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Steady As She Goes



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46

    Another one in the Stazza stable!

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,299 ✭✭✭ariana`

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 752 ✭✭✭marathon2022

    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, painful

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    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!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    28/03/23 - 12.43K - 1:05:14 (5:15/km) - HR - 123

    The legs were feeling quite tired still after the long run at the weekend so relaxed a bit more on this one. The left quad felt fine for the first hour of this but then a small bit tight the last five minutes. Fine again afterwards though.

    29/03/23 - 18.12K - 1:22:01 (4:32/km) - HR - 140

    This was due to be 20 mins easy, 20 tempo, 5 easy, 20 tempo, 20 easy but ended up finishing a bit short due to the left quad. Starting out on this all felt fine and there was no issues again with my quad but once I picked up the pace first 20 tempo I could feel the tightness begin but it wasn't bad enough that I felt I needed to stop. I got through this first block with pretty much even splits of 4:00/km so slowing down a small bit compared to the previous week based on feedback from the coach.

    The 5 min easy the tightness in the quad wasn't really easing off but I carried on with the session anyway. The next 20 min block again I felt strong, probably stronger than the first block and again averaged bang on 4:00/km but at this stage my quad was pretty shot. I hobbled back home on the warm down knowing I had made a mistake continuing the session but in the moment I really didn't want to stop but I've learned my session.

    I let the coach know after the session what had happened and managed to get a session booked in with the physio that evening to have a look. Thankfully the diagnoses was just the obvious tightness and perhaps a very mild strain but nothing serious. They did a bit of treatment, pretty painful but necessary, and told to take a few days rest.

    01/04/23 - 10.06K - 1:04:49 (6:27/km) - HR - 109

    After two days rest the quad was feeling absolutely fine walking around and no obvious signs of any strain when doing various different exercises to try to stress it so I headed out with the GF for her long run. On the run itself the quad felt fine, no twinges, no tightness etc but afterwards it did get a bit tight and there is one particular spot which it seems to radiate from. So still not 100% unfortunately.

    I spoke with the coach again and we agreed to take another few days off to rest it and hopefully get it back to 100%. Again it is feeling ok right now so I'm going to go out and try a much shorter 35 min run. Hopefully if that is ok then add on 10 mins each day until the weekend and try something a bit quicker. Presuming that all goes well we will be back into full training the next week. If it looks like it's not ok then I'll continue to rest until it is. It is quite frustrating for this to happen when I had been so consistent for a couple of months now but its important to get it sorted early rather than let it linger and become an ongoing issue. There is still plenty of time to go until October so a week or two missed now will not be the end of the world if I can get this right. We will obviously also need to look at why it happened as this is first time I've ever had this type of strain in all the sport I've every done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    04/04/23 - 6.98K - 35:02 (5:01/km) - HR - 125

    An easy 35 mins after another 2 day break to let the quad rest. It had been feeling pretty good the previous day but still one or two little twinges so I was still a bit nervous before heading out. Thankfully there were no issues on the run itself and no tightness afterwards like the previous run. Later in the day I had a good roll on the foam roller to continue to workout the one particular tight spot.

    05/04/23 - 10.41K - 51:39 (4:58/km) - HR - 128

    This was due to be a 45 min run but I'm in the UK at the moment and I'm not familiar with enough routes to be able to get accurate times down so just did two laps of the usual one I do when I'm here. Again the quad behaved itself and no ill effects from the previous day thankfully.

    06/04/23 - 10.44K - 56:11 (5:23/km) - HR - 121

    A run of two halves, the first 5K with the GF at around 6 min pace and then the second 5K around 5 min pace. The last 400m or so I let the legs go and ran around 5K pace to give the quad a final test. Thankfully again it was perfect.

    07/04/23 - 12.68K - 1:01:00 (4:49/km) - HR - 134

    The GF and I had travelled to a different part of the UK to visit her brother and had a hike planned later in the day but I still wanted to get out for a run so found a road on the map that it looked like I could do a simple out and back. After telling her brother my plan I was told it was actually just straight up a fell and back so a lot of climbing and maybe I should rethink it. But I do enjoy a good climb so it made it all the more appealing.

    The first 2.5K was just a bit undulating heading through small village before the real climb started and it was pretty decent I must say. A solid 3.5K and a bit more of a gradient between 5 and 10%. This was supposed to be an easy effort but with a climb like this there is no real easy so I kept it a good effort the whole way. Averaging about 5:20/K with around 60m of climbing for each K but felt pretty comfortable, I could certainly have push a bit harder. Once I reached the top I turned back and started the decent. I had to slow myself down here because it was quite steep and the road quality not great and I didn't want any trips or falls. Still gliding down between 4:00 to 4:10/km feeling very easy.

    This run wasn't exactly to plan but it was really enjoyable run after the bit of an injury and some spectacular views on the way back down.

    A slow but long hike after this probably wasn't ideal but again well worth it for the views alone.

    08/04/23 - 12.12K - 1:17:38 (6:24/km) - HR - 109

    This was due to be an easy 65 min so again not exactly to plan but I was getting out with the GF for her long run. This has been 10K in recent weeks but she wants to start increasing the distance and we decided 12K which would mean a bit longer than would be ideal for me but I was more than happy to bend the plan a bit.

    The body was definitely feeling it after the previous day, sore quads in both legs (just DOMS) and general stiffness so very pleased to be going at an easier pace. After the first 2K or so things started to limber up and we kept a nice even pace throughout and a great effort by her. This would have been a decent 5K pace for her a few months back so she is really coming on.

    09/04/23 - 21.42K - 1:40:01 (4:40/km) - HR - 137

    The planned called for a 30 min easy, 30 min marathon pace, 30 min easy but again I knew with the loops I was doing I would either have to add to one of the easy sections or the MP section and of course I went with the MP section so this ended up being 30, 40, 30. The body was still feeling the DOMS from the previous few days so the first 1K was very sluggish but I slowly started to get into a rhythm then. The 40 at MP came in at around 4:10/km which is consistent with my previous runs like this and a good effort considering the DOMS.

    74K in total for the week. Obviously down on previous weeks but not bad.

    So thankfully the quad issue has cleared up but I am having what I believe is a related issue in what feels like lower left my abdomen, the same side as the quad strain/tightness. Just doing general day to day type stuff I can feel a small DOMS like pain but I know it's not DOMS. Thankfully it isn't really impacting my running. I could feel it a small bit on my run today but it is manageable. The coach thinks it may be the psoas so I'm going to try to release this and see if that helps. I also have another session with the physio booked in 10 days time when I'm back from the UK.

