Sunday, 1 February 2015

Marathon Training Week 3 of 9

Another tough week with work travel and a few late nights, with poor diet choices contributing to the overall stress. Tuesdays speed session was supposed to be relatively easy but turned into a bit of a struggle. Saturday's long run was a bit better, but standing on the scales beforehand and seeing that I weighed 1.5 kg more than last week was not good for the confidence or the opening few miles. On the plus side I am a third of the way through the programme and still hitting the quality sessions, albeit missing a few recovery/easy runs. Although it only gets tougher from here on - so it's time to  man up and dig deep to get through the next few weeks. Cutting the crap from my diet will be a big part of this as I think my weight is the main reason that I am behind the training curve compared to where I was two years ago.

January 2015  - Week 3 of 9
April 2013  - Week 3 of 10
Session # 1 – 16 mile “wave run” with alternate miles at MP.
The plan called for a 16 mile "wave" run - alternate miles at a moderate and marathon pace. To make it a bit more "stressful" I aimed for a 7:20/6:40 moderate/marathon pace (7:00 average) so that the recoveries would not be "easy" - and they certainly weren't . As I was in Dublin for the evening I was a bit apprehensive about route selection as running fast requires enough concentration without having to think too much about where you're going. I opted for a loop from DunLaoighre (where the car was parked) to Blackrock along the sea front and back via Monkstown. It had a few short sharp drags that ordinarily wouldn't raise an eyebrow but turned my legs to jelly this evening, particularly towards the end of the session. My opening miles @ 7:46/6:50 were the slowest moderate/marathon paced miles as it does take me a while to get the engine fired up. Having said that the session turned into a bit of roller coaster ride having to push hard at times to keep the pace, even during the "moderate paced recovery miles".
Overall I averaged a "moderate" pace of 7:25 (more drags) and "marathon" pace of 6:37 (more descents) - so not too bad, but I certainly struggled to achieve it, with negative thoughts creeping in whenever the pace was not on target. Glad to get it done and this was supposed to be one of the easier sessions!!! Avg Hr 152.
16.37 miles @ 7:03 pace and 152 Avg Hr with with 16 alternate miles @ 7:25/6:37 pace.
Compared to last weeks speed session of 4 x 2 miles @ HM pace the 8 miles at MP this week should be easier - it was billed as the easiest of all the speed sessions. How easy would depend on how hard I ran the moderate miles in between. To make it interesting I targeted 7:20 for the "moderate" miles and 6:40 for the MP miles so as to average 7:00 pace (or less) for the full 16 miles.
I decided to stay away from the track this week as I didn't fancy running 64 laps. I ran from home instead - 7.5 miles out and back and the last MP mile and a 1.1 mile cooldown around a 2.1 mile loop from home. The Garmin was low on power but I could only afford 10 minute of charging as I was already late heading out - hence the out and back, where I had a good idea of all the mile markers and if the Garmin died I'd run hard every second mile and check the overall time on the clock at home. 
The 6:40 pace for the first MP mile felt reasonably comfortable although I had a bit of a race with another guy as he increased his pace when I passed him out and he surged past me. Perhaps he had noticed my increase in pace after my opening mile and thought  I was putting it up to him. I let him off but was contemplating a game of cat and mouse if we were to share the same course but thankfully he pulled off into a cul de sac a quarter of a mile down the road and I was back on my own. While the change in pace was noticeable between the fast and slow miles the effort was very manageable, although by MP mile 5 I had to concentrate to keep the pace from slipping.
The Garmin died at mile 10 (5 miles from home) but I knew where the mile markers were and just ran every second mile fast - probably too fast as I was feeling the pressure a bit more. I made it home with 1 MP mile to do - popped in and checked the wall clock, switched the Garmin for a stopwatch and was out the door again within 30 seconds for a 2.1 mile loop, covering the first mile in about 6:30 before cooling down over the last 1.1 miles.
My 5 blind miles (11 to 15) were covered in the same time as miles 1 to 5, so I just used the same splits. My average paces were 7:15/6:34 for the moderate/MP miles - a bit on the fast side, which explains why it was not as easy as it should have been, especially over the last few MP miles.
17.1 miles in 1:59:20 (6:58 pace @ 146 Hr for first 10 miles) with 16 alternate miles @ 7:15/6:34 pace.
Session # 2 - 21 Mile easy with 3 miles @ MP from mile 12.
The plan called for 21 miles with 3 miles @ MP from mile 12 and 6 x 100m @ 5k pace. I managed to cover the MP miles at an average of 6:37 pace and the remaining miles at an average of 7:28 pace - so while the numbers look reasonably good they mask some of the up and downs. After a few late nights and a busy work week my body was tired starting out, but after 5 or 6 miles I began to feel a bit more energetic as the average pace pushed towards and under 7:30 by mile 12. The MP miles were certainly tougher than MP effort, particularly the first mile and a half into a cross/head wind (6:44 pace) along the straight road. I had no HR monitor to gauge the actual effort. With the busy week I had two enforced rest days - so while i'm still getting the key workouts in, the overall mileage has been less than desired.
21 miles in 2:34:23 (7:21 pace – No HRM) with miles 13, 14 & 15 @ 6:37 pace.
A beautiful sunny morning with a bit of a nip in the air. 8 of us headed out from UCC Farm for a 12.5 mile club run, with a pace in the 7:20's. Same route as two weeks ago - following the walkway along the Curraheen River to the Straight Road for a 6 mile loop out to the Anglers Rest and in the Lee Road, then back along the river walk to the Farm, with a few eager beavers forging ahead over the closing stages to sharpen up on their racing tactics.
The last 8.5 miles on my run were on the grass circuit at the Farm - starting into my 3 mile MP section after 13 miles. The northerly wind was a bit off putting when running directly into it but my pace was consistently in the 6:30's (target 6:40) and even dropped into the 6:20s for a spell (with the wind at my back). I had felt a bit apprehensive about how these faster miles would go, given the fatigue in my legs from the first 13 miles and the fact that running fast on grass generally takes a bit more effort. But the increase in pace didn't feel too bad once I got into my stride, although by the time the 3 miles were up I was glad to ease back the pace, which had averaged 6:32.
I also pushed a bit over the closing 5 miles to complete the 21 miles in two and a half hours.
21 miles in 2:30:00 (7:09 pace @ 140 Hr) with miles 14/15/16 @ 6:32 pace & 153 Hr

1 comment:

  1. Yep, hitting your healthy racing weight will make a huge difference. Hate to say it, but you might have to cut a six-pack or two of VBs from your weekly diet ;-)