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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06/01/2013 at 22:20

some good pacing there Steve!

I use the lap setting on my garmin, I found it by accident! but sorry Tigger I've not got same model as you so can't help. Try looking on the website, must be instructions there somewhere...

07/01/2013 at 11:39

Ruth - I heard on Talk Ultra (episode 16) a suggestion that eating a protein breakfast (e.g. bacon and egg) before a long run encourages the body to more quickly burn fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates. Do you have an opinion on this relating to training for a marathon?

Hi there Tensjiso! Ultra running is soooooooooo different from running a marathon. I have supported on the West Highland Way Race a couple of times for friends (close on 100miles over rough terrain). Note I have never run this, my longest runs are 18miles! There is some truth in your suggestion above but I believe these people who really train well for these races do enough miles/runs over the week to go out running with no breakfast and you would have same effect (say 10milers) and due to total mileage the good runners do often train low in carbs anyway (whether they mean to or not!).Many of these ultra runners need more protein due to low carbs, relatively to their needs, as  low carb stores will mean you generally need more protein to offset immunity issues as this is one of the problems with low carb diets.  The train low in carbs for marathon and other events has a lot of research behind it but you need to need to plan it. You need to be well fuelled for session you want high quality from and less fuelled for those that you do not need this or even do the odd high quality low in carbs  but expect less. One of the ways of training low is to do a long run (90minutes with some fast efforts at end if wish and fits with training) with no gels/foods but can drink water if wish,  then eat nothing for 2 hours post run not even protein as protein intake will have a insulin response. Then after  this you have a very small about of carbs at next meal (some people have none) and for snacks and meals for rest of day no carbs or very little and more heavy in the protein and veg etc. You then get up and have no carbs and train that days sessions on low carbs. Often these train low are aimed at those training twice a day when training for marathon but can work but just doing once session daily. For Steve as a first timer I would not recommend he even goes there with this sort of plan. This is his first attempt and he will do far better without taking the risks of doing this sort of planning as you need to be truly focused on this and Steve needs to get through the training well fuelled. What is also different in marathon runners from other running events is that the world class men (and perhaps some women) probably need to eat and drink next to nothing during a marathon as they are so effective in fuel economy and training adaptation of using fat but for most of us more normal runners research still suggests that you are likely to need food and some fluid during the event and if you never practise this on runs you are likely to have more gut issues.

Ruth

07/01/2013 at 11:44

jenf wrote (see)

hi Steve. love the 5 points!

re no 2- distance endurance.. I know many say you don't need carbs/gels for a 10 miler, but I have found that anything over 70mins and I start flagging, even if I have a good pre run snack. By trial n error I found that if I have some jelly beans or a gel after 60mins I feel much better. My favs are extreme sports jelly beans (cherry flavour), they have a kick of caffiene too!

Looking forward to your recipe slot                        

Hi Jenf:

Do what works for you! I I need food from about 1hr 25 minutes as I know I flag or take too long to recover. I use jelly babies! I think for you, you are doing the right thing and I am all for caffeine if a person can tolerate it, I certainly use it but suggest never more than 3mg per kilogram of your body weight  so if you weight 60kg no more than 180mg of caffeine. Often people can have enough of a boost with 100-150mg or even as little aas 1mg per kilogram of body weight.

Ruth

Edited: 07/01/2013 at 11:44
07/01/2013 at 11:50

Ruth

Steve wrote :

Hi Ruth,

Nice to meet you! Happy to post typical food and drink consumption - will knock something together once I get home from my run this evening.

What sort of distances do we need to be running when we need to start thinking about e.g. eating more carbs? And how much would we need to increase any intake by? (This is a genuine question, I'm not just looking for an excuse to eat more pasta!)

The first question Steve is do you need to lose any body fat? if you did you may not need to reduce food but as mileage increases the extra weight will come off. I do not think you can calulate how much more you need to eat. I work with what you already do so if I have your weekly training milage and sessions (which I can see from above) and have good idea of what and when you eat I can assess from there if I think you are eating too much or too little and increase slowly IF needed as the weeks go by. Can you post some food info? Unless I have missed this?

