Halstead marathon



  • DS2 you should get Mrs DS2 to come and do the first Colchester Castle Park run this Saturday image

    Oirish, I do not appreciate threats... I shall have to sabotage your pb... Perhaps with a great big slice of Ginger Cake before you start running... That reminds me, I must make a ginger cake.... mmmmm cake....

  • Oirish/DS2 as keen cyclists, I have a quetion for ya!

    I'm trying to plan out my training goals for the rest of the year, and with this ride london100 at the start of August, its at a time where I should be starting marathon training for bournemouth.  Hopefully I will have run a perfectly paced marathon in Halstead at 4.15 and will be hoping to go sub4 in bournemouth.  However, in the time I'm training for the Ride100, I will clearly not be running so much.

    Would it be better to focus on speed or endurance in the runs that  I do do?  My feeling is speed, since I'll hopefully be building up a lot of endurance from being on the bike for hours at the weekend, but appreciate your input...

  • Did somebody mention cake? image

    DS2 - Good skill with your race, for what it's worth  I heard the same theory that wind was about to flip 180 degrees and bring some much over due spring weather with it.

    Angela - Take care that knee, I'm not sure I could endure another thread with a baconesque pre marathon injury dilema.

    I'm not a cyclist (or Oirish/DS2 for that matter) but regarding speed vs endurance, I'd be tempted to plug in a recent 5 or 10 k time into Macmillan and see what that spits out as a potential marathon time. 

    If it's close to the time you want I'd suggest that indicates you have the speed and should concentrate on building up the endurance to sustain it, otherwise you may need to focus on finding a little more pace.

  • Hello Kandinsky!  Afraid I didn't have time to make cake on friday night as I went out for dinner and drinks with the fiance instead... Colchester's first Parkrun was a great success though- 128 runners on a beautiful day image

    Today I did my first 20 miler.  I decided I would make it a bit interesting, with some marathon pace miles in there, so I did 6 miles easy, 4 miles marathon pace, 4 miles easy, 4 miles marathon pace, 2 miles easy:


    It went really well- I think chia seeds are the key. I've found shorter long runs a lot harder without chia... 

    I set easy pace as between 10:15 and 11:00 and marathon pace between 9:30 and 9:45. The second marathon pace section was harder but still manageable, and I think my pace came down a lot in the last mile as for the first 3 the garmin was constantly beeping at me to slow down. Anyway, this is how I ran: 

    Miles 1-6 10:29 
    Miles 7-10 9:32 
    Miles 11-14. 10:34 
    Miles 15-18 9:33 
    Miles 19-20. 10:42 

    The last 2 miles were really tough, but I think this was because my last mile is mainly uphill and being close to home it's easy to decide to give up and walk. 

    It was a beautiful day for a run, and I even saw somebody walking a ferret image

  • DS2... how was your half marathon today (I ask as if I haven't already asked you...image)

  • Angela asked on another thread how my half marathon went today, so here goes:

    Legs felt tight from the start. I was hoping to set off at 6:50mm and see how it felt. I was hoping for sub 90 mins. First mile in 6:56 felt too hard and realised 90 wasn't going to happen so decided to run slightly slower but trying to stay inside 7mm. Apart from miles 7 & 11 which were 7:01 & 7:04 all the others were below 7mm and came home in 1:30:44. Not too bad - fastest I have run a half since setting my PB of 75:30 in 1994!

    Just about on track to run 3:15 at Halstead but I will need to be on form!

    How is everyone else doing?
  • How funny - a perfect x post!

    Nice of you to ask!
  • Angela:  You really shouldn't tease the boys with promises of cake image I'm really pleased the 1st Colchester Parkrun went well and that's a great turnout, it must be really satisfying for everyone involved.

    Blooming good work with your 20 miles, it's always good to get those big runs under your belt and even better that you could mix it up with blocks at MP image

    I did my first 20+ miler of the year too, bit of a bummer to discover that the water bottle no longer seals properly so not only did I only get about 3 mouthfuls from it but I also ended up with sopping wet back of my thighs which proceeded to ice up in the morning frost! image

    Other than that all was good, I'm afraid I work in "new money" (km's) mainly because everything sounds further and faster but plenty of info here (http://connect.garmin.com/activity/294361133) if your interested.

    DS2:  Great job with your half (which one was it?) would a 3:15 be a GFA?  I'm still trying to work out what to aim for at Halstead, at the moment I'm thinking 3:40 but I'd be happier if I had another couple of long runs logged.

