Number of 20 milers before Boston

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Joe, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Joe

    Joe Guest

    A question for the veterans. I'm doing Boston this April. Qualified with a
    3:08 over a year ago. Looking to run ~2:57. Normally I do 20milers @ about
    4:20 pace. How many 20-22 mile runs would you suggest before the race. I was thinking 5, maybe a
    sixth if I feel frisky. I also have a half marathon 5 weeks out.

    Thanks, Joe
     
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  2. Rick++

    Rick++ Guest

    If you are fit enough to run 5 or so 20ers before the race, it means you are pretty much in marathon
    condition and are in improvement mode. How about mixing in couple of longer runs in the five- a 25er
    and 30er? That could be pretty helpful to break 3 hours.
     
  3. Swstudio

    Swstudio Guest

    "rick++" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > If you are fit enough to run 5 or so 20ers before the race, it means you are pretty much in
    > marathon condition and are in improvement mode. How about mixing in couple of longer runs in the
    > five- a 25er and 30er? That could be pretty helpful to break 3 hours.

    I disagree, I would ramp up the speed in the final few miles of some of the 20 milers rather than
    increase distance.

    cheers,
    --
    David (in Hamilton, ON) www.allfalldown.org
     
  4. Joe

    Joe Guest

    that was my thinking too. 25 would take about 3:00 and that's a long time to be running, especially
    if I'm only going to be racing for about that time.

    jOe

    "SwStudio" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "rick++" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > If you are fit enough to run 5 or so 20ers before the race, it means you are pretty much in
    > > marathon condition and are in improvement mode. How about mixing in couple of longer runs in the
    > > five- a 25er and 30er? That could be pretty helpful to break 3 hours.
    >
    >
    >
    > I disagree, I would ramp up the speed in the final few miles of some of the 20 milers rather than
    > increase distance.
    >
    > cheers,
    > --
    > David (in Hamilton, ON) www.allfalldown.org
     
  5. Lanceandrew

    Lanceandrew Guest

    at this juncture, 4. at least most training schedules call for that at this timeline for your level
    of runner which I would believe is characterized as "basic marathoner" as opposed to an advanced
    marathoner (who would be 20-40 minutes faster than you imo).

    now if i could only actually do this. my friggen professional life is f---ing up my running life
    supremely. between work & weather...getting proper marathon training in for boston looks problematic
    for me and i'm slighly starting to panic/freak already. good grief.

    i usually race 3 times a month but i've cancelled all my races, no indoor winter
    sprinting...nothing.... and going to focus on training for that one damn race. goal is to finish 1
    hour behind the winner so i'll be about 6-8 minutes behind you, hopefully.

    good luck
     
  6. Dan Stumpus

    Dan Stumpus Guest

    I think doing your 20's at 30 sec/mile over marathon pace is too fast. Don't leave your race on the
    training course. Use shorter runs to focus on speed, longer runs to get your fat and glycogen
    burning pathways trained. Train short and fast, or long and slower. The only time you go long and
    fast is in the race.

    It is better to throw in some 5 and 10k's races on Saturday, followed by a long easy one, maybe with
    slower friends, on Sunday. If you can run a 10k when rested in the mid to high 37's you should be
    able to break 3:00, even if your 20 milers are at 8:30 pace. That is the best predictor.

    I usually ran my 20 milers at 1 to 2 minutes off marathon pace (7:00 to 8:15 pace, when I was
    running marathons at 6:00/mile). But I did lots of shorter races, 5 and 10k's to get my legs up to
    speed. My untapered 10k's were usually in the 34 and change range.

    --Dan

    "Joe" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > that was my thinking too. 25 would take about 3:00 and that's a long time to be running,
    > especially if I'm only going to be racing for about that time.
    >
    > jOe
    >
    > "SwStudio" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > "rick++" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > If you are fit enough to run 5 or so 20ers before the race, it means you are pretty much in
    > > > marathon condition and are in improvement mode. How about mixing in couple of longer runs in
    > > > the five- a 25er and 30er? That could be pretty helpful to break 3 hours.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > I disagree, I would ramp up the speed in the final few miles of some of the 20 milers rather
    > > than increase distance.
    > >
    > > cheers,
    > > --
    > > David (in Hamilton, ON) www.allfalldown.org
    > >
    >
     
  7. [email protected] (Lanceandrew) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > at this juncture, 4. at least most training schedules call for that at this timeline for your
    > level of runner which I would believe is characterized as "basic marathoner" as opposed to an
    > advanced marathoner (who would be 20-40 minutes faster than you imo).

