February 28, 2012

3:08:22 — Not Great, But Not Bad

Week of Feb. 20 ~ 26

Ran: 8/0/7/6.8/0/0/42.195

Tokyo Marathon week. Main object was to take it easy enough so that my piriformis/butt/hamstring would not hurt during the race.

Very easy 8K. Hamstring sore, but not much.

Rest. Physical therapy.

Club track workout was 1000 x 6, I did 600 x 6 at MP (abt. 2:36).
A bit sore, but not too bad.

6.8k easy, inc. 400 x 3 at a bit slower than MP. A bit sore.

Rest. Physical therapy. Massage + kinesio taping.


Tokyo Marathon. 3:08:22. Goal was 3:05 but I would have been surprised to run that as the leg soreness the past two months limited training somewhat.
So I am happy enough with 3:08. If these were 35k races I would do great (wouldn't we all?).

5K splits were 21:36. 21:39, 21:51, 21:36, 21:55, 22:21, 22:40, 23:56, 10:49
Average per km: 4:28
21:40 (4:20/k) is a 3:02:51.

First of all, the hamstrings and buttocks were fine - no pain at all.
Lined up 45 mins. before the start, but still only in the middle of the A group (about 3,000). Had planned to get near the curb so I could sit, which I did (clever!). Being in the first group, the start was no problem. Took it easy, but was on pace by 2k (course was marked every km). Felt fine for the first 25k, just clipping along at pretty much the same pace. Was running with another club member for most of that, and was cheered on by club members at various points. They were out in force, which was great — and we had 35 members running the race.
The weather, by the way, was great — about 7C/45F, but it didn't feel cold, even before the start. The forecast had been for strong wind, but fortunately that didn't happen, and there was only a slight headwind from 15 to 28K.
Started to tire after 25k and fell off the pace a bit. Would have fallen off more after 30k, but a guy went past me at about 31k going just slightly faster, so I latched onto him and focused on his back until about 36k, when he spurted and I lost him. But that helped a lot in that section. By then (from 35k) my quads were getting painful, and they got more so with each k. Tried to shorten my stride to pick up the pace and also to stay with people passing me, but just couldn't pick the legs up. There are a few up/downs in the last 7k also. The ups were fine, but the downs were torture. Had to slow going down, as the quads felt like they would seize up. Managed to pick it up slightly the last k, after a downhill at 41.1k, but it was not a very rousing finish. Still, I was able to walk ok after the finish, which was nice. (Today, Monday, I _cannot_ walk ok, and can barely get down a flight of stairs, or even out of a chair.)

Did heavy carbo loading the day before, as a British study showed that that is the best thing to do, which seems logical to me. It might have helped. Stomach was fine, didn't feel bloated, so I may do even more next time. Ate a few runner's gel candy things during the race and only had two small drinks of water, but didn't feel thirsty. I don't need much liquid, especially during cold weather races.

Calves were also fine during the race. I think I finally found the right shoe - Adi Zero Japan, with insoles, which is light but not _very_ light.

So all in all, not a bad race. The time was my second fastest since I started running marathons again six years ago, and was only 5 seconds slower than the LA marathon in 2010.

Plans for the future: Rest until everything is completely healed — 2 or 3 weeks? Then a 10K in April and a Half in May. Hopefully an overseas marathon in the fall. And I need to strengthen my quads. I think more intensity is the key. I think you have to run hard enough so that twice a week, your quads actually hurt. I do workouts that tire me out, but very rarely do they make my quads hurt. Maybe run hard two days in a row (intervals, tempo, long, whatever), so that at the end of the second day you are really hurting. Then rest for one or two days. No easy runs! Maybe I'll try that. Also, I want to get my 10K time down further, and of course intensity is the key for that. If you can't run a fast 10k, you can't run a fast marathon.
Onward and upward!


  1. good running bob, that's an impressive time given a not ideal training cycle. those bridges in the final 5km even got the better of heile yesterday. for info - i'm running beijing 21/10. not sure if that appeals

  2. 5 seconds off your LA result is a very impressive result Bob, considering the niggles of the last few weeks. Pre-race injury apart, it would appear like a typical marathon fade where you were on 3:03/04 pace to 25/30k. Just wondering if your injury reduced your capability slightly over the last few weeks of training and technically you went out a bit too fast for your current level of fitness.

  3. Excellent race! Everyone saw what the last few Ks of ups and downs did to Geb, so I'm not surprised you slowed a bit. That race isn't easy to finish off!

    Yes, get rid of those injuries and the next few years will see some great racing I expect! And will be interested to follow. Enjoy your rest, well done!

  4. great race Bob. congrats.

  5. Good race Bob. I reckon Haile wished they were only 35k after Sunday too!

    Your current 10k speed is pretty good. 38+ 10k. I would have thought that sufficient to run close to 3 hours? Maybe two 'decent' long runs per week as Deek used to do - hilly 33k plus a flat 27k? That would toughen up the legs and get the fat burning going. Other than that, maybe the downhill 1k reps session again.

    On a fall marathon, CIM is a good fast course.

  6. Great race, Bob. You are still fast on the shorter distances. I guess you still have a sub 3 in your body...! Joachim

  7. Good on ya Bob. If I've never told you this in person, you are an absolute inspiration to so many of your club mates, or to me at least :-)

  8. GREAT time Bob! I'm still running...just not as much as before. Ran a 44 min 6 miler the other day for my tempo run. Lifting weights and doing core exercises. Plan on running a 5K on Friday. I'll let you know how fast I run it!