The Middle Ground

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  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    I enjoyed the link, Muss!

    Swimming: a long, long time ago I used to do a short weight session followed by a short run and then a recovery swim, two to three times a week. Seemed to help recovery: probably the cold water as much as the gentle swimming!

    Yes, it was very rough weather-wise here yesterday, DT! Was glad there was snooker and football to watch.

    Today I was very fortunate with my short plod today, TS: it stopped raining, I ran, it started again. 5 degrees and a strong wind. Did manage 30 minutes stretching. Need more of this. Legs were a little battered after yesterday's long run of 6.3k!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    ale - the tibialis stuff, (the toe raises and the stepping forward exercise) are the bit I hadn't come across before, not many people seem to talk about it - and it really seems to have helped with balance and stability on one leg even just after a week of doing this routine. I'm sure there's not much else that would be new to you with your Achilles history.

    DT - great reps. Will you look to hold that kind of pace for your 10k?

    It's partly a strength/conditioning thing, but also just a question of coordination and practise. It kind of sums up a major difference between swimming and running, the technique aspect of swimming is so vital, and it's not a natural instinct in the same way that running is. 

    7, 11, 8 km for me so far this week. The effort has been pretty easy in terms of perceived effort and HR, but the paces have been coming out faster. I'm wondering if I returned to training a bit too quickly - I've been finding myself feeling pretty wiped out by the time afternoon comes around. If things don't improve by next next week I'll take an extra rest day or something.


  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Mus, the way I was moving it felt more like 5k pace/effort. I think 10k is more likely around 5.45-5.50 pace and hopefully half marathon sub 6.05mm.

    Yes, with all you had going on before the race as well, you might just need a couple of days for a complete reset.

    Alehouse, yes there was at least plenty to watch Monday. Tomorrows forecast looks even worse!!

    Couple of easy runs since Tuesday. Out in the sunshine later for a 6m tempo.

  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    I had a day completely off yesterday which I think has done me good. Despite taking it easy on the running front, I've upped the S&C and added swimming in the mix - so I guess it's not surprising that I was a bit tired.

    Got out for 8.5km this morning. I tried to take it much easier than my last few runs, but every time I stopped consciously keeping my stride shorter, I started slipping into a slightly faster rhythm. HR averaged at 143, so still very low end easy. 

    I've just been looking through to loosely plan my marathon training. Before my half I was feeling good about it, but now I'm about to actually start the training, I'm feeling very nervous about it, to be honest! Seeing how the big weeks are going to align with work is a bit daunting. But on the positive side, some of my longest runs will be away from home, so that will hopefully alleviate some of the mental grind!
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Muss, I recall the first time I did it and it is quite daunting. Remember though if it's a generic plan it wasnt written with you and your life in mind. Also remember, the biggest barrier to achieving a decent mara time is surviving the training and making the start line. 

    Decent week last week, 2 solid sessions, 46m and a 13m long. 

    Another decent week planned then I'm into back to back race weeks. 
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Yes, as I often work weekends, I can't guarantee that I can fit all my long runs in on Saturdays and Sundays. Which then means recovery between long runs etc. has to be considered.

    I had a look at a few plans and struggled to find anything that got the right balance. They either seem to be aimed at experienced marathoners, or people just looking to survive it. I've taken elements from a few and combined them into something that looks pretty similar to what I've been doing. I was intrigued by the Hansons' plan, but it goes against the grain with no real taper and a max long run of 18 miles, so I thought it a risky choice for a first time.

    I've been looking into tune up races - there aren't really halfs that are taking my fancy. I've only found one on 15th August (Brighton is September 12th) that I can see myself wanting to do, but by the time I'll have recovered from the half, it will pretty much be time to taper, so it seems a bit of a waste of training time. What do you guys think of treating that half as a marathon pace tester, with some warm up and cool down before and after?

    I had a horrendous long run on Sunday - seemingly 360° wind, humid and really sticky. It took me over 50km for the week, though, and I'm now feeling much better than I was last week.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Muss, yes that does generally seem to be the case in terms of either being aimed at complete beginners or advanced runners.

