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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18/12/2012 at 13:21

Paris Marathon Training Plan:

This is the current marathon plan I have been given for the Paris Marathon. Although I am attempting a sub 3:30 marathon, this training plan has been written with a 3:36 marathon in mind. My most recent times suggest this. The training plan and paces have the ability to be adjusted every 4 weeks, so I'm very confident my training will be heading closer towards 3:30 as the weeks progress.

PACE GUIDELINES
Jog (Recovery) = 9.30 to 10.15 mins per mile

Comfortable (Easy) = 8.30-9.20

Steady = 8-8.30

Fast (Tempo) = 7.30-7.50 (Or for intervals 7.20-7.30)

Speedwork 6.15-7 per mile, depending on distance

Week 1 w/c 17th December
Monday 4 mile JOG
Tuesday 5 mile COMFORTABLE
Wednesday Rest or non impact cross training
Thursday 5 mile STEADY on hilly route
Friday Rest
Saturday 12 MILES COMFORTABLE
Sunday Rest or non impact cross training
MILEAGE 26

Week 2 w/c 24th December (May need to jiggle for Christmas week!)
Monday 4 MILE JOG
Tuesday 6 MILE BUILD UP (From 8.30 up to 7.30)
Wednesday REST or non impact cross training
Thursday 3 x 1 mile at 7.20-7.30 pace with 2.5 minute recovery plus 1 mile w-up/c-down (5 miles)
Friday REST
Saturday 9 MILES STEADY
Sunday Rest or non impact cross training
MILEAGE 24

Week 3 w/c 31st December
Monday 5 miles FAST (Suggest structuring this as 1 mile easy, 3 miles FAST, 1 mile easy)
Tuesday REST (HANGOVER ACCEPTABLE!)
Wednesday 4 Mile JOG
Thursday Intervals: 1.5 MILE COMFORTABLE then 3 x acceleration strides then 8 x 400m (or 90 seconds) at 6.20-6.40 pace with 2 min jogs in between each. 1.5 MILE COMFORTABLE (4 MILES)
Friday REST
Saturday 13 MILES comfortable
Sunday REST or non impact cross training
MILEAGE 26

Week 4 w/c 7th January
Monday 3 MILE JOG
Tuesday 4 MILE STEADY ON HILLY ROUTE
Wednesday REST
Thursday 5 MILE COMFORTABLE
Friday 3 MILES JOG
Saturday PARKRUN OR…
Sunday 10km RACE (obviously not both! The other day is a rest day)
MILEAGE 21

PACES MAY NOW BE ADJUSTED DEPENDING ON FEEDBACK AND RACE RESULT

Week 5 w/c 14th January
Monday 3 MILE JOG
Tuesday 5 miles FAST (Suggest structuring this as 1 mile easy, 3.5 miles FAST, 1 mile easy)
Wednesday REST
Thursday Intervals: 1 MILE COMFORTABLE then 3 x acceleration strides then 5 x 800m (or 3 mins) at 6.30-7 pace with 3 min jogs in between each. 1 MILE COMFORTABLE (5 MILES)
Friday Rest
Saturday 15 MILES comfortable
Sunday 3 MILE JOG
MILEAGE 31

Week 6 w/c 21st January
Monday REST or non-impact cross training
Tuesday 5 MILE COMFORTABLE
Wednesday 3 MILE JOG
Thursday Intervals: 4 x 1 mile at 7.20-7.30 pace with 2.5 minute recovery plus 1 mile w-up/c-down (6 miles)
Friday REST
Saturday 9 MILES STEADY
Sunday REST or non-impact cross training
MILEAGE 23

Week 7 w/c 28th January
Monday 4 MILE JOG
Tuesday 8 MILE BUILD-UP (From 8.30-7.45)
Wednesday REST
Thursday 5 MILES: 3 MILES STEADY 2 MILES FAST
Friday Rest
Saturday LONG RUN 16 MILES: 10 COMFORTABLE 6 STEADY (16 miles)
Sunday REST
MILEAGE 33

