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Improving for next time...

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭✭ Ciaran_D


    Hi,
    so I finished my first DCM and though I was quite happy with my time, I found that I faded a lot in the final 10km (I had to stop severl a times)

    - in training, I ran 4x35km LSR and followed Hal Higdon intermediate-I training closely, build to ~80km/week.
    - I kept to my goal pace of 4hrs but even after 3 gel packs and some jellies along the way, I still had to stop regularly over the last 10km.

    Maybe I was running above my lactate-threshold at a 4hr pace, I dunno - though I didn't suffer from cramps as such, just unable to keep going.

    Is this fading at the end just due to lack of LSR/mileage or what other element of training do I need to concentrate on?
    Thanks!


Comments



  • From my experience what you experienced was the the fact that the last 10k are run entirely with mental willpower and not with your legs or heart. I was in a similar situation for my first marathon and was completely puzzled by it as I didn't think I gave a good enough account of myself on the day. With more or less the same training I was able to knock 24 minutes off my time in the next effort. The only difference was that I fully accepted the pain and discomfort that hits you in the last stages of the race. You have to de-couple your concious brain from the experience and let it float off. I have found that mantras in my head or feeding off the energy of passing other people helps to keep your mind blank.


    my 2c worth.




  • Good question..... i was thinking exactly the same. I did 3:48 (which was only a few mins outside my target) and am now searching for more training ideas. My last 10km was a painfest too - I'm sure 90% of people felt the same.

    I think as RJC says my body has now become acustomed to the pain its going to experience during the marathon so I'll hopefully be able to push myself a bit more in training - more speed, more intervals etc - not withstanding the overall plan of course as I can't burn out.




  • RJC wrote: »
    From my experience what you experienced was the the fact that the last 10k are run entirely with mental willpower and not with your legs or heart.

    I guess this was really what I was getting at, thanks!
    There seems to be an element of training above the physical that comes into play in the 10km. I felt that I finished with a time outside my ability but I can't account for it in training.
    At the time (coming up Milltown hill) I felt that I had to stop, but maybe I could have just kept going if I'd been prepared for it mentally.
    It's difficult to recall that pain now...maybe it wasn't so bad :)

    Looks like it's training my willpower-training for the winter!




  • get your shorter times down and more specific training session. i.e more intense speed sessions and try take 5 to 10 secs per mile of your long run time every 6 to 8 weeks or whatever your able for. also i note you say you peaked at around 50 miles, how many weeks did you run above 40? just get as many weeks at 40 to 50 and you ll naturally improve as you become fitter before.

    also whats your weight and diet like?




  • I don't deny the mental aspect but there are a number of specific things that you can do to improve next time round.

    1. Consistency. Just going through another training cycle will make you a lot stronger. Enjoy your well earned rest but don't let your fitness drop down to zero.
    2. Try adding in some marathon pace miles to your LSR. Specifically at the end.
    3. Lengthen your tempo runs.
    4. If your body can take it and you have the time you could look to increase your weekly mileage. Its a personal choice. I'm sure lots of people will tell you that 50 odd miles a week is plenty.

    For me number 1 is the key.


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  • kennyb3 wrote: »
    how many weeks did you run above 40?
    also whats your weight and diet like?

    I ran probably 6 weeks where the the total distance was 40+
    A typical week at the end was something like:

    Wed: 8km
    Thr: 14km
    Fri: 10km

    Sun: 10km
    Mon: 32km LSR

    This training format remained like this through the last 6 months, though I had increased the individual distances by 5%/week from the start.

    I think my weight is okay at 73kg (11.5st) and 1.79m and I eat pretty well (pastas/rices/chicken mostly) and haven't drank alcohol much the last few years.
    dermCu wrote: »
    1. Consistency. Just going through another training cycle will make you a lot stronger. Enjoy your well earned rest but don't let your fitness drop down to zero.

    So for the winter months, do you guys just pick some aspects of your training to concentrate on (like LSRs or LT etc)?




