Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday struggle - lower aerobic

Run type: lower aerobic
Distance 16.2 k
Average pace: 4:33/km
Heart rate: 135-140
Weather: 18 degrees & fine (5:30 am)

The struggle wasn't really the run so much as just getting out of bed and out the door. The cumulative tiredness through the week soon mounts up. I set about just doing a fairly easy run at a heart rate in the 130s. That was fine for a while, but by the 3rd lap at Kompar, going up the hill, I touched 140. So I pretty much stayed there or a little under and completed the rest of the run at that effort.

It's funny that I am calling a pace near 4:33 "easy". I've always thought of 4:30 as a benchmark for a pretty solid pace -- getting towards pretty hard work. Before I linked it to heart rate, I'd have said that it was no man's land; too hard for easy aerobic and too slow for lactate threshold or race pace. But when you simply look at heart rate, you know what is going on physiologically and the attendant pace is just whatever it is. And certainly I can finish a run like this feeling pretty relaxed and comfortable (especially at current temperatures). So I guess it is kind of recover/easy pace for me these days and I need to just accept that and get on with it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Thurs Croooze

Run type: 4 x 1600m cruise intervals + lower aerobic
Distance: 17.4 km
Average pace: 4:38 min/km
Heart rate: Mostly below 140, up to 165
Weather: 18 degrees & fine

I was feeling a bit run down yesterday, almost like I had a cold coming on. Popped some vitamin C and echinacea last night and woke up feeling OK but sleepy. My head said, "But what would it matter if we don't run today?" I fought that one off and managed to get out and on the road by 5:20.

It seemed like my heart rate was marginally higher than normal. Or was I just running faster? Perhaps a little of both.

The 1600 m cruise intervals went fairly well. The first was a little slow at 6:13, even though it felt hard. Then the next ones were 6:08, 6:06, and 6:02. Heart rate got up to 163 or at most 165 towards the end of each rep.

Ran home in the high 130s HR, 4:50/km. A pretty good workout.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wednesday - recovery?

Run type: lower aerobic
Distance 18.35
Average pace: 4:40/km
Heart rate: 140
Weather: 19 degrees & cloudy (5:30 am)

I intended to just go out and run an easy pace, kind of like a recovery, in anticipation of doing cruise intervals tomorrow. So not pushing at all in the first 3 to 4 km and my heart rate was having trouble getting above 130. Once in the park I decided to at least get it up to 135. This was soon yielding 4:20/km on the downhills and 4:30/km or better on the uphills. That's probably a bit faster than genuine recovery pace, but it was by no means a hard run. It was fast enough to leave my legs, especially quads and hammies, feeling a little tired. I'm sure there is some cumulative fatigue involved. Makes me wonder it is OK to do a hard session tomorrow, but I guess I will have to suck it and see.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tuesday Breakthrough

Run type: hard aerobic
Distance 18.35
Average pace: 4:20/km
Heart rate: 152
Weather: 19 degrees & cloudy (5:30 am)

This run was really a lot like last Wednesday. Except it was just that bit faster. Looking at last week's entry, I slowed down when I met Horst, so maybe that accounts for the overall 4 sec/km difference. Still, today just felt like a breakthrough. I ran hard, but aerobically. Sure, my legs were getting tired later into the run, sure there was some cardiac drift, and maybe there was a bit of lactic accumulation going on, but my heart rate was telling me I was in comfortable territory. And yet had I kept running for another 3 km itwould have been a 91:36 half marathon. Just an aerobic training run! Here is a breakdown:

Lap Distance Pace HeartRate
Home-Komazawa 3.8 0:04:53 135
1st Uphill 1 0:04:12 147
1st 2100-start 0.05 0:04:00
1st downhill 1 0:04:00 144
2nd uphill 1 0:04:10 151
2nd 2000-start 0.15 0:04:00
2nd downhill 1 0:04:02 151
3rd uphill 1 0:04:06 156
3rd 2000-start 0.15 0:04:00
3rd downhill 1 0:04:06 153
4th uphill 1 0:04:11 155
4th 2000-start 0.15 0:04:07
4th downhill 1 0:04:08 154
5th uphill 1 0:04:16 155
5th 2000-start 0.15 0:04:13
5th downhill 1 0:04:09 153
5th 1000-1100 0.1 0:05:00
Komazawa-Home 3.8 0:04:21 151

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sunday long and fast(ish)

Run type: Long
Distance: 35.5 km
Time: 2:57:32
Average pace: 5:00 min/km

I planned to only run 30 km and try and do it at a faster pace than long runs have been up to now. I suppose it worked out pretty well in that the pace was faster, though the distance was pretty much as long as a long run needs to be.

