Friday, October 30, 2009

Bron Bay Lighthouse 10km race

Date: Sun, Oct 25, 2009 5:58 AM
Avg Pace: 04:54 min/km
Distance: 10.19 km

This is quite a tough race, with a climb of 87 metres in about 3km's, plus a 2km stretch along Tallows Beach. We did what we could to get as many hills in as possible, but there are none in our area that really match this one.

I got to the top completely shagged, and went to grab two cups of water at the station - Picked up two empty cups, so had to run around again to get some water.. I was resolved to run at the stations, but walked round, and lost a fair bit of time.

The beach section was anothr thing I am not at all used to. There was a bit of soft sand to run on to reach the wet / hard area, and that sucks a lot of eenergy out of you. I definately need to get better general fitness so I can handle the vriety that this race provided.

Overall, considering th really bad preparation I have done, disruptions due to my knee problem, I did ok. Am really happy to have completed the run and had a great time afterwards, staying in a nice resort and relaxing the rest of the day.

Planned run 60 minutes

Date: Sun, Oct 18, 2009 7:33 AM
Avg Pace: 05:10 min/km
Distance: 12.01 km

First longer run in ages, in preparation for the Byron Bay Lighthouse race. It feels like I am recovering slowly from the knee problem.

No fast running in this one at all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Unplanned 3km TT

Date: Fri, Oct 16, 2009 6:54 PM
Avg Pace: 04:11 min/km
Distance: 3.00 km

I decided I needed to do a time trial to get a handle on pacing. My training schedule has been totally disrupted, so it could not hurt any.

I did 12:32 for 3km tonight. The second best I have done. Heart rat was elevated compared to that run too, but only slightly. Considering the poor training I have been doing, I think I am doing ok. The RPM classes are holding my fitness and possibly improving it.

In this run my pace was more consistent - 4:04 for the first lap, 4:03 for the second. I turned around to do the last 1km lap, so that slowed me a bit. Ended up with a 4:23 in the last lap.

I also did my best ever 10km race last Sunday, averaged just under 4:30min/km. So I am heading in the right direction.

Given some decent training I feel I will make some big improvements. Looking back on my blog, I was at a good peak at around August 6 and got sick. From then, I hurt my knee pretty soon after, and I have had little chance to improve. I am determined to look after my body and run for the long term, so I will rest appropriately when ever injuries are present.

Gym RPM class

Date: Thu, Oct 15, 2009 12:15 PM

Did a 50min RPM class, pushed myself much harder than ever before in the gym. Knee is quite ok after these classes so it is a good way to gain fitness.

Planned run 50 min

Date: Wed, Oct 14, 2009 6:00 PM

I attempted this run scheduled on Wednesday 14 October 2009. My knee was a bit too sore to run, and I had a pain in my ankle.

The day of the 10km race ( Sunday 11 Oct ) after we got home, I bashed my ankle on something and bruised it pretty badly. A few days later as I left work (Wed afternoon) I twisted my ankle slightly. It seemed to aggravate the bruise, and it began to really hurt.

I took off to do the 50min run, got less than 1km in and had to stop due to the pain in ankle and knee. I could have kept going but I have learned my lesson. I am not going to risk aggravating any injuries!!

I got home, iced it and rested. The bruise was really apparent and is ever so slightly sore now. Knee is getting marginally better

Unplanned hill reps

Date: Tue, Oct 13, 2009 6:17 AM
Avg Pace: 06:07min/km
Distance: 3.85 km

Christine felt she needed some hill runs to help prepare for the Byron Bay Lighthouse run we are doing on 25 October. It has a large hill about 1.5km into the 10km race, and it will take a lot out of us.

I felt pretty crap on the morning of this run, and the pace shows that. The knee is stilla problem but held up ok.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Planned run 10 km race

Date: Sun, Oct 11, 2009 6:29 AM
Avg Pace: 04:29 min/km
Distance: 10.20 km

This race was hosted by Brisbane Road Runners Club. We heard about them through a friend of ours that is a member. The race was a great course along the road next to the Brisbane River at West End, starting at the South Brisbane Sailing Club. We joined the club on the day and received a free entry to the race which was a pleasant surprise.

My preparation for the run has been severely hampered by my bad knee. I have had only one training run in two weeks. The rest has been good for the knee though, it is getting better all the time. Today the knee did not trouble me at all, only during warm up, and after the race during warm down. I still cannot stretch properly without pain, and it is still awkward in normal day to day movement.

I really do think that the RPM classes have help me greatly, it is a good aerobic workout combined with endurance. Also it works thighs, backside and even calves to help condition for running. The best thing is that it does this with a whole lot less stress on the body (knees, feet, hips), and so allows recovery from running to happen too. This lines up with what a lot of literature says about the best way to train for running.

I did 10km in 44.59 on my watch. The course seems to be about 200 metres further than exactly 10km, which is not really a problem. My watch says I did the 10.2km course in 45:53 but I took off at the start about 20-30 seconds after the official start, so I expect the 'official' time to be about 20-30 seconds more..

I went far too fast at the start doing the first 1km in 4:07. The first 4km were all under 4:30 pace. I slowed at the 5th km and did 4:37, and that was at one of the very small hills on the course. Managed another 4:29 at the 6th km. 7th and 8th km were 4:35, and from then on I died in the arse. The 9th km I stopped at a water station and walked while drinking. That was an excuse to slow down and catch a rest, and I am a little disappointed in myself for doing that. The very thing that makes a huge difference is this is consistency, and stopping to walk has a big impact on the overall time. In this case I think I lost a good 30 seconds. I won't be doing that ever again. The last 2 km's were 4:52, 4:43, which is not too bad.

Overall I am quite satisfied with the run. My pace early on was a big surprise, and I really do think that given a few weeks of good trouble free training to sharpen up, as well as RPM and strength training in the gym, I can get even faster. My short term aim was initially to get a 43min 10km race done and I think if I get a few good runs in that is a pace I can do really soon. That will be average 4:18 pace per km.

I should aim higher though and get a 4:10 pace for 10km (break 42min).. From there a 40min flat is the next step.

Oh yeh I did the 8km split in this race in 35:24 which pretty good too. Nearly a full 3 minutes quicker than my last 8km race back in March. My previous 10km race was done 26 April this year and I did 48:08 then. So I have definitely improved - by 2 minutes.

Gym crosstraining RPM classes

While I am recovering from my bad knee I have been doing a few RPM classes - a quick explanation of what happens:

- Instructor with microphone
- Terrible music !!! Several 'tracks'
- Exercise bike with a good load control feature
- 45 minutes to an hour
- Various combinations of speed, high load, standing, sitting and even stretching

What this does is reduce the stress on legs, but gives muscles a good workout. The best part though is the aerobic workout. It gets the heart rate way up and I really do think I have received significant benefit from it. I have only done three sessions, but I think I will icorporate as many as I can in a week.

I think I will re-arrange my schedule to have an extra day off from running in the week and supplement with an RPM class, I am sure it will result in a faster pace in general.

Unplanned run, and other cross traing work

No point recording things in the usual way, I have had a week or so off trying to recover from my bad knee.

I did one run on Tuesday October 6, ran for nearly an hour at a deliberately slow pace. Managed average pace of 5.06 min/km. I put in a bit of speed at the 6th and 7th km doing about 4.36 pace.

The route I took has a few undulating hills just so I could get a bit of a workout. I like the route and will use it a lot.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: Sun, Sep 27, 2009 6:27 PM
Avg Pace: 04:49 min/km
Distance: 10.17 km

Knee is giving me more problems. I did a lot of work on Sunday, and hurt it a few times climbing ladders etc. In the run is took ages to warm up, and hurt quite a bit. Once warmed up I was quite ok.

The next day my knee is the worst it has ever been. Definately something going on. I did some more detailed research and realise what it could be - popliteal ligament strain.

So I have decided, 7 days off !! I cannot afford to be continually irritating it I want to got over it. I will try to do some bike riding to get some exercise in the meantime.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Planned run 40 minutes

Date: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 6:37 PM
Avg Pace: 04:44 min/km
Distance: 8.45 km

Good run considering 5 days off after the HM and avoiding running due to bad left knee. Went out slow for the first 2 km, stopped to do thorough stretching, and then took off faster for the rest of the run. Ended up going quite quick for the last 6km or so, which is good considering the last 5 days no running.

I have visited a sports injury specialist to work out what is going on with my left knee. He was quite thorough, but found nothing specific wrong, speculated about soft tissue or ligament problems.

Offered advice to strengthen knees with weights machines, so I will follow up with that. I have to do the following:

- first two weeks, mild training, stretching, and at least one day rest between runs
- Third week may begin again with harder training again if all is well

If the problem does not clear itself up after three weeks or so, do a hard distance run to bring the problem on and arrange an MRI scan to have a good look at what is really happening.

I took 5 days off after the HM in Mooloolaba on Saturday just to give my knee some time to get better. I went to the dentist Thursday to get a small filling done - My first dentist visit in 16 years happened just three weeks ago, and that was all I needed doing, one small filling. Pretty good outcome there!!

Then with my left upper jaw and lips/face still numb, I went to the sport injury clinic, and after that I went to the gym to do some of the strengthening work the guy suggested I do.

SO here I am, after this run, which followed yesterday's gym work. This is something of a revelation, but I sort of felt it was so anyway - I need to improve my strength. A couple of things have lead me to this conclusion.

First of all, apparently when you run in your forties, you need to do extra work to increase muscle mass. Your body is losing muscle due to ageing. To get fast you need to build and maintain the muscle mass.

This recent experience with knee injury is almost certainly something to do with lacking strength, because the problem only ever effects my running at the end of a _long_ run. With weakened muscles, I fall into a gate that causes the problem.

Finally, there is this thing called the Vo2 max. One big factor that influences Vo2Max is muscle mass - and a factor that determines speed in distance running is Vo2Max.

I conclude that to help me get faster, and help avoid injury, strength training specifically on knees, and glutes will help a great deal. I need to increase muscle mass and strength by weight training, allow my knee to recover and then hit training a little harder when the knee is fully recovered.

