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



  • DS2 - Amazing running - I am often on my own because I am so far at the back!

    Hubby did really well (apart from pacing) and I am so pleased for him. With dedicated training and listening to advice he could be even more amazing. I think after this he will focus on half maras and 10ks where he usually does about 42 mins with no training and a hangover ... so annoying when I train and run my heart out to be 10 mins slower!

    Looking forward to Paddock wood - hopefully I'll see you at the start (and about an hour after you finish!).

  • DS2 wrote (see)
    Hi all, a really good day in Surrey was had by all. Nice to meet fellow for unites. Just a shame I ran the whole way on my own. Ended with 2:18:39 with a 3 1/2 minute negative split so feel on target for sub 3:15 in 10 weeks time. 

    hahaha...its because your so speedy image

    Congratulations Malcs, Ady, Youngpup and DS2 for some fabulous times and what sounds to me perfect and strong running, just hope I manage to do the same in 2 weeks time.

    Is that your first 20 now Ady banked?

  • Hi Emma

    I didn't run today we had our shop there, so I was shop assistant and Jeff was pacing the 1.30 group round. Got The Grizzly next weekend!

    Brilliant on your pb! And you are sure to best that, all being well, at PW. I got my pb there...

    Next localish race for me is Hastings half in 3 weeks. And I am pacing the 4.30 runners at London mara.

    Hopefully bump into you somewhere this year!

    Great run ds2!
  • Thanks Sam. I will look out for you at VLM. My local marathon so easy to go and watch.
  • Hi Sam! So good to hear from you - I am smiling just reading your post and determined to get back to my running so I can tell you how it is all going. I know all that I learnt from you continues to help me with my running so you work is still having a positive effect!

    I was thinking about doing the Hastings Half as part of the Sussex Grand Prix and therefore good for points - runners from my club really rate it too. Hope you have a great run there.

    If I'd got in to VLM might have been able to run with you! The grizzly sounds rather daunting and muddy too. Jeff is amazing - pacing 1:30!!!!

    There is the Rye 10 sometime in the not too distant future - just depends if I have a tri around that time. First event is in May! Given that I don't have a road bike could be interesting. Trying to juggle 3 disciplines as well as job, family and hubby's marathon training is bonkers ... but I like a challenge. Are you planning any triathlons?

    How is Sid?

  • DS2 is your marathon Edi?

  • Hi Emma - marathon is Halstead (Essex/Suffolk borders). Done last two years but training harder this year because family issues have eased a bit.

    Hoping to get GFA for VLM 2014 when I'll be 50 that week!
  • Sounds like another great weekend of running for you Ady. Good result today nice to get this one in the bag hope it was a pb for you.

  • Great work on the 20 today Ady, sounds like you executed your race plan to perfection. Really pleased you had a good day and got to meet up with some of the other guys, well done to all of you too!

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    He did A.W - I had the pleasure of being there to witness it first hand. I also benefitted immensely from being able to run alongside him. Lord knows how I managed to keep with him though. Jelly Babies clearly have magical powers image

    Add to that the crowds of adoring Ady fans, screaming girls, grannies throwing their knickers from the side of the road. It's a wonder I could get anywhere near him!

    Congrats on your amazing PB too A.W. Sounds like you executed your plan perfectly too! You must be very confident about Paris now?

    Really well done Ady, I know you were very happy with that today. Really appreciated your company - the miles just flew by and I would never have got round that second half without you and Young Pup pulling me along.

    Great to meet you Young Pup - absolute pleasure having you run along with us. Definitely helped having you with us. Unfortunately for us you eventually managed to break away from the Ady-Malcs peloton and we were never going to catch you image Brilliant running though! Do please de-lurk from time to time and say hello!  

    Emma - very nice meeting your OH today. We were saying it must be hard when both of you are runners. Difficult finding the time so both of you can train or race.

    Sarah O - many thanks! How did your race go? Haven't had a chance yet to read the other threads.

  • haha.....I must have been spacing out when we passed the sreaming girls.......shame the images of the pant throwing grannies are still so vivid!

