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



  • I'll second that, Denis - sub-3 hours 60-odd times represents an incredible marathon running career, Steve. And you're not done yet!

    Yasunaga: yes, I included a bit of faster-paced work in some of my latter long runs. That included some 'fast finishing' efforts (steadily increasing pace from half-way, getting down below MP by the finish). Between miles 12-21 during my final long run last weekend, I averaged 6:34 pace.

    Steve's race-plan advice for Tim and I pretty much affirms what I was thinking myself, but it's all the more reassuring to hear it from someone with his experience!

  • MarathonCoach,

    I am running the London this year and am currently on 50-65 miles a week doing the usual key sessions (mile reps, tempo, MP runs and long runs). My total program this year will be 11 weeks (including the taper) so pretty tight and coming off limited base work (26 mpw average).

    Without a taper I did 2:24 a few weeks ago at the Surrey Spitfire 20 miler. The idea was to do a MP + 30 secs run. I am also running the Hyde Park 24 miler this Sunday and wanted some advice about what pace to aim for? Same again?

    If I can do the 24 miler at mp+30 and perhaps 12-18 miles at MP on a track next week as part of a long run, is sub three a realsitic goal to aim for this year?

    PB's are Half Marathon (April'11): 82 mins, 20 Miles (April,'12): 2h 12mins,  Marathon: (Shakespeare marathon '11) 3h 2mins



  • Carl

    yes sub-3 is realistic and attainable - especially with your PB - and you deserve it but ultimately will just depend on how well you cope from 18 miles onwards and getting to tghat point in as comfortable state as possible is best. From what I can see 90% of runners don't reach their marathon target based on what the half-marathon said they should run. But I think most runners go too fast for their fitness so a cautious first half can mean when you would be normally tired, you can be relatively fresh and fight the fatigue better. It doesn't work for everyone though and some runners will struggle in the last 10km whether they went through half in 82, 88, 92.

  • Like Steve has said conditions on the day will decide my final pacing plan, but if its a good day and I reach the start like fit and healthy then I would like to have a crack at running a pace that would achieve a sub 2.55 time.

    I think given my training build up and the times I have set in my races this is a good target and should still allow me to run slightly within myself and not on the edge of my capabilities. If 2.55 is the final target, I would like to run it pretty even paced so two halves in the 87-88 bracket, 6.40 a mile pace.

    Ultimately though I will be delighted if I can run any time under 3 hours!

    The last thing I want to do is get to half way pushing it and then suffer and implode in the latter stages, something which has happened to me in the past.

    I have never reached this stage and been as well trained and prepared as I am now, so I am confident in my ability to hold it together this time.

  • AW, how many marathons have you run? And has this been a considerable increase in weekly milage from previous occasions?

  • Hi Yasunaga,

    This will be my 7th marathon. The weekly mileage hasen't necessarily been more than I've achieved before, although I have ran by biggest ever week in this build up, but the mileage has been consistent. In this training schedule I have average 55 miles a week over the last 13 weeks, with a lot of those in the 60's and a 75 mile week.

    In previous marathon training cycles the weekly mileage has been up and down and the average has been in the mid to low 40's.

    On top of this I have been getting 3 quality effort sessions in a week, regular races and 7 x 20+ mile long runs with a couple of 18's too probably half of the long runs were with sections of MP effort at the end too.

    I think the only way to sum it up is to say its just the consistency of training which has improved.

  • I learned the hard way about respecting the conditions in Paris in 2011. After a winter of training through the snow and ice it was 25c on the day.

    I stuck with the two layers I'd worn all through my training and went off too fast, and paid a heavy price for it! Won't make that mistake ever again.

    Thanks for the advice Steve, I think going through halfway in 91/92 sounds like the best way forward. At the end of the day sub-3 would be a huge bonus and if I felt good in the second half I could push for it but sub 3.10 has been the main goal all along.

    Nice to hear it's not just me agonising over my target and pace!



  • Thanks AW! Sounds like quite a step up from previous times.