    Until then I'm happy to return to normal training and base building. We did get notice our county road races are on over the next few weeks but I'm not going to compete in them this year as I really want to just give 100% focus on my marathon training. I can do races but we wouldn't just be running them while training and would look to taper etc so every race I do will interrupt my regular training by between 1 to 2 weeks. They also increase the risk of injury and I've already had more interruptions than I would like at this early stage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    11/04/23 - 12.98K - 1:06:54 (5:09/km) - HR - 124

    The start of a full weeks of training again after the recent niggles. A nice easy run to start off with. The body was stilling feeling a bit achy and the abdomen issue was still persisting. The few steps of the run are a bit painful but it all loosens up quickly enough. After that there is still a very small bit of a pain while pushing off on the left side but it gets tuned out after a while and it's all manageable.

    12/04/23 - 17.03K - 1:17:32 (4:33/km) - HR - 142

    A session of 20 easy, 20, tempo, 5 easy, 10 tempo, 20 easy so a bit lighter than I had worked up to previously but I didn't mind that at all and makes sense coming back from a niggle. I was still in UK for this but thankfully managed to find a nice park with a relatively flat 1.5K loop to do this on. The jog to there was just about equal to the warm up/cool down so pretty ideal. The average pace for the tempo sessions was around 3:56/km, a fraction faster than the 4:00/km on the plan from the coach but it was very consistent and controlled throughout. Similar issues with the abdomen but not any worse after the run.

    I did however manage to jar it a bit by slipping while walking up some stairs which was a bit annoying. 

    13/04/23 - 11.02K - 1:07:41 (6:09/km) - HR - 113

    Got out with the GF on this one so the pace was obviously slower but I was very thankfully for that. The legs were pretty wrecked after the previous day and the abdomen still sore from the slip but managed to get through it albeit more uncomfortable than I would like.

    14/04/23 - 12.81K - 1:06:52 (5:13/km) - HR - 125

    My final run in the UK before travelling back home and thankfully the abdomen had recovered a bit and not as sore, back to the level it was earlier in the week. It took a really long time though for the legs to wake up on this one. I'm trying to just run these based on effort more than anything and for whatever reason the first few K were very slow, like 5:40 & 5:30 pace. It wasn't until about 7K in before the pace got back to a more usual 5:05-5:10 pace but the effort felt similar. Just one of those days.

    I was also supposed to do 5 x strides on this run but decided against it as I felt this sort of speeding up slowing down would have a high risk of aggravating the abdomen and I didn't think it was worth it. I was just happy to get the run in.

    15/04/23 - 13.04K - 1:05:49 (5:03/km) - HR - 132

    A reliably delayed Ryanair flight meant I was home a lot later than I had planned the previous night and also just had a pretty crap sleep and I wasn't feeling great at all on this one. Still miles in the legs and get a good nights sleep and hopefully back to normal.

    16/04/23 - 23.94K - 1:50:01 (4:36/km) - HR - 140

    The long run of the week, 30 Easy, 50 MP, 30 Easy. I was up early for this one due to golf later in the morning but I had a good nights rest and feeling much fresher on the warm up. The coach has been advising me to slow down on this run a bit so when I started the 50 MP section I was conscious of not going to hard for the first few K. They rolled in between 4:15 to 4:20 pace which was ideal. After about 20 mins the pace picked up a small bit and I just got locked in to a very consistent feeling of running around 4:10 pace with the average pace for the overall block at 4:13. Finishing the 50 min block the legs still felt surprisingly good, a sign of progress hopefully.

    This run brought the overall mileage to just over 90K for the week.

    Thankfully the last two runs the abdomen was less of an issue and writing this today it is feeling even better again which is great given the long run yesterday. I still have a physio session this week to get it examined and hopefully get clarity on exactly what has been happening. The training ramps up again this week with time being added to the harder mileage. I know there are a few little niggles and I was always expecting this given my history with injuries but I do think there are signs of progress. The paces I'm running for the tempo/MP work are starting to feel more comfortable and I'm hoping if I can keep the consistency up then the gains will become even more obvious soon.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    18/04/23 - 12.76K - 1:05:39 (5:09/km) - HR - 127

    The usual easy run to start off the week. My legs were still feeling a bit tired even with a full days rest and I was running along the coast into the wind which didn't make it feel any easier. Even still a very comfortable effort.

    19/04/23 - 18.03K - 1:20:01 (4:26/km) - HR - 142

    Building on last week again, 20 Easy, 20 Tempo, 5 Easy, 15 Tempo, 20 Easy. This session went really for both tempo blocks I averaged 3:53/km and feeling as comfortable as I've ever done at this sort of pace. I am mostly covering flat ground here but there are some small drags and I'm starting to be able to just power over these not slowing down at all, a really nice feeling. Still experiencing the abdomen issue but manageable, unfortunately the physio got pushed back by a day but at least it is still happening.

    20/04/23 - 12.58K - 1:05:07 (5:11/km) - HR - 127

    Certainly feeling the previous days run in the legs on this one but again running as easy as the body feels like it needs. It generally just ends up averaging around the 5:10/km pace which seems to be a good easy pace for me right now. I don't really mind what the pace is on these runs as long as the legs are getting the recovery they need.

    I did manage to get in with the physio later in the day and after a bit of an initially worry that it could be something more serious he agreed it does seem to be the psoas that is causing my current pain in the abdomen and related tightness in the groin. He did some work to release it which involves quite deep reaching into the abdomen area, very uncomfortable altogether but there was an almost immediate improvement in my pain when moving afterwards. It is still not perfect after the one session but I'll be going back more often over the next while to keep on top of it and hopefully get it fully resolved. At least I can continue running and no break required.

    21/04/23 - 12.96K - 1:05:03 (5:01/km) - HR - 129

    Another easy 65 mins but I added in the 5 x strides, excluding these the average pace was again closer to 5:10/km. I was a bit nervous doing them but thankfully no issues.

    22/04/23 - 26.63K - 2:00:02 (4:30/km) - HR - 142

    The long run was scheduled for Sunday but I needed to switch it to Saturday due to time constraints the next day. I'll probably have to do the same again next week. Building on last week to 30 Easy, 60 MP, 30 Easy, although the coach tells me this isn't really MP but for the purposes of this log it's what I'm going to continue to call it. This was by far the longest I've ever ran but again I felt went really well. I averaged 4:09/km for the MP block and the pacing was really consistent on it. Again I felt very strong, eating up any little inclines.

