The Middle Ground

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08/10/2012 at 14:40

Really enjoyed the race report blog PRF ... your commentary on the course is spot on.


08/10/2012 at 14:50

Great write up prf.
The 10 week summary at the end really does a good job of showing what a rich vein of form you are in at the moment  

As for the pace of my long run, it does seem a bit quick but we just chatted the whole way round not paying attention to pace. We set off at 7am and the first 6 or 7 miles were close to 8 min miles, so I guess our legs just warmed up to the task as the run progressed.

Edited: 08/10/2012 at 14:50
08/10/2012 at 18:16

Stevie, good graft yesterday, doesn't sound the quickest course ever so plenty to be satisfied about I think.

Curly, nice quick end to Saturday's parkrun. I suspect the conversion will tail away at some point but I'm more than happy with how things are progressing right now. 

Josh, that's a great week. The pace is fine for that kind of volume IMO. Now start getting some quality in, or even strides 

I think noticeable benefits will really come through when the intensity is ramped up. I went through a good few months of mostly HR-based training, and while I didn't see much improvement through that itself, I found my tempos got much quicker and I was racing faster. 

YD, cracking long run, a strength and confidence booster for sure. 

prf, great report, executed well and the training all came together for a great race! Doesn't sound like it's as quick as some other courses so with a similar build up before VLM I think even quicker things are possible. 

So with 18 (?) races in the buildup do you think they were a major contributor to the overall performance? Do you think the 800/mile races helped also? 


Edited: 08/10/2012 at 18:17
08/10/2012 at 18:18

So apparently the forum doesn't want to post the rest of what I had to say! I guess no-one will know about today's fartlek then 

I've been put as anchor on the second-quickest team for Saturday's relays. No pressure...

Edited: 08/10/2012 at 18:58
08/10/2012 at 19:28

prf good race and report combo, got to love a race report!

Apologies if i missed it, but how does that stack up against previous marathons, both first time round and latter day?

Looking forward to meeting you and a fair chunk of the thread at CP. One extreme to the other, noone at Southend, about 15 or so to meet at CP!

08/10/2012 at 19:33
PRF, entered it on a whim as loads from my club are doing it and as I've only raced once in 5 months have decided to race myself fit; the opposite approach to Josh!
As I haven't done anything longer than 13 very slowly in training I have no expectations. And no undue concerns either!
08/10/2012 at 19:35

PRF - is there any particular reason why your marathon taper involved cutting down most rapidly on the penultimate week, rather than race week?

YP and Hilly - good news Get stuck in with training!

Duck - thanks!  I will definitely introduce quality soon.  For now, Ben has told me to keep up 90mpw until further notice (he has gone on a trip)

I am personally really, really, really gutted and feeling massively guilty today.  On Friday I got a big spot behind my right knee and poped it.  Unfortunately it swelled massively and has been affecting my stride since then - I cannot straighten my leg or fully bend it   It has caused inside hammy issues as the skin is so tight and I have no flexibility in it at all.

I put up with it for a few days, even though each step genuinely hurt (do not know quite how I managed to run 39 miles on it since friday).  But now the swelling has gotten so tender (not bigger just more painful) that I am limping when I am walking.

One of my weaknesses as a runner is that I am too emotional - and now I am really mad at myself for this self-inflicted 'injury'.  I wish I had just left the spot rather than popping it!

Rant over - sorry for self-indulgence

08/10/2012 at 19:40

Sounds most odd Josh... all that from a mere spot? Was it a boil or something more unsavoury?

You have to take time off until it isn't hurting though, but you'll know that.

08/10/2012 at 21:00

Nice racing, SG. I mistook the final bend at CP last year for the finish line and had to do two sprint finishes. I did record my highest HR ever.

Ratzer, that's the worst race report ever, although I liked the line about custard.

PRF, fantastic marathoning.

Hilly, well done on the win. Good to hear you can get stuck into training again.

YD, that is some long run. Nice pace too. What was your previous longest run?

Josh, Duck, I've re-read HIT and there is a good point made in it about aerobic != easy. I.e. you can undertake aerobic runs that are still pretty tough. Looking at training logs from last year, I only really started to respond well to training when I stuck in MP runs - despite quite high mileage before. I wonder if the couple of months of "easy miles only" approach was really necessary. I think I treated myself like a bit too carefully to be honest.

I'm in my final week of preparation before base proper starts. And I've been agonising over my schedule like only I know how.

Edited: 09/10/2012 at 13:32
08/10/2012 at 21:05

It's not too bad a finish, the worst are ones where you can see the finish from miles away, and then have to do a lap of a finish or something.

