Running with the sub-3s: redux (Read 387 times)


Interval Junkie --Nobby

    tl;dr: starting up training with the sub-3s again.  Really behind in my training due to injury.  However, the first two weeks looked promising.

     

    Last year I ran my first marathon in the Spring for 3:32.  Then I was recruited to train with the "sub-3" guys, which resulted in a 3:08 second marathon (BQ-7).  Writing about the experience kept me acutely involved in monitoring my own training and solicited a lot of good advice from the folks here.  So, I thought I'd give it another go.

     

    First, a short re-cap of the Spring 2013: had a phantom sprain in my left ankle in Dec.  Decided it was runnable.  Achilles tendentious was the collateral damage of that foolishness.  Took most of April/May off to really recover.  Finally got the "all-clear" feeling and the next day really-sprained my ankle in a volleyball game (came down on a foot that wasn't mine after a spike).  That was three-weeks ago.  My ankle is still a bit weak, but running form isn't affected.

     

    So, in short: my prep for marathon training was pretty meek.  My endurance sucks.  Two weeks ago a 6mi run kicked my ass.  I haven't run long in about 5-mo.  So, my goals for NYCM may modulate with this thread's optimism.

     

    NYCM-18: Ankle sprain recovery week.  11mi.  Damn depressed about it.

     

    NYCM-17: My running buddy John, who got me into this damn sport/lifestyle/hobby/obsession, returned to town for a few weeks.  It was a great chance to start ramping up.  He's really patient and didn't at all mind my pussyfooting the mileage because of my ankle.  He and his girlfriend were staying at our place while in-country.  So we made a "running camp" out of it.  Up at 5:15 to walk the dog; out the door by 6:15 on our morning 6miler.  For those coming off an injury, feeling like crap about your running, struggling through every mile that used to be a breeze, I highly recommend a daily running partner.  John kept my spirits up, grumbled over the heat and humidity, cursed the familiar hills and patted the back of my new-found humility. 

     

    We ranked our easy runs like this: good, honest and hard.  Honest miles are the ones you run, you feel every mile is work, but it isn't crushingly hard.  We put in a good number of honest miles and a few hard ones.  Now "hard" easy miles sounds like an oxymoron, but it mostly refers to the will and perception of effort to keep the easy miles going.  We weren't breathing hard.

     

    On Saturday he left town for a day and so I decided to join the Sub-3s for my first long-ish run.  The captain (Rick) promised me 7:30 pace when I met him in the grocery store, but I knew it to be a lie.  A faces new to me showed up -- old friends of the group -- and I knew we'd trash the pace.  My goal for the day was 10miles.  One lap on the country road was 7mi, so I decided to keep up with the posse for the first lap, then drag my butt for the next 3.  7:15 was the avg pace.  Rick barked at the guys to slow down and promoted me to pace-bunny to keep everyone in check.  I got fired when someone looked down to see 7:05.  Being the slowest guy you always have something to prove.  But I finished out the 7 in pretty good shape, then checked in two miles at 9:30 pace until meeting Brian for a final 1.3 miles at 8:00 pace.

     

    Oddly, this is very similar to what happened my first run with the sub-3s last year.  Only last year I was dead after finishing with the team and had to quit.  This time I stopped from choice, maybe good sense.  And I felt a lot better than I had last year, even though my base-mpw was about 55mpw last time, and this time is about 22mpw.  My endurance is still crap, but apparently, I retained some speed I picked up last year. (34mpw)

     

    NYCM-16: More morning miles with John throughout the week.  Some honest, some good.  We even hit some AHR miles at the end of one of the runs.  Also return to Wednesday morning track practice.  Given the options the sub-3s all wanted to do the track workout.  We were supposed to do hills.  Kenny, a new guy joining the group this year, asked Coach what he should do.  Which foiled our plans when Coach started pontificating about how we should stay off the track so early and how it's a great way to mess up our season. (Kenny is going to be very good for us).

     

    On Saturday I wanted to get a long run in.  So I ran with the guys for 6mi at about 7:20 pace.  Then continued at my own easy paces until 14mi, taking the second to last mile down to 7:30 pace.  It was so humid I was sloshing my sneaks at mile 7.  It wasn't overly hot (79F?).  But even women who usually just glisten through workouts were sporting swim-suits.  Thank goodness the workout was supported.  I think I drank a gallon of water over those two hours.  I also felt like crap through the next day: there was something missing in my system; maybe not enough salt, or still dehydrated or running a slight fever.  Not sure.  I'll keep tabs on it.

