"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

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A work in progress

I have pretty much stuck to what I said I was going to do over the past week.  Intervals last Tuesday (and again this morning); 16km on Thursday (no tempo); short run 6km with strides on Saturday and then Matilda Bay on Sunday.

Last week's interval session was a solid without being spectacular effort.  I didn't feel the improvement I had the previous week but equally didn't go backwards either.  Saw Sandgroper twice on this run, once while warming up and then again when heading back on my last repeat.  It was very warm that morning and I was certainly sweating it out.

After a recovery run on Wednesday, I ran down to Burswood and met up with Clown on Thursday morning as we headed out on the Peninsula/NYE 8km WAMC course.  This run gives me 16-16.2km which we did at a nice easy conversational pace, probably around 4:35/km pace or thereabouts.  Great conditions fro running, especially compared to the previous two days and very pleasant all round.

Recovery run Friday and then a short 5.8km run on Saturday morning incorporating some 10km race pace strides and 1km @ 10km race pace effort which I timed at 3.53.

Sunday morning was warm.  I think it must have been close to 30 degrees when we started at 7am.  Not sure the km markers were in the correct spots.  I think an average of my first 2kms is probably closer to what I was actually running.

Managed to achieve my C goal (A – under 39 mins; B – faster than last year’s 39:12; C – under 40 mins) and actually felt like I ran better this year than last year. Last year I really struggled over last 3km whereas this year I think I ran a lot more even race. Passed someone in last 500m which was satisfying.  Still, it is very frustrating to be running 2 and half minutes outside my 10km PB.

Saw Simon there.  He is deep into his Boston training now so said that he felt he was lacking speed although running strong.  I think he said he ran 37:40 something (I could see him off ahead in the distance).

Also saw Epi out on the course a couple of times and he called out some welcome words of encouragement - thanks!!

Splits were as follows:

1km - 3:36
2km - 3:51
3-4km - 7:27 (3:44/km avg)
5km - 4:24 (19:19 @ halfway)
6-8km - 12:05 (4:02/km avg)
9km - 4:16
10km - 3:59 (39:41 / 20:22 second half)

On Monday I ran a 12.8km bridges loop at an easy pace and then in the afternoon, I went for an easy bike ride 29km out to Lake Monger and back.  Plans to ride with my mate Neil fell through but I thought I would take the opportunity to suss out the route to his place along the bike path as it is a bit tricky though Northbridge.  Hopefully we will get a chance to go out next weekend.

This morning I did the 4 x 4min interval session that I have been doing for the past few Tuesdays.  Again, another solid but unspectacular effort.  I was going to add on 2-3 280m hill repeats at the end but a combination of residual fatigue, a warm morning and a late night the night before meant that I was too knackered after the intervals to feel like I would be able to do them with any real quality.

So, I think this leaves me in a situation where I am waiting for a break through race or workout so that I can feel like I am really back on track.  Very encouragingly, I have had no knee issues or twinges and didn't even think of my knee once during Sunday's race.

My long run simply isn't long enough at the moment.  This doesn't mean that I am going to go out and run 27km this Saturday but I want to have at least a couple of runs of that distance under my belt by the end of February.  I feel like I need to have a moderate effort run as well which will mostly be my Monday morning loop (12.8km at the moment but I would like to get this out to 18.4km once my long run is longer) except when I have raced on the weekend.

In other news, Reading have knocked another Premier League team (Burnley) out of the FA Cup and are through to the last 16.  West Bromwich Albion next which is a good draw so quarter finals are a distinct possibility.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Feeling a bit smashed

Finished off a good week with 18.4km long run yesterday and a 90.2km bike ride today. The long run took my total for the week to just over 74kms which I achieved without feeling like I had over extended myself.

Today I got out early for what I had tentatively planned as an 80km bike ride out along the Freeway (South). A strong easterly was more of a cross wind than a tail wind and I picked a couple of blokes who drafted off me for about 20km. I averaged about 35km/hr although I did get up to 45-46km/hr for 2-3km when I made a concerted but unsuccessful effort to drop them. They eventually dropped off at Mundijong Road and I continued on for a bit to get myself up to 45km for a 90km round trip. (They were still stopped at Mundijong Road when I headed back).

The cross wind felt like a headwind on the way back which combined with some fatigue meant that I averaged between 25-30km/hr for a lot of the way back. All up I was out there for 3hrs 12 mins (approx an hour longer than my previous longest ride). While I didn't feel exhausted while I was riding, I felt pretty smashed when I stopped, especially after having something to eat and a shower. As a result, I had a little bit of a nanna nap this afternoon.

