December 28, 2009

Gearing Up

This is a week of gearing up for my next 12-week training program, leading to the LA Marathon on March 21 (goal time 3:04...again).
My original plan was to do 100km/62mi weeks with a long, hard (progressive) 35km run on Sundays. However, my two marathon gurus, Joachim and Steve, told me that long hard runs are not important. What is important is mileage, i.e., the more, the better. This was confirmed by Scott (In the Long Run) Brown, who piled on the miles this fall and ran a 2:45 at age 44. Not to mention Hosaka's 210km a week. Anyway, they said I should run 120km a week, with no extra-long hard runs, but a marathon pace run once a week.
So...the program is:
Tues: 20k @5:00 (moderately difficult)
Wed: 12k easy (am) and 8k intervals @ abt 4:00 (pm)
Thur: 20k @5:30 (moderately easy)
Fri: 15k with 10k @ marathon pace (prob. gradually increasing distance)
Sat: 20k @5:30
Sun: 25k starting at 5:15 and getting faster
Mon: Rest

So to check that I am recovered from Santa Barbara and begin building for that, this week was:
12k @4:38.
Splits: 5k/5k/1k/1k: 24:52/22:25/4:14/4:02
Legs felt fine, no soreness at all.

Rest, work trip to Hamamatsu. Which is why I ran Monday.
Also good because I will run a 5,000m time trial Wed.

5,000m on the track in 18:48
Splits: 3:45/48/49/44/41
Felt pretty good. Ran with Fabrizio the whole way. Time is ok considering I am coming off a marathon and have not run this fast since July 29th (which was 18:38).
Weight: 60.6kg
Shoes: 220g Nike Katana Cage
Temp: About 8C/46F

20k @5:28
1:49:23 (27:09/27:09/26;53/28:09). Just ran easy pace, which turned out to be about 5:25/k.

20k @5:09
1:43:01 (26:56/26:39/24:38/24:47)
Wanted to run under 5:00 pace coming back and did so without difficulty.

Left knee (muscle above/outside knee?) is slightly sore, so rested. Also doing a long run tomorrow with a lady. (If a lady invites you for a long run, you have to go, right?)

30.1k @5:32
2:46:50 up to and around Lake Tama-ko. Legs a bit sore and tired the last 10k. Knee was fine.
Week: 88.3km (7 hrs. 50 mins)

December 21, 2009

Back Running Again

Some photos from Santa Barbara. Form is not too bad for the end of the race, right?

As for running again, actually, I have been running for the past 9 days (including today). And feeling really good. Ran easy Sunday and Monday (13th and 14th) and then pretty good runs from the 15th. Some very good, in fact. No soreness in the quads or anywhere at all. I guess the 18 weeks of training did in fact make my legs stronger. So I'm already looking forward to LA in March.

Sunday 13th
11k (approx) easy along the Tamagawa Josui. Now a tiny stream, but it was once one of the main water supplies for Edo (old Tokyo).

Monday 14th
8k easy in 43:22 5:24/k. Picked up pace one k but with difficulty.

Tuesday 15th
8k easy in 42:40 5:20/k. Felt much better - lighter, legs fresher.

Wednesday 16th
7.8k on the track. 1600 x 3, 800 x 2
6:32/6:19/6:11 (400m jog, total time 10:00), 2:59/2:57 (200m jog).
No warmup. Legs felt fine. Not pushing the pace.

Thursday 17th
8k 42:52 5:22/k. Legs felt good.
4:30. 8C/46F

Friday 18th
10k 48:51 (25:57/22:53) @4:53 (5:12/4:35)
Felt pretty good. 2nd 5k started at 4:47 and went down to 4:23.
4:30. 6C/43F

Saturday 19th
11k. Namban Rengo Hash Run - Easy with a few spurts. Distance approx.
Fun run (Hash House Harriers style). Legs felt good.

Sunday 20th
20k. 1:37:50 (24:41/25:00/23:46/24:19)
@4:54 Out @4:58 In @4:49
Felt good from start. 5:00 pace felt easy.
2:30. 10C/50F. 20% humidity

72.8k for the week

Monday 21st
12k. 55:34 (29:45/25:48)
@4:38 (4:57/4:18) Last 2k in 4:14, 4:02
Legs felt fine. No soreness at all. Didn't plan to run at such a good pace.
5:20 (pm of course). 5C/41F

Rest tomorrow as I have to go to Hamamatsu.
Wednesday night is a 5,000m club time trial.

December 10, 2009

Santa Barbara Marathon

Santa Barbara is a lovely town on the California coast about 1-1/2 hours drive north of LA. It has a long running tradition, so they decided to hold the Santa Barbara International Marathon. Fortunately for them, I showed up to make it “international.”
I arrived in LA on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, so had 10 days before the marathon. Had turkey for dinner and the next day drove to Las Vegas with my wife, daughter and her fiancee. First time to Vegas. I’ve never been eager to go there, not liking glitz, glitter or gambling, but I have to admit, it is a place everyone should visit once. It’s not just a different kind of city, it’s a different planet. Saw the Barry Manilow show to please my wife, but it was a good show—he’s still got the voice and is a nice, engaging guy.
I ate well and continued to do so back in LA. Had a thrill at one of my daughter’s favorite restaurants when Michael Emerson, Ben from the TV show Lost, walked in and sat down near us. It’s my favorite show and he’s one of the main actors, so that was cool. And for you Gray’s Anatomy fans, T.R. Knight stopped by his table to say hello.
Had lunch with one of the two main guys organizing the LA Marathon and confirmed that I am the official representative for Japan. The object is to get a lot of Japanese runners to go over and run it. We will have an ad in the Jan. 22 issue of Runners magazine, just to create some awareness of the race (which is March 21st and which I am going to run, as is Barry Bergmann), looking ahead to trying to create real interest for the 2011 race. It’s going to be a great event on a great course!
Anyway, I probably ate too much in the 10 days before the race, although I cut back the last four days. A larger problem was lack of sleep—I was jet-lagging the whole 10 days. This is one drawback of doing an overseas marathon, at least for me. Next time I think I will take sleeping pills to knock myself out each night.
I followed my training program fairly well, with a bit of extra taper . Ran early each morning to get used to that (was up at 4:00 or 5:00 anyway). So by race day I felt ok, but not great. Legs were rested but probably my body was not.
Drove up to SB on Saturday and met my cousins for dinner, along with blogger friend Michael from San Francisco and John, another SF runner. Michael is famous for running 12 marathons in 12 months (SB was his 12th), as well as for his terrific blog (12 months 12 races). Naturally we carbo-loaded at a good Italian restaurant.
Race morning was clear and cold. The 6:30 start was delayed for 30 minutes due to a traffic accident (which was not on the course, so that was strange). Retrieved my t-shirt from the garbage and sat on a tiny chair in an elementary school for 25 minutes. The sun warmed things up later, but my hands were pretty cold for the first four miles.
Lined up near the front and started behind the 3:00 pace group, letting them get gradually further ahead. Felt a bit cold and stiff, but was moving ok. My target pace was 7:01/mile (4:21/km), for a 3:04. The first mile was 7:14, then picked it up to 6:49. I’m not going to list the rest of the splits, because about 5 mile markers were missing and numerous others were placed wrongly. At one point I ran a 6;30, followed by a the same pace. This was very frustrating. I need the markers to hold a steady pace, otherwise I tend to slow down. This was especially true since I was running alone the entire way. People were passing me and I was passing others, but I didn’t have a group, or even an individual, to run with. I slowed quite a bit in miles 8, 9 and 10 as there were no markers and it was uphill, but managed to get to the half in 1:32:23 (if marked correctly), so I was basically on pace.
After that we had another a gradual uphill for two miles at 18 and 19, and I had been gradually slowing anyway. My legs were tired and sore enough that it was hard to hold the pace running alone. The downhills didn’t really help, as I didn’t want to go faster and stress my quads. There was another long hill (the steepest on the course) in mile 23, which reduced me to a slow slog. I recorded 8:15, but I think it was slower. However, from 20 miles my legs didn’t feel as bad as they had at Napa Valley in March. In fact, after the hill I picked up the pace considerably and held it to the end. I had planned on doing that, so was glad I was able to (maybe I was able to because I had planned on it).
I wore my Nike fuel belt and drank the four small bottles of sports drink (with protein powder) and also ate four gels. At mile 20, my daughter gave me two small bottles of an energy drink (rich in carbos and amino acids) which was almost too sweet to drink, but I managed one and a half. Does all that really help? I don’t know, my legs still got pretty sore.
The new shoes — Nike Air Zoom Cage+, at a light 240g, were problems at all.
So the final time was 3:09:17, or 3:08:33 minus a 44-second nature stop at about mile 15. I didn’t really HAVE to go, but I felt better afterwards. (Besides the damn mile markers, there were not enough porta-potties on the course.)
At least it was faster than Napa, but I have to say it was disappointing, as I had trained for 18 weeks to run a 3:04. I did win my age group, by about 10 minutes, which was nice, but, well, I expected to (most US marathons, except the big ones, have very few strong runners over 50 and none over 60). Only one 55 year old beat me, and only 4 50 year olds.
I was 68th overall out of 1,686, and 61st male out of 922. There were also more than 1,000 relay runners—teams of 3 or 4 people. It was a little weird to be running behind someone, maybe trying to catch them, and have them stop and hand off to another person. My age-graded rank of 82.5% is apparently “national class” (not quite world class).
I’d like to say it was a good race, but I can’t quite do it, due to the hills, the bad mile markers, the shortage of toilets and the scarcity of food and drink at the finish. It is a really nice town and the support along the course was pretty good.
Looking forward to the LA Marathon in March—and a faster time!

Final Taper

Weeks of Nov. 23 - Dec. 5.
17th and 18th weeks of 18-week marathon program.
Late, but I should get my final taper into this blog.

Program Menu: 11k with 8 x 100m striders
Actual Run: 11k with 8 x 100m @ 5:36/k

PM: 6k@5:30-6:00
AR: 6k@5:51

PM: 13k with 3 x 1600m @ 5k race pace
AR: 0k (work trip to Hamamatsu, no time to run)

PM: 8k recover
AR: 17.8k. 5k@5:39 in Tokyo. 12.8k in LA (4k@5:57, 3 x 1600m@ 5:00/5:00/4:30, 4k@5:33
Legs rather stiff, did not feel particularly good.

PM: 10k with 8 x 100m striders
AR: 0k

PM: 21k@4:48-5:14
AR: 11k@5:14

PM: Rest
AR: 5k. 3.8k@5:55, 6 x 200m striders.

Week total
PM: 69k
AR: 50.8k

PM: 11k@5:30-6:00
AR: 11k@5:45

PM:11k easy with 3k@4:21
AR: 12k. 4.5k@6:00, 3.2k@4:22.5 (2 miles in 7:16/6:46), 4.3k@5:58.
Cruised the 3k, felt ok.

PM: 8k recovery
AR: 8k@5:41

PM: 8k recovery with 6 x 100m
AR: 6.4k easy, picked up last k

PM: 6k recovery
AR: Rest

PM: Program ends, as I am a day off
AR: 6k@5:50.

Week: PM: 44k AR: 37k

November 26, 2009


Week of Nov, 16 - 22
16th Week of 18-week marathon program
Program Menu: 88-92km. Actual Run: 80.6km (49 mi.)
Less mileage, but two pretty hard days.

PM: 11k w/ 8 x 100m striders
AR: 11k @ 5:56 w/ 8 x 100m striders
Wt: 60.6kg

PM: 19k@4:48-5:14
AR: 16k@ 5:09 (5:23/4:55)
No time to run 19k. Felt very stiff going out (into cold breeze). Coming back felt better, but still not smooth. Managed to run last 4k ok (in rain).
Wt: 60.2kg

PM: 8k w 6 x 10m strides
AR: 6.6k @ 5;21 w 6 x 100m (good striders at track)

PM: 8k recovery
AR: 0 Had to go to Epson in Nagano pref. Decided to rest.

