Lucozade Sport Super Six: Right Said Aouita (3:45)

Introducing the third member of our Lucozade Sport Super Six… Dan (aka Right Said Aouita).

Dan ran his first marathon three years ago, and missed going sub-4:00 by just ten seconds. This time around, he’s hoping to run sub-3:45 and learn how to train smarter to reduce his risk of injury.

Dan will be using our sub-3:45 Garmin-ready schedule (devised by former London Marathon winner Mike Gratton) as a basis for his training and will be mentored by Nick Anderson directly on this thread (starting January 5).

He’ll be posting his training progress on a regular basis, and feedback the fuel and hydration advice given to him by the team at Lucozade Sport so make sure you check back regularly to find out how he gets on.

You can read more about Dan’s running background and goals by clicking on the article link at the top of the thread.

Good luck Dan!



  • Congrats on winning the prize Dan!

    I found the coaching and advice of huge benefit to me and I'm sure you will too. I look forward to following your progress and reports in this thread.

    The very best of luck! image

  • Go Dan. Go Dan. Go Dan!

    Breathing, yes.  Calm, no. image

  • Good luck Danimage

    Wonders if Wotsit is ever calm?...........

  • Hey!  It has been known to happen, but I'll admit, its not that frequent.  Along with being quiet...
  • I am anxious about Dan's hamstrings. Please make sure he looks after them properly peopleimage
  • Has anyone told Dan he won?

  • Hi dan

    how are u mate

    all the best dan

  • giggles at Fat Face

  • I demand this person gives 150%, posts a blog every day and makes me laugh. 

    After all, he did take my 3.45 slot.....image

  • Dear all,

    thanks for the good luck and positive energy, may i send it back to you all in double measures.

    rex gibbons you are right, i do need to look after the hamstrings, and i look forward to updating the world on their every twitch and synapse daily for four months. 

    coops10 i apologise for taking your 3.45 slot, it was luck you see and for some reason the lucozade/RW politburo decided to choose someone less deserving than yourself. 

     fat face, this launching is like winning all over again, now that i've broken up from school for the holidays I can get all tempo-threshold-tastic during the holidays


  • Right Said Aouita wrote (see

    coops10 i apologise for taking your 3.45 slot, it was luck you see and for some reason the lucozade/RW politburo decided to choose someone less deserving than yourself. 

    I agree, but nevertheless, I wish you all the best! image
  • Dan, have a fab Christmas.  Here's to a fabulous start of training in January!

  • Mr KMr K ✭✭✭

    Dan, just wanted to say before the kick off - good luck & best wishes on this great opportunity.

    Not having done a full marathon before (maybe in 2010) I am looking forward to reading yours posts regarding the physical, mental & (esp) the nutrition sides of training.

    Good luck again...

    (I may see finish as I may be helping out in the finishing area this year - finding out soon)

  • Mr K, thanks for the good vibes, I hope any posts I add can make the whole thing interesting and do it justice.

    So today, 5th January is officially the big launch, the kick-off, the starting gun of our London Marathon training schedules. That is exactly 16 weeks of training, about 100 days until D-Day on 26 April.

    I'll write more on the actual training schedule later, but here are the thoughts in my head at 8.45am on my first day back at work after 10 days off:

     - Excitement  - after the initial sensory blitzkrieg of being chosen for the Lucozade Super Six in November, there was a slight lull in activity. But it is very real: the marathon is in the same calendar year; we have a schedule to follow in the (friendly) glare of the RW forumites; any gaps, illness or injury with start making psychological dents in the confidence.

    - Slightly behind - confidence is a huge part of this running thing and is easily dented. I missed half of December's running due to antibiotics (advised not to run on them, but I know there are divisions on this one) and tedious flu which took out about 1/3 of our office here in Oxford.

     - Shock of 5 - when the 3.45 Garmin ready schedules was put up on the site, with 5 runs a day, the initial reaction was shock. I have never run 5 times a week, mainly due to a) laziness, b) the feeling I could reach my (fairly low) goals only running 3 times a week. However an email from Nick the Coach cleared things up, and I'll be on a 4 times a week schedule - the main pressure being time. I'll put the first two weeks schedule up here later today or tomorrow, along with the rationale of going from 5 to 4.  

