General tips and advice

CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

Hi folks,

Some may have seen my thread in the general section regarding advice on marathon training / motivation and saw my completely haphazard approach to "training" (and probably shook your head whilst reading it).

I have been running, on and off, quite sporadically for probably about 6 or 7 years.  In fact, I did my first 10k 7 years ago as a fundraiser with my football team.

I've since ran a few charity runs at 10k, half marathon and marathon distance but I've stupidly never followed a training programme.

My PBs are:

10k - 46 mins

Half - 1 hr 54 mins

Marathon - 4 hours 24 mins

(I'm a 30 year old male, about 11 stone at the moment)

After reading some of the advice and looked at some training programmes etc. I've realised that the reason I struggled with training before is probably because I was trying to do too much, too soon, at too fast a pace (things like going out and attempting a 20 mile run at 4 hour marathon pace, thinking that would be the best way to train for a 4 hour marathon).

So, getting to the point...  I really want to improve on those PBs and improve on them significantly.

A couple of questions - what would be a realistic target for each distance if I followed a proper training programme?  (What I'm hoping to achieve next year if it's realistic is compete in a 10k race in March and try to get close to 40 mins, half marathon in May and go close to 1 hr 30, and marathon in September, going under 4 hours, possibly targeting 3 hr 30, depending on how the first two go).

What should I do between now and January (when the focused 10k training will start)?  I'm thinking about getting back on my bike over the next couple of weeks to give my legs a rest from the marathon I did on Sunday and I've got a bit of a niggle in my foot as well, so think running on that wouldn't be a great idea.  Once that clears up I was thinking about just keeping the miles up - long slow runs at the weekend of about 10 miles or so with couple of shorter runs through the week.  Should I be doing any tempo runs or just keep it all nice and slow until the actual 10k training starts?

Thanks in advance!



  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    Hi again - one other thing...

    I'm thinking about getting an HRM for my Forerunner 210.

    Are there any less expensive alternatives to shelling out £40 or so for the Garmin one that are compatible with the 210?

    Cheers image

  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    Any advice on the above posts guys? image

    I'll just use this thread to monitor my training progress.  Writing it down here will hoepfully help me to stick to the training plans etc...

    So, I was intending going out on the bike at the weekend but found the tyres flat and the compressor that is usually in my wife's car had been left at the in-laws...

    So, I risked an easy run on the treadmill.  Did 6 miles at just below 10 minute miles just to see how I got on.  Turns out it wasn't a great idea...  Although my ankle injury didn't play up at all whilst I was running, it was pretty sore later on on Sunday and yesterday.  Thankfully it's started to ease off again today.

    I've bitten the bullet though and booked in for physio tomorrow.  Got the bike tyres pumped up so will stick to that until the physio says that it's okay to run on it.

    Next piece of advice...  Given that I've gone from sporadically doing about 20-25 miles in a week (mainly on one big run, and not regularly getting up to that level - sometimes down as low as 10 miles a week), having ran a marathon just over 2 weeks ago and then only 6 miles since and assuming it takes say another 2 weeks for the ankle injury to clear up, how many miles would it be sensible to start off with once I get back into it?  Would it generally be okay to do a couple of shorter (less than 5 miles each) easy runs through the week and then say a 10 mile easy run in the first week back or should I ease myself in slower than that?

    (I will speak to the physio first, but just wondered what the experienced runners think?)

  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    So, having gone for the physio appointment and taken the 4 weeks or so rest from running, together with doing a bit of cycling/swimming and strengthening exercises and stretches, I finally got back out on my feet this week.

    Went for an easy (just under) 4 miler, concentrating on form (trying to forefoot/midfoot strike) and keeping it at an easy pace (running by feel to a certain extent).  I think I started out a little too quickly and my pace slowed a bit in the second half of the run, but I was trying to look at my Garmin as little as possible.  Calves were a bit stiff for a couple of days, I think mainly down to the forefoot striking which is new to me.  Looking at the splits, I was going downhill first half and uphill on the way back, which would explain it to an extent, but no serious hills in there. Overall, felt pretty good.

    Went out for an easy (just over) 4 miler yesterday, again concentrating on form and keeping it at an easy pace.  It felt really good.  Despite not looking at my Garmin at all, I kept the pace pretty steady.  8:28/mile, 8:37/mile, 8:42/mile, 8:38/mile.  Quite chuffed with that!

    Aim is to go out tomorrow and do a decent 8-10 miles, keeping the pace easy and see how I get on.  This running by feel malarkey seems pretty good.  Going to keep this up until the end of the year and then start on the 3+2 programme for the 10k I've signed up to in March.

