Running with the sub-3s: Boston Bound (Read 376 times)


Interval Junkie --Nobby

    BM-18: While it's a bit early for a 20miler, the local Winter Solstice tradition sent many runners around town (literally) on the Rivana Trail.  This ear Deric and I were smart and didn't chase the Tri guys and 5K sprinter girls who both left us huffing and puffing at mile 6 before they called it a day.  Instead we took it slow and enjoyed, though Deric and I lost contact with Rick and also lost contact with our desire to do 3 @ MP.  (60mpw)

     

    It's funny, the Winter Solstice run is the only time the road racers and trail runners get together.  There are a few who straddle the line, but there's a pretty big cultural split in town.

     

    BM-17: Spent Christmas week at a log cabin in Nelson County.  I thought Charlottesville had hills . . . Nelson County makes CVille look like Florida.  UP or DOWN.  There is no flat.  The quad punishment was so bad downhill that uphill felt like the "rest".   Unfortunately, coming off the 20miler my legs were a bit beat.  I was hoping for some easy recovery runs.  That didn't quite happen so I took a day or two off.  I got back to CVille for a Friday long run.  14miles with 3 @ MP felt easy.  My "AHR" pace hovered around 7:10.  Hardly breathing.  I think my legs were just happy to get off the damn hills. (42mpw)

     

    BM-16: Had an old friend in town, whom I haven't seen for more than a decade.  So, I skipped one run and spent the other running the neighbor's 8mo puppy (3miles to get the puppy out of him, 2 more miles and he still had plenty of juice -- indefatigable).  New Year's Day brought the other winter running tradition the NYD 5K.  It's the only "flat" 5K in town.  The day was perfect for it.  Tons of people turned out.  (tons being about 350 here in small-town America).

     

    Before the race Sean, a guy who goes to the same track practice as the Sub3s, told me he was "celebrating a birthday today."  When I asked whose, he told me it was mine.  He was pretty excited that I moved up to the 40+ group, leaving him a chance at the 35-39 AG.  Kinda funny.

     

    Rick told me the guy (Bryan) who beat me last race was in the corral.  I lined up close to him.  GRUDGE MATCH! (you know, the kind where you don't tell the other guy).  My goal for the race was to not fly off the starting line like an 8 year old boy.  Instead, I wanted to stalk Bryan and prove that I could have won the last race from him.  Yeaaaaaah.  He kept pulling away from me with about 200m on me at the half.  He took 3rd OA with an impressive 17:34.  Not my league.  I ran a smart race.  Pacing was good the whole time.  18:39 is about all I had that day; it's hard to lug around 9 extra pounds of Christmas Joy.

     

    Took 1st AG, 8th OA.  It also marks the first race I ran for profit.  Paid $10 to enter.  Won a $15 gift cert.  Obviously, I'm considering turning pro at this point.

    2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

    Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.


    Interval Junkie --Nobby

      BM-16: 18Miles at 9F.  Came back with frost all over my beard.  We did the hilly part of the Buck Mt HM course twice.  I felt great.  Ben, who is a 2:45 marathoner is coming back off the DL, so he joined us for one loop.  Rick's legs lost their pop -- this guy who is usually a mountain goat was struggling up the hills; I was driving up them.  The cold made it feel like I was running on meat instead of muscle -- just couldn't get them to engage properly.  Still, the run felt slow, if anything -- 7:30avg, which isn't  bad for those hills and the cold, I guess.

       

      BM-15: Early track workout in 14F on Wednesday.  Matt, Tom, Rick and me.  Matt is coming back off of new-dad status.  Tom is an ultra-runner and 2:40 marathoner who moved to Charlottesville because of the running community (nice to work remotely).  We did some "progression runs" that didn't have much "progression" in them.  Only really went from 7:00 to 6:40 in 4miles.  The effort was there but the cold wasn't letting us engage again.  Tom and I came back with frosty beards again.

