RW Forum SIx – 3.30 – 4.00



  • Starting to finally feel as though my fitness is improving, yippee!! Managed a 4.3 mile recovery run this morning in 8.58 average (so perhaps a bit too fast for a recovery run). Would like to do a better time in this Sunday's half than a couple of weeks ago, so if anyone has any suggestions as to how I should proceed with this week's training, I'd appreciate it!

    Was thinking about running on Weds and Fri as well, but could make it Weds and Thurs run after pilates.

    Hope you're all feeling good after some seriously impressive weekend running

  • Cheers Spoons.

    Hannah - what is your normal week like in the build up to a half ?

    Mine would be a normal speed session on Tuesday, an easy run in Wednesday but cut down the mileage to 6 miles and another speed session on Thursday but cut the session down compared to what I would normally do. 2 days of no running but will take the dogs for a walk just to stretch the legs and I am raring to go for the race on Sunday. From what you say above I think you can remain about the same til Wednesday but don't overdo things after that, I guess it's just a mini taper we are talking about here.
  • Hannah - much as Carter says. I always recommend on the Thursday doing your pace work at half marathon pace so you get used to that pace.

  • Carl DCarl D ✭✭✭
    carterusm wrote (see

    Carl - how are you feeling today ?

    Carter - good question. I certainly know that my body exerted itself yesterday. I have that drained feeling that you have after a marathon.

    The good thing is that I do not feel unduly stiff or sore.

    So I am going to try and go about my running weelk as normal this week. I may find this hard to do as it seems that most people on these forums struggle the week after a hard HM race. Need to check my plan but I think it is a 21 miler for the LSR this week with some MP and it might be when I get to this I am still not fully recovered. But we shall have to see.

    Still on cloud 9 from yesterday. image

  • And so you should be mate. Have you found yourself thinking about Paris and what you might be able to achieve there ?

    I think you are right to carry on as normal, that's what I did a couple of weeks ago and I found I wasnt anymore tired than normal. All those miles of training must be doing some good for us ! I think it's a case of listening to your body and take it a bit easier if you are.


  • Hi all - Carl, I'm not surprised you're still on cloud 9. That was a tremendous effort!

    Carter/Spoons - to be honest it's been a bit hit and miss. I have suffered in previous marathon training with my back and had to defer London last year with a slipped disc, so I have always had to err on the side of fewer quality miles rather than lots of miles.

    I'm now running 4-5 times a week, currently at around 35 miles a week, though this will climb to 40-42 over next few weeks. Would it be better to take tomorrow off then do a hardish run on Weds, then something at HM pace on Friday, do you think?

    Really I'd appreciate any advice you have. I was going to do a couple of miles WU and CD on Sunday as I'm only up to 16 miles and want to run closer to 18 this weekend.


  • Carl DCarl D ✭✭✭

    Ok what MP to aim for. There is no doubt that yesterday suggests that I can run faster than the 3:45 time that I want to achieve. But I do not want to start out too fast aiming for 3:30 and then blow up in mile 20 and miss 3:45.

    I think Spoonns is right to think a little more conservatively. Probably the experience of many marathons coming through there.

    Yesterday was all about getting to the climb at mile 9 / 10 in good shape and then going for it if I was in good shape. Clearly I was and I did.

    If on marathon day I get to miles 17 - 20 in good shape I can start racing it from there. Same kind of principle I suppose.

    If I start with 8:00 min miling as my target I will probably burn out as I need to make up lost time in the early miles with the crowds and all that.

    So I am thinking that I should target 8:15 to 8:20 and then if things are going well I should be in a good place by the time I get to mile 17 ish and then I can pick it up and see how close to 3:30 I can get. If not I make sure I nail 3:45.

    As Spoons says probably better to be a little conservative with this and nail 3:45 and then use Dublin in October to try and secure a 3:30 time.

    I cannot believe that I am talking about being conservative to nail 3:45. Really weird.

