Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Taper update...

While training during the taper is largely going to plan everything in life else isn't flowing so smoothly.

For those few who read this thing I thought I had better check in for the last time before race day and log what I have been up to...before I forget more of the details.

Thankfully I'm on the back end of life's current dramas that affected my training and everything is starting to sort itself out. Hopefully for the better so that I can resume my dedication to training to achieve whatever goal I set myself next. At the moment I'm in two minds about what I want to do. Go long or get fast? Or can I do both at the same time? Perhaps someone reading this can help me out there.

Coming off last years running highs and expecting my training to climb up and stand on the back of those triumphs was a little naive of me. I should have focused on the moment instead of trying to relive my training glory. With lifes ever changing processes I should focus on the NOW!! I'm beginning to see this reality and I'm learning.

With all that said and done I'll get into my training, which thankfully (but a little late) has turned a corner and I can feel myself improving (getting fitter) almost every day. Much of the speed that I had built last year has come back into my legs and the big question that is now before me is whether or not I'll have the endurance to go with it on race day. OK enough rambling and time to get down with the numbers. Actually now that I have looked at it maybe I have done a little too much. Time will be my witness.

Training log:

Friday: 90 minute run w/ repeat miles @ marathon to tempo pace
A great run on a glorious day. Ran out to the Nepean Lakes and ran the mile repeats around the 5km path. The effort felt comfortable during the faster running with the first few repeats at around 3:50 pace, finishing up with the last two repeats averaging around low 3:40 pace. Great run.

Saturday: 16k w/ MP (effort) tempo
Bit vague on the details here but I'm thinking that I ran about 11k+ at marathon effort (168bpm) which worked out to be around 3:50 pace. Felt good.

Sunday: 8km w/ 5-6km @ MP
Again can't remember too many of the details but another good effort at around 3:50 pace. My average heart rate during faster running was around 158bpm (79%MHR) which previously was the effort I ran my easy runs at last year. Perhaps I'm fitter now.

Monday: 17km easy in 1:12
I ran the same run that I ran last week and while it felt easy I improved the time by six minutes. I wasn't wearing the GPS on this run, only a watch as I didn't want to get too hung up on the numbers and start pushing myself. Big surprise to see that I finished the run so much quicker. Feeling great.

Tuesday: 11.5km in 0:48 - Treadmill session
Spent the day with my son so booked him into childminding at the gym while I put in my last speed session. Nice and short and felt great. Ran two 1600s at tempo (around 6:00) and two 1200s in around 4:00 flat (5k effort). Couldn't believe how easy they felt. Four 30 second strides at max (treadmill) speed to complete the session. Bouncing of the walls now. Had to convince myself to get off and stop running.

Wednesday: 7+km w/ 3.2km at marathon effort (~29mins) + 30min soccer coaching (before rain)
Really had to check myself during this run and stop running faster. During the warmup and cooldown I almost felt like I was stumbling along at an easy effort but every time I looked at my watch I was hovering around marathon pace. During the faster running I stopped looking at the watch and ran by feel. Post run the watch revealed that I was gradually increasing the pace each km split from 3:50-3:46-3:42. It didn't feel like I was running that quickly.

Thursday: The hardest day of the week - the day of rest.
A 30 minute run wouldn't kill me though would it?

Friday: 20-30 minute run w/ fast finish
Last run before race and the start of the carb loading

Saturday: Race Day
Having only run the race once I expect that I will at least set a personal best (as I have already run the course faster on two separate occasions - once as a training run and the second time when I ran 12FT last year).

Same carb loading protocol and pre-race routine as last time (see blog entry before Cities Marathon last July)

Next post: the race result...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

the end of the week...

My effort to post an entry everyday failed quickly. Nearly through the first week of my two week taper and I'm starting to feel aerobically fresh. Of course my legs are still sore and I have some niggles and a small injury which concerns me. My achilles are particularly sore but I'm hoping with some reduced volume next week and less running in my flats they will heal up.
My small injury is not of major concern but I managed to hurt my upper hamstring/glute and shin when climbing (and falling) over a steel fence on Wednesday. Should be OK though.

Training update (from memory):

Wednesday: AM) 70 minutes w/ ~7k @ threshold 1x3k, 1k, 6x500m + 15 minutes hill running @ 12.5%
Felt stronger as the session progressed.

Thursday: Noon) 75 minutes steady ~17km
Great run out to the Whitewater stadium and back. Took it out at a relaxed pace and gradually picked it up on the way back. Starting to feel my fitness coming on.

