Sunday, March 15, 2009

Working Out

When I asked for opinions at the end of my last post I should have known that I would get a rather wide array of answers. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write a comment; it just didn’t help me to make up my mind about that 10k. As Grellan pointed out there is actually a race in Beaufort next week, just about 10 miles from here, but I don’t have the brass neck to just turn up and run when I’m not eligible. As for what I would like to get out of one more race, the answer is one final fitness boost before the marathon. Races are excellent workouts, and I can always feel an effect afterwards, be it lower HR or faster subsequent training times.

My legs felt surprisingly fresh on Friday morning as I set off for my 18 mile run. I started out at measured pace, laboured up the big hill, and then just stared feeling better and better. I gradually improved the pace without even noticing, and was pleasantly surprised by my 10-mile split. I put some extra effort into the next few miles that ended up at 7:21 pace, and then ran the last 3 miles at a strong effort coming up with 6:51 pace. For once an effort like that actually yielded faster than marathon goal pace, if only by the smallest of margins. I seemed to get into really good shape at the start of February, but the illness I contracted just then set me back by a significant amount. I think I am finally getting back into that shape, which would be just in time. If things keep improving I’ll probably be at my peak fitness just in time for the marathon. Anyway, I was quite happy with that run, but my quads were very sore for the rest of the day.

Because that soreness was still there on Saturday I started wondering if I had overdone things after the race. I know I didn’t do any real recovery workouts, but I have never done those, and I have always recovered in reasonable time. My run on Saturday was very slow and short, but didn’t alleviate the feeling in the legs. However, I must have a really short memory, because when I felt better on Sunday morning I went ahead with the next 60/60 session as if nothing had been wrong. It was a beautiful morning, and while the temperature of 8C/46F wasn’t exactly balmy I decided to wear a singlet for the first time this year. The wind was still a factor, but nowhere near as strong as it had been in the past week. I had felt slightly apprehensive before the run, but felt surprisingly good at the start of the first interval. The first half of the run was into the wind but with a net downhill, the second half saw be battling uphill but with the wind at my back, and those two elements seemed to cancel each other out. Of course I got tired, and I could have sworn the 10th repeat was way too slow, but when I checked the Garmin I as still doing 5:3x pace. I had never done more than 13, but since I was still on pace I kept going on. Unfortunately I ran out of road after the 15th, because that’s where a big hill awaits. Only afterwards did I realise that I could have turned around and done at least one more repeat going the other way, but at the time my oxygen-starved brain wasn’t capable of producing bright ideas like that, so I stopped after 15 repeats. I was really happy with that workout, I had done more repeats than ever before at a faster pace than ever before, and I still felt like I could have done some more. Maybe the sickness in February prevented me from peaking early. At the moment I feel better every week, and while I’m pretty sure I would not be able to run a 2:59 marathon right now I am hopeful that the next 5 weeks will bring sufficient improvements to do exactly that.
13 Mar
18 miles, 2:18:04, 7:40 pace, HR 150
4 miles @ 7:21 pace, last 3 @ 6:51
14 Mar
6 miles, 49:41, 8:16 pace, HR 138
15 Mar
8.5 miles, 1:03:01, 7:25 pace, HR 158
incl 15x60/60 (5:37 avg)

Weekly mileage: 73.5


  1. ooh
    i do so love to see how you are improving
    im not allowed to do a marathon just yet..but in the next year i shall sign up.for certain
    well done

  2. Great job Thomas. Your training plan seems to be coming together nicely.

  3. Very solid running Thomas and still on the upward slope. Keep it up.