RW Forum Six – Sub 3.30

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  • Minni - I have to say, I'd agree. The last 6 miles are going to be painful, but to be honest, I expected that to the case when I signed up, so they may as well be painful in aide of a time i'm proud of than just 'getting round', once its done its done is my attitude. Is that foolish?

    The half in 90 mins was painful, but I am actually proud of that time, so its worth it I think.

    I'd love to be looking at 3:15, I am impressed image ... Quite where you find the time to run 20 miles 9 times in 3 months is amazing to me too. Dedication will certainly get you where you want to be.

    Final question, i think i may know the answer... given your advice, would you prescribe a long run this weekend starting off slowly and then building up to my pace later in the run? 2 weeks before the marathon will offer a good recovery period wouldnt it? Maybe?

  • Hello Sarah,

    Congrats on good news from the mortgage lender... thats the key to getting the keyimage .  So very jealous as well- would love to have a house, mainly so I could have a garage to have enough space to get some gym equipment... can you believe it is currently snowing in London.  WHEN WILL THIS WINTER END??!??  We're probably guaranteed it'll be 20degrees for Halstead Marathon and like both my other marathons I wont cope as well As I'd hoped due to the heat!

    I would say if there is any possibility of spending some prolonged time abroad/gap year... do it now!  A couple of my sister's friends, both medics have done so recently.  One is an anaethetist (is that spellt right) and she has been in Uganda for 6 months trying to improve medical facilities there.  I can imagine you may be thinking of having children at some point, and that will probably stop you from being able to do something like that for another 20 years.  In fact one of my colleagues quit about 9 months ago to go travelling with his gf- got back to the UK yesterday - I'm sure he could happily have his old job back without suffering any reduction of salary.  He just put his place up for rent for that time and they went to see the world!

    Clive, my knee is A Ok, now.  The fall yesterday has only left a pretty pink spot and doesn't seem to have resulted in any swelling. The other bump has calmed down now as well.  I will continue to ice it after my runs though.  This knee is injury prone- I was crashed into go karting a few years ago and the inside of my knee came into sharp contact with the steering column.  The next day I did an interval session, and it reacted by swelling... Diagnosis, Bursitis.  Its now regularly the knee I get patella tendonitis in , and now I've made it kiss the road/pavement twice in 3 days!!!  Perhaps I should have a protective caste put on it!image

     

  • Sean - that's a very good HM time and a pretty decent indicator that you have sub 3:30 potential. However, it doesn't always follow when you scale it up to marathon distance and as I've found out myself the way you train makes a massive difference. 

    My HM PB is 3:34, so not much slower than yours. The last 4 marathons I've run have been just under 4 hours - way off what a race predictor would calculate. I had the speed but not the endurance, and I can see why Minni is showing a little concern for you.

    When I ran my first marathon I did my long runs exactly like you have - all at what felt like on the edge of comfortable which at the time was around 8mm mark. I only did one 20 miler and small distances at speed in the week. On race day I went off like a rocket and hit the wall at 20 miles.

    To be fair I took no fuel on board and on the day it was very much hotter than the weather I'd trained in so that probably didn't help but I do think my training was the main factor. It has taken 4 years for me to realise this though image

    This year, on the advice of many on these forums, including Minni (who really knows her stuff by the way) I've been training completely differently. I have much more mileage and alot of it much slower than marathon pace. I've done 4x20+ milers and 2x18's (all at slower than 8:30 pace) and I would have done more but for a two week illness at the start of the year. I also incorporated a midweek long run of on average 10 miles in length every week. I feel much better prepared but of course I'll have to see how it goes on race day.

    Minni is dead right about those last 6 miles. You won't believe how hard they are until you do it for the first time. The pain is quite different from anything I have ever experienced. If you are really suffering then it's a struggle to make each step forward. 

    What marathon are you doing? If it's London you won't have any choice but to keep it slow at the start unless of course you go zig zagging through the crowds (another mistake I made in marathon no.1) don't even think about doing it!

    Best of luck!

    Minni - sorry you can't make TR24 image

    Sarah - hope you can get that house. We just found the ideal one for us only to be told that the owners have just decided to stay put! Grrr. 

    Foot pain is under control - not gone but managable thanks.

