Week 9 – Comrades Buildup

9 Weeks to Comrades

Following Manchester marathon the plan was to keep rolling with 2 more bigger weeks before another mini taper for London Marathon. This will follow an easy week and then heading off to Sainte Foy in the French Alps for a 3 week training camp with Comrades teammates Gerda Steyn and Steve Way.

So back to 100 miles with a focus on a mid week interval session to hopefully wake up the legs, then my introduction to a Comrades training run favourite of Steve’s, 50k run consisting of 4 x lytchett loops (Hilly 7 mile loop).

Nutrition – Week 9 Summary

With the aim on recovery and to keep mileage rolling new nutrition targets for base nutrition with a slight increase to carbohydrate intake.  15% Carbohydrates, 20% protein, 65% fat. These are loose targets with a top out at 150g carbs per day to include calorie increase for training load.  Again increased load for Saturday and fuelling for Sundays 50k inc long run fuelling;

Long Run – Fuelling Plan;


Weight Target 67-69kg Training 65kg Race Weight

Up to 67kg following Manchester and a bit of a treat day Sunday, weight then stabilised back into 66kg range before dropping into 65kg range over weekend.

Weight Summary:
DATE Weight (Kg) Fat (%) Muscle (%) Water (%)
08/04 67.9kg 3.4 53.3 67.4
09/04 67.4kg 3.1 55.3 68.1
11/04 66.8kg 2.7 54.6 68.0
12/04 66.7kg 2.6 55.2 68.5
13/04 65.7kg 2.2 54.7 68.5
14/04 65.8kg 2.1 55.3 68.5


Training – Week 9 Summary

Weekly Totals: (9 sessions)
Total Miles: 100.17 Miles Avg Pace: 7:18 m/m Time: 12:10:40

Main interval session this week was Wednesday evening, Intervals 16, 12, 6, 3 (3)

Split Summary
16:00 – Distance 2.83m (5:39/m) 145/154bpm
12:00 – Distance 2.21m (5:26/m) 151/158bpm
6:00 – Distance 1.12m (5:21/m) 153/159bpm
3:00 – Distance 0.57m (5:15/m) 152/160bpm

Week 08 – 14 – April Summary:
DATE Summary Avg Pace Avg HR
08/04 6 Miles – Recovery Fun 07:42m/m 116
09/04 Morning Easy Effort 10 07:50m/m 120
10/04 4 Miles Morning Easy
Intervals 16, 12, 6, 3 (3)
11/04 9 Miles Morning Run
Pilates – 1 hour
4 Miles Easy Afternoon
12/04 80 Minutes
Sports Massage
07:37m/m 115
13/04 Morning Run inc progressive Poole parkrun (17.55) 07:11m/m 126
14/04 50k – 4 x Lytchett Loops (31.23 miles) 07:03m/m 133


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 640 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Wolf Grey / Black-Blue Fury Training Road 216 Mar-2019
North Face Ultra MT Mountain 83 Mar-2017


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


Training 25 – 01 May – inc. NDVM

Weekly Summary 01.05.2016

Device: Garmin Forerunner 630

Weekly Totals:
Total Miles: 61.86 Miles Weight: – lb Avg Pace: 7:02 mm Time: 7h 15m
Training by days:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Miles 5.28 5.20 5.57 10.25 5.01 3.01 27.54
kcals 496 513 492 880 488 302 2,184

Started the week with 3 easy 5 mile runs and a sports massage on Monday to get the lactate out of the legs, then increased the mileage on Thursday with an off-road 10 miles and then back down to 5 miles on Friday and final 3 miles Saturday. Nothing major to report felt OK, legs starting to recover from London but Sunday is still an unknown. Plan is to head out at 2:45 ish pace with target sub 2:50!

North Dorset Village Marathon

A race too far……………Sunday was marathon day AGAIN! We had the opportunity to camp at the race so spent the night in our campervan, something I really like doing makes the weekend seem longer and also cuts down on really early starts, especially with races that start at 08:30 like NDVM.

bac_ndvm_1 So optimistically I set off at 2:40 MP with club mate Jon Sharkey, knowing I would not be able to sustain the pace but with a plan to hopefully stick with him until half way. At 11 miles Jon started to make a gap on some on the undulations in the course and with that the solo run began, hitting half way in 01:21, promising but within the next few miles the pace slowed and approaching 18 miles energy levels were well and truly zapped.  During this period of the race another club mate Simon Way came past me with Tim Awkins from Wells City Harriers, however Simon coming past was a good thing as he pulled up in London after 2 miles so a strong run was today was a massive boost.

bac_ndvmbac_ndvm_2The final few miles were a bit of a clog, happy that I managed to retain 4th spot and also picked up the pace slightly for the final mile along the trail way to the finish in a respectable 02:51:59 for 1st Male 30+ and points to help Bournemouth AC finish 1st Male Team (Jon Sharkey, Simon Way, Anthony Clark)

Below you can see the full slow up in my mile splits;

6:17 6:06 5:56 6:16 6:10 6:07 6:14 6:07 6:20 6:18 6:12 6:22 6:18 6:21 6:24 6:38 6:49 6:46 6:52 7:23 7:16 7:03 7:04 6:59 7:09 6:41 1:52

NDVM 4th and Broken (1 too many recovery time)

Thanks Sanjai and Steve for the photos

Diet \ Food Diary

Recovery week one, part of my planned three week downtime so no recorded daily calorie intake. A few indulgent days plus alcoholic beverages as celebrations and recovery from ACP100 and London Marathon training. Always let your body recover!

