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



  • It's a flat 3-lapper round some football pitches with some tight turns.  Mostly tarmac with a little bit of compacted trail.  You'd lose 10-15 secs on the turns, depending on how good you are at cornering.

  • Think I need to run a marathon tomorrow to run off everything I've consumed over the last few days!

    Loving the book, although I was hoping the title of your book was going to be along those lines but its too late now!
  • Day 10 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (26/12/12)

    Target: Rest or Cross Training

    Actual: 19 miles on exericse bike on hilly program in 1hr 1min

    Much easier cross-training day on the exercise bike than in Week 1. In week 1 I used the stamina program. This time I chose the hill setting, which I found easier to keep up a high rep rate. 

    I could have probably increased the difficulty of this session without it negatively affecting my performance, but having struggled on the bike in week 1, I decided to keep it at the original difficulty.

    I really don't know how cyclists can stay on the saddle for hours. Just an hour was sore enough!

  • CC2.......You must have good motivation to run your MP runs along a 3 mile stretch again and again. I've tried to do similar in a small loop, where I regularly pass my apartment, but I find my mind making excuses every time I come to passing my apartment telling me to cut the run short! Now I find it better to run either in a big loop or an 'out and back' run, which stops any chance of cutting my run short.

    Normally I love running along the canal, but it's the free roaming dogs and my small phobia of them that makes this harder than what it should be! The smaller dogs don't bother me, but Alsations or  Pitbulls roaming free normally make me choose an alternative route, or turn back on myself and wait for them to pass. If I can;t do this, I will often walk as I've heard that there is more chance of them attacking you if you are running rather than walking.

    RRR.......The first week went very well thanks. I met all my time goals for my runs and it actually felt much more comfortable than I was expecting it too.  The extra sugar and chocolate does have its long as you can trick your mind into thinking it's all energy for running then there's not one feeling of guilt. It's a dangerous game chocolate can easily turn into 4 or 5!

    Barry.......I hope you're enjoying your cutback week. I didn't realise Florence had so many runners participating. I might even consider doing this for my autumn marathon next year.

    Hilly........I completely agree with you about the dogs. I recently did a 10k race and there were two runners who were running with their dogs. One had it on a long lead, which acted like a moving trip rope. The other was loose and kept stopping in front of the runners waiting for its owner.

    I don't have a problem with them being taken for a walk in a public place, but running with them in a race might be a step too far!

    Thanks for your words regarding pacing. I think I am possibly trying too hard to hit my paces on every run and I have found myself looking at my watch a lot more than normal. It has been good though in making me run at different speeds during the same session. does look like a strange coincidence considering what I said on the boot camp video.  The guy who wrote it though, Scott Jurek, has been someone I've admired for a few years, ever since first realising there were some people out there crazy enough to run further than a marathon. Anyone who has ran Badwater or completed the Spartathlon has my full respect. Although I like a challenge, I think even getting to the starting line of these races is one step too far for little old me!

    Week 1 went very well thanks. A very comfortable first week and I was happy to hit my pacing goals on each run. Week two has been interesting too, especially running over Xmas and forcing myself away from al the leftover food. So far so good though. I hope you are enjoying it just as much. I saw your photo wearing your leggings on your forum are a braver man than me putting a picture on here wearing them. I might put a picture on of me the week before the marathon, but only if I manage to lose the weight I want to lose!

  • BR.........Please feel free to join my on my weight loss odyssey! I was happy with how my first week of weight loss went, but my second week has been much harder. I think attempting to lose weight during Xmas week will only end in disaster anyway, so my proper weight loss program will start in week 3 of my training. This should still give me more than enough time to lose the weight I'm planning on losing.

    It is nice having the ability to run for 60mins in my lunch break and get a decent run in and it does allow for the possibility of increasing my mileage more in the future. It's also nice to get my speed sessions in, in the daylight.

    I hope the dodgy calf isn't giving you too much grief. How long will you have to rest it for?

    Sarah..........I'm in the same position as you. Ate my fair share of calories the past two days and could do with a few more long runs to work it all off again. I've decided to not beat myself up too much if I have a few fall-backs this week on my attempt at losing weight. I'll have to think of a new title now for the book! image

  • I'm thinking we have several weeks of intense marathon training to burn off those calories....what the heck......bring over the Xmas cake (or is it too early to start carbo loading)?

