Sunday, 27 September 2009

I need a new bike

Beautiful sunshine greeted us yesterday morning on the Dingle peninsula as we headed for the pier at Scraggane (beyond Castlegregory) to sign up for the Seven Frogs Triathlon. I had been feeling tired and out of sorts all week with my running feeling sub par. So I didn't know how I was going to fare. As Triathlons go the Seven Frogs is a bit disorganised (not organised enough to suit Triathlon Ireland standards) but supposedly good fun. The Olympic distance event (56 of us in all) was kicking off at 2:00pm with the Sprint (about 170 or so - in 3 waves) a half an hour later.
The swim was around Scraggane Bay with buoys no bigger than a large football to guide us. Needless to say it was fun trying to spot where we were supposed to go - some wandered way off course, heading for international waters. Whatever about spotting small buoys from the elevated position of the pier it was nigh impossible from an elevation of 6 inches above the water surface. Still I sighted off one or two in front as I zig-zagged a trail behind them constantly adjusting my course. The water was beautiful and clear (Sea swimming is so much better than in a lake or river) . Coming in towards the slipway I was neck and neck with a guy in a green cap (most of us were in yellow) managing to get out of the water just ahead of him. He passed me on the 200m sprint to transition as I had to stop to pick up my goggles and hat after dropping them. Still I ran in behind him to transition not wanting to lose time - until I saw him stop and walk as he handed his chip to another guy who headed straight out on his bike while I had to struggle out of my wetsuit.
The 40km cycle was back towards Castlegregory. I passed 2 before turning right onto the main Tralee Dingle Road, after about 10k, where the Marshall said that I was in fifth position. That gave me a bit of a boost as I headed west towards Stradbally and the Conor Pass. After a mile or 2 I could see 2 guys in front cycling side by side and began to gain on them steadily. However despite getting to within 50 yards they pulled away again. The road rose towards the Conor Pass but we turned right before it got too steep and headed downhill for about 2k towards Cloghane before taking a sharp right and heading back east towards Castlegregory. I could still see the 2 guy in front whenever the bends gave way to long straights.
With about 15k to go the unthinkable happened (well not quite unthinkable as it happened on my first triathlon last year) - the saddle fell off my bike. It had been a bit loose since about 10k as it shifted slightly following a jolting pothole. This time I knew what to do as I dismounted, retrieved my saddle and loosened the fixing before refitting it to the seat post. Unfortunately I could not tighten it sufficiently, but thought it would be enough to get me home. In the meantime my fifth position was long gone with a trickle of riders passing me by, including Connie and Pete, who were going strong. Back on the bike and off I go, even passing a few that had overtaken me when, after a few km, the saddle falls off again despite me trying to keep it balanced on the seat post. This time I take longer to fix it as I take my time and even chat to a old guy sitting at the roadside. I still can't tighten it properly but decide to cycle on, taking it easier so that I can at least get back to transition.
I finally make it back and head out on the 10k run, although I don't think it is quite 10k. There's confusion everywhere as there are 5k (sprint) and 10k runners sharing the same narrow road with cars and cyclists. Add to this 12 year old Marshalls who were never briefed and you can see why it got a bit confusing. Still all bar 1 (i think) ran the same Olympic run route - about 800m shy of 10k. I felt strong throughout and passed between 10 and 12 during the run. The clock showed 2:33:5x as I crossed the finish line. Well down on where I could have been but still a very enjoyable day. I had heard that results were printed after the race but could not find them - so I don't know my splits - i'll just have to wait till they get posted on the website, which may be a long time from now.
No running today as I am recovering from the after race refreshments. So all in all a low mileage running week with my longest run over 11.5 miles on Wednesday morning. Speedwork involved 5 x 1k at 6 minute pace on the track with Joe, John & Michael on Tuesday evening and about 9.2k tempo run at the tail end of the 7 frogs yesterday. Hopefully I'll get a longer run in next weekend between Cork and Cobh.
Have a good week.
Mon 21st Sept
7.28 miles in 57:41 (07:55 pace - no HRM) - Regional Park (tired)
Tue 22nd Sept
7.02 miles in 1:02:15 (08:52 pace @ 130 HR) with 5 x 1k in 3:44/40/45/43/40 (200m recoveries)
Wed 23rd Sept
11.5 miles in 1:32:37 (08:03 pace @ 128 HR) - tired
Thur 24th Sept
2.5 miles in 19:49 (07:56 pace - Treadmill)
Fri 25th Sept
7.28 miles in 55:32 (07:38 pace @ 133 HR) - Regional Park
Sat 26th Sept
about 5.7 miles at tempo pace ???
Marathon Training Week 9/13- 41.3 miles

