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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22/04/2013 at 22:14

Hey have sold it to me! My name is already down! 

Malcs.......I was hoping on running York too, but sadly it's too close to the due date of little baby Ady and Mrs. Shady has blocked this possibility! To keep the peace, I think I might have to postpone any long distance running around this time! I'm sure with this base training to build on, you'll do amazingly well.

The 24 miler felt very easy in comparison to previous training as it was much slower than what I've become use to running at. To be honest though, I didn't like it. Even though I was planning on walking and will walk strategically at Comrades, it just doesn't feel right, especially after walking in marathons before when I've not wanted to. I only really walked every hour for a few minutes when re-fuelling and also when having to stop to cross roads. I think the slower pace - 9:40m/m meant I didn't feel like walking really. I'm also not the biggest fan of running with a Camelbak as well - it makes it harder to keep a faster pace running with one.

I think that will definitely change this coming weekend - this is the 'long run' weekend, which means attempting a 40 miler and several laps of Richmond Park. At present there's not a single part of me that's looking forward to doing this!

I hope you're having a well deserved rest today!


23/04/2013 at 11:33

Well done on getting through the 24 miler. It's a good sign that you found it easy. I can understand that it wasn't as enjoyable running it so slow. Carrying water must be a real pain too.

Whoa - 40 miles! I can understand your apprehension but surely there must be a little excitement there about tackling such a distance? Do you have to do laps? With 40 miles to play with you could do a tour of London.

Resting today, and tomorrow and the day after and the day after...

Just watched the Paris race day video. Fantastic stuff. Not a turtle impression in sight! Nice choice of music too. Had a tear in my eye.

Really felt for Steveo though. He put an amazingly brave face on. 

23/04/2013 at 20:48

Thanks Malcs...........I think you've earnt the days of rest. I was meaning to ask you, how did the jelly baby fuelling strategy go on race day? I'm thinking of moving to trying out solids for my longer runs to see how it goes? Was it every mile you was treating yourself to one of these tasty little treats?

There are shops along the way luckily if I needed to get extra water, but the last time I used this tactic, I ended up buying 2 cans of Coke, a pack of Frazzles and a Snickers bar instead of the water I went in for! So now I just fill up my Camelbak, which is more than enough. It weighs me down, but the way I see it, it should mean come race day, without the weight on my back, it should make everything feel so much easier!

As strange as it may sound, there is a little bit of excitement regarding this weekends 40 miler. I was originally planning on catching the train to Waterloo and then running along the Thames all the way home. The only problem with this is that Comrades has no flat parts at all! So to make it a little more realistic, it means I'm going to do it all in Richmond Park......some tasty hills, and also plenty of toilets and taps for drinks so I don't have to carry so much. But it does mean I have to do laps!

I was mightily impressed with the Paris video......seeing me running to the finish, I look anything but comfortable. Gritted teeth all the way! Great song choice like you say. Steve was amazingly supportive all weekend. I imagine it was horrible to watch and not run, but he didn't show it once.....a true professional. I expect seeing it and experiencing it has just made him hungrier and I can't wait to see him beat my PB when he runs his first marathon. Hopefully we can all get together at some point for a marathon or race later in the year and give Steve the support he gave us! 

23/04/2013 at 21:11

Tasty little treats? Well they started off that way but by 23 miles I was sick of the sight of them. However, I'm sure it would be the same for anything nice that you eat too much of.

I thought they did the job nicely. I had one a mile up until mile 22 I think. And I had one gel at 8 miles. I reckon I could have got away with eating fewer too. I think I'm working out that my guts are only good for so long in a race. So in future I might double up on JBs in the first few miles and gradually taper off towards 20 then have nothing much for the last 5 or 6 miles.

Anyway, I'd definitely recommend them. In training they went down a treat but I was having them less frequently.

Shady_Ady wrote (see)

I ended up buying 2 cans of Coke, a pack of Frazzles and a Snickers bar instead of the water I went in for! 

