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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05/02/2013 at 17:53

Well, that was last year DS2 and I'd been running decent miles through Nov and Dec. This year I'm a bit later with the training and Spitfire is 2 weeks earlier.

It was a very cold day and that suited me perfectly. I think I ran around 8:30mm first half but got progressively quicker. I wasn't running it as a race but clearly at that pace I was approaching MP. The temperature seems to make a huge difference to me. If it's hot then I sweat (alot) and that's what it's been like for all the spring marathons I've run. This is why I was keen to do York in the Autumn 

Oh to feel like I could run forever! 

05/02/2013 at 18:01
I did the Spitfire last year- first 8m @ 8:30-8:40 and the last 12m @ MP (7:50-8:00). It's a great race.
Ady- looking forward to your parkrun this weekend. Nice ambitious target!
05/02/2013 at 21:55

Day 51 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (05/02/13)


Actual: 5.16 miles in 40:05 @ 7:46m/m including 4x4 mins continuous hill efforts with 1 min jog.

Splits: 1.25 miles @ 7:41m/m, 1st Hill rep @ 7:03m/m (0.57mi), 2nd Hill rep @7:04m/m (0.57mi), 3rd Hill rep @ 7:09 (0.56mi), 4th Hill rep @ 7:14 (0.56mi), 1.32 miles @ 7:45m/m.

I can safely say today's session is the most difficult I've had so far. I really struggled. I woke this morning feeling the effects of yesterday's legs and back workout. My bum felt as though Giant Haystacks had been elbow dropping each cheek throughout the night, while my legs felt as though I'd spent a good hour running thigh first into tables.

Going up and down stairs left me hobbling, straining and sighing like an OAP. I knew I'd pushed myself during the workout the previous day, but I wasn't expecting to suffer so much.............especially as I'd put extra effort into the stretching afterwards. Maybe I'll have to plan such strengthening workouts more carefully in future so it doesn't affect my running sessions.

With these aches, it took all of the warm-up for my running to feel comfortable, my legs to loosen up and the aches to subside a little. The 4x4 minute hill sessions weren't actually that bad to start with. The first two were no problem at all. I felt strong and I managed to keep a consistent speed both up and down the 0.12mile hill I'd chosen.

It was the last two hill sessions where I started to struggle. I found it much more difficult to keep the same pace as the first two and my disappearing energy levels surprised me. It wasn't as though I'd not eaten normally beforehand.

Only after running back to my office and making it to my desk did it dawn on me why I probably found today's session harder than I normally would. I'm coming down with a dose of that dreaded lurgy: man flu! I didn't feel any issue with this before my run, but as soon as I'd taken a shower and got back to my desk, the sneezing started, followed by watering eyes, streaming nose, sore throat and hot and cold spells. It's shocked me how quickly it came on.

Since then I've dosed up to the max on Lemsip and I'm going to be taking an early night to rest and recuperate. One thing that I have on my side is that when I've felt like this before, it normally only effects me for 24-48 hours, so if I take care, I'm hoping this will be the same.

I'm not going to push myself to run tomorrow if I don't feel 100%. My biggest concern now is being 100% for my Parkrun on Saturday. If that means missing tomorrow's run, then I'm happy to make this sacrifice. Hopefully tomorrow will bring better news and I awake to already be feeling on the mend.

Here's my run from today:

05/02/2013 at 22:00

Apologies all for falling slightly behind on my replies. I haven't been feeling 100% today so I'm going to be a true male of the species.........I'm going to complain, mope around my apartment, pretend I'm at death's door, and hopefully look pathetic enough to get some sympathy from Mrs. Shady Ady! I'm also going to take an early night in the hope it has mircaulously cleared by the morning.

I'll hopefully catch up with everything tomorrow! 

05/02/2013 at 22:38
Brolish - you could well have overtaken me! Either that or I was eating your dust from the very start I really enjoyed the race too. Are you not doing it this year then?

Ady - take it easy. Hope you feel better tomorrow!
06/02/2013 at 13:12

Hope you feel better today best sometimes just to take a rest day recover and then feel better. It's a good idea to have a stretch session if you have the energy to get rid off all the stiffness from the cold.

