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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22/01/2013 at 19:38

Thanks Sam, and apologies for making you squirm - I take full responsibility 

Ady - did you get out today? How is the snow there?

 

22/01/2013 at 20:33

Evening all. It's been a bit quieter on here today, which should mean I'll be able to catch up with everything. I blame all the toilet talk going on!

Sarah.........It seems like we've been to quite a few similar places. It was at Chang Mai that I did a Thai cooking class as well. It's been too long since I attempted cooking it again, so maybe I'll give it a go after my long run this Sunday. I doubt very much it'll be anything like eating in a Thai restaurant!  Happy to hear you have your steaks medium rare - the only way steaks should be eaten!

I sometimes get cramp or aches in my arms as well.....and my shoulders. I think this is because I sometimes tense up and hunch over when I run. I have a habit of clenching my fists when I run, which sometimes gives me cramp in my forearms. I'd like to think my posture has improved in recent months and I wont suffer from this again.

Malcs.........good effort on the fluid intake. How much did you manage today? Your knowledge of Dulux colour charts is outstanding. Or is because you're using these colours to decorate your living room?  When you say the fluid would simply force its way out without permission, are you implying you're scared you might pee the bed?

I remember my housemate at Uni sleep walking , going into another housemate's bedroom and peeing all over his Playstation. It never worked again!

I did manage to get out today! Did you? I went out at lunch before the snow started falling again. The pavements were the most slippery they've been yet today. I had to try and fight the traffic to run on the road until I got to some posh offices and they'd cleared all the snow from their pavements, which was perfect for my hill training session. It was especially nice to get out of the office this lunch and de-stress. I only wished it was for longer. Could have ran and ran and ran!

Sam........Thanks for the input on drinking levels. Whenever I have cups of tea, I try and drink water at the same time to cut down chances of feeling de-hydrated from it. The way I see it as well, the more I drink, the more I need the toilet, which means the more workout I'm getting from not sitting at my desk.

22/01/2013 at 20:48

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Monday 21st January 2013

It doesn't matter how busy or lazy I've been on a Sunday, I always struggle to get to sleep. I must have had an exceptionally bad night, as I woke late. In my haste to get to the train station, I forgot my keys. I only realised this fact when I got back to my front door in the evening. As my wife was out, and I have yet to strike up any conversation with the new neighbours, it meant I had to spend over two hours keeping a seat warm in Starbucks (other coffee shops would have been preferred but they'd all closed!).

By the time I finally got home, with my cross-training still to do, I wasn't in the best of moods!

6:50am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre w/ semi-skimmed milk.

9:00am – Cup of tea, bottle of water.

10:30am – Jordan's nut bar - if Ruth gives the go ahead, this could become my favourite snack!

12:00am – Lunch – Egg and watercress sandwich with wholemeal bread. Bottle of water.

3:30pm - Apple, cup of tea and bottle of water.

6:00pm – Apple and Large Americano skinny coffee from Starbucks while waiting for my wife to return home (after dedicating herself to 2 hours of gym classes, I think to punish me for forgetting my keys!)

8:00pm - Leg strengthening workout - P90X DVD (see separate posting for full description of this).

9:00pm - Dinner - Roast chicken leg, tiny piece of salmon with boiled new potatoes, beetroot and baked beans (an eclectic mix of food, basically taking care of all the leftovers in the fridge! Pint of squash

10:00pm – Cup of green tea and two squares of a Yorkie Bar. Possibly not the healthiest end to the day, but it was less than half the bar!

22/01/2013 at 20:59
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

Malcs.........good effort on the fluid intake. How much did you manage today? Your knowledge of Dulux colour charts is outstanding. Or is because you're using these colours to decorate your living room?  When you say the fluid would simply force its way out without permission, are you implying you're scared you might pee the bed?

That's exactly it! My biggest fear. During my recent illness I was waking in the night completely soaked. On a few occasions I feared the worst but luckily sweat turned out to be the source.

Not doing so good today. Only a pint and a half so far + two teas (now confirmed as legitimate - thanks Sam). On the plus side I've moved up on the Dulux charts to Californian Sands! 

Shady_Ady wrote (see)

I remember my housemate at Uni sleep walking , going into another housemate's bedroom and peeing all over his Playstation. It never worked again!

That is just brilliant . Sleep walking eh? That was the best he could come up with?  Was he by any chance stuffed at Gran Turismo by said housemate the night before?

