P&D Autumn Marathon 2017



  • 1SteveMac1SteveMac ✭✭✭
    JohnOz - Nice HM effort, I'm sure you'll shave more off that during marathon training. 50k was the Chiltern Challenge by Extreme Energy.
    Joe - You'll have to give up your running to be Katie's coach soon!!
    Tom - Great long run as always!
  • 1SteveMac1SteveMac ✭✭✭
    So I had a decent weekend! Saturday was my 50k, which I was using as a training run as part of my 100k ultra, but also was the second time I was running this event after using it as training last year as my first official ultra, so was to be a good yardstick of how I had progressed over the last 12 months.

    Turned up about 40 minutes before the start to collect my number, visit the toilet, change into trail shoes and go to the race briefing....nothing like cutting it fine! The good thing about this event is that walkers are set off at 8am, runners at 9am and then elite/faster runners (sub 6 hour finish) at 10am. I like this as it means the walkers get to see the runners out on the course, and the faster runners have people to catch on the way around, plus you never really know who is actually ahead of you!

    Anyway, I wanted to beat last years time of 5:58:59 (just under the 6 hour elite target!) and roughly wanted 5:45 or better. Check points are roughly about 10k apart except the final one which is at about marathon distance so 12k from check point 3.

    I didn't really check my pace, but ran to feel, walking the uphills and picking up snacks and water refills at check points, but careful not to stay for too long. After going through the first 2 checkpoints in just under 2 hours, I wondered if I might scrape under 5 hours! I passed checkpoint 3 still close to 5 hour time, and that then became the target as I knew I would beat last years time.

    I ran for a lot of this on my own, passing the earlier starters and wishing them well, giving encouragement along the way.

    Last year I started to struggle after about 24 miles and actually had a sit down at check point 4 (marathon distance) and wasted about 10/15 minutes while I got my head together. However this year I was still feeling strong, refilled my water, had a few bits to eat and went on my way, knowing I had about 50 minutes to get to the finish to sneak under 5 hours!

    However I realised that due to walking the hills and a really tricky/steep downhill section, I slowed a bit and realised the sub 5 dream was out of the window. But I still pushed on and finished strongly in 5:06 a 52 minute PB!! Crossed the line, collected my medal and printed result slip and gave my GF a big sweaty hug, after all she had driven me there and waited around for over 5 hours for me to have a run around!! Splits are below! I finished 40th/253 finishers!

    Check point 1 in 1:00:40 (1:05:46 last year)
    Check point 2 in 0:56:33 (1:02:12 last year)
    Check point 3 in 0:54:10 (1:04:30 last year)
    Check point 4 in 1:14:58 (1:29:01 last year)
    Finish in 0:59:48 (1:17:30 last year)
    Total time 5:06:09 (5:58:59 last year)

    I'd defo recommend this event, Extreme Energy really do put on a great event.

  • 1SteveMac1SteveMac ✭✭✭
    Then topped that off with a 13 miler on Sunday, legs felt really heavy for first 4 miles then got better, wasn't fast, but got it done.
  • Tom - very nice long run at the weekend. Abo training hotting up.

    NE - nice to be in the taper period. remind me when the ultra is?

    HA - thanks very much mate. For sure, the dream is to get her in the champs start with us lot! We were chatting about it yesterday actually. I see no reason why she can't either run a 3.15 marathon or 1.30 half by the end of December with the appropriate training. It was mooted that she should have a crack in Amsterdam, and if she didn't get it, I'd have a go at pacing her round in Valencia in November. Good to hear the sore throat has cleared, everything looking really promising for you at the moment.

    Nice progression AlanB, building up the consistency.

    John - am writing a little blog on hopes/dreams, will post it on here before the day including any tracking info. Very excited.

    Spoons - can't beat a good mile race! I'm with you, I'd love to train specifically for it one day and see what I could do. Good to hear the plan has kicked off. Excited to see what you can produce - expecting big things.

    SteveMac -wow, that's a massive improvement, incredible stuff and a great placing as well. Sounds like you're in a great place going into the 100km. Backing it up with 13 miles the next day is equally impressive. 

