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Pfitzinger first-timer check in


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Author Topic:   Pfitzinger first-timer check in
Notey
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posted Aug-25-2004 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Notey   Click Here to Email Notey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Bob and Yoshiko,

Thanks for your responses. I'm glad to hear that there are others in the same (or similar) boat.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Today is day 2 of not running and I'm already getting antsy. My knee only bothers me when I initially wake up, when I'm walking (for distances longer than a minute or two) and when I'm chasing the kids around. If I run, it doesn't bother me at all unless I hit a really cambered surface.

My doctor appointment isn't for another week. I may go back to running until the appointment and go from there depending on it feels tonight and tomorrow morning. I just don't to take a week off and then have the doctor tell me to take another week off. I don't think running on it will make it significantly worse.

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Notey
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posted Aug-25-2004 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Notey   Click Here to Email Notey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by runinthesunshine:
Is anyone training with the 12-week program, max 55 miles?

It wasn't my original plan to do this, but a health setback in July has left me just starting his week 11 yesterday.I had to tweak my original 18-week plan to be able to come in at week 11 and handle the scheduled LSD's which a month ago did not seem attainable.

I am nervous about these medium-long runs scheduled on Thursdays. I just ran 12.5 miles for the first time this past week, and feel that an 11 mile run on Thursdays starting next week followed by 15+ mile runs on Sundays may be a bit much for me. However, I do not take Wednesday's off to rest, only Monday & Friday. Would the benefits be similar enough to split the 11 mile run on one day into 5-6 miles runs over two days?

Following an exact shedule and not winging it each time I get out of bed to run is quite different for me and I am hard headed so taking someone else's program and adopting it as mine is also difficult, despite all the great feedback I've read about Pfitz's schedules. Any recommendations are welcome!


I'm doing (or was) doing the 18/70 program.

Without having the book in front of me, I would think that you should have a base of at least 40 mpw in order to do the 12/55 program since the 12 wk programs are a bit more intense and jump into the thick of things pretty quickly.

With that said, if you do have that kind of base you should be able to handle the program. Those mid week medium long runs aren't easy but if you run them at the correct and don't run recovery runs the following day too fast, you should be OK.

I think the keys to handling a program that is more miles than you are used to are don't push too hard. Each run has it's purpose. If you run too fast or too slow that purpose won't be served. Another key is what I mentioned before...make sure you have an adequate base before starting a certain program. I think Pfitz mentions in his book what kind of base you should have before commencing each program. I'll check it when I get home and post back if nobody else posts it first.

Notey

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InYourDreams
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posted Aug-25-2004 10:44 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Notey:
Hey Bob and Yoshiko,

Thanks for your responses. I'm glad to hear that there are others in the same (or similar) boat.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Today is day 2 of not running and I'm already getting antsy. My knee only bothers me when I initially wake up, when I'm walking (for distances longer than a minute or two) and when I'm chasing the kids around. If I run, it doesn't bother me at all unless I hit a really cambered surface.

My doctor appointment isn't for another week. I may go back to running until the appointment and go from there depending on it feels tonight and tomorrow morning. I just don't to take a week off and then have the doctor tell me to take another week off. I don't think running on it will make it significantly worse.


Just a quick note: I had a problem with my calves tightening a few weeks back (severe tightening that felt like I was on the verge of a serious injury). So, I skipped two or three runs, including a long run, during a recovery week. I was able to jump back into the program with really no negative effects, plus my calf healed completely. Pfitz gives guidelines regarding how many days you can stop running, depending on how far away from your race, and still resume the program. I think he says ten days is okay, as long as you are far enough away from your marathon date (he is more specific about time frames).

Btw, I'm following Pfitz (50-70 mpw for 24 weeks) slightly modified in the sense that I allow myself to run lower mileage during recovery weeks, and I also vary the program whenever thunderstorms prevent me from completing a certain run on a certain day. So far, for the most part, I have felt great! I definitely feel much stronger as a runner after only 6 or 7 weeks on the program.

Good luck to everyone!

