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



  • where do you live/where is your race BTRR? my race has been cancelled tomorrow due to the snow....gutted!
  • Really enjoyed reading your account of the snow run...........I love running in this my trail shoes.........only managed 9 miles in 2 hours yesterday but loved every moment of it....looks like our snow is here to stay for a few days ( i live in the red snow zone) looking forward to another run in the morning.......

    sometimes its great to be out there just enjoying it rather than looking at the watch

  • Running in snow of course varies to the surface. A light covering of fallen snow, is really good for running and the legs. Thicker snow is good resistance training - a bit like running on sand dunes but where snow has frozen and lumpy, it's quite bad for feet and knees. I really enjoy running in snow but the enjoyment wears thin quickly if it cancels races and lasts too long. I can't believe an indoor meeting in London was cancelled this weekend , even though travel is fine and the snow won't affect the indoor track. Also a cross-country was planning to do, was called off. 30 years it would have definitely gone ahead after a fairly small snowfall in the areas around here.

  • Evening Knight Rider!

    I chickened out tonight and did the fartlek on the treadmill. The pavements haven’t been gritted here and they’re kind of an ice / slush mix today so my fartlek would have been slip, trip, windmill arms and repeat x 15. Amusing for onlookers but probably not quite the intervals Steve Marathon Coach intended ...! image

    However, I’ve got a nice 2 hour run tomorrow to enjoy off road so I’ll be on the trails and paths! Trail shoes are at the ready and I’m hoping for a bit more snow tonight to make it a bit more interesting and less slushy!   

    Did you manage to head out today? How did you find it?

  • Evening Sarah!

    You could be right … so maybe a 10 minute run and then into the pub for a hot whiskey toddy to warm up? Doctor Sarah’s orders?image

    I hope you got your banana pancakes today! I had some for lunch – had Nutella on one and peanut butter on the other … I thought peanut butter went with EVERYTHING … but apparently not banana pancakes …

    I think you underestimate the lengths I will go to protect my ice cream …! image

  • Evening Buffy!

    Fab to hear from you! Ooh Manchester marathon! I’d planned to enter that one as I’ve got some good Twitter friends in it … but obviously I’m now in Paris!! Woo! It’s apparently one of the fastest ones in the UK which is good news!

    I enjoy long runs too … it’s nice knowing that you’ve got a couple of hours to just run and enjoy it! Have you got some good routes your way?

    Eek!! A 10k race??! Our nemesis!!image Good luck!! I hope you have a great race and a brand new shiny PB!! J Let me know how you get on!!

  • Evening Seren Nos!

    Glad you liked the report! It was such a nice change to be out in the snow and it just made everything so different. Definitely a welcome change from the same old black pavements, orange sodium lights and grey hedges I normally get on a night run! image

    Glad you got a snow run in too! The forecasters are predicting snow until Monday so it might be that your next couple of runs are in the snow too … especially if you’re in the red snow zone!

    It will be nice to run to how I’m feeling tomorrow and just get a chance to run for the sheer joy of it … and in the snow too – wonderful! 

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach!

    It was nice running on the snow last night as it was powdery and shifting like on sand dunes but think it might be a bit more treacherous tomorrow as the slush will freeze. Give me a chance to practise on yet another surface, I guess.

    A cross country was cancelled … surely dreadful weather is all in the spirit of cross-country … ?! Are you planning to get another snow run in tomorrow as your race is cancelled?

  • Food Diary 19th January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 2 teaspoons sugar.

    Lunch: Banana pancakes (2 eggs and a banana whisked together – mixture makes 3 pancakes) one with peanut butter on, the other with Nutella on. (Nutella was yummy, peanut butter was icky), tbsp olive oil.

    Tea: 2 x kippers, 1 x Pollock fillet, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, 6 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

    Snacks: tbsp dried fruit, 2 x cookie, cup of grapes (green & red), 1 portion of natural yoghurt with cinnamon and tbsp dried fruit,.

    Drinks: 3 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 3 pints of orange squash.

    Exercise: 6.4 miles fartlek on treadmill.

  • Week 5, Day 6


    Goal: 6 miles of hills or fartlek

    Actual: 6.4 miles fartlek at an average 9:04 min/mile on treadmill

    I decided to do this session on the treadmill as it would be difficult to maintain speed or to do anything other than what was safe in the snow this evening. The slushy snow that was slightly melting has now frozen over and I thought it might be a bit treacherous in the dark so I cheated and turned to the trusty … if more boring, treadmill.



  • well done RRR makes sense in the conditions to have done fartlek inside.

