Berlin Marathon Training – Week 1

With 12 weeks to go I am starting the P&D up to 55 mile plan (modified) to prepare for the Berlin Marathon.  I chose P&D as I have struggled in the final stages with speed endurance and I think the long M pace runs will help me solve this issue.  The Hanson plan would make me nervous as the lack of mileage may not suit me.  This week has been fairly light overall although I have run more miles than in previous weeks they have been at a fairly easy pace with the exception of the long run which was tough.  I also ran a 5000m championship race finishing 6th of 6 in 17:38 where the winner did 15:04!  The first K was a little quick (3:17) as I tried to stay with the tail but struggled to keep this pace but still finished 3 sec off my season’s best.



Mon – Rest Post Swashbuckler Middle distance – race report to follow

Tue – PM General Aerobic 7.8 miles (7:03m/m)

Wed – 5000m 17:38 (5:41m/m)

Thu – PM General Aerobic 9 miles (6:54m/m)

Fri – Rest

Sat – 4 Miles Recovery 31:56 (7:41m/m)

Sun – 14 w/ 8 @ ‘M’ Pace 1:35:45 (6:50m/m ave) Windy (6:31 m/m ave M pace).

Not a bad week especially starting a little tired after the triathlon.  The marathon pace wasn’t easy with my HR a little high in the wind and sun.  I am happy with 6:31 pace at the moment (2:50 pace) and hope that I will get fitter and the pace will improve.  A 40 mile week and my legs feel quite good considering.  Only 11 weeks to go!  Which is actually only 9 as 2 weeks are taper weeks so not much time to train.

I started the week at 76kg and weighed 75kg on Sun AM.  Ideally i’d like to be close to 70kg for Berlin so this is a good rate of weight loss achieved through healthy snacking and eating lots of avocado (basically every breakfast on toast)!

Nuun Hydration Tabs – Product Review



I tried these during the Swashbuckler Middle Distance triathlon. I sweated a lot and these really help with cramp. I find it easy to get bloated or feel too “full” drinking energy drink that can be too “gloopy” at times. With Nuun tabs there was none of that.  They also have caffeine which you need when you have been up since 0315 to be in the water at 0600 and the effects of the home made bean to cup cappuccino have long since worn off.  They were refreshing and the Ironman inspired “Kona Cola” flavour was really tasty.

Why do we get that flat coke craving? Anyway, no cramp and great taste. A little expensive compared to other products but I got them on offer half price so can’t complain. Why not give them a go? Remember to trial them before using on race day first and don’t have them for an afternoon session or you won’t sleep!

Adidas Supernova Glide Boost 6 – Shoe Review

The best pair of trainers I’ve ever owned are now on sale st Sweatshop:

If you subscribe to Runner’s World there’s a further 15% off so £51 for a trainer so soft you can forget you’re wearing them and just run.

The boost return is greater than the Adidas Sonic Boosts and come with more heel padding. The Sonics were quite flat and the Energy Boosts have a big heel/toe drop. This is a quality shoe that I have worn whilst returning from injury. I would recommend them and will be getting a second pair before they sell out.

(Not so) Secret weight loss tips!

March 2011 – Stafford Half 1:40:xx
June 2014 – Portsmouth 5000m 17:35


Bit of #nipslip going on with my moobs but looking like a real runner now! I just need the times to match.

Summer is here?

It’s time to get out on the bike and ride. I’ve been squeezing some good sessions into a tight work programme and looking forward to the Swashbuckler which I will be completing without pressure (for fun) on 6 July.

The XT has made me stronger and fitter overall. Maybe using the big muscles on the bike is helping my running. Core strength is helping too. My idea of having the arm power of a T-Rex was flawed and contributed to injuries.

I can’t seem to lose weight at the moment so next week when Berlin Marathon P&D training starts I will have to start eating (and drinking) healthily.

My new work is quite restrictive so I can’t be as flexible with my sessions and as I am no longer my own boss I’d better be prepared to put the hours in when I can if I’m going to go sub 3 again. That said my Beats/Mile is dropping all the time and this is whilst being 3kg overweight so I am expecting big changes.

I have also run 3 sub 18 5k races, winning my first ever race (5000m in 17:35) which was amazing.

Dealing with failure – run happy

I don’t like failing so my performance at this year’s London Marathon was a gut-wrenching blow.  In January I ran a 35:xx 10k and by the last 10k of London I was barely going under 10m/m.  

It has taken me a little while to come to terms with the situation and re-assess my plans.  One of the first things I have started doing is enjoying my running, rather than just think I need to do this in 6:00m/m but i’m a little tired i’ll just run and deal with the stats later.  It will get better results and make me happier.

