The Road to Paris - On a Plateau - Asics Target 26.2 Training

The highs, lows (and everything in between) of my 16 week Paris Marathon training plan.

241 to 260 of 1,530 messages
26/12/2012 at 19:44

It's a flat 3-lapper round some football pitches with some tight turns.  Mostly tarmac with a little bit of compacted trail.  You'd lose 10-15 secs on the turns, depending on how good you are at cornering.

26/12/2012 at 22:20
Think I need to run a marathon tomorrow to run off everything I've consumed over the last few days!

Loving the book, although I was hoping the title of your book was going to be along those lines but its too late now!
27/12/2012 at 20:42

Day 10 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (26/12/12)

Target: Rest or Cross Training

Actual: 19 miles on exericse bike on hilly program in 1hr 1min

Much easier cross-training day on the exercise bike than in Week 1. In week 1 I used the stamina program. This time I chose the hill setting, which I found easier to keep up a high rep rate. 

I could have probably increased the difficulty of this session without it negatively affecting my performance, but having struggled on the bike in week 1, I decided to keep it at the original difficulty.

I really don't know how cyclists can stay on the saddle for hours. Just an hour was sore enough!

27/12/2012 at 21:28

CC2.......You must have good motivation to run your MP runs along a 3 mile stretch again and again. I've tried to do similar in a small loop, where I regularly pass my apartment, but I find my mind making excuses every time I come to passing my apartment telling me to cut the run short! Now I find it better to run either in a big loop or an 'out and back' run, which stops any chance of cutting my run short.

Normally I love running along the canal, but it's the free roaming dogs and my small phobia of them that makes this harder than what it should be! The smaller dogs don't bother me, but Alsations or  Pitbulls roaming free normally make me choose an alternative route, or turn back on myself and wait for them to pass. If I can;t do this, I will often walk as I've heard that there is more chance of them attacking you if you are running rather than walking.

RRR.......The first week went very well thanks. I met all my time goals for my runs and it actually felt much more comfortable than I was expecting it too.  The extra sugar and chocolate does have its long as you can trick your mind into thinking it's all energy for running then there's not one feeling of guilt. It's a dangerous game chocolate can easily turn into 4 or 5!

Barry.......I hope you're enjoying your cutback week. I didn't realise Florence had so many runners participating. I might even consider doing this for my autumn marathon next year.

Hilly........I completely agree with you about the dogs. I recently did a 10k race and there were two runners who were running with their dogs. One had it on a long lead, which acted like a moving trip rope. The other was loose and kept stopping in front of the runners waiting for its owner.

I don't have a problem with them being taken for a walk in a public place, but running with them in a race might be a step too far!

Thanks for your words regarding pacing. I think I am possibly trying too hard to hit my paces on every run and I have found myself looking at my watch a lot more than normal. It has been good though in making me run at different speeds during the same session. does look like a strange coincidence considering what I said on the boot camp video.  The guy who wrote it though, Scott Jurek, has been someone I've admired for a few years, ever since first realising there were some people out there crazy enough to run further than a marathon. Anyone who has ran Badwater or completed the Spartathlon has my full respect. Although I like a challenge, I think even getting to the starting line of these races is one step too far for little old me!

Week 1 went very well thanks. A very comfortable first week and I was happy to hit my pacing goals on each run. Week two has been interesting too, especially running over Xmas and forcing myself away from al the leftover food. So far so good though. I hope you are enjoying it just as much. I saw your photo wearing your leggings on your forum are a braver man than me putting a picture on here wearing them. I might put a picture on of me the week before the marathon, but only if I manage to lose the weight I want to lose!

Edited: 27/12/2012 at 21:28
27/12/2012 at 21:30

BR.........Please feel free to join my on my weight loss odyssey! I was happy with how my first week of weight loss went, but my second week has been much harder. I think attempting to lose weight during Xmas week will only end in disaster anyway, so my proper weight loss program will start in week 3 of my training. This should still give me more than enough time to lose the weight I'm planning on losing.

It is nice having the ability to run for 60mins in my lunch break and get a decent run in and it does allow for the possibility of increasing my mileage more in the future. It's also nice to get my speed sessions in, in the daylight.

I hope the dodgy calf isn't giving you too much grief. How long will you have to rest it for?

Sarah..........I'm in the same position as you. Ate my fair share of calories the past two days and could do with a few more long runs to work it all off again. I've decided to not beat myself up too much if I have a few fall-backs this week on my attempt at losing weight. I'll have to think of a new title now for the book! 

27/12/2012 at 22:09
I'm thinking we have several weeks of intense marathon training to burn off those calories....what the heck......bring over the Xmas cake (or is it too early to start carbo loading)?

Congratulations on the bike, 19 miles in that time is impressive
Edited: 27/12/2012 at 22:10
27/12/2012 at 22:21

Day 11 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (27/12/12)

Target: 100-110 mins off-road at comfortable pace.

Actual: 12.61 miles in 1hr 50mins @ 8:47m/m

There's three things I absolutely hate when running: dogs, chaffing and jogger's nipple. I had the pleasure of experiencing two of these today. Experiencing all three would have been like the perfect storm!

