Tuesday, 30 June 2009

No Rush

While my left calf strain/injury is on the mend my running is still very much on the easy side, which i'm not too worried about (yet!) as my next marathon build will probably be for Dublin at the end of October and if push comes to shove a 12 week programme should do, provided I get a decent base in first. I must say both my calves are as tight as a....caption competition time... both before, during and after most of my runs. With just under 31 miles last week and 26 the week before my running has seen better days. The only quality work has been 3 or 4 x 30 second hill sprints twice a week (injury prevention workout I believe). I have avoided the temptation to run local 3.1, 4, 5 and 6.2 mile races that appear to be on every other day as I fear my calves are on a knife edge and I don't want to push them over the wrong side. With the lack of quality training I suspect my run time in the upcoming Lough Ine Tri will be longer than last year. However I hope to improve on my bike time a little (particularly as last year I spent about 6 minutes putting my saddle back on after it "came" off) and even perhaps shave a few seconds off my swim and transition times. I think a 2:45 target wouldn't be unrealistic (2:52:39 last year). I have certainly been feeling lazy over the last few weeks opting to stay in bed more often than getting up to get a run in before work. I'm still managing to get 2 swims and bike rides in a week (although mechanical problems x 2 on the bike the week before last resulted in a very poor single digit weekly mileage). At least one swim a week is in open water in Inniscarra Lake, the longest of which I completed this evening, swimming about a mile from the car park to the yellow buoy near the pumphouse and back. I swam relatively easy for the first leg (25:51 - suspect that it is less than a mile) and harder for the return leg (28:37 - must have been zig-zagging all over the place) - total time 54:28. My left calf cramped up fully on the return leg when I stopped and treaded water to get my bearings. Thankfully a couple of on the spot flexibility exercises sorted it out and I was on my way. Take it easy. Mon 29th June 5.08 Miles in 38:59 (07:41 pace @ 139 HR) run in park after work Tue 30th June 2.5 Miles in 19:49 (07:56 pace - Treadmill) June Total (Run 77.2 miles, Bike 197.4 miles, Swim 14,250m) Year to-date (Run 1,139 miles, Bike 621 miles, Swim 56.0km)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The only way is up

I had the last physio session on my calf yesterday and while there is still some tenderness following manipulation i'm good to go, provided I ramp back up (distance and pace) gradually. I have eased back over the last week starting with a short 2 mile j0g and increasing to a 5.5 mile run @ 07:45 pace on monday morning. As my next race (9.5k leg of the Lough Ine Challenge) is still 3 weeks away I have a bit of time to increase my running fitness. A 2.5 mile test run on the treadmill yesterday shows how much my fitness has fallen away over the last few months (heart rates for various paces).
A few more of these tests over the coming weeks should show some gains. With tri season started I have managed to get out on the bike a bit more and while I certainly haven't replaced my running time with cycling I have noticed some improvements over the last few weeks. My swim times in the pool seem to be improving also with my last 2 standard training sessions coming in under 29 minutes for 1500m for the first time this year - probably more to do with being more rested from lack of running than anything else.
17 miles under the belt so far this week. So far so good.

Monday, 1 June 2009


I had my very first DNF today, although dropping out of a marathon after 3 miles probably doesn't even qualify for a DNF (If it was a shorter race with a proper warmup I probably would have not made the start line). I lined up with Denis Looney of Eagle who was aiming for a sub 3:30. With my primary target as finishing without walking 3:30 (8 minute miles) sounded like a reasonable pace to start with. I tested my calf yesterday morning with a 10 mile warmup on the bike followed by a 2 mile run and apart from the heat everything appeared to work fine. With clear blue skies and only sporadic shade throughout the course I knew the sun would be a major factor. However I could handle the sun through proper pacing and hydration, if my calf behaved. Denis wanted to head out at 7:50 pace so that he would have a bit of a cushion built up for the second half. Our first mile around the Mall, Parnell Place and down the Quays was covered in about 7:38 which felt comfortable so we drove on. We maintained a similar pace as we headed out to Blackpool. I took my first (and only) gel at the 2 mile mark- still going strong. Just before the 3 mile mark I felt the pain coming on my calf and knew it was only a matter of time and sure enough shortly after the 3 mile water station I sent Denis on his way, wished him luck and slowed to a walk as the pain intensified - race over. I must have walked (limped) another 3 miles as I first made my way to the half way mark (about a mile from town) and back to the finish to see the leaders come in. The lead guy passed through halfway in about 1:11 with a 4 minute gap to the next guy. I met Joe Roche and Pat Murphy waiting to start the second half as part of relay teams - Pat ultimately came in with a sprint finish for the line in 2:59:58 with Joe not long after him. No sign of Puds until his first half runner came in and he appeared out of nowhere to take the baton (wrist band) for the second half - he covered his half in close enough to 1:30. Conditions were hotter than expected and even at the halfway point there were a number of casualties. Denis came through a shade under 1:45 complaining about tripping on a gully - he was just about on target for 3:30 but without any cushion left and a tougher 13.1 miles to go I feared that 3:30 was not on (I left the finish area with 3:40 on the clock and still no sign of him) Richard came through in 1:46 or 7 and stopped in front of me - he'd had enough - HR in the 170's and 10 minutes behind pace. We chatted for a while as I headed back to town and he for home. Well done to those who ran today in such challenging heat.
So!...My marathon build came to nothing much - all the 5 am mid-week long runs - sprinting up hills before dawn in February - weekend sleep-ins till 7 am ahead of 20 milers - I sometimes think it's the training that keeps me going not the goal. Why else would I contemplate my next marathon build with such relish.
What next ...physio and no running over the next month with a switch to bike and swim for my first tri in 5 weeks time. At least I can concentrate on these disciplines without going crazy.