Week 8 – Comrades Buildup inc Manchester Marathon

10 Weeks to Comrades

So this happened……………….. When I started planning for the year I set myself the goal to run sub 2:30 at Manchester Marathon, however after a slow start to 2019 training I had adjusted my goals and settled to run both Manchester and London marathons as training runs towards the main goal of Comrades.

As ever plans change and you adjust your goals, following a decent run and PB at Fleet Half Marathon (72:31) I again started to think about Manchester and back to the possibility of a PB attempt.  I had not targeted sub230 before as I’ve been focused on 100k A races since running 2:30:06 in London 2015 so this was now my opportunity.  I still wanted to keep training high and not interfere with the Comrades plan so the weekend before still included the 30 mile Purbecks run and a 110+ mile week but I had allowed a mini taper to finish this week at 70 miles.

So we headed to Manchester on Friday to stay with family, a perfect location to stay in Sale and also the flexibility to be able to chill and cook my own food whilst my amazing wife Nicki and two youngest could enjoy playing with their cousins and not have to worry about boring daddy! Saturday consisted on meeting BAC teammate Craig for a drive to Longford parkrun to meet the Dorset (Twemlow) crew for a 6 mile run inc. a progressive 3rd place parkrun effort building to MP and some easy laps of the running track. Then back home for a lazy day with the only distraction of having to collect my race bib as it had not arrived in the post.

Race Day

Joining teammates Craig Palmer and Steve Way on the elite start was a nice touch and took any worries out of the morning. I have planned to try and stay in a group with Steve with a target of 2:28-2:29 pace, I knew Craig was targeting a faster time so happy to watch him run off into the distance.

We kicked off at closer to 2:28 pacing and even though this felt comfortable I was already having to have words with myself that this was what I was here to do, we went through 10k in 35 mins, I somehow missed the 10 mile marker, hence below the gels at mile 11. And we then hit halfway  at 1:13:xx a little quicker than expected and I was quite please after a 5:30 m/m Steve suggested we let the group go and settle in for a few miles. From mile 16 I started to have a few issues with stomach discomfort and this got to breaking point at mile 18 where I had a moment of panic about having to stop, luckily a release of gases didn’t result in the worst possible situation but actually brought me back from the brink. Suddenly I felt good again and as we hit mile 20 I decided to get moving, a couple of 5:50 m/m between 14 and 19 had cut my buffer built in the first half but when we had been ticking along at 5:45 pace I felt good, so I decided to for the first time in the race to move in front of Steve at try and keep pushing at the same effort.  This worked really well and I felt great, picking of 3/4 runners over the last 6 miles and keeping splits consistent 5:46, 5:39, 5:41, 5:46, 5:46, 5:46 with a final push for the last .2 miles at 5:29 m/m pace.  Finishing in 02:29:33 for 17th place and 2nd M40.  It wasn’t until I could see the clock that I actually realised i had done it and you can see what it meant in the video below.  Great that Steve finished just behind me and Craig waiting at the finish, boys did good.

Race Nutrition

Sunday up at 06:00 for breakfast;

  • Peanut Butter Porridge Pot by Fuel (A prize from last years North Dorset Marathon)
  • 1 x Warburtons Cinnamon & Raisin Bagel Thin with Almond Butter and Sliced Banana
  • Coffee

06:30 – 08:00 – Pre-loading

Race Nutrition – Race start 09:00

15 minutes before race start

Post Race

+ a bit of a blow out day 🙂

Check out the below video from the finish – video adjusted to correct start point.

Nutrition – Week 8 Summary

Taper week consisted of 3 day carb depletion (Zero carbs) Monday – Wednesday, the Thursday – Saturday carb loading.  However due to Keto (Low carb diet) this was a lower carb load than previous marathons topping out at 500g on Saturday.

Weight Target 67-69kg Training 65kg Race Weight

Final weigh in this week was Friday morning pre final carb loading and travelling.  Idea is not to weigh yourself final days and just focus on getting your nutrition and loading right.  Great to hit target weight on Friday of 65.x kg.

Interesting that weight didn’t drop during carb depletion but the fist day of introducing carbs back into the diet on Thursday with 200g carb resulted it a weight drop Friday morning.

Weight Summary:
DATE Weight (Kg) Fat (%) Muscle (%) Water (%68.5)
01/04 66.4 2.5 54.6 68.2
02/04 66.2 2.2 56.0 68.3
03/04 66.3 2.4 56.5 68.1
04/04 66.3 2.4 55.4 68.2
05/04 65.7 2.2 54.5 68.5

Training – Week 8 Summary

Weekly Totals: (9 sessions)
Total Miles: 70.38 Miles Avg Pace: 6:42 m/m Time: 07:51:54


