"It's a treat being a runner, out in the world by yourself with not a soul to make you bad-tempered or tell you what to do." - Allan Sillitoe

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

21km run this morning

Well I stuck to the plan and ran my 21kms this morning, actually it was a bit more as I didn't actually really start running until I got down to the river but I had run down there with Ben who did his second run of the week. So given what I ran today and comparing it to the Perth Half Marathon course I think it may have been just over the 21km. 1 hour 38 mins from memory - bit fuzzy already.

Got on to Map My Run last night to work out how far the tempo part of yesterday's run was - 6.5km which means I averaged 3.51 per km which I am very pleased with. Now I just have to string about 7 of them in row together ... well maybe not at that pace but it seems that everything is on track at the moment.

I wonder if I should be doing more speedwork but I know that there is plenty to come in my program. Just a bit concerned about that old saying that long slow runs just prepare you to run long and slow. Also think I should work a bit on my core strength but just can't get motivated to do it after my morning runs.

Easy recovery run tomorrow - think I will use my HRM and make sure that I keep my HR in the 130's.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Warm one this morning (and again tomorrow)

Stuck to my plan and went around the bridges this morning. Ran the tempo part of my run after a 10 minue or so warm up and then between the small boat ramp near the outdoor exercise equipment at McCallum Park, along the city side of the River, over the new Narrows Bridge to the drinking fountain just after you cross Mill Point Road. 25 minutes and 3 seconds. Glad it was a drinking fountain as definitely needed the drink. Easy run home from ther for just over 12 kilometres all up.

21 kilometres tomorrow morning so think I will go along South Perth side over the Narrows, out to UWA, back along the city side, voer the Causeway, out to the Marathon Club then back home.

Ran past the Perth Eye or whatever they are calling it down near Barrack Street this morning - that thing has flop written all over it. Don't know what they are going to charge but when it is dwarfed by the poxy Belltower and you get a much better view for free from Kings Park, I can't see them getting much business.

Sent an email into the Run 4 Your Life magazine this afternnon and got a nice reply. Will copy both below. I'm not normally a write to the editor type person but made an exception in this case.

Dear R4YL

I am just writing in to say that I was more than a bit disappointed with Kevin Cassidy's character assassination of Dean Karnazes in the December-January edition. I don't know enough about ultra running or Dean Karnazes to know whether or not what Kevin wrote is true but I suspect that most if not all of it was. What was disappointing was the overwhelmingly negative tone of the article and what I thought was its unnecessarily personal nature. There would have been nothing wrong with saying, "There is a lot of hype about Dean Karnazes, but who are our own ultra stars who deserve equal if not more recognition?" without a personal attack which would have been more appropriate for an online forum or a blog rather than a credible running magazine.

Having said that, thanks for the otherwise great magazine once again. I am sure (hope) that this was a one off aberration and that R4YL will continue to champion all runners regardless of where they finish or how much publicity they attract.


Hi Simon,

Thanks very much for your response. Unfortunately, we have already finalized and designed the soapbox for our coming release and will not be able to publish your response.

However, its seems as the greater public agrees with your view as we have had many similar replies in regards to the Kevin Cassidy article. We thoroughly appreciate your feedback and will be taking it on board with our future athlete features.

I hope that you and your family made it through safely. All the best for the New Year.


Lennon Wicks
Editorial Content Manager
Run For Your Life

What a shocker in the cricket today. Am just finishing off the "War and Peace" of cricket biographies ie Steve Waugh's "Out of my comfort zone" and just reinforces how much we need someone like him at the moment. Ricky Ponting is a great batsman but his captaincy is unimaginative and he lets the game meander along too much. Waugh was always looking to either keep or get back the initiative something Ponting seems incapable of without McGrath and Warne.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Yesterday's long run and today's weigh in

As expected today's weigh in continued my now 4 week plateau. If it wasn't Christmas I would be a bit worried but as I now have nothing major on the social calendar (New Year's Eve will be spent at home), other than our family holiday on Rottnest where I intend to do a heap of running and cycling, I am very hopeful that there will be some movement over the next 4 weeks.

Weight- 77kgs (76.9kgs)
Body fat 21% (19.5%)
Hydration 54.3% (55.4%)

I have to say that I really don't know what the hydration level is actually measuring and how significant it is but I will keep recording it on the off chance that I find out what it means someday.

Yesterday's long run went really well. Out along the river past Burswood and Belmont race course, continuing along the river and over Garrett Rd Bridge then back along the river through Bayswater and Maylands etc, through East Perth back over the Causeway and home. 2 hours 14 minutes incluing 2 gel stops (one of which was also a toilet stop - annoying but maybe an after effect of the few beers I had on Boxing Day).

Tomorrow morning I will be heading around the Bridges (from our house here in Kensington all up it is just over 12km). Will run the middle 25 minutes at 15km-Half marathon pace ie around 4 min kms hopefully. It's going to be hot this week so it is pretty important that I get out relatively early.

