Talkback: ASICS Target 26.2 Team: Lee

Introducing the fourth member of our ASICS Target 26.2 team - Lee (aka Choisty) With Virgin London Marathon Championship qualification as hi...

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01/01/2012 at 16:46
Fell run today, despite a little too much red wine last night, the race was the nine standards at Kirby Stephen in Cumbria, 8 ish miles four up the turn and come back.
I started toward the back of the pack and treated it as a run rather than a race, the first two miles were on Tarmac with some very steep sections, during this time I made up about 50 places grinding out an even pace.
It was then onto the fells and it progressively got steeper and muddier, my pace slowed however I continued to pass people, arriving at the top in 8th.
The decent was more eventful on three occasion I put my foot on what appeared to be firm ground only to disappear up to my thigh, only my other leg stopping sinking to the centre of the earth. Through a rocky section I rolled my ankle, but there seems to be no ill effects. Because of this I lost 4 places to finish in 12th taking just over an hour, for a well deserved cuppa.
I felt strong at the end and feel I could of run the course again, this bodes well for marathon training. A wonderful way to start the year.
01/01/2012 at 17:14

Not the way every marathon hopeful would start the New Year and I suppose it could have been a problem had you had a fall or ankle twist but a great race to start 2012 but probably best no more fell races until after Paris! If I had been 8th at halfway, I'd have ended up 100th with my descending ability.

03/01/2012 at 10:54

The Fell race along with the elements took their toll on the training yesterday.  The short 4miler easy was completed in driving snow early doors.  Then came the tempo session at marathon pace and while I completed it the average pace for the 6 miles was 6:12 it was very hard and the mile warm-down was nearly walking pace, albeit against the wind and up a 16% gradient.  Thank goodness for days like today 7 in 7 sounds good.

 Is anyone else following this plan and how are you finding it?

03/01/2012 at 11:44

Hi Choisty,

 I'm looking for a sub 2:45 at london this year so am following your progress. I was 2:53 last year but found the last 6 miles very tough and slowed alot. need to work on my stamina and practice marathon pace a bit more this year. I was pleased when you were chosen as I was going to try and follow your schedule, but to be honest for me it looks like a one way ticket to exhaustion and injury.

 you can obviously take the higher mileage a bit better than i can as i think i would be finished by mid february following what your doing.it does make me think whether my 2:45 target is too ambitious... my race times in shorter distances are not as quick as yours

 I'm a great believer in doing the hard stuff hard and the easy stuff easy. looking at the schedule that Steve has put up for you, i cant really see where the easy stuff is?? i would be running my easy and recovery runs slow than 7's

Is this schedule a big change from normal for you? how do you think you're going to cope with it?

Otis

03/01/2012 at 11:59

Otis,  I run better off high mileage, or at least I think I do and so far havn't suffered from injury but do get tired.  I think 7's do feel easy, although I have done too much in the hills and windy conditions to be sure as they have been a little harder than I hoped.

 I hope to cope OK, it is fitting it in that may cause some issues especially in the next few weeks as I'm travelling a bit.  It is definitiely a step up in my training, but I needed it as I had got stuck in a rut and this is pushing me on.

What plan are you following and how do you structure your week?

03/01/2012 at 12:25

Im gonna follow a similar schedule that got me my 2:53 with a bit more marathon specific work, and some longer long runs. (the furthest i got last year was 22 in 2:30 and i was really found wanting in the last 30 mins or so).

Basically i have easy days on mondays and tuesdays (as i found i wasn't doing well in sessions on tuesdays due to the sunday long run still in my legs and needed an extra day) and thursdays. sessions on wed and frid which might be long reps or tempo type runs, i try for a hilly run on saturdays and a long run on sundays. this year i'll make sure i do a marathon pace run every few sundays instead of a long run and build that mileage up.

fitting things in for me is also a problem as i also have young children and am actually back at uni so have work to do most evening and weekends.

i'm not yet brave enough to start tackling doubles... i like my bed too much

03/01/2012 at 13:32

Otis:

 2 questions:

1) How far out was your 22 in 2:30?  I reckon that is 6:49 pace and your marathon was at 6:36 so the whole run was at MP +3% which is a hell of a hard training run. P&D have some runs as long as 22 but noit with MMP sections, the longest they do at MP is something like 17 miles with 14 @ MP.  Typical advice would be to go out at MP +20% and back at MP +10% so if you are shooting at 2:45 then MP is 6:18 so your paces should be 7:33 and 6:56 and a 22 or 23 mile run will be done in about 2:45

2)  I am similar to you but slower, so I did 2:57 and an shooting at 2:50 so need to knock 7 minutes off, compared to your 8. Do you have specific plans and targets in mind to ensure you knock the 8 off or is just more and faster and hope?

