Shades Marathon Training



    Big G - I expect the RD/100MC club fell out over the number of finishers, but it's chicken and egg, if it was on the list a lot more runners would do the events.  Last year the Bunnyhop had 16 finishers and 18 starters, I expect that race gets more as at Easter there aren't any marathons to choose from usually.  Anyway number of starters and finisher is not important to me so the Hotrunner series should suit me well if I need them and I should be able to get an entry at short notice.

    Difficult to know what marathon organisers are planning when it comes to dealing with the Coronavirus.   But I can easily see London doing what Tokyo have done and just have the elite for Olympic qualifying times, and if/when the USA start getting multiple cases then banning travellers from certain countries.  I do think the Olympics could easily be cancelled/postponed.

    I think if you worried about other folk's lack of hygiene we'd never go anywhere or eat anywhere else again so I think just try and not think about it.  It's not just runner's lack of hygiene it's the general public, they tested those order screens in McDonalds didn't they and they all had faecal matter on them...sorry if anyone is having an early lunch. :s   

    I've booked all my races, I'm going no further than 2 to Ireland and Frankfurt but if I was planning another I personally wouldn't book anything until we see how the situation develops.

    Sports Tours are offering NYC packages if you really want to go this year.

    Ian - great times at Seville.   Would you be tempted to go back and have another go?

    Cozy - tough running in that snow, well done

    Steve - blimey that's a long run before work!  Hope the quad is just a passing twinge.

    Managed to get through Pilates OK, I was chatting to the instructor before class and told her I had sore legs from the gym so she did a series of exercises on our hamstrings which nearly killed me but my legs did feel better afterwards.   She just assumed it was my hamstrings, just as well I didn't say it was also my calves, quads and glutes otherwise I think I'd have been in pieces.

    Good upper body session in the gym done afterwards.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Shades, yeah, it doesn’t stop me entering events etc. I have fairly recently started taking hand sanitiser with me when I’m away and I’ll continue to do that but I also try not to think about it too much!  In terms of foreign marathon trips I’ve also got two entered, but I won’t be entering any more for the time being. 
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Nice running all. Unfortunately at the rate things are going I would be surprised if most large scale events weren’t cancelled fairly soon. They’re already making plans in our office for us to all work from home.  Quick question, I’m wondering if I should turn one of my two weekly marathon pace runs into an easy run. Slowing things down this week has made me feel much better. It’s my first marathon and my base of running was low prior (15miles pw or so for 6mths vs c.35 at the moment) so I wonder whether all this faster stuff (also do one speed work session per week) added to the mileage increase is leading to my niggles. Don’t want to ruin my chances of running sub 4 at the same time. 
    edited February 27
    Big G - I keep a bottle of sanitiser in the car, useful when travelling.  I always wash my hands when I get home  irrespective of where I've been, gym/shopping/whatever.   Usual marathon runner's hypochondria I think.

    Rcouture - I think that's a very good idea,.  There's quite a lot of speedwork in your plan and it's the slower runs that builds the base.   Use your own judgement, if you feel strong and fresh then you can do a faster session, but when you start getting that tiredness during marathon training is when an injury isn't far away.

    Would WFH suit you?
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Thanks Shades. I think I will make the change. My body has responded well to it this week and it feels like I need to focus on endurance and mileage rather than pace. <div>WFH isn’t great for me as I’ve got two little girls who rarely accept that I should be working and not playing with them!</div>
  • Speaking of coronovirus, the insurance has denied my claim, so I've basically burned a month's income on absolutely nothing. At this point I may well not bother with next year. Out of the three foreign races I've entered, I've only managed to run one and have lost money on the other two, so it's really put me off. I'm hoping to have better luck with Chicago but honestly, I find the whole foreign race thing massively stressful.

    I did go for a short (4 mile run today), though not until 1pm as there was sleet earlier. I still have an ache on the outside of my foot but the bit underneath wasn't bothersome (the bruise is still a bit tender to the touch, but as it's in the arch it isn't sore when I run). I will do my parkrun on Saturday and then slowly build my mileage back up. I've decided against trying to squeeze in another half now - no point, really as I need to focus on training.
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    That’s rotten luck Cal. Here’s hoping you can get back into full training
    Rcouture - I'm sure they'll love having Daddy home for 2 weeks  ;). Maybe you'll have to work through the night when they're asleep..

    Glad you're going to alter your training.

    Cal - that's such bad luck, really sorry to hear that.  But you can still get the tax back, at least that's something.  I don't suppose you want to transfer the flights as hard to know how long the Coronavirus is going to last.   Fortunately you were able to cancel the hotel.

