The Middle Ground

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15/11/2012 at 16:12

Duck's law (II) - the length of a race is inversely proportional to the length of the report afterwards.

The 'Garmin Distance' Law - you can always take a bit more off your race time by saying "but my garmin measured it 0.xx miles too long" then adjusting your time based on that.

The Letsrun law - if you're not running sub-15'30 for 5k you are either a a hobby jogger or a master's female runner. 

The Letsrun law (II) - you must reply to every thread about training recommendations with "get a coach bro". It is impossible to run without being coached.

The PO10 law - if you are a new poster mentioning a recent race time, you can guarantee within 60 seconds someone will have found out your real name and your full race history.

The VLM law - the London Marathon is the longest marathon out there.

I will have a sit and think of some more.

Edited: 15/11/2012 at 16:14
15/11/2012 at 16:16

YD, I like your plan in general - especially combining quality w/the MLR which I think is a good idea. I find it strange, however, that your longest run is not in the marathon specific stage. Now fair enough you have the 20M race, but I might be tempted to swap the 18 planned for 2 weeks later and the 24 around. 

Aside from that, lots of different sessions, but all geared towards improving the same band of fitness whch is good IMO. And of course plenty of mileage. 

 YP, shame you won't be at Gosport. No other chances this year?
15/11/2012 at 16:35
Y D wrote (see)
Ratzer wrote (see)

Not sure you could publish the first word in polite racing circles.  And anyway, don't lots of them have 'Run' in the title?  

But 'Bottie Run' means something different again.

You know, I hadn't even managed to get my mind along the lines of where you've guided it to now.  (I'm sure everyone else was with you though...)

15/11/2012 at 21:42

Some of you may remember I mentioned the bonfire night 5k on York Racecourse for a paltry circa £30 entry fee (plus parking).  It did sound a bit too complicated for it's own good.. 

Gunpowder Plod 5k

Hilly.. keep the faith with the 5k sub 20.  I clocked a few 20:15, 20:06 type finishes before I cracked it.

Edited: 15/11/2012 at 21:44
16/11/2012 at 09:33

Its all gone quiet!

Duck – the reason the 24mile long run is not in the Specific phase but in the Aerobic resistance phase (Canova term) or Transition period (my term) is all about laying the foundations for the Specific. So the longest run occurs here, basically improving the capability of the runner to last longer. The specific stage is more about extending harder running for longer. So MP stints, long runs a bit slower than MP and adding faster than MP sections to MLRs.
I could probably move one of the 22mile hilly runs from Specific into this stage and move the 18 with long variations out into the specific stage. But I don’t mind a bit of bleed between the two phases.

Wardi – its sadly unsurprising that the event didn’t go well.  

6 miles pre breakfast for me this morning with a hill session planned for lunchtime. I might hit 60 miles this week.

16/11/2012 at 10:20

YD, that makes much more sense now. I'm not all that familiar with Canova's training so it's interesting to see it in practice. It does in a way make me think of 1500m training but applied in a marathon context - build general endurance first then more specific endurance and speed endurance, while keeping the base fitness there as well. 

Wardi, shame for those who paid that much money for a race then have it go wrong on that level. I'd bring the house down asking for my money back!

Easy 4 this morning, threw in a few strides as well. Not that bad but I always feel very sluggish if I run soon after getting out of bed. 

16/11/2012 at 11:01

Duck/YD - This is an interesting point to pick up on in YD's plan.  It's easy to think that a straightforward marathon plan (like pretty much any generic plan you'll pick up off t'interweb) might involve a simple formula for the long run, gradually building up the mileage over 16 weeks with a cut-back week every three or four weeks, till you reach 22 miles (or so) three weeks out and then taper.  Beginners or newbies to the marathon might generally be advised against anything more hardcore, simply because of the demands of running a very long way all in one go!  (And to be fair, my own approach to date hasn't been much different.)

As I've already said I'll be interested to see how YD copes with the quality/quantity of the long runs, but whilst he's a newbie to the marathon, he's a seasoned runner and has already shown he's not phased by knocking out 20 milers outside of marathon training.  Maybe not "shelling peas" just yet, but probably in a better position than a lot of marathon newbies to follow a proper endurance phase / specific phase schedule.

16/11/2012 at 11:35
Y D wrote (see)

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.

