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Paris Marathon training: Week 1

November 5, 2009

On Sunday, I started my 25-week training programme for the Paris Marathon. As luck would have it, this coincided with the breaking of the recent good weather. I’m on track to rack up the planned mileage for this week (slightly more, if I’m being pedantic), and I’m starting to put together some targets for the intensity of the training.

Sunday: 20.5km @ 4:27 per km

An absolute pig of a day, the week’s long run was in strong wind, driving rain and was about 5 degrees cooler than the previous few days. Despite the weather, it felt like a good couple of laps round Abingdon, and there was something satisfying about getting the plan off to a good start.

Monday: 10.5km @ 4:00 per km

Originally scheduled as a rest day, I realised that I wouldn’t have time for my 10km run on Wednesday. So, rest days were shuffled round, and this was run in the gym. I try to run in the gym twice a week – not out of pleasure, or feeling that it gives me a better workout, but more because I feel I need to in order to get a return from my membership fee. However, it was warm and dry, and that’s not to be sniffed at.

Tuesday: 10.9km @ 3:48 per km

I’ve scheduled all the club runs at 10.5km – they’re usually something around that distance, but this was slightly longer. I was running with one of the juniors (who claimed that he’d probably be running slowly as he’d done a cross country race and a football match on Sunday, and had already done a track training session before coming out for the run!), which helped push me to better speeds. This race was actually run at 10km PB pace, so it gives me hope for the three races I’ve got scheduled in before the end of the year.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 8 x 500m @ 1:46

Cold, wet, windy… But at least there were fireworks to be seen. This was a tough session – partly because of the cold, and partly because the last 200m of each set was more anaerobic than I’m used to. There was a 100m walk between each 500m rep, and the reps were divided into two groups of four.

Friday: 10.5km @  4:00 per km

This will probably be the second gym session of the week, and depending on the time I might squeeze in some weights or core work to try to help maintain a decent running style over the longer distances.

Saturday: Rest

Over the next few weeks, I will start to build some effort levels into my schedule based on performance and target improvements. Ultimately, I would like to run the marathon as close to the 3-hour mark as possible. That’s an ambitious goal for my first marathon (for Paris you need to be able to prove that you’ve achieved faster times in order to set yourself in anything under the 3:30 group), and may be revised depending on how I find the distance as I start to build base.

I’ll update the plan as I go, and with the Paris Marathon falling on 11 April 2010, it gives anyone wanting to follow a plan for the Virgin London Marathon a couple of weeks’ head start.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2009 3:48 am

    I am very impressed with your pace ambitions, and I sincerely hope you achieve them. I have been running for +/- 6 years, doing 15k 3x / week (mainly for mental health reasons! 😉 ) and extended my runs to include a couple of 13.1 mile and 21+ mile runs. I ran the Chicago Marathon in October – my first – in 3.41.36. Here are my results:

    Why am I posting? Because I will also be in Paris in April to run, though I suspect I will be watching your back as you disappear!

    Regards, et bonne chance!


    • November 6, 2009 6:09 pm

      Hi Tony,
      Thanks for your comment – it’s still distant enough for me to feel bullish about my ambitions… Let’s see what happens around February when the big race starts to become visible on the horizon!
      Congratulations on your time in the Chicago Marathon. I’ve heard that Paris should be a relatively fast race – no one wants hills in the middle of a 26.2-miler! Good luck with the training, and see you at the start line in April…

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