    Congratulations on the bike, 19 miles in that time is impressive
  • Day 11 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (27/12/12)

    Target: 100-110 mins off-road at comfortable pace.

    Actual: 12.61 miles in 1hr 50mins @ 8:47m/m

    There's three things I absolutely hate when running: dogs, chaffing and jogger's nipple. I had the pleasure of experiencing two of these today. Experiencing all three would have been like the perfect storm!

    I brought forward my weekend long run to today due to visiting family over the weekend. I knew running off-road would be harder than my normal long runs on tarmac. The fact I was doing this long run after 5 days of running/ cross-training without a rest day, meant I didn't feel as confident and motivated as I have done in the past.

    Off-road could be classed as an under-statement on today's run. Parts were not too dissimilar to running through a boggy marsh. I was originally planning on running the majority of today's run through nearby woodland, but due to most of the route being waterlogged, I relented and ran along the canal towpath instead. Although part's of this were also flooded, the majority was soft mud and springy, thanks to the fallen leaves.

    Due to running off-road, my pace was slower than on tarmac, but not as much as I was expecting. It still felt very comfortable, even with not having a rest day for almost a week, including last Saturday's 12 mile run. (Sam: you will be very happy to hear that I stretched for a full 10 minutes afterwards, using the stretches you recommended - this is a big improvement on my usual after-run stretching routine!).

    If I could change one thing about me, it would be to eradicate my fear of free-roaming dogs. On the return leg of my run, a man the size of a small giant joined the towpath just in front of me, with two pitbulls. I wouldn't be worried if the dogs were on leads. These two weren't. I immediately changed to a walking pace.

    I felt as though the dogs were eyeing me up, and as the owner walked away, the dogs stood still and stared me down. I decided it wasn't worth tempting fate and attempting to run past them, especially as the owner was paying little attention to the mutts he was supposed to be walking. Instead, I stretched for a few minutes then took a detour away from the canal towpath on to normal roads so I could re-join the canal in front of him. You can see this on split 11 on the link below, which is much quicker!

    I always remember to plaster my nipples. After seeing some runners at the end of marathons with a stream of blood leading down their running vests from skinless nipples, this practice is etched on my mind. The use of Vaseline though is something I still forget to go. Unfortunately I'm feeling the full effects of this error today! image

    Here's today's run:

  • My dad decided to go on a 5 minute jog a couple of weeks ago (to try and get back in to running) and was tripped over by a dog that ran up to him. It did try to lick him better afterwards, but that didnt seem to help my dads sore shoulder that resulted from his fall. 

    I think taking a detour was the best thing to do as you never know what could have happened!

    As a plus side with my dad, ive had great delight in practicing acupuncture on his shoulder over xmas though!

  • Sarah, I totally agree! Although the sensible part of me says that carb liading for April now might be a tad too soon! By the end of January I want to have lost 8lbs from where I am now. Even then I think I may hold off from venturing out in full Lycra!

    Acupuncture you say. That's one thing I have never tried. I'd definitely be willing to give it a go if required.

    I hope your marathon training is going well. It's my rest day today and as per usual I'm feeling very restless. I'm visiting family over the next 2 days. My nan is slowly losing her mind and I think it won't be long before she stops remembering who I am. We have had to start hiding some of the food in her house. Otherwise, as she forgets shes just eaten, she eats again and again and again.

    Meeting up with an old friend tomorrow so will have company for my run for the first time since training began!
  • Hi Ady,

    I seem to recall you said you were hoping to get down to 140lbs is that right?  Can I ask how tall you are?  It must be nearly 30 years since I last saw 140lbs on the scales! 

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Ady - I haven't been online much over Christmas week and as I type this I am being pulled into a marathon Lego session by my youngest so I'll just add my congratulations on getting through week 1 and a good way through week 2 and particularly for running on Christmas day!

  • Hi all, trust you all had a great xmas? Nice off-road session Ady! Will really help with the strength. Looks like you've had a cracking week. If you keep training nearly every day the weight will drop off. I shouldn't worry unnecessarily about it!

    I've managed over 40 miles this week myself including a 161/2 miler and a hardish 10 yesterday. Unfortunately, I tripped over in the final mile and hit the ground rather hard - my face taking most of the impact. Other than a few grazes on my chin, a cut lip and hands I got off quite lightly. Luckily no-one saw me but I was covered in mud. Would have been quite funny, I imagine!

