Sub 3h15

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

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03/01/2013 at 08:07
FINgers wrote (see)
Lorenzo - indeed - I'm warming up the 3:09 vlm train engine already... It was fun last time wasn't it?!

I'm getting the coal ready!!! Anyone else on this train?

Gul - good pace on the intervals. 

Short recovery run this morning but managed a first as I encouraged Mrs L to come out with me. She enjoys running, but this was the first time in the dark with a head torch on (running for Keir and Windy's benefit!).

Off to the theatre this afternoon. 


03/01/2013 at 08:17
Cheers Blisters - will keep that session in mind when I checkout the dreadmills at the local gym - although might be busy in January until new year resolutions crumble away
03/01/2013 at 08:40

Also-Ran I also had some trouble last year with my intervals as they generally left me very sore the next few days and I felt like I was on the edge of injury.  I think because of longer stride length, quicker turnover and applying more power.  I tried to manage it with streching and foam roller. I ran them on flat tarmac.  Since November I've been doing hill reps and have had no re-occurnace of the pain.  The purpose is a bit different as a hill rep is more to gain leg strength and the (flat) interval is more about leg turnover and form.  I generally run flat intervals at 6:00 to 6:20 pace and hill reps at 6:40 to 7:00 pace.  I'm not suggesting that hill reps replace flat intervals, but it maybe give you a break if you mix it up.

The other overlooked way to run fast is a downhill interval - useful for giving the leg turnover speed and the stride length minus the power.  You've got to select hill with moderate gradient so there is no requirement for breaking from the quads other wise it is counterproductive.

Akatrigs - I'm a big believer in strength work, I just don't do much.  I use the swiss ball, dumbell and kettlebell in dynamic, multiplanar excercises that emulate the movements in running.  Just doing isolated moves like biceps curl is pointless IMHO.  If you sit all day at a desk like me then you may find your core is relatively weak and you need to strengthen it and activate it.  Core strength is of course linked heavily to good running form.

Thanks for the welcome back everyone - Achilles seems fine today but I'm still going to be cautious and leave the running until next week.  I had an Achilles problem in 2011 that took around 9 weeks and many trips to the physio to fix and don't want a repeat.

Edited: 03/01/2013 at 08:41
03/01/2013 at 08:41
How about hill repeats to replace Tarmac intervals?

I got injured last year attempting a sprint session. I need to be very careful with intervals.
03/01/2013 at 08:54

AR - probably more to do with running hard intervals as a novice on a concrete path than the concrete path. I think I remember you saying that you only started running ~ 1 year ago. The body takes time to toughen up, build frequency, miles and then pace. With some pre training training then you should be ok, also bear in mind that its not suppossed to be intervals as max efforts, you should finish them thinking  that you could have done another. I like my 3min reps session (when I do actually do some intervals) as it takes the chasing paces out of it. As a novice marathon runner folks would probably be better off running a steady 10M than intervals anyway.

03/01/2013 at 08:59

AR - Simple answer is don't run intervals! I don't like intervals becuase a) they hurt b) greater injury risk. But I have found 1 - 2mile intervals to be effective in improving my 10k - HM times and 800m intervals in improving my speed over 5k. 

I had planned a load of intervals based around this programme (instead of the shorter P&D ones) for later weeks of my campaign. However from this discussion, I am now focusing on more specific progressive work instead which should have more relevance to improving marathon performance. 

If you know that you have been injured in the past doing these, why risk doing them again? After all, 50% of the battle is making the startline fit and healthy, without injury. 

03/01/2013 at 09:17
AR - 100% in agreement with TR. when I was a novice, I too picked up injuries when trying to do hard intervals as well as building miles and frequency. It was too much. So I reverted to running almost all of my miles easy aerobic which allowed me to build the consistency necessary for successful marathon campaigns. You have made great strides already, nothing wrong with plodding for the next twelve months to build some great injury prevention. Your times will plummet anyway as your body adapts to actually becoming a runner. The marathon is an aerobic event so there is little benefit in doing much any quicker than MP.
03/01/2013 at 09:26

AR - with regard to intervals - I tried them on a Dready a couple of times but couldn't work out if it was better to speed up and slow down the belt each time or just jump on and off. Eitherway it was a pain in the preverbial and much prefer to do them on the roads - and I probably agree with TR that it takes time for your body to adjust to the workload/impact/intensity of running intervals.

