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.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Gym this morning and walked the dog, MAX!!

Much better today. I got out of bed early, that is a sure sign of feeling better. Walked MAX the dog for nearly 1hr. Then hit the gym.

It has been over a week since my last gym visit, which is not great. I did everything with more weight in the machines this time, I am certainly better at swinging the weights now. Did the Plyo stuff as well, a bit of abs work too. Just need this apparent strength improvement to translate to a faster 5km pace and I will be satisfied.

My goals have been stated before, but here it is again:

- Sub 20 5km - Sub 19:30 is what I really want.
- Sub 40 10kms
- Sub 1hr30 HM  - A later goal once I start some proper longer distance running

I should have been good to go with a faster 10km race on Sunday 4th Aug, the Brisbane Marathon Fest race, but I was too ill to capitalise on the strength and speed I have. Plan for the rest of the week:

- Thursday 6km easy with 14x30 fast
- Friday Gym running club - missed last week, ill.
- Saturday 5km ParkRun
- Sunday long run, whatever distance feels right. Hopefully 15km+

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Plans for the week shot to pieces - Sick Monday

No gym for me Monday. Felt horrendous, and got no better all day, just _sick_. On train on way home, dizzy, a sick, hot/cold. Got home, hit the sack at 6PM and did not get out of bed until this morning.

I felt well rested sleep wise but could easily have stayed in bed all day. Went to work, hung in there. My plan was to do a 6km easy plus speed, 14x30's . I usually start to feel better at 3, 4km in if I feel a bit crap. None of that, I just felt worse and worse!! Got to 5th km, and was ready to stop. Got to the last 1km and went a little faster, 4:34 pace. Felt easy enough to do that but I still felt like shit!!

So, no fast session, I got back to the office ate my lunch, forced it down. I had a Coke, even though I have been avoiding sugary drinks. Eventually I felt better.  Right now, MUCH better, but still not 100%

So, if I am up to it, gym tomorrow morning. Hard legs session plus some Plyo exercises. Getting ill really pisses me off these days. Such a bloody waste of time. Hopefully this is the end of it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sore Throat Wednesday, 7km Thursday, Friday fever and sweats.. Race Sunday 4th Aug 2013

Pretty crap week for me. I got some good rest in, legs wise.

The week began well, a big run on Sunday of 20kms. Then good hard gym work Monday. Tuesday a nice 6kms + 2kms of 12x30 seconds fast. Things went downhill badly from Wednesday.

Woke with a sore throat and feeling lousy. Did no gym work. Sore throat was gone by 2:30 in the afternoon, but moved to a raw sore chest and dry cough. Almost like croup. That developed nicely overnight, but seemed to feel better Thursday,  I did 6km fairly fast and then 6x30's fast. I really felt better after that. But I had a really rough night. Had the day off work, I hate doing that. Cough felt better after a sleep, but then I started getting bad headache and fever. I sweated massively for about 4 hours, shivered etc..

Felt better Friday night, and had a decent dinner. Then Saturday we cleaned the house. I was undecided whether to do the race.. Went to Surfers Paradise to a friends bucks party, had 2 beers and Thai food. Got home about 11PM, and had 5hrs and 30mins sleep or there abouts.

Then I did the Brisbane Running Festival 10km race. My watch crapped out, measuring a 3:30 and a 3:29 for the first 2kms, then a 2min30 for the third. And the overall distance 10.8kms. The time was 43:42. The race results say 43:38.  Its cool to see that they have the half way split. It was 21:32 for the first half and 22:06 for the second. 30seconds fade is not so bad. The first 5km I did slightly quicker than the 5km TT I did a week ago too.

I am reasonably pleased with the run, considering I have been a bit ill. It was all due to strong fresh legs today, I simply did not have the lungs for anything better. Quite frustrating, but that is how things happen sometimes.

Slightly surprised by the results as far as placing goes too. I crossed the line 10 seconds after the gun, in overall position 152, category ( Ages 40-49 )  23, gender position  104.

Across the finish line, position 59 - I had passed 93 people overall. Of my age category, I passed 13. And gender wise, passed 52 people.  I started pretty much right where I deserved to start, I think. I find it difficult to believe there really where 93 people ahead of me IN THE GOLD start area. There was not much more room without being in the elites area. Elites are supposed to be sub 40min runners.

I finished 10th in my age group on net time, 11th on gun time. 58th overall NET and 59th gun time. I am at the upper end of 40-49, I turn 48 in October and will be in the 50+ group in about two years. My finish today would have me third in 50+ age category. I plan of being faster over the next few years than I am right now. I need to achieve the consistent mileage to get me there.

My plan this week:

Gym Monday, quite hard. The usual weight machines and Plyo thing.
Tuesday, 6km easy plus probably 8x 1min fast with 30 sec recovery
Gym Monday, quite hard. The usual weight machines and Plyo thing.
Thursday, 6km easy plus probably 14x30 fast with 30 sec recovery
Friday gym run
Saturday ParkRun
Sunday LONG