Paris marathon 2013 here we go! A.W's Sub 3 attempt!

Asics Target 26.2 PB Hunter A.W

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14/01/2013 at 13:10

A good pace for your 20 mile run AW, did you run that at an even pace the whole way or do some slower & quicker miles?

Good mileage for the week golfer, I think I only got up to about 55 ish last year!

XC was tough yesterday - muddy (quagmire in parts), hilly and congested. A bit disappointed with the av pace which was about 7.15, but put it down as a good training run having down 10 miles on Saturday.

14/01/2013 at 16:15
A.W wrote (see)

Hi AndyV- I could quite happily eat loads more than I do, but if I did my weight would start to climb. I'm currently in a good place at the moment and the amount I'm eating/training is maintaining my weight at a stable point (67-68kg). If this starts to change as the training gets heavier, and I start loosing weight, I will re adjust and increase my intake!

Historically I've been closer to 71kg when marathon training, but consciously wanted to reduce my body fat and having done so brought my weight down to the 67-68kg point and I don't think its a coincidence that my running has improved because of this.

It is true, the lower your body weight the better you tend to run (although too lean you will also run into problems) but the key I think is to be "lean and mean" for only periods of the year coming up to races if you do not sit naturally at your race weight and do not be concerned sitting higher at some points in the year. My aim is not to increase your body weight but just to look at how we can improve your recovery and a couple of other areas.

I think you race breakfast below is fine. Some people like having a gel just before starting but as long as you fuel up in the days leading into a marathon I think this is good. May want to sip on some fluid (water?) just very little and often in the two hours prior to race?

A.W wrote (see)

Hi Ruth,

Thanks for the post. I will try and get some more water down me, I've always probably not been drinking enough and its something I have been aware of but not really addressed! Will also try and make sure the gaps with out food are kept to no more than the 3-4 hour mark.

Over the last month since starting the training program I think my training has been fairly consistant and good. I do struggle to train if I have to leave it until the afternoon however, but think this is more in the head as when I actually get in to the run I usually perform well. So as much as possible I always train before lunch. The worst training time of the week for me is probably Monday!!! My recovery/easy run on this day is usually hard work, not in terms of effort/breathing, but just my body feeling tired and a little drained after racing and or long run at the weekend.

I wouldn't say I struggle on long runs or short runs other than the usual peaks and troughs where you feel good or tired at stages during a long run, I have always struggled a bit with the 20-22 milers having said that, and during a marathon its around the 22 mile mark I've had some big issues in most of my marathons, but I guess that's the same for most!

I stay pretty fixed with my pre marathon eating. I usually eat about 4 hours before, normally having a bowl of cereal (something sugary usually) or porridge with honey and banana with a cup of coffee. I stay away from bread on a race morning as it gives me really bad indigestion for some reason when I run. Then a sports drink for the next hour or two up until 2 hours to go. I then wont have anything until during the race.


A.W wrote (see)

Update for the food diary Ruth.

I've made some adjustments to make sure I'm getting more water and no long periods wit

14/01/2013 at 16:23

Update for the food diary Ruth.

I've made some adjustments to make sure I'm getting more water and no long periods wit


 It is better but I do feel an apple alone is not enough after an 800m rep session. Could you move your jam sandwich to staright after this sort of session? (no apple)  and then make lunch easy to prepare. For example, throw a tin of rice pudding and small tin of fruit (or fresh) and a few seeds or nuts in your bag and have this for lunch or even keep cereal and milk at work and have this at lunch. Then mid-afternoon have a pre-sliced size of malt loaf (controlled portion) or a smaller piece of fruit cake or a yoghurt and piece of fruit. Then no sweets at night, your apple instead. I do not think the slight (and I mean slight) calorie intake would put weight on?

Let me know what you think of the above (honestly!).

Keep me posted on nutrition in long runs.


14/01/2013 at 18:50
Thanks for the pointers Ruth.