    Keep up the good work everyone, just a couple of big weeks left before the taper begins!

  • Well done DS2 very strong result, considering you weren't feeling it image

    Your half marathon pb sickens me somewhat, as it suggests you could run a half marathon, and then a 10k in the time it takes me to just run the half....

    Kandinsky, I'm very happy with the success of the first event, and for the vast majority of runners it was their first EVER park run, which suggests we'll have similar high turnout each week.  You'd be very welcome to visit.  I'll be run director on the 27th, and I shall try to do better at my cake duties that time!!

    For Halstead, I'm pretty sure I'm still aiming for a 4.15.  I'm quite happy that I managed both my MP sections at  9:33.  a 4:15 would be average 9:44 pace, So I think I can set out at 9:33 ish and allow the pace to deteriorate through the race without worrying too much- I reference this recent RW article for this approach.  I certainly didn't feel like there was any lactate buildup during the MP or slower sections, so really hope this pace plan is the right one for me...

  • Angela - very good long run. It sounds like you are very comfortable at 9:33mm so that sounds the right sort of pace. I usually find my MP efforts in a long run really tough - but easier if it is apart of a race.

    I will definitely be along to your Parkrun at some point. I think I need to run a fair few miles quicker over the coming few weeks if my 3:15 target is going to feel relatively comfortable. Whatever happens the last 6 miles will be tough so i put myself in that position yesterday and hung on even though I wasn't comfortable. Good mental prep for the big day!

    Kandinsky - well done on getting the 20 miler done & dusted. I run all of my runs unfuelled now. It was tough initially but it teaches your body to cope without and it actually gets easier. You will have got a real training boost from taking hardly any on. In fact, I ran a 20 mile race last month with no drink at all - just ran through the drink stops - and only had one sip yesterday but didn't feel I needed it. I thought it was good to practise a little.

    I am indeed needing to run Sub 3:15 for a GFA - I think it will be touch and go!

  • Hello everyone.

    Been really busy in the past week getting married etc image

    Managed a slow 13 mile trail run last Monday which went well.

    Yesterday was braintree 5 so wasn't expecting miracles as been eating lots of cake all week.

    Still managed a respectable time and a new P.B for me at just under 35 mins image

    Very happy at that.

    Back on marathon training this week as back to reality and not being occupied with the car now

    Looks like everyone has been on top of the training and will be buzzing at Halstead image
  • Congratulaitons Jason!!! image

  • Welcome back Jason, there has been a smiley deficit in your absence!!

    DS2 - impressive HM time there mate, looks like things are going nicely for you.

    Angela/Kadinsky - Well done on your respective 20 milers, I did another 20 yesterday too and wasn't it nice running in sunshine? avg 9:22

    I was interested reading the posts about refuelling, my bigest problem is I feel hungry after about 14-15 miles even though I eat plenty as part of my preparation. The idea of not having some kind of food to take on board fills me with horror.

  • Congratulations Jason and good work with the run.

    DS2 - I did the maths and figured that if you were setting a PB in 1994 it might (just about) put you in that GFA bracket image  It's a cracking goal to aim for and I really hope you get it.

    I rarely eat before a run as I tend to find it repeats but I will usually take a gel or two once I'm getting into the 15+ milers. 

    Of course I usually make amends aftwerwards by eating pretty much anything that comes into my line of sight!

  • Kandinsky - I am well and truly in the GFA bracket - I'm 49 on Saturday and VLM 2014 will be on my 50th birthday which is why I am so keen - and committed - to making sure I am there!

    I was actually just a few weeks shy of my 30th when I set those PB's - it was the only year i ever concentrated on running and improved my half PB by 8 minutes and my marathon PB by 25 minutes to 2:44.image I was, however, a lifelong sportsman at a decent level so had a better than average starting point. Also, I had had the privilege of guiding one of the greatest ever (blind) Paralympians for a couple of years (when he was desperate). He taught me a lot about how to be a runner. If you are interested look up his record (Robert Matthews MBE) on Wikipedia!

    After that I went back to playing hockey and never trained specifically to run hard again.

    I think it's fair to say this is well and truly a mid-life crisis! Aim is Sub 3 at VLM 14, but probably unrealistic. If you don't set goals........................image

    Your eating habits sound very familiar to mine!

