"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

Friday, April 16, 2010

Very excited about Boston, Nationals (and then a bit of a rant)

I'm very excited about the Boston Marathon on Monday night.  Mostly because I am looking forward to following Simon, Clown and Epi via the athlete alert emails but also because I think it is going to be a cracking race.  The forecast at the moment is fantastic - about 11C with only 10% chance of rain and a tailwind!!  I'll be hoping Ryan Hall wins although my pick is Abderrahim Goumri but with seven runners with a PB under 2:07 I wouldn't be betting much on this race.  Live on ESPN from 9.30pm (if you have Foxtel) and also streaming on http://www.universalsports.com/

Nationals are on at the Athletics Stadium all weekend.  We are planning to get out there on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.  I'd love to spend all of Saturday out there but I guess there is a need for a bit of balance.  We should still get to see the 400m, 1500m and 5000m finals as well as the pole vault.

First game of soccer this weekend (and very first game of soccer for Sammie).  I think our 12s team should go well this season.  We are on the correct league this time and have picked up some useful players.  Ben seems to have made some big improvements, he really is quite a solid defender now.  I quite disappointed that I will miss Sammie's game (she is away while we are at home). 

Incidentally, we weighed Sammie this morning and she weighs 18kg which is about the same amount of weight that I have lost between my fattest/heaviest and now.  Back in 2002, I weighed around 89kgs and was doing no sport at all - I was just too fat.  I managed to drop 4-5kgs through dieting so that I could start running again and then started playing masters soccer.  Got down to around 76kgs before I started running seriously back in 2007.  Sometimes I give Sammie a piggy back or a shoulder ride if she is tired when we are out walking.  I can't imagine having to carry that amount of weight around with me all the time but I guess I used to.  I will never get like that again.

Training recap for this week - the first week of my marathon training/build:

Monday - Longish run to kick off my Gold Coast marathon training. I was down to do this tomorrow but bumped it forward a day so that I could squeeze in one more run with Sandgroper before he flys out to Ghana.

Right on queue it started raining the second our feet hit the road to start. Quite a heavy shower that cleared after getting us wet. First run in the rain for about 5 months so I shouldn’t complain.

We did the 3 Bridges loop but it was a little longer due to the diversions for the Red Bull Air Race. Sandgroper has the time as 1.25 but I think we may have been slightly quicker as I had total time at 1.27 and I am sure the pit stop at the Marathon Club was longer than 2 minutes.

Easy paced run, although I did have to work a bit harder as we ran a few 4.15 kms towards the end and then a sprint finish up the hill at the end. Sandgroper beat me and worst bit is I have to wait weeks before I get a chance to rectify the situation.

This was a good start to marathon training - I'm focusing on aerobic development/fitness rather than speed intially.

18.8km @ 4.31/km pace

Tuesday - Bridges loop with detour around the back of Sir James Mitchell Park. Wore my Brooks Adrenalines – they are getting there but I wouldn’t wear them on a long run yet.

Easy paced run although I did run hard up the last hill home.

13km in 58 mins (4.27/km pace).

Wednesday - Easy recovery run to the Narrows and back. I have re-checked the distance change with Map My Run. The detour around the back of the park adds 280m so total for this run is 9.1km in 48.51(5.22/km).

Rain overnight had cleared by this morning. it was a bit windy but it swung around and I had a tailwind for most of the way out and back. It almost seemed a pity to waste good fortune like that on a recovery run!

Thursday - Three Bridges loop – this is somewhere between 18.8 - 18.9km. No stops on this one just two pauses for drinks at drink fountains. Didn’t even stop for a chat with Sugar and Kim when I saw them down at Mends Street.

Lots of moisture in the air but no rain. Got up a good sweat probably from the humidity but also possibly because I had a flu shot last night. Arm was a little sore this morning but no other side effects.  18.8km in 1.24 (4.28/km pace) so a bit quicker than Monday.  Building up nicely.

Friday - Easy recovery run to Narrows and back. Not as much on grass as usual as it was very wet and a bit long and spongy.

