RW Forum Six - Sub 3:30

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  • Thanks Dave.

    Warm up -  We arrived at the race HQ about 10 to 9 and it was chaos to say the least.  There were hundreds of people trying to fit into a very small area to collect numbers and chips.   It took forever and although they delayed the start I only had time for a 10 minute warm-up.  I couldn't go far from the start line because I wasn't sure exactly what time they were going to start. So, the warm up wasn't long and was just a jog really.

    Start pace - you're right, that was faster than I've run in recent weeks.  I got carried away with the crowd and even had to slow to that pace at times.  Not disciplined enough to slow it down.

    As I said, I was plagued by cramp on shorter runs a couple of years ago and it really knocked my confidence and I'm worried that its going to happen again.  However, logic head on, I'm sure with tweaking the speed sessions and just sticking to paces that I know I can maintain will help this. 

    I've found another half on  6th March that I can fit in.  I'm wondering if it would be wise to do it - firstly to see if there's any improvement over the next six weeks, and secondly to help bury this one. 

  • Minni: as per your schedule that weekend has a 8K to 15K warm up race and a 17 mile LR the next day. I don't think a 1/2M would hurt, add a 3 mile warm up and you have a long run with a warm up race, switch the next day to a 10K recovery? 

    I happen to be a great believer in racing yourself to fitness which rather goes against the modern views that less is better, others may well disagree with me, so it boils down to what you want but me I would go race!

  • Minni I'm sorry it didn't go to plan yesterday, but it looks like you're already onwards and upwards. Looking at the splits it does look like you set off too fast, but it's always difficult when you're feeling good. I think we all know the logic about only racing paces you've trained, but then we've all probably hit PBs when the training doesn't justify it so it's hard to be disciplined.

    I think also you have to bear in mind that you went into this after a tough race last weekend and fairly near the beginning of marathon training. There's no way you'd have been peaking this weekend and yet the indicators are still good for a 3.30 mara. 

    Moraghan would you agree with DD on how the training could point towards cramps? 

  • Wobbled wrote (see)

    Moraghan would you agree with DD on how the training could point towards cramps? 

    Given an explanation of the causes of cramps have defeated the men in white coats for so long it's hard to be adamant.  It's not that common to have good fitness and get cramp so early in a race so DD's explanations make sense in light of previous problems in short races. 

    Cramp is more common where both duration & intensity are something new.  Whenever you race having not trained at either the pace or for the duration you are taking the chance on the unknown biting you.

    These 1m wu in the RW schedules are very bad practice.  (I would also add strides in before any work / racing at faster than MP).

    Minni - I wouldn't worry too much but it is worth looking at your training diaries before previous races where you have cramped to see if there's a common theme.

    DD - well done in Dubai.

  • Minni – I’m new to this thread but have just read the first and last 5 or so pages. Sorry to hear about your disappointment with your HM but you should be very happy with the excellent 10k and 10 mile PB’s that you achieved during it.

    From what I’ve read I think you have an issue with running shorter distance work. You’ve mentioned that you believe you lack speed and suffer from cramps when running fast shorter races. Due to these problems you seem less keen on working on this part of your training while it’s the complete opposite to what you should be doing. I think you need to work harder (faster) in your interval and tempo sessions so that your speed will improve and you’ll be less likely to cramp in the future.

    Oh and by the way, I’m 41 year old and had a PB of 3:48 going into 2010 and ran 3:28, 3:26 and 3:13 all negative splits in marathons so you’re definitely not too old!image

  • Hi Minni, and sorry about your disappointing run.

    I don't think you need to anayse back too far. You wouldn't have recovered fully from your ten miles at 20s off MP 48 hours beforehand, and small muscle pulls from the fell race would easily have set off cramps. As we get older, we need more time to recover. Plus you went off too fast. I'm sure you know all of that anyway image! All fully remediable, though your high baseline training mileage may not have helped either. Like BB, I think you might benefit from a little more quality and less quantity. Though as my official HM PB is 1:47, my opinion is probably rather dubious!

