The Middle Ground

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08/02/2013 at 19:19

Thanks all. 

Viper (and YD) - Indeed. This is the most fun I've had with a new interest for many years, and this is far healthier than other vices, er...interests I've pursued! You mention cut back weeks, and yes, certainly thinking that I'll have one of those either side of my 10K next month. A mini-taper beforehand and then a few days off after to relax and reassess where I'm at and where I go from there. Have already had a play around with some strides, fartleks and hills on some of my training runs, so good to hear your advice there, I just need to be careful with the hard days. As mentioned, I've cut them down from where I was, but am going to find it hard to give up a 3 or 4 mile midweek tempo-ish run before the 10K, as I really feel like it's sharpening me up, and the Parkrun is a given for the moment. I'll cut the tempo out and substitute that with some hills, strides and fartleks whilst I build my base once that first 10k is completed.

Other Man - Yes, it may be that 47:00 is possible, but I've only just got my long run up to 10K, and whilst I got round that in good time (too fast truth be told) my lack of training at the longer distance might cost me some time come race day. Certainly not looking to increase my mileage from 20 for the time being. Re: core exercises, I'm currently doing some press-ups and sit-ups 3 or 4 times/week, though suspect these aren't ideal and will look into the planking - thanks.

Pup - Aye, the PB setting sure is addictive. I realise everyone is different, but from experience and on the 5 runs and 20 miles I'm fitting into a week now, anyone have any thoughts on how soon that steep improvement curve might typically begin to level off? I'm eyeing up a volunteering role one week at my Parkrun, but am really reluctant to do so until I see some levelling off in performance...loving getting the text message with my time on a Saturday lunchtime at the moment!

08/02/2013 at 20:04

Bob - Welcome along.

Obviously everyone is different but I started from a similar position as you and ran weekly parkruns to help gain fitness, so this may give you some idea about how the levelling off will kick in:

Event 60 - 23:21
Event 61 - 22:47
Event 62 - 22:08
Event 64 - 21:44
Event 65 - 21:09
Event 67 - 20:05
Event 69 - 20:17
Event 71 - 19:37
Event 73 - 19:34
Event 74 - 19:40
Event 80 - 19:37
Event 82 - 19:41
Event 197 - 17:33

So, regular big early gains as you are seeing and then patience will bring slow improvements over time.

08/02/2013 at 21:12

PP - insane training times.  Are you aiming for a sub 2:40 marathon?

PRF - how do you find the rate of improvement for an individual course?  Do you get much of an improvement from being familiar with the course.

Due to illness I have not run in 2 weeks I think.  I've been very ill and on the verge of being admited to hospital.  I also gave my Mum the fright of her life when I collapsed from exhaustion. 

I have decided to stop running with the intention of competing for the time-being. At the moment I am either contaminated with a very nasty strain of bacteria or have an immune weakness but need more tests with a dermatologist to confirm.

I will re-evaluate whether or not to start training in late April or early May.  Partly because I want to give my body an extended break, partly because any hardwork I do to prepare for an event is very likely going to be ruined by another bout of ill health, and partly because I don't care about chasing numbers for the time-being when I am struggling to even life a normal lifestyle these days

08/02/2013 at 21:45

PRF - Thanks, that's helpful. Looks like a really relevant comparison. My guess was that I was getting close to a plateau, and a similar pattern to you would certainly see that - I've perhaps another 30 seconds, minute at most of big gains before I really have to start working at it thereafter. But that's ok - I'm prepared for that, I'd like to think I'm in this for the long haul, and am prepared to put the work in. Just need to start preparing the ego for some grumpy Saturday lunchtimes sooner rather than later now!

Josh - I'm new to the forum, but sounds like a grim couple of weeks for you. Good luck bouncing back. Had a terrible couple of months myself in 2010 with extreme lethargy and dizziness that left me with a few months of highly disconcerting nystagmus (eye wobble), diagnostic blood and MRI scans, and an eventual conclusion that it was probably a (never confirmed but) highly aggressive virus that had led to an over-reaction from my immune system and that had caused the most troubling symptoms. Took some time for me to regain full health, but I'm 100% now, and hope you find the same.

10/02/2013 at 13:39

Quick report from Wokingham half, very windy and wet, but delighted to produce a 1:15:41 time, taking 2mins 12 off the pb!

Now for some lovely recovery/bath and food

10/02/2013 at 14:56
Insanely fast, Stevie.


First run this morning with my new Garmin which arrived yesterday.

Long (for me) and slow (perhaps not as slow as it should have been) run - 10km in 52:37 at 8:28 pace, right at the top end of pace that McMillan recommends off my 22:37 run in a 5k. I know some on here think the top end of the ranges on McMillan are too quick, but I'm really struggling to run any more slowly than that 8:30 pace.

Missed out on a Parkrun PB yesterday. Conditions weren't quite as quick as the previous week but consolidated fairly well with a 22:44, only 7 seconds down. There just wasn't the zip in my legs - perhaps not surprising after hitting a 20+ mile week for the first time in the lead up to it.

