The Middle Ground



  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    @mussessein 4.5 week to Manchester

    Heading to Dorney on Sunday for the 20 mile run. Going to test out race kit including the cheat shoes, worn them before but not for a long one. Will be nice to do a long run without a vest and carrying water.

    Getting into shape, Runalyze says 41% marathon shape but that will head up with this Sunday and a final 32km run before taper. Should hit 70km this week and next which are my biggest ever. Thinking about 3.30 to 3.40 for Manchester and hope I get it right second time round, Bournemouth in 2019 was a painful final 8 miles.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Hope you went well today, Muss? I saw Friday that it came to the fore that the event wasn't UKA licensed then today after the race they announced they set course up slightly wrong and it was 568m long. Better than being short mind. 

    22m this morning race day time on feet run. Planned 2.49, did it in 2.49.30. Went out at 9.30 to replicate London start time (though that's best guess as isn't being made known until next week), gels then x 4 every 5m and wore my raceday shorts just to make sure they were comfortable. 
  • Yes, thought of you when I heard about the Brighton issues, Muss. Hope you enjoyed the occasion nevertheless.

    Just over 31k for the week. Would have been less but my test tickets annoyingly weren't needed yesterday so ran further than I would have instead. Actually the week was the third highest since January.
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • I had a bit of a mare to be honest. I felt absolutely great till 29km, when bad cramps set in. I started going past a lot of people from the half way mark, in around 1:47, and maybe got a little carried away from then on. Although I felt great aerobically, my muscles just wouldn't play ball and every time I tried a run, I would just cramp up again. So it was a bit of a death march to the end. 

    4:04:36. Might have managed more running and a sprint for sub 4 had the distance been correct. As it was, I knew I wouldn't get there, so psychologically those last two miles were very hard to manage anything other than a walk. 

    I fainted while waiting for some food from a truck, but feeling much better now.

  • Sounds like a tough day, Muss...but definitely one to remember...and to inspire you in the future!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Sorry it didn't go as planned, Muss. There are so many things that can go wrong in a marathon, many not even fitness related. 

    I hope it hasn't put you off and you can treat it as a learning curve. My first marathon, which was also not what I wanted, once I recovered left me feeling I had unfinished business. 
  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    edited September 2021


    Well done for finishing it, 26 miles is no joke.

    I went to Dorney yesterday and did 20 miles in 2.34 so right on plan for Manchester. Managed to negative split it and my fastest running came in the final 3km when I went up to 4.35m/km. One more long run next Sunday and then taper time.  Was originally planning to target 3.30 but revising that down to 3.35 based off yesterday.

    Edit: should have said that I PB'd at parkrun the day before finishing 3rd in 20.03 (17 second faster than 2018) so Dorney was run off the back of that which included 9k getting there and back.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    That sounds like a really strong and smart run, jgav, particularly with a decent Saturday run in your legs (congrats on the pb!)

    It's fantastic finishing those sort of runs like that, isn't it? How come the revision down? The pace yesterday would yield a 3.21 so notionally applying 10s per mile slower then 3.25-3.30 should be very doable, particularly with a decent taper.

    5m recovery over lunch. Final big week for me as I only do a 2 week taper, though my remaining long run next weekend is reduced down to 16m.

  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    edited September 2021
    DT19 said:

    That sounds like a really strong and smart run, jgav, particularly with a decent Saturday run in your legs (congrats on the pb!)

    It's fantastic finishing those sort of runs like that, isn't it? How come the revision down? The pace yesterday would yield a 3.21 so notionally applying 10s per mile slower then 3.25-3.30 should be very doable, particularly with a decent taper.

    5m recovery over lunch. Final big week for me as I only do a 2 week taper, though my remaining long run next weekend is reduced down to 16m.

    That meant to say, revise from 3.30 to 3.25. If I head off at 3.25 pace there's a possibility that I can negative split again and end up 3.20 - 3.25. It's really good getting stronger when others are fading, gives you lots of people to try run up to and past. Though knowing me, after that run I'll just set off at 3.20 and try to hold on. It's all looking much more positive than a few weeks ago when I suffered through 29km and was really dying in the last 5km.

    You're experience enough that a 2 week taper is ok. I am looking forward to a full three week.
  • JGav, well done on the PB and a great run the day after. It might be wise to keep the next week of training comfortably within yourself, as a quality long run and speedwork is a lot to recover from. 

    Alehouse, I missed your post earlier. That's a good tally. I hope all those issues you were having have subsided? And fewer niggles?

    DT - the first thing I said after crossing the line was "I'm never doing this again", but I definitely will. It might not be till spring 23 - I don't think I can face doing another marathon block so close to this one, and I don't particularly want to do another autumn mara, with all the summer long runs.

