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Speedy Gonzales or Slowpoke Rodriguez?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Quick update while I have a minute.

    Week Mon 18th - Sun 24th January

    Mon: 10k Recovery various runs
    Mon: 10k Recovery various runs
    Wed: 20k various runs Inc. Treadmill Hill Session: 3 x 4 x 90s @ 10kph @ 15 % incline off 1' rest between reps and 3' between sets
    Sunday's race exposed a lack of leg strength on the climbs so I decided to address it. Because its only 90 secs with good rest most of the pressure comes on the legs and not the breathing. Managed it well enough, and kept decent form till the last. I was surprised actually because I’m a stone over race weight. That said I used leg lift more than leg drive because I found it easier. Gravity is reduced on the treadmill. If you lift your leg, and let the treadmill pull your foot down below you then you don't have to pull your body up against gravity. So body weight is not as much a limiter. Lifting the legs like that is transferable to flat running. They say steep hill reps above 6% (that aren't sprints) are not great for flat running. Not true for a treadmill in my opinion. Anything up to 10% and up to 90s with plenty of rest would be good to target flat strength (lost strength after a few week layoff for example.)
    Anyway was happy to get through it running all reps well.
    Afterwards I started doing a planned 3' @ 16kph @ 3% Inc. This felt amazingly easy on the legs, almost like jogging. I noticed the respiration rate rise rapidly. This didn't bother me as it felt like I was observing another person’s breathing. All that mattered was the legs thought this effort was very easy after the hills. The out of breath discomfort physically felt like a piece of cake in comparison to the leg discomfort. Weird sensation.
    I felt something slight in my ham and stopped immediately. Had being using the quads a lot for the climbing. Forcing the Hams in hard all of a sudden might not be smart. That will do so.

    When I am in good hill running form I can manage 10 x 2 @ 10kph @ 15% incline off 1' (no sets). This is a much. much harder session. The extra 30s adds endurance to each rep. The shorter recoveries accentuate this. Far more strenght endurance required/gained and very transferable to climbing performance in a league type hill race.
    I dont know if Ill step stone to this session is my medium range target is the Debra mountain Half in early March and ill need to have endurance for very long hills there. Will see.

    Thursday: 12k recovery run
    Friday: 20k easy various runs
    Saturday: 16k easy. Plan was for a progression run with 35 mins plus at effort. The legs have been banjoed since Wednesday’s hill session. Too much. Postponed till Sunday
    Sunday: Rest: Busy busy day legs still need a bit more rest. Prog. run postponed.

    88k. 1 good session. A little core work. Feeling fitter. All good.

    Readership is low so the plan from now on is to do one update after every base unit. i.e. after each session and subsequent recovery period.
    An advantage of this is that I may think more about each base unit. Also I plan to list previous similar sessions to show progression. That may force me to start keeping my eye on the ball re. Progressing sessions.

    Week starting Mon 25th January -

    Monday 25th: 17k various runs Inc. Treadmill Hill Session: Uphill alternations:
    15mins Continuous of alternating minutes @ 9kph/10kph @15% incline.

    Idea of session is to train the legs to climb fastish while trying to get rid of fatigue/lactate etc. in the legs. This is trained at the 9kph pace. The 10kph pace is to 'inject' some lactate.
    Anyway the first minute felt hard @ 9kph. Not good! Second min @ 10kph, not bad. I think I was psyched to concentrate on these more. The next min @ 9kph was sweet heaven. I seemed to be recovering OK. The mins @ 10kph were getting harder, but only a min to survive and then the sweet relief of running the 9kph. It’s amazing how the mind works. Anyway, this was tough enough to give slight doubt about the ability to finish. 11 mins in I decided that I should be feeling worse during a 9kph min, and induced a mental wobble, but I survived, got the head together and finished it out.

    5 min jog then: 5 mins alternation mins of 15 kph/16kph @ 3%
    Again this felt like nothing after the hills. Breathing rose but I felt completely detached from it, an unaffected observer. Weird.
    Half an eye on Sunday’s Hellfire race where running fast after climbing steep will be required. I think it’s good to balance the hill stuff with at least some kind of faster running also.

    I was chatting to a coach on the fellrunners uk forum about alternations and she mentioned this session (the first 15 mins). I executed fairly well. Although possibly guilty of not concentrating enough on form on the 9kph minutes.

    I'll be interested to see how this session helps Sunday's race. If I can keep the the first climb under wraps the session might push to the second climb when lactate build up will be an issue. Nothing will save me on the third climb though but at least I wont be alone there.

    Tuesday: 20k easy various runs
    Wednesday: Similar

    Tomorrow Ill try the 35s reps again off 70s or jog back. Ill aim for the full 3 x 6 x 35s. The first set will be used as acclimatization and will start at 10k pace. One rule is that all reps will be relaxed. Ill stop before breaking that. Should put some pep in the legs for Sunday too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Wednesday: AM 5.5k jogmutes PM 12.k home easy from work - felt ok, feeling recovered after Monday.

    Thursday: AM 5k jogmutes PM 3 x 5 x 100 steps strides
    Felt a little tired on my jog in. Wasn't dreading the strides but feeling stiff, old and bockety in work. Planned them for lunch, but busy so I would do them on the run home. Not ideal as not everywhere on the route is suitable for fast uninterupted strides. All the ingredients there for a half assed session. So I googled a few videos on strides for motivation and came across this guy who demonstrated a few different types of strides based off Iglooi I think.

    Anyway, different angle so I thought Id give it a go. The added interest and instruction would make it more likely for me to execute the session better, and avert that danger of my not achieving the sessions objective.

    Stride types were:
    Easy: Very easy short strides just to warm up
    Fresh: Easy but lifting feet quickly. Cue is pretending there is an iron bar across ankles you have to lift your foot over.
    Strong Swing: Strong strides focus on knee lift and power rather than leg speed. Cue is to keep bounding in mind.
    Fast: High leg turnover. Cue is running on hot ground.

