December 13, 2015

3 Easy Weeks Plus Ekiden

Nov. 24 ~ Dec. 13

Took two days off after the 10K race on the 23rd, then two easy days, then did the Run for the Cure charity 10K, but not as a real race. Ran the 5K splits in 22:40 and 21:40, and felt fine. It was good weather and a fun event.

Did another 3 easy/rest days and then the 1000m x 6 wednesday night workout. Ran them all at around 4:00, which was ok on a chilly night.

Took two days off and had the Okutama Ekiden on the 6th. This is an old, traditional Japanese style road relay up in the hills about 90 minutes west of Tokyo. 6-man teams, each person running a 7.4 or 6.6 or 8.4km leg. Women's teams are 3-person, with shorter legs (ha ha). It's the race that the club has participated in the longest (27 years), and is always a good time. We had three men's teams and two women's teams - total was about 120 men's and 50 women's teams, plus another 60 university and high school.

I led off on the 7.4k first leg, running 30:36 for a 4:08 pace. Not particularly great, but it's a bit hilly, including a 400m upgrade at the end. I started conservatively, and had the fun of passing about 15 runners who had not. Most teams put their fast guys on the first leg, so I felt like a back-of-the-packer. Everyone meets up again for sushi and beer afterwards, so a very enjoyable day.

Took two days off again, then did the wednesday workout. Forgot that I had run a race on Sunday, so ran an 8:04 2,000 and two 3:55 1000s, then my quads started to get sore and I remembered the race. So I cruised another 1000 and two 500s.

Then just did four easy days, with 16k today. I plan to up my mileage the next three months, with just two or even one hard workout a week.

I'm off to Bangkok next Sunday with my wife, for a two-week visit to our daughter. We'll also spend three days in Bali over Christmas. Looking forward to warmth! Hot, sweaty runs - love it! So I'll just be putting in the kms for three weeks, will post again after I get back.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

November 25, 2015

Ootawara 10K — Not What I Hoped For

Nov. 16 ~ Nov. 23

3:15 - 10k with 5k easy, 5k tempo at about 4:30.
21C, 56%

Gym workout

7:30pm - warmup 3.5k, 2000, 1000 x 3, 500 x 2.
8:01, 3:54, 56, 56, 1:58, 1:48 (500 dist. a bit off)
Legs tired, couldn't generate much speed.
David Sweeny from Brisbane led us through the workout.
Andrew Green from England (52-year-old 5000m world record holder - 15:32) and son Jack were also there.

8k easy

8K easy

Saturday and Sunday - rest

Ootawara 10K — 40:52, 14th in age group.
Didn't feel quite right from the start - nothing I could put my finger on, but just didn't seem to be running smoothly and strongly. Chilly weather and light rain did not help - I like warm weather!
First 3k were just over 4:00, next two were just under, then 4:02, 4:07, 4:11, 4:14, 4:14. I felt like I sped up the last 3k, but in fact slowed down, which was a bit strange and disheartening. Ran most of the way just behind or in front of another 60-year-old guy, so it's not like I was working all by myself.
Anyway, not a great result considering my last 10K a month ago was 39:40, but that's the way it goes sometimes.
Good result from David Sweeney, who ran 34:58 for 6th in his age group, which was 40-59. So at 54, he beat most of the 40-year-olds. Andrew unfortunately had achilles problems after 8k and just jogged in. Mike Trees ran 34:05 for 3rd in the same AG.
Next up is a 7.4k leg in the Okutama Ekiden on Dec. 6.

November 15, 2015

New Training Maxim

Week of Nov. 9 ~ 15

My new training maxim: As long as you're pain-free, you're training well.

61km / 38 mi.

3:00 - 12k, with 6k easy, 6k easy tempo
Second 6k was just about 5:00 pace for 4k, then 4:30 pace for 2k.
Did a 10k easy tempo run yesterday, so decided to do another today.
18C/64F, 80%. 18DP

Weight machines and core.

7:30 - 12k with club interval workout in the park. 2000 x 2, 1000, 500 x 2.
5k warmup. Intervals: 8:01, 7:53, 3:48, 1:54, 1:54. (4:30 after 2000s, 3:30 after 1000, 500)
Felt good, ran hard.
Had the pleasure of meeting David Sweeney at dinner. He's here from Oz visiting Mike Trees and will run the Otawara 10K on the 23rd, which I am also doing.
16C/61F, 40%, 5DP

8k easy

1:00 - Weight machines and core.
3:30 - 13k with hard 4k, 3k, 2k.
17:47 @4:27 (5min walk)
12:56 @4:19 (5min walk)
8:27 @4:14
Felt good and ran well. Good workout.
15C/59F. 55%, 6DP

Decided to take an extra rest day.

4:00 - 16k in 1:35:52, just about an easy 6:00 pace.
I go over one small bridge that goes over a road, but it's high enough to afford a view of Fuji-san. Clear day, golden sunset with blue mountain in the front of it - beautiful. Fuji is a long, long ways away (100km?), but it is so immense that it is visible from here and even from well north of Tokyo.

November 8, 2015

Nice Week with Two Fun Events

Week of Nov. 2 ~ 8

61.9km / 38.5 mi.

Rest - Far East HS cross-country championships at Camp Fuji (a HUGE US military area up near Mt Fuji, so big that they practice shooting their big guns there, and almost no one even knows it's there).
Once again, both our boys and girls took first place.

