Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 30 June 2010
Time: 50:04 min
Distance: 10.10 km

This is the last medium run before the marathon race of Sunday. I woke wih a bad headache this AM and felt quite ill - it has developed in to a sore throat tonight. I skipped running this morning and did this one this afternoon instead. I felt quite a bit better.

Run was really easy, felt like I could got really fast, but reigned the pace in carefully.

One more run tomorrow and that is it. I just hope thing throat thing does not develop, but I feel like it is.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Planned run 6 x 1min speed, 3o sec jog AND 4 x 30 sec speed with 30 sec job

Date: 29 June 2010
Time: 13 min
Distance: 3.07 km

One of the three last training runs before my marathon race this Sunday 4 July. I seem to be able to push hard and not fade too much, so that is a good sign.

According to the general theory of training most peopl;e subscribe to, a long period of aerobic training, longer distances is frequently followed by a lower mileage, faster interval period. The long aerobic period builds endurance, and the short period where a few intervals are done build anaerobic capability.

It sure did work last year, and I so I have to lay faith in the training program!! I am certainly in the best shape ever for any type of run - 5, 10, HM or whatever. Not at all sure if I am in ideal shape for a marathon. I am slowly getting the sense that maybe a more conservative goal time is sensible. Whatever feels good on the day is what I will do I think.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My 1st aniversary with the Garmin FOrerunner 405 GPS sports watch

The very first run I ever recorded with my Garmin 405 was last years last long run leading up to my first half marathon on July 5 2009.

So it is interesting to make a comparison:

This years run
Last years run

Both were 1hr 30 min duration. In last years run I believe I was fastidious about warm up so started with a heart rate at around 145 or so for the first 1km split. I did 18.13km in 1:29:52, and according to what I blogged about it, I was fading badly toward the end. In the run it self, I was doing faster splits in the middle but lost all pace at 17 km.

Av HR this year 137 last year 157. Even counting the fact that I warmed up properly before the run last year that is a massive difference. The biggest difference was the even pace this year and no fade what so ever. And this years run was over a hilly course, whereas last year it was almost completely flat.

Even if my marathon race on 4 July is a massive stuff up and meltdown, I have made a huge improvement in fitness overall this year.

Planned run 1 hour 30 minutes

Date: 27 June 2010
Time: 1:36:24 min
Distance: 18.93 km

Deliberately went slow for this one, and ran on the grass verge as much as possible. The dew on the grass made my shoes wet and slightly heavy. The grass slows me down quite a bit, and forces me to lift my feet a little more, so it is slightly harder than running on bitumen and cement paths. But the softer landing on grass reduces pounding.

This run was a lot harder than I had anticipated, some possible reasons - and combinations thereof:

- I have a bit more recovery to do
- The slower pace causes a less efficient running style - I have complained of this before - and makes my legs ache in places a faster more efficient style would avoid
- the grass makes it harder
- I used a slightly hilly course today

Anyway this is a reality check, and my pace should be conservative on race day. Although a more efficient pace is faster and so far seems more comfortable. I have been feeling ever so slightly flat during this taper period - Some literature I have read says that the last long run a week before should 'leave you feeling refreshed and energised'.. Well I do feel good, energy wise, but legs are quite sore and tired!! Other people have say that during the taper if you feel low, heavy that is a good sign, because you have peaked your work load leading up to the taper and maximum recovery happens in the last week of tapering.

Anyway we shall see what happens, 3 more runs to do and then the race. Wow.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fascinating effects of the taper period

The taper period is quite interesting:

- I feel like I need less sleep
- When I am up in the morning I feel immediately bright, waking is effortless, and I wake early naturally
- All the annoying niggles - long term minor injuries like my left knee 'hamstring' thing and the sore heels have both faded to almost gone.
- I seem to be steadily putting on weight - I was regularly 72.7 - 73.6 at the height of the work load. Now I am bumping 75kgs
- My mood has stabilised - Regretfully, I have been a bit moody for the last 2 months as the work load stacked up. Sorry about that everyone :(

The only concern I have is the weight. I hope that the last long run I have tomorrow, 1hr 30 minutes and the three days in a row Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday running will knock a bit of unnecessary fat off !!!

