Sub 4 Amy: #asics262



  • TRTR ✭✭✭

    The are official rules and moral rules IMO

    Running without a number is against race rules but its not punishable by lynch mob. Endurance sports are selfish and require someone to take lots of "me" time and somewhere along the line the work/life/family is making a compromise or missing out, this is more like moral rule breaking in my book. Everyone in endurance sports is breaking morals rules at times, who's to say that is more or less wrong than one run without a number on ? No one is holier than thou.

    I have a theory that folks want to be the winner in these competetions to be the chosen  one, receive the attention and the freebies (the folks not chosen get jealous). After all you can hire a coach that will write you a specific plan for a few quid a month and it would come with a good guarantee of success and be tailored just for you, but the folks trying to win the competition place dont go that route.

    Anyone up off the couch running is all good in my book, its about being healthy, active and alive, not about competitions and gadgets. But after all its only running after all, although even I have probably taken it a bit to seriously on the odd occasion.

    Outside of this RW there is another RW (a real world) and some seriously bad things have happened in that world in recent weeks, the focus of the disgruntled on here would be better served in that direction, but I guess its easier to have a pop at RW and sub4 Amy.

    Stop moaning folks and let good coach Steve help Amy on her (and not anyone else's) journey.

  • TRTR ✭✭✭

    Back over to Steve and Amy.

    And for the record, if the lynch mob had got Amy removed from her place I would have coached/mentored her for free.

  • VDOT52VDOT52 ✭✭✭
  • Hi Amy, I'm an ex- sub 4 runner, but have slowed down a good bit, as I tend to concentrate on Ultras, and all my recent marathons have been as traiing races for ultraas a few weeks later.

    This year I have an ultra in April, but then a marathon in july, so I will be trying to use something like your programme to get some speed into the legs for the later race. Meanwhile, I'm plodding out slower mileage, and learning to run hills.( My ultra is very hilly!).

    I have question for Steve- at the appropriate LSR pace for a 4 hr marathon, 20 miles takes over 3 hours- do you think it is worth doing such a long LSR? Or do you tend to cap it at about 18 miles, which is closer to 3hrs?

  • Hi Amy well done on getting through. How has the initial training going and can you see any potential problem areas

    Question for Steve - on bootcamp day Amy and I were of similar speed (now managed to improve my 5k time to 22:02) what sort of target time would you be aiming for for the marathon?

  • Helloo- was lovely meeting you this morning Amy- you're a very strong runner and I'm sure Steve's plan will provide some nice challenge as well as whopping great improvement.

    parkrun is a fab community - Im one of the core group for Colchester having moved back there after quite a few years away- I had no friends in Colchester but thru parkrun I've made some great ones.  As you saw my friend at brockwell has the same.    For the most part runners are a kind friendly bunch very supportive of each other and treat each other as friends due to the kinship of the global running community.  Parkrun is just one of many examples of this x

  • Nice to see the plan up! Now trying to decide whether to follow the RW break 4 or bust, The PocketRocket plan or maybe try Malc's 330 plan from last year.

    Steve can I second MattWithManners question please..

    baldrunnerman wrote (see)

    Question for Steve - on bootcamp day Amy and I were of similar speed (now managed to improve my 5k time to 22:02) what sort of target time would you be aiming for for the marathon?

    BRM trumps my new 5k PB by only 2 seconds. But I'm going to smash that soon with a 21:30 as the McMillan calculator suggests on a week old 44:49 10k PB. 

    N.B. I'm just coming on POT post bootcamp due to my being 2 weeks post Valencia marathon at the time!! Excuses excuses.. n all that.

  • Me too was recovering from broadway marathon. Joys of over 4500ft of elevation during a marathon image not that I am making excuses either image
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Amy don't get too friendly with Angela - she'll have you running ultras and goodness knows what else before you know it! image
  • Steve: thank you very much. I will do as you suggest. I am looking forward to resuming my training and actually 1 min a mile slower sounds good to me at this moment. My biggest challenge is to move from my 9-ish min per mile to 8-ish and even 7-ish!!! But really looking forward to it. Thanks a lot.

    Amy: My injure was bad luck really. I was on holidays and then a car drove over my foot. It was painful but I am fully recovered now. I went ice skating as well two weeks ago and managed to keep both my feet safe image Regarding Madrid, my first option was London because I would love to run London Marathon one day but I wasn't successful in the ballot. After such an amazing first marathon experience in Paris with the team, my second marathon has to be very special so the best choice was Madrid with the support of my family and friends! I heard is quite a tough marathon though, not very flat! 

