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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16/01/2013 at 16:57
We seem to have the same half marathon target as well. I don't know if I should go flat out in that or not though as I don't want to do any damage!

Looks like ur making good progress on the weight loss looking at those pictures. Very brave of you to put them up on here!

I'll be keeping an eye on what Sam says about training this weekend if we have a load of snow. I spent today jumping over ice puddles on my tempo run. Not fun!
16/01/2013 at 17:11

Hi Ady - been really busy at work so not posted but following your thread daily. That is an amazing difference in those photo's - well done mate!

Your running seems really strong as well. This is going to be your year!

16/01/2013 at 21:20

Sam.........With so many of your running club going to be running in Paris, is there any part of you wishing you were running it too? Maybe you are actually are and will be running behind me the whole way armed with a sharp stick, so that every time I slow down you can poke me with it!

I bet you were able to keep a better speed up during your 2.5min recovery than me. Hopefully during my recoveries tomorrow I'll make an improvement to do the same! Hopefully you don't enjoy the pain too much, as that will obviously mean more pain for me too!

Paulo........It does seem all our goals are very similar. I'm hoping we both succeed! I'll even let you cross the line before me if we are both on for sub 3:30! I've been told that for my half marathon - the Human Race Dorney Lake Race Your Pace Half Marathon at Eton Dorney, I'm allowed to race this. There's enough time to recover before Paris.

My only concern is to be absolutely confident of the time I'm aiming for. I want to try my best not to go out too fast so I fade towards the end. I'd rather aim for 1:37 and increase my pace as the race goes on, rather than go for sub 1:35 and falter in the last few miles. I might be slightly slower, but mentally and confidence wise, I'll come out of it in a much better position.

I'm not sure I'm brave putting those photos on. Naive maybe! I did a fair bit of teaching English abroad during my twenties and I found the best way of getting a response from my students was to name and shame.........and this is what I've basically done to myself. I'm just using my own psychological mind games on me! I'm hoping the shame of seeing the first picture of myself will make sure I stay focused right up to the start line of Paris.

I will also keep an eye out to see if Sam recommends any alternative run on Saturday of there is much snow. Running on snow shouldn't be a problem, but if there's the chance of ice, then running at speed could increase chances of potential injuries if there are any slips or falls. I still really want to get out though and get my long run in. I love running in the snow. What mileage are you doing this weekend?

DS2........Thanks very much. It's extremely nice to hear that you are still following the thread. It makes it all the more worthwhile reading such messages when I'm posting updates. I really want there to be another visible difference when I get Mrs. Shady Ady to take the next photo after week 8.  I do hope it is my year (actually I don't want to be greedy.....I'll just take April 7th as my day!)..........just another 13 successful weeks of training to get through first! Easier said than done. 

16/01/2013 at 22:03

Day 31 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (16/01/13)

Target: Rest Day or Cross-Training

Actual: 18.4 miles on Exercise Bike in 60mins on Cross-Country setting.

It's sometimes nice to have a rest from running during lunch break once or twice a week. It means I can eat my lunch at leisure and not have to scoff it down in a couple of minutes once I return to the office. It also means I get to leave work on time so I can go home and do my cross-training!

I've been meaning to try and fit some more pilates into my schedule, but haven't been too successful so far. When it comes to my cross-training, I have always chosen cycling ahead of pilates as I feel this gives me more of a workout. The pilates I always push to other days when I'm running, but these evenings have always been full of other work-related commitments. This weekend though I will certainly get at least one pilates session in as well, if only for the stretching benefits.

So it was back to cycling. The best thing about this session, like I've said before, is the fact I get to catch up on any TV I've missed. Today's treat was 'Lost Kingdoms of South America'. I must be a little different to most people. When stuck in a gym, I find I perform much better watching a good travel, nature or history documentary than a One Direction or Taylor Swift video!

I chose a different setting today to continue mixing it up. Although easier than the stamina session that uses more resistance, I still felt like I received a good workout and was tested by keeping a speed of over 100 rotations per minute for almost the whole duration.

Watching TV on my phone while working out, also means I don't have to stare at myself in the mirror. On the few occasions that I did look up to see a sweaty mess looking straight back at me, I noticed for the first time how much my gut has shrunk in recent weeks. There's still plenty of work to do though before I have one of those beach bodies!

Continuing on with the TV theme, I managed to get this workout completed just in time to get home, make dinner and settle in for the next episode of Africa. Good TV and training all round! 

17/01/2013 at 12:49

Such a schoolboy error! It serves me right for having that extra 10 minutes in bed this morning! Rushing to catch my train to work, I managed to forget possibly the most important thing for today's training session: my watch.

If it was just a comfortable 5 miler or recovery run, I wouldn't have minded so much. Intervals though would be a struggle. Alongside not knowing exactly how far 800 metres would be, I would also not know my pacing and whether this would be too fast or too slow. Because of this I have postponed this session to tomorrow and moved my Friday rest day to today. By doing this, I can sandwich the 5 mile comfortable run between the more strenous interval and long run sessions.

