The Middle Ground



  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭

    Nice new Pb of 3:32 Simon:  I take it that you just missed out on the Olympic team with that image. (Great report and well done on the "domestic" victory).

    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Alehouse, I have no idea what you're talking about image

  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭

    Good job there's an edit button, Simon!

    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Good morning all.
    I have Been a bit busy so not had much chance to read or post on here. I have a write up to submit and then I will get on with a proper read back! Before I do that a quick skim has revealed the following highlights....

    I notice (already commented on fb) that Mr V, prf,  BR and Hilly had a nice day out in Chester le Street at the weekend. Mr V especially image

    Duck – you beat the spread at your track meet the other day so well done. Roll on a race in good conditions.

    Forever – back in the PB groove, 2 more and you can resume the PB Queen pseudonym.

    Simon -  that is seriously fast, really well done on the PB! I can appreciate what a 72 second lap feels like but cant fathom putting 3 ¾ laps of them together! See my race report for evidence......


  • I took part in my first ever track mile race in Darlington on Tuesday. It had been a pretty stressful couple of days leading up to the race with work and I hadn’t had the chance to run for two days either. Conditions were wet under foot and I was wearing trainers, so to say I was not really in the mood before the race was an understatement. My target was to get as close to 5 minutes as possible.

    The race started off and I settled into what felt like the correct pace early on. A few went by me after 200 meters including my two club-mates, the first lap and a bit was ticked off in 78 seconds, a little slow but ok considering the extra bit.

    I don’t remember overtaking or being overtaken on lap 2 and 3 however, I do remember that I was a bit unsure as to if I should push on or hold the pace. I wasn’t feeling all that strong , so holding the pace it was,  both laps were ticked off in 78 seconds (give or take a few 10ths).  Oh and I had the distraction of my number coming off on the 2nd lap because it was wet, but I managed to grab it and hold on till the end of the race.

    At the bell I just seemed to wake up and I started to wind it up. At this point I knew sub 5 was gone but I had the carrot of one of my club mates not too far in front. We hit 200 to go and I overtook a runner and just coming off the final bend I, pinned my ears back and started to sprint overtaking my club-mate (SM for those that know him). Down the home straight I had another runner in my sights and my other club-mate, sprinting as fast as I could manage, I overtake the other chap and just missed out on the scalp of my club mate (.4 of a second short according to official results). I  completed the final lap in a very satisfying 70 seconds for a finish time of 5:04, taking over 4 seconds off SM in the final 100meters. I wish I had started to wind it up at half way, I might have eked a second or two more out of the overall time.

    Conclusions, inexperience cost me as I was unsure as to how much I could afford to hurt midway through and as a result I was a bit timid on lap 2 and 3. However to churn out a last 400 in 70 seconds, with a some very big gains on those around me over the last 150 meters was very satisfying.
    The bad news is my lower calf/upper Achilles tightened right up as soon as the race finished. Fortunately a couple of slow laps round the track after the race the tightness/soreness eased suggesting it’s nothing too serious. It was stiff yesterday morning and I wash limping yesterday  but it eased as the day has progressed and feels a bit better this morning. I am confident it isn’t serious and a few days of RICE will do the trick.


  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    Wow, there are some fast people on here.  Congrats to forever and Simon for remaining PB King and Queen.  I want to see Phil's race report now!  YD, that's a fast final four!  Was it a PB for the mile or have you run them before?

    Been ill with the expected cold.  Someone mentioned to me that it couldn't be a summer cold as we haven't had a summer.  Still dragging myself out of the tail end of it and hope to hit a short session tonight.

    Weight, who cares?  Food is part of the enjoyment of life.  BMI 25 and I'm still getting quicker!  The WAVA league should be adapted for weight as well...

  • Mr VMr V ✭✭✭
    Ratzer wrote (see)

    Been ill with the expected cold.  Someone mentioned to me that it couldn't be a summer cold as we haven't had a summer. 

    Tell me about it. I've been struggling this week as well and had to abandon my run after 2 miles last night. A mini rest for the legs at least.

    Simon - Good report. I had to force myself not to peek at the result so I didn't ruin the tension image. Very speedy indeed.

    YD - Your final lap looks very promising. I reckon you'd crack sub 5 next time with the experience you've now got.

    Forever - Great to see you back into PB form. I'll be expecting to read about a new PB every time I log on now.

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    Great midweek racing image

    Woohoo to Forever's sub 21 time - its a huge barrier to break down I think. Not one you can get by mistake!

    Simon some fantastic track racing there! And a new pb to boot - what do you think you need to do next time to get faster? Perhaps if you had had a race in front as well as behind or do you need a new training block now - I guess I am asking if you have squeezed all you can out now its nearly the end of the season or are there things you would have done differently in races if possible - just being nosey really...