PM: 14-18k w/ 8-10k race.
AR: 20k. 7k@5:21, 13k@ 4:21 (marathon pace)
Splits: 4:22/22/29/19/16/19/22/18/21/24/20/23/22
Race effort is too hard - decided to do MP run. Felt easy for 10k, but legs a bit sore last 3k
Time: 5:15pm
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 220g
Temp: 11C/52F

PM: 27k@4:48-5:14
AR: 27k@5:06 (5:14/4:58)
Felt stiff going out but ok coming back. Legs getting sore last 5k. Two hard days! Does not seem like a taper....


November 16, 2009

Nice Runs, Nice Tanuki Family

Week of No. 9 to Nov. 15. 15th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program menu: 110k. Actual Run: 110k (68 mi.)
Good week highlighted by sighting of 4 tanuki (Japanese raccoon dogs).

PM: 16k. 10k + 6k @5;30-6:00
AR: 16k. 10k@5:45, 6k@5:56
Just recovery runs.

PM: 18k w/ 5 x 1200 @ 5k race pace
AR: 23k@5:04 (5:19/4:50)
Did wrong workout - did last Tuesday's by mistake (looking at wrong column).
Bought and wore new Nike shoes - Air Zoom Speed Cage+. They felt good. Legs also felt good.
Time: 5;30
Temp: 18C/64F
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 240g (new marathon shoes)

PM: 23k
AR: 9k. 2k warmup, 5 x 1200 (200m jog in 2:30) in 4:38/36/33/39/27 (at night on track).
5k race pace (18:30) is 4:26, but that was impossible due to fairly hard rain, cold and running alone. This was a good pace and a good workout. Actually better to have done the 1200s today on the track.

PM: 13k w 8 x 100m strides
AR: 22k @5;22 (5:27/5:18)
Felt ok, although quads sore last 5k. Made up for missed 9k yesterday. Didn't need 100m strides!
Saw two tanuki behind the fence in the woods surroundingt Tamako (Tama reservoir). Then on the way back, four were there! Quite surprising, thought you would have to go much further up into mountains around Tokyo to see tanuki, if at all. Nice to know that there are some wild animals still around. They looked just like the one in the photo.

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 8k@5:55

PM: 32k@4:48-5:14
AR: 32k@4:59 (5:07/4:50). 2:39:18
Felt stiff and tired before running, but laid down for an hour and then felt ok. Felt fairly good out and better coming back, although legs pretty tired last 5k. Last 2k in 4:40, 4:35.
Drank 1/2 carbo/protein gel before the run and carried one.
Time: 3:00
Temp, humidity: 16C/61F, 75%
Weight: 59.5kg
Shoes: 240 new Nikes

November 9, 2009

Slow Start, Fast Finish

Nov. 2 — Nov. 8. 14th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 96-103k. Actual Run: 84.3k (53 mi.)
Zero k Monday but good runs on Friday and Saturday.

PM: 14k with 5 x 600m strides.
AR: 0k
Legs sore last week and did a hard run last Saturday, so decided to take Ryan Hall's advice (pre-New York video) and get enough recovery. It was good advice, but for racing strategy I guess I'll look to Meb for advice.

PM: 23k@4:48-5:14
AR: 23k@5:08 (5:22/4:54)
Legs stiff going out, also into cold wind. Coming back quads were a bit stiff and then sore.
Time: 12:15
Temp: 13C/55F
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 240g

PM: 10k with 6 x 100m strides
AR: 12k. 8k@5:57 (4:30), 4k@6:10 (7:30)

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 8k@5:48
Easy pace, felt ok.

PM: 14-21k with 8-15k @ race effort
AR: 14.3k with 10k hard effort in 39:25.
Splits: 3:57/52/56/4:00/03/01/00/3:54/39
Did not feel motivated to run really fast. Also have trouble running fast in dusk/dark. Felt good, though.
Time: 4:45
Temp: 16C/61F
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 192g light racers

PM: 27k@4:48-5:14
AR: 27k@4:57 (5:05/4:49)
Felt fairly good. Legs not tired despite yesterday. Last 5k legs getting sore, but also felt strong (a bit strange, but a good feeling). Got in a zone and ran in well (last 2k 4:42 and 4:40).
Fastest long run (continuous) so far, and after a hard 10k!
Time: 3:30
Temp/humidity: 18C/64F, 65%
Weight: 59.7kg
Shoes: 240g


November 5, 2009

23k Marathon Pace Run

Oct. 26 — Nov. 1. 13th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 112k. Actual Run: 102.5k (64 mi.)
Program's longest marathon pace run on Saturday.
This post is a bit late as my entire house is being renovated so I have to spend most of my time carrying things from here to there and back again.

PM: 16k inc. 6 x 1000m @ 3:34-3:50.
AR: 16k. 6k@5:42. 6 x 1000, 4k easy.
1000s: 4:00/3:55/57/50/51/38 (jog 3:30 after 1st, then 3:00).
Rain and wind, although rain let up after 2 1000s. Wore long-slv and short-slv shirts - not ideal for running fast. But felt very good on the last 3 — legs felt strong.
Time: 3:45
Temp and humidity: 14C/57F, 92%. Rain.
Weight: 59.9kg
Shoes: 235g Saucony

PM: 24k@4:48-5:14
AR: 22.5k@5:20
6k@5:18, rest, 7.5k with x-country team @5:20 (22mins out, 18 mins back), 9k@5:22.
Quads sore - didn't want to go faster or longer.

PM: 16k. 10k + 6k @ 5:30-6:00
AR: 13k. 6k@5:57, 7k@5:02
7k included 3 x 800m with kids @3:00 (jog 3 mins.). Quads sore, so cut down run.

PM: 19k@4:48-5:14
AR: 19k@5:26 (5:30/5:24)
Felt ok, but quads got heavy last 5k, so took it easy.
Time: 4:00
Temp/humidity: 18C/64F, 70%
Weight: 59.8kg
Shoes 240g

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 4k@6:00.
No time to run more. 11:00: wts and core.

PM: 29k with 23k@4:21
AR: 28k. 5k@5:54, 23k@4:23 1:40:51 (Half in 1:32:18)
Splits: 4:13/22/26/27/19/21/35/36/25/28/19/21/19/19/16/28/27/24/21/22/24/23/10
Had to work hard coming back - pushing most of the way. Right hip and quads a bit sore. It was a hard week.
Drank 4 bottles (small) of sports drink and ate 2 gels. Large lunch 4 hours before, but stomach was ok. Good that I could pick it up the last k.
Time: 4:00
Temp/humidity: 19C/66F, 60%
Weight: 60.5kg
Shoes: 220g Nike Katana Cage 2

October 25, 2009

38:58 10k By Myself

Oct. 19-25. 12th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 105km. Actual Run: 105km (65 mi.)
Had to do a "race' on Friday, which went well.

PM: 14k w/ 5 x 600m @ 5k race pace
AR: 14k. 11.6k@5:12, 3 x 800m @ 2:52/57/3:03.
3k warmup easy, good 800s with varsity girls, the rest in Nogawa park - may have been a bit short.
Time: 3:30
Temp/humidity: 20C/68F, 55%

American School in Japan varsity girls x-country.
Miyuki, Emiri, Kana, Aki, Arisa, Bessie, Miki
Far East champs (international schools). As are the boys.

PM: 23k@4:48-5:14
AR: 23k@5:23
5.5k to school, 4k in park, rest, 3k ASIJ Fun Run, rest, 5k in park, 5.5k home. Quads a bit sore.
Time: 2:30
Temp/humidity: 22C/72F, 40%
Weight: 60kg

PM: 16k. 10k w/ 6 x 100m pickups, 6k
AR: 16k. 10K @5:33 (inc. 6 x 100m), 6k@5:32 in evening at track
Quads a bit sore. Also core workout at home.

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 8k@6:00
Legs a bit tired. Easy because tomorrow is a "race."

PM: 14-21k w/ 8-15k race
Planned: 15k w/ 8-10k all out in Koganei Park (measured course)
AR: 15k. 3.5k@5:50, stretching, 10k@3:53 (38:58), 1.5k@6:42.
10k splits: 3:51/54/53/4:01/55/57/59/00/50/35
Planned 8k @ 3:55 and if feeling good, 2k more. Felt good, so ran 10, planning to pick up last 2k, which I did. Very good run by myself, I think. Felt good last k. Charts say this equates to a 31:30 10k for a runner in his prime.
Time: 4:30
Temp/humidity: 18C/64F, 50% - perfect temp, no wind.
Weight: 59.4kg
Shoes: 192g light racing shoes
Also weights and core at 11:00am in gym

PM: 29k@4:48-5:14
AR: 29k@5:05 (5:12/4:57). 2:27:04 (1:15:18/1:11:46).
Felt ok. Legs getting sore last 6k, but not bad. Picked up last 2k.
Time: 3:30
Temp/humidity: 18C/64F, 60% (rain last 3k)
Weight: 59.5kg
Shoes: 300g

October 18, 2009

Successful Long Week

Oct. 12 — 18. 11th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 113km. Actual Run: 113km (70 mi.)
This was the longest week of the program (although 2 weeks from now is 112km).
It presented no problems.

PM: 10k + 6k @5:30-6:00
AR: 10k@5:45, 6k@5:32.
At 12:00 and 5:00. Felt ok.

PM: 24k@4:48-5:14.
AR: 24k@4:54
Consisting of 5.5k to school, rest, 2k easy, 3 x 800m (3:05/10/30) with girls, 1600 in 6:03 with slower varsity boys, 6k@5:03 in park, 5.5k home.
Time: 3:00
Temp/humidity: 20C/68F, 50%
Weight: 59.8kg
Shoes: 300g
Also weights and core work at gym at 11:00.

PM: 10k@5:30-6:00
AR: 9k@5:38. Felt ok, only had time for 9k. Lucky because just after I got into the locker room at the track there was a torrential cloudburst with hail. Everyone stopped; apparently the rain was so hard you literally could not run.

PM: 20k with 11k@4:00 (Lactate threshold; half marathon pace)
AR: 3.25k@5:36, 11k@4:02, 2.25k@5:42, 3.5k@6:00 (later with team)
Splits: 3:59/4:02/3:58/4:07/02/06/03/03/04/58/56 (44:22)
Legs a bit tired, stomach a bit full from big, late breakfast, but felt ok and ran ok.
Time: 12:30
Temp/humidity: 21C/70F, 40%
Weight: 60.1kg
Shoes: 192g (old lightweight 5k racing shoes)

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 9k@5:54
Legs tired
Also weights and core work at gym at 11:00.

PM: 35k@4:48-5:14
AR: 35k@5:02 (5:06/4:58)
2:56:14 (1:29:17/1:26:57)
5k splits: 25:58/33/35/30/06/05/23:23. Last 2k: 8:57
Time: 3:00
Temp/humidity: 19C/66F, 60%
Weight: 59.7kg
Shoes: 240g
Legs felt good from the start. They were getting tired and a bit sore the last 5k, but picked up the pace and felt strong the last 2k. Legs did not feel bad after finishing. Had some rain for about 45 minutes, but it did not bother me. Drank 4 160ml/6oz bottles of water and ate 3 carbo gels.
Quite a good run after the hard run on Thursday.


October 12, 2009

Recovery Week

Oct. 5 - Oct. 11. 10th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 93km. Actual Run: 89km/55mi.
Decided to take a bit more recovery on Saturday.

PM: 14k@5:01-5:28
AR: 11.5k@4:57 (5:15/4:42)
With ASIJ x-country girls. Knees very stiff first 4k, then ok. Nice pace coming back. Rain got heavy so did not run more after returning to school.
Time: 3:30
Temp/humidity: 19C/66F, rain
Weight: 60.2kg
Shoes: 275g

PM: 14k with 6 x 800m @ 5k race pace (3:00)
AR: 14k. 2.2k@6:00, 6 x 800m @ 3:05/2:53/52/54/52/43 (walk between abt. 3:45), 7k@4:56
With Kana, Arisa and Bessie. Felt quite good. Felt good on 7k also.
Time: 3:30
Temp/humidity: 19C/66F, rain
Shoes: 270g
Also weights and core at gym at 11:00.

