The Middle Ground

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09/01/2013 at 09:51

YD - Tasty session, I think any imminent smackdowns are going firmly in your direction...

Curly - Not bad at all, just the sort of 'easy' progressive session that builds confidence.

Phil - If that pace feels comfortable then you are in good nick.


YD - I think you missed my point What I was commenting on was the illogical behaviour of many people who I see complaining of:

a) Overpriced events
b) 'Commercial' events that cock things up.
c) 'Boring' courses
d) How cheap affordable races are disappearing off the scene.

and then clamour to enter a race like this, which:

a) Is expensive
b) Is being run by a company that hasnt organised a marathon before but sees no reason to run a first year small scale 'trial' and would rather just go straight for a 5,000 participant event. After the Bradford Marathon attempts this looks like over optimism.
c) Is a country lane course which, for those who complain about such things, will probably constitute a 'boring' course.

I think Id be more tempted if was called the Stamford Bridge Marathon, using the same course, with a 500 entry limit in the first year....

09/01/2013 at 10:15

I'm not too worried about York going wrong ... the R4A lot have experience in running big races  ... 4,000 in York 10K, 10,000ish in Leeds 10K I think ... and they also took over the Leeds HM last year which went as well as it has in previous years. They do tend to be a bit cheesy-cherrity affairs that focus on inclusion/fund-raising rather than training/racing.

09/01/2013 at 10:30

Dr Dan - There is the cheesiness element to it all as well but in the last couple of years we have seen the announcements of marathon launches in Bradford, Hull and Manchester - one didnt happen and the other two descended into chaos to the point of being dangerous.

09/01/2013 at 10:57

Curly and others – I agree, steady, as in the pace between MP and Easy is a funny pace to hit. I am going to have a few experiments with long(ish) runs at that pace in Marathon build up in the place of MP efforts. Just to add a different stimulus to the mix.

prf –the Stamford Bridge Marathon would have me clamouring, seeing as that’s where my branch of the Holdsworth’s came from before the Industrial Revolution! But I digress.
Cant comment on the individuals with the contradictory behaviour, not noticed that myself. The only folks I have seen entering are regular club running types who are happy about a potentially fast Marathon in North Yorkshire; but that reflects the social media circles I move in more than anything.
But I take your point about being cynical based on the recent track records of newly set up Marathons in the North, but as Dr D says, this lot have a good track record of solid and safe events. The charity element might not necessarily be your cup of tea (or mine for that matter) but hey there is clearly a market for this. Think of the (potentialy)great range of Marathons we could have across the north in the Autumn now, Chester, Liverpool, York(shire) and Hull (if it gets off the ground) + the Town Moor and this coastal Northumberland one Minni posted about. Not to mention all the off road type stuff (Keilder etc). Maybe it just reflects an improving Marathon scene/market across the North with something for everyone to enjoy….

YP – getting some good mileage in at the moment

Keep shuffling BR

Lol at the image of CB skipping out of the mist. I assume you had your hair in pigtails at the time?

Phil – I hadn’t considered the multi sport element of your training really, so what you say makes sense, you have a bigger pack of cards to shuffle around. I will follow with interest,,,,

09/01/2013 at 16:47

YD - card shuffling.  I like that!  I'll add it to the cake baking and toothpaste tube squeezing.

I've certainly got my duathlon head on today.  2 x 20 mins tempo on the exercise bike at lunchtime, an increase from the usual 2 x 15, and lots of room for progression over the next 6 weeks or so, which I suppose is my peaking time for duathlon fitness.  Train tickets and accommodation also booked for an overnight stop at the Admiral Hornblower, in the beautiful market town of Oakham in Rutland.  Marvellous. 

