New to speed work: Help needed in choosing appropriate training paces (Read 1042 times)


    Hi all!


    I am happy to find these forums. It looks like there is loads of helpful people and info here!


    I was hoping you could help me make some decisions regarding my training paces for my current marathon cycle.




    I have been running a bit over 2 years. I am 42, female, healthy weight (but could lose more to be faster, for sure!) I am currently injury-free and have been for the past marathon cycle / past 6 months. YAY! Smile I cross-train a bit with yoga (average once/wk), bike riding (average once/wk when it was nicer weather, but haven't been lately), skiing, walking (1-2 x/wk), but I simply love to run. I love it.


    Over the past 6 months, I've averaged maybe 25-35 miles per week, with a couple months of the recent marathon cycle at 35-43. Training runs vary from 10:30-12:15 pace except for the very longest runs (which I'll run even slower the first half, as slow as 13:00) or very, very hilly runs (which are more likely to be in the 12:00-12:30 range.)


    I most like running longer distances. My favorite runs are 12-15 miles. I've run a couple shorter races (10k, 5k) for fun/social reasons, but mostly like marathons and half marathons. I am slow, and I am fine with that. I am just running for myself. I'd like to get just a bit faster, and I know I have lots of room for improvement. So, precision isn't needed, but I'd just like to make plans that make sense for me and will lead me to run a bit faster in upcoming races, as well as repeating the positive experience I had in my most recent marathon (ending strong, no walking, no bonk, no wall, etc.)


    I've done VERY little speed work before this week. Smile I have often "finished fast" for fun on long runs, sometimes running the last 5 miles above HM pace and/or the last couple miles at 5k pace. (I know this is not advisable, lol.) Other times, I might run at 5k-10k or HM pace for shorter runs (3-6 miles) for fun with friends or just for no reason. I run serious hills regularly. I've goofed around with 100m strides during runs. It's all very informal. The only formal speed work I've done was when HH plans goal for running some miles at goal marathon pace.




    10k: 57:30

    HM: 2:11

    Marathon: 5:02:57


    I've run two marathons:


    5/8/2012 Pittsburgh: 5:21 and change


    (I didn't know what I was doing. Was aiming for 4:45, but it was crazy hot, and I was undertrained. Major bonking in the later miles. Trained on HH Marathon 3, which was just 3 days/wk running, peaking at around 40 miles, with just one 20 miler for me due to injury/adjustments to the plan, but had done several 17-19 runs as well. Had been struggling with injuries that entire first 18 mos of running.


    11/18/1012 Philadelphia: 5:02:57


    Was aiming for 4:59:59, but was happy with my race anyway. No bonk. Super fun run. A fair result for my training. Trained on HH Int. 1 -- followed plan closely. No injuries! Awesome plan for me. Peaked at 43 miles per week, with a couple 20 milers and more 17-19 runs as well. I was planning to pace at 11:00 (and had trained for that) for 4:48ish, allowing some room for slowing down, portapotties, etc, but I last-minute decided to run the first dozen miles with friends doing the HM, and we ended up more like 11:20ish, and I ended up just sticking closer to that pacing for the most part, with a bit faster miles 10-16 when I'd ditched my friends, and then slowing back down a bit the last 10 miles. Overall, I was really happy with the race. If I'd started a bit faster, I might have finished a bit faster, but I had a great time and PRed by a lot, so that was all good.


    I don't have any other relevant race times, because the only other races I've done have either been running with my kids or just goofing around, or done as training such as a 10k in the middle of a short 12 mile "long run" during marathon training (I still got 58ish, and it was on hills).


    I have my next marathon at the end of March. March 24, 2013, Reston, VA.


    (Yes, I know this is a lot of marathons in a short time, but I really enjoy them, and I really want to do this March race for many reasons. It's a done deal. It's my hometown's first marathon, a great time of the year, etc. And I WILL NOT EVER run another hot weather marathon, so if I didn't do March, I'd have to wait until late fall, which I don't want to do.)


    I also have a local HM coming up Jan 6. (Which will be at the end of Wk 7 of the 18 week marathon plan, so works well as a tune-up race. I am comfortable with my HM goal pace of 10:00 which is what I PR'ed at. If I have any juice left at the end, I will speed up, but I'd be happy to match my PR, since that is a fast course -- mostly downhill -- and this is a flat course.)