    I ran two perfectly good marathons a few years ago of a completely different style of running. I was persistently getting injuries and niggles and despite continued training was not improving at all so decided to take a dramatic turn and followed for a good 18 months the furman method of run less, run faster. Basically involves running 3 times a week, short intervals, tempo and a longrun (but this is done much faster than easy) and then two high intensity spin sessions.

    I couldn't do it now as I enjoy running too much generally, but the results were quite fantastic and fast. I went from a 3.18 mara to 3.08 to 3.04, off under 30 mpw. What I then did was add in a 5m recovery eventually, then made that an mlr distance and add in a 4m recovery and built up over 2 years to back to normal running and then moved away from the training system to more conventional.

    I only raise it as you mention various battles between running and normal life pending and also just as Andrew seems to be injury prone. It worked fantastically over a period when my life was tricky as my children were very young and also (stress fracture last year aside) I've barely missed a weeks training since 2015.

    In terms of tune up races, it's always a challenge to work it right. I think there's a lot of benefit in running a flat out half in the build up to a mara, though ideally 5-6 weeks out. I'll probably do a half first weekend in September, which is only 4 weeks out from London, just because the weekend before is August BH. I only tend to do a 2 week taper so after that half i'll get two more big weeks in. There's also benefit in running it as a session so like 6m easy, race at mp then 2-3m easy cd. However I think in a race there's a greater risk of you running I  that middle zone that is too fast for mara pace but isn't as uncomfortable as a flat out half. Therefore i'd save my money and just go out on my own for that session.

  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Thanks for all of that. 

    That cross training method sounds interesting! I have almost no bike fitness, which is something I'm hoping to change at some point. But now is probably not the time to add that into the mix.

    Now that I've got a loose plan and that it's sunk in, it all seems more manageable. I've just never run further than 15 miles, or committed to a block of training more than 8 weeks long! I guess it's just taking it week by week, prioritising the long run and recovery, and everything else should slot in to place. And autumn marathons do mean you can take advantage of the longer evenings to train, I suppose. 
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Muss, I have been involved with a number of marathon runners over the years and the only common thing between them, apart from consistency, is the combination of long run and medium long run, week in, week out. I can think of three in particular (2;16, 2:17, 2:20) who trained completely differently (one long and slow, one quite long and quick, one track based) but all three would run a long run of 18 to 20 miles each week, and a second run of two-thirds to three-quarters of the long run. 
    If you read a typical week's training of the top marathoners this is try also. So I would make those two runs the cornerstone of the week. 
    Where the three above differed slightly is that one of them  would run the medium run and long run on consecutive days. I can see some merit in this but personally wouldn't recommend it!

    Gradually building up here: last week was 29 km, slight increase on last week's 26.  
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Hi all - glad to see you are all running and making progress.

    I have had a further two shock wave sessions at the physio (the first of which was agony as he was working directly on the tender spot on the top of my shin!) and have been keeping up with the S&C. Also played cricket again on Saturday and got through 7 overs without any pain. There is still definitely some pain still when the specific point on the shin is pressed, but less stiffness in the knee as a whole so hopefully moving in the right direction.

    Haven't run for about 3 weeks now though, so I'm really going to be building up from square one again when i do get the go ahead to resume running.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    edited May 12
    Thanks ale - and glad to hear you're on the mend. 

    You've worked with some incredible marathon runners! All of that makes a lot of sense. I think I'll go with Wednesday MLR with some quality, and Saturday/Sunday LSR. I do really like doing the long run on Saturday, as I enjoy doing a recovery run on Sunday after the long run.

    Today was 13km with 3x3km. The 3km efforts were between 5min/k pace and 4:40min/k - I'd hope my marathon time reflects that range. It was windy and hot today, so perceived effort was high - but HR was about right. The first two felt like hard work, but the last came out faster and feeling easier.

    AD - I think all of us probably have spots that would hurt if you pressed on them! If it's feeling better when bearing weight or moving, that's the main thing, I think! It sounds like things are moving in the right direction though.


