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2012 4 Races for 4 PBs



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Rebuild 2 - Block 5 Week 3

    Missed my updates last week. Here's a belated look back on Block 5 Week 3.

    Monday - Very Easy 4 Miles

    Had to shuffle my runs a bit as I was due down to Athlone for a day. Started the week on Monday evening with a very very easy 4 miler, an out and back along the Chapelizod Road. My easy pace has slowed quite a bit over the last few easy runs. Not concerned and happy to go with whatever the body deems easy. Heart rate was correspondingly low at 127 bpm. Legs not too bad.

    Total 4.01M @ 9:19 (average 127 bpm)

    Tuesday - Easy Hour

    Another easy run with average pace close to 9:00 min/mile. Legs felt heavy as the often do over the opening uphill half of this run. Just pleased to tick this one off. This route can be mentally tiring. That's 4 consecutive days running with a fifth planned for Wednesday.

    Total 7.06M @ 8:56 (average 130 bpm)

    Wednesday 10K with 1400+600 @ 10K

    Out later than planned for this one. Took a bit of motivation to get out the door but once I started running I was fine. I always have a little apprehension ahead of my '10K' pace sessions. I ran this on the Chapelizod Road my go-to dark evening speed route. Treated my self to a downstream 1400m. This felt manageable, never doubting I would hold pace. The 1400 is completed in 5:21 at 3:49 min/km [6:09]. I turn immediately and run my half distance recovery upstream. Then it's into the closing 600m at pace. The first half of this is tough as I run too fast, anticipating that I'd have to push more on the slight incline. I ease off a little on the final 300. The 600 is completed in 2:16 at 3:46 min/km [6:05]. This is ahead of target pace, average bpm of 171, higher that the 161 average during the 1400.

    These shorter 10K sessions are over in a flash. Once again the effort levels were easier than anticipated. I have a little right heel feedback during cool-down. The right heel has largely been under control since I restarted the rebuild, but it is frustrating at times that it still isn't 100% quiet, 7 months on since first irritating it.

    5 days consecutive running for the first time in a long long time.

    Total 6.25M @ 8:25 (average 138 bpm)

    Saturday 3600+1200 @ Tempo

    Back on the road after 2 back-to-back rest days. I was a bit anxious ahead of this, not so much for the run in itself but more about the hints it would provide ahead of a planned 5K tempo for the final Saturday of this block. Comfy in the Hyperions, they make my legs feel lighter. Tip over to the Polo Pavilion on a beautiful bright spring morning. I pass my usual starting line, press lap on the Garmin and settle into tempo mindset.

    Two laps and a bit is on the menu. The first lap is managed pretty well. A few too-fast alerts on the first Chesterfield descent but then a too-slow alert at the top of the Lords Walk. This latter sees me push a bit and I begin the second lap with a little more urgency. Pace falls back into range and I don't recall receiving any further pace alerts. Push a bit on Lord's Walk. Over my start-line for the second time and into the final 400. I note that I'm working but not dying. The 3600 ends a little before I swing left onto the downhill Chesterfield stretch. I reckon I could have continued to 5K if asked, the Chesterfield descent would have provided some respite, and the final Lord's Walk ascent would have been fine knowing it was the last climb.

    A long half-distance recovery is a little over a lap of the loop and then I up the pace again for the final 1200 tempo section. This 1200 is surprisingly easy. I have to make an effort to slow down from 10K pace to Tempo pace. Legs feel good. All told, after today's run I am more confident ahead of next Saturday's 5K tempo.

    In the afternoon we walk from Sandymount out along the nature trail and out along the pier to Poolbeg lighthouse. Some lower back ache near the end of this walk and I become concerned ahead of tomorrow's long run.

    3600 in 14:06 @ 3:54 min/km [6:18]

    1200 in 4:41 @ 3:54 min/km [6:17]

    Sunday - Long Run 16+M

    Weather-wise this is the best weekend of the year to date. I set out a little after 8:30. I opted to activate a pace range for this, from 7:55 to 8:09. I don't want to go too fast on my long runs, but I don't want to get lazy either. I think this is a suitable range and it makes the run feel a little less vanilla.

    I run a repeat of the route of my last two 16 milers, Kilmainham - Luas to Connolly - Fairview - Raheny - Dollymount Strand - Clontarf - Fairview - Luas from Connolly - Kilmainham. All the usual culprits behave this morning, heel, hammer, knees, glute, lower back. Instead my left calf provides some sharpish feedback on and off from miles 4 to 8. At one point I stop to stretch it and after that it stays quiet. Hopefully just a one-off one run thing. I'm happy my back behaved I feared it might not after yesterday's Poolbeg excursion.

    It's harder to hit target range on the opening 8 miles than on the closing 8 miles. The pace starts to pick up once I leave the wooden bridge and turn left for Clontarf. A few glances at the Garmin sees pace grow from 8:05, to 8:04, to 8:03. I stop checking the Garmin but I can tell that the pace is continuing to increase. I don't feel any significant fatigue over the closing miles. I'm pleasantly surprised to see 7:55 average showing at the end of the run.

    Post long run protein shake is a welcome treat. Pleased to have navigated Block 5 Week 3 without issue. I am now officially further into this Rebuild Program than ever before. Uncharted territory.

    Total 16.26M @ 7:55 (average 142 bpm)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Rebuild 2 - Block 5 Week 4 The Midweek

    Tuesday Easy Hour

    This could very well be the final run of my Crumlin route for this winter season. It was generally bright for two thirds of the run. Legs felt heavy on the opening mostly uphill half, started to wake up on the return half. The run seems to pass quicker in the bright than in the dark, must be because there was more to see and distract me, rather than just the orange glow of street lights and the next 5 metres of pavement.

    Some lower back presence accompanied me on this one, but overall I was happy with the body after the weekend's efforts. Easy pace continues to be slower than usual, that's fine, I'll work hard on the hard days and the long runs won't be lazy efforts.

    Total 7.05M @ 9:01 (average 135 bpm)

    Wednesday 10K with 2K @ 10K Pace

    I was in Athlone on Wednesday. I had planned on running 1K up and down the greenway but then the idea of using the track took hold. I headed out straight after work and across to AIT. Popped up to reception to book and pay but the guy at the desk said to just go ahead, don't worry about it. Thank you. It's been close on two years since I last ran here. Nice to be back. I run a few warm-up laps before drifting across to lane 1 to start my 2K stint.

    Nice to tip along at speed on the track surface, easier to find and hold a neat pace. Before I know it I'm hitting lap on the watch for the first 400. I glance at the split. Oops it's not showing the time split, it shows me the distance instead. I'm going to have to run on feel and hope I can guess 10K pace. In theory I should be lapping between 1:30 and 1:32. Effort is moderate to hard. But I have no doubts I will hold my guestimate pace. Overtake a few runners as I tip around. Counting down the laps. Enjoying this. Legs are generally ok, it's the lungs that are more out of shape.

    I finish lap 5 and fall back into Lane 8 for some cool-down. Curious to see how I guessed the pace: I guessed it very well. Splits were 1:32, 1:31, 1:32, 1:32 and 1:30. The 2K was completed in 7:37, that's 3:48 min/km [6:07 min/mile]. Average heart-rate 172 bpm.

    Enjoyed this one.

    Total 6.21M @ 8:19 (average 138 bpm)

    Friday Very Easy 4 Miles

    Provided I finish work on time I can now look forward to bright runs again. I headed over to the Park for this short one. In at Islandbridge Gate, run 600/700m up Chesterfield to turn right along the small path leading back down to the Pavilion. Then cut through the zoo to North Road. Myself and a walker pause to allow too very unsure ducks walk across the footpath and road. Exit at Infirmary Road and run down by Heuston and home via HSQ. Again a very very slow easy run. And again I tell myself not to be concerned by this, maybe I'm finally understanding how to run easy.

    Focus now on tomorrow's milestone effort, 5K at tempo, to dip under 20:00. Hope the weather is pleasant.

    Total 4.02M @ 9:20 (average 125 bpm)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Rebuild 2 - Block 5 Week 4 The Weekend

    Saturday 5K Tempo (19:39)

    Had been thinking about this one for quite some time. Earlier tempo runs in this rebuild had me fearing that this would be particularly uncomfortable. Then last Saturday's 3600+1200 had me thinking for the first time that maybe I am back in sub 20:00 shape for a 5K tempo.

    I was blessed with the weather on Saturday morning, no breeze of note and pleasant, mostly blue skies. A few hours after my run the winter returned with winds and driving rain. I tipped across to the Polo Grounds, comfy in the Hyperions. Next time I buy these I'll get two pairs and so won't need to worry for a while about them going out of production.

    Arrive at my traditional starting line behind the Pavilion and I get this session underway.

    Lap 1 is fine, instantly find pace on the opening sections, turn onto Lords Walk for the first climb and don't really push. Just like last week I get a too slow alert just before swinging left back toward the Pavilion. Just like last week I up the pace.

