Latest posts by stutyr

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Best Interval Session for Marathon Training

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 22:52

Intervals probably shouldn't be your main focus in marathon training, as endurance is much more important than speed.

Lots of people have had very good results from following P&D, but it won't suit everyone.  I think the sessions get longer at the same speed, so the first interval session should always be a bit 'easier'.  Although I'm not sure what P&D plan you are following as I'm doing the 18 week/ 55 mile plan and just starting intervals with 8 weeks to go?

I also agree with andrews148 comment - if your 5k speed is 5min/mile then you should easily be sub 3 hour rather than 3:10(ish) for the marathon.   

Really basic entry level heart rate monitor, and 10km training.

Posted: 15/08/2014 at 14:19

A heart rate monitor isn't essential, so I wouldn't worry about not having one.  As you've run a few 5ks, you should be able to use plans based on your race results to calculate the training paces for a 10k.  Have a look at the smart coach on this web site for an example of this.

Don't get me wrong - I have a Garmin GPS watch with HRM and I really like it, and I find the HR reading very useful (mostly on slower runs to make sure I don't go too fast).  But it is a luxury.  When I started I just used a stopwatch to record how long I'd been running and this was just as useful for keeping track of my improving times. 

Second Half Marathon Training

Posted: 15/08/2014 at 14:09

You should see improvements in your times if  you can increase your average to 30 to 35 miles per week.  The normally quoted rule of thumb is to increase by a max of 10% per week.  As you've been running  a relatively short time, I wouldn't get too worried about specific speed sessions and target zones etc, just think about running one or two sessions per week 'comfortably' hard and then making sure the other sessions are run at an easy pace.  Its a common mistake for newcomers to think all sessions should be tiring, whereas some of the most beneficial ones (especially for HM up) are the slower ones that help build your base endurance 

For you, you would probably want to start by increasing your shortish runs from 3 - 4 miles to 5 - 6 miles. When you've done this, you could add a fifth session into the week, and drop the mileage on the shorter runs so that total mileage per week stays within the 10% rule.     

Great Welsh Marathon

Posted: 14/08/2014 at 13:46

There's no excuses with this one as the course is as flat as you can get for 26.2 miles.  

If you can run a half in 1'45" then you should be able to achieve a sub 4'00" full marathon.  However, you do need to build the endurance to do this.

I ran this one three years ago, and my preparation was the Cardiff HM in the October before, and the Llanelli HM (on the same course as the marathon) in the March.  Maybe you could follow a similar plan - training for Cardiff (or similar) in a couple of months, then using this result as a baseline for your marathon training, with the Llanelli HM as a final preparation/test prior to the 'big one'?

Jersey Marathon Training - i want to do well!

Posted: 06/08/2014 at 13:26

I'm following the Pfitzinger & Douglas plan from their "Advanced Marathoning" that is definitely worth reading for the explanations of the various training that contribute to running a marathon.  Even if you don't follow the plans, it will explain the benefit of different types of runs etc.

Based on this book, and your schedule, I'd suggest:

  • Long Run on Sunday: aim to complete 5 runs totalling 100 miles prior to your three week taper.  This could be 2x 18 miles, 1x 20m and 2x 22m (very little benefit going over 22).  Ideally, if you've gone over 18 miles on two consecutive Sundays, cut back down to 12 to 15 miles on the next Sunday (I think you've got enough time for this - but might have miscalculated)  
  • Mid-week longer run: try and get this up to 12 miles, building gradually over a few weeks.
  • For the Sunday run and mid-week run, start slow but gradually build speed until you are finishing at roughly 10% slower than target marathon pace.
  • Intervals aren't the best "speed" session for marathon training, try swapping your Tuesday session for a tempo run.  Warm up for two miles, then run between four and seven miles at half marathon pace, then finish with a two mile cool down.


How to decrease my leg muscle size

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 12:50

I don't think most runners deliberately try and get lean legs, its a by product of the training.  If you continue to run, and run further (e.g up to half or full marathons) you will probably find your legs slim down as the mileage increases. 

It will also be partly genetic.  There's a higher than average proportion of skinny "beanpole" body types at a running event, as endurance running is a sport more suited to the slow twitch muscle associated with this body type.  Therefore its possible that you will never have the lean legs, if your body type is different.   

Trainers and pain

Posted: 01/08/2014 at 12:42

Have you still got your old trainers?  A simple test is to have a couple of runs in your old shoes and see if the problem re-occurs.

I had a similar issue a few years ago with the shoes recommended to me by a shop.  In my case it was a sharp knee pain, so I went back to my old trainers.  The first run in the old pair the knee was still tender but not quite as bad as it had been, on the second run there was still some mild discomfort and by the third run it was fine.



Beginners running Addiction

Posted: 30/07/2014 at 16:13

Stick with the plan, the C25K plans are designed to gradually build up without injuring yourself and recent history has shown you are susceptible to injury.  

If you try to cram 8 weeks into 6, worst case scenario is that you end up injured and can't compete (e.g. recurrence of shin splints).

If you are 6 weeks into the plan when the 5k comes, worst case scenario is that you may need to walk for part of the distance - but you will still complete the race.

PS there are many causes of shin splints, but make sure your laces aren't too tight and maybe go to a running shop for advice on shoes (if you haven't already).  Theses are quick/simple fixes that could help. 

Help me recover for ultra. Please!!!

Posted: 30/07/2014 at 12:59

I'm with booktrunk - if everything else is the same, then the most likely cause is your shoes being past their best.

With three weeks to go, you have just enough time to break in a new pair.  

Also, don't panic - the last three weeks should see you tapering down for the event, this is the time that you should be getting more rest.  In the taper period, running too little won't harm your race-day performance, but running too much can. 



Posted: 29/07/2014 at 15:10

Everyone is different, and everyone will react differently.  But I would urge caution - my initial recovery was quick, with no painkillers needed the day after and able to walk rather than limp within a few days. However the bit that took longest to recover was the deep bruising under the knee and around the inside of my leg, which made the knee tender to touch and unstable when load bearing.  

All told, it took me about 12 weeks to be back to normal, although I probably could have started running after about 10 (I ended up getting over-cautious towards the end as I'd been a bit too keen at the start).   Between 8 and 12 weeks I started cycling, gradually building over the weeks until the knee felt stable when sprinting out of the saddle.     

The consultant who operated on me had said it would be two months until it was back to normal, which suggests I took a bit longer than average to recover. 

As I said, everyone is different so you may be back after two weeks but don't be too concerned if it takes a bit longer as it will recover after a relatively short while.

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