PM: 10k@5:30-6:00
AR: 10k@5:40
At the track in the evening.

PM: 18k@4:48-5:14
AR: 18k@5:14 (5:27/5:01)
Quads a bit sore coming back. Probably from 800s on Tuesday.
Time: 5:15
Temp/humidity: 22C/72F, 35%
Weight: 60.1kg
Shoes: 300g

PM: 13k@5:01-5:28 with 10 x 100m pickups
AR:13.5k@5:44 + 10 x 100m pickups (100m jog)
Legs tired, quads and knees a bit sore, so took it easy. Striders also easy.
Time: 12:30
Temp/humidity: 21C/70F, 31%
Also weights and core at gym at 11:00.

PM: 24k@4:48-5:14
AR: 20k@5:05 (5:15/4:54)
Decided to take a bit more recovery, as next week is the longest week. Legs felt good, quads were fine, but getting a little sore last 2k, so 20k was good.
Time: 4:30
Temp/humidity: 20C/68F, 50%
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 240g

October 4, 2009

Up to 19k at Marathon Pace

Sept. 28 - Oct. 4. 9th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 108km. Actual Run: 107km/66mi.

PM: 16k. 10k in am, 6k in pm at 5:30-6:00.
AR: 16k. 10k@5:45, 6k@5:51.
Ran at 12 noon and 6:45. Legs feeling a bit tired.

PM: 24k@4:48-5:14
AR: 24k@4:59 (5:16/4:42). 1:59:43
Knees stiff most of the way out. Ok coming back, legs tired last 4k.
Time: 11:30
Temp/humidity: 23C/73Fm, 73%
Weight: 60.3kg
Shoes: 300g
Core work in afternoon with ASIJ team.

PM: 10k@5:30-6:00
AR: 10K@5:19
On the track in the evening. Legs felt ok.

PM: 21k@4:48-5:14
AR: 20k@4:54 (distance approx.)
Warmup in Nogawa Park (next to American School), then 6 x 600m hills at a pretty good pace with team members, then 11k@5:08. Legs tired at end.
Time: 3:30
Temp/humidity: 25C/77F, 40%
Weight: 60.1kg
Shoes: 270g

PM: 11k@5:30-6:00 with 6 x 100m pickups
AR: 9.8k@5:56, 6 x 100m pickups (100m jog in between)
Legs kind of tired, felt only so-so.

PM: 26k. 5k warmup, 19k@4:21 (marathon pace), 2k warmdown (cooldown?)
AR: 26k. 4k warmup, 20k@4:22, 2k@5:48
Splits: 4:10/30/21/26/19/24/34/36/22/27/25/15/24/19/17/28/19/17/16/11.
4:34 was up 600m hill. 4:36 was a shock, but it continues slightly uphill and looking at past training logs, I often run this k slow. 4:19 was down the hill. 4:28 was when I slowed a bit to run with a guy who stayed with me after I passed him and we were talking. Looked to be in his 50s.
20k time: 1:27:21 (44:10/43:11)
Once again I mistook the distance! (2nd time in 3 weeks - disturbing pattern - haha.) Started the MP portion at 3.6k mark on the bicycle path instead of 4.6. Getting there was a bit complicated, but not THAT complicated. Anyway, felt tired and thighs were sore during the warmup, but felt ok after a bit of stretching. Felt like I could have run another 2k at that pace, but on the 2nd k of the warmdown legs got very tired and sore. A mental letdown. Interesting - shows that your mental state is very important.
Used water belt and drank all four bottles (Aquarius sports drink) not only for the hydration, but to get used to using it at marathon pace. Had a cup of sports drink/ with chia before running.
Time: 4:15
Temp/humidity: Start-24C/75F, 40%; Finish-22C/72F, 75% (interesting how the humidity always goes up around 5-6:00. I never knew that before.) No wind. Didn't feel at all hot...very nice for running.
Weight: 59.7kg
Shoes: 220g Nike Katana Cage2

September 26, 2009

Feeling Good

Sept. 21-27. 8th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 107km. Actual Run: 109km (68mi.)
Legs are feeling pretty good. Long/hard workouts are better than expected.

PM: 10k + 6k @5:30-6:00
AR: 6k@5:40, 11.5k@5:06
11.5 in the afternoon with ASIJ HS x-country top girls (Kana & Emiri) out @ 5:27, in @ 4:45.
Abs work afterwards.
Time: 11:00, 3:30
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 240g

PM: 23k@4:48-5:14
AR: 23k@5:08 (5:17/5:00)
A surprise. Thought it would be 5:14 or over after good run yesterday. Legs tiring at end but held 5:00 pace.
Time: 11:30
Temp/humidity: 25C/77F, 50%
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 300g
10:30am: wts and core in gym

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 10.5k@5:44
7:30pm in Yoyogi Park alone. Legs felt so-so.

PM: 18k. 4k warmup, 10k@4:00, 4k warmdown. Lactate Threshold
AR: 16k. 3k@5:51, 10k@4:01, 3k@6:36
Splits: 4:03/04/3:59/04/01/04/3:59/01/01/3:53.
Legs felt fine. Felt good the whole way. Had to focus to keep the pace, but no real problem.
In Koganei Koen (park) on 5k measured course.
Time: 5:00pm
Temp/humidity: 24C/75F, 55%
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 220g Nike Katana Cage2

PM: 10k@5:30-6:00 (planned 6:00)
AR: 10k@6:00
Knees and legs tired and stiff as expected, so took it easy. Actually, it didn't feel so easy.
Time: 5:00
Temp/humidity: 24C/75F, 40%
Weight: 60.1kg
11:00am: wts and core in gym

PM: 32k@4:48-5:14
AR: 32k@5:00 (5:15/4:45) 2:40:17 (1:24:04/1:16:13)
Last 5k@4:37, last k 4:17.
Felt good going out, but not great. Thought I would run 5:00 in, not 4:45. Felt good the last 10k. Good run for 28° and hard run on Thursday.
Drank 4 160ml (6oz) bottles of sports drink, with CarboShotz gel at 12k and 22k. Cup of chia with sports drink before run.
Time: 3:00
Temp/humidity: Start: 28C/82F, 50%; Finish: 25C/77F, 60%
Weight: 60.1kg
Shoes: 240g Saucony.


September 20, 2009

Three Good Runs

Week of Sept. 14-20. 7th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 110km. Actual Run: 110km/68mi.
Good runs on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday.

PM: 16k. 4k@5:30, 8k@4:00, 4k@5:00-5;30
AR: 14.6k. 4k@5:27, 8k@3:57, 2k & 6x100m @ 4:54.
8k in 31:33 along Tama River bike path with 4 ASIJ runners. Felt good — cruising easily for most of it; last 2k were a bit harder.
Time: 3:30
Temp/humidity: 25C/77F, 45%
Weight: 59.7kg
Shoes: 220 Nike Katana Cage2

PM: 23k@4:48-5:14
AR: 26k@5:00 (5:11/4:52) 2:10:42
Planned 24k, but miscalculated distance. Legs felt ok, surprising to keep 4:50 pace coming back without trying to.
Time: 12:30
Temp/humidity: 20C/68F, 60%
Weight: 59.3kg
Shoes: 300g
Abs work in afternoon with X-country team.

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 7.4k@5:45
Hamstrings a bit sore when walking, but ok when running.

PM: 18k@4:48-5:14
AR: 18k@5:30 — But 5k@6:30 and 13k@5:02
First 5k with slow kids. 13k in Nogawa Park by myself. Got faster as I went along, although I was not trying to. Last 5k under 5:00 pace.
Time: 3:30
Temp/humidity: 26C/79F, 45%
Shoes: 270g

PM: 11k@5:01-5:28 with 10 x 100m striders
AR: 10k. 8k@5:58, 10x100m striders with 100m jog after each.
Legs felt tired, took it easy.
Time: 6:00pm
Temp/humidity: 22C/72F, 65%
Weight: 60.3kg
Shoes: 300g
11:00am - weights and core in gym.

PM: 34k@4:48-5:14
AR: 34k@5:00 (5:11/4:50) 2:50:
Back: 12k@4:56, 5k@4:36, last k 4:12.
Felt good the whole way. Going out was very easy. Legs a bit tired the last 5k, but able to pick up pace.
Drank 4 160ml (6oz) water bottles, with CarboShotz gel at 14k and 24k. Carb/protein gel before run.
Time: 4:00
Temp/humidity: 23C/73F, 60%
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 240g Saucony.

September 13, 2009

Recovery Week

Sept. 7—13. 6th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 88km. Actual Run: 76km /47mi.
Decided I needed more recovery than prescribed.

PM: 13k. 12k@5:01-5:28, 100m x 10 striders.
AR: 13k. 12k@5:20, 100m x 10 barefoot on artificial turf.
Ran with kids; distance and pace approx., but close.

PM: 19k@4:48-5:14
AR: 19k@5:15 (5:21/5:08)
Knees stiff at first, rt knee slightly sore last 5k.
Time: 4:45
Temp/humidity: 26C/79F, 62%
Weight: 60.0kg
Shoes: 270g
Also weights and core at gym at 11:00am

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 8k@5:45 (In Yoyogi Park, distance and pace approx.)

PM: 16k@4:48-5:14 (However I planned 5:15-5:45)
AR: 16k@5:34 (5:36/5:31)
Tired, knees a bit sore, so took it easy.
Time: 12:30
Temp/humidity: 26C/79F, 35%

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 0 Knees sore. Recovery week needs more recovery time.

PM: 24k@4:48-5:14 (But planned 20k)
AR: 20k@5:09 (5:15/5:02)
Legs felt ok, but rt knee a bit sore on the way back. 24 would be too much. Also want to run well on Monday (8k@4:00).
Stopped for water at 9k and sweat pouring off due to humidity.
Time: 3:30
Temp/humidity: 21C/70F, 80%.
Weight: 60.5kg
Shoes: 300g


September 7, 2009

Tough Marathon Pace Run

Week of Aug. 31 - Sept. 6. 5th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 101km. Actual Run: 100km (62mi).
Late post due to the fact that I bought a new 24" iMac on Sunday and have been fussing with it ever since (and setting up the old Mac for my wife).

PM: 14k with 8k@4:00. Lactate Threshold.
AR: 12k with 8k@4:08.
4:03/12/17/12/12/05/04/3:59. Fairly hard rain and wind caused by nearby typhoon. Cut the "warmup" to 2k. Kind of hard to focus, so a good run. Actually expected 4:10 or 4:15.
Time: 2:00
Temp/Humidity: 18C/64F, 95%
Weight: 60.3kg
Shoes: 240g

PM: 23k@4:48-5:15
AR: 23k@5:06 (5:12/5:00)
Felt pretty good the whole way
Time: 5:15pm
Temp/Humidity: 27C/81F, 70%
Weight: 59.9kg
Shoes: 300g
Also weights and core at gym at 11:00am

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 8k@5:50
Knees sore at first, then ok.

PM: 19k@4:48-5:14
AR: 19k@5:08 (5:17/5:00)
Time: 5:00pm
Temp/Humidity: 22C/72F, 65%
Weight: 59.9kg
Shoes: 240g

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00
AR: 6k@5:45
Legs tired. Plan to run a bit tomorrow morning
Also weights and core at gym at 11:00am

PM: 29k. 10k@5:15-5:30, 16k@4:22 (marathon pace, 7:01/mile), 3k@whatever.
AR: 32k. 10k@5:25, 16k@4:23, 3k@5:51
At 9:00am ran (jogged) 1.5k warmup and 4.5k cross-country course (practice run) with the slowest boys on the team. So easy I'll call it 3k.
Splits were: 4:29/34/16/27/23/15/8/25/19/21/20/29/27/25/26/21.
First. 4.5k of 16k is gradual uphill, next 6k is gradual downhill. Had to work pretty hard the whole way. Might have been able to run a little more than 16k but definitely did not want to. Knees sore at end. 29th k felt much worse than 25th and 26th ks.
Used water belt. Weight did not bother me. Took water and carbo gel at 10.5k and 18k, and water several other times. Slowed me down a little. Although hard, i guess it was a good run considering it was 26° and the end of a 100k week.
Time: 4:30
Temp/humidity: 26C/79F, 60%
Weight: 59.7kg
Shoes: 220 Nike Katana Cage2


August 29, 2009

100km! In fact, 101.

