Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Double Tempo

I had been taking it fairly easy over the weekend, which meant that I felt fully recovered from my 20/20 double header by Monday. Unfortunately, driving my Dad to Cork airport for a 7:45 am flight meant getting up shortly after 4 am and still not being able to run. Actually I could have slept a bit longer, the drive didn’t take as long as anticipated. On the plus side it meant I was able to go shopping and still be home in time for the school run. The weather at lunchtime was foul indeed, and I went to the gym to run 5 miles on the treadmill. This was a tempo run, and I started out at 13 km/h, and gradually increased the pace until I was doing 16 km/h towards the end, almost 6:00 pace. I had set the incline to 1 percent, but I’m sure I would not have been able to sustain constantly faster paces like that on the road. Treadmill running is different. The biggest plus of the fast pace was that I could get off that infernal machine a little bit quicker.

5 miles isn’t exactly my normal daily range, and after coming home from work I threw on my runners and headed out for another quick 5 miles. The kids were behaving, and Niamh gave permission. This turned into another tempo run, slightly slower than the treadmill one, but faster than expected all the same. I haven’t got time to do another tempo effort before Sunday’s 10-mile race in Ballycotton, but I’m very happy with the way my pace has developed in the short period of time since I’ve returned to training. A fortnight ago I would have been happy with anything under 70 minutes for the race, now I’m back to my original, pre-sickness target of 65 minutes, sufficient training or not. That race-day adrenaline has given me a significant boost before, and I’m hoping for more of the same.

The one thing that had been lacking from my training the last week was sufficient sleep. I knew I was operating on a sleep deficit, but I still set the alarm for 5:30 this morning, in time for 15 miles. However, when the alarm clock went off I reset it. I guess I must have decided that this is indeed a cutback week, both to catch up on sleep and recovery, and to have the legs in slightly better shape for Sunday. It was a good decision anyway, the legs felt the heaviest they have for a long time, and the 11 miles that I managed to churn out were mostly at a rather pedestrian pace. After 2 tough tempo runs on Monday, this was always on the card, I suppose.

There’s one weird thing my Dad told me. He’s got one son, Richard, from an early relationship who is 15 years older than me. He grew up away from us, and we’ve met no more than 4 or 5 times, but always got on very well on those occasions. On Sunday my Dad told me that Richard not only runs marathons, he trains an average of 18 kilometers a day. I was stunned. Not only have the two of us, completely independent of each other, taken up the same hobby, we are both pursuing it in the same obsessive manner. If you think there must me some shared genes responsible, they must have skipped a generation. Our dad hasn’t run 26 miles if you add all the runs he’s ever done over his entire life, I think. It’s just bizarre!
3 Mar
am: 5 miles, 32:42, 6:32 pace, HR 163, treadmill
pm: 5 miles, 33:44, 6:44 pace, HR 164
4 Mar
11 miles, 1:33:51, 8:31 pace, HR 136


  1. Your target for Sunday is certainy more ambitious than mine. I heard the course is a bit hilly compared to other 10 milers (Mallow & Dungarvan) but that should suit you. I also heard tonight that you'd want to be in position a half an hour beforehand if you are aiming for a specific time otherwise the first mile(s) could be 8 minutes plus pace. See you sunday.

  2. I'm really looking forward to seeing you and Grellan square off for the 1st time! One of you will be eating crow all the way home too. Any bets? Does the loser buy lunch or beers? (tee hee!)

  3. Whoa, that is interesting about Richard. That'd be cool if you two could meet up at a marathon!

    You sound as if you are full recovered - thank goodness! Glad to hear it.

  4. It sounds like the two of you are bluffing. Even if hilly, I'm predicting something in the 65 minute range.

    That is strange about Richard - if he's that much older, I presume he's slower, even on 18ks per day.

    Run well Thomas, but not that well - I have beers riding on Grellan ;)