Steady As She Goes
I have a Garmin HRM Pro heart rate strap. You could be onto something about the contacts being wet. I will make sure they are this week and see if it makes any difference. Thanks!0
I've only just realized that on my last post all the dates are off by week. Please add 7 days to those dates 😅
24/01/23 - 13.54K - 59:35 (4:24/km) - HR - 144
I wasn't quite sure exactly what make up of intervals to do here but decided to go back and try the 4 x 8 mins off 90 secs after it not going so well two weeks ago. Much improved this time and the average paces for the 8 mins were 3:55, 4:02, 3:56, 3:46. The last 2 mins of the second interval had a big climb which brough the pace down but I was still very please with it. Overall felt much stronger and more comfortable sitting just under the 4:00/km pace.
25/01/23 - 13.58K - 1:09:37 (5:08/km) - HR - 129
A nice easy run and slowed the pace down compared to the previous week. This is probably the most comfortable I've felt at this pace in quite a long time. The heart rate was nice and low too.
26/01/23 - 22.04K - 1:42:00 (4:38/km) - HR - 140
I definitely pushed it a bit on this one a bit. I had planned to run the increased distance of somewhere around 21/21K and just run it comfortable. The first few K were uphill and I was feeling very comfortable just tipping along. After this I just settled into a nice rhythm of around 4:40/km which was faster than I had planned but it was feeling very comfortable and heart rate staying relatively low too. I was feeling so good that after 15K I decided to pick up the pace and see how it would feel running close to 3hr marathon pace as a bit of an experiment. I did the next 5K then averaging 4:15/km. I could keep it up fairly well but the body was fatiguing and I probably wouldn't have last much longer. That was enough to tell me what I wanted to know and settled back in to 4:40/4:30 pace for the last 2K quite comfortably. Strava tells me a half marathon PB of 1:37:45 but in a couple of months I'll soon find out what this actually is.
Although this was more of an effort than I had planned I think it was quite a valuable run. It gives a bit of a wake up call in terms of just how tough that goal of a sub 3hr marathon will actually be. I think right now somewhere between that 4:35 to 4:40 pace for a sub 3:15 seems quite realistic but there is a big difference in effort between this and 4:15 pace for me right now. But lets see what 8 months of consistent training will bring, who knows what might be possible come October.
Next week I will do my long run slower.
27/01/23 - 6.23K - 35:38 (5:43/km) - HR - 121
The usual recovery run.
28/01/23 - 7.82K - 33:57 (4:20/km) - HR - 154 - Elevation 180m
Finally got back out for two laps of the hills for a tempo session. At this stage my legs were definitely feeling the two hard mid week runs so I knew it was going to be tough. This is a good 90 secs slower than my peak around here from about a year ago but with the increased training load I'm more than happy with this. Anything under 34 mins is decent for me right now. The other factor here is that I was wearing a pair of trail runners I've had for a few years now but rarely use. They are Saucony Peregrine 10s I think. They provide really good grip for this time of the year but definitely not a fast shoe by any means. A lot heavier than the likes of the Speed 3's and no sort of pop off them.
29/01/23 - 13.02K - 1:05:13 (5:01/km) - HR - 132
Rounding off the week for a total of just over 76K. Again the legs were a bit tired here but to be expected. Another good weeks training.
All-round very positive vibes at the moment. Looking forward to the race in March I can't help but compare my training and performance now to this time last year. At the moment my mileage is about 20-25K a week more but the intensity is a bit lower. I can specifically remember trying to do more at VO2 max pace like 4 x 1 mile and 2 x 2 mile sessions at 3:20 to 3:30 pace. I think I managed to hit these paces once and then the body got too fatigued. I'm not sure if I am in better condition than I was a year ago and what my expectations should be for March but I think the approach I'm taking at the moment is more sustainable. I'm definitely feeling stronger even compared to December when I ran the 17:57 in Jingle Bells but that is an exceptional fast course. But I won't get too bogged down on it, I'm getting consistent training in right now and I'll just stayed focused on the process.
