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Can fartlek training help your marathon?

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comment by tim400 (U1822727)

posted Dec 28, 2007

Yes.

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posted Dec 28, 2007

I got told by my P.E. teacher that fartlek is Swedish for speedplay.
I can do 5k in around 17 mins 17 secs (i got that time in the race fo life earlier this year)
Closest i've got to doing 5k is the 4.3K run in the English Schools National final which I did in 14 mins 5 secs.
39 miles over Christmas isn't bad Richard. A lot of people will have sat round drinking and stuffing themselves with food whilst watching movies.
As i said in a previous article of yours I got a Cross-Trainer for Xmas and have been on for an hour everyday since. Covered around 50 miles so far but I haven't done my hour today.
My rating:starstarstarstarstar

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posted Dec 29, 2007

tim400 - Care to elaborate? You've given me useful tips that have helped my running before (in the running groups thread, and about heart monitors), I'd really like to know your Fartlek routine, or any pointers for tailoring a session to personal needs.

Craig - Yes, it is (I was being facetious, but I have re-written the article for clarity).
Congrats on the 5k time, that easily beats me, but I am far more a try-hard than a capable runner like yourself or Tim.
I did stuff myself, too - 39 miles and I put on 11 lbs!
Good luck with the x-training hour!

So, the Wikipedia Fartlek - worked for me, made me run until I felt exhausted-nauseas. I cut out the recovery walk and, owing to the route (4 miles), could only have one uphill sprint (and several flat sprints). The trouble is having a Fartlek schedule to be done in circuits but having one, fixed, single-lap route.

Tonight's session will involve 5x 1-mile laps so I can better adjust my speeds.

Owing to my recent treadmill work, trying to stretch how long I could run at full speed (16km/h), has had instant results in my 'coasting' pace. For instance, my route for last night normally takes me 32 minutes. I had my flatmate order a curry (ETA: half-an-hour) as I set off.

Did the course in 28 minutes with the recommended race pace minutes and lactate threshold bursts.

The veg korma arrived while I was in the shower.

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posted Dec 29, 2007

Not a bad night then Richard winkeye

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posted Dec 29, 2007

Yes, most training can.

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posted Dec 30, 2007

Craig - trust me, all downhill from there on.

Tony13th - really? Take a read of my cross-training article. Most comments seemed to suggest I should devote more time to just running, rather than spin classes, hiking, other CV activities.

What I want to know is how does interval training help you?

How do you schedule such training? What benefits have you experienced?

Last night I tried the Gerschler routine outlined in the article, a strict sprint-recover-sprint-recover routine.

It was one of the toughest sessions I've ever had and would recommend it only to seasoned runners (Tim400, Craig, and others), have a go, let me know what you think: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/fartlek.htm

Each 'circuit' should be 7min 15sec or, as I approximated it, a one-mile lap of Ealing Common (do-able with the sprints).

(Take a look at BBC Sport Academy's running guide - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/health_and_fitness/4286146.stm - I'm taking 'sprint' to mean full speed, pumping arms, with a ball-toe only footstrike.)

The rough science is that there are two muscle types: slow- and fast-twitch, tailored for aerobic exercise (long runs) and anaerobic bursts, respectively. By my third 'circuit' it was apparent I am slow-twitch kinda guy and had to coast-run rather than sprint-and-recover. There was nothing left.

If I am to complete seven Fartlek sessions (let alone a marathon), I will have to work on my anaerobic training.

On the jog home, however, I passed a bridge that I used to run over on my jogs years ago. 150m to the archpoint, sharp incline, sharp-ish left turn. Though I have tried many times, I have never completed that 150m on a ball-toe footstrike at what I can truthfully claim to be my fastest possible pace.

Last night I did it. Today my hamstrings really hurt.

So, am I right to push myself? Do I need to learn to sprint if I'm training for an endurance event? Will anaerobic exercise improve my overall fitness or does it risk needless injury?

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posted Dec 30, 2007

Hi - this is an interesting article. I am one of the authors for Momentum Sports - the influence for the session you have chosen on Monday.