It was a cool morning, around 20 degrees celsius and windy, overcast, drizzly and heavier rain threatening all the time as Typhoon jyu-nana (Typhoon number 17) was bearing down on south eastern Honshu. I left home just after 7:30 am and ran to Yoyogi Park via Daikenyama and Shibuya (5.8 km at 5:00/km). Colin's bike was under the usual tree, and with the heavy rain we've had I was sure he'd be running Fulton loops. So I ran a Fulton in reverse. But I didn't encounter him until I'd almost finished the loop. And he was not doing Fultons but Petaus. So I swung around and joined him and we were then running at 5:10 to 5:15 per km pace, which continued for a few laps (2.5k/lap). Then at 9:00 we met up with Gareth. Gary C. found us after we started the lap. After that lap I wanted to pick up the pace a little, and the pace of the next laps went 5:07, 5:03, 4:52, and 5:04 (after being joined by Rebeccah). I had a bit of fatigue in the legs and buttocks, but was holding form OK. I had a short break and sucked down a Pocari Sweat and had a short chat with Gareth before swinging out the front gate and heading for home.

I was determined to run this last 5.8 k on tired legs at a stiff pace. Managed to do it at an average of 4:34/km, which is not bad going considering the couple of pedestrian overpasses I had to negotiate. I was pushing hard over the last uphill stretch to home, so then decided to do the little 1.2 km loop as a cool down. Although it felt really slow, it was only just over 5:00/km and my legs were feeling tired but OK.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Saturday recovery in the rain

Run type: Recovery
Distance: 10.7k
Pace: 4:43/km
No heart monitor
Week to date: 76 km

Would have liked to get out for a steady 20k today, but it was pouring rain when I woke up early. Finally it eased up and I decided to go, but I'd lost time as I was supposed to be going out with Chiemi to look at a prospective apartment at 9:00. So I headed off at 7:30 for about 10k. Decided to do my old Tamagawa Dori loop. It was a little bit late at 7:30 so stop-start with traffic. Should have just run to Kompar. Generally felt to be running easy to slow, though picked it up a little over the last 2 km. I was surprised to see the average pace that fast. I'd have thought maybe 4:55 to 5:05/k.

So later we had a look at an apartment. The building is only a few doors up from where we live, but is only about 5 years old. It is really nicely designed with an interesting layout and lots of nice features. Good aspect on the ninth floor, bright and with good views, but a little pokey in the living area and short on storage space. I think it would hold its value pretty well and go well if the market takes off, but it would be tight for a family of five...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Fri AM Cruise Intervals

Run type: 4 x 1600m cruise intervals + lower aerobic
Distance: 18.65 km
Average pace: 4:43 min/km
Heart rate: Mostly below 140, up to 165
Weather: 23 degrees & cloudy

The session went pretty well, although my pacing for the cruise intervals was a little bit off. I wanted to nail 6:05 for each interval and maybe run five. But the first two were 6:00 min neat. My heart rate at the end of the first was 158, at the end of the second, 160. I tried to back off a little bit and then the third was 6:08 with a HR of 163, briefly peaking at 165. The last one was 6:07 and definitely at HR165 for much of the uphill. So I thought four was probably enough. Then had an easy aerobic (5:00/km) run home.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

First Thursday in yonks

Run type: Lower aerobic
Distance: 16.2 km
Average pace: 4:38 min/km
Heart rate: Mostly below 140
Weather: 21 degrees & cloudy

One side-benefit of having to give up Wednesday evening training is that I can get up on Thursday morning, whereas for most of this preparation I have been taking both Monday and Thursday completely off. In recent weeks I had compensated slightly by doing a double on Wednesdays, but now it is going to be more like a consistent six-mornings/week.

