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!!