Tag Archives: marathon training

More on the Nike+ Running Club Experiment

As I progress through the marathon training programme concocted by the Nike+ app, I am enjoying the challenging runs that it is assigning me. 

After last week’s benchmark run it has started to add pace requirements to the runs that I do. Currently, they are all well below the pace that I generally run at which seems a little strange. Perhaps this will adjust as the programme continues?

On Sunday I decided that I didn’t want to do the suggested exercise which was to tryout the Nike+ Fitness Club application. Instead, I opted to run 12 miles. 

The run went well and was an enjoyable run on the Perkiomen Trail from Schwencksville. 

On completing the run, I chose to categorise it as an ‘Other’ event as I had already competed all the runs for that week. 

Come Monday morning and a new training week and guess what? The app tells me I need to do an 11.5 mile run. On a Monday morning. After doing 12 miles the day before. Bugger off!

I tried to reclassify the previous day’s run so that it would count as this one, but to no avail. There’s no way to edit the assignment of previous runs; even the website doesn’t offer a way to do this. Boo. 

Because of this, the app thinks I bailed on the long run for the week. :-(. 

I did actually go out and do a four miler but that isn’t twelve miles!

Roll on to Wednesday morning and the prescribed run was a speed run with 8x800m intervals and 2:45 recovery (strangely specific). 

I wasn’t too happy about this as that’s a lot of intervals but opted to hit the streets. Running track intervals on the road is tough as you have to allow for traffic and the ground is not flat; hills in fast intervals. Yuck. 

For the recovery periods I simply jogged a little and ended up running a total of around 7.5 miles. 

Did you notice how vague that was?

Why? Well, the speed test only counts the distance you run during the speed intervals and not what you cover in the recovery. 

Four miles is all that counted from the 7.5 I covered. Grrr. Not best pleased. 

Any way, one useful thing you can do with these 800s is use them to calculate your estimated marathon time using the “Yasso 800” approach. I know this is a correlation prediction rather than a causation, but it is fun to play with numbers. 

After some finagling of the numbers I worked out that my marathon time would be 3 hours 43 minutes. That’s pretty close to my current expectations of my performance. 

Back to the Nike+ stuff: I’m not best pleased that I have to run the speed tests with the phone in my hands. As I got sweaty I was worried I’d drop my phone. I think I’m going to stick some strong magnets inside my gloves so that they will grip the metal plate in my phone case and take some of my worry away… I’ll let you know how that works out. 

Have a fun week running. 🙂


It’s All in Your Head

Isn’t it strange how the simple act of signing up for a marathon rather than just running a distance ‘because I feel like it’ changes your entire view of the run.

Before I went out today I was suddenly faced with a feeling of despair at ‘having’ to run a prescribed distance as per the training plan that I am following. It wasn’t a case of just running what I wanted to based on current fitness level and what I felt like doing that day.

I know it is all in my head and that following the plans is a good way to ensure that you get to your marathon at the right level of fitness, but it does feel like a constraint that I’m not used to having to put up with. However, at this point it is only just over a month away so it should not be too much of a problem for long!

Today’s 20 miler was beautiful. At this point most of the leaves have already fallen and decorated the ground. I had to face twenty miles of this: 

 The run went smoothly and I was averaging an 8:28 pace on the way out. Due to the time change there weren’t many people about early… I guess they were luxuriating in the extra hour of sleep they got; that doesn’t apply to any one with little kids or ‘poor starving pussy cats’.

The route has some significant hills but not too many. The evening before my wife had been describing an article she read about trying to get some extra value out of your long runs by doing a little bit of faster running in the last section. The idea being that you put some extra effort in when your legs are already tired. This didn’t seem like a bad thing to try so from mile 16 I started to speed up a little. 

This is the pace profile for the run: 

 It shows that I was still able to squeeze some extra speed out of my weary legs toward the end of the run. Hopefully this will help with race day, but I guess time will tell. 

Food-wise I stuck to my regular Clif mint chocolate bar and a pack of the cranrazz Clif shot bloks. I didn’t eat the chocolate bar quickly enough and found that I still had some left at the turn around point. Fearing I’d run out of energy, I scoffed down the last of it and started on the blocks. I also took a bottle of water with me on the trail. 

