"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, May 31, 2011

Marathon training - week 15 and moving into the 21st Century with a Garmin 610

135.7km in week 15.  Biggest week this program.  I was hoping to have done something similar on the week we were on Rottnest but didn't manage it due to illness and how I felt at the time.  It feels good to have got this done as my last hard week and now back off a bit as I start my taper.

I will be doing a full three week taper but will still be just over 100km this coming week.  I have used the Pfitzinger and Douglas taper for three of my four marathons (I was unable to for Rottnest due to injury) and feel very comfortable and confident with it.

Last week I did my medium long run on Monday to compensate for no long run (due to Run for a Reason).  Then I did an interval session on Tuesday.

Probably did this a day earlier than I should have done but wanted to get it out of the way so that the remainder of the week could be relatively easy running before my planned 35km/marathon specific long run on Saturday.

This morning’s session was 6km warmup; 4 × 1600m @ 5km race pace with 3:30 jog recovery; 6km warm down

6km – 26mins

1600m – 5:37
(700m – 3:27)
1600m – 5:35
(720m – 3:40 including swallowing a fly/cough/spit/splutter)
1600m – 5:38
(700m – 3:28)
1600m – 5:37

6km – 26:30

1600m were between 3:28 and 3:31 pace so right on what I think is probably my current 5km speed. Wasn’t busting a gut but probably just on the hard side of comfortably hard at least on the last rep.

Saw Simon Elliott heading out for an easy run – I was pretty envious and even more so when I saw him again when I was halfway through my last rep!

Other hard thing about that morning is that I was fasting for a workplace health assessment blood test. Waste of time though as when I asked them to take extra blood to check ferretin and red blood cell count they said they couldn’t and are only checking for cholesterol and glucose. So it is just the basic – are you a couch potato or not type assessment.

On Thursday I caught up with Clown and Sandgroper for a run out to the Maylands Police Academy. It was a really enjoyable run. We had a leisurely run and a good chat all the way. Nice morning for a run and a good pace for a chat at just under 5min/km.

Got in a few extra very short runs last week as well with Sammie who is training for the WAMC Kids Marathon which is being held on the morning of the Perth Marathon. Sammie is running 1-2km at a time at around 6min/km pace. Sometimes she has a small walk break but it is usually only for a few strides. She likes to have chat and likes to be in front!!

On Saturday, I used my new Garmin 610 for the first time. Only problem was that although I had set the unit distance to kilometres, the autolap was still on the default of miles. So I was OK in that I could monitor my actual pace but the laps were recording on the mile.

Ran out to Garrett Road, over the Bridge, up to Tonkin Highway and then back down to the little park at the back of Ascot Park. Had a drink and a gel then ran for about 600m when I had then run 17km at around 4.20-4.25/km pace – I will have to check and convert back from the miles.

Then ran 16km at MP effort and no slower than MP pace of 4.00/km. Was actually under this for most of the way – again I will have to convert. The last km was 3.50 has got mixed in with a mile because I hit stop at the end and then restarted when I did my cool down home whithout hitting lap – was going at 3:50/km pace I remember. Have a bit of learning to do with this new fangled technology.

These are the mile splits:

07:39 06:57 06:53 07:01 07:14 06:53 06:54 07:08 06:58 06:57 03:57 (0.56 of a mile- 07:00/mile pace) – 17km in 1:14:31 = 4:23/km

MP section: 06:19 06:21 06:19 06:18 06:23 06:20 6:23 6:24 6:15 then 6:34 (part MP/part cooldown – the 16th km was @ 3:50/km so 6.10 to 16km) – 16km in 63:12 = 3:57/km

Cooldown 7:44 7:42

So my 16km @ MP was done in 63:12 which is 3:57/km pace. Slowest mile was 6:24 which is just under 3:59 and quickest full mile was 6:15 which is 3:53

Workout done as planned. Bit annoyed that I have had to recreate everything in kms afterwards but I have fixed the autolap to kms now so should be all good from now on.

Here is my new toy!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Marathon training - week 14 and Run for a Reason

No long run this week due to 14km Run for a Reason on Sunday. Didn't get a proper warm up in for the race so slightly disappointingly I did 98.8km for the week. A decent warmup would have got me over the 100km

I did a pretty standard pre race week although I did stick in an additional medium long run on Monday before a 3 x 3 x 400m interval session on Tuesday, a medium long run on Thursday and then some strides after a recovery run on the day before the race.