    Having now read "Born To Run", I'm massively inspired... image

  • Hi calum,

    Happy to help you out with some advice, let me know what race you are planning to enter next and I will try and point you in the right direction.
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    Hi Rob - thanks!

    Next race is Garioch 10k

    I'm reading the "Run Less, Run Faster" book at the moment, so am planning to use their training programmes for the 10k, starting in early January.

  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    So, feeling pretty good after heading out for a 9.5 miler this morning.  Same drill - easy, steady pace, didn't look at my Garmin once.

    Splits were like this:

    1 - 8:42

    2 - 9:06

    3 - 8:57

    4 - 8:38

    5 - 8:51

    6 - 8:34

    7 - 8:57

    8 - 9:14

    9 - 8:56

    I'm quite happy with that - I was probably worse at keeping a steady pace previously when I was constantly looking at my Garmin.  The three above 9 minutes all had overall elevation gains.

    Looking forward to heading out on Monday again for another 4 miler image

    (Beautiful day here in Aberdeenshire - that probably helped!)

  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    So, been a while since I've posted on here.  I'm actually managing to follow a training programme (not 100% to the letter, but almost!).

    I missed the first week of the 12 week programme (my calculations were out by a week - oops!) - we had a baby in December, so I'm blaming lack of sleep...

    Started in week 2 and just jumped straight in, hoping to keep up with the paces etc.  I struggled a wee bit to keep with the interval and tempo paces, but I'm in week 6 now and am now managing to keep up with the pace on intervals and tempo runs which feels good.

    5 miler today, aiming for 7:37/mile.  Average pace was bang on 7:37 and the intervals session on Tuesday went well - only missed the pace slightly on one interval by a few seconds.

    Main aim for the 10k in March is to beat my previous PB which is just over 46 mins (can't remember specifically - it was a long time ago...), if I can go under 45, I'll be happy and anything under that will be a bonus.  With 6 weeks of training to go, I'm feeling confident of knocking a few minutes off the PB.  image

  • Well what a small world! I'm new to running, having just started back in January. I've well and truly caught the bug. I'm also in Aberdeenshire and had no idea of this Garioch race! I've just entered for tis year's 5k!
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    Good stuff - where in Aberdeenshire are you from?  I ran the Garioch 10k a few years ago (I think in 2010) and struggled with it after doing zero (and I mean zero...!) training!  It seems to have grown a bit since then - it was well organised and friendly back then, so hoping it will be the same this year!

  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    So, yeah - been a while since I've updated.

    Completed the Garioch 10k in 42:52 in March.  Very happy with that image  knocked 3:59 off my PB (set in 2004!).  Training turns out to work - who'd have thought it?

    Anyway - next race is the Campbeltown Half Marathon on 26th May.  Training is going pretty well, aiming for about 90 minutes.  Taking it fairly easy a few weeks ago I ran 13.1 miles in about 100 minutes, and last week I ran 14 miles in 111 minutes.

    I think I've got it in me to at least go sub-95 based on current fitness.  Few weeks of training left, so will see how it goes.

  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    So the 90 minute HM didn't happen.  I did come in in 97:33 on a tough course, following a bit of an injury scare.  Not as all conquering as I hoped it would be, but still a 17 minute PB and on a flatter, easier course, I'm confident I could have turned in sub-95...

    Sights now turn to the Loch Ness Marathon in September.  I had 3 hours in my sights before the HM at the weekend, but my absolute A target will now be GFA for London (sub 3:05), B Target sub 3:10 and C target sub 3:15.  Will see how the training goes over the next couple of months to see which of those is feasible.  I suspect sub 3:15 may well be the target for this year though (which would still be a massive PB!).

  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    After reading through a decent chunk of the Scott Edgington thread, I thought I would return to my own thread.  It's funny reading back the stuff I wrote a while ago...

    So, the marathon didn't happen last year.  A few days after that last post, my best mate announced he was getting married on the day of the Loch Ness Marathon and asked me to be best man.  So - the marathon training didn't even start.

    I raced a 10k 1 week after that last post and clocked a 42:01 which I was delighted with.  I later ran the National Lottery Anniversary 5 miles in 34:19.  Not quite so happy with that as a time, but the course was very tight, and lots of turns and crowded!  And it was a bit hot for pale blue Aberdeenshire guy like me, so overall, not bad.

    Late August, I ran the BRG Challenge again  Coastal, (very) hilly 17.5 miles.  Great course actually.  I completed it in 2:40 in 2012 off the back of bugger all training.  My training wasn't great for it in 2013, but a really good first 6 months of the year with good consistent training and then a few long runs over the next couple of months saw me through.  2:27 was the time.  Was pleased with that too.

    After that I was just going through limbo for a few months, running when I felt like it - some weeks clocking 6 runs and about 34-35 miles, other weeks not doing anything and everything in between!