We deliberately don't specify what distances, times etc people should do on the site as this is down to a number of variables to do with the individual and what they are training for.

As we say, sometimes it is good to let the individual choose what they do based on how they are feeling - other times, the coach should set specific time intervals etc.

One observation I would make is that you are doing fartlek every day - I realise this is in the interests of journalism and experimentation - but this is a bit of a recipe for disaster, with a higher risk of injury or illness than you should really be taking.

Every other day for two weeks with steady running days between would be better - indeed, we always advocate one total rest day a week as well, even for highly trained athletes or else you placing too much stress on your body.

By the time you get to the Men's Health Forum day (I don't know what they recommend) - I would guess you'll be pretty fatigued.

Certainly, if done properly you are going to find this week a lot harder than a normal steady running 35 mile week.

We suggest listening to your body on these sessions - so you might need to do this quite a bit with such a tough week and not push on as hard as you can on each session.

Sorry if this sounds like a bit of a lecture, I wish you well and look forward to seeing how you get on.

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comment by RunHard (U9531552)

posted Dec 30, 2007

Fartleks when done properley are very tough sessions, I would never do them on consecutive days, especially as you are relatively new to running. using a recovery run the day after will lead to a better training response.
As already stated you will begin to feel tired by the 3rd or fourth day and as a result the quality of those sessions will be greatley affected.

The recouvery run is as important as the session, If you dont allow your body to adapt it wont you will break down.

All the best it could be a really tough week.

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comment by md_fan (U1645535)

posted Dec 30, 2007

Fartlek is definitely going to make you a better faster runner. The trick is not to make the first few runs so hard that you are exhausted early in the session. I liked to use lamposts for interval markers. They are not always equally spaced of course but that just makes it more interesting. I would run anywhere from one lampost to 5 or 6 and vary the pace accordingly. This is one of the best workouts you can do and will pay very noticeable dividends if done regularly (once or twice per week max).

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posted Dec 30, 2007

Richard,

None of those fartlek sessions on the Brian Mac site are suggested for marathon training. Just make sure your training is appropriate for the event. All long distance athletes use intervals in their training, but they're already running a weekly mileage far in excess of what you're doing. My advice is to make sure you can run the distance before you worry about anything else.

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comment by 30m23s (U10751936)

posted Jan 1, 2008

Heres a rough guide to what some of the top 10k runners in the country do. Can be summarised as 3 sessions a week (short intervals, long intervals and a tempo run) a long run on a sunday and easy running in between. A lot of them double up so they do a 35min run in the morning then a 60min run in the evening but I wouldnt do that until your body is used to high mileage.

Monday - 15 x 400m (with 1m30s rec)

Tuesday - 60 mins

Wednesday - 45 mins Tempo

Thursday - 60 mins

Friday - Alternate 6 x 1600 / 5 x 2000 / 8 x 1200

Saturday - 60 mins

Sunday - 120 mins

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posted Jan 1, 2008

Hi Richard,

I've got a place in the London Marathon and have been reading your posts with interest. Although my training has only just started, my aim is to go under 4hrs.

I live in West London too and was wondering which running club you've joined as I'm currently looking to join one. The two I'm currently looking at are the Serpentine and Ealing, Southall & Middlesex clubs. Can anyone recommend either or another West London running club?

Thanks, and good luck for the race!

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posted Jan 2, 2008

30min23s,

Is that a schedule you've used? For someone of your speed, (assuming that's a 10k time) what does it translate to in terms of miles per week? 60ish?

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comment by tim400 (U1822727)

posted Jan 3, 2008

Richard I would concentrate in geting the miles in rather than hopping from one regime to another.
At best you will find you are too stiff and tired on some days to actually run and at worst you are going to end up injured.
Before bringing in other forms of training you need a good fitness base carefully built up over some months.
And introduce speedwork very slowly and be very careful of the surface you do it on.
As a for instance somebody mentions 15x400 with 90s recovery -on a tartan track with spikes?
This needs a careful approach or it will end in tears.
Build up the mileage slowly and sensibly over a number of months and carefully introduce speed sessions of whatever type and please listen to your body!

