Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Best Time of the Week is......................

....................when I am driving home from Tuesday's track session with my legs pleasantly knackered and knowing that it's all over for another week. Don't get me wrong I love the track - there's nothing like hard work to give you a feeling of achievement (although I prefer the feeling to the hard work bit). This evening I was repeating the 1000's I did last week. I had thought briefly of increasing the number from 6 to 7 but decided to see how the first rep would go and if I was closer to 3:45 (as opposed to last weeks 3:50+) I would sacrifice number for speed. The first 1000 came in at 3:42 - "A bit fast - I hope I don't blow the remaining 1000s but if I can maintain this pace I won't do more than 6 reps". The next 2 were marginally slower in 3:43 & 3:44 as I began to feel the effort. With one eye on tomorrow's long run and not wanting to sacrifice speed for distance I decided to cap the intervals at 5 and brought in the remaining 2 in 3:44 & 3:43, which I was happy with as I had kept below 3:45 which was the target pace for my 800's (3:00) a few weeks ago. 5 km is enough speedwork for me at this stage of my Marathon buildup - I remember this time last year I peaked at the UCC 10k (on next Sunday) before picking up an injury a few weeks later. With an view to keeping the easy days "easy" yesterdays run was at a very comfortable 8:29 pace with an average HR of 119 - no point in pushing pace for the sake of it. I'll try to stick to this "easy" running for 2 days a week, 2 reserved for speedwork, 2 for endurance and the remaining day for rest/x training. Best of Luck to Richard running in Rotterdam this weekend - All things going well I predict a PB by 6 minutes (No pressure Richard - enjoy). Also best of Luck to Peter in the Paris Marathon - Peter, whom I know through work, called me out of the blue last week to meet and get some advice on tactics for running a marathon. "Is this a once off or will you do the distance again" I asked him when we met up. "oh I'll keep going" he said "I used to run when I was young. I'm a 4:01 1500m man. Just short of scholarship to the US material". I sat there in shock for a second "Christ and this guy is asking ME for advice" I thought. Then again a marathon requires different skills I suppose. Mon 30th March a.m. 11.09 miles in 01:33:54 (08:29 pace @ 119 HR)
p.m. 2.5 miles in 19:50 (07:56 pace) Treadmill Tue 31st March 6.42 miles in 50:24 (07:51 pace @ 136 HR) with 5 x 1000m in 3:42/43/44/44/43. March 2009 (Run 241.3 miles, Bike 138.1 miles, Swim 9,000m)


  1. Nice track session Grellan. What are you doing in between reps - jogging a lap or so, or taking a rest?

  2. Jogging a lap Mike (about 3 minutes)

  3. Thanks Grellan,

    No pressure. I'm looking at that sort of PB - the best made plans of mice and men and all that. I reckon if I can go out in a pace for a 3:09 i'll have plenty in reserve to fade away over the last 3 miles for a 3:14 - 3:16. In dublin I was on pace for a 3:16 until mile 23. BQ isn't on my agenda yet so missing it won't upset me. I've just entered Cork as well but depending on how this weekend goes it might be a fun run.

    I think I have pushed the training a little bit too hard and should have tapered sooner - not feeling the freshest.

  4. Very nice track session indeed. I can only look at the even numbers in envy. That should have given you the proper feeling of achievement.

  5. Nice workout, your running them like an old pro! so to speak!
    Which marathon are you running!

  6. You did well there Grellan. The speed is coming along nicely.

    I hope the advice you gave Peter serves him well in Paris. 4:01 as a youngster is bloody good, but I'm not sure that sort of natural speed is all that beneficial for marathons. Staying power is the main thing!

  7. I'm always wondering on different opinions on intervals:

    A patient of mine is a 2:22 marathoner and told me he NEVER runs intervals at less than 2 miles. He says that you can "fake" the interval if it's shorter than that by simply going out strong and holding on. I've had great track workouts in the 1000/1200/1600 range, with some of my favo(u)rite being ladders. What are your thoughts on the matter, considering you've been doing intervals much more consistently than me (as in, at least once in the last 9 months)!

  8. Nic, My 2 weekly speed sessions are:-

    Intervals - whose purpose is to stress VO2Max (aerobic capacity). Ideally repeats of 3 to 5 minutes @ 3k to 5k pace with recoveries in less/equal time. It take about 2 minutes at I-pace to reach VO2Max so for shorter intervals recoveries are reduced so that VO2max can be reached quicker on sucessive repeats. Intensity is key and anythng longer the 5 minutes is not recommended as the stress would take longer to recover from. "Faking it" should not be an issue if the Intensity/Duration/Recovery is right.


    Threshold/Tempo run - purpose is to improve endurance by raising your lactate threshold. Typically 20+ minutes at a pace you can race for 1 hour (typically between 10k and 21k pace - slower if longer than 20 minutes)alternatively threshold training can take the form of cruise intervals (perhap what your patient is referring to) from miles up with brief recoveries which allows you maintain T-pace for longer.

    Each workout has it own benefit in terms of running physiology but if I had to choose one over the other as far as marathon training is concerned the threshold workout is more appropriate. My last marathon built had me starting on short intervals/fartleks and a 5k tune-up race and moving towards slower longer tempo and MP runs and a 21k tune-up race 4 week out.

    Lest you think I am all knowing - I took it straight from "Daniel's Running Formula", a bible for most runners.

  9. Rick - I am training for the Cork Maathon on 1st June.