The Middle Ground

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16/02/2013 at 20:36

Thanks CB, and well done at Llandudno: good progress and more to come I would imagine at either Trafford or Lower Whiteley!
I always get confused when people say "intervals"! Many moons ago when I did my coaching exams we were taught that "interval" is the rest between repetitions: there now seem to be several uses of the term!

17/02/2013 at 15:19

I was aiming for 5 x 1 mile @ 10k pace with 1 min recovery. I had no guidance apart from my in built pacer which was failing me!

17/02/2013 at 17:57

No I agree that is the interval Alehouse, but I think the correct terminology isnt well known. Otherwise its just a tempo run innit

Good running CB, but blimey 5 x 1 @ 10k pace off 1 min interval is tough!

17/02/2013 at 17:58
Nice 10k, Chubby Bloke.

So, summary of my weekend.

Wasn't happy with the calf on Friday evening, so went for a mile round the block including a few strides and realised that whatever is wrong with it, actually running on it wasn't the problem (poor stretching technique?) so decided to have a crack at Parkrun and have had no problems other than a vague awareness of it throughout the rest of the weekend.

Very wet and muddy there Saturday morning (though a glorious morning) and nearly ended up face first in it as I pushed off at the start! Still unsure how I stayed upright, but not the best or quickest of starts even so. The Garmin might have proved as distracting of my concentration as it was instructive on pace as I get used to it, but that apart might have to accept I've hit my first plateau at the 5k distance, as could only match my previous PB in 22:37, making it 22:37, 22:44, and 22:37 again over the last 3 Saturdays. Hard work starts here I guess!

As per advice from some of you guys and gals, pushed my long run out today to almost 1.5 miles further than I've gone before and tried to keep the pace down. Ended up being 7.6 miles in 67 minutes. Considering I'd probably not run a mile continuously in my adult life until mid-November, was pleased with that. Splits worked out at 9.14, 9.05, 8.52, 8.23 (downhill), 8.54, 8.56, 8.41 and 8.35 pace over the last half mile or so. Took my eye off the pace a bit over those last 2 splits as I was feeling mentally fatigued (though ok-ish physically) and just wanted to get it done I guess! Encouraging that I could find some acceleration without even trying to in uncharted distance territory nevertheless. First blood and blisters of my brief running career to enjoy when I got home, though no real and certainly no lasting pain.

Just thinking through my plan for the next 2 weeks leading into my first 10k race, and might try to pick some brains for a spot of advice please!

Hope everyone else has enjoyed their weekend - great to see some almost spring like sunshine having just about exclusively ran through freezing cold and/or p*ssing rain so far!
17/02/2013 at 18:54
Evening all,

I unfortunately had to change my weekend plans, and couldn't do the half-marathon at Dorney. However, this meant I could do the local Parkrun on Saturday with YP Junior (29:38 and a new PB for him by 61 secs ), and it meant I could do a very enjoyable 18m run this morning with an overall average pace of 08:41.

1st 5 miles were easy 9 min/miles, next 5 were gradually getting a bit quicker (averaged out at just under 08:30/mile), then did 4 miles at MP effort (average of 07:47/mile) followed by 4 slow easy miles to finish...

To be completely honest I set off hoping to do the last eight at MP, but changed my mind partway through mile fourteen, due to feeling knackered

However, it was still a great training run, and was very enjoyable running along the banks of the River Thames, watching all the rowing clubs training

Alehouse - hope you're recovering well, and that everyone else had a fun weekend..
17/02/2013 at 19:49

BBB - Well done getting the distance up.  Nice to run some quicker splits at the end, although it's good to keep a lid on things and feel you could run a bit further, when you're building up.  Gently does it though.

YP - Nice long one!

Brighton Half Marathon today. Conditions seemed pretty reasonable at the start, although the wind did get up a bit towards the end... Set off according to plan, me and Stuart trying to average 5:30/m as best we could, although the course proved not to be throwing up consistent splits on the day...! First mile was flat but twisty (Garmin split: 5:42 but Stuart right next to me had about 5:30. Weird!), then three miles either flat or gentle uphill (5:32, 5:39, 5:31) then a turn to come back down to the seafront (5:30).  Not that I knew anything about it, but we were 20 secs off my pre-race target pace band set up for 72:30.  (PB 72:48, got to have a little cushion to play with!) Schoolboy error: forgot to change Garmin display from "lap time" to "total time", so I had no idea how long I'd been running, all race.  D'oh!

