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Help Determining Marathon Goal (Read 291 times)

    Hey all. I need some input here in trying to determine a reasonable goal for my fall marathon this year. I should be able to figure this out on my own, but equivalent performance tables indicate significantly quicker marathon times than what I've been capable of in the past.

     

    A couple things to consider.

     

    1) I've recently finished a 5k focused training program. Averaged between 30-40 mpw and ran PR's of 18:16 (5k), 24:46 (4mi), and 39:31 (10k). So considering my overall running history, I've got more speed than I've had previously. My endurance isn't great though.

     

    2) I ran the Athens Marathon (Ohio) in the spring. I was undertrained. Wheels came off, but I finished in a PR of 3:24:XX. I wanted sub 3:20.

     

    3) I'm following Pfitz's 18-55, shortened to 16 weeks. (Which looks like it will prepare me far better than I have been before, but isn't an immense amount of mileage.)

     

    4) I've struggled with a handful of injuries in a relatively short running career. Injury free at the moment. Doing some preventative work.

     

    I've heard that 10 mile at GMP (with a couple miles warm up) on tired legs is a good indicator of whether the pace is manageable for the marathon distance. Prior to Athens I ran 16 with 10 at GMP, averaging 7:30's with the quickest two miles being the last two. But when it came to race day, I still lacked the endurance to maintain that pace.

     

    Also for what the running calc's are worth, based off my 10K and 4mi times - 3:05:XX, based off my 5k - 2:58:XX (suuure)

     

    So, I'm wondering if any of you can lend some input.

      If you really run 55 miles a week for 16 weeks then I don't see why that 3:05 ish that your 10k predicts is unreasonable.

      Runners run.

      Longboat


      Letting off steam

        Pfitz 18/55 peaks at 55 miles, but averages 47 mpw for 14 weeks before taper, and from your comments you've been running less than that coming into the training cycle.  The equivalent performance tables assume somewhere in the region of 70 mpw, so unfortunately your "suuure" comment re 3:05 is likely appropriate.

        However, guesstimating an adjustment to the equivalents for lower mileage, it should get you below 3:20.  For now, 3:15 could be a reasonable target, but that shouldn't affect your training a lot.  Base your training paces off your recent real 10k time rather than a marathon guess.

        Also, you may find your shorter distance times improve also as you go through the program. Assuming the training goes well, do a tune-up race as suggested by Pfitz, and set a planned marathon pace closer to race day based on that. I'd back off the equivalent-performance time by about 10 minutes to factor in your mileage.

        Neil

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        Nearly back to 100% 6 months after Achilles surgery. Now at 35 50 mpw.

        Base building time!

        ilanarama


        Hi, Mom!

          However, guesstimating an adjustment to the equivalents for lower mileage, it should get you below 3:20.  For now, 3:15 could be a reasonable target, but that shouldn't affect your training a lot.  Base your training paces off your recent real 10k time rather than a marathon guess.

          Also, you may find your shorter distance times improve also as you go through the program. Assuming the training goes well, do a tune-up race as suggested by Pfitz, and set a planned marathon pace closer to race day based on that. I'd back off the equivalent-performance time by about 10 minutes to factor in your mileage.

           

          I agree with Neil. Your 5K to 10K relationship shows an endurance deficit, and a 47mpw average for a single cycle isn't going to make that up enough to justify even sub-3:10, let alone a 3:05.  The settable calculator I use (the Race Time Estimator you can download from http://mymarathonpace.com) suggests 3:15 is a reasonable goal; but you want to set your paces from your 10K (and I'd use ~7:27 for MP runs) and run a tune-up race 4-6 weeks out to zero in on your goal.  (And use the settable calculator on 'fairly conservative') or examine the relationship between your tune-up races, if you can run more than one.)

          Ilana is awesome. She lives in a cool place, drinks good beer, and runs hard. She should start a fucking lifestyle blog for chicks. - NC Runner

           

          PRs: 5K 21:03 (4/2012) 10K 43:06 (12/2011) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)

          Next up: Imogene Pass Run 9/6| bloggy stuff at http://ilanarama.dreamwidth.org

          Jeff F


          Free Beer

            3:19:59

              If you really run 55 miles a week for 16 weeks then I don't see why that 3:05 ish that your 10k predicts is unreasonable.

