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



  • Week 7, Day 6

    Goal: 5 miles hills

    Actual: 5 miles including 10 hill repeats


     (My hill!)

    This is the first time I’ve tried hill repeats and I actually had a bit of a struggle finding a decent hill in Rugby as Warwickshire is pretty flat! Lots of nice patchwork style fields but not a lot of actual undulation.

    There’s a bit of a hill halfway round my 3 mile fields and canal route so I decided that would be the hill of choice and used lamp posts to check I was pressing the lap button at the right place. The distance up the hill was .10 of a mile.

    I didn’t quite know the best way to do this session so went with a fast run up the hill (lap 1) and an easy jog back down again (lap 2) then as soon as I reached the bottom of the hill I repeated this.

    The session looked like this:


    Easy run to hill:

    1.23 miles at an 8:47 pace


    5 x fast runs up hill and back down


    6:42 (fast run)

    8:10 (easy jog)

    7:40 (fast run)

    8:45 (easy jog)

    6:54 (fast run)

    8:41 (easy jog)

    7:28 (fast run)

    9:22 (easy jog)

    6:56 (fast run)

    8:57 (easy jog)


    Rest for 3 minutes


    5 x fast runs up hill and back down


    6:58 (fast run)

    9:53 (easy jog)

    7:24 (fast run)

    9:50 (easy jog)

    7:16 (fast run)

    9:41 (easy jog)

    7:25 (fast run)

    10:21 (easy jog)

    7:18 (fast run)

    9:39 (easy jog)


    Run home to make up the 5 miles at 8:54 pace.



    I could definitely work on my hill reps consistency … The pace was all over the place. Maybe next time I could try to find a longer hill and work on keeping the pace consistent or pick a slightly slower pace and stick to that.

    Garmin Info Here

    Running over the canal on the way home:




  • 13 mile @ h/m pace , actually we did 13 with long steep hills. Very happy with the run and no niggles which is always a bonus . Which parkrun do you do and when is your next race ?
  • Evening Derrick!

    Nice one. Sounds like you're going to smash that HM target on the day!! Glad there are no niggles - sounds like you're back to 100%!

    My home parkrun is Coventry but I'm doing Poole parkrun next weekend! Next race is the Inca Trail in Ilchester next Sunday! image What's yours?

  • Week 7, Day 7


    Goal: 20 miles at 9 min/mile

    Actual: 20 miles at 8:13 min/mile plus 2 mile cooldown.


    In my defence … (And I’d like to get this in quick before Steve Marathon Coach starts typing!) I was told not to worry too much about pace today so I set the Garmin for 20 miles and then hid it under my running jacket, not to be checked again!



     (Pic: Emergency supplies ... gel, alarm and more loo roll!)

    I enjoyed this run. The miles flew past and I could relax and enjoy it … unlike last Sunday where the whole run felt like an uphill struggle.

    My family are supporting me on my adventure to get to Paris … but as non-runners I thought I’d put today’s run in terms they could understand.

    So family … here are the pubs I had to pass to complete my 20 mile run. 












    Distance: 20 miles

    Time: 2:43:45

    Avg Pace: 8:13 min/mi

    Garmin Info Here


  • Love the pictures... Looks like an awesome run! So jealous of ur adventure. Did you stop in any of the pubs?
  • Hi RRR - long time no speak! been lurking but a bit limited on time to post once I've read your essays!!! Looks like a nice run and you are going really, really well. Just be careful not to run the training runs too fast and leave your best marathon out on the road beforehand!

    Are you and Steve looking to review your planned marathon race time in view of how easily you are doing these 20's?

    How did you feel at the end of this run?

  • Haha love the pics - there's a pub crawl waiting to be had! As I said, if you need a lawyer to defend your pacings...image

  • Great 20 miler indeed. Very positive how easy you found it and great average mile time as well.

  • well done on doing the hill session and on the 20 mile. When I said I don't worry about the pace, I meant don't worry about being too slow but you do probably need to make sure you don't run too fast!

    While that is partly because I was too slow as to you being too quick, your 20 miler was faster than my long run last week and I intend to break three hours for the marathon. That doesn't mean you can totally revise your 3:35 aim as running 20 in 3:35 pace is relatively easy compared to doing it over the last six miles when tired and still a long way from the marathon but it certainly is looking very encouraging and looking forward to seeing what you can do in the half-marathon. 

  • Well impressed with your 20 miler , I bet you was pleased , how did you feel at the end and the day after ? My next booked race is the south Yorkshire half , I'm hoping to get a 10k in this month , I haven't gone above 15 mile yet but every long run I'm recovering faster , one for Steve , on Saturday's I'm supposed to do steady 5 milers but I incorporate the parkrun in it , do you think this could effect my long Sunday runs further down the line?
  • Andrew Mitchell 14 wrote (see)

    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?

    HI Andrew,

    Gels are popular because they are foiled  wrapped and you know the exact carb content. But you can use regular jelly sweets if you plan how many you will need and you can manage a bit of chewing or you don't likes gels. The disadvantage  of this is if hot, they can be messy.

