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



  • aw i have to say what a fab half result! Sub 3 will be well within your capabilities in Paris! Well done keep it up but Dont push to hard and get injured or ill.i had two good results. Bourton 10k managed 38' 32 and bath half ran 1hr 23' 37 and a new pb! Only trouble is since race had bad chest and cough which Wont in away. It came on at end of half from too much exertion in final mile, i am now worried it May have done some damage or set of back with my training. Bit of a bloomin nuisance!
  • Hi AW - I thought that was you! Ha. How funny. I've been following your thread for the past few months and learnt loads along the way, as I always do on here.

    I was at that track session tonight and said hello, but realised we didn't know each other, so I'm glad that I'm not going totally mad...

    Huge well done on your HM on Sunday. Superb time! And well done on tonight's reps. Very tough, as always, but I find the way Steve runs that session has transformed my running.

    Good to see you and if I see you next time at the track I'll make sure I say hi properly.

    Keep up the great work.

  • Good couple of race results there Rennie. Well done on your new half PB! Hopefully the chest and cough will clear up quickly for you.

    Splits for my 1000m reps this evening - 3.30, 3.27, 3.32, 3.28, 3.29, 3.29, 3.37, 3.28

    I think they're a tad quicker than the last lot in January, and obviously there's more of them so fairly happy with that two days after a hard run half.

  • Hi Rob - was a good session this evening, like you say, very tough though! Thanks to all you guys for letting me gate crash your track session!!!

  • Good running Nutterman.

    Brilliant news about Pete's big PB at Bath Steve. I think he would win alot of local half marathons with that.

    Very consistent rep at the track AW and running with others of similar abilty and quicker always helps. I ventured to my local park again tonight and also did 8 x 1000m reps, but was a bit slower than yours! Times came out at 3.45, 3.43, 3.42, 3.39, 3.36, 3.39, 3.37, 3.38.

    Hi Rob, good to hear from you. How's your running goiing, are you planning a spring marathon?

  • Hi AW -  Yes, the session is very tough, but it definitely works. Well done on your reps. I like the way we break it up in sections, which really seems to help. Please gate crash again. We're a friendly bunch and it was great that you could join us.  

    KR - hello! I've been following your progress and it sounds like you're continuing your great form from last year. I'm not doing a marathon this year, but recently broke two big milestones for my 5k and 10k PBs, which I was really delighted with.

    I'm doing the Lydd HM on Sunday and then it's back to shorter distances until the autumn. I'm just keeping my head down, training and learning more about what it takes to be as fast as you lot! 

    Good luck to you all. I'll be lurking from afar and wish you well.

  • Nice reps KR, were you training on your own or with a group?

    It looks like I will be able to move from the red start zone to the preferential start zone off the back of my half result at the weekend. Will just need to go and see them at the expo when I pick my number up with my proof of performance. So that's good news!
  • I was training on my own again last night AW. I was late out and din't have a chance to got to the track as planned.

    Good news on the start position. I seem to remember it was a big walk from the back of the field to the front where the red start was. It seemed well marshalled but congested where the opening iin the fence was to get through.

  • Yes -a very good session AW and a solid one KR.

    I was someway down on AW for much of the session (3:35 average) but did catch up to him on line on last one and felt better than have done in track for last  month. Conditions were good though. - recovery was approximately 2 minutes - varied a bit due to track congestion and to give the less faster runners a chance to get extra recovery. A shame that around half a dozen men who would have averaged 3:30, who have come along in last month or so weren't there this week though at least a couple of the women were a similar speed.

  • AW - I've been reading this thread for a while now and am really impressed with your progress, you seem liked a nailed on certainty for sub three in Paris!

    I too am running a Spring marathon (Brighton) and wanted to ask you about your slower, "easy" runs.

    I'm aiming for a time of around 3:10 and typically run my weekly long run at about this pace - for example I did 22 miles on Sunday at about 7:05 pace.  Possibly naively, i've always felt more comfortable trying to replicate what I want to do on the day.

