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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27/01/2013 at 20:52

Day 42 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (27/01/13)

Target: 16 MILES COMFORTABLE (8.10-9.10m/m) OFF-ROAD (no need to be on extreme terrain but ideally not tarmac/concrete)

Actual: 17.01 miles in 2.29.04 @ 8.46m/m along Basingstoke Canal towpath

Unfortunately I forgot to change my splits from yesterdays 0.75 mile winders, so instead of 1 mile, my watch recorded 0.75 mile spits.

0.75 mile splits: 1st 0.75 @ 8:25m/m. 2nd 0.75 @ 8:22m/m. 3rd 0.75 @ 8:43m/m. 4th 0.75 @ 8:51m/m. 5th @ 8:53m/m. 6th 0.75 @ 9:04m/m. 7th 0.75 @ 8:53m/m. 8th 0.75 @ 9:01m/m. 9th 0.75 @ 9:08m/m. 10th @ 8:57m/m. 11th 0.75 @ 9:40m/m. 12th 0.75 @ 8:35m/m. 13th 0.75 @ 8:31m/m. 14th 0.75 @ 8:36m/m. 15th @ 8:51m/m. 16th 0.75 @ 8:47m/m. 17th 0.75 @ 8:52m/m. 18th 0.75 @ 8:45m/m 19th 0.75 @ 8:32m/m. 20th @ 8:38m/m. 21st 0.75 @ 8:23m/m 22nd 0.75 @ 8:36m/m. 23rd @ 8:29m/m.

After spending yesterday at Birmingham Training Day and on train journeys (thanks for putting up with me Mel for the duration of these!), I can't say I was too enthusiastic about going out today.

Ruth had said yesterday that she wants me to practice eating breakfast the same as what I expect to eat on race day. As I was out of bananas, it was just porridge today. She also wanted me to practice taking an energy gel every 35 minutes. I did this today and was happy with the results. I had no stomach issues with this breakfast and gels, and by the end of the run, I felt I could have continued on like a Duracell battery! Although Ruth had asked me to take 4 gels today, I only took three. I didn't think it necessary to take the fourth after 2 hours 20 mins with only nine minutes of running left.

As I needed to run today's session off-road, I chose the canal towpath again. For the most part this was flat and firm, but towards the end of the 8 mile stretch, it became extremely muddy and waterlogged, which slowed my pace down.

Considering the sun and pleasant weather, there were fewer people than I expected on the towpath, which also meant  fewer dogs to contend with. You can tell it's Spring Marathon training season though, as there were plenty of runners taking advantage of the good weather.

Looking at my Garmin report from today's run, I'm surprised by the gradient climb on the outward section. With the wind also behind me, and the downward gradient, this helps explain why I found the return leg of the run much easier.

I can't say I felt yesterday's session on my legs at all. I'm surprised by this, as I thought they would have felt much heavier than what they were. It's a nice feeling to complete a long run and still feel there's more in the tank to go further and quicker. I often think when ending these long runs, if I could have carried on at a similar place and finished the marathon distance. I think I could have easily gone another 4 miles if not further at a similar pace. I'm confident after today's run, I'm already capable of a 3hr 50min marathon. All I have to do now is concentrate on my speed to bring this down to 3 hrs 30 mins.

I ran a mile extra than what my training schedule said, due to the lower mileage we ran at yesterday's training day. This helped reach my weekly mileage target.

Here's my Garmin workout from today:

Here's my Garmin workout from yesterday:

27/01/2013 at 20:58

Hello lovely you!!!!.....thank you for making the time on the train go quickly!!!!...It was a great day and fab to catch up...looking forward to Dorney Lakes!!!.....At least with me being the slowest I know you will all be there at the end !!!!.....( hopefully with cake!!!!) 

27/01/2013 at 21:12

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Friday 25th January 2013

My snacking today was a bit off target thanks to travel into London and having my Bupa Fitness Assessment.