    Angela - what are you like? I think if you and RRR teamed up as a pair for TR24 it would be like Laurel and Hardyimage. I hope your latest round of bruises are under control and that there's no lasting damage. 

    Anyone else got snow? I can't believe this darn weather!

  • x-post Angela, yes snow in South East London too. Great. At least it's not settling here.

    Good to hear the knee is ok.

  • SeanAlexMartin wrote (see)

    Minni - I have to say, I'd agree. The last 6 miles are going to be painful, but to be honest, I expected that to the case when I signed up,

     

    Lol!  but they don't have to be! 

    SeanAlexMartin wrote (see)

     so they may as well be painful in aide of a time i'm proud of than just 'getting round', once its done its done is my attitude. Is that foolish?

    The faster you go off the more painful those last 6 will be and we're not talking pain as in 'ouch that hurts', its the pain Malcs describes where mentally and physically you struggle to put one foot in front of the other.  You must be prepared for this from your build up and believe me the faster you run (ie the quicker you get to this point) the more painful it will be.  Use the crowds in the first few miles to slow you down.  Don't worry if you're hitting 9 m/m - you'll gradually make that time up.  Take fuel on board (have you used gels in training?) from early on and drink plenty.  All this will help you cope with the closing miles.

    SeanAlexMartin wrote (see)

    The half in 90 mins was painful, but I am actually proud of that time, so its worth it I think.

     

    And so you should be.  That is a brilliant time and it will convert into a great marathon once you've built up the endurance to go with it. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • SeanAlexMartin wrote (see)

    Final question, i think i may know the answer... given your advice, would you prescribe a long run this weekend starting off slowly and then building up to my pace later in the run? 2 weeks before the marathon will offer a good recovery period wouldnt it? Maybe?

     

    Sean, I'd advise a run starting slow and staying slow!  You've already proved you can run at your MP over a long distance so now your challenge is slowing it down and spending more time on your feet.

    Most people now seem to opt for a 3 week taper, myself included, but for my first few marathons I always did a 2 week taper:  A HM 3 weeks out and a final 20 miler two weeks out.  It never did me any harm. 

    Depending on how many miles you've been running (what has been your average weekly mileage?) you have to look at what you're tapering from.  I'd reckon a slow 20 this weekend will do you more good than harm and you still have two weeks to go.  Next weekend I wouldn't do more than about 10.

    I wish you'd joined us a couple of months ago!

     

  • I wish you'd joined us a couple of months ago!

     

    Me too!!! 

    You have been incredibly helpful.

     

    Sean, I'd advise a run starting slow and staying slow!  You've already proved you can run at your MP over a long distance so now your challenge is slowing it down and spending more time on your feet.

    Most people now seem to opt for a 3 week taper, myself included, but for my first few marathons I always did a 2 week taper:  A HM 3 weeks out and a final 20 miler two weeks out.  It never did me any harm. 

    Depending on how many miles you've been running (what has been your average weekly mileage?) you have to look at what you're tapering from.  I'd reckon a slow 20 this weekend will do you more good than harm and you still have two weeks to go.  Next weekend I wouldn't do more than about 10.  

    Thats great news, thank you again for your help

    Malcs - And thank you too, really interesting viewpoint. Wish i hadn't been so stupid up to now though. ha. 

  • Sean - this will be my 12th marathon and I'm not kidding I have learnt something new from every single one.  You haven't been stupid at all, you're simply learning.  Stick around these forums and you'll learn more than you can read in any book.

     

  • Thank you again

    I'll let you know how it all works out. And good luck for your race.image

     

  • Sarah - In general I find that my race pace is a fair bit better than I can comfortably sustain in training so I'm reasonably confident. Having said that, a marathon is obviously a very different kettle of fish from the 10k and HMs I'm used to going and not having much marathon experience, and none at all anything like 3:30 pace, it's hard to say how my body will cope with those last 6 miles or so. But I think I'm as well prepared as I could reasonably expect and I've given myself a decent chance.  

    Malcs - the TR24 sounds great but I think it will be a bit tricky for me to make it this year. I'm going to suggest to my running club that we put in a team for next year though (or I may be up for it if you guys are putting in a team again). Oh, and and we have snow falling outside my office window at the moment.