  • Ady - dogs seem to be a recurring theme at present.  It really irks me that people think they have the right to let their lack of control over something they are responsible for interfere with other people.  It's not just runners, but small children that they intimidate.

    Re. the calf, I wore some long compression socks (which I rarely wear) and managed a 10 / 4 and 15 / 4 combination the following two days.  As long as I'm sensible and run on soft surfaces at a controlled pace, training can continue.

    Weight loss not helped by a major marathon `session' in Barnsley town centre with the club last night...

  • Evening Ady! Agree with your detour around the dogs! Just not worth the risk!

    Can't believe you're at my home parkrun tomorrow morning while I'm 160 miles away!! We'll have to try and coordinate it next time! image

  • The idea of scheduling rest days is an interesting one.  It appears that Ady was restless for a run, but because his schedule said `rest' he did not do so.

    I have found rest days to be the most over-rated concept in running.  Sure, if family / life / work gets in the way of training then take a day off, but don't take one for the sake of it just because a generic schedule you have been given says so.  Training adaptations also take place when you have a recovery run day of 30-60 mins easy running.  The balance between training and rest on these generic plans is far too skewed at times towards the latter.

  • Sorry to hear about your nan, it's always tough to see loved ones deteriorate. Hope she is ok and you enjoy catching up with your family.

    For muscular problems and menopausal hot sweats acupuncture seems to work brilliantly, I'm not too convinced that its effective with anything else though
  • Day 12 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (28/12/12)

    Target: Rest Day

    Actual: Rest Day 

    There is no denying that rest days are an integral part of any training schedule, but I really struggle with resting. Every rest day I feel restless - as though it's a training day lost or a day lost burning extra calories. It doesn't matter if it is 5km or 50km I'd ran the day before, or if every bone in my body ached, I'd still feel the same level of restlessness.

    It's definitely a mental thing. I know the importance of rest days. I know that at my current level,  without at least one a week, I will wear myself down and then my training sessions will suffer and the potential for injuries will increase. I don't think it helps that I'm so focused on getting as close to 3:30 as I possibly. This has certainly increased my levels of energy, adrenaline and motivation to get out and train.

    Under normal circumstances I'd like to do a yoga or stretching video on my day off to at least help ease any tired muscles. This wasn't possible this time around, due to travelling to visit family. 

  • Ady - great mentality.  I felt the same so when as a new runner I started reading about guys like Ron Hill and Mike Gratton, something clicked and I knew that scheduled rest days could be dispensed with.

    You say that without at least one per week you would wear yourself down and affect other sessions.  I would ask two questions from that:-

    1.  How do you know unless you try it?  Another counter-intuitive issue.  You may find yourself building extra strength and endurance and the natural energy running brings you coursing through your body.

    2.  What is so magical about a 7-day running cycle?  Some people may find one day in 10 beneficial, or one day in 14.  When I was running at my best in 2004 I found about one per month necessary.

    It's a case of learning to listen to YOUR body, not following a pre-written generic plan that was not written with you as an individual in mind.

    I hope the family visit goes well.

  • Well done so far on the training Ady!

    I understand where you're coming from on the rest days.  When I first started running I had a few days rest a week, then I got to the stage where I had 1 day a week built in to my schedule, but found I didn't always feel like the rest day on the planned rest day, so I decided to try 10 days and for a while that worked.  As time went on I realised I didn't need 1 per week, or even 1 every 10 days, so I went with 1 when I needed it.  I do this now and it works just fine.  My plans now are very individual and sometimes I get it right and other times not so, but nothing an extra rest day doesn't sort.

    Enjoy the family visit!

  • Evening all! Another beautifully wet day for running. I popped my Parkrun cherry today. Thoroughly enjoyable it was too. I can see myself getting addicted with these in the New Year!

    Xyloid.........I haven't seen 140lbs on the scales since my University days, which is sadly now over a decade ago! Realistically I'd like to get down to 148lbs or as close to that as possible. I was 160lbs when I ran my PB  and when I started this training program, I was just shy of 163lbs. I don't think it's a tough ask to get down to 148lbs, losing 1lb a week on average, especially once Xmas and New Year are out of the way.

    If I strain my neck hard enough, and style my hair like I'm one half of Jedward , then I can just about get away with saying I'm 5ft 8". In reality, I'm just a tad above 5ft 7"!