Overall everything is looking good. The usual mental challenges are coming up - Have I done enough? 'Oh no I feel like I am losing the edge now that I have backed off training' etc. I have to suspend disbeleif for the next 7 days, long enough to get to the race in a good frame of mind.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Planned run 6x2min speed with 30 second jog recovery

Date: 25 June 2010
Time: 15 min
Distance: 4 km

Garmin GPS watch had a brain explosion today, claims I did 889 metres in 2 minutes. Looking at the track it mapped out it seems it got the co-ordinates just a bit wrong.

Anyway this was a pretty good run for me, I managed all speed sections below 4min/km, and got a good workout from it. Lets hope the session makes the contribution to fitness I need for the race - theoretically this type of run is supposed to improve anaerobic capacity.

I am improving all the time in this taper period. No sign of any new injuries and the ones I have been carrying have come good lately. My last long run is in Sunday, 1hr 30. I plane to do it at about 5:00min/km pace, not too fast and not too slow. I want a nice comfortable run, and to feel refreshed and energised at the end of it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some facinating stats

It looks like this month of June will be the highest number of kilometres for a month tally I have ever done. At the moment with 4 more runs to do, it is at 178.01kms, and an average pace of 12.3km/hr, average heart rate of 146bpm.

Counting the two remaining distance training runs I have for this month, I estimate I will do:

1hr30 ~ 18km
50min ~ 10km

So the tally for this month of June will end up being 188kms PLUS. Since there are a couple of speed runs in there as well, I expect to break 190km for the month. Also likely to be a reasonably quick month, as there are shorter distances and speed runs remaining.

It is really clear from all the data collected so far that I can run faster and further, with a lower average heart rate now. Evidence of better fitness.

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 23 June 2010
Time: 50:26 min
Distance: 11.16 km

Did this run with the aim to come home faster in second half. In the end I actually did an almost perfect even split, thanks to the small hills toward the end of the route. Still not a bad run. The last two km's are the hardest and I don't think I had ever managed to do them in sub 4:40min/km after 8kms to fatigue me in a training run - this run I did them in 4:37 and 4:34. So a pretty good run.

I am running all the distance runs I have left in my training program at or better than the usual intensity I have been doing for the last 6 months, no need to back off. And I don't think there is much harm in going a fraction harder so long as recovery is good and I don't hurt myself. So far I feel just fine. Again this run was 'Comfortable, not easy but not fast'.

What this run does tell me is that it will be tricky to find that correct pace for the race. I remain convinced that 'feel' is a better way to pace. Just try to find a comfortable relaxed pace for the race itself. And it depends on how I am feeling on the day as to exactly how fast that is. I suspect around 4:40min/km is where I will end up. I found that pace almost naturally last year in my first HM race so maybe I will do it again for this one.

Injury wise - legs are best they have been in months, left knee is manageable, heels are no worse - in fact better these last few days. Everything else is good. Energy levels good during a run, but I have been feeling a bit flat overall, stomach upset.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Planned run 15 x 30 second speed with 30 second jog recovery

Date: 22 June 2010
Time: 15 min
Distance: 3.57 km

This is most certainly the best run of this type I have ever done. I was feeling flat and out of sorts this morning, but just fell into the run. The pace was right on the speed I need to do, except for a couple of lapses in concentration, but I did 5 more repetitions than I have done in the past.

Legs feel great, the rest has been good for them. I felt sore and ached yesterday, took Ibuprofen in minimal amounts and that seems to have done the trick. In particular the sore left knee flared up yesterday but is good today.

So after today's run I feel encouraged again. If all goes well I will be in the best shape I have ever been in for running on the day of the race.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Planned run 2 hours

Date: 20 June 2010
Time: 1:41:30 min
Distance: 20.84 km

Targeted 2 hours for this run, felt good and picked up the pace for a fast finish, but at 1:40 mark encountered my niece sitting alone in dark. I could not just leave her there so stopped and sat with her, eventually walked her home. She has been having arguments with mother, quite bad. No idea what to do about it.

It is irritating that this immature behaviour ( from both mother and daughter ) has knock on effects for everyone, including me. I hjave been training for this marathon for 6 months, and I do not need this sort of incident disrupting my training now. What these two do not realise is that their bad behaviour has a real effect on others, and they are being very selfish.

Anyway back to the running - I was feeling fresh enough at the time I had to stop to be doing 4:30min/km pace, picking it up from an easier 4:55 or so. I had run on the grass all the way, and that adds a little extra fatigue to the run, and I felt that. In fact overall I felt a quite flat compared the 30km race I did last Sunday - a week ago. That may be a good sign, and that I am making some recovery now which should be good for the race itself.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Planned run 15 minute effort

Date: 18 June 2010
Time: 15 min
Distance: 3.83 km

Best 15 minute effort run I have done. The last one was the same time BUT I stopped to rest at the halfway mark. This one I ran steadily and the whole way. The next best run of this type I did April 2, and managed to do slightly slower 3:57, but pulled up 33 seconds early.

