"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 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm a Runner video

There are a few of these going around.  I saw one based on training for an Ironman.  This is pretty good.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

115km for the week and over 4000km for the year

Had a really good week this week with an interval session on Tuesday evening, good medium long run on Thursday, a tempo interval/hill repeat workout on Saturday and a hard hilly long run on Sunday.

Recovery runs in between got me up to 115k for the week without feeling like I have overdone it all.

I'd like to stick to a similar pattern this week but the Tuesday intervals are a little difficult until school finishes for the year as Ben has karate that night.   I definitely want to run over 100k again this week and then maybe step back down to around 80k in the week of the City Beach 8k on 19 December.

I feel like I can run better and stronger with more miles in my legs even when I am racing shorter distances so I am going to keep the mileage up and include a 2 hour (or equivalent effort) long run every week except when I have a race that weekend.

For this morning's long run we ran from Rob’s place in Inglewood.  Course included 4 x up Mt Yokine which is a bit of a monster.

Somehow we ended up picking up the pace over the last 3 km – I think each of us thought it was the other one picking it up and went 4.15, 4.08, 3.50.

We did the big hill once every 4km after running about 4km from Rob’s place and another 6km at then end.
Really good run – there is a nice long gentle downhill after the big hill which is a good pay off for the effort up the hill. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

WAMC Deepwater Point 7.5km race

Felt good on the warm up run (3.8km) and despite the windy conditions, was looking forward to a good race. Got out well, perhaps a bit quick but eased back after about 300m and felt very comfortable.

I had gone out with Epi who went out very fast but as I eased back, Clown came up onto my shoulder and we ran together until about 2.5km during which time we went past Epi.

Clown was running strongly but as we ran across the Mt Henry Bridge, I started to drop off. I’m annoyed with myself for taking the soft option and not digging deep to stick with him. The break slowly extended as we ran alongside the Freeway and I think I had my slowest km at the end of that stretch as Epi and another runner passed me just as we got to Canning Bridge.

Epi put a bit of a break on me and again I didn’t go really hard/surge to stay with him, just maintained my pace. I managed to keep the break at about 40-50m though over the last 1.5km.

Finished 9th in 28:15.  Thought I was in shape to run under 28 mins so fell short again.

After my run at the PWC Coolnight Classic where I took the hard options, I didn't do the same this time for some reason. Maybe if I had tried to go with Clown or with Epi I would have blown up, but I’ll never know as I didn’t take the chance. I feel like I am running as hard as I can but there must be more in the tank somewhere, I just have to find it.

Well done to Clown (7th) and Epi (8th) who both had good runs today. Clown was flying and ran a really strong even race and Epi showed again how quickly he can get into decent shape.

I was disappointed with my run with an average pace equal to my 8km tempo run time (although I have clearly been running those faster than tempo pace).

Still a couple of 8km races this year with the next one being City Beach on the 19th.  In the meantime, i am going to get the volume back up over 100km a week and keep going with the intervals as well as some fartlek and a couple of tempo runs.

 At about the 1km mark with Clown (Epi in the background)

Roadblazer took some photos at the race - he is obviously a very good photographer as he made me look half decent.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Strands Blog widgets

Excellent!!  I have been waiting for this - a widget that uploads your workouts from Strands straight into your blog (see in the right hand side bar).

I have felt a bit guilty that my blog no longer reflects my training on a daily/weekly basis but this widget will now upload my last workout to my blog more quickly and reliably than I could.

To add the blog widget to your blog or website, visit the http://www.strands.com/downloads/widgets page on Strands and copy the code of the badge you would like to use.

If you use Blogger, you can add a blog widget with two mouse-clicks. Just click the ‘Add to Blogger’ button on the http://www.strands.com/downloads/widgets, and ‘Add Widget’ from your Blogger account.

Of course you have to be on Strands to take advantage of this but why wouldn't you be on Strands?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Interesting article and video on Dathan Ritzenhein from New Yorker magazine

Here is a link to the article with the video below. Very good article which is as much about Salazar as it is about Ritzenhein. I was most interested in the mention of DMSO use by Salazar. I got hold of some DMSO when I was struggling with my knee but have never used it. Now considering it as an option for my foot but the whole smell aspect puts me off a bit.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

PB at Rottnest 5k but a disappointing performance.

I thought my previous 5k PB of 18.21 was a bit soft.  Although it was a good run on that day (WAMC Point Walter) it was only a couple of months after I had started training again after my knee injury.

Given the training I have been doing lately and the paces that I was able to hit in some pretty specific workouts (ie 3 x 1600m with 2min jog recovery and 5 x 1k with 1 min jog recovery), I felt like I was in shape to not only run a PB but go under 18 mins and maybe get close to 17.30 even though I knew that Rottnest is a hard course.

Warm up 3.1k in 12:30 with sugar42 - felt Ok not fantastic but certainly no worse than I feel before a hard interval or tempo session.

Sugar Cane and Simon Coates were looking to run 35 mins for the 10k ie 3.30/km pace so I went out with them.

First km in 3.21 and second in 3.32 by which time we had hit a headwind before going over the causeway and up the long hill. Unfortunately there were no more km markers for the 5km as we then turned and headed back. It’s not a true out and back course as there is an extra approx 1km loop at the start. So no splits for last 3km.

What is disappointing though is that I felt like I maintained my effort and worked hard all the way. very different from City to Surf where I knew I was running crap but couldn’t do anything about it – this time I felt like I was running to my capacity so was very surprised when I glanced at my watch with about 150m to go to see that it had already ticked over 18mins. I averaged 3.50/km pace for the last 3km but felt like I was running 3.30-3.35.

Not sure where to go from here. Seriously thinking about getting a coach who knows what they are doing because clearly my current coach (me) doesn’t. One of my previous bosses used to like to say that the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing but expecting to get a different result. I have a couple of little tweaks in mind but nothing drastic when drastic is perhaps what I need to kick start my racing.

I stopped my watch at 18.21 which is an equal PB but the official result is 18:19 so a PB by 2 secs  (I’ll take what I can get).

Finished 7th – pack of 4 young guys ran together until the last km when they got down to business with even gaps then back through 5th, 6th and then me. Finished about 40m behind 6th. (Check of the results indicates that I was spotting at least 8-24 years to the guys in front of me which is some small consolation).

Photo below courtesy of Sugar and Kim - I was going more than 8km an hour but it seems not by much ...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Long time - no blog

Despite my best intentions, I have not posted a blog update for a while. 

My blister problem is now well and truly behind me although I am now taking extra precautions by taping before speed workouts and long runs.  I don't get blisters everytime I don't tape so in some ways it is a bit of a waste but the prevention is far better than the problem/cure for those occasions when it does happen.

My last four weeks of training have been 100km; 102km; 107km and 89km.  I made a conscious effort to get my mileage up over 100km a week and have been running 7 days a week, up from 6 days.  I now run a very easy recovery run on Sunday and have moved my first speed workout of the week to Monday (from Tuesday).  I have been running some doubles on Tuesday and Friday when I am feeling the desire.

So I think I have built a good aerobic base having got the mileage up and done some good long runs.  I have also done a few good speed workouts building towards a couple last week when I tested my fitness based on some stuff I read in Brad Hudson's Run Faster book.

My key workout last week (Thursday) was  5x 1km with 60 sec recoveries.  This followed from a bit of a progression where over the past month or so I have done 5 x 1k with 2 min recoveries, 3 x 1600m with 2 min recoveries, 5 x 1km with 90 sec recoveries and now this workout.  All have been at around 5km race pace.  Unlike the previous week when for the last three recoveries when I walked for 30 secs and then jogged for 60 secs, for this workout I made myself jog for the full 60 secs – no walking.

I’m really happy with this session. Although the times were going in the wrong direction ie I was getting slower, it was only slight and this is the hardest interval session I have done. I managed to run at my goal 5km race pace which was the aim of the workout. although I was hanging on for the last minute or so of the last 2 reps – it was hard work!!

Reps were: 3.23; 3.26; 3.29; 3.33; 3.32.

This was backing up from an 8km tempo run on the Monday where I ran 29.48  which is 3.43/km pace and only 4 secs off my best for this run when I ran a much harder effort.

Other highlights of the last month have been a weekend we spent down at Albany where it was very relaxing, I got in some good running and Ben caught his first fish and the weekend just gone when Sammie got off of her trainer wheels on her bike and rode all the way back from Mends Street.

Last Friday morning I went to a fantastic breakfast function where Craig Mottram was the guest.  This sold out function was put on by The Running Centre. Craig Mottram was excellent, entertaining as well as passing on some real gems for training and racing.