    1. It´s ten weeks (and a few days) to Boston, so that would leave eight weekends for those 20-
    milers. While I wouldn´t argue that most training schedules call or that a good program should
    call for one every week, I must say I find your contention above a bit wild, so to speak.

    2. I´m not at all sure the fine line between "advanced" and "basic" marathoners can be drawn so
    simply - although I have to admit that a 2:28- 2:48 marathoner is rather likely to be an
    "advanced" one:) - on the basis of a 3hrs+ finishing time alone. One should perhaps consider
    such factors as number of traing years, number of marathons and average mileage, too,
    shouldn´t one?

    > i usually race 3 times a month but i've cancelled all my races, no indoor winter
    > sprinting...nothing.... and going to focus on training for that one damn race. goal is to finish 1
    > hour behind the winner so i'll be about 6-8 minutes behind you, hopefully.

    Seriously: I laud your ability to make a sensible decision even when it mean´s sacrificing the very
    part of running that you love most. (I´m not sure I´d have had the backbone to do the same, I know I
    have already compromised *my* XC training by doing too much of the kind of skiing that is far from
    optimal for what I´m training for - but I cannot help myself because I enjoy the "wrong" training
    far too much!)

    BTW since work, life and weather prevent you from having set days and times for training sessions
    (and, not infrequently, cancels them with very short notice), how do you "work around" that problem?
    Do you have a system of, say, three key sessions, which you know you can get in (and which allows
    you to "fill in" recovery and "daily" runs when possible)?

    > good luck

    Yeah, good luck to both of you!

    Anders
     
  8. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    Anders Lustig wrote:

    > 1. It´s ten weeks (and a few days) to Boston, so that would leave eight weekends for those 20-
    > milers. While I wouldn´t argue that most training schedules call or that a good program should
    > call for one every week,

    Not to be argumentative but I don't know many schedules that call for one every week. A quick look
    at Glover(advanced) and Galloway(his 2:38 schedule) and they typically alternate long and
    medium(less than 20) or long and a race. Benji Durden was the most aggressive that I saw and did 2
    weekends long and then a something else the third week. Durden is actually good but one best have
    good recovery and low injury rate.

    I don't think a sustained long run every weekend has value unless you plan to step up to ultras
    distances(and be competitive) end even then, you best have some years under you.

    > 2. I´m not at all sure the fine line between "advanced" and "basic" marathoners can be drawn so
    > simply - although I have to admit that a 2:28- 2:48 marathoner is rather likely to be an
    > "advanced" one:) - on the basis of a 3hrs+ finishing time alone. One should perhaps consider
    > such factors as number of traing years, number of marathons and average mileage, too,
    > shouldn´t one?

    Agree big time and implied is fast recovery rate and not injury prone and most like high
    overall mileage.

    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  9. Joe

    Joe Guest

    So neither of you have really answered my original question. Or did you in an undefinitive fashion?

    jOe

    "Doug Freese" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > Anders Lustig wrote:
    >
    >
    > > 1. It´s ten weeks (and a few days) to Boston, so that would leave eight weekends for those 20-
    > > milers. While I wouldn´t argue that most training schedules call or that a good program
    > > should call for one every week,
    >
    > Not to be argumentative but I don't know many schedules that call for one every week. A quick look
    > at Glover(advanced) and Galloway(his 2:38 schedule) and they typically alternate long and
    > medium(less than 20) or long and a race. Benji Durden was the most aggressive that I saw and did 2
    > weekends long and then a something else the third week. Durden is actually good but one best have
    > good recovery and low injury rate.
    >
    > I don't think a sustained long run every weekend has value unless you plan to step up to ultras
    > distances(and be competitive) end even then, you best have some years under you.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > 2. I´m not at all sure the fine line between "advanced" and "basic" marathoners can be drawn so
    > > simply - although I have to admit that a 2:28- 2:48 marathoner is rather likely to be an
    > > "advanced" one:) - on the basis of a 3hrs+ finishing time alone. One should perhaps consider
    > > such factors as number of traing years, number of marathons and average mileage, too,
    > > shouldn´t one?
    >
    > Agree big time and implied is fast recovery rate and not injury prone and most like high overall
    > mileage.
    >
    > --
    > Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  10. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    Joe wrote:
    > So neither of you have really answered my original question. Or did you in an undefinitive
    > fashion?

