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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11/01/2013 at 13:10

Shady_Ady - I think slower runners tend to need to do more of there races at close to MP but towards the sharp end you have to be careful not to 'leave your best marathon out there on another race'. I think there is nothing better than feeling like you could have run just a little harder when you have finished. I, also, think starting a bit slower makes sure you are fully warmed up. If you ran it all at MP only 4 weeks before your A race it might be a bit close.

I will probably run it as a progressive run, maybe first 5 at MP + 60secs per mile, second 5 at MP + 30, last 10 at MP. Having said that, my marathon isn't until 12 May so if I did run harder I'd have longer to recover. Sam may not want you running that hard and I reckon she knows a tad more than me so I'd listen to what she thinks. After all, she has got you in a really good position already so why take any risks. No-one will remember what you do at Spitfire but the world and his wife is looking for your result in Paris

Hope this helps!

11/01/2013 at 13:16

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary - Thursday 10th January 2013

A welcome return to carbs for lunch today. the only reason I had decided to cut carbs out of my lunch was thinking it had the potential to increase my weight loss. It might have helped, but my late afternoon I've been feeling like a ravenous pig, willing to eat anything going. After reading the advice here, I am reverting back to eating some lunch time carbs.

My normal lunch time run had to be re-scheduled for the evening due to a lunch time meeting. Although I do like lunch time running, I also like free lunches. Lunch time meeting = free lunch. You can't really complain. Opening up my brown bag of joy, I found egg sandwiches, an orange, apple juice, Hula Hoops and a four-finger Kit Kat. I confiscated the Kit Kat from myself until a later date.

6:50am: Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre cereal with semi-skimmed milk.

8:00am: Cup of tea, bottle of 500ml water.

9:30am: More tea.

11:00am: Even more tea (I think I'm keeping Tetley's in business by myself!), an apple. another re-filled bottle of water.

12:00pm: Lunch - Egg sandwiches on wholemeal bread, beef Hula Hoops (small pack), Apple Juice.

2:00pm: Naval Orange. Cup of tea. more water.

5:00pm: Possibly my fifth cup of tea, more water.

7:15pm: 4 mile jog, 4 x acceleration strides (see above for full description)

8:15pm: Dinner - Salmon fillet (in balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard seed and white wine glaze - oven baked and home-prepared), steamed broccoli, carrots and new potatoes. 500ml of blackcurrant squash.

9:00pm: Desert - Low fat yoghurt with a small handful of dates, apricots and raisins. Tea and more squash.

11:00pm: Green tea and bed!

11/01/2013 at 13:21

Hi Ady

Let's hope snow doesn't scupper the chances of a good run at parkrun tomorrow 

Definitely think it's a good idea to put the carbs back into your lunch. It doesn't have to be bread though - you could have a cous cous based salad, or pearl barley, or millet or rice as the 'base,' along with the veggies/salad and a protein source such as lean meat or fish or a lowish fat cheese like feta. Even if you do want to cut down on carbs, it's best to keep them in breakfast and lunch and then have less (or none) at dinner - the so-called 'carb curfew' - as you need more to fuel your daytime activities than in the evening. (Though this wouldn't be ideal if you had just done a tough run and were running again the next morning, for eg).

Your dream sounds hilarious I accept the blame for the cigars, totally!

Can you remind me when Spitfire is please? 

11/01/2013 at 13:24

Hey Sam. Spitfire 20 is on Sunday 3rd March.......sandwiched in between my two 20 mile runs the week before and the week after!

Right.....it's about time I got down to doing my cross-training. Cycling and pilates is on the menu today. 

11/01/2013 at 13:27

Excellent advice, DS2! And really well put. Yes, someone who is training to run, say 4.30 might do long runs at MP+60 at slowest, while someone training to run 2.30 might run at more like MP+90. The reason is that fitter runners will be racing closer to (or even at in the case of elite runners) their lactate threshold - say, 85% of their maximum while the average runner will run at around 70-75% of their maximum. So, the faster runner is working harder to maintain their marathon pace.