    Angela: I have just registered for parkrun!!!

  • My views on the subject were previously aired. I do stand by them. Amy has been picked and the decision clarified by Steve. So 

    Amy Go PocketRocket! You have been excellent in our first week as a team, supportive, encouraging and it is brilliant to be part of a team with all your enthusiasm, I cannot be the only one who this is rubbing off of. Glad you had a great ParkRun with Angela but like Minni says, watch out she will have you running Ultra's next year! image


    tricialitt wrote (see)

    Hi Amy, I'm an ex- sub 4 runner, but have slowed down a good bit, as I tend to concentrate on Ultras, and all my recent marathons have been as traiing races for ultraas a few weeks later.

    This year I have an ultra in April, but then a marathon in july, so I will be trying to use something like your programme to get some speed into the legs for the later race. Meanwhile, I'm plodding out slower mileage, and learning to run hills.( My ultra is very hilly!).

    I have question for Steve- at the appropriate LSR pace for a 4 hr marathon, 20 miles takes over 3 hours- do you think it is worth doing such a long LSR? Or do you tend to cap it at about 18 miles, which is closer to 3hrs?

    Yes I do think an occasional run over 3 hours is worth doing for the 4 hour pace runner - even 3 and a half hours. It has to be a gradual build up to it, ie don't go from 2 hour 30 to 3 hour 30 in one jump and it has to be a comfortable pace so that you aren't wiped out for the rest of the week. And hydration and nutrition are crucial to get right for a run of this length.

    In my PB run way back in the last century, I did a slowish training run a few weeks before the marathon which was 3 and a half hours and it gave me confidence in the marathon race.

    I do agree that there is a length in time of run for the less faster runner that probably does more harm than good but I also believe that, whereever possible, the runner going to 4 hours shouldn't train too much differently to the sub-3 except in paces - which is approx 2 minutes a miler slower.



  • baldrunnerman wrote (see)

    Hi Amy well done on getting through. How has the initial training going and can you see any potential problem areas

    Question for Steve - on bootcamp day Amy and I were of similar speed (now managed to improve my 5k time to 22:02) what sort of target time would you be aiming for for the marathon?

    5km time doesn't always give a very good prediction - being eight times as long but bootcamp time limitations means we only have time for 5km - and the final time was only a small part of the selection process and pacing, style, consistency of effort were just as important.

    In theory a 22 minute 5k suggests 3:30 is possible if the endurance matches the speed but there are 21 minute 5km runners who can't break four and there have been 23 minute 5km runners who have run 3:30 too if they have amazing endurance and have done a lot of good training as a succession of 5Ks just inside 25 will get you a sub-3:30.

    So therefore if you can run 22 a high 24 5km within a marathon should feel comfortable at least until 20 miles/30km and the very best marathoners can cope with a 5km pace 60-90 seconds slower than their actual 5km PB.  


  • Amy, I tend to concentrate on the long run, tempo and marathon pace workouts, the rest of the week is all easy running. There is some interval work in the schedule in the last phase of the plan.  I suspect I'm going to have to get faster at the shorter distances if I want to get faster in the marathon.  By the looks of your stats you have the pace but need to work on the endurance.


  • StewartC That was defo a big theme with the top halve of the #sub4grouprocks bootcampers. Plenty of speed there several were capable of around 22 min or faster. Of course AngShep was an endurance monster!

    Thanks for confirming Steve what I expect is a need to nut down on the endurance side of things. Will be looking closely at this thread for that. 

    Pocketrocket you might have a similar problem OR it might just be a simple pacing issue as I heard you went out at 8min/mile pace for either 10 or 16 miles at Edinburgh. Would be good to hear a bit more about that experience and what happened at different points and at what stage you bonked! It would be good to understand if Steve is planning to address one or the other or if one is a bigger issue... n.b. my wife doesn't let me bonk during marathons!! I just faaaaaaade.



  • Sean R5 you should def do a park run! It was really easy to register. Not only did I enjoy it because of the community feeling but I think they will be really beneficial for training, I felt like I pushed myself more. I have not seen Gone Girl I am afraid, and neither do I know the story....a recommendation? I love films.

    Tigger I don't have a specific time aim at the minute, just the sub 4. Perhaps later in the training if things are going well I can have a more specific target to aim for, but for now my goal is sub 4, I want to know that I will be able to achieve this.

    Hi TR thank you for your input and the kind words image I too agree that being up and out and off the couch is the best way to be. Promoting activity is very important in todays society what with so many labour saving devices. I am a big believer that activity is good for the whole body physically and mentally.