    The March marathon will be rolling hills. The local HM in Jan is nearly all flat.


    I live in WV, so I can and do run serious hills as much as I like, but when marathon training, I've mostly stuck to the flat rail trail except for about 20% of my mileage (usually one or two short runs weekly) which are done on my VERY serious neighborhood hills (much steeper and longer than anything I'd face in any road marathon, so not sure applicable they are to training, but I figure they are good for me in any event, plus they are pretty and fun and close to my house!)


    So, my big question is how to choose appropriate speed work paces for this cycle!


    The HH plans I've done haven't had formal speed work other than goal-marathon-pace runs. (I used 11:00 as GMP for this most recent cycle.)


    I was happy with HH Int 1 plan. I responded well to running 5 days/wk, and would like to continue with 5 or 6 days/wk indefinitely. I like 8-15 mile runs most of all.


    So, I think I am going to use the Hanson Beginner Plan (from the new book) for this coming marathon. I'm tecnically in Week 3 right now, which is just base building phase (weeks 1-5), which works well since I can just run more than the plan calls for (which is fine according to the book) and experiment with the speed work, which will be new to me. 


    Weeks 6-10 have weekly "speed repeats" which are done at 5k race pace. Then weeks 11-17 have "stregth repeats" which are done at GMP-10 seconds. So, I really need to choose these two paces fairly soon!


    If I look at the chart in the Hanson book, or at McMIllan calculator, my HM and  10k times put me at around 4:30 for Goal Marathon Time. I think this is unrealistic for me! I worked very hard to get close to 5:00 this past marathon! Training at 11:00 for pace runs was pretty tough! GMP of 4:30 will put me under 10:00 for GMP and long tempo runs, and I think that is way beyond me at this point!


    I am easing into the speed work by going ahead and doing 5k speed work for these few weeks before Week 6 when it starts officially. So, this past week I did 6 x 400m 5k pace intervals, using the 8:50 pace (based on 28:00 goal 5k). This was manageable (17 days post-marathon, 10 days back into running post 7 day rest post-race. No injuries, back to about 60% mileage first week running, 80% this week). The first official speed workout is 12 x 400, and I think I'll be able to handle it once I am into the groove of pacing myself during recovery intervals, etc. (I ran my recovery intervals and wu/cd miles faster than I should have this time, and I still felt fine. Could have done more. But, to have done 12, I think I'd have needed to slow down those non-speed intervals.) So, as far as I can tell so far, the 8:50 pace is probably reasonable for me for the speed work. I expect/hope it will get easier as the weeks go on as well, since I rarely run fast, and so presumably will get more efficient with practice.


    My big question, though, is how to choose an appropriate pace for all those "tempo" miles in the Hanson plan and also the other "strength" intervals. All those miles are based on GMP! I need a GMP!


    So, first of all, does GMP and the 5k pace need to be roughly equivalent in those charts? Or, is it OK if I do the 5k stuff at the (above detailed) 5k pace that is working for me, and then SLOW it down more than would be equivalent for the paces based off of GMP?


    Also, since the goal marathon will have rolling hills through the entire course, how much should I adapt my training runs? If, for instance, I think I could run a flat marathon in 4:45, then should I plan to run this one in 4:59 instead? Or, should I just go with a 4:45 goal, and plan to do some/many of my tempo (pace) and other miles on terrain as close to the rolling hills as I can find? This is a bit complicated by my area, since I have easy access to very flat runs (along a river or a lake) or very hilly runs (everywhere else, lol), but mellow rolling hills such as those in Reston, VA, are hard to find around here. In fact, I have not found any routes at all that very closely mimic that terraing. I could probably find some short runs (and could repeat them) for using for maybe one run a week, but it'd get boring fast. So, given that, should I plan to run a bit faster on flats (how much faster?) and a bit slower on steeper/hillier routes? This is getting very complicated!

    I guess my main question is, what should I use as a GMP for training purposes, and then, what should my ACTUAL GMP be for that hilly course, and should those two things be the same for sure, or should I adjust the training pace according to terrain?


    I am sorry for my long, rambling post. I hope I have provided enough info for some of you to be able to help guide me in the right directions!