Ha  Well in all honesty, if you're doing that kind of mileage you can get away with it. There's a guy on the Paris thread called Dark Vader who does 100 mile ultras and he was telling me that he quite often uses the golden arches for fuelling. He didn't claim it was healthy but it was a good way to refuel, for him anyway.

Would love to do a race with you all at any distance. And I totally agree, it would be great to see Steve achieve what it's clear he is capable of. We could take a camcorder and do a budget version equivalent of the Paris video for him on his own

Edited: 23/04/2013 at 21:12
24/04/2013 at 15:03
Well done Malcs! I was watching it all on TV wishing I was there. Looked like a great day for it. What's your next goal?

Ady, you should do a training run down on the coast over the seven sisters. Plenty of hills for you there! I'm planning on doing a run there at some point this year. I still can't run properly yet though. I tried a 3 miler on Friday which didn't feel too bad at the time. Got home and iced it for 10 mins and then it was really stiff and swollen again! (I am still talking about my foot). Off to see the doctor this afternoon to see what damage I've done. Enjoy your 40 miles at the weekend.
24/04/2013 at 15:47

Papa Paulo, many thanks indeed! I used to love watching London on the TV but now I can't bear to watch it as I'm green with envy.

I have the Thunder Run in July where I want to attempt 8 laps and then it's into marathon training again for York in October. Haven't set a target time yet. Will do some speed stuff and maybe a 10K or two before TR24 and see how I am but obviously sub 3:30 is a bare minimum goal.

I guess you're not thinking much beyond getting this foot sorted or do you have races lined up?

Keep on with the ice regularly. I've had several foot issues in the past and icing 3 times a day really helped.

Best of luck with the doc - do let us know how you get on!

24/04/2013 at 21:02

Golden Arches you all I have to do to eat such pleasure guilt free is to run 100 miles at a time............sign me up!

Paulo......I hope it's nothing serious with your foot. This week is the first week where I've felt confident running again. Last week I was feeling so lethargic in after a mile or so, and I cut every run short. 

Seven Sisters sounds good training, although part of me doesn't want to push myself to such extremes, as using easier terrain means I'm running in ignorance of what lies ahead. Ignorance is bliss! I am doing the 3 Forts Marathon next weekend, which should be very hilly practice, and my last long run before Comrades.

I've managed to put on a few lbs in the last 2 weeks, so this is the first week I'm eating properly healthy again. I use to quite enjoy a naughty takeaway, but I didn;t have such feelings when I've indulged this time around.  

Hopefully you'll be up and running in no time again!'re running virtually the same amount as me for Comrades when you do the Thunder doubt a lot quicker than me as well. Do you train any more for that, or do you get by with the atmosphere and adrenaline? 

Which 10ks are you thinking of doing? I'm planning on doing 1 or 2 this Summer, as I'd like to think I could improve on my current PB. London Pride is a nice quick one! The race, that is!

3:30 should definitely be the bare minimum! 

24/04/2013 at 23:38
Ady - I suppose it is very similar mileage. However, those laps are not back to back so I'll have rests in between to eat etc. That'll make it significantly easier than your all in one go effort.

Last year I did 6 laps and didn't really do anything different from just normal running apart from a couple of double run days just to get a feel for stopping and starting. I might change that this year and seek some advice on the forums.

I haven't even thought what races to do yet. London Pride is in August I see - I'll be into York training by then To be honest, I'll probably be looking for local ones. We used to do Bluewater 10K regularly but they seem to have dropped I now. Shame really as it was a great event.

I think I need to do some planning.
25/04/2013 at 17:09
The thunder run looks like a good event. Yet another one for this list of runs to do one day! I was planning on doing the Sussex marathon weekender next weekend but won't be able to do that now. I've been given some strong anti inflamatories to take for 2 weeks and told to rest up. If its still no better and still swollen in two weeks I need to go back again.

I'm looking in to a couple of 10k runs to enter in a few months and possibly the barnsgreen half marathon which is just a couple of weeks before D-day. I saw in this months runners world the fact about higher sperm concentration for men that exercise. That explains a lot!

What time are you aiming for in the 3 forts marathon? I take it you'll be going slow and steady and practicing techniques for comrades.

