The Middle Ground

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29/01/2013 at 13:52

Cave Leader CB?!!! Sounds good fun, whatever it is.

Yes, TOM its cheating, I was tempted to add an extra mile to my training log as I easily covered that, its tough work wading through a ball pool don’t you know!
400’s only a couple of days after a cross country aren’t likely to be the best, don’t sweat it, its all good training in the bank.

29/01/2013 at 15:24

TOM I agree with YD and I hate doing 400m reps on the road if I have to stop - they require constant rhythm or the pace is lost and never has time to come back.

Wind is crazy out there today - cycle home from work was wobble central. Got a progressive to do tonight which could be interesting

CB are you doing Chichester too or am I imagining that?

29/01/2013 at 19:18

Really windy here too - track tomorrow could be interesting! Better than snow though  (touch wood)

Nice weekend's worth of travelling and parkrunning prf. 

TOM - racing on your own is horrible, so good stuff for sticking in. It's all training in the bank though. 15*400's a fairly big session, good stuff. 

No running today unless you count warmup and cooldown from pylometrics. Decent volume's worth as well which is good after the weekend. 

29/01/2013 at 19:34

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. Feel better today although a little achy after 16 miles yesterday in preparing for Brighton which made me feel a little more positive...done in a nice and easy 9:11 m/m pace in and around the outskirts of Cardiff. Next week I will aim to do another longer one like this but perhaps with some MP/HMP miles thrown in! 


I probably posted at the wrong time on Sunday when I was feeling rather fustrated at myself more than anything. I am not competitive against my brother (with him beating me in two races with relatively little training in comparison) nor do I expect the times some of you get on here. Realistically I know I am capable of a few minutes off my 10k as an example with hard work (rather than thinking that I could one day get to sub 35, etc which I don't think is possible for me personally). I guess the point about Sunday was that I was left wondering why I was 2 and a half minutes slower compared to 2 years ago at Lliswerry and why after a year of getting back into it with relatively the same training as 2010 I am not up to the same or largely similar level. YD perhaps the after effects of this virus has had a bit of an impact but then again I can't be too sure as I have not felt overly bad recently. It's hard to put it down to one thing in particular...I think Duck you do have a good point though about jumping forwards and backwards with the times and perhaps it simply is a case of just that. Thanks for the encouragement from everyone else too and there are some interesting points you make there Simon. I guess patience is key as has been mentioned as well. 


SG - key session for me after a rest day today will be something similar to you possibly. Maybe 3 or 4 1k reps with a warm up and warm down tomorrow evening! I certainly don't want to push it too much after Monday's 16 miler and with Chichester looming, so hopefully that will be enough quality without pushing things too hard on the quality front at this stage.


Will be good to meet some of you on Sunday if that does come about....and indeed it looks like Curly and YP may have a similar pace to what I am aiming for! 

29/01/2013 at 19:39

YP, if you search for "Epsom Runners" on Run England groups you'll see details there. I'll have the website up in a few days with more details and maps etc, but it is most likely that we'll run two laps of this course:,-0.281053&spn=0.020238,0.055747

Josh, I reckon most distance runners would perform well below their potential with no specific training for MD.

WJH, glad you are feeling more positive. Did I make any points or was it someone else? I was going to say there's no point trying to assess fitness when you're not well.

YD, nice mileage, but I think just resting would have been better than going back out. 4.6 is too long for recovery and the last thing you need after a 21 miler is to more break down.

TOM, well done at The Perch. Times seem well down on last year so am sure it was closer to 11 than 10.

TOM, Curly, I keep anything faster than 10kp for the track generally, although I'm very lucky in having some nice, flat, longish cycle lanes around this way.

Duck, I am going to gradually start introducing plyometrics now. Did you say you had a book on it? Any good?

I started proper threshold training today: 2 x (3 x 1500m @ lactic threshold with 1' recovery); 2.5k recovery between sets. I think that's probably my favourite road sessions. Despite running them uphill into a wind, the pace wasn't too bad. One or two of those a week for the next 6-7 weeks and I reckon I'll come out pretty strong ready to move onto VO2 max stuff.

29/01/2013 at 20:14
Simon Edward wrote (see)

Duck, I am going to gradually start introducing plyometrics now. Did you say you had a book on it? Any good?

Yep - Jumping into Plyometrics. It's a pretty decent book for getting a handle on plyometrics, although some of the exercise descriptions aren't great so I had to cross-check with YT videos to make sure I was doing them right. You WILL feel sore after the first time doing them! 

Nice session, why 1500m though instead of a round mile?  

Edited: 29/01/2013 at 20:14
29/01/2013 at 21:47

Wow tasty session Simon considering the wind here atm! Will you aim to progress the paces or increase the reps as you move through?

