Monday, November 4, 2013

My new friend, deep water running

Saturday, I went to Sleeman Sporting Complex, near where I live. Used the heated outdoor pool, with my flotation belt. About 40-45 minutes water running. Dead boring. Then I did about 30 metre swim.

Today, Monday 4 November, I went to the pool at QUT Gardens point campus. 6$ entry, a complete and utter rip off. I ran maybe 1km  to the pool and then I did about 45 minutes deep water running and two laps of the 50 metre pool - 100 metres freestyle.

The deep water running really is not a great substitute for real running. It shifts the work load so that there is more resistance bringing the leg forward than would be the case in normal running. Of course there is zero impact so that is a good thing.  It seems to work hip flexors, and thigh muscles too, just a little. I get the feeling it might help with leg speed - bring leg forward strongly. Seems to work my neck a lot too. So maybe core strength can benefit too.

I will see if I can build my swimming up to several laps of the pool. It will improve my fitness for swimming and nothing else, with a small benefit to running.

I predicted that heel problems were coming back and they did !!

Last blog was Tuesday 22 October, and in it I described the heel problems flaring. It was not imaginary. In fact it was quite bad.  I stepped out to run that afternoon, easy 2 km followed by what I hoped would be 12 x400  at fastish pace.

I did the warm up, right heel was complaining. Right at the point where I have had the problems. I gave it a bit of time to warm up, it got no better. I attempted the 400's. Did about 4 before the pain was just too much to run. Normally in the past, slow running was the biggest trigger. I could speed up and the pain would disappear - because I was running more on the forefoot is my guess. This time it was nothing like that. It just kept getting worsh.

So I stopped and walked back. Even walking after warmed up was bad. It was very bad this time. Rather different in a way from previous instances. In the past it was a slow stead buildup. Many months of it niggling just enough to make it a slight misery at the beginning of a run, and making normal like hellish with the pain when trying to walk after sitting for a while. This time it came on extremely suddenly over a matter of days. Perfectly ok all the time in the week prior.

This time a couple of new factors - Obviously I did 3 weeks of 60km totals, a major contributor, always has been. Simple volume increase and boom big trouble. But I also bought three new pairs of shoes - non running -  wore one pair all week leading up to the weekend, and another pair I wore when I played in band Saturday. The ones I wore in band - I walked a fair bit in them, carried heavy equipment etc. I reckon its too much co-incidence that the heel problem flared immediately after. Most likely the heel box pressured the bad lump I have in right foot.

Got to podiatrist last week, have MRI Tomorrow, Tuesday 5 Nov. In the meantime I have done no running at ll for 12 days. My body has contracted into the scaling old man I really am in the meantime too, aches and pains increased. Running frequently really DOES make me feel good. I just need to manage the volume.  Its clear that I cannot carry that volume..

My plan for the next month or so is to do water running as frequently as I can, I have a flotation belt now. I will also build up a few freestyle swimming laps when I am at the pool, some cross training. And see if I can gradually get back to some running. 60km a week is not good for me so I will see if I can get back to about 45 a week plus water running multiple times a week and swimming.  I need to get my fitness from something while foot keep me off the roads. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stats for the week / month so far, and post stress disorder? Confidence has taken a hit.

Day 22 of base building.  Monthly mileage and average paces (km/hr):

Oct 2013     180.50 12.1
Sep 2013     167.90 12.2
Aug 2013     172.04 12.4
Jul 2013     183.50 12.3
Jun 2013     129.35 11.5
May 2013     80.02 11.5
Apr 2013      69.02 11.6
Mar 2013      26.44 11.9

This month has been a huge ramp up in mileage. Still 9 days left of October and I have matched the highest month of the year near enough. If I manage to keep running for the next 8 days I will exceed 200kms in a month for the first time since July last year. That led to a complete breakdown eventually!! The biggest monthly total I have reached was 211km in June 2010.

The last 12 weeks:

14/10/2013 57.33 12.5
07/10/2013 63.42 11.7
30/09/2013 59.75 12.2
23/09/2013 33.36 12.2
16/09/2013 42.13 12.0
09/09/2013 36.68 11.9
02/09/2013 45.66 12.4
26/08/2013 33.06 12.8
19/08/2013 47.42 12.4
12/08/2013 25.00 12.7
05/08/2013 49.43 11.8
29/07/2013 35.54 13.0

So I have not quite done three weeks in a row of 60km +   but looking at the rest of the weekly totals its clear I have made a big step up. This week I expect to drop to probably 35-40km again. And the same next week in the lead up to the CoolNight classic.

I really do hope backing off a little will help the ankle recover enough to not turn into a real problem!!  In addition to the ankle pain which is totally new, I have now begun to feel hints of the old bursa's in both heels again.  Ankle has in fact almost completely faded away, no hint of a problem after Monday's complete rest day. No sign of twinges when I walk or anything like it..

It does seem though, that taking a rest day from the regular daily running has allowed things to change in bursa area of each heel, and its now suddenly flared a little. It is not too bad, just every now and then while sitting at my desk, I get a solid burning pain in the exact area where the old, original buraa problems were. Exactly where the MRI scans in Oct 2011 showed them, both feet !!  

When the problem was really bad, I had to warm up, massage, rub the area, before I stood up to walk, and when I did take a step I'd have to test it, walk awkwardly, like a bloody old man.. And the pain was really bad always when walking or standing.  At its peak when I was running with the injury it was frequently just agonisingly painful, especially at the beginning of a run.

Right now I actually don't have to do any of the warm ups just to walk that I used to have to do, and I seem to walk fairly easily. But I am just thrown back into that old behaviour of compensating for the heel pain all the time, because of the burning sensations I am occasionally getting in the heels. Its like post traumatic stress disorder almost !! I am actually re-living the pain even though its not really quite there (yet), and I am having trouble breaking the habit formed over so many years of testing before I walk and anticipating the pain of the first few steps.  

I know I am not imagining it though, the sensation is very real, there IS something going on there. If I rub or press the area, I certainly do feel tender in the places where the problem has always been.  Its vague enough but I recall that this is how it began in the first place, with vague burning sensations and localised tenderness on the back of the heels. A very slow burn, and eventually it turned nasty and became chronic and fairly intolerable pain pretty much all the time.

It has knocked my confidence completely I have to confess. I thrive on confidence, enthusiasm, and a bright future, dreaming of the possibilities that high volume base building brings, and finally being able to use the lovely basic speed I possess to do better 5, 10, HM and marathon races !!  It helps to motivate me to step out while tired and get the running done, having a brighter future.

I really want to train well, thats my greatest motivation and desire in simplest terms, my one and only clear goal these days. Train well and consistently because that will bring success and improvements in the races I want. Its just so frustrating to have been held back so long by these achilles tendon, bursa problems. Everything, and I mean everything else is fine. I am slimming down a little, I can FEEL the fitness coming again. To have the old problem appear again is a horrible thing to contemplate.

I feel bad now because I know its real and not imaginary, I am not over-reacting, the problem is always there, always will be, thats the honest truth. I have pretended it was not this way in the past.. Which is silly.  Volume based training is always going to trigger it. I knew it before I started this base building 22 days ago, but I am ever hopeful, I have to try to see if I can get the volume done and get fit enough.  Otherwise I may as well give it up !!

So here is my attitude and outlook. I will keep trying. I will maintain the volume, for as long as my heels allow. Precisely how I will cope with the future - and I know its going to be painful - I just don't know.  Do I get bloody minded every day and run through it? Its clear to me right now that backing off DOES NOT lead to a full recovery and never will. Its also clear that running through it, gritting through the pain day in day out is a misery, but I often wonder - can it get better from there?

Training was not really the biggest problem, I could do that for 1-2, 3+ hours in a run. There is a start, a goal time and an ending to it, I can cope with whatever pain happens during a run.

The problem is going to be real life, and it always was. Day to day homelife for example. Walking the dog?  If I am smashing through the pain barrier in a daily run because my bursa's, it will have profound effects on ordinary things like taking the dog for a walk,  going up and down stairs, the simplest things. It almost happened this morning. I was resisting taking the dog for a walk, he enjoys it, and thoroughly DESERVES to be out and about with me. I have a responsibility to do it. I owe it to him. So how can I justify ruining my heels, and my quality of life in general, and the knock on effects on people like my dog MAX, just to get a long run done  ?   This is the question I am now working on.

I did it in the past - compensating by actively avoiding doing things at home, always wanting to put my feet up, avoiding responsibilities, simply because my feet were agonisingly painful. All because of a 1hr+ run I wanted to do each day.

I know this is what is going to happen. So I am asking myself how do I manage it this time? I can medicate, but that has dire consequences potentially. Can I take anti inflams weekly? The day after a long run? I do know that its basically INFLAMMATION that is the problem. I have proven it in the past by taking the medication. Heels settle down in a matter of hours, its quite a dramatic effect.

So what to do. Backing off has failed, getting medical treatment worked up to a point but still it took 2 YEARS to get to where I am now. Pretty much at the beginning again but this time knowing fully what I am in for if I keep going. Perhaps that is better, knowing whats going to happen. Can I deal with the pain and somehow make it to the other side of it with grossly malformed haglunds lumps and bumps on each heel, and be able to keep running?  I may well end up never being able to fit a shoe again, that is how bad it can be. Its well known that it you keep running with bad bursa's in the heels, that the body reacts to repeated scarification with calcified scars. And THAT is what will make it all much worse. Eventually calcification forms hard bony lumps on the back of the heal. I actually have it clearly on right heel not so much on the left already, so I am pretty far gone in that regard now.

I think what I need it to get out and run again :)   And forget about the misery I have to face in the very near future!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 20 of base building, a small injury and ParkRun

I did ParkRun on Saturday 20 October, the day after a fairly hard interval session.  Carrying quite significant fatigue in the legs and pretty much all over from the running volume. Managed slightly faster than the week before, 20:29.

