Sunday, 30 August 2009

Running Long

Two recovery/easy 5 milers on Friday and Saturday and a 20 miler today got me over 70 miles for the week for the first time since mid-April. There's no need to go much higher than that once I manage to get a decent mid-week run (13 - 15 miles) and weekend long run (18 - 22 miles - 3 hrs max) and one or two weekly speed sessions (long hill reps, tempo). There was a poorer turnout for this morning's long run with 6 in all showing up for the 8 a.m. start from Pairc Ui Caoimhe (maybe Sunday is less popular than Saturday). The run, targeted at 8 minute mile pace, was out along the Passage/Monkstown line, up over the hill at Raffeen and returning along the estuary loop past Blackrock Castle. A few (3) of us added 2 loops of the Centre Park Road/Monaghan Road loop to get to 20 miles. The pace dropped towards 8:20 minute miles after 15 miles as group fatigue set in. The programme I'm using asked for a moderate effort for the last 30 minutes which I interpreted as upping the pace below 7:30 minute miles after I hit 18 miles (2.5 miles approx remaining). Surprisingly the increase in pace shook some of the fatigue off and the next mile went by in 7:21. I kept pushing for mile 20 which improved to 7:01 and with less than a mile to go I decided to push under 7:00 pace finishing the last .7 miles @ 6:47 pace and while my HR was a manageable 162 my legs were pretty much done.
400m to go in Ballycotton - I managed to keep all these guys behind me to the finish line except for David O'Mahony (No 891 at th back) - Looks like I am a heel striker when push comes to shove.
Fri 28th Aug 5.12 miles in 42:42 (08:21 pace @ 125HR) - Recovery. Sat 29th Aug 5.24 miles in 40:34 (07:44 pace @ 130HR) - Easy Run. Sun 30th Aug 20.72 in 2:44:50 (07:58 pace @ 130HR) - Long Run. Marathon Training Week # 5/13 - 72.67 miles


  1. Nice long run, that'll do you well (heel striker or not).

  2. I bet you don't land on your heels in the 5 fingers!

  3. p.s. what on earth are you doing running in tights and a thermal vest?
    most have lost you 5 sec a mile! 'maybe'

  4. Maybe the apparent heel strike is due to overstriding at the end of the race?

    I was wondering the same thing as Rick - do you sense any sort of heel strike when using the Vibrams?

  5. Thanks Michael.

    Rick, a friend sent me a text before the race asking for a spare pair of shorts as he forgot his. As it turned out he got a pair from another guy but it was too late for me to change.

    Ewen, certainly heel striking is more prevalent towards the end of a race as I tire and lose form.

    I certainly don't land on my heels
    in the vibrams. I tend to land on the flat of my foot and do sense when I land too far back towards the heel. They force you to adjust your stride/pace to suit the terrain. Downhills are the biggest challenge as typically we use our heels as brakes, paticularly on steep sections - it will probably take a while to adjust to accepting a higher impact force on the forefoot to make the best use of gravity. However I did 15 second hill sprints in them yesterday in the rain and it felt very comfortable as I was right up on my toes. Racing in the vibrams would be the next big step.

  6. Thanks Grellan - that's interesting.

    You should try a cross country race in them. Or maybe 3 or 5k on smooth bitumen. I wouldn't be surprised if you found them a fast 'shoe'.

  7. check out this video on how to run downhill faster, 'it works' and no heel striking!