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

Asics Target 26.2 PB Hunter A.W

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23/01/2013 at 00:26

Great session AW and very consistent rep times. Mentally tough and like you say & the countdown is daunting and a bit like doing a 20 miler in a way, knowing you have all the other ones ahead.

I like wearing my Salomon Speedcross shoes in the snow, although when the snow compacts on the pavvements & freezes, there's not much that can keep you steady. I know a few people use yak trax on their shoes (they are clip on spikes to the soles).

Although tonight I went out in my ASICS excel 33's as I had found a 1 mile loop of clear, quiet suburban road tonight for my 1 mile reps. Only had to jump on the kerb/pavements a few times to dodge a couple of cars. Really pleased with the paces of 6.03, 5.54, 5.49, 5.53 & 5.48. A week of trudging through snow & slipping on ice made the clear road feel great!

23/01/2013 at 10:12

Morning AW!

Sounds like a hard session! Mine yesterday was a lot easier 20 x 200m and they were fine ... but just knowing there were 20 of them was daunting to begin with! How do you keep count? My brain shuts down when I run ....


23/01/2013 at 13:41

Hi RRR!!!

Was a very hard session, but really love the feeling of satisfaction when you finish! I know what you mean about the thought of 20 reps being daunting, I just try and break it down into little chunks, concentrate on 1-5 first, then get myself to 10, then start counting down in reverse. Helps keep it manageable for me!

23/01/2013 at 13:55

Food diary time - Yesterdays!

7am - Special K (large bowl) with skimmed milk and small roll with strawberry jam. 2 cups of coffee with skimmed milk.

10am - Training 20 x 400M reps, 8 miles total

12.15pm - Handful mixed nuts, 1 apple.

2.30pm - Salmon steak wrapped in bacon, oriental veg and rice noodles and a bread roll. Cup of tea, water.

4.30pm - Bread roll with strawberry jam, handful of sultanas. Water.

7.30pm - Homemade butternut squash, carrot, lentil and cannellini bean stew. 2 slices of homemade wholemeal bread and tomato, mango, sultanas and greens salad with balsamic dressing. Water.

8.30pm - Sugar free strawberry jelly. Water.

9.30pm - Mars fun size.

23/01/2013 at 17:54

AndyV - no outdoor running still, that would be hell for me. I can't stand treadmills, I guess I would learn to appreciate them though in that situation!!!

Steve - that's good to know I'm not going to have to do more than 20 x 400's, not sure I could cope! I feel like I'm in really good shape, and even when I start to tire I can keep my effort level up and maintain my splits a bit better than a few months ago. You got a good hill session done, will hills be entering my schedule at any point?

KR - your right, in a lot of ways like a 20 miler and I find myself breaking it down in to sections in the same way to make it more manageable for my head. I tried those Asics Excel 33's when I went for the store day, I quite liked them, they felt light and quick, but in the end went for the Asics DS Racer 9 and I've also bought a pair of the Asics Skyspeed 3. Not sure which I will wear for Paris yet, I'm leaning towards the Skyspeed as they have a bit more cushioning. Think the DS Racers might be a bit too light for me for a marathon.

Good paces on your mile reps too!

23/01/2013 at 18:04

So today's run was 10 miles slow in 7.30-8 minute miles.

Actual run was 10 miles at 7.46 minute miles.

Felt pretty good again today, not affected too much after the speed work yesterday, I feel like I'm recovering fairly well and fairly quickly after the hard sessions.

I am starting to get a few niggles hear and there, but nothing overly alarming at this stage. The tightness behind the knee and beside the ankle have gone, but I feel a bit of soreness on top of my right foot. I think my shin has become quite tight and is pulling on the tendon that runs down to the big toe. When I have my shoes on and pull my toes up I get a bit of pain on the mid foot where the laces are, without shoes on there is no problem. Funnily enough when running its not an issue either, but when walking its a bit more sore.

Will give it some ice and hot treatment tonight, stretch the shin out and foam roller to loosen things up and see where we are tomorrow.

Like I say, It was fine to run on, so guess it cant be too much to worry about!

23/01/2013 at 20:54

Today's food diary.

7am - Bran flakes with handful of sultanas and skimmed milk. 2 cups of coffee with skimmed milk.