6k easy. Second day of the cross-country, the relay event (which our kids also won), during which I ran about 6k back and forth cheering for kids.

7:30pm - club workout in Yoyogi Park.
1000m x 6, however, the consensus was that it was about 5 seconds short.
3:44/40/41/41/43/38. Even so, not bad. Felt good and ran hard.
16C/61F, 60% DP9

7:30pm - 10k around the Imperial Palace with Eduardo, an ultra-marathoner from Spain who is doing an event called Tohoku Crossing, in support of the people of Tohoku and also to promote ties between Spain and Japan. He is from a town in Spain called Coria del Rio where a Japanese delegation went from Tohoku 400 years ago (!). Some of the Japanese stayed there, and today there are still about 700 people in the town with the name "Japon."
So we had 11 people out to run with him, and it was a very nice event (also supported by the Spanish Embassy).
He presented us with a beautiful, handmade ceramic plaque.

2:00 - Gym workout
3:30 - 10k with 3k x 2 at a good tempo. Wanted to run 4:10/k pace and ran 12:34 and 12:33. Felt good but had to work a bit to keep the pace.
It's very satisfying to plan a workout and then do exactly what you wanted to, feeling good at the end.
19C/66F, 40%, DP7

8k easy.

Namban Rengo 10K and Half, followed by a BBQ. Planned the 10k as a tempo run at 4:30, but was asked by one of our women members (Naoko) to pace her under 48:00, so ran at 4:45 pace and finished in 47:34. Raining, but a nice run. We had about 80 people out for the event. (Didn't want to go all-out because my goal 10K race is 8 days away on the 23rd.)

November 1, 2015

Rolling Along

Week of Oct. 26 ~ Nov 1

65km / 40 mi.
Typical good week with three hard workouts.
4th week of not eating any sugar, so weight is coming down a bit more.
No sugar means no desserts of any kind, no dark chocolate, no sugar in coffee.
First because sugar is basically bad for you and second to keep weight down.

3:30 - 10k with top three x-country boys.
5k out in 24:26, gradually picking up pace.
5k in in 21:30, starting at 4:30, down to 4:10, last k in 4:00.
Legs a bit stiff so had to work hard. The boys were just cruising along.
18C/64F, nice day.

Weight machines and core.

7:30pm - 10.6k inc. 5,000m time trial in the park (track closed). Unfortunately, it turned out to be about 4,800. Will try to get it right next month.
Ran 19:38, which would be about 20:26 for 5,000. Good pace, working hard to stay with other guys (and a woman), it felt faster.
22C/72F, 40%, DP9

3:30 - 6.4k easy with kids.

3:30 - 10k easy

11:00 - 12k easy, a bit faster coming back.
16C/61F, 60%, DP7

2:00 - 16k with 8k easy, 8k tempo.
1:23:45 - 46:00/37:45 @ 5:45/4:43 last 4k@4:40/40/30/30
Felt very good after three easy days - legs fresh. Gliding along nicely for the 8k tempo.
17C/63F, about perfect for running.

October 25, 2015

Pretty Good Week

Week of Oct. 19 ~ 25

64.4km / 40 mi.

3:30 - 12.2k. 6.2k easy with the JV girls, 6k alone @4:35 pace.
Quads stiff, legs kind of heavy.

Weight machines and core.

7:30pm - 11.4k with 1000m x 6.
Running in the park because our track is closed for six months for resurfacing.
Nice loop on a wide asphalt path with one slight down/up hill, pretty close to exactly 1,000m.
3:50/44/44/47/48/44 (150m jog/walk in about 2:50).
Felt good and ran well - worked pretty hard.
17C/63F, 75%, dp 13

3:30 - 6.8 easy, mostly with the kids. Legs tired.

12:30 - Weight machines and core.
3:30 - 12k. 6k warmup, 250m hill x 10 hard up, easy down. A bit faster than previous weeks, due to cooler weather.
Legs were stiff warming up, but felt good once I started the hills.

4:30 - 8k easy.

3:00 - 14k in 1:20:26. 42:23/38:03
Out at 6:00/k, back at 5:30, with 5th and 6th ks faster.
20C/68F, 23%, dp -2.

October 18, 2015

Avoiding Injury This Year

Week of October 12 ~ 18
35.8km - recovery week.

Last year on Wednesday of this week, after the 10K race, I tried to do the club interval workout and got a pain in my hamstring. Which took 6 months to completely go away.
So, a year later and quite a bit smarter.
Two rest days, then three easy days of 5-6k, then an easy 8k run, and today an easy 12k run. No aches or pains at all, so I'll try a tempo run tomorrow.

Nice running weather, about 22° every day, supposed to be clear all next week.

In American School cross-country news, both our boys and girls won the Far East Championships, held in Guam. Four runners score and our girls had four in the top ten, boys had four in the top 11. So it was a rout. And our top boy and girl both won. The team still has two more meets in Japan.

My next race is a 10K on Nov. 23rd. So four good training weeks and a taper week until then.

October 11, 2015

39:46, 3rd Place — I'll Take It

Week of Oct. 5 ~ 11
43.2km /26.8 mi.

Monday thru Saturday was just preparation leading up to the 10K race on Sunday.

