The Middle Ground

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04/10/2012 at 17:46

Curly: No estimate given of Achilles recovery...2 days in hospital, some sort of boot for 2 to 3 weeks, gradually introduce stretches: consultant won't put a timescale on it, and physio says the same. A 58 year old tendon is likely to revover at a different rate to a teenage one! Will be following recovery plan, whatever it entails, to the letter! Consultant and physio expect a full recovery and running...some time. Realistically I am looking at the start of the next financial year! Anything earlier would be pleasing. All very frustrating!

Am looking forward to Sunday evening's Chester report (I shall be there in spirit only, I'm afraid!). PRF will run 2:49.49. (1:25.09, to warm up,  as per Ratzer's timing, followed by the inevitable speeding up to run 1:24.40 for the second half).

04/10/2012 at 19:39
parkrunfan wrote (see)

But I dont predict my own time - it will be whatever it is.

However, if I had to plump for a rough figure I'd go for 2:51:11

And BR is pacing a clubmate.

Always fun to predict others times!

Thought the 3:07 bandied around for BR seemed ridiculously under par...but now explained.

PRF, a pal of mine who is certainly slower than you at all distances just ran a 2hr 49 at Berlin, so bearing in mind you've been around and know how to race marathons, i can only see you coming out quicker...

so 2:48:29

(disclaimer....i'm ignoring a guy who's about 3mins quicker over the half who did 2hr 50 at Berlin as it was his first Marathon)

Edited: 04/10/2012 at 19:40
04/10/2012 at 20:13

Hilly - In my experience rest has never helped overcome injuries, wingeries or niggles.  It has generally been easy running and lots of strengthening and stretching that help, rather than rest.

I now have a proper 'coach'.  He is Ben Fish, who I have previously talked about.  I am excited about what is going to happen with my training.  For now he wants to keep up the milage and get some racing planned

Training is going very well this week...

04/10/2012 at 20:18

Looking forward to seeing what you can produce in a race Josh.

04/10/2012 at 20:20

Stevie G. - It won't be a lot and no where near any PBs.  II do not think I am going to be in PB shape until next year.

04/10/2012 at 20:34

Blimey, don't wish too much time away Josh, or you'll wake up an oldie like us lot on the thread

04/10/2012 at 21:22

Tom - not at all  Hope you're own running is progressing again!

Thanks all.  My leg is definitely getting better but I'm just taking the build up slow this time rather than battering it to go backwards again.

Dr Dan - yes, I think most of us have run on injuries that got to the stage where we've had to think stop or I'll be doing something serious.  On that note I had a positive run this evening without discomfort. Slow but have to start somewhere

04/10/2012 at 21:25

Good luck Josh.

alehouse - a friend in her 50s recently had an achilles operation and had to wear the boot.  The recovery was quite slow and she was concerned about it at times, but she is now starting to run again.  So I guess patience will very much be the case...

Edited: 04/10/2012 at 21:27
04/10/2012 at 21:27
Josh, either you have misunderstood me or I've not expressed myself very well, but rest is not the cure to injury. The key is to get a timely and accurate diagnosis of the cause of the symptoms. From my experience, that's a surprisingly difficult thing to achieve. The diagnosis will determine the remedial action to take and the form of the rehab. Simply to to try and run through an injury, irrespective of what pace you choose to do this, in the hope that the cause of the injury will miraculously disappear is naive in the extreme.

Good luck with your new coach.
04/10/2012 at 22:29

A mite annoyed.

The perfect date to run a half in prep for the full next April is 3rd March.  On that day there are three HMs.  Bath, a traditionally large event and fairly quick; Llanelli, my favoured event, flat and fast, but subject to weather; and Newport, brand new, a complete unknown, but I could jog to the start.  What a choice, eh?  For South Welshies, at least.

On the 2nd of March I'm going to a wedding in Cheltenham.

Couldn't one of those local marathons (especially the new one which is in the middle) have taken a look around and gone "oh, maybe this isn't the best date for our audience as they have two others to look at"?  (You have to imagine the "oh" in a Gavin and Stacey, Barry accent.)

I don't have to do a HM, of course, but it is such a confidence boost if done well.  You only have to look at the smile that YD still can't wipe off.  And prf, well...  So, go further afield on a different date?  I suppose, why not...  Any suggestions?

