Friday, December 21, 2012

A blog post only every month? How slack !!

I resolve to updating this blog more frequently. First news is, I bought a pair of Hoko One One Stinson Evo 'Low'  shoes.

These things are monsters, massive bounce, very plush ride. I can see myself covering a far few miles in them quite easily. I bought them second hand from someone who so far does not seem to have any contagious foot fungus so that is good news too. He'd done three runs in them. I have done a few recently.

Unfortunately I got one size too small, for my personal preference. US M 11. US M 12 is the next size up on these shoes according to the manufacturer. I can get away with using the smaller inner sole - a little tight but not too bad.

Another problem, these things are designed for off road, trails, grass gravel, mud and NOT road or concrete or tarmac. So theey tend to wear rather quickly. Been trying to avoid the roads but its difficult where I am running. I will seek out some off road areas on weekends.

Meanwhile the ride, really cushy, and soft and the seeimgly load and impact reducing effects may be good for my heels. Certainly I am getting longer runs done with less consequence later.

On the basis of these Stinson EVO Low shoes, I have decided to grab a pair of the Stinson Tarmac, US M 11.5. Hopefully these will be the right size for me.

Finally, I have sought some info on anti-inflamatories natural based. Found a few promising things:

- Cut down on Sugars of all descriptions. Hopefully lowering blood glucose levels as this has major bearing on inflammatory responses
- Apparently B12 injections have been shown to be effective - so I am planning on taking B12 supplements. Not as effective but may help
- Glucosamine with Chondroitin plus MSM
- Some Enzymes that help in Protein digestion - Like that found in PineApple - have been seen to have an anti inflammatory effect. Specifically Bromelain.
- Tumeric has been shown to have anti-inflamatory properties when ingested

So I plan on dosing a bit on these above in the hope that it can give me a better chance of surviving a full Marathon training program for the greater part of next year. The idea of using NASAIDS is horrifying, they have some bad side effects if taken long enough and too much of them.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finally back to the road

It really does seem that I break down toward the end of the year. Pattern has repeated three years in a row, to varying degrees of 'breakdown'.

2010, heels
2011, heels
2012, hip and health in general

I have noticed that I have gotten weaker,especially in the legs in recent months. I have a back problem long term, more than 35 years, and I have had aches and pains for the last few months too.

Things are gradually getting better again, and I hve decided to try and improve strength in general using a few machines at the gym.

My hip is ALMOST completely better now too, to the extant that I can actually run without it twinging. I may be on the way to complete health, and injury free, heels also much better. I have been doing minimal running, but slowly getting back to it again.

I am ever hopeful that I can do some decent training again beginning now, and build up to doing another Marathon on 2013. I am today feeling optimistic and determined, and physically up to the task. Those have not been present at the one time since January 2010!!! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An update on training and other stuff - New Job!!

A lot has happened since my last update :

- Hip was sore and it got worse
- Also beginnings of what seemed a benign and insignificant sore left leg became much worse
- My work got in the way of training and that sort of saved me - a bit. Extremely tight deadlines lead to my missing a lot of running.
- I changed jobs, starting a new one on 2nd October
- Other things in my life added to significant stress and distress - over indulgence, clashes with people, words said etc.

The big end result of all the above was I got a little sick, stopped running for a bit, stopped eating properly, lost about 3kgs.

BUT things are a little better now. Stresses reduced but not gone, health is far better. However I still need to attend to a few things that are bothering me!! Until these things are resolved I am not a particularly happy man.

As far as injuries are concerned, heels are better now than they have been since May 2010. Left heel, no problems at all, the right has slight problem. I still don't think I can handle full Marathon training, so I am sticking with my loose plan - When I break 40min for 10km I have permission to train for a Marathon again. Its going to take a while!!

As far as left leg problem I mentioned, it seems to float around a bit. Aches in knee one moment, then something that _feels_  like shin splints. Gets better with no running so I suspect thats what I have to do.

Been going to the gym more and more, doing a few things that won't build bulk but should help core strength and maintain muscles all over. I am going to try and do a lot more endurance sessions in the gym, ie:

- 15 min on rowing machine
- 12x something resistance training for upper body
- 15min on cross trainer
- 12x something resistance training for upper body
- 15min on stairs machine
- 12x something resistance training for upper body
- 15min on stationary bike
- 12x something resistance training for upper body


Maybe build this up to a couple of hours a few times a week. And do short fastish runs 2-3 times a week. All this until I can feel that I can handle long runs again.

Its been such a LONG time getting over these heel problems. Many times I contemplate the question "why am I desiring to do marathons again?", with all the misery the training has caused. The answer is easy, and the reason I won't give it up is sign of how stubborn I can be. My first Marathon, I was in the best shape ever for the distance. But a stupid and idiotic unforeseen problem caused me to go far slower than I was capable of. I want to fulfil that potential. Maybe just once will be enough..

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday 5 September 15km run

So far this week:

- Sunday 10km race 42 minutes
- Monday 16km easy 5:03 pace - It was not easy, much muscle fatigue and sore
- Tuesday full day off, but hit gym for strength work, it was good. Still slight sore in belly muscles as I worked them harder than usual
- Wednesday 15km over hilly course. 5:05 pace, but fatigue was quite high.
- Thursday today, no gym no run. Feel I needed the day off.

I will run tomorrow, Friday 7 September, a super easy 10km most likely, then I have the first ParkRun on Saturday. That will be my speed run for this week.

I have had a sore right hip since the run on Monday, and its still sore now, a good sign that I worked too hard this week. Hoping its not anything serious, it does not exactly bother me while running, but feels like if it gets worse it might.

As I write this today, Thursday September 6 I am actually feeling pretty crap, tired and slightly under the weather. So the day off may well be needed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

16km run day after the Bridge to Brisbane

Yesterday, Monday 3 September, did a 16km run. It felt pretty good, was supposed to be a recovery run, but I extended it to se how 16km feels these days.

I had not done that distance for quite a while, and with the muscle soreness from the race the day before, it all added up. Quite sore again, especially glutes. Energy levels were great, just leg fatigue.

I hit the gym this morning for my new 'usual' routine and have had a day off running entirely. I will probably do another longer run tomorrow, hopefully 17 or 18km if I have the time for it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Races I aim to do for the rest of the year - aim is to break 40min for 10km's

There are a number of key training runs and races I want to do in the next couple of months. I want to break 40 min for 10km. Given the progress I have made in the last few months, getting my 10km average PACE down from 4:27min/km at Gold Coast to 4:08 at the Bridge to Brisbane, I think its a distinct possibility I can do it.

So the key runs and races I want to to in the lead up to the 5km Wynnum Twilight 5km race:

- This week all easy distance runs, at least 10km each day. Recovery week, plus gym Tuesday, Thursday
- Saturday 8/Sunday 9 September On weekend  EDIT I want to hit the Gateway Bridge and do the hills there 4-5 times. I found that it affected my cruise pace significantly two weeks before the B2B Need more recovery, instead and doing the inaugural ParkRun Wynnum foreshore, a 5km 'race'. 

- Week beginning 10 September I fly to Mel, back on 12 in the afternoon. Want to do so serious speed work in this week, 400's 200's, with standing rest, really fast and probably 15 x 400, 20 x 200, plus my usual 10-16km easy runs.

