Talkback: Lucozade Sport Super Six: Christina (sub-3:00)

Follow the progress of just back from a run, our sub-3:00 hopeful, as she receives expert advice from mentor Paul Evans

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08/01/2010 at 12:57

Hi all

Just a quick reminder that Nick Morgan (Lead Sport Scientist at Lucozade Sport) will be online between 1 and 2pm today to answer any questions you might have about nutrition.

We've opened the debate a little early so post your questions for Nick now so he can get stuck in straight away at 1pm!



08/01/2010 at 22:46

I get the impression that BR and Hilly think JBFAR should be doing more miles than the schedule suggests - Ideally they are right, but the schedule is short. Most maras should be thought of at least 6 months prior to race day, if you have a serious target.

Overloading JBFRA may well be counter productive. I think I've read she has never run really high mileage before.

I've thought from the outset that this was a very tough target for JBFAR, and I don't believe trying to cram in too much mileage at this stage will help. I do think that if she gets the correct proportion of steady(mara pace) and threshold runs in, with of course the long run, she has a chance of doing it.

60m/week for a reasonably talented female, done correctly should get her under 3hr/mara. If you need to be doing 80m+/week to break 3hr, then you weren't/aren't blessed with alot of talent, or you're doing too many of your runs too slow.

09/01/2010 at 11:09

I'm home!! I've made it! Yikes- it was touch and go! but after days of traveling im back in snowy winchester contemplating a run in the snow. 

So far week one has not gone 100% to plan due to travel disruptions, but that's the only holiday i'm having between now and the marathon so all fine.  I started the week off Monday and Tuesday 6 miles on treadmill and Wednesday 10miles on treadmill.  Had to have 2 days off for travel and now after letting porridge digest i'll be tackling a 7miler out doors then a 12miler tomorrow.  So week one should be 41 miles in total.

We have lots of snow in Winchester so am hoping itsgoing to be fine to run on and hasnt turned into ice- ill soon find out though! luckily I have gym membership so that will be my fall back plan - the treadie.

Gareth you said For yourself JBFR a good pre run meal plan would be to consume a carbohydrate rich (80-160g) breakfast 3-4 hours before you exercise. This could be in the form of 2 slices of toast (32g carbs), 1 medium sliced banana (32g), large handful of raisins (70g), small bowl cornflakes (26g) with a LS Body Fuel drink (30g). For more information on [i]carbohydrate content[/i]. As a pre-race snack 1 hour before you exercise, again you could have a banana or a LS Energy Bar (30g).

That is much more than i have at the moment- what distance run are you talking here ??  having breakie 3-4 hours before exercise is not always a realistic possiblity either.  I have taken on board eating before running now and always eat an hour before i go out, but for a long run on Sunday i would have porridge, raisons and a bit of sugar with a coffee one our before i go out then take gels and a bit of water with me. maybe i should have a bit of toast as well.

What would you say though was the optimum weight/BMI for a good marathon runner? I don't want to put any weight on as I feel that would effect my time in a negative way.  I don't count calories or anything like that but it can not be ignored that the elite marathon runners do not have any extra weight to them!

Its such a shame races are being cancelled- I hear stubbington 10k has too

09/01/2010 at 11:19

GE- Thanks for that link- that's pretty amazing, and as Hilly said only doing 45 minute sessions would be awaesome- a very talented guy huh!

N&S- Good luck to you on your sub 3 quest also-keep up the posting- are you following the RW schedule aswell?  I dont know what start we will be put on for the VLM- I am checkin that with RW- but i may see you on the start line.

BR: The shedule that Paul has sent me for January doesn' really differ from the RW one. He is going to reevaluate at the end of January as to whether I can increase the miles.  I have asked paul how he will be evaluating it  (i dont have any races planned)but am guessing he will just be looking at my training diary that I will send him and will go from there.

09/01/2010 at 12:43

Jokerman - If you need to be doing 80m+/week to break 3hr, then you weren't/aren't blessed with alot of talent, or you're doing too many of your runs too slow.

