Mais Oui, Paris – Week 12 – Slowly Recovering?

Lets not dwell on how shit my training is going, lets just see how this week goes.


I had only gotten home at 1am from England the night before, so was tired. My hips are still tight and sore, I guess they won’t feel great when I am working them out as much as possible!  I was going to go on the trainer for an hour, but wasn’t feeling it so rested.


I went to 1817 after work and tried another 3x2km T. I could actually run my T pace of about 3:42/km more comfortably today. I did the 3 intervals fine, with a poopmergency only coming on after about 5.6km, so I could hold it for the last 400m before going to the (open today) toilets.  I feel like it wasn’t great running today, but also not dreadful, certainly much better than Friday.

I cycled to kastel and then home after the run for another 30mins or so of work. In the evening I tried 1 leg hip bridges for the first time, I had muscle ache in my hamstrings the days after!


I went to the weight training session of TV Hechtsheim. They have really old equipment, but they have the main bases covered. They also have a stepper, an eliptical, spinning bikes and a treadmill. I did a round of the leg based machines, then did 6 minutes on the stepper. I felt better after doing the workout than I did before.


My hips felt better than they have, it is mainly a slightly nagging right hip flexor now, with my piriformis still be noticable on occasion. Anyway I went to do my now standard 3x2km T session after work.  Everything was fine, my HR was lower than in the last couple of sessions, but I felt short of breath. I managed my times (7:25 or so for 2km) without pushing too hard.




I wanted to do an easy run, I haven’t done any for a while so I thought it would be worth testing myself on a nice easy loop. TCEC were meeting at 10am at Römisches Theater, so I thought I’d join in.  After a few km of warm up, I met up with the group and we set off. I could feel by glutes were a little sore and my heart rate was higher than it should be, but otherwise the run was fine. Actually I enjoyed it as it was just about 90 minutes of chatting about triathlon and other crap whilst having a nice easy, scenic jog.  When we got back to the start I had exactly 20km on the watch, that’d do for the day.

Later after going into town with Katja, I went to TBB to try my first T26 swim workout.  I know you should do the A workout, then if you swim twice a week you should do A-A, then A-A-B, then A-A-B-C, but I felt like the A sessions look a bit big for me, they are generally 4500m or so, comfortably my longest swim ever!

So I picked a B swim. It started off all good, lots of snorkel work until I actually was looking forward to taking it off. Then came some speed. It was 8x50m at 85%, which was fine, but then came another 8x75m at 85%. The last of which took me over 3000m for the session. I swam the easy 150m in the plan, then I should have repeated the 8x75m + 150m easy, but I was done!  My times were only going in one direction if I carried on.  So I did 3150m, a long workout for me, but a shortened B workout in T26 world!


The weather was nice, 10°C and sunny with little wind. I took my chance to actually cycle!  I know that I can’t or shouldn’t just jump on and do 100km, I also didn’t have time, so I just rode an easy 1h20 or so. It was nice to be out in the sun and my legs felt better than expected, though I don’t know if I’d manage 3h+ right now.  I did about 35km on the cross bike all in.


Well it isn’t exactly how I envisaged my marathon training going!  I ran 3 times for a total of about 37km, but I did 2 (easy) sessions and a longer run, so it could have been worse. With a swim and a bike and a gym session it wasn’t the nightmare that last week was.

I feel like I am having a bit of hayfever at the moment. I have fairly constant headaches after exercise and am a bit snotty and can feel that my breath is hot. I don’t want to sound too positive, but if that clears up and I start Paris feeling healthy, it might not be a nightmare, there were a few ifs there though.

Next week I want to do my last sessions on Tuesday and Thursday, I will bike and swim on Monday. It is easter weekend after that, I’d like another swim and maybe a longer bike and another 20km+ run. I don’t want to overdo it with less than 2 weeks until Paris, but in a 4 week taper I should be able to do a bit more!


Mais Oui, Paris – Week 11 – my oh my.

So after deciding that all was not well in my marathon prep, I really switched things up this week.


NO RUNNING! I cycled to the pool in the evening and swam for 1h15, then cycled home in the pouring rain. I didn’t love being the slowest swimmer in the fast lane, but it is what it is. Less rain would have also been nice.

I did lots of adductor/abductor work at home using a band and a chair!  I will be working on hip strength lots before Paris now. My Piriformis feels much better already, but my groin is still not great.


Rest Day – Goethe Test in Frankfurt and I want to rest anyway, so no training at all.


Straight after work I cycled to the 1817 track and did some fast intervals. After only 800m warm up, I started my first of 8x600m repeats. With confidence low, I wanted to do 2:02/600m intervals with a 2min 200m walk pause, but I set off too fast so the first was 1:57. The next was too fast too, and the next and the next! I decided to just keep them faster than 2:00 for my 8 reps, which I managed fairly comfortably. After a 1km warm down I was done, 7.8km total according to strava, 8km actually.