    Jason - congrats on the wedding!!!image. And the 5 miler. You are looking to be getting it together in time for a good tilt at halstead. What is your target time now?

    Oirish - I was a little disappointed not to break 90 but on reflection it was a good run. Sometimes I think I expect a bit too much. I actually need to race more often but family time interferes so that's not easy.

    The refuelling thing is interesting. The guys on the Sub 3:15 thread swear by fuelling the night before, keeping well hydrated the day before and then running without anything extra. I think they all have a light breakfast for anything much above 20 miles though. I used to hate carrying a drink bottle so was happy to give it a go. Now I really feel I have reaped the benefit. It probably depends more on time than distance.

    Probably not worth trying it this late in the training but might be worth looking into as you start your next campaign.

    It's a lovely feeling towards the end of a race when you see everyone else diving to get a drink and you run past them. It's huge psychologically for them as well as you!

    Anyhow, sorry to preach! Enjoy the last few weeks training. This is, in my experience, the most rewarding bit.

    What are you guys intending to do for a taper?



  • thanks everyone, just for you Oirish imageimage

    on such a high now after everything thats happened in the last few weeks its all been sorted and can finally nail the last few weeks of training.

    DS2- im not going to throw an unrealistic time out there now but would love a sub 4. ill see how the next weeks long run go and then re-asses.

    on the subject of fueling im still uneasy about how im going about it. ive gone up to the distance taken gels on board etc but do you think changin the routine now would be trouble?

    do you think its just safe to go with the gel option and keep re-hydrating along the way?

  • Hello,

    Wow, such a range of opinions on fuelling!!  I now have my routine down...  a cup of beeple juice in the morning before the long run.  Beeple = beetroot + apple juice. As well as porridge and a banana - at least 90 minutes before I run.

    During the run, I had with me 5 SiS gels, one of which was caffeine, and I put chia seeds in my electrolyte drink, and then water in a camelback.  Only took 3 of the gels, drank half of the chia infused electrolyte drink, and about half the water I had.  This was on a day that was probably 10degrees warmer than all other training/races this year!

    It was the best long run I've done yet, and the furthest.  I think the fuelling strategy is the key for me!  And I'll try the same on race day.  Just bought a big tub of chia!

    For taper- both my previous marathons had me tapering by pretty much not running at all.  Finally, now I'm 2 weeks away from my taper, its the first time in ages I don't feel like I'm on the edge of injury in my lower leg- sports massages and more strength seem to have sorted the problem, so now i'll probably do too much!!

    I have a half marathon this weekend which i'll do at marathon pace, and then 20 the following weekend when we're in France.  After that I think the volume is reducing mainly from the long run and speed work I do at the weekends.  I might replace some of the mid-week easy stuff with cycling, so I can start preparing for the 100miler in August, but I haven't married myself to any particular strategy yet, except run less...

    I'm more concerned about post-race food and drinkimage



  • Post race is easy! As much beer, champagne, wine as you want accompanied in there by some food!

    Jason - Now is the time to practise. The main thing is to only put into your body on race day what you are used to. Make sure you are comfortable with any gels and stick to those. You can practise taking a gel on any run.

    The beauty of Halstead is that you can tape a gel to a drink bottle and pick them up at the various stations. Then when I've finished you can hand the empty bottle to a marshall.

  • I like the sound of that DS2. ill stick to the no alcohol though as ill be driving home image. A nice Cider would be nice though!! image

    ive done my fair share of practicing on some long runs, i can easily consume gels so might just stick with that and have the abundunce of water on hand!

    Angela-chia seeds sound a bit oriental for me image what are they? do they dissolve? 

    are you carrying all that on race day?

    As for my strategy DS2 its the same as Angelas apart from the France bit image.

    Im slowly making my way back into the training this week so 13 on sunday will be extra easy and may even be 14 im not sure yet!

  • Chia seeds, the ancient food of the Aztecs... so South America.  Have you read Born to Run?  I read about them there, but I got a free sample in my race pack from NYC last year, so had been trying them out in a few of my runs- they seem to work really well for me.  No, they don't disolve... actually what they do is form a kind of gel around each seed.  The texture is something like frogspawn... however, when you put them in a sweet electrolyte drink its more like slush puppy image

    I know its a lot of stuff to carry, but I have to carry my inhaler with me, and I don't think it'll be cool enough to wear something with pockets.  Perhaps I will do the DS2 water with a gel taped to them strategy at the Aid stations, but i'm nervous it doesn't work, or the bottle gets lost.  Also, I like to sip rather than down large quantities intermittently.  We'll see what makes most sense - I'll try carring very little on my race this weekend and see how it goes.  I've done a race before where i packed my inhaler in the bag drop, and it wasn't a very nice experience getting from the finish to the bag drop whilst not being able to breath properly :-S  I never need it in training, or during a race, but always seem to need it right at the end just across the finish line...

