Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

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Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by Tinman » Sun May 02, 2010 10:11 pm

I had fun today, watching and cheering for three athletes I coach; as they ran the Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon.

Katherine Phillips ran the half-marathon in 1:28:50 - a good performance! Despite dealing wiht recent injuries (not related to running), she found her rhythm and ran well!

Allan Phillips, Katherine's husband, ran the marathon ins 2:39.10. The results aren't up yet, so I don't know his offical place, but I think it's around 20th place. He passed 6 or 7 people in the 10km, running about 37 flat. He looked smooth and strong. I think he was quite cold coming down the last 5 miles, as a cold wind from the North blew across the Willamette River. The temps were in the upper 40's. Allan posts here at The Run Zone often, so he can give his recap when he gets back to Tucson and settles in. You guys know him as ap4305.

Melvin Burch ran 3:56 and change. Melvin is my co-workers at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. He basically started running distance in August, for the first time, and ran in a half-marathon last fall. That went so well he decided to run a marathon. He basically trains twice or three times per week - that's it. He runs the two Big Workouts and maybe one other short runs. He lifts a couple times per week because he's in the Army National Guard and has to be ready for strength activities with his part-time job.
------------
Anyway, I had a great time cheering for each of them; all three are very fine people!

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Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by ap4305 » Tue May 04, 2010 2:01 pm

First of all, a big thanks to Tinman and his family for making the trip to Eugene to watch us race.  Thanks to his local knowledge of getting around Eugene, I was able to see him three times in the last ten miles...quite a feat when you consider the number of vehicular road closures associated with a marathon!  I'll provide a race recap but also provide some training background as a case study that hopefully others can learn from. 

The race put an exclamation mark on a great weekend.  Eugene is a must-visit for any running fan.  In addition to the race itself, we were fortunate to watch the several Olympians and other elites race in the collegiate meet on Friday night at Hayward Field.  On Friday and Saturday before the race we did our runs on the fabled "Pre's Trail" in the local park.  Every place in town just oozes with track and field history.  Even before we came home, I was planning our trip for next year's race.  I can't say enough good things about the race itself.  Combine first class organization/planning with a town that embraces the sport and you have the makings of a great event.  From the local spectators on the side of the road imploring packs to "work together" to the homeless looking dude on a beat up bike reminding us to "run the tangents",  you aren't going to find more knowlegeable fans.

My race began as expected with some easy miles to get loose (6:11-6:17-6:17) before picking up the pace when we turned down a hill.  Honestly, I still wasn't sure what to expect from the day until mile 6 when the faster turnover from the mile-long downhill helped to wake the legs up (10k split was 38:24).  By this point my strategy was to get to mile 10 around 1:01:00 to 1:01:30 as efficiently as possible and then reevaluate from there.  I hit mile ten in 1:01:23 and then broke from my pack on a slight uphill.  One guy went flying past on the next downhill but I was content to run alone since I was satisfied with my pace.  Eventually I caught up to another pack around the halfway mark (1:19:21...I think this was 13 miles, not 13.1, but the results list it as the half). 

For the next several miles we clicked along close to 6-flat pace.  I was content to sit in the number 2 spot behind the pack leader since he seemed comfortable pulling us along.  If there is any part of the race that I might have re-done it is the stretch from 16 thru 20.  During this stretch, the pack leader's pace slowed to 6:15-18.  I knew it was slightly uphill during this stretch but I could also feel myself holding back noticeably.  One the one hand, it is easy to think "the race is nearly 3/4ths done, so you might as well go for it" but on the other hand 3/4th over still means eight miles left!  Ultimately, I decided upon the cautious strategy and stuck with the group since I didn't want to jeopardize the 2:40 that has been so elusive over the past five years (which, for several health reasons unrelated to running, included only one marathon start since 2004, which was a DNF last year). 

However, at mile 20 it was GO time....we hit mile 20 at 2:02:00 and I immediatley took off by myself.  Some of my previous workouts in an untapered state had given me huge confidence for this closing stretch.  Next four miles were 5:53-5:53-5:58-5:53.  I didn't check the last two mile paces but the last mile was an uphill grind until we hit the track for 200m on Hayward Field to the finish.  As someone whose first two marathons included final 10ks on the wrong side of 50 minutes, I always consider myself fortunate when I can actually think about acceleration rather than about limping home.  According to the results, my last 12k was 12th fastest in the field. 

