The Road to Paris - On a Plateau - Asics Target 26.2 Training



  • Malcs -  Sevenoaks is indeed very, very hilly! My daughter plays hockey there and a few weeks ago in the early days of my base building I did a few miles whilst she was training. There isn't any flat stuff and the hills are proper ones, aren't they?

    Good effort though. You've done well to get back to that so quickly. Great to see you back!

  • Evening Ady!

    I've got a lower mileage week too this week - it's nice to have a bit more of a chilled week every now and then!

    Fingers crossed for a fab new PB on Saturday! Wow 6:40 - 6:20 pace is really quick!! Sounds like you're going to be smashing that sub-20 any day!!

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    DS2 - aha, so it wasn't just me then? That's a relief. I couldn't believe how much my legs were complaining after just 8 miles. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement. It has been a bit of a rough start to 2013 but looking good now. 

    RRR - they've reduced your mileage this week so the rest of us can catch up image. Sorry I haven't been on your thread for a while. I have been struggling for time and so I elected to pick one thread to hang out on. Unfortunately for Ady he drew the short straw image

    You're all doing amazingly well I have to say. Not just with the running but the reporting too. 


  • Day 50 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (04/02/13)

    Target: Rest or Cross-Training

    Actual: P90X Legs and Back Workout Video (1hr)

    With Sam's blessing, I've managed to juggle my training schedule around this week so not to have Sunday and Monday as both 'jog' recovery runs. I'm just going to swap today's 3 mile jog and Wednesday's cross-training days around and this should put everything right in the world!

    I've become so use to running during my lunch breaks now and getting out from the office that it comes as a bit of a disappointment when I have a rest day or cross-training day. I miss having something that breaks up my working day.

    To help with my continued weight loss, I hope to include more of these workouts in the next few weeks (obviously without overdoing it!). Today I wanted to focus on leg strengthening and this P90X legs and back workout should be the first of several I manage this week.

    The workout focuses on different leg and back strengthening exercises. Each leg exercise is then followed by a back exercise and then a leg exercise again. I think you get the idea! The leg exercises include a lot of stretching, striding, dips, tip-toeing with weights, crouching in the chair position and leaning against the wall with legs raised, also in chair position. The back exercises are all  pull ups, using different kinds to add variety.

    It may come as no surprise that my upper body strength leaves a lot to be desired. I can just about manage three or four pull-ups in one go in the easiest position, so there was no way I'd manage 15 or 20 every few minutes like the ripped, beefy instructors on the DVD. To make it easier and still get a good workout, I used a chair to rest one leg on while doing the majority of my pull-ups.

    It didn't take long before I was breathing heavily. It's a good workout, as the exercises are continuously changing and there's very little time between each move. By the time I finished my legs were shaking uncontrollably and it was an effort to lift my pint of water.

    I might grumble when I don't have a run, but this cross-training workout was actually a pleasant change to normal and if I carry on doing this once a week, should bring extra strength to my legs. I might even get some upper body muscle for the first time in my life too! Might come in handy for the beach this Summer as well as Paris! image

    I'll certainly sleep well tonight now!

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Pull ups are tough Ady but they are great and become much easier very quickly. I was really into weight training at one point. I remember vividly walking into the gym to do my first set of chin ups and painfully straining to do just one. However, the next time I did 2 and it quickly improved from then.

    Stick at it - you'll see the results within 3 or 4 sessions. For me the key thing was to go to the point of failure each time - so that's when you're pulling with all you have but nothing seems to be happening. 

    Where do you do your pull ups? Do you have a bar? I have the luxury of the climbing frame in the garden - it was never really for the kids image

  • Well done on the cross-training Ady - sounds rough! image lol

    It's definitely good to mix it up a bit. It keeps things interesting and a bit of core work seems to have surprisingly good benefits!

  • Steve........No need to apologise for not popping on to this thread. It's hard enough just keeping up with your own let alone keeping up with everyone else as well. Not that I'm complaining. I find writing up a daily report of my workout or run, and also my diet keeps me focused into doing the best I can (even if no one reads it!). If I didn't have to write everything I ate, I think it would be much more likely to sneak in the odd Golden Arches delight from time to time, or even take it easy on one or two runs if I was feeling tired. image

    I think you have definitely the right attitude to your training so far. This is only the start to hopefully a more informed and educated knowledge of how to train for a marathon and having this as a base, there's no reason why you shouldn't be breaking quicker times in years to come after going sub 4 in Paris.