Oh yeh and I have been thinking about the full marathon I was planning to do in July 2010. According to a lot of articles I have read, you should do at least 2 to three years of steady training before the full marathon should be attempted. This allows the body to adapt and the physiological changes to happen. This helps reduce the possibility of injury. So I am thinking I will do another HM in July 2010 and perhaps do the full marathon later in the year or even in 2011.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Half Marathon Race Mooloolaba

Half Marathon Race Moolooaba
Date: Sat, Sep 19, 2009 6:05 PM
Avg Pace: 04:55 min/km
Distance: 20.93 km

I was sort of kidding myself leading up to this run. I have had terrible disruptions to my preparation leading up to this race. First with a flu that had me off training for 11 consecutive days, then a problem knee.

The week leading up to the race, I had a good long run Sunday, a 50 minute run Monday and a speed run 10x30 seconds Tuesday. I had hoped that three days rest would allow the knee to get better, but it did not. This problem with my left knee is so odd. During running it does not trouble me at all, but a couple of days later is does, simply walking around is a problem. In the days leading up to the race the knee was a problem and was worst the night before the race !!

As for the details - Christine and I left Brisbane at about 8PM after grabbing dinner at a Bistro in Ascot. We got to Mooloolaba at about 9:15PM, late check in at the hotel. We did a quick survey to get our bearings, and found where the event shuttle bus was leaving from.. Got to bed at about 10:30pm . My race was starting at 6AM, Christine's at 7AM. I had to be at the race start area at 5:15AM to register. SO I woke at about 4:30AM.

Everything went to plan, found the shuttle bus, registered. The race started 5 minutes late. It was a much more casual affair compared to the Gold Coast event I ran on July 5 2009. A smaller event, and a bit more social and fun. The GC Marathon is just madness. The Mooloolaba half is definitely a good event.

I did not feel at all good on the morning of the race, had a headache, stomach ache, and generally felt crap. Knee was not good and I was not at all well rested. In the race, I did the first 8km or so too fast, managed 36 min 47 seconds. Had to go to the toilet at around 10km mark, and lost at least 2 minutes there. The rest of the race was a blowout in general. The hills slowed me down badly, as I was not well prepared for them.

Overall, I finished 11th in my age group, my age group being 40-49 years. There were 198 competitors. That _sounds ok.. But then the fellow that won the race overall was in my age group and finished more than 30 minutes ahead of me. I did 1 hour 43, the winner did 1 hour 12 .

So, I have a lot more work to do to get myself in good form I think. I have a sub 45 minute 10km in me for sure. From here on, I do 10km race training for speed and not so much endurance. Shall see if I can get my knee sorted too, and see a Doctor.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: Mon, Sep 14, 2009 6:20 PM
Avg Pace: 04:43 min/km
Distance: 4:43 min/km

This is a good run considering it follows a 1 hour 20 minute run the day before. It is only slightly slower than my best ever 50 minute run I had done in training previously. I started out deliberately trying to hold the pace slower, but naturally feel like going fast. I really need to go slower at beginning and fast at the end... Heart rate is slightly elevated in comparison to the previous run. The previous best 50 minute run is :

The elevated heart rate indicates my body is slightly stressed from the recent work load. I have a speed run - 30s speed with 30 jog X10 tonight, and then three days rest. SO I should be totally recovered and ready to go by 19 September.

My left knee is still _not good_. It seems to be no problem while I am running. It takes maybe 5 minute to warm up and from then on there is rarely any twinge at all during the run. Only after a longer run where my legs get heavily fatigued _and_ I hit a hill does the knee let me know of the problem..

After a run, the next day it is a problem - Also when I am sleeping it gives me trouble. It tightens ups behind the knee on the inside half of the knee joint. So I cannot sleep on my back with the leg straight. Walking is also slightly stiff too. It is a confusing sort of problem. It starts in a very specific place on the knee, and it feels like soft tissue or maybe ligaments or tendons that are the problem. But after a while it seems to spread so that the whole knee feels puffed and restricted movement. Ice, elevation, Ibuprofen and Voltarin and no running seems to allow it to recover quite well. So I am confident it will be ok for the race after three days rest.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Still trying to get faster

I am still wanting to get faster but I have experienced a few setbacks in the last month or so. I got a bad flue a few weeks ago that caused me to miss 11 days of training. It came on just at a point were I thought the speed training was really benefiting me. I also had four days off after a problem with my left knee.

I have realised that I have stacked on too big a work load in the last few weeks. What I did was modify my basic schedule training for a 10km event, and added longer runs on the Sunday. I did this to try and prepare for the HM coming up.

This has resulted in too high a distance and not enough rest. I am thinking about how to revise the schedule to allow good rest and get faster. Some ideas:

- Drop one medium distance run a week ( the 40 or 50 minute run) and do a cross train day instead

- Do more cross training days in general

- In addition, in a medium distance run each week try to run out at survival pace (5:00 min/km pace) for 60% of the run and then for the remainder try to hit 4:20 pace. The next week increase the percentage on the remainder ie out at survival pace for 50% and return at 4:20 pace for the remaining 50% etc..

- Concentrate much more on the speed runs, and do them carefully. Try to achieve a pace and hold it for the number of reps I am doing.

- Stretch properly after a 10-15 minute warmup run before EVERY run I do.

The cross training I have in mind is bike/RPM sessions at the gym as well as the weights/core strength things I have been doing.

It will be good to get the HM on Sep 19 out of the way and do the '10km training plan' properly - Without having to worry about the distance/endurance needs of an HM.

Planned run 1 hour 20 minutes

Date: Sun, Sep 13, 2009 8:38 AM
Avg Pace: 5:02 min/km
Distance: 16.12 km

I forced myself to take four days off running to allow my left knee to recover. I treated it with cold pack, Ibuprofen and Voltarin Emulgel. In bed I elevated both legs for as long as I could.

I did not notice _any_ improvement for 3 days, and was getting a little concerned. But it did come good eventually. It still feels funny after this run so it remains to be seen if I am completely recovered.

I discovered a leg/knee stretch that seems to target the exact area where the pain originate from and have been doing that stretch quite often.

I am reasonably pleased with the pace. I did the first 8km in 37:45 which is quite good. I died in the ass for the rest of the run, with the 10km split at 55 minutes - I stopped for water and to go to the toilet. Even after a very slow pace in the second half of the run I still managed a 5:02 min/km overall. The last half of this run also included several hills, so all considered I am satisfied with the pace.

This is the last long run before the HM race in Mooloolaba I am doing on Sep 19. I have a 50 minute run on Tuesday and a 10x30sec speed with 30sec jog recovery scheduled for Wednesdya, then rest Thursday and Friday. Hopefully that will sharpen me up for the race, as I really need it.

I have reconsidered my goals for the HM :

Ultimate goal - 1 hour 33 or better
Challenging goal - 1 hour 35 or better
Satisfactory goal - 1 hour 37 or better

I do think that IF this week goes well and my knee is ok these goals are realistic. The only question is what the course for the race is like - They say there is one 300 metre medium incline hill that is climbed twice - The race is 2 laps of about 10km's for the HM. If the hill is a big one it may mean my goal pace is a bit too fast. I think I am in better shape aerobically than I was for the Gold Coast HM, just need my legs to get in shape. It does seem that I run faster in races, hence the faster goal times in general.

Planned run 8 x 500m, 1 min SR

Date: Tue, Sep 8, 2009 6:34 AM
Avg Pace: meh
Distance: 4.44 km

Speed run in which I am supposed to practice setting a pace - started at 3:50 pace and got gradually slower till I reached a pace of 4:50 .

I did not use any discipline at all, I need to be more thoughtfull, clarify in my mind the goal pace and actually do it properly.

I had a sore knee for this run and a couple leading up to it, so I did try to run slower to avoid hurting it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Planned run 1 hour 40 minutes

Date: Sun, Sep 6, 2009 5:33 PM
Avg Pace: 04:59 min/km
Distance: 20.06 km

This is the last BIG run before the Half Marathon race in Mooloolaba on 19th September - I am tapering off with a 1 hour 20 next week.

When I was preparing for the Gold Coast HM, the lead up long runs were not that good for me. I never really managed to do a 100 minute run and this distance - 20.2km. So it looks good and I am in better condition now.

The left knee seems to have responded well to simple rest - I skipped one 40 minute run on Friday and had a scheduled rest day on Saturday.

Looking at the schedule I have stuffed up a bit. I should have begun the tapper TODAY with a 1 hour 30 run. Oh well, is this an exact science ?? I think at my level it is not.

I have adjusted my schedule slightly. I feel that my preparation for the GC HF was almost perfect as far as the work load in the last week was concerned. I have two weeks to go so I think I will change it so that it matches pretty closely what I did leading up to the GC HM. Here is what I did in June/July:

Sunday 21 June 100 min Run
Monday 22 June REST
Tuesday 23 June SPEED
Wednesday 24 June 60 min run
Thursday 25 June REST
Friday 26 June SPEED Run
Saturday 27 June REST

Sunday 28 June 90 minute Run
Monday 29 June 6x1minute with 30 sec jog recovery, and 4 x 30 sec speed with 30 second jog recovery.
Tuesday 30 June REST
Wednesday 1 July 50 minute Run
Thursday 2 July 30 min speed with 30 sec jog recovery
Friday 3 July REST
Saturday 4 July REST
Sunday 5 July RACE

I will model the last two weeks to be similar:

Sunday 6 Sep 100 min Run
Monday 7 Sep REST
Tuesday 8 Sep 8 x 500m, 1 min SR
Wednesday 9 Sep 60 min Run
Thursday 10 Sep REST
Friday 11 Sep 50 min Run
Saturday 12 Sep REST

Sunday 13 Sep 80 min Run
Monday 14 Sep REST
Tuesday 15 50 min Run
Wednesday 16 Sep 10x30 30sec jog rec
Thursday 17 Sep REST
Friday 18 Sep REST
Saturday 19 Sep RACE

Friday, September 4, 2009

Planned run 30sec speed with 30 jog recovery

Date: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 5:35 PM
Avg Pace: 04:21 min/km
Distance: 2.2 km

I did the speed laps too slow, but managed to do the recovery laps at a reasonable pace. The result here is that I did a slightly better average speed over the 10 minutes compared to my last interval session on Aug 6.