    However most of the advice & training plans advocate your LSR being a good deal slower than goal marathon pace.  How have you found this approach?  Do you find it hard to run significantly slower?  Do you feel the benefit?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Hi Spally,

    Steve will probably be along to give you a better answer, but personally I've been quite happy to run my long runs at between 7.30 and 8.00 pace. I think if I ran them any harder it would leave me too drained to get the quality sessions done well on the Tuesday and Thursday. I have been doing sections of my long runs at marathon pace however, so I know how it feels to run that pace on heavier legs.

    At one time a few years back I would run all my long runs hard at about 7 m/m pace, but as a result I struggled to complete two speed session during the week. I have definitely seen the benefit of slowing the LSR down a bit and focusing on putting in decent reps sessions. My pace has come on no end.

  • Legs were not too cooperative for today's run. They felt pretty dead to be honest, I suppose its a combination of the half at the weekend, a hard track session yesterday and a lot of miles generally over the last month!

    Still a fairly solid 13 miles done in 1.45, but hoping I feel a little fresher for tomorrows session.

  • good run AW = I did very a slow 4 miles - decided after Sunday and Tuesday and with the mian race of my marathon build up this Sunday, worth having an easy day.

    Spally - some can do what you do and survive but in my view while you need some running at marathon pace in the schedule, if you do too much at a fast pace then you will be permanently tired and as AW says, potentially not be able to run faster in speed sessions.

    I don't think it's realistic to try and do in a training run on tired legs what you can do on a race day, where you are rested and tapered, in racing kit and shoes and with the stimulus of competition and months of hard training behind you. ie if you are doing 7 minute miles continuosly in your long runs, then you should be capable of much quicker in the races.

    After you run a marathon at race pace, you are not expected to run hard for close on a month afterwards so for some to hard run a few days after a 22, could potentially lead to injury or illness. 

    It varies from runner to runner and some can sustain a harder pace in training than others, but I prefer to run within myself on most longer runs and go faster on designated speed days and race days. I know if I ran 22 miles at 7 minute miles, I'd have an absolute rubbish training week and be less fit at the end of the week than if I did it at 8 minute miles because I would potentially do five good training runs, rather than one great run and four poor ones.

  • Thanks for the words of wisdom Steve and AW, much appreciated.

    Keep up the good work guys and I look forward to keep reading on your progress.
  • I'm still struggling a little with my sessions this week, I'm just feeling really tired and drained at the moment. I didn't get much sleep last night which hasn't helped, so am determined to get an early night and try and recharge the batteries!

    I got my 8 miles done today, with a 30 minute section alternating minutes at 10k, marathon and steady pace, but it wasn't easy in the slightest. It seemed like every time I got to the 10k minute I just reached an uphill section which didn't help, and as I was doing loops it fell the same every lap!

    I'm away for a training weekend from tomorrow, so looking forward to that. Will be interesting to see what sessions are planned. It will be a heavy weekend of mileage I reckon.
  • ok well done on the session but don't be afraid to ease back on the speeds over the weekend - the feeling of tiredness is a warning sign and clearly that half took a bit out of you, which isn't surprising.

  • AW - very good point from Steve above.

     I know you have been keen to find out about restaurants so I have sort of made a decision for you about a restaurant! the night before Marathon (6th) and in process of getting this booked. This is the one: . The problem this year is that the area you are staying in only has very small eating places so sitting 17 was the problem so close to the hotel but this restaurant has suggested that we book it all out for private eating (it only sits 23 in total anyway) and it has good reviews etc I just thought this was really going to be the best option.. If you want to give me an idea of what you want (perhaps we can wait a couple of weeks before doing this) I have email contact so we can do this but they have Pizzas and topping of your choice (so little or no cheese could be an option!), pasta and regular tomato sauces or other typical Italian dishes (although would advice no creamy sauces!) and also do rice options. I have suggested we book for 6.30pm.

     The night before you are not likely to be eating until 9pm as you do not arrive in Paris until 6pm, then go straight to expo so I think best suggestion is to eat  at one of the two Italians only 200-400m from the hotel. I still need to confirm they will take the number we need etc so trying to do this today. These two restaurants are ranked lower than the above (by trip advisor) but still good reviews. I will send link once I know these eating options are possible. Restaurant choices has been a little tricky this year  as little website info on eating places in this area of Paris etc hence time this has taken and no menu available to give you links.


  • Some information just to start you thinking....

