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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19/01/2013 at 17:07

Day 33 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (18/01/13)

Target: 15.5 MILES PROGRESSION RUN: 5 @8.50, 5 @8.25, 5 @8.00 (1/2 MILE TO GET UP TO 8.50)

Actual: 16 Miles progression run: 6 @8.50, 5 @8:20, 5 @ 8.05 in 2:14:21 (@ 8:24m/m)

Mile Splits: 1st: 8:47m/m. 2nd: 8:49m/m. 3rd: 8:47m/m. 4th: 8:50m/m. 5th: 8:44m/m. 6th: 8:51m/m. 7th: 8:16 8th: 8:17m/m. 9th: 8:16m/m. 10th: 8:17m/m. 11th: 8:17m/m. 12th: 8:02m/m. 13th: 8:03m/m. 14th: 7:59 15th: 8:05 16th: 7:58

You little beauty! This has to be the best training session I've had so far and has boosted my confidence levels after yesterday's failed attempt at intervals in the snow.

Always, always listen to your coach! Last night I looked out the window and not a single part of me wanted to venture out the following morning for a long run. "I'll do it on the treadmill as the roads will just be too slippery. I won't gain anything from attempting to do it outside, other than knocking my confidence levels by failing to match my the paces proposed by Sam. This would be another session where I've fallen short" This was just a few of many excuses I was reeling off to my wife, who I think had switched off from listening half an hour earlier.

"Just call Sam and speak to her," was my wife's final response. This is exactly what I did. I don't say this often, but 99% of the time, my wife is correct. The other 1% I tell her she's correct so not to be given the silent treatment for the rest of the week! I initially didn't want to as I knew Sam wouldn't be too happy at my thoughts of doing the whole run on a treadmill. I didn't want to run outside and I'd already settled on a nice cosy run in the gym instead. But of course, speaking to Sam changed this, and I'm so happy that I made the call.

Sam recommended attempting to do the first two paces outside (8:50m/m and 8:25m/m), a total of 10.5 miles. If the conditions on the pavement weren't very good, then I should use the canal towpath instead. The last pace (8:00m/m) could be done on a treadmill if there was no chance of doing it outside at this pace. Of course I agreed to doing this, although deep down I still wished I was doing the whole session on a treadmill.

I'm so, so happy I called Sam and followed her advice. I woke this morning with the lowest levels of motivation and will power I've had so far during my training. I still didn't want to run outside, but I forced myself to do so, thinking that I could still make excuses of how dangerous the conditions were and return to finish it off in the gym......................

19/01/2013 at 17:08

........................

It was freezing. Even with gloves on, my fingers were numb. But the conditions weren't as dangerous as I was expecting. Either there had been  a big melt on overnight, or the levels of snow around my home were less than where I work. A lot of the snow had already turned to sludge and there wasn't the frozen, slippery snow that I was expecting. It was still slightly slippery underfoot, but not dangerous. There were even patches on the pavement where the snow had gone completely. These were few and far between, so increased levels of effort were needed to keep the pace up and cover the amount of times I lost traction.

As the miles passed I became more confident. When I knew that I could run at the required pace levels without the fear of slipping, I thought why take the easy option and do any in the gym at all. I might as well stay out and do the whole run outside. This is exactly what I did.

Due to not running as far as I needed to yesterday, I decided to increase my 1/2 w/up to 1 mile in order to get use to running on the snow. This meant the first 6 miles were at 8:50m/m. It was challenging. But where there were areas of clear pavement, I would speed up. This helped during the slower sections where snow and sludge still covered the whole pavement, as I was still able to match my intended pace.

Although I was supposed to do 8:25m/m and 8:00m/m for the last two paces of 5 miles each, I mis-remembered what times I needed to run these. I remembered 8:20m/m and 8:05m/m for some reason. Maybe this was what I'd dreamt, as I had a few nightmares about today's run the night before. With this in mind I more or less matched my 'dreamt' paces perfectly, even with the extra challenges underfoot. The last three miles were by far the hardest as this was where the worst conditions were. With the slipping, sliding and undulations, I'm extremely happy with my mile splits.

Today's run I used a couple of Hi5 gels (with caffeine). One after 50mins and the last one after 1hr 40mins. I did feel these gave me an extra kick. If I was able to obtain these mile splits in bad weather, I'd be interested to see how much better I can do in better conditions and how much of a difference I'd find with keeping to a similar pace.

Overall, it goes to show that you should listen to your coach's advice and not try and take the easy option!

