ASICS Super Six: Alex (Sub-4:00)


Introducing the fourth member of our ASICS Super Six 2011 … Alex (aka Alexandra_S)

Alex will be using our sub-4:00 Garmin-ready schedule as a basis for her training and will be mentored by Steve Smythe directly on this thread (starting December 20).

She’ll be posting her training progress and be receiving advice directly from the ASICS PRO Team experts live on this thread so make sure you check back regularly to find out how she gets on.

Good luck Alex!



  • ATMATM ✭✭✭
    Go, A! image
  • Hi there! And welcome to the sub-4:00 SS thread!

    Firstly, a million thank yous to those who voted me in to this position. I am both honoured and delighted to be running on behalf of the sub-4:00 wannabes and intend to throw myself into the next four months with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

    Secondly, a little bit about myself. I'm Australian, work as a lawyer, can't go a week without baking, and tend to bite my nails. I started running when I moved to London so I could enter a Race for Life and raise money in the name of both my mum and dad smashing cancer. I spent most of 2008 running 5km races, then dared myself to run 10km. 2009 I spent running 10km races, before giving in to my first half in 2010. I've now caught the half marathon bug - so the next step, naturally, is a full blown marathon.

    I already exercise every day, and find running the most flexible form for fitting around unpredictable hours at work. I spin and pump, dabble in yoga and powerplate, spend Saturday mornings at Hackney Marshes Parkrun and afternoons at the barre. Following the sub-4:00 schedule will simply entail replacing some of the extracurricular exercise with more running. Very luckily I have a high-spirited club (Run dem Crew) running alongside me and friends at work willing to listen to endless chatter on lunchtime runs.

    This four month journey has me overexcited, utterly committed and determined to make more cake than ever. A warning: training sessions are likely to be recounted alongside reports of what's just come out of the oven. I hope you don't mind.

    I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in with Steve's expert assistance, to meeting you all, to sharing our highs and lows, and to achieving something together that we can all be proud of.

    Toodle pip for now

  • Ohhh I shall watch your thread with interest and if I can work out how to get my 305 to accept the plan I will try and join in the fun.

    Best of luck.

  • Sub 4 in Paris - sounds good to me image. And the cake sounds even better! Rocket fuel...

    Good luck with the training, I'll be following you with interest.

  • Hi- I'm running Lochaber aiming for sub-4 ( done it once...........just). My race is on 10th april,too.

    I tend to use a FIRST 3 day per week plan, but am planning to go up to at least 4 days running per week now, plus perhaps one crosstraining session- I think suddenly trying to move up to 5 days per week was my undoing the first time I tried a marathon.  It will be interesting to see how you get on.

  • Hi Bright White Trainers, Reindeer Rodent and Tricia! I'm looking forward to comparing notes with you all over the next four months.

    Tricia - what's a FIRST plan? Agreed that training too much too soon tempts injury - don't they say mileage should only increase by 10% each week? Sounds sensible to me.

    And in case you're hungry, today has seen flourless chocolate chestnut cakes pop out of the oven....

    Training starts tomorrow! See you then!
  • Any cake left?  *holds out plate*
  • Of course! Some in the office today if you're around...
  • Am a sub 4.00 hopeful image  so will be reading your thread with great interest.  2011 will be my first marathon. have started the FIRST 3 plus 2 plan, Ran 10.5 miles in the snow yesterday - it was a great run (if a bit slow) as the roads were very quiet and beautiful scenes.


  • Wonderful! How were your knees afterwards? I ran for the first time on snow at Birmingham boot camp a few weeks ago and found that my knees (which had never been sore before) ached for a bit afterwards. Apparently snow doesn't absorb impact as grass, track or treadmill would.
  • Hi Alex *waves*

    I've got a similar target to you for Paris, so will be following your plan and training with interest too image
    Day one has got off to a flying start for me, as you know from the Paris thread, but I may still get myself out and about later image

    Good luck image
  • Hiya Alex,

     I'm so chuffed you got through, it was so nice to meet you at Birmingham. I've managed to get a place for London through our club draw so I will be following your training exactly to try and smash a sub 4 at London.


  • Thanks Jill! And well done on London. I was so inspired by your hilly marathon tales at bootcamp  and have total faith that you'll smash 4 hours in London. Looking forward to staying in touch!
  • Well Done Alex!!!! image

    I had a feeling you'd be the one to get through, you looked really comfortable when we did those 9 minute miles with Bud in Birminghamimage.

