Thursday, 9 July 2009

A touch of speed

I had hoped to run the EMC 5k last night at a tempo pace just to see what sort of speed, if any, was in my legs ahead of next Sundays Tri. However I was on cooking duty at home and only managed to make the finish line to cheer on the runners coming in. The leader, the only finisher under 16 minutes, was well ahead of the chasing bunch. I had to settle instead for a tempo run this morning. I planned on 2 fast miles but didn't know what sort of pace I could churn out as the last time I ran anything resembling a tempo run was on 13th May when I finished the last 5 miles of a 10 miler @ 6:52 pace - which I'm now convinced is responsible for re aggravating my calf injury leading to my DNF in Cork on 1st June. So after my 2 mile warmup this morning I was at the head of the straight road (dead flat) ready for a 13 minute push (assuming i'd be close to 6:30 pace). I settled into a confortably hard pace and was surprised to see the pace hovering below 6:20 over the first 1/4 mile and I kept going expecting to see it drop towards 6:30 and beyond (It's easy to start a speed session hard - it's keeping the pace is the problem). But I was pleasantly surprised when I hit the end of the first mile at 06:20 and turned around to repeat the process. This was going to be the tough bit - had I the endurance to keep the pace for the return mile? - the effort certainly felt harder but I pushed on through the unfamiliar stress, periodically checking the distance on the Garmin to see how much pain was left - 06:22 - not a bad days work for my return to tempo pace although I was glad it was over and another mile would have been out of the question. Still, there's plenty of time to work on pushing out the distance on these type of runs and embracing the pain. The remainder of my running has been relatively easy with the exception of the twice weekly hill sprints. My weekly mileage reached the dizzying heights of 36 miles last week. After Sunday's Tri I'll write up a proper programme for Dublin. The key workout on the Tri front included a reconnaissance of the Lough Ine bike route last Saturday morning where six of us in all (one brave guy on a hybrid bike - who did pretty well) headed out shortly after 8 in the morning on the 45 km route. The pace was on the steady/hard side, at least for me and on the steep hill out of Lough Ine (39 km in) I had to dismount just before the crest as I'd run out of steam. I'd managed to get up during the race last year (race day adrenaline may have had something to do with it). However Connie, the fastest guy on the day, had had the same problem when he cycled the route the week before and he had changed the back cassette on his bike to compensate. So this week I changed my 8 speed 12-21 cassette for a 12-24 cassette (numbers refer to the number of teeth on smallest to largest sprocket) which should make the steep hill climbing that bit easier. After all Puds, the guy who I got the bike from, was semi-professional and said that the cassette was a man's (racing) cassette. That's it now, time to taper for Sunday. 29th June - 5th July (Run 36.8 miles, Bike 52.1 miles, Swim 4,500m) Mon 6th July 7.04 miles in 58:37 (08:19 pace @ 136 HR) with 6 x 30 second hill sprints Tue 7th July 25 mile cycle with Puds with some hill work and speed. Thur 9th July a.m. 6 miles in 44:34 (07:23 pace @ 144HR) with 2 miles in 12:42 (06:21 pace ) p.m. 2.1 miles in 16:15 following 800m swim in Inniscarra Lake


  1. Excellent speed! That must have felt good.

  2. Oh I remember cycling up steep hills with a strange fondness [ time dulls the memory of pain],
    Glad to here your running pain free again [ apart from the self inflicted pain that is!].
    looking foreward to your race report.

  3. Of course you're fast after all that rest!

    Good luck on Sunday.

  4. Have a good one Grellan. I hope the water's warm and the calf stays in one piece.