    Enjoy your easier week this week. Look forward to catching up at Dorney Lake!

    Ruth..........Your wish is my command! I'm more than happy to go with SIS Go from now on. I'm also more than happy to do the carb-load properly too. Anything that can help!

    How often do you want me to take them during the half marathon. Do you want me to keep to every 35 minutes, or a little less than that seeing that it's only a half?

    Sam..........Sounds like a busy weekend. I bet many people don't realise how many first timers run London. I did my first marathon at London back in 2004 and I regret not following a training properly or seeking more professional advice. I would have definitely done a lot better if I did. You live and learn!

    I decided to do the cross-training today and move my jog to Wednesday. The other days I'll keep exactly the same. You should have my emailed round up by now.

    Malcs.........It's a shame it wasn't the jelly baby variety of babies I was talking about. I do have a soft spot for them. I only have to wait another week before my first carb-loading extravaganza and I can't eat half a bag of these tasty treats just as a morning snack! It's what dreams are made of! image

    Good luck with the move. They say it's one of the most stressful things anyone can do. I can't wait to see if this is true. At the moment I'm renting an apartment. It's a perfect location for getting to work and also it's only 20-25minutes to central London as well, which is ideal. I wouldn't mind moving further away from London if it means cheaper prices and more for your money.

    Excellent work on your 14.5miles, especially so soon after fighting off that dreaded lurgy. I wish I had somewhere like Sevenoaks around where I live. There's a few undulating miles, but nothing really to make you want to collapse in your own puke. Surely it's not much to ask for one or two monster hills nearby! Looking at the elevation map you posted here earlier, Spitfire 20 should be a good challenge and possibly the most hilly, undulating run I'll do before Paris.

    Saturday is a Parkrun. I've chosen Crane Park Park Run to do this time. Longer to get to, but definitely more chance of a PB, which is the main aim. Hopefully it won't be another disappointment!image

  • DS2...........Very jealous you have some good hills nearby you. I'm tempted to take the train to the start of the North Downs Way on one of my long runs so I can test myself a bit more on hilly terrain. But then I wonder if my time would be better spent practising on tarmac and flatter ground, which would be more like Paris.

    RRR......Enjoy your low mileage this week. Although I just want to run and run and run, I do understand the importance of easier weeks, and this can only stand us in good stead for Dorney Lake Half Marathon.

    Although it would be a dream come true, I'm not getting carried away just yet with the hope of breaking 20 mins. My PB is still 21:45, so just to break that and I'll be happy with the progress I'm making. I make it 6:26m/m to break 20 mins. I might make that for the first mile, but after that is anyone's guess! Let's see how long I last. If I do crash and burn, let's hope it's only the last mile I have to get through. image

    Malcs.......I actually feel a little fuzzy and honoured that this thread is the place you currently call home. I'll be sure not to startle or shock you in the future so you fly away and make your nest elsewhere.

    There's nothing wrong with having aching legs after only 8 miles. I'd probably be in exactly the same position, especially considering that I don't have much practice on hills.

    After this run, do you feel confident for Spitfire? What's your current 20 mile PB?

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭
    Shady_Ady wrote (see)

    Malcs.......I actually feel a little fuzzy and honoured that this thread is the place you currently call home. I'll be sure not to startle or shock you in the future so you fly away and make your nest elsewhere.

    There's nothing wrong with having aching legs after only 8 miles. I'd probably be in exactly the same position, especially considering that I don't have much practice on hills.

    After this run, do you feel confident for Spitfire? What's your current 20 mile PB?

    Thanks Ady. Your message conjures images of a fragile bird snuggling in for the winter when in fact I'm more like some vagrant camped on your doorstep that you can't get rid of! image

    Confident of Spitfire? No, not really. This week I plan to do 16 on a more forgiving route. If I can get round that comfortably then I'll start to feel a bit better about Spitfire. I've only ever run one 20 mile race and that was Spitfire last year in 2:46. I didn't race it though and I don't plan to race this one either. I'll do the first half slow for sure and then either progressive or some MP at the end of the second half.