3:30 - 13k. 7k with JV girls @5:45/k then 6k tempo alone. Wanted to run 4:40-45 pace and ran the two 3k loops at 4:43 and 4:44.
Quads were a bit stiff, but felt ok.
21C/70F, 50%, DP 10

Weights and core at the gym.

7:30pm - club track workout. 12.2k with 4.2k warmup and 1000m x 6.
4:13/3:58/4:02/3:54/59/52 (about 2:40 jog/walk in between)
Pushing just a bit, but basically cruising. Tapering for Sunday.

3:30 - 8k. 15min warmup then 800 x 6 with JV girls. From 3:37 down to 3:20, with 90sec rest. Easy, but not slow-easy.

Friday and Saturday

10:00am - 10K race at Nagareyama in Chiba pref.
Very good race, which I enjoyed last year and did again this year. More in fact, because five other club members also ran. It's a good course, quite a lot of turns and about 5 up/downs, but that's ok, it keeps it interesting.
I felt good the whole way - well, not exactly good the last 3k - and finished in 39:46, good for 3rd in the 60s age group, out of 366 men. I was also 3rd last year, but 55 seconds faster. However, I knew I wasn't in as good shape this year, so was happy with both the time and the place. And with the fact that I had no pains or discomfort at all during the race!
Also, since my 5,000 time trial on sept 30 was 19:40, all out, 39:46 was not bad.
Splits were (some approx): 3:58/56/57/58/57/58/4:05/56/4:01 - I kicked the last 500m, but the 500m before that is a gradual uphill.
It rained right up until 30 minutes before the race, but luckily stopped. It was only 18C/64F, so it felt cool, although the humidity was about 100%, so everyone finished drenched in sweat.
There were 3,581 total runners, out of which I was 204th - I think that was the total place out of all men and women (it just says "total").
The winner was about 30:15. He was an independent, ahead of 5 university guys in the low 31s. And the top high school kid was 30:27! The other top five were also low 31s. The top 50-year-old was a bit over 35 and the top 40+ woman was also 35:30! She must have been an ex-corporate runner. The top 60 year old was 38:30 and the top 70 year old was 41:20! Love the quality of races in Japan.

Next race is another 10k on Nov. 23, so will try to improve on today's time.
Long term, I obviously need more stamina. Well, my long runs now are only 14k. The journey continues!

October 4, 2015

5K Time Comes Down Again

Week of Sept 28 ~ Oct 4
55.8km / 34.6 mi.

Well, it came down slightly: 19:40 from 19:53 last month. But progress is being made....

3:30 - 10k including 3.2k tempo with sophomore Emma Wingfield-Hayes. Two miles in 6:44, 6:47 on a cross-country type route with one small hill. 4:12/k
Short tempo run as I have the 5,000m TT on wed.
28C/82F, 70%, DP20

Complete rest

7:30pm - 11.8k with 5.8k warmup, 5,000 time trial.
19:40 with splits of 3:56/57/57/56/54.
Felt good - running alone after 1,000m, but held pace nicely.
19:40 seems like a slow time to me, but it felt fast when I was running. Does this mean I'm getting old?..impossible!
21C/70F. 55%, DP12. Nice night for running.


1:00 - Gym workout
3:30 - 5k easy with the whole x-c team, then 400m x 10 by myself in the park next to the school (we have measured routes in the park). The 400m has a slight up/down grade in it.
93/89/89/89/91/90/91/89/87. Felt fine.
26C/79F, 46%, DP15

3:30 - 10k easy, a bit under 6:00/k. However, I worked outside the house cutting, cleaning, etc. before the run for about 3 hours doing A LOT of bending, squatting, lifting (moving rocks).

3:00 - 14k easy and again worked for about 3 hours. As a result, quads were sore at the end of the run. The outside of our house looks nice, though.

10K race next Sunday. Ran this race last year in 38:51 for 3rd in the 60s, after which my hamstring problems started because I tried to run hard too soon afterwards. Don't think I can go that fast, but hope to have a decent run.

Congratulations to the Aussies among us! I watched the match - trying to learn to love rugby.

September 27, 2015

Good Week, No Problems

Week of Sept 21 ~ 27
61km / 38 mi

3:30 - 12k with 4k easy warmup, 8k tempo run in 34:51 @4:21.5.
Felt good after warmup and stretching. Upped the run from previous 6k to 8k. Pace not a problem. 26C but felt cool due to lower humidity - nice day for running.
45%, dew point 14C/57F. Steve Lacey told me that dew point is more important than humidity, as to how it affects you. DP of 16C/60F ~ 21C/70F is uncomfortable. Now I have to remember to check it on my iPhone, which I probably won't.

No run, gym workout.

7:30pm - club track workout 1000 x 4, 800 x 2, 400
10.6k with 3.8k warmup
3:49/44/47/46 3:13/19 89
Felt pretty good. All 1000s under 3:50 was good. Calf got tight at end of 4th, so cruised 800s and 400.

3:30 - 7.4k inc. 400 x 10 with junior varsity girls, all about 1:40, last two faster.
Basically, an easy day.

Cool, rainy day so ran inside the gym on the treadmill, 5k. God, I hate running on treadmills, don't know how anyone does it. Sweating like mad after 15 minutes, despite not going very fast, although it feels faster, which is annoying. Should have run out in the rain.
Usual weights and abs.