  • For marathon specifically, i suggest..
    - no substitute for miles
    - long runs, at least 20 miles 5/6 times, preferably including some marathon paced miles, eg last 5 out of 20, building up to 12-14 - could do this every second long tun
    - tempos - 40-50 min long
    - specific marathon pace runs - , 6-10 miles

    probably suits anyone aiming sub 3 best, but tailor it

    This Dublin09 about my tenth mara, but worst trained for thru work etc and i hadnt enough of the above done and knew it at mile three. these runs are crucial, and they worked for the guys i trained with , most people need to put in this type of running if all they are aiming for is the marathon .




  • Ciaran_D wrote: »
    Hi,
    so I finished my first DCM and though I was quite happy with my time, I found that I faded a lot in the final 10km (I had to stop severl a times)

    - in training, I ran 4x35km LSR and followed Hal Higdon intermediate-I training closely, build to ~80km/week.
    - I kept to my goal pace of 4hrs but even after 3 gel packs and some jellies along the way, I still had to stop regularly over the last 10km.

    Maybe I was running above my lactate-threshold at a 4hr pace, I dunno - though I didn't suffer from cramps as such, just unable to keep going.

    Is this fading at the end just due to lack of LSR/mileage or what other element of training do I need to concentrate on?
    Thanks!


    Ciaran_D,

    Your problem is most definetly your stamina/endurance. I posted some bits below a few days ago, read through them carefully this I feel is the best way to prepare for a marathon. For now you need to recover and then build up an endurance base aagain. Then you need to get race fit over 5km/10km, improve these times and then you will be ready for a 12-16 week marathon phase before attacking another one. Try to get up to running 6/7 days a week even it is just 20-30 mins on 2-3 of those days. Everything you need to know is below, just tailor it to suit you ability. There is a lot of physiology behind the marathon with the three key areas being:
    1) Teaching your body to adapt to the pounding of running 26 miles
    2) Teaching your body to better utilise fats and spare glycogen
    3) Prepare your mind for going the full distance

    Some people are not mentally strong enough to finish a marathon at a pace they are capable of, that is a fact. There is not much you can do with them they just will never race like they should unless they sort their mind out so to speak. Others are very strong mentally and will race hard and come through on the right side.

    Marathon running is a big challenge. Covering 26.2 miles by foot at a good pace is not easy. To do the event well, one must have performed excellent training for several months. I do NOT believe in “surviving” a marathon, people should train for it the right way. Committed runners should prepare well five to six months prior to a marathon race, at least. The first two to three months should be focused on 5km-10k training. The last two to four months should be marathon-specific training. During 10k training, one should focus on consistently doing the types of workouts that lay the foundation for marathon-specific training. Ive posted some stuff below which I have put up here before.

    Re Long Runs you have to start with building time on your feet and can be a slow as you want. As you build to your target long run time e.g 2 hrs 20 mins, you can then add some quality to the end of the run. E.g 2 hrs easy & 20 mins @ Marathon pace. 5-6 weeks out from the Marathon you can do something like 10 mile easy & 10 miles @ Marathon pace.

    Let’s look at 10k training in more detail. In truth, there are many ways to prepare for this event but, in brief, two main approaches are viable:
    Approach # 1: Run moderate mileage every week and do plenty of faster paced interval, tempo, or varied paced speed sessions. By moderate mileage I mean ~110 miles per week for elite runners, ~80-90 miles per week for semi-elites, ~60-70 miles per week for “club” runners, ~ 40-50 miles per week for “local” runners, and ~30 miles per week for novice runners.
    Approach # 2: Run high mileage and do less fast running. By high mileage I mean ~125 miles per week for elite runners, ~ 105 miles per week for semi-elite runners, ~ 85 miles per week for club runners, ~ 65 miles per week for local runners, and ~ 45 miles per week for novice runners. You should not do long, fast runs during 10k training, even if you are doing high mileage. However, you could do many double day runs – two runs per day - to elevate aerobic volume. An elite and semi-elite runner using this method would run 90-120 minute per day in most cases. A club and local runner would cover 60-90 minutes of running most days (a weekly single run of 90-120 minutes is fine). A novice runner would cover 30-60 minutes of running most days (a weekly 90 minute run would be fine) and have 1-2 days of rest per week, too. It should be “balanced training.” It should be consistent and moderate in how much fast running you do. You should reach the end of your 10k training phase without fatigue, injury or malaise! Avoid the trap of racing too often: it would deplete your adaptive reserves. Use common sense and be patient. Never run “super-hero workouts” and be sure to take care of the little details like icing sore spots, backing off when you feel pain or exhaustion, eating right, and getting enough sleep. Remember, you want to be “hungry” to start marathon-specific training!

