December 9, 2016

Okutama Ekiden 7.4K

After the Half Marathon on the 20th, I experienced some soreness in my right hamstring on wednesday night, despite going at a pretty easy pace. Rested for 3 days, but it got sore again when running on Sunday.
So I rested all week, as I had to run a 7.4k anchor leg in the Okutama Ekiden (road relay). Now in its 78th year, this is a very enjoyable race that the club has been doing for 28 years. This year we had five teams of six men, plus three teams of three women - the most we've ever had. I was originally a reserve, but after several people dropped out, I had to run the anchor leg for the A team, which was the only fast team - the others I arranged with both fast and slow runners so they could compete against each other. Unfortunately, with me on the anchor and another replacement on the first leg, the A team wasn't as fast as originally envisioned.
In the end, we came in 43rd out of 115 teams, with four guys who run in the 17s/18s for 5k. The other teams, which were not THAT bad, were 70, 71, 75 and 89, so you can see that this is a pretty high level ekiden.

Anyway, I was worried about the hamstring, so started slowly, especially as the first 400m was downhill. I kept it relatively easy for 3k, with 3 or 4 fast guys passing me. Then another guy passed me who was only going slightly faster, so I caught up to him and we picked up the pace further and ran side by side for almost 4k. The hamstring was ok, until...500m from the finish, when it started to hurt. I had planned to outkick the guy, but had to slow down a bit, and fortunately made it to the finish without a severe problem.
Time was 31:10, so about 4:12 per km. Not fast, but good enough to keep us in the top half of the finishing teams.
With sushi and beer afterwards, it was a great day out in the countryside.

Now I rest until I'm sure the hamstring is healed.
Off to Singapore for 3 weeks on December 18, right after the club yearend party on the 17th, so looking forward to doing a lot of running in the Botanical Gardens. My daughter now lives in Singapore, that's why we're going there. She's the Asia/Pacific marketing director for BandaiNamco, a big Japanese toy/computer game company, if I may be allowed to brag a bit.

November 20, 2016

Successful Half in 1:33:52, 6th Place

Week of Nov. 14 ~ 15

Not a training week, a tapering week for the Half on Sunday.

Monday & Tuesday — rest after the 17k of hills on Sunday. Quads sore!

Wednesday - 12k with 1000 x 5 and 500 x 2 easy - 5:00/k pace. Quads still sore.

Thursday — 40 minutes easy. Quads seem ok but legs still tired.

Friday & Saturday — rest

Toda Half Marathon in Saitama prefecture, just a little north of Tokyo.
My favorite race, nice course twice around a lake, flat except for two small hills (x2).
Weather was good, about 18C/64F, sunny. One of those days where it's warm in the sun and cool/chilly in the shade - perfect for running. There was a slight wind, against or behind depending on where you were on the course, but not much of a factor.
My plan (hope) was to run under 1:35. That required kilometers of 4:30, which would be 1:34:56. So I wanted to pick up the last 6k, if possible, to be sure of getting under it. In previous years I have done that on this course, so I was hoping that I would be mentally prepared and physically capable of doing it again.

All went according to plan, as my 5k splits were:
22:31 (4:25/29/36/28/32)
22:31 (4:31/26/25/32/38)
22:22 (4:23/30/34/24/29)
21:50 (4:20/20/17/20/32) (seemed like the 10k and 20k mats were a bit wrong)
Last km 4:15, last 0.1km 0:25

I had guys to run with most of the way, and when I didn't there were people ahead to chase (about 2,500 in the race - there was also a 10K with 1,500 and a 5K with 1,000).

By the way, another goal was to finish in the top 6 in the 60s age group - top 6 get prizes.
So an added incentive the last 6k was that I could see (there are several switchbacks that made this possible) two guys 50m and 100m ahead who looked like being in the 60s age group, so I wanted to pass them...which I did, between 16 and 17k.
Then with 2k to go, I noticed another guy ahead so pushed the aching legs to try to catch him. Halved the distance, but couldn't get him. Fortunately, he finished 5th and I was 6th.

So the last 2k was a bit tough, but all in all I felt good and ran a good race.
The prize was a towel...but a nice towel.
I'm pretty sure I can go faster with more training aimed at the Half distance, so I'll try to run another one next April (no winter races for me). I ran 1:28:27 just 3 years ago....
And by the way, I have the second fastest time at this race for the 60s age group - a 1:23:15 when I was 60.
Did I say 60? Wait, I just turned 40....

November 13, 2016

Another Good Week-Ending run

Week of Nov. 7 ~ 13

68.7km / 42.7 mi.    7:09 running time

Two days rest after the Half effort on Sunday.

Club workout - 2000m x 3. Total 12.2k
Started ok, but legs felt very tired, so slowed. 2nd and 3rd quads were sore, so took it very easy.

70 minutes very easy.

80 minutes, at a decent pace coming back.
Also a gym workout.
11C, slight rain

90 minutes very easy.