  • Has everybody given up on our thread?? image

    I had a pretty abysmal race yesterday!!!





    How is everyone else going?

  • Hi Angela - I'm still here. Just very busy. Did an 18 miler yesterday. very tough conditions. my worst run of the entire campaign. No doubt the weather affected you as well.

    Chalk it off and move on. Don't dwell on it.


  • So I am now in my 50th year. Have planned 3 marathons - culminating with VLM 2014 on my birthday and Lands End to John O'Groats in August. Could be a very busy year!

    Am intending to raise £10k for a brilliant childrens charity - Action Medical Research. So, sorry to take advantage of this page but....... here is the link (please note extra link to the tribute page to my nephew who died at birth and would have been 18 in August:


    Thought it was time I got around to trying to start the fundraising!!!

  • Angela Isherwood 2 wrote (see)

    Has everybody given up on our thread?? image

    We're marathoners, we don't understand the concept of giving up image

    More a case of getting into the "BIG" weeks for me, another 20+ miles for me on Sunday and my last of that distance before Halstead.

    I'd like to say it was plain sailing but lets just say the stiff headwind for much of the last 5 miles tested my resolve image

    At the moment one of my biggest issues seems to be trying to lock in my goal marathon pace, so far every attempt I've made tends to be 10-15 seconds quicker than I'm aiming for image

    DS2 - Happy birthday (perhaps we can talk Angela into baking a CAKE) What are the other 2 marathons you've got planned?

    Keep up the good work all, not long to go and we'll be heading into taper!

    p.s. Anybody know when we'll be getting the race packs through?

  • Hi Kandinsky,

    Yes, I have 20 on Sunday too.  I would put your half time into a calculator, and then add 15 minutes to what it spits out to calculate your starting pace.  Remember what everybody says- better to build up extra speed through the race than go out too fast and suffer.  If you check out Sam Murphy's website- she put a news article about exactly this up yesterday.

    I have in my diary 'entry confirmation' on 1st May- so I assume that is race packs...

    Glad that just this week of training before taper, although I got some nasty chaffing between my legs from my half marathon on Sunday, so I didn't do todays run- hopefully the pain will have eased by tomorrow!

  • In past years they put an information pack on the website or via email but you collect your number from the main hall on the day. It's a smallish field so everything is pretty relaxed.
  • Thanks for the advice Angela, I'm probably just a bit of a conundrum image

    I've put my recent race times into a couple of calculators, I've even added a few minutes to the time they suggest AND I'm pretty comfortable I can maintain that pace for the full distance (with possibly even a little left for a negative split).

    The problem I'm having is finding the self discipline to stick to that pace!

    I seem to be able to maintain my easy or threashold paces accurately without too much thought but I've yet to complete one of my MP runs/intervals at the desired pace image

    At least the good news is that I'm struggling to SLOW down to MP rather than speed up so I'm hoping that with practice over the next few weeks it should become more natural!


    DS2 - Thanks for the info, makes sense although I do like sticking my race number up on the wall as a little extra nudge to get out the door on some days!

  • Sorry havent posted everyone!

    done 13 on sunday as a LSR with a few club mates- went really well apart from suffering from a cold!!

    20 miler this weekend image looking forward to it!!

    after that its the easy bit of tapering.

    Angela i get chaffing sometimes around the nether regions image i just slap loads of vaseline/moisuriser around the area before and that sorts me right out image.


    feeling very confident for halstead now!!

  • Ja5onW wrote (see)
    Angela i get chaffing sometimes around the nether regions image i just slap loads of vaseline/moisuriser around the area before and that sorts me right out image.


    BODYGLIDE! Blooming marvelous stuff, bit like a deoderant stick so not as gloopy as vaseline.

  • Hello, yes, I usually wear lycra 3/4 leggings so don't get this problem.  I thought I would use my new shorts for a change... big mistake.  I had learnt this lesson before but appear to have forgotten it!

    I might sneak into the VLM expo later today... :-S

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