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



  • Shhh!  Don't divulge ALL our training secrets just yet...image

  • No PRF, that was the 'Insanity' workout image

  • Hi Ady

    Showing great restraint on the food front (of course you ate the odd Quality Street... you wouldn't be human if you hadn'timage) and a good week of training in the bag.

    There's been some talk about warm-up duration/intensity - you'll notice the longer warm-up and strides included in the shorter-duration intervals (next week for eg) and it's perfectly fine to utilise this warm-up option on the mile reps too, if you feel you want to and have the time to do so. The reason I made it shorter was because of the limitations of lunch time runs, time-wise.

    I've got a hand-out of some good basic stretches which I'll email to you. Who knows, maybe Steve can do his magic and make it into a downloadable file direct from the forum? He did that with the strength circuit on his thread. I'd also recommend doing a foot stretch (which isn't on the sheet) bearing in mind your PF history. Do it barefoot: press the top of the foot down into the carpet (don't do on a hard floor!) so you get a curve across the top of it. Don't just curl the toes over. You'll want to have your knee bent to do this. You can apply more weight through the stretch if you do it standing. If this makes no sense I'll try to find a link to demonstrate!

    Interesting re running your long run on 'empty'. This is a strategy with growing support in some circles. So called train low, race high - in whch you don't take carbs on board before or during long runs in training. As said, this helps improve fuel utilisation (using fat preferentially to glycogen). But then on race day, you use carbs to get a real boost. Some interesting research on this suggests it's quite effective but it does suppress the immune system and shouldn't be done on every long run.

  • Interesting Sam that you have Ady doing a lower mileage plan than many as you have said that one of your main thoughts is to minimise the risk of injury.  However, you have just posted that you set Ady just a mile warm-up for a 10k paced session due to time constraints during his lunch hour.  Does that not run counter to injury avoidance?  Would it not have been better given his time constraints to have reduced the mile reps to km reps thus giving him a longer warm-up?

  • I don't think it's an issue Hilly. It takes about 5 minutes of low/moderate intensity to get muscle temperature and heart rate up and to trigger the shunting of blood to the working muscles instead of the visceral organs so a mile is adequate. I didn't want him to do km reps as the tendency with these shorter-duration reps is to go too quick, making it more of a VO2 max training session than a lactate threshold one. 

    Happy Christmas to all! Hope your Christmas training and festivities go well. I'll only have time for a mile warm up before tomorrow morning's parkrun, in order to have time to see what Santa's brought me first!image

  • Agree wholeheartedly with the benefits of starting long runs on low glycogen to push the adaptations along but the thought of 1 mile warm ups to do a 10K paced session just seems like asking for trouble.

  • Interesting points re. a 5 minute warm up being adequate.  There does seem to be some disagreement about the ideal length of warm up.  The paragraphs below are taken from the runnersworld USA site, and seem pretty much in line with what others have posted on this thread. This is thread link:-


    To prepare for the rigors of hard training sessions such as speedwork, you should ideally do a 20- to 40-minute warmup. Properly warmed up, you'll be able to hit your target paces from the outset of your repeats. "Most runners start speed sessions with an inadequate warmup," says Sean Coster, a coach and exercise physiologist for the Nike Bowerman Athletic Club in Beaverton, Oregon. The body is thus ill-prepared to adequately transport oxygen and offset the by-products of fast running, so it's harder to generate the power to run at goal pace, says Coster.

    WARMUP ROUTINE: Walk for two minutes, then jog at a conversational pace for 15 to 20 minutes to raise your heart rate. Loosen and activate your muscles with five to 10 minutes of dynamic stretches and form drills such as lunges, skipping, and high-knees running. Then run 800 meters at moderate intensity (a little slower than your 10-K race pace), and do two to four 100-meter strides. Beginners or those pressed for time can eliminate the form drills and 800-meter run.

  • Yes, wishing you all a Merry Christmas!  parkrun for me tomorrow too.  Just love to run on Christmas Day and parkruns are great for thisimage

  • CC2, I'm just being a bit contentious really. I know you're probably talking about situations where someone goes out to hard and can't finish the session as a result, and in those cases I agree that the principle of starting faster than you finish is a good one. I just had to take issue with the use of "never, ever" ..

