Paris Marathon Countdown – 13 Days

Posted: 24th March 2014 by mockjogger in Race Preparation, Training Plan
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I will never be the fastest runner out there but I have found that I am pretty adept at tapering.

I am quite enjoying not having to get up at 5.30am for a long solo run. I don’t think I am any more irritable than normal. I feel the odd twinge in a joint, but I’m not panicking about it. I have had no problems filling the time, mostly by finding new races to enter:) So far, so good.

pm schneiderI am certainly starting to feel the buzz. Paris is on my mind constantly, but it is a positive vibe not a stressful one. I have a certain nervous apprehension, but the over-riding emotion is simple excitement. I feel I am ready to test myself with a challenge I would have thought impossible not so long ago.

Adding to the excitement, last week a box arrived from the marathon sponsors containing some energy bars and other stuff. Apparently I have been using the words “Paris” and “Marathon” a lot on the blog and twitter, and someone noticed.


The latter part of my training program has been a real stop-go affair. First, after straining a hamstring muscle and failing to cure it by running the Devilla 15K, I took a week off to recover, allowing myself to get back out in time for the Meadows Half Marathon. So in week 13 I only managed 13 miles out of a planned 46. I was back in business in week 14 and managed to record my longest ever run – 20 miles, and I felt good at the end of it. Then week 15, which should have been my longest mileage week, was taken out completely by a trip to Japan.

A run that begins with "2"

A run that begins with “2”

My training plan calls for a 3 week taper. At the time I decided on the plan way back in December, 3 weeks seemed like a long period. But hey, I haven’t done his before and Hal Higdon has, so fair enough. I arrived back from Japan just in time for the start of taper and had a choice between trying to recover some of the lost miles or accepting that my taper had already started and I was on for a world record 4 week wind-down. I chose the extended taper. Well, that’s what I set out to do last week anyway. I actually ran a bit further the the plan suggested last week, but nothing to worry about (36 vs 29 miles).

So that’s the mileage report, what about pace? I have been running my long runs at around 9:15 – 9:30 / mile. With all the long runs in the bag now, I pushed it last week. I was very happy to record my fastest runs on two of my normal routes – 5K round The Meadows and 7 miles round Holyrood Park the hard way. So all those dark cold runs seem to be delivering some results.

I have 6 more runs planned before Paris, the longest of which is 8 miles. I am going to try to run them all at a comfortable pace. No more pushing it – I want to get to the starting in exactly the condition I am in today.