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



  • The plan I've been given by my coach Steve Smythe and based on the My Asics plan:

    Training plan for a sub 3:35 marathon

     Week 1:

     Mon Dec 17th:               Rest

     Tues Dec 18th:              4M in 9 min miles

     Weds Dec 19th:            6M in 9:30 miles

     Thurs Dec 20th:             4M with middle 2 miles at sub 8s

     Fri Dec 21st:                  Rest

     Sat Dec 22nd:                Brisk 25 mins or Parkrun 5km - 5M in total

     Sun Dec 23rd:                7M slow in 9 min miles

     Week total:                    26 miles

  • Morning RRR - That looks quite a light week to start. How many miles and runs per week are you doing at the moment? How many miles does your plan get up to at the maximum?

    Your intro and description of Sunday was amazing. I expect the same level of detail describing every run! Can't believe they hadn't stocked up especially on fluorescent pink stuff!image

  • Hi Sarah. Wow I'm sligthly jealous about all the kit!image Will follow your progress with interest.

  • Another great start to a training thread.  I see we have something very much in common with the weight loss.

    Can you tell me what options you used when generating a training plan?  I'd like to compare the vanilla plan with Steve's changes.  I'm not surprised that he hasn't stuck to the four day limit.

    Good luck with the journey!

  • Love it! Sarah, you are obviously missing your calling as a journalist! (unless you already are one in which case image)

  • Hi Sarah or RRR

    Having been stalking you on Twitter for the last week or so I thought I'd check out your thread here image

    Flipping heck that was a thorough write up of Sunday, no details left out there, I'm just wondering which client I should put on my timesheet for the time it took me to read through it all image

    Seriously I'm very envious, I didn't even make it to bootcamp let alone the final five. Like you I got back into running to lose weight, I've lost 2.5 stone in 2012 and am back to roughly the same weight as I was when I did the London Marathon in 2001.

    If all of your write ups are going to be as thorough as Sunday's, and you show the same enthusiasm and dedication to training as you do with your posts, it's going to be an entertaining three months or so!

  • Andrew - I was lucky enough to meet Sarah at bootcamp and have enjoyed lots of banter since. I think it will be quite a journey and more than a few laughs olong the way. Stick around!

    Also, well done on the weight loss. The last time I did London was in 2001 as well. Are you planning a marathon in 2013?

  • DSanta2 - yes there seems to be a lot of banter, I'm struggling to keep up with all the various threads. Maybe when the training really kicks in they will all have less time to post!

    I haven't got a marathon planned in 2013. I had injury problems training for London in both 2001 & 2002, I made it to the start line in 2001 but not 2002 and have avoided one ever since. Having got reasonably fit again I entered the Asics 26.2 competition as I thought the professional advice and a structured training programme could get me to the start line injury free! I also fancied £500 worth of free gear image

    Have you got any marathon plans in 2013?

  • Hi RRR, hows it going? how do you like the look of your first weeks training? How different is it to what you have been doing?

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Sarah - do you have a complete programme like Ady that you could post up. Would be interesting to compare the two. Are you down for just one 20 miler too?

  • Andrew - I was hoping to run in Paris having got through to the final 21 but I was in the same category as RunnyRunRun and that, as they say, was that! Nasty woman - ruining all my plansimage

    Anyhow, I had already entered the Halstead Essex/Suffolk border marathon on 12 May and am back to training for that. Hoping to relive former glories. I've run this event for the past two years and I love it.

    Anyhow, let me tell you about that nasty woman.................. she wears the most awful pink fluorescent compression socks and that's just the start of it....image

    sarah - where are you?

  • DSanta2 wrote (see)

    sarah - where are you?

    Clearly neglecting her media duties.  Hasn't been on here in hours and it's only a light training week image 

  • Right .. I am totally are going for 3:35 and Adys plan has been devided for 3:36...........

    so the computer must have made them how come his long run is 12 and yours is 7.


    when are the coaches coming to play with us to explain thingsimage

    have fun the first week.hope it stays mild for youimage

  • +1.


  • Hey Sarah.......finally gotten around to answering your question on my forum page............

    Your training plan seems very different to mine. Our first weeks are the same, but then I go down in mileage, while you keep increasing. I have one hard week and then one easier, before going harder, and then easier again. I think I'm allowed to incorporate Park Runs into my training as well, which I'm very happy about.