    A dreaded rest day for me. I can't quite hack complete rest so I walk 4 miles to work and back just to keep the legs moving as I'm sitting at a desk for the rest of the day...
  • I am following the P&D up to 55 mile plan. Whilst I am by no means fast I am finding the recommended long run pace to be relatively slow. The book recons between 10% & 20% slower than marathon pace. Running at just 10% slower does not feel natural, like I’m changing the way I run just to run slower. If that makes sense. Should I stick with the prescribed pace trusting the plan and that running faster will have a negative effect on my training or am I safe to run at a pace that is comfortable for me?
  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Hi bigballer69 - the book advises starting at 20% slower and progressively speeding up to 10% slower, which I try to stick to but sometimes my LRs are just at 20% slower. Don't forget that you also use this pace for your MLRs so if you are doing them all close to MP then you increase the injury risk. P&D is mainly about lots of slower volume to build aerobic endurance. Save your speed for the LT and VO2 max runs to get the most out of them. What is your MP now?

    Great running 1SteveMac, sounds like you are in top shape for your goal race and more importantly high on confidence.

    Looking forward to the next instalment Joe (shame we can't binge read blogs like Netflix!)

    Last night I had a sudden change of plan - I'm going to try something different to see what happens so will be following the last 12 weeks of the 18/85 plan (instead of 18/70) but dropping the second Monday doubles (due to a case of CNBA). So it will be more like a 12/80 plan to see if the extra mileage gets me through those last 5 miles.
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    SteveMac - That's a massive improvement, well done. You can see from your splits that you really dropped off last year but held the pace this time around. Training obviously going well. Great stuff to back up with a 13 miler too.

    John - Sounds like a good plan to me. No raced planned for me until the Windsor half in September, but you're right, I should try to get out and do something.

    Spoon - Looking forward to seeing your plan kicking in. Well done on the mile. I know Ealing Eagles put on a regular mile race near my work each month if you're ever down this way.

    Joe - Hope you got through the rest day ok. Crazy that we can't just sit around and appreciate it. It might be hard for Katie to build up the endurance in time to run a good marathon, that's why I thought a half would be easier. Like you say though, just see how it goes in Amsterdam and take it from there.

    bigballer - Welcome. Do you normally run your long runs at around marathon pace? I feel like 10% slower than MP is still quite fast for a long run and, like John, sometimes don't get faster than 20% slower. Maybe you just need to practice at an easier pace and it'll come. I don't like running too slow though as I start to feel sluggish and like to feel a bit springy in my legs but I can easily run at MP + 20% without feeling sluggish.

    Hills + progression run done yesterday. Was tough as usual but felt quite good at the end of the progression and finished strongly. Just an easy one today, perhaps a few strides if the legs feel good.
  • 1SteveMac1SteveMac ✭✭✭
    HA - Yes, I really struggled last year in the latter part of the race, I think a combination of cooler weather and a better aerobic base (Thanks P&D!) have definately helped there.
    Joe - Thanks! Hope you didn't go to mad during your rest day!
    John - Sounds like a good plan!

    4 mile recovery run done, nice and easy 10:10 min miles (119 HR) to get the legs moving ready for another big week.
  • Tom13Tom13 ✭✭✭

    Morning all.

    Well done on the huge improvement Steve! Looking very good for your 100k as you appear to be in a very confident frame of mind and in excellent shape physically!

    BR-Well done on having a rest day......despite walking 8 miles......you are more than ready so just keep a lid on it and glory awaits! Enjoy the taper-if you can!! I suggest getting Katie signed up for a fast half in the Autumn. Cardiff on 1st of October would be ideal but don't know if that fits in with your schedule?

    NE-Likewise-Hope you are enjoying the taper as much as you possibly can.

    Actually, does anyone enjoy the taper?

    Welcome Bigballer. I also struggle to run my longer runs/recovery runs at the required slower paces (although I wouldn't be running my long runs at marathon pace) but have learnt that it is the only way that I can negotiate training without getting injured or burning out. I really struggle when feeling sluggish and slow, mentally more than anything else, and like to feel quick and bouncy on my feet so it is a case of getting the balance right. MP+15% works well for me.

    John-Like the sound of your adapted plan! 

    HA-Looks like you are fully recovered from your illness and flying once again. Big double day planned for tomorrow?

    11 miles with a few strides this morning.

