RW Forum 5 - Sub 4

and we have another winner ...

Well done Lee and another runner up in this category Stewart C also looking for the sub 4



  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Hi Lee and Stewart! Well done on getting through!

    Lee - Just to make ourselves at home - can you tell me a little of your background/ previous PBs etc. Also what race have you lined up?

  • Congratulations lee it is going to be fun following your journey image

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Stewart - although this is Lee's prize - I'm happy to help others as much as I can!

    Pull up a chair and get comfy!

  • And there was me thinking we were supposed to be doing less sitting down image

    Well done Lee! (and Stewart too image )

  • Have we lost Lee already? image

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Maybe he saw who was coaching him and ran off to hid? image

    I guess this is a good time to post my motto for this spring... image



  • Nice pic and I agree whole heartily, I would imagine he is out on a long run, I got mine done early, 18 miles with 300meters of elevation, the legs are a little tired now, 65 miles for the week, rest day tomorrowimage

  • *pops in to say hello*

    Given I'm still striving for that ever elusive sub 4 I may pop in from time to time to see what I can pick up image

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Stewart - this is the t-shirt that we have on the Paris thread for sub 4 training. We're trying to persuade one of the speedsters to dress up as a grim reaper to be our motivator!

    Kaz - I know that you'll get to the sub 4 as well. You've got a solid base of endurance to build on and i've seen you fly around the lake!

    Stewart - how did your LSR go? Did I see correctly that you're following P&D marathon plan? What race are you aiming for? Before my interrogation ends... do you live somewhere with 300m of elevation or was that just luck?

    I live in Belgium and struggle with motorway bridgesimage

  • Couldn't remember when this was announced and I am both greatly surprised and delighted to be selected. 

    I am all signed up for the VLM on April 13th. I failed to get a ballot place but no one at East Grinstead Athletics club wanted the place so I got it by default.image

    I only joined this year to help add a point or two in the Southern League Div 3 meets. I was a member before I left school which was back in 1986. A very long time ago.

    I only started back running in 2008 when I signed up for a 10k and with little training managed to get under the hour mark. Since then I have run a few 10ks and Half Marathons and in 2011 ran my first and only Marathon (Brighton). I say ran, but I hit the wall at mile 19 and walked most of the last 6-7 miles.

    My PBs are:-

    10k = 46:56 (2012)

    HM = 1hr45:02 (2013)

    M = 4:27:05 (2011)

    The reason for applying for a mentor was because I have hit a plateau. My last 4 10ks are all within 30 seconds of each other and my last 4 HMs (bar one) are all within 30 seconds of each other. This years PB  was only 2 seconds quicker than my last PB.

    I only found out I had a place in the VLM 2 weeks ago and my running had been sporadic since my HM in October. I was looking for a recommended plan to follow and as E mmy knows (as she recommended it) I am using Shades Novice 2 plan.

    The plan itself is an 18 week plan so I have followed week 1 (missed one 5 mile run due to Christmas) which ended with a 10 mile long run yesterday. I have then skipped weeks 2 and 3 and will begin with week 4 tomorrow.The Saturday long run should be a 16 miler. I am still trying to decide whether to cut that to 14 but I am going to miss a long run on 18th January. 

    So how does this mentor thing work? Do you need to know more about what I plan? Nearer the time I will have questions about how I should be pacing the actual marathon as I failed so badly last time. For now I guess I should be looking at sports drinks and gels for my long runs.

  • Emmy, the LSR was quite tough given the climb, and the underfoot conditions on the trail were a bit wet and sticky in places.

    I'm following P&D 55-70 18 week schedule I think that was the fourth week completed, as I said in my pitch I may cut back the volume if it proves too much.

    I'm doing lochaber marathon again this spring on the 6th April, it was my first one and i ran it too hard given my fitness, the last 10 miles where painful, finishing time of 4:28:xx, smashed that at Baxters by 26 minutes and it was a lot harder course.

