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



  • Afternoon Andy!

    Yes, the back is feeling better today, thanks! Phew! image

    I’ve got Dorney Lakes Race Your Pace on Saturday 16th March! Apparently is flat as a pancake and is a lap course – each lap being 5k so if I can’t pace myself over this one I deserve to have my trainers confiscated!

    I didn’t use gels for my first half marathon and found it difficult, although maybe this was because it was my first half could have been something to do with it! I used the High 5 gels for my 2nd half and knocked 6 minutes off and I used the gels for Liverpool Marathon too. They’ve never caused any tummy problems and I’ve found them fine without washing them down with water although you do end up with sticky fingers if you’re not careful! I’ve only ever drunk water during races or training.

    Have you ever been tempted to try the gels? I didn’t for ages as someone described them as flavoured snot to me ... ick! But they’re actually pretty nice!  

  • Afternoon Sarah Asics !

    My back is feeling a lot better today! I didn’t run yesterday and I had a stretching session instead as you recommended and it worked really well. 

    I didn’t have much back pain on Monday so I’m hoping that Tuesday and yesterday were the worst days ... or is that the eternal optimist in me speaking? image

    I had shooting pains Tuesday and yesterday but those have almost completely disappeared today so I think I’m on the mend! I’ll let you know what Wayne has to say and whether I get some good stretches!   

  • Hi RRR,

    Unfortunately it quickly turned into much worse than a headache and am having my second day off work with flu- awful nights sleep last night, though I did get up at 2am to use the foam roller- definitely delirious! Unfortunately I won't be getting to 100 miles before month end, but perhaps I'll hit that in February....really should have gotten that vaccination- I'm at risk coz of asthma d'oh!

    I used to always listen to music whilst running, however since I started this plan I only use music in the Sunday long run. It was mainly for safety that I stopped as I do so much of my running in the dark at the moment, though I find not listening to music helps me focus better on my pace. I listen to now that's what I call running. Also have a playlist which I have used for races in the past, but some of the races I'm doing this year prohibit or advise against headphones. Do u use music/audiobooks whilst racing?
  • Angela Isherwood 2 wrote (see)
    Hi RRR, yes usually a lab as well- they must like being walked in fields more than other dogs I suppose... Curious about the 18+ as my plan has long runs increasing weekly like this: 15, 17, 18, 19 then when it gets to 20, the nxt week steps down to 12, then back upto 20 for a second time before the taper. I think those successive weeks at 17 -19 will. Be pretty hard, as 19 miles isn't really that much less than 20, but we'll see- doing a much better job of sticking to the plan than I had in the past- have run 95 miles so far this year image today's 6 will make it 101, that being said I've got an awful headache, so hope I'm better this evening for the run- though sure running will probably make it go.

    Ruth, I like the look of the pre half marathon carb loading day- usually I just go for pasta and porridge and bananas so the foods are distinctly one colour. Would you change much for those who aren't wheat intolerant?

    I would not worry about the colour in diet before marathon (too much colour generally means lots of fruit & veg and this could be a problem for gut/bowel  on day if loaded with fibre )BUT at all other times lots of veggies!

    If this was not Sarah diet I would actually increase the portion of carbs!image If not gluten/wheat free pasta & bread  could be included.

  • RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    Afternoon Ruth!

    Glad you enjoyed the run description ... here’s hoping that Sunday’s long run will be a bit less challenging! I’m tempted to do the same route again to see what it’s like without the drama! (Although have just noticed they've forecast SNOW again!)

    Like the idea of using the half as a testing ground for Paris. I’ll be really careful with checking labels before the run and will ensure there are no cookies in the house so I won’t be tempted! image

    It seems a huge amount of food in the diary, but I’ll stick to this as closely as possible. You realise I’m still going to have to try and squeeze into my lycra after eating all of that, right?

    Just confirming – fruit juice with breakfast such as pure orange rather than the orange squash I usually have?

    I trialled the rice cakes yesterday with Nutella and honey – yum! Could definitely add those in! image

    It all sounds good. Just checking - I can have more water, coffee etc than specified on the plan?

    Hi RRR

    Yes, pure orange juice.

    Very happy with nutella and honey and rice cakes - consider it on the menu!

    Water as you feel you need and usual amount of coffee!

    You might feel bloated but by next morning should be fine!

  • RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    Have you ever been tempted to try the gels? I didn’t for ages as someone described them as flavoured snot to me ... ick! But they’re actually pretty nice!  