I was flying to England in the evening, so I took a break from work mid-afternoon to go and do some intervals. I thought I’d do some threshold stuff instead of going overboard with VO2 max work.  I ran to 1817 and started off. I felt pretty crap from the get go. I was keeping up 3:45/km just about. I did 2x2km in 7:30 but then I really needed to go to the toilet.  I ran to the uni, did some biiig business, then headed back to do another 2km.  I felt crap and my heart rate was high, it was just a nightmare.


I was in England for my Mum’s 60th birthday. It was about -4°C and snowing a bit, the wind was the bad bit though!  I had planned to run, but given that my hips weren’t feeling great and I felt like I had a bit of a cold, I binned it.


After everyone left my in Stamford, I went to the pool. It was about as bad as I could have feared. It was a leisure pool that was not at all meant for swimmers. It was full of kids, there was no swimming lane and the pool wasn’t even rectangular. I swam as best I could for 35 minutes before getting sick of it all and leaving.


Lots of schedules would have this as my biggest training week, instead I ran twice for a total of about 18km, though I did swim 1.5 times and cycle once.  My hips don’t feel good, it feels like I have groin pain on both sides, sometimes right, sometimes left.  I think it is just the piriformis messing everything up.

Next week I will hope that things get better, they can hardly get worse!  I would like to get a slight inverse taper in, so if next week it easy, then 1 good week before a last week of tapering. Who knows, I just need to keep doing my hip exercises and taking my iron, I can’t do much more.


Mais Oui, Paris – Week 10 – Time for a rethink

I don’t think it is a great sign when you wake up on Monday morning cursing your alarm clock and feeling incredibly tired, you stand up, your butt hurts (glutes) and your hips are tight as hell, well that is how I started week 10 on my road to Paris!

Monday: AM:

Given the above, I just trotted to work. I took a new route that is a bit more off road. It was quite nice to run somewhere new before work and the weather was nice for once!  I ran it fairly directly and the route was 5.8km, I could extend that pretty easily though.

PM: I took a similar route back home. I felt like I ran ok, I mean I felt like absolute crap, almost dizzy at times and just generally weak, but I assumed I would run at 4:50/km or so. After picking up the pace at the end just for shits and giggles, so was shocked to see a 5:13/km average! I guess the new route which was on trail was a bit uneven and bumpy, I guess I slowed my pace more than I thought on that bit.

We have some 5-HTP tablets lying around as I’d bought them to help Katja sleep ages ago, but she never took them. For some reason I decided to take one on Monday evening. Wow I felt a lot better very quickly!  I still didn’t sleep very well, but I felt a noticeable improvement in mood and, as you will see, my pace improved a bit over the next few days.

Tuesday: AM:

I woke up again feeling very tired, but better than yesterday. I did all my stretches and foam rolling last night, so my muscles were a bit looser- I ran my old route to work but wasn’t plodding as much as I have been. It was 6.8km at a 4:42/km average, good for early morning running for me.

PM: I ran a longer route home over Laubenheimer höhe. It was actually a really good run, I felt quite strong and felt like doing a bit more. I ran 14km at 4:40/km, a good 2nd run for the day.


I went to the track after work in my Zoom flys and ready to do some work. The track was fucking closed again!  I set off to the poop loop like last week to do a tempo run instead. I felt quite good, even though it was windy. The tempo part was about 5.2km in 20 minutes, setting a Strava CR on my Poop Loop segment (at last). I actually kept the pace pretty high after the tempo was over so I finished the run with 16.3km at 4:22/km and only a 140bpm average heart rate, pretty good!


I was starting to think about my half marathon on Sunday, so decided to do easy doubles on Thursday and Friday. I did 7km to work and 7.4km home, both nice and easy.


Friday was much the same as Thursday except I ran 8.5km on the way home instead of 7.4km. All very easy and felt fine.


I took a rest day from running, but decided to swim in Mombach in the afternoon. I did my now fairly standard set of 400m in, 3x300m snorkel and flippers, 100 easy, 8x50m alignment drills, 10x50m sprints with 50m easy recovery, 100 out. That is 2900m there, it might have been 2800m, I can’t remember exactly but I feel like I am swimming not that badly considering how little time I am spending in the water!


I had spoken to Jochen about going to Kandel with him to run the half marathon there instead of in Frankfurt. I felt fairly unconfident and got a fairly average time of 1:20:50. It could have been worse, but it should have been better if I want to run 2:45 in Paris. The race report is here:

Time for a change.

