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2012 4 Races for 4 PBs

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,964 ✭✭✭ outforarun

    Been lurking since the start of the year. I really enjoy following the training logs here, they’re a great source of information and motivation. So it’s time to try give something back.

    I started running proper this year and entered my first ever races. I ran four races in total:

    Cork City Marathon 2010 (3:51)
    I more or less followed Hal Higdon’s Intermediate I plan for this my first ever race. I was aiming for a 3:45 but for a whole variety of reasons I came up short by 6 mins: I skipped just a few sessions too many during training, I ran my long runs too fast, I didn’t run any long runs on the road, I started the marathon too fast, the weather on the day didn’t help, I never really recovered from the wind and rain around the estuary.
    The last 6 miles were not a lot of fun. All the same I was delighted to finish and happy to have at got home under 4 hours. And less than 24 hours later I was planning what would be my next race. I’d got the bug.

    Frank Duffy 10 Mile (1:17)
    Since the marathon I’d bought a Garmin and cobbled together a training plan for the summer. I was aiming for 7:45/m pace to finish with a 1:17. I was pleased with my final time but not pleased with how I ran. Hared off far too fast over the first two miles (7:13, 7:13), slowed down but not enough over the next few miles and then hit the hills; or rather the hills hit me, hard, an 8:35 on mile 9. Managed to recover with a final mile of 7:41, but for the second race in a row I did not enjoy the closing section and finished uncomfortably.

    Dublin Half Marathon (1:40)
    My most enjoyable race to date. I learned two things: one, do not start too fast and two you can achieve a lot with just 4 weeks training. I was aiming again for 7:45/m for a 1:41 finish. For the first 7 miles I really concentrated on holding back, I’d let the Chesterfield descents gain a few seconds but without increasing my effort. I didn’t worry about an 8:05 on mile 8, and I felt really good at the 10 mile point (such a change from 4 weeks ago). I was overtaking loads of people going up Military Hill. I managed to finish with a 6:59 mile 13 and a big smile on my face. Brilliant. It is so so much more enjoyable and effective to pace cautiously at the start and then be able to up the pace near the end. Buzzed for days after this one.

    BHAA Cork to Cobh 15 Mile (1:56)
    Started to have crazy ideas of trying for a 8:00/m Cork Marathon in 2011. Thought to myself well first let’s see how I manage at 7:5X/m over the 15 miles from Cork to Cobh. Managed fine. Didn’t pace myself as steadily as I would have liked, too many 7:3Xs and 7:4Xs, felt tired alright on the ascent around mile 12, but never doubted that I’d manage a 7:5X average pace. In the end I managed a 7:48 average. In terms of atmosphere this was easily my favourite of all 4 races and the weather was just perfect.

    And so for 2011, the plan now is to avoid injury and try start all four races again in 2011. And PB all four. And based on how I felt at Cork to Cobh I cannot resist now trying for an 8:00/m, sub 3:30 marathon in Cork in June. If I succeed it’ll be a massive 20+ minutes off my 2010 time. If the worse happens and I really blow-up in the 2011 version hopefully I’ll still manage to PB. I plan on really following Higdon’s Intermediate II.

    I haven't run since Cobh, that's 3 weeks to the day. I wanted to rest-up my right-knee which was not too happy with the summer's work. Feels ok again and hopefully it'll hold up when I get back on the road tomorrow. 8 miles planned at 8:3X pace. Plan for the next 12 weeks is to try get 4 runs in every week, 2 short (3-5 miles) steady runs, 1 medium to long (8-15 miles) and one speed session.

    Good luck to all running DCM tomorrow.



  • Best of luck with your goals for next year :)

  • Best of luck with the log. I'll be reading earnestly - you're a few minutes ahead of me at all the distances so will be good to have someone to aim for!

    What's the plan for between now and Cork? Going to get a few halfs in over the winter/new year?

  • Thanks for the welcome Rainbow Kirby and Xebec.

    Xebec, not planning on any races between now and the New Year. All things going well there'll be a new addition to the nest come December so I'll be happy with just getting my 4 runs a week in. I might look out for a 5 miler or 10K around Mid January. Really the plan for the next twelve weeks is to maintain a decent level of fitness and also to work on bringing down my short distance (5 mile) speed. Not by a lot but I'd hope to run a 7:1X 5 mile come January, be it in training or in a race. I know there's a 5 miler in Raheny at the end of January, but I want to take a break of about 10 days before starting proper training for Cork on 1st February. Raheny is on the 30th I think so it might just ruin that break. I'll see closer to the date, could be tempted all the same.

