Sunday, January 10, 2016


Spartathlon is your B race? To a 24 hour track event? How is that possible? Anyhow, best of luck with all of those races!
The reason why I put Belfast as my main target is the fact that in 2017 the next world championship will take place and I want to make sure I am on the team! I am reasonably optimistic that I will be selected as only one single Austrian has run further than me in the last 7 years in 24 hours but a good run in Belfast would guarantee my selection no matter what. Spartathlon is a great race but a world championship would be greater still.

The legs felt really heavy on Thursday morning, so I decided to cut back the mileage for a couple of days. I still went ahead with the planned hill sprints that day but went home once I felt I had maybe two or three more repeats in me, and I kept the effort low for Friday. I also ruled out any second runs of the day on either occasion.

The hill sprints were very different to any other kind of training, pretty much all-out but only for about 10 seconds or so, and with long recoveries (walking back down the hill and a slow jog for a bit). It was a different day as well: when I opened the door I could see a myriad of stars in the clear night sky, something I hadn't seen in a very long time. With the clear sky came the cold temperatures but I was perfectly fine with that. Unfortunately it wasn't to last, by the time I was on my second hill sprint it was hailstoning; the combination of all-out hill sprints and hail stones made for an interesting multi-stimulus of pain! Still, it was all over very quickly and the legs felt fine for the rest of the day, something I cannot always say.

Friday's run was at the easiest effort in quite some time. I was quite pleased that the pace was still fairly close to 8-minute miles, something I had to work for a couple of months ago, now it is my recovery pace. The HR was exceptionally low. I can count the runs with a lower HR on the fingers of one hand, I think.

On Saturday it was time to rev it up again. I wanted to tweak the format of the fast day and instead of running 10 miles at a good effort I opted for 2 x 3 mile repeats at HM pace. The last two races indicated that the pace should be somewhere between 6:30 and 6:40, so that's what I aimed for. The weather has finally improved a bit, the wind has died down though we are still seeing the odd shower. It's also quite cold, about 3 degrees in the morning, but I like it cold anyway. All in all it makes for very decent running conditions. The first 3 mile segment went well but I probably ran just a tad too fast early on and started to struggle a bit towards the end. A rest interval did me some good and I managed the second segment better than expected and this one felt like I ran the correct effort.

The legs felt that effort the next day, of course, but it could have been worse. I gave myself the option of either 18 or 20 miles, depending on how I would feel towards the end. I started out reasonably well but towards the end of the big long climb I started labouring when at previous runs I had managed pretty much on autopilot, so I certainly wasn't firing on all cylinders. I managed just fine for the rest of the loop around the lake but I did opt for the 18 miles, in an effort not to overdo things.

When I was coached by MC he spent a lot of time stopping me from doing too much. In fact, I think I can feel strong vibes from across the Atlantic that I am indeed overdoing things already, so a little bit of holding back today was almost certainly a good thing. I am still in base building mode, though I've started the transition to the marathon training block, which will start in earnest early next month.

7 Jan
6.7 miles, 1:02:28, 9:19 pace, HR 131
   11 short&sharp hill sprints
8 Jan
10 miles, 1:21:50, 8:09 pace, HR 131
9 Jan
10 miles, 1:11:12, 7:06 pace, HR 152
   2 x 3 miles at 6:29 (HR 159), 6:33 (HR 161)
10 Jan
18+ miles, 2:21:38, 7:48 pace, HR 142
Weekly Mileage: 84


  1. For sure, not many folks can claim being a world champion and you have an excellent chance of making the team, so that beats a road race, even if it is the Spartathlon! Go, Thomas, go!

  2. Yeah, nothing beats running for your country.

  3. Your HR for pace figures are looking pretty fine, the combination of cool temperatures and decent block of training at obviously hitting the mark.

    Amused that you have internalized MC's guidance, like having Obi-Wan use the force to guide you!

    Surprised not to see an evaluation pop on your training list recently. It'd be interesting to see how you progress. I did one today and saw excellent figures, but have to wonder whether as I age I should be lowering my target HR for the test - my lactate threshold has dropped substantially over the last year. I wonder if you've seen the same over the years. If I don't adjust the target HR then over the years I'll get progressively closer and closer to lactate threshold.