    Emma.....very nice to meet your OH today. He breezed past me very early on and I didn't see him again until the finish. Congratulations on your PB. I totally agree......pacing makes such a big difference, and to finish the race so strong and quick (the last mile to the finish we were averaging 7:23m/m) was such a good feeling. Now I just have to believe I can keep this pace going for another 6 miles and also pick my pace up for the first 10 as well. Young Pup.......I might struggle to get down to 7:30m/m like yourself though. It was good having you as a pace maker though! image

    Alex.....great work on your half. That should put you in the priority pen for Paris now shouldn't it?

    I'm please to say that even with the slow pacing 1st half of the 20 miler today, it was a new PB by a minute. Taking into account though that my Garmin said my run today was only 19.83miles, I'm not sure that can class as a new 20 mile PB. So Sarah, I thin I'm still waiting officially to run my first 20 miler, but I think htis comes close enough. I hope your run went well today.

    Here's a couple of photos from today's run. I' ve ran out of time to catch up properly today, so will do tomorrow image Thanks for all the comments though. It is very much appreciated and great to keep the motivation and confidence up!


     DS2, Malcs and myself, at the finish post bacon sarnie!


    Enjoying my bacon bap. It's important to eat 30 minutes after completing a long run. As there was no alternative, I had no choice......honestly!

    So, week 11 over with - 43.6 miles ran - probably the heaviest mileage of any marathon training plan I've ran. Week 12 will be even more, bring it on!

    For anyone interested, here's my run from today:

  • Great stuff chaps - gutted I missed you all! I am half excited for you and half green with envy. It is such an amazing experience. I love Spitfire have done 2 or 3 times now. It is quite tricky juggling all the training - to be honest we have a bit of a tag team situation with the boys and don't see huge amounts of each other.image


    Last week though he paced me round a half so I could go for a pb which was really special.image

    He was really chuffed to have bumped in to you guys as he knows what the experience is like and what greta people you meet through doing it.image

  • Emma - hello! and well done on your pb! image

  • Looking forward to race report Shady- Ady!

  • Thank you Ruth!

    I've fallen of the wagon a bit with my food - especially as I don't need all the calories as I'm not marathon training. Seeing you on here is a reminder to me to try and eat better!

    How are you doing?

  • Sarah, regarding milkshakes you do need to be wary about calorie content and your energy budget (how much calories you can eat to maintain a heathy body composition balanced with racing weight). You weigh very little, so of less concern for you, but for Adrian I would not suggest he adds 500ml each day of  flavoured  milk (sorry for talking about you being your back Adrain!) everyday but a glass of around 200ml at lunch may be useful for Adrian whether from milk (lesser calories) or even a milk shake. However, 500ml of a milkshake post race or long runs is a great recovery drink for most but as a day to day drink just be wary of the added calories if need to watch their weight- it is all about balance.

    Here are some examples of calories, carb and protein content:

    • Pint of skimmed milk: 218kcal, 28g carbs and 19g protein
    • For goodness shake (500ml): 266-315kcal, 50g carbs & 17g protein
    • Sainsbury flavoured milk (500ml): 350kcal, 49g carbs & 19g protein
    • Frijj (500ml): 325kcal, 52g carbs, 18.5g protein
    • Nesquik power and 400ml skimmed milk: 171kcal, 50g carbs, 14g protein

    Let me know if this makes sense!


  • sarah asics pro team wrote (see)

    Sounds like another great weekend of running for you Ady. Good result today nice to get this one in the bag hope it was a pb for you.

    Hey Sarah........Thanks so much for your another session with your magic hands  on Saturday. I cannot believe it took only 20 minutes with you to work all the stiffness out of my knee.....even if I was made to wince like a 2 year old having their first injection!

    Someone mentioned that you aren't making the trip to Paris with us? image Is this correct? I hope it's only a rumour! If I had known there was the possibility of not seeing you again before the race I would have thanked you properly for all your help with my niggles and making sure I obtained the correct trainers to race in. You have certainly made me realise the importance of seeking professional help when suffering from aches and pains and helped put my mind at ease with your advice.