Doing that got Hilly sub 3 in 2006 as a F40 - 6th F40 in FLM as it was.  I bet she wished she'd had some talent or done her training runs faster!

Agreed that 6 months is a good timescale to be thinking about, but from the beginning of Dec when the 6 were chosen to VLM day is nearly 4 months, so plenty of time to get in some good mileage on top of the massive IM endurance JBFAR must have.

JBFAR - interesting approach re. following the plan.  Hope it works out.

09/01/2010 at 12:57

This whole thing is going to prove farcical if all that is done is "follow the schedule".

If the schedule is going to be strictly followed until the end of january then as far as I am concerned it has been a complete waste of time having a coach for that period and there will only be about 12 weeks or less before the race. 

Get real.  There must already be more than enough information about jbfar's running to have been tailoring it to her specific requirements weeks ago.

Edited: 09/01/2010 at 12:57
09/01/2010 at 12:59

Just back from my first run outside all week!

Managed 12 miles in the snow, its not as bad as I thought it would be. I wore my Adizero Tempo which provided loads of grip. The pace was a bit slow only managed 8 min miles, but at least I got a few miles in on the first week of marathon training.

A bit disappointed that the Stubby 10 has been cancelled tomorrow, however there is an unofficial 10k on the beach in Portsmouth tomorrow. I think I will take a trip down there and use it as a tempo / speed session. 

09/01/2010 at 14:18
Glad you made it home at last Christina.  Welcome back and hope the delays weren't too ghastly!
09/01/2010 at 14:43

Well done Tony with the outdoors!

I had success too! just back from my 7 miler- wasn't too bad, a few slippy bits but all in all not bad.  I even got a nice comment  from a pedestrian "that's dedication for you" so a nice run all in all.  Quite slow ofcourse as bit cautious (8.10 min miles)

Had a good post run meal- beans on toast with cheese- that's got to be one of the all time post run meals huh!?  Caught the end of the Edinborough International Cross country-conditions looked pretty hairy there!!

I'll post the training program that Paul sent up so you can see....

09/01/2010 at 14:46

Jokerman - I take what you're saying about not overloading someone who has not done lots of miles due to the risk of injury etc.  JBFAR is an individual and as you say a talented young women should be able to break 3 hours off 60 miles a week so it will be interesting to see JBFAR do it off a schedule that builds up to running 60 miles and I really wish her well and hope she does it.

Tony - sounds like you'll have an interesting race on the beach tomorrow.  All races cancelled in this area too except the Leeds parkrun this morning, which I didn't do, but BR did.  Conditions for running in the compacted snow was fine with spikes on, but much slower than normal.

09/01/2010 at 14:54

Well done to you to Christina, it wasnt that bad, however I think a speed / tempo session might be a bit trickier

What other races have you entered apart from the Bramley 20?

I have just signed up to Ryde 10M 7 Feb (going to swap the Sun 16M to the Wed and the Wed 10 to Sun).

Also just entered online for the Meon Valley Plod 28 Feb (I know it says a race of 5M to a half, but another 20M should help)   MVP

09/01/2010 at 14:57

This is my training plan; Paul will be evaluating it at the end of January but the plan is to up the mileage in february;


Thursday 7th- Thurs-6 miles easy

Fri- 5 mile hyf

Sat – 7 mile hyf

Sun-12 mile

Monday 11th

Mon-5miles easy

Tues- club session

Weds- 5mile easy

Thurs-club session

Friday –Rest day

Sat- 8 mile hyf


Monday 18thMon-5miles easy

Tues- club session

Weds- 5mile easy

Thurs-club session

Friday –Rest day

Sat- 8 mile hyf


Monday 25th

Mon-5 miles easy

Tues- club session

Weds- 5mile easy

Thurs-club session

Friday –Rest day

Sat- 8 mile hyf

09/01/2010 at 15:00

Race wise:

I have entered Bramley 20, wokingham half, the Dorney Lake pacing event and hopefully reading half.  I may do the meon valley plod as well just for a training run but have Liz yellings training day the day before so need to find out what we will be doing in that before committing- can you enter last minute for the Meon Valley Plod?

