P + D training for VLM 2013



  • AG - I hope it is nothing and you are OK for Monday

    HeOw - can't you take your kids with you to help with the volunteering or are they too small still?  At the Newcastle parkrun there are lots of kids volunteering with parents.

    Chris - with the marathon over, at least you have the luxury of doing nowt until recovered.

  • Did that once the other week Fiona and I don't think Mark, the run director wants to see me ever again with them!! It was too much hard work, I was no use nor ornament! 

  • AG - Hope you feel better soon and have a great run on Monday, I ran MK last April and have some particularly wet & windy memories of that race! (Chris hope you feel better quickly as well)

    Sorry for my lack of activity but I've actually been laid up for nearly two weeks (immediately after the VLM really) with a rather nasty foot infection (at one Doctor's visit he was actually talking about Gout and a 'worse case' scenario of losing toes - I kid you not!) Anyway luckily things seem to be settling down down now and I can at least walk again (can't even think about running ATM)

    For what it's worth and apologising for the delay (due to the above) I thought I’d report in with my VLM 2013 experience 

    As some of you may know my aim for the race had always been a Sub 3 finish having run 3:13:38 at last years Milton Keynes Marathon (which I was pretty disappointed with at the time but at least gave me the qualifying time to enter the VLM)

    Anyway I live in Devon so decided to combine the race with a visit to my wife’s family who live just north of the M25. We travelled up the Wednesday before & my brother in law & I visited the Excel on Thursday in order for me to register (we had the obligatory mooch around the Expo as well which was quite interesting) Thursday was also my last pre marathon run with a gentle 5m effort @ 8m/m pace. Saturday my wife & I travelled down to our pre-booked hotel in central London to minimise travelling on race morning

    Race day dawned cold & bright & l was downing a large bowl of porridge @ 6:15am prior to travelling to the start. Got to London Bridge via the tube then onto the train to Maze Hill where I met a guy called  Ivan from North London who was also hoping for a Sub 3 finish. We were on the same start (Green) so enjoyed the walk from the station to the assembly area chatting about previous races/hopes for the day etc. With all the pre race stuff out the way (baggage, toilets, drinks, stretching etc) I was in my pen & ready to go @ about 9:50

     I have to say the the 30 sec silence observed prior to the race starting was quite moving & impeccably observed so well done to everybody – then it was the final countdown, the gun fired and we’re off! 

    The first few miles were pretty uneventful for me (apart from mile 1 being off target pace @ 7:22 due to the congestion) and I soon settled into a ‘comfortable’ 6:45 pace. I was amazed at about mile 4 to recognise a bloke I know up ahead (a guy called Jamie who runs for my local running club so we often see each other out training) I cruised up alongside him & said hello – we then spent the next 7 or 8 miles running together (he was also hoping for sub 3) & swapped a few stories – certainly helped to while away the early miles! 

    The approach and run over Tower Bridge is a point that will stick in my memory for a long time as the support (& noise) was incredible, definitely a high point of the race for me. After the bridge a right turn and through half way in 1:29:15 so bang on target pace (feeling OK as well) I’d lost touch with Jamie by this point who had fallen behind me & I didn’t see him again (I later found out he finished in 3:20) but had now picked up the 2:59 pacer so decided to stick with him till the latter stages and see if I had anything left once 20M had been & gone. I did exactly that all around the Isle Of Dogs/Canary Wharf loop but was beginning to feel the effort by about mile 19, but was still on target pace though and not feeling too bad so all in all OK 

    The last 6 miles were a tough time for me. As we went through 20M I had a strong sensation of wanting to slow down and, for the 1st time, was struggling to keep up with the p

  • pacer. I knew that if I let him go I wouldn’t be able to get back to him and that my best chance for a sub 3 finish (as I was still on pace at this point) would disappear down the road in front of me. At this point I gave myself a massive internal (I hope!) talking to and reminded myself of all the P&D MP & LT pace runs I had completed and that this was  what it was all for – to give me the tools to keep going at this point in the race. So I clenched my teeth, drove my legs forward and told myself NOT to lose the pacer’s side (I distinctly remember at a couple of points physically increasing my pace to close the gap between us) and that it would all be over soon (just 30 mins more etc) 

    Coming out of Blackfriars underpass and seeing Big Ben in the distance was a massive boost for me as I knew that’s where all my family were. I seemed to be struggling less with the pace at this point and was reasonably confident of making it, particularly as we went through mile 24 & I checked my (manual) lap split of 6:28 – I knew at this point I wasn’t going to let it slip so close to the finish. Hit mile 25 and could see the turn @ Big Ben up ahead – got a massive boost from my (screaming) family as I turned into Parliement Square & onward to Birdcage walk (which at that point seemed to stretch into the ever receding distance!) It was literally just a case of hanging on at this point. I hit mile 26 with a 6:45 mile and saw the ‘385 Yards To Go’ sign (really?!) and then it was another right turn into The Mall and there was the finish! I can honestly say that I could not raise even the slightest of sprints, I was going flat out & must have looked a right sight! Anyway the finish finally came and I stopped the clock @ 02:59:05 with a celebratory punch of the air, job done!

