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Platypus' Beginners Guide to Running

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by platypus, 26 Mar 2007.

  1. Blackvault

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 May 2004

    Posts: 3,937

    Location: Northern Ireland

    Awesome is one word for it lol. It wasn't really near me to be fair, it was about 50miles away and is the daily commute for my colleague
     
  2. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 31,719

    My first observation is you must have a lot of natural talent unless you came form a very athletic background. As such I think you have some great potential to run much faster in time, so any goal time should be seen a stepping stone to much faster performances.

    You can definitely go under 3 hours so I would make that a goal. The difficulty is there is a fairly big difference between 2:59 and 2:55. Your Half marathon time indites 2:55 is realistic, 60-65MPW is sufficient although on the lower end and with a lack of racing experience at this distance I would say it is a risky goal.
    This calculator is fairly accurate, taking into account prior races as well as training volume
    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/marathon-calculator/

    Putting in your race times at 60mpw yields 2:58., 65MPW yields 2:57:19. Those times go down quite nicely as you bump volume to 85MPW.85mpw is about what I find optimal between training, recovery, work and family.

    I think a 2:58 goal time would be suitable, with the hope that you could make a strong finish and get 2:57, but enough of a margin if there is a small mishap to still get sub-3.
    In 2017 I had a 37min10 10k and a 1:20 HM on a hilly twisty course (neither had any taper and followed hard workouts in the week). I was running 80-90MPW and nailing every workout and LR. I went in to a Marathon with exception of 2:54 being realistic but it just wasn't my day and I suffered bad cramps at mile 16 and struggled to clip under 3. Since then the weather has thwarted me at every opertunity so I have only managed to shave a few more minutes down to 2:56:15 even although I know form training I have been in low 2:50s shape. So that is something to bear in mind. When you run slower, weather has less of an impact, and running 5/seconds a mile slower has less effect on finishing time let alone percentage of goal time. Once you get to sub-3, every minute seems like quiet a big jump in required fitness


    Pacing strategy you seem to be well grounded. You want that first mile to be the slowest by far, so i would suggest something more like 6:55. cut 5 seconds each consecutive mile until you are close to goal pace. It is very important to look at your watch religiously in these first miles and force yourself at a slow pace. It is incredibly difficult to start correctly.
    Going 10 seconds faster than your true race pace early on can cost you minutes later in the race., Your body is a lot less efficient until the muscles have warmed up.

    After about 3-4 miles you should be close to goal pace. You now need to do some testing and have a good think about how you feel. 5 seconds faster than you true pace will be disastrous. 5 seconds slower will lead to a slightly slower time but you should be able to make up a small amount at the end. You have to look at your HR and effort levels to see if you can spot the sweet spot between the 5 seconds too fast and 5 seconds too slow. If in doubt keep that 5 seconds slower than Goal pace until you get to half way.

    You then want to concentrate on being relaxed, good form, and very efficient. You an hopefully let your HR drift slightly downward. This is typically an enjoyable part of teh race but somewhat intimidating with the distance to go. main focus should be on efficiency rather than eeking out a few seconds here and there. Always give way to the hills by keeping effort constant. You loose time on ahill, nothing you can do about it.

    Once you get to around mile 12-14 the race starts to become real. Pace will drop slightly if you are not paying attention. This is mostly mental, so you just have to keep checking your watch and forcing to keep up. There is anticipation that things are going to get much harder soon and you still have a long way to go. Sadly that is true if you are racing close to your limits, every mile will get progressively harder. It is important to make sure to keep on top of gels and hydration until now, because you can't catch up. Be mentally strong. Enjoy the crowd

    By about mile 18-20 you likely feel like **** but are still moving close to goal pace. If you are not feeling close to death then you can start to see if you can start cutting 5-10 seconds off your goal pace. If you hit close to your limit you might find it incredibly hard to maintain, but 5 to 10 seconds is a little more comfortable. It is fine to let that happen if it really feels better but important to keep the slip in pace to no more than 5-10 seconds. It is a slippery slope that quickly leads to mental defeat and 10 seconds becomes 50 seconds a mile slower when you loose the mental battle. On the contrary, sometimes forcing yourself to speed up can actually help. You may feel no worse running 10 seconds under goal pace, and you get the mental boost that at least you are going fast. Forcing a faster pace can make you improve running form, which is much more important. Letting your running form become really sloppy will slow you down for the same energy output, so it is just a waste. forcing a faster pace could increase running economy and your HR might barely increase.

