Sunday, June 15, 2008

Family Treat

As you don't have 24 weeks before Dublin, are you just going to jump into week 4 or 5 of the 24 week "Brain Training" programme?

Tomorrow I'm starting my training for the Dublin City marathon, and, as Grellan pointed out, I don't have the required 24 weeks time to follow the schedule in Matt Fitzgerald's book; if I counted correctly, Dublin is only 19 weeks away.

I think it would be a mistake to jump straight into week 6. The training is divided into several blocks (base – build 1 – build 2 – peak – taper), and I would miss out on most of the base phase. Instead I removed about one week from each block, mostly the recovery weeks. That might be a bad idea, and I'll keep evaluating the training over the next few weeks. If I think I'm doing too much, I will make changes. I have changed a few other aspects of the schedule as well. He has his workouts on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; I have mine on Tuesday, Thursday and then Friday or Saturday instead. Every second week I'll do back-to-back workouts (tempo on Thursday, long on Friday) to improve my stamina. I also added a few miles to some of the weeks, but if I feel this will prevent me from hitting the required intensity on the speed workouts, I will make further changes. On the other hand, if I think I need more endurance, and feel able to absorb it, I might add a second 2-hours run per week. As you can see, things are not set in stone. I will try and adapt the training as needed.

I have finally overcome the sore throat that had plagued me at the start of the week, and all of a sudden my legs have taken off. On Friday I started out slowly enough with 2 8-minute miles, and then I just kept going faster and faster, without even feeling much of an effort. I ended with 2 sub-7 miles, and I still didn't feel like I was really pushing the pace, and I ended up with the easiest tempo run I've ever done. Was it silly to push the pace? Maybe. Was it fun? Definitely. I'd love to bottle the feeling I had during those miles and take a sip on the bad days. I just felt incredibly good.

I decided to slow down on Saturday. After all, I do not want to feel tired before the actual marathon training has even started. I played with the idea of leaving the Garmin at home, but then I would have missed out on a day's data in sporttracks, and decided to bring it but not look at it. I almost stuck to that, and was rather surprised at my pace. I was almost doing 8-minute miles, when I thought I was running a minute slower. What can I say? I'm feeling good at the moment.

I had another good day today, with 10 miles alongside Caragh Lake, the first double-digit run since the marathon. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and the slight breeze was welcome because it kept me cool. I cruised along at easy pace, and just speeded up a bit for the last mile or two, but not by much. The training only starts on Monday (and then it starts with an easy day).

Today was Father's Day, even though I only realised that on Friday. Just like almost everyone else, we don't make much of a deal out of it. A few days ago Niamh found a mention of a Dino Cafe in a paper, and since it's not too far away from us, showed it to Shea. His brilliant idea was to go there for Father's Day (brilliant for him, that is). I didn't protest, and after my run we set off towards County Cork. The kids all L-O-V-E-D it, they all got way over-excited (together with some other kids we met at the place) and the sculptor himself gave us a very interesting tour. If anyone happens to have kids at the right age, I can highly recommend the place, they will just love it. Afterwards we went to some gardens that just happened to be in the same village, which was Niamh's treat for the day, and where we took all those photos. Hang on, this was supposed to be Father's Day, where was my treat? Never mind, we all had a great time, and with the weather cooperating, who can complain. Maia was in good spirits as well, and a good time was had by everyone.

13 Jun
6 miles, 44:27, 7:24 pace, HR 157
14 Jun
5 miles, 40:30, 8:06 pace, HR 144
15 Jun
10 miles, 1:19:42, 7:58 pace, HR 147

Weekly mileage: 41


  1. Great photos Thomas. Going by how green it is, you must get a bit of rain up there ;)

  2. Hi Thomas,

    I'm happy to hear that your recovery is going well. That said, I'm worried that you may be taking out the recovery weeks in your next marathon build. I know you said you would monitor the situation, but from my experience, I can’t stress enough the role proper recovery plays in training. Have a look what poor Mike (running with Lydiard) did in his attempt to get faster, sometimes more isn’t necessarily the better.

    Take care!

  3. Lovely family photo's, your a lucky guy.Like Micheal said, be careful to allow full recovery after your marathon. I felt great 4 days after my marathon at the end of April and started to push hard again to soon , this left me feeling burned and slowed full recovery.
    happy running

  4. Thomas,
    The children are looking so grown up! Adorable though.

    I'm going to disagree with the comments above. Now, I know you are training for speed, but experience around here tells me that you can run a couple marathons a month and be just fine. Trust yourself - you know what you need for rest and training.

  5. Hi Thomas,

    I am a two time Olympic runner that came across your site while looking through the Complete-running blogs.

    Looks like you are on steady course for a sub 3 there with the progress you've been having. Keep up the good work in the months to come, will be checking in on your blog from time to time..

    Regards from Norway/Marius Bakken