On a very good note Ben went out for a run with Rox this morning. He has the Milo kids tryathlon in February. He ran down to the river which is approx 1km without walking before doing a walk/run on the way back. If he keeps this up on top of the cycling he has been doing, he should really enjoy the tryathlon as it is only a 500m run for 10 year olds and he is a strong swimmer.

2 longish mid week runs planned for this week 21km on Wednesday and 17-18km on Friday before a scheduled 24km run on Sunday. I'll see how I feel on Sunday as I would like to run the same run as I did yesterday but it is a bit longer than 24km .

Boston isn't that far away. Rox and I have started on our more detailed itinerary and just need to finalise a couple more things (travel between New York and Boston and booking a tour of the marathon course). Is it too much to hope that the exchange rate might improve sometime soon???

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Time for an update

Well, I have been very slack in updating this blog. I blame Christmas which has been very enjoyable. I haven't had a big blowout food wise but am not expecting anything spectacular in tomorrow's weigh in given the total lack of movemnet over the past few weeks.
Weigh in from Monday 22 December was as follows:
Weight 76.9kgs (76.6kgs)
Body fat 19.5% (19.9%)
Hydaration 55.4% (55%)

I had a very successful long run on December 21. The kids had been for a sleepover at Rox's parents in Mandurah and we were going to pick them up on Sunday so Rox and I arranged that I would run around the river and then down dual use path alongside the Kwinana Freeway. I wanted to run 24km so figured that would be a 2 hour run. Conservatively selected the Beeliar Drive exit for our meeting place and got there 7 minutes early so ran on for a couple more minutes before making my way back and waiting for Rox. She had just got there and had parked down the road a bit so was almost perfect timing. Had a great run and had plenty left in my legs at the end especially as I knew we would be getting a nice roast cooked by Rox's mum when we got to Mandurah. Only problem was the absence of drinking taps/fountains along the freeway after Canning Bridge. Had a gel and drinko of water at the toilet block near Mt Henry Bridge but there was nothing after that. Luckily it was not hot so no major problem but think I will take a fluid belt with me if I do that run again.
Rest of the week as follows:
Tuesday - 12.8km with 8 x 40 sec fartlek runs
Wednesday - 18km medium long run
Thursday (Christmas Day) - 9km recovery run
Friday (Boxing Day) - 12.8km
Saturday - 9km recovery (was supposed to do 8 hill sprints but forgot - also am a bit worried that hill sprints hurt my back. It was bit sore after the last ones right where I had my bulging disc problem which stuffed my prep for the Fremantle Half marathon a few months back).
Sunday - 27km long run.

Anyway... we are about to head into town for some shopping so will continue this tomorrow after the weigh in.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yesterday's workout and today's weigh in

Well yesterday's workout was a bit of a disaster. The forecast was for 35 degrees (it actually got up over 38) so I decided it would be wise to run as early as possible. Didn't get out until 8.10am and although I drank a 250ml energy drink and a couple of swigs of Accelerade before leaving, a combination of a dud water fountain at Burswood, the hot weather and complacency meant that by the time I stopped again after about an hour for a drink and to take the gel I had with me, I think I was already well on the way to being dehydrated.

I ran an out and back to Ascot race course along the river which has been the long run that I have done for the past 3 weeks or so. There are a couple of decent hills as well as some rolling hills as you run through Riverval and Ascot and yesterday there was a stiff easterly breeze on the way out so I was looking forward to a bit of a progression with a harder run back and with the wind behind me. Unfortunately, I just couldn't crank it up and although my run was only just slower than last week, I really think it was a missed opportunity to get in a quality bit of marathon pace training early in my program.

Lesson learned, drink more before and during runs when the weather is warmer (bit obvious really ...). On reflection though, it may also have been a factor of going from running 4 times a week to 6 times a week. At yesterday, I had run 12 of the previous 13 days so maybe there was a bit of accumulated fatigue there. Feel fine today though.

To today's weigh in and I was very hopeful that last week's considerable reduction was to be repeated. But ... nothing. No change.

Weight: 76.6kgs (76.6kgs)
Body fat: 19.9% (19.6kgs)
Hydration: 55% (55.2%)

I've got more to say but Sammie is here and is very keen for me to come and play with her so i will sign off now and maybe come back later to talk about the program for this week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday weigh in and Tuesday & Wednesday runs

Pleasantly surprised at Monday's weigh in (last week in brackets):
Weight: 76.6kg (78kgs)
Body Fat: 19.6% (21.2%)
Hydration: 55.2% (54.1%)

So everything is going in the right direction. Monday was a rest day although Ben, Sammie and I rode our bikes to the South Perth library to change our books over. I got out "Money" by Martin Amis which is a book I have wanted to read for a long time. "London Fields" and "The Information" are my two favourites along with the "The Rachel Papers".

Tuesday I ran 12km including 6 x 30-40 second pickups at about 3km pace.This was the first speed work that I have done since my disasterous outing in the Fremantle Half Marathon. Felt OK to the extent that I am not dreading my next speed workout.

