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A 3 hour marathon training program


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Author Topic:   A 3 hour marathon training program
conflan
Cool Runner
posted Jun-18-2006 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for conflan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am training for my first marathon in the middle of October. I would like to run around the 3 hour mark. I have done some competitive 10 milers and 2 half marathons and I have used one of those on line projectors that predicts your time from prevoius races and it gives me a time for the marathon of a couple of minutes over the 3 hours.

I posted this on " Newbie" and didn't get much of a positive response, indeed some thought I was setting too high a target.

Can anyone recommend a good 3 hour training program.

Thanks for any assistance.

The Optimist

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GoDawgGo
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posted Jun-18-2006 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoDawgGo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What are your 10 mile and half marathon times? What type of training does your body respond best to? What is your current weekly mileage? Sorry to bombard you with questions. Don't put too much weight on running calculators. Running a race beyond 20 miles is a whole different ballgame.

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conflan
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posted Jun-18-2006 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for conflan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
GoDawgGo,

I ran a 10 miler with very little training in 65 minutes and a half marathon in 86. I did very little weekly mileage or training for these events and now want to set myself a target and do the necessary work. I am at about 35-40 miles per week and will be bring this up to about 50 in the next few weeks.

Any advice

Ps even if I don't do the big one in 3 hours I won't be to disappointed, but if I don't have a training program to work with then I will be just aimlessly training

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Southern Man
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posted Jun-18-2006 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Southern Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Buy Pfitzinger and Douglas' Advanced Marathoning. A great book with good programs and even better explanations so you can adjust as needed.

Southern Man

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My advice is worth what you paid for it

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ljwoodw
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posted Jun-18-2006 11:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ljwoodw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
con, I think I can help you. When I first broke 3 hours (Boston 2005), I was running around 60 miles/week (rarely higher) with a long run alternating between 16 and 22 miles. In addition to the long run, I would do a 10-12 mile run at marathon pace about once a week. Occasionally I'd do long intervals (5 x 1600, 4 x 2000), but I don't think this was that important. I ran a half four weeks before in 1:22:45, then ran 2:54 at Boston.

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Desert Tortoise
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posted Jun-19-2006 12:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Desert Tortoise   Click Here to Email Desert Tortoise     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pfitzinger and Douglas' book is excellent, but be careful to spend more time on the chapters where the principles of training are explained and less time with the schedules in the back. Too many runners go straight to the schedules and think following them will yield the desired results in the set amount of time. Pfitzinger and Douglas warn against this themselves.

I would also warn against trying to learn and do everything described in the books your first time out. October really is right around the corner in marathon training terms and leaves very little time to get yourself truly fit and finished. You won't have time to develop your mileage base properly and will have only a few months to get the lactate threshold work in. That really is not enough to complete training phases that usually take months to take care of properly.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to discourage you, and I'm not saying the sub 3:00 is impossible. In fact, your times suggest you have the ability to get that mark. It's just that most of the training programs out there for sub 3:00 marathoners are going to assume you've amassed some solid mileage on those legs and have a history of rigorous training, and you just haven't done these things. Ramping up your mileage and introducing marathon pace runs and tempo runs and repeats at the track on a 35 mpw body is asking for a train wreck before you ever get to the line.

So I would suggest either simplifying a sub-3:00 schedule or following a 3:30 schedule but with faster lactate threshold work. I've always been a big fan of keeping training simple, and this is primarily because it makes it more difficult to screw things up and get injured or over-trained.

No matter which schedule you adopt, keep in mind that the long run and the lactate threshold work are the key elements of your training if you are going to get under 3:00. The long run's importance should be evident enough, but running a faster marathon requires that you improve your lactate threshold a good deal. If you run too close to your lactate threshold, you burn glycogen stores at a very rapid race and no amount of GU or Gatorade is going to make up for the depletion. When fit athletes bonk at the 30 Km mark, it's because they just ran too close to their lactate threshold.