    Thanks for everything so far. It's been very much appreciated! I hope I can do you justice and make your hard work count come race day. image

  • Day 75 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (01/03/13)

    Target: Rest

    Actual: Rest

    I definitely needed rest today. As per any week, with working long hours and fitting my runs in, by the time Friday comes around I'm a tired mess of a man.

    On the positive side, due to having a doctor's appointment to go to, I was able to have a bit of a lie in. I certainly won't enjoy this over the weekend with early starts needed for Birmingham training day and then the Spitfire 20 on Sunday.

    I really should have tried to do some last minute stretching and foam rolling before seeing Sarah tomorrow. But by the time I finally made it home, I only had time to pack my bag before an early night beckoned.

    A restless night wasn't the best way to be starting a weekend dedicated to running!

  • Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Friday 1st March 2013

    This was the start of a weekend of poor eating standards. Sorry Ruth!

    6:50am - Breakfast - Fruit & Fibre Cereal w/ Semi-Skimmed Milk.

    8:45am - Cup of tea, bottle of water

    10:45am - Banana, bottle of water

    12:00pm - Lunch - Couscous with cucumber and salmon (made it myself, but by the time I came to eat it, it looked more like something a dog had thrown up rather than a tempting lunch!). Bottle of water

    3:30pm - Clementine, cup of tea, bottle of water

    5:30pm - Cup of tea, apple

    8:00pm - Dinner - Pepperoni pizza (the start of a less than brilliant weekend of eating!)

    8:30pm - Pint of squash, 2 jaffa cakes, cup of tea

    11:00pm - Glass of water.

  • Day 76 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (02/03/13)


    Actual: 1.52 mile w/up in 14:43 @ 9:40m/m, 2:02 with Garmin at MP in 15:53 @ 7:51m/m, 2:02 without Garmin at MP in 15:57 @ 7:55m/m, 1 mile on track with straights at 10k pace and bends at MP in 6:54m/m, 0.52 mile cool down in 5:00 @ 9:32.

    Total mileage: 7:08 miles in 57:45 @ 8:09m/m

    Today was the worst day to sleep in. Luckily my built in alarm clock kicked in just in time, leaving me  15 minutes to shower, dress and run like a maniac to catch my train. I made it with seconds to spare. For once I thanked my forward thinking of packing my bag the evening before.

    It was a 3 hour 30 mins trip to Birmingham for the last training day before Paris. It was amazing how quickly the journey went by and before I knew it, I was in familiar territory and Birmingham University sports centre with the familiar faces of the other Target 26.2 runners, the coaches, and everyone from Runners World and Asics. It was a little unnerving to think the next time we'd meet after this was on the way to Paris. It's weird to think how close we are to race day now.

    I was happy to have my physio session early on before we went out to do any running. My knee had been feeling slightly stiff in the morning but all it took was 20 minutes of pain, massage and stretching from Sarah and all my knee pain had disappeared. It impresses me every time. I've ran all week with a slight dull ache in my left knee. It's been much better than the past few weeks, but it's reassuring to know that the only reason I'm getting pain is because my hip flexor is tight.....and nothing more serious than that. I will definitely look at getting more sports massages in the future.

    Before we started the day's running there was just enough time to have a session with Victor, the sports psychologist. After running for 9 years now, many of the things that you would think I should know, I still don't and it was a good session to throw ideas to Victor of how I normally approach races and hear various ideas of doing it differently. For example, the further on in a race I get, the more I break the distance down in to smaller chunks. I thought this was the wrong way to do it, but Victor said the more you break a race down, the easier it becomes.

    I also have an issue in longer races of getting cramp in my fore-arms. This is because I tense my hands too much when running. Victor said that when I run I should imagine I'm holding a crisp between my thumb and finger and this should help with tensing my hands too much.

    Another issue I have is to wander off track when I'm running and not always take the most direct route. This isn't that much of a  problem when running short distances, but it soon adds up over a marathon and I've ran up to 1/2 a mile extra due to this over the marathon distance. I was told when turning corners, always focus on the next turning point ahead and try and run in a straight line top it. My mind can still wonder after this, between each turns, but at least I'll be running in the most economical straight line as possible.