    I think running to HR can be a useful guide for slower runs (less than 10kp) early in a schedule when one is more interested in the intensity of the sessions and training effect and also may not have a good idea of what a sensible goal pace would be.

  • Thanks everybody for your posts and thoughts. Merry Christmas to you all........yet another interesting line of topic has taken off and yet again I think my previous knowledge on the subject seems woefully inadequate.

    Moraghan........thanks for starting the topic on warm-ups and thanks everybody for sharing your experiences on this. I can safely say, I have never given warm-up the respect it deserved in the past. As most of my training runs were similar speeds, I never really warmed-up for these and just started with the training run.

    When I have done speed work before, I would only do half a mile slow-jog warm-up, then some dynamic (not sure this is the correct word?) stretching before starting my session. I've never even contemplated doing more than this before.

    Sam......thanks for your feedback. I have noticed the longer warm-ups in my upcoming training. I'm more than happy to give the longer warm-ups a try (time-permitting), starting this week. I'm very lucky in the fact I have flexi-time at work, so  I can take lunch from 11:30-13:30. This gives me a 2 hour window (meetings permitting) of running, showering, eating lunch and getting back to work. I can then work later to make my hours up. This should give me the ability of doing up to 8-9 miles during one lunch break, so if I can do 2 miles of warm-up/ warm-down then I will try my best to fit it in. I agree with why you had planned it the way you had. There are many days when I dont have the ability to do extra warm-up/ warm-down, so what you had planned for me (just the 1 mile warm-up/ warm-down) is far more suitable. If I have time, then I'll do the extra. image

    Thanks very much for the stretches. I'll check my email now. Thanks also for the PF specific stretching. I will definitely be incorporating all of this in to my daily routine (your description does make sense). I won't run on empty every long run. I thought I'd try it to see how I felt compared to my normal long run regime. What is the longest distance you would recommend doing this on? I felt fine after 12 miles, but think anything above 15 or 16 without fuelling would be iffy, especially if the immune system is involved.

    CC2...I will certainly cut down on alcohol, but I don't think I have the ability to cut it out completely for the next 15 weeks. But saying that, as I have already used up my Asics quota, the money could certainly come in handy! I am also planning on mixing up the yoga/ pilates workouts, but mainly focusing on pilates as it's my core that needs the most work. seems like I am almost in the same place you were when you first started running - attempting to run everything at 8m/m pace. anything more than that I would see it as a failure and be depressed about it. Thanks to Sam and comments like yours, I'm starting to see a totally different view on this. I still doubt I'd be able to run before work in the mornings though. But running in my lunch break and then again in the evenings is definitely a possibility. Thanks for the link to the HADD approach. I haven't had time to read it all yet, but will print off for the train ride to visit family just after'll make good reading material!

    Barry.......I do think 2 marathons a year is the optimal number, and like you I think from now on I'll concentrate on a Spring marathon and then an Autumn marathon. Good luck for Berlin? Have you done it before? It's one of my favourite races and I also love the city as well.


  • .....................

    DS2.......I completely agree. There has been so much excellent input in this forum so far. I'm sometimes a stubborn guy who thinks his way of doing things is the best and most efficient. Not once have I thought this though from reading from those far more experienced. You all know what you're talking about!

    Sarah.......first of all, congratulations again in making the Forum 6 with Minni. I'm very happy for you. As we are both going for sub 3:30, I'll definitely be checking up on your page regularly and seeing how your training is going as well.

    Haha! I've made the same promise to my is all about to change (fingers-crossed) next year. Make the most of your marathon next year. It' amazing the progress you have made from when you had whooping cough. It's hard to believe it's only a year ago.

    If I do get a cold, I think I'll play it cautiously and rest for a couple of days and see how I feel after that....missing 2 days of training is a lot better than missing a whole week. I did manage to get all my presents bought. That was a huge stress off my mind.

    Simon......So to get over your PF, you had to change your style of running? Was that easy to do, or was it like teaching yourself to run again?

    Minni........I think you already have your hands full with Forum 6, so I can totally see why you won't have the time to read this thread anymore. Thanks for all your advice  on here so far, and also the Sub 3:30 thread. I think Sarah will do you proud!