               

              Yeah, as Longboat points out...

               

              Pfitz 18/55 peaks at 55 miles, but averages 47 mpw for 14 weeks before taper

              ...

              Base your training paces off your recent real 10k time rather than a marathon guess.

               

              That makes sense.

               

              The settable calculator I use (the Race Time Estimator you can download from http://mymarathonpace.com) suggests 3:15 is a reasonable goal; but you want to set your paces from your 10K (and I'd use ~7:27 for MP runs) and run a tune-up race 4-6 weeks out to zero in on your goal. 

               

              Thanks for the link. I do plan on a tune-up half before the marathon, I'll make an assessment at that time. In the meantime I will follow the pace suggested from the 10K.

               

              I recall David Liu logging similar mileage and hitting an impressive 3:09 marathon. Would the consensus be that he ran a bit beyond what his training would have indicated he was capable of?

              ilanarama


              Hi, Mom!

                It's not so much the mileage as the individual's fitness and speed vs fatigue resistance profile.  Looking at David's 5K and 10K PRs, despite being much slower than yours they indicate he slows much less with increasing distance.  Using the spreadsheet I linked earlier, his 20:26 5K predicts a 42:33 10K, as compared to his actual 10K of 42:05.  (Though there is enough of a time gap that I am sure if he ran another 5K it would be faster now.)  (I also note, now, that these are both time trials and I imagine he'd be faster in actual races.)

                 

                However, yeah, he really nailed that marathon.  I seriously wonder how he would do in actual 5K and 10K races - I imagine he'd be a lot faster than in his time trials.

                Ilana is awesome. She lives in a cool place, drinks good beer, and runs hard. She should start a fucking lifestyle blog for chicks. - NC Runner

                 

                PRs: 5K 21:03 (4/2012) 10K 43:06 (12/2011) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)

                Next up: Imogene Pass Run 9/6| bloggy stuff at http://ilanarama.dreamwidth.org

                   I recall David Liu logging similar mileage and hitting an impressive 3:09 marathon. Would the consensus be that he ran a bit beyond what his training would have indicated he was capable of?

                   

                  I through in some of my thoughts.

                   

                  My short thought: I think you can do it if you really want it. Your 5k and 10k are way faster than mine. I don't think I could reach your speed on 5k or 10k on my peak training. I tried 3 trials to run 10K under 40:00, but failed. I doubt I am able to do it now.

                   

                  Here are the longer ones:

                   

                  I was really happy that I nailed it.  I think the following points helped me to get there.

                  1. I followed Pfitz's 24-55 plan very closely. I ran most of the required runs, tempo, stride. There was no speed interval at the beginning. After I recovered from the injury, I jumped in his 12-55 plan @ week 3. You might recall my thread about the MP. I was really struggling the MP at the beginning of that cycle. But I kept all the schedules, tempo, stride, speed intervals, etc., although I adjust my speed based on my fitness.

                  2. I believe that that tempo and speed intervals really helped me to get there. Those runs tired me out but kept my confidence to run at a faster speed for a long time.

                  3. Two-day carb loading before the race. I think I really tried to maximize the glycogen, which played a big part on the race.

                  4. The race day hydration. I didn't miss a single water station. I didn't feel thirsty on every station, but I rotate water + GU and energy drink. As Pfitz said in the book, it is too late to hydrate when you feel thirsty. Every station gave me an energy boost, which helped me to keep my pace. I read dehydration would slow 3% and I took it seriously.

                  5. Plan my goal early in my training. Even my initial goal was to finish in 3:30, but after the training progress, I felt I could run faster than that. 3:10 is my BQ, so I really wanted to achieve that. I always kept my 3:10 goal in mind when I trained, but I want to say it is vital to adjust your training speed (training on your fitness level rather than the race goal as others say). My injury told me that I was not patient enough at the beginning. This probably won't apply to you as you already have the speed.

                  6. Warm-up before the race. So I could get into the MP early, probably in the 2nd mile, and I didn't credit too much energy as my muscles have loosen up.

