Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recovery run #5

20 minutes easy - after 20 minutes on cross trainer


Quicker short run home for fun:


Took it easier on the cross trainer today, and did 20 minutes running. In general I am going to do a gradual increase:

15min 15min 15min 15min
20min 15min 15min 20min   + 10min
20min 15min 20min 20min   +  5min
20min 20min 20min 20min   +  5min
25min 20min 20min 25min   + 10min
25min 25min 25min 25min   +  5min

That is the weekly workload over the full 6 weeks recovery program. I am at the beginning of week 2, the first 20 minute run.

This last week, I managed 3 good runs, the 4 was unplanned, and opportunistic due to XMass break.

Today I managed 3.89km running, 6.4 km on cross trainer, combined total 10.29km

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Run 3 in 6 weeks recovery

Another recovery run, after a harder cross training session:


I did a short faster run after:

I worked much harder on the cross trainer today, did about 7.6km according to the readout. Total km combined cross trainer and running was 10.4km.

Heels were completely fine on this run- on the first two I felt twinges but this one was good.

I uploaded the data from my watch and see that I have managed to hit the highest heart rate I have ever recorded with my Garmin watch, which is pretty surprising. 176 bpm. Appart from the rogue 210 my watch recorded once in a 10km race a while ago.

I think the 176bpm is legit, the 210 a miss-read. Obviously I am not running easily in these 15 minute runs, but I don't want to.

15 min Monday 19 Dec

Second run done on Monday 19 December. Managed to go slightly further than the first run on Saturday, so slightly faster. I did a slightly different course, flatter.


Last 1km again was HR 170.  I worked harder on the elliptical cross trainer with total again around 10km. Overall it was a slightly harder workout.

Too early to feel any real fitness improvements, been pretty darned tired as a result of the recent work. I was slightly sore in muscles and that has improved, so I have recovered ok.

I have another run to do this evening, shall again do cross trainer and then run.

Heels are _ok_. I have twinges on my right heel, the left has been pretty good. During running things feel just that little bit awkward, its possible that working on cross trainer first causes it, it could also be in my mind, being over cautious. I don't relax into the run yet as I have when I am well trained and running well.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I am back to running !! Slow return..

Visited physio Friday 16 Dec 2011, did the load tests. Here is how it went:

Give me 10  - Did ten both feet no pain
Give me 20 - Did 20, both feet no pain
Give me 40 - Did 40, both feet no pain

A total of 70 hops both feet, each no pain. When I first visited it was 3 hops, and pain 7/10 rating. Very pleased with this. Obviously :)

Physio gave me a 6 week program where I run 4 days a week, starting off 15 minutes run first week, slow build up. Did my first run today, and it feel so good, I really know what I like about running. I makes you feel great.

So I managed to do 3.11 km today, 4min51 pace. I concentrated on cadence, and managed 83. Theory is the faster the cadence, the better the posture ( up to a point ). What I am aiming for is ideal running form to avoid injury, good forfoot running.  My heart rate average was 161 . The last run I did was 110 Octobare, a 5 km run, where I did 4min24 pace and heart rate was 146. I have lost a lot of fitness, but I am just happy to be on the way back.


I did 20 minutes on my cross trainer, 7.3km. Combined distance 10.41kn, time 35 minutes.

So, ho are my heels? Pretty darned good. Only slight pain after resting. So obviously I still have a way to go. But really I did 3klm with NO PAIN for the first time in at least 18 months. Next run Monday .. WooHooo

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Still trying to resist the temptation to run. Bit difficult

I have been a little ill for about 4 days, just a constant headache. Its finally gone now.

Took our dog MAX for a walk this morning, we walked along the waterfront and out on a peer constructed of concrete and stone. About 150metres. On the way back I just started jogging, really easy, only about 100 metres in total. No pain no problem what so ever. 

Continued walking, and then jogged another 100 metres to the car. Again no problems, no pain.

More importantly there was no problem later in the day, after rest I can just get up and go. I am certainly at a better stage than I was a few weeks ago. I am severely bored though, and that is the biggest challenge. My cross training machine is dead boring too, am finding it difficult to get motivated to use it.

Self discipline is something I lack. All I really am motivated to do is to run. When I get back to some running I will use the cross trainer before and after the short runs I will be doing.

I have also discovered that walking can give you a reasonably good work out. So I will walk the dog every morning regardless of whether I am running on that day or not, and incorporate steep hills.

Friday, December 2, 2011

No pain while running

I was late for the train to get to work. I had to sprint for the train. For the first time in more than 18 months I was able to just go. No extended warm up required and  no pain what so ever.

Pretty pleased with progress so far. Even better is that I was no worse after having indiscriminately sprinted.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Progress in rehab

25 days since the cortisone injections. I have had several physion sessions where he performs a load test, and does a bit of trigger manipulation in calf.

I have been doing 3x15 eccentric heel drops twice a day on left foot only. The load test is performed like so:

- Hop once on left foot. Pain rating out of ten
- Hop three times on left foot. Pain rating out of ten
- Increase to five, ten etc

When I first visited the physio, I could do 1 at 6/10 pain level on left foot, 3 at 7/10, 10 at very painful. The right foot was not as bad but still painful.

Visited physio yesterday 25 November 2011, and could do ten on left foot with NO pain. Right foot, the normally good one I did 1,3,5,10 and pain was about 2/10.

The theory right now is that the right foot hurts because I am favoring the left, hence why the left is being treated.

From now on I am doing 3x15 eccentric heel drops twice a day on the left, and once a day on the right.

Things are looking good. I have finally got myself a Elliptical cross trainer. Been using it once a day for about a week, and only 20 minutes. I begin with 5 minutes forwards, then do five minutes backwards, and finish off with 10 minutes forward fast. It seems that 20 minutes allows me to do near enough to '8km'  according to the computer on the training machine, which is surprisingly fast. If I could do 8km in 20 minutes running I'd be well pleased.

I am so looking forward to getting back into running. It will be like a new beginning. I plan to stick to a gradual build up, maintaining a good pace and form in training. I strongly feel that much of the problem I have had with my heels was caused by poor running form. And the poor running form is caused by running while tired. I was running the long runs because I needed to get them done in my training plan, where as I would have been better off not having the Marathon race goal and steadily building up the distance over a longer period.

When I return to running I am going to stick to runs where my form is good, and as soon as it starts to deteriorate, stop.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Boring as bat poo - physio :)

Continuing with my boring as bat poo theme I have today attended my first appointment with physio. The plan in general terms:

  • eccentric heel drops, 3 sets of 15, twice a day. Work on the BAD heel  first, the left one only.
  • self massage on alternate days one leg at a time - Deep massage, in calf muscle to loosen it all up, once a day.
  • Visit once a week for one on one for the next few weeks
  • Commence cross training as I want, recommend Elliptical Cross Trainer, 40-50 minutes a day, and avoid speed sessions. Want to avoid heel tension
The above plan will continue for probably 2 months. That gives me a possible schedule of late January before I get back to running again. More likely 3 months, and thus February.

And my return to running has to be careful and gradual even then. SO I will probably do a 10km race in July and aim for a Half Marathon later in the year 2012.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day six since the injections

The improvement is quite remarkable. All day I was walking without pain, something that in general I had not done for at least 18 months.