This morning was not too eventful. I intended it to be a reasonably easy run. I gradually worked my way up to a heart rate of 138. This yielded a pace of 4:24/k on the flat/uphill section of Komazawa and 4:17 to 4:14 on the downhill. So I suppose we could call it an even 4:20 equivalent. The heart rate needed to maintain this pace did increase into the mid 140s for the uphill section on the third and fourth (of four) laps. I think I felt some residual fatigue in the legs from yesterday's run, but apart from that, I was surely running at a sustainable aerobic pace. Makes me wonder what pace I should do my long runs at if the weather is kind.

On the injury front. It is worth noting that my two niggling injuries, the left achilles and ball of my right foot, have both been gradually becoming less and less troublesome. I basically have to squeeze my achilles to discover that it is still tender, but it is not worrying me at all during running. Similarly, the right foot is fine during running, though I'm aware of something like extra pressure in that spot with each footfall. Knees and hips are good. Right quad has given a few twinges late in some recent runs. Lower back has been a lot better than it was several weeks ago (a payoff from core exercises?). So generally the report is good; touch wood.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wed AM Semi Long

Run type: Hard aerobic
Distance: 18.35 km
Average pace: 4:24 min/km

Well, I have to put a bit more effort into my work, so from today, no more Wednesday night training until further notice. So this morning I needed to do something similar to what I have previously been doing on Wednesday nights.

Woke before 5 and got dressed while lying in bed (the futon). Heart rate monitor, watch, tape over nipples, running shorts and top on, all before getting out of bed.

Guts still not 100%. Had some sports drink befoe heading out the door.

Tried to get stuck into it early on and had the heart rate up towards 140 by about 8 minutes into the run. Got to the park and started putting in and was soon doing under 4:10 pace but still with a heart rate of only 147 or so. Into the second and third laps the heart rate was about 150 or up to 155 right at the top of the uphill section. On the last lap I met the German man Horst, and slowed down a bit to run with him; till around 4:25/km and talking as we ran. From park to home at 4:29/km.

Despite not being fully recovered from self-inflicted injury, I am pleased that I was able to pretty much do the session I had planned.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sunday Long//Tues thud

After the half-marathon time trial of last week, the falling temperatures, and the great run on Saturday, I was ready to go out on Sunday morning and rack up the longest run of the preparation. The temperature was only about 23 or 24 degrees, a tad warmer than Saturday.

Somehow I woke up feeling less than fantastic and was bit slow to get going. Still, I got out the door and ran to Yoyogi park. Data shows I did that at 5:10/km pace. I knew it was slightly quicker than the long run pace I have been doing in the heat, but it did feel sustainable. I joined up with Colin and then proceeded to run five laps at around 5:20/km pace (we were joined by Paul and Gareth after three laps at 9:00am). I then had three laps where Paul and I wound it up a little to just under 5:00/km pace. Then when Paul stopped, Colin caught up to me. But he'd knackered himself in the process, so we again dropped back the pace for my last two laps in the park. I had a brief rest and finished off my sports drink before heading for home. I tried to pick up the pace on what were now very tired legs. I was happy with the 4:50/km pace that I managed for those last 5.5 km. It ended up as 35.5 km at an average pace of 5:10/km and a spread from about 4:50/km to about 5:20/km.

On Sunday afternoon I got dragged off to a rugby match by a neighbourhood friend. I wasn't really all that keen, but the kids were all off doing things, so I didn't have much reason to say no. My friend then insisted on drinking fairly solidly and my pathetic efforts to resist were futile. I was disappointed in myself that I wasn't more insistent because I ended up worse for wear. I did manage to get home in time to cook dinner for the kids, but went to bed early only to wake up with a reasonably bad hangover. I ended up taking the younger two boys to a movie yesterday (it was a holiday) but I was in a delicate state.