Oh also thank you @skyblue46 the wetting of the contacts on the chest seems to have resolved the issue.7
31/01/23 - 13.78K - 1:00:41 (4:24/km) - HR - 148
A session of 5 x 7 mins off 90 secs with a target pace of 3:55/km. The actual paces were 3:57, 3:56, 3:55, 4:02, 3:56. A fraction slower than the goal and the 4th had a decent drag in it which slowed it down. I was able to recover well though and get the pace back down for the last rep. I was pleased with then session, it was a very blustery day which made it hard to keep the pace up in parts but feeling much stronger.
01/02/23 - 13.33K - 1:08:19 (5:08/km) - HR - 133
An easy run but again with the wind it was a bit harder work than it should have been.
02/02/23 - 21.3K - 1:44:59 (4:56/km) - HR - 134
The standard long run although slightly shorter than last week. The average pace for the majority was closer to 5:00/km but I did 6 x 30 secs strides at the end which brought the average down a bit. The strides were good but hard after 19K of running especially the last 3 which were right into a head wind.
03/02/23 - 8.3K - 46:08 (5:34/km) - HR - 123
Another recovery session. A bit longer than previous weeks but all very comfortable.
04/02/23 - 7.88K - 33:26 (4:14/km) - HR - 153 - Elevation 180m
Back to the hills again but this time wearing my regular footwear. Just over 30 secs quicker than the previous week and they definitely made a difference but I was feeling that bit stronger too. Going forward I might start doing a bit longer runs out here at an overall easier pace but with some dedicated hill sprints. There are plenty of parts with a decent gradient for it.
05/02/23 - 8.4K - 42:554 (5:06/km) - HR - 135
Another easy run to finish off the week. I was at a stag this weekend so was feeling that bit more tired and didn't have time to get in the distance that I wanted to.
Another very solid but tough week of training. That's 4 quality weeks of 70K+ running and the body is holding up remarkably well. My knee is no longer really an issue thankfully. After some runs there can be a bit of tightness but it is worlds apart from where it was 6 months ago. My right foot/ankle is probably the only thing giving me any trouble right now. It is very manageable but I have my monthly physio session this week and I'll get a bit of treatment on it.
I hadn't initially planned on it but I am going to take most of this week as a deload week and let the body recover a bit. I can probably get away without it but I'm conscious of my previous experience at this type of mileage and the body breaking down. So mostly easy runs with some strides thrown in on some and a long run of around 16K probably. I am travelling to the UK this weekend to see the GF and there is talks of doing the local parkrun. I'm undecided if I will stick with her or give it a go myself. I don't think it's a particularly fast one but it could be a useful test to see exactly what sort of shape I'm in.4
07/02/23 - 8K - 42:31 (5:18/km) - HR - 127
The start of a reduced load week that turned into closer to two weeks. I was travelling early in the morning so could only get in something short before that but kept the pace very relaxed.
08/02/23 - 14.6K - 1:15:15 (5:10/km) - HR - 127
Another very relaxed run, the pace was a bit quicker but the HR still nice a low.
09/02/23 - 15.38K - 1:17:05 (5:01/km) - HR - 130
The majority of this run was again closer to 5:10 average pace and a HR in the 120's but I added in 6 x 30 sec strides to keep the feeling of a bit of pace.
10/02/23 - 11.42K - 57:06 (5:00/km) - HR - 134
The first 10K of this was again around the 5:10 average pace although a slightly higher average heart rate. I do remember it was very blustery so I was probably working harder than I realized even at this pace. Again just to keep a bit of pace in the legs I picked the pace up for the last 1K to be closer to around 3:45 pace. This was all straight into a headwind but felt strong doing it.
11/02/23 - 4.89K - 19:43 (4:02/km) - HR - 155
I was over in the UK with GF and got in late enough the previous night but she was determined to get the parkrun in so we went on our travels. It is called Talkin Tarn Country Park, Parkrun and I must say it is absolutely beautiful. It takes place on the grounds of a lake which has a gravel path around it but the parkrun itself is two laps half around the park and then turning back through a wood area on trails. So it was certainly not a fast course by any means but as I said visually quite stunning. Even though I went with the GF we were doing it at our own paces and from looking at the previous times there was a good chance anything sub 20 would be close to winning it so that was the plan.