    Marathon Training is all about two words: Big/Long Workouts (Long Runs with quality included). It really is that simple. Whenever you prepare for the marathon, you need to do workouts that last a long time, twice per week. If you have a history of injuries or breaking down easily that may mean you should do only One Big Workout per week. However, most runners who do it this way find that the shorter, slower runs between the Big Workouts make all the difference in the world. Many runners have made comments about how good they feel doing Big Workouts because they aren’t running too much distance work between each Big Workout. That is, they are using a bigger variance between the important (key) workouts and the regular, every day, runs. For example, a club runner using a different training program might be running 10 milers every day between harder workouts but when using this Marathon Training method they run just 7 miles between key workouts.
    I’ve never believed that high mileage is necessarily the best way to train for marathons. Though mileage builds aerobic capacity, it is not specific. Big Workouts, on the other hand, are specific. They simulate the demands of the event. That’s the key!

    Big workouts vary in length or duration relative to a runner’s ability and experience, but generally “Big” means at least 70-90 minutes of continuous running. When you run more than 80-90 minutes three important elements of exercise physiology are improved: glycogen storing, fat burning, and shock absorption. This doesn’t even include the mental elements: relaxation while tired, concentration, and tenacity. Do take care to build up to Big Workouts slowly. Be sure to have a medical test before attempting any training schedule. It is assumed that you should be healthy and have no injuries. It is also assumed that you have built up to such workouts over many weeks and months.
    Examples (Each to include 2-4 miles warm up and warm down):
    -4 x 2-3 miles @ MP, jog 2 minutes between, then 6 x 100 @ 5k, jog 100
    - 4 x 1.5-2 miles @ HMP, jog 2 minutes between, then 6 x 100m @ 5k, jog 100

    I suggest that you pick one of three peaking plans: short, medium or long duration. Choose the one that fits your situation and needs. The short peak phase lasts 4-5 days only. The medium one lasts 8-10 days. The long one last 15-21 days. If in doubt, pick the middle one.

    Long runs are a critical element of marathon training, but it is important to back off the duration so that your legs won,t be too sore on race day. If you having been really pushing the mileage high and your long runs long, then start tapering the long runs about 4-5 weeks before race day. If you have been reasonable and not overextending yourself, your last long run can be 22 days before your race. I suggest cutting your long run by 20-25% on day 15 before your race and 30-35% on day 8 before your race. For example, if you have been running 20 milers regularly for a long run, then two weekends before your race run 15 miles only at an easy to moderate speed. Then, one weekend before your event run 13 miles at a Slow pace.
    Key workouts are an important consideration too. In the last three weeks, I suggest you do one mid-week workout that is a bit more speedy than your long run. The three key workouts I recommend in order of succession are as follows:
    1) warmup, run 5,4,3,2,1 mile at Marathon Pace (be realistic), rest 2-3 minutes between each, cool-down; (if in doubt, skip the 5 mile rep)
    2) warmup, run 5-6 x 1 mile at Lactate Threshold Pace, jog 1-2 minutes between each, cool-down;
    3) warmup, run 2 x 1 mile at 10k pace, jog 2 minutes between, cool-down.

    So a typical week during Marathon buildup (last 12 weeks) may look like this:
    M- Easy 4-8 miles
    T- Easy 4-8 miles & 6*100m strides
    W- Big Workout as above
    T- Easy 4-8 miles
    F- Rest
    S- Easy 4-8 miles & 6*100m strides
    S- Long Run 2hrs + with last 2-5 miles at MP

    Tergat




  • Fantastic post Tergat. I was about to start a thread asking for 5-10k plans post marathon. As a complete novice runners i just trained for the marathon and was going for sub 4hrs, but like OP did not have sufficient endurace. I would now like to concentrate on improving 5-10k PBs, before ever contemplating doing another 26.2 miles again.
    I have never trained for shorter stuff before so are there any specific training programmes for 5-10k that i should use?? What specific speed work should I be doing etc?