    Be warned that if you feel great at about mile 18-20 and start running 10-20 second under goal pace, you might be premature. I've seen this happen before. Some how your body hasn't fully realized how tired it is and you haven't comprehended that 6-10 miles at goal pace is a friggin long way still. A good friend once left me for dust mile 20, at mile 23 he was staggering and lurching to one side, finally finishing 12 minutes behind me.
     
  3. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 17,699

    Location: Higher Walton

    Just because it's starting to get closer. Is there anything particular you should eat in the runup to a marathon and at what point should you start carb loading?

    What about the morning of the run?
     
  4. Ian_Eb

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,180

    Location: Congleton, Cheshire

    I would skip on the Ex-Lax chewing gum :)
     
  5. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 31,719

    Nothing too special. In the weeks before typically you are tapering so the run volume decreases. At this time you want to eat less calories, especially less carbs. In the few days before it is good to slightly increase calories again ever so slightly, decreasing fat and proteins and slowly increasing carbs. You don't have to overkill carb loading but it is reasonable to eat some simple digestible carbs that will ensure glycogen stores are filled.

    I prefer my main meal to be lunch the day before. Mostly so I have a better chance of pooping before the race start! I typically eat a risotto or pasta dish with lots of veggies.

    The morning of the race ideally you start eating about 2-3 hours before the start. You want to eat quite well but not turned up to the start line stuffed. Again, simple carbs help ensure glycogen stores are full, blood sugar is high and that digestion is easy. Bananas, bread and honey. Nothing with too much fiber.

    More important is hydration. Day before and morning of drinks lots of water, but also sports drinks to ensure fluid is retained. Race morning tends to be a battle of drinking well but peeing as much as you can.

    You will want a gel every 45 minutes while running, taking one 10 minutes before the start as well, and have a spare 1 or 2 in pockets for bad times or sharing with others.

    Fluids during the race is tough. Aid stations have drinks but often not very good sports drinks and if it isn't what you are used can cause issues. They tend to be mostly cheap sugar based drinks which have far too much fructose which causes sickness in many people. A good sports drink based on maltodextrin tends to work better. But to carry your own drink is choice in different levels of compromise. I have freqyently used a waist pack/hydration belt but these tend to bounce a lot. I now use a bottle with a bite valv that I make a duck-tape handle from. Annoying to hold but doesn't bounce. I fill with either Gu Roctane or Tailwind. I still try and drink water form the aid stations but can skip any AS that is busy or wrong side of the road. Lats marathon it was so hot I had to use the AS water as a cold splash on my face and head to try and stop overheating.
     
  6. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 17,699

    Location: Higher Walton

    Brilliant thanks.

    I have a small tube of effervescent hydration tablets and wasn't sure if it was worth taking those with me to add to any supplied water (i assumed aid stations would have water rather than sports drinks)
     
  7. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 31,719


    Aid stations would have both water and some kind of sports drink.
    Your hydration tablets probably have electrolytes and no sugars/maltodextrin. If you consume additional gels then this is fine. It can be easier to get calories in to you if you hve a sports drink containing digest sugars like glucose and maltodextrin, just not plain table sugar which is 50% fructose because fructose is not digestible (but in small quantities works OK as a mix).

    Ideally you want to try experimenting on long runs to see what works for you.
     
  8. Ian_Eb

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,180

    Location: Congleton, Cheshire

    Having been caught out with the gels not being what i was used to, I would make sure I had enough of the ones you have used on you.

    Nothing worse than being surprised by super sickly weird flavour gels.

     
  9. The Darkness

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Nov 2004

    Posts: 789

    Location: Herts

    DP thank you so much for your lengthy, incredibly informative post. I've read it three times already and will study it more. In particular the insight that sometimes a slightly faster pace can break the depressing deadlock in the later miles.

    I think your post is the most helpful thing I've ever read on the internet! Cheers
     
  10. Dup

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Mar 2006

    Posts: 10,610

    Location: East Lancs

    There's 11 water stations and 5 (I think) gel stations which are giving out gels which are not currently for sale (test samples). I normally run fasted with no water intake in training and can do 20 miles no issue while the weather is cooler so just going to grab one mid-way and see how I feel, it's just a big unknown as I've never had gels so going for my usual less is more approach as there's options on route just in case.

