Saturday, 26 September 2009

W6KW#2 - Tempo Run

Six weeks to go to the marathon on Sunday - definitely starting to get a bit nervous. Tonights run called for
  • 1 mile easy
  • 5 miles medium tempo (9m 28s per mile)
As usual, I didn't follow that! It was a struggle to get out in the first place, but got out around 10pm and took the first km easy enough. I knew I'd "only" 10km to do, which would have been a fair bit a year ago, but these days I'd consider it my "comfortable" distance - I can keep an intense effort up for this distance, without suffering like I do in the longer runs staying focused.

I picked the pace up over the next few km's and was feeling good - I was considering pushing for a 5km pb, but decided against it about 4km in and eased off a bit. Thankfully the run up to around 6km was out of town (given it was after 10km on a Friday night and the students seem to be back in Cambridge for the new term).

Running through town was actually a bit tough - I usually find it a bit easier as there's generally people milling around, stuff happening, etc., compared to the quieter roads I start off on. However, tonight went the opposite way - too many people, drunk, on phones (and hence not looking where they're going), spilling out onto the road, being cheered on by muppets, etc., etc.!

So like I say, the last two miles were tough but thankfully kept the pace up and finished up doing 10.12km in 56m 36s (5m 36s per km) - for anyone that's been following this blog for a bit might realise that's easily a new (unofficial) PB. Not sure what my previous PB was (official or unofficial) but I'm happy to say this comfortably beats it - I crossed the 10km mark according to ST in 55m 54s - I definitely think a 55 minute 10k is on the cards at some stage.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

W7KW#3 - Long Run

Plan for last weekends run called for 13 miles at my marathon pace + 15s per mile (approx 10m 25s or 6m 31s per km). For various reasons, I didn't get a chance to go out for a run until this evening, which isn't really good enough, but that's life.

I'd been out for a cycle at lunch as well, but was determined to get at least 10 miles in this evening, ideally beating my 1hr 50m non-stop run last week and \ or it's 11.25 mile distance. Ideally, I'd run the full 13 miles or at least 20km if possible.

Set off deliberately slow to try and achieve these aims and thankfully did. Really started to struggle (mentally more than physically) after 40 mins or so. Really tried to play mind games with myself to spur myself on - the one I settled on was splitting the run into 3 x 40 minute chunks:
  1. first "easy" one - knew I could easily do the time \ distance - absolutely no challenge
  2. second "tough" one - tough in the sense it's be the most boring section. It starts getting tougher, but been there, done it all before.
  3. third "goal" one - the last 40 mins which was where the sessions goals are - getting used to being on the feet for a long time.
Made it into the final section and was starting to get tired, despite the slower pace. Started counting down the minutes and eventually got to my previous time PB - though still a bit of distance wise. Figured at this point I still was good for the full distance (or at least the 20km), but bang on the 2hr mark I lost all energy (or was it willpower).

Still, quite happy with the run. Ran through some nice areas of Cambridge that I hadn't seen before - Claire College in particular, very nice at night. Can't find a pic online but I'll defo be going that way again.

Overall done 18.57km in 2hrs 01m (avg. 6m 31s per km - bang on target).

Saturday, 19 September 2009

W7KW#2 - Tempo Run

The plan called for 10 miles at PMP (projected marathon pace) which is 10m 13s per mile. I got back from work a bit late and was a bit hungry, so a 1hr 40m run didn't really appeal, so I left the house thinking I'd give it a go and see how I got on.

Set off at a pretty fast pace, initially aiming to do two miles fast, followed by an easy mile and repeat as necessary. First two miles went great, averaging 8m 56s for the distance. Dropped back the pace a bit, but still took 9m 32s for the next mile before upping it again.

Mile four was pretty tough (9m 01s) and I finally cracked half way though mile five - I came to a darkish section and just decided to stop. It's a bit disappointing, but still happy enough with the run up to that (7.43km in 42m 27s - 9m 9s per mile).

A brief walk and I cracked on again. This time the aim was to keep the pace up and decide when I got close to home whether to extend the run a bit. In the end, I settled for a 10.09km run (which got me to my doorstep) in 58m 05s - another sub 1hr 10k! Garmin reckoned I crossed the 10km point at 57m 36s, so don't think it's quite a PB but very close.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

W8KW#3 - Long Run

Once again, failed to get out for a (long) run at the weekend, so defaulted to Monday night. Plan for the long run was 16 miles at MP + 30-45s, so for me that's 10m 43s to 10m 58s per mile.

Set off, same as last week determined not to look at the Garmin for as long as possible. Another tactic I used was to take a different route than normal, so I didn't know the distances at certain landmarks just to keep me on my toes. As I wasn't using the GPS, just set off at what felt like a normal pace and let the body dictate.

The route was pretty un-inspiring, pretty much flat as a pancake and with some dodgy paths and no lights in places (as I was heading out of Cambridge between villages). I almost ate path on two occasions but thankfully avoided any serious problems.

First glance at the watch was when I got back into Cambridge - I'd figured I'd done a nice distance and basically needed to decide if I needed to start heading for home or to extend the run! I was absolutely disgusted to note that I'd only clocked up a little under 8 miles. The only upside to that was that I'd actually done it at quite a good pace - averaging 9m 33s per mile, considerably faster than my target pace.