Anyway, so starts a five mile passage of running I'll remember with some fondness.  We ran flat or downhill for a couple of miles (5:23, 5:17!) at which point I sensed a small gap gradually growing between me and Stuart, and a couple of guys who had been settling in behind since we overtook them uphill at around 4 miles.  I was on my own for the rest of the race in 8th place.  Then three glorious miles along the seafront with the wind behind me, almost Zen-like: 5:20, 5:22, 5:21.  Still no idea what the total time was but my very rough mental arithmetic was telling me I was doing "OK"!  Turned into the wind just before the ten mile mark and was highly relieved to find I had another gear.  Yes, I was actually feeling quite comfortable. Just as well, it was quite blowy.  Miles 11 & 12 were 5:37, 5:36 despite definitely digging in some more, but I still managed to up the pace for a 5:26 final complete mile. I could see from the finish clock along a very long straight that I was in for a comfortable PB and kept pushing for a final time of 1:12:19. 8th overall, 1st V40. VERY happy!

Edited: 17/02/2013 at 19:53
17/02/2013 at 19:59
Phil, huge congrats on the pb, cracking hm and dodger win! Well deserved. Followed your improvement since your injury setback with interest. Loved your attitude, discipline and overall approach. Hope your blowing the froth off one or two now cos you deffo deserve it.
17/02/2013 at 20:24

That's monster Phil. Although cheating always taking a pace maker with you

Seriously though, you're getting into some real serious times now. Does this rank above or equal to the 10k from 2 weeks back?

17/02/2013 at 20:37

Said it already on FB but amazing running today Phil - I've never thought that course particularly fast in comparison to say Gosport but obviously its not too bad eh

So its 1-1 between you and Stuart now then eh! Nice working together / rivalery developing there I sense.

BBB I would suggest that 2 weeks out you are unlikely to make fitness gains, so you need to think about not getting sluggish by tapering too much. Keep this week as usual, then next week reduce the mileage but keep some fast miles (just a few) and some strides if you do them normally. Plateau at 5k is normal. You'll smash through again soon, I usually get 5-6 at the same pace then a big pb!

17/02/2013 at 21:57

YP - Sounds like a good run today - briefly paused to watch the rowers on the Trent yesterday after my Parkrun, and also looking forward to taking my little 'un along there once she's old enough. I groaned after a set of press ups when I got back yesterday, and she asked what was wrong. Explained I didn't like press ups as they hurt, and she gave me a little pat and said, 'Yes, but they're getting you fit, Daddy.' She's only just turned 4! 

Phil - Superb HM. An inspiration to all of us 40+ 'dodgers'! Congrats.

Curly - Thanks. Yes, pretty much the plan, though there will probably be one less run this week than the last couple due to 'life' (whatever that is) rearing its head. Might not be the worst thing in the world given the slight creak in the calf anyway.

So starting yesterday, the provisional map of the next couple of weeks up to the 10k is as follows. Question marks where I'd particularly like a little guidance / thoughts / confirmation.

Yesterday - Parkrun (Hard)

Today - LSR

Tomorrow - Rest or could do 2.5 mile or so very easy / recovery run?

Tuesday - 4 or 5 miles easy.

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - Have half hour at lunchtime - so, 3 miles easy, steady with a few fartleks or at tempo for the last 2 miles?

Friday - Rest

Saturday - Big session with the lads late afternoon into the evening, so Saturday morning needs to be my longer run of the weekend I think. Would I be better to go for another, say, 7 mile LSR, or do an easy mile followed by 3 or 4 at tempo?

Sunday - 5K easy.

Monday - 3 mile easy lunchtime run with strides?

Tuesday - Rest

Wednesday - 4 miles, including 3 at tempo?

Thursday - Rest

Friday - 5k easy with strides?

Saturday - Rest - Perhaps a mile or two if I feel I need to burn off some restlessness or turn the legs over? 

Sunday - Race.

EDIT - This is off just over 20 miles total mileage for the last couple of weeks if that's material.

Any thoughts much appreciated - thanks, all!

Edited: 17/02/2013 at 22:02
18/02/2013 at 11:11

Cheers all!  The gurn gallery is already up. 

BBB - Looks generally OK.  You've given yourself quite a few "tempo" options, so the long run a week out may as well be just easy pace to keep ticking over, and I'd get at least one session practising 10k pace but without killing yourself, so maybe something like 1k or 1 mile intervals off a minute rest, or finish off a progressive tempo with 2 miles (max) at target pace?

