Cobbles & Red Wine - Sarah’s Paris Marathon Plan: Sub 3:35



  • Food Diary 11th January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 3 teaspoons sugar.

    Lunch: Bowl of spinach with 30g stilton and a large portion of baked ham. 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.

    Tea: Stir fry veg with mushrooms and water chestnuts. Pot of tandoori chicken. Steamed carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, 2 mushrooms, grren beans, mange tout and baby corn.

    Snacks: 1 x babybel, 4 x squares dark chilli chocolate, 1 x Thorntons chocolate, handful of red grapes, small cup of yoghurt, cinnamon and mixed seeds, 2 x mini sausage roll.

    Drinks: 2 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 1 pint of orange,

    Exercise: 90 minutes walking.


    Food Diary 12th January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 3 teaspoons sugar.

    Lunch: A bowl of cous cous. (This tasted yummy but I was ravenous about 1.5 hrs later and ended up making tea at 4.30pm!)

    Tea: Stir fry veg with mushrooms and water chestnuts. Added in some extra mushrooms, mange tout and green beans. Added some chopped chicken.

    Snacks: 1 x babybel, 4 x squares dark chilli chocolate, 1 x small cup natural yoghurt with cinnamon and mixed seeds, 3 x cookies. And a small chocolate Santa. (Last of the Christmas chocolate – promise!image

    Drinks: 4 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 2 pints of orange,

    Exercise: 30 mins grocery shopping with 3 year old, 2 hours at softplay (woo!), 5 mile run.

  • Week 4, Day 6

    Goal: 5 mile fartlek

    Actual: 5 mile fartlek

    Got home and thought “Why is it that fartleks are always slower than normal runs on average pace but always feel much harder?” I’d forgotten that I’d added another mile onto my normal 4 mile route and was working out the pace based on a 4 mile run … yup. No hope. But fartlek runs always DO feel much harder.

    I’d taken Steve Marathon Coach’s advice on this one and instead of changing speeds based on the terrain, I’d changed the paces based on time. It had meant that I was less tempted to speed up on the downhills and slow down on the uphills because it was a fartlek and I was “allowed to” slow down.  I hadn’t stuck to a set pattern but had changed paces on the minutes and half minutes.



    Garmin Info Here Info Here

  • That's a good average pace for the session RRR. With fartleks, while you do run hard in sections, there are obviously sections where you need to have recovery and ease back, where speed isn't the slightest bit important so it's perfectly acceptable to have a slower pace than if you were running fast steady.

  • Barnsley Parkrun went well , not a pb but quite good 21:03, I'm coming back from back injury so I was happy, Barnsley parkrun is apparently one of the hardest in the UK. Did 12 mile this morning 1 Jr 37 mins should have taken 1hr 42, how's your weekend gone
  • One for Steve the coach, I'm running with no problems and comfortable but after my (especially long runs) I have a niggle at the side of my left knee and my right knee hurts slightly, any advice for me mate.
  • Haha....... yep.......homework....think poof in the middle of the front room! 

    My bike is currently in bits as its being serviced, not been on it yet (think the saddle may split me in two!). I am just buzzing at the minute....... in a ready for bed sort of way!!

    Had a lovely run this afternoon the weather was tip top! 

    Going to try your pancakes tomorrow!

  • Yo bird - thought I'd just check in and see how you're doing... (sorry this year has started in crazy fashion but I'll try to keep up image)

    here you go -

    apparently pronounced "KEEN-wah" - if you need to ask for it without worrying!

    If you had to sum up how things are going so far in one word...what would it be?


  • ps - I've used this recipe before and it was pretty yummy:

    Enjoy x

  • Derrick

    well done on parkrun.

    I would try and run more off road if you aren't already but also check your shoes aren't worn down on one side.

    While it is good you aren't getting problems while running, it may get worse if you don't deal with it and so maybe a sports massage going deep into quads and ITB may help and if it doesn't, a visit to physio/chiro/osteo may be worth doing.

