2019 Sub 3 hour marathon thread (Read 674 times)


    I keep seeing all these posts about these good races/ long runs, but everyone's log seems to be private. Guess I need to get on Strava.


    Didn't post last Sunday; I was going to be travelling and didn't want to say how my training has been going then put up a real stinker of a week while away. Now that its over I'll give an update.


    3/11 - Had a pretty good workout on Wednesday. First time running in NB 1400s. Did another broken tempo, this time 2x2 miles with 90 seconds recovery. Went 11:08 first rep, 10:58 on the second. This workout seemed to take a lot out of me. Felt like garbage the rest of the week. May have also been the accumulation of "high" mileage the last few weeks. Put up a whimpy LR on Sunday to hit 64.3 for the week.


    3/18 - Was travelling to Pittsburgh on business, worked 8-6 most days (minus Friday). This meant 5:30 AM wake-ups to get my run in beforehand since after work was dinner with everyone. Eating late and running early did not mix that well, but didn't have any problems as one would expect. Managed to run 50,60,50,65,50 minutes albeit slow. Was going to workout during the week, but had to move things around to make it work. I am a big believer in not forcing workouts and tweaking my schedule to get the most out of each workout. Had a pretty solid workout yesterday. 4x1 mile w/ 3:00 minutes recovery jog on a moist dirt road in NB 1400s. Not the best footing, but a pretty cool spot. This was more rest than I was used to but also a little faster than I usually run. Had a decent LR to top off the week, putting me at 62.3 for the week. Mileage would have been higher with my usual double.


    Have the 15k next Saturday. Was talking to someone who had run it previously and he said its a pretty tough course with some good hills, so not sure what to expect. I am excited to see where I am at, feel like I'm in pretty decent shape.


    Doing a lighter workout on Tuesday, 5x1k @ LT (probably short rest) and then doing a few strides on Thursday, so my legs feel good on race day. Will be a bit of a down week, but I don't really want to start my taper just yet. I find I do better on a shorter taper (at least I did for XC/track).

    3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)

      Swim: Sorry to hear about the flu, hope you get over it soon.


      MMC: Smart training to move things around and not force the hard workouts; I'm a big believer in that as well. Those mile repeats yesterday were speedy!


      My week: I had a good session Wed of 2 min on/off, but was definitely still feeling some fatigue from my long run the weekend before. Otherwise all easy miles and my last 22 mile long run for this cycle, this one all at easy pace. 3 weeks to go; now the obsession over race day weather will start, as will paranoia over catching a cold.


      <tfoot> </tfoot>
      Day Miles Pace Description Egain Link
      Tue 10.1 8:19 Morning Run 512 strava
      Wed 12.2 7:11 Morning Run w/ 6 mi of 2 min on/2 min off 461 strava
      Thu 6.0 8:54 Morning Run 353 strava
      Fri 10.1 8:38 Morning Run 513 strava
      Sat 10.1 8:15 Morning Run 446 strava
      Sun 22.1 8:00 Long run 1213 strava
        70.6 8:06   3498  

      2:52:16 (2018)


      Mother of Cats

        ASU - from 1:32 half to a sub-3 is certainly doable; whether it's doable in 12 months is a different story - if I had to give odds of you pulling it off, assuming intelligent training and no hiccups, I'd give you a 1 in 3 chance of doing it.    FWIW, I started my running career with a 47:52 10K at age 33, and some 12 years later went sub-3, so it is possible to improve a lot.  It just takes consistent hard work.  And sometimes a lot of time.


        As someone coming from an ultra background, I do think you need to structure your training differently from the rest of us.  The #1 mistake I see ultra runners make when moving down to focus on the marathon is that they run too many miles at a very easy pace.  I know what I just wrote sounds like heresy, but the thing is, anyone who's run a 100 mile race already has that strength and low-end aerobic capacity that the rest of us are trying to build.  Where nearly all ultra runners seem to fall short is in doing marathon pace work, plus work a bit faster than marathon pace.  Instead, they just run more miles - both because the common wisdom that correctly applies to the rest of us is that mileage is king, and because many slow miles is in the ultra runner's comfort zone, while stuff like 2 mile repeats seem scary.