10.15am - Cliff chocolate chip energy bar.

10.30am - Training 10 miles.

12.30pm - 2 slices homemade wholemeal bread with leftover bean stew. Apple. Cup of tea, water.

3pm - Weights workout.

4.30pm - 1 slice malt loaf, Special k with skimmed milk. Water, cup of tea.

5.30pm - 1 slice chocolate Oreo cake.

7.30pm - 3 slices toast with baked beans, scrambled egg whites (leftover from ice cream) with tomato ketchup and small bit of leftover lasagne. 2 glasses water.

8.15pm - Sugar free strawberry jelly. Water.

23/01/2013 at 21:30

good - the snow puts a strain on the body and hopefully it's just a few niggles that will disappear.

 Yes, there will be some hills in the schedule and I suggest you actually put some hils into the two fartlek sessions

i did 13 today with a 7:50 average though discounting first very slow 3 was closer to 7:30 which was ok as quite a bit of ice and slush

Great miles KR shows you are in very sharp form.

24/01/2013 at 15:16
A.W wrote (see)

Hi Ruth,

I bet that's lovely up there, what a great place to go running! Except when you have a foot or two of snow I guess!!!

Lots more veg I can do, I guess I can be a bit lazy and just go for the carbsat meals!!

At Paris I was planning on taking a gel at 6, 11, 16 and 21 miles. That will be a little under every 35 minutes. Does this sound good to you? Up until Paris I will run all but 1 of my remaining long runs without gel, and in that 1 long run that I do I will just make sure the gels still agree with me before race day. I'm hoping that way I will get the best kick I can from the gel.

That plan sounds  good and water when you feel you need. As Steve mentioned you can have one before you start but this is up to you. I would still have the 4 as think a risk to drop to 3 for this Marathon as pushing for a PB and have changed a lot of other things so if this has worked for you before, don't change now. A lot of faster marathon runners such as Steve wait much later before starting on the gels/fuel (as they are efficient runners) but you will find as many fast runners also start early with the gels and continue, equally you will find some runners only have a couple for the whole race and the elite/world class even less! We are all different and it is having a plan that you practice that is key. I think the rest of the plan above is all good. Are you using caffeine gels?


24/01/2013 at 15:27
A.W wrote (see)

Food diary time - Yesterdays!

7am - Special K (large bowl) with skimmed milk and small roll with strawberry jam. 2 cups of coffee with skimmed milk.

10am - Training 20 x 400M reps, 8 miles total

12.15pm - Handful mixed nuts, 1 apple.

2.30pm - Salmon steak wrapped in bacon, oriental veg and rice noodles and a bread roll. Cup of tea, water.

4.30pm - Bread roll with strawberry jam, handful of sultanas. Water.

7.30pm - Homemade butternut squash, carrot, lentil and cannellini bean stew. 2 slices of homemade wholemeal bread and tomato, mango, sultanas and greens salad with balsamic dressing. Water.

8.30pm - Sugar free strawberry jelly. Water.

9.30pm - Mars fun size.

There has been talk of your calorie intake and I think you can get away with eating what you are doing (not everyone will) but it is a fine line/can be risky so you have to be very on top of recovery. An example of poor recovery is demonstrated above! 20x 400m (a killer of a session) yet you only had handful of nuts and an apple to recover. I would have  added your afternoon snack to this (jam roll as well as nuts and apple). A recovery snack should have 10-20g of protein and at least 40-60g of carbs after very hard/prolonged sessions. We can talk through recovery this weekend face to face and I can post up summary of our chat.

Yesterdays food diary was better although some salad at dinner would have been good!

Really looking forward to meeting you all on Saturday.

24/01/2013 at 16:30
RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)
. Are you using caffeine gels?

Can you have 4 caffeine gels or would that be too much caffeine?

24/01/2013 at 16:56

Hi all,

Hope you have a great day on Saturday, Alex. That looks like a great session and considering the weather excellent mental strength. Similarly, KR!

I think the snow put a bit of strain on my body and I had a couple of niggles after running 11 through snowy trails on Sunday, although mine was mostly because of constantly turning my ankles over on the rutted ground. I, also, had tight calves but these seem much better now I've run a couple of times.

