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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07/01/2013 at 10:26

Thanks for this RRR! I would also like to see a day of what is more typical for you.

You mentioned that you usually have porridge at home instead of cornflakes. Porridge is the less processed option and this with a little honey and some brightly coloured fruit such as berries would be a good start. However cornflakes and in your instance without the sugar (this sugar is worth 420kcal of energy each week without any nutrients i.e. vitamins and minerals) is not a bad option; it may not have the fibre & have more salt but it is a good start for a runner as it has lots of added vitamins and minerals and the added milk is a great protein boost. I personally think a bowl of cornflakes makes a great recovery snack whereas before a long run or race (if enjoy it) porridge is a great start. But I would be happy with you mixing it up and having both as if you eat 5-10 proteins of fruit you fibre intake is high. The porridge is the healthier option but you have to look at a diet as a whole. For those with cholesterol issues then porridge is a good start. do seem to like this. My advice would be only 30g a day of these type of cheeses (match box size) and only one protein is needed at each meal for example blue cheese and tuna - just the tuna. If have a lot of cheese based sauces could this be replaced for some tomato based sauce with lots of veg and if wish, grate 30g of a strong cheddar into this sauce to give a little hint of cheese?

I would try and have some carbs at each meal for example; the day you have tuna and blue cheese, did you have any wrap, potato etc with this? Also cheese alone before a run would be hard to digest and perhaps a banana & yoghurt may have been a better option when little time or one slice of toast with jam/honey or if a run under 45mins which does not need to be a quality session I would just go and run it with no food if not left enough time.

In regards timing of eating, we all have to figure out what we can stomach. As Steve has said you generally can get away with eating nearer run time if not an intense runs . For example I can eat 1.5 hours before a run if not intense but would be nearer 2-2.5 hours before an intense session of intervals/ hill reps. Before a race I need to have eaten my last snack over 2 hours before although if running a race longer than 90minutes I would eat a light snack 90minutes before but this is what works for me. As a general rule before racing and runs, have well practised snacks/foods and times you can eat these. Keep the food low fat, not too high in fibre or even protein as carbs with little fat or too much protein will digest quicker. Cereal/toast are good options but so is pasta/rice/potatoes with tomato based sauces/low fat fillings as long as portion works for you. Some people claim no matter what they eat before or during a race is affects their gut in a bad way but there is evidence that you can train your gut to absorb carbs in a race and often it is just lack of practice in training or poor gut health that causes problems on race day.

Sorry think I have waffled enough but keen to get more food diaries as you get back into “normal” eating and even at this stage start working on pre race foods!



07/01/2013 at 10:53

Wensyldale Grommit!!!
Love Cheese!!!   I do have porridge everyday with honey and raisins and that keeps me fuelled for the long run or the whole morning.........Get that down you RRR.

07/01/2013 at 16:20

That's a very good run yesterday and probably just a little bit too quick - especially in middle where you averaged 7:55 for miles 7 to 9. Good if you can do it and stay relaxed but faster than goal marathon pace for that long this early in the schedule isn't necessary and you don't want to over tire yourself for the week ahead - I averaged over 8:40 for my 15 yesterday and thought it was quick enough for me after a xc day bedore and on the terrain and think I'm in sub-3 shape in terms of pace but some way short in terms of endurance.

re breakfasts, I also feel I can get away with a not too big breakfast within a hour of a parkrun as it's over fairly quickly and I don't take hugely seriously but I would aim for a breakfast two to three hours before a longer race - anything between 5 miles and half-marathon and nothing cooked - just toast, porridge/cereals etc

07/01/2013 at 18:03

Hi Sarah - I have continued to lurk but not posted much. Loving your thread! The reports are amazingly detailed and fantastic that RW photographers are with you on every run!!!!!

I thought you were running in the Edinburgh XC on Saturday afternoon when I switched the telly on and saw 'the socks' scampering up a hill

Keep up the good work!

