Saturday, 29 March 2008


While I started the week sharpening my speed on the track I got progressively slower in my speed workouts as the week wore on.
Thursdays run called for 5.5 Miles @ 10k pace (06:15-06:18) between 2 miles warm-up and warmdown @ recovery pace. I completed 4.6 miles @06:31 pace 2 weeks ago and missed last weeks session so I was hoping for an improved performance (less that 06:30 pace).
My 2 mile warmup was a bit faster than recovery pace (08:14) but I felt strong heading into my 5.5 (actually 5.6) fast miles keeping a steady pace - the polar was only accurate enough to tell me I was running sub 7 minute pace. As I kept the same course as 2 weeks ago I was conscious of the 29:57 time I achieved for the 4.6 miles. As I approached 4.6 miles I knew I was down on time which was confirmed when I pressed the lap button at 30:19 - still I persevered through the last mile in 06:27 to get a total of 36:46 for 5.6 miles (a slightly disappointing 06:34 pace). Still I was happy with the workout - I don't think I could ever run an 9k tempo run @ 10k pace (unless my "10k pace" was easy). I completed a 3.1 mile warmdown to give me 10.7 miles for the run.
Friday's recovery run over 9.6 miles went well, but again was a bit faster than recovery (08:30+) pace @ 08:07 per mile. I also did 2.5 miles on the treadmill in the evening at about 07:54 pace.
The lack of recovery running took its toll on this mornings 17 mile progression run - 9 miles @ base pace and increasing the pace over the last 8 miles to finish the last mile @ HM pace (06:36). I completed one of these 2 weeks ago more or less to plan (perhaps with a fast base pace of 07:50). This morning was wet and windy and Pat and I almost decided to head for the treadmills at the gym instead. But the rain began to clear and we decided to "give it a go".
The early miles were at a relaxed pace although my legs thought I was going faster. We arrived at the 9 mile mark in 01:15 (08:20 pace) and I slowly increased the pace - by this stage my polar footpod had packed up (I must get me one of those Garmin thingies) so I decided to record laps at road junctions so that I could analyse my pace on Google Earth post run (not the recommended way to pace yourself). To be honest my legs felt tired and achy long before mile 9 and I was debating with myself whether on not I would be able to complete the run to plan.
Mile splits from here on are post run calculated.
The first "progressive" mile was partly uphill into a strong headwind (08:13) - not a great motivator.
Mile 2 was mainly downhill (07:31)
Remaining miles in
07:33 - uphill
07:08 - the best I could do. There was noting in the legs.
While the paces were disappointing considering the energy I put in I'll put it down to experience and not enough rest (I certainly could have done with more sleep this week). With legs like that a sub-40 minutes 10k tomorrow week would be out of the question. A "recovery run" tomorrow and a cut back week should have me back in form in no time (it's better to have the dud run out of the way).
Thur 26th Mar
10.7 Miles in 01:17:13 (07:13 pace @ 148 HR) with 5.6 Miles in 36:46 (06:34 pace)
Fri 27th Mar
a.m. 9.6 Miles in 01:17:56 (08:07 pace @ 127 HR)
p.m. 2.5 Miles in 19:44 (07:54 pace @ 128 HR)
Sat 29th Mar
17.2 Miles in 02:16:46 (07:57 pace @ 134 HR) with 8.2 Miles @ 07:32 pace


  1. 5.5 miles at 10k pace?? Are you trying to kill yourself? You remind me of Michael in Victoria with his 5,4,3,2,1 cutdown tempo. I think you have the speed and need to cut back on the length of your efforts. Run the same 5 miles total if you want but do them as cruise reps. 1-2 mile hard, rest interval at easy/moderate pace and repeat. The sub 40 is there.

  2. I'm with love2run - race-pace for almost 10k is too fast for a 'tempo' session.

    I'm sure the underlying form is still there for you to go well under 40 in the 10k - perhaps precede the race with two or three days of easier running (60 to 45 minutes relaxed)?

    There's not much satisfaction to be gained in having a 'perfect' week of training in terms of sessions and miles, with a dud race at the end of it.

  3. Grellan I wouldn�t worry too much, you still achieved a very solid week of running with accompanying training benefits. I�m two cents would be to make sure that next week you focus on recovery at the appropriate time.

    A favourite book of mine is Daniels� Running Formula, and an interesting observation between volume I & II is that although his training paces have remained the same (threshold, intensity and repetition), his recovery paces (easy runs) have slowed down.

    This all reminds me of something John Brown (2x Olympian) said a few months ago, �people don�t run hard enough during their workouts, and slow enough during their recovery runs�.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  4. Don't give up on that sub-40 just yet. After all, you must have run almost fast enough during the first 10k in Ballycotton! Don't wear out the legs this week.

  5. Hi Grellan

    Thanks for visiting my blog. It is a funny thing about that picture. After I write my blog post, I like to get on flickr and see if I can find a picture that catches my eye.. that picture that happened to be of a steep road in Ireland really did it for me. I had already posted that picture to my blog before I even realized it was all the way from Ireland.. which by the way is truly one of the places in the world I would most like to see. My mother's last name was Spencer and my middle name is Kelley because that was my granddad's name.

    BTW, you have done some great work with your running.. your a fast guy. You sound a lot like me in that you push really hard to try and get better. I know all about the good runs.. and the bad ones too. Hang in there and know that you will get better when you work as hard as you do.