Target 26.2 - First Timer Steve's Journey to Paris

Long runs, speed sessions... and a pair of rather tight leggings.

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05/01/2013 at 08:51

Hey thought id chip in..... on long runs i carry a hydration belt and in it i have the bottles filled with nuun. On races i drink 1 bottle as and when i need it then fill it with water, and i do take gels and have them attached to my belt, Lara Croft eat your heart out!!

I prefere to always carry fluids as I once did a half marathon and felt dehydrated, i felt i would mug anyone who came near me with a bottle of water! I panicked in a major way, I felt a very long way from finish, very much alone and thirsty!!!! I personally don't klike to rely in the water stations, Edinburgh marathon last year the water station was there when we furst pasted it but by the time we hit it they had run out, fellow runners were picking up half empty bottles off the roadside. 

Each to their own!!

05/01/2013 at 16:06
Green & White Tigger wrote (see)

I personally don't klike to rely in the water stations, Edinburgh marathon last year the water station was there when we furst pasted it but by the time we hit it they had run out, fellow runners were picking up half empty bottles off the roadside. 

Each to their own!!

Thats terrible organisation, it could have been dangerous

Edited: 05/01/2013 at 16:07
05/01/2013 at 17:08

apparently its happened before! and last year it was ridiculously hot!!

05/01/2013 at 20:41

Unless it's extremely hot, or a race of 20 miles +, I find no need to take on fluids en route.  I have found that the risk of picking up a stitch when racing hard at HM pace and below far outweighs any minimal benefits there may be to drinking water in a race.

Over a marathon, I tend to take sips at each water station as preparation for the final 10k.

The key to all the above is to go into races well fuelled and well hydrated, not to try and fuel and hydrate during them.

All the sports science that seems to have come into running in the past decade or so still does not seem able to produce marathon runners a patch on those we had in the 1980s and 1990s.  There's too much emphasis on peripheral things like gels, Garmins, fancy downloadable plans and the like, and not enough on the big elephant in the room - getting out there and running mile after mile after mile.  As many as you can manage.

06/01/2013 at 16:31

Hi Katy,

Wow, what a start to 2013!! Hope you're feeling loads better now...! Well done on completing so many parkruns - Saturday will actually be my first ever so really looking forward to it

Re fuelling - I'm actually not sure yet. I didn't use anything at all for my first half mara and used gel for second half mara... and that's as far as my running experience goes! They did have guys with pots of jelly babies at the half mara... but I always taught never to take sweets from strangers...

So I think the whole fuelling question is going to be a bit of an experiment for me. I may just have to try one or two different strategies and see what works for me... but rest assured, whatever I try out, I will share in graphic detail on here

06/01/2013 at 16:41
SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

Thanks for the training feedback Steve. I might have a bit of a play with next few weeks. Are you sure you were only doing 15-25km per week before? It seems so little for you to be already very comfortable with 30-35km per week and wanting more!

Hi Sam,

Yeah, was definitely doing that mileage before! Having said that, I have been running on and off since school (and I am getting on a bit now...) so maybe that's why the increased mileage hasn't feel too over the top.

I've also been enjoying all the different sessions so much that maybe the novelty of it all has helped ease me in...

I think I could probably manage a little more... but not too much more!

06/01/2013 at 16:44

Hi Ten,

Glad the training is going so well and yes, that is a high mileage week - my week this week was only 23 miles!! Glad the long runs are going so well - they are definitely my weakest run. How are your interval runs going?

06/01/2013 at 16:44

yes Steve, I think fuelling is very much personal pref, and you will just have to see what works for you. I made lots of errors... but I'm not sharing graphic details


06/01/2013 at 16:47

Hi oscarr,

I may be hard work for Ruth

Yes, I'm not overly worried about the long run endurance - it'll definitely come over the weeks, I just need to build up to it slowly. That said, I did a 10 mile run today (details to follow!) and felt pretty good throughout so was quite pleased with that.

Thanks, yes, the speedwork does seem to be going well... but then I come from a background of 1500m and 800m races so I'm not exactly surprised to see where my strengths and weaknesses lie

06/01/2013 at 16:53

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the comments on fuelling and hydration - I definitely have a lot to learn about all of this and, while a lot of it does seem to be personal preference as to what works best for each individual, there is definitely a huge element of common sense involved!

I always used to take a drink out with me on every single run of 5k or more - I think it was more of a comfort blanket than anything else! I certainly don't do that anymore, but I do tend to take a drink still for 10k plus...

But, as you say, being correctly hydrated before even getting near the start line is the first thing anyone should make sure they do.

06/01/2013 at 17:01

Hi Barnsley Runner,

You make a very good point! People have been running huge distances for a hell of a lot longer than gels and gadgets have been around... so it must follow that none of it is essential, as long as you prepare properly and fuel/hydrate properly in preparation.

As i said in the post above, I always take a drink out on longer runs and sip as and when I feel the need... but whether that is actually necessary for me to complete the run, I doubt it - it really is more of a comfort thing, I think.

I took a gel for my second half mara and really did notice the difference from my first but I'm sure that was largely due to my being very naive in the weeks leading up to it and not eating/drinking the right things. Hopefully, with the help of Ruth and everyones advice and support on here, I'll be a lot better prepared and, therefore, be less reliant on gels/sports drinks and so on to compensate for my poor preparation!

06/01/2013 at 17:01

Jen - oh go on

06/01/2013 at 17:19

Training - Week 3

Sunday - 10 MILE LONG RUN (5 AT 10:05M/M, 5 SPEEDING UP TO 9:35M/M)

So today was another long run and, having slept in a little late (really unlike me), I basically got out of bed, had a quick bit of breakfast, got myself ready and then headed out of the door.

