The Middle Ground

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13/11/2012 at 22:41
PhilPub wrote (see)

YD - I'll need to spend a bit more time picking over that plan but I like it.  Am I correct in assuming the blanks in column C near the end mean that you're actually moving to two quality sessions per week instead of three, so that you can cope with the heavy volume and quality of the two sessions? 

Thanks Phil and yes that’s exactly right. If I am handling the sessions in the specific phase I may throw in a fartlek or short interval session to spice things up, but it’s likely I will be shagged and will just want to run easy between those big sessions. One of the key things that Canova emphasises is recovery between key sessions. The other runs have to be easy enough so you can hit the big sessions fresh enough to complete them. This is nothing new but he stresses the need for it.

prf – a fair few of the MLR’s have quality sections or will be run progressively, that particular week I just wanted to emphasise the keeping it easy as the 20 mile race at the weekend will be a big test.

As for Sunderland, I lived there for years, I have no desire to visit!!!

Edited: 13/11/2012 at 22:48
14/11/2012 at 06:50

YD - Marmite Master on the sub 3 thread I believe did Canova sessions - they worked for him, so look forward to seeing them work for you.

Club 8 miles hilly session last night.  Instead of the normal find a hill and run up it x times, then sesson is based on running to different  hills and giving it all up them.  We did 10 in total of brutal Barnsley hills and believe me they were brutal!  They varied in length from a couple of short 250m approx to long hills with sharp sections towards the top.  I was jelly legged by the end, but a really satisfying session!  Running with my new club is tough as I go out with a group who basically make you work and for me being one of the slowest in the group I certainly have to work, but I see the runs as one of my weekly sessions therefore run easier on the other days.

Easy run today and if I manage a full week without any days off I'll think of adding a couple of doubles next week - all good progress

14/11/2012 at 08:46
Y D wrote (see)

As promised my Marathon Plan. It is loosely based on the Canova approach, or my interpretation of it. The plan is divided into three phases.

Marathon Plan

Yay, a plan.  There are some big long runs in there, and quite early on too!  I have a suspicion we're going to hear a little about colds, scratchy throats, and flu symptoms - but I don't wish it on you!  Otherwise, you know I favour the start fast, gradually slow down into many miles periodisation.  You start with sprints and threshold, move down into HMP and MP+.  I've mixed the paces less in my own, more evenly progressive, but I've also determined to maintain the short, fast sessions.  Though you may consider them necessary to recover from, I instead count them as recovery sessions from the long, slow miles.  This is because you're using unused muscle fibre, and the well-used stuff is only being used for a short time.  Hillsprints only fatigued me for the next day's long run, with the aim being to force the slow twitch to do all the work because the fast twitch are tired.  The slow twitchers meanwhile had had a rest.

Two to three long runs per week as the basis of the plan - lovely, can't ask for better.

American format dates - what the hell were you thinking!?!?

Nice progress, Hilly, so good to not be hearing about pain!  Concentrating on getting xc fit, PP?  Surely xc concentrates on getting you fit?!

So second wind is probably getting properly warmed up?  I've felt it in HMs around the 10mile mark.  And last week's 10k xc around the 7k mark.  Does this mean that warming up takes longer at race pace?  And I did warm up a little for the 10k, though admittedly a little rushed.  Still managed to get 15-20 mins.

Yesterday's sessions were either 700 then 3x300 with the sprinters, or 5x400 with the MDers.  Figuring both sessions were near identical I went with the sprinters to see what 700 felt like.  Fun!  Looking to find time for 10-12m today - see how I feel after the dentist.

14/11/2012 at 09:00


Not been on this thread for what seems like ages!
Good to see CB (and PRF) back.
Phil: well done on Sunday!
Hilly: good to see you slightly disappointed with a 80+ WAVA at Middlesborough!
YD: hope to study the plan later...and good luck with it.

On the daily thread we have been coming up with a Christmas list of books, and I have started a thread with the list on it: I'm sure between you you can contribute quite a few more: we have probably missed some obvious ones!

