Paris marathon 2013 here we go! A.W's Sub 3 attempt!



  • Hi all,

    Hope you have a great day on Saturday, Alex. That looks like a great session and considering the weather excellent mental strength. Similarly, KR!

    I think the snow put a bit of strain on my body and I had a couple of niggles after running 11 through snowy trails on Sunday, although mine was mostly because of constantly turning my ankles over on the rutted ground. I, also, had tight calves but these seem much better now I've run a couple of times.

    I'm impressed that you all seem to have managed all sessions despite the snow. I just couldn't find anywhere safe on Tuesday so had to bin my planned session but back into it now.

    Are you racing this Sunday AW or waiting til next Sunday?

  • Thanks Ruth!

    Looking forward to meeting you in person too!

    The gels I had trialed and was planning to use on the day are GU Jet Blackberry gels, they have 2x caffeine - I think that's 40mg!? Will 4 of them be ok? Or should I have a couple without caffeine too?

    Noted about recovery eating, That day I literally had 5 minutes after finishing running and showering before having to meet a client, so all I could do was get the nuts and apple down me. I did have a big lunch!

  • Hi DS2,

    Good to hear from you! My niggles seem to be settling down, my foot seems a lot better today and the knee thing has gone completely, I think they were all definitely caused by the snow/ice. I think like you the different surface just puts different strains on our bodies.

    No race this week due to the training day, was meant to be racing last week but the snow ended that. I do have a 10k next Saturday and then my main half marathon the following Sunday to look forward to!

    When do you race next?

  • Today's run!

    Scheduled run - 8 mile build up run 7.30 to 6.15 pace.

    Actual run - 8 mile progressive build up run.

    I'm pleased to say my foot problem has settled down over night, I foam rollered like mad on my shin - was nearly in tears at points it was so tight! That seems to have eased the problem, also gave it some ice and hot treatment and some ibuprofen as it was a touch swollen.

    So I set off with plans to do loops of the football stadium so I was quite close to home if the foot flared up again. I also tried my new Asics Skyspeed 3 for their first proper run - they're bright orange so thought that would give me a bit more speed! This was a run that felt completely comfortable from the off, this surprised me as my glutes and quads were aching after my strength work yesterday. 

    I wondered if this comfortable feeling would last and I'm pleased to say it did and I ticked off the miles with relative ease, just the last mile really became hard effort. Had to make a quick pit stop during the last mile for a call of nature which was a bit annoying, but these things happen!

    I had the odd twinge from my foot, but on the whole it seems fine. I have ice on as we speak to be on the safe side.

    I finished off with 2 miles cool down run back home. I'm very please with my run today.

    Splits for the progressive 6 miles were - 7.12, 6.52, 6.27, 6.15, 5.59, 5.45

  • Great run again and you are right to be pleased with it. Shows you are in excellent form and capable of a 10k PB. However, I think it was a little bit too fast though for a midweek training run after Tuesday and Wednesday  - that last 5km must be about 18:30 which is faster than 10k pace and I think you only really need to get down to HM pace which is approx 6:15. If I was doing that session I would probably aim for miles of 7:30, 7:15, 7:00, 6:45, 6:30, 6:15 though doubt if I could do it in a training run.

    Of course you are clearly capable of much faster than what I would do but too many hard sessions increases the risk of injury and illness or ultimately worst sessions as tiredness builds up.

  • I will reign it in a bit Steve. I think I get a bit carried away when I'm feeling good and push on a bit too much with this kind of progressive session. I will be strict with myself and paces for the next session like this.

    I think with this run I ran the 3rd mile a bit too quick, not paying enough attention to pace which made me push more for the rest to keep it progressive.

  • Another good training run in the bag tonight AW. Not suprised the last mile felt like a hard effort at that pace. I find the progressive runs tough to judge the increasing pace sometimes with altering hills etc where percieved effort and actual pace are 2 different things. Was the route you were doing fairly even or had hills?

  • I've no excuse really, the route was as flat as a pancake!!!!

  • More great running this week AW.  I'm sure I'm not the only one reading this thread who feels a bit inadequate!  My running is improving but I reckon I must be at least a month behind you on progress.  My best run this week has been 11.5 miles on Wednesday with 8 at 7minute/mile pace, so not great but that's better than I could have done a couple of weeks ago. 

    What sort of shape do you think you're in compared to your previous marathon attempts and what difference has there been in the training you've been doing?  As I recall your pb isn't very different to mine - were you about 3.05? I'm 3.06.30.  I'm no expert but I keep reading this thread and thinking you'll absolutely smash a sub 3.0  

  • Impressive stuff AW though do try to take on Steve's advice on the pacing.  

    Having been in the goldfish for a while I know its hard to reign in the relative speed on some sessions. Steve can testify to my then inability to stick to his guidelines image. I got injured and could have missed the big day. However I should add that at the time i was a novice so your years of running will no doubt give you more leeway to push the fine line without getting injured.

    Great start, just carry it through to April.


  • Alex, looks like a good time to catch up tomorrow. i think everyone will have some niggles after the snow and a good time to check everyone out and get a good old mot. see you in the am.

