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



  • Ady - to be fair I'm not a morning person  myself really, but I have a husband who boots me out of bed lol  Although I have to say I'm grateful for it as doing double runs is what really help me increase my miles and made the difference in my times.

    Like many inexperienced runners for a number of years when I first started I thought that I had to run everything at 8m/m pace and even remember going home one run because the pace was 9.15!  I wasted a number of years running this way as I plateaued over every distance and basically had no real desire to improve things.  There was no RW when I first started to run and it was only when I came on here right at the beginning of the first forums that I began to see people trained for improvement in many different ways.  I only wish these forums had been around when I first started!  I also didn't benefit from a club with coaches, even though the club I did eventually join were lovely, it was not a big club with coaches and people to learn from.  Anyhow to answer your question my pace dropped from running everything at 8m/m to around 9 m/m, but then once I was running around 60-70 miles consistenly I was able to put in a variety of paces depending on what I was out to achieve on each run.  A good read if you're interested is HADD's approach to training....  BR trained the HADD way for a number of years, this is just the beginning of the training, but well worth a read maybe for future reference!

    CC2 - good training and with more like that the sub 3 should be within your reach!

  • Not sure the link worked, but if you put HADD training into Google you'll come up with the article.

  • Ady -  After a mara, normally a week off running, then a gradual build up for a couple of weeks before getting back on it. My mara plans are normally 16 weeks long so for an October mara that would be late June/early Jul but I have got Berlin next year so it will be a couple of weeks earlier.  In the time inbetween just keep ticking over concentrating on some quicker stuff and cutting back on  the long runs. My injury was a calf problem which I made worse by running on it in a desperate attempt to get fit for my spring mara.

  • Hilly, the link works fine

  • DS2DS2 ✭✭✭

    Ady - nice going first week. Enjoying the thread and some great input from the likes of Hilly/Barry/Speedy/BR. Really getting a lot from their experiences.

    Just keep doing the sessions mate - I'm sure you'll smash it in Paris!

  • Day 7 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training

    Target: Rest Day/ Cross-Training

    Actual: Yoga (45mins)

    It isn't the most masculine of things to say, but boy, do I love a good yoga or pilates workout. I definitely don't do them enough. My body is about as flexible as a steel rod. I struggle to sit cross-legged and haven't been able to touch my toes since my age was still in single digits. 

    I have a few pliates/ yoga workout videos, ranging from the extreme (P90X) to those that are comfortable (Body Crunch). I do struggle with the breathing part, but this will only get better with practice.

    I'm aiming to introduce pilates or yoga, almost as an extra stretching session at least twice a week. Obviously if Sam is in agreement, I would like to keep my cross training days to cycling or leg-strengthening workouts. Then on top of this, on my midweek runs, where I can do the runs in my lunch break, I'd like to do these pilates or yoga workouts in the evening.

    I did this when I raced my marathon PB and didn't have a single injury. I know that improving my flexibility will definitely help the same happen this time around as well. Hopefully there will be many more Downward Dogs and Warrior poses to enjoy in the forthcoming weeks.

  • Good evening. I echo what's already been said....lots of useful comments, advice and debates on's just taken me ages to catch up!

    Ady, I've only ever done the one marathon and after VLM next year I'm banned from doing any more until I have given my OH a kid....that or I get a divorce!

    When I was really ill with the whooping cough I didn't have the energy to walk up the stairs, let alone go for a run, as I started to get better though I did return back to training a little too soon and ended up setting myself back. When I was eventually 100% better I decided to get back into running, but it was like starting from scratch....looking at my plan from last year I was only on 3-4 mile runs the last week in feb!

    It's difficult with colds....some people do advise to go and run and sweat it all out (if it is just a head cold) and only stop running if your chest is involved. I feel however that your better off resting for the first few days to give yourself the chance of a better and quicker recovery. You also risk getting a cardiomyopathy if you run with a viral infection......however saying that resting even when ill can be so hard at times.

    My 14 mile run went really well, thoroughly enjoyed it and felt great all day. Sounds like you had a fabulous run too.....did you get all your wife's presents?

    My mums washed my mrs Claus outfit all ready for tue!
  • Shady - Thanks for filling me in on how you sorted out the dreaded PF.

    I went down the forefoot/minimalist style of running to get rid of mine, as I was concerned it might of come back, and so far so good.
  • Nice attitude Ady.  The more training you do the better you'll get.  Running is essentially a simple sport where if you put in as much work as you can manage the rewards will come.

