Sub 3h15

For anyone trying to crack the 3h15 barrier anywhere in the world

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05/11/2012 at 05:55

Thatcher was also on a bottle of scotch a day. Maybe that could be the new beetroot juice, Poacher?

05/11/2012 at 08:00

Hello everyone,

I hope that this bitter wether hasnt dampened anyones spirits too much- 

Not much to report from my end - 14 day since the mraraton, pretty much took the first week off running competely,and then got just over 50 miles of running in the second, although that was averaging about 60-65% MHR. 

I am here with three questions if I may: how long after a mrathon is it sensible to leave it before starting anything more than steady/gentle running?

Does anyone know of a good plan for a half mrathon, I feel a bit lost at the prospect of not being told what to do every session.

Does a 1.27.xx seem like a sensible target for the spring given that I just ran a 3.13?

05/11/2012 at 08:28

Welcome LB70 - with 10k and half times like those you should comfortably manage sub 3:15. As for most of us success is mostly centred about getting enough long runs in. That's my plan this winter!

Jools - nice running in the mud! Always good fun!

Keir - nearly bought myself one a couple of weeks ago...... but then remembered why I cancelled my gym membership. Twas making me soft and I forgot what running outside felt like as I spent more and more time running on the spot. Having said that, I'm still tempted to get one for those really inclement days or when the snow gets too deep. I'm just a bit concerned I'll get back into my bad habits and I think this has contributed to my injury woes over the years - too much same action running led to weaker ankles etc. I think for now I'll stick to the Turbo in the garage for when I really can't get outside!

As for training schedules, I had my successes years ago following old RW plans put together by Bruce Tulloh. They seemed to work well but a lot of emphasis on speed which suited my back then but now I'm older I think I need a different approach. Have heard so much about P&D but never done anything about it. I will purchase today (presume Amazon will be best place???) and see what all the fuss is about.

05/11/2012 at 08:53

Keir, what sort of running machine did you get? I used them for a few years and found  two things:

1) If you are to do a decent pace you need a machine with a long bed. A lot of machines you find in hotels and home gyms have very short beds and the advertised top speeds are belt speeds but require your cadence to be extremely high.
2) As DS2 says, you need some rough surface to strengthen the ankles. I got into a vicious circle where I had ankle trouble so used the machines to keep fit but whenever I raced on the country it damaged the ankle again. In the end I had to go back to the country and build up gently.

Just looked at amazon for P&D, can buy new for £11 or I can trade in my copy for £1.75. Lowest second hand price is £8.05 + delivery so there is a margin somewhere.

JD3, that is a big second week: 50 miles after a week off is going to stress you r body even at low HR. Hold back for a few more weeks. Half marathon plans come in three flavours:
1) Train for a marathon and put in some speed work.
2) Run a lot of half marathons in races and training and just get good at them.
3) Do a lot of training at shorter and faster pace and a few long runs and hang on.

The half is where a lot of people meet up so the long boys coming down a distance and the short boys going up one.

05/11/2012 at 09:13

PMJ - That's exactly what I found. I think for me it was a case of not having the muscle/ligament strength in the ankles so that as soon as they were stressed they failed. Interesting points about bed length. I've always used high quality dreadmills at the gym. Hadn't thought about that. Seems like a good point. I think I will probably get round to buying one at some point this winter so will check that out before I buy!

I suppose at those prices I'll just buy a new copy of P&D - not much more than a gallon of petrol is it???

I guess most folk on here favour the 1) approach PMJ. I've never found it that easy to train specifically for a half but have had some pretty good success a few weeks before marathons. I think I'm too ill-discliplined knowing that missing a day or two doesn't matter so much, unlike the marathon where it really comes down to consistency.

Didn't go out this morning because I'm awaiting deliver of a new pair of shoes and thought it's would be nice to try them later today. Needing to leave work at lunchtime anyhow due to a school thing with one of my twins so will take advantage and get out this afternoon. Let's hope the delivery isn't too late!


