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



  • Good pacing Derek/RRR

    RRR yes ok to do speedwork tomorrow and yes good that you are getting treatment/massage and that the major training is almost at an end.

    Hope you fight the cold off



  • Hi RRR, sorry for my recent disappearance... Have been looking at your blog instead.. What can I say, i need the pictures image

    Thank you for the happy dance image. I have a 15 mile race tomorrow- the Orion 15 in Epping forest- I have my trail shoes sorted, but other than that no idea what kit to wear? Any idea? Since you always seem to be on muddy runsimage
  • Evening Xyloid!

    Thank you! Have attempted to pat myself on my tastefully coordinated (cough) neon clad back but have managed to get my headphones tangled up with my Garmin strap and will be unable to update blog until I extricate myself …

  • Evening Sarah Asics!

    All good with the back and knee. Physio Wayne checked my knee and no cartilage or damage to ... was it ligaments? Tendons?  – was all down to tightness in back. All released now and should be ok. I’ve also got a sports massage booked in for Tuesday so will hopefully be all fit and well for Paris!

  • Evening Derrick!

    How did you find it without the Garmin? I kept having to resist the urge to look at it every 10 seconds! Sounds like you got it pretty much bang on!

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

    Confession time … Today has been completely and utterly crazy with no space to run at all and I’ve arrived home exhausted. I thought about doing the session but the way I’m feeling I don’t think it would be a session that would be effective.

    I can’t get to a parkrun tomorrow due to childcare but I was going to do a 3 mile blast with a 1 warmup / cool down. Would it be better to do the intervals instead?

  • Or 5 miles in morning and intervals in the evening?

  • Evening Angela!

    Pictures? You mean you want run-fashion inspiration?! … how NOT to wear lycra? How to ensure clashing colours at all times? The Runners Guide on how to get the most from eye-burning brightness? image

    Good luck for the Orion 15!! I’m sure you’ll be FANTASTIC!! I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask about what to wear for muddy runs … it always seems to happen to me when I’m least expecting it! However, can totally recommend taking baby wipes for skin areas and a carrier bag to sit on for the car seat!!

  • Sorry for delay in replying. am in Poland working at World cross-country champs. possibly too late now but maybe best to do intervals but you could do an easy 40 mins in morning if you want.

    Orion 15 - have done it a few times - it can be very muddy and its tough - mixture of trail and a few road sections and you need shoes with very good grip.

  • Snow snow and more snow , haven't ran since Thursday , not to bad really I've only missed this morning's session ( parkrun ) not sure I'm going to make tomorrow's long run it's really that bad , I know it's key so I'm going to do it the first opportunity I get , I looked at my Garmin every mile when it bleeped , it's quite hard to keep to the same pace when you have got different inclines. How's the weather where you are
  • Well I did it, the Orion 15, wearing neon orange t shirt and neon pink arm warmers and completely forgot a plastic bag for all my muddy kit!

    I think I Should have picked a shorter race for my first cross country.... Knee deep in mud- 1000ft elevation gain and 6 days after my half marathon- I just hope this race gives me the training benefit I was hoping for when I'm back on the road!

    The mud tried to eat my shoes a few times but my trail shoes held up pretty well and nothing horrible managed to get in, though when I removed them my two pairs of socks were an interesting shade of brown...
  • Poland is currently minus 10 but isn't such a biting wind as England was on Friday so doesn't feel quite as bad as it could do.

    Yes AI Orion was wrong xc debut race being three times as long and twice as hard as most normal cross-country races.  

  • Good Evening Marathon Coach Steve

    This cold has struck but it doesn't seem as bad as the other one thank goodness, but I didn't do the run today as I felt too tired. I didn't think it was worth pushing it too much at this point  especially with the snow and the long run tomorrow. I'll update you as to how the long run goes tomorrow in the snow! image


  • Just reporting my last long run (22 mile) , 1 mile warm up then 10 mile at 8:35 , 5 mile at 8:00 , 3 mile at 7:30 , 2 mile at 6:40 , 1 mile cool down , my reason for explaining like this is because I had to do it in the gym obviously on the treadmill , the weather conditions were to risky to complete the mileage outside . I couldn't get the pace settings up so I ran what I thought was really comfortable on the mph settings. It ended up being a good run that's why I pushed it for the last 5 mile , the only negative side was I kept punching the treadmill,eventually it started to hurt , just goes to show I'm not a regular user. No niggles, no injuries and good timing , when I got home I was starting to get a bit stiff , no problems thou. I was encouraged by your 22 miler so I thought I try the same image
  • Afternoon Marathon Coach Steve,

    Wow! Hope the Poland World Cross-Country Championships are good! And hope it’s not too cold! We’ve had a few inches of snow but I bet you’ve got more snow over there than here!

