Halstead marathon



  • Minks, I think if you're ok in Epping forest, you wouldn't find Halstead hilly at all- I assume the terrain is fairly similar to Colchester - if you take a look at my blog- you'll see iv'e done Colchester Half Marathon and Orion 15 (in epping forest) earlier in the year.  Colchester was significantly easier - an hour faster despite being only 2 miles shorter...

    I do fairly regularly drive through halstead, and I don't think it will be too much of a bother to run- as many people say, undulating is probably the right description.  But then again, when I did London, I didn't think it was completely flat-- there were a fair few undulations in the first 10 miles, although pretty flat afterward.

    I have a feeling during the race my endurance will let me down.  Isn't it that your 5 longest runs are supposed to add up to 100?

    Mine are 20, 20, 17, 15(orion 15), 14, so I'm quite a way off.  My highest mileage week was 38 when I was hoping to get to 44, but in general have been listening to my body and usually not running is because of it not being a good idea, though lately i have had a few tuesday mornings where I just couldn't be beothered to get up early enough to run before going to work...

    Jason, is there any chance you could get it in today/tomorrow, just so you have that extra chance of another couple of days recovery time?


  • Welcome Kevin! I think if you click on the non-championship entry button you get a menu on the top left with 'Entry List'.

    Jason - I'm doing 18 on Sunday but very easily! I think a lot depends on how you are feeling. Running 20 hard will take a lot out of you especially now it has got warmer. I missed most of the week before last so I asked Steve Smythe from RW and he suggested I did a two week taper and I feel fine with that. Be careful. Remember what I said above - you are more likely to influence in a bad way than a good at this stage.

    Minks - I'll PM my number over later today (and to you other guys).

    Angela - a lot to be said fro listening to body. I've been the same and not hit the high mileage I was expecting but on the start line in one piece is a decent place to be!

    I can't remember any really tough hills to be honest. There are a few longish climbs but not where you really have to change pace too much.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Angela, respect if you've done Orion.  That was on one of the worst weekends of the year for weather if I recall - but the Orion route is one of the routes I regularly ran through Epping Forest last year/early this year and it's pretty hard I'd say, especially in wet and muddy conditions.  I haven't run in Epping Forest since January because it was just too wet and muddy off the main paths (my running buddy lives in Abridge, grew up in Theydon and knows Epping Forest like the back of his hand, so always take us on mystery tours!)

    I did 5 x 20 and 6 x 16 in my build-up to London; longest mileage week was about 47 miles (but I did that 5 times).  DS2, that's good to get the nod for a two-week taper - I've already tapered once for three weeks so think I should get something long in this weekend just to remind my legs what they've trained for.  I'm looking forward to Halstead and would be stoked if I could get a PB after my disappointment in London.  My training went really well so it would be a shame not to reap the rewards.

    I've officially entered now! image

  • I forgot to post the link to my blog for you:  http://longroadtoboston2016.blogspot.co.uk/


    YAY! You've entered image

  • If i take it slow im sure i can manage an 18 image. i should have enough time to recover from that, right?

    im soo bad at the LSR's ive only got up to a 15 in the runnings as been so busy on most sundays and Angela NO way of getting out today or 2moro at all!

    Ive done the same as angela in the sense of listening to my body and not pushing it too hard.

    my jobs the biggest killer in my routine as im always tired when home and dont really get a full nights rest so it just gets harder as the days go by.

    saying that im still looking forward to going out there and doing the marathon no matter what.

    plus my running clubs got water stations at miles 14 and 25 so they are incredible motivators image

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Love your blog, Angela - wish I'd done something like that.  It's a really great record of your progress image

    What's your job, Jason?  You sound a lot like one of my other running buddies.  We were supposed to run London 2012 together (well, in the same race, not actually together as I'm faster than him) but I got injured and had to defer with 5 weeks to go.  He was a nightmare at doing the LSRs without me to push him round, and did very little in the week either!

    You will be fine, Jason - you have done more than he did already and he got round London in 4:30 last year even though he had to walk most of the second half.

  • Minks im a Motor vehicle Mechanic, not trying to start a sob story or anything as its only myself to blame if i say im not going to go out and run!

    I always manage to get out in the week as im running with a mate then the club etc.

    Im not worried as i think im very strong willed and will easily achieve a P.B (currently 5:06 for the off road one) image

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Which club are you with, Jason?