    THANK YOU for taking the time to read this and to help me out!


    ps. I am trying to upload my Garmin data into the training logs, but I recently had to replace my Garmin, so only very recent data is in there, I think, as I don't think I can upload from my older Garmin, as it is fairly dead. I will try to keep this updated in the future, as I can see from reading other posts that it is helpful for you to advise if the data is there!

    PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

    Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

    Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan

      Geez, no one has responded to you yet?  Wonder why... ;o)


      I think your "request" is a tough one.  All due respect, I think you're asking contradicting objectives.  You seem to keep saying "I'm slow but I'm fine with it.  I'm perfectly happy where I man..."  But you want to do some speed training and you want to be faster.  So you ARE not fine with being slow???  It seems to me that this is the number one psychological hurdle many, many, many people today face.  We had this cultural development back in the late 1980s and 1990s that "everybody is a winner..."; "it doesn't matter how fast or slow you are..."; that somehow rolls into "no need for speed, how dare you talking about getting faster...or 6-hour marathon is 'bad'..."  It's like everybody has this huge chip on his/her shoulder.  I've seen a post in the galaxy far, far away (because the "recent" threads go away so quickly nowadays...) that some very experienced and knowledgeable contributors were being criticized for trying to help "slower" runners.  There's something very fundamentally wrong with that picture; nobody was saying that 5 or 6-hour marathon is a sin; yet someone was ranting (that's my expertise) that people finishing a marathon in 5 hours look fresher than those who finish it in 2:30 (though I strongly beg to differ)...  Well, if THAT is a goal, you can take 6 days to run a 26-miler and you'll look even fresher!! (especially that you should have some 18 full aid stations as well)  Let's face it; probably everybody wants to be faster than he/she is right now (on their own scale of things).  Those who don't know how and/or don't even want to work on it would come out and say "Those grapes are sour; anybody who tries to eat them are arrogant..."  I happen to believe ANYBODY can break 4 hours if you play the card right; so, unless your definition of "slow" is 3:20 or something, I don't buy people saying "I'm slow and can't run any faster..." business.


      That said, some of the most intriguing things to me in the past couple of years is that a lot of people today somehow fall into the category where genera physiology of training don't seem to apply.  In general, as you start out running, your body would go into a shock; it requires more oxygen than anything you'd ever done.  So it would try to compensate and adapt to that situation (much like going to high altitude).  So after a while, your body will develop oxygen carrying capacity further and further.  This would allow you to go further and faster AEROBICALLY.  Now I've come across many people who run 3, 4, or even 5 hours, if not every weekend, every other weekend...or quite frequently.  To me, throughout my 40+ years of running experience, if I can get up to an hour comfortably, I'm getting stronger; if I can get up to 1:30 comfortably, stronger still.  And if I can get up to 2-hours of running comfortably, I'll be as good as gold--I can manage most workouts comfortably.  This is because all these long runs would, well, basically make you stronger and very fit.  And those who run more than that?  You would THINK that they'll even get more stronger???  But they don't...  Something is being counter-productive.  I've come to a conclusion, with several other "colleagues" of mine, that anything beyond 3-hours would most probably be counter-productive and, possibly, even not beneficial.  I've seen this mentioned over and over again here at RA message board lately--and I'm glad for that--but more people seem to be paying more attention to total weekly mileage now than one big effort.  Now, I've been criticized here before by telling people what's right and what's wrong; as long as the person is happy about doing what he/she is doing, why criticize?  Well, if you absolutely love plodding along 3, 4, 5 hours week in week out, and feel perfectly fine about "being slow", who am I to suggest you not do that and train properly?  


      Another very intriguing thing with your case is; hill training.  Again and again, we all say that hill training is speed training in disguise.  I'm against doing too much endless repeats of interval-type training.  But hills are probably even more beneficial that guy-wrecking oxygen sucking interval training.  Hills would strengthen your legs and develop proper form without some of the adverse effects.  And you've been doing plenty of hills, it sounds like, and yet you don't seem to be getting any benefit from it.  It's not unusual to see people chopping a minute or more off per mile on their long run once they start doing some form of hill training--because their legs are stronger and their technique is more sound that they can gain a few inches to their strides naturally.  The only possible explanation, not that I'm saying this is it, is that you're not doing it correctly.  People often say "practice makes perfect."  I don't believe that; it's "PERFECT practice makes perfect."  You can keep doing things wrongly and you'll never improve.  Just because you throw some hills in your runs, or run over hilly courses may not mean you're getting proper benefits of hill training.  I don't know--just from you saying that you run hills, I can't see what you're doing, how you're doing it.  


