Target 26.2 - First Timer Steve's Journey to Paris



  • Not a bad strategy KatyLo, to 'just grab when you feel the need' in terms of hydration. The latest guidelines are to drink to thirst, not on a specific schedule. That said, it does worry me a bit when someone says they aren't ever thirsty when they run. If you're going to be out there for 2.5,3,4,5 hours or more, undoubtedly need to take fluid on board.

    Thanks for the training feedback Steve. I might have a bit of a play with next few weeks. Are you sure you were only doing 15-25km per week before? It seems so little for you to be already very comfortable with 30-35km per week and wanting more!

  • It does not seem unreasonable to go from around 15mpw to 20mpw and for it to feel comfortable.

  • Thanks Sam!  A quick search on the website conjured up all sorts of advice. I find gels fiddly but I’m a big fan of beans! I generally don’t take water unless I’m out running for over 1hr30 but it’s time to start practicing.

  • Steve loves bacon wrote (see)

    Ten - I reckon we can suffer together thenimage

    How's training going?

    I'm really enjoying my training plan so far - the higher mileage runs seem to suit me.  Next week looks pretty tough, starting with 9m with 5m @ threshold, and finishing with 16m including the last 10m @ MP.  There's another 10m run midweek too.  It will be my highest mileage week ever (45m), though I may have to finish it on my knees image  No wonder the following week is a recovery week.

    Looks like Sam is on the verge of upping your mileage.

    Sam - seeing your comment about hydration......  I take a water bottle and a gel with me on my long runs.  My longest run so far has been 14m and I haven't felt the need for the gel, and I only drink about half the bottle of water (about 125ml).  I haven't suffered afterwards and have been able to complete all sessions to the prescribed intensity.  I do eat breakfast and try to be fully hydrated before I set-out on the longer runs.  Am I pushing my luck and should I be forcing myself to drink more during the run?

  • Hi Ruth, great to be in touch again after last year.  I still use the carb loading diet before big races you gave us plus all the other useful tips and the in-race carb intake info.

    Steve - Ruth will be a great help to get your nutrition right, she even turned around Rosie last year image.  Looks like your speed work is going well.  As the weeks roll on the long runs will increase to improve your endurance.

  • Ten: here is my take on hydration.

    Start well hydrated - seems obvious but not everyone does it. I will have a 500ml bottle of sports drink close to me in the few hours leading up to the race. I sip it in the car on the way up, the train wherever and stop abput 30 mins before the start - time to settle the bladder.

    Then I will start with about 200 -250ml in hand - that way I can comfortably get past the scrum at the 1st water stop without disrupting my rythmn. By about 5 miles that will have gone....

    Here is the thing - for me, it is more about the energy in the drink than the fluid if that makes sense. So I'm drinking more for the easily digestible carbs than the H2O. Water gives me nothing on a run.....OK, I know I need the hydration but I hydrate and fuel up at the same time.

    For VLM there are water points at every mile from M3 and sports drink (Lucozade) at 5,10,15,19, and 23M. From memory these are smaller bottles (330ml) so you could pick up 1.6 litres on course and I seem to remember doing exactly that although I think I just ran with the last one and drank it after I finished. 

    These smaller bottles would have maybe 20g of carb of which 11g as sugar, so potential 100g in total. I think that is about 450 or so calories. If you are still with me on this, then I calculate that I need about 3,300 cals to get round and if I have correctly loaded my system I should start with about 2,700 cals on board.

    Deduct 3,300 requirement from 2,700 = 600 calory deficit to be made up on route. Now I hope you can see how important the 400-450 cals that I can get for free from the sports drink is in the equation. A few gels 6+, evenly spaced out for me, some jelly beans & raisins etc I am on my way.....

    I appreciate that I might have egg on my face "speaking" ahead of Ruth who is on here as an experienced professional, so I stand ready to be corrected, but the above got me safely around 2 maras last year without the dreaded "wall" and pretty much with negative splits in both. So unless I am way off beam, I'll be taking the same approach in the spring.

    Final caveat: this supposes that we have moderate temperature no higher than low to mid teens C. Any higher and we would all need to adjust and yes, I would take on more water! 

  • Hi Sam.....I was just wondering when it comes to a rest day/cross training day, would resistence/strength training be acceptable to do on that day?

