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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11/02/2013 at 12:45

Week 9 Training Schedule - W/C 11th February 2013

In case anyone missed this posting, below is my current training plan for this upcoming week. This was copied from Sam's earlier post. Obviously the Dorney Lake Half Marathon is the focus this week and I hope to obtain a time that gives Sam a further indication that I'm capable of running a sub 3:30 marathon.

SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

Week 9 w/c 11th February
Monday REST OR NON IMPACT CROSS TRAINING
Tuesday 1 MILE EASY, 5 MILES PROGRESSING FROM 8 MIN/MILE TO 7.20, 1 MILE EASY (7)
Wednesday 6 MILES COMFORTABLE
Thursday 4 MILE STEADY plus 4 accel strides
Friday: REST
Saturday RACE YOUR PACE HALF MARATHON DORNEY LAKE plus w-up/c-down 15
Sunday 5 MILE JOG
MILEAGE 37

11/02/2013 at 21:52

Evening! A nice easy cross-training day today. It would have been harder but I've ran out of time with work-related activities. Don't you hate it when work (and reality!) gets in the way!

Steve.........Thanks very much. I really don't think you have to worry about me pulling away. Your recent runs and splits have been scarily good. Especially the last mile of your recent long run. I think you can easily go sub 21 come the 5km time trial, if not closer to 20 mins. I think I'll struggle to keep up with you then.

Good luck yourself this week. I hope you enjoy carb-loading day on Friday. I think this will be the most enjoyable part of marathon training. See you on Saturday.

Malcs..........Don't worry, I did celebrate in suitable fashion - by pretending I was a student again......which I probably was the last time I ran this quickly!

Well done on your 16 miles. That is very encouraging, especially with it being progressive as well and the last 6 being close to marathon pace. This puts you in a good position for Spitfire in 3 weeks time. I think we will be doing very similar pacing for this race.

Please no more talk of dog turds.......I'm heaving just thinking of the smell again!

Clive..........Hey. Great to hear from you. I hope you had a nice time on holiday in Egypt and your interview last week went well. Sorry the last few weeks have been rough. Looking at your times on Garmin though, it seems you're being very consistent with your runs.

I'm very confident of getting a PB on Saturday (more confident than getting a PB for my 5km last weekend), but I don't know how much quicker I'll be and I think that will all depend on how quickly I go off to start with. I'm going to have to fight hard not to go off to fast and then leave enough in reserve to speed up towards the end. I'm hoping for between 1:35 and 1:36, but anything under 1:38 I'll secretly be happy with. My PB is currently 1:40:07.

Hopefully see you around more now the stress levels are lower!

Paulo...........Glad to hear the 20 miler went well. I have the odd issue with having to stop for comfort breaks too. There's not many places I can go on my long run for a quick relief stop, so every time I pass one of them I'm sure my mind tricks my bladder in to thinking it needs to go. Two 10 mile laps is much handier. I think I'd struggle to get going on the 2nd lap though, knowing I was already home.

If you are thinking of using Imodium and haven't used it before, I'd test it out on one of your long runs, as I've heard that it gives some people stomach cramps. Saying this, I've used it once or twice early on when I started running marathons as I really struggled to contain my nerves. I'd probably go about 10 times in the last hour before the start. I'd go and then immediately join the toilet queue again knowing full well that by the time I reached the front I'd need to go again!

Haha......thanks for the food poisoning tip. If ever I'm struggling to lose my weight one week, I know where to head now!

I don't think there's any harm in going for a time around 1:30. When I got my PB of 1:40 I was originally going for 1:30. I started off with 7:00m/m but could only manage this for the first 6 or so miles. After that I faded badly. I'm going to go off slower on Saturday and then pick up the speed after a few miles if I'm feeling comfortable. I think it was DS2 that said it's a good feeling finishing a race strong and knowing you had more left to give. I hope to do this on Saturday while still getting a good PB as well. 

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

11/02/2013 at 21:53

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

Ruth..........Thanks for the feedback. I'll eat slightly earlier. This will mean I'll need to have a snack. Jam sandwich sounds favourite at the moment.  The last marathon I ran I ate flapjack cereal bars, but I know you said that this isn't always a suitable thing to have. I think I might make a banana and jam sandwich to graze at.