    Anyway, so I'm back into training for the Garioch 10k.  A couple of knocks to the schedule with food poisoning, crazy working hours and a bad cold already, but I've got just over 6 weeks and think I'm in good shape to take a decent chunk off the 10k PB.


    A - sub 40

    B - sub 41

    C - PB

    I won't lie - I'll be disappointed if I don't get at least sub 41, and will be mildly disappointed if I don't get sub 40.  But being realistic, sub 41 would be a good result.

    I was following the FIRST plan again at the start of the year, but the collective wisdom of the more experienced runners I've spoken to is that at least half of that plan was crazy.  Long runs at the weekend at just a tad slower than threshold pace etc.

    So, I've changed it up a bit with the help of forumite johnas, and am now doing something like this:

    Monday - 30 mins easy

    Tuesday - intervals (1km intervals, starting at current PB pace, but as the weeks go on, upping this to sub 40 10k pace)

    Wednesday - easy run - starting at 20 minutes, but will progress up to 60 over the next few weeks

    Thursday - threshold session

    Friday - recovery 30 minutes

    Saturday - long slow run - 10-13 miles

    I was in danger of falling off the training plan until I got it reworked and now I can see that it was because the paces I was aiming for were just a little bit too quick (or a lot too quick as far as the long runs were concerned) and I was feeling jaded instead of invigorated by the workouts.

    So - yeah, I'll try to post some updates here with my progress.  Even if nobody reads it image

  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    So - first workout of the new plan (Tuesday) was:

    6 x 1km @ (aiming for 6:46 per mile) [with 1:30 recoveries]

    Set the Garmin to 0.65 miles and the splits were:

    4:22.29 [6:43.52/mile]

    4:22.12 [6:43.26/mile]

    4:21.82 [6:41.72/mile]

    4:23.17 [6:44.88/mile]

    4:21.68 [6:42.58/mile]

    4:22.21 [6:43.40/mile]

    Pleased with the consistency across those splits and pleased with the perceived effort.  The first 2 were very easy, 3rd and 4th getting tougher, and final 2 pretty tough.  Never in danger of not hitting the paces though.

    Felt good to actually hit the target pace on each interval - first time this year!  Tell-tale sign that the target paces were too quick in my previous plan.

    20 minutes recovery run yesterday (after a core strength workout), and ready for the threshold session today of 6 x 5 minutes @ 6:55-7:00 per mile [1:30 recoveries].  I actually can't wait for lunchtime to come round. image

  • Hey Calum - just had a quick skim I'm at work so it's my iPhone, looks like things have fallen into place.

    Saw you mention my thread and hoping either you picked up some ideas or ignored all and got yourself a decent plan image

    6 weeks is tight but hope PB works out!

    I'm pretty much on 100% to PB at Eastleigh, I just want to hit my target ..

    Good luck! I'm following
    Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for joining - I'm following your progress too! And yeah, picked up some ideas from your thread, although, probably for a bit further down the line for me as you're a LOT quicker than me!!

    Good threshold workout today 6 x 5 minutes - average paces:

    1 - 6:59

    2 - 6:56

    3 - 6:54

    4 - 6:57

    5 - 6:58

    6 - 6:58

    Another consistent workout - started out easy but towards the end it was getting quite tough.  I'm sure that's how it's meant to be though image

    30 minutes recovery run planned for tomorrow and long easy run of 10 miles for Saturday.

  • Check DM Calum....

    Threshold looks good and consistent and that "feeling" is good! .. Do you do paces in M/M or KM/M

    What were the recoveries on those reps? 

    I have steady tonight, REST tomorrow



    Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭
    Scott - that's minutes per mile and 90s recoveries.

    My brain can't handle minutes per km just yet...!
  • Ah that's good Calum! I cant stand KM/M 

    How did you find the email? 

    90s recovery looking good. When I started sessions i was on larger recoveries and working it down 

    Last time did a session 6 x 1 mile off 1:45 and 3 x 2 mile of 3:00 I think maybe 3:15s 

    Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    Haven't got round to reading the e-mail yet Scott - cheers for sending through though!

    Turns out the reps yesterday were all 0.72 miles.  Consistency! image

  • Nice consistency indeed!

    When's the target race?
    Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    23 March -



  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    Okay - so here's another query.  I've never been on a running track before (well - that's not entirely true, I used to have to run across one to get to the football pitch in the middle when I was a teenager...) and am interested in doing some of my intervals on a running track.

    Thing is, in my neck of the woods there are very little running tracks.  There are 3 in the city of Aberdeen itself, but I'm rarely in Aberdeen and it's a bit of a trek for me.

