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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08/02/2013 at 11:46

William

Here is a cut and paste from an earlier post on Steve's thread I wrote, it may be useful if never used gels. It is trial and error for flavour and consistency.

  For those other first timers to a marathon you need to consider what type of gel you are going to use. For example, one with water already in it and hence don’t need to drink with it, these gels are described as something between a drink and a gel but they will also be heavier to carry (as have more water in them) or ones without water added so they have a thicker consistency but is lighter to carry but more concentrated in month & you need to drink 150ml or more of water with it.

Most, if not every brand of gel, does a caffeine gel and the same gel but without the caffeine. However the decision if using caffeine is how much you need and wish to use to have a good effect. These gels range usually between 30-50mg of caffeine but some used more heavily in cycling have 100mg per gel (CNP cola gels, these may be useful for those that what a bigger boost but you may only use say 1-2 of these in the race and use other non-caffeine gels for the rest of the race). Here are a few examples for Steve:

 

  • Powerbar (powerbar.co.uk): Have 3 main gels. Powergel and powergel fruit (some real fruit juice added) with 26/27grams of carb per gel but need to drink with this, no caffeine in these. If you want one with lighter consistency then powergel hydro also 26g of carbs but no water needed. Or as an alternative to a  gel powerbar do the powerbar shots (sweets with 5 g of carb per sweet and these have caffeine in them). These sweet suits those that like to drip feed their fuel in the race (so rather than consuming a gel 2 per hour you are taking a sweet every 10minutes or so. A portion these have 75mg of caffeine.

 

  • Or there is science in sport (www.scienceinpost.com) which have the GO gels with 22g of carb per gel, no water need with these and can buy with or without caffeine (50mg  caffeine per gel).

 

  • Highfive (highfive.co.uk): choice of isogel (23g of carbs with or without 30mg of caffeine) or energy gels with or without caffeine (also 30mg of caffeine) and same carb 23g but the energy gels you need to drink with as thicker consistency.

 

There are lots of other gels but I have just picked out three brands to make it easier for Steve to choose!

 

 

08/02/2013 at 11:49

Not sure why my posts are not showing, I have just posted 3 and show that they are posted on my forum/lastest posts so will come back on later and check and may be being delayed for some reason! I have re-posted twice so think I will come back on later and see if they have magically appeared, this may of course also not post!

08/02/2013 at 13:13

Hi Ruth

I've been using the High5 gels without water...which may explain why my tongue gets stuck to the roof of my mouth after I've had one!

09/02/2013 at 12:24

First time I've heard a bus as a training partner. Sometimes you just need that extra motivation!!

09/02/2013 at 17:47

Sounds like a very hectic week Steve. At least it coincided with a reasonably light week of training. I ended up with food poisoning on Thursday evening (after a lovely romantic meal out)! Didn't feel quite as romantic when I was retching on the bathroom floor  - was out for the count till gone lunchtime yesterday after that.

So not too big a run tomorrow to conclude the cutback week - and I'll be having a look at your feedback/paces for previous 4 weeks before posting the next block.

10/02/2013 at 18:38

Hi Steve,

Here is the next four weeks of training. I haven't had feedback on paces for last couple of weeks - would be good to get that but I've currently left paces as they are. This block takes us to peak long run at end of week 12.

Let me know how it's all feeling. You'll see I've put guideline pace/goal for the half marathon at Dorney. The ultimate goal is 1.45, but given that your PB is 1.52, I figured that anything sub 1.50 would be fab, so have given pace guidelines for that. Recommend starting a little conservatively and then pushing pace once you've got a few miles under belt. And you'll have opportunity to try gel strategy and the mini carb load. Exciting

 

Week 9 w/c 11th February
Monday REST OR CROSS TRAINING (can swap Mon/Tues)
Tuesday 6 MILE COMFORTABLE PLUS 3 X ACCELERATION STRIDES
Wednesday 2 MILES COMFORTABLE TO WARM UP then 3 x acceleration strides then 4 x 800m in 3.16-3.24 per rep with 3 min jog between each. 1 MILE COMFORTABLE (6 MILES)
Thursday REST OR LOW IMPACT CROSS TRAINING
Friday: 4 MILE JOG PLUS 3 x accel strides
Saturday RACE YOUR PACE HALF MARATHON DORNEY LAKE plus w-up/c-down (15) GOAL IS 1.45 to 1.49, with pace range of 8-8.19 per mile)
Sunday REST
MILEAGE 31

