Tuesday, September 1, 2015

10 of 16: Strength

Melbourne Marathon 2015 - Week 10 of 16

My training plan is now into double figures (week ten) and I am starting to nail more of my sessions. This week my theme is 'strength' as I want to finish all my runs feeling strong, as though I could keep going further or run faster. I want to start to feel on top of this program, not just keeping up with it.

Tuesday 1 September

Spring has sprung! Or at least that's what everyone's Instagram posts were telling me today. I wasn't so sure, but when I got outside at lunch time there was no doubting it. The weather was just that little bit warmer and the wind had even died down a bit too. This was a great day for a run!

The session was similar to one I did last year, though the program from Furman's app has only four reps (the book had six). I did four, but felt let off a couple. Target pace was somewhere between 4.31-47 for each rep. I ran down to near Punt Road along the southern side of the Yarra and would run a 1200m course down to the steps just west of Swan Street bridge. After a two-minute rest interval I'd run back. Repeat four times and that was the main set.

On the first interval I started reasonably and looked at my watch about 200m in. It said I was at about 3.45 pace so that was spot on. I kept what I thought was an even tempo for the balance and was pretty shocked to see a 4.55 on the clock when I finished. Aargh!!! I think this was laziness and inattention more than feeling bad. I resolved to actually run harder on the next rep.

I was pleased to see a 4.32 for the second rep and a similar time of 4.34 for the third. By now I was getting tired, but I think that is the idea, and the fourth rep was good at 4.37 without being special. Overall I did them reps on a good average pace but they weren't as even as I'd like.

Compared to a year ago they were definitely faster, so once again I get confirmation that I am in better shape this time. And my achilles - it was no bother!

Wednesday 2 September

Tonight kept the theme from last Thursday's Nike Run Club 'Fastest Mile' event, being another wet and cold affair. We've been pretty lucky in general, but tonight was solid rain for the whole run of the 10k run. Not that it made a difference to us. There were no complaints and lots of laughs being had in the 5.30 group as we returned to the standard even paced runs after eight weeks of tempo, intervals and magic miles.

Thursday 3 September

I wasn't sure where I'd fit this run in today. Normally my lunch runs are 45-50 mins in length but this one was a 16k tempo run and was going to take nearly an hour and a quarter. Luckily I could arrange my schedule in a way that meant I could take a longer lunch break and just work later into the evening to make up the time. Thank goodness for flexible work arrangements (and a lack of meetings today). Like many other runs in this campaign, it would be my fastest long tempo run that I'd ever done - at a marathon pace of 4.30 min/km.

In keeping with my mantra this week of strength I wanted to make sure I was in control for this whole run. This meant running steadily, not banking any time, and dealing with the inevitable wind. I ran an out-and-back course along the Yarra River from the city all the way out to the Yarra Boulevard at Richmond where Sri Chinmoy hold their races.

The run itself was pretty standard. This pace doesn't feel easy, but it is not hard. Maybe a 6.5 out of 10 on the difficulty scale, rising a bit towards the end as the effort needs to increase. The wind was a factor, but I didn't let it bother me, and I focussed on trying to run every split the same.

My outbound splits were pretty good: 4.30/29/31/31/34/29/32/33. The 'slow' km was over the small undulations near MacRobertson Bridge, so I was only 8 sec behind pace at half way and felt good. I didn't really try to pick up the pace at all, but just wanted to continue to run strong. I ran the return 8k in splits of 4.30/26/27/27/28/28/27/30 to finish 10 sec ahead of pace. This is pretty bloody perfect as far as I am concerned and I was really happy.

As a comparison, I ran the same session last year around home, so a slightly flatter course. My heart rate stats for each 8k are identical (bizarre) but my speed this time is 9 sec/km quicker. I think that's more validation that I am in better shape and should be confident about my race goal.

Sunday 6 September

Today, Father's Day, and a chance to do whatever I wanted! It started off nicely with a cafe ride with Brooke which I always love. By the time we were making our way home the north wind was starting to pick up. (Have I said how much I am hating the wind these days!) The forecast was for it to get stronger throughout the day which it did. I spent the early part of the afternoon at the shops with my family then I just lay on my bed and slept; doing anything - or nothing - to avoid going for my planned long run. I was due to do a 'fast finish' 24k and had been looking forward to this, but it all got too hard and as the time passed, then got away from me, it looked like I'd actually do nothing at all.

At five o'clock I jumped up and got dressed to run. Out the door a minute later and it was straight into a 13k circuit down Dendy St to the beach then returning via South Rd. I was feeling a little angry, or emotional, not really sure, but didn't run sensibly. I decided I wanted a steady run to the beach then hard on the return. I started ok, but with second and third kilometres of 4.30 then 4.18 I was just being silly. I backed right off and ran the one in 4.32 then four km's in the 4.40's.

Heading up South Rd and I really tried to pick it up. Slightly uphill and with a cross-headwind I ran the next five k's in 4.34/29/34/18/30 - adjusted for the gradient that makes them all sub-4.20's. So I did get my 'fast finish' to the run, even if I didn't do the extra 11k that the plan called for. Not what the plan called for, but a long way from a total disaster.

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

Strava links for the week:
Tuesday - 1200's 9.7k @5.16; 4x1200
Wednesday - Nike Run Club 10k @5.32; easy run in the rain
Thursday - Marathon Tempo 16k @4.29; even paced 10 miler
Sunday - Hour of Power 13.2k @4.34; hard hour in lieu of 24k long run

Week 10 of 16 (this week): 4 runs, 48.8 km, 3:57 hrs
Week 9 of 16: 5 runs, 65.2 km, 5:30 hrs
Week 8 of 16: 4 runs, 59.0 km, 4:57 hrs
Week 7 of 16: 5 runs, 55.9 km, 4:35 hrs
Week 6 of 16: 4 runs, 44.1 km, 3:31 hrs
Week 5 of 16: 4 runs, 53.3 km, 4:21 hrs
Week 4 of 16: 5 runs, 65.8 km, 5:38 hrs
Week 3 of 16: 4 runs, 58.3 km, 4:46 hrs
Week 2 of 16: 4 runs, 52.4 km, 4:30 hrs
Week 1 of 16: 4 runs, 50.1 km, 4:11 hrs
Total: 43 runs, 552.6 km, 46:00 hrs

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