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.

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10/01/2013 at 10:22

Hi Ady

Some good training going down this week! Those mile reps were somewhat faster than scheduled... but I think we'll be adjusting paces. The paces for each 'type' of run were based on your recent performances over a range of distances but it seems that you must have been off form when you did these, as you have consistently outpaced yourself! Still, I'm of the opinion that it's best to err on the side of caution and then adjust up rather than down (adjusting down is a bit demotivating). I'm expecting great things from Parkrun. No pressure 

The nutrition plan is looking good - though I did wonder about your salad-only lunch. There isn't any carbs in there - it's just salad and I wonder if this leaves you feeling a little short of energy, and tempted into that pre dinner snack?

And now for the latest in my series of ridiculous dreams - the next night I dreamt that I did a marathon but got mixed up with what my PB was, so was elated thinking I'd smashed my PB but then realised I'd run 20 mintues slower. Again, the relief on waking up was palpable! Maybe it's my brains way of getting me out of bed these dark mornings!

AW. I was on 800s this week, too. They are tough - I like the psychology of 600s, where you feel as if you can 'stop' halfway round the track! I dread to think how many Steve had you doing, too, track demon that he is! 

 

10/01/2013 at 13:48

Ady- is the parkrun this Saturday? Good luck with it, sounds like a pb is on the cards!

I did the Spitfire 20 last year, it's a cracking race.  I only did it as a training run- 10m easy and 10m @ target MP. Absolutely loved it.

I would agree with Sam on the lunch issue. I couldn't possibly last until dinner on a bit of salad, especially if I were running after work. It's easier to limit your food during the day when you're at work and busy but it's false economy- you will end up starving by dinner time and overcompensate.

10/01/2013 at 14:46

Hi Guys,

I'm thinking about doing the Spitfire 20 as well. I will be looking to do a 20 that day anyhow so may run it as a training run. What is the course profile like?

As for the diet thing, I'm glad I don't have to have mine scrutinised by Ruth. I eat about three times as much as you A.W. And I never stop eating carbs!!!

10/01/2013 at 14:51

DS2- it's undulating but no massive hills. I managed to stick to my target MP all the way around.

10/01/2013 at 14:58

I think I will probably do this then. I'm looking for something undulating but not too hilly so that it's similar to Halstead for my marathon. Sounds ideal

I will probably be looking to run a fair part of it at MP like you did Brolish.

10/01/2013 at 17:17

Ady -  Not too difficult running after nightshift, once I get going.  Thought tuesday's intervals were going to be a struggle but amazing what happens when the countdown beep goes on the Garmin. Anyway only way of getting my runs in and I rotate nights, lates and earlies so only one week in 3.  I'm Parkrunning again Saturday, first 2 I did over xmas the weather was rubbish, last weekend when I did n't run it was perfect but not looking too great this weekend.

 

10/01/2013 at 19:29

Here's the profile for the Spitfire as measured by my Garmin last year:

http://s4.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/448713/gallery/spitfire.jpg?width=350

Just one big hill (done twice) but as Brolish says it's mostly undulating. I'm not usually a big fan of multi-lap courses (which is kinda putting me off your Dorney HM Ady) but two laps is nice and it works well for a training run if you want to do one slow and one at MP.

Really well organised race. Parking is plentiful (on the runway). Loads of loos. Tea, coffee and bacon sarnies too. What more could you want?

Come on Ady - get Sam to sign off on it. Would be great to see you!

I will enter over the weekend. I have a rule about only entering one race per day and today's slot has already been taken by York

10/01/2013 at 19:42

(soon to be) Slim Shady - I too raised an eyebrow at the minimal amount of carbs in your diet. I know weight loss is part of the goal both overall as a final end point and to improve your race day performance...but....I wonder if Ruth could give her views on whether there's enough fuel in there for the mileage ???