    • The marathon starts at 8.45am. You are likely to be leaving hotel around 7am. So remember to pack a snack and choice of fluid in bag that you may be having in-between breakfast & race start. Check all belts/gels/ sweets again before you leave are in order.
    • Every 5km there will be bottles water and sponge station (may be useful towards end if hot). There is also dried fruit and fresh fruit at these stations but suggest you stick to your practiced plan.
    • At 22km (around 14miles) there is PowerAde available but only at his time. I would be happy if you wanted to mouth wash with this but probably nothing more unless you know for sure this won’t cause you stomach problems.
  • Hi AW and Steve,

    I know you're probably tired of hearing other people's stories bit I guess it comes with the gig!

    I am also doing a spring marathon (of course) but I still have just over 6 weeks to go (VLM). My PB is 3h2m set last December and I have been piling up the miles since (after a 3 week break).

    I’ve been reading your posts and I think you’re doing a smashing job. The improvement you’ve made is evident and must feel quite inspiring. I know I have also come a long way. For my previous marathon I averaged about 35 miles a week including the taper weeks whereas now I upped it to an average so far of 46 miles per week. In the process I got me a 10K PB of 36m24s and hopefully a HM PB will also come my way on Reading next Sunday.

    I have a couple of questions for you… well, one for you and another one really for Steve or even Sarah as it’s to do with injuries.

    How are you going to pick what your marathon pace and race strategy will be on the day? I’m asking because you are probably capable of something around the 2h50m but I’m sure you also do not want to risk going out too fast. How are you going to play the race? Do you think it’s best to stay with the 3 hour pacer group until half way and start picking up the pace gradually or will you be going for a 1h25m/26m first half and then hang on at the end?

    My second question is around injuries. I know you had some problem with your foot a while back. Did you go back to high mileage right after it started feeling better or did you build up gradually? Again, I’m asking because on Monday my Achilles tendon was very painful after my 4 mile recovery run (from Sunday’s 22 mile run with 9 miles @MP) and decided to rest for 3 days icing it twice a day and taking some anti-inflammatories. The pain now is gone but I can feel it’s still a little a bit tight. I will be going for a 6 mile gentle run tonight to test it and it feels ok I was planning on gently building up again mileage for the final 3 weeks of training before taper. The problem, though, is that I do not think I will have enough time to get back up to 60-65 miles a week or these final 3 weeks (specially with Reading being next Sunday). Do you think not getting up to the high mileage (65-70 mpw) will affect my chances to get the right time on the day or is it a good move to take it slightly easy (50-55mpw) so not to risk injury again?

    Apologies for the long post but after the tendon issues my confidence has taken a slight knock. Thanks for any advice you can share in advanced and good luck in Paris!!

  • Steve Marathon Coach wrote (see)

    AW in great form today.

    Dorney Lake didn't have a UKA permit so not sure time will definitely count but it shouldn't be a problem  in Paris as long as you get to the head of your pen and you may be able to sort something out at the expo.

    Thanks for that advice... Ill just head to the front of the pen...

  • Hi Ruth,

    Restaurant sounds great from the reviews! Will have a think about I want to eat, but think it will be very boring pasta and tomato based sauce! Not going to take any chances with anything too exotic!
  • Hi Yasunaga,

    Thank you for your kind words and well done to you too, it sounds like you've made some cracking progress!

    I'm going to let Steve answer about pacing as I'm going to be following his guidance, but your right I definitely won't risk going all out. Sub 3 is the ultimate goal.

    As far as the injury goes, I only had 2 days off, so didn't really alter my schedule at all. It was more a case of making sure it wasn't getting worse with the running, which it wasn't, it gradually got better and I still managed to maintain my training and mileage. The only drop in miles was from the 2 sessions I missed.

    Again I'm sure Steve or Physio Sarah will be on to give you a better more helpful answer!!!
  • I'm at a training camp weekend from today in the New Forest. Its an absolutely gorgeous location and I'm really looking forward to getting out on some nice trails for running!

    First run completed today was a nice gentle 4.5 miles, today is usually my rest day, but it was nice and easy so was as good as rest!! My legs are feeling back to normal today, the tiredness I've had the rest of the week seems to have subsided.