Had a nice chat with a guy from Sydney who ran up alongside. He is here for work and then the weekend watching Red Bull Air Race.

HR was nice and low at an average of 129.  I've really enjoyed this week, probably because I haven't flogged myself through an interval or tempo workout.

9.1km in 48.17 (5.18/km pace).

Now for the rant.  I know a few people have been waiting for another one after my (possibly misguided) commentary on Rupert McGuiness' shirts on last year's Tour De France coverage.

I actually contemplated writing something about this last week but thought I'd wait and see what he came up with this week.  As it is even worse, I can contain myself no longer!!

Fat ex rugby players (BTW reformed fat people are second only to reformed smokers in self rightousness) should not be offering running advice when they don't know what they are doing.  Yes Matt Fuller I'm talking about you (and I do have too much time on my hands).

Let's have a look at what you are suggesting is a good training program for a beginner training for the upcoming HBF Run for a Reason (my comments in italics).  You can find this load of crap on the race website or printed alonside the rest of the rubbish in Tuesday's West Australian:


Beginners 14km running program
We’ll start off easy. Remember to warm up before any session with a 5-minute slow jog and stretch and be sure to cool down by stretching at the end of each workout. The following weeks’ training sessions will become harder as we increase intensity and workload, so it is important that during this time you eat well and drink plenty of water. Try to get enough sleep for you to perform at your best.

Tuesday - 20 min power-walk. Walk as fast as you can without stopping. (Fair enough – our athlete is a beginner but as they are training to run shouldn’t they do a little bit of running. Maybe 1 min run/4min walk).

Wednesday - Rest day (Yes it is important to rest after a harder workout – hang on yesterday's session was only a walk – hmmm??)

Thursday - Fartlek training.* Jog for 1 min slow, run hard for 1 min. Repeat pattern for 20 mins without stopping. (This is more like it – now we are running. Our first running session is – an interval session. Let’s start running fast right from the start, that way if we are going to get injured at least it will be early and we won’t have wasted all that time out on the training track. Our athlete is only a beginner yet this session has a warmup which lasts all of 1 min before they are asked to start “fast sprinting”. WTF!!

Friday - 20 min power-walk (same as Tues). (This is almost sensible after yesterday)

Saturday - 20 min continuous jog easy, slow pace without stopping. (Hooray – finally we have got to run continuously for more than 1 minute)

Sunday - Rest day

Monday - Interval training. 5 min slow jog. 1 min running hard and fast, 1 min slow. 4 x 1 min sprints. 3 x 45 sec sprints. 1x 15 sec sprint. 5 min slow jog (Back to the interval training – no mention of the rest/recovery that should be taken between the 1min and 45 sec sprints. What beginner can “sprint” for a minute let alone do 4 of them followed by 3 x 45sec “sprints”.

* Fartlek training is where the pace varies from fast sprinting to slow jogging. It really helps to increase your fitness and endurance ability to be able to surge quickly during a race.


Beginners 14km running program

This week, we will step up our training from last week’s easy introduction (Oh OK – that was an easy introduction – it seemed more like throwing someone in at the deep end twice when they hadn’t learned to swim yet but let’s give you a chance to redeem yourself). We need to build the base for what will be the nucleus of your training sessions. That is, continuous jogging, interval training, hill work and low-impact water running (interesting). Remember to work at your own pace, eat well and drink plenty of water.

Tuesday - 20-min continuous slow jog. Work up good sweat & get heart rate up slightly. Should be an easy pace & feel comfortable. (This should be the nucleus of any beginner’s training program)

Wednesday - Rest day

Thursday - 25 mins interval training. Increase intensity. 5 min jog warm-up pace, stretch. 2 x 400m running 70% maximum capacity with 1:1 recovery.* 5 x 200m runs flat out with a 1:1 recovery. (The warm up is pathetic – the instructions for the recovery are confusing – does the athlete recover for an equal time or equal distance? I’d like to see Fatty Fuller run 5 x 200m flat out with a 40 sec recovery – although that’s probably being generous as to how fast he could run 200m)

Friday - 20 min slow jog then 20 min fast power walk. Stretch. (The “jog” is good but why not mix it up. This will just get you ready to start walking after 20 minutes. 10 minute run/5 minute walk x 3 would give 30 mins running and 15 mins walking and be far more beneficial).

