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# Run/Walk a 3:30 Marathon? John Stanton's plans (Read 288 times)

The Irreverent Reverand

Have you done a marathon with a run/walk strategy? John Stanton, founder of The Running Room (Canada and upper Midwest US) and author of a few books (including Running: The Complete Guide to Building Your Running Program) has a plan that has 1 minute of walking for every 10 minutes of running. I'd like to get to 3:30 this fall, and I'm wondering if his plan is worth using.

Even apart from the run/walk strategy, he has a six day a week running plan for the 3:30 goal marathon, with a long run, a speed/hill day, and then 5-6 miles every other day. Here is a quick summary:

Sundays: Run/Walk LSD (three 18 mile days, tow 20 mile days, over the course of the 18-week plan) @ 9:02-10:12 pace

Mondays: Off

Tuesdays: 5 miles Tempo (8:07)

Wednesdays: Speed/Hills at varrying distances 6-9 miles

Thursdays: 5-6 miles fartlek (8:07) or "steady" (9:02)

So, two questions:

• a training plan of one long day, five shorter days, at varying paces?
• And, run/walk a marathon?

Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. Overweight runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

Ambitious (but attainable) Goals for 2014 (looking ahead):

Get at least one of the following: Sub-3:30 marathon; Sub-1:35 half marathon; turn 40

PRs: 3:52 marathon; 1:41 half; 47:00 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run

I need more races in more spaces ...

If you will be walking for 18-20 minutes, your pace would have to be in the low 7's to get to 3:30 it seems.  I think you would be better off just running a straight 8 minute pace the whole time.  Seems a lot less bumpy as far as heart rate and pacing goes.  If it works let us know!

5k  = 19.48 10/1/13

10k  = 45.28 4/16/13

Half Marathon = 1:37.16 9/08/13

Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/12  4:39.11

Solo O Marathon 06/02/13  3:52:10

A Dance with Monkeys

Your recent 10 mile race PR (2 months old) was at a slower pace than you'd have to sustain for 26.2 miles.

How did that 10 mile pace feel? Feel like you could have done it another 16+ miles? Think you could run faster to compensate for some 20+ walk breaks?

So you tell us...think that is remotely possible in the next 7 months?

This seems like a very bad idea. You'd be much better off following any # of plans, all of which can be summed up with the classic "run lots, mostly easy, sometimes hard" philosophy. It is as simple as that, and as hard. Put in the miles, don't overthink it, and it's entirely possible you can blow up your PR that much. Run/walk will teach you how to run/walk. That's not what you need.

Dingbat

The Irreverent Reverand

Your recent 10 mile race PR (2 months old) was at a slower pace than you'd have to sustain for 26.2 miles.

How did that 10 mile pace feel? Feel like you could have done it another 16+ miles? Think you could run faster to compensate for some 20+ walk breaks?

So you tell us...think that is remotely possible in the next 7 months?

@Trent - Thanks for your concern about my pace and goals. I'll tell you, I have no freaking idea what is remotely possible. But, I do know that my 10 miler in March was done on about 6 weeks of training on a treadmill, and a few months of nada, nill, zilch before that. I'll be happier than a pig in poop to just get a PR. But, aiming for a 3:51 (when I've run one marathon at 3:52) is not a very ambitious goal. So, I'm shooting high.

Anyway, even if it is Stanton's 3:45 or 4:00-goal marathon plan, what I'm more concerned about is feedback on this plan (one long day, one low/moderate distance/speed day, and four moderate pace lower-distance days) and the run/walk approach to running a marathon.

Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. Overweight runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

Ambitious (but attainable) Goals for 2014 (looking ahead):

Get at least one of the following: Sub-3:30 marathon; Sub-1:35 half marathon; turn 40

PRs: 3:52 marathon; 1:41 half; 47:00 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run

I need more races in more spaces ...

The Irreverent Reverand

This seems like a very bad idea. You'd be much better off following any # of plans, all of which can be summed up with the classic "run lots, mostly easy, sometimes hard" philosophy. It is as simple as that, and as hard. Put in the miles, don't overthink it, and it's entirely possible you can blow up your PR that much. Run/walk will teach you how to run/walk. That's not what you need.

Thanks, Greg. The run/walk thing seemed odd to me, but I just wanted to throw it out there ...

Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. Overweight runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

Ambitious (but attainable) Goals for 2014 (looking ahead):

Get at least one of the following: Sub-3:30 marathon; Sub-1:35 half marathon; turn 40

PRs: 3:52 marathon; 1:41 half; 47:00 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run

I need more races in more spaces ...

A Dance with Monkeys

Rock and Roll! And kill it baby!