    - Slight concern - about myself. I arrived home after 10 days away yesterday and opened a parcel with a smile on my face. It held a sort of fluorescent running top for the dark mornings. I felt happy and put it on. My wife was watching. On realising that I had not only bought, but was actually excited about a fluro vest, she gently sighed, no doubt pondered life attached to someone with more rock star tendencies, and then inwardly resigned herself to living with a running geek for 4 months (or 4 decades)

     As i said, i'll put up the first two weeks of my schedule later on after i've spoken to Nick the Coach.


  • Dan, you can't beat a bit of rock on the ipod while training. Whole lotta Rosie while running.......magic! All the best with the training (In your  fluro vest, LOL).
  • there'll be bluebirds over......,, you've got a point, the ipod can help access the inner rock star, which is fairly well hidden for me. that said, i did venture out the other day accompanied by Jane's Addiction's Ritual de lo Habitual (spelling?!) and i would highly recommend it. 

  • Dan, if it makes you feel better, there was massive excitement in our house on Christmas morning when my husband opened a parcel containing a swimming stopwatch, to be worn on your finger so that you don't lose precious nanoseconds reaching all the way to your wrist when timing a length.

    First run tonight?  Its freeeeeeeezing here.  If it wasn't the first night of my fabulously sparkly professionally prepared training schedule there is not a chance I'd be going out tonight! image

  • wotsit, my thoughts too.  Not sure i would want to start a schedule for anything at the moment.  It's too damn cold and slippy out there. 

    Have you started yet Dan (friendly glare of scrutinty etc etc) image  I for one will be fascinated in watching progress of yyou and ours and Fat Face on his thread as i think (in the spirit of absolute self delusion) that I could do a sub 4, but by how much - who knows? 

  • psc, wotsit, those were my thoughts entirely as I set out last night at 7pm around the streets of Oxford. It is absolutely freezing, slippery, but if I start missing runs at the beginning what chance do I have? And the collective disapproval of Nick the ooach and all RW members is a powerful motivator.

    so, yes, i've started psc, but perhaps first I should put up the training schedule. To clarify - and if i've got this wrong then please Nick or anyone from RW or Lucozade correct me - the Garmin schedules are designed for the 'average' or median 3.45 runner.

    Nick's role as experienced, expert coach is to take the schedules and orient them to the individual and their personality / ability / experience / injury history / life outside running / etc, etc, just as any good coach would do.

    In my case this means the big decision has been to move the schedule from 5 runs a week to 4. This is not based on anything to do with me as a runner, but due to real life obligations. I'll no doubt write more on this later after checking carefully with the wife - since most runners have work obligations and I am sure the majority have a family whose needs they must fit running around - but suffice to say we had our first child 6 months ago, marathon training takes up loads of time and, well, yes.....the maths are easy to do from there.

    So here is the Week 1 of 16 schedule:  

    Sun  - 90 relaxed easy conversational pace. Dont get tempted to push. Mon – Rest Tues – 45 including 5 easy/5 threshold (controlled discomfort 3-4 word answer pace) all repeated x 4 Wed – Rest or a Pilates class if possible Thurs – 45 mins and build the pace as the run progresses. Therefore – 15 easy/15 steady/15 @ threshold. I call this a 15/15/15 run. Fri – 30 min recovery run. Use the Garmin to make sure the pace an heart rate are really easy. Remember, the aim of this run is to refresh the body not add to tiredness. Sat – Rest & family time

    So the philosophy is similar to the garmin schedules:

    - 1 x long run for mileage, 1 x easy run for recovery, and then 2 x runs which start playing around with pace to move the body out of its fitness comfort zone. Nick's view is that the latter 2 runs will get more testing later on.

    I am on course - he says after just two runs - having done Sunday and Tuesday and I'll write more about my introduction to the mysterious and intense Threshold World later on, hopefully today if I get time.



