Thursday, December 13, 2007

Going for goal

I want to make it clear that I have a very firm goal of going sub three hours at Tokyo Marathon on February 18. Last year's weather and my performance, which were not necessarily intrinsically linked, were a bit of a disappointment and I want redemption. I wish to go into this race determined and motivated, and I need that to be reflected in my approach to training and socialising (the second of these being the most difficult).

The first part of the training plan required a conservative, restful recovery from Ohtawara. That was achieved quite nicely and now I've entered the second phase, which means getting back up to modestly high mileage while putting a certain degree of emphasis on speed work. For the next couple of weeks I want to run 80 to 90 km a week comprised of a couple of 14-16 km lower aerobic efforts, a not-so-long-not-so-slow (say 25km) long run, and two speed-oriented sessions (perhaps two items per week off a four-item menu of 1 k to 1600 m intervals, 6 to 10k tempo run, short hard intervals, hill repeats). Then any additional mileage would be just easy pace.

So how am I traveling? Last Wednesday I did a 6 x 1k interval workout with the club. Saturday I ran a short hard interval session of 10 x 30 s hard followed by 60 s easy. I also did a few plyometrics...just jumping from a static start up onto a 25-30 cm high block. Yesterday morning I did 11 km on a treadmill with 6 km at tempo pace of 3:52 to 3:55. I had the incline set at 1.5% at first, but after a while was going too lactic so backed the speed a tad and the incline back to 1%. I enjoyed this workout, especially since I'd had to squeeze it in to a tight day. Going pretty hard makes a treadmill more bearable.

This morning was scheduled as a 16km steady (lower aerobic) run. I awoke at 5:20 am fairly bright-eyed and ready to roll and was a bit shocked to see the steadily falling rain outside. Still, it didn't deter me and I got the run in without too much trouble, but I was a cold little boy at the end of it (it was 8 deg C). I am finding that a pace of 4:20 to 4:17/km is a nice comfortable aerobic run these days. I remember a time when I thought that 4:30/km was far too hard to be doing aerobic training! It eventually left me feeling a little fatigued this morning and perhaps I should have been a few seconds slower or should have shaved a couple of km off the distance. Finding that precise workload that pushes you to adaptation but from which you can recover for tomorrow is a fine line.

Anyway, the most interesting part of the training will begin on December 26 when we leave for Australia. The sudden switch to heat will be interesting. I'll have a few days based in Chatswood (Lane Cove Nat Park?), then maybe somewhere overnight on the way to Coffs Harbour, then almost ten days in Coffs with hills, heat, and humidity. I think this phase of the training will be a switch back to distance and endurance. I have a feeling that this period in Australia, timed as it is, will either make or break the ambitions for a good Tokyo. A few days after we get back to Tokyo I'll be running a hard half marathon, so that will be a good test of the efficacy of the speed and heat training.


Tesso said...

Just sub 3 at Tokyo? C'mon!!!

Tesso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ewen said...

Determined and motivated socialising has been missing from my training plan of late.

That seems like a slightly different approach with a couple of sessions of speed?

If you're in Chatswood on the 28th, my old group runs in Lane Cove Park, meeting at the Fuller's Bridge end (or maybe just across the weir) Fridays at 5.30 - they run about 10k. If you wanted a longer run, it's about 5k from the centre of Chatswood. Not sure if I can make it due to work...

Robert Song said...

My goal for 2008 is Gold Coast in July but I am tempted to run Canberra in April as a bit of a trial. With 12 weeks between them, it is very similar to your gap between marathons. Though I am pondering why you are only targeting sub 3. Exactly how sub?

Canberra is a great event but I don't know whether having to take 3 weeks off for proper recovery is in my best interest for a top performance at GC. That's why I will be watching your experience with interest.