Sunday, 27 December 2009

???....Some more running

Despite the icy conditions and cancelled road races (Belgooly on 26th and Bandon tomorrow) I still managed to get out over the last few days to complete my scheduled runs. It wasn't without a few challenges though. My early morning run on Wednesday was an easy aerobic session and although jack frost was everywhere road surfaces were not slippy. This was not the case on Thursday as I headed to the park for a few steady miles (on the easy end of the 7:00 to 7:20 spectrum). I still had to watch my step as the ground was frozen solid in places. I headed to the park again on Saturday as my attempt to run a hilly fartlek session on the road was doomed from the start . I didn't even make it to the base of the hill as there was ice everywhere, despite the fact that temperatures were well above freezing and the sun was shining - the ground takes a while to defrost I suppose. My long run this morning with Pat was also in icy conditions although we both made it around the 18.5 mile hilly course without loosing our footing - however Pat covered a few yards without moving his feet. The pace was relatively slow as a result but the morning was beautiful and sunny and the icy roads meant that we didn't see many cars (none between miles 1 and 8.5). I'm a little disappointed that tomorrow's Bandon 5 miler is cancelled as I was looking forward to a challenge and perhaps even a last PB for 2009. Instead i'll have to settle for a different type of PB as I hope to get a 4.5 hour training run (crawl?) in before the year end. Taking into account the weather and my social life Thursday 31st is looking good. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday.
Wed 23rd Dec 10.38 miles in 1:25:12 (08:12 pace @ 129HR) Thur 24th Dec 7.3 miles in 54:59 (07:32 pace @ 135HR) with 4.75 miles steady @ 7:17 pace. Sat 26th Dec 10.62 miles in 1:19:57 (07:32 pace @ 141HR) Fartlek - 05:51 to 06:24 pace Sun 27th Dec 18.61 miles in 2:40:18 (08:37 pace @ 125HR) Long Run Base Week #5 - 60.78 miles

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Cool Running

Pat and I turned up at the track this evening expecting it to be empty and the session called off as icy conditions prevailed. We were half prepared for a relatively easy (if not slippery) run on the roads around Bishopstown instead. However the track surface wasn't too bad with just a few patches of ice, primarily in the inner lanes.
Quite a few club members were warming up, including Kevin and Colm from my pacing group - so it looked like we were in for some hard work after all. Between the jigs and the reels we decided on 4 x 1 mile @ 6 minute pace (well 4 laps of lane 3 @ 6:12 target).
Temperatures were a degree or 2 below freezing and the steam rising from us during the 3 minute rests between the efforts reminded me of race day at Fairyhouse.
We never quite hit the target time as the cold appeared to slow us ever so slightly - well that and watching for icy patches - 6:19/16/16/15. Kevin bailed after 3 miles as he was still recovering from his 18:25 5k on Saturday. Coach told us afterwards that it is harder to run a particular pace in cold conditions - news to me but it certainly explains why today's session felt tougher than last weeks 5 x 1 mile. Feel free to comment.
I'm not too sure how my training/racing will go over the holidays as I have a few more social engagements to attend. I had planned on running the Bandon 5 miler on 28th Dec but forgot about a wedding I am attending 2 hours after the race start - Don't think the planning permission will go through on that one - so my next race may be the Mallow 10 Miler in early January. I am also planning on a long "long run" in preparation for Connemara - 4.5 hours is at the back of my mind - I'll need to complete it at least a week before Mallow though. I may just add it on to next Sunday's long run.
Have a good holiday.
Mon 21st Dec
6.39 miles in 46:07 (07:16 pace @ 138 HR) - Steady run in the park at lunchtime.
Tue 22nd Dec
7.53 miles in 1:07:09 (08:55 pace @ 148 HR) - with 4 x 1,664m in 6:19/16/16/15 & 3 min recoveries @ zero pace. Avg warmup HR was 173 hence high overall avg HR.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Too busy running

