The Middle Ground

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12/03/2013 at 10:04

Morning all.

Phil congratilations on the duathlon. Fingers crossed for selection.

75 reports down, 25 to go...

Speedwork this morning. Still really struggling to hit any pace at all. I've have fairly inconsistent mileage recently and my weight has crept up, so it's not entirely suprising. More miles and less chocolate, keep trying the faster sessions and it will come good in the end!

12/03/2013 at 10:40

Love the article , Curly! Especially:

"The most important aspects of a distance runner's training are patience and consistency. These things are not glamorous. They don't fit in particularly well in today's society. There is no quick fix and no immediate gratification."

To be honest I think the article refers more to the 60s and 70s: it was in the mid to late 80s that things seemed to change. Consistent consistency!

BBB: On my 40th birthday a wise old guy from my club (55 at the time: gosh, I'm older than that and passing on the same wisdom!) told me that there are two things he regretted not doing as he got older...flexibility work and speed work. He said that he never lost his endurance, but speed and suppleness. Did I listen? No! Obviously things will be a little different for you as a relative newcomer, but the flexibility, in particular, remains: I failed to injury protect myself and look where I am now! I also think it is another case of where less is more: I would advocate shorter, daily (my physio complains that I am only doing them Twice daily!) stretches and strengthening.
And f you can't run, walk! Ask PRF: if you haven't looked at the first parts of his blog (running on a raisin) then it is worth a look.

PP: interesting photo! Thought you would have worn gloves, though!

Edit: BBB: PRF's background is at the bottom of this page, hopefully...

Edited: 12/03/2013 at 10:45
12/03/2013 at 11:24

Interesting article, Curly. Will try to follow that blog. The cycling I'd be doing would actually be on an exercise bike in the loft conversion, so very boring compared to being out in the elements (and thus why I soon swapped to running once I 'discovered' it in November), but does have the advantage of being able to be done as easy as I like, and I can also just step off if I feel a twinge rather than having to battle my way home and making it worse. The discomfort is also substantially down on yesterday so I'll have a gentle half hour or so before properly tackling some of the strengthening exercises I think. Beside it's too cold to just walk at the moment!

Getting there with those reports, CB!

Alehouse - Thanks for your thoughts. I'm well on with the stretching - I do that as often as it occurs to me, and (if at work) when I'm sure nobody is looking! Could probably do it in a more organised fashion though, so something to work on alongside the strengthening. I've read quite a bit of PRF's blog, but hadn't seen that introductory background detail no - amazing stuff! 

12/03/2013 at 13:09

PP - when we had the Nike guys in at work a few months ago they commented on the size of my thighs  didn't think they were that bad!

I'll give you an 8 for the picture, but no tri suit? Disappointed 

Windy here too Curly, not easy to run in. Daniels gives a 2 m/s headwind as increasing demand for O2 by 5%, a 10mph headwind apparently can make as much as 10% difference (this is what I can deduce anyway so may be wrong)!

alehouse wrote (see)

"The most important aspects of a distance runner's training are patience and consistency. These things are not glamorous. They don't fit in particularly well in today's society. There is no quick fix and no immediate gratification."

Great quote. 

I got myself down the (windy) boulevard this morning for 4.8M w/3.4M fartlek (21'10, 6:17/m avg). Cycled around between 800/1500/3k intensities and got some good aerobic development I think - breathing was pretty hard by the end. Pretty steady pace for recoveries too - slowest 200m section was just under 8:00/m. 


12/03/2013 at 14:23

YD / BBB - Sorry about the half-hearted gurn. Remember Hans Solo appearing for the first time in Return of the Jedi?  That's just the shape my face was in when it froze half way round.

Duck - I was all gimped out actually, but with an extra layer over the top, which takes the fetishist edge off somewhat.  I think your thighs are great!

Curly - Saw that article yesterday.  Good stuff.  I think the guys above have quoted the bits that stuck out for me as well.  I like the sound of your mixed up session - might just be enough to keep your mind off the weather! 