Went to say goodbye at the end and had a bit of a one on one chat. He gave me a very meaningful analogy about training for racing. It’s like baking bread – you know what all the ingredients are, you put them together in the bowl and put them in the oven. But if you keep opening the oven to take a peak, the end result won’t be as good as it could have been. In other words, don’t keep testing your race fitness in workouts – it will detract from your race performance.  Craig said that he rarely goes over 80% effort in training which I found surprising. 

The other really useful thing I took away was that you should reconsider any workout that is going to impact on the next workout you are going to do.  I try to do this anyway but this was good positive reinforcement.

It was good catching up with heaps of other runners at the breakfast and meeting a few people as well.  I had a great chat with Raf's brother Ryan (You can check out his blog here http://beanbaugh.blogspot.com/), and hopefully I can keep in sight next time we race.

While I haven't had a chance to race recently, I have had a chance to watch lots of good racing.  The Commonwealth Games provided some great races, especially the 5000m, 10,000m and marathon but the best race over the last month was undoubtedly the Chicago Marathon.  If you know how it turned out then you don't need me to tell you but if you don't you should definitely watch the video below:

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Rottnest 5km is this weekend. Obviously I'm hoping to have a good one and run a PB but most importantly I want to race well. I'm definitely treating this as a race and not a time trial. At a minimum it would be nice to race better than I train which has been a bit of a problem for me recently.

I am on Strands.com – Follow my training

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Move Over Facebook: Why Runners Prefer Strands

I'm not on Facebook - never have been and am trying to avoid it for as long as possible.

This article on the Strands blog makes interesting reading.


I'll try to get an update up on this blog in the next day or so.  Blogging is a bit like running, the longer break you take, the harder it is to get started again.

First two races planned have fallen through for me - looks like Rottnest 5k will be my next one.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ryan Hall in Philadelphia Half Marathon - live online Sunday evening Perth time

On Sunday evening September 19, tune into Competitor.com http://www.competitor.com/ at 7:55 Perth time to watch top American marathoner Ryan Hall as he defends his ING Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia title against a strong international field, which includes the likes of Morocco’s Abderrahim Goumri, a 2:05:30 marathoner, and sub-27-minute 10K runner Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, who has been tearing up the U.S. road racing scene this summer.

Australian Shawn Forrest, Shadrack Biwott of Kenya, Irish Olympian Alistair Cragg, Oregon Track Club teammates Simon Bairu and Tim Nelson, along with 2009 U.S. 20K champion Brett Gotcher, will make up the fastest men’s elite field ever assembled for this race.

(I will be out for dinner with Rox celebrating our wedding anniversary so I hope they replay the webcast later)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On your bike!

I am reduced to a week of cross training due to the effects of a nasty big blister on the inside ball my left foot.  It developed during my intervals last Thursday. It was basically a blister under a spot where there had already been one or two blisters and I ended up with a bit of a hole in my foot.

It was a good session not affected by the blister at the time - Session was a specific endurance test for 5km race pace.

I wanted to see where I was at in relation to goal 5km pace/specific endurance/fitness so took this test session from Brad Hudson’s “Run Faster”5 × 1km with 2 min jog recovery between.

Met up with Clown as usual on a Thursday although he was doing a temp run so we only ran together for a couple of kms before doing our own thing.

I ran my 1km reps between the old 20 and 21km markers for the perth half marathon. First, third and fifth reps were into a slight headwind.Went 3.24; 3.28; 3.29; 3.28; 3.29 for the five reps. Was pretty hard work though.

Not sure if it is supposed to be that hard if that is your intended 5k race pace but I have had a few hard/quicker runs over past 5 days so hopefully that contributes to the feeling that it would be very hard to maintain that for 5km without recovery.

Still pretty pleased with how it went and certainly felt like I worked hard.  Now that my soccer coaching commitments are over, I think I will re-jig my week slightly so that I do speedwork on Monday and Thursday rather than Tuesday and Thursday as I will do an easy run on Sunday morning after Saturday long run. I think the extra day between speed sessions should give some better quality on Thursday.

Blisters are just an occupational hazard and I usually heal up pretty quick (ie within 2 days) so I still did the 30k fast finish long run that Clown and I had planned for Saturday morning.  I think I subconsiously ran on the outside of my foot because it felt like there was some deep bruising afterwards (especially on Sunday morning).  The blister had got worse as well.

We headed out past Burswood up and around Ascot Park, over Garrett Road Bridge, back through Maylands and East Perth, over the Causeway to Coode Street, South Perth and then home.After a stop for a drink and a gel in Maylands, picked up the pace for a fast finish 12km.  Although we intended to run at 4.10/km pace, we settled in at a pace around pr just under 4min/km.  Clown is in great shape and he picked it up even more after 7km which was too quick for me and i dropped off the pace although I pushed on to Coode Street. This run really confirmed that Clown is in great shape for Melbourne in 4 weeks time.

I am keen to keep my long runs at least 2 hours even though I am running shorter stuff for the rest of the year as I am sure they are the key to improvement and strength for me.

I took Sunday and Monday off and it felt quite a bit better when I woke up this morning so I headed out ro a recovery run to give it a test.  Tolerable but the outside of my foot where I was feeling bruising did n't feel too good. I ran 8.6km and after about 5k, I started to feel a hot/burning/pulling on the underside of my foot. I have never had plantar fascitis and thought that was more in the arch but this did not feel good. Slowed right down and have now decided not to race Bibra Lake this weekend but instead have a week on the bike to let everything get back to normal.

Bit of a bummer because Bibra Lake was my only chance to race before Rottnest as we are going away for the weekend of the Fremantle Half.  I have been averaging 85km a week over the past 6 weeks with a couple of decent long runs over the past couple of weeks and felt like everything was heading in the right direction.  Only a minor setback though and I hope to maintain my fitness on the bike.  I'll try to get out on the Freeway bike path and do some 1 min on/1 min off intervals this week and a longer ride early on Sunday.

In good news, Ben's soccer team ended the season as league champions.  We won the last game of the season, whereas the top team somewhat suprisingly lost. Great reward for the boys who really have played well this season and a msssive improvement.  We only lost 3 games and none of them were by more than two goals and the most we conceded in any one game was 3.  It can be a little bit of a drag going to training after work midweek and being enthusiastic and keeping things fresh but when you see the results it makes it worthwhile.

I recently ordered some shoes which turned up yesterday.  I have put a photo below. Good to see that Saucony have toned down the colour of the Fastwitches. I am hoping/planning to transition into the Kinvaras as my general training shoe as I am really appreciating running lighter shoes recently and almost resent having to wear my heavier Asics 2150s and Brooks Adrenalines.

I am on Strands.com – Follow my training

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Post City to Surf - where to for the rest of the year?

First up - what went wrong on Sunday in the City to Surf?  I have had a couple of days to reflect and my best guess is that I was dehydrated.  Rox and I went out on Friday evening and I (unusually for me these days) had a few beers.  Not drunk by any stretch of the imagination as they were mostly light beers but I reckon I peed as much as I drank.

I really should have made a conscious effort on Saturday to make sure that I re-hydrated fully but I didn't - I just drank normally.

Sunday morning I had a banana and then an Up and Go, half a Gatorade (so about 300ml)  and a 250ml V energy drink in the 2 hours before the start.  On reflection, not enough on its own and certainly not enough if I was already dehydrated - especially when it warmed up around the time the race started.  I think the stitch that I got up under my rib may have been a cramp caused by de-hydration.  I didn't take much water in during the race either, just a mouthful at two or three drink stations.

I never got going and legs felt pretty much gone after the first long hill. I think I went out at the right pace as I could see Dave Bryant only about 30 metres in front of me as we ran down Kings Park Road.

Every little and big hill was a real struggle though, even the one on Thomas Road before we turned left down Hay Street.  Unlike last year, I maintained my effort and did not back off at all down Hay Street but I was suffering. After about 3km I got the stitch under my ribs on right hand side (I never get stitches) which lasted at least 2km very painfully and never went fully away.

Heartbreak Hill is always hard but it is how you feel once you reach the top that is a better indicator of how you are going and I was not going well.  The km markers were not always accurate but I didn't need them to tell me that I was way off the goal pace I had set myself.

