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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24/03/2013 at 10:40
Angela Isherwood 2 wrote (see)
Good luck with ur 12 miler shady. Very jealous of ur rest day today of all days! I did my first cross country race today, and it happend to be muddy, and hilly and 15 miles.... I didn't know we had hills in Essex/east London!

Thanks Angela.......it worked out very well with the rest day yesterday with the weather, but looking outside as I'm writing this, it's not looking any better! I might as well just get outside and get it over with knowing a nice Sunday roast will be waiting for me when I get back!

Well done on your first XC. How did you find it apart from the mud and hills? I've never ran a XC race before, but I imagine it's excellent leg strengthening training if part of a marathon training schedule? I hope you don;t have to venture outside in the snow again today?

24/03/2013 at 12:55
Lets just say I was disappointed to have made the cut off point at 8 miles within 90 minutes... If u want to learn more, or just delay your run, u can look here: http://longroadtoboston2016.blogspot.co.uk/

I was planning 8 miles easy today- decided to jog to this meeting I had to go to this morning, unfortunately it was more of a limping hobble, so cut my run down to 3 miles-ie the distance to the meeting and back, rest tomorrow and hopefully back into full training on Tuesday...
24/03/2013 at 19:50

Day 98 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (24/03/13)

Target: LONG RUN 12 MILES COMFORTABLE (around 8.35 - last 4 at MP or up to 7.55)

Actual: 12.1 miles in 1:39:48 @ 8:15m/m

Mile Splits: 1st @ 8:30m/m. 2nd @ 8:29m/m. 3rd @ 8:24m/m. 4th @ 8:32m/m. 5th @ 8:28m/m. 6th @ 8:30m/m. 7th @ 8:24m/m. 8th @ 8:25m/m. 9th @ 7:55m/m. 10th @ 7:53m/m. 11th @ 7:53m/m. 12th @ 7:47m/m. Last 0.1 mile @ 7:03m/m.

So that's it! The last double-digit run over with before Paris starts. Completed in possibly the coldest conditions I've ran in during the whole training schedule. It wasn't so much the temperature today though, more the biting wind that cut through the two layers I was running in.

It's as though my whole mentality has changed now as well. It's not so much as 'nailing' every training session, but more like 'surviving'. As each session ends, I'm not so worried about putting in a performance than matches the targets set. I'm more worried about finishing without any injury concerns that could jeopardize race day. Luckily today was another run survived and one less to endure before we line up in Paris in less than 2 weeks.

After last week's MP long run, today felt very comfortable as I completed the first 8 miles in MP+30. I found on almost every mile, I was running too fast for my pacing guidelines and then had to force myself to slow down in the latter stages of each mile in order to come closer to the pace I'd been set. Under normal circumstances I'd be a little disappointed with this, but I'm just happy to get through the run without any concerns or niggles.

There were several occasions where I almost went over on my ankle, thanks to stepping on twigs littering the trail. There were also several abrupt halts at roundabouts thanks to drivers failing to use their indicators. But these are minor squabbles on an otherwise successful last SLR before Paris.

The last 4 miles ran at MP also felt comfortable and like the first 8 miles, I found myself running slightly faster than what I needed to. I blame the fact I knew I had a nice lamb roast waiting for me when I got home! Either that or that I was fed up of running in sub zero temperatures. I'm fully expecting a mini heat-wave to arrive in Paris for the marathon to throw us all off guard! Chance would be a fine thing!

So with the last LSR out of the way now, it really foes feel like Paris is upon us. With the miles continuing to diminish I'm going to turn my attention more to the stretching, if only for peace of mind more than anything else.

Here's my run from today:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/288247376

24/03/2013 at 20:05
Angela Isherwood 2 wrote (see)
Lets just say I was disappointed to have made the cut off point at 8 miles within 90 minutes... If u want to learn more, or just delay your run, u can look here: http://longroadtoboston2016.blogspot.co.uk/

I was planning 8 miles easy today- decided to jog to this meeting I had to go to this morning, unfortunately it was more of a limping hobble, so cut my run down to 3 miles-ie the distance to the meeting and back, rest tomorrow and hopefully back into full training on Tuesday...