I am definitely feeling the pinch from a big running workload. I decided yesterday that finding a good medium pace and maintaining pace on the jog recovery was better than finding ultimate speed. Because I am fatigued right now.

I have a sore left knee too, it began after the hard Fri,Sat,Sunday runs I did recently. So I am contemplating giving myself a rest tonight (Friday 4 September). In fact I have almost convinced myself of it, since I am preparing for another Half Marathon. I think the distance run on Sunday ( 1hr 40 minutes) is more important than the 40 min run I have scheduled tonight - as is the rest that I need to allow my knee to sort itself out.

Ok I am convinced, rest day today and Saturday.

The injury is probably soft tissue and over use related - It is a familiar pain that usually just goes away after a rest, so I hope it does so this time.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 6:44 PM
Avg Pace: 04:39 min/km
Distance: 10.85 km

This is the fastest ever 50 minute training run I have done. I did the first 3km's pretty quick:


I bit too fast but I did not feel that bad doing it. I made a concious effort to slow when I realised how fast I was going, and did the next 1km at 4:40 pace. Did pretty much between 4:40 and 4:35 from then on except for a couple of blowout 1km distances.

The first blowout was in the 8th km. I was concentrating on getting the watch to display what I wanted to see - It seems to react to sweat running onto the touch sensitive bezel that is used to control it. So it sometimes sets itself to some display mode that is a bit useless to me. I was trying to get it to display the info I want, and slowed down. It happened in an area of the route I took where it is quite a bit darker, and is having some pathways worked on, so it was a difficult area to run through safely. I need to be careful in a race that I don't let the watch distract me. I did that well in the Gold Coast HM race I did in July..

The next blowout was in the usual last 2 km's or so hill climbs in this route I take. Usually the hills slow me to a pace of about 5km/min or worse but this run I managed to remain at 4:54 which is quite good.

I managed 4:39 average, and did the biggest distance for a 50min training run of 10.8km's. In the last HM race I managed to do another 10km at that same pace which to me now seems quite amazing. I never managed to achieve that pace in training leading up to that race, so this run looks like a good sign. Given a slight taper in training, the fact I have about three weeks of no alcohol, and the opportunity of a few days rest leading up to my next HM race on 19 September, I think I will be in good condition for a faster run.

Here I have my 8 and 10km splits for this run in first column, the splits for the Gold Coast HM race I did in July, and my previous 8 and 10km races in third column:

8km 36:43 37:46 38:38
10km 46:21 47:08 48:02

This illustrates a decent amount of progress over about a 6 month period. I am convinced that I have at least a sub 45 minute 10km race in me right now. The 8km race would be be sub 36 minutes too, possibly even faster if I get the pace right. As far as the half marathon pace, I feel I have the ability to go faster than my last race now. I did 1 hour 38 minutes, 58 seconds then.

Based on this 50 minute run, and assuming I can hold the same pace for the full HM distance it will be 2 minutes quicker. It is the right time now to set goals so here they are:

Ultimate goal - 1 hour 33 or better
Challenging goal - 1 hour 35 or better
Satisfactory goal - 1 hour 37 or better

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Planned run 3km TT

Date: Tue, Sep 1, 2009 7:11 PM
Avg Pace: meh
Distance: meh

After failing to record the first 1km or so the next 2km :

Run back to the car, increased pace gradually:

I failed to start the timer when I took off for this 3km TT. So I missed about the first 1km or so. I certainly went fast and probably did around 3:40 pace.

As a result of going too fast too early, I did not do a quick pace for the last 2km. I am also a little sore from hard weekend running and not sleeping properly. I expect I would do a better 3km TT if I was fresher and ran it in a more thoughtful manner....

I ran back to the car ( 1.8km or so) and gradually increased pace - the last 800m or so was at 4:20 pace. It felt much better than the first timed 2km I did a few minutes earlier. I also realised again that I can carry a 4:20 pace using a different running style, and much more economical too - I was using more thigh muscles and running 'higher' in the first 2km. The run back to the car I ran lower aand simply used more glutes, and increased leg speed rather than springing. It was something I had realised before I got sick a few weeks ago and I was more thoughtfully doing the speed sessions - and made good improvements. SO I re-learned.

An economic running style and a good pace is possible, I should start out slower and gradually ease in to the pace I am aiming for. Duh.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Planned run 1 hour 50 minutes

Date: Sun, Aug 30, 2009 3:17 PM
Avg Pace: 5:30mn/km
Distance: about 24km

Went to a friends birthday party the night before this run, we stayed out at Mt Tamborine. The place we stayed at also had a wedding - The people attending were classic toe rag inconsiderate scum of the earth. They were out and about screaming at 4AM, and smashed the accomodation supplied furniture. So I had little to no sleep.

I also had beer again the night before this run, but I was well mannered and considerate, and made no noise. Anyway as a result, I had lower energy and was very fatigued. My legs felt good though.

I went out slowly, and maintained that pace for the whole run. The watch ran out of battery so stopped recording at 14km's or so. I estimate I did in excess of 2hours instead of 1hr 50min, and ending up doing about 24km.

I really wanted to get a big long run in before the half marathon on 19 September, as I am tapering from now on with longs runs getting shorter each week - 1hour 40, 1 hour 30 and a 1 hour 20 the week before the HM.

Writing this the next day I am still a little fatigued, and thankful I have a rest day today. These last three days have been quite tough, and I did not help myself by boozing far too much. I am off booze until the HM on 19 September, so I hope to see some gains in energy, and improvments in training from now until the race.

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: Sat, Aug 29, 2009 8:01 AM
Avg Pace: 05:07 min/km
Distance: 9.84 km

Did this run just a little over 12 hours after the 5x1km speed I did last night. So I was a little fatigued. I also had more beer last night!! I deliberately went for a slower pace, and managed to do around 5min/km. This was one of the slowest 50 miunte runs I have done since I began recording them - it is th first time in a recorded 50 minute run that I did not do 10km's distance. I did stop regularly for water though which slowed me down a lot.

Planned run 5x1km speed with 1:30 standing rest

Date: Fri, Aug 28, 2009 6:59 PM
Avg Pace: meh
Distance: 5.40 km

I was slightly hungover on this day, after having a few beers the night before with a friend that was visiting from Sydney. So my energy levels were not very high. Began quite ok, and hit a good pace of just under 4mn/km. The next was good, but faded badly and ended up doing around 4:20min/km for the last three.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Planned run 40 minutes

Date: Wed, Aug 26, 2009 6:40 PM
Avg Pace: 04:40 min/km
Distance: 8.52 km

Went out fast in this run, did not really intend to do that. Just felt right at the time. I made an effort to slow on the return lap. Ended up doing the fastest average speed ever for a training run.

To put it in perspective, the fastest average for a distance run I have ever done was in the Gold Coast Half Marathon I did on July 5th 2009. I did 4:40, and have not matched that pace in a training run until this.

I was quite sore from a combination of the Sunday 18.77km run and the 8x500 metre speed session I did the day before this run. Also, lungs are getting there, estimate 90% of capacity now since the flu I had a few weeks ago. Considering I am not at all fresh and I still have a minor cough it is a great pace. I think I have the ability to do a genuine 4:30 pace for 8 and 10km distance if I taper and rest a day or two. Possibly even faster looking at the fact that I averaged under 4:30 pace for the first 4km's of this run, and forced myself to slow down.

It looks like the speed sessions I have been doing are paying off quite well. I need to keep up the schedule and push hard in a race to see what I am able to do. Next race is Mooloolaba HM, and then a 10km in Brisbane Oct 11. Then a 10km run at Byron Bay Oct 25th. I expect personal best times in all three judging from progress recently..

Planned run 8x500 metres with 1 minute standing recovery

Date: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 5:57 PM
Avg Pace: blah
Distance: 4km

Last rep:

Not a very fast session, I am supposed to be aiming for 3 min 20 pace, but only managed 3:36 fastest with pace slowing to the last one at about 4min exactly.

My lungs were at maybe 80% for this run, and I was sore from the 18.77km I did on the previous Sunday ( only one day rest ) so all up it is not too bad.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Planned run 1 hour 40 minutes

Date: Sun, Aug 23, 2009 5:24 PM
Avg Pace: 05:06 min/km
Distance: 18.77 km

Quite a hard run, fatigue in legs hit me in the last few kilometres. My lungs are now a whole lot better, heart rate almost down to normal, and I was able to take the hills at the beginning of the run quite fast.

As I said in an earlier post, I think the first thing to go when you are unable to run is endurance, and so my long run has suffered. Hopefully I will get all my long runs in before the next Half Marathon on September 19 and be in good enough condition to give it a good shot.

I have lots of speed runs to do this week, starting with and 8 x 500 metres with 1 min recovery. I am aiming for 3 min 30 sec pace, but based on past efforts I am likely to go at 30.40 . Realy hot afternoon at the moment too.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Date: Fri, Aug 21, 2009 6:10 AM
Avg Pace: 04:50 min/km
Distance: 8.27 km

Marginally better run today. Lungs are at maybe 65% now. Heart rate is slightly lower compared to the two previous runs, yet the pace is almost identical. This is a sure sign that I am recovering, so I am very pleased about that.

I was thinking that if I was running too soon after being ill with flu, I would probably get worse as the runs stack up. But I am improving gradually so I think it is the right thing to do to run at this stage of recovery.

I have the weekly long run in two days, it is a 1hr 40min. I will see how I feel in the run and decide if I should pull up early or do the full time. I feel it is likely I will be marginally better again and may do the full distance.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: Wed, Aug 19, 2009 6:25 PM
Avg Pace: 04:53 min/km
Distance: 8.45 km

Planned to do 50 minutes, but pulled up because I felt crap at 41 minutes. Pace was even at about 4:50/km. I am a little concerned that I am running and still unwell. A sure sign of the stress is the elevated heart rate, getting to around 168-170. Compared to previous runs of same distance and pace, it is much higher than usual. I assume that I am having trouble breathing and getting oxygen thus heart rate increased to compensate.