Saturday, 19 September 2009

How much speed do I need

The rebel cycle tour last Sunday is the longest lasting endurance event I have completed - just under 4.5 hours in the saddle with a break in the middle for tea, sandwiches and cake (and of course the obligatory banana). A very enjoyable day out in glorious sunshine with a couple of tough challenges thrown in - the 1,000 foot climb from Millstreet up over Mushera and the less daunting (but later in the day) long drag up to Nadd. The difference between drafting in a group and going solo is huge - like riding a train (provided you can jump aboard as it doesn't stop to pick up passengers).
With Monday as a rest day Tuesday saw me back at the track for the first time in months with 6 x 800m (832m in lane 3 to be exact) in 3:00 as my target. Shouldn't be too difficult surely. Given that it was a long time since I did track intervals I was less than confident starting off. My legs felt good but an overall sluggish feeling enveloped me as the intervals progressed. The first 2 went off fine in 2:59 & 2:58 but the remaining 4 pushed over the 3 minute mark 3:03/02/02/03 and any thought of extending the number to 8 that I had entertained at the outset quickly disappeared. Still I was reasonably happy with my effort and put the sluggishness down to residual tiredness from Sundays cycle and lack of recent track experience. Despite this sluggishness I was up at 5 on Wednesday morning for a 14 mile medium long run that went off without a hitch, although the tenderness in my left PF surfaced from the 10 mile mark on. It did not get any worse and there was no discomfort walking after the run. Thursday was my second speed session with a plan to run 2 x 3 miles @ about HM pace (6:40). I changed this to 3, 2 & 1 mile tempo runs with 0.5 mile recoveries as I convinced myself to take it easier lest I get an injury. The 6 tempo miles went off without a hitch although I was glad of the extra recovery before the final mile: 6:41/37/34 - 6:39/34 - 6:27. Average 6:36. Certainly my speedwork has been better in the past. In April I did 6 straight miles @ 6:29 pace, then again 8 days later I was pulled up with a calf tear. This time last year 2 x 4 miles @ 6:34 average pace followed 14 days later with a calf strain/tear. There's certainly a trend developing. I'm very conscious of this and my priority is to get to Dublin on 26th October injury free.
My weekly long run this morning included the hilly Maglin, Knockburden, Ballinora loop with Eagle AC. I decided to get my extra miles in first so I started from home shorty after 7 and ran 5 miles to UCC farm where I met up with the group and ran 11 miles of the loop with them before heading back to Ballincollig. On leaving the group I decided to stress the body with some marathon pace running from mile 16 to 20 settling for 7 minute pace which felt tough but manageable (I had taken 2 gels at miles 8.5 and 15 ) I extended the MP section to 5 miles which I covered in 34:45 (06:57 avg) and warmed down over a further 1.25 miles back home getting 22.25 miles in total. As I have a triathlon in Castlegregory next weekend my next long run is likely to be Cork to Cobh which I will use for longer MP training. Tomorrow will either be a recovery run or more than likely a bit of bike cross training. Tue 15th Sept 6.82 miles in 51:35 (07:34 pace @ 143HR) with 6 x 832m in 2:58 to 3:03. Wed 16th Sept 14.02 miles in 1:46:33 (07:36 pace @ 139HR) Thur 17th Sept 10 miles in 1:12:10 (07:13 @ 146HR) with 3 + 2 + 1 miles @ 6:36 avg pace Fri 18th Sept 2.5 miles in 19:49 (07:56 pace on the treadmill) Sat 19th Sept 22.25 miles in 2:50:09 (07:39 pace @ 143HR) with 5 miles @ MP Marathon Training Week 8/13 - 55.6 miles Postscript Sun 20th Sept 5.34 miles in 43:09 (8:04 pace @ 122HR) - following 21.3 mile cycle. 60.9 miles for the week.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Change of Plan

