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marathon plans - track session pace

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Feb 2015
10:34am, 20 Feb 2015
297 posts
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DaveG
After a few marathons not go as I wished, I've decided to actually follow a training plan this time around. Specifically, I'm using the RW basic intermediate plan, hoping for 3:50.

Yesterday I did a session which was 5x800m fast, 400m slow on a track. The plan, however, gives no definition of 'fast' or 'slow' so I'm wondering if I judged my pace right.

I think I did as I did each fast lap in around 1 minute 50 (and hence each 800m in around 3:40) and felt it was much more of a struggle towards the end than at the start.I have an idea that's how you define the right pace, but it's not actually based on anything.

I did the whole session without stopping, just going straight from one speed to another. As I did a 3 lap warm up and 2 lap warm down I ended up doing 8k at 9:03 pace. My normal training runs of 5-6m are at that pace if flat (or up to 9:30 if hilly, as most of my runs are). So essentially I've done the session at the same overall speed as I normally would, albeit varying my pace a lot. Is this normal or would this session usually take longer/shorter than a standard run?

Also, is 3m40 for a 800m in a 5x800m session about right for someone who has a current 5k time of around 23:40 and is aiming for 3:50? I'm slightly worried I might be doing them too slow and not getting the right benefits, or too fast and risking tiredness/injury. It seems to be 22:25 pace for a 5km, which is 1:15 faster than I do (at a reasonably flat) parkrun.
Feb 2015
11:18am, 20 Feb 2015
11141 posts
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Ultracat
Hi, I think the McMillan pace calculator is very good at giving you correct paces for different sessions.
Feb 2015
11:23am, 20 Feb 2015
1368 posts
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Huntsman
The Fetch calculator is good too.

http://www.fetcheveryone.com/training-calculators-trainingpace.php
Feb 2015
2:20pm, 20 Feb 2015
298 posts
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DaveG
Excellent - thanks for that. I never realised that was there.

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After a few marathons not go as I wished, I've decided to actually follow a training plan this time...

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