April 11, 2016

Pretty Good Form


1:40 Half - I'll Take It

Weeks of Mar 28 ~ Apr 10

Not much running due to soreness in upper left leg. I don't really know what it is - it's not my glute, not my groin, it's kind of inside the leg - a strained ligament or something? I don't think it's serious - rest should cure it, which is what I am going to do from today.

Anyway, ran easy the 28th and 29th, then did a 5k time trial on the 30th in 21:50. Was a bit sore, but not too bad, just ran a nice, comfortable pace.

Rested two days and did a 17.7k run on Saturday. This was a club run with 12 people, under the cherry blossoms and back to an onsen (hot spring facility) near my house. Went out easy and then came back at a pretty good pace, just to get some training in. The leg was only a bit sore, but got quite sore the next day (tried to run with some other club members at another cherry viewing party, but could only manage a very slow, painful jog).

So...didn't run all week until yesterday - Sunday the 10th - when I ran a half marathon race along the Tama River - the Paracup charity race, which had about 3,000 people.

The leg was still slightly sore, but I assumed it wouldn't get any worse and that I could run 21k without too much trouble, which turned out to be the case.

It was a fairly warm day, about 22C/72F, but it was cloudy and there was a breeze, so it didn't feel too hot.

There were two other guys with me in the Half, club member Padraig and Gareth, a visitor from London (who had just gotten off the plane!), so we planned to start, and maybe finish, together. I said about 4:45/km pace would be nice, and that's what we ran, after two faster kms at the start.
4:45 is a 1:40:13 half, although I thought I would slow down. However, my plan was that if I felt good, I would pick up the last 5k.
We stayed together until 13k and I did in fact feel ok, so decided to pick up the pace a bit with about 7.5k to go (course was 2.5k out and back, that is, 4 5k laps, with a bit extra).
Was running 4:50/k but picked it up to about 4:40, leaving the other two, then with 5k to go picked it up again to about 4:34.
Slowed a bit the last 2k as my quads and glute were getting more sore, but held on pretty well and even outkicked a guy who was trying to pass me.

Final time was 1:40:10, almost exactly the pace I was hoping for (but didn't really think was possible, with not much, well almost no, training the previous month and on a very warm day). So quite satisfied with that.

Will now rest until my weird little injury is healed and then come back strong!

March 27, 2016

Ekiden

Mar 14 ~ 27

Not much to report from these two weeks except an ekiden on Sunday, the 20th.

I've been having a bit of soreness in my left hamstring, so took most of the previous week off, except for an easy run on thursday.
Then did a 4-man team ekiden on Sunday, where each person ran 7.242km. I guess they wanted everyone to know they measured the course _precisely_.

The club entered three teams and we did well, finishing 12th, 13th and 18th out of 347 teams. There were a few good teams, but obviously it was not a high level ekiden.
Most of our runners ran under 4:00/k, I ran 30:10, for a 4:10 pace. Not bad, not good. There was a strong wind in my face for the first k, and rolling hills, with one steep downhill and uphill on stairs. Except for the stairs, a nice course.

Hamstring was slightly sore, but didn't slow me down. Nevertheless, I decided to rest for 4 days after the race, which...had no affect at all. Still sore during two easy runs, then today did 14k with the last 7 at a decent pace. It felt a bit sore, but I ignored it.

Will get more serious about doing my hamstring exercises, and I expect it to fade away.

Have a half marathon on April 10th, which I won't be ready for, but plan to give it as serious an effort as I am capable of.


March 14, 2016

10K — Not Bad, Not Good

Week of March 7 ~ 13

33.3km / 20.7 mi.

Monday
3:30 - 8.6k including 6.4k (4 miles) "easy tempo" with the top 2 track team girls.
The four miles (on a slightly hilly course) were 7:43/36/46/10, so the first 3 at about 4:45/k pace and the last at 4:27.
Nice run, just cruising along, although there was a light rain and lots of big puddles to avoid.
13C/55F
59.8kg

Tuesday
4k - just an easy jog to and from the team's practice track.

Wednesday
7:30pm - 2k, 1k x 3, 500 x 2
8:58, 4:29/43/44, 2:17/11
Horrible weather: cold, rain and wind. I was ok on the 3.3k "warmup" and the 2k, but was only wearing cotton gloves so by the 1ks my hands were freezing. Like not just cold, but extremely painful. It's hard to run when all you can think about is how much your hands hurt.
My hands are cold much of the time anyway, all winter long, but this was extreme. Next time I'll dig out my heavy ski gloves.
Well, I planned to go easy anyway, as part of the taper for Sunday's race.

Thursday
Trip to Foodex, one of the world's biggest food and beverage trade shows, where companies give away lots of free samples. A Spanish triathlete who promotes the Toro wine region gave me tickets, so my wife and I went and drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of prosciutto, along with other goodies. A fun way to taper!

