The Middle Ground

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01/07/2013 at 21:47

WJH- Just on the race thing and how well/bad you did compared to others, the best way to assess that is to look at the vsss figure on runbritain. That basically calculates how you performed compared to everyone else against their expected performance. If the figure is minus, regardless of your time, you faired better than the average runner in the race compared to their level. Its a complete leveller for difficulty.

In terms of race pace, someone told me for every 10 secs per mile you go off too fast, you will lose 10 secs per mile each mile afterwards. Not sure how accurate that is.

Simon- it happens to me routinely in races, if I don't get to gagging, it means I have had to pull back just before. I also routinely get it at club intervals. Its never my legs or cardio system that stops me its my stomach. I can remember first time it happened when I was 11 in the inter schools 400m and I was smashing for line in last 30m and started gagging.

So... how to I build my training towards my 2 big 10ks. One is a week Wednesday amd the other a week sunday.I would assume the days in between the races should just be easy running? When should I do my ;last speed session?

02/07/2013 at 10:38

Morning everyone. Probably only going to be able to dip in occasionally for the next month or so - I've moved up to acting Assistant Manager at work (after only being there 10 months) which is a great new challenge but doesn't leave much free time....

I wasn't really beating myself up over the parkrun, I know it's not a priority right now but it was interesting to see how the type of training I have been doing does not result in a good 5k! FWIW the guy who finished just ahead of me has a pb of 17:54 so I reckon that fits in with an 18-flat performance. 

That's a good 800 & 400 relay leg Simon. Your conversion is pretty solid (2.23 400:800 if both efforts were similar) so getting close to 56-flat would get you close to 2'05 IMO. 

Bob, matching a result from just over a month ago shows good consolidation to me. Of course not every race can be a big improvement but I'd take great heart from a result like that, that you've definately improved.

Nightmare on the short course! It's been happening more and more recently. All you can do is try and find another one soon. Really sorry you weren't able to break 20 

Mr V - training looks good from you too. If you can tempo 64 minute 10 milers in training you'll be set up very nicely indeed! Stick at it.

DT, I was going to suggest what Simon said  too - blood being pulled away from the stomach. 

WJH, these races do happen. I had 2 races back in 2011 where I ran the first 3k very slowly, then got even slower after that! 

I've had an okish first week back after a down week. I'm into 600s now but cannot get the damn pacing right - Simon I'm sure will attest to that. I can split 60, 61s pretty easily for the first 400 then the third 200 I think I subconsciously slow up and end up running relatively comfortable 94.xx or 95.xx times, but can't run any faster even though I know I can! It's frustrating so I think I need to just give it the full welly from about 450 onwards and see what happens. It's still good training but it's not the intensity I'm needing right now. 

We have a new (straight tarmac) track close to where I live now as well, which is 500m in length - sure looks a long way in a straight line. I used it Sunday morning - 500/500/400 w/10'00 rec, running 72.8, 73.4, 58.1. It's a little downhill which explains the quickish times - It's quite a sensation to split 56.xx for 400m and it not feel too difficult! 

Also, paced to 20 minutes at parkrun Saturday morning (ended up with 19:56). Felt really good, finished feeling like I had hardly gotten going and could have done the same again with plenty left to spare, so reckon it could be a decent estimate of HM intensity.

I have a 1500m tonight which promises to be wet and windy. Just going to have to sit and kick I think.

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 10:53
02/07/2013 at 14:36

Afternoon all,

Busy few days - just having a proper catch up before race 3 of the GP series tonight - what (like Duck's 1500m) is set to be a wet and windy 4 miler. Think the wet and windy is a given from the forecast, the 4 miles may be more up for discussion however given last Thursday's shenanigans! Hoping for something like 26:15 if I can recapture the form from the second half of last week.

WJH - Bad luck with your 10k at the weekend. Not much experience to draw on for me, but I'd also suggest that the Tuesday treadmill session drew the life out of your legs for the race. Nothing wrong with a bit of quicker stuff from what I've been told and read, but not in a large continuous block like that. Perhaps 3 x 1 mile, or 4 x 1km with longish recoveries would be more suitable if at 10k pace, or a slightly less intense and shorter continuous tempo of 20 minutes / 3 miles at around threshold? The last of those is what I did 5 days out from last week's 10k incidentally. 'Cut the volume but not the intensity' is a handy soundbite I've taken to heart for taper weeks. Interesting what you say about the hockey, I'm really doing some soul searching over the cricket at the moment too. Will see this season out, but there's a growing likelihood that I'll be an occasional cricketer come 2014, with the cricket fitting round the running rather than the other way round as it by necessity this season whilst still playing league cricket at a half decent standard. Think I had a similar reaction to your pal at the Cardiff half last Thursday BTW - punched the air and failed to stifle a 'get in' when I stopped the Garmin at 19:25, but immediately realised that it wasn't realistic, and had a real sinking feeling as I looked at the distance.

