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Help withTraining plan for Boston (Read 166 times)

    Based on the advice I have been kindly given I am going to eliminate the 29 mile run as part of my marathon training plan. Because running 20 miles worked well for me in doing the half, allowing me to reach my 10 minute mile pace goal, I just thought I could do the same for training for the full and by doing 29 miles, an additional 3 miles further and combining that with some speed work and having chosen a marathon with a downhill course, I should be able to get my  race pace from 10 to 9:20. Instead I will limit my longest runs to 22 miles. I will practice running part of my courses at my marathon goal pace or faster if I can. Because of traffic and hill concerns those runs might be more like at the 3/4 mark rather than at the end - I run from a busy college town out to long stretches of empty country roads. I got my Gamin watch in the mail yesterday and among the many fancy features it has a pacer that will beep if you go slower or faster than the goal pace and it can also do the same for heart rate. I have three books on heart rate training ordered and will use those to help me devise a new plan.

     

    I felt a little discouraged and embarrassed yesterday with all the unfavorable  comments on my original plan. I am not totally confident that I can qualify, I am sure I can do the distance, but  I am not sure if I am ready for the pace. But there is no harm in trying and if I am unsuccessful at least I will have better experience in planing for another attempt . Thanks all for the advice and if anyone else wants to add in I still have time to consider options.


    runktrun

       

      I felt a little discouraged and embarrassed yesterday with all the unfavorable  comments on my original plan. I am not totally confident that I can qualify, I am sure I can do the distance, but  I am not sure if I am ready for the pace. But there is no harm in trying and if I am unsuccessful at least I will have better experience in planing for another attempt . 

       

      Only because many of us have a lot of marathon experience and don't want you to make the same mistakes we did!  We genuinely want to see you succeed!  I think you can do it; and you're right, there is much to be gained in the journey of training, too.  Don't get too caught up in the details, especially the heart rate training since you don't have a baseline of HR at faster paces when you were younger, and make sure to keep your training consistent and do what you need to to stay healthy!  You got this.

      Not running for my health, but in spite of it.

        I don't think anyone here said you can't do it. There was quite a lot of very good advice from seasoned runners. My own $.02 would be to start training now, do much more training on flats/slightly downhill, and much less going uphill. Perhaps all the hills led to an optimal result for the recent half, but there is a trade-off between improving hill-climbing strength at the cost of losing speed on the flats. Many plans call for a weekly run of a few to several miles at marathon pace and you should find a flat route that makes an uninterrupted MP run possible.

         

        I felt a little discouraged and embarrassed yesterday with all the unfavorable  comments on my original plan. I am not totally confident that I can qualify, I am sure I can do the distance, but  I am not sure if I am ready for the pace. But there is no harm in trying and if I am unsuccessful at least I will have better experience in planing for another attempt . Thanks all for the advice and if anyone else wants to add in I still have time to consider options.

          Thanks seilerts! Everyone has been positive in their advice, any doubts come from myself, it is daunting to try something I have not accomplished before. Now I have heard that hills are "speed work in disguise", but I can understand that different muscles might be exercised and it would be fast twitch muscle fibers that you need for speed. Most of my courses start at my house and in this upstate part of New York it is all up and down hills. Some are not so steep or high and there are some fairly flat roads that go for several miles. I can also run downhill to the river valley and there is a flat Greenway trail that goes for many miles across the whole state. But going down to the valley means that I would have that steep climb going back at the end. If I travel a ways in the car  I could do some runs along the Erie canal path up in Rochester.,also flat.  Anyway, a  9:20 pace is what most would consider a jog and as long as I do enough miles at that speed or better I should be alright.

           

          Kilkee, I have not used HR  before, but will see how it works for me. I am not going to force myself beyond my limits just because it says to do so in a book! But I know that to develop speed I must exceed my comfort zone, perhaps for small periods at first and then working up to more. I can tell you that already my heart is beating like mad when I do run up some of the steeper hills! I used to run faster back when I lived on Long Island. I would run along a flat boardwalk near the ocean and by my rough calculation I was doing 7:30 pace miles. But I never maintained that pace for a long race and  that was 20 years ago. In 2012 I did a 5k at a 8:49 pace and came in second in my AG! Only time I ever got an award.