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posted Jan 3, 2008

Hi all! Lots of running, lots of chat.

Richard H / RunHard / Tim400 - you're quite right on all fronts (no lecture at all!), please do accept most of these articles as experiment-journalism.
The goal should be that every week is 'tougher' than the last, though this week has really woken up my hamstrings and calves.
I'm not exceptionally fast or graceful, but I hardly ever fatigue (and am immensely stubborn), so felt OK to take this on (and get all the Fartlek reviews done in one go).
As you may have guessed, I've also ordered the sessions so that by Monday I would need the 'listen to your body' routine and the treadmill routine by Wednesday. I've interval'd my interval training...

If you are new to running, have a look through the outlines I've linked to and do try one. Not all seven. I underplay my running experience on here because what I can/can't do is not as important as encouraging readers to run and share their thoughts here.
There's also no reason why a recovery run can't be in intervals...

md_fan - yes, already noticing a difference in my running, mostly in my 'coasting' pace and the length that I can sustain my faster-than-race pace. Lamps and trees have been well used.

BobbyNads - again, top advice. I'm fairly confident that a total mileage of 35/6 miles this week is on target, and will be stepped up quite soon (including the first of five 20-milers). Though I am concerned that I haven't had a progressive distance run this week. This just seemed the best available week to introduce Fartleks in to the mix, find my favourites and incorporate them in with my other training.

30m23s (presuming that's a 10k time, well done) - look's a tough routine, 40+ miles a week, I can probably work it in to my training schedule quite soon, using the Sunday run to break 16 miles.

Baggie - Haven't joined a running club, but know people who train with the Serpentine, and I get a lot of my routes and tips from their website. There's one in Chiswick - West 4 Harriers - who have distance, tempo and social runs each week, and there are some regular runners I've seen in the Shepherd's Bush / Wormwood Scrubs area (normally lapping me), I think they're based out of the Linford Christie Stadium.

Reviews of Sunday -> Wednesday to come...

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posted Jan 3, 2008

Sunday, San Domenico's routine (Chiswick Back-Common):

Not as tough as the Gerschler routine. Maybe I was getting used to the demands, maybe I was limited by being so tired from the evening before.
I'm chuffed, my body is beginning to learn its 'gears' again and was far more able to make the quick-switches between recovery, race, fast and fastest pace in the routine than at any previous point of my training.
The limited sprinting in the routine was also a bonus for an aerobic creature like me.
I finished with no ill effects other than Chiswick B-C doesn't have a hill, so I did an extra half-mile at fast(er than race) pace.

Monday, Momentum Sports (Chiswick B-C):

As advised by Richard Holt of Momentum Sports (see above) I targeted this as a fun run, and told myself to use it for recovery if needed.
A lap of Chiswick B-C is pretty much half a mile and, after warming up with two laps, I tried random interval timing (606-user gnomeclencher recommended it) using my MP3 player.
One song = one lap (for twelve laps, then warm down). My musical taste is so horribly varied laps were being done in anything from 2:30 (Slayer) to 8mins (Sigur Ros), with a solid 3:45 average, and a great little segue to my next 606 Marathon debate...

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comment by 30m23s (U10751936)

posted Jan 3, 2008

Richard,

Its a tough routine but as long as you run your easy days easy (Tuesday,Thurs, Saturday, Sunday) and your hard days hard ie intervals and tempo run hard you should be okay.

Further advice:
Get plenty of sleep

Dont run 15 x400 as your first speed session start with 8 and build up. Vary the recoveries and speed to mix it up abit ie less recovery with slower pace or longer recovery with faster pace. What works for me is to divide the 15 into 3 sets and have a long break between each set and short recovery between the 5 reps. These Interval sessions are mental torture on their own. Try and do them with a club.

As for mileage worry more about time than mileage and your body understands the time it is under stress for and bot miles run. Obviously keep a rough idea of your mileage by estimating your pace per mile and multiplying through.

Long runs are a contentious issue. How long should your long runs be and at what pace? Ive always been told the long run is about time on your feet but other disagree and run it at 6min/mile pace. Any thoughts?

