Cobbles & Red Wine - Sarah’s Paris Marathon Plan: Sub 3:35

Asics Target 26.2 - Previously lardy girl goes for a Boston Qualifier

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29/12/2012 at 16:42

Afternoon Seren! – It’s definitely a bit windy down this way … and flooded!! Makes every run a Cross Country one! The promenade is a bit exposed at Weymouth and I’m planning on doing the first 6 miles there and back along there so I think I’ll be relieved to run through the town part tomorrow! Will have to try and find a coffee shop afterwards that welcomes damp and stinky runners!

29/12/2012 at 18:29

Week 2, Day 5

Session: 5 mile fartlek

Actual: 6.02 miles fartlek (overestimated the distance gained running in circles)

I wasn’t sure what to do on a Fartlek session so did a bit of sneaky research. Apparently the term Fartlek is Swedish for ‘speed play’ and simply means changing the speeds up and down and having a bit of fun. According to Wikipedia it’s unstructured training with changing intensities and speeds.

I already knew someone else who ran this way … Oscar! So I decided to approach this run the same way that my sister’s Labrador approaches a run. He sprints for a bit when he sees a rabbit, runs around in circles, stops for a breather, has a bit of a jog and then does it all over again. Basically he has a fantastic time and gets some running done at the same time.

It’s been very windy and a bit flooded around here recently so I thought there might be a bit of an issue with mud. I also took my little Sis out for a run as she got a Garmin for Christmas and was desperate to try it out. Well … she wanted to try it out. In all fairness to her she came out with me through all of the mud, rain and flooded lanes and hardly complained at all. Although there was some muttering and muffled swearing going on at some of the muddier parts …

The first obstacle was the upper lane was completely flooded for about 25 feet. I couldn’t persuade little Sis to run through it so we hopped up onto the bank and navigated the mud … thank goodness it was a Fartlek run not a speed session!

(Pic: I tried but couldn't persuade little Sis to run through it. I've taken the pic having run through it confident of being within 5 minutes of home and a hot shower!)

It was raining pretty steadily but it eased off after a mile or so. My sister was running at 10 - 11 min/mile so I ran on ahead for some of the speedier sections and doubled back in circles so we could run together.

It was actually a really fun session. There wasn’t a specific structure to it so I ran up some of the hills and used the downhills for recoveries or ran down the hills as fast as I could. It was great. If only someone could hoover up the mud too …

(Pic: Me enjoying the fact I was on a solid surface again!)

The sheer amounts of mud and water coming down off of some of the hills meant that we were running slower than I wanted to on some of the tracks, but it was nice knowing that I could work the intervals around the terrain rather than having to increase or decrease speed at a time or distance marker.

Pic: The view back down the hill into Milborne Wick

Pic: Navigating the muddier sections ... definitiely one of the slower intervals!

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                    <p><a href=Garmin Info Here


Distance: 6.02 miles

Time: 1:08:02

Avg Pace: 11:19 min/mi

Best Pace: 4:30 min/mi

seren nos    pirate
29/12/2012 at 18:56

RRR.that seems just like the perfect type of run for this time of year and with this weather

loving the 7 years i haven't managed to learn how to put piccies on here

29/12/2012 at 19:14


Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying reading about your training. Like you, I used to be overweight and have been running for about the same amount of time as you, having done 2 marathons and a few halfs and 10ks. I love running its been a lifesaver. 

I'm nowhere near as quick as you although I hope to be. Due to a series of poor performances hampered by ill health, I've hit a bit of a slump on the running journey. Shall be lacing up those trainers tomorrow and getting back into it for some brand new goals in 2013.

Super inspired by you girl, keep it up!

29/12/2012 at 20:24
Hi sarah, fab run, loving the pictures....looks very muddy and wet where you are. Always wondered what a fartlek was so thankyou for your less thing for me to read and learn about now. Currently on chapter 4 of P&D and running out of holiday days to read it in!
29/12/2012 at 22:45

Seren – it was really good fun! And like you say perfect for the time of year and weather as it was a start-stop run due to the mud and floods! Can’t believe how much water there is around at the moment – I seem to be constantly rotating pairs of trainers to dry them out!