Art of Running, Julian Goater
Pfitzinger and Douglas, Advanced Marathoning
Keith Livingstone, Healthy Intelligent Training (The proven principles of Arthur Lydiard)
Charlie Spedding, From First to Last
Tea with Mr. Newton: the Biography of Arthur Newton
Hal Higdon, The Ultimate Marathon Training Guide
Scott Jurek, Eat and Run
Jack Daniels, Running Formula
Steven Downes and Duncan Mackay, Running Scared: How Athletics Lost its Innocence
Richard Moore, The Dirtiest Race in History
Plimsoles on, Eyeballs out, The Story of Jum Peters
Jessica Ennis, UnbelievableFeet in the Clouds, Richard Askwith
Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
What I talk about when I talk about running, Hamuki Murakami
The Long Hard Road, Parts 1 and 2, Ron Hill
Running with the Legends, Michael Sandrock
The Ghost Runner, Bill Jones
Plus 3 books from AW: Great British Runners
Great Marathon Runners
The Greatest Games Ever
Adharanand Finn, Running with the Kenyans
Wilson, Watts and Horwill, The Complete Middle Distance Runner
Bill Adcocks, The Road to Athens
The Cutting Edge Runner, Matt Fitzgerald
Once a runner, John Parker
Again to Carthage, John Parker
Running for my life Lopez Loomony
14 mins from death, Salazar
Pre, Tom Jordan
Running for their lives, Whitaker
The Perfect Distance: Story of Coe v Ovett, Pat Butcher
Barefoot Runner (Abebe Bikele), Paul Rambali
The Secret Olympian, Anon
Better Training For Distance Runners, Martin and Coe
Slaying the Dragon, Michael Johnson
Gold Rush, Michael Johnson
A life without limits, Chrissie Wellington

Marathon Man, William Goldman
Flanagan’s Run, Tom McNabb
The Games, Hugh Atkinson

14/11/2012 at 09:07
Hilly, good news that you're really getting back into it. I don't recall there being any hills in Barnsley
14/11/2012 at 09:18

In other news, 4 weeks today since my Achilles op, and intend to set a post op PB tonight by walking the 550 metres to the pub, and back, with only a walking stick just in case. Most of the time is still resting with the foot elevated, however. Am able to drive short distances and first phsio appointment is on Friday, so slowly heading in the right direction. Hope you are not getting too frustrated, Josh: for we active people its not easy!

14/11/2012 at 09:39

Hilly – Staying true to your name there. A few more sessions like that and you should see a nice boost in fitness.

Simon – Good to see you back running. Are you fully recovered now?

Phil – Given how close I am to Sunderland it would be rude not to. The best part of it being in Sunderland is that you can sunbathe on the beach afterwards

YD – The plan looks good. What’s the rationale for hitting so many 20ish runs so early on?

Hill session for me last night. 33 minutes continuous slotted into an 11 miler. The last couple of sessions were 21 and 26 mins and this felt no harder, so seems like good progress. Medium run of 13 or so planned for tonight.

14/11/2012 at 09:55

alehouse - Good luck getting to the pub!    That reminds me - I need to borrow The Ghost Runner from my running buddy.

Hilly - Good stuff, should get some strength back in those legs!

Ratzer - Yeah, same difference! I suppose my "XC" phase is a bit like YD's first phase; I'll try to work around threshold with some hills thrown in (which will get me "XC-fit") for a while before the long runs get more marathon specific after January.

YD - One thing I've thought of... the guys I know who have done Canova type stuff properly (I'm thinking mainly mmmarmite as Hilly mentioned, and also zaTTu) are, apart from being mega quick, also little mileage monsters.  Whilst you're building up the mileage I'd be prepared to make some of your earlier looong runs much easier effort if you feel you need to back off.  It's only fairly recently that I've considered adding real quality to anything over 16-18 miles, but then again with previous marathon campaigns I've been used to doing three quality runs per week.  It will be interesting to see how you get on and if you can find the right balance, anyway.

Calves have calmed down to a dull stiffness so I'll have a lunchtime jog today and start cranking it up again tomorrow.