    But motivation is high for the shorter distances - sub 19 for 5k, sub 41 for 10k and sub 90 for half all seem within reach. I'm also keen to try 5 and 10 mile. So I'll take two weeks of rest and swimming, ease back in to running and build back, and look to start racing from late November, I suppose. I'm keen to enter more races as I feel that would take pressure away from any individual race. 

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Muss, for the last 8 miles of my first marathon and for the 12 hours afterwards my stance on running another marathon was a very clear never, ever, ever again! By Monday lunchtime it was 'well never say never'. It took me two years though to go again. 

    Training for an autumn marathon is a lot more tiring than a spring mara plus the summer is a much more social period and there's holidays and weekends away to factor in. 

    Training January to March is much easier if you can get over going out for 90 mins and a cold dark Wednesday night etc. 

    Big session over lunch  8 x 1m off 1 minute. 
  • Brighton Marathon 2021

    Probably the most annoying thing about this race was having to travel down to Brighton to pick up the race pack the day before. There was also no on the day bag drop - any kit had to be left there the day prior. It wasn't such an issue for me, as my girlfriend came down to support, but I can imagine for people who weren't staying in Brighton, this could have been an issue, especially as parking in Brighton is tricky at the best of times, even without most of the city centre being closed off.

    5:45 wake up, standard long run breakfast of overnight oats, chia seeds, peanut butter and raisins, 1.5 litres water (+ SIS electrolyte tab), espresso.

    The start was in waves, with a sub 3:15, invite only wave heading off first. After that was my wave, sub 3:30. Arrival time for both waves was given as 9:00, with no real indication of what that meant, and further waves given arrival times at 15 minute intervals after that. I chose a train that arrived in Brighton at 8:19, and the train was full of runners. I think the few non runners must have been mystified!

    The start area was a 15 minute walk from the station, and there were already lots of locals out in support. When we arrived at the start area, there were plenty of loos (including between the start corrals and the start line), lots of space for warming up and a good atmosphere.

    At about 9:15, the fast start was off, and a few minutes later, my wave was called. About 200/300m walk from the start corrals, and we're off! A short loop around the park where the start area was, and then we're heading back to the city centre.

    First mile, 8:51. I'd consciously decided to not look at HR in case it psyched me out. If I had, maybe the warning signs would have already been there - 162bpm average for the first mile, with a good amount of downhill in there, too. It was already starting to feel quite warm, and there was not a lot of shade available. At this stage, I'd taken the decision to let lots of people pull away from me, including the 3:30 pacers. The next miles were 8:12, 8:20, 8:34, 8:14, 8:12, 8:11. By this stage, we had gone out east along the coast to Ovingdean, good views over the sea and much more of a country vibe. Still plenty of people who made it out there to come and cheer. After the turn around point back towards Brighton, there was more downhill, and 7:51, 7:58, 8:02. 

    The race leader had crossed paths twice at this point - a good 30 seconds passed between him and the next following pack.

    As 16k buzzed on my watch, still no sign of the 10 mile marker. It was around here that everyone started to notice that the distance was off. 

    8:17 for the next mile, which had a bit more climbing. 7:46, 7:49, on a down hill. As I went through the half way mark, back in the middle of Brighton, I had 1:47 on my watch. The atmosphere was really good now, live drums, the crowd making lots of noise. Lots of people were coming back to me now, including the blue 3:30 pacer balloons. The next few miles are all comfortable feeling and roughly on pace. We're now headed into Hove - lots more supporters. It seems more or less everyone is out in their driveway cheering, handing out sweets and orange segments.

    Looking back at the stats, I've now been averaging ~175bpm since mile 6. This is threshold territory for me - but it really didn't feel it. Perhaps a sign I should have been paying attention to heart rate on my watch...

    Just before mile 18, I feel something around my quads - just a twitch at first, but then full on cramp. I take another gel, and water as I pass the next station. But a few hundred metres past the mile marker, my hamstring is full on cramping, and I know I'm not going to make it sound without walking. At this point I look down, and I'm literally covered in salt and very thirsty. 

    A few people tell me they were using me as a pacer and that I should carry on as they pass. I try to stay with them, but the cramp comes back worse every time I try to run. I walk the next mile, drinking 5 or 6 cups of water at the next aid station. 13:17, 13:09.

    After we go through 20 miles, I have a go at more running in the next mile, 9:02. We're now heading out to a depressing industrial estate in Portslade. Fishy and chemical smells everywhere. Lots of bodies requiring medical attention now, lots of people walking, not many supporters. Two more tough miles before we turn around (11:28, 12:57). Every aid station I go past I take at least three or four cups of water.