It was really quiet out and in the entire ten miles I only saw two other runners. I was running around streets and past the town centre so I was quite surprised - there's usually quite a lot going on! But it did mean the whole run was very laid-back, relaxed and quiet.

I took my headphones out today and put on some chilled out tunes and just tried to take it nice easy, which I think I achieved. I was very careful with my pacing and really tried to stick to what I was supposed to be doing, particularly the slower first five miles.

I had a little play round with the Garmin before I set out today. I seem to have been so busy over the last few weeks what with Christmas, new year, my son's birthday and a million other things, that I haven't really had time to sit down and figure out how to work it properly! So it has been on the default settings since I've had it and I've just been strapping it on to my wrist and heading out the door.

It has been set on "current pace" on all my previous runs and this is pretty handy but it does jump about a bit at times and can be a little glitchy. I considered putting it on "average pace" but wasn't sure how well that would work as I had to keep to a very specific pace for the first five miles, then gradually increase by just a few seconds for the final five miles.

06/01/2013 at 17:35


But I then found it had a "lap pace" setting, which was exactly the compromise I needed - the pace wasn't glitchy and didn't jump around if the GPS lost signal for a split second and it allowed me to see how I was getting on for each mile (I have it set for 1 lap = 1 mile) so it worked really well, especially as I started to increase my pace towards the end of the run.

I felt pretty good throughout the run. Cardiovascularly, I felt great and was breathing easily throughout the whole run, with plenty in the tank. My legs did feel a little fatigued around miles 7 to 8 but not too bad and it did pass.

I also, as I had just decided to go out and run and figure out the route as I went, came across a really quite spectacular hill in mile 6 that was mildly terrifying as I rounded the corner and it blotted out the horizon but I felt really good going up it and quite enjoyed the climb. I enjoyed the downhill on the other side even more

So, onto the times...

My training plan called for the first five miles to be done at 10:05m/m and, loving the "lap pace" setting and really trying to stick closely to what I should be doing after being quietly scolded for going too quick on longer runs in the past, I managed:

Mile 1 - 10:06m/m

Mile 2 - 10:03m/m

Mile 3 - 10:03m/m

Mile 4 - 10:05m/m

Mile 5 - 10:03m/m

So that was a pretty pleasing set of splits!

The second five miles called for me to gradually increase my pace to 9:35m/m so I dutifully obliged, although I did speed up just a little bit on the final couple of miles as I did feel pretty strong and was, dare I say it, enjoying the long run. I did the following for the final five:

Mile 6 - 9:54m/m

Mile 7 - 9:45m/m

Mile 8 - 9:40m/m

Mile 9 - 9:33m/m

Mile 10 - 9:24m/m

So I've come out of the long run feeling positive and feeling good about my pacing for the rest of the training.

Tomorrow marks the start of week 4 already - it really is going by quickly! I end the week with my first parkrun and I am going to try and get a really good time. I'm not sure if a PB is a possibility or not, but I certainly aim on at least getting close to it... Watch this space!

06/01/2013 at 17:38

Hey you.....Love the picture of your very tight running attire on Twitter....its the facial expression I'm finding particularly funny..!!!!....

Thank you for the garmin advice....Im such a numpty when it comes to boxes.....I will have a play around with it!!....

I know its not bacon.....but my brother in law who is an ultra runner.....uses parma ham.....odd, never heard of it before, but he swears by we all had to by him parma ham supplies for Christmas!! you never know....maybe if your bacon fetish is explained to Ruth...!!

I ran with a camel back today for the first time on a 12miler as I normally don't hydrate during a run...but have to admit I felt great at the end of the run, whether it was hydration related I'm not sure, but I'm looking into buying one now!

Good luck for week 4!!!!......wahhh...cant believe it...Its going so quickly!!! 

06/01/2013 at 18:53
ive had my garmin for about 2 years now and have always left it on average pace....might have to have a play around with it as the lap settting looks useful

Good run today.
06/01/2013 at 20:21

Yep I've had my garmin a year and never touched the pace settings! If anyone has any suggestions to 'an idots guide to pace settings on a forerunner 205' I would be very grateful!

06/01/2013 at 21:39

Hi Mel,

Haha, that stuff is seriously tight!! But it really did feel like it helped my posture out... Did you get any of it? How have you found it?

No worries re the Garmin - I haven't even discovered half of what it can do yet so if there's anything else you're not sure of, feel free to ask and we'll probably both learn something about it!

Bacon... Parma Ham... Pancetta... I'm all over it Mel - I'm disappointed you would even think that I wouldn't have heard of Parma Ham

Glad the camel back worked well for you - I have to admit I've never even considered trying one! You'll have to try it out on a few more sessions and let me know how you get on...

Can't believe it's week 4 already!! Thanks and good luck to you too

06/01/2013 at 21:58

Sarah - yes, I found that setting really useful! I just had my pace for each mile that I was doing so it was easy to tell how I was doing overall but when I got to the stage of the run where I needed to speed each mile up, it was perfect for that too! The 'current pace' setting just seems a bit all over the place at times, doesn't it? And 'average pace' is next to useless for intervals with recoveries in between so I reckon I might use this setting quite a bit in future...

06/01/2013 at 22:00

Tigs - Haha sorry, 210 here - it may be similar? If no-one else has that particular model, I can post how I did it on mine if you like? Then you can give it a go on yours and see if it works...

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