I brought forward my weekend long run to today due to visiting family over the weekend. I knew running off-road would be harder than my normal long runs on tarmac. The fact I was doing this long run after 5 days of running/ cross-training without a rest day, meant I didn't feel as confident and motivated as I have done in the past.

Off-road could be classed as an under-statement on today's run. Parts were not too dissimilar to running through a boggy marsh. I was originally planning on running the majority of today's run through nearby woodland, but due to most of the route being waterlogged, I relented and ran along the canal towpath instead. Although part's of this were also flooded, the majority was soft mud and springy, thanks to the fallen leaves.

Due to running off-road, my pace was slower than on tarmac, but not as much as I was expecting. It still felt very comfortable, even with not having a rest day for almost a week, including last Saturday's 12 mile run. (Sam: you will be very happy to hear that I stretched for a full 10 minutes afterwards, using the stretches you recommended - this is a big improvement on my usual after-run stretching routine!).

If I could change one thing about me, it would be to eradicate my fear of free-roaming dogs. On the return leg of my run, a man the size of a small giant joined the towpath just in front of me, with two pitbulls. I wouldn't be worried if the dogs were on leads. These two weren't. I immediately changed to a walking pace.

I felt as though the dogs were eyeing me up, and as the owner walked away, the dogs stood still and stared me down. I decided it wasn't worth tempting fate and attempting to run past them, especially as the owner was paying little attention to the mutts he was supposed to be walking. Instead, I stretched for a few minutes then took a detour away from the canal towpath on to normal roads so I could re-join the canal in front of him. You can see this on split 11 on the link below, which is much quicker!

I always remember to plaster my nipples. After seeing some runners at the end of marathons with a stream of blood leading down their running vests from skinless nipples, this practice is etched on my mind. The use of Vaseline though is something I still forget to go. Unfortunately I'm feeling the full effects of this error today! 

Here's today's run:

28/12/2012 at 10:26

My dad decided to go on a 5 minute jog a couple of weeks ago (to try and get back in to running) and was tripped over by a dog that ran up to him. It did try to lick him better afterwards, but that didnt seem to help my dads sore shoulder that resulted from his fall. 

I think taking a detour was the best thing to do as you never know what could have happened!

As a plus side with my dad, ive had great delight in practicing acupuncture on his shoulder over xmas though!

28/12/2012 at 12:11
Sarah, I totally agree! Although the sensible part of me says that carb liading for April now might be a tad too soon! By the end of January I want to have lost 8lbs from where I am now. Even then I think I may hold off from venturing out in full Lycra!

Acupuncture you say. That's one thing I have never tried. I'd definitely be willing to give it a go if required.

I hope your marathon training is going well. It's my rest day today and as per usual I'm feeling very restless. I'm visiting family over the next 2 days. My nan is slowly losing her mind and I think it won't be long before she stops remembering who I am. We have had to start hiding some of the food in her house. Otherwise, as she forgets shes just eaten, she eats again and again and again.

Meeting up with an old friend tomorrow so will have company for my run for the first time since training began!
28/12/2012 at 13:28

Hi Ady,

I seem to recall you said you were hoping to get down to 140lbs is that right?  Can I ask how tall you are?  It must be nearly 30 years since I last saw 140lbs on the scales! 

28/12/2012 at 16:25

Ady - I haven't been online much over Christmas week and as I type this I am being pulled into a marathon Lego session by my youngest so I'll just add my congratulations on getting through week 1 and a good way through week 2 and particularly for running on Christmas day!

28/12/2012 at 16:47

Hi all, trust you all had a great xmas? Nice off-road session Ady! Will really help with the strength. Looks like you've had a cracking week. If you keep training nearly every day the weight will drop off. I shouldn't worry unnecessarily about it!

I've managed over 40 miles this week myself including a 161/2 miler and a hardish 10 yesterday. Unfortunately, I tripped over in the final mile and hit the ground rather hard - my face taking most of the impact. Other than a few grazes on my chin, a cut lip and hands I got off quite lightly. Luckily no-one saw me but I was covered in mud. Would have been quite funny, I imagine!

28/12/2012 at 17:37

Ady - dogs seem to be a recurring theme at present.  It really irks me that people think they have the right to let their lack of control over something they are responsible for interfere with other people.  It's not just runners, but small children that they intimidate.

Re. the calf, I wore some long compression socks (which I rarely wear) and managed a 10 / 4 and 15 / 4 combination the following two days.  As long as I'm sensible and run on soft surfaces at a controlled pace, training can continue.

Weight loss not helped by a major marathon `session' in Barnsley town centre with the club last night...

29/12/2012 at 00:23

Evening Ady! Agree with your detour around the dogs! Just not worth the risk!

Can't believe you're at my home parkrun tomorrow morning while I'm 160 miles away!! We'll have to try and coordinate it next time!

29/12/2012 at 09:05

The idea of scheduling rest days is an interesting one.  It appears that Ady was restless for a run, but because his schedule said `rest' he did not do so.