    Lap 2 I continue to gently push and with the Chesterfield descent average pace drops to 3:55 min/km [6:18 min/mile] or 3:56 [6:19] and flicks between these. The second ascent of Lords Walk is manageable. I pass behind the Pavilion again and start the final lap.

    Feeling confident. Working for sure, but doubts of sub 20:00 are quickly disappearing. Anytime I look at the Garmin I see 3:55 or 3:56. I let the descent down Chesterfield do the work for me and turn one last time onto Lords Walk. Mentally knowing it is the final ascent makes it much more palatable. Happy to pass over my starting line for the final time and a 100 or less metres later the Garmin signals the end of the 5K.

    Final time of 19:39. Well under 20:00. This wasn't 5K race pace so I would definitely be faster in a race. Average pace was 3:56 [6:19] with an average bpm of 173. Very pleased to have hit this rebuild milestone. No complaints from the legs either. A good morning's work.

    Total 7.28M @ 7:44

    Sunday MLR 15+ Miles

    Needed to tag on a little trip through IMMA at the end of my usual Booterstown 15 Mile route, just to bring up 40 for the week. This was the final run of Block 5 and brings me to the half-way point of Rebuild. I was wary about any after-effects from Saturday's tempo but the legs were generally ok. Some light lower back presence for the closing third or so. And on mile 9 around Foster's Avenue I started to get some feedback from behind the right knee. Thankfully it passes after a few minutes and doesn't return. Like last Sunday I set a target pace of 7:55 to 8:09, unlike last Sunday I didn't push to hit target range from mile 1, instead I let the legs warm up naturally and trusted they would find pace eventually. By the time I arrived in Milltown pace had reached 8:01 and knowing that from Rathgar to home it was mostly downhill so not surprised to see average pace for the run drop under 8:00.

    Pleased with this and pleased with the weekend. Weight also moving slowly in the right direction, down to 72.2 kilo.

    Total 15.59M @ 7:59

    Happy now to enjoy a down-week before tackling the second half of rebuild. On the menu for Block-6:

    • upping average weekly mileage to 45 to 50 miles
    • upping long run to 18 miles
    • running 2600 @ 10K pace
    • running 4M @ tempo
    • running 10M @ target MP

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Last Week was a Down-Week

    Only got out for three runs.

    Wednesday 16th March Very Easy 5K

    In a good mood on Wednesday evening after work with the extra long-weekend ahead. Just a very easy 5K. Kilmainham Gaol lit up in blue and yellow. Legs feeling very heavy on this one. Another run with 9 minute plus miles.

    3.15M @ 9:16 (average 120 bpm)

    Friday 18th March Easy 10K+

    Easily the best weather of 2022 to date. Made up the route as I went. So nice to run under a clear blue sky with warm sunshine. Headed into the park at Infirmary Gate and worked my way across to the Polo Grounds and along the grass up to the Phoenix. Some pings from my right foot for around 100ms near the entrance to Aras. A little bit of trail running by the Fort reminds me I must order new Dynafits.

    While running this week my legs feel generally ok, but while not running I do detect some right heel tightness and my right knee aches a bit when climbing stairs. No specific pain in a specific area, just a general ache.

    6.41M @ 8:46 (average 135 bpm)

    Saturday 19th March Easy 4M+

    More clear skies and warm sunshine Saturday morning. A strong headwind blows me along the towpath from the War Memorial Gardens to Chapelizod. Then it's into the wind for the return home via Chapelizod Gate and the S-Bends. Legs have become less heavy as the week progresses.

    Total 4.80M @ 8:47 (average 130 bpm)

    Ready now for the second half of rebuild.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Rebuild 2 - Block 6 Week 1

    Monday Easy Hour - 6.99M @ 8:35

    Out at 18:27, a little later than I had planned, but still opted for an easy hour back in the Park. Bright when I left, dark when I got back. Legs were heavy and I had some tightness in the right heel. Still though this felt generally comfortable and easy pace was back were I'm used to easy pace being, in the 8:3Xs.

    Tuesday 4x1600 @ Tempo

    In Athlone Wednesday. I get my run done after work and before heading back to Dublin. Makes for a long day. Booked the track for this. But the booking they gave me was from 16:30 for 90mins. I didn't get there until 18:00ish. Into lane 1 and I get the run underway. I've selected the track option on the Garmin and can confirm it definitely produces a much more accurate gps picture of a 400m track. I take manual splits as I go around targeting 1:34 or 1:35 a lap.

    1:30.93 / 1:35.96 / 1:34.96 / 1:35.98 = 6:17 @ 3:56

    1:33.18 / 1:34.62 / 1:35.23 / 1:32.62 = 6:15 @ 3:54

    1:32.64 / 1:34.10 / 1:35.87 / 1:35.92 = 6:18 @ 3:56

    1:32.52 / 1:34.88 / 1:33.77 / 1:28.03 = 6:09 @ 3:50

    Overall pace was a fraction higher than intended. Partially due to an interruption on the final 1600. Seems AIT running club have the track booked from 18:30 every Wednesday and looks like it is for their exclusive use. They suggest I pay and join their group for future Wednesdays, I don't think so, but I will try find a different slot. Starting at 18:30 is too late to go back to Dublin.

    I was interrupted on my second last lap so I finished the final lap and a half at a quicker pace to compensate for the break. Legs good, effort levels a little higher than expected this evening.

    Friday Easy 10K 6.27M @ 8:58

    Heavy legs are back after a rest day on Thursday. Into the Park at Parkgate, straight run up to and around the Phoenix and back down the other side of the road. Parkgate to Islandbridge along Conyingham Road and then home via Saint John's Road and HSQ. A hint of right heel tightness. When not running the heel is 99% fine, when not running the knees are a bit achy going upstairs, but when running the knees are fine.

    Saturday Easy 7.33M @ 8:32

    Weather continues to be fantastic. Out early enough for this one, secondary school viewings later in the morning. Another Park entry at Parkgate and this time run the left-hand trail up to OS Road, turn left and continue around Glen Roads and S-Bends to Islandbridge Gate, then back home. Just easy running today as I have an MP session planned for tomorrow. Heel was fine, today it was the turn of left glute, left lower back to ache a bit on the way around.

    Sunday 16.12M with 10M @ MP (7:07)

    I'd been looking forward to this one. Infrequent MP runs offer an opportunity to see how I'm progressing. Unlike previous MP runs in this rebuild I wasn't apprehensive ahead of this. More summer-like weather in March. I think this is my first run without jacket nor gloves nor underlayer for the year.

    I start with an easy warm-up, up the Khyber and onto the Phoenix, then straight down Chesterfield before turning left onto Lords Walk. The plan is for laps of the Polo Grounds Road Loop. 9 full laps plus the guts of a 10th. I start lap 1 at the usual spot behind the Pavilion. I start too quick but find pace inside the first half mile and stay on target for the rest of the MP section. In general I find myself settling into 4:26 or 4:27 pace.

    The lungs are good and the legs don't feel tired, I feel quite comfortable. The top stretch from the end of Lords Walk around to Chesterfield is the best part of the loop. No wind, no real climb and warm sunshine (maybe too warm at points). The downhill along Chesterfield is into a light headwind and is a source of some light lower back ache so I'm not a fan of this stretch this morning, and then Lords Walk is a climb and is the only part of the loop where I take mental note not to drop off pace. Round and round I go. The parklife getting busier on laps 9 and 10 as families park-up for the zoo.

    I finish the MP section with an average of 7:07 min/mile. Equivalent of a 3:06 marathon finishing time. Not too bad in March if I'm targeting DCM in October for a sub 3:10. But I need to work so much more on endurance over the next months. Average heartrate of 160 bpm is still a bit high I think for MP, but it is an improvement on my last MP session where it was 163 bpm for 8 miles at a slower pace of 7:09.

    Home via IMMA to a shower and protein drink.

    First week of Block 6 navigated successfully. I also bring up 45 miles for the week, it's been a long time since I hit 45 in a week.

    Total 16.12M @ 7:41 (average 150 bpm)

    MP section 9.98M @ 7:07 (average 160 bpm)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 912 ✭✭✭Unknownability

    Let me know if you're ever looking for someone to run the tempos with, I'm 10 minutes from Athlone. Pace is probably a small bit tasty but should be there in two or three weeks.

    Instead of the track I'd recommend using the Green Way for intervals. You can get on it at the Spar on Garrycastle and if you run towards Dublin after half a mile or so you'll virtually have it to yourself, it's where I do (did 🙄) all my intervals.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Thanks! I run less frequently in Athlone these days and the track isn't as easy an option as it used be so I reckon I will use the greenway. I'll PM you when I next know I'm running. Warning, more often than not I run 10K sessions midweek.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Ok it’s been busy at work and outside work so I’ve fallen behind here again.

    Cast my mind back to Block 6 Week 2.

    I start the week with a standard Easy Hour run in the Park. This evening it was the turn of the left glute and lower back to complain. Don’t remember much else about the run. I do note that easy pace on the Park route tends to be quicker than easy pace on the Crumlin route. 