I would also ssecond Bike-It on the Hill repeats - there's a good summary on Athletic Weekly at the moment about hills and the various types - I'm a big fan of Kenyan Hills. How Hills Can Help

When it comes to running intervals I like to run longer ones on routes that I use for the rest of my running, ie not a track. The reason for this is the marathon is a road race and so I reckon it is better to simulate that as much as possible, there are not many marathons run on courses with 2 straights and 2 bends repeated - probably a little simplistic but I'm a simple guy...

03/01/2013 at 10:02
FINgers wrote (see)

 there are not many marathons run on courses with 2 straights and 2 bends repeated

I think you should ask Poacher about that...



03/01/2013 at 10:19

Oi you, behave.  Must admit that 35m 7-lap ultras can be a bit repetitive though.

Welcome new posters,

Fingers - fast maras are generally on the road, but isn't it usually more fun and more rewarding off road rather than tarmac bashing? There is even an underground mara in Germany, but that may be a bit weird.


03/01/2013 at 10:21

Thanks all for comments. Hill Reps is the session I replaced all the P&D VO2 sessions last autumn, so I will be keeping up with those.

For the VO2 work, its more experiencing a bit of pace faster than HMP that I am after. The last HM race included 3 miles which were faster than I'd ever run - I'd have preferred to experience a bit of that in training as it freaked me out at the time . I find it difficult to hit HMP in a LT session

With the crappy track surface I have available, concrete paths and cambered tamac I am treading carefully through 2013 on my 'say no to injury' capaign.

TR / RJ - I am in fact off on my 10m plod shortly, so the stuff you advise is being noted!!

Edited: 03/01/2013 at 10:22
03/01/2013 at 10:41
I saw three Poachers come sprinting in wrote (see)

Fingers - fast maras are generally on the road, but isn't it usually more fun and more rewarding off road rather than tarmac bashing? There is even an underground mara in Germany, but that may be a bit weird.

Yes indeed - don't misunderstand me - it's more the twists and turns during the intervals as opposed to the surface that I like to represent - off road even better I suppose - it will help with leg/ankle strength.

03/01/2013 at 11:31

AR – Have you ever tried very fast short hill sprints recommended by Brad Hudson for injury prevention? I started adding these to my training over the summer and have been completely niggle free every since. What’s more I really enjoy doing them.

Here’s an article about the hill sprints -

03/01/2013 at 11:34

Happy new year to all new and old.

Interesting re the intervals -Thanks for all for posting such helpful links- I got broke doing them last summer and have a repeat of the same injury within 1 week of running intervals at HM pace recently. Am enjoying reading the alternatives people employ as these are obviously a high risk marathon training option.

Off to the fizz tomorrow and may well get back in the saddle by running home.


03/01/2013 at 11:40

To add the the debate I hate treadies but at times can be a necessary evil. Hill reps are essential. Especially if you live in a flat place and need to prep for hilly races. Best of all get to a hilly location now and then (e.g. the Lakes) and practice on the real thing.

8 miles around Derwentwater for me today. My first as a 50 year old- Birthday today .

03/01/2013 at 12:16

OOly - Many Happy returns!!

03/01/2013 at 12:20

Sounds like a great way to celebrate OO.

Now get some lunchtime beers downed! 

03/01/2013 at 12:36
Happy Birthday OO.

Keir, running around Fremantle would be fine apart from the 31 hour non-stop road trip to drive there (or so google said) at the moment.

Lorenzo, theatre this afternoon.. Sans head torch? Hope it's not the type with bedgowns and gas.

Broke my dread mill virginity today, only 23mins (got kicked off) only allowed 20mins per cardio machine in the site gym, so a spot of rowing and cycling ensued. Also amused by the meatheads with skinny legs throwing weights around.

Can't join in on interval advice, typing on iPhone is a nightmare.
03/01/2013 at 12:53

Looks like 20 minute interval sessions with 5 minute recoveries then Windy.

Happy birthday OO - out of curiosity how can you be sure you were the first to the top of Skiddaw on 1 Jan?

Definately no need for intervals AR in marathon training although I quite like them towards the end as sharpening.

How could you leave P&D for Paula Fingers?

Welcome to the returnees and newbies.

Managed 13 miles yesterday lunchtime - felt like heavy work after the 11 on Tuesday but thankfully today is a recovery run.  Will probably use the dreadmill early evening to give the legs a break from the tarmac.

03/01/2013 at 13:10

Happy birthday, OO.

For me the injury risk of high intensity work outweighs the benefits.

20 miles today (brought LSR forward because it's the South West Inter Counties Cross Country Championships on Sunday) to bring up 85M in 7 days.  Ground out at 7.59m/m on very tired legs.  Looking forward to 2 days *very* easy to let the legs freshen up!

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