About 5% to 15% of your weekly mileage should be some type of lactate threshold work. Repeat miles or tempo runs are common examples of such work. Most of these schedules have the amounts around 15%, which would leave me injured within a month or two.

I was at 8% during the nine months leading up to a 2:29 marathon. That was the volume of lactate threshold work my body could handle at the time, and it hasn't changed in ten years even though I'm now a 2:50 marathoner and hoping to run under 2:40 again.

Listen very, very carefully to your body as you train. What it tells you is far, far more important than anything you will read.

Best of luck.

[This message has been edited by Desert Tortoise (edited Jun-19-2006).]

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MikeBro
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posted Jun-19-2006 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MikeBro   Click Here to Email MikeBro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm having that last post bronzed and framed, as well as tattooed on my butt. Thanks, DT!

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DanMoriarity
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posted Jun-19-2006 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DanMoriarity   Click Here to Email DanMoriarity     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MikeBro:
I'm having that last post bronzed and framed, as well as tattooed on my butt.

All well and good, as long as you promise not to post the pics ... :o)

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GoDawgGo
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posted Jun-19-2006 01:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoDawgGo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by conflan:
GoDawgGo,

I ran a 10 miler with very little training in 65 minutes and a half marathon in 86. I did very little weekly mileage or training for these events and now want to set myself a target and do the necessary work. I am at about 35-40 miles per week and will be bring this up to about 50 in the next few weeks.

Any advice

Ps even if I don't do the big one in 3 hours I won't be to disappointed, but if I don't have a training program to work with then I will be just aimlessly training


I am not sure how many weeks you have exactly before your October race, but based on your present weekly mileage, I would probably opt for Pfitzinger's 18/55 schedule. I think the mileage starts in the low 40's with a peak of 55. As stated earlier, read the entire text, not just the running schedules and listen to your body. If you need to rest, by all means do it.

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cowardlylion
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posted Jun-19-2006 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cowardlylion     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like this one:
http://run-insight.com/training-analysis-marathon.htm

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conflan
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posted Jun-20-2006 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for conflan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the advise, especially Desert Tortoises detailed response, I must indeed be a novice as I had never heard of "lactate threshold" before!!

I think I will scale back my ambition and go for a target of 3.15 and if that goes well I can try another marathon within the 3 hour mark.

This was my first post here so I appreciate all you guys taking the time to reply.............cf

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VictorN
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posted Jun-20-2006 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for VictorN   Click Here to Email VictorN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In addition to the Pfitzinger book, which is excellent, you may also want to pick up a copy of the Daniels' Running Formula. Again, read the theory chapters before you go to the training schedules.

Victor

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bhearn
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posted Jun-20-2006 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bhearn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by conflan:
Thanks for the advise, especially Desert Tortoises detailed response, I must indeed be a novice as I had never heard of "lactate threshold" before!!

I think I will scale back my ambition and go for a target of 3.15 and if that goes well I can try another marathon within the 3 hour mark.

This was my first post here so I appreciate all you guys taking the time to reply.............cf


If you do go with Pfitz 55, you will have plenty of time to recalibrate your goal based on the tune-up races, and how well you are handling the mileage and the speedwork. If the mileage increase is not a problem, 3:15 will probably be pretty conservative.

One thing, I've always preferred to throw in a half marathon as one of the tune-up races, even though the schedules call for 8-15K. The reason is that a recent half time is as good a marathon indicator as you can get, assuming you are properly trained for the distance. (Even so, I've never managed to run a marathon quite as fast as my half times theoretically predict.)

Bob

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zoomharp
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posted Jun-21-2006 10:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for zoomharp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by conflan:

This was my first post here so I appreciate all you guys taking the time to reply.............cf


You found the best message board on this site, imho. The folks here are serious runners, know what they're talking about, and are very generous with their advice. Good luck with your goals!

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Johnny J
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posted Jun-21-2006 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Johnny J     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Go for the 3. 3:15 would be too easy for you. I know, I know, first timer and all. But if you're going to put in the time and effort, why not aim high, with some back-up goals.

