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



  • Afternoon Ruth!

    I know! The time is absolutely flying past!

    That would be fab if you don’t mind emailing them. Even if we don’t get what we want we will have tried! Plus like you say I’ll have my own snacks etc so I’m not too worried. I’ll just make sure I take plenty of food with me image

  • Afternoon Steve Marathon Coach!

    OK sounds a good plan - I’ll try and do this next long run at the same time as the marathon. It’s easier on the weekends too as work etc doesn’t get in the way too much. I agree with the prep – think that’s probably what makes the difference with the morning races. Have had breakfast and laid bits and pieces out ready.

  • Week 14 day 4


    Goal: 8 x 1000m in 4 – 4.10 minutes (6:20 – 6:40 min/miles) starting every 5 mins (approx 45 secs recovery) 8 miles in total

    Actual: 8 x 1000m in 4 – 4.10 minutes (6:20 – 6:40 min/miles) starting every 5 mins (approx 45 secs recovery) 8 miles in total


    1.07 mile warm up

    5.2 miles intervals

    2.22 miles cool down.

    Total 8.49 miles


    Maybe should have done a longer warmup rather than a longer cool down as I had to do a quick change about the 6th rep as started overheating. It had been so cold when I started, the first few intervals were with jacket, buff etc all on.


    Total Time: 39:20

    Avg Pace: 7:34 min/mi (including stopped intervals)

    Best Pace: 5:04 min/mi



    Split     Time            Distance Avg Pace

    1          4:04.1             0.64             6:23

    3          4:02.7             0.63             6:25

    5          4:09.4             0.64             6:30

    7          4:10.3             0.62             6:41

    9          4:09.9             0.63             6:37

    11        4:09.7             0.64             6:33

    13        4:09.2             0.63             6:34

    15        4:00.6             0.61             6:34 


  • Hi RRR,

    No my run schedule looks like this:

    Monday- Crosstrain/weights or something in the evening, whilst cooking

    Tuesday- early morning run

    Wednesday - evening straight after work in london run then later train home

    Thursday - evening easy run

    Friday - rest

    Saturday - morning speed/race pace training

    Sunday - middayish long run

    I've found this is the best way to get the most miles in as almost half my distance for the week is covered at the weekend - does make my weekends very running centric, but I'm quite happy with that image

  • great session RRR - at first thougght you'd just copied the goal into the actual but you did the session perfectly - well controlled with a very consistent middle and very good finish.

    you don't say how you felt other than being hot but numbers look excellent.

  • Hi Sarah.....fingers crossed they will bed in. Ive been walking around in them and wearing them for the last 2 days and they feel really comfy. They do feel slightly tighter than my old ones so they probably do just need bedding in and stretching a little.

    Fabulous reps...I did 6 x 800 m at 6:49 min/mls with 90 sec recoveries on thur which was difficult enough so yours must have been hard work.

    Good luck with your 22 tomorrow
  • Hi having a practice carbo loading today ready for my 20 mile race tomorrow. So far so good with what you advised. About an hour ago I felt slightly nauseous with eating so much (and not doing anything most of the day) but that has eased now and I feel pleasantly satisfied and content.
  • Evening Angela!

    Looks like a nice organised schedule! Do you manage to stick to it quite well?

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

    Thank you – I found this session challenging which was nice. Plus I had my old running group doing a session at the same time so I wanted to make sure I kept my pace nice and even and didn’t look like I was flagging! J

    It was so cold that evening but I don’t think keeping my jacket and buff and everything on until halfway through did me any favours – got so warm and had to quickly drop half my kit on the grass during a recovery!

  • Evening Sarah O!

    Good luck with your race tomorrow – hope it goes really well!! Let me know how you get on! Will hope to see some good pics on Facebook!! J

    Glad your trainers are feeling better now. Have you had any runs in them this weekend and are you planning on wearing them tomorrow?

  • Goal: 5 mile Fartlek

    Actual: 5 mile Fartlek


    The weather meant that going outside was completely unappealing, but this was a fun session to do and when I got going I didn’t even notice the weather. I’d never done a fartlek session (intentionally!) before starting this training but I think this will definitely be a style of training I will be continuing after Target 262.

    I set up the Garmin to alert me every minute and I changed the pace every 1 – 4 minutes. It was nice to have the freedom of choosing the length of the interval as and when and trying to keep it as random as possible … although I did enjoy the last big downhill on the way home!