    I haven’t done today’s 17 miler. We’re all poorly – again! – in this household so I’m playing it safe especially now I’m getting into the taper. I’m aiming to have a gentle run tomorrow (usually rest day) if I’m feeling better but I just didn’t feel up to it today. I’m normally so motivated that when my body tells me not to run, I listen image

    We all look like we’ve aged 65 years in this house – all tucked up under tartan blankets and watching daytime TV. Not good.

  • Afternoon Derrick!

    I found it difficult to keep the same pace up inclines – I tend to keep the same effort level rather than pace and then try and do the same on the downhills … not sure it worked though! image

    Wow - sounds like your last long run was a good one! Well done – that’s fantastic!! How did you find the build ups? I enjoyed them on mine – found they were great for confidence too!

    DOn't blame you doing it on treadmill – sounds a sensible option. No point risking injury outside and having wet feet for 3 hours!!

  • Afternoon Angela!

    Well you were making sure that if you fell in one of the boggy bits the marshals would be able to spot you in your nice bright kit! Oh dear sounds as though the socks might have to be washed a couple of times … have a nice long soak and try and get your feet back to the right colour!! image

    Oh my goodness – that race sounds a tough one! Was it fun? I always find that I have a huge runners high after a tough cross country race … or maybe I’m mistaking that for feelings of relief that it’s overimage

  • Why Did I Start Running?


    Yesterday was the 6 year anniversary of the day I decided that enough was enough. 

    I was 5 stone overweight and miserable. My self-confidence was rock bottom and I drank and smoked too much and cried a lot. I couldn’t think of any way to get out of the cycle I was in … misery eating, weight gain and eating because I was miserable. Then I read a news article where a girl had DIED on a crash diet. Rather than thinking, “Oh my goodness that’s terrible” I thought “Oh my goodness. She lost 3 stone in 3 months.”

    I had of course considered the standard diet classes counting points but the thought of staying on a diet for years to lose the amount I wanted to was a horrific idea. I was also in denial. I thought “I’m not fat enough for Weight Watchers”. Yes I was. I was in the obese category ... not just overweight and a diet of rubbish food and little exercise meant that I was staying firmly in that category and moving upwards all the time.

    You know how this ends. I lost the weight and finished the diet at 9 stone. It was hard work – every day of the 100 days I had committed to eating soup was a struggle. But the real work started when it was back to normal food. This sounds obvious. It was. From being on a ‘safe’ diet of soup, shakes or bars where each item was carefully measured and contained all of the vitamins and minerals. I was free to go mad on food. Again.

    However, I had a secret weapon. My bloody-mindedness.

    People were waiting for me to put the weight back on. Waiting for me to fail.

    Screw them I thought. Running was the most time-efficient way to burn the calories in a gym so I started doing that at lunchtimes ... then I started enjoying it. Then I discovered you could run outdoors ...

    The rest is history.

  • Hi RRR,

    What an inspiration. It's a shame so many people don't take a leaf out of ur book. Even if not overweight, the lack of activity/exercise/fitness is still a health concern. So well done!

    Hmm the cross county, did I enjoy it... The fact that I was disappointed to have made the cut off point means probably not, but I was thinking this is gonna make my road running seem easier. I think if it had actually felt like spring, I would have been a lot more fun to get so muddy, and I probably would have scra,bled on the hills rather than try to stay upright. Oh well, now I've done it, any other XC would seem easy! image

    Check out garmin connect- u can see how slow I was image
  • Evening Angela!

    Thank you! Much prefer life now ... even if I do have no toenails! image

    Know what you mean with the cross country ... sometimes you're glad to have done it ... even if you're not glad WHILE doing it! image Sounds like you need to enter some muddy summer runs! Much more fun messing about in the mud if there isn't ice floating around in it too!

  • ... Just had a look at your Garmin Connect info - looks like a very tough run! EVen more so in this weather!! Well done!!

  • Hi RRR,

    What muddy summer runs would u suggest... I'm actually planning a little break from running as I've got a place in the ride London-Surrey 100!! Furthest I've ever cycled before was about 16 miles, so I have a way to go to build up my endurance on the bike!

    I don't understand the toe nail thing- I've never lost one! image
  • RRR so good to reflect on why you started running. I keep thinking how many years you have potentially have added to your life and quality of life - it is an amazing success story.

    RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    Afternoon Ruth!

    Thank you for clarifying that – there’s so much pseudo-medical myths going around it’s nice to get a proper expert’s opinion! So if I change to de-caf coffee then I’ll get the kick on race day but if I carry on eating all the different fruit ad veg that I do I should be ok even with the polyphenols?