Anyway, I have a rest day today (thursday) so hopefully will get another chance to recover before the next run. I rate myself at about 55% to 60% still for lungs. Legs are in good shape, although I have DOMS ( delayed onset muscle soreness ) caused by 11 days with no activity and suddenly running again. It is not too bad at all.

I am really looking forward to full recovery after the flu. I am still undecided whether getting back into running now is a good idea or not considering my health. I feel that my chest and head is clearer as a result of running, I am not distinctly feeling worse because of the running, so it must be doing good :) Just that the conventional wisdom says that you should never run while sick..

I have a 40min run Friday and a 1hr 40 on Sunday, spaced out with rest days in between, hopefully that is enough to recover some more. Been dosing up on vit C, taking the anti-biotics, and supplementing with pro-biotics.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Planned run 40 minutes

Date: Tue, Aug 18, 2009 6:36 PM
Avg Pace: 04:50 min/km
Distance: 8.25 km

First run after being ill for 11-12 days. Still full of mucous (yuck) and have a bad cough, but feel reasonably well. My legs feel quite good, the rest of me at about 55-60% capacity. I think I am faster now, just need to get over this completely and get a decent 8 or 10km run in to prove it.

In this run I struggled with breathing, coughing and gurgling along the way. I got to beyond 4km in about 19 minutes 30 seconds, stopped and blew my nose ( heh ) then did the return leg. A pretty good pace overall, considering my condition. I did a copule of sub 4:40's and did that pretty easily.

I am much relieved to have managed a run after all this time, I was anxious about losing condition. I do feel like I have lost long distance endurance a bit, but still retained the speed. Yet another piece of knowledge to file away - It looks like endurance is the first thing to drop off when taking an extended break like this, with speed potential remaining.

I have a 50 minute run again tonight, and a 40 on Friday. Luckily I rejoined my schedule in an easy week - reduced workload and no speed runs. The only risky thing is I have a long 1 hour 40 min run this Sunday. Being ill, I missed two of my weekly long runs, in which I was building from 1hour 20 to 1hour 30. I am effectively jumping from 1hour 20 long runs to a 1 hour 40. I have done such a duration before of course, so it should not be too bad. I might just do a flat terain run this week.

Only 4 weeks till my next race, the Mooloolaba Half Marathon. I have entered the race as well as booked accomodation. Looking forward to it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sick from Thursday 6 August to Monday 17

I have been ill since Thursday 6 August. Got flu like symptoms, felt like I was getting over it after 3 days or so. But I ended up getting Bronchitis or something like that.

This is terribly frustrating. I missed 2 long runs and a good speed week last week. I look at the positives - I got to rest my bones and joints, so I should be pretty fresh. I took a nice long walk with Christine yesterday ( Sunday 16 ) and got to move some blood around. I am on anti-biotics and they seem to be helping a lot.

I plan to resume my training schedule this week, with the following:

Monday REST
Tuesday 40 min run
Wednesday 50 min run
Thursday REST
Friday 40 min run
Saturday REST
Sunday 1 hr 40 min run

This should be a good light work load compared to previous weeks, so I am lucky I hit my schedule at this point after a week off. The only concern will be the long run on Sunday, hopefully it won't be too big a jump in distance.

It feels realy good to be recovering from this illness, I am breathing freely for the first time in a week. I feel good for the first time in over a week!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Date: Thu, Aug 6, 2009 6:59 AM
Avg Pace: 04:33 min/km
Distance: 2.2 km

This is a interval run, 30 seconds at speed follwoed by 30 second jog to recover, 10 repetitions. The average speed included the recovery jog pace so does not really indicate the speed in each 30 sec session. The summary of the session - First column is the overall distance in km's, the next is the average speed for the 30 seconds, the next is the max speed reached in that 30 second session, the average heart rate and the max heart rate. :

0.14 03:30 03:18 140 150 *
0.09 05:16 03:32 146 151
0.14 03:30 03:19 150 156 *
0.09 05:42 03:40 153 156
0.15 03:24 03:15 155 160 *
0.08 05:54 03:20 156 161
0.15 03:20 03:08 156 162 *
0.08 06:14 03:17 157 162
0.14 03:29 03:18 157 161 *
0.07 07:16 03:38 156 161
0.15 03:20 03:10 157 163 *
0.07 07:01 03:32 159 163
0.15 03:23 03:08 159 164 *
0.07 07:07 03:24 159 165
0.15 03:26 03:05 158 163 *
0.07 06:50 03:34 160 163
0.14 03:34 03:14 158 163 *
0.07 07:35 03:53 157 164
0.16 03:12 02:54 161 169 *
0.06 08:04 03:29 164 169

The speed laps are marked with '*'. I did better than 3:30 for all the speed sessions, apart from the second last one where I did 3:34. So I was reasonably consistent. The recovery laps were far too slow, I should be doing at least 5:30 there. I also notice the heart rate never got above 169. The theoretical 'heart rate MAX' for a man my age is 220-age which works out to about 177.

For one 30 second session my heart rate reached %95 of my theoretical maximum. The average over the all sessions was only 157. So I think I have some room to push harder.

What I take away from this is that I am not that fast yet, and I have a lot of work to do. I do possess inherent speed and can go fast, I just need to actually do it!!, and 3minutes flat in each 30 second speed session is possible.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: Wed, Aug 5, 2009 6:08 AM
Avg Pace: 04:48 min/km
Distance: 10.35 km

Felt quite sore all the way on this run, muscles were burning early on. I felt really good aerobically though, it felt quite easy in general. I was held up a train crossing for about 40 seconds, so the average speed would be a little faster than the 4:48 the watch showed. Quite a fast pace considering I am not fresh.

The TT seems to be coaching me into running faster. No injuries at all to worry about at the moment.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

3km Time Trial

Date: Tue, Aug 4, 2009 6:50 AM
Avg Pace: 04:04 min/km
Distance: 3.00 km

This is the first scheduled 3km TT I have done. Follows my unscheduled 3km TT's I did about two weeks ago. I have done a time 24 seconds faster this week. I have certainly gained some speed in just two weeks, which is very pleasing.

Also, following last weeks work load, I had slightly sore knees yesterday, and the rest over night has resolved that completely. It looks like I _just_ managed the work load, so I feel I can handle it sustained over a few more weeks.

Ultimately I aim to be able to do 4min/km sustained for 10km's, so I still have a way to go. I have a nice 50min run to do tomorrow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Week reeport ending Sunday 2nd August

Date: Mon 27 July to Sun, Aug 2, 2009
Count: 6 activities
Distance: 49.12 km
Time: 04:00:39 hh:mm:ss
Elevation Gain: 1,233 m
Avg Speed: 12.2 km/h
Avg Heart Rate: 151 bpm
Calories: 4,021 C
Avg Distance: 8.19 km

This compared to last week:

Date: Mon 20 July to Sun, July 26, 2009
Count: 6 activities
Distance: 34.24 km
Time: 02:52:28 hh:mm:ss
Elevation Gain: 1,385 m
Avg Speed: 11.9 km/h
Avg Heart Rate: --
Calories: 2,814 C
Avg Distance: 5.71 km

I will occasionally record a weekly summary of activities here, just to get a picture of what is going on. This week just passed is a step up in overall distance for me, and also an increase in the frequency of runs. I ran 5 out of the 7 days, and did 49km's this week, compared to 34km and 4 days in the week before.

I feel ok after the increased workload, and today's rest Monday rest is going to help a lot. No specific injuries at all. Knees are a little sore, both of them. It feels like soft tissue soreness, on inside of knee, around where hamstring attaches I think. I have had this soreness before, and is nothing bad.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Planned run 80 minutes

Date: Sun, Aug 2, 2009 4:52 PM
Avg Pace: 04:56 min/km
Distance: 16.04 km

I felt quite good today, my energy was up compared to the last few days, and a felt aerobically good. BUT my legs were simply not up to the task, they felt heavy, and burning really early on in the run. Also, for the first 5 or 6km I ran on grass as much as possible - About 80% of the first 6km I estimate, which helps to slow me down a little.

After doing a 5min/km plus pace for the first 9km, I decided to increase the pace for a few km's. I tried to increase to 4:50, and managed to do 4:52. The next km, I increased again, trying to do 4:40 - but did 4:47. I tried to hold that for the next 1km, and did 4:44. THEN I decided to go for a 4:30 pace - I managed to do exactly 4:30, and 4:33 for the next 2km.

It is great to be able to pace so precisely in the 13th and 14 km of a 16km run, I think it is a good sign. I actually felt aerobically good while doing the 4:30 pace but my legs were not too good. So I think a sustained 4:30 pace in a race when I am fresh is quite doable.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Planned run 40 minutes

Date: Sat, Aug 1, 2009 9:16 AM
Avg Pace: 04:51 min/km
Distance: 8.27 km

Again the work load from this week has lead me to feel quite tired. I am hoping that my body will adapt some time soon, so I can handle it better. I have a 1 hour 20min run tomorrow, which is likely to be quite difficult. I will have to go easy I think.

Planned run 15 minutes effort

Date: Fri, Jul 31, 2009 7:05 AM
Avg Pace: 04:13
Distance: 3.55km

The workload from this weeks running has lead to me being very tired. I did this 15 minute effort at a reasonable speed but I stopped at the half way point for 1 minute.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: Wed, Jul 29, 2009 6:58 PM
Avg Pace: 04:49
Distance: 10:58km

This run follows my first hill session 'done properly'. I ran for about 9.2km on that run, exactly half that distance uphill. Ended up doing the distance in exactly 45minutes. Todays run I did almost exact 51 minutes, at an average speed of 4:49min/km. The total distance 10.58km.

I felt like I struggled at about the 6km mark, felt quite tired there. But managed to maintain a decent pace. The route I took is one I often use, and the return lap has me doing a couple of light hills. I seem to have better strength these days, the hills used to stop me in my tracks, where as now - while I don't really power up the hills - I do run them without much of a problem.

I notice that the hill running an speed runs seem to raise my expectations a little, so I end up running with elevated pace and work a little harder.

No injuries at all, just _very_ tired after running two days in a row. Rest day tomorrow, and a 15min effort run Friday.

