After the Mapledurham 10 in December 2016, I had a recurring pain in my right knee which caused me to stop running for several weeks. I was all set to run the Marathon de Paris in April and was starting to wonder if I should withdraw. Then I heard an interview with Steve Smythe on Marathon talk, where he described how he'd managed to get through a marathon once on virtually no training. Inspired by this, I looked up "emergency marathon plan" on Google and found a Men's Health article by Steve where he gives two suggested four week plans.

With five weeks to go, I used a slightly modified version of Steve's plan and managed to run Paris at a very even pace and finished in 4:00:04. Here is a summary of my running schedule for those five weeks. I had not run since 5 February.

Date Distance (km) Time Avg HR Avg Pace Description
05/03/17 10.36 1:00:01 152 5:48 steady
09/03/17 13.71 1:19:32 147 5:48 steady
13/03/17 10.05 0:57:11 144 5:41 steady
15/03/17 8.46 0:43:51 148 5:11 8:30min warmup
moderate pace for 33min
2:30min cool down
19/03/17 17.62 1:42:29 135 5:49 steady
22/03/17 13.63 1:23:52 124 6:09 slow
24/03/17 10.87 0:57:14 146 5:16 moderate
26/03/17 27.10 2:38:57 145 5:52 steady
28/03/17 13.61 1:18:29 137 5:46 steady
30/03/17 16.23 1:28:39 146 5:28 steady
picked up towards the end
(must have needed the loo)
01/04/17 20.86 2:00:04 148 5:45 steady
03/04/17 5.84 0:34:01 125 5:49

steady including:
6x1min moderate pace
with 2min recovery

05/04/17 6.23 0:36:47 127 5:54 slow
09/04/17 42.20 4:00:04 153 5:41 Marathon Day!

About Matt

Not known for sport at school, I took up running in my mid-forties. Very soon I caught the running bug and progressed from the Couch to 5K programme, via parkrun, various 10k races and the Great North Run to running marathons and beyond in the UK and overseas. Now in my fifties, I still run fast enough to impress my friends and family, but not fast enough to think I've missed a vocation as an Olympian!

Race History

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