    Angela - sorry to hear about your fall, it's outrageous that no-one stopped to help. Whereabouts in London do you run? 

    Sean - in my only two previous LMs I put down 4:30 as my start time so was quite a way back at the start. I didn't have any great ambitions timewise but even so there were times when the congestion got quite bad and it was quite frustrating, no doubt it will be more so for you as you're aiming for a decent pace. I'm not qualified to give advice on overall marathon strategy but I would certainly re-iterate what Malcs said above - don't waste energy trying to weave in and out to get through the crowd, I also learned that the hard way first time. If you see a decent gap open up then go for it but in general be patient and there will be relatively clear stretches where you will be able to make up lost time.

  • Sean - Echo what Minni said - you haven't been stupid at all. 

    There's an incredible amount to learn. What's more, not everything works for everyone. We're all different so you need to try things and work out what gets you the best results. My biggest mistake was not changing anything and doing the same preparation each year. Guess what? I got the same results each year image

    If you check out Shady Ady's Paris thread you'll see that Sam has him doing less weekly mileage than some others on these forums would be comfortable with. But it's working really well for him. Also he needed to get his speed up as his endurance was pretty good so he had lots of varied speedwork.

    Finding the forums this year has been a revelation for me. I really feel like I'm only just starting so as Minni says, stick around and you'll find you'll get so much help and support. There are some amazingly knowlegable people on the 3:15 thread for example. 

    Some tips I discovered over years of finding out the hard way:

    1. Don't set off too fast

    A marathon is a loooong way. It's far easier to up the pace further down the line because you've conserved energy than try to maintain pace as your body slowly drags you to the floor. 

    2. Take on fuel

    Gels, sweets, whatever you choose (and it's very personal) take something regularly through the race but always practice with it in a run beforehand or you could end up doing a Paula!

    3. Adjust for the conditions

    This is particularly important in the heat if you are a big sweater (like me). When it's like it is now ie. freakin' cold I can do 20 miles on no fluids. However, when it gets warmer I sweat like mad so I need to drink more. I take Nuun tabs and add them to water bottles to replace electrolytes as well.

    4. Don't zig-zag

    The start of big city marathons are crowded - don't be tempted to weave through the crowds. It wastes loads of energy for very little gain. PLus you're more likely to collide with someone or a pot hole or water bottle and that could be race over. 

     

    Have a great race and let us know how it goes!

  • Sean - here's an idea for your run at the weekend.  Set the virtual partner to run at 8:30 pace and the winner is whoever runs slowest. Make sure he's always ahead of you. 

  • Minni wrote (see)

    Sean - here's an idea for your run at the weekend.  Set the virtual partner to run at 8:30 pace and the winner is whoever runs slowest. Make sure he's always ahead of you. 

    Sounds awful, ha, but if thats what will make me better thats what i will do.

    (Just never feels like its making me better to run so slow)

  • Sean - I used to think exactly the same thing. My logic was that surely to run 8mm in a marathon I need to be training at 8mm for all my long runs?

    The problem with doing this is it completely knackers you out (if it doesn't then maybe your marathon pace needs to be fasterimage)

    The recovery time from a run at marathon pace is too long. You may not even realise that you're still recovering a week later but it catches up with you and you'll end up getting injured.

    The key, as I'm sure Minni will tell you, is time on your feet not speed. One thing that you can do to reassure yourself in future campaigns is introduce some marathon pace miles into your long runs. So do 20 miles slow and then do the last 5 at marathon pace. I know Minni does something like 4 slow, 4 MP, 4 slow, 4MP in some of her runs. 

    This way you get the confidence that you can run at MP on tired legs without pushing yourself too hard.

    If you have only done one 20 miler then you might get away with it going at MP but if you'd done 4 I bet it would have come back to bite you.

    There are some really experienced runners on here who do tonnes of very slow miles to build an endurance base. These are fast runners at 3:15 and quicker all running their long runs slower than 8:30mm pace.

     

  • Hi Mr P, how was your club run tonight? Ive had another lazy rest day....it feels strange getting home at a reasonable time two days this week!



