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.