06/02/2013 at 16:39

Afternoon all.

I woke up this morning feeling a little better than yesterday, but decided to play it safe and take my first sick day in  a good 5 years. After suffering a fever and chills throughout the night (remarkably at the same time!) and waking all achy, I thought this would be the wisest decision. All good runs have to come to an end (excuse the pun!).

After sleeping all morning and half the afternoon I now feel much better and thought I'd better catch up on this forum page before contemplating the return to work tomorrow.

Malcs.......Hopefully I'll be in the same boat as you then regarding the pull-ups. I can run for hours but struggle to do a few pull-ups. It's a funny old world! I really hope next time I attempt this next week, I don't ache as much afterwards. I'm still feeling it today regardless of the dose of man flu!

If I'm dangling and struggling to hang-on, let alone pull myself up, then I think I've pushed myself to the point of failure! I have a pull-up bar that attaches over the door frame. Luckily this means I can attempt to do them in the privacy of my home without any fear of the embarrassment of being seen by nosey neighbours!

I'm also in a similar position to you regarding my 20 mile PB. I've never actually done a 20 mile race before. I've done the Kingston 16 mile Breakfast Run several times before. Apart from that, the only times I've ran 20 miles in a race situation is during the marathon. I think my best is almost spot on yours around 2 hrs 45mins. It sounds like we'll be seeing a lot of each other during the race!

I also won't be racing this. I'm not sure what Sam wants me to do for this yet, but I presume it'll involve a progressive run with some miles at MP pace. In training I have done progressive runs at 3 different paces....roughly starting at MP+50, MP+20 and MP. Something like his would be perfect!

Hopefully it'll be cold again this year. I also perform much better in cold weather. But on the off chance it is hot, I hope now that I've ran several marathons in hot weather, it won't seem so daunting and knock me mentally.

Steve........I totally agree. I think you become a much stronger runner by doing more than just running. I've read many times the importance of core work and know from personal experience how not having good core strength can affect my marathon performance, especially in the latter stages when my posture starts to suffer.

DS2........when you say you've benefitted from slowish miles, what would you class as slowish miles? MP+60? Hopefully I'll be in the position come Paris on mile 23 when I have the same feeling that I can run forever! It'll definitely be nice to catch up come Spitfire and see a few friendly faces.

Brolish.....Glad to hear Spitfire was good. I'm hoping it'll be the same this year too. I'm hoping I'll have  a game plan similar to yours with some mileage at MP pace. I think this might depend though on how well I perform over the next 2 weekends at the Parkrun and Half Marathon.

The Parkrun plan is a very ambitious target. I doubt very much I'll be able to keep it going for the full 5km, but if I can go close to it for the first half and hang on for the 2nd, then it should still be a positive result. But we will see. I think it will be better to run it this way than start of slowly and increase as I go, as it's short distance.

06/02/2013 at 16:56

Sarah............I'm feeling much better now thanks. In fact I feel a completely different person to how I felt this morning. I'm glad I took the sensible option of not going into work and staying in bed for most of the day.

I think I'll follow your advice and re-schedule my Friday rest day to today just to play it safe and not risk any lapses. I'll definitely do a stretching session later this evening, especially as my glutes and thighs are aching from my strengthening workout on Monday.

I know I need to increase leg and core strength, but if I push myself like I did on Monday and it takes 2 days to fully recover from it, is this too detrimental to my marathon training? I stretched well after this  and also more yesterday. Is there anything else I can do to help with the aches? I presume these the aches will become less, the more my legs and core become use to these exercises?

06/02/2013 at 17:02
sorry to here that youve been knocked down with the dreaded man flu Ady. I hope you make a full recovery from it soon. Glad that your being sensible and resting whilst you have a fever, hopefully that way you will make a quicker and fuller recovery.

Despite you coming down with man flu you still did extremely well on your run yesterday. You must have been ready for this cut back week.

