Friday, 9 July 2010

Doing what it says on the tin.


The tin said 10 to 12 x 400m @ R pace with 400m jog recoveries. With an R pace of 80 seconds (83 in lane 3) I did what it said on the tin, no more no less. I settled on 10 reps in total as R pace should be no more than 5% of total weekly mileage and 10 x 400m would require a 50 mile week (I haven’t broken the 50 mile/week mark in months) To be quite honest I had no energy for anything faster and the aim was to get the session done.


I followed Tuesday's track session up with an easy 5 miler in the park at lunchtime - although the 8:24 average pace felt tougher than it should have.

Over the last few weeks I have been feeling more tired than usual and I still haven't returned to running before work in the morning, so I can't blame the early moring rise. I thought I might be suffering from an iron deficiency which is sometimes an issue for endurance runners. Although I don't think so as my diet should contain enough iron. When I said this to Abina the other morning, she landed on to my work an hour later with a vitamin/mineral supplement that the pharmacist recommended saying that if I still felt tired after 10 days that I should get my "bloods done".


It was a wet miserable evening for doing my tempo run so the best place I could think of for motivating me was in the middle of 150 other runners at the start line of the Corkbeg 5 miler in Whitegate. I wasn't expecting much as it had not been a target race, although I did feel reasonably fresh during the 2 mile warmup. There were quite a few Eagles running so I would have plenty of black singlets to keep an eye on.

While I got into a good comfortably fast stride from the gun the opening mile was a less than spectacular 6:07. I was on the shoulder of Kevin (who's strategy was to hold his powder dry until he got to the 3 mile mark). John had gone ahead by about 10 to 20 yards and Pat, who had taken off on his usual opening blistring pace, was off in the distance. Eddie came up on our shoulder and all 3 of us ran together for about a mile. I felt very confortable but at the same time had no desire/energy to up the pace.

Turn right off the main road and a series of short hills before a steady descent back to the main road. I left Kevin and Eddie behind me at this stage and reined in and passed John as I took advantage of gravity (free energy as far as i'm concerned). I knew once I hit level ground John would be back on my shoulder and sure enough he was. Mile 2, containing all the hills was the slowest at 6:23 -

"12:30 to here = 6:15 pace, continuing at this pace will give 31:15 overall - just inside my PB"

The run back the main road to Whitegate was pretty uneventful with John on my shoulder or I on his . We passed 2 or 3, with 1 guy coming with us. Pat, who was about 70 yards ahead, was drifting back towards us for awhile but the gap never got closer than 50 yards.

Mile 3 & 4 in 6:11 & 6:13. I was surprisingly without as much pain as I should be feeling at this stage in a race but at the same time had no "push" in me - even pacing was the name of the game.

Mile 4.5 - turn right for the road to Corkbeg with a slight rise in front of us. Kevin came flying past at a pace that's normally reserved for the tuesday track session - his plan working to perfection. John was about 5 yards in front of me with another guy tailing me.
"400m to go" I push on and gain on John - the guy behind me puts on the thrusters and I can hear him accelerate before he goes flying past me and then John - I certainly never saw such speed so far out from the finish line of a 5 miler. I had no response - well I had I suppose but it was the opposite of what i'd like to report - I eased up, motivation gone, I forgot about chasing John and eased back a gear and coasted home the last 200m - 31:10 finish time. Last mile in 6:16 - where was my last mile kick - never had it - but i've done better than that before.
Still a 5 mile PB which I can put on the side bar, although still soft enough that it won't affect the training paces that McMillan gave me after the 18:40 5k last month - that would give me a 30:56 5 mile time. If I was on best form my 1:02:38 10 miler in January would give me a 29:49 5 miler - dream on.


  1. Congratulations with the PB. Looks like you and I are following similar footsteps with respect to training, i.e. the 400s. Keep it up!

  2. Ah come on, at our advanced age a PB is a cause for unbridled joy and celebration, not a time when you say thing like "soft enough".

    Be happy, ferchrissake!

  3. Well done on the PR! McMillian Schmickmillian, besides, maybe you're good to go for a new 10-mile PR as well.

    Keep a check on your iron levels, low iron has floored me a couple of times in the past, so if in doubt get a blood test, remember you lose iron through sweating [which happens a lot in summer] plus you lose red blood cells every time your foot hits the ground [ may be worse if you run barefoot !].

  5. Grellan, I'm with Thomas. Savour every PB, no matter how small. Sadly, there comes a time (no matter how distant in the future for you) when PBs can't be run.

  6. well done on the PB Grellan, if you rested for 4 or 5 days and targetted a 5 mile race you would probably smash that time again..

    enjoy the lambs liver


  7. Running a PB is alot more satisfying than doing a tempo run alone. Sounds like there is room for improvement. The iron supplements are working wonders for me !

  8. Cheers Guys. I am happy with the PB and my running appears to be going in the right direction. Another couple of 5 milers before the end of August will tell alot.