I wouldn't be too disappointed with the run, after reading your blog. It didn't look like ideal conditions and XC times in those conditions will never come close to road or even trail races. The Guidlford Parkrun I ran early on in training was more or less all on waterlogged or muddy grass and I was demoralised after this. But looking back, it was definitely a great exercise of running on harder terrain and I really shouldn't have put so much focus on time. I'd just see it as a training run completed that will stregthen your legs rather than worrying about the time!

Nice blog! 

24/03/2013 at 20:13

Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Saturday 23rd March 2013

I made a concerted effort to cut back on carbs today in order to make tomorrow's 12 miler more difficult and to hopefully feel more of a kick when I use my gels and carb load for Paris.

9:00am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre with Semi-Skimmed milk, cup of tea

10:00am - Cup of tea

11:00am - Pint of squash

12:00pm - Clementine, handful of Saltine crackers

2:30pm - Lunch - Char-grilled chicken, bacon and avocado salad. Glass of Diet Coke

4:00pm - Cup of tea, Muller Fat Free Yoghurt

5:30pm - Small portion of egg noodles with, chorizo, bacon, broccoli and mushrooms. Pint of squash

7:30pm - Dinner - Guacamole with Saltine crackers, pint of squash

8:30pm - Cup of tea

10:00pm - Cup of strawberry tea

24/03/2013 at 20:23

Week 14 Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training Round-up (W/ Ending 24/03/13):

Day 92 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (18/03/13)

Target: Rest

Actual: Rest (20 minutes of foam rollering!)

Day 93 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (19/03/13)

Target: 5 miles comfortable

Actual: 5.16 miles in 40:36 @ 7:52m/m

Mile Splits: 1st @ 8:08m/m. 2nd @ 8:00m/m. 3rd @ 7:49m/m. 4th @ 7:45m/m. 5th @ 7:45m/m

Day 94 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (20/03/13)

Target: 3 mile jog @ 9:00m/m-9:40m/m

Actual: 3.09 mile jog in 27:52 @ 9:02m/m

Mile Splits: 1st @ 9:18m/m. 2nd @ 8:59m/m. 3rd @ 8:52m/m.

Day 95 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (21/03/13)

Target: 4 mile comfortable @ 7:50m/m-8:40m/m

Actual: 4.1 mile jog in 31:25 @ 7:40m/m

Day 96 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (22/03/13)

Target: 2 MILES EASY 5 X 400M INTERVALS at 6.20 pace NOT faster! WITH 2.5 MIN RECOVERIES, 1 MILE EASY (5)

Actual: 2 MILES EASY 5 X 400M INTERVALS at 6.20 pace, accidentally faster twice (but only a fraction!) WITH 2.5 MIN RECOVERIES, 1 MILE EASY (5)

Total: 5.63 miles in 48:16 in 8:34m/m

400m (1/2 mile) Splits: 1st @ 6:12m/m. 2nd @ 6:27m/m. 3rd @ 6:22m/m. 4th @ 6:19m/m. 5th @ 6:21m/m

Day 97 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (23/03/13)

Target: Rest

Actual: Rest

Day 98 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (24/03/13)

Target: LONG RUN 12 MILES COMFORTABLE (around 8.35 - last 4 at MP or up to 7.55)

Actual: 12.1 miles in 1:39:48 @ 8:15m/m

Mile Splits: 1st @ 8:30m/m. 2nd @ 8:29m/m. 3rd @ 8:24m/m. 4th @ 8:32m/m. 5th @ 8:28m/m. 6th @ 8:30m/m. 7th @ 8:24m/m. 8th @ 8:25m/m. 9th @ 7:55m/m. 10th @ 7:53m/m. 11th @ 7:53m/m. 12th @ 7:47m/m. Last 0.1 mile @ 7:03m/m.

