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

Asics Target 26.2 PB Hunter A.W

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22/02/2013 at 09:15

Good luck for Wembley on Sunday Tim! Which side of the fence are you on?

Rest day and going for my BUPA Fitness Assessment I have as part of the Asics Target 26.2 prize! Should be an interesting day, will post results later!

22/02/2013 at 09:41

I'm a massive caffeine drinker under normal circumstances. I cut down in the week before a big race then have a nice strong coffee on race morning plus some Pro Plus (I used to have caffeinated Lucozade but they stopped making it for some reason, shame as I liked the taste!), then near the end of the marathon I'll have a caffeinated gel for a last boost. I think it only works if you have a lot of caffeine in your normal life though, otherwise you might not stomach it too well. 

22/02/2013 at 16:05

I'm a Swansea supporter AW so fingers crossed they will do the business at Wembley but could make my Monday run a bit more difficult if they do!


22/02/2013 at 18:35

A very interesting day at the fitness assessment today. I also got a nice surprise when I got home, a delivery waiting for me which turned out to be my prize for finishing 2nd in the 10k at Dorney! A very nice set of Scott sunglasses, very exciting getting my first running prize!

I wont put everyone to sleep with all the results of the fitness assessment, but I'll summarise the outcome.

I have actually had a fitness test done before in September so it will be a good chance to see what progress there has been. Today's test was conducted on a bike and was sub maximal, so they only took me to 85% of my max and then from that they work out the V02 max etc. The previous test I had was on a treadmill and was a test to failure, so it was an interesting comparison for me.

They did some body composition first, my body fat was 6.4%, last time I had this done it was 10.5% so good progress there. My Vo2 max came out at 54.3 mL/kg/min, in the previous test it was 60.01. From what I was told I think this was slightly lower as the test was conducted on a bike where as when I had it done before it was on a treadmill. I was told this was a very good level to have reached and the doctor that was with us hadn't seen any one get a reading that high so can't be too bad!?

I will get a more detailed report through in a few days, but I did get a basic idea of a few other areas of the test. My lung function is well above average, normal is about 80% and mine came in at 112%. And my efficiency at delivering oxygen is also well above average, meaning I hold a lower heart rate while working hard.

The one disappointing thing was that in the matabolic efficiency test, I started to burn carbs quite quickly as the intensity increased. However I was told that this was more than likely because I don't ever use a bike and I'm using my muscles differently to when I run so if it were a treadmill test I would probably find I burn more fat for longer before I start to use carbs.

It will be interesting to get the full report so I can compare the two tests properly, and hopefully be able to see what progression there has been.

22/02/2013 at 20:14

test sounds good as does the conclusions - clearly you are in great condition.

well done on winning the prize.

22/02/2013 at 22:17

I thought the body burned carbs in preference to fat? Hence the whole 'wall' thing when you run out of carbs and switch to fat burning. Have I got it wrong? 

22/02/2013 at 22:54

Hi All

Been away with work so first chance to check in for a few days.

Glad to see its going well AW. Wouldn't mind doing one of those Bupa assessments myself.

Running wise I've had a crap week. 2 runs and 12 miles total (50m planned). Had a massage last night but it appears I've got a tight lower right hamstring (hopefully not a tear) resulting in stiffness behind the knee. Not terrible but annoying especially as I didn't race full on last weekend. I'm able to run but have not been able to push the pace or tackle hills at all. 

Re Caffeine: Realising I was addicted this summer (8+ cups a day anyone?) I've now weened myself off and get by with one or two max a day. I now drink caffeine free tea and coffee and hardly notice the difference. Getting to the point...when I now take a caffeine gel I get an awesome hit. I'm only going to take one at Brighton this year but will use it at a timely moment. 


23/02/2013 at 07:15

Look after that hamstring AndyV, I'm sure it will be fine and like you say just a bit of tightness. Hopefully the massage will help sort it out. The fitness assessment was really interesting, I think you get the best out of them if you have them fairly consistently, say every 6 months or something. That way you can compare and see differences.

Hi CC2, as the effort gets harder the body relies more heavily on carbohydrates as they are converted to energy quicker than fat. I think when you hit the wall its because there is no more carbs for the body to draw on so it switches to the fats which are the next quickest for it to use. I think generally you use a combination of both for exercise and at lower intensity you use a higher proportion of fats, what I found disappointed was at a relatively low intensity my body started burning a higher proportion of carbs than fats. Apparently its all to do with how efficiently your muscles use fats for energy, as I'm not used to cycling my muscles are not that efficient during this so they started burning more carbs quite quickly!!!

Edited: 23/02/2013 at 07:15
23/02/2013 at 15:14

It was my first proper hills session today in a long long time! It was actually not as bad as I was expecting it to be!

I followed Steve's suggestion as to how to structure the session, so had a 1.5 mile warm up and then 4 x 200 metre efforts gradually increasing the pace with each one.

I then went in to the main part of the session and completed 8 x 400 metre efforts with jog recoveries down the hill. I was pretty happy with this part of the session, I did consider doing 10 reps but my mileage was already on about 7 miles with a cool down still to do! As I was only meant to be doing 6 miles I thought I better finish or risk a telling off!

Finished off with 4 x 20 second blasts on the steepest part of the hill with walk recoveries and then 1.5 miles cool down to home!

Stats from today - 

9 miles total run in 1.16.36

4 x 200m efforts - 47's (6.33m/m), 44s (6.26m/m), 43's (6.20m/m), 41's (5.50m/m)

8 x 400m efforts - 1.28, 1.30, 1.28, 1.30, 1.28, 1.27, 1.29, 1.29 (all about 6m/m - 10k pace) The ascent was about 40ft.

