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An 18 Week Sabbatical

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,839 ✭✭✭ zico10


    After 3½ years exclusively focussed on triathlon and more specifically Ironman, I'm switching my focus back to marathon running for the next 18 weeks. The target race is Rotterdam on April 8th where I hope to run under 2 hours 35 minutes. Depending on how training goes, I might lower that target. But right now, I don't feel like I can be anymore ambitious than that.

    I'm going to follow an 18 week, 70-85 mile per week, program from Pfitzinger and Douglas. I followed the exact same program back in early 2014 and that April, I ended up running 2:35:51 in Connemara off the back of the training. (Log is here; https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2057105129 and race report here; https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=93473643&postcount=136, for anybody who might like to read either.) I was very happy with this result, but I often wonder how much quicker I might have been on a faster course. I always intended revisiting the same 18 week plan I followed back then, but picking a fairer marathon course to finish off on, to see exactly how fast I could have gone. I finished a long term Ironman goal in mid October and I'm going to take a step back from triathlon for a while. So now is the best opportunity I have had in four years to test out the program once more.

    I definitely think I'm a stronger runner now than I was when I started training for Connemarathon 2014. However I don't feel as ready for the high mileage that's demanded for the next 18 weeks and I might be running a small bit of a risk in what I'm about to undertake. Although I've gotten through this high volume program before without issue, I haven't adequately built up my weekly distance over the last number of weeks. As a preventative measure, I might start off doing some of the recovery runs on a cross trainer and hopefully come the end of January, I'll be comfortably coping with the full on 7 days a week running. I like to think I'm resilient enough, but I'm not invincible and picking up an injury only a few weeks into the training, is something that worries me. To lessen the likelihood of that happening, I'm going to seek out grass to run on as often as is practical.

    Right now, I don't think I'm capable of holding my interval or even my threshold pace for any sustained length of time. Even running my hoped for marathon pace of <3:40/km for just 10km seems daunting. We'll wait and see, but I might have to adjust my training paces accordingly for the first few weeks of the program.

    My head space just isn't where it ought to be right now. It's just over 7 weeks since I finished the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii and the motivation to get back to focussed and consistent training hasn't yet returned. I'd prefer another few weeks prep, but unfortunately Rotterdam Marathon is when it is, and I'll just have to come to terms with this from the off. I'm fully expecting these first couple of weeks to hurt (a lot), but they'll also be the kick up the hole I badly need.

    In addition to the run training, I'll continue swimming and without detailing it here, I'll log it as cross training. On top of the running I was doing when I set my PB of 2:35:51, I was also swimming 4/5 times a week. I was swimming purely for the sake of triathlon, but I think I underestimated how much of a factor this was in getting me marathon ready. I'm far from being an amazing swimmer, but I've mastered it to the extent that I can get a good aerobic workout from any time I spend in the water and it will once again serve as useful cross training. I won't routinely schedule swims as as I will runs, but both swimming and whatever cycling I do between now and April will serve to boost my engine between now and Rotterdam.

    Lastly, I'm as inflexible as a plank and even at the best of times, my approach to strength and conditioning has been pretty hit and miss. But I'm planning to change. I've started doing Bikram Yoga and even though I find some of the postures almost impossible, I am starting to notice an increased flexibility. I'll continue with that once or twice a week, while also including some sort of weights' work.

    That's enough warbling for the opening post, I've already started the plan and I'll be back next week with an update on how the first week went.


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Comments



  • Best of luck with the log, very interested to see how you go.




  • Best of luck with it zico. good to see this log here, welcome to the darkside...again. Have followed your log over the Tri forum so interested to see how you fair out with the running.




  • Best of luck with Rotterdam training zico, and good idea to move over here for the next while. Hope you rediscover your mojo.

    I'll admit to scanning your OP "but will he still be swimming?" ;) Might be no harm to log the swim sessions too as plenty could benefit from knowing what good swim cross sessions are.




  • All the best with Rotterdam. Mojo or not, I reckon the training will be done anyway.

    P.




  • pgibbo wrote: »
    All the best with Rotterdam. Mojo or not, I reckon the training will be done anyway.

    P.

    Thanks. You're right, barring injury or the apocalypse, the training will be done. I've decided to do it and I'll do it. It's as simple as that for me really. Sub 2:35 in Rotterdam is the motivation, so I already have that and it's more the enthusiasm for the training I need to find. Waiting until 8 p.m. yesterday to start my medium long run is symptomatic of that appalling lack of enthusiasm, but hopefully there'll be enough positive signs over the coming weeks to change this.