    BR/ always, thanks for your valuable input. 2 miles of warm-ups is certainly doable for me with my time constraints, as I can still fit that work out in, in my lunch break. I don't think I'm at the right level yet to be contemplating 5km 'work' sessions though. was your experience with HADD training?

    RRR.......Nice to hear from you. I hope your training is going well. I saw you got some monster hills in earlier in the week. I have been in the same boat as you regarding warming up. I've definitely not been doing enough. That's going to change now. I hope you enjoy doing pilates if you work it into your schedule.

    Simon Edward.......I'm not sure I could outright refuse a free mince definitely have better commitment than me! image

    I feel slightly left out not to be doing a Park Run tomorrow. I just have a 6 mile build-up run starting at 8:30 and moving up to 7:40 per mile.

  • Week 1 Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training Round-up:

    Monday: Target: 4 miles @ 9:30m/m. Actual: 4.38 miles @ 9:23 m/m
    Tuesday: Target: 5 miles @ 8:30 m/m. Actual: 4.99 @ 8:27 m/m
    Wednesday: Target: Rest/ Cross-Training. Actual: Rest
    Thursday: Target: 5 miles @ 8:00 m/m on hilly route. Actual: 5.02 @ 7:54 m/m
    Friday: Target: Rest Actual: 17m on exercise bike (1hr 02mins).
    Saturday: Target 12 miles @ 8:30 m/m. Actual: 12.05 @ 8:27 m/m 
    Sunday: Target: Rest/ Cross-Training. Actual: Yoga workout (45 mins)

    MILEAGE: Target: 26m Actual: 26.44m

  • Week 2 Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Plan:

    (As posted by Sam in an earlier thread)

    Week 2 w/c 24th December (May need to jiggle for Christmas week!)
    Tuesday 6 MILE BUILD UP (From 8.30 up to 7.40)
    Wednesday REST or non impact cross training
    Thursday 3 x 1 mile at 7.20-7.30 pace with 2.5 minute recovery plus 1 mile w-up/c-down (5 miles)
    Friday REST
    Sunday 3 MILE JOG
    MILEAGE 29

  • Merry Christmas to one and all!

    Thanks to everybody who has shared their experiences, knowledge and good will on this thread so far. It's not only your words that have helped in my first week, but also your words of encouragement and praise.

    It's very much appreciated.........I wish you all a Merry Christmas tomorrow and for those running, I hope it helps take away any feelings of guilt in over-indulging afterwards. image

  • Ady -   No, first time for Berlin, in fact from doing relatively small events(Stratford, Abingdon, Gloucester) for my first 7, I've just done Florence, I've got VLM in April and then Berlin to make double figures.

    Merry Christmas all - enjoy.

  • Merry Christmas, have a fantastic day and happy running,x
  • With regards to the colds, I think that is a good idea. Glad to hear that you managed to get everything in time for today. Thank you for your congratulations, I do feel extremely lucky.x
  • Hi Ady, merry Chrismas. Looks like you've had a great weeks training, hope your enjoying it. Have a great day.

  • Merry Xmas Ady, hope its been a good one

    how was the Xmas day run?? Sneaked 4 1/2 miles in this morning whilst in laws supervised kids on TV!!

  • Day 8 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (24/12/12)

    Target: 4 miles @ 8:30-9:20m/m

    Actual: 4.01 miles @ 8:28m/m

    After spending the morning working and the afternoon buying some very last minute presents and wrapping them, the sun was already setting by the time I was finally ready to do today's run.

    The one issue I have where I live is that there aren't many options available for un-interrupted running routes. I either have the canal or the pavement of a main road. If I don't use these, I would be forever crossing roads, which would also mean forever stopping and starting. 

    The canal is fine for slower runs, when I'm not too concerned about getting stuck behind dawdling families or having the odd Jack Russell snapping at my heel. I have to say, I'm not the bggest fan of dogs when running. This has been a phobia ever since being bitten as a child by an Alsation and wetting myself (one of only two times I've had the misfortune of doing this!). I'm sure they can smell my fear as I dart past them.

    There is also the issue of lighting. I've never realised before that runners wear head torches. Whenever I have ran in the dark in the past, it's always been along well-lit suburban streets. Until I treat myself to a head-torch, this means the main-road pavement will have to suffice when dark. 

