I need some training advice as well!

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Jan 2013
8:06pm, 3 Jan 2013
300 posts
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As everyone else is looking for advice today, in for a penny...

I’m looking for some advice on where to go next with my training.

46yo male, running since 2009, currently run 3-4 times per week, mileage rarely exceeds 30 miles per week. I enjoy running just for the exercise but also have a bit of a marathon bug (3-4 maras per year) and would like to get better at that. Current PB 3:55. I’d like to get that down to 3:45 this year and then maybe push on to aim for a Boston GFA which would be around 3:30. I usually follow RW Smartcoach programmes for my marathon training, for a mix of easy, tempo, speed and long slow runs.

What next?
I can’t see myself having the time or commitment for hardcore 55+ mpw programmes. I look like a shuffling dying man in race photos so maybe I should work on technique, e.g. POSE? Buy a pair of VFFs and aim for a more natural running style to help avoid injury? Or focus on HR training and make sure my slow runs are slow enough? Or just make better use of the mileage I’m already doing, somehow? Or all of / none of the above?

What would YOU do, if you were me? Other than sit down for a cup of coffee and some cake?
Jan 2013
11:16pm, 3 Jan 2013
2,470 posts
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Hi Fitz! I'm not doing a marathon, but am aiming for a sub-2 half - I've got stuck at just over 2 hours and needed to find something to give me a boost (be it mentally, physically or both). Found a thread on here that recommended a book called "The Art of Running Faster" and downloaded it from Amazon. It's basically sorting out my running form, cadence and breathing, whilst suggesting a few changes to how I train (e.g. I don't run every day, but it proposed doubling up and doing a structured a.m. session and then a recovery run in the evening). So far so good and it has refreshed my outlook a bit - it's good to feel a bit energised about my running - I'm a bit of a plodder in the last 2/3 of the pack. This book has made me think that perhaps I can move up a bit and do some mid-pack running and grab that sub 2 hour half!
So that's my suggestion.
Best of luck and Happy 2013! :-)
Jan 2013
8:42am, 4 Jan 2013
301 posts
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Thanks Lalli, I'll add it to the reading list. I have P&D's Advanced Marathonning and Daniels' Running Formula on the shelf - both unread! Maybe I need to get them off the shelf and read them to make better use of my training time.

I read McDougall's "Born to Run" before Christmas. Quite a good read in itself and certainly got me thinking more about form (easy, light, smooth and fast!) and whether I really need fancy support shoes or should I train myself to wear something more "natural."

Note to self: now in danger of too much reading and not enough running!
Jan 2013
7:12pm, 9 Jan 2013
645 posts
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Ninky Nonk
Why not concentrate on getting your 5k or 10k pace down? Get away from marathons for a bit.
Jan 2013
7:34pm, 9 Jan 2013
14,640 posts
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Daniels is good, there are specific plans, but it also gives you a general guide to how to train and how fast to go. I use the structure, but not the plans and my times are improving (slowly, but very consistently).
The bottom line is though, that you will probably get most benefit out of more miles. Some people can do fast marathons off 30mpw, but there aren't many of them.
Core work is helpful, stops you feeling as tired. Just 15-20 mins 2-3 times per week. You can do a lot of it at home with no kit. Pilates is good too.
Jan 2013
11:34pm, 9 Jan 2013
5,704 posts
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I'd have the coffee and cake while making some plans.

I like cross-training and swim or do a core or weights session on the days when I'm not running. I have one day off a week and even then I'll walk or swim a short distance just to keep from seizing up.

You're probably going to have to do more and longer runs but if you really don't want to do that, it might be worth having a look at a high intensity programme. There's a book and everything. (I have to declare an interest here in that I work for the publishers but here's a link. See what you think. dundee.ac.uk . Other books are available, of course.)
Jan 2013
9:08am, 10 Jan 2013
305 posts
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Thanks Ninky Nonk but I like marathons! If I get faster 5k and 10k times as a by-product of marathon training, that's great but improving my mara time is my main target.

Thanks JohnnyO, I may have to dust off my copy of Daniels. I'm aware I don't do enough x-training so core strength could be better. Currently I do 1 BMF session per week and I'm trying (and repeatedly failing!) the 100 pressup challenge.

Thanks for the link RichHL. I remember watching the Horizon programme on that subject last year. Very interesting, as was the debate here on Fetch afterwards!

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As everyone else is looking for advice today, in for a penny...

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