7:30am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre w/ semi-skimmed milk. Cup of tea

9:30am – Bottle of water.

10.55am - BUPA Fitness Assessment

11:55am – 2 cups of water, banana, Eat Natural bar with dates, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

1:15pm - Lunch - Egg and honey Roasted Ham Sandwich on Wholemeal Bread, bottle of water.

2:30pm  Cup of tea, pint of squash, and an Natural bar with dates, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

4:00pm - Pint of squash

7:00pm - Dinner - Turkey, Roasted Tomato & Pepper Fajitas with Sour Cream and Guacamole. Pint of squash

9:00pm - Pint of squash, cup of tea and two shortbread biscuits.

27/01/2013 at 21:30

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Saturday 26th January 2013

Normal three meals and three snacks was a little interrupted due to a full day's activities at Birmingham Training Day. It didn't help that I was up at 4:30am! I'm sure Ruth will forgive me!

5:00am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre w/ semi-skimmed milk. Glass of chocolate milk.

6:00am – Large skinny Latte. Helped slightly with being up at this ungodly hour!

8:00am - Bottle of water.

10:30am – Mile Winders Running Session (see earlier for full description), bottle of Powerade

1:00pm - Lunch - Small sandwich and tortilla wrap selection, grapes, melon and handful of crisps. Glass of orange juice, apple juice, small Mocha and bottle of water.

4:30pm - Uppercrust Brie, Tomato and Rocket baguette, bottle of water

6:00pm - Large handful of Liquorice Allsorts (thanks Mel!)

8:30pm - Dinner - Turkey, Roasted Tomato & Pepper Fajita (leftover from the previous evening) with Sour Cream and Guacamole. Pint of squash and cup of tea

9:00pm - Pint of squash, cup of green tea.

27/01/2013 at 21:32

Evening Ady, sounds like you had a fabulous day yesterday at boot camp and learnt loads. I first went to the physio in october for a sport a convert to. I agree with a month between now and the marathon sounds perrfect

Im looking forward to seeing what Ruth advises you to eat in the run up to the marathon as I too didnt carbo load last year and struggled after mile 16 (although the lack of training probably contributed aswell). I dont tend to eat much carbs (except fruit and veg which Ruth said doesnt really count) so I do need to work on this.


Another good run today

27/01/2013 at 21:33

forgot to say, spotted you all in the March edition of RW

27/01/2013 at 22:08

It's been another busy day. Like every other weekend, I could do with another day off tomorrow. I'm happy with how successful this weekend has been - BUPA Fitness test done, day in Birmingham with Sam , Runnersworld and the Asics Experts, and today's 17 miler in the bag. Most important of all though, this Summer's vacation is now booked!

Sam......It was great to see you too yesterday. It was very motivating indeed. I think I will definitely take you up on the offer of having a sports massage once a month. Although it was painful, I felt so much better afterwards.

Congratulations on your 10 miler today and new PB. Must have been an excellent performance! I was happy with my off-road 17 miler today and also happy with the results of the fuelling that Ruth wanted me to test.

I'm just itching for my races to come along now and match you with new PBs!

Sarah..........Hey! Did you cook Thai this weekend? I sadly failed at this. I was later going for my long run, and by the time I got back cooking something from scratch was the last thing I wanted to do (not to mention the football was on!). The panang curry will have to wait until next week now!

The BUPA fitness assessment was well worth it. It's nice to see a more scientific side of your fitness, rather than just basing it on how much weight I've lost and how far I can run.

Thankfully the snow is all gone now down South. It was all gone yesterday too, but as we travelled north, we noticed the snow left was getting more and more. It was actually lucky we had anywhere to run at all in Birmingham.

I'm very excited what Ruth has planned for my carb-loading. When a nutrionist asks you what sweets you like, and your allowed to eat these during carb-loading guilt free, you can't complain. I think there will be a lot of jelly babies eaten. I think one snack is 8 jelly babies, so I'll be eating a bag a day at least in the run up to Paris!