    The organisation at the finish (& the start & all the way round to be fair) was fantastic and so slick. Chip removal, medal presentation, finish photo, goody bag issue & baggage retrieval all within the space of 5 minutes or so – excellent. Sat down for a few minutes to change my shoes & have a drink before walking (slowly) down to Horse Guards to meet the waiting family. As I was making my way down I bumped into Ivan (the guy I travelled to the start with) He was a bit upset (but still happy) as he finished just outside 3 hrs (03:00:43 I think) & said that he saw the 2:59 pacer (with me next to him) pass him in the final mile – he said he tried to pick his pace up to hook up with us but just didn’t have it in him – anyway we both congratulated each other & went our separate ways when I then met up with all my family at the ‘P’ meet & greet point where I had a lovely lie down on the grass in the sun to start my recovery 

    It was an amazing day and one I’ll never forget. The atmosphere and crowd support (all the way round) was unbelievable and was a massive help so thank you to each & every spectator/supporter that took the time to cheer us all on. As amazing as it was and as much as I ‘enjoyed’ it I can honestly say I have no intention of running it again next year (despite running a FGFA qualifying time) – for me the goal was always a sub 3 marathon PB and now that I’ve achieved it I leave London and the Marathon challenge a very happy and satisfied bunny 

     I have to finish by thanking the P&D schedule as well. By following it and in less than 12 months I’ve reduced my Marathon PB by a massive 14:33 from my last effort of 03:13:38 to 02:59:05 (and I thought I’d trained hard for the last one!) – I’d say that it works!!

    (sorry for the overly long post btw - hope it wasn't too boring!!)

  • ShazmoShazmo ✭✭✭

    Ginger - do you cope well in the heat? I have to say I can get the trots/palpitations/ overwhelming fatigue if I get hot. if it's any consolation, my last little run I did before the marathon last week was dreadful. I could barely muster a jog, felt rough. But I went on to smash my target time, so have faith. 

    15w, I was vaguely aware your name was Stephen but when I saw you, your forum name sprung to mInd. I did the same last yeaat when I spotted Quays Runner (don't know if you remember his from last years Manchester forum)....I was shouting 'Quays, Quays' like a right tit....he didn't see me image

    Ive still not run yet since Sunday. I feel ready to run again but just haven't had time. I'm travelling back to the North West gain today for the long weekend. HeOw, I will be traipsing round the pubs of Frodsham tonight....do you go there, seeing as you're a Helsby runner?    

  • ShazmoShazmo ✭✭✭

    PS - sorry to hear some of you have also been ill. As Ten says, hope it's not cyber contagious!!

  • I've already washed my hands twice just in case it is cyber contagious or text message contagious as my Niece and Nephew and parents have all had a nasty sounding lurgy.

    Dave - great report and well done on the hard earned sub 3.

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    dave  - nice happy report there after HeOw's horror story...sure you won't change your mind about that FGFA place?!

    Shazmo - you must have felt a bit silly shouting 15 too....but, who cares eh?!

    6 mile run today. Still garmin free so dont' know exactly how fast I'm running but I'm sure it's too fast...

  • Great report Dave. We must have been sitting next to each other under the trees at 'P' point. We would have been there at much the same time as I was waiting for my fellow runners from 'Porthcawl' club. I bet you are in some of my photos! ha.

  • MennaniaMennania ✭✭✭


    It appears we ran the last half of the race within 5m of each other - where you in a white top?right on the shoulder of the pacer (the 2nd one - the first one dropped out around the isle of dogs I think?)

  • Fiona - thanks (many congrats on your recent exploits too btw - hats off to you!)

    15 - at the moment no! (I'm sure that after a bit of a rest though I'll probably end up changing my mind!)

    Chris - I hit the grass @ about 1:30pm and was there for about an hour, I would have been the one with the stupid grin on my face! image

    Men - yep that was me! White top ('Dave' written across the front!) & stuck to that pacer like a man possessed! - we're probably in quite a few photos together?


  • TenjisoTenjiso ✭✭✭

    Great report Dave, and congratulations on a brilliant time.

  • Great race Dave, spot on with the pace and great race report.  Congratulations on your FGFA and surely not, the first retirement off the thread.  Hope the foot problem clears up quickly 

  • chickstachicksta ✭✭✭

    Absolultely brilliant reports HeOw and Dave image

    Are we keeping this thread going or is it going to be the autumn thread from now on?

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    We're waiting for AG to finish...come on AG, hurry up!

  • chickstachicksta ✭✭✭

    Poor AG - it'll be all eyes on you then. No pressure image

    Forgot to mention shazmo - completey missed out on her brilliant cliff-hanger race report. I just love reading everyone's stories image. I think I will copy and paste them into a word doc to make for motivational reading for next year image

  • ShazmoShazmo ✭✭✭

    What a good idea to save the race reports, Chick. They really do make great reading. 