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runinthesunshine
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posted Aug-25-2004 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for runinthesunshine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Notey,
thanks for the insight. Yes, I realize that I am most likely in over my head by doing the 12-week program. But, if I don't follow something I'll end up just winging it which can't be good either. My goal for the marathon is just to finish it, as it is my first. I'm not looking to break any earth shattering goals. That being said, I do plan to run the whole thing and do it respectably. A training philosophy I had was to subtract about 15-20% of the overall mileage that Pfitz recommends to make the program more on my level. Is that a bad thing to do? I've been feeling surprisingly good with the added mileage (prior to training with a goal, my mileage averaged about 25 mpw) and would like to keep increasing so long as my body doesn't say otherwise. Thanks for the input.

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Yoshiko
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posted Aug-25-2004 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Yoshiko   Click Here to Email Yoshiko     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob, great 10K result!!! I hope I can go over this hump soon.

It is hot and humid here today and I did just easy 7 (plan called for 12m with 7LT.... no way...). Following a Dr' suggestion to run below the pain threshold, I am doing 50-70% of what plan calls for. By either my other part of the leg tring to compensate for my hip discomfort or what, my knee/shin has started complaining, so has my Left hip..... Boy I am falling a part. I am not a happy runner right now.....

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bhearn
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posted Aug-30-2004 07:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bhearn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ugh. Well, I totally blew my second marathon pace run today, and I need some advice. I really need to figure out what is going on here - I also blew my first MP run, a month ago. This is long; please bear with me...

Today was supposed to be 17 miles, with 14 at MP (~7:27, for a 3:15 BQ time). Instead I basically tricked myself into bagging it at 9 miles, only 6 miles into the MP. It just kept getting harder and harder to maintain the pace, until I happened to pass a bathroom at 9 miles, and thought, well, I'll just take a bathroom break, then pick it up again. I stopped my watch. But after that my heart just wasn't in it; I knew I'd cheated. After another mile I gave it up and stopped.

Now, I have to deconstruct what went on and figure out how to fix it, if I can. Is my goal time unrealistic? Well, I didn't start running seriously until this February, so I admit it's ambitious to try to BQ in October. But I have run three 10Ks and two half marathons this year, and I did the second HM in 1:33:41. That puts me within a few minutes of my target marathon time, according to McMillan's calculator, and I hoped that the Pfitzinger plan (24 week, up to 55 mpw) would more than make up the difference. I was comfortably at 30-35 mpw before starting the program. I've missed a few runs here and there, but by and large I've stuck to the plan, with the exception of the MP runs. My long runs (once I got over a cold and a slight injury) have been problem-free - I felt fine after each of two 20 milers, at less than a minute off MP. So I think I should be in the ballpark here for my target. (BTW, I'm 38 and male.)

I had some excuses for messing up the first MP run, a month ago: I was jet lagged and sleep deprived; the conditions were hotter, more humid, and more hilly than ideal; I had a sore hip; I was (as it turns out) on the verge of getting a cold. Still, I managed to finish it at MP + 15 sec. Today, I arranged things carefully, and had no such excuses. OK, I didn't get quite enough sleep, and the sun came out from the clouds sooner than I would have liked. But the conditions were much better than last time.

As I was doing the run today, I assumed that what I mostly lacked was the mental toughness to pull out a hard training run. It got hard after only a few miles into the MP part. I kept telling myself, don't think about how much farther you have to run, just think about keeping pace NOW; that's not too hard. But I wanted nothing more than to just stop. This was race-level psychology I was having to continuously use on myself, even though I did my last half marathon at a much faster pace than this. Of course, a training run does not provide the motivation that a race does, but I did view this run as very important, especially in light of my failure at the previous MP run. And I made sure to run on a well-populated route - having other people around makes it much easier to run fast.

So when I stopped, I was thinking, well, there goes most of a year of training. I guess I've demonstrated I just don't have what it takes, psychologically, to be a real runner. But then I got home and downloaded all the data from my watch (Nike Triax Elite). It turns out my heart rate increased basically linearly from 140 (~75% max. heart rate) at the start of the MP to 172 (~92% MHR) just before I stopped at the bathroom. At that rate I could not have physically continued much longer. So, it wasn't all in my head! (Or can mindset influence physiology to that extent?) What's going on here?

I looked back at older data. On my last, failed MP run, my heart rate stayed in the 150-160 range. On a tune-up 10K race I did last week, at 7:01 pace, over trails, my heart rate was under 165 until the final, uphill 2 miles, and peaked around 175 in the final kick. So today does seem anomalous.