This coming week will be a bit of a recovery week after 3 solid weeks of building up. I will still do my intervals on Tuesday but will probably not do my tempo run on Thursday although I will most likely still do the 16km. I am planning on doing the 10km at Matilda Bay on Sunday and running hard so Saturday will only be a light run as well. Not sure what I will do about riding next weekend - I may have to give it a miss if I don't get out at all during the week. I amy try to get out for an early morning ride mid week as I am sure I will feel inspired/motivated from watching the Tour Down Under.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Days!!

I've had a good week so far.  I did the extra kms on Monday at a slightly harder effort level (12.8km in 56 mins).  If I had to categorise this, I'd say "moderate".

On Tuesday, I did 4 x 4min hard with 4 mins jog recovery between.  Felt stronger on my last rep this week as I ran down a "target" in front of me.

Wednesday - easy recovery run, mostly on grass (8.4/km).

Thursday (today), I ran the same 8km tempo run as I did last week.  Met Clown down at Burswood and we set out together.  Despite the fact that we were doing a tempo run, we had a bit of a chat as we headed out over the first 4km.  Clown said that he was finding the pace a bit quick for him and encouraged me to run on ahead on the return 4km.  Managed to negative split slightly, even though I felt like I was running at quite a bit of a higher effort level than over the first 4km.  A good indicator I think of the benefit of running with someone else and the relaxation of having a chat as you run.

Splits as follows:
2km - 8.23 (was slightly late so more likely around 8.20)
4km - 16.44 (8.21-8.24 for second 2km)
5km - 20.52 (4.07)
6km - 25.09 (4.16 = 8.23 for third 2km)
8km - 33.25 (8.16 for last 2km).

33.25 was 42 secs faster then the same 8km I ran last week which is a pleasing improvement.  Clown and I ran on to the Causeway before Clown headed back to Burswood.  A very enjoyable run and one which we are both keen to repeat in the future.  Clown is running Boston this year and is recovering from an injury so we have plenty to talk about.

We took the kids to movies this afternoon.  Rox took Sammie to see Alvin and the Chipmunks while Ben and I saw Avatar in 3D.  Loved it - really immersed myself in it for the two and bit hours and even though  some of the plot was telegraphed it was a sensational experience.  The 3D wasn't intrusive or obvious as in movies like Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

Best of all, Reading beat Liverpool in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. We have had a dismal season thus far, sitting just above the relegation spots in the Championship and have already sacked our manager. This was a replay after we drew earlier and if the highlights are anything to go on, this game was similar in that we dominated and deserved to win. Enjoy these highlights - I know I did!!

[Video highlights of Liverpool v Reading now deleted. Can be found @ www.thefa.com]

Rest of the week for me is a recovery run tomorrow, long run Saturday and a long ride on Sunday. Think I will be going a bit further this Sunday out along the Freeway so my average pace should be a bit higher. I will need to get out early as it is forecast to be 41 on Sunday. Tour Down Under starts Sunday - looking forward to that especially as the cricket is looking like a bit of a one sided contest already.

For some reason, my blog hasn't been showing updates of the blogs I follow so I was bit late reading Epi's post about his knee surgery. Hopefully all will go well and he will revoer quickly enough to get his base up and do a solid blocck of training so that he can have en enjoyable run at Boston.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another solid week in the bank

Just over 69kms this week plus 60km bike ride today.  My 18.4km "long run" yesterday took me 1 hour 27 mins so a couple of minutes faster then last week.  I got out a little bit later than I wanted to and as a result it was a bit was warmer than would have been ideal.

I am going to stick with the program/pattern that I have settled into again this week ie intervals Tuesday and tempo run Thursday before long run Saturday.  Forecast is for a very hot weekend so I can't afford to get out late on either day.

I may add a few kms this week by running a 12.8km bridges loop rather than just an 8.4km tomorrow morning.  I'm on leave this week so if it's not too oppressive weatherwise in the afternoons, I may try to get an extra bike ride in as well.  My time for my (what has turned out to be 60km) ride today was 2hrs 12mins which was the same as the week before last (but 4 mns faster than last week) and also included walking across the bridge across the Claisebrook inlet ( supposed to dismount there, I never do as it seems pointeless but it was crowded today).  The last two weeks I have been flying down Guildford Road but today there was a headwind so although I put in the effort, I think my pace was down.  Didn't have the same fun along the Freeway as I did last week but still worked hard.  Pleasingly my average heart rate was down so I must be getting some sort of cycling conditioning.  Now I just need to increase the pace, I think I need to do a bit less riding on winding bike paths and a bit more on either the roads or long straight bike paths such as along the Freeway.