14/11/2012 at 10:00
All looking good Hilly, good to see some progress. I have had a some advice from another chap on the sub 3 thread who has followed the Canova approach before.

Ratzer wrote (see)

American format dates - what the hell were you thinking!?!?

In my defence, I had the dates in UK format on my excel sheet and Google Americanised it!!! Trust me, I wasn’t impressed either.

Yep, I fully expect to be missing sessions for all the reasons you stated Ratzer, there will be lurgy!
Mr V, over the autumn I have run a few long 20 milers, so they wont be the shock to the system they could have been. I seem to recover quite well from them, so hopefully I am not asking too much, too early. Time will tell.  The logic of doing so many, so early is that I want to get to the 20 milers to the ‘shelling peas’ stage before I start adding in quality to the long run. The obvious problem is the risk of burnout. Hopefully the cutback weeks will help, as always listening to my body will be key.

As for hill sprints fatiguing you in a certain way Ratzer, not disagreeing with the science, but not sure I agree with you in practice. My legs have felt pretty tired for a few days after last weeks hill sprints, they certainly had an impact on the easy miles that followed the two or three days after. It’s something to muse on. I am planning another hill repeat session this Friday, I might try to get my long run in on Saturday morning to test the theory again.

A good list Alehouse, I have read a few on there, probably the best running book I have read is The Perfect Distance: Story of Coe v Ovett, Pat Butcher. Did you miss the Lore of Running by Noaks?
Good news on the progress being made.

Excellent Mileage Mr V, and nice progress on the hill work.

14/11/2012 at 10:33

Obsession For Running - Frank Horwill
Lore Of Running - Tim Noakes (was that the missing obvious one? )

YD - I think you'll struggle to add much quality into the MLRs on the back of everything else, just doing them is beneficial enough. I use that run for 2 purposes:

1. To practice race visualisation by concentrating on keeping everything smooth and relaxed.
2. To improve fat utilisation by starting the run on low glycogen.

But, as Phil says, it is about finding the right balance that works for you. One of the dangers with marathon training is getting hacked off with the whole thing and losing motivation weeks before race day.


14/11/2012 at 10:36
Don't know how I missed Noakes. I blame Tom for not spotting it.
14/11/2012 at 10:51

YD, yes, there are a lot of long runs in there. I see you have recovery weeks, but I wonder if you should not have a bit of a cutback week more often.

The other thing that strikes me is that there's 22 weeks of training with no VO2 max stuff. I know training for any type of event needs to be specific, but I think you are missing a vital element of getting to peak fitness if you don't include any.

Yeah, Google Docs has a thing about American date formats. They were bugging me the other day.

Mr V, pretty much fully recovered. My proper base training now starts on Sunday - only 5 weeks later than originally planned.

I have never found that long *slow* runs do much for me. It's not until I start including faster aerobic paces that I notice fitness improvements. Then again, when I say long run, I'm talking 16 miles or so. The couple of times I went to 18+ I found it took a lot longer to recover. And I appreciate that for marathon training, the higher mileage and frequency of long runs necessitates keeping some of them slower. Hmm, best to ignore me, my MD bias is too great.

14/11/2012 at 11:15
Alehouse, Noakes...of course! I use it for standing on to reach the running books on the top shelf. The book I've got that is thicker than Noakes is a users guide to Vista.
14/11/2012 at 11:37

Tom. - Noakes was the first tome I thought of to put under my front wheel when using my bike on the turbo trainer, but it was too thick and would have ended up with me riding constantly uphill.  So I resorted to Modern Science Writings edited by Richard Dawkins.   My thickest book is the Websters Concise English Dictionary, which I use as a tofu press. 

14/11/2012 at 13:39
PhilPub wrote (see)


Calves have calmed down to a dull stiffness so I'll have a lunchtime jog today and start cranking it up again tomorrow.

Er, whoops, that just turned into a big fat CNBA.    And I'm out tonight.  Back on it tomorrow, honest.  (Soup of the week is a humdinger though.) 