17.4k trail run (123 minutes) with 10 other people on my favorite Ome trail.
A bear has been sighted out there recently, so the hikers (of which there are not many) all had bells, but he/she didn't show.
This is the trail with constant up/down and a large number of very steep places, where you step up rocks and roots - very good for the leg muscles. We went out at a very easy pace, and picked up a bit coming back. About I guess 2.7k from the end is a spot where I always used to go hard, so muscle memory kicked in and I kicked in to the end. It's rolling up/downs, with a long downhill to the finish. I used to run that stretch (5 years and more ago) in around 11:00 on my fast days, and today did 12:19, which was pretty good on tired legs.
So a good workout, which together with last Sunday's tempo-paced Half, should hold me in good stead for the Half next Sunday. Serious tapering this week!

November 6, 2016

Nice Half Marathon Tempo Run

Week of Oct. 31 ~ Nov. 6

79.3km / 49.3 mi.  7:38 running time

109 mins. (17k), split up into three parts, middle part easy with HS girls team.

Rest day; gym workout

Club workout 1000m x 6 in Yoyogi Park.
Felt pretty good, had another guy to run with on each one.
Planned to kick the last 500m and did.
11C/52F, 75%, chilly

Same as Monday, with 10 mins. pickup in the middle 6k with the girls.

Gym workout and then 80mins easy run. Legs feeling tired.

Rest for Half tempo run tomorrow.

Namban Rengo 10K/Half and BBQ. We had almost 100 people (inc. kids) come out to the Tama riverside for some serious racing (?) and some serious eating and drinking (!).
I had planned on doing 10K, but realized that a Half at tempo pace would be good training, and a good test, two weeks before my Half race. Was thinking of doing about a 4:45/k pace, and clubmate Yuichi planned the same as a training run for his marathon in two weeks, so we stuck together for 15K at 4:50 pace, which we settled into naturally. The course was 5k out and back (extra 1.1k after 10k) and the wind was with us going out, which you don't notice, and against us coming back, which we did notice, as it was damn strong. Time was 1:43:17, with about 40 seconds water breaks. 5k splits were 24:00/24:18/24:03/24:26 (plus the 1.1k extra), so it was a good effort. Legs were getting a bit tired and tight the last few k, but had no problems.
Now to see if I can get under 1:35 for the Half on Nov. 20. I don't consider that a great time, but I also don't think I'm really in half marathon shape.

October 31, 2016

Still Showing Progress

"Progress" as compared to the last year, not, of course, compared to 3 or even 2 years ago (38:51 10K).
Anyway, I'm running better than I have in a while.

Week of Oct. 10 ~ 16
Very easy week after the 10K race, with 3 days off and 4 light days.

Week of Oct. 17 ~ 23
64.7km / 40.2 mi.   6:32
Rest on Monday, then a 5mile/8k tempo run on Tuesday with one of the x-country girls at a 4:36/k pace, so not a bad run.
After which took it very easy on wednesday, rest on thursday and easy on fri, sat, sun with legs still a bit tired.

Week of Oct. 24 ~ 30
75.9km / 47.2 mi.   7:33
Monday - 8k easy
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 5,000m time trial on the track. 19:46, nice to be under 20:00 again.
Splits were 3:55/3:55/4:00/4:00/3:56.
Felt pretty good, followed two guys the first 2k, then was alone, but had people ahead to try to chase.
Temp was 22C/72F, but felt cool, however, the humidity was a very high 83%. Was drenched in sweat at the finish.
Weight: 58.7kg

Next four days were 100, 70, 70, 120 mins.
Friday was 12C and raining - it was really cold. That may sound silly, but I was wearing gloves and my hands were still really cold. A very unpleasant run, so I was proud of myself for getting out there, being I am not English or Irish.

Next two weeks will do some hard running, then taper for the Half on the 20th (for which I have no confidence of being able to run a decent time).

October 10, 2016

Surprisingly Good 10K

Week of Oct. 3 ~ 9

50.2k / 31.2 mi.    4:23 total time

19.2k to & from school + tempo run with x-c team.
4 mile tempo in 7:42/8:03/7:57/7:40 with some of the JV girls on our slightly hilly course.
Legs tired, so not such an easy run.
24C/75F, 90% (rain just before)

Tuesday - Gym workout

12.5k with easy 1000 x 6 all around 5:00.
Just cruised because legs tired, 5k run tempo tomorrow and race on Sunday.

5k tempo run with JV girls.
23:23 - the pace seemed faster and the first mile WAS faster, but that's what the watch said, so I guess it was right. Anyway, it was a nice moderately hard effort.
29C/84F, 60%

Friday and Saturday - rest

10K race in Nagareyama, Chiba pref.
39:58 which got me 4th in the 60s age group (out of 376).
193 overall out of 3,279 men.
Surprisingly good result, as it was only 14 seconds slower than last year, when I was in better shape. Also because my last two 5k time trials on the track were 20:04 and 20:28, so didn't think I could run under 40:00.
Also because it was raining fairly hard and there were lots of big puddles to splash through.
I missed some splits, but I think the 5k splits were 19:54, 20:04.
I felt good the whole way, although was constantly pushing to hold the pace. Followed a guy who I thought was in my age group (only one number in front, so couldn't see it) from 4k to 8k, then he pulled away (or I slowed). But I kept him within 10-15 meters and with 200m to go kicked a bit and caught up about halfway. So I decided to go for it and blasted the last 100m, which really surprised me. Caught and passed him, and then looked back to see his number and realized he was in the 50s.  Was very happy with that kick anyway.
I always run well at this race, will go next year and win the 70s age group.
24C/75F, 100% - rain (hard although not torrential) from 9:30 to 10:30, race started at 10:00)
Weight about 58.2kg

Next race is a half marathon on Nov. 19.