It was a tricky start, a short narrow run downhill on a trail path before turning onto the gravel path around the lake. I was towards the front but stuck behind someone, thankfully I had managed to get by a few people by the time we had reached the path. At this stage there was one other person who was leading it out strongly and I decided to stick on his shoulder. The first 1 and a bit K was straight into a decent headwind and he was moving at around 3:45 pace, this might be a much tougher day than I had hopped if I wanted to win it. Thankfully for me he had just blasted off way to fast for himself and by the time we had got to the end of the lake part and turned onto the trails I had over taken him and he was dropping off hard. Even though the wind was behind on the trail part it was very undulating and slippy so difficult to keep a fast pace up but very similar to the woods I like to do back home so felt like familiar ground. At this stage I just tried to keep a consistent pace averaging around 4:00 - 4:05/km and after another K or so looked back and there was a women now in second about 150 meters behind. For the rest of the race I just maintained this gap but easing up a small bit on the last K when I was certain I wasn't going to be caught.
The race director assured us all at the start it is in fact 5K and the trees mess with the GPS in terms of distance. I presume he is right but I'll take the watch's distance.
13/02/23 - 10.03K - 1:00:16 (6:01/km) - HR - 116
A nice easy effort with GF after a days rest from the parkrun. This was her long run for the week so I was just taking her lead on pacing. The last time we did a run this distance together it was over 6:40 pace but she has been running consistently now for a few weeks and wanted to push the pace a bit with me. The first 5K of this we were averaging 6:10 pace but she picked it up nicely on the second 5K. I didn't realise how close we were to breaking the hour mark for the 10K, I might have pushed her on had I known as she had a nice bit left in the tank. I'm very impressed with how much she has improved.
14/02/23 - 15.68K - 1:09:48 (4:27/km) - HR - 143
I was still in the UK for this but getting out on my own. The loop I do when I am over there is just over 5K so I had planned a hardish effort, 4 laps in total, 1 warm up at an easy pace and then 3 laps of just over 15K at marathon pace. Unfortunately some stomach issues meant I couldn't do the 4th lap which was very disappointing because I was feeling very strong. I was averaging pretty bang on 4:15/km if not a second or two quicker and would have been very comfortable for another 5K at this pace. Knowing I wasn't going to make it for the 4th lap I picked up the pace for the last 600m+ just to see how it would feel and covered that in around 3:35/km pace. It was nice to feel that speed there after running a strong effort.
16/02/23 - 8.23K - 41:33 (5:03/km) - HR - 131
Back home for this one but out in the evening due to arriving late home the previous night. Again I had planned a longer run here but the same stomach issues meant I had to cut the run short. I don't know if there is something about running in the evening versus the morning that makes this sort of thing more likely for me but I need to figure it out.
17/02/23 - 15.02K - 1:14:58 (4:59/km) - HR - 134
I wanted to get back into the routine of the early morning wake up and out running before work, this meant a run within 12 hours of the previous one but it wasn't really an issue. The wind was particularly strong on this one and it felt closer to a steady effort than an easy one. I probably should have slowed down but with the wind I think it was going to be a challenge regardless of pace.
18/02/23 - 5K - 18:19 (3:40/km) - HR - 158
Not included here is a 2K warm up and cool down.
I didn't have anything in particular planned running wise for the weekend but had the idea of another parkrun in the back of my head so decided to give a faster one a crack, this time Father Collins Park. It is usual a relatively quick one although there a few twisty bits/sharp turns that do slow you down. I wanted to give this one an honest enough effort to see what sort of shape I'm in. There had been a heavy shower of rain before hand and the ground was pretty slippy in the park, not ideal but put that to the back of my mind.
I knew from past experiences that the winning times here can vary quite a lot, sometimes the high 19 mins, sometimes the low 16's. Unfortunately today was the later, lining up at the start I got talking to a serious looking runner (he had a singlet and arm warmers on, I was always take that as they mean serious business) and asked him what he was aiming for, sub 17. Good to know so that I didn't try to race off with him.
