Sub 3.30 2011

After missing the marathon this year I have a GFA entry for 2011.  Did 3:32.07 in 2009, 20 seconds the wrong side of my PB.    I really want to get sub 3.30 (3.26 is the figure I have in my head), and I am already starting my base training with this in mind.  I have a marathon in November which I am hoping will get me fitter for more intense marathon training in the New Year. 

Does anyone else have strategies yet?  



  • I'am in the ballot, which seems a sucess in it self. well done on the guaranteed entry for 2011 with all this time to train that PB looks like it should tumble!

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Yeah, but it never really works like that!   But, I feel motivated and focused ... the rest is down to hard work.
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    What about a charity place MAB, or club place (if you're part of one)?

  • I'll join! My GFA entry is (as of today!) in the post... I've got a marathon in October so after Edinburgh on Sunday and the few easy weeks following it I'm going to be ramping up the mileage again.

    Planning on following one of Hal Higdon's plans, but maybe - if work will allow me to have a lunchbreak twice a week - add a couple of midday 5 milers in each week just to get more miles in my legs. Would still do a session on a night, no further than 6-7 miles. TOUCH WOOD I've managed to train for and get through 7 marathons without picking up any running injuries (a twisted ankle doesn't count) So I'm hoping running twice a day on two days a week will be beneficial.

    Sub 3:30 is in me, I just need to get my pacing right and slow down early on so I don't pay for it later!

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Sounds great Carrot!  did you do London this year?  I did both London and Edinburgh last year and 2011 will be my 8th marathon after I've done Newcastle in November.  I also believe sub 3.30 is in me but a lot of my training is done on my own so I have to be very disciplined.   I'vee check out the Hal Higdon plan.
  • I might stick my hat into the ring. Entering with a 3.39 but people seem to take a nice chunk off with the second marathon and 3.30 has a nice round ring to it. Of course sub 3.30 has an even nicer ring to it, but I'm wary about picking a target this far ahead. 

    My strategy is quite loose at the moment, but basically I'm planning to target 5K and 10Ks over the summer to take advantage of the training I just put in for Brighton, then train hard for a HM in October before building a solid base over the winter. I was quite low mileage this year so I'm planning to up that and hope it will bring rewards. 

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Wobbled - my first marathon was 3.43, second 3.41, third 3.31.  I feel I knocked the time down more from the confidence that goes with the knowledge of having successfully run the distance, rather than different or more training.   However, now I need to need to knuckle down and do some serious training.
  • Minni, did you follow the same/similar schedule for your first three then? I did Hal Higdon's novice last time and definitely intend to branch out.
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    I followed the runnersworld schedules but not to the letter.   I didn't really do the speed sessions but I certainly made sure I did the long runs.  Last year I ran 3.32 and used the Furmin First schedule as a guide and I was pleased with the result because I didn't have a great base fitness going into the training.  But, again, I struggled with the faster sessions. 

    I'm useless at 10k distance (in fact I set my 10K pb in a marathon!) but I can get into a pace and stick with it, 8 minute miles is do-able for me.  So, what I need to do is set that constant pace a bit quicker .... sounds so easy?!! 

    Was the 3.39 your first marathon? 

  • Yes, first timer.

    I have similar feelings towards the 10K. I've done one (I'm woefully under-raced in general, hence planning to use this summer to get lots of practice in) and hated the sensation of really pushing the pace. I'd much rather drop down a gear and double the distance. 

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Ah, music to my ears!  I don't race an awful lot either.  Personally I don't think its too important in marathon training (I know there are those who would not agree with this).  I try to get a half in about a month before just as a test but that's about it.
  • Yeah Minni I did London this year, finished in 3:38 - I set off a bit too fast! there were a good few 7:20/7:30 miles in the first 7 and I paid for it later.

