Paris Marathon 2013

...and the beat goes on...

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11/02/2013 at 16:56

Emma - It's hard to give exact advice to fuelling long runs. Personally I take a maximum of two gels, but that is based on me having some bad issues after taking on-board gel number three. The last two marathons I've ran have been done using one SIS gel and one packet of Shotbloks. Some people would take way more than that, some even less. I think you just need to experiment until you find something that works for you including not making you feel ill. I think any weight gain doesn't tend to be what people would eat on the run, but binging post-run.

I'd do you midweek runs faster than your long runs. If you are new-ish to running and this is your first marathon I wouldn't get to worried about pace or times. I think for first time marathoners unless you are a seasoned runner then completion is as good an objective as any. Once you have that training and first race under your belt you have a better idea of what you need to work on and what sort of time you could push for with the right training.

If you are running three times a week then maybe push the pace on what is your shortest run of the week. Do a second longer run at predicted marathon tempo pace, even finish with a couple of fast miles if you feel strong. Certainly ease off the pace on the long runs though. It does sound like you have good pace and could post a very good time if you could dedicate the time to your running. Right now though if I was you I'd focus more of building stamina and learning to pace yourself a bit better.

I'm by no means a training guru, so no doubt some other forumites can offer you some great advise on how best to get ready for Paris. You've picked a great race for your first marathon.

11/02/2013 at 16:59
Running Rodent wrote (see)
Whoops - cross post with Eggy. At least we're both agreeing about the long runs, if we're not exactly agreeing on the pace! (However, I'd probably trust Eggy's maths over mine ). But definitely slow down!

I based mine on a target 4:30 time. A 4:30 marathon is 10:17 minute mile average pace, so a long run should be 0:30 to 1:30 slower than that going by the various training thingy-me-bobs I've read.

11/02/2013 at 17:04

Ha ha binging post run!!!Thats my favourite part Eggy!Its my reward!!!I will continue with what i am taking during my long runs and can always adapt it slightly if need be!

Thanks again for all the advice, feel a bit more positive again as felt totally deflated yesterday when i finished!I have been really enjoying my training so far but last week was a bad one. Guess thats all part of the training!

11/02/2013 at 17:09

Well one thing you can take from yesterdays run is that you completed it despite how hard it felt. That's the mentality that'll serve you well in the later stages of a marathon.

I partial to a good binge myself.

11/02/2013 at 17:26

Hi Emma

I reckon a real shocker of a long run during training is no bad thing - as Eggy says, it's good for the mental know you got through it so you can do it again.

I had a biomechanical assessment at The Running School in Bristol today.  With somebody who looked young enough to be my son....sigh.

Aaaaaaanyway, it was very interesting.  I got videoed from the side and the back, then we picked it apart.  There was more good stuff in there than I was expecting - for example, my alignment and arm movement is very good.  I suspect this is a very recent change as I have spent a considerable amount of time and effort on this over the past couple of weeks.  It seems that all my standing sideways on in front of a mirror rolling my eyes out of my head to see if my alignment looks right was worth it.  I've stopped twisting my upper body, my arms stay in line where they used to cross over the midline.  So far so good.

On the not so good, his main concern is my hip drop, meaning that my pelvis isn't stable.  I'm not at all surprised about this, it's my weak area and it's what causes every single injury I've had, I think.  My feet also cross over the midline too much but that could well be sorted with more pelvic stability.

I still heel strike but not as badly as I used too - that's the thing he's least concerned about.

Outcome is that these are things which can be sorted.  My glutes are very weak (I'm not surprised by this either) so I have booked a session for when I get back from skiing.  He's going to teach me how to properly do glute strengthening exercises, so I know how they should feel when I'm doing them.  He's also going to help me with a couple of tweaks to get a tiny bit more heel lift, but he doesn't want to make too many big changes before Paris because my alignment is pretty good at the mo.

After that, we'll see...but today was certainly worthwhile as it's the first real feedback I've ever had about my running and it's told me that my suspicions that my hips were causing my problems were correct.  And I do like to be right

11/02/2013 at 17:30
Emma - other regard to nutrition. Based on a 3 month consolation I had with a sports nutritionist, I follow her suggestions and they work for me. This means I take in 100 calories, usually as a gel, every 30-40 minutes on every run over 90 minutes in length. That's way more than most here use, but it works for me. I and most here only drink if thirsty - over hydrating is a very common mistake.

Weight gain: it's true that people can gain weight during marathon training. But it's usually from undisciplined eating. Fueling properly before, during and after training is essential for improvement and for an enjoyable race. Too many people think that running=eat whatever I want. Wish it did, but it doesn't
11/02/2013 at 17:36

The wee countdown thing on my desktop says 7 weeks and 5 days to go....Taking the taper into account, that's only 4 more weeks of ' training '. So, hang in there Emma. You, too, vicky.You've probably just passed the hardest bit. I think everyone gets to a low point, at some point.. 

Today's  was a ' fun' run. January/February probably isn't the best time of the year to discover forestry tracks and water board roads...but, then again...6 miles, up at 350 metres,  there's still lots of snow.( Who would have guessed that a run to a wind farm would be..errr..up.and windy..?) 'Fantastic view and only sheep to share it.This running lark is certainly a good excuse to go exploring off-road.

11/02/2013 at 17:43

I'm losing weight. Happens every year no effort required.

