Thursday, July 30, 2009

Duly noted

“Is a tempo interval really the best idea the day after a tough long run?”

Good point, but as mentioned in my previous post, I’m basically still in my base building phase, pretty much following a Lydiard style schedule. There is no real easy day in that training, and that’s very much deliberate. You keep constant pressure on the body; that’s how it adapts to the rigours of marathon running. Having said that, I tend to go a bit easier on Saturdays in order to be able to do a strong Sunday run. The idea was always to keep doing this as long as I can see improvements from week to week. That’s still the case, and that’s why I’m still sticking with it.

I have noticed before that Wednesday’s 15-mile run tends to be one of the toughest of the week. I’m not entirely sure why, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the previous tough days have something to do with it. Then again, years ago, when training for my first and second marathon I run a lap around the lake just once. Not per week, once in the entire training cycle, and running up the climbs without walking break wasn’t even contemplated. Nowadays I do this 3 times a week without much fuss. Anyway, I struggled a bit during the early miles on Wednesday, but slowly got round to it and finished the run with a few stronger miles, ending up with my usual average pace, just under 8:00.

As on every Thursday, the hill sprints weren’t something I was particularly looking forward to. Initially I was dreading the 3-mile tempo run. Again I felt awful during the warm-up, and even the first half mile of the tempo run was worse, as well as slower, than usual. Possibly by pushing a bit harder than normal I got back on pace and ended up with a 6:46 pace average. The wind didn’t help, but that has been true for virtually every single one of these workouts. Then it was time for the hill repeats. I was back on my usual Caragh Lake hill for the first time in three weeks, and decided to go for the full 60 seconds. The first 4 repeats were ok, then it got harder. I started faltering during the sixth but managed a half-decent seventh. The eighth one was supposed to be the last one, but after losing my concentration I ended up with a lame halfhearted attempt that didn’t push the HR up to the usual level. As happy as I was to be done initially, this irked me enough to turn around once more at the bottom of the hill and charge up one more time, this time in balls out fashion. That one was much better; at the top it was HOK time, and then a matter of crawling home on jelly legs. The quads are still sore half a day later, but if past experience is anything to go by I’ll be right as rain by tomorrow.

Talking about rain, apparently this has been the wettest July since recordings began. This surprised me somewhat because I remember last year’s July as worse. Sure, we had plenty of at times very heavy rain, but at least we saw the sun between those spells, unlike last year when the whole country had disappeared under a blanket of never-ending drizzly misery.

On the positive side, today’s run was the first this week when the right calf didn’t bother me. This may be down to a re-found enthusiasm for The Stick which saw plenty of use over the last few days after several weeks of shameful neglect. I take this as a sign that I should use it on a regular basis, not just when a potential injury appears. Note taken.
29 Jul
15 miles, 1:58:46, 7:55 pace, HR 145
30 Jul
11 miles, 1:33:35, 8:30 pace, HR 148
incl. 3 miles @ 6:46, 9x60 secs hill sprints


  1. Ha the stick hey! how much that cost you, A rolling pin will do the job just as well!!!

  2. Yes Rick, but at least I don't have to hide the use of the stick from the missus.

    I saw it on the Expo in Boston and bought it on a whim, for about $45. I know it's outrageously expensive for a glorified piece of plastic rolling pin, but I was in holiday spending mood at the time.

  3. Impressive training again, Thomas.

  4. The stick guy must be rolling in it.
    Think I'll go into biz selling rolling pins on the internet as massage tools.Thanks for the idea.

  5. Thomas, didn't Lydiard have 1/2 and 1/4 efforts in his training? I'm confused. Anyway, I'm sure it'll pay off when you run 2:5X:XX in Dingle.

    Rick, you can't roll a good pastry with a stick either!

  6. And the stick doesn't hurt so much when the missus hits you over the head with it!

  7. Ewen, as long as your missus has whacked you over the head with both the stick and the rolling pin, you don't know for sure what hurts more. (Don't tell me that she has done so already).

    Rick, in contrast to a standard rolling pin the stick consists of a row of independently turning little wheels. Maybe it's just a gimmick to justify the mark-up, but in the end all that counts is the fact that my calf is really responding to that treatment. I'd pay a lot more than $45 dollars for that, to be honest.