    I think I've decided on 18 for Sunday rather than 20, although still not fully made my mind up.  Just a bit concerned that with only two weeks to go, 20 might take it out of my legs just that bit too much.  Especially as I have no concept of the 'S' in 'LSR' - most of my long runs for London averaged around 8 minute miles or under, not really slow enough.  But I figured since at the time a lot of my running was done at night when it was too dark to run fast safely, it wouldn't matter if the LSR was fast as I would make up for it by running some of the other runs more slowly.  Actually I just tend to do all my runs too fast to be honest!

    Bit fed up today as I just got a parking ticket while my son was at karate.  Put an hour's ticket on the car (expiry time 16:59) and got back to find a penalty ticket issued at 17:03.  GRRRRRR!  Not what I need at the end of what has been a trying week, with marathon disappointment on Sunday and a very poorly hubby for most of the week.

    Just feel like I need something nice to happen to cheer me up!

  • Argh! Those parking tickets- try to appeal it- sounds like he was waiting around at the turn of the clock to see u not there, which I'm not sure is what they're supposed to do... I would appeal it anyway as clearly u wre not intentionally parking when u shouldn't...

    i haven't run since I've been back- the shock of coming back to work too tiring.  Tomorrow I'm run director for Colchester park run, so an early start! Then 4 miles marathon pace, and 12 LSR on Sunday- sounds nice and easy now.... Can remember in january when that seemed hell!  Hope I keep this fitness so I can improve on it image

  • Damn parking Nazi's! like angela said, appeal that, as they were obviously clock watching! (which is technically making the ticket void)

    Im part of (Grangefarmtrotters.co.uk). its my local club and is very friendly and supportive.

    Got a split decision to make 2moro as to go and do the LSR or a nice 10mile trail run image (which is still tough mind you image)

    I think i might just bail on the LSR as im totaly confident to run the 26.2 in a couple weeks, and dont really fancy an injury image

  • Minks - bad week but we will redeem it at Halstead. I reckon with your training Halstead might just be your type of course!

    i'm doing 18 as well. Did toy with 20 but like you not worth the risk. After that I'm doing a reasonable amount of faster stuff but nothing too long. Your training sounds very similar to mine. Been doing 40-45 most weeks with 4 x 20 and lots off 15-18 milers. 

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Hi DS2, yes, that training sounds pretty much the same as mine.  Also planning shorter runs after tomorrow but some faster (MP and tempo pace) ones.  Will do 10 next Sunday then not too much the week after.

    I've been doing long Sunday, then 3 recovery on Monday, 7 or 10 Tuesday depending on whether a hard week or a recovery week, 7 Wednesday and 5 Friday.  So most weeks over 40 and have maxed at about 47 I think.

    I'm trying not to let myself get too worked up about Halstead.  I think I invested everything in London and it was an emotional as well as physical investment - consequently it's felt like a long way to fall.  I'm trying to be more relaxed about this one - I feel quite laid back about tomorrow's long run whereas usually it's on my mind all day Saturday and I'm stressing over what to eat/drink the night before and whether it will affect my stomach the next morning, whether to have a glass of wine or not ... today I'm just being chilled and doing what I like!  I haven't told anyone except my husband about Halstead and don't plan to - the less pressure the better!

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Jason, I would bin the 20 tomorrow - I toyed with it and decided it might just be a step too far.  16 didn't seem enough given my last 20 was 31 March, so compromised on 18.  I've got a nice undulating route to do, which bizarrely I'm actually looking forward to.  I love my canal runs around Lee Valley Park but it'll make a change to run from home and enjoy some of the local countryside,especially now everything's starting to green up.  Have had quite enough of looking at bare branches and arid fields!

    Just hoping it's not too hot on 12th but not thinking about it too much as it's one thing I can't control!

  • Minks - sounds like we have a similar strategy to the next two weeks as well. it has been very hot last two years but quite a lot is shaded by trees so you can get some respite.

    good luck tomorrow everyone. Jason - I wouldn't do 20 tomorrow if I were you but maybe an easy 18 would be worthwhile. 

    You are quite mad as demonstrated by the trail marathon with not much training so I'm sure you'll do ok and your age is on your side. Remember I'm twice your age!!!!

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Ah, the benefits of youth ... [nostalgic thoughts] ...

    I'll be 44 in June, have a hugely energetic six year-old son and work part-time; in all honesty I think I'm far more active and definitely much fitter than I was when I was in my 20s!  I didn't take up running until I was 32 but I'm so glad I did - it changed my life in so many ways.  On a typical day I'm up at 6:30, probably get to bed about 11:30 and hardly stop in between so the stamina I've built up over years of running has been very beneficial!