    I'll attempt these in my runs before Paris now and see how I get on.


  • .............................

    Once the psychology and physio sessions were over, it was out in to the glorious sun and for our first sessions - practising MP pacing. Instead of using the track, we used a mile section of the canal towpath located next to the University.

    The first test was running 2 miles with our Garmins at MP. Once we'd done this, we had to do the same but without our Garmins. Strangely I was actually closer to my MP without having my Garmin, than I was with it. It just goes to show that technology isn't always everything it's cracked up to be! It also helped relieve some nerves of what would happen if I got to Paris and something happened to my Garmin. I'd definitely be lost without it, but at least I know now that it wouldn't be the end of my sub 3:30 quest.

    Once this was completed it was a quick run to the track and a mile (4 laps) speed session. Our aim was to run the straights at 10k pace and the bends at MP. Running on track though is so much easier than on pavement and I found myself running faster along the straights than my 10k speed. I was running alongside Sarah and it felt comfortable the speed we were both going at. The last lap we were allowed to go all out more or less and it was nice having Sarah at my side. Her kick of speed is phenomenal and it was nice to attempt to keep up with her.

    It's a shame actually that the original plan of doing a 5km time trial today was cancelled due to most of us having races the following day. At the ease I ran the mile in today's speed training it would have been nice to see if I had another 5km PB in me. I might have suffered more though the following day.

    There was still time for a chat with Sam to talk with how training had been going and any concerns. Now that my injuries are under control, I feel like I'm opening a new chapter in my training and the confidence is slowly returning. I'm happy with the pacing target that Sam gave for Sunday's Spitfire 20 miler - 8:45-9:00m/m for the 1st 10 miles and then MP for the last 10 miles. It'll be interesting to see how I cope on running MP on tired legs on an undulating course. It is something that I feel less daunted about doing now.

    The day was finished with a drooling sleep on the train home and another early night ready for Spitfire 20. Training for a marathon isn't exactly a rock n' roll lifestyle that's for sure!

    Here are my splits and runs from today:


     Enjoying Birmingham for the last time.


     We did run as well I promise (I might have 'borrowed' this photo from Katie! image).

  • Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Saturday 2nd March 2013

    As I slept in this morning, I had to make do with Euston stations finest offerings! The evening started a very quick carb-load for Sunday.

    7:00am - Breakfast - Bacon, egg, mushroom and tomato breakfast baguette from Upper Crust. Not as big as it sounds. Almond croissant. Large chai tea latte. Bottle of water.

    9:45am - Bottle of water

    11:45am - Training session - pacing and speed - see earlier for full description!

    1:30pm - Lunch Buffet - Duck wrap, egg sandwich, ham sandwich a few crisps, grapes and melon, bottle of Lucozade, glass of orange juice.

    5:30pm - M&S Ham sandwich, half a packet of Percy Pigs, bottle of water

    7:30pm - Dinner - Pasta and chicken. 2 pints of squash

    8:30pm - 2 Jaffa cakes, pint of squash, cup of tea

    11:00pm - Glass of water.

  • Day 77 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (03/03/13) - Surrey Spitfire 20

    Target: Surrey Spitfire 20 Miler - 1st 10 miles @ 8:45-9:00m/m, 2nd 10 miles @ MP - 8:00m/m

    Actual: Surrey Spitfire 20 miler (actually 19.83 miles) in 2:45:30 @ 8:21m/m.

    (A new PB for a 20 mile race, beating my previous 20 mile best by 1 minute)

    Mile Splits: 1st @ 8:47m/m. 2nd @ 8:44m/m. 3rd @ 8:52m/m. 4th @ 8:50m/m. 5th @ 8:58m/m. 6th @ 9:01m/m. 7th @ 8:37m/m. 8th @ 8:49m/m. 9th @ 8:44m/m. 10th @ 8:22m/m. 11th @ 8:00m/m. 12th @ 7:53m/m. 13th @ 8:06m/m. 14th @ 7:55m/m. 15th @ 8:01m/m. 16th @ 7:43m/m. 17th @ 8:06m/m. 18th @ 8:02m/m. 19th @ 7:56m/m. 20th @ 7:23m/m.