I don't think I'll have a gel beforehand. I've never tried this before, and like you say if I have a snack then this isn't needed.

Do you want me to have two gels during the race? Do you want me to stick to one every 35 minutes like in my weekend long runs? I've ordered a 30 pack in of SIS Go Isotonic gels, so I should be well equipped. It's amazing how cheap gels can be when you buy in bulk. Watch those pennies! My mother would be proud!

Sam.........1:39:40......now I feel even more confident of obtaining another 3:30 indicator. It'll be interesting to see how the half time will compare to my 5km time. Like you say, I feel I've always shown better performances in endurance races rather than shorter, speedier distances. I don't know if this is because I've never really trained for shorter distances before.

One thing I can be sure of on Saturday......I won't go out too fast and then crash and burn later on.

11/02/2013 at 22:00
Ady, good luck and hope you get the time! If you can get anywhere near that you'll easily be on target for sub 3:30. What's weather forecast? Do you normally run even splits?
11/02/2013 at 22:31
Im getting twitchy fingers now to buy a foam roller...where did you get yours from again?

7:19 min/mls was my average pace for my last half but I started off slower and gradually increased my pace. I much prefer doing it this way than racing off at the beginning and then trying to hang on all the way round...its not a pleasant experience!

I tried to start of steady on my last 10k and increase my speed throughout but I was so comfortable, I kept delaying the point in which I started really pushing myself, I still got a PB but could have done so much more better (but I did enjoy the race, unlike my previous 10 k where I set of at 6m/m and thought I was going to die my 3 miles!)

Good TM session yesterday. I can sometimes really enjoy running on a TM, but I tend to find it harder than running outdoors....again a trick of the mind I think (as I always set the TM with inclines)
Edited: 11/02/2013 at 22:33
12/02/2013 at 21:43

Day 57 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (11/02/13)

Target: REST OR NON IMPACT CROSS TRAINING

Actual: 20 minutes of stretching and use of my foam roller, 5 pull-ups and about 20 push-ups

It was a good job today was rest or cross-training day. I was stuck working until late, which I expect will be a common occurrence for the rest of the week.

I had almost forgot it was my 8 year anniversary of first meeting my wife, so alongside promising to do the food shop in the evening, I also had to search for a card and present that showed no resemblance of being bought from a petrol station. It's amazing how many anniversary dates I have to remember - date we first met, date I proposed (luckily St. Patricks Day so difficult to forget!), date we got married. The list is endless! I think it's just a ploy to get presents the whole year round!

By the time I finally got home, had eaten and sorted out a number of other boring chores that involved spending even more money it, was almost 10:30pm. Although I knew I should have done a Pilates workout tonight, I wasn't left with the time to do it, so instead used my foam roller again, alongside other stretches, a few pull ups and only slightly more push-ups. I'm always shattered on Mondays, so maybe it was best not to push myself and try and get another workout in.

At least there will be no excuses not to work-out tomorrow as I will be running during my lunch break as per normal!

12/02/2013 at 21:53

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Monday 11th February 2013

It was back to normal today. No living it up in B&B accommodation eating fried breakfasts!

6:50am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre Cereals (about 50g) w/ Semi-Skimmed milk

9:00am - Cup of tea

10:00am - Apple

11:00am - Bottle of water

12:00pm – Gammon baguette (on white bread as they had ran out of wholemeal) with a little drop of mayonnaise, Muller Light Mandarin yoghurt, Bottle of water

2:00pm - Clementine, Cup of tea

4:00pm - Bottle of water

8:00pm - Dinner - Egg noodles, stir fry vegetables, prawns and sweet chilli sauce (approx. 600 cals). Pint of squash.

9:30pm - Cup of Blueberry tea and a Muller Lemon Greek Style Yogurt.

10:30pm - Glass of water.