09/01/2013 at 17:33

YD, that is a great session - generally 6M @ HMP is about the limit of what we can do in training. Shame there's no BM tracker on the day,,,,

Same to you Curly! Some good MP/HMP stuff going on right now it seems  must be something in the air.

prf - so out of curiosity (and not in a 'well if you don't like it, why don't you organise one!' way), how would you go about organising your own marathon? Just as you've mentioned above (i.e, don't market it as a 'big city' marathon, keep the field small etc), or any other way.....?

Steady pace... that's an interesting one. I think if you do less mileage (i.e. being fresher) then steady pace is easier to hit. I definately am doing more steady runs this year, through a combination deliberatly running harder (I need less of the very slow stuff right now and more of the moderate-hard aerobic work) and just running less bulk mileage so I can handle quicker paced running yet still recover from it. Could you call pMP steady pace? Now there's something to think about.

Did skill sprints/400 pace stuff today - 4*100m skill sprints (30/30/40 @ 80/90/100%), then 3*100 w/walkback (aim for about 400 intensity/cadence/stride length). 

Feeling a bit tired right now with all the supplementary stuff I've been doing, ran 13.4, 13.4, 13.3, 13.4 + 13.0, 13.5, 13.3. Last time I did skill sprints structured like this I was hitting 13.5/13.4 and I was much fresher than I was now. The 400 stuff looks like it's maybe ~0.1 quicker too but of course it's difficult to tell while hand-timing. 

Need to be careful next weekend not to cane the first 100m in 13-flat though  

09/01/2013 at 20:45

The York course runs along many areas that are flooded in very wet conditions (e.g. Buttercrambe, Stamford Bridge), could be more like a swimathon!  It may be on my doorstep but I'm sticking with Frankfurt the week after.  I reckon the lager will taste better - and the glasses will be bigger!   

Edited: 09/01/2013 at 21:18
10/01/2013 at 06:53

Duck - one example of how to grow a marathon is the North Dorset Village Marathon.  In the first year (2009) they limited the entry to 200 as they wanted to make sure it went well (they being a running club in Dorset with experience of organising other races).  It was not overpriced, and although the prize for second place seemed to be a bottle of beer and a jar of garlic mayonnaise, I felt I had had good value for money in a very competently organised event.

It has now grown to around 400, hosted the county championships and has an excellent reputation.  However the promise of a Bournemouth Marathon seems to be getting greater attention, and from what I have read on other threads threatens to be as big a cock-up as Hull.

I said after Hull that I would not enter a first-time marathon as, even with the best will in the world, things still go wrong and having been on the receiving end of things going wrong previously, I'm sticking with established events.

YD - re the marathon being in North Yorkshire, I am under the impression that it goes through the North, East and West Ridings, as well as the Ainsty of York, thus being a true `Yorkshire' course which a pedant can appreciate

On that note, there's huge interest in Barnsley about it.  They've got it spot on with the naming, as people immediately associate with county identity up here, as Yorkshire is probably the county with the strongest identity in the country.  I noted that one of the companies set up by Karl Jackson (of Hull Marathon infamy) was called `Yorkshire Marathon', so he had obviously been thinking along similar lines.

10/01/2013 at 08:12
Morning all,

I suggested to Mrs YP that it might be nice to have a long weekend in York in mid October, and got one of those looks that conveys much more than words ever can Safe to say we won't be travelling up North just so I can do a flat Autumn marathon....

Interesting to read the comments about steady pace and how it is a pace that many don't use all that often. I'm intending to try and use the effort level (between 75-80% maxHR) for at least 1 run per week, which in P&D terms will probably be a General Aerobic run, or one of the MLRs.

Having said that, I have reluctantly dragged myself onto the injury bench, and have promised myself that I won't run for the next 3 days until I've been for a sports massage. I've been nursing a niggle in my left calf for the last couple of weeks that keeps getting worse and then subsiding, and on yesterday's planned 12 miler it was so bad I actually stopped after 3+ miles and got a train the rest of the way

Hopefully it's just a bit of severe tightness from an increase in miles and more hill work, but I've decided the best thing I can do is play it safe, take a short break to make sure it's nothing more serious, and that I've got loads of time between now and 6th May....
10/01/2013 at 09:26

YP – I’m in the same boat with a niggle that may or may not be an injury. I’ve got significantly less time to heal though! Hope yours proves to be a minor layoff.