    Today felt like a recovery run from the weekend long run. Very comfortable indeed, and knowing that Christmas would officially start once the run was finished, made it more difficult to keep to the target time. I thought I would feel some aches from my weekend long run, but I had no issues whatsoever. Possibly the easiest run of the training plan so far!

    Here's my run from today:

  • Day 9 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (25/12/12)

    Target: 6 mile Build-Up starting at 8:30m/m:

    (1st mile @ 8:30m/m. 2nd mile @ 8:20m/m. 3rd mile @ 8:10m/m. 4th mile @ 8:00m/m. 5th mile @ 7:50m/m. 6th mile @ 7:40m/m)

    Actual: 6.07 miles averaging 7:57m/m

    (1st mile @ 8:22m/m. 2nd mile @ 8:17m/m. 3rd mile @ 8:05m/m. 4th mile @ 7:53. 5th mile @ 7:42. 6th mile @ 7:25

    I'm not sure whether it was the Xmas morning bacon bap, or the extra adrenaline from present opening, but today was the hardest day so far I've had for sticking to my pacing schedule. I don't think it helped that the rain was so heavy, it was splashing me from above and also from the ground below. Such was its intensity. 

    Yet again the route I used was flooded. This time though in more parts than the previous time there was heavy rain. With it being Christmas morning, I had expected traffic to be sparse. It wasn't. This meant quickly running past the areas of the road that were flooded to lower the chances of getting splashed. 

    As my first mile was virtually the speed my 2nd mile should have been, I decided it would be a waste of a mile to do the 2nd mile the same speed as the 1st, so I tried to keep it to 10 seconds quicker per mile from what my 1st mile time was. 

    Halfway through my 6th and last mile, I finally succumbed to the dangers of running next to a flooded road. A passing Jaguar sent a tidal wave of water towards me, drenching me from head to toe. It didn't really make much of a difference considering how hard the rain was falling. Even so, the smirk the male driver gave me as he passed meant my mind focused on rage rather than pace. The angrier I am, the faster I run!

    Even with the weather, the water obstacles and the varying gradient, today's run wasn't as taxing as I was expecting it to be (even after the bacon bap breakfast beforehand!). I still felt very strong by the end and I think I could have carried on for another 2 miles while decreasing my mile pace by 10 seconds each time. A perfect motivator for the slight over-indulgence that followed!

    Here's today's run:

  • I hope everybody had a nice Christmas Day!

    Barry......I really hope you enjoy Berlin. The first time I ran Berlin, I was beaten by a dwarf. It was also the first place where I broke the 4hr barrier, so plenty of good memories.

    I am thinking about Abingdon this autumn. I've done Stratford in the past and really liked the course. Although I do enjoy the crowds of the big marathons, I also love rural races for the quaint villages and scenery. How was Florence? Would you recommend this? I was looking at doing Rome next year, but that will have to wait now with Paris taking priority!

    Sarah.....Thanks. I hope you had a nice Xmas Day too. As my wife and I were the ones that were cooking the food, it wasn't as over-indulgent as they have been in the past. Not so many miles extra I have to run to work it all off, which is good!

    Alex.......I hope you had a good Christmas too. It has been a good 1st week of training. I hope yours has been just as promising. I'll pop by your forum page today, as I have more of a relaxing afternoon ahead of me!

    Clive........Merry Xmas to you too. I hope you had a nice day. Well done on your Xmas Day run. I doubt very much I would have made the effort to run on Xmas Day if it wasn't in my schedule to do so. Having the schedule to follow and having to write about it here is definitely a positive! A cross-training day, which I'm sure will be sandwiched between more movie watching. The Xmas sales can wait another day! image

  • Nice training Ady! I have similar issues with roads, but for general running I just cope with the stopping and starting. For long runs in daylight I use the canal and river paths, and pray for rubbish weather to keep the families and their 'orrible dogs away. I do my intervals with a club, which makes life a lot easier. The main problem is the MP or Tempo run. Unless I'm able to get a lift to work and run home (rare!) I have to make do with running backwards and forwards around the flatish part of the ring road. There are still two fairly major roads to cross in that 3 mile stretch though (2 lanes of traffic in each direction plus they're at roundabouts so there are things coming round the corners to worry about. It all adds to the challenge! 