I did think the run through park at Perry Lakes was an improvement apart from the stretch on the grass at the end and I was still hopeful at that point that somehow might come good and make a go of it on Oceanic Drive but once I hit the first hill I realised I was stuffed and it was just head down, short strides and grind up the hills as best I could at plus 4 min/km pace.  Instead of making up time on the last 3km, I estimate that between 9-11km I lost another minute.  My watch shows 3.48 for the last 1km but that does have a big downhill before the gentle uphill to the finish (which again this year seemed to take forever to arrive).  Don't think I got passed by anyone in the final stretch which is something at least.

I ran some really good workouts in the lead up to this race which is the most disappointing thing.  Unlike last year, when I felt that if there had been km markers and I had run a bit harder in the middle of the race that I could have gone under 45 mins, this year I honestly believe that I could not have suffered any more than I was, based on how I felt at the time.  I knew that I wasn't running as fast as I should but I couldn't get more out of myself.  I don't think I left my race on the training track - I think I just got it wrong in the last 48 hours before the race.

Where to from here?  Junior soccer season is nearly finished.  Two games to go and we are second on the ladder but can't win the league unless the top team unexpectedly loses one of its last two games.  Our last game coincides with the Fremantle Fun Run (10km) which I would have liked to do but can't.

I have decided to run as many shorter races as I can for the rest of the year.  I am not going to specifically target any of them as key or goal races but I am going to race each of them in the hope that I get better at racing.  I feel like I train better than I race so I think I can benefit from running hard and suffering over 5-8km.

I'll wing it with my training as well, running some longer runs mid week when racing on the weekend and running long on weekends when there is no race.

Race program is:

19 September - Bibra Lake Fun Run (6.5km)
3 October - Fremantle Half 5km (I was thinking of doing the half but have decided to do the 5 instead)
24 October - Rottnest Fun Run 5km
4 November (Thursday) - PWC Cool Night Classic (5km)
21 November - Peninsula Run (5km)
28 November - Deep Water Point (7.5km)
19 December - City Beach (8km)
31 December (Friday) - New Year's Eve Run (8km)

I am also making a really conscious effort to drop a few kilos.  I have started keeping a food log and recording it on http://www.trainingpeaks.com/ as recommended in Matt Fitzgerald's "Racing Weight".  My initial thinking is that I should have a calorific deficit i.e. I am consuming less than I am burning but I will need to check.  Yesterday I consumed around 2700 calories.

Really looking forward to Rottnest in October.  We are staying over the night before in the Lodge so I'll be up early to cheer on the marathoners.  Should be much more enjoyable than last year!

I am on Strands.com – Follow my training

He's done it again! - David Rudisha - 800m world record in Rieti

Just completely blows away a really class field. Nick Symmonds of the US runs 1.43.76 and is nowhere near Rudisha.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Training cycles

This is such a good article that I have cut and pasted it in its entirety.

Why Training Cycles Are Important

August 17, 2010 By Terrence Mahon


It’s true that variety is the spice of life, but there is also a necessity for repetition when it comes to building solid training programs. The great masters of coaching understand that it is the balance of training diversity and training repetition that make athletes perform better. Stemming from this came what is known in the training theory world as “cycles.”

Traditionally we use both micro-cycles and macro-cycles to create the foundation from which all training will be built upon. The macro-cycle phase simply relates to the larger picture of the running program. This would look at the athlete’s plan in relation to the entire year of training, racing, strength training, recovery period and so on. The micro-cycle often looks at a mini-block within that overarching scheme and focuses on the specific workouts that the athlete will do within that set time frame.

Micro-cycles can be as short as 7-14 days in length or as long as 3-4 weeks. The breakdown of the plan into a specific cycle allows the coach to pencil in the various energy zone workouts that need to be addressed on the calendar and make sure that all targets are hit before going on to the next phase.

The reason for breaking down training in this fashion is that it allows for two things. The first is what we call the General Adaptation to Stress (GAS for short). The second is to create a sense of “mastery” with each type of workout before going on to more challenging training schemes. Since all training is stress we look at each workout as a challenge to the GAS component.

When we add in specific energy zone workouts within that cycle we create what we call Specific Adaptations to Stress (or SAS). An example of a SAS Challenge would be the marathon-paced tempo run. When this workout is continually set up in the marathon training plan it is done with a design to stress the body specifically for the event demands of the marathon. We do this because there is a need for “mastery” with this type of workout if the marathon is going to be successful.

Time has shown us that a workout usually must be repeated 3x for mastery to occur. This “mastery” that takes place happens on both the physical and psychological level.

The first time a workout is given, the athletes mind and body are confused as to what will be stressful and what will be easy within the session. This limits the true capability of the athlete to perform the workout at its best. The second time the workout is given, the athlete then begins to feel more comfortable with the session and they will take a greater risk on either the mental side of the workout (going after what was mentally hardest in the first session) or the physical side (pushing the area that was easiest on the workout last time).

Sometimes these roles switch, but it is usually not until the third time the exact workout is given that the athlete hits all the components that the workout demands with success. Once this is done the workout is seen to have been mastered and any further repetition of that workout will not create the same SAS that we are looking for when training.

Understanding where an athlete’s training is in relation to the overall goal is important for them to know that they are on the right path. This is why training cycles were developed and why they have been broken down into both large and small components over the years. In Mammoth, our traditional training micro-cycle for the marathon is based on of a 2-week model.

This two-week plan allows us to incorporate all of the various energy systems that we need for overall athleticism as well as the specific demands necessary for the race. This 2 week cycle will then be repeated for another 2 rotations until we feel that the athlete has a true handle on all of the workouts within those two-week schemes. Once that is mastered, then a newer program is introduced that further challenges the athlete’s fitness – either on the speed side or endurance side depending on what is needed for their goal event.

Here is a 14-day outline of what a typical program would look like for Ryan Hall as he prepares for the marathon.

Two Aerobic Recovery runs, plus short sprints for acceleration development.

Anaerobic Threshold Intervals – 1k or longer per interval

Two Aerobic Recovery Runs

Uphill Aerobic Threshold Run

Two Aerobic Recovery Runs

Aerobic Run that finishes faster over the last 2 miles, plus short VO2 max intervals

Long Run – easy effort with the addition of 30-60 second intervals after 90 minutes of running to stimulate increased neuromuscular recruitment

One or Two Aerobic Recovery runs, plus hill sprints for acceleration development.

Anaerobic Threshold Intervals – 400m to 1k per interval

Two Aerobic Recovery Runs

Marathon Paced Tempo Run: 10-15 miles

Medium Long Recovery Run, additional short recovery run

Two Aerobic Recovery Runs, plus 8 x 200m intervals at 3k goal pace

Marathon Simulation: 10-12 miles @ 1 minute per mile slower than marathon pace, then 6-10 miles at marathon pace, and a 2-3 mile warm down

Friday, August 13, 2010

7 mile tempo Thursday

My program over the last few weeks has been speedwork on Tuesdays (intervals) and Thursdays (tempo).  I have increased the tempo run by a mile a week over the past couple of weeks, out from 5 miles (8k) to 7 miles (11.2k) which I ran yesterday.

I ran with Clown on a wet morning although it did ease up up a bit while we were running.

This is the longest tempo run I have done and I tried to run controlled at the same effort level as last week. Overall time was 43.38 (3.53/pace) so a couple of secs per km slower than last week but in much worse conditions, with a lots of puddles and a bit of flooding down at Windan.

Clown ended up running mostly at MP so I was on my own after about 1km. The hardest part was the last 1.1km where I was running the same route as my intervals from Tuesday but was feeling a bit fatigued in the legs and could feel that I was running slower than Tuesday.

We finished with a cooldown to Coode Street.

3.53/km pace is at the slow end of the McMillan range for a 36.40 (3.40/km) 10k but given the conditions and that I am backing up after a hard session on Tuesday (and that my 10k PB is only 37.12), I’ll take it. A confidence boost to the extent that I think I can go sub 45mins at the City to Surf if I have a good day.

Warm Up 4.1km 00:18:30 4:30 min/km
Tempo Run 1 x 2km 00:07:39 3:49 min/km
Tempo Run 1 x 2km 00:07:44 3:52 min/km
Tempo Run 1 x 1.6km 00:06:19 3:55 min/km
Tempo Run 1 x 1.6km 00:06:13 3:51 min/km
Tempo Run 1 x 2km 00:07:53 3:56 min/km
Tempo Run 1 x 2km 00:07:48 3:54 min/km
Cool Down 1 x 5.8km 00:26:00 4:28 min/km

I've struggled to get out of bed on Wednesday and this morning after my hard sessions.  Tuesday was  6 × 4 min hard/ 2 min jog recovery down at Burswood. I ran the reps pretty hard and had some landmarks picked so that I could measure up the distance covered afterwards. Map My Run has it at 1.13km so around 3.30/km pace for each rep. The recoveries got slower though and were a walk (30secs)/jog (90 secs) on the last couple.
I ran this between the WAMC clubrooms and the little bridge just before the Windan bridge so it wasn’t completely flat and had a little bit of uphill and downhill on each rep.