  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    I hope so Muss!

    Getting jabbed tomorrow, so probably wouldn’t have run for the next couple of days anyway.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Really great rainy recovery this morning. Very light rain, which was both relaxing and refreshing!
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Muss, yes, I've learnt with mara training, particularly the pointy end that trying to look at how you'll manage or survive the next 4 weeks can be overwhelming and I tend to just get my head around the week immediately in front of me.

    Hope the jab went Ok, Andrew. I just ran easy before mine and on the following day and was fine then. Fingers crossed you're over the worst of the injury.

    Getting there, Alehouse.

    Disappointing session of 6 x 1m on Tuesday. Just felt flat and couldn't get into top gear in terms of working at the right HR. 4M recovery yesterday and 7m easy today. 10k next Thursday.

  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    17km to take me to 53 for the week, up from last week's 51 and I feel like I'm in the groove now. 3km of swimming and a couple of S&C sessions in there, too, so it's been a very good week.

    Today's run averaged 5:12min/km @ average HR of 148, and yesterday's recovery effort ended up speedy for the effort levels (albeit after a very slow start) - so I think I've definitely had a boost of fitness/running economy from somewhere.

    One annoying thing from my run today was there were a couple of people that ended up almost racing with me. Just sitting on my shoulder and not going past if I slowed, and not dropping off if I put in a small surge. Also, they seemed to drift from side to side with me over the path, and follow every turn I made. WTF?! I almost had a word as part of the thing I love about running is taking the time to create my own headspace, and they were very much invading that. 
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    All sounds good, Muss, your "company" apart!

    How was Friday's tempo,  DT?

    Jab, AD?

    Miscalculated this week: thought I was just over 30 km, building on last week's 29...but only 28.6! Not to worry, there's always next week!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Muss, that is a strange situation, particularly in current times when we all keep away from most others!

    Alehouse, many would have gone out and run a mile there just to hit the numbers!!

    Tempo Friday went well. Usually execution is to be trying to work at 160 bpm. Felt sluggish at first and like a bit too much effort but settled in after a few miles and gradually progressed it with splits of 6.18, 6.22, 6.23, 6.20, 6.18, 6.15 and 6.13 for 6.18 average and 158 bpm. Possibly the slight upgrade in pace of mile 1 was the issue as the first mile normally come sin around 6.30.. I suspect had it been a  peak level 10m tempo it would have come out around 6.15 and just over 160bpm, which looking back isn't out of line with what I was doing in March so still in good shape.

    10k on Thursday evening. Weather is looking set to get involved with some windier weather due to  hit midweek. Still hopeful of not just pb'ing but getting into the 36 min bracket.

  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Alehouse - yes! Had it Thursday. Felt a bit tired that evening and intermittently a little nauseous yesterday, but otherwise seemed to get away without any side effects. Had Pfizer though, which apparently has less reported cases of side effects than AZ.

    I also ran on Saturday. Cricket was rained off, so I got out for a short run in the afternoon. My calves felt it afterwards. 

    Good luck with the race on Thursday DT.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    All sounds pretty good, AD, rain apart!

    Glad the tempo went to plan, DT. Hope Thursday goes well!

    Longest run since February 1st today, just over 56 minutes, mainly off road, paced by my M76 neighbour.
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    DT - fingers crossed the wind is not too bad. Sometimes when I look at the weather before a run, or Strava post run, the wind speed doesn't really seem to tell the full story. Short bursts Vs relentless blowing, humidity and all sorts of other things seem to effect how the wind feels when you run, so even if it looks bad on the forecast it might not effect you too much. 

    Ale - glad you've got some momentum going. I know you've found it frustrating, but I'm sure you'll find building back will get easier and easier. Are you still getting any dizziness etc?

    AD - how's the knee today?

    Good swim from me today - 1,500m in 29:30, which seems to have come out of nowhere, I didn't even expect to break 20 mins for 1,000m today. Still distinctly average, but a pleasant surprise after Friday's effort which was a real grind.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Andrew, my main side effect was mild nausea, wasn't particularly expecting that.

