How do you know when you've reached your full potential?



  • Thanks for that image so, how many fartleck should I do a week? One, two? 

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    also 16-19 sounds a bit too much for a long run, unless you're on the road to doing a marathon.

    16miles or 2hours running is probably enough for upto a half marathon, before it starts to dip more into injury risk/fatigue territory than beneficial. (in my opinion)

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    I wouldn't especially think fartlek to be honest, i'd think more a session like 6-7miles at Marathon pace (roughly a minute quicker than top end easy pace, or 20secs slower than Half marathon pace)

    You can mix that up with combining half marathon pace after a few successful completions of the MP run.

    Fartlek has it's place but I personally think that you do enough "run as fast as you like when you like" stuff as it is...without making one of your sessions into that too!

  • Marathon pace is quite slow though, which a lot of my miles I run when not racing are pretty slow, should I not be training a bit faster?

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    if you have your zones correct, you'll find that marathon pace in training ISN'T actually that slow. We're talking a "theoretical" training zone, rather than what you'd actually currently run a marathon in.

    Let's break it down. Your half marathon of 1hr 35 is 7.15 pace.

    That would make your marathon pace around 7.35 pace.

    That'd mean your easy pace is something like 8.25-9.00ish

    You should find a 6-7mile run at 7.35 a medium hard workout.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    (the track session is where you'd lay down the snappier work)

  • That's put it in perspective now image

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    and just in case you're interested...I've tried it both ways...doing whatever I fancied when I liked, which saw my times drop as the milege increased, but then got to a point the science and pace zones needed to arrive to take me on.

  • Rebecca, I'm hopeless at planning out my weeks, hopeless at following 'off the shelf' plans. I had a small period of time last year that I call my 'grey months' - I was neither running easy, nor quick. Most miles blurred into one pace.

    I still don't detail plan, but know that every week  I will fit in one Long Run, one Medium Long Run (easy), one Tempo run, one hill reps or intervals. Everything else is easy running. Pretty much SG's 2pence worth written in my long winded way (lets call it 1pence worth). I know what needs to be done training wise, and build in the sessions around other committments and how I'm feeling, No more grey miles for me.

  • I agree, it's nice just going out not having to think about pace zones, however, once I started improving and winning a few races, I know I can push myself further to improve.

  • I found that since I got myself organised and familiar with the format, the interval/ tempo sessions don't really need that much thought and they tend to be the ones I look forward to.
  • Masochistimage

  • Probably the wrong thread but I read somewhere that you only need 6 weeks of interval work, as that is all you need to maximise the vo2.


  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    The 6 week comment I've ever, is that it takes 6weeks of training to make a difference...

  • Just for the sake of asking, assuming everything, e.g. my weight and mileage stays consistent, is it possible to decline in performance?

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    plateau then decline could happen over time yes

  • to borrow some more words. to avoid the plateau always keep your hard work outs hard. The Harder you work the easier it gets but then unfortunately you have to make it harder again to keep improving. 

    They say to keep your long slow runs as slow as possible but as your race pace increases so too will your LSR speed too. 

    Everything is borrowed from some where

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    who says to keep your long slow runs as slow as possible out of interest?

    Should I be doing my long runs at 10min miling pace Kelv?

  • My Long Runs are shaped around bits I've read from McMillan, Pfitzinger & Douglas, and more recently Julian Goater. None of them have recommended pacing them as slow as possible.

    Who is 'they', as I am light on summer reading

  • depends on your race pace. Usually 1.5 mins a mile off that. My race pace at the mo is 8.5 min miles so i do run at 10 minute miles. 

    I said slow but I really should have said easy pace. And it says that in every training plan i've seen including this months runners world.

    Why do I feel like i'm being got at......

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    which race pace?

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭
    kelvin chadwick wrote (see)


    Why do I feel like i'm being got at......

    Probably old son, because you post stuff like the below, without knowing the history of the people contributing to this thread, before continuing with some generic "tips for beginners" advice image

    kelvin chadwick wrote (see)

    I think. and no disrespect to anyone here. But you should be asking an expert like a running coach what they think. We don't know you, we haven't seen your running form. We haven't seen your split times for the race or anything.




    kelvin chadwick wrote (see)

    Why do I feel like i'm being got at......

    Kelvin, don't worry about a bit of questioning or disagreement on here.  I also raised the question on the long runs for example as there are loads of permutations on how these could be run dependendent on race distance / author of the plan.

    McMillan pace calculator will for example give you a range of paces for your long run, but he also recognises the benefits of doing a fast finish long run 2 or 3 times in the training campain. P&D tend to progressively up the pace during the long run, and on some weeks will include an extensive section of marathon paced mileage.

    I'm not too keen on the " always keep your hard work outs hard." approach. Knowing when to back off is a skill that I haven't yet developed to my own cost - as a result I have had to drop several hard sessions recently due to nigggles / injuries. As a result I have gone backwards on my 10k training image

  • DeanR7DeanR7 ✭✭✭

    come on now stevie, kelvins post made perfect sense.   The coach who watches you run/train will have a much better understanding than someone on the internet.  Thats all he was saying.  Good advice if you ask me image

    and the biggest mistake most runners make is running all mileage too fast a pace.  Again kelvins advice was to run your long runs slow, as slow as you can.  Alright he could have added a pace of +2mins or something but the underlying advice is sound. 

  • I've always ran my long runs slow, sometimes I look at the watch and think WTH, how do I ever race at the pace I was running at previously, I find it extremely hard to train solo at race pace.

    Regarding DeanR7 post, I agree with kelvins advice, I've hardly ever been injured and I think it's down to training most of my runs 'easy' but now I want to improve my pace, so something will need tweaking in my training routine.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Well Becca, you've got a mix of advice now.

    You've got some like Dean says sensible standard advice, and you've also got some more specific pace zones based on your current fitness, and ideas for breaking your week's mileage down.

    Over to you how you take it forward. Best of luck.

  • DeanR7DeanR7 ✭✭✭

    hi becca, dont get me wrong the success is in the detail.  If you post your ave weekly mileage, and race PBs, you will get some great advice from stevie and others about the correct paces to train at. 

    But often it takes 10 yrs or so to reach a peak. when its less than that its a plateau and normally changing some training methods will unlock stagnation. 

  • I think the general consensus is that a lot of miles should be done at an easy pace. 

  • Yep, thank you for all advice image I'll most certainly start incorporating speed work into my training plan, such as interval/fartlek and not just saving the speed work for races! Hopefully reap the benefits and 6 min miles will feel like a breezeimage

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