Help & advice needed

In 2006 I set a HM PB of 1:36 and a Marathon PB of 3:42. This year, my HM time was 1:44 and I did the VLM in 4:00:02, despite training, in my view, better and harder than I did 5 years ago. What, in your opinion would make the biggest difference to my speed:

1 - Switching my speed-work to the track (I currently do it on a treadmill)
2 - Increasing the pace of my long runs (currently ran at ~10 mins/mile)
3 - Cross-training more (I rarely do it, but in 2006 I cycled a lot)
4 - Joining a running club (just did that 2 months ago)
5 - Racing more. (e.g. 10k / cross-country)
6 - More race-pace medium long runs (didn't do enough of these this year)
7 - Building up my core strength (it's shocking, currently)
7- Winning the ASICS Competition and getting professional advice

All advice (and votes) will be gratefully received!

George

Comments

  • Train faster, further. Stretch more. Lose weight. Recover better.
  • Schedule in some rest time too.
  • Can't argue with either of those points image
  • Hi Gyraffe,

    I'm currently reading "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald and monitoring my daily intake using the MyFitnessPal iPhone app. I'm currently achieving a roughly 60/15/25 ratio of carbs/protein/fat. I'm down to just over 12 stone (I'm 6ft) and it's feeling like I'm going in the right direction. I need to level out soon though. I don't want to go too far.

    George

  • All of the points you mentioned will help for sure..

    I dont think there is one single factor that will do make you faster over the marathon, but longer faster endurance runs and good quality speed sessions with a few races thrown in should do the trick..

    Good luck with the competition..

  • George - that sounds cool - but it's not what I meant. Do you use nutrition in races?
  • Sorry Gyraffe,

    Yes I do. I use SIS GO Gels because they're isotonic so I don't need to woory about taking water with them at the same time. In a marathon, I would take one about every 4 miles, or 6 in total. For London, I also glugged down the lucozade sport drinks that were handed out about 3 times during the race. I don't know what drinks will be available in Paris.

    Have you any thoughts on the best nutrition strategy?

  • TFAN - Your HM conversion to marathon could be better - I would say you should be nearer to 3.30 with a 1.36 HM, so could be your endurance over the longer distances needs working on. 

    In your long runs do you run 10m/m for the whole way? I'd say that is a little slow....I'd run them nearer to 9-9.30, and also add in some MP miles particularly towards the end. You need to be able to churn out miles at your desired marathon pace on tired legs.  How many 20+ runs would you do for your marathon?

    Other than that the biggest improvement for me came through speed work and tempo/threshold runs. I do my intervals on the treadmill too and don't see the need to switch to the track personally. What intervals do you do? Try longer reps - 1km or even 1 mile.

  • Freemers,

    Sounds like good advice. I am trying to increase the pace of my long runs and I like the idea of pushing the pace towards the end. Training my body to cope with MP on tired legs makes great sense. I did 4 20+ mile runs in the build up to London (20, 22, 20, 24). Would you say that was enough? I'm tempted to do an over-distance run next time, say 28, so that there's absolutely no problem with the endurance, but it would have to be planned carefully so I could recover in time for the race itself.

    My standard interval run is 4 x 1 mile with 800m recoveries. I don't know if it's better to increase the reps or shorten the recoveries. Any thoughts?
  • George, pardon for asking but how old are you?

    I've just got to 1hr36 and done 3h48 for 1st marathon at Liverpool (fairly tough hills, and with slight tight hamstring).. Was looking good for under 3h 40... And aiming for 3 30-35 next year.

    Plus do lots of core work and do my long runs at more like 8h 30- 9m ish pace.
  • Hi FRC,

    I'm 48, so I know that I'm fighting against the ravages of time. Your times look pretty good to me. From the advice I'm getting here it looks like I'm going to have to seriously increase the pace of my long runs. Maybe I should shorten them a bit until I'm comfortable with the new pace, or just live with the pain for a while.

    Core work is a must, I think. Sarah tested us with the bridge position at the Boot Camp and fortunately we were all pretty bad so it wasn't an elimination issue. It's something that I've taken on to improve as quickly as I can.

    George
  • Ok. I put the new LR pacing strategy to work this morning with pretty good results. It felt good to be going for a training run, rather than just a jog. I've posted the splits for you to disect. 

    Distance 14M, Time 2:08

    Mile Avg Pace  Avg HR
    1      08:52       139
    2      09:25       137 (telephone call)
    3      09:05       140
    4      09:12       142
    5      09:14       140
    6      09:14       143
    7      09:20       142
    8      09:17       139
    9      10:13       142 (rather big hill)
    10    08:19       146 (surge to ~marathon pace)
    11    08:20       145
    12    08:40       150
    13    08:43       152
    14    10:14       143 

    My summary is that I need to get my pace per mile down to 9:00 and the MP surge section down to 8:00, but at this stage in my training, this looks ok to me. Any thoughts or questions?

  • Hi FRC,

    I'm 48, so I know that I'm fighting against the ravages of time. Your times look pretty good to me. From the advice I'm getting here it looks like I'm going to have to seriously increase the pace of my long runs. Maybe I should shorten them a bit until I'm comfortable with the new pace, or just live with the pain for a while.

    Core work is a must, I think. Sarah tested us with the bridge position at the Boot Camp and fortunately we were all pretty bad so it wasn't an elimination issue. It's something that I've taken on to improve as quickly as I can.

    George
  • Ok. I put the new LR pacing strategy to work this morning with pretty good results. It felt good to be going for a training run, rather than just a jog. I've posted the splits for you to disect. 

    Distance 14M, Time 2:08

    Mile Avg Pace  Avg HR
    1      08:52       139
    2      09:25       137 (telephone call)
    3      09:05       140
    4      09:12       142
    5      09:14       140
    6      09:14       143
    7      09:20       142
    8      09:17       139
    9      10:13       142 (rather big hill)
    10    08:19       146 (surge to ~marathon pace)
    11    08:20       145
    12    08:40       150
    13    08:43       152
    14    10:14       143 

    My summary is that I need to get my pace per mile down to 9:00 and the MP surge section down to 8:00, but at this stage in my training, this looks ok to me. Any thoughts or questions?

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