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Swashbuckler's Marathon Debut?



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

    Great Limerick Marathon 2022 – Daniels 2Q Plan Week 3 – (13-Jan to 19-Jan)

    Bit of a meh week this week. One where I was questioning my choice of plan! Is it meant to be this tough on week 3........more on that

    Thursday, Jan 13th

    Plan: Easy 120mins or 16M (lesser of the two)

    Actual: Easy 120 mins

    Shoe: NB Fuelcell TC (a no brainer for this type of run for me)

    120 mins Easy running. No bother right? That's my bread and butter almost every week since 2018 - weekly long runs ranging between 12 and 15 miles. Different prospect on tired legs especially after coming off the speed stuff the Monday before. It's funny. I felt reasonably recovered by the Wednesday albeit the calf muscles were a little sore. Its not that this run was very tough but it was just a bit of a mental slog. Aerobically I felt fine throughout. All the miles were in or around 8min/miles. Not by choice, just by how I felt. I tend to not really pay attention to pace on these. Its more in the legs, hamstrings and hips I felt it really. Had me questioning how 26.2 miles would feel at marathon pace! But trust the process etc etc. I took the route out the UL/Vistakon which includes a portion of the route I wouldnt be all that familiar with. Some sneaky pulls and drags out that side of town which surprised me. This was late at night which probably added to the general malaise. All in all it was fine, nothing spectacular but fine. I guess these runs are a lot easier in company. God help me for the 20 milers.

    Total: 15 miles, 2hrs

    Friday, Jan 14th

    Plan: Easy

    Actual: Easy 5 miles

    As is becoming a common theme with this weekly run I felt leggy.....Although not as leggy as previous weeks which shouldbt be surprising given the fact the previous day was vanilla rather than a session.

    Total: 5 miles, 42mins, 8.22min/mile. Nice low HR throughout (128 avg)

    Saturday, Jan 15th

    Plan: Rest

    Actual: Rest

    Busy day with the kids - playgrounds and the likes - very enjoyable. One of the few days where they were on top form. Wish I could bottle those days.

    Sunday, Jan 16th 

    Plan: Easy plus strides

    Actual: Easy 8.5 miles including 8x20s Strides, 70mins, 8.16min/mile

    Felt great on this one (again seems to be a common theme week on week). Strides felt good. A little higher mileage than previous week as this is a higher mileage week in the plan. Crappy sleep that night and woke Monday morning knowing it was gonna be a long day. Slept a little awkwardly too - was tending to our sleeping buddy in the cosleeper beside the bed. I wont complain. I cherish those moments. Nothing quite like seeing your newborn unsettled and once you hold her hand she drifts back to sleep with your hand against her cheek. Give me lack of sleep any day of the week if thats what I'm awake with.

    Monday, Jan 17th

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

    Actual: 6E/4x1T off 1min/2E (changed vs the plan)

    Shoe: Adidas Adios Pro

    I knew all day that this was gonna be a struggle. I was tired, creaky, a little sore. Its funny how lack of sleep can compund several other things and all of a sudden it feels like you're completely unfit. I had the session programmed into the watch but contemplated several things.

    Should I skip it entirely. Very rarely an option I take so that was a quick no.

    Should I just run easy. Ok this was an option and I said I would assess after 6 miles.

    Should I shorten the 6 mile warmup. Felt like there wasnt much point as it wouldnt give me much. The threshold reps were always going to be the difficult part and I felt like even on a two mile warmup I would feel the same.

    Should I try do as much of it as possible and abandon if necessary. Maybe.

    So I took off with the mindset I would decide what to do after 6 miles. Felt meh on the 6 miles. May as well have been wearing flip flops as it didnt feel like the Adios Pro gave me nay physical or mental boost. Got to the end of the 6 miles and did some activations and leg swings to see if I could get some enthusiasm going. Decided at that point I didnt want to attempt two mile threshold reps. Decided to cancel the pre programmed session on the watch and changed it to 5 x 1T off 1 min and see how many reps I'd manage.

    Surprisingly when I took off I didnt feel all that terrible. Effort level felt ok although legs were tired.

    Long story short I got to the end of the fourth rep and said, alright P call it a day, park it and move on. If I had chanced a fifth rep the legs would have turned to jelly so it was the right call. Live to fight another day.

    6E: 8.09/8.18/8.19/8.10/8.17/8.12

    4x1T: 6.07/6.15/6.14/6.11 (heart rate on these was bang in the middle of the range so was happy with that at least)

    2E: 8.30/8.30

    Total: 12.4 miles, 1hr36mins

    Tuesday, Jan 18th

    Plan: Easy

    Actual: Easy 5 miles, 43mins, 8.36min/mile

    Covered the watch, hit go and just moved around at whatever felt like recovery. 123bpm avg which tells me it was genuine recovery. I expected this run to be more of a slog. It was fine. Leggy but fine. At this rate I'm tempted to change the title of this log to "Leggy".