I'm out tonight, so always planned a long tempo/MP session for lunchtime instead.  I took the wimp's option and did it on the treadmill, my longest ever session on the contraption.  11M w/ 8M @ 5:49 (or 47 mins @ 16.6kph, in gym-speak!)  Strapped on the HR monitor out of curiosity, and the figures were reassuringly predictable; after a few minutes HR was rock-solid on 164/165 (exactly my target HR for MP runs recently), then after 20+ minutes crept up to 168, and maxed out at 170, again remaining very steady for a few minutes.  This is obviously down to steadily increasing body temperature, which you wouldn't get out of doors.  All very manageable. I might have sweated a bit though. 

12/03/2013 at 14:26

Those Hoy thighs are just inhuman

Phil - As you say, very straightforward qualification criteria. To be fair, I reckon if you have actually put in the necessary effort to work out how to qualify then you deserve to go based on that alone.

Kelly - Good luck with the scheduled races, hopefully you'll come out of the other end of them feeling like you're back to your old self!

BBB -Well done on the parkrun PB.

Both the 5K and Spen 20 were run unfuelled, so it was something like 13 hours before Spen 20 when the last food was consumed, but that didnt stop the last mile being 6:17 with plenty left in the tank, so it looks like the series of unfuelled long runs have been doing their job


WJH - Excellent session on Saturday but I wouldnt worry about what to class it as, it is what it is!

Curly - Excellent article. I think I'll copy that quote that Alehouse picked out on to FB and see what response it gets.

Alehouse - it is interesting how Martin Rees doesnt seem to actually bother with all this ageing process nonsense, he just ploughs on running the times of top local 30 year olds. A 1:11 HM last week as a 60 year old!

Duck - It sounds like you're doing well to get anything done at the moment. Can you get that Scottish weather sorted out before June please?

12/03/2013 at 14:50
A lot going on here!

Phil, good chef hunting. You'll be closer with a posh bike. PRF, WJF and any other racing acronyms; good racing!
Apologies to any other of the hordes I may have missed.

After incurring brain freeze as a result of an ill-advised run in a horizontal snow storm yesterday I recovered enough to do 70 minutes on the dready today which, as experiences go, can only be described as up there with having my crack waxed!
Extra apologies for the harrowing imagery!
12/03/2013 at 15:00
WJH even!
12/03/2013 at 18:20

Haha Dash! The acronym is simply my full name which is double barrelled abbreviated…I wish it was more exciting than that but unfortunately not! Your description to running on a treadmill made me laugh as has Phil’s 'contraption' description! I must be an odd one in that I quite enjoy them when I’m in the mood!

Thanks PRF – gives me confidence going forward!  

….and Curly I will not be looking to do anything that involves a Parkrun of any description and LSR combined again that’s for sure!  My legs are still a little out of sorts now so I am thinking about my next long session on the weekend being time on feet rather than pace specific for building the overall endurance!  Oh and that article makes for very interesting reading!

Alehouse – talking flexibility etc, I came across a Ryan Giggs Strenth and Conditioning DVD when away on the weekend…possibly would have purchased that if I hadn’t over budgeted on other things!  A snapshot of what it’s about (apologies if you or anyone else knows of it already);

'features a number of generic conditioning circuits, focusing on the main musculo-skeletal issues predominant in football and running sports, combined with yoga-inspired excercises, used to develop flexibility, maintain stamina, core stability and speed and prevent injury'.

He is one of the best in looking after himself so any tips from that could be good! I must admit I did a bit of planking a fair few months ago following Ducks mammoth efforts but really need to at least start up some basic core work again!

Good to see the morning speed sessions continuing CB!

Good session by the looks today Duck….oh I hope the weather improves by the time Eastleigh comes round!!!

Sounds like we are at a similar places time wise kaysdee - or at least when taking WAVA out of the equation! Hopefully a change in the weather will bring a change in form and fortunes!  

Phil – there is one gurn photo I LOL’d at a while ago…I might have read it on another thread (or on here?), it's possibly from the Brighton half last year but can’t be sure!

Edited: 12/03/2013 at 18:24
12/03/2013 at 18:53

Phil - thanks  that sounds the kind of session that mentally is just about doable on a treadmill! 

prf - sent the Strathclyde lot an email today while sorting some parkrun stuff out, so hopefully I'll get a reply back soon. Before I moved house (back in 2005 I think) we got snowed in in April so anything is possible!