    Kurt, I don't think I'm be logging details of my swims. Typing up my long winded, unwieldy weekly posts is already onerous enough without lumbering myself with another thing to moan about.


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  • Delighted to see you back with a new log Zico. I didn't get a chance to comment on your log after Kona but I read your report.

    As always you kept your head and raced your heart out in tough conditions - you've motivation is unparalleled from where I'm sitting and you have an unfaltering desire to achieve what you set your mind to.

    I've really enjoyed reading your quest for Kona qualification and the race was the icing on the cake. I mention your log to many non-boardsie tri peeps as a source of encouragement so though you may be done with your log, it will stand as a testament to you and an inspiration to many for a long time.

    You've reaped the rewards for years of hard work and I look forward to reading the next chapter.




  • Monday 4th December
    78.7kg (I've never publicly tracked my weight before, but I'll do it with this log. I want to get it down to 70.?kg. I don't think I afford to go any lower and I've never succeeded in getting under 70kg before, but we'll see. I weigh myself upon waking and after a trip to the toilet. Doing it everyday might seem a bit OCD, but it's what I've done before and I find it works.)

    Recovery Run - 8km
    8.01km in 39:59, 5:00/km
    I'd set my alarm to do this before work, but I was knackered when I woke up and forwent the run for an extra hour in bed. Then it took a lot of resolve to get it done before a club swim session at 7 p.m. I was very close to leaving it until after the swim, but I knew if I did that, it would have been ten times harder to get it done circa 9 p.m.
    Not that it was supposed to be, but the run itself was nothing hectic. Although it was just one second under the mark, the best that can be said for it is that I got 8km done in under 40 minutes. I'd displayed a poor attitude all day and although it was an inconsequential run, I was happy to successfully complete the first step on this journey. Still it was a pretty poor start to the 18 week program.
    Totals: 40:00 - 8.01km


    Tuesday 5th December
    77.5kg

    Lactate Threshold Run - 14km w. 6km at HM Pace
    Warm up; 6.00km in 25:22, 4:14/km,
    Effort; 6.00km in 20:50, 3:28/km,
    Finish; 2.00km in 10:33, 5:16/km
    Totals; 14.01km in 56:45, 4:03/km
    My target pace for the threshold paced segment was <3:30/km, which I did round The Playing Fields in The Phoenix Park. I was very doubtful about my ability to run this fast for 6km today. I considered allowing myself a much softer target of <3:40/km, but just before starting, I thought 'F*ck that!'; No point accepting defeat on only the second day of an 18 week program.
    Once the harder work started, I kept it steady for the first lap and figured out the slow parts of the route in the process. I got the first lap done at an average pace of 3:29/km, but this had drifted out to 3:30/km 500m later. I realised my steady state approach to holding tempo pace wasn't going to work, so I dug a little deeper from there on. As the 6km mark approached, and I got nearer and nearer the end of the effort, my confidence grew that I was going to finish on target. I pushed even harder for the last 500m just to make sure of it. I was going above the called for level of effort, but I wasn't prepared to accept missing my target when I this close to finishing.
    On paper, this was the hardest run of the week and I'm very satisfied to have ran it in the manner I did. Being so massively above racing weight makes it all the sweeter and hopefully I'll be effortlessly cruising along at <3:30/km pace in the new year.
    Totals;
    Time: 0:57 - Distance: 14.01km



    Wednesday 6th December
    76.8kg

    Medium Long Run - 19km
    19.01km in 1:22:04, 4:19/km
    It was after 8 p.m. when I started this, which is ridiculously late for me, considering I finish work at 2:30 p.m. I'd a few other things to do, but the late start had as much to do with a distinct lack of enthusiasm, than the few errands I had to do. The pace zones I've set myself for my long runs and medium long runs is 4:02-4:24/km and for the first few weeks, I'm going to do my runs towards the slower end of this scale. My fastest kilometre split was 4:15 and my slowest 4:23, so I felt I managed to hold a consistent pace throughout. It was surprisingly mild when I started, but it started raining before I finished up. My nether regions started to chaff off the wet clothes and I began to regret the procrastination that stopped me from starting this run early. But I never remember being completely miserable, and it felt good to back up yesterday's tempo run with a run like this.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:22 - Distance: 19.01km



    Thursday 7th December
    76.5kg

    Cross Trainer
    50 minutes easy
    A 10km recovery was scheduled, but fearful of what can happen when suddenly ramping up mileage, I decided to hop on a cross trainer in lieu of the run.