Tomorrow morning I'm running in the hills (Mundaring) with Sugar.  First time out on the trails since Choo Choo and it's an early start so I hope the weather is kind.  Looking forward to it as a good end to what has been my peak week of this short segment for City to Surf.

I am on Strands.com – Follow my training

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Racing Weight - How to get lean for peak performance

Racing Weight - How to get lean for peak performance is a book by Matt Fitzgerald that I have just finished reading.  It includes a five step plan for endurance athletes - in fact, that is the essence of the book, outlining the plan and explaining the science and the logic behind it.  It is written in a really accessible way for the average reader/athlete without dumbing it down at all.

The 5 point plan is as follows:

Step 1: Improve your diet quality.
Step 1 is to improve your diet quality, or the amount of nutrition you get from each calorie in your diet. Increasing the nutrition-per-calorie ratio of your diet will enable you to get all the nutrients you need for maximum performance from fewer total calories, thus enabling you to become leaner. Fitzgerald recommends grading or scoring the quality of your current diet and continue to score your diet quality as you make efforts to improve it. He has created a simplified diet-quality scoring system that is very easy to work with and that will help you nourish your body for health and endurance performance.

Step 2: Balance your energy sources.
There are three main sources of energy for the human body: carbohydrate, fat and protein. Each of these three “macronutrients” is used by the body in a different way. There are also different types of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that affect the body in slightly different ways. Consuming the right balance of macronutrients and the right balance of carbohydrate, fat, and protein types will help you achieve your optimal performance weight.

Step 3: Time your nutrition.
When you eat affects your body as much as what you eat. The timing of your food intake has a big impact on what’s known as energy partitioning, or what becomes of the calories you consume. There are three main destinations of food calories in your body: muscle, fat cells, and energy. If you want to become leaner, you need to shift the balance of energy partitioning so that more calories are incorporated into your muscles, fewer calories are stored in your fat tissues, and more calories are used to supply your body’s immediate and short-term energy needs. This shift will lead to more metabolism-boosting lean tissue and less health-jeopardizing fat tissue.

Fitzgerald believes you can often achieve this objective with little or no reduction in the total number of calories that enter your body. This is by redirecting calories once they’ve entered your body, not about decreasing the number of calories that enter your body in the first place. The practice of nutrient timing, or consuming the right nutrients at the right times throughout the day, will enable you to partition your energy more effectively and achieve your racing weight.

Step 4: Manage your appetite.
Appetite is important. It is your body’s built-in mechanism for food intake regulation, and its job is to drive you to eat enough to meet your body’s energy and micronutrient needs, and no more. The appetite mechanism works very well under normal circumstances, having survived millions of years of evolutionary testing to the benefit of our health. But our modern lifestyle does not constitute “normal circumstances” in relation to the environment in which most of our evolution took place. Consequently, our appetite cannot be entirely relied upon to ensure that we don’t overeat.

In recent years scientists have learned a lot about how the appetite mechanism works. Understanding how your appetite works puts you in a better position to manage it effectively so that you consume only the number of calories you need to maximize your performance and no more.

Step 5: Train right.
Training errors are common in every endurance sport, even at the highest levels of competition. Many of these training errors not only limit performance but also prevent athletes from becoming as lean as they could be. Training methods continue to evolve at the elite level of each endurance sport. Bringing your training methods up to date will help you raise your level of performance and achieve or maintain your racing weight.

I got a lot out of this book and it reinforced many things that I am already doing or know that I should be doing.  My main failing is that my evening meal is too big.  My breakfast and my lunch are spot on, my training program is structured properly, it's just the number of calories in my evening meal.

There are lots of useful tools in this book and links to online resources and tools as well.  One really good one is http://www.trainingpeaks.com/ which adds up carbohydrate, fat and protein as well as calories and gives you daily totals.  It is easy to use and you don't have to do it everyday once you have established your basic pattern. 

I am going to try and put a lot of what I have read into practice and hopefully see some changes over the next couple of months.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Next training/racing phase commences

After three pretty easy weeks with no really hard running or speedwork, this week is the first week of a 5 week program aimed at getting me to the City to Surf with a chance of running a PB  (45.26 last year but I'm sure it was long ...)

Last three weeks have been:
16.9km (week after GC Marathon)
61.3km (week we got back from Queensland)
76.2km (first week back at work)

I have done a couple of 16km runs and Saturday's run was 20km with Clown around the hills and streets of Inglewood and Yokine which was a nice change and good to start getting some hills in.  I have done no intervals or speedwork for quite a while and will be jumping back into it with some 1 min hill repeats tomorrow morning.  Hoping to crank out 8 this week with a jog back down after a 5km warm up.

This morning I did a 12.8km Bridges loop in 54.31 (4.15/km pace).  Wednesday and Friday will be recovery runs.  Thursday is tempo day and Saturday long run day.  That will be the basic program for the next four weeks.

This Saturday will only be 18.6km though as I will need to keep it shorter for two reasons.  First, I will have been out late Friday night as going to see Kasabian play - first band I have been to see for over a year.  I'll be sticking to the light beer but it will still be a struggle to get going in the morning.  Also we have Ben's birthday on Saturday morning at Laser Corps (like paintballing but with laser guns) and we are leaving home at 9.15am.

Looking forward to running faster and shorter for the rest of the year and seeing what I can do.   You can follow me daily on Strands.com:

I am on Strands.com – Follow my training

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Some photos from the State 10km Road Champs (Lake Joondalup)

Rox and I went out to Lake Joondalup this morning to watch the State 10km road championships.  Sugar had a great race finishing in the top 15 and running a PB by nearly a minute.

Roberto Busi won the Men's race in 30:54 with Ethan Heywood 2nd and Raf Baugh 3rd.

It was a nice change to be a spectator and to catch up with people.

Here is a link to the gallery and photos of the start and the lead group just before the 5km turnaround.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Photos and videos now available

I have purchased the photos from the Gold Coast Marathon and they are in the slideshow in the sidebar.  Here is one of them:

Videos are also available but I didn't buy these.  If you follow this link, you can access an electronic results magazine for the the event which also has the videos.  You need to put in my bib number M2540.

Pretty hard to find me until the 25km one as I am in the 3 hour pace group.  Here is a photo that Rox took just before the 3km mark which shows how big the group was at the start.  It still had about 30-40 in it at 22-23km which is where I went ahead of the group.  In the photo below, you can just see Steve Moneghetti below the blue ballon on the left of the three.

I have updated the look of this blog too so if you don't like the changes or think that the new layout makes it too hard to read - let me know.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

PB at Gold Coast Marathon 2:55:35

Had a dream run - got into the 3hr pace group and hung in the pack which was going along at around 4.10/km after a slow start.  It was a pretty big pack and the course was a bit narrow in places.

Conditions at the start were perfect - about 7C, clear and no wind.  A southerly wind did kick up later on and was a headwind for the last 4-5km.

We went through halfway in 1:27:35 and I felt like I was cruising.  At around 23 or 24km I missed a drink station (I had taken something at nearly all of them until then) and as result came out the other side in front of the pack.  I decided that I would continue on at the same pace and see what happened.  I found that I actually sped up slightly and was making my way through the field in front of me.

I was feeling really strong and even ran a couple of kms (29 and 33 from memory at 4.02/km).  The trip out to the turnaround at Runaway Bay seemed to take forever and when we did turn we were heading back into a bit of a headwind.  The fact that I was still passing other runners and that I knew I was on track for a good time were sufficient motivation to keep me going though.  I was only passed by 3 runners (a pack of three at about 34km) after I broke away from the 3 hour pace group.

When I hit 40km in 2:46:30, I knew that sub 3 was well and truly in the bag and that if I could hold it together I would get close to 2:55.  Wasn't able to get under 2:55 though despite my best efforts but still absolutely ecstatic with the result.

Conditions were obviously favourable and it is a flat course but things still got tough in a few spots.  A couple of days beforehand, Sugar left me a message on Strands saying that when things got tough, just think back to the Choo Choo run and I'll remember that I can get through it.  "Choo Choo" became a bit of an internal mantra especially over the last 10km - so thanks Sugar!!

