Latest posts by stutyr

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Pre-marathon Training Plan Workouts

Posted: Today at 11:50

I was thinking a combination of all three previous answers!

As you are an experienced runner, it will depend on your previous marathon.  If you suffered badly in the latter stages or your time was more than 2.2 times your half PB, then look to increase your endurance by getting some longer, slower runs in over the next few months to make sure you are comfortable running the weekly mileage of your 16 week plan.

If the marathon went OK, and you want to run faster next time look to complete an 8 week(ish) 10k plan or similar to focus on speedwork prior to starting the marathon plan.  

I'd also follow DT's advice and start your 16 week at least a week early, as you'll be running through prime time for icy roads etc and/or peak cold & flu season. 

Cardiff Half Marathon

Posted: Today at 09:34

I think you are a bit late.

I don't know if you are aware but anyone who sells their place to you is in danger of being banned from future British Athletic events if you are discovered, so are unlikely to be willing to give their place away and jeopardise their future running.

From the FAQs on the Cardiff Half web site:

Q. I have entered but am unable to take part, can I get a refund or give my place to a friend?

A. We are unable to give refunds or defer entries until next year’s race. You can transfer your place to a friend up until Friday 2nd August. There is a £5 administration charge for this service.

Please note: Never swap your race number with any other runner, as this could cause problems for our medical teams and results service. If race organisers become aware of anyone who swaps their race number they will be disqualified and reported to British Athletics.


Posted: 30/09/2014 at 17:08

Some people run with tense shoulders, so its possible that its running related. On your next run, try forcing your elbows lower. Also make sure your hands move in parallel to your body rather than across your chest (so you're not twisting your shoulders).

For your breathing, are you warming up for the first ten minutes or are you getting straight into the run?  Try either running slower (e.g. at least one min per mile slower) or walking for the first five minutes and then gradually pick up the pace for the next five mins so you only hit target pace after ten mins.  This gives your body a chance to adapt to the extra demands of running rather than a sudden change.

If these tips don't help, as RicSure said, it would be best to get a proper diagnosis by a doctor. 

How much is too much?

Posted: 30/09/2014 at 12:41

As others have said, it doesn't sound like over training and your friend's remark is probably surprise at how far you've come in a short time.

Have a look at the following link for some guidance on the symptoms of overtraining.  Assuming you don't have an HR monitor then the key one would be whether your sleep is suffering.

The other simple thing to do is to take a rest week, either by cutting out one or two sessions or by halving your weekly mileage and seeing how you feel the week after.  You should feel better on the return week (even if you haven't been overtraining) but if you see a dramatic improvement then this would be an indicator that you are trying to do too much, too soon.  

Half Marathon Training

Posted: 30/09/2014 at 12:28

There's a couple of good reasons why a beginners plan has a maximum of 10 miles:

- Your long runs should be significantly slower than your HM race pace, so the time taken to cover the ten miles should be roughly equal to your race time (i.e. think time on your feet rather than distance).

- The long run is necessary to build endurance, which means you will be tired and your running form will deteriorate in the last few miles as you push past your current endurance limits.  This increases your risk of injury.  The ten miles is a compromise of going long enough to build endurance whilst minimising your time in the injury "danger zone".

Just as important for your first half, if you go more than 13 miles in training it will take some of the shine off completing the distance in your first HM.  It will be a special feeling when you complete the distance for the first time.

If your race is on Sunday, then this week should be "taper" time with limited mileage so you are fully rested for the weekend.  You should only run roughly 50% of the weekly distance you have been doing in training (if I mis-read and the race is on the 12th, then about 75% of weekly distance this week, and 50% next week). Your last pre-race run would be either Friday or Saturday, and should only be 3 or 4 miles at most.  Personally I prefer to get out on the day before the race for a short run to loosen up and reduce pre-race nerves, others prefer to have a day of complete rest prior to the race.     

Breathing during race

Posted: 29/09/2014 at 16:56

Very difficult to help from the info you've provided.  