This time I paced really well from the beginning, a 3:56 and a 3:59. I settled down and recovered in the 3rd, and continued with a slightly more comfortable pace, a 4:09, 4:13 and 4:09 again for the last one. The big difference was I finished stronger.

Again legs felt like the limiting factor. I felt much better aerobically, breathing was significantly easier. I have to have a better 5km in me if I allow myself to recover and am fresh. The opportunity will be there this coming Saturday another ParkRun to do. I will also do the CoolNight classic on much fresher legs.

I was confronted with a very harsh reality yesterday. On Saturday I only did 5kms, the ParkRun race. But of course I did it reasonably quickly (for me ) and I was extremely tired, so it seems to have knocked me around a bit. I also played at a pub Saturday night, 4 hours rocking on.. That is  a fairly good workout on tired legs too with a heavy guitar slung around your neck. I was actually a bit out of it, fatigue was very high all day and night Saturday. Its a clear sign that I am need of a decent rest.

So the harsh reality yesterday, Sunday. I had planned a long run, 1hr30, possibly about 18kms. I stepped out at about 4PM Sunday afternoon, after a long day. Not enough sleep from the night before..  I walked to warm up feeling really tired. Like I really should not be running !! My simple rule of thumb these days was applied. Basically get started, if I don't start feeling 'better'  after 3kms, think about packing it in.

The route I took has some small easy hills. Legs were burning right at the start. I can usually do the first 3kms at 4:30 pace fairly easily. Not today, I was barely getting 5:10 and working really hard. Got to 3kms, was on a downhill section, felt ok.. Kept going. By 5kms I was completely wet with sweat, very extreme compared to what I normally do. I stopped to get some water and go to toilet. Began running again and immediately felt sharp pain in ankle. I ran through it for a bit, but it did not fade, got marginally worse. The pain could have been dealt with maybe if I was not so fatigued, but at the time, it stopped me.

So I applied my rule of thumb. I was feeling crap initially, I got to 3kms feeling ok but marginal. Stopped for water and got going again and triggered a new injury. Certainly not feeling in any way 'better'  after 3kms!

The injury I suspect originates from a few weeks ago. I twisted my ankle on a trail, and the initial twist and pain incident is in the exact same place where this new injury has flared . The ankle has been completely fine, no sign of a problem at all, until this week. The last few runs there has been the slightest twinge of pain, sort of like a zappy nerve, rather than an injury issue initially.  It would zap occasionally, and settle completely after. So it was a complete non-issue until this run on Sunday.  Since it flared Sunday, basically the pain happens when launching, on forefoot, so its similar in nature to the old heel pain I had, almost exact same angle to trigger it. It does not hurt much when walking, a twinge maybe, but it still zaps when I make any movement that is similar to running.

So I stopped my long run of 18km's plus at about 5.5kms and walked home. After I got home, the ankle was aching a little and slightly throbbing. So there certainly a little inflammation there. But it does not appear swollen at all.

So I strung together another 9 days of consecutive running, and its day 21 today of my base building period. Three weeks milestone marked by yet another injury !!  Total for the 21 days is pretty much spot on 180kms.  Day 21 is now a full rest day. I had actually planned that anyway!! Ankle today is quite ok, merest  hint of vague aches and does not really bother me too much walking. I am cautious when I walk, perhaps overly so as a result.

Hopefully this ankle thing will blow over after a full days rest. I feels like a minor thing, not something really bad, so I expect to run tomorrow.

This whole week I will do reduced volume, short 30min easy runs followed by some speed sessions. This should see me in much better shape by the end of the week. I will have a go at a ParkRun for the first time on fresh legs and having done some decent long term aerobic training this coming Saturday. It has to be a good one. The week after I have CoolNight Classic,  5km race so I will continue with reduced volume until after that race. Then hopefully if my body agrees and accepts it, get back to my base building schedule. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ran with the gym running club Friday morning 18 October 2013

I ran with the gym running club this morning, and it was a speed session. 6 minutes of 200 fast/ 200 jog. Rest then did it again. Did a 800 m warmup before and a 600m warm down after.

I feel like I lack raw speed now, and that is not a surprise. By speed I mean raw, 3min pace or quicker. As far as mid speed, say around 3:30 or 3:40 pace I feel I can sustain it better because of improved aerobic capacity. My legs are a limiting factor right now because of the fatigue I am carrying.

My longer running pace is sneaking down a little to something quicker, for the same perceived effort. All I need is to freshen up and I have to be going quicker in shorter races.  Even if I lose raw speed due to this volume based training, my longer distance race times have to improve. 5km, 10km etc simply due to the aerobic capacity I gain. I simply have never fully developed my aerobic capacity.

Its so obvious now, to me what my problem is.. When I have done 20 minutes for 5kms, my pace is quite slow compared to what I am capable of in absolute terms. And if I run my best 5km race pace over shorter distances its actually a very slow and easy pace. The limiting factor overall is aerobic capacity by a massive proportion.  A bloke that can run 400s in 57 seconds but cannot go faster than 20min for 5km lacks aerobic capacity !!

I sure hope all this volume delivers what I think it should. Its quite hard work grinding away day after day. I certainly have not reached my limit yet, I have a way to go before I am sick of it. Its been a good challenge so far.

I get to test myself a little next week at the CoolNight Classic in Brisbane, 31st Oct. I pan to back off substantially next week, a full day off Monday and 30min runs followed by 12x30 speed each day, rather than simply volumes of easy running. The lower mileage will alow my legs to recover and hopefully doing the speed sessions will do what I have come to expect, refresh me.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday 16, Thursday 16 October 2103, 1hr easy and 50 min easy

Did a 1hr easy on Wednesday, a good honest out and back next to the Brisbane River. Did it just a little faster than usual, at 4:49min/km pace. It was not exactly easy as my legs are sore and tired, but overall effort wise it was easy enough. Breathing is comfortable, just heavy legs from halfway on.

I had a late night Tuesday, and was completely shagged so I went to bed early, about 7:30. Slept all the way through. Felt ok physically this morning.

Today, Thursday did a 50min run, out to West End and back along the river again. This one I did slightly swifter again too, 4:48 min/km average for 10kms. I actually pulled up at 10kms rather than go another 2minutes or so, I don't think that matters.My obsessive and compulsive self feels  little uncomfortable about it !!

I was feeling like slowing down after the turnaround, but I encountered a girl running a good 4:40 pace. Its rare that I see that with all the joggers around, and she looked like a seriously good runner, traveling with real ease at that pace.  So I really had to stick with he !!  She did a 4:30 initially and slowed a little. I slowed a little more but was still doing  near enough to 4:45 .

So here I am day 17 of my base building period, having run 16 days total. I have run 6 consecutive days since the last day off on Friday.  164kms in 17 days.

I will do another easy 50 tomorrow I think, this time actually EASY. 5km ParkRun Saturday  will try for a fast one. And then Sunday 15km or more depending on how I am feeling I think. Sunday will be day 9, and I feel right now that 9 or 10 consecutive days is about right before a rest day is in order. This will give me:

- day 18, 174km's  Friday
- day 19, 180km's  Saturday
- day 20, 195km's  Sunday
- day 21 rest  Monday

Next week I plan to back off, do shorter runs, day off running Monday, 30mins easy followed by a little speed session, 12x30sec fast or something Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I need some relief and recovery.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday 15 October 2013, 6km easy plus 12x100 speed session

Did a 6km easy at 4:50min/km average today. Felt really crappy before the run, sleepy and fatigued. Had a cup of tea but it helped only a little bit. Stepped out and was still feeling lethargic. My mantra is 'just get started and see how I feel'.

These days if I feel crap and its time for a run, if I get 3kms into it and I m not feeling any better I just stop. Things started to come together at about 3kms, and I was feeling alright. FInished the 6kms and it was time for the 12x100's. I did these very soft - not flat out at all but still quick. I did them marginally quicker than last week, but they felt a bit easier I think.

It was a good honest effort today, sticking to the plan and getting the run done. The consistency will pay off well, I have to remember that. I am not exactly wrecked just feeling the workload a bit. Give me a good nights sleep and I will be back on it again. I am not going backwards at all. I feel the benefits aerobically, its general lethargy now that is affecting me. 

Monday 14 October 2013, 4km easy in the AM and 6km brisk in the PM

I did a short easy run with MAX and Christine Monday morning. I was feeling pretty washed out from the run Sunday night, where I pulled up at 1hr15 insread of 1hr30. Ended up doing 4kms plus about 1km where I failed to record on my watch.

I had planned a 50 min easy pace run in the afternoon Monday, but when I stepped out it just felt awkward to go easy. A faster leg turn over felt much more comfortable so I stuck with that.  I was carrying a little leg soreness from the ParkRun and the long run Sunday I guess, plus all the activities I had been up to on the weekend. That and all the easy running volume I think maybe I wanted to break out of that for a bit.. I found my pace was about 4:20min/km with faster leg turn over, it felt comfortable, not easy and not hard.. I stopped looking at my watch and just kept the tempo up maintaining the same breathing rate. If it increased I backed off a little. Still felt reasonably comfortable, but obviously I was going faster than 'easy' and it was not exactly the righ pace to be training at.

I got to 5km in and decided to stop at 6kms. In the last 400m of the last 1kms I went quick, and ended up with a 4:16min/km for the very last 1kms. Overall the average pace was 4:23min/km, for 6kms which is quite decent. To make a comparison, at the end of April this year my absolute best 5kms was about 21:45 at ParkRun. I did the first 5kms of this run in 21:56 or so..

Overall, I feel I could have held this pace for another 4kms, but am in need of a bit of recovery. Aerobically again it felt really easy but its the legs that begin to feel a bit heavy and tight if I go further.

I recall when I was training for my first marathon I had similar feelings. As I build the volume up the legs begin to feel heavy, but aerobically I feel really good. That may well be the key to it all as far as making significant aerobic fitness gains.

Today Tuesday 15 Oct I plan a 30min easy run followed by 12x100m fast with a 100m jog recovery.  I really should do these fast sessions properly, aa little faster in the fast parts, so I will see how I go today. I have done a little more distance this week compared to last week I think, but I am feeling a little better too.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

1hr15 easy - was going to be 1hr30..