    Ask Mel is she thinks they are nice!image

  • Love rice cakes myself when I run out of gluten free bread...........great description of the long run on Sunday..............felt rough this last week with manly type flu sore throat stuff so no long run.....up to 19 miles this week so getting back on it, just done a 10K up the trail in very windy conditions in 46 mins so happy with that as well as three to work this morning quick.  After the shock of redundancy last week we have smashed the record for sales in one month.......awaiting another meeting on Monday to see what the latest news is on when the office will shut. Got a couple of interviews lined up from sending out the CVs already so happier than I was and sleeping better now.
    Keep up the great work RRR you are doing really well. Keep up the carbs so you dont get tired or injured now and no more falling over at this stage!!!

  • yay, nutella is allowed!
  • so sorry to hear about your back, but glad to hear that its now on the mend and your being sensible. The rest will probably do you some good aswell as you have been running hard for the last 6 weeks. I hope that your back up and running soon.

    SNOW.....NOOOOooooooo not again, when is it forecasted for?

    Im really looking forward to Barcelona and havent really thought about my time yet, would just be nice to get under 1 hr 35
  • Morning RRR!

    Glad to hear you're on the mend - hopefully you'll get some incident free mileage in this weekend image

    Like you I'd been put off using gels by people's descriptions of the taste/texture.  Done a couple of longish (for me) runs the last two weekends and have struggled towards the end.  Think I'll give them a try pre Silverstone.  Are they widely available or just at specialist running shops?

  • Morning Angela!

    Oh no sorry to hear you’re really poorly … getting up at 2am to use your foam roller? Eek! Well at least you’re dedicated to getting well enough to run again!! image

    I use audiobooks on my long runs to keep me entertained and I find I’m still able to hear noise around the narrator, whereas with music I used to be a bit oblivious of what was going on around me. I sometimes use music at parkrun but make sure I keep an eye out to check I’m not in anyone’s way. Not a lot more irritating than someone bumbling along in front of you lost to their headphones while you’re trying to get round them in the search for a new PB!! Argh! image

  • Morning Ruth!

    I definitely think I could live with adding rice cakes with honey and nutella to the menu!! They were delicious!! image

    It makes me feel full just reading the pre-race day menu!! image

  • Morning MCS!

    Man flu?? And no ambulance was called? I’m impressed!image Hope you’re feeling better now! Although if you can do 10k in 46 minutes it sounds as though you’re doing great!!

    Great news about the interviews – I’ll be keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you!!

  • Morning Sarah!

    Back is SO much better it’s unbelievable!! Actually feel normal now! Will be back to doing a 5 mile fartlek or hills tomorrow and will be doing the 20 miler on Sunday!

    The snow was forecast – briefly for Sunday but it looks as though the weather man has changed it to rain again! I’m going to try the same route this week but I’m going to drive the route tomorrow to check for floods and to see where I went wrong and missed the sign!

    Barcelona will so wonderful! What is the temperature meant to be like?

  • Morning Andy!

    Yes … please, please keep your fingers crossed for me for a nice, boring long run on Sunday!! image

    Gels are widely available … although saying that I haven’t seen them in Tesco but they’re available in pretty much all running shops, even shops like Sports Direct I think! You can get them pretty cheaply from eBay. I bought my last couple of boxes from there. Would definitely recommend the High 5 gels although a few people have also said the SiS ones are good too but I haven’t tried those.

  • Physio update!

    I went to see a physio in Northampton yesterday. My pride was slightly dented when he failed to hide a smirk when I told him that I’d damaged myself falling into a ditch. Apparently this isn’t a ‘normal’ marathon runner’s injury. (Sulk) Marathon runners wear lycra, carry loo roll and the blokes stick Vaseline on their nipples. What’s he trying to say?image

    But it’s all good news. He thinks I jarred the joints in my lower back and the muscles around it when I fell over, but the problem is muscular not a joint problem. He’s given me a bit of an MOT and I’ve got a full range of movement and there’s no nerve irritation. He spent a while giving me a sports massage and easing the back and it feels huge amounts better.

    I’m going to jump back into the schedule and do the 5 mile fartlek or hills session and then the 20 mile long run on Sunday. I’d like to do the same route as last Sunday … but I’m going to drive it first to check for flooding and to check where I got lost. I don’t want an action replay of last week. And I promise … no jumping ditches. Well. No falling over anyway.