      A part of the reasons for this phenomena is that far too many people rush to run a marathon (again, I do know some people criticize such a comment because "if I want to run a marathon, I want to run a marathon and how dare you telling us not to!"  Well, if that's the case, I really have nothing to say...).  People, experts in the field, used to think that the marathon is the final event that distance runners train for.  Not just simply because it's advantageous to get your speed to maximum before you try out a marathon; but also they understood that it takes certain amount of development to run a marathon.  I don't necessarily agree with this theory but there's a good point in it too.  Physiologically, some of the endurance-related developments take longer than others.  Just because some elite runners train 2-hours every weekend and tackle a marathon in, say, 5 years; doesn't necessarily mean then you'll do 4-hour long run every weekend so you can do a marathon in 2 years--it just won't work that way.  Just as you cannot substitute 2-hour long run at easy pace with 1-hour run faster.  It's a totally different physiology.  It's not a math quiz.  It's a tough--but fair--game.  If you want something, quite often somthing's gotta give.  Many often mention this "happy" feeling--"I'm perfectly happy with doing 4-hour run..."--but it's the same argument; I love chocolate and I feel happy eating tons of it but I want to lose weight too...  Well, something's gotta give.  Sometimes you've got to practice discipline.  I know someone who loves to race.  Every time I told her not to race and she went out and raced anyway, she came back with an injury.  Sometimes you've got to restrict what you love doing in order to achieve something you absolutely want to achieve.  


      Looking at your training (as described by you), it's even more intriguing because at first I thought yours would be a typical training-too-hard case.  But in fact, your range of paces, 10:30-12:15, seems right-on.  Unless of course you're doing the long run at 10:30...!!  If you are, that's your target marathon pace (I'm talking about your target, or more VO2Max-appropriate pace of 4:24 based on your 10k time).  At any rate, your 5:0X marathon time is a good half an hour slower than your where-you-should-be marathon time.  That, to me, shows that it's not so much you need "speed"--you have plenty of speed to run 4:24 marathon.  You need something else.  One thought I have here is; 5-hour marathon is roughly 11-minute pace.  So most probably that's the pace you're doing your long run--I wouldn't know since I can't see your log.  If so, you might be starting a marathon thinking it's going to be hard and there's going to be a wall and all that; that your mind is shutting it off subconsciously.  If that is the case, all the speed training in the world is not going to get you down to 4:30 marathon.  


      One other thought; you are putting a cart ahead of a horse--which most people do anyways.  You pick 4:59:59 as a goal marathon time (well, you should be doing much better than that...) and create a plan according to that.  Instead, your goal time should come based on how your training is going.  Anybody can pick 3:45 marathon training plan and pace.  Anybody can do that and follow it for a while.  Just see how many can't even achieve that?  There's a training plan for 3:45 or sub-4 or sub-5.  And there's the appropriate training plan FOR YOU.  There's a huge difference.  In other words, if you do everything right, the time will come to you.


        Thank you for taking the time to write all that.


        I imagine it is difficult to provide advice to someone at such a different place in their running than you are! And, I am sure I am writing all kinds of contradictory things. I am new to this, and muddling through, so I appreciate you bearing with me and trying to help.

        I guess what I was trying (poorly) to communicate about being OK with being slow is that I don't aspire to be a BQing marathoner and I don't think I am a peer of you folks who are running so fast.


        I really admire those who can do that, and I appreciate the skill and effort required to do that. But, for me, I am very happy to be my OWN best runner.


        I am rather slow COMPARED TO many other runners, so I guess I was trying to signal that I recognize that.


        But, I'd like to be FASTER than I currently am.


        I'd like to improve relative to myself.


        I am not particularly focused on how I stack up relative to OTHERS speed-wise because I understand and am fine with being slower than many, but I feel good about where I am on my journey. I came HERE to help guide me on the next leg of the journey, which, now that I have, in my mind, satisfactorily completed a marathon, is to get a bit faster. I'd be thrilled to run a 4:45 or, Lord willing, a 4:30 . . . I would LIKE to trim some time off this time if feasible, and would LIKE to continue to get just a bit faster over the coming months and years, maybe shaving a few minutes off each race, or more if I have some dramatic breakthrough. 


