Moraghan Training - Stevie G

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08/10/2012 at 22:10

Does that mean you could have gone faster DT if you'd been doing it "official"? Good result whatever mate!

Steven - welcome! You're around the same age I was when I started running properly, but you are already making much faster progress than I did.  I did 37:22 for 10k in 2008 and then took until 2011 to get it under 37!! It was obviously a psychological barrier though, as within weeks I'd knocked it down another 44 secs. Just need to do the same with 36 now - hope it's not going to take another 3 years!!!

08/10/2012 at 22:57
the bus-its great the first 6 mths of racing when u can knock minutes off with minimal training.I've quickly realised that now its going to be hard work to keep chipping away.I think i thought when i upped my mileage results would follow.Patience is the key me thinks!
09/10/2012 at 15:05

right, it's clearly  a quiet day on the thread, so let's do some analysisRun Britain stylee. This should satisfy some of you anorak stats hounds (no names Phil )

Right, so Run Britain, give you an overall handicap, and a handicap for each race you do, depending on conditions and then rate it against how people against you did.

Therefore, glad to see Southend 10k came out as 0.6, which indicates the conditons i'd waffled about, ie slowing, but not too bad..  I got a 0 for comparison against others, so i handled the course similarly to others which is good.

Victory 5  3 weeks before also got a 0.6, which i can only imagine was for the windiness in the last mile. I didn't let it affect me too much as i got a -0.8 rating against rivals, wih minus numbers being a better performance.

For some kind of scale, the infamous day I got the Black Park 5k in ultra boggy wet conditions, it was rated a 1.8, the highest rating I've ever seen, with Wycombe coming out as 1.4 and The Chesham 5k as 1.2.

Incidentally, my Wycombe ranking against others was 1.2, ie a fair bit worse performance than others in terms of relative ability, and that makes sense as i was 5 1/2mins off my earlier 2010 pb that day

On the other end of the scale race handicap wise, Wokingham this year was a 0, and Cabbage Patch last year was a -1!  ie very fast courses

Decent stats I think, and definitely reflective of the conditions/toughness of the courses in question I think.

What does let Run Britain down, is the nonsense of telling me to beat my current ranking I need to run a 36:47 10k....when I've just run 35:41 and know I'm capable of a good chunk faster.

That's a bit ridiculous.

Edited: 09/10/2012 at 15:09
09/10/2012 at 15:48

So SG, analysis of runbritain rankings:



09/10/2012 at 15:55

i didnt think anyone paid attention to the handicap bit.

09/10/2012 at 16:28

My main problem with RunBritain is that I already own a pair of Sennheiser headphones.

Apart from that, it's a decent stab at something which is governed by a vast amount of unquantifiable variables.  The actual handicap you come out with is a pretty good indication of your overall level as a distance runner (I'm not just saying that because I'm at 0.2!), as long as don't have a bizarre knack of entering, and running your best times in, ARC races, as is the case with SG, and as long as you actually enter events fairly regularly.

Basing a handicap on the times that other runners do compared with their own normal level is the only objective way of assessing a course's difficulty, not least because different runners respond in different ways to things like mud, hills or wind.  It does fall down when those other runners are deliberately running sub-par - I would have thought that this broadly evens itself out over time, as most races would have a selection of people doing that.  The big exception is parkrun, where you will get a larger proportion of people than usual essentially cruising round well below their best on any given day, thus exaggerating the difficulty of the course.  As a result, for instance, Basingstoke Parkrun (one of the fastest, AFAIK) is given a score of 1.5 which I don't think it merits.  You find that people who run lots of parkruns often have a better handicap than you might expect.

However, I think you shouldn't make the mistake of judging it on that calculator where you input times and it gives you an expected handicap.  In my experience, it bears little relation to the handicap it actually gives you when you run the race.

Incidentally, the hardest score I've got is 2.4 for the Frome Half Marathon.  But it was bloody hard - I would've scored it about 8

09/10/2012 at 16:37

(wishes he hadn't opened the screen maximised to see Phil's charming photo)

Interesting thoughts Dachs, although I think it's more the lack of regular racing then the ARC thing for me in fairness. As it stands only my 10k pb is ARC. The others are ARSE

Marlow must have a high handicap. That's a tough course, certainly the toughest half I've run out of 8 different ones i've run.

However, i think Frieth, Icknield Way and Bradenham Woods are tougher, but only 10ks... They're all fairly low key events that I doubt anyone outside of 20miles away from Wycombe has heard of, let alone run.

Edited: 09/10/2012 at 16:42
09/10/2012 at 16:39

Quite apart from the above, I was disappointed by the 'follow' option.  It doesn't seem to do anything.  I thought that at the least it would enable me to stalk Dean or Phil from the comfort of my home, as opposed to what I usually have to do, i.e. sit outside their houses in an unmarked van.