    Gave the right-knee a good work-out today. Cycled over to the 6 mile mark this morning. Must remember to buy gloves for the winter!!! Then cycled across town to the 20 mile mark to cheer people on some more. Nice and toasted there. Then later in the afternoon put on my runners for the first time since Cork 2 Cobh. And went for a nice and handy 8 miles back in Phoenix. Knee was grand. And the run felt as effortless as I'd hoped it would after a 3 week break.

    Target: 8M @ 8:32

    M1 8:28
    M2 8:30
    M3 8:29
    M4 8:37
    M5 8:34
    M6 8:31
    M7 8:31
    M8 8:31

    AVG 8:31
    [Total Distance 8.08M at 8:31]

  • that target time should have read 8:3X, not 8:32 :rolleyes:

  • Second day back on the road and this evening I could feel the 3 week break more so than yesterday. Just 4 miles planned and after only 200 yards I could feel both calves were quite stiff. Took a good mile before they felt loosened up. On mile three my right knee gave a twinge or two, no pain, but it just reminded me that is was there. Guess that the legs hoped that yesterday's run was a one-off. Unseasonably warm tonight, although I ran with a light hi-vis vest for the first time so that probably kept some heat in. I'll take a break tomorrow, repeat tonight's session on Thursday before my first speed session on Friday, 800m intervals planned for Friday morning.

    Tonight's details:
    Target: 4M @ 8:1X

    M1 8:09
    M2 8:18
    M3 8:13
    M4 8:02

    AVG 8:11
    [Total Distance 4.30M at 8:12]

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  • Paced poorly last night. Wanted to hit 8:1X. First mile I went too fast at 7:46, then was not able to really find a steady pace after that. My usual road route is a 1.6 mile loop and it contains a few uphills and downhills so it's not easy anyway to find a steady pace.

    There's always something. An unexpected medical mishap means I'll be off the road for about another week. Frustrating after being 3 weeks out (and after just getting a log going). So today's planned 800m intervals are shelved.

    Last night's details:
    Target: 4M @ 8:1X

    M1 7:46
    M2 8:19
    M3 8:08
    M4 8:25

    AVG 8:09
    [Total Distance 4.39M at 8:08]

  • Definitely have a look at other logs and training plans, dont run hard every day, give yourself some slow easy runs and recovery runs to avoid injury. seems like you are trying to hit 8m/m most days.

    Hard days hard, easy days easy.

  • kennyb3 wrote: »
    , dont run hard every day, give yourself some slow easy runs and recovery runs to avoid injury. seems like you are trying to hit 8m/m most days.

    Hard days hard, easy days easy.

    Thanks kennyb3, think is right now running hard for me is running at say 7:3X, the 8 miles I ran on Monday where at 8:3X and really that felt very slow and pretty much effortless. My idea to keep me ticking over for the winter is one longish slow run 8:3X, 2 short steady runs at 8:1X and one speed session where I'll either do intervals or run a fast 5 miler at say 7:3X. 8:1X doesn't feel hard at all tbh, the hard part if anything was slowing down! And thankfully my right knee feels pretty much back to its best.

  • Totally get what your saying but if PMP is 8 m/m, and you are running your shorter miles just over this and your long one at just 30 seconds over this seems a bit fast. Either your being too easy with that pmp or your doing most of your miles at PMP or just slightly over.

    Even based on your recent half of 1.40, mcmillan would have you doing long ones at 9m/m if you did them in the middle of his range (you are doing them right on the fast side). 30 seconds a mile quicker is a good chunk

    anyway just trying to help you avoid the mistakes i made.

  • kennyb3 wrote: »
    if PMP is 8 m/m, and you are running your shorter miles just over this and your long one at just 30 seconds over this seems a bit fast.

    You’re right for an 8:00/m marathon running my long runs at 8:3X is too fast. Really I don’t think I’m viewing the weeks over winter as a marathon training plan. I’m focusing more on trying to maintain a certain level of fitness. When February comes I plan on shifting up to 5 days a week and then I will have to review my paces. Also I say 8:00/m but I guess I’m really thinking 7:5X.

    Right now I have in mind a marathon plan consisting of 1 long run at 8:4X, 1 short/medium PMP at 7:5X, two steady short runs at 8:2X and I’m toying with the idea of one further fast run at 7:4X. But all this really depends on how I feel come February and in the meantime I not shutting my ears to any advice.

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  • Ok, a cautious return to the road this evening. I've really done almost next to no running since crossing the finishing line at the Cork to Cobh.