        So that's my recommendation - work to include a good amount of training at between 10K and marathon pace.  You'll need 20 milers also, but I'd make sure to include marathon pace work in those long runs - I just don't see what someone with your background will gain from long slow distance.  Also, make a point of racing regularly in the 5K-10K distance, and learn how that pain feels(very different from the tedium of long runs).  Doing running form drills and strides should also be a regular part of your routine - at least 3-4 days a week for those.


        And....to be clear, I'm not saying that you don't need to worry about mileage, and 20-30 or even 40 miles is a bit low, IMHO.  But don't build your mileage at the expense and to the exclusion of work at marathon pace or faster - you need that more than the rest of us.


        Other shoutouts:


        Madison - congrats on a very nice race!    I do think going out against the wind and coming back with it is optimal, since races tend to be more condensed in the early miles, and spread out in the end.  So you can often find a group to tuck in with on the way out, and then ride the tailwind home.  Of course, since you were in the lead the whole time, my point doesn't apply to you Smile


        Swim - sorry about the bug.


        Jayluf - things looking very good for you!


        MMC - my log is public (and goes all the way back to my first race in 2007, believe it or not.  But I'm also on Strava.  I agree with JTReeves that it was really smart to adjust rather than force stuff.  Also, I despise business travel for just the reasons you outlined - long days that aren't under your control and endless dinners that cater to people that aren't trying to fit running into the trip.


        My week: 56 miles, 16 "miles" of pool-running, and 2000 yards of swimming.
        M: 8 "miles" pool-running.
        T: 8 miles very easy (8:57) plus strengthwork and core.
        W: 7.5 miles very easy (9:08), yoga, then another 4.5 miles very easy (8:38) plus drills/strides
        Th: upper body strength/core and 8 "miles" pool-running.
        F: 12 miles, including 2x3200m on the track in 12:48 (6:28/6:20) and 12:38 (6:21/6:17).  Also leg strengthwork and 1000 yards recovery swimming.
        Sa: 10 miles very easy (8:36) plus drills/strides and then upperbody strength/core plus some DIY yoga.
        Su: 14 miles progressive, with the first 4 miles averaging 8:34, next 4 averaged 7:16, last 6 averaging 6:42.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 1000 yards recovery swimming.


        I bounced back pretty well from Shamrock - not surprising, since I wasn't able to max out my effort there due to extenuating circumstances.  The silver lining of that race is that I usually get a massive fitness boost from racing half-marathons, and that appears to have kicked in this weekend.  A bit earlier than normal - it usually takes me about 10 days to see the bump in fitness -- but that's probably because the recovery was so easy.

        Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


        And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

        Elite Jogger

          I keep seeing all these posts about these good races/ long runs, but everyone's log seems to be private. Guess I need to get on Strava.





          You’ll be pleased to know that my RA log isn’t private. You’re welcome.


          ASU - That’s an impressive history of Ultras and you obviously have good endurance...and running a 1:32 half on little training means that you’ve definitely got the speed to go Sub 3 and it’s just a matter of how long it will take. I thinking along the lines of what Madison said...3:04 next cycle and a BQ in March if your training is consistent and you don’t get injured.


          DW - I know you’ve always had a coach...but you should be a coach yourself!  Always giving great advice. 👍

          5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)


            I should have said 50% as opposed to everyone



            You’ll be pleased to know that my RA log isn’t private. You’re welcome.

            3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)


              @ M_M_C & madisonrunner - thanks for the feedback


              @ jayluf - things may be different now but I never did well running 6-7 days a week.  When I did run that many days a week, most of them were just easy miles.


              @ JTReeves - agreed that the long run is most important.  I learned that early that ‘you can’t skip the long run’.  I do need to be more consistent, I need to commit if I’m gonna do it.


              @ slingrunner - I’ll take a look at that plan.  I know for 2020 and beyond my qualifying time is now 3:05 so would definitely have to go faster than that.  I was thinking at least 3:02 if not sub-3 but all I can do is try and see what happens.  Also, what’s the deal with Vaporflys??


              @ darkwave - with 2 kids now I don’t have the time to train for ultras.  I would rather go out and run 5-7 fast miles than try to get in 12-15 easy miles.  Plus, the family would tolerate 20 miles in 2-3 hours better than 20 miles in 5 hours on the trails.  I’m not afraid of doing fast miles, I just don’t want to get injured.  But, I know that to get better I have to get out of my comfort zone.


              @ Mikkey - thank you.  I’m hoping that if I train smart and don’t get injured, this could be possible.



              I plan on continuing what I’ve been doing to get me to this point (body pump strength training + cycle) but add in the miles.  A typical week for me could look like this (and BTW, I’m used to working out twice a day):


              Mon - cycle and/or easy miles

              Tue - body pump class at Y + tempo/fast miles

              Wed - cycle + core work and/or easy miles

              Thur - body pump class at Y + fast miles (repeats?  Speed work?)

              Fri - bootcamp/crossfit type working at Y + rest or easy miles

              Sat - long run or 1 hour cycle class if I teach

              Sun - long run if didn’t run on Sat or easy run or cycle


              While every day does include miles in that list, I’m sure some days I would skip the run (like Mon, Wed or Fri) and just do the other.


              Criticism / suggestions / thoughts are welcome.  Thank you all for your input!


                ASU - mostly reiterating what others have said but Sling is right, grab a book (Pfitzinger is a good starter) lok at the plans, look at the reasoning behind each run and try to envisage living the plan for 3 months. You've absolutely got the stamina and just about got the speed (considering the lack of focused training). Race some 5k's, that'll sort you out.


                Weatherboy - pffft, nice race. I'm actually looking forward to seeing you race in JMac promised 'perfect weather'


                Madison - great race and well judged by the sounds of it. Sub 16 is massive.


                Swim - get well soon


                Jayluf and DW - good recovery weeks


                MMC - you are running your workouts based on your ability rather than your marathon goal. That's a good thing but you've kind of got the opposite situation to ASU, speed to burn just got to find your pacing for the long stuff.


                Me: Last strength session and last long run in the books, no doubles, pretty happy. 71 Miles for the week

                M - kettlebells + 5 easy (did a bunch of stupid double kettlebell exercises that gave me a sore butt for 3 days)

                T - 10 easy (very tender arse)

                W - 8 easy

                T - 2hrs with 15x 2 minutes on 1 minute off (kind of screwed this up was meant to be 20 reps alternating MP and float but ended up doing too many of the 2 minutes around 5:55 and decided to call it off rather than toast myself)

                F - 7.5 easy

                S - 30k at 6:24 average including 6M + 3M at MP (low 6's). Decided against Slammin's Truth run cos I didn't think I needed to do over MP running after overcooking Thursday's intervals.

                S - 4 easy


                Next weekend I've signed up for a 10 mile race on Sunday which clashes with the half I already have booked. Plan is that if the weather is kind I'll race the 10 miler and if it's crap I'll do a MP session at the half. Hope the weather is good, I've been soaked on every run for over 2 weeks and my feet are becoming a disaster area.

                Upcoming; 14th Sep Scottish veterans XC trials, 289th Sep Great Scottish Run 1/2, 12th October TAMA half marathon, 27th October Leeds Abbey dash 10k


                  ASU what exactly constitutes “fast miles”? For you I’d say stick to running lactate threshold pace for now. Also running will do more good for you in terms of building fitness than cycling so on those days where you are torn, running is the better option ideally.


                  Another thing, what’s your body type? Based on your week it seems like you’re probably built up a bit more than your typical marathon runner. If you decide you really want to go for it, cutting back on the lifting could help you a lot. As someone who has run weighing 128 lbs (peak college weight) and close to 160 lbs (lifting a lot post college) the lighter you are the better. Even the difference between 138 and 133 (the weight starting this cycle and what I am now) has been major in terms of helping with running.


                  To answer your vaporfly 4% question, they are a specially designed shoe that Nike put out that promised ~4% energy return. A lot of people have been racing in them and PRing. Some believe them to be an unfair advantage.

                  3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)


                    Fast for me would be 7:30-7:45 probably.  I’m 5’10” and maybe 140 lbs. I’ve never weighed more than 145 lbs in my life.  Usually fluctuate between 136-140.  The lifting I do is more of a cardio type lift, high reps but not a ton of weight, fast paced to get the heart rate up.  Not bulking up, at all.


                    I read about the Vaporflys.  Holy cow that’s an expensive shoe!  My wife would flip if I bought those, although I’d really like to see what they’re like.  I’ve never ran in Nike’s.

                    Elite Jogger


                       I read about the Vaporflys.  Holy cow that’s an expensive shoe!  My wife would flip if I bought those, although I’d really like to see what they’re like.  I’ve never ran in Nike’s.


                      Never tell the wife how much you paid for Vaporflys or how many pairs of running shoes you own. I have mine hidden away in the garage.

                      5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)


                        Welcome ASU: As others have noted potential is certainly there.  Mileage is the biggest key right now!

                        Fin:  That was a sick LR this weekend and leads me to believe you are in great shape at just the right time.


                        Madison:  Congrats on the sub 16 - that's just blazing and at a whole new level!  Congrats on making it to the taper as you are in excellent shape!


                        Swim: hope you feel better soon.


                        DW:  That's a great bounce back week!  Like the LR on the weekend as well!


                        Jay:  Nice looking week.  Things are shaping up nicely.


                        JT: Nice looking week as well.  You have made some big leaps this cycle.  I think we are all starting to worry about the weather Smile


                        MMC: Great idea on not forcing the workouts.  I ran in the NB 1400's for my HM in the fall and love the shoe for tempo days, but thinking of using the NB 890's for my race day.


                        Well - I put a cap on the 90+ mile training weeks for a while!  Noted my 5K on Saturday, which looking back is a good time considering the tired legs and recent marathon training.  Still hard to figure out how hard to get out in that first 1K though.  Other workout of note was a mixture of threshold and interval repeats on Wednesday in some brutal winds where I barely attained marathon goal pace on some of those repeats.  Just a frustrating hard workout all around.  This week I will force myself down another 10 or so miles before heading further into a taper.  Still have a 4 X 2T and a 3 X 2T built coming in the next week so not quite letting off the gas by any means just yet.


                        Weekly Summary
                        Monday, Mar 18, 2019 thru Sunday, Mar 24, 2019

                        <tfoot> </tfoot>
                        Day Miles Pace Description Link
                        Mon 12.1 7:51 4 more weeks 🙂 strava
                        Mon 5.1 7:34 Afternoon Run strava
                        Tue 12.3 7:58 Rainy + strides strava
                        Wed 3.2 8:58 Warm up strava
                        Wed 6.6 6:39 Almost blown off the bridge: 3 X 1@T effort + 3 X 1200 strava
                        Wed 3.6 8:23 Cool down strava
                        Wed 5.2 7:07 Too much coffee ☕️ strava
                        Thu 10.1 7:53 Nice & EZ 😎 strava
                        Fri 7.2 7:41 EZ + strides strava
                        Sat 5.2 8:42 Nice & EZ warm up strava
                        Sat 3.1 5:26 Downtown Melbourne 5K: 16:53.5 strava
                        Sat 11.1 7:28 Long cool down w/ a few mile pickups and hills ⛰ strava
                        Sun 5.5 7:30 Disney warmup strava
                          90.3 7:40

                        5K: 16:15 (3/20)  |  10K: 33:40 (4/20)  |  HM: 1:15:53 (12/19)  |  FM: 2:40:30 (1/20)


                        Taper Czar

                          JT - Nope, not even looking for two reasons. One, I tried in my last marathon to do it as a test, and had the forecast go from low 60s with rain to upper 40s and sun. I'll start peeking about a week out, but really start thinking about it 3 days in advance. The second reason, of course, is that I already said the weather will be good that day so I don't need to worry about it. 


