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



  • I preferred last year when it was possible to follow the RW schedules (amended by Steve) and see how they were tweaked for the runners.  This year, I have found it impossible to generate a schedule that look like the one's that the runners are following.  I will still follow the threads because of the invaluable advice that Steve and Sam give (and others from the Asics team), and because I want to see how the team fare.  But I will not be following the Asics schedules for my own training.

    Had the Asics calculator been recommending three days and using the FIRST (Furman) methods, that would have made an interesting read.  I'd love to see how people get on following those principles.  Maybe another year.  A head-to-head following different running programs, perhaps? image

  • Steve Marathon Coach wrote (see)

    I don't think the coaches were really encouraging people to use those schedules for marathons but acknowledging they were there as requested and the changes we made for our runners indicated that I prefer more sessions and more runs and miles and indeed more speedwork.

    It will be interesting to compare progress between Steve's approach of more sessions, runs and miles and some of the other threads, where runners are being cautioned against midweek MLRs as being counter-productive.

  • Hopefully RRR's adrenaline levels are higher than the alcohol levels after recovery from yesterday's xmas party!

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Ha image

    Well, she hasn't posted yet today Steve - it would take one hell of a hangover to keep her away from her thread this long  image

  • Ten

    Had the Asics calculator been recommending three days and using the FIRST (Furman) methods, that would have made an interesting read.  I'd love to see how people get on following those principles.  Maybe another year.  A head-to-head following different running programs, perhaps? image


    Has anyone else ever used Greg Mcmillan? Or am I the lone supporter??

  • Where are you Sarah??? image

  • Sorry guys ... a full day at work and a Christmas party last night meant I dropped off the radar briefly ...!

  • Training Session: Week 1, Day 3 …

    Session: 6 miles at 9:30 minute/mile.

    Actual: 6.91 miles at 10:14 minute/mile

    I decided to use this opportunity for a longer slow run to get a bit of cross-country in. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    I’d also managed to persuade a work friend to come along for a run. I’d mentioned it might be a bit muddy in one place but we should be ok with road shoes … I suspect I may not be allowed to forget this rather inaccurate description.

    I wasn’t sure how easy I’d find running at a pace quite a bit slower than usual, so thought I’d use the trails as a way of naturally slowing my pace. As it was very wet and dark, we’d be using headtorches and we’d need to watch our footing more than usual.

    We started off running from work and did a lap of the local park which had firm, gravel paths some of which were waterlogged … not a good sign. We ran from the path onto a muddy footpath crossing a field which was very slippery as the ground was firm but with mud and water over the top. Had a few ‘Bambi on the Ice’ moments but made it through this with no problems and we were back onto pavements for a couple of hundred metres before we crossed onto a dirt trail and up into a field where the path disappeared under a pool of water.

    Well … this was supposed to be a cross country run. We took a deep breath and splashed through hoping that the path would appear on the other side. Through the water and across a ploughed field with a slippery muddy path. A quick trip over a piece of exposed wire I didn’t notice in the light from the headtorch and we were onto waterlogged grassy tracks and into the woods.

    We were thoroughly wet now and the squelching noises from our trainers frightened off any wildlife we might otherwise have seen. These paths weren’t too bad as although there was too much water and the paths were too rough to get any speed up, there wasn’t much danger of slipping over.

    We started down a steep downhill and became aware that we were now running through a new river about an inch deep which cascaded around our feet as we ran. The ground was very muddy and we both slipped several times but managed to somehow stay upright. It was great fun though! We’d got to the point where we were unlikely to get any wetter and it was fun just to run with hardly any light in the woods!

    We got to several parts which were just too boggy and waterlogged to run and we had to pick our way carefully around these. The steep uphill had several new rivers running crossways over the path and the ground was too muddy and slippery to run on this part. It wasn’t worth risking an injury and as we didn’t have a time limit, we took it fairly carefully.

    We reached the top of the hill and the view opened up with the orange lights of Brackmills and Northampton laid out below us.

    The path was very muddy now and as I took the opportunity to speed up a bit on the downhills, my legs slipped and I landed straight in a puddle of mud. The mud splashed up around me and I ended up with a stripe across my face. Very fetching.