This seems like a very bad idea. You'd be much better off following any # of plans, all of which can be summed up with the classic "run lots, mostly easy, sometimes hard" philosophy. It is as simple as that, and as hard. Put in the miles, don't overthink it, and it's entirely possible you can blow up your PR that much. Run/walk will teach you how to run/walk. That's not what you need.

That made me think of my running haiku:

Run some runs faster

Between fast runs, run slowly

Rest.  Then run again.

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).

How will you find the time to run for 3 - 3.5 hours on Sundays?  Especially during football season???

Run/walk is GREAT for ultramarathons, especially 8+ hours, but sub-optimal for marathon and shorter.

There are better plans out there.  The best plan is the one that you can follow without injury.  I don't think that Long/Off/Tempo/Hills is a good combination, but you could experiment with a schedule like Long/Easy/Tempo/Easy/Hills/Off/Moderate, for example.  That is basically Higdon:

The generally accepted as good plans around here seem to be Running Wizard, Pfitzinger, and Hansons.

2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

Knew a guy who was going for a sub 3:00, 10-15 years ago with the Galloway plan. Pretty similar. He ran a 3:10. Think the walking breaks up the rhythm of running to much. Plus, for him the math came out to something like 6:35 miles with 30 second walk breaks or something. Instead of just steady 6:52's.

Seems it would be wiser to run one steady pace for the entire distance.

Lot's of different plans to get you to the finish line of a marathon. Trick is finding out which one works to "your" potential.

Our you could run a 3:30 like this. I wouldn't recommend the crash and burn method.

Anyway, even if it is Stanton's 3:45 or 4:00-goal marathon plan, what I'm more concerned about is feedback on this plan (one long day, one low/moderate distance/speed day, and four moderate pace lower-distance days) and the run/walk approach to running a marathon.

I've been around the running room cult a bit since I started running. The walk-run is pushed beyond logic by some people involved. The 3:45 - 4:00 mark is kind of the limit of the usefulness of the walk/run, in my opinion. For the 5-6 hour marathoner, it makes perfect sense to run the race the same way ultra runners do things - time spent at an effort level is at least as important as the distance covered. As you get into shorter durations, it's really just a way for people who are under- (or un-) trained to complete the distance.

6 days a week, long run & one or two days of speedwork is pretty standard for training plans for 5K- marathon, I think.  Do that with increasing mileage and you will get faster. What the speedwork is, and whether you have a midweek mid-long run is the difference in training for different distance. Most people will have different reactions to training, you may find that if you adjust training in a certain way your body will adapt better - I, for instance, need 20km+ long runs to race 800-1500m, most people don't even do them if they're training for those distances.

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

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

mileage hound

Thanks, Greg. The run/walk thing seemed odd to me, but I just wanted to throw it out there ...

I agree...I would throw it out too, and use one of the stand-by plans already listed.

2013 goals:  Somehow get healthy again.

"If you want to be a bad a\$s, then do what a bad a\$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

"Determined is what I am. Maybe a little sick in the head? Ok who am I kidding ALOT sick in the head" -- rockenmamaof5

Knew a guy who was going for a sub 3:00, 10-15 years ago with the Galloway plan. Pretty similar. He ran a 3:10. Think the walking breaks up the rhythm of running to much. Plus, for him the math came out to something like 6:35 miles with 30 second walk breaks or something. Instead of just steady 6:52's.

Seems it would be wiser to run one steady pace for the entire distance.

Yeah, wow. I like the feeling of settling into a pace and really getting locked in, and this walk-run thing would just destroy that.

I have heard that if you walk through the water / aid stations it will help your overall time.  This is probably a quick 10 second walk every 4-5k or so. But more walking than this I think is just wasteful.

As far as a training plan, pick one that does not injure you.  I have tried the standard generic running plans which are the most common leading up to 20 miles with a 40+ base and maybe 4-5 days of running. I got 2 injuries on this plan in 4 months.  I am now on something similar to the Hanson's plan with some extra stuff I added in or took out,  I am healthy and faster than before.  Find a plan that leaves you HEALTHY at the end of it!!! The plans are just a model, it is up to your body to find out how you respond to them.

5k  = 19.48 10/1/13

10k  = 45.28 4/16/13

Half Marathon = 1:37.16 9/08/13

Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/12  4:39.11

Solo O Marathon 06/02/13  3:52:10

I find it difficult to drink from cups, as opposed to bottles, whilst running, so I will take a few steps walking whilst I get some liquid on board if the drink stations have cups. But no more than is necessary to drink - something like a 5-10 seconds in each drink station (say every 5k or less often if it's not that hot).

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