The interval session went well. Strange morning for running with a thick smoke and fog haze over the city and suburbs and also pretty humid.

Due to the fog it was pretty dark down at the oval as it blocked out the pre-dawn light. I didn’t want to risk tripping or falling in the dark so I just did laps of the oval until it was a bit lighter but it didn’t really improve. I almost called it quits and thought about doing some hill repeats on the road under street lamps instead but figured that they wouldn’t really help with turnover for the weekend’s race. So I decided to run my intervals but stay very controlled and concentrate on where I was putting my feet as the edge of the oval is a bit rough in places.

I couldn’t see my watch so had to run purely on perceived effort and hope that it was about right.

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

3.3km warm up
400m rep 86.8
(100 rec 45.5)
400m rep 88.1
(100m rec 45.7)
400m rep 85.2
(400m rec 2:00.9)
400m rep 83.0
(200m rec 1:11.0)
400m rep 80.3
(200m rec 1:17.09)
400m rep 79.2
(400m rec 2:12.9)
400m rep 78.0
(400m rec 2:20.5)
400m rep 80.3
(400m rec 2:21.6)
400m rep 75.3
Total 5.8km with 3.6km of work in 25:11(26 secs faster than last time)

2.5km cool down

Rep times were pretty comparable to last time I did this session but the effort level was lower in that I ran more controlled.

I had an interesting recovery run on Friday. Despite the weather forecast, I decided the night before that I was going to do my recovery run down at Cottesloe and then have a dip in the ocean. Woke up at 5.30am – no rain. “Stupid weather forecast – can’t fool me”. 2 minutes later it starts raining … but not too heavy so I jump in the car and drive to Cottesloe. Had the stereo going (Ramones) so it wasn’t until I parked that I realised that it was not only a bit rainy but pretty bloody windy too. The rain started up again too and I could see that the sea was very rough.

Sat in the car having a debate with myself for a couple of minutes before deciding to drive home and run from there. Get a minute down the road and it isn’t raining and I decide that conditions will be the same at home so turn around and drive back to the car park.

Got my run in. Ran to Port Beach and back – strong tailwind on the way out and monster headwind on the way back. Got rained on but not too bad. Contemplated going for a swim but asked a guy who was walking up from the beach in his bathers what it was like and he said no go (I noticed he hadn’t actually been in).

Went and grabbed a coffee for the drive home and was back home by 7.30am

So missed out on the soak in the cold ocean which was the point of going there but it was an experience all the same.

Perfect conditions for race day on Sunday. I rode my bike there so that I could get away relatively quickly to get to Ben’s game in Vic Park which was kicking off at 10am. It was a cold morning but the only thing that really froze were my hands – wish I wore gloves …

Caught up with an old work colleague before the race and by the time I went to check my bag (still 25 minutes until the start) the queue was very long – I reckon about 20 minutes after it hardly moved in 5. I spotted Sugar so decided to just take a chance on leaving my bag.

We made our way to the start line and as seeded runners we had a chance to warm up a bit in front of the start. I ran up to Plain Street and back a couple of times. It wasn’t really a warm up but at least it turned the legs over.

Sugar had said he was going to run this as a tempo at around 3:40 but I guessed that plan was out the window when I hit 1km in 3:26 but he was at least 30m-40m in front of me.

Felt like I was running the right pace for me though. I could see Simon Elliott a bit behind him and intended to get up with him by the time we turned off Riverside Drive and onto the Freeway but he was running very strongly and pulled further away even though I maintained my pace.

Up near Parliament House, Epi ran up to me. I was surprised to see him as I knew he was starting back in the pack as he had not arranged a seeded start. We ran together for a bit but he then went in front just before we got to the tunnel. It was warm in the tunnel and I may have run a bit quicker in there just to get out the other end.

There was a drink station when we came out of the tunnel and a bit of an incline. I took a drink there and worked up the incline which was where I passed Epi.

Gina Grayson-Cassey was the first female and was just in front of me. I managed to pass her between the WAMC and the Causeway where I ran fairly hard. The run across the Causeway is a highlight of this race and not only because it is only about a km to go. The course this year went into the WACA at the entrance near the scoreboard. I put in a bit of a sprint when we got onto the oval and managed to pass one runner in front of me in the last 100m.