As some pointers of potential things to look at:

- If you run too hard then you won't be able to breath in enough oxygen to meet the demands of your muscles which leads to a breathless feeling.  Simplistically, this is your body saying you are running too fast, so you need to run slower. Have a look into V02 max and things like interval training to improve this.

- There is exercise induced asthma that can affect people under hard exertion, so it would be worth consulting with your GP to see if this is possible.

- It could be anxiety under race conditions (i.e. the athletic equivalent of "stage fright").  Not really something I'm familiar with, but maybe take part in races more frequently (e.g. weekly park runs) to reduce the anxiety through familiarity?

- there is a large mental aspect to running. After having a bad race where I had to walk for a while, I found I had a mental block  where I had a strong desire to walk for a little bit for the next couple of races.  It took a few races to get over this, and many hard training sessions where I forced myself to cover the distance and not quit.

marathon training advice please!

Posted: 29/09/2014 at 16:43

Don't underestimate the effect of the heat, which would have shown in the last few miles.

You think the long runs were too fast and had a detrimental effect, but what were the symptoms of this?  

- If you went into the event feeling a bit tired (especially the legs) then stepping up to a harder training schedule wouldn't help.

- If you struggled with endurance in the race, then a more advanced programme would help build this up for your next event. 

If your looking to do a spring marathon, that's roughly six months away.  As the marathon plan will be 3 to 4 months, this gives you a couple of months (after resting up from your recent marathon) to build a base mileage.   Depending on how this base building goes, you can decide whether to take on the extra workload of the more advanced plan.  


Moving Target

Posted: 29/09/2014 at 15:14

Just read an interview on the web site with the American girl who came third in the Berlin marathon.  She was aiming for the american record, but missed out by a couple of minutes after struggling at the end.  However, rather than being upset by this she took it as a good learning experience.  If she'd been more cautious, she could have got a better time but by taking a risk she found her limit (and still managed a PB) which will help her prepare a training plan  for her next marathon. 

For you, it sounds like you are on target for a 3:03, whereas a sub 3:00 maybe a bit risky.  If you try and fail to get the sub 3:00 you may still manage a PB of about 3:10, or you may crash & burn and limp home with a 3:30?  How would you feel about that?  Based on how you answer this is whether you should readjust your pacing.

It would still be a big risk - running 6:51 instead of 6:59 doesn't sound too bad for the first 5 to 10 miles, but to put it into perspective if Kimetto could have managed to run "just a few seconds" per mile faster he would have broken the 2 hour mark. 

PS I may not be the best to advise as my two marathons to date have both seen me go off too fast and really suffer in the latter stages! 

increase speed or distance?

Posted: 29/09/2014 at 11:45

If you "can just about" run 5k, then there's no point stepping up the distance until you are comfortable running 5k.

I wouldn't worry too much about speed at the moment, and I'd ignore articles about interval and tempo sessions.  As a new starter you will naturally speed up by running consistently (i.e. at least three times a week) for the first six to twelve months.

Once your comfortable running 5k, have a look for a local parkrun to give you a timed run over the 5k distance and this can act as a baseline in improving your speed.


First marathon

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 12:00

Only things I can think of to add to Nayan's advice is:

- If following a plan, consider starting a week early as this gives you a buffer week to get over any time lost due to illness, holidays or other commitments,  If you don't miss any chunks of the plan, you can repeat a week to keep on schedule for the taper etc .

- Big change I found from running half- to full-marathon was fuelling, its worth experimenting with gels, sweets etc sooner rather than later (see Nayan's "nothing new on race day")

- Marathon training means lots more miles, which means lots of wear on your shoes.  If you have a favourite shoe, look to pick up a couple of pairs so you can alternate them during training etc.  I've taken this a step further and bought an extra pair in the summer sale, and kept them in the cupboard until recently to make sure they are as fresh as possible on race day (i.e. only used for circa 100 miles including a 20 mile long run).   


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