Mais Oui, Paris – Week 4 – a down week


As it’s my down week, I wanted to start off with a shorter, slower recovery run, especially after the long run yesterday, I ran ‘das Herzchen’ run, so named because it has a loop that looks like a heart in it!  Apart from waiting at lights for ages, it was fine. My heart rate strap messed up a bit, but I had a mid-high 120s BPM average, for a 5:00/km average pace over 10.84km

Der Herzchenlauf – muddy though

Weighed in at 78.4kg, moving in the right direction. In the evening I didn’t fancy waiting for the TV Hechtsheim training at 19:00, so I ran as soon as I got home. Keeping up my quality, I decided to try some hill intervals. I always look at one path that goes straight up the side of the hill in Hechtsheim and think – I’m pleased I’m not running up that! Well today I would be.  I found that 2 minutes of hard running got me to a side path, where I could turn around. I did 6 repeats, feeling like the 6th was very hard work (and slower).

I got a bit lost on the way back cutting over a trail, but got home after 1h20. I was surprised to see my slow 5:09/km average, but later saw that the slowest part of the run was the intervals! It is a steep old path, so keeping a fast pace up there would be tough.


AM: I ran a very easy recovery pace to work. I took the 5km way round as planned, but I wished that I had done at least 7km, I got to work too early and felt quite good. It was warm too, 9 degrees when I set off! The stats: 5:07/km with a 120bpm HR, basically back to normal, phew!

PM: Ran just under 7km home nice and easy. Nothing to see here. I had butt muscle (glutes) ache all day from the hill intervals yesterday. It’s probably good that I strengthen my glutes, but stairs weren’t my friends today!

A little later I went to the pool in Mombach. Marco was there and had a plan for his session, so I jumped in and swam with him.  I did 400m in, 5x100m arms, 16x50m every 4th breaststroke, 100m easy, 4x200m snorkel, 100m flippers kicking with massive calf cramps out. 2700m. It was pretty good. I could swim with Marco up until the snorkel part, when I left him behind, probably due to my experience of using a snorkel in training. I feel like I am getting some of my swimming fitness back, I need to swim twice a week or more until the marathon, then kick on.


AM: Up and out early again. I ran a new route to work. To the Messe, then around through the Industriegebiet, then straight along Rheinhessenstr to work. It worked out to be just over 9km. The start wasn’t so much fun, but after my muscles warmed up, it was ok. My muscle ache from the hill intervals on Tuesday was still pretty noticeable!

PM: There was a SITO seminar, so I was in work until after 6pm. I got changed in the bathroom after the seminar and ran home from there. I felt quite good, I was surprised by how slow I had run – 6km 4:51/km


I put on my new Nike Zoom Flys that arrived yesterday (my 2nd pair) and headed to the track. I wanted to try my old 4x2000m + 4x200m intervals session. I was actually a little worried, I wanted to do my 2000m intervals in less than 7:20, or 3:40/km. I ran the first lap too slow in 90 seconds, but soon found my groove and started knocking out 88 second laps. 1st interval done in 7:19. The second came and went in 7:18. My heart rate wasn’t getting too high (168bpm at the end) and I was holding myself back. On the 3rd intervals I ran a bit faster at 7:14, but still felt fine so went for it a bit more in the last 2km. I ran through the 1st 1000m in 3:31 and finished in 6:58, I was shocked and ecstatic!

The 200m sprints are a formality, except that my shoes started rubbing on my left heel (it blistered), I ran 37-36-37-36 before jogging home in a little pain.

I feel like I have done sub 7:20 2000m splits in training before (strava shows that I haven’t!!) but I thought it would be tough. It was easy, 6:58 was tough at the end, but that is a lot faster too. It looks like my PBs are going to fall soon!


I woke up just before 9am and decided to run with TCEC. I ate a banana and set off at about 9:30. It took a little longer than expected (it was more than 7km there, I thought it would be 5km) so I was 5 mins late, luckily they were still there. It was much colder than it has been recently, so it was full hat, gloves and jacket weather.

We set off and the pace was fine, not fast but not too slow, a nice recovery run pace. We had a good chat and the time passed pretty quickly. After about 1h20 with the group, they were done and I was off home. It was another 7.xkm home, so I actually ran 31km in 2h35 or so all together, much more than I had planned. I was getting pretty hungry at the end.


Day off  -I think this picture sums it up well:

Stuffing my face with cakes

So my down week of 90km was actually basically 100km, with 2 good/great interval sessions and an unplanned long run. It probably wasn’t as easy as I wanted it to be, but a Sunday rest day sets me up for next week nicely.  The best part of the running week was clearly my 4x2000m on Friday. It has given me confidence that I can break all my PBs in the near future, I just need to stay fit and pick the right races.

