"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 31, 2012

Melbourne Marathon training week 7 and State team selection

Earlier this week I received an email notifying me that I had been selected in the WA State team for the Australian Marathon Championships being held in conjunction with the Melbourne Marathon.  I am really excited to have been selected and it will definitely provide me with any extra motivation I might need to get out for a second run after work.

Here is the team from the email I received:

Chris O’Neil
Adam Martin
Gerard Hill
Simon Ward
Kevin Matthews
Tim Oborne

Lauren Shelley
Tina Major
Nera Jareb
Visnja Jareb
Jodie Oborne
Rochelle Youngson 

The first three finishers "count" for the purposes of determining the placings of the teams in the Championship so it would take one of our very good top three to have a bad day and for me to have a very good day to see me count.

I had a really good week training-wise last week.  143km for the week with medium long runs of 24km and 21km on Tuesday and Thursday.  On Monday I ran 17km with 9km a tempo effort.  I started with a 5km warmup then into what was planned to be an 8km tempo.

For some reason, after about 6km my Garmin stopped autolapping and would go to a different screen at the end of each km.  As a result, I intially thought it had reset to 0 and had re-started.  Decided to run to the next full km and it turned out it hadn't reset and that the km took me to 9km @ tempo.  3km jog home.

Average pace for the 9km was 3:40/km and I felt very comfortable aerobically and overall pace of the run was 4:07/km (ie inc warmup and cooldown) compared to 4:11 last time.

Good session.

Double runs on Monday and Tuesday but missed one on Wednesday.  Singles on Thursday and Friday as I rested up a bit for a hard marathon specific long run on Saturday, although I did do some strides on Friday morning.

On Saturday, I ran 13km @ 4:30/km then 19km @ 3:50/km before a 2km jog home.

Pretty cold at the start and I was regretting not wearing gloves as my hands were freezing, especially my left thumb which I broke about 20 yrs ago so maybe the circulation is not as good as it was really painful.  Took until about 7km before they started to thaw out.

First 13km felt very comfortable and I held myself back a bit.  I had a stop for a gel and a drink then ran about 600m to start the MP section at the start of a km.

MP workout was very similar to the 16km one I did a couple of weeks ago except it did not feel hard early.  Had to focus and concentrate to maintain pace in the middle and then work hard over the last couple especially as they were back into the wind.  I had another gel 40mins into the 19km

Pulled up really well from this run which was a real confidence booster.  I am at a stage where I am getting confident in my fitness and in my training program.  My pacing and my marathon specific work is very much based on Renato Canova's training philosophies.  One of the hard MP runs I have planned is 4 x 6km @ MP with 1km @ 4:15 between each rep but after watching this video I may change it to 4 x 5km + 3km.

This week will be another pretty high mileage week with some speedwork on Friday and maybe a hilly long run on Saturday with half an eye on City to Surf at the end of August.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Melbourne marathon training - week 6 (recovery week)

120 km this past week. No doubles this week, although I did intend to but we went to the Art Gallery to see the Picasso to Warhol exhibition and stayed on in Northbridge for dinner.

Monday - I ran 16km with some strides. 10 x approx 110m which felt better as they went along. In the evening, I did a short km warm up and then about 8 short steep hill sprints with Ben.

Tuesday - a slightly cut back medium long run of 21km. Came back a bit quicker than I went out. 

Wednesday - a short lap of the Bridges (11km).

Thursday - regular medium long run with Rob. A little slower (4.32/km)and a little shorter (19.5km) this week.

Friday - 14km consisting of a 6.8km run @ 4:25/km avg pace then 10 x hill repeats at a controlled pace apart from the last one which I pushed a bit harder. 2km cool down. Felt really good on the repeats and felt like I could have gone for a decent run afterwards.

Saturday - 26.2km @ 4:16/km. Didn't plan this but ran the second part quite a bit quicker than the first without ever getting out of a steady pace. Averaged 4:04-4:05/km for the last 6km.