Week of Aug. 24-30. 4th week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 100k. Actual Run: 101k (63mi.).

PM: 14k. 13k@5:01-5:28 + 100m x 10 pickups
AR: 15k. 14k@4:54 + 100m x 10 barefoot.
10.8k with American School Cross Country team varsity boys. First 4k@5:15, then 2k@5:00, then 4k@ about 4:30. Top boys are already in pretty good shape! Faster than I planned to go....
10 x 100m on artificial turf (got some of the kids running barefoot), then 3k@5:20.
Time: 4:00
Weight: 60.3kg

PM: 23k@4:48-5:14. (My plan: 5:30 out/5:15 in)
AR: 23k@5:17 (5:30/5:05) 2:01:35 (63:08/58:22)
Quads and calves kind of sore, so planned slower pace. Felt better coming back than I expected to.
Time: 6:00pm
Temp: 25C/77F, Humid: 62%
Weight: 59.9kg
Shoes: 300g Brooks Ghost

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00. Recovery
AR: 8k@5:54
Legs tired, knees stiff. Calves sore at night.

PM: 18k@4:48-5:14
AR: 18k@5:16 (5:36/4:54)
Legs and calves stiff at start, but felt so-so after a while. Drank water at 9k and then felt good coming back.
Time: 6:30pm
Temp: 26C/79F
Weight: 59.9kg
Shoes: 240g Saucony

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00. Recovery
AR: 8k@5:57. Legs felt ok.
10:00am: Wts and core in the gym
Went to Kinesio place in afternoon for an hour massage and taping of calves.

PM: 29k@4:48-5:14. Long Run
AR: 29k@5:13 (5:16/5:10). 2:31:27 (1:16:28/1:14:52)
Hard rain up at Lake Tama for 10k. No rain at home (like last week). I guess I should stop running to Lake Tama, although I like the course and it is marked every 100m (so I won't stop running there).
Used new Nike water belt, which is great. Drank at 5k and then every 3k, with CarboShotz at 14k. I compared the Nike belt and the Fuel Belt at Oshman's in Harajuku. The Nike has slightly bigger plastic bottles (4) and a bigger velcro fastener. It also has two pockets for gels. And it is cheaper! (4,800 yen to 5,400). The bottles are easy to drink from and easy to get in and out of the holders, which are hard plastic, not just cloth. It stays tight and snug and does not bounce at all. Not only good for long runs on hot days, but it will solve the problem of not drinking enough during marathons. With the added advantage that you can drink whenever you want to.
Time: 4:00
Temp: 32C/90F but got cool in the rain, then warm last 6k.
Weight: 60kg
Shoes: 300 Ghost
Fuel: 8:30: toast and jam, atole. 11:30: tofu, 2 healthy muffins, atole. Iced coffee, water, chia. Put some chia with water in two of the bottles.

Sunday: Rest

August 25, 2009

So Far, So Good

Week of Aug. 17-23. 3rd week of 18-week marathon program.
Program Menu: 93km. Actual Run: 89km.

Program Menu: 18k@4:48-5:14. Medium-long run.
Actual Run: 18k@5:05 (5:15/4:55)
Quads stiff at first, but not as much as I expected. Felt good coming back.
Time: 5:30pm
Temp: 28C/82F
Weight: 59.4kg
Shoes: 240g Saucony

Program Menu: 21k@4:48-5:14. Medium-long run.
Actual Run: 21k@4:57 (5:07/4:49)
Legs felt unexpectedly good. Not fresh, but not sore.
Time: 5:30pm
Temp: 27C/81F Humidity: 65%
Weight: 59.5kg
Shoes: 240g Saucony
Also weights and core in gym at 11:00am.

Program Menu: 8k recovery
Actual Run: 0k. Left calf slightly swollen and sore in the afternoon, so decided not to run.

Program Menu: 14k. 5k@5:30, 6k@4:00, 3k@5:30-6:00. Lactate Threshold.
Actual Run: 14k. 5k@5:38, 6k@4:02, 3k@6:09.
Leg fine; rest yesterday was a good idea. Felt good, but it seems hard to run fast at night - had to keep pushing.
Splits: 4:01/3:57/4:07/4:05/4:07/3:53.
Time: 6:30pm
Temp: 26C/79F. Humidity: 70%.
Weight: 59.7kg
Shoes: 220g Nike Katana

Program Menu: 8k@5:30-6:00. Recovery
Actual Run: 12k@5:44
Got 4k back! Very hot and humid. Felt sluggish but better after drinking water at 6k.
Time: 4:30
Temp: 29C/84F. Humidity: 70%
Weight: 59.8kg
Shoes: 300g Brooks Ghost.
Also weights and core in gym at 11:00am.

Program Menu: 24k@4:48-5:14. Medium-long run.
Actual Run: 24k@5:07 (5:15/4:58)
Legs a bit heavy. Drank water at 9k. Rain started at 9.5k, then a torrential downpour from 16 to 19k. Fun! Except, shoes got heavy, but kept 5:00 pace or under, except for one 5:20. Tired with 6k to go, but rallied last 2k.
Time: 4:00pm
Temp: 32C/90F Humidity: 62%. At start, then it got cooler and wetter.
Weight: 59.4kg
Shoes: 270g (+) Mizuno
Fuel: AM: 2 cups of atole, toast and jam. 11:30: Sports drink with protein powder, grapefruit, banana, grapes.

August 17, 2009

13k@Marathon Pace@29C/84F—Ok! (Faster than Bill Rogers)

2nd week of 18-week marathon program.
Week of Aug. 10-16. Program Menu: 89km. Actual Run: 89km.

PM: 14k. 12k@5:01-5:28, 100m x 10 pickups (100m jog after each). General aerobic + speed.
AR: 14k. 12k@5:16 (5:34/4:54), 100m x 10
Knees very stiff first 6k, then stretched and they felt better.
Time: 4:00
Temp: 29C/84F, very humid.
Weight: 59.5kg
Shoes: 270g Mizuno

PM: 19k@4:48-5:14
AR: 19k@ 5:01 (5:07/4:55)
Had to work to run 5:00 pace last 5k.
Time: 3:30
Temp: 30C/86F
Weight: 59.5kg
Shoes: 270g Newtons
Fuel: Bkfst: protein/banana milk shake, Lunch: tofu and bean salad. Bef. run: 8 tsps chia gel
Also weights and core at 10:30am

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00. Recovery
AR: 8k@5:40
Evening at the track.

PM: 14k@5:01-5:28. General aerobic
AR: 14k@5:17 (5:24/5:10)
Time: 6:00pm
Temp: 31C/88F
Felt ok. Legs a bit tired last 3k.

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00. Recovery
AR: 8k@5:50
Also wts and core at 12:00
Legs tired and knees a bit sore all day so took it easy.

PM: 26k. 11k@<5:30, 13k@4:22, 2k@whatever. Marathon pace run.
AR: 26k. 11k@5:23, 13k@4:21, 2k@6:01.
Splits: 4:35/24/10/22/18/21/20/24/28/15/18/21/21
Felt ok. Not really working hard, but did not want to run any faster or further. Short stop at 9k for water and carbo shotz gel.
Time: 5:30pm
Temp: 30C/86F at start, 28C/82F at finish, so 29C/84F while running 11k.
Weight: 59.6kg
Shoes: 220g. Nike Katana
Fuel: Brunch: protein banana milk shake, wholewheat bread with jam, kiwi. 3:00 bottle sports drink. Bef. run: 10 tsps chia gel, 2 cups water.
Interesting note: Bill Rodgers won the 60 year old division of the Falmouth Road Race (either 7 or 7.1 miles/11.2 or 11.5k) in 51:25, a 4:28/k pace for 11.5k. So I ran faster, for longer, by myself, in hotter weather. Not bad....


August 9, 2009

Perfect Start

This marks the start of my 18-week marathon training program. It is the mid-level program from Pete Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning (86km/54mi to a peak of 113km/70mi). This will take me to the Santa Barbara Marathon on Dec. 6, where I will be aiming for a 3:04. Which is 4:22/km (7:01/mile), which is the pace upon which all the workouts are based.

Week of Aug. 3-9. Program Menu: 86km. Actual Run: 86km.

PM: 14k with 5k@5:30, 6k@4:00, 3k@5:30. (Lactate threshold, i.e. 6k@15k to half marathon pace)
AR: 14k with 5k@5:19, 6k@4:00, 3k@5:30 (6k was actually 23:58)
No problem, although I had to push to maintain the pace. The heat made it not so easy (32°/90°F in the shade).
Time: 1:00pm.
Temp: 32C/90F
Weight: 59.3kg (which is my lowest...ever).
Shoes: 240g (Nike Katana Cage 2, 10k/Half racing shoes, which I really like. I should buy another pair, if they still make them.)
Fuel: 9:30am: mug of atole and banana. Before run: 6 tspns of chia gel and mug of water. Eating like a Tarahumara.

PM: 18k@4:48-5:14. (Medium-long run)
AR: 18k@4:59 (Out 5:06, In 4:51)
Legs felt tired at first, but ok after 5k. Planned negative splits. In fact, I will probably do all the medium-long and long runs that way. Legs getting tired at the end, though.
Time: 6:00pm.
Temp: 29C/84F
Weight: 59.5kg
Shoes: 300g Brooks Ghost (The heaviest shoes I ever wear any more, and they are not really heavy.)
Fuel: Bkfst: banana and atole. Lunch: tofu, 2 yakionigiri (small rice balls), 6tsps chia. Before run: 6 tsps chia
Also did X-trng (weights and core) at 10:30am.

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00. (Recovery)
AR: 8k@5:23
Evening at the track. Legs stiff at first, but ok after 2k.
Shoes: 270g Newton

PM: 14k@5:01-5:28 (General aerobic)
AR: 14k@5:24 (5:33/5:15)
Quads very tight at the start and stayed fairly tight the whole way (to be expected 2 days after hard runs).
Time: 1:00
Weight: 59.4kg
Shoes: 300g Ghost

PM: 8k@5:30-6:00 (Recovery)
AR: 8k@5:46
7:15pm with about 98° humidity.
Shoes: 275g Asics Gel DS Trainer

PM: 24k@4:48-5:14 (Medium-long run)
AR: 24k@5:04 (5:10/4:58) (Total time: 2:01:30)
Legs tired at first, but ok after 5k. Picked up pace coming back to 4:45, but legs tired last 5k so slowed. Short stop for water at 15k.
Time: 4:00
Temp: 29C/84F. Very humid! Rained 3 or 4 times, just because the atmosphere was saturated.
Weight: 60.1kg
Shoes: 240g Saucony
Fuel: Bkfst - 2 cups atole. Lnch: 2 bananas. Bef run: 2 cups water, 8 tsps chia gel.


So the program is off to a perfect start. But I can see that the heat and humidity in August is going to make some of the runs rather difficult. Like 26k next Saturday, with 13k at marathon race pace. Fortunately I will have three fairly easy days before it.

August 3, 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

An easy week of only 43k before my marathon program, which starts tomorrow.

Mon: Rest
Tues: 11:00am - Xtrng (wts and core). 12:00 - 7.3 easy in 43:24.

Wed: Evening track workout - 5,000m time trial.
18:38 (3:38, 3:38, 3:45, 3:50, 3:46). Last 400 in 85.
Wanted to run 18:20 or at least under 18:30, but the 18:38 was the same as last month. However, it was quite a bit hotter...about 27-28° (82F). As you can see, I slowed down on the 4th k and could not pick it up much on the last one. I was trying to push, but was running alone and couldn't go any faster. Still, it was ok for the heat.
Shoes: light racers (202g). Weight: 60.4kg

Thurs: 15k in 1:16:59 (26:35, 25:24, 25:00). Run at 12:30 in 34° heat (93F). Felt surprisingly good. Even the heat didn't bother me very much.