    I had planned a 12 week program to bring me up to mid January and wanted to focus on improving my 5 mile time. Body decided that wasn't going to happen.

    So instead I've drafted a 9 week schedule that will take me up to mid January but now the aim is simply to try get back to where I was two months ago. Aim is to run a 10 miler comfortably in 7:4X come week 9.

    Plan is 4 sessions a week. Looks ok on paper but fingers-crossed I'll manage to hit all my marks on the road without further injury interruption.

    Tonight it felt great to be back running. I really missed it. 4 miles on the menu. Pacing wasn't the best mile by mile but the overall pace was on target. It's a loop with a few uphills and downhills so it's hard to get each mile spot on and I'm not going to kill myself trying to do so.

    Felt a bit heavy but never felt uncomfortable. A new pair of gloves keeping my hands nice and toasty.

    Target: 4M @ 8:2X

    M1 8:33
    M2 8:36
    M3 8:09
    M4 8:03

    AVG 8:20
    [Total Distance 4.29M at 8:22]

  • Cold out tonight. Another steady 4 miles. Felt fine, breathing was fine, didn't break too much of sweat. Trying to run at 8:2X now feels like trying to run at 8:1X a month ago. So I'm very happy with that.

    Not so happy that about 15 minutes ago my right knee starts popping again :(. Not a bother while running, not a bother while pottering about the house for 90 minutes afterwards and now it's popping again. No pain just very unsettling. I walk to and from work everyday and it's felt grand over the last three or four weeks.

    I have 8 miles planned for Saturday at 8:4X. I'll see how that goes and take it from there. Might have to think about putting the shoes away, resting up for the winter and then just hope for the best from February.

    Starting to wonder if starting this log has cursed me!! And after having such a fun year of running under my belt.

    Anyway tonight's details:

    Target: 4M @ 8:2X

    M1 8:20
    M2 8:07
    M3 8:12
    M4 8:22

    AVG 8:15
    [Total Distance 4.33M at 8:15]

  • And the knee is grand again this morning, walk to work without even a hint of a pop wobble or crack. Going to wear a knee support for Saturday's slow 8 miler. Going to do some quad exercises from my desk and going to get this checked out certainly before embarking on HHs plan next February.

  • Ok that was better. Out 4 miles, turn around and back 4 miles. Crunch, crunch, crunch through ice, heavy frost and light snow crust in Phoenix. Impossible to keep a handy pace going especially outside the Park with icy pavements and roads. Kept to bicycle and bus lanes where I could. Wore a knee support. Legs felt heavy over first 3 miles then loosened up. Knee support was a bit annoying at the start but then pretty much forgot I had it on.

    I'm going to wear the support for the next few runs and I might hold off on any speed runs for the next couple of weeks.

    Oh and this afternoon's run brings me over the 300 mile marker (305) since my first Garmin run on 30 June.

    Target: 8M @ 8:4X

    M1 8:26
    M2 9:06
    M3 8:51
    M4 8:36
    M5 8:23
    M6 8:35
    M7 8:35
    M8 8:41

    AVG 8:39
    [Total Distance 8.11M at 8:40]

  • Gave it a miss yesterday. Snow and ice made up my mind for me. happy to report that my knee seems to be holding up fine after Saturdays 8 miler. I'm definitely going to keep that support on for the rest of the year.

  • Not even thinking about chancing the roads/footpaths. I'm seeing this cold-snap as a blessing in disguise that's giving my knee some extra rest time. I'll wait for the weekend and see what the Park is like. Should be able to get some miles in on the grass there.

    In a fit of cold turkey I took my Garmin and measured my commute this morning. It's 2.17 miles so that's 4.34 miles every day. Almost 22 miles a week. Sounds like a lot when you add it up.

  • First signs of a proper thaw this morning although pavements were quite slippy in parts. I've abandoned all plans of any structured training over the next few weeks. I'm going to run when I can and run mostly slow and just enjoy it. Going to start that press-up challenge thing tonight.

  • New week. No ice. Back on the road. A handy 4 miles after work. Knee support on. First 2 miles felt heavy then started to loosen up. Feeling sore muscles now, but good sore.

    Target: 4M @ 8:2X

    M1 7:58
    M2 8:21
    M3 8:26
    M4 8:38

    AVG 8:21
    [Total Distance 4.30M at 8:22]

  • Same again. Knee snug in knee support. Sore legs of last night were already ok this morning and tonight's run felt easier than last night's, pleasant surprise. Will hold of now until the weekend where the plan is a 5 miler Saturday morning and a slow 8 miler Sunday morning. Course the Arctic Hurricane that's heading this way might have something to say about that.