Sunday - 8.3km recovery run then ran the line at Ben's game.

Tomorrow will be an early tempo run and then a recovery run in the afternoon. I am aiming to get three doubles in this week with my medium long runs back out to 24 and 21km. Next Saturday's long run will be 34km with 19km @ marathon pace.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Melbourne Marathon training - week 5

141km this week and by the end of the week I felt like I have made some real progress over the past month.

As mentioned in my previous post, on Monday, I did 16km with 8km tempo. Although I felt ok when I headed out I just didn't crack it with the tempo run. Felt comfortable aerobically but just not the pace I was after. No excuses with the conditions either which were perfect, cool/cold and no wind. Averaged 3:43/km which is the slowest session of the past few weeks.

Interestingly though my overall pace for the 16km was the quickest at 4:11/km (compared to 4:14/km) mainly due to a quicker cool down. I think the problem may be that my aerobic strength is ahead of my muscular strength. I have been a bit slack on doing my strides and this won't have helped. Also just a bit generally tired both from training and slightly reduced sleep from watching the TdF.

So I am making an effort to get more sleep and try to fit in more strides. I have succeeded on the first aspect despite Tour de France watching but not on the second as yet.

Tuesday morning was a 24km medium long run. I spent about 15 minutes in bed after the alarm went off hoping it would stop raining ... it didn't. Made for a pretty dark and miserable start but the rain stopped about 10km in and as it got lighter, I seemed to naturally pick up the pace. Average pace for the first 12km was 4:34/km brought down to an overall average pace of 4:28/km by the end. 3-4km were around 4:10 so not quick but enough to feel like I had extended myself.

Double recovery runs on Wednesday and Friday and the usual medium long run with Rob on Thursday. On Saturday here was no netball due to school holidays so I was able to head out a bit later than normal at around 8am for key long run - 34km with 16km at marathon pace. First 16km @ average 4:28/km then 16km @ MP. Had some ups and downs during the MP section. Got to around 3km and thought there is no way I am going to be able to maintain this for another 13km and then a km later I was going at 3:46.

Managed to average 3:49/km for the MP section before a slow 2km jog home.

One good thing about Strava is the comparisons it makes with previous performances. Because my Houston Marathon is on Strava, it has pretty much been my benchmark for anything over 10km so it was pretty encouraging to have a 15km PR come up from my run on Saturday 57:22 just beating the 57:36 I ran in the middle of the Houston Marathon (my real 15km PR is 55:34 from Deepwater Point last year although I hadn't run 16km before running that).

So I am tracking well against my preparation for Houston with my current MP runs averaging just under 3:50/km compared to 3:52/3:53 in my Houston program.

Spent most of the afternoon on the couch watching the Diamond League from London with a great performance by Collis Birmingham in the 5000m. Here is a video of the last couple of laps - not great quality and the commentary is in Chinese but it was all I could find online.


Here is a much better quality video of the mile race. Nick Willis has been saying on Twitter that he feels as if he had backed off to 60 secs on the third lap he could have closed with a 58sec for the win, instead of 62 secs for 4th.

This week for me will be a slightly down week after 5 weeks of building up. Strides planned for Monday and some hill intervals for Friday.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Melbourne Marathon training - week 4

Another 135km week.

It should have been about 140km but I had to cut my AM and PM recovery runs short on Friday due to time constraints. I don't think it did me any harm but I do like to see the mileage going up.

It was a successful week running wise as I got some good quality in.

On the Monday I did my 8km tempo run.  I wasn't as fresh for this as I hoped I would be. Saturday's long run with David was a bit harder than planned and the start of the Tour de France has impacted on sleep quantity slightly. I think I will have to ration my viewing for the big mountain stages as the sprint finish stages are like watching basketball (ie you only have to watch the last 5 minutes).
Felt very comfortable early on the tempo section but as usual it got harder around the Narrows. I need to find a better loop, maybe I will head out to Lake Monger one morning.

