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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22/02/2013 at 20:25

RRR - any better?

Angela - You should be fine to do a long run the week before if you don't run too hard and presume while you want to run the half well that the main objective is the marathon?

I think you could build up the runs faster and could do 15, 17 or 18 and then 15 the week before the half-marathon, if you want to ease back slightly and do the harder longer week one week earlier.

However, if you are going to be fit enough to do a marathon, then one easier week should be enough and many runners run a half-marathon PB, the week after a slow 20-21, so 17 shouldn't really be a problem, if you taper for 4-5 days before..


22/02/2013 at 21:23
Hi Angela I got a PB at a half marathon last sunday. The week before I run 20 miles @ 40 min/ml slower than my marathon pace. I had a 4 day rest from running before the half due to work commitments and going on holiday, but I did do alot of walking on the two days before the race.

Good luck with your training and races
22/02/2013 at 21:44

Evening Sarah!

Your trail race sounds fun! Let me know how you get on … and good luck!!

I’d like to knock another minute or so off of the Dorney time … but conditions were so perfect that I don’t want to take a new PB at Silverstone for granted! When you say determined and focused you actually mean ‘bloodyminded’, right?

22/02/2013 at 21:44

Evening Angela,

Ha ha! I’d like to add Boston … but don’t want to count my chickens just yet …!! Cold is still hacking and horrible, but I don’t feel as ill as I did yesterday and don’t seem to be coughing as much so hoping I’m on the mend!

Good luck for your race-pace run tomorrow!! I hope it goes really well – let me know how you get on!!

22/02/2013 at 21:46

Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

Cough seems to be a bit better today and I’m not feeling so ill which is a relief and I’m going to jump back into the schedule tomorrow.

Not going to be able to get to a parkrun but I’ve got a nice 5k trail route so I’ll have a quick run around that. I’ve arranged to do the 22 miler in laps on Sunday, so if I’m really not feeling great I can still get a few laps done but I won’t be stuck in the middle of nowhere.

It's a bit irritating about the cough but apart from that I don't have any lingering niggles and went back to the physio on Thursday for a final check on the back and all is good. So I just need to get rid of the cough!!

22/02/2013 at 21:50
hahaha....I wasnt going to say it!

Will let you know how I get on tomorrow but im not going to be racing it full pelt....its going to be a gentle push I think!

I know how much you will be wanting to get back running but try to make sure that your cough has fully resolved before you do. I ended up having a month out last year and 4 weeks of antibiotics which I dont think was helped by me going back too early when I still had traces of a cough. I ended up so ill at the end, at one point I thought I had given myself chronic fatigue as I felt exhausted for ages...luckily I didnt.
22/02/2013 at 21:53
Hi Steve and Sarah! Thanks a lot for te advice- I like the idea of building the long runs up a bit faster and then taking a step back- I actually took a day off on Monday after next weekend to fit the 15 in, so why not do 17 then!

I would like to say that I' be fine just switching the weeks around but despite havif done 2 marathons befor, I don't have much experience of long runs beyond 14ish miles, so I'd rather take the time to recover some more before the half mara- whilst not the primary goal, I do wanna break my pb over that distance that was set in 2010!
23/02/2013 at 21:05
Good luck Angela with the long runs and HM.

Hi Sarah, I really enjoyed Belvoir challenge today, was so nice to be off road and in muddy fields rather than pounding more concrete pavements. I took it quite steady, put pushed it slightly more than I would a training run. I managed 14.6 miles in 2:09 mins despite endless styles. I didnt feel out of breath once and spent the whole race passing people...a good boost to my confidence.

How are you feeling today?
23/02/2013 at 21:13
Hi Sarah, wow, looking at that post u can tell I was on the train home after 2 glasses of red! D'oh!
I promised RRR I'd tell her about my run today. My half mara target is 1:57" which is 2 mins off my pb-I think if half was the goal I'd be aiming for faster, but I don't want to push it too hard, as I'm potentially doing another half a month later, so another pb then. My marathon isn't until May 12th

So, was aiming for 8:56 pace as that's my target for Colchester half... I actually couldn't keep it that slow until the last mile and ended up averaging at about 8:45- I actually think I managed my 10k pb (just) in this run, though I can't be sure- wish I could find a 10k local enough that I can just go and test that theory out, but here's my splits:

Mile 1: 8:39
Mile 2: 8:49
Mile 3: 8:31
Mile 4: 8:52 ( had to stop the garmin at a particularly long wait traffic lights, and had a few roads to cross, this messed with pacing for this mile
Mile 5: 8:47
Mile 6: 8:47
Mile 7: 8:50 - trying to make the distance up before having to stop for traffic lights so lots of turning around in this mile, shame because had it been straight and flat out I really would have pushed it.

