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Swashbuckler's Marathon Debut?



  • Registered Users Posts: 631 ✭✭✭Cleanman

    My longest ever race was 8k so I have absolutely nothing to contribute! Just want to say I'm enjoying the discussion and thanks for sharing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Great Limerick Marathon 2022 – Daniels 2Q Plan Week 2 – (06-Jan to 12-Jan)

    Thanks again to everyone for the comments over the past couple of pages. Extremely helpful. I'm learning a lot from this process and its mostly thanks to you folks.

    Following on from last week I was feeling decent coming into week 2 of the plan

    Thursday, Jan 6th

    Plan:2E/3T/40mins Easy/2T/1E

    Actual:2E/3T/40mins Easy/2T/1E

    Shoe: Saucony Endorphin Pro

    Mixed weather conditions again for this one. Was starting to feel like the session weather gods were against me! A more "normal" 2 mile warmup this week. Legs felt decent enough on the warmup so I had pretty much fully recovered from the previous session. This was a very solid effort and a little more in my comfort zone than the previous week. Managed to avoid the worst of the weather for the 3T but was hit a little for the 2T. Found it "interesting" picking back up the pace after 40 minutes of easy running. Very good mix in these sessions and they certainly keep you guessing as to how your legs are going to react. All in all five miles of decent threshold work and I made a point of not forcing it. There wasnt much looking at the watch apart from gauging pace vs effort initially.

    2E: 8.08/8.01

    3T: 6.15/6.09/6.13

    40mins Easy: 7.48/8.01/8.09/8.01/8.04

    2T: 6.17/6.16

    1E: 8.02

    Total: 13.1 miles, 1hr37mins

    Friday, Jan 7th

    Plan: Easy

    Actual: Easy 5 miles

    Leggy again. Less so than the previous Friday's recovery run but yesterdays session was better managed than the previous weeks.

    Total: 5 miles, 42mins, 8.24min/mile

    Saturday, Jan 8th

    Plan: Rest

    Actual: Rest

    For now the Saturday rest day is suiting me. Switch off from all things work and running and just focus on the family for a day.

    Sunday, Jan 9th 

    Plan: Easy plus strides

    Actual: Easy 7.1 miles including 6x20s Strides, 59mins, 8.21min/mile

    Felt super on this run. First time wearing the aftershockz earphones. Love them. They sit outside the ear so added safety in that you can hear your surroundings. Thanks to Eilish McColgan for that deal! Legs felt good on the strides.

    Monday, Jan 10th

    Plan: 6E/5x3mins at 5k effort off 2mins/6x1min at mile effort off 2mins/2E

    Actual: 6E/5x3mins at 5k effort off 2mins/6x1min at mile effort off 2mins/2E

    Shoe: Nike 4%

    To me, on paper this looked like a manageable enough session. Cocky 10k guy here. The session taught me some manners. I knew the 6 miles "warmup" would change the dynamic of the session and indeed it did. Once the 6 miles were ran the legs were a little fatigued and then all of a sudden the need to switch it up. This was hard, I wont lie. I tried to keep it as honest as I could so I maintained a jog between the 3min 5k efforts. By the fourth and fifth I was working. Kept it to effort and ignored the pace. Rough target would have been 5.40 for the 5k efforts and "fast" for the mile efforts. I tend not to bother with pace or pace targets for 1min or shorter. Made sure that I didnt sacrifice form.

    For the 6x1min I have to say the legs were fairly "leggy". I decided to walk the recoveries for these - screw you Jack Daniels. I should add that 2min recovery in generous enough. All in all I'm happy with how the session went. I just expected it to be easier. How wrong was I. Seems like there are no easy sessions in this plan. 😂

    6E: 8.11/8.09/8.12/8.05/8.04/8.10

    5x3mins average paces for each: 5.39/5.36/5.42/5.45/5.44

    6x1mins average paces for each: 5.07/5.17/5.20/5.12/5.29/5.19

    2E: 8.35/8.21

    Total: 13.1 miles, 1hr46mins

    Tuesday, Jan 11th

    Plan: Easy

    Actual: Easy 5M, 43mins, 8.33min/mile

    As leggy as it gets but an honest slow recovery

    Wednesday, Jan 12th

    Plan: Easy

    Actual: Easy 7.1 miles, 56.40, 7.58min/mile

    Calf muscles a little sore but big improvement on yesterday. Wore the TC to help things along and dropped the strides. No need for them today. All about recovering for week 2.