  • AgentGingerAgentGinger ✭✭✭

    great race report Dave P. I hope I can muster some of that never say die spirit on monday.

    I shoudl make it clear that I feel absolutely fine now. i'm not suffering from any kind of illness. My cramps, diarrhoea, dizziness, sweating and hyperventilating went almost as quickly as it came on. I was right as rain within a couple of hours and carb loading on Ben n Jerry's last night image

    I've no idea what triggered the upset stomach, but it was a blitzkrieg rather than a war of attrition, but anyway, i'm taking it easy this weekend, trying not to get sunburned. Going to visit my fiance's new niece tomorrow, then a mate's pub garden birthday drinks on Sunday where i'll be trying not to look jealous that everyone else is having a nice cold pint in the sun. I'm saving my cold pint to gloat over when i meet my mate on Monday afternoon and *hopefully* give him the bad news that he's now officially slower than me image



  • Night NurseNight Nurse ✭✭✭
    15West wrote (see)

    We're waiting for AG to finish...come on AG, hurry up!




    No pressure AG image but we are all waiting for you to beat your mates time

  • +1 AG for passing on the bad newsimage.  Have a great race

  • MennaniaMennania ✭✭✭

    Remember AG you will be the footnote to this wonderful thread, so dont be shitimage

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    Good luck AG, and thanks for the detailed account of your last run; I actually WAS eating when I read it. Hope you are feeing better now. It may well have been food poisoning as that doesn't always linger as you were expecting - I remember something similar happening to me once years ago when I accidentally re-heated some cheese sauce more than once, felt fine for a couple of hours, then got stomach cramps and diarrhoea immediately after doing some exercise. It was a fencing class, so it was a good thing it was after and not during - not a good thing to happen when you're dressed head to toe in white clothes. image

  • TenjisoTenjiso ✭✭✭

    Last night I did four tentative recovery miles on the treadmill, in case I had to abandon the run in a hurry. Since it passed without incident, this morning I did 7m outdoors GA with strides image  My left knee was feeling it a bit on the strides, so I didn't quite go full pelt, but it was great to feel a bit of speed. The knee was fine otherwise, but I've spent a bit of time afterwards rolling the ITB.

    Tomorrow is 9m GA. Starting to feel like some normality is being resumed.

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    Bit of a hangover this morning. Thanks for the spreadsheet Men...too many numbers on there for my head to cope with at the moment.

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    Bit quiet out there...I'm slowly getting drunk again. Got to love bank holidays. AG - how are you?? Going to be HOT on monday.

  • brer rabbitbrer rabbit ✭✭✭

    Hello again..sorry, not been on this thread for a while..been reading the antics thoughimage. Managed VLM in 3;34 following Pand D..off to join AG at Milton Keynes on Monday..if legs co-operateimage

    15West..you have the better ideaimage

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    I have been down the pub. Well done brer rabbit for VLM and good luck for Monday.

  • ShazmoShazmo ✭✭✭

    I've been on the devil's water this weekend too....infact I made some random posts at 3am yesterday morning....thankfully managed to edit before you were all out of bedimage

    Good luck for Monday Rabbit and Ginger  image 

  • TenjisoTenjiso ✭✭✭

    After yesterday's GA with strides, today was my first straightforward GA run since the marathon. Based on training for a 3:45 marathon, my GA pace range would be 10:44 (MP+25%) to 9:52 (MP+15%). However, it's early days so I decided it would be better to train to my heart rate range instead to see how things pan out. Also, HR training makes sense to even out the effort over varying terrain. I've calculated my GA range to be 131-148 bpm, based on 181bpm max (remember that I reduced my previous max based on training and racing data, so this is more conservative and realistic I think).

    As happens so often, the heart rate readings didn't settle down until I was more than a mile into the run, so I ran to a comfortable easy pace and ignored the HRM for about 1.25 miles. Then I ran according to heart rate once it had stabilised. The plan was to start out at the low end of the heart rate range, then gradually work up to run the final few miles at the high end. In total I ran 9.25m and here are the stats:

    HR: 141*/133/134/140/145/144/147/148/147/(146) bpm avg: 139bpm
    Pace: 10:20/9:50/9:23/9:39/9:51/9:11/9:36/10:05/9:24/(10:29) avg: 9:44
    *nonsense heart rate readings in first mile

    So my entire run was run at an average pace that was faster than my fastest planned pace based on 3:45 marathon training (9:44 vs 9:52). I'm taking this as surprising, but good news! It raises my hopes that I have another big PB in me for next Spring if I can carefully keep the momentum going.

    Anyhow, that's the third week of Mesocycle five completed. Total mileage was 25.25, which was only slightly shy of planned due to midweek illness. I'm happy with the recovery process so far.

    Good luck for tomorrow AG and BR.

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    Ten, that sounds encouraging! And I have to say you're an exemplary P&Der. I am heartily sick of mesocycle 5 already, but am more or less sticking to it so far, except for some of the paces. Next week's Weds 5-mile recovery will be replaced by a 5-mile race, though.

Sign In or Register to comment.