15 August 2010

Good (training) and Bad (race) - Redux

Monday (long tempo):
2k warm up
24k long tempo run at MP in 1h:42m (av 4:16min/km)
3k cool down
Total 29k in 2h:09m (av 4:28 min/km)

A combination of empty streets due to public holiday (National Day) and cool weather (25c, 80% humidity) made it a perfect timing to do a long tempo run. Decided to run at MP 'effort', instead of sticking to a fixed pace for the whole duration of the run. I started with an open mind that even 4:30min/km is still considered as an MP effort The route is mostly flat but had a few undulations here and there, hence the reasons for uneven pace. Splits were: 4:19, 4:13, 4:17, 4:17, 4:15, 4:14, 4:17, 4:24, 4:16, 4:21, 4:09, 4:18, 4:27, 4:21, 4:15, 4:18, 4:13, 4:14, 4:14, 4:14, 4:18, 4:15, 4:11, 4:00. I was very surprised that how a conservative mindset helps me to finish strong. About half of the splits were sub or at 4:15 min/km (20ks under 4:20), with 4:27 being the slowest. Pretty much a continuous run, except for a couple of 60secs break at km 10 and 17 for gel and drinks (time excluded). Covered 57% of marathon distance at (almost) goal pace, but don't know whether I can handle another 18k. Will try another one nearer to the D-day to further hone-in goal MP.

Tuesday (rest):
OFF. Travel to Jakarta for work.

Wednesday (easy):
10k easy (av 5:10 min/km)
including 4 x 15secs uphill sprints

Felt crap. I think Monday's long MP run which was preceeded by 35k on Saturday took a lot out of me.

Thursday (semi-long run):
21k in 1h:40m (av 4:44 min/km)
consisting of 1 hour easy + light fartlek + cool down

Cool but super humid weather. Ran 12k easy in about 60mins (5:00 pace), followed by a light fartlek: 3 x (2mins @ 4:25, 4:05, 3:55) with 2mins rec, then 3k cool down. Covered 4.6k during the 19mins of fartlek work (av 4:07 pace). A nice, little way to add some quality into the medium long run without taxing the body too much.

Friday (easy):
10k easy (av pace 5:15 min/km)
including 5 strides

Saturday (rest):

Sunday (race/tempo):
3.6k warm up
12.5k Waterfront Scramble, 51:15 (av 4:05 min/km)
3.8k cool down
Total 20k in 93mins (av 4:40)

Was hoping to use the race as Army Half Marathon dress rehearsal with a target pace of 4:00 (84-85mins half), but even after the down week, legs were still not fresh. Forgot to autolap Garmin so no km splits. But from memory, my pace average 4:00 for the first 5k, then 4:02 for the 10k, then had side stitch which slowed me down in the last 3k. I wasn't tired but the legs just didn't want to move fast. Based on this result, even a sub-87min local HM is mighty hard. Ran on my own for almost the whole race since the top guys (including Kenyan couple) were so far in front of me and there was nobody running ay my pace. Finished ahead of Trudy Fawcett (2.55 marathon and represented Great Britain in World Triathlon Champs) who was on comeback trail after injury. She adviced me to improve my biomechanics since my gait is not quick & light off the ground. She could hear the sound of my footstrikes even from half a mile away :(

90k for the week (down week) in 5 runs with 1 good workout and 1 crap race. After increasing mileage to 105-109km in last 2 weeks, I decided to make this week as a recovery week. Mileage was less, but the intensity was higher - hmm..wondering whether is this a real recovery week ????

The obvious highlight is 24k tempo at 4:16 pace (with only 2x1min drink breaks). I think to have a chance for sub-3, I need to run at 4:13 pace or faster in the first half (89mins), so 4.16 for 24k without taper and the fact I wasn't wasted at the end of the run, means I still have a shot (maybe small) at it. Sunday's race turned out to be another disappointment, which further re-affirmed the fact that I am better at training. But if I think from a workout perspective, it was a decent tempo workout and I should be ready to roll again in the next couple of days. One positive thing is that 41k of my fastest miles (45%) this week averaged 4:12 min/km - which is the most I've done in this cycle.

8 weeks to go. My plan from this point is to train hard in the next 3 weeks, then run the Army Half Marathon, followed by another 2 weeks of hard training, then finally 2 weeks of taper.


Mahesh Natarajan said...

Sling ... looks like you are finding form as Melbourne approaches ... wish you all the best !!

Clown said...

Another solid week with some good running there. Not a recovery week.

Treat the race as a quicker than MP effort.

Be interested to hear what was said, if anything about ways to improve the biomechanics, I slap a bit with my feet as well.

trailblazer777 said...

for sure that is an excellent 24k long tempo or medium run...awesome...another one or maybe a couple more of those in a few weeks time just a little bit faster should give you lots of confidence for a sub 3 smashing. On the right track. Rome wasn't built in a day, and an effort like that surely would have blunted any racing effort on the weekend a bit. That sort of run takes a while to recover properly from, which is where the taper kicks in the proper or full recovery in the last 2 weeks for the big peak. Can only expect partial recovery at this stage. I also have a way too heavy footstrike... remember watching susannah Harvey-Jamieson (21st in the 217km Badwater Ultra this year, 46 degree heat and 3 mountain ranges to cross) doing 12 hour race in Perth this year (I was doing the 6 hour), and at one point she switched into a on your toes extremely light footstrike running mode...For sure Ultra-world is a different game, but maybe (or maybe not) a relevant principles to learn there Also a lot of talk lately on coolrunning and elsewhere about midfoot/running on your toes, barefoot running and minimalist running...biomechanics improvements probably a big part of the differnece between 2.40/2.50 and 2.30 or better.
Well done on the 24k, the race, and the slower 21k. Go hard in the up weeks.

by7 said...

a cheer and a suggestion...

A) you are for sure 100% ready to run below 3h00 in any marathon.
If you can run at 4'16" in Singapore, running at 4'10" in cool weather will be like jog.
Now do not pull the rope too much...

B) the 2 best things to improve the gait (IMO)
B.1: throw away all the heavy trainers and use only lightweight trainer (280grams and below). So the feet MUST work well
B.2: buy a cadence sensor for your Garmin and try to force your cadence up during your easy run.
If you see 83, try to run at 85 keeping the same speed... after a while it will become natural

kamikaze runner said...

awesome timings! regarding the side stiches, sometimes during the end of a hard run and especially if i'm going anaerobic, i will get stiches. Usually but not always, right after the stiches, i can feel that my whole body has reached its limit (totally fatigue legs, poor turnover) maybe the stiches is a sign but i'm not sure. i'm trying to find out why too as its quite frustrating especially when you know you still have some more left in the tank.

Ewen said...

That's a good week. The 24k run was excellent, and agree with by7 that's worth 4:10s all the way in cool conditions.

I'd agree that 90k/higher intensity isn't a 'recovery week'. That mileage isn't significantly less. 75k would give you more recovery.

Maybe you're overstriding slightly? Do you land on your heels? Probably not the best time to make wholesale form changes. Could bring on injuries if you get it wrong. Maybe after Melbourne.