I was really tired today, after the ParkRun yesterday and the last 10 days of running. Also I suspect from being sick since Thursday evening. I stepped out intending to do 1hr30. I ran down to the waterfront, and it was a wild night. I was tired right from the start, legs in general, but also overall feeling run down. Had a tail wind at the beginning and head wind on the way back. A howling wind, really wild. The tide was high too so waves were breaking and spraying across the pathway.

I was actually running slower than usual too, but still ended up pulling up short. To be honest I was debating with myself whether I ran today, and I am glad I did.

Its day 12 of my base building, 123kms, and I have managed to maintain the 10kms/day average. I am hanging in there.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

ParkRun 20:32 pretty decent

I had a day off running yesterday, and I started feeling sick Thursday night - stomach pains. Still got it Saturday morning. Also, headache, aches and pains etc. Very annoying.

Almost did not do this ParkRun this morning. Took some paracetamol, did the run. Ended up pacing really well, 4min/km pace for the first three, then slowed with a 4:10 and a 4:21. Given how I am feeling and the 10 days hard running I have just done, its a good run. I felt aerobically ok, pushing it but not at my limit. The issue was legs they felt heavy in the last 2kms.

Given a rest I reckon 4min/km all the way is certainly on. And not sick.

Back to a 10 day block of volume from tomorrow, with a 1hr30 run. Looking forward to the run and hopefully the improvements I feel I have made.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day off running - What a drag !!

After 10 consecutive days of running I have a rest day today. Its sensible I know. I am feeling the effects of the work I have done over those 10 days, legs are feeling a bit heavy, tired but not sore.

I felt a little sick last night too. Not at all sure if its all from the hard running. By hard I mean tough to get going, carrying fatigue, the paces I have been doings have been really quite easy.

Anyhow its a real drag, I feel like I want to go for a run to shake down the body and get it going. I am thinking that I might do 9 or 10 days as a running block, I have rad that 9 days is in reality a natural cycle the body tends to react well to. I have read that a few runners use 9 days hard running, followed by 1 or two days completely off or as recovery days.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

50 minutes easy Thursday Oct 10 2013

My plan had me doing a 20-30 minute easy run in the morning and a 50 minute run in the afternoon for Thursday. Last week Thursday, on day three of my radical base building program, I skipped the morning run and cut the 50 minute run down to 30 because I was quite shattered from the workload.. Today I again skipped the morning run, had a longish walk with MAX and Christine instead, but did the 50 minutes in full, 10kms.

As is my habit, the geeky statistics:

- Its the highest 7 day total of 71kms for me today
- Its the first time I have run 10 days in a row
- Its obviously the highest 10 day total of 101kms
- The first 10 days in October 101kms, if I keep this up I will get to 300kms total for the month

I won't keep it up. I will have a full days rest no running tommorrow, I think its sensible to do so. I don't want any injuries to happen, and I have ramped up the mileage somewhat !! I am in need of a rest.

I am certainly feeling easier aerobically at these easy running paces I have been doing, no doubt about it. Its a combination of making gains from the last three months of consistent - but relatively low mileage - and these last 10 days of consistent running volume.  It will be nice to do a ParkRun on slightly fresher legs for a change and that will happen this Saturday, although I don't really know if I will have speed at all. It does feel like  I am simply getting good at running easy rather than getting faster. Although if I am right, its aerobic capacity that holds me back over a 5km race distance, and theoretically I should have made some gains since my last faster race the Twilight HM at Wynnum.

1hr easy Wednesday Oct 9

I did an easy jog with our dog MAX and Christine, to the dog park. Then a walk back home - RUn 3kms, walk about the same.

I then did 1hr easy at about 3PM in the afternoon. Its getting pretty warm but I am drinking water when I need it and feel like I am handling the heat quite well. Seems I am pretty much acclimatised ok to it.

The 1hr run was really tough initially, I felt very tired. I got to 15 minutes in and was ever so slightly shaky and light headed, the feeling you get when you don't eat all day - even though I had eaten well from breakfast and lunch. After a little while that went away and I felt generally well energised. Tiredness is mostly in the legs not in general energy in a run. Not running is another story !! I am certainly feeling the workload these days, but its not too bad, it is tolerable, I have an underlying tiredness that even a good sleep does not cure. I might take a rest day soon just to regroup and attack the training a little fresher.

Pace for this run was 4:57 average, and I covered 12.1kms. Its actually really good to be able to run at such a pace while being very fatigued.  I am paying attention to things, monitoring all the bits and pieces to make sure nothing is breaking. So far so good.  I am quite enthused about what I might be able to do on fresher legs - and its really thee legs that need refreshing, everything else seems ok.

Day 9 of my base building is done, total 91kms, averaging a fraction over 10kms a day. And today it was  total of 15.1kms.

I have skipped the morning run I was planning to do Thursday 10 Oct, walked with MAX and Christine instead. Was sleepy on the train but feel quite good right now, raring to go for my 50 minute run this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday 8 Oct 2013 30 minutes easy plus 12x100 with 100 jogging rest

This is the run that I began on last week, in my new base building schedule. Last week I had a full rest day Monday, but I did a 30min easy on the Tuesday morning with MAX and Christine, then later in the afternoon did 5km easy and 10x100's.

Today, I did not run in the AM, I felt I needed  the rest following the 18kms Sunday and the hard hilly trail rest yesterday. Today I ended up doing a full 30min's just under 6.5kms, and the full 12 x100's this time. I did the fast session pretty easy in fact, just medium fast rather than a sprint. Most were around 3:40 pace, one was as slow as 4min/km pace. That was uphill, but the last one was fastest at 3:20 pace.  Regardless, it was a good effort I think. This is day 8 of consecutive days running, and its nice to feel the body recover quite quickly. The main problem was plain old energy levels this morning but the full rest in the morning made all the difference.

I will see if I can rise to the occasion and do the full schedule in one form or another next week, at least the full complement of double up days. I may take the running easier and do fewer km's to help cope with it.

Today, I wore my old Nike Free V3 3.0 shoes. These are the ones I ran in all last year pretty much. They felt weird after all the running in the Hokas' I have been doing, but I settled into them fairly quickly. They initialy felt slow, possibly because of the odd sensation of feeling the shock of foot impact ;) There is far less shoe in these Free's compared to the Hokas. Once I got used to them, I found again that I had to conciously hold my pace back. I did the speed session in them too, and they felt light and fast.

I will wear the Hokas every day except when I do speed work I think. And use the FRee's for any speed session days - then perhaps use the Frees on 5kms race days.  Pretty sure it won't do any harm either way.

Monday 7 Oct, 50 minutes trails and weekly summary

My plan is to do a fair bit of mileage on a weekly basis, for three months - so that at the beginning of the 2014 year, I will be well and truly fit for endurance.  I have stacked 67kms in to the first 7 days of this program. Its a good total, and a bit higher than what I am used to.

Since the mileage is already higher than I am used to, I have also dropped a few runs. I should improve over the next few weeks and will add the extra runs on to the days gradually. I want to make sure this higher workload and mileage does not cause any injury. I have run 7 days consecutively, and feel quite ok for it so far but the fatigue is certainly there.

On Monday 7 Oct my plan was to do a 30min easy jog in the morning and a 50 minute steady run in the afternoon. Sunday was a fairly swift 18km at 5min/km pace and that left me quite fatigued, so I skipped the morning run. Very glad I did that - I did a run at the Seven Hills Reserve for 50 minutes on the trails there in the afternoon. Plenty of hilly terrain, nice soft uneven trails. It slowed me down a lot, so I only did 8kms. Still it was very hard due to the hills and the accumulated fatigue. Mostly legs and overall energy levels were low. Aerobically I felt ok.

Today, Tuesday, I also had a recovery run planned for the morning, but I again skipped it. I just felt really tired. I have a 30min easy plus speed session this afternoon, quite sure I will be ok for that. The speed session usually gooses my metabolism a bit and I feel better after, so I am looking forward to it.  I still really enjoy speed sessions. The nice short ones :)

Summary for the last week of running, beginning Monday 30 Sep 2013, and ending Sunday 6 Oct 2013:

Weekly Total 59.75kms
Mon 30 Sep:  No run, complete rest
Tue 1st Oct:  AM 5kms easy, PM 5km easy plus 10x100 Total 12km
Wed 2nd Oct: PM 1hr easy Total 12km
Thur 3rd Oct: PM 30min easy, Total 6km
Fri 4th Oct: AM 5.2km easy Total 5.2
Sat 5th Oct: AM 5km fast Total 6km
Sun 6 Oct: PM 1hr30 easy, Total 18km

Its a reasonable total, and I dropped a lot of the scheduled runs. But I think that is sensible, until I get fit enough to handle it.

Here is the basic schedule I want to follow for three months:

Sunday - Long build to 2hrs Steady  - Am at about 1hr15 now
Monday - AM jog 20mins  PM 50min steady
Tuesday - AM jog 30min PM Easy 30min plus 100fast/100 easy x 12
Wednesday - AM 30min jog PM 60min Steady
Thursday -  AM 50min easy
Friday - AM 30min jog PM Build to 1hr30 steady
Saturday - AM 5km Race PM   40 min recovery

If I do manage to build up to it, the totals will likely be:

Sunday - Long build to 2hrs Steady - Total 24kms
Monday - AM jog 20mins  PM 50min steady - Total 15kms
Tuesday - AM jog 30min PM Easy 30min plus 100fast/100 easy x 12 - Total 8.4km
Wednesday - AM 30min jog PM 60min Steady - Total 17km
Thursday -  AM 50min easy - Total 11km
Friday - AM 30min jog PM Build to 1hr30 steady - Total 24km
Saturday - AM 5km Race PM   40 min recovery - Total 12km

That is about 111kms for the week. Its pretty huge for me,so I think its sensible to build it slowly !!!  I will be very pleased if I am able to build up to this and remain injury free. The way I see it is - nothing ventured, nothing gained. There is risk, given my history of injury, but I have little to lose in reality. I have a choice to train effectively, achieve better races, and reach my goal of a decent marathon race in July 2014. Or I piss fart around doing the same low mileage games I have been doing for the last three years, and go no-where.