    I have to say, as far as running weekends have gone, this has to be one of my most pleasing.

    I woke feeling absolutely shattered. I think cocktail sticks would have been perfect to keep my eyelids open. Yet again I struggled to get ready in time, forcing my porridge down then legging it to catch a train to Godalming, almost immediately throwing up the contents of my breakfast. I could tell I was feeling a little sleep deprived as I was feeling nauseas.

    Out of all the races I've ran recently, the Spitfire 20 was one I was especially looking forward to, having the chance of meeting up with both Malcs and DS2. Malcs and I were planning on running as much together as possible. When you run by yourself 99% of the time, I really find running with someone else makes such a huge difference. You're more able to keep your pace for longer and much less likely to start slowing down when your mind wins control over your legs.

    After getting picked up by Malcs at Godalming train station, we made the short drive to Dunsfold airport (home to the Stig and Top Gear) where we met DS2. It was nice catching up with fellow bootcampers before the race. It's nice to add a social side to running races, rather than just a competitive one.

    Near the start I bumped in to Abdi Madar, the kind gentleman who dressed me in ill fitting lycra way back at Asics Store Day before training even began. This was the first time he had ran a race over 10k. He went on to win it by 6 minutes, finishing in 1:52:45. Not bad for someone attempting to run a sub 2:20 marathon!

    As the race started, Malcs and I waved DS2 off, who disappeared quickly in to the distance. EmmaC's husband who kindly wished us luck passed soon after. It still feels strange to be recognised for being a Target 26.2 runner, especially by someone who's OH had won it last year. It's a small world!

    It was so nice having someone to run with and as we chatted, the miles passed effortlessly by. We had no problem sticking to the 8:45-9:00m/m  prescribed by Sam for the opening 10 miles, even having time for a un-planned toilet stop 6 miles in.

    After the first 2 miles which is run on the runway of Dunsfold Airfield, the course takes in the undulating country roads in the surrounding area. This is picturesque English countryside at its best. 


  • .....................................

    The temperature was hovering just above freezing. There was a cool breeze and it was overcast. Perfect running weather.

    Just before the end of the 1st lap of the race we met up with Young Pup, who was also running a similar game plan to us - a slower first lap then the second 10 mile lap at MP. As the second lap started, we managed to stay with Young Pup for only a few brief miles before he started to ease ahead, leaving just Malcs and I again. I was running with a hydration belt for the first time and I was happy with how easy it was to get my gels out and down my neck. I was also slightly jealous of Malcs' jelly baby supply as well.

    There are some tasty hills in Spitfire 20 and I think without Malcs there, it would have been much tougher to have stayed at MP for the full 10 miles of the second lap. Malcs was much stronger than me on the hills, which meant I was forced to immediately pick my speed up when reaching the top of the hill to keep up!

    It was only around mile 18 when my legs started to feel tired, but by this time we were so close to the end that it was easy to ignore these pains and push on through. I just need to learn to do this when running an extra 6 miles further.

    We finished together and I think both of us we impressed that we managed to keep to the pacing targets for virtually every single mile. There were a few miles where we were slower. You can blame the hills for this. There were also miles where we were much quicker.

    My finishing time of 2hrs 45 mins 30 secs was a PB for 20 miles by 1 minute, but as the distance on my Garmin was 0.17 miles short of 20 miles, I can't really class this as a new PB. I suppose I can't even class it as my first 20 miler of my training program either! Either way, I finished 228th out of 548, which I'm more than content with.

    I definitely think if I'd have ran another 6 miles I would have been on for a new marathon PB. Could I have ran the whole 26 miles at MP today? Probably not to be honest. But it's confidence boosting to know I can already run a good amount on tired legs at marathon pace.

    Afterwards we met up with DS2 again and we all enjoyed a post race feast of bacon butties, cake and chocolate. Of course we had to make do with what was on offer in order to eat within 30 minutes after we finished! Like some other athletes, I too was tempted by the offer of two bacon butties, but as I feel Ruth will already be looking disapprovingly at my weekends eating, I stuck to just the one!

