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The sub 3 hour marathon training thread
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TriSam




Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 1166
Location: Tunbridge Wells

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always find if I have a rest day, after a hard session or long run, I feel a lot worse in the long run (pardon the pun!)

I always try to get out for a short 20-30 minute run, often off-road, the day after a session. It helps me loosen the legs up. Whether it's purely psychological or actually helps physiologically, it seems to do something for me.
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 257
Location: salisbury

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been watching this thread from afar, never really thinking that I would be on course for a 3h Marathon...

Last autumn I did my first 2 half marathons in 1h37 and 1h41 respectively, and a full Marathon in 3h30m. Over the winter, I have been doing a lot of structured training, and this year alone, covered about 400km running.

Last weekend, I completed my third half marathon in 1h30m taking 7 minuntes off my PB from 4 months ago. The group of runners that I was running with had all completed marathons in 3h02-3h05, OK, I didn't manage to hang on all the way round, but only finished 2mins behind them

But most importantly I felt strong, I had pretty much recovered within 2 hours of the finish, and have no aches or pains or injuries today. I could have gone even faster if I had remembered to take a gell after 30 mins - looking at my pace and HR, I think that I lost about a minute as a result

I have no plans to complete a Marathon until the Autumn as I will be focusing on IM training for Wales, but I currently run half marathon distance in training 2-3 times per month, so will probably do some half marathon events to see how much further I can push down my time

If I want to run a full marathon in under 3h, what should my half marathon pace be? I am thinking about Abingdon or Bournemouth which will give me 4 or 6 weeks recovery from Wales (which is a little short), otherwise will be spring 2018

Is it a good idea to have a 3 hour marathon objective at the same time as preparing for an IM? are the 2 plans conflicting in any way?
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 14796
Location: Farthingstone

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

twhat wrote:
explorerJC wrote:
twhat wrote:
So how was Silverstone half LMH ? Nice day for it...

I blew up at 19 miles for the second time in 8 days yesterday
Last week, on a 20 miler, was understandable as it was the day after a MP 10 miler. Yesterday was a little less explainable although i was very tired.. and it was one week on from previous blow up.. the first 18k offroad with some hills and mud.. then a progressive 10k with 3k at MP.. then a blow up and shuffle the last 2 miles home for 21 miles... ouch !

I could really do with a rested week and then a 'raced' half marathon or even 10k to give me confidence as i have no marker for my condition... but i dont want to drop the training volume at this stage. I havent raced since january which was effectively 15 mile cross country so was very hard to quantify... but could really do with a confidence booster. FWIW i have been finding 4.13/k runs fairly comfortable...Any thoughts?


assuming that you are doing the mileage in the week as well as these long distance runs, when are you recovering and allowing for adaptation?


Well up until now i have been taking every 4th week 'easy'.

Are you saying 20 milers on consecutive weekends is inevitably going to be difficult ? I only ran an 11k hill rep session and 10k easy in the week and so thought i would be ok. This being March my plan had been to load the month pretty much flat out and tapering from april 7 (that weekend 2 weeks pre VLM is going to be too busy for me to train at all...)

I am reluctant to take an easy week and simulate a weekend race at this point as i am concerned about the adverse effect on the following week's training


i would usually advise a shorter run following a 20 miler and probably no reason to run two 20s at all...of course this is dependant on the athlete background etc...in fact, i generally advise alternating long and medium runs throughout the schedule

there is a risk/benefit relationship in all training, and as the distances get longer the risks increase corresponding to the benefits gained...

not sure what you mean by a race simulation week, unless that is a test taper...a mini taper can take place on any recovery week, and indeed possibly should throughout the training. Whilst finding out that aspects of the taper plan may not work, it may take a couple of efforts to nail this. i therefore prefer athletes to simulate pre race weekend leading up to every long run (from a nutrition & rest perspective where possible).

i watched a number of athletes produce PBs at the Silverstone half on saturday. this is great for the confidence but i am not sure how many of them will be moving around too well today, or indeed will be able to take advantage of these next two weeks of key training!
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TriSam




Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 1166
Location: Tunbridge Wells

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:


If I want to run a full marathon in under 3h, what should my half marathon pace be? I am thinking about Abingdon or Bournemouth which will give me 4 or 6 weeks recovery from Wales (which is a little short), otherwise will be spring 2018


The general consensus is a time of around sub-1:25 for a half corresponds to a sub-3, although you'd be better off trying to get it down to 1:24 or 1:23.
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PhilleusPhogg




Joined: 11 May 2015
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

twhat wrote:
I could really do with a rested week and then a 'raced' half marathon or even 10k to give me confidence as i have no marker for my condition... but i dont want to drop the training volume at this stage. I havent raced since january which was effectively 15 mile cross country so was very hard to quantify... but could really do with a confidence booster. FWIW i have been finding 4.13/k runs fairly comfortable...Any thoughts?


