P + D training for VLM 2013



  • Hi, has anyone ever found that they're just unable to maintain the prescribed pace in a training run? e.g. the second week of the P&D 18wk 55mpw plan has a 13 mile run with 8miles at marathon pace. Given that i'll have been running all of my runs in the 3 months prior to starting this program at a pace much slower than marathon pace (i.e. following a HADD-style base building) i'm not convinced I'll be able to do 8miles of a 13 mile run at mara pace. It's one thing having a pre-requisite weekly mileage before starting the plan, but if all your miles are slow isn't there a risk you're just not fit enough to maintain a faster pace?

  • Marathon Pace should be reasonably comfortable for 8 miles. The next 3 months get you up to the point of being able to hold it for 26.2. For base training I run easy most of the time, and include some tempo runs (faster than MP). I don't really use heart rate or pace during this period - just run. If I set a realistic MP, then week2 P&D should be OK.

    Maybe relax the MP a bit, until later on in the training when you have got the measure of yourself, and perhaps tested yourself in a half.

  • sound advice also-ran. I've arbitrarily picked a training MP based on my current 5k PB and a translation of this into paces for longer distances based on the mcmillan calculator, but i guess different people can "translate" paces between distances with varying degress of success. I'll try with the MP suggested by mcmillan and adjust accordingly if i'm not able to hit it. I'll also give myself a break and try not to worry about it image

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    AgentGinger if you're using Hadd then run it with a 83%max ceiling rather than a pre-prescribed pace.  It will be slower than the McMillan calculator, probably, but don't worry, you'll improve over the months to come.

    Remember, Hadd said the ability to hold a level pace for 10 miles at 80%-83% with no drift is an indicator of what MP should be...

    Like A-R says, don't thrash yourself in the early weeks....

  • AgentGinger

    For my last abortive marathon attempt I did what you're doing, and used a combination of McMillan and Jack Daniels' Vdot formula to convert my 19:30 5k time into a suggested MP of around 7:10-7:20/mile. This was way too aggressive for me, and I struggled (failed) to complete several of the runs with large blocks of MP in.

    This time round I'm planning to use a recent half-marathon time to give me a rough guide,and then in the first couple of weeks of my marathon training I'll see how that pace feels and adjust accordingly.... I'm also hoping that 6 months of fairly consistent 40ish miles a week will mean my overall endurance is better, and I can maintain a decent pace for longer...

  • 10.5 miles tonight in 93 mins..max hr 75% average 70% one of those ...wow what a great run..runs , you know what I mean.image rounds the week off to 52 miles

  • I managed 14 miles yesterday.  Having finally managed to establish max HR when in Berlin (had to use the treadmill while there so thought I might as well) I can finally use HR to pace the run.  So managed to keep WHR below 70% for pretty much the whole run. It only went higher twice but still less than 75%.  The second time was 1 mile from home when the rain came on rather heavier and clearly I was subconsciously trying to get back faster. image 40 miles for the week. image

  • Sounds like everyone is going really well.

    My weekend consisted of 14 miles on Sat and 5 on Sunday to take me up to 45 for the week.

    This is about the maximum I've ever done in a week so it's all going to be new territory from now on!
  • I'm using P&D 18 weeks up to 55 miles for the first time - training for the Paris marathon which is 2 weeks before VLM (sorry, I can't resist a thread which is so relevant, for once!)...currently just started week 2 as I've built in a couple of extra weeks for various reasons.  Like Teknik mentioned, I'm setting my pace using a recent HM time which was in October.  Hoping to pick the pace up later on but I'm starting out on the back of an injury so I don't want to be on the bench within a month!

  • Nice miles Fiona and Mark my longest to date is about 14 so we are ready to jump into the scheduled 15m long run that first week although I may sneak one in this weekend 

    Fiona we are "allowed" to go up to 75% so good effort on keeping it low.

    Hi YM image 

  • Hi everyone - I started running in May (run/walking actually) and have been losing weight and running further ever since. My weekly mileage for the last seven weeks has been between 30 and 38 miles with a 50 mile week in there (due to a strava challenge). My half marathon time (i've only done 1) is 1:53:00 and my 10k time (i've done 2) is 51:38. 