Training 18 – 24 April inc. London Marathon

Weekly Summary 24.03.2016

Device: Garmin Forerunner 630

Weekly Totals:
Total Miles: 67.2 Miles Weight: 152.2 lb Avg Pace: 06:24 mm Time: 7h 09m
Training by days:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Miles  10.13  8.01 6.22  7.16  5.45  3.26  26.92
kcals  967  860 649  734  494  316  2,323

So final week and back to Carb-depletion, Monday kicked off with a 10 mile interval session based on 1 mile easy 3 miles (5:55) 1 easy (3 miles (5:45) 2 easy, the first 3 miles into a slight headwind and the benefit on the second 3 but the depleted stores kept it feeling like a real workout.  Tuesday was the second day carb depleted, the session was 1 x easy 2 x 5:58 m/m 1 x easy 2 x 5:55 m/m 2 x easy and completed pre breakfast. And wow did I feel it, followed by a sport massage. I can confirm today I am NOT looking forward to the last two carb depleted runs.

Wednesday was 1 x steady 3 x (6:00 m/m) 2 x easy and Thursday and final carb depleted run was a 7 miles final carb depleted run – couldn’t sleep up early = carbs early 🙂 as the title suggests I had real issues sleeping so was up and out early. Then a simple 5.4 mile run Friday and finally Last 3 miles = Performance Condition +8 ?? in London town, noted in the title I have never had Performance Condition +8 on my Garmin and whilst knocking out a faster than planned run in windy London I was still undecided on what the plan was for Sunday!

London Marathon

So overnight and following a very good night sleep I had made a decision! The plan was to give it a go, knowing it was only four weeks after ACP100 my legs were feeling pretty good and I had managed a decent taper with some efforts on getting pace into the legs. My NEW plan was sub 2:35 starting at PB pace (sub2:30) with a plan to go for as long as the legs would carry me, this could be 5 miles or 26.2 miles.

2First was the meet in the championship start area, now a big part of the day not only because of the growing number of Dorset runners but also a chance to have face to face conversations with many friends from the FetchEveryone sub245 thread.

So I kicked off feeling no pressure and enjoyed the first 16 miles immensely, with the company of Bournemouth AC teammate Toby Chapman for most of the early miles before he pushed on. Feeling strong the miles seemed to fly by and with an eye on keeping my average pace below 5:44 m/m’s it was very comfortable. Normal highlights with the crowd at Cutty Sark 1and Tower Bridge, then approaching miles 14-15 were I know Nicki will be waiting to see me before she heads off to Westminster. And not to disappoint she was jumping around like a looney to make sure I spotted her in the crowd.

Even approaching and tackling miles 17 – 25 aerobically I felt great but the legs just seemed to be slowing and the effort levels were a bit higher than were I wanted to be. This coincided with a period where I was passing people but running mainly solo into a windy part of the course weaving around Canary Wharf. At this point I knew any outside chance of a PB was gone so I changed my approach and kept the effort at a comfortable level and sat in at just under 6 m/m pace give or take a couple of GPS underpass blips on the splits. (see bold on pace splits below).

3Again with the new focus miles 20 – 26 went smoothly and as has been mention in the photos flying around Facebook I seemed to be enjoying myself with a constant smile beaming across my face. And I even managed to pick it up for the final mile, where seeing Nicki at Big Ben always helps me with a final push. crossing the line in 02:32:25. No PB today but a very satisfying performance and one that has given me greater belief in my ability and a real feeling that I am capable of Sub2:30 (Maybe even to be attempted this Autumn)

Celebration pint at the Red Lion with the now growing annual crowd always finishes off a very special race day. Before a quick trip to ‘South Bank Street Food Market’ to gain a few pounds in body weight and jumping on the train home.

Mile Splits

5:41 5:35 5:38 5:33 5:41 5:42 5:35 5:46 5:49 5:40 5:43 5:42 5:47 5:41 5:48 5:48 5:51 6:06 5:58 5:58 6:01 5:57 5:58 6:15 5:55 5:47 1:35

London Marathon – decent day at the office

Thanks to Manol and Pat for the photos

Diet \ Food Diary

Race Weight Summary

The below chart shows my weight comparison between London 2015 and London 2016. Target race weight of > 153 lb.

2015 – 2016 Weight Chart:
Phase Date Kilos Lbs Fat % Muscle % Water %
End of Carb Depleation 23th April 2015  66.5  146.0  2.5%  52.1%  68.4%
Pre Race Day (Sat) 25th April 2015  68  150.0  3.2%  52.9%  68.3%
End of Carb Depleation 20th April 2016  67  148.0  2.9%  51.6%  68.8%
Pre Race Day (Sat) 23th April 2016  69  152.2  3.9%  51.1%  67.7%

I had stuck to the same daily calorie target as week 1 of taper 2,030 base plus extra calories consumed dependent on the day’s activities (as shown in the ‘training by days’ table provided by Garmin) for the Monday – Wednesday.

Carb-depletion (see updated link including meals for London Marathon) phase started Monday morning through to Wednesday combined with the mix in tempo of runs, Carb-loading started Thursday morning following the early morning and last carb depleted run of the week.

Nutrition intake form Thursday > Saturday includes an increase of intake with carbohydrate focus, with smaller snacks throughout the day.  Aim 10g carbs per 1kg body weight. (10g x 67kg = 670g per day). This will see an increase in kcals for the loading phase. (See table below) and blog Carbohydrate Loading

Sunday only records breakfast plus race fuel.

Food Diary by days:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Breakfast  647  657  637  402  289  312  568
Morning Snacks  –  –  –  791  518  666  500
Lunch  518  917  537  511  451  596  –
Afternoon \ Evening Snacks  144  144  144  614  877  1,259  –
Dinner  683  818  921  788  783  508  –
Drinks  66  2  10  772  494  389  335
Daily Totals  2,058  2,537  2,250  3,878  3,412  3,730  1,403
Daily Carbs  13g  7g  7g  668g  619g  661g  266g