Only this afternoon after work did I feel a slight bit of pain in the left heel. I made an appointment and will see the Physio tomorrow at 10AM. Really looking forward to getting a plan, and am very optimistic that I will be running again pretty soon.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Another update - 85%

Things are gradually getting better, the right heel is completely 100% right now. The left heel all day has been brilliant, only this evening after a couple of hours TV watching ( Cannot do much else these days) it has felt a bit sore when I walk. I rate it at about 85% now.
All I have to do is think back to Monday 31 October, the day before the injections, and I realise how much better both heels are. I go through cycles where I am so happy that the heels are not hurting, and get all ambitious and motivated for another stab at a marathon, then I feel a twinge and get all dejected again. Its terribly frustrating to have _everything_ good, knees, hips, ankles toes, hamstrings.. And have one stabby pain in the left heel holding me back. I never have had patience for anything. I am having patience forced upon me , and have at least 6 weeks before I am going to hit the road again.
I am sort of piecing together a strategy for training, but I want to talk to my Physio before I actually start doing anything. I have a letter of referral from the Dr that gave me the Cortisone injections to see a Physion at QSMC, and apparently he has a special interest in the injury I have experienced.
What I want to do is get an elliptical cross trainer machine, as I found previously in gyms that they give me a good work out. I will try to build up to one hour a day on the machine, and then gradually introduce running again, in addition to the cross trainer. The aim is to get a whole lot of fitness with less actual running time. Its sad that what I enjoy the most is what buggered up my feet.. The challenge will be to make the elliptical cross training sessions are not dead boring.. Hmm, TV ??

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Progress after Cortisone heel injections

Injections were done around 11AM Tuesday 1st November 2011. Injected both Cortisone and anaesthetic into both heels , directly into the bursa's.
Initial pain was bad enough, with discomfort from the pressure the most significant issue to deal with. Made me sweat a bit.
Immediately after injections, pain subsided completely in both heels, due to local aesthetic.
Pain 24 hours later was minimal, but slightly tender in left heel ( the worst one) and in the right the pain was due to the needle stick mostly I think. Pain steadily worsened...
Woke up today, Thursday, and as I write this its 48 hours after the injections. Left heel is still slightly tender, and I am still cautious about walking after resting for a while, but in general its a massive improvement to how I was prior to injections.

Cortisones effect is supposed to kick in about 48 - 72 hours after injection, so if there is more improvement to come, I am pretty optimistic.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Heel injections

Got to Dr, made the appointment. Gosh he is a good bloke, like him a lot.

We discussed the injury again, and one of the things we discussed was the fact that both heels have a similar problem. Left is the worst and it was the one that had MRI scan.

The MRI scan showed obvious Bursa problem, and marginal tendon involvement, with Haglunds lump possibly involved. And so it was decided that the most likely source of pain is Bursa, and not Tendon issues.

The reasons for doing the worst one ( left heel ) on its own:
- See if cortisone has significant effect, if so consider doing the right later
- Injection carries risk - Infection, flare up of bursa, more pain etc. Thus doing one means at least I won't be limping on both until it recovers.

SO we discussed, and in a 30 second moment of consideration, we decided to do both. The biggest reason to do one at a time is that because it hurts so much I maybe won't tolerate the second one in quick succession. Anyway we did both because I said I think I can handle it ;)

The pain was quite a lot, but certainly not as bad as I had anticipated. As I said to the Dr it is not something I'd line up for..But not the worst I had experienced, In fact sometimes the pain at the beginning of a training run was worse.

The worst heel (left) I expected to hurt a whole lot, but in fact while it stung initially, and I felt discomfort and pressure while he pushed the needle in, it really did bring almost immediate relief. The right heel is the least painful and it seemed to hurt more.

Anyway its done and relief is generally immediate. I am habitually cautious when I walk after sitting for a long period, but I realise quite soon that it just does not hurt like it has for the last 18 months. 11 hours after the injection I write this.

5 days from now, I see a Physio, and begin a rehab program. I hope on that day I am walking freely and ready to go!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Injury status - I do have a Haglunds bump

I got the scan done, had it interpreted by my sports physician. The guy is really good, seems to have my best interests at heart.

The diagnosis is that I certainly have Haglunds syndrome, but it is apparently one of the best scenarios for such a condition. I have minimal if any tendon involvement, and the pain is from Bursa inflammation. The Haglunds bump may not even be involved in the Bursa inflammation, it could simply be too much running and not enough recovery.

My treatment is Cortisone injection in left heel, if that helps do the other one. And then physio for the next 6 to 8 weeks. From then on, gradual intro to running.

Very much looking forward to getting back to some running again. Will update when I have had the injections. Apparently they hurt a bit!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Update - Seeing Sports Physician for heels problem

I have partially recovered from flu - in fact I am vastly improved. I did a quite a few runs, one 5km race where I did a slow 21:45...

I did 22 minutes 5km in training 2 weeks later when I was feeling MUCH better, and did it quite easily. So I am certainly on the mend.

However, my heels problem that has plagued me for at least 18 months has come back. I am very poor at personal risk assessment I have realised. I tend to gauge things on a day to day, moment by moment basis. Thus what would seem bleeding obvious to someone else - like the long term issues with my heels, and the profound effect it has had on my running - tended to be overlooked by me. I am an eternal optimist.

I was confronted by this fact just the other day - the day the Melbourne Marathon results came out. Second year in a row where I had entered the race but pulled out due to injury one year and illness this year. It occurred to me that I was actually planning to do exactly the same thing I did last year - wait and see if heels hold up to increased work load.

So I thought I have had enough of this, I want to seek medical help and get it sorted once and for all. My aims are simple:

- Get to the stage where sustained, week in week out mileage of 60-70 kms can be done

The reality is that I have never achieved this basic requirement, and according to many experts, to be able to run _good_ marathon races and finish ultra's like the Comrades event in South Africa, I need to be able to hold together with mileage beyond 60km.

So I have seen a Dr. I now have Nitro-dur patches, 1/4 on one patch on one heel each night, alternating. They cause slight headache in morning so far. And I am getting an MRI done this afternoon to see exactly what is going on in detail. Oncewe know for sure what i going on the final plan on treatment can be formed. It could be one of the following in decending order of seriousness:

- Haglunds syndrome - Abnormality causing tendon inflamation. Needs surgery to fix. This one seems unlikely
- Achilles Heel Insertional Tendinosis. This seems most likely based on where the pain originates - Shockwave therapy, and long term strengthening and reintro of running over a LONG period
- Heel bursrtis, cortesone injections, and gradual reintro to running

It could also be a combo of bursitis and Tendinosis.

Anyway, worst case, 6 months, next best 2 -3 months , and best case 1-2 months.

At least I have some hope now :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

End of week August 27 2011

This is the end of the first week back after a terrible flu I had. 23 days after coming down with a bad cough and flu like symptoms, having 4 full days off work, and 4 full days where I had a fever and aches etc, I STILL have remnants of a cough.

I did an acceptable 28km run last Sunday, but that left me with really sore calf muscles. I had to deal with that all week pretty much, so clearly the pace I did that day and the distance was just a little too much to recover properly from.

The next run I had scheduled was (2x1200 2min RI) X 3 for Tuesday. I delayed it until Wednesday, but even then the calf muscles were not too good at all. I did it anyway, a bit of a mixed up run, I did not use my watch correctly and stuffed up the timing of the Intervals. The results are not really worth linking to Garmin Connect here. Pretty slow!!

I attempted a 16km Marathon Race Pace run yesterday morning. 23 days after doing a brilliant 10km MP pace run on 4th August, I could not handle 4min30/km pace for more than 6km or so. I pulled up and got water, toilet and continued a little slower for another 2km. This week I have been 'on call' pager duty for my work. Two nights in row I had alerts paging just about all night, each time recovering within ten minutes. So I was severely sleep deprived.

In all I did about 10km including warmup. The overall pace was slow and I did not feel at all good, the poor fitness and the hrd runs all contributed to me feeling pretty down in the morning.

The warmup:

The first 6km:

The last 2km:

A pathetic warm down:

After a really tough busy day at work, where I was still sleep deproved and rather irritated by the fact that we have an alert system that seems to serve the sole purpose of torturing any poor bastard that is 'on call' I felt the need to cheer myself up.

We have a rental property at Cleveland and it has just been re-tenanted so we visited to drop off a 'welcome' pack. I got dressed for a run and had Christine drop me off a little distance from home. I did an unplanned night run just for the hck of it, at a more comfortable pace than I have been doing recently. It ended up being only 8km, but it was not too bad at all considering I had done about 10km on the morning of the same day.