    Hee hee! Are you ever tempted to stop people eating fast food in the street and tell them off? image

    Yes, if use de-caf you will still get kickimage Justs eat you fruit & veg & you will be fine!

     I actually view exercise right up there with diet - need to do both!

  • Though the below might be useful information/reminders.  

    • Before you travel really think though your nutritional needs for the Friday & Saturday - you be amazed how organised with snacks before you go will make sticking to your nutrition plan so much easier. Put yourself in control of what you snack on  - just takes a little thought  & organisation.
    • Don’t eat out of boredom, eat to plan.
    • Do not try any new nutritional strategies; stick to tried and tested foods. Do not be tempted to try any ‘freebies’ in your arrival bag/goodie bag before the race starts.
    •  Do not be tempted at hotel to eat anything too different at breakfast, remember you have Monday morning to eat what you like!

    Race day: You should still drink little and often before the start but be careful about drinking too much because of nerves. If have dry mouth just wet your mouth with your drink to avoid an early pit stop.

    Race eating strategies do not need to be complicated but the foods or fluid must be tried and tested prior to event.


    Post race – although you are not eating to refuel for next run you will  feel better the next day and protect immunity if you try and eat some carbs & protein as soon as you can. After race rehydrate also – 500ml as soon as you can can then sip for rest of day of fluid. If struggle to eat after race try sipping on a fluid with some carbohydrates in it such as a milkshake/smoothie/ice cream or a sports drink or cut food into small portions for example quarter a sandwich and just nibble on a quarter at a time (when no appetite large amounts of food can seem daunting so best to present yourself with small manageable amounts).


  • Also here are some useful snacks with estimated  carbohydrate content that you can buy or travel with easily for carb loading days:

    • 250g sorbet – 50g carbs
    • 200ml of orange juice = 20g carbs
    • 500ml of diluting juice or squash = 35-40g of carbs
    • 1litre of orange juice  = 100g carbs (could have over day)
    • 1 large banana  & 200ml of fruit juice 45-50g carbs
    • 250g of fruit salad & low fat yoghurt (the sort of think you can buy at station pre-packed before you broad train) – 50g
    • 6 jaffa cakes  (52g carbs)
    • Average cereal bar  (20-25g) & large banana  = 50-55g carbs
    • 500ml low fat milkshake = 45-50g  carbs (but again check label)
    • 150g 10-12jelly babies -  48g carbs
    • 30g of Fruit gums  -  27g carbs
    • 300ml drinking yoghurt = 35-40g carbs (but you can check label per 100ml)
    • 4 rice cakes with banana topping - 50g carbs


  • Hi RRR - sorry not posted for a while. Been rediculously busy with work/family. Have been following your journey however every day.

    Sorry you have another cold, but better now than in two weeks time. I'm sure it will just be a 48 hour one this time.

    You've done the training and your not going to lose anything fitneswise if you have a couple of missed days.

    Only two weeks - how exciting! You'll smash your target, I'm certain! It's those fluorescent compression pink socks - can't fail!!!

  • some good runs here but RRR wise not to join them. You have my sympathy - not so much with the cold but the fact you are watching daytime tv. Because of work have only run a few miles in total the last 4 days and still cold In Poland.


    HI Runny,

    sorry to hear you are lurgied again - but you will be well over it in time for Paris. I recommend a radiation proof suit from here on in. I did the Wilsmslow Half on Sunday. Didn't get a great time 1.42 - but wasn't expecting a PB anyway. Any ideas anyone what time I should go for in the marathon based on this? I don't trust those calculators - I feel they are always a bit too optimistic.


    Hope you are better soon Runny- all the hard work is out of the way for you now anyway.


  • Evening Angela!

    Tough Mudder was good fun … but I think absolutely everyone who finished it seemed to be bleeding somewhere so probably not a good one before summer holidays! I’m going to have to try some different obstacle ones this summer … much more fun than cross country in the cold! image

    I hadn’t lost any toenails under after cross country runs this winter … they survived the last marathon but since the cross countries they’ve been falling like confetti …


    Evening Ruth!

    Lovely to hear from you. Phew! I’m relieved to hear I’m ok on the de-caf ..! I’ve been drinking de-caf only today so will keep that up until Paris. Am I right in thinking there’s caffeine in hot chocolate …?

    Thanks for the helpful tips! Hopefully I have planned around those so there won’t be any nasty portaloo-related disasters on race day!! I managed to eat pretty well after Liverpool marathon although I remember I struggled to eat any dessert after the main meal … VERY unlike me! J When would you like me to start adding in more carbs? I’m having a sweet potato every day with meal now and have started adding rice cakes (+ toppings) into my days more frequently…
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