Sunday, 1 November 2009

Breaking All The Rules

Abina told me yesterday on good advice from a friend, who heard it on the radio from a well respected physio that you should not run for 26 days after a marathon ( 1 day for every mile of racing). I told her that I had heard that alright.
Then she asked did I go out on the bike in the morning. "No" I replied "I went on a 5 mile run". "You're not supposed to do that!" she replied.
Actually the 5 miles went quite well and there were no latent niggles from the marathon. My left hip and right calf were a bit tender later in the run but noting to write home about.
Later in the afternoon I got a text from Paul saying that he was thinking of running the HSE 4 miler in the Marina this morning and what did I think. I replied that I planned on running it at an easy pace. Two years ago I had run it at 8 minute pace a week after Dublin and last year I equalled my then PB of 25:19 two weeks after Amsterdam. This morning with Paul as hare I hit a time in between these 2.
I had planned running at 7 minute pace, but a chat with Joe Murphy beforehand had convinced us (well Paul really) to go out at about 6:50 pace. So the miles went something like this:-
Mile 1 - 6:42 - steady pace, Paul leading the way, could make it under 27 minutes at this rate.
Mile 2 - 6:29 - christ we're now close to 26 minute pace - this is not going to be the easy run I had expected.
Mile 3 - 6:35 - still on pace and my legs are fine. Keep following Paul because he's not slowing down.
In fact with about half a mile to go he surges past 2 guys in front. "that's it" I thought "leave him off - I can only manage the steady pace i'm at and my HR is in the 170's" (Joe Murphy had advised me earlier to leave the HR monitor at home for races and run on feel - I think he's right) - I didn't feel great either though as general fatigue set in.
However Paul didn' go too far ahead and now there was a bunch of four of us with me taking up the rear as we took the last left turn with about 400m to go. One of the guys who Paul had overtaken came back at him and went out in front - I was reasonably content to hang on the back and coast home. However with about 40 m to go I was on the shoulder of Paul and no. 3 and saw no reason why I shouldn't make a break for the line as no one else was taking it out and that's what I did and came in under the clock at 26:12 - Mile 4 in 6:26.
I felt a bit guilty as Paul had led and paced me for most of the race - there were times that I thought I'd leave him go but decided to hang on for as long as I could. Good race practice I thought afterwards, "but for what, you're just after a marathon!".
My final thoughts on Dublin are that I could have pushed the pace a little over the last 6 miles. I had a positive split of 2:36 (1:33:11/1:35:47). At mile 11 and again at mile 16 my cumulative pace predicted a 3:05:46 finish (had I maintained that pace to the end) - so at best I could have eeked out another 3 minutes - although I don't think it would have been possible to maintain 7:05 pace to the end - I might have had a slightly better chance if I had managed to average 7 minute pace for the first half/15 miles and average 7:10/15 for the second half.
Sat 30th Oct
5.28 miles in 41:43 (07:54 pace @ 133HR)
October (Run 205 miles, Bike NIL, Swim 4,000m) - Never did get that post marathon recovery bike ride in.
Sun 1st Nov
6.95 miles in 52:42 (07:35 pace @ 147 HR) with 4 miles in 26:12 (06:33 pace @ 163 HR)


  1. Not running "26 days after a marathon" sounds over cautious to me. I'd say that number should be taken as a round about figure depending on ones experience and kms going into the race.

    I doubt someone who has been running 250K weeks prior to a marathon needs or would benefit from such a layoff.

    If you feel like running go for a run. Rules are meant to be broken ;)

  2. sounds like your competitive edge was beginning to come through towards the end...just as well it was only a 4-mile!!

  3. Actually it's racing you should not do for a day for each mile, recovery running is definitely ok.

    You're still a bad boy for that race, though.

  4. I agree with Thomas there - as I heard it from Speedygeoff, the "rule" was no "hard running" or racing for 26 days. Still, it sounded like a fun race!

    Yes, an "ideal" 3:05 now means sub-3 within the next 12 months :)

  5. I agree with Scott, but I think the saying is that you should take one day off racing, for every mile you've just raced. Regardless, you're breaking the rules... and doing well.

    Looking forward to your sub 3-hour performace. So, what's next?