A trip to the Physio on Monday evening did not necessarily tell me anything new (Ewen's advice came later). As my IT band only becomes tender after an hour or so on the road there was no inflammation to inspect or tenderness to reveal just a tightness in my left IT band above the side of the knee (not where the pain was felt). She explained that the tightness could occur anywhere between the hip and the knee and still cause friction at the side of the knee as the whole band is pulled tight over the side of the knee (my words - but she said something like that).
She gave the tender area a good going over so much so that sitting here 24 hours later it is still sore to the touch (as if I banged the side of my leg against a hard surface - is that normal?). She did give me a good stretching exercise (it so difficult to stretch the IT band at the right spot as the fleshy part towards the hip, which is not tight, is the first section to get stretched). Heat, stretching and some strengthening exercises are the order of the day. While she did not discourage running I agreed to take a few days off and return on Friday evening. Before that I will attempt a medium long run (probably Thursday morning) to see if I have any chance of running on Sunday. If I last 13 to 15 miles i'll give it a go - if pain comes i'll give it a miss.
I've had a relatively easy week running with my 2 scheduled quality (speed) sessions cancelled.
On Monday morning I went for my usual 8.6 mile base run and towards the end of it felt a pain developing in my left IT band which got noticeably sore over the last 100m. I had assumed that I was developing ITBS which could take at least 3 weeks to recover from. I was hoping that I had diagnosed it early and that a few days rest would see me good (eternal optimist). With this in mind I skipped my mixed interval session on the track on Tuesday and did not run on Wednesday either.
I did run on Thursday morning but not my scheduled 2 x 4 miles @ HM pace but instead opted for an easy run over 8.6 miles to test the water. As the symptoms of ITBS do not necessarily present themselves straight away and usually take a while to appear I was cautious during the early miles. I did feel the onset of some pain after 5 miles but thankfully it appeared to subside after mile 6. I did a similar run on Friday morning at a slightly faster pace (still within base pace range) and completed the run without feeling any aches and hopefully thought I had avoided any serious disruption. However my scheduled 22 mile run on Saturday morning was the acid test.
I headed out the door shortly after 6 (Ani is making her first communion today so I had to get out early) with only 5.5 hours sleep in the bag. I maintained a reasonable effort which felt tougher over the first few miles but settled down after a while. I ran into Cork along the Model Farm Road, past the College, along the south quays, crossed the river at City Hall and back along the north quays - feeling pretty good. Up Sundays Well (tough 0.25 mile hill) and shortly after the nine mile mark the pain came on my left knee and I stopped and walked for a few minutes and started up again only to feel the pain again after 0.3 miles so I called it a day. I was a tad pissed off to say the least as I had been looking forward to seeing how long I could have maintained the pace. As I was 6 miles from home I called Abina who called a cab for me as she was heading to the hairdresser with Ani.
This is certainly a disappointing development and puts next weeks half marathon in Bantry in jeopardy. I haven't yet signed up for the Cork Marathon (9th of May is the closing date) - so how I get on over the next week to 10 days will tell me whether I should enter on not. On a plus side Ani had a great day and the sun came out to shine after a wet start to the day.
Mon 21st Apr 8.58 Miles in 01:05:30 (07:38 pace @ 128 HR)
Thur 24th Apr 8.58 Miles in 01:08:02 (07:56 pace @ 128 HR)
Fri 25th Apr
8.58 Miles in 01:03:36 (07:25 @ 134 HR)
Sat 26th Apr
9.08 Miles in 01:07:04 (07:23 pace @ 145 HR)
I don't know whether to take complete rest or do short runs below the threshold for the onset of ITBS - time to see a physio I think.
5 pints of Guinness on Friday evening wasn't the best preparation for Saturday's Marathon Pace run, but they did go down well at the time and it's all about enjoying the moment, right?. Still I was home by nine, wolfed down my dinner and anything else remotely edible that I could lay my hands on and was in bed by 1130, i think.