A quick start as is always the case but on the most slippy part, I held back a small bit just to make sure I didn't have any issues as my runners (Speed 3's) are far from the best in these conditions. As predicted arm warmers guy raced off but the guy in second was moving at a decent enough pace too. I stuck in not too far behind him and thankfully he started to slow down a bit. After the first 500m I was moved up beside him but he didn't seem eager to keep the pace up so I pushed on. A quick glance at the watch, 3:30 pace, probably too fast for today but it's what I want to try hold for the race in a months time so I wanted to see how it felt. I kept close enough to it for the first 2K at 3:31 and 3:34 but the legs were feeling tired. I could probably manage another 1K or so like this but would burn out well before the end and I was also completely isolated so had no one to work with. I dropped the pace then for the next 3K, 3:45, 3:41, 3:45. Finished in 2nd pace with the winning time of 16:42, superb running by him.
All in all a good effort and I'm happy enough with it taking all into account, slippy conditions, windy, working on my own the whole race and a not ideal 15K the day before. Had I really went all out I probably could have shaved another couple of seconds off and got closer to 18 mins but probably not under it. It gives me good confidence heading into the race.
19/02/23 - 10K - 49:08 (4:55/km) - HR - 135
A steady 10K to round the week off.
A very unstructured 2 weeks of running but still decent enough mileage and some useful runs. The first week of lower mileage and lower intensity definitely helped the legs recover but it's time for a 3 more weeks of a solid effort now before race week. I'm going to keep the same structure to my week, i.e. one quick session, one long run and one tempo, preferably with hills, but I am going to make a few tweaks. I want to get more effort in at my goal race pace so I'll be changing my threshold sessions to quicker intervals until race week. Probably the classics, 5 x 1K, 6 x 800, 8 x 600m, something like that. I'm going to limit my long run to 16K/10 mile so that the legs don't get too fatigued. I don't think I will be gaining a lot by doing 21K+ runs for a 5K race in the 4 weeks before it anyway. The tempo session will be staying as is and hopefully all in the woods that I like to do.
It's been a very interesting training block until now, I think I'm doing the right things and I feel like I'm making progress but the real test will be in a few weeks time.5
21/02/23 - 6.2K - 24:12 (3:55/km) - HR - 154
A session of 5 x 1K off 90 secs with approx 2K W/U and C/D either side. No other way to put, this was an absolute disaster. I was hoping to be able to keep the pace somewhere between 3:30 to 3:35 but between wind, a few hills and the legs just feeling terrible I wasn't close. The actual intervals were 3:27, 3:33, 3:44, 3:35, 3:48. The two slowest were into the wind and up hill but obviously the opposite then for the others. The average pace isn't far off what I managed in the parkrun a few days prior.
I actually think one of the biggest issues was the run the Sunday prior to this and just running it a bit too hard. After a good effort in the 5K the day prior it was definitely a hard effort than a standard easy run and I think I paid the priced. Same old mistake of running easy runs too fast, some day I will lean.
22/02/23 - 13.56K - 1:08:19 (5:02/km) - HR - 128
Despite the pace being on the quicker side of easy this did actually feel more comfortable.
23/02/23 - 15.03K - 1:13:12 (4:52/km) - HR - 132
This run probably not so much.
24/02/23 - 8K - 45:39 (5:42/km) - HR - 120
A very relaxed recovery run, copped on a bit after again going too fast the previous day and kept the pace slow.
25/02/23 - 7.88K - 32:32 (4:08/km) - HR - 153 - Elevation 180m
I had the chance to get the hills in again. I didn't go into it with any expectations or plan, just go out at a good pace and run by feel. Surprisingly I felt quite fresh and strong and ended up almost 1 minute quicker than the last time I did this and just a few seconds outside my PB for this loop. From the lows of the session earlier in the week to feeling much better here, running can be very strange at times. This did give me a bit of confidence back again for the upcoming race but the overall goal for that is changing slightly as I will explain a bit further below.
26/02/23 - 11.08K - 58:02 (5:14/km) - HR - 130
Finishing the week off with a proper easy run. The legs were definitely tired after the previous days effort and even this felt on the quicker end of easy.