Target: 29 miles

Actual: 30.1 miles

The taper is kicking in nicely now, but I haven't noticed so much as I'm still running 5 days a week. It was definitely nice to get another quicker interval session in and test out my quad, as this has helped put a few ghosts to rest as the last time I did an intervals session was the time I injured it.

I'm a little disappointed I still haven't managed to arrange a sports massage. I need to kick myself up the rear and sort this out. I'm hoping to have this done by tomorrow, which should mean I get a good session in before Paris.

24/03/2013 at 20:30

For those interested, here are my last 2 weeks of training. The taper is in full force now!

SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

 

Week 15 w/c 25th march (1 WEEK OUT)
Monday REST
Tuesday 2 MILE EASY THEN 3 X ACCEL STRIDES THEN 3 X 1 MILE FAST INTERVALS at 6.55-7.05 pace WITH 2.5 MIN JOG, 1 MILE EASY 6.5
Wednesday 3 MILE JOG
Thursday 5 MILE RUN – 1 COMFORTABLE 3 MP, 1 COMFORTABLE
Friday rest or low impact cross training

Saturday 8.5 MILES comfortable
Sunday Rest or low impact cross training
MILEAGE 23

Week 16 w/c 1st April RACE WEEK
Monday 3 MILE JOG
Tuesday 1 MILE COMFORTABLE, 3 MILES MP, 1 MILE COMFORTABLE (5 MILES)
Wednesday REST
Thursday 3 MILE JOG PLUS 2 X ACCEL STRIDES
Friday: REST
Saturday 20 MINS EASY PLUS 3 ACCEL STRIDES (optional!)
Sunday RACE DAY

 

24/03/2013 at 22:09
Thanks Shady, to be honest, all I was doing it for was the training benefit for my marathon, that and it features in the book I have of the worlds ultimate running races. 6 days after a half marathon in which I was gunning for a pb, I was never going to perform my best, it was just a bit demoralising being in a field of runners where I was amongst the last to cross the finish. I'm used to being at least in the top half, if not the top third, and have even done a 5k where I was the second woman in Richmond park!
I'm now sitting here contemplating whether 15miles XC race really is a substitute for an 18 mile LSR, as my plan has me dropping down to 13 nxt weekend before jumping back up to 20 the following weekend.

As for sports massage, I'm sensing u work in London? Are u in the city? In which case pop in to see Sanj at the city point club, near mortgate station- he's tough, but a genius!
25/03/2013 at 10:40

Though the below might be useful information/reminders.  

Before you travel really think though your nutritional needs for the Friday & Saturday - you be amazed how organised with snacks before you go will make sticking to your nutrition plan so much easier. Put yourself in control of what you snack on  - just takes a little thought  & organisation.

Don’t eat out of boredom, eat to plan.

Do not try any new nutritional strategies; stick to tried and tested foods. Do not be tempted to try any ‘freebies’ in your arrival bag/goodie bag before the race starts.

 Do not be tempted at hotel to eat anything too different at breakfast, remember you have Monday morning to eat what you like!

Race day: You should still drink little and often before the start but be careful about drinking too much because of nerves. If have dry mouth just wet your mouth with your drink to avoid an early pit stop but The race eating strategies do not need to be complicated but the foods or fluid must be tried and tested prior to event.

 Post race – although you are not eating to refuel for next run you will  feel better the next day and protect immunity if you try and eat some carbs & protein as soon as you can. After race rehydrate also – 500ml as soon as you can can then sip for rest of day of fluid. If struggle to eat after race try sipping on a fluid with some carbohydrates in it such as a milkshake/smoothie/ice cream or a sports drink or cut food into small portions for example quarter a sandwich and just nibble on a quarter at a time (when no appetite large amounts of food can seem daunting so best to present yourself with small manageable amounts).

Good work on the diet!