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posted Jan 4, 2008

30m23s, great tips! I will definitely try to use them, the whole thing sounds terrifying.
Long runs: my partner swears by 'time on your feet' and I'm undecided (hence the Richy-Brown-Guinea-Pig training diary) but have agreed to five runs of either 20 miles or 3 hours each (hopefully the same thing, just over 6mph).

Tuesday, Shrewsbury Athletics Club (Chiswick Back-Common):
Again, varied pace really helping my runs. By now my 'race' pace was a solid 12-13km/h, with a faster pace (14km/h) sustainable for a mile. Again, no hill, and I must admit that I did not have it in me to even try the sprints (so I left out the walking section, too). My heartrate exceeded the recommended 80% once or twice. However, I will try this routine again during my training as it is challenging, and perhaps the most varied.

(I should mention at this point in the week I was a little riled by comments on here that I was attempting something stupid. Well, that was the sort of the idea, and now I felt like I was going to prove some of you wrong. Which, I admit, is a ruinous frame of mind for training.)

Wednesday, GB Personal Training (treadmill):
The routine outlined in the article, I felt, was a little vanilla (20 minutes? Pfffft), so I upped it:
(10kmh 4mins, 12kmh 3mins, 14kmh 2mins) x2
(11kmh 4mins, 13kmh 3mins, 15kmh 2mins) x2
(10kmh 4mins, 12kmh 3mins, 16kmh 2mins)
Warm down until heartrate is normal.
Absolute winner and, given the new stresses put on my body this week, the treadmill allowed some respite for my joints.

Thursday, Longy from Men's Health (Ealing Common):
Longy is a sadist. Here I was, same place as the start of the week, suddenly capable of what we would roughly call a 'sprint', just going back and forth on a 100m stretch, in interval circuits, pleading with my bestmate (holding the stopwatch) to have mercy. He didn't and I'm glad.
This session will work you hard and is almost a microcosm of 30m23s' training above. I can believe Longy's claims of improved speed and look forward to trying 30m23s' recommendations.
The elation of completing this session was only matched by the satisfaction that I had got through all seven Fartleks without injury (bar a blister on my toe) in the name of investigation, and despite the concerns of some here.

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posted Jan 4, 2008

So, end of the week and I have the following, unswerving conclusions:

1. Do not run seven Fartlek sessions in a row - I can because the only talent I have is the stubborn refusal to acknowledge when I may be beaten - once or twice a week will be fine.

2. Find one or two structured sessions that help your running aims, learn where your recovery limits and upper thresholds are, then start tailoring a session to your body.

3. Lactate threshold training (seeing how long or fast you can go with that acid burn feeling in your legs, then recovering with a jog, then pegging it, repeat) will improve your casual speed, very quickly, but keep pushing yourself if you want to keep that speed.

4. If, like me, you don't have a sprint, don't kick yourself. Running as fast as you can for as long as you can is an exercise relative to your capabilities that will still improve your performance.

Thanks for all the tips and comments, really, all of them, even the ones that (rightly) critiqued what I was attempting. I couldn't have made it without them.

Have a great run!

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posted Jan 4, 2008

Richard - it looks like you have had a good week! You can now go off and have a well deserved holiday! What is the next plan in the name of journalistic research.

The one to two sessions a week of intervals (whether fartlek or intervals with a compete rest in between) will be fine for most runners below elite level. 7 in 7 days is an achievement, but, as I think you'd concede, not really maintainable long-term.

In terms of your "not having a sprint" there are three components to this - firstly - genetics (not much that can be done about that), secondly, practice with faster than normal paced running in intervals (maybe Fartleks!) and thirdly - and for me crucially something many runners miss, improvements in technique, which require work and concentration - but which can see you knocking chunks off your times - without too much perspiration (a bit of a result for most.)

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comment by tim400 (U1822727)

posted Jan 4, 2008

What I can say after reading this thread carefully is there is nothing that beats advice from either a fellow runner who has been there and done that or better still a coach who has been there and done that.
Some of the ideas suggested on this thread are really not a good idea for many people.
They may well be an "experiment " in journalism but for say the newcomer to the marathon some of the suggestions are bizarre to say the least.
A visit to your local club and a talk to a person who understands your current fitness level will give you better and more relevant help and advice than I see on this thread.