    I live up in inverness in the highlands of Scotland, depending on how you look at it luckily I don't have very far to find a hill and finding a completely flat route is possible but a little uninspiring, you must find it difficult training for races that have hills in them.

    just so you are aware my PB's are





    Lee, your 10k and HM times are considerably quicker than mine, looks like you'll need to work on building some endurance you have the speed already to obtain a sub 4 time.

  • Carl DCarl D ✭✭✭

    Just popped in to say congrats and best of luck toyou both.

    From your HM and 10k times, with a decent lot of training under your belt, you should be able to do it.

    Emmy will get you there I am sure.

    Stewart C - you are not far off either.I must admit to not being a great fan of P&D but each to their own. I am sure you will pick up a few tips from those on here to creep under the 4 hours.

    And Emmy really impressed with you for putting yourself forward as a mentor knowing how much time you spend racing all round the world. I lurk on the Paris thread having run it last year and occassionaly meet up with a few on the local parkrun. I will be doing London this year.

    I will pop in every so ofton to see how you are all getting on.

    Best of luck.image

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Evening all! 

    Lee - thanks for replying and reposting the thread. The plan for mentoring is we discuss your weeks training, I try to advise on nutrition, pacing, general advice and we aim to get you under sub 4 come April! From your PB it looks positive for a decent sub 4 - we just need to build the endurance into your plans.

    Ever week it would be good to know: what runs you're planning, what pace and then after your workouts - report it back here (this is optional but would be good to help us track and provide feedback).



    What it would be good to know is: do you have any half maras planned before VLM?

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Part #2

    This mentoring thing is completely what you make of it. I promise to reply, give honest advice and support you along the journey. I can only give back what you put in so its a good partnership!

    Stewart -I'm mightily impressed with your times. Inverness is a beautiful part of the world. A friend is running devil of the highlands in the summer. I think your plan to start off and reassess is a good one. What are your review times? Do you have any halfs planned? Do you do any park runs?

    Carl - thank you for popping on! I wanted to give back and through the last year the sub 4 journey has been one I've followed so can closely relate!

  • Emmy - Cool, that is pretty much what I expected. As soon as I get back on my main PC I will look at this weeks' planned runs and post them. I will also summarise last weeks.

    I am most likely going to run the Tunbridge Wells Half on March 2nd. I did this one in the same year I ran the Brighton Marathon. It has one hell of a hill in it so I doubt I'll get a PB but expect to beat what was then a PB of 1hr48:50.

    I chose the Shades training plan as it seems to fit with my life (work and kids). It includes 4 runs a week with an option for a fifth (not likely). Mon/Tue/Wed/Sat.

    Two of the midweek runs are easy or recovery while the other is usually a tempo or a longish run finishing at Marathon pace. I also like the number of long runs included. The longest is 22 miles which was also the in my previous Marathon plan. It is also the furthest I have ever run without walking.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    That's great. Regardless of the hill it'll be a good idea to get an idea of your fitness. One of the important things is practising race day and this includes nutrition and pacing.

    Shades plan is great as it encompasses all of the major parts of training. Do you have a garmin/ heart rate monitor so we can see/track your stats? 

  • I very much have a Garmin. I upload everything to Garmin Connect and to SportTracks. I do have a heart rate monitor but rely on pace really. The HR is a nice to have to add to all of those stats. I am a bit of a Statto to be honest.

    I got my pacings for the plan from Shades as well. I'll pop those on this thread too.

    All of the pacings have been worked out based on what I should be able to run the Marathon in. According to my 10k and HM PBs, I should be able to do it in 3hrs45.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Good to know theres a fellow stat freak amongst us! If you can PM me your garmin connect I can stalk you (unless you're willing to post them on here).

     Agree that the time indicates between 3.45-3.50 but we'll have better indications once you have done some longer runs to see how your endurance builds. For the longest time - my times were the opposite of yours. I had the endurance but not the speed so I could run sub 4 times in a marathon but struggle with 5/10/21k's! 

  • PM'd the GC stuff.