    Of course no one really answered your question - there is no single answer or said differently,
    there is an infinite number of answers. If you take a 100 experienced marathoners you will probably
    get 20(maybe more) different ways to skin this cat. There are too many variables in this equation.
    Ever try to solve a problem with 10 unknowns?

    Best bet is to look up the popular ones and study them carefully. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses
    and goals, find one that looks like a good fit and follow it.

    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  11. Anthony

    Anthony Guest

    Joe wrote:

    > A question for the veterans. I'm doing Boston this April. Qualified with a
    > 3:08 over a year ago. Looking to run ~2:57. Normally I do 20milers @ about
    > 7:20 pace. How many 20-22 mile runs would you suggest before the race. I was thinking 5, maybe a
    > sixth if I feel frisky. I also have a half marathon 5 weeks out.
    >

    Joe - I ran a 2:57 last month, so for what it's worth, here's my long run schedule leading up to the
    marathon. It's loosely based on Pfitzinger and Douglas, which

    can be found at: www.runningtimes.com/issues/01julaug/marathon.htm

    Main principles are:
    (1) 20-miler every 2nd week.
    (2) The other week is 15-16 miles, or a race
    (3) Long runs are typically 5 miles warming up to MP - 20% (8:00/mile) 6 miles accelerating from MP
    -20% to MP - 10% (7:20/mile) 6 miles at MP - 10% 3 miles cooldown
    (4) Pfitzinger and Douglas include a regular "medium-long" run in their program which is based on
    the same guidelines as the long run and is typically 13-14 miles and run mid-week.

    Unless otherwise stated long runs are as per formula above. Week -x is x weeks before marathon

    Week -2 14 miles including 5 at MP Week -3 was impacted by a lighter than scheduled run due to
    tiredness and soreness after 1/2 marathon. Week -3 10 miles including 5 at MP Week -4 1/2Marathon -
    my last long run (including warmup+cooldown) Week -5 19+ miles including 10 at MP Week -6 15 miles
    including 5 at MP Week -7 22 miles Week -8 15 miles Week -9 19+ miles including 7 at MP Week -10 10K
    race + warmup, cooldown Week -11 20 miles Week -12 15 miles Week -13 19 miles Week -14 17.5 miles

    Good luck for Boston,

    Anthony.
     
  12. Swstudio

    Swstudio Guest

    "Anthony" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > Joe wrote:
    >
    > > A question for the veterans. I'm doing Boston this April. Qualified
    with a
    > > 3:08 over a year ago. Looking to run ~2:57. Normally I do 20milers @
    about
    > > 7:20 pace. How many 20-22 mile runs would you suggest before the race.
    I
    > > was thinking 5, maybe a sixth if I feel frisky. I also have a half
    marathon
    > > 5 weeks out.
    > >
    >
    > Joe - I ran a 2:57 last month, so for what it's worth, here's my long run schedule

    Anthony, I don't think I had a chance to congratulate you on your sub-3. I've only very recently
    tried to get back in the fold here on a regular basis.

    I will go back and read your report via Google. Again, great job. I know you did a lot of good
    training. One thing I check more than anything is the training week thread. I've learned a lot from
    the logs of others (mistakes included!).

    cheers,
    --
    David (in Hamilton, ON) www.allfalldown.org
     
  13. "Joe" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > So neither of you have really answered my original question. Or did you in an undefinitive
    > fashion?

    I don´t think either of us even attempted to answer your original question:)

    In Usenet, you can start a thread, but you cannot own it.

    FWIW how many and what kind of 20-milers I´d do would depend very much on what kind of and huw much
    training I´d have done up until now and what else I´ll be doing until Boston - and the only
    definitive answer could be: "0-8"!

    OTOH my quick, opinionated, subjective, "I haven´t got a slightest clue of your training, but what
    the heck!"- kind of answer: six 20-milers!

    (As in: 20, 20, x, 20, 20, x, 20, 20, y, z - where x is a shorter long run or a HM, y is not a long
    run and z is the kind of you prefer to do at that point in time.)

    Anders
     
  14. [email protected] (Lanceandrew) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > hey anders...

    hey lance boy:)

    > Nope. I believe it's fair to call Zatopek an advanced marathoner after clocking 2:23 & winning
    > Helsinki '52 gold in the process. Prior to that he never ran a marathon before...ever. Lot's of
    > people take up running and within their first year of the sport clock "advanced marathon" status
    > by doing 2:40, etc.

    What´s the matter with you(1), are you daft or something? How did you manage to read and comprehend
    what I wrote(2) between two dashes?:)

    (1) I know what the matter with me is:)
    (2) And you snipped out of the quoted sentence.