Friday
Yesterday and still today I had a bit of a pain in my left leg, so decided to keep resting.

Saturday
Another day of rest.

Sunday
Koga Hanamomo 10K. This was a good race, marathon and 10K, about an hour north of Tokyo - 2 hours travel for me. The club had 11 people take part in both races, which was fun, and the weather was pretty good - a bit too cold for me at around 9C/48F, but not too bad. Cloudy, so good for the marathoners.
I ran 41:23, 4:08/k pace, which I guess is where I am these days. I felt good and ran pretty well, but don't seem to be able to run 4 minute pace anymore. Well, the 5k time trial two and a half weeks ago was 21:12, so at least I was running faster than that.
Came in 44th out of a total of 1,250 men and women. No age group results - you are supposed to check the website, and if you are in the top three, they will send you the prize. Many Japanese races don't understand how to manage chips and results.
After the race, I traveled two hours down to Yokohama to meet up with our runners who ran the Yokohama Marathon, as well as Scott Brown. It was great to talk with him over a few beers.

March 6, 2016

Two Weeks with a Few Good Workouts

Week of Feb 22 -28
81.3km / 50.5 mi.

Week of Feb 29 - Mar 6
74.5km / 46.3 mi.

Both weeks the usual six days of running, one rest day.

Wednesday the 24th was a 5k time trial, which I did in 21:12. Since I felt good and ran hard, this was not a great time, but I guess that's where I'm at these days.

Sunday the 28th was the Tokyo Marathon. Namban Rengo had 25 people running and lots more out on the course cheering. I was at the 5k point, watched the huge lead pack go by, then tried to find our runners to yell for. Then got to the 41k point in time to see the winning Ethiopian go by, followed by six Kenyans and then the top Japanese. Walked down to about 40k and cheered for our runners as they came by.
After about four hours of the race, left there and went to the Palace, where I did 4 loops (20K) with two other guys. Usually my Sunday runs start at about 30:00 for 5k and go down to 27. This time, Gareth Evans started out at 26:24, then we ran 24:46, 24:14 and 23:05. So it was a pretty good effort. I felt fine, it was a nice run.
From there went to the club's post-race party at a British pub, attended by 85 people. All in all, a great day.

Took a rest on Monday, then on Tuesday the American School's track practice started. Did 4 miles with the girls at 4:38/k pace and then another 4k in the park.

Wednesday was the usual interval night, did 1000m x 6 in 4:07, 3:56, 3:57, 4:00, 4:01, 3:52. Quads were a bit tired, but I felt good. It's great to have other people to run with when doing workouts like this. Our A group was about 30 people, of which I was hanging onto the rear.

Easy Thursday, then Friday decided to do some more speed in preparation for the 10k race on the 13th.
Did 2k x 2, 1k, 400m x 4 in 8:52, 8:38, 4:15, 99, 94, 91, 87.
Easy Saturday, then only 16k today as I may do a tempo run with the kids tomorrow.

Will take it easy next week and hope to run a decent 10K on Sunday.

February 21, 2016

Two Weeks of Good Training

Week of Feb 8 ~ 14
82.8km / 51.5 mi.

Week of Feb 15 ~ 21
74.4km / 46.2 mi.

Two weeks of pretty much following the program. One rest day, three easy days, one interval day, one tempo day, one longer day.

Sunday the 14th did 22k. The following week was a bit different as there were two days - Monday and Saturday - with cold rain. I hate cold weather, but of course have to run in it, but damned if I have to run in cold rain. I'm not English or Irish! So took Monday off and ran Tuesday, then took Saturday off. Actually, I did a pretty good tempo run on Friday, 14k with 7k at 4:45 pace and the last one at 4:15, so my legs were tired on Saturday anyway.
Today, Sunday did 24k.

Finished the week at 59kg, so am gradually losing some weight.
Next race is a 10K on March 13 - sorry, Scott, I won't be able to go cheer you in Yokohama, but hope to meet you sometime before the race.

February 7, 2016

Recovery Week

Week of Feb 1 ~ 7

59.1km / 36.7mi.

I think a recovery week after three good training weeks is a good idea. Take an extra rest day and reduce the distance by about 25%, which is what I did — 80k to 60k.

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Gym workout

Wednesday
Weekly interval workout, which I ran hard, as usual.
13.1k with 1000m x 6.
4:00/3:57/59/58/54/49 (in bet. 100m jog + walk, about 2:45)
Felt good, only really pushed hard on the last one.
7C/45F 34%,-7dp
60.3kg

Thursday
8k easy pace.

Friday
Gym workout and 10k easy, but picked up some coming back.
11C/52F
59.5kg

Saturday
12k moderate pace.

Sunday
2:30 - 16k in 45:50/38:33 @ 5:44/4:49/k
Felt good coming back, cruising nicely.
9C/48F but chilly wind, 25%, -11dp
59.7kg