It's embarassing how lost I can be without technology!

This is my updated plan for the rest of the week (weather permitting): 

Thursday Intervals: 2 MILE COMFORTABLE then 3 x acceleration strides then 5 x 800m (or 3 mins) at 6.30-6.50 pace with 3 min jogs in between each. 1 MILE COMFORTABLE (6.5 MILES) (NOW FRIDAY)
Friday Rest (NOW THURSDAY)
Saturday 15.5 MILES PROGRESSION RUN: 5 @8.50, 5 @8.25, 5 @8.00 (1/2 MILE TO GET UP TO 8.50) (NOW SUNDAY)

Is this change okay with you Sam, or do you have a better way of re-arranging it?

17/01/2013 at 13:43

The pre-sliced malt loaf was for portion control only!! Easy to eat too much of it.

The gel advice is spot on: just practice enough with them (and how often you need to take them) to know you can use in race.

Shady_Ady -

Photos, what a difference!!!! Your diet looks so much better already and if you can keep the motivation to cut out the rubbish and too many large portions it will mean more weight loss and if all goes well with your training a new PB. I think everyone on this forum will keep you motivated with your diet (perhaps post a photo of gut every four weeks!). Dropping the weight is going to help you big time. Keep thinking of what a new PB will feel like in Paris on that finish line and remember once you have a PB no-one can take it from you ever!! . You are in control of making this happen (at least from a nutrition view point). Keep up the great work. On the tough days of eating think of a mantra or write down why you are doing it and it may help.


17/01/2013 at 13:55

I can confirm that Ruth isn't playing mind games and also that this isn't another one of Sam's peculiar dreams. Here's photographic evidence. Had to see it with my own eyes to believe it. They are bringing out a pre-chewed version later this year 

Ady - surely you don't ever take your watch off? And I thought you were dedicated to cause. So disappointed - I'm taking the posters of you down off my wall now.

17/01/2013 at 13:57

Ruth - I'm interested to know your thoughts on the humble hot cross bun and its cousin the fruit teacake (sliced or unsliced, I don't care either way). Are these worthy snack candidates or are they on the nutritional black list?

Edited: 17/01/2013 at 16:33
17/01/2013 at 16:41

Malcs - I hope they aren't black listed - I love that sort of thing. If Ruth says they are to be avoided I'm not listening and switching her to 'switch off posts'!! Only joking Ruth.

Having always just eaten and drank what I fancy I've recognised the need now I'm older to pay a bit more attention to this aspect and I've really enjoyed the discussions so far. I think I've actually improved my consumption as well and, although it may be in my head, I definitely feel better for it.

Anyhow, Malcs, how are you feeling? Are you back running yet?

17/01/2013 at 20:55

With everybody talking about the snow and chaos that's going to come tomorrow, I thought I'd find a little bit of solace on here!

Ruth.......Never ever did I  expect to hear a woman requesting photos of my gut in public. I don't know what to say......oh, go on then, I don't want to disappoint! Expect the next one in just over three weeks time. I definitely think it has helped re-distributing my food over the course of the day, which has cut down my portion size in the evening.

I expect I'll have some wobbles along the way, but I'll dust myself off and get back on it straight away! And if I ever do feel like ice-cream and chocolate for breakfast, lunch or dinner, I'll just look at the photo from Day 1 and this should motivate me.

Malcs.......I was actually talking to Ruth off line earlier and she said that tea cakes are absolutely fine and that having about five tea cakes all in one go, dripped in lard and then fried would be a perfect breakfast before your next big race, say Spitfire 20? 

Being serious though, I've always thought anything with a raisin in could never be classed as bad for you. If tea cakes are bad, then that can't mean bread-pudding and chocolate covered raisins are bad too? I often have them with jam or honey and toasted before my longest long runs for breakfast, so I'd be interested to hear too.

Taking the posters off the wall? I never realised any of those actually sold!

DS2........After losing the weight I want to, I'm hoping my metabolism will be good enough to start enjoying a few more treats now and again. Or at least the odd fish and chip supper and takeaway from time to time. Maybe I shouldn't be saying this out loud while Ruth is in ear shot! Of course, I'd only have such things if I'd worked hard enough beforehand!

17/01/2013 at 21:11

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Wednesday 16th January 2013

I've changed. I never ever thought I'd be the person to eat trendy grains for meals. Today I ate them again! Maybe this healthy eating malarkey is going to dig its' heels in for a long stay!

6:45am Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre cereal with semi-skimmed milk. Glass of apple and fig juice.

7:45am - Cup of tea (with Splenda, which I try and not have every time!)

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

11:15am - Banana, bottle of water, another cup of tea.

12:00pm - Lunch – Bulgar Wheat with cucumber, tomato and feta cheese mixed with a honey, white wine vinegar, chutney and olive oil dressing (just to add a little extra flavour). One of the benefits of making this in a large quantity - it cuts down the amount of time spent making my own lunches! Finished this off with a Clementine and water.