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comment by BigGut (U1688772)

posted Jan 5, 2008

Richard,

Doing any sort of interval or fartlek session requires you to have gained a decent base level of fitness in order to be able to get the real benefit. Doing 5 in a week is frankly lunacy and if you attempt to do them at an intensity that would actually stretch you you run a hig hrisk of injury.

The keys to training for a marathon are to get the miles in. Once you are at the fitness where you can comfortably run a marathon in say 3h 30m for an under 40 male then perhaps intervals and fartlek are of use.

You have to be fit enough to train an interval session hard and still do light but long training the next day AND recover. I would wholeheartedly recommend sticking to the miles for now. If the fitness comes and you are progressing well then introduce a session a week of intervals or fartlek in the last 8 weeks perhaps, but if you are not at close to race weight and have had a disrupted training regime then it's back on the roads for the LSD Long Slow Distance.

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comment by tim400 (U1822727)

posted Jan 6, 2008

"The keys to training for a marathon are to get the miles in."
Agree.

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posted Jan 6, 2008

Richard - thanks for the advice. Just thinking, would my lack of anaerobic ability also be the reason I struggled with my first spin class?

Big Gut & Tim - totally agree, the inquest of the article was perhaps 'how is Fartlek different to how we jog (in intervals, up hills, at differing paces)?'

Now, the answer is obvious to you chaps, to me, and to Richard H, but not to others, and I tried what I did to highlight such, while trying to give people an idea of how to structure their interval training (I've certainly learned a lot).

Given that we all understand the importance of getting distances in (I'm aiming at nearly 800 miles in training), how about: What benefits can a Fartlek session bring to someone in marathon training?

smiley

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comment by 30m23s (U10751936)

posted Jan 7, 2008

I dont doubt Tim400 knows his stuff but theres more to it than "mileage". High mileage is the cake but at least one interval session and tempo run per week are the icing on the cake. Just plodding for miles will result in minimal benefits, the running world is saturated with plodders who run 50-60mpw but cant even break 40mins for 10k because they lack any speed. The schedule I posted previously is probably aimed at a decent club standard athlete so obviously if your not that level you need to take rest days if tired and build up the intensity gradually.

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posted Jan 8, 2008

Thanks again, 30!
Yes, will have to build up to it.
To give you some idea of my standard, I'm on week 3 of RW's intermediate training:
http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/news/article.asp?SP=&v=3&UAN=109
But am 'upping' it slightly. Hopefully, I can work elements from your routine into it. Or, potentially, substitute a later, equivalent week of the RW schedule for yours!

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comment by BigGut (U1688772)

posted Jan 8, 2008

30, the benefit of fartlek is only going to be felt by those who are fit enough to do it and recover in time to train normally the next day. I agree that people aiming for sub 40 for 10k should at least do some high tempo runs but in reality we are neither talking about a 10k race or about a sub 40 runner.

However I will say now that my own father NEVER did a track session in his life, did his first fartlek and hills sessions aged 51 and was a 2:19 marathon runner world record holder at 30 miles - 100 miles and achieved it all off 80-100mpw. He raced prolifically instead and used that as his hard sessions, for me this is a far better way for the novice marathon runner to get speed work in, after all even a 10 miler will be run at significantly faster than marathon pace.

Base mileage is the MAIN ingredient of any marathon training. If you want to run a marathon quickly the first thing is to be able to run it at all, then you can try to get it quicker. And by running it I mean sub 4 hours not getting round being beaten by a rhino.

For me speed sessions are for those who are aiming to rise from having done the base work already. In my opinion Richard won't be at this point as yet. Doing a fartlek session at the necessary intensity to gain the benefit is more liekly to cause him injury than hep him progress.

If you want my advice it would be to ensure that twice a week you do a good tempo run, shorter than on your slower runs and hard enough that you can feel it in the later stages. These tempo runs are where you learn to disengage the brain. Dissociative thought whereby you are occupied on something else almost on a meditative state will help you cope with the pain of the marathon, wihtout this it bloody hurts.