Week 10 w/c 18th February
Monday 5 MILE JOG
Tuesday REST OR CROSS TRAINING
Wednesday 6 MILE BUILD-UP (From 8.40-7.50)
Thursday REST
Friday 5 MILE COMFORTABLE + 4 X ACCEL STRIDES
Saturday REST
Sunday LONG RUN 17 MILES: 7 MILE @ 10.05, 5 @ 9.35, 5@ 9.05-9.10 (17 MILES)
MILEAGE 34

Week 11 w/c 25th February
Monday REST OR NON IMPACT CROSS TRAINING
Tuesday 4 MILE JOG
Wednesday 2 MILES WARM UP THEN 4 MILES FAST (TEMPO) 1 MILE EASY (7)
Thursday REST
Friday: 5 MILES COMFORTABLE
Saturday TRAINING DAY (5km time trial plus other - APPROX 7 MILES)
Sunday REST
MILEAGE 23

Week 12 w/c 4th March
Monday 4 MILE JOG
Tuesday 2 MILE COMFORTABLE then 3 x acceleration strides then 4 x 800m in 3.16-3.24 per rep with 3 min jogs in between each then 2 x 400m (in 1.34-1.38) with 2 min jog between reps. 1 MILE COMFORTABLE (6.5 MILES)
Wednesday 4 MILE COMFORTABLE PLUS 3 X ACCELERATION STRIDES
Thursday REST
Friday 4 MILE STEADY
Saturday REST
Sunday LONG RUN: 19-20 MILES COMFORTABLE
MILEAGE 37.5

 

10/02/2013 at 20:50
Kandinsky wrote (see)
Steve loves bacon wrote (see)

but it glows on you after a while and it's easy to find in the dark! 

So it's contagious too

Totally agree with you remarks about following a proper training plan, previously I've only worried about building up my distance but this year I've been watching my times drop on an almost weekly basis.

Of course that could just be down to the fact I'm tying my laces properly now!

Keep up the good work.

Hahaha I actually went back to check if I'd made a typo there!

Definitely - a structured plan with specific goals for each run has helped so, so, so much. I think after Paris I might kidnap Sam and set her to work writing me training plans for the next year or so... Reckon I would have a fair shot at the 2016 Olympics ...

Glad your training is going so well - it really does help so much hearing how everyone else is getting on! When is your next race?

10/02/2013 at 20:53
hannah s wrote (see)

HI Steve

I've been following your progress over the past few weeks with increasing awe! I ran Paris 2 years ago (long story!!) and am training now for London, and you seem to be doing some fabulous sessions - way speedier than me - and doing so well fitting it in with your busy lifestyle. I've got a half next weekend (Portsmouth) and am hoping to do it in some 1.50 (PB - post child is 1.40), but I've been injured and am still a long way off that. Anyway, I thought I'd just pop up and say hi - and I'm majorly impressed (are you sure you're not hiding your superman cape somewhere?)

Hi Hannah,

Wow, thank you so much for such a lovely comment! I hope you have a fantastic run in London - I've already decided that I am definitely going to run it next year.

You say I'm speedier than you but my half marathon PB is only 1:52!! Who's speedy now??

Please let me know how you get on at the Portsmouth half. I have the Dorney Lake half on Saturday - is that the same day?

10/02/2013 at 20:57
RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)

Steve

Why don't you stick to SIS GO gels as they do a caffeine one and non caffeine variety (they are otherwise exactly the same). They have 50mg of caffeine in each gel so you could have up to 4 of these in the marathon so perhaps use as last 4 gels? and the others as non-caffeine GO gels. For next weekend use the caffeine one's to see how these feel.

Sweet potatoes looks amazing - chef, lawyer, athlete and dad - wow!

Hi Ruth,

I didn't realise they did caffeine ones too - I found the non-caffeine ones in the local Tesco (I have been assured they are also horse-free) in the medicines/healthy vitamin aisle but they didn't have any others... But yesterday I went to the same store and found that in the fitness/sports equipment aisle, they have the caffeine ones there! BIzarre.

So I have grabbed a load and I will debut them at Dorney Lake next weekend. Looking forward to the rocket fuel!

As for the sweet potatoes, they really were tasty... I could get used to this healthy-eating lark! Haha stop it, you're making me blush.

