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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09/02/2013 at 23:00

re your session - never ever go in a sauna before anything other than a light jog. Apart from dehydrating you, it also probably messed up your temperature and you felt the cold more than normal.

the mile reps said 7:00-7:30 so it would be 10 times better to do 5 in 7:00 to 7:30 than three in 6:45. Any session like this start easy and don't put yourself under pressure at the start - next time start with 7:15 and then go 7:00.and only think about sub 7s on the second half of the session. Had you started more slowly, you might have been able to complete the session even with the problems.

Even if you don't feel great in doing a session like this, next time just lower expectations and aim to complete the session in slower times - even 7:30s would have been fine.

obviously can't have been too much wrong with you though judging by the 5K PB and maybe not doing the five helped you run faster in the parkrun?

also try and have a small snack before a session like this rather than go six hours without eating.

09/02/2013 at 23:03

Evening Ruth!

Fab idea about testing the timings for breakfast. I tend to have breakfast about 3 horus before so I’ll make sure I bring this forward a little next weekend.

I like the sound of the carb loading test for next weekend … I’m especially looking forward to the Pick n Mix trial!

I’ll make sure I cut down on the tuna. I haven’t eaten much of it this week as work have been feeding me … chicken mainly! But I’ll limit myself to 4 cans.

09/02/2013 at 23:05

Evening Andy!

Yep! Poole was flat and fast today! Lovely route too! How did yours go? Did the competitive instinct take over or did you manage to start further back?

Good luck for your race tomorrow!

P.s. I reckon coffee should DEFINIETLY be on you! Last one back buys!

09/02/2013 at 23:08

re the warm up - you could cut to a mile jog and a few strides and the warm down to a mile which would leave over 40 minutes for the main part of the session which suffices for the  sessions we do at track - we did 10 x 800 starting every 4 minutes this week but I may need to make slight adjustments to some of your sessions.

If you have time, you could do a three mile easy jog in the evening as a extra warm down and recovery jog

Edited: 09/02/2013 at 23:09
09/02/2013 at 23:24

Week 8, Day 6


Goal: Parkrun + 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cooldown

Actual: Parkrun + 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cooldown


Today was the day to be a parkrun tourist! But this tourism stuff isn’t easy … I was up at 6am and had to leave the house at 7am as the nearest parkrun was almost 40 miles away. 40 miles doesn’t sound too far until you consider it was Dorset … so no motorways in the entire county and most of the journey through lanes and on single track roads. And stuck behind a Nissan Micra for 15 miles. Doing 35mph. Sigh.

My car was in for MOT so I’d borrowed an ageing Honda. The first step was to get used to driving with a steering wheel the size of a cart wheel, the second was to realise I was now driving a petrol car, not a diesel … so it shouldn’t really sound as though I was driving a tractor. The economy light kept flashing at me as I kept letting the revs drop below 2,000 rpm. Good for fuel economy, but not great for getting anywhere very fast. Well … at least I sounded as though I was fitting into the county.  Just needed a bedraggled collie and a straw to chew and I’d be sorted.

 (Pic: Also spotted this signpost on the way. So which way to Stourton Caundle?)

I got to Poole and managed to find the start. The weather wasn’t particularly inviting and the drizzle made everything slightly misty and damp. However, the volunteers and other parkrunners were very, very friendly and welcoming. I was soon spotted as a newbie and introduced to a few others. I was given an overview of the parkrun route and told to stay away from the swans as apparently they were ‘very bitey today’.

It was a very friendly atmosphere and to make it even better, there were pacers with bib numbers showing from 18 to 40 minutes to help everyone get the times they were aiming for. I wasn’t sure how far I’d be able to improve my 5km time although ultimately my aim was to finally break into the 20 minutes … so not get overtaken by the 21 minute pacer! I had a quick check of the boating lake. 2nd aim – not get caught by any bitey swans. The ducks looked a bit hungry too.

