Intervals as part of marathon training? Plus plan selection advice pls

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Oct 2013
12:02pm, 30 Oct 2013
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HermanBloom
Hello :-)

Before I start, I guess my targets should be mentioned (and also that today I am in confident mood!):

1. Get round (99% confident)
2. Get round only walking at water stations (90% confident)
3. Get round in under five hours (70% confident)
4. Get round in under four hours (33.3% confident)

In theory I need to start my "proper" London marathon training in mid-December. I am looking at various plans (as you do) and getting confused a lot (as you do) as I have never really worked to a plan before. I keep coming back to Hal Higdon's Novice 2: halhigdon.com

1. If anyone cares to look at my previous races (two half's, a few 10's and a fair few 10k's), training mileage etc and advise if this is suitable that would be ace. I really am not sure what to look for when deciding what is suitable for me.

2. I would like to continue parkruns (so swap the cross training day in the plan) and also my Tuesday and Thursday runs with my club. Thursdays would work well with the plan, but every Tuesday is an interval session. I like these a lot, and my times have come down this week with the intervals being a main reason I am sure. However they do hurt, my legs do ache the day after so I don't typically run on the Wednesday (which this plan asks for) and I wonder if it is a bit too much? Some people have told me speedwork is vital to a good marathon, some have said just make sure you do the long runs and for the other runs take it a bit easy etc etc. The list goes on.

You lot know your stuff, share the wealth please :-)
Oct 2013
12:07pm, 30 Oct 2013
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becca7
Definitely bin the intervals. You are new to distance running and your focus should be on building stamina without stressing your body out unduly. That is the reason why you won't find intervals in the Hal Higdon plan. The plan is a good one that I have followed myself in the past. Just make sure that you won't be starting with a big mileage hike (i.e. make sure that your weekly mileage when you go into the plan is not much less than the first week's mileage).
Oct 2013
12:14pm, 30 Oct 2013
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Wobbling
I agree with Becca - you need a plan that allows you to build mileage without adding additional elements that increase the risk of injury. You don't need speed, you need endurance. I followed the Paula Radcliffe beginners marathon plan and had a pretty good race, coming in under 5 hours, running all the way and no injuries. It was a 12 week, 4 sessions a week plan with no cut-back week, no speed work as such. If I was to ever train for a marathon again, I'd add in cut-back weeks
Oct 2013
12:16pm, 30 Oct 2013
3,983 posts
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HermanBloom
Thanks for the feedback guys. I do between 15-20 miles a week currently, so this plan doesn't unduly ramp things up, and has cut-back weeks as well.
Oct 2013
12:16pm, 30 Oct 2013
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Fitz
Another good option, especially if you're starting from a low base of weekly mileage, is RW's Smartcoach training plan generator. It does include occasional interval sessions (or Speedwork in RW language) but it let's you play around with length of programme, weekly mileage and time target until you get something that works for you.
Oct 2013
12:33pm, 30 Oct 2013
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HermanBloom
I looked at that but couldn't find anywhere to change the time targets? It just asked for a recent run time (went conservative and gave it my last half time rather than this weekends GSR) and it generated things from there? Kinda surprised the longest plan is 16 weeks as well, considering Hal's is 18 but maybe that doesn't make much difference.

Think I am going to have tow work out all this Tempo run and different pacing as well. I basically run slow for my long runs, and quicker the other times :-)
Oct 2013
12:46pm, 30 Oct 2013
576 posts
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Fitz
Yes, time target is based on recent run time.
Oct 2013
12:51pm, 30 Oct 2013
10,553 posts
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Ultracat
You seem to have a fairly low weekly mileage according to your training logged on fetch. I would concentrate on building up weekly mileage rather than doing speed work.
Oct 2013
1:26pm, 30 Oct 2013
2,337 posts
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Bru-Bru
Another option, which I have only recently discovered myself, is the plans on the Garmin Connect site. They have a range of different levels of intensity/experience for each distance and the benefit is that it downloads to your calendar on the site and shows actual distance/time done against the planned sessions. They mostly do include some speedwork sessions, but less so in the beginners plans and you can always choose to just run for that time, rather than do the actual intervals/hills/fartlek or whatever.
Oct 2013
1:54pm, 30 Oct 2013
3,985 posts
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HermanBloom
It's only low weekly mileage compared to some of you nut-cases ;-)

Points taken though, it's clear that I need to focus on distance, rather than distance and speed. Will look at the Garmin site as had no idea that stuff was there. I just log my runs and then leave the site.

About This Thread

Maintained by HermanBloom
Hello :-)

Before I start, I guess my targets should be mentioned (and also that today I am in con...

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