    Planned mileage for the week: 48

    Actual mileage for the week: 50.3

    Time on feet: 6hrs 44mins

    Miles in the block to date: 101.3

    Number of MP miles: 7

    Number of Threshold miles: 10


    • Speed stuff was hard. Next one of those is in three weeks time.
    • Solid week again. This is a hard plan though, for sure.
    • Nutrition was good again this week.
    • Sleep is improving. Getting a decent block at night now thanks to the newborn settling a bit.
    • Work has been ok - not manic. So that has helped.
    • Enjoying this process and especially the interaction on here with inputs from everyone. Shoulda ran one of these marathons sooner 😋

    Next weeks sessions;

    Q1: 120mins Easy

    Q2: 6E/2T/2minE/2T/2minE/1T/2E

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    Think I mentioned it before: welcome to the dark side and enjoy your first marathon 🙂

    what I find interesting is that no comments on the shoes that you use for each run/session. It is something I personally monitor closely just to see the benefit/advantages etc and to therefore be able to pick the right shoe for the right session and yet still be able to have a better version in store for race day. Hence, how much do you monitor that?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Cheers @babacool

    I'm not sure I fully follow what you mean. The runners I use are listed in the log update for each session above. I generally don't list them for easy runs as it's usually the same shoe for all of those.

    In terms of monitoring which to use for each run that's easy for me at this stage. Endorphin pro and fuelcell TC for big marathon paced or threshold sessions. TC for long easy runs. Endorphin Speeds for sharper speedy stuff. Next% or alphafly for racing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    Ha, completely missed that. Was too focused on seeing a comment on how it felt rather than just the mentioning of it. Apologies!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,455 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Nice work. That’s another tasty T session next week alright. The variety in Daniels - within the session and from session to session - is terrific.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    Hi, just wondering how did you determine those paces? Is that as per race calculator or based on recent race results or just a feel of what it should be?

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    I’m careful here and would only go with a pacer if I known him/them and therefore have faith in them. It seems so easy to pace someone yet only a few can get this right. Ideally the pacer adjusts to the people running with him (for obvious reason that’s not really possible in a bigger race) so ideally there are a few pacers with different approaches on the day. Hardest part then would be to figure out which strategy will suit you.

    in a marathon I would therefore not go with the 3hrs pacer unless I’m aiming for a 2:55 and faster. If 3hrs is the goal the first 10-15k I would stick with the 3:10 pacer and then pick up the pace. But that’s just me 🙂

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,426 ✭✭✭scotindublin

    For both my Dublin Marathons I ran with the pacers, in 2016 I went with the 3.40 pacer as in my novice runner brain I thought I could maybe run this time,realistically I should have gone with the 3.50. The pace groups in Dublin are massive, this poses its own challenges with space on the road and water stations etc and as I picked the wrong group it was disheartening when then pulled away. For 2019 I ran with the 3.10 pacers for the first 5/6 miles then pulled slightly ahead because of the issues highlighted above. I assume the pace groups in Limerick won't be as large but would imagine there will be a decent sub 3 contingent.

    Once you have decided on your planned time maybe stick with the 3 hour pacer for the first 8-10 miles just to get you on track then push on if you feel strong. Also don't be afraid to ask the pacers what their strategy is going to be.

