The Middle Ground

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04/03/2013 at 23:26
Back from a long weekend in west Wales after the Llanelli half. Got a pretty big PB of 1:27:45 (previously 1:31:02 in October and 1:35:00 in September). Will provide more of a report on it tomorrow but its safe to say its the best race I've ever ran regardless of distance. I can't believe I managed to get under 90 minutes by that much on my first serious attempt! Very satisfied doesn't give anywhere near enough of a description for when I crossed the finish line!
05/03/2013 at 09:41

Hello Vellooo, good to see you back and thanks for the insight into your issues. I get the impression that this kind of issue is quite common with runners. It would be interesting to hear how the problems manifested for you and how the road to recovery played out for you.

WHJ – monster PB!
Seems that the little wobble you had a month or so ago was just that. Does that mean you now have to go and chase other PB to get them in line?

Another 4 miles + strengthening exercises this morning, similar to yesterday really, some discomfort but I can run on it. I have my kit and foam roller at work today, so I might get out for another run at lunch or at least I will get some strengthening work done.

05/03/2013 at 10:21

YD the good news is I was able to run (and race) for all but the initial month after the injury. Had to cut my mileage and speed down though and keep things on grass. It started with knee pain that I couldn't run through, and hip pain. I later got foot and achilles issues. My left foot collapses, I'm knock kneed, and my pelvis goes out of alignment. I had quite aggressive deep tissue work, and dry needling over a period of months, and have been building up my strength and stability. Last week I got orthotics... For me it will be an on-going process as I'll always being fighting against my biomechanics, but my legs and core are now stronger than they've ever been! 

WHJ well done on the fab PB!  

05/03/2013 at 10:25

nice smash indeed WHJ.

05/03/2013 at 12:41

WJH awesome pb there well done!!! Looking forward to the report

YD have you made a decision on your marathon yet?

Nice to see you back Vellooo sorry about all your injury woes.

Duck I'm stlll ignoring that at the moment... off to program my garmin for tonights club session. Run yesterday felt good which was pleasing after Sunday.

05/03/2013 at 14:06

Mr V - Thanks. Sub-45? Yes, please! Do-able I think given the problems at the start, and the obvious naivety with the pacing issues - no offence taken, TOM. YD, however - 44.13? Blimey. I make that close to 7:05 pace. Particularly as my next 10k is likely to be as soon as Easter Monday (and a slower course), that's a big ask! But yes, the Garmin cock up cost me between 10-15 seconds at the start I think, and whilst I was pleased with the relative consistency of the middle 4 miles (7:26, 7:26, 7:33, 7:34) definite room for improvement at either end that should enable the raising of the overall average - great though it was to look at the details of that crazy sprint finish (about 17 seconds for the final 100m I think I worked out last night), you'd have to conclude that suffering or not, there was more to dip into earlier had I tried.

YP - Ha! Guess you're right, though was still uncharted territory in terms of battling the pain for as long as I did, so had to be a little cautious as the fear of blowing up in the last mile was in the back of my mind. Next time I'll certainly have the confidence to put myself through more - and sooner - however.

Ratzer - yep, abso-bloody-lutely! And you're obviously a short-fat bloke magnet...

Duck - I'd love to have a crack at all the distances to test myself at some point, but I'd have no idea how to go about it at the moment. Where / how do you identify these 'open' races? (Not that I'd actually do one quite at this stage!) That's some impressive detail you've gone into for your own training by the way - much of it all Greek to me of course, but it looks impressive all the same. 

YD - good to hear the physio has spotted your problem - at least half the battle won.

WJH - Cracking effort! To get another big chunk off your PB at Llanelli to back up your 4 minute improvement in October must be hugely satisfying!

Good luck with your comeback trail Parkrun, Mr V.

Good also to hear that your legs are back in shape after the weekend's monster session, Curly. Just an easy 2.5 miles for me last night as a first venture back out there, and (for once) was very happy to keep it at over 9mins/mile throughout. The body and the spirit were willing and able.........but the legs were still fecking fecked!

Rest today as well I think, and will make a decision in the morning as to whether to make it a run day or dabble in a now rare spot of cross-training on the exercise bike. Priority this week is to get the aches out before a big crack at Saturday's Parkrun on the site of Sunday's 10k race, and then taking my long run on Sunday out by a further mile into the 8.5 to 9 mile range. Onwards and upwards. 