                  7. Stick on my MP in the last few miles. It was really hard for me in the last few miles. I really toughened up and tried to find/imagine any support I could get to keep my goal alive.

                  8. Study my route. I knew at which miles the hills were going to come. I had the mental preparation for it, so I didn't feel defeated while running on the hills. Therefore, I didn't slow down too much. According to the book "brain training for runners", the author, Matt Fitzgerald, said: our brain knows what speed to take when we set the distance/goal. I think it is particularly true on the hills. So I didn't feel crediting too much energy on those hills.

                   

                  Feel free to take whatever point(s) you think make sense to you.

                   

                  According to your own analysis, you have the speed but endurance. I don't have thoughts on that. I hope others will give you some suggestion.

                   

                  Good luck.

                  5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - avg 6:10/mi for 4mi (29/08/14), FM - 3:03 (13/09/14)

                    I ran A 2:59 off similar mileage in June (one week at 66, three 20 milers, but most weeks around 40). The previous December I ran a 3:22 when I was hoping to run sub-3 (And went through the half in 1:31). My PRs are a little faster than your's, but they weren't when I started training for the December marathon.

                     

                    From my very limited experience I think the David is spot on about the important of nutrition and hydration in the days leading up to the race and during the race itself. ski woke up dehydrated the morning of the Dec marathon, but nailed it in June.

                     

                    The other area I screwed up the first time was relaxing my training too soon. I hit a big HM PR 5-ish weeks out from my marathon and then ran a 20 miler with the last 10 at MP the next weekend. After nailing those I thought I was ready and hardly ran for the 3 weeks before the race.

                     

                    You can see this play out in my log if you want.

                     

                    --

                    Nashville, TN

                     

                      Jaxn and David, thanks for the input, there's a lot of quality advice in there.

                       

                      I'm aiming to hit every workout in the 18-55 plan and as of right now have done so with one exception (a botched lactate threshold run yesterday). I will revisit your posts on pre-race nutrition and hydration in the weeks leading up to the marathon.

                       

                      I still feel a bit gun shy about letting myself consider 3:10, having blown up in 2 out of the 3 marathons I've run and only having a PR of 3:24 at the distance. But I'm reminding myself that my preparation this time around, while not high mileage, will be the most mileage I've put in for any marathon. Hopefully I can get a tune up HM in to help more firmly establish a marathon target.

                       

                      A strange day yesterday, temp of 72 and a dew point of 71 left me dying after 4 failed miles at reaching HMP. Was supposed to run 6 at HMP and 4 easy. I got all 10 miles in, but that left me questioning whether my body was failing to adapt to the plans mileage, or if it was in fact just the weather. 20 in store for tomorrow, we'll see how that one turns out.

                       

                      Anyhow, I'll keep putting the miles in.

                       

                      Cheers.

                        Your calendar looks threadbare for any marathon racer looking to take it to the next level.  Too many days off from running.  Days off probably needed due to the fact that you likely run your maintenance mileage too fast for your fitness level.  Slow down on all but 'purpose' days and throw in some easy jogging whenever and wherever you can fit it in.  That's the thing that will help you with that big endurance deficit you seem to have.  Good luck.

                          Your calendar looks threadbare for any marathon racer looking to take it to the next level.  Too many days off from running.  Days off probably needed due to the fact that you likely run your maintenance mileage too fast for your fitness level.  

                           

                          Ken, I appreciate the input. As of the last 4-5 weeks, I've stuck strictly to the prescribed mileage in the Pfitz 18-55 plan. While it's not a lot, this is the most weekly mileage I have ever put it in. I haven't, as of yet, added any extra "easy" mileage on the rest days for fear of doing too much and bringing on another overuse injury (of which I've had a handful in my short history as a runner).

                           

                          Your point about my "maintenance" mileage being too fast, may have some truth to it, I could run those a bit slower and perhaps feel more sharp on my "purpose" days as you call them. However, I don't believe I've been pushing so hard on my easy/recovery days that I wouldn't be able to run easy miles on my scheduled "rest" days. I've just been following the plan, cautious not to overdo it. The 18-55 plan is recommended for runners who "typically train less than 40 miles per week." Which is decidedly where I was prior to the start of this plan.

