Lets be realistic (Read 2318 times)

jimmyb


    Just finished my second marathon in 4:27:16 and am already thinking about my next one this fall (I'm thinking Philly in late November).

     

    Realistically, how much can I expect to take off my time if I incorporate tempo and track work and am willing to run up to 60-65 mpw?

     

    Congrats on the 4:27 at VCM. I have run that one twice and know that course is not a pushover, and it's usually a bit warm, if not hot. So, nice job!

     

    I just ran a few of your PR's through the Team Oregon Pace Wizard, and  based on your 5k pace from last year, you could do a 4:08 marathon, considering your aerobic system is in tip top shape. If you focus on an 8-12 week session of pure aerobic base work, then bring in the tempos, I think you could make your goal at Philly. I've done Philly twice, and it is usually perfect marathon weather, and the hills are a bit less work than VCM. You would need to get your 5k race pace down to about 23:00. That speed along with a solid aerobic base, and proper pacing should bag you that 3:59. Be careful with choosing a number like 60-65 mpw and adding tempos at the same time. If you run by duration, the miles will add up as you get fitter. Jumping up to a training load that looks to be almost 45-50% more for you, which also includes speedwork, might be risky. Whatever you choose to do, good luck. Take ample rest and recovery.

     

    --Jimmy

    Log    PRs

      One of my dear friends just passed away--she was 96 years old, mind you...  Barbara Bowerman was the wife of the late Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike and the one who spread the concept of "jogging" throughout the US.  She had been a good friend of mine for nearly 20 years now; of course, at first, she was "just" the wife of legendary coach Bill Bowerman but, even after Bill had passed away (I believe it was 2000?), we kept in touch and we visited periodically over the phone.

       

      At any rate, her sons, John and Jay, called me to let me know.  I had exchanged a few e-mails with Jay a couple of times when Bill passed away but, kinda funny, John had no idea who I was!  Anyways, I had a nice chat with Jay and we talked a little bit about the accomplishment his father had.  Later last night, I called Kenny Moore, the author of "Bill Bowerman--Men of Oregon".  Kenny was the one who dragged this accomplished track distance runner of the 1970s by the name of Frank Shorter into running marathons and, well, the rest is history.  Kenny himself finished 4th in that Munich Olympic marathon.  He was right there with Bowerman with all this jogging movement and Waffle sole development.  We talked quite a bit about "how it all began" and all those original joggers in this country.  A few months prior to this, I called and talked with Gary Lydiard, Arthur Lydiard's son.  He was there when Lydiard started first ever organized jogging club.

       

      Just last week, this guy from ZAP Fitness sent me a few years' worth of old Runner's World magazines from 1970s.  Been reading some of them and I'm actually absolutely convinced--and I know I'll get crucified with some people here by saying this but I'll put my foot in my mouth--; if you, especially a fit young man of mid-30s, can't break 4-hours for the marathon, you're doing something wrong.  I was reading none other than "Ask Lydiard" column of RW back in the 1978.  One guy said he's very busy, having to work 8~12 hours a day, said he's been running 2~3 miles a day with 8~10 miles on weekend and he's doing sub-4!  I really think most of today's so-called training programs are not well-balanced.  Majority of "runners" are doing one or two things too much and not enough of other things; program is not well-balanced.  Just this past weekend, we went around the lake and there was a race going on.  My daughter saw this guy running and, kinda mean but laughing about him with the way he ran--sitting in a bucket and not pushing the ground.  You can run 100 miles a week and not improve much if you're doing all those running "wrong".  They might do Yosso 800 but misunderstand the concept of that workout--making it very hard workout but perhaps pushing too much.  Their fitness level may be not adequate and they may turn it into a 10-minute-mile pace of a death march.  I'm not saying this is you; but you would need to take a hard look at what kind of training you've been doing.  Just a quick suggestion--you shouldn't really think about what pace you should be training.  The pace should come to you naturally.  If you're trying to figure out what pace you should be running at, chances are; you're runnig at a wrong pace.  The number (improvement) follows once your fitness level improves; you can't improve your fitness level well if you're actually chasing numbers first.

