Sub 3h15



  • SlokeyJoeSlokeyJoe ✭✭✭
    Great report BI and another epic experience. Kudos for finishing (and for starting!) and love the fact that you are already planning next year's battle with the hills. image
  • SlokeyJoeSlokeyJoe ✭✭✭
    As for those thinking of giving it a shot, don't wait too long. It was high on my bucket list and agreed a trip with the family and then started having hip problems. No way I could handle it now (distance + hills + roads) and the chance has gone. You never know what's around the corner.
  • BI - wonderful report that so clearly demonstrates what makes Comrades the challenge and subsequent achievement that it is. Un gran chapeau monsieur. 

    Also, I know exactly what it's like to be sitting there enjoying your post race meal with someone vomiting into a bin (or was it their own meal?!) next to you. 

    For those out there who haven't done it, give it a go!! You won't regret it.

  • Leslie HLeslie H ✭✭✭

    Bikeit - great report and well toughed out image Recover well image

  • VTrunnerVTrunner ✭✭✭

    I've been underwater at work but resurfaced briefly to say well done to BI. You are indeed a tough dude! The distance is mind boggling and your mental and physical strength to see it through were epic. I especially like your perspective of how fortunate you are to be able to train and go for it. Last week I read about the Tragically Hip's frontman Gord Downie…52 yrs old and diagnosed with terminal glioblastoma. My life has played out with his lyrics in the background and I (and all of Canada) are gutted. This guy will still tour this summer despite all to say farewell. As he would sing, Courage, you couldn't come at a worse time...

    Hope everyone else is well. I got a little over 200 miles last month and heel has been OK. Looking to build in some VO2 and LT stuff in the coming weeks.

  • PoacherPoacher ✭✭✭

    Spine-tingling stuff Bike It. Huge cojones. But let's have no talk about "collective failure" when just finishing is a sucess and the aspiration of so many people in a country which really values running. Virtually halfway to green! It is a very cruel race and the last few hours particularly so.  Anyone reading this knows the pain that the last 6m of a normal marathon can involve - but the pain of finishing Comrades on a shattered body is something else. 

    Interesting to see your thoughts over the training - you certainly went for it and trained hard, do you think the last minute injury problem was coincidental or a result of pushing things too far? I ran undertrained in 14, I wonder if lack of intensity in training is actually a way of storing something in the bank for the big day. Already wondering how many bricks there will be under the treadie for the 2017 campaign.

    Lorenzo wrote (see)

    Also, I know exactly what it's like to be sitting there enjoying your post race meal with someone vomiting into a bin (or was it their own meal?!) next to you. 

    Once again, apologies to Lorenzo. He finished light years ahead last year and kindly got me some food when I was in deep distress - and all I could do was throw up into the bowl. Embarrassing. imageimageimage 

    Starting to think about Comrades 2018...




  • Fish52Fish52 ✭✭✭

    Great report Bike It. I enjoyed the descriptions of the different hills and your respects paid to Arthur Newton. I was mightily impressed with your training and big mileage approach - and agree that it was probably the speed work that hurt you. I'm glad that both your work and home stair arrangements will allow you the opportunity for some recovery! Take it easy.

  • Gul DarrGul Darr ✭✭✭

    Bike It - Epic report. Unbelievable determination and you're already analysing your training and planning improvements for next year! Take care of that leg.
    Leslie - Excellent reps - you are flying. My plan is to stick to low HR zones and periodically do a HR v. pace test to monitor my progress (first one should be tomorrow as a baseline). Once I've made progress but then plateau, I was going to introduce some speedier sessions and parkuns/races where possible.
    Birch - sounds promising.
    VTr - good base miles. Enjoy the increase in pace soon!
    6 mile recovery run d&d (avg. HR 142).