       

      Certainly the best part of the week was the long run.  Later on Saturday a going away party was planned for Barry, who is leaving for Texas at the end of February.  Since his Richmond marathon blow up, this gazelle of a runner was trying to put on weight.  Couch, cookies and beer were his go-to training regime.  In the morning there was the usual long-run, this time at Dick Woods.  Weather called for 33F and rain.  Boy did it deliver.  Tom, Chris (18:03 5K) and I got their early to log an extra 4-miles before the gang showed up.  We were drenched 5mins in.

       

      14 guys showed up for Barry's send-off long run.  Usually the pack is about 6-8 in the Fall, and abotu 3-5 in the Winter.  Having everyone there but Kenny and Hernan (local sub-17:30 52yo) was thrilling.  Steve even drove up from NC just for the send-off.  There we were, 14 of us splashing through the puddles, getting soaked from above -- a tight pack of guys jabbering about their Fall race, Spring goals and new pains.  Telling, most of the talk about a Fall race is about the guy who ran it.  That is, Rick and Derek talking about Rob's 8min negative split at Richmond (2:50) while Rob is just jogging along at the front of the group.  There's a lot of mutual admiration in the group -- there's some talent and everyone is working hard.

       

      The group finished their 14miles, and I my 18 with the last mile at 6:50.  This is the first time I've kept up with the Sub3s through an entire long run.  Usually I bail halfway through and start clicking off 8:00 or worse.  And while I was pushing those last few miles, it sure did feel great.  I was still strong up hills.  I felt invincible running shoulder to shoulder with Rob and Matt.  After the run, when people left the muddle parking-lot, I just stood there getting dumped on from above, sipping my ultragen.  The rain thwaped hard on the brim of my hat.  The wool baselayer and brooks jacket had merged and wrapped around my body into a second skin.  Steam rose off my shoulders.  I leaned against the trunk of my car with my feet in the mud and my eyes with a thousand yard stare.

       

      I feel like a beast after back to back 18milers (weekly) and 68mpw.  The guys have noticed.  They want me to race Tobacco Road.  Need to talk to Coach about all this.

      2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

      Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.


      Interval Junkie --Nobby

        Okay, just got back from talking to Coach: he green-lit my Tobacco Road sub-3 attempt; told me that he wanted me to do a piss-test after yesterday's track workout.  Basic advice: you look great; don't get greedy.

         

        Now, if I could just get our captain, Rick, to merge his long-run plan with Coach's we'd be all set.

        2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

        Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.


        Interval Junkie --Nobby

          TRM-9 (BM-14):   After talking to Coach, and re-adjusting my sights on the Tobacco Road Marathon (March 16th), I was eager for a litmus test to see if 6:50 was a manageable pace, or whether I'm just kidding myself.  The long-run this week was 4mi @ marathon start pace, then 8mi at MP.  In the warm-up 4, I asked Rick how difficult this workout should feel.  He said, "difficult".  Okay, that's what I'm looking for then.

           

          It was a beautiful day, Sunny and 28F.  A slight headwind going out.  Tom and Rob quickly started pulling away all while they chatted easily.  I got sucked in a little bit until I heard Deric's panting next to me and a quick look at my watch gave me shivers (6:20 pace).  So I pulled back.  On the way out Deric and I traded lead.  We weren't really "running together" so much running against each other.  The resulting pace was 6:35 and it felt great for me.  Breathing was nice and easy.  Around mile 6 of the 8, I thought to myself "I wouldn't mind feeling exactly like this at the 10mile mark of the marathon."  On the return trip I dropped in a 6:20 and a final mile of 6:12 for good measure.  I was in control and while working, not over-extending myself.  Litmus test passed.  Though, doing it at 6:35 does make me wonder -- obviously the distance is shorter by half, but I'm not tapered.  At least it makes 6:50 looks achievable.

           

          TRM-8 (BM-13): Riding the high of the Saturday workout, I drove out of town to hilly Nelson County and ran 10 AHR miles there.  The hills were still tough, but do-able.  The Wednesday workout was cancelled because #southerners; we had a bit of snow in town (3") and the temp was about 9F.  So, I did the progression run on the dreadmill.  What a horrible experience.  I ended up cutting the workout short by a half-mile so I could find some rope and a low branch to hang myself from.