Week 8 w/c 4th February
Monday 4 MILE JOG
Tuesday 8 MILE FAST (inc W-UP/C-DOWN)
Wednesday REST
Thursday Intervals: 1 MILE EASY then 3 x acceleration strides then 6 x 800M (or 3 mins) at 6.30-7 pace with 3 min jogs in between each. 1 MILE EASY (5.5 MILES)
Friday Rest
Saturday 9.5 MILES STEADY
Sunday Rest or low impact cross training
MILEAGE 27

Edited: 18/12/2012 at 13:22
18/12/2012 at 13:23

........and the last 8 weeks of my training plan:

Week 9 w/c 11th February
Monday REST
Tuesday 6 MILE BUILD-UP (From 8.30-7.45)
Wednesday 4 MILE STEADY
Thursday 4 MILE COMFORTABLE plus 3 accel strides
Friday: REST
Saturday RACE YOUR PACE HALF MARATHON DORNEY LAKE plus w-up/c-down 15
Sunday 4 MILE JOG
MILEAGE 33

PACES MAY NOW BE ADJUSTED DEPENDING ON FEEDBACK AND RACE RESULT

Week 10 w/c 18th February
Monday REST OR NON IMPACT CROSS TRAINING
Tuesday 4 MILE STEADY
Wednesday 5 MILE COMFORTABLE
Thursday 6 MILE BUILD-UP (From 8.30-7.45)
Friday: REST
Saturday LONG RUN 18 MILES: 10 COMFORTABLE 8 STEADY
Sunday 3 MILE JOG
MILEAGE 36

Week 11 w/c 25th February
Monday REST
Tuesday 1 MILE COMFORTABLE then 3 x acceleration strides then 10 x 400m (or 90 seconds) at 6.20-6.40 pace with 2 min jogs in between each. 1 MILE COMFORTABLE (4.5 MILES)
Wednesday 3 mile JOG
Thursday 6 MILE BUILD-UP (From 8.20-7.40)
Friday REST
Saturday LONG RUN 15 MILES: 6 MILE @ 9.15, 5 MILE @ 8.45,4 MILE @ 8.15 PACE (15 MILES)
Sunday 3 MILE JOG/NON IMPACT CROSS TRAINING
MILEAGE 31

Week 12 w/c 4th March
Monday REST
Tuesday 5 x 1 mile at 7.20-7.30 pace with 2.5 minute recovery plus 1 mile w-up/c-down (7 miles)
Wednesday 4 MILE JOG
Thursday 3 MILE COMFORTABLE
Friday REST
Saturday 4 MILE STEADY
Sunday LONG RUN: 21 MILES COMFORTABLE
MILEAGE 39

Week 13 w/c 11th March (3 WEEKS OUT)
Monday REST
Tuesday REST or 3 mile jog
Wednesday 5 mile fast
Thursday 4 mile comfortable
Friday REST
Saturday 4 miles steady
Sunday 11 STEADY
Mileage 27

Week 14 w/c 18th March (2 WEEKS OUT)
Monday REST
Tuesday 5 MILE MP
Wednesday 3 MILE JOG
Thursday 5 MILE COMFORTABLE
Friday REST
Saturday LONG RUN 12 MILES COMFORTABLE (LAST 4 AT MP)
Sunday REST OR NON IMPACT CROSS TRAINING
MILEAGE 25

Week 15 w/c 25th march (1 WEEK OUT)
Monday REST
Tuesday 4 MILE FAST
Wednesday 3 MILE JOG
Thursday Intervals: 2 MILES EASY 5 X 400M INTERVALS WITH 2.5 MIN RECOVERIES, 1 MILE EASY (4.5)
Friday rest
Saturday 8.5 MILES STEADY
Sunday Rest or low impact cross training
MILEAGE 20

Week 16 w/c 1st April RACE WEEK
Monday 3 MILE JOG
Tuesday 1 MILE COMFORTABLE, 3 MILES MP, 1 MILE COMFORTABLE (5 MILES)
Wednesday REST
Thursday 3 MILE JOG
Friday Intervals: REST
Saturday 20 MINS EASY PLUS 3 ACCEL STRIDES
Sunday RACE DAY

18/12/2012 at 13:24

......and like a flash, that's my lumch hour finished (well slightly more than an hour as I slipped in the 2nd day of my marathon training. I'll reply properly to everyone this evening.....back to work on my nipples, clamps and flanges

18/12/2012 at 13:58

Can't remember if I said well done for getting through Shady - so congratulations for getting through Shady!