  • FreemersFreemers ✭✭✭

    Fantastic report BI - really enjoyed reading that.  image

  • VTrunnerVTrunner ✭✭✭

    Gul, good job getting an estimate on your max HR. I think mine is ~200 as well. Do you have HR readings from your previous marathons? Would be interested to see what the profile looked like in each race. Based on the Hadd stuff, a HR of ~160 equates to 80% of your max. You could pop up to ~165 to get near 83%. He used to say the max anyone could run a marathon at is 87% (and this is a perfectly tuned aerobic engine). When I talk about subLT efforts, these usually mean I am running 70 minutes at anywhere from 78 to 83% of max HR. The idea is that as you continually do these runs (starting in the upper 70% range to begin and as you push your LT up, you can venture up to 80-83%) you are actually setting your MP. Ideally, you can run aerobically at 80% max HR and maintain this aerobic profile throughout the marathon. So in races where you have hit the proverbial wall down the stretch it could be you went out just a tad too strongly and stepped above your LT. By dialing in your true LT using HR, you have another very effective tool to guide your pace/effort in your next marathon. Also, you should Aim, if possible, to have all your non quality sessions (or at minimum all recovery runs) be 70% of Max HR (or less!). This allows you to squeeze toothpaste from the very bottom of the tube instead of doing all efforts from the middle or higher.

    OK, will step off the Hadd lectern now!

    Also, from what I was reading in the new Pfitzinger 5K to half marathon book, a big system to pay attention to as we age is VO2 max. And wouldn't you know I have done zero training for this over the past 5 years!image So must add this element in now and see if that can net me more speed over the marathon down the road.

  • G-DawgG-Dawg ✭✭✭

    Wow BI, just read your report, epic! I only know you from this forum but I had a great feeling of pride for you after reading that. A huge congratulations on a fantastic effort and a superb report. Chapeau!

    Have been away this week. Picked my boy up from uni in Bangor so we spent a couple of days up there to break up the journey. We climbed Snowdon on Wednesday. It was 20 years almost to the day that I climbed it previously as part of the 3 Peaks Challenge. On that occasion I started the climb at 3.30 in the morning and when we got to the top fog denied us of any decent view.

    This time weather was perfect, bright and sunny. A fantastic place to be and a great workout for the legs.

    Got back last night and went for a 4 miler today. Felt harder than it should have as I'm a good 3lbs over my marathon start weight and I can feel every ounce. Averaged 6.51 but it was huffy and puffy.

    The Berlin campaign starts on Sunday with the Dorking 10. I won't race it, sub 75 will do as it's lumpy and will be hot for me.

    Lorenzo: I know you'll be at the finish, I'll  look out for you. Best call me Grant rather than G-Dawg, we might get some funny looks.image
    I'll be in a bright orange with green stripe Woking AC vest and sporting a big red face!



  • Bike ItBike It ✭✭✭

    Thanks for all the positive comments.  I'm limping less todayimage


    Poacher wrote (see)


    Interesting to see your thoughts over the training - you certainly went for it and trained hard, do you think the last minute injury problem was coincidental or a result of pushing things too far? I ran undertrained in 14, I wonder if lack of intensity in training is actually a way of storing something in the bank for the big day. Already wondering how many bricks there will be under the treadie for the 2017 campaign. 

    In training I have done just over 1300miles/2100km from the New Year excluding Comrades race day itself.  The vast majority of these have been at plod pace.  I was doing around 50miles/80km per week average from January to middle March.  Then I have boosted it to 82-93miles per week (132/150km) from middle of March to beginning May and added speedwork in May too as I tapered off.  I've done quite a few heavy double days, e.g. 24 miles on successive days.  My three longest runs have been 2x50km and 45km, plus a handful of over 32km/20miles.  I also run much slower as an easy pace than I used too - more around 5:30 per km whereas I used to run around 5:00 per km in the UK - this is a reflection of living at moderate high altitude (1400m) and the ever-present heat.  I live in a pretty flat place so hills are generally only found on the treadmill.