If the idea of running a 20 miler at MP the whole way was floated, I'd say it's a no-no as far as I'm concerned. How much of a 20 miler to run at MP will depend on where it is in the schedule and on the individual's experience/fitness and how their build up has gone so far...

11/01/2013 at 13:29
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

Hey Sam. Spitfire 20 is on Sunday 3rd March.......sandwiched in between my two 20 mile runs the week before and the week after!

Right.....it's about time I got down to doing my cross-training. Cycling and pilates is on the menu today. 

OK. So if you like, we can rejig the schedule to fit it in. I wouldn't want you to do the schedule as is, PLUS the Spitfire. But the Spitfire could replace one of the other 20 milers already scheduled - especially if you feel that doing it under race conditions, and with some support from other forumites, would be beneficial to you...

11/01/2013 at 13:32

Hoorah!!!! Ady Can't beat carbs!!!

That looks alright to me. I'm in the same camp as regards tea. In fact I'd just sent my PA off to make yet another cup. I think that will be 5th today already. Not my fault though - I went to the local cafe and was going to have chocolate milk to help recovery from this mornings 9 miler but they had sold out. It would have washed the cornish pastie and chips down lovely!!!

Looking forward to hearing what Ruth has to say. I hope she only comments on your diet and not mine! (haven't had any alcohol at all this year though and feel much better for it).

11/01/2013 at 14:18

Green light from Sam on the Spitfire - bonza!

I'm pretty certain I didn't dream up the bacon sarnie bit Ady but if for some reason I did then maybe we can drag Steve along as he's sure to have his own private supply.

My aim would be to do the first half at 9mm and part or all of the second at 8mm (or build progressively towards that). That said I'd be happy to run whatever Sam prescribes and run alongside you if you can stand 2hrs+ of me wittering in your ear 

Would be fantastic if you could do York too! 

Edited: 11/01/2013 at 14:18
11/01/2013 at 14:28

Great news all round. I think I will be entering Spitfire this weekend then.

How you feeling Malcs?

11/01/2013 at 15:34

Im getting jealous that everyone is running and bigging up this spitfire....maybe I should look into it more. I have easthull 20 as my 20 miler before london. Im hoping to do the first 10 miles at about 9min/ml and the last 10 at MP (8min/ml) similar to malcs.

Ady are you thinking of doing the York marathon aswell ? It would be great if you do, that would make at least four of us aiming for a similar time

Im so jealous of you stroking a rhino, like I said we didnt even see one, despite going to the rhino santuary out in tsavo. Were they friendly? I cant believe that you was just dumped in mombassa with a map......sounds very dangerous! Our friends had their cam corder and camera stolen out of their bag at the airport...but you sort of expect that in some airports (reason why I always put valuables in my hand luggage), but jumping on to your van and getting the bags out of the back...I dont know how they have the nerve.

My marathon plan last year wasnt very good due to missing a month of training due to illness. At present im where I was at the end of feb last year!!

11/01/2013 at 16:10

Excellent DS2 - just don't be lapping us (that goes for you too A.W.!) Feeling a bit better today but not up to running again yet. Two weeks on and it's starting to annoy me now.

Sarah - bit of a trek for you to the Spitfire but if you can do it then it would be great to see you!

Ady - unless you got in this morning then York may be a waiting list job - it's all sold out now!  DS2 - did you already sign up?

I have never stroked a rhino or fed a giraffe. My brother came close though. When he was 5 our parents took us to the zoo but he went missing. They found him INSIDE the giraffe enclosure! This is absolutely true. Thankfully the giraffes had no interest in him. Not sure that zoo safety was up to much in the 80's.

11/01/2013 at 16:18

Malcs - sod it - no I didn't enter in time. That's amazing that it's sold out already. I think I'll get on the waiting list though. There will be loads who think they are going to run it but haven't a clue what's involved!

Entering the Spitfire now!!! Be great to see you there sarah!

11/01/2013 at 16:58

Nooooooooooooooo!