    What's your highest weekly mileage? Sorry if you have answered this already....I havent had chance to read through your posts yet image

    I'm definitely up for a half marathon, or maybe even something longer if it suits the training plan. I'll look over the weekend to see what is a goer image I don't know if Milton Keynes is it's between all of us really?

  • Good evening!

    Dsanta2 – It definitely feels like a light week at the moment! But … at least I’m starting gently I suppose before the hard work sets in! J

    After Liverpool Marathon I cut mileage down to give my body a rest but I usually run about 35 miles a week and spread that over 5 – 6 days. At present my plan goes up to to mid January and the weekly mileage then is at 39 miles with 14 miles of that in the long run.

    Yes … I’ll have to put a special request in to Asics for fluorescent socks … there’s a definite gap in the market there! J (Think how many extra pairs of sunglasses they’d have to sell too!)

    Have just got to the later posts (grr!) … yes I’m dreadful! Just think … if only I hadn’t bribed Runners World with the promise of posting them all pink socks for Christmas you could be sitting here writing this instead of me… except with more tasteful footwear of course.

    Brolish – Thanks for popping in and saying hi! I look forward to speaking to you. Are you doing a Spring marathon too?

    Tenjiso – Evening! Thank you - I understand that you lost 6 stone too! It’s amazing how much you realise you can achieve when you can lose that amount of weight. It sounds completely clichéd but you really do see that almost anything is possible … including a sub 3:35 marathonimage

    With regards to the My Asics training plan, Steve tweaked this one slightly to add in some speed work which is something I haven’t done a lot of in the past. (Slapped wrist for me!)

    Max’s Mum – Thank you for the compliment, but I’m not sure any newspaper would put up with my amount of waffle unless I was writing a magazine for insomniacs … in which case I may have missed my true calling. (No more counting sheep …!)image

    Andrew Mitchell 14 – Evening Andy! Great to see you here! Uh-oh … you’re going to charge me for time wasted reading my account? Think of it as a shared experience rather than time you will never get back …! J Maybe you can class it as charity work – allowing me to work the waffle out of my system … sounds like a dietary problem though! Nice one with the weight loss – I can definitely identify! How did you find London Marathon 2001? P.s. The £500 of free gear was an AMAZING bonus!! J

    Re media duties … What can I say … I’ve been busy this evening drinking a glass of wine. I’ve had to prep for my office work do on Thursday. Steve Smythe – if you’re reading this that was a typo. I’ve been ironing all my running gear ready for tomorrows run.

    A.W – Evening Alex! The first week of training looks very light which is nice as I think if we got lots of mileage the first week I might find it might be a bit daunting! I especially like the idea of TWO rest days … think how much more computer time I can fit in!image How are you finding yours? Have you dropped much mileage as I think you were on about 60 miles a week before?

  • ChristMalcs Cracker – Evening Malcs! I’ve only got the plan up to week 4 at the moment so the long runs haven’t really started yet. My longest will be 14 miles at the end of the fourth week at an 8:30 minute/mile. Ady and I have got different coaches and it looks like they are emphasising different strengths. Or weaknesses in my case!image

    Steve has added in some speedwork for me as this is something I haven’t really done much of in the past and I expect that will be the most challenging part for me. I suspect a lot the miles I’ve run in the past have been ‘junk’ miles – no real pace difference except when I’ve tried to run at race pace on the long runs for my last (and first!) marathon.

    Seren Nos Yn Canu – Evening Seren! Fab to hear from you! The plans ARE slightly different. One reason could be that although my target is sub 3:35, Steve wanted me to train for a sub 3:30 to allow some leeway for a Boston Qualifier. I’d be gutted to come in at 3:36… well no as that would be a 9 minute PB I’d be pleased – but I’d still like a Boston qualifying timeimage

    Also I’ve neglected my speedwork in the past so I think Steve wanted to add some of that in which may explain why my plan is heavier on that rather than mileage.