DT - Sounds like an excellent 10k from you on a tough course. Sets you up well for the upcoming two that have better prospects for a faster time. What's your time to beat from your current PB? The problems you face from a quick finish sound very unpleasant - not experienced that...yet at least. As I think I've said before on here, my legs are still catching up with my overall fitness, so it's those that give in first for me. Regards your training before the 10k races next week, take my novice input with a pinch of salt, but in the week or so before the first see the above (to WJH) for the sort of session and approach that I'd look at if they were my races - probably one apiece of the tempo / intervals, and then a final easy run with a few strides or diagonals in the last day or two beforehand. Between them, again if it was me, I'd do a short 20 minute recovery run on the Thursday and another easy run with strides on the Friday or Saturday depending on whether you prefer to rest or run the day before a race - seems a very personal thing that, and you've got to work out what suits, and works best for, you.

AndyD - Looks a decent week. Good luck with the long run tonight - sensible increase in distance from last week there. If you can get the LSR over distance before your 10k comes around with similar sensible increases in mileage, that should help you a lot when the race comes around.

Simon - Good session of 400m repeats there. Assume that '10 x 400m (70")[90"]' means you averaged 70 seconds for the repeats with 90 seconds recovery between them? What do you do in the recovery for those - jog, walk, standing recoveries?

Duck - Thanks. Good luck with the 1500m tonight - training looks good as usual, nice mixture of quality sessions including the paced/tempo parkrun.

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 14:37
02/07/2013 at 14:38

Continued ...usual overly long ramblings mean it didn't fit on a single post!

Final thoughts on the 5k, now reclassified as a 3 miler, from last week. The performance was at least reflected on the RB handicap with a -1.3 vSSS rating, but still don't understand the WAVA rating. Dr Dan - appreciate what you're saying, but seems an excessive drop off for 3 miles at 19:25 compared to the same pace of 20:03 for 5km, even purely using it for my own comparison purposes. For example, to get the same percentage as 19:25 for 3 miles (67.3%), is 20:35 for 5km. 1:10 allowance for the extra 160m?  Anyway, as you say, all academic given the circumstances, and yes, looking at the bigger picture all of these races are (hopefully) mere stepping stones along the way to where I want to get to ultimately.

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 14:50
02/07/2013 at 16:19

Yes, there's something weird about some "non-standard" distances for WAVA ... probably not enough data to reliably set the "100%". The 3 mile world record is probably a lot less rigorous than the 5K record.

02/07/2013 at 19:50

Thanks Bob - yeh it went fine, felt strong all the way through and ran it at a fairly steady pace (except for the 3rd km which for some reason I did about 30 seconds quicker even though it included some uphill bits?!) and by the end felt like i could have easily carried on etc. Just a bit of soreness in my ankles and knees during the last km or so, but nothing major.

Yeh the plan is to increase the LSR to 12km a couple of weeks before the race (ie about another 1km per week). and increase my overall weekly mileage incrementally each week too.

Hope the race went well tonight!

02/07/2013 at 20:20

1500 went as expected - wet, windy, not pb conditions at all. Nobody wanted to take the pace on, so sat behind the group, out of the wind and out of trouble. Splits of 74, 2:28, 3:45 and I kicked with 200 to go, ran 4:40.30 (5:00.7 mile)  with plenty left in the tank at the end. Annoying conditions weren't better but it happens, it was one of those slow, tactical races where nobody wanted to lead. 

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 20:23
02/07/2013 at 22:20

Heh - blinkin' flip! Had read rumblings on another club's forum that last year's 4 miler in this series was over distance, and on the same course tonight, I have to concur! 

