Sub 3 Tom: #asics262

edited February 2017 in Spring Marathon

Hi All. I'm very honoured to be in this position and really look forward to sharing my #asics262 journey with you over the coming weeks. 

Steve Smythe sent through my training plan which starts on Monday 22nd December, so I'll upload it before then. I'll also be sharing with you my experiences from the team trainings days, nutrition advice, secrets of the psychologist and physio sessions (hopefully not required!!!). 

I had my first training session with Steve this evening as part of the 'build up week suggestion'. 6 x 1000m reps at Crystal Palace stadium with Dulwich Runners. Awesome place and some friendly people too! 



  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Welcome Tom. Looking forward to seeing the plan they give you.

    A tough week to start a plan on though.
  • Hello Thomas!! Didn't get to chat to u in the build up, but congratulations on making it here.

    i'm targeting sub 3:30 in London but current training suggests 3:20 is realistic- so will be interested to look at your training and how u progress.  Don't live in london but will probably pop up at dulwich parkrun from time to time as I visit every now and then- do u do that one? This weekend I'm actually planning brockwell parkrun instead image 

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Tom, congratulations on making the final 5!

    Steve is a legend and the Dulwich folks are brilliant. I take it you don't live too far from there then?

    Anyway, very best of luck!

  • Well done buddy! enjoy it all x
  • I was so jealous of you last night running round Crystal Palace. I might ask Steve if I can run some of my sessions there. Well done on it though.

  • Hi Tom - welcome back to the threads!

    I'm very impressed your serious training has started with Steve already!
  • Millsy – haha definitely a tough week to start! Safe to say I’ve never run on Christmas day or NY day before and both are scheduled in!

    Hark the herald Angela sings – thanks! I’ve never done Dulwich or Brockwell parkrun but will definitely be getting along when I can. Which one is better? I’m away visiting family this weekend but might see you at one after the Christmas period! Let me know how you get on at Brockwell…

    Tim – definitely ask if you can do the track sessions. 

  • This is the first month's training plan. I'll only post up to a month in advance so Steve can adjust further ahead if needed. 

    Build up week suggestion: Mon Dec 15- Sun Dec 21
    Tues: 6 x 1000m reps - at Crystal Palace at 7.15pm 
    Wed: easy 45 mins at no faster than 7:30s
    Thurs: 2 miles easy, 3 miles at approx HM pace (6:30), 1 mile easy
    Fri rest
    Sat: XC race or parkrun
    Sunday Dec 21 10 mins relaxed in 75 mins

    Mon Dec 22- Sun Dec 28 - 36-40M
    Mon: 4M easy run or rest
    Tues: Hills - (6M)
    Wed: 45 mins steady run at 7:15s (6M)
    Thurs: Pace session: 2 miles slow, 4M block of marathon pace (6:50), 1 mile slow (7M)
    Fri: rest
    Sat: parkrun, xc race or hills (5M)
    Sun: 12 miles relaxed in 90 mins (12M)

    Mon Dec 29- Sun Jan 4 - 39-43M
    Mon 4M easy run or rest
    Tue hills (6M)
    Wed 50 mins steady run - (7M)
    Thu Pace session: 2 miles slow, 3M block of half- marathon pace (6:15), 1 mile slow (6M)
    Fri easy run
    Sat off-road or parkrun or XC race (6M)
    Sun 14 miles relaxed in 1:45 (14M)

    Mon Jan 5 - Sun Jan 11 - 45-50M
    Mon 5M easy run or rest
    Tue Mile reps (7M)
    Wed 60 mins steady run (8M)
    Thu easier endurance session: fartlek (7M)
    Fri rest
    Sat off road run, xc race or parkrun (6M)
    Sun 2 hours slow (16M)

    Mon Jan 12 - Sun Jan 18 (44-49M)
    Mon 5M easy run or rest
    Tue 1000m reps (7M)
    Wed 70 mins steady run (10M)
    Thu Endurance session (acceleration) - start at 7:45, 7:30, 7:15, 7:00, 6:45, 6:30, 6:15, 6:00 (8M)
    Fri rest
    Sat parkrun, hills or brisk run (6M)
    Sun Brisk longer endurance run or race (ie 13M at sub 7s)

  • If you're targetting 2:45 to 2:50 I'd say that's an excellent plan.  if you're genuinely aiming to get just inside 3 then I'd say a lot of that is too quick.