       

      I apologize for not quite answering your original question; but this is something I've been thinking about for quite some time.  Far too many people today are too concerned about what pace they should be training in order to run XXX time for the marathon without realizing that the time is actually the result of what kind of training you've done in the previous years.  The fact, to me, that so many people are actually running so much slower today than, say, 40 years ago kind of tells me that there's something wrong with what we're doing.  Perhaps it could just be a mind-set--I've come across so many thread talking about this "genetics" or "talent" as if you need some special genes in order to break 4-hours for the marathon.  All you need is sensible balanced training program and discipline to follow it.  If you've done your homework, the time will come.  There's no shortcut.

        FWIW I just ran my 2'nd the other day (Vermont, same as you I believe). My first was last October. I PR'ed by 25 minutes from one to the other, and I attribute 99.999% of that to mileage and most importantly, consistency. I thought I worked hard for the first one, but it was nothing compared to what I did for this one, which is less than I'll do for the next one this October. So, in my (granted minimal) experience, big chunks can be gained with consistent work. Good luck!

        Yes, you do smell like that.

          One of my dear friends just passed away--she was 96 years old, mind you...  Barbara Bowerman was the wife of the late Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike and the one who spread the concept of "jogging" throughout the US.  She had been a good friend of mine for nearly 20 years now; of course, at first, she was "just" the wife of legendary coach Bill Bowerman but, even after Bill had passed away (I believe it was 2000?), we kept in touch and we visited periodically over the phone.

           

          At any rate, her sons, John and Jay, called me to let me know.  I had exchanged a few e-mails with Jay a couple of times when Bill passed away but, kinda funny, John had no idea who I was!  Anyways, I had a nice chat with Jay and we talked a little bit about the accomplishment his father had.  Later last night, I called Kenny Moore, the author of "Bill Bowerman--Men of Oregon".  Kenny was the one who dragged this accomplished track distance runner of the 1970s by the name of Frank Shorter into running marathons and, well, the rest is history.  Kenny himself finished 4th in that Munich Olympic marathon.  He was right there with Bowerman with all this jogging movement and Waffle sole development.  We talked quite a bit about "how it all began" and all those original joggers in this country.  A few months prior to this, I called and talked with Gary Lydiard, Arthur Lydiard's son.  He was there when Lydiard started first ever organized jogging club.

           

          Just last week, this guy from ZAP Fitness sent me a few years' worth of old Runner's World magazines from 1970s.  Been reading some of them and I'm actually absolutely convinced--and I know I'll get crucified with some people here by saying this but I'll put my foot in my mouth--; if you, especially a fit young man of mid-30s, can't break 4-hours for the marathon, you're doing something wrong.  I was reading none other than "Ask Lydiard" column of RW back in the 1978.  One guy said he's very busy, having to work 8~12 hours a day, said he's been running 2~3 miles a day with 8~10 miles on weekend and he's doing sub-4!  I really think most of today's so-called training programs are not well-balanced.  Majority of "runners" are doing one or two things too much and not enough of other things; program is not well-balanced.  Just this past weekend, we went around the lake and there was a race going on.  My daughter saw this guy running and, kinda mean but laughing about him with the way he ran--sitting in a bucket and not pushing the ground.  You can run 100 miles a week and not improve much if you're doing all those running "wrong".  They might do Yosso 800 but misunderstand the concept of that workout--making it very hard workout but perhaps pushing too much.  Their fitness level may be not adequate and they may turn it into a 10-minute-mile pace of a death march.  I'm not saying this is you; but you would need to take a hard look at what kind of training you've been doing.  Just a quick suggestion--you shouldn't really think about what pace you should be training.  The pace should come to you naturally.  If you're trying to figure out what pace you should be running at, chances are; you're runnig at a wrong pace.  The number (improvement) follows once your fitness level improves; you can't improve your fitness level well if you're actually chasing numbers first.

           

          I apologize for not quite answering your original question; but this is something I've been thinking about for quite some time.  Far too many people today are too concerned about what pace they should be training in order to run XXX time for the marathon without realizing that the time is actually the result of what kind of training you've done in the previous years.  The fact, to me, that so many people are actually running so much slower today than, say, 40 years ago kind of tells me that there's something wrong with what we're doing.  Perhaps it could just be a mind-set--I've come across so many thread talking about this "genetics" or "talent" as if you need some special genes in order to break 4-hours for the marathon.  All you need is sensible balanced training program and discipline to follow it.  If you've done your homework, the time will come.  There's no shortcut.

           

           

          Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful responses!

           

          Nobby, I'm with you, I see no reason why I can't break four hours, I'm just not sure what is the best was to get there. I know four hours isn't  land speed record or anything, so perhaps I am overthinking the whole thing and just need to get in more miles with less worry about tempo or track work and see where that takes me.