Curly - 1-1?  Stuart might start trying to argue that XC are proper races or something!    I really like the course; maybe the inclines make it 30s slower than a perfectly flat course, and there's always a risk of coastal wind, but the long straights are fantastic for getting into a rythm. I think they sorted their onions out re: organisation (13.19 on the Garmin is near enough to suggest they got their cones in the right places this year!) and it's a great place for atmosphere and support.

SG - Yesterday trumps Chichester in every respect for me, except for a technical fraction on the WAVA(!)  I'm still getting fitter, and running at threshold just seems to be my sweet spot.

Only one notable negative from the day; it felt like I was running with a small stone or something in my left shoe for about half the race, but when I took the shoe off at the end, no sign of any stone, just a flippin' massive and bloody blister on the bottom of my foot!  Having praised the feel of my Brooks Green Silence for road running, I now suspect that there's a little too much room in the toe-box, and unless I'm running on the flat in a straight line, my feet move around, causing problems.  So I'm back to the drawing board w.r.t marathon shoe choice.  Hmmm... I'm either going back to the last-but-one version of Saucony Fastwitch (the ones that didn't blister my arches during the Ranelagh HM) or I put yesterday's winnings* towards yet another new pair of shoes.  Adidas Adios perhaps??

*Some time over the past few days, the website prize list entry for First V40 Male changed from a trophy to £30 Sweatshop voucher.  Curious!  I await postal delivery with baited breath...

18/02/2013 at 11:40

Phil – monster run on Sunday!
Zen like 5:20s sound promising indeed.
I have my crystal ball out and have mapped the next 18 months out for you. I think you need to find another 30 seconds to 1 minute for the half this autumn, if you do that, then your ultimate target might be in reach at VLM 2014. Some good tips in here for you

18/02/2013 at 11:58

Not much more to add Phil. Well done - a great payoff from all your training.

4 gentle miles at 5:30 this morning. Running as soon as you get up is hard!!

18/02/2013 at 11:58

YD -  Ha!  I'd forgotten that thread.  Must have proper gander.  How about this from the training notes of yesterday's Brighton HM winner, Marders.  He's giving us a potted history of his rather scary performance progress:

Feb 2008 – Half 70:40 (wasn't confident of sub 73 but I managed to hang on for a 7 min pb)

*rofl* etc...

Edited: 18/02/2013 at 11:59
18/02/2013 at 12:42

Phil – that thread is an eye opener and a half. I think the more impressive progress is from the Marmite chap who started the thread, down towards 2:30 from 3:50 (IIRC)

RE: Adidas Adios, I got a pair for the Marathon and they are great in all but one facet. They are quite narrow, and have rubbed the skin off a spot on the top of my big toe on one my left foot. Kind of where a bunion would appear (if I had one). So if you have wide, wonky, bunion type feet like me, then maybe you need to try something else. I am now questioning my Marathon shoe choice, I will play with the lacing on my Adios before I try something else.
BTW I use Green Silence for general mileage, never thought of them as racers, I prefer a racing shoe to be firmer. I might take a look at the fastwitch if the Adios are a no go.

CB – nice progress on the 10k from last year, training going well then?

Bob – if you parkrun every week you will plateau with the odd breakthrough. If you space your visits out and do other hard sessions you will get the more pronounced breakthroughs when you do parkrun. Overall the development trend will be much the same, just do what you prefer to do and is more likely to keep you consistent.
As for your training, as you are so new to running, I wouldn’t plan too far ahead, as you don’t know how your body is going to react after a run and when you will need a rest day. The best thing to do is plan 3 or 4 days ahead and adjust from there. You will soon find yourself in a routine.
As for where to develop, I would concentrate on pushing the long run length up, slowly for a now.

YP – well done to junior pup on the PB! Nice training from you as well on Sunday, good stuff.

Curly – thanks for the wine tip, just spotted it now when doing a read back!

Alehouse – good news that all apears to have gone to plan and listen to nurse Curly!

I am officially pooped today!
Time for a couple of easy days I think. Ran 66 miles again last week, but was on course for 70 miles but then life got in the way over the weekend.
Weekend mileage was 18.5m (4.5m + 14m) on Friday, 3m plod on Saturday and 18.68m on Sunday night. I had planned a 22 – 23 miler on Sunday morning but couldn’t get out as Mrs YD isn’t very well at the moment. I ended up swapping out the planned 22-23 miler with a session I had planned on doing in a couple of weeks; 18 w/ 2 x 5m @ MP. I couldn’t face plodding up and down the same streets for 22m at night, somehow making it a long tempo was easier mentally to get up for.