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭
    RRR - Mrs Malcs is the pearl barley expert here - dont think for a minute I know a thing about it, I just like eating the stuff image

    We either have it in soups or with salads mixed with cucumber, spring onion, chopped tomato etc. and a dressing made with olive oil, seasoning and lemon juice and the magic ingredient, a nice bit of chopped fresh chilli.
  • Evening Derrick,

    What’s the Bolton parkrun course like? I haven’t heard much about that one – is it one of the hilly ones?

    12 miler sounds good – was such a gorgeous day for a run today! I did my 14 miler and it was so nice actually running in daylight for once!

  • Evening Tigger!

    So … you weren’t joking? You really do practise at home??? Please video that and send it to us!!image

    It was such a great day for running today – so bright and gorgeous!! You had some snow your way, didn’t you? Did that make it more fun? Can’t believe I’ve got no snow at all here!! (Sulks!)

  • Evening SB!

    Fab to hear from you!

    Ooh thank you so much for the link!! And there’s cooking instructions on there too!! So I’ve got no excuse for trying to microwave it and reporting back to Ruth that I didn’t like black crunchy burnt tasting sand!image

    Summing things up in one word? Groundbreaking …

    I’d NEVER have thought I’d be doing 7 minute/miles in training runs … and not finding it tough.

    I’d NEVER have thought there were so many different types of training sessions.

    I’d NEVER have thought that I would be here – the one doing the training … and that it would be so enjoyable!!image (Happy dance!)

    Ooh yum!! That recipe sounds DELICIOUS!! That’s definitely bookmarked!

  • Evening Malcs!

    Oh that sounds incredibly yummy too!! You realise I’m going to get a telling off from Ruth for putting on 3 stone before the marathon trying out all these new recipes ….!!image

    So … has everyone entered TR24 yet?

  • Week 4, Day 7

    Goal: 14 miles at 8:30 min/mile

    Actual: 14 miles at 8:13 min/mile


    I was looking forward to this run as I was going to get to do it in daylight. If I was really lucky I might see some trees, a hedge or even (gasp!) a rabbit. All I normally see on my runs are car headlights, black pavements and orange sodium lights.


    It was a fresh morning – read: flipping freezing – and the grass was stiff and crunchy under my trainers. I’d already had the debate with myself – no gloves; sore, cold, blue hands for first 2 miles or gloves; warm hands for first 2 miles and then hot hands and nowhere to put gloves. I’d had the brilliant idea of regressing back to primary school and tying mittens onto bits of string and threading them through my jacket sleeves, but lacking any string or the time to get creative, I decided on gloves and hot hands.


    I’d had to stop briefly after the first mile when I realised I’d forgotten to programme the Garmin for an average speed so I did that as quickly as possible and then set off again with the correct settings. I’d decided I was going to try and get the pacing a bit closer to the 8:30 than last time so I wanted to make sure I had it all set up ok.

    After the 1st mile, the route takes me onto a disused railway line, which this morning was gorgeous! The puddles were all lined with ice and the grass on the verges was frosty and still. There was a bit of mist lingering and everything felt very quiet and peaceful. There were a few dog walkers about, but it felt as though I had the whole path to myself!



    There were a few boggy moments on the path. Unfortunately, the puddles were icy enough to be slippery to a carelessly placed foot, but not frozen enough to take my weight as I found out when I tried to dash over a wet section. Cue one wet foot.



    I had to take this alternative route that someone had thoughtfully set out:


    After mile 4, I had a brief mile or so along the pavements, then it was back onto a trail past a few farms. I thought I might have problems when I came up to a farm and an old black and white collie stood in the middle of the path barking ferociously. I carried on running without changing my pace to see what he would do … and he just stood in the middle of the path barking down the trail past me as I went around him. I think maybe he was a bit blind and a bit deaf and although he was sure there was a runner there somewhere .. he wasn’t quite sure where. Like an old man who co

  • Like an old man who couldn’t quite remember where he left his glasses …


    I crossed a road, then I was back onto footpaths and heading around the edge of Draycote Water. My end destination was a pub on the canal which should be about 13 miles from my starting point (Anyone would think I PLANNED these things …) so I had about a mile to add in somewhere. I added the extra distance in along the edge of Draycote Water as it was flat and scenic.