3:00 - 12k with 6k easy warmup, 250m hill x 10, 1k home.
Ran the hills quite well, faster than previous outings.
23C/73F, 75%, DP 19C/66F

2:30 - 14k at an easy pace.
24C/75F, nice day.

September 21, 2015

Ok, I Suppose

Week of Sept. 14 ~ 20

55.6km / 34.5 mi.

I'm still a bit wary of my knee, although it doesn't really bother me.
Did have two good workouts.

3:30 - 14.6k. 8.6k easy pace with the Junior Varsity girls, then 6k tempo run with former Amer.School runner Michael Thornton, who is helping with coaching this season. 4:31/k pace, so a nice run.
BTW, I mentioned the word "varsity" to an Aussie friend, and he didn't know what it meant. Apparently, it's an Americanism. It means the "first team", basically. JV is everybody else. Very often, schools will have varsity meets/games/matches and also JV contests, so everyone gets a chance to participate.
57.6kg - I'm thin again!

Rest day, gym workout.

Club track workout at night:
Did them at an easy pace, abt 4:20/k, because will run a 5,000m time trial tomorrow night. Knee got sore last 20m!

Multi-club time trial cancelled due to heavy rain in the morning and afternoon. However, at night, it was hardly raining at all. Nevertheless, none of the other clubs showed up. So six of us Nambanners did our own time trial. Ran 20:15, trying to pace another guy to a sub-20:00. Unfortunately, I did a poor job, running the first k in 4:09, so we couldn't make that up. He did get a PB, though.
My knee was fine, didn't feel anything.
19C/66F, 95%

Rest day, gym workout.

8.5k easy.

4:30 - 14k at an easy (6:00/k) pace.
Beautiful day, and all next week is supposed to be nice - for a change!

September 13, 2015

Coming Back

This trick knee or whatever it is had been bothering me, so after a good track workout on wednesday of last week I decided to take four days off.
Did an easy run on Monday and everything was fine, but then we had two days of torrential rain, so took those days off also.
Did 6 x 800 at about 3 minutes with the cross country girls on thursday, so that was a decent workout, and nothing hurt or twinged. Then did easy runs friday, saturday and today.
I'll try a tempo run tomorrow and hopefully will be back to my normal training week.

Was supposed to have a 10K race today, which would have been only semi-serious, but it was cancelled due to all the rain! It was to be on a path next to the Tama river, but the river swelled to about twice normal size this past week and even though it's down now, I'm sure that the dirt path and that whole area is still completely waterlogged.
You may have seen images of the floods further north. This was not that bad, but everywhere in Japan got a lot of rain. The whole last four weeks have been cool and rainy - a far cry from the usual heat at this time of year.

Next race is a good 10K on Oct. 11. Will also try a multi-club 5,000m time trial this thursday night.

August 31, 2015

Two Low K Weeks

Weeks of Aug. 17 ~ 30.

40K and 30K. This was due to being cautious because of a weird pain in my left quad, or maybe knee. It's a sudden, brief sharp pain that causes my knee to give way...or maybe I do that involuntarily when I feel the pain. It doesn't last, just very brief, but quite disconcerting.
And sometimes my quad is a bit sore, and feels like if I go faster, it will start to hurt.
So I took a number of days off (but only two in a row) and ran less distance and slower pace on the easy days. (But still ran some hard days.)

This may have been brought about by two hard days in a row, which was a bad mistake.
I had taken Monday the 17th off, due to very tired legs, so did my usual Monday tempo run on Tuesday, then did 400m x 12 at the track on Wednesday.
All the 400s were good - 86 to 82 - but felt twinges in knee on the last two.

Took thursday off as quad was a bit sore, then tried to run friday, but had slight pain, so stopped after 2k.
Easy saturday, then a hilly 8.4k in seaside town of Kamakura on sunday, but at an easy pace. Got a twinge just at the end of that.

This past week, rested mon and tues, then ran the 5,000m time trial on wednesday night, with no pain, in 19:53, which was nice since it was the first time in about 10 months that I have been under 20:00. (A cool 21C but 100% humidity.)

Rest thursday, then 800m x 6 and 400m x 2 at moderate paces with the high school cross country varsity girls (season has started) on friday.

Easy 5k on sat and easy 10k today, with quad feeling "ok" but a bit iffy.

I'll do a tempo run with the kids tomorrow and see how it is. If I have any issues I'll just rest for about 4 days, which should clear it up.

Hope you're all going into the autumn feeling good.

August 16, 2015

Finally Over 70K

Week of Aug. 10 ~ 16

71.6km / 44.5 mi.

Finally got a week over 70k, which is not a helluva lot of mileage, but is at least my target, and enough for 10K racing, with three hard workouts a week, I believe.

4:00 - 12k with 6k warmup and 6k tempo @4:45/k.
Well, "perceived effort" is what counts, right?
The humidity made it tough, and my legs were tired and heavy. Actually, I think humidity aggravates the heaviness.
30C/86F, 66%
A light 58.1 kg

Weight machines, core, hamstrings.

