"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

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Marathon training - week 9 also very nice new shoes!

Just over 120km this week. 2 medium long runs and then a decent marathon pace workout as part of a 30.5km long run were the main efforts.

I was able to push my long run back to Sunday this week as Ben had a late kick off and I was feeling a bit flat after Thursday's 21km run.

Simon Elliott and I made an early start on Sunday. We ran to the back of Ascot Park which is about 12.5km in 52:30 which is 4:17/km pace so a bit quicker than we intended to go. We tried slowing down a couple of times but it was just coming so easy we went with it.

We stopped for a drink and a gel at the small park by the river and then set off for our marathon pace segment. I had measured from here to the gazebo where Rob, Craig and I did the fast finish long run a few weeks back – 4.25km so 16.25km all up to the big flag pole in South Perth.

Made it to the gazebo in 16:31 (3:53/km) about 30secs ahead of goal 4min pace and carried on at a pretty steady pace. Simon pulled us along at a reasonable clip although I did open up a bit of a gap after we got to the Causeway. Made it to the flagpole in 1:03:49 which is an overall pace of 3:55/km with the last 12km taking 47:18 (3:56/km) which is about 20secs quicker than I ran it with Rob when we just did the 12km fast finish.

A very slow jog home with a couple of drink stops and I was pretty pleased to get some Endura in when I got home.

I’m really pleased with this run especially as we didn’t exactly dawdle on the way out. While it took a decent effort to maintain the pace over the last 5 or so kms, for the most part, I felt like I was cruising at that pace. Goal MP pace is still a bit slower than that and I do have to stick another 26km at that pace on but I think this morning’s run was a very good workout for utilising the right systems etc for the marathon.

Probably would have run a little slower without Simon to work off of so it was good having him there so we could suffer together …

On Friday I ran in my new Saucony Mirage shoes. These are lighter than Asics GS Trainers but with similar support. Only 4mm heel rise same as Saucony Kinvaras. These felt fantastic straight out of the box and will be regularly rotated with the Kinvaras. They are built on a similar sole to the Kinvara but with a little bit of extra support in the arch. The upper is more like a traditional running shoe with a bit more structure than the Kinvara. Good room in the toebox. I have taken an instant like to these. Here is a video review from US Runners World

Just settling down now to watch the London Marathon live and have received text messages with halfway splits for Dave (1:26) and JK (1:20) in the Zurich Marathon.  Update - JK 2:49, Dave 2:57

A late night ahead on Monday night with the Boston Marathon from 9.30pm. Mass and elite race starts at 10pm. I'll be tracking Clown and Epi so I hope they run around 2:50 so I can get to bed before 1am!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Whatever happened to Daniel Komen

I recently read this article in Competitor magazine - fascinating reading. I highly recommend reading the article - follow the embedded link below and then watch the race video below that.

Whatever happened to Daniel Komen

March 2011 p. 58

Read More »

Monday, April 11, 2011

Marathon training - Week 8 including massive PB at Bridges 10km

I backed off a bit this week - total 84.3km. This was for a dual purpose. My mileage had been gradually increasing for a month or so but I had not taken a recovery week. With some big weeks coming up, including a massive effort planned for the 9 days we are on Rottnest, I thought it was time to ease back for a week and absorb and consolidate the training of the past few weeks.

The second reason was that this would give me a chance to sharpen/freshen up a bit and race the Bridges 10km. Apparently this will be last year that the traditional "Around the Bridges" route will be able to be used due to the Barrack Street foreshore development which is a shame.

So this week I replaced the Tuesday medium long run with a 3 x 3 x 400m interval session and cut back the length of the Thursday medium long run.

The interval session is a pretty regular session for me now in the week before a 5-10km race. Last time I cut it back to 2 reps per set but went back to the 3 reps today.

