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One thing that might help, if Disneyland Marathon in January is your first, is that a proper structured training plan for the marathon will include at least one half-marathon race in your preparation.
I set my personal best for the HM distance in a race that was a training day for my marathon, and I know a lot of other people have done this as well. It could be that by this point in your training, you should be able to comfortably complete 13 mile distance. but I think the main reason was that the HM race wasn't my focus as its was just a stepping stone in my marathon preparation and therefore I didn't feel the same (self-imposed) pressure.
Had the same situation.
Did a half at a young age without any training and got a 1:56, spent the next 10 HMs flirting with the idea of being faster. Every event I did I would consider a failure if not under 1.56. I had so much negative/nervous energy/expectation at the start lines that I never did go under 2 again. I took 2 years off, played tennis, had fun getting fit and now I'm back with a fresh attitude and a properly structured programme. Regardless of whether my events are sub 2 I am enjoying training and for the first time I'm enjoying running..
So many wise words, it's been really helpful. Thank you all.
I've done a couple of marathons, believe it or not, so I've been over the distance before. They weren't fast either but I enjoyed them more for the event and participation. I suppose I don't have expectations for a marathon so maybe this makes it easier.
I was definitely full of nervous energy at the start but not in a good way. I don't think I helped myself on the day.
I have to start into marathon training fairly soon so if I concentrate on miles rather than time hopefully that will take some of the (self-inflicted) pressure off. I was thinking I would change my watch to display only heart rate and distance and go back to training like that rather than by pace. I gave that up earlier this year when I had low iron and every run saw my heart rate soar to 80% 2mins in! Perhaps it's time to try it again.
I saw the Lakeland Trails website as well and there's a weekend in November that sounds very pleasant so I may enter the novice runs and have a go at off-road running one weekend, which should also help to break up the marathon training and keep things fresh.
I don't want to lose my fitness and I'm not really the sporty type so running is at least easy to do on my own.
absolutely right, than man. the aviemore half-marathon does indeed look like a cracker...sorely tempted..
lots on woodland trails, fantastic scenery, and last 10k apparently all downhill.
Aviemore does look lovely, that's why we entered. The forestry track part sounds very pleasant. I am going to run it without my watch though and do it purely for pleasure. 10k downhill sounds tremendous too
Feeling much better
Think it was just about full when we entered a couple of weeks ago, baldbloke, so you may be lucky to get a place at this stage!
F-R-Thundercat and Daeve,
Thanks for the fresh comments. I'd like to blame humidity, hydration and a whole host of other factors but I feel like I would just be making excuses for myself when the truth of the matter is the endurance wasn't there. I had a good breakfast and had loads to drink and 6 jelly babies at the start line!
The 10-13mile runs were due to time constraints - I didn't have the time to go above this. I have run more than this in the past and will again when possible, if I can drag myself back out there.
I did do one very hard plyometrics session on the Tuesday night before the race which left me pretty sore until Friday - maybe if I had skipped this I would have had that little bit extra on the day. We'll never know.
I've followed Hal Higdon's plans for marathons in the past but for this next one I thought I would try and run 6 days a week - 5 weekdays with one speed session, one recovery session and 3 easy days for mileage, then a long run at the weekend. In addition I do plyometrics/weights once a week as well so I'll continue with this. I'm hoping to get my mileage up sufficiently that my endurance can't be called into question again but do you think that this is sufficient not to get slower?
I need to do something differently to before. I just haven't decided what.
RR, hi there, I've had a scan through the thread, and first thing is to discard your husband's tips. They're an utter nonsense, that would lead to burn out and very quickly plateauing.
Rubbishrunner wrote (see)
My husband spent yesterday evening trying to come up with a different training plan for me, based on his own. He runs flat out every time, usually 6miles or so three times a week to the point where he can't run anymore.
My husband spent yesterday evening trying to come up with a different training plan for me, based on his own. He runs flat out every time, usually 6miles or so three times a week to the point where he can't run anymore.
Without being too personal, but it makes a key difference, can I ask your age, weight and injury situation as I didn't pick up on those on my read through (obviously picked up on female)
Also how long have you done that 25-30miles a week schedule? 3x4-6, 1x13. What paces do you do each run at?