October 2, 2016

So-so Time Trial, Fun Ekiden

Sept. 19 ~ 25

79.3 km / 49.3 mi   8:06 total time

43.3 km / 26.9 mi   6:06 total time

120 mins with 2 long rests
To and from school, easy 10k run with x-country junior varsity boys.
22C/72F, 100%, light rain

Gym workout

Club workout - 2000 x 2, 1000, 500(?) x 2
8:21, 8:12, 3:57, 1:58, 1:47
Cool, but humid. Felt pretty good.
22C/72F, 80%

70 mins

Gym workout, 90 mins

70 minutes with 6k tempo run at 4:40/48/47/38/32/23.
Legs a bit heavy, but felt ok. Some rain, but even without the rain, the humidity is sort of oppressive. Been this way all week.
22C/72F, 93%, rain.

70 mins
Quads tight, legs very tired, but a nice day!

51 mins, 10k with 4 mile tempo run on slightly hilly course with 3 varsity girls (not the top girl, who was running 6:20 miles).
7:15, 7:15, 7:05, 7:05 (7:15 is 4:30/k)
26C/79F, very humid

Gym workout

5,000m time trial on a track.
20:28, 24 seconds slower than last month.
Very humid, but also legs didn't feel very fresh due I guess to the tempo run on Monday. Also had no one to follow.
Almost everyone ran slower than last month, although we did have 8 under 19:00, including a 3-time olympic woman triathlete (Kiyomi Niwata), who ran 18:29 as a tempo run.
27C/81F, 85%


Gym workout, 70 mins.

Charity ekiden to benefit the Special Olympics. Teams of from 4 to 10 run a 1.1km course for 3 hours, and there's a chip in the sash that keeps track of each team's total distance. An electronic board updates the team standings each lap, which is fun and interesting to watch.
We put in a team of 5 men and 5 women and surprisingly came in 5th out of 184 teams. Not a high level race, although the top four teams were pretty good runners (all men).
5 people ran 3 times, and 5 ran 4 times. I was planning on just an easy, fun day, jogging a lot in between, but our first runner came in 8th, then the second guy brought us down to 5th, so Christ, I guess we'll have to go all out to keep this place. Which we did - go all out on each lap, I mean.
It was cool, but very humid (85%), with some light rain, so not easy running. Lots of fun, though.
We got a podium (stage, actually) finish for 5th, although our prizes were only small red megaphones.

Easy 45 min run, 6.5k. Nice day!

Receiving certificate from Olympic marathon medalist Yuko Arimori.

Megaphones double as hats.

September 18, 2016

Two Good Weeks

Week of Sept. 5 ~ 11

85.2km / 52.9 mi.  8:38 total time

Week of Sept. 12 ~ 18

86.6km / 53.8 mi.   8:46 total time

Total of 115 mins., 18.4k. To school, with team, back home.
32C/90F, 44%, 20dp

Tues - Gym workout

Wed - 83 mins., 14.5k with 1000 x 6
Ran well, pushed each one, kicked last 200m of last one.
30C/86F, 65%

Thurs - 92 mins. To/from school, warmup with team.
Legs heavy!
27C/81F, 100%

Gym workout
71 mins., quads sore.

68 mins, 11.9k, ran last 4k at about 4:45/k pace.
30C/86F, 66%

89 mins., 15k

127 mins., 21.2k. To school, run with team, back.
10K with varsity boys, easy out, 5:10/k back. An easy day for them.
29C/84F, 70%

Tues - Rest

Wed - 58 mins., 10.5k with 1000 x 5, 500 x 2
4:01/02/04/03/3:56  2:01/1:55 (approx)
Felt ok, very humid!
25C/77F, 80%

Thurs - 91 mins., same as last week

Fri - 100 mins, 16k
24C/75F, 80%, rain off and on

Sat - 60 mins, 10K, w/4k tempo, same as last week

Sun - 90 mins, 14.4k. Legs a bit tired, but ok.
24C/75F, 86%, 22 dp

September 4, 2016

5,000m in 20:04 Shows Promise

Two pretty good weeks of training, with a decent 5,000m time trial.

Week of Aug 22 ~ 28
72km / 44.7 mi    7:12 (total run time for the week)

Week of Aug 29 ~ Sep 4
82.6km / 51.3 mi   8:12

Mon - Typhoon

1:00 - Weight machines and core
2:45 - 70 mins. @5:57. Most of my runs are at 6:00/km, ±15 sec.
Physio - no aches or pains at all these days.

Wed - club workout in the park, 1000m x 6
4:10, 3:59, 3:59, 4:01, 3:48, 3:54
Felt fairly good after the first warmup 1000.
3:48 : Kicked from 200m to pass some A group people (We usually have 60-80 people, so run in two groups. A group is for those under 4:00 per km. I run at the head of the B group.)
3:54 : Running at good pace with another guy.
Weight before running: 59kg
30C/86F, 70% (7:30pm)

Thurs - 100 mins.
Weight: 58.7kg

1:30 - Weights and core
3:30 - 70 mins.

