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Opinions on different Marathon Training plans



  • Registered Users Posts: 605 ✭✭✭MisterJinx

    Thanks @Swashbuckler I'll try and dig out a couple of the novices threads and have a read and see what questions were asked there and it will probably save you all answering them again here!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,181 ✭✭✭demfad

    So, the rest weeks could be viewed as a respite from fatigue built up over the preceding weeks. Most of the schedules might have the runner pushing the envelope out with volume. Volume is needed to increase overall fitness and leg strenght as a base for the bigger sessions and long runs. So the schedules may take account that you'll be a little tired during sessions and have them structured accordingly.

    Anyway, a low mileage week due to life might have similar affect on you to a scheduled rest week and you may not get the benefit of the upcoming week.

    If you are very tired leggy, then maybe you should go with the gut as you are doing and take an easy day. The volume should have you pleasantly fatigued with more tiredness after harder days. You should be able to run after a harder day. We are amateurs and have work/life to do as well as running. We shouldn't be wrecked. Be conservative early in the schedule and you'll naturally get stronger. Run the easy runs as if you're 'gathering' energy rather than using it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,313 ✭✭✭Bluesquare

    Wow - training in Kenya nice . Best of luck, the experience will be amazing .

    I guess for high achieving Athletes your probably right with regards to how their schedules will look taking the “ super “ shoes into account. It may take a while to filter through to the masses though although most folk wouldn’t be using these shoes all the time anyway .

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,209 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    We are starting to stray quite bit I think from the OP's original question and need, in terms of how to train for a first marathon.

    I could well be wrong, but I think the vast majority of first time marathon runners won't (and probably shouldn't, even if they have money to burn) use supershoes for long runs and sessions. Personally I prefer to keep the benefit for race day, and that does seem to make a difference in terms of lightness, springiness etc, especially in the first half of the race when you really want it to feel easy. I do use the ‘sorta’ supershoes (Endorphin Speed, Zoom Fly etc) for speedy/tempo stuff though, and one a good cushioned shoe for long runs. I suppose this does represent a change for me - I never really thought or cared about this stuff before about 18 months ago when the new generation of shoes became mainstream.

    I suppose it’s something the OP might consider, although I think simple, consistent training in a good comfortable pair of shoes will deliver more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 605 ✭✭✭MisterJinx

    @Murph_D Yes agreed that consistent training will deliver me the most benefit overall although I do have a sorta super shoe for the faster stuff (Endorphin Speed) and very comfy NB 880s for the longer runs which were birthday presents to myself last year :-) I'm set up with shoes now and really at my stage wouldn't consider getting any of the super shoes, what I have covers all the bases I would need.

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭E.coli

    I can see the logic of where you are coming from here in terms of achieving a level to optimize adaptation within a singular session from accumulated fatigue. I think we are probably coming at the term differently in terms of fatigue accrued vs a deep cellular fatigue. I tend to be viewing it from the latter in which case there is no real catch up other than building in that buffer, For simplicity it is definitely not.

    I do see it as overtraining though as you change the dynamics of the session would result in having to change the dynamics of recovery post session. Could potentially re-phrase as under recovery. However your point on emotional investment around the planning of the training and how much that plays a role is an excellent one that definitely warrants consideration. If a person is a worrier or over thinker, stick to the plan can actually be less taxing overall

    I definitely need to caveat this though by saying I am very conservative my philosophies around training and you make a great point around the shoe technology and recovery that perhaps is not factored into how I approach methodology and changed with the times

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,181 ✭✭✭demfad

    I guess what I am addressing here is how to adapt a one size fits all schedule if training is missed. As endurance is the focus for marathons, the sessions and long runs tend to be developed by extending the quality or lenght rather than making them faster. If the runner is less fatigued then expected arriving at the session then in the majority of sessions that can be addressed by extdning the session/run at the same intensity. As for recovery it is critical that the runner understands and therefore has the tools to carry out correct recovery. So a the dimensions of the recovery run are insignificant compared to the overarching objective that recovery is achieved. For marathon training the runner runs at his/her recovery intensity or less for a distance short enough that recovery is achieved. As the runner gets fitter this distance wil increase. The changes made to a session above should not warrant an extra days recovery.

    As a worrier myself and someone who is quite busy I think things that can be planned ahead and repeated should be. For example, having a 'niggle block' is very useful. So if a runner feels a niggle they do not try and solve it on the fly but immediately retreat into a block, say 1 day off, 1 day recovery, 1 day easy and then assess. Can be overkill sometimes but you are getting consistency by avoiding down time from injury and reducing emotional fatigue and worry by activating the 'formula' rather than working it out every time. Caveat is that some niggles should require more scrutiny but the runner would probably twig those occasions.

