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Berlin Q or Bust: Road to sub 2:45

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,914 ✭✭✭ healy1835

    I've decided to stop trawling through others' logs for tips and information and instead, start my own.

    I'm 35 and I've been 'running' for just over a year. Played soccer for years, but 2 ACL ruptures and ops put paid to that about 5 years ago. Had gotten into the gym at that point, was in decent enough shape. Got bored of the gym, decided to do Gaelforce West in Aug '14, bought a bike, cross trained for that for about 4 months, enjoyed the running aspect, the bike not so much. Completed the race, started a new job, and promptly sat on my ass until May of last year when I decided I needed to commit to something to get rid of weight I'd put on in the I entered last year's DCM and so began my running career.

    So I was/am lucky enough to work with a friend who is quite an accompolished middle and long distance Irish athlete so once I had entered the Marathon he was kind enough to take over coaching duties.
    Without going into too much detail I trained through the summer, and arrived up at the Frank Duffy 10 miler for my debut race...hand held bottle in tow and really really clueless as to what was happening around me! I was looking back at my splits from the race last night and the 1hr 23 I ran seems soft now but I had never ran over 20k prior to that race and wasn't confident in my ability to run 'fast' for extended periods of time. Anyway, I was happy with the race, realised the hand held bottle had to go I wasn't as slow as I thought I'd be. Training really kicked on after that as I got fitter and more confident. I ran 1:37:50 in the Dublin half marathon and a 44min 10k in Blessington....the latter two after joining the DCM Novices thread led by Dubgal....I found the thread a great help, hence I'm belatedly back here starting my own.

    DCM 15:
    Did it in 3:39 which was my 'B' goal and I was delighted! My goals had changed from just completing it to sub 4 to sub 3:45 to sub 3:30 as training went on. On the day the 3:30 just wasn't in the legs and I definitely think the lack of Long Runs over 30k did for me in the end (I only had a 30k & a 32k under my belt)

    So having completed the Marathon I had just been tipping away not putting in major mileage maybe 40k a week. This was due to a few minor illnesses I managed to get, a few illnesses in the family, I've 4 & 2 year old boys at home. So when I started this training block at the end of May I wasn't in peak condition but I was waaaaayyyyy ahead of where I started last July. Trainings gone fairly well, missed 2 weeks at end of June/start of July due to a bad dose, but that's cleared up and I'll just jump in here at Week 10 which was last week and start from there.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, any advice or observations are welcome. Johnny



  • Mon: Easy 12k - 1:04:18 @ 5:22km
    Wed: 2k w/u - 8k Tempo @ 4:45km - 2k w/d
    Thu: Easy 12k - 1:05:07 @ 5:25km
    Fri: Easy 12k - 1:04:36 @ 5:23
    Sat: 2k w/u - 8k Hills (Continuous, Grass Hill 500m, Focus on effort and form) 2k w/d
    Sun: Long Run 26k 2:22:43 @ 5:29km

    Total: 86km

    First week during this training block where the long run felt easy. No other real points of note. Having missed a couple of weeks, focus is on 3 80-85k weeks before the week of the Frank Duffy. This was the 2nd of those weeks. The 82 minutes of last year's debut shall be broken....but not sure what I have in the legs right now. Thinking that 72mins is definitely possible.....not sure about the sub 70.

  • Hi Johnny, welcome back! Sounds like you're going well. I've nothing much to add except for consistency is key and you'll achieve that by listening to your body. Don't be afraid to back off a little if in doubt but at the same time, prioritise those long runs. Oh and brush up the juggling skills :pac: I'll be following with interest :)

    PS Any chance you could talk in real money?!

  • Yay, another log in km! :)
    Best of luck with the training.

  • Always found km's easier to calculate, I can see it's not the norm though :) don't mind a bit of mental maths on the fly, often passes a couple of minutes figuring out the different paces for different finishing times etc.

    Monday: Rest
    Tuesday: 12k Easy: 1:05:08 @ 5.26/km
    Legs felt in great nick after the long run on Sunday. Usually try and get out on the Monday but life has transpired against me the last couple of weeks.

    Wednesday: 1k w/u, 10k Tempo 45:38 @ 4:34/km, 1k c/d
    Whilst I feel OK about my endurance at this stage I do feel slow, hadn't done a huge amount (any) of speed work for about 6 weeks, and got back into it the last 4 weeks. Also haven't really raced 'flat out' this block, was in the early stages of a virus that had me completely off for 2 weeks when I ran the 5 Miler, clocked just over 36 minutes and was semi-delirious at the finish line. I actually can't remember a single km, sorry mile, of that race.
    And for the Fingal 10k I was just back in the saddle so did it as part of a 20K progressive Long Run (which saw me join in with the second wave after 10k. Ran it in a little under 48 mins and got a little peak at what it must feel like to be genuinely fast as the wave was for 55min plus and for once I was moving quite a bit quicker than people around me!).
    So I'm looking forward to the FD but conscious that I haven't had a proper blow-out yet. Will definitely fit in a couple of 10k races either side of the HM.
    Tempo run was fine, effort was nice and even and feeling a little quickness come back.