For all of us, there are definitely some positive training lessons to be learned from this buildup.  First of all, I gained an appreciation for how training progression need not, nor should not, be linear.  In other words, each week need not increase in difficulty by the same degree all the time.  You'll see this in a lot of cookie cutter programs where they might add a certain number of miles each week to the weekly mileage or build the length of marathon paced runs by a set amount week after week. 

In this buildup we focused on 10k-half marathon training with modest long runs for several months and then shortly before the marathon closed with a month of "dense" marathon training.  I'll summarize the training from Feburary onward by listing the two Big Workouts from each week (note most of the interval sessions included some fartlek/strides afterward, which I didn't list):

Week of Feb 1: a) 5 x mile at half marathon; b) 50 min easy then 2 x 3 miles at MP
Feb 8: a) 15 x minute at 5k/minute easy; b) 2 mile leg on relay
Feb 16: a) 6 x mile at half marathon; b) 8k at half marathon (note had to travel this weekend and didn't have time for any true long runs, so the more intense 8k took its place)
Feb 23: a) 6 x 1200m at half marathon; b) 2:20 including 4 x 2miles at MP

March 1: a) 14 x 2 min CV/1 min easy; b) 2:30 easy
March 8: a) 10 x 1k at one hour race pace: b) 2:30 with last three at MP
March 15: a) 6 x mile at half marathon; b) 2:30 including 2 miles easy/1mile MP six times through
March 23: a) 8 x 3 min CV/1min easy; b) 1 x 13.1 miles at half marathon pace (aka, race in 1:15:24...hilly course)
March 30: Six days after half marathon race...2:30 including one hour easy, eight miles at MP, then 8 x 30 seconds 5k pace/30 seconds easy

April 5: a) 7 x mile at half marathon pace; b) 2:30 including 80 minutes easy then 10 miles at MP; cooldown include 4 x 30 seconds 5k/30 seconds easy
April 12: a) 10 x 1k CV; b) two hours including one hour easy then seven miles at half marathon pace; cooldown include 8 x 30 seconds 5k pace/one minute easy
April 19: a) 7 x 1mile at half marathon pace; b) 90 minutes including 45 minutes easy, then 6 miles at MP
April 26: a) 5k at CV pace; b) Race

Another word about density...Any sub-three hour runner should be able to accomplish any of these training runs with the appropriate pace adjustments for their individual fitness.  What is most important about the workouts in not what they are in isolation, but the density with which they are included in the schedule to produce the optimal callousing effect.  We field many questions around here looking for good example workouts, but the blend of the workouts is what really matters.  We have found over the years that I respond very quickly to a intense training stimuli.  As such, we kept the load pretty modest for several months but upped the ante as the race approached. 

That stretch at the beginning of April (half marathon race, long run with 8 miles MP, mile repeats, another long run with 10 miles MP, 10k of CV reps, long run with seven miles continuous at half marathon pace) provided the robustness and confidence to finish strong.  When I dropped the pace to 5:53 at mile 21, I said to myself "I've been here before", since I had closed a couple of my long runs faster than that pace only three days after a mid-week Big Workout interval session.  However, Tinman knew that I could take a calculated dose of "dense" training for a 3-4 week period to really tighten the screws.  For many runners, this approach can be more effective than a linear buildup, because the training in the middle weeks of the buildup might be too advanced for the runner's progress and by the time they get to the serious peaking stage they might be too worn out to do justice to the hardest workouts.  This is where art meets science in the world of training.  Subjectively, if you are relieved that the taper has arrived, you may have gone overboard during your buildup.  Fortunately, Tinman pressed the right buttons in my training so that I was almost sorry to see the training come to an end!
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

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Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by BoilerTom90 » Tue May 04, 2010 2:16 pm

Congrats on a great race, and thank you for the detailed "report" on the race and your training. I love reading stuff like this.

Once again, congratulations!!

D_Bean

Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by D_Bean » Tue May 04, 2010 11:40 pm

Awesome! Big congrat's to all of Coach T's runners who did well! Apparently that's a good race to get in; a friend of mine from Texas, Benny Rodriguez, placed 10th overall in 2:30:48. Not quite the sub-2:30 he wanted, but a PR nonetheless!

