P + D training for VLM 2013



  • Hi everyone, is it too late for me to join? Only just found this thread.

    I have followed the upto 55 before for my mara PB of 3:08 and hoping to follow the upto 70 this time. I have only ever run over 60 miles a week a few times, so I may also swap between the 2 schedules. I have spent the last 5 weeks averaging 45 miles, running  mainly slow and recovery runs. I have thrown a couple of quicker sessions in (1:34 hilly half last week), but nothing approaching fast. Like a few I would much rather run slowly for 2 hours than try and run quickly for 20 minutes.

    Hoping to stay niggle free and go sub 3 at VLM next April.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Hi Scooby Dudek, perfect time to join as I suspect its going to get busy as everyone starts their schedules in the next few days.

    Out of curiosity, did the P&D schedule help you to get to a PB of 3:08 or were you already running around that time?   I'm hoping to run sub 3:15, but was worried that this might be asking too much of the sub-55 plan (i.e. the mileage would be too low), so you've encouraged me image 


  • Go CazGo Caz ✭✭✭

    Teknik Thanks very much for the link. It's handy that you can apply the schedule to the relevant dates. Do you happen to know if there's one for the up to 55 miles plan? I can't find it on the site.

    Six mile aerobic run done today and 13 miles planned for tomorrow. Then the schedule starts...

    I was wondering, how many of you are planning to follow the schedule religiously (!) and run on Christmas day?

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    Hello all- haven't been on here for ages, but I too am going to be on a P&D schedule for London, so will be starting in a week's time.

    I am actually in Lanzarote from next weekend for 2 weeks, so will not be following that closely but will at least try and get the mileage in.

    Have been plodding around the last month or so, and am running about 50 miles a week now with a long run of around 15 or 16 miles on the weekend.

    My last marathon was Chester in early October, and has taken me a lot longer to recover from that then I'm used to. I guess I'm not getting any younger. I cracked 3 hours there - so I guess my goal for London at moment is just a PB...but sub 2.55 would be nice.

    Once back from Lanzarote will be on here a lot more comparing notes with you lots.

  • Go Caz - I was very kindly given a very neat and tidy XL file by Minni which is a spreadsheet based on the P&D schedules which allows a lot of data input and analysis. If anyone wants a copy PM me and I will forward it on. Its a pretty neat peice of kit.

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    You beat me to it Mennaniasimage....Go Caz  sorry I picked the wrong one: There is this one if you don't like Excel - http://www.fetcheveryone.com/training-plan-view.php?id=9 

    but it's been adapted so you'll need to amend it once loaded

  • stutyr  12 months previously my mara PB was 3:24, but it was very poorly run. If I had been sensible on the days before and during the mara, sub 3:20 was on. I then trained steadily and relatively injury free during the autumn and I believe this helped a lot. I was going to aim for 3:15 but VLM changed the GFA times to 3:10, so that became my new hoped for time. 

    I believe P&D upto 55 got me from 3:20 to sub 3:10. However a big reason I gained so much from the schedule was knowledge gained from these forums (particularly the 3:15 thread). This additional knowledge helped me get the most benefit from P&D. Which is what I hope this thread will help us all do.

  • Stutyr, I would second that the 55 plan is enough to get some one who is in reasonable shape and has done a bit of base building, to a sub 3:15. I'm going to be somewhere between the 55 and 70 plan with a few minor tweaks, and would hope for sub 3 again.
  • Scooby, so what extra tips can you give us ? or shall we wait till different questions arise ? a 10 min improvement is fantastic at that level.

    Caz to answer your question to us all  I have had to juggle  the first 2 weeks in places due to christmas family commitments, .. I shall have to take next sunday  off and do sundays long run on christmas eve so christmas day witll be a rest day image after that its pretty much as per schedule, although mine differs very slighty as I have the first edition book..so while you are all tempo running on Tuesday...I have general with strides !! my first tempo isnt till week 3 !! weird. but not complaining

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    Yikes! Just realised 18 week plan starts this week, not next week!

  • Hi Everyone haven't been on here for a while as been just knocking out the easy miles while trying to stay fit and avoid the niggles I keep getting.

    17miles this am with 5miles at 10% of MP, tough out here in the Singapore humidity.

    My plan starts on xmas day for Manchester marathon image

  • First week in the bag!  Only 17 to go image

    I was quietly pleased with my discipline this morning.  12m at MP+20% for the first five miles, middle two miles at MP+15%, and last five miles at MP+10% (bang-on that pace in the final mile).

