Sub 50min 10k/Sub 1h 50 half marathon

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23/06/2016 at 13:45

Hi Rich. Glad to hear you are joining the P&D ranks. Personally I think the up to 55 mile plan is perfectly adequate for my standard (3:40 ish). For me going up to 75 miles a week is tempting injury. The 18 week plan prepares you in all ways for a solid marathon performance. It is hard, at times, there are some tough runs, particularly among the LT and MP runs. However, it is these, I think, that have served me well in achieving my target results. Equally important are the long runs and I like to do 4 or 5 20 milers. Of course, this all works for me, and has done in 3/3 marathons but everyone is different. I dont hear many people though who feel P&D hasnt worked.

I suppose the first thing you need to do, having entered a marathon, is to set target times. This isnt easy, particularly as its your first, but obviously Stroud will provide you with most of the info you need. Assuming you do 100 mins there, doubling it and adding 20 mins is a pretty good predictor. So you are looking at 3:40. However, some people do find the first one tricky and tend to err on the side of caution so a range from say 3:40-3:55 would be good. That could allow you ABC goals of sub 3:40 sub 3:45 and sub 3:55 (or something similar). 

I have Swansea HM on Sunday where I hope to pb having had a strong 9 week schedule following Manchester. If I get it I will fit in an Autumn marathon (probably Amsterdam) before starting training for Boston next April.

Good luck for the wedding and let me know which marathon you choose when you have decided.

23/06/2016 at 14:12

Wedding is  August 19th Andrew. I like you tend to let life get in the way of running. I tend to have a reasonably good block of training, a good race and then let it slip for a few months. However, whilst I'm getting the regular miles it's all I can seem to think about! Hoping to capitalise on the current regular mileage without getting injured this time.

Bob - It was just a matter of time really, but saying that I'm still in no real rush. I've entered the ballot for VLM 2017 so if I get that I'll have to start P&D around xmas time. However we are planning a 3 week honeymoon in February so it wouldn't be an ideal build up. Perhaps I can find a Marathon in Mid February and go away straight after. I think the sensible option would be to wait until next autumn now. I tend to stay a bit more motivated (running wise) through the summer months so might be easier to stick to the plan. I'd be looking at the 18/55 plan, 75 miles a week is just plain crazy!


Good luck for Swansea, hope this humidity drops and you can have a proper crack at your pb. I lived in Swansea for a few years, I imagine the course will be along the sea front to the Mumbles and back... should make for a reasonably flat course.

23/06/2016 at 14:24

Seville Marathon (19th Feb) and honeymoon combined - sorted!

23/06/2016 at 14:32

We went for a long weekend in Seville last year. Charming place. Unfortunately my future wife has her heart set on somewhere a bit further afield (and I'm guessing if I so much as mention running a marathon whilst on Honeymoon, I'd be going on my own!)

26/06/2016 at 18:14
How did you go at Swansea Bob?
26/06/2016 at 19:59

Managed a pb - just! 1:46:38. Was 15th in my age category (out of 70). Means I've improved 10k, HM and Marathon times this year which I thought would be unlikely after such a good 2015.

Well organized and supported race which as you suggested went from the City centre to The Mumbles and back. Totally taken by surprise by a beast of a climb coming back into the city centre at 12.5 miles. Meant I had to really go some after that to get my pb. Dread to think what the finish photo will look like! 100 minutes is some target you've set yourself.

27/06/2016 at 09:02

Congrats Bob, consistent progress all round!

Hills in halfs are cruel at the best of times, but it seems that one was particularly well placed for maximum discomfort. 

I'm starting to think the aim for 100 minutes is going to be tougher than I though. But I have a good 17 weeks before the race so hopefully some consistent mileage will pay dividends. I have half an eye on a local muddy off road race this Sunday - aptly named The Quantock Beast. Will definitely be a pb race (over the classic 5.7 mile distance!) 

27/06/2016 at 10:42

Quick update - set a new 10k PB yesterday at Thame 10k, with a 47:43

A few weeks ago I was thinking I was on track for sub-47, but happy with a PB nonetheless.

Rich - I also ordered a copy of the P&D book after suffering a lot at Brighton in April. Training for Abingdon starts now the 10k is over and done with. I'm also looking at the up-to-55 plan and thinking that's more than enough for me. 