    It was definitely a run of two halves weather wise though. The first half, cool, overcast and not much wind, actually pretty decent running conditions. Then after about an hour some weather front moved in, the wind picked up, temps dropped and a nice steady stream of rain set in with no let up. I was soaked right through which I didn't mind as much while motoring along at a decent pace on the MP block, however the 30 min easy at the end was just miserable. I was just counting down the minutes and seconds until it was over making sure at the end of it I was as close to my front door as possible. Despite the weather a really great run.

    23/04/23 - 12.58K - 1:05:11 (5:11/km) - HR - 126

    The legs were definitely feeling the week so far on this run. Started this slowly until the legs showed a bit more life and then just tipped around nice and easily. Rounded out the week at just over 95K and my longest week to date.

    The positive vibes continue thankfully. I'm definitely seeing clear improvements even at this stage in the training although I am running a bit ahead of where the coach wants me to be. In particular on the long run I need to scale the pace back here just by a couple of secs per km. The worry is that I burn out during this phase of the training. This run will scale back next week to 30, 40, 30 and increment back up to 30, 60, 30 as I did this week and cycle through that again with the pace incrementing on each cycle. My pace this week was probably two cycles ahead of what I should be doing. I just need to patient and not push the process.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    25/04/23 - 13.1K - 1:07:08 (5:07/km) - HR - 126

    The usual easy run to start to the week off but honestly the legs and the body felt a bit tired even if the heart rate and pace didn't seem to indicate it.

    26/04/23 - 19.09K - 1:25:01 (4:27/km) - HR - 143

    Building this session again, 20 Easy, 20 Tempo, 5 Easy, 20 Tempo, 20 Easy. The last time I did this exact effort is when I pushed the quad over the edge, thankfully no injuries this time around. I was looking forward to this after feeling so strong on last weeks effort but this was quite the opposite. On the 20 easy warm up I definitely wasn't feeling the same pop in the legs but sometimes that happens and the harder effort still feel good. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. I just didn't feel strong and I slowed the effort down slightly compared to last week as a result. Both 20 Tempo blocks averaging 3:56/km and the pacing very consistent throughout so still a good session.

    27/04/23 - 12.49K - 1:05:02 (5:12/km) - HR - 127

    Even though this was just an easy run I wasn't really looking forward to it knowing the legs would be tired from the previous day and they absolutely were. Even this pace was probably a bit too fast for how I was feeling if I'm being honest.

    28/04/23 - 12.65K - 1:05:48 (5:12/km) - HR - 126

    This easy run included the 5 x strides and the average pace for this was closer to 5:20/km.

    29/04/23 - 21.60K - 1:40:02 (4:38/km) - HR - 140

    As I mentioned last week I needed to switch the long run to the Saturday again. Had a wedding later in the day so an early start for this. Dialling this session back a small bit so 30 Easy, 40 MP, 30 Easy. The legs felt okish on this, not great but I was always in control during the MP effort. Average pace for this was 4:10/km, a fraction faster than I wanted but again it was very much controlled.

    30/04/23 - 12.06K - 1:05:02 (5:24/km) - HR - 122

    A combination of the effort from the previous day and a lack of sleep from the wedding meant this run was a very easy shuffle around. A pretty tired end to a tired feeling week.

    Not the best feeling week of training all round but this is going to happen. Some weeks will feel great and others pretty crap, it's just all part of it. It is still another 90+K week of training, my 3rd in a row and the body is holding up. Thankfully the abdomen issue is slowly resolving itself. It's still not perfect but almost there and I've another session with the physio this coming week too.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    02/05/23 - 10.38K - 1:05:03 (6:16/km) - HR - 111

    My GF was back and we had the opportunity to get out together early in the morning so took advantage of it. She is building towards a 10 mile and I've created a bit of a training plan for her so this was a long run with a mix of pace. It was good to be able to pace her for it and it worked perfectly for me giving the legs even more recovery for the harder sessions coming up.

    03/05/23 - 22.34K - 1:40:02 (4:29/km) - HR - 139

    There is a bit more variety starting to get added to this session now but I really enjoyed this and a really solid workout. The outline of it went something like, 20 Easy, 20 @ 4:00/km (ish), 5 Easy, 10 @ 3:56/km (ish), 5 Easy, 2 x 5 @ 3:52/km (ish) off 3 min, 20 Easy. I did have a licence to push the pace a bit which I did. The paces were actually 20 @ 3:56, 10 @ 3:51, 2 x 5 @ 3:41 however I was doing this at a flat loop in an industrial estate and I always take the paces on the watch with a pinch of salt here as I've found it can be a bit exaggerated. Even still a really solid session and keeping this on a flat loop I was feeling very comfortable throughout.

    04/05/23 - 12.24K - 1:05:34 (5:21/km) - HR - 123

    Slowed this down to a bit of a shuffle after the previous days workout, the body certainly needed it.

    05/05/23 - 13.01K - 1:05:35 (5:02/km) - HR - 130

    Another easy 65 mins but with the 5 x strides added in. The average pace for the majority of the run was closer to 5:10.

    06/05/23 - 12.18K - 1:05:03 (5:20/km) - HR - 123

    Moved the long run back to the Sunday this weekend so another easy 65 before it. Again I wanted to run very easy here to make sure the body was relatively fresh for the long effort. Unfortunately got a little niggle in the right hip flexor after this. It is just feeling a bit tight and a bit of trouble rotating inwards but nothing too serious.

    07/05/23 - 24.11K - 1:50:02 (4:34/km) - HR - 142

    This week back up to 30 Easy, 50 MP, 30 Easy. The hip was feeling pretty ok starting off but once the MP effort kicked in I was feeling it a bit. I didn't really feel comfortable pushing quite as much but still tipped along nicely for this part averaging 4:11/km which is what I should be doing for this effort anyway. The hip did loosen up a small bit towards the end of it thankfully. All in all another good session.

    Total mileage for the week of 94K and the mileage is really starting to rack up now for my level anyway. At this rate by the end of the month I will have surpassed my total mileage for all of last year. Looking back over the past few weeks there is an obvious trend that I am having to slow down my easy runs to let the body recover but I've no problem with this. Any ego I used to have over the pace of my slow runs is long gone.

