Marathon speed session ideas

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Jan 2015
6:43pm, 14 Jan 2015
158 posts
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ButterflyLou (MrsMothy)
Hi! I'm in training for VLM2015 and am waiting for my Garmin to arrive (sent off for refurb as not holding charge etc). I'm struggling with my speed / interval session and I am in need of some ideas for different sessions. I've know of 1/2 mile efforts with 1/2 mile recoveries but I need a variety of sessions and am up for any help / advice. I'm looking for 4 miles ish in total mileage and I run my long runs at low 10 m/m, tempo run of 8 to 10 miles in the week at around 9.5 m/m and the little speed I've been doing has been trying for 8 something m/m for my efforts and can manage this for 0.5 miles. Seeking inspiration!
Jan 2015
7:18pm, 14 Jan 2015
18 posts
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jmair01
I am not very technically minded about my training and I'm sure others will have better suggestions, but...
I've started using Zombies Run! for my pseudo attempts at running intervals. It's great fun and you don't need your Garmin. If you've not heard of it it's an app you download for your mobile. One problem - using it on dark winter runs is starting to creep me out.
Jan 2015
7:28pm, 14 Jan 2015
159 posts
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ButterflyLou (MrsMothy)
Good idea - sounds a bit scary and as I'm running round my village on my own in the dark. I could maybe just imagine being chased by zombies for my efforts to keep up the speed?! ;-)
Jan 2015
12:02am, 15 Jan 2015
2,124 posts
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Old Man
I can think of a few coaches you may know who could rattle off a few speed sessions for you BFL

There's try the track next Wednesday of course and then while you are waiting for your garmin, why not do fartlek round the village or use the lampposts, 2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2 fast with the same number as jog recovery. With a mile warm up and warm down that should see you done 😃
Jan 2015
12:19am, 15 Jan 2015
6,602 posts
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rf_fozzy
What about timed sessions? Just need a normal watch. Various sessions that you can do, but 8x3mins or 6x4mins with half time jog recoveries, I.e. 90s and 2mins respectively, are good.

If those are too long, then something like 60s hard, 60s jog x say, 15. If that's too easy, I tend to do either a few more reps and /or make the hard longer or recovery shorter.

None of those need a track.

For track based sessions, there are many, but classics are 2sets of 7x400m (I do 2x8x400, but I'll explain why in a minute) or 10x 600m 7x800m, 6x1km or to mix it up a pyramid like 4,6,8,1k,8,6,400m. All of those with half time jog recoveries.

As for pace use the pace calculator on here or Macmillan running clac or something like the vdot calculator on attack point to get the right speeds.

What you should get is that when you add up your session, you should have about 24mins of efforts, so you can tailor the above to your pace.

The absolute best session I did for me though when marathon training was 7x1mile on the track at tempo pace with 2min jog recoveries. Long session, but really worth it for me. I also did a lot of hill work - booth long (4-5mins up) and short (90s-3mins) -I think hills a greatly neglected speed session

Hope that helps with some inspiration!
Jan 2015
8:31am, 15 Jan 2015
16,288 posts
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DeeGee
I detest pyramids, which can only mean it's good for me.

Warm up, then 1 minute hard, 30 secs recovery, 2 mins hard, 1 min recovery, 3 mins hard, 90 secs recovery, 4 mins hard, 2 mins recovery, and 5 mins hard. Recover for 2:30, then come back down 4 mins, 2 rec, 3 mins, 90s rec, 2 mins, 1 min rec, 1 min and gentle run to finish.

That's 25 mins total effort, so you'd be covering, what, 3 miles or so in efforts? You can either walk the recoveries or stop completely. As a group we potter around and regroup so we're all together for the next effort.
Jan 2015
8:38am, 15 Jan 2015
16,289 posts
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DeeGee
Not completely sure of the value of Yasso 800s, but they're quite good to chuck in occasionally and very easy. You need a measured flat half mile with no roads to cross. We have a prom in Cleethorpes, although if I CBA to haul my way out to the seaside I sometimes give these a go up and down the bypass (mmm, scenic).

It's basically 10x800m, where the 800m effort is run in as many minutes as you want to do your marathon in hours. For instance, if I wanted to run for a PB and run a 3:25 marathon, I'd do my 800m in 3 mins 25 secs. On current form I'd be running it in 5 minutes ;-(. You then recover for the same length of time with a gentle jog.
Jan 2015
8:45am, 15 Jan 2015
543 posts
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Nelski
Loving these tips - it's an aspect of training I need to introduce to augment my frequent and determined plodding.
Jan 2015
8:53am, 15 Jan 2015
15,620 posts
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fetcheveryone
You could have a look at the Checkpoints map, and pick out some connections that you could improve your time on:

http://www.fetcheveryone.com/checkpoints.php

To further incentivise you along these lines, there's also a local leaderboard:

http://www.fetcheveryone.com/checkpoints-localboard.php
Jan 2015
1:09pm, 15 Jan 2015
160 posts
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ButterflyLou (MrsMothy)
Thank you all for the suggestions. :-)

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Hi! I'm in training for VLM2015 and am waiting for my Garmin to arrive (sent off for refurb as not ...

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