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

121 to 140 of 1,983 messages
29/12/2009 at 19:34

BR - agreed it is useful training tool.

But my take is this - Christina's tergat is 2:59 so it doesnt matter a scooby what her HR is in training, how fast she can run a 10k or how many speedwork sessions she can do. Its all about maximising the percentages by hitting 1/2 way in 1:28:30 ish and holding on.

She has won open water swims and done IM and 1/2 IM races, but as far as I understand it she doesnt routinely run much. SO teh most important thing for her is long runs and medium long runs, IMO every weekend that has a 10k or similar race in it is a lost long run and is taking money from the bank instead of topping up the bank. There is also a danger of tapering for small races and being dis-illusioned by them when the race times are compromised cos of marathon training.

I think there is a big danger here in doing the wrong sort of training and racing build up. sub3 for a woman is simialr in sub2:45 for a man in that its a fair ask and with Christina not being that regular a runner its even harder with now only 16 weeks to go.

Edited: 29/12/2009 at 19:35
29/12/2009 at 19:37
Hi JBFAR, just popping in to say good luck with the training for sub3 at VLM. Got mine at Abingdon this year and will be trying to do it again on the big stage. My training starts on New years day.
29/12/2009 at 20:31
TR - not arguing with anything else you say but using a HRM in her `marathon paced' runs will give her a fairly good idea of what the MP will be come April 25th.  As you say - it's a case of building the endurance.  So would you be suggesting that the RW Garmin schedule she has to stick to is not the optimum for optimising her chances of sub 3?
29/12/2009 at 20:39
If JBFAR has done IM and 1/2 IM distances surely running endurance shouldn't ba a problem, TR and 16 weeks is more than enough to see her make improvements?  Also, she has done a 37 minute 10K in the past, which shows she's been at the level required to go sub 3, so shouldn't take her as much as somebody who has never been there to get back to that level.
29/12/2009 at 20:56

BR - I agree with you that the HRM could be a useful tool, but it wont make or break her campaign, and she wont know what her HR should be during a marathon. I dont know whats in that schedule, but I know what training i'd get Christina to do if i were her coach.

Hilly - Christina is a very strong swimmer and the IM is more about the bike than running, I might be wrong but I dont think that she routinely runs many miles, so I'd like to see her running more longer distance runs, as I dont reckon 16 weeks is a very long build up for someone like that.

29/12/2009 at 20:57
might be talking bllx as usual though !
29/12/2009 at 21:07


good luck with everything

i was going to throw in some realistic bits of advice, purely as i see anything always as on the day

but i'm not really sure you need it

Plus, i'm more than sure that the crowds will inspire you and really drive you on

29/12/2009 at 21:15

TR - it does say on her profile that she's been running for 22 years.  So even if she doesn't do big miles she will be one very fit lady from all those years of exercise.  Yes, she may need to a adjust to being on her feet for longer, but she's not a novice to marathons having run 3:13 off not many miles.  Therefore in my opinion she is in a far better position than many going for sub 3 with her background and age.  But as we know nothing is guarenteed.  I've got myself into sub 3 shape a few times and only pulled it off once!

29/12/2009 at 21:22

TR - here's the first 5 weeks:-


5M (miles) (approx 40 mins) easy
Tue 4M (approx 30 mins) slow with a few gentle strides
Wed 6M (approx 46 mins) slow
Thu 5M (approx 34 mins) steady
Fri 4M (approx 31 mins) easy or rest
Sat 5M (approx 32 mins) brisk hilly cross-country run or race
Sun 12M (87-93 mins) slow


Mon 5M (approx 40 mins) easy
Tue 1M jog, then 3 x 2M (or 11-12 mins) fast, with 800m (4-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 7M (approx 53 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (approx 20 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri 4M (approx 31 mins) easy or rest
Sat 6M (approx 41 mins) steady off-road
Sun14M (approx 105 mins) slow


Mon 5M (approx 40 mins) easy
Tue 1M jog, then 5 x 1M (or 6 mins) fast, with 400m (2-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 8M (approx 61 mins) slow
Thu 6M (approx 41 mins) steady
Fri 4M (approx 31 mins) easy or rest
Sat 8M (approx 53 mins) brisk hilly cross-country run or race
Sun 16M (approx 2hr 05) slow