    I don't mind 10Ks, there's a few decent local ones round my neck of the woods over the summer that I usually do each year. Would probably say my favourite distance is half marathon, my 10K time on those calculator things is a few minutes slower than I should be capable of based on my half mara time! And my marathon time is waaaaaay slower than it should be image

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Carrot, did you do Edinburgh today?  It was very hot!
  • FreemersFreemers ✭✭✭

    Can I join in? 3.30 is my goal for VLM 2011, and have a GFA place secured for that. I did 3.33.36 at the Bungay Black Dog Marathon in April, which was quite a tough course. It was really the first time I felt confident to pace myself in the low 8's for that distance - previous best was 3.47 at FLM09. I knew I had it in me, it's just a confidence thing I reckon!  Pacing was OK - first half in a little under 1.46, second half in 1.47 and a bit - so pretty even overall.

    I have followed that up with a first ever sub 70 minute 10 miler a couple of Sundays ago - that was a real confidence booster too, and meant that all the speed work and tempo sessions have paid off. Now i just need to tell myself I can get the pacing right for a full marathon at 8mm image

    My big problem is achilles niggles, which seem to flare up whenever I race over shorter 10 quite sore. But it means an enforced rest and I can pick it up again in a few weeks.

     My next marathon goals are the Robin Hood in September and Kielder Water in October. I think 3.30 is do-able for Robin Hood. Kielder will be hilly and I'll see how I feel after Robin Hood before I set any goals for that one!

     Wobbled - I know how you feel about the shorter races. My times until the recent 10  miler were pretty woeful - but this time I was determined to get under 7mm on average. Boy did it hurt! Overall I definitely prefer running slower for longer!

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Marathons in Sept and Oct - that's dedication!  I did two close together last year, followed by a 20 mile fell race and although there was no lasting damage I struggled more than usual on the shorter distances, ie 10K. Suffered a lot of cramp when I tried to up the pace.

    Kielder will be hillier and I'm not sure of the terrain, is it on tracks?  

    It sounds like you're on track for a sub 3.30 anyway! 

  • I'll be brave and admit that I'm after a sub-3.30 in my first ever marathon.  I'm in the ballot so fingers crossed!

    I admit that finishing is my primary objective, and I would be contented with anything Sub-4hr, but I would dearly love to get under the 3.30 time.  I know deep down I am capable of the pace, I just need to sort out the distance!  Every bit of training I do is now geared towards that one Sunday in 2011!

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Sounds good Prasius!
  • Im In The Ballot for 2011

    I Got Pie'D off this year so ran Brighton Instead

    I run a comfortable 3.28 if anyone is interested in meeting up VLM 2011

    Aiming for 3.10 PB if anyone is training around the North London Area

    Tony image

  • I'm up for sub-3:30 in 2011 too! Ran 3:31 in 2009, but had to defer this year's place as had a baby 2 weeks earlier...hoping to run Warsaw mara in Sept and then VLM next April.

    I normally use the First 3 day-a-week plan, as I tend to injure myself on 5 days of training per week.

    Sub 3:30 is my route towards sub 3:15...! image
  • Late update Minni but I'm still alive after Edinburgh! Just took it easy and finished in 3:46, boy that was a warm one! SHame the lovely weather seems to have disappeared since then image

    Running a local half this weekend, legs still feeling a bit heavy after two marathons in four weeks, turns out I'm not superwoman after all. Really hoping for the best on Sunday though, did a 1:36 half at Blackpool in April so either another 1:36 or a tad under would be absolutely marvellous!

    Good going on the 10 mile race Freemers, it's always nice when the hard slog that is speedwork pays off image

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Well done Carrot!  I struggled with cramp during shorter races after running two marathons close together last year.

    Blaydon Races tomorrow night for me.   One of my favorites!  Last year I struggled during the middle two miles because of cramp but hoping I won't have that problem tomorrow night. 

  • FreemersFreemers ✭✭✭

    carrot - well done on Edinburgh in that heat! And good luck for the half. You too Minni with the Blaydon racesimage

    So it seems I am not the only mad woman contemplating two marathons in quick succession....any tips for what to do in between? I will have 5 weeks I think between mine.  When I did Bungay I also had a place at Stratford for the following week but chickened out! I think because Bungay had gone so well I knew I'd not repeat that so soon, and it would have been a long way to drive for a "just get round" effort.