    My heart rate range was calculated as 141-160bpm, but my actual mile averages were 129-144bpm.  The peak heart rate was 155bpm, which was either up a longish incline, or when I passed some vicious dogs guarding a used-car lot.  Two alsations, a rottweiler and a mastiff (which was standing taller than the gate holding them in!).  If you've seen the original Omen film.....  

    It was the most vulnerable I've ever felt while running.

  • Night nurse. The tips are probably things we all know, but ignore for various reasons. Such as, more MP efforts during long runs. At least 5 x 20 miles runs. I also ran 2 x 22 mile runs unfueled, at a very easy Time on feet pace.

    Best advice I got (which I still ignore) was;

    Run you fast runs fast and your slow runs very slow.

    Again, most of the advice is in P&D, it just needs repeating and following during the training.

  • Ditto to that Tenjiso!  

    After a lot of lower HR long runs recently not worrying about pace it was a bit more work keeping a steady pace and I had some issues getting the MP+10% right in that I ended up going 10-15seconds too fast for most of the second half; good thing I have a rest day tomorrow!

    Started at the bottom of recommended HR range and hit the top end when going 10-15s per mile too fast, so it seems as though the planned marathon pace I am basing it off is round about right.  

    Have to say though the thought of running faster than this for 26.2 miles is rather scary, this is going to be some journey into the unknown!

  • Tenjiso, well done on your first week. To make your posts more meaningful, your heart rate would be better expressed as %max or %heart rate reserve. That way you can compare it with the P&D guide, and with others. I'm sure the dogs were just 'paying'!!

    For me, my LR didn't go to plan. One of my shin muscles went into spasm yesterday and heel striking was too painful. I ran my 15m on my forefront which I've never done in the past other than a few hundred yards. I was well slow, and got nowhere near 70% MaxHR. Still, it was time on my feet.
  • Thanks Also-Ran.  I had to think about the calculation for %age of HRR image

    Using HRR, the way I calculated was:

        ((Actual Heart Rate - Resting Heart Rate) / Heart Rate Reserve) x 100

    Is this what you mean?  If so, I get the following figures:

    The P&D range given for the MLR/LR is 65% to 78%.  I calculated mine to be in the range 57% to 71% at the prescribed pace, and averaging 62% overall.

    I don't mind erring on the side of caution on easy pace runs, just in case the maximum is wrong (since erroneous readings on the HRM are not unkown image).   Does this look okay?
  • Go CazGo Caz ✭✭✭

    Just wondering, do you all think that it is essential to know your heart rate? (I would guess yes from many of the posts) I have a heart rate monitor (in fact I think I have two) but have never got round to using it. Instead, I just go by pace (or sometimes perceived effort or pattern of breathing). Do you think I need to bite the bullet, get out the instruction booklet and start using it? Are they always reliable anyway?

    Teknik Thanks for the link.

    Peace on Earth Have PM'd you

    Night Nurse Yes, I suppose we will all be juggling to fit the runs in around the festivities. I have always started marathon training after Christmas in the past.

  • Caz in my opinion a heart rate monitor is really usefull, but it's not the only way to train and race.

    I do triathlons as well as running and triathletes get really obsessive with numbers, as well as heart rate a lot of them use power metres on the bike as well, it made me laugh when I found out most of the top triathletes in the World Championships this year train and raced on RPE.

    I use my heart rate monitor for easy runs to make sure I don't overdo it but I never race with it.

    Heart rate can be elevated or depressed for a number of factors so I think you should use a heart rate monitor but don't become a slave to it.

    Most of the above is just my opinion though and I'm sure someone will disagree with me!
  • Go CazGo Caz ✭✭✭

    Thank you. That is really useful. Opinions are good! I do wonder about having even more stats to obsess over. Also, I don't think I overdo my easy runs, as I'm quite happy to go at a relaxed pace on an easy day - except maybe when another runner whizzes past!

  • Hello all.  I am starting P&D 18/55 tomorrow for either London (club ballot on Wed) or Manchester.  I need to swap my long run day around to Friday and my tempo/speed session to my club run on a Wed.  Anyone any advice best way to do this?  What day would I do other runs?  I can get out most days so could probably do the medium length run on Mon or Sun.  Already, it is messing my head up! 