    Wednesday, Jan 19th

    Plan: Easy plus strides

    Actual: Easy 7 miles, 58mins, 8.17min/mile

    Better than yesterday which is obviously good. Kept it slower than usual and skipped the strides.


    Planned mileage for the week: 54

    Actual mileage for the week: 53

    Time on feet: 6hrs 32mins

    Miles in the block to date: 154.3

    Number of MP miles: 7

    Number of Threshold miles: 14


    • Hmm where to start. Its week three and my conclusion is Daniels is hard. There are a few things that stand out that are worth noting, not just for me but maybe for others considering his plans;
      • The two high volume sessions takes getting used to. I expect it suits people who are well conditioned for it but its a bit of a shock to the system for someone jumping in doing that for the first time, regardless of many years of training. Hopefully this is just an adjustment phase for me. I noticed similar when I started up with a new coach last year - different philosophy, different style - had me struggling for a few weeks before adapting.
      • The philosophy is to run lots of easy miles and then pick it up with speedier threshold/5k stuff. If you're not used to that approach it takes a bit of getting used to.
      • I dont really see any obvious down weeks in this plan. With that being said, I think I will be taking the offer from Daniels of changing up or skipping some of those "emboldened" sessions in his plan.
      • I can see how a plan like this would give the right person some big big strength gains. Time will tell if I'm one of those people.

    Next weeks sessions;

    Q1: 2E/8M/1E/2M/2E (TBD if I take an extra days easy and push this to Friday)

    Q2: 40min Easy/3x2T off 2mins/2E (emboldened in the plan so optional to change or take a rest/easy day)

    Post edited by Swashbuckler on

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    How long will you give the plan until you decide “this is defo for me” or “f that. It doesn’t suit me”?

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

    The million dollar question @babacool .

    Its not like I have a great alternative backup plan lying in wait so it would probably be a case of sticking with Daniels but scaling it back/messing up his philosophy and praying that gets me to the start and finish line in one piece.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    😂😂😂😂 back up plan: 1 tempo run per week and 10 30k+ runs with 5 of those being Canova starting from 10*1-1k and finishing with 4*5-1k 😂 (I think luke is going to freak if he sees me suggesting that 😂😂😂😂).

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

    Plans, you say - you want more plans??

    Seriously though - don't let ego or fear of 'failure' on a JD plan be a factor here.

    I think I tried JD Mara plans twice and changed after a few weeks - it wasn't until I gave the 10k plan a good rattle and had a few marathons under my belt that I felt strong enough to complete it - and I NEVER completed any plan as laid out on the page.

    6E/4x1T is a super session that is also NUTS when you look at it - so don't consider it a downgrade.

    You have to trust the plan though and if you are going to call it, then call it soon otherwise you'll be caught starting a newer plan in the middle.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,984 ✭✭✭Duanington

    P - something that I think anyone who gets buried into a good marathon plan has to accept is that there are simply days when it isn't pretty, but its done....maybe the splits are off, maybe you felt way worse than expected but this is all part of it really.

    I don't think you're stressed just yet but maybe think about just ticking off a few more of those sessions and if you have an off day, you have an off day - that's by design. You're going to have plenty of moments in the marathon where you feel like you could run forever and you'll most likely have some where you are petrified that you're done and out of gas.

    Sometimes its as simple as done is better than perfect, that's life and it will 100% stand to you come your marathon debut

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

    Thanks AMK and D.

    I was about to respond the AMK's post but then saw D's post which basically captured what I was about to say.

    I don't think its time to jump ship just yet! I just need to shut up complaining and get on with it 😂

    There's probably an element of overthinking it a bit in the sense that I expected the first few weeks of marathon training usually has a feeling of "easing into it" whereas this has been anything but. That being said this is a brand new stimulus so the body will like need some adjustment period (spoke with E.coli about this too).

    So in summary, i'm not getting too worked up yet. It was only a week ago I was saying I loved what I was doing so I cant let one week change all that. I'll keep truckin' anyway and we'll see how we go. All part of the learning experience.

    And as you said AMK, which was something I probably didn't appreciate at the time, 6E + 4 x 1T is pretty decent and something i'd be delighted with if I was just "generally training".