    You wasnt actually that far of last years time this year then, only about 10 secs per mile slower which isnt too bad after your recent injury (if youve got your time right)
  • Hi Clive...wow, I cant believe that you travelled that far for a job interview....I thought travelling from leeds to sheffield for my uni interview was bad enough!! i cant believe that you didnt get the job due to politics.....they could have just said no before you had made the mammoth journey!



    How did you do in the Amsterdam marathon? You must have been so exhausted after all that travelling!



    That would be great regarding the info on the stamp duty thing if you dont mind - would you email me about it if thats ok?
  • I didn't get to club night, traffic home was terrible, I got changed in the car as I was queuing at various points but at 6:40 (start time) I was still miles away and stationary so I cut off to go home planning to do my run from there, but I was so annoyed at missing a nice sunny run along the riverbank with my friends that I didn't want to plod round the lanes. So I told myself that my knee could do with a rest and I had my tea instead. I realised afterwards I could have gone to the gym but it was too late then.



    Joking apart a rest won't do any harm at all really. Mrs p is planning to join the Chester half people for an organised training run on Sunday, so if I go too I can go to parkrun on Saturday morning and really that will be quite enough for week one of taper.



    What is your taper timetable Sarah?
  • Hi Sean, thankyou for your questions (and Minni's and Malcs answers). They have been interesting to read and I have learnt things from them myself.



    Im intrigued...how long have you been running for? Have you just stuck to halfs before? Do you run for a club or just on your own? Have you been following any particular training schedule?



    When I first came onto the forums, everyone recommended P&D which I found to be a very interesting read. I was like you and ran all my runs at MP last year in my training and found it easy. On the day by mile 16 + I actually found it hard to maintain the pace. I ended up with a positive split of 8 minutes!!



    My first marathon was VLM last year. I was really frustrated with lots of slower runners being infront of me and tried to get round them the best I could as I felt great setting off (the joys of a taper) but looking back I wish I had just plodded with the crowd and saved some of my energy, like Minni said, you can pick up the pace later to make up for it.



    I did a 20 mile race a few weeks ago, I took the first 10 miles steady and then did the second 10 slightly quicker than MP and found it easy. I was over taking all those that had set of at MP at the start who were flagging by 15 miles and ended up with a better time.
  • Hi Angela, I thought it was April fools at the weekend??? Snowing in London?? A patient who I saw did tell me that it was snowing in London whilst I did some acupuncture...I really cant believe it as its been quite nice and sunny up here. I hope it doesnt snow for VLM!!!



    The house we like has a double garage....ready for a TM and some gym equipment, thats the plan anyway. We currently spend ??100 a month on gym membership between us so we thought it would be a wise investment!



    A colleague is about to go on sabbatical leave for a year so I know that work will allow it. Chris wants children now...ive been putting it off for the last few years : )



    I think i would be tempted to wear knee pads!!
  • Hi Malcs...you described those last 6 miles well. I was in so much pain....I wanted to walk so much but when I stopped and walked a few steps whilst chewing a shot block, all I wanted to do was run again which I did. I cant even remember seeing Big Ben or any of the other sites at the end and I can remember thinking nothing but "never again" and "I want a jelly baby", which then turned into "I feel sick" when I saw a jelly baby, for the last 3-4 miles.



    Its making me feel nervous just thinking about it!



    Im so sorry to hear about the house that you had found...why did they put it on the market in the first place if they were going to change their minds...some people! Have you seen anything else that you like?
  • Evening Andy....im thinking the same as you....I really dont think I could have done my training any better than I have done, which puts us both in the best position possible. I really cant wait to find out how we have all done after the big day!
  • Malcs...your top tips are ace...thankyou
  • Hi Mr P, you must have been so frustrated, I hate it when things like that happen out of your control. I think if I went home from work before going to the gym, I dont think I would make it back out to the gym at all.



    I think a rest will have done you good after a speedy run yesterday, I certainly dont think it will have done you any harm, especially now that we are in the taper!



    Im dying to do the park run in York but im waiting until after VLM now. I havent done the one in York before and have only raced the one 5k at the start of marathon training (in newcastle) so im keen to see how ive improved.



    Long run wise I am doing 15 this weekend and 8-10 the weekend after. This week I have a medium run of 10 miles with 7 being at MP. Im not sure what this will be next week at the moment, I guess it all depends on whether the 5 mile road race next wed goes ahead or not.