    Friday 8th December
    77.8kg

    General Aerobic Run - 16km
    16.01km in 1:11:32, 4:28/km
    My pace range for these general aerobic runs is going to be 4:15-4:35/km, but just like the long runs, I'm going to run at the slower end of this scale for the moment. I'd a club swim on in the evening and I'd also promised to drive my brother to the airport after work. So it was crucial to get this done in the morning. I drove to Porterstown Park and did the run before work. It was dark when I started and the headlight I was wearing was a must.
    The paths were frosty and I ran about 80% of this on grass. This was partly due to a fear of slipping and partly to lessen the impact on my legs. The grass was chewed up in parts and the muddy ground was way slipper than any slightly frosty path would have been. It was rounding a bend on grass and mud, that I came closest to losing my balance, but at least had I fallen on grass, I'd have bounced straight back up, whereas a slip on the path could have led to a broken wrist, so needless to stay I stuck with the grass.
    I got faster as the morning got brighter, which may or may not be a coincidence, but I was very comfortable throughout and the only bad thing is once I was finished, I had to go straight to work, where there's no shower or bathing facilities and baby wipes are all I have to wash with.
    Apart from that, it was a good start to the day, but as these Friday morning aerobic runs are due to get longer, I'm not sure how realistic it is to get them all done before work.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:12 - Distance: 16.01km



    Saturday 9th December
    75.7kg
    Recovery Run - 8km

    I'd forgotten my Garmin and tracked the distance using the Strava app on my phone. It made an absolute balls of the recoding and is telling me I only ran 7.5km in 57:23, for an overall average pace of 7:38/km.
    I'm going to log as 11km, because even 10 kilometres in 57 minutes would be off the charts slow for me. Apart from recovery, the main reason for the run was to try out a new pair of runners; Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3. It's my first my time buying a pair of Hokas. I was a bit sceptical about them to be honest, but they were very comfortable and I was quiet happy with my purchase.
    Totals;
    Time: 0:57 - Distance: 11.00km



    Sunday 10th December
    Long Run - 27km
    27.01km in 1:53:05, 4:11/km
    I said it somewhere else in this post that I'd intended on running my long runs towards the slower end of a 4:02-4:24/km pace range. So the average pace I finished with, might make it look like I forgot about this resolve. Only 500m into the run though, I unexpectedly bumped into a friend I often run with. He had half an hour left to do and he was running at a pace that he told me wouldn't be much faster than my intended pace. So as we could have a chat, I decided I'd join him.
    It wasn't a wicked fast pace he was running, but when 3:42 flashed for the first full kilometres we were together, I had to do a double take. I was being taken outside my comfort zone. It's a little bit scary to think I'm supposed to run 13km even quicker than this next Sunday. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it and use it as even more motivation to lose weight. I was starting to wonder if my friend's company was worth it, but thankfully, things settled down and although we stayed moving at a pace towards the faster end of my pace scale, at least it now was within the acceptable parameters of MP +10% to 20%.
    After completing about 8km together, we bid each other farewell and I continued on my own, glad that at least in theory, the rest of the run should be comparatively easier than the opening 5 miles had been. I'm not sure if this is how things transpired, but I definitely finished up running faster than I had planned and I didn't have to pay too high a price for it.
    It grew colder as the run progressed and a few spatterings of sleet and rain made things even more miserable. I managed to keep moving though and apart from making me wish I'd started an hour earlier, so as I'd have avoided the inclement weather, the showers didn't slow me down or alter my pace in anyway.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:53 - Distance: 27.01km




    Weekly Totals;
    Running: 7:01 - 95.05km

    Cross training : 3:20 (2½ hours swimming & Thursday's 50 minutes on cross trainer)
    S & C: 3:35 (Two Bikram Yoga Classes & one token weights session

    The first week has gone better than expected. Bar subbing out a midweek recovery run, I did everything I needed to do. And while there might have been a few occasions when things should have felt easier than they did, I was never seriously struggling. I'm more confident now than I was a week ago that I'll get through the 18 weeks uninjured. Hopefully it's all systems go from here until April 8th.




  • Ah I don't pop into the logs in here much any more but good to see you back logging, somewhere zico.

    Still mulling over thoughts of Rotterdam myself but not sure I can be arsed training for a marathon (nor do I have the time to give it my heart and soul).




  • Great to see this log here as there's not a great lot of logging from athletes of your ability on Boards anymore, with some notable exceptions (Dublin Runner, Krusty pops up occasionally & TRR when he's not injured :)).

    Regarding your plan - do you intend to follow P&D 'to the letter' or do you infuse it with other things you've learned along the way??
    Also - regarding the weight, are you planning any significant plan to reduce it to under 70kg's or will it be just the running that will take care of that (seldom works IMO).