12/02/2013 at 22:19

Day 58 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (12/02/13)

Target: 1 MILE EASY, 5 MILES PROGRESSING FROM 8 MIN/MILE TO 7.20, 1 MILE EASY (7)

Actual: 7.36 miles in 58:17 @ 7:55m/m - 1 mile easy, 5 miles progressive from 8:00m/m to 7:20m/m, 1 mile easy

Mile splits: 1st @ 9:01m/m. 2nd @ 7:58m/m. 3rd @ 7:46m/m. 4th @ 7:39m/m. 5th @ 7:25m/m. 6th @ 7:16m/m. 7th @ 8:54m/m. Last 0.36 miles @ 6:22m/m

It was another cold day for wearing shorts and running. I should really man up and wearing my lycra leggings on my lunch time runs. I'm still too self-conscious of what fellow work colleagues will think though!

Obviously I need to increase my amount of stretching and use of foam roller too as my knee felt very stiff today. As a precaution I wore a knee support today, which claims to be the ultimate support for runner's knee on the market. To be honest I don't think it would have made a difference whether I wore it or not. After the mile warm-up all the stiffness had evaporated.

It was a funny run today. Some would say a run of two halves. The first half was a bit of a struggle. There was a little more uphill than downhill, but this shouldn't have made a difference. It felt like I was having to put extra effort in to matching my pacing targets. This was especially true for the 4th mile where I had to run around 7:40m/m. I only got under this target with a much increased pace for the last quarter of a mile.

But after this, the whole run changed completely. Even though the final two miles were quicker, I managed this pace with ease and didn't feel at all like I was struggling. I don't know if my body was taking longer to warm up than normal, or whether it was because I'd ran the w/up mile more slowly than I would normally run.

There was a third of a mile left to my office by the time I reached 7 miles, so I decided to stretch out again after my c/ down mile, continuing to up the pace until it was close to a sprint. I think it feels like I haven't completed a run if I don't do a sprint finish!

Once back in the office, my knee was slightly stiff again. Unfortunately as I was taking Mrs. Shady Ady for a slap up meal at that famous chain Italian Zizzi's (I think I might my wildly using the term slap-up here!), there was no time in the evening to use the foam roller on my hip-flexor to try and relieve some of the aching in my knee. I'll save this treat until tomorrow.

Here's my run from today:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/272680530

12/02/2013 at 22:35
Clive Kelty wrote (see)
Ady, good luck and hope you get the time! If you can get anywhere near that you'll easily be on target for sub 3:30. What's weather forecast? Do you normally run even splits?

Hey Clive..........Let's hope the running Gods are smiling nicely come Saturday. The weather, currently is looking absolutely perfect. Almost no wind, overcast and about 6-8 degrees during the race. These are the conditions I enjoy running in the most.

I'd love to say I normally run even splits, but this would just be a blatant lie. I have never ever ran even splits before. Not in a half marathon and not in a full marathon either. In the past I've always gone out faster than what I need to and then hoped I'd have enough in my legs to hang on and come in under my original time. So normally for half marathon distance, I would start off running around 7 minute miles for as long as I could and then quickly get slower after mile 6 or so. But because I'd ran the first miles quicker, I'd come in with a time averaging between 7:35-7:45m/m overall.

It's only during this training where I have set my watch to show pacing by each mile. Before it would just be an overall pacing that I would see slowly getting higher and higher. It's also only during this training where I have really benefitted from doing progressive runs. I think from this experience I hope to run my first longer distance race with either even splits or negative splits for the second half and still come in under my PB.

What would be your normal race tactic....are you an even splits kind of guy or do you prefer negatives?

12/02/2013 at 22:54
sarah osborne wrote (see)
Im getting twitchy fingers now to buy a foam roller...where did you get yours from again?

7:19 min/mls was my average pace for my last half but I started off slower and gradually increased my pace. I much prefer doing it this way than racing off at the beginning and then trying to hang on all the way round...its not a pleasant experience!

I tried to start of steady on my last 10k and increase my speed throughout but I was so comfortable, I kept delaying the point in which I started really pushing myself, I still got a PB but could have done so much more better (but I did enjoy the race, unlike my previous 10 k where I set of at 6m/m and thought I was going to die my 3 miles!)

Good TM session yesterday. I can sometimes really enjoy running on a TM, but I tend to find it harder than running outdoors....again a trick of the mind I think (as I always set the TM with inclines)

Hi Sarah..........I'd get a foam roller ASAP. I never realised how useful they could be. I can't say for sure if it's made a difference with me, but I do feel much better after using it. I got mine from that boutique online store that's named after some forest in Brazil! I was recommended the trigger point foam roller by Sarah and this was the place where I found it cheapest (without walking up and down the high street to find a cheaper option!).