    It is different running in a big pacing group and is probably something to try in a tune up race if possible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    have to say I love this blog. So many things to learn/read/talk about (and apologies for the questions so far 😁 more probably to come).

    a bit of sharing from my end:

    1. A mistake I made in the past and still see being done by others (who then wonder why they “fail” in a race) is to train at the wrong paces. Ie running a 10k in 35min using a super shoe and then feel like using that as the prescribed training pace when it says “at 10k effort” not using the same shoe. It just means you are working too hard on the day.
    2. we all (unless being coached) seem to underestimate the importance of fatigue legs. We put in mileage during a training week that we wouldn’t do before a race and yet we are aiming to hit race pace or faster on workouts. Again I found that contra productive. I personally go by (and frankly only take coaches who share a similar philosophy) let’s have the legs really tired before workouts and slow down the pace then aiming for a fast one. Sure it doesn’t look as impressive on strava but it will benefit you on race day!
    3. shoes (my favourite topic next to nutrition and hilly routes): last year (well 2nd half 2020 into first half 2021) 30% of my mileage had been done in carbon shoes. Felt great. Sessions flew by and paces looked amazing. But improvement wasn’t there at least not as much as I would have hoped for. I’m now back to train in hard, stiff runners the more worn down the better so the legs are not getting used to all this softness and cushioning. It also means again my paces are slower to avoid injuries but overall it brought me back on track in regards to improving. Therefore I personally would recommend to not do any workout/run in any carbon shoe and keep those for racing (or at least not that often. Sometimes it is good to throw one in just to be good on the mental side 😁).
    4. nutrition: hardest part to get right before a marathon. So far I really only got it right in 2018. 2019 close enough but not perfect. Happy to share more on what I did/would suggest but only if interested (last 2 marathons I didn’t suffer from any cramping which is probably partly down to the training but also nutrition as e.Coli mentioned on a different post).
    5. training on empty: a favourite of mine and a topic runners can’t agree on (and that’s fine). I love running on empty. Training the body to push through the wall during every workout. It helps me to be ready and embrace the wall mentally and trust me if you really race a marathon the wall will come. Then again, I also understand those who say running on empty is stupid as it just means you need a longer recovery.
    6. hilly routes: I’m not talking about hiking in the mountains but hilly roads with a constant up and down to me is the best thing ever especially for workouts and if limerick is a hilly course I would suggest to aim for a 18-20mile loop for long runs that has a similar elevation as the full course with the same amount of inclines. I have the same for DCM and again so far has worked well for me.
    7. races: I’m a big fan of adding races to the plan but only at the right moment, distance and knowing that I will not be in PB shape for those as the marathon is the big target. It helps though to practice the race day setup. Overcoming the anxiety and stress that e.coli mentioned. Even if the plan doesn’t mention a race you could still throw one in but take it as a hard training effort.
    8. most importantly - enjoy your first marathon. Don’t go out too hard. Enjoy the first half and then give it a good blast! It’s the one thing I regret running wise that I didn’t do that on my first marathon and ever since hadn’t have the chance to do so!!

    best of luck with the rest of your journey. Looking forward to follow your progress!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    I'm struggling to keep up with my own log! 😂

    It didnt occur to me first but I think I know you in real life @babacool . Disappointed it didnt click with me sooner. Welcome to Boards! Maybe you might start logging your own training. I know we'd get plenty of learning from you.

    I'll try and address some of the points above without quoting all the posts;

    Where do I get my paces from?

    Its a combination of a few things. "Recent" 10k was a 36.22. Using the Daniels method, you have a look-up table which gives you a Vdot and paces for that time. For marathon training Daniels has you spending the first 6 weeks of the block at a Vdot lower than that hence , less aggressive paces. I've gone extra conservative and dropped two Vdots so my paces are slower still. For example , my race time would suggest a threshold arond 6min/mile. I'm training to a 6.15min/mile threshold for the first 6 weeks of the plan.......That being said - having trained with E.coli for several years I've learned to run by feel. I've always been that type of runner. So the paces are somewhat irrelevant. I'm running to how I feel. As you can see from the last log update my 5 x 3min session at 5k effort ended up with paces closer to my 10k pace as I was trying to maintain 5k effort.