10/02/2013 at 20:59
RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)

Steve

Just something to consider for your "dress rehearsal" next weekend is timing of breakfast. I spoke with runner’s world to get an idea of when you are likely to be leaving hotel on 7th April (morning of Paris marathon just in case you forgot!). This is probably going to be around 7am for your 8.45am start so perhaps you will need to be at breakfast for 6am so that this can be relaxed meal. So for your  half next weekend which starts at 10am perhaps you want to consider also sitting down to having breakfast at 2hr 45 mins but this allows a much more civilised time of  7.15pm! All snacks after this should be same as for Paris.

Thanks for the advice re breakfast... It is going to be very early for me anyway as Dorney Lake is a good hour and a half away from me so I am going to be up nice and early in any event! It will interesting to give it all a dress-rehearsal and I'm looking forward to trying out the carb loading...

10/02/2013 at 21:01
sarah asics pro team wrote (see)

First time I've heard a bus as a training partner. Sometimes you just need that extra motivation!!

Haha well I'm nothing if not innovative! Are there buses in Paris during the marathon, do you know? If so, I think I might just snag the world record!

In other news, my hamstring has been feeling pretty good since you went to work on it so thank you so much for that. I have been keeping up with the stretching and core work that you recommended so we'll see how it holds up but so far, so good. It's almost like you know what you are doing

10/02/2013 at 21:06
SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

Sounds like a very hectic week Steve. At least it coincided with a reasonably light week of training. I ended up with food poisoning on Thursday evening (after a lovely romantic meal out)! Didn't feel quite as romantic when I was retching on the bathroom floor  - was out for the count till gone lunchtime yesterday after that.

So not too big a run tomorrow to conclude the cutback week - and I'll be having a look at your feedback/paces for previous 4 weeks before posting the next block.

Hi Sam,

Oh no, that's awful! And I've just sent you an email asking how your weekend was! Hope you are fully recovered now - food poisoning really is horrible

I have finally got round to sending you my distances/paces for the past two weeks (sorry, slapped wrist well and truly deserved).

Thanks for posting the next four weeks of training - I am going to post today's run in a minute but the short version is that I ran well above the "comfortable" pace I was supposed to run and felt... comfortable. I actually felt really good so I would like, if you don't think it is too much, to try 8 minute-miling and see what is left in the tank after 10 miles or so. After how I felt on today's run, I think I may even be able to push up the pace a little by then... Yes, I know, I am stupidly optimistic

10/02/2013 at 22:07

Training - Week 8

Friday - 4 MILES STEADY ON HILLY ROUTE

Actual – no run

My week has pretty much gone from busy to absolutely manic. I ended up having to put this run off and hope that I had time to squeeze it in on Saturday so Friday ended up being an unscheduled rest day. I have been a bit all over the place and not sticking to the schedule particularly well for the past three weeks so I only hope I can get back on track as I head into week 9! A few things have got sorted out now so hopefully things will settle down a bit and I can focus back in on running a bit more!!

 

Saturday – REST

Actual – no run

Unfortunately, Saturday just didn't work at all running-wise and I genuinely didn't even have time to think about running, let alone squeeze in an actual run! So I ended up having to concede defeat and resign myself to missing the run I was supposed to do on Friday... This will definitely not become a habit and, although there was very little I could have done and I genuinely cannot see how I could have fitted it in, I am a little angry at myself about missing it.

 

Sunday - 7 MILES COMFORTABLE

Actual – 9 MILES

Given that I had missed a run and so would be a few miles short this week, not to mention missing out on a few hills, I decided to make this run a little longer than is on the plan. I only added on a couple of miles as I was very conscious of not wanting to tire myself out for Dorney Lake next weekend – this is supposed to be a cutback week after all!

So I thought I would do a nice 9 mile run and I also sought out and pulverised a couple of hills to try and get some of the benefits of the hill session that I missed as well.

Overall, it was actually a really great and I enjoyed it a huge amount. The last three weeks has really been stressful and that has impacted a bit on my running I think – when I look at my recent posts, it is the first time I have been anything but positive and annoyingly optimistic (!) and there was one run in particular where, if I hadn’t had to post on here, I totally wouldn’t have bothered getting out the door... After the last two days above and actually missing a run for no ‘good’ reason like being ill or injured but just from not having time I thought it was high time to just go out and run for one of the main reasons I have always run... because it is fun!