The answers to these 2 sentences will make a monumental difference.
If you're 25, super light, with no injury problems, and you're run for a year at 25-30miles and aren't breaking 2hours, then something must be up with how you're training.
If you're 80, very heavy, with massive injury problems, and you've only run for 2months, then you've done amazingly to hit 2hr 03
and obviously...those are the far ends of the scale...
Stevie G is always right Rubbish Runner.
Your husbands go fast every single run is a little mad. Burn out, injuries. and very boring.
I'm forever telling my wife to keep it simple, whatever the distance she is aiming for, 3 runs a week in, one short/ fast one - speed session if possible, one medium tempo run, one long run at comfortable pace that you can still talk at. Rest can be some form of training or strength work, cardio or additional runs.
Works for me at any distance.
Breakfast was oat muesli and a banana, the night before was a pasta meal, light on the sauce. I really don't think I can blame my nutrition.
I'm average build, probably carrying a bit more than I should but not obese. I'm about 64kg and 5'5" and I'm in my early thirties. At 61kg, I looked pretty skinny but I've been enjoying my food too much! I started running about 4 years ago, very stop/start but have been running consistently since January of last year. I've had all manner of tendinitis issues, in a wide variety of tendons, which is why it was so stop and go initially but have worked on all of these and have no ongoing issues except a niggly IT band every now and then. I had massive problems with low iron at the end of last year/beginning of this year where I could barely manage above an 11min/mile but I've been taking supplements since then. I also had to ease off running for a while because I was waiting for my heart to be checked but had the all-clear with this.
I have trained up to about 45miles a week for two marathons, running 5 days a week. The last one was in March this year. I hadn't focussed so much on speed for that but by doing more miles I was getting faster. 10min miles used to be my only pace.
My usual training for the past couple of months would be about 5 to 6mile run at about 8.30-8.45mm, intervals (or reps, I'm not sure of the difference) maybe 800metres x 6, doing each one in about 3m 50s but I have done longer and slightly slower reps - this varies. These interval runs usually end up being 5-7 miles total including my recovery jogs. I do a recovery run of about 3-4miles, usually about 9.45mm, but not every week and a steady run at about 9-9.15mm. The long runs averaged between 9.30 and 9.45 mins/mile. The slightly faster long runs were trying to keep up with my husband!
The plyometrics leave me really sore especially 2 days afterwards so I try to have this as a rest day. I'm afraid if I add in a second session I'll spend my whole week in pain, although I know that my muscles should adapt. I do squat presses with weights, burpees, box jumps, press-ups, squat jumps, all manner of lunges. I like these workouts but they're so hard. I think I sweat more doing these than running!
I'm self-employed and work long hours so I can only devote about an hour, max 1.5hours in the morning to a run. The longer ones involve me getting up at 5.30am so I don't want to do that all the time. I don't get home from work until 7.30pm so it makes it a long day!
I will try anything to improve at this! I'm starting into marathon training again soon but hope to combine the extra miles with the bit of speedwork I've been doing and see if that helps. Maybe you'll tell me otherwise, but I really thought that the training I'd been doing should have been enough for my goal. Maybe it was the lack of long runs that let me down.
RR, sounds like the injuries are under control, your weight to height has you in the healthy BMI range, and you're not exactly old by any means.
If you came to me simply on your 2hr 03 half marathon, I would write you these training paces based on 2hr 03 being 9.23 per mile
Easy 10.43-11.20Steady 9.58-10.28MP 9.43HMP 9.2310K 9.08
However, bearing in mind you're doing 5-6milers at 8.30, or 6x800s at 7.40 pace, and long run 9.30-9.45, as you can see something massively doesn't add up.
To find out what's not adding up, can you answer me these questions, and I'll get a conclusion together
I have a feeling that you simply don't have much base fitness. You don't work at the right aerobic zones, and you simply do too many hard sessions, track/steady, the 5-6mile run and the gym stuff
Due to this, you're working too hard, knackering yourself, plateauing, and nowhere near fresh for race day.