This morning I woke up at 5:00 and could tell right away that my body was still recovering from the grog. The poor thing is just not able to handle grog like it could when it had 12 kg of extra fat. I got out the door and struggled with the run. My heart rate wasn't doing anything crazy, but running at 4:50 to 5:00 pace was a real slog. I called it quits after two laps of Komazawa (11.9 km). Hopefully tomorrow will be better, but I do feel as though that little binge session is going to haunt my training for the next week or so. Most unfortunate.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Sat AM, Arse kicking great run

Run type: Steady aerobic + hill workout
Distance: 19.8 km
Average pace: 4:52 min/km
Weekly cumulative: 78.9

One of the most enjoyble runs in a long time. The legs actually felt a bit stiff when I first started, but there is nothing new in that and I was soon moving smoothly. The temperature was a very comfortable 22 degrees, humidity mild, and the morning fresh and calm.

So I headed up Meguro River towards the Aobadai hill workout circuit. But I was thinking that with the temperature so nice it would be good to get in a few more km. So I kept going to that covered over path section after the river crosses Route 246 at Ohashi. I'd only ever been up there a few km to a busy road, where I thought the path ended. But Brett had told me that it actually continues on the other side of the road. So I explored this section fully and picked up the path again to run a couple more km. At 40 minutes, soon after Sakuragaoka Station on the Odakyu line, I decided to turn back so that I'd have some juice left to do hill repeats. There is still more path left for exploring another day.

Back at Aobadai I had a strong tummy pain, so had to stop by the park beside the circuit and let off some ballast. With that done, it was into the hill repeats. I wondered how this would go on more tired legs than I normally have at this stage. Surprisingly the uphill pulls were the same as ever, 84 seconds for the first and second, then a second or two quicker for the next three. I decided to quit at five because of the extra distance I'd run.

Cruised home feeling comfortable at a heart rate of 135 to 140. With almost 20 km for the run, I did get a bit tired in the legs, but never that total bodily exhaustion you feel when the temperature is up over 27 degrees. It augers well for the long run tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday AM, a little bit of speedwork

A normal steady run for the most part. I ran up to Komazawa park at about 5:00 min/km pace, had an emergency pit stop, then ran up to the start line. Then ran two laps where the first 1600m was at about 3:50/km pace (6:06 & 6:04). Completed the rest of the third lap and ran home for just over 14 km total. Average pace for the whole run was 4:39. Would have done more reps of the 1600 m interval except I have to teach the second half of the presentation w/shop today, so needed to stay reasonably fresh.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Wednesday double

Cumulative km for the week: 45

Woke up a bit late but managed to get out for my short easy run and core exercises. Ran into the young English girl Carol in Rinshi no Mori. She has moved into an apartment in Musashi Koyama and is running a lot in Rinshi. Logged 6.3 km.

After a fairly crap day at work I managed to escape in the evening to get to the sento. Did a little under 5 km warm up and then into a 4:30 min/km pace run with Mika and Colin. Stuart was with us for a couple of early laps and Shoji for a couple of later laps. We did a pretty good job of running to pace with three consecutive laps at 4:31, then one at 4:29, and one at 4:33 (HR mainly around 148 to 150). At that point Colin and Mika were done so I went on by myself and increased the pace to 4:18 and 4:19 (this was getting up to high 150HR, occasionally 160).

Finished with an easy 2 km back to the sento to complete a little over 20 km.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tues AM aerobic

Run Type: Aerobic
Distance: 18.4 km
Average pace 4:33/km
Week to date: 18.4 km
Temperature: 25; moderately humid

The thing about marathon training is its insatiability. As soon as you have moved up a level in training and fitness, there is always another level you can go to. And if you take your eye off the ball for a minute, you can find yourself in a holding pattern, doing the same training week in and week out and no longer getting the stimulus needed to increase aerobic endurance or raise the lactate threshold.

And this is the dilemma I now face. How to squeeze more into the week. I can increase intensity, and I tried that last Tuesday with the tempo run. Or I can run further, but finding the time is now difficult. Anyway, today I tried to nudge up the distance. After having just done the half-marathon pace run, I didn't feel quite like going at tempo pace again, especially since tempo pace appears to be a painful 3:55 min/km or thereabouts. So I decided to try and run a bit longer than the standard 16.2 km. In short, I did one extra lap, for a total of five, at Komazawa Park.

