Paris Marathon: 4 Weeks Out

The 2016 Paris Marathon is now less than 4 weeks away and it’s about the right time for a training update and status report. Also a good time to note that if you haven’t started training yet, you’re screwed. Just go to Paris. Leave the marathon (and your soon-to-be terrorised body) alone and just eat croissants and fois gras. C’est tout bonne. (I don’t speak French so have no idea if that’s correct. Apologies in advance to the french language)

I’ve been following Pfitzinger and Douglas‘s 18 week (up to 55 miles per week) marathon training schedule and today marks the beginning of week 14 (or week 3, if you do like P&D and countdown the weeks rather than up…)         Last week’s training looked like this:




Average Pace per Mile:

Monday Rest day

Tuesday 9 Miles –

Recovery Pace



Wednesday 3 Miles – Easy
Strength session



Thursday Rest day

Friday 14 Miles




Saturday 6 Miles – Easy



Sunday 18 Miles – Long

Slow Distance



What I’m Loving About Marathon Training Right Now is the medium-long run. The “medium-long run” concept is new to me and honestly, I was sceptical at first. I thought I’d be knackered after it and that this would have a knock-on effect for the rest of the week, and on my ability to complete my long run, in particular. Actually, it’s fast become one of my favourite runs of the week, they’re going really well at the moment AND there’s been no significant negative impact on the rest of my running week.


14 Mile Run Watch

What I’m finding with this medium-long run is that it’s significantly longer in distance than other run of the mill (pardon the pun) midweek runs, but I run it faster than I would run my long run. The result is that I’m getting used to running longer distances at a faster pace, which ultimately should result in my being able to increase my average pace over longer distances. P&D have included this run as a once a week session, in addition to your long run, with the distance usually being between 12-14 miles. I’ve gotten more comfortable with running the 14 so have maintained it at that distance for the last few weeks. It’s working for me, so I’m keeping it. I started out running the 14 miles in about 2.07 and over the weeks, this has dropped to 2.05, 2.04, 2.02 and finally 2.00.52.

What you should know about the Medium-Long Run is that this is not intended to be an all out, eyeballs to the wall effort – it’s a relaxed long run effort that I settle into and naturally allow to pick-up as the run progresses. P&D’s explanation of the medium-long run is that it reinforces the physiological benefits of the long run. They advise avoiding doing these runs at too hard an effort as this will prolong recovery time and impact on the quality of your other sessions.

What I’m Not Loving About Marathon Training At the Moment… I have a niggle. There, I said it. The underneath of my left foot, just below the toes in the area around the ball of my foot, has been quite sore after some of my runs lately. I’ve had niggles in my feet before, which the physio informed me were borderline stress fractures and I think that’s likely to be the culprit here again – though a different part of the foot. A pattern is starting to form whereby it seems that once the mileage reaches its peak, these annoying little niggles present themselves. Ice baths, strengthening exercises and vigilance have been called in and a trip to the physio is looking likely. Ughhh but necessary.

This week marks the last big week of marathon training before tapering kicks off and the countdown to Paris begins in earnest. My 18 mile long run at the weekend went okay and I’m optimistic that this week’s 20-22 mile effort will go well, inasmuch as one can ever predict how a run will go…

The schedule for this week:

Monday Rest Day
Tuesday 8 Miles – Easy
Wednesday 4 Miles – Easy (with strides)
Thursday Rest Day
Friday 14 Miles – Medium Long Run
Saturday 4 Miles – Parkrun + recovery mile
Sunday 20-22 Miles – Long Slow Distance
Total: 52 Miles

Don’t Forget: If you’re planning on joining me for the Paris marathon, don’t forget that you need to run down to your GP and pick up a medical certificate that says you are in fantastic acceptable medical condition to run a marathon. You won’t be allowed in without one.

C’est tout. (See how my french is rapidly coming along… 😀 )


2 thoughts on “Paris Marathon: 4 Weeks Out

  1. Hi Fiona, Would you believe this? I am also named Fiona, am also training for the Paris marathon and I also have a niggle around the ball of my left foot! This will be my first marathon, although I have aimed to run a marathon in 2014 which ended with a stress fracture that occurred around 4 weeks out, and in 2015 which ended after I herniated some disks in my back after a fall from my bicycle. Anyway, third time is the charm and I am very much enjoying browsing your blog and reading about your experiences 🙂


    1. Hi Fiona, that’s awesome – not about the niggle but about all the rest! Sorry to hear that you were so unlucky with your last 2 marathon attempts but fingers crossed that this will be your race. Not long to go now until race day so hope you’re starting to get excited too. Thanks for reading 😀


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