Sub 3h15

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

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02/10/2013 at 05:56

Abbers - nice short tempo run. Upcoming HM is my A race too, so I am also tapering! In fact, I'm kind of doing a 2 week taper as I'm due a recovery week. Mileage for the final 5 weeks should look something like 54, 54, 54, 42, 25 + race. Good luck at Bournemouth.
Barry - well done in the Berlin marathon. Sorry to hear the calf didn't play ball, but you did very well to hold it together.
LR - good to hear from you again. Sorry it didn't work out on Sunday, but it's all good experience.
JD3 - Good stats. To be honest, it didn't feel like 10k pace yesterday, so maybe I'm just making progress OK, I just over-cooked it.
PMJ - yes, lots of base-building will be going on soon, I suspect.
Moof - happy tapering. Yes, 11 days to my HM. Scary amount of miles.
3 mile recovery run d&d.

02/10/2013 at 06:41

Club session for me last night: 2 x 6 mins off 2 mins; 2 x 4 mins off 90s and 2 x 2 mins off 1 min.  Not quite the 6 x 1200m which P&D prescribed, but much easier to hit a reasonable pace with company!

02/10/2013 at 08:51

Great write up Barry, and it is a shame the calf never settled. It did sound like a great experience. Hope you get that calf rested and fixed as you deserve so pain free running.

02/10/2013 at 08:56
I had planned 12 miles with 7 @ tempo this morning. 4 mile wu, the first tempo mile @ 6.19 pace then the rest just got slower and slower, especially on the return leg into a fairly strong head wind. Tempo mile 5 came out at 6.48, legs felt heavy and I just couldn't pick up the pace. My watch kept beeping, reminding me I wasn't going as fast as I should be. I'd had enough!
So sacked the rest of the tempo miles (only two left) and plodded the last 3 for an unconvincing 12 mile run.

I suppose the cold I've had for the last few days is still in me, which is most probably why my legs felt so heavy. So not too worried I didn't hit the paces but I am a little disappointed that I gave up the tough run, which is something I never do as I always like to complete a session to at least win the mental battle.
02/10/2013 at 09:55

Moof: sometimes it's not worth pushing through a session simply because it's on the schedule.  If the body wasn't willing and you may still be lurgified, easing off was the right call.

02/10/2013 at 10:49

Firstly, a fine performance in Berlin from Barry B despite various issues. Well toughed out, and still a very decent time in my book.

LTR, sounds like a hard day at the office in your HM, but onwards and upwards to Brighton.

JD3, the Bournemouth course should be quick. They have a HM there in April each year too, but on a different course that goes up and down to & from the cliff top a couple of times. This route starts at the top and ends at the bottom, and is mostly along the prom, so generally flat with (I think) a slight net downhill. Forecast looks promising too, so no excuses!

GM, thanks for the best wishes for Sunday.

Moof, sounds like a sensible decision to ditch the end of the tempo if you're still clearing a cold and the legs weren't feeling great. Bigger picture and all that; and anyway, the taper's meant to feel all wrong, right?

Gul, enjoy the rest of your taper too! Which HM are you aiming at?

Good intervals from Jools too; you've put in a lot of really good training and look to be in good form.

02/10/2013 at 17:33

So I don't seem to be able to quote any more:

Moof said:

Getting back to the wava topic, I was never really bothered about them in the past but when I ran Reading HM this year in sub 81 and gained a 79+ age graded score, I'm now showing a little more interest. So would be nice to get one in the 80s. A decent half would be my best bet as the mara wava is pretty p*ss poor.


For me, the first rule is that races are won on gun time. First cross the line wins. I don't like any post-production antics, handicaps, WAVA etc.

After that, I like WAVA as a measure for myself. I ran my 10k PB back on 10th May 1994 (see I am the slower of the two P Jones in 33:59) and now I am about 3 minutes slower. I have no chance of getting back to sub 34 so need a way of measuring how I am doing.

