Meet our fantastic five spring marathon contenders and find out how to smash your marathon target this spring
The ASICS Target 26.2 team have hit the ground running since the start of their training schedules on December 26. Before the hard work started, our five Paris Marathon contenders met in London to gear up for the training ahead.
With them were Runner’s World, the ASICS Target 26.2 coaches, ASICS gear specialists and Bupa’s team of experts. From an exclusive private opening of the ASICS flagship store to Bupa’s top-to-toe fitness assessment, this truly VIP experience was the perfect way to start.
Meet our fantastic five and discover how you, too, can smash your targets this spring with a little help from ASICS Target 26.2’s team of experts
Craig - First Timer
“I’ve been busy trying all sorts of new things! Sam’s ‘acceleration strides’ were brilliant! Loving the pace, effort and self-control required, and it’s a great feeling to run so fast. I’ve also been trying to work out the best nutrition for long runs, and trying out speedwork – though on my first session I ended up going too far because I set my Garmin up wrong...”
Coach Sam Murphy says: ”Craig was raring to go – he’s ticked off everything on the schedule so far. He’s excited about trying new things like the strides and fast intervals.”
Emma - Busy Lifestyle
“I was sick all through Christmas day and I was nauseous and exhausted for days afterwards. I was really looking forward to my first long run after two weeks off ill – a gentle, slow and scenic route. I’ve discussed with Sam how to fit in an extra run – I currently do three a week. I really need to develop motivation
to run at silly o’clock!”
Coach Sam Murphy says: “The fact that Emma completed the full first week (and a few extra miles, methinks) in adverse circumstances shows commitment and tenacity.”
Rosie - On a Plateau
“Sam has instructed me to take compulsory ‘No Running Days’ but on my first one I ended up walking my dog four times, walking my neighbour’s dog and doing piles of cleaning and ironing! I was in A&E over Christmas - not quite the holiday I’d hoped for but it did give me practice at this No Running Day business. Can you bank rest days?!”
Coach Sam Murphy says: “Rosie already covers considerable distance and hardly ever takes rest days. The challenge for her is to introduce more variety and some faster running.”
Colin - PB Hunter
“I came third at a parkrun over Christmas – in not too bad a pace for this time of year. I need to work on my perceived pace – I’m trying not to be a slave to the Garmin and go more by feel. I like the balance of easy versus harder sessions that Steve has planned – and I am hoping to post lots of stats on my thread.”
Coach Steve Smythe says: “Well done to Colin on the third place – which might have been a sub-19:00 but he got bad directions from a marshal. The speed is there already.”
Lee - Qualifying Time
“I run better off high mileage – or at least I think I do – and I hope to cope with the training OK. It’s fitting it all in that may cause issues.
It is definitely a step up, but I had got stuck in a rut and so this is pushing me on. I have an issue with slow runs and Steve is actually slowing me down - it is time to learn about pacing.”
Coach Steve Smythe says: “Lee may need to watch the pace in the hardest weeks when running too fast at the wrong time risks injury and means other sessions get missed.”
The VIP Pre-Training Experience
Once our five had been kitted out head-to-toe in the ASICS store, they headed to the nearby Bupa Health Centre for an in-depth fitness assessment.
It’s only the best for the Target 26.2 team, and the Bupa Fitness Assessment was no exception. Each hour-long appointment was the full works, thoroughly examining each runner’s physical capabilities – from flexibility and V02 max to BMI and lung efficiency – via strength and flexibility tests.
“When they talked us through our results I discovered that my blood pressure actually goes down when I start running. I think I was stressed and then when I got on the treadmill I suddenly felt better!” – Rosie
Get an exclusive glimpse into the VIP experience our Target 26.2 team enjoyed – visit runnersworld.co.uk/asicstarget262 for videos from the day including interviews with the Target 26.2 coaches.
Get Kitted Out
Our five contenders have been kitted out with £500 of ASICS Target 26.2 gear to see them through to Paris. Tackle your training in style with your own ASICS gear, designed specifically for distance running:
GEL-EXCEL33 (SSP £120)
Half Zip Short Sleeve (SSP £30)
Slim-Fit Tank (SSP £22)
Leg Balance Tight (SSP £50)
Shop the ASICS running range at sweatshop.co.uk/asics
ASICS Target 26.2 is helping five RW readers reach their marathon potential. We also aim to inspire all of our readers
to get the most out of the spring marathon season.
To follow our challengers and get expert adivce go to runnersworld.co.uk/asicstarget262, where you can:
- Download their marathon schedules
- Check their progress on the forums
- Take part in web chats with our experts and ASICS PRO Team members
Our challengers are also logging their training on My ASICS: visit my.asics.co.uk to find out more.