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



  • 20M tonight very cold...even a pub on fire didn't warm me up
  • well done on the 10k prize at eastleigh. Not sure I would do 20 day after 10k race though but I would do it after longer cross-country.

    less than 2 weeks to Paris now AW - good run yesterday - well into taper territory now

  • Here is my experience with alcohol: I have stopped completely when I started my training in January. It is a bit extreme but I wanted to lose a bit of weight for that marathon (I have already decided it is going to be my last big marathon).

    I can’t say a drink a lot but I do enjoy having a beer or a glass of wine and I would have a packet of crisps or peanuts with it. In order to cut down on crisps and peanuts, I have decided to cut down on alcohol completely.

    It has worked as I have lost weight but it could be the training.

    In my views, alcohol doesn’t help with hard training sessions. It helps to relax but I don’t think it does much for recovery.

  • I agree alcohol definitely doesn't help with the recovery. And I've found I'm able to train better and harder and get more sleep since reducing my intake.

    The main difference I have noticed since cutting down 80% of the drink I was having from Christmas was its really allowed me to get lean and reduce my body fat.

  • Today's session was ok, I kind of had to talk myself through it a bit!

    I just didn't really feel like it today, a little bit stressed. Set off telling myself I would just do 10 reps, when I got to 10 I persuaded myself to do 12, when I got there I said just one more and when I'd done 13 I told myself I might as well finish the whole session!

    So pleased I did the whole session in the end even if I did have to persuade myself to do the whole lot! A little erratic in places with the pacing, but I'm blaming that on the wind!

    Took 45 seconds recoveries. A couple of the reps I pushed on a bit, but on the whole kept it fairly comfortable and controlled. 8 miles in total.

    Splits -

    1. 1.23
    2. 1.20
    3. 1.21
    4. 1.14
    5. 1.22
    6. 1.23
    7. 1.20
    8. 1.14
    9. 1.20
    10. 1.18
    11. 1.16
    12. 1.17
    13. 1.21
    14. 1.15
    15. 1.17
  • Well done on completing the session AW. Those are the ones you can look back on with satisfaction in a couple of weeks time. You are probably suffering a bit from 'taper-madness'. You've trained so well and your body has coped brilliantly with the schedule. it always seems a bit strange when you cut back in the taper. Keep doing the sessions - Sub 2:55 beckons!image

    I was chatting to a mate - an occasional marathoner - this morning and we were saying what a tough winter this will have been for many of the charity runners who haven't put a marathon campaign together before. I think for us 'regulars' we complain about the weather but know that getting out there in all weathers, even when stressed with other things going on, will pay dividends down the line. I think there will be more uderprepared runners than usual on the marathon start lines this year!!

  • another really encouraging session AW - particularly good second half

  • Steve - I was just watching your Vodcast on the homepage. I'm in what should be my peak week, coming to a crescendo as you put it, this weekend. However I have a nasty cold and cough. I haven't run since Thursday and if I do run tomorrow it will have to be slow and most likely indoors. On Thursday I won't be able to run as logistics do not permit. So my 'peak' week will have fewer miles than a cutback week. How do I then approach the taper? My legs will be well rested before I even start. 

  • Well done on the 5k PB AW, a good confidence boost and indicator of form. Quick paced reps tonight, they can be mentally tough sometimes, but a good feeling when you get them all done.

    Great PB too Choisty!

    Did a steady 22 miler on Sunday in the snow, but the conditions weren;t that bad and more picturesque. A good run to be done & dusted and pleased with the time of 2.53.02. I'm in the same boat as Speedy too Steve and have a btickely cough and bunged up nose/head. Is a few days off better than trying to run through it?

  • I had a very heavy cold during last years training and took a few days off (4, I think) and it didn't seem to do any harm.  It is better than making it worse and having to take a week or more off.

  • Great reps AW! Always more of a mental game when having to do 10 or more reps.

    KR, I'm with Choisty on the cough. If it's chesty a couple of days off will really help. I've had similar experiences where it's taken me weeks to get rid of colds by not giving the body a chance to recover from it.

    10 mile total for me last night with 7K and 4K @ threshold pace (just under HM pace) with a mile recovery in between. Calfs were a bit sore but they seem fine this morning.

  • I think you might be right DS2, the amount of people I speak to and say they don't run outside when the weathers not good. They think I'm mad going out for 20 mile runs in the snow, wind, rain, cold etc! So can only imagine the amount of training some have done with the winter we've had!!!

    Good run KR, I would have said your better having a couple of days off and letting yourself recover from the worst of the cold. You've done some great training and really don't think a couple of days will make any difference to your training.

