Sub 3h15

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

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07/11/2012 at 22:19
Minni - sorry I tried to add my marathon time and butchered Abingdon on same day. Sorry, don't know how to correct it.
07/11/2012 at 22:32
I found most of the P&D schedule to be at quite a tough working pace apart from the recovery runs (8.30M/M).

LR and MLR's are never just a jog when following the MP + 20% and 10% rule, hopefully this time around will be 8.10 and 7.25 if 6.45/ 6.50 is my PMP.

The lactate threshold runs are not just a 1 or 2 mile warm up before hitting HMP+ pace for a few miles. 12 with 7 @ LT pace for instance.

Even the VO2 runs have a serious amount of miles in them before hitting the fast stuff. 11 miles with 5 * 1200m @ 5k pace! And that one is followed the next night by a 14 MLR.
Very tough workouts, so the recovery runs and rest days are most welcome.
07/11/2012 at 22:33
That offline list is a bit of a faff - wouldn't it be better to have a simple list on 'ere?

As for training, I'm with TR - just train and don't get het up with details.
07/11/2012 at 23:01
Moof- from memory that LT threshold run of 7 miles is on a Friday night and followed by a 22 miler on the Sunday?
07/11/2012 at 23:28

You volunteering to be Keeper of the List Poacher? 

 

08/11/2012 at 00:06

Dylan Man - I've always wondered how they used to run decent times back in the 80's without any gizmos, gels, compressions ocks etc. Must have been just a mansuit in those days.

Wise words TR as always. Did a track session last night and wanted to do 8 x 1000m reps. After 5 (@ 3.35 - 3.37 times) I thought, why am I pushing it. I've got no races planned for the rest of the year. So cut it short and ran an extended route home of 4 miles in a very saintly 8.20 pace and it felt fantastic. Plan to go out tomorrow night for a nice & slow 10 miler, anything over 80 minutes will be good!

08/11/2012 at 08:02

KR- I did a 6 week build up to Amsterdam, the Ultra was 8 weeks before so after that I did 2 easy weeks of 15-25 miles, then did 6 weeks avg. 51miles. I did a weekly 10mile tempo run at 7mm pace, my long runs were 13 (Ashbourne HM), 20, 16, 14, 21 (Redbull Steeplechase). I was also cycling to work 1 day a week which was a 30mile round trip. I personally think the short build up worked for me. As long as you have a good endurance base the marathon specific stuff can come much later in a plan, avoiding peaking too early or injury risk. For VLM I plan to do lots of strength work by doing hilly fell runs, very slowly, but 15-25 miles, a couple of speed session each week and a mid week 10 miler. I will do these without a watch and only come to using a watch and calculating paces in the last 8 weeks.

08/11/2012 at 08:10

TR - very good point. Have had a couple of quiet days at work and thought I'd make the most of it. Doesn't happen very often. My business partner is the most unhealthy person I know - smokes a lot! Drinks a lot! and never gets any exercise so we rarely talk about running etc!

I just need to get running into some kind of perspective. With various work and family commitments this is the first time that I feel i can properly commit to running a marathon properly for many years. Once it just becomes part of my daily routine it will be a good thing I guess.

Keir - that's a great story about your Dad and a great way to set an initial target for your first marathon.

Knight Rider - it's amazing to think that since the heady days of British marathoning in the mid to late 1980's (Messr's Gratton, Spedding, Jones, Evans to name a few) we have failed to produce runners in the past 15 odd years that can get within even 4 or 5 minutes of those times, and yet they just had a pair of running shoes a stop watch and water. I think sometimes they were made tougher in those days! Those guys i mentioned all had full-time jobs as well/ Incredible!

Moof - I can't work out if you are trying to frighten me or encourage me that my time to run hard will come in the next few months?

08/11/2012 at 09:26
Minni wrote (see)
If the recovery runs are tough then are you running them too fast? 

I sort of changed my perspective on recovery runs.  Instead of thinking of them as runs to help me get recovered, I think of them as training runs to learn how to run on tired legs.  Maybe I should question if I am running the hard sessions the day before too hard as always the next day my legs are pretty tired.

From a phsiological perspective, I think it is about recruiting additional muscle fibres into action - I think it works by the regularly used muscle fibres being exhausted and able to deliver a lot less than if rested.  The body has no choice but to recruit the lesser used muscle fibres.  Well that's my theory anyway.

I actually think that and MLRs the day after a speed session (typical of the P&D schedule) is one of the most valuable sessions to improve efficiency and hence aerobic speed.

08/11/2012 at 09:42

Bike it - that's very interesting. I've been a bit worried by the thought of doing a MLR the day after speed sessions. Whenever I've tried to run the day after intervals in recent years I've found it an uncomfortable struggle. It's probably because I haven't done enough base building prior to starting specific marathon training. I will need to make sure it's different this time.

Can I ask if this combination became easier as your training developed or does it remain tough? Or is it mostly a mental thing?

08/11/2012 at 10:00
DS2- just pointing out that if you follow P&D that you won't be doing too many slow plod miles.
Following the 55-70 plan for VLM this year got me into great shape and any run of 15 or below, psychologically felt easy. (The 26.2 was a bit of a git though!).
But as others have said, its not really the plan but just getting out there and consistently getting the training done.

