December 23, 2018

Okutama Ekiden; Training Well, Feeling Good

After resting for 5 days after the half marathon on Nov. 18th, I ran easy for 5 days, rested for 2 days, and ran a 7.4k leg on one of Namban Rengo's Okutama ekiden teams. This was the 6th leg (out of 6) and was slightly up/down the first half, mostly down, then flat the second half. I ran well, timing 30:40 (4:09/k) and felt good. Passed 2 runners, but passed by 4. Weather was good, about 14° and cloudy. This was 30 seconds faster than I ran 2 years ago.

The club had 4 men's teams and 3 women's teams, so it was a lot of fun. The ekiden is out in the hilly, wooded countryside about 90 minutes west of central Tokyo.
Our A team, which I loaded with fast runners, all of whom run 16:00 or under for 5k, came in 7th, our best showing since 1991. This is a high level ekiden, with several very fast corporate and club teams. Getting in the top 10 is an impressive accomplishment.
The top two women's teams came in 12th and 14th, also good as there are quite a few fast university and high school teams.

After a few easy days, I got back into regular training, although I'm not planning to run a race until April.
Have decided I have to train harder/longer, thanks to being inspired by Gene Dykes, who recently broke Ed Whitlock's 70-74 AG record with a 2:54 marathon. His applicable quote is: I train hard.

So...back to doing long runs once a week, along with a tempo run and an interval workout.

Saturday: 12k — 6k @6:00/k, 6k tempo at about 4:35/k
Sunday: Long — started with 18k, want to work up to 30k
Monday: 10k @5:30 -  6:00/k
Tuesday: 8k @ 6:00
Wednesday: 13k with 6k of track intervals, eg. 1000m x 6
Thursday: 10k @5:30 - 6:00
Friday: rest

With a 30k run that would be 83k per week.
Today I did 24k in 2:24:55, 6:08/k out and 5:56/k in. Felt ok.
Surprisingly, this was my longest run since June 17, 2013. I really got away from doing long runs and I think doing one once a week will be good for my strength and endurance. I'd like to run a good half marathon in the spring.

Merry Christmas and hope you will be running well in 2019.