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The Sub 3 Support Thread

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  • I agree fully with you on this one. If I'm not mistaken its 4 weeks before the marathon this year. If you're going at half marathon race pace (ie aiming for 1.24/1.25 or faster) then it's too close. I think there's a half in Waterford in September that'd be worth looking into and also the National half in Donegal the first weekend in September. Both of these will be less than €20 - there's one in Dingle but it's in the €60 bracket I think.

    There is no half in waterford in september ( mores the pity,its on dec 12th or 13th ),i am doing the blarney half ( €20 ) on sept 13th at MP,i would not risk going full pelt even though its 6 weeks before Dublin.

    http://www.activeglobal.com/Events/index.cfm?AC=EventDetails_V2&E=78857




  • Sosa wrote: »
    There is no half in waterford in september ( mores the pity,its on dec 12th or 13th ),i am doing the blarney half ( €20 ) on sept 13th at MP,i would not risk going full pelt even though its 6 weeks before Dublin.

    http://www.activeglobal.com/Events/index.cfm?AC=EventDetails_V2&E=78857

    You're right, the Waterford one is in December. Five or six weeks before a marathon is fine to go full pelt in a half - any closer is too tight in my opinion (or more an opinion given to me and I've stuck with)




  • Pure ridiculous, trying to get everything in with holidays coming up - you can't do everything, so don't force it.
    It's hard to fight the temptation to try to fit every magic workout you've ever heard of into every training week. I resolved this back in my cycling days after finding an excellent online source of advice. Then I would do, for example, a tempo or interval workout followed immediately by some easy miles to bring it up to 2-3 hours. I was on the bike 6 days per week, but only 2 or at most 3 of those days were hard.
    Also, I wouldn't be too keen on an easy week after the race, if anything I'd go a bit easier the week before. The week after, you may not be able to do your sessions, but I'd be definitely looking for a high mileage week, just maybe with all easy runs. Otherwise you're having 2 easy/low mileage weeks in a row and I think that'd be detrimental.
    This might sound sacrilegious, but I'm treating the races as "big workouts" (cf Tergat). So I'll do a LSR on the Tuesday and some easy miles the other days except the day before the race which will be short. The week after I'll leave out the big workout and do the LSR on the Saturday. The other days will be easy miles, 30-60 mins depending on how I feel.
    The 1/2m is 30 days before the DCM, so I'll see how I recover after the 10m before deciding what pace to run it at.
    Again, thanks for the very helpful and thoughtful reply.
    aero2k




  • I wouldn't worry about them times by RF in his marathon year too much.... My times were nowhere close to that when I was knocking on 3 hours door.
    6 months after running 3.01 I ran a 10k PB of 40.16 and my ten mile time was circa 64 minutes.
    Cheers, Stupid_Private, maybe all is not lost...




  • I agree fully with you on this one. If I'm not mistaken its 4 weeks before the marathon this year. If you're going at half marathon race pace (ie aiming for 1.24/1.25 or faster) then it's too close. I think there's a half in Waterford in September that'd be worth looking into and also the National half in Donegal the first weekend in September. Both of these will be less than €20 - there's one in Dingle but it's in the €60 bracket I think.
    Cheers. I'll give it some thought. Logic tells me I should be able to recover in 30 days, but if it's hot like last year and I run flat out it might affect subsequent training. I'm really doing the race series with the hope of achieving times that will give me confidence in my attempt on the magical 3-hr barrier. If I manage a flyer in the 10m maybe I'll just do the half at MP.


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  • I'd never seen or heard of the mcmillan calculator back in them days but if you type in my two marathon times above it predicts my 10 mile times to within 10 seconds!

    My problem with the MacMillan calculator is that it predicts my times very accurately up to the half marathon. For the full marathon, I'm 5 minutes slower than predicted. This has been the case for a few years now, despite the fact that the shorter races were only ever run as part of my marathon training.




  • My problem with the MacMillan calculator is that it predicts my times very accurately up to the half marathon. For the full marathon, I'm 5 minutes slower than predicted. This has been the case for a few years now, despite the fact that the shorter races were only ever run as part of my marathon training.

    Greg McMillan promotes a high mileage approach to marathon training, so it's possible that, if your mileage is lowish, you wouldn't have the strength to carry through the times from the shorter distances through to a full marathon.