           

          Saturday we did the local 10miler course twice for 21miles.  Longest run this training period.  Another litmus test.  It was pretty cold (15F) and windy, but really enjoyable once we got going.  I kept up with the sub3s for the whole run.  The last 3 I did at MP and felt good about them.  (77mpw)

           

          The winter (as much as it is in VA) really appeals to me.  All these workouts that would kill me in August are just pleasures to run.  I'm pretty sure if I could find a marathon at 25F - 35F then a sub3 marathon would be an afterthought.  Unfortunately, above 50F I start to lose my super-powers.

           

          And of course, now I have a cold.

          2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

          Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.

            Please don't take this question wrong, but what is your Goal Marathon Pace?

             

            Reading though this, I keep hearing about 6:50/mi., but when I look at your pace runs -- I don't see you hit it very often (usually fast).  For me, when I am doing pace work, it is focused on locking in that pace so that I am comfortable with it.  Not going faster than it.

             

            Of course, this is just my opinion -- I could be (most likely am) wrong...

            And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

             

            Rob


            Interval Junkie --Nobby

              Actually, that's a question I've been asking myself recently.  In my Fall marathon my MP was 7:00 (with a headwind).  My psychological goal is to break 3hrs.  That would yield a 6:50 MP-Goal.  However, I'm feeling incredibly good; 10 seconds is already a lot to knock off a PR-pace, but I wonder if I'm capable of more.  So, I've been toying with the idea of seeing what feels comfortable in MP workouts.

               

              Other than a tune-up race (nothing currently available), I'm not sure how to figure out if my comfort at 6:35 MP is an illusion, inspired by the cold weather (which I really enjoy), or is tapping into a quantum jump in fitness.

               

              I figure if I train at 6:40 MP or so, and feel good about it, but plan to race for a 2:58 (6:48 MP) and just see how it feels at mile 21, then I'll be "conservatively optimistic".

               

              I'm not exactly sure of the down-side of training faster than 6:48 except for possible over-training.  The only sign I've had of that is getting a Cold (weaker immune system).

               

              Dumb idea?

              2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

              Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.

                Not dumb!  Stay the course, man.  You may get a nice surprise out of this.

                - Joe

                We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

                  Not dumb!  Stay the course, man.  You may get a nice surprise out of this.

                   

                  I would agree with this -- just pointing out something that occurred to me.  So, would it be better to say that you are currently targeting a marathon goal pace of 6:40.  However, this can be adjusted based on how you are feeling on race day?

                   

                  I know, I may be quibbling a bit, but you also need to psychologically believe what YOUR goal pace is.  Then on race day you lock that pace in.

                  And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

                   

                  Rob

                    Actually, that's a question I've been asking myself recently.  In my Fall marathon my MP was 7:00 (with a headwind).  My psychological goal is to break 3hrs.  That would yield a 6:50 MP-Goal.  However, I'm feeling incredibly good; 10 seconds is already a lot to knock off a PR-pace, but I wonder if I'm capable of more.  So, I've been toying with the idea of seeing what feels comfortable in MP workouts.

                     

                    Other than a tune-up race (nothing currently available), I'm not sure how to figure out if my comfort at 6:35 MP is an illusion, inspired by the cold weather (which I really enjoy), or is tapping into a quantum jump in fitness.

                     

                    I figure if I train at 6:40 MP or so, and feel good about it, but plan to race for a 2:58 (6:48 MP) and just see how it feels at mile 21, then I'll be "conservatively optimistic".

                     

                    I'm not exactly sure of the down-side of training faster than 6:48 except for possible over-training.  The only sign I've had of that is getting a Cold (weaker immune system).

                     

                    Dumb idea?

                    stadjak, I read this and first thought to me is what pace is his tempos, or threshold pace workouts at? My stock answer would be, if you can hit all your T-pace workouts at 6:20 (give or take; your 6:50 goal minus roughly 30 seconds) then you might feel good about your chances.

                     

                    Then I went to your log, and see the variance in what you call "tempo" pace. I'm having difficulty discerning your tempo workouts as some of them are slower than your goal MP.