    No doubt we've crossed paths a number of times as I live in D.15 too and basically live in the PP/Porterstown at this stage :).

    Best of luck with the training, it'll be enjoyable to follow.




  • Great to see this log here as there's not a great lot of logging from athletes of your ability on Boards anymore, with some notable exceptions (Dublin Runner, Krusty pops up occasionally & TRR when he's not injured :)).

    I don't know about the other three, but I wouldn't claim to have any great ability. I've simply trained hard and done okay as a result, but I'm still a million miles away from being a good runner.
    Regarding your plan - do you intend to follow P&D 'to the letter' or do you infuse it with other things you've learned along the way??

    I'll follow it the letter. It's the same approach I took the last time I followed the plan, so there's no reason it shouldn't work again for me. The only thing I'll try to be more disciplined about is trying to get each run done on the day I'm supposed to actually do it. Four years ago, while I did 95% of the runs I was supposed to do, I think I shifted sessions around too much. I don't think this had any effect on my marathon performance, but I might have finished the 18 week block with a more impressive 10k PB, had I done a 6*500m session on the Tuesday I supposed to rather than moving it to the Thursday and leaving myself no time to recover for a 10k race that Saturday. And there were several other things like this. But look it's hard to structure your life around an 18 week running plan without something cropping up, so we'll just wait and see how things go.
    Also - regarding the weight, are you planning any significant plan to reduce it to under 70kg's or will it be just the running that will take care of that (seldom works IMO).

    I went from training 20-25 hours a week up until mid October, to less than ten hours for the last number of weeks. With less time spent training, more time was spent eating, a lot of which was pure crap. My weight just shot up as a result. From now until April, I'll be running significantly more and of course eating less. I don't need a dramatic drop off in weight on a weekly basis to get to where I want to be. To get under 70kg will require a lot of discipline and like I said previously, I'm not even sure if I need to get there. How I'm running in February/March will determine this. But I've never had a problem getting down to low seventies before and it won't be any different come April.
    No doubt we've crossed paths a number of times as I live in D.15 too and basically live in the PP/Porterstown at this stage :).

    You started following me on Strava, right? I don't actually live in Dublin 15 (at least not yet), but I work there and as a result end up doing a lot of my training round those parts. Also I just love the Phoenix Park and it's one of the few places I'm prepared to drive to, to do a run.
    Best of luck with the training, it'll be enjoyable to follow.

    Thanks and here's hoping.


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  • What weight do you do Kona at?




  • What weight do you do Kona at?

    I was 72.7kg the day before I left and I flew out there almost two weeks before the race. I didn't weigh myself from then until the race, but they weighed us all on the morning of the race and I think I was 160-something pounds. That was fully carb loaded and with a few items of clothing on. It was also before I visited the toilet, so I'm guessing I was racing at somewhere between 72 and 73kg.
    But you need to be lighter for running, so while I think that's about right for Ironman, I wouldn't be happy being that heavy toeing the line in Rotterdam.




  • zico10 wrote: »
    I was 72.7kg the day before I left and I flew out there almost two weeks before the race. I didn't weigh myself from then until the race, but they weighed us all on the morning of the race and I think I was 160-something pounds. That was fully carb loaded and with a few items of clothing on. It was also before I visited the toilet, so I'm guessing I was racing at somewhere between 72 and 73kg.
    But you need to be lighter for running, so while I think that's about right for Ironman, I wouldn't be happy being that heavy toeing the line in Rotterdam.

    What height are you if you don't mind me asking? I was 80kg doing Barcelona last March & that's the lightest I've ever been and I'm 6ft 1. If I got lighter the missus would have a canary!!!




  • OOnegative wrote: »
    What height are you if you don't mind me asking? I was 80kg doing Barcelona last March & that's the lightest I've ever been and I'm 6ft 1. If I got lighter the missus would have a canary!!!

    182cm, so just a shade under 6ft. I don't mean to be offensive, but if you want to run faster, you need to lose weight. I'm not just talking about you in particular, it's the advice I give to be anybody who asks me how they could improve their marathon PB. I wouldn't even need to look at them and 9 times out of 10, I'd be right.

    AuldManKing mentioned three guys with "ability" above; Krusty, Dublin Runner and TRR. I think Krusty told me last year in Rotterdam he was 68kg, I didn't ask DR, but he was wasn't 80kg. I don't think I've ever seen TRR, but something tells me he's skinny. It's no coincidence these guys are running faster marathons than most.




