Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2 of 16: Firing Up

Melbourne Marathon 2015 - Week 2 of 16

It's now the second week of my Melbourne Marathon training program and it's time to start firing up my legs. After a difficult first week I really want to have some successful runs. I know from experience that it can take a few weeks for me to start feeling good with this program, but the sooner the better I say! 

Tuesday 7 July

The first session of the week was a relatively easy speed session of 4x 800m with a 2min RI. Today, with beautiful weather at lunch time I decided to head down to the Olympic Park track (Westpac Centre) and run there. Of course, this track is a little odd distance, I think it is ~520m around; which means using the track markers that I do equates to ~840m per rep. And I feel every one of those extra 40m! And instead of a 2min rest between reps I just walk back easily to the start point so ~200m before running hard again. Sounds complicated but is pretty simple!

The target pace was 2.57min per 800m and, of course, I had not worked out what this equated to, so it is only now that I can see that this means a 3.06min time for the 840m I did.

I started on the first rep and went out way too hard. I think I got a bit carried away and found the last few hundred metres a struggle. I completed this in 3.08 - which I now know is just a bit behind plan, but at the time I thought it was way slow. I took the next three reps more sedately at the start and finished stronger, doing these in 3.06, 3.07 and 3.07. In retrospect I am very happy with these times. 

When pushing hard and breathing deeply I can feel my chest wheezing just a little so I know I am still not 100%, so to run strong is great and gives me some confidence! Nice :-)

Wednesday 8 July

This week was the start of a new season of Nike+ Run Club, with the theme of "Find Your Fast" where, over an eight-week period, we will be encouraging runners to improve their time over the mile distance. It's pretty cool, with a measured mile each week, some new courses, an extra run each week on the track and some cool guest coaches. The "Zoom Boom" will be in full swing.

I led the 6m/k 10k group by myself tonight as we were short of leaders. A small group of gazelles were keen to run off the front, but most of us stayed together until the mile where we spread apart. I tried to run at ~5.30 pace here so a bit quicker than our overall average. Lots of fun!

Friday 10 July

To Friday and the second fast run for the week. On paper it looked pretty easy to be honest. 8k @4.37m/k with a warm up and cool down attached to it. I'd run on my normal Yarra River loop where I can average 4.30's for the whole run with only moderate effort. So I thought this would not trouble me. As it turned out the day was a bit windy and my legs are not feeling very zippy. In fact, they feel heavy and sluggish. So what should have been a comfortable run actually required some effort in the back half to bring it in on schedule.

I think I need to get a massage or something (stretching??? foam rolling!!!!!) to help here. And I can feel some visits to my trust physio Rob O'Donnell at Southern Suburbs coming on too.

Sunday 12 July

Some days are just plain hard. This weekend a cold front has descended on Melbourne bringing low temperatures, wind and rain. It is decidedly ordinary and if not for commitment to "the plan" I would definitely have stayed at home today. But the plan called for a 24k long run and so out into the rain I went to get the job done.

I headed down South Rd to begin, knowing that I would pick up the north-west wind for the section along the beach. I felt ok to start with, except a little tight in my right hamstring. Target pace was 5.04m/k so about 5 sec/km slower than I ran last Sunday for only a few km longer. I planned to run at ~5m/k to start with, knowing that the last 6-7km back from the beach up to home would slow me down a little.

I went through 6k @4.55 average and turned onto the beach path where I could definitely feel the tailwind. When I reached the Black Rock clock tower at just over 12k I was still averaging under 5 m/k so was happy though feeling cold. My cool new Nike Vapor jacket was keeping out the wind but was not designed to keep out rain for an hour so I was wet through.

The next 4k are undulating around Beaumaris and by now my right hamstring (or popliteus) was starting to feel pretty tight and I could not stride out freely. Turning onto Charman Rd I had about 100 seconds "spare" so knew I could run 5.12's from here home and be on target pace. I tried to shorten my stride and keep the cadence up and ran pretty well up to and past Southland. By now I just wanted to get home and ran conservatively strong through the finish, completing 24.2km at 5.03m/k.

I am pretty pleased with this run on an ordinary day. When I reflect on this week I have hit my target pace for each session, but none of them have felt comfortable. I've certainly 'Fired Up' as was the plan, now to build on this and get to a point where the pace feels good instead of a struggle.

Training Program:
Full session details for my whole training plan here.

Strava links for the week:
Tuesday - Four 800-ish's 7.9k @5.00; 4x ~800m with 200m walk recovery
Wednesday - Nike+ Run Club 9.9k @5.59; easy run
Friday - Windy Tempo 10.3k @4.43; incl 8k @4.36
Sunday - Rule #9 24.2k @5.03; cold, wet & windy

Week 2 of 16 (this week): 4 runs, 52.4km, 4 hrs 30 mins
Week 1 of 16: 4 runs, 50.1km, 4 hrs 11 mins
Total: 8 runs, 102.4 km, 8 hrs 41 mins

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