          Have you qualified for Boston? I want to interview you!

          Message me!

           

          www.miloandthecalf.com

           

            Not sure what the best part of Nobby's responses are, his stories about past running greats which give me the chills, or that he has this tough love about running the right way, and not too much "back slapping",  "you can do it" Rah Rah. Hope I get to meet him in person one day.
            Scout7


            CPT Curmudgeon

               

              Nobby, I'm with you, I see no reason why I can't break four hours, I'm just not sure what is the best was to get there. I know four hours isn't  land speed record or anything, so perhaps I am overthinking the whole thing and just need to get in more miles with less worry about tempo or track work and see where that takes me.

               

              Yes you are.  The way to get to where you want to be is to do it a whole hell of a lot.

               

              There's no magic in intervals or tempo runs.  It's still just running.

                Sean, going back to your log, if you only add a mid week 10-12miler to your recent marathon prep would probably get you there.  I know first hand the tough part can be getting the 90 min - 2 hours block in the middle of the work week.
                  Sean, going back to your log, if you only add a mid week 10-12miler to your recent marathon prep would probably get you there.  I know first hand the tough part can be getting the 90 min - 2 hours block in the middle of the work week.

                   

                   

                  After I recover from this marathon, building in a midweek long run is goal number one. I have no idea how I will fit it in, but I will.

                  Have you qualified for Boston? I want to interview you!

                  Message me!

                   

                  www.miloandthecalf.com

                   

                    Don't focus on the far off future, best case scenario.  You are bound to be disappointed in the short-term.  The common theme I see with runners who make huge strides in improvement is that they revel in the short-term goals and going through the process.

                     

                    I like this comment as well as mikeymike's - there's only one way to find out.  And I've personally observed Greg_C's progress and he is right on. 

                     

                    I can't imagine a scenario barring weather or locusts where you put together 5 months of 50+ peaking at 65 mile weeks and you NOT running sub 4:00.

                     


                    HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                        

                       

                      I can't imagine a scenario barring weather or locusts where you put together 5 months of 50+ peaking at 65 mile weeks and you NOT running sub 4:00.

                       

                      Suppose Trent shows up at his marathon...

                      It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


                      A Dance with Monkeys

                           1. (exodus 7:14–25˄) water turned to blood killing all fish and other water life. (Dam)
                           2. (exodus 8:1–8:15˄) frogs (Tsifardeah)
                           3. (exodus 8:16–19˄) lice or gnats (Kinim)
                           4. (exodus 8:20–30˄) flies or beasts (Arov)
                           5. (exodus 9:1–7˄) disease on livestock (Dever)
                           6. (exodus 9:8–12˄) unhealable boils (Shkhin)
                           7. (exodus 9:13–35˄) hail mixed with fire (Barad)
                           8. (exodus 10:1–20˄) locusts (Arbeh)
                           9. (exodus 10:21–29˄) darkness (Choshech)
                          10. (exodus 11˄,12˄) death of the first-born of all Egyptian families. (Makat b'chorot)
                          Okay, I know those are the plagues sent by God on the Egyptians to let the Hebrew slaves go, but what on earth does the stuff in brackets mean?  I've been a Christian for many years and I've never seen those words before.  Unless, of course, I have and I just currently forget. 

                          'No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch'

                           

                          "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"  - Peter Maher

                           

                          "Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run."  -Monte Davis


                          HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                            Okay, I know those are the plagues sent by God on the Egyptians to let the Hebrew slaves go, but what on earth does the stuff in brackets mean?  I've been a Christian for many years and I've never seen those words before.  Unless, of course, I have and I just currently forget. 

                            They took the original Torah, in its original English, and they translated it into Hebrew, so the Jews could understand it better.

                            It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                              Okay, I know those are the plagues sent by God on the Egyptians to let the Hebrew slaves go, but what on earth does the stuff in brackets mean?  I've been a Christian for many years and I've never seen those words before.  Unless, of course, I have and I just currently forget. 

                               

                               

                              That'd be Hebrew, I believe, these are words recited for the plagues at the passover seder.

                               

                               

                               

                              Have you qualified for Boston? I want to interview you!

                              Message me!

                               

                              www.miloandthecalf.com

                               


                              A Dance with Monkeys

                                Heh.  One of these posters has it right.