Sub 2:30, Anybody up for it?

As the sub 2.45 thread drifts off into the distance, anybody fancy having a stab at this. I know quite a few managed to get near to or under this mark, so what are your plans now.

Me....Ran 2:33 and plan to try for a sub 2:30 later this year, where I don't know yet.

Br, I know your keen, and I should think Mike B and Smashy will be going for it, although I believe Smashy is waiting till next year.


  • Yes Pete, my head is up for it. Hopefully the CV system and legs will follow:)

    I'd be interested to see how people plan to get there.

    For the summer I'm mainly focussing on getting 5k/10k times down then from July onwards I'll switch back to marathon specific work leading up to Abingdon on 17th Oct. Target here is 2:35.

    Then build up a big base mileage in Nov and Dec before an assault on 2:30 at FLM 2005.
  • Pete - I haven't made up my mind yet WHEN I'm having a go for 2:30.

    It will either be FLM next year, or Florence or La Rochelle in November.
  • Pete, I'm in!
    I imagine I'm going to come up short, but it won't be for lack of trying...
  • Good to see a few up for the challenge.
    Pantman, did I not read somewhere that you were doing 100 miles a week? The Abingdon thread I think!
    BR, like you, I'll be using shorter races to build up my speed before putting the mileage up for a marathon.
    Mike B, can't see you waiting till next year, you were so close!
    Good result for you at the nationals, did they call on you or let you rest?
  • MB...meant road relays not nationals
  • Yep, Pete - but I plod slowly (relatively).
    Did my highest ever (120+M) last week and am having an easy week this one (with one race).

    Hope to be holding 100M regularly over the coming months with a "down week" and race every 5 or 6 weeks.

    But I still have 18lbs to lose = 27secs/mile (approx). Without that loss, I'll be struggling to hit 2:40...
  • Well, what the hell, I'm in, but I think I am more interested in hearing about training for 10k such as optimum mileage, good 10k sessions and the like at the mo, so I may be reading more than contributing unless I decide to go for the autumn marathon (or I get a call saying I am going to Ahtens!). If I switch to an autumn marathon, I will decide in July, but otherwise the focus is 10k.
  • Smashy, would it be worth doing a 10K schedule with a bias towards a slightly higher mileage and a longer long run, if you are looking to the marathon for next year still? Just a thought...
  • And I hope you'll be a regular poster if only to encourage the rest of us, Smashy... :-)
  • I am mainly lurking (please let me! :o) and interested about the training. Clearly, 2:30 is many years away and too far out, would possibly need stem cell implants to get there! Need to achieve better times over shorter distances first, that's what I am currently focussing on. If I ever will be in a position to run a sub 32 10k, maybe I would think about it.
  • Having done 2:39 at Amsterdam in October last year before getting stress fracture in end jan/feb, I will ideally also be looking to get very close to sub 2:30 at London next April.

    Am looking to repeat 2:39 possibly lower a tiny bit this autumn and then have a real push over the winter. Think i missed too much time out earlier this year with fracture to have a realistic chance this autumn already.

    My idea is to build up my mileage and get a few solid weeks of ca 80-90 miles under my belt.

  • Pantman, you're right. And that is my plan. 63 last week, 70 this and 80 next. I will then decide whether I go to 90 or whether I have an 80/80/80/60 pattern, 80/80/60 or 60/70/80/60/70/80 cycle. But intend on holding my 10 mile and 15 mile runs as medium and long distance. AS for LSD, my 15 miler this weekend was 5 minutes faster than I have ever done it previously (and I wasn't hanging around before). Hope this means something! So, feedback greatly appreciated from people that have run 32 min or less 10k - how did they get there?
  • That is some improvement, Smashy - do you have HR data to compare? Was the HR much higher on the faster run?
  • Would love to go sub 2:30. Have been in touch with a running coach and will try to be more professional with my training over the next 11 months. Maybe be ready for FLM next year.
  • Did 32:08 a couple of years ago.

    The mileage wasn't particularly high (maybe 60 a week) but rep sessions every tursday and thursday with either a rep session, race or long run at the weekend.

    The real key I think was the high volume of reps, that's what I have always:
    a) run well off
    b) enjoyed!

    I also think the fact that the race was Eastleigh is significant - it is a VERY fast course (no net drop so legal) with a quality field.

