Showing posts from August, 2009

Brain Harvesting

Secondary - Aerobic Conditioning

I'm slightly confused at the aerobic conditioning runs being 'secondary'. You call these 'in between' runs. Are you not planning to have any easy days between the first four sessions (long run, marathon pace, V02, speed/anaerobic)? - Ewen

To clarify my current training. I tend to list my training runs in order of importance, rather than the intended chronological order. Being a shift worker on a rotating roster means the order of training is dictated by when I can do it, instead of what would otherwise be ideal.

So listing the sessions as follows:
Long Run Marathon Pace Run VO2 track intervals Speed/Anaerobic Conditioning Aerobic Conditioning Strength/Core ConditioningMeans over an 8-9 day period I will complete training in each of the above categories. Usually I will have a day of slightly easier running at aerobic conditioning intensity in between the harder runs (ie. long, marathon pace, VO2 or speed), but this isn't always the c…

Specific Marathon Training

This is it. The last chance to mould my mind and body for the marathon.

Before I reach the taper I have five calendar weeks of Specific Phase training. These five weeks will be covered as 4 x 8-9 day cycles. Each cycle will consist of the following:Long RunMarathon Pace RunVO2 track intervalsSpeed/Anaerobic ConditioningAerobic ConditioningStrength/Core ConditioningThe first four in the list are key, not-to-be-missed runs. The aerobic conditioning and strength work, while important is still secondary.As mentioned previously, I was heading towards a premature performance peak. Running a marathon on the downside of a peak is an invitation for a very poor result. Therefore, I am attempting to put the brakes on the recent, fast increase in racing ability and hopefully have myself in even better condition on October 11. To do this, the next five weeks will consist of some relentless training. The key difference will be instead of having some really hard key sessions that require 2-3 days of …

Coburg Fun Run 12km

I highly recommend the monthly fun runs put on by the Coburg Harriers each month. I have participated in their various events over all my years of running and they never disapoint. They have found a simple formula that works. Accurate, traffic free courses. A low key, very welcoming and friendly style that includes everyone of all abilities. With a little bit of tradition thrown in, it is the style of event that first really got me hooked on running.

This Sunday was a 12km affair. Two laps of an out and back course, starting at the Harold Steven's Athletic track and run along the Merri Creek path. A bit of wind and a reasonable hill makes for a good race. I'll be repeating the effort next month over the same course too. My plan is to go for placing and not worry too much about time. For me it's not a time trial, just a chance to try out some different race tactics based on how things unfold.

Still feeling a bit of extra weight in my legs, I decided on a long warm up. It real…

Until You Feel Better

Thankfully this week was scheduled for recovery. After the last 3 cycles of threshold training followed by a big effort in the Sandy Point Half last Sunday, I've been wasted all week. The key ingredient for a recovery week is actually recovery. While it sounds obvious, I do have a history of not really taking it easy enough. This time I've pretty much had no choice.

In the marathon build up, easy weeks have planned to include a 400m time trial, a maximal aerobic function test (MAF) and an easy 2 hour run, plus easy recovery/aerobic conditioning runs. This is easier than my harder weeks. The problem has been that I need it to be even easier of late. Maybe I'm getting old, but it's probably because I am making such rapid improvement, something has to give at some point.

I ran the MAF test the day before the half marathon and came out with a 4:19/km pace. A big improvement, and under the 4:20 I have been hoping to achieve prior to the marathon. The 400m time trial had to be…

Sandy Point Half Marathon

Any race that uses a picture of myself as promotion makes me think I should compete in it. Wouldn't want to disappoint the masses.

Last year my race slow and cold over the same course. A time of 1:30:20, was disappointing and a kick up the backside to get to what really works in training. Since then I have put in a lot of consistent kilometres and have seen some improvement. I was definitely going to race faster this year. Based on my race results over the last few months the hope was to see if I could get down to near 1:24:xx.

The weather was very different this year. Far from cold, in fact I think it was our warmest night in a few months. However, there was a Damaging Winds warning issued, with predictions of 65km/hr gales to slow things downs a bit. The winds hit, according to the weather sites: NNE averaging around 50km/hr with gusts of 76km/hr. That made for some interesting race tactics. Luckily the rain held off until after the race.

For some reason I felt ready with only 10 m…

A Bit of Inspiration

Sprinting is often considered a long way from marathon running. It's still high class running.


It was meant to a 3 hours and 10 minutes worth of running. Yes it was, very cold. The weater site suggested it was 0.1 degrees Celcius, but the amount of ice on everything suggested it below zero. A few layers, double gloved, beanied up and I only lasted 4km. My hands reached the point of no recovery. No blood flow to the fingers, pain, numbness and tissue damage. This was about the worst my Raynaud's had gotten. No chance of finishing the run.

Once back in the heated indoors, the painful process of rewarming began. The heat isn't the problem, the reperfusion of blood back to the ischaemic extremities just plain hurts. Surprisingly this leaves me excessively stuffed for about a day. Looks like that's one run scratched off the list.
Luckily the rest of training has been going exceptionally well, and I can't see any real problems with missing one long run. Just as long as I don't miss the next long run.

Marathon Pace - More Numbers

Last Sunday was a massive confidence boost. It's still seems a little strange that a race where I held back by a lot showed I should be able to reach my marathon goals:
Run sub 3:00:00 in the Melbourne Marathon 2009Keeping in mind my PR over the distance is 3:09:10 back in 2003, it is a big ask to take about 10 minutes off.
To move beyond my initial excitement, and be more objective I need to geek things up and crunch the numbers.

I've used the following numbers to guide my training: HRmax: 188 MAF HR: 153 (81%HRmax) Aerobic Conditioning: 132-153 (70-81%) Threshold Zone 154-169 (82-90%)
From the Princes Park 30km: HRav 157 (83.5%) @ 4:13/km (translating to a marathon time of 2:58:07)
Excluding the first 5km where I overestimated my pace and ran relatively slowly at 4:23/km, the next 20km were fairly consistent. The averages as listed above appear to be a very good guide as to what I should be aiming at. It will be interesting to see how my marathon pace training runs reflect these numb…