The Middle Ground

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16/06/2013 at 18:31

12.1 miles done at a nice pace. Was listening to the Parkrun podcast and Marathontalk podcast for the first time, and thread media whore PRF managed a mention on both of them - he got a question asked in the interview on Parkrun and a mention of his exploits in the Cork Marathon on Marathontalk! Good to hear he's still out there...

16/06/2013 at 20:43

Evening everyone. End of a bit of a busy week for me.

Mr V, I wrote out quite a big section then realised I was probably overcomplicating things. I'd stick to the following:

  • Race pace work - start off w/8*800 @ 5kp, and progress it to 4*1M by the time you want to peak.
  • 3kp stuff - same idea, less volume of course. Perhaps finish off with 2*1M or 3*1k.
  • 1500m pace - 400s w/short rest - 2*1k w/longish rest. Icing on the cake stuff!

I'd probably keep a once-fortnightly threshold run too, and 90 min long run w/a steadyish last 15-20 mins (~6:50/m or a bit slower than MP).

Simon, don't give up on the season yet. I've hardly got started yet! What have you run this year aside from the 800 pb? Doesn't sound like - performance wise - the year has been too bad so far.

That's a great session, might give it a shot myself. That final 200 must have been close to flat out? I'd agree close to 2:07 shape - a good predictor is 600 @ 800 pace, multiplied by 1.35. If you can run 94.5 then I'd be confident of 2'07.xx

Simon Edward wrote (see)

Dan, I agree that Duck and I  definitely need a smackdown. I need to get revenge for last year's race.

Bring it on  

Bob, great session, I'd expect a 5k pb soon based off of that. Sorry for forgetting but have you been doing many shortish tempos recently? That would give a pretty decent indicator too I think.

Garmins.... useful as a tool but I don't rely on one for pace. My 5k pb has an average pace of 5:45/m on the Garmin but I squeaked a 17:59 which is 5:48/m.  On the track I use it in indoor mode and use it as a stopwatch, on the road in races etc I use it to ensure I don't go off way too fast.

YD - who are you?  good to hear you are still kicking about and training well

Andrew, nothing more to add to what's been said. Get the miles in, some tempos and forget about the magical interval session for now. You'll improve just by doing something on a regular basis. 

God Phil, sounds very nasty  get well soon!

I've had more good sessions. Today I did 2*300 w/15'00 rec - a good predictor for the 400. Basically I think if I'm splitting 40.00 for 300m and it not being flat out then sub-54 should be possible. 

Ran 39.939.4. I was breathing hard at the end but I wasn't tying up and throwing myself at the line. That 53.xx is close!

Rest week now. I am doing a 4*100 & open 100 Thursday, and am going to run a 600m TT about an hour before as well to see what I can do. I'm parkrunning Saturday for the first time since March  I literally have not had a single Saturday off since! 

As for the WAVA table, while my mile is the highest I won't put it down if the time isn't 100% accurate.


Calculator here:

82.02% PhilPub (Marathon, 2:35:54, April)

80.98% Velloo (5k 18:53 May)


79.47% Simon (800, 2:08.8, May)

77.35% Wardi (5K 19:52 March)

76.67% Duck (400m, 56.64, May)

73.23% MrV (5K, 17:37, June)

70.16% Dr.Dan (5K, 20:22, April)


69.22% DT19 (HM, 1.27.07, March)

68.76% WJH (5M 30:55, May)

67.16%, BBB (5 mile, 34:07,

17/06/2013 at 08:01

Morning all - moved on apace since I was last able to post!

Welcome back to Mr Bump - er, I mean Phil - hope the arm's improving...sounds like you got off pretty lightly considering. 

AndrewD - just one more thing to add on the paces front. Mentally it does take a while to get round the idea of slowing most of your running down, perhaps partly because you see yourself improving and feel fitter doing everything hard. That's almost certainly because any running is better than no running though, and I certainly didn't see a drop off in progress, and arguably the opposite in fact, once I did get my head round the 'lots of miles, most of them easy' philosophy. I'm also a club cricketer by the way - what do you do - bat, bowl, bit of both?

Another good Parkrun from CB, and Alehouse - you're definitely building up nicely again now compared to where you were a few months ago - good stuff. 

Slight off day for WJH, though you can almost certainly hang that on the 'head cold' peg. Bro-JH sounds like he's still making great progress! Thanks for the article on Martin Rees too - incredible what he's achieved as a late starter. There's hope for old gits like myself yet!