    I'm dubious about the merits of running too high milage when training for the 10k, but i guess it depends what works for you, I just find that if I go over a certain limit my body says "no" and running + working + not enough sleep causes my body to break down.
  • MikeB, Thanks. It seems that lower mileage is the way to go - I would be interested in what your rep sessions actually consisted of - how they progressed etc. When is Eastleigh? September/October would be handy!

    Started Silverstone tonight and dropped out half way despite leading by around 1 minute. Someone please remind me next year that it is not a good idea to do this race 2 weeks after London! Tried it last year and the year before - dropped out 2 years ago and stopped at 5k for 1 min last year and carried on! Not fussed though. Fastest I have got to halfway there! Weather was diabolical to say the least!
  • Eastleigh is march. I wasn't training for a marathon that year though.

    Victoria Park (Middlesex + Open 10k) in September is a dead flat, 3 lap course. No prizes though, just county medals to those eligable.

    As to what my rep sessions consited of, I don't have diaries from that year, but typical sessions would have been.

    About 6-9k of volume on a Tuesday, medium (400m - 1000m) length reps - most likely to be on flat grass (football pitches).

    e.g. 8 x 1000m off 90 sec jog
    10 x 800 off 90s
    3 x 1000m, 3 x 800m, 3 x 600m, 3 x 400m off 1:45; 1:30; 1:15; 60s jog

    2 x (6 x 500m) off 90s / 3 mins.

    Either hills (12-14 x 380m or sometimes more but shorter) on a steep road hill with a jog back recovery or shorter reps (200s or 300s - 4k to 6k volume) again mainly on flat grass in the winter.

    At the weekend:
    Either - cross country race or tempo run or fartlek on saturday
    Either long off road run
    Long reps (e.g. 6 x 1500m) on Sunday. Sunday reps are on a hilly cross country type course. Often followed by 10+ short (100m) steep hills for leg speed.

    You're welcome to see my training this time round in build up to 2:33 at London. I'm now logging on an Excel sheet. I just don't have Excel at the moment on my PC but this will shortly be fixed!!
  • MikeB, thanks for that. I would be interested to see your marathon buildup, although I can't think that it would be too different to mine. The area I am so totally clueless on is this 10k millarky. I really don't know how I would cope with just 50 miles a week - did you do loads of cross training to make up some training time? ideally, I would like to be training for 10-14 hours a week.
  • Ok - well you can do a little bit more than 50 then, but work towards maybe running 80 miles a week, but with more short runs rather than the one or two longer runs.

    If I'm off work, or working "9-5" my week will look like this:

    Monday - 2 x 40 min runs
    Tuesday - session
    Wednesday - 30m AM 50m PM
    Thursday session
    Friday - 30m AM 40m PM (one run if race is more important)
    Saturday - low key race / tempo
    Sunday - 90m steady or long reps

    however I work shifts and don't often get two runs in like I'd like to, except on rest days, or if I'm working nights.

    As for cross training in the autumn I was doing half an hour of core stability work on sundays, wednesdays and fridays (except before big races)
  • So, the week you have posted is a marathon training week or 10k? Is this your current training?
  • This is 10k, but the only difference for the marathon is on the wednesday the second run will be an hour and 15, and on alternate sundays the long run will get up towards 2 hours 30.

    It's the training I would like to be doing in a months time, but at the moment I'm recovering post FLM. In reality I won't get three double runs in a week. More like one, or 2 if I'm lucky.
  • So, Smashy, what's the plan - autumn 10K and then FLM 2005?
  • Probably. I admit to finding the prospect of 10k really scary which is the only reason apart from being 3rd reserve for Athens that I would change my plans. But the famous saying is "feel the fear and do it anyway" and as Richard Branson said "I have learnt more from my failures than I have from my successes" so even if I don't hit my goal time in the autumn, I will have learnt more in the process.

    MikeB, your information is really useful. I probably should be thinking more along the lines of recovery right now, but truly, I don't really feel the effects of London right now, and feel that I had a decent break post chicago because of events. I am really missing double running. Are you training for 10k and doing another marathon next year, Mike B?
  • I'm training for the summer (so thats really 3k, 5k, s/chase and 10k) and haven't decided when to do my next marathon.

    Well, I will be training for the summer soon, still just taking it easy a bit.

    I've still got plenty of time, in that I'm only 24 now, and also I don't need to think of the financial implications of doing one race or another, or about qualification for championships etc. I guess you'll be thinking of the Worlds next year.

