Sunday, 8 February 2015

Marathon Training Week 4 of 9

I'm nearly halfway through the marathon programme and it's taking it toll. My target paces are just a tad ambitious considering my form on week 1 - plenty of endurance but not near enough speed.
With the icy weather on Tuesday I had to abandon the track for another week and run my speed session on the road, which I find tougher mentally (there's a little more comfort in checking your splits every quarter mile on a consistent course) not to mind the fact that I struggled to hold the pace towards the end - unlike in 2013, when I could finish the session strong.

My weekend long run was at a slower pace than on previous weeks, primarily due to a niggle in my right hammy that I did not want to risk aggravating. My aerobic efficiency for the 24 miles @ 617 Hb/Km is similar to the 620 Hb/Km for the 26.2 mile run in 2013, despite the fact that I am still 2 to 3 Kg heavier than I was then - so not all bad.

My triathlon training continues to consist of a swim on a Saturday evening and a long cycle on Sunday morning (in the 100k range), all adding to the overall stress - and training benefit. The swim is affecting my sinuses with the chlorine causing a stuffy blocked nose and disrupting my sleep. It clears up on Sunday morning but the loss of sleep is tiring. I dug out my old nose clip today and will take it along to next weeks swim.

Swim - 2 Km
Bike  - 64 Miles
Run   - 70 Miles

February 2015  - Week 4 of 9
May 2013  - Week 4 of 10

Session # 1 - 4 mile warmup followed by 4 x 2 miles @ HM pace with 90 second active recoveries and 4 mile cooldown

The track was a bit icy so I ran to the straight road with club mate Keith to get the hard work done (2 miles in/2miles out) x 2. Keiths plan was to tag me for about 1.5 miles and take a longer recovery and join me as I passed on the way back. I thought it would be a bit easier than the same session I did two weeks ago but it felt just as hard, if not harder - in fact I had considered jacking it in approaching the halfway mark on the 4th 2 miler - my left calf was getting an bit tight my lap pace was creeping up and I had no sane response to the question "why am I voluntarily putting myself through so much pain and discomfort for what is essentially a pastime, there's got to be more comfortable ways to spend "me time", why the f#*k do I run at all". Nevertheless I pushed on through all this negativity (all good training in it's own right) and completed the session, albeit with a slower 4th 2 miler. The 90 second recoveries provided a bit more stress than the 2 minute recoveries two weeks ago. My interval paces were 6:18/22/17/32 giving an average of 6:22. A 4 mile 9:20ish pace cooldown with Keith completed the session, glad of the company.
While chatting away to Keith during the warm-down I came to the conclusion that I have selected ambitious paces for this training plan, based on PB's as opposed to current ability and if they were 5 to 10 seconds slower per mile i'd do better.
17.13 miles in 2:13.08 (7:48 pace – No HRM) with 4 x 2 Miles @ 6:18/22/17/32 pace.
A repeat of the session I did 2 weeks ago. It felt less stressful (relatively) this time out - the benefit of adaptation. Like 2 weeks ago my reference time was 13 minutes for 8 laps in lane 3 (equivalent to 6:17 pace). After the 4 mile warmup I was at the track,  ready for my first 8 laps, which went by in 13 minutes even. Following the 90 second walking recovery i was off for my 2nd 8 laps and while the pace was challenging, it was manageable. Long story short the remaining 3 intervals went by in 12:58/58/47 (6:16/16/11 pace) pushing the last one over the last few laps just to emulate the closing stages of a race. The 4 mile moderate warmdown was at a steady 7:10 pace (flat route compared to 2 weeks ago)
16.87 miles in 1:59:52 (7:02 pace @ 144 Hr) with 4 x 2 Miles @ 6:17/16/16/11 pace.

Session # 2 – 22 Straight Long Run with strides.

I overshot the distance a bit but the pace was a little slower than previous weeks because within a few miles I could feel a twinge in my right hammy and dialled back on the effort. At one stage I thought i'd have to cut the run short but I persevered and the twinge became less noticeable.
24.1 Miles in 3:06:47 (7:45 pace @ 128 Hr – 617 Hb/Km
This is the longest run on the programme. My long runs to-date have averaged around 7:20 pace. This time out I decided to cut back on the pace and increase the mileage - so that I could head to Limerick and pace today's Marathon. Perhaps if I wanted to keep the pace similar to my previous long runs I should have headed out with the sole 3:15 pacer (7:25 pace) but instead decided to stay with clubmate John pulling a few along, including Kate, who was with us all the way from the start. We got a bit carried away over the last mile as Kate was gaining on two girls in front of her and with our encouragement (and injection of a bit of pace) she passed them both and hung on for a 3:28:xx finish, with John and I hanging back until the clock was counting down the last second to 3:30.
26.22 miles in 3:29:30 (7:59 pace @ 125Hr - 620 Hb/Km)



  1. No, don`t aggravate that hammy niggle!!
    And thanks for your comment on mine.

  2. Yes, what Bob said! You've set yourself a tough task. Think I'd want to sleep all day Sunday rather than jump on the pushy for 100k if I was following the same programme. Good h/beats per k data. I think that needs to improve slightly 2 years later to account for decline in max HR due to age.