I ran most of this at a heart rate of 140 to 145, with the last couple of laps creeping up near and touching 150. In the first few laps this gave me uphills of 4:36 (still warming up), 4:16, and 4:21 and downhills of 4:11, 4:13, and 4:15. By this time my heart rate was well and truly at or above 145, and then the next two laps gave downhills of 4:19 and 4:19 and uphills of 4:25 and 4:26 (so there is still cardiac drift occurring, but it is not particularly pronounced). These last two I ran with Horst, the German man whose 14 y.o. son comes to the track workouts.

The point about this data is that I am now a bit confused about my heart rate training zones. Previously my upper zone was in the low 150s and that gave me a pace of mid to high 4:20s. My lower zone of about 140 gave me a pace of 4:40s. So they were both some way above ultimate target race pace. But now if I run 150s, especially while fresh, I'm running at something like 4:06 pace, and as evidenced today, even a heart rate of 140 to 145 is converging on target marathon pace. And this is only going to rapidly exacerbate as the temperature continues to drop.

So do I just keep training at these zones and accept the pace that comes? Or do I adjust them down a little to get the pace back to above marathon pace? Or do I actually get aggressive and try to push up the heart rate zones (145 lower, 155 upper) and get an even stronger stimulus and potentially a considerably faster target marathon pace? For example, at this rate, with another good seven weeks of hard training available, I could reasonably be looking at running a 4:08/km to 4:10/km marathon at a heart rate of 155!

On a sour note, Australia lost the Ashes last night. Much teeth gnashing and introspection ahead. We were outplayed over the series, but there wasn't much in it and probably shouldn't have been with some better management, captaincy, and luck.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Half-M at Full-M pace, Komazawa park

Well, after Friday's two runs and being on my feet all day, I was just too tired to get up for an early Saturday run. Then family commitments kept me busy. Finally got out for a slow run of 9.6km in the local park. Felt flat, but that only encouraged me not to push the pace.

I wasn't sure what to do Sunday. There was a half-marathon "time trial" scheduled by Brett in Komazawa Park. But it was going to be another hot day, so perhaps I should just go back for some more long, slow distance in Yoyogi. In the end, the lure of something different won out and I headed off to Komazawa at 7:30 in advance of an 8:00 start. It was 27 degrees and scheduled to rise to 30 by mid morning. It was also humid, but not oppressively so.

I arrived just before 8:00 running the 4.5 km at 4:55 pace (but it felt more relaxed than that). Brett, Jason, Paolo and Mika were the hardy souls who had turned up. I only got about a 5-min rest before we started. The plan was to run 10 laps of the 2148 m course, with our starting point moved forward from the marked start by the appropriate adjustment of 380 m.

I ran with Mika and Paolo for the first lap, about 4:23/km, just settling in. Then Mika dropped off and Paolo and I ran together. All I wanted to do was run at 4:15/km pace and/or a heart rate of 150-155 bpm. Very early on, 150 bpm was good enough to run at around 4:10 pace or better. So for the first three laps I was ahead of pace . Paolo reckoned he was going to run a slow first half and then pick it up and try to finish in 92 minutes. But he was right there with me through the early sub 90-min pace laps.

From about the 4th lap I was running around 155HR, maybe up to 160 at times, never more, and a little bit behind pace: 4:18s, one or two 4:20s and one 4:23 on a drink leg. It was hard, but I was feeling OK. And with the heat I was not going to worry too much if I finished in 91 or 92 minutes.

True to his word Paolo did lift the pace around about the fifth lap and gradually pulled away from me. I wondered if he might fade in the heat, but I never saw him again and he ended up finishing one-and-a-half minutes ahead of me. There is a touch of Baldini in him I suspect.

