Super Fit Bit and the VLM

Tonight I had a good run coaching session with Super Fit Bit. I’ve been coaching Super Fit Bit since July 2013 and she’s come on really well. 🙂

She used to run regularly, but back in July it was back to run walking sessions to get her up and running again. Now she’s running longer and was lucky enough to get a place in the Virgin London Marathon.

I posted a simple long run training plan earlier today for the VLM (for her and others to follow): and tonight we ran her longest run yet.

Super Fit Bit likes to run to time as opposed to distance, and we’d planned around 1:20 running and ended up doing around 1:28. It was pretty chilly, about 5’C or less, but no rain, just the dark to content with. 🙂

The main target was to keep her heart rate low and keep it at an EASY intensity. So at or below 140, or 150 max. (It’s a bit like me and my zone: try to keep it to or below 150, or max at 160 – I’m slightly younger).

To find out your HR zones / how to run to your HR, go here:

I linked my Garmin up to her Heart Rate monitor and kept an eye on her HR through out the run. And sure as I’d expected, when I heard her be slightly out of breath, her heart rate was around 145 plus, right up to 155 / 160 at points.

‘Slow it down, take it easy.’ I reminded her a few times. 🙂

When you’re running long, pace shouldn’t matter all that much. It should all be about effort / heart rate and how easy you’re taking it. Pace becomes just an outcome of how hard or easy you work.

You can see from the splits above, the first 4 miles were pretty steady paced, and slowed for the last 3 miles (despite being done hill). This was probably up do with us trying to keep her heart rate close to 140, but it was closer to 150.

Perhaps if she’d have kept her HR lower at the start she might have been able to keep her HR lower throughout. It might seem slow, but it’s important to remember that training for a marathon is different than training for shorter distances.

Marathon training is all about endurance, not speed. 🙂 (and walking on long runs is fine if you need to or want to).

On Super Fit Bit’s next long run I’ve asked her to:

– Run with your HR at or below 140 if possible. (Her ‘effective zone’ is 140-150 and it’s ok to go up to 150, say on the hills, but better to stay below 140 if possible, on long and easy runs).

– Be careful to take 1-2 rest days after long runs (you’ll need it). She says she likes to go for a social group run on Tuesdays, and if these are important, then try to schedule the long run of the week (not on a Monday) on a day where you can get a clear rest day or two after it.

It’ll be good to see Super Fit Bit develop her running. I have every faith that she can do this. It might be tough, and a long time on her feet, but knowing her, I’m sure she can do it. 🙂

The key to survive marathon training is to take:

– long runs easy,
– easy runs easy, and
– only push it on the effective runs if speed is you’re feeling up to it and speed is a focus. Otherwise, another easy or social run would be just as good.

I’ve found heart rate training as a great way to run, and train for marathons and if you want to know more, go here:

Are you doing the VLM? How are you getting on with your training? Or are you leaving it until after new year? 🙂

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