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.

141 to 160 of 1,530 messages
21/12/2012 at 00:52
I'm hoping to do about 14 in the morning!x
21/12/2012 at 08:02

Ady - Great post about your trip to the Asics store but how did the gait analysis go, what shoes where you wearing and what did they recommend?

21/12/2012 at 08:20

Morning Ady - agree with Barry, brilliant post about the trip to the Asics store. I think RRR has a rival for most detailed description.

seren nos    pirate
21/12/2012 at 08:39

loved the report 

Cheerful Dave    pirate
21/12/2012 at 09:20
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

Cheerful Dave.......I think your original query regarding the taper was for the first plan I posted, which is obsolete now. This could possibly be the hardest part of my marathon training, as I've been very bad at tapering in the past. I've been known to run half marathons the week before a marathon, just because I didn't think I'd done enough training in the first place. Obviously this was an act of stupidity and something I wont be doing again! 

I know what you mean, several times in the past my best spring race has been somewhere around the roads of surrey rather than on the streets of London.  That was why I gave up doing pre-London running races and stuck to duathlons in the spring before VLM, although I'm venturing back with the Wokingham half in February.  I'm pretty sure I have enough recovery time after that.

21/12/2012 at 10:33

Mammoth postings, Ady! Good work! And thanks for all the session feedback (not to mention the brilliant store day account...).

Only comment on the training thus far is don't worry about maintaining 8 min-mile pace on the hill run - the key thing is to maintain even effort, not pace, so it will naturally downshift on the up and accelerate on the down - hopefully giving you an average pace somewhere around the 8-ish mark!

21/12/2012 at 10:42

Excellent report shady, I'm looking forward to the next installment already 

Edited: 21/12/2012 at 10:42
21/12/2012 at 10:54
Shady_Ady wrote (see)

I looked at the other runners with the their perfect physiques 

Ady - I assume Bacon was at the loo at this point?  (he won't read this will he?)

Didn't have time last night to fully digest your mega-post-athon. Absolutely brilliant! 

I wouldn't worry about the lycra - no man can ever look good in Lycra tights. It just wasn't meant to be so cancel the therapy, we're all in the same boat here.

Sam - hope you enjoyed the film. Get any coaching inspiration? Running on top of trains maybe? I reckon that has to be the next big thing.  

Edited: 21/12/2012 at 10:55
21/12/2012 at 11:47

Ady, great updates. hope the weekend long run goes well in the rain

I'm off to Uni reunion in Glasgow so might be a quiet weekend unless can get a run in the morning.

21/12/2012 at 14:25

Ady, I'm too lazy to read back - what's on the running menu today?

21/12/2012 at 19:12
Ady - yes definitely jumping from 30 to 50 miles a week would be a big mistake. I've built up to this over the last two years and the odd higher week doesn't have any bad side effects for me. I'll be close to 60 this week. I decided at the end of 2010 that, since my children were at an age that allowed it, I was going to really knuckle down and train properly. I ran a marathon to see where I was at and didn't train for it (only did one 20m). I ran 3:36. Started in the p&d and ran 3:28 in the April. In previous years I'd then reduce my miles and muck about in the hills for the rest of the year ready for the build up the following January. But after my 3:28 marathon I continued to train smart and reduced my half down to 1:32 by September, then ran 3:20 in London in April. Incidentally I ran the same marathon this October as the one I ran in 2010 and again didn't specifically train for it and only did 3 long runs of 18, 18 and 20. My time was a very comfortable 3:25.

So I guess that's an indication for me that the type of training I'm doing is working well. But it's also down to consistency and just keeping going day after day, week after week, etc.

The only injury I've had in the past two years was a pulled calf that had me out for almost 6 weeks. My own fault. I ran the HM and knocked 4 minutes off my pb and then did a long run too soon after and too fast. I knew it was hurting but just kept going, as you do! I won't make that mistake again!!

This thread is so interesting. We can listen to what people are telling us but we don't always understand so its great when those of more knowledge come in and question things, prompting clearer definitions. All good stuff. (still don't understand half of it though!! )
21/12/2012 at 19:44

Very impressive stuff Minni - and to do all that more or less injury free too, great stuff!

21/12/2012 at 20:03

I agree with Malcs very impressive Minni, being a newbie to running (Feb 2012), there is a lot of information out there about training and what is deemed to be good practice and not.  This for me is the confusing thing, I suppose I'll just need to take all things into consideration and pick one methodology and stick with it, and see how the body reacts.

At the moment I've been drawn towards the more miles is better, building up a lot of slow miles and then starting a specific program from this base, 40 miles a week at the moment, which I think is a good base going into my HM training after the new year.

Fortunately I'll have lots of examples to draw from with the Asics26.2 project and the Forum 6.