    YD sounds like a good mile for the inexperienced - the worst thing is going off too fast in terms of discomfort!

    Alehouse - Dulwich parkrun is fast, flat and certified and often has speedy peeps turning up.

    Or if she wants a number:
    Last Friday of the Month (tomorrow - she may still be able to get a place if she phones up) Hyde Park
    Resolution 5k Finsbury Park - hilly and I am not sure about these events never have done one - dont think they are very well organised
    The Orion Forest 5 on 4th August too

    As far as I know that is it. If she wants a 10k I can heartily recommend the Battersea Park 10k on 4th August.

    Rest day for me today - overslept and then had to cycle hard for the train image I forgot how tired training makes me!

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    Great racing from Simon, YD and PhilP (caught the time via bookface). You guys are just too fast! image

    Simon - yes, it is a bit of a serious spreadsheet ... but the geek in me had to see if the theoretical numbers work in real life image. Once set up, it is now trivial to maintain ... and it's working - BMI down to 22.7 (take note Ratzter image). I got to the same weight this time last year but then got complacent during marathon training (used it to justify fuelling) and missed the chance to capitalise on the higher mileage. I'm behind schedule on the mileage this year but am determined to get the weight off, which should partially compensate.

    Training update ... this week has been a case of Mon: cycle-to-work, 1M swim, run-home .. Tues: run-to-work, cycle home, Wed: cycle-to-work,1M swim, run-home .. Thurs: run-to-work...

    ...may attempt another swim as it's only 10 days until my Tri ... and then I'll cycle home. Tomorrow I'll cycle both ways and slot in a sub-LT session.

    My main concern is my lack of long runs ... Sunday will HAVE to me a long'un (probably means getting up very early).

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    YD - Can I borrow your last lap please?  Strong finish there but yes, looks like some useful experience in pace setting at the "silly" distances.  image

    forever - Great PB, well done.

    alehouse - My club mate has been on at me about the Masters events.  I'm still tempted for this year although I've got more than enough racing on my plate already to be honest.  I'd like to think I'll still be getting quicker next year, so I'll probably get involved at some point.

    Darola - you were asking about my younger days, I didn't run back then.  The only thing I did quicker was recover from hangovers!  I tell a lie, I may have done a 1,500m on grass in a very early sports day (11 years old?), and I think I got lapped...

    Well Simon's set the scene for last night and I have to say he did a sterling pacing job for me.  He's a tall lad and an excellent wind break!  So whatever he did for 2-and-a-bit laps, including getting boxed in on the first lap and overtaking small people, I did exactly the same but three yards behind.  I kept with him through most of the notorious third lap, having faith that even though I was beginning to tie up, I'd have enough reserves to dig in and find another gear.  Unfortunately my body had other ideas and the track started turning into treacle with about 300 to go.  Coming round the final bend I started feeling quite light-headed and very tight, and the little scamp we'd overtaken came past me, which seemed to make me slow down even more, but I held it together and finished in 4:36.7, a very difficult 76 last lap.

    It's a 4 secs PB ( not to mention a 78.7% WAVA grading!  image ) and I've got no regrets on how I (i.e. Simon!) paced it, because I can see how training for the distance would get me adapted for that final lap.  So 1-0 indeed.  Do our times in the 1M relay count even though we're on the same team?  image

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    Ha ha it seems BMJ et. al. are a way behind those of us who dont believe the sports products nonsense either:

    The program is on tonight - expect it will be rubbish anyway (cause popular science programes always are), but will still watch I think.


    Calculator here:

    84.68% Hilly (5K, 19:20, April)
    83.98% PhilPub (HM, 1:12:48, May)
    83.19% BR (10K, 34:40, June)
    81.22% PRF (10K, 36:37, June)

    78.33% forever (5K, 20:54, July)
    77.46% Duck (800m, 2'10.58, May)
    77.30% Simon E (1500m, 4'32.0 July)
    74.50% YD (5K, 17:31, April)
    73.94% Minni (10K, 42:57, April)
    72.88% Mr V (5K, 17:42, July)
    72.73% Ratzer (100m, 14.2, June)
    71.95% Dash (10K, 39:47, April)
    70.10% YoungPup (5K, 19:29, June)

    68.63% Dr.Dan (5K, 20:40, June)
    67.98% Darola (10K, 43:45, July)
    66.94% Curly (5k, 22:07, June)
    64.94% CB (5K, 20:25, April)

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    Cooor awesome pb Phil - thats huge in track circles (boom-tash)! I always thought Simon would be a rubbish wind break being so skinny, but apparently not. Now if only I could keep up!