It can only really be one of the following options whatever your responses to my questions
If it's Number 1, I reckon I could comfortably get you sub 2hours, using the paces I've prescribed above, and a 4 runs a week schedule, involving, 1 long run, 1 tempo run, 2xeasy runs. From 25-30miles a week and from your history, you really don't have the fitness base, or mileage to be doing 2 hard sessions at this stage.
If it's Number 2, then that's more encouraging in some ways, and should mean you could obliterate 2hour not just get under it.
Let me know the answers though, as I'm honestly intrigued.
Hi Stevie G.,
Thanks for your interest. I don't know how to quote properly on this so I'll just answer your questions in order.
I use a Polar HRM and footpod to measure pace and distance. I know that it's not 100% accurate but it's very, very close. It largely agrees with my husband's Garmin, although on long runs it sometimes reads a bit under - ie I need to run more to make up the distance. This is only about 0.3 of a mile over 12-13miles usually.
I feel absolutely done after running at those paces - it's a big effort for me. I just run the intervals as fast as I can. I guess I didn't choose the paces as such. I know that I need to run faster than I want to run on race day so just push on over a shorter distance and that's what the averages have tended to be.
There was a good block of running before this run. I was away for a week at the end of June and started training when I got back. Before that, I had been running a bit during the week but not doing any long runs at weekends because I just wanted my life back for a while!
I've not had luck in half marathons! The weather's been against me a couple of times with very strong headwinds and a couple of them I hadn't trained properly to get a sub 2 or was coming off the back of an injury (I've had lots). I was on course to do a sub 2 last year but collapsed at mile 13. Took 2-3hours to recover sufficiently to be allowed to leave with my husband. This last time, there's a small hill just coming up to the 12 mile marker. It was taking more effort to keep the pace up and I gave a lot of effort up this hill. I felt quite dizzy at the top and having previously pushed through this and keeled over, I sat down until I could see straight. However, I then knew my goal was gone and sort of walked/staggered/ran the last mile. My time, which I finally brought myself to check, was actually 2h 5m but it doesn't make any difference really.
I haven't done many other races in the past few months but I did a 10k in May in 54mins. I did the Morecambe Bay half marathon in August but didn't have my watch and it was brutal - I think my time was 2h 20something mins for that.
Plyometrics and other gym stuff is just to keep me toned and active - I don't think running is great for toning anything other than calves! I do upper body stuff as well. I enjoy it but it does leave me knackered and I can't run properly for a couple of days after, though can do easy runs.
I suspect you're right in my lack of fitness. The paces that you've set out I think I would find very comfortable to run but I have a fear if I'm not challenging myself that I'll just get slower again. I used to struggle to run anything less than a 10m/m and to be doing 8.xx anything over a few miles feels like a big achievement to me but it would be better if I could translate that into race results, which seem to have remained pretty stagnant.
Hope that answers all your questions sufficiently. I'd be grateful for any input you might care to give!
That 10k time might give better training zones then, Let's have a look.
54:30 (taking the middle figure as 54 could obviously be 54.01, or 54.59), is 8.46 a mile pace, and would equate according to McMillan to 2:01:30 which is 9:16 pace.
Now 8.46 looks like it fits in a bit better with your 8.30-8.45 pace session for 5-6miles, as you're clearly doing that at race pace to end destroyed.
The paces from that 10k would give you
Easy 10.21-11.00Steady 9.36-10.06 MP 9.21HMP 9.0110k 8.46
These look a bit better to go off. You need 9.09 to break 2hours for a half marathon, but from your 10k, your HMP is already 9.01.
I'd be quite interested in coaching you, as I think sub 2hours is something you can comfortably hit with the right training block.
As you don't have too much mileage to play with, I'd cut out the very fast track stuff, and instead build your week around 2 massively important sessions
The long run builds your stamina, the tempo gets you used to running medium hard continuously whilst not killing yourself like you are at the moment, and the HMP pace work specifically gets you used to running at the target race pace.
For now, i'd not be as fussed with the shorter very fast work, as I don't think it's the biggest priority. Being able to smash an 800 isn't as key for a half marathon as it is for say a 5k or a 10k.
On top of those 2 runs, I'd simply fit in
This 4 run schedule would bring your fitness up a fair amount, whilst not leaving you knackered as a lot of your schedule already does.