Things must have been pretty busy over the last few weeks as I haven't updated in a while. Or else I haven't much to say at the moment as my training follows a pretty regular routine. I started this post on Thursday and it's now Sunday morning - a lot of Guinness has passed my lips in the intervening period, which may be the reason for my apathy to blogging.
For the first time in my short running career I am running to a programme set by someone else. The club coach gave me a programme last week which centres around a Tuesday track session of 3 to 5 x 1 mile repeats, a Sunday long run of 16 miles preceded by a hilly fartlek session on Saturday. The remaining runs are either aerobic "easy" runs or "Steady"runs with a day off on Friday. Given my social schedule coming up to Christmas the day off on Friday has come in very handy. Pity I couldn't extend it to Sunday this weekend (end of Thursday's post).
Certainly the most challenging session is the 6 minute mile repeats on Tuesdays. Last week I managed 4 and thought that was my limit, as we were pretty much spent at the end. This week the target was 5 repeats in lane 3 (6:12 target for 1,664m approx, 93 second laps). We weren't too far off the target at 6:15 for the first, but it felt tougher than last week. However the 3 minute recoveries were enough to enable the body to repeat the process a further 4 times with the last rep coming in at 6:09. My "steady" pace is somewhere between marathon pace and easy pace (7:00 to 7:20 miles for me) although I have concentrated on the fast end of this scale as I want to get used to running marathon pace early in the programme. On Thursday I pushed the pace under 7:00 for the 4 "steady" miles of my run and although the 6:45 pace was closer to my "Tempo" pace the effort did not feel as tough as I would have expected this early in my programme. My long runs are at a relatively easy 8 minute plus pace, although this mornings run with Pat over a course that was very hilly in parts was enough to stress all the systems despite the 8:20 average pace. The run was in beautiful sunshine along quite country roads on the ridge between the Lee and Bride valleys west of Ballincollig with great views - certainly a new route to add to the list of Ealge AC weekend runs (for those Eagles reading this post the route could be reduced to a 16 mile run). The only drawback this morning was the icy surface at some shaded spots. Goodbye for now and enjoy the holidays.
Fri 4th Dec - 4.87 miles @ 8:12 pace & 133 HR (with 7 x 15 sec hill sprint).
Sat 5th Dec - 13.36 miles @ 8:09 pace & 131HR
Base Week #2 - 38.4 miles
Mon 7th Dec - 10.22 miles @ 7:50 pace & 137 HR
Tue 8th Dec - 6.21 miles with 4 x 1,600m in 6:08/03/03/03.
Wed 9th Dec - 6.21 miles @ 7:55 pace & 132 HR
Thur 10th Dec - 6.2 miles 7:25 pace & 140HR (with 4 miles steady @ 7:03 pace)
Sat 12th Dec - 9.25 miles @ 7:50 pace & 143 HR (Hilly Fartlek run)
Sun 13th Dec - 16.44 miles @ 7:53 pace & 128HR
Base Week #3 - 54.5 miles
Mon 14th Dec - 6.1 miles @ 7:12 pace & 138HR (Steady run)
Tue 15th Dec - 7.93 miles with 5 x 1664m in 6:15/13/15/13/09
Wed 16th Dec - 8.64 miles @ 8:03 pace & 133HR + 2.5 mile treadmill run @ 7:56 pace.
Thur 17th Dec - 6.0 miles @ 7:08 pace & 136HR (with 4 miles @ 6:45 pace)
Sat 19th Dec - 12.86 miles @ 8:51 pace & 118 HR (Eagle AC Christmas Run) Sun 20th Dec - 18.43 miles @ 8:20 pace & 131 HR (Hilly long run)
Base Week #4 - 62.47 miles.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Back in the saddle

I finally managed to get back on the bike last Friday for the first time since splitting my lip off the back of a car. It wasn't for want of trying, it's just that the weather hasn't been the best and I can only get out during daylight. A relatively easy 16+ miles over flat terrain was sufficient. It was evident that I had lost a lot of the gains I had made during the summer. If I want to improve my triathlon times next year the easiest gains can be made on the bike provided I get some decent continuous base training in during the winter. On the running front I am well a truly recovered from Dublin. In fact Dublin felt more like a bump in the road as opposed to an end of season type of race. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I had a lot of running down time in May/June due to injury and the triathlons during the summer prevented me from getting high mileage in. This lack of high endurance mileage in the early build for Dublin does not appear to have affected my performance, so maybe there's a lesson there. I covered 27 miles over 2 weekend runs, 16 with Eagle over a hilly route in Glounthane on Saturday and a further 11 miles on a wet Sunday morning. The coach commented on Tuesday that if I am doing 2 relatively long runs back to back that the last run should be the longest and that the first run should be a fartlek type session so that the legs are already tired heading into the second run. Tuesday's track session was a further step up in the stress ladder with the 2ks @6:20 pace being replaced by miles @ 6:00 pace. We had 3 in all to do with 3 minute recoveries and I was certainly glad when they were over. Still mile repeats at that pace are far easier to do on the track than the road and running as part of a group certainly helps to pull you along when you are flagging. After the repeats I fell in with the 6:30 pace group who were adding 2 further miles to their session. Wednesday's recovery run saw me return to the barefoot fivefingers which gave me no trouble over the slow 5 miles, despite the fact that I had not run in them for over a month. It was back to the track this evening but as the surface had iced over in places I opted for a steady run with Paul & Tony around Bishopstown covering 3.9 miles @ 6:58 pace. 12 weeks to Barcelona Fri 27th Nov 2.5 miles in 19:49 (07:56 pace - Treadmill) Sat 28th Nov 16.03 miles in 2:12:00 (08:14 pace @ 124 HR) Sun 29th Nov 11.31 miles in 1:31:55 (08:08 pace @ 130HR) Base Week 1 - 53.9 miles November (Run 195.5 miles, Bike 25.5 miles, Swim 8,500m) Tue 1st Dec 7 miles approx with 3 x 1600m in 6:04/5:58/6:04 & 2 x 1600m in 6:30 approx. Wed 2nd Dec 5.27 miles in 48:54 (09:17 pace @ 114 HR) -Recovery run Barefoot/Vibrams Thur 3rd Dec 7.89 miles in 1:03:56 (08:06 pace @ 128HR) with 3.9 miles @6:58 pace.