  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    Been away for a few days so took a while to catch up.
    Lots of good training as usual & tapering (JB) .
    Congratulations on the 50K Steve. Decent improvement at every stage but massive in the final 2. Not surprised the legs felt reluctant for 13M the next day!
    Nice HM JohnOz.
    A PB is not to be sniffed at Spoons especially off little specific training. Our club holds 2 open Mile races each year at our high altitude training base: our track is apparently the highest in the UK. The next is on Tuesday 12th of September. The top seeded race wouldn't be til after 7pm & it's a little over an hour from Worcester. A bargain at £2 for UKA affiliated athletes or £4 for unaffiliated. 

    No racing for me this w/e other than another sub-par parkrun: Dolgellau this time. Flat & very fast out & back course apart from the 3x180 degree turns & the sharp turns on/off a bridge each lap (2). This wasn't really the focus though. I'd planned to tackle Britain's steepest road on the bike (Ffordd Penllech behind Harlech Castle which peaks at 40%!!) then run up Snowdon & hopefully cheer on a few friends taking part in the Snowdon International Mountain Race. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious but I got a dry window for the hill climb. Took me 3 attempts to get up it without stopping as the rear wheel was spinning on the wet tarmac/loose gravel/leaves covering the lower (steepest) slope. Finally picked a good line & got to the top lungs burning & heart hammering. Carried on up to Snowdon but visibility was 20-30ft at 300m & it was blowing a gale so sat it out. Cleared a bit later on & I went for a spin down to Llanberis on the bike. It was like a different world - I was overheating on the descent!! Climbed back up but by the time I got to Pen-y-Pass the rain/fog had returned so any thoughts of a late evening run were dashed. I retreated to Betws-y-Coed for dinner.
    Sunday dawned dull & damp but the forecast was for it to clear later so went for a leisurely fry-up first thing then once I emerged the peaks were visible & there were even a few patches of blue sky. I headed up & parked on the main road before Pen-y-Gweryd Hotel about 1.5M from Pen-y-Pass. I then ran up the PYG track to the summit. The views were stunning & after absorbing it all I decided to make the most of it so ran down to Llanberis alongside the railway before turning round & heading for the summit again. I then descended via the Miner's Path & on to the car which made it a round 20M & 5,890ft of ascent.
    Inspired I decided to do the Welsh 3 Peaks on this excursion.
    Monday 75M on the bike with over 8,000ft of climb.
    Tuesday was an extreme duathlon: 9M ride climbing almost 1,000ft then Cadair Idris 8.2M with 3,000ft of climb all before breakfast. Then after brunch in Machynlleth another 20M ride from Abergesyn including 2,700ft of climbing before finishing off with 2M & 1400ft up Pen-y-Fan & 2M back down.
    Legs are now toast.
  • NorthEnderNorthEnder ✭✭✭
    bigballer... it really sounds odd to me to feel that running at MP+10% feels unnatural!  What are you basing your marathon pace on? Maybe your MP potential is a lot faster than you think!  But really, you need to run plenty of miles slower than MP for a range of reasons. I think the most important one, as explained in the book, is that you make the  right physiological adaptations  (more capiliaries, more mitochondria, more practice at 'fat burning') - and these adaptions are the basis for further improvement with your speedwork.

    Stevemac - fantastic improvement.  Good work gone into that.

    Joe... It's Pen Llyn ultra in NW Wales.  My first. Really looking forward to it.
  • Thanks to everyone who replied to me. My goal is to try break 3hr40 meaning marathon pace should be around 05:10 per km, so long run pace should be around 05:40-06:10 per km. Sorry if I did not explain properly but I don’t try run the long runs at marathon pace. I’m currently doing the long runs around 05:30/km which includes any stops, walks (traffic lights, water breaks) so would imagine running around 05:25/km. TBH I have never really followed any formal training plan just run at one pace or try to keep up with whoever I’m running with. I think the volume and frequency of running in the P&D plan should be what I need. Since the general consensus is to stick to what the book says I will slow my pace down to around 06:00/km.
  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Jooligan - what a packed weekend and you make it all sound casual! Sounds like you had some awesome running even with bad weather. 

    Bigballer - if you tell us some recent race times then we can give you the suggested pace ranges you should be aiming for. NE may be right that you're already in better shape than 3:40, how did you pick that target?
  • 1SteveMac1SteveMac ✭✭✭
    Bigballer - I agree with the others, let us know your HM PB and maybe we can see if your LR pace is correct or not.
    Jooligan - Good work, that cycle sounds SO tough! However £2 for a mile race sounds like a bargain!!
    NE - The scenery for your ultra looks amazing!! Not long to go now, feeling ready?