3 months of volume should sort me out one way or the other. The consecutive running days do seem to get my niggles in order so that is a huge plus.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday ParkRun and Sunday Long Run

I did ParkRun yesterday, over cooked in the first 3kms, done 11:57min. I was sore from all the running I have been doing and felt a little crap, so pulled up at 3kms, walked briefly, then took off at a more comfartable pace. ParkRun official time recorded 20:50 which is only 4 seconds slower than my best ParkRun this year !!

If I give myself a rest I am quite sure a sub 20 is on the cards. The thing is I want to keep building mileage, so I don't want to back off at all. I may adjust things for the PWC Cool Night Classic, see if I can do something decent there.

It also occured to me, the Hoka shoes I wear are 380 grams each, and so are not exactly a light shoe. I am marginally off 20mins for 5kms, so maybe running in a lighter shoe will make the difference. My best 5km of 20:00 last year was done in Nike Free V3 3.0.. They are only 215grams each.

Today I did a 1hr30min run, 18km exactly and 5:00 pace average exactly. I did the first half marginally faster than the second, and did the last 1km in 4:37pace. I want to make sure I pick up the pace in the last couple of km's in these long runs.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thursday and Friday running, 3 and 4 October 2013

I had planned a 50 minute run for Thursday, but I was just too damned tired to do that. Did an easy 30 minutes instead. I am very glad I did that as it allowed energy levels to recover. This morning, Friday, I did the gym running club - about 5kms -  again much shorter than the 1hr plus run I had planned.

Looks like the gym running club thing is going to continue on Friday mornings, so I will probably just keep running after its done, to get my 1hr plus completed for the day.  I am gradually building up to the workload I have planned, so as to avoid injury and too much fatigue.

I have run 4 consecutive days, and total mileage 35kms. Its a fairly sensible total for my current fitness level. I am really feeling like a good gain in fitness has happened in the last few weeks too, its a matter of proving that in a race situation. The feeling was obvious when this morning I did a couple of slightly faster 1km stretches, and it was quite comfortable even at 4:00min/km pace.

I want to do ParkRun tomorrow so we will see if I can do a decent time there. I am not exactly well rested so I don't expect a super fast time, and it depends on how I feel tomorrow. Sometimes I just don't feel like going hard..

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Base building day 2 ( week day 3) 12.1kms 1hr

Day 2 of my three months of base building done. I went and saw a band I have been a fan of for years, The Cult last night, did not get to bed until after midnight. No booze though. The singer was a bit cranky, was apparently sick, but he did a great job anyway, the rest of the band were pretty cool, all good.

I skipped my morning run with MAX, did a short walk with him instead. Then I stepped out for the planned 1hr run at about 1:40PM today. It was a little later in the day, and the sun was not quite as strong. It was not too hot or humid, just warm.  I tried to hold back and do easy running. My breathing felt easy, but I still ended up doing 4:57 pace average. I am certainly improveing aerobically with the last 2 weeks particularly feeling like I have made a step forward..

Still, I have done 24kms in the last two days and its a lot compared to what I have been used to. And I am feeling it in overall fatigue. Niggles seem better, heels are not issue at all, everything is ticking over ok. I encountered a crowd on the path at Southbank, they left me not room at all to get around them, so I had to run up a set of concrete seats. After that I felt an ever so slight twinge of cramp on my right calf, on the outside. It loosened up and was no problem.

I am quite optimistic right now, and am looking forward to so solid work over the next few months. The rewards should theoretically be significant.

Tomorrow, 50min easy, does not matter when but I might do it in the later afternoon again.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Not one, not 2 but three runs today

We ( Chrisstine and I) ran with MAX our dog, an easy 5kms. MAX had a swim aswell.

Then I did 5km at 4:34 pace in the midday heat, followed by 10x100m with 100m jog recovery. I did mostly quite a slow pace maybe 3:30's average. But I did a couple of faster ones mixed in there, and the last one at 2:45 pace.

2:45 is not flat out sprint, its maybe 90% of that.

This day's running totals 12.1kms. 2 seperate sessions in the day. Its a taste of what I want to do for the next three months, and so far it has not been too bad at all. In general I feel physically fine. But of course its the accumulation of fatigue that is what I must be on the look out for and what is pretty much the most important thing to manage. Also the risk of overuse injury again.

I did a few consecutive day weeks last year and I found that in general everything went well, joint soreness seems to be reduced from the frequent running. Maybe this is what I need to force my body to adapt properly, and get all the niggles under control. After 2 years in waste land not achieving anything except maybe more shapely buttocks from all the weight training, no PB improvements over any distances, I need to do somthing to improve. It might as well be volume and base fitness Lydiard style. Because that IS how to do it.

I will never know if I can handle it if I don't try. So, I am now getting  in to a proper volume based schedule, here it is in basic form:

Sunday - Long build to 2hrs Steady  - Am at about 1hr15 now
Monday - AM jog 20mins  PM 50min steady
Tuesday - AM jog 30min PM Easy 30min plus 100fast/100 easy x 12
Wednesday - AM 30min jog PM 60min Steady
Thursday -  AM 50min easy
Friday - AM 30min jog PM Build to 1hr30 steady
Saturday - AM 5km Race PM   40 min recovery

I won't leap into it all in one week. This week I skipped Mondays runs entirely. Today I did a slightly shorter PM easy run, although it was a little faster than 'steady' and the speed session was pretty soft. Tomorrow I may skip the morning run as I am going to be out late tonight.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Time to get serious now I think

I have been in no mans land for the last few years it seems to me. I have not made any real progress in personal best times for 2 years. I have good reasons for this of course, my heel injury has been a massive hindrance.

I have pretty much proven to myself that I possess some decent speed and so long as the distance is short I can use it. I know male runners of my age that are regular sub 90 minute half marathon runners that cannot run at 3 min/km pace. I can run 2min40 pace, and I frequently do 3min/km in some short fast reps. 3min/km pace certainly is nowhere near my max effort  - I actually don't know my outright fastest pace the Garmin watch can measure, but I would not be surprised if I could reach 2:35min/km or maybe faster.  Yet my best HM race is still 1hr35, 6 to 7 MINUTES slower than a bloke I know that cannot go anywhere near as fast I over shorter distances. He does 18:45 or so for 5kms too, way faster than me..

This is not about comparing myself to others in absolute terms of performance, its a matter of my personal desire to reach my own potential, understanding what that potential might be, and devising a method to train effectively. Its not that I want to beat other people, I want to to explore how fast I am able to go over the marathon distance. I want the opportunity to have real hard go at it, at least once.

So, looking at things and applying some logic, the possible reasons for my lack of performance over the longer distances:

- I am perhaps built for sprints rather than distance
- I have not trained effectively to reach my optimum as far as aerobic capacity is concerned
- I am genetically predisposed to not improve much aerobically given a proper training work load and base buildup.

I think its true that I am built for speed, and its fairly natural ability. Its nothing truly remarkable though, in high school for example I was always second or third over 100 and 200's rather than winning all the time !! Give me something longer than 200m and I would be really fast though, and over 400's I was pretty quick. I never actually trained then, so of course put a real athlete on the track and I'd be beaten.

As far as being genetically limited in my ability to gain benefit from training, I have done a decent training cycle back in 2010 when I did my first marathon, and my fitness improved markedly. So I think I have a predisposition to train and improve, what I put is translated to real improvement. The limits of the training and the rate of improvements I have not found. Injuries have got in the way.

After all the experimentation and the outcome of my various training approaches - frequent shorter distances, faster running etc, I am now convinced of these facts - I have yet to reach my true potential, and have never trained to an optimal level of aerobic condition - I possess a lot of natural speed (although not in any way is it remarkable or earth shattering)  - I do tend to improve given volume training over several months.

I need to do this proper tireless running phase I have read about to get myself up to the performance level I want.

Its now time to get serious about this, no more buggerising about. My injuries are the best condition for YEARS. I managed to get to equal best 5km fitness and not be injured byt the training. And that was done with little to no traditional base fitness. So I have decided to begin a true, traditional high volume 'base aerobic fitness training' phase.

For me the training is going to be a radical change compared to what I am used to. Its going to be extremely tough, running 7 days a week, with several days doing a short recovery run in the AM followed by a volume steady state run in the PM. I will take days off when I feel I need it, but I will have a schedule to follow that has me running every day. I want to do this for 3 months, over the full summer season, so that at the beginning of January 2014 I am in hopefully the best aerobic condition I have ever been in.

The actual schedule I will devise soon enough.  One other factor needs to be addressed too.  I am going dry again, no alcohol at all for 3 months. And when I hit the ground again in Jan 2014, I hopefully will have another plan to follow, with the target race of Gold Coast Marathon 2014, July, and be dry for another 6 months. Like I said, no more buggerising about. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

10km easy in midday heat 30 degrees celsius

I did an easy 10km today, quite hot conditions. I stopped regularly for water. At the beginning I felt really tired, proper running volume tired. Kept the pace easy. Did the last 2kms slightly quicker at about 4:40 pace and finished with 5:01min/km average.

This run I felt MUCH better over the whole distance than last weeks run. I felt really tired initially but my body seems to have reacted and fired up, and I felt quite good toward the end. I felt as if I could have done another 2km at 4:40 with ease.

It feels a little like I might be reaching a peak now - rather than where I wanted to  last week leading up to the race I did. I have been doing this running and training thing for a while now, and I think I know the signs when things are coming good. Particularly signs like being hammered yet still cruising nicely at easy pace. Its a definite change I can feel in aerobic fitness.

