Beyond #asics262: life after Target 26.2 for sub-3:30 runner Malcolm



  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Again, I don't think its something you can put down to any one factor.  The more experience you have at longer distances the better you (might) me. 

    I often run an Autumn marathon of only 2 or 3 longer runs and this tends to come out at about 5 minutes slower than my next marathon.  I don't 'race' these, just use them as a test.  I think I could match or even sneak in a pb off this type of build up if I really wanted to but I think I could only do it once then have to do the proper build up for the next one.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    The number of long runs is possibly a horses for courses thing and for me it really seems to affect how well I cope with the last 6 miles. If I get my body used to running 20 miles then its only really 6 miles to worry about on the day. As long as I pace myself correctly.
  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    PD - (found an acceptable shorteningimage) - I'm in agreement with the others that 5 or so 20+ milers is the way to go. On pace I think everyone would agree that it has to be done slooooow. Hmm, wasn't that one of Millsy's schoolboy errors - running long runs too fast?

    Aiming to run 8mm MP I ran my long runs at 9-9:30mm pace. Not sure what the gereral rule is though. Minni and others are alot more experienced than me!

    Minni - interesting stuff as ever! 

  • Can someone please explain to me: my understanding of running the long run slow, is to balance the need and ability to run for the required duration during a marathon, so running slowly allows one to run longer during training without increased energy expenditure so we're 'used to' running the time it will take to run a marathon, and to allow adequate recovery before your next long run likely to be 7 days later, as running too fast may result in increased injury or requirement for longer duration for recovery, ricking further injuries.

    It feels like there are more reasons behind having to run slow. Is there any other reasons for running a long run slow? Thanks!

  • I wasn't a great fan of P&D when I followed it last year - found a lot of it slow and boring but I did get the desired result as did nearly everyone else I know who used it.

    I ran those at MP + 20% for the first half and MP+10% for the second half, unless I was running some MP miles in there. I think that worked really well.

    Having said that I'm not going to use P&D this year. I want to have more fun and run more intervals. I might pay for it but last year I had to run my GFA time. This year I want to enjoy my training and enjoy marathon day. If it doesn't work out I'll have a rethink!

    In truth, I have made running all about the marathon and I'd like to get away from that.

    Just took a look at my old running diaries and ran everything too fast!!!

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    For me it helps to build up the aerobic system, mentally gets the mind used to being out on the road for a long time, it makes me more efficient ( not sure on the exact science but its supposed to help you burn more fat than carbohydrate). The main benefit for me was that I felt a lot fresher by Tuesday so I could put 100% effort into my intervals or tempo sessions.

    When I was running the long runs too fast, every run in the week ended up as an easy recovery run as my legs were smashed to pieces.
  • Sorry, Malcs, I meant to add that my training this year is likely to look quite a lot like yours! looking forward to you posting them up!

  • I've always done my long runs slow - between 8:45 and 9:15 pace and usually have a bit of a battle on my hands with other club runners who want to do their long runs at marathon pace (not surprisingly they got injured) or at around 8:30 pace (for sub 3:30). Sometimes I go a bit faster if it feels really comfortable, other times even 9:15 feels really hard and I have to stop off for jelly sweets just to stay motivated. I've never quite understood why they say it is not worth being on your feet for longer than 4? hours as it is all about building up the endurance and the mental coping surely. I like to do a 24-mile run for the psychological confidence. 

    In my best marathon I managed to do the 100 miles of long runs. In Florence, I had done most of the long runs before I did my lower back in, but did very little in the last 3-4 weeks - felt fine on PB form until mile 23 when I hit the wall big time. So, you clearly have to keep running the shorter distances too. For Boston, following straight on from Florence, I had to ramp up my mileage very quickly at the end because a foot strain in the snow knocked me back and training in Abu Dhabi in the heat and on the flat was not good. As a result I only just got up to 21 miles. I got away with it injury wise, but had nothing in the legs from half way.

