Target 26.2 - First Timer Steve's Journey to Paris

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Comments

  • Ruth - I heard on Talk Ultra (episode 16) a suggestion that eating a protein breakfast (e.g. bacon and egg) before a long run encourages the body to more quickly burn fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates. Do you have an opinion on this relating to training for a marathon?

    Hi there Tensjiso! Ultra running is soooooooooo different from running a marathon. I have supported on the West Highland Way Race a couple of times for friends (close on 100miles over rough terrain). Note I have never run this, my longest runs are 18miles! There is some truth in your suggestion above but I believe these people who really train well for these races do enough miles/runs over the week to go out running with no breakfast and you would have same effect (say 10milers) and due to total mileage the good runners do often train low in carbs anyway (whether they mean to or not!).Many of these ultra runners need more protein due to low carbs, relatively to their needs, as  low carb stores will mean you generally need more protein to offset immunity issues as this is one of the problems with low carb diets.  The train low in carbs for marathon and other events has a lot of research behind it but you need to need to plan it. You need to be well fuelled for session you want high quality from and less fuelled for those that you do not need this or even do the odd high quality low in carbs  but expect less. One of the ways of training low is to do a long run (90minutes with some fast efforts at end if wish and fits with training) with no gels/foods but can drink water if wish,  then eat nothing for 2 hours post run not even protein as protein intake will have a insulin response. Then after  this you have a very small about of carbs at next meal (some people have none) and for snacks and meals for rest of day no carbs or very little and more heavy in the protein and veg etc. You then get up and have no carbs and train that days sessions on low carbs. Often these train low are aimed at those training twice a day when training for marathon but can work but just doing once session daily. For Steve as a first timer I would not recommend he even goes there with this sort of plan. This is his first attempt and he will do far better without taking the risks of doing this sort of planning as you need to be truly focused on this and Steve needs to get through the training well fuelled. What is also different in marathon runners from other running events is that the world class men (and perhaps some women) probably need to eat and drink next to nothing during a marathon as they are so effective in fuel economy and training adaptation of using fat but for most of us more normal runners research still suggests that you are likely to need food and some fluid during the event and if you never practise this on runs you are likely to have more gut issues.

    Ruth

  • jenf wrote (see)

    hi Steve. love the 5 points!

    re no 2- distance endurance.. I know many say you don't need carbs/gels for a 10 miler, but I have found that anything over 70mins and I start flagging, even if I have a good pre run snack. By trial n error I found that if I have some jelly beans or a gel after 60mins I feel much better. My favs are extreme sports jelly beans (cherry flavour), they have a kick of caffiene too!

    Looking forward to your recipe slot                        

    Hi Jenf:

    Do what works for you! I I need food from about 1hr 25 minutes as I know I flag or take too long to recover. I use jelly babies! I think for you, you are doing the right thing and I am all for caffeine if a person can tolerate it, I certainly use it but suggest never more than 3mg per kilogram of your body weight  so if you weight 60kg no more than 180mg of caffeine. Often people can have enough of a boost with 100-150mg or even as little aas 1mg per kilogram of body weight.

    Ruth

  • Ruth

    Steve wrote :

    Hi Ruth,

    Nice to meet you! Happy to post typical food and drink consumption - will knock something together once I get home from my run this evening.

    What sort of distances do we need to be running when we need to start thinking about e.g. eating more carbs? And how much would we need to increase any intake by? (This is a genuine question, I'm not just looking for an excuse to eat more pasta!)

    The first question Steve is do you need to lose any body fat? if you did you may not need to reduce food but as mileage increases the extra weight will come off. I do not think you can calulate how much more you need to eat. I work with what you already do so if I have your weekly training milage and sessions (which I can see from above) and have good idea of what and when you eat I can assess from there if I think you are eating too much or too little and increase slowly IF needed as the weeks go by. Can you post some food info? Unless I have missed this?

    Ruth

  • Barnsley Runner wrote (see)

    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.

    I think you are spot on for you! For most running sub 90minutes for a HM water or furl is not needed but others find they do better if running 120minutes or more that 30-50g of carbs can work for them. Unless hot I would not take fluid on in a HM either.

  • Mike Sheridan wrote (see)

    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! 