What could it be? One possibility is that I did a tough VO2Max run 3 days ago, instead the scheduled 4. (But yesterday was a rest day.) Another is that I just don't react well to gels... normally, I do all my runs, long runs included, with just water, to maximize training for glycogen storage and fat utilization. But for the MP runs I take gatorade instead of water, and use gels, because I figure that during the marathon I will want any extra energy I can get, and I should view these as practice runs. Today I had a gel just before starting, and another 45 minutes in. (I was going to have another 45 minutes later, but...) My stomach was not totally thrilled with the gels, but neither did I feel particularly queasy.

The last possibility is that keeping my target MP is hard because of weight gain: I've gained about 5 pounds in the past 6 months, from 164 to 169. (I'm 5'11".) It's hard not to eat like a pig when you run 50 mpw. To be sure, I wish I'd managed my weight better, but that still wouldn't explain the contrast with last week's 10K.

Any other ideas? Where should I go from here? Should I abandon my BQ goal, and pick a more reasonable first-time marathon target? Since I only ran 10 miles today, should I try to work another MP run into my schedule somewhere? There are only 2 in this plan; this was the last one. If I do try to re-run it, though, I need to do something differently. I'm just not sure what. One thing I will do is drop some weight; I'm pretty sure I can drop a pound a week, even while training, if I put my mind to it. (I went from 215 to 165 during 2000, and have more or less kept it off.)

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Bob

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Yoshiko
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posted Aug-30-2004 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Yoshiko   Click Here to Email Yoshiko     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What about heat and humidity?? Pfitzinger's book talks about the impact of the weather condition on HR. Also, I read many articles about 'running empty' to teach body to use more fat, but I am personally not sold on it. I am nowhere near an expert on running, but you may want to just move on. You had a bad run. extremely high HR for some reasons. Human body does something unexplainable, sometimes, I think. Look forward, don't look back too much.

BTW, I am in the middle of no-run week... Still not sure about this hip issue. I did Elliptical and Deepwater running, but both use the hip/buttocks muscles and I am afraid I am not getting much 'rest' as I planned. But I can't help it!!!! The PT today mentioned about my tight hip anterior capsule and gave me this stretch. Feels it is doing something good. Keep my finger crossed. I will resume my running on Thursday. I am tired of this not-getting-better-or-worse situation. I could run with pain 2-4 out of 10, so I am going to DO IT!!!!

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Mr Legs
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posted Aug-30-2004 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Legs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
bhearn,

My advice is to throw away all the gadgets and just run the MP runs very hard. All I have is a watch when I do my runs. I don't have a real idea whether or not I'm running MP on the 14 of 17 run because I can't really do the minutes/mile calculation in my head at every familiar landmark. I just try to run at a pace that is as fast as I can possibly sustain for the 14 mile distance.

When I did this run, I noticed that I was considerably faster than on my usual long runs, but did NOT know how close I was to my goal marathon pace. Later I calculated that I was probably a little slower than I wanted to be, but so what. It was still considerably faster than my usual long run, so I got everything I possibly could have gotten from the workout.

If I actually knew at the time of the run how far short I was of my goal marathon pace, I might have gotten frustrated like you did and junked the run. Next time, try fooling yourself in a way that helps your training, rather than a way that hurts it (another way I do this is by low-balling the mileage whenever I estimate the distance of many of my runs -- e.g. calling a run an 8 km recovery, when really it was closer to 9 or even 10).

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Mr Legs
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posted Aug-31-2004 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Legs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For Bob (bhearn) again:

Just thought I'd add that, with your half marathon PR of 1:33, you really should have no problem with a 3:15 marathon. I did not run a half the same year I trainied for my 3:15 run (I hit it almost on the nose, and, at 35, it was also just barely a BQ for me, too!). The year before, my PR for the half was a mere 1:38. Also, I achieved a 3:15 without following Pfitz, like I'm doing this year. The Pfitz program is far more intense, and I've managed to work my way down into a sub-40 10k from the mid-42 runner I was last year. I'm not sure the MP runs are all that crucial, anyway. They're mainly there to boost confidence (if run successfully, of course!). Don't sweat it. The taper takes care of a lot of the speed you may be lacking in at the moment due to fatigue. It is demanding program. I, for one, am pretty optimistic that you will reach your goal.