Here's my run from today:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/263652777

19/01/2013 at 17:26

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Friday 18th January 2013

Ruth might not agree with my little food luxuries today but I think if I can eat healthy meals and snacks 6 days of the week, then the other 1 day I should be allowed a few questionable treats. This 24 hours started from Dinner tonight! Sorry Ruth!

6:45am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre cereal with semi-skimmed milk. Glass of red grape and pomegranate juice.

9:00am - Cup of Earl Grey tea

10:00am - Cup of Raspberry tea

11:15am - Banana, bottle of water

12:00pm - Run - 4.5 miles comfortable in snow (see above more for more details)

1:00pm - Lunch – Ainsley Harriot's finest Mediterranean couscous with feta cheese. I have say, couscous by itself is a little 'dry'. Next time as Jamie Oliver says, "I'll pimp it up."  Finished this off with a Clementine and water.

2:00pm - Cup of tea, bottle of water and a Colombian guava sweet (very, very sweet, but just a couple of small mouthfuls!).

6:00pm – Dinner - Pizza - 1/2 a meat feast and 1/2 a pepperoni, with an average of 380 calories in each half. Pint of squash and pint of water.  

7:30pm – Cup of tea, Pint of blackcurrant squash (must have been de-hydrated this afternoon!)

8:30pm – A small handful of Bombay Mix and an Options Luxury Chocolate Brownie hot chocolate (60 cals per sachet).

10:00pm – Small glass of water.

19/01/2013 at 18:58
Well done shadester, mighty fine effort sir!

I managed 6 miles in the snow and it was wonderful! When it's fresh or melting it's great but I completely understand your worry about the frozen slippery stuff. Good to hear that conditions were in your favour.

I've been reading your food diaries and I've just noticed how much fluid you take on. The other day you had 4 bottles of water and two pints of squash plus numerous teas on top. I am way off that. I'm lucky if I have a pint of water a day. I have tea and coffee too plus milk with cereal bu that's it. I reckon I need to radically increase my fluid intake.

Did Ruth or Sam advise you on fluids or are you drinking the same as you always have?

PS yes, you definitely have to make more use of your celebrity status. Just make sure you have a copy of RW on you at all times. Should get you a table a the Ivy and VIP entry to most clubs at the very least!
19/01/2013 at 19:00
Chicken anus....did you try it??? I have always thought that if I did get the opportunity to go to China I would be like Karl Pilkinton taking monster munch (and numerous other things) in my suitcase!

The snow started just after 15:00 (just as I set of for my walk in to town) and started settling at about 17:30. It was still snowing when I went to bed but it was only light with about an inch settling at the most. Was hoping that my half marathon would still be on as the roads didnt appear too bad but it was cancelled this afternoon. Not really sure what to do with myself now. I have only run a couple of times in the snow and really enjoyed it, but its always been fresh snow. I have a feeling it will either be icy or slush in the morning...both of which being not the best to run on. Im thinking about going on the TM instead and am now wondering whether to do a fast 13 miles or a more steadier longer run.

Congratulations with your two runs, todays sounds like it was extremely successful and confidence boosting...to manage those paces in the snow as well....you will be flying around paris!
seren nos    pirate
19/01/2013 at 19:06

really impr4essed by the running in difficult conditions..........well doen 

19/01/2013 at 19:07
hi malcs, I know I have 4 litres of water a day + 3 coffees at least
19/01/2013 at 21:19
Big Shady Ade! Just had a look through the training log and well done with the progress. It looks like you've come on leaps and bounds since our Coventry Parkrun a few weeks ago. Did another today in the snow and it was fantastic. You can always find reasons not to go for a run but I can honestly say I've never gone out for a run and regretted it however I have often regretted not going out. Good luck with the rest of the training. Shame you can't make the Coventry Way Challenge. Let me know if you're up in the Midlands anytime and you fancy a training partner for the day, I'll try and keep up with you.
19/01/2013 at 23:25
You made me feel bad now! I missed out on my 16 miles today. Didn't fancy going over on my dodgy ankle in the snow. It's the 1st session iv missed so far. Did do 1hr50 on the bike indoors though. I was going to try and keep going for the same amount of time my run would have taken but bum and the saddle don't get along!

Well done for getting out there and getting it done!
19/01/2013 at 23:46
Sarah - 4 litres?! Do you use a catheter?

Sorry to hear about the half getting cancelled.
20/01/2013 at 10:09

Just woken up to see more snow falling outside. Before I do today's run on an empty stomach, I'll catch up with your comments! I'm over this running in the snow already!