    I decided to use 'easy' and 'fresh' to warm up (60 steps per stride) . 4-5 Easy strides got me as far as the tarmac path near the West Pier in Dunlaoghaire. 5-6 Fresh got me to Blackrock station.

    Good warmup. 'Strong' first set, 'Fast' second, Combine them for the third set, as the way I decided to go.
    Noticed a bit of leg tiredness from Monday in the first Strong stride. Slowed immediately to an easier effort for the second. If I did the second too hard the set would be compromised. Planned the second set for Sandymount sea path. Arrived at Merrion gate just in time for a double train pass so used a few more very easy strides to keep warm. The fast turnover set was challenging to stay relaxed. For me, I have to concentrate on my shoulders and arms. Set 3 started in Ringsend park, got two in before crossing the east link. Too windy for the riverside, so I got another in past the Point and the remainder up the Luas line.
    Good quality for the last set. The other two sets really got the body ready. Relaxed fast. That could easily have been half assed and would have looked the same on paper. Getting better as I'm older at executing these sessions correctly. Easy percentage points to get in fairness.
    Tomorrow will be easy peasy 10k over about 4 short commute runs. Saturday 10k with a few uphill strides for Sundays race.

    Hellfire Race plan:

    Race has a couple of hundred metres gradual up a fire road before a steep climb right up and up. After about 700 metres running we pass the infamous Hellfire club and the start of two clockwise laps. Fast running initially for a kilometre, a downhill right back parallel to the original kilometre in opposite direction, then a climb back up to end the lap. Repeat and then its back down that steep slope, falling out onto the fireroad for the last 200m.

    Ill summarise my race plan:

    I think the initial climb and descent both present opportunities.
    My climbing should be better, but from Howth its clear that I am relatively faster on the flat at the moment.
    The course is deceptively tough after the intitial climb. The ground is fairly good (I think), so no resting on rougher will be all go. Its short so the instensity wont drop at all.
    I think most will run too hard up that first climb even though they are trying to be conservative. That's the opportunity. Ill have to take a leap of faith and concede a lot of ground to the runners ahead. The effort will be like that 9kph on my Monday treadmill session. 4 mins or so of that. If I keep my head and do that Ill be in good nick at the Hellfire club and will expect to start gaining immediately on most ahead (The leg speed from todays session might help a little hopefuly). When I reach the descent, I should be able to concentrate on relaxed descending and keep making progress back towards the climb at end of lap 1. That climb will be tough here, but hopefully ill have something from the two uphill treadmill sessions I've done since Howth: climbing strenght from the first and a little climbing endurance from the 2nd session. Also I hope there will be to have something small left to pick up the speed past the Hellfire again. That may be doubtful though. All pain from now on either way. If Im still picking off runners that will help to keep me going. The last climb will be horrible, but I'll know about the opportunity available on the last descent.
    When you have a steep descent like that you either take it controlled (and comparatively slow) or you do a Wily Coyote job (minus the inevitable bad ending hopefully). The difference between one and the other could be as much as 30s for an individual on that descent. At the end of an intense hill race, unless its Ocnoc or someone similar, you wont see many Coyotes.
    Long story short, any runners within 30s at the start of that descent may be catchable, even though they may think they are safe. That's the second opportunity. Good incentive to climb hard just before to keep/get runners ahead into that catchable 30s time range.
    Ill have a long warmup, look at the course, and practice the Wily Coyote. I know that realistically Ill just be wanting the race over at that point, so ill have a cue or a spot on the ground where when I see it I start accelerating aggressively as i approach the down: no thinking, thinking is bad there.
    Brain off, brakes off as they say. Must be in that order obviously.
    These hill races are definitely a great way to get fit with the varying courses adding a big element of pacing and tactics.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,009 ✭✭✭ Firedance

    good luck on Sunday, that's a really interesting summary there, like all races but perhaps here more so(?) a good mental attitude is worth a lot and you have your tactics too. Looking forward to the race report.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Firedance wrote: »
    good luck on Sunday, that's a really interesting summary there, like all races but perhaps here more so(?) a good mental attitude is worth a lot and you have your tactics too. Looking forward to the race report.

    Thanks a million! I should carry out the very conservative start ok as I'm not fit enough to do anything else and there is loads of race to make up the deficit. Passing people will help. There is huge time to be gained on the final descent. The mental challenge of throwing yourself down the hill when its the last thing you want will be tough. Its kind of a chute down. So Im thinking ill avoid the mental challenge (ill chicken out) by just picking a spot where I have to start running aggressively towards that chute. Before I know it, hopefully ill be flying down with a few roadrunners ahead with all fatigue forgotten. Loughlinstown isn't too far away either (touch wood).

    Have you ever done one?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,009 ✭✭✭ Firedance

    demfad wrote: »

    Have you ever done one?

    Not yet! Its on my goal list for this year though...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Firedance wrote: »
    Not yet! Its on my goal list for this year though...

    Great stuff.
    Well worth trying out. Good atmosphere at the races and at the after race get together too. Racing on the more natural terrain definitely adds to the experience.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭ Peterx

    I think the second lap will see patient runners get their reward - possibly more so on the long easy descent than on the steep climb - the climb is so steep you just go at your pace, good leg turnover on the flatter stuff will reap rewards, the question is have the slow starters left themselves with to do much to do though.

    Fine margins in such a relatively short and intense race...

    Best of luck T.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Peterx wrote: »
    I think the second lap will see patient runners get their reward - possibly more so on the long easy descent than on the steep climb - the climb is so steep you just go at your pace, good leg turnover on the flatter stuff will reap rewards, the question is have the slow starters left themselves with to do much to do though.

    Fine margins in such a relatively short and intense race...

    Best of luck T.

    Thanks for that Peter. I'll try and make the effort as even as I can on the laps to take advantage of the fast ground. Not good to get bottle necked behind too many bodies on the first steep climb, so its a delicate balance on the day. Fair play for directing it!