So, my 5km race Saturday was a pretty decent training run :) I am recovering this week, I want to do a super easy 6kms tomorrow, and another 10km easy Thursday. Then a full day off running Friday, and a ParkRun Saturday.  I should be able to do a decent one there if all goes well and the signs I am feeling have been correctly interpreted :) Just need to recover adequately and find the motivation to really haammer myself again over 5kms.

I also will do a long run Sunday again, hopefully 17kms, building on the 15kms I did last week.

Yet again, I state that I want to go under 20mins for 5kms repeatedly. It should become a mundane, and consistent thing.  Seriously this goal should be done and dusted ages ago, for want of aerobic fitness, and consistent training that has held me back. So incredibly frustrating. Bloody injuries, I would not wish it on anyone.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Statistics summary - since I have reached 'best 5km paace'

I have reached my equal best fitness level for 5km races as of Saturday, 21 September 2013. Last year I hit about the same fitness level on 8 September 2012.

Last year, to get to that peak fitness level and do a 20:00 5km race, I did a total of 973.70 kms, and average pace for those was 10.6km/hr. Not that the pace is completely meaningful.

This year, I did 779kms to get to a fitness level to do 20:17 for the Twilight Bay 5km race. BUT Garmin watch says I did 5.08km's whereas the ParkRun last year was 4.97km's. The average pace is much higher this year too.

Effectively the race on Saturday was average 4:00min/km exactly, and that is marginally better than last years parkRun, and is the best average pace for a 5km race I have done since I beegan recording the races.

This years monthly tally :

Sep 2013              134.54 12.2
Aug 2013              172.04 12.4
Jul 2013              183.50 12.3
Jun 2013              129.35 11.5
May 2013      80.02 11.5
Apr 2013              69.02 11.6
Mar 2013              26.44 11.9

Last year:

Sep 2012              48.04 12.6
Aug 2012             124.15 12.5
Jul 2012             211.95 11.9
Jun 2012            197.44 11.7
May 2012    199.23 10.9
Apr 2012            136.79 10.7
Mar 2012            11.65 10.7
Feb 2012            7.63 4.6
Jan 2012            36.82 4.0

So, I have done about 200km less mileage than last year, but August and September this year have been better than last year.

Last years totals illustrate what I think I know about base fitness quite well. I managed three decent months of mileage 180kms+ in May, June and July. I backed off in August and September because I was hurting again, heels,  and in September after the Bridge to Brisbane I had hurt my right hip.  BUT the base fitness seems to have remained for the rest of August and September, good enough for me to have done the 20:00 ParkRun on September 8. Base fitness is something that - if built on consistent monthly mileage, takes  while to lose

This year I should end up having strung together three months in a row, not quite all 180km/month but close. And it means I should theoretically have my peak due AFTER the end of September.

I should have some faster 5km races ahead if my theory of 'three months consistency means a aerobic capacity improvement'  hold true. It seems to be right in past years so it is something to look forward to for the rest of the year.

1hr20 easy Sunday, 22 September 2013

Ran super easy, kept pace down and breathing was good. Legs were _sore_  though, as was chest, diaphragm, and my back muscles !!

I certainly tested myself on the 5km race, the evidence was clear on this 15km run. I remember in the 3rd and 4th km in the race on Saturday, I was beginning to feel it, just gassing out. I seem to have no problem on fresh legs to smash out a faster pace, my legs would carry me easily beyond 5km distance at 3:40 pace. The issue is ALWAYS getting enough air into me to carry that pace more than a couple of km's.

I recall in the 3rd and 4th km of the 5km race, being confronted with the fact that my lungs could not get enough air. It was a case of backing off a bit and and surviving. I was trying to make every breath count, really breathing deeply, and I think it was a help to do that.  That really deep forceful breathing left me with sore muscles in the chest.

Anything that is slightly sore means the body should adapt a little and be able to handle it better next time. ie I should be faster as a result ;)

So the run yesterday, I started off really slow, and as I warmed up picked the pace up slightly. Ended up 15kms, at 5:20 pace, and 1hr 20 minutes total. I am sore and tired today. But its a good sore and a good tired, the sort of thing I recover from, and improve fitness!!!

Plan is for steady mileage week in week out for the rest of the year with a speed session or two every two weeks. The ParkRuns will be good enough for speed work generally.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Twilight Bay 5km race 21 September 2013

This appears to be the best 5kms race I have done so far. Finished 20.17 across the line. My Garmin watch reads 5:08km's and I did exactly 5kms in 19:59. There is that damned number again!!!

My previous best 5km was exactly 20:00 the ParkRun just over one year ago. But it reads a bit shorter than today's race. Based on average pace today's race is the first time I managed exactly 4:00min/km .

The 1km splits for today:


The last 80 metres ( according to my Garmin watch  as extra over the 5km distance ) I did exactly 3:30 pace.
Anyhow, I reckon this is proof enough that I am officially at my equal best fitness for 5km races. My goal now is to build on this fitness level, improve my base fitness for the rest of the year, and and hit the road to begin marathon training again next year at a decent fitness level.

I know that I have a faster 5km time in me, its a matter of building on the base fitness I have now.

Friday, September 20, 2013

SUper easy 5km with gym running

Did a super easy 5kms this morning, just turning the legs over a little. Felt quite good.I need to learn to do this pace for my longer runs.

5km race tomorrow, about 34 hours to recover. I will be pretty good I think. Don't know if I can go fast. We shall see :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

5km easy followed by 10x30 fast 19 September 2013

Did what I said I'd do, 5km easy. ended up 4:39 pace average, pretty good. Last 1km done in 4:26.

Did the 10x30 speed session too, standing rest 30 seconds between. It was much tougher to do that usual, I guess because of the heat. I felt it. Also not quite feeling up health wise, a lingering cough and just lethargic.

Still I did them fairly fast. Again this sort of run really seems to invigorate me, I feel great after, pleasantly tired, and hungry. Ate a good big salad and some rice rolls, lots of water too.

I expect to be quite full of beans Saturday as a result of this run.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Differences between faster running and easy running

So, I have been doing a slightly different sort of training pretty much all this year, since end of March. I have been doing an easy 5-6km, following that with a 10x30sec fast. Doing it twice a week, and one longer easy run on Sunday. The long run I built to 20kms ONCE, and usually about 13-19kms. Fairly regular ParkRun 5km on Saturdays.  Slowly building endurance by the time on feet week in week out. Mileage per week varied from 45 to 25kms depending on if I had a race as well.

I did something ever so slightly different last year, higher mileage from regular 10km weekly runs, still a short 'long'  run on Sundays no more than 17kms. I ran more frequently, sometimes 7 days a week. I also did quite regular 400m reps. Weekly mileage was usually about 35-45km but I peaked beyond 70kms once..

This year I am behind as far as fitness goes compared to last year. I started a month later so thats part of it. I managed a PB 42min in the Bridge to Brisbane last year - this year I blew out going too fast in the first 3km and tanked the rest of the race. I am also only at 20:44 for my best 5km this year. Last year in September I managed a PB 5km of 20 flat. I am pretty much at a peak now for this year and expect to do a decent 5km race this weekend. Not sure it will be a PB, but we shall see.

The point is that regardless of whether I do regular fast running or long easy running, it tends to take me at least 3 months of consistent running to get to a point where I am fit enough to go near 20min for 5kms. Since I started a month later this year, my peak is arriving a month later.

This week I did a 17km long run Sunday, rested Monday, and then did a 10km 'easy'  again Tuesday. And it felt HARD especially in the last 2kms . I had been doing similar long runs these last few weeks, and been hammering myself a bit with weights and plyometric exercises too on Mondays, with the Tuesday run being a 6km easy plus speed session. Speed is SUPPOSED to be 'hard' on you but I feel the exact opposite.  It invigorates and loosens me up. I would do 6km easy and the speed session would add up to near enough 2km's. 8km's total.  My expectation was that after 6km easy plus the 2km of speed work would be almost equivalent to the effort overall for a 10km run.

I don't think that has quite worked out. In the 10km run yesterday, that last 2km was tough. Sure I was fatigued overall. But its as if the overall distance - regardless of how I do it - that counts. That last 2kms in the 10km run, done on tired legs may well be whats missing as far as my overall condition this year. Its interesting to me at least.  And it helps to clarify to me what is most effective as far as training is concerned.

A lot of training schedules and method advocate long easy mileage in a weekly block for _recovery_  after a hard week. But I feel I recover better doing a week of daily '6km easy plus a 2km speed session after' .

Anyway I think it might be good to mix things up a bit. No matter what sort of running I do, its the weekly and monthly  mileage consistency  - at least three months of it -  that is what leads to a peak in fitness. Speed work has an effect, I can run strongly at easy paces as a result, but it does not lead to a fast 5km. Its that aerobic base that is built on consistent mileage that matters.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Easy 10kms - not as planned

I was sore and quite tired still from the 17km run I did Sunday. Also, strategically it makes sense to do a simple 'recovery run'  rather than any speed work this week.

So I did an 'easy'  10km run along the river instead of the planned 6or7km plus speed work.. We had a storm last night, and so plenty of moisture in the air. This is just early spring, so if this is any forewarning of the summer to come it is going to be wet, and hot and stormy!! I took off feeling tired, but for some reason fell into a 4:30min/km pace straight up. I was trying to slow down as I think 4:50's are more like where I should be. Heels felt MUCH better than on Sunday, I ran comfortably all the way, feeling quite good on my feet.

I held back for the first 1km, 4:44, but then did 4:29 and 4:35 in the next  2kms. The heat and fatigue caught up as well as my conscious effort in slowing down, and I dropped back to somewhere around 4:50 for the rest. I got to 9kms in  and was ready to stop, hot and thirsty, but kept going till 10km and grabbed water. The Koorilpa Bridge in Brisbane has cooled water now, I had never noticed. I wonder if they have turned it on for summer

Averaged 4:47 for 10km's a pretty good effort considering fatigue and heat. It was not a completely easy run, but the pace was comfortable as far as rhythm is concerned. Legs fatigue was the only issue, aerobically I felt pretty good.