WJH nice to see you've had a bit of a mood improvement and I do think you have more to come but just need to keep plugging away for some more time. Hopefully Sunday will restore some of your confidence!

Progressive for me this evening:

3m wu, strides, 2m @ 7:38 (MP), 2m @ 7:05 (HMP), 0.5m @ 6:38 (10k), cd

Bit windy for it, so it was tough going in places, but all paces hit without too much trouble. Last session before the race

29/01/2013 at 22:15

Nice progressive Curly. Think how much quicker you'll feel when the wind dies down to a whisper this weekend.  (Er...)

Simon - Good to see you back at the threshold stuff. 6-7 weeks sounds like a long time to wait for faster stuff, wouldn't you hope to see some decent improvement after 4-5?

Not surprisingly the out-and-back 6x1k (1 min recovery) session was wind affected, making for an elegant pattern of km pace splits: 3:24, 3:12, 3:22, 3:12, 3:20, 3:12.  11 miles altogether, and felt just about as "running within myself" as I'd like coming up to a race. Bloody weather.

...Oh, and that's brought up 50 hours of exercise for January.  That's a monthly record for me. 

Edited: 29/01/2013 at 22:21
29/01/2013 at 22:22
Evening all,

Simon - looks interesting, and my old house in Epsom backed on to the Court Recreation ground so I know that area very well.

Curly - great session tonight. I'm going to copy that one

WJH - glad you are feeling better about your running. I empathised with what you said about feeling out of place on this thread sometimes, and agree with you that some of the training and performances of others on here are probably never going to be something I can match. However, I know I'm learning from sitting at their footstools, and I think it's great that experienced runners are willing to share their experiences so generously...

I went to see my physio today, and, whilst he was very upbeat about my recovery from the calf pull, he has convinced me that I'd be reckless to try and race Chichester given that my calf is not 100% yet. As such, I've decided to be sensible, and my plan now is to do 14 miles with 6.25@MP...
29/01/2013 at 22:34

Thanks, Duck. I will get myself a copy. No particular reason that I did 1500 instead of a mile, it just seemed right.

Curly, the wind was dreadful at some points and it felt like I was running on the spot at times. I always run these sessions to heart rate rather than pace, so pace will hopefully increase naturally, but I won't increase the intensity.

Nice session. It should give you a bit of confidence to have done that in the wind. I guess you were running a little harder than those paces suggest.

Phil, 6-7 weeks might seem long, especially given that I've spent 8 weeks working on endurance/MP already, but bear in mind I don't want to peak until July/August, so there's little point in working too much on anaerobic fitness at the moment. Also, I want to be able to last a good 10-12 weeks over the summer when I will be on low mileage and high intensity, so building the biggest base (endurance & threshold) I can now is important.

I am doing faster stuff already: once a week I am planning reps of 300-600 @ 1500, 100-250 @ 800, and 100-150 @ 400. That, along with weight training and plyometrics is attacking the other side of MD.

Nice consistency in the wind there. I always find it can be difficult not to get carried away when the wind is finally behind you.

YP, I didn't realise we were living so close when you were in Epsom - I am only 3 minutes away from Court Rec. A shame about your calf, but at least it's on the mend. If you fancy a running partner for your 14 miles let me know. It's roughly what I had planned on Sunday.

29/01/2013 at 22:47
Simon - I'd definitely be up for doing a weekend run together, but we've arranged to go see my wife's parents who live down in Chichester. As such, I'm going to do 8 miles before the 10k, and then use the 10k as my 6 miles @MP...
30/01/2013 at 08:49

Some very good sessions here. I like the look of yours Simon.

Curly - it was your imagination. Chicester would be a bit of a trek for me!

Despondence last night. I managed to get data off my (now retired) Garmin form the PC, and wished I hadn't. The paces for yesterday's speed session were pants. I was awake half the night (partly fallout from parents' evening yesterday and along list of things to chase, and partly thinking I'm obviously a crap runner - why do I persist!)

Anyway, daylight and things seem a bit brighter. More tempo runs needed now I think, and in Phil's words I need to HTFU! Maybe it's just January.

30/01/2013 at 13:39
Very quick question (there is a context behind it which I'll explain later when I have time!)

There is a school of thought - which I had never heard of - that says your long runs during marathon training should be done at 85% of threshold pace. I've got no idea where they got this figure from, has anyone heard of this before?
30/01/2013 at 14:15


I think I could extrapolate what P&D says about long runs pace to be broadly consistent with that.

P&D say the most beneficial intensity for most of your long runs is between 10-20% slower than your goal marathon race pace, and they say that marathon pace is very close to lactate threshold pace. This would suggest that P&D suggest running most of your long runs at 10-20% slower than threshold pace...

30/01/2013 at 14:31

*gets calculator out*...

