Thursday, October 02, 2008

Easy Does It

Following on from my last entry, I thought that maybe I should take it a bit easier from now until the marathon. I’ve still got a race on Sunday, and from then on it’s 22 days until the marathon, which will be my taper time anyway. I originally intended to have a short two-week taper, but it would make a lot more sense to recover from Sunday’s race first, which means a three-week taper is the only real option. I have yet to decide what to go for on Sunday. Should I race it, or should I run somewhat slower, let’s say 6:50, which could arguably be a marathon pace workout. The idea of running a race at less than race pace is totally alien to me. If I wanted to run at less than race effort I might as well run at home, there is no need to travel all the way to Cork. I will have to think about that. Grellan warned me that apparently many a Cork runner has left his best Dublin marathon somewhere on the road between Cork and Cobh, but somehow I find it unlikely that I won’t be able to completely recover from a 15-mile effort within 22 days.

The weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse, and we’re getting an indication of what winter running will be like again. For some reason I did not wear my gloves both yesterday and today; each time I only thought about it once I was out on the road, and each time I decided against turning around. I’m a sucker for punishment, I think.

Yesterday was an easy effort, and I felt quite good. Tuesday’s less than stellar workout might have left my legs in better condition than they would normally be on a Wednesday. I still felt pretty good today. The plan was to do a tempo run, and since I had decided to take it easy I opted for 2x2 miles, which, incidentally, had been on the original schedule for last week. I was hoping to be able to run a bit faster on those shorter cruise intervals than on previous tempo efforts, thus breaking my cycle of slower and slower HMP efforts. This worked out pretty well. I managed 6:35 pace on the way out, and 6:39 pace on the way back home, even with the wind, the rain, the cold and the undulating Caragh Lake road. I was pretty happy with the workout, but I don’t think I would have been able to hold the pace for longer tempo runs.

What was weird was that after the run the fingers on my right hand and the toes on my right foot were frozen while the extremities on my left side were fine. I’m not sure why that would be, but the pins-and-needles feeling during the re-thawing process was easier to bear with only half the body experiencing it.

Sleep was less than satisfying once again last night with both Cian and Maia ending up in our bed. I’m surprised I managed to get any rest at all, sandwiched as I was between the two of them, so I guess it could have been even worse. I’ll have to think of something soon, at some stage I need an uninterrupted night or I’ll go bananas.

1 Oct
9 miles, 1:11:25, 7:56 pace, HR 143
2 Oct
8.5 miles, 1:03:37, 7:29 pace, HR 152
incl. 2x2 miles @ 6:35 (160/173), 6:39 (169/176)


  1. Thomas - Just curious, have you done any test to determine what your max HR is? If so, how did you do it?

  2. Mike, I never did a formal test, but from a few readings during races I'm pretty sure it's around 190.

  3. Thanks for your comment Thomas. I do feel it is best decision for the bigger 'whw' picture.

    I'm looking forward to following your progress towards Dublin. I think it's going to be very close!


  4. You took the words right out of my mouth/keyboard.

    I'm happy to hear that you're taking it easy ("easy does it"). After reviewing your recent entries and given that you've been tired/not sleeping and gaining weight, I was worried you "might" be approaching that overtraining line. With only a few weeks left there very little you can do to raise your race but a lot to lower it.

    Rest, recover and stay sharp.

  5. good luck with the weekend race, whether you decide to cruise it or run it flat out, it should give you some useful information going into the big race!

  6. Lots of easy running mileage from hear on in could be just the thing (and occasional marathon-paced running).

    There's always the couch ;)

  7. Glad to hear you will be taking the longer taper option.

    Yes, I will be in Boston 2009 if (if?) I qualify at PEI. Should be a pretty good blogosphere showing.

    Also, I've been reading a book titled Vegetarian Sports Nutrition by Lisa Dorfman. It doesn't cover the raw food aspect, but it is a good read. The section I am putting to use is on pre-race glycogen loading starting a week before the race. She is a marathoner, so there is a lot of focus on endurance events.

    Have fun tomorrow.