Shady_Ady wrote (see)

I did manage to get out today! Did you? I went out at lunch before the snow started falling again. The pavements were the most slippery they've been yet today. I had to try and fight the traffic to run on the road until I got to some posh offices and they'd cleared all the snow from their pavements, which was perfect for my hill training session. It was especially nice to get out of the office this lunch and de-stress. I only wished it was for longer. Could have ran and ran and ran!

Nice work sir! Sadly my day has just not allowed it. That said, it has been a bit of a nightmare. Started with the car - dead battery. Spent most of the day sorting that. £300 worse off as a result 

22/01/2013 at 21:13

Day 36 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (21/01/13)

Target: Rest or Cross-Training

Actual: 45 minute P90X Leg Strengthening Workout DVD.

After being locked out of my house for most of the evening due to forgetting my keys, all I wanted to do when my wife came home to end my torture, was to sit in front of the TV.

I was in a foul mood, and I think Mrs. Shady Ady was starting to pick up on this. I don't know what gave it away? Maybe the fact I was snapping with every comment I made or was on the verge of throwing a tantrum any teenager would be proud of. To stop a potential start of World War 3, I excused myself from the warm, welcoming living room and made my way to the ice block that also doubles as my spare bedroom.

I was given a set of P90X workout DVDs for Christmas over a year ago, and if I was more focused on getting the perfect beach body rather than a sub 3:30 marathon, I wouldn't look any further than P90X. It's an insane series of workouts. The first time I tried it I spent most of the time in a crumpled, breathless heap, unable to keep up with the fast pace.

During my training for Paris Marathon, alongside cross-training on the exercise bike, I want to do a couple of these DVD workouts, which combine a lot of tip-toe style movements, weights, lunges and crouching. I think I'll be feeling it in the gluteus maximus in the morning! There's also an excellent core workout as well. I'll save this one for next week I think!

22/01/2013 at 21:17

For those of you, who like me find it a hassle to click through the forum pages to see what Week 6 training looks like, please see below. This is taken from Sam's earlier post. 

PACE GUIDELINES 
Jog (Recovery) = 9.20 to 10 mins per mile

Comfortable (Easy) = 8.10-9.10

Steady = 7.35-8

Fast (Tempo) = 7.20-7.35 (Or for intervals 7.05-7.15)

Speedwork: pace depending on distance

Week 6 w/c 21st January
Monday REST or non-impact cross training
Tuesday 5 MILE COMFORTABLE BUT TO INCLUDE 4 X 4 MINS CONTINUOUS HILL EFFORTS (RUNNING UP AND DOWN HILL AT ‘FAST’ EFFORT LEVEL (PACE WILL VARY) WITH 1 MIN JOG RECOVERIES BETWEEN SETS (OR 4 X 3-MINUTE LONG STEADY HILL CLIMBS WITH JOG RECOVERY) 
Wednesday 4 MILE JOG + 3 ACCEL STRIDES
Thursday 5 MILES STEADY
Friday REST
Saturday TRAINING DAY – MILE WINDERS SESSION (7ISH TOTAL) 
Sunday 16 MILES COMFORTABLE OFF-ROAD (no need to be on extreme terrain but ideally not tarmac/concrete)
MILEAGE 37

22/01/2013 at 22:00

Day 37 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (22/01/13)

Target: 5 MILE COMFORTABLE BUT TO INCLUDE 4 X 4 MINS CONTINUOUS HILL EFFORTS (RUNNING UP AND DOWN HILL AT ‘FAST’ EFFORT LEVEL (PACE WILL VARY) WITH 1 MIN JOG RECOVERIES BETWEEN SETS (OR 4 X 3-MINUTE LONG STEADY HILL CLIMBS WITH JOG RECOVERY) 

Actual: 5.46miles in 43:45 @ 8:01m/m comfortable, including 4x4 mins continuous hill efforts with 1 min jog recoveries.

Splits: 1.63 miles @ 8:12m/m. 1st 4 min hills: 0.57miles @ 7:05m/m. 2nd 4min hills: 7:03m/m. 3rd 4 min hills: 7:03m/m. 4th 4 min hills: 7:06m/m. Finished with 1.24 miles @ 8:08m/m

I was a little worried about today's run. Pavements have turned to ice and I was expecting the few hills in the vicinity of my work to also be covered in the slippery stuff. Luckily, I found a hill snow and ice free.

This was one of the most enjoyable workouts I've done so far. It's a shame there isn't a better selection of hills nearby. The only one I could really use today wasn't very long at all, so to get my 4 minutes worth meant running up and down it three times.

The first two 4 minute intervals weren't a problem at all. By the fourth one though, it felt as though my thighs felt heavy, as if they were going to explode. I would be interested to see how I would have coped if it was 4 x 6 minute intervals. I felt I coped comfortably in obtaining my pacing guidelines with 4x4mins, but adding an extra 2 mins to each session could have been  a completely different story.