    I slowed down a bit but the path was treacherous and I kept sliding. I was hearing muttered swearing from behind me as my fellow runner slid around and several stifled laughs as I perfected my impression of a duck landing on an icy pond. However, I stayed mainly upright. Until I got cocky and sped up again – slip! Back in the mud. I wouldn’t have minded but instead of being a gentleman and catching me on the way down, my fellow runner gracefully hurdled me as I slipped over in front of him.


    After a bit more slipping and sliding around we finally made it to a par

  • RRR thats a fast pace under thiose sort of conditions and with headtorches......sounds a biot like a race i did a few weeks ago.on the weekend when the floods cameimage

  • Seren - It was SO much fun!! Got completely drenched but had a blast!! Not sure that my work friend will EVER come running with me again, mind ...

  • Brilliant RRRimage

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Sounds like 'It's a Knockout' - were people blasting you with water canons as you ran by? 

    Good to hear you weren't under a table somewhere!

  • After a bit more slipping and sliding around we finally made it to a park where the firm gravel paths were a relief after all of the sliding around. Not so much fun, but a lot less chance of falling over again! Back over the pavements to my office and a hot shower.


    … And my work Christmas party, where I could eat far more mince pies than was sensible, safe in the knowledge that I’d had a nice muddy run and earned them!


    Summary: My pacing was a long way off on this run, but I thought that caution on the muddy trails was probably the better option. Maybe next time I should do this type of run with a specific pace on a more stable terrain. A LOT of fun though and definitely a good run!

  • Great running RRR, and the report as always is very detailed image

  • well done on the run - almost sounds like fun.

  • Well done on your MUD ADVENTURE RRR. I'd never stepped off the pavements "running wise" until I came to the UK (except for running on sandy beaches I hate to say back home in S.Africa image).  I was persuaded to try cross country races 2 years ago and at first I thought it was madness to be running in the mud, rain, puddles and freezing weather, now I KNOW it's madness but I'm hooked in a really exhilarating kind of way and I love slipping, sliding and SHRIEKING through the mud together with everyone image xox

  • Evening DS2 – It’s interesting that you didn’t find the treadmill training helpful at all! It’s so mind numbingly boring that I'd at least hoped it was contributing to my success! Maybe it's time to knock it on the head then ...

    Evening Bacon Steve – Yep huge grin still firmly in place! Should have stopped smiling during the cross country run last night though … got mud in my mouth!image

    Brolish – Ooh that’s exciting!! Where are you going for the holiday? I’ve just bought some yak-trax for winter training but I don’t think these would be much help for foot deep snow! image

    Evening Seren – Yes – I’m clinging onto that! I’ve got some lovely routes planned for the long runs (have got some amazing cycle paths this way) but it’s just not as much fun running long when it’s raining! I’m holding out for sunshine. I'm sure it's easier training for an Autumn marathon!image

    Sarah – What?! No chance to dress up in a Santa outfit and run around a park in the cold on Christmas Day? We’ll be suggesting you stay home and eat turkey next!image

    That’s pretty impressive that you did all of your first HM training on a treadmill!

    Evening Ady – I’m liking the training so far – although I messed up the pacing on the run last night. But I enjoyed the run and had fun which is the main reason I run so I’m not counting it as a wasted session!

    I’m looking at Dorney Lake Half which is 16th February and I’m already booked into Silverstone Half on the 3rd March although I’m waiting on Steve to give me the go ahead on that one as it might not fit into the schedule. How about you? How are you finding everything?

    Evening Malcs! – Adrenaline still high! And I’m enjoying training towards something again … was at a bit of a loose end running in November without anything properly scheduled ...

    I’ll be out in the rain and cold this weekend rather than resorting to the treadmill. Hoping to get a 5 miler in around Draycote Water and I’ve got a nice hill run with a different club on Sunday which will be lovely! Plus I’ve been promised a bacon sarnie after that which will give me something to look forward to! Faster run, faster bacon sandwich!! image

    I’d LOVE to go on It’s a Knockout but I always thought I’d get knocked out on that bit where you have to jump the swinging pole as I’m so short … I suspect I will never reach the dizzying heights of 5’4 …

  • Evening Tenjiso – It will be interesting to see how we all get on this year with different schedules. It’s going to be a nice change for me to work with a more structured plan and it’s amazing being told when, how fast and how far to run! No thinking involved at all … just set the legs going!! image

    Barnsley Runner – Nice to hear from you! It’ll definitely be interesting to see how we all get on and to compare notes and progress. The coaches have freedom to tweak the schedules as and when so if things aren’t going to plan, I’m sure Sam and Steve will alter things to work. Are you training for a Spring marathon too?