  • good one Dan.  Have you guys done Max HR tests and all that malarky, or are you basing the working scale on percieved effort (hence your commentary on conversational pace through to gasping a few words at at time)?
  • Hi psc,

    We haven't done any Max HR tests, although the wonderful RW/lucozade people have given us the garmin 405 which is a heart rate monitor as well. So i'm going by a mixture of Nick's advice re. perceived effort + the different speeds on the garmin 3.45 schedule and they seem to match up well. I'm doing this training alone so I end up gauging '3 or 4 word answers' by asking myself questions out loud...

    This makes me think about Threshold World as i wrote earlier.

    Despite having read countless RW articles about training at race pace and at higher speeds, I have never entered the universe of pace and threshold running, mainly due to a) apathy, b) not knowing exactly what kind of threshold runs to run, c) thinking "I'm not a good enough athlete to do that"

    But through the wonder sof the Lucozade Super Six I have the structure/support to do so, and my initial reaction to running at Threshold is:

    a) It is bloody hard work. I have only ever run at a default setting (around 6.5 mph for me) a bit like a lobotomised robot, and probably only ever got up to 8.5 mph at the end of the half marathons. Even though I've been training at my target marathon pace a bit (7mph or 08:30), suddenly trying to crank it up to 'controlled discomfort' of 8-8.5mph makes a huge difference. Goodbye comfort zone.

    b) its confusing. Doing 5 mins at slow then 5 mins threshold, my body gets confused. it wants to speed up in the slow bits and slow down in the fast bits. I think i've got it cracked then my mind wonders to something critical like who has stolen my stapler at work or which of Gordon Brown's eye is the working one, and I suddently realise I am completely the wrong pace. And yes, I am spending a lot of time staring at my Garmin on my wrist.

    c) it gets the adrenaline going. These threshold runs up the ante on a cold, lonely Tuesday night. They get the blood going and act as a challenge. And my god, they are satisfying when you finish.

    d) it makes me feel fitter. This could just be a psychological effect, but we are so driven by cause and effect thinking that you can't help but think: 'I'm knackered, it must be doing me good'

    And on that note there's another one tomorrow.


  • Hi Dan, how far are you running  at 8-8.5mph pace? sounds a fair increase from your usual pace.

    Sounds painful to me. This must be the first competition where the prize is pain, LOL. Keep up the hard work, it'll be worth it in the end.

  • Dan, does the 405 have audible alarms for different HR zones. I'm sure the 305 does (although I may be getting it muddled with an old polar I used a few years ago.  I do know someone who ran striaght into a lamp-post because he was so concerned to know what his technology was doing.  I won't say who to protect his blushes!!  I must confess to being one of those sad sods who is fascinated by training in dif zones, although to be honest i probably don't understand them fully.  It seems that simply owning a copy of the Lore of Running as i do doesn't make you a living expert in the physiology of running!  well it wasn't a complete waste of money as (a) i've read it, and (b) it raises my monitor 3" to exactly the right hieght!!!  LOL image

    Looking at your paces, I've picked the right virtual shoulder to peer over as they are not disimilar to mine.  Hope you dont mind me tagging along for the ride!  My goals are totally diferent (Ironman) but the logic of training shouldn't be something I can learn from even if I don't apply it this year.... that probably doesn't make sense, but I think I know what I mean!! image

  • there'll be bluebirds, hi there, you could be right that 8-8.5mph is too fast for my threshold runs, it certainly pushes me pretty hard, so maybe i need to take it down a peg or two. At the moment the threshold parts are for 4 x 5 minutes, with 3-4 minutes slow in between. Although tonight I need to run 15 slow, 15 steady, 15 threshold, and there's no way i can run 15 minutes at 8.5mph, so it'll probably be 7.5-8 at a guess.

     psc, i have real empathy with mr lampost, its easily done. you do get stares from people looking at that guy running while staring at his wrist, and i am going to come a cropper - right, focus on the road ahead. as far as the garmin goes, i haven't strapped on the heart rate band and got stuck into that side of things yet, i am sure i will. one of my old bosses used to absolutely swear by HR training and said he made everything more interesting. and of course its great to have people along for the ride, even if the very idea of an iron man is a distant country for me,


  • Hi Dan

    Could you give an update on nutrition and what you are mainly eating thru  out the day