So overall a small improvement. The thing is that I feel I could have gone further holding this pace. I felt quite strong.

Deciding the goal time for the Marathon

Here I am again trying to figure out what pace and goal time I should aim for in the marathon.

The last decent hit out I had is last Sunday's 30km race. In that I did :

30 km 2:22:32
21.19 1:35:20

Using the McMillan race equivalence calculator it tells me that for the 30km run and overall time, I can expect to do a 3:21 or there about.

Using my 1:35:20 time for the HM, it says I can aim for 3:18 or there about.

And using an estimation of what I feel my capability for the HM ( given the fact that I did not even try to do a fast HM initially) of about 1:33:00 McMillan says a 3:16:00 marathon is doable.

Note that McMillan equivalence calculator bases the predictions on real world results, and assumes that the required mileage for Marathon Training has been done. I think I may be a touch underdone for that but I will take a leap of faith and assume I have the training under my belt.

So for the three possible target times, plus a goal time of 3:15 for good measure, the 1 km splits are :

3:15:00 4:37min/km
3:16:00 4:39min/km
3:18:00 4:42min/km
3:21:00 4:46min/km

Essentially not that much difference over 1km at all!! I doubt I could really _feel_ the difference of running 1km distances back to back of 4:37 and 4:40 pace.

Looking back on the HM PB I did Sunday, I did 1:35:20, near enough to 1:35. That is almost spot on average 4:30min/km pace. I most certainly had some speed up my sleeve for that whole run, the first 2km were pretty slow. Overall in the 21.19kms, I ran 11 of those in less than 4:30, 6 in the 4:30's and 3 in the 4:40's. I did it relatively easily too. And when I finished the HM distance I dropped back in pace to do a little slower than 5min/km for the last 9km, and did that relatively easily too.

This leads me to think that slightly faster than 4:40min/km is a good conservative pace to take off at and aim to hold all the way. I also think that 4:37 is not that much faster to be something to worry about.

From all the above I can easily come up with my Ultimate, Challenging and Satisfactory goals:

Ultimate 3:15 4:37min/km pace
Challenging 3:18 4:42min/km pace
Satisfactory 3:21 4:46min/km pace

Now some fun and games. I am almost convinced I should aim for 4:37min/km for the whole race. IF I managed to hold that pace for 35kms, and fade to 5:27min/km pace for the rest, I will reach my satisfactory finish time of 3:21:00 for the marathon.

Hmmm. If I fade worse than that I am hosed. What to do!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Planned run 1 hour 20 minutes

Date: 16 June 2010
Time: 1:20:10 min
Distance: 15.60 km

Another good easy run, am definitely in need of recovery and so treated this run as a recovery. I went slow and easy, ran on grass as much as I could, even though it was night and dark and that increases risk of hurting or tripping. The grass areas are always uneven. Anyway the tactic paid off, felt comfortable and today (next day) I feel good.

I savoured ever step in this run too. A bit weird maybe, but it just felt good. All ok so far, managing all slight injuries ok, getting no worse, and knee in particular feels much better than usual. Again no injuries cause problems during a run. Energy levels were flaging slightly in the last few days, the only lasting effect of the fast 30km race I did Sunday. The rest of my running wwill certainly be done much easier for the next two weeks.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Planned run 15 hills speed

Date: 15 June 2010
Time: 36 min
Distance: 7.05 km

Did this session a couple of days after my hard hit out in a 30km race Sunday. No obvious ill effects from that run, legs are slightly sore, and I am ever so slightly fatigued by it, but overall just fine. No worse than the usual after effects I experience from any long Sunday run.

The Hills session I did ( last night as I write this now) was the best of thus type I have ever done. I used a medium incline that begins at a railway crossing at Wynnum North Station, and I ran up the hill in Wynnum North Road. I managed between 4min/km and 4:22min/km for all the reps, except for a few were I slacked off too much, and that was not necessarily due to fatigue, more to do with lack of concentration. Still this is indicative of a big improvement as I recall doing just 5 reps - not even SPEED reps a while ago on this hill and it used to be very difficult.

