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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24/03/2013 at 23:25

Evening Angela!

Thank you! Much prefer life now ... even if I do have no toenails!

Know what you mean with the cross country ... sometimes you're glad to have done it ... even if you're not glad WHILE doing it! Sounds like you need to enter some muddy summer runs! Much more fun messing about in the mud if there isn't ice floating around in it too!

24/03/2013 at 23:28

... Just had a look at your Garmin Connect info - looks like a very tough run! EVen more so in this weather!! Well done!!

25/03/2013 at 08:07
What muddy summer runs would u suggest... I'm actually planning a little break from running as I've got a place in the ride London-Surrey 100!! Furthest I've ever cycled before was about 16 miles, so I have a way to go to build up my endurance on the bike!
I don't understand the toe nail thing- I've never lost one!
25/03/2013 at 10:17

RRR so good to reflect on why you started running. I keep thinking how many years you have potentially have added to your life and quality of life - it is an amazing success story.

RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

Afternoon Ruth!

Thank you for clarifying that – there’s so much pseudo-medical myths going around it’s nice to get a proper expert’s opinion! So if I change to de-caf coffee then I’ll get the kick on race day but if I carry on eating all the different fruit ad veg that I do I should be ok even with the polyphenols?

Hee hee! Are you ever tempted to stop people eating fast food in the street and tell them off?

Yes, if use de-caf you will still get kick Justs eat you fruit & veg & you will be fine!

 I actually view exercise right up there with diet - need to do both!

25/03/2013 at 10:18

Though the below might be useful information/reminders.  

  • Before you travel really think though your nutritional needs for the Friday & Saturday - you be amazed how organised with snacks before you go will make sticking to your nutrition plan so much easier. Put yourself in control of what you snack on  - just takes a little thought  & organisation.
  • Don’t eat out of boredom, eat to plan.
  • Do not try any new nutritional strategies; stick to tried and tested foods. Do not be tempted to try any ‘freebies’ in your arrival bag/goodie bag before the race starts.
  •  Do not be tempted at hotel to eat anything too different at breakfast, remember you have Monday morning to eat what you like!

Race day: You should still drink little and often before the start but be careful about drinking too much because of nerves. If have dry mouth just wet your mouth with your drink to avoid an early pit stop.

Race eating strategies do not need to be complicated but the foods or fluid must be tried and tested prior to event.


Post race – although you are not eating to refuel for next run you will  feel better the next day and protect immunity if you try and eat some carbs & protein as soon as you can. After race rehydrate also – 500ml as soon as you can can then sip for rest of day of fluid. If struggle to eat after race try sipping on a fluid with some carbohydrates in it such as a milkshake/smoothie/ice cream or a sports drink or cut food into small portions for example quarter a sandwich and just nibble on a quarter at a time (when no appetite large amounts of food can seem daunting so best to present yourself with small manageable amounts).


25/03/2013 at 10:21

Also here are some useful snacks with estimated  carbohydrate content that you can buy or travel with easily for carb loading days:

  • 250g sorbet – 50g carbs
  • 200ml of orange juice = 20g carbs
  • 500ml of diluting juice or squash = 35-40g of carbs
  • 1litre of orange juice  = 100g carbs (could have over day)
  • 1 large banana  & 200ml of fruit juice 45-50g carbs
  • 250g of fruit salad & low fat yoghurt (the sort of think you can buy at station pre-packed before you broad train) – 50g
  • 6 jaffa cakes  (52g carbs)
  • Average cereal bar  (20-25g) & large banana  = 50-55g carbs
  • 500ml low fat milkshake = 45-50g  carbs (but again check label)
  • 150g 10-12jelly babies -  48g carbs
  • 30g of Fruit gums  -  27g carbs
  • 300ml drinking yoghurt = 35-40g carbs (but you can check label per 100ml)
  • 4 rice cakes with banana topping - 50g carbs


25/03/2013 at 11:01

Hi RRR - sorry not posted for a while. Been rediculously busy with work/family. Have been following your journey however every day.

Sorry you have another cold, but better now than in two weeks time. I'm sure it will just be a 48 hour one this time.

You've done the training and your not going to lose anything fitneswise if you have a couple of missed days.

Only two weeks - how exciting! You'll smash your target, I'm certain! It's those fluorescent compression pink socks - can't fail!!!

25/03/2013 at 11:57

some good runs here but RRR wise not to join them. You have my sympathy - not so much with the cold but the fact you are watching daytime tv. Because of work have only run a few miles in total the last 4 days and still cold In Poland.

25/03/2013 at 22:05

HI Runny,

sorry to hear you are lurgied again - but you will be well over it in time for Paris. I recommend a radiation proof suit from here on in. I did the Wilsmslow Half on Sunday. Didn't get a great time 1.42 - but wasn't expecting a PB anyway. Any ideas anyone what time I should go for in the marathon based on this? I don't trust those calculators - I feel they are always a bit too optimistic.