Today I ran a very easy 9km. Weather was pretty awful, rained the whole way but thankfully wasn't too heavy but not very seasonal weather for December. I wore my heart rate monitor in an effort to keep my run very easy as from some of the reading I have been doing, I think I run too hard on my easy days. I really want to nail my key workouts so need to maximise my recovery between runs. I wanted to keep my heart rate in the low 130s or below and was able to average exactly 130 over the course of what was a 49 minute run (with 1 toilet break - bean casserole for tea last night ...). Noticed that it got up to 135-136bpm a couple of times but came down as soon as I eased off slightly. Got up to 152bpm on the hill just before home but it is a relatively steep one so that is to be expected.

Tomorrow I am going to run another 12km with a progression over the last 3km - going to run them at around 10km race pace including very hard up the final hill. Feel very good after today's easy run so am really looking forward to this workout tomorrow to get a gauge of where I am at.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Today's long run - excellent

Today's long run went really well - 1 hour 47 minutes which was a little longer (4 mins) than last week's run of the same distance (although Nike+ had it 300m shorter). I am very pleased with that considering it was my 6th day of running in a row.

Rest day tomorrow so I will weigh in again and find out if there has been any change.

I have added a links list to this site which I have called "Things I Like" - there is nothing in it yet ... but will be soon. My favourite running related websites and podcasts will be listed here and probably a few of my favourite bands as well.

As I get more used to putting myself out there, I expect this website will get a bit more personal and cover other aspects of my life and what I am up to.

Friday, December 5, 2008

So far, so good (apart from regularly updating this blog ... )

This the promised "before" shot - with any luck the flabbiness will be gone pretty quickly - it sure is a sign of age when you are running 4 times a week but it is not enough. Although I eat pretty well and avoid fatty and junk foods, I probably eat a bit too much when it comes to portion size. This is a good thing when you are right in the middle of marathon training and trying to recover between runs but I should scale back more when my running is at a lower level.
So far this week I have run 12km on Tuesday, 9km on Wednesday, 12km on Thursday and 9km again this morning. Although I could get a longer run out again tomorrow, I think I will just do another 9km before 21-22km on Sunday. This is my first week back running 6 days a week so don't want to overdo it, especially as I am keeping my long run at the same distance.

That will give me around 77km for the week which is a good base. I am doing the 9km runs as very easy runs and sticking to grass alongside the dual use paths which I generally run on in the hope that this will lessen the wear and tear on my legs. They feel fine at the moment but I am a bit apprehensive about how they will be once I start some speed and interval work over the next few weeks.

I have set up a link to the Nike+ graphs of my runs but don't know yet if this updates itself or whether I have to copy across a new code for it to update. I don't use the Nike+ for all my runs but generally do use it for my longer runs as I listen to music or podcasts so might as well log the miles. I haven't found it to be particularly accurate, somedays are better than others but at times it has seemed to be as much as 10% out. I would love to have a Garmin or some other reliable GPS to accurately measure my runs but can't really justify the expense at the moment.

I do have a heart rate monitor which I used for the first time for a long time on Tuesday. It is just the basic Polar FS1 so it provides real time heart rate measurement and calulates your average heart rate at the end of the workout. For my 12km run on Tuesday my average heart rate was 155. I have never accurately worked out my maximum heart rate. I have worked off the basic 220 minus your age which would give me a maximum heart rate of 179 but I am sure I can get it higher than that. Hopefully over the course of some of my speed work, I will also workout my maximum heart rate. My resting heart rate is around 48 which is pretty good although it would be great if it was lower which it should be by April.

Monday, December 1, 2008

First official day of my training program

Conveniently starts with a rest day (!!!). Actually this is because it is Monday and Monday is my regular rest day throughout my training program. I have gone for a 20 week program which is a blend of the Pfitzinger and Douglas "Advanced Marathoning" program (18 weeks) and the program and principles contained in Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald's "Run Faster from the 5k to the Marathon: How to be your own best coach".

I followed the Pfitzinger And Douglas 24 week up to 70 miles a week program for my first (and only) marathon which qualified me for Boston but I feel as though I peaked a little early and am coming off a better base this time so have gone for 20 weeks.

Guess I should include the weigh in figures from this morning:
Weight - 78kgs (which is at least 6kgs more than I was for the Perth marathon in July this year)
Body fat- 21.2%
Hydration - 54.1%

So today, all I have done is weigh myself, have my wife Roxanne take a "before" photo and do bit of stretching - it all starts for real tomorrow. I'll swallow my pride and upload the photo once I get it off the camera and onto the PC.

I think my program may actually start off a little conservative based on what I have been running recently. Although I have only be running 4 times a week, 2 of those runs have been 12kms and my long run on Sundays has been up to 21km. This week my program just has me doing 9.6km and 8km runs before a 16km long run on Sunday. So I think I might stick to 12km instead of 9.6km for two of the runs and stretch my long run out to the 21km I have been doing.

12 km tomorrow morning which is basically down to the Swan River from our house in Kensington and once around the Bridges.