Found it a tough race throughout - much more multi-terrain than the 3 miler last week although in the same park, and whilst it was mostly dry, there was a very blustery wind and more inclines. Nevertheless went through 4 miles per the Garmin almost bang on target at 26:17 (6:31, 6:36, 6:39 and 6:31) but as it beeped could see there was probably the best part of 200m to go. Was absolutely farked by this point, but a bit of anger at that, and the sight of the back of a guy I've had several duels with at parkrun and now in this series, induced my strongest sprint finish to date, covering the last 29 seconds at 4:25 pace it seems. He's still never beaten me head-to-head. 

26:46 on the Garmin and called by the timer as I crossed the line.

Now I know Garmin's aren't 100% accurate, but a discrepancy of almost 180m over 4 miles seems rather extreme. This race had quite a heavy SSS rating last year (perhaps because of the possible over-distance?), so will be interesting to see what  RB make of that performance in terms of my handicap.

The good news is that I've found the closing 5 mile race at Colwick on the Garmin Connect explore function from last year, and that course does seem more true to the stated distance. Will therefore be interesting to see whether I can finally find a time in this series that more reflects where I feel I am at this stage! Looking for 33:30 or thereabouts in that on Thursday. 

Duck - Well run - shame about the conditions, but that's still a great time. Take it you were the victor?

Andrew - Well done. All sounds good to me. Keep it up!

Dr D - Aye - that's a fair point!

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 22:20
03/07/2013 at 09:00

Bob – That does look a tad over distance, even taking garmin accuracy into account. I do think even officially certifies courses can differ by enough to have a significant impact on times. Some courses that should be super fast are surprisingly slow and vice versa. Great running though, you are improving at a rate of knots.

Duck – Sounds a solid race from you. Good to practice racing tactics as well, I guess on the track it’s not always just about the times.

Finally managed to get down to my potential new club last night. Session of 5X4 mins with 2 mins recovery. Average pace of 5.42 for the session and 12 and a bit miles in total (lengthy warm up and down to get there). Enjoyed the session and pretty sure I wouldn’t have done it that quickly on my own. I think this is exactly what I need to push on.

03/07/2013 at 12:07

Thanks, Mr V - seems to be going in the right direction. Wouldn't have believed I'd be hitting those mile splits on a 4 miler even, say, 3 months ago. Cracking session from you there by the sounds of it. Will be joining my new club for one of their regular training runs next Monday hopefully. Probably ought to look for a steady pace after all this racing the last couple of weeks!

Revised down to 26:47 last night in the end. Odd as there was nearly a calamitous collision at the finish as the guy two places in front (26:45) slammed on the anchors as he crossed the line causing the next chap and I to almost concertina into him as I tried to overhaul him on the line! Guess they just didn't want to give any two runners the same time.

03/07/2013 at 13:46

Good race yet again Bob - that's a good pace there at the end...never managed anything like that myself from memory! Shame about the long distance but better than being short! Sounds sensible to build a block of steady running now.....

To quote what you said...'....was absolutely farked by this point'.....I have now just seen your fastest pace presumably for the sprint finish was under 4m/m! Are you sure you felt like that?  Need another emoticon to express how I feel about that sort of pace!!!!! Maybe you have some real short distance potential locked away? Well you never a shame if you were to stop with the cricket by the way!  As for the hockey, I will make a final decision on it once the close season is over.

Good race for you and nice training from you recently too Duck! Congrats with the job too by the way!

Nice to see you 'back on track' Simon! Pardon the pun but good to see when you were debating on whether your season was over the other week!

Thanks for pointing out the vsss figure DT. Never really looked into this before...and indeed Sunday's 10k was +0.5. The majority of my races this year appear to have a negative value with this to them which seems ok. You are right too, my drop off was consistent with what you say in that the 5th mile was over a minute slower than the first!

Thanks for the wider feeback everyone by the way. Noted with the treadmill session...and despite what I said recently, having checked my training log I didn't actually race a 10k on the Tuesday preceding Eastleigh. In hindsight it was a mistake for sure to do that and some quality on the Thursday. With Eastleigh I did 4x1 mile reps on the Tuesday and some steady running/rest days the week leading up to that particular Sunday. I am just glad in hindsight it wasn't a targeted A race.

Will be interested to know what you mean by longer term benefits of this sort of session for a 10 miler/half mind Alehouse - considering those are targeted A races for October! Oh - and I am one of the very few who tends to enjoy treadmill running! No idea why but it does have it's place for me! I am sure you will get some of your form back as the weeks and months go by too...there is certainly some progress more recently already!