Ruth

07/01/2013 at 11:54
Barnsley Runner wrote (see)

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.

I think you are spot on for you! For most running sub 90minutes for a HM water or furl is not needed but others find they do better if running 120minutes or more that 30-50g of carbs can work for them. Unless hot I would not take fluid on in a HM either.

07/01/2013 at 12:00
Mike Sheridan wrote (see)

Ten: here is my take on hydration.

Start well hydrated - seems obvious but not everyone does it. I will have a 500ml bottle of sports drink close to me in the few hours leading up to the race. I sip it in the car on the way up, the train wherever and stop abput 30 mins before the start - time to settle the bladder.

Then I will start with about 200 -250ml in hand - that way I can comfortably get past the scrum at the 1st water stop without disrupting my rythmn. By about 5 miles that will have gone....

Here is the thing - for me, it is more about the energy in the drink than the fluid if that makes sense. So I'm drinking more for the easily digestible carbs than the H2O. Water gives me nothing on a run.....OK, I know I need the hydration but I hydrate and fuel up at the same time.

For VLM there are water points at every mile from M3 and sports drink (Lucozade) at 5,10,15,19, and 23M. From memory these are smaller bottles (330ml) so you could pick up 1.6 litres on course and I seem to remember doing exactly that although I think I just ran with the last one and drank it after I finished. 

These smaller bottles would have maybe 20g of carb of which 11g as sugar, so potential 100g in total. I think that is about 450 or so calories. If you are still with me on this, then I calculate that I need about 3,300 cals to get round and if I have correctly loaded my system I should start with about 2,700 cals on board.

Deduct 3,300 requirement from 2,700 = 600 calory deficit to be made up on route. Now I hope you can see how important the 400-450 cals that I can get for free from the sports drink is in the equation. A few gels 6+, evenly spaced out for me, some jelly beans & raisins etc I am on my way.....

I appreciate that I might have egg on my face "speaking" ahead of Ruth who is on here as an experienced professional, so I stand ready to be corrected, but the above got me safely around 2 maras last year without the dreaded "wall" and pretty much with negative splits in both. So unless I am way off beam, I'll be taking the same approach in the spring.

Final caveat: this supposes that we have moderate temperature no higher than low to mid teens C. Any higher and we would all need to adjust and yes, I would take on more water! 


Mike

Agree- start well hydarted! Although unless very hot I think many could  skip first water stop if too crowded but your method is reliable and makes good sense for the little and often with water approach which is the approach that will likely cause less stomach  issues. I think your point is brillant above as it shows that you plan your nutrition and you appear to have no issues with stomach or fatigue in races and this is what I try and tell runners they need a plan, then practise it! So thank you for making this point very clear

07/01/2013 at 15:27

Ruth - you are the superstar of the nutrition world!  Thank you for the advice, and also to Mike and BarnsleyRunner - all very useful information (printed and filed).

Steve - there are no intervals at this stage (endurance) of my training plan.  I followed a plan in the past which had a lot of emphasis on intervals in the early stages, and it left me unable to cope with required tempo sessions which appeared later in the plan.  The P&D plan is broken into mesocyles (6 weeks endurance; 5 weeks endurance + lactate threshold; 4 weeks race preparation - includes VO2max/interval sessions; 3 weeks taper).  It's the first time I've tried this approach, and I'm happy with progress so far.  Next week is the first step-back (recovery) week in the program.

Regarding the garmin settings, my main training/racing display is

  • Time taken
  • Distance covered
  • Current lap pace
  • Current (immediate) pace

It takes about 0.25 miles for the current lap pace to settle to a useful figure.  The immediate pace jumps around too much to be useful on it's own, but it helps me to adjust my pace back to target.   I have the overall average pace on a separate display, but don't often refer to it in training.  I have had better success by not worrying about what is in the past (i.e. the overall average pace) and concentrating on the present lap.   For training, I have autolap turned on.  However, it makes sense to turn this off in races and manually hit lap at the mile markers.  It doesn't matter if you forget to hit the lap button for any given mile, because you can press it twice at a later lap and thereby correct the average pace.      My new garmin has an extra display screen and (I think) more options.  I'll have to try some more experimentation soon.

