Ask the Experts: Marathon Training Q+A with Steve Smythe

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23/01/2011 at 19:35
thanks very much Steve, your answer has encouraged me to get on with it, I was assuming missing a month had ruined my chances, I just wish my legs would stop aching now I've started running again, they never ached like this before!
Edited: 23/01/2011 at 19:35
23/01/2011 at 20:31


this thread is officially closed now but I am around on the Asics super 6 threads.

vey basically to run faster in races you need to train faster - try and do much of your speedwork or faster running at closer to 7 min miles

If you can run 10 miles in approx 75 mins

then do something like (one session per week)

4 x mile in close to 7 minutes with 400m jog in 3 mins

6 x 800 in close to 3 minutes 20 with 200m jog in 90 seconds

10 x 400 in close to 95 secs with 100m jog in 60 secs

15 x 200 in approx 45-47 secs with 45 secs rest

and then go back to he reps a month later and see if you can run them slightly faster.

23/02/2011 at 23:24

looking at my first competitive half marathon in may. hoping on sub 1hr 20

want to know what you would class as my threshold pace?? how do you gauge it??

i ran a 35.12 10km last summer , presently doing tempo runs 2mile steady, 4-5 miles at 6min/mile

quick, followed by 2miles steady. what do you consider the most important sessions other than the obvious long runs.


23/02/2011 at 23:57

Technically this thread is dead but just this once....threshold pace should be around your half marathon pace so around 6:10 miling would seem to be a target

I ran 35:12 for 10k last year and from that I was targetting a half of around 77 but I ran 78 something so 80 should be feasible for you.

Your training looks good but I would also perhaps do a few sessions at 10k pace ie 5 or 6 x a mile in 5:40 or 8 x 1000 in 3:30 with 2 minute recoveries say once every 2 weeks and some longer slower runs say 15M at 7 min to 7:30 miles

24/02/2011 at 10:30

that's encouraging, i did 2 x 2km at 3:30 with, but was struggling so didnt do 4 as intended.

at the moment my speed is lower than last summer, but on the rise, so would 5-6 x 1mile in 5:50-6min

be ok?

many thanks

25/02/2011 at 01:11

To run sub 80 yes 6 miles in 5:50 should be ok -

 actually while I was doing reps well inside 3:30 last year that was with a big group and would have been struggling to probably run even 3:35s on my own.

Edited: 25/02/2011 at 01:12
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
01/03/2011 at 13:23
Steve, could you help with some advice for beginners (12:30 min miling ) who are starting out on half marathon training, but struggling to increase distance or pace.

What is the best approach to take, should someone concentrate on base training with low HR (e.g. 70%) for a couple of months to build a running base (base training) from and gradually increase distance while sticking to a low HR or is it better to do a mixture of sessions e.g. slow long distance, medium temp and shorter session e.g. intervals/tempo?
02/03/2011 at 22:44


I think the best way is to set a base down of a few months with steady running  gradually building distance and then do a month gradually increasing the speed but holding the same distances. Once you have that base and some faster running in your legs then do the traditional mix of long run, slowish medium length runs tempo and speed/fartlek/intervals/hills

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