Sub 3

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

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21/11/2013 at 20:59

good stuff Wardi, a change should do you good.

Ryan - what training did you do for your 2:52 (typical week) and what do yoiu intend to do to target 2:45 ? 

21/11/2013 at 21:07

Wardi -- the last physio I saw said I was the second most inflexible person she'd ever seen (OK I was in the middle of acute piriformis/sciatica probs). But I can only touch the top of my shins -- haven't been able to touch my toes since I was about 10 probably! I've been stretching  my hamstrings several times a day for a while though (one foot up the stairs). Well tempo'd BTW.

TR -- foot has been virtually symptomless today actually. Just a bit of an ache on top now and then. It has objected to times when I've put my foot down awkwardly on a stone or something sometimes. And I don't know how long the 2k swim took, but that's a good spell of cardio time today.

21/11/2013 at 21:12

Yet another rained soaked run with 6 by 5 minute intervals directly into the wind and rain. Decided to treat myself to running on the trails in the dark after that. Did not need to see as just followed the path/river! 13 miles in total. Enjoyed the session, if not the weather.

Need I say shorts?

21/11/2013 at 22:53

TR - 2:52 was from a 12 week, 70 mile max Pfitzinger schedule which is generally alla about a midweek med/long run and some kind of threshold stuff most weeks. I was in better shape this autumn and probably could have sneaked under 2:50 but just royally ballsed up the New Forest.

I'm having 10 days off now for recovery and to get rid of niggles) and then plan a little base build in Dec followed by a schedule loosely based on Pfitz but with more tempo stuff. I'm also introducing doubles for the first time. I work 6 on, 4 off so have written a schedule with 10 day cycles to fit around the shiftwork and days off.

What are your winter plans TR?

21/11/2013 at 23:28

CW - virtually symptomless is good.

Ryan - lots of folks here have done PnD, its good. I usually do a long run and a few running commutes, with some midweek longer runs in there, and it gets me in the low 2:5Xs. I have a swim/bike/run commitment year round so only run 4 days/week max. I intend to mix it up a bit this time though and do some quality stuff intead of the commutes or within the commutes. Ideally instead of the commutes.

cricket time !

Edited: 21/11/2013 at 23:31
22/11/2013 at 08:07

TR - hope you didn't stay up too long to watch the massacre!

CW - I was about to say I must have seen that physio if you're the second least flexible she's seen, but that sounds worse than me! I can just about reach my ankles when I'm warmed up. I've heard loads of "experts" tell me that being more flexible reduces injury, yet all the flexible people I know seem to be permanently injured, and I seem to be doing OK (touch wood).

9.5M in 65 mins last night - calves were really sore by the end, maybe due to new shoes (although just a new version of the model I've been using for years).

22/11/2013 at 08:47

Now then! Just popped back in to check and see if any one did leeds ABD.. I cant see any results/reports...

I had another pb race so pretty pleased. What a fantastic field of fast runners. I came in the top 500 with a 36.23.. Love the out and back race where you can watch the real athletes.

Anyway back to the fells for me now its winter then ill work at the road again next year.

As you were! 


22/11/2013 at 09:33

Wise words Padams! The typical scenario is as follows:

"hello Mr Physio, I appear to be injured"

"That's because you are inflexible, but I can help you. Just sign here. Thanks. Now, what I want you to do is stretch and not run for a few days"

A few days later

"It's a miracle, I am cured. That stretching really helped. I must remember to keep stretching because that injury will, logically, return if I don't"

A few weeks later, with all thoughts of stretching long since gone and the inflexibility just as bad as it was before but with the injury not returned, the runner realises that inflexibility and stretching was just hogwash. And as he runs past the physio shop, with the horned, forked tailed, caped figure lurking in the doorway he wonders what it was that he signed.

22/11/2013 at 09:50

Dids - my missus was a lawyer.  She's now re-training to be a physio. This weekend she's helping me at a running expo.

Bet you'd fckn hate her 

22/11/2013 at 09:53

Thanks guys.  Bit of a twinge below knee but seems better now - just done 8 - think it was the downhills jarring the knee.

NOSEMI - Jools ran Leeds.  Have you all seen the article about the winner?

TR/Ryan - My goal will be targetting ave 60mpw (70-80max) over a 12 week block with 2 week taper plus some speedwork over winter.  First session will be on Tue 5x800m @3k pace (80-85secs) as a test/probe and look at potential.  

22/11/2013 at 10:25

Cheers TORO Just read that, very interesting. I saw the winner was from a local club but hadnt heard of him!  

How did you get on JOOLS? 

22/11/2013 at 10:57

Lawyer to Physio eh? Thought that would be 100% transferable skills. Why is any re-training required?

22/11/2013 at 11:01

CW/Padams/LD - I'm incredibly inflexible too. I read somewhere yonks back that, from a running perspective, that being inflexible is more advantageous (this article does a good job of summing it up), despite people pushing flexibility as a good thing, etc. Ultimately it comes down to general health rather than specific health. Most physios are interested/trained in the former, rather than the latter.

Going back to the hydration thing, Al_P, I disagree that "The human body is, in his words, exquisitely good at self-regulating hydration and sodium levels". Well to be precise, the sodium levels. Mine certainly isn't/wasn't, but that could just be my body' reaction to my asthma meds. The primary balance of electrolytes seems to be your potassium relative to sodium (which you have touched upon). Most of use could do with a little less sodium in our diets I suspect (and probably a little more potassium).

I'm going through a nasty period. My recent migraine has been swiftly followed by severe tonsillitis. Fingers crossed that it simply means I'm getting all of my winter woes out of the way in one go (and up front)!

