P + D training for VLM 2013

Just thought I'd start a thread for anyone planning on following a Pfitzinger and Douglas training schedule for London 2013. Who's in?

I'm currently testing out some of the sessions on the 'up to 55 miles' and '55 to 70' schedules to decide which is going to work for me. I'm thinking a hybrid of the two will probably be best...my highest weekly mileage in the last few months is 58. I'm also hoping to run sub 3 hours for the first time.

So go on...share your P+D thoughts and VLM goal time!



  • Al, good luck.... I've been looking at P&D but I'm not ready to move up to 55 miles yet image


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Sounds interesting. I'm hoping to go sub 3 at VLM. Current PB 3.07. Am

    Working on a bit of speed work until Xmas then starting the marathon plan in the new year.

    Where do you find the plans you are on about?
  • Al

    I would be interested in this, even though I'm aiming for Milton Keynes next spring, not London.

    Does that mean I'm not allowed to join in?image

    By way of background, I followed the P&D 40-55m schedule for an abortive attempt at my first marathon (not abortive due to the schedule), and am hoping to follow a loose version of their 55-70m schedule for my 2nd attempt next May. My highest weekly mileage this year is probably just shy of 60, and my average across the whole year is just under 40...
  • Millsy - the plans come from the advanced marathoning book by Pfitzinger and Douglas... hence the P&D plan. THey have plans from up to 55miles to over 115 i think.

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    I'm in...I'm a lot slower than you guys but have just PBd in Frankfurt after using the 12w / 70mimage

    Not doing VLM but will be doing a mara around the same time (as yet not picked) 

  • Millsy - similar to you, my current PB is 3.09. I'm doing the odd speed session (got a new 5k PB on Saturday - 18.10) but also testing out how many miles I can comfortably manage in a week. The schedules I'm talking about are from the book 'Advanced Marathoning' by Pfitzinger & Douglas. Comes highly recommended. I'm not sure if the schedules are available online. Just saw that Smileybob also pointed that out...

    YoungPup - you can join the party, your marathon is a few weeks after ours so you can learn from our mistakes...

    Teknik - congrats on Frankfurt PB. Any thoughts on the 70m schedule? Any particularly hard sessions that stand out? What's your weekly mileage when not training for a specific race?



  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    ..weird glitch

    I've had a long history of "bad" training, so after 2 awful mara's in May and June I decided to adopt Heart Rate training ("Hadd" version).

    Jogging around at a low heart rate for about 50m a week for 8 weeks saw my pace go up / heart rate drop, and I jumped into the P&D 12/70, but stuck to the low end of their suggested Heart Rates...basically instead of running within a range, I set myself absolute ceilings in order to control drift - 70%max for recoveries, 75%max for general /medium/long runs, 80% for mara pace. 

    The LT sessions I just ran at HM pace-15secs - this was the bit I found tough within a 70m week - really had to stretch / roller/ ice a lot to avoid niggles.

    As soon as my knee recovers I'm back to base at 55m a week  - high miles / low pace really works for me as training.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I'm hoping to get up to around 70 mpw in the build up so will have a look at a few of the schedules.
  • Teknik - I've just started trying to use a heart rate monitor as part of my training, mainly to stop myself from underestimating how hard (or easy) I'm running....

    I'm interested that you use 80% for mara pace though... I'm working on my mara pace being around 165-170bpm, which is roughly 85% WHRR or 88% max heart rate. What made you opt for 80%?
  • I always use an HRM and roughly follow the P+D zones. My last marathon was Barcelona and I really feel like I paced it right and couldn't have gone any faster (even splits). My HR was 83 - 87 % WHRR. Any more than that and I reckon I would have burnt out.

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    Hi YP

    It's the Hadd training advice - basically he makes you do a "sub-lactate threshold" runs of 10m at 80% to 83% max - the idea is that if you can keep the same pace without the heart rate going north of 83%, ie zero drift, for 10 miles, then that's your mara pace (conversely if you run faster than that / experience drift before 10m, you'll bonk on a mara). 

    Over time you can push the sustainable 10 mile sub-lactate run up in HR terms eg 81% to 84%. Can you run an even 10 miles with no increase in HR. Yes? Move up to 82% to 85% etc...the reasoning is that with no drift, you can't be above LT. With drift, you're producing lactate, so if you go on too long at that pace you'll bonk.

    I picked 80% and stuck to it - in fact in Frankfurt I stayed below 80% until mile 13, then did a negative split. It works!

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    sorry x post Al

  • p.s I do feel like the P+D recovery HR zone is too high. For me, below 65% feels like recovery, even if it means very slow running on days after hard sessions.

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    Al's post just confirms I "jogged" Frankfurt...I will be pushing up the mara HR over time

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    I agree Al, I'm sure it's a typo - should be slower than everything else

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    Good to see a pure P&D thread. So do we all start on the 17th Dec?

    For those who are at work, on a bus or otherwise tied up and haven't got their bible next to them, this link is always handy. image

    My pb used a version of P&D but with extra and extended long runs. Probably unnecessary. I am following the 55-70, again with a few adaptions to fit in races and replace a few easy runs with on bike turbo sessions.

    What is everyone doing between now and the start of the programme?