I have to say - like DS2 - my diet is fairly carb heavy with lots of bread, spuds, pasta etc. I know there's a school of thought that training when deliberately under carb'd may stimulate adaptations which stand one in good stead for race day but is such a low carb diet a good idea day after day ???

 

10/01/2013 at 21:10
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

Sarah.........Thanks. My runs have gone well so far. It's nice to feel that I have completed each one at the speed and distance I've been asked to do and, apart from the odd dodgy moment here and there, I haven't failed any.

You have an excellent 5km time. It's hard to believe that I've been running my 400m and mile reps quicker than what you have been doing, as your 5km PB is much quicker than mine. Do you think you will go under 20 mins this year? Is this a target before your Spring Marathon?

Were you able to maintain your speed in the last 10 miles of VLM last year? As soon as I hit the wall, my speed takes a nosedive. To maintain my second half marathon speed is going to be one of the biggest challenges I'll face as I've always been much slower (often by 10-15 mins).

That's strange that it was Haller Park. I have a friend who once worked there as well. I met him the first time I went there and now he's working for Kenya Airways. The last time I met him in Nairobi he was an hour late meeting me. He was stuck in the middle of a shootout between police and thieves who had tried to car-jack a minibus. He talked about it so nonchalantly, as though it happens all the time. Sadly it does. I'm happy not to have found myself in a similar position while living there. I never got to feed giraffes though.....I am extremely jealous........they are my favourite animal!

Your running has been spot on, you must be so happy with how your training is coming along. I would like to try to get sub 20 for my 5 k before VLM but we will see, its not my main aim and at the moment I feel like most of my runs are slower and longer rather than shorter and quicker, which is ideal for the marathon and what im aiming for. If I get my sub 20 it would be a nice suprise!

My second half of VLM last year was 7 mins slower than the first half, so wasnt as bad as it could have been as I felt pretty awful by the last 4-6 miles.

I didnt feel very safe in places in mombassa...and the roads they were just crazy. On our way back from the safari there was a big jam. Cars just decided to weave in and out of the cars and vans stuck, at the sides of the roads, behind buildings and on the wrong side of the road...it was crazy. I loved feeding the garaffes....but it was messy!

10/01/2013 at 21:15

http://s4.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/644249/gallery/g1.jpg?width=350


or is that just rubbing it in?

10/01/2013 at 21:34

Shady-Ady

Sorry I did post (or thought I did) but the answer is now underneath your questions now!

Shady_Ady wrote (see)

Hi Ruth,

You could just be my knight in shining armour. If I was ever in need of nutritional information, it's probably now.

I do think my cramps I experienced during my Parkrun were a result of the intensity I was running at (well, an intensity higher than what my body has been accustomed to!). I hope that by doing more sessions at these speeds, these symptoms will start to disappear.

When you talk about training low in carbs, what sessions would you recommend trying this in? Is there a mileage or time limit you would recommend in trying this under. For example, I ran 'on empty' on my long run in week 1, and would like to try it again on another long run. Do you think trying it on a 14 or 15 mile run is too much?

I'm not sure you have dealt with an 'athlete' who has a diet like me before! Up until the start of this training, I would run so I could eat whatever I wanted to. Running was a means to over-indulge in things I shouldn't and not have the normal feelings of guilt. Saying this though, in recent months, my muffin-top has expanded to just shy of disgraceful proportions. This was really brought home to me during the photo shoot at the Asics store where I tried on lycra for the first time. Honestly, if I had to where lycra every day, I'd still be a virgin and still waiting to hold a girl's hand!

Since training has started though, I have cut out all processed food (apart from the odd pork pie had around Xmas and the 12 cocktail sausage rolls devoured on New Year's Eve - that's what happens when you choose to sit next to the buffet table!). I have cut out crisps and other unhealthy snacks. I am also planning on cutting almost completely down on alcohol consumption as well. I will still enjoy the odd drink here or there, but much more rarely compared to recent weeks.