  • GoCaz,

    I didn't use heart rate at all on my last marathon training. I went by feel and pace. I used P&D mainly for the workout types and mileage to structure my week , but took the pace from the Mcmillan calculators and tried to run on that basis.

    In general I ran the long runs too fast, and VO2 sessions too slow compared to P&D. This worked out ok in the end, but to add some new interest to the training, I'm focusing more on heart rate this time and will try to work closer to P&D guidelines.

    Tenjiso - that looks right to me. my heart rate was well down today due to a niggle, and taking things easy. Never mind, next weeks longish run has some marathon pace miles to enjoy pre-Christmas
  • Morning all

    Well I'm getting geared up to start the plan tomorrow.

    Did 15 miles on Saturday and it was a beautiful day, however, I now have DOMS. image Don't know why as I've been doing 15 miles comfortably for months now.  Maybe it was because I haven't used that route in ages.

    I will definitely be running on Christmas day - I always do.  I have step children and my husband always visits them in the morning so I have the time to do it.  Plus it is bliss to run without much traffic about as there is hardly any.

    GoCaz - I've never used an HRM before, but have been using it just recently as this plan seems to rely on it. I must say, I've found it easier to keep to a steady effort with the HRM than I have with pace.  I use some quite hilly routes and I have found that it is useful to seem how much harder you work going uphill and therefore to slow a bit to keep the effort the same.

  • Hi Scooby, P&D up to 55 only has three 20 mile runs, so did you augment the plan? And did you make other changes too?

    I'm very interested in this point as I've seen so many people advocate 5x20 miles in training. But P&D don't! 

  • Go CazGo Caz ✭✭✭

    LunchtimeRunner As I've always understood it, it's 5x long runs of 18 miles and upwards and that is what you will find in the P&D schedule.

    Fiona I can see what you mean about hills, as there are a few near to where I live, so an HRM could be useful there.

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    LR - I think the idea behind P&D is the mid week MLRs make up for lack of 20+mile LSRs. However many people do add a bit of distance to the LSRs to hit the 'magic' 5x20m.

    HeOw - Don't stress! The runs on each days are only put that way as some people prefer to be told exactly what to do and when. So long as you fit the 3 key sessions in per week, ideally with an easier day between them (but 2 back to back max if necessary) then you will be fine. Most important of all is the programme fits in to your lifestyle and is sustainable.

    I had planned to run today, but after a hard 18m yesterday, I might follow the schedule of a rest day on day 1. image

  • GoCaz, Keir, thanks - makes sense. I'm inclined to believe that P&D know what they are doing with balancing the plan. Doing long LSRs without enough other mileage seems like a recipe for injury to me. I should know, I've just spent a week off for that very reason image. Pushed my long run up to 17 miles, but probably a bit early given I've only been in the late 30s per week. Fingers crossed I'm OK now (sore achilles, which now feels good), about to resume gentle training, before I start the plan proper in 2 weeks.

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    The thing to remember is that these are 'off the shelf' plans. They work for most people. Just like a size Medium race t-shirt fits most people. 

    But "you are all different" (to quote Life of Brian).

    To turn a standard race t-shirt into a tailored t-shirt you would require and individuals personal measurements and nip and tuck here and there. Likewise these marathon plans can / could / should be altered to accomodate individual's specific needs - whether that is more speed work, longer LSRs or cross training instead of an odd easy run.

    Pureists will now stone me!

  • On the subject of the LSR's....  what are peoples feelings about going longer than 20 miles?  Do you all stick with the maximum 20 advocated in the P&D plans?

    I think I would like to try a 22m run about five weeks out from the marathon.  The reason being that the additional 10k (i.e. from 20m onwards) seems like such a long way during the event, and I wonder if only have 4 miles longer than training might help.


  • Tenjiso, personally I don't think going over 20 helps very much physiologically, but for some there may be some psychological benefits. I have done quite a few over 20 in the past. Not sure what I will do this  time, as I am going to be running lower midweek mileage than my previous marathons. Will be interesting to hear others thoughts.

    I've also done a MLR on a saturday and LR on a Sunday to up the ante. This time I'm trying my best to stick to P&D and not go off piste!

    Running a 20 miler on the accumulated fatigue from a couple of months of marathon training  is a tough session in itself. The P&D 75 plan goes up to 22miles

  • I won't dispute it's probably more for psychological reasons that I was thinking about going longer image

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