All going well, I will try for a good hard run at Matilda Bay at the end of the month.  There is no way I will be in PB shape but it would be good to run faster than I did there last year (39.13).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Building up

42.8km so far this week consisting of 2 x 8.4km recovery runs, 10km inc 4 x 4mins w/4mins jog recovery (up from 4 x 3 mins over previous 3 weeks) and this morning's run which was approx 16km with the middle 8km run at a tempo effort.

I ran down to the Marathon Club at Burswood as a warm up and then did the NYE Run/Peninsula 8km course as my tempo effort befor running the 4km from the club back home.  All up 1 hour 13 mins with the tempo 8km in 34.05 (compared to my 32.30 in the NYE race last week).

My 2km splits were 8.18; 8.30; 8.34 (4.17 + 4.17); 8.41.  The last 1.5km was into a bit of headwind.  A solid effort - I think I will do this once a week and will know that I am making progress when I get the 8km in under 32 mins.

Remainder of the week will be an 8.4km recovery run tomorrow and then 18.4km on Saturday.  Should give me a total very similar to last week - a good consolidation. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Long run Saturday; Long ride Sunday

Did my 18.42km long bridges run on Saturday morning.  A bit slower than I was doing it earlier in the year when I was averaging 4-4.10/km but I knew it would be hard work so didn't push it too hard and was happy to run at a gentle pace.  1 hour 29 mins so 4.49/km which is what it felt like.  The one thing that kept popping into my head and which was actually going to be the title of this post was that "running is hard work at the moment".  Not really in the groove yet but I know that it will come back with a few weeks of work.  No knee problems which is the best part.

Just over 67kms running this week boosted by my double on Thursday.  I'll continue increasing my volume until I get up to around 80kms a week, try and consolidate at that and add some speed work (probably a tempo run on Thursday and some progression/fast finishes to my long runs).  Well that's the plan over the next few weeks anyway.  Now is the time when I really figure I could benefit from having a coach.

Did the same ride that I did last week again today.  Took my 4 mins longer but there was a monster easterly headwind, plus I didn't feel like I needed to push it having done a decent long run the previous day.  had some good fun on the way back from Canning Bridge along the Freeway.  Sat in behind two guys who had passed me in Mount Pleasant just before we came over Canning Bridge.  Not sure they liked it much because they put on a pretty concerted effort to drop me over the run along the freeway.  Stuck with them though and happy to draft off them (which is probably bad etiquite or something but I couldn't have taken a turn at the front even if I had wanted to).  A good hard ride and I noticed that my heart rate was up at 166 at one point.  They slowed right up when we got into South Perth so I went past them then.  My bike computer should arrive this week so I will be able to measure that ride next week and either surprise or disappoint myself.


Friday, January 1, 2010

End of the year round up - 2009

Despite an injury affected end to the year, I still think I had a pretty successful year - setting PBs in the 10km, half marathon and marathon.  My major goal for the year was to run sub 3 hours at Boston which I achieved (just) and the other PB's were bonuses.  I think I could have lowered my 10km PB even further in the last few weeks of my marathon preparation if I hadn't got injured.

Other highlights of the year were being in teams that won the team event at the Bridges 10km ("Going to Boston" with Sugar and Sas) and placed third in the Perth Relay Marathon ("Biscuit Boys" with Sugar, Sandgroper and Niddy).  Coming 5th at the Rottnest Marathon was a highlight even though it wasn't in the time I wanted (and wasn't very enjoyable due to my ITB injury).

So, here at the end of the year I think I am on the way back.  My mileage is over 50km a week and increasing (plus 50-60km cycle ride per week as well).  Last night I ran the WAMC New Year's Eve 8km.  I had run an easy 6.4km in the morning so it was my second run for the day.  Wore my racing flats but didn't flog myself.  Just ran a steady hard effort and ran the race that I wanted to run at City Beach a few weeks ago.  Last night was very windy especially over the last 1.5km but I was pleased that I was able to maintain a good effort and felt like I found a good rhythm.  Given the wind, my splits were pretty even.  The 2km/6km mark was at a drink station so I missed my 6km split.
2km - 7.54
4km - 15.52
8km - 32.30

A positive split by 38secs which is OK into a big headwind.  Passed the 2nd placed female in the last 1km and held off a fast finishing guy as well, although I didn't know he was there until after the finish when he tried to pass me in the chute.

Sugar had a great race in the 4km - winning in 13.40 (I think).  He was flying when he went back past me near the 2km turnaround.  Sas was 3rd female in the 4km.  Not sure of her time though.

I did an 8.4km recovery run this morning.  Long run tomorrow.  Will be between 14-18km - I'll see how I feel when I get out there.

Hope everyone a had a good New Year's Eve and look forward to lots of good running and racing in 2010.