    Total 7.04M @ 8:32.

    Back to 10K pace on the Wednesday. This was a tough one. The plan was (2x900)+800. I opt for the path around the Playing Fields. There is a rare northerly wind blowing, creating a strong headwind down Acres. I start the first 900 uphill into this headwind and it’s tough. I’m glad to turn right at the top and exit the wind for a bit. The next 900 without wind or an incline to deal with is far easier, very manageable. And then back to the wind and climb for the final 800. The last 200m are very tough, lungs working overtime. Very glad to hear the Garmin sound the end of the interval.

    900 in 3:27 @ 6:10min/mile

    900 in 3:24 @ 6:05min/mile

    800 in 3:04 @ 6:10min/mile

    Next run is my first April run, an easy 6 miler on Friday evening. Legs are very heavy for the majority of the run. Travel from Kilmainham to Inchicore to Chapelizod to Heuston, then I follow the Luas tracks up to James and continue back to Kilmainham. 

    Total 6.02M @ 8:52.

    The weekend is a busy one. Out lunchtime for my weekly tempo effort. This time it’s 2M+(2x1M). My legs feel heavy during my warm-up but once I got going this one was very manageable. 2M is 2 laps of the Polo Road loop and as always at the end of the first Lords Walk ascent I get a too slow warning from the Garmin. I speed up. Working a bit on the second ascent of Lords Walk but never in doubt of hitting target pace. I have a whole lap of recovery before starting into the mile repeats. These latter feel comfortable. Not hanging on at any point this morning.

    2M in 12:39 @ 6:19min/mile

    1M @ 6:19min/mile

    1M @ 6:14min/mile

    Total 9.35M @ 7:35 min/mile

    And I close the week with an early morning long run on Sunday. Out a little after 7am for my longest run in a long long while, 17 miles on the menu. I head out on my Raheny, Dollymount route. I don’t set a pace range on the Garmin but I do take a mental note of each mile split and remember how many seconds it differs from 8:09, the latter the slowest average pace I want to maintain. Each mile was providing additional buffer against this 8:09 target. Along the Howth Road and through Raheny my pace felt like 8:1X pace but the splits where starting to come back in 7:4X pace. I was very happy with this and the legs felt good. Strongest, most comfortable and niggle and ache free I've felt in a long while. The sand on Dollymount and the grass trail along Clontarf started to sap some energy from the legs but the splits continued to be faster than they felt. The last 2 miles I was starting to feel some fatigue and I was happy to finish this one. Went much better than expected. Straight after a shower we headed to Kiliney beach and walked to Dalkey via the Obelisk. All this before my ‘breakfast’. Garmin hitting over 40000 steps for the day. 

    Total 17.01M @ 7:51

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Block 6 Week 3 April 4 to April 10

    Easy Hour

    Started this week in the usual fashion, a Tuesday evening Easy Hour in the Park. It’s overcast damp but fresh. Both legs are tired and I have some left glute tightness to contend with. Lots of deer on the upper Glen Road this evening. Pace picks up a little on the Chesterfield trail descent. Complete run at 8:50 pace, average heartbeat in the easy zone at 131 bpm.

    10K with 1800+800 @ 10K pace

    This was originally planned for Wednesday evening, but work dragged on later than expected and I lost the will to lace up and head out. A heavy shower at the moment I needed to decide to run or not made my mind up for me. I postponed until Thursday. This however meant I would need to string a running streak of 7 or 8 days together as I would need to frontload week 4 of block 6. On with the Hyperions and I run to the Chapelizod Gate. I opt for Chapelizod Road instead of the undulating Playing Fields path. I run 900m downstream, take a wide 180 and continue with another 900 back to where I started. The downstream was fine, the upstream became tricky with around 200m to go. A generous 900m recovery follows and then I run another 400 downstream, wide 180, 400 upstream to finish. All told this was very manageable and I feel a little more confident about the full 2600 planned for next week. Key splits this evening were 1800m in 6:51 @ 3:48 min/km [6:07 min/mile] and 800m in 3:00 @ 3:45 min/km [6:02 min/mile]

    Very Easy 5 Miles

    Two wooden legs for this one. Mentally felt good though as I was heading into some days off for Easter. Two 2-day weeks ahead of me. Sun is out as I head into the Park at Islandbridge Gate, join the Playing Fields by the Fort. Up Acres, down Chesterfield and around the back of the Polo Pavilion before exiting onto Infirmary Road. Home via Heuston and with an ascent of the Luas tracks toward James. All very easy with bpm averaging 128. Total 5.00M @ 9:13.

    9+M with 3M+1M @ Tempo

    The main concern ahead of this one was whether or not the legs would still carry some of Thursday’s 10K effort, I typically would have an extra day between faster sessions.

    Another sunny morning with only a light breeze blowing. I head across to the Polo Grounds Road Loop and get stuck in. First up 3M, almost three laps. This unfolds more or less as expected, a first lap where I get a too slow alert as I near the top of the Lords Walk climb, I inject a little more speed and I’m getting too fast alerts as a near the end of lap 2. Means I can ease off a little for the third lap. Not hanging on, 3M done without issue. A lap and a half of recovery before running another mile at tempo. This mile feels comfortable. Feeling confident for next week’s planned 4M at tempo, what should be another milestone run in this rebuild. Tempo splits: 3M in 18:51 @ 6:17 min/mile. 1M @ 6:16 min/mile. Total 9.42M @ 7:31 with an average 150 bpm.

    Long Run 18 Miles

    My first 18 miler in over 20 months, my first Italian run in over 2 years. Back in Milan. T-shirt running under hot sun and blue skies. I stick to Parco di Trenno for this, 7 laps and I just enjoy observing the park-life as I tip around. I do like last Sunday and after each mile split I take a mental note of how many seconds up or down I am against 8:09 pace. I settle into 7:4X pace and it feels fine, not pushing, don’t need to concentrate. I do have some light lower back ache on the outset, this passes. Garmin shows that from mile 14 my bpm increases from 14X to 15X. I do feel some additional fatigue near the end but nothing overly concerning. Heat may have been a factor. This 18 felt easier than some of my earlier 16 milers. Total 18.02M @ 7:46 [average 148 bpm]

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,235 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    thats a solid long run and some good progress.

    Do you see yourself racing much this summer?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Thanks. I feel the long runs are where I am seeing most progress. I doubt I'll be racing this summer. Next race will be (fingers-crossed) DCM. I've been thinking DCM22 <3:20, CCM23 <3:10, DCM23 <3:00. Focus will be on endurance for the next while. After DCM22 I can see myself re-introducing (old) 3K/5K pace for 400s and 800s and will maybe run a Parkrun every month as a marker.

    Post edited by outforarun on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Block 6 Week 4 April 11 to April 18

    Casting my mind back again. I can't seem to get back up to date on here. I finished Block 6 in Italy, and had two very tough runs while doing so.

    Easy 10K @ 8:41 min/mile

    I started the week with a gentle 10K on Monday morning. Two and a half laps of Parco di Trenno with some lower back stiffness. I need to front load this week because of travel plans.

    10K with 2600 @ 10K Pace (2600m @ 3:50 min/km)

    Tuesday was tough. I was working and barely moved from the desk all day. A 45min commute home and then it was into the running gear and across once again to Parco di Trenno. Normally with the 10K pace sessions I worry that it will be too difficult and then it turns out easier than expected. This was flipped on its head tonight, I underestimated the effort involved and found myself struggling to hold target pace.

    After a warm-up lap I hit lap on the watch and get started. The opening stretch is slightly downhill and this isn't too tough, but it does feel tougher than expected. I take a near 180 turn at the south of the park and start the slightly uphill stretch. It quickly becomes very tricky to hold pace and the countdowns begin in my head, less than 1K to go, 800, 400, I'm puffing hard. The Garmin is toying with me over the closing 600 or so meters, and it sounds the too-slow alert a few times. I push over the last 50m to ensure I do stay inside target range (just). I'm wrecked. Chat with a dog-walker and her dogs while I pause to catch my breath. The 10K sessions are the ones I least look forward to right now. I suspect I'm running these a little too infrequently and I suspect that Sunday's 18 miler is still in the legs. Happy to hit target, not so happy with the effort required to do so, average 171 bpm.

    Easy 10K @ 8:45 min/mile

    Another mostly sitting working day on Wednesday. In the evening I run this my 7th consecutive run, a streak that contained 4 non-easy runs. Stay in Parco di Trenno. Spend the run thinking about the rest of the week's running. Do I make it 8 runs in a row and run my 4M tempo in the morning, or do I wait until later in the week, run it Sunday and push my long run out 24 hours to Easter Monday. I decide to take the sensible approach and opt to end the running streak tonight and leave the tempo until Sunday. Some left glute tightness on this easy run.

    Very Easy 5K @ 9:03 min/mile

    I spent Thursday, Friday and nearly all day Saturday revisiting the Cinque Terre in Liguria. Based in Vernazza we completed some long hot dusty treks during the day. Lots of climbing, lots of sweat and steps and some sheer drops to keep things interesting. Legs were tired at the end of each evening. Not really rest days. I did pick up a new pair of Dynafits while there, went again with size 9.5, when 10 is a better fit.

