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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05/01/2012 at 07:45
That makes sense Steve. I have the same issue as Speedy - lay it all down for the marathon, have a good run but then can't pick up the form for post marathon pbs.

I put it down to a combination of being mentally spent and physically losing fitness. After a 3 week taper leading up to the marathon and a few weeks recovery after it, surely speed over the shorter distances is bound to be compromised?
05/01/2012 at 09:02
I guess I'm the exception then? I've always found great form 10-21 days post marathon as it provides a massive boost to your system and the period afterwards is like a form of supercompensation.
Even last year I did Ashby 20 and this provided a similar boost to my shorter distance times not long afterwards. I clocked 2-13 at Ashby, then 4 weeks later ran a 10k PB of 36-56
05/01/2012 at 09:41

Post marathon I have always struggled and it has never been physical, it seems that subconsciously my mind just won't release that last 2-3% as it wants as back-up just in case I'm stupid enough to run 26.2miles again!  In contract during the build-up I have often hit PB's despite fatigue due to training volume.

Ruth Hello, I am pleased to see you as diet is something alien to me, mine consists of eating anything that I can get my hands on, for example my intake yesterday was:

Breakfast - bowl of muesli
Mid morning - a couple of chocolates
Lunch - sandwiches (ham, cheese & pickle), 2 apples, 2 satsumas & 1 banana
MId afternoon - a couple more chocolates
Dinner - pasta & tomato sauce, with a homemade corned beef pasty, followed by a small portion of homemade rice pudding

I sometimes "bonk" on a run, these are generally the easy runs the day after a hard session, and will take 2-3miles to get over it.

Steve I will see who turns up tonight, if there is a good group at the quick end I will run 750's otherwise I will break out on my own.  I will focus on discipline!

05/01/2012 at 09:42
Matchstick Man wrote (see)
I guess I'm the exception then? I've always found great form 10-21 days post marathon as it provides a massive boost to your system and the period afterwards is like a form of supercompensation. Even last year I did Ashby 20 and this provided a similar boost to my shorter distance times not long afterwards. I clocked 2-13 at Ashby, then 4 weeks later ran a 10k PB of 36-56
I follow MM too, ran marathon 8 May abd PBed at 10km on 19th June, 36:56. Even things such as on 17th May, 9 days afterwards, I ran 18:03 for a road 5k which would be a PB if I had run one before.

I think there is a big difference between one and more marathos a year. If you do one, then there is something new happening, if you do two or more than by the time you base build, train, taper, race, recover, you are back into base.
05/01/2012 at 09:59
PMJ, surely that counts a PB?  I've always counted new distances a PB's
05/01/2012 at 10:33

I struggle in the weeks after a marathon as i feel my achilles is on the brink of going. it always seems to handle the training for a marathon and the race itself, but my first run back which is usually about a week after the race i can feel it getting worse throughout the run. I really have to be careful as the first time it happened the tendon swelled up to about 3 times it's size and i was out for about 5 months.

it stops me from getting any 10k or half specific training done in the weeks after and i often lose fitness.

05/01/2012 at 10:50

I'm firmly in the long recovery camp. I struggle to run at all for a couple of weeks. Doing a 5k PB seems utterly inconceivable !

You can't be trying hard enough MM and PMJ. Or maybe you're just made of stronger stuff than us softies.

05/01/2012 at 12:02
Fraser Wells wrote (see)

You can't be trying hard enough MM and PMJ. Or maybe you're just made of stronger stuff than us softies.

It may well be that my marathon effort was not 100%. As you may recall, the initial aim was sub 3:15 and then it became sub 3:00. At 20 miles in I was at 2:13 (6:39 pace up to that point) and even pace to the end would have given me 2:54. I had just had a few hard miles (which were in part due to a strong head wind and a hill) and tried to up the pace but two miles at 6:48 and 6:49 meant I was at 22 in 2:26:30 and looking at 2:54:30 and it just slid from there. I think I could have pushed harder but at the time it seemed that sub-3 (and in fact a reasonable bit below) was enough to take away from the day and the risk was blowing up big time. Basically at 22 I took what was on offer and didn't push for more, so the last 4.2 in 30:35 so 7:17 pace.

Choisty,  PB or not PB on first running? A lot depends on situation and that one I regard as a personal record and not a personal best. I went on to beat it later in the year and cleared up all the mess but will have similar problems this year with a raced 20. If it is slower than the 20 mile split in marathon it is neither  a personal record nor best.

05/01/2012 at 14:43

It's a 20 mile race PB whatever but just not your fastest ever 20!