Mon 5M (approx 40 mins) easy
Tue 1M jog, then 8 x 800m (or 3 mins) fast, with 200m (1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 9M (approx 70 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (approx 19:30) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri 4M (approx 31 mins) easy with strides
Sat 4M (approx mins) easy or rest
Sun 1M jog, then race 10K or 5M, then 1M jog. Aim for a sub-38:00 10K or sub-30:00 5-miler


Mon 5M (approx 40 mins) easy
Tue 1M jog, then 6M (or 45 minutes) fartlek, then 1M jog
Wed 10M (approx 75 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, 4M (approx 26 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest or 4M (approx 31 mins) easy
Sat 6M (approx 40 mins) steady off-road
Sun 16M (approx 2hrs) slow

 For single runs, the mileage total does seem quite low.  With doubles added in, it would be an ok schedule.  Would you think many guys we know would get to sub 2:45 off those weeks?

29/12/2009 at 21:37

I have to say looking at that schedule it does seem to be a lot of 4-5 milers in there.  Also, I would like to see the long run up to 20m by week 5 and it isn't.  I'm aiming to follow as much of Mike Gratton's schedule of 80-100m per week off his 2.09 website as I can manage.  There is another which is 55 to 75 miles per week, which only has 4 mile runs as a second run of the day.  Who is it who thinks that JBFAR stands a better chance of hitting sub 3 with the schedule BR copied above than with the 55-75mpw (or even the 80-100mpw) which does seem to get the long runs and medium long runs up to a decent length in the first couple of weeks?

Here's a link to the schedules...

29/12/2009 at 22:17

Hilly - maybe I'm talking bllx then

BR - agreed, theres lots of short runs, which could be added to with doubles. But i'd rather see a 10 than a 5 + 5. As it stands in 5 weeks time (11 weeks to go ?) you'd have bagged a 12, a 14 and 2 x 16M as the longest run, with the midweeker only just up to 10M. Marigold and Padams could run a 2:45 off that, I wouldnt try it myself though. Too many 4, 5s and 6s in that schedule for me.

I understand that this is an exercise in proving RW plans though, but are you allowed to "up" the distance of some of the runs ?

My "rules" are that cos I only run 4 or 5 times/week then if I'm going to don the trainers then I dont come home for an hour minium, and its over a month since I ran less than 10M, but I'm tyring to build my endurance up again after a carp year. JBFAR - I'm keener than most to see you go sub3 - for obvious reasons. I'm just trying to point out whats needed in my numpty opinion. 

Cheerful Dave    pirate
29/12/2009 at 23:55
Hilly wrote (see)

Also, I would like to see the long run up to 20m by week 5 and it isn't.

I wonder if this is one area where JBFAR's endurance background isn't what the the basic schedule was aimed at - it seems to me too that the long run could probably get longer sooner.

But there's a reason why Paul's a mentor and I'm not - he knows a lot more about distance running and training for it than I do!

30/12/2009 at 00:49

With regards to the RW sub-3 schedule, no one seems to actually want to say it! 

You know what I mean....

30/12/2009 at 02:47

They're trying to be polite Moraghan!

80MPW is a fairly high level of training (particularly for an athlete like JBFAR who is quick for a lady but not lightening)- I remember having analysed Paul's training at one point. I got his schedule and it looked very scary with 100+ mile weeks on- then I broke it down and actually had a look and reckoned he was running about 650 minutes a week (6:30mm) -only 50 minutes more than my 80mpw! Difference was the average pace was about a minute quicker- same as he would run a marathon about a minute quicker.

So if JBFAR is doing 80- guessing she would averaging around 8:30mm then she'd be running 680 minutes per week or more minutes per week than Paul was in the build up to London.

