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Daniels M Pace (Read 879 times)

    I'm thinking about using Daniels to train for the 5k and a couple of half marathons in 2013, so I've been trying to read his book all the way through, which I've never done before. So far it has been really cool and I think a Daniels-inspired plan would fit my temperament pretty well. But I am really confused by his comments about marathon pace. My most recent 5k gives me a VDOT of 51-52, which gives me an M pace of 7:02-7:09. This actually sounds somewhat reasonable when I think about training for and racing a marathon - that is, it's probably about what I could run with optimal preparation. But there is no way that I could do a training run at this pace, especially one close to 90 minutes, which seems to be what he calls for. Without competition and during a heavy week of training, that would be practically race-effort for me past maybe an hour, and even that would not be remotely comfortable. Yet he states that M pace is not much harder than E pace for most runners (this might not be exactly how he puts it - I don't have the book in front of me) and that you might feel good dropping down to M pace during an easy run when you are feeling particularly strong. For me, that 'fast easy' pace is nowhere near 7 flat - it's more like 7:20-7:25. Is this just a question of me needing more miles and more aerobic strength, or is M pace actually as aggressive as it sounds? 

      It's pretty aggressive.

       

      You might be surprised at what you can do. I don't have the second edition of his book, where is 90 minutes at M pace? Which plan are you looking at? I think if you could run a marathon at a pace, 90 minutes should be doable. It isn't an easy workout.

      If you've got a big difference in half and 5K times, think about using the vdot for the half at first.

      2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

      2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.

        You need more miles. Also, run some tempos (6:40 pace for a VDOT of 51-52) and Marathon pace will feel easier. And you should be building up to those long, sustained M pace runs. Don't just try 12-15 miles at M pace right out of the gate. Do something like a 15 miler, with the last 5 at marathon pace. Or a long run of 20, with the last 8 at M pace, and gradually increase the number of miles you're doing at M pace. 

          What I meant was that I think I have the potential to run that pace for a full marathon, but only after a full marathon-focused training cycle. I've been focusing on 5ks for the past year and haven't run further than 12 miles for the long run. But right now there's no way I could run a marathon at 7:02 - I would probably blow up after 15-16 miles.

           

          My half lines up pretty well with my 5k - my PR is 1:30, so it's just about a minute slower than McMillan's prediction. It gives me the same VDOT in Daniels' table.

           

          I'm not looking at any particular plan yet. Just reading through the initial chapters. 

            You need more miles. Also, run some tempos (6:40 pace for a VDOT of 51-52) and Marathon pace will feel easier. And you should be building up to those long, sustained M pace runs. Don't just try 12-15 miles at M pace right out of the gate. Do something like a 15 miler, with the last 5 at marathon pace. Or a long run of 20, with the last 8 at M pace, and gradually increase the number of miles you're doing at M pace. 

             

            I have been doing weekly tempos for a while but they are closer to 6:50-7:00/mi. 6:40 honestly feels a bit too fast to be 'comfortably hard' for me (during a sustained 20+ minute effort, at least - I can hold this for cruise intervals), but maybe I just need to dig a bit deeper. 

             

            As for the long run, I doubt I'll even get that up past maybe 15 miles next year. I'm not doing any marathons and I don't think I'll increase my mileage past 60 or so. But I like the idea of just working in a few miles at M pace at a time, and building from there. That makes sense.

              What you need to remember with those charts, and all training charts, is that your VDOT value and hence training paces for the day, should be based on what your could race on that day, in likely a somehwat fatigued state. If you are basing your VDOT value on a PR race, when you were obviously rested and in a racing frame of mind, trying to hit the same paces on a typical training day IS very difficult. One thing to do is take your optimal VDOT value and subtrace 1 or 2 from it and train with those paces. But, again, it depends on how you feel for the day.

                What you need to remember with those charts, and all training charts, is that your VDOT value and hence training paces for the day, should be based on what your could race on that day, in likely a somehwat fatigued state. If you are basing your VDOT value on a PR race, when you were obviously rested and in a racing frame of mind, trying to hit the same paces on a typical training day IS very difficult. One thing to do is take your optimal VDOT value and subtrace 1 or 2 from it and train with those paces. But, again, it depends on how you feel for the day.

                 

                OK, that sounds much more manageable. I do have a tendency to run my workouts kind of conservatively, in that I'd rather slow my pace slightly and finish strong than struggle through the workout and possibly blow up, so this approach should work for me, at least until I get a bit stronger. Thanks.