  • Hi Dan, how did the run go tonight? particularly the threshold part of the run.I'm running Paris in April & will be aiming for 3:45. I've run this time several times & tend to be stuck on 7.5mph pace.I know that if i could put some speed work into my running times would improve, but i'm also out of my comfort zone at 8.5mph pace. All the best with the training. As for all these gadgets, bit to technical for me!
  • yaddi, hi there, my nutrition ain't great currently. I dont eat much during the day. I dont eat breakfast (thought that will soon change) and just a healthy sandwich for lunch. As part of this competition we wrote out a fairly comprehensive 'food diary' of 7 days and handed it to a nutritionist who's worked with the Olympic team and I think the Lucozade team.

     She's doing the analysis and I think next week she'll be back in touch with some recommendations. Should be interesting...

     there'll be bluebirds, had a nightmare re. the 15/15/15 run last night. It was meant to be 15 slow, 15 steady, 15 threshold.

    As soon as I started I knew that my body just wasn't in the mood. The slow felt steady, the steady felt threshold, and the threshold....well, I could only manage half the 15 and had to take a break and come home at slow/steady. Hmmmm.

    What makes you really struggle some days?

    I am open to ideas, I don't know. I think the main issue was lack of decent food on Wed night and Thurs daytime, which meant I had no energy, coupled with bad nights sleep on Wed night. Not sure. Or maybe there are other reasons swimming around in my sub-conscious.

    Anyway, a bit of a wake-up call, and I'm going to ratchet down the speeds slightly for the next week.

    Stay well, dan

  • Hi Dan,

    Good to read the posts on your training and thoughts. Apologies for not replying sooner but I have been away coaching for a few days.

     I think you have raised some really important points regarding nutrition for training and recovery here. I know you were concerned and the nutritionalist from Lucozade will help massively in this area. I am sure that the right focus in this key area will lead to better training. The comments on threshold running are also really interesting and definitely linked to the food topic.

    When running at threshold, your body is working with lots of stored carbohydrate (glycogen) and burning this pretty quickly. At slower paces the body will use more stored our problem is that the lack of a good balanced breakfast and healthy carbohydrate snacks throughout the day has a real impact on evening sessions.This is particularly so when nearer the end of a training week and the body has already used lots of glycogen in previous runs/sessions. So running faster requires more energy and we need to make sure the body has this daily.

    Running is a very simple sport that can be over complicated or undermined by simple mistakes. The brilliant bit about your posts and our chats is that you have identified this as a key area to progress yourself. From here we will sort it and you will take control.

    Remember, eat within 20 mins of finishing a run/sessions and use lucozade sports drinks to initially re hydrate and re fuel. A banana, energy bar or bagel would be fine in the first 20 mins. Then eat a main meal or full snack a little later.

    The nutritionalist will advise on lots of good breakfast options, daily snacks and easy to use fuel options.

    I am sure the threshold work will then start to feel more achievable. Regarding effort and pace - don't worry to much at this stage. If the run said 15 easy, 15 steady and 15 @ threshold, just try to make the last 15 mins at controlled discomfort and 3/4 word answer pace/effort. The key may be to make the first 15 mins very very easy as though you are only warming up. The middle 15 mins is then at your usual steady pace and so on..........

     This definitely gets easier as the weeks pass Dan. You are doing a great job and lets focus on keeping the effort levels realistic and your nutrition over the next couple of weeks. The fitness will then look after itself.

     Well done and take care,


  • Nick - interesting comment on recovery nutrition.  i thought that the nutrition required in the golden 20-30 minutes post training should have a higher concentration of protein as well as carbs in it than normal sports drink/gels.  Also important to drink water to help flush out lactic acid/rehydrate and to help absorb the nutrients eaten.  Your comment would indicate that there is no need to take a "recovery" type drink.  Without getting into a discussion about the merits or otherwise of any specific brand, all of the recovery drinks I've ever used are quite diferent from the isotonic or carb mixtures used during exercise.  Am I missing the point or is all the hype we read just that, hype!!??

  • Good work Dan! Glad you are addressing your nutrition problems. You cannot expect to push the envelope on marmite and toast. Incidentally, what it the optimum time to eat - or not eat - before taking exercise/training? 

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