    Edit: I think even for slow starters getting up semi-lively to the start of the initial steep climb might help. I overdid that a bit last week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,432 ✭✭✭✭ Krusty_Clown

    So no George Foreman / Muhammad Ali rumble in Raheny this year?!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    So no George Foreman / Muhammad Ali rumble in Raheny this year?!

    No...not in Raheny.......The rumble will be later...much Dunshaughlin .......(Thank feck)


    (Edit: Best of luck with it!)

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭ Ososlo

    Best of luck tomorrow T!
    Looking forward to the report!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Arrived upstairs in the Merry Ploughboy for sign in with over an hour to spare before race start at 11am. Upstairs is a huge room for high quality Irish music and song for tourists absolutely packed out on summer nights apparently. I had planned being a little earlier and walk-jogging through Masseys wood to the course so that I’d have time to check the route out. There were cars heading up there so I scrounged a lift off one driver and got up there early. Time for a lap of the course so I jogged the fire road, and walked the steep climb. It wasn’t as long or quite as steep as I envisaged, although more technical. I had my reservations about how much time I could get from this when running down it. Steep for the first section before getting shallower. There was a slight alternative further up where a path could be taken through gorse for about 10m. Might be handy for the climb if it was crowded but no good for the descent due to the gorse. As we cleared the forest into the open there was a gradual uphill on mucky grass leading past the ruin of the Hellfire club. Just before the club I noted where the end of the lap climb was to the right. From there it was onto good trail. Still a strong headwind for a few hundred metres of this before descending below the summit wind and back in to some forest shelter. On for a while more before entering a logging area turning right onto another trail and right again and back parallel but lower down. After a good bit of this we climbed a little and descended again (a little = biggish road hill). Now the right turn onto the end of lap climb steep but even and good trail. Half way up. Turned left and flat for about 100m and then right and up for the second half of the climb. We emerged out at lap end, turned right up the mucky slope.
    I figured that With 3 hill sessions in the bag since Howth (2 x treadmill, and the Howth race itself) I would have improved enough to challenge if a very good runner didn’t show up. So, half my reason for preparing meticulously was because I sniffed an outside chance of a high result or even a sneaky win depending on if the right people didn’t turn up. You have to be ready should the opportunity present itself! That said I was going to stick to my plan as much as possible. Seeing Des K there and more significantly Killian M, kind of gave me a little dose of reality. But you never know in hill races. Id stick to the plan and see what happened.
    Anyway, controlled up the fire road in about 6th place. I notice Des just ahead, Killian is in 3rd and I know for sure he is going to win. If he wasn’t confident he would probably be leading. He just looked like a guy who knew what he was doing, that all he had to do was hold back a little till we all got tired and the race was over. A guy had actually charged 10 metres clear up the road. We turned up steeply, now just to concentrate on relaxing and controlling the effort. I’m passed by a few before we are half way my breathing is a lot more controlled than theirs so im sticking to plan. I pass the guy who charged off at the start. I saw him lying on the ground after the race. It was clearly a long hard day at the office after that mad start for him. I glance up and Killian is away and pulling further away climbing easily up. Des is chasing followed by Neil B who trains in my club). This could be advantageous for me (in the race for 2nd place) if the 2 lads blow too much energy chasing a horse they can’t catch. Behind them is Gavin, who was 2nd in Howth and Tim (leading M40).
    I’m in 12th or 13th. I take the sneaky gorse shortcut and come out on the grass beside/behind a group of 4-5. The gorse route means that I now have to take the wind which I hadn’t planned on doing till the trail after the ruin. Hitting the trail my plan is to run just at (or below) threshold effort with a high turnover, concentrating and good form and not pushing it. As the slope slightly down turnover will get the speed up. I want to be strong starting the climb at the end of lap so I can get through it and get going fast for the second lap. Works well and I’m now in 6th closing on Gavin and Tim ahead. Starting the climb I’m happy to notice my turnover remains for the climb (thks to treadmill) and I catch and ease past the lads. They hang on to me but I know I’m faster on the trail and I’ll be upping my intensity there anyway. I drop them on the trail and concentrate now on Des and Tim ahead. Killian has long since been a disappearing dot ahead and is now a disappeared dot.
    The lads were slowly coming back but they were also racing each other which wasn’t helping my cause. I’m just trying to run fast now, but I may have forgotton the turnover trick which was working so well for me in lap 1. Better cue than just running fast might have been: same turnover, just up the intensity. By the time we reach the climb I’m still 30 seconds behind. Half way up the two lads are disappearing around the 100m flat section mid-climb just as I’m entering. A full 100m ahead. There are lapped runners coming thicker now. By the time I can see the left turn for the descent the lads are gone and on their way down. I had revised the amount of time I could gain to about 10-15 secs. I’ll still be well behind on the fire road. No real chance of catching one. I was hurting a lot too so... I settle, race over, descent the slope quite slowly but safely and run the fire road steadily till the line. I notice a guy arriving within 50-60 metres, but I wasn’t in any danger.
    Good result and definitely the right strategy. I seemed to have improved a good bit compared with the runners who had ran both recent hill races (Howth and Hellfire). The lap that Peterx put in is really really good. The descent is so gradual that everyone can run it hard. That means you’re then climbing when your effort level is already very high. Then you have to run fast again on tired legs. Plenty of training uses and not just for off-road. I’ll be up there for training runs in future.
    Lovely cool down run to the Ploughboy via Massey woods to finish.

    Next up is Brockagh. That is straight up and straight down (I assume) 6km and 200 metres up and down. That should suit me in theory as I like the shorter ones.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Weekly summary:

    Monday 25th: 17k various runs Inc. Treadmill Hill Session: Uphill alternations:
    15mins Continuous of alternating minutes @ 9kph/10kph @15% incline.

    Tuesday: 20k easy various runs
    Wednesday: 17.5 k easy various runs

    Thursday: AM 5k jogmutes PM 15k inc. 3 x 5 x 100 steps strides

    Friday: 17.5k easy various runs
    Saturday: Rest

    Sunday: 13.5 k inc Hellfire Hill race.

