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4 lurkers | 255 watchers
13 Nov
11:56am, 13 Nov 2007
1644 posts
Cheers Ian, El Bee for clearing the grey area up. It seems this has been getting talked about quite a lot recently, so apologies for dragging it back to the fore, I should learn to search first !!!! Anyway, the simple way El Bee has explained it with pace and distance/time, the grey area would seem to hold true on other training methods. For example, Marathon pace for 10 miles would be running in the Grey area. For me this is 6:10 - 6:20 pace, McMillan has no running at this pace in his training methods when I look up his calculator.

I have actually done a lot of "training" at this pace, putting them down to general base mileage, so it will be interesting to see what happens over the coming months when they are removed from training.
13 Nov
12:04pm, 13 Nov 2007
2029 posts
Interesting, Boab :-)

I've seen my lack of marathon-pace training runs as a deficiency in my training for previous marathons - I do almost all my mileage 45-60s/mile slower than my last marathon, and speedwork a great deal faster. And I wonder whether there would be any value in doing some of my runs (they'd be unequivocally over 85%WHR rather than "grey" - I'm a lactate monster) at marathon pace.

Not yet, though, cos I'm not training for a marathon :-) :-) :-)
13 Nov
12:05pm, 13 Nov 2007
2118 posts
welcome back lums, see you have crawled out the woodwork again now that grey area running is being talked about!!!. Was thinking of you the other day and was going to fmail you as well but didnt get around to it.

The reason I thought of you was that I was out on my run which I had decided in advance was to be x miles at approx y pace. I have always tended to decide when I go out what my session will be. Then, towards the end I decided to really go for it up the last hill to try for a new max HR. It just reminded me of the sort of thing lums woudl do - change the session part way through!! It was fun, I liked being flexible and will do it more often.
13 Nov
12:16pm, 13 Nov 2007
3617 posts
Hurrah! I can now form a breakaway group!

Lums completely random and likely ineffective HR training programme. Books are available from Amazon-Swaziland at the offer price of £67.99.

Topics covered include:

When does a sprint finish become a tempo run?
Patented random training session spinner (some assembly required)
How to spend 30mins setting up zones on a Garmin and then ignoring them for a year.
Guest contribution from Noel Edmonds on the importance of mileage goals over quality training.


How to think about fmailing a person, but then not bothering as the computer room is cold and I'm A Celebrity has just started......

Order now and receive a free "I heart - HRM training" matching T-shirt and Donor card.
13 Nov
12:16pm, 13 Nov 2007
1645 posts
V'rap, on analysis of my marathon: Mara paced long runs are, I think, the key to maintaining pace for the entire 26 miles. I died a death at 20 miles, having felt superb, but my hamstrings tired very quickly and I basically jogged the last 10K. I agree with El Bee that 10 miles at mara pace wouldn't be productive, or running in the grey area, but marathon pace for 18-20 miles would be useful, if used sparingly in your training. You couldn't run these every weekend (maybe one in four over a 3-4 month period) and you would need to adjust your training around these runs, because they will take a lot out of you.

The four week cycle would look like this:
1) marathon paced with 2 miles warm up cool down
2) easy paced long run
3) progressive pace long run (start easy and build to marathon pace)
4) step back week.

Slightly off topic, but I think worth considering. I won't be running a marathon until 2009, but I would be interested to see if anyone uses this method, so thought i would 'put it out there'.
13 Nov
12:24pm, 13 Nov 2007
1582 posts
All this talk of going into the grey zone reminds me of Bullseye!-
'Stay out of the Balck and into the Red'

I'll get me coat, if you like :-)
13 Nov
12:34pm, 13 Nov 2007
2032 posts
I don't think I could sustain marathon pace for 18-20 miles as an ordinary training run. I'd have to do a race but not "race" it.

Which is OK :-)

I like that structure you describe for long training runs, Boab. Presumably you'll include shorter, faster-than-marathon-pace sessions too?
13 Nov
12:38pm, 13 Nov 2007
2161 posts
eL Bee!

So - who wants the main bulk of the Parker book, then?
13 Nov
12:52pm, 13 Nov 2007
1646 posts
V'rap, yes, there would be 10K and half marathon paced interval sessions in there and tempo/LT paced runs. Wouldn't do any speed training though, I mean 5K or faster training, there is no point.

El Bee, why just the main bulk, have you been vandalising it? ;-)
13 Nov
12:55pm, 13 Nov 2007
2034 posts

Thanks, Boab :-)

Having been advised that I ought to be doing 400m efforts on a track in order to improve my marathon performance, those words "there is no point" are music to my little reptilian ears.

About This Thread

Everything you need to know about training with a heart rate monitor. Remember the motto "I can maintain a fast pace over the race distance because I am an Endurance God". Mind the trap door....

Gobi lurks here, but for his advice you must first speak his name. Ask and you shall receive.

A quote:

"The area between the top of the aerobic threshold and anaerobic threshold is somewhat of a no mans land of fitness. It is a mix of aerobic and anaerobic states. For the amount of effort the athlete puts forth, not a whole lot of fitness is produced. It does not train the aerobic or anaerobic energy system to a high degree. This area does have its place in training; it is just not in base season. Unfortunately this area is where I find a lot of athletes spending the majority of their seasons, which retards aerobic development. The athletes heart rate shoots up to this zone with little power or speed being produced when it gets there." Matt Russ, US International Coach

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