    Tonight's details

    Target: 4M @ 8:2X

    M1 8:09
    M2 8:18
    M3 8:22
    M4 8:24

    AVG 8:18
    [Total Distance 4.33M at 8:18]

  • Didn't have high hopes of being able to run this morning was convinced I'd wake up to a snowscape. Instead it seems Dublin is the only place in Ireland and Europe to have escaped the snow (for now).

    May not have been any snow but it was freezing this morning. A warm-up trot to Phoenix didn't do much to warm me up. First 2 miles of session were tough, legs felt stiff and breathing in that freezing air wasn't fun. Next 3 miles though I felt ok and warm.

    Hope that big stag with the huge antlers on the other side of this quiet back-road is clear about who's the carnivore. A warm-down trot back from Park and I'm very happy with the morning's work.

    1.21 M @ 9:12

    Session Target: 5M @ 8:2X

    M1 7:57
    M2 8:21
    M3 8:16
    M4 8:31
    M5 8:23

    AVG 8:18
    [Total Distance 5.28M at 8:20]

    1.19 M @ 9:28

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  • Still no snow, brilliant. Head out late morning rather than early morning and that couple of hours makes a big difference, it's cold but not freezing like yesterday morning. As always the first 2 to 3 miles legs feel stiff. Must remember though that the run up to Castleknock through the Park is a steady incline. Coming back was easy, barely broke a sweat and enjoyed the warmth of the sun.

    My aim was for 4 runs a week, this is the first week since the start of October that I've managed to that. No injury, ailment or ice :).

    Knee support will stay on for the foreseeable future, seems to be helping.

    Target: 8M @ 8:4X

    M1 8:49
    M2 8:40
    M3 8:36
    M4 8:31
    M5 8:30
    M6 8:51
    M7 8:34
    M8 8:51

    AVG 8:40
    [Total Distance 8.07M at 8:41]

  • Just looked out the window here, heavy snow falling and staying on the ground. Ah well at least I got out over the weekend. If this freezes over it'll be shoes up again for a while.

    Have to remember that the fitness I may lose is compensated for by the extra rest my knee will gain. Wonder how long this snap will last.

  • Happy New Year All

    Christmas saw the arrival of a lot of snow and ice and ....... a healthy baby girl :). Running has taken the back-seat for the moment.

    February 1st is looming as the day I start HH's Intermediate II plan for Cork. I hope to get some amount of light running done before then.
    I've also contacted the Santry Sports Clinic to see what they can offer in terms of having my right knee checked. As always there is no pain, and I'm hoping it's healing itself throughout this period of inactivity, but I do want to have it looked at before starting into a new training regime.

  • outforarun wrote: »
    Christmas saw the arrival of a lot of snow and ice and ....... a healthy baby girl :)
    Congratulations! :)

  • Thanks Rainbow.

    Yeah time has suddenly become very precious. I reckon I won't be able to get out on the road until the middle of this month. I'm getting concerned now about my paces come February.

    Putting default goals of avoiding injury and getting to the start-line aside my first goal is to PB in Cork in June. But I'd love to target a sub 3:30. My pace race then would be 7:5X (high-end). I ran faster than that comfortably in October over the 15 miles from Cork to Cobh. Now instead?

    My idea is to run my Saturday pace runs just that little bit faster at 7:4X, this was my actual race pace over 10, 13.1 and 15 mile courses last year. But I haven't been able to string together any proper running sessions for the guts of three months!!

    I'd be nervous about running 5 mile at 7:4X now. I'm not concerned about distance, just the pace has me worried.

    I've a little plan that I'd like to implement before 1 February.

    Three sets of three runs, each set over three consecutive days, every run over 4 miles.

    Set 1 Run1 8:3X
    Set 1 Run2 8:0X
    Set 1 Run3 8:3X

    Set 2 Run1 8:3X
    Set 2 Run2 7:5X
    Set 2 Run3 8:3X

    Set 3 Run1 8:3X
    Set 3 Run2 7:4X
    Set 3 Run3 8:3X

    If I can do this without too much effort then I'd be really pleased. Need to check a calendar.

  • Looking forward to going for a run this evening. First of three consecutive days running and first of 9 runs planned between now and the end of the month. All runs over 4 miles. First time posting a table on here, hope I get it right!

    If I get through these 9 runs I hope to have a better idea about best paces to aim for during training for Cork.

