Sub 3

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

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24/04/2014 at 09:30
HR - give 10 runners steroids and you'll find 10 much better runners, give 10 recreational runners an 80 mpw training programme and you'll find 10 much better runners.

Core training? If it's as essential as people claim, why is it not easy to demonstrate the benefits with 10 runners on a few small scale experiments before doing something more significant? we invest millions in sport and our top athletes, how about working out how best to train?

As stated before, if you've done everything else (especially specific strengthening training on hills) then core training probably won't harm you (although I have seen counter claims that too much can) BUT my big issue is that people will do core training INSTEAD of much more useful training. (Yes, it's anecdotal of me to claim this but I see people being seduced into it).

People would not do core training instead of proper training if there wasn't this mass spread of false information about it. Why not glamourise running up hills and running long distances? It doesn't sell books or keep people in jobs?

(Ps, kids....please don't take drugs).
24/04/2014 at 09:43

LD - I definitely agree that people become obsessed with the term "core work" often to the detriment of other important aspects of training, that's a good point.

24/04/2014 at 09:49

Lev - expect you're aware, but last week's AW has a double page spread taken a few secs after the start of VLM. Mo in the middle, you clearly visible just behind.  Happy to send you a copy if you want to keep for posterity. Just PM or email me your address. 

24/04/2014 at 09:59

I have to say, Literatin's piece about core work and pelvic muscle strengthening coupled with Phil Pub's retort about doing core work helps you to not piss your pants when you are out on a long run and need to go, made me laugh out loud in my office yesterday.

managed just over 9 miles yesterday in total over two commutes. The second one included a sprint for a couple of hundred metres, timing my road crossing with the traffic lights at the junction of Bishops Ave and the A1 which my watched picked up a speed of 2:59 mins/mile. I doubt I was running that speed for longer than the actual crossing, when the lights were just about to change and the adrenaline kicked in, still it's nice to see that on the watch even if it is just a spike/error! I did take the road at a nifty speed!

8.5 this morning on the commute in, bumped into my brother on his bike, so he pedalled along with me in the breeze as I churned out the last mile and a half at early 6:20 pace.

24/04/2014 at 10:45

LD – I understand your point about people doing core/strength work because it is in vogue.  But I would guess that most on here do as little as possible of this kind of thing (and certainly don’t enjoy it) and would much rather just run.  I certainly do, throughout my marathon build up I did a non-running based strength session once a week and a hills session about once a fortnight. 

I am in no doubt that this helped me, especially with strengthening my weak butt and back but also with maintaining running posture when fatigued.    I didn’t pee myself in the marathon either – maybe it helped with that.   Although, I do have a photo from last week where the guy behind me clearly hasn’t done his core/pelvic work! nice.

I personally still see the whole core/strength training palava as an annoyance though rather than part of my “real” training  (you add stretching to the annoying list too!)


Re clams... Literatin’s point where she said if it doesn’t hurt you aren’t doing it right (great point, well made)... this is more true than you’d imagine.  It is very easy to do a clam wrong and to find them easy.  But once you hit the spot, you know about it!  Took me a few times to get it nailed down – the fizz tells me its something to do with “engaging the glutes”.


As an aside, I wondered what people’s thoughts were re “marathon pace” sessions... (hopefully this won’t be as controversial a subject as strength training):  if the marathon is 10 weeks away, would you consider marathon pace to be your target pace or something more akin to current fitness levels? I’m in the former camp, but wondered what other people thought and whether there is any difference of opinion.

4.5 miles without any feelings of the cold /sore throat this morning. Loved it.

Edited: 24/04/2014 at 11:02
24/04/2014 at 12:41

Not sure if it is that controversial on here bainspj? Most of us recognise that it probably has some benefit whilst wishing we could be arsed to do more. LD, buddy, I'm bowing out of this one.

bainspj MP is a subject that comes around. TR is fond of pointing out, quite rightly, that you cannot know what MP is until close to, or at, the race. I think MP sessions are really important, and one of the reasons I struggled with my Asian training regime compared to VLM. Putting those two sentences together it would make sense to do them by a combinaion of past experience on pace and effort, as you hint.

6m this morning and a 15m planned for later: it's coming together. TR something's brewing but I want to keep my powder a little dry and see how this pans out over the next few weeks. I may come unstuck so I don't want to look too foolish

Edited: 24/04/2014 at 12:44
24/04/2014 at 13:16

literatin - well that's one way of introducing yourself Rather appropriately I nearly pmsl. I guess I must be old, or have a weak core

HR - I agree. The less weak links you have the better surely. At least I'm hoping that's the case, but ask me in a few months. Is this potential plan something within the next few weeks by any chance?

LD - hillwork + core/strengthening is surely better again though?

Dan - meant to say, good to see you back at it

bainspj - I'm probably in the minority in that I no longer run (and have no plans to run) marathon paced sessions, but with all workouts, effort rather than pace for me. You want to get to race day able to feel what marathon effort is, rather than what some arbitrary pace feels like (in an ideal world they'll coincide of course).