    So according to my 10k and HM PBs as well as a potential target of 3hrs45 in the VLM Marathon, my paces for the Shades plan are as follows:-

    Training paces:-       Easy runs 8:50 to 9:20 min/miles 5:29 to 5:47 min/km Long runs 9:20 to 10:20 min/miles 5:47 to 6:25 min/km Tempo runs 7:30 to 7:50 4:39 to 4:52 min/km Marathon Pace 8:30 min/mile     5:16 min/km Recovery Pace 10:00 to 10:30 min/mile 6:12 to 6:31 min/km

    I work in kms and have yet to be converted. I enjoy seeing the number of miles left to run rather than kms though.

    Week1 of the plan should have been 

    Mon - Easy 5 miles

    Tue - Easy 6 miles

    Wed - Tempo 5 miles

    Sat - Long 10 miles

    I didn't do the Easy 6 this week due to Xmas. The Tempo was disappointing as I only managed a 5:05 p/k (8:10 p/m) pace. Normally I run tempos easily within the desired pace. The Long run was run around 5:52 p/k pace. I found it pretty easy as normally I would run it at 5:30 p/k or faster. 

    Running the longer runs at a slower pace is the bit I need to get my head around. It does make sense though. The one HM I failed at recently (2012) was a flat course in Bexhill that I had lined up for a PB. I had a good training build up and worked pretty hard. I even ran my last couple of long runs at 5:15 p/k pace. On the day I felt lethargic and not at all fresh. I crashed and burned and the last 2 or 3 km were really hard 5:20-5:30 p/k pace. I finished in 1hr48 and was devastated.


  • Week 2 (Week 4 of Shades plan)

    Mon - Easy 5 Miles

    Tue - Easy 8 Miles

    Wed - Tempo 5 Miles

    Sat - Long 12 Miles

    I will probably swap Tues and Weds around in case the New Year celebarations get too much. I do expect to run Weds though.

    Saturday I will probably up to 14 miles (rather than 12) as the week after the long run goes up to 16 and the 13 mile run the week after, I will be away for my wife's 40th so it won't get done. The week after that, should be an 18 mile long run. I don't want the jump to that one to be too great.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Morning all,

    Thanks for posting your times and paces Lee - that's really helpful. I'm a little concerned with you missing two weeks of the base training. It's better to build a better base to make sure that you're not increasing the distance too quickly. Going from 10-12 isnt a big deal but moving up 10-14 and then 16 within two weeks could be a little tiring if you don't have the mileage in your legs. Let's see how you feel after this weekends LSR and go from there.

    RE: Long run on your wife's birthday. Is it possible to get in a slightly longer MWLR that week?

    The one thing to remember about your tempo miles is that it should be 1 mile warm up, 3 miles tempo and then 1 mile warm down - if that's tomorrow or'wednesday that's fine. Have you run on 3 days continuously before?

    RE:Paces: Just to confirm - these times are based upon your current PB for 10k/half marathon, correct? If yes, I'd like to see you try to stick to these paces. They do look OK but paces need to be based upon the current PB rather than the aim time goal.

    RE: LSR: Are you using any gels/energy products on your runs? I cannot reiterate the need to run at these slower paces. I know that it can sometime feel like you're going backwards but we need to build some time on your feet.

    Let us know how your easy 5 miles goes today and also include what it felt like. Was it easy? or a tough run (e.g. the one on New years could feel a lot tougher than the one today)


  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Whoopsy - I should have made a better introduction *cough*.

    I'm the mentor for the sub 4 category and wanted to give you a bit of background into my running. I started running in 2007 as stress relief after an epic personal drama and running was my release. I stuck mainly to 10ks and half marathons enjoying the fact that I could be done relatively quickly! Like many others I was always applying for the London ballot and in 2012 my turn finally came up.

    I started training used Shades Training Plan and found that I really enjoyed myself doing the longer stuff. I wasnt fast and it wasnt always pretty but I enjoyed it. By the time I stepped onto the line in London - i already had another 2 marathons in the pipeline. In 2012 I ran 5 marathons in total, 2013 I ran 33 - including 2 sub 4 marathons and several around that mark.