    Mike

    Agree- start well hydarted! Although unless very hot I think many could  skip first water stop if too crowded but your method is reliable and makes good sense for the little and often with water approach which is the approach that will likely cause less stomach  issues. I think your point is brillant above as it shows that you plan your nutrition and you appear to have no issues with stomach or fatigue in races and this is what I try and tell runners they need a plan, then practise it! So thank you for making this point very clearimage

  • Ruth - you are the superstar of the nutrition world!  Thank you for the advice, and also to Mike and BarnsleyRunner - all very useful information (printed and filed).

    Steve - there are no intervals at this stage (endurance) of my training plan.  I followed a plan in the past which had a lot of emphasis on intervals in the early stages, and it left me unable to cope with required tempo sessions which appeared later in the plan.  The P&D plan is broken into mesocyles (6 weeks endurance; 5 weeks endurance + lactate threshold; 4 weeks race preparation - includes VO2max/interval sessions; 3 weeks taper).  It's the first time I've tried this approach, and I'm happy with progress so far.  Next week is the first step-back (recovery) week in the program.

    Regarding the garmin settings, my main training/racing display is

    • Time taken
    • Distance covered
    • Current lap pace
    • Current (immediate) pace

    It takes about 0.25 miles for the current lap pace to settle to a useful figure.  The immediate pace jumps around too much to be useful on it's own, but it helps me to adjust my pace back to target.   I have the overall average pace on a separate display, but don't often refer to it in training.  I have had better success by not worrying about what is in the past (i.e. the overall average pace) and concentrating on the present lap.   For training, I have autolap turned on.  However, it makes sense to turn this off in races and manually hit lap at the mile markers.  It doesn't matter if you forget to hit the lap button for any given mile, because you can press it twice at a later lap and thereby correct the average pace. image     My new garmin has an extra display screen and (I think) more options.  I'll have to try some more experimentation soon.

  • Thanks Ruth & Ten!

     

  • Wow...great forum for advice!! I am training for my first Marathon in London. I have never entered a race before and have never run more than 10 miles....and that was in the army....20 years ago! Now 45 and in my second week of intensive training....not as hi-tech an approach as many of you but i hope it will work for me.Love reading how technical many approaches are and good luck to all of you...image

  • Looking good so far Steve! Been lurking but not posting much.

    really liking the nutrician stuff Ruth and other contributors! Always been an area I've neglected but trying to pay a bit more attention this time around. Have to say that I feel better for it!

    My curretn Garmin (Forerunner 305) which I've had for years seems to be on it's last legs so I'm looking at what to replace it with. For those that have the better models is there much benefit? I'm not much of a geek but like some of the feedback! Any suggestions would be welcome. Steve - how are you finding the 210?

  • Ten, I think your question has been well and truly answered now. But for what it's worth, I definitely don't recommend that you 'force yourself' to drink fluid if you don't feel the need for it. The advice from the experts is to 'drink to thirst' and forcing fluid down doesn't comply with this. Interestingly, very few of the east African runners take fluid on board during runs (except the odd sip from an accompanying jeep on long runs). They rehydrate afterwards.

     

    Sarah - regarding strength/resistance training: it's fine to do on rest/ XT days but I don't recommend doing it prior to a run unless it's just a short easy one, as it may compromise your form and stability.

  • Hi Steve, great pacing on the long run. I think it's time to up the ante a little image

    Can you email me your exact mileage for last week? Shady Ady has been doing a weekly summary which is really useful for me. You can either post it or email it to me. Quite tricky to keep track of your sessions if they are only posted individually. And I will tweak this week's sessions. Parkrun still stands, of course image

  • RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)

    The first question Steve is do you need to lose any body fat? if you did you may not need to reduce food but as mileage increases the extra weight will come off. I do not think you can calulate how much more you need to eat. I work with what you already do so if I have your weekly training milage and sessions (which I can see from above) and have good idea of what and when you eat I can assess from there if I think you are eating too much or too little and increase slowly IF needed as the weeks go by. Can you post some food info? Unless I have missed this?

    Ruth

     

    Hi Ruth,

    Sorry, no, you haven't missed it - it has been a busy few days so I shall do it this evening, promise image

    In answer to your very diplomatically phrased question: no, I don't think I need to lose any body fat - overall I have very little body fat indeed, with just a stubborn little bit around my abdomen/midriff which always proves incredibly hard to shift!! I would like to lose this, just to get a bit more definition around my abs but I don't think health-wise/running-wise it is much of an issue...