2-3months of this,I reckon would comfortably see you under 2hours. Then the real fun begins.
Let me know if you fancy a bit of a casual coaching arrangement. I'd set you the 4 sessions a week, 3 of them mostly staying the same, with the Tempo/HMP session being the variable.
Clearly, the ideal plan is a long run, a tempo run and speedwork, but from your mileage that's overkill I think.
For you, i think that triple pronged approach could come down the line. That's why the long and tempo coupled with 2xeasy will do the job for now.
If you were targetting a 10k, then naturally 10k reps and quicker would come into the equation, but the half is your big target.
A lot of runners worry that slowing their training down will slow them down. But what you tend to find, is that it leaves you fresher, leaves you less at risk of injury, better develops your training zones, and leaves you able to up your game for race day.
I really appreciate it that you'd offer to coach me and I will follow your instructions to the letter, I promise!!
Two things though - I'm off for the next couple of weeks so won't be able to start running again until the last week of September. The second is that I'm also supposed to start training then for the Disneyworld event, which is actually a half marathon on one day followed by a marathon the next. The idea wasn't to race these, as such, but to cover the distance comfortably and enjoy them.
Does that affect your offer of coaching? I can probably find a half marathon 2-3 months from now and incorporate the race into my marathon plan or would you rather I came back to you when I'm done with Disney in January and pick it up fresh from there?
I'm genuinely pleased that you don't think I'm a lost cause and feel enthusiastic at giving it a go again Thank you for that much anyway, even if the implementation needs to be postponed.
That complicates it a little, as training for a marathon, albeit it one you're just looking to get round rather than race, is a different beast entirely to the half.
I suppose it depends on what you're planning running wise for the marathon, presumably you're needing to cover up to 18-20miles in training?
It probably wouldn't hurt to get into the 4 times a week schedule now, and then maybe you could simply increase the long run a little, 1mile a week to incorporate your marathon.
In effect, from the start of October, we'd be doing a form of base training for a couple of months up until your Disney stuff.
And then perhaps we could find a target half in March/April to have your real go at your pb.
I suppose the only thing with that is that we're talking 6months, and I'd feel a bit rude as getting you under 2hours by then would be a meagre challenge
have a good trip, will have to think about how best to proceed.
Big G...it sounds like your wife has hit her time in spite of her training, not because of it. Continuing down that road will lead to a sure fire plateau, whereas a better laid out plan and more easy mileage would comfortably get her sub 1hr 50 I have no doubt.
Appreciate that enjoyment and not getting injured are key factors, and sounds like her time is limited. Therefore, she's making the best of the circumstances.
A lot of runners start that way, myself included to some extent, and you naturally make slight improvement, before hitting a big plateau.
It sounds counter intuiative to say train slower to race faster, but it really is true. I went from thinking I'd hit my maximum a couple of years ago, to knowing now that I still have time to take off.
I'm back, feeling a bit better about things after spending a little time away and actually looked forward to running this morning.
I'm due to start my marathon training plan more or less straight away. I was going to pretty much follow one of the Hal Higdon plans, for the reason that they're very simple. It involves running 5 times a week and I think the maximum mileage is about 45.
If I did 3 easy sessions of between 4, and rising to 10, miles a week, and one long run using the paces you outlined before and concentrated on running faster one day a week, do you think that would be sufficient? My plan is to get Disney done then find a half marathon early next year and hopefully get this monkey off my back once and for all!
For example, next week would be:
Mon 4miles at easy pace (10.21 up), Tue 6miles with some faster miles, Wed 4m easy, Fri 6m easy and Sat 12miles.
I'm still nervous about running all my runs so slowly but I understand the reasoning and it can't really hurt to try. I've instructed my husband that he'll be doing the long runs himself now so I won't feel under pressure to keep up so we'll see how that works out!
Just one question - if I train at those paces, how will I improve - ie am I just teaching my body to run only at that pace, if you see what I mean?
RR, that sounds a good approach.
Don't worry about the perceived idea of running too slowly. Those easy and long runs aren't designed for speed, they're designed to help you build mileage and stamina, and leave you fresh for the weekly quality session.
If you will, they are the supporting mileage, whereas the quality session is the money run.