Duck - Maybe I have heard of that one but I've read so many different recommendations for long run paces... My initial armchair-running-coach thoughts are twofold.  Firstly, any recommendation for long run pace during marathon training based on a single pace is too simplistic, not just in the sense that there are good reasons for doing multi-paced sessions (obvious example, MP sections are good, but you'd never run the whole thing @ MP) but also because IMO the long runs have different benefits, depending on what stage your training is at (baking the cake; building up mileage without injuring yourself, especially for the first-timer; getting more race-specific once you're shelling peas on the 20 milers, etc...)  Secondly, 85% threshold for me is about 6:30 miling.  I think I'd be knackered running ALL my long runs at that pace.  It's probably a useful pace to train at, and maybe nearer race day when the LR distance is coming down from a peak, I might consider doing something like 18 miles at a "steady" pace.  Not that I had considered such a work-out but it could be useful... alongside the easier pace LRs and the harder ones incorporating MP.

cb - Not to fear, it's not January for much longer.  The days are getting longer by the, er, day. 

YP - shame you can't give it full beans but will be good to see you.

I clipped my lunchtime tempo-bike session slightly short in the spirit of mini-taper - 45 mins incl. 20 + 10 mins efforts, definitely sub-threshold but enough for a decent sweat-on.  This evening will be an easy 7 miles or possibly nothing, depending on what the wind is doing. When it gets too frisky even for kite enthusiasts on Blackheath, you know it's blowing a proper gale!

30/01/2013 at 17:04

LOL Phil I had to struggle 5 miles on the bike home from work all in my face just now  Feck me its tough out there. Can it piss off for Sunday please?

CB I do have an overactive imagination!


30/01/2013 at 19:21
Curly / Phil - It was definitely blowing a gale today in London when I did my lunchtime run. Ended up doing 5 miles @07:34 average, which is not what I set out to do, but I was frustrated and stressing about an earlier meeting, and decided to take that frustration out on the run

Chubby - keep that chin up!
31/01/2013 at 09:13

YP – Nothing better than distressing with a fast one!

Curly – It’s awful this wind isn’t it. At least I don’t have to run in it at the moment!

Phil – What do you think are the best kind of sessions to do to keep fit when you are injured? I’m going to join the gym again. Do you think the bikes are the best bet?

So injury wise not looking so great for me at the moment. I tried a run last night and had to hobble home after 5 minutes. Pretty painful just to walk at the moment. I have a horrible feeling it may be a stress fracture but I guess I won’t know until my physio appointment next Tuesday. Moral of the story – running in the snow is bad news!

31/01/2013 at 09:26

Duck, 85% of threshold sounds a bit fast to me to do every long run at. I probably do mine at more like 75-80%.

YP, "close" is relative. I definitely wouldn't say very close, and the slower you are the less close it is. Even for elites, actual marathon pace will be less than lactate threshold. The best (non-scientific) definition of lactate threshold is about the pace you could hold for an hour, so it's more like around 10 mile pace for us; half marathon pace for elites.

My marathon pace (and this is based on heart rate - it would be slower for actual marathon pace) is about 30 seconds or 15 bpm slower than my 10 mile pace.Doing the maths that means my MP is about 6-8% slower than threshold.

I'd be interested to know the difference (both pace and HR) for those who have run both marathons and 10 milers/HMs

CB, I'd thoroughly recommend that session. the second set of reps can be quite tough, but you feel great afterwards and judging by my running logs it has always pushed me on a bit. If you feel really down about running maybe a change of focus would help. Trying a different distance for example or adopting a different training approach.

I did 10 miles last night in the wind and it was a bit tedious. It would be nice just to go for a run without trudging through snow, slipping on ice, being rained on, getting blown around, or bits of me freezing off. Actually, the biggest problem I have when it's colder is that my nose runs continuously.

Mr V, if you can handle the boredom then getting hold of a flotation belt and doing some water running is pretty good - I did it last year when I was having shin problems and I think it's the best cross training you can do for running.

Edited: 31/01/2013 at 09:37
31/01/2013 at 09:31

Mr V - I think your best bet is to find the cardio equipment which (a) doesn't aggravate your injury and (b) you find bearable to be on for any amount of time.  The elliptical trainer is best for specificity if you can use it, and it takes the pounding out of the running action, but might still be difficult, otherwise the bike is probably the best bet.  Also the rowing machine, which probably gets to a larger range of muscles than any of them whilst still working the heart and lungs (if you're doing it properly!  All the best with that.  (( ))

I did indeed skip my run last night after nearly being blown off the Boris/Ken/Barclays bike/tank on the way home. Also left my gym kit at home today, which immediately makes me think I'm taking things far too easy, but then I reminded myself that it just means I've merely been training once a day this week rather than twice.  Over time my ideas of being lazy have shifted somewhat. 

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