    This is my 3rd in the last 12 months (4 in total) averaging 30, 35 and now just shy of 50 (would have been 55-60 if it wasn't for the achilles I picked up 3 weeks ago) and my times have been 3h9m and 3h2m.

    The main difference this time, however, is the amount and length of tempo runs and the number of long runs (5 20+ and 2 19s) with MP finishes (up to 12 miles).

    I bet you're quite excited about the prospect of a good run.

  • Just catching-up and it sounds very exciting with everyone looking in good nick.  My training has been progressing well for London.  I ran 24M in Milan last Sunday night as it was dark I was running on "feel" rather than checking my watch, never a good idea for me, meaning that I completed in 2:32.  A nice confidence boost but did leave a little stiff the next day and the reps on tuesday were rather laboured.

    Happy birthday Steveimage sorry I missed the day

    One of the chaps I train with is also doing London and i would be interested in your thoughts on how he will go in his debut marathon, his PB's are:

    10km - 34:09
    10M - 56:00
    HM - 74:09

    All set in the last 6 months, he is 43, strong, lean and has been training very well. what do you think? I have an ulterior motive...can I beat him?

  • Hi Choisty

    I am currently in Poland for world cross-country champs - minus 10 degrees here!


    Based on his times he is capable of 2:35-2:40 but in his first marathon he might be better playing safe and running to break 2:45 to get a championships place for next year and he should run behind you!

  • Steve I'm looking forward to the report in AW. With the conditions it should be an interesting race shame the Russians, Germans etc aren't going. I liked the piece in the VLM magazine too, the rate of improvement is amazing and the majors has pushed it on...question is sub-2 and when will it happen?

    I hope your right and I can beat him as I think I'm in 2:40 - 2:43 shape
  • Your looking good Choisty, that run in Milan was certainly quick! I too find it quite difficult to keep my pace down when I don't have my GPS on, I gradually get quicker and quicker as the run goes on.

    Sounds cold in Poland Steve, its not that great here either, cold, wet, windy and snowing!! Hope you have a good weekend at the the races!

  • I've had a good day today at my Parkrun considering the weather! Snow, wind, cold and wet! Not my favorite running conditions, the wind always seemed to be blowing the snow in my face, couldn't see most of the time!

    Ventured out to the Hackney Marshes Parkrun for today, as firstly its flat and secondly its on tarmac! Given how wet it was and the snow that was falling I wanted to make sure I had good surfaces to run on as didn't want a muddy course and risk slipping and sliding about and getting myself injured.

    I arrived in good time so had a good 1.5 mile warm up with some drills and stretching before the race. There was only about 10-15 people there so knew it was going to be quite a solitary run and not be as quick as maybe it could be unless there was someone else at a similar pace to me.

    Setting off there was me and another chap at the front, we were together for the first 1k but it was clear he was a bit quicker than me and started to move away at the front. I settled in to my own pace and pushed as hard as I could. I think I judged my effort pretty well, looking back at my splits I could have pushed a bit harder on the middle mile however.

    Ran on my own from 1k to finish and had less than ideal conditions so happy with my time. 2nd place and a new shinny PB of 17.49 and first sub 18 minutes.

    Splits - 

    1. 5.40
    2. 5.56
    3. 5.49
    4. 24

    Finished with another 1.5 miles for cool down so 6 miles in total today.

  • Well done on today's Parkrun AW - particularly in those conditions - so congrats on the new PB! I'm pretty sure you and I live in the same ballpark area of London, as my usual Parkrun courses are Mile End and Finsbury Park; have you run either of those before? I had planned on doing the Mile End Parkrun next weekend, for a bit of last-minute speedwork.

    I did the 'Yasso repeats' 10x800 session last night. Not as quick as AW's repeats on Tuesday, but all my 800s were between 2:45-2:55, and the workout as a whole didn't feel overly punishing.

  • Well done on the Parkrun AW, that's a great time in the conditions. I'm pretty much snowed in here, and my HM tomorrow is cancelled, which is probably for the best since I woke up yesterday with a disgusting cough. At least now I won't be tempted. In fact, I'm going to have a glass of wine with dinner and just chill out. It might even do me good. 