    I didn't want to start cold into my tempo run on Sunday morning so Saturday evening, fairly late I headed out for an easy 5K in Milan as soon as we had returned from Liguria. Bit of a wind blowing. Heart rate very much under control at average 124 bpm.

    Tempo 4M (4.00M in 25:45 @ 6:26 min/mile)

    For the second time this week I underestimated the required effort. The 4M tempo would be run across over a lap and a half of Parc di Trenno. It's warm but not terribly so. The first mile is ok but then the effort starts rising pretty quickly. A bit like earlier in the week, the run starts to become demanding once I take the first 180 at the south of the park.

    I complete the first lap (approx 2.25 miles) on target but I'm already doubting I will be able to hold pace until 4 miles. I make the most of the slight descent and keep the pace just about in target. No 'too-fast' alerts today, instead it's 'too-slow' alerts. Working hard over the final mile or so, but I just fail to stay inside target range, logging a final average pace of 4:00 min/mile. Lie on the grass for a minute or so enjoying not having to push anymore. Disappointed but also happy to have put in an honest effort. Average heartrate of 170 bpm is too high for tempo. My excuse is the previous 48 hours of hiking. I still logged the second fastest segment time this year for this lap of the park.

    I won't change my plans for Block 7 where I will continue to target 4 miles at tempo, in block 7 I will again build to 4 Mile at tempo, but this time the recovery during the first tempo runs will be 1min per mile rather than the half-distance recovery used in block 6.

    Long Run 16 Miles (16.03M @ 7:50)

    Had some welcome company on this one. Started chatting with Angelo, training for a 1:40 attempt in the upcoming Milan half. I am happy holding a long run pace of 7:5X and I can hear someone breathing fairly hard behind me and gradually drawing level, we start chatting. Run around 10K together and I suspect the pace was a little too tasty for him (I offered to drop pace). Helps the run pass quickly. I leave Parco di Trenno afterwards and run a circuit of Parco delle Cave. Busy this morning with walkers, runners, cyclists. Finish the 16 miles with a brief diversion to the nearby rice-fields.

    And that's block 6 concluded. Just that final tempo blot on my copy. Happy to run a downweek now ahead of Block 7.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Down-Week (April 19 to April 24) ahead of Block 7

    Easy 4 Miles (4.03M @ 8:47 average 126 bpm)

    Pressure off for the remaining days in Italy. A shorter down-week than normal seeing as the final run of block 6 was run on the Monday. Out late Tuesday morning for another spin around Parco di Trenno. Legs feeling generally ok after yesterday's 16 miler. More sun, more blue skies. I've been doing some glute stretches after my runs of late and they do seem to have some benefit. I have so much higher range of movement with my left glute than my right!

    Easy 10K (6.31M @ 8:35 average 133 bpm)

    My final run in Milan. Pay another visit to Parco di Trenno, but I also break away for a while and head to San Siro to run a lap of the stadium, I never grow tired of looking at it. Legs are slightly stiff today. Clouding over as well and later the first proper rain here since January will start to fall. Finish by running past the parish church in Trenno. Back to hills and wind and rain from tomorrow.

    Easy 7 Miles (7.00M @ 8:45 average 125 bpm)

    Happily surprised to find the sun shining for my first run back home. Into the Park at Islandbridge Gate and I head up the grassy hill to the Fort, then sticking to the trails I run up past the Papal Cross. Loop to the left around a copse of trees near the end of Furze Road and head to the trail outside St.Mary's. Enjoying the trail, enjoying the sun. I exit at Chapelizod Gate and then take the towpath back to Islandbridge and head home.

    So block 7 will be quite similar to block 6:

    • 45 to 50 miles a week
    • Long Run of 18 Miles
    • 4M Tempo (but off 1min per mile recovery, rather than half-distance recovery)
    • 3200 @ 10K pace
    • 8M @ Sub3 pace

    I'm apprehensive about the faster paces. The struggle to hit pace with my last 10K session, and my failure to run 4 mile at tempo have caused me some concern. If I cannot hit both targets this time round then I expect I'll repeat the block until I do hit targets.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Block 7 - Week 1 (25 April to 01 May)

    One day I'll be up to date on here again. So block-7 has been up and underway for a few weeks now. Glad to have made it this far in one piece. How did block-7 start.

    Monday 25 April - Easy Hour - 7.08M @ 8:44 (average 123 bpm)

    I was off-work this Monday so did the school drop in my running gear and headed off to the Park. In at Park Gate and ascend to the Mountjoy Roundabout before swing down OS Road and then cutting left onto the trails around the 15 Acres. Not too many souls about this morning. I again follow the trail around St.Mary's and then continue down near the Fort. Legs are tired but otherwise they feel ok. Pleased with the low heartrate this morning.

    Tuesday 26 April - Tempo 4x1M - Total 8.09M @ 7:41

    I was a little apprehensive ahead of this one, never keen for after-work faster stuff. I also had my struggle in my last tempo session playing on my mind. This is my first tempo session where the recovery time is a minute a mile rather than the half-distance recoveries I've been running up to now. Polo Road Loop, of course. It takes a while to get into this, legs heavier than I'd like. The first two miles are trickier than the final two miles. The one minute recovery doesn't afford me much time to relax, I'm back at tempo before I know it. Heart rate is higher than I'd have liked @ 172 bpm. Happy to finish this one and tip back home, it's late enough.

    Mile splits were: 6:20, 6:21, 6:20, 6:22

    Friday 29 April - Easy 8+ Miles @ 8:32

    A simple lap of the Park. Been a while since I ran one. In at Islandbridge Gate and run anti-clockwise. Not very busy here this evening, I'm guessing people are heading away for the long weekend. It's warm out. After 2 days without running the legs are feeling a bit wooden and are uncomfortable for the opening mostly uphill half of the run. Once I reach OS Road they start to loosen a little and the return miles are more enjoyable. Add on a few mini-loops at the end to ensure I bank 8 and a bit miles.

    Saturday 30 April - Easy 50 Minutes 5.78M @ 8:45

    Down in Cork for the weekend. A mid afternoon run. Legs are feeling better than yesterday. Stick to one of my usual routes here and have some steep hills to tackle. I stop for a while to look at a small plot of land, where up until a few weeks ago our old family cottage had stood. A CPO put an end to over a 100 years of history. Soon there will be a road running through it. Strange to see. Unpause and keep running.

    Lots of grub this evening ahead of tomorrow morning's 16 miler with 8 mile at sub 3 pace.

    Sunday 1st May - 16M with 8M @ Sub3 Pace

    Out early enough for this one. I've run a few of these marathon pace sessions in Cork of late so I know the drill. I'll head straight for town along Tivoli, starting the Sub3 section a little beyond the Silver-Springs Hotel. Then I'll head southside over the first bridge and run two laps of the Monaghan Road, Centre Park Road loop, before retracing my steps back the way I came.

    Unlike last time out there is no strong wind to deal with and this makes it a whole lot easier to manage. I feel generally comfortable for the first 6 miles, only over the final 2 miles do I start to look forward to dropping the pace. Could I have kept going to 10 miles? Probably, but that target is another few weeks away. When running faster the legs don't feel tight or achy at all. It's only at slower paces do the aches and pains start to complain.

    The 8M at sub-3 pace is completed in 54:22 @ 6:48 pace (with average 164 bpm), equivalent of a 2:58:XX marathon. Bit tired on the cool-down miles, especially wherever there is a climb to navigate. Pleased with this opening week of block-7. Oh and I'm starting again to see my hair when running.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Block 7 - Week 2 (02 May to 08 May)

    Might have time to catch up fully here this week; it looks like I might log 0 miles this downweek thanks to a sore left hip/glute since last Sunday's run.

    So week 2 of block 7. The week did not start encouragingly - rushing to catch a train in Cork I get bitten in the arm by an Alsatian. Felt like a very heavy punch and only realise a minute or two later that it had punctured the skin in a few spots. One successful search for the dog owner, one tetanus shot and one antibiotic prescription collection later and I'm on a train 2 hours later than planned. I'd be running the week on antibiotics.

    Tuesday 03 May: Very Easy Hour - 6.90M @ 9:02

    I've noticed of late that my easy runs are getting slower and slower. I don't want to rush my easy runs but neither do I want them to be 9:00 min/mile pace or slower. I'm not convinced running that slow is good for my gait and form, maybe for 2 or 3 miles but not for an hour of running. I just ran up one side of Chesterfield and back down the other, turning after around 30 mins.

    Thursday 05 May: (2x1100)+1000 @ 10K pace

    Out reluctantly after work. Opted for the Chapelizod Road for this. A quick nature-break inside the Chapelizod Gate before I get stuck in. Run 1100 downstream and it feels ok, (average 151 bpm). Half distance recovery, then 1100 back upstream, this is definitely tougher (average 172 bpm) but I never doubt I'd hit target pace. For the final 1000 interval I run 500 downstream, take a wide 180 and complete 500 back toward Chapelizod Gate.