  • menoscemo wrote: »
    Fantastic post Tergat. I was about to start a thread asking for 5-10k plans post marathon. As a complete novice runners i just trained for the marathon and was going for sub 4hrs, but like OP did not have sufficient endurace. I would now like to concentrate on improving 5-10k PBs, before ever contemplating doing another 26.2 miles again.
    I have never trained for shorter stuff before so are there any specific training programmes for 5-10k that i should use?? What specific speed work should I be doing etc?

    Was about to echo the same thoughts on asking if there was a 10k training program that you'd recommend?


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  • I've already mentioned that following Tergat's advice - tailored for my ability and goals -was a big factor in this years DCM experience. Doing the big sessions gave me the physical ability. Knowing I had the physical ability helped with the mental part - I knew that everything I would have to do on Monday was something I had done before, be it pace or time on my feet.
    Well worth serious consideration.




  • menoscemo wrote: »
    Fantastic post Tergat. I was about to start a thread asking for 5-10k plans post marathon. As a complete novice runners i just trained for the marathon and was going for sub 4hrs, but like OP did not have sufficient endurace. I would now like to concentrate on improving 5-10k PBs, before ever contemplating doing another 26.2 miles again.
    I have never trained for shorter stuff before so are there any specific training programmes for 5-10k that i should use?? What specific speed work should I be doing etc?


    menoscemo,

    Re 5km/10km training go back to base first with easy running, long run on hills, temp/LT runs and strides. Use hills also and add in some 5km/10km pace stuff once a week after 6-8 weeks or so. Make sure you use CURRENT pace for the 5km/10km stuff and not GOAL pace. Keep workouts controlled and dont overdo them.

    Overal, use common sense. If your running is comfortable and somewhat slow, but not too slow, then it is probably recovery training and beneficial.
    Running very slowly is ok in certain circumstances. When you are recovering from a hard workout, it is an excellent choice. Not only does slow running facilitate recovery by moving out damaged tissue and supplying nutrients for repair, it keeps the capillaries open and the mitochondria of slow twitch fibers stimulated.

    If you are going to run an important race soon and you have only done very slow distance running, you may have good aerobic endurance and your slow twitch muscle fibers are fit, but you won't be able to use your fast twitch (oxidative or glycolytic) much at all. Thus, you won't have power to get the speed to a good level. But, it only takes a handful of faster workouts to get that power up and to get those fast fibers functioning well.

    The worst thing you can do is run too fast on a regular basis. You burn up your glycogen and thus have no energy to run really fast in a race. And, I think you probably jeopardize your health, too, because your endrocrine system becomes exhausted. Thus, you'll become ill quite easily. If you run too fast on your distance runs between scheduled key workouts, then you won't run your key workouts very well. So, you might as well not run key workouts if you run fast on a daily basis.

    You can run fast in races without doing fast workouts, provided you run medium to medium-fast often and you stay below the limit of where you break down and become depleted. It is a very hard thing to do. To do it well requires enormous patience and a great internal sense of when you've "had enough." I warn you, though, running medium-fast often is like playing with fire. If you get it right, it provides great warmth but if you do it wrong you burn up completely everything in sight. You can NOT run medium-fast daily and include fast interval work and races without risking overkill. The two together are hazardous.

    So, the theme is this: it is important to modulate (vary) the pace of your distance runs and it is important to NOT run hard every day. If you follow my general philosophy, you will run no more than 2 hard workouts per week. The only exception is if you don't run much in a particular workout fast so that you can actually come back and do another moderate volume fast workout, making two moderate volume fast workouts that had the same impact or stress as one very hard workout, and thus the potential to run three faster workouts per week (but be careful!). And, during the majority of your build up to a race, you don't need to be running hard, period. Rather, a couple of challenging endurance workouts per week is about all you really need. For most runners, 6-10 fast workouts will bring them to peak fitness and performance, so why do them 2-3 times per week for many weeks in a row?