In '94 I was 29 and 33:59 is WAVA 79.08% and for me at 48 the same WAVA corresponds to a time of 38:12. In my mind, I am now doing better.

I am also lucky in that 80% for me is achievable but not often so it is a nice target to have. I have gone over 80 three times this year (2 10ks and a 5k) and would like a 4th and hten use that as a benchmark for next year.

02/10/2013 at 18:07

Wait till you are 50 PMJ 80% will be a piece of cake if you keep that pace up. Like you said moof I've got no chance at marathon but at 5k to 1/2 M I can pull it off at my best. 

Cross training tonight- unpacking 50 boxes...

02/10/2013 at 19:43

My VLM was 78.75%. For VLM 2014 I will be 48 and need 2:51:15 for 80% WAVA (actually 48.5 and 2:52:00 but the calcs on po10 aren't that accurate).

02/10/2013 at 19:44

Overall I should be pretty happy with Berlin after the injured months leading up to VLM and the poor result that day.  I've returned to  running well and the long term right calf injury was sorted with change of shoes to neutral. Unfortunately jury is still out as to whether my 3 runs a week(tempo up to 6 miles, mlr up to 15 and long up to 24) mixed with Insanity circuits is the best way to for me to train for the marathon.  I think I was in pretty good shape prior to my recent left calf issue, this was shown by the 20 miler at 7:29 avg at the end of august.  I do feel I need to do some of my longer runs at a quickish pace to give me the speed/confidence to take on 3:15 and doing the circuits instead of running should allow me to do this.

I'm not good enough for GFA and got my VLM ballot rejection last week, don't know anyone who got in.  So thoughts are Barcelona or Paris to get my spring marathon  fix.

03/10/2013 at 08:31

I'm looking at a new pair of racers. I always wear Nike Air Pegasus and have never had a pair of Nike racers. Anyone race in Nike and if so which and how do you rate them? The Nike Zoom Streak seem to be good up to marathon but I am not sure if  I am good enough.

You should choose these if you’re a fast, elite runner concerned predominantly with weight. Unless you’re very light, these aren’t for you if you run a marathon outside 2:45, or 1:30 for a half.

03/10/2013 at 08:48

Jools - good intervals.
Moof - probably a wise move to cut the tempo short. Take it easy while the last of the cold lingers.
Abbers - I'm racing at Peterborough on Oct 13th in the Great Eastern Run.
PMJ - can't help with the Nike Air Pegasus, I'm afraid.
9 miles with 2 x 2M tempo for me this morning. Usual early run, but late posting. So 3M w/u 8:41, 7:51, 7:21; 2M "tempo" 6:24, 6:10; 1M easy 8:11; 2M "tempo" 6:15, 6:09; 1M w/d 8:22. 11 days to go and nothing faster than race pace (6:45ish) planned (and not too much of that either).

03/10/2013 at 10:13

PMJ, at 38, I'd just get depressed if I looked at WAVA gradings! Not in the same league as some of you quicker guys & girls. 80% is impressive.

Barry, I'm the only person I know who got a ballot place; really wasn't expecting it, and plenty of others missed out. I'd be considering lower key options for a debut mara otherwise.

Another solid session there Gul. Looking good for the GER. Looked into running there myself previously; reputed to be a flat, fast course?

An easy 3 yesterday for me, but even that felt like hard work and woke up this morning with a scratchy throat and a bit of a sniffle, feeling lethargic and tired. Might be the start of something, might just be taper madness, if that's allowed for a mere HM! Want to do a short tempo session today, which would be my last effort before Sunday. Might just bin it though.


03/10/2013 at 11:23

PMJ - I don't race in Nike's but when I got my first pair of racing flat's (Saucony fastwitch) the website I purchased from gave the same spiel

"You should choose these if you’re a fast, elite runner concerned predominantly with weight. Unless you’re very light, these aren’t for you if you run a marathon outside 2:45, or 1:30 for a half"

I have only ever trained/raced one half properly and only ran 1:30 but I am no where near a 2:45 marthoner so I would take that with a pinch of salt, although I presume you would not be that far off that. I love my Fastwitches and use them for 5k up to half distance, I prefer a light more cushioned shoe for mara training. Where are you planning on purchasing them from? I see they are £59.99 on!