When running up the hill I lowered my head and moved my gaze to be closer to my feet. I increased my cadence and made my steps shorter. I always do this when running uphill as I read it helps to trick your mind into thinking the terrain is flatter than what it is.

On the downhill sections though, I did notice I found it difficult to increase my cadence. Instead my body naturally slowed down, as though it knew it was allowed to because it was an easier section to run. On the last downhill of each 4 minute session I tried to increase my cadence and my speed shot up. I'm going to try focusing on doing this in my next Parkrun as well, as it will hopefully increase my speed and help me obtain that elusive PB!

Here's my run from today:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/265011576

23/01/2013 at 10:29

Morning Ady!

Sounds like you're doing really well at training AND eating! All this food talking *was* making me hungry before all the wee-colour chart talk and Malcs worrying about 'fluid' forcing its way out of his body!! So ... next time I fancy a snack I'll nip onto your thread and prompt some more wee chat!!

23/01/2013 at 15:16

The hill sounds like perfect length Ady. The one we use for this session entails around 3-4 climbs/descents per bout. I like a shortish hill as it prevents average pace changing too much - as it would if you were running up for 3 or 4 mins and then down for 3 or 4. It's quite a relentless feeling workout! Don't worry about your pace guidelines in this session though - it's invariably going to fluctauate - it's more the effort level that is relevant here - so you want to feel the equivalent of your 'fast' effort level but the pace would be slower than that on the uphill sections and faster than that on the downhill sections. Hope that makes sense!

23/01/2013 at 20:13

Evening all. Yet another evening spent on a cold platform getting covered in snow on my way home from work. I'd still actually choose running in this weather than a warm Summer's evening. I've never performed my best in warm weather, so if Paris could be something similar, I'd be more than happy!

Malcs.....I'm looking forward to the next Dulux chart update. Surely this is going to rival the evening's weather forecast!

I'm afraid my old housemate can't blame Gran Turismo for his sleep-walking. Championship Manager on the other hand, now that's a different story. I think we spent more time playing that game than going to lectures! I still don't understand how something that looks and sounds so boring can be so addictive. I've grown up a little since those days.

Sorry to hear about the car battery. I hope this was a one off. I had an unexpected bill to pay this week, and then another 2 came along straight after. Just when I thought I'd be putting a nice wedge away for a future house deposit! Does that mean beans and rice pudding will be the menu for a few weeks? If you need any good, cheap recipes, my University favourite of ketchup on toast, followed by noodles of the super variety comes highly recommended! Social services might frown on such a diet for the young though!

RRR........Glad you have found a good use for this forum page! If the wee chat doesn't take away your appetite, then I know a photo a few pages back that will certainly work! Looking forward to a good catch up this Saturday!

Sam.........I'm very happy to hear the hill was a perfect length. I liked the length as well, as the seconds lost stopping and turning at the top and bottom helped make it a more focused session, then having to stay disciplined to make up these second (although now I know not to worry too much about my pace guidelines.

I see on my training schedule that this Saturday we will be doing 'Mile Winders'. Is where we do mile reps and each one we go quicker? I'm intrigued by these! 

23/01/2013 at 20:56

Day 38 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (23/01/13)

Target: 4 MILE JOG (@ 9.20-10m/m) + 3 ACCEL STRIDES

Actual: 4.29miles in 37:58 @ 8:51m/m comfortable, including x4 Accel Strides (due to starting them the wrong way and ending up further from work after doing my 4 mile jog.

Splits: 1st mile @ 8:57m/m. 2nd mile @ 8:57m/m. 3rd mile @ 8:53m/m. 4th mile @ 8:56m/m

I had work coming out of every orifice today. Normally being so busy means the hours pass by in a blink of the eye and before I know it, I'm on my way back home. Today though, meant meetings galore.

From one meeting it was straight off for my run, and as soon as it was finished, it was straight back into another. I was a little worried that I might not be able to run and get a bite to eat during my lunch, but I just managed it. My mile splits were faster than what they should have been, but this was because I was trying to average 9 minute miles in order to squeeze enough time in to shower and eat as well.

As per usual over the past few days, the sky had been threatening to offload its white stuff for hours. It waited until I ventured outside before doing so. Another run in the snow! On the positive side, with the temperature being that miniscule of a degree higher it meant that all pavements were quickly melting the snow away. I didn't have to worry at all about slipping. Most of what was left was turning to a consistency a Slush Puppy would be proud of.

