Sub 3h15

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

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08/12/2010 at 22:43
Damn - I'll try and be more concise in future.
08/12/2010 at 22:45

Thanks for your FIRST comments, Barry B.

Well done, KR, and good luck with it all (though I don't envy you).

08/12/2010 at 23:21
Moraghan wrote (see)
Put another way in the example of paces for a 3:15 marathoner:

Easy Pace:  8:15 

Steady State: 7:45

MP:  7:27

Tempo:  6:55

10k:  6:40

Too many people ignore the SS / MP zones and alternate from easy pace to tempo.  This only makes sense to the brain in terms of slotting into certain paces, not to the body.  The result being that there is a gaping hole in aerobic background.  Tempo runs have their place but in the past this has been overemphasised at the expense of other paces.

Interesting to see this rang of paces. How often would these paces be done in a 2 week period? I know MM worships the over 8.00 mm for most of the runs he does and under 7.00 for the speed, but nothing in between. OPens up a can of worms I think?
08/12/2010 at 23:30

Typically all but 4 runs would be done at easy paces - perhaps with a couple of others crossing over to SS when feeling good / mileage goal reached and recovering well.  The volume of each would vary if building mileage / long run duration (i.e. perhaps a 'half' session of 10k pace work).

Of those four it would depend where you were in the schedule and what preceeded  / followed. Sorry if that's sitting on the fence!

If forced I'd say 2 * MP based (not necessarily all at MP, could be progressive of MP based alternating), 1 * 10k and another non-pace specific such as fartlek / hills.  

Cans of worms are good!  

(paces mentioned above are off the cuff examples within a wider range)

Edited: 08/12/2010 at 23:31
09/12/2010 at 08:02
3:15 may be too ambitious given my tendency to enjoy distance over quality. Last week saw 72 miles in the snow / ice, mostly a few 11.6m doubles to get to work.

All the quality speed work i did in summer has been dropped. I just enjoy steady running too much. Loving the hills right now.

The downside, is that my feet went numb for 4 days. I've probably run over a 1000 miles on my shoes. So won't be running again until my new shoes turn up

Best of luck to all of you.
09/12/2010 at 08:18

As I'm flicking through a typical P&D schedule, and having previously taken a "lace up the daps and run" approach to training,  why don't they write training programmes in the same language, so I'm assuming in P&D terms  "general aerobic" is equivalent of "steady state" as referred to by Moraghan. 

But there seems to be a lack of MP mentioned in P&D, in the 55-70 (18wk) schedule MP is only practised in week 9 and week 13 in a LSR, then a 2m dress rehearsal during the final taper week.   (SBD as resident P&D guru help me out here).   Is P&D light on this?  Would you advocate ramping up MP practise for the LSRs??

BTW, Was it me or did it seem when reading the through Supersix candidates that there are more than usual who have never run a marathon?  Surely with the specialist advice on offer they should have at least attempted one previously???

I may have cast a vote in Sub3:15 for a Hoff lover, but haven't in any other category so far...... 

09/12/2010 at 08:59
Moraghan wrote (see)
Damn - I'll try and be more concise in future.

Please don't. We're a fairly intelligent bunch on here and I'm very grateful for your input on here. Your posts are v informative so don't change your style.
Your thoughts on using MP as a workout during the base period of training has struck a chord with me as I'm in week 1 of a 10 week build-up to a HM and may well use tomorrow morning's run to put in some MP work instead if just using it to plod about. Food for thought......
09/12/2010 at 09:07

Just want to chip in on the MP debate. P&D indeed only have a small amount of MP running in their plans but I think that is, in part, made up for by the fact that 1, they prescribe a fair amount of what they call General Aerobic running, which I loosly translate to SS running. And 2, they don't advovate running long runs as LSR but at a pace that is harder than that - quoting directly from the web article as I don't have my book here:

The most beneficial intensity range for long runs is to gradually increase from a slow early pace as you warm up, reaching 20% slower than your goal marathon race pace at five miles and accelerating to 10% below marathon pace during the last five miles of the run. At this intensity range, a 22-mile long run will take approximately the same amount of time as your marathon.

I think that this helps to prepare you for MP pace to a certain extent and I suppose is a progression on the mid-week progressive runs that a lot of us do.