    My diet is very erratic so it is going to be difficult to give you a 'general' idea of what I eat day-to-day - sometimes I'm very healthy for a few days then incredibly unhealthy for a few, other days I'll vary from meal to meal - but I'll do my best.

  • Ten, sounds like the new approach is working well!

    WIth the Garmin, I've only just started using it and there are so many different options and settings... Think I'll be best off doing a few runs with the different settings and seeing what works for me. Having just had it on current pace for the first couple of weeks, I was getting a little frustrating with how much it jumps around... so we'll see how I get on with lap pace for a while!

  • anthony harmer wrote (see)

    Wow...great forum for advice!! I am training for my first Marathon in London. I have never entered a race before and have never run more than 10 miles....and that was in the army....20 years ago! Now 45 and in my second week of intensive training....not as hi-tech an approach as many of you but i hope it will work for me.Love reading how technical many approaches are and good luck to all of you...image

    Hi Anthony,

    Welcome to the thread! I'm a first-timer too and these guys are so full of good tips and advice - been a real pleasure reading everyone's responses...

    Please keep me up to date on here with how your training is going - it's nice to know I'm not the only one doing this for the first time image

    All the best with the training.

  • DS2 wrote (see)

    Looking good so far Steve! Been lurking but not posting much.

    really liking the nutrician stuff Ruth and other contributors! Always been an area I've neglected but trying to pay a bit more attention this time around. Have to say that I feel better for it!

    My curretn Garmin (Forerunner 305) which I've had for years seems to be on it's last legs so I'm looking at what to replace it with. For those that have the better models is there much benefit? I'm not much of a geek but like some of the feedback! Any suggestions would be welcome. Steve - how are you finding the 210?

    Hi DS2,

    We're in the same boat there - never even really considered nutrition as an important part of running (sorry Ruth!) until I started this... but, as with everything else, I'm learning a lot! Going to post some food diary posts later on so you can have a good laugh at how poor my diiet isimage

    I'll be honest, I'm still "getting to know it" as it were - the last few weeks have been so incredibly busy that it has been hard enough getting out for runs and finding time to keep up to date on here, let alone fiddle with a watch! But I had a little play with the settings yesterday and it does seem pretty versatile - there are a few handy options for pacings that suit different settings and it seems accurate enough from what I can tell e.g. it does seem to be accurate when I'm on a track etc (although I'll find out a little more at the parkrun on Saturday).

  • Sam - thanks for the confirmation. As long as I'm not doing any damage I'll carry on drinking to thirst.  I ran 15m on the weekend and felt myself flagging just after 8 miles, so I took a gel.  It worked very well and I was able to increase my pace over the final 5-6 miles as planned.  I still didn't drink a huge amount (about 200ml), but again recovered with no problems.

    DS2 - I've bought the Garmin 310xt, because IMHO it was the closest to the 305.  I've set-up the screens exactly the same as I had on my 305 and so it has been a seemless transition.  It is giving me much more reliable heart rate information than I was getting from the 305 of late, and is waterproof.  The vibrating alerts are very useful, because I no longer miss checking my pace at each mile split.  Keep an eye open for Amazon sales, because I only paid £150 for mine (including the HRM strap) - many places sell them for about £220.

     

  • SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

    Hi Steve, great pacing on the long run. I think it's time to up the ante a little image

    Can you email me your exact mileage for last week? Shady Ady has been doing a weekly summary which is really useful for me. You can either post it or email it to me. Quite tricky to keep track of your sessions if they are only posted individually. And I will tweak this week's sessions. Parkrun still stands, of course image

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks... I thinkimage

    I have felt a little bit drained today and was pleased that I had a rest day (although I went swimming) - I definitely know that I was running yesterday (!) so don't up it too too much! image

    My mileage for the first three weeks has been exactly as per the plan but will email over a summary and will post one on here each week in future...

    Seriously looking forward to the parkrun - I am just a little bit nervous that I'm going to go out too hard and fast and crash and burn over the last mile... but I'm also feeling like I can get pretty close to my PB or even sneak a few seconds off it. In any event, I'm determined to go under 23 minutes and, as I haven't done that for a good 18 months or so, I will be well pleased with that image

    Got a friend coming with my (and my son is coming to cheer me on) so should have some good photos to post afterwards too...