    Good news on the longer run, Alehouse.

    Well done on the swim, Muss. I couldn't imagine continuously swimming that long!

    At present the worst of Thursdays weather is scheduled around race time, however a shift by 3 or 4 hours presents much better weather so I am sure there'll be a few forecast twists in the interim.

  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    VO2 max session for me today - 6x3mins off 90s jog. Covered about 770-780m on each rep. I think I was hoping I might go manage 800m on each, but besides a 5k TT, I haven't really done any speedwork since November - it's mainly been steady running with some faster finish stuff. It was tough today, but my form felt good throughout and it was good to just remind myself of 5km kind of effort levels. HR topped out at 175bpm - which is around 5bpm lower than my average HR from 5km onwards in my recent HM. The effort felt about right, though, so I guess the HR data is besides the point!
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    So after a discussion with the physio today we agreed that an MRI scan was the next logical step, so I’ve got one booked in for next Thursday. Will see what that throws out. 
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    I hope that doesn't mean things have got worse again?
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Good session, Muss. It's difficult to get your HR right up there when you are running 3 minutes at a time. My rep HR never replicates on individual reps what it might be at a 5k, unless I am doing a big 10 x 1 off 45s, or mile reps with a float recovery.

    Andrew, I think that's a good move, it'll give you a clear set of answers and allow the physio to properly treat.

    4.5m yesterday with  4 x 1 min strides off 1 min to finish off. Rest today ready for tomorrow, though forecast has worsened again.

  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Muss - things haven't got worse again, but the small improvement that I saw after the first shockwave treatment hasn't continued after the follow up treatments so we have concluded that it is best to investigate the issue further and then, as DT says, treat properly.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    AD - sounds sensible.

    A word of warning - don't expect the scan to necessarily give you all the answers. I know lots of people who experience back/joint pain (it's pretty much an occupational hazard in my line of work!) and even after lengthy investigation, the cause can still be unclear. If that's the case though, you might get the green light to carry on training even if it doesn't feel any better. Fingers crossed it will be straightforward and easily resolved for you though.

    DT - all the best for your race! Looking forward to hearing about it.

    13km MLR for me today. Nice and easy, and very enjoyable. 
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Saw the results, DT! I imagine that the weather affected times. Pretty foul here! Looking forward to your report! 

    Hope the scan is helpful, AD.

    All sounds good, Muss.

    Ticking over and this week should be the highest since January. Not rushing things. Still not quite right after nearly 15 weeks since the first jab. Not sure yet when jab 2 will happen.
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    No real glory to report sadly. 10 mins before the Start, whilst vested and standing around, the heavens opened and the wind picked up. 

    I had kind of talked myself out of a big effort due to weather and prospect of getting anything out of it

    We started slightly uphill but also directly into an obscene headwind. At 400m I wanted to go home and felt I'd capitulate and do well to run sub 39. 

    I persevered however with splits of 5.53, 6.01, 5.47, 6.06, 6.02, 5.54 and 6.19 for the last 400m (uphill and straight in the driving wind and rain!) and hung on tightly to a 37.22 (5.58mm) so a nominal 12s pb. Not what I was after but the weather was atrocious. I really did feel like I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth the whole time however.

    Finished 10th and 2nd in age. Some basic po10 stalking and it appears I faired relatively better than my fellow runners. I think I'm one of 2 pbs in the top 15 with most 60-90s off theirs. So hopefully I'm not as far off a strong 36, pushing sub 36 as that time might suggest. 

    What was interesting was that my average hr was 168,  5 less than my Feb tt. I've noticed this in spin and running sessions in last 2 weeks, as per my recent poor session, I can't seem to work hard enough to take my HR into that top end zone. 

  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Well done for gritting it out, DT. Wind is a real killer, if I remember correctly the formula for calculating the drag force of wind involves (velocity+wind speed)^2 - so the relationship isn't linear, and quickly ramps up as your velocity and the wind velocity increase. To PB in those conditions means you'll have a lot left in good conditions. 
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