- Weekend of 15 and 15 September EDIT  I want to hit the Gateway Bridge again, do the hills 4 or 5 times. Change of plan here too, another ParkRun on Wynnum foreshore, Saturday

- Week beginning 17 September I will do similar work to what I did last week leading up to the B2B as it seemed to work well. It was just a 12km mid week run, a set of 12 x 200 plus floating recovery and a 5 x 400 with float recovery

- Saturday 22 September        4:00PM  Twilight Wynnum            5km    . A tune up race, I fully expect to break 20mins for this run. If I don't something has gone wrong.

- Week beginning Monday 24 September, recovery week, a few 10-12km runs at easy pace and at least one 16km+

- I start my new job on October 2, but in that week I want to do a few absolute speed 200, 400 reps. Standing rest really fast, 15-20 x  200,   and 10-12 x 400  plus the usual weekly long

- Sunday 7 October            6:00AM  3x5km relay            5km    . We will likely just front up and see if we can form a team on the day.

- Week beginning 8 October,   12x200 plus float,   and 5-10 x 400 plus float. Plus an easy 12km, this is a taper week leading up to my 10km race in Toowoomba.

- Sunday 14 October            7:30AM  Toowoomba Marathon        10km    .  This 10km race will likely be the last official race I can enter and get the sub 40. Hoping the 5km tuneups will have helped me there.

- Week beginning 15 October, I will do recovery after the Toowoomba race, and do 10km easy runs, and a 16-18km long.

- Week beginning 21 October, is a raw speed week, since I am HOPING I will have done my sub 40 10km, and I can switch a bit to 5km race target. So I will do 200's, 400', 600's,  etc all max pace and standing rests.

-  Thursday 1 November        5:15PM  Cool Night Classic        5km       . This is the day I do my best ever 5km IF I can negotiate the crowd and the dinky paths.

- All easy runs in the next few days, leading up to another 10km club race

-  Sunday 4 November            6:00AM  BRR 10km  handicap        10km   - Another chance to break 40 ...

- I will be switching to all easy long runs from this point on, and once a week absolute speed  form runs, 200's and 400s  with standing rest

- Sunday 18 November        6:00AM  BRR 10km                10km     - Yet another chance to break 40.

- All easy long uns, and a weekly raw speed session, 200 or 400
- Sunday 2 December            6:00AM  BRR 10km                10km

From 2 December onward, I want to build distance with easy long runs, and a weekly raw speed run. I am hoping that by this tim I will have broken 40min for 10km at least once, - maybe fours times !! So I will have permission to begin my build up for a new round of marathon training beginning in January

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bridge to Brisbane 2012

Did the B2B this morning. Made progress, my PB is now 42 minutes for a 10km race. However my watch reads an extra 100 metres compared to last year., and the Garmin Connect data shows  41:28  for exactly 10km's.

Progress so far this year:

10km race GC at 4:27 average June 30
 16 days
10km race J2J at 4:20 average July 15
 6 days
10km race FUnRun at 4:18 average July 21
14 days
10km at Bris Run Fest 4:14 average  August 5
21 days later
5km TT   20.11 , 4:02 average pace
7 days later
10km race Bridge to Brisbane, 4:08 average on 2 September

I have done 5 10km races this year over a period just under three months, and average pace over the distances have come down - 4:27, 4:20, 4:18, 4:14, 4:08.  I think given this progress, and if I remain uninjured and do not get ill, its pretty good chance I can break 4min/km over 10km in the next month or so.

My training really is working, very satisfying.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

5km Time Trial Sunday 26 August 2012

Did a 5km time trial to see where I am pace wise. Managed a personal best 20:11, by about 23-24 seconds. Previous best was from 2010 at the tail end of marathon training. I also managed to do 15:51 for the 4km during the run, the first time I have ever gone sub 16.

I am reasonably pleased, and given better pacing or even some extra effort in the last 1km I could have gone sub 20.

Looming big problem though, my right heel has flared, the bursitis that had stopped me training properly for the last 2 years. Its only the right heel whereas it was always both, and its nowhere near as severe as it has been. I am taking a day off running tomorrow, and icing, Ibuprofen and topical NASAIDS to see if it improves.

I suspect its been triggered by the shoes, I have been wearing the new Saucony Kinvara's I bought recently for the last 5 runs I have done. I think they have triggered the problem, so I will switch back to my worn out Nike Free 3 V3 shoes for the rest of the week and see how it goes.

If it leads to improvement, then I  have reasonably clear evidence that shoes are generally the cause of my problems. And I will have to go looking for something that works for me. If only Nike did not change their Free 3 range so much, and I would be fine.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Holidays - took 11 days off no running

Probably not the best thing to have done but I took 11 days off from running and I have been on 3 weeks holiday from work. Back to work Monday next week 27 August..

We had a big party on 11 August for Christine's birthday that was fun. And we had to clean the house and prep for the party, and that flattened me physically it was a huge amount of work. It was a big party and I took a few days to recover from the hang over too!

We went and stayed at Cooroy for the weekend, and saw Sarah Blasko at Pomona on the Saturday. My first run was on the Noosa Trails on the  Cooroy to Pomona track. I did not have my watch so I took phone with GPS and Garmin sports tracker software. The GPS would not lock on so no data recorded, ran it on Audust 18 2012 about 4km out and 4km back. It was fun and I felt I had not lost much fitness.

The next run I did was back in Brisbane, I attempted to run across the Gateway Bridge 4 times, only managed just short of three times. It was really tough - I have been pretty much been avoiding hills in my training up until the hill repeats I did on 7 August. The Gatway Bridge run set me up for some real fatigue for the rest of the week.

I did a 10km run really sore the next day, 20 August. It was tough, and I feel that muscle condition in legs was what I lost mostly during the 11 days off. I feel aerobically ok and can hold speed as well as I have in recent times.

The next run was a 14km slow - Again it was tough due to the fatigue I had accumulated from the Gateway Bridge run but it was a good one.

Since I was so rough the next run was short at 7km but I did a couple of fast 1km sections, where I managed a 3min46 and a 3min40 1km pace. I did those heading downwind as it was really windy that afternoon 21 August. It was nice o feel the leg speed while assisted by the wind, its a hint of how I want to travel once I am fit enough to do a decent 5 and 10km race. 3:40 pace is ultimately where I want to be and I tend to think its realistic and not really that far off :)

Finally I have started gym work again, mainly to maintain lean muscle mass in upper body and get a better core strength. It will help me hold form in the faster races I hope to do. I did a gym session Friday morning, 24 August, a little bit of core work, and upper body, but I also did a set of leg presses in a 'Hack' machine. This machine affects the exact muscles used for raw speed. I then stepped out and did 6km reasonably fast and went back to the gym to meet a personal trainer, he gave be a set of basic exercises I can do for assising and supplementing my running. I intend to do these sessions 2, 3 maybe 4 times a week, and run every day. Taking days off to recover as I need it

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Brisbane Running Festival 10km race

A great event, beautiful crisp and cool morning, no humidity and it warmed just the right amout as the sun came out. Managed 4:14 average, and apparently was 15th in my age group. If I am running as well as I am now in 3 years I will be in the next age group up and may well be placing :)  Hmm!!!

