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



  • Evening Derrick!

    Ooh that’s the date I’m doing the Malvern Hills run too! Good luck with your half – are you looking forward to it?

    Glad you’re enjoying the descriptions. Just wish I could wear a video cam for the good bits as some parts of the runs are so gorgeous and I don’t feel I should be taking pics all the time! image

  • Evening MamaFox!

    Glad you’re enjoying the reports!! image

    I wish I DID have some company on the runs – I bet the time would fly past! Although there would be a lot more talking and a lot less running! image

    Ah … the Quavers. I have a confession. They were actually my 3 year old’s Quavers and I was getting Mummy Tax … Well I have to teach her to share, right?image

  • Evening CailinAgRith,

    Thank you!! image

    Glad you’re enjoying the run descriptions. I have to admit … I think I’m powered by crème eggs. Seriously I LOVE those things!

    I probably should post a pic of my dinner plate at some point… just to scare you! image When it’s written down my tea doesn’t sound a lot … but my plate is properly piled up! I have a steamer with 2 levels and I use both levels just for myself! I’m not very good at moderation so I make sure I fill up on veggies so I can keep off of the cookies and the Quavers! image

  • Evening Sarah Asics!

    I don’t want to jinx myself but the back seems to be fine! (Hooray!) I’ve booked another physio appointment with Wayne on Thursday just to confirm but apart from the (very occasional) twinge it’s feeling fine!

    I’ve been super-strict about doing the stretches and foam rollering regularly. I still have a bit of stiffness in my knee occasionally but that seems limited to when I wake up in the morning not when I’m sitting for a long period now so that seems to be on the mend too. (Fingers crossed!)

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach!

    Bother … Just when I thought I had a nice easy week too …!image I’ll make the pace changes and let you know how I get on.

    I think it was just one of those runs where everything feels right … think it must have been the flip side from the long run the weekend before when I had all of the BAD luck at once! I’ll keep a watch on the Garmin on the long runs from now on.

  • Evening Andy!

    I’d like a PB at the parkrun … but I don’t want to jinx myself or set myself up for disappointment as it’s a course I don’t know – it’s Poole this week! I’d like to get into the 20s ideally – that would be AMAZING but even a second off would be great! I’d like to push myself in the trail race too … but I think it’s a muddy, hilly one so I’m not expecting any PBs from it. Think it will be one just to enjoy!

    So … you reckon you WON’T go for a PB at parkrun …? Hmmm …. Not sure I believe youimage How long are you going on Sunday?

    I’m looking forward to Silverstone although I’m not sure what the weather will be like … it always seem to always be boiling hot (unlikely in January!) or pouring with rain and blowing a gale (my money is on this one!) Maybe we’ll all run it extra fast to get out of the rain and get to a hot coffee!!

    Maybe we all should meet up for a coffee afterwards? That would be really fun!

  • Food Diary 4th February

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

    Lunch: Banana and tbsp peanut butter

    Tea: 1 x salmon fillet, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, 6 mushrooms, 1 fresh beetroot, 1/4  leek, 7 slices of courgette  – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

    Snacks: ½ mini Crunchie bar, a few grapes, 5 or 6 jelly sweets, 1 x portion of Christmas pud and a dash of milk.

    Drinks: 6 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 3 pints of orange squash.

    Exercise: No real exercise (Although took 3 year old swimming, to softplay for 2.5 hours and round a friends house! I was exhausted but had nothing to show for it! image )

  • Christmas pud! It's February! Are u sure its still safe to eatimage
  • Evening Angela!

    It's a Christmas pud my Mum made. This thing is SO soaked in brandy it's a wonder it hasn't spontaneously combusted. Think it'll probably be preserved ok for another 5 or 6 yearsimage ... although not sure that I should be driving after eating it!!

  • AM14 - re parkrun.

    You could try what I did last week at a parkrun for a bit of fun before a Sunday XC race. I decided to run a handicap race and started right at the back of the field of about 230 runners - with the young kids and dogs!

    Then with a slow start for obvious reasons, I worked my way through to 56th at the finish and in so doing ran a progressive race finishing hard but 3 minutes off my PB.