So I've been putting a lot of thought into how I want to approach the marathon and I really want to give it as good a go as I can. With that in mind I've decided to go down the coaching route and I've enlisted the help of someone a few people around these parts are familiar with I believe but I won't give too much away. I'm going to start following his plan from next week which is pretty much base building for the next 4 months. He knows I have a race coming up which we will factor in but I'm not terribly concerned with times for it, it's far from the A goal this year. Come the end of June we will look to do a half marathon and judge my target time based off that. I'll need to have a look at what is on around that time. Marathon specific workouts then after that. The log probably won't have as much variety in it over the while then but I'm going to trust in the process and hopefully it all goes to plan.8
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Another one in the Stazza stable!1
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Best of luck with the new coach, it's always exciting starting a new approach and no doubt you will get the return on it too.
I had the same thought @skyblue46.1
You might be onto something there @skyblue46 😄
I've seen the impact on some of the logs here and I'm hoping for similar results.1
28/02/23 - 12.36K - 1:05:01 (5:16/km) - HR - 128
The first session of the base building plan. The structure of the plan is relatively straight forward, 4 easy 65 minutes session and then 2 sessions, one with some tempo pace and one closer to goal race pace. This was the first of the 65 min easy run. I'm really going to make a conscious effort on these to keep truly easy. A good start with this in mind, very comfortable the whole way and heart rate nice and low. I'm back to getting a bit of a spike the first 2K or so and then after this the HR was settling in closer to the low 120's.
01/03/23 - 13.16K - 1:00:53 (4:38/km) - HR - 137
This session was 20' easy, 20' tempo, 20' easy, with the tempo pace at 4:10ish. The actual pace for the tempo part was 4:03 which is faster than planned but we were being very conservative with the 4:10 so I don't mind this. Felt very controlled during the tempo section and certainly never felt like I was over that lactate threshold.
02/03/23 - 12.61K - 1:05:06 (5:20/km) - HR - 127
Another easy 65, Slowed the pace down even more after the session the previous day.
03/03/23 - 13.02K - 1:05:22 (5:01/km) - HR - 130
An easy 65 with 5 x 30 sec strides. I'm not sure if the strides will be a regular thing or just while I still have the 5K race coming up.
04/03/23 - 21.65K - 1:40:07 (4:37/km) - HR - 138
The first long run of the plan, 30' easy, 40' MP, 30' easy. I've done a couple of runs over the 1hr 40 mark already so wasn't particularly concerned about the distance or anything. I was originally due to do this the Sunday but it was going to be much easier to get it done the Saturday so swapped around. It also gave me the chance to get out in the lovely Phoenix Park.
I started in the Visitor centre car park and head up Chesterfield Ave towards the zoo taking a left back along the North Rd for the first 30'. The 40' section started then a small bit before the roundabout and I decided to head towards the Castleknock exit and hang another left taking in the trails behind the OSI. Continue up the Furry Glen, along the Upper Glen Rd, Military Rd and left back down Chesterfield Ave with this part finishing up just short of where it started. The second 30' easy then the opposite way of the first 30'.
Execution wise I was a bit aggressive with my pacing, the plan was for 4:25ish pace but it ended up being around 4:15. Again the 4:25 was a conservative guide but I was still probably a bit too aggressive. I purposefully wanted to do the MP effort over the hills and undulations but I did struggle to find a consistent pace which lead to it being a bit quicker. The GPS going a bit off the rails in some parts also didn't help. Definitely something to improve and a large part of doing this type of session will be learning to control this type of effort.
05/03/23 - 12.75K - 1:05:03 (5:06/km) - HR - 129
Round the week off with the final easy 65. The legs did feel a bit tired as expected but still very comfortable even with the pace being on the quicker side of slow.
Total mileage for the week was 85.6K. My biggest week since early lockdown in Covid when I was doing long runs out of boredom. A pretty successful first week of the plan I think. Having just the two sessions per week at the moment is a nicer balance and gives the legs that bit more recovery. Next weeks plan has a bit more of a focus on the upcoming 5K race so the weekend session isn't as long and is 5K specific. I don't think I'm going to be at my freshest for the 5K but I'm not too concerned about that. I've reset my expectations and I'll be happy with anything close to my PB so basically anything around the 18 min. I also have a session with the physio this week which I'm looking forward to. The knee was getting a bit tight on the long run so it will be good to get a few area's loosened.7
07/03/23 - 12.65K - 1:05:03 (5:08/km) - HR - 130
A solid easy 65 mins. The heart rate was maybe a fraction higher than I would like and effort wise it was also marginally more effort than last week. Still a good start to the week, no issues.