  • Steve - I am so jealous of your job! 

  • Great parkrun AW in the conditions or just anywhere for that matter.

    sorry to hear about illness CC2. It's great being here in Poland and a new country for me but with the work on world cross, normal very full time job, plus lots of extra work to cover area road relay cancellations, managed just 5 minute jog today - up and down the hill that will be used in the race - quite steep and won't have time to run now before Tues evening and even less sleep than normal but probably need a short break from running so may be blessing.

  • Not run either Mile End or Finsbury Park Cookbox. I use Finsbury Park as part of maybe 70% of runs so usually dont fancy racing 5k there. I liked the Hackney Marshes Parkrun, would go again.

    Nice set of 800's too!

    You've not had the best of luck with snow CC2! Seems like just about every week since new year has been disrupted by the great British weather. Enjoy the wine and rest!
  • PC -PC - ✭✭✭
    Hi AW,

    I've been following your thread but I must admit it all Chinese for me. Are you human? You must have the same conclusion for those at the other end of the 2h. I didn't read the VLM article but other reports suggest 20 years before a sub 2h, too many conditions to fulfill to obtain a few seconds, let alone 6 minutes.

    Very impressive 23miler, your times show that you're really in control. Your intervals aren't Yasso's because Bart gives you a lot more recuperation time, Steve is a hard task master.

    I'm hope for a sub 4h in Paris. I can't see why you should get a 30min head start, it should be the other way round ! I hope the conditions are right for you in Paris, Good luck. All the best.
  • Hi PC91,

    I know exactly what you mean, when I look at the quick guys running sub 5 or 5.30 minute miles for 26 miles I cant quite get my head round how that must feel!

    I think it will be a while yet before a sub 2hr marathon, but that will be a massive milestone, on a par with the first sub 4 minute mile in my opinion.

    What are the recoveries for Yasso's? Is it the same time as it takes for the rep? That would feel like far too long to me, I prefer the shorter recoveries, I feel like I'm getting more fitness benefit from shorter rest periods.

    Good luck in Paris, only two weeks now!!!!

  • Another run ticked off the list! Two weeks to go now, and looking at the next weeks schedule it feels like I'm properly in to taper time now!

    17 comfortable miles done at an average pace of 7.45. I ran the first half with club members and then the second half on my own. First half was at 8 m/m average and then second half was at 7.30 m/m average.

    Not really a nice day for running, cold, wet and windy again!

  • That's funny. I had a similar run today. I was averaging 8m/m, running into the wind and then 7:30 when I turned round. I do hope it will be a bit warmer in Paris (but not to warm!)
  • I too hope it will be a bit warmer, but not too much!!!

    Here's next week.  

    Mar 25:5 miles slow
    Mar 26 15 x 400m in approx 80-85 total 7M
    Mar 27 8M slow run at 8 min miles 
    Mar 28: 7M build up run - starting at 8s and getting down to one sub 6
    Mar 29: rest
    Mar 30: 5M with 3 miles fastish
    Mar 31: 13M steady in 7:30
    week total: 45M

  • AW, nice park run given the conditions! Would have been closer to or even under 17.30 without all the sleet and wind.

    I ended the week with 21 miles doing similar time averages to Denis and yours. 54 for the week and the Achilles pain is long gone. Still, don't want to over do it so close to race day so chances are I will not go over 60 miles this week either.

    Weather wise it looks like we're up for another week of feels like -5 with difficult windy conditions. Come race day we will not know how to run under pleasent conditionsimage

  • Nice long run Yasunaga, your right its not worth risking it so close to the race. Better to be a bit lower in mileage and get to race day fit and healthy!!

    Just an easy 5 for me today, will head out in a bit.

  • Though the below might be useful information/reminders but feel you will have all this sorted!   

    Before you travel really think though your nutritional needs for the Friday & Saturday - you be amazed how organised with snacks before you go will make sticking to your nutrition plan so much easier. Put yourself in control of what you snack on  - just takes a little thought  & organisation.

