My #asics262 Journey to Paris: Sub-5 Gareth

Well, here I am. The Sub-5 candidate for the Paris Marathon. What a journey it has been so far - fun, excitement, grief, nerves and many other feelings.

This is my Journey to Paris thread where I will be documenting everything I do to prepare for the big day on 6 April - my first Marathon. What a day that is going to be and what a journey it is going to be to get there.

I hope you stick with me and that I give you what you need. If you are a new runner then hopefully I can inspire you to run further. If you are already an experienced marathon runner then hopefully you can give me advice. Either way this is the place I to do it.

So onwards we go - please come with me.



  • Thought I'd put a second post telling everyone what I am up to this weekend.

    On Friday I travel to London for the first ASICS day. A morning spent at the ASICS Flagship store on Oxford Street - meeting my coach and the RW crew, more gait analysis, some apparel (the word used by RW) and that's it. I believe I will walk away with a new plan in place. I'm sure I was told that Sam was my coach so am looking forward to working with her.

    I don't get to London that often so have decided to stay up there until the Sunday.

    Back into training on the Monday. I'll try and get some pictures up on Saturday.

    Finally - if you want to follow on Twitter then I am @welshgje : I also have a blog at (and will try and get that updated as well).




  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Well done once again Gareth! image

    Take a deep breath because this is going to be one heck of a ride. If there's anything I can do to help just let me know. I've done a few of these things before and I know there is so much to take in and learn.

    Look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

    Pob lwc!

  • Good luck Gareth, believe in yourself, don't try and do too much too soon too fast, and stay mentally strong. Oh, and keep smiling image

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Good luck Gareth. Paris was my first ever 26.2 and I definitely caught the bug that day.

    When you get your plan just trust it. It will all come together on the day.
  • Malcs - Diolch yn fawr iawn. Pob lwc i ti hefyd.

    ArrowsLou - Thank you. Really looking forward to it.


  • Millsy1977 - Missed you in a post there - thanks for the message. I am really looking forward to it.


  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Sosban fach yn berwi ar y tan...

    (bar a long railway station name you've reached the extent of my knowledge)


  • Congratulations Gareth. 

    Best wishes for Paris

    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • Congratulations....Have funimage

  • Well done once again Gareth.  My spring marathon is about 4 weeks after yours but I'm sure we'll schedule a few runs together or at least pass each other up and down the Black Mountain at some point in the next few weeks!


  • Congratulations Gareth - glad you reached out to me on twitter and showed your more personable side (which I didn't originally see on the forum but is more evident now).  Good man.  Looking forward to following your progress image

  • Good luck welshgje I hope you smash your target.

    My first marathon was 5:30 my second 4:57 it's great cracking the 5 barrier.  I'm sure you will have tons of advice, but slow n steady wins, If you go out to quick you have less chance then if you start out slow n steady. 

    When you have bad days remember we are here cheering you on, don't be afraid of saying when things don't go right as there are loads of us here that can help encourage you. Or give you a kick up the backside if it's needed image

  • Congratulations Gareth!!

    Look forward to watching your progress!! It's a rollercoaster ride from her on in ....!! Enjoy!

  • Morning everyone,

    Malcs: Ahhh well - never to late to learn the Language of the Gods image

    Chimney & Seren Nos:- thank you. all the well wishes mean a lot.

    Bill: Yes - I sent you my mobile number so let me know. Need to build back up but will not match you for pace. Maybe you can run some pacing/speed sessions with me. Might even start Ammanford RC - I'll  be in touch.

    Tiny Runner 85: Well I don't show myself to just everyone. Entering this forum is like walking into a room of people I don't know. Quite intimidating at first but then once you see how everyone is the guards drop a little.

    BookTrunk: Thank you. Really appreciate the support and encouragement. I have a 30 minute window to complete the race so hopefully I will get in there with the training. I'm sure I will have bad days. I'll arrange coach trips to come and kick me up the backside free of charge.