So in the end this tempo was was pretty similar to last week. Averaged 3:39-3:40/km for the 8km.

On Tuesday I did a 24km medium long run. Ran the first 12km @ 4:24/km average pace then ran an 11km progression before 1km jog home. Haven't worked out average pace of the progression but overall pace was down to 4:16/km by 23km. Ran the last km of the 11k @ MP but at 3:47 it turned out to be quicker than MP which was pretty encouraging.

Wednesday was a double recovery run and then on Thursday I did the regular 21km medium long run around the Bridges with Rob. We ran a bit quicker this week than last week, although it still felt easy and conversational at an average pace of 4:30/km. We picked it up a bit from the flagpole but stopped for a quick chat with Simon E and then I never really got going again.

Double recovery on Friday and then long run Saturday. The long run ended up being a negative split. I didn't set out with the intention of doing this but after running around 4:30/km pace on the way out I slowly picked it up on the way back and ran the last 16km at around 4:15/km average pace with the last full km @ MP. Recovery run on Sunday before Ben's soccer.

This morning (Monday) I had a pretty average tempo run. I ran 16km with 8km at tempo as I have been doing over the past few weeks. Felt Ok but just didn't crack it with the tempo run. Felt comfortable aerobically but just not the pace I was after. No excuses with the conditions either. Averaged 3:43/km which is the slowest session of the past few weeks. Interestingly even though the tempo was slower, my overall pace for the 16km was quicker at 4:11/km (compared to 4:14/km) mainly due to a quicker cool down. I think the problem may be that my aerobic strength is ahead of my muscular strength. I have been a bit slack on doing (or more accurately, not doing) my strides and this won't have helped. Also I'm just a bit generally tired both from training and slightly reduced sleep from watching the TdF.

So - more sleep and more strides is the plan this week but it gets hard when the Tour moves into the mountains as I think that is when it most resembles running as a competition and that is when it is the best to watch.

This afternoon I went into The Running Centre and picked up a couple of tickets to the showing of Town Of Runners on 25 July. $20 a ticket from the Running Centre. Looks like a great movie. Here is the trailer:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Melbourne Marathon training - week 3

135km this week

Monday - 16km with 8km @ tempo.  I had this scheduled so went through with it even though I was a bit worried it was too close to Saturday's hard effort.

I  felt OK - would like to be running quicker but I am feeling more controlled at this pace than a few weeks back so there is some improvement efficiency wise at least.

Pace slowed a bit over the last 4kms which was also when I was running over the Narrows and then into the wind.  Averaged 3:39 so at least I made my goal of under 3:40.

I have adjusted my program so that I will run a tempo run against this coming Monday after an ordinary (ie not MP) long run and then fortnightly after that (on the off weeks from the MP long runs).

Medium long runs on Tuesday and Thursday (23km and 20km) with double easy/recovery runs on Wednesday and Friday.

On Saturday morning I had a fantastic long run with Dave.  Cold, dark run up to Zamia Cafe in Kings Park to meet up for a 6.30am departure as Dave only wanted to run 22km.  9.32km to Zamia, some of which was pretty slow as I picked my way down the Green Mile in the dark despite having a light on my cap.

Then we ran out to City Beach and back pretty much along the City to Surf course at a pretty honest pace.  Dave had us at 1:27 for the half marathon and we finished at 3:45/km pace.  Overall 30.5km 4:17/km.

Felt really good, just rolling through.  Recovery run this morning and hoping to back up for a good tempo run again tomorrow.  Conditions should be perfect so I hope to improve on last week's effort.

Mirage 2
Cracked out new shoes this week, both Kinvaras and Mirages.  It always feels good to be running in new shoes and there is nothing better than a new pair of Kinvaras.
Kinvara 2
I still have a few new pairs of Kinvara 2s to get through before I move on to the recently released Kinvara 3 which I am really looking forward to.