  • cfitz wrote: »
    Greg McMillan promotes a high mileage approach to marathon training, so it's possible that, if your mileage is lowish, you wouldn't have the strength to carry through the times from the shorter distances through to a full marathon.

    I can assure you, low mileage is not the problem in my case!




  • I can assure you, low mileage is not the problem in my case!

    What sort of mileage are you running TF?




  • I can assure you, low mileage is not the problem in my case!

    Oh ok. I've never run a marathon, McMillan predicts a time for me that looks quite difficult, but other people seem to find it works out fairly accurately


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  • I've been keeping an eye on TF's blog here, the man is a mile eating machine!!!!

    http://rubbishrunner.blogspot.com/




  • christeb wrote: »
    I've been keeping an eye on TF's blog here, the man is a mile eating machine!!!!

    http://rubbishrunner.blogspot.com/

    Yeah impressive stuff alright.


    I once heard somebody say the "McMillan calculator is based on an algorithm, you are not":D

    I think its just a guideline and cant be taken to seriously.




  • Yeah impressive stuff alright.


    I once heard somebody say the "McMillan calculator is based on an algorithm, you are not":D

    I think its just a guideline and cant be taken to seriously.
    Thats true, I've found it reall good with distances from 2 miles to 10k but after that its another ball game . It's gone from showing me 4 hour Marathons to 3:20 now..:)




  • I can assure you, low mileage is not the problem in my case!

    Have you ever considered a change in training then ? Maybe Less miles at a higher quality pace! Sometimes a shock to the system can reap rewards.




  • Have you ever considered a change in training then ? Maybe Less miles at a higher quality pace! Sometimes a shock to the system can reap rewards.

    Yes I did, last year for Dublin. It even worked as I set my still valid marathon PB in that race. The problem was that I felt completely run down, exhausted and burnt out with a few weeks to go, and radically cut down on my training in order to even reach the start line. After that I basically decided that 80-100 miles at reasonable pace are much easier on me than 60-80 miles with plenty of "quality", which is something I still believe.

    I also happen to think that running a lot of miles will build a much better endurance base. If in a year or two I decide to give the lower-mileage/higher quality another go, I'll be in a better position to do so because of my solid foundation.

    Some guys are better served with miles, others with speed, and I'm pretty sure I know where I stand.




  • I also happen to think that running a lot of miles will build a much better endurance base. If in a year or two I decide to give the lower-mileage/higher quality another go, I'll be in a better position to do so because of my solid foundation.

    This makes good sense. But it might be worth taking your age into consideration a little bit.

    Yes I did, last year for Dublin. It even worked as I set my still valid marathon PB in that race. The problem was that I felt completely run down, exhausted and burnt out with a few weeks to go, and radically cut down on my training in order to even reach the start line. After that I basically decided that 80-100 miles at reasonable pace are much easier on me than 60-80 miles with plenty of "quality", which is something I still believe.
    Some guys are better served with miles, others with speed, and I'm pretty sure I know where I stand.

    The fact that you ran your PB after a lower mileage programme (despite having to cut it down even further approaching race day!) suggests that it's not so clear.

    80-100 miles sounds like a very heavy workload for a 3:05 marathon. (A lot of people probably think my results don't compare well to my workload, so I'm not trying to be negative for the sake of it.) It might be worthwhile to change things up a bit after your next marathon and see what happens - maybe train specifically for a half-marathon or 10k for a few months just to see how your body adapts to a different type of programme.




  • cfitz wrote: »
    80-100 miles sounds like a very heavy workload for a 3:05 marathon. (A lot of people probably think my results don't compare well to my workload, so I'm not trying to be negative for the sake of it.) It might be worthwhile to change things up a bit after your next marathon and see what happens - maybe train specifically for a half-marathon or 10k for a few months just to see how your body adapts to a different type of programme.

    Actually, I'm planning on doing the opposite. While running up the Hell of the West in last year's Connemara Ultra I swore I'd be back 2 years later to take my revenge on the course. I have every intention on keeping that date! The next sub-3 marathon assault will have to wait until autumn 2010 at least, even if it costs me the chance of ever going under 3 hours. This is personal :D.




  • Thomas, the marathons you are attempting are either very tough Dingle/Boston or average (Cork/Dublin).

    How about trying a very flat course e.g. Longford/Berlin etc. and see how close you can get on that?