That sounds more or less spot on what I am aiming for in regard to your average pace for your last half. I'm excited to attempt to run at even pace or negative pace (depending on how well I'm doing) as I've never accomplished this before. Sam has said anywhere between 7:20-7:30m/m will bring me home in a time that puts me on the sub3:30 predictor. I'm happy Sam's said this because it should take the pressure off in the early miles if I get held up by other runners or take longer to warm-up and get into my stride. That way I won't see running 7:30m/m for the first few miles as a failure.

I bet it was a good feeling to get a new PB and still feel like you have a lot more to give? What's your 10k PB?

What long run do you have coming up this week? Is it another 20 miler?

I hope you have a good week of running!

12/02/2013 at 23:26

Week 8 Weight Loss Watch!

It's sadly that time again where I post disturbingly embarrassing photos of myself dressed in ill-fitting lycra. But as Ruth has requested more photos, who am I to disappoint.

Embarassing myself isn't the main reason for posting these photos. It hopefully shows how much change you can make when not only following a training plan correctly, but also eating properly as well. 

There's still plenty of room for improvement. I still need to lose 7lbs in the next 8 weeks to reach my Paris goal of 148lbs . Actually, there's room for plenty of improvement!

After Week 8:

http://s3.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/403074/gallery/20130210_183324_0.jpg?width=350

 After Week 4:

http://s3.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/403074/gallery/20130113_121056_1.jpg?width=350

 Before Week 1:

Hopefully I'll never look like this ever, ever again!

http://s3.runnersworld.co.uk/members/images/403074/gallery/20121222_091750-002_1.jpg?width=350

 

12/02/2013 at 23:52
evening. Loving the photos again...your face is a picture on the "before week one" one!

I will have a look tomorrow and see what I can find on the trigger point foam rollers.

I think starting of at 7:30 min/mls would work out great then speed up a little bit into the race...its so difficult to make yourself do it and not get carried away with the excitement of a race but its so rewarding finishing strong and fast.

Its always nice getting a PB, especially when its unexpected like my last half PB. My 10k PB is 43:20 at the moment.

Im having a quiet week of running this week. It was a 3m recovery run yesterday and a 7m gentle speed training session tonight, Im working 13 hours tomorrow and then im on call thursday. I go on holiday in the early hours on friday. I feel like I probably need a reduced milage week so it fitted in quite well. I plan to sightsee and do lots of walking fri and sat and then its Barcelona half marathon on sunday! Im hoping we all get new PBs....good luck
13/02/2013 at 11:18

Hi Ady

Keep an eye on that knee... you might just need to take some extra rest - maybe skip a run. Sometimes all the foam rollering and stretching in the world isn't the answer - your body is just saying, 'hang on a minute I'm a bit knackered right now!' and you need to respect that.

Also remember physio Sarah's point that just because knee (or calf,or whatever) is hurting it doesn't mean the problem is actually in that area. Perhaps doing a really good back stretch - with flexion, extenion, side flexion and rotation (basically, all the directions the spine moves) will help ease out any tightness that could have a knock-on effect on lower limbs. I'd do this seated/lying/all fours and make it all really GENTLE! 

13/02/2013 at 14:02

Ha think Sam is after my job!! I was just about to post amke sure you look after you back as well. This is where the hip flexors originate from. Go back to that very easy core and as Sam says gentle back mobility work. Listen to your body and remember to ice if a bit stiff after a run. Life is very busy at the mo and take time when you can for the TLC but don't try and force it.

Let me know if stiil stiff. we are catching up in 2 weeks so you will all be due another MOT by then.

13/02/2013 at 21:17

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Tuesday 12th February 2013

Work is very hectic at the moment. Hectic means a 12-13 hour day, which makes it a little more difficult to fit in updating the forum and fitting my runs in. Today was also my 8 year anniversary, which meant date night as well!