I was worried before VLM this year that I hadn't done enough MP running by following P&D and also following Liz's advice to MM on the ssx thread. My worries were primarily that I would be able to recognise the correct pace and have to concentrate too hard on making sure I maintained it correctly - in the end that wasn't the case at all and MP came quite comfortably to me. However, towards the end endurance failed me and my pace did drop quite a lot but I think I can put some of that at least down to glycogen reserves...

09/12/2010 at 09:10
Windy wrote (see)

As I'm flicking through a typical P&D schedule, and having previously taken a "lace up the daps and run" approach to training,  why don't they write training programmes in the same language, so I'm assuming in P&D terms  "general aerobic" is equivalent of "steady state" as referred to by Moraghan. 

I think the P&D Aerobic Runs would be somewhere between Easy and Steady State, as described by Moraghan. I would make the choice on the pace depending purely on how it felt when I started running that session. I think Steady State should still feel easy and on most days it would. But then, as Keir says, I've only run 1 marathon too so what do I know!

WELL DONE KR!!! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous. I'll be voting for you mister.

No running for me. Sick as a dog and have woken up in a sea of sweat this morning. Because I've bugger all else to do I checked my HR just now and managed to relax it down to 50. Shouldn't it be much higher than that if I'm feverish?!

09/12/2010 at 09:12

Can someone turn up the central heating in this new house - it feels very cold at the moment!

10 relaxed miles this morning (5.15 start) but it took about 15 minutes for my hands to warm back up again - next time it's I'm going back to 2 pairs of gloves. Lovely clear sky so plenty of time for me to do a bit of constellation spotting (although I can really only identify about 4 or 5!)

KR - congrats on getting on the short list. My vote's in.

Got a book on sports nutrition for my birthday - haven't started reading it yet, so felt it was still OK to have a bowl of Coco Pops before going to bed last night! Suspect I'll have to have a few healthy food related New Year's resolutions.

09/12/2010 at 09:17
Lorenzo wrote (see)

Got a book on sports nutrition for my birthday - haven't started reading it yet, so felt it was still OK to have a bowl of Coco Pops before going to bed last night! Suspect I'll have to have a few healthy food related New Year's resolutions.


What's the book?...
09/12/2010 at 09:20
My week's coming along nicely so far:
Mon - 4.92 miles (a.m) / 5.31 miles (p.m)
Tue - 2.51 miles (a.m) / 5.15 miles (p.m)
Wed - bike commute then (p.m) 2 miles to club, then 6 mile club session:
w/up / 1 x 6 hills (with jogback recovery), short jog rest then 1 x 6hills (with jogback recovery) then w/down back to club then ran 2 miles home to make exactly 10 miles for the night
Thu - 5 miles (a.m)

Plan is for 5 miles home tonight
Fri - 8 mile run into work with middle 4 mile at MP effort, 4miles home
Sat - day off
Sun - 12 - 14 miles long run
09/12/2010 at 09:23

Lorenzo, if you are interested in learning your constellations try this bit of free software. 

I enjoyed a star lit 5m steady 6am run this morning. Would have been bright if the moon was out, but just about enough light to make out the road, although I did turn on the head torch around the usual bits of road where ice is likely.

09/12/2010 at 09:35
You kept that very quiet KR! You have my vote.

FINgers wrote (see)

Just want to chip in on the MP debate. P&D indeed only have a small amount of MP running in their plans but I think that is, in part, made up for by the fact that 1, they prescribe a fair amount of what they call General Aerobic running, which I loosly translate to SS running. And 2, they don't advovate running long runs as LSR but at a pace that is harder than that - quoting directly from the web article as I don't have my book here:

The most beneficial intensity range for long runs is to gradually increase from a slow early pace as you warm up, reaching 20% slower than your goal marathon race pace at five miles and accelerating to 10% below marathon pace during the last five miles of the run. At this intensity range, a 22-mile long run will take approximately the same amount of time as your marathon.

I think that this helps to prepare you for MP pace to a certain extent and I suppose is a progression on the mid-week progressive runs that a lot of us do.

I was worried before VLM this year that I hadn't done enough MP running by following P&D and also following Liz's advice to MM on the ssx thread. My worries were primarily that I would be able to recognise the correct pace and have to concentrate too hard on making sure I maintained it correctly - in the end that wasn't the case at all and MP came quite comfortably to me. However, towards the end endurance failed me and my pace did drop quite a lot but I think I can put some of that at least down to glycogen reserves...