    These interval distances are manageable at 10K pace, the difficulty begins when the interval hits 2000 and upwards. Running just three 10K sessions every 5 weeks is I think too few and I cannot expect progress on every one of these sessions. I will be revisiting my non-tempo sessions from block 8 onwards.

    1100 in 4:02 @ 3:41 [5:56] pace, too fast

    1100 in 4:12 @ 3:49 [6:09] pace

    1000 in 3:50 @ 3:50 [6:10] pace

    Friday 06 May: Easy 10K (6.23M @ 8:48)

    Heavy legs and a tight left glute on a Friday evening Park run. First half of this was again at slower than 9:00 min/mile pace. Only started to loosen up on the downhill second half of run. Hope all the heaviness and tightness will be gone by tomorrow.

    Saturday 07 May: 2M +(2x1M) @ Tempo

    I do enjoy my Saturday tempos. Ran this one later than usual, an early afternoon session. As nearly always the Polo Ground Road loop is the venue. The first two miles are run at 3:56 [6:21] pace. As I struggle to find pace the first laps are often trickier than the subsequent laps. Two minutes of recovery and I run the first single mile segment, again at 3:56 [6:20] pace. This feels good. The final mile is the fastest tempo mile of the run, 3:54 [6:18] pace. All very manageable but again some tightness of the left glute (not at tempo pace). Feel this glute is my weak link at the moment.

    Sunday 07 May: Long Run 17.23M @ 7:48

    One of those blue sky, sunny, warm Sunday long runs that you dream of during the winter. Really enjoyed this one. Once I'm warmed up my long run pace settles nicely at 7:4X or 7:5X pace. Doesn't feel I'm pushing pace. I run through town to Raheny and follow the Howth Road right to the sea. Enjoy the sea air as I travel along the road back through Clontarf and fairview. I opt to skip the beach this morning and focus on keeping pace steady, often I find the mile and a bit of sand running can upset my rhythm.

    I watch my splits and keep a running tally Of how many cumulative seconds I'm ahead of 8:09 pace. Each new mile split ups the tally. Average 145 bpm for the 17.23 miles, with a slight rise into 15X bpm over the closing few miles. Engine felt good. Legs felt good for the rest of the day. The long run of late is the most natural and comfortable run of my week.

    So week 2 navigated successfully - all targets hit. Concern over a sometimes glacial easy run pace, and over continued left glute tightness. I did bump into my PT in the supermarket, gave him a heads up that I'm likely to visit shortly for some hip/glute attention (hopefully without needles).

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Block 7 Week 3 (09 May to 15 May)

    Monday 09 May – Very Easy Hour 6.66M @ 9.01

    Tight left glute and two tired legs as I start week 7. The tiredness I attribute to yesterday’s very enjoyable sunny sea air 17 miler. Run up and down Chesterfield, sticking to the trail on the way down to give the legs an easier ride.

    Wednesday 11 May – 2200+1000 @ 10K pace

    Lovely evening in the Park. I typically decide where I’ll run these sessions during my warm-up. Usually it’s a choice between the Chapelizod Road or around the Playing Fields. Tonight I opt for the latter. Start as usual at the bottom of Acres (2nd bicycle marker to be precise). The 2200 is run up Acres, mostly downhill along the undulating top path, down to the Fort and then along a good chunk of the lower path back to Acres. Effort levels become tricky for the last 400m or so. Not looking forward to tagging on an extra 1000 next week. The 2200 is completed in 8:28 that’s 3:50 min/km, 6:12 min/mile. Recover for 1100 and then run a single kilometre at 10K pace. This includes most of the downhill to the Fort and a full length back to Acres. This doesn’t feel hugely tricky, complete in 3:48 pace [6:07].

    Stuck for time and head straight home after this. Some left glute tightness. Not hugely confident for next week’s 3200.

    Once again I need to remind myself that this is my old 10K pace, realistically instead it is the pace I should probably be hoping to train to run 5K at (finishing time 18:55 to 19:15).

    Friday 13 May – Very Easy 10K 6.23M @ 9:09

    Another beautiful evening, start the weekend after work with an overly leisurely 10K. I think soon I will put a too slow alert on anything slower than 8:49 pace. Really not convinced 9:00 plus pace is necessarily good for form etc. I read somewhere that easy pace is typically below 140 bpm, my easy runs of late have been 12X bpm. I can afford to speed up a little without worrying about over stressing the body.

    I’m not afraid of dogs, but since the bite I have been more aware of off the leash big dogs, I think I don’t trust them as much as I used.

    Saturday 14 May – 3M + 1M @ Tempo

    Felt surprisingly strong on this one. Out late morning to the usual spot. Three laps of the Polo Road Loop at tempo pace. I don’t glance at the watch after the first mile or so, I just listen for alerts and try keep the pace honest. I keep expecting to get a too slow alert as I reach the top of the Lords walk ascent, but instead the watch stays quiet. I complete the 3M at a surprisingly fast 3:55 [6:18] pace. I enjoy 3 mins recovery before running a final mile in 6:19. This feels very manageable.

    Pleased with this run. Suddenly 4M at tempo next week feels doable. It’s been bugging me that I ‘failed’ the 4M @ tempo last time out in Milan.  

    Total 8.71M @ 7:43

    Sunday 15 May – Long Run 18 Miles 18.02M @ 7:49

    Out before 9:00 for this one. Been a while, so I decided to run an out and back to Dun Laoghaire. Ran through town near Leeson and Baggot before joining Merrion Road to head for the coast. Noticing lots of construction enroute. My old house was knocked in Cork these last weeks, now my old office is knocked in Ballsbridge. Some very good new cycle paths have appeared along this route since I last ran it in 2020. Feeling generally good along the way although my mile splits aren’t very consistent. Pause at the halfway point at the start of the East Pier. Big liner parked up here this morning. Turn around and retrace my steps home. Feel the effort rise a little from mile 14, but it doesn’t rise rapidly and I complete the run feeling generally strong.

    No complaints from the legs this morning, left glute included. Legs feeling exercised but good for the rest of the day as well. Best weekend’s running in quite a while.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    So what's been happening.

    Seems a lifetime ago now but back in the middle of May I completed Week 4 of Block 7 of my Rebuild plan. The week consisted of:

    A very easy hour 6.65M @ 9:03. Legs felt tired after the 18 miler from the morning before but no stiffness or tightness of concern.

    A failed attempt to run 3200m @ 10K pace. It was windy but still not so windy to explain only managing 6:20 pace for the 2 miles. This felt unusually hard. Just one of those runs. It made me decide though to ditch these longer 10K sessions and instead try some 400s maybe starting with a light 6x400, repeated for a few weeks before moving up to 8x400 and so on. The 10K session were too infrequent and should have stayed unchanged for a while longer, I probably was cranking up the ask to quickly.

    Another very easy hour 6.60M @ 9:03. Heavy legs and some lower back ache.

    Then on the Saturday my most satisfying run in a long long time. I finally ran 4M at tempo again. Same pace as Wednesday (6:20) but for 4 miles and it felt so much easier than midweek. Really pleased with this, not just for hitting the target but for how I felt when running it. It had been a long time building up to this milestone.

    Sunday I joined the Donore bus for the first time in ages. BUt maybe it was premature. The engine was fine for the 16 miles and it was good to chat on the way round. But it seems the legs weren't pleased with the snappy pace that morning, too many 7:3X and 7:2X miles. I could tell the left glute was stiff whenever there was a stop start. Once I got home and finished showering it was clear the left glute/hip was unhappy.

    And since then, well it hasn't been great. Moving backwards.

    • 2 weeks of no running before a successful glute tester run.
    • A downweek with easy miles. Making an effort to avoid 9:00+ pace, I worry it's not good for my form etc. But during the week a faint sensation in right hammer. i don't think much of it. Don't really notice it while running, until Sunday. 10K with no problems from the left leg, but the right hammer flares up after the run.
    • 3 weeks of no running, PT booked for early next week (earliest slot)

    Then tonight out of desperation and curiosity I try 5K easy. The hammer had been feeling better on the 3rd week off. Within 100m I could feel a presence, no pain. Maybe it would pass? It didn't get worse while I ran, but it didn't disappear, and once or twice I could feel it 'pinging', no pain, but worrisome. It still felt good to be running. Afterwards and as I type the hammer is sore (lower down just behind knee) I won't be running again until I see the PT.

    July 4th is not a good day for me to run. It's the 2nd anniversary of my 'house-of-cards' injury back in 2020, from which I have not yet returned to my old form. And now tonight, my gut tells me that DCM is gone. I hope I'm wrong but I reckon it'll be another month at least before I'll be running again. The gains of the last 8 months will be largely lost. Starting mid August to build up mileage again gives me two months before a taper. Not enough time. Plans for DCM22 sub 3:20, CCM23 sub 3:10, DCM23 sub 3:00, are out the window. I'd sign now for getting back to a Sunday morning 20 miler this year. Then CCM23 sub 3:30, DCM23 sub 3:15, CCM24 sub 3:00 attempt 1, DCM24 sub 3:00 attempt 2. But it's going to take a whole new world of discipline strength and conditioning and caution. I don't get injured more often than I used to, it's just the injuries are taking forever to heal.

