Sub 3h15

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

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08/12/2010 at 14:10
Matchstick Man wrote (see)
SteveC1975 wrote (see)

I don't mind being the thread guinea pig (especially apt as I am on my fourth Krispy Kreme doughnut of the day (someone's birthday is the excuse)

Will post up my excel file link or screenshots when I have had a chance to look at the P & D schedules.

A few changes I am thinking about, the 20th Mar - Brentwood Half is to run that at HM Pace rather than at MP, but in the context of the training week, i.e. no taper etc, thoughts?

Also, in Mid March onwards, I usually start my rides into work, this is about 16 miles each way, should I can them and wait until after VLM or use them as cross training, in the place of a recovery run?


Steve - don't be afraid to have acut-back week at the time of the Brentwood HM. I'd say that for psychological reasons, running a HM at MP and finding it easy will be far more beneficial for you than running a HM at HM pace on tired legs. I'm / We're not coaching you, just giving you advice based on our experience so it's entirely up to you but if I were in your shoes I'd use that race wisely rather than training through it.

16 miles each way into work and back is about an hour each way right? If I'm being honest I'd say leave it till after London and keep your training specific. However, taking a mental break and using the bike is a great way of keeping fit but mid-March (14th onwards?) is when you should be right in the middle of your heaviest training block so switching to a different type of aerobic exercise is not the best route to acheiving your goal. Would you want to do 32 miles for 5 days or is it just a couple of days a week?


I will probably do the Brentwood HM at HM Pace after a cut down week then, and do some other specific MP training in blocks in the Long Runs.

In regards to the cycling to work and back, I usually only do these when the weather is nice (yes, fair weather cyclist) they usually take me about 45-50 minutes when fit and I only ever do a max of four a week, usually 2 to 3. Might do one a week split by days, i.e. ride in one day and ride home the next.

Feels strange being on a new forum thread, I like the lived in look of the old one!!

Have got some type of lurgy at the moment, so attempted to run on treadie last night and got half a mile before my body just said no..  will give it a couple of days rest.

08/12/2010 at 14:39
Gul Darr wrote (see)

Hi, Ant. MM's mammoth posts make for very interesting reading.
.
For me, too, and I certainly didn't mean for it to sound otherwise.
Edited: 08/12/2010 at 14:39
08/12/2010 at 14:58

 Welcome to newcomers and returnees. 

TAR - I tried the FIRST plan for Abo this year but struggled with it and ended up injured, not blaming the plan as I was probably carrying the injury from Stratford , but  I found the pacing for some of the runs hard to achieve.

Edited: 08/12/2010 at 14:59
08/12/2010 at 15:13
Ah, sweet jesus, I thought I only about 3 posts to read and then discovered this...  I'll read back, honest guvnor!
08/12/2010 at 15:18
Gul Darr wrote (see)
Ant van Oviedo wrote (see)

MM - Just read back through your mammoth posts outlining your marathon history, and there is one thing that is bothering me a bit - Liz said to practise, practise, practise your MP as much as you can, no? This was more or less my approach, although I do realise it probably fatigued me more than I was aware of come the big day, hence not reaching my "potential potentail" even though I did nail my planned objective.

What exactly did she prescribe re running at MP?

I still can't see how running slowly 90% of the time will suddenly transform itself into running 26.2 miles dead fast  *runs and hides from the wrath of the wise*


Hi, Ant. MM's mammoth posts make for very interesting reading. But I am also still slightly confused. I seem to remember when MM said to keep your slow runs slow and save your best for the fast runs that he said that none of his average paces started with a 7 i.e. 8min/mile + or sub 7min/mile. But unless MM was secretly targeting sub 3hr5, surely MP would be 7:xx min/mile? So where does practise, practise, practise MP fit into this? My understanding at the time, was that the fast stuff was to be tempo or faster. Sorry to be a nit-picker, but I think it would really help to understand this.

 Hi Sue C and welcome back.


Ok - during the SSX thing I did 68-70% of my running at greater than 8m00s pace and the other proportion at pretty much less than 6min pace because that's how things fell with the RW plan. There was minimal running at MP. This is what Liz (personally) didn't like about the plan and what she tried to rectify when she gave me advice in the 5 weeks between London and Chester.
If it the SSX experience had been true Liz Yelling coaching I think you would have seen a lot more MP work fitted into the weekly schedule and a lot less intervals. The ratio of slow to fast(er) would have been v similar (maybe 80 to 20) but instead of doing *just* 20 miles at MP + 60secs I would have been doing blocks of MP work within those runs.
If you listen to the Marathon Talk podcasts you'll get a flavour of this theory and also Liz (on FB and Twitter) does give away marathon specific training that she does - for instance 2 x 5 miles at MP within a 17 mile long run.
She tries to get people to learn how to run at MP on tired legs so:
finishing long runs at MP
2hr runs alternating 15mins at MP/15mins at MP + 60secs
w/up then 15mins at MP, 5 x 2mins at brisk pace, 15mins at MP, w/down (circa 10 miles)
2 x 3 miles at MP within semi or long runs

Ant - using TR's "cake" analogy you need to bake the cake (base/aerobic) before you add the icing (MP). If you run at MP or near MP you won't reach your true potential. I know you've had success with a sub 3 result and as a slower runner than you I'm probably not in a position to preach but I do think that you're capable of better results if you could slow down the bulk of your runs

08/12/2010 at 15:25
Thanks, MM. That makes a lot more sense now.
08/12/2010 at 15:25

As a practical application / guide I'm looking at Wokingham HM 9 weeks on Sunday and these are the lessons I'm putting into practice:

Not to focus on a specific time goal until maybe 2/3 weeks out
The bulk of my runs at 8m00s pace (I'm aiming at approx 50mpw)
Intervals once a week with the club (fartlek, Kenyans, mile reps, hill reps)
First 4 weeks just building the miles
Test myself in week 2 (parkrun) and week 4 (5 mile) to give an indication of form to lead into:
Introducing HM paced work in week 5
HM paced running to be contained within the semi-long run (11 miles) and long run (2hrs)

So it's v similar to what I'm proposing for a sub 3h15 marathon runner, just adjusting the target pace and length of semi and long runs

08/12/2010 at 15:29
Moraghan wrote (see)
A rare opportunity to join in on one of these from its birth is too good to pass up, even though I'm targetting 800m this year so don't really belong!  Maybe I part-qualify by virtue of my extended MP runs in base training though.

