Sub 3h15



  • Danke!  It's never about the time really. I'm enjoying the bike and the duathlons, and need to keep fit in order to allow me to eat like a horse yet stay thin. I was hoping to get to 90 by the end of the year but am almost constantly on the road or abroad until at least December so that's not happening. However, 100 is still on the cards. Sometime in 2020? (Said with a heavy heart)
  • Nice reporting, Poacher. If you're London way in November, there's the Thames Meander marathon which would be an easy one to go one step further to 100. Dead flat and just follows the Thames path from Kingston to Putney and back again. I did it as a training event during a campaign in 2016. To avoid racing I made sure I stopped at all of the feed stations to have crisps and flapjacks etc. Still scored a 3.32 that day which is testament to the flat nature of the course, although it's still a long way and my legs were tired!
  • Thanks GD, good idea, the crisps sound excellent and the Thames Path is always enjoyable - done 3 ultras along it. However I will be in some far flung part of Asia I think.  Hoping to get to Portsmouth for December at least - the course isn't everyone's cup of tea but a good way to start Christmas.

    Not surprised you were tired - there are no easy maras, and I should know (although Badbark does make them seem easy). 
  • Just a quick check in to say a huge congratulations to Badbark & Poacher. Huge respect to both of you, Badbark for the PB to reward all the hard work and Poacher for grinding out a sub 4 on a tough day, never to be sniffed at!

    DT - I wouldn't dwell on the half, difficult to hit top performance twice in a fortnight with high training as well. I'm sure York marathon will go perfectly and that's the main goal!

    I've decided to enter the ballot for Berlin next year after reading all the reports!
  • Hope you get in, Stevie, it's a great experience.

    Did a 12 miler last night in what was surprisingly warm conditions. It did cool down a tad for the last couple of miles but it was noticeably warm for this time of year.

    Decided to try and stay at 7.0x pace. There were a few sub-7 miles in there and the slowest was 7.09 and averaged 7.02 for the trip. 

    Encouraged by that as I want that to be my MP for Chicago if the weather is right. With a full taper done and this little cold gone that I have, I'll be confident of giving it a go.
  • OO54OO54 ✭✭✭
    Great reports and glad to hear you will keep going for the 100 Poacher.
    DT19, as said keep your pecker up and plan the next challenge.
    Belated birthday wishes PMJ- great to see you back on the thread.
    I limped home with a dodgy knee after bailing out of last nights sesh. Hopefully nothing too serious.
  • Gul DarrGul Darr ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    DT - Probably a sensible idea to have a bit of recovery time. My cut-back week is for that too, I assume, (P&D <86mpw week 10 of 18). Will do a proper taper for GER as it will be my first HM for 2 years and I would like to throw the kitchen sink at it.
    Poacher - I would say that was an excellent effort. And very impressive mara/ultra tally.
    GD  - great run and a good target MP.
    OO - hope the knee is better today.
    7 recovery miles d&d.
  • Gul Darr said:
    PMJ - hope you had a good birthday and can hit 70% on Saturday. How have you been lately?

    I won't aim at 70% on Saturday, gave blood yesterday and it now seems to take about a week before I can go full bore.  

    At the moment I am really trying to realign running and life in general. I have run and raced for many years and really enjoyed it but recently it has become a bit of a burden so I am trying to understand what I enjoy and why and do those bits I enjoy and drop the bits I don't. It looks like the best bit is to be able to go out on a Sunday for a longish run (maybe 13 to 15 miles over a couple of hours in the hills) and come back home for a second breakfast and continue with the rest of a normal Sunday. To do that sort of run and feel easy I need to do a few other runs each week and getting out the office at lunchtime is a well-needed break so those aims line up and that is really where I am at. 
  • Slightly better run last night after the weekend's misery - 7 miles with 1 big hill coming out with a 7:30 average; last mile @ 6:50. Heart rate getting pretty h - igh, but good to get something a bit more reasonable in.

    Track tonight or some 2k intervals to try and get some of the speed back.

