Friday, July 17, 2015

3 of 16: Long and Strong

Melbourne Marathon 2015 - Week 3 of 16

Marathon training week three and I am really into the swing now. The routine is there, I am (gradually) getting used to doing the sprint sessions again and my distance is building up. My main objective this week is to have a good long run on the weekend. The plan is for 27.5k and I want to run this feeling strong, something which I have struggled to do in the first two weeks. I feel that really nailing these long runs is the key for me and I aim to do these better than last year (and I was pretty happy with those!)

Tuesday 14 July

This week began with a descending interval set of 1200m, 1000m, 800m, 600m and 400m; each with a 200m recovery. The target times for these were way quick and, to be honest, I kind of set them out of my mind as I ran. Which is to say I just ran each as hard as I could, knowing that I was unlikely to make any of the times. I find that the target times up to 800m intervals seem ok, but above that I struggle.

Like so many of my runs these days, I incorporated the set into a loop along the Yarra totalling just over 10k. This means that I get some headwind, some tail, some inclines and some downhill. Which is pretty fine for a tempo set, but for intervals means that you can be out a bit just from variations in the terrain and conditions.

Absolutely none of which bothers me. I just run hard!

How did it feel? Well, ok for the 1200 and 1000 - though when I check the times they were only run in 4.01 and 3.58 pace so slow-ish (vs target). The 800 was a bit better, the 600m a struggle (I ran a slower pace than for the 800) and the 400 I just pushed hard. It was a bit higgledy-piggledy but that's life. Unfortunately not my greatest session, but good to tick another one off!

Wednesday 15 July

Nike Run Club on Wednesday was week 2 of the "Find Your Fast" promotion and I led what has become my favourite group, the 10k 5.30m/k crew. It was just me leading the team around and we incorporated some faster sections with slower recovery parts, instead of the regular steady-paced effort. The crowning achievement was the 'magic mile' where we are encouraged to go for it, and I stayed with our slowest folks who still ran less than 5m/k which was fantastic. Lots of fun as always.

Thursday 16 July

Normally my second main session for the week is on a Friday, but I shuffled some things around this week so I could run on Thursday. (Oddly enough, this is the first Thursday I have done any exercise in six months!) This week's tempo was 8k - just like last week - but at 4.29m/k which was 8sec/km faster than last time. After my warm up km it was into the work and I set a pretty steady pace the whole way round, never really deviating too much from the plan. I covered the 8k at 4.27m/k so a few seconds ahead of plan and feeling good. I tend to enjoy these runs more and find them way more manageable than the sprints. I'm thinking of changing my long run to Saturday this week so the Thursday tempo will work for that too!

Saturday 18 July

I have been looking forward to this long run all week and after some ordinary weather for much of the last fortnight Melbourne turned on a cracking morning for this one. It was a beautiful winter's day - cool and sunny with a light breeze which would be behind me for most of my run.

This week "long and strong" was my focus so I had placed a special emphasis on having a great run today. My first two long runs had not left me feeling energised and I wanted this one to feel great. I decided to run down to the beach at Elwood, then along the last 16k or so of the Melbourne Marathon course. The target pace was 5.04m/k so the same as last week and not something which should feel particularly hard.

I headed down South Rd and was immediately into a bit of a groove at just under 5.00 pace. Turning right onto the beach path and I felt good. My pace remained fairly even and I reached Elwood (12k) averaging 4.56m/k. I stopped here briefly for a drink of water and a High 5 gel before kicking on again. So far so good and I was well ahead of schedule. I figured that I'd slow a little around the back of the Tan so wanted a 30 sec buffer, but was travelling well ahead of that pace so kept going.

I followed the beach path all the way into St Kilda at which point, after a short loo stop, I headed over the road and joined the 'course proper' at Fitzroy Street. As I headed up the slight incline I thought of all the folks who complain about the "hill" here when, in fact, it is only a gentle and short rise. Or at least it is when you are feeling good as I was.

Turning left on St Kilda Road and though it feels like you are on the home stretch, in reality there is still 12k to go. My pace definitely quickened along here and I ran the next 8 km's in sub-4.50 pace. At the Arts Centre while I waited to cross the road I watched as a tram driver slowly and deliberately demolished the back half of a car which had made the mistake of sitting across the tracks. Amazing!

I reached the Tan Track and with 7k to go I had my second gel. The rise up to the Shrine felt really hard but was still a 4.58 so I guess it was more in my head than anything. By 22.5k I had reached the turn at Domain Road and proceeded to run freely up to Federation Square. The next four km got quicker and quicker down to a 4.42, probably getting carried away by running through the lunchtime crowd!

I rounded the bend to the MCG and ran all the way up to Punt Road where I stopped my watch in some kind of amazement as I had averaged a 4.52m/k pace for this run. And whilst I had an absolute buzz running this fast today and it felt great, I know I need to be careful to run more closely to plan, lest I leave my best efforts out on the training track. But I am really happy with this long and feel pumped for the weeks ahead!!

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

Strava links for the week:
Tuesday - Descending 10.3k @4.44; 12/10/8/6/4 aargh!
Wednesday - Nike+ Run Club 10.0k @5.37; fartlek style easy run
Thursday - 5 Miles of Tempo Goodness 10.4k @4.35; incl 8k @4.27
Saturday - Cracking Day for a Run 27.6k @4.52; a bit fast, but beautiful

Week 3 of 16 (this week): 4 runs, 58.3km, 4 hrs 46 mins
Week 2 of 16: 4 runs, 52.4km, 4 hrs 30 mins
Week 1 of 16: 4 runs, 50.0km, 4 hrs 11 mins
Total: 12 runs, 160.7 km, 13 hrs 27 mins

No comments:

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template 'Morning Drink' by 2008

Back to TOP