    In London today snowed (not too hard) all morning and was able to go for very long run on mostly powdery snow - apart from two steepish downhills which were very slippery - ok and really enjoyed it. Longer than planned as managed to lose my bankcard, travelcard and money for drinks and retraced steps on first half of run instead of doing shorter run or even getting train and did 3 hours 15 and 22 miles without drink or gel and felt ok

  • Right RRR I tried the pancakes, they were very thin and fell apart very easily so although I tired them I never actually tasted any as it looked a bit like scrambled banana and egg!

    And the burning question is SteveMC did you find them??

  • no snow must have covered the wristlet - will have to search after the thaw!

  • Hi Sarah, looks like your flying along! Not even the snows slowing you down! I had an unplaned extra long run today, got a bit directionally challenged! Still nice to get out in the snow!

    Where have all Steves posts gone? Seems like they've disappeared from your thread too!?
  • glad you enjoyed the Nutella, I had it every morning when I was in Italy last year...mmmm!

    Mulled wine, mulled cider and baileys coffee are also allowed after a cold run/walk in the snow....Dr's Orders!

    Hope you find your lost belongings soon steve and if not youve cancelled your cards in time.
  • Hi RRR!

    Glad knee stiffness has disappeared!

    RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    Evening Ruth!

    Had a quick check on the orange squash and it contains 0.4g of sugar per serving but it’s probably packed full of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. Do you want me to add orange juice (or any other fruit juice) into my diet? I eat quite a few oranges but I can add this in if you think it’ll be of benefit?


    I don't think these type of orange juice’s are needed in a person diets but I also don't think it is necessary for you to cut it out because when you look at your diet as a whole in regards artificial sweeteners, it is not high and I also think this helps with your fluid intake so not a change I would push for. I was just checking to see if it was loaded with sugar so i was aware but it is not.

    RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    Evening Ruth!

    I’ll try the wheat and gluten free bread if you insist J I don’t really miss bread now (although I did when I first cut it out) but if you think this is the best source of carbs I’ll definitely give it a go. I haven’t had any luck getting to the shops today – blame the snow! Although of course the snow didn’t put me off the run …!

    Rice is ok and I’ll have a small amount  when I have a Chinese meal but I’m not really too bothered about eating it. I had it this evening (25g boiled) but it’s not something that I look forward to eating!

    Thank you very much for the advice re bowel problems. I will keep an eye on everything and make sure I speak to a doctor if I have any symptoms out of the ordinary.

    I don’t think anyone needs to eat bread either ( with or without gluten or wheat) if they eat starchy carbs from other sources. So if you would eat rice & potatoes for example, 2 portion of these each day  (one medium potato and one 50g portion of rice at or 5 or so rice cakes each day), then these could replace the bread. The above portions would be considered still small by most runners. Continue porridge at breakfast and still all you veg and protein although easy on cheese, unless cottage cheese. When you taper for marathon you could reduce these carbs again and then add them in a few days before race but can discuss this at later stage.  

    You have done great in your achievements since starting running/losing weight and the above is only advice and you need to fully buy into anything new because you have achieved so much eating the way you do. I  really do understand that changing things will not be that easy and I only think you should eat this way if you believe in adding these foods as the mind is important in these changes.


  • RRR

    I think Sarah’s call on getting checked for coeliac disease is a good one which means an allergy to wheat, barley(which is why I wanted barley introduced separately to see if there was a reaction) & rye but I was going to  suggest you wait until after marathon. I was going to speak to you next weekend about this partly because  your diet has including little gluten (some people with coeliac can have porridge and there is likely traces in some of other foods you have eaten including some you would not think!) but always best to be intentionally eating gluten in your diet before testing. However, initial blood tests which is first step could shown something but best to either wait and start eating gluten again regularly (which I do not suggest you do before Paris!) or go and speak to your doctor so he can get the full history of when problems started and let him make that call but as is something you will need to you in the next few months anyway.  

    Quinoa is gluten free although there could be cross contamination as often processed in factories with other grains so if react this may be the reason as it is technically gluten free. I do think you may have wheat intolerance but you would need to at some point in the near future rule out a food allergy such as coeliac or other cause as this is a real possibility if struggle with bread etc


  • Took my GP a couple of goes to diagnose me as Coeliac, but that was in 92 when it was not so well know. Had to have an endoscopy at that time. I was so ill could barely walk or work and no chance of running. But best to stay on your diet as Ruth says until after Paris then investigate further. Best to sort it as my Nan didn't and ended with Bowel Cancer which finished her off!!  Not meant to scare you sorry!!
    You sound fit enough.

    We have had heavy snow here in the Peak District all weekend and last night plenty again. Didn't do a long run at the weekend too risky with my left ankle so did some sledging and snowboarding instead with the youngest great fun, a sort of cross training effort. Good to see you guys are all at it, need a treadie I guess here in the office perhaps as no room at home.  Ran down to work on the trail in the speedcrosses and then seem quite good as long as I stay off any ice. Got my waterproof socks on which are brilliant really keep the water off the feet. Need to do some miles this week......lets hope we get a thaw soon.