  • Seriously, well done Simon on another pb. How many is that on the trot now? Do you think you will stick to the shorter distances after this year?

    Phil good racing again. Looks like you're going to have a strong team. Will be interesting to see the splits after.

    YD a very nice benchmark and a very tempting barrier to break.

    Dr Dan hope the Tri goes well. Summer is arriving at the weekend you know image

    Curly 21 had become a real barrier for me so very happy to have finally broken it.

    Hope the HM goes well at the weekend. Doesn't sound a great course for a good time but hopefully it won't be too soggy.

  • PhilPub wrote (see)

    Do our times in the 1M relay count even though we're on the same team?  image

    Yes they do, in fact I was going to suggest the one with the slowest time buys the first round (which at the moment is probably me....!). 

    Another great pb Simon. I thought it would be a close race between you two and it didn't disappoint!

    YD, that's a decent conversion off of your recent 800 so a job well done I think. Miles are difficult to make up time over as they are so short so you can nick under 5 with practice. 

    Saturday's looking good conditions so may just go for a parkrun instead. prf is a good influence though!

    Today's training plan is 5*600, although I might do 4*600 & inject some 800 pace in the form of 4*200 after that.

  • Darola - Good luck with the assault on 70% but it will come at some point anyway.

    Curly - So thats how to get you to run quickly.....stick a pizza at the finish line! image

    Duck - Good work on planning two races in one morning! image

    forever - Very nice indeed. I bet you wish you hadnt been a wuss and avoided this weekend's WAVA smackdown now? image

    Simon - Excellent PB (although I also noticed the 3:32 image). And what a scalp in the pub monster........

    Phil - A 4:36 PB off of distance training is an excellent effort. You can see how people get sucked into this MD stuff cant you, just to see what they can really do over the shorter distances?

    YD - A bit rubbish that. As I always say, consistency is the key and for me you blew it with that last lap.....image

    So, since the thread seems to have gone a bit doo lally on MD stuff, I may as well join in. image

    Club mile last night and, as the 22nd race in 48 days, anything could have happened.

    The only experience of running a track mile in the last 18 years was at Battersea last year when clocking 5:29.....and it hurt. A lot.

    There were three races last night with 15 in the 'A' race so there was certainly potential for getting blocked and losing a bit of time etc. But as it turned out it went very smoothly, setting off in 4th and then moving through to 3rd after about 200m and that is where I stayed on my own for the rest of the race.

    Splits were 78, 78, 79, 78 for a comeback PB of 5:13

    The thing that resonated with me from YD's report is about holding back because of not knowing how much it was going to hurt later on. I had the knowledge of the Battersea experience telling me that it was going to be horrible after half way.

    But it wasnt! I was amazed to find it comfortable from start to finish. I didnt experience any of the desperate shortness of breath or swimming in lactic that I would have expected, which would tend to indicate that it was all done on a relatively low heart rate.

    So why not run faster? Basically the legs felt as strong as could be but they still couldnt go any faster. So there may well be a lot more to come if I were to do some specific training but, of course, there is a marathon to prepare for now so that wont happen.

    It was also interesting to only be 19 secs and 16 secs respectively behind runners who ran 15:56 and 16:24 at last week's Doncaster 5K.

    It also takes a bit of pressure off the thought of being ridiculously embarrased at next week's 1500m. Something around 4:50 should be possible based on last night which is positively mid pack. image

    And that McMillan calculator is a bit rubbish - it say that a 5:13 mile should convert to a 2:57:14 marathon. Well I did 2:57:04 so it is far too pessimistic. image

    YD - Are you going to do the mile on 8th Sept?


  • Right I have done a proper read back –

    Dr Dan – a hung over tempo/race at Eccup 10 is good going, you seem to be gaining some decent consistency now, long may it continue.

    PhilP – ‘silly’ distances yes, but enjoyable. I would swap my last lap for your lap average. It sounds like a very good nights work for you and a 4 second PB is big over 1500, well done!

    Curly – I have it on to record tonight. Nice bike miles btw image

    Darola – a very nicely controlled effort at your race last week, looking good for the 20:xx at parkrun.

    Simon – I hadn’t noticed your 800 at the weekend, you are the PB King to go with our PB Queen image

    Hilly – good that you are getting back into some faster running image

    Nice long running last weekend YP, those miles should pay dividens big time come the autumn well errm the bit of the year that is normally autumn.

    CB has the mojo returned?

    Ratzer – no this was my first ever mile race. Ran a few 1500’s when I was 10! Does that count as relevant experience?
    Bad news on the cold, same to you Mr V, hope it clears soon for you both.