    Appointment booked for next Tuesday to have my right knee looked at.

    Date|Distance|Target Pace|Actual Pace
    14 Jan| |8:3X|
    15 Jan| |8:0X|
    16 Jan| |8:3X|
    19 Jan| |8:3X|
    20 Jan| |7:5X|
    21 Jan| |8:3X|
    24 Jan| |8:3X|
    25 Jan| |7:4X|
    26 Jan| |8:3X|

  • And so 2011 begins.

    First miles logged. Nice and mild this evening. Run my usual 4M+ route. Felt fine. I've completely lost the art of pacing. I was trying to hit 8:3X pace and over the full distance I was just a tiny bit too fast, but no single mile was an 8:30 something. Slowed down too much after the first mile and then an 8:55 second mile made me speed up too much for the rest of the run.

    Same again tomorrow but a little faster at 8:0X.

    M1 8:26
    M2 8:55
    M3 8:07
    M4 8:22

    Total 4.28M @ 8:29

    Date|Distance|Target Pace|Actual Pace
    14 Jan|4.28 |8:3X| 8:29
    15 Jan| |8:0X|
    16 Jan| |8:3X|
    19 Jan| |8:3X|
    20 Jan| |7:5X|
    21 Jan| |8:3X|
    24 Jan| |8:3X|
    25 Jan| |7:4X|
    26 Jan| |8:3X|

  • One of those days that wasn't really as bad as it seemed when looking out the window from under the blankets. Got myself up and out by 10 o'clock, maybe the worst was over by then. Yes there was wind assistance and wind resistence, but it wasn't too wet and it wasn't too cold.

    Aiming for 8:0X I of course set off way too fast and covered the first mile in 7:37. Gradually eased back over the next miles running each one a little slower. Covered my route again just a little quicker than my target pace. at least I'm consistent.

    Tried a different approach to pacing. Took 8:05 as my ideal time and just paid attention to my splits: 28" up after one mile, 42" up after two, 43" up after three, 26" up after four. This is how I paced myself while racing last year, I think I prefer this approach and the arithmetic is a handy distraction if feeling tired. Felt a little heavy on mile 3, but otherwise today's run was grand.

    Three hot milk Weetabix my reward.

    M1 7:37
    M2 7:51
    M3 8:04
    M4 8:22

    Total 4.36M @ 7:59

    Date|Distance|Target Pace|Actual Pace
    14 Jan|4.28 |8:3X| 8:29
    15 Jan|4.36 |8:0X| 7:59
    16 Jan| |8:3X|
    19 Jan| |8:3X|
    20 Jan| |7:5X|
    21 Jan| |8:3X|
    24 Jan| |8:3X|
    25 Jan| |7:4X|
    26 Jan| |8:3X|

  • Sun doing its best to break through the cloudbank this morning. Nice conditions for a run.

    Paced a bit better today, aiming for 8:35 pace. First mile too fast as always, 8:01, last mile spot-on at 8:35. Feeling good after these three runs in three days. I wore my knee support and I think I'll do so at least up to the end of February then I'll start not wearing it for some runs. My breathing has been fine, my legs are a little sore as I write, but all-in-all nothing out of the ordinary.

    Two days rest now before the next set of three runs. Tuesday I'll have my knee looked at, fingers crossed there's nothing serious.

    M1 8:01
    M2 8:38
    M3 8:29
    M4 8:35

    Total 4.26M @ 8:29

    Date|Distance|Target Pace|Actual Pace
    14 Jan|4.28 |8:3X| 8:29
    15 Jan|4.36 |8:0X| 7:59
    16 Jan|4.26 |8:3X| 8:29
    19 Jan| |8:3X|
    20 Jan| |7:5X|
    21 Jan| |8:3X|
    24 Jan| |8:3X|
    25 Jan| |7:4X|
    26 Jan| |8:3X|

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  • Had knee looked at yesterday. Had it twisted this way then that way, rotated like that, rotated like this, bent this way bent that way. Had feet checked as well. Good news - couldn't find anything out of place, knee structure is stable, ligaments are fine, no obvious cartilage issues, feet have good biomechanics :). To be sure to be sure to be sure I'm getting an MRI this Sunday, this will hopefully rule out any tears or loose cartilage. I'm hoping that this turns out to have been just a big uncomfortable niggle that is nearly done healing. When I think back it was a little sore before the Dublin Half, it got very niggly after the Dublin Half, and really I shouldn't have done Cork to Cobh just two weeks later.

    4+miles @ 8:3X planned for this evening.