    Stevie - good shout on Berlin, I'm pretty keen on it as well.
    Poacher - great report, good work on pushing through and getting closer to that 100
    G-Dawg - nice pacing on the 12 - looking strong for a good time in Chicago
    Hope the knee isn't too bad OO
  • In April 2017 I ran a PB in the London Marathon of 2:49:06. In October of 2017 I improved this to 2:48:36 in the Chester Marathon. In the build up to these races I ran over 100 miles weekly before the taper. It was tough training and my days of large improvements were clearly over. I’ve been running for 9 years and turn 50 in just over a year.

    When I run about 60 miles weekly, I run mid 19 minute Parkrun’s and can manage about 2:55 in a marathon. To run low 18 minute Parkrun’s and sub 2:50 marathons I need those extra weekly miles. The commitment it takes to reach my best is taxing, both physically and mentally. So this year I decided to have one last crack at a PB, before retiring from high mileage training.

    What better place to try than Berlin, where many a World record has been achieved. So I signed up and set out a plan of attack. Although I didn’t do myself any favours in also wanting to do well in the Irish 24 hr Championships, just 12 weeks before Berlin. In the first half of 2018 I trained mainly for ultra-marathons, doing a few including a 173km Belfast to Dublin race. I finished 3rd in this race in 17 hours 50 minutes.

    In the Irish 24 hr Championships near the end of June I managed to run 140.7 miles. This was good enough for the national bronze medal. This distance is also an IAAF B level standard, which means I’m illegible to represent Ireland in the event. The B level for the marathon is 2:18, so clearly my strength is with the longer events.

    At the beginning of July I started my build up Berlin but took it easy for a few weeks to recovery from the 24 hr race. I was diagnosed with Anaemia in mid-July and struggled to run 1:25:30 in a HM on the 21st. Things weren’t looking good for Berlin at this stage with only 8 weeks to go.

    After a 68 mile week I really ramped up my training going into August and did 4 consecutive weeks over 100 miles, peaking at 117. At the start of the month I ran 19:13 in a Parkrun and by the end I ran 18:21 on the same course with the same effort. With just 2 ½ weeks to go before Berlin I cruised a marathon in 2:57, with my HR averaging 139. I was now in shape and my confidence had returned.

    9 days before Berlin I ran a hilly half marathon in 1:21:20, so knew the possibility of a PB was on. My biggest worry now was the weather with temperatures predicted to be in the 20’s. This was not ideal for someone who does all their running in the cool early mornings.

    I travelled to Berlin on my own and was happy to reach the start line niggle free, 100% ready and raring to go. I met OuchOuch from the RW sub 3 thread before the start, for a nice chat and we started close together in the race itself. It was about 15 degrees at 9 am with temperatures expected to be over 20 by noon and the sky was blue.

    At 9:15 am off we set in what would turn out to be a World record race. It took me about 30 seconds to reach the start line from near the back of pen B. It wasn’t long before I realised I’d made a school boy error. I’d left my Garmin on auto-lap every mile and had printed out my lap split bracelet in miles. There were no mile markers (only kilometres) so my split times were useless throughout.  

    I hoped that I my Garmin would measure accurately. It was very packed over the first mile and I struggled to maintain pace. I’d planned on about 6:20 m/m pace with some slow down over the last 10k. I needed an average pace of 6:23 m/m to achieve my goal of 2:47:xx. However, I only ran 6:36 for the first mile but then recorded a 5:53 in the second. I didn’t think my pace had changed that amount so was concerned about the GPS. 

    Knowing that 3.1 miles was 5k I hoped I’d be around 19:45 at this stage. I was very worried to see it about a minute slower on the clock. A quick glance at my watch showed it closer to 20:20 chip time, with my Garmin measured it almost 3.3 miles. Damn, I realised I was behind already and my Garmin wasn’t accurate at all.

    So for the rest of the race I had to use the Garmin as a rough guide and concentrate on the 5k split times. I had to run around 19:50 for each 5k. I’d advise anyone running Berlin to have splits in kilometres printed out and use the manual lap at each km. Know what km pace you need to run and use the average lap pace as your guide.

    Over the 2nd 5k I worked a little harder than I would have liked to bring myself back on target. I felt I had to get on target early, due to the temperature increase forecast. I went through 10k in just under 40 minutes having run a 19:36 5k. So I was close to my target and finally felt a bit more relaxed. Although, it was still quite crowded, and I had to navigate around a lot of silly fast starters, who were now slowing. I wonder how much faster I would have run, if I could have stayed on the blue line throughout.