05/03/2013 at 14:49

Bob – I think in all likelihood you will take big chunks of time off in your next few races which should be most enjoyable. Just remember you will likely hit a point after a few races where you hit a temporary plateau and don’t PB for a little bit. Then after a while you’ll get another breakthrough. I only mention this as a lot of runners on the early improvement curve hit that point and get discouraged. If you’re expecting it then hopefully you won’t!

WJH – Excellent work. I bet you are on a high after that one. You can start working towards a sub 1.25 now

YD – Good news that you’ve been able to get a diagnoses. At least you seem to be maintaining a reasonable amount of running so hopefully you can get away without losing much/any fitness. Hopefully things clear in time for your marathon. You have a backup marathon if you need to delay for a few week don’t you?

Only a week and a bit now until I head off to Portugal for some warm weather training. Counting down the days!

05/03/2013 at 15:17

Curly – I am into my third week of the injury, so that gives me 7 and a bit weeks to Manchester. If I get back to training soon (i.e. next week) I should be ok to put in a few decent long efforts and some decent mileage to get myself to the start line in good shape. I need to decide by the 17th March (a week on Sunday) as I cannot defer my entry after that point.
If I defer I then have the Edinburgh Marathon option 4 weeks later or just bin the Marathon completely and just concentrate on getting fit and racing again.
The other option is to keep my Manchester entry and just jog it and use it as a long training run. That is assuming I am ok to run the distance but maybe am not race fit. That could fit with an Edinburgh plan, a full distance run @ MP+60 seconds 4 weeks out could be useful, but expensive at £50.

Vellooo – sounds like your issue was workable, I am also finding that now, so fingers crossed I can avoid losing too much fitness by doing frequent short runs. Hoping I don’t need to go down the orthotics route, I don’t think my issue sounds as serious as yours did. I will report back after my second physio visit on Thursday.

Your Portugal trip sounds grear Mr V, not jealous at all……
As for Marathon plans see my response to Curly

Bob – just run hard, you will be running sub 7 min mile 10ks soon enough.

Didn’t run at lunchtime but did some strength work, I will do a short run tonight + some more strength work.

05/03/2013 at 16:20

YD, been there and done that - took two left shoes home for a 5k once - thankfully I had some spare pairs at home. Might have been a blessing in disguise though if the physio caught something.

Non-firing glutes appears to be a reasonably common problem, hopefully it's easily remedied then and you don't miss much training - I really want to see what you are capable of.

veloo - welcome back and hopefully your injury problems are now behind you.

WJH - great pb, one of those purple patch days it sounds  bottle the feeling up!

BBB - keep an eye on your local athletic club's noticeboard or something similar and they will have deatils. Or British Athletics as they'll have all the fixtures. 

First session of pre-comp today, good but a little optimistic with recovery times lead to 3*3*200 becoming 3*200 (4 min rec), 3*200 (6 min rec), 2*200 (reps w/45s rec) - I was dying with lactic acid come the end. Ran 29.9, 29.6, 29.6/29.3, 29.4, 30.0/29.3, 30.0 which is still very decent for the first session of the year!

In hindsight I should have upped rep recoveries to 60s & taken longer between sets so I could finish the session strong. The speed is most definately there but there is a lot of work to do in the speed/special endurance department - unsusprisingly, as it is only March. 

Afterwards I had a headache, my arms ached and my legs felt like jelly for the next 45 mins - god I've missed a good track session 

Edited: 05/03/2013 at 16:54
05/03/2013 at 19:46

Hi, been away a bit and to tell the truth no real time to engage with the many posts, but just want to say hope YD's injury problems are sorted and allow his marathon!

As for me it's a long way back and not looking good.  Will pop in occasionally and look forward to reading some good marathon and other race reports in the near future.

Keep up the good work

05/03/2013 at 20:14

Hilly, long time no see.  I hope you're seeing some results after all this time.  At least finding out what's up.

YD, muppet.

WJH, nice one!  I had similar improvement results at Cardiff followed by Llanelli a year past, and then a really enjoyable marathon!

Duck, you're mad on lactic.

Read a pop running book recently that looked at latest research.  One chapter had the whole VO2max non-responder thing, and waltzed out the old surmise that it's probably genetic.  Then another chapter went into some research that looked at the ill effects of sedentary occupations, and showed that even if you train hard, if you spend most of the day on your backside the bit on the backside is worse for you than the time on feet!  Just get up and walk around regularly, or fidget, and you don't have the ill effects.  Two hours sat is far worse than four half-hour sits.  Anyway, I thought, what if those guys in the non-responder test thingies were lazy asses who got back home and sat on their asses more than usual because "those lab blokes have got me doing hours on the bike!  Throw me another beer, love!"  Hmmm...