    Pacing the marathon

    Some great advice over the last few pages and will be revisiting it all in April. Its certainly too soon to have a firm plan but was looking for opinions and suggestions. I know the sub 3 pacer - Dermot Kearns. He has paced Limerick marathon for years. I'd certainly get in touch with him before the day. He also was pacing when shotgunmcos ran sub 3. My recollection is Dermot doesnt like to be on the edge and likes to have clear daylight from the target time so I expect he'll go through halfway in 1.29 or 1.29.30. I'd be comfortable in the group. And I know Limerick well so i'd separate myself from the group for the water stations. Right now my training marathon pace is 6.40-6.45. I'm gonna see how that feels for the next few marathon pace sessions. If it feels good then I wouldnt worry too much about going out with the sub 3 group as 1.29/1.30 should feel "comfortable enough".

    I'll address the most recent post separately.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,208 ✭✭✭shotgunmcos

    #2 Agree and its the key component of the Hanson principle. I have Daniels but have not digested it but the cumulative fatigue of those sessions I see on this and AMKs logs cannot as you say, be underestimated. Great to train and hit MP on tired legs but its better to feel out marathon effort rather than focus on pace all the time. If you do, you best be in tune with your body to understand when you are starting to overreach

    #3 I ran a 1:30/1:28 on a pair of Peg 35s so no comment really!

    #4 So so individual that I would literally shy away from any advice on the topic. Practice your race week nutrition in advance

    #5 I love breakfast but I like to get a bit more fat adapted for a marathon block. I also love dawn runs. Its never on empty really, you have plenty enough glycogen and weeks of fat stores to get you through any early morning run. Again all individual but I will go to 2 hours empty, maybe with a couple of gels in case the wall comes. It is great practice for a "wall" though and really sets a specific type of mental tenacity that you don't get pushing out an interval.

    #6 Basically don't be a fair weather runner. Train for the course you will encounter on the day. You don't need to do hill reps, unless you want to build strength or you are running a mountain marathon. Limerick specifically is not hilly. Just a pincher of a drag at 25m.

    #7 What is the point really of paying for, organising logistics etc to do a race at a training effort? Fair play if you can be disciplined enough to limit it on the day! This probably should have a thread of its own.

    #8 Already chatted with you on WattsApp about this and couldn't agree more. Enjoy it! You won't even remember it if you look at your watch a thousand times! The 3hr pacer for Limerick is as solid as they come (if he is pacing and not running). It will allow you to cruise to the point where you decide to break away

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    True - certain topics you can argue/discuss/ agree/disagree/ fall out over and so on and sometimes best to avoid unless approached with an open mind. That said, with regard to nutrition I personally only talk about the basics. Wouldn’t go into “you need to eat/drink that and that etc” but more to the point, before a marathon: at least 4 weeks out don’t drink any alcohol. Alcohol just basically means the more you drink the less you can eat. Also no chocolate at least 6 weeks prior the main race. It helps to keep up the useful and well needed fuel without gaining additional weight.

    #7 I’m not talking about paying for races 😁. I’m a big supporter of county races to represent your club.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    lets see re own post. I do get too addicted to those things and dedicated and end up investing a lot of time which then takes away time from family 😁. But yea, I might start one as a lead up to my “last dance” which I aim for DCM 2022 (will see what I’m going to do after that but for now I might give this long distance running lark a break 😂).

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    My own two cents of some of your points;

    #1: I'd consider myself pretty good at training to effort rather than paces irrespective of shoes. I'm probably in close to low 36min shape for 10k right now maybe a little quicker on the right course, on the right day in the right shoes. My current training paces are actually slower than that.

    #2: I dont disagree but again - i usually go by feel and let the pace will be what it needs to be.

    #3: That ship has sailed i'm afraid. No going back for me anyway. I dont wear the carbon shoes for nice looking strava splits though. The recovery from the sessions is much better with the carbon plated shoes. I struggled with that for a while as it felt like cheating but i'm over it! I'm still not quite at the point where i'll wear Next% or Alphafly in training though.