    My achilles has been behaving, so I have managed a few short slow sessions this week. Ages ago I'd entered another 10 mile race for this Sunday, so am thinking about doing that as a LSR, just to get the distance in. Then a proper 13 week plan coming up for Robin Hood.

  • I'll join to.... 2nd marathon - last ran in new york 6 years ago! Would love to run sub-4... only I have a desk job working long hours... have access to a gym for about an hour a day... so was hoping to succeed with 1 long run outside at the weekends and other running on the treadmill in the gym - is that do-able? I did the hill training programme for an hour on the treadmill this morning and felt like to was doing something!

    Have entered a half in 12 weeks so will follow a training programme for that then move onto the marathon schedule.

  • Welcome Kirsten image

    Personally I'd hate the thought of doing that much training on a treadmill but I know a couple of people who have done it and been happy with the results. (Of course you never know if they’d have achieved differently with a different programme). I think the sensible thing to do is to try it out for your half and if you feel it works for you there’s probably no harm in doing it for the full as well. Is it really impossible to get some more outdoor time though, what about two runs at the weekend and saving your rest days for the week?

  • Thanks Wobbled - good advice. Unfortunately can't do 2 runs at the weekend.... will see how it goes for the half. Thankfully the gym have a great TV network so its not actually too dull pounding the rubber!

  • Welcome Kirsten image

    Is it possible to skip the gym but just use the showers and get out on the roads for 45mins or so a few times a week? Or could you run home from work a few nights a week? Early morning or late evening running is also good for this time of year when the weather is a bit too hot during the day for running in, with the added bonus of it being light from 4:30am til about 10:30pm so you're not stuck to running where there's streetlights.

    My half marathon last week did not go to plan! Plan A (sub-1:36) was thrown out at 6 miles, plan B (sub-1:37) was thrown out at 9 miles, so plan C (just get a sub 1:40 and be done with it!) had to be put into action. Managed 1:39:18. I did consider dropping out quite a few times, totally did not enjoy it at all. On reflection I ran another 1:39 in January, which was a PB back then, so I guess not too bad.

    Had a very local 10K race yesterday with a sub-45 aim, finish time 44:42 image So back on the PB bandwagon! Managed a pretty consistent pace all the way round too, it's given me the boost I needed after last week.

    Off to Lanzarote on holiday on Thursday, trainers and kit are on the list to pack! People used to think I was mad running on holiday but now they're used to me. I never go far, always less than an hour first thing, but I find it's such a good way of seeing the place before everyone gets out of bed.

    How did Blaydon go Minni?

  • That sounds like some nice racing with the 10K carrot.

    Just back from a holiday myself, which was far too hot for running so I've taken it as some consolidating rest before I start targetting shorter distances this summer. 

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Blaydon was great Carrot (well not the run but the bit afterwards!).  I did 44.30 and it measured 5.95 on my garmin so I was pleased with that.   Well done on your 10k PB.  I am not good at that distance and doubt I'll ever get anywhere near 45 never mind under under it.

    Has anyone received their GFA entry forms yet?  

  • Hi

    I havent posted on these forums before but have read lots of good stuff - so here goes.

    I ran my 1st marathon - the VLM in April - did 3:56:19. I loved it - was never a runner before, but I got sucked into the training, and feel a lot better. Im not running much now, averaging  10-15miles a week, (2xspeed sessions and 1x v.easy run)  but I start training for a half (Run to the Beat) next week, got a 12week plan all sorted.

    In an ideal world i'd love 3:30, or under for VLM 2011, but worried I might be setting too fast a target - any thoughts?

  • Grant, I'm fairly new to this myself, but I think it's too soon to be trying to answer that question. Train properly for RTTB and if your time puts you on course for 3.30 then go for it and commit for 2011. How did your training go for this year's VLM? Did you feel you gave it everything or did you hold something back to add to this mix this year, more mileage, a quality session etc? 

    Good luck with RTTB, I did it last year and really enjoyed it. 

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