    It was fun and I had a chance to chat with some friends and acquaintances on my way through the crowds.

  • Do you run on your own or with a partner/ club. Have you changed your diet alot for the Paris marathon and what effects do you think it's had ?
  • Afternoon Mike!

    I like your parkrun idea! A build up run but with extra chatting! image

    How did your XC go afterwards?

  • Afternoon Derrick!

    I’m a member of a club, but unfortunately rarely get to go to the training sessions due to the times ... but I use the track occasionally and get money off race entry so it’s not all bad! I was saying to Sarah Osborne (on RW forum 6 sub 3:30 thread) that it’s a shame we don’t live closer as we’d be able to train together ... but I imagine it would be like RW bootcamp and we’d spend more time chatting than running!

    My boyfriend runs and has been running for about 10 years, but I’m now a bit quicker than him which he isn’t terribly impressed by. I try to encourage him by running past him and shouting “Na na na na na, you can’t catch me!” but he doesn’t seem to like this for some reason ...image

    I haven’t really changed my diet for Paris apart from being more strict about the wheat and gluten thing. Eating those gives me an upset tummy which in the past has been worth it if it’s a slice of really delicious cake, but now I’m training harder and having goal paces to stick to, having to stop at the pub for a loo break or suffering from tummy pain is more of a problem so I’m behaving myself a bit more! image

    How about you? Are you being more strict with your diet now you’re training hard?  Do you run with a club or a friend?

  • Week 8, Day 2

    Goal: 5 x 1600 in 7 – 7:30 min/mile ... changed halfway through to Thursday’s session of 6m with middle 2 at HM pace

    Actual: 6.12m total with middle mile 1 at 6:58 min/mile and middle mile 2 at 7:30 min/mile.

    I struggle with Tuesdays. It’s a dash home on the M1 through rush hour traffic to get to the nursery before 6pm and then a whirlwind of stories, baths and settling of the 3 year old. Then it’s a wait until 11pm to pass over the child monitor before I can head out for a run.

    Last night, I had planned to run the mile repeats. I’d diligently used a route planner website and drawn out a route which was slightly over a mile and wasn’t too hilly, deserted or busy. The trick was finding the fine line between having to constantly dodge people and hurdle canines and choosing somewhere so deserted that I’d get spooked if a rabbit  hopped across my path. The route I’d chosen seemed fine. Interestingly bendy, a bit of a hill and a few roads to cross but it was street lit and less than 2 miles from home.

    I completed the 1.5m warm up and ended up at exactly at the start of the loop. Perfect. Set the Garmin to record my average pace over a mile – GO! 6:58 min/mile. Fine.

    Tried to reset the Garmin for the next mile ... nope. It wasn’t playing. Pressed the right buttons. Then the wrong buttons. Then tried to play Fur Elise. The Garmin wasn’t having any of it.  

    I would struggle to complete the laps properly without having an average pace. The loop was on a housing estate and there were a lot of corners and hopping on and off of kerbs. If I could record the average, then at least I’d get an idea but just checking the Garmin occasionally wouldn’t give me a very accurate idea. Bother.

    At least I knew the route and the distance of the loop. I decided to do another loop at 7:30 minute mile and complete 6 miles and substitute this run for Thursday’s session which was 6 miles with the middle 2 miles at half marathon pace (7:30 min/mile). The first lap would have been slightly too quick, but the rest of the run would be fine. See ... not a complete loss!

    Completed the lap at half marathon pace and then ran a gentle lap for a cool down and ... darkness. Someone had pushed the ‘Power Off’ button on the streetlights and everything was suddenly plunged into darkness. I’d forgotten about this ...

    The council had decided that as a cost saving measure that they would turn the streetlights off between midnight and 6am. In theory ... marvellous. We all save money and wouldn’t need the streetlights because we would all be in bed sound asleep dreaming of our next working day as good citizens.

    However, the council didn’t consider that there might be a few people who might NOT be in bed asleep and who might appreciate the guaranteed hours of darkness to go and pilfer other people’s belongs. And mad runners, too of course.