I think you usually have to be cautious post marathon and more so as you get older. My fastest marathon as a vet when aged 44 2:42 in Austin in February, was strong to finish it was cold and windy (and I think easier to recover from cooler marathon) and 6 days later had my best ever National cross-country and a month later best ever vet half marathon. When I did 2:43 aged 50 fairly strong finish - got in good shape by a month later and did best National vets relay run but probably overdid the speedwork to get sharp for track and right after had series of injuries, and it's been same in recent years post marathon. Some earlier years when I had struggle in last 6 miles in Marathon in April, I didn't feel I was back to normal until September.

05/01/2012 at 15:25
Steve Marathon Coach wrote (see)

My fastest marathon as a vet when aged 44 2:42 in Austin in February

I work in Austin from time to time and was mightily impressed by the training runs they organised beforehand: many thousands turned up over multiple weeks to run progressively longer distances: and thi sis in the fattest state in the USA!
05/01/2012 at 16:27

An interesting first run of the day 4.5 miles in winds strong enough to move me from one side of the path to the other!

I agree with Steve, you can't take PB's out of other races for shorter distances it's just not cricket.

06/01/2012 at 09:22

The evening session was tough, it actually worked out like this 1.5mile warm-up, 2.25km reps with 400m jog recoveries, the reps were run at the following paces 5:49, 5:47, 5:43, 5:40, then warm down for a total of 10miles.  The total time for 10km during the reps was 35:54, which amazed me as that is pretty quick.  This is the hardest session I have completed for sometime and left me tired, nauseous and in pain...but very happy and smiling.  The reason I ran 2.25km was that 1 lap = 750m so completed 3 laps as one rep, that way I could run with my club mates whilst completing the prescribed session.  It was then up to the bar for a beer, packet of twiglets and the club committee meeting.

I am so looking forward to only 5 today, although my legs are jaded.

06/01/2012 at 09:49
well done - a good hard session well completed with good control and strong finish. you deserve an easy day.
06/01/2012 at 10:39

Steve MC, question for you. 

My week at the moment is basically controlled by the need to free up as much time at the weekend as possible. When I am racing I therefore use this as a speed session and do a LSR and MLR mid-week. If I am not racign at the weekend I will sneak in a short one but then I have three quality sessions for the week with temp, LSR and MLR.

What is the best order for LSR and MLR if they are two days apart and where to put them into the week? I am currently looking at LSR Tues, recovery, MLR Thurs simply as I would prefer to start the LSR with fresher legs.

What is the best order to fit tempo, LSR and MLR into a week if they are done Mon, Wed and Fri?


06/01/2012 at 11:59

Hi Lee,

 well done on getting through and going well so far.

just a reminder to find a small space to do your core and tretching exercises we mentioned at boot camp.

A good time is part of your warm down.

See you in a few weeks for an mot.


06/01/2012 at 12:18
Sarah,  I have added the core excercise into my daily routine (i've missed a few days) and I stretch after every run, so loads at the moment, interesting I got a really good score at BUPA for flexibility making more determined to keep it that way.  Whilst I have muscle soreness (thanks to Steve) the rest is holding up well.  I'm looking forward to the next session, shame it is the same day as the Southern Cross Country Champs and I will ahve to hot foot it from a sales conference, so I might not be too fresh!
06/01/2012 at 14:10
Today's run was both fantastic and horrible, the later first, my legs just did not want to play I was in all sorts of problems from the start, stiff, painful, wooden legs combined with running on empty, a packet of twiglets was all I ate last night!  On the positive side the air was still, the temperature perfect, blue sky reflecting off of the river as I ran along a perfect day for an easy bimble out.
06/01/2012 at 14:22
Blimey Choisty that's some diet Sarah has got you on!

Do you think there is a link between eating twiglets and getting stiff wooden legs?
06/01/2012 at 14:46


Before answering your question, I would make the point that In ideal world I suppose it would be better if there were more than 2 days between the two key sessions of the week so a long run Saturday and main speedwork Tuesday would be preferable in many ways. I actually think it easier to do a long run two days after the hard speedwork rather than the speedwork after but on the assumption that the long run is the key session of the week, it is probably best to do that on slightly fresher legs than the speedwork. Doing a long run on already tired legs and suffering in the final third of the run can do more harm than good for training over the next 7 days.

 I know your question was more on the medium long run though but given your 3 days and order to do them in. I would probably suggest best to go with the order of LSR, MLR, tempo as the middle one is the least important of the 3 and it gives two more days recovery for the tempo.

06/01/2012 at 14:48
No dietician but not sure Ruth would fully approve of the diet there and I would think about replacing the chocolate with something like banana or dried fruit or cereal/energy bar
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