My goal for the Autumn is Berlin and I am not going to tie myself to a time until I see how training is going.  First though I have the Swashbuckler half Ironman in July so I am working on my all round endurance/fitness and I could do with losing some weight.  I have no goal and look forward to a bit of a challenge and enjoying the New Forest.

My training and fitness is still better than last year I just need to stay injury free and build specific fitness which for me is a lack of endurance.  I ran 17:51 for 5k last week so the engine is in similar shape to last July.  It’s going to be emotional (unlike the World Cup – early exit I can safely predict)!    

Do you feel tired? That’s marathon training

Marathon training is hard work.  I always forget just how hard.  This period has been my hardest build up phase yet.  

Tiredness ebbs and flows with the waves that lap against the promenade in Southsea except this year they have been crashing onto and over the road.  Storms have disrupted my training sessions as I watch for a weather window but more often than not I am overcome by the desperate realisation that I need to just get out there and run.  

The marathon won’t run itself and while position may improve because of the lethargy of others my time come race day can only be affected by training.  The marathon does not lie.  It is the runner’s time trial, the test of truth.  There can be no hiding, no short cuts.  The previous 16 weeks cannot be replaced with a fad training plan, only the consistent repetition of training will get results and from that there is no escape.   

Using a coach’s plan has given me time to relax and added pressure to complete sessions.  I have previously worked from a stock plan from a book and that is a poor substitute for a tailored plan.  You don’t get the subtleties and, dare I say it, they tend to be cautious in there approach to injury.  Touch wood, I will get to the start line ready to race hard.  My weight has dropped off.  72.5Kg today.  There is no magic plan, no 5:2 diet, just running and healthy balanced meals and no snacking.  It has come off so easily I wonder what my race weight will be.  I’m sure it will stabilise naturally.  

I had barely finished Sunday’s long run before we are back into the training week with a steady 45 yesterday and today’s 2 x (3x 800m @ 5:20 then 1 mile @ 6:00 all off 75s) w/ 5 min between sets.  Tomorrow, 90 minutes including the last 20 towards threshold is what awaits.  All tough sessions.  I am pleased there is no AM session tomorrow so I can have a little lie in but with a 2 year old it’s all relative!   


It’s too easy to be a fatty

The fat side of life or the dark side of sport?


This week my coach reminded me of the sad tale of Hollie Avil.  Whilst I personally cannot relate to her tale, my endeavour to lose a couple of kilos for the London marathon in order to be competitive made me realise how hard it must have been for Hollie, Victoria Pendleton, David Coultard to live their lives.  I was asked if I snacked… he just said “don’t”.  I love this as it have motivated me through the week to stay off the biscuits although people need to stop bring cake into the office.  I’m a normal guy with a normal BMI and I will still have a normal BMI after losing those Kilos so there is no worry.

The above links show the difference between a normal person and an endurance athlete.



I am confident by eating sensibly, not snacking and staying off the beers i’ll hit 70kg by race day.  I was 77kg back in Dec and have lost 4kg since then by running lots and eating healthily, which isn’t too hard.  The problem for many is that they see photos of lithe women and men everywhere they look and believe this is unattainable and unhealthy.  They are not helped by the food industry making food more fattening (meaning high in calories not high fat) and unhealthy (salt, additives, etc) and then the vanity sizing by the fashion industry tells them everything is okay, they’re still a 12.  I remember seeing some “skinny” fit jeans in Asda, size 20… some things should be banned.

IMG_3249Test it. Buy some cycling clothing.  Go to Italy.  Try on some of their clothes.  You think you’re a medium?  Try again, closer to XL would be my guess.  I am almost 6ft and 73kg with a BMI of 23.  19 to 25 is healthy.  Now we all know the BMI calculation has flawed but using as a tool for sizing you would think I would be a medium in clothes and for the most part I am occasionally dipping into small or large.  The problem is there should and are many smaller than me.  I remember a small burying me the other day… I thought the smaller guys must be in kids sizes!  So what’s the problem.  Weight is linked to sporting performance and our country’s poor endurance base is directly attributable to an increasing waistline which is deemed normal along with the normalisation of waddling round a 5 hour marathon.  In the eighties people were thinner and faster.  We have been conned.  Note: I am not condoning or supporting eating disorders, I am merely showing that most people are bigger than they would have been in the past and that size in the past was a healthier one.  Many are struggling with their weight and use twitter as a support group, to those I say good luck.

What’s my answer to weight loss or fitness?  Go for a run!