I really am going to do an easy 5km and 12x30 sec on Thursday as that is a good stimulator for the body. Most likely rest Friday but I might turn up on the morning of the gym 'running club'  just to touch base with them all. It has been fun joining in with them. Then 5km race Saturday at 4PM. Pretty much the last race of the year for me, I think.

Things are going quite well heels wise, and generally injury wise. So I think it is now time to consider a traditional volume based training regimen for the rest of the year. I am thinking about switching to something like:

Sunday long, 1:30 to 2 hours
Monday off, gym
Tuesday   50min easy
Wednesday gym
Thursday 50 min easy
Friday gym
Saturday ParkRun

This will be about 42-45km a week if I keep doing the paces I have been lately, a little more maybe. I will probably throw in the 12x30's every second week or something. If I do the 50min runs easy enough and I develop a little more fitness wise, they won't be too bad. Its the reutine I want to get going, so I can have decent volume and base to build on for beginning of next year and my marathon training. I won't stop trying to improve my 5km times at ParkRun. Logically they should keep creaping done as I get the mileage under my belt, but speed won't be a focus at all.

Monday, September 16, 2013

No run Friday or Saturday.. Decent 17kms Sunday, 15 September 2013

This last 7 days have completely flattened me.   We have been home, cleaning house and repairing bits and pieces preparing for a party. The party was a success but now my personal aftermath is utter exhaustion !!

I did a really hard 1min fast/ 3:30 easy x 9  run Thursday, 12 September, a day after a hard gym session.  This sort of run is really hard on me I have noticed. That night I had really bad stomach cramps, and was off next day.. I was shagged Friday, and Saturday, missed the ParkRun I was planning to do.

I did a 17km run at easy pace yesterday, Sunday 15 Sep.. It was not easy overall even though I paced conservatively. My heels have been really sore these last few days too, but I am convinced it was not running that did it, its been time on my feet and up/down ladders, heavy carrying etc that has done it.

I am hoping that a few days with less walking will allow it all to return to the recently 'normal'  state my heels had been in. Overall I have been feeling quite sick these last few days, really wrung out.

This week, Tuesday 17 will be an easy 6or 7km, followed by 12x30 sec fast. No gym this week at all. Thrusday, an easy 6 and a 12x30 fast again. I might do the gym 'running club'  run Friday morning. Then pretty much my last target race of the year, Saturday 21st, a 5km race at the Twilight Bay Half Marathon. 10 minutes down the road for me so I can jog down there ;)

I suspect that the warmer weather has affected me recently, so I need to adjust for that too.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

9x1min fast with 3min30 jogging recovery

Quite hot and humid this afternoon, made this run really hard. This is the weather we can expect at the Twilight Half Marathon event in a weeks time.

I am not anywhere near capable of sustaining 3:50 pace - that is where I want to be. I need to maintain consistent mileage to get there.. It is coming along slowly!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nice speed session 2km easy, 5x500 , 2km easy and 5x500

I split the 500 metre sessions up, 2km easy jog to warm up, then 5x500 with standing rest 1min. Then 2km easy followed by another set of 5x500.

I did the first set slightly easier than the second. Hopefully this session will be the one that gives me the fitness to sustain sub 4min/km for 5km in 2 weeks time.I was sore from the 15km in hilly terrain on Sunday, plus all the work we have been doing on the house today. Lots of time on my feet, something I am not used to.

Given a proper rest I may well be good enough. I plan to hit the gym tomorrow morning, hard this time.

Monday, September 9, 2013

15km near ST Lucia University of Queensland

Did 15km in hilly terrain, also fairly hot. The hills worked me harder than I usually do in a longer run. Ran from Queensland Uni out along the river, past the the St Lucia Golf Links and the Indooroopilly Golf Club, to Sit John Chandler Park. Grabbed water and returned.

I have done 45km total for the week, exactly the total I want to manage regularly for the rest of the year. No niggles to complain about, but I am slightly flat from the work load.

For tomorrow, I plan to do 2km easy, 5x500m fast, then 2km easy, and 5x500 again. The rests will be 1min standing. I want to practice 3:55min/km pace, I want to nail that quite precisely in the first set, and try to pick up the pace slightly for each one in the second set. Gym Wednesday, 8km easy Thursday plus 12x30 fast. An easy gym run Friday and ParkRun Saturday.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wynnum ParkRun 7 September 2013

Did Wynnum ParkRun this morning - following a fastish 5km TT yesterday. According to my watch I ended up with an identical time, 20:44 for 5km distance yesterday and today. Its good to followup and do the same pace again the next day.

I feel I have maybe a little bit more pace in me right now, but having run three days in  row now, plus gym I am a little tired. It is looking good for something better in two weeks time at the Wynnum Twilight Half Marathon event, I am entered in the 5km race.

This weeks training I plan on a longer run tomorrow, hopefully about 1hr40, gym Monday, 5km easy and 10x500 fast on Tuesday. Gym Wednesday, 8km Thursday plus 12x 30 fast, Gym run Friday .. The week after, gym Monday, 8km easy plus 12x30 fast, gym Wednesday, Thursday 8km easy plus 10x30 fast, no run Friday, and race on Saturday afternoon.

My goal is well under 20min. The question is can I do it ?  I feel like I paced well this morning, but was not at all fresh. I did not go all out, but did bounce around near my pace limit, and backed off ever so slightly:

1km 4:05
2km 4:02
3km 4:10
4km 4:12
5km 4:11

I am _real_ close, and I think 4min/km pace is almost exactly my limit right now :)

Oh yeh, I have clocked up 701 km on my Hoka's now. They are holding up just ..

Friday, September 6, 2013

Decent 5km TT at gym running club Friday 6 Sep 2013

Ran a decent 5kms this morning as a time trial with the gym running club. By my watch, 5kms was done at 20:40, fastest for the year for me. 21:07 according to the girl and her stopwatch ;)  and about that from my watch on time alone. The distance was measured 100m long by my watch.

The last 5km TT over the same course was 26 July, over a month ago. I did 21:50 or so then, so its about 50 seconds better. I am carrying a little fatigue from all the training this week, so given a little bit of rst I could do a 20:20 I think. The course is not particularly easy either, with a longish hill at 4th km. After traveling close to my limit for 4km's the hill really hits hard.

Heels are GREAT, tender but in a good way. When I took off for the run this morning, I gave heels no thought at all. Felt normal all the way.

I intend to do ParkRun tomorrow. Not sure if I will feel like going fast, but I want to do the full 5km this time.

My Hoka OneOne Stinson Tarmac shoes now have 695kms on them. They are holding up quite well , wearing on the treads is ok, I don't think they will be too good after another 100kms.. TIme for another pair I think.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Easy 45 minutes 5 Sep 2013

I did an easy 45 minutes today. Felt oddly tired at the start, and after the first 2.5kms so stopped for water. It was quite hot too. Ran out to the foot of the Storey Bridge, and back to the office, averaged 4:50 pace with the last half faster than the first. I loosened up after 5kms.

I was ever so slightly sore and stiff from the gym work yesterday too. Again at the beginning of this run, my heels tickled, tingled and sort of itched until I warmed up a bit. Not at all painful. Heels are certainly better right now, far better than in the last 3 years.

Feel snoozy and sleepy today, maybe I need a sleep !!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Not so hard gym this morning 4 Sep 2013

Finally got back to the gym !! Been slack after getting sick and a few disruptions to any sort of routine I might have developed..

Good thing is that I was as strong as I was a couple of weeks ago, I went straight to the same weight I was doing when I last went to the gym. I did not do the same number of sets, just 2 sets of 4 reps, whereas I had been doing 4 sets of 4 reps. I wanted to avoid getting too sore this week as I want to do a decent 5km run Friday, as well as ParkRun Saturday.

I also did 5 mins on stationary bike FAST. Relatively low resistance, just wanted to get warmed up a little and sweat a bit. Heart rate only got to about 100.

Heels still really good. Interesting that, maybe I am on my way to complete recovery. Wouldn't that be amazing. To be able to end the whole year with consistent running and actually begin marathon training again with confidence.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A very bad Bridge to Brisbane, and a nice 50 minute run

DId the Bridge to Brisbane run again on Sunday 1st September 2013. I have a lot of negative feeling toward this race:

- Horrifically crowded
- need to line up at least 45 minutes before the start to have a chance of a decent position
- great hoards of people that don't normally run, have zero experience running and make things more dangerous than it really should be. eg Walking don the bridge. Stopping, turning around, obstructing..
- I have entered three years in a row, been a sub 50 minute 10km runner for years, yet every time I enter they send a 'Green' racing bib - meaning I have to start in the 60min plus area rather than Red Zone. The organisers have my race times in their database, I tick the 'Red Zone' choice when I enter. But I still get a Green bib every time. Gave up this year, jut turned up and went in to the Red Zone..

Anyhow, this year I got a really good start, took off and did the uphill 1km in 4:34, the next 2kms in 3:40 and 3:50.. And then had to pee in the 4th km. Pretty much blew the race in the first 3kms, went far too fast for my current level of fitness. No matter, I ran the rest of the race with very burning legs !!

We won't be doing this run again.

One great thing after the race was that my heels were not too bad. The next day heels were completely normal, no pain at all, even in the morning when I first woke up. Pretty sure that has not happened in quite a while.

Today I did  50min easy run. Ended up 4:44 pace average. Felt oddly awkward at the beginning, probably a little stiff from the race. Heels were noticeable at the beginning - not hurting so much, but a strange feeling, almost itchy or tingly, ticklish even. Rather weird that. I felt pretty crap overall in the first 5kms or so, but felt much better and loose in the last 5km's .

I do wonder what is happening with my heels, they don't hurt now, just feel different. I wonder if scar tissue is clearing up or something.

So from this week on I am going to try to do a 50min easy each week, and a 6km easy + 12x30 speed session.  I might push the 6kms to 8km plus the speed session. Just to sneak the mileage up a bit. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Thursday 29 Aug and Friday 30 Aug 2013 running

It is abundantly clear to me that doing these easy runs and following it with a combination of 30sec speed repeats makes me feel physically good.

