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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09/01/2013 at 16:37

if you fancy something quick..... mushrooms, onions, chicken stock, thyme, season, and a spoon of creme fraise added at the very end! add pasta and enjoy!


09/01/2013 at 21:38

Hey Steve. Your food diary is something I wished my diet could always be! I've tried to take most of it out of my diet. But you've given me new faith I don't have to! Bacon and sausage bap for breakfast tomorrow!

Good luck with the Parkrun on Saturday!

09/01/2013 at 22:03
Tenjiso wrote (see)
Steve loves bacon wrote (see)



Now the sh**'s really gonna hit the fan!  

I don't know whether to pre-book an ambulance for Steve or Ruth or both 


Haha definitely for me - Ruth is going to kick my a$%e...!

09/01/2013 at 22:05
Malcs wrote (see)


Let's just hand out the boxing gloves and get this thing on! 


Steve - Yes, I'm back. Not quite pounding the streets but I did give them a little tickle earlier.

It pains me to say this but your cheesy-creamy-chicken looks quite nice. 

Good to see you back, buddy!

It was pretty tasty but can def do better... my cookbook (title inspired by Tigs) "Confessions of a Bacon Fan" will be hitting the shelves in the Spring


09/01/2013 at 22:06
sarah osborne wrote (see)
Good to see a mixture of coloured fruit and veg in your diet today....surely that will score you a few points!

Thanks doc... Still might need you on stand-by once Ruth has finished with me...

09/01/2013 at 22:08
Green & White Tigger wrote (see)

if you fancy something quick..... mushrooms, onions, chicken stock, thyme, season, and a spoon of creme fraise added at the very end! add pasta and enjoy! 

Sounds good Tigs, will def give that a try - I do like a bit of creme fraiche! (surprise, surprise)

09/01/2013 at 22:09
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

Hey Steve. Your food diary is something I wished my diet could always be! I've tried to take most of it out of my diet. But you've given me new faith I don't have to! Bacon and sausage bap for breakfast tomorrow!

Good luck with the Parkrun on Saturday!

Haha! I'm in enough trouble myself - don't go making me feel guilty for taking you down with me!


You too mate - I genuinely think I can at least get close to my PB... what is your target on Saturday?

Edited: 09/01/2013 at 22:10
09/01/2013 at 22:28

Food Diary - 9th Jan

Ok, let's get this over and done with... I was actually quite well behaved again today. I know what you're thinking, and I completely agree - there is absolutely no chance in hell that I am going to keep this up until the end of the month, let alone Paris. But for now, all is well...


Two slices of toast (wholemeal) with pineapple jam. One glass of water, then two cups of coffee during the morning at work.



Mature cheddar, cucumber and coleslaw sandwich (wholemeal), bag of Doritos, handful of grapes to follow. 500ml bottle of water, then another that I sipped through the afternoon.



Oven-roasted curried chicken thigh (garam masala, mixed spice, asafetida, ground ginger and a LOT of chili powder) on a bed of baby spinach with roasted sweet potato, mushroom and onion with some plum tomatoes thrown in at the end. Delish.

This was followed by a slice of pannetone (Italian sort of cross between bread and cake) - the last of the Christmas stock. Also, a large glass of orange squash.

They say the first bite is with eye. Et Voila:

 C'est magnifique.

Sorry, just getting in the mood for Paris...


And that was it... I did forget to put down a mince pie after dinner yesterday - that was the last of them though!

Tomorrow I'm planning something with a wok, some bell peppers, some brocolli and... as usual, I'll probably make the rest up as I go along!

09/01/2013 at 23:14

Training - Week 4

Wednesday - 1 MILE EASY (9:10 - 10:15M/M) then 4x 1 MILE AT "FAST INTERVAL" PACE (7:55 - 8:10M/M) WITH 2.5MIN RECOVERY JOGS IN BETWEEN then 0.5 MILE EASY

After a bit of a grotty morning, it was an absolutely glorious afternoon in Essex today - blue skies and sunshine (I even got to rock my sunnies) and barely a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately that did mean that, as darkness fell, the temperature dropped like a stone. This evening's run was seriously chilly, with frost on every car as I headed out the door just after 8pm...

I had a bit of a dilemma as to how I was going to accurately record times and distances without getting very confused - if I had just used the Garmin, when I hit the lap button after a mile repeat, I would then switch to watching the time (instead of distance) for the recovery jog. When 2.5 mins expired, if I hit the lap button again to begin my mile repeat, almost certainly the time would be on some arbitrary amount of seconds, and the distance would be some arbitrary fraction of a mile, making it hard to remember exactly when each subsequent mile and recovery jog was supposed to start and finish. This would get more and more confusing as the session continued... With me so far?

So, the only solution I could come up with was to run the mile repeat using the Garmin to measure it (and the pace I was running) then stop it at the end of the mile and switch to using the stopwatch on my phone to measure the 2.5 min recovery jog. During the jog, I reset the Garmin to zero and started that again when I was due to start my next mile interval.

It was only a little bit fiddly and it worked pretty well overall - I'm sure there is probably a much, much, much simpler way of doing things but, to be honest, I just wanted to get out the door and run and I couldn't come up with any better ideas at the time!

The only downside, and it is a very minor one, was that I don't now have a record of the pace of the recovery jogs, as the Garmin wasn't recording whilst I was running them. I was keeping an eye on my pace whilst doing them though and I think the fastest recovery jog was around 9:45m/m and the slowest around 10:15m/m.

Anyway, on to the run itself...