Then there is the other thing, race often and race hard, the pain of getting close to your limit in a competitive environment cannot easily be replicated in traiing and besides which road racing is one of the most social and enjoyable aspects of being a runner. Oh and chuck in some cross country if you get the chance.

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posted Jan 13, 2008

BigGut!

Cheers for all the tips (though, I've been close to 40min 10ks...)

Agreed on all points - keep an eye out for prospective articles - I've just done one on whether 10mile and H-M racing can help or hinder your marathon training.

Hopefully, there will be one on disassociative thought (whether you call it 'meditation' or 'sports hypnosis') and how to practise it, hopefully I've touched on it in the comments after the 'music' article.

There may also be one on my first marathon (training for sub-4 but helping my partner finish on the actual day instead of seeing how fast I could run the thing), things I've learned, and why I'm so keen to train as best I can.

But thanks once again for all the pointers.

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posted Jan 14, 2008

Perhaps BigGut can tell us what his best marathon time is seeing as he has a wealth of knowledge of how to train.

I would also point out that nobody here has defined what they mean by "fartlek" Fartlek is different for different people. It is a Finnish or Swedish term which means literally "speedplay" and is normally taken to be running as fast as possible over varying, randomly chosen mixed distances of anything from 100mts- 600mts for between c20mins and c60mins in a nutural environment such as woodland or forest trails and taking as much recovery between each effort as feels appropriate.

However, others interpret it as ANY distance randomly chosen or even a series of fixed distances c400-c1500 or time 60 secs -5 mins repeated a set number of times.

Like all training it's value to the individual depends upon the current state of relative fitness, the preceeding few days training, distances/times,the intensity of the session and the current aspiration.

Some marathon athletes (past and present) find benefit in running 2-4 sessions of "long" and "short" fartlek a week over a period of 2-5 weeks.

Completly agree of course that mileage is the key. But not "junk" miles other than a necessary for recovery, recuperation and consolidation of previous training or prior to an up coming expected heavy work out or race. 

The biggest failing of most serious aspiring marathoners is not doing enough sustained high effort running during the hours they may devote to running during any week.

If you want to achieve a marathon time of inside 3 hours or at the top end inside 2.10 you need to be running a high proportion (at least 40%) of your weekly milage at that race pace. But how many of our aspiring sub 2.11 runners actually manage sustained efforts (30mins-60mins) of sub 5 mins per miles in training?

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posted Jan 15, 2008

James,

Does it make any difference what time Big Gut has done for a marathon? It seems pretty sound advice regardless of what time he's done. A friend of mine runs 55 minutes for 10 miles, but he doesn't know much about training; he's just naturally gifted. Mostly, he just runs around like a dog. It's not a training schedule I'd recommend.

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posted Jan 15, 2008

32 years ago in my prime I usd intervals/fartlek combo to "sprint" distances from 800m up to 5000m. In support of othr comments it was only once my body was race conditioned and the new approach was about tuning it. It enabled me over 2 seaons (in conjunction with maturity to knock 8 seconds off my 800 times and 25 seconds off my 1500 times.

Not convinced it is appropriate for marathons but then I never ran more than a half marathon.

My coach at the time approved its use on the basis it propmted ever increasing smooth pace (ultimately). he once commnetd that my original technique of saving my best for a gut busting 300 m sprint at the end of say a 5mile X-conutry impressed no one apart from the lassies !!

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posted Jan 16, 2008

The comment for BigGut is because he is a runner and therefore one assumes he puts into practice what he preaches. Therefore releveant to know what he can run to see if what he says works for him! Fair comment?

Don't know anyone who can "sprint" 800mts let alone 5000mts.

No doubt about it. Fartlek (as previously defined and explained) is an integral and essential part of any distance training for any event from 800-marathon.

Plodding will only result in plodding. To race fast you have to train fast. If you don't do in training relevant sections of your chosen race distance at race speed and above on an progressive programme, you cannot expect to improve at an optimum rate and achieve anything near your potential as determined by the daily/weekly/monthly work load you are prepared to undertake.

