The Middle Ground

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10/03/2013 at 21:23, when it's too cold to swim.  *shudder*)

Anyway, put the bike away.  On with marathon training!

Edited: 10/03/2013 at 21:24
10/03/2013 at 21:32

sounds a good performance Phil, you just don't stop do you!

Glad you pointed out the short course on the 5k bit. Irritatingly the wife of an old rival at my old club suggsted (quite ludicrously) that he'd set a 26 sec 5k pb despite the earlier stages.

i thought it was quite well known that the running sections can be pretty dodgily measured at these events sometimes!

10/03/2013 at 21:44

It's almost like they do it deliberately to massage triathletes' egos!    The "5k" followed the same route as the 10k, but with the turning-point cone in a different place!

10/03/2013 at 22:00

I'm sure the chap knows himself...runners know there's no benefit from false claims, and if anything you're on a hiding to nothing next time out to match it!


10/03/2013 at 22:31
Cracking effort and good report, Phil. More to be proud of than frustrated by, but some good experience to tuck away nevertheless for future efforts by the sounds of it. Congrats, and hope you get some good news on the Worlds. (Thought that final '5k' looked a stonker - the short course explains it, though still a good run!)

Good luck with the parkrun and the later 10k, Dash. If you can get to sub-40 in 9 months, there must be plenty more under the bonnet to tap into with an extended, uninterrupted and injury free bout of committed training I'd have thought.

I hope you're right about the calf, YD, and that's certainly been my thought up until now. What's making me wonder though, is whilst I've been quite bloke-ish in admiring the changes in body shape of the upper half of my body as I get in and out of the shower since I kicked the lard and got into decent shape for the first time in my life, I'd not really paid much attention to the legs, but looking down yesterday, it occurred to me that one thigh is considerably more developed than the other. I mentioned earlier in the thread I think that I had to give up football due to a badly ripped quad, and as the bread knife pointed out when I mentioned it to her earlier, it is that thigh that is underdeveloped. Measured it tonight and its circumference is over an inch less than the other. Seems my right leg is doing a disproportionate amount of the work I guess, and it is that calf which is causing me problems. Will try to be aware of that in my running this week, and try to be more balanced, but it's probably something worth having checked out? I've been reading about pronation as well this week - all new to me, but probably worth looking at that too. Has anyone tried and got any thoughts on the home tests, or should I just get myself off to somewhere like Sweatshop and get it done properly? I could do with some proper running shoes anyway for the better weather when it eventually arrives - doing all my running in trails at the moment.

I've been working quite hard at the stretching by the way - static after my running, and dynamic stretching before and after. Definitely more I can do on the core work though - still just press ups and sit ups at the moment. Somebody mentioned planking and I looked into it, but the coupe of links I Googled made it sound a bit complicated. Are they worth pursuing? Anything else anyone can recommend, particularly bearing in mind the aforementioned weaknesses? Got a feeling the glutes are probably trailing behind in their development, so they might be worth some work.
10/03/2013 at 23:07

Phil –as a fellow Raynaud’s sufferer I winced reading about the bike leg without the
gloves. No wonder your mind wandered!

Still a bloody good effort considering, the run legs especially. Fingers crossed for qualification.

PhilPub wrote (see)

 It's almost like they do it deliberately to massage triathletes' egos!   

Made me laugh that




Bob –planks are good and are not complicated, just go on youtube for an example.
Yes work on your glutes, my physio says soft glutes are keeping him in business!
To strengthen do – lunges front and back, glute bridge and knee drops. For the knee drops round the bottom of your back to make sure the glute is engaged, I do this by taking a big breath and then a big exhale, you don’t want the quad to take the weight.
As for getting checked out, maybe, depends how much cash you are prepared to spend and how worried you are about the imbalance? It might right itself the more you run, I dont know.
My advice would be keep your hips and quads limber, do some glute strengthening and some more general core work and that will go a fair way to protecting you.


Edited: 10/03/2013 at 23:10
11/03/2013 at 09:27

As always, it takes some catching up on here;


Curly - That stamina must be coming along nicely with the way you're knocking out these regular long runs. What are your expectations for Brighton at this stage, now that you have a fair bit of the training under your belt?

Phil - Congratulations on the 4.32k PB Position wise the overall performance looks impressive for the National Champs. I would ask what the qualification criteria is for the Worlds but I have a suspicion it is going to be too complicated for my limited brain power


Wardi - Excellently judged sub 20, especially on Saturday when conditions were far from perfect.


The weekend went pretty well for me with a first 17:xx of the year, 17:54 at Hull parkrun and then a good strong run at Spen 20 yesterday with a relaxed first half and then a second half at 2:50 marathon pace.

Copying from the blog:

The idea for this race was to start breeding some marathon confidence and, as such, what was intended was to take the first half of this very hilly 20 miler steadily, ie no faster than 70 mins, and then start upping the effort level over the second half but without feeling like I was hanging on for the finish. Something around 65 minutes, or 2:50 marathon pace, would be ideal for the second half.