    Do you know how Sam wants you to approach it yet?

  • Bloody hell Malcs - if you could run 2:46 when not racing it really indicates that 3;30 is possible. Just a bit more endurance is probably the key. I've really benefitted this year from lots of slowish miles. I feel I can run forever, legs wise, although not as fast as I'd like but that should come over the next 13 1/2 weeks!

    Looking forward to catching up at Spitfire!

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Well, that was last year DS2 and I'd been running decent miles through Nov and Dec. This year I'm a bit later with the training and Spitfire is 2 weeks earlier.

    It was a very cold day and that suited me perfectly. I think I ran around 8:30mm first half but got progressively quicker. I wasn't running it as a race but clearly at that pace I was approaching MP. The temperature seems to make a huge difference to me. If it's hot then I sweat (alot) and that's what it's been like for all the spring marathons I've run. This is why I was keen to do York in the Autumn image

    Oh to feel like I could run forever! image

  • I did the Spitfire last year- first 8m @ 8:30-8:40 and the last 12m @ MP (7:50-8:00). It's a great race.

    Ady- looking forward to your parkrun this weekend. Nice ambitious target!image
  • Day 51 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (05/02/13)


    Actual: 5.16 miles in 40:05 @ 7:46m/m including 4x4 mins continuous hill efforts with 1 min jog.

    Splits: 1.25 miles @ 7:41m/m, 1st Hill rep @ 7:03m/m (0.57mi), 2nd Hill rep @7:04m/m (0.57mi), 3rd Hill rep @ 7:09 (0.56mi), 4th Hill rep @ 7:14 (0.56mi), 1.32 miles @ 7:45m/m.

    I can safely say today's session is the most difficult I've had so far. I really struggled. I woke this morning feeling the effects of yesterday's legs and back workout. My bum felt as though Giant Haystacks had been elbow dropping each cheek throughout the night, while my legs felt as though I'd spent a good hour running thigh first into tables.

    Going up and down stairs left me hobbling, straining and sighing like an OAP. I knew I'd pushed myself during the workout the previous day, but I wasn't expecting to suffer so much.............especially as I'd put extra effort into the stretching afterwards. Maybe I'll have to plan such strengthening workouts more carefully in future so it doesn't affect my running sessions.

    With these aches, it took all of the warm-up for my running to feel comfortable, my legs to loosen up and the aches to subside a little. The 4x4 minute hill sessions weren't actually that bad to start with. The first two were no problem at all. I felt strong and I managed to keep a consistent speed both up and down the 0.12mile hill I'd chosen.

    It was the last two hill sessions where I started to struggle. I found it much more difficult to keep the same pace as the first two and my disappearing energy levels surprised me. It wasn't as though I'd not eaten normally beforehand.

    Only after running back to my office and making it to my desk did it dawn on me why I probably found today's session harder than I normally would. I'm coming down with a dose of that dreaded lurgy: man flu! I didn't feel any issue with this before my run, but as soon as I'd taken a shower and got back to my desk, the sneezing started, followed by watering eyes, streaming nose, sore throat and hot and cold spells. It's shocked me how quickly it came on.

    Since then I've dosed up to the max on Lemsip and I'm going to be taking an early night to rest and recuperate. One thing that I have on my side is that when I've felt like this before, it normally only effects me for 24-48 hours, so if I take care, I'm hoping this will be the same.

    I'm not going to push myself to run tomorrow if I don't feel 100%. My biggest concern now is being 100% for my Parkrun on Saturday. If that means missing tomorrow's run, then I'm happy to make this sacrifice. Hopefully tomorrow will bring better news and I awake to already be feeling on the mend.

    Here's my run from today:

  • Apologies all for falling slightly behind on my replies. I haven't been feeling 100% today so I'm going to be a true male of the species.........I'm going to complain, mope around my apartment, pretend I'm at death's door, and hopefully look pathetic enough to get some sympathy from Mrs. Shady Ady! I'm also going to take an early night in the hope it has mircaulously cleared by the morning.