    I found that my aerobic condition was excellent and my resistance to fatigue very good.  I think this was directly from the high volume approach.  I found I was not able to push up the hills very fast so suspect my strength was not improved by all that slow running.

    I also struggled with shoe supply and I ran for a few week in a pair that had seen better days.

    I'm fairly sure that the high volume by itself didn't directly injure me. When I had that as the base and then factor in worn out shoes and a bit of speedwork then it tipped me over the edge. 

    Next year is an up run so a completely different race.  I'll be doing less high volume, but keep the very long runs and intense back-to-back days.  I'll be adding strength workouts instead of a short easy run.  The treadmill will be taking a hammering as I'll be using that for hill training.

    4th of June next year for those contemplating it

  • BadbarkBadbark ✭✭✭

    Fantastic report Bike It, a very enjoyable read. I’m sorry it didn’t go as planned but injuries can hit us all. Well done for finishing.

    You certainly can’t be accused of not putting the miles into your training! Just one question though – How quickly did you go from 50 miles a week to 80-90? That’s quite a leap.

    I’d certainly recommend adding both a weekly weight lifting and plyometric session to your routine. Also 10 second hill sprints are great for strength and injury prevention.

    I find my weekly mileage is less when training for an ultra compared to a marathon. For an ultra the week is based around one big run, and more rest and recovery run days. While I like to get in a few MLRs and more intensity in marathon training.

  • PoacherPoacher ✭✭✭

    Interesting stuff from BI & BB. I've always thought marathon and ultra are very different sports with a transition point around 40-45m - below that, it's just a slightly long mara, above that you are doing a different sport with different training, running style and ethos. I thought for years that I could be equally good (or bad) at both but found that wasn't true.  Obviously BB you are pretty decent at both but if you were to concentrate on just one, you would be better. Even versatile athletes like Caroline Wostmann are nothing special at shorter distances. The difference between mara & ultra is perhaps as big as that between HM & mara.

    BI's experience shows as ever that running a long way is not always about running - it's about solving problems and digging into the mine of mental strength and bloody-minded refusal to give in.

    Loving the idea of 10 second hill sprints on Inchanga or Polly's!! That would look so strange! image

  • OO54OO54 ✭✭✭

    Very interesting the marathon Vs ultra discussion. I've always accepted that ultras are beyond me- even a marathon is somewhere close to my limit. It is hard to work out what led to the injury Bike It, and whether it's something you should change next time. I have a similar issue with VLM this year. Several possible factors, but not sure which one contributed most to being slightly below par on the day. 

    Parkrun today. Wind and murk on the East coast. Doesn't look much fun, but 6 today and 16 tomorrow will bring a more modest 40 mile week.    

  • Gul DarrGul Darr ✭✭✭

    VTr - unfortunately, I don't have HR data from any races. I think it's going to take a while to get used to the HRM. Tried running in different zones today and found it very difficult to keep a reasonably constant HR. Probably just need to persevere. Hope you enjoy doing some VO2 Max training!
    GD - sounds like a great few days with your son. All the best in Dorking.
    Bike It - good plan for next year. I keep saying I must do some strength training, but never get down to it.
    OO - enjoy a murky parkrun.
    So tried setting a baseline for my Hadd-like training this morning. The plan was to do 1.5 miles laps and aim to keep under a specific HR, which would increase by 10bpm each lap. But I soon found that controlling my HR was more a bit tricky. Occcasionally it would shoot up, and took a while to get back to the right level. Towards the end the whole thing went haywire and I think I just gave up and had a blast instead. Oh dear. I'll try it again in a few weeks.
    Lap       Avg/Max HR         Pace
    1          134/152                 9:52
    2          136/154                 9:20
    3          146/162                 8:46
    4          153/177                 8:11
    5          167/209                 7:28
    6          189/221                 6:24
    The 221 was not just a quick spike either. My HRM registered 21x for a couple of minutes. So either I am part humming-bird or my HRM is rubbish.