My weekend scheduled run called for 2 miles warm-up, 9 miles at MP and 2 miles cooldown so shortly after waking just before 8 I headed out and ran one warmup mile to the pub (to collect my HR monitor from the car) and headed west out the Macroom Road, which is less busy (for runners that is) and relatively flat (couple of inclines) - i.e. less distractions so that I could concentrate on the task at hand.
I had it in the back of my head to extend the cool-down by a few miles to make it a medium long run. I intended to run close to my McMillan predicted MP (i.e. 7.00 pace or under - McMillan says 06:52) eventhough I will not be setting out that fast in Cork. So after my 2nd warm-up mile I upped the pace (Garmin set to 1 mile lap pace, current pace and distance - great for keeping me on target). It was a bit of a struggle to settle into the pace at the start - way faster than base pace and slower, thank God, than tempo pace. Mile 1 in 06:58 OK. Effort felt tough towards the end of mile 2 - "I can't do this - I'll try another mile and continue at base pace and do the MP run tomorrow. Mile 2 - 07:00.
During mile 3 the perceived effort began to ease and the pace remained sub-7 minute (actually got a bit faster) so I decided to continue on, 1 mile at a time. I think it took the first 2 MP miles to blow the cobwebs away as I began to feel better. I initially thought about turning back at MP mile 5 which would give MP 4 miles and 2 warmdown miles back to the car but I ran on for a further 2 as I was on a roll. I turned back into a headwind with 2 MP miles left and whileinitially I had thought about extending the MP segment to 10 miles, I was glad to call it a day at the end of mile 9 (long drag into the wind). I still managed the complete the remaining 6 miles to the car well under 08:00 pace giving 17 miles for the day.
6 x warm-down - 07:45, 07:47, 07:33, 07:28, 07:36, 07:25
I paid the price this morning with my achy legs giving me 08:40 pace on my recovery run.
For those who asked about the Garmin, it's is working out quite well. With accurate distance and pace feedback, i'm less concerned about the elevation inaccuracy, HR measurement also appears reasonably accurate (no problem getting a reading) The GPS also works well in the park, but the leaves are not on the trees yet. The whole thing only cost about €160 ($240 incl post and packaging from the US - exchange rate is great at the moment).
In terms of previous distance measurement - my usual 8.6 mile loop meassured 8.57 & 8.59 with the garmin (not too bad) whereas an 11.4 mile loop I frequently use measured 11.5 miles this morning.
Best of luck to all those running Boston tomorrow especially Mike, Bill and E-Speed
Fri 18th Apr
9.15 Miles in 01:10;08 (07:40 pace @ 131 HR) in the park.
Sat 19th Apr
17 Miles in 02:03:01 (07:14 pace @ 146 HR) with 9 miles @ 06:50 pace
Sun 20th Apr
11.5 Miles in 01:39:39 (08:40 pace @ 119 HR) Tired Legs.
Marathon Training Week 18/24 - 74.8 Miles (forgot to log Monday's 5.8 Miles)
5.30 am - woke up
"you can always do this tempo run tomorrow, six hours sleep last night and five the night before - you'll never get through it & what's the point in a botched run when you could have stayed in bed".
5.35 - on with the running gear
"You can always swap the run for an easy run, do the tempo run tomorrow and still keep the mileage up"
5.50 - out the door after some dynamic stretching
"2 miles warm-up followed by 2 x 3.75 miles @ HM pace - who are you kidding"
6.06 - 2 warm-up miles in
"I can always call it a day if i'm fucked after the first mile"
6.24 - somewhere
"I might extend the first leg to 4 miles and make the return leg easier or if I can't do the return leg, 4 miles aint bad"
6.34 - 4.25 fast miles (6:34 pace average)
"Good work, At least I only have 3.25 on the return leg, you'll never keep the pace up though"
6.39 - 0.5 recovery miles
"Here we go only 3.25 mile of stress - what’s that 20 minutes, 21......left to suffer"
6.49 - somewhere
"so tired - you can always stop at 2 miles, go on - no one could blame you - everyone bags a run once in a while - go on give yourself a break"
7.00 - 3.25 fast miles (06:31 pace)
"Fair play you held in there to the end - good mornings work".