    I was also wondering if you recommend doing resistence/strength training prior to any of the runs or if you would actually advise against it ? many thanks

  • Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the comments! I have read them all and will catch up properly tomorrow - been a bit of a hectic day so I'm just going to post this evening's run quickly for now...

    Week 3 - Friday


    Easy pace = 9:10 - 10:15 m/m

    Fast pace = 8:05 - 8:20


    Again, did a huuuge long warm up to try and protect the hammy, but didn't feel it at all so I'm not too worried now.

    The first mile at easy pace was... well, easy! Got through it in 9mins 20secs which was a nice pace and felt very comfortable.

    I moved into the "fast" section and did the three miles as follows:

    Mile 1 - 7mins 56secs

    Mile 2 - 7mins 52 secs

    Mile 3 - 7mins 41secs

    The fast section felt good and I kept my form well throughout... I've spent the day on Twitter talking to Sam and Ady about the Parkrun I'm doing next week and the times we are both aiming for so I spent most of it thinking about that and trying not to beat my 5k PB in the middle of this run!! It went by pretty quick and I felt like I could have carried on - was a bit disappointing to have to drop down to "easy" pace to be honestimage

    The last easy mile was done in 8mins 48secs and, again, felt nice and comfortable.

    Anyway, that's your lot for now - will catch up and post a bit more tomorrow!


  • Hi Mike - I've printed out your notes about race day hydration.  I'll have to go through it a few times to digest the information (no pun intended - for once).

    Just to be clear, my more immediate concern is about hydration while training.  I'm interested in Sams (and anybody else's) view on the fact that I do not feel the need for gels, or even very much water, during medium-long runs (up to 14m so far, and I'm not expecting today's 15m run to be much different).  This is distinct from race-day strategy, or preparing for the race during a training run (I'll do that in the 18/20m runs).  Sam seemed to be suggesting that she thought that this was a bad idea? 

    Sarah - this is not a direct attempt to answer your question, but last year I injured myself having done some reasonably heavy weight squats on an XT day, followed by a speed session the following day.  Just something to bear in mind when constructing a program.

    Steve - great splits!  You appear to be cruising.  Does that mean you are going to race the parkrun to go for your best 5k time?

  • Hey thought id chip in..... on long runs i carry a hydration belt and in it i have the bottles filled with nuun. On races i drink 1 bottle as and when i need it then fill it with water, and i do take gels and have them attached to my belt, Lara Croft eat your heart out!!

    I prefere to always carry fluids as I once did a half marathon and felt dehydrated, i felt i would mug anyone who came near me with a bottle of water! I panicked in a major way, I felt a very long way from finish, very much alone and thirsty!!!! I personally don't klike to rely in the water stations, Edinburgh marathon last year the water station was there when we furst pasted it but by the time we hit it they had run out, fellow runners were picking up half empty bottles off the roadside. 

    Each to their own!!

  • Green & White Tigger wrote (see)

    I personally don't klike to rely in the water stations, Edinburgh marathon last year the water station was there when we furst pasted it but by the time we hit it they had run out, fellow runners were picking up half empty bottles off the roadside. 

    Each to their own!!

    Thats terrible organisation, it could have been dangerous

  • apparently its happened before! and last year it was ridiculously hot!!

  • Unless it's extremely hot, or a race of 20 miles +, I find no need to take on fluids en route.  I have found that the risk of picking up a stitch when racing hard at HM pace and below far outweighs any minimal benefits there may be to drinking water in a race.

    Over a marathon, I tend to take sips at each water station as preparation for the final 10k.

    The key to all the above is to go into races well fuelled and well hydrated, not to try and fuel and hydrate during them.

    All the sports science that seems to have come into running in the past decade or so still does not seem able to produce marathon runners a patch on those we had in the 1980s and 1990s.  There's too much emphasis on peripheral things like gels, Garmins, fancy downloadable plans and the like, and not enough on the big elephant in the room - getting out there and running mile after mile after mile.  As many as you can manage.

  • Hi Katy,

    Wow, what a start to 2013!! Hope you're feeling loads better now...! Well done on completing so many parkruns - Saturday will actually be my first ever so really looking forward to it image

    Re fuelling - I'm actually not sure yet. I didn't use anything at all for my first half mara and used gel for second half mara... and that's as far as my running experience goes! They did have guys with pots of jelly babies at the half mara... but I always taught never to take sweets from strangers...