The first half was run with John Broom and felt very comfortable in 1:12:29 (7:15/mile).

From the 10 mile marker it was then time to starting asking the legs some questions and seeing how they responded. Suffice to say, I was a little taken by surprise at just how well they did respond. Following the 10th mile in 7:12, the tough 11th was covered in 6:09! I was expecting something around 6:20-6:30, but it was feeling good so there was no real concern that there was going to be a price to pay for this acceleration.

The remaining miles were ticked off in 6:30, 6:31, 6:20, 6:25, 6:37, 6:59, 6:59, 6:35, 6:17.

The two 6:59s were slowed quite significantly by a freezing wind picking up strength on the top of the moor, so an overall second half of 1:05:33 (6:33/mile) was very pleasing.

The last part of the plan of not feeling as though I was hanging on for the finish was also achieved to the point that, if push came to shove, a 42 minute 10K could probably have been tagged on the end to complete a sub 3 marathon today. Off such a steady start that is a really nice position to be in 6 weeks out from VLM


If anyone comes across that WAVA table I might have a bit of an improvement to stick in there

11/03/2013 at 09:38

Nice work, PRF, and your wish is my command!


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

11/03/2013 at 10:00

Cheers Alehouse

Nothing like a bit of Duck and Stevie leapfrogging to start a Monday off on the right note


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

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

79.83% PRF (5K, 17:54, March)
79.26% Duck (60m, 8.1, December)
78.16% SG (HM, 75:41, 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

11/03/2013 at 10:16

BBB - I think YD's covered most of it.  I do squats, lunges and bridges as part of my twice-weekly core routine, which I'm sure target the quads/glutes more than running, so would be good for muscle balance generally. I'd also recommend other cardio that targets quads, to complement the running - most obviously cycling, and also the indoor rower.

prf - That's a cracking effort! I shouldn't be surprised but you seem to have quietly turned into a veritable endurance machine. 2:50 marathon pace, eh?

Worlds qualifying is quite simple really.  There are 20 slots available for each age group (35-39, 40-44...) Some people pre-qualify (last year's national champ, etc), then there are three qualification races, of which Saturday's was the first.  First 4 in each race automatically qualify, so a max of 12 from these slots, then the left-over slots are allocated on a "roll-down" basis.  You're ranked according to your time as a proportion of the winning (age group) time in your race, but must be no more than 115% of the time. (My time = winner + 6%.)

Of 15 guys registering intent to qualify so far, 11 of us raced on Saturday; only 5 were in the 10 ahead of me, so I beat 5.  The big question-mark at the moment would be how many entrants in the other two qualifying races have yet to register their intent to qualify.  (They're on 23rd March and 14th April and you have to register by the Friday before the race.) I think there are two things in my favour at the moment: 1. Saturday was the national champs, so it would be nice to think the fields would be less stacked, and fewer people within 6% of the winning time; 2. Ottawa is a bloody long way, and not everyone who qualifies will want to take up the place.  It's still looking like an expensive holiday option though. 

Edited: 11/03/2013 at 10:19
11/03/2013 at 10:34

Bob – Agree with YD glutes (along with your core) should be a priority if you are going to spend time strengthening.

PRF – Coming up to the boil nicely now. I’m taking notes for my autumn campaign

Phil – Sounds like an impressive performance and fingers crossed you manage to qualify.

Razter – Good effort on those mammoth treadmill sessions – rather you than me!

I decided not to increase my mileage this week. In fact I ended up doing slightly less with around 42 miles. I really didn’t want any setbacks with Portugal looming this week. That did however encompass 3 consecutive days totalling 31 miles so the injury isn’t troubling me too much now.

11/03/2013 at 10:51

My physio wants me to avoid working my quads too much, he told me to avoid cross training that will strengthen the quads i.e. cycling. He said to me that I have quite big quads and he doesn’t want me unbalancing my legs more by building my quads up. Now not suggesting that is right for you Bob, but just sharing…..
We spent quite a bit of time getting the technique right so that I isolated and engaged my glutes as much as possible when doing knee drops and other more specific exercises I am doing. I am not currently doing lunges or bridges as they are too general for my current situation, but I expect to get back to them in time.
Another thing to consider is your adductor muscles, like glutes they can become soft and under utilised. Again go on youtube there is loads of stuff on there for you to try. To make adductor excersises effective you need to isolate the muscle as much as possible.

Excellent news on the injury Mr V!
I know you had some physio and he had you doing glute work, does the above tally with the kind of things he was telling you?

Looking good for qualification then Phil. If you qualified would you spend the money on a fancy Tri Bike? Could turn out expensive with the trip to Canada!

11/03/2013 at 11:12

YD – Yep sounds very similar to what mine has me doing. Like your physio he says runners often don’t have strong enough glutes or don’t engage them properly letting other areas take the strain. On the positive side of things working on them should improve performance as well as injury proofing. I guess it makes sense if you are not using one of your main running muscles properly you are not going as fast as you could be.

