the whole line up by working on base speed, or we can work on endurance to reduce the slope of the line. Ideally, over a period of years, we can work on both, especially as there are diminishing returns from all training.

I'm fully in agreement with SL here - it would be great to fit everything in, but unless you're a full-time athlete, you need to prioritise your training. And for most people who see a dramatic drop-off in relative performance as they move up to the marathon distance, the sessions that build endurance and speed endurance are the best ones to prioritise.

P&D does include interval sessions, and strides, and threshold/tempo running, and MP sections in long runs. What it doesn't have is short intervals, weekly speed sessions throughout the program and specific hill sessions. What it puts in their place are medium-long runs twice a week.

Very poor show by the Marathon of the North - must be gutting. Let's wait and see whether VLM people allow GFA times from it.264m is about 70 seconds at 3:05 pace or 100 secs at 3:45 pace, so if they allowed anyone more than 2 minutes inside the GFA time that would seem about fair.

I reckon my dog would be a lot faster than me over 5k. I'll take him down the local parkrun soon and see how he does. As long as we don't meet another dog on the way, or run past a football match then we'll be fine

Abingdon training plan starts today with a gentle 6 miles at lunchtime.

13/05/2013 at 09:32

am I here - for me, tempo is any upbeat kind of run where you need to concentrate to make sure you don't slack off on the pace. What you are referring to (in my book at least) is threshold work, which, can be and is probably what most references to tempo mean.

Lev_ - mine will, I expect, be different to most because my HM-Mara conversion is so tight that I don't often run at Mara effort. For me (and this is just tempos, and not the time-trials I occasionally do - also pace = current pace, not goal):
3-4m tempo = ~HM pace
8-10m tempo = Mara pace + 0-10s
10-18m tempo = Mara pace + 20-30s
Occasionally I'll do a 3m Time Trial (~10k pace), or 6m Time Trial (~HM pace), but those are rare.
Or, what Also-ran said.

Well done Dachs. Disappointed with a sub-34 shows how far you've come in the last while. Knowing the course I guess there must have been a bit of a headwind in the first half too? Glad to see you got 2nd. You looked the most in control of that bunch you lead past. After you'd gone, my youngest, every time she saw a RRR vest, kept shouting out your name

CC - a stress fracture won't show on an x-ray until it has started to calcify (~3 weeks I think). Fingers crossed it turns out to be nothing.

13/05/2013 at 10:41

Just back from 5 days training in Majorca so not read back. Brief summary is that I did about 25 hours training over the 5 days, split 2 hours swimming, about 2 hours running and the rest cycling.

The most "interesting" day was this ride bascially doing the 4 biggest climbs on the island - left the hotel before 9am and got back after 6pm (albeit with a lunch stop plus another stop for ice-cream!):

The climb up Sa Calobra (google it for some pictures of the most amazing road I've ever seen) near the end was not pleasant at the time (10km at over 7% average), but amazing to do.

13/05/2013 at 10:44

Hope everyone's doing well by the way, will try to catch up on news at some point!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
13/05/2013 at 11:02

padams - that route looks familiar, it's one I've done a couple of time, minus the Sa Calobra descent & climb that I've saved for another day.  The hairpin climbs up the cols de Orient & Soller are great as there's hardly any traffic on those roads.  The long one up Puig Major is a lot busier.

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