Edited: 07/01/2013 at 15:28
07/01/2013 at 16:33

Thanks Ruth & Ten!

 

07/01/2013 at 17:58

Wow...great forum for advice!! I am training for my first Marathon in London. I have never entered a race before and have never run more than 10 miles....and that was in the army....20 years ago! Now 45 and in my second week of intensive training....not as hi-tech an approach as many of you but i hope it will work for me.Love reading how technical many approaches are and good luck to all of you...

07/01/2013 at 17:59

Looking good so far Steve! Been lurking but not posting much.

really liking the nutrician stuff Ruth and other contributors! Always been an area I've neglected but trying to pay a bit more attention this time around. Have to say that I feel better for it!

My curretn Garmin (Forerunner 305) which I've had for years seems to be on it's last legs so I'm looking at what to replace it with. For those that have the better models is there much benefit? I'm not much of a geek but like some of the feedback! Any suggestions would be welcome. Steve - how are you finding the 210?

07/01/2013 at 18:03

Ten, I think your question has been well and truly answered now. But for what it's worth, I definitely don't recommend that you 'force yourself' to drink fluid if you don't feel the need for it. The advice from the experts is to 'drink to thirst' and forcing fluid down doesn't comply with this. Interestingly, very few of the east African runners take fluid on board during runs (except the odd sip from an accompanying jeep on long runs). They rehydrate afterwards.

 

Sarah - regarding strength/resistance training: it's fine to do on rest/ XT days but I don't recommend doing it prior to a run unless it's just a short easy one, as it may compromise your form and stability.

07/01/2013 at 18:07

Hi Steve, great pacing on the long run. I think it's time to up the ante a little 

Can you email me your exact mileage for last week? Shady Ady has been doing a weekly summary which is really useful for me. You can either post it or email it to me. Quite tricky to keep track of your sessions if they are only posted individually. And I will tweak this week's sessions. Parkrun still stands, of course 

07/01/2013 at 18:30
RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)

The first question Steve is do you need to lose any body fat? if you did you may not need to reduce food but as mileage increases the extra weight will come off. I do not think you can calulate how much more you need to eat. I work with what you already do so if I have your weekly training milage and sessions (which I can see from above) and have good idea of what and when you eat I can assess from there if I think you are eating too much or too little and increase slowly IF needed as the weeks go by. Can you post some food info? Unless I have missed this?

Ruth

 

Hi Ruth,

Sorry, no, you haven't missed it - it has been a busy few days so I shall do it this evening, promise

In answer to your very diplomatically phrased question: no, I don't think I need to lose any body fat - overall I have very little body fat indeed, with just a stubborn little bit around my abdomen/midriff which always proves incredibly hard to shift!! I would like to lose this, just to get a bit more definition around my abs but I don't think health-wise/running-wise it is much of an issue...

My diet is very erratic so it is going to be difficult to give you a 'general' idea of what I eat day-to-day - sometimes I'm very healthy for a few days then incredibly unhealthy for a few, other days I'll vary from meal to meal - but I'll do my best.

07/01/2013 at 18:36

Ten, sounds like the new approach is working well!

WIth the Garmin, I've only just started using it and there are so many different options and settings... Think I'll be best off doing a few runs with the different settings and seeing what works for me. Having just had it on current pace for the first couple of weeks, I was getting a little frustrating with how much it jumps around... so we'll see how I get on with lap pace for a while!

07/01/2013 at 18:39
anthony harmer wrote (see)

Wow...great forum for advice!! I am training for my first Marathon in London. I have never entered a race before and have never run more than 10 miles....and that was in the army....20 years ago! Now 45 and in my second week of intensive training....not as hi-tech an approach as many of you but i hope it will work for me.Love reading how technical many approaches are and good luck to all of you...