03/01/2012 at 13:55

2 weeks out i did 18 mile MP and average 6:28 pace (i did this because the weeks before i was really busy and couldn't get any decent long runs in and wanted some confidence that i could do it before the race)

5 weeks out 22 at 6:54 pace

6 weeks out 22 at 6:48 pace

7 weeks out 20 at 6:45 pace

8 weeks out 18 at 6:58 pace

these are my longest 5 long runs in the build up

I suppose looking back those runs probably did take more out of me than i thought.

thinking back to last year, if i'd got my pacing a bit better i think i'd have been closer to 2:50 than i was. my pacing is appalling (i think i'm running at marathon pace and i bang out 6's per mile for the first few miles and then die a slow death towards the end). I remember at VLM last year the 2:45 pace group passed me at 5 miles so i'd obviously gone off too quick. Specifically i need to train my brain into correct pacing which means more marthon pace runs. i want to do some longer but slower runs so my legs have the experience of running for 3 hours and finally try and keep a consistent weekly mileage.

I like the idea of out in +20% and back in +10%

03/01/2012 at 14:11
Why do so many marathon pace runs within a LSR? Surely the point of LSR is to build the endurance, so time on feet is key. It is good to do a bit of MP work towards the end, to prepare yourself to running that pace whilst tired, but it looks to me as if you were probably burnt out before the start. That 18m @ MP 2 weeks out look particularly brutal.

How about incorporating some MP into a mid week run and keep focusing on endurance for those LSRs?

BTW - my PB is a few minutes off yours Otis, so feel free to ignore
03/01/2012 at 14:21

I managed to pick the perfect time for the run today, blue sky and an absence fo wind along a flat path, absolute bliss. With this said there was plenty of steeplechase practice over fallen trees.  The 7 miles were completed a little too easily and quickly in 47mins. 

Otis, looks like you have room to improve looking at those long runs, if you can get in more miles and slower then your endurance will improve, after years out of marathon running I am going to need to do the same.  Doubles aren't too bad, I do the am at lunch and then the faster stuff with the club which is sooooo much easier.

 PMJ, are you targeting VLM this year? how is the traning going? what sort of mileage are you at?

Also, I am getting hungry and have bonked on a couple of easy run recently any suggestions on how to remedy this?

03/01/2012 at 14:21

No i agree Kier, I actually found the 18 MP 2 weeks out quite comfortable and at that point I think i needed it for my confidence going into the marathon. in hindsight you're right, my MP runs are too fast which is probably why i can't do sessions on the tuesday because my legs are knackered from the long run. I said earlier that i'm a believer in doing hard runs hard and easy runs easy and i've come round to that thinking after the 2011 VLM.

my problem with longs runs is my busy schedule and so i run them faster so that i can get back home and get on with things.

this year i'm definately going for time on my feet rather than running closer to MP and i like your idea of practicing marathon pace mid week and leaving the weekend for the long endurance stuff

BTW - sorry for hijacking Choisty's training blog!!!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
03/01/2012 at 14:36

That sounds like my long runs a few years ago - 20+ miles every two weeks or so, all within 30s/mile of target MP.  I'd look for a flat course & just go for it.  Training was great, unfortunately I'd die a death anywhere between 20 and 23 miles on marathon day and that would be that.  As keir says, with hindsight I was probably burnt out before the start.

These days my long runs are generally slower but with variety of pace, whereas the marathon itself ends up being much more consistent in pace.  My slowest 20 milers for my last three campaigns, albeit over an undulating course taken longer than the finish time in the race itself.

Mind you, maybe those years of fast-paced long runs built up an endurance base that I've benefited from since - who knows?

03/01/2012 at 14:56
BTW, from the first 4 weeks of the schedule, Steve seems to want Choisty to do his long runs at 6:30 to 7:00 for a 6:15 marathon pace??
03/01/2012 at 16:26

Personally I think it is best to do the bulk of your long runs just under a minute a mile slower than target pace but Choisty seems to like running quicker and even has trouble at that pace. Potentially Choisty can do sub 2:40 but that may be next year rather than this.

I do agree if you train too quickly, unless you make big fitness gains, you tend to get more tired and the quality of the runs suffer.  Otis18 at marathon pace probably does do wonders for the confidence but nothing for the ability to run 26 miles at that pace two weeks later as you will still have that in your legs.

