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  • What’s your current shape and half marathon PB?

    Initial reaction of someone saying they are tentative about intervals/running fast and hoping to do a half marathon at what for most people is a fast run throughout don’t quite match.

    I’ve always subscribed that the high intensity session should cycle on a 3 week cycle between hills, 800s and a session more focussed on speed endurance so like 2x15min at threshold building up to 20 minutes and then into 3 sets seems to work quite well as then you are hitting a mixture strengths..

    That said I’ve been runnning a personal an experiment in low hr running for the last year or so and only started doing higher intensity for the last 10 weeks and it seems to have given some good results in some tests I’ve done, proof of the pudding will be in 2 weeks when I’m doing a marathon, but I seem to have reserves of endurance that I’ve not previously had.. for example I was 20 seconds off a 10k pr on at the weekend at the end of a 30k run last weekend(have to confess that I’ve never raced as 10k outside of a triathlon so it’s a bit of a soft PB...)

    If you are the journey back from injury I can certainly confirm by focusing on low hr running, that I was in 1:38 shape this time last year and running ~30k per week and have built to 110 with no injuries...

  • This sounds eerily like the voice of reason, have you spoken to my wife by any chance? This is good to hear though, why I like the input on this thread - having an objective view on things can keep people honest and probably help them veer towards caution and hopefully avoid injury.

    A lot of what you say resonates with me. Your view on 3 week cycle of intervals/sessions is pretty much how I try and play it too. My PB was 1.25 a couple years back, this was taken after a period of 3/4 months running average 50km a week but with WAYYY too much intensity, resulting in the niggling achilles tendonopathy that I'm still feeling to this day. I ran that PB effort in what was high end tempo HR pace and left it feeling that I could definitely go faster, but because I'd thoroughly fucked myself by rushing the buildup I was never able to prove that theory (and running that pace currently is certainly not a tempo effort!)

    I picked up running again in the New Year, building towards now doing about 30km a week with one interval session that is a mixture of the things you described. Doing a fair bit of cycling in between but the massive focus has been on increasing mileage/intensity slowly, maintaining strength work and trying my hardest not to get injured again (so far so good...) - the 'long run' so far is up to about 14km and all running is Z1/2 slow plodding at 70% max HR except for the 20 mins or so intensity within the weekly session. I read "80/20 running" by Matt Fitzgerald some time ago and enjoyed it, and have tried to structure my training since then around these principles. When I've pushed it I have managed a 5km just shy of 19min (with difficulty), to give you an idea of current fitness (not great).

    Plan was to continue working in this way until end of May. It should mean my weekly mileage will be around the 40km mark and I'll have (hopefully) achieved a fair bit of low HR running for 4 months, giving me a reasonable but by no means spectacular base. Between now and then I intended to start drip-feeding some speed indurance reps within my long run, e.g. starting with 2 sets of 1km at HM pace and building it weekly (slowly) from there. At the end of May a 12 week cycle would begin where weekly mileage continues to build, along with some more focus on HM specific workouts.

    But to be honest I am very happy to be talked out of this plan, because the main goal is to stay injury free and enjoy running/riding 5/6 days a week. I set a goal at the start of the year to run 1000km in 2021, so I could prove to myself that I can consistently run without getting crocked. Its not a massive target by a lot of people's standards, but perhaps I should just stick to that goal and then reassess at this time next year. I could possibly modify my approach and target a fast 10km this summer? Maybe I'd be less likely to get injured that way, but to be honest I think it could also work out badly because I figure a lot of the intervals for targeting a 10km would be much more Z4/5 oriented and its when i start regularly doing paces below 3:50 that my achilles seems to flare up. That's where my reaction to the 10k plan that was posted upthread stems from. Speed endurance/tempo runs at goal HM pace feel less dangerous in a way.

    I welcome any thoughts/criticisms - sorry for the long post!

  • Got the pegasuses as recommended, first trail run this evening and they feel fantastic. Kind of miss the ‘feel of the terrain’ from the much less cushioned speed crosses, but overall very happy. Thanks for the recco.

    P.s, the little gator things to keep the dirt and small rocks etc out are an excellent addition.

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  • Just my opinion but I’d spend a little more time building steady runs and potentially jettison the speed work for now, 70% of max hr sounds a little low to me for slow runs though but everyone is personal, the maf calculation is 180-age which for me give about 75% of max, perhaps steady build volume till 60km per week is comfortable and then do a 12 weeks plan for a half marathon...?

