Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To The Hills Again

The second week of my Dublin training started pretty well with a run on Monday that went faster and faster without any real increase in effort. It was only over 6 miles, though. I started out easily and finished the first mile in about 8:20. Then, every subsequent mile was a little bit faster then the previous one. This was not planned, I ran just for fun, and I always kept the effort at the "easy" level. I felt rather good afterwards. Running 7:46 pace at a heart rate of 143 (which is rather low for me) is uncharted territory. Two years ago I was not able to get my HR down to those levels even on a recovery run. Earlier this year I started having doubts if I would still be able to improve my times. Now I'm much more optimistic.

I knew this week's workouts would be tougher than last week's, and in fact I was looking forward to that. After last Tuesday's 2 hill sprints I felt like I went home before getting any work done, and felt somewhat guilty about that – silly, I know. One look into this week's schedule, however, told me that I would not have to wait long for a "real" workout. Today's 6 hill sprints were a lot harder, even though they were still only 30 seconds long each. You might be surprised just how long 30 seconds can be. All in all I managed ok, the average pace was around 6:18, but the last one was a good bit slower then the other 5, and I don't think I would have managed another one, at least not at "sprint" speed. At the moment I don't know how I will be able to handle the longer hill sprints that lie in wait, but I guess I'll find out.

I wish the send congratulations across the Irish Channel to John, who I was lucky enough to run with in last year's Loch Ness marathon. We ran the first 8 or so miles at the same pace, then he pulled away from me, and I managed to catch up with him towards the end when his legs reminded him that he had run a 95-miles ultra not too long ago. Well, John ran the same ultra again this year, and managed to beat 20 hours by a matter of seconds! John, I'm in awe.
23 Jun
6 miles, 46:39, 7:46 pace, HR 143
24 Jun
5.5 miles, 49:25, 8:59 pace, HR 145
incl. 6x30 secs hill sprints with 2 mins recovery


  1. Thanks for the mention! I was hoping to join in at the Dublin Marathon but it looks more likely I'll be going for the Loch Ness Marathon again this year.

    I do look forward to the time that you enter the whw race or Fling. I'll be here to give you as much help as I can and then enjoy racing against you!! I remember only too well that green vest and long multi coloured shorts moving away from me after 20miles or so!

    I'm looking forward to following your marathon training and will be hoping you can dip inside that 3hr mark.

    Having spent several hours on Saturday obsessed with getting under 20hrs I know the feeling all to well!

    Thanks again


  2. Hill sprints? That is something you do not hear often in people's training plans. It sounds like you're training is off to a good start.

  3. Wait until the hill sprints move from "sprint" speed to mile pace over 90+ seconds. You would think "sprint" speed should be faster but your mile pace should be less than 5:30.

    I found mile pace impossible to contemplate let alone do, so I settled for effort as opposed to pace.