    Put it this way - if you can manage a 6 minute mile at the end of an 8 mile progressive run then your MP will be quicker than 6:50. 

  • I like the mixture of slow and faster long runs.  Also some good longer sessions in there too. 

    I can see that mileage is up to 50 this month, whats the max for the schedule? and how does this compare with what you've done before?

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    What are your current PBs? I must have missed that before.

    Those 2 long Sunday runs at the end on Jan look quite hard. Pace wise. (For me anyway) did the coach explain why they went for those paced on the longer / easy runs. Sub 8min miling for 16 miles is not what I'd describe as slow. Also 10 miles in 70 mins looks more like a tempo than steady.

    Or maybe I just run too slow.
  • I agree with Cheerful Dave and Millsy, it looks quite tough to me. The last week you posted up (Jan 12th – 18th) is all quality work and would be very hard to complete for a sub 2:50 guy, never mind a sub 3 aspirant IMO. Maybe Steve will adjust the paces a bit as 7 min miles is too close to MP to be steady.


    Anyway, good luck Thomas, I’d be interested to hear about your background and will follow with interest.

  • Isn't Thomas the one who was going out doing 10-milers at 6:20 pace before? Perhaps Steve is just assuming he will run sub 2:50 and has based the plan on that.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    That sounds more sensible Lit. If he can just go out and do 6.20 for 10 miles then he should be a shoo in for a sub 3.
  • Hellooo.. Congratulations! Interesting start to the plan there. How do you feel about it? Anything out of the ordinary for you or seeming a little intimidating?


  • Hi Tom, great to see your training plan going up. I won't pretend I know whether it's a good plan or not as sub3 is sooooo far out of my league but it does look a good mixture of sessions.  

    As for running on Christmas day, I ran on Christmas day last year as I was training for VLM and the plan dictated a run on that day.  I loved it; only passed 2 other runners but we gave each other 'merry christmas' high fives and exchanged knowing looks of, "so you're marathon training too then"!  I then proceeded to feel very smug all day that I'd done it, making that extra glass of vino guilt free! Enjoy it...

  • Hmm, to me the tempo looks too slow and the slow runs look too fast, but what do I know? HM pace should surely be quicker than 6.30s? Especially if you're doing 13 miles as a long run in sub 7s. 

    Is Paris a week before London again? If so I'll be a week behind you the whole time, which could be very interesting for me as a comparison. I don't start my schedule until 5th January though. 

    Tell us about the shopping day Tom!

  • It's two weeks before this year Speedy. Oddly in the plan HMP morphs into 6:15s a couple of weeks later.

  • bainspj the max weekly mileage is 64 in mid March. It’s very different from anything I’ve done before as I’ve tended to just go out and run depending on how I felt at the time rather than follow a schedule. I’m sure the benefits will be obvious!

    Millsy my PBs: 5km – 17:59, 10km – 37:20, HM – 1:26, M – 3:36 (first in 2010).

    Literatin that was me!! Well remembered!  Steve hasn’t indicated he believes I can run sub 2:50. I know running sub-3 is a huge challenge so I’m just focused on that! I’d love for you to be right thoughimage

    Matt great to see you on here! Seriously excited by it all – nothing seems out of place or intimidating at the moment but I’ll just take it one step at a time. I’m happy with all the suggested paces. What’s next on the cards for you?

    Andrea – That’s awesome! Really brings it to life. I’ve just realised last time I was in Paris I must have been about 15 and I remember racing my brother up the Eiffel Tower stairs whilst my parents took the lift! 

  • Well - I wouldn't predict sub 2:50 from those PBs, but you seemed to be training much faster than I could manage even if I thought it was a good idea. Which made me think if you could do that you ought to be able to run faster in an actual race too.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the PB info Tom. Do you know which one they used to work out the training paces?