Barry........I think doing it on the treadmill was definitely the best choice if it was slippery outside. I was lucky yesterday as the snow was still soft or had turned to sludge, so there was none of the dangerous icy stuff that can lead to broken bones and a nasty fall with one wrong move! I think if you can do 18 on a treadmill then you can do 18 anywhere.

I have a gym room at the bottom of my apartment block, but sadly no TV there, just a mirror. I can imagine doing 18 while having TV to take away the boredom is ok, but looking at myself constantly for 2+ hours is a bit too much!

Malcs........It's only since this training program started where I have been running during my lunch break. Before this I'd run with friends in the evening, or on the treadmill. I would always let myself get dehydrated due to meetings and concentrating on finishing work rather than taking a break and having a drink!

Since starting to run at lunch, I've had to change this philosophy. I make sure I drink at least 1 500ml bottle of water in the morning, 1 at lunch and 1 or 2 in the afternoon, plus my normal cups of tea. Sometimes if I've had a strenuous session at lunch, even this isn't enough. Don't worry though - I'm pillaging Mother Earth of its manufactured plastic supply. I use the same bottle each time. I think I should actually change this more regularly as I had a safety talk at work last week talking about the dangers of using the same plastic bottle too much!

I try and drink a lot in the evening as well as I read once that when running races, it's not what you drink just before the race or during it, it's what you drank the night before to maintain those hydration levels. This seems to be true for those runners that practice the no fluid intake rule during runs.  

Malcs wrote (see)
PS yes, you definitely have to make more use of your celebrity status. Just make sure you have a copy of RW on you at all times. Should get you a table a the Ivy and VIP entry to most clubs at the very least!

VIP entry to clubs? As Xyloid has already kindly pointed out, I'm no longer a young boy and I think that means my days discoing and clubbing (or whatever the youth of today call it!) are over. The most fun I have of an evening now is choosing what flavour soup I'm going to eat. Ok, ok, it hasn't gotten to that stage just yet! 

.............................

20/01/2013 at 10:11

.........................

Sarah........I can confirm that in the past I have been an eater of anus - chicken anus (before anyone makes a joke!). I actually didn't know what it was while I was eating it, but I did have a sneaky suspicion what it was, but pushed this to the back of my mind. With the spices on and the fact it had been BBQ'd, it tasted pretty good.

I see eating local foods as part of the travelling experience, so I'm happy to give almost anything a try. Mrs. Shady Ady and I played a game while over there - Dinner Roulette, where we'd go to random restaurants and pick something random from the menu, plus rice. As I can't read Mandarin, it was always a surprise what came out. I can't say I was too excited when intestines or tripe came out! It was definitely better than boiled pig skin, which was a meal I had to endure when in Ecuador. Easily the worst thing I've had the displeasure of eating!

But I agree.......you should always have an emergency stash of Monster Munch, just in case!

Sorry to hear your half marathon was cancelled. That is bad news. I suppose you could run the half marathon on a treadmill at a similar speed to what you wanted to do, so you still get a similar workout? Good luck whatever you decide.

I'm impressed with your liquid intake every day. As I have a bladder the size of a walnut, that amount of water would probably see my spending more time in the toilet than at my desk!

Seren...........thanks very much. I was lucky that it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I was expecting it was and I'm glad I went outside to see what it was like instead of just staying indoors.

Tom........Well, what a surprise to see you here. I hope you didn't scroll too far back through the forum pages. There's photos there that I don't think I'd like close friends to see! It would be very nice to come up and do another Coventry Parkrun with you. I might see if I can work it into my schedule later on. If not, then definitely after Paris.

How's the training for the Coventry Way Challenge going? I was really excited about doing this and gutted it fell on the same day as Paris. Would have been good practice for Comrades. I'll definitely let you know if I'm up your way. There's nothing better than having the pleasure of a run with the legend that is Tom Green (especially now your much faster than me!)

Paulo............I don't think you should feel bad. My 'snow' was slush and soft stuff, but if it had turned icy then I wouldn't have ran outside either. Too risky! When I was training for Boston I had shin splints once or twice and it was too painful to run on. I did a long session on the exercise bike instead, and still got my PB. So I think your still on track. Nothing wrong with a good cross-training session.........although I have been known to take a cushion to sit on when doing it, as my bum and saddle also don't get on!

20/01/2013 at 18:26
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

I try and drink a lot in the evening as well as I read once that when running races, it's not what you drink just before the race or during it, it's what you drank the night before to maintain those hydration levels. This seems to be true for those runners that practice the no fluid intake rule during runs.  

Yeah, I reckon I need to really up my intake. Do not you find drinking lots in the evening means you wake in the night with a bladder like a balloon?

