2016 Paris Marathon minus 10,5 months

I signed up for the 2016 Paris Marathon mid April. I have never run a marathon and want to do it for the sense of accomplishment, but also to enjoy it.

So, perfectly in line with my Type A / obsessive planner personality, I started anticipating everything that I will need to do over the next year. I see this as a 12 month journey that I want to enjoy along the way. So here is what I did in the past month.


1. Read a ton of information !  I bought two books : ” Marathon You can do it” by Jeff Galloway and the ” Guide to Running” by Paula Radcliffe.20150426_072842


Jeff’s Run / walk / run philosophy resonated 100% with me.

  • He reminds us that the “marathon is an endurance event. You should be able to finish a marathon and enjoy the sense of achievement. Key components are persistence and moderation.”
  • He introduces regular walk breaks into the “run” : “walk breaks allow your running muscles to recover before they are injured and conserve your energy so you can exercise for longer periods, which builds the endurance you need. You get the same endurance from the long run if you run slowly as you will if you run fast. However, you’ll recover much faster from a slow long run.”

I am not doing my first marathon for speed and Jeff says : ” Your first marathon should be done at a pace slow enough so that you reach the finish line knowing that you could run faster and that you want to run another.” That sums up my thinking !


2. I experimented with  the run / walk method. The method allowed me to do several long runs – up to 14,4 km – without any pain what so ever. Runnig for over 90 minutes with no pain ? I’ll take it ! The method also encourages cross training and as I don’t see myself giving up other fitness activity (some weight lifting & swimming), I can continue doing this.



3. I experimented with lacing my sneakers differently. I was really upset last year because I paid a lot of money for new Asics which lasted THREE MONTHS. I am not sure if they were too big, or what but my heel would rub and it wore the inside of the sneaker out very quickly. While I have had this reoccurring problem with Asics, the last model was the worse. 150 bucks down the drain.

While I was recently at the Paris Running Expo, I had a foot ID done by Asics. It was fascinating, and of course I took the opportunity to tell them how unhappy I was with my last pair. The gentleman suggested tying my shoes differently. Really ? Could that help ? I figured I would give it a try. He explained it to me and it makes the shoe snug around the heel. So I have been experimenting… will let you know how it goes ! So far so good.

This video explains how to do it :



4. I scoured the internet. Check out this post on race recaps where I learned something from each blogger. I have also been reading these blogs for advice. #parismarathon


5. I went to the podiatrist to redo my orthodics. I have had orthodics for almost 3 years, they completely solved my knee and hip issues I’d had. I hadn’t gotten a new pair yet and with the mileage I will be logging, I figured it was about time.

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6. I have been making a list of things I want to experiment with, (like Gu, a running belt, handheld water bottles), things I need to get (new sports bra for example), and things I probably do not need but might just get anyway (compression socks for example).


7. I have been looking at races to see which ones could fit with my training schedule. I have signed up for several in May / June.

May 30 : La Marollaise

June 7 : Vincennes Castle Race

June 21 : Paris 12th arrondissement race


8. I went to a running store to drool over look at equipment, compression socks, etc.



9. I ordered a permanent time chip from Top Chrono. They do many of the races here in France, so I figured it would be a good investment. I have a permanent bib, and the history and race results are stored on their website.

2015-05-11 20.10.02

What fuel would you recommend ? Any advice for me ? Can you suggest a book ?

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Comments: 10

  1. Molly @alsoranagain May 14, 2015 at 7:41 pm Reply

    How exciting that your first marathon will be such a great race (it’s a bucket-lister for me). I have never heard of having your own permanent time chip. That’s a great idea, and so eco-conscious!

    As for fuel, I recommend experimenting on long runs with what works within your tastes and comfort zone. Some people can’t handle a lot of sugar (Gatorade), some people hate gels. I fuel with Nuun and Gu (the chocolate flavor is my favorite), but it took me a while to work up the courage to try Gu.

    It’s not a book, by I recommend looking at Hal Higdon’s website for his tips and training plans for new marathoners. I followed one of his plans for my first and second marathons and think he has a lot of good ideas.
    Molly @alsoranagain recently posted…Super RandomMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 15, 2015 at 6:49 am Reply

      Thanks for the ideas. For some reason Gu does not appeal to me at all… in my last half marathon I ate dried apricots and it worked really well. I am going to start from there & also try a cliff bar.

  2. Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC May 14, 2015 at 9:49 pm Reply

    thanks for sharing, karen! i’m super pumped to follow your training. molly gave some great advice so i’ll just second that. that permanent chip is really really awesome! have a great day 🙂
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…My Thursday Triumph vol iMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 15, 2015 at 6:52 am Reply

      Thanks Courtney. I definitely don’t do well with a lot of sugar, but have ordered Nuun (can’t find it yet in stores here) and am going to try that. So many brands & products come out in the US before they do in France that there are many things I would like to try, but don’t always have the option.

  3. Congrats on signing up so exciting! You certainly have lots of time and are off to a great start.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…BK Creamery Dairy Cream Is Coming My WayMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 15, 2015 at 6:53 am Reply

      Thanks Deborah. Maybe by the time I finish, a relay like Rangar will have come to France. That looks like so much fun !

  4. Marcia May 15, 2015 at 1:45 am Reply

    Yay! I’m so excited for you! I’d love to make it over there to run Paris one of these years.
    Marcia recently posted…Running with a Fast CrowdMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 15, 2015 at 6:54 am Reply

      I just realized that Paris is one of the biggest marathons… over 40 000 finishers this year, 50 000 signed up. It would be a great destination race !

  5. Darlene June 26, 2015 at 10:38 pm Reply

    Wow. If I ever run a marathon, I would love to run one in Paris. J’adore Paris. Lucky you to live there.
    Darlene recently posted…Friday Five: What I was doing 10 Years AgoMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration June 27, 2015 at 7:43 am Reply

      I am really looking forward to it. Since I am (probably) not going to run several, I want this one to count.

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