  • SIS gels for me and I like shokbloks not sure if thats the right spelling but they are like winegums but softer.........packed with carbs and easier on the stomach and less sticky than gels for opening up. Try some they are not cheap but hey you are only doing Paris Marathon for free you can afford it!!!image

  • I like the shotblocks too...their like eating jelly cubes!

    So glad to hear that your back is much better and you will be back in the trainers tomorrow sarah. The physios can certainly work some magic. Was the physio recommended to you? How much did the session cost?

    I did my first 20 miler today too. Was nice to get one done and I felt surprisingly ok (especially after running 8 miles last night). My next three weeks im reducing my milage so even though the 20 is quite early in my plan, I did build up to it slowly and have a few reduced milage long runs coming up now.

    I hope all the floods have gone ready for sunday and that we dont get any more rain! No falling over either!

    Not sure about the temp in barca, im guessing it will be similar to here in winter.
  • Hi RRR,

    Day 3 off work- I've never been so sick that I took 3 days off work in a row. Feeling totally useless- don't think I'll even run at the weekend, though I'd like to get out on Sunday.. Resting heart rate has been over 100 all day, but just checked and its at 85, so starting to get better (usually 55)

    I've never used an audiobook at all, in any setting. Might give it a go for the really long runs.

    On gels, I used to use lucozade sport, and I could even get them in sainsburys, but they are quite sickly. Now I use sis, which I get from runner's need in London- sure you can order online. They're much more palatable image
  • Good news RRR - you will be nicely rested  for your 20 but don't worry about the pace too much and just focus on doing the distance and finishing it strongly.

    well done on doing the 20 Sarah O, must be good to get it ouf way before weekend.

    Hope you continue to feel better AI

  • That's great news and really good you got an MOT to check everything out as you didn't want any underlying tightness when you carry on. Keep up with the stretches and easy core exercises for the next few days while getting back into it.

  • Ruth ... just had a thought and checked back over the pre-race food.

    RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)
    • Mid-morning- 500ml of fruit smoothie or low fat milkshake (sip over the whole morning if wish) and nibble on some jelly sweets should you fancy.

    ... are we talking Pick n Mix??? I have the BEST NUTRITIONIST EVER!! image (Does a happy dance!!)

  • Hi Sarah , glad your lower back as improved , I had a rest last week well 3 sessions because of my back and knee but I can tell you I felt loads better and my performance has got better , I did the parkrun today and come in at 20:39 my 5th best ever. So on that note good luck and keep up the good work/running
  • Thankyou Steve I love being able to do my LSR on a friday so if anything goes wrong and I dont manage to get it done, I have the weekend to give it a second attempt, although touch wood, thats not been necessary (as yet).

    Last year I didnt get to 20 miles until 3 weeks before VLM so I feel in a much better position.
  • Afternoon MCS

    Ooh yum! I like the idea of Shotbloks! Sweeties?! Hooray! Although I tried jelly babies a few times and struggled to chew them while I was running. Are they softer than jelly babies?

  • Afternoon Sarah!

    Woo woo!! Well done on your first 20 miler of 2013!! Glad it wasn’t too bad! Did you have a nice country route or were you running through the town?

    The physio I used was one I’d used after a car accident a few years ago and he was fab. I’ve popped back to him a few times when I’ve had a niggle and he’s always been great. I’ve got medical insurance through work so I put it through that but I think he charges about £35-£40 for an hour.

  • Afternoon Angela!

    Oh no – sounds like you’ve been hit really hard by the flu! I’m glad you’re starting to get better but you’re right to rest for a while. No point in running now and getting yourself back to square one!!

    Ooh can recommend some fab audiobooks I’ve listened to on runs … Rivers of London, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Hunger Games…!

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach!

    The 5 mile hill run went well earlier – no problems or twinges from the back at all so throwing myself at the 20 miler tomorrow! Not going to risk the previously flooded route tomorrow as it’s all a bit mushy underfoot off road around here still so I’m off to try and get to Warwick on foot!

  • Evening Sarah Asics!

    Thank you! My 5 mile hill run was fine earlier – no twinges - and I used the days rest to get some good stretching done. I’ll make sure I keep those up. I’m back to se the physio next Thursday just so he can check there aren’t any more problems, but I’m feeling fine at the moment!

  • Evening Derrick!

    Glad your back and knee are feeling better after your rest! Well done on your parkrun time! That’s fantastic!! Have you got a long run tomorrow?

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