  • Gul - I gave up on my HRM, partly because it broke (I suspected this when it registered my HR at about 50 doing a hill sprint) and partly because I found myself spending so much time looking at the data while I was running that I wasn't thinking about how my body was feeling or really appreciating the run. Can say I miss it!!

    Interesting thoughts from BI, BB and Poacher. I agree that there's a world of difference between an Ultra and a marathon; having done 4 ultras to date I'm pretty sure that I should have been able to do them faster based on my marathon time but I know that each time I've gone off too quickly and paid the price later on, and what a price it was!! Hopefully I'll have learnt my lesson for the next one.

    Last day of hols today, so rounded the trip off nicely with the Krakow parkrun. Reasonably satisfied with just under 19:30 on a very flat course; younger Lorenzito was first finisher with a time of somewhere around 17:15. I'm hoping to work on some speed over the summer with a view to getting closer to 19:00 again.

  • OO54OO54 ✭✭✭

    Krakow sounds exotic & congrats to junior Lorenzo. I was 3rd in windy Whitley Bay with an 18:30.

  • BadbarkBadbark ✭✭✭

    Great Parkrunning from OO, Lorenzo and especially Lorenzito!

    Gul – I’d say it’s a dodgy HRM causing the spikes. Mine sometimes goes haywire for minutes at a time too. I always wear a HRM but only look back afterwards and much prefer running to feel.

    I ran 10 miles this morning finishing with my local Parkrun. I was very happy with my fastest Parkrun of the year in 18:54 despite being only 6 days after a marathon. My left knee is still sore, but not getting any worse, so manageable.  This time next week I’ll be almost 6 hours into my 100k! Bring it on!image

    Edit – Next weekend I’m staying here and running this  I'm excited! 


  • Leslie HLeslie H ✭✭✭

    Gul - the strap may be too loose if its that type ,I rarely wear one as I find it a bit annoying but the next generation of watches have it built into the watch so much better image I could probably do with some data though !

    Bikeit goodluck next year,id say if you put the same effort in next year and no injury you will smash it  image

    Lorenzo and speedy lorenzo - good parkruns 17.15 is in another league to us olduns image

    0053- another good run 

    Madbark- goodluck next week 

    parkrun for me too , 20:16 and 10th, legs felt weak after thurs track session so not too bad image



  • G-DawgG-Dawg ✭✭✭

    Cheeky little 10 mile race in Dorking this morning. What a cracking, well organised event. Will definitely return. As I'm not really race fit, the weather was hot and the course a bit lumpy, I decided not to race it properly and just push on a bit to see how I performed in the heat. Finished in 70.33. If I hadn't stopped at all 3 water stations to make sure I took water on well I would have broken 70. But that's OK, I ran to plan and thoroughly enjoyed it. Two hills in particular cost me a lot of time but I managed the race well and performed better than I thought I would and had plenty left at the end. Final mile split was 6.38.

    At the end I met the splendid Lorenzo and L-Jnr. Thanks for popping over for a chat, Lorenzo, it was really nice to see you again. You look like a proper athlete, a coiled spring, so I expect great things from your next event! image

    Once again, please pass on my the feedback from me and many others to your club, a great event, we'll be back for more, just try and iron on those bumps on the road, please!! image

    Run number 1 of the Berlin campaign complete. here we go again...



  • Gul, I also gave up using a HRM. There are so many external variables it is hard for me to find anything useful. At the end of the day, it just tells you if you were working hard to run at a certain pace or not, but not why. If you are ill, or tired, or over trained, it doesn't tell you. All it does is hint and you need to guess so may as well just guess anyway. I also find that silly things such as a cup of coffee or a good looking backside can send my heart rate up by 10 beats or so.