    Foundational work is fairly similar, no matter if you run the 1500-3k or the
    5k-10k, the only difference is probably the total mileage (1500-3k a bit less). The real changes in training take place after the base and transition are done. Race-specificity training takes place then. A 5km/10km runner will need some 5km and 10km paced reps, all the while doing slower intervals at threshold pace to retain aerobic efficiency and lactate management. And, a few short but fast reps at 3km pace for a 5k runner and 5km pace for the 10km runner can be tacked on the end of a longer workout to elevate leg power. It's really that simple.

    The key is to get out there are run as often as possible, don't kill yourself every day, run a few races but not more than your body can handle, and get used to doing the work. Remember, 90% of success in life is simply doing the work. The other 10% is a combination of strategy and opportunity.

    Generally speaking, competitive runners should take as few days off as possible. I don't mind if a runner takes a day or two off after a long stretch of hard training. That's fine, just don't make it a habit to take a couple of days off every week and expect to reach your potential. Sometimes you hear people whine about not running fast times yet they are unwilling to listen to simple instructions about training. Some useful tips I have posted here below:

    1) Run a lot! Volume done just below your personal limit, week after week is gold!

    2) Vary your training intensity (some easy paced, some moderate, and some faster). A mix of about 75% easy, 15-20% moderate, and about 5-10% faster is about right for the vast majority of people running 5k races or longer.

    3) Run hills in training 2 times per week. Specific leg strength is vital to running success. The stronger your legs are the more training you can do without breaking down. The more training you can do without breaking down the better your race performances will be, on average.

    4) Don't overthink. Set up a simple plan, as I have outlined many times, and stick to it. Stop worrying about all the x and y parts of training and just execute a well designed weekly schedule over and over and over.

    A weekly that includes 1 CV interval session or 1 tempo over hills or tempo plus hills and a paced workout, and a long run or a 2 runs of about 45-60 minutes with some of it moderate, plus 2 strides sesisons per week (5-8 x 100m at 5k, gradually increasing the speed as you legs warm up, and never straining), plus plenty of easy distance work is going to place 95% of the runners at 95% of their peak fitness - or better.

    5) Race intelligently. That means don't go out too fast! Use self-control and know your current limits. Stay under your limits early in the race and you will run a solid race overall. Patience is virutue!

    6) Take care of the details. Sleep enough, eat wisely, hydrate often, and prevent or take care of injuries before they side-line you. Stay away from people who are sick, and wash your hands with soap and water often.

    7) Always remember that you must keep the ball rolling. Momentuum is the backbone of progression!

    8) If you remember one thing remember this: IMPROVEMENT AS A DISTANCE RUNNER IS CONSISTANT TRAINING OVER YEARS, STAYING INJURY/ILLNESS FREE AND PUTTING IN THE WORK.

    Tergat




  • Tergat, Thank you so much for taking so much time to post that reply. It is really appreciated. I am still a bit slow with definitions of the different workouts, so for any noob's like me, I found this definition page to help me:
    http://speedbyrawle.com/programs.aspx

    Anyway, I was looking online for a few programes and as ever the Hal Higdon seems trstwothy. Here is his 10k intermediate programme, I trust it is ok?:
    http://www.halhigdon.com/10ktraining/10kinter.htm
    I intend running the Jingle bells 5k and/or the aware 10k in early december. Maybe I will start the HH programme in a few weeks and use the december races as a midway point to guage progress, in the meantime I will get back on the road and just do some easy runs as you suggested.

    Really thanks again so much.




  • Tergat, that's far more help than I could have hoped for. Many thanks.




  • menoscemo wrote: »
    Tergat, Thank you so much for taking so much time to post that reply. It is really appreciated. I am still a bit slow with definitions of the different workouts, so for any noob's like me, I found this definition page to help me:
    http://speedbyrawle.com/programs.aspx

    Anyway, I was looking online for a few programes and as ever the Hal Higdon seems trstwothy. Here is his 10k intermediate programme, I trust it is ok?:
    http://www.halhigdon.com/10ktraining/10kinter.htm
    I intend running the Jingle bells 5k and/or the aware 10k in early december. Maybe I will start the HH programme in a few weeks and use the december races as a midway point to guage progress, in the meantime I will get back on the road and just do some easy runs as you suggested.