So I have clearly made really good cumulative progress over the whole training period. I have a 1hr20 comfortable run this evening - Usually I run in the AM but 'operational' issues have caused me to swap around for these few runs this week - and I am looking forward to be blissful work out such a run gives me. I will do a genuinely COMFORTABLE - NOT easy - NOT fast run for this one, probably about 5:20min/km pace, and aim to run on grass for as much of it as I can manage, to ease the pounding on my feet.

Injury wise, I have slightly tender ball of right foot, but no big deal. Heels are tender occasionally after rest but good after a warm up, no changes there. The long term left knee issue - Had it since August last year !!!! - flares ever so slightly after long runs, but seems to calm down after a nights rest, so that is ever present and looms ready to end my campaign. But never gets any worse so it should be ok.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Planned run 2 hours 30 minutes

Date: 13 June 2010
Time: 2:22:32 min
Distance: 30.32 km

Did a Brisbane Road Runners Club self select race this AM. A 5km lap, and you choose how many laps to do. I tagged along with some guys that were doing good consistent 1km pace of about 4:30min/km - Damon, Pete, Wayne . They were certainly a step ahead of me in fitness and speed, they were doing the 35 km distance - 7 laps. I was doing 6 laps. Tagging along with them I found that I was going to be 3 minutes ahead of my Half Marathon PB of 1:38:58, so at about 19kms I took off to see if I could scrape up a few more seconds. I ended up doing 21.15 at 1:35:04, so I estimate that the final time was about 1:35:20 . That is a PB by 3min 18seconds, pretty impressive. To be honest I had that in me for the last 3 months I just have not had an opportunity to do it.

I then did another 9kms slow, walking to get water, and ended up 30.32km at an averaged pace of 4:39min/km. That pace is the same as my previous best HM. Not sure yet if 4:40min/km is the right pace to do the full marathin at yet, shall see how I am on the day, and how training goes in the mean time.

The only question is - did I work too hard today iven the fact I am in a taper now? I don't think so personally, I should recover pretty well. Heart rate at the beginning was pretty nutty, I think it was s=not sensing beats properly. After I start running it settled into some readings that made sense. Haert rate average over the whole distance was 145BPM, which indicates that overall I did not work that hard at all.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 11 June 2010
Time: 51:26 min
Distance: 10.53 km

Last of the recovery runs for this recovery week. Legs are in good nick, energy levels really good, and aerobically probably in the best condition I have ever been in my life.. At least _trained_ condition. When I was a kid I could do pretty fast 400's 800's and 1500 metres runs, just run until I dropped.. These days I need to work at it.

In this run again there was no fast running, I was comfortable. It was not easy, and I did put in two km's in a row at 4:30min/km pace. Reigned it in a bit and ended up about 4:50 pace average.

I still have the left heel pain at the beginning of a run. It was especially sharp this morning, despite trying to warm up first. I do recall last winter having a similar problem and I was using a heat pack to warm my feet up before I hit the road. That worked really well, so I will do that from now on. Cannot hurt. The fact that the problem has been fairly consistent, not getting much worse at any given time makes me think this is just something I have to live with and manage rather than a dire sign of injury.

I am really looking forward to the rest of the training, I seem to be enjoying the running so much. And as far as the race on July 4 is concerned, I am so tempted to throw caution to the wind and hit it hard. The way I see it, training is the big pay off and the fun part. Races are were you should hurt and suffer!! The race is only a few hours long after all.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Planned run 1 hour 20 minutes

Date: 9 June 2010
Time: 1:21:55 min
Distance: 16.62 km

Good mid week longish run. Energy levels were really good, aerobically comfortable. legs are still fatigued from the 35km run from Sunday, and the easy run yesterday.

This run was _still_ too fast according to conventional running literature. It was in fact faster than my marathon race pace, or if I am a little more ambitious, about smack on marathon race pace. The thing is that this run is quite short, and it is easy for me to get this run done at this pace. It most certainly was not hard or FAST at all.

I feel great after this run, only slightly worked and pleasantly tired. That is how I should feel after a run like this. Legs in good condition, no injury problems.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 8 June 2010
Time: 54:28 min
Distance: 10.23 km

This week is a recovery period, where I am supposed to do no fast running. For me after the last 3hr run on Sunday, this recovery week is certainly necessary. I did run too fast, and ended up very sore and fatigued.