Next week somewhere between 110-120km would be good, without a 30km+ run and possible including a 10k race. If I do a 10k race, I will have to think about whether or not I do 2 quality sessions, or just 1 and the race.

10 weeks to go, it actually seems a long way off now, I think I would be ready before then…

Mais Oui, Paris – Week 3

Going into week 3, it’s time to get some quality started!


AM: I got up early and ran to work. I felt good out of the gate and even though it was cold, my legs were springy and I enjoyed it, even having a little dance on the way downhill to Hechtsheim!  I ran just over 10k at 4:49/km.

PM: On the way home, I had another nice run, despite the cold and rain!  It was a nice and easy one, 9.1km at 4:34/km. So that’s 19.3km done today, a good start to the week, I should get my 115km in easily enough.


I went to the TV Hechtsheim training. I ran there then did a few slow laps with the group. We did a short warm up and some drills and sprints before getting to the work out. They always seem to concentrate on short and fast stuff, not ideal for me, but still worthwhile.

We did 5x(400m-200m) I ran the 400m in 80s and 200m in about 38, give or take. The breaks were 100m walk/slow jog.  After those were done, we did 1k, followed by another 2x (400m-200m). I just did a 3:39 km, then the same pace as before for the 400 and 200s.  It was actually reasonably tough, I am generally slow, so faster stuff isn’t my forté.  All in all, I ran 15.1km according to Strava. I did lose about 800m be forgetting to restart my watch when running home, but I can live with that.


AM: I was up early and ready to run. I set off and light snow started to fall. Then it got a bit heavier, and a bit heavier. My run route back towards Hechtsheim on the top of a small hill was a nightmare. The snow was horizontal and getting into my eyes. At times I couldn’t see just due to the snow, sometimes due to the snowflakes in my eyes.  I was freezing and hating it.

me arriving at work in costume

As soon as I dropped down to where houses are, the wind wasn’t so bad, and I think the snow let up a bit too, so I could enjoy warming up for the rest of the run. When I got to work, I was slightly disappointed that I ‘only’ had 11km behind me, I thought it would be 12km. Anyway, it was 11km with a 5:00/km average, slow but mainly due to being blinded!


Ran home, 7km nothing special. My hips have been tight but once  got going it was fine. 4:42/km 135bpm.

Later on I got the tram to swimming. My guts weren’t good after gnocchi and pesto for some reason. I did a good kick set and worked on tautness and alignment. I was slow and crap, but it was all fine. 1h – 2500m done and dusted.


There was a big storm in Germany and the wind was gusting at up to 100km/h, so I decided to try to hide out a bit in the industrial area for a quality work out. I did a little loop around, then found a fairly straight flat path that I thought was 1km long, and started my intervals. One way is slightly downhill and with the wind, the other slightly uphill and against.  I managed 7x1km, the route wasn’t ideal as the path was more like 970m, so I had to run round a corner at the end of each interval!  All done I ran 16km at 4:34/km with a HR of 149, a bit high still.


AM: I got up after a bad nights sleep (waking up every hour) and ran to work. It started raining and as I was running out of town the wind was lashing me with rain, it reminded me too much of Wednesday, which was a nightmare, so I cut back onto a more protected route and ran 8.7km with a 5:00/km average. My heart rate is too high at the moment, it was 137bpm average. As a comparison, my last run in Lanzarote was 8.8km 5:03/km with a 122bpm average…..

PM: After work I ran into town to pick up my ticket for the Mainz game on Saturday. I just took a short route home, so my run was only 7.8km with a 4:50/km average.  My heart rate was high again, I wasn’t feeling great.


After another dreadful night’s sleep, I decided to put off my long run until Sunday. I had a bit of a lightbulb moment that I am probably low on iron, that is why I am struggling to sleep and my heart rate is up. It’s happened to me a few times before.  I started hitting the iron hard straight away and will be keeping on top of it much more from now on in.

I swam for an hour in the afternoon. It was something like – 400m in, 3x200m kicking, 5x200m swimming with snorkel, 500m drills, 100m out. I felt like my left hand is crossing over slightly during my one handed drills, I will watch out for that. My hips sink too, I need to work on that too.


Feeling a bit better after a rest day, and having slept much better, not well, but better, I did my long run for the week. I decided against adding quality as I didn’t know if I could handle it.  The route looped around through Bodenheim, Laubenheim and Mainz before heading back. I felt quite good at the end, I ran 32.6km in 2h32, picking up the pace slightly at the end.


Well it’s been an odd one. On the one hand I did 2 sets of intervals, ran 118km and managed a good long run as well as swimming twice so all good! On the other hand, my heart rate is higher than normal, my sleep is suffering and my hips and calves are tight. Luckily next week is an easier week, so I will drop down to 90km or so, but try to keep up the quality.

Now that I am hitting the iron tablets, I expect/hope that my heart rate will drop again, making my easy runs easier, so helping with recovery and everything else really. I should notice in the next week if I am seeing the benefits, I’ll keep you up to date!