Shady_Ady wrote (see)

VIP entry to clubs? As Xyloid has already kindly pointed out, I'm no longer a young boy and I think that means my days discoing and clubbing (or whatever the youth of today call it!) are over. The most fun I have of an evening now is choosing what flavour soup I'm going to eat. Ok, ok, it hasn't gotten to that stage just yet! 

Ha ha  

More snow here today. My arms are killing me from pelting the kids with snowballs - excellent upper body workout

A.W
20/01/2013 at 20:44
How did you get on today Ady?

There was lots of snow here, but running on it was ok for me, did have some trail shoes on though.

On to week 6 we go! It will be good to catch up with you and everyone else next weekend.
A.W
20/01/2013 at 21:16

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Saturday 19th January 2013

I always do my long runs on a Saturday. Saturday was also the day when I'd have bacon and sausage sarnies for breakfast. I never felt guilty having these, knowing I'd be burning the calories off later in the day. It's been hard to replace this with something a little more nutritious!

8:45am - Breakfast - Porridge with added raisins and honey. Cup of tea

10:30am - Cup of tea and pint of blackcurrant squash

11:30am - 16 mile run (see above for full details). 250ml of water with Hi5 electrolyte and caffeine tablet. 2 Hi5 Energy Gels (w/ caffeine)

3:00pm - Late Lunch - Grilled Chicken breast and streaky bacon in wholemeal bread with mature cheddar, lettuce and Maker's Mark BBQ Sauce. Homemade Sweet potato wedges (roasted in oven). Pint of water.

4:00pm - Cup of tea.

5:30pm - Pint of water.

7:00pm – Dinner - Goan lentil and tomato soup w/ mushroom bulgar wheat. Pint of water.  

8:30pm – A small handful of Bombay Mix and a slice of wholemeal bread with Boursin cheese. Tea and water.

11:00pm – Small glass of water.

20/01/2013 at 21:37

Day 35 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (20/01/13)

Target: 5 MILES COMFORTABLE @ 8.10 - 9.10 m/m

Actual: 6 miles comfortable in 50.48 @ 8:27m/m

Mile Splits: 1st: 8:46m/m. 2nd: 8:10m/m. 3rd: 8:43m/m. 4th: 8:29m/m. 5th: 8:32m/m. 6th: 8:06m/m

One day of snow is fun. Two day's is acceptable. But by the third day it's nothing more than an inconvenience.

I woke to find snow falling yet again. This time though it was a blessing in disguise. Where the snow had turned to mush and sludge yesterday, this had frozen overnight. This meant the pavements would have been much more slippery and uneven than the previous day had it not been for this new snowfall.

With the surface more uneven than yesterday, I would have certainly found it more challenging if I was doing my 16 miles today. Luckily I was only doing 6. As I missed out on mileage earlier in the week due to not being able to do my interval session, I increased the length of this run in order to get my total weekly mileage in.

As I had plans for the afternoon and didn't have time to eat and wait before running, I ran on an empty stomach. At this kind of distance, I don't think I would have noticed any difference even if I'd had a McDonalds breakfast!

I had no problem sticking to my pace guidelines. My legs were aching from yesterdays run, so I decided to keep towards the middle of my required pacing. As this was a comfortable speed, I didn't clock watch as much as I have been doing. This meant for the miles that had less snow underfoot and more downhill sections, my mile splits were faster than the more challenging sections as you'd expect.

A nice comfortable session to end the week. Hopefully the snow will clear before meeting up with the other members of the Asics's Target 26.2 team next weekend!

Here's my run from today:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/264317453

20/01/2013 at 21:55

Week 5 Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training Round-up (W/ Ending 20/01/13):

Monday:

Target: 4 mile jog (9:20 - 10:00m/m). 

Actual: 4.17miles in 39:10 @ 9:24m/m

Mile Splits: 1st: 9:16m/m. 2nd: 9:16m/m. 3rd: 9:17m/m. 4th: 9:18m/m.

Tuesday:

Target: 5 miles FAST (7:20-7:35m/m) (Suggest structuring this as 1 mile easy, 3.5 miles FAST, 1 mile easy)

Actual: 5.78miles in 45:33 @ 7:53m/m (1 mile easy, 3.5 miles FAST, 1 mile easy)

Splits: W/Up: 1.15miles @ 8:58m/m. Fast: 3.51miles @ 7:13m/m. C/Down: 1.11miles @ 8:53m/m

Wednesday:

Target: Rest Day or Cross-Training

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

Thursday:

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

Friday:

Target: Rest Day

Actual: Weather affected 4.5 miles at Comfortable pace @ Approx. 8:40m/m in approx. 39 mins.

