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.