    This was another late night run with the headtorch and neon. Morning runs are to be avoided at all costs and kept only for emergencies and races.


    Time: 43:49

    Avg Pace: 8:25 min/mi

    Distance: 5.21 mi


    Lap          Time                  Distance            Avg Pace

    1          2:12.7             0.25                 8:47

    2          :49.1                0.11                 7:07

    3          2:58.9             0.32                 9:14

    4          1:00.7             0.14                 7:05

    5          3:59.4             0.43                 9:16

    6          2:00.4             0.25                 7:53

    7          1:00.6             0.11                 8:55

    8          :58.9                0.10                 9:32

    9          :01.8                0.00                 9:56

    10        1:59.0             0.22                 9:07

    11        :59.9                0.12                 8:12

    12        2:02

  • 12        2:02.0             0.27                 7:28

    13        :58.4                0.11                 8:53

    14        1:00.6             0.11                 8:54

    15        :59.6                0.10                 10:00

    16        2:00.0             0.25                 8:08

    17        :59.7                0.13                 7:47

    18        :59.9                0.11                 9:06

    19        1:00.5             0.11                 9:28

    20        :59.0                0.11                 8:41

    21        1:00.5             0.13                 7:29

    22        :59.8                0.15                 6:50

    23        1:02.9             0.12                 8:33

    24        1:57.7             0.20                 9:37

    25        2:00.2             0.31                 6:33

    26        :59.7                0.11                 9:14

    27        2:59.3             0.36                 8:11

    28        2:00.7             0.22                 9:14


  • Hi Sarah, the weathers turned awful hasnt it. Luckily my race finished just before the rain and snow came.

    I wore my old trainers today for the alittle scared of wearing my new ones to run in still at the moment, but I might see if I can do a little recovery run in them tomorrow.

    My race went ok....although my second half was slightly too fast, but I did feel fine all the way round and my legs feel the best they have post long run since training began so hopefully it was still more of a beneficial run.

    My ave pace for the first 10 miles was 8:24 m/m (although most miles were at 8:30+) and the second 10 miles 7:27 m/m

  • Hi Sarah , well I've had an eventful day today , I've never changed my plan as much as this ever!!!!!! . I ran the south Yorkshire half but the plan was to incorporate it in a 20 miler , to cut a long story short I went out 1hr 30 mins earlier to find out where the start was and do 5 mile before the race , anyway I just made the start lineup image , I had a good run surprisingly with all the stress and no warm up , 1hr 29 mins image , I did a few mile warm down so it ended up being a good run, how are you doing?
  • Hi Sarah,

    Not been around for a bit but been trying to keep an eye on what you've been up to. Think the sessions are great and you seem to be nailing the prescribed goals with ?ease...

    Why are you so averse to morning runs?? I love getting it out of the way, and also means the family grumble less. Also can never be bothered to go out again when I get home from work

    I liked the fartlek run you did- might try that this week..Just did a leisurely but hilly 10k this morning

    Are you looking forward to the taper?


  • Hey RRr, how was 22 miles today?

    So yes, I manage to keep to the schedule pretty well. It's designed so that if I do bail on a run, it's most likely to be the easy runs, and well, it's been a great result...

    1:56:06 in Colchester Half Marathon today- that's 3 mins faster than my previous pb set in 2010!, so thank you for the inspiration! image
  • Just wanted to say a huge thankyou to Ruth...the carbo loading and in-race fuel seemed to work perfectly this weekend, thankyou image

  • looks like you had a very good fartlek session RRR - hope long run went well.

  • Sarah - great that your legs felt good & so glad you missed the snow!

    RRR- i will email restaurant for Saturday 6th but as you have mentioned already... just be prepared!

    I think the idea of morning runs are awful but love the feeling when you get back and don't have to go out in the evening - especially winter evenings!

  • Evening Sarah O!

    Glad you didn’t get caught in the snow and rain! Sounds as though you had a really good race!! Well done!

    How did the recovery run in the new trainers go? Are they behaving now?

  • Evening Derrick!

    Fab to hear from you! Eeek!! That sounds a bit stressful – glad you got to the start on time … what happened?!

    What a fantastic result for your half! Bet you’re pleased! Well done!!

  • Evening Clive!