    It's 2 months out now to the half marathon at the start of July and can't help but think about it. Both excited and a bit anxious but I've just to focus on the weeks ahead, stick with the training plan and trust it will provide the benefits.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    09/05/23 - 12.39K - 1:05:02 (5:15/km) - HR - 126

    A pretty uneventful run to start the week. The legs were still feeling a bit tired but a very nice easy effort.

    10/05/23 - 22.14K - 1:37:01 (4:23/km) - HR - 142

    Back to the flat loop for another session. This week I had 20 Easy, 20T, 5 Easy, 4 x 5T pace off 3 min recovery, 20 Easy. I do have licence to push the pace on this and I certainly did that again this week. The first 20 min average pace was 3:54/km held very consistently throughout and for the 4 x 5 mins I got progressively faster with average paces 3:46, 3:43, 3:39, 3:34.

    I was very happy with this session and continuing to feel more and more comfortable around these paces for this volume. It was particularly nice getting progressively faster throughout the 4 x 5 part and still feeling like there is a nice bit left in the tank.

    11/05/23 - 12.46K - 1:05:05 (5:13/km) - HR - 127

    A well needed easy run on tired legs.

    12/05/23 - 11.17K - 1:00:16 (5:24/km) - HR - 121

    An even easier run. The body just felt like it needed it and just continuing to run all these on perceived effort. I did unfortunately start this a bit late in the morning and had to cut it short by 5 mins to make it to work on time.

    13/05/23 - 13.01K - 1:08:10 (5:14/km) - HR - 127

    Feeling a bit fresher after the few days of easy running but making sure not to push it with the long run coming up the day after. Fantastic weather for this, I love being able to run in a singlet comfortably.

    14/05/23 - 26.51K - 2:00:01 (4:32/km) - HR - 139

    The weather wasn't as kind for this long run, a nice mist of rain and noticeably more wind than there has been the past while. Back up to 30 Easy, 60 MP, 30 Easy. Averaged 4:10/km for the 60 minute block but if I'm being honest it felt a bit harder work than I would have liked. The legs just felt a bit sluggish and I think think the wind didn't help. I probably pushed a bit more into the headwind than I should have. Also a new first for me on this run, about halfway through this run I was checking my watch and notice a bit of red on my otherwise green top and yep two big red patches around my nipples and I was bleeding through my top. Surprisingly there was no pain which is why I didn't notice it. The past few long runs I have had a bit of chaffing but nothing like this. I don't think it was helped by the rain and that the top I was wearing is great at wicking away sweat/moisture. I did feel a bit self conscious continuing to run by people and cars looking like I did but I guess this is part of the process of being a marathon runner right? That's what I'm telling myself anyway. I have invested in some Sport Shield to hopefully help with this going forward.

    Total mileage for the week, just shy of 98K.

    I also had a proper catch up with the coach this week just to go through a few questions I had and review how things are going so far. We are both pretty happy with it all and just need to stick with the plan. Hopefully over the next 3 to 4 weeks I will start to feel even stronger at the paces I am hitting. I still want to target a sub 3 which he feels I'm on track for right now but obviously there is still a long way to go and need a clean run at training for the next few months. The first step is the half in July and I would want to be hitting a 1:25 for this to be on track for the sub 3. This is pretty much 4:00/km pace which does seem daunting but that's the level I need to get to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    16/05/23 - 12.25K - 1:05:20 (5:20/km) - HR - 122

    A very relaxed run to start off the week. As expected, legs still tired from the weekends long effort but always good to get the legs moving.

    17/05/23 - 23.8K - 1:44:01 (4:22/km) - HR - 142

    I'm beginning to look forward more and more to this midweek session as I try to push the pace. This week was fairly straightforward, 20 Easy, 8 x 5 mins off 3 min recovery, 20 Easy. The recovery here is very generous even though I always jog it at a decent sort of pace so this was as much a fartlek as anything else. I wanted to push things again slightly so the goal was to start off around 3:50 pace for the 5 min blocks and try to get progressively quicker and all went exactly to plan, the paces for the reps were: 3:49, 3:48, 3:45, 3:43, 3:39, 3:38, 3:35, 3:34. Again I take the actual paces with a small pinch of salt but just happy to have maintained the progression. Another solid session!

    18/05/23 - 12.50K - 1:05:28 (5:14/km) - HR - 124

    An easy shuffle with legs feeling the previous days effort. It took a few hundred meters for the legs to warm up and feel like I was actually running but I was out along the coast for this so absolutely no complaints. A really lovely morning for it.

    19/05/23 - 12.63K - 1:05:03 (5:09/km) - HR - 127

    Another easy effort including the 5 x strides. I was going to have to switch the long run to Saturday so this was the last easy run before and was conscious not to push the strides too much. They were into a headwind anyway and the legs were still feeling quite tired so pace not great for them regardless.

    20/05/23 - 21.67K - 1:40:03 (4:37/km) - HR - 135

    Dropping back the distance but increasing the pace a bit on the MP or closer to HMP block, a breakdown of 30 Easy, 40 HMP/MP, 30 Easy. I wasn't really feeling great on the warm up for this but once I got moving on the harder block I settled into a decent rhythm thinking off the K's. It's good that 40 mins at this effort is now beginning to feel short. The average pace for this block was 4:05/km so starting to drift more towards HM pace but this was always the plan I believe. The only issue on this run was some GI issues which meant needing a quick break just as the harder block was finishing. Luckily I was running along the coast again and could take a quick detour to some public bathrooms. Not sure what I would have done otherwise, really not a nice feeling and no clue why it happened on this run. Nothing different directly before it or even the few days prior.

    21/05/23 - 12.55K - 1:05:13 (5:12/km) - HR - 123

    A final easy shuffle to round off the week. The GPS went a bit crazy on this one so I think the actually distance covered was a less and the average pace probably closer to 5:15, maybe even 5:20. Haven't had that issue before on this route so hopefully just a once off.

    Total mileage for the week just over 95K and my seventh consecutive week of 90K+ distance covered. It doesn't actually sound like a lot but I'm really happy the body is getting through it so well. The sessions and paces are only heating up so this week will be very interesting. But as I've been told already on this log and by my coach paces are just a guide at this stage in the build up. After this week I should also break the 1000 mile mark for the year which is as much as I managed all of last year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    23/05/23 - 12.13K - 1:05:04 (5:22/km) - HR - 121

    Another nice and easy start to the week and the legs felt surprisingly good but still kept it at a very easy pace knowing I had a big run the next day.