Bad luck with the 800m, Si - think you're being very hard on yourself there though. Don't chuck the towel in's only mid-June!

Duck - more swift stuff from you in training, eye-watering in fact! Good luck with the 100m stuff later in the week. The classic tempo is probably the biggest thing that is missing from my training at the moment actually, though I have got one lined up for this Thursday or Friday. Have been doing too much racing to fit them in, and as MrV mentioned a page or two, I've taken the view that racing comes close enough as an alternative, and I did fit in what some might call a 'tempo interval' session recently - 5x1 mile off 3 mins at 10k pace. very little has been at LT pace though, and I do wonder whether that might be the bit of glue I'm missing to pull all the other good work together. My next 5k is a week on Thursday BTW, though 2 days after my big 10k target (same GP series), so might be a bit leggy to do myself full justice.

4.2 hilly but easy-paced miles for me yesterday, and a 2x2 miles session at target 10k pace (6:45) off 4 mins or so planned for later.

17/06/2013 at 13:02

Bob - I do actually do a bit of both, but in the past 2 or 3 years I seem to be used by the captain predominantly as a bowler (medium pace inswingers). Might be psychological but I have already noticed that since taking up running I am noticeably less knackered after completing a longer spell (8 overs last week up the hill), so hopefully it might have the knock-on effect of improving my cricket too

How about you?

17/06/2013 at 15:10

Duck, those 300s are great. I can't see sub-54 will be a problem for you. How comes you're doing a 600 TT before the 100? Surely you won't race as well with that in your legs. Yes, that last 200 of my session was almost flat out. Pretty happy to run that at the end of a hard lactic session though.

To answer your question, things were going very well until I got ill. 17:20 5k in April, 4:48 mile at the start of May, 02:08.8 in the middle of May - all early season PBs. As an example of how bad it is, before getting ill my HR/pace ratio was 132/7:55 and now it's 147/8:15

Bob, I think threshold work is absolutely essential to getting your best 5k/10k time. I also think it's important to push it up from below, so in your case, 10kp would be too fast (although obviously a decent training session). 3 x 1 mile with 1' recovery or just 20' is a great session. These sessions are fairly easy to recovery from as well.

CB, is 12 miles your long run? How did the chocolate pancakes help with fuelling you?

Duck, Bob, CB, Just to explain - my reasoning for thinking of quitting the season is not emotional - it's just that there are only 8 weeks left and if I can't get the training in I know it's just going to be a frustrating struggle to underperform. It would make more sense to rest for a few weeks and let the injury completely heal and start thinking about next year. It's possible I'll suddenly start feeling better though (it has happened before), so I am going to give it a couple of weeks and see what happens. Next year, I'm definitely going to plan on peaking in early June next year rather than late July - it will give me some breathing room if something like this comes up again

17/06/2013 at 15:19

sorry, just passing through in between meetings-

Simon- lactate threshold pace- My logic is that running tempo's at the 10k pace will best equip me for my current goal of nailing down the 10k? The mcmillan 8 week 10k programme gets you doing the tempo intervals at desired 10k pace. Surely if i am running say 10-15 seconds slower than 10k pace i am not working hard enough to push that particular threshold?

17/06/2013 at 18:42

DT19 I will let Simon answer that one. At the moment I'm running parkruns at somewhere between 10k and LT pace. Soon I'll want to increase the length of the tempo runs so will probably start with 5 miles at MP and build to 6 miles at HMP and 10 miles at MP. I would aim to hit a variety of tempo paces in training, from 10k pace up to MP. If you're doing LT pace once a week and some sub 10k pace work once a week they should even out for a 10k race (maybe!!)

Simon 12 miles is my long run at the moment. I don't have chocolate pancakes, it's too close to run time, but Little Miss CB enjoys them after her run round the park.

17/06/2013 at 20:43

CB- I have seen on McMillan what it says my LT pace is but it seems really light for a quality session. Yes I do a faster interval session every week as well. I did the other night a tempo pace pyramid. did 1 mile at mp, 1 mile at hmp, 1 at 10kpace, 1 at10k pace, 1 at hm pace, 1 at mp. It was a decent hard session. That was on the treadmill so easier to go a bit faster. Hopefully that sort of thing was not a complete waste of time.