09/10/2012 at 17:09

In the last 4 weeks I haven't run on the roads but they've lowered my handicap by 0.1 in the last 2 weeks. Does putting in training and not racing count against you? Obviously does to them! To up my handicap by 0.1 I need a 2:47 marathon... OK then lads!  AND on a very fast course I'd need to blast to a 2:43!!  BY 'very fast' do they mean totally downhill?

Edited: 09/10/2012 at 17:12
09/10/2012 at 17:17
ss, my handicap went down by 0.5 whilst training! I was pretty sure I was getting faster aswell!
09/10/2012 at 18:19

get the terminology right Stevie, "lowering" your handicap is what you're trying to do, not up it! Think of it like golf....

The marathons do seem the most foolish times to get to.

I could stroll out the 5k to half m times tomorrow to get my handicap down, but a 2:51 marathon would take plenty of effort methinks!

09/10/2012 at 19:31

I can never makes sense of the handicap - it seems completely random compared to my actual performances! I'm a 3/3 at the moment! That Sennheiser competition really pees me off too - every bloody click and it pops up again! I emailed them to ask why, but no reply. It also never rememebers my login so I have to keep doing that as well - a right pain when looking the rankings up.

Last year's Marlow was listed as 1.7 last year and 1.6 before. Surprising given how hard it really is! The Wycombe Rye parkrun I did recently is 3 - reinforcing what Dachs has said.

My highest are all 5s - Cliveden XC, Hughenden Manor 10k, Herbert's Hole and Coombe Hill Run. The race I'm doing on Sunday was also rated a 5 in 2010, but only 4.2 last year. 

09/10/2012 at 19:52

Marlow must suffer through being a road race, and so rated nowhere near as hard as off road stuff.

Wonder what those really wet years were rated as, I must have marshalled the last 3 years, and those were decent weather, but there were some monsoon years, as Bus is all too aware!

09/10/2012 at 22:52

A quick look at the runbritain shows good news and bad news,  good news is the headphones competition ends in october...bad news i need a 2.34 marathon to reduce my score.  Ouch!

09/10/2012 at 23:57

Dean, are you sure the headphones competition ends in October?  Or does the October headphones competition end in October, to make way for the start of the November headphones competition?

I need a 2:39 - 2:40 marathon to reduce my score.  My 2:50 is rated as my worst proper race this year.  But that's the way with marathons isn't it?  Few people ever run a true equivalent marathon to their shorter distances because they don't adequately train in order to do so.

I like it, anyway.  But that's because I like lists.

10/10/2012 at 09:07

That's it Dachs. I'm sure McMillan suggests a quite ridiculous 2:49 for the marathon for me off my best other time.

Realistically, for a first time, sub 3 would probably be the aim.

Although, if I only just got sub 3, i'd be a new winner of Phil's award for "worst ever half to full conversion", having quoted the worst he'd seen as x2 +20mins!

You regular race monkeys deserve the ridiculous targets to improve handicaps though. If you don't race for a month or 2, it'll probably quote you a time you could achieve with a cigar on

10/10/2012 at 09:35

My half to full conversion was x2 +17.5 mins

I was always pleased with that as well - felt a lot more satisying getting a sub 3 marathon first time out than a sub 1.20 half after 11 of them. At least its not the worst conversion I I suppose

Sounds like you are starting to come around to the idea though SG!

10/10/2012 at 09:55

my conversion based on the run britian target is *2 + 6mins.   BEHAVE!  Or to put it into context i would have to race and beat by a minute the combined relay team of Dachs & SG who only run a HM each in their PB times. 

Now i like a challenge ..........but i might look at the other distances to bring the handicap down. (not that i give a monkeys about the handicap in the first place!)

Looking at the mara time on its own, as a novice newbie over the distance i would say thats rare, and pretty hard by experienced DT2 standards judging by VLM.


10/10/2012 at 10:06

That relay idea would be a funny one!

Reminds me a little of the oddest session I ever did with Marlow. Basically, a 400m ish grid, me starting off on my own, 4 Marlowers spread out every 50-100m who basically had to try and outsprint me on their short section where they would then drop out, and someone new would start off at top speed! That was gruelling.

Sam, the top woman runner we often mention down our way has a half pb of a low 1:17, and was targetting a sub 2:40 marathon. That's the x2 + 6mins you mention Dean...

She probably actually achieved it 2 years ago, as her half would have been 1:18 low to mid, and she got a 2:42!

Quite a rare runner though, exceptional conversion rate from short to long, and marathon is certainly her speciality, often doing 2 in 3 weeks, on top of 120mile weeking!

ps Bus behave, although in the 10k on sunday for once I wasn't thinking, "i should go in for shorter distances!"

Edited: 10/10/2012 at 10:08
10/10/2012 at 11:01

i guessing sam has experience at marathons rather than attempting it as a first race though. Either way she ran a blinder...something im not sure i could do

i had similar relay training in my youth.  coach used to say i wouldnt work hard enough in the middle of an 800m race so regular training was me keeping pace with a relay of 200m runners.  he was right though, as you settle into the run the next guy shoots off fresh.  Its a completely different mind set no finding a groove/beat to the race just blasting it out.  Like a 800m should be.

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