I don't think it'll hurt your marathong (interesting typo that I'll leave in for the fancy-dress enthusiasts) performance directly, but I think it could harm your training. Any pace at less than 100% vVO2 max cannot by definition be faster than vVO2, so are you not limiting your improvements at MP/LT by ignoring it completely? My approach would be to get it pretty high in a preparatory phase.

The idea of getting the longest run in early is appealing actually. Ignoring beginners - who will benefit from getting the body used to time on feet - I have often wondered how beneficial an extra long run 2-3 weeks before marathon race day can be. After all, as we all know, the endurance that comes from such runs is hard gained. I think I'd prefer staying fresh and kicking my central governer into shape in the leading weeks.

16/11/2012 at 12:36
Simon Edward wrote (see)

The idea of getting the longest run in early is appealing actually. Ignoring beginners - who will benefit from getting the body used to time on feet - I have often wondered how beneficial an extra long run 2-3 weeks before marathon race day can be. 

PhilPub wrote (see)

It's easy to think that a straightforward marathon plan (like pretty much any generic plan you'll pick up off t'interweb) might involve a simple formula for the long run, gradually building up the mileage over 16 weeks with a cut-back week every three or four weeks, till you reach 22 miles (or so) three weeks out and then taper.  

As I've already said I'll be interested to see how YD copes with the quality/quantity of the long runs, but whilst he's a newbie to the marathon, he's a seasoned runner...

 Maybe not "shelling peas" just yet, but probably in a better position than a lot of marathon newbies to follow a proper endurance phase / specific phase schedule.

The more I think about this, the more I like the idea. It could certainly be a beneficial training ethos to get the long runs 'out of the way' so to speak, with t-minus 16 - 10/8 weeks to go for example, then introduce long pMP and faster sessions to kick the thresholds up to a higher level, with only a smattering of 20M+ runs to consolidate what you've already done. 

So you could do something like this (long runs only, assuming plenty other mileage and YD's MLR/quality session mix. And bear in mind I am literally making this up as I type!):

16: 22
15: 24/time on feet
14: 20 w/9 @ MP
13: 16 (lower mileage week)
12: 23
11: 24/TOF
10: 20 w/10 @ MP
9: 16 (lower mileage week)

End of specific LR phase

8: 20 w/13 @ pMP
7: 22
6: 19 w/15 @ pMP
5: 22
4: 18 w/16 @ pMP

And then taper (or perhaps one other LR depending on how you like to approach the taper). 

This way you would get the long runs done, and you wouldn't compromise the final run-in (no pun intended) cramming in that 'one last long run'. Not having the really long runs to do either could also mean you can focus more on race-specific stamina, which is what YD is aiming to do if I'm reading the plan right.

16/11/2012 at 14:22

That’s it Phil, I am speculating that by the latter stages of my plan I will be in a position to handle those pretty demanding sessions. It’s also a strong possibility that I may have been a bit ambitious with the plan and I will have to adjust the plan as I go along. In fact I think that’s a given, the key thing is that when I set out for a training run I am true to the spirit of the plan and have a clear objective in line with the training phase I am in.
Duck, I think you have the gist of the plan now, though 19 w/15@ pMP    
Canova would be more likely to suggest 15 miles @ 90% of MP. So for illustration purposes, if MP is 6:00/m that would work out at 6:36/m. On my plan, I have just gone for MP +20 seconds or MP -10 seconds etc, simply because that is the way I am used to quantifying pace/effort.

Marathong, sounds like it could chafe Simon.
As for the VO2 max stuff, then yes you are right, by not improving it, I will limit the improvements that can be made at HMP/MP and by extension eventually Marathon performance. However, I am sure it will not limit me this time round. It is very likely that the relationships between Threshold, HMP and MP (real MP achieved in the race) will be quite loose. I think my time will be better spent working on that relationship, rather than VO2max. I will more than likely have a spell working on VO2 max over the summer before I begin my next half or full Marathon campaign. So I can make some space there.  

Another 6 miles for me at lunchtime with 10 x 200m hills run fairly hard. Brings up over 12 miles for the day.

16/11/2012 at 14:44

YD - You've got me thinking about my own VLM training plans now.  I may have mentioned before that there is likely to be a very solid group of us in the club with similar targets, all training together.  (At last count six of us in the B group have qualified for the Champs start, without even counting the quicker guys!)  It is very likely I will go along with whatever most people are doing on a Sunday morning w.r.t. the long run (many of us have common race agendas and hence cut-back weeks planned), but that's not to say I won't have an input on what the sessions should be.