07/01/2013 at 18:49

Ruth you obviously aren't aware of Sarah's stomach post bread.... it ain't pretty....Please I beg you dont tell her to eat bread - i do have to share a bathroom with her at our parent's house form time to time...... 

07/01/2013 at 19:29

Glad they didn't supply sandwiches at the Asics store day!

No french bread for you in Paris, RRR.

07/01/2013 at 19:57

Ah that'll be fine - she can eat as much bread as she likes in Paris Steve... as long as I'm in the UK..

07/01/2013 at 21:43

Hmm... Not sure if that'll get her disqualified...

Does your time count if it is wind-assisted?

07/01/2013 at 22:16

Thanks MCS! Nice! Hilly runs are definitely the most fun … but I bet your 21 mile fell race will be tough … but AWESOME!!! What's your next run? Are you focusing on hills?

It looks like a pretty good week this week training-wise. I might struggle with time with the 400s tomorrow – might see whether I can shift my lunchtime to the end of the day so I’ve got a bit of time to get to a track … otherwise will be doing them at midnight in an industrial estate!

Ha ha!! I could definitely be Wallace … I ADORE cheese!!

07/01/2013 at 22:18

Evening Ruth Mckean!

Thanks for the feedback – this looks really, really helpful! Cornflakes tend to be a bit of a special treat. They don’t really fill me up (I’m always ravenous by lunchtime!) so I treat them as a bit of a ‘special occasion’ food. Nice to have but probably not the best option!

I definitely have a weakness for Stilton and cottage cheese but the other types of cheese are again ‘special occasion food’ so hopefully these won’t be too much of a problem. I rarely have sauces on my food except I eat a lot of cottage cheese with my fish and veg … I wouldn’t like to cut this out but would if it’s absolutely necessary.

I tend to eat mainly whole food (except at other people’s houses) and it tends to be a lot of veg and fish … I have a horrible suspicion you may ask me at some point to cut down on the amount of fish I eat … I'd have it with every meal if I could ...

I tend to get most of my carbs from the veg I eat. I can’t eat bread and I’m not much of a fan of rice, pasta or potatoes. Would sweet potatoes be ok?

I tend to be ok to run straight after eating so long as I’m not having to run too quickly (thanks to having to take a beginner friend out on runs straight after tea – it’s come in quite handy!) but I wasn’t sure what was the best option. I’ll make sure I keep the snacks light and low-fat. I hadn’t considered things in a tomato-based sauce but I’ll give that a try!

I’m back at home now so my food-diary should be a bit more typical. I tend to eat a lot of the same things … so I have a horrible suspicion I will be told to branch out a bit!

07/01/2013 at 22:20

Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

Thanks for the feedback … looking at the splits I can definitely tell where the downhills were yesterday! I’ll slow the longer runs down … I ran to what felt right yesterday rather than to what was sensible. I’ll keep the pace a bit closer to the target on the longer run on Wednesday. 

Thanks for the breakfast advice. I’ll stick to porridge and attempt to wean myself off of the 3 teaspoons of sugar! Maybe raisins or something instead.

07/01/2013 at 22:22

Evening DS2!

Fab to hear from you! I’m terrible … every time I pass a good view on my run I whip out the phone and take a picture! I like looking back at the pics to remember a good run.

No …! Someone else with the same excellent taste in socks? I completely approve!

07/01/2013 at 22:24

Charming! Reasons not to let Little Sis (Yes YOU – RunningForChocolate!!) know where your thread is on the forum … And Bacon Steve … you’re ENCOURAGING her!!

Although … I could probably set myself up as a competitor to British Gas … (Looks proud before realising what she’s discussing ….)

07/01/2013 at 22:33

Food Diary 7th January

Breakfast: Cornflakes, skimmed milk, 3 x teaspoon of sugar

… Back at home!! …

Lunch: Bowl of spinach with 30g Double Gloucester with Chives & Onions, 3 slices of baked ham, 1.5 tablespoons of reduced fat mayonnaise.

