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 newtonrunning.com. 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.


  1. Today, I asked you about your training plan and how you have been. Should have read your Blog before our Sakura run, shame on me ;-) Well, your idea of following a proven Marathon plan sound rock solid. With at HM in 1:23, there is no doubt that you can (and will!) run a sub-3 Marathon within the next 12 months. Proper Marathon training is all about putting in the mileage and some M-speed work.

  2. Well, I can't see any from my window - just the golds and reds of the autumn leaves ;)

    If you can do the mileage (should be OK if you build up), as Joachim said, a proven plan should work.

    I'm still trying to learn the meaning of "ease into"! Interesting about the Newtons and calf soreness. I wonder if the Spira (spring) shoes have the same adaptation problem?

  3. Hey Bob

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I subscribed to your blog a couple of weeks ago and I'm happy that I did as you seem to know how to run and train and it will be interesting for me to follow your progress.

    I'll take you up on the offer to run with you guys in Tokyo, I do get up there on occassion.
    Please feel free to drop me a line and when you come to the "big O" we'll do the same.

    I'm looking over options for a full marathon in the fall or in the early winter coming. I might still be able to run a full in Australia this August but still looking at that.

    Anyway, I'm committed improving and to being a good masters runner so I'm happy to find your blog as it will definitely move me towards these ends.

    All the best with your training and racing.


  4. bob - you are surely the man with a plan! good luck on the buildup...looking forward to following your progress to a sub-3!!! glad to hear you're considering santa barbara for december. if all goes to plan that will be where i wrap the 12in12 challenge.