    RunnyRunRun: I hate rollercoasters. Cannot ride them image Nah - I know what you mean. I am nervous but it still hasn't sunk in yet.

    Thanks everyone - another day in work then off to London.


  • Hi Gareth,

    Congratulations again on getting through. I hope that you get a chance to enjoy London this weekend. I was there on Tuesday and it was really busy!

    Looking forward to seeing your training plan and following your progress through it.

    I've got just one question for you at the moment - what's the furthest distance that you have ever ran in one go?



  • Hey RRR - are you running Boston in April?

  • Hi Jon,

    That would be my half marathon - 13.1 in October. I've slowed it down since then with lesser 10 mile runs. So I'm not starting from scratch.


  • Thanks Gareth,

    10 mile runs are definitely long! You should be starting from a good base then!


  • jon - The 10 miler is over the Black Mountain where I live and is a pretty tough run. Prepares me well for flat running.


  • Gareth, do you get to do much off-road running? It is a favourite of mine especially early Sunday morning when most are still in bed. Slippery tree stumps and roots take a bit of navigating on these dark December mornings!

  • Hi James,

    Not much however the cycle tracks around here tend to be muddy and leafy over the winter but other than varying my surface on the local rugby field then no. However I did buy myself a pair of Adidas Kanadia off road shoes the other week - they are lovely for running even on the road. So comfortable.


  • A late post tonight due to a late tea and a visit to the local leisure centre for one of my weekly circuit training sessions.

    The normal guy was back tonight so I've been running, lifting tyres, squatting and various other bits of circuity style stuff. I'm trying not to increase my upper body mass as I guess I'd have to carry it for 26 miles. However my legs are definately stronger since starting circuits two months ago.

    I'll miss circuits on Sunday night due to travelling back from London however will have to run an 11k to pick up my car from a colleagues house. I could get the missus to drive me down but she will have to put our boy to bed - so running it is.

    I hope Sam will let me keep at least one of the circuit training sessions in my training plan.

  • Sat here with the missus talking about how this has all happened so quickly. I've just realised how nervous I am about Saturday and the three months ahead.

    Just thought I'd say that.

  • Hi Gareth - hope you have a fantastic day in London today. No need to be nervous. You'll smash itimage


  • Right - just got back in from the weekend in London and Store Day - need to unpack and sort stuff out but will post an update hopefully later this evening.

  • ASICS 26.2 Store Day - 14th December 2013

    Well what a day and what a weekend. I’m not sure I can get across the way I felt during the morning. I will say that at one point I just had to sit down and take it all in. I remember Andrea asking if I was okay - in fact several of them did. Of course I was fine but with things happening so fast I felt there was a need to sit and enjoy.

    I’d arrived in London on the Friday night, after work. In an amazing fluke Mrs E had booked the hotel across the road from the Asics store - so in theory I could roll out of bed at 8:51 and be over there in time for the meeting. I didn’t do that of course. I woke at 6:45!!!

    So I walked over to the store. The first person I met outside was Isabel. Photo time and we took some snaps outside the shop. From the front it looks quite small but like the Tardis it’s bigger on the inside. Roger arrived next and after trying to explain to the cleaner that we were there for Runners World we were finally let in through the side door. It’s when you enter the store do you realise how big it is.

    We were taken downstairs into a room to meet everyone. Andrea, Gemma and Katie from Runner’s World were there and Claire from Asics. Tom the photographer was also there and kept popping up like a silent assassin at different times of the morning. I was later told (I think) that the apparel on display in this room was for the new season and not released yet. There were croissants and pastries waiting for us but I didn’t have any. I wasn’t hungry and still a bit in awe of what was happening.

    It was explained to us how the morning would go - apparel, gait analysis and a body composition analysis - all courtesy of Asics and Runners World. So up we go to the shop floor, a full 30 minutes before the store opened. We owned the store. 