    Tricialitt I was only today having a convo with some new friends about ultras. At present the marathon seems enough of a challenge for me, I bow down to you at the thought of an ultra! From discussions today however, it seems that if you have friends behind you and to compete with you, then what can seem like a never ending event, can be fun and enjoyable too. And perhaps who knows, one day it will be a challenge I will aspire to and I may be wanting to follow a training plan of yours image I hope you find the plan that Steve has for me of use.

    Hi Baldrunnerman, how are you? No problems with training so far, and as you can see I have really enjoyed the recommended Park Run. As for foreseeable problems I think I will find the faster paced sessions to improve speed endurance and stamina the hardest. To note Steve's feedback to the questions asked of him, it sounds as if pace can be very important so I feel a need to focus on this and push myself to do well. On a 'bad' day I think I struggle to push myself, not really knowing how to turn it into a 'good' day; I don't really know what determines if I have a good or  bad day, this may be something that I learn along the way now I am analysing myself more. Does that make sense? What determines if you have a good or bad day?

    Angela it was so great to meet you today! And your friends. I appreciate the invite. I can see how many friends you have because of the park runs, and what a community it is as a whole. Its a shame we all don't live a bit closer as I think we all seemed well paced together, although I think you would put me through my paces for sure if you wanted to! Although, thanks for warning Minni! haha!

    Bramster hello, how are you? If you think you are capable of Malc's 3.30 then go for it for sure! That would be an amazing achievement.

    Isabel Abos a car ran over your foot?! Ouch!! Glad things are better for you now and you have a new plan. Ice skating is fun huh, I should do it more often, theres good facilities near me in Sheffield. Good luck in Madrid, I think it will be special for sure.

    Cheers Superman, pleased to be in the team with you. You're such a motivating person, very positive, and the best at making sure we will not forget our team journey "snap snap click click" image

  • Bramster haha. Yes sure...I set off at 8min miles for the first 10miles, then I slowed, think I realised how far I still had to go and so made the decision to do this. Then from about 14-16 I began to slow naturally. I hit a definite mental wall at around 18, and then a physical wall at around 22 and slowed to walking pace (still attempting to run, was just very slow), then about 23-24 I got a pick up from a random who I ran with to the end of the race. This really helped me, and honestly i don't know how I would have made it to the end without him. He kept me chatting and we picked the pace back up and he pushed me for the last stretch too. So definitely, to me anyway, I think pacing was a large problem, but StewartC yes, I think you are right too, endurance is something that clearly needs to be worked on too.

  • well done on the parkrun today Amy - confirms your  5km speed isn't going to be a hindrance and it's just going to be a case of building the endurance and staying fit and healthy.

  • Whoa, not been on here for a couple of days and it's all kicking off! I had a similar incident to Amy in the spring - was due to do Manchester and got sick the night before. No way I could have left the loo on race morning! So I did Milton Keynes instead a month later. A good event - loved the stadium finish - but Manchester definitely a better course for a shot at a sub 4 PB next spring. Don't think I'll be following your personal plan Amy, as the speed sessions are a bit fast for me, but will follow the generic Asics sub 4 plan and see how it goes. I'm sure you'll have no probs whatsoever with sub 4 so long as you don't set off too fast.

  • Hi AngieShep, come join me with my plan over on the First-timers thread. It's a less controversial thread - although I'm thinking of resucitating the 'no shorts over mantights' argument to get a fight going. We're both a similar speed I think and ... ahem ... clears throat tactfully ... a similar age.

    Good to see you on the threads - we missed you!
  • Haha yes, no need to be tactful Tony - by revealing in my Asics 26.2 entry that sub 4 would be a Good For Age time for me everyone will know how extremely old I am! Bit busy with Christmas stuff this aft, but will definitely check out your thread later on.

  • Carl DCarl D ✭✭✭

    Amy - just thought I would pop by and say best of luck with your sub 4 attempt in Paris.

    I ran Paris in 2013 (after applying for Asics 26.2 and not succeeding). Despite being injured going into the race and struggling with t from mile 16,  I managed  3:58. This still stands as my PB as I fell at mile 16 in London in 2014 when chasing a sub 3:40 time.

    It is a lovely course, there is good support and one day I will go back and race it again but not in 2015. I have a place in Chicago (deferred from this year) in October and this is my primary focus but I will be running Richmond Park marathon in May.

    So I am sure with the training plan and support from Steve and others you will easily beat your time from Edinburgh and go sub 4.