    Run well tomorrow everyone; I will report back after my 18 miles.  Just enjoying a cheeky glass of white wine now ... image

  • Running becomes a way of life doesn't it? I always find I can do so much more when I' m fit. 

    Just been looking at the weather forecast for 12 May. Looking a lot cooler now but windy. 

    Just been out walking the dog. Feels quite cold. Should be ideal for tomorrow's LSR. 

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Not even thinking about the weather for 12th yet - too soon for any forecast to be accurate.  But hope it isn't too windy - that would be almost as bad as too hot as far as I'm concerned!

    Frosty out there this morning, but lovely and bright and sunny.  Toast and a cuppa and then I'll head out by 7:30.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    So how did everyone's runs go today?

    I did 18 as planned and it was a cracking morning.  Rather surprised by the sight of ice on the car first thing, and toyed with wearing my gloves, eventually deciding to leave them behind (right call!)  I'd decided to try to run at a comfortable 8:15-8:20 pace, mainly because doing such a long run two weeks out is cutting it close and I didn't want to trash my legs completely, but also because I've done all my LSRs too fast and actually wanted to enjoy this one!

    Undulating route through Cuffley, Potters Bar, Barnet, Cockfosters and Crews Hill, quite a lot on roads but quiet at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, and the last four miles on bridleway (downside - they were ALL uphill).

    Splits were: 8:20, 8:09, 8:14, 8:06, 8:10, 8:14, 8:17, 8:13, 8:16, 8:04, 8:29 (big hill), 8:08, 8:17, 8:16, 8:20, 8:12, 8:22 (series of short, steep inclines), 8:09.

    Much easier to keep pace consistent when I changed my Garmin display to current pace and current lap time only - something I always do in the marathon, and completely forgot to do last Sunday but wish I had remembered as it keeps you focused in the moment and focused on the pace (much more accurate pacing for some reason than the main screen).

    I was pretty pleased with that.  It felt comfortable until about 15 miles, but I had forgotten that the whole of the last four would be uphill and I was pretty hot by that point too.  Had run out of Lucozade Sport when I checked the cupboard this morning, so made my own isotonic drink with orange barley squash, water and a couple of grinds of salt.  It tasted OK and did the job, but not quite as well as LS so I shall be bringing some of that in two weeks' time.

    Post-run, both glutes really ache - keep wanting to squat to relieve it! - and right hamstring is a bit tight but otherwise OK.  Today's run was fairly hilly and I can't imagine the Halstead course will be as challenging so should be OK.  Finished in 2:28 today which was fine.  Plan for this week is a couple of five milers, a couple of three milers and a 10-miler on Sunday.

  • Excellent running Minks. I'm afraid I didn'drop a thing. I woke up yesterday morning with a really painful neck and it had hardly eased today. Resulted in a rather painful headache both days.

    it feels a bit looser now, but I think I did the right thing. I may try to do it tomorrow afternoon and then an easy week before 10 or so Sunday and a few light runs in the week before the marathon.

    Hopefully will be a lot better tomorrow.

    i imagine you are feeling a lot happier than last Sunday. Well done on getting it done!

  • Hey hey- successful parkrun directorship yesterday-153 runners image I dI'd 4 miles MP in the evening after a beer and today I did 12 miles easy, but 30s per mile faster than my usual easy with miles 7-9@ MP- would have been 7-10 but needed to slow down for emergency toilet use image

    so feel like I need to taper a bit more than my plan says now, but we'll see how I feel tomorrow image

  • Well done on ur run minks- what's ur taper plan?

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    That's a nuisance about the bad neck and headache, DS2 - I hope it eases off and enables you to get a run in today.  Well done on your 12 Angela - I had to take a toilet stop at 7 miles yesterday (after going twice before setting out!) so it was a good thing I'd just passed a field with a public footpath sign as otherwise it could have been awkward!

    Taper plan (mark 2!) is 3, 5, 5, 3, 10 this week, then 5, 5, 3 next week with the race on the Sunday.

    Slightly worried by how tired my legs felt after yesterday's run - the pace was much slower than I've been doing for my long runs but my glutes really felt dreadful afterwards.  The only hard running I've done in the past few weeks is the first 12 miles of the marathon last week and I wouldn't have thought that would take it out of my legs that much. They feel better after a night's rest but still a little stiff - a gentle recovery run later should loosen them hopefully.

    Still undecided on whether to try for a PB at Halstead, or run it for a London GFA and aim for a PB there next year.

  • Hiya Minks- what do u need for a London GFA?  They changed them :-S   I know I'm really far away from it still, but was hoping to set a GFA next year, perhaps in Berlin - with the new time I think it might be too much of a stretch goal, but we'll see how I do in Halstead before giving up on it!

