Friday, April 30, 2010

Planned run 15 minutes effort

Date: 30 Apr 2010
Time: 15 min
Distance: 3.79 km

I split this 15 minute effort into two 7:30 repetitions. The first one 3:57min/km and then stopped for about 3 seconds. Then started again and did _exactly_ the same pace for the second one.

I felt like I could do this pace for at least another 2 km's it was reasonably comfortable. My heart rate was higher than the last 15minute effort run I did earlier this month, but only marginally. In fact pace ended up identical to the last 15min effort run today too.

I actually felt really flat today, a bit stressed from work, so I was not feeling particularly fast. I have to fly to Saudi Arabia ( Bahrain ) this Monday and will likely miss a few runs as a result. This may be a blessing in disguise as it will be a chance to allow my body to make a bit of recovery. I will hit the (hotel) gym hard while I am there as much as I can, as well as do my own spin/rpm thing on a bike. I may even come home faster than when I left !! The timing is ok as the time away will be on a weekend that had me backing off on distance for the long run.

Last week I did 58kms. Just short of the highest I had done in one week in March.
This month I have done 178kms total. This is the second highest I have done for a month and follows the previous month of 181kms ( the highest ever ).

It looks like next month would have been the highest if I didn't have a likely forced break for travel. But I should be ok. All I have to do is come home in one piece !!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Planned run 1 hour

Date: 28 Apr 2010
Time: 1:00:02 min
Distance: 12.52 km

Good sensible 1hr run. The first of my longer mid week runs. Managed a faster pace of 4:47 min/km for this one. I went out fast, aiming for around 4:30min/km pace for the first 5kms. Then settled down for a slower pace for the rest of the duration.

Heart rate was elevated more than usual, which might be from the stresses of the Sunday run and yesterday's hills session.

Injuries are seemingly under control. Heat and ice keeps them ok. So I am holding on. Mileage is going to increase again soon, so I have to use self discipline and go slow. I keep saying that...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Planned run 10 hills speed

Date: 27 Apr 2010
Time: 22:02 min
Distance: 4.02 km

Used a medium to easy hill, and ran at maybe 5km race pace. So fastish. Each rep 210metres. I seem to do these hill reps much easier now than ever before. I used to use this hill ages ago, and found it difficult just running slow up it.

I seem to have recovered quite well after my stupid Sunday run a couple of days ago. Heel and Achilles are ok, I have been treating them with heat and cold. I also ice the left knee.

I actually hurt my knee yesterday when I was trying to flatten a cardboard box, kicked out and over extended it. That seems to be the trigger, I hardly ever hurt it while running. I am holding up ok with the mileage. This week is a slightly lower km's load so it is a chance to repair.

All good.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Planned run 2hr 20 min

Date: 25 Apr 2010
Time: 2:10:42 min
Distance: 25.11 km

I decided in this run to become acquainted with what is commonly described as 'The Wall'. My recipe:

- DO 3 10km runs in the days leading up to the long run, a fast one Tuesday at around 4:30min/km pace, then a slower one at 5min/km pace. Then another on Friday at 4:23km/min pace. That one set up some good muscle pain and fatigue for the run today.

- Eat no particularly high carb foods in the days leading up to the long run

- On the Saturday night before I ate a very small meal for dinner

- ON the morning of the run, ate no breakfast and had no food before taking off (Usually half a banana works well for me)

- In the run I took off faster and held better than 5km/min pace for as far as I could, in this run that ended up being around the 13th km

- Took no 'sports supplement' - I usually take a Gu at around the 10km mark on longer runs

- Wore my water belt with about 860grms weight - consumed most of it.

- It was also slightly warmer than last weeks run where I managed to do 2hr20, 5km/min average and managed 28kms

So all that set up a dramatic wall for me, at around 13km was where I felt a little bit bad, but it hit me harder at 19th km. From there on I dropped pace steadily to around 6min/km!!

The symptoms I experienced: Heart rate did not increase, I was well hydrated, legs were horribly fatigued. Every niggling pain I have ever experienced appeared, and I simply could not achieve my usual 5min/km easy pace - I got slower and slower. No cramps, but my hands began to tingle slightly. I hit the 2hr10 point and just stopped dead. My upper front teeth began to buzz and I was foggy.. I stood there for a little while and found myself staring off into the distance, so I did drift off for a while, no idea how long. A toilet was nearby so I went. Grabbed more water, and decided I should trot the 10min home. I took off at a shuffle and I seriously could not continue!! So I walked home. Walking was even a struggle.