27/06/2016 at 13:47

Well done Yellow, I'm finding the P&D book interesting reading.

27/06/2016 at 15:38

Rich- good luck with the P&D! I use this as well, but 5 x runs a week and 55 miles a bit much for me, so I have found it easy to adapt down a bit by simply removing one of the recovery runs (I prefer to do a bit of cross training as well to help keep things strong and injury at bay)

Bob- well done on the PB, that's really impressive, particularly with the hills, and at this time of year!

Yellow- congrats on your PB too, that's brilliant!

A few weeks into Berlin marathon training now for me.  It's going fairly well, other than that I have struggled with the marathon pace runs in the P&D.  I had one a couple of weeks ago which was meant to be 14 miles with last 8 at MP.  It was a hot day and I only managed 6 before having to slow down significantly.  Sat I was meant to do 16 with last 10 at the MP. I slowed my MP for this one to 8:50-55 but the same thing happened, I was feeling very hot, pushing hard to keep the MP for 6 miles but then hit the hills and just folded.  My HR was also way over what it should have been for this type of run, which probably explains why I couldn't maintain the pace.

So feeling quite frustrated - for whatever reason I always seem to struggle in the summer months, and what seemed easy in January is now very challenging! Not quite sure what to do.  Am thinking to just stay faithful to the HR aspect of P&D - which I have been doing for all the other types of run - so for the next MP run I will focus on keeping my HR in the right place and let my pace fall where it will. I can't see at this point though how I'm going to get close to a PB for Berlin! Maybe that's just the way it is though (unless I have a sudden breakthrough) - I think judging by past experience my best training is always in the winter months, so perhaps a spring marathon will be a better target

Edited: 27/06/2016 at 15:39
28/06/2016 at 09:43

Hi Nicole,

The heat/humidity really does have quite an effect on HR and effort. However I find it much easier to motivate myself for a run when it's still light outside and it's warm enough for just a vest. That's why I'm thinking an autumn marathon might be good for me (not this autumn though!)

6 miles easy for me last night - pretty tired from an all day mountain bike ride at the weekend. Think I'll have a bit of a cut back week.

07/07/2016 at 15:36

Afternoon all,

Hope training is going well.

I took part in a local trail race last weekend aptly named the Quantock Beast.

5.5 miles of hilly, and in some places very muddy, but mostly beautiful somerset trail. To give you some idea of the inclines my slowest mile was over 10 minutes, fastest was just under 6, so was pleased to finish in just over 45 minutes and 16th place. Cake at the end was more than worth the effort!

Been logging some pretty consistent mileage of around 25 miles a week, with one quality session. I'll be starting my build up to my target half soon, using the Pfitzinger 12 week half plan which goes up to about 40ish miles. 

Been thinking I should probably add in some core strength work, stretching and maybe foam rolling. Anyone had any experience/success with any of these?

05/09/2016 at 07:45
Hi everyone! Long time no see ????

Hope you've all had a good summer. What's everyone up to?

I've just done my final 20 miler and into taper for Berlin Marathon in 3 weeks. Have been struggling really since chest infection just before Boston in April - managed to get another one June/July so lost quite a bit of training time. Worked hard to get back on schedule with regards to distance but still a way off my speed. I'm never at my best in the summer months anyway Not quite sure what to expect at Berlin, at the moment am just hoping to at least beat my Boston time of 4:20!!

Hope everyone is well and injury free
05/09/2016 at 09:32

Hi Nicole, good to hear from you. I am on Week 8 of Valencia training. Wasn't going to do it this year but couldnt resist! They've changed the route slightly to make it even flatter (long drag uphill around 20 miles has gone). The temptation of getting that elusive sub 3:45 was enough to get me back for a 3rd year.

Boston registration next week which I'm hoping will be a lot less stressful than what you had to endure last year. With a -7:00 BQ I should be ok especially as they are predicting a very low cut off time this year. Better be ok anyway as I've already booked hotel/flights etc.

Berlin will be a great experience I'm sure. Just think you'll be halfway to a full set of majors. Where next Tokyo, NY? I haven't done one yet so a lot of catching up to do.

