On April 2th, 2023, Anaïs Quemener completed the Paris Marathon in a time of 2:32:12, which resulted in Anaïs clocking the the fastest time from any french female runner! After going through cancer treatments in 2015, Anaïs now works as a caregiver in the emergency room during the night while maintaining a high-volume training during the day. Let’s dive into what it takes for a female athlete to complete a 2:32:12 marathon!
Watch worn during training/racing: COROS APEX 46mm
Data analyzed through: COROS Training Hub
Training Prior to Paris Marathon
There is no way around it; it takes training and discipline to successfully cut off 5 minutes during an already extremely fast marathon time. Anaïs does not train full time, but she definitely make the most out of her training sessions to perform at her best when needed. Here are 2 keypoints from her training leading up to Paris Marathon.
COROS Education. Base Fitness measures your overall fitness on a 42-day rolling average.
Here is a breakdown of Anaïs training 3 months leading into the race.
- Anaïs completes a nice progressive buildup of her Base Fitness from Jan 1st – Feb 1st.
- She then completes a transition to specific training where her Base Fitness keeps increasing at a slow pace, but Fatigue stabilizes.
- Anaïs then completes a taper of roughly 10 days prior to Paris Marathon where her Fatigue reached <30 for optimized performance.
COROS Education. Weekly mileage can be found in the Calendar section in the Training Hub.
Is it quite impressive to see Anaïs averaging >100km per week since November 2022 from both her general and specific training leading up to competitions. Despite having a unique night schedule as a medical nurse, Anaïs still prioritizes training by run commuting to work and maintaining her aerobic base over time.
Paris Marathon this year definitely provided some challenges for runners with light rain and colder temperatures. But Anaïs successfully went through those obstacles by keeping a strong and steady pace throughout the race. There are a few takeaway points from Anaïs’ performance that are relevant to all runners out there. Let’s dive into Effort Pace, Pacing, and Cadence.
COROS Education. Effort Pace considers the efficiency of a runner going uphill or downhill, and can be found in the Training Hub within the Activity Page.
Paris Marathon can be quite hilly at times, which adds on to the environmental challenges runners had to face during the race. For the first 30km, Anaïs has been able to maintain a strong and steady pace despite the several hilly sections. For the remaining 12km, we can notice how Effort Pace started becoming unstable as the accumulated fatigue sets in, which acts as a direct indicator of her intensity regardless of elevation.
COROS Education: Splits are found in the Training Hub within the activity page.
The day before the competition, Anaïs’ threshold pace was set at 3’31″/km. While she averaged a pace of 3’33″/km, it means that she has been able to sustain an intensity extremely close to her threshold pace. This proves just how elite athletes are not only training to improve their threshold pace, but also to be able to sustain it for longer periods. Each runner will respond differently to training stimuli, but make sure you prioritize threshold training for marathon races as it is a major performance indicator.
COROS Education: Cadence can be found in the Training Hub within the activity page.
Anaïs held an impressive average cadence of 202 for the entire race! Cadence remains a major difference we notice between elite athletes and amateur runners. Maintaining a higher cadence requires greater power from the athlete, but in exchange they do have a better running economy- one of the three pillars of marathon performance. Amateur runners, on the other hand, usually rely on muscle strength to propel themselves forward resulting in a reduced running economy.
While finishing in 12th female position during Paris Marathon with a new PB of 2:32:12, Anaïs executed a flawless performance despite her very busy schedule and part-time training. Those challenges did not let Anaïs give up as she used the COROS training eco-system to fully dial in her specific training and optimize her time for Paris Marathon. For all runners out there, if you are currently planing your training schedule in preparation for an upcoming race/event, we urge you to utilize those training tools to plan and analyze your training and make those informed decisions along the way.
Feel free to send us your training-related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can chat about your training journey with one of our coaches and better structure your training.