So that was possibly a worthwhile experiment. The question is 'Is this sort of run and hitting a wall beneficial to training?' It depends on how rapidly I recover from it I guess.

When I was trying to become a musician, a mantra I often heard was 'Perfect practice makes perfect performance'. Essentially you get everything right in practice and your performance benefits. That is probably true in training for running. I am aiming to get the best out of myself on the day of my Marathon race. So am I better off deriving the best performance in training, doing everything right to run the best I can in training, or is setting up a serious struggle like I did today going to actually help?

Something to think about.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 23 Apr 2010
Time: 43:52 min
Distance: 10.02 km

I took off with the mind set to go slow. But I had toyed with the idea of seeing how fast I am for 10kms. Sort of a 10km time trial. So I took off slow, looked at my watch to check pace and saw it was around 5:35min/km or something. I pushed up the hill to see if I could get the pace down to 4:40 or so. And from then on I was just going fast. I did a 10km TT :)

First 1km done in 4:21 pace, next at 4:07. Paced back a bit at 4:20 for the third km, next 4:21, and another at 4:21. Good even pacing there. By then my heart rate was at 164. I backed off and did the sixth km in 4:30. Then a 25,31 and 28 for the next 3km. In the last km the heart rate 169, pace 4:17.

Final average heart rate was 160bpm, and the MAX heart rate was 171 in the last few metres. My theoretical MAX` heart rate is supposed to be about 178. As a percentage, my heart rate reached 96% of the maximum. The average was 89% of maximum. That was a good hit out I think!!

So finally I have a 10km time that I can use as a gauge of where I am training wise. I feel I could go faster if I paced out better, but this will do. What it tells me is that I am on track _now_ for a 3hr20 Marathon, and a 1hr36 HM. Also training paces are for the time being :

5:24 min/km Easy run training pace
4:29 min/km Tempo run training pace
4:03 min/km Maxmum oxygen training pace
3:45 min/km Speed form training pace
5:24 - 6:06 min/km Long run training pace
3:20 min/800 Yasso 800s training pace

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Planned run 60 minutes

Date: 21 Apr 2010
Time: 54:51 min
Distance: 10.35 km

Oops !! Meant to do 60 minutes. Does not matter one bit, I need the rest !!

Took this run very slow, averaged 5:17min/km. Heart rate average was ridiculously low, below 130bpm. During some laps after warming up and doing a slightly faster pace, HR went to around 136. So I think 5:17pace will yield close to 133 or so HR.

I am a bit weary from the faster 50 min run yesterday and the 28km run on Sunday, but am in great shape overall. I will enjoy the rest this week, and plan to do the 50min run on Friday slow too, to allow myself to recover. My body seems to react well to recovery weeks like this.

I look forward to the next long run. I will try to go slower than 5min/km pace, probably around 5:10 or so.

Looking forward to any races coming up, there are a few:

May 2 5,10,15 or 20km I should do a 10km I think, and then make up the distance after in a long slow

May 16 7 and 14km I should do the 14 and make up the distance again with a long slow

May 30 10 and 5km handicap race.. May skip this one

June 6 a HM and 10km race , at the QLD Half Marathon .. This one lines up well for me. Again I should do a long slow after it to get distance.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 20 Apr 2010
Time: 50:10 min
Distance: 11.04 km

A good faster 50 min run this AM. I took off slow, and built up tempo gradually. Threw in 2 kms in a row faster at about 4:11min/km pace at the 7th and 8th. Then just held pace to get home. Good average speed of 4:32 according to my timer. Heart rate was good at 148 average. Elevated during the faster pace km's at 160 or so. As soon as I backed off HR went back to 157.

My heel and Achilles twinged slightly at the beginning, but came good quickly. No pain at all during the greater part of the run. The heat treatment must work.

I have 2 50min runs this week, one tomorrow and one on Friday, I plan to do NO fast running in those, 5min pace all the way.

It is great to be abl to follow up on my farthest distance run of 28km 2 days ago and do such a fast run. I felt good, slight muscle soreness but that is it. I anticipate that I will be a bit sore tomorrow.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Planned run 2hr 20min

Date: 18 Apr 2010
Time: 2:21:17 min
Distance: 28.02 km

This is the farthest I have ever run. I felt really good all the way, energy level was perfect, and legs only began to feel really heavy at 24kms. I took off trying to keep the pace down, that ended up being around 5min/km to 5:11min/km or so. Again I had difficulty staying at the slower pace.