    Total: 106k
    1 race, 2 sessions.
    Weight: A pound or two down from 1 stone overweight. Eliminated spoons of sugar and most dairy during the week so should see slow gains. Emphasis on protein after sessions, races on runs so no strenght loss. The slower the weight loss the better as long as the diet is good.

    Legs are tired after Sundays race. Tired climbing stairs for example but with only slight DOMS this time. No hard sessions or hills till the weekend so.

    This week's planned sessions:

    Thursday: Will do a two thirds of a full aerobic strides session . So 2 x 6 x 35s. Ill run 3 mins fast after if feeling OK. hat will keep the leg speed improvements coming.

    Long hill session Saturday will be a hilly steady run done on my local hill (treadmill). Ive worked out the gradients for the Wicklow Mountain Half (Ill post them there later) so the inclines will reflect those.
    Saturday's Session Ill do will be something like:

    WU --- Steady running for 5 mins e.g (4 min/km or 6:25 min/mile) (3% incline)
    Uphill for 15-20mins @ marathon effort @ 10% incline
    20 mins steady @ 3% incline.
    10 mins continuous of alternating minutes @ 8.7kph/9.7kph @15% incline.
    5 mins steady --- WD

    That simulates to some extent hill 2 and 3 of the Debra Wicklow half.
    From doing that race before I know that most time can be gained by not fading on the last hill/section. Thus the intensity/effort will be upped on that climb as it should be in the race. The 10 minutes of uphill alternations is reduced a little in speed from last weeks session because otherwise wont be able to maintain those paces on tired legs.
    The longer session should also help me in the Brockagh race as its a longer climb which gets steeper as the climb continues.

    Tuesday: Hill session short: I may repeat the 3 x 4 x 90s uphill (@ 10kph and 15%) session I did last week. I found that tough. So may just reduce sets or adapt slightly as Ill be racing 3.5 days later.

    Thursday: 2 x 6 x 35s leg speed will help on the descent for Brockagh as well as continuing the focus on balancing strenght (hills) with speed (short reps)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,009 ✭✭✭ Firedance

    10 & 15% incline on a treadmill *shudders* fair play to you demfad & great report on Hell Fire too!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Firedance wrote: »
    10 & 15% incline on a treadmill *shudders* fair play to you demfad & great report on Hell Fire too!

    Thanks a million, I was happy enough with the race.

    The next race Brockagh (Laragh) is one big climb and one big descent. Not too much room for sneaky tactics!

    Uphill on the treadmill is a lot easier than up a real hill I find. I use it for recovery runs too when I can as it forces you to run with pretty good rythm. I usually stick it up to 2% incline for those, just enough to make sure I'm lifting my feet and running with OK form.

    Are you thinking of doing your first hill race in the summer or sometime before?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,009 ✭✭✭ Firedance

    demfad wrote: »
    Are you thinking of doing your first hill race in the summer or sometime before?

    mmm not sure now if that's the kind of training that's needed!!! I'll just get this marathon out of the way first and then see what to do then :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Firedance wrote: »
    mmm not sure now if that's the kind of training that's needed!!! I'll just get this marathon out of the way first and then see what to do then :)

    Apologies, dead right! Just saw that youre doing Rotterdam. I've done that one before myself. Very flat, fast course.
    I just read some of your log. Those long runs, then PRs are a great idea for getting strong!

  • Registered Users Posts: 615 ✭✭✭ Sandwell

    demfad wrote: »
    Thanks a million, I was happy enough with the race.

    The next race Brockagh (Laragh) is one big climb and one big descent. Not too much room for sneaky tactics!

    Uphill on the treadmill is a lot easier than up a real hill I find. I use it for recovery runs too when I can as it forces you to run with pretty good rythm. I usually stick it up to 2% incline for those, just enough to make sure I'm lifting my feet and running with OK form.

    Are you thinking of doing your first hill race in the summer or sometime before?

    I had a go at your treadmill session yesterday to see how I'd get on. I lasted four minutes alternating from 9 to 10 and then five more going from 8 to 9. I'll start slightly less ambitiously the next time and see if I can last for the full fifteen minutes. It's a great session in fairness and one I'd never have considered if it wasn't for reading this log. I usually avoid the treadmill like the plague.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Sandwell wrote: »
    I had a go at your treadmill session yesterday to see how I'd get on. I lasted four minutes alternating from 9 to 10 and then five more going from 8 to 9. I'll start slightly less ambitiously the next time and see if I can last for the full fifteen minutes. It's a great session in fairness and one I'd never have considered if it wasn't for reading this log. I usually avoid the treadmill like the plague.

    Good stuff. Once you get the fifteen mins you can progress it either increasing the pace of the slower segment or harder segment.
    That pace would be closest to what you could maintain in a race. The below is how the person who devised the session described it. From this she advises to judge the remaining pace after the initial 3 mins (slow, fast, slow). She uses about 2 kph between hard and recovery paces. I don't use as much. I would start by giving yourself ample recovery. You averaged just under 9kph for the 10 mins. Perhaps something like 8/9.5 might be doable (but hard) for the session. You could do 3 mins and adjust as needed.

    Edit. That would actually be hard. Maybe 8/9 7.5/9 to start On Page 19.
    Move it to a gym-standard 15% treadmill and you're getting close to my 'secret'! On such a gradient, anyone can fill their legs with lactic in one minute if they push the speed up 1 or 2 kph. Then reduce the speed to the fastest speed at which you can recover for one minute. I usually use 2kph differential, eg 8.5/10.5kph (for women you'll be close to English Champ with that.. my first go was at 7.0/8.5 I think ~ a couple of weeks before I have definitive records though). The first time, start slow, aim for 15 minutes, and if it's too easy then keep adding 0.1-0.2kph each session until it's pretty hard.

    A big goal of the session is to judge what pace you can manage for the whole 15 minutes from your first 3 minutes (slow/fast/slow).