I've had the opposite tho, stumbling across the finish round a bend, when doing some miscelleanous distance before I had a proper garmin.

Are you in ok shape for CP Simon? Better than last year at least fare?

08/10/2012 at 22:44
Josh, sorry to hear about your problem. Sounds like an infection - a visit to the doctors and a dose of antibiotics might be what's required.
09/10/2012 at 06:40


Josh - agree with Tom that it sounds like you could have an infection.  A 'normal' spot doesn't usually react in the way you have described.  Go to the doctors for them to take a look.  Also, it is okay to be angry with yourself, we get angry at times for doing something we later think we should not have done - mine has been in the last couple of months doing runs that were setting me back with injury.  Then you have to deal with the anger and move on to putting the problem right.  Good luck with it.

Dash - I've known a few to race themselves fit - in fact I think it something I once remember someone saying Liz Yelling was doing.  So you're in good company.  I myself will be doing similar when my leg allows that kind of intensity

Thanks everyone for the encouraging words.  Once again no reaction in my leg from yesterday's run, so looking promising. 

I'm looking forward to CP, but don't think I'm going to be that fit for it, so I'm there for the taking really Curly...;-) 


09/10/2012 at 09:52

YD - Your run on Sunday was a good effort however you look at it. However, one thing to bear in mind as you embark on marathon training proper so to speak is that a lot of people fall into the trap of thinking that a 7:30/mile LSR is 'better' than a 7:40/mile LSR, which in turn is 'better' than a 7:50/mile LSR. The overall pace isnt really of much importance.

Duck - I'm not sure that I'd recommend 18 races in 10 weeks prior to a marathon as being optimal However, I tend to use training days to fill in the gaps left by the racing, which is similar to what quite a few people that I know seem to do. In other words, 18 races in 10 weeks sounds a lot (19 with the marathon) but 18 'hard sessions' in 10 weeks wouldnt seem that outlandish to most people.

If anything can be taken from this build up it is what Frank Horwill used to say over and over again..........'Make sure you cover every pace known to man'.

I reckon 4:40/mile - 15:00+/mile would have kept even him happy.

Stevie - Yep, looking forward to Cabbage Patch. With it being a relaxed run on this occassion it might not be of as much concern if I see a potential collision with a team of 8 rowers crossing in front of me on the towpath with their boat, as happened last time.

In terms of how Chester stacked up against previous marathons, I listed all the comeback marathons in the blog and the three best from ancient times were:
Potteries 2:48:58
Brussels 2:51:11
Brussels 2:52:24

I reckon Chester was probably equivalent to something around those two runs in Brussels.

Dash - Low expectations are good when it comes to longer races

Josh - That penultimate week had a couple of extra rest days due to being knackered!!

And surely you cant have damaged yourself that much can you? Give it a couple of days and you probably wont notice it.

Hilly - 'Racing yourself fit'! What a will never catch on. A bit like parkrun really.


Now its time for Phil  to rate my efforts on trying to grasp some numerological significance from Sunday.

The time was 2:55:36. My date of birth is 23/5/66. Oh so close to being a numerical anagram. I should have dithered for a minute before the finishing line.

But bear with me here. On Po10 the best marathon this year is listed next to the best 20 mile this year:

Spen 20 - 2:15:03
Chester - 2:55:36

Now if you take the 23rd May bit out of each time, it leaves 10 for Spen and 56 for Chester. 10 + 56 = 66. Bingo

Contrived you say?

Edited: 09/10/2012 at 09:54
09/10/2012 at 10:21

prf - Good grief, what a fandango!  You've just made me more determined than ever to aim for 2:34:56 to keep things simple!    Brilliant run on Sunday, really pleased for you. Reckon you'll be eyeing up those Brussels times at least, for the next one.

SG - well run at Southend.  Sounds like it's got a bit slower since they changed the course, so I'll allow a little BS factoring!

YD - cracking LR.

Hilly - Very promising easing back into the race habit. Hopefully a little bit closer to full fitness for the CP non-smack-down.

Following two days' calf resting I had a very easy test run on Sunday and yesterday just a spinning class. Feeling a little out of sorts on account of (a) calf feels OK but still a little tight, (b) my right ear is still a little blocked even after 6 days on steroids! and (c) not sure if I've still got the back-end of a virus, since HR slightly elevated during recent activity.  All in all, plenty of excuses for having a rubbish race this weekend, but maybe a few more days will sort me out.

09/10/2012 at 11:21

Simon - thanks for the little insight.  I am currently reading the art of running (highly highly recommend it) and the key message is variety in training in everyway possible.  I think a lot is to be gained from having all of these in the base phase: hill sprints, strides, fartleks, negative splits and going hard up the odd hill.