2:00pm - Cup of tea, bottle of water.

4:30pm – Cup of tea, bottle of water. No snack today in the afternoon as too busy with work.

6:00pm - Cross-Training - 18.4 miles in 1hr on exercise bike (see above for more details)

7:30pm – Dinner - Student night! Beans on toast with two eggs on a piece of wholemeal bread. A few shavings of parmesan on top.

8:30pm – Cup of tea, pint of water and the last slither of walnut and coffee cake (slightly bigger than yesterday's!).

10:00pm – Small glass of milk and the last few pistachios in the cupboard.

17/01/2013 at 21:25

Day 32 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (17/01/13)

Target: Intervals: 2 MILE COMFORTABLE then 3 x acceleration strides then 5 x 800m (or 3 mins) at 6.30-6.50 pace with 3 min jogs in between each. 1 MILE COMFORTABLE (6.5 MILES)

Actual: Rest Day

As I've mentioned on an earlier post today, I was rushing to get ready for work and in my haste, I completely forgot to pick up my Garmin. It serves me right for not giving myself enough time in the mornings!

I suppose I could have ran today without it. But that would have meant a haphazard training session where I would have struggled to put 100% effort in, as I wouldn't have been able to measure out an exact 800m's for the intervals and also not been able to adjust my pacing so it followed my training plan. There was also the issue of not being able to share this work out as well, so there would be no proof that I actually did it.

My plan is to stick as close to my training plan as possible and as interval sessions are the most important to me to increase my speed, I decide to swap this session with Friday's rest day.

Even with the weather set to turn tomorrow, I will still get out in my lunch. If I find the pavements too slippery, I'll run on grass instead. I'm actually very excited about the thought of running in the snow tomorrow! This might change when I have a blizzard blowing in my face and all I can do is look at my feet.

Depending on how tomorrow goes, I might move Saturday's long run to Sunday to give me an easier day in between. This might cause a bit of conflict with Mrs. Shady Ady as romantic plans have already been made for Sunday and I don't think she'll be too happy to have these replaced with a run! 

17/01/2013 at 22:24

It’s not been easy on the foodstuffs I have to admit. My body still craves sugar and I’ve had such a strong craving for burgers as well recently. Even the horse-meat uproar hasn’t quelled this!

I always thought horse meat was more healthier (and expensive) than burgers...whats everyone complaining about?

17/01/2013 at 22:55

sarah - I can't see what all the fuss is about either. I've enjoyed horsemeat often when abroad.

Ady - I haven't had any alcohol or takeaway food all year. I'm sure if I stay off the alcohol I'll avoid the takeaway a lot easier!

17/01/2013 at 22:59
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

Malcs.......I was actually talking to Ruth off line earlier and she said that tea cakes are absolutely fine and that having about five tea cakes all in one go, dripped in lard and then fried would be a perfect breakfast before your next big race, say Spitfire 20? 

Ooh fighting talk, I see what you're trying to do there. I know now why you're called Shady Ady .

Shady_Ady wrote (see)

Taking the posters off the wall? I never realised any of those actually sold!

I bought the lot as an investment after you made the final 5. I plan to sell them at a massive profit when you reach your peak celebrity status in April. If you crash and burn in Paris I'll be ruined so don't screw it up!

All is not completely lost though as I have a job lot of plastic sledges in the garage

Edited: 17/01/2013 at 23:01
17/01/2013 at 23:03

DS2 - feeling much much better thanks. Done two runs this week and survived so I reckon I'm back in the game. All I need now is a packet of deep fried, lard covered tea cakes and I'll be right as rain

17/01/2013 at 23:16

Evening Ady!

Thought I'd drop in and say Hi!! Wow 18 miles sounds a LONG way to go on an exercise bike! How long did that take?!

17/01/2013 at 23:23

Ady - I just thought I'd post to say how much I'm enjoying your thread (apart from that photo ).

Well done on your progress so far and good luck in the coming weeks.

Stick in with the weight loss. Over the last year I've lost about 20 pounds and during that time I've reduced by 5k PB from 25 min to 19 min 22 secs.

I'm still aiming to maybe lose another 5 pounds or so before the London Marathon.

However I'm interested in whether Ruth thinks there are any increased risk of injury or detrimental effects on training associated with a calorie reduced diet. How much weight is it safe to lose weekly during a marathon campaign?

Good luck again Ady!

Edited: 17/01/2013 at 23:26
18/01/2013 at 13:10

I have a funny feeling after today's run in the snow, the weekend will be mostly spent running on treadmills instead. For once, it seems those trusted weathermen have underestimated the amount of snow to fall in my location.

I had the very unrealistic belief that I would have no problems doing interval training today. I'm such a naive young boy sometimes! Still, I did manage to complete a run at comfortable pace, so it wasn't a complete lost cause!

18/01/2013 at 14:02

Naive you may be, but a young boy?! You wish! 

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