Steve Marathon Coach

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Sub 4 Amy: #asics262

Posted: Yesterday at 23:34
Hi Isabel
Good to hear from you. After that time off - you certainly shouldn't attempt the paces I was suggesting for Amy but you could attempt 4 of the 5 runs for around 3 weeks and be happy with approx a minute a mile slower but after a couple of weeks you may be able to slightly increase your pace. The important thing is not to come back and do too much too soon.

Re joining in races you haven't entered I don't agree with but I have actually done that myself to help runners in Paris and now I feel really guilty and I should probably desist in future but I wouldn't run the last 400 metres. Other than those Paris assists - I have done well over 2000 races and always paid my entry fee!

Amy did what she did and now knows she shouldn't have and yes should have known it is wrong but having checked a lot of the boot campers forms - many did put a time down which wasn't a race and that includes 5k 10k half-marathon as well as marathons.

As I said earlier - Amy didn't get her place because of what she stated her marathon was but many other factors.
I understand some want to voice their disapproval but from now on I want to focus on helping Amy get fit enough to run 9 minute miles for 26.2 miles and hope others can be helped too and I hope most can get behnd Amy and give encouragement.

Sub 4 Amy: #asics262

Posted: Yesterday at 19:45
She didn't lie - no where does it specify you have to an official marathon time - though maybe it will next year and proof willbe asked for. Amy is a genuine sub-4 candidate - she proved herself running and in other ways too. Maybe she could have applied for the beginners but she genuinely thought she had completed a marathon - which technically she had.
Amy has done very few races and obviously didn't realise it would be a problem.
It's not ideal but it's over and done with now

Sub 4 Amy: #asics262

Posted: Yesterday at 18:20


the 5k is a guideline and nothing more - in the 4:30s, certainly Andrea wasn't at the front and Anthony was far from the fastest 5k runner in the beginners and Tom wasn't at the front of the sub 3s and Tim wasn't the quickest sub 3:30 runner.

Amy was the only fastest one of the 5k groups selected.

I consulted Power of Ten for the faster runners but it's not accurate for the less speedy and a lot of the 4 and 4:30 candidates weren't on POT.

It was more important that runners carried out the instructions of the 5K (as it was 400 hard, 200 float) and finished strongly and Amy got the final place for the other reasons given as well.

Amy - re parkrun - Brockwell park may be the nearest though go an extra mile and Dulwich is a faster course. Be careful Ice skating!

Sub 3 Tom: #asics262

Posted: Yesterday at 17:34

no ski slope now which is shame as would have been good for hills!


Sub 4 Amy: #asics262

Posted: Yesterday at 17:26

Amy is obviously busy at present with work so here is the initial month - it's definitely at a quicker pace than I would suggest for the average sub-4 runner but based more on what Amy did in her 5km - the target remains sub-4 but come April she might be capable of quicker.

The training may have to be adapted when Amy gets more of the training behind her and maybe softened as she hasn't trained this hard before. She did the 1000 session on Tuesday on the road and ran a good pace which suggests the speed is there.

The schedule isn't set in stone and will be adapted to what is best for her at the time - would be interested in what other potential 3:45-4:00 runners think of it.  

Obviously Amy was not picked on her marathon time alone but as far as i am aware it wasn't clear she hadn't been an official entrant - the form simply asked what marathon time have you done and she answered that.

Amy got the place because she was the fastest 5km runner in the sub-4 group, created a good impression with her friendliness and personality, did very well on social media, and then got lots of votes and looks to have plenty of potential.



16 week schedule for Paris begins Dec 22

build up week
Tues: 5 x 1000m reps approx 4:30 with 1:30 recoveries
Wed: easy
45 mins at no faster than 8:30s
Thurs: 2 miles easy, 3 miles at approx HM
pace (8:00), 1 mile easy
Fri rest
Sat: parkrun or brisk 30 min
Sunday Dec 21 10 miles relaxed in 85-95 mins

Mon Dec 22- Sun Dec 28 - 33M
Mon: rest
Tues: Hills - ideally 10 x 1 minute - 90 secs rest
Wed: 45 mins steady run at 8:15-8:45s (6M)
Thurs: rest or pace session:  2 miles slow, 3M block of HM pace (approx 8:00), 1 mile slow (6M)
Fri: rest
Sat: parkrun or fartlek (5M)
Sun: 11 miles relaxed in 99-105 mins (11M)