17/06/2013 at 21:14

DT19 - Sounds like a useful pyramid session. I agree with CB about training at various tempos. According to training specificity I'm pretty sure race pace is a good pace to train at for any distance, but I also think that it depends how well developed your fitness is. If your lactate threshold in particular is under-developed, you might benefit more from pushing it up from below as Simon says, in a similar way that someone with an under-developed aerobic system would do well to increase the volume of easy running before moving on to tempo sessions. This might be preferable to trying to hit 10k pace for a session, finding it too hard, and form becoming ragged, etc.  OR you do your 10k pace intervals and they're not challenging enough; which probably means your 10k form is better than you think.  I'm rambling now...

Simon - How about a different race focus, whilst still giving it a proper bit of welly?  Scrap the track stuff and mix up some 10k's and off-road??  Still gives you good motivation to stay in shape and push threshold fitness, which will give you a good fitness base to sharpen from when you're back on track.

Thanks for all the comments. I got back into double figures with a 10 miler on Saturday (7:27/m in biblical rain!) and went cerrazy with a double today - lunchtime spin class and 7.1M @ 7:20/m this evening.  I still feel the shoulder getting a tad more uncomfortable as the run goes on, arm-swing still a little restricted, but otherwise feel like I'm getting back to it. I'll probably throw in a few hills this week as I bring the mileage back up, as this seems a more comfortable way of adding back in some quality compared to actually trying to run quickly.  We're getting there.  

17/06/2013 at 21:40

Phil-Thanks, I suppose the science of running, like nutrition, has many theories and different people will have a different view and what works for one might not work as well for another.

That pyramid, outside racing, I don't think I have ran at those paces for that length of time. Whilst I was tired on the way back down and grateful for the drop from 10k pace, I did not feel slaughtered which I suppose is the point.

good training today. I managed a double as well, 3 miles at lunchtime and 5.5 this evening, all at easy pace.

17/06/2013 at 22:38

Simon - got you beat. Mine is 149 for 10.33 pace! 

Max 193. No, my HRM is fine as have double checked it by pulse and it isn't a one off. I can measure 80% of maxHR coming gently *down* a hill.

I've been measuring it for weeks now out of interest. No wonder I am rubbish these days.

It totally sucks.

I hope you can salvage something.


18/06/2013 at 09:09

Kelly – Hope you manage to get to the bottom of things, very frustrating for you...You looked like you were running strongly on the final lap of the mile yesterday.

Phil – Good to see you back. Have you got any targets or races coming up or is just a case of getting the training back up first?

Simon – It’s a shame given the season started out so promisingly for you. If you decide to pack in this season what will your training look like?

5.17 for the mile for me last night. Not sure why it was so slow but the legs weren’t playing ball. Finished feeling like I could have kept going for a couple more laps but whenever I tried to pick up the pace I didn’t seem to be able to. No excuses as it was decent conditions and there was at least 1 guy around my target who I could have chased if I’d been able to. Enjoyed the experience as a one off and got chatting to some nice guys from the club I want to join. Not sure I’d rush back to do another middle distance race though. Too much hanging about and then when you finally get going its all over so quickly. I’d much rather slog through a 10K!

18/06/2013 at 09:10

DT, I just believe (based on what I've read and my personal experience) that LT is best raised by training at or below that intensity.

And raising LT will help with your (faster than LT) 10k pace because, by definition, by raising LT you delay lactate accumulation until you're running at a faster pace than previously.

Of course, if you're training for a 10k, then doing some running at 10k pace is very important. But I still don't think it's best for training LT.

If you find the pace too easy, try 2 x ( 3 x 1 mile; 1' recovery); 15' recovery, with the mile reps run at threshold. If you don't find that a tough session, then I'd say the pace estimate is wrong.

Phil, unfortunately I can't really get all that excited about road running, although it'd be preferable to just starting base training for next year! I was also thinking about maybe training towards an indoor track season in Jan/Feb. Good to see you're getting back into the swing.

Kelly, I've been thinking about dumping the HRM for a little while since I am obsessing over it a bit at the moment. It is a very accurate indicator of fitness though.

Mr V, it sounds like you would just need a few 1500-paced session to get shifting a bit more. I remember it being a difficult pace to get into the rhythm of when I first started MD training. If I packed things in, I'd just move back into base training: start with a couple of weeks complete rest, then a month of building mileage and strength before starting marathon-style training.

Edited: 18/06/2013 at 09:18
18/06/2013 at 12:16

Simon- Thanks for that. I am planning a LT session Thursday so will try that. Based on my recent park run my LT pace on mcmillan is 6.45 m/m, albeit i was not 100% then so may take it as 6.40 which is essentially HM pace for me.