    You would need to drink a bottle of 500ml lucozade sport to get 33g of carb each hour but you may not need this much fluid and fluid is heavy to carry but everyone has a way that works best for them so you need to try different things and see what is best for you.
    RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    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!!)

    Yes, pick n mix but 100g should be sufficient over morning!

    Your 20miles was good!! Love your picture gallery and  love the fact you did a 2 mile warm down after a 20mile run!

    Will be interested  to see if the carb load will feel good for you on race day.



  • Derrick

    If the parkrun is not on road, I don't see a problem in running it fast and still doing the long run the next day.I wouldn't go for a PB though before key long runs in terms of distance or speed. On path or road is slightly different and will take more out of the legs. I would review it after each long run and if you are tiring on your long run then try and go in fresher or run the parkrun slower (ie target marathon pace)

    Two weeks ago, I did a parkrun and hill session before a 22 and felt great on the long run. The next week I rested on saturday and ran 22 sunday and had an awful last few miles, so not always easy to evaluate!


    Thanks for the advice - that's great.  I got some gels on Saturday from a local running shop.  Next long run is scheduled for next Sunday so will try them out then.

  • Food Diary 29th January

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

    Lunch: Tin of tuna, 1 x tbsp mayonnaise.

    Tea: 1 x salmon fillet, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, 10 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot, 5 x asparagus, stalks of tenderstem broccoli, 1/4  leek  – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

    Snacks: 1 x pink grapefruit, sunflower seeds, dried fruit

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

    Exercise: 15 minutes walk (Very sore back)


    Food Diary 30th January

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

    Lunch: ½ can red kidney beans, 1 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 x rice cakes – one with honey, one with chocolate spread.

    Tea: ¼ can kidney beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, 6 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

    Snacks: ½ cup of yoghurt with dried fruit and sunflower seeds.

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

    Exercise: None


    Food Diary 31st January

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

    Lunch: Chicken and bacon salad (no dressing) – pub lunch.

    Tea: Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, ½ leek, 10 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

    Snacks: Apple, crème egg

    Drinks: glass of diet coke, glass of red wine, 4 x coffee, 2 x pints of blackcurrant squash

    Exercise: None


    Food Diary 1st February

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

    Lunch: 2 scoops of ice cream and a mango & banana smoothie.

    Tea: 2 x kipper fillets, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, 3 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

    Snacks: ½ pack of quavers, 1 x cookie, 1 x cup of yoghurt with sunflower seeds and mixed dried fruit, 10g of peppered cheese.

    Drinks: 2 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 3 pints of orange squash, 1 x vodka and tonic

    Exercise: 1 hour walk.


    Food Diary 2nd February

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

    Lunch: Garlic stuffed olives, Pepper stuffed olives, cheese stuffed peppers and roasted peppers.

    Tea: 10 x cherry tomatoes, 10 x chicken wings, 2 x mini onion bhajis.

    Snacks: 1 x Cadbury crème eggs, 1 x pack of white chocolate buttons,

    Drinks: 4 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 2 pints of orange squash, 1 x ½ measure of vodka and cranberry juice.

    Exercise: 5 mile run.


    Food Diary 3rd february

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

    Lunch: (Had a lunch and tea mixed together as had a long run 11 – 2ish)

    Tea: 1 x salmon fillet, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, 10 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot, 5 x asparagus, stalks of tenderstem broccoli, 1/4  leek, 8 slices of courgette  – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

    Snacks: 1 x crème egg, 10g jelly sweets, 4 finger dark kitkat, 1 x pepperami, 1 x bag kettle crisps (the kitkat, pepperami and crisps all scoffed after long run wiaiting in Leamington for my lift home), ½ cup g

  • Evening Angela!

    Glad you liked the pics! I was very well behaved and didn’t stop in any of the pubs! I had meant to pop into one of the canal ones to get a bottle of water as I’d left my bottle of water on the kitchen counter but felt ok so didn’t bother stopping for any.

    It was SO nice to have an uneventful run … after last week’s challenging long run and the long run before that in deep snow, it was nice to be able to just run without any obstacles!!

  • Evening DS2!

    Fab to hear from you! Yes … the waffle is still going strong! But I love writing about my runs - it’s like running them all over again … but without the need to duck into hedges or any danger getting rained on!

    I hadn’t meant to run this one quickly … I just let the legs take me and just ran it at a pace that was comfortable and that seemed right for the conditions and how I was feeling. It was so nice not to have to deal with floods or snow! image

    I don’t think there are any plans to change the targets. I’ve only been running a couple of years … plenty of time to crack sub-3image .... In my dreams!!

    I felt comfortable at the end of the run … had a couple of miles cool down. Just took it really gently.

  • Steve loves bacon wrote (see)

    Haha love the pics - there's a pub crawl waiting to be had! As I said, if you need a lawyer to defend your pacings...image

    So long as you don't mind running 20 miles over the course of the pub crawl! image

    I think I'll stick to the Wellingborough Road in Northampton!!