    I have just started reading P&D and am considering following the up to 55 mile plan even though this is my first marathon. The alternative is to continue following the plan that got me here. I obviously started that plan way too early but it has been great in giving me a structure plan i can follow.

    Not sure whether to stick with what I have (4 days a week - 5 mile easy, 8-10 mid week long, 5 mile tempo, 16-20 mile long slow, plus one optional day which i have not been doing) or start on P&D. I have a couple of weeks to decide by my reckoning. 

    I have never done any speed work as such - only the tempo run i do each week.

  • Morning - what a lovely morning for running and I'm stuck inside. image

    Night Nurse - I know....... I thought I would have trouble keeping my heart down but obviously not.

    Khanivore - sorry I don't really have anything to offer by way of advice.  I think P&D advises that you need to be doing at least 35 miles/week to be able to follow the plan so you should be ok.  I guess it depends on what your goals are.  You might find it a bit tough going if you've only been doing that sort of mileage for a few weeks.  Therefore it may be better to stick with what you are currently doing, but equally you might not have any problems with the mileage. I think you just need to be careful that you are not upping the miles too quickly as that is when you risk injury.

  • Hi khanivore - wow, for a beginner you are certainly clocking up the miles! Just be careful that you don't do too much too soon and get injured. The P&D 'up to 55 miles per week' schedule is great for people who are regularly running 30-35 miles per week in training and are used to the variations i.e. hills, speed, tempo etc. and possibly have done a couple of marathons under 4 hours. I followed it because I wanted to get under 3.30 at the time, having got close several times, and it worked for me. Just be wary that it is fairly intensive, especially with the longer mid-week run, but it does get results. Good luck with the training and your first marathon!

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    Khanivore you'll be fine. The 18/55 starts with 33m, with a 12m longest run, and you're comfortably over that already.[p.152 gives 25 mpw as the lowest weekly mileage to consider starting a plan]

    Speedwork doesn't kick in until 10 weeks are gone, so done worry, and 5 days instead of 4 isn't a big jump...it's just one more "easy" run.

    Hop aboard, it's easier in a groupimage

  • Khanivore...What Teknik says...go for it

  • +1 for Tekniks advice but to add if time and life gets in the way and you have weeks when 4 runs are only possible miss out the filler miles not a quality session. Good luck!

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Is anyone doing preparatory races as part of their training?  For my previous marathon, I did a half-marathon about six weeks before (setting my PB image) and was talking to another runner at the start who also had a 20mile race in their preparation for the same marathon.  The marathon plan I was following included racing a HM in its schedule.

    This half-marathon is seven weeks before VLM next year, and in the sub-55mile plan this would be the same day as a 20m long run.  I don't really want to replace this 20 miler, but I had positive results from a tune-up race in my previous marathon.

    Has anyone successfully integrated some warm-up events into their P&D plan, as I'm a little surprised that there aren't any in there.?


  • I will almost certainly run a couple of HMs after Christmas and perhaps a 20 mile race as well.  Might just need to add a few miles at the end of the HMs if I am disciplined enough. I know somebody who was ultra training and added about 6 miles to the start when he ran London.

  • stutyr, I'm in the same boat as you: that is, HM (Reading) 7 weeks before the full (MK in my case). I've been wondering whether to shift that 20 miler a week later or a week earlier. I'm gravitating toward doing it earlier, and shifting the whole plan a week (or even two) earlier to make room for a bit of taper and recovery. But I really am no expert.

    As for warm-up events, P&D do have them toward the end but they are short, between 8K and 15K as I recall. I guess we just have to adapt a bit. I think the odd distance range reflects the way things are in the US, where they seem to have alot of intermediate distance events to choose from : 5m, 6m, 7m etc. whereas we tend to have mostly the standard 5K, 10K, HM (with the odd 10 miler).

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    Stutyr I normally plan events to coincide with the MP finish long runs, but that means 'holding back' to MP rather than racing them (which is easier if you've already run 6 miles or so before hand).

    If I plan to 'race' a HM, I normally add a week to the plan to taper in / recover.