08/03/23 - 16.7K - 1:15:17 (4:30/km) - HR - 144
The first session of the week building on last weeks one. 20 easy, 20, tempo, 5 easy, 10 tempo, 20 easy. It was a blustery day so my goal was to just keep the pace consistent across the tempo efforts. The first 20 min tempo was very good, averaging just under 4 min K's and splits 3:57, 4:02, 4:01, 4:00, 3:52 (a bit downhill on this one). This felt very comfortable despite the wind never feeling like it was helping. The next 10 min tempo I went out a bit too quick but the paces was still relatively consistent, 3:53, 3:57 and the last 0.5K at 3:55. It was tricky trying to settle back into the pace after taking the 5 mins easy but I'm very happy with this session. Hitting decent paces and feeling strong doing it.
09/03/23 - 12.54K - 1:05:03 (5:11/km) - HR - 130
We were expecting snow overnight and I was hoping it wouldn't come because I didn't want to spend over an hour on the treadmill in the gym. Opening the curtains in the morning and a very nice white blanket greeted me. However waking up I did have an idea, lace up the spikes a get out into a field close by which is exactly what I did. So my first time running outside like this in the snow and it was actually quite enjoyable. The spikes worked perfectly and I had no real issues with grip. It was absolutely freezing though and my legs were as red as I've seen them afterwards. Very thankfully for a warm shower.
10/03/23 - 13.04K - 1:05:09 (5:00/km) - HR - 134
An easy 65 with 5 x strides for this one. There was more snow expected overnight but thankfully it never arrived as strides might have been a bit difficult then. It also looked like there was no hard freeze so I ventured out on the paths/roads. It was a bit more slippery in parts than I had bargained for but very manageable overall.
11/03/23 - 13.27K - 1:06:43 (5:02/km) - HR - 136
A really miserable day weather wise, very windy and spitting cold rain. The pace was maybe a bit quicker and effort higher than it should have been but to be honest I just wanted to be done and out of the rain. Had to run on an extra minute and a bit as I slightly misjudged the distance and didn't fancy stopping and walking when the 65 mins were up.
I actually headed to the gym after this for a bit of a S&C session.
12/03/23 - 15.69K - 1:10:01 (4:28/km) - HR - 140
An interesting looking session on paper, 20 min easy, 15 x 1 min on/off @ 5K pace, 20 min easy. I decided to head up to a flat loop I used for a bit of speed work to give me the best chance of being consistent with the pacing. It is very handy because it is pretty much a 20 mins jog there. The paces for the 15 on were probably closer to 3K pace then 5K pace in truth but it felt very doable. The first 5 were about 3:25 average pace and then the last 10 closer to 3:20 getting slightly faster towards the end. Last one was a 3:15 mainly because I wanted to see what sort of a kick I could manage on tired legs.
I also consciously tried to not slow down a lot on the 1 min off and keep it a honest effort the whole way. So the average pace for these was about 4:40 to 4:45. Keeping this pace down was probably more challenging to be honest especially towards the end. I feel like another really good session though and taking that 30 mins as a block the average pace overall was about 3:55.
Just shy of 84K for the week despite no real long run. I'm very happy with how I am feeling in general but the knee is feeling a bit more tight than I would like. I was with the physio this week so had a good bit of work done. Sometimes it can be slightly worse afterwards for a short period so this might just be it. I'm also not being strict enough with the S&C work which might be impacting it so I'm going to get back on top of that.
The next week is basically a taper until the race on Friday followed by some easy running and I presume then a return to normal the following week. I'm really not sure what to expect from the race time wise. As I said a few weeks ago I'll be happy with something close to my current PB, another sub 18 would obviously be great but a lot will depend on conditions and weather etc. My plan will be to go out aggressive enough, around 3:30 pace and lets see if I can manage to hold it. Regardless what happens I'm very happy with the condition I'm in right now and the approach I'm taking.
