Friday, August 14, 2009

Thank You

Even though it might sound like an Oscar speech, I’d like to thank you for the comments you left for my last entry. You guys are worth your weight in gold, every single one of you!

I had written most of that entry pretty much straight after Tuesday’s workout, but didn’t post it. On Wednesday I deleted the worst of the whiny passages, left others in, and that’s what you got to read.

Giving up was never on my mind; when I said I’m not going to run under 3 hours I never meant I wasn’t even going to try. It was more a resigned statement that even though I would try I could predict coming up short once more. On reflection, breaking three hours in Dingle was never likely anyway. The elevation profile of that race hasn’t changed. It’s just that the last 10k seemed to indicate that I was in better shape than I appear to be, and that’s why I was so frustrated on Tuesday.

I was thinking about adding some faster running, like mile repeats, but envisaged a gust of comments saying “why are you starting intervals 4 weeks before the marathon you idiot”, except that most of you are too polite to put the idiot bit into writing. Then Mike’s comment suggested doing just that, expect for 1000s rather than miles, and that’s what I ended up doing on Thursday.

It wouldn’t be me just to go out and do a straightforward set of intervals, so I checked JD’s book and copied a workout from on of his marathon plans with the same amount of time before the target race. 6x1000 at I pace (2 mins rest), followed by 4x400 at R pace (3 mins rest). A look into his tables gave my projected times as 3:41 and 82 respectively, which is 5:56 and 5:30 pace. Let’s all have a good laugh at that. One thing I have learned last year is that I am not one to hit projected paces in training and I decided not to worry about them, just do the best I could.

I guess jumping straight into such a workout isn’t what most coaches would recommend, but time is not on my side. I was not looking forward to it, though. My last thought before falling asleep the night before was a feeling of dread, which was repeated first thing in the morning.

After 2 miles of warm-up, the 1000s were upon me. Since I don’t have a track, I ran them on a reasonably straight piece of Caragh Lake road, though that has a little hill in the middle. Consistency on these workouts has never been my strong point, and predictably the numbers fluctuated like a seismograph at an earthquake.

3:58, 3:48, 3:53, 3:56, 3:59, 3:51 (pace between 6:10 and 6:27)

Not exactly brilliant. But I tried. The 400s went a bit better.

88, 88, 84, 87 (pace between 5:39 and 5:53)

I went home feeling I could have done one or two more, but that’s what you’re supposed be feeling. The hamstrings were aching for the rest of the day.

I followed this today with 10 easy miles. The legs were predictably sore, and I picked up the pace on several occasions, which generally helps. It was maybe a tad fast for a recovery run, but I felt reasonably comfortable. Funnily enough, the quads seemed to feel better at 7:45 pace than at 8:20, or maybe they were just better warmed up at that stage.

Tomorrow will be easy again, and on Sunday I’m heading up into the mountains. If I don’t break my leg, it should be fun.
13 Aug
10.5 miles, 1:21:30, 7:46 pace, HR 152
incl. 6x1000: 3:58,48,53,56,59,51 and 4x400: 88,88,84,87
14 Aug
10 miles, 1:19:11, 7:55 pace, HR 143


  1. I like the sound of that workout; sounds challenging but not too much. The JD schedules seem punishing to me but individual workout would work well in other training plane.

  2. I was wondering why I hadn't seen that JD marathon workout before - I only ever glanced at the Elite Programme. Remember don't try and kill yourself until September 12th.

    Hope you survived the mountains.

  3. That was a good workout Thomas. It's always going to be harder on the road than the track, which is dead flat and has markings every 100m.

    Hope the quads and hammys survive the mountains.

  4. Hey Thomas. Question from a Dummy like me: "so I checked JD’s book" - pls recommend me this one (I mean Title and/or aurthor, googling for this JD's book is hard) ruslan2030ATg.ail.Kom
    May be time is not on your side before Dingle but I still think you'll make it on one Big & Lucky Day.

  5. I missed something here? Thomas quit? I don't think so.