December 31, 2008

So many workouts, so little time.

Dec. 29, 30, 31
Mon: Off
Tues: Off (gym closed but did abs work)
Only two months until my marathon, and there are many workouts I "should" be doing. According to various experts. And most of them sound good.
(Why is it that no matter how early I start training for a marathon, in this case July, I always want an extra one or two months before the race?)
In addition to the four basic ones I have planned each week (see 12/27 post), I could:
• Do progressive runs, 30k with 20k at a moderate pace and 10k at a hard pace, or 30k with each 5k progressively faster. Supposed to be very good for getting used to the stress of a marathon.
• Alternate 1k at marathon pace then 1k faster long as I can. Or alternate one mile (1600m) in 6 mins, one mile in 7 mins. x 6. I've actually done the latter one, and it gets tough after a while.
• Do Yasso 800s.
• Do Lactate threshold (LT) runs. LT, as Pete Lyons pointed out and I also read in several running articles, is faster than marathon pace. About half marathon race pace. What I was calling LT is more properly called a Tempo Run (about halfway between marathon pace and an easy long run pace. LT is, for example, 5k @ 4:00/k x 2 or 3 (MP is 4:15).
• Or even faster: 3k @ 10k race pace (3:48/k?) x 3 or 4.

Well, today I used one, actually two, of those.
I was planning to do 5k @ 4:00/k x 2, but decided to go harder today and then easier tomorrow and easier than usual on Saturday since Mika and Yuka will force me to do 40km on Sunday. (Although I won't put up much resistance; if it was, say Steve and Chiba, it would be a different story.)
So the workout was:
Warmup: 3k in 18:20, stretching, 150m strides x 2, stretching.
Planned: 5k @ 4:00/k. Ran: 5k in 4:08/12/09/11/03.
6 mins. walk
Planned: 10k alternating 4:00 and 4:15 per k. 
Ran: 4:08/15/03/24/11/21/12/27/19/20. Actually, I would have been happy with 4:10/4:20, so I was fairly satisfied. Thought of stopping after 6k and again after 8k, but the idea of 10k of this torture appealed to me. I probably should have stopped after 8, the 9th one was very hard (was also into the wind). It was not easy, although the easier pace feels _a lot_ easier after the harder pace. Which is the purpose of the workout.
Hamstrings and legs in general were getting sore at the end, and I was pretty damn tired at the finish. This would be more enjoyable, and doable, without the hard (for me) 5k first. I will try it again. Maybe I will do a shorter version on Saturday.

19k. Total time: 1:30
Time: 12:30
Wt: 61.2
Weather: 8°, sunny, slightly windy
Shoes: 290g 

December 28, 2008

Sunday, Dec. 28

30k in 2:59:40. Out: 1:28:50 In: 1:29:50
150m walk after 3k. 200m walk after 15k and 24k. 
Quads and hamstrings tired and a bit sore last 5k. Last 3k in 6:10, 6:20, 6:20 but did not feel like I was slowing down. I guess my stride was getting shorter.
Time: 2:00
Wt: 61.1kg
Weather: 12°, sunny, a perfectly calm, nice day.
Shoes: 430g.  (350g +20g flat insole + 60g custom insole.) These are my usual well-cushioned shoes for long, LT and easy runs. Marathon shoes will be 320g (280 +20 +20). All shoes size 8-1/2 (26.5cm)

Legs very tired at end. Maybe four relatively hard days a week is too much. Have to be careful.
Next Sunday is another 40k onsen run, so can't do as much on Saturday.

Week: 91.7k. 8:54 (8:39 run + 0:15 bike)

Saturday MP runs in Koganei Koen (no forced stops). 5k loop measured by me and marked every k.
Sunday long run along cycling path to Tama-ko, partway around and back. Marked every 100m. Occasional short stops for traffic lights and trains.
Thursday LT run at either place, depending on what I feel like. Don't mind occasional stops at LT pace.

December 27, 2008


Despite never having had any desire to create a blog before, today during my run I suddenly decided to start one. I don't really know why. It will not be text heavy; simply a record of my training.