    Duck – yes very happy with the conversion off my 800. I would think a faster 800 would be on the cards if I can find one to race. I have used 600’s @ 3k pace with short recoveries for vo2max work recently, are yours more of a speed endurance type session?

    prf – I have been doing quick (ish) 400s and 600s recently, they certainly helped with my mile. I am going to start adding some tempo (10 milers and the like) into the mix now, hopefully that will help me convert some of that speed upwards. I agree that you would lop a big chunk off your mile time with a few specific sessions. A moot point in Marathon training but a good marker for you nontheless.
    Is the mile on the 8th the Hyde Park mile? I had planned on running a 10k on the 9th but I could be tempted.As others have hinted at a crack at sub 5 has got to be on the agenda for me.

    This shorter stuff is really enjoyable, I would probably take it a bit more seriously if I had a track nearby.

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    image Nice work PRFimage ... middle distance is taking over.

  • YD - The Hyde Park mile is 15th August. The 8th Sept is the Marathon Talk Magic Mile on the track at Leeds, Tom Williams is trying to crack 5 minutes so there may be a few of us in a similar ballpark.
  • Count me in prf!!! image Tell Tom to get it certified/registered so it goes on PO10 image

  • The middle ground is very good.

  • parkrunfan wrote (see)

     So there may well be a lot more to come if I were to do some specific training but, of course, there is a marathon to prepare for now so that wont happen.

    Aww, come on image you KNOW you want to do 10*400 off 60s!

    Still another good race time (is it really 22 in 48 days? insane). I imagine you're feeling very robust right now?

    Y D wrote (see)

    Duck – yes very happy with the conversion off my 800. I would think a faster 800 would be on the cards if I can find one to race. I have used 600’s @ 3k pace with short recoveries for vo2max work recently, are yours more of a speed endurance type session?

    I use 3kp mostly for VO2 max work but also while mile training look at it in terms of how I would use 10kp while training for a 5k, or MP for a HM etc etc - essentially event-specific stamina. For example if I were 5k training I'd look to do 5k @ 10kp in training, or a HM @ MP, here I do 2k @ 3kp which is a similar kind of session. Now obviously those sessions need building up to over a period of time (they'd be more a final session pre-race(s) than anything else) but the idea remains the same - the 10k session might start out at 6*800 for instance and work up from there. 

    Had another good session today - 5*600 w/2'30 rec. Now the last time I did this was April 8th on the track and I ran 1'54, 1'53, 1'51, 1'52, 1'49. Today was on the road, with 1, 3, & 5 uphill and windy (same bit of road as Tuesday). Legs were feeling a bit shot still.

    Came out with 1'51, 1'49, 1.47, 1'47, 1'48 for 4:54/m avg. Had some decent lactic acid going in the final 2 intervals which were pretty brutal but I'm feeling particularly strong right now & speed is starting to come back. 

  • Nicely done, YD. I enjoy these middle distance reports now that I am so familiar with the races. A 70 second last lap is very good going and confirms that your previous three were too conservative and there's a sub-5 there if you can get off at the right pace.

    PRF, mored MD-ing. Woohoo. A very nice comeback PB. I can't relate to not having trouble breathing or with lactic but still not being able to run faster, as they are always my limiters (unless I'm actually all out sprinting, of course.)

    I suppose how you should feel is subjective and difficult to put into words, but I summarise mine as: Lap one: should feel fairly fresh and pace should feel easy - even too slow; Lap two: heavy breathing now and starting to have to work to maintain the pace. Lap three: dig deep to keep the pace up. It's starting to hurt and you know the last lap is going to be really tough; Lap four (first 200): almost on the limit, but saving a little bit; (third 100): almost flat out now, legs starting to feel heavy and body tightening up; (final 100): lactic agony.

    No idea how many PBs, forever. I will have to add them up. I've done 4 races since Saturday and 3 of those have seen PBs, but it's a bit cheeky claiming a royal title though since racing MD you can fit in so many more races.

    Curly, I have been thinking the same thing myself. I am definitely approaching my limit now, but the plan is to continue competition until mid-late August depending on how things go. I think I have a little more to get out of this training block. Coach Fleet reckons a sub 2:10 (PB 2:11.4) is possible and I should get in a fast 200s session, which is what I am planning tonight. For the 1500 I could probably gain a bit by having a neck and neck race on the last lap, but I think there is a bit more to get out of training: I want to get in a 3k track race and repeat an excellent session I did a few weeks back: 2 x 1000 @ 1500 with 8' recovery. It would be a shame to leave the season without going sub 4:30.