Planned run 15 hill reps

Date: Tue, Jul 28, 2009 6:57 PM
Avg Pace: 04:52
Distance: 9.23km

This is the first time I have done hill reps properly. Based from reading, the most common method for building strength and stamina that is beneficial for distance running is the following:

- Medium incline hill
- Run up for a predetermined period - I used 1:30
- Run down for the same/similar period
- No rest at either top or bottom of hill
- Steady pace

Other hill rep methods are hill _sprints_ which are for a different training purpose to the type of hill reps I am doing here.

I have in the past used the same hill for this training but only ran up for about a 50 seconds, at a brisk pace. Faster but shorter distance, and with a walk down recovery. This was a lot easier in some ways that what I did today.

It felt hard at the fifth repetition, with legs feeling like led. I definitely hit a point at around rep 10 where my legs were telling me to stop, it was a very clear change in feeling, but I just kept going.

The watch tells me the average speed was 4:52 min/km which really surprised me. I did 9.2 km in 45 minutes, which is not that far off a normal flat distance training run. I feel a little sore today after the run, and have a 50 minutes easy run to do today as well. I am supposed to do a 4:50-4:45 pace for that so I will see how I go with that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Planned run 80 minutes

Date: Sun, Jul 26, 2009 5:33 PM
Avg Pace: 04:58
Distance: 14.61km

Ran very slow today, the reason being a combination of a slight hangover from too much German Beer.. and a cramp in the righ leg front of calf. This problems appears now to be as a result of too much beer, so a body electrolyte problem perhaps. Anyway I have a probably cause..

14.61km in 1 hour 12 minutes. I did the tenth kilometre in 4:42, the 11th in 4:31 and the 12th in 4:09 just to throw a faster pace for a bit. Apart from that the average was 4:58/km.

No injuries at all, the cramp eventually went away, although it was quit unpleasant for the first 7 km or so.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Unplanned run 40 min

Date: Fri, Jul 24, 2009 8:10 AM
Avg Pace: 04:45
Distance: 8.73km

I took the opportunity to grab a run this morning, as I am going to be too busy tonight and Saturday to do the scheduled runs.

I had to drop Christine off at train station and also drop off a car to someone. So I ran from where I dropped the car off. I sought out some hills along the way as well as ran at 'Ultimate Goal Pace' of 4:10/km . I did that in the 6th kilometre of the total 8.73kms distance I did.

8.73km at average 4:46per km.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2 x 3km time trials plus a 2 km warm down

This week I was troubled by sore knees. I did a 50min run on Saturday and a 1 hour 20 min run Sunday all using a route with lots of hills. I ended up with quite sore knees and felt a bit crap Monday and Tuesday.

Using wisdom accumulated over the course of my running, I decided to rest my bones for the next few days, so I missed Tuesday, and did a really light easy 3km run Wednesday. So light run Wednesday:

I feel it was the right thing to do to rest a little. I felt good and fresh today ( Thursday ) so decided to throw in a couple of time trials. I did approximately 2 km warm up and then did the following :

The first 3km TT Thursday:

The second TT:

3.02km total according to GPS watch
Lap 1: 1 km in 4:05
Lap 2: 1 km in 4:15
Lap 3: 1 km in 4:18
Lap 4: about 200 metres at 4:14 pace (slow down, hitting stop watch)

Totals: 3km in 12min 38 seconds, average speed about 4:13 min/km.

I then stopped at a water fountain, drank a little water and went to the toilet and did the return trip:

Lap 1: 1km in 4:07
Lap 2: 1km in 4:23
Lap 3: 1km in 4:20
Lap 4: about 200 metres at 5:05 pace (slow down, hitting stop watch)

Totals: 3km in 12min 50 seconds,average speed about 4:17min/km

This is quite a bit quicker than I have done in the past. I managed to string 2 3km TT's with about a 5 minute break between them. The pace was just slightly slower than what I planned in my training schedule - I'm supposed to aim for 4:10 pace. I did not concentrate so much on getting the pace right, I went out slightly too fast and came home too slow. I need to work on pace and holding it all the way.

The soreness in my knees was not anything bad I don't think, I just want to look after myself and avoid serious injury. I felt that any running with my knees the way they were could lead to something worse.

Anyway It was a good trouble free run today, and I am pain free.

This week's training schedule has been blown out - first by missing Tuesday and Wednesday's runs and by my throwing in a couple of TT's on Thursday (a rest day) as well as social things we have on the weekend. So I will begin again next week and _stick_ to the schedule I have set myself!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How to get faster - This worked for me

I Started doing speed/pace sessions and saw speed improvements gradually. I am using the speed/pace sessions now to see if I can get my 10 and 8km times down. For example:

4 x 1km at goal pace with a standing 1 minute recovery
10 x 30 second with 30 second jog recovery
2 x 2km at goal pace with a 1 minute standing recovery

Also 3km distance time trial. In the Time Trial I just see how fast I can go for 3km. Yet another one I use is a 15 minute 'effort' session.

It works quite well. Do these pace sessions every two weeks and mix them up. ie have one week slow easy, and the next include a short speed and a longer pace session with a slow run in between. I ran for ages with no speed sessions at all (nearly a year) when I first started, and as soon as I started these pace sessions, I suddenly was cruising at under 5min/km in my long easy runs..

Also don't be tempted to go fast all at once in a longer run. Build speed in pace sessions, not long easy runs. The long easy runs are for building endurance, the short speed runs to build pace. Also as far as distance/endurance goes, be careful, and build distance each week, maximum of 10% increase. These tips are supposed to help you avoid injury.

Every now and then go for a longer distance time trial or a race, but begin running a little less in training two-three weeks out as a 'taper'. In the race you will be fresher and will handle the extra effort you make in the race a whole lot better.

I have to keep reminding myself that every time I run it is _not_ a race!! Push myself, sure, seek out hills, but in long runs don't go for a personal best each time :) It is all about building fitness and strength, and tapering for a race to see how fast you can go. The training is supposed to be good for you not wearing you out.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Planned 1 hour 20 min

Date: Sun, Jul 19, 2009 4:23 PM
Speed: 11.86km/h

Today when I hit the stop button on the watch it appeared to stop. But for some inexplicable reason it continued counting. Effing ridiculous that this can happen. Anyway, the data is wrong, the average speed and heart rate are completely bogus.

The actual stop time was 1 hour 22 min 30 seconds, with a total distance of about 16.21 km. Not a bad run considering it follows a reasonably hard 40min run the day before. Again I sought out a lot of hills. In the past when I did a similar route like this, and a similar distance incorporating the last hill ( From Wynnum North Station up Wynnum North Road ) I would always break down at this hill. This time I did not, and that on it's own indicates I am getting stronger.

I have a 15 x hill session on Tuesday, 50 min run Wednesday, rest Thurs, 15 min speed Friday, 40 min run Sat and a 1 hour 20 on Sunday. Unfortunately we have a few social things to do as well, so we will have to accommodate the running among all that too.

Planned 50 min

Date: Sat, Jul 18, 2009 3:21 PM
Speed: 12.29km/h

Garmin link:

Decent shorter run, I used a route that has a lot of hills, so it hurt a little and resulted in me slowing down. This is my plan in general - In all runs I seek out a route with lots of hills, to prepare for the 10km run in Byron Bay.

No injuries, seem to have adapted ok to regular running. Just need to get faster.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Planned 50 min

Date: Wed, Jul 15, 2009 5:50 AM
Speed: 12.68km/h

Garmin link:

Second planned run for my new schedule. I ran todaay intending to find an easy pace, hold it consistently and then come home in the last 2 k's a little faster. I managed to do that quite well, the first 1km was a 4:51 and then for 7km's in a row I did 4:45 plus or minus 3 seconds per km. That is pretty much what I need to be able to do when running a marathon.

I am pleased that I felt so fresh today, just 1 day after the 40 mn run where I felt a little tired. I seem to have ok condition right now. I have a rest / cross train day tomorrow, and a 40 min run on Friday morning.

No injury problems, looking forward to doing some disciplined speed wwork next week.

Planned run 40 min

Date: Tue, Jul 14, 2009 6:16 AM
Speed: 12.68km/h

Garmin: link:

We ran in the AM , first run in my schedule for preparing for the 10km event in Byron Bay, 25th October.

I had a quick gym session the night before, and felt quite strong there, working the upper body and torso, specifically strength training. I also did harder leg presses than usual, 3 sets of 10 at 60kg. Not that much weight or reps, but in the past I have done 1 x 10 at 40kg, then 1 x 10 at 50kg, and one more set at 60kg. SO working a little harder on the presses resulted in my quads a little tired.

I ran faster initially, and slowed somewhat on the last few k's, so it was not a great run. No injuries at all to worry about right now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 12 - Oct 25 training plan

No longer a draft A plan for preparing for the 10km event in Byron Bay. This is the final version. We are incorporating another half marathon on 19th September as well, treating it as a training run.

Layout is :

Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun

REST 40 min run 50 min run REST 40 min run REST 1 hr 20 min run

19/07/09 Edited:
(REST 15 Hill Reps 50 min run REST 15 min effort 40 min run 1 hr 20 min run)
Blowout wasted week, just a few runs done

REST 15 Hill Reps 50 min run REST 15 min effort 40 min run 1 hr 20 min run

REST 3km TT 50 min run 10 x 30 sec, 30 sec JR 40 min run REST 1 hr 30 min run

REST 6 x 500m, 1 min SR 50 min run REST 2 x 2km, 1.30 SR 40 min run 1 hr 20 min run

REST 40 min run 50 min run REST 40 min run REST 1 hr 40 min run

REST 8 x 500m, 1 min SR 50 min run REST 5 x 1km, 1.30 SR 40 min run 1 hr 50 min run

REST 3km TT 50 min run 10 x 30 sec, 30 sec JR 40 min run REST 1 hr 40 min run

REST 40 min run 50 min run REST 40 min run REST 1 hr 30 min run

REST 8 x 500m, 1 min SR 50 min run REST 5 x 1km, 1.30 SR REST 1 hr 20 min run

REST 3km TT 50 min run 10 x 30 sec, 30 sec JR REST Half Marathon Race REST

REST 40 min run 50 min run REST 40 min run REST 1 hr 30 min run

REST 15 Hill Reps 50 min run REST 15 min effort 40 min run 1 hr 20 min run

REST 15 x 30 sec, 30 sec JR 50 min run REST 6 x 2 min, 30 sec JR 40 min run 1 hr run

REST 6 x 1 min, 30 sec JR 4 x 30 sec, 30 sec JR 40 min run 10 x 30 sec, 30 sec JR 30 min run REST RACE:


This program is to prepare for the Byron Bay Lighthouse run. . The race has a big hill component, so we need to get a lot of hill work in – BOTH uphill and down SO ALL the long runs we do on Sundays must incorporate as many hills as possible. Also since we are training for a 10km race, we must concentrate on speed work alot more than we did previously.