Phil – How does doing tempo work on the bike compare to a tempo run in terms of effort?

Duck – Good news if you are cracking out faster reps despite being tired.

Despite the scepticism in regards to the York marathon I’m personally really looking forward to it. As long as they get the course right I can probably cope with other minor hiccups that are possible with a first time event.

Anyway current energies are focused on getting rid of this niggle/injury before another York event in 10 days time.

10/01/2013 at 09:48

Another pedant correcting a pedant; from what I can make out of the course map, the route does start and finish in the Ainsty of York, with the bulk of the route passing through the North Riding with a brief tarriance into the East Riding. Though there are no visits to the West Riding that I can see.

I agree that it has gained a huge interest in the area, even to the extent that Mrs YD heard about in the radio the other day and texted me saying I should enter. Normally, when I mention a race or a visit to somewhere patently involving a race she responds in much the same way that Young Pup describes of his Missus. As prf was saying, something about York it seems……

Healing vibes to Mr V and YP

10/01/2013 at 10:05

MrV - Good question.  At the moment, my tempo intervals on the bike are probably closer to MP than threshold in terms of perceived effort; I will need to HTFU and ease into harder efforts over the next few weeks.  It's very difficult to compare like-for-like because you feel the discomfort in different ways.  Average HR for a run at ~MP for an hour will be around 165, but I'd struggle to maintain over 160 for anything like that amount of time on the bike.

Vibes to both you and YP for your niggles.  Over the past few weeks I started to get my first niggle for a while, an occasionally tight ITB, but a bit of rolling pin/foam roller and stretching seems to completely neutralise it.  Fingers crossed.

Nothing for me yesterday evening other than a few beers and a Chinese.  Well rested for today's MP run.

And Word of the Day (so far) surely goes to YD for tarriance.  I had to look that one up. 

10/01/2013 at 11:32

Duck - Yes, it would be pretty much about building it up in bite sized steps. The London marathon didnt just become a 35,000 runner event overnight. It took 30+ years to grow steadily from 7,000 preceded by the main organisers, ie Chris Brasher et al, being involved with the organisation of marathons of varying scales for over 20 years. Even then they spent a few years observing every detail of what can and does go wrong with similar events.

And even with that background and preparation significant problems have been encountered at London over the years.


The pattern in recent years is for events to start with the expectation of making big money from day 1. This leads to a biting off more than you can chew approach, potentially leading to major cock ups, which then lead to bad publicity, which then lead said events disappearing as quickly as they arrive.

Take one simple element of planning a marathon. How many bottles of water do you need for a field of 5,000? This is much more complex than it first sounds and there is nothing in organising 10K events that will have prepared the organisers for this. How does the demand change with temperature? How will the behaviour of the the front half of the field change with temp? At 10c you might get runners taking one bottle every 5 miles, at 25c they might take one every mile to throw over their heads. This fivefold increase at the front can cause mayhem for people out on the course for 6-7 hours.

Do you supply enough water for all eventualities, which maybe five times as much as needed on an average day? If not, how do you resupply drinks stations quickly when you're holding an event that has closed most of the roads?

How does demand change with the make up of the field?


With a one lap course in the coutryside how do runners who drop out get back when potentially up to 13 miles from the start? Sweeper buses are no use for the majority of runners and there is no jumping on a tube to get back. If temps are below 10c there is very little time for a runner to find clothes/warmth before potentially hypothermia sets in. Again nothing in organising city centre 10Ks will have prepared for this. This is why I take a neatly packaged foil blanket with me in a marathon but I can almost guarantee that most wont and are therefore in the hands of the organisers to 'rescue' them.

