Monday, March 31, 2008

March Totals

March is over and it was my biggest month of training ever. I've been running almost exactly 2 years and the change is quite remarkable.

Here's a few statistics from March/April 2006 and March 2008
Weight: 164, 146
Resting HR: >80, <60
HR after easy 6 mile run: 158, 128
"Normal" Pace: 10:30, 7:45
"Fast" Pace: 9:45, 6:15
Long Run: 10 miles, 23 miles
Normal Week: 15 miles, 75 miles
Big week: 25 miles, 100 miles
Runs/Week: 3, 10

here's the goals and how well I did against them.....

March Goals/Actuals:
-- A solid month of training/DONE
-- Half Marathon Time Trial on 3/23 (1:26 goal)/Bailed, did 10k and 5k TT instead
-- Around 320 miles for the month - 359, or 11.6 miles/day
-- One day off (March 17th) - DONE, ran every other day

My best month by far. Started doing doubles (two runs a day) and found it very good for my legs. Weeks were 74, 85, 53 and 107

April Plans
--Move training paces to 3 hour marathon (6:29 tempo, 6:52 MP)
--Run 29 days (One day off on 4/7)
--3 big weeks, 1 cutback
--Mileage 320-360 (depending on number of doubles)
--No races
--Long runs: 3x20+milers, 1x17miler

Sunday, March 30, 2008

107 mile week

Finished out a massive week today with a 21 miler to make the weekly total 107 miles.

I was running with a friend who is doing the Boston marathon in 3 weeks. Original plan was for me to do the last 10 miles at 6:52 with the first 10 at 8ish. Instead I decided to run more evenly due to the high mileage this week

First 3 miles were easy at 7:55 average pace, then we picked it up a little and ran the next 15 at 7:34. After 18 miles it turned back uphill so we kicked again and ran 2 at 7:13 with some stuff down in the mid 6's, then the final mile easy at 7:50. Overall was 20.69 miles in 2:37 (7:35 pace). Felt reasonably easy to be honest, no bonking problems at all. Very happy with that, especially considering that was at the end of such a big week. I could easily have kept going for 5.5 more miles at 7:30 pace to do a sub 3:20 (boston qualifier).

I have another big week this week, but will probably try to limit it to about 90ish. Then it's a cutback week (60-70?), followed by my last big 3 week cycle. Then I will be tapering for Edinburgh. Unless I do something dumb (which is not impossible), I am feeling pretty confident about a solid time - still not sure if I'll shoot for 3 or something slightly more conservative around 3:10-3:15. As of now, I'm upping my training paces slightly as if I am aiming for sub 3. I can always dial it back on race day if I feel like it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


So this week has been a week of doubles (running twice a day) so far. I have been finding that the higher mileage in just 7 runs is a strain on just about everything. So I decided to add some easy runs in at the end of the day, so that I could run shorter in the morning. Key workouts (tempo, midweek long run, pace run, or weekend long run) aren't changed, just the easy/recovery stuff.

In practice what I've been doing is to run the normal morning run and then do an additional easy run at the end of the day, which is probably not the best way to introduce doubles into your schedule.

Monday was 7.5 AM, 6.9 PM
Tuesday was 9.8 AM, 5 PM
Wednesday was 9.4 AM, 5 PM

There are five things I've noticed so far:
1) Miles add up quickly - I will be way over my 76 mile target for the week
2) I am feeling great. The slow second run (8:30 pace) really seems to help
3) I am always running, about to run, or have just run
4) I need more running clothes
5) Running shoes are still wet and sweaty after 9 hours in a gym bag

Thursday is my midweek long run, so I'll just do a 12-15 miler, probably in the evening.
Friday will be 8 AM with 5 at some reasonable race pace, and then probably a recovery 5 at night.
Saturday should be 11, but I'll probably split that and do something like 8+5
Then Sunday is 22 with 10 miles at marathon pace.

If I do all that I'll be in the high 90's/low 100's for mileage, which is a big jump from my previous high of 84. Planning similar next week and then it's another cutback week before I go into my final big 3 week phase before tapering starts in early May.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Half Marathon Time Trial

So after much debating I finally decided I would run my half marathon time trial up at the track on Sunday. Set off in my shiny new shoes with a couple bottles of water.

Plan was 1:26, which is 6:34 pace. That's 52.74 laps at 97.8 seconds per lap, or 100m every 24 seconds. I had the splits written on my hand. Weather was nice, but perhaps a little hot.