6:50am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre Cereals (about 50g) w/ Semi-Skimmed milk

9:00am - Cup of tea, bottle of water

10:00am - Bottle of water

11:00am - Cup of tea, banana

12:00pm – 7.36 mile run progressive pacing (see earlier for full details)

1:15pm - Lunch - Indian Bean Mix, Bulgar Wheat, Radish, Cucumber, Tomatoes and Honey Mustard dressing, Bottle of water

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

5:00pm - Bottle of water, cup of tea, apple

8:00pm - Dinner - Italian bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (just a little for nibbles), Superfood Salad (butternut squash, lentils, peas, courgette, lettuce, grilled chicken), Diet Coke

9:30pm - Cup of tea, pint of squash.

10:30pm - Glass of water.

13/02/2013 at 21:22

Hi all...........with having to work longer hours currently, it means I'm struggling a tad to keep up with posting on here. Hopefully by the weekend I'll catch up properly. 

My knee is feeling fine today so I'm about to go and do my 6 mile run. If I get any problems from it, then I'll cut the run short. I'll try and get some gentle stretches as both Sam and Sarah have recommended done afterwards on my back and hip flexor.

Just two more runs before Dorney Lake!

14/02/2013 at 00:07
Ady, the pics are looking great. My reaction has reduced to a simple wretch now - way off the major vom I experienced when photo 1 was first released

I've been absent for a few days but I've cleared my diary and I'm ready for the big one - carbo load!

As I said to Steve, as an act of solidarity I am selflessly planning to carbo load alongside you pre Dorney. Just let me know when we start!

So when do we start?
14/02/2013 at 06:34
Shady_Ady wrote (see)
Clive Kelty wrote (see)
Ady, good luck and hope you get the time! If you can get anywhere near that you'll easily be on target for sub 3:30. What's weather forecast? Do you normally run even splits?

Hey Clive..........Let's hope the running Gods are smiling nicely come Saturday. The weather, currently is looking absolutely perfect. Almost no wind, overcast and about 6-8 degrees during the race. These are the conditions I enjoy running in the most.

I'd love to say I normally run even splits, but this would just be a blatant lie. I have never ever ran even splits before. Not in a half marathon and not in a full marathon either. In the past I've always gone out faster than what I need to and then hoped I'd have enough in my legs to hang on and come in under my original time. So normally for half marathon distance, I would start off running around 7 minute miles for as long as I could and then quickly get slower after mile 6 or so. But because I'd ran the first miles quicker, I'd come in with a time averaging between 7:35-7:45m/m overall.

It's only during this training where I have set my watch to show pacing by each mile. Before it would just be an overall pacing that I would see slowly getting higher and higher. It's also only during this training where I have really benefitted from doing progressive runs. I think from this experience I hope to run my first longer distance race with either even splits or negative splits for the second half and still come in under my PB.

What would be your normal race tactic....are you an even splits kind of guy or do you prefer negatives?

Hi Ady,

Hope the knee is feeling better. Loving the pics- must be really satisfying to see the difference in the mirror. Regarding pacing I have to confess to being a fan of negative splits.. I never really started doing this intentionally, but when I started running again in 2010 and entered City2Surf (iconic 14k race in Sydney)I was really spooked about whether I would be able to run 14k, let alone get up the massive hill in the middle. It is a really busy race (over 80,000 entrants) so I started REALLY slow and then picked up the pace when suddenly realised I had got up the hill , and was only a couple of km from the finish! I ran both my marathons in negative splits, the last one over 4 mins quicker for the second half.There is also something like a real psychological boost when you are going past people at the end, and thinking 'I feel strong'....

I'm sure Sam and others would have an opinion on whether this is good or not, but like the progressive runs I tended to do 'fast finish long runs' in the second half of marathon training. These are 10-14 mile runs, with the first 5 or 6 miles at easy pace, then pick it up to marathon pace till the end. The idea is you get used to running at a quicker pace when already fatigued.

Anyway, best of luck for the weekend for that pb!!!

14/02/2013 at 12:56

Clive - I would kill for a negative split! I managed it in last year's Spitfire but that was carefully engineered by running slow on the first half. I agree that the feeling of passing people in the latter stages gives you a big boost though - it did for me on that one occasion anyway.

Ady - reading back I think it's a one day carbo load pre Dorney, correct? In which case that makes tomorrow feast day - yum! 

14/02/2013 at 12:58

Malcs- are you racing as well or just carbo loading?

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