    24/05/23 - 25.09K - 1:50:02 (4:23/km) - HR - 141

    This weeks session was 20 Easy, 10 x 4 mins @ 3:40 pace off 3 jog, 20 Easy. Up until now the paces I've been set have been a lot easier than this and I've been pushing on but this is the first time I looked at the weeks training and thought to myself this could be difficult. The recovery between reps is thankfully very generous and I'm doubtful I would manage this pace at this volume without it.

    Set off on the 20 mins easy hoping to be feeling good but the legs felt very flat compared to the previous day so I immediately thought I was going to be in trouble once I started the reps. It took until after the first 3 before it felt like the legs came alive. Thankfully after that the body just seemed to go into autopilot and I was ticking them off one by one within pace. The last two I did have to work that bit harder but got through it a lot better than I expected starting off. The average paces for the 4 min reps were 3:40, 3:39, 3:38, 3:40, 3:37, 3:39, 3:37, 3:38, 3:38, 3:31. As always I take this as a slight overestimation of the pace with the loop I do but I'm not sure what this pace is, probably somewhere around 10K pace I would hope but that would be a huge improvement if it actually was.

    According to Strava during the course of this I actually broke 1:30 for the half but again a good 17K of this was essential a fartlek run around a flat loop so I don't take too much stock in that. Still nice to see what feels like progress.

    Thankfully I had physio after this for a rub out, very much needed.

    25/05/23 - 12.23K - 1:06:05 (5:24/km) - HR - 119

    The legs were pretty tired on this one but the HR stayed nice and low.

    26/05/23 - 12.59K - 1:05:34 (5:12/km) - HR - 126

    Legs still feeling the week to date but I had the 5 x strides to throw in here. The average paces for these weren't much faster than what I was doing on the session a few days before. For the run part itself the average pace was again closer to 5:20

    27/05/23 - 23.13K - 1:45:03 (4:32/km) - HR - 142

    Long run broke down into 30 Easy, 50 HMP, 30 Easy. I needed to get this done again on the Saturday but was heading to the Phoenix Park for it, probably in my top 3 places to run so I was looking forward to it. Although like my midweek session the coach is starting to push the paces here and the target pace for the 50 block was 4:06.

    I parked up in the visitor centre car park and started the 30 Easy from there, heading along Chesterfield Ave and left out along the back of the zoo. The 30 mins brought my up then to a small bit before the roundabout at the Castleknock exit and I set off motoring along the Ordinance Survey Rd to the Upper Glen and Military Rd feeling very good and making easy work of any of the little inclines. Turned then back down Chesterfield Ave towards Castleknock and had to up the effort right away to keep on target pace. I guess whatever wind was out there was head on and there must be a deceiving little drag too. Headed the whole way back up and then back down to finish off the 50 block. Average pace 4:05. The legs were feeling tired after that on the 30 easy to warm down but it was also quite a warm morning. Unfortunately I had to finish up 5 mins early due to some GI issues again. A bit frustrating and worrying for the longer runs that will be coming. I need to figure the reason for this just not sure how to go about it.

    28/05/23 - 12.12K - 1:05:20 (5:23/km) - HR - 117

    I had forgotten about a hike I had penciled in later on the Sunday so wasn't sure whether to just take that as my easy day or still go for the run. Woke up quite early so just headed out and shuffled around. The legs were obviously tired but again HR wise a very easy effort.

    About 3 hours later then headed off for the hike up Lugnaquilla in Wicklow. I felt the climb but overall it was nice, especially with the weather. Saw a guy running it and felt like I wanted to chase off after him but to be fair he was moving well. I think even fresh I would struggled.

    Total mileage for the week of just over 97K and 8 weeks of consistent mileage in the bad.

    To be honest I am finding it hard to have confidence that I have made significant gains over this past period because I am not racing or really going all out on any run to compare them. But I suppose looking at the way the paces have been coming down I have to assume I am improving. The first week with the new coach at the start of March I did my first long run in the Phoenix Park also, that time 30, 40, 30 averaging 4:15 for the 40 block and I would say probably a similar perceived effort to this weekend where I averaged 4:05 for 50. It doesn't feel like much but have to trust that progress is being made.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    30/05/23 - 12.34K - 1:05:04 (5:16/km) - HR - 123

    After a very active weekend I was expecting to feel a lot worse on this but thankfully the legs felt quite good and motored along on the slightly quicker side of what easy is these days.

    31/05/23 - 22.33K - 1:40:02 (4:29/km) - HR - 137

    An interesting session lined up for this, 20 Easy, 10 x 3 mins off 3 mins (target 3:37/km), 20 Easy. Only 30 minutes of harder effort this week compared to 40 for the past few weeks however pace is increasing and approaching 5K pace but thankfully the recovery is still very generous.

    On the 20 Easy to warm up the legs felt reasonably ok but a bit sluggish and setting off then on the first 3 min rep I struggled to get into a good rhythm and the legs felt like they were just lacking a bit of pop. The next 5 or 6 reps felt like a real slog and mentally just had to grind it out but I was managing to hit the pace. Then finally on the last few reps the legs felt like they came alive and on the final rep I just stepped it up on more gear just to see if I could more than anything else. So the paces for the reps ended up being, 3:34, 3:36, 3:35, 3:35, 3:36, 3:35, 3:34, 3:33, 3:20. It's been a while since I ran any reasonable time at 3:20 so good to know it's still in there somewhere.

    Not the best feeling session but executed pretty well.

    01/06/23 - 12.51K - 1:05:09 (5:13/km) - HR - 119

    Last weekend I purchased myself a new pair of super shoes that I am hoping to use for the marathon and upcoming half marathon and decided to give them a try on this and break them in a bit. They are the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro and were selected after trying on a couple of different options. I've struggled to find a pair of super shoes in the past that feel comfortable so I'm hoping these will work.

    They are absolutely not designed for slow running but I didn't want to just take them out on a long run as a first proper run in them so this wasn't ideal but it will still give me a good idea of how they would feel comfort wise. First impressions is that they are definitely a bit unstable at slower speeds and there is one potential hot spot I am a bit concerned about but hopefully the runners will loosen out a bit. They are however unbelievably cushioned and I tried a couple of short efforts closer to marathon pace during this run and they felt quick. I'll keep here updated about how I get on with them.

    02/06/23 - 12.48K - 1:05:03 (5:13/km) - HR - 124

    Another easy run with just 4 x strides this time. Legs were feeling a bit tired so didn't feeling like pushing it too hard.