    The weekend is looking like a fartlek session with some hills tomorrow, a second run in the afternoon I'm guessing will be an easier run and Sunday will be a longer run. I think Sunday is scheduled for 13 miles, so will see about adding some on before or after the session to make it up to 20. Have a massage booked in for tomorrow after the fartlek session too, so will help my legs after hard few weeks!
  • Thanks for the answers AW, it's much appreciated.

  • Yasunaga,

    A lot of things can go wrong in a marathon and the pace is one of them. It is difficult to choose the right pace and something you need to adjust your target according to your training (whether it has gone well or not).

    It seems to me that AW's training has gone very well and I am assuming he will discusss the pace for Paris this weekend at the training camp. As you said, from what we have been reading, he could be around 2:50 (probably sub 2:50) but Steve is an experienced caoch and will be able to advise him on the right pace.

    The only thing I would say is that if you are aiming for 2:50, you can't really stay with the 3 hours group for the 1st half and then pick up the pace to finish around 2:50. That would be a 10 minutes negative split, which is quit a lot.

    Negative split could be a good strategy if you are not quite sure about your pace. You start slightly under your target pace and then pick up the pace but it is quite hard to achieve. You need to be quite strong (mentally & physically).



  • Hi Yasunaga,

    you've done the right thing to let it settle down. Carry on with the stretches especially the calf and lower back. Cut down the speed and hills for a week just to allow the achilles to settle. Keep an eye on it and try not to push it through pain.

  • Had two really good sessions today. First session was a hilly fartlek, total for me in this session was 8 miles. After a good warm up we followed a structure on a one mile rolling loop which went 3 minute effort, 3 minute recovery, two 2 minute efforts with 3 minute recoveries, two 90 second efforts with 2 minute recoveries, two 1 minute efforts with 90 second recoveries and finally four 30 second efforts with 1 minute recoveries. I managed to keep all the efforts sub 6 minute mile pace even on the hills which was pleasing.

    Second session of my day was 5 miles in total, most of it easy paced with a fun session of 150m relays in teams of 3. A fun session, but also quite challenging probably did about 1500m worth of effort running.

    The plan tomorrow is to get a 20 miler done. Sarah physio if your still about listening, I have a slight issue with the underside of my right foot, seems to be under the second toe, if I pull that toe upwards I feel a pull on the underside of the foot. It generally is fine to run on, tightens up after the run, a little tender in the evening and then fine by morning. Been like it for just over a week now, been putting ice on etc. Is it anything to be concerned by, should I try and see someone?
  • AW I would personally go and see a physio - best to be safe...

    looks like some good training will be done over the weekend.

    Yasunaga- for you I  agree best to ease back after injury and the first week don't do too much in terms of either miles or speed.

    The marathon target for AW remains primarily a sub-3. He may be capable of a time close to 2:50 over the next 12 months but it wouldn't be wise when he has never broken three hours to try and run sub 2:50 and risk paying for it and ending up with a time outside three when a more conservative approcach is more likely to reach  the original target.

    Once he has broken three he can up the target for his next one.

    It may seem over cautious but over the years I have known much faster half marathoners than Alex fail to break three because they have tried to run 2:45 or 2:50

    The final time target will be decided when all the training has been completed and we know the likely weather conditions. Two years ago it was very warm and runners struggled with their targets or it could be very windy or very cold and wet.

  • I haven't had time to read the thread all week so I'm just catching up. I'm very jealous of your training weekend in the New Forest, and even a little jealous of your intervals with Steve!

    Shocker of a run for me at the Inter Counties today (I think I saw you Steve? Standing near the start line?). Complete communication breakdown (ie the team manager was unable to bring the red tent we were all looking for but didn't feel the need to let us know or to answer his phone at any point during the 50 minutes we spent searching for him) meant that I got no warm up at all, and I really, really need a warm up. Stressed and cold is not a good way to start a race and I paid the inevitable price - massive stitch. It got worse and worse as the race went on and I seriously considered pulling out, but I've never DNF'd yet and I'm not about to start now I suppose. 3rd counter for Notts, but we didn't even have a full team. More communication issues! Anyway, it was hideous and I was practically walking by the last lap, being passed by hoards of girls. Rubbish! 

  • Sounds like a bit of a nightmare CC2, but at least you toughed it out and got it done.
Sign In or Register to comment.