6:30pm - Club track workout - 15k with 7k warmup, 1000/800 x 3, 400
Felt good and worked hard to run with others (big group). Hot and humid, but didn't feel too bad, for some reason. Much more comfortable than the last two weeks.
30C/86F, 65%

8:15pm - 10k easy.
28C/82F, 60%

1:00 - gym workout
4:00 - 12k with 250m hill x 10
Good workout, up hard, down easy, as usual. Humid, sweat pouring off, but felt ok.
31C/88F, 60%

4:00 - 8.6k easy.

4:00 - 14k easy. Quads a bit sore and heavy.
31C/88F, 60%

August 9, 2015

Good, Not Great Week

Week of Aug. 3 ~ 9

56.8km / 35.3 mi.

8:30pm - Ate dinner at 4:30 so I could run later, when it is cooler. This worked ok, my stomach felt all right, but my legs were still tired from the 19k hilly run the day before.
So I only did 8k, with 4k warmup and 4k tempo. The tempo was really slow, however, 5:30-5:40 per k, as opposed to my usual 4:30. This was due partly to the fact that it was still 30° and 50% humidity and partly to the "running at night" syndrome, which I have noticed before. It seems that I always go slow at night, but it feels much faster. I knew I wasn't running 4:30, but I thought it was 5:00 or a little under and couldn't believe each time I looked at the watch and the kms got slower. So maybe night running is not so good.
30C/86F, 50%

Usual day at the gym for weight machines (6), core training and hamstring exercises.

7:30pm - club track workout. 5.8k warmup, then 1000m x 6.
4:03/3:59/3:57/4:01/4:05/3:59 (200m jog in 2:40, 3:40 after 4th)
Well, this was a tough workout because it was so hot and humid. Legs still not completely recovered from Sunday, either. After the workout, instead of me leading an abs session as I usually do, we had Harrisson, one of our top runners, lead an interesting session to build leg and achilles strength.
32C/90F, 60% - at 7:30

Rest. Legs very tired and had an afternoon meeting so would have had to run at 12 noon, which I didn't especially want to do in 35-36 degree heat.

1:00 - gym workout
4:45 - 12k with 6k warmup, 400m x 10, 2k back home.
400s in 93/95/93/92/96/93/95/95/89 (90 sec. walk as rest)
Well, it was hot, although cloudy, so not brutally hot. But hot enough. And humid, of course.
Actually felt good coming back and picked up the second km to a decent pace.
34C/93F, 60%
Happened to look at an old training log from just after I turned 50 and did 400 x 8 in 72-73, with 90 sec. rest. I guess those days are gone. I'll be faster in the fall, though.

2:30 - 10k easy
33C/91F, 50%
58.3kg - really cutting the calories

3:30 - 14k easy. Out at 6:10 pace, back at 5:50. Very relaxed pace.
32C/90F, 50%

August 2, 2015

2 Hill Workouts

Week of July 27 ~ Aug. 2

56.2km / 34.9 mi.

Rested Monday and Tuesday, after the hilly trail run on Sunday. Legs were sore.
Did a gym workout Tuesday, though.

7:30pm - Club 5,000m time trial. 6.6k warmup.
20:36, which was 2 seconds faster than last month. Felt ok, although my quads were still a bit tired from Sunday. The problem, however, was the heat and humidity. I, and pretty much everyone else, found it hard to set and maintain a good pace.
Splits were 4:00/4:04/4:09/4:13/4:08. Managed a kick, but not much of one.
29C/84F, 70%

4:00 - Very easy 6k. 30C, 75%, but felt like 95%.

1:00 - gym workout
4:00 - 6k warmup, 250m hill x 10 (250 jog down), 1k back.
Ran them at a pretty good pace. The hill is in the shade, so heat not too bad.
34C/93F, 55%

4:00 - 8k easy
34C/93F, 50%

9:30am - 18.6k trail run on the very hilly Ome course, in the far western part of Tokyo. With 5 others. Used to run this often, but haven't been out there for about 4 years, so it was nice to run it again. It's a very nice trail through the woods, with almost no other runners or hikers. Lots of steep inclines, which I walked up, for the first time ever. (But our super ultra guy Eric was walking them, so I felt ok about it.) About 35°, but quite a bit cooler in the woods. In fact, running across the few sunny sections was like going into an oven. Picked up the last 3k, as I always do, so it was a very good workout. Let's see how I feel tomorrow. I'll try to do my tempo workout....
Oh, and saw a smallish deer just beside the trail at one point. It was gray, so we thought at first it was a bear. Didn't know deer can be gray.
35C, 50%

July 28, 2015

Bangkok Weather

Week of Jul 20 ~ 26

62km / 38.5 mi.

Up to 35C/95F on Saturday and Sunday. However, some like it hot, and I am one of them.

Monday2:00 - 12k with 6k tempo in 27:57 @4:39/k.
Felt ok, although legs a bit tired.
34C/93F, 50%

Weight machines and core training.

7:30 - club track workout. 12k with 6.2 warmup, 400m x 12.
90-100 sec. in between, with 3:00 after the 6th.
Split everyone up into groups of about 10, which worked well.
Felt pretty good, running with faster guys, so worked hard. Times significantly faster than when running alone.
29C/84F, 60% (at the track)

2:00 - 8k easy.