    DD - great performance, and testament to the power of this thread (and of IM bike training....)!

    I'm just starting VLM Week 5 on the RW schedule, which has a fartlek session as Tuesday's speedwork - almost an enjoyable session, I hope!

  • Minni - hope you are feeling more positive now.

    I did my 4x1600s today at 6:36 min/mile pace on the treadmill and my legs were still aching from Saturday. But thought it would be good just to get on with it. Slight twinge in right calf so have compression bandage on it now and will ice a bit later.

    BB - that's an amazing improvement in a year - did you change anything in your training?

  • Thanks for all your comments. 

    Moraghan - The common theme is going off too fast.  I'm now really starting to understand the logic of not racing faster than you've trained.  I have loads of endurance but really need to work on that speed. 

    DD - running LT faster.  I find it hard on my own to push the pace faster than about 7.40 but clearly I am capable of it.  I'll have to sweet talk club members and see if I can get someone to push me that bit further in training, even just for those few miles.  

    Badbark wrote (see)

    From what I’ve read I think you have an issue with running shorter distance work. You’ve mentioned that you believe you lack speed and suffer from cramps when running fast shorter races. Due to these problems you seem less keen on working on this part of your training while it’s the complete opposite to what you should be doing. I think you need to work harder (faster) in your interval and tempo sessions so that your speed will improve and you’ll be less likely to cramp in the future.

    You've hit the nail on the head. 

    Badbark wrote (see)
    Oh and by the way, I’m 41 year old and had a PB of 3:48 going into 2010 and ran 3:28, 3:26 and 3:13 all negative splits in marathons so you’re definitely not too old!image

    Please stick around Badbark....  That progress is awesome; can you give us some more details of training etc? 

    Joddly - thanks for your comments.  How are you finding the schedule so far? 

    AA  - as ever, that is more than impressive on the treadmill.   Do you have a slight incline on and what pace do you do your recovery at?  

     I'm having to change my sessions around a bit this week.  This is the plan:

    Monday - 3 miles recovery (done)

    Tuesday - 10 miles with 5 at LT pace

    Wednesday Recovery - 5 miles

    Thursday - General Aerobic 8 miles with 10x 100m strides

    Friday - Medium Long run - 11 miles

    Saturday - rest/ recovery run

    Sunday - Long run 18 miles

    I had hoped to do my long run on Saturday this weekend but I think it would be too much to do Thur, Fri and Saturday?  

    I wasn't sure if I'd manage the LT run tomorrow but my legs feel fine today.  If there's any change I'll add the 5 LT miles into my Friday run.

  • AA – When I ran the 3:48 marathon in 2009 I only had 9 months running experience and hit the wall badly. I think this was due to using the FIRST training schedule which I now think is weak, especially for beginners

    I then started running 5 or 6 days a week before running the 3:28 and 3:26 which were only 4 weeks apart last May.

    My last 3:13 marathon in October was done running 5 days a week. This included a tempo run or interval session, 11 to 15 miles mid week most at planned MP and a LSR usually finishing with a few MP miles at the end. I think the mid week MP run was the real difference maker as I had ran over five 20+ milers in all schedules.

  • So Minni in essence were all telling you more speedwork. BB has found sucess using pretty well the same method I used to transform my self from a 3-45 plodder to more speedy 3-24 marathon runner. You are clearly capable of running at 7-15 min/miles so do some of your training at those paces, endurance only gets you so far. Does your club have a speedwork session? If they don't you want to push for one, you don't have to have a track.

  • My schedule is based aroud the First plan, with an interval session, a threshold run, but more long slow runs than that plan suggests. I have hit 3:29 on it. This time round though I am adding a recovery run (When possible) and i want to incorporate my threshold run in a 10 mile mid week image
  • You're not too old. You're exactly the same age as me.

    Sorry I didn't catch you yesterday. Onwards and upwards. Put it down to experience I guess.
  • All is explained for me as I feel rubbish. Shivering, aching muscles and no energy at all.