7.17 - Home (12.15 miles total)
It's funny the crap we put up with from ourselves - I wouldn't accept that sort of negative talk from anyone else.
Tue 15th Apr
8.14 Miles in 01:04:07 (07:53 pace) with
3,000m @ 06:13 pace (156HR)
2,000m @ 06:04 pace (163HR)
1,000m @ 05:48 pace (164HR)
800m @ 05:31 pace (164HR)
Wed 16th Apr
8.59 Miles in 01:14:23 (08:39 pace @ 124HR) Recovery
Thur 17th Apr
12.15 Miles in 01:27:27 (07:11 pace @ 144HR) with 4.25 miles @06:35 pace (150HR) & 3.25 miles @06:31 pace (156HR)
2.5 Miles in 21:00 (08:24 pace) - recovery on the treadmill at lunchtime (no place for Mr Garmin)
Took delivery of one of these on Thursday morning so I just had to try it out on a recovery run Thursday evening. I won't post up any of the graphs and charts firstly because I don't know how and secondly I am still trying to figure it all out (thirdly I think they are of little interest). I think the elevation function is a bit out as Friday mornings run suggested I fell off a 180' cliff on leaving the house (well a -51% grade is a cliff to me) only to return and find my house at the bottom of said cliff (glad I didn't have to climb it as my legs were shattered - result of a tiring week finally catching up with me).
My legs were somewhat recovered on Saturday morning for my base pace run. There were (and still are) a few aches in my glutes but nothing to worry about. As my base pace range is now largely below 8 minute miles (07:17 to 08:06) I decided to run towards the lower end of the range to separate it from my recovery run pace. I played it by ear on the distance setting out on an 11.5 mile loop but took a diversion in the regional park on the way home finally finishing up with 13.2 miles under the belt (07:28 pace). I was hoping it wouldn't impact on the 20 mile long run I had scheduled for this morning.
Woke to the alarm on my phone this morning at 06:30 as Pat (next door) and I had scheduled to meet with a couple of seasoned runners from Eagle AC at UCC Farm at 7:00 to go on a 20 miler. We met up with Joe and Pat shortly after 7 (the rest of the crew were heading up to Kilnaboy in County Clare for the fourth and final of the Munster Series 10 Mile Road Races). We headed South West out of Cork on the Bandon Road taking in a hilly loop which brought us back into Togher by mile 8 - these hills were certainly steeper than the ones i'm used to - great training for the hilly Half Marathon Bay Run next month. Joe and Pat appeared to amble along taking it all in their stride (I want some of this hill endurance). Our last serious hill up towards the airport was the steepest of all (with the grade showing 20% in spots) and was certainly tough. However we recovered well on the downhills and joined the City Marathon course for about 6.5 miles through Ballypheane, the Lough, Glasheen, Wilton, Model Farm Road and Straight Road. We picked up the pace along this section getting under 08:00 and down to 07:30 for the later miles. I still felt reasonably strong as we made our way back to the UCC farm by mile 18.8. We covered a large lap of the football pitches at the farm coming in at 21.05 miles in 02:48:22 (08:00 pace on the button). The last few miles around the pitches were tiring but altogether the run was very enjoyable and a very positive training experience. I will certainly return.
Have a good week.
Thur 10th Apr
4.15 Miles in 33:06 (07:58 pace @ 129 HR)
Fri 11th Apr
8.6 Miles in 01:08:20 (07:58 pace @ 130 HR) - Dead Legs
Sat 12th Apr
13.2 Miles in 01:38:38 (07:28 pace @ 136 HR)
Sun 13th Apr
21.05 Miles in 02:48:22 (08:00 pace @ 131 HR) - Hilly at Start
Marathon Training Week 17/24 - 82.8 Miles. (Didn't know it was that high)
Recovery from the 10k race on Sunday has gone quite well with no interruption to my training programme.