My weight hasn't changed at all since Paris despite polishing off Easter eggs, re discovering beer, dominos, curry and not running! I'm not sure how this happened. I think I've got faulty scales!
27/04/2013 at 10:23

Paulo..........I like your style.....still planning on running an Ultra even when the impending passage to fatherhood is looming! Are you finding out if it's a boy or a girl? I have no choice in this.....Mrs. Shady Ady is adamant we find out........which means we start stock-piling baby items and realise the extra financial burden months before we need to!

I've not heard of the Barns Green Half Marathon before, but looking at the date, I'll be given the pass to see what it's like, as it's too close to the due date!

Higher sperm concentration for men that exercise? Why oh why didn't Runners World put that in their magazine 4 months ago!

It's a shame you wont be able to do the Sussex Marathon weekend, but hopefully the extended rest will mean you're back at full fitness without any lasting complaints.

3 Forts Marathon looks very hilly. I'm not sure if it's my bad maths skills, but the elevation gain for the race is the same as Comrades, which is twice the distance. If that's the case then I'll be taking it much slower. I will try and keep a pace of around 9:00-10:00m/m depending on what the terrain is like (up or down). Hopefully that will bring me home somewhere around the 4:20-4:30 mark (as it's just over the normal marathon distance).

According to the Comrades website, with my HM and marathon times I should be capable of a sub 9 hour time....but I think due to running less miles during Paris training, 10 hours is far more realistic, so 4:30 would be nice as it would mean I'd have a bit of time to play with for the 2nd half of the race if I was to do the same for Comrades. I know I shouldn't be thinking of positive splits, but to be honest, I think for Comrades I'll be walking an awful lot more in the 2nd half rather than the first half.

I should have been doing my 40 mile run today, but after a much later finish yesterday and waking late, I've postponed this to tomorrow. Looks like a wise decision considering I'd be running late in to the evening and the heavy rain showers forecast.

Very jealous about your ability to polish off Easter eggs, curries and pizzas without putting any weight on!. I've put a couple of pounds on since Paris, but I'm back on the healthy eating train now and should see myself getting well below what I was for Paris before Comrades starts.

Hopefully you're not finding it too hard to rest up! 

27/04/2013 at 11:27

Paulo - right call to rest. Never let these things go on too long or they end up becoming chronic. Take your time and get it sorted. Best of luck to you.

Ady - definitely better doing your 40 tomorrow. Your body clearly knew this and automatically administered an automatic lie in. Nice.

Speaking of lie ins - make the most of them. I'm sure you are already aware of the impact a child has on your sleeping patterns but you really won't know for sure until you experience it. In fact I don't think I really knew myself how much of an impact it had until they got older and started getting up by themselves - absolute bliss!

That all said, the experience is worth the sleep loss ten times over. It really is amazing. I can even manage to say this having just given my 10 year old a bollocking. Incidentally, this was quickly followed by a telling off for my seven year old who decided to wind her brother up by, hmm, how should I say?...staining the air in his room - a most heinous crime and one that continues to deliver pain long after the initial impact.

Relaying the story now it sounds quite funny but I can tell you I was not laughing at the time. Also we have viewings today so the race is on to replace said air before the next people arrive!

Anyway, rambling now. Best of luck tomorrow. Please do report back and let us know how it goes.

Edited: 27/04/2013 at 11:30
27/04/2013 at 20:12

Hi all

As I took on so much good advice from you during training, I thought I should let you know how I got on at VLM.  Well, I didn't hit my gold target (sub 4), but thanks to you, I had a silver target and did meet that.  I finished in 4 hours 9 mins 42 - within my 4 hours 15 silver target.  To be honest, it was much harder than I had expected.  The first 19 miles went according to plan, and I averaged 9 mins/mile.  But after that, my legs got heavier and heavier, and it took all my determination to keep running (I would have been too ashamed to walk in front of all of those people!). 