  • zico10 wrote: »
    182cm, so just a shade under 6ft. I don't mean to be offensive, but if you want to run faster, you need to lose weight. I'm not just talking about you in particular, it's the advice I give to be anybody who asks me how they could improve their marathon PB. I wouldn't even need to look at them and 9 times out of 10, I'd be right.

    AuldManKing mentioned three guys with "ability" above; Krusty, Dublin Runner and TRR. I think Krusty told me last year in Rotterdam he was 68kg, I didn't ask DR, but he was wasn't 80kg. I don't think I've ever seen TRR, but something tells me he's skinny. It's no coincidence these guys are running faster marathons than most.

    No I hear you, and your right in what you say, the lighter you are the faster you run & it makes sense really. Have good 10 months or so to get to 75kgs or belowbefore the Cologne marathon next October.




  • OOnegative wrote: »
    No I hear you, and your right in what you say, the lighter you are the faster you run & it makes sense really. Have good 10 months or so to get to 75kgs or belowbefore the Cologne marathon next October.

    This can give you an idea of how much faster you could be if you lost 5 kg

    http://www.runningforfitness.org/calc/diet/weighteffect




  • zico10 wrote: »
    I don't think I've ever seen TRR, but something tells me he's skinny.

    you're right, you've never seen him
    :pac:




  • First of all your logging for Rotterdam marathon is very welcome Zico. I anticipate nothing less than your normal 100% preparation for your new challenge.

    Generally I would agree with ‘less weight’ the better approach for going faster. Keep in mind though loosing too much may not be necessarily good either. As you know strength is vital on the homeward stretch of a marathon. I don’t believe we’re designed to perform at a dangerously low weight as the Africans can.  

    I managed my marathon PB at 69.9kg and ran 2nd half 18 sec slower than first. I bulked up to 73kg -/+ 0.3kg (I was 175cm.) for all the following 3 x marathons and 3 x IM races and performed well.  
    3 yrs later older (and 43) after my London PB I was only 30 secs off. But I felt way stronger than my PB run and also ran identical splits.           




  • Delighted to see this log up and running will follow with interest (also good to see discussion going on)
    Abhainn wrote: »
    First of all your logging for Rotterdam marathon is very welcome Zico. I anticipate nothing less than your normal 100% preparation for your new challenge.

    Generally I would agree with ‘less weight’ the better approach for going faster. Keep in mind though loosing too much may not be necessarily good either. As you know strength is vital on the homeward stretch of a marathon. I don’t believe we’re designed to perform at a dangerously low weight as the Africans can.  

    I managed my marathon PB at 69.9kg and ran 2nd half 18 sec slower than first. I bulked up to 73kg -/+ 0.3kg (I was 175cm.) for all the following 3 x marathons and 3 x IM races and performed well.  
    3 yrs later older (and 43) after my London PB I was only 30 secs off. But I felt way stronger than my PB run and also ran identical splits.           

    I think this raises an good point. Many multi-sport athletes tend to be alot better conditioned than runners in generally (possibly from the long hours on the bike without the same force impacts) you tend to be able to tell cyclist/triathletes because there is more definition in the legs. As a result weight will have more of an impact because these athletes are better conditioned.

    Noticed this at a race recently in terms of leg definition across a few runners. The notion that you hear of "looking like a runner" came to mind. As a result I think that runners can actually get a bit heavier going from the doughy look to a leaner more powerful runner without it negating performance (in fact could even improve)

    That being said this time of year no harm in highlighting links with weight and performance :D




  • Delighted to see this log up and running will follow with interest (also good to see discussion going on)



    I think this raises an good point. Many multi-sport athletes tend to be alot better conditioned than runners in generally (possibly from the long hours on the bike without the same force impacts)

    This bit I can relate to, back 4/5 years ago I used to do two cycles of 70/80k a week on top of 5 days running and was a hell of a lot leaner, not much lighter weight wise than I am now but I was more 'defined' let's say. I never returned to it really after knee operations plus read conflicting stories than cycling wasn't very good if you want to improve running wise, but it's something I may look at when weather becomes more conducive here in Holland.


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  • RayCun wrote: »
    you're right, you've never seen him
    :pac:

    I'd rather be good looking, fat and fastish then run for your club!




  • Abhainn wrote: »
    First of all your logging for Rotterdam marathon is very welcome Zico. I anticipate nothing less than your normal 100% preparation for your new challenge.

    Generally I would agree with ‘less weight’ the better approach for going faster. Keep in mind though loosing too much may not be necessarily good either. As you know strength is vital on the homeward stretch of a marathon. I don’t believe we’re designed to perform at a dangerously low weight as the Africans can.  