    There wasn’t a lot of lycra around, but the amount of cars up on bricks because of having their wheels stolen was getting ridiculous. You would have thought the police would be able to track the wheel thieves down by finding out who was buying bricks in multiples of 4 ...

    At least the session was completed ... even if my run home was slightly more murky than I’d expected. I hadn’t worn a headtorch this evening, but this meant I could slip in and out of the shadows unseen and unnoticed. I’d like to say unheard too but with my heavy breathing it sounded as though a prank caller was practising out on the streets.  

    Session Summary:

    Distance: 6.12 miles

    1.5 mile warm up – comfortable pace

    1 mile lap at 6:58 min/mil

  • Careful out there you've got to balance the need with training and safety and seeing where you are going!!

  • RRR - some great running from you and photo-journalism to boot.

    Re parkrun handicap idea. It's not patented so feel free to copy!

    Re XC - tough, hilly & muddy 5m. The hills were relentless as you would expect on a 4 lap course and the route was really churned up, even on the flat. At times we were breaking through the surface to ankle depth.....

    All good training for the quads and hammies and I followed up with an 11m tempo run later (road) and pushed to MP for 3 miles, overall average about 8:30min/m.

    So officially ko'd after that lot!

    Easier week now leading into Wokingham HM on Sunday........

  • Hi Sarah, finally caught up with your thread...some amazing runs, again. The pubs in your 20 miler look nice.

    Did I read added another 2 miles on to your 20 miler to cool down, or did I miss read what Ruth had put?

    You had better be careful running around late at night...they may start to think that your the wheel thief!!!

    Ive found that jelly babies dissolve in your mouth if you let them so no effort is needed!

    Its such a relief getting a 20 miler done - last year I didnt complete this until the end of hoping to get a few more in before marathon day. How many do you have planned?

    The 20 miler I did was mainly on country lanes but the last 6 was on road.

    The XC race I did was mainly in fields at least ankle deep in mud!

    Its nice that you know a good physio and its even better when you can get it on your health insurance!

    Whats the distance of your LR this week?
  • Hi Sarah,

    Yes looking forward to the s,y,half.

    I run alternative weeks, In the week with my running club mates and on sundays with a good mate, he's completed a few marathons, including london .  And the following week on my own due to shift work I do.

    Can't believe you go out at 11 at night and on your own as well, you must be well motivated, i would be looking forward to my bed !image

  • Hi there RRR

    just checking in...I've been massively busy over the last few weeks. Your progress is astonishingly good. Well done!

    Really enjoyed reading the thread!

  • well done on doing what you did in the circumstances you had but think we might need to switch things around a bit. I don't think you should be doing what is probably the second most important session of the week at around midnight.

    it might be better to permanently swap the Tuesday and Thursday session around as generally the Thursday session are simpler to perform but generally it probably isn't ideal doing any hard session that late in the day even if does show you are very dedicated!

  • Hi RRR. I've been following your progress with interest. Well done on everything that you've achieved so far. You're doing really well.

    I have three small kids and when I trained for the marathon the last two years I ended up swapping my Tuesday and Thursday sessions around, as Steve suggests. I was often doing intervals on Tuesday evenings on my own, with very little sleep and in the dark. The result was that I never fully recovered for my other sessions and didn't run my intervals fast enough. If I had my time again, I would've swapped my sessions sooner and looked at the bigger picture of my work/life/training balance.

    Anyway, well done on showing such incredible dedication. You deserve to do well. Keep listening to Steve and the team and I'm sure you'll do brilliantly.



  • Yes I would agree with that Steve!! 

    Keep the physio sesion just to keep on top of your back and another session may well sort your knee out too.

  • Afternoon Sarah Asics!

    Thank you! I had no idea the lights were going to go out – definitely don’t want an action replay of that again – was very creepy! You definitely can’t plan for who’s around but I try to stay as safe as possible and carry a personal alarm. I’m also being tracked through the wonders of GPS image by the boyfriend when I’m out and don’t listen to music or audiobooks late at night. However, I still wouldn’t want to run when the lights are out like that again – far creepier in the town than out in the country!

    My knee has been a lot easier recently although it started playing me up after a track session initially so it’ll be interesting to see how I get on tomorrow morning after the track session tonight.