    I reached 15k in 59:42 with a 19:51 5k, so just a little over target. The crowding was definitely getting better with more people dropping back. However, the temperature was rising and I was beginning to feel the heat. Thankfully there were plenty of water stations were I soon adopted a good routine. I poured the first cup of water over my head, drank the second and dunked my sponge at every station.

    My next 5k was an ideal 19:41 and I reached half way in just under 1:24 on my Garmin.  I’d hoped to be a little quicker as I had run 1 to 2 minute positive splits in my previous PB marathons. I now knew I was going to have to run closer to even splits to achieve my goal. My Garmin had recorded 13.7 miles at halfway.

    The next 5k splits were 19:48 and 19:36 and I reached 30k in just under 1:59. The one good thing about worrying about my pace so much was that it took my mind off physical pain. Any times I’d slowed badly in marathons, I was already in the red line before 20 miles. I wasn’t in the red line here so began dreaming of achieving my goal.

    Just passed the 32k marker I had 10k to run and had over 40 minutes to do it. I was still feeling strong and overtaking more and more people. The next 5k was my quickest at 19:32 and I had passed OuchOuch who shouted encouragement. I found out later he finished in 2:49. 

    Entering the last 7k I was feeling good but then quite quickly began to struggle. I was working hard but my pace was dropping as my HR increased. My legs felt fine, but I began feeling weak and light headed. Doubts began to creep in as I didn’t think I could maintain pace to the end. Mile 25 was in the 6:40’s, my slowest of the race. Another like this and I might fail to break 2:48. I tried fighting the negativity and focused on my gait.  

    I reached 40k in 2:38:40 having run my slowest 5k of 20:23. I told myself I was a machine. Left right, left right repeat. Never give up, never give in. Stay on target….

    Soon my Garmin reached 26.2 miles, flashing that I’d run my fastest ever marathon in 2:40! If only, as I had almost 2k to go. I run 2k junior Parkrun’s with my 5 year old daughter and used her name as a mantra. My head began to clear and I was able to increase my pace going into the last mile. My last full mile was under 6 m/m, as I gave it everything I had.

    Seeing the Bradenburg gate was such an incredible feeling. I had little time to savour it though as my Garmin reach 2:46 with the finish line still looking a long way off. I kept pushing and pushing and left it all out there. I saw the clock ticking towards 2:48 as I reached the blue mats - Continued......

  • BadbarkBadbark ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018

    A final sprint and I went through the finish in 2:47:50. Yes, get in there! I’d done it. My wife soon texted me my chip time of 2:47:19. I came very close to shedding a few tears of joy. I enjoyed a few high fives with others as we cheered ourselves. My Garmin had recorded 27.3 miles having run the last 0.3 miles at 5:52 pace. I discovered later I’d run a negative split by one second with 1:23:40 and 1:23:39.

    My legs didn’t feel too bad and I could walk as normal, while plenty of others limped about. I was delighted to see Kipchoge and the Brandenburg gate on either side of the fantastic medal. I wore the medal for most of the day with pride, including my flight home!

    I’m so proud of what I have achieved. I’ve run a 2:47:19 marathon despite having never broken 18 minutes in a Parkrun. I don’t think it’s common for non- elites, to have their PB mile pace at 5k and Marathon only 35 seconds different. I’m sure it’s even rarer to run a PB in your 71st marathon or ultra-race!

    I’ve managed this despite never having been coached or trained with anyone else. I’ve never been in a proper running club. I’m a member of Marathon Club Ireland, but that’s purely for receiving milestone medals.

    People joke that my handle should be Madbark, due to my training mileage and intensity. However, I’ve never missed a day’s training due to injury. I’m also running PB’s at all distances despite nearing 50. I don’t think I’m mad, I’m just willing to train like an elite to see what I’m truly capable of. I would never have gotten near this time with moderate mileage. It took me 9 marathons before I could run faster than 3:10. I went from a PB of 3:10 to 2:56 in one marathon by running 100+ miles weekly.

    To run this mileage I take care of my body. I eat about 15 portions of fruit and veg daily. I eat lots of herbs and spices including cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, pepper and cloves. I drink lots of different teas. I eat healthy fats and high quality protein but no meat.