Saturday:

Target: 15.5 MILES PROGRESSION RUN: 5 @8.50, 5 @8.25, 5 @8.00 (1/2 MILE TO GET UP TO 8.50)

Actual: 16 Miles progression run: 6 @8.50, 5 @8:20, 5 @ 8.05 in 2:14:21 (@ 8:24m/m)

Mile Splits: 1st: 8:47m/m. 2nd: 8:49m/m. 3rd: 8:47m/m. 4th: 8:50m/m. 5th: 8:44m/m. 6th: 8:51m/m. 7th: 8:16 8th: 8:17m/m. 9th: 8:16m/m. 10th: 8:17m/m. 11th: 8:17m/m. 12th: 8:02m/m. 13th: 8:03m/m. 14th: 7:59 15th: 8:05 16th: 7:58

Sunday:

Target: 5 MILES COMFORTABLE @ 8.10 - 9.10 m/m

Actual: 6 miles comfortable in 50.48 @ 8:27m/m

Mile Splits: 1st: 8:46m/m. 2nd: 8:10m/m. 3rd: 8:43m/m. 4th: 8:29m/m. 5th: 8:32m/m. 6th: 8:06m/m

MILEAGE: Target: 36mi Actual: 36.46mi

Overall, it's been another solid week and I'm most impressed with my 16 mile run in the snow on Saturday. This was definitely the highlight. I really wished I'd attempted to do my Interval session on Thursday without my forgotten Garmin, instead of postponing it to Friday, which proved impossible to do due to the weather. I don't think I lost anything from this. All being well the snow will quickly disappear this week and it'll be running back to normal!

Although I might have indulged in pizza and burger over the weekend, I have managed to keep up my no alcohol in 2013 streak and ignored my sweet tooth as well, so I'm confident I'll still be on target with my weight loss as well!

20/01/2013 at 22:03
I think i will take your word for it about chicken anus!!!

I do like your idea of trying local cuisine and playing diner roulette, although I really dont think I would be as brave as you. I always try to have local cuisine but I tend to play it safe a little. Think my favourite food so far is thai.

Boiled pig skin...was it still hairy? Did you eat it all?

I was thinking about still racing 13.1 miles on the treadmill but minni suggested doing a longer steadier run so I did 17.8 miles with a few MP miles in. I surprisingly enjoyed the run despite having to spend almost 2.5 hours on the treadmill.

Congratulations on another successful snow run. Have you an easy day planned for tomorrow?

I cant believe that your all meeting up again next weekend...its gone so quickly.

Malcs & Ady...I end up going to the toilet annoyingly frequently...think its prob every 2 hours at work, but it means I get to stretch my legs and clear my mind a little. Ive tried cutting back on the amount I drink but ive probably had this amount since I was 13 and so I tend to just end up feel thirsty and agitated if I do cut back.
20/01/2013 at 23:20

Don't know how you do it on a treadmill Sarah. Did you have to stop part way through for the loo?

5 Weeks have absolutely flown by. Well done - looking forward to the next video!

21/01/2013 at 12:31

Week 5 Weight Loss Watch!

Starting Weight: 162.8lbs (Target Weight: 148lbs)

Weight After Week 1: 162.2lbs (-0.6lbs) (Xmas Parties!)

Weight After Week 2: 161.9lbs (-0.3lbs) (Xmas!)

Weight After Week 3: 160.7lbs (-1.2lbs) (New Year!)

Weight After Week 4: 159.2lbs (-1.5lbs)

Weight After Week 5: 158.0lbs (-1.2lbs)

Total Loss: 4.8lbs

I’m sure everyone reading this will be glad to hear that there will be no more lycra clad photos contained in this latest weight loss posting. Once every 4 weeks is already too much!

I’m feeling very confident with my continued weight loss now. Now that it has become normal not to supplement the healthy parts of my diet with sugar, pastry and regular packets of Walker’s finest, it’s become much easier to go through the day and stick to the guidelines Ruth has advised upon.

If I start to plateau as my body becomes accustomed to the mileage, I will start adding short weight sessions, or start adding variety to my cross-training. So far though, there doesn’t seem to be the need to do this and I’m keeping up with my original target of losing approximately 1lb every week.

I was a little worried this week that I might struggle losing as much weight as Week’s 3 and 4. I had a couple of pieces of cake during the week and pizza, burger and Subway over the weekend. It goes to show that when you are putting the effort in with the training, you’re still allowed a few treats and can expect to continue losing the weight!

Give it a few more weeks and it’ll be the first time in a decade when I haven’t been blemished with moobs, love handles and a gut!

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