    When I ran my PB in 2009, although I was running close to 40 miles a week, I reached a plateau in weight loss. I wasn't paying any attention to what I ate or drank. In 2009 I was still young enough to be going out most Saturdays nights as well and eating fast-food in the early hours of Sunday morning. With not doing any of this, this time around, I really hope this will make a huge difference in reaching my goal weight. out for those Lego sessions. I imagine they can become very addictive. One of the best reasons of having children again to relive your Lego youth playing days! Thanks very much for your good wishes. So far so good. I feel next week will be harder though as my speed sessions are harder and quicker and this is what I've struggled with in the past. I hope you had a nice Christmas. What plans do you have for New Year? Will you be in Scotland for it?

    DS2........I hope you had a good Xmas too. The off-road run could become a nice addition to my schedule. As a first timer to off-road running, it's easy to be a little demoralised to see your time lower than what you would normally run while putting in the same level of effort. But it keeps your mind far more active, especially with the uneven ground and having to watch your every step. It probably helps that you are covering long mileage on softer ground as well. I really wished I lived closer to the North Downs Way, or Richmond Park, as this would be ideal for this kind of run.

    It sounds like you've had an excellent week mileage wise (and with it being Xmas as well!). I hope the damage you caused from the trip was just superficial. When I first started running I would trip over thin air every few weeks, spraining my ankle each time. I suspect this was due to a poor running technique, as (touch wood!) this hasn't happened in recent years. I remember tripping over when running in China. People already stared at  me because I was an oddity to them. But seeing me fall over on ice took their intrigue to a whole new level. Even a couple of public buses stopped in the road, as the driver wanted to see what I did next!

    I hope the cuts and grazes have cleared up now! image

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    Delurks - Hi Ady image

    I have always had a day off from running, sometime two, and I found it really nice not to be thinking about putting on kit, where to go or thinking about pace / effort / HR for a day or so. It also meant I was a bit keener come the next day and following week to get going again. For family reasons Saturday was always my day off.

    However recently I've found that I no longer need that mental break. I give myself a day off if I feel like it, but often run 7 days per week, or replace a running day with a bike ride. That said, come Marathon day, I don't think taking 1 day off  per week rather than running a slow 5miler is really going to make much of a difference. Much better for you to consider what is going to do to suit your lifestyle, positivity and consistency throughout the whole campaign.

  • BR........thanks for the comments. I'm sure the marathon 'session' was well worth it! I'm looking forward to following my training schedule and enjoying a few drinks New Year's Eve.

    Several years ago I suffered with shin splints and wore a compression sock that helped with this. Since swapping trainers though (first to New Balance and now to Asics) I haven't experience this issue at all, which makes me think it was because I was wearing the wrong type of trainers.

    It is interesting to read your words on rest days. I understand what you are saying. But coming from a base mileage of 30 miles per week, running 5 days, I think to completely cut out rest days might be too big a jump for now.  In the past I have tried running every day and my training suffered from this.

    This could be in part because I was running most of my runs at the same intensity and not adding any variety in. It could also be because my trainers weren't the most suited to my feet (even though I'd had a gait analysis carried out) and I was having shin-splint issues and pains on the top of my feet as well.

    Because this has happened before, I have kept one rest day in my schedule ever since. I'm happy that my current training plan also has this. In the future, if I stay injury free, there would be no harm in trialling less rest days out.

    RRR.......Sorry to have missed you at the Coventry Park Run today. Thoroughly enjoyable experience. I can't believe I haven't contemplated doing one until now. It must really help with increasing speed by doing this regularly so you can see how you are improving. Really nice course as well. A few inclines and declines to keep you on your toes. Plenty of rain and wind to contend with as well. If I'm ever back visiting family or friends again I'll let you know and see if we can meet up. I hope Dorset was nice!

    Sarah......It was only a short trip back to see family. It is tough to see loved ones deteriorate. It's sometimes hard to not let the person they've become cloud your memories of what they once were.

    I wanted to try acupuncture when I was in China, but decided as my grasp of the language was not that good, it might have ended in having needles stuck in places I didn't want them sticking!