Week 01 – 07 –  April Summary:
DATE Summary Avg Pace Avg HR
01/04 Morning 6 07:32m/m 119
02/04 Morning 6 – Easy 07:52m/m 117
03/04 Morning 4
2, 2, 2 miles with the Manchester boys
04/04 Morning Easy 5 – pre Pilates
Pilates – 1 hour
30 min easy – 4 miles
05/04 Morning 6 06:53m/m 130
06/04 6 inc Longford parkrun 06:37m/m 135
07/04 Manchester Marathon PB 2:29:33 – 17th 2nd M40 05:41m/m 149


Loving the Vaporfly 4% Flyknit

Make Model Description Type Current Mileage Purchase Date
New Balance 1400v6 Red White AW18 – UK 11 Training Road 246 Oct-2018
New Balance Summit Unknown Black – UK 11 Training Trail 199 Oct-2018
Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Red – UK 11 Racing Road 40 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Grey Training Road 622 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Wolf Grey / Black-Blue Fury Training Road 143 Mar-2019
North Face Ultra MT Mountain 83 Mar-2017


Week 7 – Comrades Buildup

11 Weeks to Comrades

Nutrition – Week 7 Summary

Second 110+ mile week finishing off with a 30 mile run on the Dorset, Purbeck coastline with Steve Way. Plan for the week consisted of 1 interval session off the back of last weeks first 24+ mile long run and the 30 mile effort.  Also took the opportunity to test out the new Hüma Gels at XMiles.co.uk.

Again loaded some carbs for the bigger sessions and fuelled long run with carbohydrate based breakfast and run fuel 1 x Clif Shot Gel (Double Espresso), 3 x Hüma Gels – Original (Strawberries, Lemonade & Chocolate Mocha and a Hüma Recovery Pouch with a RXBar for post run recovery.

.Also had the pleasure of joining the Runderwear team at their Poole HQ for their Episode 3 Get Marathon Ready – Facebook LIVE: on Nutrition with XMiles

Weight Target 67-69kg Training 65kg Race Weight

So I have spent most of the week in the 66kg range following the increase in miles, diet has been modified with training load and weight up into 67kg range pre-long run but back into 66kg range Monday 01/04.

Weight Summary:
DATE Weight (Kg) Fat (%) Muscle (%) Water (%68.5)
25/03 67.5kg 3.2 53.6 67.6
26/03 66.8kg 2.8 53.1 68.2
27/03 66.7kg 2.5 52.6 68.2
28/03 66.0kg 2.4 53.6 68.5
29/03 66.3kg 2.5 54.2 68.2
30/03 66.9kg 2.8 54.9 67.9
31/03 67.6kg 3.1 55.1 67.5

Monday 01/04 weigh back down to 66.4kg, Starting mini taper week to Manchester Marathon. This will include a carb depletion phase of 3 days (Zero Carb) with less than 10g carbs per day. Then build up Thursday to Sunday.  I’m planning to increase carbs over the 3 days build up but not load as previous marathon build-up to see how my body has set into fat burning.  More info on this next week

Training – Week 7 Summary

Weekly Totals: (11 sessions)
Total Miles: 113.12 Miles Avg Pace: 7:20 m/m Time: 13:48:39

Main interval session this week was Wednesday evening, 12, 3 x 5, 12 with 2 minute jog recoveries (7:20 \ 7:55 m/m)

Split Summary
12:00 – Distance 2.04m (5:53/m) 140/159bpm
5:00 – Distance0.89m – 5:00(5:38/m) 149/156bpm
5:00 – Distance0.87m – 5:00(5:43/m) 146/158bpm
5:00 – Distance 0.93m – 5:00(5:22/m) 155/161bpm
12:00 – Distance 2.18m (5:31/m) 157/162bpm

Week 25 – 31 –  March Summary:
DATE Summary Avg Pace Avg HR
25/03 11 Miles – Monday Morning Miles 7:25m/m 119
26/03 10 Miles – Morning Steady > Progressive
6 Miles – Afternoon Easy
27/03 8 Miles – Morning Easy with 👨🏻‍🚒
11 Miles – Intervals 12, 3 x 5, 12 (2)
28/03 8 Miles – Morning Easy pre Pilates
Pilates – 1 Hour
6 Miles – Afternoon Easy


29/03 10 Miles – Morning Steady 7:09m/m 126
30/03 7 Miles – Morning Easy
5 Miles – Afternoon Run
31/03 30 Miles – Purbecks (3:13 marathon split) 7:18m/m 130

March Summary

Monthly mileage total March 452 miles, please after lower February with hamstring niggles. Plan for solid April with 2 build up races Manchester Marathon and London Marathon.  Both will include a mini taper week but full high mileage before and after.


Make Model Description Type Current Mileage Purchase Date
New Balance 1400v6 Red White AW18 – UK 11 Training \ Road 246 Oct-2018
New Balance Summit Unknown Black – UK 11 Training \ Trail 199 Oct-2018
Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Red – UK 11 Racing \ Road 14 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Grey Training \ Road 603 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Wolf Grey / Black-Blue Fury Training \ Road 112 Mar-2019
North Face Ultra MT Mountain 83 Mar-2017