12:00 - Yes, ran at noon, because I had to go to a meeting later.
8k with 4k tempo in 4:55/5:04/4:55/4:47
Problem was not so much the heat, but legs not recovered from Wed.
Only ran 4 because going to do a longish trail run on Sunday.
33C/91F, 50%

12:00 - Weights and core
2:00 6k easy

1:00 16k at seaside town of Kamakura, south of Tokyo. Club trip to the beach.
Did a very easy 6k with a group of 34 in 42:00, partly through the town and partly on a trail (steep in parts). Then 10k at a faster pace with a group of about 10 in 1:02:36, mostly on trails with quite a number of steep climbs/descents. All in all, pretty tough on the legs.
Very hot, but cooler up in the wooded trails. Lots of beer afterwards!

July 19, 2015

Summer's Here and the Runnin Ain't Easy

Week of July 13 ~ 19

54km / 33.5 mi.

4:00 - 34C/93F in the shade. 10k run with 5k tempo, cut back from the usual 12/6. Also because my legs were still a bit heavy from last week.
Tempo run was at 4:41/k, ok for the heat. Did NOT feel like running another km.

Weight machines and core at the gym.

7:30pm - club track workout. 13k with 6.2 wrmup, then 400 wrmup, 1200/600, 1200/600, 1200/600. The object being to run the 1200s at a moderate pace, take a short rest, then push the 600s to the limit. Then a longer rest.
Splits were 4:57/2:07, 4:56/2:13. 5:01/2:15. 1 min after the 12s, 3:30 after the 6s.
Not very fast, the problem being I ate and drank (latte) a bit too much in the late afternoon, so my stomach felt very heavy. Felt it esp. on the 600s, which were painful.
Abt 26C/79F

3:00 - 6k very easy.
27C/81F, 90%!

3:30 - 31C and 65% humidity, but gave the 400s a go.
11k with 400m x 10 with 90 sec rest.
Hard efforts, good for 31 degrees, I suppose.
After jogging 1k of the 2k back home, my left calf started to hurt, so walked the final k.
PS: Totally forgot about going to the gym!

Being very cautious about the calf, so took a rest day.

2:30 - 14k at an easy pace. No problem, but didn't feel like running any more, as I began to feel it in the quads.
34C/93F, but only 45% humidity and cloudy, so didn't feel too hot.

July 14, 2015

Training Going Nicely

Week of July 6 ~ 12

66km / 41 mi.

3:30 - 12k with 6k easy, 6k at tempo pace of 4:30/k.
Quads a bit heavy, but felt fine.
22C/72F, 94%, light rain

Weights and core at the gym.

7:30pm - club track workout.
400 (warmup), 800, 1000, 1200, 1000, 800, 600
2:57, 3:46, 4:44, 3:42, 3:12, 2:06
Felt good, Ran the first 800 and the 1200 fairly hard, and the 1000s all out. 3:42 was nice, best time since last Oct. 1. On the 600 I somehow just took off on the last 300. Rocketed past the three people I had been following and just kept going, smoothly and powerfully. No idea where that came from. 2:06 is an 84 400 pace, but the splits were probably 89/79. Ok, not blinding speed, but pretty good for me at this point, esp. at the end of a workout.
22C/72F, 100%, light rain

8k very easy, just a jog.

1:00 Weights and core at the gym.
4:00 - 12k with 6k warmup, then 250m hill x 10, jog down. Did them all at a good pace. 1k back home.

8k very easy, quads heavy.

12k even easier, legs _really_ heavy.
29C/84F, 70%

July 5, 2015

Finally a Proper Training Week

Week of Jun 29 ~ Jul 5

66.4km / 41.3 mi.

Got up close to 70k and did three hard workouts.

3:30  12k with 6k easy, 6k tempo @ 4:27/k.
Felt fine on the tempo run, no problem.
26C/79F, 50%

Rest day. Weights and core at the gym.

Track workout. 12k with 5k warmup, 1000m x 6.
4:00/3:52/52/54/55/44. (200m jog in 2', 30-50" walk)
Felt good, back in the A group, so had lots of people to follow.
Even the last one felt good.
25C/77F, 94% humidity !!

8k easy.

1:00  weights and core at the gym.
3:30  12k with 6k warmup, then 400m x 10.
95/90/91/91/91/90/91/91/93/86 (90" walk)
Felt good, running with a nice rhythm. Quads a bit sore jogging back home.
22C/72F, 90%

8.4k easy.

14k easy.Thighs a bit sore at the end, still not recovered from the 400s.

June 28, 2015

5000m Time Trial One Minute Faster

Week of June 22 ~ 28

52.8km / 32.8 mi.

Easy 9km run as I had to meet a person from Los Angeles (Track Club LA) and talk to her about running in Japan for an article she is writing.

Gym workout

Namban Rengo 5,000m time trial.
20:38 (4:08/14/07/07/02)
Felt good. Slowed the 2nd k but picked it up with no problem. 1:03 faster than last month, so seem to be getting back into shape.
Abt. 25C/77F

Rest. Felt a very slight twinge after the 5,000, and at this point it's better to rest after an all-out 5k.

12k with 6k warmup, then 250m hill x 10. Worked pretty hard going up the hills, slow jog down.

Easy 8k. Gym workout

Easy 12k.

June 22, 2015

Plugging Away

Week of June 6 ~ 21

53km / 33 mi.