    What is annoying is how often this seems to happen whenever I have an easy week or when I taper.

  • Minni – Sorry, my last reply xposted with your last.

    I’m glad you agree that you need a bit more speed work in your schedule.

    I have been looking over my schedule for last year especially my successful 3:30 campaign and another run that I did once a fortnight that I found beneficial was the Yasso 800. I tried running 800m in less than 3 minutes 30 secs ten times with 400 m jog in between. Yasso claims that whatever time in minutes and seconds you can run 10 x 800m equates to your marathon time in hours and minutes. I don’t totally agree with this but do believe it’s a great workout for any distance from 10k to marathon training.

    So for a sub 3:30 attempt you should be trying run each interval in 7:00 minute mile pace or even slightly quicker. I say slightly quicker because I found that I was able to do 10 x ½ mile intervals all in under 3:20 minutes and then ran a 3:28 marathon. Although, in saying that I do have better speed than endurance.

  • BB: Yassos are in essence a 800M at 5K pace, to my mind the recovery is too long on them your better off doing say 10 x 800 at 5K pace off 2 minute or less recoveries (if I'm fit I can do this off 1 minute recoveries quite happily) . I normally run 800's in about 3mins 10 secs or less but I can't run a 3 -10 marathon! 
  • DD – Thanks, and I agree with you totally. I forgot about Yasso’s recovery times as I have always taken around 2 minutes between intervals. Similar to you, I’m now in training for a sub 3:10 attempt and can do the intervals in sub 3 minutes but couldn’t get close to a sub 3 marathon.

    I do think 800m in 3:30 x 10 with 2 minutes jog is a good workout for Minni considering her current speed and fitness level. She should be able to run then faster as the weeks go on.

  • BB: Quite agree that 10 x 800 at 3-30's would be perfect for Minni, would mean breaking the P & D schedule though and I'm not sure she wants to do that.
  • I like mile reps at 5km pace myself. I usually manage 5 with 2 minutes recovery.
  • I'm not against breaking the p&d in favour of putting in yassos. Where would I fit them in? Would it mean changing a whole session or incorporating them into an existing one?
  • IMO you can't just stick in an interval workout like 10 * 800m without it being part of some sort of progression where it fits in sensibly with what has been before and with what is coming up.

    A couple of other things with regards to a VO2 max session (if that, indeed is the goal):

    1)  For a runner of your ability doing these intervals at 5k pace is much too slow for vo2 max training.

    2)  5m is way too stressful a total volume for VO2 max training if done at your correct vo2 max pace.

    It's going to take a bit of thought to incorporate vo2 max training into your schedule.  It's also not something that you should plan to do solely in an attempt to address cramp issues - you'd better have a better reason!

  • I have been doing 800 intervals, and am up to 5 reps, a gradual progression over the last few weeks, been doing them 10 seconds faster than my 5k pace per mile, is that fast enough?
  • There are VO2 max sessions & LT runs in the P & D schedule I just need to find where I have put my copy again. I agree with Moraghan to a certain point in that you can't just parachute a 10 x 800 into a schedule it has to be built up to and indeed perhaps passed. But at the same time we don't want to make this too complicated, the whole thing you need to be getting used to is running at and  indeed faster than your race paces. 

    I doubt if many runners actually understand the terms VO2 and LT fully, I wouldn't begin to think that I do its simply not in my areas of expertise (however if you want to know about ships I'm pretty good) though I get the idea. Speed work does many things but in my opinion the benefits which are oftern overlooked are that it gives the runner confidence that they are able to run at paces far faster than their general aerobic pace, and that it teaches the runner to know what different paces feel like and hit them without reference. Running at race pace for extended periods can be further developed by tempo runs or as I prefer by running lots of shorter races though not necessarily flat out.  Marathon training is not rocket science, LSR, Tempo, Intervals Medium LR, two recoveries, rest day pretty well covers any schedule, the variances are how you do those tempo / speed sessions.