I wanted to go out and not worry about the watch, not worry about what runs I have or have not done over the last three weeks, not worry about work and not worry about anything but having a smile on my face. So I set out with just running “comfortable” in mind and, whilst I had the (now infamous) watch with me, I really didn’t pay very much attention to it at all.

And, you know what, after 8 weeks of paying so much attention to pace and split times, it was really nice to have just one run where I just completely listened to my body and did what felt good. I did, therefore, do the run outside the pace that the plan said that I should but Sam I hope you don’t mind because, apart from a minor blip that I will come on to, I did enjoy it hugely and came home with a massive smile on my face. I really did feel like it did me the power of good and I feel seriously enthusiastic about the half marathon next weekend now as well.

So. The run.

As I said, I just went out for a run – it was really liberating to just go and have a blast and I didn’t plan a course or have anything in mind before I started.

It had been drizzling all morning but it really wasn’t that bad, although the wind was a

...

Edited: 10/02/2013 at 22:08
10/02/2013 at 22:12

little cold. I did spend the first mile or two wishing I had put some gloves on but after that I pretty much stopped noticing. I decided to have some music on this run and I was glad I did because I had forgotten to charge my watch and it died after a few miles... as my music was on my phone, I was able to use a running app on my phone to track the rest of the run – stroke of luck!

The run was great fun and I just did the whole happy Labrador thing and ran, hurdled puddles, sploshed through the small lakes that were too big to jump and generally got muddy as hell without caring one bit. As I said, I also hit a hill or two and, strange as it may sound, enjoyed the exertion – I don’t think they really affected my pace at all.

Now for the blip. I was running though the park at around five and a quarter miles, happily hurdling puddles and whizzing past geese and ducks. I ran past a little fishing lake and the path then turned, passed over a small stream that feeds the lake and went on to another part of the park. The stream has a wooden bridge going over it and I ran over. Straight after the bridge was an almost 90 degree turn and, as I made the turn, I completely lost my footing on the slippery wood and I went down like a concrete elephant. I did hit the ground really hard and made a fantastic comedy “ooof” noise – I remember seeing my Powerade going flying off into the bushes and out of sight and being really gutted about this!

I got back up in a considerable amount of pain and carried on then stopped as soon as I got to some clean water to wash the worst of the mud off of my hands, which were bleeding a fair bit. I ended up with pretty bad grazes on my knee and forearm and a small but fairly deep cut on one hand. I was also completely caked in mud!

Here's the knee looking rather lovely before the blood really started flowing!

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCv05UKCMAAiWt4.jpg:large

 

But I carried on and it wasn’t actually too bad – maybe a bit of adrenaline or something as I finished the run actually going faster than before the fall! I did a get a few odd looks on the rest of the run though, with mud splattered all over me and blood dripping down my leg!

Anyway, blip aside, I had a great time and the pace I ran and how easy it felt has left me feeling really positive for Dorney Lake next week. My knee has swollen up a fair bit this evening and doesn’t feel the greatest but it doesn’t seem to have affected the mobility particularly and, at the end of the day, I had a great time! I also felt like I could have gone further and that wasn’t with the benefit of any gels... another reason to be positive for Dorney Lake.

Here are the mile splits:

Mile 1 – 7:58

Mile 2 – 8:10

Mile 3 – 7:49

Mile 4 – 7:51

Mile 5 – 7:43

Mile 6 – 8:38 (the fall did slow me down a bit!)

Mile 7 – 7:35

Mile 8 – 7:35

Mile 9 – 7:23

11/02/2013 at 09:59

Steve - hope knee is okay or at least rapidly healing?

PAUL FORDE wrote (see)

Hi Ruth

I've been using the High5 gels without water...which may explain why my tongue gets stuck to the roof of my mouth after I've had one!

The advice is usually to take 200ml of water with each of these gels!

11/02/2013 at 12:44

I always thought "Blood, sweat and tears" was supposed to be a euphemism!

My next race is the Brentwood Half Marathon on the 23rd March and I'm hoping to let the RW 1:45 pacer drag me around!

After that I've got the Halstead Marathon on 12th May so I've only go a narrow window between them to ramp up the Sunday LSRs and get the endurance up.

So whilst neither come with the glamour or prestige of Paris and I don't have my own handpicked team of experts (although that's more of a relief when I think of what Ruth would make of my diet) it's been great keeping tabs on your progress and picking up some cracking tips along the way.

11/02/2013 at 13:10

How's the knee doing, Steve?