Started a little fast and did the first 5 laps in 7:57 vs a planned 8:09. Next 5 laps were in 8:10, so I was still 10 seconds up after 10 laps (2.5 miles). Next 5 laps were slower at 8:19 which put me back on schedule. Laps 16-20 were a struggle and I lost another 9 seconds (8:18 vs 8:09). I was 20 laps, or 5 miles into a 13 mile run and I decided it was going to be too much of a slog to keep on pace for another 55 minutes. Decided I would instead run a 10k TT and then follow it with a 5K time trial at a little faster pace. Felt good about that and did the next 5 laps back at proper pace in 8:09. Total for the 10K was 40:53, which was 7 seconds slow for 1:26 half marathon pace.

Walked/jogged/drank water for 10 minutes and then started the 5K TT - this is just 12.5 laps. Started steady; first 5 at half pace in 8:11, next 5 a little quicker in 8:05 and the final 2.5 faster in 3:53. 5K time of 20:09 - which is 14 seconds faster than a 5K at half pace. Ran a bunch more easy miles and some faster laps for 15 miles total for the day.

If it was a race, I think I could have maybe done the 1:26 half, but to do it alone on the track for no good reason was not gonna happen. I might look for a 5k or 10k between now and early May to get a real fitness assessment, or I may just wait til the Parkway Half Marathon on May 3rd.

Back to normal training this week, planning mid/high 70's.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easy Week

Not much to report this week; a planned cutback week.

Took Monday off.
Tuesday was a short (3mile) tempo at 6:30 pace, 7 miles overall.
Wednesday was 7 easy.
Thursday I did 10 but as 2 runs. 6 in the morning, and 4 in the evening (ridiculously hilly course on a new trail that I won't be doing again)
Friday was 6.5 easy - was meant to be a pace run but I didn't feel like it so kept it easy.

10 tomorrow - will probably do in 2 runs
13 on Sunday - was planning a time trial half marathon at 1:26, but I may skip it and just run easy.

Next 2 weeks are high mileage again at 76 and 81, so I'm enjoying the short easy runs this week.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weekly Total

Finished today with 2 runs. Instead of 13M easy, I split it into two. First run was 7 miles out to Nick's baseball season opening day event, the second was 7 miles back. I have to say 2x7 is a lot easier than 1x13. I think I need to work some doubles into my schedule as doing this much mileage in singles is taking its toll.

Weekly total was a new high at 84.7. Considering I started it with ITBS I am very happy how it ended. A whole day off tomorrow after 24 days running! Then it's a cutback week planning only low 50's for mileage.

Not sure if I'll bother running my half marathon time trial on Sunday or not. Will depend on how my legs respond to an easy week.

M - Off
T - 3m tempo (6:34), 6 overall
W - 7m with strides
T - 10 miles easy (may split this into two)
F - 3 miles pace, 6 overall (will skip this if I am doing the sunday TT)
S - 10 miles (may split this into two)
S - Half marathon time trial (1:26 goal - 6:34 pace)
Total 52 miles

Long Long Run

So despite the crumbliness of my body I did my long run yesterday morning. Woke about 6am and it was dark and raining, my knee hurt and I thought "Yuk, this will be no fun".

Setoff about 8am and by then the rain had stopped. Plan was to a do 2-3 miles on my own and then meet up with a friend to run the next 17, and then do the final 2-3 on my own, ending up at my son's baseball game about 11am. So 22-23 miles, at just under 8 minute pace, with maybe a few faster miles towards the end. Main goal was to just get through it and get into my greatly anticpated recovery week! Secondary goal was to be a little smarter about taking Gu and water on the run so that I didn't feel like total crap at mile 18.

First 3 miles were slow easy miles (over 8:00). Knee wasn't great but I gradullay eased thru the pain. By the time I joined up with my friend I was feeling OK. Weather was behaving itself although it wasn't warm - but no wind/rain. Headed off with a vague route in mind.

Miles 4-9 were steady (8:00 down to 7:40) and then we got to a nature reserve, and after a wrong turn did a boatload of climbing. That slowed us down with a couple miles at 8:40ish pace. Then we had we had some gentle downhill/flat and rolling road for 11 miles and we rolled thru that at a pretty steady 7:40 pace.

I'd "Gu'd" at miles 7, 13 & 19 and drunk enough water from various fountains en route; I was feeling good. When I split off at 21-22 mile I picked it up and did the last ~2 miles at just under 6:40 pace. I felt amazingly fresh for running over 3 hours, and best of all my legs weren't falling to pieces.

Stopped at 23.7 miles (3:04, 7:48 pace) feeling better than I ever have after running anywhere near that mileage. I could have easily have run the final 2.5 miles to make the marathon distance and I think I could have kept at 6:40 pace, which would have got me there in just under 3:21, which would be a Boston qualifying time for me. However, I believe they are a little strict about the type of run you can use to qualify so I'm thinking I will wait until I have run the full distance in a race before applying!