Sat - 120 mins (20k)
Light rain

Sun - Daughter in Japan, so left home in the afternoon to have dinner with her.
She just moved to Singapore to take a position as the Asia Marketing Director for Bandai-Namco, big Japanese computer game company. Had four days of global strategy meetings at HQ.

Mon - 80 mins.
26C/79F, 90%, rain

Tues - Weights and core

Wed - Club 5,000m time trial on a track in eastern Tokyo, very nice facility.
20:04. Splits were 3:58, 4:02, 4:01, 4:05, 3:58
Felt good and ran well. Considering that I had to run hard to make 4:00 for 1000s in previous weeks, this was a nice surprise. Actually, the first 1000 split was a surprise, and then I just tried to hold the pace.
Wore light shoes and had several people to follow, which always helps. Also, it was a bit coolish.
58.8kg - Lighter means faster!

Thurs - 80 mins.

1:00 - Weights and core
2:30 - ASIJ X-country practice has started. Ran 33 mins to school, long rest, 36 mins. with JV boys, short rest, 35 mins back home. Total 104 mins

Sat - 95 mins.

Sun - 90 mins.

August 22, 2016

Hot and Humid

Week of Aug 8 ~ 14

63.9km / 39.7 mi   6:21

5-day week as I couldn't run Sunday. No long runs, run times were 60, 65, 90, 90, 76.

Wednesday night was 5 x 1000, 2 x 500, with the 1000s at about 4:08 — well, it was 29 degrees and 80% humidity.
Weight consistently under 60kg, so that's good.

Week of Aug 15 ~ 21

73.8km / 45.8 mi.   7:38

Mon - 112 mins. 18.2km.
6:09/k pace, return was faster than out.
30C, 70%

Tues - rest, gym workout

Wed - 60 mins. 1000 x 5, 500 x 2
1000s in 3:59, 59, 4:00, 3:58, 4:00
Legs felt fresh.
31C, 70%

Thurs - 90 mins at 8:20pm due to bad thunderstorms in the afternoon. (Ate at 5:30)
26C, 100% !

Fri - Gym workout, 90 mins.

Sat - Heavy rain, took a rest day

Sun - Club trip to Kamakura. Ran from the beach to the Great Buddha, back to the beach and along the beach road, back to start, then out the other way to the hills. Two loops in hills and back.
Total 106 mins, about 17k. Pretty hot but a nice day. Later in the afternoon over a few beers had a nice view of Mt. Fuji, then a nice sunset in one direction and a rainbow in the other direction. All that, along with girls in bikinis, made for a nice day. Should do this every Sunday!

August 7, 2016

Can You Say Hoka One One?

Week of August 1 ~ 7

84.9km / 52.7 mi.    8:27

So I got a pair of Hoka One One's, which are great. Cushiony but quite light. And despite being 20g heavier than my previous Brooks, I run faster in them, without trying to! I guess I'm just springing along.
Interestingly, in fact, rather astoundingly, according to a video by the Hoka CEO, the correct pronunciation is not 1, 1, but "onay, onay". No one knows that!
Onay onay is Maori for run with the wind or something like that.
And Hoka is a French company, which not many people know either. Their main athlete "face" is Manzano, the US 1500 runner, so everyone assumes they are an American company. Live and learn.

Monday - Rest, physio

Tuesday - Gym workout, 80 minutes. 60.7kg

Wednesday - Massage, Intervals in the park, 1000 x 6.
4:06/02/00/02/05/3:56 (150m walk,jog, 3:00)
Finally back down to 4:00 pace, so getting back into shape. Had to work for it, though. Hot and humid night, too.

Thursday - 80 mins - faster pace than I've been running, in the Hokas. Physio

Friday - Gym, 100 mins. 59kg.

Saturday - 64 mins.

Sunday - 118 minutes (20k) with Fabrizio. 33-34°. 60.1kg

August 1, 2016

Another Brick in the Wall

Week of July 25 ~ 31

77.5km / 48.2 mi.  7:47

Monday - Rest day, physio

Tuesday - Gym workout, then 70 mins in light rain

Wednesday - 67 mins. 5k time trial in the park, which was rerouted due to Pokemon Go mania - Yoyogi Park is a Pokemon mecca. Too many people milling about (at 7:30pm!) to run on our 2k loop. Unfortunately the rerouting didn't go as planned and the distance turned out to be 5.25k. Oh well, a little extra work.
Adjusted time was 21:38 - 4:20/k pace.

Thursday - 70 mins., physio

Friday - 90 mins, up to 33°

Saturday - Gym workout, then 70 mins. (no time for more)

Sunday - 100 mins. With friend Fabrizio at a relaxed pace

Not a bad week, will do more next week.
Weight under 60kg the last two days, so that's good. Want to be at 59 or under on a consistent basis. (58 is my lowest limit). The thinner, the in faster. (Take another look at Mo Farah.)

July 26, 2016

Longer Runs Ok, Time Trial Not Too Bad

Weeks of July 11 ~ 24

64.3km / 40 mi   6:39
69.9km / 43.4 mi   7:05

Mon - Rest, physio
Tue - Extra day of rest for the quads, gym workout
Wed - 11.9k with 2000, 1000 x 3, 500 x 2
   Slightly faster pace (4:30/km), felt fine, quads not sore.
   94% humidity made it a bit tougher than usual.
Thu - 80 mins, physio
Fri - 80 mins, gym workout
Sat - 65 mins
Sun - 110 mins (18.2km) felt ok, quads getting sore at the end.