I would definitely recommend the Gold Coast Marathon.  It is a very well run event on a great course.  I went to the carbo loading lunch on the day before the race where we heard from Mona, Lee Troop, Jackie Gallagher and Rob De Castella - good food and good advice.

Here are my splits:

Five Kilometre Splits

5KM 00:21:14 04:14/km

10KM 00:20:45 00:42:11 04:09/km

15KM 00:20:29 01:02:40 04:05/km

20KM 00:20:34 01:23:15 04:06/km

25KM 00:20:33 01:43:48 04:06/km

30KM 00:20:36 02:04:24 04:07/km

35KM 00:20:36 02:25:01 04:07/km

40KM 00:21:28 02:46:30 04:17/km
Finish 00:09:15 02:55:45 04:12/km

Half Way Splits

Half Way 01:27:35 04:09/km

Finish 01:27:59 04:10/km

Had an ice bath (after a quick shower) when we got back to the apartment and then a bit of a snooze.  Also had a spa as my legs were feeling pretty trashed.  Feeling a bit better now after a couple of Nurofen and a big meal and my first 2 beers in a while.

Not sure when my next run will be - might go out with Rox tomorrow as a bit of a body check or might wait a few days as I have in the past.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

One week to go - and how you can follow me at the Gold Coast Marathon - bib number M2540

One week until the marathon - feeling good after another taper week.

The race starts at 7.10am (5.10am Perth time) and there is a webcast of the marathon on the race website http://www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au/

As part of the live online service, split times will be provided at each 5km point as well as at halfway.

My bib number is M2540

81.4km this week after 89km last week (Monday to Sunday totals).  Possibly a little high this week but it didn't feel like I was doing too much and I would have felt underdone if I had done any less.

Two key workouts this week were interval session of 3 x 1 mile on Thursday and 21km medium long run today.


Warm Up 5.8 km 26:00 4:28 min/km

Intervals 1600m 5:51 3:39 min/km

Recovery Run 600m 3:21 5:35 min/km

Intervals 1600m 5:39 3:31 min/km

Recovery Run  500m 2:51 5:42 min/km

Intervals 1600m 5:31 3:26 min/km

Cool Down 4km 18:30 4:37 min/km

Session was 3 × 1 mile @ 5km pace with 50-90% jog recovery between. Decided to go for a 3 min recovery as expected to to be running around 5.45 for each rep.

It was very cold this morning (must have been around 2C and despite a decent warm up it still took me a while to get into this although I did feel very much in control and not straining at all for the first rep which was a bit slow.

Next 2 reps were better. The recoveries were a jog up to Canning Hwy and back after the first rep and up to Mill Point Road and back after the second rep. My pacing seems to be a bit all over the place but at least they were heading in the right direction. Particularly pleased with the last one at 5.31 especially as it didn’t get hard until the last 200m.

Ran warm down with Clown who was on his first run after his successful Perth Marathon.

Today (Saturday) - Medium long run – 21km out to UWA/Matilda Bay cafe and back via Narrows and South Perth. Even though I waited until after 8am before heading out, it was still very cold especially first 20 mins when my fingers on my left hand (not so bad on my right for some reason) were so cold it was painful. Rox says that it was apparently -0.6C at 7.30am – not sure if that is correct but it was definitely cold!!

Nice easy pace for the whole run – bright sunshine, light breeze and not a cloud in the sky made for nice conditions. 1 hour 35 mins so 4.31/km avg pace.

Rest day tomorrow.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Perth Marathon Relay - a win for BT RunClub-Strands

Ran the second leg of the Perth Marathon Relay (simonelliott ran 1st leg and sugar42 ran legs 3 and 4).

We were 4th when Simon handed over to me (the first three teams led off with some very very strong runners and Simon did very well to keep us in touch with them.

I passed the third placed runner relatively quickly and was running just 3.40 pace for the first 3-4km. As usual though I could not maintain it and drifted to 3.47 – 3.50 for the remainder although I probably picked it up over the last 1km.

I saw the third leg runner from the first team about 2 mins ahead of me as he ran past (the change over was at the turn around point) and didn’t see the 2nd placed runner so he must have only just been in front of me.

Was supposed to be a light easterly bit was more of a south westerly but wasn’t too bad.

It was good to see plenty of friends out on the course. Was able to run briefly with clown as I did my warmup and he was running towards Como Beach. Also saw Epi and TB. Saw clown and Sandgroper while I was racing as they were heading back towards the city. Rob was looking very strong and comfortable.

35.23 for me so average pace of my standard 3.45/km. A little a bit outside of what I thought/hoped I would run but not overly disappointed as I felt strong and in control. It is a bit frustrating though that I can’t run any quicker but I am in marathon not 10k training.

Pretty full on day – rode my bike to the start (approx 4-5km) as Rox was taking Sammie to soccer. Regretted not wearing gloves as it was pretty cool on the bike but warmed up quickly once I got to Como Beach.

Ran back to Como Beach after my relay leg at a very comfortable pace (9.3km @ 4.30/km pace) and then rode my bike home. The hills on the way home were not much fun with tired legs. Grabbed a quick shower and then drove down to the Marathon Club to find out where we finished and how everyone got on.

Very excited to find out that sugar passed the leading runner about 2km from the finish but just as happy to find out that Rob ran 2.59.05 to go sub 3 for the the first time. Sammie came down to the club with me to help me look for a man “with a big smile on his face”.

Very strong event this year. We ran 2.35 flat which was 5 minutes quicker than the winning team last year and the team that ran third this year would have won last year’s event. So pretty pleasing and not bad for a bunch of old guys.  Great launch for Simon's running club which I think kicks off officially at the start of July.

Back home for lunch then back to the club for the presentations before heading home as we had Sammie’s 5th birthday party with her school friends this afternoon.

2 weeks until Gold Coast.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Choo Choo Run - last long run before Gold Coast Marathon

Choo Choo run with Sandgroper and Sugar  on Saturday morning.  This is a run that they have both done before, Sandgroper more than once but I had no real idea what lay ahead other than a lot of hills.

An early start with Sandgroper picking me up at 5am, then on to Sugar’s.

Drop off of dry shirts at Serpentine and drinks at about the 22k mark before we got to North Dandalup. We were a bit early so we had to wait about 20mins before it was light enough to set off.

I struggled a bit early as I have not done any serious hill work and no trail running at all recently. There were some serious uphills over the first 10km with the 2-7km stretch being pretty much all uphill without relief.  You can find the elevation profile on my page on Strands by looking at the workout entry for this run.

Beautiful conditions for running – cool and clear. Early in we ran past paddocks with cows and a calf decided to run along with us for a bit and later on when we were on the trail we saw a few kangaroos.

We got to “Crying Corner” in around 52mins and took a short break (mainly so I could catch up – I was a couple of minutes behind the guys at this point). I think I improved as the run went on – the worst of the hills were over but it was still hard – there was hardly any of this run when you were not running uphill or downhill.

Whenever I could get onto anything that was flat and allowed me to run in rhythm I was fine. There was a good stretch when we had a about 12km to go and before we hit the big downhill. Sugar and I were cracking along at this point at 3.40-3.45 pace. The downhill was a bit of a downer though as it was just too steep to run properly. Also I had a bit of bruising on my left foot which made me even more cautious.

We got to back to the Highway with about 6km to go and settled into a good pace around 3.55/km pace. I was feeling really good at this point but got a bit tired with about 1km to go. Sugar is in great shape at the moment (has been since about this time last year) and ran really strongly all morning. Sandgroper showed his natural ability on the hills – he is a bit of a mountain goat I reckon.

We finished in Serpentine and after changing into the dry shirts we left, we hit the General Store for some much needed protein and carbs. The lack of baked goods was a bit of disappointment but iced coffees, bananas, gatorade and a Mars bar still hit the mark.

About 20mins later, the train arrived to take us back to North Dandalup. The train journey on pretty much a direct route only took about 11 minutes – but it was a very fast train :-)

This was my last long run before Gold Coast. I’m pretty happy with my ability to run well on the flat even after the hammering my legs took on the hills over quite a few kms and luckily for me, Gold Coast is completely flat.

This was a very hard run but it was also very enjoyable and a bit of an adventure. It is not the sort of run that you can do if you are not in decent shape so in that way it was also a bit of a reward.

In short – great morning, hard run, beautiful scenery and setting and top company – it doesn’t get much better than that.

The World Cup has started, co-inciding perfectly with my taper.  Now I have a dilemma though as most of the games that I want to watch are in the absolute middle of the night eg Australia v Germany at 2am.  This doesn't fit well with a need to get lots of sleep and recover as well as still getting some runs in at the right intensity.  I think the Foxtel IQ will be getting a bit of a workout and I will spend a lot of time avoiding radio, internet and other people until I have had a chance to catch up on the games.