    Don’t eat out of boredom, eat to plan.

    Do not try any new nutritional strategies; stick to tried and tested foods. Do not be tempted to try any ‘freebies’ in your arrival bag/goodie bag before the race starts.

     Do not be tempted at hotel to eat anything too different at breakfast, remember you have Monday morning to eat what you like!

    Race day: You should still drink little and often before the start but be careful about drinking too much because of nerves. If have dry mouth just wet your mouth with your drink to avoid an early pit stop but The race eating strategies do not need to be complicated but the foods or fluid must be tried and tested prior to event.

     Post race – although you are not eating to refuel for next run you will  feel better the next day and protect immunity if you try and eat some carbs & protein as soon as you can. After race rehydrate also – 500ml as soon as you can can then sip for rest of day of fluid. If struggle to eat after race try sipping on a fluid with some carbohydrates in it such as a milkshake/smoothie/ice cream or a sports drink or cut food into small portions for example quarter a sandwich and just nibble on a quarter at a time (when no appetite large amounts of food can seem daunting so best to present yourself with small manageable amounts).

    Here are some useful snacks with estimated  carbohydrate content that you can buy or travel with easily:

    • 6” baguette with generous spread of  jam or honey: 70-75g carbs
    • 200ml carton of orange juice and 2 slices of malt loaf (pre-sliced size) – 60g
    • 250g sorbet – 50g carbs
    • Fruit scone  with lots of jam : 45-50g carbs
    • 200ml of orange juice = 20g carbs
    • 500ml of diluting juice or squash = 35-40g of carbs
    • 1litre of orange juice  = 100g carbs (could have over day)
    • 1 crumpet and teaspoon of jam plus 500ml of isotonic sports drink – 60g carbs
    • 1 hot cross bun and 200ml carton of fruit juice – 45g carbs
    • Bagel and generous spread of jam or honey – 50g carbs
    • 1 large banana  & 200ml of fruit juice 45-50g carbs
    • 250g of fruit salad & low fat yoghurt (the sort of think you can buy at station pre-packed before you broad train) – 50g
    • 6 jaffa cakes  (52g carbs)
  • Nice Parkrunning AW!

    Sorry haven't posted for a while. Been stupidly busy with work and family commitments so struggling to find time to run let alone post!

    Have been following, however, and soem great performances looking likely from a number of posters on here!

    Enjoy Poland Steve - I can hardly believe we're still running in winter gear in the South east of England at the end of March.

    Had a thoroughly unpleasant 20 miler all on my lonesome yesterday morning. Not sure I enjoyed one step of it but I suppose they are the ones that count come marathon day! Actually, i overdressed and over heated a little. Hat seemed a good idea when I set off!

    Only 2 weeks to go for you guys - how exciting! AW you are going to nail it mate!

  • Hi guys, some cracking running at the weekend and a great new PB to boot AW congrats.  I ran Eastliegh in the cold and wind, but too came away with a PB in 34:21 running a negative split, which fo rthose who know how I run is unheard of! 17:17, followed by 17:04.  Also was in the prizes with 4th vet and 1st vet team, always nice.

    Ruth, I would appreciate your opinion on alcohol, is it worth stopping drinking (I stopped last thurs, to give 1 month to race day) and if so when is a good time?

  • AW great PB in this weather too! You should be nicely set up for paris now.

  • Hi DS2, thanks!

    in my opinion the hard runs are the most important ones to get through. Its another 20 in the bag! It can be mentally tough when you have lots on your plate and the last thing you have time for is a run!

    Great PB in the cold and wind Choisty. Congrats on the prize too!

    I'd be interested in Ruth's views on alcohol too, I cut it out completely over two weeks ago so I had 1 month completely dry like Choisty. Not sure how beneficial it will be on race day cutting it out for a whole month opposed to the last few days? Not that I had much before anyway, maybe a glass of wine or two a week.

    Thanks Sarah! I'm keeping the niggles at bay (touch wood!), only another 13 days to stay fit and healthy!!

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