18/06/2013 at 19:23

Double of sorts today. 7m with 4x4 min (3min rest) this morning. Hit the paces I wanted (just!) and my first speed session wearing Hattoris so I was happy.

Then the staff 4x100 relay at sports day. I managed a 1.5m warm up then some strides, stretching etc but they were running 30 mins late so struggling by the start! I had the first leg and came through in first place (just!) We held the lead until 250m, and came second by about 6m. Managed to do enough to get respect from the kids

Sports day was good, with a few outstanding displays of talent. One year 7 girl in the 800m who won by a good 200m, and a couple of girls in the year 9 800m whose running form was absolutely beautiful to watch.

18/06/2013 at 19:38

Well I've taken on board the advice on this thread and, having bought a cheap running watch, set out for a 5km easy paced run tonight and ....... managed to run it at the pace I intended in accordance with the training pace calculator!

Admittedly I was constantly concentrating on pace and telling myself to slow down (especially during the first half of the run) so it felt like hard work mentally, but hopefully I'll get the hang of it and not have to think about it so much the more I do it.

Rest day tomorrow and then a tempo session on Thursday and another easy run on Friday

18/06/2013 at 21:20

Andrew - Sounds good. Very much an opening batsman myself. Think a poor man's Geoff Boycott or Chris Tavare on Mogadon and you're about there with my scoring rate!  Haven't bowled in a competitive game for some years now...and for good reason! It was a long knock last summer that half killed me that prompted me to get fit in fact and eventually take up the running in November. Well done with the pace control today - it will get easier!

Simon - Indeed. LT tempos are definitely something I intend to concentrate on in July, though will get 3 miles in this Thursday or Friday as a final quality session before next Tuesday's 10k race. Can understand your frustration with the illness you're struggling from, but hope you see an improvement before you bin what was promising to be an excellent season for you.

DT - Blimey. Tough sounding pyramid session that!

Phil - Good to see you getting back into some proper running. Is that 10k'er you mentioned still on the agenda or does it come too soon?

Kelly -  Sorry you're still having a bad time of it. 

Mr V - looks a half decent time to me, but as Simon suggests, something a bit more specific to the distance required to really do yourself justice perhaps?

CB - WTF is Hattoris?! Nice double though, excellent to see you attacking a proper quality session in training again at last. 

A double for me in some ways today too, 6 and a half miles, including 4 (2x2) at 10k target pace this morning, and then another 6 miles plus hilly walking this afternoon.

Target was 6:45 mile pace for the 2 x 2 miles with 4 or 5 minutes jogged recovery. Was difficult to judge pace on undulating ground and a mixture of (longish) grass and pavements so came in at 6:36, 6:41, (4:28) 6:44, 6:41. Average of just over 6:40 pace for the 4 quicker miles. Hard work, but would like to have done at least one more mile after a similar recovery, but felt it was a bit too close to race day for a real full on session like that. Indications remain promising for the race next week anyway. 

18/06/2013 at 21:46

Another great session Bob. Hattoris are Saucony's zero drop shoes. It's taken me a while to build up to being able to attack faster paces in them, I think my muscles had to adapt to the slightly different angle. The only problem now being that they're bright orange and tend to attract drunk people in the park!

18/06/2013 at 21:59

Ah! Excuse my noobish ignorance, CB! Just googled them, and yes, they are minimalist, aye caramba. Colourful too. 



18/06/2013 at 22:12

Blimey, some keen doubles going on!  I don't think I started running twice a day till I got up to about 60-70 mpw, and it's not happened many times since.

MrV/Bob - Yes I had a 10k scheduled for this coming weekend but it's far too soon.  I can't say I've got any real target races lined up at all, but the summer schedule should normally be so busy on the club front - Southern League 5,000m, Assembly League, whichever road races we try to fit either weekends or mid-week (Battersea Park, etc) it's just a little frustrating not being involved at the moment.  I'm taking some heart from last season's pattern of events; what with various colds and viruses I under-performed most of the summer but kept plugging away and hit my best form in September/October (just in time to clock a sub-16 in the club 5,000m champs). With the road relays coming up in September (we have a very good V40 team to challenge for the Southern title) and half an eye on an Autumn half (GER?) I'd really like to be back on proper form by then at least.

Just another spinning class today. Probably an easy run tomorrow and I'll try something longer, and possibly hilly, on Thursday.

Edited: 18/06/2013 at 22:14
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