Training For The 'Right' Distance

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20/09/2012 at 19:32

Slowkoala - I absolutely share your problem.

I'm in the whole process of trying to understand what my race pace actually is. I know full well that in the two races i've completed, I had more left in the tank at the end so I just have gone quicker.  The question is, how quick?  I have moments of self doubt during the race that i'm moving too quickly and that i'll either not finish the race or i'll be too burnt out to do the final couple of K in any sort of decent time.  So as you say, if your training isn't at your race pace, how on earth do you ascertain what your race pace either is or should be (your target).

Perhaps this can be garnered to some extent by your heart rate readings?  For example, if I run a "steady" training 10k in 48 minutes at an average bpm of 152 one week and then a month or too later it's down to 46 minutes at the same rate, is there a forumla to use to devise a new tagrte for your 10k race pace, given your previous personal best?


24/09/2012 at 11:58

Well i did my second Parkrun at Bolton over the weekend.  Shaved 6 seconds off my PB and moved to 19.24.  Obviously my next challenge is to break 19 minutes but given how knackered I felt during the last k, I don't imagine it's going to happen anytime too soon.  I'll be happy to keep shaving 5/6 seconds off here and there I think.

Kept my LSD to 12 miles on Sunday.  I ran at a max HR of 143 and averaged 138.  Minute miles were about 8.50.  Getting used to the slow runs now but you can't help but think "I could be running this 30 minutes quicker and get more jobs done around the house!".  Maybe that's just me.

04/10/2012 at 15:44

I'm intrigued by the idea that just increasing volume (but not intensity) and consistently running higher mileage will cause my pace to drift upwards over a few months. The trouble is, because I'm reasonably new / recently returning to running, i'm slow enough as it is (I can jog around 10min miles for an hour). I'm kind of scared to strap on my HR monitor in case it shows me I'm at 90% for the hour, and to run at a leisurely 60-70% HR i'd need to walk, which doesn't sound like much fun. The effort seems sustainable for an hour, so can I simply use effort to moderate my training pace? Or am I undermining my training by doing this?

03/05/2013 at 16:51

I'd be interested in knowing how strangely brown has progressed, if he has stuck to the advice, as i am just going from the transition of constantly beasting myself (having taken advice on the middle ground forum) to easing right down. Its an odd feeling 'plodding along' over 1 m/mile slower than your used and accept it will make you faster, but you have to bow down to the knowledge and calibre on here!

13/11/2013 at 10:50


For any relative newbies that aren't familiar, I really think this thread deserves a bump in its own right.  It probably answers half the questions that ever get asked on the training forum.

13/11/2013 at 11:22

Thanks for sharing Phil. This is really a great thread.

13/11/2013 at 11:29

In fact, possibly more worthy of a "sticky" than, say, "Have you ever been last in an event"?  Just a thought.

13/11/2013 at 11:40
Yes this is a brilliant thread.
Everyone should be made to read it on registering for the site.
13/11/2013 at 13:35

October 2010? Blimey, time flies. I got my sub 1.35 by 4 minutes in my first half using the thread's sound principles.

13/11/2013 at 14:46

Thanks for bumping this! Great thread.

On the more is better theme I think it now extends to triathlon and then, de facto, Ironman, apologies if that has already been covered but I am reading through!

I have commented several times about this on my blog.  Thanks!

seren nos    pirate
13/11/2013 at 15:41

3 years ago

 where did the time go


13/11/2013 at 15:48

And so much bullshit written since that this still stands out in people's minds

13/11/2013 at 15:52
I've had it bookmarked since day 1!
14/11/2013 at 17:31

A blast from the past. 

14/11/2013 at 21:04

great thread

15/11/2013 at 15:36

I'd like a quid for everytime I've sent/posted the link to this thread to someone...

04/05/2014 at 17:18

I just discovered this thread via a link on another one. I'm pretty much a newbie/beginner, 38 years old and overweight, and my times are waaay slower than most people posting here. I started taking running seriously last September, though I had been an intermittent jogger for a few years. I did the Madrid RocknRoll HM last week, which was what kicked the training off for me, although my initial principal motivation was to get fitter for hiking and cycling, and hopefully to lose some weight. I was just hoping to begin with that I'd actually be able to finish the HM, without worrying about times at all. As it turns out I've lost more weight than I could have possibly imagined, I completed the HM in 1:55:37, and I've just signed up for a 10k towards the end of June. I'm beginning to think of myself as something of a runner, and want to take training more seriously to see where I can get to. 

Anyway, my question is this: the training suggestions on page one all include a long run which is slightly longer than race distance; however I've had it as gospel from some fairly serious runners here (I live in Spain) that you shouldn't (not just don't need to, but shouldn't) run more than about 85% of race distance in training. That's not actually a question is it? Well, any thoughts on that is what I'd like to ask. What are the rationales for either position?

04/05/2014 at 17:28

It depends how long the race is, Dan. I would not like to go into a 10k race having only trained up to 8.5k.

Also, it probably depends what your local serious runners' approach to training and racing is. If you are buying into Moraghan's approach (don't move up to longer distances until you have the mileage and experience to handle it), then running longer than race distance should not be a problem for you.

04/05/2014 at 18:34
That was what I thought, and did up to 23k UN training for the hm. I wanted to know what it felt like to run that far. It's just I've heard so many people talk about upper limits of 16k for the half and 20miles for the full I was wondering what the different approaches are based on.
04/05/2014 at 18:39

Well, if you were to follow Moraghan's other recommendation in the first post of your long run being up to 30% of your weekly mileage, you would need to be running 76km per week in total before you did that 23km run. If you weren't doing that, then people might tell you 23km was too far for you to run in training.

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