    Thursday: 12k Easy 1:04:19 @ 5.22/km.
    Felt a little tired for the first km or so but the feeling never came back after. I always seem to find my easier runs are faster the day after a this common or do I really have to concentrate on holding back a little?

  • Friday 12k Easy: 1:01:54 @ 5:10/km Said I'd ignore the watch until 10k to see how I could judge an easy effort by feel.....not very successful as I was anywhere from 15-20 seconds off. Don't know if this is telling me my easy run pace is a little slow or what? It felt easy......I don't know.

    Saturday 28k Long Run: 2:34:20 @5:31/km
    The aim was for 5:30kms but this was not enjoyable. Arranged to meet a mate but wires and meeting place got crossed after a late change of plan and we missed each other. I ended up making a late route change which basically involved running from Newbridge to Naas and back. Had two kids size water bottles in my hands for the first 12k as the plan was for my mate to carry my bottles is his back pack. Maybe I had just conditioned myself that I'd be running with someone (a very rare occurrence in my training) and then doing the 28k on my todd was a bit disappointing.
    I now know why I rarely ever see anyone running on the dual carriageway between newbridge and's just a horrible long straight drag with mostly crap hard shoulder surface under foot. I finished, didn't exactly feel great but mentally I struggled. Got the run finished I suppose.....

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  • Good run mentally to get under the belt, I think you are running recovery
    and easy runs more in endurance range, take easy days easy or may tell
    as mileage ramps up. Best luck with rest of training :)

  • Kennyg71 wrote: »
    Good run mentally to get under the belt, I think you are running recovery
    and easy runs more in endurance range, take easy days easy or may tell
    as mileage ramps up. Best luck with rest of training :)

    Cheers man. Yeah I'll keep an eye on my easy days I think, my ability to judge an easy pace without the Garmin is not quite there either :) Im conscious of the fact that I've covered a hell of a lot more miles than at this stage last year. Want to make it to the DCM start line in (relatively) good knick :)

  • On pg 8 of A/R main thread there is a going naked chalange by Dubgal,
    DFAMD put up great piece on finding pace well worth a read.

  • Kennyg71 wrote: »
    On pg 8 of A/R main thread there is a going naked chalange by Dubgal,
    DFAMD put up great piece on finding pace well worth a read.

    Interesting stuff.....morphed into something else pretty quickly! I enjoy having the Garmin to keep me on point as regards splits, pace, distance etc. Of course all of this is possible without wearing a watch ...but if the technology is there to help you, why not. You'd hope that people are just confident in their own abilities to judge their effort, pace etc rather than being Luddites of some sort :)

  • Sunday: 5k recovery: 28:45 @ 5:44/km
    Tired after the LR but felt better for this little run. Drop in Mileage this week before FD on Sat
    Mon: 8k easy: 44 [email protected] 5:30/km
    Legs only felt back to some sort of normality in the last couple of km's.
    Tue: Session: 2k w/u run down to the track. 10 x 400m steady, off 60 secs rest. 96secs for the 1st, next 8 all between 89 & 86 secs, last one 78 secs. 2k c/d run home.
    Quick question.....quite windy today, so I alternated between clockwise and anticlockwise this the right way to do it? :)

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  • Wed: 10k Very Easy: circa 55mins, no watch
    Fri: 5k Crawl: 28mins.....feeling good for FD tomorrow, gonna give the race a good rattle and see what comes out of it. Best of luck to everyone else running too....

  • best Luck tomorrow, have a good one.

  • I was going to wish you luck but now that I see you called me a Luddite, I am too busy sulking.

  • Dubgal72 wrote: »
    I was going to wish you luck but now that I see you called me a Luddite, I am too busy sulking.

    I definitely wasn't referring to your good self with that comment!! ;)

  • Frank duffy 1:13:20 @4:31/km
    ......a 10 min PB, really happy with it in those conditions. Took a tumble about 100m in, some dude just lobbed a poncho behind him and I managed to get tangled in it and somehow did a forward tumble and came off relatively unscathed if a little shaken. Cheers to the guy in the Athlone 3/4 singlet who made sure I was OK and apologies if I nearly took any of you down behind me! Ran a controlled race, definitely left a sub 70 out there but with the weather I didn't want to go out too fast....might put a bit more detail up later. Could definitely have churned out 5 more km's at the same pace, so on course for the HM. Hope everyone on here got through it in one piece.....