Fri: AM - Xtrng (wts and core). Calves very tired so decided to rest today and Sunday.

Sat: 13.5k at a fairly easy pace in Yoyogi Park. 1:14:09 = 27:24 per 5k (maybe it was more than 13.5k).
Sun: Rest

So tomorrow starts my Pete Pfitzinger 18-week marathon program. 86k the first week, building to a peak of 113k. I am in good shape now, so if I can complete this program as planned, I should be in _really_ good shape come Dec. 6.
Thanks for reading! And for you non-Namban Rengo readers (who already have it), here is a link to a great video:

July 28, 2009

82.6k as Planned

Planned for the week: 83.6k. Ran: 82.6k.
Less than planned on Mon. and Thurs., made it up on Wed. and Sat.

Mon: Rest
Tues: 9:00AM: 8k in 43:31 (5:26/k)
11:00AM: Xtrng (wts and core)

Wed: 7:30AM: 8k easy in 47:24
Namban track workout at night — 800/1200/1600/1200/800/400
Times: 3:04/4:24/5:58/4:28/2:58/81. Jogs in between: 2:30/3:34/4:05/4:00/2:58.
Legs a little tired, very humid, but worked hard.

Thurs: 10k recovery run in 57:42 (29:24/28:18). 8:00PM, light rain.

Fri: 10k easy in 57:43 (29:16/28:27). 11:30AM, more than high humidity, the air is saturated. Also stomach full and legs tired.

Sat: 20k. 27:22/27:23/26:14/27:15. Legs kind of stiff from the beginning. Got tired last 5k. Kept pace easy due to running at Ome tomorrow.

Sun: 18.6k of hills at Ome. VERY hot and legs a bit tired. Out very easy in 1:15:31. In 1:02:33. Picked up pace for about last 3.6k in 19:00 (except for last downhill on the road). Last stretch to barriers in 12:22 — last week was 11:02, but in this heat it is not bad.

Next week will be easy, except for 5,000m time trial on Wed, night, and then the 18-week marathon program starts on Aug. 3rd, which I am really looking forward to.

July 20, 2009

Good Week.

Planned: 70k. Ran: 74.3k
Pretty good intervals on Wednesday, good 15k run on Friday, nice Ome hills run on Sunday.
Not wearing heavy, well cushioned shoes at all anymore, nor am I using the heavy custom insoles. (See Born To Run, Pg. 171-183.)

Mon: 5k very easy in 30 mins. (did not run previous Sunday).
Tues: 11:00 - Xtrng (wts and core). 4:00 - 10k in 55 mins + barefoot on grass 100m x 12 (faster up slight hill, slower down).

Wed: Evening track workout. 2.8k warmup. 2000/1000/2000/1000 in 7:25/3:32/7:27/3:32. 400 jog after 2000s in 3:51, 4:31, 200 jog after 1000 in 3:49.
Hot, but there was a breeze. Felt pretty good, kept pushing the pace, thinking about running light and up on midfoot. Weight was only 59.5kg!

Thurs: 8k in 39:43 (under 5 min pace). Legs felt ok.

Fri: 15k in 1:13:26 (27:22, 24:54, 21:10).
As planned, although last 5k faster. First k (of last 5k) was a surprising 4:17, so decided to hold that pace. Last k was 4:04. Very good effort at 2pm on a hot day (29°/abt. 90°).

Sat: 11:00 - Xtrng (wts and core). 3:00 - 5.3 easy, 10 x 100m grass hills barefoot, plus 400m back to gym on asphalt!

Sun: 17.4k at Ome hills with Barry Bergmann, fellow 60 yr old runner who struggled a bit in the heat. Out: 1:06:51, In: 1:00:06, with last 2.8? stretch in 11:02 (by myself), which is fast.

July 11, 2009

An OK Week

Planned: 73km. Ran: 80km
Short week because tomorrow (Sunday) I have to go with the family to visit my mother-in-law's grave.

Mon: Rest
Tues: 20k in 1:47:59 (27:30, 27:02, 26:21, 27:05).
Legs stiff at start. Felt better on 2nd and 3rd 5k, but kept pace easy, because: what's one of the worst things you can do? Run hard on your easy days. Legs felt tired on last 5k.

Wed: 8.8k. 1k warmup. 1200/1000/800/1200/1000/800
4:22 / 3:36 / 2:52 / 4:27 / 3:36 / 2:52. (400 jog after 1200, 200 jog after 1000s and 800).
Legs tired after about 600m on each one. Worked hard on 1000s and 800s. Very humid!
Didn't have much speed, due to 20k yesterday and humidity.

Thurs: 12k in 1:01:39.

Fri: 15k in 1:17:09 (26:54, 25:58, 24:16). Felt ok.

Sat: 25k in 2:04:15 (26:10, 25:50, 24:49, 23:57, 23:27). 4:58/k aver.
Legs a bit tired the last 10k, but was able to pick up the pace. Didn't want to go any faster.
Time: 10:30am. Temp: 30° (abt. 90°F). Shoes: 300g Brooks Ghost.

Sun: Rest

July 5, 2009

3 Good Workouts

Planned 73k for the week. Ran 72.4.
Hard workouts on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Mon: Rest
Tues: AM - X-trng (Wts, Core and Bike 15 mins.)
4:00 - Easy 12k in 1:06:03 (33:43, 32:20)

Wed: 9k. Evening track workout with club.
1600 warmup, 1000m x 6, 100m x 4 (barefoot)
1000s were run in 3:42/27/32/32/33/29 (200m jog, total time 6:30, 7:30 after 4th).
Ran with Frank, Fabrizio and Juergen (French, Italian and German...we are Tokyo's international running club), plus a fast Japanese girl (Rie) and did my best to stay with them. Not bad times for me, especially on a warm, humid night.

Thurs: 10k easy in 57:33. Legs tired.

Fri: AM - X-trng (Wts and Core)
12:00 (right after x-trng) - 14k progressive run. 2k warmup in 10:58, 5k in 24:50, 5k in 22:19, 2k in 8:07 (4:05/4:02). 1:06:15 for a 4:44/k pace.
Legs felt tired before running, but were ok once I started. Last two k were faster than expected, without really trying to push hard.

Sat: 10k easy in 55:03.

Sun: 17.4k. Ome hills. 1:41:12 (53:24, 47:47)
Had no one to run with, so went out fairly hard and came back very hard. Last week came back from that point in 48:09 after going out easy, so under 48 after going out at a good pace is very good. The average pace (over 5:00 per k) seems very slow, but there are four big hills where you have to climb carefully over many roots and rocks (large steps), so both up and down are very slow. Good for the leg muscles! In between those places I run fast on the flat, downhill and short uphill parts, so it's really a hill and fartlek run. I was pretty exhausted at the finish.

June 28, 2009

2 Seconds Faster...I'll Take It.

Planned 60k for the week. Ran 63.5.
Ran a 5,000m time trial in 18:38, two seconds faster than last month, but it was warmer.

Mon: Rest
Tues: AM - X-trng (weights and abs). PM - 6.3k easy.

Wed: 8k.
1200m easy warmup, 600m striders. 5,000m in 18:38. (3:38/44/46/49/40 (last 400 in 83).
Hoped for 18:20, but it was a bit too warm. Or legs were still a bit tired from last Sunday's 10.7k race, although I felt pretty good.
Had no one to follow after 2.5k, but kept pushing. Felt nice and smooth.
Afterwards: 4 x 100m barefoot on grass, plus one lap of track barefoot (which felt ok).
7:30pm. Temp: abt 25° (77°F). Wt: 60.2kg. Shoes: 220g

Thurs: 10k in 50:29 (26:00, 24:29). Easy. Knees and right calf a bit stiff.

Fri: AM - X-trng (wts and abs)
12:00 - 14k. Splits: 2k - 11:02, 5k - 24:08, 5k - 22:33, 2k - 8:29. Total 4:42/km pace.
4 x 150m barefoot on grass.

Sat: 6k easy

Sun: 18.6. Ome hills. Out - 1:09:45. In - 51:14.
Coming back is more downhill, but even so, I was going faster. Last approx. 2.8k on trail was very fast (10:58).
Ran with two overseas visitors, Irish and German guys, in their 30s. Irish guy is a 2:47 marathoner. Ran away from them the last 2.8k, so I was feeling pretty good.
Cloudy, warm but not hot...about 23°.
Next week, 75k.

June 21, 2009

Beaten by Hosaka!

Yes, legend-in-his-own-time Hosaka-san showed up at the Saiko Road Race and needless to say, won the 60s division. Details below.

Week: Planned 50k, ran 47.6k
Mon: Rest

Tues: 9k. 2.3k warmup, 5k, 1.7k warmdown
Tried an interesting prerace workout recommended by Sean Wade (14:49 for 5k 43-year-old) on Younger Legs for Older Runners. You run 5k (or 3 miles) at 30 sec. fast, 30 sec. "float", 30 sec. fast, etc. I did it in 21:39. First k was 4:16, then I slowed a bit but held the pace pretty well. It's not easy! You have to keep checking your watch (hmmm, maybe there's a beep function), and the "floats" get harder, i.e. the temptation is to just jog. At 3k you're thinking, Good God, another 2k of this? Nice challenging workout. Wade says you should do it the Tuesday before a Sunday race. He says your legs will feel fine the next day. Well, mine were a bit stiff.

Wed: 8.6k. 1000 x 3, 800 x 3.
Planned to just cruise these and did, in 4:08/05/02 (400m, 3:26 intervals), 3:05/06/11 (2oom, 3:05).

Thurs: Planned 12k, but rested because left calf was slightly sore.
Fri: 6k easy jog at 7am as had to be out all day.
Sat: Drove to Saiko (one of the five Mt. Fuji lakes). Planned to run 5k upon arriving, but it was late and I decided just to rest.
Ran the Saiko Road Race today with Terry Minegishi from my club and his friend Yoshio Kawashima. We drove up on Saturday, went to registration, then drove around two other Fuji lakes, Motosuko (lots of windsurfers) and Shojiko (tiny lake). We stayed at the minshuku (small inn) that Terry always stays at, a nice, friendly place. It is in front of the start line, and by "in front," I mean you walk down the driveway onto the road and you are standing ON the start line. Very convenient, especially when it is raining, like it was today.

There are two main races, 10.7K and 20.5K. Distances are probably correct, although Terry thinks the 20.5 is a bit longer and I would like to think the 10.7 is a bit longer. In the 10.7 there were 1,804 men and 760 women. In the 20.5 there were 1,936 men and 388 women. The 10.7 started at 9:10, the 20.5 at 9:20. The 10.7 course is once around Saiko, plus a bit over 1k to the finish (of which about 700m is up a steady hill), and the 20.5 course is twice around plus the hill. The course is on a winding road that is right next to the lake for about 7k, slight ups and down, very pleasant to run on and nice with the tall, tree-covered hills all around you.

It was raining heavily early in the morning, stopped about 8:00, then started again at about 8:40. So at the start it was raining, but not hard, and it eventually lessened and stopped. At any rate, it did not bother me. Temperature was 20-22° I guess, and of course very humid.

I was planning to cruise the first 5k, which is about half flat and half gradual downhill, in about 19:30, then hang on as best I could. That is what happened, as the first 5k was 19:12. The first k was 3:34, which even being slightly downhill was not correct, I think, but the second was 3:57 which was also not correct (they were both about 3:45). Then 3:46, 58 and 56. I was consciously trying to relax, cruise, run light and smooth. At this point I was running behind two guys (probably in their 40s), passing some people and being passed by others, so I had good company. The two got away from me, but I kept them within 10-20 meters, and surprisingly caught them again at about 8k. I was feeling pretty good, and moving along well.