  • Whatever you do - do not race the 20 Miler or do at MP if its near your marathon... MP towards the end is fine as per teknik comments..... but you need to save your energies for the maion event!!  In effect its a  LSR training run with "friends" - with some faster running towards the end of required

  • A bit of reading back for me i have used a mixture of P&D and my own training for the last 3 or so years and normally top out at 90+ miles a week. I know a few peeps on here and a lot that I don't, at the building stage I wouldn't panic if your unable to hit certain paces you will find that the speed will come more in the second half.

    Stutyr as far as doing a half marathon 7 weeks out thats about perfect mine comes with 5 weeks to go but I never taper for it use it as a speed session and add a mile warm up and a couple after and it will equal a long run.

  • I'm planning to incorporate quite a few races in my pre-marathon training, with the HMs and a 20miler being chances to do big blocks of MP, and the 10ks being ran hard as replacements for either a tempo or a VO2 max session.

    My marathon is MK, so 2 weeks after VLM, and I've entered races as follows

    Jan 1st - Knacker Cracker (hilly 10-12k)

    Jan 6th - Tadworth 10 (hilly 10m)

    3rd Feb - Chichester 10k (fast, aim to race this)

    Mid Feb - Dorney HM (planning to make this a bit longer with 4-5 miles before, and then aim to do at least 10 miles at MP)

    3rd March - Spitfire 20 (depends how I feel, but hopefully 14m+ @ MP)

    24 March - Eastleigh 10k (flat, will race this all out)

    None of these are target races, but are all just stepping stones along the way - which for me means a chance to see how my fitness is progressing and to do some training on the psychological side.

    I'm still hoping to find a decent local 10k (or a 10miler) in early-mid April, so any suggestions welcomed....
  • I only have 2 races planned so far a 10 miler mid Feb and half on march 3rd, too much tapering and recovering otherwise, unless you can be really self disciplined and NOT race them.

  • Half for me mid feb and will race it as a barometer to help set/confirm my MP. The plan suggests either 10 or 12 at MP that weekend( depending which one you are following). Mini taper and mini recovery will cost me a few quality sessions but hopefully no more. The certainty phsycologically should outweigh the potential negatives. Well, thats the plan anyway.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the advice, I like the idea of swapping one of the marathon pace runs for the HM but not sure I could restrain myself from racing it.  I'll see how it goes, I'm planning to start the schedule a week early to give me some buffer for illness/injury, so that means I start next week!?!

    That would put the HM at the end of a recovery week which has a medium-long 14m run on that date.  So that week would be a mini-taper & a race image.  As a back-up, the previous week is a MP run so I could swap those weeks.


  • Go CazGo Caz ✭✭✭

    Hi everyone. I'm a bit of a latecomer on here but I just got the P&D book from Amazon on the strength of this thread and it seems really interesting, so thanks! I was looking for a good schedule for my fifth marathon ( VLM 2013) and think I will follow the 18-week 55-mile plan. I'm hoping for a marathon time of about 3:45-50 - not fast by P&D standards I know, but I do have a Good for Age place. Does anyone have any tips/formula on how to calculate MP - 10% or 20%? Sorry if that's really stupid or has already been covered. I have read most of the posts but it's a lot to catch up on!

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    Hi Caz

    I assume you mean MP +10% and MP +20% for the long slow runs - 3h45 is 8'35" pace (515 secs per mile). So 515 x 110% = 566 secs (9'26" pace) and 515 x 120% = 618 secs (10'18" pace)image


    Benched for 2 weeks at least here...tendonitis on VMO/patella...back to the swimming pool, I guessimage

  • I don't have the book with me at the moment but I'm pretty sure that the 55-70 schedule has you up to 20 miles by about January.

    My plan is to extend the long runs a touch because I think they look a bit light, so ill be doing 20ish mile runs 3 weeks out of every 4 till taper time.

    If I stick to this ill have more than enough long runs in the bag so ill be able to drop a couple for races.

    I'm doing the York brass monkey half in January and I want to find another in early March.
  • I'm 90% certain I'm not going to do a Spring marathon now. It's just too cold and miserable outside: the idea of running 24km on the way home from work midweek when it's pitch black and minus 1 is not terribly pleasant! The other difficulty is that it could easily be 20-25 degrees in April which isn't ideal if you've done all your training in Arctic conditions. Much more pleasant to train for an Autumn marathon...

    Convince me I'm wrong and need to "man up"?

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