Paris Marathon Training: the 18 miler

On Sunday I ran 18 miles. 18 miles! In one go. In 2 hours 57 mins.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting to finish. After hitting the wall last week and dragging myself through 15 miles, some of which I walked, I really had no confidence that I would make it.20130226-110131.jpg

having my doubts

I also didn’t want to go out. If I’m at all honest, I picked a fight with my boyfriend 10 minutes before I had to leave, and had a little cry! Just shows the dread that sometimes surrounds the Sunday Long Run…

the run itself

When I got out there, I decided on a new route. I wasn’t sure whether or not this was a good idea, but in the end it was the best plan and I actually enjoyed myself!!20130226-110201.jpg

I ran along the Regents Canal to Victoria Park (my usual destination on a Sunday run) and right up the top to find a route to Hackney Marshes. There were not that many runners there, but the routes were lovely. I usually run on roads so it was a relief to have some real ground beneath my feet. It was at this point that I took my first ever ‘gel’.


No one had told me that running gels were revolting!! I used up half of my water supply trying to wash it down! I also chewed on some blocs, which weren’t much better. Of course, now I have taken gel, blocs and sweets instead of split testing on different sessions, I now have to take all on the big day because one of them obviously worked!

I carried some haribo with me too, so chewed on them after mile 10. At this point I knew I’d do it. I wasn’t aching, I was running at under 10 mins a mile and feeling really positive about my new route.

weekday training

This week I had help from runner @SponsorStephen on Twitter who said I should be doing some interval training. This really pushed me – as I said in my last post (Paris Marathon Training: phase two) I did promise that I would be incorporating this kind of training, though I hadn’t actually got round to it somehow… Anyway, on Wednesday I did interval training and surprised myself with how well it went! It meant that my Thursday session was faster than expected too. Thank you to Stephen for pushing me to do it! I think this training definitely improved my performance on Sunday.

will power

The more I run the more I realise the power of my mind. Even as I’m doing something mundane like brushing my teeth, sometimes a voice will pop up in my head to say “you do realise it’s 26 miles?? You can’t even manage 15!”

I’m constantly battling with myself about it. Finishing that Sunday run at 18.25 miles had made me realise I really can do it. I had less than 8 miles to go before I reached a marathon distance, and I could have done it!

Bring it on.

In case you like running numbers, here you are:





12 thoughts on “Paris Marathon Training: the 18 miler

  1. The good thing is although I can’t see the terrain, your pace looks pretty even all the way which is encouraging. These long runs will be breaking the ‘wall’ down. I try to break the long runs (and marathons) into ‘chunks’ that I can visualise, seems to help me, anything that works. Keep it going!

    • Thank you Chris! Had a couple of pace dips at mile 8 and 15 but nothing too drastic. The beginning is the worst, so I just say to myself “do 3 miles, then you can turn back” and then I betray myself! Though this time I actually enjoyed it and would have gone further šŸ™‚

  2. Well done – I know exactly how you feel as I did my 18 miler alone at the weekend. A bit slower than you but so chuffed to have it in the bag. I too had struggled with my 16 miler thinking where the hell will I get the energy for another 10 miles. Having down 18 I know I only have 8 more which is possible šŸ™‚ What are you planning for your peak distance ? Good luck with rest of your training.

      • I’m signing for London marathon will probably do two 20 milers and stop at that as it will still be nearly 3.5 hours running in training. I know the crowds will get me through the last 6 miles on race day.

  3. Pingback: Running the Paris Marathon: My First Marathon is done! | Boats, Bikes, Baking and Books

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