For example, for the 15 minute effort we should choose a pace and work that pace consistently for the duration, not just go out hard and stagger home. Similar for the 3km TT. All the speed session should be working on finding a pace and holding it consistently, not just going hard.

Pace Notes for me - Here I have some goal paces for the speed runs I have to achieve, expressed in minutes per kilometre:

3km TT - Aim for 4:10/km
15 min - Aim for 4:10/km
500m - Aim for 3:20/km
1km - Aim for 3:46/km
2km - Aim for 3:55/km
30sec - speed Aim for 3:00/km
2 min - speed Aim for 3:20/km
1 min - speed Aim for 3:20/km

For the medium runs, 4:30 if I am fresh and feeling fast, and 4:40 - 4:50 if I need to settle and go easier.

For the long runs ( 1hr or more ), I should try to settle and go easy, 4:40+

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Second run after HM

Date: 11July 2009

Data for this run in the above link. Some valuable lessons this week, I realise you cannot achieve personal best performance all the time. After doing so well at the Half Marathon I suddenly had high expectations. But I realise that clearly the performance I achieved is a result of all the training and the _taper_ helped me do it. I reached a peak that cannot be expected in every run.

In this run today I deliberately went on grass wherever possible, which makes you work slightly harder. I pulled up at around 14km, quite tired and joints not particularly happy.

My body is definitely not in as good a shape as it was on the morning of Sunday 5th July. You really need to be smart about training, because the head may think the body can do things - and the body does not seem to provide feedback that it cannot!! This is where a schedule/training plan will help. The one I followed for preparing for the GC HM was good for that, pushing me slightly every other week, building up a tearing down week on week off.

I have decided to look at plan to train for a 10km personal best. I need to find a few races and make them my targets, and create a plan to get me in best shape for them. I anticipate I will concentrate on speed, pace runs much more carefully compared to what I did for the HM preparation.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Planning for my full marathon next year

It has not taken long after I ran the Half Marathon race for the first time, only 2 days!! Now I am planning my full marathon attempt - I intend to do the Gold Coast FULL Marathon next year.

The full marathon is an altogether different thing to the half, the body is pushed to an extreme, much more so than the half. I am a bit of a sook so I want to make sure that my run is as pain free as possible, ie the good sort of pain. My half marathon training seems to have delivered a good performance, so I will use the same basic method - regularity, rest and consistency.

Now, I have 52 weeks or so the prepare this time, instead of 19 weeks for the half. I should make some big gains in speed over that time if I can remain injury free. I have a Intermediate level Training Schedule for the full marathon over a 20 week period, so I could see if I can do that 20 week cycle twice - perhaps with a 12 week break in the middle where I do say a 10km training schedule to help build up speed. Not at all sure what I will do yet, I may seek some advice on that.

Also I found this really useful tool on the web to help calculate a race plan. Based on my recent HM run, where I did 1 hour 38:58, the tool tells me that I could aim realistically for a 3:31 full marathon. That is encouraging, and I can expect some improvement over the year so perhaps if all goes well, a sub 3:30 is a good goal.

So, back to some training again, today I will do a 1 hour run to shake out the cobwebs after two days of bugger all and booze :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Half Marathon - Gold Coast

Finally the big day arrived. We prepared the night before by working out strategies. We used some notes that a friend of ours took during a 'Race prep seminar' with useful tips. We took our best 10km runs, and calculated three possible outcomes as goals - Ultimate, Challenging and Satisfactory using a simple formula.My ultimate goal was a fraction under 100minutes, and the next two 102, and 107 minutes.

We also prepared the day before by making sure to eat high carb low fibre foods. We stayed at a hotel at the Gold Coast, and deliberately woke early each morning in the week leading up to the race. We went to sleep nice and early the night before, at about 7:30PM. The only wrinkle in our prep was that at about 9:15PM whilste we were asleep, we were woken by the people in the room next door - Opening the adjoining door between ours and theirs!! The dingbats appear to have been exploring. The door was supposed to be locked. A very stupid error on the part of the people running the hotel, and exposing us to a security problem as well as disrupting our sleep. Anyway, I quickly recovered from that setback and went back to sleep after wedging the door shut with a chair.

So back to the race itself, we woke at about 4AM, and I went for a leisurely walk in the cold dark morning. I reached the beach and encountered several partying people doing an all nighter. The walk was really good as it got the blood pumping without wasting energy.

We caught a bus to the race precinct , and began the mad scramble to get to the start line. The whole process was a bit of a mystery as we had never done it before, so here is a dot point summary:

  • Wake early, get your morning activities done early :) - 4AM
  • Eat small amounts of high carb foods, and get plenty of water, have a couple of coffees
  • Get to the race venue early - we got the bus at about 4:45AM
  • At the race precinct, go directly to toilets and line up because the number that they have is entirely inadequate
  • Begin warm ups as soon as possible, while lining up for toilets and left luggage
  • Get to 'Left Luggage' and drop off your bag, and warm clothes
  • Rush to the start line. The GC Marathon has signs at the start line where you should start based on the your anticipated finish time. I do wish people would be honest with themselves and actually do that!! But anyway, line up early.
  • After the race is run, you cross finish line, and end up in the 'Refreshments Recovery' area
  • Grab a massage as they on offer for free
  • After recovery, move through to the medal/Tee Shirt line, and exit
Here is where the problems begin - I wanted to get back to the finish line to find Christine, but could not, so I waited at the exit..Christine meanwhile finished and took up the offer of refreshments and massage :) So I waited at the exit for quite sometime, when I could have lingered longer in the recovery area. Additional problems at the race precinct include the fact that the one and only exit point is a temporary road bridge across the Gold Coast Highway.

So in the race itself, we got to the start line too late to gain access in the conventional way, so I had to jump the barriers. I lined up at the right spot. There are pace runners with coloured balloons to help competitors to spot them. So I located my pace runner.

The start gun went off at 6:25AM (five minutes late) and the crowd took off at a very slow pace. From here on I spent 80% of the time passing people - Only at about the 18km mark did the crowd beging to look like running _with_ me. So the signs at the start indicating the start positions based on your anticipated performance appear to be completely ignored by the majority of runners. Oh well, too bad.

So I ended up crossing the start line about two minutes after the start gun. Apparently that is not a bad outcome compared to other big marathons. I managed to have a conversation with a fellow runner while we were waiting for the crowd to get moving and he told me about a marathon in New Zealand.. !!!

The run itself was really good. I felt fresh and fast the whole way up until about the last 3km. The crowd, and the need to keep passing all the slow runners kept me well occupied. Looking at the data collected in my watch it looks like I managed to complete the second half a little faster than the first, which is an ideal thing to do. I managed to do the 15km split in a personal best time of around 1 hour 10 flat, more than a minute quicker than my last one.

My watch shows a time of 1 hour 39 minutes, 9 seconds, but the race timing system has me completing the race in 1 hour 38 minutes 58 seconds. So I managed to reach my ultimate goal by a small margin. I am very pleased with the time, I did not push myself much at all in the race, and only had to push hard at the last three kilometres, so I think I used the right strategy.

The improvement compared to my last 15km race is tangible - I recall tightening at around the 12km mark in that race, and lost quite a few minutes in the last three km's. In this Half Marathon race I managed to hold the pace quite well, and did not hit the 'wall' until the 18km mark. But even then I managed to hold the pace ok.

Pace wise, the slowest 1km was 5min 20 sec at the start, and I simply could not go any faster than that due to the crowd. The next slowest was 4:45 at the 20km mark, and the fastest was 4:29 in the 11th km. I managed to go faster than 4:45 for 19 of the 21 kilometres, which is pretty good.

A friend of ours did the marathon event on the same day, and after watching the competitors, I feel there is no good reason why I should not go fot that next year. The thing I really don't like the thought of running for nearly four hours, so I want to do all I can to get the time down to something I can tolerate :)

Planned 10x30 sec speed with 30 sec jog recovery

Since I use the Garmin 405 forerunner watch to record route, I am able to upload data to their web site instead of plotting in google ped. So here is the link to the data online:

This was the last run before the Half Marathon race, and I pulled up in pretty good shape. The rest days were great, and we (Christine and I) concentrated on eating high carb foods for two days.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Planned run 50 minutes
Date: 1 July 2009
Time: 50 minutes
Distance: meh
Approx Speed: fast
Average Heart Rate: meh
Google Ped: meh

Medium distance run, used my Garmin timer GPS, but stuffed up with it. So I didn't get full run recorded. Second last run before race.

Tomorrow I have a 10x30 with 30 jog recovery session, then two days off. No injury worries at all, so in pretty good shape.

Speed session

Date: 29 June 2009
Time: meh
Distance: meh
Approx Speed: meh
Average Heart HIGH
Google Ped: Meh

6x1minute speed with a 30 sec jog recovery, and 4 x 30 sec speed with 30 second jog recovery.

Nice to mix up the speed today, felt much better than usual doing these runs. This was the third last run before the race. I have a 50 minute run and and 10x 30 sec speed with 30 sec recovery as last session.

Overal, I am feeling pretty good, no injury worries at all except for the dodgey right knee that has troubled me off and on for a long time.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Planned run 90 minutes

Date: 28 June 2009
Time: 89 minutes 52 seconds
Distance: 18.14km
Approx Speed: 12.11 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 157
Google Ped: Meh

This was the last long run before my race on Sunday July 5th. I think I have prepared well for my very first half marathon, having run the distance a few times now. The pace I did for this run would have me doing the full 21.0975km
in 1 hour 44 minutes 31 seconds if I was able to do 12.11km/h. The fact is that the last few km's I was fading badly , only managing 5min 25sec - 5min 37sec per kilometer.