I'll be giving the carb-loading a practice run in 3 weeks for Dorney, so I hope my body enjoys the jelly babies, jaffa cakes and smoothies!

I hope your training is going well. I haven't had the chance to come by your page the last few days, but will make it a priority to catch up on your forum by the end of this week.

Barry........I think it's a small price giving my wife an evening free of any running talk, considering she has to put up with it so much more since this Target 26.2 training started. I'm just impressed that she listens to it at all!

Haha.....I have tried once or twice to just nod at the appropriate time, but was caught out. This is something I need more practice with before attempting to try again!

Thinking about running definitely beats thinking about going back to work tomorrow!


27/01/2013 at 22:09


Paulo.........It's strange that stats can be so appealing. I love stats too and I think that's one reason why the first thing I tend to do after a run is upload my run on to Garmin or MyAsics. They had an interesting app after the Athens Marathon where you could see yourself running along the course next to the eventual winner. It was sickening to see how quickly they went compared to me!

Nice to hear from someone else who has suffered the pain of a foam roller. I tried it with Sarah yesterday and it was close to excruciating. But it's good to know this foam roller pain is a good thing!

If I remember correctly you were going for 1.35 for your half coming up, so as well as going for the same marathon time, our half marathons should be almost identical as well, seeing I've been set the target of 1.36!

Mel.........Thanks also to you for the train company. I hope I didn't bore you too much along the way! I think I owe you at least half a bag of Liquorice Allsorts as well.

How did your run go today? Did you manage to get up for 8am? I'm very impressed if you did. I was still in bed at 9am.

Can't wait to catch up again at Dorney Lake. I'll happily be there at the end with any dessert based product you desire! At the end of Pilgrims Way Half Marathon they had huge pieces of homemade brownies. Possibly the best post race goodie I've ever had. They should make it a rule that brownies replace bananas at the end of every race! See you in 3 weeks!

28/01/2013 at 08:01

Ady, so where have you booked up to go on your holibobs?

28/01/2013 at 12:37

Week 6 Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training Round-up (W/ Ending 27/01/13):


Target: Rest or Cross-Training

Actual: 45 minute P90X Leg Strengthening Workout DVD.



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

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


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


Target: 5 MILES STEADY @ 7.35-8m/m

Actual: 5.16miles in 38:59 @ 7:33m/m

Splits: 1st mile @ 7:38m/m. 2nd mile @ 7:34m/m. 3rd mile @ 7:32m/m. 4th mile @ 7:39m/m. 5th mile @ 7:34m/m


Target: Rest Day

Actual: BUPA Fitness Assessment (including 10mins on exercise bike at various speeds and resistance)



Actual: Training Day - 5 x 0.75 Mile Winders plus w/up and c/down (approx 5.5 miles)

0.75 mile splits: 1st 0.75 @ 8:05m/m. 2nd 0.75 @ 7:48m/m. 3rd 0.75 @ 7:27m/m 4th 0.75 @ 7:04m/m. 5th @ 6:36m/m.


Target: 16 MILES COMFORTABLE (8.10-9.10m/m) OFF-ROAD (no need to be on extreme terrain but ideally not tarmac/concrete)

Actual: 17.01 miles in 2.29.04 @ 8.46m/m along Basingstoke Canal towpath

Unfortunately I forgot to change my splits from yesterdays 0.75 mile winders, so instead of 1 mile, my watch recorded 0.75 mile spits.

