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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03/01/2012 at 21:18
Fraser Wells wrote (see)
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?

Fraser, the way I see it, I am going for 6:30 pace, that is not fast. I can do a 6:30 mile, I can do a few in a row, the thing will be to do 26.2 in a row. 

Last year I raced 55 times and covered 250 miles at an average of 6:15 pace: the only races slower than 6:30 pace were 6 hard cross countries and a marathon at 6:46 pace: 190 were faster than 6:30.

Yes I will do some speed work, but I am not going down the track and doing 400m reps. I have 6 x-country races, a handful of parkruns, a scattering of 5k handicaps and and half marathon and 20 mile road race. 

Other than the long runs, the effort will be at doing MP pace runs, in my midweek MLR and scattered in other runs as well.

03/01/2012 at 21:33
I think you have a carefully worked out plan based upon a comprehensive analysis of your strengths and areas for development PMJ. Will be interesting to see how you and Choisty progress over the next few months.
03/01/2012 at 22:02

I don't see a problem in Choisty doing some of these early longer runs a little quicker than what I would normally recommend but he may need to review the pace when he is in the middle of the hardest weeks in February and March where running too fast in training at the wrong time either gets you too tired, risks injury and means other key sessions don't get done to the maximum. However, runners of similar marathon race pace often have vastly different speeds in training. I always have done most of my runs in recent years slower than average to ensure I do my speed and marathon pace sessions at the right speed. I always wished I could do them faster but I was always regularly beating people in races who'd leave me way behind in training and that's the best way around.

PMJ - I agree to some extent that 400 reps on the face of it aren't necessary ro run a good marathon but in schedules, 400 reps aren't there for you to sprint 400m but to do some speedwork at faster than 10k pace. The quicker your 10k speed, the greater the potential of your marathon as long as you do the right endurance work to hold the speed.

In my view while long runs are the most important factor in any training programme, to run a good marathon you need a good half-marathon and to run a good half-marathon you need a good 10k and to do that you need good balanced speedwork.

Most runners run their best marathon when they are also in their best 10k shape.

03/01/2012 at 22:40
Steve Marathon Coach wrote (see)
Most runners run their best marathon when they are also in their best 10k shape.
So by reductio ad absurdum, the best marathon training is 10k training? I did my best 10k at Richmond this year by taking the endurance from the marathon and putting speed back into the legs.
04/01/2012 at 09:05

PMJ looking at the tsructure fo your week, do you struggle for time or just to get mileage in?  As have run better marathons off higher mileage (90mpw) which did help with endurance.  Are the races you mention Wokingham & bramley?

Otis Could you change your Long run to another day, one of my previous marathons I used to go long (upto 26) on a Monday morning as my commute run.

Fraser don't worry I will slow down as the miles go up and this will show on here as I report back my drop in pace!  However I strongly agree with Steve, the key is getting the hard sessions compelted fully at the right pace, as if you can hit 5:15 pace with comfort in reps, 6:15 marathon pace feels very easy.

Overall, I like this balanced plan, I feel the hardest thing to obtain in running is speed endurance and the Monday tempo session provides this, it is the one session that I won't miss (with the Long run) as the value is incredible.  I also thing speed sessions, with my favourites being 800's and miles

04/01/2012 at 11:02

Steve the club reps for tomorrow have just been announced as:
8 x 750m (what pace would you reccommend?) with 200m jog recovery, is it better to complete these with a group or the planned session of 9M inc 4 x 2km - miles at approx 10km pace (5:20-5:30 miles) with wu/wd with 400m jog (2-3 mins recoveries). 

Also can you clarify what session is?

4 x 2km with 400m jog recovery
or
4 x 2miles with 400m jog recovery

04/01/2012 at 14:34
Choisty wrote (see)

PMJ looking at the tsructure fo your week, do you struggle for time or just to get mileage in?  As have run better marathons off higher mileage (90mpw) which did help with endurance.  Are the races you mention Wokingham & bramley?

I have some time constraints, family with 4 kids, so weekends are an issue. I therefore try for long run on Tuesday (I start formt he office before 7 and get back to the office before 9:30), MLR on Thursday and a race at the weekend. I am 46 so doing 50 to 60 miles a week is enough. To do more I have to double up and that impacts family time. Races are Wokingham Half and Finchley 20. Bramley would have been my choice but is far too early: Feb 12th, a week before Wokingham and clashes with the last Chiltern League x-country.
04/01/2012 at 14:45

PMJ, I am going to run Wokingham and will have to look-up finchley what is the course like?