Friday (planned): Noon) 90-100 mins w/ 5 x 1600m @ HMP w/ 400m steady


Decided not to carb deplete for this event after feeling like absolute crap during my runs on Monday and Tuesday. With the addition of some carbs (fruits) I have started feeling much better and my runs have continued to improve. Thinking about targeting a race in May which I would like to peak for instead.

The diet has been very simple and something along the lines of:
Breakfast: handfuls of nuts and seeds, and a little dried fruit (apple, dates, raisins) + black coffee
Snacks: Fruit - Bananas, etc
Lunch: salad with more nuts and seeds + green tea
Dinner: some protein with more salad and veggies

I'm trying to watch how much I eat as my training volume tails off as I get closer to the event.

Monday, March 2, 2009

tuesday 3 march


noon) 46 min easy w/ surges (about 10k)

While I planned on running 3 x 3k at lunch it ended up not fitting into my schedule. I had forgotten about a mandatory work function that I have to attend over the next two days which will make finding the time to train somewhat difficult. During my second run this afternoon I'll give the session a go if I'm feeling up to it.


Breakfast: scrambled eggs (3) w/ spinach in olive oil
Snack: carrots (2), walnuts & sunflower seeds
Post-run: small yoghurt, peaches (2), banana - note: kept carbs to 1g/kg of bodyweight (~70g)
Lunch: sardines, carrots, cherry tomatoes
Dinner: Meat w/ steamed veggies

Sunday, March 1, 2009

sunday to monday 1-2 March


Sunday - Long run 36km in 2:40 - Blaxland to Hawkesbury Heights LO out 'n' back

Felt terrible during the start of the run and I wasn't thinking that I was going to make it through but about 10 minutes in everything fell into place and the running got easy. I started feeling good and the pace picked up. Hit the turn around right on 1:20 and came back in the same time. Groin started feeling a little niggly at the turn around but was no trouble after. Have to keep an eye on it. Smoothie and ice bath helped with the recovery.

Monday - 1 hour easy w/ 4.5km @ marathon pace + 6 x The Sanctuary Drive Hills

Legs felt loose and relaxed but my left Achilles was a little sore before warming up. Parked the car at the River Road carpark. Ran easy for about 5 minutes then decided to pick it up to marathon pace running along the eastern river bank. Crossed over the river, headed for the hills and then ran six fast repeats up the notorious road (rise between 12 and 15 percent). Legs felt good during the repeats (averaging 3:30-3:40 pace) and the cardio was worked before heading back along the river for the cooldown.


Breakfast: oats cooked in rice milk w/ 3 eggs and maple syrup (last carb meal)
Snack: peaches, walnuts
Lunch: sardines w/ chilies, avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrots + 4 fish oil capsules (immediately post-run)
Snack: carrots, walnuts
Dinner: porterhouse steak w/ fried peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes

Taper time again...

Yesterday's long run signaled the start of the taper period leading into my next race. A hilly off-road 45km ultramarathon. Usually not my happiest time as it usually brings around a lot of self-doubt and worries that I haven't done enough or perhaps I have done too much or.... well you get the idea!

My plan is to follow what worked for before the Cities Marathon in July last year but with a few tweaks here and there with my training. I'm going into this event a little under-trained compared to last time so I'm going to try and hold a little more volume in the first week before a big reduction in race week volume trying to freshen up.

Training plan:

sun - 36k in 2:40 (1:20 out/1:20 back) - already run
mon - 1h easy + 6 x short fast hills
tue - 20' warmup + 3-4 x 3k MP-LT + 1 x 2k fast (am) // 1h easy (pm)
wed - 45' easy (am) // 16k w/ 8k @ MP (noon)
thu - 90' easy (am)
fri - 13k w/ 10k MP
sat - 1h easy + 12k MP or 5 x 2k LT
sun - 90' easy
mon - 45' easy (am) // 1h w/ 4 x 1200m @ LT + 6 x 100m hill sprints (noon)
tue - 8k w/ 5k MP
wed - 6k w/ 3k MP
thu - REST
fri - 20-30' easy w/ last 2.5' fast/ 30" flat out (before carb load)
sat - RACE

Taper Diet:

- 9 days carb depletion
- 2 days start adding carbohydrates while reducing protein and fats
- 1 day carb load (10-12g carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight)

During the carb depletion phase I'll eliminate all carbohydrates except for a small amount in the post-exercise window following longer and hard workouts to allow for some glycogen replacement to provide for some recovery between sessions.

Pretty much the same taper program as last time which I felt worked and I hope will give me a similar result in two weeks time.

I'll try and post a daily account of my training, diet and thoughts leading up to race day as I did in the past.

Day 2: Early start

After discovering that my wife's bike had been stolen from the bus stop where I had chained it up for my ride home last night meant that...