    I managed my marathon PB at 69.9kg and ran 2nd half 18 sec slower than first. I bulked up to 73kg -/+ 0.3kg (I was 175cm.) for all the following 3 x marathons and 3 x IM races and performed well.  
    3 yrs later older (and 43) after my London PB I was only 30 secs off. But I felt way stronger than my PB run and also ran identical splits.           

    Has your height changed? :p :pac:




  • I'd rather be good looking, fat and fastish then run for your club!

    he lives! :pac:




  • Abhainn wrote: »
    Generally I would agree with ‘less weight’ the better approach for going faster. Keep in mind though loosing too much may not be necessarily good either. As you know strength is vital on the homeward stretch of a marathon. I don’t believe we’re designed to perform at a dangerously low weight as the Africans can.  

    I managed my marathon PB at 69.9kg and ran 2nd half 18 sec slower than first. I bulked up to 73kg -/+ 0.3kg (I was 175cm.) for all the following 3 x marathons and 3 x IM races and performed well.  
    3 yrs later older (and 43) after my London PB I was only 30 secs off. But I felt way stronger than my PB run and also ran identical splits.           

    You'd know better than me, but I doubt that at 69.9kg, you were even close to being at a dangerously low weight. I reached and raced at 70.?kg when I set my marathon PB and I don't see how getting back to that weight could be either an unrealistic or dangerous target.

    Back when I was 70kg, I always had Ironman racing at the back of my mind (It's still there, btw.) and I thought sub 70kg was too light. I got cold swimming in the pool at this weight. I was also finding it hard to get under 70kg and I just gave up on the target. But that's not to say anything less than 70kg would be a dangerous weight for me. It's just the difficulty I had in getting there that means I won't set it as a target now. I think if I get really serious about marathon running though, I'll just have to endure the hardships and do what it takes to get to this weight.

    And back to Ironman; While Patrick Lange, at 178cm and 63kg, is a bit of an outlier when it comes to Kona champions, in winning and setting the course record in the process, it has certainly made me rethink what I thought was my ideal Ironman racing weight.




  • Monday 11th December
    77.2kg

    Cross Training
    50 minutes easy on cross trainer
    A 10km recovery run was what was in the plan, but I thought it would be safer to stick to the cross trainer. I've no niggles and it was just purely precautionary.


    Tuesday 12th December
    No morning weigh-in

    General Aerobic Run - 13km w. 10 x 100m strides
    13.01km in 58:35, 4:30/km
    I did this on the footpaths around Clonsilla and used three painted bikes symbols, 50m apart, on an adjacent bike path to measure out the distance for the 100m strides. I was wearing new shoes for this; Hoka One One Clifton 4, and they caused bad blisters on the soles of my feet. Although not the same pair, they've a similar raised arch on the insole, to the other new pair I wore on Saturday and Sunday and I was probably just further aggravating an already tender spot. I'll change back to an old pair of runners for my MLR tomorrow and hopefully I'll be fine. I hope it won't be a recurring problem once they're fully worn in.
    I felt good throughout this and was very comfortably holding my desired pace for each kilometre split up until the time the strides started. I doubled back on myself after each separate 100m stride and inevitably lost a bit of time here.
    Hopefully tomorrow's run brings a similar sense of satisfaction and I'll be facing into Sunday's long run with its 13km at MP with a lot more confidence than I have right now.
    Totals;
    Time: 0:56 - Distance: 13.01km



    Wednesday 13th December
    74.9kg

    Medium Long Run - 21km
    21.01km in 1:30:04, 4:17/km
    The weather forecast wasn't great and that's the way things turned out. It was windy and wet when I was out running, but I was well wrapped up and given the recent frost and ice warnings, I was happy I'd none of that to deal with. I ran from the NAC to the Phoenix Park, where I was hoping to run on grass. The grass was as soggy as fnck though, so I just stuck to the paths. There's more impact with this, but I felt fine and so far, so good on the old injury front. I was under no undue stress holding the pace and I could have given a lot more had it been required. Hopefully now the rest of the week goes as well as the last two days have gone.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:30 - Distance: 21.01km



    Thursday 14th December
    76.2kg
    Cross Trainer
    50 minutes easy
    Another short stint on the cross trainer instead of a recovery run.