14/11/2012 at 14:12

Afternoon all

Lots of great running and racing going on as usual, and it sounds like lots of those who were on the bench are either recovered, or well on the road to recovery.

I haven't got a clue what second wind is, but know it feels great when you get it. I also think that it's sometimes used to describe the adrenaline / energy surge you get when you know you're getting closer to the end of a race.

YD - your marathon prep has prompted me to read up on who Canova is.

In my running news, I've been humming along trying to be consistent, but have made what I think is a sensible decision to not run Gosport this weekend. For the last 4 days various members of my family have been suffering with the winter vomiting bug that appears to doing the rounds, and I've had 2 days now of feeling tired and drained, with bouts of feeling sick (haven't vomited) , and very "loose bowels" , so think I'm better off calling it now, and just relaxing into taking the rest of the week off, followed by 6 weeks of pure base training....

Slightly annoyed and pi$$ed of that this means I don't get to see whether I can break 90mins this year, but my sensible head tells me to not get hung up on it, and to play safe.....

14/11/2012 at 14:28

Phil – thanks and yes, I am fully aware that the advice received has come from a chap who’s Marathon pace is somewhere around my 10k pace and probably runs 30- 40 miles a week more than me on average! So the need to adjust the sessions has been a big part of my planning. The sessions I lifted have been slimmed down already and I will probably run some of the early sessions to effort.
Looking forward to the soup of the week. Mrs YD made red lentil and chick pea soup last night, it was nice and spicy, lovely after my tempo run.

prf – thanks for the insight. You raise a good point on the keeping things smooth and relaxed. I feel one of the key differences between my GNR and Redcar Half performances was just that. I didn’t get involved in anything that would interrupt my rhythm for a big part of the race at Redcar where as at the GNR I think my pace was up and down and I ended up chasing the pace and dodging other runners a bit.
Are you still up for Guy’s 10 miler?

Simon – as for VO2max not sure where it would fit in to be honest. I don’t think a lower than optimal vo2max will hinder my marathon performance, other things will do that for me.

YP – glad I could be of service. Are you not making that decision a bit early? You never know you could feel great in a couple of days…

14/11/2012 at 18:56
YD - perhaps you're right? Part of my thinking was that I had initially planned to a shortish tempo run today with 3-4 miles at planned race pace, but on my easy run home last night I felt utterly drained, and without wanting to be too graphic I spent all 7 miles clenching my cheeks to avoid doing a Paula

I would really like to have a decent stab at a Half, so perhaps I'll defer any final decision until Saturday.....
14/11/2012 at 19:05
You do realise that sods law dictates that if you run, you will feel crap and will race crap. Where as if you don't race you will feel fine and as if nothing was wrong on Monday, and by Wednesday you will be flying like never before. Just saying like
14/11/2012 at 20:33

Interesting discussions...

Second wind - I see it as others have said as being when you're body has adjusted to running after the initial warm-up when everything can feel a bit tight, then the body relaxes and the running motion starts to feel more natural.

alehouse -apart from the ones mentioned which we also have quite a few here's a few more off our book shelves -  

Winning Running by Peter Coe,
The Complete Runners Handbook, by Bob Glover and the Advanced Runners Handbook,
Queen of the Track by Liz McColgan,
Sonia My Story by Sonia Osullivan with Tim Humphries,
Running with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear,
Why We Run by Bernd Heinrich,
Everyone's Guide to Distance Running by Norrie Williamson,
Running Wild by Gordon Pirie,
Endurance Running by Norman Brook,
Funny Running Stories by Geoff Wightan and Dave Bedford,
Ovett An Autobiography,
Feet in The Clouds by Richard Askwith,
Running over Forty by Bruce and Sue Tulloh,
Za-to-pek by Bob Phillips

Thanks for the comments on my getting back to decent running!  Still keeping things to one day at a time, but yes Ratzer it's good not to report pain and long may it last!

YP - that bug doesn't sound very nice!

Just a slow 4 miles this evening due to tiredness, but consistency is the name of the game

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