  • Shady_ady / Everyone

    How are you finding the warm-ups?  Maybe I'm too old, with too much history but I'd dread the thought of doing the below session at close to 10k pace with just 9 minutes of warm-up and no strides to ease into the full range of motion you'd expect to use in the session - especially during winter.

    3 x 1 mile at 7.20-7.30 pace with 2.5 minute recovery plus 1 mile w-up/c-down (5 miles)

    Lengthening the warm-up to at least 3 miles would be an obvious win-win: an opportunity to warm-up properly, increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% (over 2 sessions) and at the same time make your weekly training safer and you less prone to injury.

    What sort of warm-up does everybody else do?

    (It still seems funny seeing a quality session over and done with in less than 45 minutes during marathon training - I'd still be expecting the main course!). 

  • Morning Monaghan, before my speed training I was only doing some stretches and then 5 mins of jogging, however on my last session I increased it to 10 mins after speaking to everyone on the forum six sub 3:30 thread. I did feel a lot better for it!
  • Ady, the core stuff is great for keeping injuries at bay. If you're going to do 2 or more of those such workouts a week I'd suggest varying them a little and doing one yoga and one pilates, as yoga is more about stretching and pilates concentrates more on the core. Or if you can find a Body Balance class somewhere give that a go, it combines both into quite a challenging workout. 

    Moraghan, I typically do between 9 and 18 minutes warm up jog before intervals, followed by drills and strides, but I'm limited by time constraints. Our sessions start at 7pm so if the traffic is pants and it takes ages to get there, I get a shorter warm up. I always do the first rep cautiously though, regardless of the length of warm up. 

  • The Level 4 coach at a previous club was excellent at making sure his runners were properly warmed up for hard sessions.  The warm up would be a 2 mile progressive jog, followed by stretching and a range of drills / accelerations.  As someone who normally starts sessions sluggishly I found them excellent for `hitting the ground running' as it were.  So I'd say at least 2m + a range of stretches and drills. 

    Maybe the people who developed the Asics training app have some more up-to-date knowledge than that coach of 30 years standing with a string of 2:2x marathon runners and county standard athletes on his books?

  • Week 1 Weight Loss Watch!

    Starting Weight: 162.8lbs (Target Weight: 148lbs)

    Weight After Week 1: 162.2lbs

    Total Loss: 0.6lbs

    Starting a diet the week before Xmas is an act bordering on absurdity. Even so, with the start of my marathon training, it has been important to focus on cutting down on the levels of indulgence experienced in previous years, both at this time of year, and also during normal marathon training.

    There’s absolutely no way I’m going to be cutting out all Xmas drinking sessions, mince pies and other festive delights. At the same time, I know it’s important to be careful in watching exactly what I eat, not only to cut down on the risks of putting on weight, but also the negative effects it could have on my training sessions.

    I was brought up on bread. I can make a sandwich out of anything. My first aim has been to replace my lunch time sandwich/ crisp combinations with a healthier salad, including lean meat. Snacks of biscuits and cakes have been replaced with fruit.

    Unfortunately my work colleague who sits next to me has left work a week early. This has meant his desk has been taken over as a makeshift buffet – cakes, sweets, chocolate, cheese platters, biscuits, pork pies, scotch eggs, sausage rolls, mince pies and Xmas cake in copious amounts, stacked high and deep. It’s like my very own party buffet all within arm’s reach.

    I have never, ever shown the levels of self control as I did the past week. Of course, I did sneak in the odd Quality Street here and there, but on the whole, 9 times out of 10 I felt the urge of snacking, I resisted.

    I have also had four Xmas parties/ meals/ drinks in the past week as well. Where as in the past I would have taken full advantage of the free bar and food, I’ve shown more constraint this time around. I’ve worked in diet cokes and water between my pints of festive real ale, cutting down the number of pints drunk in half (and cutting out the hangovers completely!). Two of my Xmas parties have revolved around an Indian meal. Instead of my normal balti, I’ve instead chosen the tandori chicken option, eradicating the oily (but amazingly tasty) sauces. This has basically given me a much healthier chicken and rice supper!

    I wasn’t even expecting to lose weight in my first week with all these extra-curricular eating and drinking activities going on. I’m extremely happy to have made a tiny step in the right direction of my goal of losing 16lbs by race day.