    Nice session Yasunaga, keep those calves stretched out.

  • Another run closer to Paris, its actually quite tough to get the running done now being so close to the race knowing what I'm doing won't really affect the outcome.

    Felt a bit sluggish for the first couple of miles but then settled in to a nice steady pace which felt comfortable so completed my 8 miles with an average pace of 7.10.

    Tomorrow is what I would class as my last proper hardish run, a 7 mile build up run starting at 8 minute mile and finishing at 1 sub 6 minute mile. I think I will plan to complete the run with a mile at 8, 7.30, 7, 6.30 and 6 minute miles, then a 2 mile cool down.

  • AW - yes seems good plan

    KR - yes ok to take time off or just do a few miles jog to tick over

    Speedy - in instances where you involuntary have an easy week which should be the peak week,then I think it is fine to reduce the taper - likewise if you are catching up through injury. I would focus on just tapering the last 2 weeks and while not training as hard as you would have done, more than planned. ie if your 4 weeks were a planned say 60, 50, 40, 25 and you end up doing 30 instead of 60, then last 3 could go 55, 45, 25.

    It is important to still do a taper and be reasonably fresh but if you do a taper when you haven't trained as much as planned, you could risk going in slightly undertrained and lacking endurance.

  • Last hard effort done and was a pretty good session. After the last few sessions which have been a bit of a chore, this one flew by and was really enjoyable.

    The session got easier the quicker I got up until the last hard effort mile. Kept to my plan of building up each mile from 8 m/m to a sub 6 m/m over the course of 5 miles and then take a 2 mile cool down.

    Splits for build up were - 

    1. 7.49
    2. 7.14
    3. 6.49
    4. 6.21
    5. 5.45

    Cool down -

    1. 7.40
    2. 7.51


    For Saturdays run shall I do my 3 miles fastish at MP Steve? Or faster?

  • What are the distance markers in for Paris? km or miles? I'm assuming its km, just about to print off a pace band and want to make sure its in the right units! Was going to make one giving my 5km splits.

  • PC -PC - ✭✭✭

    Both. There are km and miles.

  • Sorry for delayed response. I was away at conference and could read but not submit replies for some reason.

    I think a small glass of alcohol every other day won't actually hinder overall performance (if no issue with weight and fuelling enough- i.e the calories you are having from alcohol is not displacing the ones you actually need to train!) but having any alcohol after a hard session or long run is not advisable. I do suggest you cut it out totally in taper (unnecessary in regards the calories when you are already needing to cut these down) and no more than a small 125ml every other day when training if not trying to lose weight/get as lean as possible. Always make sure you are hydrated before you drink as well. I would cut it out totally 4-6 weeks before but if looking to lose weight whilst marathon training you need to ask yourself can you afford the calories from alcohol? as they are not going to fuel you. However  for some who can drink in small amounts and they use it for relaxing it may too much to cut out and for some it is a case of cutting down. It really comes down to how serious are you about getting as lean as you can but staying healthy with this.

  • Thanks PC91!

    Hi Ruth - thanks for the info, that's pretty much what I thought. Its good to know for definite! I'm trying to keep check a bit on my feeding as the miles reduce but my body still thinks its training hard and still wants to eat lots!! I've mainly cut down on the snack volume a bit, but keeping the eating frequency. I've been eating lots of fruit and veg to try and keep healthy. At the minute I'm bang on fighting weight at 67kg, so want to keep it there!

    Had a final sports massage earlier, everything feels ok, he just picked up a bit of tightness in my left calf and right IT but soon had it ironed out nicely!

  • Excellent build up run. For saturday session - marathon pace should be sufficient but you could do a few faster 100m strides at 5k pace after about 10 mins jog following the marathon pace 

  • I hear you on that appetite point, AW - I've been eating like a horse these past few months and really need to make sure I reign it in until carb loading begins. When will you start: Friday? Thursday...?

    Massive confidence-booster for me today with a big PB in the Mile End ParkRun; 17:53 by my watch! Conditions were ideal, and it feels like everything's coming together now. Just need to stay healthy and get to the start line!

  • Nice Parkrun result Cookbox, a good boost to the confidence going in to the main event!

    My legs feel like they are starting to get fresher and the tiredness of training seems to be slowly evaporating. MP effort still not quite as comfortable as I would like it to be, but not too far off. Looking at my heart rate averages, today during the MP effort it was 150-155. If I go back a couple of months it was more like 160 for the same effort, so definite fitness improvements.