I have found rest days to be the most over-rated concept in running.  Sure, if family / life / work gets in the way of training then take a day off, but don't take one for the sake of it just because a generic schedule you have been given says so.  Training adaptations also take place when you have a recovery run day of 30-60 mins easy running.  The balance between training and rest on these generic plans is far too skewed at times towards the latter.

29/12/2012 at 20:12
Sorry to hear about your nan, it's always tough to see loved ones deteriorate. Hope she is ok and you enjoy catching up with your family.

For muscular problems and menopausal hot sweats acupuncture seems to work brilliantly, I'm not too convinced that its effective with anything else though
29/12/2012 at 20:32

Day 12 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (28/12/12)

Target: Rest Day

Actual: Rest Day 

There is no denying that rest days are an integral part of any training schedule, but I really struggle with resting. Every rest day I feel restless - as though it's a training day lost or a day lost burning extra calories. It doesn't matter if it is 5km or 50km I'd ran the day before, or if every bone in my body ached, I'd still feel the same level of restlessness.

It's definitely a mental thing. I know the importance of rest days. I know that at my current level,  without at least one a week, I will wear myself down and then my training sessions will suffer and the potential for injuries will increase. I don't think it helps that I'm so focused on getting as close to 3:30 as I possibly. This has certainly increased my levels of energy, adrenaline and motivation to get out and train.

Under normal circumstances I'd like to do a yoga or stretching video on my day off to at least help ease any tired muscles. This wasn't possible this time around, due to travelling to visit family. 

29/12/2012 at 20:46

Ady - great mentality.  I felt the same so when as a new runner I started reading about guys like Ron Hill and Mike Gratton, something clicked and I knew that scheduled rest days could be dispensed with.

You say that without at least one per week you would wear yourself down and affect other sessions.  I would ask two questions from that:-

1.  How do you know unless you try it?  Another counter-intuitive issue.  You may find yourself building extra strength and endurance and the natural energy running brings you coursing through your body.

2.  What is so magical about a 7-day running cycle?  Some people may find one day in 10 beneficial, or one day in 14.  When I was running at my best in 2004 I found about one per month necessary.

It's a case of learning to listen to YOUR body, not following a pre-written generic plan that was not written with you as an individual in mind.

I hope the family visit goes well.

29/12/2012 at 20:55

Well done so far on the training Ady!

I understand where you're coming from on the rest days.  When I first started running I had a few days rest a week, then I got to the stage where I had 1 day a week built in to my schedule, but found I didn't always feel like the rest day on the planned rest day, so I decided to try 10 days and for a while that worked.  As time went on I realised I didn't need 1 per week, or even 1 every 10 days, so I went with 1 when I needed it.  I do this now and it works just fine.  My plans now are very individual and sometimes I get it right and other times not so, but nothing an extra rest day doesn't sort.

Enjoy the family visit!

29/12/2012 at 20:59

Evening all! Another beautifully wet day for running. I popped my Parkrun cherry today. Thoroughly enjoyable it was too. I can see myself getting addicted with these in the New Year!

Xyloid.........I haven't seen 140lbs on the scales since my University days, which is sadly now over a decade ago! Realistically I'd like to get down to 148lbs or as close to that as possible. I was 160lbs when I ran my PB  and when I started this training program, I was just shy of 163lbs. I don't think it's a tough ask to get down to 148lbs, losing 1lb a week on average, especially once Xmas and New Year are out of the way.

If I strain my neck hard enough, and style my hair like I'm one half of Jedward , then I can just about get away with saying I'm 5ft 8". In reality, I'm just a tad above 5ft 7"!

When I ran my PB in 2009, although I was running close to 40 miles a week, I reached a plateau in weight loss. I wasn't paying any attention to what I ate or drank. In 2009 I was still young enough to be going out most Saturdays nights as well and eating fast-food in the early hours of Sunday morning. With not doing any of this, this time around, I really hope this will make a huge difference in reaching my goal weight. out for those Lego sessions. I imagine they can become very addictive. One of the best reasons of having children again to relive your Lego youth playing days! Thanks very much for your good wishes. So far so good. I feel next week will be harder though as my speed sessions are harder and quicker and this is what I've struggled with in the past. I hope you had a nice Christmas. What plans do you have for New Year? Will you be in Scotland for it?

DS2........I hope you had a good Xmas too. The off-road run could become a nice addition to my schedule. As a first timer to off-road running, it's easy to be a little demoralised to see your time lower than what you would normally run while putting in the same level of effort. But it keeps your mind far more active, especially with the uneven ground and having to watch your every step. It probably helps that you are covering long mileage on softer ground as well. I really wished I lived closer to the North Downs Way, or Richmond Park, as this would be ideal for this kind of run.

It sounds like you've had an excellent week mileage wise (and with it being Xmas as well!). I hope the damage you caused from the trip was just superficial. When I first started running I would trip over thin air every few weeks, spraining my ankle each time. I suspect this was due to a poor running technique, as (touch wood!) this hasn't happened in recent years. I remember tripping over when running in China. People already stared at  me because I was an oddity to them. But seeing me fall over on ice took their intrigue to a whole new level. Even a couple of public buses stopped in the road, as the driver wanted to see what I did next!

I hope the cuts and grazes have cleared up now! 

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