Disaster! The master plan is in tatters. Fingers crossed you can get in on the waiting list. I was banking on you running slowly and just about trying to keep up. The speed Sarah's going, she'd have to be carrying child no.1 for me to stand a chance of slipstreaming her.

I think you're right though, there will be some drop outs. Also, they offer a partial refund greater than 16 weeks before so that may tempt a few people to bin out.

11/01/2013 at 19:54
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

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.

I've also found it surprisingly easy to get out for all of my training runs so far.  I think reading this blog has helped, its nice to know others are out there feeling the same things.  Probably has helped that the weather hasn't been too bad yet (although snow is forecast this week!).

Unfortunately i've not played football for the last 18 months as I broke my ankle (playing football) and its taken me ages to get over it!  Can run on it now with only the occasional pain!  But my speed has stayed with me , i just need to build my stamina! (if we combined our strengths we would be going sub 3).

My long runs tend to be on a Saturday as this is the only day I am always free due to working night shifts.  I think if i went flat out at a parkrun it would make the rest of my long run too hard.  

The only race i'm doing before Paris is the Brighton half in February.  Have you got many planned into your training?

11/01/2013 at 21:10

DS2......I completely agree with you. It's much better feeling like you could have ran faster in a practise race, rather than going flat out and then taking much longer to recovery, which affects more of your training. I will follow precisely what Sam recommends...she's done me proud so far!

I'm glad I'm not the only one addicted to drinking tea. Sadly I haven't risen through the ranks enough yet to have my own PA, so the amount I drink has a lot to do with how often I can be bothered to make myself one! I've also managed to stay alcohol free so far in 2013. I'd be impressed if that lasts into next week!

If the world and his wife will be looking for my Paris result, then I'd better not let any of them down!  

Sorry you didn't get into York. I left it too late as well, but I have managed to sign up for Spitfire. Hopefully see you there.

Sam.......I'm very lucky to have a supportive wife who is also willing to each healthier if it makes it easier for me to do so as well, so I think we'll be going down the cous cous road next week for lunches. I have to say, this should make lunches a lot more interesting and filling than what I have tried to get by with eating so far!

Thanks very much for letting me run Spitfire 20. Don't worry, I wasn't expecting to run three 20 milers in a row. But I'll only run this if you think my schedule can be re-jiggled to fit it in. I think it would be an excellent opportunity to use this race as a dry run for Paris and practice my fuelling tactics which I'd like to use in Paris as well.

Malcs......You'll be happy to hear that I've entered Spitfire 20 now. Especially after York selling out and missing that boat. I'll make sure Sam can work it into my schedule though first and everything can be re-jiggled. It would certainly be nice to have some running company though. I think I'll have the stamina for it!

It sounds like there will be a good number running it already!

You must have been hit really hard with this lurgy. It shows good willpower not to have attempted to go out running a few times with it. I'd find it almost impossible to go that long without attempting a few smaller runs, even if it made me worse. I know it's probably the worst thing you can do!

I can't believe your brother managed to get in the giraffe enclosure. It's a good job lions or elephants didn't interest him more! Health and Safety would be all over that like a rash nowadays!

Edited: 11/01/2013 at 21:11
11/01/2013 at 21:35

Sarah.......Feel free to join the Spitfire bandwagon. It would be cool if there was a number of us attempting to run at a similar pace. I was thinking of doing York, but I've just gone to enter it and it's already full. I'll have to turn my attentions elsewhere now if I decide to do an Autumn Marathon.

Sorry you didn't get the chance to see any rhinos. This was the only rhino I got to see. As it was a baby when it was orphaned by poachers, it has been around people it's entire life, so I don't think it knows the damage it could cause with that horn of his! That's really bad that your friends had their cameras stolen, especially if it was on their way back home with all their photos on.

Well done on your 16 miler. That was good running to do that distance averaging 8:19m/m this early in your training. Even better if it felt comfortable. I think at this rate you'll be closer to 3:20 than 3:30 for London.