  • Hi Carl - I think you're right to be conservative, however I've always found the marathon distance to be a totally different beast and not really like two halves back to back, but that is probably because I've never quite nailed the training for the full marathon.

    In 2012, for instance, I ran a 1.40 HM, on a reasonably hilly one, and then bombed at 19 miles at the Paris marathon because of severe dehydration, though I had been on target to run a 3.40, and had done some decent training, ended up finishing in 4.00.00, but dont remember the last 70 mins!

    There are so many things to consider on marathon day that just don't come into the equation with a HM, and it's so frustrating that we so often put all our eggs in one marathon day basket.

    However, with plans for another marathon in autumn, I am sure you will nail 3.45 now and go on to even greater things in Dublin!

  • Carl DCarl D ✭✭✭

    Hannah - I think you make a great point here.

    The HM is a guide only but conditions are never the same marathon day. Dehydration is a real issue with Paris as it does get quite warm by all accounts even in early April. I have done most of my training at night in the cold. Being honest anywhere in April is likley to be much warmer than yesterday.

    So being a little more conservative at the outset may prove to be the correct strategy.

  • Hannah is spot on. I think I did a 3:59 marathon one year at VLM after a 1:39 half. I ran 8 min miles for 19 miles. And walked the last 7.2. 

  • carterusm wrote (see)

    Ricky - last week I did 48 miles. I normally run 5 times a week but last week was only 4 as I was feeling a bit tired so I skipped a session. I have the very optimistic target of 60 miles in 4 weeks time but I dont think I will get near that at all and, to be honest, I dont feel I need to. I have got 5 more 50 miler weeks but in the middle of that is another HM so I will just have to juggle things about a bit. I find the speed sessions take more out of me than the longer runs. What's your plans for this week ?

    Carl - how are you feeling today ?

    Carter - cutback for me this week. Kicked of with 3mls recovery on the treadmill tonight and then:
    Tues - 6 mile tempo
    Wed - 9 mile MLR
    Thurs - 5 miles + Hill Session
    Sat - 6 miles easy
    Sun - 14 miles either easy or MP (not sure which yet?)

    So 43 miles in total this week.... my plan peaks at around 58 miles pwk from memory and includes 6 LSRs of 20mls+ (two of those 20milers now done). Is there any advantage to doing more than 20mls as an LSR does anyone think? I think my next two scheduled are 21 mls & then final two are 22milers. 

    This day 10 weeks time I will hopefully be sat with my feet up with a beer typing my race report on here! 

  • Ricky - most people say you only need to do about 22 miles. My personal view is that it would be good to get closer to the 26 mile mark to give me the knowledge that I can get there. 2 points to counter that: 1) a lot of people on here are more experienced than me, have gone through many marathons so know what they are talking about and 2) I have done a couple of runs, like on Saturday for example, where I may have only done 20.5 miles but I spent 3:38 on my feet which is somewhere near the time I will be on my feet at Manchester, hopefully !! So, in answer to your question, no I don't believe you need to go more than say 22 miles in training. Instead of running to miles this weekend why don't you slow it right down and run for a certain amount of time instead ?
  • Carl - as we have said before, there are people on here with far more experience than us and they are suggesting a cautious approach. I feel this is something I really need to work on for race day or I can see myself flying off at the start. So, I think you said previously that your PB is about 4:20 ? All of us here are confident that you can nail a 3:45. That means a PB of 35 minutes which is a hell of a good run. If you were told now that you were guaranteed a 3:45 would you take it ?
  • Hannah - I have followed Spoons advice in the build up to my last half and I got a PB so I will definitely be following that again. If I were you I would have a really good solid session tomorrow and have a bit of a cut down session on Thursday. If youre going to race on sunday dont overdo it in tge few days before race day. That should leave you nicely rested for Sunday where you can push for a good time if you're feeling good
  • Carl DCarl D ✭✭✭

    Carter - this is what I said back on 22nd Dec. Remember that day. image

    Carl D wrote (see)

    Well done carterusm image Interested to know what your target time is as this thread has a range. I am doing Paris in April and am aiming for 3:45 so will be following you with some interest.