Tom/Hilly - bang on the money.  Last night I was in huge pain as the swelling increased massively.  My landlady (i am effectively a 'lodger' in another family's home) and landlord are both doctors, who I go to take a look at it and they say it is an infected abcess.  Went to A&E and got given boxes and boxes of antibiotics.  At least this is not a running injury so I won't have to go through the tedious process of diagnosing and treating it.

However, I now have the equivilent of two golf balls of swelling under my skin and it hurts so so much (even the slightest of movement of the leg)

I am going to try and read every book on running I have a post reviews up here later to kill time

09/10/2012 at 11:44

Josh, fair play, but personally, I run loads, i think about running loads, i chat to runners about running on here all day as well as in the flesh

I think if I read big textbooks on it too, it'd be slightly too much


Edited: 09/10/2012 at 11:45
09/10/2012 at 12:55

I have loads of running books.  My favourite is by a couple of American guys - an example of their good advice... 'Don't avoid sex the night before a marathon, it helps you relax & sleep better.  However, don't stay up all night looking for it.'

Best of luck with that Josh, sounds nasty.

Stevie.. congrats on a cracking 10k.

PRF.. magnificent stuff!  Loved the detailed blog & liked the way you dealt mentally with the hill at 24m. Nice to see Njord in good form too - two sub 3 marathons in between his Staropramen lager consumption is quite an achievement!  I'm interested in your two marathons in Brussels.. I take it the multitude of chocolate shops were an attraction?

Curly.. belting finish at the Parkrun!

Y D.. nice long run there.  As PRF says most of them should be done comfortably though I must admit I liked to run one 'briskly' back in my heyday just for confidence.  My Garmin shows 22m @ 7:06 pace back in 2008.  That's about my HM pace these days!

Hilly.. great to see you racing again.  Next time you come to York on the Parkrun tour it could be quite a battle!

4.2m on the treadie this morning, heading out for 6-7m with the club later.


09/10/2012 at 14:14

Josh - take care of that abcess and rest up.

Sound advice from our US cousins there Wardi!

7.5 miles for me today and the first quality session of the Abbey Dash campaign. The run included 6 of my usual 1.04 mile cicruits of the park, run as two sets of 3.12 miles with a 2 min rest. Based on a 20 min 5K race time, set 1 came out as 10miP, 10miP, 5KP ... set 2 as HMP, HMP, 10miP. The first set was faster than planned (legs fresh from the taper) - I was initially aiming for 2 x [HMP, HMP, 10KP] without the rest but decided the legs needed a good stretch so just went with it... and then after the mile at 5KP, I decided the lungs needed a rest.

LAP  PACE   avHR/maxHR
lap1, 6:56/m 150/156 bpm
lap2, 6:54/m 150/157 bpm
lap3, 6:30/m 158/164 bpm
[2 min rest]
lap4, 7:11/m 147/153 bpm
lap5, 7:06/m 152/158 bpm
lap6, 6:53/m 157/162 bpm

I have a cunning plan to sneak in the Leeds parkrun on Saturday as my 2nd quality session - daughter's ballet is cancelled.

Edited: 09/10/2012 at 14:16
09/10/2012 at 15:41

prf, loved your race report when I was finally able to read it this morning.  But I reckon you misheard "Reach it, Steve!"  (I have no idea what that means but it sounds thoroughly uplifting!)  If you're going to convolute numbers like that, why don't you add them all together and see if your numerological totals are heading into PB territory, or if they're related to your age, or to your name?  There could be something in it!

Congrats on the 10k you posted just before mine, Stevie.  I wasn't feeling good enough to respond when I read it.  Soz about the race report, but it was just over 4 miles, and I forgot to stop the watch - probably about 45-50 mins.  Kinda says something for the hills!  That was a race at over 10m/m pace!  I might be wrong because I'm guessing.  Since then have had guts like I don't know what, wanting to vacate from both ends yet not doing so, my legs are still unrecovered from the burn, and I think the general malaise has started to sink in more fully than before.  I've got a doc's appointment on Friday to see whether something's up or it's just a long term viral.

Oh, results did provisionally arrive though and I helped my team to top of the league (this was the first race) as fifth placed finisher out of six to be counted.  I intend to whoop the ass of my teammate who finished ten yards ahead of me, when there are fewer hills.

Well done everyone else on everything else!  Especially DrD on missing Chester.

Wardi, I love that advice, and there should be more like it!  Typical Americans though, not being able to find it when they need it - pre-race nerves?  Blue pill would fix that.

09/10/2012 at 16:32
Ratzer wrote (see)
Well done everyone else on everything else!  Especially DrD on missing Chester.


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