Sub 3:30 Marathon

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14/05/2008 at 16:20

A man is only as old as the Woman hes feeling - an old saying by someone I can quite remember

I am 50 in July

14/05/2008 at 18:15

Interesting discussion. I seem to run far higher mileage than you guys, maybe I need to because I'm female?

My marathon history goes:

2005: 3.58
2006: 3.40
2007: 3.58 (hot!)
2008: 3.41 and 3.35

But I've yet to dip beneath 1 hr 40 for a half-marathon, Someone earlier mentioned 1.35 as a sensible target for someone aiming to run a 3.30 marathon. Mebbe that's what my summer target should be? I tend to over-perform at the marathon distance, and my other PBs are pretty unimpressive.

(3.30 or bust - I think your weekend training was a good idea, I did run a half-marathon but it was far too hot to post any sort of decent time, so should have stayed at home and enjoyed the rare sunshine!)

15/05/2008 at 09:26

Thanks for that 3:30 or bust - that means I'm now going to be 50 this october, not next year !

15/05/2008 at 09:51

Nick - Hi

I seem to perform better on higher mileage though it isn't mega mileage

There was a time when a 40 mile week was a "high mileage week" 25-30 was the norm but even in the days before my 1st marathon it did help at all distances 5k - 15 mile

I think perhaps that my basic speed is pretty non-existant so i need the more miles so at the moment am hoping 50 miles will be the norm but must get short distance times down

15/05/2008 at 11:13

the hilights of my marathon running are:

2004 Neolithic 4:40 - first marathon and fastest until Jersey
2006 Neolithic 6:43 - slowest so far
2007 Jersey 3:43 - first (and only) road marathon

It would be nice to improves by the same margin (57min) when I do Jersey this year but I'll be happy with a 14 minute improvement.

As for the training distances, in previous years I have been peaking at 80 miles (off road) a week (briefly in 2006) but for Jersey it was more like 30 mpw. So  with a few more miles per week and staying on road I should be able to make the 3:30.


15/05/2008 at 11:46

I used to be an average club cyclist for 13 years (100-150 mpw, regular races etc) and turned to running in 2005 to keep fit on limited time.
I ran in 2006 and did a 1h44 HM and 36min times for 5 miles and 47m times for 10k off the back of residual cycling fitness and the odd jog.
I ran in 2007 and off the back of a 10 week block of 10-14hrs a week cycling in Jan/Feb/March cracked out a 43min 10k and a short 33 min 5 mile. I joined the local running club and started going out with them once a week and did a couple of loosely structured runs and then aimed at the local HM and did 10 weeks of training (4 runs a week, 26-30miles) and did just under 20min for a 5k and then 1h30m for the half in October.
Jan 1st this year I did a 5 mile event and got to within 20secs of my PB so hadn't lost too much fitness over the winter (having done no running  since the half)
In Feb this year I received notification I was in London (first ever marathon) through a local charity. So with 13 weeks to go I aimed at a 3h15 time (sh t or bust springs to mind). I then got the flu which knocked out 2 weeks of training but I then got down to 9 weeks of solid 40mpw with 6 sessions spread over 7 days and with 2 rest days. Longest run was 16 miles (just over 2hrs) but all the sessions were structured - hill work, mile reps, fartleks, hour run at mara pace, multiple intervals within one session,etc.

On the day I was on target until just after 16 miles when I started to slow up and I hit the wall properly at 24 miles and crawled home to finish in 3h30mins13secs.

Lessons learned - 9 weeks prep wasn't enough and I didn't do any long runs over 20 miles.

Post marathon I have hit a purple patch of form and in the space of 8 days in late April/early May I ran PB's at 5 miles (31m28), 10k (40m19) and 5k (19m14). I'm now aiming at sub 3h15 at the Nottingham Marathon in Sept.

I guess the moral of the story is - don't waste your time if you're doing less than 50mpw. You don't have time to plod about on approx 6hrs a week training so knuckle down and get the training structured. My long runs were at 8min miling and that's the slowest I ran at all week. My mile reps were done at 6:30 mm and my half mile reps at close to 3mins. If you want to run a 3h30m marathon, look at the running calculators and see how close you are to the recommended times for the shorter distances - you should be close to those times as you need both basic speed and endurance for the marathon.