    I also do weekly weight sessions including squats, deadlifts, bench press and rows. I do 10x10 second hill sprints and try to run my interval sessions on grass.

    I took care to build up to 100 mile weeks slowly. I read people complain about getting injured if they run x miles weekly. However, I believe this is only true if you haven’t gotten use to running x –10 miles first. To reach x -10 miles you should also have run at x –20 for a while too. After all, how can thousands of elites run 100-150 miles weekly, if bodies become injured so easily?

    My legs have recovered well from the race with the stiffness peaking yesterday. I could still walk down stairs normally and have had no problems with a few recovery runs. I’ve discovered my time has given me an all-time high WAVA score, over any distance of 81.88.

    Next up for me is the Belfast half marathon on Sunday. Ok then, sometimes I am mad….  :D

  • A great report showing what it takes to record such a fantastic achievement. Well done, Badbark, your dedication and determination are inspirational. Brilliant!

    You are bonkers, though!  :D
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Great report and running, Badbark. It comes across very well how much this means to you so i'm really pleased you got it.

    I'd have never clocked in advance that in European marathons it will be done in kms!!! Did you start your watch from the gun? I am confused how you ran so far? You need to find a lower key affair to target that is a mile less and smash 2.47!!

    I had planned to enter Berlin ballot, however I am now off to Disneyland for over 2 weeks, returning the weekend before it so it wouldn't be great!

  • BirchBirch ✭✭✭
    wonderful report, Badbark (as we've come to expect)

    many on here will identify with your feelings  -   "Im so proud of what I have achieved"

    and using your daughter's name as a mantra to get you home (I've done similar with my children's names) really did bring a lump to this VoGit's throat  !!!
    before I go - Belfast half?  a week after the Berlin epic ?   you are crazy :)B)
  • DT, I first encountered the KM markers in Paris. Once I got used to them, I actually quite liked it. Felt like I was covering the ground quicker.

    For Berlin, my Garmin measured 26.3.
    In Paris it was all over the place due to the road tunnels. Learned not to trust it in a race after that and just have time markers that I can work out in my head which also gives me something different to think about.
  • Badbark - It's great to "live" your experience and we've all watched with admiration and disbelief sometimes at the levels you could push your body to. You had a plan, stuck to it and got your rewards. I don't think you're mad..... I think your effing nuts! Haha!

    OO - I hope your knee is alright? When did this come one?

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    G-dawg, yes I can see that perceptively things might seem to move quicker as you are reaching a new marker much sooner.

    I noted that it took you 9 marathons to run sub 3.10, how long into your running life did this take? It gives me some hope that time isn't as against me as I think in my quest to run sub 3. I thought I read your age when you starting running but can't see that now?

    I was reading an article about the pacemaker that lasted the longest with Kipchoge. He ran a significant half mara pb just to do that, before being completely dropped by him at 25k!!

    Meant to do a mp session over lunch but it's ridiculously windy and i'm still struggling a bit so have put it back to Friday. Settled for an easy 3 miles.

  • DT19 said:

    I noted that it took you 9 marathons to run sub 3.10, how long into your running life did this take? It gives me some hope that time isn't as against me as I think in my quest to run sub 3. I thought I read your age when you starting running but can't see that now?

    Hi DT, I think this is aimed at me? I'd been running for 4 years before my big marathon improvement. I started running early 2009 at 39 years old. Here is my Power of Ten profile for lots of info. It doesn't include the East Antrim Marathon Series marathons as they are not licensed.

  • A super impressive set of races and stats there, BB. Just goes to show how much you've put in over the years to achieve such a great result not just in Berlin but every other normal and bonkers challenge you've taken on this year. bravo ,Sir. Chapeau!
  • Popped back into the thread at an inspiring time, it would seem!  Congratulations, Badbark, on a fab and well deserved PB!

    Not a huge amount to report of late, but last week finally kicked my Valencia training into gear with 67M (I think that's a recovery week for BB ;)).

    Belated birthday wishes to PMJ.

    And I really will try to post more consistently now I'm back in proper training - I was too miserable to read the thread, let alone post, when more niggles appeared!
  • 67m is a recovery jog for BB, or something Gul casually knocks off between 0100 and 0300hrs.