09/01/2010 at 15:07

Christina - you can enter on the day £2 more I think, however it is a popular race with a limit of 400.

Hilly - looking forward to the beach run tomorrow, hopefully the sand will be frozen... How is your training going, well I hope.

09/01/2010 at 16:07

BR...I wasn't trying to undermine Hillys achievements, regards the 80m+/week comment. I have alot of respect for anyone that's prepared to put the work in.

2 particular females come to mind I know, that have gone sub 3hr - First one F40, has no pace whatsoever, she needs to run at least 10K to do anything. Her talent was she has a fantastic work ethic. She was hitting 70m/week regular, and hardly ever ran easy (even in her cool downs!). Alot of marathon pace running. She wasn't and isn't happy unless she's working hard.

2nd female F35, only ran for just over a year. A good work ethic, far more talented than 1st female. Never did any club sessions, no HR monotoring, nothing technical. Didn't even log mileage, but talking to her brother it was about 50m/week. She did everything on feel. Ran hard if she felt like it. Never ran what most people would consider easy.

Agree with Moraghan, the schedule should be tailored as of yesterday, not at the end of January. That leaves very little time, and time is not what JBFAR as.

My initial thought regards the schedule...

What are the 2 club sessions/week doing for you? Are they VO2max sessions? Some of our club sessions are as little as 200/300m reps, no place in mara training really, unless it's after a threshold type run.

Personally I'd like to see a longer marathon pace run done mid-week, 10-12miles.

09/01/2010 at 16:27
What an interesting read.

JBFAR best of luck with the training and racing

Predictably I side with those who think that the schedule is light on miles. Obvious points to note are that Christina's 10k is fast compared with here marathon pace. Also JM makes the point that the RW schedule is built around two club sessions each week. This seems to me to be a potential weakness, if these sessions are out of Paul/Christina's control.

On the other hand I have no doubt the Christina has the background, mindset and determination to wring every ounce out of the schedules she has been set - a very similar situation to that with Hilly working with Mike Gratton in 2006. With that in mind, I think that there wouldn't be too much risk in increasing the mileage, as I think Christina would cope. Even if the extra miles didn't deliver the required performance they are still an investment for future racing and training, although of course that view may not be acceptable given the stated objectives of the "project"

Not withstanding the above, I'll be rooting for you.

Edited: 09/01/2010 at 16:28
09/01/2010 at 17:26
Tony Smith - not sure where you live, but I wouldnt bother to travel to Pompey to run a 10K on the beach (on the shingle ?) and i live there. There's a nice golf course on the North Side of the Hill at the top of the City and the snow is 10 " deep in places.  But I've spent the last 2 mornings staggering around on there and its dawned on me today that its probably got nothing to do with me running another sub3 at VLM - so I wouldnt bother travelling here for that either.
09/01/2010 at 17:28

 thanks for the comments.

Paul knows what my 2 club sessions are and they will be similar each week which is why they have been built into the schedule. 

Thursday will be 11-12 miles tempo and Tuesdays will be a gradual build up of quality reps from January until April .Starting with 6x1 k first week and building quantity so that 3k reps can be achieved .As the time progresses there will be added  a 3k rep at end at marathon pace ...Its possible that the session will end up at 12k.

I have the extra advantage that there is a great coach at my club who knows a lot about marathon running and their are alot of people from the club training for the marathon so Tuesday is a quality session.

09/01/2010 at 17:29

JBFAR - I missed your schedule, when does the proper training begin - just joshing?

They give out fruit cake, mugs of tea and tots of rum during the MVP.

09/01/2010 at 17:31
great- MVP sold! are you doing it TR?
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