    #4: Nutrition - i've made the mistake in the past of trying to be perfect at everything all at once. Nutrition is something ive made changes to but not major overhauls. Keeping this one simple for now. Better quality food, more of it, less crap - struggling with the less crap part but doing well with the more good part 😂

    #5: Training on empty isnt really an option for me with evening sessions in this block. I have plenty of years of early long runs without breakfast though. This is another thing I wouldnt overthink for now. If anything I want to eat more, not less.

    #6: The course profile will be part of my training plan for as many runs as possible. Definitely the 20 milers.

    #7: Yeah the races thing was discussed a couple of pages back. I'll see. It's likely i'll save fancy tinkering for future marathon blocks. Just want to be sensible on this one.

    #8: Yeah I think that will be the approach alright. General consensus is take it handy for the first 10-13.1 miles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,841 ✭✭✭squinn2912

    Some super stuff here. Would perhaps fit really well onto the Sub3 2022 thread? I, for one, would love to hear more about the nutrition side of things. Shoes as well cause I’m very bog standard!

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    I honestly wouldn’t want to spam swashbuckler’s thread. Point me towards a thread where either or both is discussed and I’m happy to share my experiences/ point of view 🙂

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Thanks @babacool

    This is the sub 3 2022 thread although, knowing your history your advice would just as much belong in a sub 2.50 thread too;

    This is a thread on supershoes;

    I'm not aware of a nutrition specific thread.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭Kellygirl

    Hi Swashbuckler, it’s been so so long since I’ve been on Boards but started browsing 3 nights ago and spotted this log … and read the whole thing over the past few evenings. Makes for great reading.

    I’m delighted you are finally going for the marathon distance and looking forward to following your training. Best of luck with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    It's been so long since ive seen that Boards username! Thanks a mill K.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    Plan:2E/3T/40mins Easy/2T/1E

    Actual:2E/3T/40mins Easy/2T/1E

    I do think these type of sessions are really good for Marathon Training as picking up the pace again after the 40 mins easy really makes the legs feel like the later stages of a Marathon - it adds to the feeling of running on 'tired feeling' legs.

    Great stuff so far - don't sweat the small stuff just yet - plenty of time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    the only really "issue" i have with those sessions is - they are boring as in seems like they never end! Especially them 40min EZ. I prefer breaking them up and alternate the paces slightly as let's face it we hardly ever have a race at consistent pace. There is always something like "being stuck in traffic" for a bit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭MY BAD

    I wonder is there an audio version of this log available?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    Yes - but this is the plan SB is following - there is a thought process in how the sessions are designed.

    Alternate paces are a fantastic tool - but none of it in the JD plan.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Yeah as AMK said the JD plans are built this way for a reason. Lots of miles before you ask the legs to start working at pace. It's not something i'm personally used to and has come as a bit of a surprise. It's one thing reading these plans on paper. It's a whole different thing running those sessions and actually feeling what they do to you. I can see how it prepares you for the marathon. No harm in a change though. At the very worst i'll learn something about a very different approach to what I'm used to (or get injured...). When I jump back to 10k there would be some JD principles I'd take with me for sure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    Ah I’m not questioning it, I just don’t like those runs. That’s all. Doesn’t mean I won’t do them if part of the plan, which is the main thing: don’t cherry pick. In a well structured plan every session, every run has its reason. One won’t really work without the other 🙂

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    I think I cherry Pick certain things and dont follow a plan to the letter - I make some things harder and some things easier.

    It gets messy then when you become confused about how to handle latter weeks as you need progression - and if you've already made 1 run harder the previous week - you tend to try to make more sessions harder or include totally different sessions (well I do anyway) in order to have progression.

    But - I do think I'm getting better at how I change the planned run - case in point coming this week.

    JD has a workout of 8m Easy + 5x1km

    I'm changing it to 2E/25mins MP / 5x4mins / 25 mins MP/ 2E : This still has a speed element to it, similar to JD's plan - but sandwiched between 2 portions of MP. I'm doing this session as its one of my 3 goto sessions that I like to do each Mara cycle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    We should all just post our updates on SB's log - keep it handy to have it all in one place :)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    And the 2022 log of the Year goes to...............🤣🤣🤣