Things started to get a bit tougher after this, with the miles clocking up agonisingly slow - I kept making deals with myself, hoping \ willing myself to the 13.1 mile mark and a non-stop half marathon. In the end, I ended up doing 11.25 miles before stopping (1hr 50m), still a non-stop PB.

My pace was slowing down a fair bit though but I was still looking at a HM PB - I started into a run \ walk and eventually crossed the HM mark at 2hrs 11m 28s - 92s faster than my Reading Half Marathon PB. I'm pretty sure with other runners and a crowd, I could do better :)

Struggled on until 15 miles but called it a night at that point - I was pretty tired and starting to get miserable (runners nipple!).

Overall: 15 miles, 2hrs 35m 26s (10m 18s per mile)

Monday, 14 September 2009

W8KW2 - Tempo Run

Going to keep this one short as it was a bit of a disaster. Knew I'd struggle to get out for a run on Friday evening, so I set out at lunchtime for this session. Lovely day and the plan was
  • 1 mile easy (10m 43s pace)
  • 4 miles at medium tempo (9m 28s)
  • 1 mile easy
I absolutely messed up the tempo session - started off way too fast, misreading my 8m 10s pace as being about right! Needless to say, one mile in, I'd blown it and that was me done, so called it quits!

Distance: 3.74km
Time: 22m 05s
Pace: 5m 54s per km

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

W9KW#3 - Long run

Missed out on the tempo session on Thursday as I was absolutely up the walls at work at the end of last week - probably should still have went for a run, especially as a form of stress release but didn't get a chance! Was flat out tidying up the house and my room on Saturday, as I'm moving out at the end of the month, so no long run on Saturday - motivation was starting to lull and basically crashed on Sunday, not getting out of bed until late.

So managed to get out Monday for the first run in almost a week - going out the door, I was in two minds between a short jog and trying to do the long run I'd missed at the weekend. I've actually changed to the FIRST's "First Marathon" for the long runs as I was really struggling with their normal plan. This called for a 12 mile run at MP + 20s per mile (~ 10m 35s per mile) instead of 18 miles at MP + 30s.

Felt good after the first few miles (don't know how far as I was playing a mind game with myself - tried to not look at time \ distance until I absolutely HAD to stop) and took a different route than usual, running directly out of Cambridge, which I figured would force me to have to run back (or be out on the road all night). I'd set myself an "ideal" turnaround point which had a few other landmarks where I could quite happily turn-around and aim to better next time on the course - in the end, I made it about 60% towards my ideal point and turned around.

Run after this was a bit of a struggle - I probably ran another 1.5 miles before I stopped for the first time - 7.7 miles in and 1hr 21m's. I was a little disappointed with the distance \ time and the run home from there was a bit of a struggle - plenty of run \ walking. I seem to be really struggling at the moment with the mental toughness of the long run - whether its boredom (I don't feel particularly bored), the lack of a running partner or just plain fatigue I don't know.

One thing that really annoys me is that I can happily run a comparable distance to the 7.7 miles at a quicker pace without too much problem - my last tempo run was 8.25 miles at 9m 42s pace! OK, it was extremely tough and there's no way I could keep that up for another 18 miles but surely I should be feeling a lot better on the slower runs!

Anyways, enough whinging - here's a Sport Tracks screenshot with splits and route.

Friday, 4 September 2009

August Report

Overall a disappointing month. Weight wise, I actually put some weight on - not a massive amount but still.

02/09/09: 106.07kg
31/07/09: 105.72kg
30/06/09: 108.95kg
29/05/09: 109.40kg
30/04/09: 108.79kg
31/03/09: 108.87kg
27/02/09: 108.62kg

Exercise wise totals were down a fair bit on July. This is mainly down to being back in Ireland for the last two weekends in August and essentially doing nothing (besides Gael Force).

Training-wise, July consisted of the following (June in brackets):
Cycling: 98.58km (243.33km)- 4hr 37m (8hrs 52m)
Running: 100.51km (162.19km) - 12hr 52 (18hrs 25m)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

W8KW#1: Intervals

Well, it's the first of September - exactly two calendar months to New York! Pouring rain and getting home late from work this evening had me inclined to stay in, but the reality that I've done little over the last two weeks coupled with the T-2 months mark forced me out the door into the rain.

Last two weeks have been pretty poor training wise, mainly due to me being back in Ireland for the last two weekends. Weather at home has been pretty miserable and the roads around my home place aren't really ideal for running - I'm more likely to get run down by a tractor going at high speed around a blind turn.

So back to the UK today and back to my usual routine. I'd assumed there was 8 weeks left (= 2mths) but just after checking the calendar and there's actually 9! Yippee, an extra weeks training :) I done the Key Workout from week 8 tonight which entailed:
  1. 20 min warmup @ 10m 43s per mile
  2. 1 mile @ 8m 35s per mile + 3 min recovery
  3. 2 miles @ 8m 40s per mile + 4 min recovery
  4. 2 x 800m @ 8m 20s per mile + 1 min recovery
  5. 10 min warmdown
Was slightly slow on the first run (got slightly lost) but averaged 8m 28s per mile on the 2 mile section! Very tough going but got through it! The last set of 800m runs were hell! Calves are a bit tight now, but hopefully should be ok in the morning.