Oh I also don't think I mentioned I've signed up the Clontarf half marathon in July. We will use that to guide the paces for the marathon and the training leading up to that. First time to race that distance so exciting stuff.4
14/03/23 - 8.54K - 45:03 (5:17/km) - HR - 125
An easy 45 mins to begin a few days of tapering. I was just conscious to make sure this was a truly easy effort.
15/03/23 - 9K - 45:27 (5:03/km) - HR - 130
Another 45 min easy effort with 5 x strides.
16/03/23 - 7.12K - 36:38 (5:07/km) - HR - 129
A final 35 min easy to finish the short taper.
17/03/23 - 5K - 18:20 (3:40/km) - HR - 159
Race day and to cut a long story short, not the day I wanted. It was an early start as I was helping out before the race but apart from the weather being miserable the body was feeling good. I got finished with my setup duties in plenty of time and did a short 2K warm up followed by some strides. Lining up on the start line it was a bit of a mess. The starting mat didn't stretch across the full length of the road so some people were lined up outside it. Not sure what happened with their times etc but it resulted in a funneling effect which caused a bit of a delayed if you were just a few rows deep which I unfortunately was.
Regardless once I got across the mat I tried to find a bit of space and get up to race pace which thankfully didn't take long. I was conscious not to push hard to try to catch up to a clubmate I was hoping to try to hand and just progressed nicely through the field a bit. Came through the first K in 3:32, ideal pace wise for the plan I had. I continued to try to push my way through the next kilometer navigating a very small climb along the way and the second K in 3:33, again pretty good for pace. Unfortunately this is where it all started to crumble. On the third kilometer I was after catching a lady from Clonmel but just couldn't keep the momentum going and the legs began to stall. There was no real climb or any reason like that, the legs just started to die. Through this K in 3:40, not a complete disaster but the worst was yet to come. The 4th K involved a horrible drag around a corner that ended into the wind. I knew I was slowing down but relative to the people around me I pulled away maybe a meter or two. Any chance of a decent time was well gone though as this K ticked through in 3:53, nightmare stuff. The final K was a repeat of the first and I tried to pick the pace back up here but really struggled. Two guys here passed me out and the lady from Clonmel. I had some good local support from family and friends which picked me up right when I needed it. I passed one of the guys with about 800m left and about 400m left as the final downhill started I went with all I had to pick off the lady from Clonmel and defend against a fast finishing guy from the local triathlon club behind me. The final K in 3:40 with a finish time of 18:20.
Once I regained some composure and stopped feeling like I was going to throw up I slowly jogged back up the final K to find my GF who was also racing. I found her and ran back down the street supporting her on to see her finish with a big PB and was absolutely delighted for her.
I was obviously very disappointed with my run because I simply don't know what happened or why I just didn't have the strength when I needed it. The heart rate tells me I was working equally hard the whole way during the race which I already knew. A few weeks ago I ran about the same in a parkrun in probably worse conditions and had a bit left in the tank that day so I'm struggling to understand it. Before the race I was feeling good and felt like the taper into it was pretty ideal too. I think I'm just going to have to chalk it off as one of those days and continue to fight another day. On a positive side I didn't come away with any injury like last year so I will take that silver lining.
18/03/23 - 12.8K - 1:05:03 (5:05/km) - HR - 126
Back to regular programming with a 65 min easy. The calves were a bit tight after the race the previous day but apart from that the body felt ok.
19/03/23 - 15.14K - 1:30:25 (5:58/km) - HR - 114
A 90 min easy run in two sections really. The first hour or so was with the GF at closer to 6:20 pace and the final 30 mins then closer to 5:15.