First some background to my present training regime.
Pre-July: Ran 3:09:53 in Tokyo Marathon in February. After that had sore hamstrings, so did not run much through June.
July: Decided to start a program of very long, very slow distance to strengthen my legs so the last 10k and especially last 5k of my next marathon will not be so slow and painful. Ran 453km (45 hrs.), most of it at around 6:00/km, with 2min. walk breaks every 20mins. Wed. night track workouts also at easy pace.
August: 461km (47 hrs.). Same program.
Sept.: 456km (47 hrs). Same program, but also some slightly harder runs with American School cross-country team.
Oct.: 306km (30.5 hrs.). From middle of month, knees got sore from all the distance the past 3 months (also from some hill workouts, which were not a good idea), so just rested and jogged last 2 weeks.
Nov.: 159km (15 hrs.). Left knee ok. Right knee still sore, but improving. Ran Toda Half Marathon on Nov. 16 as a test at hoped-for marathon pace (4:15 per k for a 3:00 marathon). Ran 1:28:55, so test a success. Ran in new marathon shoes, Brooks Ghost, which are great.
Had been targeting LA marathon on Mar. 15, but the idiots changed it to May 25, when it is VERY hot in LA. So applied for Napa Valley Marathon, just above San Fran., which is on Mar. 1.

Dec. 1st week: Still taking it easy after the Half Marathon — 72k (6:44).

Dec. 2nd week: Started new training program, which is:
Wed: Intervals on the track, at faster than marathon pace (MP). This is to maintain what little leg speed I still have and also so that marathon pace does not feel like the fastest I can run.
Thurs: Lactate threshold (LT) run. I think this is the correct term...the fastest pace at which you are not going into lactate debt. Also called, I suppose, a tempo run. Anyway, it is halfway between your marathon race pace and your easy long run pace. So for me that is between 4:15/k and 6:00/k, so about 5:00/k. Start at about 10k, work up to about 20k (probably). This is to build stamina.
Fri: Cross training (X-trng), which is weights & abs plus possibly stationary bike and/or arc trainer.
Weights means 5 upper body machines and 3 leg machines (1 set of moderate amount of weights to muscle exhaustion, about 20 times). 
Abs means about 20 mins. of various abdominal exercises, with various stretching in between.
Stationary bike is moderate effort for 20 or 30 mins. 
Arc trainer (like an elliptical trainer) is 10 to 16 minutes—very tiring!
Sat: MP run. From 10k, working up to 26k (?). This is to get used to running at marathon pace for extended periods.
Sun: Long run – usually 30k. This is to build/maintain leg strength.
Mon: Off
Tues: X-trng. (Used to run easy 5-10k on x-trng days, but now I need more recovery since I am doing 4 "hard" days a week.)

Knee is no longer sore when running (after 3k warmup), but a bit sore going up and down stairs.
So...Dec. 2nd week:
Wed: 8.6k. 600/1200/600/1200/600/1200/600 Cruised 600s, ran 1200s at 3:46/1k pace.
Thurs: 17k. 5k x 2 @ 4:50 (3 min. walk after each). 2k@4:20
Sat: Namban Partner Race. 5k x 2 at MP. First 5k (not timed) was probably slow (sorry, Barry).
Sun: 24k
Week: 77.1k (6:59)

Dec. 3rd week:
Wed: 10.6k 2000/1000/2000/1000  8:41/3:52/7:56/3:54 
Thurs: 19k. 10k@5:00, wlk 4', 5k@5:04
Sat: 14k. 10k MP
Sun: 40.5k. Tama-ko run with 6 people. Planned 34-36, but Mika, Yuka and Sase talked me into 40. 6:00/k or slightly faster out, 5:48 in. Knee ok, legs tired and sore last 6-8k but not too bad. (Mika took off the last 5k. Yuka ran comfortably the entire way, even though she only runs twice a week. Namban women are tough!)
This run was MUCH easier than a 40k run last January (even with 10kMP run the day before), so I guess maybe the 3 months of long distance work paid some benefits.
Week: 83.8k (7:47)

Dec. 4th week:
Mon: Off
Tues: X-trng (wts, abs).
Wed: 24k @ 6:00 (Xmas eve so did not go to track. Decided to get some more distance in.)
Thurs: 20k. 8k (10k to 18k) LT@5:00.
Fri: X-trng (wts, abs, bike 15')

Sat: 17.7k. 3.2k warmup. 13k MP. Knee felt fine. Hamstrings getting a bit sore and tired at end.
Time: 12:00
Weather: 10°, sunny, fairly windy. (Temp. at start of run, in the shade)
Weight: 61kg (At start of run. But "official" weight is at about 4:00 before my usual late afternoon run. Weight has been up over 62, but should be 60)
Shoes: 290g (medium wt. shoes + 20g insoles + 30g insoles)