DT summarized well. If I were you, I would up your mileage to 45-55 over the next 3-4 weeks consistently with mostly easy running, while increasing your long run up to 15-16 miles with a mid-week run of 11-12. Do one tempo run each week, trying eventually to build that to a sustained 35-40 min. run (start with 20). In the meantime, pick up Pfitzinger's book, read it, then do the 12 week 55 mpw program. You may crash and burn at mile 18-22, but you might not, and you'll learn from all of it. Do your tune up races without any taper and use those times to "calculate" your projected finish time. As others have said, the marathon is a whole different ball of wax than a half and the first time is generally quite a learning experience, but maybe you'll be one of those rare few who can do well the first time. Above all, however, follow DT's advice and listen to your body and if you need to cut back, cut back--- it's better to nip overuse syndromes in the bud early than to miss a couple weeks of training and blow the whole thing if you really get injured. Staying healthy, increasing overall mileage base, tempo runs, and long runs are the keys I think, in that order.

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zpoint2
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posted Jun-22-2006 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for zpoint2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MikeBro:
I'm having that last post bronzed and framed, as well as tattooed on my butt. Thanks, DT!

Agreed, except for the tattoo part.

I opened up this forum to ask a marathon training question and DT, in his usual well-written fashion, answered my questions perfectly.

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Desert Tortoise
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posted Jun-24-2006 01:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Desert Tortoise   Click Here to Email Desert Tortoise     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Conflan,

You mentioned that you were not familiar with lactate threshold training, so I dug up a really good article by Pfitzinger on tempo runs, the most important lactate threshold workout a marathoner has.

I would recommend reading it a few times. The stuff he explains is not unique to his approach but is part of nearly every marathon training schedule out there.

These runs should be undertaken about two or three times per month once the base training is completed. They are not as useful in the last month of training, but they are just as important as the long run during most of the training leading up to the marathon.

http://www.runningtimesmagazine.com/rt/articles/?id=8093&c=2

NB: Take special note of the effort required for doing the tempo run correctly. It's not a time trial.

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conflan
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posted Jun-25-2006 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for conflan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Desert Tortoise,

thanks for the article, much appreciated. You are like an online coach/guru. I have 2 more questions that I hope you can help me out with;

1. I have being doing sub 20 min 5ks on the treadmill at least once a week for the last couple of weeks, would this be considered a tempo run at LT levels and is it fast & long enough (for a 3 hour marathon) and do I need to do it more frequently (sorry I have sneaked a couple of questions into this one heading!)

2. I have a heart rate monitor but never used it much, to find my LT level is it simply a matter of getting on the treadmill and running 15k as if it were a race, monitoring the max HR over the 15k and thereafter deduce that my LT level is at about 80-90% of this effort level.

Sorry if these questions appear simplistic or naive but I never took a scientific approach to running before (but the wisdom of doing so has quickly dawned on me as I have increased the lenght of my runs).

Again thanks for the advice to date..................cf

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Desert Tortoise
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posted Jun-26-2006 02:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Desert Tortoise   Click Here to Email Desert Tortoise     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You guys are giving me waaaaayy too much credit, but I'll run with it until some one pulls back the curtain and exposes me.

That 5k on the treadmill is probably more of a tempo run and would be improving your lactate threshold. A lot depends on how hard you are running that 5k and how beat up you are in the days after it. If you are pounding it as hard as you reasonably can, you are moving out of the lactate threshold zone and turning the workout into something closer to a VO2 workout.

Keep in mind that the time and distance do not necessarily determine the nature of a workout. If you feel as though you could probably put down another mile at that pace if you had to, then you are running closer to your lactate threshold and putting greater emphasis on improving that system. If you push yourself to the point where your heart is cranked up to full blast for a good portion of the workout and you feel whipped afterward, then you've pushed your oxygen capacity to its limit and are emphasizing improvements in your V02. 5k and 10k races are excellent VO2 workouts for this very reason.

