Sub 3h15

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

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14/05/2013 at 14:08

Minks - welcome. As others have said I'm certain your best days are still ahead of you. I'm 45 next month and still just about managing to creep my mara time down and fully intend to take a bit off the shorther distances too. Only started running just before I hit 40. You DEF are going way too fast on your long runs. Something we all struggle with - compliacted by the fact they take a chunk of time out of your week and the temptation is speed up a bit to get the darned things done and dusted. Have you considered the treadmill at home option to get the sessions in ?? Something I'm having to do a bit more of for various reasons - better than nothing though

Right- off to try to run and fast in little circles for a bit

What's your injury Minni ? I had a great run round the flat valley behind the airfield near you a couple of Sundays ago. Think that might become my favoured route over summer when I'm doing more 20+s again. Have you ever run along the disused railway South from Rothbury ?? Any good as a route ??

14/05/2013 at 14:50

Never run on the disused railway Frazer but glad you liked my other route.  Did you do the full loop? I've run hundreds and hundreds of miles around there, mainly because its the only flat stretch near me.

The injury is calf related and I think its fine now but promised myself I wouldn't test it till Thursday so being very good!

Have you ever run in Cragside?


14/05/2013 at 16:50

Who coaches you, Minni?  What kind of schedule did you follow for VLM?  Whereabouts do you live?

Frazer, I know you're right re. running the LSRs way too fast, but as you say I also think that's got a lot to do with the amount of time they take up and wanting to get back home to crack on with other stuff.  And some of the weather we had this winter was just so appalling that I didn't really want to be out in it for any longer than I had to!

I did all my long run training on a flat but mostly offroad route around the Lee Valley which was good training for VLM but not so good for Halstead.  The roads around where I live are a lot like the Halstead route but possibly hillier.  The only downside is I can't run most of them in winter because they are unlit and have no pavement.  In winter and the dark evenings I'm restricted to a few pretty dull routes downhill into Cheshunt (nearest "big" place to me) and back up again to home. It's incredibly uninspiring so I really look forward to the light evenings when I have much more choice about where to run.  

14/05/2013 at 17:55

Minks, the only thing that limits your running routes is your imagination, seriously. I agree that if you have to do a short one and in safe places there may only be a few options but tall these can be run backwards and forwards. I run out of Lee Valley stadium every so often and from my scouting days I know Gilwell Park and Epping Forest and have always found plenty of routes, great ones off road of course, but adequate ones on road.

14/05/2013 at 17:57

I'm in the far north east Minks.  As far as you can go before hitting Scotland really.

My London schedule was affected by the weather a lot, just like everyone else.  A couple of speed sessions didn't happen and some races cancelled.   I did 9 x 20 or more miles and the rest was made up with tempo, MLRs, recoveries etc.  I'll look out that link re recovery runs.

I think the best thing you can do is continue to build on your fitness (once you've recovered from the marathon) and that will make a huge difference next time around.  What are you plans for the rest of the year?



14/05/2013 at 19:28

HERE is the link to the article about junk miles/recovery runs.

14/05/2013 at 21:04

Welcome Minks! Sounds like with a few tweaks as mentioned above you could take a chunk off your next race. Beware of getting Minni to mentor you though, she's a bit of a dominatrix 

Can't edit the list on this phone (which seems to have a mind of it's own on correcting text!) so would someone please add the following: (and I'll put my bravest ever bear targets down too!)

9th June - Rhyl Tri - SJ - sub 2:50

7th July - Outlaw - SJ - sub 12 (eek)

27th October - Frankfurt - SJ - sub 3


14/05/2013 at 21:15

Minks I think most would agree about P&D being light of 20 ilers. Just a case of adding a few miles to a few runs.

No running tonight. Work got in the way. Could be a case of only treadmill running from now on. The busy season has officially started.


Edited: 14/05/2013 at 21:16
14/05/2013 at 21:29

Welcome, Minks. Looks like you've made youself all comfy on here already, just don't finish off all the biscuits, o.k.? I would drop the recovery run and make all of the sessions available count, if they're going to be limited in number. Perhaps a treadmill is the answer? In any case, age has nothing to do with any perceived decline of yours - I hope, cos I'm 47!

Good session, Lorenzo, one I'm hoping to bag for myself tomorrow. As to that 10k plan Keir put up, has anyone tried the 6 x 1M @ 10k pace scheduled for week one? It's never going to come off, is it?

14/05/2013 at 22:27

Ant - good question re the 10K schedule. The answer is, er, no!

Minks - welcome, welcome. Judging by your times, age, lifestyle etc you're in very good company here. I'd echo what others have said about age not being a barrier - I'm 45 and set a PB at London (in my 14th marathon) followed by a 5K PB a couple of weeks later. 