So during the fifth lap, with Paolo receding into the distance ahead, I decided to try and hold onto the pace of around 4:20/km through to the completion of seven laps, and then perhaps see if I could lift a little, depending on what my heart rate was doing by then. Although things did get a bit tougher, my heart rate stayed in the mid to upper 150s. So I decided to push it up into the 160s from there on. On the 8th lap I lifted the heart rate a little, but didn't pick up much pace. The hardest part was finding more speed in my legs. Couldn't lift either pace or heart rate. So I realized I had to change my cadence and take slightly smaller and faster strides. That worked and on the 9th lap I was right back at or slightly better than 4:15/km. On the final lap I pulled out a 4:07 minutes for the downhill 1000 m and then 4:08 over the 1000 back up the hill to the 2000 m marker; I then had enough for a little sprint over the final 150 m to finish in 89:46.

In summary: To finish under 90 minutes and not have my heart rate blow out in these conditions was very satisfying.

After a 30 or 40 minute recovery I ran home, giving me 30.1 km for the day.

Mika was planning to meet Taeko and Ma on the eastern side of Meguro Station for the Sanmatsuri, so I joined them. (Sanma is a type of fish, matsuri means festival. So sanmatsuri is a play on the two words. They grill sanma over charcoal and give them away.) The queue to get a free sanma, worth about one hundred yen from a supermarket or 300 yen in a restaurant, was ridiculously long. So we ended up getting some take-out food and drink from a convenience store and going to the nearby garden of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. Although it cost 200 yen to enter, it was really worthwhile as the gardens were lovely and we could stretch out on a carpet of beautiful, silky grass.

After Mika and I said bye bye to Taeko and Ma, and were walking back to get Mika's bike, we got caught in an incredible thundertorm with lashing rain, strong wind, and plenty of thunder and lightning. We waited for about30 minutes and although it was till raining fairly heavily, we scurried to the Black Lion and were able to kill a bit more time over a pint of ale. Finally, at about 4:00, the storm eased enough to allow us to go our separate ways, tired but happy after a really excellent day that brought a bit of variety to my regular Sunday routine.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Fri x 2

Two runs, one blog entry.
AM: 12 km (Home -Komazawa rtn); PM 12 km (2 laps of the Palace + 2 km slow)
AM: 4:20 to 4:30 pace, HR140; PM: 5k@>4:30 pace, 5k@<4:15 pace. No heart rate monitor

Today was my first presentation skills workshop, so I decided to cut the morning run back a little, then perhaps have another run this evening. So the run to Komazawa plus 2 laps was done at a reasonably brisk aerobic pace. Finished feeling fine. After being on my feet all day my legs were feeling a bit tired; in some ways I might have been better off to not run or to just take it very easy. Of course I didn't. I ran the first 5k in a reasonably steady 23:31. But that was after a slowish one to two km start, so I was moving fairly briskly when I hit the start line the second time. The second lap was 21:01, faster than 4:15/km. I actually finished feeling pretty tired. Nipples bled. Ran another very slow 2 km to try and cool down properly. I'm now sitting in my office en route home and I feel shagged. Left achilles is quite sore. I don't know if I'll run in the morning or what. Normally I'd do a hill workout, but now...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Wed PM - Pace in the Park

Run type: Aerobic (HR150)
distance: 20.1 km
Time: 1:44:15
Average pace: 5:12 (4:25 when in HR zone)
Cumulative weekly km: 41.8
Weather: 27 and very humid

A relatively slow 6-k warm up followed by 12km at 4:30 pace (HR147-150) followed by a very slow 2k cool down. The "pace" part comes from the fact that Mika wanted to run 10 km at her marathon pace (4:30). Shoji-san joined us to make up a threesome. Colin's knee is troubling him and he had to take things a lot easier.

Judging by how hard Mika was working this is a bit quick to be her marathon pace...though the weather would not have been helping her cause. I fear she really needs to et out and log as many aerobic milesas she can over the next six weeks. The 4:30 pace was clearly just aerobic pace for me, but it is still a pace that works the legs pretty hard and I was getting fatigued in the upper legs/pelvis area by the end of the run. Still, happy with the distance and to do a fair whack of it at that pace was pretty good.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Wed AM circuit

Run type: recovery/core strength
Distance: 7.5 km
Time 0:41:25
Weekly Cumulative: 21.5 km
Weather: 27 degrees, very humid.