    My PT is very good at lifting the spirits though so maybe I'll feel more upbeat next week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Update from the PT Table

    Visited PT at the start of the week and will be back for a second visit next Thursday. He says the hamstring issue is caused by weak hip-flexors. He worked on them and he worked on glute and hammer. Some (not too painful) dry needling on the hammer. I'm back on the sliotar and I'm stretching hip flexors twice a day every day. I asked if he thought I could run and he gave me the green flag to run around 25% of my mileage pre-injury. He feels some activity could be more productive than pure rest.

    With this in mind I headed out for a short 3K tester this afternoon. I've been feeling almost nothing these last few days when walking (and cycling) but as soon as I start running I can feel a definite tension/tightness in the right hammer. Low down behind the knee on the inside of the leg. No pain (nor pings), but I do feel uneasy. I think I'll repeat this 3K every second day until next visit.

    Peaceful resignation that DCM will be at best a 26.2 mile sub 4 long run.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Another Day One

    A new restart beckons (touchwood). Very little running this last month. Mostly the hammer continues to feel better when not running and feels mostly ok when running, but it does flare up a little after each run. Runs over the last while have been infrequent:

    • July 24 - an easy 5K around the block and IMMA, hammer not too bad
    • July 26 - an easy 5K, including WMG and IMMA, hammer better
    • July 29 - an easy 5K down in Cork, hammer the same as 3 days previous, but flared up afterwards on the Ardmore Cliff Walk
    • July 31 - an easy 4 Miler around the playing fields, in newly purchased Glycerin 19s.
    • Aug 03 - an easy 10K in a humid 33 degree evening in Milan
    • Aug 07 - A short hill climb in Roncobello, hammer felt 99% ok during ascent but did feel off afterwards
    • Aug 08 - A repeat of the hill-climb, felt easier. But hammer was definitely tight and grumpy afterwards. Not in the behind the knee spot, further up, near where I strained it back in March 2019. Probably too soon for these climbs.

    It's been another week since I last ran. Hammer feels better now and I will try lacing up again tomorrow. PT has cancelled the last two appointments on me which isn't great. So I've booked an appointment at the club physio for the end of the month.

    Anyway after some time in Italy, not running as normal and eating far more than normal, weight is up again (77.1kg!!). Really anxious now to get back to where I was a little over two months ago. I hope I can do that before year-end. The next 4 weeks I'll run generally easy pace and work my way back up to a 40 mile week (25/30/35/40). Then I'll hold 40 for a few weeks while re-introducing marathon pace, sub 3 pace and tempo pace. 10K pace can wait until next year.

    The goal for the remainder of 2022 is to build back up to a 50 mile week. Build up to a 20 mile run and build up to running 4 mile at tempo again, like I did in May. That's the plan. On Strava I'll log S&C sessions again to keep me honest.

    CCM23 sub 3:30. DCM23 sub 3:15. CCM24 sub 3:00 attempt 1, CCM24 sub 3:00 attempt 2. Because I always need goals. But for now I'll focus on the micro and just try get through 25 miles this week in one piece, watch my diet and log at least 3 S&C sessions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    5K for Starters

    There are 20 weeks to year end. On paper this more than enough time to hit my revised 2022 goals (a 50 Mile week, a 20 Mile run, a 4 Mile Tempo). Target this week is to hit 25 miles in one piece.

    Paces. I didn't like running at 9:00min/mile and slower during my recent rebuilding phase, felt heavy and unnatural. I don't think it did my form any favours. I'm going to set the following pace brackets. Just 5 gears until year-end.

    • Easy 8:30 to 8:50 min/mile [5:16 to 5:29 min/km]
    • Sunday Long Run 7:55 to 8:05 min/mile [4:55 to 5:01 min/km]
    • Sub 3:10 Pace 7:03 to 7:14 min/mile [4:23 to 4:30 min/km]
    • Sub 3:00 Pace 6:40 to 6:51 min/mile [4:08 to 4:15 min/km]
    • Tempo 6:18 to 6:24 min/mile [3:55 to 3:59 min/km]

    So started today with an easy 5K. From home and into the Park at Islandbridge Gate, run by the zoo main entrance and then exist at Infirmary Gate, home via Heuston and HSQ. Legs felt stiff when running, in a haven't run in a while type of stiffness. The hammer behaved as did the rest of the legs. This evening whenever I get up from sitting there is a light tingle from the hammer from behind the right knee. No pain. Before the run I completed some activation exercises and after the run a did my hip-flexor stretches.

    Diet has been much improved these last two days.

    One run at a time.

    Total 3.15 Miles at 8:41 average 138 bpm

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    4 Easy Miles

    Was in two minds about going out for this one. Last night's run was fine, but after the run the right hammer was complaining a bit. Same when I woke up this morning and at points during the day. I did my calve raises and other pre-run bits and bops, crossed my fingers and headed out.

    I can feel the hammer tight for the first 50m but then it improves. I head out along Chapelizod Road toward the clubhouse. Turn around after 2 miles and retrace my steps. I do stop for 20 seconds when I feel the hammer stinging a bit. Continue cautiously and it's fine for the rest of the run. Post run hip-flexor stretches and hammer stretches. Leg feels better after this run than it did after last night's run. S&C session tomorrow and will, touchwood, run again on Friday. Looking forward to seeing what physio says at the end of the month.

    Total 4.02 Miles at 8:39 average 139 bpm

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Easy Cork Running

    Spent this last week in Cork.

    I was happy to have run that last 4 miler back in Dublin despite the stingy hammer. The leg felt much improved after the run.

    Packed two sets of running gear and my roller and resistance band before heading south. Watched 'Love Yourself Today' on RTE the night before and I loved it. It sent me down a YouTube rabbit hole the end result of which was 3 hours sleep on Thursday night. Took the 7:00am train to Cork on Friday. Spent the guts of the day walking around Ardmore and alongside Fota golf course. Grabbed an overly creamy mushroom at the clubhouse (I should know by now to avoid creamy pasta outside of Italy) and went out for a 6 miler around two hours later. Ughhh. Felt bloated and burpy and was happy to finish. But the hammer was generally ok.

    Spent a sunny Saturday strolling around Killarney National Park and once back in Cork I laced up for an easy 4 miler. Had some hammer presence but overall I felt ok. I wasn't watching the watch and logged an average pace of 8:21. Faster than my prescribed easy pace but it felt very easy, I'll take that as a positive.

    Last Sunday the goal was an 8 miler. Longest run since May. Overall I have to rank it as a success. Minimal feedback from the right hammer. The route contained one significant climb from Tivoli up to Mayfield and it went fine, the hammer did not object. I struggled to keep the pace down on this one and logged a final average of 8:26. Heartrate is still not where I'd like it to be but Strava fitness tracking is back on an upward curve. With this run I ticked off 25 miles for the week. Next up 30 miles.

    A wet one last Tuesday. 10K round Glanmire, Dunkettle and Riverstown. I have noticed over the last couple of days that the hammer has been quiet while not running. Hopefully it stays quiet now for a while. I enjoyed the rain and getting wet on this one. Finished inside my easy pace range with an 8:32 min/mile average. Daring to feel optimistic again.

    Didn't run on Wednesday and just ensured I completed an S&C session. Back on the road Thursday evening after work for a 4 miler. Legs felt a bit heavy on this one. The hammer behaved but I could feel a slight presence in the left hip/glute. I will be visiting the club physio next Wednesday and I will be pointing him to the left hip/glute and to the right hammer. Will look for a prescribed exercise program to help reduce and prevent issues in these two areas.

    Gorgeous morning this morning in Cork. I head out on a simple 10K, out and back run. Blue skies, warm, no wind and legs that felt almost normal. I'll weigh in on Sunday but I reckon I've shed 2 kilo over the last 2 weeks, this despite Mum's best efforts to feed me senseless. Hammer continues to improve but hip presence is still felt. Again no pain, but just this nagging impression that I am only one careless exertion away from another slow heal injury. Next Wednesday's physio visit cannot come soon enough.

    Hoping I see improvement on heartrate soon.

    • Friday 6.02M @ 8:38 (150 bpm)
    • Saturday 4.00M @ 8:21 (145 bpm)
    • Sunday 8.02 @ 8:26 (152 bpm)
    • Wednesday 6.22M @ 8:32 (147 bpm)
    • Thursday 4.06M @ 8:37 (144 bpm)
    • Friday 6.23M @ 8:18 (149 bpm)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    The weekend just passed.

    Two runs back in Dublin.