    I'll hopefully catch up with everything tomorrow! image

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭
    Brolish - you could well have overtaken me! Either that or I was eating your dust from the very start image I really enjoyed the race too. Are you not doing it this year then?

    Ady - take it easy. Hope you feel better tomorrow!
  • Hope you feel better today best sometimes just to take a rest day recover and then feel better. It's a good idea to have a stretch session if you have the energy to get rid off all the stiffness from the cold.

  • Afternoon all.

    I woke up this morning feeling a little better than yesterday, but decided to play it safe and take my first sick day in  a good 5 years. After suffering a fever and chills throughout the night (remarkably at the same time!) and waking all achy, I thought this would be the wisest decision. All good runs have to come to an end (excuse the pun!).image

    After sleeping all morning and half the afternoon I now feel much better and thought I'd better catch up on this forum page before contemplating the return to work tomorrow.

    Malcs.......Hopefully I'll be in the same boat as you then regarding the pull-ups. I can run for hours but struggle to do a few pull-ups. It's a funny old world! I really hope next time I attempt this next week, I don't ache as much afterwards. I'm still feeling it today regardless of the dose of man flu!

    If I'm dangling and struggling to hang-on, let alone pull myself up, then I think I've pushed myself to the point of failure! I have a pull-up bar that attaches over the door frame. Luckily this means I can attempt to do them in the privacy of my home without any fear of the embarrassment of being seen by nosey neighbours!

    I'm also in a similar position to you regarding my 20 mile PB. I've never actually done a 20 mile race before. I've done the Kingston 16 mile Breakfast Run several times before. Apart from that, the only times I've ran 20 miles in a race situation is during the marathon. I think my best is almost spot on yours around 2 hrs 45mins. It sounds like we'll be seeing a lot of each other during the race!

    I also won't be racing this. I'm not sure what Sam wants me to do for this yet, but I presume it'll involve a progressive run with some miles at MP pace. In training I have done progressive runs at 3 different paces....roughly starting at MP+50, MP+20 and MP. Something like his would be perfect!

    Hopefully it'll be cold again this year. I also perform much better in cold weather. But on the off chance it is hot, I hope now that I've ran several marathons in hot weather, it won't seem so daunting and knock me mentally.

    Steve........I totally agree. I think you become a much stronger runner by doing more than just running. I've read many times the importance of core work and know from personal experience how not having good core strength can affect my marathon performance, especially in the latter stages when my posture starts to suffer.

    DS2........when you say you've benefitted from slowish miles, what would you class as slowish miles? MP+60? Hopefully I'll be in the position come Paris on mile 23 when I have the same feeling that I can run forever! It'll definitely be nice to catch up come Spitfire and see a few friendly faces.image

    Brolish.....Glad to hear Spitfire was good. I'm hoping it'll be the same this year too. I'm hoping I'll have  a game plan similar to yours with some mileage at MP pace. I think this might depend though on how well I perform over the next 2 weekends at the Parkrun and Half Marathon.

    The Parkrun plan is a very ambitious target. I doubt very much I'll be able to keep it going for the full 5km, but if I can go close to it for the first half and hang on for the 2nd, then it should still be a positive result. But we will see. I think it will be better to run it this way than start of slowly and increase as I go, as it's short distance.

  • Sarah............I'm feeling much better now thanks. In fact I feel a completely different person to how I felt this morning. I'm glad I took the sensible option of not going into work and staying in bed for most of the day.

    I think I'll follow your advice and re-schedule my Friday rest day to today just to play it safe and not risk any lapses. I'll definitely do a stretching session later this evening, especially as my glutes and thighs are aching from my strengthening workout on Monday.

    I know I need to increase leg and core strength, but if I push myself like I did on Monday and it takes 2 days to fully recover from it, is this too detrimental to my marathon training? I stretched well after this  and also more yesterday. Is there anything else I can do to help with the aches? I presume these the aches will become less, the more my legs and core become use to these exercises?

  • sorry to here that youve been knocked down with the dreaded man flu Ady. I hope you make a full recovery from it soon. Glad that your being sensible and resting whilst you have a fever, hopefully that way you will make a quicker and fuller recovery.