    That is of course after you get all this Christmas excess out of the way ...

    My original objective for this marathon was to get under 4 hours but 3:45 was what I was hoping for. When I set out on this journey I think it was more of a hope as you say with a 4:20 behind me, 3:45 is a massive leap.

    So if I was guaranteed a finish time of 3:45 today I would take it.

    What this training has shown me is that with more training like this I can get close to 3:30 (and of course when I do I will want to get to 3:15 which is a GFA time for VLM).

    But having kicked this round today it is clear that starting out with 3:30 in mind would be a recipe for disaster as I will start too quick and end up bonking by 20 miles and potentiually risking the 3:45 finish. I would never forgive myself.

    So it is all going to be about how I feel and judging it on race day.

    What yesterday has proved to me is that if I feel good anything is possible. I have never before run a negative split. I have never before run the last mile as my fastest mile in a long distance race. So I now knoe that I can do it but it is all about putting myself in that position in a much longer distance. So starting very controlled and running the first half consistent will be the key. I can then begin to lift the pace if I feel good and if I get to mile 17-20 feeling strong I can then begin my push and see what happens. If I don't I just need to make sure I nail 3:45.

    So I think a MP in the 8:15 - 8:25 range during training over the next few weeks is what I will home in on and see how this feels. image


  • Sounds sensible. No guarantees in marathons I'm afraid. 

    Re: running over 20 miles. There's lots of pros and cons.

    The pros are the added training benefit (this is minor - I'm not convinced you gain a lot more from running 22 miles than 20 miles) and the mental benefit  - this one is major - the marathon is at least 50%. Knowing you can get to 22 miles or so in training will boost confidence. Many elites run around the marathon distance and many people (including me) have been known to run "warmup" marathons in their marathon training. These can be of benefit but must be run very slowly.

    The downside is simple though - fatigue grows considerably over 20 miles and takes a long time to recover from. This can affect your marathon and also your next few weeks training. If you have run loads of marathons your body will be more used to it and so will recover quicker. And if you run at MP + 120 seconds your body will recover quicker too.

    i would generally suggest a max of 22 and all run slowly. Keep the MP stuff to 20 milers.

  • Spoons - I have added some MP miles into my LSR for 20 miles and less. for those weeks I am doing more than 20 I have added some MP miles into my midweek MLR and my Sunday shorter run. Is that OK ?

  • Hi all,

    I won't add further to the debate on your approach to Paris Carl I think you seem to be settling on a plan

    . I too am aiming for 3:45 for my Spring marathon and trying to nail a 3:30 in the autum, I figure by then I'll have a good years targetted training under my belt to give it a lash. Much will depend on how my Halstead & Essex goes but no matter what the outcome it gives me something to plan my summer training around.

    Well this mornings run was really encouraging, I did what can safely be described as a hill run, I was going to attach a picture of the hill I took but frankly can't be arsed hunting for the cables!! image 

    Colchester is blessed with plenty of hills thanks to it being an old Roman Garrison (as opposed to those brand new Roman Garrisons that are popping up everywhere) so is built on top of a blody great big hill with lots of roads leading up to it so I picked on one and fixed it with a steely gaze....then took its photo.

    It was a 1.1 mile jog out @ 9:30 pace and then 4 miles @ 8:50 consisting of 8 trips up and down the hill in a 2 x 4 pattern with a 5 min jog inbetween each set of 4 and then 1 mile @ 7:55 home  and 0.5 cool down @9:55.