    Saturday morning was hot, bright and still, beautiful morning. I laced up and headed out for 5 easy miles. Feels like I haven't been to the Park in forever. My legs and body in general felt heavy on this one. I'm looking forward to some faster paces to loosen things up, want to get to a 40 mile week first though. Run by the Polo Grounds where the horse boxes are unloading. Out by Infirmary Road Gate and home via HSQ. Legs a little less heavy by the end. Each mile a little faster than the previous. Heart-rate still higher than I'd like.

    Total 5.28M @ 8:24 (average 148 bpm)

    Sunday was better. Legs felt lighter. I headed back to the Park again. Skirted around the triathlon. Stuck mostly to the trails for this one. Pace settled for a bit in the 8:0Xs, then mile 6 logged at 7:49 pace and so I put the brakes on a little. Longest run in a while but I felt no growing fatigue. Next Sunday I will target 10 miles and based on this run that shouldn't prove difficult.

    That's 31 miles for the week. Next week target is 35. First weigh-in in 2 weeks and scales show 75.0 kg, that's 2.1 kg lost in 2 weeks, not bad but still at least 4 more to shed.

    Total 9.21M @ 8:17 (average 150 bpm)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    The Week To Date

    All this easy pace vanilla running gets a bit boring. Then I remind myself to be thankful that I can lace up and get out. Four runs completed this week accompanied with a growing realisation that the summer is ending. Still, fingers crossed for some Indian Summer runs this month.

    Tuesday 5 Miles Easy

    I was in Athlone for work today, found the will-power to get out when I arrived home. Darkness falling. I kept this simple, an out-and-back along the Chapelizod Road, the turning point a few hundred metres after the village. Pace was slow tonight but the legs felt surprisingly light.

    Total 5.00M @ 8:54 (average 137 bpm)

    Thursday Easy Hour

    Haven't run an easy hour in a while. Opted for my Park route. Beautiful golden sunlight in the evening. First half of the run is generally uphill, second half downhill. I set up the Garmin to just show average pace and total time. I want to try stay in my easy pace range (8:30 to 8:49) just so I can get some comparative heartrate feedback for easy running. The first half it is easy to hold pace but I need to apply brakes on the trail descent down Chesterfield.

    Total 7.05M @ 8:32 (average 140 bpm)

    Friday Easy 4 Miles

    Spent the guts of the day sitting at the desk, never a good preparation for a run. Legs not too pleased this evening. They feel heavy and the right hammer presence is a little more pronounced than usual. Another simple out-and-back along the Chapelizod Road, this time the turn around point is just after the clubhouse. I up the pace after a mile and a half as it's a little too easy. After the run the hammer stings a bit, no pain or discomfort as such.

    Total 4.01M @ 8:46 (average 139 bpm)

    Saturday Easy 7.5 Miles

    A wet one. Still t-shirt running though. Was a little concerned ahead of this because the right hammer had tingled a bit in the morning. I ran more or less an anti-clockwise lap of the Park. Pretty much only runners and dog-walkers out today. I can feel the usual presence from the right hammer, but no tingling. The rest of the body feels ok. I'm anxious now to get the hammer looked at on Monday, the source of the presence/tingling etc is mostly in the tendon (I think) just behind the knee. I manage to forget about how the legs are feeling for the second half of the run and spend the miles day-dreaming. I do focus on staying inside (just) easy pace again today. Log 7.5 miles which means I need to hit 12 miles tomorrow to bring up 35 for the week. Fingers-crossed tomorrow goes fine.

    Total 7.51M @ 8:30 (average 143 bpm)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Things become more interesting

    All change since my last post. Last Sunday morning I ran to grab a hint of sea-air. Headed east along the North Quay all the way to the East Link. Blue sky and warm sunshine and legs that felt close to human. Pace was on the fast side of easy. I cross back to the southside and follow the canal from Grand Canal Dock to Suir Road. Add on a selection of diversions in and around the Memorial Gardens and Islandbridge to bring up 12 miles for the morning. My first double digit mile run in forever. Right hammer provided a little feedback along the way, just a faint presence. Whenever I need to run onto a pavement I launch off my left leg rather than my right. Felt really good to have logged a longish run again on a sunny Sunday morning. Kept the pace generally under control. Best news was that post run the legs continued to feel ok. Hopeful. That's a 35 mile week navigated in one piece.

    Total 12.04M @ 8:17 (average 149 bpm)

    Monday I go to the club physio. Long story short, there is no major cause for concern with hamstrings. A lower body S&C plan has been subscribed but it is enough to follow it once, max twice a week. The culprit to recent injuries is almost certainly training errors. I do know for example that my latest visit to the sideline was triggered by running a snappy Sunday long run less than 24 hours after I had run 4 miles at 'tempo' for the first time in a very long time. The physio visit morphed naturally into a coaching visit. Structure needed on my training week, and I need to train smarter. Draw an end to using my old tempo pace as my current tempo pace, run to realistic paces and build.

    I'm given a 4 week training plan. Important to calculate correct paces and strongly suggested that I use JD's calculator to do so. So I know I ran 19:3X as a 'tempo' run at the start of the summer. I wouldn't be able to hit that time in a 'tempo' run now but maybe with a few weeks of speed focus I might hit 19:3X in a race environment. I plug a 19:39 for 5K into JD and will use the suggested paces for the next 4 weeks.

    6x1K @ 10K

    Tuesday evening no messing about, first up is 6x1K @ 10K pace. That's 4:05 min/km by JD. I set up the Garmin with a tolerance of 3 seconds either side of 4:05, I remove the webs (literally) from the Hyperions and tip across to the Polo Grounds road loop. Apprehensive. I get stuck in, first three intervals were tougher than the last three. The hammer was quiet throughout and was quiet afterwards. These were a little harder than I would like but I don't care, it felt like I as properly training again. I was allowed 60 to 90 seconds recovery and I opted for the full 90 (it has afterall been 3 months of only easy pace running). Splits were pretty consistent:

    4:07.77 / 4:04.42 / 4:05.44 / 4:05.38 / 4:07.72 / 4:06.31

    Average interval 4:06 [6:36] average 169.5 bpm

    Total 8.33M @ 7:51 (average 154 bpm)

    Easy 10K

    Back to Earth on Wednesday evening. Only around 4hrs sleep ahead of an early trip to Athlone. Spent most of the day at the desk. Legs were very tight and stiff, but not sore. Definitely feeling the effects of Tuesday night's departure from easy running. Ran this around some of my old Athlone routes, finishing with a lap of the AIT pitches and of the IDA park. Legs marginally less tight and heavy near the end of the run.

    Total 6.22M @ 8:41 (average 139 bpm)

    Easy 6M + Steady 2M

    Legs a little less tight and heavy on Thursday evening compared to 24 hours previously. Chatting with a mate into the early hours with a whiskey nightcap and so only had a little over 3 hours sleep on a sofa and 1 hour on the 7:00am train to Dublin. Definitely feeling the lack of sleep. Six easy and two steady is such a more attractive prospect than a vanilla eight. I ran an anti-clockwise around the Park from Parkgate to Chapelizod Gate, with a few minor out and back diversions. I timed it so I would be starting the steady section near the clubhouse. I don't have a prescribed steady pace and I opt for 7:3X. Feeling it a little on the final mile as I ascend from Islandbridge up to Kilmainham. That's over 20 miles for the midweek, my busiest midweek in a while. Legs tired on the school drop this morning but definitely feel better as I type. A real threshold run tomorrow morning ahead of a traditional blackberry foraging trip to Howth Head.

    Total 8.01M @ 8:12 (average 148 bpm)

    Fingers-crossed this new plan will work. I definitely had a bounce in my step leaving the physio/coach on Monday evening. Going to try keep regular visits going to assess the legs and assess the training.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Still Running to Plan

    Last weekend went well. Over to the Park on Saturday morning before 9:00am and ran a 4 mile threshold run at JD prescribed threshold pace. Based on a 19:39 5K my threshold pace is 4:12 min/km. I add 3 seconds either side and plug that range into the Garmin, 4:09 to 4:15. The first two miles are manageable, the next mile things get trickier and the final mile is just plain hard. This really lays bare the loss of fitness suffered over the summer. I was happy to finish the 4 mile block, as usual run clockwise around the Playing Fields. No strong winds today, perfect conditions. The legs brought me round Howth Head later in the day and were tired but in a good way. The right hammer felt as tired and tight as the left hammer, which I see as a good sign.

    Threshold 4.00M @ 6:47 (average 169 bpm) - Total 6.54M @ 7:39 (average 155 bpm)

    If Saturday was like summer, Sunday was like winter, grey, overcast and wet. I laced up and headed out at a leisurely 10:00am. Plan was for 13 miles, but clearly I'd run 13.1. I ran this along the route of my old 20 miler run. Kilmainham - Rathmines - Ranelagh - Donnybrook - Sandymount - Ballsbridge - Portobello - Dolphin's Barn - Rialto - Kilmainham. Legs were tight and tired for the opening 4 or 5 miles but then settled in and felt pretty good for the rest of the run. Minimal feedback from the right hammer. My Sunday runs are prescribed at easy pace, anything from 8:08 to 8:58 min/mile. Already on miles 4 and 5 I was splitting too fast so the brakes were applied. Most of the remaining miles were logging at 8:1X pace. Happy with a 141 average heartrate and happy that the legs were ok for the rest of Sunday.