    Hilly......thanks for your thoughts on rest days! It does seem the number of rest days you need is individual to each person. I did seem to pick up injuries more often when cutting down on my rest days. At presents, I'm happy with one rest day a week. This works fine with me (that's not saying for marathons in future years I won't attempt experimenting with frequency again). It also means I can take my wife out on my rest day and do something (believe it or not!) other than running. This does work out more expensive than doing an extra run though, so this could be the main reason for decreasing the rest days! image

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭
    Ady - will b escaping Scotland tomorrow. Some idiot booked us on the 8:00am flight - he's not currently very popular.

    Regarding new year, having spent the last week in a disease infested pit of splutterers and coughers I'm pretty certain I'll start 2013 in bed with the lurgie (and no, that isn't my pet name for the wife!)

    Will you be having a restrained one or going for it?
  • Day 12 - Asics Target 26.2 Paris Marathon Training (29/12/12)

    Target: 5 miles FAST (1 mile EASY @ 8:30m/m, 3 miles FAST @ 7:30m/m, 1 mile EASY @ 8:30m/m)

    Actual: Coventry Parkrun 5km in 22:14 (22:16 official) @ 7:12m/m. 0.5 mile w/up, 10min stretching w/down.

    There has been a lot of discussion on this forum page about the importance of warming up and down when running a speed session. The general consensus seems to be around 2miles w/up and w/down is a solid amount. Under normal circumstances, this is what I will always try to do. Unfortunately due to time constraints today, this wasn't possible, only having time for half a mile warm/up beforehand and 10 minutes of stretching afterwards, before rushing off to make a dinner date.

    This was the first Parkrun I've had the pleasure in running and certainly won't be my last. It was also the first time during my Paris marathon training where I've had the pleasure of running with company, meeting up with an old friend (thanks Mr. Green!) who, with a PB of under 20mins compared to my 21:45, promised to pace me for the race.

    Considering the rain and wind, a few gradual inclines and declines, and a tarmac surface, the course was definitely capable of getting me close to my PB. I asked my friend to pace me around 7:05m/m and after losing a few seconds at the start passing some of the slower runners, I completed the first two miles in 7:08 and 7:06 respectively.

    It was the 3rd mile where I struggled. It wasn't because I felt my legs couldn't keep the pace. It was because I started to feel like I needed to be sick. I started to dry heave and wretch. I've had this problem before when trying to keep a constant much-quicker time than what I normally run. This meant every time I tried to increase my speed, I felt like I wanted to be sick. If I slowed slightly, the feeling immediately went away. I completed the third mile in 7:24 and then sprinted to the finish. I suppose I shouldn't grumble with finishing 30th out of 200+ runners, especially so soon after indulging in things I shouldn't after Xmas.

    Even with the howling wind and rain, this was quicker than I managed on a flat track 4 weeks earlier and is a good starter point to see how my training so far has already led to some improvements on my speed. I have no doubt that before Paris, I will easily break my 5km PB.

    Due to the time constraints and not being able to fully do my w/up and w/down mileage, I will add this onto the Sunday recovery run to make sure I complete all my mileage for week 2. 

    Here's my run from today:

  • Well done on the park run, Ady. That is a good time for just after Christmas. I didn't even get out of bed in time.

    I did my first one back Park Run back in May in a time of 21:09 and since then I have seen my time tumble to 18.34. I reckon that with your structured training schedule and races you'll soon see your time tumble. When it comes to Paris I think you'll easily beat your target.

  • By the way have you had a talk with the nutritionist yet? Like you say on the video you run so you can eat which is what I do. Have they warned you off any foods? I kind of have a weakness for cheese and wine and know these really are the best foods (if you count wine as a food) to have in a training program.

  • I will definitely have a go at my local parkrun sometime in the new year.  How did they clock the time?  Do you all get issued a chip?

    Thanks for sending the stretching question, did Sam say how long to hold the stretches for?

    Keep up the good work!

  • Well done on the parkrun, Ady.  Whilst I haven't done the parkrun at Coventry I have watched a 5 mile race round the same park.

    With reference to the sick feeling in the last mile, did you perhaps eat too soon before the start?  9am is a time that most of us are not (or at least were not pre-parkrun era) used to racing at.

    Fair point about rest days, but as you say, something to consider for the future.

  • Xyloid go to and find your local park run. You then register and get a barcode that works at any park run. The idea is amazing and I am amazed it took me so long to find out about them. Have increased my pace no end. Good luck!
  • Cheers Stan, so do you scan your code at the start and end of the run?  Doesn't this lead to a bit of a queue to get scanned?


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