Ideally, if you were running 50-60miles a week, we'd have 2 quality sessions a week, with one a tempo, and one speedwork. The tempo would work paces like MP, HMP, or true Tempo (5secs less than HMP), and the speedwork would tend to be shorter faster reps.
I appreciate there's a monster haul from your usual 30 or so, to 50-60, BUT, we can comforably break 2hour off 1 session a week I reckon.
I suspect you haven't beaten 2hours for a half for only 1 of 2 reasons.
Therefore, the approach we've discussed, and that you've taken on board, will see you there I'm certain.
On that plan you're looking at, does it have any ideas on the speedwork/tempo?
Like I said, i'm not up on marathons at all...so a few little gee ups whilst you're training for the marathon might be the best thing, and then once it's out of the way we can start talking day to day sessions and a proper build up for a sub 2 half marathon.
If I was a coach who worked on "No pb, no fee", I'd have snapped you up instantly
just thought i'd share my story. I've been running for about 9 years. The first 5 saw me go from not being able to run for the bus to a half mara PB of 1.55 and marathon PB 4.11. I was well chuffed with these times.
I then picked up an injury and no sooner had i cured one injury i picked up another. I fought and fought to try to get my fitness back and kicked myself for being rubbish after every run. I then got injured again and this time ended up having 9 months out and an operation on my knee. My confidence was shatttered.
Again i fought and fought to get my fitness back but just couldn't speed up. I finally came to the conclusion that i was trying too hard. i was tense during every run and as someone has already said 'the fun was sucked out of my running' So, i slowed down, i ran slower, i chilled out and stopped fighting. This May i broke 2 hours again. I am currently on the last few day of taper for the Loch Ness marathon after thinking i would never run again. I slowed down and enjoyed the training and now feel better prepared than ever.
I think maybe you are comparing yourself too much to your husband. We are all different and we all improve at different rates. My fiance started running 18 months ago cos i encouraged him. He doesn't do any other exercise but 2 'fast' runs a week. He has already beaten my PB. life just isn't fair. Does this make him a better runner than me? I think not! Don't worry what anyone else does just run for you. The fun will come back
Thanks for your story. Sorry you've had so many injury issues but it's great that you're back running and best of luck for the marathon this week. I know I suffer a bit from comparing myself to my husband - I get annoyed that he's so cavalier about his training but gets great results anyway! I think running by myself for a while will be very therapeutic for me and I'm looking forward to seeing how things go over the next couple of months.
Stevie G., thanks for your vote of confidence! I've run the last two mornings at an easy pace (no watch!!) and I like thinking to myself that this is actually of benefit to me. Not feeling like I need to be shattered at the end of a run is actually quite liberating. I hope the feeling continues!
The plan doesn't have any specific speed workouts except for "pace" runs, which are supposed to be run at MP, which for me is slow anyway! I was going to do something approaching a tempo session built into the 6miles or so or maybe do mile repeats at just a little faster than HMP, if you think that's appropriate? I'm obviously open to suggestion!!
As you're training for a marathon, I'd imagine the MP is THE key zone. Maybe alternating that weekly with something a bit faster, 10k reps.
Maybe you need a better plan that lays out the precise speedwork though.
When your true pb is sorted, you won't find MP runs easy. They should be medium hard.
Okay, so I'm two weeks into training and, so far, I've been keeping things slow and easy - I've allowed myself time to lick my wounds, recover from my holiday and get over a chest cold. Ran 3miles at what was supposed to be HMP this morning as my first faster run and I found it tougher than I thought it would.
My question of the day is what to do about the Aviemore half marathon on Sunday? Go hell-for-leather and see if I can at least get a PB, if not under 2h? It's a mainly downhill course! Or just keep to a steady pace and finish it without feeling like I'm going to collapse and treat it as more of a training run, especially as I've had 3 weeks off and then time getting over a cold? I can't decide what's best for me - I know my confidence will be knocked if I try and don't succeed again. Equally, I don't want to be afraid to try!! Obviously some mental issues to deal with!!!
The rest of this week's workouts are 6m easy tomorrow, circuits tomorrow night, 5m easy Wednesday, 6miles MP Friday so nothing too strenuous at this stage.
Thanks in advance