  • Afternoon Mike!

    Will definitely be stealing your parkrun idea then ...! So long as you’re not charging royalties or anything! image

    Wow! That’s impressive – a 5m XC and then an 11m run later on!! Bet you were EXHAUSTED!! Hope you had a massive tea!! I’m definitely taking advantage of being able to eat loads while I’m running!! (Shhh! Don't mention the creme eggs to Ruth!image

    Good luck for your HM on Sunday. What time are you going to be aiming for?

  • Afternoon Sarah Osborne!

    I’m definitely going to have to do the run again ... but stopping at a couple of pubs. Maybe take a day off in the summer and run in the sunshine and visit a pub every few miles! image

    Yes, had a 2 mile cool down after the 20 miler. I’d ended up a couple of miles outside Leamington and had a half hour wait for my lift home so decided may as well get into the town for some snacks! image

    I’m not too sure how many more long runs I’ve got on the schedule – I haven’t yet got the schedule for the weeks after 9 but I haven’t got a long run for the next 2 weeks. I’ve got parkrun and a trail run this weekend and Dorney Lakes half and a hill run next weekend. What’s yours looking like?

    I know what you mean – it’s nice to get the first 20 miler done early! image It sounds nice running in the lanes. Mine was a combination of lanes, trails, canal paths and roads.

    It sounds like you did so well in your Cross Country – loved your run report too!! image

  • Afternoon Derrick!

    Sounds like you’ve got a nice mix – one week with a running partner, one without! Do you find you have to change your pace much to run together or does it work out ok?

    I like running at night – less traffic and it’s all a bit more peaceful! Besides, when I get home theren’t isn’t anything else to do – I can just relax and go to bed! Wonderful! image

  • Afternoon BTRR!

    Nice to hear from you! Hope everything’s going well your way! image

    Glad you’ve enjoyed the thread ... I’m trying for more pics and less waffle ... but not entirely sure it’s working!image

  • Afternoon Steve Marathon Coach!

    Yes, that will work well! I’ll swap the Tuesday and the Thursday sessions around, although the (now) Tuesday sessions will probably still be pretty late (unless I can fit them into a lunch hour). I hope that’s ok.

  • Afternoon Rob Cope!

    Thank you! image

    That’s really helpful ... it’s difficult to fit everything in with the training – especially this time of year! I didn’t realise how spoiled I was training for an Autumn marathon last year with the light mornings and evenings and sunshine!

    I will be swapping the Tuesday and Thursday sessions over and trying to get to use the track if possible on a Thursday so that should make the interval sessions much easier.

    I’ve got physio, intervals, parents evening and a job in Coventry tonight so I’ll have to be super organised ... and that’s just with one child! Impressed that you managed to train for your marathon with 3 small children!

    Steve, Sarah and Ruth have been amazing so far as have the Asics and Runners World team. I’m definitely listening to what they’re saying ... and it’s working brilliantly so far! image I’m still overwhelmed to be given this chance. One word: Wow.

  • Week 8 day 3

    Goal: 7 miles in 8 min/mile

    Actual: 7 in 7:48 min/mile 54:34


    Note: Steve Marathon Coach had changed this session from the original of 7 miles in 8:30 min/mile.

    It was a very cold night, but all of my jackets seemed to be in the wash so I ended up with layers. 5 layers in fact.  3 of which were hi-viz ... or as a Twitter buddy said “tri-viz”. If the streetlights were to go out tonight then I was going to be prepared. Probably overheated ... but prepared.

    I had on my big thermal gloves - which as I still haven’t got round to putting them on a string – ended up stuffed down the front of my top within the first mile. I looked as though I was either halfway through a rather dramatic boob job and had only had a chance to get one side done or I was about to display a chest burster like in the Alien films. Either way I reckoned it should put off any potential muggers, molesters or chavs who were hanging around.

    The run was uneventful, the combination of layers and the gloves stuffed down my front kept me warm and I’m relieved to say the streetlights stayed on this time.

    Session Summary:

    Goal 7 miles in 8 min/mile

    Actual 7 in 7:48 min/mile 54:34

    0.22 mile warm down

    Total 7.22miles in 56:27

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