3:30 - 10K with last 4k at tempo pace (4:30/k)
28C/82F, 50%
Wt: 59.3kg

Rest day - gym workout

7:30pm - Club track workout. 400 warmup, 1200/600 x 3
This is a good workout. The object is to do the 1200 at an "average" pace, take a short rest, then run the 600 all out. Then a longish rest after the 600s.
Very humid, rain last 600.

8k easy.

Gym workout.
Chilly rain all day. After running in warm weather, I didn't feel like running in this.
And a rest day is never a bad idea.

11k. 9k easy, last 2k at 4:30/k pace.

12k. Easy out at about 6:00/k, In at 5:00 for 3 k, then 4:40 for 3k. Ie., a moderate 6k tempo run.
22C/72F, 73%

June 14, 2015


Week of June 8 ~ 14
58.4km / 36.3 mi.

Almost, but not quite, a normal training week.

Monday: 8k easy

Tuesday: Gym workout

Wednesday: Track intervals - 1200/1000/800/1200/1000/800
About 3 mins. walk and/or jog between each.
Felt ok, but still can't run fast. Managed a 3:56 on the second 1000.

Thursday: 8k easy

Friday: Gym workout. 9k including 400 x 8 to try to regain a bit of speed. These were not very fast - 89/90 - but felt fast, which is a bad sign, I suppose. Managed 86 on the last one. 90 seconds walk in between. It was 27° and about 95% humidity, but still....  Anyway, it was fun to run some 400s.

Saturday: 9k easy

Sunday: 12k easy.

June 8, 2015

Back Into Training

It's been quite a while since I posted, but not much has been happening.
Took one week off after the Sendai Half.
Did five short, easy runs the next week.
Did four easy runs the next week, plus a 5,000m time trial on May 28th just to see where I stood. Which was: legs ok, but out of shape (which of course I already knew). 21:41.
Did seven runs last week for a total of 66k, so not so bad.
That included a 1000m x 6 workout with each about 4:15 and the last in 4:00. And then a tempo run on Saturday - 4k easy, 4k at 4:30 pace.
No aches or pains at all, so I think that after one more relatively easy week, I'll be ready to start a regular training cycle, to get me back into good shape by October.

To finally answer your question, Scott, a typical week will be:
Wed - 14km, with 6,000m interval workout
Thur - 8km, easy
Fri - 12km, with 10 x 250m hills, or 8 400s (have to get some speed back)
Sat - 8km, easy
Sun - 16km, easy. Actually starting with 12 and working up to 20.
Mon - 12km with 6 or 8 or 10km tempo run
Tues - Rest
Which adds up to 70km, which is enough given that three of the days are hard.
Plus my usual weight machine/core workouts on Tuesdays and Fridays.

So, here's hoping I'll be in good form come the fall.

And I hope you all have a good summer (or winter, as the case may be) of training.

PS: Managed to get my weight back down under 60kg, but need to lose more.
Here are the two best runners in America, Matt Centrowicz and Galen Rupp.

May 12, 2015

Made It...Barely

Ran the Sendai Half Marathon on Sunday - short story, 1:49, managed not to re-injure the hamstring.

Sendai is 90 minutes from Tokyo by almost-non-stop bullet train, up near where the earthquake/tsunami was. It's a very nice city, with wide streets and lots of greenery.

The race is a fairly big one, about 8,000 in the Half, with some elite Japanese runners, including the popular Yuki Kawauchi who seems to have had an off day, running 1:08.

The weather was good, chilly early in the morning, then getting pretty warm by the 10:00 start and quite warm by noontime. Windy, but not too bad.

I went out at about the top pace I could handle for 21k, given that I'm out of shape, which was 4:45 per km (1:40 half). Held that for 9k, when I felt a twinge in the hamstring. Slowed to 5:00, felt another twinge at 10k, slowed to 5:15, then held that pretty much the rest of the way, although I walked at the water stops. Felt a few more twinges, the kind that tell you you had better not go any faster, but manged to get to the finish line with no damage done.

So it was an enjoyable trot through the city, but of course frustrating in that I was A) out of shape and B) forced to hold back.

Now I'll rest up for a while, then get into some good summer training to get in shape to run some good races in the fall. I will be back!

May 4, 2015

55 Again

No, not my age, the number of kilometers I ran this week.
Last three weeks were 55, 54.4, 55, so I guess I'm in a groove.
Did a 5,000m time trial on Wednesday, notable not for the 22:27 time, but for the fact that it was my first in 7 months and I had no aches or pains at all.
Also did a pretty good tempo run with the high school boys on Monday and a good hill workout (250m x 10) on Friday.
Then had a nice 8k run with Marty Lever on Saturday. He's in Tokyo for a few days for a photo shoot (good photographer). We may have had a few beers also.

Next Sunday is the Sendai Half. Hope I get through it with no issues.

April 27, 2015

Picking It Up a Bit

Week of April 20 ~ 26

54.4km / 33.8 mi.

Did 5 runs, taking an extra day off Thursday, in addition to Saturday.
This included:
10k on Monday, 5k out @5:11/k, 5k in @4:32.
I'm not in shape, so 4:32 is a good pace at this point.

Interval workout on Wednesday - 1600/1200/1000/800/600/400
All at 4:30 pace or under. Felt pretty good but still holding back so as to not strain the hamstring.

13k on Friday - 7k easy then 10 x 250m (150m hill) up and down.