I don't know what it is. Maybe I run like Phoebe out of Friends? Maybe I was unknowingly being chased by badger for the majority of today's run. whatever it was, several passing cars beeped their horns madly at me, gesticulating all signs of symbols with their hands. For some reason I get this attention on almost every run I go on!  It could just be they recognised my picture next to 43 other Asics Boot Camp runners in the current issue of Runnersworld!

Apart from this, nothing else really of note happened. It was a nice steady run. What I have noticed was that this was the pace I did most of my runs at less than 6 months ago. It's hard to believe that in that space of time, this speed now seems so slow. It was finished off with four sets of acceleration strides. It should have only been three, but I miscalculated the distance and still had enough distance to fit one more in at the end.

Here's today's run:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/265281021

23/01/2013 at 21:13

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Tuesday 22nd January 2013

After my Marks and Spencer's reductions shopping spree, I went to food that I was actually excited to eat. Normally I make something simple that just keeps my hunger at bay.

6:50am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre w/ semi-skimmed milk. Small glass of red grape and pomegranate juice.

9:15am – Cup of tea, bottle of water.

10:30am – Small pack of sushi (140 cals). Cup of tea.

11:00am - Bottle of water

12:00pm – Run - 5.46 miles (see earlier for full details)

1:15pm - Lunch - Wrap selection - Mexican 3 bean, chicken fajita and chicken Caeser (590 cals). Bottle of water.

2:45pm - Cup of tea, bottle of water.

4:00pm - Apple, cup of tea and bottle of water.

7:30pm – Dinner - Salad, tomato and basil soup.(all small portions!)

8:15pm - Dinner part 2 - Salmon fish cake and wholemeal bread roll (mistimed the cooking time for this, which is why the rest of the meal was eaten 45 minutes earlier!). Pint of squash.

9:00pm - Cup of tea.

10:00pm – Glass of water.

23/01/2013 at 21:16

While I'm thinking about it, maybe a question for Ruth: I like a sweet cup of tea, but don't like having sugar. Instead I use sweetener (normally Stevia, but also Splenda or Candarel). I know there are no nutritional benefits from having this, but are there any negatives using sweetener in drinks? 

23/01/2013 at 22:27
hi Ady, sounds like your training is still coming along nicely despite the weather. How were you feeling after doing your P90X Leg Strengthening Workout DVD?

Like what you said its quite strange how many similar things we have done/places we have been. Everything else that you have done or visited are also on the top of my list of things to do.

I managed 4 hours today without going to the toilet to spend a penny.....im quite impressed with myself, although I think it was more down to being busy than drinking a more normal amount of water!

What thai meal are you thinking of making?
Edited: 23/01/2013 at 22:27
23/01/2013 at 22:28
Still trying to guess what you wrote Malcs, before Mrs Malcs edited it!
24/01/2013 at 11:33

Sarah - Ha It involved the word 'orifice' that's as much as I'm saying. If I go any further I'll scare Sam off for good and Ady will never speak to me again!

4 Hours without relief - that's pretty darn good when you're drinking the weight of a small child each day 

Ady - ah, Championship Manager, I know it well. In my day our lecture time was replaced by a top-down footy game called Kick Off on the Atari ST (no playstation back then).

Dulux watch - regressed back to Pharoah's Sands 

"Chased by a badger" - absolutely hilarious . Maybe it was sent by Sam to gee you along

I might be AWOL for a few days as I am snowed under (with work, not snow, although the white stuff hasn't gone yet here). At least you will be spared the wee talk. Good luck with the running - I'm also intrigued by the 'Mile Winders'.

24/01/2013 at 11:39
Malcs wrote (see)

Yes, echo that. Really appreciate you taking the time Ruth. In particular it's a great relief to hear that fruit based bread products aren't on the blacklist. Bad news in this department would have ruined me.

I think you may be right about the tired legs and cramps issue. I'm sure I had enough fluids. That said, I took different salt tabs one year and the cramps were much worse. I also had muscle spasms in my arms which was a bit scary.

I have never seen the the need for salt tabs in a regular marathon, you can add an extra electrolyte tablet (high five salt, nuun etc) in very hot conditions but these are nowhere near the salt content of a  salt tablets  - my advice for most people is to stay away from the salt tablets, they cause more problems than they are worth. I still think it will be caused by your legs just not being used to increasing pace/intensity  on tired legs, always (if prone to cramps) increase pace slowly towards end of marathon and practice running hard on tired legs so your body is used to this. Some cramps may be caused by fluid/electrolyte such as salt/sodium imbalances  but not as often as you might think.