    According to mapometer that is 827 ft of elevation. image All I know it is fairly steep.  I was fairly conservative on my first few ascents not wanting to peak too soon, pardon the pun but sped up on each attempt until my last ascent was nigh on an eyeballs out lung busting sprint so to follow that up with a sub 8 min mile and doing so comfortably felt superb. I think one of the most pleasing elements of it all was that my form was good all the way around, I had plenty of bounce in my run home. Oddly enough I found it harder going downhill than up.

    A bite to eat and a bit of work and it's Pilates this afternoon. 

  • Good work Oirish

    That sounds fine Carter

  • Hi there - I thought I'd sent this message before, but not sure what happened. Spoons, I was wondering if you could please suggest an interval/speed session for me for tomorrow, bearing in mind I'll probably do 30 mins at HM pace with a WU/CD on Thursday after pilates.

    Many thanks


  • Tempo Tuesday for me at the track tonight.

    1.5 mile warm up.

    The plan was to run for 40 minutes @ 7:20 pace but after a hard weekend the legs were a bit tired so I managed 30 minutes (4.15 miles) @ 7:17 then 1 mile cool down.

  • Hannah - I wouldn't do anything too draining tomorrow if you're doing a tempo run on Thursday and a Half on Sunday. Personally I would just do an easy run but if you must then something shorter. How about 10x400s but not flat out. Around 10km pace with 1 minute recovery.

  • Good hill running Oirish - sounds like you are in fine fettle!

    Carter a fast 4 for you tonight - impressive after your exploits over the weekend!

    Events were such that I was forced to do my tempo on the treadmill this evening... was supposed to do 6mls but time constraints meant I only got 5.25 done. Not going to stress about it though as I'm having a cutback week anyway.
    Different approach tonight & ended up as an interval session with some tempo to finish - having never run intervals before I thought the treadmill would be the ideal place to try it out.. Wasn't really sure what I should be doing tbh but it looked like the following.:

    0.25 ml w/up (pushed for time - eager to get going!)
    5 x 0.5mls @ 7.04 pace with 0.15ml recoveries @ 9.10 pace
    2 mls @ 8 m/mls.
    0.1 ml cool down (rush out to collect no.1 daughter!)

    Have to say I found these paces hard going - much harder than I would find them on the road for some reason. Who says treadmill running is easy!

    What are your thoughts? - were my recoveries too short?

  • Carl DCarl D ✭✭✭

    Evening from the resident night owl image

    Oirish - that was a really good session from you this morning. Very interesting way to describe running a marathon "give it a lash". Have not heard somebody say that for quite a while.

    Hannah - I agree with Spoons. Last week I did a tempo run of sorts on Tuesday, a reduced distance MLR on Wednesday and a cut back interval session on Thursday. This probably helped me give it my all in the race on Sunday. Spoons has alawys advised that less is more in the week of a race and so far the results are encouraging. image

    Ricky - very interested in your workout on the treddie. Next week I am in America for work so will need to do my 3 mid-week sessions most likely in a gym. The problem running on a treddie is that you have to run at the same pace all the time. When running outside, you can always adjust your pace a little and this makes it easier on the body. So I suspect that the intervals on the treddie need to be longer not shorter as your body is working harder for what seems like a pace you could handle moreeasily on a track. Interested in what others think but suspect that your recovery runs were too slow and too fast.

  • Carl DCarl D ✭✭✭

    Carter - fast tempo from you tonight. With the mileage you have been putting in it is no wonder you needed to reduce the length of the run. Better to do this than carry on.

    What does your plan look like for the rest of the week ?

    Do you have another HM in your plan and if so when is it or have you decided against it ?

  • Carl DCarl D ✭✭✭

    The reason for posting so late tonight is that work has been playing havoc with my evening. Came home at a sensible time so that I could pick up the little footballer. Then I got a series of phonecalls/emails that needed addressing which delayed ny run by about an hour. When I came back in I had round two of phonecalls and emails.

    Tonight I went out with a 6 mile tempo in mind but had decided that if I did not think I was up to it that I would do an easy run instead.