The race course is almost completely flat so I _should_ be able to go quicker than 12.11km/h, and thus get 1 hour 40's pace.

I no longer need to record the route on Google ped now, since I have a Garmin Forerunner GPS watch/training computer now.

The best thing about the watch is it gives me instant feedback on my current pace during a run. It also traces and records the route, with lap data and heartrate, and all sorts of interesting data. Eventually I will work out a way to drop routes onto google ped, and graph/present data in this blog for geeky gratification.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Planned run 60 minutes

Date: 24 June 2009
Time: 61 minutes 8 seconds
Distance: 12.897km
Approx Speed: 12.65 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 156
Google Ped: route

Reasonably quick run, managed a good average speed. Heart rate was elevated too. This is the second last long run before the race in a week and a half. Right knee held up ok this time, but it is still aching.

Seems like I will have the carry this knee problem. I think it is definitely overuse related, rest and gradual distance/workload build up should overcome it. Hopefully the 'taper' training schedule will allow me to run the half marathon race without breaking down. My goal of 100 minutes is probably out of reach now, but I usually run much faster in the road races, and I am getting faster. SO we shall see.

Another speed run on 26th, and a long 80 minute run on 28th.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Planned run 100 minutes

Took off fast, and broke down at minute 47, right knee gave a big twinge!! I was running on a flat, the pain is one I am familiar with, it has happened a few times.

My assumption is that the combined hill running - The scheduled 15 hills session, and the 2 long runs I have done that used a route with lots of hills - has caused a bit of damage.

So, I pulled up in the 100 minute run after 47 minutes, and I limped home. Am writing this two days later, and th knee is slowly getting better, it still aches and there is a hint of the pain at times. I have a speed session today so will see how I go with that.

Missed 15 minute 'effort' run

Friday night, 19 June, I missed my 15 minute 'effort' run. I was going to do it Saturday, but felt too tired/ill. Rather annoying that given all this training and sensible diet, abstaining from alcohol results in still feeling crap occasionally !! Actually make that more regularly.. Maybe the training is lowering my immune system?

I have had aches in my legs and knees, I assume that my recent hill runs have contributed to that.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yargh, and 15 days to go before the race

So, it turns out I have not had beer since 1 May. A total of 81 days. I get frustrated on weekends, as it is my habit to have a few on Friday and Saturday.

Also it is only 15 days to go till the race. I think I can hold out till then. I am feeling a bit fluey right now, as is Christine. So we are taking it easy this weekend. I missed my Friday run ( yesterday). It is a 15 minute effort run, shall do that this afternoon. It will b interesting to see how fast I can go now, I haven't done a speed run like this for a while.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Planned run 60 minutes

Date: 17 June 2009
Time: 61 minutes 12 seconds
Distance: 12.45km
Approx Speed: 12.2 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 156
Google Ped: route

I took a pretty random looking route for this run, just so I could include some hills. Had plenty of them, many quite hard. Managed a good pace of 12.2km/h average, and a slightly higher heart rate than the usual of 156.

No specific aches or pains, slightly sore right knee in the usual place, heals are good. I seem to be able to hit hills hard and maintain a good pace so I am getting faster. Pretty good shape with 3 weeks training left

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Planned run 15 hill reps

Date: June 16 2009
Time: meh
Distance: meh
Approx Speed: meh
Average Heart Rate: Max 173
Google Ped: meh

Did longer hill at about the same incline as last hills session. Did then really hard again too. Managed to get the heart rate up to 173, I don't recall any session where my heart rate was that high.

I was _very_ sore after the 2 hour run on SUnday, but legs recovered quite well so I had no real problems. My heals are suddenly quite good now, and my knees are not troubling me either. I am feeling quite optimistic that I will be injury free on the race day.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Planned run 120 minutes

Date: 1 June 2009
Time: 122 minutes 28 seconds
Distance: 24.2522km
Approx Speed: 11.88 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 158
Google Ped: route PLUS this route

I stuffed up the timing again today. Started off from the end of our street, and when I got to the waterfront I reached around to get my water bottle. I managed to push the buttons that start/restart the timer recording function on my watch losing the initial part of the run!! This is the third time I have done this, and am getting a bit annoyed about it. It far too easy to press buttons by accident with this watch.

As a result, I only managed to time one section accurately in the middle of the run. I did the route twice, a distance of 14.2982km in 72 minutes. This a little bit slow, at 11.91km/h but I had a few hard hills in there.

The overall distance, and time was 22.3956 + 1.8566 = 24.2522km with average speed 11.88km/h. This too slow to get a 100 minute half marathon time. I am quite a bit sore after this 'speed week', and my muscles were burning only 7-10km into the run. I am hoping that if I am fresh and not sore I might be able to run faster.

I have three training weeks left until the race. Two distance runs, a 100 minute run and a 80 minute run. And a few speed runs during those weeks. Looks like the training is 'tapering' :)

Planned run 10x1min speed with 30 jog recovery

Did this run during the day at work in the city. Pushed very hard, with legs very sore from a hard 'speed week'.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 11 June 2009
Time: 48 minutes 35 seconds
Distance: meh
Approx Speed: fast
Average Heart Rate: meh
Google Ped: meh

I ran during the day in the city today. I had planned to run _yesterday_ but was just too worn out and sore from the hill sprints I did on Tuesday. I did not record the route or heart rate today.

I went fast for the whole session, much faster than usual. Shame I could not record the distance and speed. Tomorrow I have another speed session, shall hit that one harder than ever before too.

Planned run 15 hill reps

Date: June 9 2009
Time: meh
Distance: meh
Approx Speed: meh
Average Heart Rate: Max 161
Google Ped: meh

Chose a bigger hill than last time, and also sprinted much harder than last time. Ended up only managing to get heart rate to peak at around 161 or so. This is a little weird as I was able to get heart rate much higher last time I did hills.

Worked my legs very hard, and pushed for every one of the 15 reps. I ended up quite sore in slightly different areas to my usual.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Planned run 120 minutes

Date: 7 June 2009
Time: 118 minutes 57 seconds
Distance: 22.3956km
Approx Speed: 11.3 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 150
Google Ped: route

I took a very different route to my usual for this long run. It is the first 2 hour run I have ever done, and I completed a distance that I had never run before, just over 22km. I stopped several times for water and twice to go to the toilet, so my pace was perhaps slightly faster than the calculated 11.3km/h.

The route included several difficult hills - I did this deliberately to give me a bit more of a strength workout - and it worked quite well. The hills in the beginning are Lithgow and Hannam streets, plus the longer hill in Wynnum North Road. They were a good beginning, making me work hard initially, with the rest of the route quite flat and easy. On the return lap, I had done nearly 20km when I hit the hills again. After running that far the hills are a huge challenge, and I had to push very hard just to keep moving.

I pulled up extremely tired, which is no surprise. The hills slowed me down substantially, but I deliberately took it easy too, maintaining a slow pace anyway. I get the feeling that it won't matter whether I go faster early in a longer distance run like this, I will always hit the wall and begin to hurt and slow down just the same.

I have no specific injuries to talk about, just slight aches. Both heals are tender but seem to be no problem once I warm up in a run. I also tooka small pack of 'Goo' a carbo/electrolyte supplement. It seems to work remarcably well, so I will get a few packs and use them in a longer run.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Planned run 60 minutes

Date: 5 June 2009
Time: 63 minutes 24 seconds
Distance: 12.33km
Approx Speed: 12.03 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 146
Google Ped: route

Again I took this run very easy, and still managed a good pace. Heart rate is way down, which is a good sign. I picked up the pace at the end, and managed to return in a negative split - ie faster than I went out. Actual time was more like 61min flat as I was delayed waiting at a railway crossing for two trains to pass.

Left heal is giving me trouble but at the moment I am able to run through it. Once warmed up it is no problem so hopefully it will resolve itself.

I have a big 120 minute run on Sunday morning and that will test me. I expect to do about 24km's if I am able to hold a decent pace.

Planned run 40 minutes

Date: 3 June 2009
Time: 40 minutes 39 seconds
Distance: 8.1399km
Approx Speed: 12.03 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 149
Google Ped: route

Very eeasy run, managed a reasonable pace and kept heart rate low. This week is a high load, low speed one.

Only one problem - niggling left heal pain. Once warmed up it is gone.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 2 June 2009
Time: 54 minutes 18 seconds
Distance: 10.8922km
Approx Speed: 12.04 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 151
Google Ped: route

I am running three days on the week days this week, plus a 2 hour run Sunday:

Tuesday 50min
Wednesday 40min
Friday 60min
Sunday 120min

This is up from what my schedule says to do, it said to to three 40 min runs. But I did only 1hour 10 on Sunday instead of the planned 2hr run, so I am stacking up the distance this week to make up for it.

I took it really easy this run, the heart rate at 151 illustrated that perfectly. No injuries, and I feel remarkably good after the 15km race. I hit the gym Monday, did heavier weights than usual, and pushed hard on the leg presses to help improve leg strength.

The route I did was done twice (out and back) plus about another 300m so that is about 10.8922km and I did it at a leisurely 12km/h or so.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Planned run 120 minutes (15km race instead)

Date: 31 May 2009
Time: 70 minutes 47 seconds
Distance: 15km
Approx Speed: 12.71 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 160
Google Ped: Runaway Bay Sports Centre Event route

I surprised myself today with the time I achieved in the race. I actually managed to achieve two additional personal bests times as well:

8km 36 min 30 sec average speed 13.15km/h
10km 46 min 30 sec average speed 12.90km/h

The last 5km I slowed a lot:
5km 24 min 17 sec average speed 12.35km/h

This is quite pleasing as I don't really expect to make so much progress so quickly. I look forward to running an 8 and a 10km race again to see what I can really do in those distances now.

My preparation was really good for the race, I had two short distance speed runs and one 1hr run in the lead up week, with two rest days right before the race. I had no injury problems at all and my muscles were pain free and fresh. The only problem was that I had several days with an annoying stomach pain and feeling slightly ill/headache. I woke this morning feeling quite bad, and it effected my performance. I think I could have gone faster.