By Monday evening the tenderness in my plantar fascia had intensified so much so that it was painful to walk without limping. I did some of the exercises recommended on this site to provide some relief, although according to the article I do not have Plantar Fascitis - the test apparently is to
"Take your opposite thumb to the inside front part of the heel - right where it begins to slope into the arch - and dig in hard. If your scream wakes the neighbors, congratulations, you've got PF.
I followed the instructions and was relieved to find no pain. After a bit more research I thought I might have Metatarsalgia which is more in the ball of the foot and commonly affects runners and those who wear high heals (no wonder Jamie cut the heels off his shoes). My current thinking is that I have delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after my semi-barefoot hill repeats from the previous Monday. Essentially I should have eased myself into barefoot adaptation rather than push too far too soon. Still, no real harm done (fingers crossed) and the net result should be further adaptation of my foot/lower leg muscles to minimalist running.
With my foot still tender on Tuesday and Wednesday I opted for zero running. An out and back 5 miler on Thursday morning, while comfortable at the start ended up painful and totally un-enjoyable. That was enough for me to opt out of tomorrow's half marathon in Blarney and sign up instead for the 130km Rebel Tour Cycle - should be a good test of my endurance.
I got up this morning to go for a short bike ride but decided at the last minute to test my running legs. I warmed up over the mile to the regional park and felt great so decided to increase the run from 5 to 10 miles with the middle 8 miles at 7:00 to 7:10 pace - after the weeks rest I needed a bit of a blowout. The run went off without a hitch covering the 8 faster miles in 7:00 pace with the splits fairly consistent at
My left foot is still tender which was more noticeable during a 2 mile walk with the dogs this evening. My legs also feel as if they have a touch of DOMS, not the best feeling the night before a 5 hour ride through the hills of North Cork.
Best of luck to all those running the half in Blarney tomorrow looks like the sun will be shining on you. I wonder how close Brendan and Puds will get to the magical 1:20 mark.
Mon 7th Sept
2.5 miles in 19:49 (07:56 pace - treadmill)
Thur 10th Sept
5 miles in 38:44 907:45 pace @ 129HR)
Sat 12th Sept
10 miles in 1:11:17 (07:08 pace @ 151HR) with 8 miles in 55:59 (07:00 pace) - HR for warmup mile was 150???.
Marathon Training Week # 7/13 - 17.5 miles! At least todays run served a purpose.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Getting it all in

I had 2 running free days this week. On Thursday morning I was too tired to get up following a 5 a.m. start for my 15 mile run on Wednesday and on Sunday I was recovering from Saturday's Long run and opted instead for a long 3 hr +bike ride as I still have one more triathlon left this season.
My left plantar fascia has been tender since Thursday but not enough to prevent/affect running. It could be a delayed reaction to my barefoot recovery run on Monday which included short hill sprints - although the sprint themselves felt great and passed without a hitch. Tuesday's speed workout consisted of 2 x 2 miles @ HM pace with 0.5 miles recovery. I aimed for 6:40 pace which is what McMillan gives as my HM pace using my recent 5 mile result in Ballyccotton. I ended up with an average of 6:30 for the 4 miles - 6:35/28/34/23 tending to push the 2nd mile a little harder in anticipation of the rest at the end of it. Wednesday's 15 miler was a struggle in that I had to rise at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. to get it done before 7 as the house is in back to school mode this week. My second speed session of the week got pushed back to Friday with 2 x (10 x 400m @ 5k pace - 6 minute miles) on the programme. As I did not rise early enough and in the absence of a track I opted for 12 x 0.25 miles with 0.1 mile recoveries following a 1.5 mile warmup. The first few intervals went by a bit too fast as I was a bit too eager and am unaccustomed to doing 400's on the road. However the early fast pace did not impact too much on the latter intervals although the 0.1 mile recoveries felt all too brief. Paces were 5:47/34/49/52/37/56/58/54/51/62/51/58
Saturday's long run with Eagle AC was a carbon copy of last weeks run except that I kept to the 2h:45m time and got in a slightly longer 21.37 miles for my effort. I just managed to get over the 60 mile mark for the week, which, while over 10 miles less than last week, doesn't concern me as I got all the quality sessions in and today's long bike ride can only benefit my running.
While I think a marathon is a great test of human endurance, it pales into insignificance compared to the exploits of Lisa Cummins from Cork who next week is attempting to be the first Irish person to swim from England to France and back again. She expects to be in the water for 30 hours. I think she may be allowed to rest in France for up to 10 minutes provided she remains in water above her knees - Amazing!!!
Mon 31st Aug a.m. 7.56 miles in 01:08:10 (09:01 pace @ 158 HR) - Barefoot with 10 x 15 sec hill sprints - HR inexplicably jumped into the 160's, 170's and 180's after the 117 BPM opening mile??? p.m. 2.5 miles in 19:49 (07:56 pace - treadmill) August (Run 265 miles, Bike 152 miles, Swim 3,250m) Tue 1st Sept 8 miles in 56:56 (07:07 pace @ 142 HR) with 2 x 2 miles @ 6:30 pace avg. Wed 2nd Sept 15.02 miles in 1:55:46 (07:42 pace @ 132HR) Fri 4th Sept 6.39 miles in 49:13 (7:42 pace @ 136HR) with 12 x 0.25 miles @ 5k pace (06:00) Sat 5th Sept 21.37 miles in 01:45:01 (07:43 pace @ 131HR) Marathon Training Week #6/13 - 60.84 miles