    First time logging 40 miles in a week for a while. The only blot on my copy was an increase of weight by 0.8 kg. Back up to 74.8, I'm blaming BBQ and beer at Brazilian mates on Wednesday evening.

    Total 13.11M @ 8:18 (average 141 bpm)

    After a S&C session on Monday evening I was back on the road and back at the Polo Grounds on Tuesday evening. Always difficult to find the enthusiasm to get out for some speed work after a day sitting at the desk. Hyperions on for this. The plan is 4x1M @ 10K pace, 4:02 to 4:08 min/km (6:29 to 6:39 min/mile) off 90 seconds recovery. That big tent is up again near the Pavilion so there is an awkward diversion onto around 200m of grass on each lap. The first mile starts too fast and feels ok, and by the end of the mile I am on pace and not feeling so ok. Savour the 90 seconds recovery and into mile two. Tough. The next 2 won't be easy. Surprisingly mile 3 feels easier than the previous two, but mile 4 is tough. The ascent up The Lord's Walk comes early and mentally it's hard to countenance a full lap. Once I get the climb over with I recover a little on the flat and mentally it's easier on the Chesterfield descent. Happy to finish.

    6:33 / 6:29 / 6:31 / 6:30

    Total 8.37M @ 7:49 (average 153 bpm)

    This week and last week my legs felt heaviest on the easy 10K the day after the 10K pace interval session. Out Wednesday evening and just put the head down and churn out the kilometres. The opening miles are slower than easy pace, only with the descent down Chesterfield does the pace pick up and come into range. Evenings are drawing in for sure, not many afterwork park runs remaining in the year.

    Total 6.22M @ 8:53 (average 135 bpm)

    Booked a later return trip from Athlone on Thursday evening and got my run in straight after work. I was told to check out the running trail in the Fitness Park at Athlone Regional Sports Centre, off the Greenway. It's a brilliant facility, will definitely return. A dedicated running track winding through the Sports Centre with metres marked out at intervals. Mostly tarmac but there are also variations where you can incorporate grit track running, my favourite surface. I must try run the exterior tarmac route as I suspect it has a segment on Strava. Leave the centre and work my way back toward the office. The last two miles see me shift up to steady pace and feature some laps in the IDA park. Legs feeling mostly good this evening.

    A coldish shower with no shower nozzle before a dark-outside trip back to Dublin. Carbon Based Lifeforms and other similar sounds on my Spotify Daily Mix keeping me somewhere snug between asleep and awake.

    Total 8.00M @ 8:05 (average 148 bpm)

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,235 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    Great to see the progress - hope it continues!

    Your resilience and patience have to be admired.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Thanks! I do hope so too. I've been enjoying the last few weeks. I'm trying to not make comparisons with pre-July 2020 and just focus on ensuring steady progress, doesn't matter if that progress is slow or fast.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Last Weekend

    A fantastic sunny Saturday morning. I head over to the Playing Fields for today's threshold session, not realising that the Half Marathon was using the path. I take a cross-country diversion across to the Polo Grounds and use my usual anticlockwise road loop for the session. I start at the start of the Chesterfield descent.

    So the plan is 2x2M @ slightly faster than threshold, a minute a mile recovery. JD has my current threshold at 4:12 min/km, and I apply a 3 second buffer either side of 4:12, so my threshold range is 4:09 to 4:15. Slightly faster than threshold I read as 4:09, so my range for this morning is 4:06 to 4:12. That's 6:35 to 6:45 min/mile. Each interval is just shy of 2 laps of the Polo Road Loop. The first 2M are demanding but manageable, the trickiest sections are the Lord's Walk ascent, and the current grass diversion after the Pavilion. I took a longer than usual stride on one lap when moving from tarmac to grass and I could feel a slight reaction in the right hammer. Thankfully it didn't reoccur and the hammer behaved fine afterwards and throughout the weekend. The second 2M section was trickier, and like last week I was definitely working on the final mile. Hit my targets, both intervals run slightly faster than threshold. Enjoyed this.

    2.00M @ 4:10 [6:43] (average 166 bpm)

    2.00M @ 4:07 [6:39] (average 171 bpm)

    Total 7.73M @ 7:59 (average 150 bpm)

    Sunday is another sunny day. A slight chill in the air which after 2 or 3 miles is already gone. I opt for my Liffey HM Loop this morning. Heading into town past Trinity and join the river below Pearse Station. Run the Quays to Blood Stoney Road (love that name) and cut into the Canal Dock. Over the lock by Irishtown and then over the East Link. Then a long run alongside the Liffey from East Link to Chapelizod. The legs only start to wake up along the North Quay. The boardwalk section injecting some nice bounce. I'm surprised to see some faster splits dropping along the Chapelizod Road and I apply some brakes. Up by the California Hills Park and I follow the Ballyfermot Road for a bit before swinging left down to the towpath. Through the WMG and I'm looking at average pace on the Garmin and trying to settle at 8:1X pace. Pace feels comfortable and the difficulty is only in ensuring I don't run too fast.

    Satisfied with the morning's work. And satisfied that the legs feel generally good for the rest of Sunday. Touchwood, the left hip, left glute and left of lower back are all much quieter of late, I have been doing a lot of hip flexor stretches (after every run) and maybe these are helping. A second consecutive 40+ mile week in the bag. Back on track with weight loss, down to 73.3 kilo, still some work to do here.

    Total 13.11M @ 8:18 (average 144 bpm)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭outforarun

    Last Midweek

    On Mondays I do an S&C session supplied by the physio. He gave me this session more because I asked than because he felt I necessarily needed it. As mentioned previously he suspects training errors are the chief source of the niggles and injuries I've been battling for the last while. The legs are tired after the S&C session but in a good way. However I think some of the one legged squats might not be appreciated by the left knee, The first week was fine, but this second week the left knee was grumpy afterwards and was a bit sore going downstairs during the week. I'll try then again tomorrow, but will substitute with something else if I suspect the knee is unhappy.

    The running week got underway after work on Tuesday evening. I battled the usual just finished work apathy laced up and started running. Headed for the Polo Grounds Road Loop. On the menu a slightly worrying 3x2K @ 10K pace. Current 10K pace is 4:02[6:29] to 4:08[6:39]. I'm never sure how these runs are going to go. That close on 200m grassy detour is still part of the loop. I start the first interval at the bollards immediately after the diversion. Some runners had just overtaken me so now I speed past them, clearly too fast as the Garmin signals 3:25 min/km pace. I ease off immediately and drift down the Chesterfield descent. I know that 2K is more or less a full lap plus 400m. Effort feels comfortably uncomfortable with the lap featuring the usual sections: make-hay on Chesterfield, dig-in on Lords Walk and stay-honest along the Pavilion stretch.

    Recovery is still set at 90 seconds. The second interval starts near the end of Chesterfield which means the final part of this interval will be on Lords' Walk. Generally it goes ok and while I need to push on Lord's Walk I'm certainly not hanging on nor constantly checking the Garmin. The final interval being the final interval means mentally it's ok but it still features a full ascent of Lords Walk near the end. The 2K finishes along the grassy diversion. Getting dark now. Pleased with the start of the week I tip back home.

    Intervals were:

    2K @ 4:05 min/km (average 167 bpm)

    2K @ 4:02 min/km (average 168 bpm)

    2K @ 4:04 min/km (average 174 bpm)

    Total 8.07M @ 7:59 (average 150 bpm)

    Out Wednesday after work for 10K easy and for what I now expect to be the grumpiest leg run of the week. Instead the legs were surprisingly co-operative this evening. Easy pace settles naturally on the slower end of the easier range and I don't actively seek to change that. The first half of this 10K is mostly uphill, the second half mostly downhill and I am happy to switch to the downhill. Nice to still be able to go out with just a t-shirt on top but I do wonder how long more this will last, it's nearly October.

    Total 6.22M @ 8:46 (average 134 bpm)

    Not sure what happened Thursday but my legs were unhappy most of the day. Up early to travel to Athlone and most of the day spent sitting. Everytime I left my desk I was hobbling into a stride. Left knee sore on stairs (see above), right heel a bit stiff, left hip/glute cranky. So unsurprisingly as soon as I started running the legs starting protesting. Head down for the opening couple of miles waiting for the legs to accept that they had to run. Started to feel some way normal again in the twisty and turny Fitness Park track. I run an extra lap in here this evening to ensure I'd finish closer to the office than last week. This run was 6M easy plus 2M steady. The shift up to steady pace for the last 2 miles is fine. It some ways it feels easier than easy pace. Finish. Cold bracing shower and a doze back to Dublin. I was coughing a lot during the day and head started to feel off, congested nose, sore eyes generally not feeling sharp.

    Total 8.06M @ 8:17 (average 144 bpm)