This has woken me up to something I had sort of considered before but discounted. I find that I really need recovery time - full days off where I don't do any distance runs. But I also need to get my mileage up so that I hve some sort of fitness basis to buil on for running a good marathon race. Having three running days a week makes it difficult to get the mileage up, so perhaps running twice a day on ome days will be ok.

So, depending on how I feel, I may get home on the afternoon of a hard interval or tempo run and do a recovery run at a comfortable pace like I did last night. Here is the run:


After doing this run I fel whole lot better about my running. It was slightly tough run, but it may well be beneficial. I don't feel too bad at all the day after.

I have a 24km run for Sunday ( Tomorrow ) at a pace of 4min42/km. That is a pace I have proven I can do many times. My first ever HM race I managed sub 4min40 pace!! I did a 30km race last year at sub 4min40 as well so I have the capability to do it.. But I just may not be fit enough tomorrow. I will give it a go though. You never know I my well be on the up and start hitting the training paces I have planned next week.

My marathon race pace is certainly going to be about 4min40 on October 9. The exact pace depends on how I feel and the how the day pans out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pace revison time. And goal pace for Melbourne needs assessement after illness

Having been ill for 17 days, and having effectively missed two long runs and a few mid week tempo and speed interval runs, I feel I have lost a lot of time. Time that I needed to get my fitness level to a point where a 4min30 Marathon race pace was realistic.

Realistic is the word I need to concentrate on - If things had gone well and I had not gotten ill things would be significantly different now. On the day I got ill I had finally got a really good tempo run done. I was aiming for 4min30 over 10km, and managed 4min25 average and did it well. At that time it was looking good, and I was expecting to build my endurance at that pace.

At this moment 17 days later, I feel I am at maybe 85%, and will need at least another week or so before I will be fully fit again. I just did a 27.8km run today where I struggled to hold 4min49 pace. I was supposed to do 32km at that pace. While I am not unhappy with the effort today, its a huge improvement from a week ago, its still a setback. Each and every long run where I fail to finish the full distance and achieve the planned pace is a sign I am not going to make it to my goal pace for the race on Oct 9.

So I need to revise my race pace goal, and revise my training paces accordingly, so that I get the full distances done and done well. At this stage, 3hr20 seems a more realistic goal. In fact it is still a big stretch and very optimistic considering where I am now, but I want to try for it.

3hours 20 is 4min45 average. When I am running well I think I can do that, maybe a little faster. Basically what I will do is add add 10 seconds to all the training paces I have planned, and see how it goes. I still think my tempo runs paces are ok. I have a speed interval on Tuesday, 1200metres at 3min47, so adding 10 sec its going to be 3min57 pace. The tempo run scheduled on Thursday is a 16km run at MP (Marathon Race Pace) which _was_ 4min30/km. 16km at 4min40 might feel a little too easy, so I may go for 4min30 depending on how I feel.

Finally got back to decent running - 32km at MP+19 ==4min49 pace and the WA method carb load

I have had a pretty terrible time of it lately. Ill since Thursday 4th August 2011. Bad flu. I still have the cough 17 days later !!!

I had a tempo run scheduled for Thursday 18th, but just did not feel up for it. I got about 1.5 km in and fell appart again, coughing and nearly throwing up. I was trying to run and breath, and trying to not cough at all as I wanted to knock the junk off my chest. It got to a point where the urge to cough was overwhelming. It was horrible. So I pulled up, and rested, then ran again doing a couple of pacey 1 km or near enough distances.

I won't list the runs here they are` rather pathetic :)

I attempted a 32km run at 4min49 pace today 21 August 2011, but pulled up at 27.8km, having managed to hold it together for an average pace of 4min56. Compared to what I was capable of last weekend - where I could not run any more than 12km of my long run I have made a huge amount of progress getting over the illness. The run recorded:


I failed yet again to reach the full distance, tanked at around 25km, where I started to slow from the pace I was supposed to do. I think I simply did not have enough legs, everything else was ok. I am still coughing and feeling ever so slightly unwell. I rate myself about 85% right now so I have a way to go to improve.

I also did the WA method carb loading. I think it did no harm having done a few speed runs in the dog park with MAX our dog the day before the long run. I ate well, attempting to jamb as much carb food into my gob as possible over the Saturday. I think the WA Method carb loading worked ok. I need to fine tune it, particularly the run the day before. I did not do precisely 2min30 at 3min26 pace, as I had our dog MAX with me so next time I will do strictly what is prescribed. Energy levels were quite good the whole way though so I have reason to feel more optimistic now about my running

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Carb LOading experiment - The WA Method

I plan to experiment a little for the long run. There is this 'Western Australian' method of carb loading. The page here describes the method:


I have the 7km ST run on Thursday, and have Friday and Saturday as 'rest days'. I had added a 8km easy run to my schedule on Saturday, but I think I will take the opportunity to experiment and do the WA Method carb load instead. So, on Saturday I will do a 2min30 speed run at 120% VO2MAX. That is supposed to me my '1 mile race pace'. Using my fastest 3km that is about 3min26 pace. Then a 30 second sprint. And over the whole day I need to eat 12g of carbs per kg lean mass.

I assume that lean mass is my total weight minus body fat. I estimate I have about 20% body fat, and I weigh 75kg. That is 60kg lean mass. SO the amount of carbs I need to consume in the 24 hour period after the Saturady speed workout is:

60 x 12g == 720grams

It will be rice, bagels and potatoes all day !!

So the plan for Saturday:

- Early morning easy jog 1km to my usual location for Intervals
- Run for 2min30 at 3min26/km pace. ie fast but not sprint
- Rest briefly, and do an all out 30 second sprint
- Walk home
- EAT 720grams of carbs over the whole day
- Reap the benefits of the WA Method Sunday and do a brilliant 32km run at 4min49 pace

(1600,400mRI) (3200, 800RI) (2x(800, 400RI)) . Failed again

I am still recovering from flu. I was supposed to do a combo of intervals last night but just did not feel well at all. Still coughing, and low energy. Legs were still sore from the Sunday run.

I did a reasonable warmup:


Then I did fastish run just short of 1km:

I then got really annoyed and decided to 'sprint' a little just to shake out the cobwebs. I am getting REALLY frustrated right now, it feels like I have lost a month of conditioning. SO I did some short faster runs:


Finally I jogged home:

I need to be patient and just get back into the swing of training properly. I have 7km at Short Temp pace Thursday. I seem to handle these types of runs much better than I do the intervals, so I am looking forward to it. I expect it to be a bit of a challenge based on my recent fitness after the flu, but we shall see how it goes. I then have a 32km at 4min49 to do. That will likely be a struggle.

Monday, August 15, 2011

29km at MP+19 == 4:49


Failed dismally yesterday. 9 days since I came down with flu. I still have the lingering cough, and yesterday I could only manage 12kms before I felt I had to stop. After stopping, I had a coughing fit for nearly 10 minutes. Clearly I am not well yet!!

Its a bit disappointing to go from a brilliant 10km tempo at 4min25pace 9 days ago, doing it EASY and feeling great and do this run yesterday, barely holding 5:10 pace for only 12km. Heartrate was up at about 144bpm avrage for the run, so its certain that I am a bit tressed from illness.

Anyway it was good to get out and run again. Muscles are really quite sore afterwards. I have a tough speed session tomorrow evening. Not sure how I should attack it, whether I should back off little on pace or not. I will see how I feel at the time.

It feels like I have lost a month of conditioning, not 9 days.. I have effectively missed two long runs - a 21km and a 29 from yesterday. A tally of the runs I missed:

7th August 21km at 4min39 pace
9th August 6x400
11th August 5km Short Tempo
14 August 29km at 4min49 pace

Looking at it this way it does not look so bad, only 4 runs. But every little bit counts if I want to make it on race day with the ability to run a 3hr10 Marathon !!

Friday, August 12, 2011

8 days illness.