 You're also talking about building up an athlete who hasn't run a huge amount of volume, and if those RW schedules are a fair measure of her regular mileage, doubling the volume she's handled before (at least in running terms) within 3 and a half months given a two week taper- to my mind an athlete could possibly hold that volume increase but it'd all have to be done a) Very slowly (i.e. little at even MP) and b) split it doubles and finally c) without a decent long-run. IN short she'd either be working so hard to get the mileage in she wouldn't be able to include any marathon specific work or b) she'd get the marathon specific work in (long tempoes, long runs, progressive MWLR etc.) and her body would be so fried from putting it all in and dealing with the extra mileage there'd be little useful progress until about 6 months down the line.

Apologies for talking about you in the third person JBFAR!

Looking at RW schedule I'm struck by in week 5- "16 miles in 2:00 - slow"  personally I certainly wouldn't find running 16 miles at MP+30 seconds slow- it'd definitely be doable but it wouldn't be slow!

30/12/2009 at 08:21

I fully agree what all have said about JBFAR needing to build up slowly, but she does have 22 years of some kind of running behind her and a 3:13 marathon so is not starting from scratch.

JBFAR - I remember you saying over a month ago when you found out you were doing this programme that Paul wanted you to be up to 50 miles a week before the programme started, when the programme starts in the low 40's.  Is Paul going to add in the odd 2nd run do you think to 'tweak' the plan?

30/12/2009 at 08:27

HH - 650 mins is just under 11 hours, which I would think is about right for a top level triathlete.

Perhaps if JBFAR needs to run more than the flimsy looking schedule suggests, then she needs to be thinking about running surfaces - i.e. soft off road ones rather than tarmac.  Do you do most of your training on or off road JBFAR?

30/12/2009 at 10:44

That certainly woke me up reading all that but I guess this is what it’s all about. Sub 3 is serious territory.

I read the sub 3 schedule and to me it sounded pretty daunting and I would certainly hope to go sub 3 after using it but I don’t think that my lifestyle will give me the chance to put it to the test. So I’ll let JBFAR do it for me.  

Good luck JBFAR with the training and more importantly, with this thread. Listen to your coach, listen to your body and above all else, have fun. I don’t think it will be easy but I think you have every chance of success.  

Edited: 30/12/2009 at 10:45
30/12/2009 at 15:40

Just to add my views on the RW Sub 3 training schedule debate....

How many people on here have followed the schedule to the book and then failed to get a sub 3 from a marathon?

Not wanting to go on like a broken record...however, for my first marathon last year I followed the program and didn't miss or add any extra sessions, I completed all the race distances it recommended and met all of the monthly goals:

  • Sub 38 min 10k or sub 30 min 5M (Week 4)
  • Complete a run of around 2 hours 20 mins (Week 7)
  • A sub-1:23 half-marathon (Week 10)
  • A serious taper and a rewarding marathon

Before I started the schedule I was running at least 35-40 miles per week, over six or seven sessions as suggested.

I then went on to run a 2:58 marathon, yes the marathon was tough, but I feel the schedule worked just fine. 

Obviously JBFAR is being sponsored by Lucozade , RW and maybe even Garmin, so she is obliged to follow their schedule. I doubt if it is helping JBFAR confidence with everyone criticising the schedule that she is  possibly required to follow. 

This post is in no way meant to be offensive or as it says at the bottom I am not trying to slam anyone. I just feel we should let her coach tackle the difficult subject of what is the best course of action regarding the training. All of the advice and experiences from everyone else will no doubt motivate JBFAR and others who are looking for a successful VLM.    

30/12/2009 at 15:54

Tony, well said mate.

When I did Abingdon I took lots of advice from BR, Hilly and Tony. Amongst others on the thread. And took bits out of My schedule I had used for FLM this year. I followed a schedule for FLM and failed! 3:02:47. Took what I had learned and bits of advice from other people and got 2:57:08 in Abingdon. At the end of the day I think its mostly down to the individual, you really have to want that sub3.

But now I want sub2:55.

30/12/2009 at 16:10

marathon schedules are much of  muchness and its not rocket science after all, run some miles and run some more miles. As long as you do the long runs its very much about having no bad luck , having a big pair of NADs and being a "can" rather than a "cant" on the day.

I've never followed a schedule and dont intend to.

JBFAR is a decent aflete already and I dont think she'll be out off by folks commenting on her schedule.

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