Following 8.6 recovery miles on Monday morning I headed to the track on Tuesday evening for a "mixed interval" workout - moving from the longer/slower to the shorter/faster end of the spectrum. While I set my 200m splits as if I was running in lane1 I allowed myself go over on time by a few seconds to allow for the fact that I was running in lane 3. Despite initial fatigue following the first long interval my legs recovered well so that I was able to complete the session without too much stress - however it certainly was tougher than the 1k intervals of the last 4 week training cycle.
Dist, (target pace) - actual pace - HR
3,000m @ HM pace(06:30) - 06:19 - 156
1,600m @ 10k pace(06:09) - 06:04 - 159
1,000m @ 5k pace (05:56) - 05:47 - 156
800m @ 3k pace (05:40) - 05:35 - 156
As recoveries were longer than the scheduled 2 minutes (closer to 3 mins) my average HR's were relatively low.
My recovery run on Wednesday morning went quite well - I'm feeling less muscle fatigue during these runs than I felt a few months ago.
The second speed session of the week called for "Cruise Intervals" 2 x 3.5 miles @ HM pace (06:30). As I struggled with trying to achieve a pace of 06:30 for my 10k pace tempo runs a few weeks back I was not too concerned about keeping pace and settled for 06:50 or less if I could. So following a 2 mile warmup I set off on the first 3.5 miles keeping to a relatively flat course(Aldi in Ballincollig to the Kingsley Hotel on the Straight Road - more or less the finish point of last Sundays 10k). The pace I kept was reasonably comfortable as I was conscious of the fact that I would have to turn around and repeat the same effort after an easy 0.5 mile recovery. I reached the end of the first 3.5 miles in 24:01 (06:52 pace) a bit slower than I expected. My legs felt quite fresh during the 0.5 mile recovery and so I upped the effort slightly on the return leg, which was into a cold breeze). While the effort was harder and did involve a mild uphill past Carrigrohane I maintained a good pace and completed the 3.5 return miles in 23:24 (06:41 pace). I felt reasonably fresh during the 2 mile recovery, more so than after the faster tempo runs (06:26 - 06:36) of the previous weeks. All-in-all a good run.
Mon 7th Apr
8.6 Miles in 01:11:10 (08:18 pace @ 121 HR)
Tue 8th Apr
7.1 miles with Mixed Intervals of 3k, 1.6k, 1k & 0.8k @ HM, 10k, 5k & 3k pace.
Wed 9th Apr
8.6 Miles in 01:08:25 (07:57 pace @ 126 HR)
Thur 10th Apr
11.5 Miles in 01:24:12 (07:19 pace @ 141 HR) with 2 x 3.5 Miles @ 06:41-06:52 pace.
A fine Sunny morning with a cold northerly wind greeted us this morning as we lined up for the annual UCC Carmel Lynch Memorial 10k Road Race. The wind shouldn't be too much of a problem though as the course was essentially 3 miles west along the Lee valley in the lee of a hill to the north, 0.2 miles south crossing the river at the "Anglers Rest" pub and 3 miles back into Cork east along the very familiar "straight road" - although I saw it in a different light this morning (nothing like a bit of pain and a never ending straight to wreck havoc with the mind).
I signed up with my neighbour, Pat, about 30 minutes before the start (me aiming for sub-40 and Pat sub-43). I warmed up with a jog to the nearest shop to buy a sports drink (I wasn't the best with race preparation this morning) back to the start area and a few 50m strides before the 11:00 start. I met Diarmaid (better known as "Miley"), a friend of my younger brother, just before the start. He had recently returned to Cork to work and had started back into running during the last year. As he came in about 15 seconds ahead of me in the ESB 5k in February (18:50) I was expecting a strong race from him(perhaps sub-39).
We all lined up and the gun went off. The first 200m is a good downhill where it was easy to pick up the pace and get into a comfortably fast stride. I felt the pace a bit fast over the first mile and Miley passed me looking very strong before the 1 mile mark. Approaching the mark I could hear a timekeeper calling out five fifty six, seven, eight......pressed the lap button at 05:59.8.