                  OK, that sounds much more manageable. I do have a tendency to run my workouts kind of conservatively, in that I'd rather slow my pace slightly and finish strong than struggle through the workout and possibly blow up, so this approach should work for me, at least until I get a bit stronger. Thanks.

                   

                  I think that is a very wise approach! Train, don't strain!! Save your best efforts for the race, not a practice session.   What I do, and tell the runners I help coach is to run hard w/out straining until the end.  I tell them if they want to let it rip, save it for the last rep or for the last part of the workout, and to always finish a workout knowing you could do one more rep if you had to.

                  Good luck!!

                    If I am really rested, I can hit my VDOT paces.  If I'm in my more normal state of mild training fatigue, I agree with the idea of subtracting 1 or 2 VDOTs for my pace.  If I'm slower than that, then I'm very fatigued and I shouldn't be doing speedwork anyway.  Still, hard workouts are, well, hard.  They are unpleasant and in the case of both tempo runs and marathon pace runs, they stay unpleasant for quite some time and you don't get a break as you do in either "I" or "R" workouts.  Plus, you need to adapt the workouts for your fitness level.  Unless you are regularly putting in 70+ mile weeks, you may find it nigh on impossible to run 15 mile marathon pace workouts.  I think my longest marathon pace run has been 12 miles.  

                     

                    Mind you, Canova has his world class marathon runners doing 15-18 mile marathon pace runs that are so taxing they may not do any speedwork for the next 10 days.  Recreational runners, me included, seem to be terrified of doing a speed session so difficult you can't do more speed for a week or more yet the guys out there winning marathons seem willing to do those workouts.  Hmmmmm.

                    Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                    Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                    Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

                      Add my voice to the chorus - optimal training paces definitely fluctuate and Daniels certainly emphasizes being flexible in your training... part of the reason for the addition of the optional M pace run IIRC. I race hard and as such the VDOT paces can sometimes be a little too much for me. My wife doesn't push nearly so hard during races and her VDOT paces based on that end up being way too easy.

                      11/1 - Mendon Trail Run - 50k

                      jedigunnie26.2


                      BQ in 2013

                        Just started Daniels 5k-15k plan to train for 2 spring half marathons. Still reading book, but chock full of great stuff. After a disappointing marathon in Harrisburg decided I needed to step away from distance and focus on shorter distances this spring. A friend recommend Daniels be good to train for some HMs. Some of the Q days seem daunting right now as I've never run 3 Q days before. I usually do 2 but up for the challenge. I had a question though. My VDOT is 47 based off my 5k PR 20:46 and has a E pace of 8:58. In Table 19.2 for 5k-15k he has E pace range of 8:04-8:35. A little conflicting, but why the difference. I was going to follow E pace for my VDOT, as that range is more like my MP right now then E pace.

                        PR's - 5K - 20:15 (2013) | 10K - 45:14 (2011)  | 13.1 - 1:34:40 (2013)  | 26.2 - 3:47:47 (2012)

                         

                        2013 Goals - 3000 miles (940m May'13) | sub20 5k | sub 43 10K  | sub1:35 13.1 | sub 3:15 26.2

                         

                        2013

                        Saginaw 5k - 1/19/13 - 20:15 PR

                        Chambersburg Half Marathon - 3/9/13 - 1:36:22 PR

                        Frederick Half Marathon - 5/5/13 - 1:34:40 PR

                         

                        Up Next:

                        Shippensburg Fair 5k - 7/27/13

                        RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon - 9/15/13

                        Philadelphia Marathon - 11/17/13

                          I've read most of the book. I usually just go straight to the planned/canned program for the distance I'm training and drop in my times based on VDOT. I've blogged plenty about the success I've had with Jack workouts. For me, they are tough but doable. (if you are honest with the VDOT charts)

                           

                          Going back and looking at my last cycle. I don't recall any M pace workouts, mostly I and R.

                           

                          Like this. Just the quality workouts. This was for a 5 mile race, think I used the 10k schedule.

                           

                          2 x 2 miles at T

                          3 x 800 meters at I

                          3 x 400 meters at R

                          12 miles on the day

                           

                          4 x 1,000 Meters I

                          4 x 200 meters R

                          3 x 400 meters R

                           

                          12 mile long run, 41 miles for the week 2 days off

                           

                          20 minutes at T

                          3 x 400 meters at R

                          2 x 1 mile at T

                          8 miles on the day

                           

                          6 x 200 meters R

                          3 x 1,000 meters I

                          3 x 400 meters R

                          7 miles on the day

                           

                          13 mile long run, 37 miles on the week 3 days off (what the hell?)