Been ill since Thursday 4th August. 8 days in total. I still have a reasonably bad cough, but am back at work since yesterday. 4 straigt days of fever, and one of th worst coughs I can recall ever having. Doctor says a flu like illness. Did not seem bothered to try and detirm what flu strain. I doubt it matters.

I have been extremely irritable, I cannot take crap from anyone. I am trying not to be offensive but its hard!! Yesterday, I spoke to a friend and the very first thing they said was 'You aren't training too much are you? It really irritated me, enough that I snapped back. Something along the lines of 'Its an effing virus, you know, what even idle unfit people that spend all their spare time in front of the TV can get'

I am actually quite fed up with people trotting out this crap. I am in touch with my health, much more so that anyone else I know. Its in my best interests to do so. And for people to some how be knowledgeable enough to assume that I am 'training too hard' when its damn well flu season, and every man and his dog is coming down with something. Uggh it just pisses me off.

I know it sounds nasty, but its as if they are somehow vindicating or justifying their own idleness and lack of exercise by my apparent 'unhealthy' state. I thinks it is just plain rude to say such things without KNOWING the full story. I don't make broad assumptions about them and blurt it out.

Anyway I need to drop this negative thought process and get better. Doctor says its a virus and assured me it has absolutely nothing what so ever to do with being 'run down ' or training too hard. Its something that affects perfectly healthy individuals as much as it does those suffering from 'too much training'. Humph !!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

1.5 Easy, 10km LT, 1.5km easy - LT == 4:29min/km

Warmup - 2.3km instead of 1.5km:

10km LT:

1.5 Warm down:

Managed to do 4:25min/km average pace, and it felt reasonably comfortable. I had felt tired and irritable all day, and on the way home in the train I suddenly developed a cough. After the run I felt great though..

Later in the night the cough got rapidly worse. I kept waking up, aching, coughing, felling ill. And today, full body aches, sweats, and thoroughly ill. This feels like a full blown flu this time. The fact it came on so suddenly..

Rather annoying this. A great run and now most likely at least a week off running, maybe more. It may be a blessing in disguise of course. I was working pretty hard. The problem is that my training program requires steady build up of pace and distance in the speed and temp runs, and increasing pace in the long runs. SO I may have to revise things when it comes time to step out and run again.

Oh yeh and - Is this bad run of illness due to too much running? I doubt it. Work colleagues have been ill, as have their families. And there is a flue season coming on right now. SO I think its normal, and nothing to do with too much running. And its still a good thing to get ill now rather than 1 month or a week before the race. I still have time to improve fitness and give the race a good go.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

6x800 at 4:41 pace

Warmup !!!


The run:




Managed to do this one much better than previous efforts. Paces for each:


I was much closer to the goal pace of 3min41 this time, again this is evidence that I am getting fitter, so I am very pleased. The hard work is beginning to pay off. I felt like I could push hard for the first time this year...

That fact that I find it difficult to hit the goal pace of 3min41 for 6 x 800m yet I was able to do 3min40/km for 3km in a row a couple of weeks ago is odd. I think its clear that I was a little rested when I did the 3km TT, and the run was almost certainly enhanced by cold medication too I realise. Maybe when I am properly rested again I will be able to repeat the performance.

I am still feeling a little sore from the long run on the weekend. I have a 10 run at LT pace - 4min29/km pace on Thursday. I like these runs they seem to suite me well, so I am looking forward to it. I then have a 21km Sunday at 4min39 pace.

This week is a slightly lower mileage week so I should make a little bit of recovery too. That should set me up to do the speed runs next week a whole lot better too. Next week 20min warm 2(6x(400,1:30RI), 2:30RI) 20min. The pace will be a little quicker than 3min40 too so it will push me a bit.

Longer term plans - A Comrades 89km 'marathon' in South Africa 2013?

Been day dreaming a bit. I have medium to long term plans:

- Do Melbourne Marathon October 9 2011, aiming for 3hr10
- Do Gold Coast 2012, possibly 3hr goal - Yes I am a bit ambitious
- Do an overseas Marathon - possibly Chicago or New York, October or November 2012. No goal as yet. Maybe settle in and enjoy it ..
- Begin training for Comrades June 2013

Comrades in case you have not heard is a world famous ultra marathon. I am constantly at odds with it being called a marathon, as I associate the Olympic distance of 42.195 as the Marathon distance. Anything shorter or longer aint a 'Marathon' :) Anyway the Comrades is about 89km's is a whole day event, and alternates 'uphill' and 'downhill' every year. 2013 its an uphill.

It runs from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in uphill years, and Pietermaritzburg to Durban in downhill years. Apparently the downhill can be tougher, as there is a higher proportion of down to up. And uphill has its own rewards being mostly up, but still a large proportion down.

In either form, its imperative to get a lot of hill running done in training. ie Find the biggest hill you can, and go up and down it for 8 hours :) ( Coolrunning forum member Geofa suggested this..)

The race is extreemely tough, and requires different training to a Marathon obviously. So, after October or November 2012, I may well be doing ultra marathon training distances, racking up higher mileage per week than ever before, and mostly on hills, up and down.

I hope that getting a few 'good' marathons done, as well as another year or so of good training will help me prepare for the training needed for such an even.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

32km at MP + 28 - 4:48 pace

Short easy run on Saturday - To generate a little fatigue ahead o the long run Sunday:


The long run I did today (Sunday):


Weekly total 59km - Highest since August 2010
Month total of 250km, highest I have ever recorded in training.

So as a simple strategy its been recommended to me that setting up a level of fatigue for the Sunday long run will help condition to be able run better in the later stages of a marathon. So I did a super slow easy run of 5km with our dog MAX on Saturday. The problem is that I felt extreemely tired all day yesterday after the easy run. Christine and I went shopping and while we were walking around the super market, I reached a stage where I'd had enough. I had to go and sit down.

When we got back, in the afternoon, I sat and rested, feet up. Fell asleep briefly. Still feeling absolutely wrecked. This morning I got up about 6AM, and managed to hit the road to begin the 32km run at 6:47AM. Legs felt slightly sore from the very beginning. Held a reasonable pace until 26km, where I began to fade. I appear to have done the same thing last week !!! I had 5km to go, and stopped to toilet and drink water. When I took off again, it was clear there was no way I was going to get another 5km done without hurting myself. I took a slight shortcut and did another 2km on the way home. Totally shagged.

I think the higher mileage for the week, the high mileage for the month, and the easy Saturday run took their tole on me today. And I have had a bit of a bad run this month with ilness - Stomach problem for July 3 GC mara, a pretty bad cold BEFORE that ( Had a cough for a month and a half), then sore thraot on the day of the Jetty to Jetty. I am looking forward to a GOOD month, no ilness. Just good training and heaps of rest when its needed..

This week I back off ever so slightly on the mileage. The Sunday long run is only 21km but is to be done at 4:39 pace, so it is not going to be easy. I hope I will be a little fresher next week. This week has been hard, and it crept up on me too.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

20min warmup, 8km MT == 4min20/km , 20min warm down

Warm up:


The first 4km:


Second 4km:


Warm down:


Good solid well paced run tonight. Stopped at 4km for a toilet break and water. The return was with a tail wind so it was slightly easier, but I did it a little quicker too.

This is tangible evidence that I am making progress. Only two weeks ago I found it difficult to get 3km at this pace done. I am getting faster and stronger now.

Oh yeh and this run caused the tally for the whole month to go to 216.99km. This is a tad more than the biggest I have ever done. And I am almost completely injury free too.

What are my aims for October 9 2011 Melbourne Marathon? No fear !!!

Thought I would record here for posterity what my aims are for Melbourne Marathon on October 9 2011. Here it is:

- Train for and race the Melbourne Marathon to finish in 3 hours and 10 minutes or better

Given the fact that I have yet to actually RUN a marathon, one would think that I should be a little conservative, play it safe and get a decent run of say 3hr30 under my belt. I say no bloody way. I have completed two marathon races, both compromised one way or the other, and have yet to have a decent go at the distance, ie actually run the whole race.