"This is a bit fast for me, better ease up a little - after all target average pace is 06:25 or so - although it felt good to have some "spare time" in the bag. A 100 yards down the road the mile "autolap" beeped on my watch showing 00:45.2 "shit I forgot to turn off the autolap function (the faster I go the more it under records pace) which means it will be more difficult to assess pace at each mile marker as the mile times will be a combination of manual and auto laps (some addition on the run required).
I must have eased up along this section as I was passed by 5 or 6 runners who formed a group in front of me and appeared to be pulling away. Just before the 2nd mile marker the road rises up for the only hill on the course lasting about half a mile or so. Along this section I gradually reeled in the runners in front and had passed them by the time I came to the crest. In the meantime I had clocked 05:45.7 at the second mile mark and when added to the 45 seconds on the previous "Autolap" gave be 06:30 for mile 2. "Ok 06:15 average, that's not too bad given the hill".
Approaching the crest of the hill (about mile 2.4) I was pulled along by 2 other runners but passed them out (temporarily as it turned out for one of them) as I attacked the steep downhill towards the river. I could see Miley ahead running alongside a girl (about 20 second gap) still looking strong.
Passed the 3 mile mark and pressed the lap button - 05:20.8 - meaningless as I had missed the previous "autolap". I knew I was at a good pace though as Miley was not too far in front and one of the guys I passed at the top of the hill had faster finishing times than me in recent races. Over the humped back bridge, left passed the Anglers Rest and left again at the traffic lights onto the "Straight Road". 1 guy passed me along this section at a strong pace and further on he passed Miley and his running companion. The groundbetweenMiley and I was closing very slowly.
Passed the 4 mile mark - 2.2 miles of straight level road between me and the finish. The even hard effort I had maintained over the previous 4 miles was beginning to wear me down. All I could think of was what a waste it would be to ease up now and negate all the hard work put in. The sight of the County Hall (near finish) in the distance which appeared to be getting no closer was not helping the mental fatigue.
Approaching the 5 mile mark I finally came alongside Miley and Co. I greeted him - "Diarmaid" I managed to get out between heavy breadths. "Hi ya Grellan" he responded and shortly after that he was gone out in front. 5, 10 and then 15 yards. I could not respond but maintained pace with the girl he had been running alongside. "Well done" a steward said "you're 3rd" - addressed to the girl obviously.
The guy I had passed coming down the hill towards the 3 mile mark was now on my shoulder and passing me out. No response from me, although I had pulled away from the 3rd Female and appeared to be reeling in Miley. Methinks he made his move too soon and could not maintain the pace - I moved in front of him for the first time in our brief joint running careers (2 races). Approaching the 6 mile mark my original running partner, Adrian, and his Son Rory, were sitting on the wall cheering me on - the perfect spot for the flagging spirit - thanks Adrian.
I had started counting strides for the last half mile to distract my brain from shutting off motor function to my legs - certainly I had never experienced prolonged effort like this before but kept pushing and eventually could see the finishing line in sight - although without my glasses the time did not come into focus for another 50 yards I could see :05 on the right but it took another few seconds to see 38: to the left of it. "Holy shit" is all I could think - "no wonder I'm fu#*ed". I endured the last few yards and stopped the watch at 38:15. Wow that was unbelievable.
I was fairly sure I would achieve my sub-40 goal. If racing very well I might have expected a few seconds below 39 minutes (39:50 is what Mcmillan had predicted for me after the Ballycotton 10 - although I appeared, up to now, to have been stronger over the middle distance races of 10 to 15 miles). But I never expected to get anywhere near 38:15. Although I was completely and utterly knackered crossing the line. I still managed a few miles cooldown at a reasonable pace with no apparent niggles. Miley came in a few seconds later but he got "chicked" (to borrow an expression) at the post by his female running partner. Pat came in in 41:14 or so - a very good run and well below his target.
I'm as ready as i'll ever be for Sunday's 10k. The only other 10k i've run is this time last year when I managed 42:52 (albeit 48+ hours earlier I was up till 4 am drinking Guinness - heard it was full of carbs).