  • Afternoon AW!

    Sounds like you're absolutely flying!! I've been taking it so steady in this snow, I don't think my legs will go over a 10 min/mile any moreimage

    See you tomorrow!

  • Enjoy the trainig day AW

    Hi Sarah, thanks for your help last year. I'm planning a few more sports massages in this campaign. With the running on the snow & ice are there any stretches that are any good to compensate for the niggles you get slipping 'n sliding all over the place?

  • Hi Alex

    Like you I'm hunting a sub 3 time, at the Manchester Marathon. Not quite as exotic as Paris, but hey, c'est la vie! 

    Hope the snow hasn't put paid to too much of your running over the last week or so. I find bits of my legs ache that don't usually, due to making more effort to keep balanced. Best of luck with the rest of it - I'm using some bits of the training plan you're using, very similar to the one I'm following. I notice there's quite a bit of varied speedwork, which is interesting - I like the fact that it's not just about grinding out loads of miles.

    Good luck and keep running


  • A great session at Birmingham University for Alex. Track and towpath were out of use because of the snow but there was a road circuit available. Ran five reps starting at marathon pace and very fast last one. 

  • Hello all,

    Did'nt get chance to post yesterday, was a great day and got some really good advice and feedback. I will elaborate in a moment.

    golfer - your getting some great sessions in too. 8 miles at just about marathon pace is a great run. Like you say, its better than a few weeks ago, so your making improvements. There's still loads of time left to get to where you want to be fitness wise. In answer to your question, I'm clearly in beater shape so far than previous campaigns, but its still early days, I need to improve still. The main difference is the structure - keeping to weekly organisation of runs, the 3 sessions of quality a week instead of 2 and having you guys to keep mr on my toes and make sure I put in that extra bit of effort!!!! And yes our PB's are very similar, mine is 3.06.10, that is 4 years old though.

    AndyV - I've taken the advice on board and be more careful in future, your right, having your training out there for all to see does make you a little more likely to over do it, I certainly feel like I should be going as quick as possible sometimes as I have to post it on here, but that's not always necessarily a good thing.

    KR - yesterday was a really good day, I will post about the run and other bits in a moment.

    Simmo - Good luck with your sub 3 attempt in Manchester. Like you the snow has given me the odd niggle, which I'm glad to say after a good going over with Sarah the Asics Target 26.2 Physio yesterday, are nothing to worry about.

    Steve - It was a really enjoyable session yesterday. Thanks to you, Ruth, Sarah and all the guys at Runnersworld and Asics for a really helpful and enjoyable day.


  • So I'm going to go through yesterday in chronological order!

    Yesterday started for me very early! Was up at 5am to walk my dogs and get ready for a 7.20 train to Birmingham.

    On arriving my first session of the day was to see Sarah the physio. I'd been having a few issues over the last week, so was quite anxious to find out if any of the niggles were anything serious. Thankfully they're not! My foot problem seems to be a touch of tendonitis on top of my foot, the problem seems to be originating from a lot further up my leg however if I've understood correctly. Tightness in my hip, back and glute on the right side has had a knock on effect all the way down causing tightness further down. The cause of this I think was mainly due to the running on snow and ice.

    After a good bit of work on the tight areas it freed up my movement and helped reduce the discomfort on the foot.

    I have some exercises and stretches to work on to help manage the issue and hopefully it will be ok.

    Thank you Sarah! Will let you know how it is after my long run today.

  • We then had the running session. The track was not usable as it was covered in snow and ice, so we used a loop of road around the university campus. The loop was 0.75 miles, and we were to do 5 laps.

    The session was really fun, and structured so we all set off a different times so we would finish together. Each rep would get progressively faster, starting from marathon pace and our target was to run each rep 10 seconds faster.

    There was loads of other runners using toe loop, I guess with all the ice about it was one of the few places to use for speed work!

    So we had about 1 mile of warm up and then in to the reps!

    Splits were - 4.57 (6.42m/m), 4.47 (6.32m/m), 4.36 (6.16m/m), 4.27 (5.56m/m), 4.09 (5.36m/m)

    Very happy with my pacing and speed, last rep was hard effort!

  • I then had a meeting with Ruth,

    I know Ruth is going to post up details of what we went over so wont go over much. We talked about my recovery for the most part and how important it is that I get a better approach to my post hard session nutrition. In short I'm going to address this by making sure I get a recovery shake immediately after the session to start recovery and then follow that up with a snack or lunch depending on when the run is.

    The other main point was about my race day plans for fueling and carb loading/pre race eating. I'm going to trial my race day nutrition today on my long run, taking gels at 7, 12/13 and 18 miles. I will then also try a gel during my half marathon to make sure when I'm running hard I can stomach the gels.

  • The last port of call was to have a chat with Steve. We discussed the structure of the second half of the schedule and talked over how things had been going. We also set some targets and plans for the racing and training ahead. I have a 10k next weekend and then a half marathon the following week, so we will have a clearer picture of where we are after these races.

    All in all things have been going well, I'm certainly happy with my training so far, and think Steve is too.