As usual the start was chaos as 436 people tried to get as quick a start as possible without tripping over their own feet, the feet of their neighbours or any of the small children who had positioned themselves at the front. I tried to bear Steve Marathon Coach’s advice in mind and tried to keep my pace as steady as possible while it seemed like the whole world and their children streamed past my elbows.

In short races, I’ve very often gone off far too fast and tired out quickly and spent the rest of the race feeling like hell and panting like a dirty caller, whereas in races with congested starts such as half marathons where I’ve been forced to keep a steady pace I’ve often had better results.

There was a layout change in the route today as part of the footpath was flooded so the start was moved to the War Memorial. This parkrun took us twice around the boating lake and then back to the café. It was a gorgeous route and flat as a pancake. The only gripe was that the paths were quite narrow so if you had runners running 2 abreast on the narrow path in front of you, you were

09/02/2013 at 23:28

The only gripe was that the paths were quite narrow so if you had runners running 2 abreast on the narrow path in front of you, you were stuck. Also on the second loop you caught up with people running their first lap which caused a few bottlenecks, but it was all amicable with everyone aiming for the same goal … a new PB.

 (Pic: AMAZING how much a new PB cheers me up! p.s. Hide your eyes!! I now have matching T-shirt AND socks!)


Previous PB (05/01/2013): 21:06

New PB (today!!): 20:39



6th woman / 164 women

54 / 436 people

Age Grading: 71.99 %

Garmin Info Here



09/02/2013 at 23:34

Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

Thanks for the feedback. Yes – definitely no sauna before another session – it was a horrible feeling! Lesson most definitely learned.

I’ll start by upping the times next time rather than trying to start too fast. Because I’d done the 5miler at Christmas within the paces, I’d assumed (stupidly) that I’d be able to manage a few slightly quicker mile repeats easily … but without taking into account anything else. I’ll build up next time. Better to end strongly …

It would be great to be able to do the sessions at lunchtime. I’m struggling a bit with time at the moment while the evenings are still so dark so being able to get a session in at lunchtime during the week would be hugely helpful. A 3 miler or so after work wouldn’t cause any problems as this could be done in under 30 mins.

Quick question - how did you know about the parkrun time?

09/02/2013 at 23:45

most parkrun results are there Saturday afternoon

You probably would have done faster than the 5 mile times but for the sauna and the lack of food. I tried clicking on your garmin times and it didn't seem to work and don't know if I have to do something about signing in etc


09/02/2013 at 23:46

Good luck with tomorrow's run

09/02/2013 at 23:57

Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

Thanks for the heads up about the Garmin info - it looked as though it hadn't unlocked properly - should be fine now. I've taken a couple of valuable lessions away from last Thursdays session so hopefully not mistakes I'll be making a 2nd time!

Quick update ... I've had an email about the Inca Trail tomorrow - the course is mostly underwater so they've cancelled it with no plans to reschedule it. I was looking to go back to the 13 miles at 8 - 8:30 min/mile.

It might not be a terribly comfortable run though as a previously ordinary blister has gone nasty from last Sunday's 20 miler and the parkrun seems to have made it a bit infected. The glamourous side of running ... Don't know if you or anyone else have any tips on how to sort these sort of things out?

10/02/2013 at 00:11

Ruth ... please don't look too closely at these entries - they don't make good reading! Work have provided lunch this week and I'm at my parents this weekend so healthy living has gone out of the window!

Food Diary 7th February

Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 2 teaspoons sugar.

Lunch: (Put on by work) 2 x chicken satay sticks, 8 – 10 grapes, chicken leg without skin, 2 chicken tikka bites, 1 small chicken thigh without skin, chicken tikka on a stick.

Tea: 1 x salmon fillet, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, 4 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot, 5 x asparagus, stalks of tenderstem broccoli, 1/4  leek  – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

Snacks: 1 x crème egg, 1 x packet ready salted crisps,

Drinks: 5 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 3 pints of orange squash,

Exercise: 7 miles run (plus sauna)


Food Diary 8th February

Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 2 teaspoons sugar.