Just a side note, I started taking probiotics after getting back from Lanzarote on the off-chance that it would help my stomach issues when I run. Well it’s really helped! I haven’t had a single problem this week, that is nearly unheard of for me!

Mais Oui, Paris – Week 2

After an enjoyable first full week of run training in Lanzarote, it was back to the grind this week.


Up early to run before the flight home. I was slow as hell, and it was slippy too. 8.8km at 5:06/km with a 122 HR.


Back in Mainz for this one. I had planned on doing a track work out, but the floodlights were off when I ran past Willy Wacker, so I just ran a 15.6km route around to ZDF and back. It was a nice loop actually, and one I’ll have to do more often. Pace 4:50/km HR 134. I took my first probiotics today, I hope it helps my guts when running.


I ran to work, just an easy 5.8km at 5:00/km. I ran home later, I was a little bit late getting out of work, so only ran 8.2km at 4:49/km. The ball of my right foot is hurting a little, not when I run, but the rest of the time! My achilles still ache from time to time too, both, separately at different times!

I went swimming in the evening. It was my first swim since November 22nd! I expected that it would be bad, and it was. I gutted through an hour (more or less, so slightly less!) my 100m times were 1:55 or so later in the session, that is way down on my speed when fit.  I’ll try to get in 2 regular swims a week from now on.


I had a leg massage in my lunch break (thanks Jamie!). After work I wanted to do a session. After umming and ahhing, I decided on a 7x1km at 3:45/km pace, standard and not too tough. Well 1st the lights were off at the track, but I could run with my head torch, then I just felt like crap!  I ran 5x1km all easily faster than 3:45/km, generally ~3:40/km with a slower last 200m, but my right calf didn’t feel good, and I generally wasn’t feeling too hot.

I extended the run out to 1h10 by running around to the messe. I think I bonked at the end of the run. I had only eaten a sandwich since dinner yesterday, and I had swam and worked all day before running. I was fine anyway after a banana and the remainder of my smoothie.


I extended the run to work by running towards Bodenheim, then cutting back through Hechtsheim and down to work. I wasn’t too bad really, 9.5km at 4:53/km. I’ve notice than my HR is a bit higher than I want at the moment and my ‘running performance’ according to movescount is falling. It’s a little worrying but hopefully just a result of my increased mileage.

My running route at a nicer time of year.
Poo by the side of my route. It was steaming on Friday morning, running through a poo cloud isn’t cool!

I ran easy on the way home. Just 6.9km at 4:43/km. I felt a bit better on this one.


Long Run day. I ate cornflakes an PB and J sandwiches for breakfast, took an Imodium 90 mins before the start and 3h after breakfast was good to go. I wanted to run for 2h30 and at least 30km, but I saw pretty early on that I would be running faster than 5min KMs.

Everything went fine, the last 30 minutes were tough but my pace held up ok. It was just a steady pace run. I enjoyed seeing deer on the run and the route was quite interesting. I ended with 32.4km in 2h31 with a bit high 146bpm average.

My running route in autumn, it’s colder and muddier now 🙁

I woke up at 07:45 and couldn’t be bothered to run. Seemingly about 5 seconds later it was 08:45, so I got up and ran an easy loop to get up to 110km for the week. The route was pretty muddy, I had to walk about 30 metres in the field to avoid a huge puddle too.  All fine though, my legs felt surpringly good.


Week 2. It wasn’t my best week ever, but I got all my runs in and did my first real long run for a long time, as well as some pretty poor intervals. My legs are feeling better at the end of the week than they were on Thursday.

I weighed in at 79.5kg midweek, not great, but not too bad. I’d like to be at 77kg or below for Mörfelden half marathon at the end of February.

Next week:

I want to get more quality in and a little more volume. 115km would be good, with 2 swims. I will do a real intervals session and a shorter ML run, with some quality in. Probably 25km with 2x5km at goal marathon pace or faster. Lets see what happens though!

Mais Oui, Paris -Week 1 – a 10 day week in Lanzarote!

I’m going to try to simplify things a little for myself and get onto a normal week’s rhythm. So here are the odd few days before my first full week:


after getting back from the UK the day before, I still didn’t feel great. I went for an easy 1h run and my lungs were burning. My heart rate was high too. Ran pretty fast though 4:38/km


another easy run. Lungs were a little better, still felt a bit crap though. Again fast at 4:35/km


my last German run of the year. It was actually really warm (10 degrees) and I sweat like a pig! My stomach was all over the place too. Just 11.5km at 4:48/km.


in Lanzarote after a very early start. It was lovely weather, 21 and sunny. It was windy though. I struggled to keep my hr down against the wind after flying along with the wind on my back. It was a nice end of the year run. 13.3km 4:36/km

view of the beach
Playa Reducto from the balcony of our hotel

Continue reading “Mais Oui, Paris -Week 1 – a 10 day week in Lanzarote!”