    03/06/23 - 26.13K - 2:00:02 (4:36/km) - HR - 140

    Again I needed to get out for the long run on the Saturday and back to the 2 hours of 30 Easy, 60 @ approx HM, 30 Easy. The target pace for the 60 block here was 4:06 and after how I felt last weekend on the 50 block I was feeling good about this. Starting out the 30 Easy and the legs felt really good, cruising around 5:00/km feeling very comfortable. Starting out the 60 block and the first 2K on this route can be a bit slow but I was able to float along feeling strong and the first half of this block I was again averaging 4:05 pace having to slow myself down even.

    Unfortunately something happened around this point that I still don't quite understand, I developed almost a stitch but more like a cramp in my lower left abdomen and around the same time was approaching a small bit of an incline. My pace dropped and I just wasn't able to recover it. It felt like my legs had been zapped of any strength they had. Somewhere around the 35 min mark I had ran a 4:22 K and I was prepared to call it a day thinking the session had been ruined. I did however talk myself around and break out of the negative thought spiral. I knew I couldn't get back to target pace but even just keep this pace going and see out the rest of the block. This is something that could easily happen during a race so I treated as much mental training as anything else. I ended up getting back to around marathon pace (4:16/km) but that was all I could do. The average pace for the 60 ended up being 4:11/km.

    This is first time since starting with the new coach that I haven't hit my pace in training and I know I shouldn't get too fixated on pace but it is still frustrating, particularly because I just don't quite understand what happened. It's not like I went out too fast and had started to build lactate. It was also a warm day but I started this at 9am so the heat shouldn't have been an issue. But even still maybe it was something simple like an electrolyte imbalance or maybe just simply a bad day at the office.

    04/06/23 - 12.30K - 1:06:21 (5:18/km) - HR - 121

    I wasn't sure what to expect after what happened the previous day but amazingly I felt ok on this. I wouldn't say fresh by any means but no ill effects and shuffled around at a very comfortable pace.

    Even with the disappointing weekend long run I would still count this as a pretty good weeks training and total mileage of 98K. On the mental side of things I'm happy I've been able to keep it going even when it's not pretty and sometimes just awful. I'm not sure if it was an issue or not but I'm going to try keep a better eye on things like electrolytes/general fuelling and refuelling after runs especially with the current heat.

    In other news after seeing the opinion of a few people here and chatting to the coach I have decided to change the Half Marathon from Clontarf to Termonfeckin. It is a week later but should still work for the training plan and while there looks to be a small bit of elevation it doesn't seem to be anything too severe. Hopefully it will end up being the right choice but either way a good test.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    06/06/23 - 12.46K - 1:06:21 (5:19/km) - HR - 120

    The usual slow and easy run to start off the week.

    07/06/23 - 22.33K - 1:40:01 (4:29/km) - HR - 135

    A session this week of 20 Easy, 15 * 2 min on/off, 20 Easy. The target pace for the 2 min on was 3:34 so pretty much my 5K pace but 30 minutes of effort at this with a still generous recovery. Again similar to last week it wasn't until about 2/3 into the workout that I felt like I was moving well but even still kept the pace within the target and very consistent getting a bit quicker for the last few and pushing hard for the last one.

    The average paces for the 2 min on were:

    3:31, 3:32, 3:32, 3:29, 3:31, 3:31, 3:33, 3:30, 3:30, 3:30, 3:29, 3:29, 3:27, 3:24, 3:10

    The legs were pretty gassed on the last one but I'm happy to be able to finish stronger like this. Hopefully replicating being able to finish strong in a race. Another tough one mentally but felt slightly less of a slog than last week. Still hard work on your own.

    08/06/23 - 12.25K - 1:05:27 (5:21/km) - HR - 121

    A very easy effort after the previous days hard work.

    09/06/23 - 11.59K - 59:48 (5:10/km) - HR - 124

    Slightly shorter than it should have been easy run but I was trying out my new runners on this again including the strides to see how they would feel at pace. Unfortunately they are just not feeling as comfortable as I would like and I really don't think comfortable enough to use for a marathon distance. I'll probably try to resell so that I can recover some of the money I paid for them but not sure how easy that will be. If anyone is interested in a barely used size 45 Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro at a significant discount let me know 😅.

    10/06/23 - 12.68K - 1:06:56 (5:17/km) - HR - 123

    My weekend plan allowed me to switch the long back to a Sunday so a third day in a row of easy running. I was hoping this might allow a bit more recovery to be in good shape for the harder effort to come.

    11/06/23 - 22.01K - 1:40:58 (4:35/km) - HR - 140

    This weeks long run cutting restarting the cycle which means another increase in pace. A split of 30 Easy, 40 HMP, 30 Easy with the 40 block goal pace of 4:03/km. After struggling so badly last week @ 4:06 pace I wasn't really looking forward to this, even more so since it was pretty draining weather with the humidity.

    Starting on this and the legs and body felt good again like last week although already starting to sweat a bit more than normal. Setting off on the 40 block and I was conscious that the first 2K it was going to feel like I was pushing a bit harder than I should in order to hit the target pace but it should then feel a bit more comfortable after that. The first 2K came in averaging 4:02 so pretty perfect. The next few K then were a bit downhill with the wind and I was averaging closer to 4:00 and holding back a bit. After 5K turned back into the wind plus starting the bit of an incline. This is where it all started to go wrong last week but held pace here very well between 4:00 and 4:02. Two of the last 3K then had more significant inclines and I slowed a bit here, 4:05 and 4:07 before recovering to finish with a sub 4:00 pace last 0.9K. Overall the average pace was 4:02 so I was very pleased to be able to keep the pace much better than last week in probably more challenging heat/humidity. However I will say I feel like I would really struggle to keep that pace going for a full half in those conditions.

    After last week I have been making a big effort to keep on top of my hydration and been taking a electrolytes/hydration effervescent after all runs. I'm still not sure this was an issue last week but in the current weather I certainly don't think it will do any harm.

    Training at the moment is feeling a bit weird. I am still definitely motivated and focused on the goal of the marathon in October but it is all feeling very much like a slog right now. I think it's just a mix of the training being relatively repetitive, which is to be expected since this is a base building block so it isn't going to be wildly varied, and doing it 100% on my own. Unfortunately I don't have too many options in terms of people to run with especially with how early I do my training. At the weekends I might try to see if I can find someone to at least do the easy run with and be a bit more flexible myself on time, this might help break it up a bit. I guess marathon training is a bit of a lonely journey.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    13/06/23 - 12.5K - 1:05:56 (5:17/km) - HR - 125

    A run of the mill easy run. Even getting out early for this it was still 18 degrees and feeling humid. The heart rate reflected it.