    Apparel: I immediately liked the blue kit - and this is what I stuck with. I’ll post pictures of what I had later in the week as it’s a bit late in the evening now but I am extremely happy with everything. All blue and black. Quality stuff. What I did find amusing was the variety of sizes I needed to feel good. Running tights in medium, running tops in XL, shorts in L. Funny.

    It was actually quite tough deciding what to have. The budget had been set and I felt I had to spend it wisely. Eventually I sorted it all but left a fair chunk of the budget as I didn’t know what trainers I was going to have.

    Gait and Trainers: This part of the morning was led by Libby. As a Computer Science and Technology teacher I was in awe at the tech being used to analyse our feet. I’d had gait before and knew I was a neutral shoe but never before had someone spent so long looking at my feet. A 3D foot scan showed my right foot was a full 10mm wider at the front than my left foot. Freak!

    I discovered that I have flat feet and my right foot leans out when I run. It also points in. As I watched the video I was surprised that I have never clipped my left leg and tripped up when running.

    Libby and I discussed my current trainers and the difference in sizes. I currently run in a Saucony Size 8 but also run off road in a pair of Adidas Kanadia in size 9.5 (which are tight). As it happens Asics have trainers in different width fittings so I was advised to try the Gel Nimbus 15. Wow - what a fit - the best pair of trainers I’ve ever tried on. What is interesting is the size. We found that a size 7.5 was good enough for me.

    Body Composite Analysis: Over the past two years since I started running I’ve lost two stone so I was extremely interested to see how the professionals would measure my body make up. I was extremely happy with the results although I would have liked to be a bit lighter.&nbs

  • Body Composite Analysis: Over the past two years since I started running I’ve lost two stone so I was extremely interested to see how the professionals would measure my body make up. I was extremely happy with the results although I would have liked to be a bit lighter. 

    My stats are as follows:

    • Weight: 85.50kg (13 stone 6)
    • Fat %: 17.7% (needs to be between 8.0 and 20.0)
    • Fat Mass: 15.15Kg (best between 8.8 - 10.9kg)
    • FFM: 70.35kg (best between 54.1-66.9kg)
    • Muscle Mass: 66.85kg (best between 50.6-63.4kg)

    The computer has me with a Physique rating of: Healthy Standard Muscular

    The Segmental Analysis had me above average muscle mass rating for a man of my age and height and a fat rating of below. I was very happy with those readings.

    I am concerned at a rating of 7 for my visceral fat. This needs lowering - and I will do it.

    My right leg is heavier than my left leg but my arms are the same weight.

    It will be interesting if Runners World can get us back to the store after the marathon to have our stats measured again.

    Meeting the Coach: Once all the readings were collected and as the morning started drawing to an end it was time to catch up with Sam Murphy - my coach for the next 4 months. We talked about my schedule and how my days worked out. We discussed whether I could keep an aspect of circuit training in my weekly routine. Sam also gave me a worksheet of stretches that I need to complete this week and report back to her when I’ve done them.

    Sam outlined that she would email me the plan and I would move on from there. A quick photo and that was it. Of she went into the busy Oxford Street.

    My plan will appear here over the next week.

    The End: The end of the morning was spent with Tom the photographer. Every angle was shot, snapped and captured. It was an amazing day - I was in awe. It was one of those days that happens to someone else and you hear about. I never thought it would happen to me.

    Now the kit is in place, the coach is on board - it’s time for me to deliver the goods.




  • That was interesting, for all their marketing spend I never knew asics did different widths. perhaps you can do the smaller size because of the extra width? I have some 2160's that are two sizes larger then my normal shoes and they still feel tight across the instep. 


  • Mr Puffy - That was the conclusion we came to. I was wearing larger shoes so I had the width. I was suprised. The trainers I have now are Gel-NUmbus 15 in 7.5 but with a 4E width.

    The difference in trainer sizes is amazing. An 8 in Saucony could be a different fit to other makes etc. 

    What I also found amazing was that Asics make a sock especially to wear with their trainers. A specific sock for a specific trainer.

  • Some pictures for you of the kit I chose (trainers then apparel):





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