Even more determined to go sub 22:30 next week now though.
10/02/2013 at 16:06
Stevie G - fantastic news! Is that nicely in line with your CP and Chichester times?

BBB - nice run! I think most new runners, at some point, think that they can't run slowly enough. However, I think it is one of the most important lessons that you can learn, and I'm a massive believer that if you are increasing your mileage you really do need to slow down.

My run today was 16m @ an average of just under 9min/mile, which felt fairly easy, with an average heart rate of 143bpm (c.75% max).
Edited: 10/02/2013 at 16:25
10/02/2013 at 16:50

YP, ahead of those!

10/02/2013 at 17:11
YP - thanks. I get some of the theory behind the slowing down, but I felt comfortable throughout, and under no strain particularly through my legs. Is the idea of slowing down exclusively for injury avoidance, and could I still be doing damage I'm not consciously aware of through unfelt strain if I'm not going slowly enough?

One other question if I can, folks. Being so inexperienced and particularly at the 10k distance, I feel that a 10k time trial before my first race at that distance 3 weeks today would give me a significant shot of confidence as well as a pace that I know I can fall comfortably back on if I start feeling it a bit in the second half of the race. I was thinking of perhaps skipping Parkrun the week before (to cut out my hardest run of the week) and instead subsitute it by running the time trial that Saturday. Would the more experienced amongst you consider this an outright bad idea, or is it one worth considering?

10/02/2013 at 17:26

Welcome BBB I would probably not do a timetrial, because it might be disappointing. There's a proven benefit to running in groups on times and race situations enchance this. You know what you can do for 5k, chuck that into Mcmillan and see wht it predicts and work on that as the absolute best you could do and see how you go on race day. Racing is something that has its own magic that gets better with experience.

Josh that sounds dreadful. Recover and enjoy your break. Keep posting updates on your health as well. I hope you feel better soon.

Ahhh Stevie Well bloody done mate!

YP nice long running.

Last Surrey XC of the season for me yesterday at Denbie's. JEEEEEZZZ that was tough, however, 32rd (highest position so far) and best pace for the season too. Would have been better if I hadnt had to stop to despatch my breakfast en route

I know Phil ran well for Kent t Coulsdon to make it a good year for them!

21 miles for me early doors this morning, then my shift at work I will sleep well tonight!

10/02/2013 at 18:08

21miles then work! Now that sounds a tough day, hope work wasn't too busy!

10/02/2013 at 21:02

SG - Bloody good work!  When I ran the exact same time  it was a similar amount of time off the PB.  This is definitely an omen for a step-up to the proper distance. 

BBB - welcome.  I agree with Curly, a time-trial won't really tell you much about your race potential that you won't get from hammering a parkrun/5k and predicting from there.

Curly - Great run yesterday. Just hope you can get enough support to be contesting in the top flight again asap.You obviously like the muddy stuff!

YP - Good to see you getting in proper mileage without any problems.

It's been a good weekend's running for me.  Despite feeling a bit groggy yesterday morning (I dreaded what felt like the start of a proper cold, but nothing's really transpired), had my best placing in a Surrey League XC this year out of three that I've run, 35th place and taking a couple of scalps I've had my eye on. It was a pretty quick course and the fastest pace XC of the year (5.4M, 5:48/m).  Unexpected highlight was that we not only beat Thames Hare & Hounds on the day, our margin was enough to overturn their lead in the league and we won the championship.    I made the scoring team for each race I competed in, so pretty pleased with my contribution.

Reminded myself that I'm marathon training today with a pre-brekky 22 miles @ 7:01/m.  No fireworks but I managed to clock my lowest ever beats per mile for a 20+ run, 919 bpm / HR 131/64%, so all looking good. 

10/02/2013 at 22:51
Curly, Phil - thanks for the welcome and the advice, I'll endeavour to suppress my instincts and listen to the voices of experience!

Some mileage you've piled up today between you - 43 miles, aye caramba!
10/02/2013 at 22:56
Josh - You've been through the mill recently.  Chin up fella, hope you can get it sorted. Take your time getting back to it, fitness is nothing without the foundation of health. 
11/02/2013 at 08:10
Morning all,

Can we all please put in some extra time praying for the snow to feck off.... I'm already about 3-4 weeks behind where I was hoping to be in terms of marathon prep, so can't cope with any more crappy weather...

BBB - slowing down on the longer runs definitely helps with injury avoidance, but I think the two key reasons for doing it is that it helps your body to make the necessary adaptions (mitochondria, etc) and it means you can focus on nailing the paces in your faster quality sessions.

Curly - I echo Stevie G's comment re 21 miles then work sounding tough - I quite often have a nap on a Sunday afternoon after a long run in the morning, and definitely wouldn't be in any mental state to work...

Phil - another great weekend of running for you!