05/11/2012 at 09:18

Poacher - well done on the Parkrun win

OO - excellent result at the Derwentwater

Well done to everyone for getting out in the wind / rain / snow / sleet (or any combination) yesterday. I managed a slow 12 miles and absolutely froze - just couldn't seem to warm up despite lots of layers and a qaterproof. Probably wearing shorts rather than anything longer didn't help as my legs were so cold...and also felt pretty heavy after about 8 miles, so plenty of the Town Moor still in them.  I'll be keeping things nice and steady this week, then the Stowmarket 7 on Sunday...not sure of any target time, I guess I'll see how I feel on the day...not like it's an A race or anything, just nice to do something a bit shorter for a change

05/11/2012 at 09:19
Better to be a long boy coming down than a short boy coming up - long boys can do an HM in bliss cos they know that for once, the pain will be OVER in less than 3/4/6/24 hrs. Hurrah! The short boys are more likely to be staring their endurance limit in the face all the way.
Edited: 05/11/2012 at 09:20
05/11/2012 at 09:20

I used the RW 'smart' plan for my first marathon in 2010.  The good thing about it was that it was achievable as the volume and intensity allowed good recovery between the harder session.  The week is basically one long run and the rest of the miles is divided up in easy miles with an interval session some weeks.   The schedule lacked variety - no MLRs, no MP sections to the LSRs, not much speed. - just lots of easy running.  It suited me as a newcommer to marathons but I wouldn't expect to improve much if I did it again.

No running for me this weekend as I wanted to get a bit of recovery.  In November and December I'm working on my strength so I did core excercises on Saturday night whilst watching the Dam Busters.  My routine is lots of the old classics like weighted single leg squats, supermans, dung beetles, etc.  I started a new excercise which is from Shalane Flanagan which is a plank on a stability ball with movement:

Which is actually very challenging.

Sore throat and general lurginess at the moment and hopfully it goes soon

05/11/2012 at 09:21

DS2 - forgot to mention my podiatrist reckons the Tarpley 20 is a decent course - 2 laps, a bit undulating but not too tricky. She got her 10 mile PB on the same course a few years ago.

05/11/2012 at 09:53

Nice results, Poacher/OO
BikeIt - "supermans, dung beetles" wtf ??? !!  
JD3 - not sure about 50 miles the second week after mara . . . .
fwiw, my half PB came 2 weeks after a marathon PB attempt which ended at 20 miles after bad pace misjudgement, so clearly the mara training paid off in the half. 

05/11/2012 at 09:57

Freemers - I think I'll probably add this to my run list for next spring. I can't really avoid hills locally so sometimes it's nice to run some flattish courses in races. I would describe Halstead as 'a bit undulating' so probably good preparation. I guess since both races are in that part of Suffolk no great surprise that courses would be similar. Thanks for the info. Enjoy Sunday - you might surprise yourself. As Poacher says - better be a long boy coming down. I'm sure you'll be passing people over the last couple of miles which is always a nice feeling whatever the distance.

New shoes have arrived - hoorah! Lovely day down here on the South London/Kent border. Can't wait to get home and get out on the downs!

I have had serious back problems for many years - caused by playing hockey mostly - and had a really bad slipped disc 3-4 years ago and the pain lasted for more than two years. I still have issues if I go a few days without training but improving my core made all the difference. I'd always been neglectful until the physio told me to stop wasting my money on her and pay a personal trainer to teach me how to improve my core stability. Best advice I've ever had - haven't had to visit her about my back ever since. I still get a bit lazy but my back soon tells me off.

05/11/2012 at 10:14

Bike It - just watched that youtube link. My PT used to get me to that. It's really good isn't? The other one that really used to hurt was putting your hands on the ball in the same position with arms extended and then roll the ball away from you as far as you can and then back and repeat 20 times - an absolute killer! have you tried that?

05/11/2012 at 10:18

As a marathon newbie, I'm planning to use P&D up-to-55 plan starting in the new year. Meanwhile I'm slowly building up my volume, adjusting paces downwards, doing more strength exercises, and trying to adjust my routine to accommodate all this. Last week I did 38 miles (a record for me!) including 15 Long run, 11 medium long. The biggest adjustment to my expectations has been realising I need to not just do longer long runs, but also add the medium longs in too. I'm encouraged to see someone, scooby, who has managed sub 3:15 off the lower mileage P&D plan. Makes me feel I have some hope, given all the higher mileage people around here!