This is obviously not the way I wanted to round off this period of training but I can't change that now and I still think I'm in a good spot to move forward. The base building work continues this week and I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this in 12 or so weeks time. I probably won't be running a 5K race again until after the marathon but I definitely have unfinished business with this distance and the 10K too. Hopefully in the winter we can look at these again but for now it is all focus on marathon training. Staying positive and focused.7
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Great running and constancy in your training. Fatigue will build up especially with only one rest day per week. I would take the day before the race type effort off completely. If I really want to go all out, I take two. Hate 5ks, painful1
Thanks marathon2022, maybe it was a bit of fatigue in the legs but I did feel like the taper was enough and I'm following the guidance of the coach here. 5K's are a killer for sure, I would argue one of the most difficult distances to get the pacing right for if you are really trying to go for a PB.
21/03/23 - 12.62K - 1:05:03 (5:09/km) - HR - 128
Back into another full week of base building. Nothing particularly noteworthy about this run, legs ticking over nicely and feeling very comfortable on this.
22/03/23 - 17.88K - 1:20:01 (4:29/km) - HR - 144
Building on a similar session from 3 weeks ago, 20 Easy, 20 Tempo, 5 Easy, 15 Tempo, 20 Easy. This is a good solid workout building up plenty of time in the legs at tempo effort. It was a blustery day and the wind was helping more than hurting on the first 20 Tempo, averaged 3:56/km pace for this nothing feeling quite as comfortable as I would have liked if I'm being honest. Kept the 5 min float on the faster side of easy and then a hard slog for the 15 Tempo, into the wind and a nice long drag. The pace slowed as a result but a respectable 4:03/km average.
I didn't feel as strong as I would have liked on this but still a decent session. I know it helps too but when it is windy I think the hurt does more than damage than when it helps and it does make these sessions that bit more difficult. Or maybe I'm talking rubbish and it's all in my head.
23/03/23 - 12.89K - 1:06:01 (5:07/km) - HR - 126
A nice low effort easy run after the previous day.
24/03/23 - 13.02K - 1:05:30 (5:02/km) - HR - 128
Another easy 65 but with 5 x strides. I did this on a bit of an incline for something different and really just focusing on good form and driving from the glutes.
25/03/23 - 12.4K - 1:05:04 (5:15/km) - HR - 123
The legs felt a bit tired on this one and knowing the long run was coming I eased up a bit more. A nice low HR which is positive to see.
26/03/23 - 23.88K - 1:50:01 (4:36/km) - HR - 138
Starting to approach uncharted territory for me now on these long runs and I'm starting to understand why some people dread them. Again building on 3 weeks ago, 30 Easy, 50 MP, 30 Easy. I was talking in a similar route to the one I used for my tempo session earlier in the week but the wind had switched direction. I do find the 30 mins to start with drags on a bit, I'm just waiting to get the legs going and trying to not waste too much energy for when the MP effort starts. I think this is all part of the design of the session though.
The start of the MP effort today was into the wind and a bit of a drag. I find it tricky to settle into a good pace anyway so this made it a bit more difficult but I eventually settled down after about 2K of running. I was able to keep the pace pretty consistent despite the wind and any little hills/drags. Ended up with an average pace of 4:11/km for this block. I was certainly working but for the most part it felt pretty comfortable. The only negative here was feeling a small twinge in my left quad in parts of this. It did ease off and no pain since then but definitely some tightness. Hopefully nothing a bit of foam rolling and stretching won't resolve.
The 30 mins to finish off felt the toughest of all but maybe that's not too surprising with the full fatigue of the weeks training in the legs by now. I'm also not fueling on my runs yet so when that starts I'm sure it will make a bit of a difference.
Total mileage for the week just shy of 93K and another solid week of training. It is still very early days with this marathon training and I'm under no illusions about how far I have to go to hit the times I want to but if I can keep this level of work up I'll be feeling a bit more confident.4
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Best of luck with the new coach - I was with him for a while and he is a gentleman - quirky, but a gentleman. (I'm still in contact with him and he offers advice every now and then) - he also has a podcast which I find very interesting.
My only advice is not to get too hung up on hitting paces etc - go with effort if you are not feeling it on the day - I got too caught up on trying to hit every pace & it ultimately drained me and I found myself getting very anxious prior to sessions.
I'll be following your log with interest.2
Thanks AMK, I really appreciate the advice. Getting hung up with the paces is definitely something I am likely to do so I will absolutely take that on board!0