    Evening Steve Marathon Coach – well adrenaline and alcohol have been fighting it out and I’m pleased to announce I’m ready for my run tomorrow! image

    The run last night was great – I prefer cross country running to almost any other kind as you never know what you’re going to get! No chance to get bored!

    SC – Thanks! It’s funny – I’m not interested in details in anything except my running then it seems to be the more stats the better! image

    Carrots – evening! I’m jealous!! Would love to get some more beach running in!! I have a twitter buddy who does a lot of her running on the beach and some of the pics she posts are amazing! I had a chance to blast some of the Coastal paths near Newquay this summer – Tony’s On The Beach’s area – and I’d love to move down there for the running opportunities! I’d never get bored! image

  • Pics from run last night ... please ignore the manic smile! I was looking forward to the Christmas Party and the free bar ...

    Also I'm not as muddy as I was halfway round as luckily all of the floods washed the mud off ...


     Mud legs!





  • Garmin info from the run:



  • RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    ....and it’s amazing being told when, how fast and how far to run! No thinking involved at all … just set the legs going!! image

    Hah - that would save me about an hour a day of "tinkering" with my schedule - extra time for running image

    You're doing a great job with this thread - not to mention the running!


  • Tenjiso - Ha ha! Extra running time would be good! image I wasn't sure how I'd find a structured schedule - thought it might be a bit restrictive but it's a nice feeling thinking that if I follow this schedule I WILL hit my goal time!

    ... So long as injuries, heatwaves, freak snowstorms and the like stay away..!image

    The thread is running itself ...! There are some really great discussions happening and everytime I have to nip offline I miss something interesting!!image

  • Good to see you're entered for Silverstone Half Marathon - I'm doing that image

  • Andy - Have you done Silverstone before? I haven't but I've heard it's a good course for a PB as it's nice and flat. Thought it was a bargain - £20 for a half! image

  • Sarah no I haven't done Silverstone before but like you thought it's nice & flat so PB potential and a bargain at £20.  Also figured I'm never likely to get to drive around it so I might as well run round image

  • I'm also booked in for Silverstone, and it will be my first time there too.  The result of that will determine my likelihood of achieving my marathon target.  Only 10 weeks to go for that one.

    The only thing I missed from your list of setbacks during this year's marathon preparation was the heatwave (chance would be a fine thing).  The Watford Half-Marathon was snowed-off the evening before the race image

  • Sarah Garmin stats noted. Are you on Garmin connect?. In Ady's thread he's been posting links to his runs so we can see the detail.

  • Training Session: Week 1, Day 5 …

    Goal: 5 miles at 7:30 minute / mile pace or Parkrun

    Actual: 5 miles at 7:23 minute / mile            

    Unfortunately I lost the negotiation for this morning’s parkrun (my boyfriend and I take it in turns) so I resigned myself to a longer run later in the day. However, I feel I had the last laugh when he turned up back at the house at about 10am looking like someone had flushed him down a particularly dirty toilet. Apparently parts of the course were flooded and the rain had washed a lot of mud onto the paths. Knew I’d get him into mud running eventually …

    I did my 5 miles around Draycote Water which is a reservoir not far outside Rugby and half of it is very flat and the other half is ‘undulating’. However, today it was a good choice as seemed to be pretty much the only place in the county that wasn’t flooded.

    Was soaking wet when I’d finished the run as the rain was pretty constant, but I wasn’t covered in mud so I counted that as win.

    My goal was 7:30 minute / mile and I came in at 7:23 minute / mile so reasonably close.

  • Andy – Ha ha! Love it – we’ve got to take what we can get! image

    Tenjiso – 10 weeks? That sounds no time at all! When was the Watford half?

  • Got a parcel from the Asics Store in Oxford Street today!!

    I had to exchange some running tops as I'd picked up the wrong size and the guys at the store were so helpful! I posted the items off on Thursday and received the new ones today!!

    Thank you so much!!

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