Last year if I've got this right, the marathon training group pretty much increased the LR mileage along traditional lines AND increased the MP efforts within those runs (probably intermittently rather than each time, i.e. easy/hard LRs interspersed), to the point where, according to my diary, t-minus 4 weeks they did 24 miles w/ 18 @ MP!  As you know, I was on the come-back trail but joined in this run and did 18M w/ 13.1 @ 6:06/m (2:39 mara pace). I believe the three guys who finished the run managed to keep this pace going for the 18 miles planned.  They all went on to run 2:37 - 2:39 for VLM, so "MP" during the run was very close to target pace.

Not sure where I'm going with this... I can't remember anyone complaining about the run being too hard, but I can't help thinking I'd want to either limit the longest MP effort to something like 15 miles, and/or attempt the hardest long run a few weeks earlier, so that in the run-up to the taper I can nail some decent +/-MP sessions without feeling shattered.

16/11/2012 at 16:53

Interesting musings Phil. 24 w/ 18@MP sounds very hard, but hey the proof is in the eating for those guys, who am I to argue. Out of interest how many years have these guys been running and marathoning?

A fairly common approach (and one Canova suggests) is using a HM run @ MP, I haven’t found one local to me in March to do that, so I will use the 20 mile race for the same thing.  On the plan I have 20miles w/ 10@MP, there is nothing stopping me using the race situation to get a bigger MP block in. The good thing is its 6 weeks out from the Marathon, so plenty time to get over it, or, as you say work on some other fitness closer to the big day on fresher legs. Lots of food for thought. But yes, I think it is a good idea to set some kind of limits to how much race pace you are prepared to run in training.

To my mind there is something missing from the traditional run long and slow and then do some long runs with x miles at MP approach. My reasoning is that you are not training your body to work at a high intensity for longer than the 10, 11, 12, 13 or whatever miles you chose to run at MP. The one thing that appealed to me about the Canova approach is the longer stints at a hard effort he suggests, albeit not quite at Marathon pace. So by combining some traditional race pace sessions (20 w/ 10@MP type run) with something like 14, 15, 16 miles @ MP+20 seconds per mile or 18, 19 or 20 miles @ MP+30 seconds per mile in the plan, you will hopefully get a better balance.

Edited: 16/11/2012 at 16:54
16/11/2012 at 17:56

I did a post this morning and it seems to have disappeared - strange!

Wardi - yes I believe a couple more weeks and I'll be back under 20  Nice to see you back running well!

YD - to be fair there are many ways to train for a marathon and the traditional way has worked well for many.  There's many coaches who don't think you have to work at MP.  In fact I never used to do MP runs, all my harder runs were shorter and faster repeats and tempo runs.  Also, the long slow run is to build mitochondria so is very much part of allowing the body to adapt to be a marathon runner.  It can take a few attempts before the body has made all the necessary adjustments.  There's nothing in training that will replicate 22 miles at MP on marathon day in my opinion...;-)  Obviously though the training should allow you to maintain pace and give confidence, but on the day the mind plays battles with you for a much longer time than on a training run!

Edited: 16/11/2012 at 17:58
16/11/2012 at 20:48

YD - They're all reasonably experienced with a few marathons between them. I've just reminded myself how old they all are as well.  We're gonna have a blinding Vets team next year. 

Another spinning class at lunchtime, then had an interesting run this evening. Didn't plan on a session as such since I've got the usual weekend ahead of me, but felt pretty fresh after a relatively easy week so the 7 miles easy was going to be ''steady'', but turned into progressive instead.  Average pace 6:34/m, mile splits: 7:48, 6:53, 6:47, 6:25, 5:56, 5:48, 6:22. Max HR 169, which is close to marathon HR although I'm sure it would have crept up a bit more if I'd kept up 5:48/m.  Still, pretty comfortable and good to get a bit of speed back in the legs after a nice little rest.

17/11/2012 at 10:40

Good run that Phil, it’s a sure sign things are going well when an easy run turns fast like that.