          Half Fanatic 12680

            Based on the advice I have been kindly given I am going to eliminate the 29 mile run as part of my marathon training plan. Because running 20 miles worked well for me in doing the half, allowing me to reach my 10 minute mile pace goal, I just thought I could do the same for training for the full and by doing 29 miles, an additional 3 miles further and combining that with some speed work and having chosen a marathon with a downhill course, I should be able to get my  race pace from 10 to 9:20. Instead I will limit my longest runs to 22 miles. I will practice running part of my courses at my marathon goal pace or faster if I can. Because of traffic and hill concerns those runs might be more like at the 3/4 mark rather than at the end - I run from a busy college town out to long stretches of empty country roads. I got my Gamin watch in the mail yesterday and among the many fancy features it has a pacer that will beep if you go slower or faster than the goal pace and it can also do the same for heart rate. I have three books on heart rate training ordered and will use those to help me devise a new plan.

             

            I felt a little discouraged and embarrassed yesterday with all the unfavorable  comments on my original plan. I am not totally confident that I can qualify, I am sure I can do the distance, but  I am not sure if I am ready for the pace. But there is no harm in trying and if I am unsuccessful at least I will have better experience in planing for another attempt . Thanks all for the advice and if anyone else wants to add in I still have time to consider options.

            These seem like good changes to me.  I think your goal is certainly doable. At 61 years of age, I ran a 3:59 marathon in 2015 so my training might be relevant to your situation. My training included 2 20-mile long runs and one 22-mile run (really just for the psychological peace of mind; I don't think I needed it). In all my long runs I stopped 1-3 times for water/nutrition/bathroom breaks but I was still able to run the marathon without stopping, only walking through some of the late water stations. My long runs were at a 10:00 to 10:30 pace except for a few that incorporated portions at marathon pace. I used a Pfitzinger plan (which I would definitely recommend) that has you incorporating some marathon pace running in some long runs -- the most demanding was an 18-mile run with 14 miles at marathon pace. So I wouldn't try to run all of your long runs at marathon pace. The plan also includes some speed work and tune-up races, but I have never in my life run a 7-minute pace for any distance. My fastest times were 8:00 pace for 5k races.

             

            I think one of the important elements in your plan is your overall weekly mileage. I was doing 50-60 miles a week. Good luck! If you have a good plan, stick to it, and make sure you taper, you can reach your goal. Definitely do some 10ks and/or half marathons as tune-up races to check your progress.

             

            One final point, if you are doing some of your longest runs in the summer when it is hot, you may find it harder to run longer distances at marathon pace. This is where the HR information helps. If you are putting in the effort, even if the pace doesn't show it, you will still be able to reap the training benefits in the Fall when the weather is cooler.

             

            Good luck!

            2016 goals: Finish first HIM, 70.3

             

              Thanks jerseyrunner! It is good to get advice from someone closer to my age. My first thought was that I could not possibly do my long runs at the 10 to 10:30 pace. Then I remembered that I did the HM in Sept. at  a sub 10 pace, so I must admit that I can do it with some good training. As far as 50 to 60 mile weeks, I  don't know if I will have the time to spare, but I plan to get up to 45 mile weeks and maybe will get up to doing longer weeks before I taper down.

               

              Having run a marathon in the past at close to 90 degree heat I know how it decreases performance. I had to walk the last miles of that one and got my worst time ever! This last summer I trained on a lot of 90 degree days to adapt to the heat. Only once during a difficult 17 mile run did I have to walk the last two miles and I redid that run successfully on like an 85 degree day two weeks later. I am glad each summer I set up an above ground pool which I jump into after a hot run!  I also have started to take a 32 oz. bottle of  half water half sports drink on my long summer runs

               

              Used my Garmin for the first time yesterday. I did almost a 4 mile run over a course I have often run. Watching my pace I saw it varied considerably. I tried to be brisk just to check out what readings I would get.  At one point early on it showed a 8:50 pace and then as I started  a upward slope a few feet later I saw my pace slow to 12, although I perceived no change in effort. My pace was 10:47 for the course, but I have done a 9:41 pace for this course in the past with my best time. The monitor shows 47 as my average resting rate and says my rate was 146 during my run. Now according to the formula my max rate is 155 and supposedly this run was at like a 95% effort. I guess training is supposed to be more like 70%. However, I did not feel much discomfort at my pace and although I was breathing heavy at some points I think I could have carried on a conversation for almost all points of the run. In my past experience my heart rate is highest in climbing up my steepest hills, like 300 feet in a half mile. As I said I might slow to a shuffling crawl, but I try to keep jogging rather than walking. I also try to reach the top of the hill or further before I do a rest stop if I feel I need to, but I will stop partway sometimes if I think it is getting to be too much. During this activity I will be breathing very hard and will feel my heart pounding. I am sure at these times my heart rate is well above 155 and that estimate number is too low! I will try some hill runs and see what my HR reads just to see. Note I have had my heart checked with an EKG at the doctor's and as far as I know do not have any heart issues.