So I went out a little fast, and mile 3 was the fastest, but other than that fairly even. I did feel like I could have done maybe 1 more mile at this pace today, but clearly in the race I wouldn't have gone to a party the night before, with 2-3 glasses of wine, and fatty party food. Also, I probably would take a gel on a half marathon, so all in all, today's run has given me a lot of confidence for the race, and tomorrow, I'll be doing a 14-15 mile lsr to give me extra confidence for the distance...

Did u feel well enough to run today RRR?
23/02/2013 at 21:25
Glad your feeling better Sarah , I did the parkrun today ( 20:28 ), I've got 20 to do tomorrow so touch wood every thing will go well , I'm going to try the gels for the first time so hopefully they won't have a adverse effect on me.
23/02/2013 at 22:14

well run Angela - yes if you can run that pace on your own, then when you are in a race situation you should be able to maintain it. Good parkrun Derrick - a bit quicker than I managed.

23/02/2013 at 23:00

Evening Sarah!

Sounds like a fun run – I much prefer tracks and fields to pavements … even if there’s mud and water to contend with! Well done!! Sounds as though you did really well!! (Does happy dance for Sarah!)

I’m still feeling rubbish. Went out for a run earlier and it wasn’t much fun even though it was very slow.

23/02/2013 at 23:00

Evening Angela!

Woo woo!! Fab run!! Bet that’s given you a real confidence boost … especially managing a new 10k PB in there too! Well done!!

I’ve just come back from a 5 mile run but it was horribly slow and it wasn’t very comfortable with the cough!

23/02/2013 at 23:00

Evening Derrick,

Great parkrun time! Hope your 20 goes well tomorrow and you get on ok with the gels. Which ones are you trying out? Let me know how you get on.

P.s. Take loo roll!

23/02/2013 at 23:02

Week 10, Day 6

Goal: 20 – 21 minute blast – 5 miles in total

Actual: 5 miles slow … very slow


I’m still trying to shake this cold and I don’t seem to be getting over it as quickly as I’d hoped. The scheduled session was for 5 miles in total, 3 of those to be quick but I didn’t feel up to it and as this was my first run after 3 days off I ran it as I felt.

It was slow. Very slow. And I had to keep stopping to cough. It wasn’t a very comfortable run.

But at least it's 6 weeks before Paris, not 2 weeks!!

Garmin Info Here


Marathon Coach Steve – I’ve got 22 miles scheduled for tomorrow as a long run. I’m aiming to run these around 5 mile laps. Do you want me to run as many laps as I can or to skip this run and substitute it for something else? I don’t want to miss a crucial long run but I don’t want to make myself worse.

23/02/2013 at 23:47


see how you feel and if you want to start it (and think you may be  slightly healthier), do first lap in nine minute miles or slower and unless you are much better, suggest you stop after one lap. You won't gain anything by forcing yourself around if you aren't right other than stop the chance of a recovery and also take a lot out of yourself with probably little to gain. 

It would be best to do very little for three or 4 days and feel back to normal midweek than do too much tomorrow, wipe yourself out and feel absolutely terrible still midweek and unable to train normally and effectively lose another week's training.

24/02/2013 at 10:46
RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

Mel liked the idea too and we booked into a Travelodge just down the road from the race venue and we travelled down separately. We arranged to meet up for dinner at 7pm for a catch up and chatter. Texted Mel and we both decided to meet in the hotel lobby. 15 minutes later and I’m still standing there … where is she? I get a text from Mel. We’re both waiting in the lobby in the hotel. But the hotels are 20 miles apart. She’s in Slough Traveleodge, I’m in Maidenhead Travelodge. Thank God Asics are arranging Paris travel and accommodation for us. We’d never get there.


Great race report, as usual.  Well done with the PB and hope your cold clears up soon.

I've a couple of questions regarding the gels.  Are you taking ones that don't require water (e.g SiS Go) and drinking less water during the race?  You say you will be taking them every 30 minutes in the marathon - am I right in thinking you will be carying/consuming six during the marathon?

24/02/2013 at 11:42

Ten re gels: definitely go for the ones that require no water. That way you can pop one in when you want/need and not have to worry about co-ordinating with a water stop or carrying a bottle.

Just one less thing to worry about

Re water: I took no water last year during VLM, instead I drank the sports drink on offer in 300ml bottles - nice handy size. Lucozade - easily available in Tesco etc so you can practice in advance

24/02/2013 at 11:46

Ten: forgot to add

Beware the Lucozade gel at m18 or 20 of VLM. Nothing wrong with it of course but it does require water and is very thick and gooey if you are unprepared for it!

I forgot about that and nearly gagged - it was just luck that I had a bit of drink left in a bottle I was carrying, otherwise I would have been in big trouble....

24/02/2013 at 15:43
Target was 20 mile in 3 hrs , I did 20 mile in 2 hrs 56 . I used lucosade gel (orange ) not my cup of tea but I'm sure it helped , I was a bit stiff when I finished , I went straight into the bath and me and my partner went out for dinner , we came back home and now jjust resting up , still stiff hope I loosen up tomorrow. Go steady with that cough , your ahead with your schedule aren't you .
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