    Phil, good stuff from you last night, and a nice big PB. It seems to have been the MD-specific training is what won it for me. But with your base endurance I reckon a couple more shorter races and/or a few specific sessions would see you beating me without much trouble. You bet the 3 x 1 relay times count for round two. Having both a real race and a virtual smackdown at the same time could do wonders for the team. Are we going to have team kit. If so, I vote that Phil doesn't choose the shorts image

    Nice session, Duck. 1500 pace I take it. YD, like Duck, I also use 3k pace for VO2 max. It's too slow for (my definition of) speed endurance. I have never felt I get much out of the shorter intervals (

  • (this stupid forum cannot handle the less than character)

    ... less than 800) at that pace and they seem more of a winter training session to me. 2 x 1500 @ 3kp with 5' recovery is a favourite of mine. It looks tougher on paper than it feels and Duck's 2k @ 3kp looks interesting. I think 2k is where it would start feeling really tough.

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    Wonders if the Middle Ground is becoming the Middle distance Ground... image

  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭
    Curly45 wrote (see)

    Wonders if the Middle Ground is becoming the Middle distance Ground... image

    Oh, definitely.  Isn't the mile the measure we all use?  I'm sure it was much easier for prf to figure out his pace for his last race than any other recent one... image

    Still, all the conversation on the fast, long boys coming down to middle, me heading down to short, and the like has got me thinking about how specific training can be.  We all started out with the base long, easy miles and if you continue those you run good marathons and you improve shorter races, but you don't "peak" the shorter races.  Each distance shorter seems to have its own training that matches the demands, and the conversation across recent days, weeks and months has shown how the specific training matches the specific distance.  With the good base miles of course it makes it easier to then adjust to the specific training to peak for your chosen event (except, I believe, in 400 and shorter, perhaps even 800, where the base miles are contraindicated).  The many experiments of one on here appear to be showing that Lydiard was right again... image

    My experiment of one is going to repeat last year's again for VLM.  Rather than base then peaking for a shorter-than-marathon race, it's shallow peaks for each shorter distance getting longer until the mara.  So far, niggles and colds aside, the base speed bit has gone well!  I'll be running autumn HMs off the back of 5k training, and I'm looking forward to the winter XC.

    prf, I'm 31707, the date of a triple entente signing.  So it would bode well for me if a third person came to join us on the GFA start.

    YD, experience is experience, except probably the mile took twice as many steps back then...

  • Great average pace for the road Duck, my 600’s were all in the 1:57 – 2:00 zone when I did them!

    Interesting your take on speed endurance both Simon and Duck.

    For VO2 Max, recently I have done 3 sessions of 10x400 @ just faster than 3k pace with a min recovery and one session (so far) of 6x600 @3kp with 80 seconds recovery. Next time I do the 600’s I will cut the recovery down to get me really blowing. I have also done a few parkruns recently and the mile race this week, so I think VO2 Max is pretty well taken care of, not sure how much more I could get out of myself.
    I think I need to think about longer distance speed endurance now. So for a start, a few 800s, 1000s and mile repeats @ 5k and 10kp would be a good start. With longer tempo runs @ MP – HMP later on to help with the GNR.
    I have a few ideas for the final ‘BIG’ session before the GNR, my thinking is more around getting myself tired with 10 miles progressive from easy to MP, then 5k @ HMP, probably using a parkrun to help. Hopefully replicating some of the fatigue in the later stages of the HM. Not sure I could handle a HM@MP without a number on or a long build up of Marathon specific training.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    prf - Excellent pacing there, a nice chunky modern-day PB smashing.

    Simon - I think we should colour co-ordinate, at least from the waist up.  image  I'll only be semi-disturbing in the shorts department, cos my red shorts go better than the orange ones with my preferred road race shoes.  On tops I can go red, silver/grey, day-glo flouro yellow, lilac or good old black.

    What with all the mid-week racing (and being ill for most of June) I've definitely taken my eye off the ball recently w.r.t. proper tempo training, so I'm getting back on track with it this evening.  Not sure yet what it'll be exactly, possibly 2 x 3.2M loops continuous, ~MP -- HMP without killing myself.

  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭

    Curly: thanks for the info re races! Funnily enough I emailed the LFOM organiser at midnight last night and the girl has got a place. She had assumed that she was too late to enter.

    PRF: another Manchester parkrun to add to the list, Burnage, which starts Saturday. I now have three within walking distance of my house!

    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DarolaDarola ✭✭✭
    Blimey! Just got back from 6 miles off road, stepped on the scales and have gone sub 11 stone for the first time in over 15 years!


    Now where are those biscuits!
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