Interesting marathon plan - I'm sure it will get tweaked along the line and as you progress. Just wondering about the weekly milage - thought it might have been a bit higher and with some longer runs?

18/12/2012 at 13:59

Thanks for all the info Ady. I still think the mileage looks really low but what do I know. I'm sure the coaches really know what they are doing and I have every confidence that all 5 will hit their goals.

Good luck mate!

18/12/2012 at 14:17

looks like me and KR were posting at the same time with the same thoughts. Mind you KR knows a lot more about the coaching having suffered it last year - and it certainly didn't do him any harm!!!

18/12/2012 at 16:47

Ady - thanks for sharing your plan. I was also a bit surprised by the mileage and that you only have one 20 miler. Don't take it the wrong way though, I'm certainly not picking holes, just curious as to the thinking behind it.

What did you think when you saw it first?

18/12/2012 at 17:24

Good luck Shady, I don't think I've poped in to pass on my good wishes yet.

seren nos yn canu    pirate
18/12/2012 at 17:35

good luck on the journey..did they share the reasoning for going for low mileage training plans this time around........for first timers i can see the point is starting low and steady.but for experienced runners I am at a lost.hopefully all will be revealed soon...........

any ideas where the coaches are this year

18/12/2012 at 17:53

Hi seren - as you can see, I had similar thoughts. I'm sure they know what they are doing though!

18/12/2012 at 19:11

Averages for non-taper weeks:

-  29 miles per week

-  Long run of 13 miles

-  Average of second longest run per week is 6 miles.

That plan is absolutely baffling - how on earth are you going to build any endurance?

Edited: 18/12/2012 at 19:12
18/12/2012 at 19:20

Good luck Shady, I will be following with interest as I will be targetting 3:30 again, I was rather hoping to follow your plan but I prefer a longer midweek run and more long runs.  Might be interesting to compare and contrast along the way?

 

18/12/2012 at 20:47

Ady, do they give any guidance on what constitues a recommended stretching routine after a run?  This is probably a totally newbie question!  I know you should stretch, and I do, but I am not sure if I am doing the right stretches, in the right way and for the right duration!

18/12/2012 at 21:23

.....................and back in the forum game! I swear, if ever someone's trying to send me a sub-conscious message, it's definitely "buy yourself a car for Christmas and stop relying on trains to get to and from work. You'll just be left feeling let down and used (that's never happened before!)"

So after more time stuck on a cramped train listening to a girl ordering her boyfriend to fight the crowds of Oxford Street and buy her a sparkling dress for her transport woes, I will try and get back up to speed with this forum page.

Here goes........................

18/12/2012 at 21:38

Xyloid........hopefully you have seen my current training plan now. Apologies for only now getting around to answering your original question.

The training plan devised for me was loosely based on the My Asics training app. Apparently using only this, my first week's mileage would have been only 17 miles. Sam, the coach assigned to me, Steve and Jen has worked to bump this mileage up from what it was originally.

It's going to be very interesting following my training plan. To be honest, I've not been good at following a training plan before. Instead I have a weekly mileage target which I split between similar length weekly runs and the long run at the weekend.

When I've been doing my marathon training before, I've started off at a similar weekly mileage, but built up towards 50 miles per week, with at least 3 weekend runs over 20 miles. This was easier to achieve as I was running 6 days per week, compared to 4 (and later 5) days in which I'll be running now.

While I was putting in quantity before, it's debateable if this was quality. I would do between 4 and 5 miles each day during my lunch break and then a 20 miler at the weekends. If the weather was nice (and my running close from my lunch break weren't too smelly or sweaty!), I'd also run the mile or so home as well.