    Believe me, this session hurts if you do it properly! You're working on lactate tolerance, lactate buffering, lactate removal/use, and breathing/chest/heart muscles all in one go, plus maximum running & energy efficiency in your recovery interval.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Week Mon 1st - Sun 7th Feb

    Mon: 10k Recovery various runs
    Tue: 21k Recovery various runs Inc. 35 mins on treadmill relatively brisk (4:45 pace)
    Wed: 21k various runs. All easy paces. Felt tired after yesterday. The treadmill run took it out a bit, but no harm as it will help endurance a bit.

    Thursday: 12k Inc. 2 x 6 x 35 follwed by 3 mins hard
    Used the easy, long and fast swing strides to warm up (about 10 x 10-15 secs)
    Blustery out so did the first set on the deserted cycle path (ducks for cover) city side of Clontarf. Felt tightness on my inner thigh after and behind my knee. Had this last year: tight gracilises. Moved it to the grass path just beside. Path a bit bumpy and as I’m hill running training it is perfect for getting the bit of balance at fast speeds. Needed for flat too so I’ll stay there for the next few similar sessions. No feeling in that area after switching. Did 3 mins hard to finish.
    Fri: Rest. Had car today. Really tired coming home from work. Relaxing evening called for.

    Sat: AM Hill session treadmill: 12k
    PM 8k easy.
    Plan: 2 x 4 x 2 mins @ 11.2 kph @ 12 % incline
    Then 1 x 4 x 2 mins @ 10kph @ 15% incline

    Swapped this session with the steady hilly run which will now be Tuesday. Decided that it made more sense to have this harder session further away from the Brockagh race. I’d get more recovery from it and also it’s more relevant to Brockagh. The first two sets and the third were equivalent according to my calculations on Daniels treadmill charts. In actuality the first felt easier. You can run up the 12% grade without that much of a change in style. You have to change it for the 15% and you really feel like you’re climbing with a lot of effort in the quads. I’ll wear a HRM next time but I’m pretty sure Daniels is off. Maybe it’s just that any ‘flat’ fitness I have helps @ 12% but doesn’t at 15% which is more leg strength. I’ll be adjusting if I do it again either way.
    Anyway, the easier pace was about right. I decided mid-session to do 5 @ 15% in order to get a transition to steeper climbing done within the same set. And for comparison purposes. (But mainly because there is a fearsome looking 90m climb in 600m well into the Brockagh race ascent) 15% Deffo felt harder even at the slower pace. Did the first 2 of the next set @ 15% and made a decision to revert back as to finish the last 2 @ 15% would give me a recovery problem. Last 2 @ 12% and felt that bit easier.
    I do the individual reps by counting every 4 steps. It takes me about 93-4 to run 2 mins=185-190 cadence. So after I count to 90 I look at the time always conscious of keeping my cadence up. Good way to avoid clock watching which can disrupt concentration and the quality of treadmill sessions.
    Good session. No more @ 15% now as I start to look towards the Wicklow Mountains half. May concentrate on the alternations also and make them more specific to the longer race. More experiments to come.

    Sun: 15k Inc. 12k steady. Decided to get a steady run in while fatigued from the session last night. Route was downwind along coast road (Clontarf towards Howth).
    Then back via Howth road up through Raheny village and Killester to avoid headwind.
    Downwind was tough as my legs were wired for the session last night. The hill up to Raheny-Killester felt very easy @ the steadier effort. The 12% was relevant even for that shallow gradient to Raheny. Good to know. Paces were slow: 4:16 with wind, 4:40 against and up/down hill. That’s normal, I’m not worried. Just taking a reading. I’ll put watch away again for a while. The right effort was what counted. Comfortable steady and I noticed my endurance poor after 30 mins. The first very light layer of endurance work down. The bit of gained endurance should make Tuesday’s steady hilly run better quality.

    99k for week. Slightly down on last week but definitely a bigger week.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Monday 9/2/16: 21k over various easy runs. Felt the last two days in the legs. First time Ive had that slightly fatigues almost 'oxygenated' feeling throughout the legs after the steady run. Not quite the same as the muscular fatigue from the hill sessions. Comes from doing a strong aerobic effort while fatigued already. Like that feeling as I tend to get fit with it.

    Tue: Treadmill Hilly steady run:

    10 wu--
    10 min @ 4 min/km (1% incline)

    Climb 1: 10 mins @ 3:43 min/km effort (6 min mile) @ 7% incline
    Descent: 10 mins @ 3:43 pace @ -2% incline*
    Climb 2: Same effort and time @ 10% incline
    Same descent
    Climb 3: Same effort and time @ 15% incline**
    Same descent but only 5 mins

    Climb 1 = 11.3kph
    Climb 2 = 10kph
    Climb 1 = 8kph**

    * 7.5 mins at stated pace. Remainder used as rest and to transition the treadmill
    ** Mins 6 and 8 were at 9kph. Last 90s of climb were 45s @ 9kph, 45s 10kph.

    First steady hilly run with Debra half (and getting fit) in mind. I tend to do these with each climb getting slighly harder. First time Ive done it on a treadmill so I was able to tailor the gradient to the 3 Debra half Hills. The last steep hill would provide double points as training for Brockagh as the latter part of that climb is steep. Id be climbing a steep hill while pre-fatigued just like Ill be doing on Brockagh.
    I also look to do these steady hill runs under control. I find you get more adaption that way and can keep on improving. With that in mind I picked 3:43 min/km (6 min/mile) as the climbing effort. I knew that Daniels charts equivalent efforts seems to be harder (for me anyway) for the steeper inclines. That means if i found the equivalent of 6 min miles at the required grades, each climb should be harder as it got steeper. Also in general Daniels treadmill intensities are easier than the predicted flat equivalents.