Physeder

Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by Physeder » Wed May 05, 2010 6:50 pm

Congratulations AP. In Kiwi terms : Bloody good run Mate.

ksrunr

Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by ksrunr » Thu May 06, 2010 11:27 am

Congratulations on a fine race.  And thanks for the report.  Interesting to read that you faster runners are thinking the same things we are during our races.  Just different pace.

I ran Portland Marathon last October and then visited Eugene.  Wish I had had more time there.

I'm from Corpus Christi.  I know who Benny is.  :)

kpt4321

Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by kpt4321 » Tue May 25, 2010 8:35 am

I wanted to pull this back up and get a bit more information regarding your training, AP.

It looks like you did what I'd call a "standard" Tinman 2 big workouts per week.  However, it also looks like you called your weekly long run (with some work mixed in) one of the two big workouts?

Furthermore, it looks like the pattern you guys used was basically long run w/ marathon pace at end or in reps in middle as 1 workout, and CV intervals as the other.

I ask because I was thinking the other day about how I'm going to shift my schedule for marathon training.  I currently do a 3x weekly rotations, with a medium/long run, CV workout, and a tempo workout.  However, I was considering changing to a long run with more intensity, 2 days rest, a big workout with CV/Half pace work, and then 3 days rest, and repeat.  It looks like that's about what you did here?

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Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by ap4305 » Wed May 26, 2010 12:07 am

[quote="kpt4321"]
I wanted to pull this back up and get a bit more information regarding your training, AP.

It looks like you did what I'd call a "standard" Tinman 2 big workouts per week.  However, it also looks like you called your weekly long run (with some work mixed in) one of the two big workouts?

Furthermore, it looks like the pattern you guys used was basically long run w/ marathon pace at end or in reps in middle as 1 workout, and CV intervals as the other.

I ask because I was thinking the other day about how I'm going to shift my schedule for marathon training.  I currently do a 3x weekly rotations, with a medium/long run, CV workout, and a tempo workout.  However, I was considering changing to a long run with more intensity, 2 days rest, a big workout with CV/Half pace work, and then 3 days rest, and repeat.  It looks like that's about what you did here?
[/quote]

A true Tinman "Two Big Workouts" schedule counts the long run as one of the two Big workouts, which is exactly what we did here for the marathon specific phase.  The real benefit of the two big workouts structure is that you can do the long, race-specific workouts for the marathon while simultaneously getting ample recovery to do justice to the big workouts.  I'd also encourage you to view the schedule in larger blocks, rather than the base weekly framework.  The big long runs in April standing alone were nothing special compared to most marathon plans, but Tinman found an effective mix of high density over a five week stretch.  As I referenced in the original post, perhaps the hardest workout of the spring was the 2:30 long run with 8 miles MP near the end one week after a hilly half marathon.  That long run is fairly ordinary standing alone, but in combination with the previous week's race it produced an extreme callousing effect to handle the closing miles of the big race. 

A big reason for the Big Workouts framework is that the traditional Tues/tempo, Thrus/Sped, Sun/Long doesn't provide sufficient recovery for most people (which is why groups like Hanson's use a 9-day instead of 7-day schedule, as we discussed in another recent thread).  Even with an easy long run on Sunday, you'd have to come back less than 48 hours later and do a tempo run.  Additionally, Tinman prefers strides the day before a quality session, so with a Sunday long run and a Tuesday tempo, you'd have to do strides/fartlek on Monday on possibly tired legs, which can defeat the underlying purpose of the strides, which is to encourage quality mechanics at high velocities.   

We did use the more traditional Tues/Thurs/Sun schedule in the fall and winter during our 10k-half marathon focus, since the long runs weren't nearly as demanding.  However, even though those long runs weren't nearly as demanding as some of those listed above, we gradually introduced quality into the long runs throughout the fall and winter so the transition to marathon specific long runs in the spring was not abrupt.  As such, we did several 90-100 minute runs with a subjectively fast finish (no pace requirement; just by feel). 
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

el_mariachi

Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by el_mariachi » Fri May 28, 2010 3:10 am

[quote="BoilerTom90"]
I love reading stuff like this.[/quote]

Me also, congratulations and thanks for giving a look into your training.