I ran this race without looking at watch for splits, just ran to how I felt. I might have been able to push a little harder if I was paying attention. It was good to do 4:14's average without clock watching. I managed to get to the start with time to spare, after dropping off bag. Went to toilet, grabbed a small coffee. And lined up, only to realise I needed to go again. SO I dashed off to go, the toilets were near by and not crowded. Got back to the start area with 2 minutes to go, stuck WAY UP THE BACK. Took me over 1 minute to cross the start line, but I don't mind that, I go for chip time.

The first three km's were frustrating, I had to dodge and weave for a long time - first 1km in 4:08. I had some room to go onto footpaths there. As we approached the Story Bridge it got really congested, and I was forced to slow for the next 2km. Across the bridge, we were in a narrow path for pedestrians, and that slowed me even more. I was getting a bit annoyed with people proping at a pace even with everyone else and going two, three and four abreast. It resulted in completely blocking anyone that might need to pass. I had to shout out a few times 'A little difficult to pass here!!', and they kindly moved over and made room.

I lost heaps of time in the first three km, but that was probably a good thing, as it slowed me up and allowed me to warm up. When the path cleared I decided to hit it harder, and did a 1km split of 3:56 for the fourth.

The rest of the race I just tried to hold a decent pace, but again the course narrowed, and that plus a few hills and twisty bits meant I could not go as fast as I wanted. Anyway, only 2 seconds per km slower than my best ever today.

I am completely convinced now that if I did the Jetty2Jetty race today I would have done a PB, and if it was the 'ItsNotOK'  run I would have smashed it, that course was completely flat.


10km race GC at 4:27 average June 30
 16 days
10km race J2J at 4:20 average July 15
 6 days
10km race FUnRun at 4:18 average July 21
14 days
10km at Bris Run Fest 4:14 average  August 5
4 weeks, 28+ days
Bridge to Brisbane, 2 September

In 38 days, have improved by 13 seconds per km. To do 4min km's I need to improve by exactly 14kms in 28+ days. It will be pretty close.

I am slowly improving, gaining fitness. I still have only 4 solid months of training, so I feel its justified that I can think I have much more to come. I need to build aerobic base on the speed/strength that I have been slowly building. I need to keep build the long runs up, and also hit the 1km and 2km cruise intervals harder, more of them rather than simple raw speed..

What I have been doing really is working, so I don't feel any significant need to change it around much.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

ItsNotOk Fun Run and traing this week

The FunRun was supposed to be 10km, measured on my watch it was more like 10.78 or so. Does not matter it was in fact fun..

I managed average 4:18min/km this time, about 2 seconds per 1km faster than the Jetty to Jetty a week before. I felt much better throughout the run than the last couple of races I have done, and I paced much more sensibly all the way. Considering I was quite fatigued from the work load in the week leading up I think it is a great result.

Even more surprising, I placed 3rd. First time I have placed  in a race since I was 15 years old I think. The two blokes that finished in front of me - combined age - was less than mine :)  Also amusing was the reaction of the track 'marshals'  along the way and at the finish, all quite surprised to see me finishing where I did.

I have a loose plan to come back next year and see if I can do better!!

A plan for this weeks running:

- Monday - One of my favourites, a 2km @3:55, 1km @3:40, 800@3:30, 400@3:20, 300@fast, 200@whateverIcando  all with 2min rest - it was really  hard and in fact I had to stop in the 1km and 800metre reps as I'd gassed it. But still a good hard work out.
- Tuesday -10km - This was a good one, managed 10.5km at 4:47 average.
- Wednesday - Mid week log of 13km ( have been slowly building this one)  wednesday, with 20min easy fatlek in the middle - should be brisk not hard
- Thursday a 3x2km   at slightly faster than 4min/km with 3 min recovery - Should be reasonably easy to hold the pace IF 4min/km is a realistic goal pace for the race.
- Friday rest or super easy 6-8km depends on how I am holding up
- Saturday, 12 x 400 - I like these
- Sunday long run easy 12-15km

I have the August 5 Brisbane Marathon 10km race coming up. The week leading up to the race  I plan to do three or four 10-13km runs, all not fast not easy runs, to keep me ticking over. I did this in lead up to the fun run I did on the weekend just gone, and it seemed to leave me in a good frame of mind and good legs. I was carrying a little fatigue but it felt fine.

I want to do sub 40 for the race but it currently feels unrealistic. SInce the GC mara 10km I have done the following:

10km race GC at 4:27 average
10km race J2J at 4:20 average
10km race FUnRun at 4:18

9 seconds improvement over three weeks. I think its realistic to go for another 9 seconds at the race on August 5. Three weeks to do it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Its Friday, end of week, rest day before another 10km race on the weekend

We spotted a 10km 'Fun Run' that is on in our local area on Saturday 21st July 2012, the 'Its Not OK'  run. It seems it is a fund raising and awareness event organised by the CityPoint Church on Child Trafficking.

We decided to enter it, it is rare to be able to jog from home to the start of a race so we are in, my third 10km race in less than 2 months :)

This week was reasonably hard - I did the Jetty to Jetty 10km race Sunday, and ran four days in a row after that, 10, 12, 10, and 6km. All runs were sub 5min/km, and I was carrying a bit of fatigue and muscle soreness all week. The 6km run I did yesterday I also ran up and down the GoodWill foot bridge several times. Last night I felt really tired and ill, so I took it easy, bed early. And no running today.

I have had a little bit of a revelation, a methodology that may be of use. What I realised is that you can easily find out what muscles are worked hardest at speed by simply doing a multi rep 400 metre session. Do say a 10x400 or 12 x400 session running _fast_  but not completely flat out. Take note of the muscles that fatigue the most and are sore in the next 24 to 48 hours. Keep those muscles in mind. When recovered, take a long slow run, and take note of the muscles that are fatigued. For me I notice that the particular muscles affected by 10x400 repetitions at speed are NOT particularly affected by my long slow running form and posture.

This comes back to my thoughts on how to run fast and efficient, and the full body aerobic capacity. IF all your long runs are done so slowly as to avoid affecting the muscles that are typically worked hard at SPEED, how could you possibly optimise your fast aerobic running pace? So I have begun running in such a way as to make sure I use the form as closely as possible to how I run at speed in my slow runs. It seems pretty simple and bleeding obvious. This ends up in my hitting 4:50-4:55min/km pace  consistently.

I anticipate that one day my easy pace for long runs will be about 4:50 pace when I swing back to proper marathon training.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 Jetty to Jetty 10km race at Redcliff

I did the 10km race today, felt much better than two weeks ago, and managed about 43:40 or so, around 1 minute quicker than two weeks ago, and 1 minute slower than my best 2 years ago. I also have had a medical issue that has been restricting my training efforts a little, and it just makes it difficult to really work hard. That plus I fall at 4.7km in, meant I did not go as fast as I should.

I maybe lost about 1 minute in the fall and the subsequent limping I did trying to get my left knee working ok again.

The medical issue, need surgery but thankfully not a really big deal, day surgery and a few weeks recovery. Just need to figure out the timing, specialist will help me decide that too as its will be when there is an opportunity.