Stevie G - I was lurking on your thread, and read that you have a 3* a day strengthening routine. Can I be really nosey and ask what this is? I think I need to start doing something....
11/02/2013 at 08:19

Well my work isnt too intensive, but it is on feet so it can be hard for the first hour to get moving! Yesterday I spent the first hour talking to a couple about a cheese wedding cake and doing lots of samples so that was pretty nice

Interesting that you felt it was a quick course Phil - that hill didnt look too quick from where I was standing Women's run together so its no problem for next year, but now I realise why the women in front of me wanted to overtake me so much (and did on the last flatish bit), she was from Windmilers who just got promoted. Little did she know, they were going up anyway and by that point all I was thinking about was a hot shower

YP its snowing now. Weather hardly ever bothers my training to be honest. You're doing grand though I think!

11/02/2013 at 09:19

YP - Thanks again. First few minutes of the working week thus spent doing a bit of Googling! Came across the below article, and think I'm now beginning to understand the theories behind trying to strike a balance and, as you say, keeping the slow miles at a low enough intensity to allow you to be in the best shape you can to smash the quicker sessions more effectively.


Right with you on the weather by the way. My commute this morning took me half as long again as it would normally, and whilst I managed to keep training most of the time through the last lot (and one run through the powdery, crunchy, freshly fallen stuff was probably my most enjoyable training run to date), I didn't enjoy or appreciate trying to negotiate the ice and refrozen slushy stuff as the days went on!

Ready for spring now please.

11/02/2013 at 09:47

YP, I tend to do a morning session, then after lunch and evening runs.

I'd describe the routine, as Hip and glute centric. As the former is where I developed a problem, and the latter is what I've been told is weak, and is a key supporting area.

I also throw in some back and hamstring stuff, along with adhoc old style stretches as I see fit/how long I've been doing the main stuff!

I could give more details, but we'd probably use a whole page up!






11/02/2013 at 15:37

Lots of great long running this weekend, with big 20s from PP, Curly and prf.

Stevie, top bombing, getting close to that big benchmark there. 3 mins off that time and I might call you a fast local runner

Bob – IMO you would be better advised doing a longer run than doing a 10k time trial Say a 7, 8 or 9 mile run, thus giving yourself confidence that you can cover the distance comfortably.

YP  - for hip, glute and quad strengthening I do: Lunges (forwards and backwards), clams, glute bridges, single leg raises (from Glute bridge position) and single leg squats.
Though I don’t do it all that often, I have promised myself that I will go through the routine at least twice a week from now on. On top of that I do a stretching routine every night.

Hill sprints on Friday followed by 20.68 un-fuelled miles on Saturday morning, blimmin hard work.
66.61 miles for me last week, last Monday was a zero, if I do the planned 7 miles tonight I will have a 7 day rolling total of 77.72miles. If I do the planned 15 tomorrow my 7 day rolling total will be 83.41 miles. If you had said to me in December that I would be seeing those numbers I wouldn’t believe you.

11/02/2013 at 18:40
Quieter week for me last week after 38+ the week previously which was my highest ever weekly total. I like to look at a bigger picture and look at my average mileage for 3/4weeks plus when it comes to taking weekly totals. Managed a solid and pleasing 17.20 miles today in preparation for Brighton at 8:44 m/m pace. Two steep hills included in the mix just to keep things challenging and interesting. Could easily have pushed towards 20 miles but will save those longer runs for the upcoming weeks as I'd rather not peak too early on taking into consideration that I'm still training myself up for the longer distances!

BBB very much the reason why I decided to join this thread...I've got some great ideas just by reading and getting to know what individuals do on here, and have applied some of these to my own training and then see what works and what doesn't for me as an individual! At the moment, I've hit a plateau of sorts and am looking to push on and chip away at my current PBs....

Some great longer runs as noted...excellent 21 Curly and X/C! Great marathon preparation!

PP some impressive stats from you will you use the training regarding your HR readings if the weather is a lot warmer on the day? Will you look to adjust your target time/mile splits accordingly or stick with the aim for what your stats have been showing regarding what you could potentially achieve (wasn't it 2:35?). I guess it may not even be relevant on the day but if you have had any thoughts? Will look to start using my HR monitor soon and see how I get along with it!

YD that's some very impressive mileage indeed! And for someone who has been running seriously for just a few years??? It does give encouragement to someone like me that if you put the hard work in then you will get the rewards. Hopefully you will continue to build on what you have got and stay injury free for a great marathon time too!

Mr V - that's good news on the injury front!

Sorry to read of the health problems affecting your running Josh...hopefully things will improve it must be very frustrating but hopefully you will come back strongly with some good rest!

Stevie G - two very good PBs over two weeks...oh and that Eastleigh climb is pretty similar in length actually to the climb at the start at Chichester...although perhaps a little steeper as you near the end of it. Another 10k PB there perhaps???

YP - good to see you are over your injury problems now...will you be doing any interval sessions/speed work in aiming for a PB at Eastleigh or sticking with the steady runs in the lead up?

Lots to comment on...speed work at my club tomorrow evening which will be the first time I've done such a session at my club for a while!
Edited: 11/02/2013 at 18:42
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