Alongside this, I am also cutting down on my bread consumption and desserts (which formed the basis of every lunch and the ending of every dinner) and trying to increase the amount of times I eat during the day, while cutting down on the quantity as well.

 

Today I'm hoping will be the average day of eating for the duration of my training. Please feel free to offer brutally honest advice if you see any problems or issues that can be improved!

Here it is............................

 

Ruth's response:

About training low, out of interest how did you know you where running on empty, did you go out without breakfast or did you eat little carbs the day before then out for run with little carbs at breakfast/no breakfast as well?

I think 14-15miles is about max I would do on low carbs to push adapations and as I posted above to Barry  only do some runs like this as need to consider race day eating but it is a balance as you need to do enough to get the adaptations and I am not sure we know what that is yet! But each week at least one in a depleted state but not always on longer runs  but you need to consider how you can train low in carbs as quality session need to be just that .

No issue with cutting out bread as long as replace it with other carbs. Sam and others have pointed out the lack of carbs already. It may be good for me to  know if when writing up food diaries if you are intending this to be a low carb day or not or is that just the way you eat most days? Are you wanting to train low for say long runs or are you wanting to do this for more. My advice is 1-2 per week at most but then you must fuel for quality sessions. I just want to be clear on what you want to do so that  can give better advice as still not sure if you are eating low in carbs on purpose some

10/01/2013 at 22:23

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary - Wednesday 9th January 2013

Wednesday - the hump of the week. I feel like I deserve a fatty, oil-drenched slab of grease just for making it this far. Luckily my resolve held out for another day and I settled for some home-comfort food, championed by students up and down the country!

6:50am - Breakfast; Porridge w/ honey and s/skimmed milk.

9:00am - Cup of tea, 500ml bottle of water.

10:00am - Handful of Louisiana Dry-Roasted Peanuts (spicyyyyyy!). One of the best things about my job is the cultural diversity of the people I work with and if I'm lucky, the types of food people bring in on special occasions! More water.

11:00am - More water and an apple.

12:00am - 5 mile comfortable run @8:30m/m (see above for full details).

1:15pm - Crusty bap (or cob, depending on where you come from!) with salmon, goats cheese and cucumber. Just wish I'd made two of these as it was a tad on the small side! More water

3:00pm - Cup of tea, water and an apple.

6:00pm - Carrot, small amount of hummus and a handful of pistachio nuts.

7:30pm - 1 1/2 slices wholemeal bread, beans, egg and small amount of vintage mature cheddar (the last cheese remnants from Christmas - I'm impressed it lasted this long!). I might be able to afford a bit more than beans on toast now I'm no longer a student - but it's still one of my favourite meals and I enjoy it at least once a week!

8:00pm - Last piece of Spanish peanut nougat devoured along with 2 pints of blackcurrant squash.

9:30pm - Green tea. Almost poured myself a whiskey an hour later to go to bed with, but decided it wouldn't be in my best interests to do so - I mean it was only Wednesday!

10/01/2013 at 23:07

Day 25 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (10/01/13)

Target: 4 mile jog at 9:30-10.15m/m plus 3x Acceleration strides

Actual: 4.28 miles @ 9:26m/m including 4 mile jog and 4x Acceleration strides.

Mile splits: 1st mile @ 9:32. 2nd mile @ 9:25. 3rd mile @ 9:24. 4th mile @ 9:30.

The stark realization that the pungent smell of sh*t isn't coming from your surroundings, but from yourself! I don't know what it was about my run tonight, but my feet and dog faeces seemed to have as much attraction as two magnets. I knew there was a reason why I run at lunch times instead of in the darkness of evenings.

It didn't seem to matter where I ran, my feet would somehow make me arc towards each and every pile of turd along the dimly lit suburban streets. I know we are in an economic crisis (what is it now, a triple dip recession?), but I think that some dog owners are taking advantage of the fact some places are cutting back on their streetlight use. If there's one thing I remember from my Geography degree (possibly the most expensive piece of toilet paper I'll ever own!) it's that crime increases in unlit areas. The one thing I wasn't expecting was that this crime would be animal fouling!