  • Frank Duffy Report
    (Apologies in advance for the km splits for a 10 mile race :( )
    Km1-5 (4:46, 4:36, 4:32, 4:33, 4:30)
    After my tumble at about 100m in I lost a few seconds but the start was pretty congested, worst I've seen in my brief racing career. Eased in and with the elements they way they were I was determined not to go out too fast even though the first couple of miles weren't too taxing. Felt strong on the early hills and tried to keep it as steady as possible for the first 8k as per my plan of action :)
    Km 6-10 ( 4:33, 4:40, 4:31, 4:38, 4:39)
    A couple of slower stretches but again I felt OK, and tried to keep an even effort so I had a bit in the tank for coming home. I'd never raced in these conditions and was still a bit wary of things going pear shaped later on. Felt great at 10k and was ready to push it a bit on the way home.
    Km 10-16 ( 4:28, 4:22, 4:26, 4:21, 4:24, 4:27 & 1:01 @ 4:02/km)
    I was just sort of having a good day at this point. I felt strong running into the breeze and up to the finish. I definitely had a few minutes in the legs but I was happy with my time. It's more than 10 minutes faster than last year (as it should be to be fair) but on a day when it seemed a lot of people were in a bit of a battle with the conditions, I'd have to be happy with how the race went. I needed a good race under my belt as I'd had a couple of setbacks before planned races this year. I'll have a good rattle at my HM pb next month and this race will keep me in good spirits for the training that lies ahead :)

    Chip Time: 1:13:25

  • Well done on PB, and great early acrobatics to keep show on the road,
    when I seen all the plastic bags and poncho's and no wave start it was
    disaster waiting to happen.

  • Had a 6k recovery trot on Sunday after FD on the Curragh plains, no watch....very pedestrian.

    Mon: Rest (unplanned)
    Tue: 11k Easy: 58:19 @ 5:18/km
    Wed: 12k Easy: 1:04:41 @ 5:23/km
    Thu: Session: 2k w/u - 6x1 mile (85% effort) off 2 mins recovery - 2k c/d.....Miles were all a couple seconds either side of 7 minute miles, felt pretty good. Race on Saturday put me in a good frame of mind for this session.
    Friday: 14k Easy: 1:14:24 @5:19/km

    Probably ran my easy runs a bit fast this week. Will try and slow my roll a little next week....I've tended to do that after a race. Have others found the same problem?

    14x400m session tomorrow and then 30k on Sunday morning before a trip to Croker :)

    A good week all around.

  • Sat: 2k w/u - 14×400m - 2k c/d.....steady 400's all circa 90 secs....last one 75 secs :) felt good, left a bit in the tank for the 32k LR

    Sun 32k LR 2:59:xx @ 5:37km....felt in control for this one. Just getting the distance in the legs, no real time pressure for this one......Feeling good.

    Weekly Total:94km

  • Mon: 10k Recovery: 56:38 @ 5:40/km A nice trot across the Curragh plains, only run of the week that I do on grass, legs felt in decent shape after the LR yesterday.

    Tue: 12.2k Easy: 1:04:55 @ 5:20/km Tried a new route today, and ended up being downwind for the last 5k, probably resulted in the pace being a little quicker, but again my easy runs are feeling easier each time.

    Wed: 1k w/u - 12k Tempo (85% of current (estimated!) 10k pace) 54:12 @ 4:31km - 1k c/d Forgot my flats for my tempo, and was headed out after a fairly hectic day at work. The aim was for 4:30km, and I almost got there. Last km was uphill and into a decent breeze and really felt it there, but was happy with the run. Gives me a good idea as to where I am heading into the 10K in Moone next week.

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  • Thu: Easy 14k: 1:16:02 @ 5:25/km
    Day 10 in a row, longest successive run of a days I've put in yet. Felt good, but felt ready for a day off by the last km :)

    Sat: Easy 10k: 55:01 @ 5:30/km
    This was yesterday and can barely remember anything about it....

    Sun: Long Run: 32k 2:51:24 @ 5:22/km Sort of progression run, if I felt good, the plan was to run last 10k @5:00/km pace....which I did, and whilst feeling like I ran 20 miles, still felt in good shape at the end, plenty left in the legs I thought.
    Changed my route from last week's 20miler.....some difference, no big drag from Kildare town back into the Curragh. That stretch had started to play on my mind, even on shorter runs, so was delighted not to run it late on in my LR.
    Weekly total: Just over 92k
    *have passed out my total mileage for last year's DCM training block. A few big weeks coming up, let's do this.

  • Mon: Recovery 10k: 56:47 @ 5:41/km
    A very warm recovery (26C!) run. Legs felt ok after yesterday, nice to tip along on the grass...but that heat, I'm not built for those conditions.