0.75 mile splits: 1st 0.75 @ 8:25m/m. 2nd 0.75 @ 8:22m/m. 3rd 0.75 @ 8:43m/m. 4th 0.75 @ 8:51m/m. 5th @ 8:53m/m. 6th 0.75 @ 9:04m/m. 7th 0.75 @ 8:53m/m. 8th 0.75 @ 9:01m/m. 9th 0.75 @ 9:08m/m. 10th @ 8:57m/m. 11th 0.75 @ 9:40m/m. 12th 0.75 @ 8:35m/m. 13th 0.75 @ 8:31m/m. 14th 0.75 @ 8:36m/m. 15th @ 8:51m/m. 16th 0.75 @ 8:47m/m. 17th 0.75 @ 8:52m/m. 18th 0.75 @ 8:45m/m 19th 0.75 @ 8:32m/m. 20th @ 8:38m/m. 21st 0.75 @ 8:23m/m 22nd 0.75 @ 8:36m/m. 23rd @ 8:29m/m.

MILEAGE: Target: 37mi Actual: 37.42mi

There were a lot of positives to take away from this week, not only from Saturday’s Training Day in Birmingham. I really enjoyed the hill speed session on Tuesday and the 0.75 mile build ups on Saturday. Shame there wasn’t time to add a couple more in to each sesssion, as I’d like to have seen how much faster I could have gone. Sunday’s off-road run should have felt harder than what it did considering the faster session the day before. Although this was slower than my normal comfortable runs, I’m happy with my speed considering it was off-road and the fact I felt I had enough at the end to run further and faster. A great confidence booster!

28/01/2013 at 12:44

Week 7 Training Schedule – w/c 28th January 2013

This is my upcoming schedule for this week. Paces and training plan have been re-copied from Sam’s earlier post on this forum:

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 7 w/c 28th January

Monday REST
Tuesday 2 MILE EASY then 3 x acceleration strides then 6 x 800M (or 3 mins) at 6.30-6.50 pace with 3 min jogs in between each. 1 MILE EASY (7 MILES)
Wednesday 5 mile comfortable
Friday 4 mile jog
Saturday REST or low impact cross training

Sunday LONG RUN 17 MILES comfortable. Last 3 miles below 8.10 pace.


28/01/2013 at 12:53

Week 6 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)

Weight After Week 6: 156.2lbs (-1.8lbs)

Total Loss: 6.6lbs

Not even I was expecting to lose as much weight as I did this week and it was such a shock when I stood on the scales, I took 3 readings just to be sure it was correct! The reason I didn’t think I was going to lose as much this week was down to the fact I haven’t felt as hungry at all. This has been especially true in the late afternoon. I think I have Ruth to thank for this. Now that my lunches have increased in size, it means I am less likely to graze and snack when I get home in the evenings before dinner is ready. So the fact I’m not feeling so hungry has been a positive thing!

It could also be because my wife buys better food when she does the shopping, meaning there isn’t any bad food currently in the house. Whoever is responsible – Mrs. Shady Ady or Ruth, I can attribute my loss to the actions and words of women who know best!

I’m now also above my target of losing 1lb every week. A few more weeks like this and I’ll reach my goal with several weeks to spare!

28/01/2013 at 13:06

Xyloid……..The holiday booking was a contentious affair. My poor suffering wife (she’ll be happy to see me writing this if she reads this forum!) has to put up with a vacation abroad on average once a year where I get to run a marathon as part of the trip.

As she’s not a runner, there is a great deal of negotiating whenever this happens, so my wife gets a good deal out of the trip as much as I do. The only way I’m given the green light to run a race abroad somewhere is if there’s enough to keep my wife interested for the whole time away!

Our main vacation this year is to South Africa. I entered to run Comrades Marathon the first day last year that entries opened. I’ll see how I feel after Paris if I’m to go through with doing this still as the race is in June, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to train for. If I don’t run it, then I’ll have to hide my miserable side so not to ruin my wife’s first time on safari!

28/01/2013 at 19:12

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Sunday 27th January 2013

Just a day after being told I'm making good progress by Ruth, I go and let myself down slightly by forgetting to snack! It's weird to think only 2 months ago my problem was snacking too much and now it's the opposite. In my defence though, I did get carried away watching live sport on the box, and I managed to run right through normal lunch time as well!