I'd actually thought I'd done well for leaping over some of the dog poop I saw milli-seconds before planting my foot toes first into it. Obviously I didn't see every pile. Luckily, I didn't realise this until I got back home. I noticed just before I trod it all over the carpet and then spent half the evening in the freezing cold on the balcony with a plastic bag and newspaper attempting to clean it all off. There's nothing that can change a mood like stepping in dog doo-doo.

Apart from this, the run was very straightforward and at a nice slow pace. I enjoy my one jog a week. Normally I find it difficult to keep to this easy pace, but today I was feeling very lethargic. It took a lot longer to get my legs working. I also resembled the Michelin Man, over compensating the coldness with layers worn. I should have really eaten something before running, but with Mrs. Shady Ady cooking dinner, I didn't want to spoil my appetite (and what an appetite I had by the time I got home!).

The reason I did 4 acceleration strides instead of 3 wasn't because I have the counting skills of an infant. My 4 miles finished directly outside my home. Therefore I had to run an even number of times to get back there!

So now I have a cross-training tomorrow before hopefully smashing my 5km PB of 21:45 on Saturday morning at my local Parkrun. I'd like to think I stand a very good chance, but I'm going to play the modest card and just hope I finish in under 22 mins.

Here's my run from today:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/260524264

10/01/2013 at 23:10

Thanks for all the comments today. I've ran out of time to respond to them tonight, but will catch up tomorrow morning (one of the benefits of working a 9 day fortnight means getting every other Friday off work!).

I'm starting to see the downfalls of my diet so far. Thanks for your suggestions. I think it's still a work in progress! Until tomorrow ..................

11/01/2013 at 11:31

Finally the chance to catch up with the recent posts!

Paulo83.......I'm very impressed with your stamina at attempting to read this thread through from the start. I've received far more messages than I ever expected to, and it's extremely nice to do so, as it helps keep the motivation high, knowing others are following your progress.

I thought I'd find training a struggle to get into and would struggle at some of the training sessions, but so far that hasn't been the case. That could all change though in the upcoming weeks.

You should have a good base into which to train for a marathon with your football playing. You should at least start with some speed - something I have been lacking in. I do think Parkruns are excellent in allowing you to see short speed progress and I don't think it would affect your long run that much, if doing it the Sunday.

There's every possibility we'll be finishing within minutes or each other then come Paris. Have you entered any other races in build up to Paris? Good luck with your training.

Alex.......It's actually just down the road from where live. I think it would be rude not to run it, although I will have to get approval and permission from Coach Murphy first! I did provisionally have a long off-road run planned for training that day, so it could be possible.  

Brolish.......The Parkrun is this Saturday. Just seen the weather forecast. It looks like I'll be keeping up my 100% record of running every Parkrun in the rain. Hopefully this will make me go quicker! I know I'm setting myself up for failure and a huge fall.......but I'd be disappointed if I didn't get a new PB tomorrow. I'll have a momentous excuse if I don't!

I definitely think I need to re-think my current eating arrangements. I am trying to cut out the carbs during the day, to hopefully increase me chances of losing weight, but I do feel extremely hungry come the evening, even with eating fruit throughout the day. It doesn't affect my running, as I'm still fine from breakfast and food the previous evening, but it's probably not the best idea to come home to an empty house with a growling stomach

DS2......it sounds like there's a good possibility of a good number of us all running Spitfire 20. If I do have permission to run it, then the course profile looks fun. Not much flat, which should make the time fly by when running it. Pretty countryside to run through as well. I'm still sitting on the fence to whether I like urban or rural runs the best. Today, I think I'm slightly edging towards rural!

As I'm re-thinking my current eating habits, I might have to give your 'carb heavy' diet a try!