    Warmed up for 10 mins and then speeded up as I wanted a steady run in for the first climb. 4kph felt tough as I haven't been running that fast in runs at all. Got through 10 mins. First climb is fine. Controlled good relaxed form (no way was that a 3:44 effort based on what 4:00 felt like, I forgot my HRM again for comparisons). All good. Plan was for 10 mins @ 4 min pace again after on flat. Overpressed the incline button and delighted to see it actually declined the treadmill below zero to -2. Tried it at 16kph (3.44 min/km) and I could run fast and recover on that! Happy days!
    Was taking my time adjusting while transiting from the different grades so was getting a minute easy before and after each climb.
    Second climb was harder as expected. And it felt steeper. Its all relative. The last day 12% felt flat after 15%!
    Onto the next 'descent' and a quick break is needed to empty my bladder. As quick as possible and back on. Last climb is tough. I had thought about sticking in some faster minutes to break it up if i was able as the last climb is most important effort wise. After 5 mins I upped it by 1 kph to 9kph. Ouch! But the change was indeed as good as a rest and instead of counting the time down I was back involved and concentrating. Threw in another fast min. I planned to go directly to descent this time with a little lactic in the legs with a nod towards the upcoming hill race. With 90s to go I upped to 9kph again, and with 45s I upped it to 10kph. Couldnt have lasted much more than the 45s, plenty of lactic there now.
    Next the delicate operation of reducing the incline to -2 while increasing the speed to 16kph. Speed goes up faster than incline goes down so had to be careful! Not careful enough and reached a top speed of 16kph @ 10% incline. It turns out ......I had a bit more after all....(when the alternative is to be shot out the back of the treadmill)
    Managed to get over that last hill and descended for 5 mins till all lactate gone and my legs would be finishing thinking fast. Another fun evening on the treadmill!

    Im back on consistant training well over a month now and will hope to get that month + boost soon. I am starting to feel stronger anyway.

    2 to 3 pounds down in 2-3 weeks. Off spoons of sugar still, drinking more water, protein after sessions, no to late night cereal, big reduction in dairy are some of the changes.
    Even after a few days without sugar i noticed that a layer of fat that was next to my skin dissapeared and I was noticably more toned. I actually look different. Sugar means the good stuff isnt burned and is stored apparently.

    I have plans for strenght training this year as an area worth %. Next week ill hope to just practice the movements and correct imbalances. I have noted how I fared in Jay Dicharry's tests (from his book) and I can just do those exercises as well as the movements from some of the lifts I may do.
    Once i have an adequate base of strenght Im considering adding ballistics to the same session. When thats developed to some degree, then a little plyometrics and even some uphill running. My idea is that the progression from strenght to ballistics to plyos etc seems to be partly based on the idea that strenght can be transferred better to stronger running this way.
    i.e strenght doesnt transfer to well to actual running but it does to ballistics which does to plyos which does to running.
    As I will be time constrained, if I can get to a stage where I can do all these in the one session, then I can vary the proportion of each I do depending on time of year.
    Ill throw it into the S and C thread to get some advice but ideally I want to have a few staple very transferrable exercises. Eg weighted squats - weighted squat jumps - bunny hops all in one session.

    Easy runs:
    Most are commutes. To make it easier to do these again and again, day after day I am viewing running as just a mode of transport for these runs. Just a way to transport my head around comfortably to where I need to go. It doesnt feel like a chore that way and because I have to get somewhere the effort is usually efficient. Efficient but comfortable is what you want for most easy runs I think.

    Have Strava-ed the route. Old style, hard up but very fast down. Not much room to be too tactical just a matter of pacing well and staying in touch on the climb. Descent is very fast.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Wednesday: 10k easy
    Thursday: 17.5 k easy various runs inc 12.5k. Tired from Tuesday. No strides session today
    Friday: 10k easy various runs felt super strong.
    Saturday: 7k easy inc 5 x 30s strides
    Sunday: Brockagh burst race 6.1k. 12k total

    Approx 101km. 1 hill session, 1 hill race.

    Brockagh report:

    Course was shallow gradient fireroad for a kilometer. Turning left for steeper fireroad for another 500m. Right turn and steep up the side of the mountain on a grassy path. Right turn on main mountain path for the last few hundred metres to the top. A little less steep. Then straight through the summit and not steeply downhill on a boggy path on a boggy heathery area. Turn left almost back on yourself on similar terrain, flat and slightly up. Rejoin main mountain path and its down all the way. Initially retracing last section of the climb but continuing down main mountain path instead of turning right. Mucky and tricky enough underfoot. Eventually changing to smoothish grass. Through a gate and last 2-3 minutes very fast on fireroad to finish at the Start point but arriving from a different direction.

    Jogging up the steep down route on the fireroad it was hard to tell how I was feeling as there was more coffee than blood in me. Legs felt a little funny and shoulders stiff. Got a decent warmup and a few strides before the off. I knew Des was running (second in Hellfire and usually wins most hill races he enters). Also Peterx was running. He was cycling to the race from Dublin as part of preparing for an adventure race, but although it might slow him down a little it may not necessarily slow him down enough! I saw Enduro at the Brockagh centre but he told me he had run for 6 hours on Saturday and would not be going too fast. I wasnt too sure about that either.
    I assumed Des would take up the pace. My strategy was to hang on to him, hopefully to the summit and hope I was faster down. That might mean waiting till the fats fireroad Usually on fast fireroad I do well. As you shall see this was all Walter Mitty stuff.
    Anyway off we went. Des soon took the lead up followed by a young lad in second (Ben). I was third right behind Des. Pace felt OK but I wasn't quite comfortable. Nearing the end of the first shallow fireroad and Peterx pushes through strongly. The pace increases. Im in 4th now behind Peter. I notice he gets slightly detached from the two lads so i speed up and re-attach myself to the train back in 3rd. Left turn and the steeper fireroad. This is hard now. At a slight bend I notice that there is a big gap till Peter. He may have blown a gasket actual fact he was pacing it correctly..i was the one who was blowing gaskets. Im hanging on now......shoulders very stiff...heavy with fatigue....waiting for the steep climb... maybe the intensity will ease there..maybe things will improve on the hardest part of the course.... I cant hang on and I let them go. Right turn up the steep climb and now its just a struggle to keep running. I hear paper flapping behind me. I dont have to look to know its Peters number rustling in the wind. He passes, climbing strongly. I look up and see that Des has dislodged the Ben and is clear. I fancy Peter to close ground on both as he was climbing faster. A short little left turn along a fence gives some flat running respite. 10 seconds and were back up right. Eventually we reach the main path and the right turn. We still have to keep going up and the effort doesnt abate. I see small people on a close looking summit. At last! A horrible feeling after a minute and a Dougal moment realising it was a false summit and the real summit was a couple of hundred metres behind. The people were small because they were far away!
    Over the cursed summit. I need to recover...i need air. I try and relax and get some in. My descending is dire, so dire I start to worry about behind. Sure enough I hear splashing close by and Im passed (Mark). Peter seems to have caught Ben ahead. Im trying not to make a bad race worse. I need to recover more and i have to take the flat-slightly uphill section steady. I sense somewhere that I can get a place back. Although the time im sensing that if I was a bit fitter I could absolutely hammer this descent. I dont try.
    I just stay steady and hope some motivation comes back with recovery. We start the downhill proper, I just concentrate on not braking. Better than before but still poor. Now its the smooth grass downhill. I increase the cadence and im quickly back up to Mark. I pass him on the last section towards the fence leading to the fireroad. I really concentrate on this section until i'm onto the fireroad opening a decent gap. I don't want to have to race anyone near the end.
    Finish line arrives a lot earlier than expected. 4th again. It turns out Ben is an orienteer, flew the descent actually catching up with Des before slipping on the muck. Des, the winning habit ingrained just got there by 10s.
    Peter was mixing it with the lads till late in the race and raced brilliantly..... and all that with the cycle from Dublin in the legs. Fair play!