              Half Fanatic 12680

                 

                Used my Garmin for the first time yesterday. I did almost a 4 mile run over a course I have often run. Watching my pace I saw it varied considerably. I tried to be brisk just to check out what readings I would get.  At one point early on it showed a 8:50 pace and then as I started  a upward slope a few feet later I saw my pace slow to 12, although I perceived no change in effort. My pace was 10:47 for the course, but I have done a 9:41 pace for this course in the past with my best time. The monitor shows 47 as my average resting rate and says my rate was 146 during my run. Now according to the formula my max rate is 155 and supposedly this run was at like a 95% effort. I guess training is supposed to be more like 70%. However, I did not feel much discomfort at my pace and although I was breathing heavy at some points I think I could have carried on a conversation for almost all points of the run. In my past experience my heart rate is highest in climbing up my steepest hills, like 300 feet in a half mile. As I said I might slow to a shuffling crawl, but I try to keep jogging rather than walking. I also try to reach the top of the hill or further before I do a rest stop if I feel I need to, but I will stop partway sometimes if I think it is getting to be too much. During this activity I will be breathing very hard and will feel my heart pounding. I am sure at these times my heart rate is well above 155 and that estimate number is too low! I will try some hill runs and see what my HR reads just to see. Note I have had my heart checked with an EKG at the doctor's and as far as I know do not have any heart issues.

                 

                I find it more useful to set my Garmin for "average pace per lap" that gives me my average pace during each mile. Your pace will fluctuate a lot, even on a flat stretch so you'll go crazy checking your pace constantly. If it's set on average pace, it will slow a bit on uphills and speed up some on downhills, but not so extremely and you'll get a better sense of your overall pace.

                2016 goals: Finish first HIM, 70.3

                 

                  I agree that the default "pace" is prone to inaccuracy. However, my default display is the current lap display (which uses average lap pace). Works well for me and I have a better estimate of my current mile time.

                   

                  A word on heart rate. In a word, if you are using tables to calculate heart rate - DON'T. These are based on statistics and you have a 50/50 chance of falling into 1 standard deviation from this number.  The only way to know what your actual max heart rate is is to do some testing! The tables/formulas are junk. The closer you get to an actual stress test, the more accurate your calculation will be. Knowing what your max heart rate is is essential if you are going to train by heart rate. If you don't know it, you're better off using talking test to judge effort (e.g. if you can talk in complete sentences it is an easy effort, if you can get words out it is moderate, if you can't talk it is hard effort.


                  Ray

                   

                    Altair, sounds like you live in a warmer place. Any 5K races within 30 miles of you soon? A 5K time can tell a lot about your fitness level and also help with training paces. You can also use it (or a 10K) to monitor your progress. As your times improve, you can adjust pacing and also feel more confident in your marathon goals. This race also gives you a great speed work out and you recover from it quickly.

                     

                    Also, with a fast finish the last 1/2 mile and the last 100m sprint, you should be at or darn close to your max HR especially if race temps are mild to warm. Nice to know that max HR too. More than likely your max is above 155. If not, an avg HR of 146 during a normal training run tells me your aerobic base needs a lot of work.

                     

                    My point is, you can learn a whole lot from a 5K race. Throw in a mile warm up and 2-3 slower miles after the race and you have a great work out day.

                    Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                      What kind of heart rate monitor do you use, wrist? Chest? I've had really ridiculous numbers coming up on my wrist monitor on the Garmin. I think there is a lot to be said for running by feel. My heart rate is always high and it can be really demoralizing if I pay any attention to it. According to my wrist heart rate monitor and following guidelines, almost all of my easy and recovery runs are near maximal effort and I know that's a bunch of rubbish. Unless you have got a cardiac issue that you are worried about, I'd say ditch it.

                        I think there is a lot to be said for running by feel.

                         

                        + a jillion!

                        There was a point in my life when I ran. Now, I just run.

                         

                        We are always running for the thrill of it

                        Always pushing up the hill, searching for the thrill of it

                        GinnyinPA


                          I'm only a two time marathoner, training for my third, but I had a couple of thoughts.

                          1.  If you are going to do HR training, definitely find out what your actual maximum is.  I am 60 and have had runs (not races) where my HR got up to 182.  That wasn't even straining a lot, just going up a hill.

                          2.  Instead of doing a 29 mile LR, you might consider doing back to back runs.  Higdon intermediate and advanced plans have a 10 mile marathon paced run on Saturday followed by a 20 mile LR on Sunday.  It gives you the experience of running tired, without overstressing your body.  I know ultra runners don't usually go out and run 50k or 50 miles, they do back to back runs that add up to the distance or more than the distance.