11/01/2013 at 12:00

Hi Sam!

Thanks for your approval with the training. I apologise for going faster on the mile reps. I have found myself going off faster than what's needed, but then I don't want to slow right down in the latter stages to hit my target time. As the pace hasn't been hard to keep, if anything I just find myself coasting in the final third. It's been a nice feeling knowing that I am in the final third and I'm still feeling confident of keeping my pace.

I know it would definitely be more of a work out if I had to keep a pace under 7:00m/m and currently, harder for me to achieve. I'm interested to see if I manage this in my 5km tomorrow. Maybe it's just a mental thing as I know I've only ever done this once or twice in my life before and it's a barrier I've previously struggled with.

I don't think I was really off-form with the times I gave you. I think it was more the fact that I was just 'plodding' along at the same slow speed on all my runs. I wasn't even contemplating speed in any of my sessions. After walking Lands End to John o'Groats and getting Plantar Fasciitis, I didn't want to rush back too quickly and for this 'injury of the devil' come back. So I decided to just take things easy last year and concentrate on a good stamina base for long distance running in 2013.

Saying this, even I'm surprised with how well the speed sessions have gone so far. I never expected to be up to this speed so quickly. If you told me I'd be at this stage in Week 14, I'd have been blissfully happy at this news. So to be already in with a shot at a 5km tomorrow (no pressure at all!) is a position I never envisaged would be possible! Basically I'm just going to keep improving until I hear you mutter those magical words, "maybe with a strong tailwind, you do have a shot at sub 3:30!" 

You are definitely right about needing a pre dinner snack. I do feel like a ravenous pig snuffling for truffles when I get home, looking for the healthiest option I can eat before dinner is ready. I was hoping snacking on fruit during the day would help, but it hasn't stopped the hunger. I was also trying to eat little and often, but I think I'm eating tooooooooo little! I've never been short of energy for my run, as my breakfast and mid-morning banana has been sufficient. I do think by adding carbs to my lunch will mean less need for snacking before dinner.

I put the blame solely at your feet for a dream I had the other night. I dreamt I was hiding from kidnappers (this is a weird occurring dream I have!) and found a pack of cigars and started smoking them. Accept I didn't know how to smoke them properly so every time I inhaled I took in a mouthful of ash that I had to swallow!

I often have similar dreams about running too. In the dreams I normally sleep in and then have to run to the race in my pyjamas and end up getting lost and never ever finish the race! I expect to have another one of these dreams now! 

11/01/2013 at 12:00

Shady_Ady - There are, as has been said, two schools of thought on the carboloading/depletion. There is a really good summary in the P&D book about it. I have decided to keep myself well fuelled on carbs, reduce my training during the taper but keep intake up. This should then me you have greater carbs to run the marathon on.

It's worth a read. I think the weight will come off naturally as your mileage increases. You'll probably put on a couple of pounds in the week prior to the marathon but that will help in the latter stages.

11/01/2013 at 12:22

Sam........I forgot to ask. Is there any chance of working Spitfire 20 into my schedule at all? I think I had a provisional 2hrs 15mins off-road run that day? It is also the day after the March Training Day in Birmingham, so I don't know what pain and suffering you have planned for me then!

Brolish/ DS2.........It seems that people have used Spitfire 20 in a variety of ways in regard to the amount (if any) that is run at MP. What are the benefits of running it all at MP. If you are coming from a lower mileage background like me, do you think attempting to run it all at MP would have more of negative effect than a positive one? I really enjoyed my one long run that Sam planned for me to run the latter stages at MP pace after a slower opening. It was good to get my legs working at a quicker speed after a slower start.

It always seems to be increasing speed in the latter stages of a run, rather than starting off quicker and slowing down towards the end (i.e. 1st 10m @ MP, 2nd 10m @ MP+60secs). I take it this because there's not as much potential for development and progress doing it this way? Sorry if this seems a dumb question to ask!