  • I've only done one marathon but ran all my 20 milers (6 in all) at 8:15-8:30 pace. Probably on the fast side but still within the McMillan range for long runs for 3:30 marathon and it didn't seem to affect me adversely. I ran the marathon in 3:29. Would be interesting to see what the coaches advise Malcs for his long run pace for Paris.
  • i loved the long sessions where on one or two a month i either increased the pace every 5 miles till the last 5 were at marathon pace...or i did the last 10 at marathon pace...really helped to speed up......but i did have a lot of m,iles in my legs at the time

  • I like a lot of 20+ mile runs - I've done eight for each of my last two marathons, around MP+60 seconds on average, apart from a few that I put some MP miles into. Longest was 23. I find it hard to slow down more than that, so just go with what has worked for me!

    Prior to VLM this year I included 3 races of 20 or 21 miles which were great for a pacing strategy, as I always find it easier to settle into the right pace when I'm running with other people. The first of those didn't quite work out (I wasn't 100% well on the day), but the second 20 mile race I ran at MP (7.30s) the whole way, very even, and it was perfect - gave me great confidence I could hold it for the full 26.2, which I ended up managing. Then the final one was a 21 mile race, which I split into three sections - MP+60seconds, MP+30 seconds, MP. That worked really well too.

    This year I'm aiming for sub 3.15 and looking at 8.20-8.25 average pace for my long's working so far....18 done this morning in fact @ 8.25s. Looking to do my first 20 this side of the new year - that way I can build in a few cut-back weeks as I go along and still get eight or so in.
  • Part of me is a bit suspicious about the asics plans .........and have they picked candidates that look like they could easily get the targets so that whatever plan they followed they would achieve them.....when i seem to think that more longer miles would get them even more benefits....

    But then no plan fits all i suppose......

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Wow some great insights here, this is excellent!

    Sticky - I'd also love to know if there's more to running long runs slow than just self preservation. I'll be sure to ask Steve.

    Millsy - good point, the mental benefits are huge. So there's another one Sticky.

    ArrowsLou - I can't see what you'd get from running for 4 hours if your aim is to be on your feet for less than 3:30....other than knackered that is image

    Freemers - I'd really like to try running a 20 at MP but I'd be worried it would take too much out of me. The confidence benefit would be huge though.

    That said, I think you can get a nice compromise by running some MP at the end or doing two sets of MP and two sets of slow. I think this is one you favour Minni, am I right?

    You're flying already - wow, 18 @ 8.25 is amazing! 

    Slowkoala - jeepers creepers not sure I could do all my long runs at that pace! If it suits you I guess you stick to it. Just seems a bit risky. Or maybe you are running your long runs slow and you're actually capable of a much faster marathon pace? image

    DS2 - excellent! Hmm, slightly scared that you're talking about doing something similar to me when I know how quick you are!image

    Seren - we'll wait and see how close to those our plans are. I'm sure Ady and Sarah's were significantly tweaked.

  • I think they were so tweaked that I can't see why  they don't just get steve and sam to write programmes instead of sticking to asics seems wrong that they are saying all our 5 followed asics and were successful...( when the final plans were nothing like it

    reminds me of the cheryl cole advert for hair products that gave her such wonderful hair.......and it turned out it was all extensionsimage

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    ArrowsLou - Its all about recovery.  You need to make sure you bank the long run but also get the rest of the sessions/miles in during the week too.   I do some duration runs but no longer than 3:15.

    Freemers/Malcs The 20 @ MP definitely worked for you Freemers.  Not sure I'd try it but there again there are no 20m races anywhere near me for it to be an option. Freemers - you're with me in the 3:10 - 3:15 bracket! ;-)

    Malcs Yes you're right I love the 20 milers with blocks at MP.  Incidentally my coach would say that 20 with 10 @ MP is more of a test whether or not that is a realistic MP.  If you manage that run then its all looking good but if you struggle then the MP may have to be revised.

    I've got my second 20 this weekend (last weekend was 20 @ 7:49 but 13.1 of that was in a race) and marathon training hasn't started yet.  Last time I did 9 of 20 or more miles and would expect the same this time.

    I remember a lot of tweaking going on last year, especially by Steve, so looking forward to see what plans he has for you Malcs.

  • I agree marathon pace in your long run will definitely find you out!