        I guess I would like to get an "A" for effort if this running thing were graded, even while acknowledging that my "A" effort will likely only ever achieve a "C" or "D" in the relative rating of race placement. I hope I have better explained what I meant.


        I would imagine that while my long runs are plodding in speed relative to YOU and many/most others here, they are actually quite hard for ME. I do put in great effort, not just great time. I think, in general, that I push myself adequately in running, and, if anything, I had previously pushed too hard in every run, leading to injuries and thus the inability to run the volume I desired and needed for better marathoning. The more experienced runners that I know IRL had urged me to slow down for most of my training.


        I will try to make my RA log public, so hopefully (within a few minutes), you will be able to read the last few weeks of training (as that's all I've managed to import so far). My Garmin died just days after my recent marathon, so there is no data for about 2.5 weeks, during which I manually entered data. Those were just recovery weeks, and running so little has me running too fast, I know. The race itslef and a couple weeks prior are there, too.


        I ran w/o a HRM for the past 6 months, until just this week when I got a new one, so my HR data is missing until this week's runs.


        Based on 18 +/-  mos of running WITH a HR monitor, I can tell you that I believe I put a lot out there in my runs. my MAX HR is right at 200, RHR is in the upper 50s, and the first 18 mos of running, I generally ran with a very high HR. That 10:00 m/m HM I ran 8 mos into training was at an AVG HR of 173. For 2hr11min. 


        I would typically run in the 160s/170s back when my HR monitor was working (until 6 mos ago). Talking to more experienced runners/athletes, I kept hearing that I should run most of my miles slower to get a lower HR. I worked on that. I would WORK hard to slow down enough to get it to the 150s, and be all proud of myself when I managed that.


        My first marathon round, only running 3 days/wk, I ran long runs around 11:10 (at that time, 20-40 sec slower than GMP, which was unreachable on so little training). I'd start slower, closer to 12, but often end faster than 11, or even faster than HM pace, closer to 5k pace, even on very long (19-20) runs. Very high HR, of course. My legs were always fresh. I think that cycle had a lot of problems. Sad


        My second marathon round, knowing a little more, running 5 days/wk on HH Int 1, and long runs on tired legs, I followed advice I'd read and stuck to 1-2 min slower than GMP (GMP of 11:00, so 12:00 to 13:00), except for occasional fast finishes. On runs over 14 miles, I'd generally start out in the slow end of the range, then allow myself to speed up towards the faster end for the second half, so generally ending with avg pace close to 12:00 because, again, I'd often speed up quite a bit the last 5 miles. I don't know my HR in these runs as I didn't have a HR monitor the last 6 months.


        I now have a HR monitor again, and so far, I see that my HR has probably dropped 15-25 beats (into my zone 2) for my easy pace of 12:00.


        Today I am about to do a 12 miler based on Hanson's guidelines of it being a long workout, and I will go ahead and run a bit faster (it's relatively short, anyway), so hopefully I'll get some good HR numbers for 12:00 - 11:30, which is today's plan.


        If anyone has any insights into my pacing quiestion, or suggestions for a good online coaching reference, I'd really appreciate it. I might just need to hire a coach to help me with these pacing decisions.


        Thanks much.

        PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

        Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

        Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan

        100K or Bust

          Brevity would help. Trying to pick out what's relevant as far as your training is taking a lot time.

          2017 Goals: for races not to be exercises in futility



            so, here we are today in deepest, darkest Runningahead, & are lucky enough to be witnessing one of nature's true delight's. which of these superb creatures will win in the Battle of the Paragraph?  will it be Steph (Antipedius Verbiosium), or could it be Nobby (Obscurous Marathoner Referencus Lydiardus)?


            i just hope it's a fair fight.



            My leg won't stop mooing.


            i think i've got a calf injury.

              Brevity would help. Trying to pick out what's relevant as far as your training is taking a lot time.


              I think maybe a Table of Contents and Chapters would also help.


              Might help with Nobby's typical posts, too.


                I don't have the extensive coaching/physiology study experience of many people on these boards, but I did want to chime in since not too long ago I was where you are in terms of pace. At the end of 2010 my PRs were 56Tight lippedx for 10K, 2:15 for HM, and 4:56 for the marathon.  