I keep banging my head against this high mileage training thing, but I feel like I am digging myself into a hole and am getting slower, not faster. A 1:20:50 is equivilent to a 36:33 10k, so that is 45 seconds slower than 5 weeks ago in Groß-Gerau.

So, here is my plan. I am cutting out a LOT of my mileage from now on. I will try to ride some easy kms and swim a bit more, but the main goal is to be fresh and fit for my running intervals. My butt (piriformis) hurts quite a lot at the moment, but if that settles down I will try to do Tuesday/Thursday intervals, otherwise I will do Wednesday only this week and next week hit my 2 a week interval sessions.

I will take my iron tablets every day from now until Paris, my levels could be falling and I haven’t been taking them religiously for a while now. There is time to recover from a slight fall before Paris.

I also think I will be targetting 2:48 for Paris, rather than 2:45. If all goes well on the day I can try to speed up, but I don’t want to split 39 minutes for the first 10k and blow up, better to split about 40 and feel good.

I am feeling pretty depressed about training, but optimistic that I can save this training cycle. We’ll see how the next weeks go, freshening up my legs and getting rid of this nagging hip/butt injury is top of my priority list now though.

Bienwald Kandel Halbmarathon 2018 – 1:20:50

Where to run?

I had planned to run Frankfurt half marathon, it was sold out but had 500 places for people to sign up on the day. To be sure of getting one of those places, I would have to get there at 7am, 3 hours before the 10am start time.  I saw on Saturday on facebook that Jochen was driving straight from Mainz to Kandel to run a half marathon there on Sunday. He was setting off at 8am. I could leave the house 2 hours later, save a few euro and run a new course for me, that seemed like enough reasons for me to run there!

Low confidence

I was not confident going into this one, but needed to see where I am at.  The course should be flat and the weather was perfect for running, little wind and about 9 degrees and cloudy.  Who knows, maybe I’d surprise myself and run a PB!

Running cheap

We arrived a bit later than planned and I only had 15 minutes to sign up. I saw Stephan Jung and asked him where to sign up. He said that a friend of his had signed up but wouldn’t run, so I could take him place!  I decided to get my name on the startlist by paying 5€ to swap start places. So I ran for 5€, not bad, especially with getting a T-shirt!

There weren’t enough toilets at the start. I mean not even nearly enough. I managed to go once, but would have liked another opportunity. Anyway, I was nervous on the start line but got a clean start and got into a rhythm. I seemed to be running at 3:45-3:47 pace and feeling ok. I managed to lose my energy gel after about 4km. It wouldn’t stay in my shorts, I adjusted it a few times, but eventually it fell… annoying.

That 5km marker!

At the 5km marker someone was reading out the times. He read 19:30 as I ran past, WHAT!! I though I would be there at 18:45 or so. I was very depressed and worked out that I was on 1:22 pace or so, but that is after 5km, this could get ugly.  After 7km I confirmed my shitty pace by seeing 26:xx on my watch, but then I looked again a few seconds later and realised it read 24:xx, confusing.

The one marker I felt like I could trust was the 10k marker, it had a timing mat so should be accurate, I crossed at 37:52, actually pretty solid especially considering I wasn’t feeling too good and was worried that my time would be about 40mins after 10k.

Hurting on the way back

There is a massive out and back in Kandel, it is about 5k out and 5k back. It is bullet straight and boring as hell!  I passed a triathlete I recognised from Langen after about 13km, just before the turn around.  There were 2 women ahead of me, that is fairly rare nowadays, they were fast.

I kept on at it though my pace was unspectacular. My 1:19:30 time that might have been possible after 10k, wasn’t going to happen. I was running largely alone and was seeing a lot of 3:50-3:55/km on my watch instead of the required 3:45/km.  The last few km were more interesting than the out and back, I passed the 2nd woman, but was also passed by a few guys. I would say I kicked on to the end, but it was definetely more going out with a whimper than a bang!

Sub 1:20 – not today 🙁

There is 300m on the track at the end, I got into the stadium with 1:19:40 or so on the clock. It really sucked to miss 1:20, I should be cruising that now, I needed to keep on it to get a sub 1:21 though. I managed to get over the line in 1:20:50 – shit.

Jochen had another dreadful race for him, he got into the stadium looking like death, and he ran a 1:32 or so, he is a better runner than that, I hope he finds out what’s wrong sooner rather than later.

Operation Save Paris

As for me, I feel like I have over-reached. I did my biggest week ever last week, I had a fairly big week with week. My piriformis is hurting when I sit and it can’t be helping when I run. I have 4 weeks until Paris, so I think I will aggressively taper my mileage now, but keep up/increase the quality until the last week. I hope I can save my Paris performance, if I don’t PB (and I’m not ill), then I am done with marathons, you have that in writing Katja!