    14/06/23 - 17.56K - 1:20:01 (4:33/km) - HR - 141

    A session of 20 Easy, 20 x 1 min on/off, 20 Easy. This is the shortest this session is going to get before working backwards to the longer intervals. The target pace was 3:30/km and after hitting close to this for most of the 2 min intervals last week I was hoping for a relatively "easy" workout so to speak but it certainly wasn't. I was doing this in a park in Dublin rather than my usual loop of the industrial estate and there is a not insignificant climb in it which definitely had an impact. The shortly recovery of just 1 min off and the volume of doing 20 reps was also challenging.

    All this being said I put in a good shift and more or less hit target pace for all, I think two reps were 3:31 but the accuracy of pace for these shorter reps is also questionable. Even though the overall session was quite a bit shorter than what I've been doing over the past few weeks it was a tough one.

    15/06/23 - 12.44K - 1:05:06 (5:14/km) - HR - 122

    Still in Dublin for the next few days but took a different route for this out along the coast and back. A really pleasant run with the weather we are having and nice and flat too so ideal for recovery.

    16/06/23 - 13.01K - 1:08:02 (5:14/km) - HR - 124

    Reverted back to my usual Dublin 65 min loop for this but in reverse. I should also have been doing the 5 x strides in this but I had a bit of tightness in my hamstring so decided against it. A bit of rolling afterwards seemed to sort it all out and I've a session with the physio next week for a good massage.

    17/06/23 - 24.80K - 1:50:02 (4:26/km) - HR - 140

    My weekend plans meant switching the long run back to Saturday and being in Dublin meant the Phoenix Park which is in my top 3 places to run so always a joy. A breakdown of 30 Easy, 50HMP, 30 Easy with target HMP of 4:03/km. The weather had turned a bit with wind and rain and not quite as hot but still feeling relatively humid. I hadn't been sleeping great for a few nights before this and wasn't feeling confident so willing to be a bit flexible on the pace if I needed be.

    Starting off on the 30 Easy and again feeling a bit slugglish but just kept ticking along knowing the first 2K or so of the HMP effort was more of less downhill so I could just ease into. In a wonderful turn of events as soon as I picked up to HMP the legs responded fantastically. The first 2K ticked by in 4:00/km pace exactly before heading to up the S bends along military road where my paced actually picked up a bit and I was through the first 5K in 19:50. I was aware I was going a bit too fast compared to target pace but the legs felt so good it was really difficult to not go with it. I just felt like I was able to glide along the whole way and the pace only picked up more for the last few K, averaging closer to 3:50/km and even still not feeling like I was pushing it. Overall the average pace for the 50 block was 3:56/km and absolutely could have just kept going. The coach did tell me at the start of this that my then tempo pace I was working with would eventually be the pace I would do these longer sessions at and I didn't believe him at the time but here we are.

    I know I probably should have slowed the pace down a bit despite how good I was feeling but this really was one of those rare unicorn days where running felt amazing and I wanted to enjoy it a bit. A world of difference compared to 2 weeks ago when I struggled to keep up 4:05 pace past 30 mins.

    18/06/23 - 12.43K - 1:05:04 (5:14/km) - HR - 121

    I still had the good vibes after the previous day and the legs felt surprisingly ok. I started off a bit quicker than this average pace but slowed it down a bit, easy runs still need to be easy.

    The run I had on Saturday is the one I've been waiting for since starting this new training program. The coach repeatedly tells me this phase is not designed specifically to have a large training effect but I know it is having some and it is great to finally really feel it. And while it's only one training run, it's also given me a lot more confidence that my targets while ambitious may not be completely unrealistic. The challenge now is to try replicate this feeling in a few weeks come the day of the half marathon and again for the marathon.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    20/06/23 - 12.41K - 1:05:04 (5:15/km) - HR - 122

    A relaxed but humid easy run to start the week off. The legs were feeling a bit more tired here than I would have liked, maybe the previous weekends long run finally catching up with me.

    21/06/23 - 22.19K - 1:40:01 (4:30/km) - HR - 140

    Starting to repeat the previous sessions now so this week was back out to 20 Easy, 15 x 2 On/Off, 20 Easy with target pace of 3:33/km. I was in Dublin again so back to the park with a bit of an incline in part and of course a headwind too this day. The way the reps worked out it meant every third one was all up this incline and into wind so I knew hitting pace on this one probably wasn't realistic and this turned out to be the case. These reps the pace was between 3:35-3:38 but all the others 3:30 or under.

    Not a bad session but the legs weren't exactly feeling the best. I had a physio session the previous day and I think this took a small bit out of them. It does show me though that hills are definitely still my biggest weakness. The current plan doesn't really have anything hill specific but might look at that in the next phase with the coach.

    Even though some of the other sessions are longer I think I find the 2 min On/Off variation the toughest but it's definitely a good one for building strength. 30 mins of total running of just under 5K pace, not bad.

    22/06/23 - 11.47K - 1:08:03 (5:56/km) - HR - 111

    My partner is back for a short while so the first 35 mins of this was out with her at about 6:35/km and then continued the remainder at my usual easy pace.

    23/06/23 - 11.34K - 1:10:03 (6:11/km) - HR - 111

    A small adaption to my plan getting out with my partner again. This was her long run for the week before a wedding we were going to at the weekend. For her it was a breakdown of 20 Easy, 30 Steady, 20 Easy. She has been training very well on her own following a plan I've given her which has been inspired by my own. She is about 7 weeks into it now and this was the first time for me to get out with her since she started it. She is really making excellent progress, the steady pace averaged about 5:35/km which is only 10sec per km slower than her 5K PB from back in March which I'm confident she would smash at her next attempt. Her next race though is 10 miler next weekend which I'll be doing with her.

    24/06/23 - 26.24K - 2:00:02 (4:34/km) - HR - 140

    A breakdown of 30, 60, 30 with the target pace of the 60 block of 4:03/km and based on last week this shouldn't have been a problem. A nice and early start to get it done before travelling for the wedding but even still the weather was just something else compared to the rest of the week. It said it was 19C but the humidity was as bad as I've felt it all year and in direct sunlight it felt very warm.