As said before, I hope it goes well but over hyped new events set the alarm bells ringing.

10/01/2013 at 13:12

YD - pedantically can I point out that I posted that I was `under the impression' that the course visited all three ridings.  However, as you confirm that it does indeed go through the Ainsty of York (see above) then this part of the route covers going through the West Riding too:-


The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 reformed the City of York as a municipal borough with effect from 1 January 1836. It was unclear if the reformed corporation still had jurisdiction in the Ainsty. The matter was finally settled by the Municipal Corporations (Boundaries) Act 1836 which came into force in August. Under the legislation the Ainsty was declared to be part of the West Riding for all purposes. When elected county councils were created by the Local Government Act 1888, the Ainsty's inclusion in the West Riding was confirmed.

Your turn

10/01/2013 at 13:19

Great post PRF.  The one time I did the GNR, it was considerably hotter, and even I, as a runner who rarely drinks in a HM, was ready for the first drinks station at about 4 miles.  Those who had been standing around for a longer time and less experienced than I was really suffered.  That was the year four runners died in the race.

At VLM, I take a bottle of water at every single station, if only to pour on my head and legs.  Others as you say vary this dependent on conditions.  I had the dropping out experience at Dublin, until I realised that I had no idea and no means of getting to the finish except following the route of the course, so finished the race anyway (2:59.58).  That was in a reasonably big city race well up the field.  Yes too many unknowns to commit to this in the first year.


10/01/2013 at 13:21

One of the (few) attractive things about the Hull Marathon was that the 20 mile point was about half a mile from the finish, so in the case of a bad day, you would still have a good 20 mile run without leaving yourself exposed.  I assume all roads will be closed for the York marathon, or will they be open?

10/01/2013 at 13:49

Speculation on my part BR, but I would expect the roads to be closed.

Some good points about the specific challenges in organising a Marathon prf. I wonder if they have hired anybody who has experience in organising a Marathon? The first thing I would do if wanting to do this, would be speak to somebody who has done it before, and probably hire them as a consultant.

BR where did you get that map? It’s not all that clear and I would love a closer look, I do like looking at maps, especially old maps
It had crossed my mind before posting before that York was once considered part of the West Riding, however, I had thought that was no longer the case. I shall investigate further….

10/01/2013 at 18:32

Wow so many posts!

Excellent sessions going on! 

 Lots of talk about the  new Yorkshire marathon I see.  Many in the local clubs here have already entered, but I've already entered Snowdonia a week after that so am not even tempted by it.  I'm sure it will all go smoothly!  Although personally I'm put off entering a first marathon after the Hull experience, but that's not to say that every new marathon will have problems.

I did a 3000m track race last night lol!  Needless to say it was a PW, but I made it a good tactical affair closing down a 100m lead to the woman in front of me catching her with 200m to go and outkicking her off the bend pulling 6 seconds ahead of her in the final 100m.  Time 12:04.7, but to tell the truth I was comfortable all the way and only really started to push on lap 5, so it certainly wasn't raced hard like a full on race.  I am a bit tactical on the track and that kind of racing doesn't really give good times.

10/01/2013 at 18:57

I couldn't race but rang my bell very hard.

10/01/2013 at 21:35

Nice finish to the 3000 Hilly, and bell ringing BR!

Some promising pace there Duck. It sounds like a good session to train yourself not to set off too fast in a 400.

Hope the calf isn't too serious YP

Club run tonight. I'm feeling a bit stiff from increased mileage this week. Tomorrow morning I was going to go for 10miles at mp, but I'm knocking that on the head. I'll do a couple of easy miles and then attempt a bit of MP. If that feels ok I will push for a bit of a progression, if not I'll eke out a few MP miles.

It looks like I've got a number swap for Helsby half on the 20th. I've never raced over 10k before, and my longest run since June has been 12.8 miles, so I'm in not position to push it. Will probably aim for a good run at MP effort.

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