The run today, I did as much as I could on grass to ease the pounding on my feet and joints. Running on grass helps me go slower and also causes me to lift feet slightly more than going slow on a smooth surface. That should be good for me too.

Heart rate average was 133BPM, and average pace 5:19min/km. Not exactly 5:30min/km pace or even slower as some pacing charts from famous running coaches suggest, but a good easy recovery run for me.

Injury wise, I have not accumulated anything new - The old left heel pains on hills occasionally, hurts when I am cold but completely disappears once warmed up, so no worse than it has ever been. The left knee problem flared a little this week too, felt a twinge as I began this run, but again it is no-where near as bad as it has been.

Overall a good way to be right now. Two more recovery runs this week and a 2:30:00 long run this Sunday. I plan to do that run easy for the first 2hrs and try to do my ultimate marathon race pace for the last 30 minutes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Planned ruin 3 hours

Date: 6 June 2010
Time: 3:00:13 min
Distance: 35.34 km

The final 3hr run is done. I have made incremental improvements each time I did the 3hr run, three in three weeks in succession:

Jun 6 - 3:00:13 35.34km Average pace 5:06min/km Heart rate 143 average
May 30 - 2:59:02 34.17km Average pace 5:14min/km Heart rate 145 average
May 23 - 2:56:20 31.55km Average pace 5:35min/km Heart rate 140 average

This one I went out just running comfortably, not looking at 1km splits at all. Looking at the data from my watch, I pretty much held up until around 24kms where I started to slow down. That lines up with what I felt a while after I turned around at 1hr30.

The pace I did was far too fast, that is obvious - and faster than the last two 3hr runs. But I still held on better in the later stages than for any of the other 3hr runs.

I ended up with an average pace of 5:06min/km, which is a shade too slow for a 3:30 marathon. Somewhere between the close to 4:40min/km pace I did for the first 21kms or so and the average of 5:06 is the optimum pace for the 35km distance I ran today.

I just need to figure out what that pace might be. I should have been feeling the effects from the last two 3hr runs today, and that will slow me down. The taper for the next 4 weeks should build on today's effort and I should also be fresher for the race. So I should accumulate more speed and be in better shape.

I can only hope. Now I need to avoid getting a flu or cold and avoid injuries for the next 4 weeks, hit the speed. interval and hill runs hard and eat properly.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Planned run 10x30 second speed with 10 second recovery

Date: 4 June 2010
Time: 10 min
Distance: 1.99 km

Bit of an idiot on this run - Ran fast for 30sec, and stood for recovery instead of the corect JOG recovery. Regardless I felt fast with plenty of spring and strong. So it was a worthwhile workout even if incorrect.

I have my last 3hr run on Sunday, and am tempted to do a 10km race in the AM with a easy run after to make up the time.. We shall see. I do need to see how my pace is going over that distance to help gauge the pace I should aim for in the marathon race in less than 5 weeks time...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Planned run 50 minutes

Date: 2 June 2010
Time: 50:04 min
Distance: 10.95 km

Pretty good slightly faster run this evening.. I was not feeling that good, and took off reasonably easy. I soon started going faster. Again I did not monitor my pace at all during the run, just ran to how I felt.

I did push toward the end, but not to any extreme effort at all. Overall, I seem to be in good shape. Just need to complete all the training runs and sharpen up speed wise. I do feel I am slightly behind on where I was in April. However I think my endurance is much more advanced than I was in April.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Planned run 3km TT

Date: 1 June 2010
Time: 11:42 min
Distance: 3.0km km

The break from proper training up until 19th May does seem to have had a lasting effect. My ability to run fast over shorter distance has deteriorated quite a bit. My legs feel ok right now, but aerobically I feel a bit low. I cannot sustain 3:30 pace repeatedly at all, I just run out of breath.

Perhaps this is a result of the longer distances as well as the disrupted training. I have been told that focusing on longer runs tends to slow you down a bit over shorter distances.

I had to stop at each 1km split today, and I used the convenient excuse that my shoelace came undone. It actually DID come undone twice, each time just before the 1km split. I could have kept going with the loose lace but I didn't.

Tomorrow I have a 50min run and a 10x30sec speed run with 30sec rest the next day. Three days off and then a 3hr run.

I plan to do an accurate dressed rehearsal of the race in that run. That includes taking Gu at each 10km mark and drinking 200ml of water. I will try to pace at exactly 4:55km/min as well, a pretty ambitious time. But the only way to know what goes one when I do that pace over a longer distance is to actually try!!