Legs.

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bhearn
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posted Aug-31-2004 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bhearn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the comments and encouragement. You deserve awards just for plowing through that whole posting!

Yoshiko, the weather was fine, better than the last half marathon I ran. About the "running empty", that's what I usually do, but I didn't yesterday. Maybe I just don't handle digesting well while I'm running. I'd like to look forward and put that run behind me, but having messed up both the runs that were closest to actual marathon conditions, I'm concerned. Good luck getting back to running... I hate having to take time off.

Mr Legs, what can I say? Yeah, my gadgets are a crutch, but a useful one. It's easier for me to train hard if I'm anal about everything. I don't have the temperament to run as fast as I can sustain without feedback. Fooling myself in a way that helps my training sounds like a good idea; I'll have to figure out how to do that...

About my HM time being good enough to BQ, I'm not so sure. I've heard of others with better HM times, doing > 3:30 marathons. But maybe they weren't doing Pfitzinger... and yeah, the fact that I will have a taper behind me gives me come consolation. But I still need to figure out what went wrong! It was like I was running faster than LT, but that should be ~25 sec/mile faster. Maybe it's overtraining?

Bob

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Mr Legs
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posted Aug-31-2004 10:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Legs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bhearn:
Thanks for the comments and encouragement. You deserve awards just for plowing through that whole posting!

Yoshiko, the weather was fine, better than the last half marathon I ran. About the "running empty", that's what I usually do, but I didn't yesterday. Maybe I just don't handle digesting well while I'm running. I'd like to look forward and put that run behind me, but having messed up both the runs that were closest to actual marathon conditions, I'm concerned. Good luck getting back to running... I hate having to take time off.

Mr Legs, what can I say? Yeah, my gadgets are a crutch, but a useful one. It's easier for me to train hard if I'm anal about everything. I don't have the temperament to run as fast as I can sustain without feedback. Fooling myself in a way that helps my training sounds like a good idea; I'll have to figure out how to do that...

About my HM time being good enough to BQ, I'm not so sure. I've heard of others with better HM times, doing > 3:30 marathons. But maybe they weren't doing Pfitzinger... and yeah, the fact that I will have a taper behind me gives me come consolation. But I still need to figure out what went wrong! It was like I was running faster than LT, but that should be ~25 sec/mile faster. Maybe it's overtraining?

Bob


Bob,

It may be that overtraining is your problem, but it sound more like you almost psyching yourself out of performing well. The occasional laboured training run is no big deal, and it won't neceassarily negatively impact on your training, either. Just to relate some of my own experiences, having started Pfitz for the first time this year, like you, I found that in fact all of my long runs seemed to be going at a slower pace than last year. This had me more than a little concerned. Neverthless, my 10km race pace (I've raced three such events during training) have improved dramatically. I put down the slower training pace to many more miles per week, as well as more days a week than before. Also, I've "failed" more LT runs than I've run successfully, but the two that went well went VERY well. I think about those and forget the ones where I was dragging my heels like a 90-year-old. Again, I think it's important to stress that the "failed" training runs won't necessarily translate into weaker preparation come race day.

Also, I find that the training runs go best (which also usually means that they are fast) and I find a real groove only when I'm relaxed, and I'm not relaxed if I'm thinking about a bad run yesterday, or a bad run that I did last week. I think it might help you forget about these runs if you realize that most of the physical adaptation we are trying to extract from the Pfitz program comes from just doing the increased mileage at ANY speed. We could probably realize further marginal gains from doing the runs at target pace, but it's not all that critical.

Just relax. You'll do fine.

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bhearn
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posted Sep-01-2004 02:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bhearn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe you're right. I guess I have to just keep going and hope for the best! I still have two tune-up races left with which to instill confidence (I hope).

Bob

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Notey
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posted Sep-02-2004 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Notey   Click Here to Email Notey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With 6 weeks to go, I’ve come to my first scheduled tune up race. I may end up doing a time trial thanks to the demands of Labor Day weekend, but that’s another story.

