Date: 3 May 2009
Time: 90 minutes 9 seconds
Approx Speed: 12.09 kmh
Average Heart Rate: 157
Google Ped: route X 3
Google Ped: route +
Total distance today was the two combined routes - The top one (5.6945km) done three times plus the second one (1.0872km). Total = 18.17km in 90 minute, 9 seconds. Yet another tangible improvement from the last 90 minute run where I did the 5.6945km route three times in 90 minutes, 6 seconds - almost exactly one kilometre further today.
I am quite pleased with this run. I was able to go faster, and didn't tighten up that much at all. I also took note of the splits - the first 5.6945km in 27 minutes, the second in about 28 minutes, and the last 5.6945km in about 30 minutes. Clearly I did slow down, but not by that much. I did the last 1km in almost exactly 5 minutes. I think that running this route is good to help gauge my pace so I will use it for my longer runs.
The reasons for the improvement are clear to me too. Apart from the consistent training, I have resolved to consume no alcohol until after the half marathon is done, July 5. So this weekend I had no beer on either Friday or Saturday nights. I did notice I had a better energy level for the run today which resulted in a much better performance over the longer distance.
Hopefully being off alcohol for the approximately 10 weeks will have a longer term benefit too - I should be able to train better and thus make the most of these sessions and acheive greater performance gains.
I have one more 90 minute run to go next week, and then a 100 minute run a week after that. And then 3 120 minute runs in the subsequent weeks. Using my current pace as a guide, and all going well injuries and health wise, I anticipate that I will have completed the half marathon distance of 21.0975km at least three times before the race in July, with a possibility that I will managed to get another half marathon distance in one of the 100 minute sessions. I know the magic 100 minute mark for a half marathon is a pretty ambitious goal, but it seems within the realms of possibility now.
The program I am following seems very sensible in that the build up is quite gradual, and it seems to include good rest days too. I have found that rest is as important as the training itself.
Finally, in addition to forgoing alcohol for the next couple of months, I am attending a gym in the mornings of my 'rest' days to get some benefit of 'cross training'. This will mean either running or gym work every single day of the week. I may even be able to throw in some strength work outs if I am feeling any good at all on the running days, as there is a gym in the city. We are also switching our running times from afternoon/night to early mornings everyday. This way we get conditioned to running in the morning and develop good habits to cope - ie feeding, hydration, sleeping etc - in preparation for the race.
I pulled up quite sore and stiff after this run today but felt a whole lot better in the run itself. No new injuries, and the calf problem has completed resolved itself. Heals twinged a little, but it was quite early on in the run, and once I warmed up it was a non-issue. The old cramping shin muscle appeared but went away in the run. The only concern I have is still my right knee, it has just a hint of the pain I used a to get while ago that used to stop me running whenever I hit a hill. Hopefully it will stay away.