  • Just a general comment to everyone:

    Thank you all so much for all your input and advice so far - it really has been a pleasure to read all your comments and ideas, your training schedules, runs and plans for this year - I really am a novice in so many ways and you are all teaching me so much with your posts so thanks again and keep them coming!

  • Ten - that's really useful info,thanks! I will hold off and keep an eye on the sales. If I could get for £150 i'll be delighted! Sounds like that model will be ideal. I'm not too good with change so if I can find a model that is very similar that will do me nicely!

  • Training - Week 4

    Monday - REST DAY

    Scheduled for a resy day today and I did feel like i needed it! This is the first day since starting out on the training that I have felt any kind of negative effects from the training, energy-wise.

    It's nothing major, I've just felt a little drained and I know that if I did have to go out for a run this evening, I would get round no problem but it certainly wouldn't be my finest performance and I think I would probably be sticking to the lower end of the pace guidelines!

    That said, it was my son's birthday today and I have had the day off work to spend it with him - I gave him a huge long list of what he might like to do and one of the things he chose was swimming so we went to the local pool to do a bit of cheeky cross-training image

    As I've mentioned in previous posts, I am amazingly lucky to have some truly great facilities just a 5 minute drive down the road from me (I would say twenty minute jog, but that wouldn't have been fair on the birthday boy!). The rather tired old swimming pool that had been there was knocked down in 2011 and replaced with an Olympic-sized pool and sports centre, complete with the now familiar running track, many pitches for 5-a-side, netball, hockey and so on... and the best part is that is run by the Council so everything literally costs a couple of pounds to use. The facilities were used as a training camp for the Japanese swim team at the London 2012 Olympics (we're about half an hour outside the city) and there are loads of cool things on the walls near the pool, such as a signed tracksuit which one of the Olympians wore when walking out to the pool:

    /members/images/744786/Gallery/Japan_pool.jpg

     

    and some more of what their team wore (note the name of the designer):

    /members/images/744786/Gallery/Japan_asics.jpg

     

    They also have some of Jess Ennis' kit, which she has signed... But I'm pretty certain she didn't visit the sport centre. If she had, I would have been there with a winning smile and an engagement ring and I'd be on here now telling you all how great the honeymoon was:

    /members/images/744786/Gallery/Ennis_kit.jpg

     

    Anyway, we hit the pool, which today had a boom separating it into 2 halves - both halves can have the depth adjusted in any combination so one half was shallow (113cms) and the other half was deep. My son loved this as the shallow end was entirely flat, not that usual slope until his head is under the water so he was free to mess about in a 25m pool as much as he wished and never once be out of his depth.

    The pool itself is pretty awesome:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BABqzITCAAA8uSE.jpg:large

     ...

  • We had a great time and, although I didn't swim length after length after length, we did do a fair few and they were all against the clock (he kept setting me "challenges", the little so-and-so).

    We had a bit of a swimming lesson today and he really concentrated hard on his form with his backstroke - he really listened to me and put what I was telling him into practice so I was really proud of him.

    By the end of the swim he had reduced the time it took him to swim 25m backstroke from nearly two minutes down to 65 seconds and then 63 seconds!! He is desperate to go sub-60 now, bless him - don't know where he gets his competitive nature from... image Will keep you up to date with his progress!

  • Loving your forum Steve! You are so positive and enthusiastic - great read (I just read from strart to finish and have NEVER read a forum on here before depite being a RW member 

  • Thank you so much Christine - I'm blushing! image

    So pleased you're enjoying reading it - it's been such a great experience so far and I really am learning something new every day... Can't wait for tomorrowimage

    Writing the thread has been surprisingly good fun and I have had so many nice comments and great advice...

    Let's hope I'm still smiling at the finish line in April image

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    What a great rest day Steve image 

  • Food

    Oh how I have been dreading writing this post... Food is my big weakness - my achilles heel, if you will. After much soul-searching I have decided: sod it - I'm going to be 100% honest about it and face the stern comments and telling offs like a man. And by "like a man", I mean I am going to hide behind the sofa.

    Generally, my diet borders on "ok" in the main. I even have meals/days/periods of a few days when I do actually eat really very healthily but then... there are the bad days image

    I can be a bit of a binge eater at times and I do have some absolutely terrible food habits.

