Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Where I is at

Running. I've been running. I took a full six days off after the 30k trail race, but then came out and ran pretty easy the next week, reaching a tad over 70 km. I certainly wasn't fully recovered the first few runs, but by last weekend, after two weeks of recovery, felt pretty good and ended up on Sunday running around the trails of Kamakura with Satohi before a BBQ at friends'. I really enjoyed the Kamakura hills because there was not so much walking. Not like the western Tokyo trails, where the hills are up, up, up, and down, down, down. But when the hills are relatively short and technical (read complicated by roots, rocks and erosion), such as at Kamakura, you can attack and use momentum to pick out interesting ways of navigating the terrain. I like that.

This week is Golden Week--three consecutive national holidays from Mon-Wed--and with added rest I've felt my speed coming back naturally, and steady aerobic runs are dipping down under 4:30/km. In fact yesterday I spent 4 km of a 13 km run at below 4:20/km and averaged 4:28/km...not bad.

I'm also throwing in a little bit of speed work here and there. Last Saturday I did two 1.6 km intervals midway through a 14-km run. The first was right on 6:00 min, but it felt forced and labored. The second I tried relaxing into it and ended up running a couple of seconds slower, but it felt more like the right pace.

Today I was going to run in the park in the afternoon with Colin, but the rain set in for several hours, and Colin couldn't make it anyway. I was very frustrated as I really wanted to run, but just couldn't bring myself to head out into what was pretty heavy rain. I waited and waited and was about to give up and pour a beer around 5:45 when I noticed the rain had eased right off. So I made sure dinner was under control and squared things up with the good woman before heading out. I ran up to Oda field (5.5 km) at 4:45/km. There I decided to do the first of what will be a series of monthly 3-km time trials. Did that at a pretty hard effort with rather pedestrian (but not surprising) splits of 3:52, 3:52, and 3:54 ... I was pushing that last km too, so the loss of 2 s really shows I was near the limit. Good. This will stand as a good benchmark of where I am at here at the beginning of May.


2P said...

So that is where you are at!

Nice work as always mate.

Ewen said...

Those trails sound just like the technical sections of 6' - all 9k of them!

Interesting about the monthly 3k time trial. Do you intend running them at a set HR, or as fast as possible? I'm just wondering how you're going to judge improvement month to month? Sounds easier than the Hadd 2400m test - that worries me more than a race!

(have checked email follow-up, so post here if you like)

Stephen Lacey said...

Ewen, yeah I think that it is a nice simple indicator, and HR data would also be helpful, but basically I will just try to run it "very hard" 5k race pace or faster. I didn't have a monitor on Wed, but I know I was right up where I needed to be to call it a time trial. The slower third km given how hard I was running was the most telling thing for me. When I get fitter that last km will be faster I am sure.

Scott Brown said...

Good to know where you're at Stephen.

If you are looking to a goal race later in the year you're starting at a good place.

Why the 3KTTs and not the 5KTTs that the Japanese tend to favor? I am also going to start my 3KTTs from this coming Tuesday but as I have a goal race in August I expect to be a little faster.

I've always done 3KTT as when I was with Pat Carroll he had them monthly in my program, but I never really liked them as they always hurt especially the first few.

I've been having a look at your training logs and I think I can see why you run such good marathons and I don't. It's because you run consistent weekly long runs, over 30km, and you do many decent runs at marathon pace.

I've only ever ran marathon pace, for any extended period on marathon day.

From now I'm going to do decent marathon pace runs of under or around 4:00 min per K at about the same fequency you were doing them before your good races and see how that goes.

I think I can handle the pace, I haven't got a problem with my speed, just my endurance at a good pace needs to be worked on.

The thing I find hard about doing the longer runs at this pace is keeping focus, my mind tends to wander and I will automatically slow down.

Anyway all the best with your build up. It's going to be a long hot summer here so your bound to be tough and fit come race season if you keep up what you've started.