                     

                    Just a stab in the dark as I haven't read the entire thread, but have you or coach programmed more tempo runs in your prep? IMO, enough miles in the 6:20-6:25 pace range will make your goal pace feel comfy. My experience in a marathon build-up is that a phase of progressively increasing T-pace volume leads to marathon glory. Good luck.

                      BM-18, BM-17... I keep reading BM as bowel movement and struggle to take you seriously.

                       

                      It looks like the workouts are going well. I'm trying my best to undiscombobulate myself about all this workout and training talk and T-MP=Glory, etc. I read to see if I can learn something here since I'll be taking my own BM in 13 weeks and should start training at some point. Alas, it just reminds me how different we all are.

                        A couple more comments from the peanut gallery ...

                         

                        I tend to agree with Joe that if you're handling the training you should press on. There would be nothing better than going into the race feeling like 6:48 is a really conservative pace that you have total confidence you can handle.

                         

                        I have a slightly different take on MP runs. I don't tend to worry about locking in too specifically on a pace in training, especially in the winter. I will wind up with a lot of "MP" runs that are a tad slower than MP and some that are faster. With the vagaries of weather, how tired you are at given points in a marathon buildup, etc., I generally don't worry about being too fine on the pace. On the other hand I generally have a lot of supporting data in the form of races to back up my marathon goal so I'm more worried about the training value of the MP runs than any kind of litmus test or practice at pace. I don't find a lot of value in "locking in" a pace since I tend to be an effort runner and the effort of marathon pace on race day will *feel* completely different to me than it will in training. For me, actually racing a half marathon or 10 miler all out, un-tapered, is much better practice for racing a marathon than any MP runs. Know thyself.

                         

                        The one thing that jumps out at me though is sometimes your description of how these runs go doesn't 100% match the data in your log. Example, your 8 mile MP run where you finished with a 6:12 mile. The description of being in control and not feeling like you were overextending yourself is first of all kind of contradicted by the fact that you admit you and your buddy were basically racing. And you went from a 6:12 to running 8:49 pace for the 2 mile cooldown, an indication that you were basically at your breaking point. There is nothing wrong with this once in a while in training by the way--that was definitely a damn good training run--I would just caution against trying to extrapolate what it means for your marathon pace.

                         

                        I sometimes suspect you're getting a little bit of race day magic on a lot of these group runs. In general this is a good thing as you have made huge progress in a short amount of time from training with this group, but I would just be a little cautious of the possibility that these runs are bigger efforts than you think they are.

                         

                        You're definitely fit though and I think apart from bad weather the only thing that could get in the way of a sub-3 at Tobacco Road is if you peak too early. Keep on rollin.'

                        Runners run.


                        Interval Junkie --Nobby

                          Then I went to your log, and see the variance in what you call "tempo" pace. I'm having difficulty discerning your tempo workouts as some of them are slower than your goal MP. 

                           

                          Just to reduce categories in the log, I lump "progression runs" into the Tempo run category.  Coach hasn't put us on any traditional tempo runs this season yet.  The closest we have is something like two weeks ago, where it was 4mi @ Marathon start pace, then 8 miles at MP.  But that's not really at Threashold, obviously.  Maybe closer was the 2x2mi "interval" workout this Wednesday, which was supposed to be at HMP-10miler pace (6:35-6:20).  It was 8F and snow made for poor footing.  That, combined with my cold, I was only able to hit 6:42 or so.  It was a tough workout for me, though.

                           

                           

                          The one thing that jumps out at me though is sometimes your description of how these runs go doesn't 100% match the data in your log. Example, your 8 mile MP run where you finished with a 6:12 mile. The description of being in control and not feeling like you were overextending yourself is first of all kind of contradicted by the fact that you admit you and your buddy were basically racing. And you went from a 6:12 to running 8:49 pace for the 2 mile cooldown, an indication that you were basically at your breaking point. There is nothing wrong with this once in a while in training by the way--that was definitely a damn good training run--I would just caution against trying to extrapolate what it means for your marathon pace.

                           

                          I sometimes suspect you're getting a little bit of race day magic on a lot of these group runs. In general this is a good thing as you have made huge progress in a short amount of time from training with this group, but I would just be a little cautious of the possibility that these runs are bigger efforts than you think they are. 

