Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 8 of 20 - 2 Outstanding performances neither of them mine.

This week was a poor training week for me personally. Only 3 runs and 19 miles.

1 x Easy paced 10k
1 x Easy paced 5 Miler
1 x Slog of a 7.5 miler.

Body was tired and aching this week. Busy week at work and I had a drink and dinner offer Friday night and was unavailable for training Sunday so my opportunities to run were more limited. My right leg isn't quite right, and can't quite put my finger on it. I think it is a tight right calf, but I'm limping a bit, particularly the morning after a run day. Think I need a trip to the physio! So a lost week of training really, but hopefully I will have recharged my batteries somewhat and can hit some good mileage and sessions next week.

The focus of this week though were the Thunder Run and the Outlaw Iron Distance Triathlon. I had Pete at the Thunder Run running solo and unfortunately with the nature of not being able to be in two places at once I was unable to cheer him on. He performed brilliantly in my absence, thankfully having better weather than we got last year and did 20 laps, 200km (125 miles) in 24 hours. Dealing with injuries as well as all the other things that come with a 24 hour endurance race to finish in 2nd place as he did last year. A victory for him will come one year soon I'm sure.

The other event namely the Outlaw Triathlon was the event that I got up close and personal with. I didn't have to do much myself apart from sleep very little and drive quite a lot and cheer. Luke performed brilliantly in all 3 disciplines, a 1:17 swim, a sub 6:30 bike and a 4:50 marathon along with some transitions he made it home in 12:50, in excess of 3 hours quicker than my effort from 2012. It was an epic performance and just a massive day, thankfully I had booked Monday off work to recover but even after spending two hours in the medical tent Luke still found the energy to get himself to work the next day. Puts us mortals to shame!

Plenty of inspiration and motivation gained from watching Luke perform so well and dig deep when it really got tough. Hopefully use that as fuel going forward with just 12 weeks to go till Chelmsford Marathon.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 7 of 20 - Corner Turned?

Very pleasing weeks training. 30 miles run in 4 runs.

1 x Yasso 800 intervals
1 x 5 Mile Tempo
1 x 10km easy
1 x 2 hour run (13.34 miles)

I have got a new structure to my training, namely 3 x hard sessions a week with one and if I'm very lucky 2 easy paced runs. I've felt for a while that I am training too easy a lot of the time, hoping for monster mileage and to get quicker that way. The big mileage has never quite come and the effort has still felt quite high as I often run at the end of a long day at work and not properly fuelled.

The hard runs can be intervals, tempo, hills, parkrun or a long-run. Also in weeks where I have a race I may not do any other hard sessions and focus on easy paced stuff to get me to the start line fresh and firing.

My first go at Yasso 800's had me doing 6 sets and I managed to hold 3:35-3:45 with the same amount of time to recover. I will look to build this up to 10 sets. It was a really tough session, but with the constant clock and distance watching the time flew.

The tempo run was also a success, needed sub 5 minute km's at least and hit 4:45 or quicker through the 5 miles.

The easy run was anything but and felt like a struggle for large parts, but I got it done.

The most successful run however was my Sunday evening long run. After a busy weekend and waiting till the storm had passed I went out at gone 7pm and made a point of keeping my efforts steady. Managed to keep it pretty relaxed throughout and average heart rate was 149 bpm which was pleasing. Pace hovered around 9minute miles but I wasn't too worried I just wanted the run to feel comfortable. Just over a Half Marathon in 2 hours was a very pleasing result, and I felt I had plenty more in me.

Another busy work week and weekend coming up, so think 4 runs will be the maximum I will squeeze in. I think it might just be a tempo run and a 15 miler with the other runs being gentle recovery runs.

So perhaps some progress being made, but we will only really know when I race next. Which might be a parkrun in a fortnights time, watch this space.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 6 of 20 - Not Fast 10k In More Ways Than One - Kick up the Butt!

Disappointing race today at the notfast 10k. Managed to walk for 30 seconds or so which is never encouraging in a 10k race.

The course was good and the event well run. Made it down nice and early so could get our number and settle in before the off.

The race wasn't chip timed and so the official time was going to be the gun and if I was to stand any chance of chasing down Joe's 43:40 I was going to need every second and so plonked myself in row 2 at the front of the race.

I went out fast as is my norm, the course also meant I wanted to be near the front as I feared the path would be narrow and so make overtaking difficult. In the event the path was wide enough to easily run two abreast and so there was a steady flow of runners easing past me as I tried to slow myself down from the initial 3:45km to finally end the first km in 4:04.

I was looking at 4:20's to run it in 43:20 or so and I settled myself down and managed to run at that pace for the next 3 km. I was working too hard though and the route was gently downhill and I think probably wind with for that period.

The effort stayed high in the 5th km and the pace dropped significantly, the wind now in my face as we ran on the busy main road. Up the one big hill on the course to top out at 6km and thus another slow km.

I was fried now, my ambitious target pace and early efforts left me shattered at the top. I gave in and walked for 30 seconds or so to get my heart rate down and to give my heavy legs some time to recover.

We then turned left and thankfully there was a good downhill to get me running again. The running managed to bring the pace down to just over 5min km and it was then just a case of hanging in there for the return to the rugby club for the final 3km.

All thoughts of time were well out the window and it was just about getting myself to the line in one piece and I did manage a sprint of sorts for our travelling supporters.

Picked up my bandana/buff and a cup of squash and waited for Dad to bring it home. Was really pleased that he got himself a surprise PB and he can now tell anyone that will listen that he is a grizzly bear :-)

A disappointing day for me personally, but 45mins on an undulating course is probably about right at the minute.

The event was great and the course did feel net downhill for most of it (starts and finishes at the same place so obviously its net flat), but with the wind, the one significant hill and some other undulations it broke me.

Hope this race is the kick up the butt I need to get me out the door 5/6 times a week and to hit 40+ miles regularly. 14 weeks till the marathon :-s

Km Splits:
1) 4:04
2) 4:21
3) 4:17
4) 4:20
5) 4:34
6) 4:52
7) 5:02
8) 4:40
9) 4:38
10) 4:23

Aside from today's race I managed 3 other runs and a total mileage for the week of 21 miles.

The other 3 runs I did were as follows:

1 x Steady 5 Miler
1 x Steady 10k
1 x Rubbish 4 miler day before the race.

So a disappointing week in my Marathon prep, but hopefully the low point before a steep positive climb all the way to the big one at Chelmsford in October.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 5 of 20 - Tired and Niggling

Sorry for the delay in getting the blog up. It was a tough week, my body was aching and complaining from different parts, was also heavy legged and tired on a lot of my runs.

I did manage 4 runs and 26.5 miles

1 - Intervals -2K Warm Up, 4 x 800m tempo 400m recover, 1km Warm Down
1 - Medium Long Run - 10 Miler
1 - 10km Steady
1 - 5 Mile Progressive

So a couple of quality sessions in there. But the long run was a real struggle and I was waiting for it to finish for much of the run. Next week will be light as I try to let my body recover in the hopes of being fresh and firing on Sunday for the 10km race. Then I need to refocus on my Marathon training and start to nail some bigger than Half Marathon long runs!