  • It's thawing here - just had a massive snow slide off the roof!


  • Completed my training schedule last week fininsing with a 14 mile on sunday, still a bit of a niggle on the side of my left knee and my right knee is still a bit stiff. i,M taking ibofafen tablets and just bought some gel for when I finished the long run, happy its rest day tomorrow even though I love running .

    No problems generally I could have ran all day, just concerned about my niggles..ive got physio tomorrow so i' hope there will be able to help.

    How you going ?

  • Still snowing in Derby has been all day!

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    RRR - right call to head for the tread, frozen snow is a death trap. Training seems to be going incredibly well. I hope you can resolve these dietry issues asap. Best of luck!

    Derrick - have you an injury or has the pain just crept up on you? I'm not a physio and I know the internet isn't the best place to go looking for medical advice but I had a problem two years ago with pain on one side of my knee. Turned out to simply be down to tight quads. Long 40sec+ stretches 3x per day sorted it in a few weeks (it was particularly bad at that point so if you have the same hopefully it would resolve much quicker). 

    I'm just back to running this week and could feel a little knee pain - a few quad stretches and it went almost immediately. Maybe worth a try. 

    Snow has stopped here after Sunday's deluge but it's definitely not melting!

  • its been snowing here all day....disappointingly all my patients still turned up, thought everyone would have cancelled or not attended and i would have had an easy day....but that wasnt the case!
  • Malcs.......... thanks for the advise, I do think you are bang on with that , my quads have been hard and tight, I'll focus on my quads stretches.

    My physio is for a old lower back injury but it seemed to have gone until sunday into the 10 mile of my long run....I just felt a little pain then it just went again, touch wood  it won't be back however the physio appointment as come at a good time I suppose. 

    I,m trying my best to keep injury free and sticking to the training schedule mile for mile. I have thought of resting until sat and focusing on my endurance/long runs...does anyone think this is a good idea or should I just cut my milage down to half or a percentage. 

  • Evening Tigger!

    So you didn’t enjoy the pancakes?! It sounds as though you did what I did the first time and didn’t whisk them enough – I ended up with a bananary (ooh new word!) omelette but the 2nd time I whisked them loads and ended up with a reasonable consistency. The ones I had Saturday were thicker than normal pancakes … Sorry they didn’t work out..! (But do try again and with Nutella – awesome!!)

    Is it still snowing your way?



    Evening Alex!

    Fab to hear from you! So … ‘directionally challenged …”. Lost, right?image Was it fun though? I’m loving this snow running even though it means more treadmill (grrr!) runs! Bacon Steve’s posts? Or Marathon Coach Steve? I think Bacon Steve’s been a bit manic at work the last few days but didn’t realise there were posts missing…!

    Eek! Week 6 today! How did that happen??


    Evening Sarah!

    Yes that Nutella is a bit addictive! Just me, a jar of Nutella and a spoon! A perfect threesome!image

    Ha ha – Sarah! Will you be MY doctor please? Especially if you’ll give me a prescription for mulled wine, cider and Baileys!image

    Although if you do that no wonder all your patients always turn up!! 

  • Evening Ruth!

    I added a sweet potato in again today (I have to admit I’d forgotten about them at the weekend – sorry!) I’ll have a go with rice cakes. I had the rice on Friday night but had a bit of an upset tummy on Saturday. It probably was nothing at all to do with the rice (isn’t it pretty hypoallergenic?) but I’ll leave it for a couple of days if that’s ok and try again.

    Thanks for understanding my neuroticism about different foods image Just a quick question – I ordered some Chia seeds ages ago … yes – I jumped on the bandwagon … but never got around to trying them. Would these be something you’d recommend?

    I’ll make sure I get the tests scheduled after the marathon as suggested – it would be interesting to see what’s what! image

  • Evening MCS,

    Oh my goodness. That sounds really scary! Glad your Doctor eventually correctly diagnosed you!

    Snowboarding? Wow – that’s impressive! SO a long run in the snow too dodgy for ankles, but snowboarding ok?image I’ve always wanted to try snowboarding but I think ice skating is my limit!

    Which waterproof socks do you use? My feet did NOT look happy after a couple of hours soaking wet yesterday! Felt fine but my toenails are definitely going on strike!


    Evening Mike Sheridan!

    It’s been a lot slushier today, but it’s still pretty determined to stick around on the grass and the little roads. Just had another peek out of the window and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere just yet. Had fun trying to get out of my steep drive earlier, lots of spinning wheels, burning smells and muffled swearing … but got back home and the neighbour had popped over and gritted my drive for me! How nice is that!