Given that I did my best ever 42min 10km after 6 months of pretty good consistent training, compare that to today's run, I was only about 1 min slower, but that is after about 3 months constistent training. SO there is more to come, for sure.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What is running, what is jogging? And why are the Marathon runners so SLOW !!

I am yet to run a Mara, that is full distance running. I jogged one and I blew up in the other, walking half the distance. This leaves me with unfinished business of course.

I personally think that there is a big difference between 'Jogging'  and running. When I watched the Gold Coast Marathon and HM finishers, I was struck by the huge numbers of people finishing while walking or jogging. And at the start and mid way section where I caught site of the mid and tail enders, they were for the most part jogging and not running.

Now, I have some clear and strong thoughts about running and running WELL as well as TRAINING well. For me jogging long distances for a long time causes me pain. Its more uncomfortable in a way to running a long distance and simply exhausting myself. I think the difference in form between running and jogging is significant or me. I use different muscles. Longer stride and greater air time in running compared to jogging. Muscles stretch out more etc. I don't think I am unique in this. I think at some point, as far as training and potential improvement of pace, a jogger has to start RUNNING to get faster. That seems very obvious to me.

I have more potentially controversial and even politically incorrect things to say. By my observation of the huge numbers of relatively young, healthy and reasonably slim participants in the Gold Coast Marathon and HM, I think a great proportion of them entered the race under prepared, under trained, and ended up having an UN-necessarily painful and slow race as a result. And I suspect they experienced this simply because they jogged and did not run :)  I mean right from the beginning when they began preparing, doing lots of long slow 'runs'  that really should be called jogging. By un-necessarily painful and slow, I mean that it is without doubt much more pleasant to finish a mara in 3hr45 or less than it is to finish it in 4hrs or more. By my observation those finishing at 3hr40 or better were in fact running and not jogging. Hence if you have a simple aim of 3hrs40 and are relatively young and slim, training that incorporates really RUNNING  will get you there. I just get the impression people are settling for less and are failing to reach their obvious potential.. Some may have been misguided by the long slow distance mantra that is being spread about as a training methodology... 

I know its harder to run than to jog overall. You use less energy doing the awkward and restrictive posture and form that is a 'jog', and your heart rate and breathing does not get elevated so much as it does in running  for an untrained runner. But this is the point - Unless you actually run you won't effectively train to run.

One thing that I fell into the trap of when I trained for my first Mara and more so in my second - When it came to the long runs, I simply did not have the fitness to RUN them. SO I ended up jogging and jogging badly. I would have been better off forgetting about my Marathon goals, and sticking with shorter distances, getting faster and building up my fitness gradually so that good RUNNING marathon training was possible. My first two maras may well have been far more pleasant, but delayed one or two years. In fact I would probably be at the same point I am now, except I'd have had several years of good base building before I began massacring myself with long runs..

10km race Gold Coast 29 June 2012 and watched the Mara and HM finishers

Pretty awful weekend in general for us. We stayed at a Hotel in Surfers Paradise, no worries there, but Christine was really sick with a chest cold. The first night we were there, it got much worse, and ended up getting no sleep that night. My race was 6:30AM the next day.

I had been fighting off fluey, cold like symptoms that never seemed to catch hold. But I woke Saturday with a bad sore throat. I ran the race, trying to put in a good effort. I stopped just short of 3km because both shoes laces were undone. WHAT !!!

I got to 5km at a reasonable pace but no-where near PB target at all, and fet really sick, throw up time. Slowed a lot from there. Suddenly I found myself at the 9.1km mark, 900 to go. Tried my usual hard sprint at the end, got to 300 metres to go and actually threw up, I found out I am able to breath and spew at the same time. Announces said something about me looking 'unwell'  or something.. Hmm :)

Finished in 44mins something or other.

This week I have hit the road fairly hard after making a decent recovery. I was able to push quite hard in my speed sessions, and stacked on a bit of mileage for the week. Its Sunday and I have run 6 days in a row, total 62km's. I want to step out and run today, may only be another 10km but It will be quite satisfying to go beyond 70km for the week - I believe I have done that only once before.

I have the Jetty to Jetty 10km race next weekend, Sunday, so I will do a mini-taper for that. Nothing like a Mara taper of course, I will simply do more easy speed form workouts and easy long runs, fewer of them for the week. If I am well for the J2J race I may do well. I cannot predict it because this season of what we call a Queensland winter just about everyone is sick in one way or another

Monday, June 25, 2012

Last long run before GCM 10km race on July 1 2012

I managed to do 62km's total for the week ending yesterday, Sunday 24th June 2012. That total is the second highest I have ever recorded on my Garmin for a week of training. Second behind the week I did my first Marathon in 2010.

It seems that doing regular runs of about 10km distance 6 days a week results in relatively easy 60km total for the week. I believe that for me to do a 'good'  marathon I need to gte to the stage where about 90km per week is completely realistic. The long runs of 20km plus are the ones that have damaged me in the past I think, especially when I tried to do them super slow. When I next do marathon training I will hopefully be able to run long and run well without causing damage - by being able to o the runs at a pace that supports good safe form.

Looking at my 60km total for the week I recently did, if I added 10km to a midweek run and 10 to the Sunday long run I still only get 80km's. If I added 1 or 2 kms distance to the other daily runs I will be there. OR I could add another day of running of 10km.. Looking at it this way it seems realistic IF I managed to build up to it.

Its 5 days until my first race this year - and my first race since the August Bridge to Brisbane I did last year. I have no idea what I will be able to do for th 10km distance. Yesterdays 16kms was the best at that distance I have done in years. I got to 12kms in before even looking at my watch to see how far I'd gone, because it was such an easy and pleasant run. I did the last 4km easy too, and finished with an average 5min/km pace over the distance. I feel like I have recovered well today.

My short speed sessions have improved significantly too, but I have not really tested myself over sustained 5-7 minute tempo runs or over 1km intervals recently. I want to be able to sustain at least sub 4mins over 10kms for this race, but I just have no idea how I will do. It should be better ...

Meanwhile this week I will do :

Monday easy recovery 10km+ for 1hr
Tuesday   12 x 200 2 min standing rest
Wednesday easy recovery 10km+  for 1hr
Thursday  10x30  with 30 sec jog recovery
Friday rest
Saturday RACE

I am treating the week as a near enough to normal training week, with the day off shifted to Friday. One speed session this week is a super easy 10x30 speed.

After the race I will begin doing lots of 400 repetition sessions. It seems to be a distance I enjoy running fast. I might gradually build the distance up over comming weeks so that I end up hopefully able to do 10x 1km at same speed of about 3min/km :)  Hah. Maybe one day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Finally feeling some benefits of the training

I have been doing this running caper for a while now, struggled through a long period of injury, and experienced many ups and downs. So I know when to ride an up with cautious optimism :)

Today is one of those 'up' days as far as running is concerned. Stepped out for an easy run after a hard cruise intervals session last night. I was supposed to do a recovery run, I felt slightly tired, and yet when I started running and warmed up a little it felt really good. Managed about 5min/km for just under 10km's with one 1km lap at 4min30 pace. And that felt great  too.

Its a good sign that my running fitness is now coming back to me. All I need to do is maintain the consistency and I will make some great progress.