    I was doing this in Dublin again but around the Portmarnock/Malahide so purposefully include a bit of elevation in the route to not have it too flat. Starting off on the 30 easy and I was already sweating hard and a bit of doubt was creeping into my mind but I tried to stay positive. Getting into the 60 block then and it was immediately obvious I was feeling very different to last week. The first K came in exactly on target pace and I kept this up for 5K or so but it was just so hot and humid. I had to be honest with myself and I knew the pace was unsustainable for the 60 minutes so I made the conscious decision to slow the pace down not worry about the target and just run by feel. This is different to 3 weeks ago when I just hit a wall, at least here it was in my control. I probably slowed down a bit too much for the next 2 K before picking the pace up to marathon effort and holding that for the rest of it. This felt pretty manageable and I could have pushed a more but it was no longer about pace, just effort and getting the time in the legs.

    The average pace for the 60 block ended up being 4:10/km so well outside the target. It would be easy to be a bit disappointed with this run but the conditions were definitely not ideal and I think I made the correct call in slowing it down a bit. I still got a good 60 minutes of effort in and I know from last week that there is a lot more in the tank in the right conditions. Looking at some other people on Strava I think they were all feeling the heat too.

    25/06/23 - 12.43K - 1:05:39 (5:17/km) - HR - 121

    Completely different weather conditions for this with wind and rain but after a late night at the wedding this was just a pure slog to get done. It was very tempting to forgo it but apart from injury I haven't missed a day of this plan yet and I'm not starting now.

    Not the most spectacular week of training but it was consistent and I will take that above anything else. Next week I have a slightly lower load, I still have my midweek session but at the weekend as I said above I am going to be pacing my partner in her 10 mile race. All cleared with the coach of course and we will treat it as a bit of a deload week which is probably needed with my own HM coming up in just under 3 weeks time now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭token56

    27/06/23 - 12.28K - 1:05:23 (5:19/km) - HR - 120

    28/06/23 - 22.57K - 1:40:01 (4:26/km) - HR - 137

    A session of 20 w/u, 10 x 3 On/Off, 20 c/d. I got to do this on my preferred flat loop of the industrial estate although it was pretty blustery so still not straight forward. Target pace for the 3 min On was 3:33/km which I was a small bit inside for most of them.

    The pace for the reps were: 3:33, 3:31, 3:30, 3:30, 3:29, 3:29, 3:28, 3:30, 3:29, 3:25. So compared to about a month ago a couple of seconds quicker per rep although it still felt like a slog but I grinded it out well.

    29/06/23 - 11.31K - 1:05:02 (5:45/km) - HR - 112

    30/06/23 - 12.67K - 1:05:04 (5:08/km) - HR - 123

    01/07/23 - 16.20K - 1:37:16 (6:00/km) - HR - 115

    Pacing duties at the Roscommon 10K with my partner. It was tricky conditions again on the day with a strong enough breeze blowing and the course had a few nice little drags on it. I wasn't really sure what sort of pace she could manage for distance and she has only been over this distance once and not at this pace but based on her training I did have 6 min/km in my head so this is what we set off at. As I said there were a few nice pulls over different parts for there was a small bit of variation between some k's but overall she managed to be remarkably consistent. First 5K in 30:02, second 5K in 29:54, 3rd 5K in 30:19 which she really had to dig deep for. Even managed a bit of a sprint finished at the end. Incredibly well done to her.

    02/07/23 - 12.56K - 1:05:07 (5:13/km) - HR - 120

    04/07/23 - 12.51K - 1:05:07 (5:12/km) - HR - 123

    05/07/23 - 25.25K - 1:50:01 (4:21/km) - HR - 142

    A session of 20 w/u, 10 x 4 On 3 Off, 20 c/d. Back in Dublin for this one so not as flat a loop around the park but I was able to get consistency by running between the exact same corners for each rep and jog between them for the recoveries. Target pace for the 4 min on was 3:36.

    The pace for the reps were: 3:36, 3:34, 3:33, 3:33, 3:31, 3:32, 3:31, 3:32, 3:32, 3:29. Again a noticeable improvement since I did this session a few weeks and apparently another sub 1:30 half during this according to Strava. However I think I pushed this one a bit too hard. My legs haven't felt as tired after a run in a long time and the calves in particular were very tight.

    06/07/23 - 12.33K - 1:05:04 (5:17/km) - HR - 123

    The legs and body in general were still really feeling drained from the previous day on this. Thankfully I had a session with the physio later to get a bit of treatment and loosened out.

    07/07/23 - 12.55K - 1:05:38 (5:14/km) - HR - 124

    08/07/23 - 14.45K - 1:05:01 (4:30/km) - HR - 138

    Starting to taper for the race next Sunday on this session, 20 Easy, 15 x 1 On/Off, 15 Easy. However I ended up doing this on the treadmill. Going to bed the night before this, all was ok apart from the legs still feeling a bit tired. But when I woke up for some reason I had a very strange pain just above my right knee which is my "better" one. It's not really a pain I was familiar with but did seem to be improving the more I moved but I was still a bit concerned. I decided to use the treadmill so that if there was any signs of an issue I could stop and not be stuck a couple of kilometers from home. Thankfully it went fine and since then no pain at all. A very strange one indeed.

    09/07/23 - 11.71K - 1:05:02 (5:33/km) - HR - 116

    Again my legs were feeling trashed so I took this one very slow. Of course just as I headed off on the run it started to rain, and rain, and rain some more, even with a bit of thunder and lightning. And just as I came to finish my run it brightened up with blue skies behind me and no rain for the next few hours.

    A big week this week with the half marathon on Sunday and I am feeling quite nervous ahead of it. The legs feeling so tired the past week hasn't helped but on my run today they seemed to have recovered well enough and with a nice taper this week I don't think this should be an excuse. I actually took a drive around the loop it is going to take place on and there are some nice little hills especially on the finish but I can't think too much about that. It is what it is and if I wanted a perfectly flat loop I should have stuck with Clontarf last week.

    I guess the anxiety is more just about what sort of shape I'm actually in and what pace I should target. This phase of training has been going well and I've executed most of the sessions I've been set. However there have been some of the longer sessions that didn't go to plan and this definitely gives me a bit of self doubt. To be on target for a sub 3hr marathon I would want to be somewhere around the 1:25 mark so about 4 min/km pace. The furthest I've raced before is 10K so it just seems like such a big step up but I have to believe I'm capable of it. I've a call later in the week with the coach to talk about the race and targets etc, so hopefully that will settle the nerves a bit.

    I also need to remember this isn't the goal race but even still I want to give a good account of myself. Hopefully I can report back with a positive update next week.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,454 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Good luck on Sunday!