Still reckon my idea for Running Wellies is a winner!

29/12/2012 at 22:45

Evening Newbie32! What a fab message! Thank you! (Blushes!)

Sorry to hear you’ve had a tough year health-wise but glad you’ve got some exciting new goals in 2013!! What are your plans? Have you booked any good races in yet?

I need to get some 10ks booked in … I’m jinxed at the distance for some reason so I’m going to see whether I can get a bit better at those too. Any tips for a good 10k? 

29/12/2012 at 22:46

Evening Sarah! – It was loads of fun … but somehow I don’t seem to have captured the sheer amount of water in the pics!! Running through the massive puddle at the end was fun though!! I KNEW packing 3 sets of trainers for a weekend stay wasn’t excessive …

Hee hee! Thank Goodness for Wikipedia! Ooh how are you finding P&D – is that the Advanced Marathoning?

29/12/2012 at 23:11

well done on the session (and the photos!) - seems a good session. While it's not quite in the spirit of 'speed play' as per terrain, some people prefer a set fartlek so it doesn't become too vague ie 5 mins hard, 1 min easy, 3 hard, 1 easy, 1 hard, 30 secs easy, 30 secs hard, 1 min easy and repeat but in those conditions what you did seemed perfect.

29/12/2012 at 23:24

The fartlek looked like great fun - despite the minor flooding issues... you seem like you're really enjoying the whole experience.

So is your sister a proper convert yet, or are you still working on her??

29/12/2012 at 23:59

Steve Marathon Coach – Thank you for the feedback! I wasn’t too sure what to do with this session to be honest although it was nice to be able to have a bit of a play around with the speed and intensity. I’ll add a bit more of a structure into the next fartlek session … unless the roads get too flooded again!

30/12/2012 at 00:00

Bacon Steve – I’m having a blast! It’s such a nice change to have all my runs set out for me … and to have 2 rest days a week! Woo! How are you finding it? Noticed you had a late night run on Friday and got some drunk-dodging done!

I’m working on my sister … but I suspect she is on her way to becoming addicted to running. She’s got the Garmin … and we’ve got a gait analysis booked in for Monday! I'm really pleased she's enjoyinghte running ...So long as she doesn’t start beating me ….

30/12/2012 at 00:47

RRR - what you did was fine - if not sure about session - ask here or e-mail me

30/12/2012 at 10:53

RRR - Brilliant report and pics, as ever! Fartlek is my favourite type of training - I'm sure you'll come to love it. The lanes here on the North Downs are flooded like that as well. To be honest, I don't mind running through the water. The trainers get a bit wet and the biggest risk is blisters on your feet but it's great fun splashing through it.

sarah osborne - How are you finding P&D? It's pretty heavy going isn't it? I'm still a little undecided whether to follow one of their schedules or Steve's schedule for Alex (A.W.). I'm liking the look of the latter to be honest. I've had success following RW schedules in the past so will probably stick to what I know works. Most of the guys on the Sub 3 and Sub 3:15 threads follow P&D though! I'm still 19 weeks away from my marathon so if I follow Alex's plan I've got another 3 weeks to base build and then hit the plan!

30/12/2012 at 21:04

RRR - yeah, loving it too  Especially the drunk-dodging! So glad you're enjoyimg it so much and DS2 is right, your running reports are brilliant - great fun to read

Well done with the sterling work converting your sister... When is she joining the forum??

30/12/2012 at 21:37
I would buy the running wellies (auto correct wanted to spell something else then)!

What are your 10k times sarah?

DS2 I'm really enjoying reading P&d but its like revising all the physiology that I learnt in my first two years at med school. I can just about follow it though so I can imagine it being tough for someone not medically minded!