    Look at the 10k this way. You don't just get one shot at it. If I was in your situation I might identify a few races in the autumn, maybe GNR and GSR, try and make a little money out of it too. Then you can target a 10k race in october or november, and then have another try at Leeds, say in december. Ease back for a month then into marathon training.
  • Smashy - I wondered who that was dropped out last night! I was not far behind you at that point and ended up with 36.23. Nothing special but my quickest since 2001 so I was generally pleased. Never run in conditions like that before. Unreal.

    Anyway, for what it's worth I don't think you need to drop your mileage that much when running 10ks. The only difference is in the speed work which needs to be more specific. If you look at most top 10k runners they're probably doing 100mpw anyway. I used to regularly run low 32min for 10k off about 60mpw - I should have tried running twice a day really, but no one ever suggested it to me!

    Typical week for me at my peak
    Mon - 50mins steady
    Tue - 5xmile at 10k pace (2min jog recovery)
    Wed - 1hr steady
    Thu - 16x400m at 5k pace (200m jog recovery)
    Fri - 30mins easy
    Sat - 3miles easy, 10x200m hills, 3miles easy
    Sun - 90mins easy
  • Bazza, MikeB, thanks. It was unreal last night! Still, seems to be the flavour of the last year extreme conditions. Well done to you. One thing that did occur to me is that 32 mins is a very good time, but if you were to compare male and female times, I would say that a 32 minute 10k performance for a woman is worth 29 to a man (using stats from GBRathletics as a guide). Therefore, given what you have told me already, what would you do differently to do a 29 minute 10k, given that time and money were no issue in the idealistic world?

    New chain of thinking - is there anything to stop me having a solid crack at 10k for the summer and then break at some point into marathon training for a November/December marathon? And whilst on that chain of thought, anyone know a really fast flat one?
  • John MacFarlane (I think) is trying to talk up a group going out to Florence end of November. La Rochelle same day normally has decent times too.

    Get yourself onto runfast uk (that goes for everyone)

    and I beleive quite a few british men are thinking of it.

    As for me going for 29 minutes? Well, thats where talent comes in.

    My view is that most young men if they work hard enough should be able to get in the 32-34 minute range, off pure hard work, the extra bit is where talent comes in.

    Thats why Chris Thompson who I sometimes train with, and is coached by the same guy as me, doesn't do much different to what I do. He just does the reps alot faster because he is able to.

    Also have a look at what Olly Laws does here (again, same coach as me so you will see a similarity to what I do):

    I guess the only thing I would do if I thought I was capable of a 29 minute time or better would be look at other aspects of my life, particularly work. I would expect to be able to make some money out of my running at some stage, so wouldn't have to work shifts (well I know i don't HAVE to but it's the easiest way for me to earn enough money whilst working few hours).
    I would also get a more regular massage and concentrate more on other aspects of training such as core stability work and maybe look at my diet a bit more closely. But then it's all hypothetical for me. I can't get my weight down much below where it is now, and at 6ft4 am never going to make a world class distance runner. I may as well work to within my limits as best I can and see how far I can get. I love the sport (its surprising but some very good runners love the competition more than the sport itself) so I can see myself in it for the long run.
  • MikeB, if I had looked at my weight as a reason for not thinking I could run as fast as the rest of the British girls, I would have given up a long time ago. I did a whole load of data analysis at least 2 years ago and figured that if I had a chance of competing with the best in the world then I would simply have to try and lose as much unnecessary body fat/weight as was deemed healthy. It's been a hard slog and I still think that I line up against the rest with a lot more weight, but I do think there is something to be said for power/weight ratio. I hear what you're saying though. But there are tall male marathoners - Eammon Martin was one, and there must be loads more. And I also have commitments - 2 young children for a start. So, I reckon as you say at 24, you've got loads of time ahead of you if you think that you have a chance. I am off to check out the other websites now.

    As for Florence, it's the nearest one, but I question how fast it is as the two Brits who have run decent times there were Michaela and Amy, and the time I am looking to do is much faster than these - could I do it there, that's the question?
  • Have a look at for the diary of alot of the top races.

    I'm thinking of La Rochelle on the same day as florence.

    Luton's hilly - in case you were tempted. That's my fall back.
  • Nah - give that one a miss! There's also Abingdon. Abingdon, Florence...hmmm! Well, logistically speaking, Abingdon would be the right one to go for. But again, there's no fast times posted there. i may go and drive the course, and possibly train there a bit just to check it out. If you want to try a couple of sessions there let me know. I keep coming back to the thought of the Chicago, problem is I want it all...If only Chicago was in November with October weather...
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