16k on Sunday - 8k easy, walk 400m, 8k easy.

So that was a better week than I have had in a long time. Trying to build a bit of fitness for the Sendai Half two weeks from today, which I will not "race" but will try to run all the way at a halfway decent pace.

Weight is a little over 60kg, which is not too bad.
Weather has thankfully turned warm, today was a beautiful day.

April 19, 2015

2 More Ok Weeks

Sunday the 19th.

Following Ewen's advice, I am easing back gradually, did 52K the week of 6-12 and 55K this past week. No hamstring pain at all.
Included three halfway decent workouts this week, intervals at about 4:30/k pace on Wednesday, 11k with 10 150m hills on Friday and a 5k tempo run today at 4:50.

If I can do a 10K tempo run next Sunday and a 15K one the Sunday after that, maybe I will be ok for the Sendai Half on May 10. I don't want to race it, just run it all the way at a moderately good pace.

Hope I can get a live feed of Boston tomorrow night.

April 5, 2015

Puttering Along

Hi. How's it goin'? Oh wait, that's Scott Brown.

But anyway, it's going ok. 34k last week, 41k this week, in little bits and pieces, no pain in the hamstring at all. But taking it very, very cautiously. I refuse to be injured again. One more week of this and maybe I'll try something a bit more challenging.
Next week promises to be mostly lousy weather anyway. Cherry blossoms just about over. Ephemeral, that's the word.

March 23, 2015

Back to Running...Slowly. Hamstring Exercises.

Week of March 16 ~ 22

Hello. I'm happy to say that I ran every day this week. 3k, then 3.5k, then a whole 4k! Just 1k at a time, then a walk break. Slowly, slowly...meaning slow pace and slowly working my way back.
No pain in the hamstring or anywhere. But I'll be very cautious for a month.
Then I'll try to train for a month and then run the Sendai Half on May 17th. Not fast, but pain-free, I hope.

The goal is to never again get injured. Which means being very, very careful. Well, we'll see.

I had the hamstring problem diagnosed at a place called Tokyo Physio, run by two Australian triathletes. The diagnosis was that the hamstring (and glutes also) was too weak. So the cure is to strengthen it. Rest does not help - you have to make it stronger. So I've got a series of exercises that I do 4 or 5 times a week. This is a good idea for every runner, actually, to prevent hamstring problems.

Quick course:
1) Single leg squat. Stand on right leg, touch left hand to right foot, back up. 10x. Then switch. Set of 3.
2) Stand on right leg, Raise left knee, then extend left leg behind you, leaning forward with arms out for balance. Back to standing position. 10 x 3 each leg.
3) Lie on back, feet pulled back to nearly touch butt, pull left leg to chest, push up on right foot. You're working the right glute. You can also just extend the left leg. VERY good for glutes. 10 x 3 each leg.
4) Use a big ball - the kind they have in gyms. Lie on your back with your legs extended so feet are on top of ball. Pull both legs back (bend knees) so ball comes back to you. Then raise left leg and extend right leg which is still on the ball. You're working the right hamstring. 10 x 3 each leg. I've found that at home, this can be done with a chair that has casters so it moves. A big ball is of course preferable.
5) Calf raises. Stand on the edge of a stair or anything so that your heel extends down. Raise up. Use both legs or one at a time if you can. 10 x 3 both legs.

They told me to do these two days, then one day off. I do them four days out of seven.

February 2, 2015

Slight Setback

Another addition to my now comical list of injuries — I managed a week of actual running and then tried the 5,000m time trial last Wednesday. Ran 3k in about 4:15/4:30/4:25 and 200m later my hamstring started to pull. Not the previous injury, just because I hadn't tried to run that "fast" in about 10 weeks. I didn't think it was fast, but apparently my hamstring did.
And it is still sore! So...maybe next week.
Over and out.

January 27, 2015

Baby Steps

Week of Jan. 19 ~ 25

Managed 40k last week, in 5 runs. Easy pace, but was able to pick things up a bit on the Sunday 10k.
Nothing seems to be hurting, far, so good.

Weight is about 61kg, 3-4 over what it was in the fall, so I will work on that.

I expect to be shocked by how slow Wednesday's 5,000m time trial will be.

January 18, 2015

Legs Seem to be Ok

For the first time in a long time!

Here's the timeline:

12 - 10K race in 38:51, felt great.
15 - Right upper hamstring and/or glute got sore after a 1k warmup and an aver pace 600.
16-25 - Remained sore.
26 - Namban 10K fun run - ran 50:00 with sore HS, but it didn't get worse.
29 - It got a lot worse.
No running, then:
16 - Toda Half Marathon - my favorite race so I wanted to run. Ran 1:39 carefully with soreness, but not too bad and it didn't get worse
22 - Easy run in Bangkok, but HS sore, and quads very sore.
Rest 5 weeks until
28 - easy 6k
30 - moderate 8k
31 - Left calf very sore!!
Still sore for 2 weeks! 8k was too much....
14 - 7.2k with several walk breaks - calf ok!
16 - 5k     "
17 - 8k     "
18 - 8k - 2k x 4 @5:30/k with walk breaks. Calf ok, HS ok.

So I am cautiously optimistic. Will try to _gradually_ amp it up and maybe actually become a runner again.

Hope we all have a good 2015.