Hi Anthony,

Welcome to the thread! I'm a first-timer too and these guys are so full of good tips and advice - been a real pleasure reading everyone's responses...

Please keep me up to date on here with how your training is going - it's nice to know I'm not the only one doing this for the first time

All the best with the training.

07/01/2013 at 18:44
DS2 wrote (see)

Looking good so far Steve! Been lurking but not posting much.

really liking the nutrician stuff Ruth and other contributors! Always been an area I've neglected but trying to pay a bit more attention this time around. Have to say that I feel better for it!

My curretn Garmin (Forerunner 305) which I've had for years seems to be on it's last legs so I'm looking at what to replace it with. For those that have the better models is there much benefit? I'm not much of a geek but like some of the feedback! Any suggestions would be welcome. Steve - how are you finding the 210?

Hi DS2,

We're in the same boat there - never even really considered nutrition as an important part of running (sorry Ruth!) until I started this... but, as with everything else, I'm learning a lot! Going to post some food diary posts later on so you can have a good laugh at how poor my diiet is

I'll be honest, I'm still "getting to know it" as it were - the last few weeks have been so incredibly busy that it has been hard enough getting out for runs and finding time to keep up to date on here, let alone fiddle with a watch! But I had a little play with the settings yesterday and it does seem pretty versatile - there are a few handy options for pacings that suit different settings and it seems accurate enough from what I can tell e.g. it does seem to be accurate when I'm on a track etc (although I'll find out a little more at the parkrun on Saturday).

07/01/2013 at 18:50

Sam - thanks for the confirmation. As long as I'm not doing any damage I'll carry on drinking to thirst.  I ran 15m on the weekend and felt myself flagging just after 8 miles, so I took a gel.  It worked very well and I was able to increase my pace over the final 5-6 miles as planned.  I still didn't drink a huge amount (about 200ml), but again recovered with no problems.

DS2 - I've bought the Garmin 310xt, because IMHO it was the closest to the 305.  I've set-up the screens exactly the same as I had on my 305 and so it has been a seemless transition.  It is giving me much more reliable heart rate information than I was getting from the 305 of late, and is waterproof.  The vibrating alerts are very useful, because I no longer miss checking my pace at each mile split.  Keep an eye open for Amazon sales, because I only paid £150 for mine (including the HRM strap) - many places sell them for about £220.

 

07/01/2013 at 18:50
SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

Hi Steve, great pacing on the long run. I think it's time to up the ante a little 

Can you email me your exact mileage for last week? Shady Ady has been doing a weekly summary which is really useful for me. You can either post it or email it to me. Quite tricky to keep track of your sessions if they are only posted individually. And I will tweak this week's sessions. Parkrun still stands, of course 

Hi Sam,

Thanks... I think

I have felt a little bit drained today and was pleased that I had a rest day (although I went swimming) - I definitely know that I was running yesterday (!) so don't up it too too much!

My mileage for the first three weeks has been exactly as per the plan but will email over a summary and will post one on here each week in future...

Seriously looking forward to the parkrun - I am just a little bit nervous that I'm going to go out too hard and fast and crash and burn over the last mile... but I'm also feeling like I can get pretty close to my PB or even sneak a few seconds off it. In any event, I'm determined to go under 23 minutes and, as I haven't done that for a good 18 months or so, I will be well pleased with that

Got a friend coming with my (and my son is coming to cheer me on) so should have some good photos to post afterwards too...

07/01/2013 at 18:53

Just a general comment to everyone:

Thank you all so much for all your input and advice so far - it really has been a pleasure to read all your comments and ideas, your training schedules, runs and plans for this year - I really am a novice in so many ways and you are all teaching me so much with your posts so thanks again and keep them coming!

07/01/2013 at 19:10

Ten - that's really useful info,thanks! I will hold off and keep an eye on the sales. If I could get for £150 i'll be delighted! Sounds like that model will be ideal. I'm not too good with change so if I can find a model that is very similar that will do me nicely!

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