Saturday, February 10, 2007

Happy 44th to me!

I'm getting old! Running out of time to run any more sub-threes!

After the good run on Wednesday night I took a day off on Thursday. Then life got in the way of plans for a Friday run. First up I had to teach a workshop (English Business Letters) at 1:00 on Friday afternoon and was still preparing the bloody thing right up until 12:45, including a late night and an early start working on it. Once the thing was finished and the stress released I was dead keen for a run, but my littlest son Chiaki had received his results for a test to enter a selective public junior high school and...brrrt, had failed. So I was expected (not by him) to rush home and console him. I resisted at first, but felt like an absloute deadshit of a father (I mean I am anyway, but this just made me feel it for once). And the truth was, my legs felt weary from standing all afternoon teaching. So I traipsed home and gave Chiaki a hug and had my dinner and just shrugged off the run. It's the taper after all.

Mika talked recently about a good way to approach the taper. In fact I did something a bit like this before Ohtawara 2004 and 2005, but her approach is more structured. She suggested getting out and running 1-km repeats at your marathon pace with a 200 m jog recovery. You then progressively reduce the number of repeats each day closer to the big day. So today I got out and did a slowish warm up for a couple of km, then set off on a 1-km (turned out to be 1.1 km) stretch of back road that has very few intersections. I still had to dodge the odd daredevil taxi driver and a removalist truck that decided to overtake me and then immediately pull up, cutting off the left half of the road forcing me to run around him on the right within inches of cars coming the other way. The interesting thing about this stretch of road is that it has a gradual gentle grade, so for the first repeat I was all uphill and for the return, all downill. Repeat four times. So the pace was not especially consistent:
4:13, 4:12 || 4:05, 4:03 || 4:11, 4:04 || 4:11, 4:09.
up, down || etc

I did a walking/standing recovery rather than jog and just waited until my heart rate was about 85. A couple of minutes at most.

So I know Ewen is right, I do have to be careful of going too fast. But if my legs and back and energy levels all feel good, I think I'll go for a fairly aggressive pace anyway... and just see what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! At the moment though, not all those things are in place.


Ingo said...

Happy Birthday old man! ;-)

I still fail to figure out how you juggle a job, a family, blogging and a sub 3h marathon training! I struggle even without a blog and a family - and am on top of that 10 years younger! Hats off to you! Maybe it's all about time management... I'll work on it.

So you're going to be aggressive, huh? Do you want to tell us anything here? That smells like a 1:27 HM split and then we'll see how the story ends. Fingers crossed! You have the aerobic base for sure, you have the experience and if you have a good day then a lot is possible. Sub 3 is probably not the question anymore - I think all out target times are 5 min too soft anyway but nobody wants to risk missing their targets, right? Man, being in a club definitely increases the pressure - but that's our choice in the end.

Happy taper, Ingo

Scott said...

Happy Birthday Stephen, Omedeto!

I'd argue that sub 3hours is beyond you after 44 as there are a hell of a lot of runners around here running them at up to 50 and even a few over that.

As far as being a good father I reckon you're also under estimating yourself there as well.

Ewen said...

Scott's right - you should go for a sub-3 every year until well over 50. Speedygeoff is aiming for one next year and he's much older than that (of course, he did run sub 2:30 in the old days).

I'd keep it at 'moderate aggression'. You could probably cope with 4:00-05s, maybe not 3:50-55s.

Interesting taper idea. Might try it for my next marathon.

Clairie said...

Happy Birthday Steve!

Hope you had a good one, gosh didn't realise you were an old fart. ha ha ha

Nah seriously I thought you were older the way you talk about this being one of your last opportunities to run a sub 3. What rubbish.

Go back and read the post about your son coming to Australia, or the one about your boys work and you will see your love and pride shine through both. So rubbish that idea too of being a crap dad.

Anyhow, enjoy the taper. If there is anytime you can just let go of the daily training regime it is now. Though don't let your legs forget what is coming.

I have no advice whatsoever about running fast - that is out of my scope - but don't forget your friend that ran the womens marathon last year and had to get to 18km really quickly? She did do a PB of 3:10 or 3:15 by memory but looking at the stats for her she also had a spectacular slowing in the last stages - which is not something you want to do.

I say plan it.
Know you can achieve the plan.
Stick to the Plan - regardless of how you feel.
At 35km - scrap the plan and just run hard if you feel you can.

Fuck heh - not long now!

plu said...

Hey S,

Happy birthday. Any big goals before 50?


Tesso said...

Happy Birthday Steve!!!! Hope it was a good one. A new category next time too :-)

I really like that idea of the taper, running 1k reps at your marathon pace. It would give you such a good feel for what that pace is like. Might have to give it a go ... after you've tested it of course.

Easy does it this week!!!!!