    NYRR Retro 4 miler for me today in Central Park. I was hoping to run faster than 6:30 so sub 26 and in fact it came out 24:49 official. Nailed miles 1, 2 and 4 pretty close to 6 dead but mile 3 was a bit up and down and cost me 30 seconds. Pace (6:12 average)was much faster than I have been doing at parkrun recently but it was a serous full on race (over 5000 runners last year) and that helps a lot. I was coral A (they can't say pen in the US) so up at the sharp end and it was sharp. Pens went back to L and those guys were probably half a mile back from the start line. Bit muggy but 4 miles is hardly any distance so it all worked out OK.

  • GD - great to catch up with you this morning. Well done on the time - the warm conditions did make it trickier than normal out there today. Have passed your thanks on to the race director - as you say, it's a really well organised, well marshalled race with enough undulations to keep you honest including a tough stretch around 8 miles when things are starting to hurt a bit more. Strongly recommended.

    PMJ - that's a decent 4 miler. What happens when you spot a good looking backside while you're drinking a cup of coffee?! image

    Managed to pop out for about 6.5 miles this morning before going on lead car duty. Took me up to a colossal 24 miles for the week, but there was plenty of walking thrown in as well. At 241 miles, May was my biggest ever May and that includes last year when Comrades on the last day of the month bumped the total up somewhat.

  • BirchBirch ✭✭✭

    Good parkrunning Lorenzo, Lz junior (congrats ), OO (podium), Badbark, Leslie
    & excellent stateside outing, PMJ.

    Sound start to Berlin campaign, GD  . . .

    Rest here, but satisfying 50 for the week - only 2nd time this year made 50 

  • PoacherPoacher ✭✭✭

    Imagine running along, in the zone, minding your own business, only to hear a loud spluttering sound behind you. And then feeling half a pint of tepid Kenco soaking your shorts and dripping down the back of your legs. Yuk. image image


  • Gul DarrGul Darr ✭✭✭

    Lorenzo - good outing to the Krakow parkrun, especially by Lorenzito! Great mileage for May. I won't be paying too much attention to my HR during  most runs. It was just for the purposes of the test. Might ditch the test run if it doesn't work next time and just go by the general trend of my everyday running.
    OO - nice podium parkrun.
    Badbark - the 100k sounds great - just don't do anything silly this week like tapering!
    Leslie - decent parkrun. Not sure why a loose strap would cause a high HR reading?
    GD - good 10 mile race in hot conditions. Bet you can't wait to get into your Berlin schedule!
    PMJ - excellent 4 mile race.
    Birch - good miles.
    6 slow miles (avg HR 130) earlier this morning. Should be off for a few more slow miles on my way to work in a while.

  • FreemersFreemers ✭✭✭

    Terrific parkrunning OO, Lorenzo and Leslie image

    PMJ - that is a very speedy 4 miler! Nice to run in Central Park - I was there one year and there was a race on, I think that was 4 miles too. I wasn't running it (I ran in the opposite direction!), but I couldn't believe how many runners there were - I can quite imagine half a mile to the last pen. It was the end of January and absolutely freezing cold too.

    GD - nice 10 miler, good way to kick off the Berlin campaign.

    Another interval session on Saturday and then 15 miles yesterday.  Lovely to get out in some sunshine for once. image


  • Gul DarrGul Darr ✭✭✭

    Freemers - yes, nice to see the sun again! A couple of good sessions.
    4 miles to Asda - very sedate, but the extra effort of carrying my rucksack pushed my HR up to an avg. of 157.

  • Come on poacher, stretch of the imagination to think it is your backside!

    Anyhow, I never drink and run unprotected.

  • Freemers, chatting to a few at the start, it appears the 4 mile races in Central Park are fairly common. The way the park is laid out, 4 miles is a sensible loop and they run a load more 4 milers than they do 5ks. Seem to be 10 of them this year alone.

    The NYRR is a massive organization: as I jogged to the start I was passed by 3 large trucks all with NYRR logos and branding on them so obviously not hired just for the event. Number pick up was at one of their shops in NYC. 2014 income was $74M

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