Not strictly a physio Q but as you know about sports medicine....
I was also having slight knee issues 2 weeks back after 20 mile run but physio gave me same advice you are giving & that seems loads better. However, following that I was off work with a virus for a few days. First comeback run was great but since then my 10k tempo runs feel awful & heart monitor shows BPM 5-7 secs higher for same pace as a few weeks back - so I reduced my effort. Feel like I've lost loads of fitness suddenly & cough cold may be returning! How long is this likely to last? Could I be OK for 21st April? Will I retain fitness despite illness? Any advice welcome. Physiologically what's going on?!
(Really interested to hear answers to AgentGinger's & Ian Stantham, as I'm in the same boat, in that my target Marathon pace is 8min per mile(-ish see later) & my 10k pace is 7 mins per mile,so running slower than 9min per mile feels 'unnatural/poor in form').
My specific question, though, is around what pace to set off on, for the London Marathon in April. Although my last marathon time (2009) was 4:05 (I got severe calf cramp last 5 miles, which returned every time I went faster than a crawl). My half time is 1:40 & my 10k is 43:50, so all the calculators suggest I could potentially do a 3:30 marathon.
At 54 this may be my last marathon so I'm torn between setting off at 8mpm to try to achieve the best possible time, or a more conservative 8:30mpm (3:45 target) so as not to blow it again & maybe go over 4 hours again! Obviously if I set off at 8:30pace I'll never get near a 3:30 finish, even if I feel good & increase my pace later in the race. So difficult! Can I perhaps use my training times (I'm doing tempo, intervals & a long run at 8:30pace each week & the Silverstone Half in March) to judge the pace I should start at? Or is all that all irrelevant, as I failed to break 4 hours last time?
NB I read recently that negative splits aren't always the best way of achieving a PB, so I'm tempted to try 8mpm & see if I can hold on(?). Please advise a very confused runner.
Thanks for the advice Steve - all makes sense. I will try adapting & even try some long slow running (sounds pleasant! as well as the 15 seconds slower than target race stuff.
The advice about 3:45 target is obviously sensible & seeing Bob's PB of 4:20 off the back of running 10ks at 40mins makes me think I am being hopeful with a 3:30 figure. I'm doing the Silverstone half in March as a fast(ish) training run & practice of big race atmosphere. If that goes miraculously well & I come in around 1:35-1:37 do you think it is still too much to set off in April at 8min per mile & see if I can keep it up (I suspect I know the answer)? I'm just thinking at my age I may never have a chance again of sub 3:30 & if I set off too slow I'll never make up the lost time.
Seems several people in this thread are asking similar questions about the benefits of the long slow run. I'm very interested in that as my schedule doesn't currently allow for a LSR as well as a long run 15-30 seconds slower that target marathon pace (FIRST plan)?