The total mileage for the week is 68 miles. When you add the miles excluding the tune up race it totals 56 miles. That leaves 12 miles. The tune up race should be anywhere from 8-15k, which is approximately 5 to 9 miles, giving you a total of anywhere from 61 to 65 miles, leaving you 3 to 7 miles short of the week’s mileage of 68 miles. Does the tune up race include a warm up and warm down? If I choose to do an 8k, should increase my warm up and warm down mileage so that I total 12 miles for the day?

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bhearn
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posted Sep-02-2004 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bhearn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed the same thing with the up to 55 mpw program. I think the idea is that racing miles should count more than training miles.

Bob

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Mr Legs
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posted Sep-02-2004 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Legs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bhearn:
I noticed the same thing with the up to 55 mpw program. I think the idea is that racing miles should count more than training miles.

Bob


I think you're right, Bob. When I first added it up I thought it was typo, but it is consistent for all weeks that include a tune-up race. There is no expectation of a warm-up for the races (if there is, I never do them). Racing a 10km is probably the hardest workout you'll do, so I think the mileage is adjusted down to account for this.

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Notey
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posted Sep-02-2004 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Notey   Click Here to Email Notey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I disagree...not with the 10k being hard.

I think the total mileage is listed if one ran the maximum 15k. In this case there would only be about 2.7 miles for warm up and warm down, which is not inconceivable. I'm thinking of doing an 8k-10k time trial at the local track which is 2.5 miles away. This would account for a 10-11 miles. Obviously any warm up and warm down would be done at recovery pace or even slower.

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Yoshiko
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posted Sep-02-2004 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Yoshiko   Click Here to Email Yoshiko     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I ran 3 miles first time in a week. I felt pretty good - and ended up running little too faster than expected (9:00pace - my usual easy pace run is 9:30) Because I didn't have any pain/discomfort with that short miles BEFORE I took a week off, I am not surprised I didn't have any discomfort. I will run 5 miles tomorrow - that will be a real test, expecially AFTER the run. I will have to approach this recovery SLOW. What is the good recovery plan? Given no discomfort worse than Level 2 out of 10, is building back up to 10mile within a week safe enough (i.e., 3, 5, R, 4, 7, R, 10, something like that?) I did 25mpw before the week off. Before that, I was at 40-50mpw.

Any advise would be apreciated. I will miss the first Tune up race. Can't wait to do tune-up races as well as 18+ long runs!!!

Yoshiko

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mbms2697
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posted Sep-02-2004 11:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mbms2697     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Howdy all


I'm seeking advice as to the hows and whens of increasing marathon race pace (mrp). I read that marathon goal time can be predicted, for example, by averaging the recent best 5k race performances. From that I've then calculated my needed per mile pace for the marathon.

In order to then improve do I need to periodically run 5k's to see if my mrp can be adjusted? Are there any other rules of thumb or tested means by which to increase mrp with obtainable results? Should I rely on simply increasing training pace later on in the training schedule?

I'm planning a sub 4:00 marathon goal time and am utilizing "Advanced Marathoning" by Pfitzinger/Douglas, <55 miles per week, 18 week schedule. Also utilizing a HRM to keep running form clean during any run longer than 4 miles.

I'm prepping for my 2nd marathon (PHX RNR).

Thanks in advance for any advice!!


Mikey

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Mr Legs
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posted Sep-03-2004 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Legs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mbms2697:
Howdy all


I'm seeking advice as to the hows and whens of increasing marathon race pace (mrp). I read that marathon goal time can be predicted, for example, by averaging the recent best 5k race performances. From that I've then calculated my needed per mile pace for the marathon.

In order to then improve do I need to periodically run 5k's to see if my mrp can be adjusted? Are there any other rules of thumb or tested means by which to increase mrp with obtainable results? Should I rely on simply increasing training pace later on in the training schedule?

I'm planning a sub 4:00 marathon goal time and am utilizing "Advanced Marathoning" by Pfitzinger/Douglas, <55 miles per week, 18 week schedule. Also utilizing a HRM to keep running form clean during any run longer than 4 miles.

I'm prepping for my 2nd marathon (PHX RNR).

Thanks in advance for any advice!!


Mikey


To predict marathon times, my understanding is that races of longer than 5km (i.e., say, a 10km) are better indicators of likely marathon finishing times.