Wednesday was an 8.6 Mile recovery run and on Thursday morning I completed my last "cutback" tempo run of 3.5 miles @ 10k pace (well not quite 10k pace). I did manage to get sub 6:30 pace though for the first time (combination of reduced length and setting a fast pace & hanging in there - some heavy breathing/groaning towards the end).
This morning I took a well needed lie in and instead covered a modest 2.5 miles on the treadmill at lunchtime (thought about doing a 6 mile reconnaissance run of Sundays route but work dictated otherwise). Another 2 mile easy run is scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Have a good weekend and good luck to Thomas in Connemara.
Wed 2nd April
8.6 Miles in 01:10:32 (08:12 pace @ 122 HR?)
Thur 3rd April
a.m. 8.6 Miles in 01:06:12 (07:42 pace @ 138 HR) with 3.5 Miles in 22:30 (06:26 pace)
p.m. 3 Miles in 25:17 (08:26 pace @ 126 HR)
Fri 4th April
2.5 Miles in 21:11 (08:28 pace @ 121 HR)
After Saturdays longish, fastish run I took Sunday off (from running that is - spent most of the day at work). So week 15/24 finished with 58.9 Miles in the bag as opposed to the 70ish I was planning on.
So come Monday I was anxious to test the legs to make sure the deadness felt on Saturday had not set in. With the advent of "Summer Time" (clocks went forward 1 hour on Sunday morning) I did not rise in time on Monday morning so I ran 8.7 Miles after work. A mile into the run I noticed that the effort was a bit high for my usual "Base Pace" run but after a while noticed that I was running closer to the fast end of the Base Pace scale (07:24 to 08:13 - ties in pretty well with McMillans "Easy Run" Pace of 07:28-07:58). As I was reasonably comfortable I maintained the pace/effort for the run ending on 01:04:49 (07:27 pace).
While comfortable over 8.7 miles, I wondered what it would be like over 26.2 (3:15 Marathon) and would I last - bearing in mind that McMillan and my current programme have me at a MP of 06:56 to 06:58 (3:02 Marathon) - This may be achievable on 100+ miles a week, but experience has told me to expect less (at least 10 minutes less) . I certainly believe that weekly training mileage (backed up by empirical research) and the length and number of longs runs play an important part in marathon performance. While my MP training runs will be @ 07:00 pace i'll use this to guide my marathon pace come June 2nd. Esentially it peredicts a marathon time as a multiple of your 10k time, the multipe depending on your weekly mileage - from 5.5 on 35mpw to 4.6 on 100mpw. Last year I complete Cork in June at 4.8 times my April 10k time with an average weekly mileage of 59.6 miles for the 8 weeks before the taper (the article gives a multiple of between 4.75 & 4.85 for 60mpw - how good is that - the multiplier appears to fit my profile).
So.....i'll be using next sundays 10k time as my marathon pace predictor. 40:00 will give me a 03:12 marathon using the 4.8 multiplier. So if i acheive my sub-40 target on sunday my target come June will be Sub 3:12.
Back to the track this evening for 4 x 1k @ 5k pace which went off pretty uneventfull if not a bit faster (& more effort) than scheduled ... missed the first rep as I forgot to press the lap button - it was somewhere between 03:45 & 03:50. The remaining 3 went as follows:-
03:42 (163 avg HR, 168 max HR)
03:43 (163 avg HR, 169 max HR)
03:43 (165 avg HR, 171 max HR)
Mon 31st Mar
8.7 Miles in 01:04:49 (07:27 pace @ 140HR) - 285.5 Miles for the month (64.5 Miles per week)
Tue 1st April
6.5 Miles in 50:41 (07:48 pace @ 135 HR) with 4 x 1k @ 03:42 - 03:45+
I started running shortly after my 40th birthday to train for the "once in a lifetime marathon" (mid-life crisis and all that) and haven't been able to stop since. This blog charts my progress as I attempt to go farther and faster than I have ever gone before.