11/02/2013 at 17:45

Me too - half a stone down on my post Paris weight - not intentionally.  Clothes are too big, which is a bit of a bugger...

11/02/2013 at 18:14
Please can someone give a definitive paragraph about the long run and its purpose. My situation is that my target pace for the marathon is 8.20-8.30 and I want to run that pretty even. My training partner wants to run the LSR at a pace which is not far off that. Able to converse all the way round. But with intensity. I've told him I want to spend more time on the road and not really interested in mile splits at this stage. Just jogging for 3 and a half hours regardless of distance. I feel like I may have to do the next 3 LSRs on my own unless I can convince him he's wrong. One of his reasons for not wanting to go too slow is losing pace, another is the jarring on his knees. I ran 19 miles in 8m37 yesterday and was able to hold conv. was horrible conditions but I'm getting a bit annoyed. I've never taken training so serious as have for this run and have made great progress. I really don't want to balls this up by not getting the right sessions in and running too many "dress rehearsals". Please help. Plus, I could be looking for someone to do a couple of 20s with, at 9.30 pace, Anyone? RR? DV? Just a paragraph so I can say Mate, Look!
11/02/2013 at 18:23
TJB - someone wiser than me will come along shortly with a paragraph. I always run my LSRs alone so I don't have to adapt to anyone else's needs/expectations. A bit selfish and anti-social maybe. But so be it....
11/02/2013 at 18:25
Jimbob - I'm sure others will reply in greater detail, but everything I have read has said that the LSR cannot be done too slow, only too fast.
11/02/2013 at 18:42

Welcome Vicky. Some good advice there.

Trevor - I did a half PB in Sepembert in 1 hour 38 followed up with a marathon PB of 3 hours 36 in October. But it was my 3rd marathon. If it your first, I suggest you set a target that you are really confident you can achieve. And then just do it. And try and enjoy it. And then buy us all a drink in the pub!

11/02/2013 at 18:47

And welcome Emma. Busy thread today..

11/02/2013 at 18:57

JB, the LSRs are designed to do several things:

  • Most obviously, to get us used to running the distance required on the day - to prepare us physically
  • To get used to being on our feet for longer periods of time
  • To prepare us mentally for running when tired
  • To allow us to practice fuelling/hydration etc
  • To teach our bodies to burn fat more efficiently

The point of the SLOW bit:

  • It's about time on feet - my 20 mile runs take approximately what my 26.2 will (hopefully) take on the day
  • We're running tired at this stage in training...and after a day of rest we'll be into the next week of hard training.  If we run our LSRs at race pace we're going to be shot to bits and unable to train effectively in the week following.

If the pace of your LSRs is niggling t you then you're absolutely right - you need to run them on your own.  It's not antisocial at all...I will only run with somebody else if I am happy that the session meets what I want/need to do on that day, otherwise I'll go out on my own.


11/02/2013 at 19:28
Jimbob - what YM says.
During your long run you can add some sections at marathon pace but don't forget, in the weeks before the marathon you will be tapering so that you can be fresh for the race.
Prior to the taper you will be doing your longest runs and will be at your most tired. There is no point trying to do your long runs at MP when you are tired. That's a bit like Usain Bolt running every training session as a world record attempt. That way leads to breakdown and injury.
It sounds hard but you may have to be a bit selfish here. If your mate can't train at the pace you want then you may be best training by yourself.
11/02/2013 at 19:51

Jimbob, I don't know your target race time but 19 miles at 8:37 pace is rather fast if your planned race pace is also 8:20-30. I only managed 8;45 yesterday and I'm aiming at a 3:15 marathon. I have done one long run at 8 min mile pace, and I have a couple of 20 mile races in the plan where I'll race at 7 min mile pace. But for me the LSR is slower than race pace, by half a minute I'd say.  

11/02/2013 at 19:55
Exactly, I want to do like the welsh girl and run the 20 in the same duration as my expected 26.2. For me its now about being on my feet for a longer period of time. All my pace work is done in other sessions and my half marathons will be dress rehearsals in terms of race pace. I want to run slow
11/02/2013 at 19:58
Jimbob - here's what I posted a while back about LSRs - although it prompted a discussion about training and glycogen depletion, which is a different issue:

The theory on long runs is (apologies to any medics out there for over-simplification): your body stores energy in two forms - fat and glycogen (carbs). When you exercise you use both kinds, but it's easier to access glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles, than fat, which is stored - wherever you store fat. A fit person who hasn't done enough endurance training will probably have enough glycogen to run about 15-20 miles - after that you switch to fat burning only. Fat burns more slowly, and needs more oxygen to do so, therefore you have to slow down, and feel crap - this is 'the wall'. The purpose of long slow runs is to train your body to burn more fat, earlier, conserving glycogen for later in the run, it's not to replicate race pace. It's a combination of endurance, speedwork and adrenaline on the day that will get you round at the right speed.

Today I'm paying the penalty of a hard training weekend. On the plus side, I don't have any aches and pains. On the downside, three days of galloping around in icy rain with wet feet and I think I've got Jimbob's tonsils .

YM - interesting feedback from the Running School - sounds like you've really got something to work with there.
11/02/2013 at 20:09
RR shine a torch down yer throat, if u can see the little white nasties at the back of yer throat that's bacterial. Otherwise u might have something viral. I swear this training makes you run down.
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