Good advice there too Mr V - I might be doing another 10k if I am not visiting Wales on the 14th...the Wyvern 10k (near Eastleigh) will try what you say on running that a little slower on the first mile. Again not an A race by any means - more for a fun morning out with this one being a low key village race so won't look too deeply with any race times at the moment.

Edited: 03/07/2013 at 13:50
03/07/2013 at 22:01

I've been in a bit of a malaise recently, since the classics i've been struggling to find much enthusiasm for bike racing, what with the disappointing Giro and the lack of TV coverage of the Dauphine and the TdS. However I am excited about the Tour, even when the GC race isn't great, the Tour is still the Tour, with all the fun, gossip, and futile breakaways that go with it.
I'm really hoping for an open race, I wish him no ill personally, but would quite like to see Froome lose a bit of time early in the race, 3 or 4 minutes minutes would do, so that other guys are brought into the GC race and Sky would have to take risks and go on the offensive. I don't mind who wins really, would just be nice to see the GC battle go all the way to the Alps, rather than being decided after the first TT and the Aix 3 Domaine stage.
Vive Le Tour

03/07/2013 at 22:23
SirVelo Micalmous wrote (see),375x360.png



03/07/2013 at 22:43

Anyway...back to the running!

WJH - Aye, well I did say I was angry! Was across very long grass too...though suspect the downhill profile of the very last of the run in may be more relevant.  Interesting point though, I nearly signed up for an open mile on the track, but was going on holiday very early the following morning, so thought better of it. Do fancy a 3000m on the track in one of the opens coming up either local to home or work before the season's out though. The quick finishes may be a bit misleading though - I just feel like I get a huge 'rush' of adrenaline once I see the finish line, and no matter how knackered I am, can go again. Very odd sensation...but I like it - the rush reminds me of my clubbing days in some ways - ahem!

Duck - Very rude of me - failed to mention the job - congrats! But keep in touch when you can...the thread can ill afford to lose any more stalwarts. 

Afternoon off today to take the little 'un to a school visit, so in the hour and a half I had free, slotted in a similar 2.5m recovery run to the day between last week's races. Very easy pace, with a short burst concentrating on form. Everything seems in working order and I'm not as stiff as last week, so it's all systems go for the closing 5 miler of the GP series tomorrow, and a bit of a mingle in the bar with adversaries and new club mates in the bar for the presentations afterwards! 

335, 289 and 305 competitors in the 3 races so far with a majority of runners competing in all of them, and reckon I sit just inside the top 50 overall so far. Hoping for a strong finish!

03/07/2013 at 22:43

Bob- bad news again from local series. I never understand when races are long or short and organisers msut know it. I did a 10k last September and at the start the organiser announced the course was actually 260m long. The thing is we started the race at the bottom of a long straight closed rd. Why not just move us on 260m!

My pb is 39.47 set in Telford last December. My only foray into sub 40. My A target is sub 40, B target is seasons best which currently is 40.25 and C target is sub 41. Anything below that and I will be disappointed. Though it does suddenly look like the weather will play its hand! In terms of training I am very much of the mindset that for a 10k I don't do anything for 24-36 hours before if its and A or B race, so with the first 10k Wednesday evening I will probably do an easy run Monday morning. Did 8 miles this morning at higher end of easy, and 4 yesterday at easy. I think I still have Saturdays 10k in my legs though as was a complete drag. Planning a hard tempo run tomorrow on treadmill. With weekend plans thereafter I am not sure I will get the chance for a further serious session.

As WJH says, I quite enjoy a treadmill run, mainly at the higher speeds, its a nice change once a week and different environment.

Have I missed  a post somewhere regarding cycling given the Cervelo post above?

03/07/2013 at 23:32

DT, easy days in between sounds wise, but I think you should try and stick in some race pace practice. E.g. 400 @ slightly faster than race pace with lots of recovery to help tune in. I find I need 4-5 days between a hard session and a race.

Duck, the 400 was after the 800 and without a decent warm up. I reckon I would have got close to 57 in ideal conditions. Some great times in training from you there. Well done on the 1500 - it must be a good sign if you felt you had plenty left.

I can sympathise with the pacing issues. I can knock out 200m - 400m reps to withing tenths of a second, but then it all falls apart. I reckon 800 is the hardest distance to pace by far.

Bob, you interpreted the session right. I learnt that session description format recently on my course - I'll dig out the notes and explain it properly cos it's actually a very handy, concise way of writing down sessions. Seems you're having a bit of bad luck with badly-measured courses. That does sound like a lot to be out on the Garmin. But great running nonetheless.