(nb Your potential may be to run 2.10 but in order to achieve that potential you need to train like a 2.10 runner not like a 2.50 runner)

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posted Jan 17, 2008

James,

And how would we know whether it was working for him? If he says he can run 3 hours, what will that tell us? Do you know what his fastest possible time is?

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posted Jan 17, 2008

Also, Big Gut's comments are aimed at the novice marathon runner; he hasn't mentioned his own training regime.

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comment by BigGut (U1688772)

posted Jan 21, 2008

James is purely out to demean me as he is in every thread on this site. My own times are pretty much irrelevant and I have only a limited number of marathons to my credit owing largely to getting ME at 22 and not training for sustained periods since then. I have run 4:02 for 35.2 miles off 10 weeks training.

However I have coached my father who is a 5 distance world record holder and I have worked with 2 national squad coaches and a midlands region endurance coach. Three of my training partners have run internationally at marathon or ultramarathon and I have helped members of my hockey club with their preparation for first marathons in London, Paris and new York.

As usual James misrepresents everything I posted. In his post he goes on to say basically the same as I did that you need to be in condition to do fartlek and that miles are the basic staple. As such I don't see why he is arguing with my advice other than to once again personally attack me for no apparent reason.

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posted Jan 22, 2008

BG, James - advice from both of you is more than welcome here, and a lot of it complementary.

Just be positive here, I'm sure you'd both trounce me over any distance you care to name.

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comment by Martin (U7215813)

posted Jan 23, 2008

Hello all,

this is my first post on any athletic-based thread. You'll have to excuse the verbosity, but I think that explaining who you are and what you do seems to be fairly important to avoid being flamed for doing something 'wrong', or suggesting something 'wrong'.

Personally I think that is a sad state of affairs, and attacking the unknown rather than trying to understand it is the reaction least likely to ever benefit anyone.

Anyway... I am not a long-distance runner at all. In fact, I'm not a runner at all at the moment. I started poking around the 606 boards to see if I could dig up any useful or interesting threads on picking up marathon training for a stab at the gt. South run, london etc.

I would say I have a decent base fitness as I play football 3 times a week - 1.5hr training (varying tempo), 40 mins 7-a side (high tempo), and 90 mins on a saturday (again, varying tempo)

I also try to fit in 2 tennis matches a week, which generally are 1.5 hours ish, at varying tempo. I am invariably sweating hard by the end of all of these 5 sessions each week.

You'll understand then why I was interested to see opinions about fartlek training and long-distance runnning then, as I would describe all my sporting exploits as fartlek training, in so much as they involve varying tempo activity, followed by short/inadequate recovery time, followed by more activity.

The difference being that the activity dictates the recovery time and activity, so it's not really 'training'.

The answer to my initial question about where I would need to start to move from sporting fitness to marathon fitness was probably already known to me in all honesty, which is that I would have to start putting in the miles.

In all honesty, that is utterly unappealing to me. I have the utmost respect for those that do it, but I can't think of anything worse than road-running several times a week at a given pace. The only thing likely to make me do it would be company - but then I have to join a club or find willing company of a similar pace to myself.

Do most of you train together, or is it a lone persuit?

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posted Jan 23, 2008

SlothSport,

I prefer training on my own because I always have a pretty good idea of what I want to do (how far, how fast etc), but I can rarely do exactly what I want when running in a group. However, if not running in a group means not running at all, then joining a club is the best solution.

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posted Feb 1, 2008

^ What he say.

Good fitness, though. I started training from a base of 3-4 footie games a week.

Yes, running at set tempo is unappealing to me to. It's only about 2/3 of the way in to a run that I remember why I think I enjoy it...

And don't worry about a few tiffs on here, feel free to offer any point of view.

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posted Feb 1, 2008

Hi Richard
I got selected in the King Henry Relay team for the Wednesday just gone and ran! We came 4th out of 36 schools but unfortunately lost our title sadface
I ran on leg 3/6 and more than held my own i took 1 person and was 3rd fastest in a team that included 2 sixth formers and 2 year 11's

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