16/05/2008 at 20:54

Hi Pammie! Good luck with the 50 miles per week target.

Thanks for the insight Matchstick Man and well done on a respectable time at FLM. That 1hr 30 half sticks out as a fab time, good luck for your 3.15 attempt at Nottingham.

Your advice to train smartly if you're running fairly low mileage is a poignant one for me, as training this will will only be around 35 miles, and much of it done at an easy pace due to domestic reasons, I must make sure that next week is better.  Can I ask - did you cross train at all? I've just rediscovered swimming, but am not sure whether it will actually benefit my running.

17/05/2008 at 16:09

Matchstick Man interesting what you say about cycling, but many moons ago in a previous running life i joined a local club, well it was a new club just starting. Our "star runner" was extremley fast can't remember times but prob around 35 min 10km.

Interestingly he worked up in London and would cycle up and back 4 times a week (around 25 miles each way) now  don't no what his running would of been like if he didn't cycle but its rather interesting

Nick - good luck with the new schedule

19/05/2008 at 11:24

NickM - no cross training at all. I have a wife, a 3 yr old daughter and a job to contend with so I only had enough time to squeeze in about 6hrs of training a week. If I had the time I'd be back on the bike again as that's where my passion lies: running is simply a means to an end at the minute. However, until I can find 10-14hrs a week and stop paying nursery fees to free up some funds, running is where it's at!

Typical training week:

Monday - lunchtime run (30mins) (easy)
Tuesday - 45mins run home (4 or 6 lots of 2 x half mile intervals)
Wednesday - 3 mile run into work (easy/steady)
Wednesday - 1hr run home at target mara pace
Thursday - 45mins/1hr run home (4 x 10min 10k pace or various intervals)
Friday - day off
Saturday - day off
Sunday - long run (2hrs at mara pace + 30secs)

that's it - 43 miles in January, 133 miles in Feb, 138 miles in March, 65 miles in April.

March =
Marathon pace - 14.7% of total time (7:24 mm pace)
Long Run - 41.6% (7:55 mm pace)
Recovery run - 6.9% (8:39mm pace)
General run - 9.8% (7:38mm pace)
Intervals - 23.5% (7:34mm pace)
Race - 3.6% (7:02mm pace)

19/05/2008 at 18:15

Hi all, Lots of good advice on here already but just thought would chip in as well. Ran my first marathon in Paris a few weeks back, chip time of 3.29.36.

It does seem to be a running truism that for any rule or advice, however sensible, there's always exceptions - people who do it off the back of two runs a week, or on nothing but water, or always at the same pace. But, for what it's worth, my advice would be:

Be flexible with your schedule. It's worth taking the time to put together a really good schedule, but you need to make sure it's realistic, there's no point committing to runs that you know you won't make, and you need to be prepared to accept that sometimes the best thing to do is rest yourself for the next run.

Nutrition, again one of those 'each to their own' areas, but I found Lucozade Sport and the Lucozade gels good. Would also eat bananas on long runs, and occasionally sandwiches. Take the gels with water though or you might feel sick. Make sure you drink something (pref isotonic) as soon as you get back and if it was a hard session maybe some eggs on toast to help repair your muscles. Also eat a good diet generally, and you can get away with the odd drink unless you're trying to keep your weight down.

Train well, but don't forget good quality rest. When you train, you overload and damage the muscles, and it's in the rest after a session that the damage repairs, and the muscles are stronger. I'd also suggest to vary your pace in training. Pace on LSRs can, I feel, be as slow as you like, but I also do a speed or hills (or fartlek) session on Tuesdays, and a brisk mid-long run on Thursdays, at faster than marathon pace (maybe 7.45 per mile), building these from 7/8 miles up to about 15.

Hope that helps!!

21/05/2008 at 00:23

I used  Advanced Marathoning by P&D.

It worked really well. I got 3.29.18 at brathay over the weekend. It was my first marathon and cant wait ti find another.

P&D is a really good schedule.  

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