  • Teknik/YoungPup - I'm sure it depends on the individual to some extent and it's all about learning from your own experience. Personally in my first marathon I erred on the side of caution and I was around 78 - 82% WHRR, and afterwards I felt like I could have gone a little harder.

    Keir - 17th Dec yes sir, already in the diary! Before the start of the programme - trying to not have my plantar fasciitis flare up whilst simultaneously 'sampling' different sessions from the schedules.

  • Thanks Teknik / Keir

    One of the pluses of a 6th May marathon is that 18 weeks starts on 1st Jan rather than 17th Dec!

    I'm training for a HM on 18th Nov, and after that will have 6 weeks of pure base building, all low heart rates, getting used to running 6 days a week...
  • I am looking at the up to 55 mile plan, my normal weekly mileage is about 30 with a marathon PB of 3.33 so think it is the most suitable mileage plan for me.  I'll also be 59 when the VLM comes around so just feel there would be more of a risk of injury pushing my mileage up to the next level of plan in too short a period.  Next time though?

    Till 17th December I am steadily upping weekly mileage and trying some of the sessions.

  • Hi I am going to follow the plan up to 70 miles .

    I got my 10 mile ,half marathon, 20 mile and marathon pb in 2008 the year a last followed this plan.

    I enjoyed finishing the marathon feeling very strong in 3.40 I realise now I was a little conservative with my goal which was GFA of 3.45... but it was amazing feeling I had gained such strength from the plan....so yes 17th dec...count me in...image

    JF50 I too am gradually upping the mileage till then did 45 last week

  • Hi folks can I join you too? I'm doing VLM

    I've completed my autumn marathon in the slower than most on here 4:11:03 on a rather muddy multi-terrain course.  I had been wondering about the P&D plan and given that my mileage max was 52 for this one I think I might try the up to 55 miles plan - although I haven't seen a copy yet.  I just looked the link someone provided on the previous page and although the mileage is higher it is the sort of thing I'm after.  I tend to keep my mileage around 30-40 miles when not marathon training so this seems feasible. One of my problems with higher mileage is time - especially during the week when I have to run before work. At my pace I can really only manage 10 ish miles in the time I've got.

    Will order a copy of the book from amazon as can't find it anywhere locally and after a week off will be increasing to a approx 40 miles for the next few weeks.

  • Welcome JF50, Night Nurse and Fiona. Good to have you all onboard! I'm so glad this thread is proving popular as I for one am sure I'll need encouragement when training starts for real on on the hallowed Dec 17th.

    Night Nurse - good to hear your positive feelings about the 70m plan.

    Fiona - excellent purchase, the book is great not just for the schedules but for the training advice. It really does a great job explaining why it's good to train at different intensities and giving you insight into how the different paces improve fitness and effiency. And 4:11 on a multi-terrain course sounds very impressive!

    Question for all: do you think it will be beneficial to have a recovery week with little or no running just before the schedule kicks in?

  • Al I think thats a good idea we have a long 18 weeks to get through so it will be good to start on freshish legs.

    I have a 10 mile race this coming sunday then I shall just concentrate on lots of easy miles till the plan starts

    Fiona I agree with Al 4.11 for a muddy multi terrain course seems pretty good damn going to me image

  • This is just what i am looking for...i have just done my second marathon in dublin on monday and took 33 minutes off my previous time (Fort William in April) finishing in 3hrs 16 mins 00 sec. For my first marathon i did not follow any plan, for the dublin one i followed the Hal Higdon Advanced 2 program and stuck to it really well. Obviously going by the time i got the program really improved me as a runner, but i read recently that the P&D training is much better, so i am up for giving it a good go.

    I ordered the book from Amazon...should arrive tomorrow...so after a short break i am going to look forward to following a new plan.

  • Al R yes I think it is a good idea to have a toned down easy week, no running is taking it bit too far down I expect for most people contemplating the plans, but I reckon take out the speed work and any really long runs and most of us will be fresh for December 17th. I have a 10 mile race planned for the end of the month but won't be racing after that till I get into the plan and that in itself is going to be good getting people's thoughts and methods of fitting some races within the plan.

    The other topic I think is interesting to get views on is fitting this in during the darkest part of the year.  The plans are quite technical and I think will be a challenge making sure you are running to plan.

  • Is anyone doing the Silverstone HM on March 3rd? I've signed up as it seems well-timed. P&D don't seem keen on races that long so it will require some thought as how to fit it in.

    Anyone else have other races booked in? I'm thinking one more parkrun before Christmas, with the hope of going under 18 minutes as a confidence boost for sub 3 marathon form.

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    I normally book races to fit the schedule's required Long run with X @ MP... HM's are good for this, with a jog before/ after to make up the mileage

  • Teknik - that's probably the best way to do it, but I find I don't have enough self control to run an HM at mara pace... Also I get a confidence boost from plugging my PBs into the Mcmillan pace calculator for predicting my marathon time...

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Hi all,  I followed the P&D in 2011 and finally broke 3:30 after 8 attempts so can recommend it.  I followed the up to 55 mpw and extended a couple of the longer runs.   I found the LT sessions really hard at the beginning but by the end that pace was my MP. 

    Fiona - well done on Sunday.  I was there too and it certainly wasn't a course to measure your marathon ability on but it was excellent for building mental and physical strength!   I used the TM as a marker in 2010 before starting with the P&D and knocked 10 minutes off my time.

    Good luck all.

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