    I probably paid the price for pacing off someone who is stronger than me. But the race will bring me on. I was only 70s down at the end which gives me some hope. It felt a lot worse, but I think it was a tough race for evryone, just a tough course. Im still 12 pounds or so over full racing weight. If I can get that down without losing strenght, and get fitter it will be good.
    I dont think there is much more to be gained from flogging the treadmill uphill sessions as I dont have a good base and wont gain much more. Debra half is 4 weeks away. Ill do a block of training now for it with more steady runs and maybe some controlled long intervals on the flat. Mileage will be up and a start on the strenght stuff. I may do the Brockagh race in 3 weeks to complete Winter League, will see. I may need to do a long fast hilly run around then in which case Ill skip it.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,009 ✭✭✭ Firedance

    another super report, I saw a photo somewhere of Brocagh and a severe weather change mid race (facebook probably) what were conditions like?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Firedance wrote: »
    another super report, I saw a photo somewhere of Brocagh and a severe weather change mid race (facebook probably) what were conditions like?

    Thanks a million. Started sleeting on top but I missed the worst of it. It got heavy after I believe and then the day turned again to clear(ish) blue skies.
    Cold one to be standing around on the summit and for all volunteers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Monday 15/2/16: Cycle commute x 2 =25k Tired from yesterdyas race
    Tuesday: Cycle in, Run back: 12.5k run (12.5k cycle) Tired still; slight DOMs
    Wednesday: jog n' dart in 4.5k Lunch easy run 8k (12.5k Total)
    Thursday: Cycle in 12.5k, Lunch 10k easy to Killiney Obelisk and back.
    Climbed path beside Golf Course, and on up. Tried to run easy and relaxed. Focused on gears/cadence. High cadence. My cadence was poor on the steep climb in Sundays race, probably because I was toast and my form fell apart. But going to practice it now on outdoor hills. Once I start doing more fast flat runs it will kick in also. Quads and legs in general tired.
    Long weekend in Sligo ahead. Plan was for hilly road run with an hour at a good steady clip. Over tired legs from hill running has to be respected though. Keep overdoing it and they can get chronically tired. Ill only do the one hilly run if any at all. Might be nice to do a long relaxing run out to Coney Island and back (tide out) with a few pick-ups or whatever at the end. General plan is to start upping the volume and lowering the intensity while holding/slightly improving any leg strenght gains. Training will look more like base training.
    I shouldn't (disrupting Debra HM training) but may still do Trooperstown Hill race. I sold it to myself by saying Id do another 6-10k steady after on hills.
    I always kid myself this way. The objective is to kid myself into getting to start of race. Then all plans to turn the race into a session will be abandoned and Ill race as usual.
    Ill see how it goes, but if I race it, ill be racing it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Thursday cont: PM 16.5 k inc steady efforts on the 'mill.

    Jogged to gym. Felt a little more recovered from Sundays race so it was time for an effort of some description. Decided on a progression run on the treadmill.
    0% incline and not a hard effort to cover myself incase legs still fatigued from Sunday. More easy warm up. Then started to increment and alternate (relatvely) hard and easy minutes. e.g 12kph-13kph - 12 - 13.5 - 12 - 14 etc.
    I decided to keep the easy efforts at 2kph slower than the faster ones. Got up to 3 mins @ 16kph, 1 min @ 14kph. Did several of those for 12-13k in all.

    Friday: Legs felt very invigorated after yesterdays session. Effort was perfect.
    Down in Sligo. Late run: 13.5 k easy. Tried to cover all the tarmac in Strandhill (not housing estates). Obviusly had to retrace my steps a few times but managed 11k. There wont be a pub quiz on that unfortunately unless Im compere.

    Saturday: Steady hilly run 21k

    Good session involving 5 hills. Ranging from 2.5 - 10 mins +
    Ran easier between hills but still steady (not easy). Ran downs steady.
    (will fill in stats later)
    Hill 1: Glen road climb. There is a slight downhill after the climb for 500m followed by another short climb. I ran at a controlled effort through it all to make it into one longer effort. Grand. About 10 mins.
    Hill 2: Part of the climb on Knocknarea loop race towards Rathcarrick wood, went into the wood and climbed the fireroad and on up. I jogged a bit further to suss out potential alternative Warriors run climb. Stop when my new 1/2 price yellow luminous runners were covered in muck.
    Hill 3. Back to road. Continued Warriors course down steep descent about 2.5 k out. Turned and ran back up. About 2.5 mins. I felt tiredness on a very steep part deep in my legs. No more 15% inclines for me for a while.
    Hill4: Back and down loop climb again. Climbed up in reverse towards mountain on road. About 5 mins. Tough climb.
    Hill5: A long way to the next climb so threw in a few 30s - 1 min bursts.
    Climb into Strandhill (reverse Warriors direction). Went hard. Lungs heaving but stayed perfectly relaxed through the discomfort which meant I could go at that hard effort all the way. Happy with how I executed it.
    Jogged home. 100 mins running so longest outdoor run for about 6 months I think.

