Thansk T-Rex, I underdid both in mara 1 (fainted and threw up at the end), managed both better in mara 2, but know I've still got a lot to learn here. Last Friday I had 2 GU chomps at 10k, and a whole Clif bar between 17k and 19k, then felt sick from 21k, probs because this was more solid food than i'd been consuming on long runs. Same type of food, just bigger quantity (half a Clif bar plus a gel on long runs). Fear of consuming too little caused me to go too far the other way. Like you say, next few marathons will teach me a lot about what's going to be a perfect fuel template for me, not to mention the other stuff covered here.
Ferrous Ferret - Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning now ordered, ta. Millsy, this should help re identifying a more appropriate plan rather than the one I was cobbling together week by week, which was essentially all about 1 long run, what i thought were easy runs, and a bit of speed play.
Keith L - Intervals about 7:00min/mile pace in a session of 20x 200m in November. This was about 90% effort, I can't go very much faster than this even for short bursts, the very best pace I've achieved is around 5:50min/mile for 4-5 seconds in a 25 sec burst. And i feel like i'm going to fall over, I'm not in control.
Yasso 800's noted. I think i've seen the summary on RW somewhere too, the one which breaks it down into perfect sub4 example.
Madbee - thanks. I'd assumed there wasn't any such thing as a 'classic' weekly training structure given than marathon plans go through different phases across 12 / 16 weeks. But your suggested tweaks make a lot of sense given i'm aiming to build endurance.
This is helping loads - thanks all. Looking back through Strava I can see the slowest runs I ever do are 10min miles / 6:12min/km for long runs, easy mid week recovery runs, the lot. I either do fast-ish intervals, or run at this pace, or run target Mara Pace miles at 5:41 / 09:09. Nothing slower. I think the penny is dropping here that this pace just isn’t slow enough for sub 4 hour target. Cougie, thanks for the share re your long run pace vs mara race pace - that really brings it home. (how many miles a week do you run if you don't mind me asking?)
FF - here's a sample training week from Dec 2014, which I now see totally reflects the above
Sun Intervals 4x 300m done 3 times
Mon 4 ‘easy’ miles at 6:10min/km
Tue PT with weights
Wed short intervals, done by feel
Thu 'Easy' 10k at 6:10min/km, unexpected public holiday (Thu is usually rest day)
Fri long run 18 miles at 6:00min/km
Sat rest / light gym
OK! this is great. I think I need to drop down a pace group in running club, or go solo for a few weeks
Apologies, can't get rid of the nonsense tables i posted, sorry all. Splits this time were 5:41 up to 15.65km, 06:01 up to 36.25km (preculiar chip mat decision by organisers), and then 06:46 to the end. A run walk battle. I live in Dubai so i'm reasonably used to the conditions.
Last time i started at 5:51 then ran the 10k to Half section at 5:26 so it was no surprise that i struggled later.
Slowing down the long runs could well be a big thing to change in future training, yes.
I'd wondered also about increasing the toughnes of some midweek work. I ahrdly ever run hills here, because there aren't really any! and i wonder if i should mimic hills on the treadmill...
Thanks for all input so far. I don't want to let go of the sub 4 goal, I don't think it's foolishly unrealistic. I feel I will be able do it but I'm just not there yet. Am keen to make the right training tweaks.