Mon Dec 29- Sun Jan 4 - 36M
Mon rest
Tue hills (5M)
Wed 50 mins steady run - (6M)
Thu Pace session: 2 miles slow, 3M block of 10km (7:30), 1 mile slow
Fri rest
Sat off-road or parkrun or fartlek (6M)
Sun 13 miles relaxed in 2 hours-2:10 (13M)

Mon Jan 5 - Sun Jan 11 - 40M
Mon rest
Tue Mile reps  5 x 1M in approx 7:30 with 2 mins rest (7M)
Wed 60 mins steady run (7M)
Thu easier endurance session: fartlek (6M)
Fri rest
Sat off road run or parkrun (5M)
Sun 2 hours 15-25 mins slow (15M)

Mon Jan 12 - Sun Jan 18 (42M)
Mon rest
Tue 1000m reps 6 x1000m approx 4:30 with 2 min recoveries (6M)
Wed 85 mins steady run
Thu Endurance session (acceleration) - start at 9:30, 9:00, 8:45, 8:30,
8:15, 8:00, 7:45 (7M)
Fri rest
Sat parkrun, hills or brisk run (6M)
Brisk longer endurance run or race (ie 13M at sub 8:30s)

Mon Jan 19 - Sun Jan 25 (47M)
Mon rest
Tue 800m reps - 7 x 800m in approx 3:30-3:45 with 2 min recoveries (6M)
Wed 90 mins steady run (11M)
Thu Speed
Endurance session (alternate pace session - 9:15s and 8:15s) (7M)
Fri rest
Sat RW Training day
Sun 2 hours 30-45 relaxed (17M) or easy dependant on training day

Mon Jan 26 - Sun Feb 1 (51M)
Mon rest
Tue 400m reps - 12 x 400m in sub 1:45 with 45 secs rest (6M)
Wed 95 mins steady run (12M)
Thu Speed endurance session (out and back run) - 4 miles out at 9:30. 4 miles back
at approx 8:30-8:45 plus 1M slow (9M)
Fri rest
Sat parkrun, hills or fartlek (6M)
Sun 2hrs 40-55 mins relaxed  (18M)

Sub 3 Tom: #asics262

Posted: Yesterday at 16:57

for those interested in Crystal palace someone found this old pathe news from 1967 when it was new - hasn't changed much in 47 years.

Sub 3 Tom: #asics262

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 17:55

London is effectively my 40th season of preparation as first marathon was October 1976 and have done at least one a year ever since (3-4 a year when younger but now one's more than enough).

Fine with Tim to come too to Palace.

Sub 3 Tom: #asics262

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 17:25

all being well, I will be pretty much following Tom's schedule (with slightly slower paces) but I intend to put in an extra 2 week block of training when the Paris taper kicks in.

Sub 3 Tom: #asics262

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 17:22


I think the schedule just needs a slight adjustment in paces (approx 30 secs a mile slower) but the volume should be similar for a sub 3:15.

In fact, Amy on the sub-4 is a similar plan too - just a slower pace (and more rest days) and for instance Tom on a Sunday 2 hour run will go a few miles further than someone doing a 4 hour pace even if the time is the same.

Time on feet is important for all speeds but of course the faster you are, the less time you are on your feet!

From your improvement, I would think you are capable of much quicker than 3:15 though and I could end up running with you like in Paris.

The Tuesday speed sessions are still going on at the Palace in the New Year so if it fits in come along though we have hill sessions the next two weeks.

My speed isn't great (for me) at the moment and I am certainly not in sub-3 shape - yet - maybe just 3:05-3:10. Last year I peaked too early and probably was in sub-3 shape on Jan 1 but was injured throughout virtually all Feb and March. This year hope to be in sub-3 shape in April but remains to be seen if my body can take its 40th successive year of marathon preparation.




Sub 3 Tom: #asics262

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 10:35

Dave - agreed Tom's speed suggests sub-3 should be doable but good speed doesn't always mean good endurance but far more chance of Tom breaking three this Spring than me!

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