05/11/2012 at 10:30

Birch - basically I sit at an office desk all day so my upper body is under-used.  The more exotic named excercises go:

Superman - Start position face down with hips over ball, feet braced against wall. Aim to drive hips / pelvis into the ball. Reach overhead with both arms to imitate Superman flying. Try not to over-extend the back, movement should come from the hip.

Dung Beetle - Lying on back holding exercise ball above naval using fingers and toes. Keep knees as straight as possible. Squeeze ball to hold stable, lower opposite arm and leg towards ground. Repeat on alternate sides

DS2 - On Sunday I could feel the effects so certainly it is doing something - whether it is good or not I don't know.  For the 20x excercise you describe, I've haven't tried it but it sounds, eerrrr, 'challenging'.  One to start and see how many reps can be done I think.

05/11/2012 at 10:51

Hi, I'm new to the forum. Seeking a sub 3.15 sometime in the next year or so. I have Glos mara in Jan, Rome in March and London in April so 3 attempts coming up. Current PB 3.24 although haven't raced a mara for a year or so due to Comrades training this year. 10K PB 42.15, 5 miles 34.14, half marathon 1.34.04. Followed Pfitzinger & Douglas to get under 3.30 a couple of years ago but their 70 miles a week looks very onerous. Can this be done on a peak of 55-60 miles per week? Input welcome!

05/11/2012 at 11:15

Welcome Karen

Glad you jumped across from your 'is it possible thread' 

Certainly sub 3.15 on 55m per week is very possible. However there are 2 bits of information which make this a particular challenge for you:

1: 3 marathons in 4 months! You will not be in sub 3.15 shape when the early marathon comes around and the time spent tapering / recovering from this will impact your training for the later marathons. If you are serious about sub 3.15, you need to put all your eggs into 1 basket. Alternatively, run all 3 for experience and miles and target a fast (Abingdon / Amsterdam / Berlin) marathon in the autumn.

2: I think your shorter race times are borderline to making sub 3.15 a possibility. You are consistent over these distances but unless you have amazing endurance (usually built up from high mileage training weeks) rather than speed, then you will struggle to convert these times. The Mcmillian running calculator is a little over optimistic for predicting most peoples marathon times, and predicts 3.18 for you. I think you need to improve your pbs over this next year to increase your chances as well.

That said, you are certainly in the right ball park, so stay around! 

05/11/2012 at 11:22

Thanks Keir that's really helptul! I do have pretty good endurance having completed Comrades 90K and a 100K earlier this year so hopefully that will help. I will be quite happy to achieve sub 3.20 in the first instance and perhaps the magical 3.15 in an Autumn marathon.

05/11/2012 at 11:23

Hurray another lady! (I think ). Welcome Karen. 

05/11/2012 at 11:32
Poacher wrote (see)
Better to be a long boy coming down than a short boy coming up - long boys can do an HM in bliss cos they know that for once, the pain will be OVER in less than 3/4/6/24 hrs. Hurrah! The short boys are more likely to be staring their endurance limit in the face all the way.

That was always me. I was much like lunchtimerunner with 60  minutes top each day so that worked out as 8 easy, 9 steady of 10 tempo each and every day. I could go up to 10 easily but those extra 3 were a killer and it was always holding on for  dear life.

KarenG, I need to be cautious here as if someone posted 1:34 as a half and said they wanted 3:15 for the full then there would generally be a lot of doubt: the conversion from half to full tends to be double and add at least 10 - 15 minutes so your 1:34 would become 3:18 to 3:23. Also 3 marathons in spring is a bad omen. You then say Comrades and I recall on marathon talk that there was a Karen who won her age category at Comrades and wasn't far behind Zola Pieterse (was Budd) so if you can run Comrades in a shade over 8 then you have that endurance and can probably do the conversion a lot better so it may be on. Go on, spill a few more beans ...

05/11/2012 at 11:41

OK, yes it's me! I did win my age category at Comrades in a time of 8 hours 9 mins - I was 3 minutes behind Zola - but she was having a mare to be fair. I then stupidly went on to run 100K 6 weeks later which has taken some recovering from. However, the legs are coming back and my times are coming down. The first of the 3 Spring marathons may well be converted to a 50K which I will run steadily. Rome will be my target for the sub 3.20. thanks for remembering me - I'm touched

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