Last visit to the fizz this morning yielded some good results. Worked on my lower back which has been stiff, pelvis and glutes, lots of cracking and presurre but seems to have worked as I now feel less stiff. Hamstrings are a concern though as they are really tight but knee and achilles seem to be behaving. Decided to forego the sports massage in the week leading up to my marathon as my calves were in pieces for a week after the last one. Will be great if I can make it to the start line on Sunday feeling semi ok! Taper madness seems to have kicked in and am having trouble sleeping. Early nights, no booze etc doesn't seem to suit me!!! Anyhow on the running front have only been doing bits and bobs but ticking over and legs are feeling good for a change.

Barry B - A friend of mine has trained in a similar way to you i.e. he only runs three days a week. One speed session or race then a MLR  and then a LR at the weekend. He is 49 and has run his last two marathons in 3:11 and 3:10. Seems to work for him but horses for courses I guess. Have you always tried that training strategy? I don't think heavy mileage is for me tbh and when I cut right back in May/June I ran pb's in two distances.

03/10/2013 at 12:42

GM, "when I cut right back in May/June I ran pb's in two distances". That's called tapering, isn't it?


03/10/2013 at 13:00

The clear lesson I have drawn from my last 3 HMs is that higher mileage means faster races - that's only in the 30m to 40m per week range, though, light-weight that I am.

03/10/2013 at 13:12

LTR - Hah, no, not quite. I was training for London and running average 50 miles pw. So taper began early April.Then May/June I was running approx 15 mpw avg because that's all I really wanted to run.

03/10/2013 at 14:59

GM, but the base endurance training was still there from VLM, and you were topping up the quality from there?

LTR, very similar to me with your weekly mileage. Averaging in the mid-30s, topped out at 43 in this 12 week training period. I know I'm going to have to up this for London, but also only want to increase gradually as I don't think my body will take kindly to jumping up to 60-70 mile weeks, so I'll be looking at 45-55 a week I think.

Got out for the short tempo after all. 1 wu, 2 tempo (6:40, 6:33), 1cd. Felt better for it, although a tad quick. Running to feel still not quite accurate, but we'll see what that brings on Sunday. Time to put the feet up for a couple of days.

03/10/2013 at 15:27

Thanks for the commiserations on my returning to work. Of course it's never as bad as you imagine, although I am worn out already...

I have the possibilty of doing a HM on the 13th October, although it may be a couple of weeks too soon for me. I do think I should just go out and run it and see what happens, as I want to race as much as posible this Autumn to get a bit of sharpness before the real training (for VLM) begins. I thought I'd give myself a bit of a test tomorrow and do a 9-10-miler with 3 x 2 miles @ sub 90-min pace. Then on Sunday, 11-12 miles with some HM-pace miles thrown in. If it really feels difficult maybe I should just save my money...

03/10/2013 at 16:14

Nice detailed reports from PMJ (great racing head) and Barry - that time is pretty good under the circs, just shows there's no hiding place in a mara. Toying with Berlin for next year, such an interesting city.

AR. Hmm.

Interesting to see who goes well in autumn maras over the next few weeks. A variety of approaches and some big miles being reported.

Ant - just do it, you know you want to.

As for WAVA, 80% feels good and is certainly easier as one ages. But the chief difference I found when getting to V50 was becoming far more competitive. There are so many fast V40/V45s but the competition is far weaker as an older git. Age group podium is a target in every race and in ultras the OG fields are so thin that it's possible to win the category by an hour or more.  Very satisfying to pick off much younger runners.

Accidentally entered the Round Ripon 35 for Saturday. Strictly a jog round for TOTF and a Comrades-friendly LR.

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