I am trying to run every day, but it seems at least 1 rest day a week 'happens' and I probably need it. This week will be another of around 60km total if all goes well. Hard speed session tomorrow, OR if I am feeling the effects of the exuberance  from today's fastish run I may simply do another much easier run.

If I keep doing what I have been doing, running just one extra day ( 7 days for the week )  will put my over the 65km mark for the first time since June 2010

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week ending totals again - 61km this time

Managed 61km this week, after feeling quite ill all week. The speed session I was supposed to do was weak. I should have done 4x1km but pulled up wrecked and sick at 800 metres into the first one. I tried to do some fatlek style running on the way back to the office.

On the weekend I did 12km Saturday and 17km Sunday. It was not supposed to be as long a run as that, but I headed off latish in the afternoon and wnet in the direction of the Gateway bridge. I ran across it and then just ran to see where I ended up. I managed to reach Fortitude Valley.

All in all I seem to be in good nick, shall see how I hold up with the mileage.

Monday, May 21, 2012

week ending Sunday 20 2012 - Totals

Some how I managed to do 58kms for the week from Monday 14 May to Sunday 20th. It is a surprising total, as I had done no more than about 35km for the recent weeks this year.

It is the highest total since August last year. I have run 6 days of the 7, and I guess that is all it takes to get such volume. I did it all mostly easy. Hopefully this won't be too much, I intend to repeat the 6 days of running for the week until the  race on 2 July.

I am pretty sure running most days seem to make things better with regard to my right heel. Really strange. I had Saturday as a no running day, and ran Sunday afternoon. Right heel was quite uncomfortable, but seems ok today.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Status for May

Had a trip to Tassy for work late April, had a lot of fun down there. Forced a few runs in at Frecenet National Park, but accidentally erased the Garmin Data..  Did a few runs in Hobart as well, here is one that survived my fat fingers on the Garmin watch:

I have been running steadily all through April, and three weeks ago started an 8 week intense preparation for the GCM 10km race on 2 July 2012. I don't have a decent base to build on so I don't know what will come of it all, but it feels like it is working.

I am sort of following a PDF file that I found:

It is only accessible if you login to CoolRunning forums.

The plan pretty much advocates three key weekly runs for a 40min 10km race:

- Long aerobic   @ about 5min12 pace
- Speed VO2 session - 200 or 300 metre repeats of 3 or 4 plus a longer speed repeat of 600 to 1000 metres, 3 or 6 counts. 200's @ 35 sec, 300's @ 60 secs, and th 600/800/1000 @ 2;15/3:00/3:48
- Cruise Intervals  @ slightly lower than race pace - For me thats about 4min per 1 km or so. Periods of 6, 7 minutes repeats of 3 or 4

I have been trying to do easy recovery runs in between. And I have been running consecutive days, with full rest days on the weekend. Quite possibly not the best strategy, but it feels ok, I am not hugely fatigued at all.

In fact I feel that overall I am in better shape doing shorter runs, more frequently and less full rest days. Just this week, I had Saturday and Sunday off, no running, and have run Monday to Thursday consecutively.

I feel the workload in the legs but am not particularly exhausted. The run on Monday was supposed to be an easy long but I felt so fresh it turned into a long tempo. Ended up doing about 4:40 pace for 14km - at least that is what the horribly inaccurate RunKeeper on Android said I did. I left my Garmin at home.

Total for this week so far is already 37km's, and I have another speed session to do. So I will exceed 40km's for the week, for the first time since August last year.
Runs this week so far:

Only six weeks to go of training. Not at all sure if my goal of sub 40min for the 10km is going to happen. But I do feel improvements from a month ago. IF I can get myself cruising reasonably comfortably at 4min/km it may happen. Right now in the state of fatigue and workload I am in, I can do around 4:04 , slowing to 4:08 in the last of three. Needs to get better by far to give sub 4min for 10km a shot :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Have returned to regular running and training for a 10km race

Have returned to regular running, first run 28 March 2012. I am not completely recovered, but altogether much better.

Have decided to enter the Gold Caost 10km race on the Saturday before the Marathon that is run on Sunday. 10 weeks to go. It is the first time I have ever trained specifically for a 10km race, so it will be interesting. I actually expect specific speed training to have quite a significant influence because I have always been pretty fast.

The training has three core runs, a speed day, a cruise interval day and a long run of between 60 and 70 minutes. And I can do what ever recovery runs in the week that I wish to do, but at least one. Each core run has a pace to achieve too.
For the cruise intervals I need to get 4min12 or better per km, and I managed exactlt that for the two 5minute sessions Wednesday 18 April:

I did an easy recovery run last night 19 April:

I have raved on in earlier posts about a stepped plan where I graduate to longer runs after achieving certain goal distance/pace. I will skipp that rubbish and simply focus on 10km races - and when I can do a 10km race flat out, and sub 40, I will consider doing half marathons and marathons again. I have a lofty expectation todo around 38 or maybe 37 minutes for 10km, that will be 4 minutes quicker than my current PB, achieved in July 2010 after my first Marathon at GC. That was done with little speed focus though.

I am handling regular shorter runs quite ok so far. Quite low weekly km's:

Last week of March - 21km
First week April - 30km
Second week April 30km
Third week April - 25km so far

Monday, March 26, 2012

Yet another tedious injury update - Things are looking up again

Five or so days after my last update, I feel a whole lot better. I read a lot about gout and decided to self medicate.

Apple Cider Vinegar shots during the day, and a small amount of Bicarbonate of Soda in water before bed. I am also actively avoiding high Purine foods, although number one on that list is beer, and  I have not avoided that. The Bicarb of Soda is a temporary thing since its high Sodium, and that cannot be good for you. I have been avoiding salt anywhere and everywhere.

It may well be coincidence but heels are really good right now. I ran on Friday afternoon, only about 2.5kms, and made a concious effort to keep on my toes. I got cramps when I stopped!! Not in calfs but everywhere else. To think I could at one stage run 30km at 4min40 pace, the effort to get there from here is daunting. I have DOMS ( Delayed onset muscle soreness) on Monday, third day after the run.

Today I did a 20 minute session on the cross trainer, all whilst riding on the forfoot. No heel contact. The way I figure it, this will strengthen my calves. My extensive reading leads me to think that my injuries to my heels were caused by weakness in the calf muscles. This leads me to some speculation on how and why my injury problems have been so long lasting:

- I trained well for my first Marathon, which led to overuse injury
- I stopped running for a few months in October 2010, but also started back to regular beer - I had abstained for 6 months leading to my first Marathon in July 2010
- Beer is the number one cause of gout in men older than 40 !!
- Gout tends to hit places in feet where injury or inflammation is already present
- I'd struggle to get over the injury because it was inflamed by gout too. Running with inflammation continues to prevent the original injuries from improving.

SO IF I have my theoretical gout under controll my heels should be getting better. Seems they are.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dreary Injury status update

Things are getting a little bizarre. I have had maybe 15 days in a row where EVERYTHING was fine. Been walking regularly, barefoot and wearing shoes. Been the best series of days in years.