A question- when I run in the evening and keep my heart rate below 75% max, average pace is about 8.15. If I run in the mornings at 75% max HR, my pace is about 8.45. Any ideas why?
08/11/2012 at 10:03

Excellent posting, TR - just listen to him, folks !
My first mara was age 31 in 1986,  my PB was 1991 (age 36), half PB 1990 (age 35), 10K PB 1994 (age 39). Last sub-3 was at age 47.  No garmins, HR monitors or gels, some maras @ 2:5x  with just water available.  To be clear, I'm not a luddite who goes on about "in my day" (I do own a Garmin), it's merely that all the "modern" extras, whilst having their place,  are just the icing on the cake - and (some) folks do seem to expend a lot of mental energy worrying about their "gel strategy" for example rather than maximising the actual running.   

Edited: 08/11/2012 at 10:04
08/11/2012 at 11:56

Birch - 10 years between us in age but very similar best times from a similar era. I have to say that I started getting a bit carried away with gel strategies etc, but I did a sponsored bike ride last year and the Doc really encouraged us not to use them. Since then I've hardly bothered and haven't seemed to suffered for it - just no longer need to worry how best to carry them! I'm not a luddite either and, also, own a Garmin but don't tend to rely on it for anything other than measuring time and distance. I sometimes think I'm wasting it's capability but it doesn't float my boat.

I've gone back to basics and seem to be enjoying running simply for what it is!

08/11/2012 at 12:36

I'm a semi-luddite. I have a Garmin but only to record mileage and pace. I don't follow a plan for the marathon either, just target 4-5 * 20+ miles in the build up. 2 races over 20 miles were particularly beneficial last year. All of my PB's were mid 90's except the marathon which was VLM last year.  Gels are good for marathon racing but I try to avoid for training.

08/11/2012 at 12:38

Ok so TR has said all the right things,short and to the point just the way it should be.

I have a garmin no heart monitor so don't know what you shoiuld train at and am not really bothered.My take on marathon running have a good base long runs are most important then the MLR then you start to add the speed sessions.

That said SLR and MLR i always finish the last third faster seemed to work for me.Someone on here I think once said "you have to spend more time in the hurt locker" i use that mantra a lot...

 

08/11/2012 at 13:04

Initially, when I started running, my Garmin beeping all over the place to stay in target zones for pace / heart rate etc. Over the months is has become a glorified 'black box' - if I crash I will study it! Not worn the Garmin since the last race - very much in recovery mode.

I tend to go by feel and generally studying the black box afterwards I find

- my long runs are too fast
- my VO2 sessions too slow
- my tempo sessions about right.

(according to the powers that be)

For long runs, I don't touch gels, sports drinks or other wierd concoctions. In P&D style I like to run my tanks dry. Hopefully store more glycogen and get a boot from gels in a race.

08/11/2012 at 13:54
DS2 wrote (see)

Can I ask if this combination became easier as your training developed or does it remain tough? Or is it mostly a mental thing?

DS2 - my take on it that it is remains tough.  For me it's the overall fatigue plus the load of the speed session that makes the next-day MLR tough.

Remember this phase of P&D also has LSR with 10-12m of MP running a few days before or long tempo runs on the Friday before, which build up the fatigure

Edited: 08/11/2012 at 13:54
08/11/2012 at 14:05

Bike it - I suppose it wouldn't be the challenge it is if it wasn't going to be tough! Strangely looking forward to it, though!

efc-col - it does seem that running pregressively faster on the longer runs seems to be the way to go and, thankfully, that is something I've always tended to do as well.

Also-ran - I think I may be something along those lines as well. I would think that getting the tempo runs right will be of most importance though. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

08/11/2012 at 16:36

I remember running the Great North Run in 1984 without even a stop watch and definately no gels or sports drink.  That said, I find the feedback that a Garmin provides irrisistable even though I would still claim to be running to feel.

Having also used a HR monitor since 1994 and a fascination for GPS technology, I just couldn't resist the Garmin when they first appeared.  And, of course, the best thing about the gadget is that you can spend hours after a run analysing the data 

Managed 9 miles this lunch-time outside, using the out and back run I use for the P&D mid-week 14 milers.  A good reminder of the fun that lies ahead

08/11/2012 at 16:40
DS2 wrote (see)

PMJ - you must have been young when you ran your first one. I was just 22 in 86 and I recollect that you are a year or two younger than me.

I was at university so was 19 or 20: very young for a marathon but it wasn't even called one "Cambridge Boundary Run". In those days they were very off beat abd you could roll up on the day, pay a few pounds and run: none of this three figure entry fees. I am 47 now if anyone is counting.

knight rider wrote (see)

Dylan Man - I've always wondered how they used to run decent times back in the 80's without any gizmos, gels, compressions ocks etc. Must have been just a mansuit in those days.

Hard to compare the 80s and today. Definitely a lot of hard men out and about but also a lot of injuries and burnouts. Look at e.g. Ron Hill, a great runner and world record holder but he burned brightly and shortly: set world records in 1970 and was done by 1972. A lot of people these days are looking at 3 or more Olympics as a marathon career.

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