    Really thanks again so much.


    menoscemo,

    No problem glad to help. The training plan looks fine just ease back into easy running slowly after the Marathon and make sure your body is fully recovered. Forget about racing hard until after at least December. Focus on building up an aerobic/endurance base again and do some easy runs on hills for leg strength.

    A simple analogy for you: Endurance running can be compared to putting money in the bank. Everytime you do some easy running/steady running/long runs you are lodging money in the bank. You want to continue to make your account as sizeable as possible before your key race, while make minor withdrawals along the way (some harder workouts). Then when the time (race) comes you can make a big withdrawal. Also over the months every time you do some hard fast workouts/races you make withdrawals, so you need to keep you bank account (endurance base) topped up with easy running/tempo running/long runs.

    Remember to strive for consistancy and those times will come down. You can only train/race as well as you can recover!!! Best of luck.

    Tergat




  • tergat wrote: »
    Endurance running can be compared to putting money in the bank. Everytime you do some easy running/steady running/long runs you are lodging money in the bank. You want to continue to make your account as sizeable as possible before your key race, while make minor withdrawals along the way (some harder workouts). Then when the time (race) comes you can make a big withdrawal. Also over the months every time you do some hard fast workouts/races you make withdrawals, so you need to keep you bank account (endurance base) topped up with easy running/tempo running/long runs.

    Any chance of a loan Tergat? I'm pretty low at the minute. I'd say more overdrawn;) I appreciate the advice too, thanks.




  • Ciaran_D wrote: »
    I ran probably 6 weeks where the the total distance was 40+
    A typical week at the end was something like:

    Wed: 8km
    Thr: 14km
    Fri: 10km

    Sun: 10km
    Mon: 32km LSR

    This training format remained like this through the last 6 months, though I had increased the individual distances by 5%/week from the start.

    I think my weight is okay at 73kg (11.5st) and 1.79m and I eat pretty well (pastas/rices/chicken mostly) and haven't drank alcohol much the last few years.



    So for the winter months, do you guys just pick some aspects of your training to concentrate on (like LSRs or LT etc)?
    also without being too harsh as im the same height and weight, you could do with losing 8 to 10 pounds to be an ideal running weight. you should lose it through running and not starving




  • Ciaran_D wrote: »
    Is this fading at the end just due to lack of LSR/mileage or what other element of training do I need to concentrate on?
    Thanks!

    I know what I'm going to be doing for all my lsrs and thats running the second half faster than the first, I need to train my body for negative splits, all my marathons have been huge positive splits bar 1 and thats because I've run all my lsrs the same way which is run at a pace I like and then die at the end so what do you do in the marathon, the exact same.




  • Woddle wrote: »
    I know what I'm going to be doing for all my lsrs and thats running the second half faster than the first, I need to train my body for negative splits, all my marathons have been huge positive splits bar 1 and thats because I've run all my lsrs the same way which is run at a pace I like and then die at the end so what do you do in the marathon, the exact same.


    I'm with you on this one.




  • I did the Amsterdam marathon the week before last. It was my 2nd marathon and I pb'd by c.22 minutes. I followed the P&D 12 week plan that peaks at 55 miles per week.

    The plan prescribes three warm-up races/time-trials in the lead up to the marathon. These races are done to prepare your body (& mind!) for the rigours of racing 26.2 miles.

    I raced Longford 1/2 in week 5, the Lakes 10k in week 8 and did an 8K time trial in week 10. I believe that these warm-up races hardened me up for the marathon and I was ready for the pain when it came in the latter stages of the race. Mentally I was without doubt stronger going into the marathon because of what I had put myself through during those races.


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  • tergat wrote: »

    2) Vary your training intensity (some easy paced, some moderate, and some faster). A mix of about 75% easy, 15-20% moderate, and about 5-10% faster is about right for the vast majority of people running 5k races or longer.