    15 mile MLR this morning, nice and easy, although took a couple of miles to get warmed up and into my stride.
  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    As a club we try to promote low-cost racing Steve. Only charging £6.50 for the 10K I've organised on Tuesday. Needless to say it filled up pretty quick - sold out in 17 days.
    BB69 - bit late for advice now but I'd say you should average 5:00/km pace to 22M then you'll have time in the bank for the almost inevitable slowing as the last 4M is uphill. Not a conventional pacing strategy but this isn't a flat race by any means. Take the first uphill 2.5K really steady to warm-up then enjoy the down but beware of hitting it too hard unless your quads are well adapted to downhill racing or you'll pay for it later.
  • Steve/ John half PB is over two years ago but did 01:43:30 last year. 10K 6 weeks ago was 48:30 which is what I'm basing my 03:40 hope on after using time predictor. How accurate the predictors are is debatable I would imagine but 18 weeks of training has to count for something?

    Jooligan- I don't think I mentioned what race I'm doing? Its Abingdon in October, did it last year and cant remember any notable hills only a tedious industrial estate you had to run through twice.
  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    Sorry BB was confusing you with another thread newbie who was doing Fort William.
    You're right there's just the one little hill (rise) at Abo which you do twice. I did it last year too.
    Predictors tend to fall apart when it comes to the marathon in my experience however 18wks of P&D training will definitely make them more reliable. From my limited experience of P&D I'd say 18wks might be too much. Maybe think about the shorter 12 wk plan & use the extra 6 weeks to increase the base mileage. I know others here have employed that approach successfully.
  • Tom13Tom13 ✭✭✭

    Afternoon all.

    Epic weekend Jooligan! mind you, it's what we come to expect from you.......more surprising when you take it (relatively) easy. Love the way you make it sound so casual and laid back.

    Nice MLR Steve.

    Bigballer-Another to add to the Abo list. As Jools mentions predictors can often be misleading when it comes to the marathon distance but following the plan (18 weeks might be fine for you but I've found it too long in the past which is why I'm doing 12 this time) should get you close to your target. Have you got any other races booked in the build up to gauge fitness levels?

    Out the door at 4:15 this morning for 16 miles @ 6:21m/m avg......didn't want to be late for work so pushed it a bit harder than I should. Very humid and I was sweating buckets so have been drinking gallons of water ever since. Might have a beer or two later just to make sure I'm properly rehydrated!

  • Reg WandReg Wand ✭✭✭
    I'm a bit behind but I did read your weekend efforts Jooligan and it sounds mental! I did the Snowdon race a few years ago in atrocious conditions and loved it, although I wasn't very fit then.

    Welcome BB69.

    I've not done much but I did cycle home in the worst of last nights storm, typical that I was at work until 9pm when that was rolling in. Work has been really busy so I found myself going out at midnight for a stress relieving progressive run. I was wearing my glasses as I planned to go to bed so it all felt a bit weird but I ended up running the last couple of miles at 6:00 pace so maybe I should do it more often.
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    Jooligan with his Welsh exploits, Tom with 16 miles at 6:21m/m at 4:15am and Reg with a midnight progressive run. Madness, it's all madness.

    Checked out your efforts on Strava Jools, very impressed and jealous.

    SteveMac - Nice work with a 15 miler so soon after that big weekend.

    Did a session of 400s at lunch today but didn't push too hard as I'll be trying to make it to the club track session tonight, which should put me over 20 miles for the day. Won't be thrashing myself tonight either, will just try to finish strongly.
  • ClagClag ✭✭✭

    Joe Blogs-BR - good effort for your 5k! That's some pace! Great run from Katie too - I've only managed to break 20 mins once, don't know if I could do it again. That's how I ended up doing this marathon. Told everyone I wouldn't do another unless I broke 20 mins, followed the P & L plan for 5k at the end of last year and did it! Took just over 30 secs off in a oner!

    Alan, yes, old Lochaber route is gone. Fort William is now multi-terrain, lots of hard packed trails. Impressive mileage there! Good effort!

    runspoonrun - good luck with the plan! 

    1SteveMac - great running! What a massive improvement on time

  • ClagClag ✭✭✭
    €%%¥! Half my comment's disappeared! Possibly due to my technical incompetence. 

    Jooligan - thanks for the thoughts on pacing. Have you done Fort William or just experienced on the hills? You've been very busy recently!! 