And in the practical world, 4m this morning, about 7 this evening with 4@MP as intervals - just getting used to the pace.  Tougher on Thursday.  Don't know what to do tomorrow about the long as I was hoping to get a few miles in early again.  Instead I'll be an hour and a half on my ass in a taxi trying to get across the city at rush hour.

05/03/2013 at 20:40

Hilly, I don't like the sound of that  all the best is all I can say for now.

Ratzer, interesting. So difficult to test these kinds of things unless you kept test subjects like lab rats or somesuch.

Speaking of genetics, mum ran 10:55 for 3k on Friday and she now has a wava of 93.35%. This is off the back of 92.56% she got from parkrun less than a month ago (18'48). 

Edited: 05/03/2013 at 20:43
05/03/2013 at 21:53

Hilly – thanks for the well wishes and same back to you. Hope you find some answers sharpish, you are due a turnaround in fortunes.

Harsh but fair Ratzer.
What’s MP for you this year? Or are you running Marathon effort?

The Duckinator wrote (see)

Afterwards I had a headache, my arms ached and my legs felt like jelly for the next 45 mins - god I've missed a good track session 

Mission accomplished then Duck  As for getting the recoveries right, that’s all part of the learning curve.
Kudos to Mother Duck

Babysitting for friends tonight. Ran a couple of miles on the way here, felt much the same as the other runs, a little discomfort but manageable. I will round this evenings aerobics up to 4 miles on the way home to make 8 for the day.

05/03/2013 at 21:57

Duck - Your mum's bloody quick!  WAVA-tastic!  Speaking of quick, I still can't see me ever running half way round a track quicker than 30 seconds so, good session!

YD - Fingers crossed for you here fella. Plenty of time to get back on track, even if you need to call up the back-up marathon plan.

BBB - Excellent! Yep, you've definitely got a nice improvement curve to look forward to, and in the mean time you've demonstrated you're happy to go to the well. I hope to see your face appear in the "gurn gallery" some time soon! 

WJH - Impressive PB smashing.  Always nice to take a chunk off.

MrV - Ooh nice.  Hope the warm weather training is kind to the niggles.

Healing/recovery vibes to Veloo / Hilly.

I'm well into taper mode now for Saturday's duathlon.  Have already cut down to one session per day  and carried out 2/3 of this evening's track session, i.e. 2 x 2,000m w/ 2 mins recovery @ 5k pace (ooh eck!), which I near enough hit, with 6:21, 6:19.  I think that's done its job; short but sweet session a bit quicker than race pace.  Will be a final short exercise bike tempo session tomorrow and an easy run on Thursday and I'm done.

06/03/2013 at 01:42

Cheers everyone. Still really satisfied to have achieved one of my key targets for the year!  I'm glad to say my balls survived the chopping block David Falconer! So here is a race report...will try and keep it to the point as much as possible

Splits were - 6:41, 6:39, 6:34, 6:32, 6:31, 6:31, 6:39, 6:34, 6:45, 6:50, 6:48, 6:52, 6:33  and 1:19 (for the last 0.2 miles recorded on my Garmin). 

Conditions were pretty ideal to be honest although hovering around freezing to start with, climbing 3/4 degrees by the time I finished....the first mile was a bit edgy as I started a little bit too far back in the pack and I think this is where I gained a little extra on the Garmin (1.10 miles by the time I reached the first mile marker and never got this back after trying to overtake the crowds over the first quarter of a mile or so). I think this could have led to more problems in a race with thousands of runners (congestion, etc) but luckily this wasn't the case. 

Instead I was more concerned at thinking I had started off too quickly since each mile passing was faster up until the 7th mile whereby I had already made the turn back on the out and back route. However, I still felt reasonably strong by this point stamina wise and I put the slower splits between 9 and 12 miles largely down to a bit of a breeze along the exposed shoreline on the way back and a little bit of fatigue setting in! Even so, I was still very pleased to be hitting sub 90 minute HMP thereabouts or just under! I had thought that 88 minutes was the best I could achieve up until the last quarter of a mile or so...however, I realied sub 88 was on about a quarter of a mile from the end largely due to an everything but the kitchen sink last mile! Turning the bend back towards the finish at the front of the stadium I knew sub 88 minutes was in the bag and crossed the line feeling very happy - then threw up almost right away  but as I say, all worth it that's for sure! Something does seem to be going right at the moment and it's just simply due to the higher mileage and losing a little bit of weight and taking ideas/tips and advice from many of you on here! 