My first Marathon - I feel that I was for certain in good enough shape to achieve a 3hr20 in the 2010 Gold Coast Marathon. The only person that knows how I felt during the training runs and in the race itself is me. I think I am realistic and brutally honest about my own prospects and capabilities, and that 3hr20 was an honest and realistic goal at the time. I feel that I fell way short of 3hr20 because of an idiotic decision on my part to wear the wrong shoes. Blisters formed at 15km and I had to put in a huge effort to keep running for as far as I did, and WALKING in fact to step across the line. And finish under 4hrs - 3hr49 to be exact. Talking to many people that run their first marathons, I find that most say that under 4 hours is respectable. I personally am very disappointed, and I have no excuse for what happened. I take full responsibility for the outcome, but I have real _reasons_ for failure and I admit the failings were mine and mine alone.

My Second - The next marathon was one year later at the Gold Coast again 2011. I did about 5 weeks of really slow training for it, got ill two days before and ran the race still ill. I was not aiming for anything except 'run with Christine' my partner. It was her first Marathon, and I ran as much as I could training with her in the lead up as well. She beat me fare and square on the day though :) I don't regard this run as a failure though as my aims were pretty simple for this one.

So back to the topic, I am aiming for 3hr10 at Melbourne. Its certainly ambitious, and it may appear to be unrealistic for some people with experience in marathon racing. Regardless, I am targeting all my training so that I can achieve the race pace of 4minute 30 seconds per km.

The way I see it, if you don't choose a goal how are you to going to improve or achieve anything? Also, given what I think is an honest assessment of what I was capable of last year in the Gold Coast 2010 event, I think 3hr10 is a progression that I can achieve. I should have done 3hr20, I was capable of that so my logical progression one year later is to try and do better.

I think I have proven twice now that abject failure is not something I fear in a Marathon. I have managed to fail dismally just fine and come out of it wanting more :) I don't fear running out of juice at 30km's ++ either - Been there and done that several times.

I even stepped out the door on a training run once with the intention to induce a nice big bonk. Simply because I had never experienced such a thing at the time. It worked well, and caused odd behaviour. I bought fish and chips, enough for four people, a 2litre coke and sat in the Wynnum Wading pool eating fish and chips and drinking coke for 30 minutes. The shaking and the angry/sad/confused demeanour seemed to frighten the cacher at the shop too. For some reason the other people using the pool gave me a wide berth. Humph!! It was an interesting experience. I survived.

I certainly don't fear making a public commitment like this blog post either. I was yacking about my goals last year in some public forums, and was warned about this and that and the other, 'oh you should be conservative in your first mara' etc. But I consistently talked up my ambitions and aims. I do recall being undecided on what my goal should be in the race at the time. That is understandable, as it was my first Marathon. I set my goal, I ran too fast for that goal, BUT I did not fail due to running too fast, something else brought me down. My capabilities remain unproven, but I still don't fear failure itself, or having people know about such a commitment or goal. Its just a goal, nothing more !! I am gung ho and 'devil may care'. So what? At least I am consistently so.

So I see no reason that fear should influence my decision making or my goal setting. Realistic issues like the temperature on race day, if I have injuries, or need to back off training due to injury, illness etc, these things may change my race plan on the day. But right now my goal as of 28 July, 2011 is 3hr10 or better.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2x 1200 2min RI plus 4 x 800 2 min RI

Warmup part 1:

Warmup 2:

This was supposed to be 2 x1200 at about 3:47 pace:
Did the first one at 3min46/km, not bad. Started the second one, and was far too fast, pulled up after 370 metres. So bloody piss weak. I need to toughen up and just do these runs properly!!!

4x800 at 3min40/km:

Did these a whole lot slower than was specified. Only about 4min/km pace.

One more speed bit just to make up for being pissweak:


I am today still feeling the effects of the 29km run from Sunday. It left me pretty sore. Hoping I will make some gains this week and put a better effort in and get these paces done properly next week.

I seem ok with the long runs and the tempo's - Maybe falling a little short in those. But my speed runs are just terrible. I need to back off the pace a little and get them done more consistently I think

Sunday, July 24, 2011

29km at MT+28sec

29km at MT+28sec is about 4min58/km. I did better than that until 26th km, where I slowed:


This is the best long run I have done this year, and it compares favourably with previous runs of this type. Heels are very sore now, which is worrying. Regardless I am pleased with this run.

Totals for the week 51.3km. Slightly slower pace than last week, which is due to the split of the long run. I did 10km on Wednesday last week and 17km on Sunday, managing a slightly faster pace for both.

Friday, July 22, 2011

3km easy, 5km ST 2km Easy



3km easy, and then only managed 3.5km or so at ST 4min10 pace:


Paces were 4min11, 4min9 and 4min11. Then did 570 metres at 4min13 pace. Tanks at that point, which is annoying. Still am getting better at these types of runs. I have a bit of a head cold now, after the sore throat Monday, Tuesday.

Being annoyed at tanking again and not doing the full 5km, I did another 1km:


FInally because I tanked, I decided to stack up some more distance at easy pace:


SO, after the high of managing 11min flat for 3km two days ago, I could not manage 5km at 4:10 pace today. Hmm !!!

On Sunday I have 29km to do at 5min pace. This time I will nail that pace and no faster. The pace I managed Wednesday seems to indicate I should be able to do sub 20min for 5km, and 40 min for 10km (sub 4min/km pace. If I can get over the silly flue season cold, sore throat I should be doing the speed and tempo paces my planned schedule specifies.

Unplanned 3km TT

Did this run Wednesday 19 July, 2011 after the Jetty to Jetty on Sunday 17th. It was unplanned.

Managed to do 11 minutes flat or 3km. The best I have ever done. This was after 2 days off work ill, with a sore throat. Still not well recovered from that.

It was a nice turn of speed for a change, 45 seconds faster than I managed last year at a theoretical peak.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Got a cold

Ran on Friday evening in cold and rain. Felt fine. Noticed sore throat Saturday. Ran 17km Sunday - 10 of which was in the Jetty to Jetty race in Redclif. Throat was a little sore, but I did not feel particularly unwell.

Sunday after the race I was really tired, and the throat got worse. Headache, slight aches and pains and the damn throat has turned in to a proper flu like thing. Monday and Tuesday off.

This is incredibly frustrating as I have a lot of work to do as well as want seamless trouble free training in the lead up to Melbourne Marathon. I should be happy its happened now and not on the day of the race. Trying to see the good side of it .. Like I am getting a bit of physical rest too.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jetty to Jetty 10km race - Paced for Christine

I ran with Christine at the Moreton Bay Road Runners 10km race today. Before that race I did a 7km 'warmup':


Then the race itself:


I ran the race as pacer for Christine. I had promised her that after her training for her first marathon, and the marathon itself that she would be in the best condition she has ever been in 2 to three weeks after the marathon. Primed for a personal best 10km race. And the J2J race just happens to be at about the right time. I did the race last year and managed a big PB and Christine did the same today.

The last 10km race she and I did together was in March this year:


In that race she managed 1hr4min and an average pace 6min25/km. In today's race she did 5min23/km and a time of 54 minutes. Pretty impressive.

I just looked up the times for the race I did last year:

J2J 2010

I placed 18th in my division, with 42:03 net time. Heart rate was average 166bpm:


This year I placed somewhere in the hundreds, did 7km before the race faster than I ran in the race and the heart rate average was 135bpm. Quite a difference :)

I did a 7km warmup to get some mileage done before the race. I had scheduled a 32km run but I have a bit of a sore throat - Started Saturday, and progressed. I don't think its going to be too bad, but as a precaution I cut short the distance for this weekend. This week total was 50.9km. For the last few months I have peaked at 53km for the week, so its still a relatively high mileage week. It will also give me a chance to recover some more and see if all the hard` speed work has got me closer to where I want to be.