How does running at MP help you as an 800m runner then? Would running at MP help those wishing to run faster at distances between 5k and HM for instance?
08/12/2010 at 15:53
Matchstick Man wrote (see)
Moraghan wrote (see)
A rare opportunity to join in on one of these from its birth is too good to pass up, even though I'm targetting 800m this year so don't really belong!  Maybe I part-qualify by virtue of my extended MP runs in base training though.

How does running at MP help you as an 800m runner then? Would running at MP help those wishing to run faster at distances between 5k and HM for instance?

Interestingly Jack Daniel advocates MP running in his Running Formula book when training for all distances - I forget his reasons precisly tho but the I recall it is something to do with comfortable hard training stimulus without being a tempo session.
08/12/2010 at 16:12


After a full read back....

kittenkat wrote (see)
Yes, thanks, I've decided I've got to train differently. I can get away with not training really for half distances or below, but it's just stupid to blag times at marathon distance. And I want to run one where I don't curse for the whole of the last 6 miles!

I've "trained" for 7 marathons now and have yet to achieve a curse free last 6 miles! But curse frequency is directly related to adherence to training plan...

kittenkat    pirate
08/12/2010 at 16:17
Joolska wrote (see)
Ah, sweet jesus, I thought I only about 3 posts to read and then discovered this...  I'll read back, honest guvnor!

You got a good time at London this year if I remember, hoping to beat it?

I've been struggling with injury, my half times have been down by about 5/6 mins on average this year

kittenkat    pirate
08/12/2010 at 16:21
FINgers wrote (see)


After a full read back....

kittenkat wrote (see)
Yes, thanks, I've decided I've got to train differently. I can get away with not training really for half distances or below, but it's just stupid to blag times at marathon distance. And I want to run one where I don't curse for the whole of the last 6 miles!

I've "trained" for 7 marathons now and have yet to achieve a curse free last 6 miles! But curse frequency is directly related to adherence to training plan...

I've only done one marathon that wasn't one where I was pacing (Paced for RW this year), or attached to an IM.

That was London 2009 and I got 3.25. My best half time is 1.28.10 on a not flat course. I really want to be able to transfer my half time to a full, it's my nemesis!

08/12/2010 at 16:28

3.03 this spring which I hope to beat in April.  I post on 3.15 and 3.00 threads as the sub 3 thread goes down to 2.1x these days and I'm just about the slowest person there...

And now I really must read back this new thread, or I can't legitimately say I've been on it from the start!

08/12/2010 at 16:32

My half pb is about the same at 1.27.xx and that translated into 3.17 at London last year so you're in the right place!

My goal at VLM was 3:09 to get a GFA place but wheels fell off a little towards the end so having another crack at it in Brighton in the spring.

08/12/2010 at 16:33
x-post Joolska, of course you're in the right place, I was refering to KK...
kittenkat    pirate
08/12/2010 at 16:36
FINgers wrote (see)

My half pb is about the same at 1.27.xx and that translated into 3.17 at London last year so you're in the right place!

My goal at VLM was 3:09 to get a GFA place but wheels fell off a little towards the end so having another crack at it in Brighton in the spring.

Ah ok!

I really want to get sub 3.15 because that's what a woman needs for a champ start place. I've got champ start on my sub 1.30 half, but I feel a bit of a fraud if I can't actually make the grade in a marathon.

The times are a lot more generous for women.

08/12/2010 at 16:37

X-post, Fingers, I was replying to KK!

10M planned for me tonight.  In true thread-stylee for the day I listened to my alarm at 6am, peered at the weather forecast and decided the chances of just about freezing temperature were much higher this afternoon than this morning.  That extra hour in bed was lovely!

Read back complete. 

It may be that I notice because Spanish holidays rarely co-incide with English ones, but Ant seems to get a lot of bank holidays.  Jammy beggar.

Welcome to Newbies; Lurkers: join in!

08/12/2010 at 16:47

MM - Thanks for that. I like (well, not sure if "like" is the right word) the idea of incorportating stretches @ MP into long and medium runs.I always try to finish the long 'uns with at least 4k @ MP.

Question is...what is MP going to be this time? Eh?

Fingers/KK - You may well have a curse-free marathon one day but it will never be totally free of either terror, pain, misery or frustration. Not if you're doing it properly, that is.

Have I missed something out there? On the negative side, that is...

08/12/2010 at 16:51

Jools - That's what you get for living in a Catholic country. Tragically, Boxing Day is NOT a holiday!

An extra hour in bed? Bad, bad girl! Good luck tomight. If that was me, I'd be fretting all day about whether I really should have gone earlier and whether I can be bothered to go out later...

08/12/2010 at 16:54
I'm pretty disciplined.  Anyway, there's nowt good on the telly and I think the neighbours are due a break from violin practice
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