Well done,
Martin

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Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by ap4305 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:16 pm

Half marathon based training in Fall 2009 before the Feb-May marathon focus in 2010. 

Week of 10/5
-16 x min @5k effort/min ez
-6 x 1/2mile @ CV with minute rest
-100 min ez to moderate

10/12
-18 x min @5k effort/min ez
-7 x 1/2 mile @ CV with minute rest
-100 min ez to moderate

10/19
-20 x min @5k effort/min ez
-8 x 1/2 mile @CV with minute rest
-100 min ez to moderate

10/26
-(4 x 2min @5k/minute ez), (4 x min @3k/min ez), (4 x 30sec 3k/30 sec ez)
-5 x mile at half marathon pace plus 15 seconds per mile with 90 seconds rest; 5 x 15 sec strides afterward
-100 min ez to moderate

11/3
-(5 x 2min @5k/minute ez), (5 x min @3k/min ez), (5 x 30sec 3k/30 sec ez)
-100 minute run including 6 x mile at half marathon pace plus 15 seconds per mile with 90 seconds rest; 6 x 15 sec strides afterward

11/10
-6 mile Tinman tempo + 6 x 30 sec strides
-3200m Tinman tempo + 800m ALL OUT + 10 x 10 sec strides
-100 min ez to moderate

11/17
-6 mile progression run (5k pace plus 75 seconds per mile down to 5k pace plus 45 seconds per mile) + 6 x 20 sec strides
-6 x 3 min @ 8k effort/3min ez
-100 min ez to moderate

11/24
-4 x 400m @ 3k pace (400m recovery)
-120 min ez
-5k XC Turkey Trot race

12/1
-5 mile progression run (5k plus 60 seconds down to 5k plus 45 sec)
-12 x min @3k effort/2 min ez
-120 min (90 min ez, 20 min @ marathon effort, 10 min ez)

12/8
-4 x mile at 5k plus 30 sec per mile (90 sec rest); 4 x 30 sec strides)
-12k race

12/15
-3 x 2 miles at Tinman tempo pace (2 min rec), 4 x 30 sec strides
-120 min including [15 x min @10k effort/min ez] after 75 min of running
-90 min ez

12/22
-6 x mile at 5k +30 sec per mile (70 sec recovery)
-12 x min @ 5k; 90 sec ez
-120 min ez

12/27
-7 mile progression run (5k + 60 sec down to 5k + 45 sec)
-4 x 1200m @ 8k pace with 400m jog
-120 min including 15 x 2min at half marathon effort (2min float recovery)

1/5
-4 x mile at CV pace (2 min recovery)
-4 x 400m @ 3k (400m jog)
-10 miles with last 3 at MP

1/12
-4 x mile @ 5k + 30 sec (3 min recovery)
-8 miles including two miles at 12k pace
-Half Marathon race
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

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Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by TexNav » Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:09 pm

Very nice to analyze;  thanks for posting this.

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Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by oro » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:27 am

Thanks again for these fine reports!

Question: How was your tapering for the marathon when it came to mileage? Was it a perfect taper for you?

Best regards,
Øystein
Last edited by oro on Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by ap4305 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:32 pm

[quote="oro"]
Thanks again for these fine reports!

Question: How was your tapering for the marathon when it came to mileage? Was it a perfect taper for you?

Best regards,
Øystein
[/quote]

Thanks for reading!

First, I'll copy April 09 to this message so you don't have to keep scrolling upward to refer back:
April 5: a) 7 x mile at half marathon pace; b) 2:30 including 80 minutes easy then 10 miles at MP; cooldown include 4 x 30 seconds 5k/30 seconds easy
April 12: a) 10 x 1k CV; b) two hours including one hour easy then seven miles at half marathon pace; cooldown include 8 x 30 seconds 5k pace/one minute easy
April 19: a) 7 x 1mile at half marathon pace; b) 90 minutes including 45 minutes easy, then 6 miles at MP
April 26: a) 5k at CV pace; b) Race


The weeks beginning April 5 and April 12 were nearly identical in daily mileage other than the distance of the long run (~75 miles first week; ~70 second week....I run by time and on a lot of trails on easy days so the acutal mileage is approximate).  At the end of the April 5 the long run was around 22 whereas the following week the long run was around 16. 