Then Friday I wore a newish pair of Brooks Defyance running shoes all day, and went to pub with a buddy that afternoon after work. Got home and up in the AM. Right foot got steadily worse all day Saturday, did usual house cleaning. Sunday had a few friends over to watch the AUS GP on TV, had a few beers. Monday my right foot was agonising. Sitting still doing nothing, suddenly a pinching sharp pain in the back of heel. WHAT THE HELL?

Frustration and annoyance again because this was a real set back. Used massage to try and soothe the pain, it was almost constant. Deep hard massage. Then I pulled out my ultrasound thingy, gave the foot 15 minutes on that, zapped it a few times, turned down intensity. Took a couple of NASAIDS.

Today is Wednesday, things are much better. Seriously confusing this. I am suspecting something else is going on. Gout?  I thought that once before but symptoms do not strictly apply here.

Anyway what horrible experience this has been. 5 months, where I have run ONE month, the rest off with stupid and rather pathetic heel problems. Maybe I should pretend I have gout and treat it accordingly. Cannot hurt as far as I can tell.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Injury status update

Have not posted for 15 days. I have been feeling quite low, dejected that I cannot run. Frustration was at its highest ever for me and was a very destructive feeling.

I needed to snap out of it and look forward to good things. The problem is that I build up expectations, and those expectations have been dashed so many times with my heel problems.

Anyway, things are looking brighter, my heel are feeling almost completely 'normal' as of the last few days. I have ben walking my dog regularly, wearing no shoes. My theory is that IF lack of stability and strength has been a contributing factor in my heel problems, then at least barefoot walking will allow muscles to work a little better.

I certainly feel that barefoot walking has been beneficial, and it certainly has done no harm what-so-ever. I was repeatedly warned by physio and Dr to avoid barefoot, use wedge shaped heel lifts and all that, but I always felt the exact OPPOSITE felt better. I recall that I used to run in my running flats and things would actually feel better.

Anyway, I have hatched yet another plan to get me back to running properly. One day I want to be able to train like an ADVANCED marathon running should. That is run 6 days a week, be able to run on Saturday AND do a long run Sunday, get relatively high mileage that a good Marathon runner needs to do.  So I need to gradually build to that work load. I do feel that the FIRST program is valid and will work for me, and will do that one day, but for now I was to establish a good BASE from which I begin a good running and training plan.

What I am doing is taking the Gold Coast Marathon ADVANCED training program for 2012, and walking it. If I cannot walk then there is no hope of running!!! The training schedule starts this week, with the first long run (walk in my case )  of 2hrs this weekend. The bonus is I can take our dog, so he will be very happy about that.

I will walk the training plan for 4 weeks - with lots of Cross Training on CT machine as well, and do the interval sessions on the CT too. After 4 weeks I will try running 5 minutes in the middle of the walk. Do that for maybe three weeks depending on how it feels. And gradually build up to full running sessions.

I am also harboring the desire to do the Gold Coast Marathon again this year. If I do that will be three in a row. What is it about achieving streaks that is so appealing? I know I have written in this blog about my futrue plans and switching to just 10km races until I reach my goal of sub 40, and the goal based training.. But I also realise that this sort of training places greater strain on  my body, when it is OBVIOUS that my body has not handled it very well. So I am slowly changing my mind, maybe a strong endurance base where I prove I can take that is best? And maybe I can get another GC Marathon done, with four months to go? The race will not be pretty if thats what I do...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CT sessions and injury management

Did 30min on CT 30 jan 2012, and have been doing vigorous heel drops. Strapped both heels and remarkable recovery again has occured, both heels feel really good right now.

I had a long walk with the dog this morning, 1 Feb 2012, and did a fast 20min on CT, then vigorous heel drops again.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I did 1 CT session 30min yesterday, 28 Jan 2012. I did two separate 30 min sessions on CT today 29 Jan, 2012.

Heels are slightly better, it has been 6 days since my last run. Frustration is huge and I am being hassled by my partner about it - because I want to limit ANY activity that aggravates the problem, including walking.

I personally think I now know what is required:

- Limit activities that aggravate the problem

- No running for 2-3 months

- Strap heel/ankle as I have noticed that right heel hurts when underpronating

Monday, January 23, 2012

Heels problem setback

I have suffered a setback wih regard to my heels. The RIGHT heel has flared up and I have stopped running as a result. I took a few days off to cope with the misery of yet again being stopped in my tracks, but did a CT session of 30 minutes plus a fast 4-6 km bikeride yesterday afternoon.

I am in two mind whether getting to th doctor about this will make mich difference. I am personally convinced that TIME and eccentric heel drops are the answer. Meanwhile, I will investigate getting into some bike, and swimming, maybe with deep water running for the next 3 months.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bad run Tuesday

30 minutes CT hard:

CT 5 minutes warmup or run:

25 minutes easy:

Bad run Sunday morning, then 65 minutes CT Monday, 30 minutes HARD, no runs Monday or Tuesday, and did a un today.

Seems that fatigue has accumulated and today was reasonably tough. I sort of know when I need to back off a bit these days I think. Will do another 65 minutes on CT again tomorrow night.

Monday, January 16, 2012

CT 65 minutes

65 minutes on CT:

Had a tough run yesterday, felt really uncomfortable and fatigued. After, I had sore heels especially right one. Felt quite dejected, anticipating another 2-3 months no running to recover. Shall see how it goes this week.

Hit the CT harder today than ever before, and did 5 minutes longer than ever before. Ended up doing 27.1km according to the odometer. For the first time, my right heel was hurting during the session, so something is up I think.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday tough run

CT 5 minutes warmup:

25 minutes running - Strangely felt very tough:

35 minutes on CT:

This was a tough run for some reason. I felt very out of breath and _tired_ for the first 2km's. I slowed a little for the rest of the run, and met Christine at Manly Markets. Had a coffee, and walked all the way home about 4km's. Then I did 35 minutes on CT. Total runn ing + CT is 65 minutes.

I guess that the fast Friday run and the extra run home after has accumulated and thus tired today. I am pleased to have been able to get 65 minutes total done however. And heart rate / pace overall was not too bad either.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Last run for the week ending Friday 13 Jan 2012

CT warmup:

Fastish 4km:

Slow run home with MAX:

Was planning to do an easy run tonight, but I felt pretty good and went fast for the first 1km. The rest of the run I faded a bit but I managed an average pace of 4min33/km, which is quite pleasing.

I commence my last week of the 6 week recover as prescribed by physio. I have not followed it precisely but I have been reasonably conservative. Next week I will aim to to 25,20,25,20 minutes.

I was 3 seconds off my _second_ milestone of 4min30 for 4km. But I did not hold that pace consistently enough. I will make a genuine attempt to do 30 seconds for 200metres, and a consistent 4min30 for 3km In a weeks time.


This is a post where I record my milestones and if/when I achieve them. Will revisit and edit this when I have achieved a milestone.