I ate half a banana and had a strong coffee before I left, and at the 10km point had a Gu and a bit of water. It rained heavily at that point too, and so I got wet and cold. In fact it was quite cool for the whole run, and that made a huge difference. I went a bit faster to try and warm up a bit!! The fact that my shoes were full of water and very heavy makes the pace from that point on pretty good I think. Conditions were not ideal at all.

Occasionally during the run, when I felt like I was tightening up a bit, I would try a short surge, as well as at any slight incline, I also tried to surge a bit. I seemed that I responded well to that as a tactic, it kept me feeling loose and relaxed. I will keep that in mind for the race, as it may help.

So a significant milestone today. The marathon distance looks 'doable' now. Given the time left for training, I should be able to build strength and endurance to make a good go of it in the race. Today was very cool, and that made a huge difference to the run and how I felt in it, thus the pace was faster than I planned. I do need to reign in my pace - I have another 2hr20 next week, and a 2hr30 the week after. The week after than I back off the distance and do a 2hr run, probably so I can get some recovery.

Injury wise, I had the left heel and Achilles pain. The Achilles twinges a little in the first 3km or so, and then is hardly noticeable. On hills the heel hurts a bit. I hope a bit of rest and ice will help that.

Planned run 4x1km speed with 1:30 standing recovery

Date: 16 Apr 2010
Time: 17:30 min
Distance: 3.66 km

Yet another speed run. I used my metronome to set pace, began at a slower tempo, and built up for each 1km repeat.

I felt quite flat on this day, and pulled up early in the last 1km repetition. I am slightly disappointed with myself in that, but I think I derived some benefit from the training anyway. I an certainly getting faster.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 14 Apr 2010
Time: 50:18 min
Distance: 11.02 km

I did this run faster than 'comfortable' - I am certainly getting faster and capable of doing a faster 'comfortable' run. This looks like the fastest ever 50 min training run I have done. And it felt pretty comfortable too.

I did this one tempo style, or at least attempted to do so. I started slow, 4:58min/km and built to under 4:30min/km pace .. Ended up average 4:34min/km pace. Very good !!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Planned run 6x500metres with 1:30min tanding recovery

Date: 13 Apr 2010
Time: 19:29 min
Distance: 3.34 km

Yet another speed run. Certainly getting faster and getting more endurance. I used my metronome today, set at 180/90.

The cadence for the speed sections was spot on 90 except for one where I did 89. A small difference. I may set a slightly higher cadence just as an exercise when I next have a run of this type.

Something conspicuously absent from my blog lately is injury status. I have almost completely recovered from the left knee problem I have had since August last year. I have a niggling sore heel and Achilles that hurts just a little until I am warmed up. It also was flaring up occasionally with a burning sensation. It seems to be getting better and I hardly notice it now.

All looking good, getting faster, fitter, better endurance and almost injury free.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Unplanned run 5km race

Date: 11 Apr 2010
Time: 20:42 min
Distance: 5.04 km

I entered a 10km race this morning, but I was yet again having a stomach problem. I took off in the race pretty fast, doing the first 1km in 4:03, and the second in 3:57min/km. The third one I started to get a little more sensible at 4:11 .

I started getting bad stomach / gut pains at the 4th km, and slowed a little more. Felt a rather dire need to get to a toilet in fact, which is not what you want in a race. So I decided right then to do the 5km, and get to the toilet!!

Thankfully, the system BRR's uses allowed me to swap to the 5km race instead of the 10, and I got to a toilet just in time.

I did the last 1km in 4:01min/km or so. This is the fastest 5km run I have ever done. It would have been nice to get the 10km race done as I need to prove my speed over a greater distance, but my 5km pace is a good sign anyway.

SO yet again I felt ill on Sunday. Bahh!!

Unplanned run 1h 20 minutes

Date: 11 Apr 2010
Time: 82:37 min
Distance: 16.18 km

This is a follow up run done on the morning of April 11 after I did a Brisbane Road Runners 5km race. I was concerned that the 5km race was not enough distance for the training for the Marathon. So I did this run. I took off a little later in the morning, and had to endure heat and humidity. That slowed me down in the last few km's. The 5km race set me up for some good fatigue too!!

