"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, July 26, 2011

Run for Gold 10km and re-inventing my training program (more like re-inventing the wheel ... )

Felt much better for this week's race than I did last week but based on time, I ran even worse. Felt fine in the warm up and for the first few kms but wasn’t able to run at or maintain the pace that I wanted. I feel fit but it is not being reflected in my race performances. Maybe I am still a bit flat after the marathon or more likely, I don’t have the specific endurance for 10km at the moment.

Big Kev went out very quick at around 3:20/km pace so I settled in just behind Simon Elliott. At about 2km, I heard the familiar stride of Clown coming up behind and we ran together to just past the 5km mark where he opened up a bit of a break on me. We had gone through 5km in around 18:00 and I wasn’t feeling too bad so at that stage I was still entertaining thoughts of finishing strong and going under 36 mins and perhaps even a PB.

As it turned out though, I just slowly faded and my last 2kms were not great even though at one stage just after the 8km mark, I was pushing on and my Garmin indicated 3:35 pace – I obviously did not maintain this pace, even though I was trying to maintain effort.

I still feel better about this week than I did about last week. Last week, I was frustrated because I felt that my chest issues held me back from running better whereas this week, I don’t think I could have run any better on the day than I did. I’m just not in the racing shape that I hoped I was.

Great to have a big crew of us racing today – made it into a real social occasion as well.

Hamstrings are a bit tight post race.

Official results show me as 17th overall out of 390 and 4th M40-44.  It's a pretty competitive age group with 6 of the first 20 in the race being M40-44 (all 6 between 9th and 20th).  Well done to Kev, Simon Elliott and Clown who all left me in their wake, especially Kev - normal service has been resumed it seems.

0:21 (.11km - Garmin measured the course at 10.11km for me but most guys Garmins had it at 10.24km).

Interestingly, I ran 36:59 for 10km this week and last week according to my Garmin and went through 5km in 18:06 both weeks as well.  Much more consistent pacing this week though with the 5km from 3-8km all within 1 sec of each other.  Average pace was slower than what I ran for 13.9km at the Run for a Reason in May, so there is a real need to get back to the type of training that produces results for me.

The Western Australian Synchronised Running Team in action

Courtesy of Dave Bryant (thanks!)

I have been back and reviewed the work outs I was doing before Bridges this year where I really surprised myself by running 35:54 as well as looking at what I have done in the lead up to races where I didn't do as well.

The common factor seems to be that when I have done well, I have been doing higher mileage including two medium long runs and a long run each week.  When I haven't done as well, it has generally been when I have specifically targeted the 10km or 5km distance and been running more speedwork in the form of intervals and tempo runs in the same week (ie two speed sessions per week).

So in the next few weeks leading up to the City to Surf, I am going to go back to what I feel most comfortable with - medium long runs on Monday or Tuesday, medium long run on Thursday sometimes including 8km tempo, 2 hour long run Saturday.  In between, recovery runs and some hill reps and occasional interval or Mona fartlek sessions.  I am going to try and get four runs a week beyond 80 minutes. 

I find medium long runs are much more enjoyable than intervals and I will continue to build some progression into them where possible so it won't be as if I am slacking off.  Getting the mileage up should also work well as I transition to marathon specific training at the start of October.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Interesting article on Single-Session Workouts for Marathoners

Single-Session Workouts for Marathoners -Why training once a day can work to your advantage

I found this very interesting.  I have often fretted about the fact that I have not been able to successfully incorporate "doubles" into my training schedules.  I had generally formed the view that it was one of the things, apart from a lack of natural ability, that was preventing further improvements in performances.

My training for the Perth marathon was almost solely singles and on reading this article, I think I can see why I had a successful marathon as a program based on singles seems to play to my strengths - ie endurance rather than speed, mental toughness and efficient fat burning at marathon pace.

So while I found this reassuring, I also found something very worthwhile in this article:

Marathon Performance Training Group’s elite coach Brad Hudson says the magic number to hit in a single run is 80 minutes. “A lot of the science shows that once you reach the 80-minute mark, there is a bigger benefit in endurance enzymes made.” Hudson notes that studies have shown that the differences of enzymatic production from 60 to 80 minutes are enormous.

Long singles also make you a stronger runner. The longer amount of time spent during one session increases the flow of blood to the muscles. Ligaments and tendons are strengthened; capillaries grow and more oxygen can be delivered to the working muscles. Additionally, completing training in singles allows the body more rest. “When you are doing singles, you are giving the body a full 24 hours of rest,” Hudson points out.
One of the things that has discouraged me from doing doubles has been the shortened recovery time between runs.  If I was 20 years younger, I wouldn't be concerned about this at all, but I haven't seen one reputable source/coach that recommends doubles for masters runners, basically because as you get older, you need more time to recover.

Anyway, here is a link to the article:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lake Joondalup 10km (State Road Racing Championship)

Found this heavy going from about 3-4km onwards. Although I have largely managed to avoid the illness in the rest of the family, I started getting a bit of crap on my chest on Friday. It was pretty dry though so I was hoping it would be OK but from about 3-4km I could feel it constricting my breathing which was quite heavy and raspy.

Felt OK in the warmup and for the first couple of kms although I was having to work a bit harder than I thought I would to maintain 3:30-3:32/km pace. My legs (calves) did not appreciate either the downhills or the uphills that were at the far end of the course. Definitely got some issues with my left lower leg. Through some foam rolling, I have managed to loosen up the tightmess that was pulling the tendon in my ankle but by the time we finished today, my left calf was so rock hard, it felt like it was going to burst out of my skin. Wore compression socks for the rest of Sunday and also Monday but might look to get a massage sometime this week.

Sugar was pacing me although I was unable to maintain the pace we had agreed on and he considerately stuck with me thoroughout. Dave Bryant ran a well paced race, passing me around 3.5km and opening up a bit of gap which increased from 5km onwards. 36:30 for him which was a PB.

Relatively pleased with my last km in 3:29 given how I was feeling as I made up some ground and passed two runners, one of whom has been close to me in quite a few races over the past couple of years. Little bit disappointed I didn’t push on harder once I got past them as that would have got me under 37:00 instead of 37 flat. No idea where I came overall, Marc See won in 31 something.

Even though I was well outside what I wanted to run, this is still my 2nd fastest 10km so it isn’t a complete disaster, given that I was feeling a bit off. Still planning to run Run for Gold this coming Sunday so hopefully I will throw off this cough by the middle of the week and have something better to report next time.

10km - 37:00

Thursday, July 14, 2011

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Craig Mottram/Collis Birmingham - 5000m Diamond League, Birmingham - 10 July

Only managed to find a video of the last half of the race without English commentary online.

Also read this recent article/interview:


Sunday, July 3, 2011

A couple of easy weeks post marathon and video of Craig Mottram 1500m from Uden, Netherlands

I have had a couple of easy weeks post marathon. Only ran twice in the first week (Thursday, Saturday) for 14km and four times this week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday) for 51.4km.

On Saturday , I did a controlled Mona Fartlek and averaged 3:47/km for the workout with the harder reps at around 3:28-3:30/km pace.

I'm planning on doing 6 days this week. Forecast is for cold, fine mornings - I'm just looking forward to getting out there and getting back into my routine.

Big congratulations to Sugar on his 1:14 half marathon at Gold Coast. 3:30/km avg pace is a cracking pace so I'm looking forward to hearing all about it.