I ran the 6th, 7th and 8th k in 12:00, then 4:02, then 4:20 up the first part of the hill. I had envisioned charging up the hill, but that didn't happen. I got up it all right, though, and kicked in well the last flat 300m. The last 0.7 was 3:00 (4:20/k). So the time was 42:36, which was just about what I was expecting to run (4:00 per k).

As for placing, I thought I was in first in the 60s division, as I knew I was ahead of the guy who had won the previous year (in 42:22, program listed last year's top ten in each division). But we only wore numbers on the front, so it was impossible to know who was who, and of course, I didn't know who was ahead. I did know that legend-in-his-own-time Hosaka had won the 50s last year, but I didn't see his name in the program. Turned out, he was there! (I had actally been looking for his club name in the program, since those are easier to spot, but he changed his club name.) So needless to say, he won the division, in 39-something (his marathon pace). Another guy was also ahead of me (also from last year's 50s) in 41:18. So I got third, out of 323. If two guys had beaten me by 15 seconds I would have been upset, but to lose to obviously better runners was not shameful. Spoke to Hosaka-san at the awards ceremony, and as Brett Larner has said, he is a terrific guy, very friendly and cheerful.

June 14, 2009

Fastest 1200s in 9 Years

Planned for week: 70k. Ran: 68.8k

Mon: Rest
Tues: AM: Xtrng (wts and abs)
PM: 10k easy in 59:00.

Wed 7:30pm: 9.8k. 600/1200/600/1200/600/1200/600. 200 jog after 600s, 400 after 1200s.
Times (jog): 2:12 (1:56) 4:16 (3:44) 2:08 (2:18) 4:04 (4:13) 2:05 (2:48) 4:05 (4:15) 1:58.
The 4:04 and 4:05 were the fastest 1200s I have run in 9 years (3:24/k pace). Most over the years, including recently, have been in the 4:20s. The 600s were pretty good, too.
So, as fellow club member Juergen said to me after the workout: What happened to you?
Well, there were four reasons. 1) I am finally getting into pretty good shape. 2) I am down to almost minimum racing weight. 3) I am getting comfortable with my new running style (midfoot striking, light on the feet, feet landing under the body, feet flicking back and up, quick cadence, straight back or slight forward lean). Or as Caballo Blanco says in Born to Run: Easy, Light, Smooth, Fast (the first 3 take care of the 4th). And 4) The mental attitude/lessons of Born to Run, one being: You're tougher than you think you are, which I modified to You're faster than you think you are. The first 1200 was pretty good, but Paddy, our good Irish runner, was quite a ways ahead of me. The second one, I just decided, You're faster than you think you are, stay with Paddy. Which I kept repeating. And stayed with him. Light and smooth all the way. Then did it again on the third one and on the last 600.'s a combination of the physical and the mental. When both are in an optimal state, you can run well...better than you think you can.
Temp: abt 22°. Wt: 60.0kg. Shoes: 250g (lightish)

Thurs: 10k easy in 52:59 (26:38, 26:21).
Fri: AM: Xtrng (wts and abs).
4:00pm: 15k in 1:14:35 (27:11, 24:56, 22:26).
Planned to run 27:30, 25:00, 22:30, and did that, even though there's no real reason to push the last one. Was kind of tired the last 3k.
Temp: 28°. Wt: 60.6kg. shoes: 280g

Sat: Easy 10k (approx.) in 54:00, pausing twice to watch two groups of 14 Namban crazies race a Beer Mile (drink a beer, run 400m x 4).
AND...tried 200 x 4 barefoot on the grass (Born to Run again). Yes, I have to admit, it feels really good to run barefoot. It feels really...natural. I think I will incorporate barefoot striders into some workouts. Not ready to run far or on asphalt.
(Michael B.: I was skeptical, but now I get it: once you read that section of the book, you want to go out and try it.)

Sun: 14k in Ome hills in 1:55:36. Easy pace with visitor Denise from Michigan, Taeko and Kiki. Of course, even "easy" at Ome is a good workout. Very pleasant run in the cool of the woods.

Next week is an easy week because I have a 10.7k race around Saiko (one of the five Mt. Fuji lakes) on Sunday.
Almost finished Born to Run. This book is so good, I think I am going to take it with me everywhere, so I can re-read sections whenever I feel like it.

June 7, 2009

Up a Mountain!

Week — Planned: 70k. Ran: 69.1k.
But 16k of that was practically straight up and down, as hard as a 30k run.

Mon: Rest
Tues: AM: X-trng (Wts, bk 15 mins., abs)
4:00: 10k in 53:43 (27:47, 25:55). Knees still at first, ok after 3k.

Wed: 12.1k. 2.1k warmup, 1000m x 6 (by myself in the morning; could not go to the track at night).
3:46/49/50/47/48/44 (400m jog in 3 mins.)
Felt ok, worked pretty hard. Calf and knee were fine.

Thurs: 10k easy in 54:41 (28:23, 26:18). Legs stiff, esp. knees.

Fri: AM: Xtrng (Wts, bk 15 mins., abs)
4:30: 15k in 1:12:56 (26:03, 24:52, 22:00). Planned last 5k to be at 4:30 pace and then 4:15 for the last k, but ran the last one in 4:03.
Knees a bit sore off and on, but felt generally good.
Temp: 20° (light rain). Weight: 60.6kg. Shoes: 250g.

Sat: 6k very easy. Legs very stiff, and have to run uphill tomorrow.

Sun: 16k (approx.) 2:15:13. With 4 other people (Colin, Cyrille, Taizo, Satohi).
Ran from Mitake station, which is in the Okutama mountains west of Tokyo. Out further than the Ome hills that I usually run.
7 mins. flat along a river (with white water kayakers), then 13 mins. straight up to the cablecar station. 13 minutes is a long time to go straight up, but that was just the start! Short rest, then 25:16 up a zig-zagging path (too steep to go straight up) to Mitake Shrine. Fun to pass the people walking (struggling) up and hear their expressions of surprise that people are _running_ up. Naturally, by "running" I mean slow running. Another short rest, then 45:55 along mountain trails, at first following a stream, mostly up, narrow with lots of big and small rocks, then serious Up (partly walking/climbing) to the top of Nabewari mountain, 1,084m high. Then back down to the cablecar (half of which was very treacherous going) in 30:20. Rode the cablecar because I didn't want to stress my calf too much, but then had to run the long downhill to Mitake station, which was ok, and ran the stretch along the river at a pretty good pace. Pretty damn tired at the end. Took the train 30 mins. to Kabe where there is a nice onsen (hot spring baths) that also has a Japanese restaurant for post-run carbo loading of noodles, rice and beer.
All in all, a very nice run, but very tough. I do not want to do that every week! In fact, I may not do it again, as it is just too much climbing. I prefer the shorter ups and downs of Ome. It was a hot day, although much cooler in the mountains.

May 31, 2009

A Decent Time Trial

Plan for week: 70k. Ran: 61.4k
Cut down the Friday and Saturday runs because my left calf was sore.
Applied for the Santa Barbara Marathon (Dec. 6).

Mon: Rest
Tues: AM - Xtrng (wts, bike 15 mins., abs)
4:00 - 9.8k very easy in 61:00. Legs very stiff from Sunday, right knee a bit sore, left calf got tight at 6k and was hurting at 9.8k, so stopped.

Wed: 5,000m time trial in 18:40 (3:44, 46, 43, 44, 43)
Wanted to run 18:45, so was happy with this. Calf was slightly sore, but did not get more sore during the run. (Went to the kinesio taping place before the run.) This was with the club, and I had several people to follow, especially in the last 2k, which was helpful. Nice that I didn't slow down.
Time: 7:30pm. Temp: abt 17°. Shoes: lt. wt. 250g. Weight: 60.5kg

Thurs: 10k slowly in 60:00. Calf a bit sore, legs stiff and tired.

Fri: 10k slowly in 58:27. Calf and rt knee sore, so cut run from 15k to 10k.

Sat: 3:00 - X-trng (wts and abs). Then 7k in 38:50. Felt better than yesterday, but had two sharp twinges in calf, so only ran 7k.

Sun: 17.4k on Ome trail in 1:57:53 (Out: 1:05:34; In: 52:19; 7-8 min. rest in the middle).
Nice run. Took it easier than last week going out, back in at a decent pace with Anthony, Rie and a Swedish guy from Seoul named Axel (Taeko and Geraldine also ran). Calf was ok.
Fortunately, it was not hot (20°) and the rain held off until we finished.
Even going slowly, this is a great run for the lungs and legs. I should say run/climb, because sometimes you really have to work to get up the side of a hill. As a result, it's very satisfying: After I finish, I can always say, "I worked harder today than any of my future competitors did."

May 24, 2009

Good Birthday Run

Plan for week: 60k. Ran: 61.6k
This is the first week of my "training for my training program." That is, working up to where I am comfortable with 90k (55 miles) a week prior to starting my 18-week marathon program on Aug. 3rd. Leading to the Santa Barbara Marathon on Dec. 6th.

Mon: Rest
Tues: AM - Xtrng (wts, bike 15 min., abs)
4:30 - 10k in 50:03 (25:52, 24:10). Wore Newton shoes, which feel ok with my now normal midfoot striking, as opposed to trying to run up on my forefeet.

Wed: 8.6k. 1200m warmup, then 1200/1200/1000/1000/800/600/400
Times: 4:28, 4:19, 3:31, 3:34, 2:47, 2:00, 76 (200m jog of 3 mins. after each).
Felt sluggish the first one (not warmed up) but then felt good. Had a big group with a number of people slightly faster than me, so was pushing hard to try to stay with them. Times were faster than I have run in quite a while and I feel like I am getting into decent shape.
The last 76 was all out and although 76 seems like a slow 400, it was pretty good at the end of that workout.
7:30pm. Temp: 23°. Weight: 60.2kg. Shoes: 280g (mid-weight)

Thurs: 8k. Easy in 45:54
Fri: 10.6k.  (5Ks: 24:59, 24:12) Twice around Imperial Palace (plus a bit) with former ASIJ runner Zach Griffin, who is now running for Washington U. in St. Louis, a Div. 3 school that is quite strong in track and cross country. Easy pace as we were chatting the whole time.
Oh, and usual X training in the morning.

Sat: 7.2k. Easy in 41:09. Legs heavy and knees slightly sore (after effects of Wed., I guess).

Sun: My 62nd birthday. It was raining when I left home at 8:00 to go out to Ome (for those of you who don't speak Japanese, that's pronounced oh-may), which is one hour to the west. It's where the mountains to the west of Tokyo begin. There is a nice trail through the woods, which while not exactly mountainous, is continuous up and down (more up going out) with lots of rocks and roots, and including some very steep places where you are actually climbing up roots and steps. It's a great place to run, unpopular with hikers for some reason and shady the whole way (not a problem today). You can run slowly for a pleasant run, and as you pick up the pace it gets MUCH more challenging. It's an out and back course. I usually run 8.7 or 9.3 out. You can run further, but you hit a long, steep set of steps. And 18.6 is plenty on that course.
So today I did 17.4k in 1:52:10 (1:00:05 out, rest 4 mins., 52:03 back). I always push the last stretch of the trail, which is about 3k, and then continue on the road another 0.8 mostly downhill to the station. The last 3 was 12:10, which is not bad, and I was not going all out. I believe my record is 10:29, about 8 years ago. The last 3.8 was 16:00. Actually, my left calf started to hurt with about 900m to go, so I eased up a bit.
Anyway, it was a good run and I proved to myself that I am not getting old! I think a birthday run like this (a hard run) is a good tradition to follow (well, after a certain age, and I guess I am at that age). So...I'm ready for another year of good running!

May 18, 2009

Two good workouts

Did two good interval workouts this week, on Wednesday and Sunday.

Mon: 6.4k. 900m triangle hill x 3 with kids. Good pace going up (300m). Short 50m hill sprint x 3.

Tues: AM - Xtrng (Wts, Abs, Bike 15')
4:00 - 5.5k. 400 x 5 with Wynne @ 80/80/78/78/79. Almost all out. Guess I need speed work. Humid.