Mon - Rest, physio
Tue - 70 mins, gym workout
Wed - 10.3k with (1000 x 2, 500 x 2) x 2
   Cruised them easily due to time trial tomorrow.
Thu - Multiclub 5,000m time trial on a track. 24°, 94% humidity.
   21:25 with splits of 4:10/16/24/22/13.
   Not fast by any means, but not too bad, considering I haven't run at a decent pace for four months. And it was humid. I'll take it as the first sign of getting back into good shape.

Fri - 70 mins
Sat - 71 mins
Sun - 120 mins. Club trip to seaside town of Kamakura. 8k with the middle 4k very hilly, 10min rest, then 12k at a moderate pace. All under a hot sun (28°). Then beer on the beach!

July 10, 2016

Sore Quads

Week of July 4 ~ 10

7:44  75.6km / 47 mi.

Just about the same as last week, a bit more mileage. My quads are sore every day, not real sore, but...sore. Since I run six days a week, I suppose they don't have much chance to recover. Running 1hr 40mins, like today, with sore quads from the beginning, is not so pleasant. So when they stop hurting, that means I'm getting into shape?

Mon - Rest day, physio
Tue - Gym workout, then 70 mins.
Wed - 85 mins (longer warmup) with 1000m x 6 at 5:00 +/- 6 sec.
Thu - 60 mins - no time to do 70, physio
Fri - Gym workout, 80 mins, to make up for lost 10mins yesterday
Sat - 69 mins
Sun - 100 mins @32C, 80% humidity. Felt fine, didn't even need to drink.

July 3, 2016

Upping the Mileage Bit by Bit

Week of June 27 ~ July 3

7:38  71.9k/44.7 mi.

Continuing with the slow and steady stuff. Went from 60 mins to 70 mins on weekdays and from 90 to 100 on Sunday. Feeling ok!

Mon - Rest, physio
Tue - Gym workout, 70 mins
Wed - 63 mins with evening club 5k time trial. Ran slightly over 5:00 pace to finish in 25:24. Pleasant run.
Thu - 70 mins, physio, quads tight
Fri - Gym workout, 70 mins, quads sore
Sat - 75 mins (different course), quads still heavy
Sun - 100 mins, 16.2k. Out at 6:18/k, back at 6:00.
36 degrees C at 3:00. I always say I like the heat, so this was the test. And yes, I like the heat! It was a nice run, I wasn't even thirsty - fortunately, about 3/4 of it is in the shade. So much more preferable to cold weather.

My weight is 60.5kg to 61kg - not bad, but I'd like to be lighter.

June 27, 2016

Same Again, Slightly Faster

Week of June 20 ~ 26

Brexit week - that was fun, wasn't it? Actually, it was for me, since I trade gold mining co. funds, which spiked up...way up. And I was holding a lot, he he.
For those of you holding stocks, my condolences. But don't worry, what goes down will go back up (google Elliott Wave Theory).

As for running, I had a pretty good week there also. Same program as last week, just ran a bit faster on Wednesday night and Sunday. Not fast, just a wee bit faster.

Mon - Rest, physio
Tue - 60 mins.
Wed - Massage, then 69 mins with 1000 x 5, 500 x 2, blazing along at a 5:00/k pace.
Thu - 60 mins., physio
Fri - 60 mins., gym workout
Sat - 60 mins.
Sun - 90 mins., all the way up to 15.5k

Total time: 6:39
Total distance: 66k

Next week - a bit longer.

June 19, 2016

Slightly Longer, No Ill Effects

Got back into a regular rhythm this week, with no soreness while running.
I've been going to a physio place that opened in my town called Egaodo (Smile Way? - do as in judo/aikido) which I think has helped a lot (of course, the problem might also have resolved itself with no help....). They seem to know what they're doing, and they're very friendly, so I like going there.

Anyway, I ran
Mon - rest
Tue - 60'
Wed - 77 mins (warmup plus intervals, which I ran a bit faster than usual - 5:30/k!)
Thu/Fri/Sat - 60' each
Sun - 90'
For a total of 67.1km

Will keep up the easy pace for another month, after which I will do one good workout a week. Will probably do the same next week, then increase the running time some more.

Scott: I don't think your best days are past!

June 12, 2016

Starting Up Again

So with my new commitment to running by time rather than distance (but still logging the distance, of course), here is the last two weeks.

Running pain-free, by the way, which is very nice, but don't plan to try to run fast for at least another month - and even then, only once a week.

All of this is at an easy pace - 6:00 - 6:15/km. I'll gradually increase the time over the coming weeks and months.

5/30 — 6/12

Mon - 0
Tue - 40, 30 (11:00, gym, 3:30)
Wed - 30, 70 (11:00, 6:30)
Thu - 50
Fri - 50 (+ gym)
Sat - 0
Sun - 56 (10K race, which I ran at this easy pace)
Distance: 53.3k

Mon - 40
Tue - 50 (+ gym)
Wed - 40, 80 (11:30, 6:30)
Thu - 50
Fri - 30
Sat - 50
Sun - 60
Distance: 64.2k

I haven't gained much weight, only about 1kg, so hoping to regain fitness before too long.