WJH - sure that's not just Ryan Giggs and his mistress  

Planking, not tried to see how long I can plan for recently but I'm doing a ton of sideplank and v-sits now as well, so each exercise isn't as long (I normally do 2 mins each). I'll have to give it a go at some point.

12/03/2013 at 19:04

Oh sorry Duck did I answer your q about brekkie on marathon day? Yes, I'll have porridge with golden syrup which is what I eat for brekkie a lot of the time anyway (but not usually before long runs) and a cup or two of black coffee, but stop about 3 hours before and then possibly one tea or just some water and stop that about an hour before.

If its cool I plan not to drink on course, but if its sunny or warm then I possibly will. Depends how I feel to be honest. Its pretty standard for me to race without but I always decide during the race about fueling etc. It's not a big deal to me, but its good to keep your options open.

13/03/2013 at 13:57

WJH - The one gurn photo that still makes me wince just thinking back to it was at the end of the Bristol HM in 2010, where I missed my sub-75 target by 13 seconds.  Possibly that one!

Hmmm... marathon brekkie.  Never too early to think about that!  Three hours sounds about right. It could go a few different ways for me (all tried and tested, of course!)  Odds-on favourite would be chocolate porridge, although I could go the maple syrup route.  Or I might have knocked up a loaf of wholemeal, and smother it with raspberry jam.  Finally, I could renew last year's post-Easter fixation and have some hot cross buns, which of course will be on special offer in all the shops.  Again, with raspberry jam of course.  All washed down with a cup of strong coffee. 

Oh yes, one of the advantages of getting an MP run in on the treadmill is that it helped me practise drinking whilst running at speed.  Thankfully VLM doesn't have anything silly like plastic cups, so I think I'll be able to get a good few glugs of water and Lucozade Sport down me without too much trouble.

Right, executive decision made.  With the duathlon now out of the way, I'm going for the final push, dropping all my gym sessions (apart from Monday lunchtime spin, good for loosening up the legs after a hard weekend's training) and getting in some doubles instead.  I reckon I can easily squeeze in another 20mpw of easy running.  Starting today, 6.5M in a bizarre mix of hail and sunshine. 7M later.

13/03/2013 at 14:13

But Phil you havent answered the really big question!! What will dinner be the night before?

I'm making butternut risotto and will have one glass of wine with it to help me sleep

Right, had a bit of weather paddy today, but did get my session done and on pace, just not the usual free flowing sessions I've been having for a while. Still, 6 months ago I would have quit rather than complete so pleased in that respect that my mental strength is there, the fitness is there, but I just wish the wind would piss off

3M @ 8:20, strides, 1M @ 6:46, 90secs, 7.2M @ 7:32 (possibly a bit faster - forgot to stop watch at a crossing so lost some time there), 90secs, 0.5M @ 6:50, 90secs, 0.5M @ 6:46, 90secs, cd

14 miles in total the last 7 into a tough headwind. REALLY want some cake.Good job the cupboards are empty

13/03/2013 at 14:24

Nice session, Curly.  Character building stuff in this weather.

Now the obvious answer to the dinner question is: a big lump of Aberdeen Angus rump steak, mash, portobello mushrooms & garlic, and curly kale, all washed down with a couple of glasses of red and followed by profiteroles.  BUT I was informed yesterday that 20th April is Record Store Day and my mate works in a shop up town that's having a free gig with an interesting line-up.  Depending on the timing I might decide to stay out for dinner, which would then most likely be a trip to Wong Kei in Chinatown for barbecued pork on rice, with plain fried noodles and Chinese greens in oyster sauce, washed down with as much jasmin tea as I can drink.

13/03/2013 at 15:09 we've started sharing the track with a footie team.  No worries about the regular Tuesday session but the track won't be available tomorrow evening for my threshold miles.  I reminded myself that I've used Millwall Park on the Isle of Dogs for the odd interval session and decided to measure it properly.  How perfect is this for mile reps! 