22/11/2013 at 11:22

Thanks for aritcle link TT, i'm feeling wonderfully assured about my own lack of flexibility now

22/11/2013 at 12:19

Sorry about the migraine TT, it sounds miserable. You'll be an expert, whereas I know nothing except what I saw on telly a couple of weeks ago, which leads to the question -- have you tried botox?

Hamstring stretches are the only ones I do -- all of my my other ones are to strengthen odd muscles that have given me grief at various times -- because they've been indicated in stiff back problems and sciatica problems. To be scientific I should just stretch on one side I guess. Actually I lie, I do also stretch my shins.

Day 6 without running and I did a 15M or so Tour des Villages en route to work today on the bike. Couldn't figure out why I was going so slowly once I'd turned out of the wind... then found I'd punctured on an exquisitely sharp obelisk-shaped stone. Almost cried trying to get the damn 700c tyre off (all is forgiven, 26" wheels), and despite knowing the dangers I re-punctured it applying terrible forces to get it back on again. Tried a gloop spray but it didn't work. Ended up pumping up my back tyre every few hundred metres for the last 4M or so to work. Bah.

22/11/2013 at 12:45

And whilst you mention Expos Dan, worth a quick reflection on the organisation of and general race experience of the Istanbul Marathon - anyone thinking of doing it may wish to prepare themselves for something that is well, unusual in a number of ways.

The website is ultra-brief and contains just the vital information you need to get to the expo and to the start and where you are running etc etc, Honestly, it's all the better for it. Just one concise page. You get no email or post confirmation when you register which is unusual.

The Istanbul Expo was a grim affair, (not one you'd want to waste time at, Dan). Like London, the location was shockingly ugly and 10 miles out of the centre (but thankfully near the airport and en route from the city). A packed, slow moving tram was required.

Inside, there was a pale attempt at razzmatazz, but there was no disguising it was just a dull sportshall with a few desks and running goods vendors. I almost missed the pomposity of Excel.

Strangely the kit bag we were given by the very friendly staff there, would have done a squaddy proud. The race number was slotted nicely behind a plastic window, there was a proper shoulder strap and it was generally made of sturdy stuff. Ultimately, it's one of those bags you'll never reuse, but probably never throw away either.

(Note - When it came to collecting the bags at the end of the race there was just a young lass alone in a big van with several hundred bags NOT sorted into any sort of order. Present your number and then watch as the girl trawled through them all. Hopeless.)

The buses to the start were pretty chaotic too - although we used their system of them neither queuing properly in the british way, or scrapping selfishly like the Dutch, to our advantage and steamed right to the front of a huge mass of dithering runners and jumped aboard.

The start was hell. Having visited Auschwitz I could not help being reminded of it. We were literally dumped from packed buses in the middle of nowhere, up high on a huge bridge over the Bosphorous with no escape. As I posted on sunday, there were 16 toilets for 10,000 runners and only one grassy steep bank like the north face of the Eiger for more desperate runners to risk death for a shit, or a dangling of the appendage over the sea below. No water, apart from an old shopping trolley full that a bloke making kebabs had probably spent hours pushing up the hill and onto the bridge.

No pens at the start, no chance to get really close to the start without some severe pushing which I couldn't bring myself to do, even though I could see a pair of grandmas in front of me, and knowing that a lot of the runners were 15K fun runners and liable to shuffle slowly off. So, it was a very hard going first km or so. It was chip timed, but everyone gets the gun time in the results.... not that I really cared as it turned out.

Plenty of good organisation on the course though, once the slow movers were bypassed. KM markers, water stops, a finish line. People guiding the 10km runners one way and marathoners another. Hardly any spectators.

The location of the finish line (and where the buses depart from) is fantastic though. Right in the middle of history and right next to where all tourists stay - a short limp back to a shower and then out into a wonderful city.

So, not a PB course, not well organised, but if you are looking to combine a great weekend with a marathon it does (in my opinion) beat the better organised German races overall, and the lack of adventure that a local UK one brings. 

I'd say however, that on this criteria Athens still has to be done in preference to Istanbul - as every runner should really experience Athens.

22/11/2013 at 12:54

Nice review LD - which Athens Marathon are you referring to? there appear to be two

22/11/2013 at 13:16

CharlieW and other non-stretchers!!


Have you always done no/little stretching or did you switch at some point?

I presently stretch and strengthen practically everything (after being far more slack last year) but have still spent at least 80% of this year nursing niggles or seeing physios. Thought it may have been an increase in mileage but last year my heaviest week was 62 and this year it was 70. I've had no proper injuries in either year but I'm starting to think that all the extra effort is not really helping. Still, I feel a bit nervous reducing or stopping it

22/11/2013 at 13:44

CW - One always hopes that changing tyres won't need to be done too often, but not all 700c tyres are built the same, some having notoriously tight "beads" around the rim.  If you're ever in the market for another tyre I can strongly recommend Michelin Pro4.  (They come in different editions, but the "Service Course" ones are very good.)  They're a folding tyre and I find them perfectly easy to get on and off without use of levers, good grip in the wet, and extremely good puncture protection.  I know I'm on statistically dodgy grounds being an experiment of one, but between my current pair and a previous pair of Pro3 I've not had a single puncture in probably 3,000 miles, and that includes a fair bit of wet weather riding (on the "winter bike".)

Is this a good enough excuse to post another picture of my posh bike?  I think it is.  The Pro4 tyres happen to come in a rather dashing white wall version, which may or may not be the only reason I bought them in the first place.


Edited: 22/11/2013 at 13:44
22/11/2013 at 14:07

Nosemi: well run at Leeds.  Bubka pb for me (1 second!) but pleased with that 3 weeks post-marathon as I don't usually run all that well for a good month or so.

First club session post-marathon for me last night: 9 x 350m hills.  Mmmm.  I've missed club sessions *so* much.

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