  • For anyone who has gone for a sub 3 and failed, in hindsight, could you hypothosise where you went wrong in your training, race prep, race strategy ?




  • I'm also going for the sub3 in Dublin

    Do you guys all train using pace / perceived effort / heart rate or what??

    I do all my training using the heartrate monitor and I find it's really valuable for training at the right effort level – without the hrm, I find it difficult to get the effort right. I think a big factor is getting the consistency and frequency of runs first, then looking towards more volume and intensity after

    Most of my running is done at my aerobic threshold and then I add in some lactate threshold sessions.

    Mileage-wise, I probably won’t even hit 60 miles at my peak week. My longest week in the run up to the Connemara ultra was 56miles.


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  • For anyone who has gone for a sub 3 and failed, in hindsight, could you hypothosise where you went wrong in your training, race prep, race strategy ?

    when i ran dublin 08 i just ran by miles i did no specific marathon training except a LSR.
    what i mean is i did no tempo or marathon paced runs and did not use a garmin etc so never knew my pace.
    now in saying that i did race regularly in the 2 years previous and all my shorter times were pointing towards 3 hours so i knew i was on the right track.
    i would be confident if i got a good training programme under my belt with tempo and MP runs i would go sub 3.
    if i had of having a bit more luck on the day i could have easily finishing 4 seconds under 3 hours instead of 4 seconds over 3 hours.




  • I came closest to 3 hrs in my recent marathon in Edinburgh by doing it with absolutely no expectations. The previous marathon 8 weeks before where I went all out to achieve sub 3, I did a terrible time. So, personally I run better when I'm not putting myself under pressure.




  • First up great idea for a thread.

    On the subject of milage I agree with TFBubendorfer that quantity is personal and I know that if i ran even close to 80 miles in one week I would be good for nothing for a month!
    Ran first marathon (DCM 08) in 3.10 on really low and inconsistent milage due to shin splints for month of August - 3 'good weeks' of 40,30 and 60 mpw in September and the rest were all low 20's pw. Did zero speed work either apart from 5 and 10 mile at race series.
    The last 6 miles of the marathon were a lot harder than I had mentally prepared myself for and dropped a minute a mile for the last 6 miles. Feel a lot wiser now and think I can make a fair stab at sub 3 this year. Will defo up the mileage but not planning on doing anything over 50 a week.
    This thread is going to be invaluable for the next 3 months just as the forum was to me last year. Keep up the good work lads!



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  • For anyone who has gone for a sub 3 and failed, in hindsight, could you hypothosise where you went wrong in your training, race prep, race strategy ?



    I wish I knew the answer to this! I did the '83 DCM in 3:17:46 on 12 weeks training - I lost about 15 mins in the last 6 or 7 miles. Roll on to '08, and having been a pretty serious competitive cyclist for some of the years in between, and a recreational runner for about 2 years, I followed the First programme, which had 1 LSR, 1 tempo and 1 speed workout plus 3 days cross training per week. I got to half way in 1:31 (I had run 7:45 and 7:30 for the first two miles) and I felt good, but I began to slow from 14 miles on, dramatically so after 20 miles. So what went wrong? Here are a few possibilitites:
    • Not enough specific training - I was only running 30-35 miles per week
    • Not enough long runs on the road - thighs siezed up very badly
    • Not enough respect for the distance - I thought it would be just a bit harder than 2 half marathons
    • Unrealistic expectations - McMillan predicted a 3:06-3:07 marathon from my 10m and 1/2m times. (I made this worse by saying "it was really hot the day of the 1/2m, so I can subtract 2 mins as it'll be cold on the big day.") I believe if I had aimed for 3:10 on the day I'd have got it.
    • Not enough fluid - I carried approx 1 litre with me but only managed to drink about 2/3 of it.
    • Choice of shoe? I decided to run in my racing flats (DS Racer). I blamed them afterwards for the painful thighs, but in retrospect I had absolutely no joint pains or other niggles, so it probably wasn't the shoes. I think running fast downhill through the park might have done a bit of damage..
    • Pacing. This is going to sound a bit contradictory as I've already admitted starting too fast, however I felt comfortable running around 6:50-6:55, but then someone threw in a 6:30 ish mile and I think that did serious damage from which I couldn't recover. I was going by my watch and the mile markers, but as of yesterday I have a Garmin.
    On the positive side I got things like diet and rest right, and I arrived on the starting line feeling in top shape. My big regret is I let the bad time (3:22) discourage me and I didn't get back into serious training until May.