It took a while to warm up as it was so cold and so I really extended it until I felt my blood was really pumping and I was fully "up to temperature", as it were.

The first easy mile was fine, although there was a lot of mist hanging around - the cold, damp air was not particularly pleasant and was a little sore on my lungs. I got through the mile in 8mins 49secs.

I then had to do four 1 mile repeats with recovery jogs in between - I had previously been scheduled to do three repeats but Sam has tweaked the plan slightly and upped the intensity a little - as it turned out, I was pleased she did and I felt like the session was a good one for me.

I got through the first mile in 7mins 42secs and felt really good at that pace - I think I was just pleased to warm up a little more to be honest!

The second mile, after the recovery jog came out at 7mins 49secs after a particularly unexpected and drawn out hill in the middle of it.

The third mile was a steady 7mins 48secs, and I realised towards the end of this mile that I was still feeling very fresh with only one more repeat to go and felt like I was definitely able to push it a little more.

So I pushed the boat out a bit on mile four. I happened to be running along a very long, straight, wide stretch of pavement for the last half a mile or so, so I decided to stretch my legs a bit and was feeling very strong still. I also had Saturday's parkrun in the back of my mind so it felt good to up the pace a little.


Edited: 09/01/2013 at 23:16
09/01/2013 at 23:17


I did the final mile in 7mins 16secs.

I was surprised at how easily, relatively speaking, I was breathing at that pace compared to before I started this training programme and, although I was pushing myself (if you add up the distances, this was basically the end of a 10k run after all!), it didn't feel anywhere near as hard as I would have expected.

Anyway, flushed with success, I did the last easy pace section of the session. I actually ran 0.85miles instead of the prescribed half mile, purely because it was so cold and I didn't fancy the longer walk home after I'd stopped running! I did the 0.85 miles in 7mins 30secs, which works out a pace of  8mins 52secs m/m.

Total distance for the run - 6.85 miles

All in all, it felt like a really good session and I was very pleased with myself. I was even more pleased to get under a really hot shower when I got home!

I'm feeling very positive in myself and, so far at least, everything seems to have gone to plan with the training... There will, of course, be some setbacks on the way but I figure that, after having a good start to the training, with nearly a month gone, I'm in the best place I can be to deal with them.

Let's see what the next month brings... As the French would say, Qui ne risque rien n'a rien.

Edited: 09/01/2013 at 23:31
09/01/2013 at 23:40

Wow! Steve, you are flying mate. Any chance that you're secretly aiming for a 3.30 marathon??

10/01/2013 at 10:25
Those are amazing times! Wow.
10/01/2013 at 11:42
Good session, steve! Now let me introduce you to the intervals function on your garmin it's under training and it enables you to set the reps by distance or time, and the recoveries. It bleeps a countdown to each rep. Very useful.
Regarding your question, I haven't changed the time goal yet - will reassess for next week.
10/01/2013 at 19:11

Fresh ginger is a must when working with a wok! also have a fab receipe for Sagg Aloo yumm yumm

10/01/2013 at 19:32

   Ruth expressions


No "softening the eventual hammer blow" Steve, I have read it all! Only joking I have seen much worst but the motivation for you should be for  this journey to Paris to be the best it can  be and nutrition really needs to be part of that (and you will hopefully carry on some changes post Paris!).

So I am going to set you down 3  challenges BUT will you be man enough to take on the challenge!                        

  1. Breakfast must contain a starchy carb food with some value in it (i.e. no white bread!) so perhaps weetabix as you like these, porridge or wholegrain bagel/toast etc with some protein which could be milk in the cereal or if having toast a glass of milk or low fat yoghurt (natural or fruit) and finally you must have some colour for a antioxidant boost at breakfast (a piece of fruit or handful of berries, dried fruit, glass of fruit juice or both etc). So for example: wholemeal bagel with honey or banana or both on it plus a yoghurt (if natural add a few berries to it or other fruit if wish). If having cereal top with banana or dried fruit or have glass of fruit/breakfast juice with it. Simple it may seem but done daily you would boost the vitamin and mineral profile of your diet. So in summary: good carb source, some protein (milk or even a few nuts) and some colour!
  2. Eat regularly, try eating about every 3 hours during the day  (not more than 4 hours on a bad day)even if a light snack such as banana & yoghurt
  3. And the biggest challenge no takeaways unless a rare occurrence (no more than 1-2 between now and Paris) and 5 nights a week a homemade meal from scratch. 

 If can take on this challenge then I think we will have a great base to work off and the rest will be easy! I have a number 4 but saving it as it may be the final (hard) piece in the puzzle for you.Ruth

Edited: 10/01/2013 at 19:34
10/01/2013 at 19:51
RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)
And the biggest challenge no takeaways unless a rare occurrence (no more than 1-2 between now and Paris)

Crikey I knew it was going to be brutal but have a heart

10/01/2013 at 20:10

Hey Ruth loving the rules!! any advice for someone looking to lose weight and train for a (nearly) marathon??

10/01/2013 at 20:11

as for the takeaways make them at home from scratch!  nothing nicer than a homemade curry!!

10/01/2013 at 20:16

Steve, I think you can come out from behind that sofa!  I'm sure you are up to Ruths challenge.

10/01/2013 at 21:20
  1. And the biggest challenge no takeaways unless a rare occurrence (no more than 1-2 between now and Paris) and 5 nights a week a homemade meal from scratch. 


lol, good luck,

Your meal yesterday looked nice,  

Edited: 10/01/2013 at 21:21
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