Saturday - Steep hill training. Jog up 40m from the bottom. Walk down to recover. Then sprint up, flat out. Walk-down recovery & repeat for half an hour. (This is the best one of the lot – I couldn’t do this and why would I want to – you don’t need this type of explosive power to run 14km especially if you are a beginner. Any proper training program that introduces hill sprints has no more than 2 or 3 initially but super coach has our beginner doing them continually for half an hour. Let’s say 40m x 20secs for each hill sprint and 40 secs to walk down = 1 min per rep x 30 mins. 30 hill sprints first time out for a beginner – this is actually negligent. Also the warm up appears to be one 40m jog to the top– our poor beginner following Fatty’s every instruction would just then leap straight into 30 flat out hill sprints).

Sunday – Rest (I bet they are resting – I hope they can find a physio on a Sunday!!)

Monday - Deep-water running for 25 minutes.** (The only possible reason I can think of why he would recommend this is because he knows our athlete will be injured by now if they have followed his training program. Our athlete is supposed to be training to run 14km – why not get them running on the land like they will in the race).

* You need to know how to work out your maximum capacity: Subtract your age from 220 to get your maximum heart rate, e.g., a 40-year-old man’s maximum heart rate is 220-40 = 180. So Then you can work out what percentage of your maximum heart rate you need to work at for maximum benefit. This is more effective if you wear a heart monitor. If you don’t have one, you can check your pulse by counting the beats over 15 seconds. Then multiply the result by four and this will also give you your heart rate. To work out your resting heart rate, take your pulse (for 15 seconds and multiply result by 4) first thing in the morning when you get out of bed over a one-week period and average it out.

1:1: Means however long it takes you to complete the interval sprint, you then have that same amount of time as rest/recovery, e.g., if you do a one-minute sprint, you have a one-minute rest. If you do a 45-second sprint, then you have a 45-second rest or a 15-second sprint, you get a 15-second rest.

** Water running is a great cardiovascular work-out while being very low impact on your body. What to do: Go to your local pool. In the deep water, sprint (running style) at maximum capacity for 30 seconds and then tread water for one minute slowly to allow your body to recover. Repeat this 15 times.

I should say that I have no reason to dislike Matt Fuller based on anything other than his appalling ignorance about what consitutes a proper training program especially for a beginner.  A beginner's training program should be moderate and consistent - two elements completely lacking in the first two weeks of Matt Fuller's program.  On the evidence so far, any beginner who is fortunate enough to make it to the starting line uninjured, will be completely ill-equipped to tackle a 14km run.  It seems that Matt Fuller has sat down and thought up as many workouts as he can and then tried to squeeze them into his program.  He probably knows a lot about preparing elite rugby players for the power and short sprints required for their sport but he clearly knows bugger all about running.

Anyone who is reading this and is looking for a real beginners training program for a 14km run should go to the Run For The Kids website and follow the program created by Steve Moneghetti.



DC64 said...

Lol! I have just as much fun looking at the City-to-Surf training plans in the past!

BTW, beware if you do a Google image search for Matt Fuller with safe-search turned off. Apparently there is a gay porn star called Matt Fuller as well..... maybe he's the one that did the program.

20thCenturyBoy said...

Hilarious training plan. It's so bizarre I can't see anyone actually using it, so maybe no-one will get injured!

trailblazer777 said...

cool! analysis...clearly a confusion between training rugby players and runners...two very different worlds ...would be funny if the injury potential wasnt so high...

I tried to convince my family to come down and watch the 400m, 1500m and pole vault at the Nationals, but they were not up for it duh!

All the best with the Gold coast plans