04/10/2012 at 22:29

Josh - exciting times.  Any particular reason why you feel the need to be in PB shape before venturing back into racing?  Might be useful to put a marker down so that you can track the improvements you get through the coaching?

Had my last long, hard session before GER this evening, and it felt a little too hard.  15M w/ 10M at 5:55, which sounds like a good work-out but HR was way higher than I would've expected for the pace, suggesting I'm still getting over whatever.  More concerning though, my calves felt pretty sore after the 18M on Sunday, a feeling which persisted after the hills on Tuesday.  Thought nothing more of it, but the right calf started feeling niggly on turns during the run this evening, and after a quick rest and resuming jogging, I couldn't break out of a limp.  Jog/walked home and resting it up at the moment but it doesn't feel clever.

Will see how it feels tomorrow, but definitely think that rest is called for, and possibly some active recovery with some spinning or something.  Hmmm...

05/10/2012 at 01:52

Josh, my attitude to injuries is the antithesis of yours. Is that a or.

Tom, keep it up you and I, both, wiil overcome

05/10/2012 at 06:38

Ratzer - firstly I wouldn't go with the new one as so much can go wrong on the first year or maybe it won't, but we tend to wait a year so the organisers can iron out any bits that need it - shame we didn't do that with Hull...Bath is a well respected half, but I've read of some problems there in recent years, especially with congestion and the finish area, but I've done it myself and didn't have any problems.  Llanelli sounds the best bet.  As for the weather we all  have to take the chance it'll be ok I'm afraid - just  one of those vairables that can't be controlled.  I know it will get more dodgy windy weather than inland places, but unless it's gale force you shouldn't lose too much.  Which ever you decide I'm sure you'll enjoy, well maybe not enjoy

Treadmill - nice to see you posting!

Phil - hope the calf is not serious and just needs a bit of r & r.

I managed a pain free 8 miles slow last night and although my leg feels stiff this morning, it is not aching bad like it has been.  A good sign, but not rushing to get the trainers out for the marathon on Sunday...Seriously I'm not doing it, I'm going to support those who.  Might ask if I can have my long sleeved top paid for in the entrance fee - what do you think?

Edited: 05/10/2012 at 06:39
05/10/2012 at 06:38

Josh - don't fall into the trap of `it'll all come good next year', or indeed the mistake Herbert Hoover made during the 1932 US Presidential election campaign of promising that `good times are just around the corner'.  Train to race, rather than seeing training as an end in itself for a year.

Ratzer - IMHO a HM in marathon build-up is counter-productive.  Looking back over the years, my best five marathons have come without a HM in the three previous months.  If executed well they take too much out of you.  Before my 2:42 at FLM 2004 my then coach advised two HMs done at marathon effort. Later in the year I managed 2:42 again with no summer HM.  In 2008 a no HM rule brought a 2:45 at Paris and then last year a 2:45 at VLM.  This year I managed to drop out of 3 HMs during the build-up to Hull, where I ran what I consider to be my best 26.2 (25.9?) ever.  Perhaps see it as divine providence that you are in Cheltenham that day.

Treadmill - how involved are you with AC these days?

PP - hopefully just a flesh wound

05/10/2012 at 09:59

Ratzer ... just control yourself at the wedding. Or it too far to travel next morning? Or listen to the wise-one from Barnsley (and that's not something you hear often).

Good news Hilly 

Take care PhilP

I was up at 2am and 4am with coughing fits.... very tired ... yet again. Even if I miraculously wake up tomorrow feeling well, this taper period has been far from ideal. What a rubbish year!

05/10/2012 at 11:40

PRF – I’m going to be mean compared to everyone else  and predict a 2.54.54

Josh – You might be surprised at your performances when you come to race. I think PBs should be achievable this year just off the big mileages.

Phil – Bad luck, hopefully nothing an easy week won’t fix. I guess it fits in with a taper at least.

Dan – Sorry to hear that Sunday looks unlikely

My return continues to go well. Included 4 hilly miles @MP into a 10 miler last night. I’m feeling pretty optimistic at the moment as I think my running was affected for a good while prior to the symptoms getting bad. Once I’m back to a good level of fitness I’m hopeful that I might start smashing PBs. Maybe not but it’s good to be positive anyway

05/10/2012 at 12:18

I am not predicting a time for prf, I am predicting that he will not run a negative split, though he will still run very strongly and beat his VLM time by a healthy number

Phil – I hope the calf trouble is nothing more than a niggle.