Hope you are better soon Runny- all the hard work is out of the way for you now anyway.


25/03/2013 at 23:39

Evening Angela!

Tough Mudder was good fun … but I think absolutely everyone who finished it seemed to be bleeding somewhere so probably not a good one before summer holidays! I’m going to have to try some different obstacle ones this summer … much more fun than cross country in the cold!

I hadn’t lost any toenails under after cross country runs this winter … they survived the last marathon but since the cross countries they’ve been falling like confetti …

25/03/2013 at 23:42


Evening Ruth!

Lovely to hear from you. Phew! I’m relieved to hear I’m ok on the de-caf ..! I’ve been drinking de-caf only today so will keep that up until Paris. Am I right in thinking there’s caffeine in hot chocolate …?

Thanks for the helpful tips! Hopefully I have planned around those so there won’t be any nasty portaloo-related disasters on race day!! I managed to eat pretty well after Liverpool marathon although I remember I struggled to eat any dessert after the main meal … VERY unlike me! J When would you like me to start adding in more carbs? I’m having a sweet potato every day with meal now and have started adding rice cakes (+ toppings) into my days more frequently…
25/03/2013 at 23:43

Evening DS2!

Lovely to hear from you! Yes … I’m hoping this cold will be short-lived! Headed out for a short run this evening and although it was ridiculously slow it wasn’t as horrendous as when I ran with the cold last time so hopefully it’ll be well gone by the time Paris comes around!

Thanks for your words for support. I get ‘Missed-Run-Guilt’ every time I miss a run and have to tell myself that one or two don’t matter … especially if running them with a cold will make things worse!!

The pink socks haven’t been out recently … although I still seem to be wearing a crazy amount of mis-matched neon.

25/03/2013 at 23:47

Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

I don’t normally watch tv and seeing some of the rubbish that is on in the daytime has only confirmed my suspicions that I’m missing absolutely nothing! Sorry to hear you’re not getting the runs in with work and the cold. Poland is gorgeous though – hope you’re getting a chance to see a bit of it outside of work!

Went out for a very slow 4 miles earlier. It wasn't as bad as running with the last cold but it confirmed that I was right not to go out for the long run yesterday. I'll look to jump back into the schedule tomorrow though. Can't believe it's week 15 out of 16 already.

25/03/2013 at 23:56

Evening Buffy!

Fab to hear from you! Yes … I reckon a radiation suit is DEFINITELY the way forward. Just leave me a small hole so I can drink coffee through a straw and I’ll be fine!

Well done on your Wilmslow time – that’s amazing especially considering the weather has been absolutely horrendous!! I know you said you don’t trust the calculators, but I do quite like this one: as it looks at 4 different formulae to suggest a race pace and time.

You’re not much different to my half-marathon time last year (1:39) and I did 3:45 so reckon that could be on the cards. What would you like to aim for? I gave myself 3 goals to aim for, for Liverpool marathon and I’ve done the same for Paris:

Dream goal:

Realistic goal:

Acceptable goal:

26/03/2013 at 16:56

Feeling any better today RRR?

26/03/2013 at 17:02
Afternoon DS2

Still feeling rubbish. Fell asleep in training earlier at work so thoroughly in disgrace. Waiting for a sports massage at the moment. Goin to see how I feel before trying tonight's session. (Sulk, sulk, grump)

Hopefully physio won't use her elbows too much ...
26/03/2013 at 17:22

hopefully being unwell now will mean you will be 100% healthy for Paris, If you do session don't try and run at the speeds you would attempt if you were healthy - just ease through it if you do but doesn't matter too much if you miss.

26/03/2013 at 17:27

Hi there! thanks for brill calaculator which I have already bookmarked as I am addicted to data. How frustrating that you are ill again - but at least you'll be fully recovered for the race and all the work has gone in. I take echinacea for colds.

Not sure what is realistic for me - I suppose 3.45 as I got 3.50 last year (missed a GFA by 8 seconds!) would love a 3.40 ish - but I'm not going for a 3.34 like the calculators say as I think that would end in misery.

What about you? I expect you are capable of a really impressive time since you've trained so well...

PS I could not give coffee up - not even for a marathon  - so I am very impressed with your iron will. 


26/03/2013 at 19:54
One for Steve , I've just done a speed session , 1 mile warm up 5 ,1000m @7m/mile , it felt really comfortable but on my last lap my left calf just clamped up , it hurts slightly and now I've just iced up , got any advice , should I rest a day or two , stretch or not, don't need this , I'm running really good at minute.
26/03/2013 at 22:58

Evening Marathon Coach Steve,

Yes that’s my thinking! Get all of the bugs out of the way now so I can rock Paris!

I had my sports massage earlier and decided against running. I’m not 100% and don’t want to drag this cold out. I’m going to get a couple of early nights in and just keep wrapped up and medicated!! The training is going so well that I don’t want to jeopardise it by running when I shouldn’t … I’d be gutted to miss my marathon target because I did something stupid now!

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