    There’s only going to be one day of over-indulgence this year, and that’s going to be tomorrow (after my 6 mile build-up run of course!). Now off to buy the ingredients for those pigs in blankets! image

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Long warm ups were a shock for me when I started them a couple of years ago but there again so was what followed! However, now it's just second nature and definitely helps.

    Ady - this is a really interesting thread you've got going. Unfortunately I won't have time to keep up with it unless I pack in working. But good luck and the stuff you're reading here will stand you in good stead for after Paris. Think of this as just the beginning!
  • DS2DS2 ✭✭✭
    Ady - commendable self control but I suspect the pounds will drop off once the mileage increases.

    I'm with you BR. About 2 miles of progressive running followed by strides and drills has worked best for me. Never a bad idea to ease in through the early reps either.
  • Barnsley Runner wrote (see)

    Maybe the people who developed the Asics training app have some more up-to-date knowledge than that coach of 30 years standing with a string of 2:2x marathon runners and county standard athletes on his books?

    It was mentioned earlier in the thread that the Asics plans were developed from the latest Japanese research - which would be a complete about face from the usual way of doing things over there!  image

  • Congrats on the weight loss Ady, at this time of year it's really going well to lose anything at all! 

  • Morning Ady! Love the idea of adding in some pilates & yoga! Also now contemplating a proper warm up before speed sessions. I normally do 2 minutes of walking but suspect this might not be enough ...

    Wow for the weight loss just before Christmas!!

  • Ady, best of luck with your training. It is a tough time of year to lose weight. I make a rule of not eating any junk food at work. I've found that a policy of outright refusal to do so saves you the hassle of deliberating over whether or not one more mince pie is allowed.

    WRT warm ups, for 10k pace and faster I will usually do something like 6k progressive, 10 minutes of drills and 2-3 strides. Aside from increasing the risk of injury, I don't really feel that anything less is sufficient for me to concentrate and train as well as I can.

    I don't like the idea of starting the reps off easy. If you're doing that then you haven't really started your session - you're still warming up. If the session is 10 x 200m in y seconds then my goal is to hit y seconds on each rep with perfect form.

    For cool down it's generally just 2-3 laps jog and static stretching. I've even skipped cooling down before when in a rush and I can't say I've noticed a major difference.

  • Moraghan - Before any kind of quality session I would need 2 miles slow followed by 2 miles gently progressive to get within touching distnace of the paces that the session was going to involve.

    Going into a session any quicker feels very risky in terms of things being stretched beyond where they naturally want to stretch to.

  • I think it's more a case of dialling into the correct pace Simon. My first rep is inevitably slower than the rest, just because I'm wary of going off too fast and ruining the session. Best to run the reps progressively. If any of your reps is going to be slower, it should certainly be the first one, and never, ever, the last.

  • CC2,I agree that it's better to go off too slow than too fast when tuning in. It does often take me one or two to get in the swing of things.

    But why do you say the final rep should never ever be the slowest? I can think of several examples where this has been the case for me: E.g. in "cruise interval" sessions where I've been running to HR rather than pace; in track sessions when running to an intensity rather than pace; when performing (and these are rare) sessions where I essentially run reps to failure.



  • Maybe it depends on what you're training for Simon, but running reps to failure in marathon training doesn't sound like a great idea to me. You need a good workout, but also you need to be able to train again tomorrow. I'm not sure about running intervals to HR either, surely that's just training yourself to slow down when the going gets tough (ie at the end of a marathon)? Any thoughts from the sages?

  • I personally would not run  intervals to HR, not to say it's wrong, but I like to run to pace.  I also try not to have a fade in my reps.  Each rep should be within 5 secs of each other to be classed as good pace judgement in my opinion, so if I ended up with the last rep over 5 secs slower than my first I would put that down to going off too fast.

  • It can depend on the length of the interval whether or not you'd run it to HR.  When Hadd training, I would do sessions like 3 x 5k w/ 400m jog recovery, to be completed within a specific HR zone.  Then there would often be drift at the end as Simon describes.

  • Ah, we may be into 'semantics' again. I don't think I'd class 3 x 5k as an intervals session as the 'reps' are so long. Not sure what I would call it though!

  • Hadd used to call them `work' sessions.

  • So was that 2 x 10 x 5K session we did a few weeks back an interval session? image

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