Paulo.......I'm glad this blog and those of other's doing a Spring Marathon has helped you. I'd never really looked at running forums before this competition and it didn't take long to realise the wealth of knowledge I'd been  missing out on.

I've always found running in rain a problem. Normally I would postpone the run until the weather was nicer, but with this training schedule I don't have this luxury. This has actually worked in my favour, as having to run in rain so much over Xmas has meant it no longer bothers me. It actually motivates me more now to get the run completed and out of the way!

It's very good you've managed to keep your speed. That's one thing I've always struggled with. I'm not naturally gifted with speed. Hopefully if you're not suffering any real pains from the broken ankle now, it will stay this way for the rest of your training. I definitely think combining our speed and stamina together would put us in a different league completely!

I think trying to do Parkrun and your long run at the same time would definitely be too much. If you're struggling with stamina, then this would take priority over speed. Good luck with the Brighton Half. Do you have a time in mind you're aiming for? I'm running the Dorney Lake HM in February and also the Spitfire 20 in March. Along with one or two Parkruns, this should see me through to Paris. In the past I've entered too many build-up races and then it comes a bit blurred over which is the main race. I've often ran too hard in build up races which has meant not performing as well as I should do at the actual race I was training for.

Good luck for your long run tomorrow. What distance are you currently doing for this now?

11/01/2013 at 21:49

Day 26 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (11/01/13)

Target: Rest Day or Cross-Training

Actual: 9.2miles on exercise bike in 35 mins on stamina setting.

With my all important Parkrun 5km tomorrow, I almost decided to do nothing today and use it as a rest day. By mid afternoon, restlessness had taken over and I decided a short ride on the exercise bike would suffice. I had originally planned on doing an hour of pilates as well, but I'll try and work this into my weekend schedule after one of my runs.

I normally do at least an hour on the exercise bike, but felt it far more important to conserve myself for tomorrow than over-doing it today. I struggled with the stamina program in Week 1, but found it much easier this time around, completing it all. I definitely would have struggled to keep it up for a full hour though.

Early night tonight and early rise tomorrow in order to catch the train for the short ride to Guildford for my Parkrun. I don't mind if it rains tomorrow, but please hold off until after 9:22am! 

11/01/2013 at 21:58

One question that has been going through my mind recently is the idea of pacing on marathon day itself. If I'm lucky enough to be given the green light to attempt a sub 3:30 marathon, this obviously equates to 8 minute miles to get to the finish on target.

Every marathon I've ran has always been more than the marathon distance. This has been for various reasons - over taking people, running into bushes to take a leak, not being able to take the racing line if racing numbers are large, etc. On average this has equated to a good 1/4 mile extra ran. Even in Athens last year, I tried my hardest to follow the blue line on the road, but I still ran 0.2 of a mile more than marathon distance.

I take it runners work this into their pacing on race day and account for this. So if I was going for 3:30 with 8/m/m, I'll actually try and run somewhere between 7:50-7:55 instead?

12/01/2013 at 00:11
Im so sorry to hear that you didnt enter the york marathon in time. It would have been great to see you here. I will keep my eyes and ears open just incase they open up any extra places.

Thats what our friends were most annoyed at, you can easily replace a camera, but the photos were priceless. We copied them all ours, alot of them they were in so hopefully it wasnt as bad as it could have been.

I had never even consider the extra bit we will run, weaving in and out of people....new MP 7:55!

Good luck tomorrow at your park run
12/01/2013 at 12:02
I've been the same, easily put off by weather but I don't mind the rain once I'm out in it. It's just hard to get started when your sat in a warm house looking out at it.

I did the Brighton half several years ago in 1:39 so I'd like to beat that! Having said that I wouldn't be too upset if I didn't beat it as long as I get 3:30 in Paris! What is your half target for Dorney lake?

I don't actually have a long run today. Every 4th week in my schedule is an easy week so I've just been for a steady 5 miler. Next Saturday I'm up to 16 miles though! I've not run that far for 5 years so I'm just hoping to get through it without too many niggles and pain!

Hope you set a new PB this morning!
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