    Splits for MP section -

    1. 6.33
    2. 6.29
    3. 6.30

    A little bit too quick I know, but will be keeping more strict eye on it in a weeks time! Did the 5k pace strides at the start and 1.5 miles either side of the MP section.

    Should I try and build a little bit of MP in to all my remaining runs Steve?

  • Hmm, my previous post vanished! How odd.

    Thanks Steve, that's what I thought initially, but then worried about the fact you shouldn't try to 'catch up' missed training. Peak should have been 86, so taper was 64, 45, 21. I will bump it up to 70, 50, 21 I think. I'm definitely getting better now, but doubt I'll manage MP for the last 10k of 22 tomorrow as per the plan. Might try MP plus 10%. It's an actual race so should be easier to do than solo.

    I'm no longer jealous of your proximity to race day AW, I need more time!

  • Glad your on the mend CC2, sounds like a sensible taper plan.

    I'm a little bit annoyed with myself after today's run, I was meant to only be doing 13 miles at a steady 7.30 pace. I ran with the club this morning on what I thought would be a 13-14 mile route, and really enjoyed the run, was comfortable and was happily chatting away all the way. What I wasn't keeping check on was the distance!

    By the time I realised how far we'd been it was too late to cut back and make it the planned 13, so the result was I ended up doing a tad over 15!

    I kept to the 7.30 average for the 13, but then cut the pace right down to 8.30-9 m/m for the last bit so it was at least a very easy recovery type of pace so hopefully wont make too much difference or take too much out of me.

    I feel good and the pace felt nice and easy today so my body seems to be recovering well.

  • Oops! The extra probably won't take that much out of you, but make doubly sure you refuel and rest properly at this late stage!

    Aimed for MP+ 10% (ie 7.25s) for the 10k today after just a 15.3 mile warm up (had to hang around for a bit waiting for the baggage lorry). The first mile has a massive downhill though, so it came out at 7.10, and then my legs were in a rhythm and my lungs seemed fine, so I thought I'd just keep it going. What actually happened is that I got progressively quicker with each mile, passing MP somewhere in miles 4 or 5. Last 0.2 at 6 min mile pace or thereabouts to bring up 21.5x miles. Ended up maybe a minute slower than it would have been if I'd run it all at MP. Given the circumstances I'm fairly pleased with that. I'm still coughing though. 

  • Sounds like a good run CC2 and your kicking the lurgy in to touch! always nice to keep getting faster in a race and passing people than the other way round!

  • AW

    Only a few more days to go so try and keep snacks and main meals reduced. You are probably below your natural weight so you body is still hungry for calories but stick with the discipline as you are aiming for a very good marathon time and body weight will help play a part in this.

    Enjoy some relaxing this week before you travel if you can. Travelling already tired then add to this fatigue of travelling is not ideal. So lots of sleep and being organised a couple of days before you go may help keep stress levels good and should make you feel in control and well rested.
  • Hi All

    Just checking in. So close now AW. An awesome run in Paris surely beckons.

    Unfortunately my build up to Brighton (14th) has gone pear shaped. The hammy I'd been nursing since mid Feb got worse after my half pb at Reading two weeks ago leading to lower back pain and only token running since. I've been seeing a physio for the last two weeks who suspects a minor tear and a sciatic nerve issue. I've been doing lots of specific stretching and things have improved in the last couple of days having completed two slow pain free rehab runs. This time last week I thought I was definately out of the game but now think its 50/50. I'm hoping for one modest week (c40m with a 20m lsr) followed by a measly one week taper. Not conventional but due to racing three halfs recently (not a good idea in hindsight) its dawned on me I've gone 5 weeks since hitting 20m. If this week doesn't go to plan I'll either pull out and try again next year or look for a plan B mara in May. Kind of a make or break week for me coming up.  

  • Hi Andy - I think what you did previously should just about give you a chance of a PB as long as the injury holds off.

    AW I don't think the extra few miles you did at a slow pace will be a problem. I don't think you need to do too much more at marathon pace now. More important to stay fresh for the race. You might get the odd mile wrong in the marathon but I think with reference to the garmin, you are smart enough to adjust your pace to the right tempo on the big day.


    CC2 looks a good run - maybe a bit fast but shows your health is improving.

    well done on the parkrun cookbox

    I barely run for 4 days in Poland last weekend - 800m in total - average training midweek - heavy weekend of exercise though Saturday did 2 miles warm up, parkrun at marathon pace, then very slow 20 and Sunday did 66 mile hilly sportive and legs actually felt better in afternoon than they normally do day after long run. Might be different Monday. 


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