The usual Wednesday routine, except I woke up a little earlier and did a third lap of the park. Still just the three sets of exercises though. Really felt tired and sleepy after a pretty busy day at work yesterday.

There is another typhoon in the area. Strong one. It isn't going to hit us, but it is throwing some wild and woolly weather around. This morning it was mainly just wind, warmth, and humidity. Squalls are expected later today, so it will be interesting to see how training goes.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

First tempo of the campaign

Run type: tempo
Distance: 14 km
Time: 1:02:25
Average pace: 4:28 min/km
Cumulative weekly km: 14 km
Weather: 23 degrees and light rain

Slept through the alarm, which was strange because I was sleeping fitfully from 4:00. Jumped up at 5:20, the time I am normally clicking the start button of my stopwatch. Prepared quickly and got out the door at 5:30am. Oohh..brisk! Should have worn a T-shirt instead of this singlet. So the cool weather, the lost 10 minutes, and the under-dressing all conspired to suggest I needed to run faster than normal. I'd been toying with the idea of running the Komazawa Park part of the run at tempo pace anyway, so these factors basically sealed my fate.

Ran to the park at a bit better than 5:00 min pace. Had to take an immediate 5-min pit stop. After the pit stop I set out pretty hard. Hit the first km mark (uphill) in 4:25. Slow, but the pit stop had interrupted things. Gritted my teeth and pushed on with resolve to lift the pace. Second km (downhill) came up in 4:04. Much better. Next uphill km was 4:07. Good. The interesting thing was what my heart rate was doing. At this point it was still only just barely 150 despite the fact that I was sure I was very close to threshold pace. The next downhill km was 4:01 and the subsequent uphill 4:04. Right in the zone of what I consider my tempo pace to be. I think my heart rate just peaked at 160 right at the top of the hill, but most of the way up the hill it was 158. The final km in the park, downhill, was 3:58 (heart rate back down to 155). That gave me just over 6 km at tempo pace. Enough for a first outing (not counting last week's 5-k time trial). I then ran home at just above 4:34 pace with HR around the mid 140s.

So, with the thermal loading removed, that is where I'm at. Able to run at my old threshold pace with a heart rate of 155. This is really very encouraging. I think that perhaps alternating this session each week with 1600-m intervals for the next four weeks, gradually increasing the workload, plus bringing in race pace run on Friday mornings, will get my legs much more used to running at the faster pace.

Things are going well.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Another Sunday Swelter

The relentless drive to increase endurance brought me today to the longest run of the year so far. I wasn't sure by how much it would be the longest, but I just wanted to get above the 30 km of last week. What actually happened is probably best relayed through this email I sent to my regular Sunday running partner, Colin, who unfortunately was not able to make it today but had a good run yesterday. Inserts in square brackets are edits for a wider audience.

Hi Colin, today I ran from home to the park [5.8km] and back [6.8 km]. I left home at about 7:25 am and wore the HRM. Running a slowish (but normal for a long run) pace of 5:25/k. Got to the park right on 8:00 and plodded through four laps ranging between 13:15 and 13:37. Wasn't exactly finding them easy with the temp at 28 and the humidity...not low. Right at 9:00 Bob and the visitors and Laura were there. Then Gareth turned up. We ran a couple of laps [2.5k/lap] together before Gareth peeled off for home. Mika and Rie and Satohi showed up after our first lap. Mika ran a charity 10k race yesterday and won it in about 46 or 47 minutes...her PW for 10K (she has a sore ankle)!

Anyway, I went round for another couple of laps after Gareth left and that gave me 8 in the park. This time they were all below 14 minutes, but one was 13:52 (just after the visitors joined). The heart rate had been at 130 for most of the early part of the run, but by this time it was up to 140 and I was not doing things easily. I had my fuel belt with a water bottle containing no water, but enough sports drink powder to make 500mL. So I filled and drank all that before heading for home. I did the run home at 5:15 pace, which was a bit faster than I had been going. Got home and had a quick drink of water and then did one more km around the block just for good measure. Total=33.8 km

So like you yesterday, I am tired but happy.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