     

    At the recommendation of the guy who holds the sub-3's marathon record (Jim -- the juggernaut), I'm trying Perpetuem in training.  I used to take nothing but water and gatorade during workouts, figuring I'd put my body in a state of depletion to better prepare it for the late marathon.  Often in our long run I'd struggle through the last few miles at a slower pace than desired or the over-all pace wasn't as quick as I'd hoped.  Jim argues that with Perptuem you can work the training-run harder -- which improves the muscle strength contra improving the will's preparedness for the late-marathon.  So, I'm going to try that this time.  I had very good experience adding Ultragen to my post-workout routine last year -- felt better recovered the day of the workout.

     

    Summary: Right now going from a 7:12MP to a 6:50MP looks pretty daunting.  I'd estimate my achievable performance right now at 3:05.

    2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

    Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

      welcome back stadjak.  I enjoyed lurking your thread last year, as our goals are pretty similar.  my sub-3 attempt in May was scrubbed by a calf injury, but I did bag a HM PR along the way (1:25:30).

       

      Sorry to hear about your injuries...you know this well but on the comeback be careful ramping up both miles and intensity at the same time.  you still have 16 weeks, and still seem to have some speed, so maybe emphasize building mileage for a month or so before pushing the tempos?

       

      good luck with the training, I'll follow you here and hopefully we'll see you over in the NYC thread too.

        I also enjoyed lurking in your thread last year with similar goals. I hit the sub-3 in June and look forward to watching you do it in November Smile

         

        Still jealous of your training group.

         

        --

        Nashville, TN

         

        Chris Pinney


          This is great stuff. Reading this makes me accept the value of training patners. I am about a half hour slower than you and posts like this motivate me. It has been so humid/hot in the mid atlantic the last couple of weeks,supposedly this makes us stronger.

            ... Achilles tendentious ...

             

            “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

              ...right now... 

               

              You're months out and it's humid.

              "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


              Interval Junkie --Nobby

                You're months out and it's humid.

                 

                Yeah, I know.

                 

                Do other runners really start a training program thinking they have no earthy idea of what the results will be?  I mean, I don't plan on getting hung up on the number . . .

                 

                okay, I'll get hung-up on the number.

                2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

                  At the recommendation of the guy who holds the sub-3's marathon record (Jim -- the juggernaut), I'm trying Perpetuem in training.  I used to take nothing but water and gatorade during workouts, figuring I'd put my body in a state of depletion to better prepare it for the late marathon.  Often in our long run I'd struggle through the last few miles at a slower pace than desired or the over-all pace wasn't as quick as I'd hoped.  Jim argues that with Perptuem you can work the training-run harder -- which improves the muscle strength contra improving the will's preparedness for the late-marathon.  So, I'm going to try that this time.  I had very good experience adding Ultragen to my post-workout routine last year -- felt better recovered the day of the workout.

                   

                   

                   

                  Have you tried the "Perpetuem" as yet and is it working.  Would you recommend "Ultragen" and why,

                  Hipfan


                  Proud Calgarian

                    Good luck on your quest, I'm in the same boat (first marathon was 3:06) but as one faster runner has described it:

                    "Don't get so hung up on the phrase 'sub-3' as really it's just a 6:50/mile pace for 26.2 miles. Just go and run and then run a little faster - you might surprise yourself of what you're capable of when you're not making invisible barriers for youself"

                     

                    T-12 weeks for me, here's hoping I can dial into that 6:45-6:50 range and just hold it for the whole race! Smile

                    2014 Goals and PRs:

                    5k - 17:59 (18:17);  10k - 37:00 (37:54);   HM - 1:21:59 (1:24:21);   FM - whatever (3:05:46)


                    Interval Junkie --Nobby

                       Have you tried the "Perpetuem" as yet and is it working.  Would you recommend "Ultragen" and why,

                       

                      I tried Perpetuem this past weekend for the 14miler.  As it's the first time I'm reluctant to make conclusions about it yet, but I'll continue to post on my experiences.  The run wasn't long enough to really figure out if it is "working" as I hope.

                       

                      Ultragen I can recommend.  Last season I would come back from hard days (morning track workout and Saturday long runs) and would spend most of the day on the couch sapped of energy.  Or I'd go to work zapped.  A liter of Ultragen seem to bring my energy levels back to normal pretty quickly.  I'd still be muscle-tired from the workout, but I wouldn't be walking around like a zombie.  I typically take a half-dose (one-scoop) for non-hard days over 7miles.

                      2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                      Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!