200 meters in 30 seconds - AND able to run 3km at 4min30 pace I graduate to next milestone and increase long run to 4km's STATUS not achieved

400 meters in 65 seconds AND able to run 4km at 4min 30 pace I graduate again, increase long run to 5km's STATUS not achieved

1 km in 180 seconds ( 3 minutes )  AND able to run 5km's at 4min30 pace, I graduate again and increase long run to 6km's STATUS not achieved

2 km in 400 seconds ( 6 minutes 40 )  AND able to run 6km's at 4min30 pace, graduate and increase long run to 7km's STATUS not achieved

3 km in 10 minutes 30 seconds  AND able to run 7km's at 4min30 pace, and graduate to 8km's long run STATUS not achieved

4km in 14 minutes 20 seconds, AND able to run 8kms at 4min30 pace, graduate, increasing to 9km long run. STATUS not achieved

5 km in 18 minutes ( Huge )  AND able to run 8km's at 4min30 pace graduate again and increase long run to 9km's STATUS not achieved

6km in 21 minutes 50  AND able to run 9kms  at 4min30 pace, graduate , increase long run to 10kms's STATUS not achieved

7km's 25 40 AND able to run 10kms at 4min30 pace, graduate to next milestone, and increase long run to 11km's STATUS not achieved

10 km in 38 minutes ( Huge ) STATUS not achieved

Thursday, January 12, 2012

9th,10th,11th and 12th Jan running and CT

45min on CT on 9th Jan:

60 minutes on CT 10th Jan:

CT 5min warmup 11 Jan:;postID=3774138955873669939
Faster 2km 11 Jan:

Jog fell over jogging home after the 2km:

Half arsed sprint on way home:

Total of about 30minutes on CT 12 Jan:

Have done _something_ every day for the whole week, since SUnday, and not too tired. Definately feeling the work but using the CT seems a bit easier on my body. Heels the last few days have been really good, not sure why. Maybe they are just getting better.

Big news is I did 2km at average 4min20/km, quite pleased with that. On the easy jog back my path was blocked by a couple of fellows outside a local pub. I ran around them and around a street light pole. In the shadow I cast, in my path there was a big dip in the path from where work men had dug a hole and filled it. It had subsided 3 inches. My right foot went into that, then as I brought left foot forward I tripped on a rise that a tree root had caused in the bitumen. Over I went, caught my fall heavily in left palm on my hand. Bruised and sore there, as well as hip, shoulder and right big toe. ANyway I live for another day and a run, hand is much better now, no lasting harm done at all.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

20 minutes 'easyish'

Began with 5 minutes on the CT:
Then an aborted start ( Forgot to enable the GPS in my watch ):
Then the real 20 minute run:
My usual 200 metre speed burst:
And finally 20 minutes on CT:

I was not that comfortable in the run today. I attempted to keep cadence up around 90 BPM, which is terribly difficult to do and stay SLOW for me. I over cooked early an struggled for the last 1km. Still, compared to my latest efforts this run was OK. I was a little bit ill over night and I suspect that has have an effect.

Will do a 45min CT session tomorrow, and a run on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Yet another recovery run - 20 minutes

5 minutes on CT for warm up:

The 20 minute run:

And the customary quick 200 burst home that I have been doing lately:

On December 17 2011, I did my firt recovery run, 15 minutes at 4min50/km pace. Heart rate was 162 average and reached a maximum of  173 bpm. I have only done 7 runs in total before this one, over a period of 19 days, and my heart rate for this run was average 144, with a maximum of 159bpm. Based on these numbers I seem to have gained a fair bit of fitness.

The CT workouts have certainly helped. Quite pleased. I have a 20 minute run tomorrow, and I plan to do a big CT session after as well.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New training plan for 2012, incorporating a huge amount of Elliptical Cross TRainer

I have put some of my thoughts down in a post in my blog here:
Where I am now and why - And what I am going to do in the future in running

Based on these thoughts and what I have read the FIRST training system, I will form a training plan. I attempted to apply FIRST in my training from about July 2011 through to around October. Obviously I did not see the fruits of such a training scheme, although I did manage to do a  personal best 3km of 11 minutes flat, so it did improve my speed. At the moment I do not want to risk doing excessive kilometers running for fear of flaring up my heels problem, so I am quite restricted and cannot do the full FIRST training plans yet. Even though they do less running mileage, its still too much for me right now.  I am forming a plan that will hopefully get me going fast and improving my fitness overall using the CT machine, using a few clues from the FIRST idea, but with a twist of my own. I am going to do it by milestones, where when I reach a milestone I qualify to increase my long run component.

First of all  I want try and get to a point where I can do 45 minutes on the CT on non-running days, and try to do a combination of  running and CT on the running days totaling 45 minutes. I will be training 6 days a week, and will do that with no speed work until I finish the 6 week recovery running plan my physio recommended. This will be a base fitness period too, where I lay the ground work for a more intense training plan.

Once the 6 week recovery is over, my weekly schedule will include Saturday a full rest day, and Sunday reserved as a club race day or a speed/tempo run day. A 'long' running+CT day will be Friday. So the weekly plan will look like this:

Sunday - Club race or tempo/speed and CT totalling 45 minutes
Monday - CT 45 minutes
Tuesday - Run speed session and CT totaling 45 minutes
Wednesday - CT 45 minutes
Thursday - CT 45 minutes
Friday - Easy run plus CT totaling 45 minutes - As season gets on this will get longer in both runand CT component
Saturday REST

This is the initial weekly schedule, with the possibility of increasing the Wednesday CT session increasing to be a mid week long session.

As far as milestones, every week or so I back off slightly on CT only sessions, and try and hit the milestones on the running days - When I reach each milestone I will revise the next milestones, maybe increase my long run component by one kilometer, and begin another  period where I try to build fitness to meet the next milestone. The milestones:

200 meters in 30 seconds - AND able to run 3km at 4min30 pace I graduate to next milestone and increase long run to 4km's

400 meters in 65 seconds AND able to run 4km at 4min 30 pace I graduate again, increase long run to 5km's

1 km in 180 seconds ( 3 minutes )  AND able to run 5km's at 4min30 pace, I graduate again and increase long run to 6km's

2 km in 400 seconds ( 6 minutes 40 )  AND able to run 6km's at 4min30 pace, graduate and increase long run to 7km's

3 km in 10 minutes 30 seconds  AND able to run 7km's at 4min30 pace, and graduate to 8km's long run

4km in 14 minutes 20 seconds, AND able to run 8kms at 4min30 pace, graduate, increasing to 9km long run.

5 km in 18 minutes ( Huge )  AND able to run 8km's at 4min30 pace graduate again and increase long run to 9km's

6km in 21 minutes 50  AND able to run 9kms  at 4min30 pace, graduate , increase long run to 10kms's

7km's 25 40 AND able to run 10kms at 4min30 pace, graduate to next milestone, and increase long run to 11km's

10 km in 38 minutes ( Huge ) 

I feel that the 3km milestones and the long runs at 4min30 pace are within my grasp, but the 5 to 10 distances are huge challenges. Given I am doing minimal running distances, BUT huge amounts of CT workouts, I hope my fitness improves enough to reach these goals..

The long run plus CT day Friday I will rapidly reach the stage where I am able to reach the levels I am aiming for. The speed sessions and a tempo session will be what will get me the speed milestones. To gain the 200 meter one I think if I don't hit it first up, I will do intervals of 2x 100 metres, and 5x50.

To gain the 400, I will do intervals of 2x200, 5x100.. To gain the 1km I will do 2x400, 4x200, 5x100 etc.

