Friday, January 23, 2009

Tick Tock

Is it just me or is time flying at the moment? Recently I noticed that my Boston countdown timer had gone beneath 100, and now we’re down to 86 already. Blimey! At that rate I’ll be at that starting line before long. Let’s get some training in beforehand, shall we?

My prediction that Thursday’s run would be very slow turned out to be wrong. My quads were sore from the hill sprints but much less than anticipated. I ran my 10 easy miles without looking at the Garmin, and was almost stunned when I saw the number at the end. I did not expect to have run under 8:00 pace, and the heart rate was higher than it should have been for a recovery run. Ideally I would have run slower, but honestly, I had no idea I was doing that pace. Maybe I should have checked the numbers of the Garmin while out on the road, but I tend to accelerate when I do that, not slow down.

My quads still felt ok this morning. When I wrote the schedule originally I had this as a time trial day, which do feature heavily in Lydiard’s training. But with hill sprints on Wednesday and a 30/30 workout on Sunday it felt unwise to run too fast today, so I decided to run a few miles at marathon effort. I deliberately said effort, not pace, because my pace at that effort level will hopefully come down over the next few weeks. The plan was to warm up for 3 miles, run 3-4 miles at marathon effort and cool down for the rest. I hit a small problem when my mind switched to autopilot and I cruised easily for 3.5 miles until I finally remembered what I had planned for today. When I belatedly accelerated, I felt pretty comfortable with a heart rate around 160. I still felt good after 3 miles at that and decided to keep it up for a bit longer. Because of the lopsided way I ran the workout I had to run against a headwind for the majority of the marathon effort, not that it was exceedingly windy today. When I finally switched to the cool down I had covered the previous 5.5 miles at an average pace of 7:08 and a heart rate of 160. The idea is to get this down to 6:50 pace by the time the marathon comes around. I felt pretty comfortable and could have gone on at that pace for much longer. I’ll repeat the same workout next week and see where that leaves me.

Life is rather more stressful at the moment than I would like it to be. The work situation isn’t exactly ideal, but I have learned to cope with that. At home things aren’t much easier, Cian has been quite sick the last few days, but so far nobody else has gotten it. Lola and Mummy are coughing, Maia seems to be ok, and Shea and me are definitely fine. This is the time of the year when the kids pick up lots of germs at school, but we tend to be healthier than most people around us. Let’s hope this will continue.

P.S. some guys were asking about the grade of my hill on Wednesday. The SportTracks chart says 8% which sounds about right, and I haven't got any other source for that info.

22 Jan
10 miles. 1:19:00, 7:54 pace, HR 145
23 Jan
10 miles, 1:14:25, 7:26 pace, HR 152
incl. 5.5 miles @ 7:08 pace with avg. HR 160


  1. Less than 85 days now!

    I hope the sickness at home is brief - that's always a worry for a runner. A mate of mine has missed two marathons because he caught colds from his kids (he has a big family).

    That's promising about the quicker than expected recovery run.

    The hill I was thinking of using is steeper - like the one in Hill Sprints on this page.

  2. I was looking at a chart this morning... 12 weeks left as of Monday. I guess it's time to start the fun and games! Best of luck not getting sick, and here's to some solid training.

  3. Yes, I suppose it is time to start training. Let's see if there is a 12 week plan for me...