    Lovely stuff Badbark, you deserve the success having put in such big miles. Km markers are common around the world - you get a more frequent guide to pace, and if you are struggling they come round gratifyingly quickly.  You'll know next time (when you go back to Berlin for a 2.45 attempt...)

    Welcome back Joolska - 67m bodes very well.

    Stevie, I'm not certain what the success rate for the Berlin ballot is but pretty sure it's far greater than London.  I have missed out a couple of times though.  Well worth entering, much cheaper than going to New York, Tokyo etc.

    Just been for a 3m jog to test the bad back. Not good. If not for this I was thinking about a cheeky trip to Hull this weekend to rack up another mara.  but that would be silly.
  • OO54OO54 ✭✭✭
    That's a great report Badbark and I love the thoughtfulness you apply to it. As said it has been great to track your achievements from someone who's strengths and abilities are so different to my own.
    Welcome back Jools- glad you are back on track we really missed you!
    I'm due out to test the knee but waiting for the wind to drop :(
  • OO54OO54 ✭✭✭
    Very silly Poacher, especially if this wind continues- the Humber bridge must be interesting today!
  • BirchBirch ✭✭✭
    lovely to have you back, Jools :)   

    67 is a tidy total - December, iirc, for Valencia ?    hope you're niggle-free  . . .
  • OO true about the bridge, but having done at least 7 maras on Newcastle Town Moor I laugh in the face of strong winds

    If anyone fancies a windy sporting challenge, look at last year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour on YouTube. Carnage!

  • PMJ - okay, hope you can get to do the kind of running you enjoy.
    nick - good run - hope the track session went okay.
    Badbark - epic report. Agree about building up miles slowly - the 10% rule is too generous - I've found I need to give my body time to adapt; building up to 70-80 miles a week has taken years. Do you think you can find a way of improving over shorter distances without the 100+ miles a week?
    Jools - good to hear from you again and glad you're back in serious training - do you have a target race? Ah, yes, Birch could be right!
    Poacher - seriously??!!!
    11 miles @ [email protected]/m this morning - rather wet and windy out there.

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    welcome back, Joolska. A pretty big week to kick things off!

    Shame for the Hull runners on the weekend, looking at forecast.

    Badbark, thanks for the link. Interesting to see it develop over the years. It's amazing how well you convert up even looking at your half time (though that may improve over the weekend!).

    Planning a 15 mile mlr tonight with a 20 sunday as my final big push. However, I have just had my 'call-up' to the clubs senior team for Saturdays midlands road relays which is a session I hadn't hugely factored into the week and wont be able to taper for. Also the weather sunday may lead to be pushing the 20 back to Monday night.

    Still not feeling great despite a pretty light week so far. Perhaps Saturday will do me good!

    Anyone seen this link? I have viewed the video footage however I cannot imagine someone being such a opportunistic sexual predator that they choose a high 5 moment at 37k in to try and grab a womens boobs!! Perhaps all the accusers should be aske dto run 37k at capacity first and see what energy they have before accusing.

  • I saw that, DT19: I share your scepticism about intention to assault!

    Weston Prom Run for me tonight. Looks like it'll be a bit breezy for my second race of the year!
  • DT - Couldn't agree more re that claim! I won't get a long run in this weekend either as I'm busy with my son but I will try get one last long one in on Monday after work. Would be 13 days out from the marathon.

    Jools - Snap! Corporate cup 5k run on the Prom for me tonight. Force 6 wind forecast, great! The previous two I have done have been the same but no rain thankfully. What distance is yours?

    OO - How's the knee?

    Gul - Nice 11 in the wind and rain. It's becoming quite windy here but no rain yet. The weekend looks like a write off weather wise.

    Just ticking over here this week with a few lunch runs and as mentioned above, I'm doing a corporate cup 5k tonight and once again the wind looks like it's going to be a problem. F6 S/SW will be in our faces for the first mile and then the last km coming back along the top of the harbour wall. I really hate that course, it's just plain stupid but it's a work thing and I'm a reserve but people keep dropping out so don't mind helping out plus there's free food and beer afterwards in a nice terrace bar over looking the harbour tonight.

  • OO54OO54 ✭✭✭
    Free food and beer Gerard- how could you say no?
    I ran 7 on the knee last night. Its still sore and I can't get below 9 min/miles. Not looking good for my track 10k at the weekend but will race in any case.
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