  • Morning Ady! Sounds like the first weeks training has gone well! Love the story of your last run! I found the Xmas food definitely made me a bit quicker!! Must have been all the sugar and chocolate! image

  • Ady -  Well done for getting out over Xmas, I'm on a cutback week before my plan starts next week so making the most of it.  Florence was really good.  Me and OH went for long weekend.  The race was really well organised and flat, about 9000 taking part, and Florence is a wonderful place to visit so much history to see.

  • With Christmas commitments still ongoing and family to visit this weekend, I think it would be deeply frowned upon if I spend the majority of Saturday morning running, instead of seeing the family I'd travelled to see.

    Therefore I'm planning on swapping Saturday's long off-road run with tomorrow's speed session. With better off-road routes around my home, this will also suite better.

    Below is a Christmas present from my beautiful wife I received yesterday. The title is quite fitting I think!



  • Nice present Ady!  I don't particularly like dogs when I'm running either, so many are just too unpredictable.  I did a parkrun yesterday and was chased by one and then another jumped up at me, both times making me swerve or nearly come to a stop.  I always respect the right of others to use a park and as parkrun organisers say make way for other parkusers, but I so wish some dog owners show respect for people enjoying their time in the park!

    BB - a running friend was in Florence for a long weekend last weekend and did a race there I believe.  Was there some sort of special deal going for weekends to Florence?image

    Ady - Good work on the run.  I wouldn't worry too much over your paces.  I can understand you wanting to hit your set target pace, but in my experience apart from sessions there is no point in fretting over paces and even then I wouldn't fret, just try to be within a range, which I think works better especially when running routes can be flat/undulating/hilly etc, which makes maintaining a certain pace to stressful.  I did 10 miles this morning at average 9:38 min miles and I certainly don't think it was not worth doing or will make me slower in the marathon. 

  • Haha love the book Ady image Reckon somebody has been watching the bootcamp vidimage

    How was week one for you? Looking forward to week two?

  • Ady - you mention a current weight of 162lbs and a target of 148lbs.  Funnily enough when I was running at my best I was between 144 and 148lbs and am now 162lbs!  Therefore I think I'll be joining you on your weight loss odysseyimage.

    If you could engineer a lunch break of 2 hours that should be plenty of time for a 60 min+ run plus shower / eating etc.  If you ran an hour every day that would be 35 miles during the week (or even 28 if you missed one due to a meeting / tiredness etc).  Add in a reasonable weekend effort and you could hit 40-50mpw no problem.  Obviously this would have to be built towards, but by the time you get to the `engine room' of your training between 12 and 3 weeks out you could be building yourself a big fitness base there.  If not this time due to Asics constraints then in the future.  I found it made a massive difference going from a plan that peaked at 60 miles with frequent rest days to one that had me running pretty much every day.  The body becomes much more used to running and you enter a whole new life phase of fitness.

    Dogs - my current bugbear.  I'm getting fed up of people thinking it's ok to let their dogs chase runners / jump up at them etc.  It was particularly appalling on the three-lap Mansfield parkrun the other week where an ignorant family let their dog cause mayhem with the runners even though it was obvious there were 30-odd of them lapping the park.

    Browsing through the Xmas parkrun results, I see Sam had a decent runout at Edinburgh.  I decided to go easy on a dodgy calf (caused ironically enough by attempting a track session with inadequate warm-upimage) and spectate at Hull.

  • I found myself in the middle of FIVE converging dogs in the middle of Newcastle Town Moor this afternoon. Luckily they were all more interested in eachother than in me, and to be fair, I've been chased by a herd of 400+ cows on there before, which was worse. (They probably weren't actually chasing me, but they were all running, towards me, at great velocity). I got bitten by a dog in February though, and I'm particularly nervous around them now. 

    What's Mansfield parkrun like BR? I plan to run that one a few times from February onwards. I live nearer Colwick, but from Feb will be at a gym in Mansfield (I work near there during the week anyway) so would jog parkrun then make use of the gym's facilities to get clean before doing a core class. 

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