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

    tl;dr. Shakespeare: "brevity is the soul of wit" Smile


    Which reminds me - "I don't know what the fuss about Shakespeare is - all he did is string together a load of clichés" Smile

    old woman w/hobby



      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.




      I laughed.



      Just run.


        No reason provided

          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!



          Okay, so because you had dared (no, you didn't... ;o)); I took the bait.  As I had suspected, however, you do seem to have done a LOT of looooong runs close together.  I think the last time I saw you had 2:27 two weeks before your marathon and I felt it was too much.  But now we can see more, you did 4-hour a week prior to that as well!  2:33 a week before that; and 4:15 a week before that.  2:37 a week before that and 3:52 a week before that and 3:23 a week before that.  And now if you look at your training in August (3 months prior to your marathon), most of your "long" runs were 1:00-1:20 range with one 1:45.  


          This seems to be one of the hardest concepts for many recreational runners to break away from--training for marathon is not like studying for a history exam.  You take a look at ANY good runners log; Olympic champion, international level elite, local hero, decent runner, sub-3 guys, etc...; where they pile up most mileage is about 2-3 months prior to the marathon, some even further out.  Why?  It takes longest to build up and develop (endurance and aerobic development); once you have developed it, it lasts longest (you don't lose it quickly); and it really beats up your legs/body so you don't want to do too much of right before the final big effort--THE RACE.  You look at most elite's 3 months pattern prior to the race; you'll see--> first month, lots of volume at easy effort; second month, bring down the volume but add quality (speed) to sharpen up; final month, keep the sharpness, maintain some volume but at easier effort, and taper.  That's the typical patter.  What would most "mortals" do?  Pile up lots of super long runs in the final 2-6 weeks because that's when they realize that they need to "get serious".  This guy I knew he was training for his first marathon; his girlfriend ran 3:41 for her first marathon (under my guidance!!) so he figured he could break 4 hours (sounds logical, doesn't it?).  He picked up one of those typical training schedule that calls for 3 X 20-miler.  He put it off, put it off, put it off...  Now a month before his marathon, he finally got serious.  "He's determined to do those three 20-milers this month!" she told me.  That was already less than a month before his marathon.  He hurt his knee and couldn't even run.  Sounds familiar?  


          it would probably do you good if you flip it and do all those 3 or 4 hour runs (although I still wouldn't recommend you doing THAT many of THAT log runs--that's too much) first and THEN cut it back to 1+ runs in the month leading up to your marathon.  You do that and THAT ALONE, without any more speed work or anything else, I'll bet you'll break 5 hours with ease.  You can even wait to worry about "speed training" until you get down to 4:30 which, in my opinion, won't be too far in the future.  By the time you add speed training, 4-hour would be around the corner.  Seriously.


            Yup, I dared you, and I thank you! Smile


            Even worse (or better?),  I pretty much took 6 weeks off running this summer July-beginning of Aug, lol, so that is why the early Aug distances are lighter, as I was easing back into it. March - Jun (with a marathon in May), I did 12-15 mile runs (2-3 hrs) once a week or so, on average, with 25-35 mpw. (And, Oct - Feb, I was running lighter total volume, but still got in my weekly LR of 12-15 most weeks. I just love those runs!) So, yes, I have run a lot of long runs. Smile At least one 12-15 mile run every week is my "standard", and I really value those runs in particular. In some ways, the rest of my weekly runs are done to "earn" that long run (avoid getting hurt). I actually get quite irritated when plans call for no run 12+ miles in a week, as it messes with my head.


            So, what do you think of me trimming back the last few weeks of Hansons in order to meet your goal of having me avoid super long runs that last few weeks? What time limit would you suggest for those final weeks?


            Just how much would I need to cut back those weeks? Is 3 weeks of a more intense taper sufficient, or would you suggest 4? Hansons would have me running 10tempo +2 wu/cd (so would just right at 2 hours) weekly those weeks, and LRs of 16 (almost 3 hrs) 3 weeks out and the remaining weeks tapering 10/8 for LRs. Do you think modifying that to a steeper taper would be advisable?


            I have to say that your confidence in my potential is very encouraging! THANK YOU!! I appreciate having new ideas to consider!

            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