    Tonight was more about mental strength than physical strength. No stiffness / tiredness in the legs. Dark, cold and windy with a very strong headwind on mile 3 and 6 of the tempo, on an uphill gradient.

    1 mile wu at 8:53 min/mile.

    6 miles tempo at 7:32; 7:33; 7:36; 7:27; 7:32 and 7:31

    1 mile cd at 9:18 min.mile.

    Total 8 miles at 7:56 min/mile.

    I had to work hard to keep mile 6 on the money.

    After the exertions of the HM I found that I had to really focus tonight to keep going. It would have been so easy to have given up and ran an easy run.

    Will the exertions of the weekend catch up with me later in the week ? What is the normal experience ?

    I am planning on a 10 mile MLR tomorrow night with some MP miles thrown in for good measure.

  • Carl - I think our plans are very similar following all the discussions on here and the advice from Spoons. The rest if my week looks like this:

    Today - 10 miles easy MLR with 4 @ MP

    Thursday - 12x400 with 1 min recovery

    Saturday - LSR 22 miles

    Sunday - 6 miles with some at MP

    I have entered the South Yorkshire half which is in 2 weeks. Its 5 weeks before the big day so I can give it everything and still have plenty of time to recover. I have put down 1:43 as my target time but the course is a lot flatter than my previous races so hopefully there will be a PB coming my way
  • Carl - I want "Hr gave it a lash" as my epitaph, either that or "Gone but forgotten" with strict instructions not to tidy my graveside. A good run for you there, I always feel on reflection that I get more out of the "difficult" runs where you have to dig deep than I do when I feel like I'm flying. Knowing that at the crunch mentally and physically you were up to overcoming it.

    Today for me is a 7 mile MLR with 4 @ MP the rest of my week is 

    Thursday - 7 miles intervals 

    Saturday - 16 miles LSR. I am forsaking the country lanes for a bit of coastal running this week. A change is as good as a rest as they say.

    Sunday - 5 miles recovery run and an afternoon on the bike as far as the seafront and a couple of pints and some amazing fresh fish for lunch.

    Carter - I have the Colchester Half the same day, then 8 weeks til race day which gives me a few weeks to work hard on what my HM tells me before my taper

    I am going for gait analysis and a new pair of trainers on saturday, over the last few years between quite a serious foot injury and general improvement in running form I have had to adjust trainer types and I do feel back somewhere near to my best so I'll be interested what it comes up with. 

  • Oirish - what time are you aiming for at Colchester ?

    Carl - good run last night after the efforts of the race at the weekend.

    10.2 miles for me this morning.

    5 miles at an easy pace (9:33, 9:39, 9:49, 9:42, 9:33)

    4 miles at MP (8:35, 8:28, 8:28, 8:36)

    1.2 miles at 9:38

    The legs were heavy after the 3rd mile @ MP and the 4th mile started with a bit of a drag. I had to talk myself into carrying on with the last MP mile and it was hard going. Anyway, it's done now

  • Carter - I am aiming for 1:40 to 1:45. I am running it more because it is my home town event, it does fit nicely into training as a gauge of fitness or practicing MP before the last block of training.

    I am going to check out the route on the bike some time soon before deciding on strategy. The first few miles yo-yos up and down hills just to get it to pass through the local landmarks in the town centre and I am quite a good hill runner so if the second half is as flat as they say I might attack it from the off.

    This morning was 7 miles for me I decided to do my slow tomorrow (I'm taking a friend out with me, she is suitably slow) and do a bit of speedwork today.

    1 mile @ 9:16

    Then 8:27, 8:01, 8:10, 7:47, 7:57, 7:07

    1 mile @ 8:55

    Took a while to get into the swing of things today, bit of a stiff left bum cheek for a mile or two but was ok after that, mile 6 was a lovely straight flat footpath so could really stride out.

    Good fun

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