Wed eve: 8.4k. Brief 800 warmup. 400/800/1200/1600/1200/800/400. Times were 88 (warmup), 2:48, 4:22, 5:53, 4:25, 2:50, 83 (warmdown).
A 4:21 1200 is 3:36/k and a 5:54 1600 is 3:42/k, so the pace was not bad. Oh, 400 jog after the 1600, 200 jog after the others (total time run+jog: 3', 5', 7', 10', 7', 6'). Felt good, pushed each one, had people to run with/try to stay with.

Thurs: 6.9k. Warmup. 900 x 3 easy (3:49/44/32) with girls. Warmdown. Last workout with the ASIJ track team.

Fri: 15k. 1:19:32 (27:34, 26:17, 25:40). Ok for early morning (8:15 is early for me).
Weight 60.3kg (down from 62.3 after the marathon). No desserts, no snacks before bed (just a banana).

Sat: Rest. HS track invitational with all the regular schools, plus 2 Okinawa schools (military), Seoul and a few others. Great meet. Sam Krauth ran 1:59 and 4:06! (1500m). The 4:06 is a 4:24 1600 equivalent and he beat the kid who has beaten him all year. Jen Stolle ran a 5:02 1500 but just lost to a girl from Okinawa. Both of our 4 x 400m relay teams broke the league record. The boys record had stood since 1985.

Sun: 11.4k. 1k warmup, stretch, 150m x 2 striders.
2000m x 4 in 7:49/46/48/32. Slow 200m jog in 4' after each. Then 80m x 5 hill sprints.
Felt good the whole time. I like this workout a lot. You run fast , but even so, 2000m is a long interval. Then work on leg strength. So the workout combines speed, endurance and strength.
5:30pm, windy, 20°, weight 60.4, shoes 250g. 
This is sort of in preparation for a 10.7k race on June 21, around one of the Mt. Fuji lakes. Apparently, the last 700m is uphill!
Week: 58.6k

By the way, a good blog is at I am a sucker for a good quote, and she has lots of them. 
Eg.: Do it Now! We have to stop procrastinating, pretending that we have forever to do what we want to do and to be what we long to be. If we think that we want to become better and more loving human beings, we had better start moving in that direction right now. Lama Surya Das
I am also a sucker for a good photo, and she has lots of those, too!

May 10, 2009

A fun ekiden

The past week was highlighted by the Inagi Ekiden on Wednesday.

Mon: 10k. Easy in 58:46. Legs heavy. American School on holiday.

Tues: AM - Xtrng (weights and abs).
4:00 - 3.9k on the track. 900m and 300x 2 with kids at moderate pace. Taking it easy for tomorrow. Steady rain.

Wed: Inagi Green Ekiden. Inagi is out on the Keio line, about 45 mins. from Shinjuku (the outer edge of central Tokyo). A nice little ekiden, 4 people on a team, each person running 3k. Namban Rengo had one team in the mixed open division (3 guys and one woman) and one team in the mixed masters (2 men and 2 women). I ran anchor on the masters team. There were 17 teams in our division and maybe 60 in the other, and then another 80 in the open division.
It had been raining early, then stopped, then started again just as the race started...but not very hard. Our team came in 7th, I was 3rd fastest on the anchor leg. I felt good and ran pretty well, felt like I was going very fast, however, the people I was passing (in both masters divisions) were mostly pretty slow. Time was 12:01, which seems so slow (4:00/k) that I was sure the course was long, but Brett and Paddy, who ran faster on the other team, felt that that was caused by the many sharp turns and the several hills, one of which was about 500m long and about 300m from the finish. Anyway, it was a good effort and a fun race. The other team came in 2nd, with Brett having the fastest time on the anchor leg of any division.

Thurs: 6k. 3,000m on the track with Wynne in 12:57. Just cruising and not even winded at the end. Again, causing me to question the 12:01, but...who knows?
Rain all day again. Apparently, this is because we are getting the effects of a typhoon out at sea.

Fri: 15k. Rain in morning (did not feel like going out to the gym), but nice when I ran at 5:00 (but humid).
1:07:51 (24:14, 22:41, 20:55). Last 5k, which I intended to push, especially the last 3k, in 4:23/23/07/07/3:55. So the last 3k was 12:09. So I can run 12:09 on a training run, after a decent 12k. Anyway....  I felt pretty good.

Sat: HS track finals with all schools in the league (about 8). Great meet, both the ASIJ boys and girls won. Lots of great, gutsy performances, including some school and league records by our kids. Our main boy, Sam Krauth, ran 1:59 and 4:14 (1500). Good times, especially considering it was hot and windy. Jen Stolle ran 2:23 and ??, a fast 1500. Wynne won the 3,000 in 12:04. Arisa, after having trouble breathing the last 3 laps of the 3,000, managed to hold on for 2nd and completely collapsed at the end. (Fortunately, I realized she was going to and ran to the finish line in time to catch her.) She then CAME BACK to finish 4th in the 1500 and run a fast 400 on the 4 x 400m relay team, which broke the league record! (The anchor girl, Gwen Thornton, runs a 57 400. And she's a great hurdler, I expect her to be a good NCAA division one hurdler, remember that name.) Like I said, lots of gutsy performances. High school kids are tough when they are motivated, and are really fun to watch.

Sun: 7.3k. Easy run in 40:09 (5k in 27:04, 5:25/k). Plan to run fairly hard with the top HS boys tomorrow. Although Saturday was the finals, next Saturday is an invitational meet, with all the regular schools, as well as some from Okinawa and other parts of Japan (military schools), so the kids are still practicing next week.

Week: 50.3k

May 4, 2009

Time trial: not bad, not good

The only notable running this week was the Wednesday night time trial.

Mon: 7.1k. 1600 warmup, 300m hill (600m recovery) x 3, run up stairs (103 steps) x 6, 1600m back at good pace.

Tues: AM —  Xtrng (abs, weights, bike 10', treadml wlkng 15'). 
PM — 4.4k. 400 x 8 in 90-94" last in 88". With Wynne.

Wed: 9k. 2000m warmup, strtchng, 800m.
5,000m in 18:56 (3:48/51/47/50/39). Wanted to run 18:45 (3:45 pace), but this was ok. After first lap, was alone all the way. Felt ok, kept pushing, last k was good. Midfoot running felt pretty good. 
I consider 18:56 to be slow, but since I haven't done 5k/10k training for more than a year, I guess it is ok. Last year I did not run ANY 5k time trials.
Cool evening, about 14°. Weight: 61.0kg. Shoes fairly light 240g.

Thurs: 6.9k. 2100 warmup. 400 x 4 (91/88/87/86), 300 x 4 (abt. 65), 200 x 4 (fairly fast). With Wynne, felt ok. Very warm at about 23°.

Fri: AM — X-trng (wts, abs, bike 10').
12:30 — 15k. 27:41, 26:02, 24:41. Legs felt tired due to last two days and weights at 10:30. Worked a bit to run 5:00 pace last 5k.

Sat: TELL Charity Runathon around the Imperial Palace, which I help organize. Big success, had more than 1,000 people. Beautiful weather.

Sun: 12k. 1k warmup in 5:30. 10k in 23:45, 21:49. 1k warmdown in 5:45.
Felt ok after 1k and better after next k, so realized I could run a decently paced 10k. Planned to pick up second 5k. Midfoot striking with more forward lean on second 5k. Tired a bit the last k. Not bad for running at 12:00, after a big protein banana milkshake at 9:30 and heavy shoes.
Wanted to do a good run so I can go easy on Monday and Tuesday, as I am running in an ekiden (only 3k but requires some speed) on Wednesday (national holiday).
22°. Wt: 61.1. Shoes: 430g.
Week: 54.4k

April 27, 2009

More Speed

More speed workouts this week, although not really hard ones.

Mon: 8.7k with the kids. Last 4k at about 4:40 pace.

Tues: 7.5k at 300m track. 600m x 4 in 2:11/16/20/18 (300m jog in bet.) with 3000m girl runner.
300m x 4 in 58/57/56/57 (2-3 min. jog in bet.).
This was in the rain. 18°.

Wed: 6k. Evening track workout. 800 warmup in 3:15, then 1200/400/1200/400/1200/400 in 4:32 / 80 / 4:32 / 81 / 4:28 / 82 (1,2,2 mins. after 1200s, 3 mins. after 400s). 4:32 is a 3:45 1000m, so not so slow. Felt very comfortable.

Thurs: 6k. Again at 300m track. 900/600/900/600/300 in 3:18/2:07/3:30/2:07/56 (3-5 mins. in bet.) again running with the girls (Arisa and Emiri).

Fri: 10.7k. 10k in 48:30 - 27:14, 21:16 (4:25/28/9/11/2). Doing the midfoot-landing running style, which I like. Pushed a bit, but felt fairly comfortable. Nice to run 3:00 MP and feel that good after four kind of leg-stressing days.

Sat: Cold rain. Track meet cancelled.

Sun: 10k. 51:31 (26:51, 24:40). Easy, felt ok. Weight down to 60.8! (Was 62.6 two weeks ago.)
Will go a bit harder tomorrow, but easy tuesday, because I want to do a decent 5,000m time trial on Wednesday night.
48.9k week.

April 20, 2009

Nice week

Continuing my enjoyable 50km (30 mile) weeks, the past one was 48.1k:

Mon: 7.9k with ASIJ 3000m girl Wynn Callon in 39:30. The last 16 mins. was at a good pace, about 4:30 per k.

Tues: AM - X-trng (weights, a few minutes of steps and 20 mins on bike).
PM - 5.4k of good track workout with girl distance runners.
300 x 3 in 62, 59, 55 (1 min. jog then 6 min after 3rd)
600 x 2 in 2:05, 2:09 (4 and 6 min jog)
300 x 2 in 58, 57 (1 min)
This was in the rain, which was hard at times. So that was fun.
Then 4 laps of jogging straights and running turns, but I started to cramp in the left calf, so stopped. Had been running up on the balls of my feet, seems to happen every time. Have to build up the calf muscles.

Wed: Trip to Shiojiri in Nagano pref. (Epson HQ) so no time to run.

Thurs: 10k in 54:54 (27:31, 26:22) at 7:30 am due to trip to Hamamatsu (Yamaha).

Fri: 15k in 1:12:51 (26:25, 24:36, 21:49). Felt good after halfway, cruising at a good pace. Last 2k were 4:18 and 4:15. Up on front of feet. Cool and misty at 3:00.

Sat: ASIJ track meet. Sam Krauth ran 2:01 and 4:11 (1500m). Jennifer Stolle ran 2:25 and 5:10. Pretty good times. 

Sun: 10k in 52:55 (28:26, 24:29). Pretty easy. 22° at 4:30 and weight down to 61.6 from 62.6 a week ago, so feeling better. I'll feel better yet at 60.6.

April 12, 2009

Having fun...

I listed up my weekly mileage for the 18 weeks before Napa Valley and also for the 18 weeks before last year's Tokyo marathon. Listing it up like that, I could see at a glance how little I had run, compared with Pfitzinger's middle level program, or even the low level one. Almost laughable. I was not really doing marathon training. Not surprising I could not run a 3:00 or even 3:05 marathon. It also showed me that I need a structured program with daily workouts. Which is what I had decided, so I am looking forward to that in a few months.

I am not in a serious training mode, so just having fun doing relatively easy runs along with workouts with the ASIJ kids.

Sunday 5th: Sakura Onsen run with 8 people, which turned out to be 24k at 5:54/k pace. Easy but my legs were getting sore at the end. Still not 100% recovered from the marathon.

Monday 6th: 5.1k (about) fairly hard with kids in 20:57. Felt heavy (I am heavy). Then another 4.6k easy, looking for two kids who got lost (they found their own way back).