I'd echo the point about making sure you run the slow runs slow and the fast runs fast - I've found that made a difference and I'm hoping to take it one step further next April. 

Tricky one about when to find time to fit all the runs in. I find the only way is to make an early start and get them in before work. Given that you say the roads are unlit, is your concern the danger about being out there running on your own, or not being seen by passing vehicles? 

On a far more critical subject, if you're going to tap into Minni's expertise, make sure you like beetroot!!!


14/05/2013 at 22:30

Welcome Minks - Only took up running myself two years ago aged 37 and as Frazerelli says, your best years are ahead of you. Long distance running seems to be the one sport wherby age is not so much a limiting factor even when competing against the younger runners. I often get my butt whopped by runners 10/15 years older than me.

Nice session Lorenzo.

5K lunch run for me today at 7:30m pace, felt very easy and controlled. Ant I am going to have a go at Keir's 10k plan post mid June. I did try 1 mile reps last year and could only manage 4 of them because of limited time but they are definitely hard going and I used to dread them but I have now decided that the only way to run faster is to run faster more often. Sounds obvious but I think it works for the shorter distances. This time last year I would do at least one 5k at 4min per km per week and it didn't seem to have an adverse effect on my body. 5K race on Thursday night for me hopefully can give it a good crack.

Targets for me for this year are:

Sub 19 5k

Sub 40 10K in Jersey, dates not confirmed yet (Local athletic club only release 6 months worth of fixtures so waiting for summer dates.....) That's if summer ever arrives!!

6th Oct -Jersey marathon GM sub 3:15 

14/05/2013 at 22:48
Ant- I would say the first week of that 10k plan has got injury written all over it. And the second week..!!
Might give it a go though.

Welcome Minks, lots more miles is the answer. Plenty of early morning runs and lack of sleep is the way to success.

30 mins easy run for me today, hip ached. Bollox!
Blisters    pirate
14/05/2013 at 23:08

Minks, Ant, my age for PBs was 47 and 48.

I don't have running time targets this year. Not that I'm admitting to. It would be nice to tidy up on that that untrained marathon time though. I'm better than that.

Minks, there are a number of people on the wind up, so beware. Well, it seems like a wind up at this stage, until you realise that there are indeed some people stupid enough to do a 15 mile run before breakfast on a work day. Meanwhile, back in the real world...
If you always have a set of kit available, you will soon enough find yourself squeezing in a 45 minute slot here, there and everywhere. There are key sessions, and there are filler sessions. Don't disregard the benefit of the filler sessions. Some call them junk miles, which is tosh. They burn 100 calories just the same as any other mile. They put miles in the legs. They count towards the all important weekly mileage target.
There is however, a smart view. Run the fast sessions fast, the long/slow sessions slow. If you run the filler sessions fast-ish, they won't all be fast, and the fast session won't be that fast. It all merges into grey.
Tin cup midweek low key races are a great training session. I'd take my youngest child along with deck chair and PS2. She'd wait at the start/finish for the 25 minutes of the race and be chief cheer leader at the end.

Don't forget to have fun.

14/05/2013 at 23:27

I'm slower this year but would like to get back below 18:30 for parkruns, back towards 37 for 10k and 1:22:xx GNR would make me happy.

Great speed session tonight 4*1km at 3:38 pace. Best I've felt for ages.

Epping forest PMJ- that's a throwback to my yoof in East London!

14/05/2013 at 23:48

Minks, regarding P&D, the plans are a big commitment, but those who follow them on here do seem to prosper. I'm pretty hopeless at following plans, and tend to make up my training as I go. But, what I do in practice has the essence of a P&D plan as I've found the first half of the book invaluable reading for the marathon - definitely good reading material whether you use the plans or not.

15/05/2013 at 06:35

Lorenzo - good intervals. My next race should be Peterborough HM (GER) in October - initial target is sub 90. My last HM was in March 2010, so hopefully I've made some progress since then (did 1:32).
DS2 - 3:10 sounds like a reasonable target. If you can do more miles per week that might help.
Frazerelli - good to have you back. Good luck in Edinburgh.
Birch - get well soon.
Minks - welcome to the thread. It's always good to have new people around. Sounds like you've already had lots of advice. I appreciate it can be difficult to fit all those sessions in. I'm very fortunate to only have a 10 minute walk to work!
OO - great intervals.
I didn't follow MacMillan's 10k schedule, but was working along similar lines and I found that the doing the intervals at 10k pace made them achievable - but then again my target was only 3:59.9 / km. The problem I had was on race day when you don't get recoveries! Next time I think I will try and aim for a slightly faster pace for those interval sessions to try and stretch myself a bit more.