    We can see the pier now, but it's still 3 miles away. I lose count of how many times I've been told the hard bit is over by spectators. A couple of 10:40ish miles, and then I run a lot of the 42nd km and the scraps (of which there were more than there should have been!) at 8:30ish, although it felt so much slower, and more of a hobble than a run - horribly asymmetric and clunky.

    All in all, I enjoyed the course, and there was great atmosphere. I don't they'll make the same mistake with the distance again - I'm guessing they lost a lot of faster runners when they found out it was unlicensed (the winning time was 2:34). They claim it was human error on the day and the cones were laid out wrong. That doesn't really add up, as the licence wouldn't have been refused before the mistake had even been made.

    In terms of personal lessons from this one, I'm a bit confused:
    -Hydration/nutrition... I know it went wrong, but I'm not really sure how. I was drinking to thirst, and taking gels as I'd practised. 
    -HR: I would never have continued at the pace I was running if I'd known my HR. But I also never would have thought I could hold that HR for so long. So I'm not sure what conclusion to draw.
    -Pacing: I clearly overcooked it, but I also don't think my goal pace was overly ambitious given I was hitting that on some long runs for considerably lower HR.

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Tough day at the office, Muss.

    Cramping is usually down to specificity of training but then I see plenty of very well trained runners who can't seem to get through a marathon without suffering, regardless of what they do.

    FWIW- I don't view my HR in a marathon. It was the one distance I always did keep an eye on it in, however before London 2019 Lewis asked me to turn it off as he felt my obsession with it was holding me back. The two marathons I have done that way, had I had HR showing I would have backed off as my average pace after 3m was higher than id like. But you have to accept the adrenaline raises it plus stimulants such as caffeine on the day etc.

    People underestimate the ruthlessness of a marathon as so many things outside your personal training and fitness can take you down. I know 1.15 half runners who have failed several times to run sub 3. On paper that should be a piece of cake, over 1 min per mile slower than half pace.

  • Three swims for me this, week, today's was the first that felt remotely good. The first one I did on Wednesday really helped clear up lingering DOMS, though. Work at the beginning of the week involved lots of stairs, coming down them was very uncomfortable. 

    I had a massage yesterday - the first time I'd had that kind of treatment on my legs. It was very uncomfortable, in particular my right hamstring was very tight. Legs are feeling so much better now - so I'm feeling ready to ease back into some kind of light running routine.

    I've got some races booked in for next year, with one 10k in mid December.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Muss, good to hear the legs have eased. I've had a massage the day after a mara once which was a mistake really as I couldn't tolerate very much at all. I'll have one 4 or 5 days after this time.

    Don't be in any rush to get going again, my first 3 weeks after a mara barely register.

    Nice 10m tempo on Friday at 6.20mm then easy 16 yesterday for 61m for the week. Easing into taper now as nothing over 12m left but I do have my biggdst session of the cycle tomorrow of 3 x 5k at half mara pace off 3 mins jog/walk. Also have an 8m low tempo run, akin to the first 8m of the mara in terms of what I am looking to feel after it, then 12m Sunday. Next week then is just enough to keep moving.

  • 3x5km at HM effort is a very chunky session! 

    I'll do the reverse taper thing - this week is going to be day on/day off, and nothing over 10km I expect, but with some swimming thrown in to the mix. Next week will hopefully be 5 days of running, and then I'll look to start some proper base building after that.
  • Hi all,

    It's been a while, so I won't comment on all that's happened for each of you but it looks like you've been busy, put it that way!

    I gave up running altogether earlier in the summer and just focussed on being able to get through the cricket season unscathed. This was achieved (although with some pain by the end of the last few games) and I've since had a couple of weeks to rest. I've also had a couple of physio appointments on the NHS following the consultant's appointment I had a few months ago.

    The result has been an education on taping my knee in two places to help align the kneecap in the correct place and to offset the load going through the part of the tendon where it meets the tibia. I am strapping myself up now before doing any exercises (which the physio wants me to commence again to build up the knee so that eventually I won't need the taping, hopefully!) and also when driving more than a few minutes as this was really causing me a lot of pain by the end of a drive especially if there was a lot of stop-starting in traffic.

    We shall see where we get to - the physio says I can start running again if I want, but I have to just accept that I may have to live with the pain and there may be no permanent solution. He recommends cycling instead for cardio workouts, but I'm not massively keen on that idea.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Muss, it was indeed. Was worried that i'd overcook too early and the last 5k would be murder. Managed it well though with 18.14, 18.14 and 18.16, all three of which beat my current 5k/parkrun pb.

    At start of July I did 2 x 5k off 3 mins in 18.40 and 18.41 and only a few bpm lower than yesterday and just a few degree warmer so bodes well.