Mais Oui, Paris – Week 9 – Freezing my face off!


AM: It was bastard freezing, -7°C when I woke up and windy too. I ran to work to get in a few easy km, it was actually much better than expected, 5.8km at just under 5km/min

PM: Spurred on by my good morning run, I set off for a longer run after work. Again not so bad and after 11km or so I turned for home. I also happened to turn in a head/crosswind from hell!  I ran with my buff over my face, but it still really hurt. It was only -4°C, but felt like at least -10°C to me. It was 14.2km at 4:53/km, and not very pleasant at the end, I was freezing!


AM: I ran to work again, it was -8°C this time and wasn’t as much fun.  I ran 6.8km to work with a cold cold face.

PM: After work I tried to find a new route, but got a bit lost and ended up running a fairly normal route instead!  It was 12.7km which was good for the weather. The last few k were freezing cold against the wind.


It was -9°C in the morning, but I didn’t have to run, so I froze on the bike instead!  After work I wanted to run my intervals, but the track was closed.  I decided to do a tempo on the poop loop, so I did just over 4km of tempo work, but it was just a bit crap really, it was painful anytime the wind wasn’t behind me.

After about 12km I needed to go doodie, so found a dixie in the messe. I couldn’t make it to the toilet without walking, which wasn’t great in the cold. Then I got to run the last 4km largely against the wind, it was hell. I have to say, I haven’t hated many runs more than this one!


AM: It was very cold again on the way to work. I ran 6.7km around next to Volkspark, my pace was just under 5:00/km.  All ok except my sore and freezing face!

I was at work just as normal, I got some cells from Barbara, put them in the incubator and came back to my PC. It felt like I had looked at a bright light or something, I had distorted vision on the left hand side, like a half crescent moon. After a minute or two I realised that it wasn’t a bright light, it was a migraine!  I have never had a migraine in my life, but Katja has told me about hers before.  It lasted about 30 minutes and I felt a bit crappy for the rest of the day. I didn’t get a throbbing headache, but just generally felt a bit spaced.

PM: Not loving the freezing cold, I couldn’t bring myself to run as far as I should have.  I also had an appointment for a massage at 18:30, so I looped around a little and ran 8.9km before calling it a day.

The massage was good though! I had 1h on the legs, sometimes it really hurt, but generally it was enjoyable.  I felt a little looser after the massage, so it was worth the 40€ in my book.


AM: It was a bit warmer, the end of this deep freeze is in sight now!  I had a butt clenching run to work, that’s why it was only 4.5km long! Still better to do something and get everything moving than not to!

PM: After work I actually felt a bit looser and could run a little freer than I otherwise have been. I tried to find a new route again, with much more success than last time. It isn’t all asphalt, but it is nice crushed dirt, which isn’t bad at all to run on.  I then looped around onto my more normal loop to get to 13.7km.  The wind had dropped a lot and I repeated the hellish route from Wednesday, today it wasn’t too bad.

I went swimming in the evening. I tried a 400-300-200-100 cutdown. I expected my 400m to be about 8 minutes, but it was 7:20. The 300 in 5:20, 200 in 3:30 and 100m in 1:40 were all better than expected. I swam about 2800m in an hour and even managed to catch my bus!  All good in the hood.


As soon as the cold ended, the snow started!  I had planned a 35km long run, but in the snow that seemed silly, so I took a rest day.


The snow was gone and the weather was actually pretty good for running.  The run started off dreadfully, with me looking for a toilet after 2km. I had to go again after 4km, but fortunately that was that for the day then.  I ran over to my Polderloop, a flat 7.5km loop in Bodenheim.  I wanted to run 2x5km at marathon pace as part of a 35km long run. The marathon pace part didn’t feel good, I felt like I had to push to keep the pace, it shouldn’t be that hard should it? I pretty much managed it anyway, then trotted back over Laubenheimer hohe. Oh how I hate that climb at the end of a long run!

I realised that if I ran 35.6km, I would have 125km for the week for the first time ever. Though I was obviously tired (more thirsty actually) I looped around to get to 36km, a real marathon long run.  My glutes and hips were pretty sore afterwards, but that will hopefully subside.

Feeling Down

I’m feeling a bit down about training at the moment, I don’t feel like I am making the forward progress I had hoped for.  My legs are sore and I feel like marathon pace is fast.  I don’t know if I should cut my mileage and cross train, or just cut my mileage, or tough it out, I just know that it feels sub-optimal at the moment… Next weekend should be a good test, I think I will do Frankfurt half marathon, I need a PB, otherwise I’ll have to reconsider my Paris goal time 🙁