    Friday 15th December
    No morning weigh in

    Recovery Run - 10km
    10km on treadmill at average speed of 4:53/km
    This was scheduled for tomorrow, but I've planned a night out with friends then and if I stuck to the plan, I'd inevitably have to do the first marathon-pace run with a hangover. It's going to be tough enough without that added hardship, so I'll do it Saturday morning instead. As the plan has a 10km recovery run the day before the the marathon-pace run, even though it meant two recovery runs in a row, I felt it would be a good idea to do an easy day before a hard one. It now means I'll have to do the second MLR of the week in a hungover state, but once I get moving, I'm sure I'll struggle through it.
    Totals;
    Time: 0:48 - Distance: 10.00km



    Saturday 16th December
    Marathon Pace Run - 27km w. 13km @ MP
    27.00km in 1:44:11, 3:52/km
    Splits; 1) 13.00km @ average pace of 4:06/km
    MP kilometre splits; 1) 3:34, 2) 3:37, 3) 3:32, 4) 3:35, 5) 3:32, 6) 3:32, 7) 3:27, 8) 3:32, 9) 3:36, 10) 3:35, 11) 3:37, 12) 3:44, 13) 3:37, Average pace = 3:35/km
    Final kilometre; 4:19
    I was very trepidatious about how I was going to get on with this. There's no way in my current shape, I'm fit for a sub 2:35 marathon, so trying to run nearly one-third of the distance at this pace was something I found quite daunting. I was expecting to struggle with this pace and if I made it, I thought it would just be by the skin of my teeth. In the end I succeeded in finishing the marathon paced section with an average pace a few seconds below what I'll need to run next April. From this point of view, I'm pleased with how I fared, but at the same time, I would have liked to have ran each single kilometre split at my hoped for speed. But cutting myself some slack, 90% of this slowest split was into a headwind, and I managed to get things back on track for the subsequent kilometre. So it wasn't a capitulation of any sort.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:44 - Distance: 27.00km



    Sunday 17th December
    Medium Long Run - 18km
    18.00km in 1:18:37, 4:22/km
    As I'd anticipated I woke up slightly worse for wear and it wasn't until late in the evening that I went out fir this run. My motivation was zero practically the whole way through and I was thinking of pizza throughout. So when I got home, I inevitability had a whole one for supper. Not exactly the diet of champions, but so far out from Rotterdam, I won't stress too much about such a poor choice of calories.
    I wanted to keep all the kilometre splits under 4:24/km, but I wasn't willing to push anyway hard to do so, and there were quiet a few outside the ideal MP+20% I should have been running at. With a hangover and after a hard run yesterday, I didn't consider pace being all that crucial a factor in today's run. Still I finished up with an overall average pace just under my target, so all's good with the world.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:53 - Distance: 27.01km




    Weekly Totals;
    Running: 6:18 - 89.02km

    Cross training : 5:00 (3:20 swimming & Two 50 minute stints on cross trainer)
    S & C: 3:00 (Two Bikram Yoga Classes)




  • zico10 wrote: »
    S & C: 3:00 (Two Bikram Yoga Classes)
    I've heard it said that Bikram is pretty dehydrating and therefore not the ideal side activity if running long distances... How do you find it??




  • ReeReeG wrote: »
    I've heard it said that Bikram is pretty dehydrating and therefore not the ideal side activity if running long distances... How do you find it??

    You certainly sweat a lot in the classes, but as long you re-hydrate normally afterwards, I don't see how it could have any lasting impact on running performance. I wouldn't go to a Bikram Yoga class before a long run or an important session, but it's not that hard to replace lost fluids and salts if you leave enough of gap between a run and the yoga class. Running itself is dehydrating, but I don't think anyone would advise you not to do it. There might be other reasons as to why Bikram Yoga isn't the best complementary training for a runner, but I wouldn't think sweat loss is a legitimate one.

    I've only been going to the Bikram Yoga classes for a month and my reason for starting was primarily to improve my swimming, in the hope that it would give me improved range of motion in my shoulders. But apart from that, I find it's improving my overall flexibility and balance. Improving those two things can only help my running.

    I had been on an introductory offer in a studio in Coolmine. under the offer, I had access to unlimited classes for a month. That's now expired though, so Bikram Yoga might not feature as regularly in my training from here on, but it's only because of the expired offer and not because I don't see its value.




  • Yeah I was just curious how you found it along with running, but spacing it from the long runs and sessions makes sense. I do regular yoga myself at the moment which is totally fine, but wouldn't mind trying Bikram.




  • ReeReeG wrote: »
    Yeah I was just curious how you found it along with running, but spacing it from the long runs and sessions makes sense. I do regular yoga myself at the moment which is totally fine, but wouldn't mind trying Bikram.

    I'd never done regular yoga before, so I wouldn't be in a position to compare the two. But I definitely think you should try out Bikram. What's the worst that could happen? Just make sure you bring a drink.