Mais Oui, Paris 2018

Paris Marathon

Paris Marathon is in 14 weeks and 3 days from now. I’ve been ill or suffering the effects of an allergy to birds over the Christmas period, meaning I have only run three times since the Ebersheimer Adventslauf 11 days ago.  I haven’t been doing nothing though, actually I have been busy! Eating cake, biscuits, chocolates, drinking beer and generally being lazy and putting on weight!  I don’t mind too much, that’s what Christmas is for anyway.

It’s the 28th of December now though, and Christmas is over. It’s time to get my arse into gear, and get training for Paris Marathon.  I enjoyed doing my Roth blog last year, so I’ll do a Paris one this year.

Be Marathon Fit?

I found a plan for Roth last year but I don’t have a specific plan for Paris.  I am having a bit of a triathletes dilemma. I need to run as much as I can, do do as well as possible in Paris. I also can’t completely ignore swimming and cycling, otherwise I won’t be ready for the triathlon season come June. So here is a general skeleton plan for what I think might work for me.


I want to run before work more often than I usually do. I can run 3.7km to work as the crow flys, or I can extend it to 8km by looping around to work. I see Monday, Thursday and Friday as good doubling days (for reasons I’ll get to in a minute)  If I run 16km on Monday and Friday, and extend Thursdays run home, then I can have 52km of running built up over those 3 days.

Track work-outs

Quality is usually not where I shine. I like running out the door and doing my 1h to 1h15 everyday and being done. I can get pretty fit doing just that, but I won’t reach my potential by just doing that. Tuesdays will be work out days. I will try to get gradually more specific as I get closer to race day. That means VO2 max work to start with (~4 weeks), then Threshold work (another 4 weeks) then Marathon pace work (the last 4 weeks before the taper). I will think about if I want to do the M pace work block, I’m not sure it is worthwhile physically, it seems like more of a mental thing.

Long runs

I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel here. I will just do my long run on Saturdays. In a 14 week build I will want to have 8 runs of over 30km, with 4 of 35km or so. Saturdays are best for me, in case something causes me to miss it, then I can just run on Sunday instead. I will try to get some quality into my long runs, probably M pace work.

Cross Training

I plan to swim every week on Wednesday mornings before work. That is a minimum. A second swim per week would be good. I’ll definitely try to get them in as and when I have can (so on double days in the evening) or on days off. Sunday would be possible too.

Ideally I will cycle on Sundays when the weather is decent.  They will have to be easy rides, but a few hours would be very helpful for making the switch to triathlon later in the year.  Again, days off would be well invested in doing some riding.


This is tough for me. I like racing a lot, but I do think that I might sometimes race when I should do a long run instead, or just not race but train.  I will probably do fewer 10k races this time out. If they are on Saturday, then I don’t see much harm in running, then doing an all E pace long run on the Sunday, but the other way around seem like it is poor training.

I do think that half marathons (and longer) are good marathon training, as long as I can recover from them and run them untapered.  There is an Ultra in Rodgau in 1 month. I might run 30-35km (6-7 laps) as a supported long run. Otherwise I want to do the Mörfelden Half Marathon and either Kandel or Frankfurt half.  They are only 4 weeks before Paris, so should be interesting tune up races and give me a good idea of what will be possible in the marathon.

  1. Lindenseelauf 10km Saturday 13 January – 12 weeks
  2. Rodgau Ultra Saturday 27th January – 10 weeks
  3. Groß-Gerau 10km Saturday 10th February – 8 weeks
  4. Mörfelden HM Sunday 18th Febraury – 7 weeks
  5. Kandel/Frankfurt HM Sunday 11th March -4 weeks
The Goal(s)

My favourite running book is Jack Daniels. So think I have to train to my ability and what ever comes out at the end, is what I can run. So in that regard, I don’t have a goal time. In another way, I do!

I would really like to break 2:45. That is 3:54/km which is tough, but should be possible given my best half marathon time.

My best 10k and HM times are now 2 years old. I have been close to the 10k time recently in pre-training, so that one has to go. I reckon I can run near 35 flat for a fast 10k. I would love to run a sub 1:17 half in Mörfelden, to get an elite start in Frankfurt. That might be optimistic as it predicts a 2:41 marathon, but it would be ideal for me.


I am around about 80kg now. I want to be at most 76kg when I get to the start line in Paris, and really sub 75kg would be optimal. I’ve never reached that weight, but I’ll try again this time out!

  • 3 double days – 52km
  • 1 workout day – 14km
  • Wednesday single run – 10-15km
  • 1 long run – 30km ave
  • Sunday recovery run – 10km
  • 116-121km + 1-2 swims + 1 ride