Marathon Training Week 2

Welcome back to my Marathon Training blog, this weeks update on how week 2 of my Marathon Training plan has gone.

After meeting Jenny & Paul Hopkinson on my Sunday Long Run we (+Deke Banks) decided to enter a couple of runs as part of our training, Jenny & Paul suggested the Trimpell 20 Mile in Lancaster in March and Deke wanted a Half Marathon in February as well. I investigated the Half Marathon’s in February & early March and it was between the Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool and one in Grantham. We decided on the Blackpool Half (  and the Trimpell 20 Mile (


I haven’t been doing anything different this week and have still been using MyFitnessPal to keep an eye on my overall food in take and my weigh in on Saturday I was at  13 Stone  0 lbs. I haven’t decided on any particular whey proteins, Carbs or recovery drinks for after my runs just yet and instead purchased some Gatorade Tropical to take alongside my Carb Gels before and after longer runs.

I have seen some interesting conversations on weight loss this week and a few of the systems which people are suggesting to try, my personal opinion is that exercise and a balanced diet is key but everyone has their own opinions on this. I would like to share this status which a friend of mine shared on Facebook:

My conversation with a Juice Plus rep….

Gamma Cole
Hi James for weight loss and muscle build you would use the shakes for 16 weeks starting with 2 a day for 8 weeks then 1 a day for a further 8 weeks. You would then have to follow the eating and exercise plan given to you for the 16 week duration. The shakes are 32.50 a month for 4 months

James Walker
So what ingredients does it contain that will promote fat loss and muscle growth?,is it 2 shakes and one meal a day?
Gamma Cole
The program is designed so that from 0-8 weeks you have 2 juice plus shakes a day. Plus snacks fruits And then a healthy meal. 0-8 weeks is the main fat burning stage. from 9-16 weeks you go down to 1 shake a day and 2 healthy meals this is where the weight loss becomes steady and gradual.It’s 100% natural. No gluten. No gelatine. No nasty chemicals. Just the nutrients of 17 fruit n veg that boost weight loss and the exercise plan with the shakes builds the muscle.
James Walker
so is it a general nutrition plan or is it tailored to me?
Gamma Cole
Its tailored to what you want to get from the plan
James Walker
cool,so it doesn’t matter what I weigh now or my current activity levels, I just stick to the 2 shakes and one meal?

Also my dad is overweight and is a type 2 diabetic can he use it to, lose weight?, his doctor says he has to.
Gamma Cole
Definitely the plan is perfect for type 2 due to its focus on low sugar content. No your weight does not matter if you stick to the plan you will lose the weight and if you want the muscle too and stick with the exercise plan the muscle will build as you lose the weight
James Walker
ok just been looking at the ingredients list and hoping you could clear up a few things

1- you say its low sugar but it contains 23g of sugar with 4-5 different sources of sugar, 46g sugar daily nearly 2 cans of coke
2 – there is only 20g of protein each serving coming from a source with a poor amino acid profile
3 -you said there are no chemicals in it, can you tell me what sodium ascorbate, sodium polyphosphate, tri-calcium phosphate, sunflower lecithin and mono- and diglycerides are and what effect they will have on my body
4 – why are there 3 types of oil in it? – rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil
Gamma Cole
Hi James sorry its taken me a while to respond iv been having issues with sending messages the amount of ingredients listed are in the whole pouch of the shakes and each pouch contains 30 servings

The sugars r natural sugars from the fruits as fruit is naturally sweet…. The protein is low as we reccomend protein in food rather than the shakes
3 them chemicals are to stop clumping in the powder and r not chemicals they are chemical compounds and 4 it’s good oils
James Walker
I understand that fructose is the sugar from fruit but its second on the ingredients list meaning its been added as a separate ingredient, its not coming from the fruit in the shake its been refined from fruit then added to the mix.

Not only is the protein low its from a poor source, the arrangement of the amino acid profile means it will not be digested properly and so not fully absorbed, so if you eat 20g you will only digest a small amount of that.
Chemical compounds don’t sound to me like they are from fruits and veg
Rapeseed, sunflower and soybean are not “good” oils – coconut and olive are good oils
This coupled with the fact that you recommended a diabetic man to drink 2 sugary drinks and one meal a day really suggest to me that you should not be selling this product.
Fact is people will lose weight do to a massive calorie deficit, the weight they lose will be largely water at first due to lack of carbohydrates in the diet (carbs hold water) then a rapid catabolic state where the body will breakdown lean muscle tissue as it cannot produce protein this will result in a slowing of the metabolism a knock on effect of the body releasing stress hormones to help promote fat storage (body reacts as if going into a famine). Females will reduce estrogen to promote fat stores around reproductive organs.
When people go back top eating “normally” they will gain more weight due to metabolic damage and worse of than when they started.
You could eat a twix for breakfast and a crunchie for lunch and still lose “weight” but it wouldn’t be healthy, would it?, but if I called it a “juice Twix” and a “Herbal Crunch” maybe that would sell..