    > Results are all that matters. That's how you get preferred seeded status for races...by
    > results....not age, training, or previous experience.

    Seed or status has absolutely nothing to do with the point in question, which had everything to do
    with when someone could follow a training program for "advanced" marathoners and when someone (with
    information limited to a 3hrs+ finish time) could tell someone else that he shouldn´t.

    FWIW when we know the number of Zatopek´s training years and his average mileage, we can easily
    consider him eminently suited for any training program for "advanced" marathoners _before he ran his
    first marathon_, cannot we?:)

    > ha....i don't. i accept my circumstances and press on....that's all i can do. churchill said it
    > best, "when you're going through hell, just keep going"...besides the circumstances that are
    > keeping me from getting in the appropriate training (in the context of real life) are minor
    > compared to the challenges others have who are trying to do the same thing as me.

    As much as I could admire your attitude, I would´ve liked you to be more specific about _how_ you
    actually press on - and since there are others with similar challenges and RL handicaps, I´d imagine
    it would be of interest to many readers out there.

    Not to mention that I, for one, must confess to being quite curious about the training of someone
    whose racing I know so much more about:)

    > yes...i have my moments of panic and freaking out knowing i'm appreciably behind in my
    > schedule...but i do my best to keep it all in perspective. i'm a big believer in personal will &
    > determination making up for insufficient preparation and physical shortcomings. not an ideal
    > position you want to place yourself in but sometimes your only position.

    If one has a training program with six scheduled runs a week, but one, as a rule, ends up missing
    any two of those, then one obviously gets behind. However, it would seem appropriate to change tack
    completely and take up a program with three or four scheduled runs on "moving calendar days".

    One obviously wouldn´t move them at perfect liberty, but such a program would still seem better
    suited to your situation than one which leaves you a bit panicky (and possibly cramming too much,
    perhaps "to catch up", into any unexpected open slot).

    The French, you know, are quite capable of planning sub-3 programs with four sessions a week - and
    they are not in- frequently capable of actually going sub-3, too:)

    Anders
     
  15. Doug Freese <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > Not to be argumentative but I don't know many schedules that call for one every week. A quick look
    > at Glover(advanced) and Galloway(his 2:38 schedule) and they typically alternate long and
    > medium(less than 20) or long and a race. Benji Durden was the most aggressive that I saw and did 2
    > weekends long and then a something else the third week. Durden is actually good but one best have
    > good recovery and low injury rate.

    Actually what I was trying to say in my inimicable way (which is only marginally clearer when I try
    to express myself in Finnish) was that I ^don´t* think there is(1) a sensible training plan in this
    world which would call for a weekly 20-miler, so I´m on your side of this argument - my beef was
    with Lanceandrew´s assertion that "most training programs" would put the cap at four during the last
    ten weeks.

    On this side of the pond, and especially in this country where the old school of hard work and
    Lydiardian mileage is still alive, there is a good number of plans with a two- or three-in-a-row
    pattern for the (metric equivalent of) 20-milers.

    > I don't think a sustained long run every weekend has value unless you plan to step up to ultras
    > distances(and be competitive) end even then, you best have some years under you.

    Yes, just like <choose a large percentage> of the training effect of the long run comes from the
    last <choose a small
    number> miles, <choose a large percentage> of that effect
    is gained by *not* running a long run every week.

    (One could perhaps think that one could keep the long run and just reduce one´s weekly mileage by a
    similar amount, but apparently the recovery won´t be the same.)

    (1) There *is* a German eight-week "Countdown to a PR"- program, which calls for no less than seven
    35K runs, the last of which, although a "very easy" one, is eight days before the marathon!

    (The weekly structure is: Mon: either 10K at MP-10s or 15K at MP Tue: 15-20K at MP+ 45-60s Wed:
    either 6x 1000 (1000) at MP- 25-30s or 3x 3000 (2000) at MP- 22-30s or 4x 2000 (1600) at MP- 15-20s
    Thu: rest Fri: 15-20K Sat: 35K at MP+ 45-60s with a "fast finish" of 0,3,6,9,12,15K at MP +5-10s
    Sun: 15-20K at MP+ 60-75s either half/AM and half/PM or only half

    Rather unusual, certainly tough, definitely "not intended for everyone", but not impossible,
    irrational or crazy:)

    (For the interested, the intrigued or the curious and willing to plough through some German: http://www.vsv77-
    borna.de/greiffplan1.htm )

    Anders
     
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