11/03/2013 at 11:20

Some good reports

Phil ouch!!! You need to get some of Gobi's heated gloves perhaps for bike legs? Overall though, well done and its nice to feel there were improvements to make next time even without further training. Winner + 6% in the national champs is amazing!

PRF so got your trophy back in safe hands now then? Sounds like a really promising run round a very tough course... looking for a 2:45 then?

I'm in the middle of having the target disucssion with Moraghan right now - he is thinking on the conservative side so 3:20-3:24, ideally I'd like to go for something a bit faster...we'll wait and see who wins that debate...

Cant believe I have nearly 74% and am the bottom of the 70s Stop improving you lot I cant keep up!

Mr V thats very positive indeed! Have a great time and hopefully some lovely warm weather.

Dash I'd agree - you've got loads of potential yet to crack once you are back out there consistently again.

YD I have big quads too, but luckily I only cycle in low gear and keep the turnover fast - they havent got any worse from cycling, in fact have got slightly smaller (more toned). Cycling up hills or with too much resistance is what causes cycling thighs I think...Phil may correct me of course!

11/03/2013 at 11:45

Curly – I actually suggested to my physio that I maintained fitness by cycling on the flat in a low gear. But he said in my situation it’s not worth it as he doesn’t think I will be out for long, so there will be no major loss in fitness and the downsides are the potential imbalance in the quads.
If this injury persists I will have to work something out to maintain fitness.

Mr V – yep my thinking as well, engaging the whole set of muscles has to be better!

11/03/2013 at 11:54

MrV - Good news!

YD - Interesting advice from the physio re quads.  I work on the assumption that running over-develops the calves and hamstrings relative to quads, so exercising the quads is good for balance. I guess it's down to the individual though, especially when a professional has first-hand experience.

Curly - That looks like a tasty target already, but can I assume you might have half an eye on a Champs qualifying time?  That would be pretty serious stuff.

I think you're sort of right re: cycling thighs, but it comes down to pure power/sprint vs. endurance, and the individual's pre-disposition towards either one or the other.  Compare, for example, Bradley Wiggins, who has cycled up more hills than I've had hot dinners:*zGbFD*399wMVxuN13tRrPwdyDyCRfVt93EwE62HJGo9PA4Wt8HUTNtoUbU0j2-mI3vjW9tB24oz30f01yofm/Stg15.finish.jpg?width=750

 ...with Sir Chris Hoy:


(Or much like the contrast between a sprinter and a marathon runner.)  In other words, I wouldn't worry too much about leg muscles bulking up from cycling as long as it's aerobic efforts.

11/03/2013 at 11:58

Weak glutes always seem to come up in injury chats don't they. It's as if runners know hamstrings are important to keep in shape, but forget glutes are at least as important.

I follow all physio stuff to the exact letter, although one once told me to run more with the glutes than the hamstrings....wasn't quite sure what that meant!?

11/03/2013 at 11:58

YD - I'd love to get a proper TT bike, but don't know if I could justify the outlay, especially with the cost of the trip.  Will have to see how business goes over the next few months, and how generous people are feeling around my birthday.

11/03/2013 at 11:59

Indeed you can Phil but I think its out of reach this time to be honest...

Hoys thighs are scary, but I wouldnt mind those skinny calves Wiggo has!! May have to cry off cycling to work today though jeepers its windy out

11/03/2013 at 12:01
Phil - you are a machine. I was nearly crying after my run on Saturday (and that was with 2 pairs of gloves), I can't believe you went out on a bike with no gloves. Did Anna T win? She is from my club.

Curly - just agree with him and then do what you want on race day. I would certainly pitch at the faster 3.20 for the first half and then see if you can pick it up from there.

You may feel frustrated if at the end you think you could have achieved a championship time, but when it comes to the marathon, it is easy to pay the price by starting a little too fast. Stepping stones and all that. Of course you realise this is coming from a do as I say, not as I do, point of view

You are in the best shape of your life and I think you could get a great time off your HM, but we all know the marathon can be cruel. I think you will nail it though, you deserve it.

Y D - Thirsk should be good. I'm still way off form, but after a long XC season and a long lay off last year, I'm really looking forward to a bloody good road race. I'll be going for a pb, but it is almost by default/technicality as it is so old (2009).

I have the BMAF XC Champs this Saturday and unfortunately the last harrier league XC next sat. I could have done without that the day before Thirsk, but looks like we'll win the division and I've done all the others, so I should show up. As I'm still running with a handicap, I'll be nowhere near being a counter, so it doesn't matter how I run it. Thank god I'll be back with the main pack next season!

I've entered a fair few races over the next few months and I'm quite excited about it. I've been knocking out some fair sessions lately, but the pace still feels harder than it should.

Snow and arctic, freezing wind this morning. The magic type that was against me every time I rounded a bend. I'm so over the weather!!!
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