Lunch: bowl of spicy parsnip soup

Tea: Doner kebab with mint yoghurt and 1/3 portion of chips

Snacks: 1 x crème egg, 6 jelly sweets

Drinks: 7 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 2 pints of orange squash.

Exercise: None


Food Diary 9th February

Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 2 teaspoons sugar.

Lunch: tin of tuna and tbsp mayonnaise.

Tea: Small mackerel fillet, lettuce, pepper and carrots with tbsp dressing, 1 x boiled egg, 1 x large beetroot, 1 x tbsp mayonnaise.

Snacks: Caramel McFlurry, 1 x large orange, 1 x pear, 1 x banana.

Drinks: 4 x coffee, 3 x pint squash

Exercise: 5 miles run, 2 hours walking


10/02/2013 at 09:20

Yippee well done on your PB sounds like a real effort to get there too. Brilliant running.

10/02/2013 at 09:51
Congratulations on smashing your PB, you must be so happy....I had better get my skates (or running shoes) on as your closing in on my PB quickly!

I didnt realise that a sauna could have that effect on you, but I guess when I've run abroad after being in the heat I can sometimes be quite sluggish despite the 3 -4 litres of water.

Was the inca trail a race? I would love to do the one in Peru!

What does your blister look like? Has it burst or is it intact? Any discharge? Redness? Pain in surrounding skin?
10/02/2013 at 12:42

Afternoon Sarah Asics!

Thank you! I was so, so pleased to knock a few more seconds off and to finally get into the 20s ... it looks as though my secondary aim for 2013 (to get a sub-20 5k) is actually looking a bit more likely!

Also ... I may finally chase Sarah Osborne down

10/02/2013 at 12:48

Afternoon Sarah Osborne!

Hee hee ... you've still got 5 seconds leeway, lady! No getting quicker, now!!

I hadn't realised about the sauna either, but it was a horrible evening trying to do that evening session. It should have been reasonably comfortable but it was horrendous.

Yes - the Inca Trail was a trail race - apparently lots of mud and hills ... and now floods! I think there are llamas in some of the fields you pass which is how it got it's name. I'd love to do the Inca Trail too - my little sis has and it's definitely on my List too!

The blister itself has burst and it doesn't have any discharge, but the toe is reddish purple and shiny - not good! And there's a white rim aorund the lower part of the toenail. It's not comfortable to walk at the moment.

And here ... just to gross you out... (and no I'm not talking about the revollting nail varnish!!)



10/02/2013 at 13:46

the toe looks ok compared to the nail varnish choice! May be worth seeing a chiropodist - it does look infected and slightly swollen. I've had blister problems of late and have used compeed blister patches which have protected the area well.

10/02/2013 at 13:50

re your diary I wont comment on things like kebab with chips but I think you should be drinking a lot more water/squash/fruit juice especially with the volume of coffee!

10/02/2013 at 16:16
Defiantly not changing my marathon target , if I can enjoy the run more and still come in at 3:30 then I will be more than happy , especially for my first marathon. Well done on your pb at the parkrun , excellent!! I did 15 this morning @ between 8 and 8.4 min/ mile , nice and comfortable and again no niggles , yippee!!!!!
10/02/2013 at 20:35

Jeez... just when I'm catching you and Ady up with 5k times, you both go and absolutely smash your PBs!! No fair!

Well done - hope you've still got a huge smile on your face.

Re the blister, I had some really bad blisters training for my first half and also had really bad tendonitis so I saw a physio and he gave me a load of blister patches and, as Steve Marathon Coach says, they really, really helped. Literally from the point of limping around and not seeing how I could even break into a jog to being able to run pain free... Big tip was to tape them in place with surgical tape to stop them moving off the blister when you're running. He gave me Second Skin squares but I'm sure there are loads on the market.

Well done again!

10/02/2013 at 20:37

Today's run involved a cyclist trying to run me down twice, the loss of a favourite buff and an ambulance ... I'll be on later with the full post.

Goal: 13 miles at 8 - 8:30 min/mile

Actual: 13.76 miles at 8 min/mile (part one), 7:55 min/mile (part two) ....


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