Plan was to come down in time over the sets as follows 87/84/80

4km warm up in 18:49
Dynamic stretching and drills (2:47)
400m rep 84.2
(100 rec 44.6)
400m rep 86.9
(100m rec 49.1)
400m rep 84.2
(400m rec 2:09.3)
400m rep 82.9
(200m rec 1:23.6)
400m rep 82.4
(200m rec 1:22.8)
400m rep 82.0
(400m rec 2:15.3)
400m rep 78.5
(400m rec 2:11.4)
400m rep 80.3
(400m rec 2:25.0)
400m rep 73.6
Total 5.8km with 3.6km of work in 25:36

2.7km cool down in 13:35

Session was very comparable to when I was doing it late last year in preparation for 5-8km races. I deliberately pushed harder on the last rep but ran pretty well within myself for the other reps as I haven’t been doing much anaerobic stuff (ie nil).

On Friday I did some strides after a recovery run, just to maintain some muscle tension and feel ready to go rather than sluggish come Sunday. Not sure if I have recommended this articel before but if I have, here it is again - Managing Muscle Tension http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=21918

On Sunday, I had a great run at the Bridges 10km – in fact I think this may be close to if not actually my best race ever.

Took 1:16 off of my 10km PB and not only broke 37mins for the first time but 36 mins as well.

Won the 40-44 age group and really pleased with my overall effort especially when it got hard into what was a very strong wind over the last 2km.

There was a very strong easterly blowing (+30km/hr) and I went out a little quicker than I planned to but wanted to try and tack onto the back of a couple of runners into the headwind towards the Causeway. Backed off slightly when the pack thinned after the first 1km.

Felt like I was running comfortably and controlled and the end of the Causeway came at just the right time (approx 3km) and we had a tailwind for the next 5km. I had constant pressure from Kevin Matthews (also 40-44 age group) behind me which meant that I was never able to take the foot off the pedal the whole way.

The uphill into the wind over the Narrows with approx 2km to go was hard but I think everyone was finding it hard as no one passed me there and I felt like I was making up some ground on the runners in front of me.

Once we were off the Bridge it was about 1500m to the finish and I was determined to hold my position and pick off anyone in front of me if I could. The new straight finish was a massive improvement and I felt quite strong as I ran to the finish especially when I could see the clock and that I was going to go under 36 mins. (I had been hitting my splits at each km but hadn’t really looked at my watch since 5km as I was just running on maximum effort so what was the point of looking at my watch, I wasn’t going to slow down on purpose and I couldn’t run any harder).

3:31 (17:45 at 5km – only 4 secs off my 5km PB)
3:40 (28:32 at 8km – an 8km PB)
3:37 (35:54 – PB by 1:16 and 2 mins quicker than I ran in this race last year).

Not sure where I finished - maybe around 20th but I did win the M40-44 age group which was a bonus!

Lots of PBs run - congrats to Sugar for another PB and also top 10 overall, an age group win and a team win, not a bad trifecta.

Spent the rest of the day basking in satisfaction. Had a couple of donuts and vegged on the couch watching the Paris Marathon then had pizza for dinner which thanks to Sammie spinning the winning letter on the wheel at Hero's Pizza didn't cost us anything - another bonus!

Good luck to Clown and Epi in Boston on Monday 18th, Bruce in London and Dave and JK in Zurich next weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rotterdam and Paris Marathons this Sunday

Paris Marathon is being shown on the Eurosport channel on Foxtel while Rotterdam is streaming on www.universalsports.com (both on Sunday afternoon).

I am going to record Paris and watch Rotterdam. Both should be cracking races but I have loved the Rotterdam Marathon ever since Deek won back in the early 80s against Carlos Lopes and Alberto Salazar.

Here is a great preview video for Rotterdam

Compilatie interviews Kenia from Like2Run on Vimeo.