    Sunday: Back to Dublin. 15.5k easy-steady out coast road and back via Raheny-Killester. Someone passed me so I decided to pace off them. Eventually caught up with him after causeway and had a chat before we parted ways. a lot of the run was 4:20 or faster which is not easy for me. But felt good throughout.

    102k for the week. A few cycle commutes in there and a few days recovery from Sunday. Ill have a full week training now with no race at weekend to rest for. The tiredness on Saturdays steep hill comes from doing uphill sessions @ 15% without a base of conditioning for it. I knew that though and the object was to get back enjoying running, so compromises had to be made. There should be a lot of improvement there for me in the steady sessions, and in the higher volume potential of doing less hard sessions. Weight slowly coming down.

    Plan this week is to do Club session (on my own). This week it is 31 min tempo. Last week it was 7 x 1500m off 2'. Not sure which Ill do. Will think about it.
    Saturday its the key session for Debra half. 3 big hill climbs (and descents) out at 3Rock-Kilmashogue to specifically prepare for race. Must make it as similar as possible: Good pacing = climbs get more intense, run downhills fast enough to force improvements in efficiency.
    The key to the race for me this year will be good descending and good pacing. Cant afford to tire before the last climb. That makes this session even more vital. Climbing wont be up to it, so have to skin the cat other ways.
    Tuesday will be another club-type session and then Ill race Trooperstown on Saturday. Its a race where you have to pace well, so it will suit.(knew id convince myself to do it!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Monday 22/2/16 22.5 km; 2 runs
    Lunch: 10k Killiney Hill and back. Ran up the tarmac as less steep to save legs. Descended easy but efficient (so not that slowly.) Felt this run. Yesterday's too fast easy run didn't cut the recovery.
    PM 12.5k easy run home. Tough one. Shop at 5 lamps was too tempting. 500ml Orange Lucozade was absolutely delicious. Triple flake pack helped too. Wolfed down a big dinner and ate a lot after as clearly low on energy with higher mileage. Tomorrows session in doubt. Might wait til Wednesday.

    Another day another armed Garda checkpoint, this time right at the end of the street. Looking in every car. Worrying with children in the car (incase something were to kick off when our car is nearby).
    Anyway legs felt better and id an opportunity to do the session in St Annes.
    Went for the LT. I didn't fancy 31 mins straight so went for 10 x 3 mins off 30s which is a very good session suggested to me last year. The short break would allow me to run well enough and relaxed for the duration. Legs a little tired so this suited and made it a lot more likely that I would execute the session well. (a session is only as good as how its executed).

    Pace/Km HR

    3.43 176

    3.36 181

    3.47 183

    3.39 183

    3.51 182

    3.37 183

    3.45 187

    3.32 190

    3.47 189

    3.26 194

    Sorry about presentation Im on a crap device.
    Odd numbers up(hill) the avenue in St Annes. Even down.

    First a little hard. Next 5 good. Upped the effort for last 4 which was impetuous. No need. The session needs to be controlled. A couple of days easy and the full benefit is attained. Pushing it harder doesn't improve it. Anyway. Happy to get a reasonable session on tired legs. Its a lot easier with the little breaks than straight. May trya straight one next week or even 12 x 3 mins. 13k total. May do 5k shakeout later.

    Watched a half of a soccer match on Saturday involving Arsenal. I have no respect for English soccer I think its overhyped crap football. Arsenal was OK though. I suppoted them when iw as very young <10 . My brother brainwashed me to United, I used to follow him, but Ill watch Arsenal Barca tonight and may start watching a bit again as it was enjoyable. Long winded way of saying, I may skip the shakout later.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,009 ✭✭✭ Firedance

    Killiney hill, in Monday's glorious sunshine, jealous :)

    Stay away from the soccer :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Firedance wrote: »
    Killiney hill, in Monday's glorious sunshine, jealous :)

    Stay away from the soccer :D

    Its great up there when its sunny, great view. Lucky to have it so close to where I work. Saw half the soccer. Should have gone for the run!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Week 22-28 Feb

    Monday: Lunch 10k Pm 12.5k run home (22.5k) cycled in
    Tuesday: PM Session 10 x 3 mins off 30s (13.5)
    Wednesday: AM 4k lunch 10k PM 10k (24) cycled home
    Thurs: Lunch 10k PM 10k (20) cycling commute both ways
    Friday: One hour steady (20) cycling commute both ways
    Saturday: AM 13k PM 6k inc 8 x100m strides (19)
    Sunday: Hillrun 3 climbs (22k)

    140k running, 75k cycling

    Good week. Sundays session was the main session for Debra mountain half. 3 climbs around Kilmashogue and Ticknock. 2 long ones 20 mins and over. Final climb was 5-6 mins all out putting a lot of force in. Effort continued into descents for a while before relaxing. Last descent was hard most of the way. That means that ill hopefully get the endurance benefit as the overall effort was mostly steady over the entire run. 2:05 min run.
    Easyish til Tropperstown IMRA next week. May do aerobic strides on Wednesday off road. Same again next week or something like 12 x 3 mins @ LT off 2 mins. That will give a little flat strength as each and every rep can be run perfectly with pressure coming slightly on legs.
    Debra half then on the next Sunday. Then I think It will be full base training. One thing Ive noted id that the hill work has made this couple of weeks base mileage easier and (touch wood) less niggly.
    Keep the hills I think.

    Still almost a full stone over ideal racing weight so diet will have to be addressed. I want it to come down slowly. Its stationary now. Ok to be a a little over at this time. Not as much as I am.