    So I think the whole fuelling question is going to be a bit of an experiment for me. I may just have to try one or two different strategies and see what works for me... but rest assured, whatever I try out, I will share in graphic detail on hereimage

  • SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

    Thanks for the training feedback Steve. I might have a bit of a play with next few weeks. Are you sure you were only doing 15-25km per week before? It seems so little for you to be already very comfortable with 30-35km per week and wanting more!

    Hi Sam,

    Yeah, was definitely doing that mileage before! Having said that, I have been running on and off since school (and I am getting on a bit now...) so maybe that's why the increased mileage hasn't feel too over the top.

    I've also been enjoying all the different sessions so much that maybe the novelty of it all has helped ease me in...

    I think I could probably manage a little more... but not too much more!image

  • Hi Ten,

    Glad the training is going so well image and yes, that is a high mileage week - my week this week was only 23 miles!! Glad the long runs are going so well - they are definitely my weakest run. How are your interval runs going?

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    yes Steve, I think fuelling is very much personal pref, and you will just have to see what works for you. I made lots of errors... but I'm not sharing graphic detailsimage


  • Hi oscarr,

    I may be hard work for Ruthimage

    Yes, I'm not overly worried about the long run endurance - it'll definitely come over the weeks, I just need to build up to it slowly. That said, I did a 10 mile run today (details to follow!) and felt pretty good throughout so was quite pleased with that.

    Thanks, yes, the speedwork does seem to be going well... but then I come from a background of 1500m and 800m races so I'm not exactly surprised to see where my strengths and weaknesses lieimage

  • Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the comments on fuelling and hydration - I definitely have a lot to learn about all of this and, while a lot of it does seem to be personal preference as to what works best for each individual, there is definitely a huge element of common sense involved!

    I always used to take a drink out with me on every single run of 5k or more - I think it was more of a comfort blanket than anything else! I certainly don't do that anymore, but I do tend to take a drink still for 10k plus...

    But, as you say, being correctly hydrated before even getting near the start line is the first thing anyone should make sure they do.

  • Hi Barnsley Runner,

    You make a very good point! People have been running huge distances for a hell of a lot longer than gels and gadgets have been around... so it must follow that none of it is essential, as long as you prepare properly and fuel/hydrate properly in preparation.

    As i said in the post above, I always take a drink out on longer runs and sip as and when I feel the need... but whether that is actually necessary for me to complete the run, I doubt it - it really is more of a comfort thing, I think.

    I took a gel for my second half mara and really did notice the difference from my first but I'm sure that was largely due to my being very naive in the weeks leading up to it and not eating/drinking the right things. Hopefully, with the help of Ruth and everyones advice and support on here, I'll be a lot better prepared and, therefore, be less reliant on gels/sports drinks and so on to compensate for my poor preparation!

  • Jen - oh go onimage

  • Training - Week 3

    Sunday - 10 MILE LONG RUN (5 AT 10:05M/M, 5 SPEEDING UP TO 9:35M/M)

    So today was another long run and, having slept in a little late (really unlike me), I basically got out of bed, had a quick bit of breakfast, got myself ready and then headed out of the door.

    It was really quiet out and in the entire ten miles I only saw two other runners. I was running around streets and past the town centre so I was quite surprised - there's usually quite a lot going on! But it did mean the whole run was very laid-back, relaxed and quiet.

    I took my headphones out today and put on some chilled out tunes and just tried to take it nice easy, which I think I achieved. I was very careful with my pacing and really tried to stick to what I was supposed to be doing, particularly the slower first five miles.

    I had a little play round with the Garmin before I set out today. I seem to have been so busy over the last few weeks what with Christmas, new year, my son's birthday and a million other things, that I haven't really had time to sit down and figure out how to work it properly! So it has been on the default settings since I've had it and I've just been strapping it on to my wrist and heading out the door.

    It has been set on "current pace" on all my previous runs and this is pretty handy but it does jump about a bit at times and can be a little glitchy. I considered putting it on "average pace" but wasn't sure how well that would work as I had to keep to a very specific pace for the first five miles, then gradually increase by just a few seconds for the final five miles.

  • ...

    But I then found it had a "lap pace" setting, which was exactly the compromise I needed - the pace wasn't glitchy and didn't jump around if the GPS lost signal for a split second and it allowed me to see how I was getting on for each mile (I have it set for 1 lap = 1 mile) so it worked really well, especially as I started to increase my pace towards the end of the run.