                           

                          2 x 2 miles at T 7:05 pace

                          1 x 800 meters at I 3:14

                          2 x 400 meters at R :91

                          2 x 2 miles at T 7:05


                          12 miles on the day (pretty slow paces, huh)

                           

                          45 minutes at T 7:05 pace

                          6 x 200 meters R :45

                          10 miles on the day

                           

                          13 mile long run, 51 miles on the week, one day off (that’s more like it)

                           

                          4 x 200 meters R

                          2 x 400 meters R

                          3 x 1 mile T

                          1 x 1,000 meters I

                          4 x 200 meters R

                          10 miles on the day

                           

                          6 x 1,000 meters I

                          4 x 200 meters R

                          8 miles on the day

                           

                          12 mile long run 46 miles for the week, one day off

                           

                          4 x 1 mile T 7:00 pace

                          6 x 200 meters R :45

                          9 miles on the day

                           

                          40 minutes at T 7:08,7:01,7:04,7:05,7:00 (seems slow now)

                          4 x 200 meters at R :45

                          10 miles for the day

                           

                          14 mile long run, 45 miles for the week 2 days off

                           

                          4 x 1,200 meters T 7:05

                          4 x 200 meters :45

                          8 miles for the day

                          jedigunnie26.2


                          BQ in 2013

                            Thanks Oldman! Just started Phase I, so excited to see where Daniels takes me this spring. After my 2 HM's hoping to whittle my PR down to at least 1:35Tight lippedx. Like to get it to 1:32-1:33 by end of 2013.

                            PR's - 5K - 20:15 (2013) | 10K - 45:14 (2011)  | 13.1 - 1:34:40 (2013)  | 26.2 - 3:47:47 (2012)

                             

                            2013 Goals - 3000 miles (940m May'13) | sub20 5k | sub 43 10K  | sub1:35 13.1 | sub 3:15 26.2

                             

                            2013

                            Saginaw 5k - 1/19/13 - 20:15 PR

                            Chambersburg Half Marathon - 3/9/13 - 1:36:22 PR

                            Frederick Half Marathon - 5/5/13 - 1:34:40 PR

                             

                            Up Next:

                            Shippensburg Fair 5k - 7/27/13

                            RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon - 9/15/13

                            Philadelphia Marathon - 11/17/13

                              Thanks for all the replies, everyone. It's good to get your thoughts on this.

                               

                              BoilerTom, 'Train, don't strain' has definitely become a guiding principle for me. Keeping controlled then hammering the last part of a workout if I'm feeling good is something that I will try to incorporate. I think it would be good mental training for me. 

                               

                              LoveTheHalf, I think I could hit M pace for a few miles if I subtracted a couple of VDOTs. That seems to be a good approach. I know that it's supposed to be hard, but I wasn't clear on *how* hard (subjectively) because he seems to talk about it as a pace just a notch below E (when the reality is that it's almost a minute and a half faster). I wouldn't want to go out and kill myself trying to hit this pace when the effort level he has in mind is actually a bit lower (meaning that I should be using a lower VDOT for these workouts until I get fitter). 

                               

                              Blarg, Yes, I think I'm like you in that I race quite a bit harder than I train, so my VDOT spits out paces that are higher than I would use if I were training just by feel. 

                               

                              jedi, I'm no Daniels expert (obviously Joking) but I don't worry about E pace very much. Mine varies quite a bit and I think that's okay. I go by effort rather than pace on these runs. I think if you do this, you'll end up in the right zone. 

                               

                              Oldman, I'm about to check out your blog. I'm not sure how much M running I'll be doing either, really, considering that I'm mostly focusing on the 5k. I haven't gotten to the part of the book where he lays out sample plans. I like the look of the workouts you listed, though. They seem tough but doable. 

                                Jedi (and youngoffender)

                                 

                                I read an interview with Daniels a couple years ago where he compared the pace targets to speed limits, especially from the first edition of Running Formula, where there was a single number, not a range, and that you shouldn't kill yourself to hit the training paces. Go slower when it feels harder than it should. I think that comes from his background being coaching university teams and high level runners, most of whom will train too fast more often than not fast enough.

                                2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

                                2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.

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