Applying Training to Racing

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Aug 2012
1:04pm, 28 Aug 2012
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Frobester
I've just embarked on a hastily-cobbled together 11-week plan between now and Rutland Water (my second marathon), and it just occurred to me, the plan I have is littered with tempos, intervals, speed work and distance. I get that running distance at somewhere below both your normal distance-running pace and your marathon pace will re-acquaint you with being out on your feet for hours, and get the mileage back in your feet again.
But speedwork, intervals and tempo running - can someone tell me if there's a way I can apply that during the race to make the best of both the training and the race?

Cheers.
Aug 2012
1:21pm, 28 Aug 2012
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HappyG(rrr)
I don't understand the Q Frobes, sorry mate!

Do you mean can you do those speed type sessions during a race, treating the race as training?

If so, yes to Tempo and MP in shorter distance races, but no to Intervals e.g. you can run a half mara at MP and call it an MP training run. You can run a 10K at HM pace and call it a tempo. Intervals would look very strange in a race! I've also done a half as a progressive (start slow, finish fast) which is good mara training.

Was that what you meant? :-)G
Aug 2012
1:24pm, 28 Aug 2012
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Fenland Runner
Frobes, if I understand your question! I agree with HappyG :-)

Intervals during a race would piss off all other runners, but a tempo run is very good. In fact maybe this Saturday I will use a parkrun for that very purpose. One mile warm-up, 5k at tempo pace (parkrun) then one mile warm-down.
Aug 2012
1:27pm, 28 Aug 2012
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Frobester
Yeah, in a nutshell, G. To my simple mind, if you're supposed to plod along at the same sort of pace in a marathon for the entire 26 miles, what's the point of doing intervals, tempo and other stuff, apart from making your body better able to plod along?

I really just meant does the training expect me to apply the other types of running to during the race, ie parcel up the distance and say ok, this mile I'll run at HM pace, or this mile I'll run at tempo, or this mile at x or y pace, so as to shake up the monotony of 26 miles at the same pace?

Sorry if this isn't making sense!
Aug 2012
1:29pm, 28 Aug 2012
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Frobester
I suppose I mean that sometimes during long races I see other people varying their pace throughout the race, and is that a commonly-accepted practice, or is it just them either throttling back because they set off too fast, or speeding up a bit because they feel fine, or started off to slowly and they're panicking?
Aug 2012
1:34pm, 28 Aug 2012
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Fenland Runner
Starting slower and then increasing pace is low risk, high reward strategy.

Setting off too fast for your ability is high risk, and (to my cost) ends in tears :-(
Aug 2012
1:34pm, 28 Aug 2012
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Curly45
I think I know what question you are asking! The reverse of the usual: "why should I run X + Y slowly to run 26.2 at X pace" question

Basically for any event you want to train the systems in play during that event, and the easiest way to do that is to train at paces above and below the target pace. Now marathon is a slightly strange beast in that you need stamina (running long) and speed endurance (running hard for long).

Speed endurance needs to be built from a speed base. If you have natural speed and lack stamina then you can usually work on paces at 10 mile pace and slower and develop that side. If you lack speed and have stamina then you need to develop speed and speed endurance with intervals faster than 10 mile race pace (perhaps going right down to 1 mile pace).

You need to decide what you lack and work on it for the marathon, but just pick one thing each marathon campaign. Or you can cover the bases with no fast work and just multipace tempo running like wu, then a mile of each: MP/HMP/tempo/HMP/MP and stuff like that as you work multiple systems over one session. It sounds like you want a cover the bases plan so that sort of stuff might apply to you.
Aug 2012
1:34pm, 28 Aug 2012
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becca7
If I vary my pace it is normally just to get away from a persistent snot rocketer/gobber. For a marathon you want to try and keep your pacing consistent or you will regret it in the second half.
Aug 2012
1:55pm, 28 Aug 2012
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Frobester
Thanks Curly, very helpful!

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