May 31, 2016

Something for you "young" guys to aim for

Forgot to mention in my last post...
On my 69th birthday last week, I went to the gym and in addition to my usual weights and core work, I did 8 pullups (dead hang to chin over bar) and 50 pushups (without stopping - the last 10 were hard). Something for you young guys (under 69) to aim for in the future.

May 30, 2016

It's Been A While...

Well, my glute soreness, I hesitate to call it an injury, is still with me, but lessening. It is in an indefinable location, possibly where the top of the hamstring connects to the bone, or whatever it connects to. My two courses of action are light jogging, 40 to 60 minutes a day at an easy pace, and physical therapy. A new place opened in my town, and they are very good. They provide a combination of massage, a type of chiropractic body alignment and electrical stimulation. All of the therapists are very knowledgeable and seem to be very good at what they do. I go there two or three times a week and it seems to be helping.
I still have slight soreness when I "run", but not much. Not planning to do any fast or long running for awhile, but even after I heal, I plan to continue the slow stuff. Read an interview with Ed Whitlock where he talks about running 2 or 3 hours a day slowly, and one day a week fast, and that sounds good to me, for a few months anyway. I'm even running by time these days, not distance, which is a big change for me.
Hope to be over this next month and back in shape by the fall.
Hope you're all running well, or recovering well (Ewen).

April 11, 2016

Pretty Good Form

1:40 Half - I'll Take It

Weeks of Mar 28 ~ Apr 10

Not much running due to soreness in upper left leg. I don't really know what it is - it's not my glute, not my groin, it's kind of inside the leg - a strained ligament or something? I don't think it's serious - rest should cure it, which is what I am going to do from today.

Anyway, ran easy the 28th and 29th, then did a 5k time trial on the 30th in 21:50. Was a bit sore, but not too bad, just ran a nice, comfortable pace.

Rested two days and did a 17.7k run on Saturday. This was a club run with 12 people, under the cherry blossoms and back to an onsen (hot spring facility) near my house. Went out easy and then came back at a pretty good pace, just to get some training in. The leg was only a bit sore, but got quite sore the next day (tried to run with some other club members at another cherry viewing party, but could only manage a very slow, painful jog).

So...didn't run all week until yesterday - Sunday the 10th - when I ran a half marathon race along the Tama River - the Paracup charity race, which had about 3,000 people.

The leg was still slightly sore, but I assumed it wouldn't get any worse and that I could run 21k without too much trouble, which turned out to be the case.

It was a fairly warm day, about 22C/72F, but it was cloudy and there was a breeze, so it didn't feel too hot.

There were two other guys with me in the Half, club member Padraig and Gareth, a visitor from London (who had just gotten off the plane!), so we planned to start, and maybe finish, together. I said about 4:45/km pace would be nice, and that's what we ran, after two faster kms at the start.
4:45 is a 1:40:13 half, although I thought I would slow down. However, my plan was that if I felt good, I would pick up the last 5k.
We stayed together until 13k and I did in fact feel ok, so decided to pick up the pace a bit with about 7.5k to go (course was 2.5k out and back, that is, 4 5k laps, with a bit extra).
Was running 4:50/k but picked it up to about 4:40, leaving the other two, then with 5k to go picked it up again to about 4:34.
Slowed a bit the last 2k as my quads and glute were getting more sore, but held on pretty well and even outkicked a guy who was trying to pass me.

Final time was 1:40:10, almost exactly the pace I was hoping for (but didn't really think was possible, with not much, well almost no, training the previous month and on a very warm day). So quite satisfied with that.

Will now rest until my weird little injury is healed and then come back strong!

March 27, 2016


Mar 14 ~ 27

Not much to report from these two weeks except an ekiden on Sunday, the 20th.

I've been having a bit of soreness in my left hamstring, so took most of the previous week off, except for an easy run on thursday.
Then did a 4-man team ekiden on Sunday, where each person ran 7.242km. I guess they wanted everyone to know they measured the course _precisely_.

The club entered three teams and we did well, finishing 12th, 13th and 18th out of 347 teams. There were a few good teams, but obviously it was not a high level ekiden.
Most of our runners ran under 4:00/k, I ran 30:10, for a 4:10 pace. Not bad, not good. There was a strong wind in my face for the first k, and rolling hills, with one steep downhill and uphill on stairs. Except for the stairs, a nice course.

Hamstring was slightly sore, but didn't slow me down. Nevertheless, I decided to rest for 4 days after the race, which...had no affect at all. Still sore during two easy runs, then today did 14k with the last 7 at a decent pace. It felt a bit sore, but I ignored it.

Will get more serious about doing my hamstring exercises, and I expect it to fade away.

Have a half marathon on April 10th, which I won't be ready for, but plan to give it as serious an effort as I am capable of.

March 14, 2016

10K — Not Bad, Not Good

Week of March 7 ~ 13

33.3km / 20.7 mi.

3:30 - 8.6k including 6.4k (4 miles) "easy tempo" with the top 2 track team girls.
The four miles (on a slightly hilly course) were 7:43/36/46/10, so the first 3 at about 4:45/k pace and the last at 4:27.
Nice run, just cruising along, although there was a light rain and lots of big puddles to avoid.

4k - just an easy jog to and from the team's practice track.