That all sounds good, and I will try and make the adjustment over the coming weeks. I do have a sweet tooth, so if there are any sweeties about the house they are a temptation! Luckily all the Christmas goodies are nearly gone!!!
14/01/2013 at 21:19

Hey Alex.....sounds like you had a really good 20 miler at the weekend. What I would do for that pace come Paris. I wished I still lived in London so I could enjoy the Royal Parks and Embankment. How much of a difference do you notice if doing a 20 mile run with and without gels? Is it a noticeable difference for you? I'm going to start using gels on all my training runs now to replicate what I want to do on race day.

Good luck with week 5!

14/01/2013 at 22:16

Thanks for the feedback Steve.  I won't go on a diet but will try to cut out the sweet stuff! 

Had a day off today.  I've been mentally geared up to run every day in January (with easy runs on 'rest' days) but yesterday's effort must have taken more out of me than I thought because I've been pretty tired today and decided the body needed a complete rest.    If I'm honest the weather probably clinched the decision but I'm feeling good about it!

15/01/2013 at 08:34

Just a quick catchup after a busy day yesterday.

Badbark - I think a lot will depend upon conditions on Sunday, if there's snow and ice I think any hopes of a fast run might go out the window. I had hoped to have a go at my PB if all was good.

KR - Good work on the XC. I've only done a few, but just look at them as good hard training sessions as never going to hit the same pace as I would on the road for the distance.

15/01/2013 at 08:44

Hi Ady,

Will come and post this on your page but thought I'd reply here too. The 20 was good thanks, really pleased with how it went. I like the route too, but have to get down there early on Sunday, before 10am, otherwise its a nightmare with traffic having to stop at roads and dodging people.

For me, I really notice a difference when I had each gel. After about 15 - 20 minutes post taking one I got a little bit of a kick for about 15 -20 minutes. I don't use anything normally on my longer runs, just water, so guess I may notice a bit more of a difference than if I had been used to re fueling mid run. I'm going to go back to runs without fuel now and just have 1 more test run with the same gels in another month to make sure they are ok with me. I want my body to be used to using its own reserves so when I do take a gel during the race it has a noticeable effect.

15/01/2013 at 12:02

Today's scheduled run - 6 x 1000m in 3.35 starting every 6 minutes. 7 miles total.

Was lacking a bit of motivation to get out the door for my reps session! But knew once I got going it would be ok, so dragged myself out the door and got it done!

Headed up the the Emirates stadium to do the reps, I use the run up there of about 1.75 miles to warm up and go over a few drills to get ready for the fast stuff. 

Again really pleased with today's run. The first 3 reps felt quite comfortable, I then had to work a bit harder progressively on the last 3, but was never at a point where it was extreme effort.

Splits were - 3.30, 3.30, 3.28, 3.34, 3.32, 3.30. Pretty consistent and evenly paced. I only took 2 minutes jog rest between reps as found after 1 minute I felt good to start the next rep. I think I could have carried on and done 2 or 3 more at that pace before starting to slow.

I then jogged the 1.75 miles home as my cool down, this felt good as well, felt worked, but not knackered! Total run of 8.5 miles.

Edited: 15/01/2013 at 12:03
15/01/2013 at 13:22

Another quality workout AW. Nice one.

Shady_Ady: " I'm going to start using gels on all my training runs now to replicate what I want to do on race day. "

There are much more qualified people to reply on this (eg Ruth) but using gels on all runs does seem excessive. I now only use them (and sparingly) on long LSR's and the occasional very tough speed session. I just fuel beforehand on proper food and get by fine with water. Performance wise this means I get the "kick" from the gel that AW refers to and also, I think, trains the body to rely on existing fat stores.  

15/01/2013 at 13:26

Getting stronger there AW. Consistency is always a key factor in these kind of sessions and like Steve has said before, there is no point flying out of the blocks on the first one or two only to be suffering on the pace at the end of the session.

