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.