7:30pm - 2k, 1k x 3, 500 x 2
8:58, 4:29/43/44, 2:17/11
Horrible weather: cold, rain and wind. I was ok on the 3.3k "warmup" and the 2k, but was only wearing cotton gloves so by the 1ks my hands were freezing. Like not just cold, but extremely painful. It's hard to run when all you can think about is how much your hands hurt.
My hands are cold much of the time anyway, all winter long, but this was extreme. Next time I'll dig out my heavy ski gloves.
Well, I planned to go easy anyway, as part of the taper for Sunday's race.

Trip to Foodex, one of the world's biggest food and beverage trade shows, where companies give away lots of free samples. A Spanish triathlete who promotes the Toro wine region gave me tickets, so my wife and I went and drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of prosciutto, along with other goodies. A fun way to taper!

Yesterday and still today I had a bit of a pain in my left leg, so decided to keep resting.

Another day of rest.

Koga Hanamomo 10K. This was a good race, marathon and 10K, about an hour north of Tokyo - 2 hours travel for me. The club had 11 people take part in both races, which was fun, and the weather was pretty good - a bit too cold for me at around 9C/48F, but not too bad. Cloudy, so good for the marathoners.
I ran 41:23, 4:08/k pace, which I guess is where I am these days. I felt good and ran pretty well, but don't seem to be able to run 4 minute pace anymore. Well, the 5k time trial two and a half weeks ago was 21:12, so at least I was running faster than that.
Came in 44th out of a total of 1,250 men and women. No age group results - you are supposed to check the website, and if you are in the top three, they will send you the prize. Many Japanese races don't understand how to manage chips and results.
After the race, I traveled two hours down to Yokohama to meet up with our runners who ran the Yokohama Marathon, as well as Scott Brown. It was great to talk with him over a few beers.

March 6, 2016

Two Weeks with a Few Good Workouts

Week of Feb 22 -28
81.3km / 50.5 mi.

Week of Feb 29 - Mar 6
74.5km / 46.3 mi.

Both weeks the usual six days of running, one rest day.

Wednesday the 24th was a 5k time trial, which I did in 21:12. Since I felt good and ran hard, this was not a great time, but I guess that's where I'm at these days.

Sunday the 28th was the Tokyo Marathon. Namban Rengo had 25 people running and lots more out on the course cheering. I was at the 5k point, watched the huge lead pack go by, then tried to find our runners to yell for. Then got to the 41k point in time to see the winning Ethiopian go by, followed by six Kenyans and then the top Japanese. Walked down to about 40k and cheered for our runners as they came by.
After about four hours of the race, left there and went to the Palace, where I did 4 loops (20K) with two other guys. Usually my Sunday runs start at about 30:00 for 5k and go down to 27. This time, Gareth Evans started out at 26:24, then we ran 24:46, 24:14 and 23:05. So it was a pretty good effort. I felt fine, it was a nice run.
From there went to the club's post-race party at a British pub, attended by 85 people. All in all, a great day.

Took a rest on Monday, then on Tuesday the American School's track practice started. Did 4 miles with the girls at 4:38/k pace and then another 4k in the park.

Wednesday was the usual interval night, did 1000m x 6 in 4:07, 3:56, 3:57, 4:00, 4:01, 3:52. Quads were a bit tired, but I felt good. It's great to have other people to run with when doing workouts like this. Our A group was about 30 people, of which I was hanging onto the rear.

Easy Thursday, then Friday decided to do some more speed in preparation for the 10k race on the 13th.
Did 2k x 2, 1k, 400m x 4 in 8:52, 8:38, 4:15, 99, 94, 91, 87.
Easy Saturday, then only 16k today as I may do a tempo run with the kids tomorrow.

Will take it easy next week and hope to run a decent 10K on Sunday.

February 21, 2016

Two Weeks of Good Training

Week of Feb 8 ~ 14
82.8km / 51.5 mi.

Week of Feb 15 ~ 21
74.4km / 46.2 mi.

Two weeks of pretty much following the program. One rest day, three easy days, one interval day, one tempo day, one longer day.

Sunday the 14th did 22k. The following week was a bit different as there were two days - Monday and Saturday - with cold rain. I hate cold weather, but of course have to run in it, but damned if I have to run in cold rain. I'm not English or Irish! So took Monday off and ran Tuesday, then took Saturday off. Actually, I did a pretty good tempo run on Friday, 14k with 7k at 4:45 pace and the last one at 4:15, so my legs were tired on Saturday anyway.
Today, Sunday did 24k.

Finished the week at 59kg, so am gradually losing some weight.
Next race is a 10K on March 13 - sorry, Scott, I won't be able to go cheer you in Yokohama, but hope to meet you sometime before the race.

February 7, 2016

Recovery Week

Week of Feb 1 ~ 7

59.1km / 36.7mi.

I think a recovery week after three good training weeks is a good idea. Take an extra rest day and reduce the distance by about 25%, which is what I did — 80k to 60k.


Gym workout

Weekly interval workout, which I ran hard, as usual.
13.1k with 1000m x 6.
4:00/3:57/59/58/54/49 (in bet. 100m jog + walk, about 2:45)
Felt good, only really pushed hard on the last one.
7C/45F 34%,-7dp

8k easy pace.

Gym workout and 10k easy, but picked up some coming back.

12k moderate pace.