I'd never have thought of breaking up training sessions in chunks (i.e. MP/HMP efforts, etc before joining the thread). One session in particular left me confident of a decent time a few weeks ago whereby I did miles 9-11 of a 12 mile run at HMP with similar splits to what I got on Sunday! I guess running the Netley Parkrun has also been good for adding to the overall stamina with it's varied terrain and undulations.

Anyhow, that's done now and it's time to look forward to the next challenges! 

06/03/2013 at 01:55

Further to my last post...

YD - It definitely would be good to line up my other distances with the Llanelli half result and the more I look at Lliswerry, the more I realise it was an off day after a mild virus (if I was to have worn a HRM that day it could have given interesting readings perhaps?). Hopefully I will put my 10k time in line with the half PB at Eastleigh in a few weekends time! After this, it's the Brighton marathon although I would just be looking to get round after previous marathon experiences! I won't change my intended target there of 3:30-3:40 even if my half PB shows I could possibly hit sub 3:30...with that I guess the next few weeks or so will be key with a few key long runs planned (I am taking your idea Curly of running a progressive long run and I think this will also be important in helping to further determine MP for Brighton! ) I do need to think of entering a fast 10 miler - Cabbage Patch could be a possibility later in the year (also managed a 10 mile 'PB' yesterday in just over 66 minutes!). It would also be good to perhaps target 5k PBs more specifically over the summer? Hopefully the worst of your injury setback is behind you now and can carry on with your marathon plans! 

Mr V - I think that sub 85 minutes could potentially be achievable in the autumn although I appreciate this would take a lot of hard work! I was initially thinking of entering another marathon later this year (Amsterdam) but now think an autumn half would be more realistic...possibly the Cardiff half again! Hopefully the worst of your recent injury problems are getting behind you too! Enjoy the warm weather training in Portugal! 

Thanks BBB! Impressive 10k debut from you there too! I'd give advice but at the moment I am more at the stage of listening to others than giving it out. The only thing i'd say is more miles is paying off! 

Ratzer - thank you...that's encouraging to hear that you managed a similar improvement? ! I do think though that a distance like 10 or a half suits me as it allows me to get into a groove...I also tend to take a long time to warm up! I really enjoyed the Llanelli course and would like to do it again one day! 

Well done on the V40 first vet Tom and congrats on the sub 17 Stevie G! I have read some of your thread (ok lurked! ) and it looks encouraging that you could knock a fair bit off that with more specific work! 

Also noted the impressive training continuing from Duck and YP at different ends of the running spectrum! 

Good luck with the duathlon on Saturday Phil. Some of the monster sessions you undertake leave me feeling dizzy just reading about them! 

Hope things improve soon Hilly too. 

Lastly, hello from me to Dash and Vellooo!

Appreciate that this is a very long double post and sorry if I have missed out anyone   - I have a fairly busy week now so will just lurk about from time to time and post again when I can! 

Edited: 06/03/2013 at 01:57
06/03/2013 at 09:51

WJH – Nice report there. I’m not sure what mileage you are doing etc but I would have thought you would be looking at a comfortable sub 3.30 for the marathon off that half time. Though I can appreciate that you want to be conservative if you’ve had bad mara experiences in the past.

Phil – Looking good for Saturday. Remind me what race it is you are doing?

Duck – Pretty impressive wavas from your mum there! Nice speedy session from you as well.

Hilly – Sorry that you (and BR?) are both struggling still.  Are you still suffering from injury? Both of your input is missed on here when you are not posting!

I tried my first speedy session last night. Intended 3x1 mile but felt sore after 2 so cut it short. Still nice to get the legs turning over a bit quicker. Also tried out some new shoes -  Ascis Gel Excel 33. They’ve stopped making the Brooks Launch so I’ve had to try something new.  Felt ok but rather odd so the jury’s still out. Probably just need a few sessions to break them in/ get used to them. Rest day today as feeling a bit sore. Have to resist the temptation to build up too fast!

06/03/2013 at 09:59

Mr V - Thanks, and yes, I'm prepared for that. In fact, have already had a taste at parkrun where 3 successive weeks saw 22:37, 22:44 and another 22:37. I think this was probably part plateau and part the effects of upping my mileage fairly substantially across the course of the weeks prior to the second and third of those times as my focus shifted to preparation for Sunday's 10k. Hoping I can knock another big chunk off this Saturday however, and looking ahead am deliberately eyeing up races across a variety of distances over the next 3 or 4 months to include 4m, 5m, 10k, 7m and possibly a 10 miler. This should hopefully keep things fresh and interesting even during the inevitable encounters with a plateau or two along the way. Jealous of your Portugal trip, but hope it goes well.