    … Hope the snow didn’t slide off your roof onto YOU!!image

  • Evening Derrick!

    Can’t quite believe we’re into Week 6 already!! J I’m feeling pretty strong today. Thought I’d feel it after the long run in the snow but all is good at the moment. I had some stiffness in my left knee but that’s cleared up. I took some ibuprofen too … swear that stuff is magic!

    I booked in a sports massage last week for tomorrow but I’m not even sure I need it now … but am going to keep the appointment. I’ve never had one before (except a brief one after a Santa Run!) so will go along to see what the fuss is about. I’ve been assured there will be screaming and I will leave with tear tracks on my face and possibly bruises … so will let you know - eek!! Let me know how your physio appointment goes.

    … Just read your post about an old back injury. I had a similar thing from a car crash which caused a tight ITB (down sides of knees). I’ve kept any further problems away by doing strength classes such as LBT and core work.


    Evening Malcs!

    Heading for the treadmill felt like a bit of a cop out but I think it was probably the best option. Suspect I may be on there again tomorrow…! The track last Monday looked like it had been covered with emulsion paint – completely white!

    Snow seems same here! It snowed all day yesterday and we’ve had no more today but it’s definitely sticking around!

  • Food Diary 20th January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 2 teaspoons sugar.

    Lunch: Banana and 1.5 tbsp peanut butter (delicious!!), tin of tuna and tbsp mayonnaise.

    Tea: 275g beef rump, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, 6 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot – all steamed. Cottage cheese. 1 tbsp ketchup.

    Snacks: 2 x High 5 gels,  white chocolate Santa (found in fridge!), cup of grapes, 2 fruit pastels.

    Drinks: 5 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 3 pints of orange squash.

    Exercise: 16 mile run, 2 hours at softplay (but I only went down the slide once!)


    Food Diary 21st January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 2 teaspoons sugar. 1/3 banana.

    Lunch: tin of tuna, 1 tbsp mayonnaise.

    Tea: 1 x salmon fillet, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, 6 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot, 5 x asparagus, stalks of tenderstem broccoli – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

    Snacks: 15g yoghurt coated raisins,  2 x cookie, portion of natural yoghurt, cinnamon and dried fruit.

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

    Exercise: 1 hour walk. 1.5 hours house cleaning.


  • Week 5, Day 7


    Goal: 16 miles at 8:30 – 9 min/mile pace. Amended to 2 hour run due to heavy snow.

    Actual: 16.17 miles at 9:50 min/mile pace (2 hrs 38 mins)...


    This run was supposed to be a long Sunday run of 16 miles at 8:30 – 9 min/mile but because of the heavy snow Steve Marathon Coach agreed I could change the session to a 2 hours snow run instead.


     It wasn’t terribly cold, but I decided on a warm base layer and compression tights with normal tights over the top and my pink jacket. Plus a buff and a big hairband doubling as a hat. This doesn’t sound much but for me who prefers to run in a vest and capris it’s a lot. Plus I decided to go with my ancient 2160s with Yak Trax. These trainers have done plenty of miles (read: far too many) so if they got soaked and shrank to a size only a child could wear, it wouldn’t be a huge disaster. 

    Also stuck a couple of gels in my pocket. Thought it might be time to start re-practising with these. Hydration shouldn’t be a problem with all the snow so long as I stayed away from the yellow stuff. Apparently it isn’t lemon flavour…

    I decided to stay off road as much as possible so started with a short distance on the canal path and into a shortcut running alongside a reservoir. It all looked picture perfect and the snow covered up the graffiti so it looked unexpectedly picturesque. You can no longer see that ‘Brownsover Gang 4Ever’ consider the wall on the left to be their private getting-drunk-on cider-spot.


    Had about half a mile on pavements but the snow was so thick the Yak Trax didn’t even make a noise. Under the railway bridge and past the takeaway and up to the towerblocks… where there was the mother of all snowball fights going on. Rival gangs were only distinguishable by the bobble hat colours and there were several small children beating each other with sledges as all of the sticks in the vicinity had been used to make arms for snowmen …

    Managed to sneak through the snowball fight without taking a snowball to the head. Either they were all terrible shots or they were too engaged in snow gang wars.


    I ran onto the disused railway line cutting through the centre of Rugby. It sounds dreadful, but this is one of my favourite places to run. The trail goes through the middle of the town, but it’s always very peaceful and scenic. The snow was very deep here. It had been walked on and compressed on the pavements, but it was deep and beautiful here.


    I passed another runner who had dressed for the weather by wearing a hat, thick jacket and minuscule shorts. And had blue legs. He waved madly when he saw me and said "Another crazy runner!" He had mad eyes and a happy, happy grin! I probably looked exactly the same. Except fo

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