"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, January 28, 2011

Time to bake a cake

This is one of my favourite periods of my yearly training cycle - the couple of weeks before starting my marathon training program.  The reason for this is not only because the real hard work hasn't started yet - it is more to do with the enjoyment I get out of working out my training program.  I mentioned this to Rox last night and I got the impression that she thinks that it is further proof that I am insane.  I always say that there are plenty of less healthy pursuits and obsessions that I could be spending time and money on.

In a lot of ways it is like baking a cake.  You work out what ingredients you need and then you determine how much of each and how long to cook it for to get the result that you want.  So in the case of my marathon training program, I am shuffling around long runs, tempo runs, etc with the other factors that influence things such as a trip to Rottnest over Easter, two or three races and the kids soccer on Sunday mornings.

You also have to be patient and, as Craig Mottram said, don't keep being tempted to open the oven door and see how it is going.  For this reason, I won't be running Bridges this year - it falls right when I need to be doing a 35km long run and it isn't a priority for me.

My early draft of my program was looking pretty good until I realised that I had programmed all my long runs for a Sunday which will clash with soccer so it was back to the drawing board and Sunday has become Saturday and Monday has become Sunday etc.

I am now at about version 3 and the final step is to review my essential sources (Pfitzinger and Douglas, Brad Hudson and Nate Jenkins) as well as a Lydiard based program which has recenly become available and which I was able to get hold of for free in its infancy.  So a bit of a tweak here and there, probably to add a couple more marathon specific sessions and then it will be done.  It is not written in stone though and will always be subject to how I am going week to week and day by day.  It looks like my peak week will be about 141km with another 5 weeks at around 129-136km.  This is a bit consistently higher than I have maintained in the past so I will need to make sure I monitor my progress carefully.

I am doing a full 18 week program this time whereas I only did 12 weeks in the lead up to Gold Coast last year.  I had a slow start to last year due to the need to rebuild after my knee injury and also wanted to try to run a PB at the Bridges (which I didn't manage).  No such problems or concerns this year and I am coming off a reasonable base so I am dedicating myself to using the 18 weeks to get myself into the best marathon specific shape I can.

Mileage this month has been slightly lower than planned due to our Bali holiday and associated illness but I feel like I am back on track now.  This week I will probably run approx 110km by Saturday (6 days) so may not run Sunday as I have a bike ride planned with my mate Neil.  I'll probably hit 370km for the month but based on my program I'll more than make up for that in the coming weeks.

Marathon training starts 14 February - the day after the Point Walter 5km.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bali Report

Days run - 4

Kilometres run - 40

Books finished - 3 (Ben Cousins - My Life Story; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [finally!]; Haruki Murakami - What I think about when I think about running)

Fails (according to Ben) - 3 (Got ripped off on a Casio copy watch at a weak moment as I was coming up the beach after a run; Ordered a "gay" cocktail; Lost Sammie's elastic band helicopter after its light went out as I launched it on the beach at night)

Kids sick - 2 (Ben re-presented his lunch [a nice mix of noodles and red Fanta] on the street while Sammie waited until 11.30pm at night to bring up her spaghetti bolognaise in her bed)

Parents sick - 1 (Me - got a dose of Bali Belly which emptied my body of every ounce of fluid over a 24 hour period.  I waited too long to take something to stop it and it wiped me out pretty badly.  As a result of that and Sammie getting sick, I didn't run at all on the last four days we were there).

Despite three of us getting sick at different times, we still had an excellent holiday.  Went to Waterbom Park twice where Ben went on the newest scariest slide "The Climax" and Sammie went on every slide that she was tall enough to be allowed to go on.

Here is Ben doing the Climax.  The video doesn't really do it justice.  You get shut into a capsule and the bottom just drops away and you freefall down an almost vertical chute before flying a round and up a left hand bend and then out at the bottom.

Did a fair bit of shopping but was frustrated that every sports store had hundreds of running tops but very few shorts.  The only ones I found that I liked were in the Adidas store and they cost more than they do in Perth.

Lots of swimming and relaxing at the pool.  Very few mosquito or other bites.

It probably hasn't done me any harm to have a few days off and maybe even a bit of good but it doesn't feel that way at the moment after one day back running.  I have lost just over 1 kilo while were away but that was probably when I was sick.

Back to work on Monday :-(

Monday, January 3, 2011

End of year summary - 2010

Finished the year having run 4,400km which I am pretty sure is my biggest year ever. Four of the last five weeks have been up over 100km and I ran 436km in December which would go close to being my biggest month ever.

I feel like I have a good base to build on and achieve some significant goals in 2011 including running well at the Perth Marathon and the City to Surf.

Running highlight for 2010 for me would have to be the Gold Coast Marathon PB of 2:55:35 but I also really enjoyed the team wins at both Bridges and the Perth Relay Marathon and the Moneghetti training camp. Lots of enjoyable training runs with a range of friends over the year as well.

Lowlight would probably be City to Surf. I think I was in OK shape but allowing myself to get dehydrated was a stupid mistake which I won't make again so hopefully a positive has come out of it.

Off to Bali in a couple of days. I may run the Burswood Twilight which is on a few days after we get back and then I will be running Matilda Bay on 26 January (not sure if I am going to run the 4km or the 10km). There is a Joeys Run on before Matilda Bay which Sammie is very keen to run in.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

NYE race photo taken by Sammie

Sammie took this photo with the 1.3mp camera she got for Christmas. I like it a lot (maybe not the heelstriking so much).