    There are a couple of grass tracks and there are a couple slightly handier for me 150m synthetic tracks.  There is also one full 400m track at Peterhead, which is a bit handier than Aberdeen, but not much.

    So - query really is - how much benefit could I get from doing intervals on a track rather than finding a decent loop which inevitably has some undulations, roads to cross, pedestrians with buggies in the way etc.?

    Also - is a 150m track any use at all when my shortest interval would be 400m?  Going back and forth along a track sounds pretty rubbish!

    There's a grass track at the school just up the road from my work.  I've emailed them but I'm expecting that it will be a "no" in terms of me rocking up and using that at a lunchtime.  To use any of the other tracks, I'd almost certainly need to do it in the evening - and that's always a bit of an issue for me.  I'd be as well to join the Peterhead Running Club and use it on clubnights.  Not sure if that could fit in with my family life though.

    At this stage I think I'll probably just carry on with finding the best loops possible for lunchtime runs - there's a decent amount of paths etc. round about Westhill (where I work) which are fairly quiet.  I do just like the idea of getting on the track.

    OH - Just remembered.  I did once run on a track.  300m of the Olympic Stadium in London at the end of the 5 mile National Anniversary Run - in front of a pretty loud crowd.  That was pretty cool.  image

  • I haven't done a track session in months since work gets in the way and been ill - been using the roads.. Whenever it is light enough I'll run on grass though - football pitches and grassy loops are probably the best thing before track IMO ..

    Less chance of injury and builds good strength -

    I think track is just more useful with pacing and can focus on distance better
    Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭
    Easy 10 miles yesterday. Averaged 8:33 per mile. Main aim of the run was to not let myself run any quicker than 8 minute miles (I normally would aim for the opposite!!) so quite chuffed that my quickest mile was 8:12.

    I can't believe I didn't buy into this slow running ages ago. Way easier and more enjoyable...

    Calves are a tiny bit tight this morning but nothing really. Feel fine to start another training week. 30 minutes easy planned for tomorrow then another intervals session on Tuesday.
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭

    Great session today.  8 x 1km (well 0.65 miles) intervals with 90 second recoveries.  Aim was to run the first 4 at current 10km pace (6:46/mile) and the second 4 at 6:35-6:36 pace).

    Absolutely nailed it image

    1. 4:25 [6:45 pace] 2. 4:25 [6:45 pace] 3. 4:20 [6:40 pace] 4. 4:23 [6:44 pace] 5. 4:15 [6:32 pace] 6. 4:17 [6:35 pace] 7. 4:15 [6:33 pace] 8. 4:16 [6:34 pace]   I'm well chuffed with that session because it didn't even feel hard today.  Last week's reps were tough towards the last couple but 2 extra reps and half of the reps at a quicker pace and it felt easier.  Not going balls out on the 10 mile run at the weekend must have played a big part!   I don't think I can ever remember feeling this good about my running. image
  • Nice work on the session and reducing the times in the second half! 

    Always a great sign when feeling good after and during the sessions too, makes it feel that training is coming together

    I had a session today too - My first proper session even though I did hills other day this is a bit different!

    What's next this week for you?  



    Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭
    Cheers Scott - I'll hopefully get some strength training in tomorrow morning and maybe an easy 30 minutes later on.

    Threshold session on Thursday - 4 x 8 mins at threshold pace (6:55-7:00). Looking forward to it image
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭
    Another tasty threshold session today. 4 x 8 minutes at threshold pace (90 second recoveries). Aiming for 6:55 - 7:00 pace:

    1. 1.16 miles (6:55 pace)

    2. 1.14 miles (7:01 pace)

    3. 1.15 miles (6:59 pace)

    4. 1.14 miles (7:03 pace)

    Reps 2 and 4 were into a strong headwind so lost a couple of seconds but pretty much bang on again.

    Not feeling any issues with stepping up the mileage over the last couple of weeks so all good. Did 30 minutes easy yesterday, 30 minutes recovery planned for tomorrow and 11 miles easy on Saturday.
  • Be weary of the upping the mileage and feeling good- I went from between 25-30 ish upto mid 40s and managed 7 weeks before breaking down

    But.. Session is looking tasty! I did tempo run today and was more than happy with it being that I got my target time and Eastleigh is still 6 weeks away
    Pain is weakness leaving the body
  • CC82CC82 ✭✭✭
    Couple of easy days logged. Just shy of 40 minutes recovery run on Friday and then 11.5 miles easy in Saturday. Tried to stay off road and ran up the big local hill 'Mormond Hill' which was muddy and wet with loads of wind. Good fun. Clocked it at average of 9:21 per mile - spot on for effort I would say.

    38.56 miles for the week - biggest of my life so far. Feeling no ill effects today so should be sharp for the session on Tuesday after an easy 30 minutes tomorrow.
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