    I'm already signed up for Edinburgh a month after Paris, so will be following your trials and tribulations closely.

     Good Luck!

  • Hi Alli - and thanks! Looking forward to seeing you on here over the next four months then!

     By way of update, training began bright and early this morning - I'd already signed up for a spin class at the gym, and slid just coming out the front door, so hit the treadmill for a steady 2 mile warm up beforehand.

     I've printed off the sub-4:00 schedule and am now fitting runs of various lengths and descriptions into the next week - the 7 miler is currently very appropriately positioned on Boxing Day.

     Tomorrow night I'm heading to Mile End stadium with my running club for an icy track session...

  • Knees are ok but legs aching today - felt like I was running in sand, only colder.

    Good luck with the training - any tips and comments on track/speed sessions will be great as that is my weak spot.

  • [repeat message]
  • You inspired me on the cooking front Alex, white chocolate flapjacks for the office today image
  • Nice one! Gingerbread biscuits here! Very important to keep energy levels up.
  • Alex- FIRST is furman institute of something or other- they advocate 3 running session per week- long, intervals, and tempo, then instead of easy/ recovery miles, they put in crosstraining- I think it helps the less biomechanically sound of us avoid foot/ leg injuries, but I don't actually think it's as good a preparation as running lots.

    I did a tough tempo sesion on tready this morning- 11km, with the middle 8 km at marathon pace ( 11.3 kph). This was OK, but my scheduale has me doing 21km LSR on saturday- seems a lot so soon, and pretty antisocial on christmas day.............need a re- think.

  • Thanks Tricia - got it. And bloody hell you must be fit already if you're running for 8km at 11.3 kph!

    My running club met at Mile End Stadium for a track session this evening.. only to find it still completely covered in snow and unusable. We set off through Mile End on a speedy course to Tower Bridge and back to the stadium via Wapping instead, dodging and sliding over icy patches along the way. We did just over 5 miles (followed by homemade gingerbread biscuits), which I'm substituting for this week's 4 mile jog.

    The chat - Spirit of the Marathon, a 2007 documentary following six Chicago marathon hopefuls (sound like a familiar number?). An inspiring last minute Christmas present to self I think. Has anyone seen it?

    Three miles on the treadmill tomorrow night! How's everyone else going so far?
  • 3 miles down! And 3 more tomorrow morning. Am *hoping* to get outside but fear I'll slip all over the place and will be better (and safer) back in front of MTV at the gym...
  • 3 more miles down, and snow avoided this morning. Does anyone know how to work out your 'slow' pace vs. your 'steady' pace?
  • Hi Alex

    Good luck with your training, i too am looking at a sub 4h london, i thought the 16 week training program starts monday 27th ?? not this week ????

     I better have a look now, as i will have catching up to do allready

     Will monitor your posts

    Good luck !!!

  • Alex - you are substituting gingerbread biscuits for running... now that's my kind of training. I'm going for the Olypics if I can get by on gingerbread. imageimageimage

    Edited to add an in

  • Well done for getting through Alex.

    I'm never too sure what the difference between slow and steady is. Seems that it would make a bit more sense if you could do this off HR - at least it would give some degree of objectivity.  Maybe 'steady' is comfortable marathon pace and 'slow' more of a jog/chat pace?

  • From the Garmin Ready Marathon Sub 4hr plan they list...

    Easy - a gentle jog at below 75% maximum heart rate (MHR) - 10:32

    Slow - conversational pace (73-78% MHR) - 10:15

    Steady - a comfortable, but purposeful, pace. About marathon pace (79-84% MHR) - 9:09

     I think this is the plan you are following from the initial thread post.

    If they differ from your trainier let us know and I will alter my Garmin.


  • Hi Alexandra, just signing in to say hi. Glad you got through especially as I voted for you!

    I was one of the unlucky ones on the sub 3.15 category not to get through - UpsyDaisy won in the end. Sounds like you are getting to grips with your running already. Hope you enjoy your Christmas and also your running too over he holiday break!

  • Hi Alex well done on the training so far.

    Hope all well with those aiming to break 4:00. My intention will be to come to this thread every day after christmas to answer any training queries.

     re the paces - for sub 4, without the exact Garmin references, I tend to work to  easy at 10:30, slow at 10:00, steady at 9:30 (marathon pace at 9:00), half marathon pace approx 8:30 and for speedwork 10 pace approx 8:00 and Mile/5K pace 7:30.

    Have a good christmas.

  • 5 miles in a silly Santa hat with 10 others last night - serious training has started!!

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