"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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Recovery week (134km)

I took a step back last week after 5 weeks of ratcheting up the mileage and dropped back to 134km. Given that 134km was a big week for me during my last marathon training segment, it felt very comfortable coming down from 150km.

The reduction came from dropping one of my double days, minor reductions to my mid week medium long runs and reducing the Sunday long run to 26.5km. Apart from a slightly uptempo mdium long run with Simon Elliott on Wednesday (we always seem to go slightly quicker than either of us actually planned to and also doing some strides on Tuesday, all of my runs last week were very much in the "easy" bracket.

Right back into it this week with three double days, 24k and 21km medium long runs midweek and also a 3 x 3km interval session with Simon and the BT RunClub on Tuesday. My program had me down for an 8km tempo that morning but I am substituting the 3 x 3km with half an eye on the John Gilmour 10,000m on 4 November as I would like to try to run a 10km PB that night.

Great results at the Rottnest Marathon on the weekend with 6 guys going sub 3hrs on a pretty warm and windy day (isn't it always at Rottnest ...?)  Not sure if I will ever try Rottnest again.  I can't see myself ever doing more than 2 marathons a year and I'm not sure I want to waste one on course which is so slow.   Credit to those who go and smash it out over there year after year.  I like Rotto for a holiday and for training but racing, no thanks.

I have put some videos and a link below. The first video shows what I thought was the new Saucony Cortana that I reviewed a few weeks back but I since found out is the new Guide 5. As the video shows, there is a reduced heel to toe ratio (8%) compared to what has usually been the norm (12%). This is still more than the Kinvara (4%), but I am enjoying the Cortana as a more supportive shoe on days when I don't want to go too hard. Not to say that it is heavy, but it is heavier relative to the Kinvara.

One of the blogs I follow is Reid Coolsaet's "Float On". Coolsaet is the top Canadian marathon runner and last weekend booked his spot at the London Olympics with 2:10 performance in Toronto. This is a really good 1 hour highlights package with a profile piece included as well. It is an example of how good a marathon highlights package can be compared to the crap that we get dished up after the Perth City to Surf each year.


One of the highlights of our trip to Houston in January will be the opportunity to watch the USA Men's and Women's Olympic Marathon trials on a multi loop course the day before. This video is the trailer for an upcoming online series profiling some of the runners and their training as they prepare for the Trials.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


152km this week. Would have been slightly more but I completely forgot to go for my afternoon run on Tuesday.  Sammie was having a sleepover at her cousin's house and Rox, Ben and I went to a movie - The Hunter with Willem Dafoe.  It is set in the Tasmanian wilderness and is spectacular - so much so that we have started making tentative plans for a Tasmanian holiday next year.

I got some great quality running in this week amongst the volume.  On Tuesday I did 18.5km including an 8km tempo.  4km warm up which was to the car park just over the Causeway then 8km tempo which was 6km out to UWA and 2km back to the Brewery.  

McMillan gives my tempo pace as 3:34-3:40 and I managed this for the first 6km but blew out a bit over the last couple of km which were back into the wind, although there was a bit of fatigue in there too.  Didn’t want to push to hard over tempo effort even though the pace had dropped. Average pace for the tempo was 3:42/km.

Easy run home for the last 8.55km.

Pretty happy with this effort given where I am at with volume at the moment and also compared to my last temp effort which was more in the 3:50 range for the whole 8km. 

On Wednesday, I caught up with Simon Elliott for our first run since he got back from Berlin.  Met up down the bottom of Hurlingham and set off on a clockwise three bridges loop although I was going a bit further.  Even though we were having a good conversation we got into a groove at a nice pace around 4:07/km which continued on until we separated at the Windan Bridge.

I carried on to the Peninsula golf course and kept the same pace up until after I crossed the Windan on the way back.  Hit a headwind and decided I didn’t want to feel like I was pushing so backed off.  Noticed that I still went through what would be a half marathon in 1:28:30 so it was an honest pace which ended up being 4:13/km for the whole run despite the slower kms towards the end.

Easy running after then including catching up with Rob on Thursday and then 21km on Friday.  Got a bit of niggle in my groin (left) which bothered me for a couple of days but with just easy running and some anti inflamms it was ok by Sunday.

For this morning's long run I ran 16km out in 1:13 (4:35/km) and then 16km back to just past the big flagpole. Had to work hard over the last 5km – one particularly slow km in there 4:00 which was coming back up over the Windan Bridge and where the easterly made it feel like you were in wind tunnel.  First couple of km were probably a little quick so I was pleased to average 3:54/km against a target of 3:55/km.

My overall assessment is that I didn’t feel like I could maintain this pace for a marathon but I don’t think that is the point of this workout at this stage of my program – it is more about teaching my body to burn fuel efficiently at marathon pace.

Took one Burner gel at the 16km turnaround before I started and then a Smart 1 gel after about 9km into the MP section.  The Smart 1 gel contains caffeine and I think this provided a good boost.  The Science in Sport gels are an isotonic solution which is runnier than normal gels which means that you do not need to take them with water which is good when you don’t have access to a drink and don’t want to have to stop at drink fountain.

Good to get this in the bank.  When I did a similar run on May 28 before the Perth Marathon I did it in 63:12 (3:57/km pace). 

Bit of a recovery week this week to consolidate the work so far.  Think I will also get a massage during the week.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Two big weeks

146km and 147km over the last two weeks.  Mostly easy running in the Canova fundamental range of 80-90% of marathon pace although I have mixed a bit of quality work in there.

Workouts have included 8km tempo as part of a 16km run, some progression runs as part of my mid week medium long runs and some 10 x 110m stride sessions.

Last weeks long run was 29km, today's was 32km.

On Thursday my medium long run was 21.1km which I ran in 1:29.  Ran easy on the way out and picked it up on the way back progressively over the last 10km.  Initially I just increased my cadence without significantly increasing effort but over the last 5km I continued the progression, especially when I realised that I was on track to run under 1:30 for 21.1km.  Last 10km progressed from 4:08 down to 3:56/km which is basically MP.

On today's long run I don’t know whether it was the harder run on Friday or just general fatigue and a bit of a headwind but the run on the way out of this out and back run was feeling a bit harder than I thought it should.

It was very nice then to feel pretty comfortable coming back a bit quicker.  First 16km was average 4:30/km, last 16km was 4:18/km.

I have been using some different nutrition products from Science in Sport including gels, isotonic, carbohydrate and recovery drinks.  You can get to their website from the link in the sidebar.  Today I used a Burner Gel for the first time.  It contains 1g of carnitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA).  Carnitine has been shown to facilitate the movement of fatty acids into the mitochondria, which burn fatty acids to make energy.

Here is a link to the product information: http://www.scienceinsport.com.au/product_info.asp?sport=84

I was supposed to go over 150km this week but fell short as I didn’t do my second run on Thursday.  I suspected this would be the case as we had our niece staying with us.  I took my gear to work but got caught up and didn’t get out as I hoped around 4.30pm.
Happy enough with consolidating with this week in the 140s following last week which was around the same. 

Calf and hamstring all good, some minor stiffness in my back but pretty happy with how I am travelling at the moment.  I seem to be having a good patch while my mates are struggling so hopefully we will all be on track again soon.

Looking forward to the first Glory game of the season this afternoon and the live streaming of the Chicago marathon tonight.