I won't be posting recaps of my daily workouts here anymore - they are all on Strands.  I will post weekly totals though.

Last two weeks have been 103.6km and 115.75km following from my 131km week.  Six of the last nine weeks have topped 100kms so I feel like I have done the volume needed to have a good run at Gold Coast, I just wish I was running a bit quicker as I don't really know for sure what pace to run at.  I feel confident I can go sub 3 but I don't know if that means 2.59, 2.57 or maybe even 2.55.

In other news, Ben's soccer team which I coach is now top of the league.  We had a good (albeit comfortable) win this morning and Ben scored a cracking goal.  A brilliant turn left the defender in his wake and he then strode on and smashed it past the keeper who had no chance.  A really clinical finish and a very proud Dad.

First week of my taper this week.  I'll still get up around 85-90km depending on how far I run tomorrow and next Sunday (after my leg of the relay marathon).  I am down for 18.6km tomorrow morning but I might scale that back to a 12.8km Bridges loop instead.  Ben and Rox are running tomorrow so I need to be back in time for them to head out and also I need to find time to watch the Socceroos.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

35.2km long run tops off a 131km week

Phew - that was a big week. Topping 130kms with a race and a tempo run included meant that I was pretty tired by the time I had 8-10km to go today. I was able to maintain a steady pace though and still had enough in the legs to push it a bit up the final hill (not a Sandgroper sprint but not bad after 35k).

Just going back to last week's race and the pace I was able to run at, I found this quote on Nate Jenkins’ Running Times blog. Pretty much sums up my race on Sunday so it’s reassuring to know it’s nothing unusual:

“To quote 2:15 man Pat Moulton ‘have you noticed when your training hard and you race, that you run half marathon pace in the 5k, half marathon pace in the 10k. The only thing that changes is the effort’.”

A couple of running purchases this week to report on. I bought a Sugoi Helium jacket at the Running Centre just in time for Thursday's run in the rain. Fits perfectly and is extremely light. Not sure about the water resistant performance though as I got up too much of a sweat in the humid conditions that by the time it had rained my shirt was wet and I'm not sure if it was rain or sweat. Did a good job of keeping the wind off though.

Also got a Sugoi tech training shirt. Wore it on my long run this morning. It is very light and thin and didn't get too weighted down with sweat. I forgot to put Body Glide on my nipples and they didn't get too sore by the end (no bleeding or chafing) so that was very handy.

At the end of last football season, the parents of the palyers gave me a $90 Rebel Sport voucher. I have decided that the Brooks Adrenaline are not up to a long run for me, still getting numbness in the midfoot of my left foot, so used to voucher to help pay for a pair of Asics 2150s. I hope they are as good as the 2130s which are my favourite training shoe of recent years. I am on to my last pair of 2130s now and can't find any more in my size (US 9) anywhere.

This week (lifted from Strands):

Monday:  Straight back into it. Up early and out on a cool and perfect morning for running.  25.1km in 1 hour 50 mins (4.22/km pace).

Did the out to Peninsula Golf Course and back around the Bridges run that I have done a couple of times recently. Today’s pace was in between the quicker pace I ran this at with Simon and the slower pace I ran this at by myself last week.

This is a pretty big week for me and I think I will get pretty close to 120km this week by the time I have finished my long run on Saturday.

Tuesday: Easy recovery run on a cold, clear morning. Saw my brother in law Garry out there but going in the opposite direction.

8.6km in 38.57 (4.31/km pace)

Ran a bit quicker than normal for a recovery run – felt pretty fresh and also was taking the Saucony Fasttwitches out for a spin. Felt fantastic straight out of the box and really good while running. Good support for such a light shoe – very different from the Green Silence. I think that these will be my GC Marathon shoes.

 Wednesday - Maylands Tempo Run. Haven’t done this for a few weeks and conscious that Sunday’s 14.5km was basically a tempo run, I set out to run this controlled but making sure I did not flog myself.

I think I achieved this – particularly pleased with the 7.29 for the last 2km. Was not overly tired at the end and just ran on.  31.09 for 8km tempo.

Not sure how this compares to the last time I did this run, I’ll need to go back and look but it felt good (was actually 30.59 last time so 10 secs quicker than this effort - but I think it was more than 10 secs harder effort to achieve it last time if that makes sense).
Wore the Saucony Fastwitch – magic shoe!!
Activity Reps Distance Duration Pace

Warm Up 1 x 4100.04.1 km 00:19:00 4:38 min/km

Tempo Run 1 x 2000.02.0 km 00:07:50 3:55 min/km

Tempo Run 1 x 2000.02.0 km 00:07:59 3:59 min/km

Tempo Run 1 x 2000.02.0 km 00:07:51 3:55 min/km

Tempo Run 1 x 2000.02.0 km 00:07:29 3:44 min/km

Cool Down 1 x 4100.04.1 km 00:19:00 4:38 min/km

1 hour 9 mins for 16.2km all up
Thursday: Pretty heavy week continued this morning with a medium long run with Clown. After some very heavy rain overnight, it wasn't too bad while were out there - a bit of drizzle and a couple of heavy showers.
Tried out new Sugoi Helium jacket that I got from the Running Centre. Certainly more breathable than jackets I have worn in the past (and lighter) but still got up a bit of a sweat early on befroe the heavy rain came. Then I wasn't sure if it was keeping me dry or not because my shirt underneath was soaked in sweat already.
We ran at a pretty good pace - I had already been running at a similar pace to get to the meet point on time. Comfortable enough that we had a good chat especially about Rob's Boston experience. Pit stops for each of us at different times. Luckily plenty of facilities en route. I am up to 89.5km this week (Sunday to Thursday) so with an 8.6km recovery tomorrow and then 35k I will crack the 130k mark this week. I am feeling it a little bit. Not so much when I am running but after my shower this morning, it was all I could do not to slip back under the doona and go to sleep. Instead it was suit on and off to work :-(
25.1km in 1 hour 49 mins (4.20/km pace)
Friday - Recovery run to Mends Street and back. No feeling that flash today – fighting off a bit of head cold and its associated headache. Kept it a bit shorter and pretty easy this morning.

6.2km in 31 mins (5.00/km pace).

Hopefully will be feeling better tomorrow morning as I have a 35km long run scheduled

Saturday (today): Long run on what was a perfect day for it – hard to imagine a nicer morning. About 8 degrees C, sunny and only the hint of a breeze.

I added a measured 3km loop around Ascot Park racecourse to my 32.2k run to give me 35.2k all up. 2 hours 44 mins (4.39/km pace).

Not great pace but at the end of a big week I was happy to get through it spending some time on my feet. No pit stops so apart from 2 × 1 min gel stops, this was 2:44 of continual running.

Rest day tomorrow and then back into it on Monday.

Head cold seems to be on the way out so hopefully by Monday I’ll be 100% again

Sunday, May 23, 2010

HBF Run for a Reason

Was supposed to be approx 14km but was more like 14.5km. Sugar has Map My Run plotted this at 14.54km so I’ll take that.

After very average weather yesterday, it wasn’t too bad this morning other than being pretty windy. I never really got into a group of more than two (ie me and someone else).

Met up with Sugar at the start and also saw Simon right at the start. We got a good spot at a very crowded start and got away well.

I went out fairly conservatively and I think the km markers were pretty random. I took most splits but I don’t think they are worth reproducing given their inaccuracy.

Relative to other runners who normally beat me and those who I normally beat, I think I finished just about right on (other than relative to Sugar who ran 52.03 ie more than 1km in front of me in an absolutely great run).

Looks like Simon had a good one too which bodes well for our marathon relay team, although I am clearly the weakest link.

I will put this down as a good solid run. Unsurprisingly I guess, I felt like I had good strength and endurance and finished strongly but lacked speed throughout the race. Not completely fresh despite a very easy 3 days before hand and couldn’t get above a tempo rythym and pace.

The bag collection afterwards was unfortunately a complete debacle. I was pretty lucky, it only took me 25mins to get my bag but by the time I left about 30 mins later, the crowd around the bag collection spot was 10 deep as about 30 volunteers searched for a bag each amongst the thousands of identical white plastic bags.

That would be my only real criticism other than the lack of a certified standard distance. There were lots of volunteers and the entertainment and music along the course was something different that we don’t usually get for races in Perth.

