Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Running in My Own Shadow

As I am on the same marathon training programme that I was on in the spring I can track my progress against my former self (virtual runner with a time lag). So far I am only a shadow of my former self as I am not quite as fast as I was last March. On the plus side I figure I peaked too early in the Spring so maybe, just maybe, i'll stumble on the right peaking formula this time round.

Thursdays quality workout called for 4.5 miles @ 10k pace (06:09) However past experience had told me that 10k pace was out of the question - In March I completed 4.6 miles in 29:57 (06:31 pace @ 157 HR when my target was 06:18) and this time round it took me 29:54 for 4.5 miles (06:40 pace @ 159 HR when my target should have been 06:09). I thought I had matched my March time until I discovered I ran 4.6 fast miles in March compared to 4.5 on Thursday. The title of my March post was "not quite up to speed".

I completed a 7 mile recovery run on Friday morning at a leisurely pace.
Saturday called for a progression run with 8 miles warmup followed by 8 miles progressively getting faster until I hit the last mile at HM pace. In March my target was to
cover the first 8 miles at 08:00 pace and drop 10 seconds per mile over the last 8 to end up at 06:40 pace for the final mile. (My target HM pace is actually 06:36)
This time round I kept the same target and the same course. Here is a comparison of me and my shadow
Mile - (Target pace) - 2nd August pace - 15th March pace 1/8 - (08:00) - 07:56 - 07:54 9 - (07:50) - 07:48 - 07:44 10 - (07:40) - 07:35 - 07:29 11 - (07:30) - 07:26 - 07:07 12 - (07:20) - 07:14 - 07:10 13 - (07:10) - 07:03 - 06:59 14 - (07:00) - 06:54 - 07:00 15 - (06:50) - 06:51 - 06:50 16 - (06:30?) - 06:37 - 06:30 My paces this time round were a bit more controlled thanks to the garmin. While I didn't quite match the pace for the last mile I am happy that I completed the run more or less to plan. I shouldn't be too surprised with my drop in running fitness as I am only gradually pulling myself back up from the Cork Marathon and the 6 weeks of injury induced undertraining that preceded it. My spring training culminated in me peaking around the time of my 10k PB race on 6th April (2 months before the Marathon). I still have over 2 months to go before the Amsterdam Marathon so I will watch my progress over the coming 4 to 6 weeks, get a few races in and hopefully a few PB's.
Sunday was a day off running which I used to go on a 27 mile cycle round the Skellig Ring as we were in Waterville for the weekend. Spectacular scenery - no camera but I have included a photo of the Skelligs (Unesco World Heritage Site) on which a monastic settlement was built in the 7th Century.

An 8 mile base pace run (07:20 to 08:10) on Monday morning saw me repeat my Saturday progression run where I started off with the first mile at 8:10 and finished up at 06:43 pace to get in under 07:30 pace overall for no other reason that my legs felt quite strong after the days rest.

I opted for a 6 mile base pace run this evening instead of the scheduled 5 x 1k @ 5k pace as I hope to combine these into a 1 x 5k @ 5k pace in the Novartis 5k Road Race tomorrow evening.


  1. I've never used this aspect of the Garmin (I don't get on with my Garmin) but I know it exists - the virtual training partner. You could set it up before you head out with your time last times and then you really would be racing old self!

  2. You jumped right into the middle of this training cycle, therefore I wouldn't worry too much about being a bit behind.

    We were in fairly close proximity on Sunday, we spent most of the day on Valentia Island.

  3. How did the race go?

    I think you're smart not to worry about your training at the moment & to recognize that you peaked too early last time out. Continue with what you're doing. What are you basing your training on?

    All the best while out on the road!