  • Evening Shady Ady,

    Thank you! It was nice to get out and just runimage

    Definitely a relief after last week when I thought I might be on enforced rest with a sore back for a while!

    It’ll be fab for us all to catch up at Dorney Lakes next week and hopefully it’ll be new PBs all round!

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

    Thanks for the feedback. When the Garmin beeped to say I’d finished the 20 miles and I saw the pace, my first thought was “Steve is going to tell me off!”

    It wasn’t intentional … it was just one of those runs where everything went well and I just ran to what felt comfortable. Hopefully Paris will be as comfortable and things will go as smoothly!

  • Evening Derrick!

    I felt fine at the end and finished comfortably although the pads of my feet were a little tender. Some of the paths were quite stony so I think that was all it was. They feel fine today and there weren’t any over-sensitive spots. 

    No aches at all today although my knee was a little stiff last night but ibuprofen sorted that out. Sarah Connors (physio) had said that she’d thought that the knee was linked to the back problems so hopefully once I’ve had a few days of doing the exercises the knee will be all mended too.   

    Good news that you’re recovering faster for every run! Sounds like you’re doing really, really well! What date if the South Yorkshire half?

  • Evening Ruth!

    Pick n Mix! Woo hoo!! Ok … will restrict myself to one large bag … I mean 100g. (Cough)

  • Week 8


    Mon Feb 4:                  rest

    Tues Feb 5:                 5 x 1600 in 7 mins to 7:30 with 2 mins rest: 8M in total

                                        (7:02 min/mile – 7:32 min/mile)

    Weds Feb 6:               7M steady in 8:30

    Thurs Feb 7:               6M with middle 2M at marathon pace

    Fri Feb 8:                    rest

    Sat Feb 9:                   parkrun 5km - 5M in total

    Sun Feb 10:                13 miles steady in 8s to 8:30s or Trail Race

    Week total: 39M


    A reduced mileage week this week so a chance to relax before the parkrun and the trail race on Sunday! image

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    20 miles at 8:13 - holy moly!

    Can't believe you're on week 8 already. 

    If you're looking for hills then get yourself down to Sevenoaks. There is zero flat there. That is no word of a lie.

    I was looking through your meal reports. Do you live next door to a green grocers? I can't believe how much veg you get through. If I have two different ones on my plate I think I'm doing well. However, what I'm most impressed with is the chocolate. Creme eggs - yes!


  • sorry forgot to put the date ( 17/03/2013 ) for the s,y, half.

    Your descriptions of your runs are good and impressive ,   I did read  someone else's email and did agree what he said, that to be careful that you don't use all your good runs on your training.

    I,m sure and confident that your coaches would let you know otherwise.  

    Keep up the good training !


  • Hi RRR!

    Still lurking away here and really enjoying reading about your runs....feel like I am there with you!...(luckily for you I am NOT or you would not be coming out with all these fab times!)

    I am compelled to put finger to keyboard however on reading that you ate only HALF a packet of quavers!!! Unbelievable!!!  20 miles in 8.13min is all very well and good but being able to eat just half a packet of quavers is a truly amazing achievement.. well done!!

    Brilliant reports, brilliant progress.. keep going girl!  imageimage

  • Morning! Fab description once again. Not sure how you manage to run so fast and so far on so little food, lots of veggies though. I love veggies too (with my pasta image) You are obviously doing something right, those times are amazing!

    You are going to fly in Paris. image

  • Glad to see no ill effects from the fall. Keep on with the back exercises and make sure you stretch your hip flexors out, either use the Thomas stretch over the edge of the bed or the lunge position.

  • on Wednesday run  based on your 20 miles at 8:13, you may as well run at 8s and then on Thursday do the fast section at Half-marathon pace (ie 7:30s).

    re long runs feeling comforrtably (not that I can remember it personally!) but sometimes running fast feels controlled but it takes more out of you than you realise and going consitently hard and faster in training than necessary could mean it won't happen as easily when you need it in the races!

  • Hi RRR

    Parkrun and a trail race this weekend? Are you doing both at race pace or treating the trail race as your weekly long run? I'm planning both park run and a long run for this weekend also and I'm not sure how hard I should push myself at Parkrun.

    I see Steve Marathon Coach has your HM pace as 7:30 which equates to sub 1hr 40m. Good job the Silverstone HM doesn't consist solely of laps of the circuit otherwise you could end up lapping me image  


  • Evening Malcs!

    Me neither! Week 8?? That’s halfway through! Eeek! We’ll all be Thunder Running before we know it!

    Really? Lots of hills? Think I might be tempted to visit! I’ve got a run over the Malvern Hills the day after Dorney Lakes – don’t think my legs are going to be terribly happy with me that weekend!

    Crème eggs are my favourite things – ever!! I used to take one out at a time and keep the rest in the freezer so I wasn’t tempted to scoff the lot … the problem came when I realised they tasted EXACTLY the same frozen. So now I try and buy one at a time! image

Sign In or Register to comment.