Why you should never trust a rep –



Saturday night was an uncomfortable nights sleep after a fall in the snow and a pain in the hip and on top of this we were stranded at a friends house / farm so spent the night on make shift beds.

Stay Strong

The Boxercise & Circuit Training for Runners I mention later is great for improving core strength and mile proofing your body. I also perform Single leg calf raises to failure, slow squats and single leg bend and reach a few times a day when I am making a coffee, feeding the dog or just stretching my legs.


Again the Boxercise & Circuit Training has some great stretches and begins with lots of dynamic stretches to get your muscles warm before some static stretches. I try to avoid performing static stretches without warming my muscles first so when I am at home after the exercises I mention above I do some upper and lower calf stretches and quads.

Progress and pacing

Week 2 of the Plan

Day 1 Monday 11/01 – Rest Day.
Day 2 Tuesday 12/01 – 5+ Mile – 5 Miles Slow – 20 Secs Fast – 2 Mins Slow – 20 Secs Fast – 2 Mins Slow – 20 Secs Fast – 2 Mins Slow – 20 Secs Fast (Fast 95% effort)
Day 3 Wednesday 13/01 – Rest Day.
Day 4 Thursday 14/01 – 6 Miles – Slow 1 Mile – Fast 4 Miles – Slow 1 Mile (Fast 7:20/mi – 7:39/mi pace)
Day 5 Friday 15/01 – Rest Day with a quote “No one has ever drowned in sweat2 – Lou Holtz
Day 6 Saturday 16/01 – 5 Miles Slow – run on soft surfaces vary the terrain
Day 7 Sunday 17/01 – 10 Miles – Steady pace at 7:39/mi to 8:09/mi (include warm up and cool down)

Here is what I actually did:

Day 1 – 01:30:00 Circuit Training for runners hosted by Halifax Harriers.
Day 2 – 5.91 Miles at overall 08:01/mi – 5 Miles 7:56/mi – 20 Secs 06:34/mi – 2 Min slow 8:49/mi – 20 secs 7:33/mi – 2 mins 9:03/mi – 20 secs 6:26/mi – 2 mins 8;32/mi – 20 secs 6:10/mi – this was split into 2 runs separated by around 40 mins while I watched Football in the freezing cold.
Day 3 –  7.361 Miles run with Northowram Pumas at 09:37/mi (I don’t have the spilts as the Runkeeper App failed)
Day 4 – Boxercise class – 5 Stations 1:30 Punching 1:30 Pads (different combinations), 1 Station 1:30 Kicks, Knees & Punches 1:30 Pads, 1 Station 2 x 1:30 Sit Ups passing 4Kg Medicine Ball between partner at top of sit up, 1 Station 1:30 Lung Jumps with 2 x 5kg Kettle Bells 1:30 Burpee’s with 6Kg Kettle Bell & 1 Station with 1:30 Skipping speed rope & 1:30 on Step with 20 Quick Feet, 20 Jumps both feet either side of step on to step, 20 Side to side on step with 1 feet on step at all times & 20 burpee’s jumping onto the step.
Day 5 – Rest Day more dog walking around 1 mile (I say more as I do that every day).
Day 6 – 10.53 Mile run – Overall 8:50/mi – 10 Miles 8:42/mi extra 11:09/mi slowed down at the end up to mile 8 running between 7:59/mi & 8:43/mi 9, 10 & 10.5 9:47/mi, 10:13/mi & 11:09/mi
Day 7 – Enforced rest due to the fall on Saturday hopefully it won’t be too bad on Monday.

Overall I was a bit slower than the plan and completed just under the suggested mileage and completed Circuits & Boxercise on a Rest Day’s.

I have also been focusing on recovery and each night I have been spending around 15-30 Minutes with the Foam Roller, Massage Stick and an empty Baileys Bottle, mainly focusing on my calves and feet but also some on the IT Band from my hips to ankles (after training). I supplement this with self massage on my calves, down the shin bone, around the ankles and underneath the feet.

I had my 1st Sports Massage on Friday and whilst it was painful in parts and a few tight muscles there were no significant problems and I felt much better and less tense when I came out. I did feel it in my legs towards the end of the Long Run on Saturday and will make sure I have at least 48 hours rest between massage on long run next time (Jenny Hopkinson a fellow London Marathon participant for 2016 –

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