    All in all, an excellently organised and marshalled race with excellent company all the way! I left with a feeling of satisfaction and I think this is a great base to build on for the final week or two of running before the taper starts. Thanks to everyone who made it such an enjoyable race.

    If anyone wants to read the official race report or results (and see a familiar face in the main photo), it can be viewed here:

    Here is today's run on Garmin:

    ..........................and just in case anyone missed them the first time around:


     Enjoying the post race nutrition!

  • Calorie Watch! Food & Drink Diary – Sunday 3rd March 2013

    Again, not the best day of eating!

    6:00am - Breakfast - Porridge with nuts and honey

    7:45am - A few Percy Pigs and a cup of tea. Bottle of water

    9:30am - Surrey Spitfire 20 Miler (see earlier for full description)

    12:45pm - Lunch - Bacon buttie, Snickers bar, water, tea and a piece of sultana and pineapple cake.

    2:30pm - Pint of squash, glass of chocolate milk.

    7:00pm - Dinner - Beef, sweetcorn, carrots and leek. Pint of squash

    8:30pm - 2 Jaffa cakes, pint of squash, cup of tea

    11:00pm - Glass of water.

    I should get a chance tomorrow to catch up fully with everyone's posts made so far.......apologies for the delay in doing this! 

  • sarah osborne wrote (see)
    Is that your first 20 now Ady banked?

    Hey Sarah.....yes it is.....well I say it is, but as the race was slightly under the 20 mile distance, I suppose you could argue that I'm still waiting for my first offical 20 miles. I fell much. much better now getting this in and not feeling too bad afterwards.

    I was actually impressed with how little I was aching today. How were you feeling DS2, Malcs and Young Pup after the run? 

    So now I have just the one more long, long run before Paris next weekend. It's sneaking up now!

    What races do you have coming up Sarah. Are you racing a 20 miler? 

  • PC -PC - ✭✭✭
    Hi Shady, well done on your Spitfire run. Garmins are great but they are known to have small errors over long distances. Well done on your 20 miles and your new PB.
  • Hi,   I was also at the Spitfire 20, but somewhere behind you.  I confess that I waited to hear what your race plan was before deciding on mine.  I knew I had to turn the dial down quite a bit on your plan, so your 10 miles at 9 mins/mile turned into 15 miles for me, and then your 8 mins/mile became 8:30 in mine.  I was really pleased that it worked; my first 15 averaged 8:58mm, then 4 at 8:30ish, then my last mile was my fastest, and I finished in 2: 56: 36.  It was a great confidence boost for VLM, which will be my first marathon.  I hope that April will be a bit warmer than yesterday; the wind whipping across the airfield on the second lap was freezing.    I really enjoyed chatting to folk on the way round - i met such interesting and supportive people who really helped me to keep on going.   Best of luck with the rest of your Paris preparation.

  • Hi Ruth, thankyou ever so much for answering another one of my questions. Your answer was what I was looking for, so thankyou again.

    Hi Ady sounds like you had a fabulous weekend with BC and the race. I think that it def counts as a 20 and with you doing half at MP its a fabulous 20 to bag, you must be over the moon and more confident about Paris now.

    I really cant believe how quickly the marathon is approaching...was thinking about life after marathon will feel quite empty especially after all this time on the RW forum. Will you keep your thread going do you think?

    Im hoping to do an 18 mile training run this fri with 8 m at MP and then I have a 20 mile race a week on sunday which I plan to run like yours. The week after im in france and have a 15k race. The following week will be my last big one I think before my taper. Are you doing your longest run 3 or 4 weeks before Paris?
  • Ady - great race report!

    My legs felt a little sore and tight on Sunday afternoon, and getting out of my car after the drive home from the Spitfire was not fun. However, a bit of light stretching on Sunday evening, and a gentle play on my foam roller meant they felt surprisingly good yesterday, and I'm aiming to do 9miles today, so we'll see how they feel during that.
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