                - I agree with your general idea to use a somewhat tougher plan that incorporates speedwork for your upcoming marathon, but I do wonder a bit about the appropriateness of the Hansons plan for your current level of fitness/speed.  It is an extremely demanding plan with a lot of speedwork (as I'm sure you know from reading through it).  The difficulty isn't getting to week 1 ready for week 1; the difficulty is getting to week 11 or week 15 ready for those types of workouts.  Week 11 features 6x1-mile repeats, an 8 mile MP run, and a 16 mile long run.  This would be a tough week for many runners, and it's especially hard when you're considering that your 6x1 mile repeats session would take about an hour, while for someone closer to a 7:00 pace would complete the same session in 35:00.  This is a very different volume of hard running in terms of time, even though it's the same in terms of number of miles.  If you're set on using the 'bones' of the plan, it might not be a bad idea to make a few adjustments to incorporate the fact that your workouts will take a little longer than what they probably had in mind.


                -The fact that you can run a couple miles at the end of a long run at your 5K pace makes me question if you're running your shorter races as hard as you could be.  I will do progression runs/fast finish runs that end around HM pace or a bit faster, but it is a rather tough workout.  I know 2 miles at my 5K pace at the end of a long run would be just about impossible for me, and definitely impossible unless I was in some sort of race setting.


                - Re your actual question on speedwork paces: I would personally go with the 8:50 pace that your 10K suggests for shorter speedwork (the 'speed' workouts in the Hanson plan.)  For the 'strength' workouts (ie the long MP runs) I would base it on a 4:45 goal, which is a 10:52 pace, and then adjust a bit for terrain-- ie run a little faster (~10:30) if you're running on a perfectly flat course in perfect weather, and a little slower (~11:15) if you're running a hillier course.  The book suggests that you'll find out pretty quickly if this is an appropriate pace-- if you find the MP runs tough you may need to scale down your goal a little, and on race day because of the course you may need to run a bit slower than the MP you've been training for because of the terrain, but I think you're better off training to your fitness and then adjusting for the course rather than slowing down in training because you expect the course to be tough.  This is just what I would do; I am happy to be corrected if this isn't the best way to go.  


                -You know this, I am sure, but the key is more miles, more miles, more miles (with a sprinkling of speedwork).  A bunch of MP miles could be the key for someone trying to get from a 3:05 to a 2:59, but to get from say 5:00 to 4:45 I think it has much more to do with volume of running.  If you could get up to 8-10 hours a week of running and hold that volume for a couple months, I think you would likely see some good results.

                Up next: Front Runners New York LGBT Pride 5-mile  06/28 |  NYRR Team Championships: Women (5M) 08/02

                Goal race: NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10K 10/25


                  Thanks much!

                  I think the plan to use 8:50 for speed work and 10:52 for GMP is great. I appreciate you taking the time to read all that and offer your feedback. It is encouraging. I really appreciate the feedback on adjusting for terrain. I will follow those guidelines you've offered, and it was really helpful.


                  I will try to be briefer in subsequent posts. It is hard for me to guess what aspects of my history are relevant to you for advising me, so I obviously erred on the side of writing too much. I apologize.


                  I did a 3/1 Hal Higdon style fast finish 12 mile run today at 11:30, finishing at HM pace, so 10:00 for the last 3 miles (last mile faster than that, 10k pace, just because), and it went well. My HR is definitely much lower at comparable paces than it was a year ago, so I guess I have more to give, and I will be working on that.


                  Thanks again!

                  PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

                  Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

                  Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan

                    If you're just trying to get  a "little faster" you could accomplish that by simply upping your overall weekly mileage, no real need to any speedwork such as VO2 max or the like, that's the short answer.


                    Follower of Forrest

                      In the book, Hansons recommends using actual 5k paces instead of equivalent pace calculations.  For the MP...from your account it sounds like you might have "left some on the course" during the Philly marathon.  Doing the MP training prescribed by Hansons could very well help you to unleash that potential.

                      6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi


                      A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man



                        In the book, Hansons recommends using actual 5k paces instead of equivalent pace calculations.  For the MP...from your account it sounds like you might have "left some on the course" during the Philly marathon.  Doing the MP training prescribed by Hansons could very well help you to unleash that potential.


                        Thanks all! I appreciate your feedback!


