P + D training for VLM 2013

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30/10/2012 at 19:12

Just thought I'd start a thread for anyone planning on following a Pfitzinger and Douglas training schedule for London 2013. Who's in?

I'm currently testing out some of the sessions on the 'up to 55 miles' and '55 to 70' schedules to decide which is going to work for me. I'm thinking a hybrid of the two will probably be best...my highest weekly mileage in the last few months is 58. I'm also hoping to run sub 3 hours for the first time.

So go on...share your P+D thoughts and VLM goal time!

30/10/2012 at 19:15

Al, good luck.... I've been looking at P&D but I'm not ready to move up to 55 miles yet


30/10/2012 at 19:50
Sounds interesting. I'm hoping to go sub 3 at VLM. Current PB 3.07. Am
Working on a bit of speed work until Xmas then starting the marathon plan in the new year.
Where do you find the plans you are on about?
30/10/2012 at 19:52

I would be interested in this, even though I'm aiming for Milton Keynes next spring, not London.

Does that mean I'm not allowed to join in?

By way of background, I followed the P&D 40-55m schedule for an abortive attempt at my first marathon (not abortive due to the schedule), and am hoping to follow a loose version of their 55-70m schedule for my 2nd attempt next May. My highest weekly mileage this year is probably just shy of 60, and my average across the whole year is just under 40...
30/10/2012 at 19:54

Millsy - the plans come from the advanced marathoning book by Pfitzinger and Douglas... hence the P&D plan. THey have plans from up to 55miles to over 115 i think.

30/10/2012 at 19:58

I'm in...I'm a lot slower than you guys but have just PBd in Frankfurt after using the 12w / 70m

Not doing VLM but will be doing a mara around the same time (as yet not picked) 

30/10/2012 at 20:14

Millsy - similar to you, my current PB is 3.09. I'm doing the odd speed session (got a new 5k PB on Saturday - 18.10) but also testing out how many miles I can comfortably manage in a week. The schedules I'm talking about are from the book 'Advanced Marathoning' by Pfitzinger & Douglas. Comes highly recommended. I'm not sure if the schedules are available online. Just saw that Smileybob also pointed that out...

YoungPup - you can join the party, your marathon is a few weeks after ours so you can learn from our mistakes...

Teknik - congrats on Frankfurt PB. Any thoughts on the 70m schedule? Any particularly hard sessions that stand out? What's your weekly mileage when not training for a specific race?



30/10/2012 at 20:49
Edited: 30/10/2012 at 20:49
30/10/2012 at 20:58

..weird glitch

I've had a long history of "bad" training, so after 2 awful mara's in May and June I decided to adopt Heart Rate training ("Hadd" version).

Jogging around at a low heart rate for about 50m a week for 8 weeks saw my pace go up / heart rate drop, and I jumped into the P&D 12/70, but stuck to the low end of their suggested Heart Rates...basically instead of running within a range, I set myself absolute ceilings in order to control drift - 70%max for recoveries, 75%max for general /medium/long runs, 80% for mara pace. 

The LT sessions I just ran at HM pace-15secs - this was the bit I found tough within a 70m week - really had to stretch / roller/ ice a lot to avoid niggles.

As soon as my knee recovers I'm back to base at 55m a week  - high miles / low pace really works for me as training.

30/10/2012 at 21:06
I'm hoping to get up to around 70 mpw in the build up so will have a look at a few of the schedules.
30/10/2012 at 21:08
Teknik - I've just started trying to use a heart rate monitor as part of my training, mainly to stop myself from underestimating how hard (or easy) I'm running....

I'm interested that you use 80% for mara pace though... I'm working on my mara pace being around 165-170bpm, which is roughly 85% WHRR or 88% max heart rate. What made you opt for 80%?
Edited: 30/10/2012 at 21:09
30/10/2012 at 21:18

I always use an HRM and roughly follow the P+D zones. My last marathon was Barcelona and I really feel like I paced it right and couldn't have gone any faster (even splits). My HR was 83 - 87 % WHRR. Any more than that and I reckon I would have burnt out.

30/10/2012 at 21:23


It's the Hadd training advice - basically he makes you do a "sub-lactate threshold" runs of 10m at 80% to 83% max - the idea is that if you can keep the same pace without the heart rate going north of 83%, ie zero drift, for 10 miles, then that's your mara pace (conversely if you run faster than that / experience drift before 10m, you'll bonk on a mara). 

Over time you can push the sustainable 10 mile sub-lactate run up in HR terms eg 81% to 84%. Can you run an even 10 miles with no increase in HR. Yes? Move up to 82% to 85% etc...the reasoning is that with no drift, you can't be above LT. With drift, you're producing lactate, so if you go on too long at that pace you'll bonk.

I picked 80% and stuck to it - in fact in Frankfurt I stayed below 80% until mile 13, then did a negative split. It works!

30/10/2012 at 21:23

sorry x post Al

30/10/2012 at 21:26

p.s I do feel like the P+D recovery HR zone is too high. For me, below 65% feels like recovery, even if it means very slow running on days after hard sessions.

30/10/2012 at 21:27

Al's post just confirms I "jogged" Frankfurt...I will be pushing up the mara HR over time

30/10/2012 at 21:28

I agree Al, I'm sure it's a typo - should be slower than everything else

30/10/2012 at 21:37

Good to see a pure P&D thread. So do we all start on the 17th Dec?

For those who are at work, on a bus or otherwise tied up and haven't got their bible next to them, this link is always handy. 

My pb used a version of P&D but with extra and extended long runs. Probably unnecessary. I am following the 55-70, again with a few adaptions to fit in races and replace a few easy runs with on bike turbo sessions.

What is everyone doing between now and the start of the programme?

30/10/2012 at 21:51

Teknik/YoungPup - I'm sure it depends on the individual to some extent and it's all about learning from your own experience. Personally in my first marathon I erred on the side of caution and I was around 78 - 82% WHRR, and afterwards I felt like I could have gone a little harder.

Keir - 17th Dec yes sir, already in the diary! Before the start of the programme - trying to not have my plantar fasciitis flare up whilst simultaneously 'sampling' different sessions from the schedules.

30/10/2012 at 21:57
Thanks Teknik / Keir

One of the pluses of a 6th May marathon is that 18 weeks starts on 1st Jan rather than 17th Dec!

I'm training for a HM on 18th Nov, and after that will have 6 weeks of pure base building, all low heart rates, getting used to running 6 days a week...
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