    Mr Puffy – Evening! J

    Ady – Fab to hear from you! Would definitely be up for Milton Keynes half marathon! Love the idea of a nice flat half and I’ve heard good things about the Milton Keynes one! Would be good to run one with you too considering we’ll be similar speeds … and we won’t be competitive at ALL, will we?image

    I’ve got parkruns as a possibility for the Saturdays for weeks 1 and 3 which would be nice – have a special fondness for Parkruns! Especially Coventry and Swindon. J Yes, my mileage keeps increasing rather than moving around too much. I guess that although the plans are based loosely around My Asics, as the coaches know our strengths and weaknesses, they can tailor them a bit more closely.

  • Training Session: Week 1, Day 1 …

    4 miles at a 9 minute/mile pace.

    I did this run at a park local to my work in my lunch hour. Thank goodness for showers at work otherwise I’d be known as the ‘Stinky Mad Runner’ rather than just the ‘Mad Runner’ …

    I set my Garmin to work out the average pace so I didn’t have to watch it too closely. The park is very hilly – I also use it as a hill training circuit as 3 laps of the park and a final downhill back to work make it just over 4 miles so it would be just about right.

    I realised pretty early on that my slow runs are determined by the terrain or weather … it was actually quite difficult to stick to the 9 minute mile pace especially on a day where the weather was quite nice although the office workers walking 3 abreast on the paths slowed me down quite a bit. And the dog hurdling must have knocked a couple of seconds off as the dog walkers seemed to think that setting small dogs on runners was OK today. (I wouldn’t have minded so much but today wasn’t a speed session)                               

    Came in at 8:52 minute/mile over 4.93 miles … it was a bit further back to work than I’d thought.

  • Hi, thanks for posting your programme although it has now got me a little worried as I did 7 miles today, just over one mile warm up and cool down, the rest speed training!
  • well done on your run and pretty much hitting the target. I may adjust some of the paces slightly if you are finding it too easy. Re the schedule which for the first month I will put up tomorrow, with any pace adjustments which is a relatively gentle start, It's more mileage than Shady Ady because you are used to doing more mileage. The schedules are roughly linked to My Asics recommendations but with the proviso that they have to be adjusted for the individual need's and requirements. Consequently while it starts gently, there is no point in you running 15-20 miles a week if you are used to 35. The training gets harder but the plan is for 4 weeks building up and then an easier week to recover. The official target is 3:35 but we will get a better idea of what is realistic when we get a few months in.

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Hi Sarah,  just popping in to say good luck and I look forward to following your journey. I'm with you on the 10k weakness front too.  image  I personally think the distance should be banned! image 

  • Morning Sarah! - Great to hear from you! I wouldn't worry too much as you know what suits you and where your strengths are! image It'll be really interesting to see where we both end up in terms of speed on different plans as our race times are so close.

  • Morning Steve,

    Thank you for the feedback! That makes sense with the differing mileage between Ady and myself. We had a chat at the Asics Store day and while mine and Ady’s previous marathon PBs are similar, our running history is completely different too.

    Re target adjusting … I’d like to hit my time target but I’m not complaining about the 2 days off a week and gentle runs around the park! I had the feeling that it might start getting harder though …!

  • Morning Minni! - Lovely to hear from you and thank you for the good luck wishes! image Yes, I definitely agree that 10ks should be banned! In fact, I think we should get militant and start a petition ...image

  • Sarah- fantastic to hear about it so far- you're certainly keeping it detailed. would be good to see the programe, especially as the times for you and ady are similar

    Can we connect on Garmin too??

  • Morning Clive! - I will attempt to cut the waffle down ... promise! Yes, connecting on Garmin Connect sounds a good plan! You realise this means I'll actually have to synch the Garmin occasionally though ...! image


  • i have the words.....synchronaise watches in my head now........imageimage

     and i can't remeber which tv programme it came from

  • Hello all, just a quick to to hi!

    And so I can follow. Think RRR is going to be going quite a bit quicker than my planned sub 3:45, but good to follow.  image

  • Morning Seren! Hee hee ... it will be driving you mad all morning now! You'll have to try and flush the words out with mulled wine and mince pies!

    It's not Gladiators is it ...?

  • Hi Sarah. Yes, I'm doing VLM next year.  I'm with you and Minni on banning 10ksimage. I'm very much better with endurance than speed which is why I have to incorporate lots of speedwork into my mara training so I think we're similar. Good luck and will be stalking you with interest!image

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