                      Interval Junkie --Nobby

                        The double edged sword of group training

                        This morning we had a hill-based fartlek workout in store for us.  Coach has dreamt up a devilish workout where we run this 1.3mile loop with 3 healthy hills on it.  It's about 2.3miles away from the track.  On the way there the group got a bit excited and checked in a 2nd "warm-up" mile at about 7:20.  This was downhill, but still too fast for me.  I started the workout a bit in the hole.  I powered through, but ended spent . . . then the group took off for home at about 8:15 pace.  There were a few more big hills between us and home.  One of them ate me.  Failed my morale check; slowed to a walk/jog/walk.

                         

                        About 5mins later the guys circled back just to pick me up.  Which was pretty fortunate, since I was lost.  This bit of solidarity had my pace back up to normal and my spirits lifted.

                         

                        So, there you go: they goaded me into burning into my workout, but also goaded me out of a post-workout funk.

                         

                        Running with a group means you often don't do your personal-optimal training, but you don't run alone, either.

                        2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                        Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

                          If Kenyans can crash and burn so can you.

                           

                          For me its esp. difficult to get a workout right when I'm out of shape. After my "week off" in May, it is only now that I'm putting together good sessions.

                          Dont call it a comeback


                          Interval Junkie --Nobby

                            If Kenyans can crash and burn so can you.

                             

                            People seem to scoff at this Kenyan approach to workouts (sticking with the leader pace, but not finishing the interval set), but . . . well, there certainly are a lot of Kenyans winning races these days.  Makes you wonder if there is a place for this sort of practice.

                            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                            Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!


                            Interval Junkie --Nobby

                              tl;dr: Sick of hills.  Sick of talking.  Sick of poison-ivy.  Sick of the heat.  Sick of being sick of stuff.  Otherwise, everything's great.

                               

                              NYCM-15: Ran alone that weekend.  Up at my sister's in cool(58F) CT.  Ask my brother-in-law for a route recommendation, ended up with a 5mi uphill loop, with some challenging New England grade.  Last time I ask a 38+ BMI guy for running suggestions.  At least he framed my run (15mi) for my niece and nephew: "You're really going to run all the way to Massachusetts!?"  

                               

                              NYCM-14/13: This season Coach is fixated on hill workouts.  Our base-building phase track workouts are either Fartleks over a hilly course, or hill repeats.  Later, when we hit the track the hill repeats and intervals are interlaced, gradually phasing out hills and moving them to the Monday runs.  Unless Kenny shows up for these, I'm at the back of the pack.  In the Spring I could keep up with Rick, and even best him in some things.  But now, Rick is owning me.

                               

                              On the way back from the Fartleks, the guys decided to do a little trail running.  Things were pretty over-grown as VA is having a record rain season.  I came back from the run with a little more than I left with.  I'm itching to find out if I'm the only one.

                               

                              Last weekend only the fast sub-3s were going to show up; while my mileage is around 50mpw, I wasn't ready for another Kenyan workout. Turns out I wasn't ready for a Sarah & Kenny  workout either.  It was plenty hot, even for morning 78F-82F, 100% humidity.  I didn't get there early enough to drop bottles so I just lugged one to the starting point.  This was a huge mistake.

                               

                              Kenny & Sarah come from another sub-group in the local constellation of runners in town: Boston-Bound.  Primarily masters runners, this group has a wide range of paces that are BQs for their age/genders.  So, I had it in my head that this 18mi run might be a little too easy.  On the way out, when everyone's chatting about their goals for the morning, I fully embraced my hubris and said that maybe I'll do 20mi, just to keep Kenny company through his workout.  hah.

                               

                              We were joined by Hosni and a Japanese fellow, who other than saying his name kept silent as a ninja until he just disappeared from our pace group.  A few others joined and I was impressed by their keeping the 8:00 pace w/o complaint . . . while I started struggling a bit.  Then TheYakker showed up and I lost my zen-like suffering.

                               

                              The course is basically a big never-ending uphill slope for 7mi, then back down.  With my water at the start it meant I was going more than 10mi w/o a drink.  The last up-hill leg ate me up. Sarah kept striding along keeping a beautiful pace.  A really impressive runner for a tall woman coming to it so late in the game.  (Later I tried to compliment her by telling her she's a "a beast" -- but quickly realized that women might not take that as the complement men enjoy.) I had to let Kenny go too around mile 15.  Failure of provisioning.  Failure of endurance.  Mostly a failure of will.  I walked a while and thought of hopping in the nearby stream; the bugs caught up to me and started biting; I picked it up again.

                               

                              I'm really sick of hills at this point.

                               

                              Coach has a Tempo scheduled on Saturday, but I think I'll hit another 18miler at 7:45-8:00 pace to see if I can lock it in somewhere a little flatter.  My achilles would certainly appreciate that.  And alone.

                              2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                              Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!


                              Super Pro Lurker

                                I think most women runners wouldn't mind being called "a beast". At least the ones I know Smile.