    My aim after my first sub 4 was to cement the speed in my legs so since then i've been practicing doing more parts of my LSRs at marathon pace and doing more speed work during the week.

    One reason that I wanted to be a mentor was to give back to the forumite community but also provide you with the opportunity of asking any question related to marathon training. I've played a lot with my training, nutrition, pacing so can give  you some advice about what worked and didnt work for me.

    If you're looking to get a sub 4 in a spring marathon - feel free to ask questions, join in the discussions etc.

    P.S - My training buddy is my husky Boyska. He's not just my buddy but my coach as well. You're likely to see us attached literally at the hip at a few UK marathons!



  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Well done Lee! That's one heck of a mentor you've got there! Success guaranteed image

  • Lee, I'm a friend of Emmy's. Congratulations on your progress so far. It sounds like you will crack the sub4 as long as you get the long stuff under your belt and keep the short stuff bubbling nicely. 

    i approached Paris2013 with similar numbers to you and ended up with 3.23. I am always harping on about the midweek tempo run 10-12 miler at target marathon pace. For now 8m20s should be sufficient and as you improve throughout the campaign.then more like 8mm will probably be fine, that is 3.30 pace, and that will give you a buffer, if you crash later in the race. For me it's just an important session as the long run that gets your body used to always running that pace.

    Don't be a hero stick to even pacing and it makes the marathon far more enjoyable. This year I've had 3 great marathons all with marginal negative splits so my results tell you I'm an advocate of holding back a little. 

    As for the long run, Emmys right, keep it slower, you should be able to hold a conversation And breathe in a relaxed manner. i will always swear by the 5x20+ miles. Remember for the endurance training it is about time on feet, but you can bring marathon pace into one or two of the sessions later down the line. You don't want to risk injury, it's more important to get a 2.45-3 hour run in the bank than run a particular distance. 

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Malcs - you're too kind. I'm only the mentor - Lee still needs to put in the milesimage 

    Jimbob-that's an impressive story! Your training was a true testament to your determination to get your goals. Thanks for your advice about pace and endurance.

    What was your favourite workout?

  • Afternoons all image

    Lee - you're in good hands.

  • Hello all! Well done to Lee and Stewart and to Emmy for mentoring too. 

    Although my current marathon PB is 4:22, I feel like I can do a sub 4. It's in there. It's so much easier to do that with support as well - there's only so much time your loved ones will spend listening to you talk about pacing, cadence, fueling, niggles, shoes etc...

    Maybe I should get a Boyska training buddy to keep me company!

    As my buddy's been away over Christmas I've been using my ipod a lot more, and enjoying the podcasts again after 18months of hardly using it. Anyone else fluctuate ipod/mp3 player use?

  • Emmy, I had a few favourite workouts. The hard interval stuff makes you puffed out and gets the heart pumping, but the long runs are the most spiritual. This year I've had some wonderful 20 milers into Central London run around the sights and then back through tough hilly parks on a clear sunny Sunday morning.  you have to psych yourself up for the long run and carry more fuel but once you are in the zone they are great. If you are death marching the last few miles you went out too fast mind. Honourable mention has to go to some long runs on dartmoor which in their own way were pretty spectacular.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Keyser - I dabble with both podcasts and music during lSRs and marathons. I find it useful for zoning out but when I have the dog - I need to concentrate more on what's around me.

    I think you have a lot of potential in you to achieve sub 4 - especially with your park run addiction for speed!

    Jimbob -I know what you mean about spiritual runs. Sometimes my best runs are 4am in the morning before work where there are no distractions to the world or between heaven and my feet!

  • Lee and Stewart ,, well done guys

    I'm also hoping for a sub four this spring ,,, heck even summer or autumn would do image

    As everyone has said ,,it's all about putting in the miles and following the advice and training plans your working on ,, whether it's a LSR , a tempo or the midweek MP run , they're all important ,, follow the mileage , don't ramp up to soon , watch out for niggles ,,

    I Will keep popping back in to see how things are progressing and to get more pictures of Emmy for my collection ,,good luck guys !!
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