Results in the paper were based on chip time. Although I was 26th over the line, some bloke called Steve Moneghetti ran a faster chip time than me so pushed me back into 27th position. I am very happy though with my 50.35 (3.38/km pace) run and how controlled I felt during the race. I think the photos indicate that as apart from the sprint at the finish, there seems to be less tension in my shoulders than I normally have in shorter races.

Sugar had a good run as did Mark Lee. Really happy to see Simon Elliott have such a good run and Epi’s run should give him some confidence heading into the Perth Marathon.

I actually felt like I could run for a bit longer at that pace. It is such a good course I think that helps.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Marathon training - week 13

120km this week.  A good solid week where I hit the two main sessions I had planned perfectly.

Monday (18.6km) and Tuesday (23km) I got some easy mileage in although Tuesday was bit quicker than planned, especially for a couple of kms. Started off pretty easy but as I got towards Maylands things got interesting.

A guy who I often see running in the opposite direction but who never nods or anything, was running towards me but turned around about 30-40m in front of me. He seemed to pick things up a bit but we were going at a similar pace but after about 800m I caught up to him. As I ran alongside, I turned and said g’day but he just turned and then ignored me. Oh well, I thought, stuff you – so I picked it up a bit further. He did too but I put about 20-30m on over the next couple of kms which I reckon were at about 3.50/km pace. He made a real effort and got up just behind me before he turned off, probably to head home whereas I still had about 13km to go.

Once you have picked it up, it is a bit harder to slow back down again and the second half of the run was slightly quicker than the first. Hit the turn around at around 50 mins and that had included the quicker couple of kms whereas the return was in 49mins.  All up 23km @4.17/km pace.

Don’t feel like the “race” did me any harm and probably good to practice surging/recovering.

On Thursday, I joined in with the BT RunClub interval session.  6 x 1km was the same session as last week although this week the easterly was a lot stronger plus I decided to jog the 2 min recoveries so it made for a harder session. The difference in the conditions with the wind makes it hard to compare this session to last week.

I think taking account for the wind, the times are comparable but the fact that the recoveries were jogged rather than walked makes this an improvement on last week.

Jog from home – 500-600m approx

Warm-up 3.6km + 2 short strides

6×1000m with a slow 2 minute jog recovery (walked 30 secs/jogged 1.30 after the 5th rep).

1000m – 3’26

1000m – 3’16

1000m - 3’31(did this one on my own as Simon went for a toliet break – it’s much harder on your own)

1000m – 3’11

1000m – 3’27 (felt like I was wading through concrete when the wind blew up)

1000m – 3’13

Warm-down 3 km

On Saturday morning, Simon Elliott lent me his Garmin for this run which was much appreciated and made for a much better session than I would have been able to do on a measured course and just a watch. Did this solo around the Ascot/Garrett Road/Maylands loop from home.

This was a pretty important marathon specific workout for me. After recent workouts and the 32km race, I am confident about my fitness but the next few weeks are going to be very much focused on preparing my body to burn glycogen efficiently at marathon pace. This was also quite a hard workout mentally as I was doing it solo and most of my harder workouts in recent weeks/months have been with company.

I was a bit worried about my ability to finish this workout as planned early on as it wasn’t as comfortable as I thought the first few km should be but on reflection I think that was more a factor of the first 7km stretch being into the wind and over the rolling hills at the back of Rivervale/Ascot.

I felt really good over the last 7km apart from the uphill at the East Perth inlet and pushed on for the last couple of km with the last one in 3:46.

Looking forward to getting a Garmin of my own now.

4km warm up – 4:29/4:28/4:24/4:27

7km @ MP – 4:00/3:59/3:59/4:03/4:00/3:56/3:57

1km @ 4:15 – 4:11

7km @ MP – 4:01/3:56/3:57/3:57/3:57/3:58/3:54

1km @ 4:15 – 4:19 (included a stop at a drink fountain to wash down a gel)

7km @ MP – 3:57/4:00/3:56/3:57/3:57/3:54/3:46

2.66km cool down – 5:02/4:37/3:07 ( .66km @ 4:44/km pace)

All up 29.71km in 2:02:49 (4:08/km pace)
This week I will do my medium long run on Monday so I can get some 400s in on Tuesday morning as a sharpening session for next Sunday's Run for a Reason 14km race.  No Sunday weather forecast yet but if it may be windy along the Graham Farmer Freeway I suspect.  I'm hoping to run under 52mins.