    I felt pretty good throughout the run. Cardiovascularly, I felt great and was breathing easily throughout the whole run, with plenty in the tank. My legs did feel a little fatigued around miles 7 to 8 but not too bad and it did pass.

    I also, as I had just decided to go out and run and figure out the route as I went, came across a really quite spectacular hill in mile 6 that was mildly terrifying as I rounded the corner and it blotted out the horizon but I felt really good going up it and quite enjoyed the climb. I enjoyed the downhill on the other side even moreimage

    So, onto the times...

    My training plan called for the first five miles to be done at 10:05m/m and, loving the "lap pace" setting and really trying to stick closely to what I should be doing after being quietly scolded for going too quick on longer runs in the past, I managed:

    Mile 1 - 10:06m/m

    Mile 2 - 10:03m/m

    Mile 3 - 10:03m/m

    Mile 4 - 10:05m/m

    Mile 5 - 10:03m/m

    So that was a pretty pleasing set of splits!

    The second five miles called for me to gradually increase my pace to 9:35m/m so I dutifully obliged, although I did speed up just a little bit on the final couple of miles as I did feel pretty strong and was, dare I say it, enjoying the long run. I did the following for the final five:

    Mile 6 - 9:54m/m

    Mile 7 - 9:45m/m

    Mile 8 - 9:40m/m

    Mile 9 - 9:33m/m

    Mile 10 - 9:24m/m

    So I've come out of the long run feeling positive and feeling good about my pacing for the rest of the training.

    Tomorrow marks the start of week 4 already - it really is going by quickly! I end the week with my first parkrun and I am going to try and get a really good time. I'm not sure if a PB is a possibility or not, but I certainly aim on at least getting close to it... Watch this space!

  • Hey you.....Love the picture of your very tight running attire on Twitter....its the facial expression I'm finding particularly funny..!!!!....

    Thank you for the garmin advice....Im such a numpty when it comes to boxes.....I will have a play around with it!!....

    I know its not bacon.....but my brother in law who is an ultra runner.....uses parma ham.....odd, never heard of it before, but he swears by we all had to by him parma ham supplies for Christmas!! you never know....maybe if your bacon fetish is explained to Ruth...!!image

    I ran with a camel back today for the first time on a 12miler as I normally don't hydrate during a run...but have to admit I felt great at the end of the run, whether it was hydration related I'm not sure, but I'm looking into buying one now!

    Good luck for week 4!!!!......wahhh...cant believe it...Its going so quickly!!! 

  • ive had my garmin for about 2 years now and have always left it on average pace....might have to have a play around with it as the lap settting looks useful

    Good run today.
  • Yep I've had my garmin a year and never touched the pace settings! If anyone has any suggestions to 'an idots guide to pace settings on a forerunner 205' I would be very grateful!

  • Hi Mel,

    Haha, that stuff is seriously tight!! But it really did feel like it helped my posture out... Did you get any of it? How have you found it?

    No worries re the Garmin - I haven't even discovered half of what it can do yet so if there's anything else you're not sure of, feel free to ask and we'll probably both learn something about it! image

    Bacon... Parma Ham... Pancetta... I'm all over it Mel - I'm disappointed you would even think that I wouldn't have heard of Parma Hamimage

    Glad the camel back worked well for you - I have to admit I've never even considered trying one! You'll have to try it out on a few more sessions and let me know how you get on...

    Can't believe it's week 4 already!! Thanks and good luck to you too image

  • Sarah - yes, I found that setting really useful! I just had my pace for each mile that I was doing so it was easy to tell how I was doing overall but when I got to the stage of the run where I needed to speed each mile up, it was perfect for that too! The 'current pace' setting just seems a bit all over the place at times, doesn't it? And 'average pace' is next to useless for intervals with recoveries in between so I reckon I might use this setting quite a bit in future...

  • Tigs - Haha sorry, 210 here - it may be similar? If no-one else has that particular model, I can post how I did it on mine if you like? Then you can give it a go on yours and see if it works...

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    some good pacing there Steve!

    I use the lap setting on my garmin, I found it by accident! but sorry Tigger I've not got same model as you so can't help. Try looking on the website, must be instructions there somewhere...

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