Running form video

Found this the other night and thought it might be of interest to more than just me

Olympic Video from Good Form on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Marathon training - Week 7

122.65km last week. Main runs were a 20 x 1 min on / 1 min off session on Monday, my regular medium long run on Tuesday (23km @ 4:11/km pace), another medium long run with Clown on Thursday (21km) and then a 32.7km long run with Simon Elliott on Saturday morning.

The Monday session was 4km warmup in 18 mins then 20 × 1 min on / 1 min off around the Kent Street Ovals before a short cooldown run home (1.37km)

I ran just short of 8 × 1.32km laps in the 40 mins so approx 10.4km which was good going on grass. Distance may be slightly over but it is what I measured it a while back on Map My Run.

Saturday's long run with Simon Elliott was out around Ascot park and then back via Maylands and East Perth and along to the big flag pole in South Perth. it's the same run as I did with Clown and Epi a fortnight ago but without the fast finish.

According to Simon’s Garmin we did most of the running together at around 4:15/km pace which felt surprisingly but nicely comfortable. A couple of quicker km with the wind behind us through Maylands.

Simon turned at the Fisheries building in South Perth to catch up with the BT RunClub and I carried on down to the flagpole. It was only just before I got to the flagpole that I remembered that the cooldown part of the run was back to the Fisheries building not to my turnoff and therefore back into what was now a pretty stiff easterly.

Also pretty hard going back past my turn off for the second time … it was very nice to turn and run back with the wind behind me for the last part.

Really happy with how comfortable this run felt. Only downside – my back stiffened up a bit when we stopped for our first gel (the low water tap doesn’t help) and when I stopped running it stiffened up considerably and has gone into spasm a bit. It is still a bit stiff and sore today (Wednesday) but doesn't seem to be affecting my running just standing and walking ...

Here is an interview with Craig Mottram. Great to see him back running injury free and I am really looking forward to seeing how he runs in the US and Europe over the next few months.

I have posted before about Running the Sahara http://biscuitmanruns.blogspot.com/2009/06/still-going-well.html

One of the runners was Charlie Engle. I have just finished reading an aricle he wrote for the US Runner's World magazine and the footnote to the article said that Charlie was (as of Feb 2011) serving 21 months in a federal prison for fraud offences (allegedly overstating his income on a loan application). I have found his blog which outlines what has happened and is happening. It makes for very interesting reading. I've certainly got my views about a justice system which lets the those responsible for the GFC get off scot free (or with a salary bonus) but pursues individuals because they are an easy target.

Anyway here is his blog:


If you are interested in his story, I strongly recommend that you read this article from the New York Times:


Friday, April 1, 2011

Marathon training - Week 6 including 511km in March

Although it is almost the end of week 7 of my program, this is a quick post to note that I did 111km last week and with a solid first half of this week, got up over 500km for the month. My highest previous monthly total was 440km in December last year.

I feel like I have established a really good base to build on over the next 8 weeks before I commence a three week gradual taper for the marathon on June 19.

Significant runs last week were my regular medium long run on Tuesday (21km in just under 1:30 so approx 4:16/km pace) and a progressive tempo run with Clown on Thursday.

We were both feeling a bit flat so decided to go out at marathon pace and see what happened. Marathon pace felt pretty comfortable and we were still having a bit of a chat as we ran down to Maylands. I only took a split at halfway (4km) which was 15:58 so right on MP or 4min/km pace.

We picked it up a bit on the way back, particularly over the last 2km and especially the last km. 14:53 on the way back with the last km @ 3:26.

Very good and enjoyable run. Was still pretty humid but no wind which made things OK. Pleased to be able to keep up with Clown for a change :-)

Warm up 4.1km in 18:30
MP/tempo 8km in 30:52
Cooldown 5.4km in 24:00

Sunday's long run was just over 28km @ 4:34/km pace but it did include 4 x up the Mount Yokine hill. The "good" thing about this hill is that it makes the rest of the run seem relatively easy.

Training has gone well this week but I know I am right into marathon training now as I wake up tired and go to bed very tired ...