YD - Yeah, I guess you're right - hope so anyway. Might get a feel for how close I am to that this evening. The legs feel ready to go again this morning, so think I'm going to forsake putting myself through 90 minutes of ritual torture at Meadow Lane and get back out on the road and have a bash at some quicker paces. Plan at the moment is to have a crack at couple of sub-7 minute mile pace 1k intervals in the middle of a 4 or 5 miler to get a feel for what I can target pacing myself at on Saturday morning. Liking the way you're coping with getting the miles in despite the issues you're trying to overcome - where there's a will and all that...

Sounds like another tough session, Duck. Unsurprising you feel motivated with the pace of your Mum breathing down your neck though! That's incredible. From the little understanding I have of these things so far, those WAVA ratings make her world class for her age group. Does she get much opportunity to compete at regional or even national level in her category, or are the races / competition just not there?

Ratzer - Interesting post. Who was the author? Michael Mosley had similar findings in a Horizon documentary I saw. He underwent a DNA test and from that the scientists 'predicted' that he'd be a non-responder aerobically to the exercise regime he was undertaking. And so it proved. His VO2 max was virtually unchanged. He was gutted. Conversely, I've always felt I respond well to exercise when I've been bothered, and perhaps the decent progress I've been making so far with my short running career backs that up? Lucky me, unlucky Mr Mosley. The documentary also covered the sedentary occupation stuff - I've since tried to keep myself aware of getting up and having a wander about a bit more regularly. Would be easy for me not to move for hours at times in my job otherwise.

Phil - Cheers. Funnily enough, I've been keeping an eye out since Sunday for something I can use on here, but there was a disappointing lack of photography at the event unfortunately, and all I've found so far is a long distance side shot of me making myself look like a cock with a half-hearted and ill-judged attempt to get into the 'spirit' of the event by joining in with the mass warm up before the start.  Shame, given the way my Dad was almost wetting himself with laughter at the end, my feeling is that Sunday's home straight gurn would have been a pearler! I might dig out one of my cricket photos in the meantime - think there's one around somewhere of me holding my head after playing on whilst on 49 in a festival game a couple of years back. Not a gurn, but certainly a groan. Good luck with duathlon on Sunday, look forward to hearing the details in due course.

WJH - Nice report - you clearly gave it your all given your 'turn' at the finish line! 

06/03/2013 at 10:13

Hopefully I've got this right. Adding in both YP's 19:59 at parkrun, and my own 10k from Sunday.


MIDDLE GROUND WAVA LEAGUE (December-March) Calculator here:

85.79% PhilPub (10k, 33:07, February)
82.34% Hilly (10M, 66:45, December)

79.26% Duck (60m, 8.1, December)
78.16% SG (HM, 75:41, February)
77.86% PRF (10K, 38:12, February)
77.35% Wardi (5K 19:52 March)
77.08% YD (10K, 35:24, February)
73.84% Curly45 (5K 20:03, February)

69.98% Dr.Dan (10M, 69:42, February)
68.82% Young Pup (5k, 19:59 March)
63.15% BBB (10k, 45:40, March)

59.56% CB (10K, 46:20, December)
57.16% Alehouse (5K 27:49 March)


Need to add one back in:
BR, Simon, Ratzer, Dash, dav3c, RobT, Minni, MrV



Edited: 06/03/2013 at 10:14
06/03/2013 at 10:34

BBB - Thankfully I don't remember anyone catching my pitiful attempts to play cricket on camera. Years ago I played for the school's old boys' team for a while, but can't help thinking I was valued just as much for my lift-offering, match fee-paying, umpiring, and kit-bag packing skills as for my shoddy wicket-keeping, lazy off-(non-)spin or career high score of 35. 

WJH - Nice report.  Would it be worth having a specific marathon target based on a negative split? e.g. 3:35 overall with 3:40 pace for the first half, 3:30 for the second half, which might give you a lot of confidence for running a sub-3:30 for the next one?  (Or just go for it? )

Mr V - Good luck with the new shoes.  As it happens I've recently gone back to Brooks (Defyance) and initially was a little put off by the midsole stiffness compared to what I'm used to (Nike Zoom Elite) but I've since run 21 miles with no complaints (and intervals) so they appear to be bedding in.

The race is the Dambuster Duathlon at Rutland Water, also the national champs and one of three age-group World duathlon champs qualifiers. Run/bike/run (10k/42k/5k).  Quite a biggy!

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