    What are your plans for next week?
  • Training Diary for Forum 6 sub 3:30 (VLM)



    Week 14 (day 94), aim; Rest day



    I have had a nice relaxing rest day today. My on call was again surprisingly nice with only two late visits phoned through which I deferred for tomorrow as they were both not emergencies.



    I have done some cooking when i got in then caught up on here.



    I have arranged to have a sport massage tomorrow afternoon, which im hoping will help my slight tight hamstrings.



    Have a busy day now tomorrow, with a physio appointment at 8:30 (she wanted to see how I was getting on even though, touch wood, my knee has been fine for months), followed by an opticians appointment, then my 10 miles, followed by a quick shower and then sports massage. Im guessing im better of getting the run in before the massage than doing it afterwards...even though its going to be tight, time wise!
  • Hi Sarah, 

    Yes, snowing in London!!! CRAZY!  So you'll be impressed to hear that I managed to have a run tonight without falling flat on my face.  5 mile 'recovery run' although given my recent cop-outs with trainnig not sure there was much to recover from.  Nonetheless, it was the first time for a while I felt I was moving properly, and despite it being a fairly boring route along roads to stay safe in streetlights, it felt good to be out there running in my bright pink arm warmers image

    Love the sound of your garage gym- my equipment would include a Concept2 rowing machine and a turbo for cycling training, as well as the treadmill.  I'd have to really research the treadmill though - I used to be at LA Fitness, and I hated the treadmills there, whereas at another gym I have been a member of, they had really nice ones, that felt more natural when you ran, - I think they were made by Lifefitness? and they had TV screens, so you could load in things like the route of the LA marathon for example.  I already have a bunch of other stuff, like free weights and a swiss ball, but the living room is rather crowded already!  Well good luck with it!

    Malcs, are you impressed- no falling over!!!! Another successful run, by Laurel... or am  I Hardy?  Hmm, we'll have to check with RRR...

  • Well the weekend just changed, I am doing my long run on Saturday now so I can watch puffy juniors football team on Sunday.



    Monday will be club night, which will be Fartlek or intervals, then Wednesday a medium 7 or 8 miles at 8mm then another club night or tempo on Thursday.



    The long run will be 13 at 8mm on the last Sunday.
  • Dont let RRR hear about your bright pink arm warmers...she will be wanting some to match her bright pink knee highs Angela!



    Glad to hear that you had a good run today and managed to stay standing.



    My gym has lifefitness and I do love those TM. They feel more sturdier and well built than the LA ones (which my opld gym use to have). Im guessing the lifefitness ones will be expensive but it will probably be money well spent!
  • Hmm,  the pink arm warmers were NYC marathon 2012 kit... bought at the Expo for the marathon that never was...  a collectors item I believe... Not giving them up....

  • Think RRR (sarah) had 13 miles down as her last long run the week before paris. Its so difficult knowing what to do as everyone seems to be doing something different and the books seem to advise differently too. I think im planning on doing a lot less miles than you next week, but then again my max weekly milage has only been 45. Aiming for 35 this week and then probably 20-25 the following week.



    Im sure watching puffy junior will be alot better than doing a park run, which you can do any saturday.
  • Sarah - not too gutted about the house. We've missed two we liked already. Another one always seems to come along. The story with these guys was that they were only moving because they saw one they liked and now that has gone so they have no reason to move now. Suppose it makes sense.

    Anyway, two more came on today that look promising so that's Saturday afternoon sorted image

    Best of luck with your viewing tomorrow. I hope you can get it for the price you want. 

    Re. the tips, they are quite basic so weren't intended for you! image Most of them are commonly mentioned on forums and in books but it didn't stop me from missing them or thinking I knew better image

    I am planning to do the same as you for the next two weekends - 15 miler then 10 miler. I'm only going to do a few short runs in the last week too. I find I work better if I starve myself of running for a few days so I'll be down at nearer 12-15 miles for the final week. 

    Angela - great to hear you remained vertical this time, especially considering the conditions! We have lying snow here too, it is absolutely mad. I believe it'll be all going tomorrow though thank goodness. 

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