    Despite you coming down with man flu you still did extremely well on your run yesterday. You must have been ready for this cut back week.

    Im just wondering what your week is like next week before your half? I was going to cut back a little this week and next before my half a week on sunday (as I was worried that im doing more and more each week) but Minni suggested doing another 20 this week and then cutting back. It will be a dramatic taper though as I can only run mon and tue then race on sunday!

    Thankyou for your positive comments. I really didnt expect to do as well in the XC after doing the 20 two days before, so it was nice surprised. My 20 didnt feel as easy as you found your 18 though!

    It was nice to get a 20 out of the way. Im hoping to do about 4 before VLM so hopefully on the day it will be easier.

    Orange juice and lentils...must be a first, im not sure that it will catch on, but you never know - depends on how many runners there are out there!

    Have you tried your foam roller yet? A running friend is going to bring me an exercise sheet today on what to do with a foam roller, im hoping I wont be as clueless once I have it, although im not very good at reading instructions!

    I really hope that you get a PB this weekend and the next. You have certainly been running well and fast so you deserve to do well. Just make sure you have recovered properly before trying a run though. I will be keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you for both your races and for making a full recovery soon.
  • Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Monday 4th February 2012

    I think I was on the edge today of the amount of food I needed to eat. Maybe I didn't feel as full due to not having as many hot drinks during the day. I also made sure I had a normal sized portion for dinner as well.

    6:50am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre cereal w/ semi-skimmed milk.

    9:00am - Bottle of water, no cups of tea today as the boiler had broken in the kitchen at work!

    11:00am – Bottle of water, Jordan's Nut Bar

    12:00pm - Lunch - Ham, Tomato, Lettuce and Pickle Bap on Wholemeal bread. Bottle of water

    2:30pm – Apple, Medium Costa Cappuccino (I couldn't cope going the whole day without a hot drink!).

    5:00pm - Apple - 2nd of the day.

    7:00pm - Legs and Back P90X Strengthening Workout video.

    8:20pm - Dinner - Homemade stir-fried egg noodles with salmon, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms in a soy sauce (light), garlic, ginger and chilli sauce (also homemade). Pint of squash

    9:00pm  - Muller Coconut Greek yoghurt (0% fat), cup of tea

    10:30pm - Small glass of water.

  • Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Tuesday 5th February 2013

    A day of two halves......perfectly fine in the morning and then full of fever and cold in the afternoon! Even a rich hot chocolate couldn't perk things up!

    6:50am - Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre cereal w/ semi-skimmed milk.

    9:00am - Bottle of water, cup of tea (boiler at work fixed!)

    11:00am – Bottle of water, banana

    12:00pm - 5.2 mile steady hill session (see earlier for full description).

    1:15pm - Lunch - Leftover dinner from last night - Homemade stir-fried egg noodles with salmon, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms in a soy sauce (light), garlic, ginger and chilli sauce (also homemade). Not quite as nice cold and a  day old! Bottle of water.

    3:20pm – Medium Costa Hot Chocolate - hoping this would counteract the chills and fever I was having. It did for a short while!  

    4:30pm - Lemsip Sachet and bottle of water.

    5:45pm - Apple

    7:30pm - Dinner - New potatoes, small frying steak, beans and 2 eggs (fried but no oil used). Pint of squash

    9:30pm  - Lemsip Sachet and an early night to try and sleep off this man-flu!

  • Day 52 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (06/02/13)

    Target: 3 mile Jog @ 9:20-10:00m/m with 3x Acceleration Strides

    Actual: Rest with 30 minutes stretching session

    Due to illness, I decided to move Friday's rest day to today.

    Normally when I get ill, it knocks me out for half a day and then I start to feel better very quickly. This morning when I woke up, I was full of a head cold. I'd spent the night changing rapidly from fever to chills, sometimes having half a body of each at the same time.

    I actually can't remember the last time I took a sick day from work. It must have been a good 6 years ago now. I got up with my alarm at 6:30am. Even though I'd had a terrible night's sleep I didn't want to miss a day of work, or a day of marathon training. But I've found a new sensibility in my ageing years. If I had of made it into work, I'd been a shivering zombie incapable of doing anything other than making me worse and taking longer to recover.