This week coming up I have the following key runs scheduled:

Tuesday 3x1600 at 3:50 pace with 1min easy rest = 5.7km
Friday 3km easy, 5km ST 2km easy ( ST = 4min10 pace) = 10km
Sunday 29km at MP+28 ( 4min58/km pace ) = 29km

That is potentially a total for the week of 44.7km. So I think it is safe to throw in a run on Wednesday of 10km to bring the total up to 54.7km. I may make it a 11km run to bring the weekly total to 55km. I must use self discipline and make sure the Wednesday run is easy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

1.5km easy, 7km MT, 1.5 easy

Split the run up tonight.
Warm up:

1.5km easy plus 3km at MT:

The above run was done at about 5min pace for the first 1.5km, and then I did 3km, 4min15, 4min16 and 4min16. Pretty consistent, and into a difficult headwind and rain going South. I then stopped for a brief breather :)

Another 3km at MT:

The above run I returned with the tail wind going North. I found it a whole lot easier and felt like I took it easier, yet the paces were 4min17, 4min17 and 4min17. I am clockwork !!

1.5km easy, plus a bit of warm down:

Was pretty shagged after the pacy running, so returned home with an easy 2km at spot on 5min/km .

I definitely felt the effort in my legs tonight. I did three weekly runs Tuesday, Wednesday and today Friday and the work load is piling up a little.

Also, I was supposed to do MT pace which is 4min20/km for me. I find it tricky to dial up that pace exactly, but what I did tonight felt like a natural rhythm. I did not quite have it in me to do a full 7km straight at the pace I found hence the break splitting the two 3km runs, but I am getting better. I hope to be nailing the required paces by next week.

I have a scheduled 32km run on Sunday, BUT since I have done 33km so far this week, adding another 32 makes the week tally potentially 66km. That is easily more than 10% increase on previous weeks so I may do 22km instead to make a tally of 55km. It is still only 2 weeks since the Marathon after all, and considering the fact that I am suddenly going substantially faster I think I should be a little cautious.

I have the Jetty to Jetty 10km race this Sunday as well and planned to run the race to help pace Christine. I will run 10km before the race as a 'warmup' and then the race with her. She wants to do a fast time (for her) and that should be around 5min30/km or a bit faster hopefully. If I have the legs I will run a little more and get possibly 2-3 km extra done.

I am actually very pleased with how things are going. I am certainly getting faster, injuries are not a problem yet, and the runs are not leaving me completely wrecked. Energy levels are really good. Lets hope I hold it together..

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Injury Status - How to wear my running shoes to avoid heel slip

Probably tempting fate here but it really does feel like my troublesome injuries are almost behind me, particularly my heel problems.

It occurred to me during the week before the Gold Coast Marathon - when I had Thursday, Friday and Saturday off with no running - That my heels almost immediately felt better. And after the run my heels were really sore. Next day they were pain free. And Tuesday they were great.

During the days off after the GC marathon I studied my shoes. And put them on, off and on again, trying to _feel_ how they fitted around the heel. Then I realised that my shoes have another lace hole that I have never ever used. Looking at it, I thought it may well be something I can use. I did some googling for heel fit and running shoes and found a YouTube video that discussed this extra lace hole, and a couple of techniques on how to use it.

The lace hole helps to secure the ankle and heel and stop it moving around. Here is a link to the video:


So are my heel problems really caused by my feet bashing about unsecured in the shoe? I really don't know now. The problem was diagnosed as Insertional Tendonopathy of the Achilles. Its true that the problem I have/had manifests itself in the same way as the typical symptoms - Pain at beginning of run, eases as I warm up, and gets worse toward the end of a run. It is also supposed to trouble you in the mornings, and at its worst it did. But it seems dramatically better now after I started lacing my shoes to use that extra hole. All of my runs since 3rd July I have used this lacing method and things do seem better.

I could be annoyed or upset if it does turn out that the problem was heel slip all along. But then again I should be pretty darned happy if such a simple solution will allow me to achieve a higher work load in training to able to have a decent stab at a good Marathon race. I am cautiously optimistic again.

5x1km at 3:40 pace, 400 easy pace rest

Discussing two runs I did - Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday, Warmup for 5x1km :


Tuesday, the 5x1km - I only did 4 reps!!:


Tuesday the Warm down:


For this run I was ill again (Yesterday, Tuesday), possibly a bit run down. Did not do it very well, and only did 4 reps instead of 5. I did this run a whole lot better than my previous efforts, so I am pleased with that. I am getting fitter slowly.

Today, Wednesday I felt a lot better, and because of the crappy run I did yesterday, did an impromptu 10 at tempo pace:

I feel I am gradually recovering from the marathon nearly two weeks ago and the long 26km run from nearly a week ago.

My training plan is supposed to have two days cross training. The problem is that I seriously find gym, bike and swimming dead boring. Running I enjoy. So I will likely do one or two runs on Wednesday or Thursday to supplement the key runs I have scheduled Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. That is what this run was about.

Today (Wednesday) I wore my Garmin watch, and collected timing, heart rate, pace data etc. But during the run I simply ran to how I felt. I will probably do that type of run Wednesday or Thursday regularly as its quite fun.

Anyway it was a pretty good pace for me, 4min36 average.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

27km at MP+28

First 12km done slightly faster:


Last 14km done slightly slower:


I stuffed around too much in this run. Was supposed to do 4min58 pace all the way, but instead I foolishly went little faster initially. I struggled to keep that pace up, and after 12km I stopped and lay down for a little rest. I then turned around and ran 14km to return home.

On the way back I struggled again, even going slower. I stopped a few times for water too. It was actually really cold all the way as well. I wore a hooded jumper all the way.

Its obvious that I should be taking it easier as this run was only 6 full days after the bad marathon I did at Gold Coast. I began to feel that familiar fatigue in the legs that I had in the GC Marathon at around 15km mark. Hence why I slowed. I still held it together pretty well, and kept the pace better than 5min30.

I have some pretty challenging speed runs this week. I have to use a lot o self discipline to get them done properly. Hopefully another couple of days of recovery will help.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

1.5 easy, 3km 4min20, 1.5km easy


The run:

Taking it slightly easy, I did not do the specific run I had scheduled - 1.5km Easy 8km @ LT and 1.5 Easy. I did a slight variation, and slightly faster. It felt good to do this run.

My heels seem to be really good right now. I have minimal pain during warmup, no twinges and good after the run too. I am again cautiously optimistic about my heels.

Next run is a 27km at MP + 28 - 4min58 pace. I will be pushing to do that I expect..

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

50 minutes easy recovery run


My first run 2 days after the Marathon on Sunday. I took it reasonably easy, but ran faster than I have done in months, 5m28/km average. This pace is closer to my natural easy pace. The running have done in the last few months has been overall unnaturally slow !!!

Felt really good on this run, my legs are almost fully recovered. I could have done a faster pace but I brought our dog MAX along.

Heels were really good for a change, no problems at all.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gold Coast Marathon 3rd July

I did my second marathon on Sunday 3rd July. So now I can officially say 'I run Marathons' - plural ;)


This one was again compromised massively, this time I was a little bit ill. That began Friday evening, and progressed. I was pretty much going to the toilet every 4 hours. Not that bad. But it reached a peak at about 3AM Sunday morning. Stomach pains, headache and nausea. I felt pretty flat in fact.

During the run, my plan was to stick with Christine and run support with her on her first marathon. She did incredibly well!! I hung in there until about the 35km mark, when a combination of fatigue and a dire need to attend the bathroom made me stop running. I was incredibly disappointed, but it was absolutely necessary. Walked for a bit, and found a public toilet on the way. Ran to that, attended to the problem and took off again. I think I lost 2kgs at that toilet stop, it was horrendous. It was maybe 2 or 3 kms left to run, so I did that fairly quickly, and finished in 4hr 45. Nearly a full hour longer than my time from last year.

Christine finished in 4hr42 or so. SO I did not lose that much time at all. I would have liked to have run across the finish line with her, but I am just happy she got the run completed, in fine style.

I am in good shape after the run. I consider the race a big training run, and shall now swing in to hard training for Melbourne. I just want one good Marathon race, where I am not compromised by stupid things :) No huge blisters and no stomach bug this time !!!!