I am pleased I decided to do this extra run. It was suitably hard.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Planned run 10x30 seconds speed with 30 second jog recovery

Date: 8 Apr 2010
Time: 10 min
Distance: 2.45 km

I skipped a planned 50min run yesterday as I was feeling a little flat. Also I have a slightly sore left calf/Achilles/heel that I thought I should rest for a bit. It hurts only slightly during warm up, and sometimes on a longer run. It also flares spontaneously, a burning sensation not exactly on the heel or Achilles, just around that area. It is much better after the rest.

So I did this 10x30 second speed, swapped from next weeks scheduled runs ( doing this weeks runs next week). I did that to form a mini taper leading up to my 10km race on Sunday.

I did this run in the middle of the day, normally not a sensible thing to do in Queensland as it is far too hot. But for such a short run it was just fine. In fact I felt really good and warmed up, and I am sure that helped.

I pushed much harder today than I have ever done for a training run of this type, heart rate got to 172bpm toward the end. In the speed period, I managed to do a 3:30 pace or better for all of the runs except for two, and the first one was a 3:06 min/km pace. That is much faster than my previous similar runs.

I need to get my legs and lungs to a point where I can run consistently with an elevated heart rate for faster runs. I think that is what I need to be able to do a fast 10km time.

I am headed in the right direction, I am doing best ever times for speed runs frequently, and the weather has cooled significantly in recent weeks. This all sets up for a PB for my 10km run Sunday - If I am feeling good on the day.

I used my foot pod again to measure cadence. I found that in the fast sections, I am around 88 to 92. For the fastest rep, 3:06min/km I did 92 steps per minute, higher than usual. And cadence dropped slightly in the later reps. I was tiring, speed did not drop that much so stride length must have increased a little. I have a pretty good idea how cadence affects my speed now, and I could benefit from practice with a metronome. Next week after my 10km race is an ideal time I think.

Oh yeh and I think the recent longer runs I have been doing have resulted in a lot of fat burn as I am now suddenly 73.8kg's after this speed run. I am not particularly dehydrated either. That is the lightest I have been in years, even lighter than after last years gastro problem where I lost 5kg in a week of misery. The weight loss by itself accounts for some of the improvement in speed I think.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Planned run 3km Time Trial

Date: 6 Apr 2010
Time: 11:40min
Distance: 3.00 km

I have rearranged my training schedule to have a mini taper leading up to a 10km race I am doing on 11th April. The schedule typically has a 3km TT, a 50min run next day and a 10x30second speed on the third day leading up to a race.

I felt a little sore from the 23km/2hr run I did on Sunday (two days ago) and did not feel very fresh at all today. I took off slightly easier than the last couple of speed runs I have done recently, and did a 3:51min/km for the first 1km. The next I eased up slightly again to do 3:56min/km for the second 1km. The last one I pushed slightly harder to finish with 3:53min/km.
Overall I think I paced a lot better for this one, more consistent. That left a little bit more to push and finish faster I think.

I used the footpod again and find that cadence was ever so slightly lower today, 89steps per minute average. Thew first 2kms were at 89, the last 90. Nothing wrong with that at all.

I feel that I am closer to being able to manage 4min/km for a distance run. Just a little more conditioning and I will be there and be able to run a sub 20min 5km as well as a sub 40min 10km. All this training is paying off.

What is particularly pleasing is that I am definitely not fresh today, yet I was still able to do another personal best for 3km. I have a 50min run tomorrow. I plan to do a tempo run at 4:20min/km for this run. For a run like this I will take off and do around 5min/km pace for the first 15min, then jump to 4:20min/km pace for the rest of the distance. This should help for finding the pace in teh 10km race too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Planned run 2 hours

Date: 4 Apr 2010
Time: 2hr00:39min
Distance: 23.13 km

Been sick all day, stomach pain and headache. With monotonous regularity I am suffering this illness. I think I will go to the doctor this week, as this is quite ridiculous. One week feeling good, the next this consistent illness. Sometimes bad like now, some times just a hint of it. And rarely simply feeling 'good'. After the run I felt quite bad too, elevated temperature, etc. Took two paracetamol and rehydrated.

Anyway, I ran this one at the right pace according to my training pace review, at 5:12min/km average pace. Last 2 hour run I did 4:57min/km and heart rate 140. This run, 5:12min/km and heart rate 134. Nice and low, indicating an easy pace.