    My biggest worry is needing the loo so I will eat very early AM and by the time I get to Manchester hopefully any movements are done with.
     
  11. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 27 Sep 2004

    Posts: 25,822

    Location: Glasgow

    I suppose it depends how fast you're running and what containers the water is in but when I've used similar tablets after running they take ages to dissolve which means you'd have to wait quite a while and/or potentially have to carry the water with you for that time.

    Different races have different hydration options supplied, water is the basic of course but as said some will have energy drinks of various sorts and gels. Some races use water bottles (if you did decide to take your hydrations tablets then a bottle with a cap would mean you could shake it to speed up the process of dissolving) and others use paper/plastic cups - if you have these then it can be a good idea to pinch the sides in a bit to form a spout at the front as it's easier to drink from and you're less likely to spill the liquid.
     
  12. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 31,719


    This is a good point. i had assumed Marvt was taking a small bottle of some kind which would be filled at aid stations and the tablet added (I do this in ultras).
    Adding the tablet to the paper cup of water provided would be a bad idea as the concentration would be wrong and you would have to walk for a few minutes for it to dissolve.
     
  13. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 31,719


    You certainly need far less water than most people assume, and dehydration is far less of a problem than the sports drink companies would have you know. But there is liekly a reduction of performance by a few percent, not least from your blood becoming more viscous.

    You also have to be careful comparing training runs that are 90-200 seconds a mile slower than race day. Respiration rates are exponentially higher. And of course temperature makes a huge difference. Training through the winter can give a big shock if the spring marathon has a warmer day. But as you say, the race provides water/sports drinks so you don;t have to decide before the race starts. It is mostly a question of using a drink that you are happy with and can take a swig whenever you want vs relying on Aid stations that can be busy and getting handed crappy paper cups that are hard to drink.
     
  14. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 31,719


    No problem, always glad to help.

    best of luck! Just try and be smart and see how the race pace feels after 4 miles. Mistakes made early cannot be rectified later, but a slower start will lead to a faster finish.
     
  15. ShiWarrior

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 23,780

    Location: Oxon

    been running 6 months now (on and off)

    and i did this one about 2 weeks ago :
    https://www.strava.com/activities/2214761710

    I felt good, but because of my "hip/back" about 4 miles in my leg started tingling, and it went all the way down to my foot on the right side eventually it went away but im sure i was leaning forward for the last 2-3 miles because i was feeling tight around my buttock

    I took it easy all the way, i didnt think i need to speed up , i just took it in my stride, so getting under 11 mins/mile made me extremely proud

    also whats point of these 2in1 shorts ?

    also recommend me summer running shorts that are knee length at least?
     
  16. Dup

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Mar 2006

    Posts: 10,610

    Location: East Lancs

    Manchester are giving out bottles so will likely carry one after the half way point until it's empty if the temperature is similar to today and gel stations en route too so will take those from 6 miles on or so and see how i do.

    Aim is to finish but want to be a reasonable 9 min pace or under that should be easily doable on the flat route. Really looking forward to it and the ability to say I've run a marathon at the end.
     
  17. neilw

    Hitman

    Joined: 14 Feb 2007

    Posts: 619

  18. The Darkness

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Nov 2004

    Posts: 789

    Location: Herts

    The compression inner ensures you never chaffe, the baggy outer hides your modesty a little and has room for pockets. I always use two layers for runs of over 5 miles - usually different makes/model.
     
  19. BlastRadius

    Hitman

    Joined: 10 Oct 2006

    Posts: 634

    Location: Chichester

    This!! I always use underwear with shorts, the included netting really annoys. Current combinations of UnderArmour underwear and a choice of Brooks Sherpa, Patagonia Strider Pro and Salomon Agile 5 inch shorts.
     
  20. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 17,699

    Location: Higher Walton

    Went out with the running club for the first time tonight. Was surprised at how many people were there.

    Split off into 3 groups

    A tempo run around 7min/mile
    Then a slower group at 4 miles and another group which did either 6 or 8 miles depending on how people felt (the longer group split off around 4 miles).

    I definitely see the benefit of running in a group at least once a week. I certainly ran faster that I usually would and whilst I was tired I was able to push on in the final mile hitting around 8:45/mile. This had me finish at an average of around 9:30/mile with quite a few hills.

    What was an alien concept for me was looping back to stay in a group. I shower my inexperience by commenting it was badly planned at the first one as I thought someone had just gone in the wrong direction to start :p