What I didn't pay a lot of attention to before was speed work. During my PB year, I would only do 1 set of speed work each week. I dont think this was enough. Hopefully the variety of this training plan will be a big improvement on my previous training, even if the mileage is less.

18/12/2012 at 21:45

Sarah....thanks for the good luck message Although I have only completed my second day, it's gone very smoothly so far and I have had to fight the urge to run quicker. I think this is only natural when you are running each training session at a different speed.

Will you be getting another run in before Xmas wearing your Mrs. Claus outfit?

Jen........thank you very much.......luckily, I really enjoy blogging and kept one regularly when I travelled throughout my twenties.....now I back to reality and working life again, it's nice to have the opportunity to blog again (and actually have people reading it!).

Steve..........Of course I have forgiven you for taking all the medium sized tops..........thanks to you, you have made me realise a lifelong ambition of being a size small again Not quite sure when I'll work up the courage to where these small sizes out in public though. When I look at myself in the mirror, I think I look like a character out of Little Britain!

18/12/2012 at 21:50

Hi Shady, just dropping in from the official 3:30 thread to wish you luck.

That is a really interesting schedule you've got there and if it works I'm going to adopt it myself because its a heck of a lot easier than mine!

Has it been built based on your current mileage? ie is that why the mileage is low?  And what is the reason for the lack of long runs?  Most of us believe that the long run is the most essential run of the marathon training schedule, so I'm wondering why you only have one of 20m. 

I looked at the myasics app and it said I could run 3:14 off 3 miles a week.  Bring it on!

18/12/2012 at 21:59

RRR - I can assure you, you won't be seeing much of me during the marathon ......I'll be taking advantage of your slip stream and pink socks to light my route....and then depending on how cheeky I'm feeling, I'll launch past you in a sprint finish to the line.......either that or my legs will turn to spaghetti 100m from the end and I'll finish on my hands and knees in a flood of tears.

Your training plan seems very different to mine. Our first weeks are the same, but then I go down in mileage, while you keep increasing. I have one hard week and then one easier, before going harder, and then easier again. I think I'm allowed to incorporate Park Runs into my training as well, which I'm very happy about.

I still have your text to reply to as well.............but yes, that would be spiffingly nice if there was a chance of coming together at some point before the race to do a half marathon together (or a 16 or 20 mile run if the timing is right). Even if I am only using it as a pacing run it would be useful (and another medal as well!)

18/12/2012 at 21:59

thanks for sharing plan.  Think it is a good mix, but I can see where people are concerned re endurance.

however, I used a plan not too dissimilar before and it got me through. Also reckon they know what they are doing

Any joy on Garmin Connect??

18/12/2012 at 22:35

Hey Clive........compared to my normal training, this is the mix I've always dreamed of. So much variety compared to what I normally do, so very, very happy indeed with this. You always worry that you should be doing more. Especially when I have done more in the past. But like you say, they know what they are doing, and I have full faith in the plan that has been devised for me.

Plus, if I'm hitting my targets and showing improvement, there's nothing stopping my running times being adjusted. If anyone can get me close to 3:30, then Sam can! 

More importantly though.............

.......My Garmin Connect is finally up and running. I will give a brief assessment of each run (I think it'll be Thursday evening when I'll get around to doing this ). I actually like the idea of people spying on me  as it makes me even more focused on achieving each training goal.

So far these should link you to my first two days:

Day 1 (4 miles @ 9:30 per mile): http://connect.garmin.com/activity/252762459

(Sam - if you click on this, I misjudged my distance and finished my 4 miles quite a distance from my work. With my 1pm meeting looming, I thought I would use my initiative and do a few acceleration strides to make it back to the office on time!  Please don't discipline me!)

Day 2 (5 miles @ 8:30 per mile): http://connect.garmin.com/activity/252762448

(Sam - sorry........me again  If you are wondering why my last mile was quicker than the the 8:30 per mile you asked for, it was because I was running next to Farnborough Airport and got carried away watching the planes come in to land.........I accidentally sped up without thinking about it! It's no wonder my wife jokes that I have Attention Deficit Disorder)

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