Latest runs for the week - Continuing recovery runs

15 minutes run after  minutes warm up on CT

Fast run home, about 200 metres

I did 25 minutes on CT after the run

Finally I did a CT only session today

I have been doing these shorter recovery runs for about 3 weeks now, fairly casually, and not religiously foing a run every 2 days. Sometimes I would go two days without a run. Compared to my first few runs I appear to have gained a bit of fitness already I am quite pleased. I have finished the silly season, Christmas,  and now am completely off the booze again until about April.  friend is getting married ;)

The Cross Trainer (CT) is reasonably tough, it works upper body, biceps, triceps and chest and shoulder/back. It also works on core strength quite well. I recall the muscles that really hurt during and after LONG runs are being worked so that may be a good thing. 

Heels today are pretty good, and during the running quite ok, just twinges at the beginning.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Where I am now and why - And what I am going to do in the future in running

I think I have arrived at a few conclusions about running, training as a beginner, and how and why I am where I am right now. I am currently getting over a long term injury. Here goes:

It is often said that good running form leads to less injury, and greater efficiency. The cadence for the best performing and most efficient runners is about 90-92 steps per minute. In general even in training the best runners approach this cadence. I think this is absolutely true, there is no doubt in my mind about these simple facts: The best runners tend to be both fast, have great form and have a relatively high cadence. Cadence is closely related to running efficiency.

Its often also said that all runners training for distance events should incorporate long 'slow' runs at a comfortable effort level to help avoid injuries, and work hard enough that adaptation and fitness gained is efficient. It is absolutely true that training at the right effort levels leads to great improvements in fitness level, while also helping to avoid common injuries and avoiding over training and excessive tiredness. That is you work hard enough to cause adaptation while also allowing room for efficient recovery.

Note that 'good running form'  from what I understand is one where the body is slightly leaning forward from the hips, head held with a slight tilt allowing eyes to see a point about 10 metres ahead, and most importantly little to no heel strike. The foot should strike the ground under or slightly forward of the hips. Its suggested that a mid foot to front foot strike is best. 

I personally have found that when I run 'slow' at about 5min-6min/km pace, I heel strike. I find it difficult and awkward to avoid heel striking when I am running 'slow'. When I speed up a little, around 5min-4:45min/km I tend to begin mid foot strike. And when I run at around 4:30min/km or faster I tend to get more onto my forefoot.

Better running form and mid to forefoot strike also tends to be related to cadence - the faster the cadence, the more likely you will be mid to forefoot striking. I did a bit of experimentation on cadence a while ago. I found it was difficult to avoid going faster when I increased cadence. I have read a bit about how one can improve their running form by shortening the stride length, which naturally leads to more mid-forefoot striking and a higher cadence. I found I could increase cadence and maintain a 'slow' pace BUT only up to a point. It would get uncomfortable when I tried to maintain a high cadence and short enough stride to reach what all the training pace calculators said would be my 'long comfortable' run pace for training ( AT the time around 5min10/km). I always naturally reach a pace of about 4min30 whenever I attempted a cadence approaching  90.

I have been told by my physio that the type of problem I have experienced tends to happen to people that have poor running form, where they heel strike. The action places greater flexing and strain on the Achilles insertion which leads to over use injuries in  that area. I have read that other injuries frequently experienced by 'heel strikers'  are shin splints, knee problems and apparently a higher chance of stress fractures.

What I have found with myself over the last few years of training for marathons and half marathon events, where I did a lot of fairly long distance runs, is that I felt much more sore and stiff after running when I have made a concious decision to slow down right from the beginning. Whenever I just let myself run to what was a natural pace (For me this is about 4min30/km regardless of how fit I am) I would be less sore after. I know this may be deceptive, ie I possibly just run faster when I feel good and thus feel better after the run because I was in good nick before hand. But I feel overall it is true - Whenever I decided to _slow down_ I ended up sore after the run, and when I run to how I feel I tend to finish up less sore.

My natural pace where my form  is 'OK' is about 4min30/km. At various stages of my training I may not be able to run very far at that pace, but its what feels natural to me. I found when I was at my best level of fitness I could run 4min30/km pace in training for at least 10-16km, cadence was near enough to spot on 90.

Now here is the problem - As a _slow_ running beginner, I think poor form is very common. I think heel striking is an almost natural thing to do when running slowly for some people. Slow running is almost a 'fast walk' for some people. Like me!!

I think when I run slow I heel strike. I did a lot of slow running at 5 to 6min/km pace and thus was exposed to a lot of distance where my form was poor and my Achilles area was over worked. I inevitably a problem with both heels.

From now on I will not run LONG and comfortable until my 'comfortable' pace  run is fast enough that my form is good. ie faster than 5min/km pace. In fact I am going to assume that 4min30/km pace is my comfortable, and until I can run 10-20km at that pace _comfortably_  I won't go the distance. This is a little arse about of course :)

I recal discussing training for beginners with an experienced coach. He told me he does not suggest anyone that is 'serious'  about marathons (wanting to run for pace and not just 'the journey' in a once off event) attempt training for a half or full marathon event until they are capable of running a 10km race 'flat out'. He clarified what he means by flat out and he explained that it was 'at or beyond 90% of their theoretical HR maximum the whole way'. He said that if anyone can do that they have their fitness and running adaptation at a sufficient level to take on HM and full marathon training, and likely achieve good pace.

I have it in mind to run marathons and HM's at a 'good pace'. Therefore I aim to get to the point where I can run 5 and 10km races 'flat out', before I swing back to HM's and marathons again.

I will break the task down to several milestones:

- 200 metres in 30 seconds - I used to do easily sub 25's in high school. With no specific training!! 

- 400 metres 65 seconds. In highschool I used to do easily sub 60's !!

- 1km - I feel a realistic pace is around 3min/km.

- The next goal is 2km's. Flat out. Goal about  6 minutes 40 seconds or so, 3min20/km pace.

- Then 3kms. Flat out. I did a good one last year 2011, and managed 11min flat, my best ever. I should beat that this time around because I will be working on speed more than ever before. My aim is for about 10minutes 30

- 4km flat out. This one I  aim for a time of maybe 14minutes 30

- 5km race - break 20 minutes is the first goal. And also run about 18 minutes flat eventually

- 10km - Ultimate aim is to break 40 minutes, with a goal of 38 minutes

All the above goals must be achieved before I ever train for HM' or marathons again!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

First run for the new year

I did the first run for the new year:

Plus a short fast run after:

I did 5min on the cross trainer before the run and another 20 minutes after.

I also did a run - the last one for the year:

And again a shorter faster running after:

I also did a 40 minute session on the cross trainer on new years eve, that was hard.

From the data recorded it does appear that my fitness is slowly building. My heart rate is marginally lower in my latest run compared to earlier ones  where my pace is comparable. I should see a good improvement in the next couple of weeks.

I have had a Christmas/New Year period where I have over consumed both food and alcohol.  I have resolved to abstain from alcohol as per last year and the year before, so I should have better energy levels soon and thus be able to train harder as well as recover better after hard sessions.

Heels are OK, left is completely good, right is a little sensitive at the beginning but nowhere near as bad as it had been in the past.

Now I need to make a training plan - Next blog post.