  • All that was left was a few pictures and a bit of video and the day was done! As I've already said it was a great day and I'm really appreciative to everyone. Ady, Steve, Mel and Sarah for being a great Asics Target 26.2 team! Steve, Ruth, Sarah, Sam, everyone at Asics and Runnersworld for all their help, advice and support.

    Thank you!

  • A.W wrote (see)

    I then had a meeting with Ruth,

    I know Ruth is going to post up details of what we went over so wont go over much. We talked about my recovery for the most part and how important it is that I get a better approach to my post hard session nutrition. In short I'm going to address this by making sure I get a recovery shake immediately after the session to start recovery and then follow that up with a snack or lunch depending on when the run is.

    The other main point was about my race day plans for fueling and carb loading/pre race eating. I'm going to trial my race day nutrition today on my long run, taking gels at 7, 12/13 and 18 miles. I will then also try a gel during my half marathon to make sure when I'm running hard I can stomach the gels.

    Hi AW, maybe Ruth will go into to more detail when she posts but I was wondering what sort of recovery drink she suggested that you take?

    I sometimes take a whey protein shake with skimmed milk after a hard session but I wonder if I would be better taking something with more carbs in it.

    Good luck on the rest of your training!!

  • Hi ZiggyTheSpider,

    I'm sure Ruth can give you some guidance when she next comes on. The recovery drink I have chosen to use is a For Goodness Shakes 3:1 (protein/Carbs) recovery powder which is mixed with water. Tastes really good!

  • Running is full of highs and lows. Unfortunately today was a low! I had a terrible run. It actually started out ok, I ticked off the first 6 miles at 7.30 pace and felt pretty good. In the back of my head I knew all was not well though, I could feel my stomach was not right and as time went on it was getting worse.

    By 7 miles, before I had even taken on any fuel/gel I had to make a dash for the public toilet and from then on it was an awful run. Today was meant to be a trial run of my fueling strategy for Paris, I plugged on and tried to keep to the plan taking a gel about half a mile after my pit stop, things just got worse though and I had problems with stomach cramps for the rest of the run, had to make another 2 unscheduled stops and decided enough was enough at 18.5 miles - was meant to be doing 21.

    I did take another gel at 12.5 miles, but I'm no further forward in knowing if they are right for me due to the stomach problems. I dont think it was the gels causing the problem as I had to stop before I'd even taken one, and I've used the same gels on a previous run with no adverse reaction at all!

    I'm sure Ruth might be able to advise better and give me some idea! May be last evenings meal, I didn't get to eat until quite late (9.30ish) and I did eat loads then was out running early at 8am after my normal breakfast. Had a takeaway pizza which is quite unusual as I usually make my own, so have a feeling I may have overloaded with foods which my body's not used to and not reacted well??

  • Hopefully just a one -off and due to the late food and the type of food.

    there's still plenty of time to trial the gels.

    and it was still some miles in the bank at a fair pace. After yesterday's hardish session on the road, it may have been a blessing that you weren't able to run 21 at a solid pace.

    I had a bad run too possibly not helped by finding the only shoes that felt comfortable on my blistered and cut bunion from last week's run were a five year old pair of worn out racing shoes with zero grip or support.

    Started slow for first 3 miles on my own, then did around 10 miles with faster runners and found even 7:40s were making me very uncomfortable. Back on own dropped to 8:30s and even a gel failed to liven me up. Struggled to 22 and last couple of miles over nine. I did same distance as last week in snow and this was a bit quicker in overall pace but last week finished full of running and felt strong and this week really struggled. I should have been fresher as did parkrun and hill session day before last week and virtually nothing this week.

    On plus side, it was 22 miles when yesterday wasn't sure I would be able to run because of the foot.

  • Hi AW. Sound like you had a great day yesterday. I saw Sam Murphy at the Canterbury 10 earlier and she said you are looking very smooth.

    I will read your full report on the day later on when I've got a bit more time to digest.

    Steve - that bunion seems painful but respect for completing 22 miles with that going on!

    Sorry Alex, you asked last week about when I was racing next but I didn't get a chance to reply. Anyhow, it was this morning. Weather was pretty kind but very windy on the exposed parts. Also, I'd forgotten how hilly the course is. Anyhow, was hoping to run inside 72 minutes which would make me feel on track for a Sub 3:15 and chip time was 70:58 and felt strong all the way so pretty happy!

    Have a great week everyone. Not long for you guys now - 10 weeks?

  • Nice 22 miler Steve despite the problems!

    Nice run today DS2, well inside your target time and feeling strong. Looking good.

    Meant to say in my previous post that despite the stomach problems, my legs felt really good and full of running even at the end. It was just my stomach disrupting my run and making it a bad outing for me! So there is still a positive in today's run!

  • Thanks AW. Better to find out now about the gel, I guess. You seem to be recovering really well from all runs and your legs seem incredibly strong. Sam Murphy said you have a lovely fluent running style!image

  • well done on 10 DS2 -see you were half a minute up on Sam

  • Hi Steve - thanks. Yes - I overtook her in the final mile. Had a chat with her afterwards. I think she was pleased with her run - a PB on that course in that wind was no mean feat.


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