    The PBs over the shorter distances show that with the right training you should be capable of going sub 3 but as mentioned before the longer run training paced seem to be based on someone going for sub 2.50. Definitely way faster than I am currently going at the moment anyway.
  • Millsy wrote (see)
    Thanks for the PB info Tom. Do you know which one they used to work out the training paces?
    The PBs over the shorter distances show that with the right training you should be capable of going sub 3 but as mentioned before the longer run training paced seem to be based on someone going for sub 2.50. Definitely way faster than I am currently going at the moment anyway.

    I got the impression that Steve used my 5km, 10km, HM pace and current XC results to work out the training paces

  • CC2 – Speedy Goth the store day was like Christmas come early with some education thrown into the mix!

    We were told to arrive at the Oxford St Asics store for 09:30. Upon arrival I was led to a backroom which turned out to be next season’s showroom which is full of cool stuff (love a bit of running stash) but unfortunately we were under embargo not to take any photos!  

    It was the first time I met any of the other category winners as we didn’t cross paths at bootcamp, although I do remember sitting a few seats along from Amy at the welcome in Birmingham.

    After a welcome and intro to the day I had a foot ID. It turns out I have odd feet as my left is longer and my right is wider! Guess that explains why my last pair of trainers wore away on the outside of my right shoe. Sounds so obvious now! A gait test showed that I slightly over pronate which surprised me as I’d been previously told I have a neutral gait.

    Then I went shopping. Usually shopping is something which I see as an unfortunate necessity and dread (especially around Christmas!!), but for the first time I couldn’t wait to get started! Asics have some great kit. I ended up taking a long distance shoe and a racing flat for speed work.

    Once kitted out we had a team photo shoot for next month’s RW. No doubt some entertaining shots will be published!

    I then had a body test – 65.5kg / 5.2% body fat / 1 (out of 13) visceral body fat / 59kg muscle mass.. etc.... Really interesting to see the numerical analysis. I wonder if there will be much change come mid-April.  

    After the body test I met with my coach, Steve Smythe. Steve has incredible experience so I was massively excited to pick his brains. He was very interested in my running background and current schedule which he used to create my training schedule.

    We finished the day with a general Q&A and further info on what to expect.

    Pretty surreal day for a passionate runner! 

  • Hi - I do think Tom is capable of a sub 2:50 eventually but that will be post Paris with more training and racing as important to be sure you can run a sub-3 before you aim for faster.

    The speed is there but impossible to tell re the endurance at this stage and Tom's PB at shorter distances also need to be improved. 

    It was a very good speed session yesterday for Tom - 6 x 1000 in under 3:30 which is a lot quicker than I managed and I haven't given up all hope of breaking 3 myself next Spring.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the info Steve.

    What do you think Tom is capable of in Paris?
  • Sub-3 still has to be Tom's major target even if he does start it in 2:55 shape.

    No point Tom running a 85 first half and then slowing badly. However will only get a realistic idea after a lot of the long runs and 20 miles have been completed and the half-marathon time comes down considerably. Last night in the session he was in the vicinity of four other potential sub-3 aspirants.

    The first month's schedule isn't easy and some of the paces don't have to be followed exactly ie on the progression run, it doesn't matter too much at this stage whether last mile is 6:15 or 6:00 as long as the principle is carried out.

    The long runs and some of the paces are just a guideline at moment based on the previous schedules, what the sub-3 runners have done before and based on what I have done in my sub 3s over the last 38 years but also what looks possible from Tom's previous runs.

    They will be adjusted on a day by day basis dependant on what is comfortable to Tom but also what I think is best for him to stay fit and healthy for Paris.

  • If he's already knocking out 3:30 km reps I don't think getting Tom to sub 3 is going to be the biggest challenge you've had in those 38 years Steve. image

  • Congratulations Tom on making it through to the final 5 & good luck with the training plan!

  • Dave - agreed Tom's speed suggests sub-3 should be doable but good speed doesn't always mean good endurance but far more chance of Tom breaking three this Spring than me!

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