Possibly not much help if you don't have them already, but having certain training sessions (usually track intervals or a 'tempo' run on a known loop for example) that are done in your usual training cycle is a pretty good idea. Can be used to as a confidence boost/marker without the need to actually race.

That way you don't interrupt your training unnecessarily, and gradually build up a portfolio of marker sessions that become incredibly useful over the years.

One of the interesting articles they do in AW is a feature on some famous runner's 'killer' session, and most remark about having these marker sessions to gauge their condition mid-block ahead of an important race: http://www.athleticsweekly.com/category/performance/training
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gingerbongo




Joined: 21 Sep 2012
Posts: 1297
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's one of those personal things. A well executed race in a build up can do wonders for you mentally (even if it takes a little more out of you physically and forces additional recovery) that may mean the difference between losing or keeping your mojo throughout the cycle. Also different people recover at different intervals - some guys in my club literally race every weekend ... i could never do that as i just recover too slow.

My half last week taught me a number of lessons about my taper, fitness etc even though i didn't get the mental boost of running a fast time. it still smashed my legs up a bit though, and forced a day off (though again, that may not have been a bad thing).

The other strange thing about chasing arbitrary targets like sub 3 is the question of "will you go out at sub-3 pace regardless of what these marker sessions/race performances tell you because that is all you are interested in, or would you adjust to a 3:05 or a 2:55 as a result of these tests?"

Mattsurf - i think it all depends on whether you are naturally a speed demon or an endurance engine. Some people ocnvert very well off times around the 1.27 mark, but others struggle despite racing halves in sub 80, so Sam's range is probably a pretty good average.

As for the questions around the long stuff, at risk of bleating the same old message, again it's hugely personal. If i run a 15-20 miles at a steady pace, then i am fine to be running the next day it just doesn't blow my body like it used to ... but if i get running at around 3.40 pace or quicker then i'm up onto myt toes and i power through my calves which leaves them wrecked. it's a known problem and i know i should do more preventative work, but i don't.

Personally I am shattered after a busy weekend, and now staring down the barrel at a ridicuously tough 4 week block. Plan is to break it into 2 x 2 week blocks with a 15/16km session at TMP at the end of both to see how i am feeling, though they will be untapered, so will have to take that into account.

I'm almost 400km up on my Manchester training miles, but there's a lot less speedwork and probably a few less hills. Just have to hope that the body can withstand the onslaught!
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 257
Location: salisbury

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is really helpful.

I do not seem to have a 5k, 10k and HM pace - what I mean is that I ran the first 5k exactly at my 5k PB (20.37), I then ran 10k at 41.56, which is actually a 10k PB by 3 mins, I think that I did a 3 min positive split, which is not ideal, but the second half was much hillier, and I missed a gell, so could have done better - I might have been a little better off going 5s/km slower for the first 10k, but this would still have been an easy 10k pb

I have only done one full Marathon, and I did slow down in the last 10k, but with some good IM training, I hope I can bring my endurance up

I think I can get to 1:27, 1:24 sounds like a big leap though
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twhat




Joined: 28 Oct 2011
Posts: 1138
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:
This is really helpful.

I do not seem to have a 5k, 10k and HM pace - what I mean is that I ran the first 5k exactly at my 5k PB (20.37), I then ran 10k at 41.56, which is actually a 10k PB by 3 mins, I think that I did a 3 min positive split, which is not ideal, but the second half was much hillier, and I missed a gell, so could have done better - I might have been a little better off going 5s/km slower for the first 10k, but this would still have been an easy 10k pb

I have only done one full Marathon, and I did slow down in the last 10k, but with some good IM training, I hope I can bring my endurance up

I think I can get to 1:27, 1:24 sounds like a big leap though



Your PB's are in the past... you are clearly much quicker now... as someone once said on here... if you 'pb' a 5k and someone tapped you on the shoulder and asked you to immediately do it agian, you'd probably want to smack them round the mush...

I wouldnt get too hung up on daunting looking times... 3minutes over a half marathon is only 8.5 secs per k....

Thanks for all the feedback... I have plenty of routes/sessions to compare current performance to Phileus.. its just difficult to gauge where i am at with the fatigue levels in constant flux but never being quite 'race ready and rested'

i'll see how this week goes... maybe i'll take it easyish and have a pop at a semi-rested 1h25 half on the weekend....
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YKK




Joined: 23 Oct 2011
Posts: 263
Location: North&West london

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots to respond to, first me!