I have used the following calculator to predict race times, and, for me at least, it has been pretty accurate:

http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/Running%20University/Article%201/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm

There are others on the net that do pretty much the same thing.

I have also found that racing in events affords me the best performance gains during my training (again, usually 10km rather than 5). During training it's just too tempting to slow down when you feel like it.

Also, as to marathon pace runs, I've never understood how people can say that they train with THAT sort of precision. When I do the "marathon pace" runs in the schedule, I just up the speed to something that is as fast as I can sustain for the 13 miles, or whatever it happens to be, based on feel alone. I won't have anything other than a vague idea of how many minutes per mile I was running until I do the calculation when I'm writing it in my training diary. Surely the important point is that it is a fast long run, rather than a slow one. There doesn't really seem to be a "danger" of running faster than mp, since I probably couldn't sustain that sort of pace over 13 miles, anyway.

Curious, though. What do you mean that you use your HRM to keep your running "form" clean? Perhaps you didn't mean "form", since I'm not sure what this has to do with your heart rate.

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mbms2697
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posted Sep-03-2004 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mbms2697     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Legs,

Thanks for the reply! Actually where I live in AZ my running terrain is fairly accurate enough (1 or 2 mile stretches) where I can simply note my split times and try to maintain a somewhat steady pace depending on what is on the training schedule calls for the day:

MRP: 9:00 min/mile
Med Long Run: 10:21 min/mile
LT Pace: 8:33 min/mile
(etc.)

With this in mind, I can then use the HRM to see if my ticker is in sync with Pfitz calls for during these training events (I use Heart Rate Reserve %). My comment about keeping my running form clean is just to insure that I'm not pushing my upper HRR % too early in the long runs, body posture, alignment, stride are all proper and comfortable, that kind of form. Everything seems to work well -- the training schedule, HRM, rest, lack of injury -- so my question of how to increase speed safely was why I queried how to go about it!

Mikey

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Mr Legs
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posted Sep-03-2004 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Legs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mbms2697:
Mr. Legs,

Thanks for the reply! Actually where I live in AZ my running terrain is fairly accurate enough (1 or 2 mile stretches) where I can simply note my split times and try to maintain a somewhat steady pace depending on what is on the training schedule calls for the day:

MRP: 9:00 min/mile
Med Long Run: 10:21 min/mile
LT Pace: 8:33 min/mile
(etc.)

With this in mind, I can then use the HRM to see if my ticker is in sync with Pfitz calls for during these training events (I use Heart Rate Reserve %). My comment about keeping my running form clean is just to insure that I'm not pushing my upper HRR % too early in the long runs, body posture, alignment, stride are all proper and comfortable, that kind of form. Everything seems to work well -- the training schedule, HRM, rest, lack of injury -- so my question of how to increase speed safely was why I queried how to go about it!

Mikey


I generally find that the only way to get faster is to push yourself, and racing is the best way I know to do that. Also, unless you're an older runner, I'm not sure that you need to pay so much attention to heart rate in order to increase your speed "safely". So many people use HRMs in order to run slower rather than faster, and I've always found this quite baffling. No pain, no gain may sound like a cliche, but training to get faster does actually involve some HARD effort.

One thing that did seem to make me race faster WITHOUT having to train any faster was just increasing mileage. I produced some much faster 10km race times without any LT or speed work just by increasing from 40-50mpw to close to 70mpw. You say you're on the 55mpw program. Perhaps including some slightly longer long or medium-long runs in your current program when you feel up to it might help.

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mbms2697
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posted Sep-03-2004 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mbms2697     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Legs,

Cool! Thanks for the advice! I do plan on running 2 half marathons between now and PHX RNR so I'll gauge the race pace with those 2 events.

Mikey

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Yoshiko
Cool Runner
posted Sep-05-2004 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Yoshiko   Click Here to Email Yoshiko     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I ran 7 mile outside (plus 3-mile equivalent in water) today. Discomort is there in my hip, but I wouldn't even rate that as Level 1 pain out of 10. Funny thing is, I feel more discomfort, due to my right leg being stretched(?), while walking, than running. I am taking a real careful approach to go back to the full Pfitzinger schedule (55mpw). I am hoping to get to the 15mile or so long run on next Sunday. I already have done one 20miler and one great MP run (16miler with 12miles at MP), so, I may skip all other 20+milers IF I am not 100%. I will probably take another 1.5~2 weeks to fully resume the schedule and hope to do the tune up race in two weeks. That will be a good indication where I am at and whether I need to revise the MP or not. One day at a time for now...