13/03/2013 at 15:55
PhilPub wrote (see)

"WJH - The one gurn photo that still makes me wince just thinking back to it was at the end of the Bristol HM in 2010, where I missed my sub-75 target by 13 seconds.  Possibly that one!"


Good grief! I feel I might collapse myself at any moment just looking at that!

Nice little loop you've found there too, Phil. I've got one in the 'burbs near us on the perfect oval of a very quiet residential couple of streets that comes to almost precisely one km. No junctions to cross at all, just a single loop. Slight incline going up and down the straights, but don't think that's the worst thing as how many races are dead flat anyway? Been very handy as I've started to introduce some interval training recently.

Was only joking about PRF not fuelling for a 20 mile race, but many a true word spoken in jest it seems! 

Some good sessions against the elements from Duck and Curly. Well battled, folks.

Back out there myself tonight after no mishaps from last night's bit of cross-training on the exercise bike (  ) and some strengthening exercises. Got in some planking, glute bridges, forward and back lunges and started to do some clams before starting to feel a bit silly, and being aware of the Barca v Milan CL tie beginning to call me!

Easy 4 tonight probably, might make it 5 and put in a slightly quicker mile towards the end if there's no reaction from the niggles. Would love to hammer some km reps on that loop, but better not.




Edited: 13/03/2013 at 15:56
13/03/2013 at 15:57

What have the done to the quote function on this forum? 

Something changes every day at the moment, and all for the worse! 

14/03/2013 at 22:30
It's all gone quiet, all gone quiet, all gone quiet over here.

Decent couple of days running for me. The bit of rest and cross training earlier in the week seems to have all but cleared the niggles.

5.1 miles last night at mostly easy pace, with a bit of steady stuff in there to try to tune into firstly my natural running form with the imbalance I've identified and then a bit more concentrating on getting the weaker leg to do more of the driving. Was very noticeable just how much work the stronger leg was doing when I was trying to drive forward unless I consciously tried to be a bit more balanced. A bit of hip rotation in there too which might well be what has been causing the grumbles.

No adverse reaction to that, and having voluntarily given up parkrun this Saturday in the interests of marital harmony, decided to make tonight my one hard session of the week. Probably a better balance to the week now, with Sunday's long run not being the day after what would have been a really concerted attack on 21:40 or better.

Was slightly sulky on the way home nevertheless, so decided to do one of my progressive runs, but stick a nasty twist on the end of it to really test myself. Idea was to progress from the first 2 miles, towards LT pace (7:28) for miles 3 and 4, and then after 3 mins recovery, attack km reps at 10k (7:20) and then 5k (7:04) pace for 6.5 miles in total.

Came out as 8:33, 8:00, 7:34, 7:28, three mins jog recovery, 7:15 for the first km rep, two mins jog recovery, 6:56 for the second km rep, cool down of another km.

Hard session! Was blowing out of my arse by the end of the kilometre at 6:56 pace, 8 seconds inside my 5km pace - not surprising I suppose as I was almost 10km and over 45 mins into the run by then!

Thoughts on that? Reasonable set up for my one hard session of the week, or was it a bit kamikaze?!
Edited: 14/03/2013 at 22:32
14/03/2013 at 23:10


Your session sounds similar to my club one this week, after the warm up we ran 20mins at tempo pace (6.23 for me) jog recovery then 3x1k at 5k pace with 2mins jog recovery (6.03, 6.00, 5.55). We did the same session about a month or so ago and it felt so much easier this time round, well less painfull anyway. So your session sounds reasonable to me but I have no expertise whatsoever! 


Edited: 14/03/2013 at 23:11
15/03/2013 at 09:18

Thanks, Vellooo. Good to know.

Was shattered when I got home, but recovered fairly quickly after I'd showered and eaten, and feel ok today, though the legs know they've had a hard workout.

Doesn't seem to have aggravated the niggles in any way though, which is good, so I'll try another similar session in a couple of weeks. Been a while since I've done an even paced tempo, so might make next week's effort session a 4-miler at a steady pace around the 7:25 mark.

Good session from you there - must be encouraging to find it was less painful than the previous time you ran it too - strong evidence of progress!


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