  • For anyone who has gone for a sub 3 and failed, in hindsight, could you hypothosise where you went wrong in your training, race prep, race strategy ?

    Hi Rusty Gogs
    Think this will be a very popular thread as we head into the Autumn. There must be 5 - 10 of us hoping to break the sub 3.

    Berlin 2008 - 3:01:00. Took gels at 10 and 16 miles, didn't bother taking a 3rd(not really fond of them) and should have taken one at 22 miles or so. I was possibly a bit dehydrated also even though I did take on water at each station.
    Was on target 2 miles to go but it slowly slipped away - So ran out of gas.

    Did Dublin 4 weeks later in 3:03:00 having to take 2 toilet stops and not even intending to go that fast. Took my gels though this time.

    Marathon prep was 10 weeks (did some tri’s last summer).
    Max weekly miles = 55 (3 weeks)
    Long runs = 21 miles x 3
    MP runs = 10 miles (not long enough on reflection)
    Tempo / Interval’s = Alternate each week
    1 half marathon race 5 weeks before – Time 1:24.




  • For what its worth I went 3:15, 3:10, 2:55.
    The big difference for me between the 3:10 and 2:55 was a step up in mileage from around 40 mpw to 70 mpw.
    I was consistently over 60 mpw for at least 6 months prior to the 2:55. I raced and ran tempo runs when I felt like it but for me the consistently higher mileage made the difference.

    I agree with what’s been said earlier; higher mileage is a personal thing. I wouldn’t try and push it on anyone.
    Some people can do it on less while others will benefit from more.
    However I honestly believe that there is a large chunk of aspiring sub 3 runners who could make big advances just by running consistently higher mileage. The key being consistency.




  • For anyone who has gone for a sub 3 and failed, in hindsight, could you hypothosise where you went wrong in your training, race prep, race strategy ?

    For me it was purely race strategy, or more specifically toilet strategy. Drank a bit too much fluid that morning. Felt the need to go to the loo on the start line, but didn't take the option of relieving myself into a bottle. Held on until the Park, nipped behind a tree. Then went a bit too fast for a few miles trying to catch up with Sungod. Realised my mistake very quickly, and spent the last quarter of the race very annoyed with myself and struggling to hold pace. (For the few here who don't know, I finished 3:00:00).

    If only I hadn't drunk so much fluid....if only I'd used an empty bottle on the startline.....if only the appeal of running with Sungod wasn't so strong that I didn't speed up ;).....


    On the speed v mileage issue. I stuck with P&D <55 mile plan and increased some of the longer runs, but never ran more than 60 miles (if I even did that). Consistently 50ish per week.

    Am sticking with that plan this time for Berlin, but going for higher quality long runs. Don't think I'll do any weeks much longer than 55 miles. That said am in a bit of crisis mode at the moment and this week looks like a write-off.




  • Peckham wrote: »
    (For the few here who don't know, I finished 3:00:00).

    I'm curious - did you kick like mad for the last 100m and just miss out, or did you only realise afterwards that you were so close, or did you just have no energy left to kick at the end?




  • Planning an ambitious sub-3 for my first marathon in Dublin this year. Getting into the swing of programme with 50-60 miles per week and doing 1k interval sessions at 6min pace.

    McMillan says I'm nearly there (based on recent 10k time) so we will have to see how accurate it is in a few months :)


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  • cfitz wrote: »
    I'm curious - did you kick like mad for the last 100m and just miss out, or did you only realise afterwards that you were so close, or did you just have no energy left to kick at the end?

    2 miles out I had just under 15 minutes to bring me home in 2:59, which on a normal day was plenty of time (but I had been hurting badly from UCD flyover onwards). From memory, I think I did the penultimate mile at about 7:15 which was fine, but didn't realise I was slowing down severely. Coming along Clare Street I saw the race clock which was in the 2:59:50s which caught me by surprise, so I went hell for leather to get across the line. Went to stop my watch crossing the line, but my finger missed the button. Eventually stopped it on 3:00:05, so didn't know my time until I got a text from a friend later in the afternoon to say my time on the website was 3:00:00.


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