I'm impressed that you all seem to have managed all sessions despite the snow. I just couldn't find anywhere safe on Tuesday so had to bin my planned session but back into it now.

Are you racing this Sunday AW or waiting til next Sunday?

24/01/2013 at 17:59

Thanks Ruth!

Looking forward to meeting you in person too!

The gels I had trialed and was planning to use on the day are GU Jet Blackberry gels, they have 2x caffeine - I think that's 40mg!? Will 4 of them be ok? Or should I have a couple without caffeine too?

Noted about recovery eating, That day I literally had 5 minutes after finishing running and showering before having to meet a client, so all I could do was get the nuts and apple down me. I did have a big lunch!

24/01/2013 at 18:05

Hi DS2,

Good to hear from you! My niggles seem to be settling down, my foot seems a lot better today and the knee thing has gone completely, I think they were all definitely caused by the snow/ice. I think like you the different surface just puts different strains on our bodies.

No race this week due to the training day, was meant to be racing last week but the snow ended that. I do have a 10k next Saturday and then my main half marathon the following Sunday to look forward to!

When do you race next?

24/01/2013 at 18:24

Today's run!

Scheduled run - 8 mile build up run 7.30 to 6.15 pace.

Actual run - 8 mile progressive build up run.

I'm pleased to say my foot problem has settled down over night, I foam rollered like mad on my shin - was nearly in tears at points it was so tight! That seems to have eased the problem, also gave it some ice and hot treatment and some ibuprofen as it was a touch swollen.

So I set off with plans to do loops of the football stadium so I was quite close to home if the foot flared up again. I also tried my new Asics Skyspeed 3 for their first proper run - they're bright orange so thought that would give me a bit more speed! This was a run that felt completely comfortable from the off, this surprised me as my glutes and quads were aching after my strength work yesterday. 

I wondered if this comfortable feeling would last and I'm pleased to say it did and I ticked off the miles with relative ease, just the last mile really became hard effort. Had to make a quick pit stop during the last mile for a call of nature which was a bit annoying, but these things happen!

I had the odd twinge from my foot, but on the whole it seems fine. I have ice on as we speak to be on the safe side.

I finished off with 2 miles cool down run back home. I'm very please with my run today.

Splits for the progressive 6 miles were - 7.12, 6.52, 6.27, 6.15, 5.59, 5.45

24/01/2013 at 20:54

Great run again and you are right to be pleased with it. Shows you are in excellent form and capable of a 10k PB. However, I think it was a little bit too fast though for a midweek training run after Tuesday and Wednesday  - that last 5km must be about 18:30 which is faster than 10k pace and I think you only really need to get down to HM pace which is approx 6:15. If I was doing that session I would probably aim for miles of 7:30, 7:15, 7:00, 6:45, 6:30, 6:15 though doubt if I could do it in a training run.

Of course you are clearly capable of much faster than what I would do but too many hard sessions increases the risk of injury and illness or ultimately worst sessions as tiredness builds up.

24/01/2013 at 21:48

I will reign it in a bit Steve. I think I get a bit carried away when I'm feeling good and push on a bit too much with this kind of progressive session. I will be strict with myself and paces for the next session like this.

I think with this run I ran the 3rd mile a bit too quick, not paying enough attention to pace which made me push more for the rest to keep it progressive.

24/01/2013 at 23:31

Another good training run in the bag tonight AW. Not suprised the last mile felt like a hard effort at that pace. I find the progressive runs tough to judge the increasing pace sometimes with altering hills etc where percieved effort and actual pace are 2 different things. Was the route you were doing fairly even or had hills?

25/01/2013 at 06:04

I've no excuse really, the route was as flat as a pancake!!!!

25/01/2013 at 08:39

More great running this week AW.  I'm sure I'm not the only one reading this thread who feels a bit inadequate!  My running is improving but I reckon I must be at least a month behind you on progress.  My best run this week has been 11.5 miles on Wednesday with 8 at 7minute/mile pace, so not great but that's better than I could have done a couple of weeks ago. 

What sort of shape do you think you're in compared to your previous marathon attempts and what difference has there been in the training you've been doing?  As I recall your pb isn't very different to mine - were you about 3.05? I'm 3.06.30.  I'm no expert but I keep reading this thread and thinking you'll absolutely smash a sub 3.0  

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