Picking up the race packet/number this week - I am race number 4.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bernard Lagat workout video

Interval- 10x 600 meters
Rest- 60 secs over 80-90 meter jog
Goal pace- 1:40
Location- golf course, Tucson, Arizona

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Marathon training - week 12 and 1987 World Champs Marathon

103km this week.  Main workouts were an interval session on Thursday and then a good long run in the hills with Sugar early on Saturday morning.  The first couple of days of the week were very easy making sure that I recovered fully from the previous Sunday's 32km race.

On Thursday, I Joined in with the BT RunClub interval session.

500m (approx) to Simon’s house then
3.6km warm-up before
6 × 1km

We were a bit slower when we were running into the wind. I had no expectations for this session as it was my first for a long time and would have been happy if I had run 3:30 average so pleased and a bit suprised how well this went.

Felt very strong and controlled – only got hard from about a third of the way into the 5th rep which was when I was wishing we were only doing 5. Luckily the last rep was with the wind

Recoveries were decent though – 2 min walk recovery after each rep.

ave: 3’19

3km warm-down

A good start to VO2max work.

On Saturday, we started in the dark. Howling easterly made this steady/hard work over the first half – then Brooking Road which I always find a struggle, not helped today by having to stop at the highway to let cars go past.

We set a good pace on the way out and then apparently went 3.55/km for the last 5.8km which was downhill and with the wind behind us. All up 26.65km in 1:54 (4:16/km).

Good fun though and as always excellent conversation. We were all done and refuelled by 8.30am. Got home to find two beautifully behaved children so couldn’t be happier.

Mileage will be up a bit this week and I will most likely do pretty specific marathon pace long run next weekend.

Some new old marathon videos have been loaded onto YouTube recently. Here is part 1 of the 1987 World Champs Marathon (3 parts in all so less than 45mins all up but covers the whole race). Great course for watching on TV, taking in all the great sights of Rome. Less enjoyable are the "expert" comments of Ron Clarke. It's no surprise his stint as a commentator was short lived based on this.

You can also find the 1988 Olympics and 1986 Commonwealth Games marathons on You Tube now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Marathon training: weeks 10-11 including Rottnest holiday and Perth 32Km race

It has been a few weeks since I have been able to update due to our Rottnest holiday and then some unexpected/unwelcome internet outages when we got back.

Week 10's mileage was an estimated 98.9km. I actually missed a day this week when I came down crook the night before we were due to leave for Rottnest. Bit of gastro and nausea left me feeling very average in the morning and with packing and a ferry trip ahead of us as well, I reluctantly decided to break a nearly 100 day streak (pretty much since we had got back from Bali).

Missed what was supposed to be 19km with 12km tempo on that but not overly concerned.

Rottnest was very relaxing apart from Rox's bike getting stolen from the jetty when we arrived. It turned out though that it wasn't actually "stolen" but that some stupid old woman had taken it from the jetty thinking that it was a hire bike. In case anyone, thinks I am being harsh calling her stupid, I think it is pretty hard to mistake a purple/pink Malvern Star Pathfinder for a red/white hire bike but maybe it's just me ...

Got lots of good running in on Rottnest although my long run was not as long as I intended. I was very annoyed as I missed a turn which cut the run shorter. I started to head out on another 7.7km loop to make up the distance and time but spat it after about 500m and walked home. Although it was still approx 30km in 2:15, I’ll need to get a 2:45-3:00 long run in somewhere before the taper starts to make up for this.

I did a few runs of an hour and just over rather than proper medium long runs. It was very windy the week we were there and combined with the hills and running on my own, I decided to keep things at a level where they were still enjoyable.

Probably the best run/workout I had while I was there was a hill repeat session I did at Oliver Hill. Oliver Hill is in the middle of Rottnest Island and where the gun battery that was built during WWII is located. I ran there as warm up (16 mins) then 6 x up the Hill with a jog back then walk recovery of total 2 min. Times for the hill were:

17 min cool down back to our accommodation at Geordie Bay. This was a good session. I haven’t done any speedwork for a while so this was a good reintroduction.

I took another day off on the day we returned from Rottnest (Friday). Packing and then ferry in the morning. Unpacking, washing and shopping in the afternoon. I decided also that it was probably not a bad idea to have a day off with the 32km race on Sunday. Although I hadn't done overdone the running on Rottnest, what I had done, combined with a fair bit of hilly cycling, some of it pulling Sammie on the trailgator, had left my legs feeling a bit fatigued.