    I have to admit at being slightly shocked by some of the nonsense I have read on this   thread. And yes everyone is entitled to an opinion. But to keep banging on about it after Steve had explained that you were selected fairly and squarely is plain ridiculous.

    Wishing you the very best of luck and I will check in here occasionally to see how you are progressing.

  • Thanks Steve, for clearing up about the very long LSR's, I've generally gone as far as 3 .5 hours, but wondered whether it was counterproductive.

    Amy- Ultra running is just a friendly mobile all -day picnic at my end of the race!- very sociable, as you are runnig at a more comfortable pace for talking, -obviously at the "sharp end" it is probably a bit different, but the speedy guys tend to be extrememly suportive of us slower folk- definately worth a try!

    I'm just back in from a rather soggy/ blowy 2 hours along the canal path in Glasgow- struggling to keep the pace down, as it was chilly enough to need to keep it moving. Feels good now its done!

  • It is nice to see that we are back on track and now talking about the running. Well done on the Parkrun they are like pringles once you start you cant stop doing them. 

    I did the parkrun dressed as santa yesterday and had stop half way to remove the trousers way to big. Just missed out on a PB so going to push it next Saturday running off the Christmas dinner. 

  • Thanks Steve I enjoyed the park run. 22.42 I think was the final time.

    Hi AngieShep, thanks for popping by. Ah the old loo incident, we've all been there (cue embarrassing sound effect) :-/ Good to hear you have focus for Manchester and a sub 4. When are you planning on starting your training? And definitely have a look in on Tony's thread, funny guyimage

    Hi Carl D. Sounds like 16 is not such a lucky number for you! You have done amazing to get a sub marathon despite injury. Imagine your potential when on peak form. I can't wait to run round Paris. I hope the scenery will help and I can enjoy the iconic landmarks. And I am pleased to hear that the support is good as for part of Edinburgh because it went along the coast and away from the city I felt that it lacked support in some parts, which as we all know really does make a difference. It sounds like you have some great challenges ahead of you to focus on. Please do keep popping in as i'd love to hear how you are getting along also.

    Good effort for your run today Tricialitt. Sounds chilly up there. I did a lovely 10miler this morning, ran from my sisters to the London Eye and back, although it was just a straight road which I find boring usually, I think just being somewhere new can really help to change up your runs and keep interest. Plus a good tourist attraction is a bonus. Hmm an all day picnic and social you say.....sounds perfect to me! How did you get into ultras? And love the Pringles analogy Craig! It's funny, I think all runners are obsessed by food. My Step Dad always says "I run to eat not eat to run" and that is so true for me and I think a lot of other runners. I think I will obviously have to reverse this for my current challenge however and I'm sure Ruth will have something to say about it!

    So the proper training programme starts tomorrow. Good luck all those following it or something similar. Day 1: rest image
  • Amy, u need to put a picture up!!

  • Wishing you tons and tons of luck for the official start of your training tomorrow Amy! I too am starting my VLM training tomorrow (actually, look at the time, it's starting later today, eek!), however as I'm going to be following the generic Asics262 plan, I don't have a rest day!  Only 3 miles easy though so a nice start.

    I'm also firmly in the 'run to eat' category, so will be following Ruth's advice with added interest.  Overall I think I have quite a decent diet as my BMI is normal and weight stable but I'm also sure there is plenty of room for improvement!

    Enjoy your rest day!

  • Well it beings PocketRocket, Good Luck! ... Day 1: Rest.. The perfect start.

    I know it's been a marathon for you to get to this stage alreadyI've found it exhausting too and am really happy that I didn't have to go through the voting rounds after bootcamp. I may have ended up in hospital with all that stress. I've been struggling as it is with the flu since Thursday. Better now.

    After re-reading previous posts and mulling it over, I just wanted to say that I completely disagree with the practise of ghost running under any circumstance. It's a nightmare for race organisers - from insurance to overcrowding to food/water supplies and more.

    However, I grew up to recognise the referees decision is final and Steve was courteous enough to explain the decision process in your selection. At the end of the day you haven't been deceitful during the competition and you've been selected on merit and in accordance with the rules.

    So, I'm looking forward to seeing your journey unfold PocketRocket. I'm sure it will be amazing! 

    N.B. Superman has built a list of races where sub330 hopefuls might meet up over the next 16 weeks. You might want to organise a similar list for sub4 hopefuls to catch you up at.


  • Amy, a nice way to start the plan, I'm sure you can't wait to get started

    8m General Aerobic run with my eldest, she is training for her first HM in March so wanted to get around 6 miles in today, I did some strides in the last mile down the canal side.

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