    There were lots and lots of runners going around Draycote Water today. All wearing the same expressions of determination and stubbornness – giving up their Sunday morning lie-ins for the chance to pant around the edge of a reservoir. In fact, there were so many I would have thought it was a race if they were not all going different directions.


    After Draycote Water, I headed back out onto Cycle Path 41 which took me along the Blue Lias line which is another disused railway line. It’s flat and fairly straight and the footpath is smooth and gravelled. There are lovely views and it’s pretty and nice to run on. I had about 2.5 miles to run on this and I always enjoy this part of the route.


    I’d forgotten to bring any water with me today – usually on runs over 12 miles I carry a standard 0.5l spring water bottle then I can bin it if it gets irritating, but today although I’d set the bottle out ready, it was sitting on the side in the kitchen about 12 miles away. I thought I might struggle without having a drink but had no problems and in fact didn’t feel particularly thirsty.


    I listen to audiobooks on long runs if I’m not running on the road sometimes and if it’s a good one sometimes when I run the route again, it’ll remind me of the book. This part of the route reminded me of Whispers Underground which I’d been listening to last autumn when I was just over halfway through a 22 mile run in preparation for Liverpool Marathon.

     Coming up to the end of my run today, I realised I’d miscalculated the distance and unfortunately was still about 2 miles from the pub when I hit the 14 mile point … a rookie error. But it will give me inspiration for a 16 mile run which I’m sure will come up at some point.



    Time: 1:55:27

    Distance: 14.06 miles

    Average: 8:13 min/mile

    Garmin Info Here

    (The run is showing as 2 parts on Garmin Connect as I stopped the Garmin after 1 mile and changed it to ‘average speed’ as I’d f

  • Food Diary 13th January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 3 teaspoons sugar.

    Lunch: Bowl spinach, 30g stilton, portion of baked ham, tablespoon mayonnaise.

    Tea: 2 chicken breasts with BBQ sauce, bacon and cheddar. 3 onion rings, portion of chips, 1 x tomato. (Yep - a pub lunch!)

    Snacks: 1 x babybel, 1 x banana, 3 x small choc chip cookies, 1 tablespoon mixed seeds.

    Drinks: 3 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 2 pints of orange, 1 pint of water.

    Exercise: 14 mile run.

  • Steve, thanks for replying mate........ I will look into the advice you have suggested,

    I'll let you know how I go on.

  • Morning Sarah,

    Barnsley parkrun that is, not bolton.

    some lovely pics taken......I went first thing sunday morning so I missed the sunshine, still had a good run...... I went with a friend onto the trans pennine trail.... its a nice flat route (tarmac). I only have one concern and thats injury hopefully I can avoid it and stick to the plan I have.

  • Good word - I'll try to nag you for one every month or so and then by the end you'll have a 4 word mantra to always remind you of your missionimage

    Reminds me of the first time I ever cooked for my parents as a teenager - no one told me you had to boil rice before you put it in the parcels in the oven.  Oh how they laughed! Harumph image LOL


  • Another good run RRR with great description  - quicker than me again and good you didn't feel too tired. You are definitely well ahead of target if you can stay healthy.

  • Blimey RRR - you are flying along at the moment. Steve will be amending your target at this rate. Just be careful not to do too much too soon at too fast a pace. Recipe for injury! You are going to do great things as long as you stay healthy, as he says.

    I have the same problem - trying to hold back! For me I think the problem is that it's so long since I've been this fit that I feel like a beginner who doesn't know what he is capable of. I imagine it's similar for you? I had to fight myself on my progressive long run yesterday (15.5 miles at 7:54mm average) and not sure what I can achieve. One thing I do know is that if I try to do too much this spring and don't get my GFA I'll be gutted so I'm erring on the side of caution rather than taking the risk of a bit quicker in training!

  • RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    Evening Andy!

    You might not get away with the ‘Not me, guv …’ excuse if you’re using your own name! Reckon those IT guys might spot it’s you …image

    Good luck at parkrun tomorrow!! Remember we’re expecting BIG things!! No pressure (cough, cough!). Are you wearing your new trainers?

    Afternoon Sarah

    How do you change your username on here? image

    Pleased to announce new Parkrun PB image but only by 6 secs!  I thought I'd got my pacing better this week so I was a little disappointed with my time. I was also a bit surprised at the official time as I started my phone app on the "gun" and stopped it as I crossed the finish line and Nike+ gave me a time a whole 10 secs quicker than the official time image

    Still wringing a few more miles out of the old shoes at the moment, planning on breaking the new ones in for Silverstone.  Is SteveMarathonCoach going to let you do that?

    Congrats on a great long run yesterday. If you keep that up your Paris target will be nearer 3:25;00 than 3:35:00!

  •  RRR

    Lost my post!

    Will attempt to write it all again.

     Cream eggs: I did not think I had to say anything! imageAlthough I think at the moment your chocolate intake is probably needed as this helping you increase your carb intake.

    I would really like to see some carbs from either sweet potato, pearl barley, quinoa or sweet potato in both lunch and dinner. Stick to recommended portions as these won't be large. Some veg do have more carbs than other such as parsnips, butternut squash, sweetcorn but these are not enough alone when training for a marathon. If you are concerned about calories then only have chocolate a couple of times a week or a very small amount each day & cut the sugar out and you won't put weight on YET you will get better nutrients (vitamins and minerals) in your diet. Snack on fruit, low fat fruit or natural yogurts?

    What type of orange juice do you drink?

    Thanks all for recipes!

    As Sleep bear mentioned look in whole food section in tesco for quinoa. Not sure it is in ASDA.

    I know you have started to buy cous cous but not yet seen this in your diet too much! 



  • Hey Sarah. It sounds as like you're absolutely flying at the moment. Training looks like it's going really well. Jealous of those countryside runs. I'd find it hard to stop running with scenery and fresh air like that!

  • Hi Sarah/Runny

    Been following your thread from the word go - I'm a shy lurker! I find your enthusiam very inspiring. I'm hoping for somewhere in the region of 3.45 - 3.39 but I'm not sure yet. My endurance is good (ran 20 miles on Sat) but my speed is rubbish and I REALLY HATE 10K races. Will continue to follow quietly. Good luck and keep the posts coming !



  • Evening Derrick

    Wow! Trans Penine trail looks amazing! You ever been tempted to make a few days of it and do it end to end?

  • Evening SB!

    That was a fab idea and I like the idea of a mantra … Something to get me over the cobbles and towards the finish line! It was actually surprisingly difficult to think of a word though! I asked my boyfriend and he kept coming up with ridiculous suggestions and I wanted to throw something at him by the end…!image

    Oh and remind me to decline any dinner invitations from you …!image

    (Unless you're cooking the bacon and leek thing - that sounded AMAZING!!)

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach!

    Thank you for the feedback and glad you liked the description! Must work harder on my pacing!! But it was SO nice to actually run in the daylight rather than at night that I think that buoyed me on a bit too much!

  • Evening DS2!

    Eek … nope! 3:30 sounds scary enough to me - that’s quite fast enough for my 2nd marathon …! You’re right I need to keep a closer eye on the pacing. I got a bit carried away with the run really as it was such a gorgeous day and nice trails!

    Wow! That’s a fantastic run! I bet you were over the moon with that one! I’ll have my fingers crossed you get your GFA this Spring! You’ll have to let us know on the Asics thread so we can all give you a collective (virtual!!) cheer!!

Sign In or Register to comment.