                           

                          I may add in some extra, very easy miles on scheduled rest days, but I also value that extra hour of sleep from time to time.

                            Your training looks great to me. You still have a few months to train your body to accommodate the desired marathon speed you want. When you follow the Pfitz's plan closely and build a solid base, you will be surprised the progress in the last few weeks when you throw in some speed intervals, such as 800m x 5, 1 mi x 3, etc. Once you can hit those speed intervals even it is hard, you will feel the MP is not that difficult as your LT has been moved up and your desired MP is under your LT. And you are ready to go. At least, that is my experience.

                             

                            By the way, I doubted my ability to run 3:10 all the way until the week before the actual race. Having said that, I kept my goal during the training and always looked for ways to improve and get there.

                             

                            I have one more point about adding extra miles. Personally I don't think a few extra miles to your easy runs will give you a significant improvement, instead, you might get injured if you are not careful as it is mentioned in Pfitz's book.

                             

                            Good luck and I look forward to your training progress.

                            5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - avg 6:10/mi for 4mi (29/08/14), FM - 3:03 (13/09/14)

                               

                              Ken, I appreciate the input. As of the last 4-5 weeks, I've stuck strictly to the prescribed mileage in the Pfitz 18-55 plan. While it's not a lot, this is the most weekly mileage I have ever put it in. I haven't, as of yet, added any extra "easy" mileage on the rest days for fear of doing too much and bringing on another overuse injury (of which I've had a handful in my short history as a runner).

                               


                              I followed the 70 m/w last season and it ended in a total disaster. I had to cut down mileage drastically because I was just unable to cope with the effort... and it happens that I wasn't counting 30 or more weekly miles of cycling. I had 3 races planned: 2 10K and a marathon (Leiden 2012). On both 10K I did shameful 44:00-ish and I had to swap the full marathon for a half one doing an also shameful 1:49:dunnohowmuch. Note that you and me are closely matched: my PRs are 1:30:08 and 3:21:42, (*)

                               

                              I am thus doing a 18/55 again I am taking Bob Glover's advice seriously and don't do a single mile more than planned, and just like you I do also become "happy footed" during my easy runs. My target marathon is in October, 13th.

                               

                              I don't know if this is your case, but I also do a lot of cross training: boxing and weightlifting. Both Pfitzinger and Glover recommend including cross-training as runt mileage meaning that if you do 55 miles of pure running and do some other stuff too you may actually be training the equivalent of 60 or more miles. This is important to be taken into account for cardio (in my case boxing) which should be counted as a run on the same heart rate.  I never go above 120-130bpm when boxing, so that it counts as some extra recovery miles. Regarding weight lifting, it's not relevant in terms of aerobic adaptation but you need to take the extra muscular workload into account.

                              This morning I changed a  planned 5x800m for a full Yasso800 aiming at 3:21 on trail and with hills. I was above this mark doing between 3:10 and 3:18 and I felt as if I could have aimed at 3:00. I'm not going to aim for a 3-hour marathon mostly because I just don't want to over-train. But it wouldn't be the first time I get a nice surprise after a training season. (nope, not a 3:00:00 but maybe a 3:20:00)

                              What I have learned to do is to train for my set goal not changing anything and let myself go during the run. I know already that the set goal is the minimum i can expect and anything above that will be the topping of the cake... and a reason for a few litres of good Belgian beer!!

                              (*) If you feel curious check out the "Reports" in the profile of EnricM, my old user. The PRs do not work because I messed up all the activities and decided to just start from scratch: http://www.runningahead.com/logs/f835d0a0d38342b0a4405028fa931877/reports

                                Well, I hit a 1:27:43 in the half last weekend (with a port-o-jon pit stop that took exactly 60 sec.)

                                 

                                I felt great afterwards and was pumped to finally go below 90 min in the half.

                                 

                                As tune up races go, I've got a better indicator of my fitness now and using conservative estimations I'm within 3:10 striking distance, maybe better. That's where I'll set my sights.

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