You should come up with a longer tempo run, but I don't think ditching the 5k one is the thing to do. Notice that Pfitzinger describes more than one type of tempo run. They all have their places in the build up to a marathon and should be part of the mix all along the way to race day. So you might introduce some longer ones later on, but there isn't one single type of tempo run that is best at all times.

VO2 workouts, by the way, are usually best done in the 5 to 6 weeks leading up to the marathon. Lactate threshold improves more slowly than VO2 in most cases, but it can continue to improve and improve over time. VO2 can improve fairly quickly, but it hits a genetically determined ceiling after a time. Lactate threshold work is generally more important than VO2 work when it comes to marathoning, but improvements in VO2 show up as improvements in lactate threshold too, so get some of those nasty VO2 workouts in during the last month or more of your training.

And I have no idea on the heart rate monitor. I've never used one, but I think they are great stuff. Heart rate is the best indicator of actual effort which makes the monitor an extremely useful tool. I'm sure several other folks here know those things quite well.

[This message has been edited by Desert Tortoise (edited Jun-26-2006).]

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jaysoffian
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posted Jun-29-2006 12:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jaysoffian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Desert Tortoise:
When fit athletes bonk at the 30 Km mark, it's because they just ran too close to their lactate threshold.

I resemble that remark. Here's what it looked like:

Mile: HR / Time / Delta (from 8:23 pace)
1: 154 / 8:12.8 / -0:10.7
2: 161 / 8:16.3 / -0:17.8
3: 162 / 8:26.2 / -0:15.1
4: 160 / 8:09.7 / -0:28.8
5: 160 / 8:14.2 / -0:38.1
6: 160 / 8:22.8 / -0:38.7
7: 159 / 8:19.5 / -0:42.7
8: 158 / 8:34.8 / -0:31.4
9: 158 / 8:07.6 / -0:47.2
10: 158 / 8:09.1 / -1:01.6
11: 159 / 8:34.8 / -0:50.2
12: 160 / 8:36.4 / -0:37.3
13: 158 / 7:54.7 / -1:06.0
14: 158 / 8:10.9 / -1:18.6
15: 159 / 8:22.9 / -1:19.1
16: 160 / 9:00.3 / -0:42.3
17: 158 / 8:28.9 / -0:36.9
18: 158 / 9:00.2 / -0:00.1
19: 157 / 9:23.9 / 1:00.3
20: 155 / 9:32.1 / 2:09.0
21: 147 / 10:38.1 / 4:23.6
22: 146 / 10:16.3 / 6:16.5
23: 142 / 11:07.0 / 9:00.0
24: 142 / 10:38.8 / 11:15.3
25: 143 / 10:57.4 / 13:49.3
26: 142 / 11:12.4 / 16:38.2
26.2: 155 / 1:54.2 / 16:42.3

Finish: 3:56:42 (goal was 3:40).

CCM '04. Pretty obvious I'd say. Simply not enough miles training for that race and not enough race-specific (in this case, hills) mileage.

I've since acquired and read both Advanced Marathoning and Daniel's Running Formula. These books really complement each other so I'll recommend them again even though they've already been mentioned. DRF is background material for AM. There is some overlap between the two so if you buy only one, make it AM.

I'm currently following Pfitz's 24/55 plan and hope to run a 3:30 at the obxmarathon with it. Depending upon how I do I'd like my next marathon to be a BQ (3:15 for me).

Anyway, training is going great so far. I started my base building in March and the gradual mileage increase has me running a lot more miles a lot more comfortably than I ever have before.

About HRMs. I wear an HRM on my long runs and in races. On long runs it's basically just to chart my performance and to keep me from killing myself on hot summer days. During races it's to keep me from running the first few miles much too fast. Here's what a successful use of an HRM got me in my last half:

1: 7:47 / 155 (HR)
2: 7:35 / 166
3: 7:35 / 165
4: 7:30 / 165
5: 7:37 / 165
6: 7:54 / 163
7: 7:54 / 161
8: 7:39 / 159
9: 7:41 / 163
10: 7:36 / 163
11: 7:44 / 162
12: 7:53 / 162
13: 7:41 / 164
.1: 0:43 / 168

Good luck,

j.