    Instead I took a sick day and went straight back to bed after eating breakfast. I didn't get up again until 1pm. It was definitely the best decision. As the afternoon progressed I've felt much better. Still not 100%, but not far from it. Hopefully I'm over the worse and with a full proper meal in me, I'll be back to normal tomorrow and can continue as though this little blip never happened.

    As suggest by Sarah, I've managed to do a 30 minute stretching session this evening. While I might have managed my planned 3 mile jog without any problems, it's not worth risking it. Plus I can still do this on Friday instead. This is probably the longest I've ever lasted doing stretching, so there's definitely one positive to come out of today. Hopefully this will allow some of the aches that I'm still feeling from Monday's leg and back strengthening workout to subside completely.

    I have a meeting tomorrow lunch time so I won't be able to do my normal lunch time run. This means I have an extra few hours recovery time before I run late evening instead.

    Fingers crossed that it's back to normal tomorrow and it is still full steam ahead to a quick run on Saturday at the Parkrun.image

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Ady - sorry to hear you've caught a bug. I really hope you fight it off quickly and that it doesn't develop into what I had.

    Definitely take it easy and don't be tempted to run until you're feeling 100%. I made that mistake and it cost me another 4 days.

    PS. The aching after the chin ups is a good sign that you've put in the necessary work to cause a change in the muscles. Keep it up and you'll be looking like Arnie in no time image 


  • Hi Ady not sure full on marathon training is also the time to introduce new strength work. Is this a regular thing or new last week? If it's regular then you shouldn't be getting so much soreness after shows at this satge you are working too hard. The best time to build up strength is when you have an easier period of training ie after the marathon. You can work on the lower level core exercises to keep the neuro muscular poathways open and stop the core muscles shutting down when fatigued or to waken them up again after they have fatigued but that sort of pain after is counter productive at this stage in your training. It may be that you were so sore as you were coming down with a bug. keep using your foam roller on the quads and gluts as well this will help iron out the knots. Glad to hear the knee feeling better 

  • Ady- hope you feel better soon. Sounds like a rather serious case of man flu! Take it easy and as others say, don't rush back into it if you're not 100%.

    Malcs-  I'm not doing the Spitfire this year as racing a 10k on the same day.

  • Poor Shady Achey Ady! Do hope you are feeling much better now, but if not, then just take the recovery time you need. You can't rush things.

    I was looking at your parkrun 5km pace plan and think 6.20 pace is a bit rash! That'd bring you in around 19.40, which is a massive chunk off your PB. Even 6.55 pace would give you a new PB.... I'd recommend starting off around 6.50 ish and gradually picking it up. I know you can't hit the wall or anything so drastic in a 5km, but still, starting off at such a fast pace will make it feel pretty uncomfortable and its a bit demoralising to then start slowing down. 

    Fingers crossed the man flu will have taken marching orders by then image

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    sarah asics pro team - oops, I always thought pushing to failure on things likes chin ups would always produce soreness the next day. That's me told image. Is it a bad idea to mix upper body strength work with marathon training? I do lots of press ups and chins on a regular basis through marathon training. Maybe this is another area where I'm going wrong image

    Brolish - aha! Which 10K? At the stage I'm at now I think I'd rather do 20 miles slow than 10K at full tilt. Best of luck!

    No sign of Ady today. Hopefully he's resting up and not on some marathon chin up session! 

  • Malcs- Regents Park 10k. I'm totally with you, would rather run 20m any day which is precisely why I need to work on shorter stuffimage
  • Think my favourite distance at the moment is a nice 10 miler....not short enough to sprint round but also not too long a distance that me being lazy!
  • Hi Sarah Asics, I was interested in your advice to Ady about the strength training. I'm doing my first marathon in April and up until Christmas I had been strength training twice a week. After a 6 or 7 week break, I recently took up a weekly strength session again and after the first one had similar issues to Ady - not being able to walk, sit down etc!! Could you explain a bit more about why it's not a good idea at this stage? I thought it would be good for all round strength, injury prevention but seems I may be wrong - not for the first time, I should add image
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