Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Stress before rest

The first half of the week started with recovery followed by 2 relatively hard days.
A morning recovery run in the Vibrams @ 9 minute pace was called for on Monday and went off without a hitch. Effortless at that pace which was evident from the average HR of 111, lowest ever I think. A short run closer to 8 minute pace from Turners Cross to Glasheen and back in the evening as Safan was at guitar lesson finished off my recovery double.
Track on Tuesday evening saw me repeat last weeks 5 x 1 mile @ 6:20 pace although I had more company this week with a good group of 8 or 9. I was doubtful whether I should run at that pace so soon after the race on Sunday but the intervals went off without a hitch. They're were a few of us in the group signed up for the Dungarvan 10 miler next Sunday and the advice from the Coach was to join up with a few other runners from the club who were targeting 6:20 pace. While 6:20 miles with 2 minute recoveries felt fine stringing 10 of them together with no recoveries over undulating terrain is a different story. Then again nothing ventured nothing gained. If I did manage to pull off an average 6:20 pace the 63:20 result would be a massive PB and my first sub 65 minute 10 miler. To be quite honest another PB, even by a few seconds, would be more than enough for me.
Given that i'm training for a marathon in 5 weeks and an ultra 5 weeks later I was conscious of the fact that I need to get a long run in this week and to run well in Dungarvan a Saturday long run would not be the best preparation. With this in mind I set the alarm for 4:45 this morning with the aim of getting at least a 2 hour mid-week long run in.
Surprisingly I woke about 10 minutes before the alarm and after a quick cup of coffee was out the door a few minutes before 5 with 1 gel in my pocket for insurance.
Immediately I started thinking of how far I would get if I extended my run time to 2:20 or a little longer. While 18 miles would be good I subconsciously was thinking, all things being equal, I should be heading for 20 miles at this stage in my training. With a max of 2:30 I could just about squeeze the 20 miles in at 7:30 pace and should this be unachievable, 18 miles would do. With this plan squirrelled away in my subconscious my early pace in the 7:50's reduced through the 7:40's heading for 7:30. The first 5 miles averaged 7:37 pace. I more or less repeated the 16.5 mile route I did a few weeks ago heading into town along the Model Farm Road, College Road, South Quays, Horgans Quay, Train Station and back west through Sunday's Well and the Straight Road adding a 3 mile loop back the Model Farm Road to Inchagaggin Lane and eventually home.
The first 10 miles were in 1:14:16 (07:26 pace). I took the gel at 12.6 miles and continued on at a relatively even sub 7:20 pace to get the last 10 miles in 1:11:54 (07:11 pace) - in fact the last 15 miles averaged 7:12 pace with each 5 mile block marginally faster than the previous one (36:10, 36:00 & 35:54). The effort felt tough towards the end but the relative ease at which the pace came early on and maintained for most of the run was good.
That the last hard long run before Barcelona, i'll probably do one or two shorter runs with some marathon pace miles thrown in and one or two 20+ mile easy paced long runs before the taper.
My legs certainly felt tired throughout the day particularly during a lunchtime cycle with Connie, Pete and another fast guy less than half my age - over the hill to Crossbarry and back - I was dropped on both climbs, and they were taking it relatively easy. Then again I haven't been out on the bike for over a month and before that a month and a half. Time for some catchup. I'll probably spend more time on the bike between Barcelona and Connemara to give my running muscles a bit of a break which should limit loss of condition.
With 40 miles in the bag already this week the next few days will be relatively easy on the running front with at least one days rest. While my calendar weekly totals have been between 60 and 65 miles the last 5 days running have totalled almost 72 miles (79.5 for the last 7 days) which was enough to convince me to ease up.

Chasing hares at Mile 3.5 on Sunday - I certainly look a bit overdressed for the ocassion

Mon 25th Jan

a.m. 6.83 miles in 1:01:17 (8:58 pace @ 111 HR) recovery run in vibrams

p.m. 4.73 miles in 38:23 (8:07 pace @ 123 HR)

Tue 26th Jan

9.08 miles in 1:14:49 (8:14 @ 129 HR) with 5 x 1,600m in 6:17/22/20/20/14

Wed 27th Jan

20.04 miles in 2:26:10 (07:18 pace @ 143 HR) Long Run


  1. That's a very impressive long run, but most of all I'm glad to hear that I am not the only lunatic getting up at 4:45 any more!

    Sub-65 in Dungarvan should be a given and sub-64 is definitely within reach, provided you're recovered from that long run.

  2. The low HR on the recovery run is a great sign, not to mention the long run and intervals.

    You're in great shape, so 6:20 miles for the race to me seems a fair call. Just sit on the 63-minute group :)

  3. best of luck on Sunday. I'll be there in spirit!!