It was an amazing experience.  So many supporters cheering us on.  It was much hotter than the weather I had been training in, which was draining.  Also, I did not realise how crowded the course would be for almost all of the way.  I would be running at the pace I wanted, and then come up against a wall of runners going just a bit slower, with no gaps to squeeze through.  So I ended up hanging back until a space opened up, and then taking the chance to move through.  This definitely slowed me down, and it took much more effort to slow down and speed up than it would have done to keep a steady pace.  I kept with the Runners World Pacers to about 13 miles, but after than lost them in the crowds.  Enough excuses!   

Straight after I finished, I said to myself "Never again".  But people say that running marathons is a bit like giving birth - you soon forget the pain.  That's happened already.  (I have 3 kids, so maybe that's not surprising...)   I have found myself googling to find a flat autumn marathon in the south east.  Do you have any recommendations?  I live near Dorking, but the marathon from here (Bacchus, organised by our local running shop, Run to Live) is really hilly.  Does anyone know anything about Bournemouth?  I've seen online moaning about the entry price but not much else.


Good luck to everyone on this thread with all your future running exploits.  You've been a great help!


27/04/2013 at 21:16

Cat - congratulations, that's a fantastic effort! It's always a good idea to have several targets going into a race and there is absolutely no shame in not hitting your gold one because you never know what can happen on the day. You destroyed your silver target so you should be very proud indeed!

I've done 3 London marathons and all 3 have been hot and all 3 have been crowded. I think you're very lucky if you get a cool day and you have no chance of it being quiet on the course unless you are near the very front.

I think you did fantastically well given those conditions. It was your first one correct? If so, that makes it even more impressive as you can never know everything going into it - you learn so much from your first and something new on every one that follows.

I think your idea of finding a smaller, autumn marathon is an excellent one. I'm doing one myself but not in the South East. I did the Kent Coastal last September. It was a great event but it did have a few hills and being in early September was nearer to Summer than Autumn and as a result it was very warm. 

I don't know of any down here in October. Mid-late October would be the ideal time I think before the weather gets too bad. That said look at what we had in March! We may have a heatwave in October 

I don't know anything about Bournmouth, sorry.

Do stick around - here or on the sub 4 or sub 3:45 threads. You'll find plenty of help on these forums if you go looking for it.

Best of luck!

28/04/2013 at 21:49 made me chuckle with your story of telling off the kids. It sounds higly amusing from this side of the fence, but I can imagine when it's that ghastly of a smell, with people coming to view the place, it isn't ideal! How did the viewings go?

The 40 mile run was downgraded to 33 miles today, which I did in 5hrs 38mins. Quite happy with this actually as it's the first time I've actively brought walking breaks in to my training and I still felt fairly comfortable by the end and wasn't struggling keeping up the same pace.

There were a couple of reasons why I didn't do the full 40 - mainly becuase I think the increase in weekly mileage woould have been too high (way above the 10%!) , and secondly, it would have meant no time to relax on Sunday evening before getting ready for work tomorrow. 

So, I will be doing the 40 miler at a similar pace (maybe a tad slower) in 3 weeks time, 2 weeks before Comrades. I'd rather have a 3 week taper, but I think I can get away with 2 weeks thanks to Paris training and the lower impact that this speed brings.

I just saw on the Asics 26.2 thread that you'll be starting York training in no time at certainly have a great baseline to be working off. Will you increase intensity now with having such an improved PB?

28/04/2013 at 21:59

Cat.on.mat............great to hear from you and how you go on. That is not too shaby at all. Excellent work indeed! You must be thrilled. 

4hrs 9mins is way better than my first marathon and I'm very happy you see this as a success rather than having just the one goal and seeing it as a failure (which it certainly isn't). I think form now on I'm definitely going to have a gold, silver and bronze target for each race, which will help keep me focused if I know Gold is out of my reach. 

It did look hot watching on TV, and I wondered how much this would effect people. I heard one of the 4:30 pacers had to drop out due to the heat, which goes to show how affecting it must have been. 

Haha..........hopefully Mrs. Shady Ady won't get addicted to giving birth as people do running marathons! I was tempted by Bournemouth.....I think it's the first year for it, so I was intrigued to experience it. Sadly though Mrs. Shady Ady is giving birth to our first child around that weekend, and I've been black flagged with running any events around that time (quite rightly so too ).