Re pacing - yes practice it in training but there is no excuse for getting it horribly wrong nowadays with Garmins and mile markers to make necessary adjustments from one mile onwards

03/01/2012 at 17:17
Otis wrote (see)
my problem with longs runs is my busy schedule and so i run them faster so that i can get back home and get on with things.

BTW - sorry for hijacking Choisty's training blog!!!


Otis, I have the problem and only just found the cure, my daughter who's 7 does 4 hours of Gymnastics on a Saturday and my wife takes us over, drops us off and I run home as my long run, hence the long runs on a saturday in the schedule, this then gives us a day a week as a family.  Is these anything you could do that is similar?

 No worries on the thread it is supposed to be here to learn from each other, it's better than me just waffling endlessly.

As Steve puts its I have an issue with slow runs and believe it or not he is slowing me down, prior to the start of the plan my Wednesday run was 10miles in an hour, it is time to learn pacing!  The fell race at the weekend help as I finished strong due to starting slow and jogging the first mile.

03/01/2012 at 18:11
Choisty wrote (see)
PMJ, are you targeting VLM this year? how is the traning going? what sort of mileage are you at?

Also, I am getting hungry and have bonked on a couple of easy run recently any suggestions on how to remedy this?

Two targets for VLM: first is 2:55 as I did 2:57 this year on a hilly and windy course so 2:55 is just doing the same again on an easier course.  Second is 2:50 which is just the next 5 minute slot below 2:55 but may be a stretch.

I have done a lot of base building since doing a 10 mile in sub 60 mid October. My full plan started yesterday after a bit of a Christmas cut back,  16 weeks long. Miles will be in the 55 to 65 range. I basically run 6 times a week so that is 1x20 (long run, 7:48 out, 7:08 back, average 7:28 so MP + 60), 1x15 (playing round with speed but a bit faster than long run), 1x10 (at the moment it is cross county racing with warm up and cool down) and 3x5 recovery for 60.

I will race a half (sub 80 fingers crossed) Feb 19th and a 20 (11th Mar), somewhere 2:10 to 2:15, so maybe close to 20 @ MP, but well away from the main event.

03/01/2012 at 19:42

PMJ, that sounds very structured. does that work for you? so will you basically do a 20 miler most weeks until april?

Choisty - in an ideal world i would get up early on sunday and be back to spend the day with the family but like i said, i really like my sleep. I have a parkrun about 8 miles away so have considered running there, doing the race and running back a few times as that would get me out reasonably early but i don't think i could do that every week.

03/01/2012 at 20:15
Otis wrote (see)

PMJ, that sounds very structured. does that work for you? so will you basically do a 20 miler most weeks until april?

That is the sort of idea, with exceptions. This week is county x-country champs so I did just short of 19 yesterday, will do 14 tomorrow and then race Saturday, so no 20 this week. Next week I will race Weds and Saturday so Monday will again be long, then the following week no race until Sunday and I am in New York so will do a long run, so one of those will be a 20 or longer, then again last week in Jan will be a long one.

Last marathon my runs over 18 were 2x19, 3x20 and 1x21, 6 in all. In base I have done 18, 19 and 20 and in the real campaign I want 5x21 as my longest plus a few more in the 18 to 20 range as back ups.

I know my weakness is endurance so that is what I will concentrate on. I can do 6:30 pace, did a fair chunk of it in my 2:57, just need to loose the 7.0x, 7.1x and 7.27.9 miles at the end!

03/01/2012 at 20:19
Otis wrote (see)

Choisty - in an ideal world i would get up early on sunday and be back to spend the day with the family but like i said, i really like my sleep. I have a parkrun about 8 miles away so have considered running there, doing the race and running back a few times as that would get me out reasonably early but i don't think i could do that every week.

I have run either to or from parkrun, mine is 13 away so can't do both. My parkrun suffered a bit with 13 before but it was at least done when I crossed the line (19:30 with the run before, 18:26 with it after) but 8 before and after may be a hard way to do a long one.
Edited: 03/01/2012 at 20:20
03/01/2012 at 20:24
PMJ - are you not really planning any quick stuff apart from XC between now and VLM? I know you've done a lot of short races over Autumn. Do you feel you've enough speed in the legs already?

Steve - will you just let Choisty do his long runs at these quicker speeds if he wants to or will you start coming down "heavy" on him and nagging him to slow them down??
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