[This message has been edited by jaysoffian (edited Jun-29-2006).]

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conflan
Cool Runner
posted Jul-07-2006 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for conflan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Desert Tortoise,

could you please have a look at the program below and tell me if you think its crazy to attempt this. I am up at about 40 miles pw at the moment. Thanks


SUB 3H05 MARATHON
Week 24/7/06 WEEK 1

Mon AM: 5 mile run
PM: Track/ 7 x 1000 meter. 200 meters recover. 9.4
Tue 7 miles easy run 7
Wed AM/PM: 30 minutes run. At PM do 8 stride fast and control. 4.5
Thu AM: 6 miles easy
PM: 7 miles run incorporating the last 3 miles 10 second faster than race goal pace 13
Fri AM/PM: 6 miles according to how your body feels. 6
Sat 10 miles run 10
Sun 7 miles easy run 7
57


WEEK 31/7/06 WEEK 2

Mon 6 miles easy jog ( get deep tissues massage) 6
Tue 10 miles run incorporating 7x3 minutes at marathon pace all with 2 minutes recover. (fartleck training) 10
Wed AM: 6 miles easy
PM: 15x400 with 50 second recover. Always do 2 for warm up and cool down. 9.75
Thu 8 miles easy run 8
Fri AM/PM 6 miles run. At PM do 8 stride fast but control. 6
Sat Long Run. 17 miles 17
Sun Take the day off or you can run 3 miles easy. 0
57

WEEK 7/8/06 WEEK 3

Mon 10 miles run. 8 strides at the end of your run. 10
Tue AM: 6 miles easy
PM: Specific track. (you may have to do this work out once again to find out how much you improve.) Do 5x2000, 400 meter recover. 12.2
Wed 7 miles easy 7
Thu AM: 5 miles
PM: 10 miles incorporating 10 by 30 second burst around the 5 miles.
Run last miles 10 second faster than marathon pace. (6:50) Or at least close to it. 15
Fri AM/PM: 7 miles easy 7
Sat 11 miles run 11
Sun 6 miles easy 6
68

WEEK 14/8/06 WEEK 4

Mon Off
Tue AM: 5 miles run
PM: Track: 4x400/ 2x1000/ 4x400 All with 1 minutes recover. 400 meters between set. 8
Wed 4 miles easy 4
Thu AM/PM: 7 miles 7
Fri 4 miles easy 4
Sat 8 miles easy 8
Sun 7 miles easy run 7
38

WEEK 21/8/06 WEEK 5

Mon 10km race 6
Tue AM/PM: 6 miles run. At PM run 10 strides after the run. 6
Wed 8 miles run. Last 5 minutes fast as you can. 8
Thu AM: 6 miles
PM: Fartleck: 2 sets of 1/3/2/4 all with 1 minute recover and 3 minutes between sets. 6
Fri 5 miles easy 5
Sat 18 miles long run. Try to run your last 3 miles faster than marathon pace.
18
Sun 6 miles easy run 6
55


WEEK 28/8/06 WEEK 6

Mon AM/PM: 6 miles run 6
Tue AM: 5 miles easy
PM: 8x1000, 200 meter recover. 10
Wed AM/PM: 7 miles 7
Thu 8 miles run. Do 10 stride at the end of your run. 8
Fri AM: 5 miles easy
PM: Long Fartleck. Choose a 10 miles loop. After warn up for 2 miles do 8 minutes/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 all 2 minutes recover Then finish the distance . Get massage. But not deep. 15
Sat 7 miles easy 7
Sun 6 miles easy. ( get deep tissues massage) 6
59

WEEK 4/9/06 WEEK 7

Mon 5 miles jog 5
Tue 5 miles 5
Wed AM/PM: 7 miles run. At PM do 15 x 1 minutes with 1 min. recover 7
Thu AM/PM: 6 miles easy 6
Fri 5 miles 5
Sat 20 miles long run. 3
Sun Off. Get a massage