Edited: 15/05/2013 at 06:36
15/05/2013 at 09:28

Blimey, I've had to take notes just so I can remember what everyone has said!!

Philip, I often run in Epping Forest with one of my running buddies who grew up in the area and knows the paths like the back of his hand.  I wouldn't be confident enough to run there alone without fear of getting lost!  I do have a lot of nice, off-road options close to home which I use regularly, both in summer and on the days I can run in daylight during the winter.  It's only really a case of doing the dull routes a couple of times a week when it's dark.  I run in the evening and wouldn't feel safe on unlit roads/through woods in the pitch black on my own.  That would go for early morning runs as well.  As long as I don't have to do these routes on every run it's not a major problem.  I know Gilwell Park from my Scouting days too!

Minni, not sure yet what I want to do for the rest of the year.  I need to look at race dates and our calendar and see what's feasible.  But I'd like to do a good half as I think that would give me confidence for the marathon going forward.

Ant, unfortunately there's no way of fitting a treadmill anywhere in our house and we don't have a garage.  I did use the gym up the road a couple of times during the snow, when the pavements were just too icy to risk a run.  They have a 'pay as you go' option - £5 for a session, unlimited time.  Very dull way to get a 10-miler in I have to say, but when needs must ...  (The biscuits are safe unless they're chocolate digestives but you may need to lock up the cakes )

Lorenzo, I think my concern about early morning running is more about getting up early enough to do it!  I rarely get to bed before 11pm earliest so the thought of being up again at 4:30am or so isn't that appealing!  Maybe this is the time of year to get myself used to it, so that it's second nature by the time the dark mornings kick in again.

Moof, LOL!  Lack of sleep is already an issue!

Also-ran, I am very good (and incredibly self-disciplined) when it comes to following plans - my husband would probably say 'obsessive'.  Just not sure I could make P&D work because the MLRs in particular fall on different days most weeks and I'd have to do so much juggling it would probably stress me out.  I need to have a good look at that schedule to see where I could tweak it a bit to make it work.  I agree that the rest of the book is really useful though, and clearly sets out the purpose of each type of run.

Thanks everyone for your warm welcome and I hope I can be as helpful to some of you as I think you guys are going to be to me

So ... if I'm running my LSRs and recovery runs too fast, what sort of pace should these be done at?  I have always thought that running long slow miles just teaches you to run long distances slowly, but having read a bit of P&D last night I've concluded that I do all my running at a moderately hard pace rather than hard and easy sessions.  A 3:15 marathon require 7:26 per mile, so how does that translate into appropriate training paces for (specifically) LSRs, tempo runs and recovery runs?


Edited: 15/05/2013 at 09:30
15/05/2013 at 09:31

Minks - I think you are getting the drift from the answers on this thread that all runners are dealing with the weather, getting older, work commitments, bugs etc, etc. You can either see these things as reasons why you can't achieve your goals or just challenges to be overcome - really depends on how much you want it.

I personally get inspiration from the RunBritain rankings. For example, if you look at the MV60 marathon rankings for last year you will see that the top 5 were all under 3 hours and 3 of those were pbs - yes, that means that there are 60 year olds doing marathon pbs of under 3 hours.

What does concern me from your post is your comment that running most of your runs offroad was good preparation for VLM. I think most runners would agree that the best preparation is to train on the surface you are going to be running on. I can't think of anything much worse than training offroad for a road marathon! I would suggest you definitely get used to doing the majority of you training on road in future.

Age for pb, VLM last year age 56

15/05/2013 at 10:01

One Gear - I wouldn't really call a lot of it 'offroad' in the accepted sense.  The LRs were mostly done on gravel paths and canal towpath around the river Lee near where I live.  Although not tarmac the majority of the terrain was path.  Some of my other runs have offroad sections, but none are entirely offroad.  Unless I run early morning, it's the only way to avoid traffic as if I run on proper roads, some of them are fast and busy and with no pavement, I would be worried about being hit by a car!

But I take your point about appropriateness of surface to the race you're doing and I will certainly need to rethink my long run routes for next time - if only because I don't think I could stand the boredom of doing the same ones again for months on end!

Minni, how did you do 9 x 20 milers?? That is awesome, I thought 5 was good going!

15/05/2013 at 10:06

Minks - my long runs have been around 8:30 and that goes for my MLRs too.  As I said I tend to run the last two or three of my longs runs at a much faster pace, for no particular reason than that's what I like to do.   My recovery runs tend to be around 9 m/m and I usually do these off road with the dog. Other than that I do a mix of 5k, 10k, HM and marathon paced miles.  One session I did this year that I particularly liked was something like:

3m w/u // 6 x 400m @ 5k pace // 5 miles @ MP // 4 x 200m @ 3k pace

Day 10 of no running for me.  Back to it tomorrow.


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