I've done my own schedule but I'm incorporating bits from P&d and the forums for paces and the type of runs to do with Minnis help.
31/12/2012 at 00:07

Week 2, Day 6

Goal: 10 miles in 85 mins

Actual: 10 miles in 83:58 mins

I’m down in Dorset this weekend so decided to take advantage of the fact and have a run in Weymouth. Nice flat promenade … and not so nice gusty winds trying to blow me into the sea. However, it was nice to run there even though it wasn’t the ice cream eating weather I normally associate with Weymouth.

Also I was running around in light running gear (plus bright pink socks of course!) and everyone else was bundled up in thick winter coats, scarves and hats. Felt a bit of a twerp. However the wind was pushing me along from behind so it wasn’t all bad.

Boyfriend and Little Sis were running today too but as we all run at different speeds so they set off before me while I faffed. I’m a veteran faffer. I’ve never quite worked out how headphones can tangle themselves quite so thoroughly within 10 minutes … or how running belts get twisted up with jacket pockets …

Could see Little Sis clearly in her new neon pink top in the distance. She was slightly slower than me so every step brought me a tiny bit closer. Problem one. I had to stick to around an 8:25 – 8:30 minute / miles pace to bring me home at the 85 minute goal, but my brain was going into ‘Parkrun Mode’ and shouting “She’s only 250 metres away!” and “Just a BIT quicker – you can catch her!” and “NEXT TARGET!! Overtake her quick!!” Tried to ignore brain and keep legs going at right speed.

Boyfriend had already disappeared. Presumably into a nice warm pub as soon as the wind rose and he got out of sight of me and Little Sis. Sensible chap.

There wasn’t any rain but there was a lot of wind. The weather kind, not the sprouty kind. I’d ended up tying my jacket around my waist as I’d got warm but it was blowing out like a parachute and slowing me down so put it back on again.

I’d started at the Theatre by the new tower and had ran along the promenade past Rossi’s towards the White Horse. It was nice and flat until the hill up to the Outlook Café and I’d turned around and retraced my steps back down the hill and along the promenade again. I’d gone back to my starting point and caught up with Little Sis and boyfriend at the end of their runs.

They warmed down and went off to find a hot cup of coffee and I carried on to the end of the harbour wall and past the new tower and past the lunatics fishing in the dark. Who no doubt were surprised by the lunatic running in the dark.

31/12/2012 at 00:08

I doubled back and ran down the side of the harbour avoiding the old tram tracks still criss-crossing the road. Up the steep stone stairs up to the bridge that lifts up (and which had lifted up and interrupted my first 12 miler earlier in the year giving me a much appreciated breather!) and down the other side of the harbour past the pubs and fishing boats to the beacon light at the end with the fort rising up in the dark on my right.

Back along the cobbled streets to Brewers Fayre and up to the Nothe Fort which was quite spooky in the dark. I nearly tripped over a dog running in the gloom while circling the fort and then it was back down the hill and back along the harbour side and to the Promenade and finished the run along the front of Weymouth not far from where I started.

Finished up and no-one was around! No toddler to hang a medal around my neck or family with cups of steaming coffee! Checked my phone to find the following message. “We’re in a pub called The Ship”. Charming. Instead of welcoming me with an ice cream or cup of coffee (either warmly appreciated) they’d gone to the pub.

Went off to find a coke and a packet of peanuts. And found a fiver. 50p a mile … Wonder if I’ll find £13.10 at the end of the Marathon … or whatever that translates to in Euros.

Garmin Info Here

Mile Splits: 8:22, 8:31, 8:28, 8:30, 8:14, 8:22, 8:23, 8:23, 8:19, 8:14

31/12/2012 at 00:12

Evening DS2 – I hope so! Anyone watching me on the fartlek run yesterday would have thought I was a complete lunatic with all the Labrador running! It is fun running through the water … the water actually warms up after a bit too! The trainer version of a wetsuit!

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