Tuesday 7th: AM at gym. PM at 300m track. 50m x 2, 300, 400 x 2, 300 - all at moderate pace. 1500 in 6:05.
Wore the Newtons, calf started to cramp after 400s, so switched to ordinary shoes. Dummy! No sense wearing them until June, when I will be running at a fairly easy pace most days. I will start doing parts of runs with forefoot running style, though, to get used to it.

Wednesday 8th: Track workout. 600/1000/800/1200/800/1200/800. First 3 about 4:08/k pace, last 4 about 4:00. Calves were sore when walking, but ok when running (?).

Thursday 9th: At 300m track. 300 x 5, moderate pace.

Friday 10th: AM at gym. PM 15k in 1:15:01 (25:51, 25:37, 23:32). Legs a bit sore, but not bad. Forefoot running last 5k.

Saturday 10th: Off, ASIJ track meet. Our star distance runner, Sam Krauth (a junior) ran a 4:15 1500 (68 per 400m) and a 2:01 800. Good start to the season. There were some great races, in which our kids outkicked opponents for the win, with the entire team and fans going wild. I love high school track.

Sunday 11th: 10k in 57:54, nice easy run.
Still not losing weight! I have to lose some to be able to run with these kids.

It has been a great week weather-wise, at least 20° (70°F) every day. And with no rain and little wind, the cherry blossoms stayed out a long can still see some today.

April 3, 2009

Up to speed / Newtons

First of all, after reading and ruminating on Steve and Joachim's comments, and looking again at Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning, I decided that if I am to do a fall marathon, I should follow a proper marathon schedule. In other words, building up mileage over an 18-week period. Probably the Pfitzinger 55 to 70 miles (88 to 113km) per week plan. So after running with the ASIJ (American School in Japan) track team until mid-May and another two months of base building, I will start that, aiming for, maybe, the Santa Barbara Marathon on Dec. 6. ...To be decided.

As for the past two weeks, I started more or less regular training on March 23.
Ran 9k with 5k at about marathon pace on the 23rd, easy on the 24th and a 5k time trial on the 25th in 19:38. It was very cold and my legs were not used to trying to go fast.
The interesting thing was, I wore my new Newton shoes on the 23rd and 25th. You have probably heard about these, if not, see They are the shoes with four bars under the forefoot, designed to get you off your heels and up on your forefeet. Still controversial, but a lot of people are coming out in favor of these shoes. Run like a Kenyan and all that. Well, they felt good, but I could tell they are hard on the quads and especially the calves in the beginning. You are supposed to ease into training with them with easy runs. But they felt good. So after a rest day on the 26th, I went out for 3 x 2k on the 27th. First one was fine, in 7:48. Second one, after 500m, my left calf started to knot up. I immediately slowed, then stopped. Walked then tried to jog, but could tell it would get worse if I kept it up. So walked home. Obviously I do not know the meaning of "ease into". But with some ice and ibuprofen and compression (Recovery socks!), I was able to jog 6k the next day with no pain. Took Sunday off and...

Started up Monday with the track team kids. Did a 7k run with the 3rd and 4th boys. The 1st and 2nd are way too fast for me, the others are too, at short distances, but over 5k, I can run with them.
Ran about a 4:06/k pace over a 2.5k loop twice (includes a steep 300m hill), and the 3rd time cutting off the last 500m. Tough! Also, I gained weight, which I have to lose!

Tuesday at the track (300m track in Fuchu). 1500m x 2 in 5:29 and 5:51, 900m in 3:26, 600m in 2:15. This was with the top two girls (boys are too fast). And not in the Newtons.

Wednesday off, then Thursday (yesterday), 6 x "triangle hill", which is up the 300m hill, then down the other side, then 300m straight. Hard up, fairly hard down, moderate pace on the straight. No stopping. First two hard with 4th and 5th guys, next 3 at a decent pace with one of the girls, then one more (workout was 5) with another girl who had taken a bathroom break. These girls, by the way, are not slow. They are pretty good runners.
It's a lot of fun running with them, and they like having me pace them (I always try to run with someone who is running alone. Sometimes I run with slow kids.). And it's good for me!

Today was gym work and tomorrow will be the annual 30k cherry blossom run (along the bike path from the station near my house up to and partly around Tama-ko (lake). Then to the onsen (hot spring "resort"), which is here in town. It's a real hot spring! It will just be at an easy pace with about 10 people. Blossoms should be at their peak tomorrow. Hope you can see some where you are.

March 26, 2009

Marathon Analysis and NEW New Schedule

Thanks to the guys who made comments on my Napa Valley and new training posts.
Good advice and I will take it into account.

After looking at many of the Namban Rengo runners' splits from the Tokyo Marathon, I decided to figure out my Napa splits per 5k rather than just miles. (By the way, the constant pattern was slower from 25k, even slower from 30k and much slower from 35k. Well, this is hardly news, but it shows that all of us suffer from a combination of not enough long/hard training and setting our sights (pace) too high. It just shows that one or both of those factors HAS to be addressed in order to run a good (and enjoyable) marathon. Maybe setting reasonable goals is the approach more likely to I should have targeted 3:05 instead of 3:00.)

Anyway, my 5k splits were:
21:16 / 21:23 / 21:41 / 22:12 / 21:56 / 22:20 / 23:09 / 24:21 / 11:28 — 3:09:58

Now here's what's interesting. Here are my splits from Tokyo one year ago:

21:18 / 21:19 / 21:58 / 22:15 / 22:26 / 22:32 / 23:03 / 24:00 / 10:58 — 3:09:53

And Tokyo two years ago:

23:12 / 21:31 / 22:06 / 22:56 / 22:48 / 23:01 / 23:43 / 23:54 / 10:20 — 3:13:35

So I did not improve this year, and compared to two years ago, my last 7k is much worse!
Which I guess means there is something to be said for starting out slowly.

One year ago, my goal was 3:06 (22:05/5k). I started too fast, but was on pace through 35k.
This year, my goal was 3:00 (21:15/5k) and I was on pace for 5k — obviously an unreasonable goal. However, I was again on pace for a 3:06 through 35k. Maybe if I had started more slowly I could have finished better (or maybe not - my legs were really in bad shape).

But how about pre-race training volume?
In the 7.5 months before Napa Valley (from start of training to start of final 2-week taper) I ran 2,644km (average 352km/month).
In the 7.5 months before the other two, I ran 2,034 and 2,035 (271km/month).
So the extra 600km did nothing for me. Also, in the 7.5 months before Napa, while I of course did more long runs, I did fewer "hard" runs (don't have time to work out the exact numbers, but looking at the log that seems to be the case).
(Another factor is that a lot of the distance was in July, August and Sept., after which I fell off a lot, which is far from the ideal pattern.)

So what does that mean? I think it means that first, an extra 80k a month (from 67 to 88k a week / 41 to 54 miles) is not enough to make a difference. I don't think even 100k a week would make a difference. I would have to get up to, as Joachim and others have said, at least 120k/73miles a week. However, I cannot run that much without injury. The three months I did averaging 115k/week resulted in my knees starting to shred (sharp pains followed by constant soreness). Even though ALL of that was at an easy pace.

The second conclusion is that 67k a week (as in the previous 2 years) even with hard runs, is also not enough.
So that leaves me with finding a mean at 90k/55 miles a week, and doing as much of that as possible at a hard pace. Which is what I came up with in the last post!
And I agree with Steve that I will have to work into that, not just start banging out hard 90k weeks.

I also had a brainstorm and modified the previous training schedule. The problem is that having to do intervals every Wednesday night makes a 7-day cycle very difficult. My previous ideas were 2 days off a week or 3 days off a week. 3 off would make the other 4 days too tough, but I would like to get an occasional 2 days in a row of rest. So the answer is: a 14-day cycle! To wit:
Wed - am 12k, pm 8k   Easy   Hard
T - 15  H
F - Off
S - 15 H
S - 25 H
M - Off
T - 15 E
W - 12, 8  E  H
T - Off
F - 15 H
S - 15 E
S - 30 H
M - Off
 T - Off

This results in 7 hard runs, 4 easy runs and 5 rest days. Also no more 30+k runs, which I used to do a lot of. The hard components have to be worked out, but "hard" does not mean blasting 15k from beginning to end. Workouts like 5 moderate, 5 x 1000m, 5 moderate.
The first week is 90k, the second week is 80k. And every 4th week I will cut back the last two runs to 10 and 15k, so that week will be 60k. That gives me 320k per 28 days, or about 340k per month, which is good but not excessive, I think.
This won't start until mid-May, but I love to plan ahead. 
Sounds good?

March 15, 2009

New Training Program

Having taken two weeks off after Napa, I feel ready to think about, if not implement, a new training program. I said I would post one and not wanting to disappoint my thousands of readers, will do so. In fact, the implementation will not start for quite a while, since I will be running with the track team at ASIJ (American School In Japan) until mid-May, which makes any reasonable training program impossible. The week (with ASIJ kids) will be something like:
Mon: 12k run (6k moderate pace, 6k very fast pace, if running, or trying to run, with the top boys); Tues: short intervals on track; Wed: intervals on track with club (not running hard); Thurs: short intervals on track; Fri: rest; Sat: rest (watching track meets); Sun: 24k easy. Some days will be adjusted due to work demands. 
Definitely not a marathon training program, or even a half or 10k program. But I like running with the kids so I'll just do it for fun and as preparation for real training to begin on May 17.

So, as I mentioned in the previous post, the reason for a new program is that my legs were dead the last 10k of the marathon. Hence I need stronger legs (or a slower pace, but we won't go there). My feeling is that my legs cannot handle the stress of a fast pace for long distances (half as well as full marathon). So I need to stress them more, and that means more hard runs, not more long, slow runs.
   This theory is backed by two pieces of "evidence." The first is Hosaka-san, the Japanese guy who broke the world record for 60 year olds last February with an astounding 2:36:30. Brett Larner of japanrunningnews.blogspot interviewed him for Running Times (be sure to read it in the June or July issue). Hosaka's training is quite amazing. He does not do long runs. He does 10k in the morning and 20k in the afternoon, each of which includes 5 x 1k of fast intervals. He does this every single day. This is a "hard runs" program taken to the extreme. Of course, normal human beings can't do this, but the theory is valid, and he is the proof. You could say he is doing long distance, since he runs 210k (126 miles) per week, but the point is, he doesn't do any long runs, or easy runs.
   The second is an article in the latest issue of Peak Running Performance, a newsletter I highly recommend (google it), which talks about the two theories of marathon training: LIM (Less Is More) and MIB (More Is Better). LIM is followed by the Hanson-Brooks team, among others (actually I think most Kenyans favor quality over quantity). The Hanson guys don't do any runs over 16 miles (25k). The point is, LIM is an accepted marathon training method, which I have now embraced. With the understanding that you do most runs hard.
   As for weekly distance, I have settled on 90k (55 miles). I don't think you can run a decent marathon on less than 90k a week, and I don't want to run more than that, so 90k it is (with occasional easy weeks, depending on how I feel).
   The program looks like this:

Tues:  15k. Average pace, including very short hill sprints (5, working up to 10). Got this from a Brad Hudson article in the March Running Times. Napa runner Sky also mentioned doing these.
Wed:  AM - 12k average pace. Evening - intervals on the track, typically 6 x 1000m, run at 5k race pace (VO2 max).
Thurs: 15k hard. Could be 3k-5k intervals, or progression (each 3k or 5k faster), or 5 hard 1Ks in the middle, or LT (half marathon) pace for 10k.
Fri:  Rest (cross training).
Sat:  15k - same as Thursday.
Sun: 25k at a good pace. Or 18k hill workout (Trail thru the woods at Ome - continual up/down with many steep sections - want to do this about every 3 weeks).
Mon: Rest
So that is 90k and for me, it is a pretty tough week. But if it feels tough, I just have to think of Hosaka.

Alternatively, it could be:
Wed:  AM 10k, PM 8k
Thurs: 18k (16 hard)
Fri:     Off
Sat:     24 (16 hard)
Sun:    AM 10k, PM 20K
Mon & Tues: Off
Probably not as good, because I lose the hills on Tuesday and Sunday would be kind of brutal.

Any comments welcomed.