    Fab to hear from you! I’m enjoying the sessions … even the intervals! I was dreading speedwork but I can really tell it’s making a difference so I’m enjoying it like I do hills … knowing I’m going to get quicker because of it!! J

    Really don’t enjoy morning runs. I like the IDEA of morning runs but the actuality is horrendous leaden- leggedness!! Much rather have a quick run around in the dark when I’m actually awake! Lots of respect for you for doing them though!

    How’s the training going? The hilly 10k sounds good!

  • Evening Angela!

    The 22 miler was good … apart from a couple of minor mishaps … probably from me not keeping an eye on what I’m doing and just daydreaming!

    That’s a fantastic result for your half!! Woo woo!! Down to all of your hard work and well deserved!! (Does happy dance for Angela!!)

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach

    The fartlek session was good fun! The long run went well … if slightly eventful. But no injuries, floods or cyclist attacks this time.

  • Evening Ruth!

    I’ve stocked up on supplies for Paris so if the worst comes to the worst I can hole up in my hotel room and eat porridge and rice cakes … and sulk!!image

    Oh I’m not too sure. I like the IDEA of morning runs, just think they don’t like me!image

  • Week 13, Day 7


    Goal: 22 miles in 8:30 min/mile with final 5 miles at sub 8 min/mile.

    Actual: 17 miles in 8:30 min/mile with a dash to find some streetlights then 5 miles at sub 8 min/mile and 1 mile cooldown.


    I tend to enjoy my long runs. They’re a couple of hours of peace away from everyone else where I can ponder the unanswerable questions of the universe. Do ducks all speak the same language? If a duck from France says ‘Quack’ to a duck from England, is one trying to talk about bread while the other one thinks he’s trying to find the way to the bus station? Do pigeons poo on each other while they’re flying? And if they can hold it in, why do they save it for when my washing’s on the line?

    There was a reason all my questions were bird related – I was doing my long run around Draycote Water which is a large reservoir and nature reserve of 4.75 miles around and apart from the odd cyclist or walker, the only other signs of life were ducks (timid) and geese (hissy and bolshy). The route is a lovely one and it’s very peaceful. It’s all on smooth tarmac paths and one side is slightly undulating and windy, shaded by trees and the other side is straight and flat. There aren’t any dogs allowed around it either, so I can ponder my completely useless questions without any fear of being tripped, maimed or jumped on and licked. Unless one of the cyclists gets a bit over-enthisiastic.  

    Today’s route was to be nearly 5 times round the reservoir with a final half a mile trot back to the car after I’d finished the run, as a cooldown. I started off comfortably, but I’d made the same mistake as I had at the track on Thursday and I’d dressed too warmly for the weather I’d taken the threats of snow seriously and as well as wearing a jacket, buff, gloves, headband and long running tights, I was also wearing 2 tops underneath the jacket.

    It wasn’t too bad as the weather outside was pretty chilly but for some reason I had sweaty inner elbows. Nice. I looked rather bizarre, running along quite normally but with enormous sweaty lower jacket sleeves. Rather as though I’d dropped my keys down the loo and had been fishing around for them before I’d come out for a run.

    I quite enjoy lapped runs normally as although the first few are hard knowing you’ve got to repeat the run again and again, the last two laps always feel great as you know you’re almost done and I can tell myself “I only need to pass that tree once more” or “Next time I pass those rocks I’ll be on the way back to the car”.

    However, I soon noticed that rather than passing geological features, I was rather bizarrely passing packets of gel. Yes … that’s right. My new gel belt was dropping my gels rather like a trail of breadcrumbs … but for runners rather than ducks. Glad that 1) it was a lapped course and I could retrieve my belongings and 2) that I trial all my gear before my big races. This wouldn’t be quite so amusing if it happened in Paris. Unless I was running behind someone with the same problem and I could eat all HIS gels.  

    I soon hit a snag. I had been so busy pondering my useless and unanswerable questions I hadn’t realised that it was getting quite so dark. I still had 5 miles to go and I couldn’t see very far in front of me.  Draycote, while beautiful and peaceful is also secluded and completely unlit. Unless I fancied doing the last 5 miles at 5k pace - not going to happen after 17 miles - I was either going to have to complete it in pitch blackness and probably fall into the reservoir and be eaten by a flock of Canadian Geese or I was going to have to get

  • somewhere with light and do the final 5 miles there.

    Bother. I pelted to the car and decided I could get to my normal mile loop in under 20 minutes if I went straight there and parked at the pub.