                          3.  Since your race isn't until fall, you could do specific training for shorter distances (I.e. 10k) between now and then that incorporates less distance and more speedwork. Most plans up to HM distance have interval and tempo runs that will help you build the speed ad stamina you need.

                            A word on heart rate. In a word, if you are using tables to calculate heart rate - DON'T. These are based on statistics and you have a 50/50 chance of falling into 1 standard deviation from this number.  The only way to know what your actual max heart rate is is to do some testing! The tables/formulas are junk. The closer you get to an actual stress test, the more accurate your calculation will be. Knowing what your max heart rate is is essential if you are going to train by heart rate. If you don't know it, you're better off using talking test to judge effort (e.g. if you can talk in complete sentences it is an easy effort, if you can get words out it is moderate, if you can't talk it is hard effort.

                             

                            This.

                             

                            And be advised that if you really want to find your maximum heart rate, do it on an empty stomach.  That way, you will only dry heave at the end.

                              I just got the book ”Heart Monitor Training For The Compleat Idiot” and read the first chapters. What I learned is  most people do a hard, high intensity run and follow it the next day with an easy recovery run.  In the case of an older individual, like me, they may need  an additional recovery day. Many will do those recoveries a too fast a pace, more like a medium hard instead of easy, with the result they are not fully recovered by the next high intensity run and get poor results thereby. The monitor lets you see if your hard run is really the intensity you need and that your recovery run is slow enough to give you those additional miles while still letting you recover. I got interested in HR training because in the forum “50 and over 5k and beyond” someone who was a fast racer said they trained by running at a percentage of their HR and it seemed to me to be an easier way to train.

                               

                              Jerseyrunner, It will take me a while to learn how best to use the Garmin. I downloaded the manual and now have a link to ‘Garmin Express “ ,but still have difficulty understanding the instructions.  As for pace, right now I want to see what my pace is at different points. Do I start fast and slow when I tire at the end? How much do I slow going up the hills? I want to observe these types of things before I set my pace to any average, although I am sure that would be handy to have at some point.

                               

                              Ray, the book talks about how obtaining a accurate max heart rate. It does give a more accurate formula which predicts a 172 max rate for me instead of the 155 the previous formula said. But it also says that individual results can vary from that. It said the treadmill test will likely have a doctor give too conservative an estimate and running a 5k, unless you are a competitive athlete, most runners will not reach their max HR. He recommends doing this:  after a warm up run up and down a hill several times taking your HR each time at the top and take the highest number as your max.  I understand the Garmin can also give a max if you do some high intensity runs . Today, Sunday, my run included a steep hill and my heart rate was 155 even before the steepest part. I stopped when I finished the steepest part and my HR whet briefly to 166 before going down.  That would be my highest measured max and I think I could get it higher than that since my legs were still sore from Friday's long run.

                               

                              Tchuck, most would not say that northwestern NY is warmer, but your Wisconsin does get some cold Canadian blasts! Most of the winter here it is in the teens in the morning and warms into the 20’s by early afternoon. Also, due to ‘lake effect’ it is overcast most of the winter.  But Wednesday was sunny and 47 degrees and I ran in shorts a tee shirt!  On Friday I did my long run of 10 miles and it was 32 degrees and mostly sunny. Not too bad until I lost my hat! I think there may be a 5k race about an hour east of where I live in February, but I work most weekend mornings and really don’t do very many races. I am sure I need to improve my aerobic base.

                               

                              JoannY , the Garmin 35 has some type of sensor built onto the back of the watch and just goes around the wrist. It works fine as far as I can tell at this time.  Now I always try to listen to my body and go by feel, but if you get an accurate max HR you can scientifically know what the proper intensity is for the run.  You could be doing your recovery runs too fast.

                               

                              + a jillion to you  too abe_mend

                               

                              GinnyinPA , I have done four full marathons, but just with the goal of finishing.  This will be my first with a goal pace.  I will try to find my max using the hill climbing because in my experience that is when I feel my heart pounding hardest and I guess I don’t push myself enough in a run to reach that. The back to back long runs is an interesting idea and I may do something like that. I do want to start tempo and interval runs, but feel like I need to continue to concentrate on distance strength and endurance for a while yet, maybe until the weather gets warmer in March. .

                                Looks like you need some bulking up of the middle age 40-44 year old ladies. I can't say that I have much of an interesting story but maybe I'll fill it out.

                                 

                                Thanks Joann for bulking up the 40-44 year old slot (and rocking the Swamp singlet!). Sorry it took me so long to get your story up!
                                https://miloandthecalf.com/2017/02/08/the-bqq-joann-y/

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

                                Message me!

                                 

                                www.miloandthecalf.com

                                 

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