    Tue: Easy 14K: 1:13:18 @ 5:18/km
    Another warm day, but legs felt great. Was going along fine, and decided that since the last part of the 10K i'm running on Sat is uphill, i'd finish the last uphill 2k of this run at a nice clip, hence the 5:18/km average pace.

    Wed: 2k w/u - 14 x 400m with 75 sec recovery - 2/k c/d.
    Today was one of those days that I just didn't have it in the legs. Maybe it's a heavy few weeks catching up, maybe it was not running my easy runs easy enough, maybe it was the last 2k from yesterday!
    Plan was for 85 to 80 sec splits, ended up with 3 x 90s, 3 x 88s, 4x 87s, 3x 86s & one solitary 85s lap. Still a decent enough session, felt it afterwards....but disappointed I didn't hit the planned times. Right hamstring fairly tightened up afterwards too....Physio massage afterwards & some dry needling last night. Light jog with some strides on Friday, 10k race Sat & 30k LR Sunday to come.

  • Watch the hydration, can have effect on hamstrings, make sure you are
    taking on extra water. Sore hammy often sign of poor hydration.

  • Kennyg71 wrote: »
    Watch the hydration, can have effect on hamstrings, make sure you are
    taking on extra water. Sore hammy often sign of poor hydration.

    Yeah Hydration wasn't a factor this time, that's one area I'm usually quite on top of! Had ACL surgery that used a graft off my hamstring so my right hamstring can get a little sore from time to physio(also my wife:) ) is not too worried about it so I'll trust her judgement ;)

  • Fri: Easy 6k w/strides: 32:40 @ 5:27/km
    Was slightly worried about a tender hamstring but my physio assured me it was just because of the massage she gave me and it wasn't actually injured. Basically 'Man up!'

    Sat: Moone 10k
    My plan/instructions were to give it a good rattle and if I cracked in the last couple of Km's then so be it. Went for a 2k w/u and hamstring was indeed feeling fine :) Good crowd for the race and despite knowing that it was a tough enough track I was in good spirits at the start. Plan was Sub how much depended on how I was going. From looking at the course profile the second half looked trickier so I figured I'd need to bank a few seconds over the first half.
    Went through 3k at 12mins on the button and feeling good, unfortunately I got dropped a little from the group I'd been a part of, and I literally ran the next 7k of the race on my own. Found that a struggle, lost about 100m quickly and then seemed to level out but I just couldn't gain anything on those ahead of me. There was no one within 2 minutes of me behind and i really found this tough mentally. Kept going, was also conscious about the hill at the end that I had been told about, but that wasn't really a factor and I was annoyed at myself for taking it a little easy in the last couple of kilometers before the hill. Came home with a 3:49km!

    Result: 41:31 @ 4:09/km which is a 3 minute PB for me, so all in all a good days work. I did feel like my legs were tired today, so that made me happy that I could run that time and not feel absolutely fantastic whilst doing it. Nearly got into the top 20 too!

    Splits: 4:01, 4:00, 4:00, 4:16, 4:16, 4:16, 4:17, 4:19, 4:18, 3:49.

  • Well done on PB, geat confidence booster.

  • Sun: Long Run 30k: 2:45:54 @ 5:32/km

    Plan was to take things very easy after the race yesterday. This was a new experience doing a 30k after racing hard the day before. Run itself was a bit non descript. Drink at 10k, gel at 20k, legs felt tired as they were meant to :) Spent most of the run going back over yesterday's race in my head....decided I definitely would like to do a block of 10k training at some stage between the DCM and Spring, rather than just the one or two 10k races I've ran in the middle of a marathon plan :) when I wasn't thinking of yesterday I was thinking ahead to the Dublin HM in two weeks time and what time I should target.....have a few numbers rattling around but will talk to my mate and see what he thinks first.

    Weekly Total: 84km

  • I find the Dublin HM is good for testing your marathon target. I usually just plug the MP into,McMillan and see what he says for a half and then all you have to,do is go and run it (maybe within a minute or two to allow for lack of taper).

  • Murph_D wrote: »
    I find the Dublin HM is good for testing your marathon target. I usually just plug the MP into,McMillan and see what he says for a half and then all you have to,do is go and run it (maybe within a minute or two to allow for lack of taper).

    Oh right......I suppose I'm not sure what my MP is yet :o was planning on finalising my Marathon Target off my HM performance?

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  • healy1835 wrote: »
    Oh right......I suppose I'm not sure what my MP is yet :o was planning on finalising my Marathon Target off my HM performance?

    Ha - well yes, that's another way of doing it. You were thinking 70 mins FD, which would indicate sub 3:20 marathon. Your 10k time agrees. So I would imagine you're thinking 1:35-1:36 half, perhaps a little less?

    Haven't followed your training too closely but some good LRs under the belt and you seem to know what you're doing!