    I'd agree with you re pacing for BB & the marathon predictors. I've not yet achieved the predicted times. One day maybe (but not next weekend)! 

  • NorthEnderNorthEnder ✭✭✭
    stevemac...  Llyn Peninsula really does look seriously stunning.  I've been there before, but not since 1968 :o)   

    Ready?  I feel I'm ready to wing it.  When I entered, I did some cursory research... it was longer than the 50miler that I wanted, but a) the end of July was exactly what I wanted  b) on a reputable-looking ultra website it was graded as a "Level 1 Beginner ultra" on a scale of 1 to 5     c) the elevation profile looked predominantly flat except for a few fairly short sharp climbs and d) it wasn't sold out.   However, after I signed up, I found that b+c were absolute baloney!  It's graded at 5 UTMB points for entry to the UTMB Mont Blanc ultra...  and no ultra is graded more than 6.    And what looked flat on a graph compressed to fit 75 miles onto the width of a computer screen, actually contains loads of coastal undulations such that there is 8300ft of climb (and descent) in there.  OK... not as bad as some, but far from flat.

    In the 3 months I had, and the limited running time available, I've done OK though.  I'll wager that of the 80 entrants I'll be the lowest miles per week runner... but they've been sensible miles on tough terrain.  I'm just going to give it a go.  A lot may come down to the weather on the day.  Last year it was brutal...  searing heat in the day that broke into an attrocious storm around sunset.  I'm hoping for a perfect cool, still day... and maybe see some seals and dolphins.
  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    Love it NE. 5 UTMB pts means it's nails. Better to test ones limits than live safely. 

    Clag - not done Fort William but have done plenty of hills, including Snowdonia Marathon twice. Looks like my kind of fun. 
  • Tom/ Jooligan- I have already started the 18 week program but might take your advise and change to the 12 week one, some of the long runs fall on days people from my club are planning similar distances. The only other race i have booked is a 14 mile "race the train" next month but its off road and I have never done it before so I don't think I will be able to read much from it besides how I feel. Probably end up doing a half or two which I've done before so will have something to compare.

    Tom- 16 miles at 06:21/m on a Wednesday morning! I think I must have stumbled into the real runners forum :/
  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    Did Race the Train last year BB69. Tough race but great fun although heading back in to Tywyn we were battling 50mph winds!
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    NE - Sounds great. I'm sure it'll be tough but I think you'll go well.

    BB69 - I've always wanted to do Race the Train but can never work it in with family holidays. Sounds like a good plan to do a half in the lead up to refine your marathon goal.

    Made it to the club track session last night. On the 3 miles to the track I was worried that I'd overdone the lunchtime session and was going to struggle. Track session was 4x3min, 4x4min with 1 min recovery (2 min between sets), so 36 min in total. I tried to run about HM effort with marathon effort recoveries. Managed about 6.5 miles for the 36 min, which is an average of 5:30/mile for the session. Pretty happy with that at the end of a 23 mile day, especially at this stage in the program. Legs are pleasantly fatigued today without feeling ruined. Just an easy 7ish miles planned at lunch.
  • 1SteveMac1SteveMac ✭✭✭
    NE - :D at points b and c!! However I think you have prepared well and you would be surprised that some ultra runners don't run real high mileage, so I think you will do really well. 5 UTMB points...yeah says it all really, it'll be a tough a rewarding day. As Jooligan says better to really test yourself! That climbing of 8300ft sounds brutal though!

    HA - Impressive days work, especially the track session!

    8 miles for me this morning, again with 2 in the middle at LT (6:33/6:21), happy with that in the middle of the higher mileage weeks.
  • John - sounds like a good plan. I always think if your body can cope, the more miles the better!

    Tom - got an eye on Cardiff actually, may pace Katie there, still undecided. You in for that?

    Jooligan - packing it in as always, you're relentless!

    Reg - loved that midnight progression run on strava. You're a nutter.

    NE - sounds pretty challenging. really looking forward to seeing how you get on. what you doing nutrition wise?

    HA - that's a massive day from you yesterday! very impressive and great pace as well.

    Steve - nice work with the LT

    Just ticking over this week with little workouts here and there. Keeping an eye on the weather and we could get a fair bit of rain. Not ideal news for the bike but happy I'll be able to stay cooler on the run. 
  • Jooligan- What is the terrain like at race the train? If its dry would road shoes suffice?
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