                           

                          You're missing some context.  The 2mi cooldown after the 6:12 was with other (slower) folks.  I was going their pace.  Still, it's good to read how you interpret a log, since that would give me insight into cases where the cooldown wasn't socially restricted.  But it also brings up a question on my mind this training season: I've been specifically trying to slow down my easy/recovery runs [I don't really make a distinction between them -- maybe I should].  If I don't look at my watch I gravitate toward 7:40 and faster.  I've been trying to go slower (nothing above 8, with 8:15/8:30 being the target); I've even take to running with a partner who gravitates to 9/9:30 pace runs.  In a cooldown - which is basically a recovery run, I would try to go slower than felt easy (8:15 being healthy).  Is this the wrong idea?

                           

                          You may be right about the "race day magic" creeping into my workouts.  I'm certainly fueled by the competition in the group.  I run like I have a chip on my shoulder.  However, I'm trying to be honest with myself about what a "race effort" is, and what a "hearty workout" is.  If the 6:12 above felt like race-effort, I'd have backed off and let Deric pass me.

                           

                          I'm still trying to figure out what is "pushing myself" within the bounds of a good workout, and what is "racing the workout".  So far I've used the following quality workout day as the test: if I can't manage Saturday's log run, I probably raced on Wednesday.

                           

                          How do I prevent "peaking early"?  Retrospectively, I'd say that two weeks ago I felt at peak, but I'm not sure that qualifies because only the build-up phase came before it.

                           

                          (thanks everyone who took the time to read and look at my logs)

                          2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                          Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles.  Junk feels mostly okay.  Kinda.


                          Best Present Ever

                              Maybe closer was the 2x2mi "interval" workout this Wednesday, which was supposed to be at HMP-10miler pace (6:35-6:20).  It was 8F and snow made for poor footing.  That, combined with my cold, I was only able to hit 6:42 or so.  It was a tough workout for me, though.

                             

                             

                            a tough workout in which you blew past me multiple times, icicles in your beard flying.  You looked good out there.

                              You're missing some context.  The 2mi cooldown after the 6:12 was with other (slower) folks.  I was going their pace.  Still, it's good to read how you interpret a log, since that would give me insight into cases where the cooldown wasn't socially restricted.  But it also brings up a question on my mind this training season: I've been specifically trying to slow down my easy/recovery runs [I don't really make a distinction between them -- maybe I should].  If I don't look at my watch I gravitate toward 7:40 and faster.  I've been trying to go slower (nothing above 8, with 8:15/8:30 being the target); I've even take to running with a partner who gravitates to 9/9:30 pace runs.  In a cooldown - which is basically a recovery run, I would try to go slower than felt easy (8:15 being healthy).  Is this the wrong idea?

                               

                              With the context that makes way more sense. Definitely nothing wrong with running slower on a cool down for social reasons.

                               

                              And I don't think you have the wrong idea at all. I was just thinking about fast finish long runs I have done with my crew and making some erroneous assumptions based on what I saw in your log. If we've done a tempo or progression at the end of a long run it's usually pretty tough to slow down that much even on the cool down. Just thinking about a long run I did last weekend--at the end we did about a 6 mile progression then a 2-mile cool down. After the last 2 miles of the progression--which got down to 6:30's, maybe 6:20's for the final mile--we took our foot off the gas for the last 2 miles to home, net uphill. Even without pushing at all we were still running 7:20's. I looked at your switch from 6:12 to 8:47 and couldn't imagine that. But meeting up with slower people for the cool down makes total sense.

                               

                              I think it's wise to keep easy days easy but if you're in 6:40-6:50 marathon shape you're not going to hurt yourself running 7:40's on some of your easy days. If your breathing is relaxed and easy and you feel like you're jogging then you probably are.

                              Runners run.

                                How do I prevent "peaking early"? 

                                 

                                By not doing too many huge workouts too close together. It's pretty inexact and there's some art to it. Everyone is different. Basically you never know you peaked too early until it's already happened (he said from experience.) Alas.

                                Runners run.