Saturday morning I just did 6.6km including 1km at intended race pace ie 4min.

Perth 32km race report:

Planned to run this at 4min/km pace and achieved it exactly (2:08:28)though the race didn’t go exactly as I envisaged.

My stopwatch crapped itself as I was getting ready so I was reduced to using my Polar FS1 HR monitor which only has time elapsed and which is only hours and minutes after 59:59/1hour.

First km was at 3:55 as was the 2nd (from memory). Around this time I was passed by Kev Matthews and Dave Kennedy so made the decision to stick with them. Kev was saying that his plan was for 4:05/km but they were going at around 3:50-3:55 but I figured it was much better to have people to run with than run on my own.

After about 7km, Dave pushed on and Kev and I were running together with Brad Hart and another guy. We were maintaining around 3:55/km pace fairly comfortably and having a bit of a chat too which was reassuring that we weren’t going to hard. At around 12km we passed the 25km marker for the way back and I said to Kev that if we are still going at this pace when we get back to here we will be doing alright but it was in hope rather than confidence.

The pace was pretty constant and moderately hard ie not as hard as tempo pace. We were passed by Nathan Doig and Cody Angell near Matilda Bay. They had started off at 4min/km and cranked it up from there and although we ran with them for a couple of hundred metres, they had gapped us pretty well by the time we hit the turnaround.

From the turnaround, I didn’t want to let the pace lag at all so ran to the front and pushed on. Brad and Kev stuck with me although there was a short period along Mounts Bay Road where Kev dropped off by about 20m and I thought he might be gone.

As we got closer to the Brewery, we saw Dave Kennedy up ahead of us and Kev said we should try to catch him. He quickened the pace and opened up a gap on Brad and me of about 20-30m. After a km or so though he slowed back to us and said that he didn’t think Dave was going to blow up.

We continued to gain on Dave though and were pretty close to him as we crossed the Narrows. Close enough to see Gary Carlton do an excellent job as marshall in preventing an arrogant cyclist from riding through a stop sign when Dave was crossing the road. As we ran past, an argument was on in full with the cyclist bleating "but you’re not a policeman … " – classic.

Gary's comment in this week's Hills email was that "A few Lycra clad cyclists with a peanut for a brain would be even worse off after their selfish behaviour at the Traffic Control points. I think they must sell cyclists’ Lycra clothing with a free do-it-yourself frontal lobotomy kit".

We caught Dave just after Mends Street and Kev put his foot down increasing the pace to what must have been about 3:45/km. It was too quick for me and by the time we got to the big flagpole, Kev had opened up a big gap, Brad was running away from me too and then Dave passed me back. I think I was feeling the accumulated effects of the hills and wind of Rottnest over the previous week. Not sure what my pace was but probably dropped to somewhere around 4:05-4:10/km pace over the last couple of kms.

Rox and Sammie and one of Sammie’s friends came down to the end of Hurlingham Street to give me a bit of a cheer as I ran past which was just what I needed at that point. Gave me a real boost although it didn’t help my pace much.

2:08:28 is 9 mins quicker than I ran this race last year and although last year was slightly long, my average pace per km was 4:15 compared to 4:00 this year. Unfortunately for me, Kev ran 6 mins faster than last year and beat me by a minute. Finished 9th overall and 2nd in M40-44.

Good signs for going sub 2:50 at the Perth Marathon though. With a few more weeks training and some more specific MP and also VO2max work and then a taper, if things go well, I should be in shape to run this pace for the full distance. Having someone to run with though will be a big factor so hopefully there will be a few of us around the 2:50 mark – it seems like Kev definitely will be.

I did a 2km warmup and a very slow 2km cooldown so 36km for the day. Pretty tired in the afternoon and lots of twitching in my calf muscles. No chafing, back soreness or any of the other problems I sometimes get so otherwise very good.

Due to the day off, no medium long run and the short run on Saturday, total for week 11 was only 88.8km.

All good so far this week and will be back over 100km with also first interval (6 x 1km) session done.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ben St Lawrence -10,000m Australian record video

Olympic Games qualifier and 5th fastest in world this year.

Watch more videos on Flotrack

Far more boringly, I will endeavour to update with my last couple of weeks training in the next day or so. We were offline on Rottnest and then when we got back some "intelligent" council workers severed the fibre optic cable when doing some digging down the road which knocked out our internet and cable tv for the weekend.