    IMO too many people get hung up on the technocalities of the sport, if you want to run fast you have to train fast some of the time. How you do that could be the subject of many a book but as long as there is progression in so far as you do more reps or do them faster or reduce the recovery period you are progressing rather than stagnating.

    In short there are many ways to crack a nut.

  • I am following this but only have my iPhone today - not great for responding in detail. I will digest and post later......
  • Feeling unwell......  I thought on Sunday afternoon I had a bad case of 'runners tum', took yesterday off work and felt better today.  Went out for my run tonight, got 2 miles in and had to come home feeling really sick.  My daughter has it too image

    Right down to business....

    Moraghan wrote (see)

    IMO you can't just stick in an interval workout like 10 * 800m without it being part of some sort of progression where it fits in sensibly with what has been before and with what is coming up.

    A couple of other things with regards to a VO2 max session (if that, indeed is the goal):1)  For a runner of your ability doing these intervals at 5k pace is much too slow for vo2 max training.2)  5m is way too stressful a total volume for VO2 max training if done at your correct vo2 max pace.It's going to take a bit of thought to incorporate vo2 max training into your schedule.  It's also not something that you should plan to do solely in an attempt to address cramp issues - you'd better have a better reason!

    DD / Moraghan  There are VO2 max sessions in my schedule, starting the middle of February and lasting for seven weeks (one session per week).  They start at 5 x 800m and change through 600m, 1000m and 1200m as the weeks progress. 

    I have never raced a 5k so I wouldn't really know what it is.  My first three miles on Sunday were around 7.15 so maybe I could knock 15 seconds off that, or is that too slow? (just read back and that's actually around the pace Badbark suggested...) I do sometimes find when I glance at my garmin that I'm running at about 6.45 pace but that's probably on a slight downhill. 

     Our club doesn't do 'speed' sessions as such but we do do lots of hill reps!    I have an 800m (or just a smidgen under) piece of flattish road earmarked for that session, which can be extended onto another road to get right up to 1200m.  

  • Get well soon Minni
  • Following P&d, managed 10 miles with 5 LT in the pouring rain, thinking of swapping sunday's long run to Saturday as struggled with the pace over the faster 5 miles...

    Off to the Adidas marathon training session in london tmrw night, won tickets in Dec. Included is a gait analysis + free pair of trainers worth £80, nutritional advice + a professional athlete is meant to be on hand to give training advice. Shall feed back any intetesting advice after.
  • Was posting same time as you Minni - hope you're feeling better soon!
  • DD / Moraghan. What do you two think to getting rep speeds off http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/ and using the online calculator they have?
    A 1h41 HM comes out at the following paces for reps:
    800m: 3m20 to 3m29s
    1000m: 4m16 to 4m26s
    1200m: 5m08 to 5m23s
    1600m: 6m59 to 7m15s

    Does this fit inline with what you'd recommend? I've found McMillan to be pretty good in terms of paces and what you should be capable of hitting
  • I don't think they're all that useful.  The paces you do for each rep distance will depend on the purpose / overall volume and recovery for the session.  It also makes the assumption that the longer the rep the slower the pace which I don't necessarily agree with. 

    A 400m could be done at 10k race pace (for a repped LT workout) or 800m race pace depending on the objective.

    Knowing the purpose and overall context of the session beforehand is what will dictate rep length, pace, recovery, recovery speed.

    Minni - a good guideline for vo2 max workouts are:

    Your 8 min race pace for 2:30 - 3:00 w / recovery up to rep duration.

    Your 15 min race pace for 4:00 - 5:00 w / recovery up to 3:00.

    Those paces can be derived from prediction calculators and your volume will be dictated by what you can handle but usually 15:00 for the former and 20:00 for the latter are more than enough.  Whether your time is better invested in non-vo2 max workouts whilst marathon training is a different matter altogether.

    Anyway, didn't mean to derail the thread - it's probably better just to stick to the schedule you've committed to.

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