    Got to the car and threw myself in and started up. The car park was completely deserted and absolutely pitch black now. Got out of the carpark and down to the main gate. Oh. That great big metal gate wasn’t there earlier. I drove up to it expecting it to slide aside. It didn’t. Oh yes. There had been something on the carpark ticket about leaving by dusk …

    Oh look! An intercom thing at the side. I’ll push the ‘help’ button. I’ll plead ignorance and I’m sure some helpful chap will be able to push a button and slide the gate aside for me. Pushed the help button. Help meant a recorded voice telling me to push the arrow keys for the directory.  I pushed the arrow keys and a helpful message popped up telling me the directory was empty. Bugger.

    Right. Time to start thinking outside of the box.

    I can’t lift the car over the gate. I can’t go under the river. I can’t go under the hill. Can’t go through the pampass grass. Hang on. We were slipping into Going On a Bear Hunt. Time to think. (Thought) Gave up. Went to sit back in the car and slammed the door behind me. The noise activated something on the gate and it slid smoothly aside.

    Got to the pub and did 4 laps of the housing estate at sub-8 as my final 5 miles of the 22 miler. It wasn’t an all-joined-together run as it should have been with my brief drive in the middle but hopefully that won’t cause a problem. I’m not planning on stopping for an ice cream break and hopefully there won’t be any electric gates blocking the way in Paris. If there are I’ve probably gone the wrong way …


    Distance: 22 miles (+ 1.03 miles cooldown)

    Time: 2:57:51 (+ 9:34 mins cooldown)


    Average including last 5 miles is 8 min/mile



    First 17 miles:

    Distance: 17.00 mi

    Time: 2:20:04

    Avg Pace: 8:13 min/mi




    1 8:16

    2 8:15

    3 8:16

    4 8:18

    5 8:18

    6 8:19

    7 8:11

    8 8:08

    9 8:13

    10 8:14

    11 8:15

    12 8:10

    13 8:07

    14 8:16

    15 8:18

    16 8:17

    17 8:15


    Garmin here: (17 miles)



    Last 5 miles at sub-8:

    Avg pace: 7:36 min/mile

    Time: 37:47


    1 7:40

    2 7:38

    3 7:43

    4 7:42

    5 7:02


    Garmin here: (5 miles sub-8)


    Cool down: 1.03 miles in 9:34 (9:17 min/mile)


    Garmin here:

  • Sorry for the lack of pics! I've got some fab ones but it sounds as though the pictures bit of the RW site is having maintenance at the mo so I'll pop them up when I can image

  • well done on what you did. I don't recall the driving bit on the schedule and while slightly different in training effect, you did the basics in terms of miles and speed and you remain well on target. - I know you aren't a morning person but most people do their long weekend runs before twilight!

    The lap around lake sounds good - I did Finchley 20 on Sunday and that was four laps of five miles and it is sometimes good to repeat a lap of the same course but I bet your lap was more scenic than mine.

  • As I said I planned to incorporate the race in a 20 miler , I was well organised with all my kit,gels and route info , I even phoned my pal to make sure I was going to the correct venue, I even went one step further and went out the night before and made sure I was in the right area, the race had been moved to another venue (dearne valley leisure centre) so I went to both venues just to make sure if one of the venues was the incorrect one at least I would get to the other in time , well that was the plan!!!!

    I got up that morning had my porridge and cup of tea and thought I'll go early and get my 5 mile in before the race , anyway i set off to the first venue and no one in sight,  I thought it must be the other venue , great at least i know i would be well in time for the starting line up (it was only 10 mins away from the first venue), image

    I arrived at the second venue and guess what , nobody there image, I had no mobile phone on me and no sat nav, i left them for my partner to use , I drove around the area and I remembered the course from the year before so I thought I can't be far away , I must have been driving for at least 1 hour  around in circles getting more stressed every-time image, eventually I saw 3 Marshall's and asked " Are you marshalling the south Yorkshire half " they replied yes to my relief, I asked where is the start and they pointed me in the right directionimage, believe it or not but there is 2 dearne valley leisure centers, it was just my luck that I went to the wrong oneimage, talk about going round in circles.

    My pal had his phone on him so he was OK , he did try phoning me but like I said I left it with my partner, first time ever !!! Any way that's the long story LOL!!!!!!

    I suppose I had the last laugh I beat my pal by 2 mins and got a PB image    Hope you enjoyed the story and facial expressions.



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