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭E.coli

    Marathon Mood swings

    [mar-at-on moo-d s-wings] Noun

    A feeling you get when cumulative fatigue sets in and plays tricks on the mind where you go from feeling invincible one day to a crocked failure the next and back again while re-considering every training run you do (even your easy runs) . A runners equivalent to hormonal fluctuation during pregnancy that normally occurs in the latter stages of 1st trimester in marathon running and continues till taper.

    (If you are not getting this feeling you aren't training for a marathon :P)

  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭MrMacPhisto

    Hi Swashbuckler,

    With interest, I have been reading yourself and AMKs log re JD plans and decided that since I am currently off piste re training plans and races that I would give some of the Q sessions a go.

    My background training for the last 5 or 6 years has been he Hanson Method for marathon, and Hanson specific plans for 5-10k and half marathons. I have had consistent training in last 2 years with around 3000 miles per year and no injuries beyond a niggle which may have cost a few days here and there. As you probably know, Hanson has three Q sessions a week (speed/strength, marathon pace tempo, and a steady long run).

    My thoughts on JD?

    sessions done - 1. 2easy/6marathon/1easy/3marathon/2easy. 2. 10easy/3T/3min/2T/2min/1T/1min/1easy. 3. 8easy/6(1k@5k/3min)2easy.

    The sessions are tough. There is no gentle breaking in. I wouldn't recommend these workouts somebody who hasn't a block of decent training and mileage in the bank. Even by reducing ones Vdot a level or two, the intensity is right up there straight away. With three sessions done and what I would consider adequate rest, I already feel the body creaking a bit and old niggles threatening to re-emerge. My early thoughts is that JD sessions are def a notch up on the Hanson sessions (intensity wise), and easy running/recovery running days require discipline. I would say that the JD plan squeezes the Hanson sessions into 2 workouts. Or Hanson drags the 2Q sessions into 3! I could see how someone new to this type of training would end up frustrated or, if underprepared, injured fairly quickly.

    Event though it is tough, I do believe it is manageable. The sessions look daunting on paper. The long warm ups are new to me, and starting a 6x1k 5k pace session after 8 miles was very different, but I found it gave me time to relax and then time to focus on the job in hand in the last few kms of warm up. I was definitely physically and mentally drained by the 6th rep.

    I would listen to AMK and DD. Marathon training is fatiguing and mentally tough. Some days are great and other days of training it is just about getting the effort right and ticking the day off on the calendar. It is a very good sign that you are considering switching out the EMBOLDENED days. It is a positive sign that you are definitely listening to the body. Some times less is more. I think if you persevere and take the time to adapt to this style of training you will have good success with it. Rome wasnt built in a day........

    I am enjoying your analysis. Keep up the good work!

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

    Great post - thanks.

    I agree on pretty much all you've said. I thought that dropping a couple of Vdot would have me sailing through the sessions but not so. Another thing I'll be seriously reconsidering is upping my Vdot after 6 weeks (per Daniels advice). But we'll see how I adapt over the coming weeks. I might reconsider my reconsideration!

    Hanson has always been a plan that interests me. The problem with the Hanson plan is that you need to rigidly be able to commit to the plan as it is on paper to get the planned cumulative fatigue effect. I couldn't really commit to that with a newborn in the house and two other smallies to take care of (+ working from home). JD gave me that flexibility.

    Planned 2E/8M/1E/2M/2E today so we'll see how that goes!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,454 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Nothing to add to those superb responses, P, except to completely agree and underline the 'marathon mood swing' point. It really is part of the process to question the plan, your fitness, your choices, your sanity. And that is probably even more so the first time around (can't remember that far back).

    Ever heard of The Rutles? Their manager's name was Leggy Mountbatten. 😀

  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭MrMacPhisto

    Best of luck with todays effort, it looks like the weather Gods are on your side, at least in the east of the country! I absolutely agree with your thoughts on Hanson. It is extremely rigid. And to get the most out of if, you need to stick with the rigidity. JD definitely offers good flexibility. I think I would try keep three days easy/recovery/rest between each Q session and only use a two day rest period sparingly.

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

    See that's a great suggestion but hindered by another barrier i've created for myself. In as much as possible I want to keep weekends free or at the very least short runs. A three day gap between sessions would have me moving sessions in and our of weekends as the plan progresses.

    All part of the work/life/family/running balancing act.

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

    I'm still a relatively young man D so that's before my time 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,454 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

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

    Lots of great stuff as usual on this log from your self analysis/reflection and others with the relative experience.

    To add

    1. Honestly don't sweat it! I'm confident with your base that if you just did the plan mileage and 1MP focused session a week, you will finish, enjoy and likey execute a debut sub3.