The taper seemed ideal for the marathon.  During the last few workouts, I didn't feel compelled to run much faster than I had previously in the season, but I seemed to never get tired in the last workout of mile repeats and the 5k continuous at CV pace five days before the race.  A lot of times during a taper we'll feel like we can run all our workouts 10 seconds per mile faster than we had previously been running them (and sometimes act on that feeling), but that sharpness might come at the expense of staying power.  Nevertheless, the emphasis on CV and half marathon pace for final few weeks was a good fit both physically and mentally.

Note, I'm a "run all day" type for whom basic endurance is relatively natural, so the faster work helps get me primed to cruise at marathon pace without losing stamina.  Others who have more speed but with less staying power might do more MP work in the last two weeks as opposed to more CV/HM work. 
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

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Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by oro » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:18 pm

Thanks for the answer, ap. But can you also give some numbers for the mileage the two final weeks and last couple of days?  :)

I am now three days away from my marathon. Taking a day off today, and easy runs friday and saturday, about 45 mins each.

I see your point concerning fast twitch/slow twitch kind of runner. After I started doing things the tinman way I have realized I am responding very well to MP-paced workouts as preparation to any race. Three years ago I set a PB in a 10km in april in the buildup for an early june marathon. Having done a 30km Big Workout with 4*6km@MP included on wednesday I then set at PB for the 10k with 1:30 on a sunday, only four days later. And also for a 2miles race I did incredibly well just three days after a Big Workout with lots of MP-paced work. How is that even possible? I guess that makes me a slow twitch guy?

It also makes me think that the condition of the oxidative enzymes in the muscles are extremely important and they are stimulated (in my case, at least) optimally by loads of MP-paced work. And  that the one only real reason to taper to a marathon is to refuel the glycogen stores (and get rid of small injuries).

Take care! :-)

Øystein
Last edited by oro on Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eugene Marathon and Half-Marathon, May 2, 2010

Post by ap4305 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:28 pm

[quote="oro"]
Thanks for the answer, ap. But can you also give some numbers for the mileage the two final weeks and last couple of days?  :)

I did incredibly well just three days after a Big Workout with lots of MP-paced work. How is that even possible? I guess that makes me a slow twitch guy?

It also makes me think that the condition of the oxidative enzymes in the muscles are extremely important and they are stimulated (in my case, at least) optimally by loads of MP-paced work. And  that the one only real reason to taper to a marathon is to refuel the glycogen stores (and get rid of small injuries).

[/quote]

Week before the race: ~55 miles with a day off
Week of the race: ~55 (including the race itself; about 27 miles for the day)

Day-by-day before the race:
W - 35 mins
T -  45 mins
F - 35 mins including 6 x 15 seconds fast/45 sec easy (Travel day; Ran at Pre's trail)
S - 25 mins

Some other thoughts regarding the taper...Too often in marathon training, runners will think "If I can just get to the taper...."  One of the reasons the taper has gotten overvalued over the years is that people train inappropriately in the months leading up to the race.  If we train effectively, we are able to perform a less extreme taper and maintain some consistency that the body craves. 

I don't think there is anything magic about marathon pace physiologically as compared to faster "tempo" paces.  However, marathon pace (for those in the 2-3 hour range) strikes a good balance of load/stimulus with repeatability and recoverability.  You can run faster in tempo workouts and receive a more powerful training stimulus per unit time of running but that stimulus may come at too high a cost of repeatability due to the need for lengthier recovery, especially for those of us closer to the slowtwitch end of the continuum.  Also, during hard training, marathon pace usually feels more appropriate as a default "comfortably hard" pace than the classic 'one hour pace.'  That's one reason that the Tinman training approach typically uses 'one hour pace' and half marathon pace in interval form rather than in continuous tempos.

Note, you might observe that I did 7 miles continuous at HM pace in the schedule above, but at that point in the training plan were we primed for racing; not punching the time clock in regular training.  However, there's still room for continuous tempos at faster paces in regular training, but for many people like yourself, marathon pace tempo running is a better fit as our default tempo pace.         
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

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