Sunday, April 29, 2012

Only 5 weeks to go.....

Since the last post I've taken the leap and entered the Cork City Marathon.  So I suppose now I've got to get serious!!

Training has generally been going well but true to form soon after I spent my money on the entry I got a slight groin injury.  This happened last week and threatened to end my marathon career before it ever really started.  The last time I got a similar injury it took over a month to heal but this time it turned out that a few days rest and some TLC in the form of ice and light stretching was enough to put things right.  This week things are back on track.  So hopefully no major harm done.

Since I missed my planned long run last weekend I was all the more determined to go 20+ miles today.  It was just as well that I was determined because when I woke up at 06:30 I was less than motivated.  But the sun was shining and I knew that the weather was due to turn later on so off I went.  

My plan was to head out at a comfortable 7:30 min/mile pace matching my 20mile run of a couple of weeks ago and again carrying no fuel or water.  I was banking on the three weetabix and the glass of apple juice that I had just before I left the house to carry me through!   The run went reasonably well despite a slight calf cramp from miles 9 to 11, a stomach cramp at mile 21 and sore feet by mile 22, not to mention the the obligatory chafing .  It's encouraging to think that if I could keep today's pace going it would be a 3:15 marathon; respectable enough for a first attempt wouldn't you think!? 

Pace Splits (min/mile)
Miles 1 to 5       7:34, 7:25, 7:32, 7:31, 7:26    (Avg 7:30)
Miles 6 to 10     7:17, 7:16, 7:18, 7:24, 7:25    (Avg 7:20)
Miles 11 to 15   7:31, 7:26, 7:25, 7:25, 7:27    (Avg 7:27)
Miles 16 to 20   7:23, 7:27, 7:30, 7:34, 7:23    (Avg 7:28)
Miles 21 to 22   7:47, 7:15                              (Avg 7:32)

Today's long run (22.32miles in 2:46:17, avg 7:27min/mile) around Cork City....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Running Long...

Although it's probably the kiss of death my training since Mallow10 has gone reasonably well. My weekly mileage has been 62 (6 runs), 37 (5 runs), 44 (5 runs) and 51 (6 runs).  All very good (for me).

Each week I've tried to put in at least one tempo/progression session but my main workout has been the weekly long run.  This long run has increased from 11 to 13 to 18 to 20 over the last 4 weeks.  I wouldn't call these run "long slow runs" but they have been long.  I've run these based on a perceived 'easy' effort which means a pace of approx 7:30.

Today was my most successful long run ever.  Way back in August 2009 I'd attempted a 20 mile run from Ardmore to Dungarvan and back but due to a number of reasons it wasn't very successful and it gave me a new found respect to running long.  I haven't tried running 20+ miles since!  However, now that I'm older and a bit (but not much) wiser my run from Ardmore to near Midleton today went much better. 

Ardmore to Ballintotis (Midleton) Sunday 15th April 2012
I set out from Ardmore at 8am in bright sunshine with a clear blue sky and an icy NE wind.  The plan was to leave with a 2 hour head start on the rest of my family who would pick me up (hopefully alive) at some point along the road. My planned pace was a repeat of last weeks 'easy' long run and go 17 miles at 7:30 pace or better.  Mile splits were 7:28; 7:18; 7:35; 7:17; 7:20; 7:18; 7:31; 7:19; 7:34; 7:25; 7:08; 7:21; 7:17; 7:23; 7:22; 7:20; 7:18; 7:35; 7:46; 7:45.  That's 20 miles at an average of 7:25 min/mile.

My family eventually caught up with me at Ballintotis (near Midleton) and proceeded to drive past!  Apparently my wife had her own plan that no matter where she passed me she would drive to and park at the 20 mile point.  There she would wait for me to arrive (who needs a tough coach!!).  Luckily I was nearly there when she arrived!

Most of the run felt easy (7:21 pace to 17 miles) but I had to work hard on the long uphill section around Youghal (mile 9). Miles 19 & 20 were also a bit harder than the rest as I ran out of fuel & water; neither of which I carried with me.  I must start experimenting with some gels to see if there's any benefit to be had..... ???

Given that the long runs are going so well I'm also seriously considering making a Marathon debut in Cork at the start of June.  All I have to do now is to take the plunge and enter!   I also need to increase the length of these long runs.  I'd like to get a few 22+ mile runs in over the next few weeks and then taper back for the second half of May.  BTW how should someone 'taper'???  Any advice?

The rest of the today was spent supporting these two girls from team Little Panda :) at the Leevale Open Sports.....