 Today's run has been completed almost as instructed as it seems I prefer to run at 6:22 pace rather than 6:30 as every time I looked at the watch it seemed that is what it showed. 

I had to stop after 6miles to help a damsel in distress as some dodgy bloke had been hassling a young lady, so it fell to me to ward him off and ensure her safe passage!  More eventful than the usual run.

04/01/2012 at 15:12
Choisty wrote (see)

PMJ, I am going to run Wokingham and will have to look-up finchley what is the course like?

Finchley is a 5 mile lap, 4 times round. Is supposedly flat and fast, if a little boring. A lot of people under 2 hours, http://www.hillingdonac.co.uk/2011Finchley20results.pdf

See e.g. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/74281847
04/01/2012 at 16:23
Philip_M_Jones wrote (see)
Steve Marathon Coach wrote (see)
Most runners run their best marathon when they are also in their best 10k shape.
So by reductio ad absurdum, the best marathon training is 10k training?

Yes and no. This is an interesting point that has been raised and was proved by Pete, last year's sub 3 aspirant. If you are aiming at a marathon time of y, then you need to have basic speed of x over the short distances first.
Pete went into last year's competition off the back of a tidy 10k in Dec 2010 if I recall properly and it showed he had the necessary speed. Choisty (from his Po10 entry) is similar in that he has great basic speed and has also delivered that speed over 20 miles with a 2-01 that shows that 2h41 is in reach.

If you read the guardian today you will find this quote:
"one of the big reasons for the shift in marathon running – the entry of fast, 26:40 men into the marathon before they have lost that speed"

which goes along the same lines that Steve is proposing. It also backs up what Steve was saying last year on one of the threads - that people should explore their possibility over the shorter distances first before moving up to the marathon rather than jumping in at the deep end. Of course this is also a Moraghan / Middle Ground way of thinking but an interesting point nonetheless

04/01/2012 at 16:35
Matchstick Man wrote (see)
If you are aiming at a marathon time of y, then you need to have basic speed of x over the short distances first.

So is there a table of X and Y?

My 10k time is 36:56  (which is soft, my 10 mile at 59:26 is better) so how much faster should I aim for over 10k to hit 2:50?

BTW, MM, hope you get better soon and can hit Wokingham hard. I see we are both entered at 1:20 along with half the Western world and I definitely race better with good competition and you should provide that: I don't care too much who wins so long as good runs happen.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
04/01/2012 at 16:45
Matchstick Man wrote (see)
Philip_M_Jones wrote (see)
Steve Marathon Coach wrote (see)
Most runners run their best marathon when they are also in their best 10k shape.
So by reductio ad absurdum, the best marathon training is 10k training?

Yes and no. This is an interesting point that has been raised and was proved by Pete, last year's sub 3 aspirant. If you are aiming at a marathon time of y, then you need to have basic speed of x over the short distances first.

Apart from the basic premise that one case doesn't 'prove' anything, I think PMJ has read Steve's quote differently from you.  I'm not sure whether Steve is talking about a point in a particular training cycle, i.e. if I'm training through a year, the point in that year that I'll be in the best shape for a quick 10k is the same point that I could do my best marathon (hence PMJ's point about 10k training), or if Steve meant from a career point of view, i.e. if the best age for a fast 10k is 26 then that's when they'll run their best marathon.

Both options seem odd to me, unless I've misunderstood completely.  There's no correlation between 10k and marathon times that works with any accuracy, and there's certainly no requirement to run x to achieve y.

04/01/2012 at 16:47
Philip_M_Jones wrote (see)

So is there a table of X and Y?

My 10k time is 36:56  (which is soft, my 10 mile at 59:26 is better) so how much faster should I aim for over 10k to hit 2:50?


You could go on McMillan as you well know  but the argument above exposes the belief that people think sub 3 is on when they've never broken 90mins for a half for instance. Having a tasty 10k time is great but one thing that this thread should show over 16 weeks is that it's only one part of a bigger picture. When I did this competition a couple of years ago I did a 10k PB a few weeks out from London and subsequently PB'ed at Chester 5 weeks after London so I do suscribe to the fact that if you're fit enough to do a 2-50 you should be fit enough to do 36-13.