I ran the first 10km quite well, but slowed badly in the last 5. It is clear now that I have the speed I need, and that I have to improve strength and endurance to maintain that speed for longer. I also need to learn to pace myself better, for example, drop the initial pace a little. The GC Half Marathon will have designated pace runners for people to use as a guide so that may help me. I did run quite hard and the heart rate of 160bps is significantly elevated compared to my training runs.

I blogged about my training pace so far previously and also worked out the pace I needed to be able to run the Half Marathon in 100 minutes. I worked out the average speed had to be 12.65km/h over the 21 or so kms. I managed to do slightly better than that over 15km. I had even set a goal for this 15km race of 71 min 5 sec. I then revised that goal and set 74 minutes 30 seconds as a target because I thought it was too ambitious. I ended up achieving my initial slightly ambitious goal :)

So, back to the training and building the endurance I need. Yet again I ran much faster in the race than I tend to in training. Whether this is due to inaccuracies in the measured distance or not, I don't know. I know that 100 minutes for the half marathon is doable, so I have to push hard in my longer runs now to make sure I get there..

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Planned run 15 minutes pace

Date: 28 May 2009
Time: 15 minutes
Distance: 3.4708km
Approx Speed: 13.85 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 158
Google Ped: route X3 + route

Tired from last night's 1 hour run, but managed a reasonable pace today. No injuries, feel quite good after the run. Now two days rest until the 15km race on Sunday. I will go to the gym and do same work out as usual, but with reduced weights to make sure I am fresh for the race.

No injuries or illness today.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Planned run 60 minutes

Date: 27 May 2009
Time: 61 minutes 1seconds
Distance: 12.33 km
Approx Speed: 12.13 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 153
Google Ped: route x 2

I was a little bit ill today - AGAIN. Rather irritating, since I am actually looking after myself, eating well, exercising, resting properly no alcohol etc. I guess it is flue season after all.

I woke this morning with a bad headache and a pain in the stomach. I had food with Tobasco Sauce on it so that might have been it, although it hasn't affected me this way before. Felt poorly all day, and worked from home.

I gradually felt better as the day progressed, and so I decided to go for a run tonight. I planned to take it really easy, and did a 30 minute 30 second first lap. I returned in almost exactly 30 minutes 30 seconds, the first time I have done an even split on a longer run. My heart rate was quite low even though I had managed a good speed. I stopped for water on the way back, so the average speed was slightly better than it shows.

My left heal gave me a bit of sharp pain in the first 1-2 km tonight but was good after I warmed up. So all good in general. I have a 15 minute speed/efort run tomorrow and then the race on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Planned run 15 hill reps

Date: May 26 2009
Time: meh
Distance: meh
Approx Speed: meh
Average Heart Rate: Max 168
Google Ped: meh

A slight variation on my planned runs this week. Typically the plan I have been following factors in a possible 10km race in the schedule and tapers a little leading up to the race. But the dates when the races are on are out by one week. So I have swapped next week's session with this week's. I am doing:

Tuesday: 15 hill reps ( done today )
Wednesday: 1 hour run easy
Thursday: 15 minute effort
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 15km Race

I found a small hill that is pretty easy, and Christine did the hills too. I ran pretty hard anyway, and managed to get my heart rate up to just under 170 several times. A decent effort, and I have no injuries to worry about right now.

I plan to do the 1 hour run tomorrow morning in a easy fartlek style just so I get a bit of pace into it.

I am gradually getting used to the early mornings. Also, legs are still pretty sore from the last 1oo minute run I did, mainly calves. They should be good by Sunday.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Notes on pace so far

This latest run I think I managed to increase the average speed over a long distance. I also managed to keep the heart rate down. And this all under pretty hard conditions with the headwind making me work a lot harder.

The pace I need to maintain to achieve a 100 minute half marathon is 4 minutes 44 seconds per km. I have managed so far to do 5 minutes 6 seconds per km over long distances. Not such a big jump, but stringing 21 of them together it is. So I think I should revise my goals a little to something a little more realistic. So, I shall aim to do average speed sub 5 minutes over 15km for next weeks race.

If I manage 4 58 per 1 km, that gets me across the line with a time of 74 minutes 30 seconds. SO there it is, my official revised goal for the 15km race on Sunday May 31st 2009:

15 km in 74 minutes 30 seconds or better!!

Planned run 100 minutes

Date: 24 May 2009
Time: 100 minutes 0 seconds
Distance: 19.2909km
Approx Speed: 11.57 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 151
Google Ped: route X 2 PLUS route

I had a really hard time for this run. I took off heading South against a 10km/h headwind. That made the going tough, and the first split ended up being right on 38 minutes for 7.432km (I also stopped to go to the toilet, about 1 minute). I think that going into the headwind was very much like going up hill for the whole distance, so considering that and the stop, my pace was quite ok. But it set up the rest of the run to be very hard, having done all that work at the beginning against the wind.

The return lap was slightly easier due to the tailwind helping me along, but by that stage I was in no shape to take full advantage of it. I managed to complete the 2 laps (14.864 km) in exactly 1 hour 16 minutes. So I did a fraction under 15km, no-where near the 100 minute half marathon pace I am aiming for. My goal of 1 hour 11 for 15km race next weekend is going to be difficult. I will have to concentrate on building speed slowly, as it is clear from today's run that working too hard too early will slow me down. I usually go faster in the races so I hope that happens.

I turned round after the second lap, and managed to travel another 4.4269km in the remaining 34 minutes of my 100 minute run. Pretty darned slow, and that was due to an increased headwind. It picked up to be a gusty 12-15km and it made the going _really_ hard! The muscles around my hips really burned. I tried really hard to pick up the pace and pushed for the last few minutes.

Overall, the pace was not so bad, an average speed of 11.57km/h compared to my last long run at 11.61km/h under much better conditions. If I didn't have to make the 1 minute stop the time would have been 99 minutes or so - with that time to complete the distance of 19.2909km my average speed was more like 11.69km/h. That is a more realistic speed, and it is going in the right direction - Faster. Another point to note is that the average heart rate was slightly lower today at 151. SO I am in reality going _slightly_ faster over a long distance and doing it more easily. SO at least that indicates I am improving fitness.

I decided to try an ice bath after the run, and also drank a coconut full of coconut milk. The ice bath is supposed to be very therapeutic, helping the body to recover after exercise. The coconut because I overhead some fellow at a race a few weeks ago talking how coconut is quite good for recovering too. I am sore after both and I hobble about the same as every other run so short term it may not do anything at all. Felt great to get out of the ice bath and have a warm shower though :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Calculating pace requirements to be able to acheive 100 minute half marathon

A quick calculation tells me I need to run at an average speed 12.65km/h to do 21.0975km (half marathon distance) in 100 minutes.

Put another way, I need to run a pace that will get me the following times:

1 km in 4 minutes 44 seconds
3 km in 14 minutes 14 seconds
5 km in 23 minutes 42 seconds
8 km in 37 minutes 55 seconds
10 km in 47 minutes 23 seconds
15 km in 71 minutes 5 seconds

I have only ever achieved the pace required once in a distance at or above 8km, in a really hard fartlek run I did almost exactly one month ago!! I have certainly improved my endurance and strength since then.

It looks like I have taken on a pretty difficult aim. So I need to work harder on my speed, and warm up carefully to avoid injuries.

The next race I have is a 15km run on 31st May, just over a week away. I have set a goal to do it in 71 minutes 5 seconds or better. Big goal, so lets see how I go with that. I usually run faster in the races I have done so far.

I have read that a good yardstick for the half marathon pace you can potentially do is the 10 km speed. To do a 100 minute half marathon, you need to be able to do a 10km run in 45 minutes flat. I don't think I have any runs in training that are 10 km long, I may have to make a small change to my schedule to get one in some time just to see how I go.

Planned run 40 minutes

Date: 22 May 2009
Time: 40 minutes 55 seconds
Distance: 8.5143km
Approx Speed: 12.49 kmh
Average Heart Rate: ??
Google Ped: route + route

Did the same route as the last real 40 minute run, plus an extra 0.3744km. Ended up getting close to a decent pace overall. Did not feel like running this morning, simply too sleepy.

Started off slow, and had an odd pain in my right foot. Had to stop a few times to adjust my shoe and massage it. It eventually went away and I have no hint of injuries at all from the incident. I had to use my old running shoes as my good ones are still wet from the foul weather run I did Tuesday night, so maybe that had something to do with it.

My pace was pretty good considering the slow start and the stops where I had to fix my shoe.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gym Session

We did a gym session today (again) for cross training. We managed to get through all the set tasks our gym consultant had set out for us. Elena the consultant drew up a plan for us, with the fact that we are doing a lot of running in consideration.

So for the first time I was able to get through all of it. Last few efforts we ran out of time or energy or both. So I have improved in general fitness in the last few weeks as a result of the cross training/gym work.

I have a 40 minute run tomorrow morning. I might go fast just to see where I am speed wise.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Planned run 40 minutes

Date: 20 May 2009
Time: 40 minutes
Distance: mehkm
Approx Speed: meh kmh
Average Heart Rate: meh
Google Ped: meh

After running last night in the driving rain, I could not face doing the same again this morning. Christine and I went to the gym and did a session on the treadmill instead.

I am very sceptical of the benefits of treadmill running for training for a half marathon. The action is significantly different to real running. Particularly the acceleration / deceleration effect you get when doing a real run is just not possible on a treadmill. It seems to be a much easier action and works a particular set of muscles when you run on a treadmill - Real running works a lot more muscles in general and requires the use of core strength a lot more I think.

Regardless, the treadmill is a reasonable substitute when the weather is as bad as it is right now. I set the machine up with an incline of 4.0, and a speed of 12 km/h and ran for 40 minutes. Really nothing like a real run, but got me working ok!!

My legs are sore from the combination of the 20.5km run on Sunday, the 8km run on Tuesday and this pissweak treadmill run today :) I have no specific injury worries at all, just the usual twinges in calves, knees, ankles and heals. I an looking forward to a real run on Thursday if the weather is ok. My good running shoes are very wet, shall see if I can get them dry by then