A 1:17 half for me this weekend and that was with a 100k week in my legs. This was 1.5 mins better than hoped and 1 min better than the upper target!

So this was completely unexpected, my 10k jog on Saturday I felt knackered and the thought of sub 6 min/miles was an intimidating thought.

The first mile is always quick so expected to be there around 5:45, which I was, this had also included a lot of stop/start & weaving to get through the field. Anyhow after that I basically held near to that the pace. I think it helped the out was into the wind but slightly downhill (it was a two lap course). You know it is going well when you get annoyed at running a 6 min/mile for a split!

The last 5k I still felt good so tried to push on, which at least stopped me fading and felt reasonably ok when I finished, so perhaps even more in the tank.

What was interesting up with the quickies is that no one seemed to have gels and I hardly noticed any water consumed, as I guess as it is not really required.

The other fascinating part for me, is it was a quicker avg than a 5k from the previous week and I cant really get above 6 min/miles for any kind of training interval, let alone full run.

However the more impressive was GB's even getting out for a run on a stag weekend away. Chapeau!

twhat - I have run about 6 near to 20 milers in the past 6 weekends prior to this one. However I have not run one anywhere near marathon pace.

MSurf - I have done London many times as part of an IM build, unlike most it does not seem to affect me, I just have a week after off running and then I am fine. I guess you are considering trying the other way around, I would happily give it a crack, the problem you may have as it is your first attempt, is the deep lying fatigue and getting enough miles in post IM.
I suspect it depends as well if you are a long and many mile type person, or a short and hard type, I suspect there is more chance with the former as for the latter I don't think there is enough time to shake the fatigue for the required hard intervals. If I was you I would wait for next year and target a fast spring time marathon. But they will mean lots of running during the winter months. However there is not reason why running one 6 weeks after IM Wales isnt a bad idea, I just don't think you will hit sub 3, but imho any mileage is good mileage (as long as you don't get injured!)!
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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TriSam wrote:
mattsurf wrote:


If I want to run a full marathon in under 3h, what should my half marathon pace be? I am thinking about Abingdon or Bournemouth which will give me 4 or 6 weeks recovery from Wales (which is a little short), otherwise will be spring 2018


The general consensus is a time of around sub-1:25 for a half corresponds to a sub-3, although you'd be better off trying to get it down to 1:24 or 1:23.

It obviously is quite personal as to how someone "converts" but I'd say the above is in the ball park. I did 1.25.08 at Bath last year, and faded to 3.04 having gone through halfway at Brighton in 1.29.30.

This year the fact I've done a HM more than 2mins faster makes me feel like I have a legitimate chance.
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Little Miss Happy




Joined: 03 Feb 2008
Posts: 787
Location: East Midlands

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for asking - a good day at the office yesterday. Last week was my first back in full training and I ran 92 miles though wasn't running as quickly as I had been post RTC. Physio said that I wasn't to race Silverstone but could run at a medium effort. To be honest I only ever race to feel anyway after all, if it's not there on the day it isn't and no amount of targets, good training runs, previous races are going to make it happen. Anyway, long story short the comfortably hard effort resulted in a pace 3 seconds a mile faster than my HM PB. Unfortunately the 13.45 mile course meant that I didn't get a PB but it was fast enough for third woman and first old woman. I did take one gel around 9.5 miles but that was really to check that I was still ok with them as I'll probably use two or three at London, and at two of the water stations I had two swigs of water.

Followed that today with a comfortable 21 mile LSR.

We are all different!

Sorry - I have read back but without making notes I can't remember it all.
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chickenboy




Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 1634

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cracking efforts LMH and YKK!! Well done
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KingstonGraham




Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 7559

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been going OK for me, but did a 20 mile last night after work, and really struggled in the last couple of miles. Can't work out if I needed to take a gel or two (I had half a banana soreen after 10 miles), or if I am just tired.

On the positive, lovely to run along the river in the light rather than needing to run by streetlight.
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twhat




Joined: 28 Oct 2011
Posts: 1138
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KingstonGraham wrote:
Been going OK for me, but did a 20 mile last night after work, and really struggled in the last couple of miles. Can't work out if I needed to take a gel or two (I had half a banana soreen after 10 miles), or if I am just tired.

On the positive, lovely to run along the river in the light rather than needing to run by streetlight.


Glad to see its not just me who has had some struggles.... i think i need to start taking gels on the last couple of 20 milers too...
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Little Miss Happy




Joined: 03 Feb 2008
Posts: 787
Location: East Midlands

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice result YKK.

I think I'd struggle to run a 20 miler after work.

Physio again yesterday, there's still a sore spot in my quad and the right hamstring is quite tight but overall she said that she's amazed by my powers of recovery.
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