Based on a MP of 7:27, MP+20%=8:56 and MP+10%=8:11, which is more or less the same as Easy.

Also, the instructions on pace for General Aerobic runs in P&D are very woolly. Deliberately so? I think it says it can be anywhere from tempo to the slower end of easy. I'm currently using the P&D endurance cycle as a very loose guide as I build up my weekly mileage and so I'm keeping the general aerobic runs very easy (c. MP+20%).

09/12/2010 at 09:35
FINgers - "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald. Saw it recommneded somewhere but can't remember whether it was on here or somewhere else.
09/12/2010 at 09:41

Like the look of the new thread guys

09/12/2010 at 09:42
Lorenzo - oooh good book, I'm nearly finished it - makes a lot of sense. I also like the fact that it's not a diet book but a nutrition book - key statement in it - "Don't fear the fat"... so by that I would say that Coco Pops are fully allowed...
09/12/2010 at 09:58

Windy - I think the consensus is P and D is light on MP work....In my view getting up to 10% below MP just isn't as good a stimulus. At our level that's still more than a fair few seconds per mile and the difference feels quite significant

One of the issues I always struggle with is perceived effort during training versus when racing ie MP can feel really quite tough some days in training and utterly unsustainable for 26.2. Presumably everyone feels that and it's not just me being a soft lad. I suspect that's been behind Ant's approach of going relatively quick for a substantial proportion of his runs to reasurre yourself you're not being wildly optimistic about what pace you can sustain.

Snow is vaguely melting here - wowser

09/12/2010 at 10:17

Thanks for the votes guys.
Hope the illness doesn't offset the good base building you have achieved so far B&B.

The bootcamp last week was to show we good do what we siad we could i terms of ace etc.
All the 40 people were spilt into groups according to hopeful MP finish time. The first track session we did with Bud was at percieved MP pace.
400m at MP (and 30 seconds recovery) - 1.50
400m at MP (and 30 seconds recovery) - 1.48
800m at MP (and 60 seconds recovery) - 3.35
1600m at MP (and 90 seconds recovery) - 7.02
2000m at MP - 8.45

These felt very comfortable and knocked these out @ 7.00mm pace. I know this was quicker than MP pace, but when you in a group trying to show what you can do it's hard to hold back. I know some of the others were trying quite hard as well.

We then went inside had a break then it was on to physiotherpy advice / strecthing / an injury issues etc which was followed by our gait analysis.

After lunch, and I think I should of held back on the Jaffa cakes, we did another track session with Steve. After a warm up and a few strides we did a 5k time trial setting off together - I think there was about 10/12 in our group. The twist to the time trial was we did 400m @ 10k/5k pace then 100m “recovery” @ MP pace which made up a 500m block. We then did 10 of these blocks in succession to make up 5000m. This started off relatively ok and it was quite clear after 3 laps who the big boys were! 2 of the sub 3 hour hopefuls had opened up a slight gap on me and held on to their pace well throughout as they should have done. I came in third in 20.26, which given the conditions underfoot being very slushy, wasn't too bad.

Not a bad day really and I think a good way of them finding out if people can do waht they say they can.

09/12/2010 at 10:17

Morning all.

I have done my SS voting.  I couldn't possibly say who I voted for in the 3.15 category, but I hope he's successful

Agree that the sub-3 aspirants look like a surprising selection; I'm guessing that there are better HM/10k pbs than the marathon times suggest.

10M for me last night, ave 7.42m/m, including a good burn up Bridge Valley Road - my favourite hill - which goes on for about 500 metres.  I'm either acclimatising to the weather or it was actually relatively mild last night, as I got so hot I had to take my hat and gloves off.  Crazy times! 

In terms of training, in the summer I did more MP work than I had before and it did leave me feeling very strong.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see how much benefit I'd got from it, seeing as the half-marathon I ran wasn't fully tapered (and only 6 days after a 22 miler with 12M @ MP in it!) and the marathon was a headstand, post man flu and weather induced nightmare. 

Am starting to think (having fallen off the P&D wagon with man flu) that I might actually re-try my summer schedule for the spring and do a bit more MP work than P&D envisage.  I know that 60-65M pw seems to be my mileage sweet spot in terms of work/life balance.

You see, Moraghan, we're all capable of very long posts round here

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