31


WEEK 11/9/06 WEEK 8

Mon Half marathon race 13
Tue 6 miles easy 6
Wed 8 miles run. Some strides. 8
Thu AM: 6 miles
PM: Track: 5x800/1mile all out/ 400 all out/200 meter recover between 800 and 5 minutes recover between sets. 8
Fri AM/PM 7 miles 7
Sat 12 miles easy run. 12
Sun 7 miles easy run 7

61


WEEK 18/9/06 WEEK 9

Mon 6 miles easy. Get deep tissues massage. 6
Tue AM/PM 25 minutes run 4
Wed AM/PM: 7 miles. At PM do 10 strides. 7
Thu AM: 6 miles
PM: 15 x 400 divide it in 3 sets of 5. 50 second recover between 400; 400 meter recover between sets. 10
Fri AM/PM: 6 miles easy 6
Sat 20 miles long run 20
Sun Off

53

WEEK 25/9/06 WEEK 10

Mon 8 miles run. Get deep tissues massage 8
Tue AM/PM: 5 miles easy 5
Wed 8 miles run some strides 8
Thu AM: 6 miles
PM: 8 x 1000. 200 meters recover 11
Fri AM/ PM: 7 miles 7
Sat 10k race. ( last race before marathon) 6
Sun Off. Go to the movies. Forget about running.

45

WEEK 2/10/06 WEEK 11

Mon 4 miles easy 4
Tue 6 miles easy 6
Wed 6 miles. Do some strides. 6
Thu 7 miles incorporating the last 3 miles 10 second faster than marathon pace. (6:50 or better) 7
Fri Off
Sat 12 miles run 12
Sun AM: 5 miles easy
PM: 5 x 2000. 5 second faster than the first 2000 done on week # 3 11
46

WEEK 9/10/06 WEEK 12

Mon 6 miles some strides. 6
Tue AM: 4 miles
PM: Track. 2x400/2x800/1x1000/2x400. All 1 minutes recover. 6.5
Wed 4 miles easy. Get a soft massage 4
Thu Off
Fri 20 minutes easy jog
Sat 20 minutes easy jog

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Desert Tortoise
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posted Jul-10-2006 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Desert Tortoise   Click Here to Email Desert Tortoise     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
conflan,

I think it's a bit too much of a jump in mileage and speed work. Unless you have a history of handling 60 mpw along with track work and tempo runs, it's a bad idea to jump right up to them from a 40 mpw schedule. The schedule does have some easy weeks in there and does not sustain the 60 mpw levels too long but it is a little too much too soon.

You might cut back on some of the track work here and there and trim about 5 mpw off the schedule throughout. that would still be a good hard schedule but it would lower the injury risk.

I should say that you very well might be able to handle the schedule and more with no injury. Some people can crank it right up and not end up injured. Others start to fall apart at lower mileage and with less speed work. It's very hard to say how your body is going to react.

My issue with setting up a schedule is that it often becomes the goal rather than the means to the goal. People focus so much on keeping to the schedule that they ignore the signs their bodies are sending them to back off or even to crank it up even further.

I have a good idea of where I want to be a month or two or even three from now, but I set my running schedule week to week. I'm taking an easy week this week only because my legs just feel beat up and did not quite recharged during last week's easier paced runs. The plan was to have them fresh by last Saturday and to crank up the mileage this week, but my legs just told me they weren't ready. I can still make the benchmarks I've set down the road without trying to force myself to meet the demands of a schedule. It's all a matter of letting the fitness come to me rather than forcing my body to become fit at a pace it's not ready for.

(And please doen't get me wrong. I know I'm writing a good deal about taking things gradually, but I'm all for working hard and cranking up good mileage week after week. I just think it can best be done patiently.)

So you might keep that schedule around and refer to it as the weeks go by, but don't stick to it since your body is prodbably going to tell you things as the workouts and miles mount up.