I'm more of a tarmac lover AW, although i can see the benefit of using XC as training and for leg strength.

15/01/2013 at 18:16

I know what you mean KR, I'm still adjusting to the XC running. I've always enjoyed off road running, but never raced on the country until this year.

15/01/2013 at 21:08

Todays Food Diary!

8am - Special k (50g) & Dorset Cereal Berries & Cherries (20g) with skimmed milk. Mug of coffee with skimmed milk.

10.15am - Training. (8.5 miles - 6 x 1000m reps)

11.45am - Rice pudding. (half a big tin)

2.15pm - Rice pudding (half a big tin), 2 pieces of toast and jam. Cup of tea with skimmed milk.

4.30pm - Graze summer berry flapjack and small handful of dried fruit and nuts. Glass of water.

6pm - Small handful of dried fruit and nuts. Glass of water.

7.30pm - butter bean, borlotti bean and vegetable stew, basmati rice with a little bit of cheese on top. Large glass of water.

15/01/2013 at 21:56

excellent session - if weather ok you are definitely in shape to go for a 10k pb,

I really struggled in 5 x a mile tonight - only the last 400m of last rep was any good!

I agree re gels - you need to keep them just for the key long training sessions and races and if you use too much, the benefit is diluted and your body relies too much on them.

15/01/2013 at 23:40

What 10k are you doing Sunday AW, have you got a plan on how you want to run it pace wise?

Saving the best till last Steve on your reps! Did you run them split like you mentioned the other day - easy on bends fast on straights etc? On the subject of gels, when and how many would you take one a 20 mile run? Does it depend on how you do the run? For example, if you were incorporating say 6 miles at the end at MP, when would you take one?

I wasn't looking forward to my 3 x 2 mile reps tonight, but managed to get them done in 13.14, 13.05 & 12.51.

16/01/2013 at 00:14

well done KR - yes mile reps were varied: first one: 400m hard, 200m float, 400m hard, 200m float, second one was accelerating each lap, third one was 100m steady 300m hard x 3, fourth one was 50m steady, 150m hard x 8 and fifth one was 1200m relaxed, 400m hard. For a 20 mile steady training run, if I took one, I would only take one at around 14 miles or if it was 20 with last 6M hard would take it about 12. I haven't taken one in training yet but will if I go further and feel I need a faster run and need a boost. While I'm running eight minute miles in training, I shouldn't need them.

16/01/2013 at 07:27

I'm at the Maxifuel Winter 10k KR, its at Eton Dorney Lake. Its flat, but open, so weather conditions may be a factor. And with the snow and ice flying about too who knows what it will be like under foot!!! Will wait and see what the day brings before making a plan on how I run.

It must keep it interesting for you Steve varying your paces like that over a 1600 rep?


16/01/2013 at 16:37

Quiet day for me and not much to report. Run was easy enough, 7 miles done in 53.44 - 7.40m/m pace. Didn't fancy it much as it was so cold, hands were numb even with gloves on!

Hoping it warms up a touch for the weekend!

16/01/2013 at 17:17

Going really well AW. Been a bit busy at work this week so no chance to post but been following progress.

It was very cold this morning for my 12 miler as well. I wanted to run faster just to keep warm. My hair actually froze! It was really foggy and, therefore, damp so once the temperature got to it at minus 2 it just froze. I couldn't believe it when I looked in the mirror - totally white hair. looked just like my Dad!

KR - well done on getting the long reps done. How did you find them? Was that the intended pace and were they on road or track?

AW - let's hope the snow stays away. It should be cool and bright with not too much wind so could be ideal. Good luck!

16/01/2013 at 23:01

Good solid run today AW - save the energy for the weekend. Hopefully it's just cold and not icy.

I did a 12 today and after very slow first mile - averaged a slightly more respectable 7:30 for last 10 but it was flatter - along besides river -  than previous runs and fairly good conditions though cold.

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