Session breakdown is as follows:
5M@7:41/M   5M@6:28/m   2.6M@7:45   5M@6:31/M   0.68M@8:51/M
18.68 miles average pace of 7:05/m
The second 5m MP section was very hard, HR (78% 1st MP bit and 79% for the 2nd) and breathing was good but legs just not able to deliver pace without a few big pushes. My legs are very sore today, I think I pushed them a bit too hard!

Edited: 18/02/2013 at 12:44
18/02/2013 at 12:55

Still a very good session in the bank though YD How do you feel about 6:30 as MP in the grand scheme of things at the moment (sorry too dumb to work out what that would actually give you in time)?

Enjoy your easy couple of days.

Phil/YD I'm having the same dilemna - I love my shoes I have now, I have Nike Free 3s for speedwork and easy runs and 4s for longer runs, but I think I will need a new pair before the marathon as they are quite worn, but am so comfy in them. Hmmm may just risk it, but with 8 weeks to go I need to decide sharpish so I have time to wear in any new ones...

6.8m for me today @ 8:31 bouncy , but wouldnt have been at 5:30 am like CB

Got notification of track season now - starts on 20th April so 6 days after Brighton , also been asked to be the club women's captain, not sure when that is happening though as it hasnt been announced yet, but some ladies are in for some serious persuasion tactics before XC comes around again


18/02/2013 at 13:15

Curly – 6:29/m is good for a 2:50 Marathon.
In HR / cardiovascular terms, 6:30s aren’t even touching the sides. Tempo on Tuesday last week was 10m @ 6:25/m at 79% maxHR and I was at the end of a big mileage streak, so pretty tired. So I should probably look at 6:20/m ish come April on tapered legs.
Problem is, its my first Marathon, so thinking of staying cautious and targeting the 2:50.

Well done on the captaincy, that’s cool
I plan on racing a bit of track this summer, nothing too serious, I just think it will be useful for helping to develop 5 and 10k speed. I guess you are thinking the same + it’s great fun!

18/02/2013 at 13:44

Anyone remember me?

Again, sorry for not being around much right now - life has gotten in the way! Time for a good old read back & comment.

BBB - what's your background up to this point, exercise-wise? Any other sports you've done, or are you just 'off the couch' so to speak? Looks like you're beginning to add various training elements in nicely, just remember not to overstretch yourself too soon - this running lark is a long-term thing. Slowing down to speed up is something we've all had to get our heads around at some point! It's very difficult to run too slowly, as prf will no doubt mention.

Enjoy this part of running while you can - the improvements come thick and fast!

Mr V - good news on the road back, hopefully things are still progressing in the right direction.

YD, it looks like things are going very well right now in your camp. Your HR-based tempo efforts are excellent, I really think you're going to have an impressive debut marathon.

Adidas shoes are narrow in general, you'll probably find them and Asics to be the worst offenders. Brooks should be fine if you don't want a chasm of room like in Mizuno or Saucony.

WJH, take it easy with the road sprints. Starting to do them without some faster, progressive-like strides first may increase injury risk.

alehouse - hope things are going ok for you! 

YP, shame you didn't get to do the half, looks like you got a good quality LR done instead.

Phil, weird, I don't remember running 5 miles of a half with you yesterday  

Seriously, fantastic result, no less than you deserve with all the great training recently. Going into the final few weeks before VLM with a new half pb must give you such confidence.

Curly, nice news on the captaincy! A few 400s shouldn't be too bad after Brighton  

18/02/2013 at 13:46

Phil – Cracking stuff and great vet win. That’s a serious time and no mistaking it!

YD – You are building up a very nice training bank for this marathon. Good things beckon I think..

My weekends running consisted of 30 mins on Friday and 40 mins on Sunday. Nice to be able to do a bit of running now, even if recovery isn’t going as fast as I’d like! Plan is to run every other day this week and add on a little bit to each run. It’s amusing how unfit and slow I feel, though of course the first few runs back are always that way.

18/02/2013 at 13:47

Well done Captain Curly

Great session there YD. Not suprised you're tired!

Y D wrote (see)

CB – nice progress on the 10k from last year, training going well then?

 I don't know. I think I'm in PB shape, so will be aiming for 7 min miles at Trafford. This is nowhere near where I was hoping to be though - I'm just struggling for speed in training at the moment. Hopefully it'll get easier as the mornings get lighter!


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