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conflan
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posted Jul-10-2006 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for conflan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Desert Tortoise,

thanks for the sound advice. I actually feel a little beat already so I have taken an iron supplement as my energy levels were beginning to sag. I appreciate the time and effort you have put into this thread. I am going to take a day or two off and then see how I feel.

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MM Hippo
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posted Jul-10-2006 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MM Hippo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm going to go way out on a limb here and make a very unconventional suggestion: run a marathon as part of your training.

The problem with your original premise, and the problem with all the pace calculators out there, is that there are some serious real new problems that hit you in the jump from 21K to 42K. IMO these are far more significant than the jump from 10K to 21K -- maybe more than the jump from 5K to 21K. A good training program addresses all of these to an extent but it still leaves many first time marathoners needing a lot of luck to hit their race-day goals.

So with a three hour target find another (similar) marathon 2/3 of the way through your training program and shoot for a 3:30. Make the entire purpose of the exercise to hit an evenly-paced time. This experience should not tax you that much, and will basically remove a lot of the unpleasant race-day surprises.

I'll add that this suggestion needs all sorts of disclaimers on it. This is NOT common advice and lots of people will tell you that running a slow marathon will require like 15 weeks of tape/recovery and leave you injured, burnt out and totally ruin your training plan. Whatever. I'm just saying that the little details you encounter in a real marathon on race day can sometimes derail you.

Another disclaimer is that DT's advice is way better than mine, he's so much faster and more experienced than I am.

It's just that as someone who runs a lot of marathons right in the range where there are a lot of BQ thresholds I see a lot of disasters. The people usually pull away from me at mile 5-10, when I talk to them I'm always impressed by how well trained they are, how they run double or triple the mileage I do, follow a rigorous training plan with real workouts (unlike me.)

But there is an incredible trend I'm getting accustomed to: I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying "see you at mile 23!" because I invariably do, and they don't look so hot then. At the finish line they are invariably crushed, and typically about 12-20 minutes slower than their goals.

I'm not sure if adding a "practice marathon" to a strong training plan would help to prevent that, hence the disclaimers.

-hippo-

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wayfool
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posted Jul-19-2006 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wayfool   Click Here to Email wayfool     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Conflan,

It's amazing how similar our situations are. My goal is also run about 3 hr marathon in mid-October. I have yet to run a 10 mile race, but I ran a 7.5 mile in 47:27, and a half marathon best of 1:26 on about 40 mpw. I ran Miami back in January attempting a 3:10 pace and ended up with a 3:19. I think the heat and humidity definitely had an effect, but I started to slow around mile 18 or so, which suggests I had been running to close to anaerobic threshold, as other posters have suggested. I also think that 40 mpw is just not enough time on your feet. My basic training plan was a VO2Max/interval workout on Tuesday, 5-10 mile tempo run on Thursday, and a long run on the weekend, peaking out at 22 miles.

Clearly, the two things lacking in my program was the mileage, and longer tempo runs in which you're really simulating race conditions. I would recommend definitely getting up to the 60 mpw for at least three weeks. Also, incorporate at least one recovery week for every 2-3 weeks of increased mileage so you give your body time to recover. I think one of the key workouts I will be adding this time around are runs of between 15-20 miles in which you start at jogging pace (7:30-8:00 pace) and ramp up to marathon pace (6:50-7:00) for the last 5-10 miles. As you proceed in your training program, gradually increase the marathon pace portion.

I found these two websites particularly helpful. One is an actual training program of a guy who ran a 3:01 at the Hartford Marathon. His mileage peak is a bit up there, which I don't recommend you emulating, but you get the gist from his training schedule. The 2nd is a training schedule by Kevin Beck outlining the judicious use of these fast finish long runs that I mentioned before. It seems a bit monotonous but I'm convinced these are the key workouts to running a fast marathon.

3:01 actual training schedule
http://www.kemibe.com/kf.htm

Marathon paced long runs
http://www.runningtimes.com/rt/articles/?id=4835


Best of luck to you and keep me posted and how your training is going.

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