Here's the pace, heartrate and elevation charts.....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Crumbling Body....

OK, so I am officially old and my body is crumbling under the strain of running so much.
  • Good news: the right achilles problem I had is OK; I managed to nurse my way through that, and once I started doing some real calf massages and eased a little on icing the achilles (I had been overdoing it) it is back to normal. I think it was basically a tight calf issue, which was in turn straining the achilles.
  • Bad news: Now I am dealing with some right knee problem - this time it's ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome), which has the downside of being a fairly sharp pain, so when it hits, it's unpleasant to run. It's worse in the morning, so a bunch of runs this week have been later in the day (which worked out well with the clocks changing). Next week it's a cutback week (mid 50's with Monday off). The sensible thing would be to ease up on the miles, and dial back the Edinburgh goal slightly. I'll see how I am after the cutback week.
ITBS is often due to weak or unbalanced leg muscles - which is definitely me. The ITB (which runs from the top of the leg to just below the knee) gets overworked since you have wussy muscles, and it hurts like hell just on the outside of the knee. Usually after a few miles of running. Sleeping with a twisted leg can make it hard to stand in the morning. Running on cambered surfaces messes it up too.

Real cure is building some real leg muscles, but short term relief comes from using a foam roller. a 6 inch hard foam cylinder you roll around on. Basically lie on the roller and roll up and down. Hurts like crazy, so I am certain it is doing me some good.

Quick weekly recap for those keeping score at home.....
Mon - 4.91m at 8:43 (ouch)
Tu - 7m tempo at 6:50, 9.02 miles overall
Wed - 9.56m at 7:40
Thu - 13.28m at 7:54
Fri - 10.06m at 7:40, 2.5 miles under at 6:30-7:00

Saturday is a 22 miler
Sunday is another 13 easy.

So far I've hit the planned miles, but was a litle slow on Tuesday (it was windy) and bailed on the race pace stuff this morning.

After Edinburgh I am going to have to get serious about working some weights etc into my schedule or I am constantly going to be running myself thru these types of injuries.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Awesome Alviso

Ran a new route today. I'd been looking for something flat, and soft for my longer runs and someone recommended Alviso. A very small town on the edge of the Bay by San Jose. Absolutely nothing in the town, but there's a flat, quiet levee loop of 8-9 miles.

Beautiful day, sunny, no wind. Was 54 degrees when I got out of the car. Plan was 21 miles, with last 10 miles at marathon pace (6:58). Started off and quickly settled down to 7:30 pace, so I deciced I'd just run the whole thing at 7:30 (which is just under 3:17 marathon pace). Saw nobody for the first 5 miles, then a couple mountain bikers and some birdwatchers.

First lap was pretty steady, all between 7:25 and 7:35 pace. After 9ish, stopped to get water ( I was getting a little thirsty!) at the car, dumped the shirt (it was getting hot) and ran the second lap with a water bottle. Kept on 7:30 pace all the way round. By mile 18 I suddenly got really hungry, and took a gu but it was too little, too late. By 18.5 I was flagging and bag the rest (I'd gone a mile or so past the parking lot). Jogged a half mile at 8ish pace, recovered, and then decided to see if I could still run sub 7. Did the last 1/2 mile at 6:43 pace and it wasn't too bad, even though the temperature was now almost 70 degrees and there is zero shade on the run.

Overall did 19.5 miles at 7:30 pace. With smarter nutrition, some water in the first hour, and a good reason to do so, I am pretty sure I could have run another 6.7 miles at 7:30 pace. Which would have given me a 3:17 marathon. Shaving 17 minutes (or 38 seconds per mile) off that in Edinburgh will be a stretch, and I'm starting to think that a solid sub 3:20 is what I should be aiming for.

Weekly total was 74 miles. Next week it steps up a little to 82.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


been a little lax updating this....

Last week ended up with 17+ on Saturday and 10 in San Francisco on Sunday morning, for a total of about 65. Legs (thighs) felt sore ending the week, from the fast strides and race pace miles on Thursday and Friday. Also did some overly fast miles on Sunday, instead of running recovery pace.

This week has been a struggle. Finally fell victim to the kids various illnesses and am hacking my way through life, but I have still managed to get out there each day. Monday was a sluggish 4.5, Tuesday was a 7 mile tempo in the late afternoon (hot) and it was a struggle. This morning did another sluggish easy 8. Generally feeling like crap with coughing etc.

Thursday should be 11 easy w strides
Friday is 6 miles at HMP (6:34), 8 miles overall
Saturday calls for 13 easy miles
Sunday has me down for 21 miles with the last 10 at marathon pace (6:58)
Total should be 75, and I am sure I will be tired by the end of it, especially if this cough doesn't go away.