    I have been known to eat a whole 'movie bag' of Doritos in one sitting (yes, that does include most, if not all, of a pot of salsa). I have been known to eat entire large pizzas from Dominos in one sitting. I do sometimes go out at the weekends and have a few pints of beer a couple of nights running, followed by pizzas or other junk food. I do eat more than my fair share of takeaways. I will eat a huge, greasy fry-up and enjoy every mouthful. The local Indian restaurant owner does have a tear in his eye when I walk through the door on "all you can eat buffet" days and tries to take the sign down. He would go out of business if it wasn't for my repeat custom.

    I'm saying all this in the spirit of honesty and to let Ruth know what she has let herself in for... (!) but I should point out that I haven't done any of the above once since starting the marathon training and I don't intend to again either!

    Ok, that's a lie - I have done the beer one once or twice in the past few weeks. I'm not going to lie, I am going to do that one again more than once before I get to Paris... But certainly not the others!

    On to the good news... Yes, there is some good news.

    I love food, cooking and experimenting - I will try anything once and love new flavours/types of food. I do eat quite a lot of fresh fruit and veg and I do really love pasta (I have a pasta machine I'm really looking for an excuse to try out...).

    Binging aside (and it really isn't that often that I do the ridiculous things listed above), I generally eat three square meals and don't snack overly much. I do try and snack fairly healthily and snacking for me tends to involve quite a lot of things like cherry tomotoes, bananas and similar. So not too bad there.

    I do genuinely enjoy salads (athough not just the boring lettuce/tomato/cucumber/yawn variety) and both my son and I love what I call "finger fruit" - berries and similar. I will also eat pineapple until it comes out of my ears.

    So on to what I eat...

  • Are you chickening out of the food diary after all, Steve?image

    Loved the rest day report!! Hope your son had an amazing birthday!!

  • Breakfast

    Breakfast, due to time constraints, is usually fairly dull and boring for me. I tend to vary between the massively exciting "jam on toast" and the even more exotic "weetabix in a bowl with milk on". On Saturdays, my son and I have a bacon roll as a treat.

     

    Lunch

    This depends on whether I'm in the office or out at hearings or visiting clients. If at the office, it will be either sandwiches (ham, cheese etc usually with a bit of lettuce, cucumber, spring onion etc) on wholemeal bread, a bag of crisps and a chocolate biscuit kind of bar (Kit-Kat etc) or Subway, which isn't the worst fast food outlet in the world, healthwise but not that great all the same!

    If we're out at hearings or visiting clients, all our clients are in the pub/club/restaurant trade so lunch will tend on those days to be "pub grub" - this will involve chips, maybe a burger... although the last client we ate with, I did order a grilled chicken and halloumi salad which I really enjoyed. Some days, we don't have time for lunch at all - it all depends on the type of hearing etc! I will always have wholemeal or seeded bread/rolls etc wherever possible as I much prefer the taste/texture.

    At the weekend, lunch does tend to be slightly better and will usually involve more salads and more fruit.

     

    Dinner

    Dinner will, in the main, consist of frozen things chucked in the oven for 20 minutes - breaded chicken, pies, battered fish, that type of thing along with frozen chips/wedges and beans/peas.

    Whenever I have the combination of time to shop and time to prepare, I will often cook things like pasta dishes as I really enjoy them and they are quick and easy to do. One of my favs is pea, bacon and mint carbonara (50ml of double cream and a couple of egg yolks for the sauce). Yesterday, feeling a little experimental, I made up a pasta dish with grilled chicken, tarragon, gently-fried plum tomatoes and mushrooms in a creamy sauce. It tasted really nice although I think if I drop the mushrooms and put in some rocket right at the last minute, it's going to be pretty special...

    I also looove any kind of eggs, particularly omlettes and have come up with so many omlette combinations, it isn't even funny!

     

    Anyway, that's the potted summary and I will endeavour to keep a food diary from here on in... Having to post it every day will probably be a huge help in itself in terms of making healthier choices!

  • jenf wrote (see)

    What a great rest day Steve image 

    Thanks Jen, we certainly enjoyed it! image

  • RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    Are you chickening out of the food diary after all, Steve?image

    Loved the rest day report!! Hope your son had an amazing birthday!!

    Patience girl, patience - I'm getting there! image

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