So, in flash of craziness, I have signed up to do next year’s Paris Marathon. Why crazy, you may ask? After all I regularly do marathons. Indeed, I’ve done three this year alone. And yes, I have no issue with completing the 26.2 miles, especially around the beautiful streets of Paris. My problem is the 36mins 14 secs I need to knock off my PB to come in under the cut-off time of 6hrs!
Over the last couple of years me and Mr Chafing Thighs have competed in some races together, and others, perhaps because they are walking only or the cut-off time was too quick, we have done separately. And one of those races, for the latter reason, is the Paris Marathon. Every year as I wave him off at the start line I feel the little green monster welling up inside. Last year I took part in the 5km Breakfast Run, which finished under the Eiffel Tower. It was truely amazing to walk around the streets of Paris and the support in France is always fantastic (allez, allez, allez). But rather than fulfill my desire to race in Paris it just fuelled it further.
But then something fantastic happened. In previous years the cut-off has been 5hrs 40mins, way too quick for my current abilities. But this year they have increased it to 6hrs. Only 20 minutes, but that’s nearly an extra minute a mile, and in the world of marathoning, that makes a huge difference.
As you can see the course is stunning. It starts on the Champs-Élysées, loops around the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, going past the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame, finishing just shy of the Arc de Triomphe. What better motivation could a walker ask for! And of course, I will spend most of the course thinking of the giant éclairs and crêpes I will devour when I finish.
So with six months, or more precisely, 154 days, 20 hrs 24mins and 52secs (according to the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon page), the training begins. I will be working with a much longer training plan than my usual 12-16 week one to ensure I knock off the required 36mins 14 secs on the day. I will also be sharing regular updates on my progress and I’m sure you’ll be hearing lots about HIIT (high-intensity interval training), hill work and cross training in the coming months.
Unfortunately registration is now closed for the marathon, with 57,000 people having signed up. However there is still the option of walking the Breakfast 5km. Details haven’t been released yet for 2016, but keep an eye on the marathon website in the coming months.