Friday, February 15, 2013

My Favourite Workout

I'm not religious, but the last two years I have always used lent as an excuse to give up sugar. This has nothing to do with faith, just a convenient opportunity to shed a few pounds. The Tralee  marathon is earlier in the year than any other spring marathon I have ever done, so I was planning on starting the sugar-free period earlier, but it just never happened. My will power obviously has its limits. I wasn't even sure if I would do any sugar-free time this year at all but when Niamh asked me on Sunday if I would give up sugar for lent again I said yes - so here I am, jonesing chocolate already, but hopeful that the cravings will stop eventually. I know going off sugar has plenty of benefits, and I am not even talking about running; apart from a couple of shed pounds I always notice that my skin improves and I feel better. I still can't see myself going off chocolate completely. It's my one dirty little secret. But my main motivation is still that I will have a couple of pounds less on my frame than the present 148 ones when we gather on the Tralee start line.

After the series of easy runs following last week's race I did one workout this week. After getting up at dark-thirty once more I ran 15 miles yesterday morning, alternating half-miles at slightly faster-than-marathon pace (6:20-6:30) with miles at slightly slower than MP (6:40-6:50) eight times, and the numbers came out as follows (pace in minutes per mile, as always):
     6:20 6:43
     6:28 6:43
     6:28 6:39
     6:24 6:41
     6:27 6:45
     6:18 6:45
     6:27 6:48
     6:28 6:47
The effort oscillated between comfortable and bloody damn hard, depending on wind direction and elevation change, but I am very happy with the numbers; I could have done more at the end. After some feedback I decided that this was probably my last big workout for Tralee, from here on I need recovery more than additional work, but I will do a few faster runs, like half-mile repeats, to get the legs used to faster paces. Hopefully this will make marathon pace feel easier come race day.

Oh, and there are still a couple of races at the weekends.
14 Feb
15 miles, 1:42:00, 6:48 pace, HR 159
   8 x (0.5 miles MP+, 1 mile MP-)
15 Feb
8 miles, 1:00:18, 7:32 pace, HR 139


  1. A query Thomas. How does this training schedule compare to the schedule you underwent for Vienna? is it harder or easier or do you feel you are now running better than vienna's training schedule? I expected you would be doing a lot more 22 mile long runs and a lot less races but you are obviously feeling very strong.

  2. I'm in better shape right now, but I have been building on the fitness I gained from the Vienna training for the last two years. All those races were supposed to be my speed training but I probably overdid it. I did a marathon and a 30 miler for my long runs, but with my ultra running background I think I have enough of a base already anyway.