I reckon going into the race with lower expectations might pay dividends for you. Less pressure (to achieve a time), more relaxed, just enjoy it and you might surprise yourself. I'm sort of thinking of a more relaxed approach to Boston but I don't suppose that will happen!

Anyway, enjoy your taper, stay away from friends, colleagues, family members with even a suspicion of a sniffle/cough and get ready to go for it on the 25th!

05/09/2016 at 09:43

Hi all,

Hope every one is well. Rich - hope the wedding went well?

I have been making a slow recovery from my injury hit months of the spring. I got through 56 easy paced miles during July and upped that to 80 in August. Have already run 20 so far in September and am aiming for about 100 for the month overall.

In terms of effort levels, I have slowly been reintroducing some interval and tempo sessions over the past 3 or 4 weeks and have managed a couple of parkruns. The first was two weeks ago and was timed at 23.02 in slightly blustery conditions, the second was this weekend and I did it in 22.16 which I was a bit happier with. Still a good 90 seconds off pb form, and would still give me the gold cell on our old table I see, but not too bad considering the lack of training recently.

05/09/2016 at 10:22

Morning All,

 The wedding was great thanks Andrew - and one hell of a party!

I’ve been getting some pretty consistent mileage in (apart from 2 weeks in Ireland for the wedding  where I only managed one 13 miler – ooops!) I’ve been feeding the desire to “race” with the odd park run and have my 5k pb down to 21:33 and tipped my WAVA over 60%. I was loosely following Pfitzingers HM plan for my main target race this autumn (Stroud Half), but that’s gone out of the window with the 2 week break, so I’m just concentrating on getting the mileage in with one extended LT effort a week. This week’s (very) extended LT session will be Oldbury 10 mile race where I’m aiming for A target of 75 minutes, with a B target of planned HM pace (around 76:10) – it’s pancake flat so I’m hopeful of the former.


I’ve also just realised that October is just around the corner, and I will be learning my fate re: VLM 2017, (and when I don’t get a place I’ll breathe a big sigh of relief and maybe look into some trail events over the autumn/winter for something a bit different!)

05/09/2016 at 10:40

Glad to hear it Rich. Good parkrunning and training too. I'm planning a 10 mile race this autumn, been mulling time predictions and 75 mins sounds quite sharp - so good luck!

05/09/2016 at 10:45
Bob - great to hear you're doing Valencia again! Ah, Boston registration - brings back memories I'm absolutely sure you'll be fine, last year was a bit of an outlier and best of all, as you have more than 5 mins to spare, you'll be able to register in week 1 and not have to sweat it out as I did! The process is stressful but very exciting.

I'm sure you're right re Berlin. Feels a bit weird for me as it's the first time I've gone into a marathon not aiming for a PB - but all the indicators - my recent half, MP long runs, etc - all screaming a big no! Not really surprising as I've only just managed to start doing any speed work and I am always at my best in the colder months. Difficult to know how to pace Berlin though, at the moment my plan is to try to start with 9 min milling and just see how long I can hold on. I think that's fast enough so if I amazingly have a good day there's a chance of a decent time - but not too fast to destroy me if I'm more where I think I am. Will just have to play by ear on the day I think (and of course, see what the weather is like as that could go either way!)

Yes, Berlin will be 3 of the 6 majors - I'm hoping to do either NY or Chicago next autumn. Would love to get one of those amazing marathon major medals but can't do more than one a year as the remaining 3 are all going to be pretty expensive!

Andrew - well done, sounds like you're making really great progress. So glad to hear your injuries are far behind and well done on your parkruns

Rich - congrats on the wedding and well done for keeping up the training! You sound incredibly focussed and I'm sure will see some more great results! Good luck at Oldbury. I'm also awaiting my VLM rejection before deciding on a spring marathon
05/09/2016 at 14:38
Hi everyone. Good to see the thread still going.

I took a month off in July. A bit of a holiday.

Now up to 19miles ready for Bournmouth on 2nd October. Think I'll just about get two more 19milers in. Fingers crossed.
05/09/2016 at 21:04

Glad the wedding went well Rich. Congratulations.

What do you know about the Stroud Half? Is it flattish. Thinking of doing it because its a bit cheaper than the 'bigger' ones - Cardiff, Birmingham etc. Begrudge paying £30-40 for a half, especially if it involves a bit of travelling as well.

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