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  • Monday 18th December
    77.5kg

    Recovery Run - 10km
    10.01km in 50:47, 5:05/km
    I kept the effort very easy throughout, but I finished just one hour before a swim session, during which my legs cramped very badly and I wasn't able for the last 5 minutes of the one hour swim. I simply think it was down to not hydrating properly and I'll try to be more careful about this in future.
    Totals;
    Time: 0:51 - Distance: 10.01km



    Tuesday 19th December
    77.1kg

    Lactate Threshold Run - 16km w. 8km @ Threshold Pace(hoping for <3:30/km)
    16.01km in 1:02:53, 3:55/km
    Splits; 1 - 7.00km @ average pace of 4:15/km
    2 - Threshold Pace; Kilometre splits; 1) 3:29, 2) 3:34, 3) 3:31, 4) 3:35, 5) 3:35, 6) 3:33, 7) 3:33, 8) 3:34, Average pace = 3:33/km
    3) - Final kilometre; 4:33
    I drove to The Phoenix Park for this and had just missed the last few rays of sunlight when I started. I'd a defeatist attitude before I even started and never really believed I was going to succeed in holding sub 3:30/km pace for the 8k at threshold. I didn't show any real willingness to suffer once I saw things were slipping away from me. The speed just wasn't there today and although I was never going to hit my desired pace, I might have eked out a second of two more per kilometre had I dug a bit deeper.
    I think the manner in which I got through the first two hard runs of the plan (5th & 16th December), has made me too complacent. I need to buck up about my weight. I'm currently too heavy to be comfortably running the paces I want to run and it was eventually going to be shown up. That's what happened today.
    One good thing though is I have ten weeks to lose a bit of weight before the next hard run in the plan. Unfortunately Christmas lies between now and then and how well I can resist temptation during the festive period, will have a lot to do with how I run in two weeks' time.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:03 - Distance: 16.01km



    Wednesday 20th December
    No weigh in

    Medium Long Run - 23km
    23.01km in 1:36:30, 4:12/km
    I needed a good run after the disappointing day I had yesterday and thankfully I felt good for most of this. It was pleasantly warm out and I had to ditch some layers and the hat and gloves I started out with shortly after starting.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:37 - Distance: 23.01km



    Thursday 21st December
    75.8kg

    Cross Trainer
    50 minutes easy
    I did this instead of the scheduled 10km recovery run. I'm feeling absolutely fine and think I'm ready for seven days a week running, but better safe than sorry and I'll stick with these intermittent cross training sessions for the time being.


    Friday 22nd December
    76.4kg

    Medium Long Run - 19km
    19.01km in 1:21:56, 4:19/km
    I wanted to keep this towards the slower side of steady and I think I managed this quiet well. This is partly because I'm saving myself for Sunday when I'd like to go a little bit faster for another MLR. But it's also because I'd been out for a few pints last night and even though I felt fine, I'd told myself finishing only one second under 4:24/km pace would have still been mightily impressive. I certainly could have pushed a little bit harder, but I don't think that's the point of these Medium Long Runs.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:22 - Distance: 19.01km



    Saturday 23rd December
    76.3kg

    Recovery Run - 10km
    10.00km in 52:13, 5:13/km
    This was done at a nice and easy effort. There's nothing quick about 5:13/km, but it was quicker than the pace I'd started off at and over the course of the 10km, I was getting progressively faster without trying to.
    Totals;
    Time: 0:52 - Distance: 10.00km



    Sunday 24th December
    76.2kg

    Long Run - 26km
    26.00km in 1:48:23, 4:10/km
    I hadn't my watch set to auto lap every kilometre, something I have been doing of late. This seemed to make it a more boring and longer run. Without working for it, I was consistently holding the pace. I thought I was running well and I wasn't feeling any tiredness in the legs.
    Totals;
    Time: 1:53 - Distance: 27.01km




    Weekly Totals;
    Running: 7:33 - 104.04km

    Cross training : 2:10 (1:20 swimming & 50 minutes on cross trainer)
    S & C: 0:00

    Apart from Tuesday's failed tempo run, I feel like I'm doing well. The pace I need to hold for my long runs is coming easier to me and hopefully it will feel easier still as the weeks progress. The faster stuff is probably something I'll still struggle with during that time. Despite that, I'm running faster than when I last followed the program and by that logic I should succeed in running faster come race day. I just need to make a more concerted effort to lose weight, but that's not rocket science and it's just a case of doing it.

    Happy Christmas to anyone who is reading this.


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