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    And if it doesn't it probably means you aren't pushing hard enough on the day.
  • i loved all of Minni's suggested ways of spicing up the long runs with sections at marathon pace.  Sometimes speeding up for a section can help avert tiredness, but as long as you have adequate time to recover image

    enjoy ur shopping tomorrow Malcs, remember I'm a size small, and trainers in a UK 6.5image

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Totally Angela. It's funny how the long slow run can feel like a bit of a slog then inject some pace and it suddenly livens up! 

  • The long run debate and pacing is one that goes on most weeks at our running club.

    Think I did 3 @ 20 ish last year all at 9:30 pace. Mp of 9mm to get sub 4. Seemed to work, but feel this year I will want to do 5 or 6 over the course of training.

    Also one of the runs on the boring, straightest, tiresome routes when it's raining and cold. That way when in the marathon of things get a bit tricky I have in my mind that I've done harder runs than this.

    Like minni's thoughts on injecting pace every now and again.
  • Agree with Minni that the runs where only the 2nd half is at MP are much harder than just doing the whole thing at MP. I followed the Shades plan and there were lots of mid week runs with 50-75% of the miles at MP. I would find it easier just to run it all at MP rather than having to speed up mid run.

    Malcs, unfortunately don't think I was capable of any faster for my marathon so I guess I was just lucky not to get injured from the long runs. This time around I'll try and go slower or at least mix it up a bit. Also, I'm going to do a 20 mile race in the March to gauge progress.
  • Have a great day today Malcs. Remember, you have to be at least as funny as Ady was, but please no Lycra pics!image

  • The 20 I did at marathon pace was 6 or 7 weeks out from the marathon, and I definitely wouldn't do it any closer.

    Minni - by 3.10-3.15 bracket I'm thinking 3.14.59 for me. You'll be nearer to the lower range I reckon!

    Malcs - have a great day today image
  • I'll watch this thread with interest. I'm not at 3.30 standard, but maybe one day.... Well done Malcs. Chuffed for you that you got through.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Enjoy today Malcs! An looking forward to seeing the plan they give you.

    Mistake of the day- make sure that the plasters you will use for chafing issues actually stay on when its wet! If in doubt carry spares. I wondered why I was getting such a cheer going down the embankment. When I saw the post race photo I started to understand.

    Have the rugby club Christmas do tonight, so tomorrows run is all dependant on the hangover.
  • Bearing in mind that this will be my first marathon campaign, so my longest run to date is about 16miles, I often include MP sections; usually along the canal where it's nice and flat.  I find it quite refreshing.  Not sure how I'll feel trying to inject some pace into the end of a 20 miler though.

    Quite pleased that I managed a surprisingly pleasant 10 miler with a slight hangover this morning after last nights office outing.  Thought I'd get it out of the way today as it's the running club xmas do tonight with potentially more severe consequences.

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Afternoon all!

    Popping on a quick post as I'm not long back and we have a Christmas party to prepare for.

    Thanks so much for the good wishes for today. I had an amazing time at the Asics store. The staff from Asics and RW were absolutely brilliant. Had a great chat with Steve and feel very inspired now.

    Will report back in full tomorrow afternoon. 

    Have a great night and enjoy your runs tomorrow!

  • A man multi tasking!!! Malc I'm finally impressed tweetin, blogging, training, shopping & now partying to the list. Have a nice nigh,t training tomorrow so don't turn all celebrity on us staying out late drinking dirty beer, there's work to be done!!image

    But a well deserved night offimage


  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Can't wait to hear about the partying Malcs image and a bit about the Asics trip too.image

    Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate 5 and 10ks but I do them because I know they are good for something.   Today I headed to my local parkrun (100 mile round trip) to nail a good training session by running it as a progressive run.  3.5m warm up then 3 miles at 6:53, 6:42: 6:28 and 6:16 for the last bit.  I've never managed this in a parkrun before as I tend to go off too fast but this is definitely the way to run them - hard but less painful, I think.  The course was measuring long due to a reroute but if it had been as normal I might have just bagged a pb too.  Perfect confidence builder for the start of marathon training. image

  • Great thread !!

    Not at 3.30 pace my best was MCR last year at 3.55 but looking forward to seeing the plan when its posted and seeing if I can adapt parts to try for a PB this year in London

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