The temps were a lovely 54F and running in shorts and summer-t is good at this time of year. 

I feel like the run met several key points the training required; running a long way at a slower pace so that you are used to being on your legs for longer, and then increasing your effort when already tired. Now to get through the rest of the week with some speed work and recovery runs. 😉

Busy Week of Running

I guess that somewhere in my subconscious I was trying to make up for the fact that I didn’t run on Sunday after flying back from Utah. I was tired (jet lagged) and dehydrated from all the flights, but I didn’t really have an excuse for not running.

To make up for it I did quite a lot of runs and I’m trying to keep to something like the intermediate experience running plan in the runners world book.

Monday I did a 6.2 miler… Tuesday 6.7… Wednesday a simple 5 and then Thursday was a ten miler with eight at marathon pace. So I ran Thursday and sort of guessed what my pace to reach the 3:25 marathon goal should be; doing it by feel. I ran a 7:44 pace. 

When I got home I worked out what I should do using the calculator on Macmillanrunning.com and… It said I need to run a 7:49 pace to achieve that marathon time. Pretty close and, in fact, slightly under. Good stuff.


However, if I enter my 10 mile time into their calculator it estimates my marathon time at 3:38:57. This is all very confusing. I assume these calculators work differently when you are entering your ‘best’ time for a distance vs when you are training for a longer distance and running at the pace approximate for the longer distance. Who knows? 

This weekend I have to do twenty miles. A long morning on Sunday…

Time to be Mended

After an intense few weeks of running it is once again time for my scheduled massage therapy. Hurrah, my ankles and calves need it. 

This weekend turned out to be very tiring with many miles logged:

  • 3.5 walked at Dutch Wonderland
  • 20 run Sunday
  • 6.2 run Monday morning
  • 1.5 run Monday evening with my daughter 

All-in-all I’m rather pooped. The Monday morning 6.2 miler was yet another record for my friend and I at 1:03:xx; faster than a previous best by over a minute. Always a good way to start the week. 

Having Tuesday off was nice but I certainly felt it in my legs this morning as I tried to get moving again. 

The walk/run with my daughter was nice again and I changed the intervals a little to give her some more running time. It’s tough to balance between enough recovery and enough actual running as she is keen to do the running but cannot last very long yet. 

I also don’t want to put her off running so I’m being very careful to keep it light and enjoyable; I must not get frustrated at her stopping to pick up leaves, etc. 😉

The run this morning was at a cool 50F in utter darkness through the suburbs of Lower Providence, PA. It was lovely. A relaxing 8:01 pace set me up for a good day. 

Setting an Example

The other week it was my daughter’s 5th birthday and for a gift I chose to take her out to buy her first running clothes. 

She is everso excited about having them as she constantly sees me and her mum heading out on runs. Recently, she had also been asking about joining us on those runs so it seems like an appropriate thing to do.

Now, she’s very young to be starting running and I want her to enjoy it so we are keeping it light and fun and trying just to enjoy being out together. 

I set up intervals of 30 seconds running with four minute recoveries and we headed out around the neighbourhood. 

There were several of her young friends out playing in he street and she was very proud of saying to them that she was going on a walk/run with her daddy. Her friends didn’t even acknowledge this as they were wrapped up in their own little worlds of imagination. 

She kept picking up sticks, stopping to look at bugs, wanting to race to the next mailbox, playing with and dissecting leaves, etc.. We did get through the 28 minutes without her getting too tired to walk or any other excuse to stop. 1.5 miles covered. 

I’m looking forward to more and slowly adjusting the intervals. 

I broke out a new pair of Brooks Glycerine shoes as well because my old ones hit the 400 mile marker. This time I’m changing shoes before I start getting injuries from them being too tired. 

This week is turning into a high mileage week as I managed to get an extra long run in this morning; 9.5 rather than the usual 4 or 5. Wahoo! And the miles were rather hilly

I also managed to hit another weight goal this week having now lost 11 pounds since I started 2.5 months ago. Who says you can’t loose weight and train for marathon distances? It’s easy if you watch your calories when you use an app (like Lose It!, for example).