I'm assuming you mean in the half mara next wkd when you say you'd like to try 8 min miling, as opposed to Paris? Yep, fine - it's the high end of the pace bracket suggested. I guess what I'm saying with the pace bracket is that even if you ran at the outside edge of it, you'd still be on target, so not to panic about not clocking dead on 8 for every mile.

Also meant to say, if you fancied an easy run (4 miles jog/comfortable) today, you'd be fine to add that in given that you have just had an easy week and missed Friday's run. But it's not essential by any means - just if you were itching to get out! 

11/02/2013 at 21:19
Kandinsky wrote (see)

I always thought "Blood, sweat and tears" was supposed to be a euphemism!

My next race is the Brentwood Half Marathon on the 23rd March and I'm hoping to let the RW 1:45 pacer drag me around!

After that I've got the Halstead Marathon on 12th May so I've only go a narrow window between them to ramp up the Sunday LSRs and get the endurance up.

So whilst neither come with the glamour or prestige of Paris and I don't have my own handpicked team of experts (although that's more of a relief when I think of what Ruth would make of my diet) it's been great keeping tabs on your progress and picking up some cracking tips along the way.

My friend and I were going to enter the Brentwood Half before I entered this comp! Do you do the parkruns? I'm getting a little antsy as RunnyRunRun and Shady-Ady have both run stonking 5ks this weekend so I'm seriously considering begging and pleading with Sam to do another parkrun... Is the Chelmsford course any good? The Southend one is really nice and flat.

Hope you get the 1:45 - that's my goal too...

Glad you're finding it so useful - I can't believe how much I learned already! And Ruth is a pussy cat when you get to know her

11/02/2013 at 21:28
SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

How's the knee doing, Steve?

I'm assuming you mean in the half mara next wkd when you say you'd like to try 8 min miling, as opposed to Paris? Yep, fine - it's the high end of the pace bracket suggested. I guess what I'm saying with the pace bracket is that even if you ran at the outside edge of it, you'd still be on target, so not to panic about not clocking dead on 8 for every mile.

Also meant to say, if you fancied an easy run (4 miles jog/comfortable) today, you'd be fine to add that in given that you have just had an easy week and missed Friday's run. But it's not essential by any means - just if you were itching to get out! 

Hi Sam,

Yes, the knee is ok thanks - the graze is nothing but I did bash it quite hard and there's a lump like a golf ball on it! It felt fine when I was out running today and although it has stiffened up a bit this evening, it feels alright, considering!

Haha well.... alright then. 8 minute miling for the half and not in Paris! You must have realised by now that I see the high end of the pace brackets you set me as a target to be beaten and not a guide to stick within - I don't even look to see what the lower end of the bracket is half the time

I'm hoping I'll have enough in the tank to be somewhere in the 7s for the last three miles or so... Will have to see how I feel on the day.

If I'm running at 8m/m and feeling good and strong, when would you recommend I should up the pace a little? I don't want to up it too soon and burn out but I really do feel in good shape after the 9 miles and spent virtually all of that in the 7s...

Also... Pleeeeease can I do another parkrun? I'm itching to go under 21mins! I'll be good and stick to my pacings if you let me. Well. Near my pacings, anyway

11/02/2013 at 21:34

Week 9

Here is what Sam has in store for me for week 9 - obviously the big, interesting day in there is the half marathon on Saturday. I'm looking forward to it for a number of reasons, as I'll be going for a PB, I'll be trying out my eating strategy for Paris, giving the gels another really good try out, meeting up with RRR, Ady and Mel again and generally just having a great day!

SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

Week 9 w/c 11th February
Monday REST OR CROSS TRAINING (can swap Mon/Tues)
Tuesday 6 MILE COMFORTABLE PLUS 3 X ACCELERATION STRIDES
Wednesday 2 MILES COMFORTABLE TO WARM UP then 3 x acceleration strides then 4 x 800m in 3.16-3.24 per rep with 3 min jog between each. 1 MILE COMFORTABLE (6 MILES)
Thursday REST OR LOW IMPACT CROSS TRAINING
Friday: 4 MILE JOG PLUS 3 x accel strides
Saturday RACE YOUR PACE HALF MARATHON DORNEY LAKE plus w-up/c-down (15) GOAL IS 1.45 to 1.49, with pace range of 8-8.19 per mile)
Sunday REST
MILEAGE 31 


Let's see how we get on!

 

Edited: 11/02/2013 at 21:39
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