    2. A note on Hansons. I agree it's rigid 6 days on 1 off week after week. Its tough BUT its also simple. The sessions are pretty much the same, they just build the intensity minutes. It's very routine and rhythmic which actually gives you headspace and the 9-10 mile MP runs (with 2m either side = 13-14m) on fatigued legs are gold IMO. No intervals just a straight simple 10m MP that in hindsight felt like miles 12-22 on the day. It's a good back up BUT marathon training is relentless with 2 sessions weekly and some weeks will be meh. Trust the process. Risk of changing plan lower now but higher every week.

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

    Yeah I get you on Hanson. I guess my point was though, unless you can be absolutely sure you can manage those sessions on the same day every week then its not the kinda plan where you can get away with moving things around. Its simplicity was actually what looked attractive and I could definitely see myself going that route in the future, but only when I know for sure that the days in question will be consistent week on week for the entire block. Ironically i'm three weeks into Daniels and havent had to move anything yet but the day will come soon enough no doubt.

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

    I’ve just scanned the last few comments but from what I see you made some minor adjustments and your speed and numbers are still seriously good in big long dogs of runs. Every now and again in any plan you get a kinda lull week and feel like you’re running in treacle. That passes too and you feel much more springy other times. I’d have no hesitation at all in pulling a session or adapting it mid session and I think that’s the right thing to do for you too. I’d nearly be more cautious of ‘beating’ a session as not the best sign.

    I think you’re being far too hard on yourself and as an extension on the plan. That’s a tough, tough session and you cut the distance but also the recovery I think you’ve banked some real quality there. From the bit of Daniel’s book I’ve read his philosophy seems to be ‘if in doubt, pick the easier option.’ You did the smart thing. The sleep issue would further cement my thinking on your decision.

    Another point I’m considering; if your aim is sub3 then running speeds like that on big sessions means you’re more than hitting that target. So I think you should be thinking to yourself am I hitting the plan - not quite (very nearly) am I hitting the target overall - yes. Take that and move on.

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

    That's some of the pro's and cons of my log. Great interest and inputs which I'm absolutely delighted with personally. The flipside is anyone playing catchup literally needs to read pages of content 😂

    Great advice in that post. Thanks for taking the time.

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

    Haha yea but it’s a great log and everyone is thankful to have it for ideas! I actually began replying about 12.30, a colleague came in with a question, a student came with a complaint (for a change!) and then I got back to my post nearly 2 hours later! When I posted it I had about 4 other responses to check. Most of us are saying similar things though - you’re flying, youre gonna smash sub 3 and a wee dip means nothing.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 631 ✭✭✭Cleanman

    Even though I've never, or will ever, ran a marathon, this log is quickly becoming a big reason for my interest around here. Your logs and the fantastic feedback are excellent and very educational. It is a bit of a commitment each time I log in to just catch up though!!

    What's common across all training and sports is that you must hurt to achieve. My uneducated read is that it is meant to be 'this' hard. Big results will come from hard training but at the same time you are taking time to listen to your body and willing to adjust if needed so from where I'm sitting, you're exactly where you're meant to be. Keep up the good work.

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

    Thanks for that!

    It's just a bit of an adjustment going from years of "running within myself" in training to feeling like I'm a little bit stretched and pushing the boundaries. I always expected marathon training to be tough but I also expected things to get difficult 7 or 8 weeks into the plan, not on week 1!

    Either way, great session last night so now I'm fully convinced I'm the fittest man on the planet and Daniels is a genius 🤣

    Post edited by Swashbuckler on

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    To be honest, if done correctly it gets easier in week 7-8! It may look tougher but you are also stronger and the accumulated miles will turn tough sessions into a “walk in the park” (unless you overcook things of course) 🙂.

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

    No posts here is 2 days - WTF

    Swashy - get on it. Your people demand debate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

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


    Just giving everyone a chance to recover and adapt....

    Wore the Alphafly for the first time today on an easy run (need to push my session to tomorrow).

    Hard to describe just how good they are - like nothing I've ever worn.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,007 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    Did you get used to the noise of them after a few miles or were you conscious you were scaring the local pedestrians?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Wore them on an easy run! Is that not like using a chainsaw to slice some bread? 🙂 I'd imagine they wouldn't be a great shoe to wear on the easier runs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 735 ✭✭✭Treviso

    And you were giving out to me for wearing the 4% for my hill sprint sessions 😀

    To me, the Alphas have a bit more spring to them than the NEXT% and give me an extra boost in races. Its the same feeling I get when I first used the Vaporflys, just a totally different experience.

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

    In my defense I wanted to wear them on an easy run first to make sure there were no obvious hotspots or troublesome areas before ruining one of my sessions.