Here are some useful snacks with estimated  carbohydrate content that you can buy or travel with easily:

  • 6” baguette with generous spread of  jam or honey: 70-75g carbs
  • 200ml carton of orange juice and 2 slices of malt loaf (pre-sliced size) – 60g
  • 250g sorbet – 50g carbs
  • Fruit scone  with lots of jam : 45-50g carbs
  • 200ml of orange juice = 20g carbs
  • 500ml of diluting juice or squash = 35-40g of carbs
  • 1litre of orange juice  = 100g carbs (could have over day)
  • 1 crumpet and teaspoon of jam plus 500ml of isotonic sports drink – 60g carbs
  • 1 hot cross bun and 200ml carton of fruit juice – 45g carbs
  • Bagel and generous spread of jam or honey – 50g carbs
  • 1 large banana  & 200ml of fruit juice 45-50g carbs
  • 250g of fruit salad & low fat yoghurt (the sort of think you can buy at station pre-packed before you broad train) – 50g
  • 6 jaffa cakes  (52g carbs)

 

25/03/2013 at 11:51

Good running Ady.  The last LSR safely negotiated!  Isn't it a great feeling when you look at your schedule, see 12 miles, and think "ahh, nice and short..."

Funny seeing your description of your weekend rest day:  "It'll be nice having a day without running... [What did I do?] I spent the day reading about and planning running..."  Mrs Shady Ady must have really appreciated the change!  You weighed in with a shopping trip I suppose!

I like the look of your taper actually, and think I might do this as a "reverse taper" back up as recovery from my marathon (minus the small matter of the 26.2 you've got scheduled in of course...).

Keep up the good work!

25/03/2013 at 17:27
Angela Isherwood 2 wrote (see)
Thanks Shady, to be honest, all I was doing it for was the training benefit for my marathon, that and it features in the book I have of the worlds ultimate running races. 6 days after a half marathon in which I was gunning for a pb, I was never going to perform my best, it was just a bit demoralising being in a field of runners where I was amongst the last to cross the finish. I'm used to being at least in the top half, if not the top third, and have even done a 5k where I was the second woman in Richmond park!
I'm now sitting here contemplating whether 15miles XC race really is a substitute for an 18 mile LSR, as my plan has me dropping down to 13 nxt weekend before jumping back up to 20 the following weekend.

As for sports massage, I'm sensing u work in London? Are u in the city? In which case pop in to see Sanj at the city point club, near mortgate station- he's tough, but a genius!

Angela I think if the 15 miles XC took approx the same amount of time as the 18 mile LSR would do, then you can happily substitute it. Having done the Grizzly a couple of weeks ago (20 miles XC/extreme hills) I can attest to the fact that training effect is pretty much the same.

25/03/2013 at 17:30

hi Ady

Well done - you've made it through that final double-figures run and it's all about recovery and preparation now. Well, apart from those mile intervals on Thursday 

Once you get to this stage in the programme, it's really important to ask yourself whether you feel the run will be of help or hindrance in recovery and prep for the marathon. If it irritates niggles or creates undue fatigue, it's hindrance. Don't be a slave to your programme, CERTAINLY don't do more than stated and if need be, do less or substitute for cross training. Then you'll be in best possible shape on the big day

25/03/2013 at 19:41
Hi Sam, thanks for the reassurance about substituting a XC for a LSR. And on goal time on bacon steve's thread. I think all the asics guys tapering is giving me marathon madness a bit prematurely! Worrying about all these things when I still have a good 4.5 weeks of training, and 7 weeks until my marathon!
I will be sensible and keep the LSR shorter this week, even though the long weekend is tempting me to go further since I'll have longer to recover!
The next quandary is a half marathon I have in 3 weeks time- do I try and knock more time off my pb , or do I use it as a longer marathon pace run? Hmmmm
25/03/2013 at 19:55
Oooo Grizzly was in my book as well- how was it? Have u done orion15 too? Could u compare them?
25/03/2013 at 22:04

Day 99 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (25/03/13)

Target: Rest

Actual: Rest

Another day........another rest day. I could get use to this! The best thing about Monday's, especially after the weekend LSR, is the fact I don't have to run. I'm always running late on Monday for my train and there's no doubt if I had to try and get my running kit together as well, I'd never make it on time!