Im just wondering what your week is like next week before your half? I was going to cut back a little this week and next before my half a week on sunday (as I was worried that im doing more and more each week) but Minni suggested doing another 20 this week and then cutting back. It will be a dramatic taper though as I can only run mon and tue then race on sunday!

Thankyou for your positive comments. I really didnt expect to do as well in the XC after doing the 20 two days before, so it was nice surprised. My 20 didnt feel as easy as you found your 18 though!

It was nice to get a 20 out of the way. Im hoping to do about 4 before VLM so hopefully on the day it will be easier.

Orange juice and lentils...must be a first, im not sure that it will catch on, but you never know - depends on how many runners there are out there!

Have you tried your foam roller yet? A running friend is going to bring me an exercise sheet today on what to do with a foam roller, im hoping I wont be as clueless once I have it, although im not very good at reading instructions!

I really hope that you get a PB this weekend and the next. You have certainly been running well and fast so you deserve to do well. Just make sure you have recovered properly before trying a run though. I will be keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you for both your races and for making a full recovery soon.
06/02/2013 at 18:05

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Monday 4th February 2012

I think I was on the edge today of the amount of food I needed to eat. Maybe I didn't feel as full due to not having as many hot drinks during the day. I also made sure I had a normal sized portion for dinner as well.

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

9:00am - Bottle of water, no cups of tea today as the boiler had broken in the kitchen at work!

11:00am – Bottle of water, Jordan's Nut Bar

12:00pm - Lunch - Ham, Tomato, Lettuce and Pickle Bap on Wholemeal bread. Bottle of water

2:30pm – Apple, Medium Costa Cappuccino (I couldn't cope going the whole day without a hot drink!).

5:00pm - Apple - 2nd of the day.

7:00pm - Legs and Back P90X Strengthening Workout video.

8:20pm - Dinner - Homemade stir-fried egg noodles with salmon, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms in a soy sauce (light), garlic, ginger and chilli sauce (also homemade). Pint of squash

9:00pm  - Muller Coconut Greek yoghurt (0% fat), cup of tea

10:30pm - Small glass of water.

06/02/2013 at 18:22

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Tuesday 5th February 2013

A day of two halves......perfectly fine in the morning and then full of fever and cold in the afternoon! Even a rich hot chocolate couldn't perk things up!

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

9:00am - Bottle of water, cup of tea (boiler at work fixed!)

11:00am – Bottle of water, banana

12:00pm - 5.2 mile steady hill session (see earlier for full description).

1:15pm - Lunch - Leftover dinner from last night - Homemade stir-fried egg noodles with salmon, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms in a soy sauce (light), garlic, ginger and chilli sauce (also homemade). Not quite as nice cold and a  day old! Bottle of water.

3:20pm – Medium Costa Hot Chocolate - hoping this would counteract the chills and fever I was having. It did for a short while!  

4:30pm - Lemsip Sachet and bottle of water.

5:45pm - Apple

7:30pm - Dinner - New potatoes, small frying steak, beans and 2 eggs (fried but no oil used). Pint of squash

9:30pm  - Lemsip Sachet and an early night to try and sleep off this man-flu!

Edited: 06/02/2013 at 18:23
06/02/2013 at 18:57

Day 52 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (06/02/13)

Target: 3 mile Jog @ 9:20-10:00m/m with 3x Acceleration Strides

Actual: Rest with 30 minutes stretching session

Due to illness, I decided to move Friday's rest day to today.

Normally when I get ill, it knocks me out for half a day and then I start to feel better very quickly. This morning when I woke up, I was full of a head cold. I'd spent the night changing rapidly from fever to chills, sometimes having half a body of each at the same time.

I actually can't remember the last time I took a sick day from work. It must have been a good 6 years ago now. I got up with my alarm at 6:30am. Even though I'd had a terrible night's sleep I didn't want to miss a day of work, or a day of marathon training. But I've found a new sensibility in my ageing years. If I had of made it into work, I'd been a shivering zombie incapable of doing anything other than making me worse and taking longer to recover.