    Tergat
    just read this post from misty floyd race report(congrats misty by the way:))
    great post from you tergat, i was just wondering about this part of your post, when i put my recent pace times into www.mcmillanrunning.com i got a list of pace zones for various workouts,

    Would you agree with mc millians pace zones for recovery, easy, tempo, steady etc????

    i was planning on running to these zones and as i get a PB just re-enter that result and work from the new zones




  • just read this post from misty floyd race report(congrats misty by the way:))
    great post from you tergat, i was just wondering about this part of your post, when i put my recent pace times into www.mcmillanrunning.com i got a list of pace zones for various workouts,

    Would you agree with mc millians pace zones for recovery, easy, tempo, steady etc????

    i was planning on running to these zones and as i get a PB just re-enter that result and work from the new zones


    bart simpson,

    McMillans pace zones are fine to use as a rough guide but always listen to your body and go by how you feel on any given day, this is very important. Do not get caught up in having to run at a certain pace each day just because a running calculator says so.

    Overall use common sense and listen to your body and take into account other factors such as weather, recent sleep, hydration status, life stress etc.

    Tergat




  • tergat wrote: »
    bart simpson,

    McMillans pace zones are fine to use as a rough guide but always listen to your body and go by how you feel on any given day, this is very important. Do not get caught up in having to run at a certain pace each day just because a running calculator says so.

    Overall use common sense and listen to your body and take into account other factors such as weather, recent sleep, hydration status, life stress etc.

    Tergat

    Great, Thanks Tergat




  • Apologies if this is the wrong forum, but does anyone have any informed views on the merits of the FIRST (Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training) marathon training plan?

    I had a good experience with P&D in the DCM2012, and I have seen P&D and Hal Higdon mentioned frequently on these pages, but I don't recall seeing any chat about FIRST.

    The main reason I'm asking is that someone emailed me a summary of FIRST today, and for me, its key selling point is a 3-run-per-week limit. There appears to be some structure around those 3 runs - there's a weekly cycle of speed, tempo and long runs, and the long runs are apparently a bit faster than other training plans would have it. They also recommend 2 additional sessions of cross training per week.

    Due to the common problems of holding down a job and remaining known to the kids, I feel that any credible plan that can carry off a 3-per-week "limit" deserves my attention - but before I adopt the guinea pig role, I would be very interested to hear of any views/experience of the plan.

    Thanks a lot
    Jim0




  • Thanks for bumping a great thread!! (is Stazza the new tergat?).

    There has been plenty of discussion on FIRST plan on this forum. The basic consensus is that it is pretty cr*p. Running 3 times a week will not make a good marathon, you will lack aerobic base and fall apart over the second half of the race. I suggest you read Tegat's posts on here and follow his advice...




  • Jim0

    I used FIRST last year because I was coming back from an spate of injuries that prevent me from running marathon distance for 18 months. It appealed to me at the time, I did the workouts (which were harder than P&D) and the cross training sessions which were harder again. I found this to be much tougher than 55 P&D but it did not leave me where I needed to be for my marathon. I had gastro issues on the day but also my last 10K was horrendous.

    Running Marathon distance, there are no shortcuts, 3 days running will not cut it. Tegats post here are gold and nothing beats miles.




  • I wouldn't write off the FIRST plan as cr*p personally. I used it for DCM in '12 mainly as I wanted to do ease back on running for a while after making an effort for the VLM in the Spring. A friend of mine used it for the Clon marathon in Dec last year due to time constraints from having a young family.

    Both of us had a similar experience in that the going got tough in the last section of the race. But having said that I managed ~3:04 having aimed for ~3:00 and he got ~3:31:30 having aimed for ~3:30. In DCM I made the silly mistake of going too fast for the first half and paid the price later on but suspect that even with better pacing I'd still have struggled to hit the three hour mark.

    My own takeaway from it is that you should train for a marathon pace of faster than you plan to run on the day or else perhaps work in some extra miles of running outside of those on the plan.

    Have a look at this thread on people's experiences using it for some more real-life accounts.




  • Thanks guys.

    Looks kinda like I'd suspected - the plan is not without merit if you need to fit it into a constrained schedule, but you do pay in one way or another.

    I guess if someone did find some genuine shortcuts, they would soon become the new normal and everybody would be running them.

    FWIW my plans this year are the Connemara half (not too pushed on a time) and then hopefully DCM (targeting 3:30).




  • As Opus said the plan does have merits. Its a good exercise plan for those coming from a low base. It would suit 10K/Half runners, its just I don't think for a Marathon there is enough of running to get you through the last six miles at a pace you should be capable of. You could try the plan for the Connemara Half as that is a different animal altogether.


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