Tea: 125g salmon, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, 1/3 portion of stirfry mixed veg (flowering broccoli, courgette, mini corn, carrot slices, kale), 6 mushrooms, small leek – all in steamer. 100g cottage cheese.

Snacks: 2 x custard cream biscuits, packet of rolos, kitkat (got home starving hungry after a horrendous 80 mile drive home with vomiting 3 year old and spotted the leftover Christmas goodies), orange,

Drinks: 3 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 3 pints of orange,

Exercise: 30 mins grocery shopping with 3 year old (a PROPER interval session ), 90 minutes housecleaning.

07/01/2013 at 23:40
your blood sugar must have really dipped on your journey home!

Loved reading the advice from Ruth as ive never had advice from a dietician before.

Ive tried the banana before a run and that really didnt agree with me, as didnt porridge and blueberries before a race, although I can happily have these before a training run and have it most mornings...porridge, banana and blueberries together, mmm.

I always have a cheese toastie/panini before a race and its never let me down. I once had pasta with bolognese sauce for lunch and raced 6 hours later and was sick...that really didnt agree with me!

How did you get away with doing so many MP miles in your training so jealous!

Loving that your sister is on the dirt RunningForChocolate!!
08/01/2013 at 10:45

Hello-  RRR loving the descriptions of your runs - seems you have as much fun exploring as I do.  I must take more pictures on the run thought.

I have a question for Steve Marathon Coach...  I dream of qualifying for Boston, one day...  I'm 26 and have been running for about 5 years, however, commitment to it has been patchy.  I did 2 marathons in 2011 - London (4:38) and Berlin (4:33) - My training for Berlin wasn't great, and I plan to be a lot more committed now I'm training for Halstead and Essex in May this year.  I did plan to do NYC last year, but it was cancelled, and I was greatful, as I had a really tough year which significantly affected me- and lead to a couple of injuries,

My best race times are 5k: 24:01, 10k: 52:50. Half: 1:59:03, though my most recent half was more like 2:05.

Is a BQ completely off the cards for me? If not, I'm aware it would take time, but what would you recommend - My current thinking is that I focus on getting the shorter races times down-  mainly the half, and that a much faster marathon will come from this.  Any comments and advice much appreciated-  have u seen examples of where people have taken an hour off their marathon time?

08/01/2013 at 11:32
Hi Sarah, thought I'd pop in and say hi after your post yesterday. I'm struggling to keep up with everyone's threads at the same time as doing my own, logging on MyAsics, tweeting, etc, etc!! I think the trainings the east bit!

Your running well, keep up the good work! You seem to be running everything a bit quicker than guide pace, are the efforts feeling easyish?
08/01/2013 at 11:48

Four and a bit mile plod to work wore the heart strap which I dont do very often my heart rate was around 140bpm. Need to go and check what my max is but that hurts I reckon so dont fancy doing that. 170 going off the age thing. Was able to get it up to 185 a couple of years ago but dont think I could now. Whats the best way to test this? Run like a nutter until you collapse then go again or something like.
Heres a question for discussion, debate. Is it right to take Ibupofren before a race? I have a lively discussion with a fellow runner about this!! I wouldn't he always does!!
Do you not eat carbs RRR apart from Orange juice? Being Coeliac I have to get gluten free bread and pasta. No wonder you are starving!!!

08/01/2013 at 11:53

Thanks for recommendation on headlamp. I'll look on Sweatshop site. Got delivery of my new trainers and waterproof (needed for NW weather conditions) so excited to go for a run tonight.

Did my first long run since autumn on Sunday. 11 miles. My calves are still hurting

Any strecthes recommended?


08/01/2013 at 16:05
You're going to have to run rings round me in June so that I can keep up! Too much choc over Christmas! Congrats on your speed btw, you are so fast! Many hugs xx
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