Probably the best thing to come out of today was finally getting a sports massage booked. I have it pencilled in for Thursday evening, so a nice start to the bank holiday weekend. I'm hoping this will be the final piece of the confidence jigsaw ready for Paris.

You would think with it being a rest day I'd enjoy something other than running..........but no..........it's getting to that stage of marathon training now, where I try and focus on my main goal ahead of me. I watch more inspirational Youtube clips (mainly Ultra-Marathon clips, as this conditions my mind to start thinking along the lines of 'you're only running a marathon!'). I listen more to the songs that get my blood and adrenaline pumping. I start thinking of what a sub 3:30 would mean to me. I suppose you'd call it getting in the zone. 

26/03/2013 at 09:10

Ady - well done on the 12 miler. Nicely executed rest day yesterday too

I can't believe it'll be all happening in less than two weeks. December seems doesn't seem so long ago, though maybe that's because it's still like a freezer outside. Maybe the cooler weather will hold for Paris and it'll work to your advantage. That said I think even you'd want it just a tad warmer than it is now, I know I would.

Good to hear you got your massage booked. I'm sure that will be a big help. Sounds like your quad is holding fine now. Are you niggle free now then?

Best of luck with this week's training.

 

26/03/2013 at 14:12
Angela Isherwood 2 wrote (see)
Oooo Grizzly was in my book as well- how was it? Have u done orion15 too? Could u compare them?

It was tough tough tough! 20.2 miles and it took me 3 hours 49 mins!! Slower than my marathon time! The hills were the main challenge but also the very wet, muddy terrain and the wading through bog and a stretch along the pebbled beach for a mile or two! I haven't done the Orion 15 but I know Epping Forest well as I used to coach East London Triathletes when I lived in London and we did our Saturday runs there. 

Re. your half mara - hmmm indeed! It's 4 weeks before race day which is a bit of a grey area in terms of whether you should race it or just run it. If you are someone who recovers from hard sessions easily, you could race it but I think for most people, I'd advise not racing to full capacity over a half this close to race day. Perhaps you could start off at MP and then do the last, say, 5 at half maratho race pace?

 

26/03/2013 at 14:13

Glad you've got that massage booked Ady! I'm wondering how I'm going to recover from hastings half in time for the Sussex Road Relays on Saturday. At present, stairs are quite painful 

26/03/2013 at 16:37

Great stuff Ady. All looking good now.

Hi Angela - great effort at Orion 15. I was tempted by that run. A friend did it and said this years conditions were really tough compared to last so well done on getting through it. I think you'll get loads of benefit for marathon training. I will catch up with you on the Halstead thread soon!

malcs - you are not kidding about the weather. I have really had to force myself out this past few days. 20 miler Sunday was grim but enjoyed my intervals first thing this morning a tad more than I expected. Definitely needs to be a bit warmer for Ady and the others in Paris. I reckon it's going to work out just right.

Hi Sam - remind me again what pacing group you are leading at VLM? I will be up there spectating so will look out for you!

It's been a struggle since we met up at SS20 three weeks ago for me. Work and family commitments have got in the way somewhat - hence rarely being on here. I have been following your exploits pretty much every day though Ady.

26/03/2013 at 18:27
Hi Sam, thanks for the tip re: half marathon- shall have to look for another one to set a new pb in then - at the moment the only other I have booked this year is the Bacchus half in September- it's on denbies vineyard in Surrey, so there will be wine en route... Be a shame to have paid the entry fee and not enjoy the chosen race fuel
I think I'll give grizzly a miss until I'm as fast as you. I was quite tempted by exe to axe, but decided my schedule was already too packed to put it in this year.
DS2, yes we are missing you on the Halstead thread, however I have some good news- Colhester park run is going ahead starting 6th April, so should be available to you when you're in the area

Shady, how is taper madness treating you?
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