23/02/2013 at 18:49

That looks a good session - You maintained the pace well on the long reps and accelerated well on the shorter ones at the start.

After a modest hilly parkrun, I did the same as you  with a club group but obviously much slower, though it was a 80 feet ascent in the 400m so a bit steeper and slower than 8:00 pace up the hill but felt was running better than normal, certainly compared to an awful track session Tuesday and knee niggle I picked up at last week's cross-country seemed ok..


23/02/2013 at 19:47
Take care of that hamstring Andy, hopefully it will ease.
Good hill session AW, I think it helps to have a structure to it. Are you taking any recovery drinks after your long runs?
Another busy Saturday for you Steve!
Had a good 7 mile XC run this morning in my local park. There is a recently closed golf course adjacent to the park and I found an opening in the fence. So I did 4 "secret" miles round there with the whole place to myself - brilliant! My first 20 miler of the campaign planned early doors tomorrow.
23/02/2013 at 21:00

After a morning jog in fresh snow it was the National XC for me this afternoon. Kinda muddy (understatement) but easier to run on than the course at the Midlands a couple of weeks ago. I didn't really race it (saving myself for a 10k next weekend) but put in enough effort for a workout. Just scraped inside the top 100, which sounds a bit rubbish when I'm used to finishing top 15 in the North Mids league. Two hills, done twice, so it sort of counts as a hill session!

Tomorrow's 18 may be a struggle as the pavements are all slushy and horrible, and it's going to freeze overnight. Multiple laps of the business park in Sunderland that served as the park n ride for the race today might be in order. The paths there had been cleared. 

23/02/2013 at 22:17

I saw your result SG - top 100 in national is much better than top15 in a regional league!

Cold and windy here but no snow, slush or ice yet, and if knees ok, 20 mile plus tomorrow planned.

24/02/2013 at 12:19

Really? That's OK then! What sort of position should I be looking at for the Inter Counties in two weeks? 

It snowed again overnight, making it possible, but hard going, to run 18 miles on snow covered frozen slush. And that was a cutback week. Pah! 

I can't remember how many weeks Paris is before London. What week are you on now AW

24/02/2013 at 13:48

Paris is two weeks before London. I think the Inter Counties will be slightly higher standard than National as it is more central than Sunderland and also is world xc trial. Certainly your National was lot lot better than your 58th in Midland.

I felt awful at first this morning on long run and first three miles were 10:18 and 9:14 and 8:22 which didn't help average pace - then averaged roughtly sub 8s from 4 to 14 and then 7:30s and felt ok up to 23 and managed one more mile sub 8 to do 24 to average 7:59 and apart from last mile felt better than normally do in long runs and reasonably pleasing  after parkrun/hill session day before

24/02/2013 at 14:25

CC2 - As Steve said its two weeks before London so I've just finished week 10 now. Sounds like you had a good run at Nationals, well done, sounds like it was tough. A nice 18 to follow it up today also!

Nice run Steve, must be nice to get 24 under your belt, and after feeling bad for the first few it must be pleasing to get through that amount of miles?!

Sounds like a nice run too KR, good to find a place where you can have it to your self. Hope you 20 miler goes well today, how many 20+ runs are you planning on getting in? I'm using For Goodness Shakes recovery drinks post hard sessions - its a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein, it tastes great too which is a big plus.

24/02/2013 at 14:42

I had a really good run today, and its filled me with loads of confidence for the task ahead. Probably my best long run of this campaign, and I did the whole run with no water or gels. I did try out the carb load day yesterday so was well fueled and had a good breakfast, I plan to replicate the last 36 hours as closely as possible food and drink wise as it seems to have worked well.

My total run was 22 miles in the end, I ran the first 17 miles with my club this averaged a nice comfortable 8.10 pace, and then went on to do a 5 mile blast at the end at marathon pace. The pleasing thing was how relatively comfortable the marathon pace section at the end felt.

Its good to feel like this at the end of a fairly hard weeks training and following a pretty tough hills session yesterday.

Splits from today - 

  1. 8.23
  2. 8.57
  3. 8.10
  4. 8.28
  5. 7.51
  6. 8.07
  7. 7.51
  8. 7.50
  9. 7.52
  10. 7.55
  11. 8.00
  12. 7.50
  13. 7.59
  14. 8.16
  15. 7.57
  16. 8.19
  17. 8.38
  18. 6.28
  19. 6.26
  20. 6.31
  21. 6.22
  22. 6.28


24/02/2013 at 15:23

yes very encouraging run to bang out faster than marathon miles with ease, close on three hours into a long run after the week's training AW. I was content with my 7:30s and no way could I have finished as strongly as you and I am long way in advance of my sub-three fitness from last year so you are also well ahead of where you need to be at this time.

24/02/2013 at 16:00

Next weeks training looks like this!

Week 11

Mon Feb 25th: rest or 5M easy

Feb 26th: 16 x 400 in 80-85 starting every 2mins (8M in total)

Feb 27: 11M steady in 7:30s

Feb 28: 9M build up run - starting at 8s and down to 6s

Mar 1: 5M easy or rest

Mar 2: session at Birmingham - total 6M

Mar 3: 20M in 2:15 plus 2M wu/wd

week total: 61M

24/02/2013 at 17:37

Excellent long run AW

Steve - the least said about the Midlands XC the better! 

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