The best two moments for me were as I approached the end of the Northbridge Tunnel. They had speakers setup playing very loud music and as I approached AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” was just starting – the intro to that song is awesome and was really uplifting at exactly the right time – pumped me up and pushed me on.

The other really good point for me was the drumming and cheerleaders at the 13km mark coming over the Causeway. I was running pretty strongly at that point and the encouragement here made me feel even better. A bit of waving and interaction with the cheerleaders was fun.

I’ll be doing this race again in the future and am looking forward to the official results and photos from this one.

It was also good to catch up with quite few runners from the Moneghetti running camp afterwards and chat about how their racing and training has been going.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Speed Development video (for the future)

I am adding this for the interest of others and for my own future (ie after Gold Coast Marathon) reference. I really need to work on this to avoid becoming a "shuffler".

Monday, May 17, 2010

Before, Bali and Beyond

Beach at Legian where I ran every morning

This is a bit of an epic given the length of time since I updated.  Most of this is taken straight from Strands so its old news if you have been following there.

Wednesday 28 April - Easy bridges loop – getting the miles in without much speed this week. 12.8km in 58 mins – 4.31/km pace. My birthday, 43 today.

Thursday 29 April - This is approximate time and distance as I forgot that to get the 23.37km run out to UWA and back around the Bridges that I have measured, I need to do a short out and back leg to the Marathon Club when I get back over the Causeway. As a result this is about 2km short of that.
Also had to stop for 2 pit stops so have deducted 5 mins for that.

Definitely felt a bit tired this morning but it is important to keep the kms up this week as next week we are in Bali and it may be hard to get anything longer than an hour a day in. Last time we went to Bali I ran on the beach but that was when I was just running to maintain some fitness for football. I’ll be trying to get in a run on the beach first thing every morning.

21.4km in 1 hour 39 mins (4.37/km)

Friday 30 April – 8.6km in 48.23 (5.37/km). Very easy recovery run – really low HR (120) and minimal perceived effort.

Saturday 1 May - Don’t eat Mexican food the night before a long run … obvious really

We went out to a Mexican restaurant last night for a family dinner to celebrate my birthday. I have had Mexican before running before without a problem but the result this morning was that the first hour of my run was basically a tour of the public toilet facilities between South Perth and Garrett Road. As a result a pretty slow pace due to discomfort and the stop starting.

Eventually fixed the problem in time to hit the last hour by picking it up a bit. I added 2km onto the last 12.45k to give a 14.5km run home. Slightly windier than last time I did a similar run and at the end of a pretty big week including the 32km run only 5 days ago. I set myself a goal of getting home in under an hour and managed to just do it 59.56 so 4.08/km for the last 14.5km. Total 28.5km in 2.09.56 (4.33/km).

Sunday 2 May – rest day including travel to Bali

Monday 3 May - All distances are approx for this week based on time and effort (although I have subsequently checked on Map My Run and found that I am pretty much right on).

Wow it is humid here. Even setting out before 7am (no way I am going before 6.30am – I am on holiday after all), the humidity combined with steamy heat is stifling.

It had been belting down with rain about an hour before I headed out for this run so that just added to the humidity.

Our hotel is on the beach so headed down and turned right – further away from Kuta. Had to jump across/run through some drainage channels before I got to one that was simply too wide so turned and ran back. Got back level with hotel in 38 minutes so ran on for 11mins more before turning and running back. Got back in 9.50 for a total of 58.50 (4.31/km)

Drenched in sweat and soaking wet shoes – slipped them off and straight into the hotel pool. No shirt for running this week.

Two of the three pools at the hotel we stayed at
Our hotel/apartment is nice, especially for what we are paying. Have been ripped off once by a money changer – still don’t know how he did it – must be a magician.

Tuesday 4 May – 11.3km in 51 mins. Headed out to the left this time towards Kuta and then on towards the airport. After about 15 mins the beach gets rocky but there is a paved path which I ran on until the end of the path then slipped around a fence and ran on towards the airport. I must have been on airport land though as when I only had about another 100m to go before I could run no further as there was another fence and then the airport runway causeway, I got turned around by a security guard (friendly).

It was sunny this morning and pretty oppressive.

Wednesday 5 May - Did the same run as yesterday but without the trespassing on the airport land. As a result, a slightly shorter run. Was feeling pretty fatigued but made the effort to run back quicker than I ran out – which I achieved 23.10 out and 22.35 back. 10.2km in 45.45.

Straight into the pool again which has become the ritual.

Thursday 6 May – Every run I have done so far has been shorter than the previous one so within the constraints of drains and airports, I wanted to run close to an hour today.

Headed out to the right and ran until I got to the first drain that I couldn’t jump across and then turned and ran back -11 mins back to level with hotel. This worked out well because I needed to make a pit stop.
Already drenched in sweat, headed out to the left and did yesterdays run in even splits 23.03 and 23.07 for a total of just over 57 mins (12.5km in 57.10).

Pretty solid running. I won’t be doing any speedwork this week I think. Just steady running to keep up some aerobic base.

In the afternoon, was going to get a massage at the hotel by the pool but the going rate was twice what was being charged outside hotel.

Was going to find a local massage place but ended up going with the first offer of a massage that was at the rate I was going to pay (60,000 rupiah for 60 min massage). Seemed like a pretty good massage by three women – pretty firm. Only 50 mins and knocked back two offers of “special massage” so even though it was was OK quality, if I have another one while I am here, I think I will go to the spa I found a bit further along the road which was same rate but without the pressure for extras.

Ended up tipping the two friends 5,000 rupiah each but still less than $10 all up.

Friday 7 May - Slow run out to the airport and back. 10.2km in 50.10. Had a bit of a sore neck and woke up stiff. Don’t think it was a particularly skilful massage I got. I’ll stick to trained professionals in the future I think.

Saturday 8 May - 10.2km in 51 mins. Bit slower than yesterday. Very tired and a bit fatigued after a full day at Waterbom Park yesterday (inc 30 times up the water slide towers – approx four storey building height).

Had to take a pit stop at a toilet block on Kuta beach on return leg – an interesting cultural experience – it was basically a plumbed hole in the ground.

Sunday 9 May - rest day for travel back to Australia.

Only 67.4km  for the week but it felt like more - certainly timewise it was longer than a normal 67.4km would take.   I read the other day that your your muscles, tendons, ligaments, heart, and lungs don’t understand” how far you’re running. However, your body does comprehend and react to an effort level over a specified time so this week was still very beneficial in that respect..

Monday 10 May -  Back to my regular Bridges loop for my first run back home. Had a rest day yesterday with the travel home. Felt a little tight in the achilles – probably from having run on the beach for a week.

Pleased with this pace/effort – didn’t feel hard at all. 12.8km in 56 mins (4.22/km pace).

Tuesday 11 May - Medium long run including 5 × 4min hard/2min easy after 35 mins warm up (warm up at a steady pace to actually warm up – it was cold this morning – beanie weather).

Actually took a 4 min break after rep 3 (2min easy then 2min pit stop) due to residual Bali stomach issues.

Last rep and run home were into a pretty stiff easterly breeze. 

18.6km in 1.20 (4.18/km)

Wore the Brooks Green Silence again – taped and vaseline in the blister spots but still got one on the right foot. Maybe I put the tape in the wrong spot. I’ll give them one more chance before retiring them to be after race shoes. I’m not sure they have enough support to be a marathon shoe for me yet either.

Wednesday 12 May - Slow recovery run – nice morning for a run but just going through the motions really before a 24k medium long run tomorrow morning.  8.6km in 47.02 (5.28/km)

Thursday 13 May - Ran with Simon on a cold and rainy morning. Had been quite stormy during the night but eased a bit by the time I headed out at 6am. Still light drizzle but got wetter splashing through unseen puddles in the dark. Met Simon down near the Causeway and then we ran past Burswood, over the Windan Bridge, out to the Peninsula Golf Course, then back and through East Perth, City side of river, Narrows and back through South Perth. May My Run gives me 25.1 in  1.45 (4.10/km) so we were going along at a pretty fair pace.

One pit stop – still some residual Bali issues there I think.

Great to hear Simon’s Boston stories – I think he has one of the best I have heard – leaning on 1988 Olympic and 1990 Boston Marathon winner (plus 2 x European Marathon Champion) Gelindo Bordin to do a quad stretch in the coral at the start!!

Friday 14 May - Recovery run. Thought that I would be tired after yesterday’s solid effort but had a surprising amount of “pop” in my legs. Ran easy but stayed off of the wet grass and went a bit quicker than normal on this run. I needed to though to keep warm – I don’t know what the temperature was this morning but it was cold. Wore long sleeves, Skins and beanie but was still wishing I had worn gloves too. 8.6km in 39.17 (4.34/km).