My heels were a bit of trouble later in the race, but were perfectly ok at the start. I am beginning to think the problem may be caused by pressure on the heel itself and not Achilles tendon at all. And after the run I have the normal muscular soreness, and the heels are no problem at all. Weird!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6x400 with 400 easy recovery

Supposed to do these with 3:40 pace - each one to take 1min30. And the recovery at 5min10 pace. I jogged slower in the recoveries, and did the speed much better than recent efforts:


All were at or just under 1min30 for 400 metres. That is pretty much spot on what I am aiming for. So I have the speed in me but need the discipline and fitness to be able to run the recoveries at 5min10 and follow on each speed run. I am confident that in three months I will do these runs reasonably easily if I remain fit, and avoid injuries.

Two more runs before the GC Marathon. 5km at MP(4min30) and a 10x30 Thursday. Friday and Saturday no running at all.

Monday, June 27, 2011

1 hr 30 - Last long run before GC Marathon


This was the last long run I had planned before the Gold Coast Marathon. Did it really slow and easy with Christine. Strangely I felt great all the way, feeling like I could run for hours. But when I stopped and got home, I felt really flat and tired. And legs, feet were _really_ sore. Odd.

Writing this the next day I feel ok, but I managed to bash my left heel (The relatively good one) twice tonight. They are really sensitive. But I don't have any problems walking so I will cary on. Pain is moderate to nonexistent whilst running.

Three more runs to go, a fast 6x400 tomorrow, a 5km at MP ( where my ultimate marathon pace is 4min30) Wednesday, and a 10x30sec speed on Thursday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

3km easy, 5km ST, 2km easy

News: Updated the Google Calendar so all my runs for the next three months are there.

In addition to this run I did today, I also did a 55min slow run with Christine on Wednesday:


Todays run :

3km easy http://connect.garmin.com/activity/94416024. Ran with Christine, doing th 6x2min speed. So slightly faster than 'easy' in reality. But a good warm up.

5km ST http://connect.garmin.com/activity/94416029, where ST = 4min10 pace. I mnaged it little better than I have done recently, but still not doing it properly. Rested between.

The run home was a little less that 2km but done easy http://connect.garmin.com/activity/94416036

I have the Gold Coast Marathon in 8 days, so I really should be running just a little easier so as to gt some sort of recovery and taper. But the reality is I think I hav not actually worked hard enough for a taper to help me significantly. I am trying to use this GC Marathon as a kick start to the training for Melbourne race in October.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5x1km @3min47 pace HAH again

I attempted another speed run - this time 5x1km at prescribed pace 3min47. Failed dismally. Was supposed to jog at 5:10 pace in recovery for 400metres. Hah again ;)

Warm up:

The run:

Warm down:

Just over 10km overall distance. Paces in the speed run were better than recent efforts. So I am improving. Heals are good.

Monday, June 20, 2011

2hrs with MAX and Christine

Did about 45min with our dog MAX, then dropped him off. Then ran another 1hr18 and covered about 13km. Not a bad pace compared to the usual Christine and I have been doing. Christine is capable of going much faster now, which is a good sign.

We have pretty much decided 6min20 pace is what we are aiming for at the Gold Coast Marathon. Then see if we can pick up the pace in the last 10km or so. I have no doubt that we will finish.

My heels were really bad after the run yesterday. All day and night. Took an over the counter anti inflammatory, and kept my feet up. This morning they were ok.

First 7.9km at about 6min13 pace:

The last 13km at 5min51 pace ( I did a few faster ones):

Friday, June 17, 2011

8km at MT pace - 4min20 HAH again

The warmup with Christine:

The above was Christines fastest ever 15minute effort, at near enogh to 5min/km. I used it as my warm up, and I think it was a bit too fast for that. Sucked a bit of energy out of me for my key run I had to do today.

The 8km MT pace run:

Again I failed dismally to match the pace I aimed for. And again it will be very interesting to see what I am able to do three months from now when I am in the last few weeks of training for the Melbourne Marathon. I should be nailing these runs easily if all goes well.

Instead of doing the sustained 4min20 all the way I tanks at only about 2km or so, and rested a bit. Then I decided that I wanted to work my legs some more and played around with speed.

What I really need to do is get some decent long runs at 5min pace or better. That is what gets me the endurance to run faster.. At least that was how it worked last year. Running with Christine on the long runs at such a slow pace was good for me, I know that for certain. Its allowed me to get some mileage without wrecking my self. But I need to go faster.

For this run I decided to mix it up a little - Ran for count of 20 fast ( one and two and etc..) then same for running slow. I may be doing a little too much for the ideal preparation for the GC Marathon in about two weeks but I am not that focussed on a good performance. What I want to do is be there for Christine and help her finish. Not that I think I am actually needed, she could do it on her own :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

8x800 @ 3:41 pace

No where near the goal pace I have set myself for this run. I am supposed to go for 800 metres at 3min40 or so, and finish at a little better than 3 minutes per 800. I did the first @3min55 and staggered for the rest of them. And my rest period of 400 metres was supposed to be easy pace @ 5min10 or a little better. I had to walk for part of the rest period.

This training system I have chosen is going to be pretty hard, and will no doubt push me and hopefully improve my speed.

For the three weeks left until the GC Marathon - where I am aiming to run with Christine and do about 4hr30, I am doing a dressed rehearsal of the last three weeks of a 16 week program I have adapted from the FIRST training plans. I will be using the plan to prepare for the Melbourne Marathon on 9 October, so it will be a very interesting comparison 16 weeks from now to see how I do the same 8x800's with three weeks to go for the Melbourne Marathon.

Warm up http://connect.garmin.com/activity/92472569
8x800 http://connect.garmin.com/activity/92472577
Warm Down http://connect.garmin.com/activity/92472585

I _felt_ it today, and ended up doing a total of just over 14km's this morning.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summary of contributing runs since May this year

Not many runs to report as I have been doing a limited number of them. I have increased to 3- 4 runs a week now, and here are the significant ones:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/84667414 May 1st 2011, average pace 6min43/km
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/90178221 12km first part of a 34km run Christine and I did June 5
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/90178228 22km second part of the 34km run. Averaged 6min25 for this one, and 6min33 for the first one.. The fact I pulled up ok ( it did hurt and it was hard ) is a good sign considering the limited km's I have done..

I attempted one of the tempo style runs that my training plan specifies:

The plan for this run was to do 4min30 for 11km.. I managed the first 8 at that pace, but dropped off, and ended up with 4min38 average. I have fairly lofty goals this year for the Mel Marathon and intense training is what is needed to get me there. Many more runs like this to come, and at longer distances too. Looking forward to it.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/91715553 The latest 2hr30 I did with Christine. The pace is significantly faster now for her. The last few km's done faster than her previous best 3km TT :) Wow...

I may well be back to full health -

After suffering from what was called 'Achilles Insertion Tendonopathy' since around August/September 2010, having two rounds of 8 weeks completely off running ( none, zilch zero ) and trying to return to full training mode, it appears I may well be back now.

I have been running only 2 days a week for a few months, doing long runs with Christine ( she is preparing for her first Marathon at Gold Coast 2011 this year), as well as running her speed and interval sessions with her. I have pretty much been assisting her in finding her paces. Christines' progress is nothing short of amazing, we did a 3km TT some months ago, and she could not do any better than 6min/km pace. Now she is knocking off 5min30/5min40's for the last 4km of a 24km run !!

Anyway, I have been running really slow compared to my usual paces, getting plenty of recovery and taking care of my feet. Christine has in fact 'taught' me how to run slow. It was something I have not felt at all comfortable doing. I always feel better running at 5min30 or better pace, but I have 'learned' to run at 6min20 pace or slower...

I have increased training a little, adding a third day and occasionally running a mid week long run. The sign that I feel my heels are getting better is that after a 34km and a 24km long run I was walking with no pain the next day. I am not completely pain free during the runs, but am feeling significantly better. The best I have felt in nearly a year in fact.