 
Edited: 24/01/2013 at 11:40
24/01/2013 at 11:52
 

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!

A safe number for me to say is 1/2 lbs but if you have  a lot  of body fat to lose 1 Ibs a week, this way your immunity should s

Sorry the rest of that post read....this way "your immunity should still be protected, if you lose a lot of weight quickly (especially when training) you may find your immunity is compromised".

SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

All this fluid talk is making me squirm in my chair and need to pay a visit 

But before I do....all drinks, including tea, coffee, soft drinks, milk etc all count towards your daily fluid intake - so although caffeinated drinks may have a diuretic effect, this is definitely offset by the amount of fluid you consume with the tea/coffee - so they don't leave you in deficit.

The 'drink to thirst' message in combination with Ruth's wee colour/volume advice and common sense (when did I last drink? How much did I drink?) are the surest way of finding the right volume for you. 

As Sam says if you body needs fluid it will retain most of the fluid from tea and coffee. If lots of older people stopped drinking their 5 cups of tea a day we would have a larger population of dehydrated elderly people so it does help hydrate you but it is actually a diuetic but how much you loss depends on hydration state of the body. The interesting thing is that when exercising caffeine based drinks like red bull, coke (used lots in cycling) the diuretic is vastly reduced and not really noticed as hormones/kidney funtion/hydration needs all change.

24/01/2013 at 12:04
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Monday 21st January 2013

It doesn't matter how busy or lazy I've been on a Sunday, I always struggle to get to sleep. I must have had an exceptionally bad night, as I woke late. In my haste to get to the train station, I forgot my keys. I only realised this fact when I got back to my front door in the evening. As my wife was out, and I have yet to strike up any conversation with the new neighbours, it meant I had to spend over two hours keeping a seat warm in Starbucks (other coffee shops would have been preferred but they'd all closed!).

By the time I finally got home, with my cross-training still to do, I wasn't in the best of moods!

6:50am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre w/ semi-skimmed milk.

9:00am – Cup of tea, bottle of water.

10:30am – Jordan's nut bar - if Ruth gives the go ahead, this could become my favourite snack!

12:00am – Lunch – Egg and watercress sandwich with wholemeal bread. Bottle of water.

3:30pm - Apple, cup of tea and bottle of water.

6:00pm – Apple and Large Americano skinny coffee from Starbucks while waiting for my wife to return home (after dedicating herself to 2 hours of gym classes, I think to punish me for forgetting my keys!)

8:00pm - Leg strengthening workout - P90X DVD (see separate posting for full description of this).

9:00pm - Dinner - Roast chicken leg, tiny piece of salmon with boiled new potatoes, beetroot and baked beans (an eclectic mix of food, basically taking care of all the leftovers in the fridge! Pint of squash

10:00pm – Cup of green tea and two squares of a Yorkie Bar. Possibly not the healthiest end to the day, but it was less than half the bar!

Jordon's nut bar - happy with this as a snack!

Losing keys  and spending money on cars is my speciality at the moment -so feel both of your pains!

While I'm thinking about it, maybe a question for Ruth: I like a sweet cup of tea, but don't like having sugar. Instead I use sweetener (normally Stevia, but also Splenda or Candarel). I know there are no nutritional benefits from having this, but are there any negatives using sweetener in drinks? 

My take on sweeteners is too much is bad but a little each day and there is no evidence that they will do harm and you do not use heaps of low fat foods packed with these. Ideally you don't get started but in the bigger picture this is not something I would pull you up on for longer  term health reasons.

I am so looking forward to meeting you (minus gut) on  Saturday, lets hope the snow is not too much of a problem.

Malc  -

 interesting smell testing idea- at least kids never lie!

24/01/2013 at 19:35
RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see
Malc  -

 interesting smell testing idea- at least kids never lie!

Thanks Ruth - can I take this as an official endorsement? I can offer you 50% of the proceeds when I sell the patent. 

Re. the salt tabs - it was Nuun I was using. These worked well except for having to dissolve them. Tried eating them and looked like I was rabid so quickly gave up on that idea! They seemed to allieviate the problem though.

I had more trouble when I used Hammer Endurolytes capsules. They have 40-50mg of Sodium and Calcium and 25mg each of Magnesium and Potassium per tablet. I took 4 I think. The Nuuns have a much higher level of sodium - 360mg I think and I took 2-3.

I should say that alongside the cramps I've also had nausea and on the worst ones a bit of tunnel vision too. I had none of these issues on any training run only the marathons themselves. All races have been in much hotter conditions than any training run (20-25 degress). I had put it down to sweating much more hence the use of the electrolyte tabs. 

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