Saturday 15 May - Long slow run – wasn’t too bothered with pace especially after Thursday’s solid effort over 25km. Just wanted to get some time on my feet. I read something the other day along the lines that your body doesn’t know how far you have run just how long you have been running – so that was the aim for today.

This is the 2nd 20 mile run of this marathon training segment – I have two or three more with one or two of them getting out toward 35km.

32.2km in 2hrs 31 mins (4.41/km).

We had a picnic in Kings Park for lunch and then went to the Running Centre in West Perth to spend the $50 voucher I got for my birthday (I intended to buy a Sugoi jacket now that the rain is coming in but they didn't have my size - so they are ordering it in for me). Ended up buying (much to Rox's frustration) a pair of Saucony Fastwitchs. Seem very similar to my Ohana racers. I think I will play it safe and wear the Ohanas on Sunday and hopefully the Fastwitch will be my GC Marathon shoes.

Great store - unlucky for me that I had Rox with me but luck for the wallet/budget I think.

105.89 km for the week

Sunday 16 May - Easy ride with Neil on a Sunday afternoon. We just rode down the bike path south alongside the Freeway and then turned and rode back the same way.

Passed Attorney General Christian Porter out for a run on the way out and the way back – made me think … perhaps not all collisions between cyclists and runners are accidents …

Stopped for a coffee after 46k and then went our separate ways.

This was exactly what I wanted, a nice easy ride which took nothing out of me. 51.59/km in 1 hour 57 mins.

Monday 17 May - Bridges loop – picked it up a bit towards the end but not too much – pretty easy throughout.

Wore Brooks Green Silence – taped in the right spots this time. No blisters but am pretty convinced that this is not a shoe I should race more than 5-10km in. There is just not enough cushioning or support for a Clydesdale like me.  12.8km in 55.45 (4.21/km).

I really need to update more regularly ...

Couple more relatively big days this week (18.5km tomorrow and 24-25km on Wednesday) and then pretty easy for the remainder of the week before the Run for a Reason on Sunday.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This week's running in the tropics on Strands

Logging in from a hotel lobby (no airconditioning) but we can't get wi fi in the apartment.

I have logged this week's runs on Strands - wow it is humid here - a bit of a struggle to get the kms in this week but have managed to get it done so far with a modified program of 45-60 mins a day. I'll be giving the long run a miss this week - it's just not possible in these conditions.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Haile video

This was posted on Strands - you must watch from 2.30-5.30 - running cross country but never breaks stride, as smooth as running on a track.  Awesome!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Perth 32k (or 32 to somewhere between 32.3 and 32.5k)

Not sure of the actual distance of this one – definitely overdistance and the consensus seems to be somewhere between 300-500m. Apparently we started in the wrong spot – hard to believe but true. I’ll call it 32.3k for now until the actual distance is confirmed when the official results come out.

As a result the km markers were all out but they were also often not 1km apart as well so although I took a lot of splits, I don’t have any confidence in their accuracy.

Plan was to go out at normal long run pace for the the first 16km and then run MP for the second 16km. Certainly started off slowly but I ended up running with Bjorn and by 9km we were clicking along at 4.15km pace very easily. We also started running through the field and probably passed 10-12 runners over the course of the rest of the race without getting passed by any ourselves.

Bjorn was wearing a Garmin and when we passed the 9km mark his Garmin read 9.37km.

As result of running quicker in the first half than I planned, the last 8 kms were pretty hard work. I had pushed on from the turnaround (18km) and lead Bjorn for a while but Bjorn gapped me slightly as we ran between UWA and the Old Brewery. Gap was about 20m and remained constant until we crossed the Narrows when it opened up a bit and was probably 60m or so by the end.

It was so much easier running with someone – even though there was no conversation it was much better than running alone.

2.17.22 by my watch and finished in 13th overall.

I am very pleased with this effort considering where I am in my training – 2 weeks into marathon build/training with increased mileage and no taper. I’ve averaged 4.15/km which is 3 hr marathon pace and haven’t killed myself doing so (although it wasn’t easy!!) Negative split (I think – even with the dodgy km markers).

For what it is worth – here are the splits as I took them:

3km – 14.14 (long)

4km – 18.19 (4.05)

5km – 22.52

6km – 27.05 (4.12)

8km – 35.34 (8.28)

9km – 39.42 (4.07)

11km – 48.08 (8.25)

13km – 56.17 (8.08)

15km – 1.04.52 (8.35)

16km – 1.09.03 (4.10)

17km – 1.13.17 (4.13)

18km – 1.17.33 (4.15)

19km – 1.21.40 (4.07)

20km – 1.26.01 (4.20)

21km – 1.30.14 (4.13)

22km – 1.34.22 (4.07)

23km – 1.38.29 (4.07)

24km – 1.41.10 (2.40 – obviously short)

25km – 1.46.51 (5.41 – obviously long – more likely 8.21 for 2km)

26km – 1.51.10 (4.18 – this is where it started to get harder)

27km – 1.55.26 (4.16)

29km – 2.04.15 (8.48)

30km – 2.08.41 (4.26)

31km – 2.12.32 (3.51 – no way!!)

32km – 2.17.22 (4.49 – more likely 8.40 for last 2km).

Had to head off pretty much straight away afterwards as were participating in a car rally that my Dad had helped organise at church.  Nice to get off of my feet (I was navigator) but probably not so good to spend a couple of hours in a car seat.  I'm a bit stiff in my back today.

Rest of last week:

Wednesday - Recovery run to Narrows and return via path detour. Very easy this morning – grass wet so couldn’t run on it as much as I would like in places where it was long/spongy.  9.1km in 47.55 (5.15km) HR 132.

Thursday - Another nice morning for running – took it pretty easy but ran a little harder over the last 4kms or so. Good to get the extra miles in my legs.  18.8km in 1hr 23 mins (4.24/km)

Friday - Recovery run to Narrows and return. Didn’t run on the grass at all today and as a result pace was slightly quicker but HR still the same. 9.1km in 44.04 (4.50/km) HR 132.

Saturday - Easy Bridges loop – path through Sir James Mitchell Park is open again so back to the normal length. I may take that detour sometimes though depending on how I am feeling.

Went out a little later this morning and ran at exactly the same time as Monday’s 32k race will be. Conditions were pretty good, cool, only a slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky.  12.8km in 57 mins (4.27/km)

Sunday - This is only approx distance – started off as normal recovery run to the Narrows and back but on the way back I met Rox who was out on her walk near the Wesley Boat Shed. I ran on to the turnoff at Hurlingham Road then turned and ran back and met with Rox near the end of the path before it crosses the road near the carpark for the scented garden. Then we walked back together and had a nice chat.

Ran on a combination of path and grass for 46 mins - approx 9.5km.

This morning (Tuesday 27 April) - Very easy recovery run after yesterday’s hard long effort. Legs felt fine but I am a little stiff in my back. As above, it probably didn’t help sitting in the car for a couple of hours yesterday doing a car rally.

If you want a good laugh, check out the latest installment of Fatty Fuller's Run for a Reason training.

Highlights include:

Tuesday - This is the alternative to some non specific gym training
Alternative: Sprint 100m from one end to other starting on every 30 ses. Eg if the sprint takes you 15 secs, have a 15 sec rest. Continue for 20 mins. 5 min rest. Jog, slow, for 3kms without stopping.  Excellent - so after a couple when our beginner is running 20-22 sec 100m - they get 8-10 secs rest.

Friday  - Treadmill: 40 mins cont jogging at 5% incline at 60% of max heart rate. (220 minus your age will give you your MHR)  This is good but check out the alternative - if you don't have a treadmill, don't go for a 40 min run do this instead -
Alternative: Hill running. Find steep hill over 60m in length. Run up hard & fast – and jog down, slowly, for recovery. Repeat 20 mins continuously.

Saturday - Here is the alternative to 20 mins of cross skiing (whatever that is) 
Alternative: Interval work. Sprint as fast as you can for 1km. Then take a 4 min rest for recovery & stretching. Repeat 6 times. Max effort is required So the person with access to cross skiing barely gets a sweat up but everyone else sprints for 1km x 6

I would have thought that the alternative workouts should work on the same types of fitness/energy systems but it seems that the alternatives are simply an opportunity for Fuller to stick his mitt into his grab bag of workouts and pull one out with all the finesse of a rugby player loading up at KFC.

Check it out here