9:00am - Breakfast - Apple and Blueberry Porridge sachet with added honey. Cup of tea and pint of squash

10:00am - Pint of squash and another cup of tea

11:30am – A couple of lemon shortbread biscuits. One last glass of water before my run

12:30pm - 17 mile run off-road (see earlier for full description). 250ml of water with Hi5 electrolyte tablet, 3 Hi5 energy gels, one every 35 minutes.

3:15pm – Glass of chocolate milk, glass of water and a cup of tea.

4:00pm - Late Lunch - 2 Tortilla Wraps containing ham, cheese, cucumber, lettuce and sour cream.

7:00pm - Dinner - Salmon with watercress sauce, leeks and potatoes. 2 pints of squash (probably a little dehydrated from my run still!)

8:00pm - Cup of tea

9:00pm - 2 slices of wholemeal bread with low fat spread.

9:30pm - Pint of squash, cup of green tea.

28/01/2013 at 20:10

Day 43 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (28/01/13)

Target: Rest Day
Actual: 15 minute P90X Ab-Ripper-X Workout Video

I know, I know, today should have been my rest day. Yesterday evening when I was falling asleep on my sofa I was glad I didn't have anything to do today as I felt shattered. Today was a different day though and while at work I felt like I had a lot of expendable energy.

This extra energy carried on into this evening. Surprisingly I didn't ache at all from yesterday's run. So after cooking dinner for my wife and I (homemade sticky pork stir fry with wild rice, that I managed to cook all by myself!), and waiting for her to return home so we could eat together, I thought I'd sneak a quick abdominal workout in.

This is only 15 minutes, but includes about 250 reps if you're on top form. For someone like me who still has a long way to go before their barrel becomes a six-pack, this means I only managed 180. The 250 reps come from a variety of different sit-up positions that are just pure ab-work. It's a perfect length of time as well, as it's over before it's really begun and it's not hard to fit in a normal working day.

I'll definitely feel this workout in the morning. I hope the pain will be worth it and I'll have developed a much stronger core come race day. If I can squeeze this into a 15 minute slot later in the week, then I'll try and do this again.

28/01/2013 at 23:32
Evening. Dont worry about not getting chance to come on my thread, its so difficult when youve your own to maintain, run and go to work.

I bought the chicken on sat to cook the thai green curry on sun but when I got home the eat by date for the chicken was saturday so it ended up going in the freezer instead of in to the wok. I had already started making the shepards pie before I had noticed. The plan is to defrost the chicken for wednesday and cook it then as I will be heading straight home from work to drive down to sheffield, so I will have a bit more time to cook.

I cant wait for the jelly babies and smoothies, but i will have to give the Jaffa cakes a miss.

Congratulations on your further weight loss this week and on your successful runs. 180 reps on your abdominal muscles..thats hard core!
29/01/2013 at 13:28

Hi Ady

A great week's training and you've still got energy to burn 

After our chat at the weekend, week 7's long run is extended to 18 miles easy with last 4 below 8.10 pace. Bet that puts a smile on your face! Then there's a cutback week, with no 'long' long run, in the lead-up to the half marathon.



29/01/2013 at 16:09


I take my hat off to you for entering the Comrades Marathon, which is a double marathon.

Your wife will certainly enjoy Durban,

Good Luck mate.

29/01/2013 at 17:34

Ady - haven't posted much lately but been following you every day. Really pleased that it's going so well. It seems Sam has got the balance right and you are thriving on this training plan.

Keep up the good work mate - I'm certain you are going to break 3:30 in Paris.

29/01/2013 at 17:40

Forgot to say in respect of Comrades, KarenG who was at bootcamp was an age group winner at Comrades last year. I had a long chat with her about how she changed her training and I think it is definitely possible to run a good Comrades after an April marathon.

The downside is that if you run Paris really hard - which I'm sure you intend to - then recovering probably takes 5 weeksto be fully rested and ready to go so it won't leave much time.

I think Karen may lurk because she sometimes appears on other threads. If she does post  I'll see what she thinks and what training she suggests.

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