21/12/2012 at 21:54

DSanta2.....I must say I'm mightily impressed that you are able to run a 3:45 off such a low weekly mileage. I've had similar issues in the past with work commitments that have kept me to a low mileage, the main issue that kept me from increasing my mileage was the fact I entered too many marathons in the same year. I would run one marathon, then by the time I had rested for a couple of weeks, and re-started my training, it was time for my next marathon. I never really gave myself the time to recuperate and increase my mileage. I think Minnie said on the 3:30 thread that maybe my best shot at a sub 3:30 would be to just concentrate on the one marathon a year. I agree with this that I need to focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to marathons. That's why I will try and do this time around.

How long did it take you to build up to a base of 40-45 miles?

Malcs.......after a couple of quiet days on the forum, I thought it would only be fair to catch up on all the messaging.....maybe I got into the groove a little too easily! Hopefully all of the rain will be blown through when it comes to your flight on Sunday. Is Glasgow where you'll be spending Xmas Day?

Nykie........haha.........actually I didn't do any running at all yesterday. It was a cross-training day, so spent an hour on the cycle machine. Unfortunately my feminine skills haven't quite developed far enough to multi-task and update my forum page at the same time. Actually, I lie........I can multi-task.....I'm answering my wife's questions while writing this forum post right now! No smilie icons while using Apple....what will be next?

Sarah.........Is one marathon a year your normal schedule, or do you sometimes do more? Was it hard not to run when you had whooping cough? A friend once said when he gets a cold, he goes for a run to sweat this out of his system. Of course I know this is complete nonsense, but I often think this when I'm feeling under the weather and it's hard not to go for an 'easier' jog outside. Please let me know what you think of P&D.

Will you be breaking out the Mrs. Claus outfit for your Xmas day run? Will you meet up with other runners or do it alone?  I hope your 14 mile run went well. I have 12 miles tomorrow and am already psyching myself up to get out there in the miserable rain........which will then be followed by an afternoon of frantic shopping..........I've yet to by a single present for my wife, which I don't think has gone down very well. I'll rectify this tomorrow.

21/12/2012 at 22:54

Gait Analysis - Asics Store Day

(This is for you Barry! )

I've had the pleasure of gait analysis before, but never in as much detail as at the Asics Store. In the past I've either used Sweatshop or Run and Become.

As part of the gait analysis they took 3D models of my feet. One thing you should know about my feet: they are extremely ticklish. I once ruined the chance of progressing through the bases with a girl because of this. She made the mistake of using the act of tickle as a method of flirtation. My reflex reaction of accidentally kicking out and catching her in the face meant not only was the date brought to a premature end, I never heard from her again.

I often think of this story when a stranger has the pleasure of touching my naked feet. The more I try and concentrate on not giggling uncontrollably like a schoolgirl with the threat of being tickled, the more my feet start to sweat. I felt very sorry for the young girl doing the gait analysis as she was really struggling to stick the little blue circle markers to my feet, which were needed for the 3D analysis.

Once she'd managed it, I saw her sneakily wipe her hands on her trousers to rid herself of my sweat. Last year I went for a massage in Thailand (before anyone jumps to any conclusions, there was no happy endings or ping pong balls, just a relaxing massage alongside my wife). The masseur had to completely ignore my feet because of how ticklish and sweaty they had become. She even called over other masseurs to point out this fact, as though I was some kind of undiscovered freak of nature. When swapping my feet over in the 3D machine, there was so much sweat, a wet floor sign would probably have been appropriate.

It was the treadmill next. According to the report, my right foot is off the scale with a severe overpronation, while my left underpronated. My expert analyser explained this was a false reading, as the computer program was failing to properly pick out the coloured dots on my trainers. Once she had me running in a variety of neutral and over-pronating trainers, she slowed down my treadmill running on the laptop, and showed me in detail why the earlier report was incorrect.

I ended up with a brand-spanking new pair of 'neutral-running' green Asics Cumulus trainers. Up until now I have always been told I overpronate and have used supportive trainers to help with this. Most recently New Balance. It came as a surprise to be told these were not needed and I was better suited to a neutral running shoe. One reason could be I've naturally changed my running technique that now supports a neutral shoe. I would have been suspicious of these words had I not seen a playback of my running with my own eyes and also received similar information at boot camp.

I've been running for a week now with these trainers and haven't had a single issue yet. It could be because they are new, or it could be they are more suited to my running technique. I've seen it mentioned before that it's risky to change trainers in the 'if it aint broke, don't fix it' mentality. But this gait analysis has been an invaluable experience in being given the most appropriate footwear for my running. It's hard to argue with such advanced technology.

 My sweaty, ticklish feet, in all their glory.

 A breakdown of my running style.