    Andrew, good to hear from you. Sounds like your anatomy is against you on this one, which is a big shame. Perhaps do very small amounts of running and settle there for a while where there is no issue and then see about progressing a little here and there after a while?

    You can though get very good cardio workouts on a bike with a much lower impact to the body than running causes. I can do spin on a Saturday morning and by lunchtime forget I've even done it.

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Everyone well? I am just ticking over this week, counting down the days!

    I did 8m low tempo Thursday then 5m recovery Friday followed by 12m yesterday. Easy 4m today and spin tonight.

  • Exciting stuff DT!

    Called in at my new local parkrun on Saturday, good atmosphere. Did a good job at staying disciplined until about 3.75km where I couldn't resist picking up the pace. Km 5 was then 3:50ish, perceived effort was high, but it felt like I was moving well enough. Seems to be the opposite problem to what a lot of people find post marathon - that they just can't find the higher gears, even though breathing etc is under control.

    The fastest time was 19:19 - so it's not out of the question that I could sneak a win there!

    9km this morning in filthy weather. I'll aim for 50ish km this week.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    edited September 2021
    Sorry but not posted for a while! Was in Jersey last week, almost warm weather training!

    Will be thinking of you this week, DT! Take it easy! And post your number please!

    All sounds good, Muss! Will you go to that parkrun regularly? 

    Tapering yet, JGav?

    AD, does your physio specialise in running...or knees? May be worth getting a second view. With time most things seem to be able to be put right these days. 

    Still at around 30k each week, hopefully more this: 66 minutes in today's rain got the week off to a good start!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Funnily enough, I am getting another opinion from a different physio (who has been recommended to me and is a sports therapist for various sports clubs locally) tomorrow evening.

    Went for a 15 minute run/walk over the weekend with my taping on and it didn’t feel too bad.

    Good luck in London DT!
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Thanks, Alehouse. Ticking over with 4 x 1m at mp today followed my sports massage. I'm hugely paranoid that by sheer misfortune I'll covid test positive on Friday morning! Tested negative today so all good right now. 

    Sounds OK, Andrew. Just go softly softly approach and take anything as a bonus for now. 

    My number is 26736. 
  • Go well tomorrow, DT.

    I am constantly having that fear - as a freelancer who can't work remotely, I'm probably doing a lot more testing than most, and isolation would mean 10 days of being unable to work.

    I've always been quite germphobic, but these days when people get onto trains coughing everywhere, I find it quite hard to stay calm!
  • parkrun report...
    My M76 neighbour had messaged me yesterday to say that he was going to cycle to his regular parkrun venue, so this morning I decided to join him...but he never arrived, not that it mattered. Started off relatively slowly (crowds, long grass) and gradually sped up. Latched onto a couple of guys who were talking away and asked if I could latch onto them as it seemed the right sort of pace. Was probably fairly gentle for them (one is running London marathon tomorrow) but perfect for me. Just over 26 minutes with splits of around 5:33, 5:20. 5:19, 5:08, 5:00. Quite pleased with myself as that course is a good minute slower than a couple of the other local ones that I run. 26:07 officially. 

    Then had my flu jab where I bumped into M76 who didn't parkrun because of cycling in the pouring rain, which gives some indication of the conditions. Cold too!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Brilliant, DT! Looks like perfect execution! Can't wait for the report!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Yes well done DT! Those splits are so consistent, and a terrific time. Enjoy your celebrations!
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Thanks guys, just travelling back now, very tired but pleased. No idea how I pulled that off, felt I'd worked too hard in fast half in 1.25.10, never thought I'd run a 1.21 second half. 

    First 7m were dreadful due to the age group champs and how they did pens, ended up with 26.91m on watch. Anyway, the story can follow. 
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    edited October 2021
    I wasn't too surprised with your second half, DT! I suspect you fed off passing hundreds in the last 10k or so! Well done again! 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    The problem I had in the first half, Alehouse was the start waves and how they did them for the world age group event. Bascially all v45 runners were in wave 2 blue (which was essentially wave 3 as champs was wave 1), whilst v50 and v55 runners were wave 1 yellow, not to mention all others in wave 1 and 2 on green and red plus the wave 1 v40 runners in blue that I hit the back of within a mile. The effort required to keep breaking pace, speed up, zigzag etc  i couldn't have attached it any faster.

    I have been left feeling rather bitter by the situation, having covered 26.90m on gps, which is about 500m more than i've ever covered in London. I could have been challenging a 2.45 time.

    Quads are quite sore but otherwise feel OK. Even so, with a 10 day holiday pending, October is going to be a very light month.
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