Sounds good, Mr V. Hard sessions can definitely be made easier in a group.

WJH, apparently Farah and Rupp enjoy the odd treadmill session, so you're in good company. I hate the bloody things

I did my 3000 tonight. the plan was to start at 80/lap (10 minute pace) and see how I felt after a mile. Mis-paced the first lap slightly and went through in 75. Despite feeling good I deliberately slowed a touch and went through the mile in about 5:14. Managed to keep a decent pace and kicked with 400 to go to finish in 9:46.4 (previous PB 10:04.14). Very happy with that.

There were 47 people in the race! Spent a bit of time running in lane 2, but it was nice to have plenty of people to pick off. Need to do a fast 1500 now, but I won't get a chance for a couple of weeks.

Edited: 03/07/2013 at 23:33
04/07/2013 at 09:36

Nice 3000m there Simon! The season is shaping up nicely for you. I went to a 3000m track race last weekend (the one YD advertised here a while back) but I didn't run as I'm really not up to running at that kind of pace... my lad did run (he wanted to race me but glad I didn't as he came in at 11:16) . PRF (remember him?  ) was there too - he clocked 10:13.

Edited: 04/07/2013 at 09:36
04/07/2013 at 13:21

Bob, unlucky with the overdistance courses right now! A great finish though, I'd have a look at some 400s 

I didn't end up winning, race turned into a last-lap burnup with a those ahead with more in the tank than me so I ended up second last  I am happy how "routine" it felt though as that would not have been the case just a few months ago.

Mr V, which club are you looking at? Sounds a good session with a solid chunk of mileage each side!

Excellent 3k Simon. How the heck did they manage 47 in one race? Heats would have been better, no?

Dan, how is prf? I notice he's been doing more marathons and parkrun challenges and going to Ireland too. Well done to your son!

Felt like I've been neglecting my 400 stuff a bit so did a classic Clyde Hart session today (he was MJ's coach and like his stuff quite a lot) of split 400s. 

The idea is quite simple - a 400m effort, split up into 2 with 60s rec between the two efforts. You can do any combination - 300/100, 200/200, 250/150 etc but the important thing is that you cover 400m and the rest is 60 seconds. 200/200 is probably the best place to start so I did that this morning, 2 sets with 20 mins rec.

Set 1: 28.8, 27.2 for 56.0.

Cocked up pacing through 200m by being too cautious but it felt pretty solid without being difficult.

Set 2: 27.0, 27.1 for 54.1.

Much better! I don't quite have the confidence to go out faster than 27 right now so I think I need to run some more max speed endurance stuff. It felt good though and I have the strength and specific endurance to really turn the wick up with 150 to go and not die in lactic acid. 

The big thing is I need some more racing experience to get that first 200 right, but I'm almost there. Just need to figure out exactly what I can get away with! 

04/07/2013 at 14:23

Dan, sounds like Junior Dr D is doing well. I do remember PRF. And Brilly, Curly and Ratzer who also seem to have given up on the thread. At least Dash is till lurking and Phil pops in when we take him off the WAVA table.

Duck, missed the new job bit. Congrats. The 47 in one race was because we were running late because there were so many sprints and the judges didn't want to stay an extra 15 minutes. There were a few moans about sprinters getting favourable treatment, but I suppose the problem is they do need to run in lanes. I did get my heels clipped on the first bend (despite being in lane 3) and a couple of laps in had to gently shove the back of somebody who cut me up (a bit like Mo did on Sunday, but much slower)

Sounds like an interesting session. Those paces look good.Have you got many races coming up?

I'm doing a 400 paced session tonight myself but only have about 45 minutes including warm up time. Could maybe just fit yours in.

04/07/2013 at 14:37

Simon, the Watford open meets often run past 10pm I believe, not unusual to see 10 or so 800m heats from the results I have seen! 

That makes the result even better from here. Being boxed in and cut up is thankfully something I've not had many issues with but it really ruins your race when it happens.

Today is a difficult session but short and sweet. You could also consider his 3*200 session (60s rec) - first at second half 400 pace (probably 29.0 - 29.5 for you), second at first half 400 pace (~28.0), third all-out. 

I've got an 800 on July 21st, a 400 & 200 on the 25th, then I'm basically racing every weekend in August. 

Edited: 04/07/2013 at 14:50
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