    My experience with the runners is based on my self and chatting to a few others but I think older runners benefit even more by being able to basically run more with less muscle damage/niggles. Older folk aren't as quick to process the food as well so have to watch the intake more. Being able to run more really helps there too. When you're over 45 IMO these are huge benefits. Obviously they help with average speeds too but being able to train more as a master is a huge benefit for them.

    If senior runners can recover better and or run more then they could potentially do a bigger amount of training and therefore a bigger amount of specific work leading to faster times. But the jury is still out there. I don't know if those at the very pointy end are able to leverage the new technology into more volume at specific paces.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 Louis 2018

    Hi Bluesquare

    I can very much relate to what you are saying in your post from last year.

    Can I ask was your sub 4 your first run? Would be interested in the programme you mentioned if that's an option.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,313 ✭✭✭Bluesquare

    I didn’t do the marathon last year . I used the schedule in 2019 and unfortunately didn’t go under 4 , had a bad day at the office ( 4:05) . My training partner who also used it went under( 3:57) . I have the plan redone for this year - happy to share if you want .

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 Louis 2018

    Yes I would really appreciate a look at the programme thank you , not sure of the easiest way for you to share?

  • Registered Users Posts: 380 ✭✭Runster

    Has anyone ever tried The furman marathon training plan?

    It gets mixed reviews but a lot of older athletes seem to believe in it from an injury prevention point of view.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,209 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Where are you seeing the endorsements from older athletes?

    Forman consists of speed session, tempo run and long run. All workouts, and the long run is close to marathon pace. No easy or recovery mileage, although you are encouraged to cross train on two other days. In my opinion any plan that throws away the easy mileage (or 'junk miles' as described in the 18-year-old Runners World article that Google threw up) is a recipe for disaster for all but the most resilient runners.

  • Registered Users Posts: 380 ✭✭Runster

    I dont think I've ever heard of anyone from Boards using it to actually give an accurate assessment of the plan.

    Leaving the speed sessions out of it for a minute.

    A lot of people get injured once they rev up the mileage and use cross training to save the legs but still get the heart rate up.

    You have athletes using cross training to stay fit while injured like many Youtubers I have looked at anyway.

    I definitely wouldn't write off the cross training substitution for junk or easy miles.

    Obviously you're not going to be winning marathons on a plan that just uses 3 days but I can see the value in it if you dont go all out on the speed

    sessions and actually use your 10k PR to calculate the different sessions.

    The long run for the plan is your 10k PR plus 38 to 45 seconds.

    I don't think that is too bad to be honest.

    I have to agree with the notion that if you do all your running at one speed then you get comfortable at that speed. That tends to happen to me anyway.

    I remember when I trained for the marathon and all my long runs were at 10 min pace and on the day of the marathon I ran the first 17 miles at 9.40 and then slowed down and finished at 10 min pace avg. and I did do a 22 miler in training.

    The endorsements were on Youtube comments section and there is actually a lot of reviews of the book and the plan on different sites throughout Google.

    It is a thing that older athletes or athletes running a long time do tend get injured when they up the mileage, particularly athletes with knee issues or who use the pavements a lot. Three days tends to be their limit.

    I'd love to hear from anyone who used this plan, I'd say a lot of Triathletes use this kind of formula just so they can get their swim and bike in as well over the course of the week. Its not really a recipe for disaster for them is it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,209 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Well the plan seems to have been designed by triathletes alright and I can see how the three day plan MIGHT work with a triathlete's schedule - although I don't know much about triathlon training and I'd imagine the 80% easy / 20% workouts rule of thumb that a lot of approaches are built around applies to triathlon training as well (and certainly Matt Fitzgerald designs triathlon plans around the 80/20 principle). Furman is 100% workout!

    I have no experience of this plan, but as an older runner I would never consider it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,951 ✭✭✭Trampas

    Any marathon plan you need to be confident in it. No point in doing it if you feel it’s not for you. Maybe you feel not enough mp runs in it to give you confidence it on the day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 586 ✭✭✭echancrure

    Replacing recovery runs with easy cross-training makes a lot of sense. Recovery runs do nothing for your running form and accumulate impact, which delays recovery (choose soft grown such as grass, smooth trail if you must).

    Better to cross-train (elliptical, bike, walking or even treadmill), anything that moves your legs gently for the same duration and intensity (easy HR).

    Cross-training provides a mental change from running, lowers impact, and does not degrade your running form.

    The only downside is often, because it is not running, people have a tendency to skip cross-training sessions or not even put them into their running plans at all, and that's a big mistake: your body needs active recovery and doing nothing amounts to only very little recovery and tighter legs.