    My legs still feel a bit tight today, but I know exactly why.  I've been super lazy about my stretching lately, so this evening I'll go for a quick spin on the bike, then a long stretching session.

    My plan has 4,5,4,3, 8 this week and then 3,4,2, race next week.  I might cut out one of the 4s this week, but we'll see.  Tempted to do that 3 as a parkrun, but not sure what sort of pace to do- scared to race it properly as I'm bound to hurt something and wreck my marathon, but I've never actually run a parkrun.... hmmm

  • Morning all,

    13 miles yesterday at 8:30 marathon pace, well 8:33 to be precise and felt really easy. i decided to cut the mileage because of the heat, I have plenty of 18 plus runs in the bank so didn't feel there was much to be gained in flogging myself in the sun so erred on the side of caution.

    My taper is 5,5,3,10  this week and 4,3,2 followed by some jog in the countryside at the weekend.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Hi Angela, my understanding was that the current GFA times would hold for entries for VLM 2014 and would be revised thereafter.  It would seem a bit unfair to change the thresholds without giving any notice for 2014.  As it stands it's 3:50 for women 30-45 I think.  My PB is 3:19 - had wanted 3:15 in London but if I decide to go for a PB at Halstead I shall err on the side of caution and just aim to slightly better 3:19 rather than going hell for leather for 3:15.  I wouldn't do the Parkrun if I were you - there will be plenty of opportunities after the marathon to go for it.  If you do it now and end up racing it you may scupper your marathon - it's not worth it.

    Oirisheyes (great name BTW!) that sounds sensible. It did get very warm yesterday.  I was surprised to set out in 4 degrees and get back two and a half hours later in 16 degrees!  Was wearing a light fleece to start with; stuck it as long as I could then ended up tying it round my waist.  Was feeling quite uncomfortable in tights and a long-sleeved top by the end, but would have been freezing first thing.

    I'm planning 3, 5, 5, 3, 10 this week but might cut one of the 3s.  I'll see how the week goes time-wise.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    The London GFA womens' times have changed slightly I think - it's now sub-3:45 for women 18-40 and sub-3:50 for women 41-49.  I don't know if the men's times have been changed; they still seem really tough compared with the women's times.

  • I'm just trying to find out if I've just found an extra 5 minutes since I'm 50 on race day!!!

    That would be such a bonus!

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    What - you're 50 on Halstead race day or 50 on VLM 2014 race day?

  • I'm 50 on VLM race day. I called them and they confirmed that it is 50 on race day. I wasn't too sure but someone on another thread who knew the previous rules said as long as you are 50 on or after the race day (ie 13/4/2014) and achieved Sub 3:20 then you qualify!

    That would mean 7:38mm all the way!

  • Blimey I turn my back for 5 mins and it's all happening!

    Apologies for the random scattergun approach for this post but I'm trying to remember all the snippets I've caught over the last week.

    Minks/Kevin - Welcome!

    DS2 - How's the neck? You didn't strain it trying on your medals did you?

    Angela - Cracking turnout at your Parkrun must be a really good feeling to see all the planning and hard work translate into smiling faces!

    I've had the week off with the new pup and found a new respect for those with kids as at least I could stick her in her crate and go for a run (I believe this is frowned apon as far as children go)!

    The really good news is that the wobble with my knee was exactly that and after a few days off it appears to be very much business as usual which is a massive relief!

    Wasn't yesterday morning almost perfect conditions for a long run?

    It's the second week I've reduced my long run, last week was 15 miles (ish) with the last 5-6 @ MP and this week was around 14 miles and truth be told ended up as more of a "steady" pace than slow.

    Both runs (and everything in between) have felt pretty comfortable, I'm aiming for 3:40 at Halstead and at the moment I feel like I've got just the right combination confidence and trepidation (or downright fear)!

    I'm always a little wary of going into the taper as I always find it that either it gets very easy to skip the "little runs" or they seem to need a lot more effort that they should!

    Count me in for any meet ups before/(during)/afterwards, I was going to suggest posting all our race numbers so we could get each others supporters to keep an eye out but not sure that will work if we don't get our numbers in advance!

    Off to Sweatshop tonight to claim my Monthly Parkrun prize of FREE RUNNING SHOES and no doubt fail miserably at avoiding all other temptation! image

    Keep up the good work folks

    p.s. Angela - I'd be tempted to do your Parkrun but run half at MP and the rest at your slow run pace (but you don't have to listen to me as I'm volunteering at ours that Sat)!


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