SAT Hills

Run Type: Hills
Distance: 12.4 km
Average pace 5:08/km
Week to date: 80.5 km
Temperature: 27 and moderately humid

Much better than last week's hangover blighted run. But it was certainly warm. I ran up to Aobadai, about 3 km, at 5:06/km pace and heart rate 130. Did seven laps of the hill loop fairly consistently in about 3 min 30 sec (c.f. five laps at 4:00 down to 3:35 last week). Was certainly tiring and by the seventh the lap times were starting to drift off, but mainly I was slowing down on the downhill/recovery part. The uphills were all in about 84 seconds. Had a drink and rest in the park and then ran home at 5:10/km pace and heart rate 140. Finished looking like drowned rat again.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Fri AM upper aerobic

Run type: Upper aerobic, target HR 150+
distance: 16.2 km
Time: 1:12:41
Average pace: 4:29
Cumulative weekly km: 68.1
Weather: 25 degrees and humid
Route: Home to Komazawa park and 4 laps

This was a hard run. The hardest thing was getting the heart rate up to 150. After 2 km I was running reasonably hard but still only at HR140. After that I only just got up to 150 during a stiff little hill. Then after that I got to Komazawa park and worked hard to get up to 150. The first uphill kilometre was 4:16/km. Then the subsequent downhill at 4:06/km. After that cardiac drift set in and the second uphill was 4:18, and the second downhill was 4:16. After that things got a bit silly because I had to stop for a poo during the third uphill. It ended up being a 4:28, but I had the heart rate back at 153 by the top of the hill. The third downhill was then 4:15. (HR153). The 4th uphill 4:24 and 4th downhill 4:20 (HR 152). Then on the run home I eased back and was around HR 147 for the first half, then took it back up to 150 and a bit over for the last 2 km. The last km was at HR 155 and pace of 4:15/km.

Hard run.

Thurs PM Recovery

4.5km at 5:15/km pace . When I got up from my desk to come home last night my legs felt a bit stupid. Little stiff and niggly here and there. Stupid legs. So I just decided that they needed to be taught a bit of a lesson.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Wed PM - A whole lotta runnin' goin' on

6.8k warm up at 5 min/km pace -- HR=133
followed by 10 min rest and then...
5k time trial on track in 18:50 -- HR= 166 to 170, then 179 for later laps, 181 at end of last lap.
followed by 10 min rest and then...
5k at 5 min/km pace -- HR = 153 gradually falling to 150 then 149 by end of 5k

There are some really interesting data there. Look at the heart rates in the runs before and after the time trial. Almost identical pace for both, but a good 15 bpm difference. A stark example of cardiac drift. I don't know if that is muscle fatigue, heat or a combination of the two. The temperature was 27 degrees and quite humid. Running at the 153 felt easy, but there was the heart rate staring back at me.

The time trial went pretty well. I had no idea how it would be after so much endurance work and so little speed work for the past six to eight weeks or whatever it has been. So I decided to target to run 90 seconds per lap and see if I could hold it and then, if I felt really comfortable, try to wind it up over the last four or five laps. In the end it was about the right pace because I was working hard, but breathing still under control. I could hold form and pace pretty well, with most laps being 90 or 91 seconds. Two laps were at 92 secs, one was 89, and the final was 84 or something, so I certainly had something left in the tank even though by then I was getting up towards 100% of HRmax. The 92 sec laps occurred sometime soon after halfway and I felt it was getting to be real hard work to hold the same pace, and my heart rate was climbing. So, maybe I could have gone balls to the wall a lot earlier and squeezed out another 10 seconds or more, but generally I think it was a good benchmark run. I think one unknown for me in 5k running is for just how long you should be at or close to HR max.

On the theme of the title of this post, I talked to Brett (2:36 marathon in March) after the workout. He is running phenomenal mileage and just keeps getting PBs (5k pb by 8 sec last night, after a 16 sec PB last month! Now down to 16:01!). He has been running up around 160+ km a week. Last Sunday he ran 52km in two runs, 20 in the morning and 32 at night. Among the 32 he ran 10 in 35 min and change! Fantastic stuff. I think he will go close to running 2:30 at Ohtawara in November.