Sounds very frustrating Dr Dan, hope you improve enough so that you can at least get a run out on Sunday, if not a race

Ratzer – no idea on South West / Wales HM’s, you could search on Power of 10 results section for Half Marathons in Feb/March in 2012. The list wont be that long, so you might get an idea of what’s about. Would you drive up the M6? There might be a few in the Lancashire/Cheshire/GM area.

BR – didn’t you run a flat out 20 mile race before VLM last year?

Good news on the returning Mojo Mr Viper

Josh –
good news on the coach, what is his coaching background?

Anyone (other than the Chester 4) racing this weekend?

13.43miles @ 7:40 for me last night, my legs are tired today, two HMs and some tough recent training is obviously now catching up with me. So I am going to take it very easy for the next two days and run long with my buddy Sunday.

Edited: 05/10/2012 at 12:20
05/10/2012 at 12:23

So its not a good idea to run a hard HM in a marathon build up? I'm doomed I tell ya, doomed

Mr V - Sounds like a hard enough prediction in itself to me and Stevie is on the optimistic side I reckon but predictions are nothing more than a bit of fun in a 'see who was closest after the event' type of way.

You see so many threads where people are agonising over pinning down their prediction to the nth degree that they stress themselves to exhaustion. Its supposed to be an enjoyable experience at the end of the day

Btw Like the way the phrase 'smashing PBs' has found its way into your posting.

Josh - If Ben Fish is advising/coaching you I cant believe that he would be advising long periods without racing, it just isnt in his DNA.

Treadmill - Good to see you again but get posting more regularly, your pearls of wisdom are invaluable.

Dr D - What are your thoughts at the moment then? Are you inclined to still give it a go?


Now, how much is a haircut worth over 26.2 miles..............?

Edited: 05/10/2012 at 12:27
05/10/2012 at 12:56

prf – a grade two (crew cut to you ) could be worth about 2 mins on a windy day. A short back and sides is time neutral.

********Self indulgence/advice required alert******

I was discussing spring Marathon plans with my training buddy last night, we have agreed a basic training outline. The plan is in three stages, with a rest week between each stage and a three week taper.

December through to mid January, we will train for the Brass Monkey Half Marathon. Main hard sessions will be more Half Marathon focused, though there will be a sprinkling of longer runs (20 milers) with one eye on the Marathon campaign coming up. I will also do some strength work in this period (as per discussions with Ratzer earlier this week).

Rest week

Marathon block 1, five weeks:
Mid week MLR (13 – 16m) with some faster bits or run progressively. Will try to get some decent chunks of Marathon effort running in this run, though it will be run to feel.
Mid week tempo or MP run, more structured, more focussed on shorter tempos than MP
Long runs will be slow and on tougher routes, hilly, some xc or trail

Rest week
Marathon block 2, five weeks:
Tempo or MP runs remain but more of a MP focus, building up to some longish MP efforts
MLR will be easy/steady for the most part in this block
Some long runs to incorporate MP or fast finishes, some tougher runs planned here hopefully culminating in a couple of 20 milers with 10 at MP and one time on feet (3 hours / 23-24 miles ish) about 5 weeks out.

Racing in build up
Brass Monkey Half in Jan as a flat out effort with a week recovery to follow.
Will use a 20 mile race for MP practice with a number on,  not a full on raced effort and there will be a sharpener race 2 or 3 weeks out from the Marathon, no longer than 10k.
For variety we could use a cross country race or parkrun in place of shorter tempo, but I am wary of racing much in Marathon build up, there are no Half Marathons in build up after BM.

Interested to hear what people make of the outline? We don’t want to get stuck into a rigid plan, and as ever things change as they go along but this gives a reasonable outline of what we are trying to achieve at each stage.

05/10/2012 at 13:48
parkrunfan wrote (see)
Dr D - What are your thoughts at the moment then? Are you inclined to still give it a go?

If I have a cough-free night (i.e. get some sleep) and feel okay tomorrow, then it's all systems go for going to Chester. If I do make it to the start line, I will have to run cautiously ... any sign of still being viral and I'll either convert to LSR mode or bale out.



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