                        Yes, I have read the book, unfortunately, I've never actually raced a 5k. Clown  (Up until recently, I had always said I hate the first 3 miles of every run, so why would I race for just 3 miles?! LOL, now I like all the miles fairly well, so maybe I am ready for a 5k!)


                        I think my 57:30 10k race is probably fair for a close approximation of my current best effort, so I was going with an equivalent to that (which is also very close to an equivalent to my PB HM time).


                        I know it would have been good to have some 5k times! After the March marathon, I will make sure to get some 5k & 10k races in over the summer/early fall. I know it'd be good for me!


                        I am rather enthused about the Hansons approach. I'm going to give it a go, and learn something from it, and I know I'll have plenty of room for improvement for #4, lol. Always room for improvement!




                        I'll be looking forward to unleashing my potential!! Blush

                        PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

                        Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

                        Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan

                          I am not a coach nor do I know much about running, but If you can run a 10K at 8:50 pace, 10:45 pace may not be an appropriate MP in the Hansons plan.  That might be a bit slow, I think it should be closer to 9:30 than 10:30.   


                            I am not a coach nor do I know much about running, but If you can run a 10K at 8:50 pace, 10:45 pace may not be an appropriate MP in the Hansons plan.  That might be a bit slow, I think it should be closer to 9:30 than 10:30.   


                            My best 10k pace was 9:12, best HM pace 10:00. Those two paces seem fairly comparable using the various calculators.


                            I used McMillan calculator and the chart in Hansons to convert that those 8:50 5k pace.


                            I have an HM at an ideal time in the Hansons cycle (end of wk 7), so hopefully that will give me a more recent solid HM race pace to guage things.


                            I'd sure love to run at 9:30 someday! That you think I am anywhere close to that is really encouraging!

                            PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

                            Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

                            Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan



                              Oh, my!!  I think you got my point all wrong...but the way I wrote it, I can easily see why and I apologize.  First of all, most of the original RA people know, number one, I'm not too nice!! (;o))  And also that I am not the one to look down on "slower" runners.  To me, I don't care if someone runs 4-minute-mile or 5-hour marathon.  But my whole point is; IF you are seeking the way to improve, I'll be blunt and tell you what I think.  


                              I think you're on the right track to be doing the kind of training that you had been doing--I don't necessarily see the pace being too fast or too slow (certainly, that's not what I meant about "plodding").  Sometimes I go extremely SLOW on my own runs--it's not rare for me to go as slow as 14-minute-per-mile pace.  My philosophy is: you can NEVER go too slowly.  But that's a bit different from what I mean by "plodding".  Before we go on with that, however, if you are actually pushing very hard at your own level to run the pace that you do--regardless of how fast or slow your pace may be, it may be that you're pushing too hard.  You shouldn't "strain"; you should be "training".  


                              What I tried to convey with "plodding" is that way too many people today jump to run a marathon and do too much training, and the only way to survive such a training regime is to go very slow and never obtain other parts of development by simply saying, "I'm not fast..." and justifying their lack of over-all development.  


                              It was back in late 1950s when New Zealand's Arthur Lydiard experimented with his neighbor's young runners.  Along with coaches like Ernst van Aaken of Germany and Australia's Percy Cerutty, he was one of those early-days athletic coaches to have had his runners to go for distances; volume of training instead of speed.  It seems logic, if you want to run fast, you train fast.  But his experience told him otherwise.  It was when he started to train for a marathon that all his track performances, including a mile, improved.  It is still seen quite regularly; Paula Radcliffe ran her PR in 10000m after she started running marathons.  Yoko Shibui set the current Japan's national record after she started running marathons.  It is the strength developed by marathon training that enabled them to go faster.  This is why you'll see many comments here that people suggest to "run more; mostly easy, sometimes hard."  At any rate, when most middle distance and distance runners at the time were training probably 25-30 miles a week, mostly fast and hard, by interval training, he had his runners run 100 miles a week.  Most "experts" of the time said his runners would "burn out".  Lydiard's runners ended up winning a gold medal in 800m, 1500m, 5000m and a bronze in 1500m and a marathon in 2 Olympiads in 1960s so it didn't do too badly.  But what followed was many hard-core runners around the world tried to run 100 miles a week.  Lydiard was quick to recognize that they were doing TOO MUCH training.  His runners were doing a 22-mile run over the weekend, even middle distance runners.  But they were on their feet for about 2:00-2:30 in duration.  Most who followed took 3 or more hours every weekend, trying to run 22-miler.  It was as early as 1970 when he suggested that time-base training is much more effective.  There is a fine balance of distance (volume) and intensity.  You can go around and around and if quality goes out the window, you may not develop as much or as quickly as you'd like.  This may not necessarily to say that you should train hard all the time; but the point being that you should train within yourself and never beyond your capability.  For example, when doing aerobic training, you should be able to recover 12-24 hours.  This is documented enough by research.  There must be more than one reason why you train 3-times-a-week but IF the reason being that you can't run back-to-back, chances are that your runs might be too hard for you.  For example, if your weekly mileage is 25-35MPW and your long run (your favorite) being 12-15 miles, that's approximately half of your weekly mileage.  And, if your training pace is, say, 12-minute-mile, 15 miles would take 3 hours.  Personally I feel 3-hour is too much for most "recreational" runners.  