    Good that you're able to run though, maybe the arch thing will only bother you post race/long run until it's healed.
  • Cal - That's bad news!!
    Ian - I have a 10k in a few weeks, but again won't taper and will be on the back of a fairly heavy week, might also parkrun a few weeks out from the marathon too.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Rcouture, not trying to add confusion but I’d actually be tempted to slow both down.  Then enter some shorter races to see how you’re doing and to give confidence that the training is working.   As I said, I'm not trying to confuse matters!

    Cal, really bad luck :(  My friend also didn't end up getting the BA refund that was hinted at :( 

    Has anyone here read or heard of the Racing Weight book by Matt Fitzgerald?  I picked up a second hand copy and it's fairly old now I suppose, written in 2009, and some of it does feel dated as he mentions Lance Armstrong as an athlete to aspire to in terms of his weight.  But aside from that, it's a good read.  From my point of view, it has kind of reiterated what I already knew about what my "racing weight" is although I haven't been down that low for some time.

    Probably showing myself up with lack of knowledge, but a very simple thing that I'd never thought about was if you know your % fat, you can then work out what your Lean Body Mass is (i.e., the portion of your body weight that consists of stuff other than fat.  Assuming the muscle mass stays the same, this doesn't change much regardless of your weight).  He then has some tables that take gender, age and current % fat and gives a guide as to what an athlete's fat % and associated weight could be if trained.  It's interesting to me as the figure that has popped out is more-or-less the same as what I was when I felt at my fittest.  Basically, although I'm fine with my weight at the moment in that I've got that Xmas excess back off, I can safely (I was going to say "easily", but it's not that easy!) lose another 5lbs and I know I'd feel a lot different/lighter/faster etc.  Seeing it in black and white and remembering what it felt like to be that weight without knowing about these tables is motivating in some way.
    7 miles this morning in the rain, but not windy which was forecast so it was quite pleasant.   I could see by the puddles that it had rained a lot during the night but I headed out to the cycle path in the area that was flooded when I posted flood photos a couple of weeks ago.   I was expecting the cycle path to be flooded but managed to negotiate a few big puddles which were much bigger and deeper on the way back, look like we'll have more flooding this weekend.   Nothing like what they've suffered in Worcestershire etc though.

    Legs still a bit tired from gym/pilates over the last few days but not too bad.   

    A friend is treating me to a pasta lunch today, will be a bit of a nightmare keeping to my protein % today. :/
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Morning all. Easy 7 miler last night which felt great. <div>Big G-Running easy after work feels so much better than the MP stuff for obvious reasons but you think there’s no benefit to at least one run in the week at MP?
    Shades - Pasta lunch sounds brilliant. Best part of marathon training for me is eating carbs again after about a year of being on a low carb diet (which did work in shifting excess pounds to be fair). </div>
    Big G - that's interesting re body fat % and racing weight etc.   You could always go and have yourself checked on a body analyser, the one at the leisure centre I go to gives a good informative data sheet.   Gives me a breakdown and % of muscle mass, body fat mass, fat free mass and body water.   Plus a diagram showing how the muscle is distributed and diagram showing the same for fat.  Also BMR.

    It's not easy to estimate fat % just by height/weight as some folk have a lot of visceral fat, should be less likely in a runner though.   One of the girls at the leisure centre, she's been running a couple of years and does spin classes/pilates/body pump etc too   She's small with a little bit of weight around her waist but not much and her fat % is 12% higher than mine, but if we stood side by side you'd never think that at all.  I was shocked when she told me her fat %

    In that book what % body fat do they advise for runners?
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Rcouture, probably I shouldn't have said anything as really I'm no expert on plans, so if the plan you're following is working for you and has MP runs in, then stick with it.  As a matter of interest, how long in terms of distance is the MP runs?  Also as a matter of interest, does the plan have runs that are quicker than MP?  I just mentioned it as in my own experience I've noticed improvements if I've done my training runs at an easy pace to build endurance, but then raced regularly at shorter distances (5k, 10k, halfs).  But I'm not sure if that's really in any plan as such, so probably I shouldn't have mentioned what I did :) 

    Shades, I know they're not accurate but as a guide I do have some fat % scales, but I would like a better figure so will get it measured at a leisure centre at some point.  The book doesn't have a single fat % figure for any person of any age range or gender.  But what it has is a table with percentiles and I'm currently at around the 80th percentile, which is actually not bad.  However, if someone is at the 85th percentile that equates to a good, but achievable, body fat % composition.  For me, that 85th percentile equates to 15.1% body fat.  I'm currently 16.3% (according to my scales, which I appreciate aren't likely to be totally accurate, and I'd guess are saying I've less fat that I actually do) and if I get down towards 15.1% and everything else stays the same, that equates to the 5lbs I mentioned for me.  For my age group, 90th percentile is 13.6%, 95th percentile is 11.4% and 99th percentile is 6.6%, but really 95% (certainly 99%) is elite, so a good goal for me would be to get to the 85th percentile.

    I saw Steve Edwards has done his 901st already.  I saw a post from him about this next 100, to take him to 1000!  He said something like he's trying to think of it like he's 90% of the way through a marathon, so he's only got about 2.62 miles to go.  :D  
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Big G - The MP runs are currently 10k, peaking at 11k in the plan. The plan also has one weekly speedwork session of Yasso 800s which I’ve found really good. It might be that that speedwork session is enough with everything else at slow pace but I really don’t know. I was pretty happy with my pace at my half last Sunday so perhaps it shouldn’t be too much of a focus vs endurance. 
    Big G - would be interesting for you to get analysed and then compare that to your own fat% on your scales.   But it's important that you measure/weigh for fat% with the same criteria each time.   So my instructor makes me weigh in fasted and no coffee, caffeine affects the reading apparently but I have to not be dehydrated as that distorts the readings even more.  Once I hadn't drunk enough water and it screwed up all the other %'s so we had to discard that data as meaningless.  So I suppose even for your fat% scales you can weigh in first thing in the morning but not before you have rehydrated yourself.

    I've found the table and I'm in between 80th and 85th percentile, but I haven't had my fat measured since mid January.   I'm aiming for just higher than what is 90th percentile on the table.   But I'm going to book in for a review with my instructor probably just before my first road marathon of the year so I've bookmarked the table so I can compare.

    For anyone else wanting to look at the table here's the link;ccid=FRu9QcPY&amp;id=04B50D7B6F03DA9568E7E13A23C2F1B655A5793F&amp;thid=OIP.FRu9QcPYaWb0sTWXOBkOXgHaCS&amp;mediaurl=;exph=396&amp;expw=1280&amp;q=matt+fitzgerald+fat%+percentile+table&amp;simid=608036196078194526&amp;selectedIndex=0&amp;ajaxhist=0

    This is the table that I have seen before

  • Cozy1504Cozy1504 ✭✭✭

    A wee 5 mile run this morning, conditions quite nice!

    New trainers arriving today, so my easy 10 miles in the morning will be in my new tyres!

  • Cozy1504Cozy1504 ✭✭✭

    I don't have a clue on my body fat %

    Are the machines in boots etc quite accurate? I'm hoping to lose another stone pre marathon.

  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Shades, in the book he stresses always using the scales under the same conditions each time (i.e., time of day, clothes being worn, etc).  I think the interesting thing that I hadn't twigged before is that the Lean Body Mass is (i.e., the portion of your body weight that consists of stuff other than fat) stays more-or-less the same.  So if a runner knows their current weight and fat % and knows what fat % they want to get to, they can then equate that to weight loss (all other things remaining the same).  Not sure why I hadn't thought of that before.

    Cozy, I think the only thing with doing it in something like Boots is that it's probably not the done thing to strip off before doing the test :)  I've not used one, but depending on where it is located, maybe in a leisure centre you can do the test in just shorts which would potentially be more accurate?  I don't know though.
    Cozy - new shoes, lovely.

    I would guess that the machines in Boots have their limitations.

    Big G - that made me laugh the thought of stripping down to a pair of shorts in Boots.

    You don't have to take your clothes off, just wear roughly the same clothes weight wise as before.

    In the leisure centre we have to take shoes and socks off as needs to be done in bare feet as sends a mild current through the body, have to hold the handles at the same time too.

    Yes, the other stuff, bones, skin, etc alters very little.

    But you can't assume that weight loss is all fat.  If just calories are cut then weight loss will be fat and some muscle.  If the weight is regained there's a strong possibility that it will be mostly fat and not the muscle.  That's why yo yoing weight is not good as chance of ending up with a higher fat % than when started.

    In theory to lose weight you need to cut calories, to gain muscle you need to increase calories.  But you can do both at the same time by doing strength training, which is what I've done and I am on 1.8 times my BMR with 30% protein diet.

    Just had a gorgeous carb lunch, creamy pasta with mascarpone and bacon with focaccia.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    You've done really well Shades!  Very dedicated.  You must be very pleased with that.  Last time I went down to my "racing weight" (I say that in the loosest sense - I didn't look like an elite, I just mean fairly trim I suppose) for me it was healthy eating whilst calorie counting, plus portion control.  One issue with doing quite a lot of marathons (for me) is that generally speaking I don't run as much in the week, but still do have quite an appetite!
    Big G - you've looked very slim and fit the last few times I've seen you.

    I agree, lots of marathons does generate a good appetite and a fair bit of tiredness too.

    My weight has stabilised now but I would still like to drop another 5 pounds or so although my instructor says there's no need.  But he does intend to change my gym training to try and drop my fat % and increase my muscle % just to get to my desired fat %.

    Of course as yet I've not done a race to see if all this work has had a positive effect on my running.   I haven't done any long runs either, so I may have to take that into consideration.
    My first race of the year is a 20 miler on 14th March.

    Incidentally race organiser of Spring Infinity says race will definitely go ahead as she expects to be efficient on her crutches by then. 
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Body fat talk is interesting,I know I could definitely do with losing half a stone or so,its just whether I can be bothered in all honesty.
    Didn't run today,just not had the motivation to go out in the rain,usual post race blues,working this weekend so may only get out sunday for a bit.
    Ian - you run very well at your current weight.  If you have any to lose it will probably go gradually over time as you've lost weight like that before without consciously dieting or cutting down.

    Cure for post race blues is to enter another but maybe only small low key events until this Coronavirus situation is over.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    edited February 29
    I did a gentle 4-miles last night and then went off to parkrun this morning.  In fact, I had planned to get up early on do a bit of tourism on the way to Northampton but when the alarm went off at 6am it was raining very heavily so I took 2-milliseconds to decide a change of plan was needed.

    By about 8:30am it was quite sunny so I decided to go to my local parkrun 1.5miles away, and left the house at 8:45am.  By 1-mile I very nearly turned back as it was snowing and very cold.  It was one of those "why am I doing this?" moments.  But I carried on, the snow and rain cleared and I had a good run out in the end, for about 6.5miles in total.

    Travelling up to Northampton today which is a 4hr drive.  I have packed a very large amount of stuff in the car for this walk.  Different shoe/boot options, different jackets, different rucksacks (one small, one larger), gaiters, waterproofs, etc etc.  I've a small suit case, a bag of shoes, a rucksack, a bag of food and another bag of "stuff"....all for a marathon that I'm walking.  I need to whittle all this down before tomorrow, I think!
  • Good luck Big G!
    Weather looked terrible today so I'd already decided to do a repeat parkrun rather than travel outside London and then have a long journey back when I was cold and wet. I opted for Crystal Palace as it's 15 minutes on the train, and I'd not done the winter course before (I last went in summer '18). The summer course is one big lap whereas the winter course is two smaller laps, which meant twice up the hill. It's not a terrible hill - a fairly mild gradient for most of it with one steep but, but the fact you're going up for a while makes it a bit harder.
    It's tarmac and gravel path but there were a lot of puddles, and I did a lap of the dinosaur lake (which is on the summer course but not the winter one) as a warm-up and got my feet soaking wet before I even started. Never mind.
    I'd agreed to meet Tunde and he rocked up after I did my warm-up and we had a quick chat at the start before he promptly took off, being a couple of minutes faster than me, typically, despite being a VM60.
    There was one pacer for 25 minutes and I was actually close behind him initially, but I lost him after the uphill on the first lap. I didn't think I'd get near that time anyway (my previous time, on the summer course, was 26:31, so that was my target - Crystal Palace in one of the hilliest in London). There's a nice, sweeping downhill which I was able to bomb down quite happily, but that turns into a steep descent (you also go up the steep bit) and I had to slam my anchors on for that bit as it's too steep for me to run down at any kind of pace. But I was quite happy to do around 8:34 for the first mile given it has 39m of gain.
    I was a bit quicker through the second and third miles (8:19/8:20) and then went all out for the finish, coming in at 26:15 which is a course PB (and also, happily, a new bingo number for those that do the tourist challenges - I haven't had one of those since November). So I was pretty pleased, all things considered. Foot wasn't bad - there's still a bruise but it isn't as tender as it was so I think I'll be OK for a medium-longish run tomorrow. (Must admit I am a bit glad I don't have to run a marathon on it).
    I posted yesterday morning and post has disappeared, ages since that has happened.   Can't remember but was nothing important.

    Big G - don't think we had snow shower yesterday morning, think it was just rain.

    Hope today goes well and conditions aren't too muddy or cold.   Good idea to cram the car with everything you might need.

    Good luck anyone racing today too.

    I'm taking an impromptu rest day today, I feel really tired today and stuck my head out the window and it's bitterly cold, not sure if it isn't a bit icy too.   If it was a balmy spring day I might be tempted but I do just feel tired today so will rest.
    I see Farah has finally responded to recent Panorama allegations.  

    Don't think he's done a good job of it, just sounds like a pathetic whinge.

    I see he's lost another of his records, although in fairness I don't think he ever did much indoor stuff
    Just watched the Big Half, conditions looked really good, most enjoyable to watch.

    Cal - great to see your clubmate do so well, 3rd place, and wearing your club kit.   Although I'm sure she'll have a sponsor very soon.
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