Glat to be back running

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bhearn
Cool Runner
posted Sep-05-2004 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bhearn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glad to hear you're running again, Yoshiko. The 3-mile equivalent in water, was that water running, with all the gear? I looked into that, when my hip was injured, but I decided it just looked too boring - certainly I couldn't see doing a 20-mile equivalent.

About feeling more discomfort when walking than when running, I had the same thing. My first 18-mile run was pretty difficult, since my hip was still bothering me significantly. I did it on trails with some topography, and I had to stop and walk uphill a few times. When I did, that's when my hip hurt the worst. I told my PT, and she said that's no surprise: any sort of inflamation around the bursa there will be aggravated more by a slower pace, because each step involves a longer period of the ITB sliding over the bursa. Good luck getting back into the schedule.

I did my second tune-up race today, and had a few surprises. The first is that I ran it about a minute faster than I thought I was capable of! All I could find today was an 8K, but the schedule calls for an 8-15K, so that's OK. But unlike the trail 10K I did two weeks ago, this course was a flat road race, and a certified length, so it should serve as a better calibration point. The McMillan calculator says I should be able to do an 8K in 32:58, if I can run a 3:15 marathon, which I'm trying to. But realistically I didn't think I could hold a 6:37 pace for that long, so I targeted 33:30. (After all, I didn't taper for this race.) Well, I finished in 32:10! (= 3:10:16 marathon, per McMillan). I only managed that because of the second surprise: I was pacing myself with my Nike Triax Elite watch, and for some reason it was measuring distance about 5% short today. So when I started by trying to hold a 6:45 pace, I was actually well under 6:30. I feel a bit confused, and foolish, about this - I'm always posting about how my watch is >99% accurate. Well, not today. I guess it's back to the track for more experimentation.

Anyway, I can't complain about the effect; there's no way I could have run that fast otherwise. (Hey Mr. Legs, how's that for fooling myself in a way that helps my performance?) I'd have been thrilled with 33:00. Actually the second half of the race was very tough for me; I think I came closer than I have before to dropping out, or at least walking.

What's more, this might help explain my lousy MP run last week - maybe instead of the 7:27 pace I thought I was running, I was doing 7:06... and that hilly 10K two weeks ago, that I thought was only 9.2K, maybe it was 9.6, and my 39:54 is better than I thought... yeah!

Well, now I'm really psyched about my marathon again! Also looking forward to finally getting into my taper. I'm in the home stretch now. One more 21 miler, next week, then it's all downhill. In retrospect, I think it wasn't wise to choose the 24-week program for my first marathon. As Pfitzinger says, it is very difficult to maintain focus for that long. It's not enough to just go out and do the runs; at least for the speedwork, you have to really want it, and you can only make yourself really care so many times.

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Mr Legs
Cool Runner
posted Sep-05-2004 11:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Legs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob,

You were lucky. Just think of what the result would have been if your Nike Triax Elite watch had been displaying paces faster than actual pace, instead of slower. It would have undermined your training! (I was struck how your watch actually pushed your pace, since I regularly set my watch fast so that I'm not late everywhere I go).

Well done in the race, though! I'm in constant amazement myself at how the Pfitz program has so dramatically improved my racing while as my training pace slumps down into the mid-8 minutes/mile range. Your approach to racing may be just a tad too clinical, IMHO. You seem almost as apprehensive about finishing faster than your target marathon time than slower! Granted, pacing in a marathon is a little bit more important than in a 10k, because there is some risk of crashing out before the end. Nevertheless, racing should be more about going for it than about setting exactly the same split time mile after mile.

Speaking of nerves, I'm finding that every single ache or pain, with only three weeks to go, feels like the beginning of a major injury. Started to break in my NB 833s that I will use in the marathon last week, and began feeling a pain in the center of the sole of my left foot. Feels a bit better today, so I hope it's not serious. Also, a set of strides seemed to strain my right glut, but that has also settled down after the 20 miler today.

Keeping all fingers and toes crossed!

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