                              One other suggestion, after looking at your recent log, is that you did 1:44 a week before and 2:27 2 weeks before your marathon.  Not knowing what you had done prior to that--because I strongly believe it's what you had done 6-20 weeks BEFORE the race that really counts; not so much what you did 2 or 3 weeks before the race.  Often what happens is that they make themselves too tired by piling up some of those "confidence-building" workouts too close to the race that, even though you'd done everything right up until then, that they drag their tired legs to the start line.


                              I helped this middle-aged guy, in his 40s, a few years ago for Akron Marathon.  I actually didn't know I was helping him because I was giving advice to his wife.  They had been doing one of those typical 3 X 20-miler type of training.  His PR had been 5:30 with 4 marathons prior to that.  I cut down their long runs but kept ONE 3-hour run.  I think, if I remember it correctly, they ran up to 14-miles for that.  So they did it once.  They told me that they actually enjoyed this new training plan with hills and some intervals (I think I had given them something like 5 X 400 or 3 X 800 or something like that--very easy and basic--I should still have the plan somewhere in my other laptop...  At any rate, it was a week before the marathon when I received an e-mail from him personally.  He said he had never reached this far into the marathon preparation without sore legs and/or injury buds.  In other words, he went into this marathon with fresh legs.  He ended up running 4:50.  This definitely remains as one of my success coaching stories.  My bet is that, by going easy before the marathon, I would not be surprised--though I still don't know enough about you and what you had done--if you chopped a minute per mile off from your 5:02 marathon.  A half a minute for sure--that'll be good 13 minutes improvement.  Especially when you have 57-minutes 10k PR that indicates 4:30 marathon time.


                                You are actually VERY nice to take the time to help me out!




                                I have uploaded a bunch more older data (from mid-August) for my Training Log, so if you are inclined, you can/could see more history on my runs. You are right that I run long pretty frequently. My 12 mile runs are typically 2:15ish, and my 15 mile runs closer to 3 hours, and I do really like to get one of those in at least once a week. Smile It is good for my head. I just find the runs more pleasurable after the first hour or so. Roll eyes The second and third hours are usually very pleasant for me. The only time they are tough is on occasion if I know it's going to be a 3+ hour run and I am letting my nerves get to me, but if the run is 15 miles or under, I don't worry much and nearly always have a great time. Now, the 4th hour can be either a bitch, or the most fun ever, depending on the moon phase or whatever running gods control my destiny, or whatever. I think that is a major draw for me in the Hansons plan, that I'd get lots of runs in the 10-16 mile range, so in my 2-3 hour zone (about 3 runs of the 12-16 distance per 2 week period for the last many weeks of the plan). The 16 mile runs (every other week in Hansons) would take me right at 3 hours at my planned LR pace (11:30 on flats, 11:40 on rolling hills, etc).


                                Anyway, I have loaded data back to late August. There might be a missing run or two that wasn't on my Garmin, but I don't think so. The majority of my x-t isn't' in there, either, as I rarely use the Garmin for that. (Assume 2 hrs wk easy x-t most week, with lots more mid-Sept to mid-Oct -- 5-10 hrs/wk then, as we were on vacation, lol.)


                                Thanks again, so much, for sharing your thoughts. I'll be re-reading and I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future!

                                PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

                                Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

                                Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan