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Goal Marathon Pace in Training Plans? (Read 79 times)

Stevepf


    I'm referring specifically to Hansons Marathon Method, but there are others.

    When the plan calls for running at Goal Marathon Pace, should one run at that pace regardless of current fitness/weather/how one is feeling on a given training day?

    My example:

    Out of shape and overweight from lack of training due to an injury, I am currently capable of a 4:10 marathon (9:33 pace). Losing weight and training for 18 weeks to my goal race, and based on how much I typically improve over a training cycle, I have a reasonable expectation of being able to run a 3:55 (8:58 pace).

    In Hansons, one is supposed to run 6 miles at Goal Marathon Pace (they call it Tempo) in just the third week of the program, when fitness will be little changed from when I started. Not to mention the fact that it will be warm and humid where I live by then.

    Seems to me that is going to be way too hard an effort level.

    In other training plans you run at marathon pace effort level, and over time as fitness improves, toward the end of training this aligns with goal marathon pace. IMO this is how it should work.

    I have always understood that it is fundamentally important to train at the correct perceived effort level, based on the purpose of the run you are doing. What I have outlined above seems to contradict this.

    What are your thoughts? Thanks!

     

    Note: Reason I'm asking is that I am seriously considering using Hansons for my upcoming training cycle, but I need to resolve this one question before I commit to it.

    wcrunner2


    Are we there, yet?

      That would seem to be about the right pace for a tempo run, but 6 miles at tempo pace would effectively be a race effort.  Generally I like Hanson, but that workout seems out of line.

       2023 Races:

            On IR for now

           

      Mr MattM


        I generally do not like plans that use GMP.  In my experience, the body does not adapt in a manner that leads it allowing one to run 26.2 miles at a 'goal pace'.  That is just not how the body works, and people can really screw up by not understanding what a reasonable goal should be.  I agree with the idea of perceived effort being the main guide, and I also stress the importance of time over miles.  If you are into HR monitoring and have a good idea of your maxHR, then that can be useful measure, as well.

         

        If I were basically starting from scratch, I would limit a tempo run to 10-12 minutes, initially.  I would build up over the course of the training plan to somewhere closer to 30 or 40 minutes, depending on how my fitness has progressed.  I would use 'moderately hard' as my range of perceived effort, which is where I can still talk but only in a small number of syllables (I tend to use 5-7 as my baseline).

         

        You can always use the base Hanson plan and tweak it to your liking.  These 'canned plans' are just starting points or outlines for a method.  If you like the structure of the workouts then follow them, but change the execution to be based on your philosophy/approach.

        So, I did a thing.

        darkwave


        Mother of Cats

          I always train by effort, not pace.  So any marathon pace workout is done at marathon effort, which automatically includes adjustments for weather, terrain, etc.    When it is hot and humid, I will regularly do marathon workouts at paces 20 seconds slower per mile than what ends up being my pace in better weather.

           

          The body knows and responds to effort, not pace.  Chase a pace, and it is amazingly easy to overtrain.

          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.

          DavePNW


            Have you read the book or are you just looking at the plan? It's been a very long time since I read it, but hard to imagine they tell you not to adjust for conditions. If it's hot and humid, you absolutely need to be slower.

             

            But otherwise - their adjustment for your improving fitness over the course of the plan is not necessarily running faster MP workouts, it's running longer MP segments at the same pace. Running 6 miles at GMP 15 weeks before the race does not seem like too unreasonable a workout.

            Dave

            Julia1971


              I mean, yes, if you follow the plan exactly, you'd be doing those runs at goal marathon pace.   I think the concept with Hansons is that you gradually adapt and on race day, that pace is locked in, so to speak.

               

              However, I know what you mean - I also live in a hot and humid area so doing GMP workouts in the summer for a fall marathon is a real challenge.  I'm creating a plan right now where that's going to be an issue.  So, my plan is to run the shorter ones outside if the weather is tolerable enough, but do the longer ones on the treadmill instead.

               

              I will also say during one of the few training cycles when I used Hansons, I was probably doing those workouts closer to HMP and faded hard in the final miles of my goal marathon.  So, my other advice might be to do a race before the training cycle, or spinkle a race or two during it to make sure your GMP is realistic.

               

              However (again), there are so many people who have success with this plan, I don't want to knock it.  I think the principle of doing regular workouts at the pace you want to race makes perfect sense.

              Julia1971


                Have you read the book or are you just looking at the plan? It's been a very long time since I read it, but hard to imagine they tell you not to adjust for conditions. If it's hot and humid, you absolutely need to be slower.

                 

                But otherwise - their adjustment for your improving fitness over the course of the plan is not necessarily running faster MP workouts, it's running longer MP segments at the same pace. Running 6 miles at GMP 15 weeks before the race does not seem like too unreasonable a workout.

                 

                I just browsed the book and I didn't see any mention of it, which, yeah, is kinda surprising.


                SMART Approach

                  Each coach has their philosophy. Here are mine with my focus on injury prevention, consistency and long term growth. I never sacrifice the end goal for a short term goal. A few comments may pertain to you.