Barry.........Good luck on your Parkrun this weekend. For me it looks like being another wet one. No excuses though! I will definitely give my next interval session a go using my Garmin. I haven't had the experience of those countdown beeps before so hopefully they'll motivate me like they do you! It takes good discipline to run after work, especially for me when it's dark. But if it's the only way of getting the runs in, then I'd definitely take this over not running at all. I'm sure Mrs. Shady Ady would vouch how grouchy I become if I don't run for more than a day or two.

Malcs........Thanks for the Spitfire 20 profile. It looks an interesting course and a good challenge.

I've not run many lap races before. I've done the Kingston Breakfast run which is also two laps. I think one benefit about the Dorney Lake HM is that the laps should help me with my pacing and with it being flat, might have the potential for a new PB.

Bacon sarnies at Spitfire 20 you say? Sign me up now. Bacon sarnies after a race (or even before) are the only times I can eat them feeling guilt free!

Haha......Mrs. Shady Ady bans me from looking at races for a few days after running one, as I find myself signing up for several and filling my diary for the next few months. The York Marathon does look good. I have thought about this as well, especially as I have been promising a certain someone a romantic trip to York for several years now. What better way to smash that romance with a sneaky marathon!

Fraser......Thanks for the optimism with the weight loss. I agree that I could probably do with eating more carbs at lunch. Bread might be making a quick comeback! So basically I can probably get away with eating my normal lunch, but just put it between two slice of wholemeal bread! I use to use this philosophy for dinners too!

11/01/2013 at 12:46

Hi Sarah.............I agree that your marathon training sounds ideal with the longer and slower runs. Are you keeping to a similar training mileage as your last marathon, or are you increasing at all? Normally I'd be extremely satisfied if I was only 7 minutes slower in the second half of the marathon compared to the first half. I really hope this time around my training means and experience means I'm able to pace myself better and bring the difference down to just a few minutes.

I know what you mean about Mombassa. It does have some very sketchy areas. The first time I went to Kenya was on a university fieldtrip. To get us adjusted with the city, they decided to drop us off in pairs in different parts of the city armed with just a map and we had a couple of hours to get to our finish point. It was certainly an eye-opener!

I'm extremely jealous with the giraffe feeding.  Very jealous indeed. I did get to stroke an orphaned rhino, but I'd have certainly swapped this for a spot of giraffe feeding. When we were coming back into Mombassa from safari, we had a guy jump on the back of our safari van who managed to break the lock and open the back door. Before we realised what was going on, he'd already grabbed some bags and jumped off into the night. Impressive speed and ingenuity.......and luckily my bag wasn't one of those stolen!

http://s3.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/403074/gallery/ady_2.jpg?width=350

I was there at election time so there was a lot of violence going on. Luckily I managed to stay clear of the majority of this. I was also a lot younger (and from looking at the photo, also a lot thinner!) and very naive, so if I saw a group of people rallying or protesting I'd go for a closer inspection. I certainly wouldn't do that now. Being caught up with a group of 200 men all shouting and carrying machetes might seem 'an experience' when I was young. Now it just sounds like a frightening incident where I might lose bladder control!

11/01/2013 at 12:56

Hi Ruth. Thanks for re-posting your original post about running on low carbs.

The one run where I said I was running on empty.....the only reason I thought I was running on empty was because I ran immediately after getting up in the morning and didn't eat any breakfast.

In relation to the comments about my current diet. The days where I've eaten salad, haven't been because I intended these to be low carb days. I normally eat sandwiches, baguettes....basically anything bread-like that can be filled with something! I was attempting to cut this out of my diet and replace it with a healthier salad and some kind of meat (for protein?) instead as I was hoping this would prove beneficial in my weight loss goals.

Listening to your advice, I will only do this once or twice a week and revert back to my normal lunch (thank God for that!), but just choose healthier fillings and eat wholemeal bread. If I do eat salad, I'll do this on the days I'm not running. 

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