                          Madison - Great race! Very impressive to put up a speedy 5K in the middle of a marathon cycle.


                          Swim - Get better, seems like the flu is giving out its last doses right now.


                          ASU - Read DW's post, absorb, and then read it again. Everything she said in there is gold.


                          MMC - Just went on a business trip myself this past week. I had to skip out on some of the nighttime "activities" so that I could get up at 5:30 to run.


                          DW - Nice week after that half. What's next on the docket for you?


                          Fin - still shaking my head at that long run this weekend. Absolutely nuts. Get some rest!


                          Weather - Congrats on the 5K again. I'm not doing his usual 4x2 and 3x2 taper down, mainly because I never got up to running that kind of distance for LT so it seems silly for me to try now. You, however, have been a beast and that taper down in his plans with 3 weeks to go I think may be my favorite part of his entire plan. He really keeps you working hard in that third week to go, while letting off the mileage just a hair.


                          Mikkey - You didn't post about it, but nice week! I saw you got up to around 85 miles on Strava. I know you had the injury bug, but is sub 3 in the cards?


                          Me - Wasn't fully planned this way, but turned out to be my biggest week of the cycle. My quads were completely shot in the early half of the week, having trouble walking down stairs, but I felt completely recovered by my long run on Sunday. As I alluded to a few posts ago, I tend to go into a more exponential taper than most, so I'll probably go for 62 this week and 51 in two weeks (vs. 56 and 42 that would be recommended in a Pfitz style taper).


                          Weekly Summary
                          Monday, Mar 18, 2019 thru Sunday, Mar 24, 2019

                          <tfoot> </tfoot>
                          Day Miles Pace Description Link
                          Tue 6.3 7:50 My quads are cooked strava
                          Wed 10.0 7:36 Morning Run strava
                          Thu 16.4 7:11 8E + 2x2T + 4E strava
                          Fri 6.1 7:47 Evening Run strava
                          Sat 10.1 7:24 Lunch Run strava
                          Sun 22.1 7:00 That's all she wrote strava
                            71.0 7:20  

                          5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:15:28 (3/20)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 


                          Next Race: Whatever COVID-19 will allow me to run 


                            Coach Mikkey that was quite the week you had (not sarcasm)! You ever considered doubling? I think you’d feel a lot better and would decrease your chance of injury if you broke up some of those bigger mileage days that weren’t long runs.

                            3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)


                            Mother of Cats

                              Fast for me would be 7:30-7:45 probably.  I’m 5’10” and maybe 140 lbs. I’ve never weighed more than 145 lbs in my life.  Usually fluctuate between 136-140.  The lifting I do is more of a cardio type lift, high reps but not a ton of weight, fast paced to get the heart rate up.  Not bulking up, at all.



                              Are we allowed to reference the dead zone?  Too soon?


                              ASU - I think you would be better served by mixing one or two runs a week that included work at 6:40-7:00 pace (like mile repeats at 6:40 - which is probably a reasonable 10K pace for you right now), and doing the balance of your runs at a far easier pace.


                              Jmac - I have Cherry Blossom next.  Andres and Ace - I'm going to send you two a PM with tips and also possible social plans related to Cherry Blossom.

                              Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


                              And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


                                JMac:  quite the big week especially on the heels of a HM PR!  Those 2 X 2's were quite speedy too!  Based on your recent breakthrough I think you're going to be right there in 3 weeks!


                                Mickkey:  nice week and LR as well!


                                Best of luck to those coming up at Cherry Blossom!

                                5K: 16:15 (3/20)  |  10K: 33:40 (4/20)  |  HM: 1:15:53 (12/19)  |  FM: 2:40:30 (1/20)