                   

                  - Train based on your current level of fitness vs your goal fitness because your goal may be a reach

                  - Do not use a marathon plan to get in shape. You should be fit and injury free going in

                  - When in doubt, run a bit too slow vs a bit too fast on scheduled run and workout days. You don't get browniie points by over training

                  - Your pace that day should take into account the weather, wind and terrain. Adjust. Effort over pace.

                  - Use 5K race pace or time trials to determine training paces. Use pace and race calculators.

                  - Your easy days cannot be easy enough.

                   

                  Good luck.

                  Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery

                  Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training

                  Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique

                  www.smartapproachtraining.com

                  JMac11


                  RIP Milkman

                     

                    I just browsed the book and I didn't see any mention of it, which, yeah, is kinda surprising.

                     

                    Here is a helpful chart I've used and shared in the past regarding adjusting for conditions. This is temperature + dew point, or TDP:

                     

                    100 or less:   no pace adjustment

                    101 to 110:   0% to 0.5% pace adjustment

                    111 to 120:   0.5% to 1.0% pace adjustment

                    121 to 130:   1.0% to 2.0% pace adjustment

                    131 to 140:   2.0% to 3.0% pace adjustment

                    141 to 150:   3.0% to 4.5% pace adjustment

                    151 to 160:   4.5% to 6.0% pace adjustment

                    161 to 170:   6.0% to 8.0% pace adjustment

                    171 to 180:   8.0% to 10.0% pace adjustment

                    Above 180:   hard running not recommended

                     

                    Note:  a range is given as there are numerous individual factors, such as the size, fitness and physical make-up of the runner, and their level of acclimatization to the heat and air saturation levels, that will play into how much of a pace adjustment is needed.

                     

                    The above are the pace adjustment percentages to use for continuous runs.  For repeat workouts such as 400’s 800’s, or mile repeats, I recommend using half of the continuous run adjustment as the body has a chance to cool somewhat during the recovery between repeats.

                    5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

                     

                     

                    JMac11


                    RIP Milkman

                      I'd also add that 6 @ GMP can sometimes be the same effort as 12 @ current MP, so I don't think that's too out of line. I'd be worried if they started you right out of the gate with something like 12 @ GMP.

                      5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

                       

                       

                      DavePNW


                        I'd also add that 6 @ GMP can sometimes be the same effort as 12 @ current MP, so I don't think that's too out of line. I'd be worried if they started you right out of the gate with something like 12 @ GMP.

                         

                        Also the Hansons 6 GMP which has just a couple miles warmup & cooldown is not the same as 6 GMP at the end of an 18 miler, something is more typically saved till later in the cycle.

                        Dave

                        Fredford66


                        Running Musician

                          I'd say it's OK to run slower than GMP now, at the beginning of the training cycle if you're confident you'll be able to pick up the pace eventually.  Three weeks from now, it will be 7 at GMP.  Start too far behind and you may never catch up.  That means either trying to get closer to GMP now, or adjusting your goal.  The book does say if you're having trouble maintaining GMP, then you may need to set a new goal, though that does refer to the longer runs later on, so maybe you can start slower now as long as you're sure you can either catch up later or be willing to adjust to a slower pace.  Just from my experience, which is mostly with halves, but mostly with Hansons.

                          5k 23:48.45 (3/22); 4M 31:26 (2/22); 5M 38:57 (11/22); 10k 49:24 (10/22); Half 1:48:32 (10/22)

                          Upcoming race(s): Winter Series #5 Trail 10k, 2/4; E. Murray Todd Half, 3/12
                          darkwave


                          Mother of Cats

                            I'd say it's OK to run slower than GMP now, at the beginning of the training cycle if you're confident you'll be able to pick up the pace eventually.  Three weeks from now, it will be 7 at GMP.  Start too far behind and you may never catch up.  That means either trying to get closer to GMP now, or adjusting your goal.  

                             

                            It is entirely possible to train at a marathon pace that is too conservative, and then run a marathon at your true (faster) marathon pace on race day.  I have seen it done several times.

                             

                            One should not be concerned about undershooting GMP.

                            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.

                              I always train by effort, not pace.  So any marathon pace workout is done at marathon effort, which automatically includes adjustments for weather, terrain, etc.    When it is hot and humid, I will regularly do marathon workouts at paces 20 seconds slower per mile than what ends up being my pace in better weather.

                               

                              The body knows and responds to effort, not pace.  Chase a pace, and it is amazingly easy to overtrain.

                               

                              This was 100% my experience as well.

                               

                              In all of my "successful" marathon training cycles I probably ran actual goal marathon pace in 5% of my marathon pace workouts. Almost all of the rest were anywhere from a lot to a little slower than GMP.

                               

                              The point of the workout is to produce a training response to create a recovery period. If you go by effort and it winds up being slower than actual marathon race pace you still get all of the training benefit without the downside risk of overtaining and burnout.

                              Runners run

                                 

                                It is entirely possible to train at a marathon pace that is too conservative, and then run a marathon at your true (faster) marathon pace on race day.  I have seen it done several times.

                                 

                                One should not be concerned about undershooting GMP.

                                 

                                Also this!

                                Runners run

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