Thursday I was ill but did a run anyway. 6km easy at average 4:47 pace, and followed with 10x30sec fast. As I eased into the run I began to feel better, and so ended up have a great run. The speed session was invigorating and not at all fatiguing. It did not hurt me at all. But I did do one rep much harder than I usually do.

Then I did a Friday 'Gym running club'  run, 7.3kms averaged 4:41 pace. I am travelling at around 4:40 pace  fairly easy these days. I have not done any running of great distance, my last long was 13kms after falling over. But I am certainly feeling better at a faster pace than a month ago.

I have Bridge to Brisbane race Sunday, 10kms. I don't have high hopes of going fast, but will give it a bit of a go. I have a loose plan to attack the first 1.1km's uphill, and try to get about 4:40 or 4:30 pace. Then at the crest try to gradually accelerate and take the next 2km downhill fast - hopefully about 3:30 pace. After all that, try to hang in at a good pace, and not fade badly at 8km where the last bridge/hill is. Thats a killer if you have been running right on your limits, if knocks you about.

As far as training methods, I really do think my 10x30's following an easy run are having a significant benefit. Its a workout I will have to use when I train for my next marathon, next year I hope. My long term plan is to try and maintain consistent 35-50km a week for the rest of the year, and do the ParkRuns to see if I can hammer that 20:00 barrier for 5kms. I MUST be closer now!!  And next year I want to follow the same training plan I did in 2010 with minor adjustments so that I can fit in ParkRuns. And I want to do these 10x30's in the mid week runs. Typically I was doing 50min runs mostly in the mid-week, so I could run for 40, and then do the 10x30s to cap it off.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A far better run today, 6km easy plus 10x30sec fast Tuesday 27 August 2013

I really think I am onto something here. I did a really good apparently super easy 20km run almost 4 weeks ago. Simply stepped out and did it. Since then I have done 2 x 17km plus a real struggle 13km a day ago.

I have clearly regressed as far as basic endurance for an easy long run is concerned. And it lines up with - Getting sick, not doing as much gym work, and shifting my focus from all these regular 10x30 or 12x30 fast runs over to longer intervals.

It seems to me that the gym work and the regular raw speed work has supported my long easy runs. This type of work may well only add up to 6% of basic performance, but really feels better, and feeling better while you run is essential to me. What is quite dramatic is that it appears that as soon as I stop doing this sort of workout on a weekly basis, I can really feel the absence of its benefit.

I did 6km easy at 4:38 pace today and then 10x30 fast. It was not as easy as it has been, but boy it does feel good after. I feel the energy returning. I think when I start my marathon training, I have to incorporate these 30sec speed sessions weekly.

Monday, August 26, 2013

No running Fri Sat, too much beer, and then a bad long run Sunday

Something that has been REALLY bugging me is that I have a weekly meeting at 11PM Thursday nights. Ends midnight typically, and I am utterly trashed due to lack of sleep on Friday morning. I want to do a run on that morning, I have struggled and got it done a few times.

But I am deeply resentful now of having to attend these meetings. I need to make a change again I think, to something that is more conducive to the life style I wish to live.

Anyhow, after the hard intervals Thursday, I was in dire need of sleep Thursday night, but did not get it. That meant I missed my Friday run. I went out Friday night to a music trivia event, hd beers and that ruined my plans for Saturday ParkRun ;) . I did some work on house Saturday, something I am entirely not used to, and was a bit shagged after that.  I had more beer Saturday night. Its funny how these things snowball like this. I need more discipline so that the shittyy 11PM meeting on Thursday night does not impact so much.

It all stacked up, ending with a really bad run Sunday. It should have been a nice one. I stepped out for  1hr30 easy. 30 minutes in, tripped over a boulder embedded in the ground on a rough dirt path. Fell heavily and bruised my hip, elbow and back as I rolled to avoid tearing myself up. Got up swearing, brushed myself off, and continued. My run was quite ruined from that moment, but I loosened up a little and reached my turnaround.. Just prior to that I felt a twing in my right calf, where I had the massive cramp a week or so ago.  It was very minor, but over about 10 minutes it developed into a worsening cramping sensation so I pulled up. 1hr 8 min in, 13kms.

I don't feel any specific injury sensation on it now Monday a day after, but I am really sore overall, as if I ran fast yesterday. My hip is really sore, but it feels like its nothing serious, maybe I jared myself when I fell and thats what I am feeling now.

Looking at my totals I think I may be stacking a little too much mileage on a weekly and monthly basis, so pulling up on this long run at 13kms is a good thing. 

Things that have changed in recent weeks - I have backed off the pure speed work of 10x30 fast after a 5 or 6km run, and begun doing longer intervals. And I did the hard 1min20 fast with 40sec rest on Thursday last week. I think its telling that I feel a bit rough now. I am quite convinced that the raw speed running I had been doing were contributing to the good feelings I have had in my running. I think I have reached a bit of clarity on these interval sessions:

- Longer intervals really do take a toll on you 
- Shorter intervals - even following a 6km easy run - seem to really invigorate
- A long run in a week seems to be boosted by these shorter raw speed intervals

So I think I will swing back to what I was doing initially.:

- One easy long run a week
- 6km easy followed by genuine raw speed sessions tuesday and thursday
- Gym running club Fridays
- Gym weights Mon and wednesday  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Speed session 1min20 fast and 40 sec recovery, then a 5km easy run back to office

I set my watch for 1min20  with 40 seconds rest, and repeats  x 25 . That is fairly big obviously, and I was not expecting to do that many. Eventually, yes I will be doing maybe  x 25..  I set out to see how many I could do before feeling like I needed to puke. I stopped at the first sign, as its a good indicator lactic acid has built up.

I did the first three with a jog recovery in the 40 sec rest periods, and then walked for the rest of the recovery sections. Managed to do 13 repeats, all sub 4min pace, and most sub 3:50 pace - distance for each one was about 350 metres, maybe a little more, and that is near enough to 5kms total of fast running. I am reasonably pleased with it. Basically I did the work of a 19min 5km race. And it is HARD.

I jogged back and ended up doing 4:46 pace overall, even though I felt sluggish. This is what happens to me when I do speed sessions like this, my 'easy' pace creeps up and I automatically slot into a faster pace.

I intend to try and get this type of run out to 2min fast, 30 sec jogging rest and at least 20 repeats. This will be a good gauge of my ability to do a fast 10km race. It should improve lactic tolerance and simply toughen me up. I wimp out too much at sustained speed right now. I need to get better at the sustain faster pace.

I think I am incrementally closer to sub 20 5km right now. I haven't done a full 5km race in about three weeks so I will see if I can do a proper one this weekend. No gassing it at 3km's in.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Strange thing about my heels - Sore after 17km run Monday night - and 100% better today

So, my heels are obviously not completely better. It clearly much improved compared to the last 2 or so years.  An odd thing - I worked fairly hard at a friends place, ended up with sore heels after carry large heavy timber over and over. It had been troubling but not near as bad as it has been. A week later I do some bad dancing, a 5km run plus all the usual running for the week, and then did the faster 17km Monday night, 2 days ago. The next day ( yesterday ) heels were fairly sore again. Ran 5km yesterday plus some poor speed interval attempts, far too tired to do anything decent.

Sitting at my desk yesterday after the run, feet seemed to completely recover. No pain, nothing. No need to warm up or massage before walking. Last night the same, perfectly good, and this morning - no running at all, just a walk with the dog - perfect. Like normal.

I have taken no NASAIDS, nothing. Heels simply came good for some reason. I wonder if I am working through scar tissue or something, because this is quite different to how things used to progress. It was mostly a steady increase of discomfort, a repeating cycle of pain, careful warm ups needed before running, reasonably pain free running and then paying the price, and eventually reaching a point where I simply had to stop running. Now seems to be a different pattern.

I wonder if I really am getting better?  I can only hope its true :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

17km at 4:50 pacee average Monday, 5km 'easy' at 4:35 pace pluss some speed runs

Far too much running in the last 48 hours and not enough rest. Did 17km last night, fairly sensible pace for the first 10kms and then rushed home faster for the rest of it. Planned 1hr30 did 1hr22.

I was rather tired from that, and stepped out to do 5km easy and follow that with 10x2min speed. HAH. I did the 5km too fast, 4:35 pace, which felt alright - It seemed I wanted to do a short stride, higher cadence because it was more comfortable. Probably because I was tired. I did not resist it and so ended up doing a much faster 5km than I should. And thus my speed session was busted from that as well.

I attempted the speed sessions, did ONE and pulled up at 1min54, pace was 3:42. About right for when I am not completely shagged but no good at all today. Decided to stop that and do some much shorter fast intervals instead. 5 x 20 sec with 30 seconds rest.

Its not sensible for me to follow a hard long run with more hard running. A full days rest with gym work seems to be a much better idea, I will stick to that.

Monday, August 19, 2013

ParkRun and bad dancing == sore calf

I did the ParkRun Saturday, and again I ran hard for the first 3km. 3:51, 4:00 and 4:00 were the paces for each 1km split. I pulled up after 3rd km, and walked a bit, then jogged back to Christine and MAX. Ran with them until the 4th km marker, and I took off again faster. Did the final 1km in 3:52.  I did not register a time.

I am simply not comfortable enough at sub 4min pace to carry it for 5km let alone 4. I feel like I can do quicker than 11:50 or so that I did for 3km. I really need to gain a better aerobic base fitness.

After the ParkRun, we did a little house cleaning and got haircuts etc, ran around a bit. Then went to a friends wedding. It was fun, we had a few drinks at the reception and I did some really bad dancing. Next morning we slept in a bit for the first time in months. I had a slight hangover, not too bad. I was stretching, getting ready to get up when I got a huge cramp in my right calf muscle, and it was horrific. The muscle is still sore. I skipped my long run Sunday as a result of the sore calf muscle. Even today, Monday day 2 it is sore. It is also slightly swollen. I can walk normally after warming up a little so it may be ok.