So, I have finally committed to doing the Gold Coast Marathon with Christine, will do about 4hr30 or so. I am personally hoping for a faster time as I don' like the thought of running for 4 hours 30 minutes, especially considering the amount of training I have managed :)

I am expecting that I will survive that effort ok, it will be hard but the pace I expect should mean I will do it ok - Again the pace is going to be quite slow compared to what I expect of myself. I will use the GC Marathon as a long run in the lead up to my Melbourne Marathon on 9 October.

I have a rather complex training plan based on the FIRST methodology. Something I find interesting is that the intensity of many of the runs I did last year in training is the _same_ as what the FIRST training paces recommend. I will be reviewing an finalising the training calendar soon. And will record all my training runs from now on !!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New Train schedule for near future

So I have worked out the times and paces that I think I need to do to get a similar effect to what the FIRST program prescribes. There are three runs, and for the speed sessions:

Each Wednesday I will do the following workouts (the pace is min/km):
8x400m 03:00
4x1200m 03:15
6x800m 03:10
3x1600m 03:20
10x400m 03:00
5x1200m 03:15
7x800m 03:10
3x1600m 03:20
12x400m 03:00
8x800m 03:10
4x1600m 03:20
12x400m 03:00
6x1200m 03:15
7x800m 03:10
3x1600m 03:20

On Fridays I will do the following tempo sessions and paces:

20min at 4min/km Pace
35min at 4min15 pace
45min at 4min15 pace
20min at 4min/km Pace
35min at 4min15 pace
35min at 4min15 pace
50min at 4min30/km pace
65min at 4min30 pace
20min at 4min/km Pace
35min at 4min15 pace
50min at 4min30/km pace
35min at 4min15 pace
35min at 4min15 pace
25min at 4min/km pace
50min at 4min30/km pace

And the all important long run on Sundays:

80min at 5min/km pace
95min at 5min pace
105min at 5min pace
80min at 5min/km pace
110min at 5 min pace
120min at 5min pace
135min at 5min pace
105min at 5min pace
145min at 5min pace
120min at 5min pace
160min at 5min pace
120min at 5min pace
160min at 5min pace
120min at 5min pace
80min at 5min/km pace

That looks pretty intense and that is what the FIRST system is supposed to be. SO now I need to build up slow to be ready for the program. What is interesting is that for the tempo runs I have done similar pace in the past. In the long runs though I have sagged badly pace wise. So it is important to build up to the faster pace I am aiming to achieve.

Injury Update and future plans - Melbourne Marathon Oct 9 2011

I have been diligently doing what I am supposed to do - Running no more than three times a week, no more than 5 km at a time. I have had 2 weeks off completely, taking anti inflams at prescribed doses. And have been in my '3 days a week no more than 5km at a time' stage for three weeks.

I have 3 to 5 weeks to go before I re-assess and decide if I am able to resume mileage build up for my next attack on the marathon distance.

The runs I have been doing have been SO easy but I have been doing a few speed sessions. Actually what I am doing is going jogging with our dog MAX, and Christine my partner. She is training for her first Marathon at Gold Coast. She has done 3 HM's already, all reasonably slow, but finishing in better shape every time. All over about three years. Anyway when she does her speed sessions I take the dog, and take off fast with him to catch her up. So I have been doing a bit of speed.

I have also been doing a couple of bike rides a week, going almost flat ou the whole way, 40 to 50 minutes. It seems to be building up a lot of strength because I feel really _fast_ over a short distance. Also I feel like I am retaining a reasonable level of fitness for running. The runs I have been doing feel really good, and easy.

My legs and feet are the best they have been since May last year. I no longer feel the need to ice now and background aches and pains are almost gone. I won't be tempted to return too soon, I will wait until after the 3 weeks are up.

And here I come to what I plan to do once I am officially fit to train properly again. I am really attracted by the three days a week running idea. So I have looked up the FIRST program on the web. It describes a training program with three central workouts - Speed, Tempo and Long, with subtle variations of these over a 16 week program only three days a week. It also includes at least 2 cross training days a week, and I will likely ride bike.

I am adapting the FIRST program to fit the 16 weeks in to the lead up to the October 9 2011 Melbourne Marathon. The program starts in a pretty intense state right from the beginning, so I need to build up to that.

The FIRST program is available here:

The Less-Is-More Marathon Plan

I am going to alter it somewhat - I am used to doing runs based on TIME not distance. So I will work out the times I need to run, at the pace I am supposed to run it at to achieve the equivalent distance.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Injury time !!

Visited a Podiatrist last week that specialises in sports injuries and running in particular. I have had problems with my heels since about June - At least it began to get worse around that time. In the past it would affect me off and on but never was a big problem.

After my first Marathon on July 4 2010 I had planned to do another in Melbourne October 10 2010. But heels were troubling me increasingly to the extent where I had to cut back on distance and training. I then did the Half Marathon in Melbourne. I was in bad shape for that and did not do a great time. Heels were ok but not great by then. I took one and a half months off, no running and returned late last year to do a few training runs. And here I am with the heel problems again.

The podiatrist says Insertional Tendinitis. Basic description is it hurts on foot take off, right at the back of the heel. It hurts at beginning of a run, and pain tends to fade once warmed up. And it can begin to bother you toward the end of a long run. It gets gradually worse over time. It is worst when getting up in the morning or after a period of rest, and I tried to walk.

Treatment for me is a period of two weeks on Anti-Inflammatories, and daily icing. And avoid all activities that cause pain. I also have heel lifts in all my shoes, and get my feet in the shoes as soon as I get out of bed. Hels are getting better I think after a few days.

I can do cycling as a cross training thing, and after the two week period can return to running, strictly no more than 5kms distance and no more than three times a week for 6 to 8 weeks. That should knock the problem on the head I hope.

Anyway I am now going to hit the bike as hard as I can , keeping cadence up at about 80 or 90 and getting heart rate right up. I will do the same time as I have planned on bike instead of running.

I am contemplating seeing a sports physician, as they can do other things :

- Cortison Injections
- Nitrate Patches
- Blood injections
- Prescribed anti-inflams.

These can speed up recovery. I am very tempted !!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quick summary of recent running activities

Easy run 2 Jan 2011

35 minutes incorporating Alkoomie Street ( steep hill )

Easy 35 minute run AND this is the seventh day running in a row

Took 2 days off, and swapped over to running in mornings from now on. Also did my training plan as in the above Google Calendar. For some reason the details don't show, need to fis that somehow. I get the correct display on my Android Phone though and it shows in the Calendar Application there.

In this run I did both Alkoomie and Adam Streets. My plan is to be able to do run up Alkoomie, Adam, Southwick, Prospect and Crownw Streets all in one long run. And do that regularly.

Yesterdays easyish 35 minutes. I struggled with this one after the hills the day before, and I felt a little sick before and during the run.

This is today's run, felt much better but still pretty tired.

I have had REALLY sore heels these last few days. This morning I used wheat bag, heated to pre warm my heels before the run, and that helps a lot. SO I will do that from now on. Will ice and heat treat feet tonight too.

Overall though, progress is quite good. Heart rate for a given effort is decreasing steadily so I am getting fitter.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year.

Saw the New Year in with a run New Years Eve, just a short one:


I sought out a local step hill, Prospect Street just for fun, and run up that - I had to walk the last section. I may return to that hill as I train this year preparing for the Gold Coast Marathon just to gauge how I am going. I would like to be strong enough to run up it 10 times, so we shall see how we go :)

On New Years Day, I ran home from Manly in the afternoon - Badly hungover !!


That run was very hard, legs were very fatigued and I felt heavy.

Today I did I nice 50 min run at a comfortable pace. And for the first time since I returned to training I felt pretty good during the run. I was VERY hot thi afternoon, but I still felt ok.

So now I have to sort out my training plan. I think so fat I have handled running every day quite well. My training plan will have most often 6 running days a week.