    My run today was an interesting one, after doing a Paula (although thankfully in an isolated bush) on tuesdays run and an easy 35 mins yesterday today’s plan was 20min warm up, 30 mins threshold and 20 cools down, threshold pace based on recent half marathon is around 3:50 and threshold hr is 177 for me, so off I set knowing that that pace is fast enough to set an new 10k pr... despite never quite reaching threshold heart rate I got to 30 minutes at 3:45 pace/8k and decided that I may as well do the other 2k and set what is a nice new PB, and still felt pretty comfortable.. only really tried in the last lap where some whippet was doing 300m reps and kindly (genuinely) set off just before me so tried to keep up with him (he still finished about 100m in front of me!)

  • Just to say I am doing the intermediate 10km plan (rather than the Elite one posted above) and it suits me much better.

    For reference I run more like 35km per week before this. I'm v much enjoying it. Only week three though.­/10k-running-plans/10k-training-plan-int­ermediate/

    Edit : just read your PB and the rest above. Way beyond me!

  • Food for thought.. appreciated. I'll have a think and hopefully make a call after another few weeks. Will update in here either way.

    Great job with your running at the moment, by the sounds of it the MAF stuff has absolutely set you up a treat.

  • Marathon trials live currently on BBC sport website:-­cs/56289598

  • 10 days off running now and still some strange numbness/tightness down the outside of my left knee.
    Rarely develops into pain but want it gone before I dive back in, this time with a renewed focus on sustainability, so back to the gym and working on mobility.

    Goal: be able to get around long runs (up to 20km) in the Peak District

  • I don't feel your updates and consistent progress get enough kudos in this thread, so kudos!

  • I don't feel your updates and consistent progress get enough kudos in this thread, so kudos!


  • ITB? tight ITB's give me pain on the outside of the knee, usual stretching, rolling and glute work applies

  • I'm imagining so, yeah.
    Am hesitant with foam rolling, seems too easy to get wrong. Have been doing light stretching and very minor posterior strength stuff but have been holding off doing it with any gusto until it feels more normal - I don't want to exacerbate it! Do you find you can do this kind of remedial work while the pain is around? I've been thinking more of resting and taking preventative measures to stop it reoccurring.
    Obviously a good physio is the answer but funemployed for now.

  • Usual #IAMADOCTORBUTNOTAMEDICALONE caveats apply, but yes I foam roll even when painful, not just as a preventative. Further caveat is that I would do it very very lightly. That’s just me though!

  • Could get one of those stick things instead, so you’d have much more control over pressure and position.

  • +1 for this, much better happy medium

  • Happy to show you the ITB fixing excercises I was given to do bitd. Mostly related to strengthening the bit it was compensating for. I am not a physio though so usual caveats apply.

    Also, how old / worn are your trainers?

  • P.s. pretty sure foam roller for fixing itb issues has been debunked? I never did it.

  • Also- Kudos to the marathoners today. Looked a fun fast loop and made me wonder if there could maybe be a fast loop marathon on the Sale Sizzler course in future.

  • Was chatting to my physio about this on Wednesday.

    Apparently there is very little if any research that shows that rolling or massage releases ITB tension. However. It relieves pain in a lot of people....they just don't quite know why!

  • .

  • I use a crappy smooth Argos foam roller, it stops the pain of ITB issues and the clicking knees when ITB flares up.

    I recommend the softer smooth rollers over those knobbly torture devices.

    It might be bunk but it feels loads better and can be integrated into a core workout

    Edit: just read some stuff on “don’t roll IT Band” ok yeah makes sense, just roll your arse thighs and calves...which is kinda what I did anyway

  • Ta. But we'll see how I progress this year.

    280 days until the end of the year. That's 40 weeks. 0.5kg/week weight loss = 20kg gone. That would put me on 74kg where, theoretically according to and almost certainly pushing the bounds of extrapolation, a 25:19 at 94kg means a 20:40 at 74kg.

    (74kg is still at the upper end of "normal" for my height.)

  • I had bad ITB pain last year

    Lots of single leg strength work focussed on calves, hammies and back.
    So deadlifts
    Squats (side, pistol, romanian)
    Calf raises

    Stretching of hamstrings and hips
    Proper warm ups (yeah right)

    Lots of core work - deadbugs for days

  • Thanks everyone, that's really helpful, it seems I'm focusing on the right stuff and have a suite of exercises to dive into.
    From the experience here it sounds like I don't need to hold off til the leg feels perfect before doing some strengthening? This is the key thing I'm a bit hung up on.

    Also very encouraging in one sense to hear that some very strong runners in here have dealt with this kinda stuff.

    New shoes definitely on the menu too!

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