I plan to do a long run, hopefully about 1hr40 tonight.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hard gym session Wednesday and a 10.2km run on Thursday 15 Aug 2013

Did a hard gym session yesterday, much bigger weights than usual and fewer repeats. Also did plyometric work. Left me slightly sore.

Had a really horrendous day today I won't go into it, but just say that it was rather illogical and unfair. It caused me a great deal of distress and I am not over it yet. I don't handle these sorts of things very well these days.

I went out today for 10.2km run in the afternoon, averaged 4:47min/km pace. I did one slightly faster 1km at just under 4min pace. It was surprisingly difficult to maintain that pace, I am either under the weather, tired from the gym session or the recent conflict has affected me.. I would say a combination of all those.

I felt much better after the run though. I won't be running tomorrow, a full rest day so I will be fresher than usual for the ParkRun I have planned.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

6km easy at work plus 6x1min30 30 seconds rest

A nice run today in warmer weather. Felt sluggish in the 6km easy, but felt pretty good in the 6x1:30's. I was sort of planning to do 2mins but because I was feeling a bit sluggish I revised to 1:30's - they are a little easier to do.

The pace was very sensible:


I kicked a little faster for the last one because I had a little bit more to give. I feel I could have done 6 more reps.

It just so happens that the pace I did and the time corresponds to almost exactly 400m for each rep. Its a magic distance for me I think, it feels just right for slightly faster efforts. I was doing a lot of these 400's last year and it resulted in some half decent pace, especially considering my lack of basic fitness back then. I am actually in a theoretically worse position now, with far less mileage done for the year, and my performances in 10km and 5km races so far seem to support that. However the 400's I was doing last year were faster and I was taking 2min rest rather than 30sec as I did today.

I need a few more months of the consistent mileage before I see the gains I want. I am improving so I am not unhappy, just overall frustrated by the situation I have been in for the last 3 years and the lack of consistent mileage. I really should be a whole lot faster. I need to be patient but bloody hell, how patient I have been already !!

I want to hit the gym again tomorrow morning, a nice hard session. I am working from home Thursday so I won't run at work, I will do an easy whatever run followed by some 12x30's.. And gym 'running club'  run Friday. Then another ParkRun!!

For the ParkRun I recon my strategy of locating a sub 20 runner in the field and tagging along for as far as I can manage is a good idea. I have to make sure I get a decent easy run done Friday instead of stupid fast like I usually do. I do think if I am well rested I have a chance of hanging in sub 4's for 4km rather than the 3km I did last week.

Monday, August 12, 2013

ParkRun Sat 10 Aug and long run Sunday 11 Aug 2013

I did what I was planning in last post in ParkRun, shadowed a runner I know does sub 20's. The fictitious grudge match ;)  I hung on until 3km in, and gave up, I was far too shagged from the day before and the hills session. That plus the rest of the week and the hard work I had been doing.

I have had a lingering illness for a few weeks. In lead up to the Brisbane Marathon Festival I had a bad cold and fevers. On and off in the last few weeks though I have had stomach upset, just a dull ache and feeling sickly. Its incredibly annoying !! I seem to have a few days where I feel fine, energetic and hit the exercise nice and hard. Then I have multiple days where stomach upset gets worse and worse.

Same thing for Saturday ParkRun, Friday night feeling under the weather, Saturday, woke feeling slightly worse, stomach pains and sickly. Anyway I stuck to my plan, ran with the bloke for as long as I could, pulled up and walked from 3km on. Managed almost exactly 12mins which is just fine considering how tired I was and felt sick. I turned and ran back to meet Christine and MAX, encountered a mate of mine so turned again and ran with him. I then turned again, ran back to Christine and ran the rest of the 5km ParkRun course. I did not register a time though, hardly worth recording it, with all the muck arounds.

I read on the ParkRun face book site that they have had reports of people not doing the whole course and registering a time - cheating in other words.. When I did time keeper I had a lot of people that I suspected did not really run and should not have registered a time. One woman in particular crossed at 26mins all fresh as a daisy, walking. She told us that she had started 10 minutes earlier .. Why she would cross the finish line I have no idea :/  Anyhow, for the Saturday 10th Aug 2013, it was not me that cheated !!

After the shitty ParkRun, I helped a friend dismantle their deck. Really heavy work, lots of lifting of large timbers, essentially work that I never do. I did a lot of it years ago when I built our house, and if you do it regularly you build fitness and its not so much effort. But it did knock me around on Saturday!!.

I ran yesterday, Sunday 11 August, a long easy 17.6km's - ended up almost exactly 5min/km pace which is pretty good. I was still absolutely shagged from all the accumulated fatigue, and really felt the work in muscles. I am slightly sore from it today. I had planned gym this morning, but walked MAX instead. I thought a full rest day was sensible !!! SOmething of note about the 17km long run is that I did not feel the need to stop for water, and after I finished I did not seem to have lost much weight - I was 77.4kgs after the run. I did not weigh myself before, but I did the day before and I was about 76.8kgs.  So It seems I did not get too dehydrated. I drank about 600mls water and was perfectly fine.

Weekly totals for the last few weeks, including the one just gone:

35.5km ( including mini taper for 10km race and being SICK)

I recon based on my usual progressions I have experienced, I am on target to reach a peak fitness level in 2 weeks. That is based on my past performances where I have shown that 3 months regular mileage is the key, or 12 weeks. I am in effectively week 10 of regular mileage for the year.   So hopefully given some decent rest I should have some faster races ahead of me.

First goal is sub 20 5km's  as per usual !!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Gym run, hills plus a 3.5km easy run after

I dragged myself out of bed for the gym running club run this morning and as the instructors had hinted a few weeks ago, it was hills.

The best thing about the gym running is they do a pretty good warmup beforehand, and that introduces a bit of discipline. I am well loosened up before I start doing any hard running and it helps a lot, especially since I am a little sore from the workload this week.

So, we did a little 900m warmup jog, some warmup drills, then jogged 400m to the start of a hill with a nice easy gradient. The plan was to do 10min total, run up with a jog or walk down. I jogged down. I put in a few hard fast uphill sections too. Ended up just over 2km total of up/down hills.  I handled my pace really well, and the faster bits felt really good, I am definitely benefiting from the strength work and speed sessions. I felt like a really could push and snap in some genuine speed really easily. More significant was that I seemed to recover really quickly from the harder running, and I was able to still do a nice easy 3.5 after at a decent pace. I seem to have plenty of energy.

After the hills, I did a lap of the usual course we run, and ended up doing about 3.5km. Total for the day was about 7.3km .

I have the ParkRun tomorrow. As I said in previous post, I have a bit of a plan to tag along with one or more of the fellows I saw last week that were sub 20 runners. I may latch on to the back of one bloke in particular that was oddly rude to me after his race..  I don't hold grudges, I just get even  ;)  If I can beat him it will be even stevens clean slate!!  If I don't I will just forget about it.

I think I need to do this sort of thing, find targets to compete against, rather than leave it to my own internal paces too much. My grudge is not exactly real, I am cultivating it. I am not in any way serious about it, I am simply seeing if my in race competitiveness can create the right situation for improved performance. The fellow that was rude got my attention, but my feelings are completely ambivalent to be honest. He actually realised he was  bit short with me and appologised immediately. I completely understand that 10 seconds after a hard finish in a 5km race you will have a heightened state of awareness that may manifest in verbal aggression :) It is completely cool, no problem. But in a race I will use what I can..

My plan for Sunday - I probably won't do the Gateway bridge run as I said in previous post, because I did hills today. Rather, I will do a longer run, see how far I feel like going. Hopefully 15km +  more like a genuine 20km like I did about 2 weeks ago.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Two runs today - 5km with Christine and MAX, and 6km at work plus a 6x1min speed session

13kms total today, 5km super easy with Christine and MAX our dog. Then at work I did 6km easy plus 6x1min fast with 30sec rest.

Its a fair bit of distance for me in the mid week, but I seemed to handle it fine. Even running twice in the day seemed ok too. Energy was good, but I am a little sore from the hard gym work yesterday. It did not affect me that much.

I am certainly feeling just that little bit better at speed now. The 6x1min speed session was particularly good today, I was getting a little faster toward the end and felt like I could do more. I had planned 8 reps but because I ran an extra 5km this morning, and I am a bit sore I thought I'd cut it a little shorter.

The improvements are always down to consistent mileage, and I have had maybe 1 month of that this year. A proportion is down to the speed work and the gym weights work. If I get more months of consistent mileage done I will be much better again.

Will do the gym run tomorrow, not sure what we are doing, possibly hills. I will try to take it easier so I can be fresh for a 5km ParkRun Saturday.

I did timekeeper duties last week for the 5km ParkRun, and it was very interesting. The fellow that won with a 17:30 something did the first 3km in 11 min flat. It is not much of a stretch for me to hang on to him for the first 3km and see how much I fall apart at the end ... but that is not exactly a sensible race strategy right now ;)

Of the runners that finished after the winner, there was one in particular that was a little rude, he did JUST under 20. I may see if I can latch on to the back of that guy and see what I am able to do from there. A grudge match !!

I feel I am in sub 20 shape right now, and given some rest and the right race I will do it soon. After looking at the runners and their finishes in the ParkRun while timekeeper, I now have a couple of fellows I can recognise to hang on to that may help me along. Thanks in advance guys !!

In the 6km run today, I was reminded that its only 3 weeks or so to the Bridge to Brisbane. One year ago I set my PB for 10km there, 42 minutes. I still feel frustrated, that 42mins is such a soft target. I really should be faster than that, I may be in shape to do a little better, hopefully. To prep for it I think I need to run up and down the Gateway Bridge a few times again, I might do it on Sunday afternoon after work. I have maintenance tasks to perform on that day.

It is really great to be improving again, and I am enjoying my running so much. July next year is my ultimate target the Gold COast Marathon. A PB by a big margin too. This is all ground work preparing for that.