It's like we say on the sub 3h15 forum - to do that time you need to be able to do a sub 40min 10k because you're going to asking your body to knock out 4 x 44min 10k's in a row (and a bit more) on the day.

6.5 weeks till Wokingham and I'm coughing like a 20 a day smoker - not good!!!!

04/01/2012 at 17:03

MM I would slightly disagree that have good basic speed, as it is an area I think needs development as my 5km time is poor versus everything else at 16:50, which I only achieved once after training for 4ot5 weeks specifically (hence why I steeplechase on the track).  I think my biggest strength is speed endurance, hence my best PB being 10M at 56:53.  IF I can add true endurance to this over the next 4 months, I reckon I stand a reasonable chance of a fast time...but only time will tell.

CD I would suggest that the faster you can run a 10km is a good indicator as to a good marathon time, but I do agree it in itself is not a guarentee as a runners ability to adapt to the training requirements.

PMJ I think the McMillian calculator is pretty good http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/index.php/site/calculator although can be a little optimistic your 10M gives you 2:46 for the marathon and 35:28 10km

04/01/2012 at 18:53

I not sure i'm as an experienced racer as some here and my 2:53 time probably suggest I should have a better 10k and half time than i do, but i think the actual marathon training makes you a much better shorter distance runner as it makes your legs really strong. I find 10k is a funny distance, you almost convince yourself that it's not that far but it's still 35-40 mins of pretty hard running.

I interpret what steve says to be that when your in good marathon shape, you only need a bit of tweeking for a good 10k race , but not the other way round.

I suppose we'll see, I have a 10k, a 10 mile and a half in my pre marathon schedule plus some cross country. I seem to be around the level as PMJ at the moment but i'm shooting for 2:45. Maybe 8 mins off my pb is alot to ask but over the course of a years training from 1 VLM to the next it's less than a minute a month

04/01/2012 at 19:12
If that McMillan calculator is right then choisty you've got a 2:39 in the bag
04/01/2012 at 20:38

Choisty session is 4 x 2km as you did the 2 mile session a few weeks ago to test it out think best to do the 2ks but happy for you to do the 750s which should be run around 10k speed but suggest to test control you try and get each one slightly quicker so to do that start slower than 10k pace.

re the debate everyone has different strengths and requirements and agree just because you are in good 10k shape won't help in the Marathon unless you have done marathon type training too but come April on race day when you do the marathon it helps if you are fit and strong enough that you could also do a 10K pb if you were racing that distance that day and I think always good to try and do a 10k race in the build up.

I also agree that when runners get really fit for a marathon they often then go on to run a good 10k once recovered. Paula Radcliffe ran her best times at all distances after she did her first marathon. The stamina gained enabled her to hold speed better

Around that time and up to her marathon World record she was in low 30 10k shape. Because now her 10k potential is probably over 31, I don't think she will run a marathon much inside 2:19 at best.

I recall over the years lots of top quality 10k runners running a great first or second marathon but once they perceived they were more marathoners - they changed their training, they never ran as fast at the marathon again.

Things like distance/pace converters generally are quite accurate between 5k and half-marathon depending on doing balanced training with the right speed, speed endurance and endurance. Marathons are another matter. I did my first marathon  in 1976 and generally with a few exceptions, my marathon times were down on what they should have been until the period from 2003 to 2010 when I was averaging around the 2:45 mark when I got the pacing, training and nutrition and mind more in tune with marathoning.

Too many factors influence what you run in the marathon but the converters do give a time that ultimately may be possible in a perfect world.

04/01/2012 at 20:46

Many congratulations on your selection! My name is Ruth, the Pro Team Dietitian. I am really looking forward to following your journey to Paris.

I will only be on your thread a couple of times per week  but I will do my very best to answer all questions!

04/01/2012 at 21:53
I seem to run my worst shorter distance race times in the weeks and months following a marathon. I struggle for ages to get any sort of form back. I look at it that I gave everything to the marathon on the day and left nothing in the tank.
04/01/2012 at 22:38

I agree I have had some of my worst runs post marathon. I think it can depend on how the marathon went. if you had a disappointing second half then it can take many months to get back to form.

However ones you pace really well and you have a strong last 10km and get the recovery right, then you can be running as well as you were pre marathon a few months later.

It probably works better for the elite than the club level runner as they do so much more mileage

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