Hilly – not saying other approaches are no good or that I have found some secret formula, my planned approach isn’t really all that different from the bulk of more ‘traditional’ marathon plan’s. Just using someone else ideas to fill in some gaps as I see them.  After all we are all an experiment of one. One thing is for certain, any plan is only as good as the hard work a runner is prepared to put into it.  Looking forward to giving it a bash

I did a couple of things that Ratzer would approve of this morning. Following 12 miles and a set of 10  x 200m hard hills yesterday, I got up early and ran 17miles this morning pre breakfast. Just to make things especially tough, I picked a challenging route, loads of nasty climbs and with a good chunk of the route off road on forest trail. The last mile was tough, knackered now. Hopefully this will turn me into a fat burning machine

17/11/2012 at 12:54
Y D wrote (see)

To my mind there is something missing from the traditional run long and slow and then do some long runs with x miles at MP approach. My reasoning is that you are not training your body to work at a high intensity for longer than the 10, 11, 12, 13 or whatever miles you chose to run at MP. The one thing that appealed to me about the Canova approach is the longer stints at a hard effort he suggests, albeit not quite at Marathon pace. So by combining some traditional race pace sessions (20 w/ 10@MP type run) with something like 14, 15, 16 miles @ MP+20 seconds per mile or 18, 19 or 20 miles @ MP+30 seconds per mile in the plan, you will hopefully get a better balance.

Yeah there does seem to be a 'meet in the middle' kind of run missing from the usual LSR and LR w/MP section. What Canova seems to do (as I said, never studied his stuff so am speculating) is plenty of stuff around race intensity (the 90% of MP you quoted) as a hardish long run to better simulate the race itself as much as possible in training. Again I can draw parallels to MD training, I will do 2-3*600 in 92-94 for instance which hurt like f*ck but are necessary to run 800s well. 

Speaking of hurt...

parkrun this morning, about as ideal conditions as you can get at the beach. No pissing around today, my 5k pb has been sitting in the breakable zone since May, and off the back of the first two 3k races of the winter it was time to knuckle down and feel the burn.

At the start I feel back into about 8th place initially. Felt pretty good and sat at the back of a group of 5 running around mid 5:40s for the first 1200m or so. The group started to ease up slightly after a pretty frantic start, normally I would have just sat back and been happy to go with any surges or late-race kicks but today I was having none of it. I started to pull away just before the end of the first mile (5'46). Frustratingly no-one went with me so it was going to be a case of knuckling down and grinding out the time on my own. 

And that was pretty much the story of the race. I was well in third (the first two ran sub-16),  ran the second mile reasonably well in 5'44 and still felt like I had enough left for the final mile. Sub-18... perhaps?

Unfortunately my poor stamina caught up with me a bit, and with no-one to run off my pace dropped in the third mile (not helped by the two ramps and the tight turn with 600m to go). I really pushed and really, really hurt to try and get below 18 but after the third mile in 6'01 I knew it wasn't going to happen. Had enough for a gut-check final 200 in 35s and finished third in 18'07, an 11s pb. Afterwards I had to duck out of the final funnel and lie on the grass for a few minutes, before getting my finish token & barcode scanned.

So I went to the well pretty hard today - the final mile was the most I've hurt in quite a while in a race. Were there a few 17'5x finishers today I reckon I could have dipped below 18, but given the context of the race I did the most I could have, and a shiny pb isn't all that bad either. K splits were 3'32/3'37/3'33/3'40/3'39 which isn't all that bad.

17/11/2012 at 13:35
Quality running that Duck, nice one
17/11/2012 at 14:55

YD, where did you fit in the hills? Was it before or after the 12 miles?

Duck, very nice stuff. Sub-18 before the year is out.

I parkrunned this morning. Clearly still not over my illness properly as what felt like about a 19 minute effort came out at 21 minutes or something. Not sure, since I didn't have a watch. I just felt horrible from start to finish.

Simon's second law: despite having perfectly a valid reason for underperforming I will still worry that the fitness I have built since I started running has somehow practically all disappeared in the space of a week or two.

 

 

17/11/2012 at 15:22

Thanks guys. One for the gurn competition here.

Simon, sounds pretty horrible. Hope yoiu get over it soon. 

17/11/2012 at 18:31

Duck - Congratulations. A PB after a going to the well effort is a PB to be proud of.

Phil - That certainly is a vets team and a half in the making!

Simon - Stop worrying, it doesnt work like that, your fitness is still there.....it is just having a little rest.

If not, I've got a bigger problem than you since my parkrun this morning was 23:05, so getting on for 6 minutes slower than my time a few weeks ago.

However, being born on 23rd May I am over the moon with landing that time

Probably looking at about 45 mins in the Abbey Dash tomorrow and then the foothills of the next upswing should slowly start becoming apparent.

 

Edited: 17/11/2012 at 18:32
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