2:30 - 16k in 45:50/38:33 @ 5:44/4:49/k
Felt good coming back, cruising nicely.
9C/48F but chilly wind, 25%, -11dp

January 31, 2016

Even Pacing!

Week of Jan 25 ~ 31

84.2km / 52.3 mi.

Good week. The even pacing day was Friday.

3:30 - 12k easy.

Gym workout

7:30pm - 9.2k with 5k time trial.
21:03 - 4:12/km. Ran with another guy for 2k, but he got a cramp, so ran the next 3k alone. Felt good, but it's hard to get motivated on a cold night. (Ok, only 10°, but I don't like the cold!)
10C/50F, 30%, -6dp

3:00 - 12k easy.

11:30 - 20k in a light rain. Cold, but I wore a lot, so was warm enough.
2:00:45 — Out: 1:00:22.87   In: 1:00:22.78.
Even pacing! And that's without checking my watch at all.
6C/43F, 100%, 6dp

3:00 - 12k easy.

2:45 - 20k in 1:47:58. 5k splits 29:06/28:45/26:55/24:12
Pace/k: 5:49/45/11/4:50  last k in 4:38.
Not a bad run, esp. considering I did 20k on Friday (still not really used to doing "long" runs).
10C/50F, 35%, -2dp

Great run today by my favorite runner, Kayoko Fukushi, at Osaka - 2:22:17, clearing the Japan Federation mandated 2:22:30 for automatic selection for the Rio team.
And also by my favorite male runner, Scott Brown, 1:22 in the Half Marathon version of the same race.

Three weeks over 80k, so will take an easy week next week, resting Monday and Tuesday.

January 25, 2016

80K with Snow

Week of Jan 18 ~ 24

80.4K / 50 Mi.

A week almost exactly the same as last week, except that we had snow on Monday. As if I wasn't bummed out enough to be back in cold weather, I now have an icy running path to contend with. Wherever the sun doesn't hit, the snow remains, in fact there is still quite a bit along my street, and that means quite a lot of icy patches on my running path. Mostly gone by Thursday, fortunately.

So took a rest day Monday and cut the Tuesday run from 12k to 10k, because having to slow down every 100m for an icy stretch is no fun.

Wednesday the park was clear, so we managed a good workout: 2000 x 2, 1000, 500 x 2.
Which I did in 8:01, 8:08, 3:54, and about 1:54 x 2. 4 min, then 3 min walk in between.
6C/43F, 43%,-5dp

12k easy

1:00 - gym workout
3:00 14k easy but a bit faster coming back, with 100m x 4 fast in the last k.
11C/52F, 27%, -8

12k easy

2:30 - 20k in 1:51:31. 5k sections @ 5:53/49/23/14
Not a bad run, felt ok.
7C/45F, 22%, -13dp

January 17, 2016

80K Week - It's Been a While

Week of Jan 11 ~ 17

82.4K / 51.2 Mi.

First 20k run and 80k week for a looong while - more than a year. Well, I was injured and then doing speed work for 10K racing....

2:30 - 12k easy.
I have a pain in my right lower back that I suddenly got yesterday. No idea why. It's very painful when I get up after sitting, but ok when walking and running. I presume it will go away.

1:00 - Gym workout

7:30pm - 12.4k with 2000/1000 x 2. 5.4k warmup  and 1k warmdown.
8:31, 4:03, 8:31, 4:01.
Cold, but no wind. Felt ok, went as fast as I could. At least the 1000s were not bad.

4:30 - 12k easy.

1:00 - Gym workout
3:00 - 14k with 7 out easy, 7 in at 5:07/k, last 4:46.
An "easy tempo" run. Felt pretty good.

3:30 - 12k easy.

3:00 - 20k in 1:55:25. 5:52 pace out, 5:40 in.
Nice, comfortable run, legs were fine, good to do a 20k run again.
No wind all week, which was great. I hate windy winter days.
Put on about 2kg since pre-holidays, but it will come off eventually.
Still have slight back pain, but it is gradually going away.

January 11, 2016

Nice Vacation, Now Back to the Cold Grind

Had a nice two and a half week vacation visiting my daughter in Bangkok, with three days in Bali. It was hot, and I was loving it.
Did one treadmill run in Bali, and was so motivated I went 10 minutes past my usual treadmill limit of 30. You would not run on a road in Bali - they're narrow and full of scooters blasting along at high speeds. Even the roads way out in the countryside are far too dangerous.

And did eight runs in Bangkok. Mostly 10 or 12k at a moderate pace, but did two tempo runs and a 5k time trial in which I managed 22:00 in 33-degree heat.

A highlight was running with Marty Lever in Chatuchak and two other adjacent parks, all of which are beautiful. We had a very nice 11k run followed by coconut water right out of the coconut and beer - right out of the bottle! I recommend Hemingway's to anyone going to Bangkok.
And check out Marty's Habitat photos of the parks' wildlife at

My daughter will probably be leaving there in 6 or 8 months - I hope to go there once more, but we'll see.

So...back in cold Tokyo, although the weather has been relatively mild. (Supposed to get colder next week.)
Did 62km the past week (Monday in Bangkok), ending with an 18k run on Sunday, which is the longest I've done in a very long time. Want to get up to 80k a week for the next 2 or 3 months so I can run a decent half marathon.

Oh, and Happy New Year.