Instead I took a sick day and went straight back to bed after eating breakfast. I didn't get up again until 1pm. It was definitely the best decision. As the afternoon progressed I've felt much better. Still not 100%, but not far from it. Hopefully I'm over the worse and with a full proper meal in me, I'll be back to normal tomorrow and can continue as though this little blip never happened.

As suggest by Sarah, I've managed to do a 30 minute stretching session this evening. While I might have managed my planned 3 mile jog without any problems, it's not worth risking it. Plus I can still do this on Friday instead. This is probably the longest I've ever lasted doing stretching, so there's definitely one positive to come out of today. Hopefully this will allow some of the aches that I'm still feeling from Monday's leg and back strengthening workout to subside completely.

I have a meeting tomorrow lunch time so I won't be able to do my normal lunch time run. This means I have an extra few hours recovery time before I run late evening instead.

Fingers crossed that it's back to normal tomorrow and it is still full steam ahead to a quick run on Saturday at the Parkrun.

06/02/2013 at 20:45

Ady - sorry to hear you've caught a bug. I really hope you fight it off quickly and that it doesn't develop into what I had.

Definitely take it easy and don't be tempted to run until you're feeling 100%. I made that mistake and it cost me another 4 days.

PS. The aching after the chin ups is a good sign that you've put in the necessary work to cause a change in the muscles. Keep it up and you'll be looking like Arnie in no time  


07/02/2013 at 12:56

Hi Ady not sure full on marathon training is also the time to introduce new strength work. Is this a regular thing or new last week? If it's regular then you shouldn't be getting so much soreness after shows at this satge you are working too hard. The best time to build up strength is when you have an easier period of training ie after the marathon. You can work on the lower level core exercises to keep the neuro muscular poathways open and stop the core muscles shutting down when fatigued or to waken them up again after they have fatigued but that sort of pain after is counter productive at this stage in your training. It may be that you were so sore as you were coming down with a bug. keep using your foam roller on the quads and gluts as well this will help iron out the knots. Glad to hear the knee feeling better 

07/02/2013 at 13:24

Ady- hope you feel better soon. Sounds like a rather serious case of man flu! Take it easy and as others say, don't rush back into it if you're not 100%.

Malcs-  I'm not doing the Spitfire this year as racing a 10k on the same day.

07/02/2013 at 16:17

Poor Shady Achey Ady! Do hope you are feeling much better now, but if not, then just take the recovery time you need. You can't rush things.

I was looking at your parkrun 5km pace plan and think 6.20 pace is a bit rash! That'd bring you in around 19.40, which is a massive chunk off your PB. Even 6.55 pace would give you a new PB.... I'd recommend starting off around 6.50 ish and gradually picking it up. I know you can't hit the wall or anything so drastic in a 5km, but still, starting off at such a fast pace will make it feel pretty uncomfortable and its a bit demoralising to then start slowing down. 

Fingers crossed the man flu will have taken marching orders by then 

07/02/2013 at 21:08

sarah asics pro team - oops, I always thought pushing to failure on things likes chin ups would always produce soreness the next day. That's me told . Is it a bad idea to mix upper body strength work with marathon training? I do lots of press ups and chins on a regular basis through marathon training. Maybe this is another area where I'm going wrong

Brolish - aha! Which 10K? At the stage I'm at now I think I'd rather do 20 miles slow than 10K at full tilt. Best of luck!

No sign of Ady today. Hopefully he's resting up and not on some marathon chin up session! 

07/02/2013 at 22:07
Malcs- Regents Park 10k. I'm totally with you, would rather run 20m any day which is precisely why I need to work on shorter stuff
07/02/2013 at 23:28
Think my favourite distance at the moment is a nice 10 miler....not short enough to sprint round but also not too long a distance that me being lazy!
08/02/2013 at 09:06
Hi Sarah Asics, I was interested in your advice to Ady about the strength training. I'm doing my first marathon in April and up until Christmas I had been strength training twice a week. After a 6 or 7 week break, I recently took up a weekly strength session again and after the first one had similar issues to Ady - not being able to walk, sit down etc!! Could you explain a bit more about why it's not a good idea at this stage? I thought it would be good for all round strength, injury prevention but seems I may be wrong - not for the first time, I should add
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