An easy 20m yesterday as my first long run for 52!!! days. Pace was about what I expected, though given that in the intervening gap I had 1 x 17m and 1 x 16m as my next longest runs, my legs were a little tired towards the end.

24/04/2014 at 13:46

bainspj: I always considered marathon pace to be target pace, in p&d these session are 8,10,12 & 14 miles increasing as you get nearer to target. I assumed this was because 14 weeks out that 8 miles at mp was tough enough already. So as the fitness improves so does your ability to sustain mp for longer.

Only 3 runs so far for me post VLM & nothing more than a 6 mile plod. Legs feel ready for more but want to hold back for the rest of this week just so the body gets 2 weeks rest.

24/04/2014 at 13:57

Regards to "Core Work" as part of a Marathon build up I do what can probably be described accurately as a "token effort" fairly sure I'm doing most of the exercises wrong, but my core strength seems to improve as raceday approaches namely I can feel some kind of muscular definition developing around my midriff whereas usually its just flab.

I have never really stretched before or after running, have run probably in the region of tens of thousands of miles over the last 15 years & have never had any really significant injury problems ( touch wood )

At Parkrun you will often see big Dave doing his set of pre race stretches / exercises & its patently obvious he has no idea what or why he's doing it, I sometimes go in for the same approach but its mainly to avoid the likelihood of being dragged in to a pointless & futile pre race conversation.

Those "Exercise Balls" / "rolling thingies" are amongst the most preposterous things I've ever seen.

24/04/2014 at 14:16


It's horses for courses at the end of the day isn't, what works for one might not for someone else. But to write off an entire method of treatment/management such as exercise balls which are used from elite athletes right through to stroke rehebilitation and care of the elderly rehab classes is almost as absurd as the absurdity suggested.

24/04/2014 at 14:20

Will do more of a post later but a quick question for the Adios Boost contingent.  

I've always run in Asics overpronation shoes.  When I first started running, I think I overpronated a fair bit and I've been too cowardly to change from the brick-like Kayanos as basic training shoe since but have now transitioned to the DS Trainer (slight overpronation support, lighter shoe) for most of big eg MP tempo runs and DS Racer for races (v light, but with a bit of support).  I've long suspected I don't really need so much support, and out of curiosity, I went to a running shop over the weekend and it appears that my gait is now pretty neutral (just a very slight overpronation, and less when I run quickly).  I'm likely to stick with the Asics DS shoes as part of me is hesitant to change too radically, but (amongst quite a few shoes I tried) I thought it would be interesting to give the Adios Boosts a whirl.  I did really like the way they run, but wondered - have you felt compelled to go up half a size and does the toebox feel rather roomy/like it might cause some agitation to the top of the toes?  I'm usually a 10, but those felt too small.  Just wondered what the collective experience is...


24/04/2014 at 15:08

Lev - thats rather a long intro to a simple question...

I have "my" size which I use for up to 10k, and half a size up which I use for half marathon and over.  basically, I dont like the feel of the slightly larger shoe when running fast, but the smaller fit leaves me with mashed up toes if i wear them for too long.

...should caveat all this by saying that I discarded both for the recent marathon and ran in my pegasus  (Dont tell Mrs Bainspj!).

Cheerful Dave    pirate
24/04/2014 at 15:53

CW - that's a nice photo, but you're miles from Mo.  In this one I've got my nose on his head.

24/04/2014 at 16:12

Lev - I'm a 12 in most shoes but 12.5 in Adidas as they do come in a little bit small.

24/04/2014 at 16:31

Lev - Careful with those Boosts.  Whatever size you get, you might take off!

24/04/2014 at 16:50
Lord Didsbury wrote (see)
HR - give 10 recreational runners an 80 mpw training programme and you'll find 10 much better runners. 

Your lordship.  Would you kindly share the peer reviewed publications that shows that 80mpw gives better results than 70mpw.  (I wont ask for the analysis of 80mpw vs 70mpw and spending the other hour "doing crunchies").

24/04/2014 at 16:56

Or the study where 10 recreational runners managed to complete 80mpw without getting injured. 

24/04/2014 at 18:21

Agreed on the marathon effort but even then it only needs to be approx as its a different effort level at 6am on a Weds in February than it is at 10am on race day in April.

HR - fair do's on your plans, I coudl kind of see what you were doing anyway.

Lev - careful on the shoes, I screwed my feet up before VLM when I had to get a new pair.

60min turbo early doors and 5M inc 20mins of 30sec/30sec at lunch - was only a few metres short of the record distance in the 20mins too. I must find some summer races to keep my running frequency up, I have a lot of Sunday morning matches through May though.

Edited: 24/04/2014 at 18:23
24/04/2014 at 21:29

Phil. You are right it does seem to be a problem with those shoes.

24/04/2014 at 21:41

This could explain why Jason Scotland-Williams' chip didn't register at all the timing mats; he glided straight over the top of them.

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