21/12/2012 at 23:01

Ha ha, Malc, yep reckon running on trains would be very good for the core! Thought it was a great fun film - but not too 'gritty' more cheesy than I expected...

Ady, actually, there is a bit of truth in your freind's idea of sweating out a cold. But you have to keep the intensity very low and it's only sensible if it's a head cold with runny or blocked up nose, sore throat etc. If it's at all on your chest, or you are feverish and achey bones then do not run.

Interesting debate about numbers of marathons per year. I've mainly done 1 a year, occasionally 2. I agree with Ady that doing too many means you seem to never be properly out of mara training and probably don't get full recovery. The elites generally only target 1 - or 2 at most - a year.

21/12/2012 at 23:17

Barry/ DSanta2/ Seren Nos/ SC is Coming to Town/ Malcs......thanks for your positive feedback regarding the Asics Store post.

Cheerful mention you have stuck to duathalons in the Spring before VLM. Do you feel cycling has benefitted you in your training? I will be cycling at least once a week as part of my cross-training. If time, I'd like to do it twice.

Sam.....thanks for the feedback regarding my hill run. As Xyloid mentioned in an earlier post regarding stretching after runs, I also dont have a that much of a regime of stretching after running. Are their certain stretches you recommend must always be done?

Malcs...I'll be attempting the lycra look for the first time tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing if I feel any difference compared to running in shorts. Yesterday was my cross training day. I cycled 17 miles on the exercise bike (I've been calling it a cycle machine so far on this thread, and only just remembered the correct name!) in an hour at different resistances, like cycling up and down hills. Today was a rest day, so I've eaten healthily and not done a single piece of exercise (not including running to catch my train!).

Clive.......enjoy your reunion.......does this mean the running will be replaced with a hangover? If you're following my plan, you will know that a hangover is only allowed New Years Day! 

Minni........thanks for your feedback. I agree jumping from 30 to 50 would possibly be a big mistake if done too quickly. So do you only run one marathon a year? Once the marathon is over, what is your normal weekly mileage to keep your base level up? Do you feel you will have to go higher than 60mpw to move towards 3:10, or do you think you will focus more on variety, intervals, speed, etc instead? You've certainly done well for injuries!

SC is Coming to Town.......I know in my earlier running days, everything I learnt and tried was trial and error. Something's I would do would work well so I kept it. Other things (such as the long midweek run) didn't work for me, so I probably would contemplate this again. Saying this though, there have already been many people on this thread who whole-heartedly recommend it. Only you will know when you find out how your body reacts.....all part of the fun of running! 

I've done similar to you this year - more mileage at slower paces to build up my base mileage. I've done this instead of any speedwork. So although I feel I now have the stamina, my speed is currently down on when I got my PB. What Sam has planned should really help with this position I currently find myself in.

22/12/2012 at 06:45

Interesting thread and many intertesting comments.  Really enjoyed your report on your Asics trip Ady.  Made me laugh ref the lycra

On the comments about going from 30 - 50 miles in a marathon block being too much I have to disagree with this.  I did just that many times and 50 - 70, 70 - 90!  When you first build your mileage you just leave out the faster stuff.  My first jump in miles was focussed on building a solid base and not how fast it was.  Read many running books and building a good solid base and upping the mileage is exactly what they advocate.  Another point I disagree with is that the mid-week long run is not necessary and counter productive - again the mid week long run complements the long run and all the marathon runners I know would not skimp on that or the long run.  In fact endurance which is what these long runs provvide is much more important than speed.  I'm not saying speed isn't important, but for a marathon it is the least important aspect - get the endurance as in build your base, then put the icing on the cake with your speed!

As for running a marathon off few miles yes of course it can be done.  I did my first 3.36 marathon off around 25 - 35 miles a week, but I did my fastest marathon of 2.56 off 80-90 miles a week, so no matter how people try to dress it up more miles equal faster times in the long term! 

However, for a beginner starting at few miles is obviously necessary to avoid getting injured as it does take a few years for the body to adapt to the strains of running.  But once you've been running a few years and the body is used to it there is no reason why an increase in mileage, using softer surfaces, lightweight shoes (I would be interested in Sam's take on this as it is one of her specialist areas) and less speed (for a base building period - 10 weeks approx should do it).

Anyhow looking forward to seeing you do well Ady and hitting your goals!

22/12/2012 at 10:44

Ady -  Interesting the change of shoe from supportive to neutral.  This itself might make you more efficient in your running leading to quicker times.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
22/12/2012 at 12:04
Ady, whether cycling has benefitted my running I can't say, but apart from a 100 miler 2 weeks before VLM this year I don't think it's done me any harm. It's all good aerobic training, and may be how I manage to get away with fewer running miles than some would recommend.
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