I tightened up at around 20km tonight, and I felt quite bad after 18kms. Hips felt really sore. I think that this slower pace leads to a different running gait, and I got sore in a different way to usual. Maybe this slower run will help me in my survival pace. I definitely feel better running slightly faster.

Woke next day, felt much better. Headache and stomach ache gone. Also I weighed 74.3kg's this morning. That is the lightest I have been in at least 10 years. I don't seem to be dehydrated at all either, all signs show I am ok there. Pretty sure that January I weighed around 78kg's. So I am approaching racing weight. I could lose maybe 1kg more.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Training paces revised

Based on my 3km pace achieved today, I have revised my training paces:

5:12 min/km Easy run training pace
4:20 min/km Tempo run training pace
3:54 min/km Maximum oxygen training pace
3:36 min/km Speed form training pace
5:12 - 5:53 min/km Long run training pace
3:13 min/800 Yasso 800s training pace

I plan to do a 10km race next weekend and will revise the paces again based on that.

Planned run 15 minutes effort

Date: 2 Apr 2010
Time: 14:27 min
Distance: 3.65 km

Pretty good speed run.

I pulled up at 14:27 instead of the full 15 minutes because I ran along the waterfront to meet up with Christine and our new dog. We picked the dog up from the RSPCA dog refuge in Toowoomba ( a town near Brisbane).

We have named him Max, full name Maximum or possibly VO2 MAX ;) . According to the details we got from his carers at RSPCA, Max had a very difficult and cruel start to his life, which makes me both sad and enraged at the same time. He had to be carefully nursed back to health after a severe case of neglect. He was voluntarily surrendered by the owners, after they were threatened with prosecution by animal welfare inspectors.

He is only 1 year old and is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross. He has the Staffy face and head and is a bit taller and slimmer than a typical Staffy. First night with him and he has proven to be wise beyond his years, a perfectly gentle nature and so quiet !! I think so far we have gotten very lucky with Max, he is a perfectly behaved little fellow, and I cannot believe anyone could be cruel to him at all. And he has a perfect trot that will suit a long slow run pace. We won't take him on a run any longer than 50 minutes though - I won't run with him as I think I may be too fast for him over a long run, but Christine will be perfectly suited to take him. We took him on his first long walk with a little bit of running, and he is now snoozing at my feet as I write this :) I think he's pretty happy here to so far.

We recently introduced him to a friend's dog, a smaller female cross. He was an altogether different dog suddenly. Given a bit if time we will have him trained to be better behaved.

Anyway back to running, today I used my foot pod for the second time. I did an average cadence in this speed run of 91spm. That is pretty much spot on what I want to do. For geeky gratification again, I will calculate the stride length:

Distance : 3.65km == 3650 metres
Time : 14:27 == 867 seconds
Cadence : 91 strides per minute == 1.52 strides/second
Number of strides == 1317.84
Distance covered per stride == 2.77metres.

Stride length is 1.38 metres.

My slow run I did a couple of days ago, stride length was 1.22metres

I managed to do 3km in 11min45sec today - better than my last 3km TT where I did 11min56sec. So a tangible improvement again in a period of about three weeks. 11:45 is the fastest 3km I have done.

I do think I can go faster than that as I ran pretty well within my self today. I did not extend or push as hard as I could. I took off faster at 3:47 pace for the first 1km, 3:51 for the next and a 4:05 for the third km. I backed off ever so slightly for the rest of the run, and heart rate dropped by one bpm. Perhaps 4:08 is a maintainable pace for me right now based on the slight recovery of heart rate as I dropped speed.

Cadence did drop gradually over the distance:

1st km - 3:47min/km, 92spm cadence HR 141 av, MAX 159
2nd km - 3:52min/km, 92spm cadence HR 162 av, MAX 164
3rd km - 4:05min/km, 90spm cadence HR 165 av, MAX 166
4th km - 4:08min/km, 89spm cadence HR 164 av, MAX 165

I think if I do a proper warm up for this type of run, get my heart rate up a little and really push I will get below 11:30 for 3kms. I am getting close to 4min/km for 5 km distance too.

This all looks really good, I appear to have an appropriate cadence over a pace run, and a slightly longer stride length. That does not mean I actually stride out more at all, it is just that I travel further for each stride I take due to the higher speed I am moving at. I will revisit using the metronome next week for the speed runs I am scheduled to do, as that will help me in maintaining the consistent cadence.