I did the New Forest Marathon last year, which is end of September and I thought that was a nice course. Nice views too. There's also the Farnham Pilgrims Marathon as well. I only did the half last year but this was extremely hilly and definitely not a PB potential marathon. Amazing views though and thoroughly enjoyable).

Maybe these as South East as you want though. 

Whatever you choose, I hope you hit your Gold target next time! Well done and all the best!

29/04/2013 at 12:44

Good to hear your 33 miler went well. I think you are being very sensible going at it by how you feel. The last thing you want is to go too hard at it and get an injury.

Viewings went well thanks. We supplied them with clothes pegs and smelling salts on entry

York training is due to start in June so yes, not long to go. I think I'll do a bit of base building first then do much more speed work during the main part of training. I'd like to shave a bit off my HM and 5K times. 


Edited: 29/04/2013 at 12:45
11/05/2013 at 12:06

How have you been getting on Ady? I'm back out running at last! Did my local park run for the 1st time today. Surprisingly hilly!  How is Mrs Ady doing with the bump?

12/05/2013 at 17:58

Hey Paulo.....god to hear from you. Great news to hear your injury free now and out back running. Which Parkrun did you do? I haven't dine one for months, but might have a free day next Saturday and plan on doing Guildford, which is my local.

My training was going very well thanks.....that was up until yesterday evening when I was KO'd by a giant banana.

I'd gone to Twickenham to see the London Sevens tournament. I was planning a long run today, so was very impressed that I'd managed to show some discipline and stick to only having 3 pints all days long, while everyone around me got slowly intoxicated.

On the way out of the ground, while texting my wife of my impending return home, I mistakenly walked into the middle of a drunken rugby match taking place in the street between a group of guys dressed as gorillas and another group of guys dressed as giant bananas (it was safari themed fancy dress!). 

Unfortunately I walked right passed a gorilla just as a 6ft giant of a banana went to tackle him. Showing the nimbleness of a mouse he side-stepped the tackle, meaning I took the full brunt of the banana tackle side on. I never saw it coming until it was too late and was sent flying, landing heaving on my tail bone. I sat there pretty dazed for a minute as my light was blocked by a drunk bunch of bananas and gorillas.

I was in some pain then, but tried to laugh it off. I woke this morning and it was much worse. I tried to run but cut it short as it was hurting a fair bit, so it looks like I'll have to try and fit one more long run in next weekend and just have a 2 week taper. Definitely a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time! Hopefully the pain will go with a bit more rest.

So far, so good with Mrs. Ady and the bump. Less than 2 weeks to go now until we go for the all important boy/ girl scan. My pleas of leaving it until the actual day to find out what it is have been declined, so it look like the financial burdens of parenthood will be starting immediately after we come back from Comrades!

How's everything going with your passage in to parenthood?

12/05/2013 at 21:53

Haha I'm afraid I couldn't help but laugh at this story! I hope the pain reduces quicky and you can see the funny side of it too! It must have been caught on CCTV. That must be worth tracking down to send in to you've been framed!

My local parkrun is Tilgate in Crawley. I checked the results and I came 8th out if 226 and 1st in my age group so I'm pleased with that. I know to stand right at the front next  time so I don't get held up so much. I think that cost me a sub 20 min time! I was really impressed by it all though considering its free.

My passage to parenthood seems to have hit fast forward. The weeks are suddenly flying by. The house is a bit of a building site at the moment as I'm trying to get as much done before the baby arrives!  Our 20 week scan is on the 29th, we're still planning on not finding out what sex it is yet although it is tempting. This way we get to disagree on both girls and boys names!

05/06/2013 at 20:25

Ady - So, are you back yet from SA? Looking forward to hearing how Comrades went. I've heard it was a bit of a killer this year. Hope you got through it.

Paulo - if you think time is flying now just wait until he or she arrives. My eldest just turned 11. ELEVEN! Over a decade gone in a flash

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