Sunday, March 28, 2010

Three weeks 'til Boston

Not much to report since Friday.

First of all congrats to Sugar and Biscuitman for their Bridges results, and to Sling for another near miss to go sub3 in the Marathon - it's beckoning this year.

I ran Sat morning to test the thigh out - did 1km jogs interpersed with stretches. In the 8k I ran the only moderately painfree part was a km I ran barefoot on an oval nearby, obviously the more forefoot gait is less of a strain.

This morning I managed an anti-inflammatory assisted 20km, although the whole session took nearly 3 hours - my wife was about to send out a search party after I told her I'd be out for an hour and a half. I hobbled down to the Scotch college playing fields and ran 1km loops on the grass, again the best and fastest were the 2k run barefoot. I had a good patch from 10-15k run continuously then the thigh got worse again.

So that's the last 'long' run per se in my prep - will try to run 4 days this coming week and if by some sheer chance things are feeling better I might try for another 20k next weekend, but I'd rather not chance it if there's a chance of making things worse. Hopefully I'll get down to the gym for some bike and elliptical in the interim, or even some water running.

On a side note, humorous bargain of the week : Tiger Woods/Nike golf gift pack (golf shirt, cap and Nike 1 balls) reduced from $140 to $30 at Rebel. When your stocks are down, they're down! Great B'day present for Dad though - the golf balls are worth the price alone and the TW logo on the shirt is pretty subtle. Anyway, once he wins the Masters he'll be popular again.

(I note the media knew he was reconciling with his wife when she started wearing Nike shirts again)

Friday, March 26, 2010


The thigh pain was not a mere muscle strain
I think I knew this already, but once my antiinflammatories wore off on Wednesday's run I knew things were worse - couldn't run home due to the pain - a deep ache in the thigh

I organised an MRI and it showed a periosteal stress reaction on the femur - a Grade 1 injury where Grade 3 is a stress fracture. (pre-stress fracture you might say) There were no changes in the cortex (middle) of the bone. Classic scenario with altered gait fr4om the other knee and rapid increase in mileage after 4 weeks off.

To my surprise, the specialist thinks I can still run Boston. Without cortical changes this is unlikely to progress to a full stress fracture. I will need to markedly reduce my training from now, though, so the plan made with Mona is out the window. With 3 and a half weeks left it's a long taper keeping the legs turing over with minimal stress on the leg.

So aim will be back to just finishing, I'll be watching my pain closely, but hopefully I can still run Boston!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Steve Monaghetti Camp

I can honestly say that the camp exceeded all expectations for me.

From Friday night's recovery run where I ran the first couple of km at the back f the pack, chatting to Mona about my running, the whole weekend continued with running as the focus.

Without going into too much boring detail, lessons/impressions:

Steve was incredibly accessible, humble and down to earth. He helped me devise a shorter, more severe taper taking into account my short preparation and travel commitments in the last week. One overwhelming message was that running more easy paced total distance will help improvement far more than any session. He ran twice a day, 200k per week, week in week out with 19k/10% each week quality - a Mona fartlek or 400s, and a timetrial on a rolling hilly course of 8k, plus fairly frequent short races mainly cross country.

Unexpectedly for me, Raf opened up a new insight into running culture for me. His passion for WA running is compelling, especially for the nurturing of potential young elite runners. Certainly my perception of his store and the Frontrunner coaching groups has changed, and a number of us seem to be considering getting involved in some way, so I guess the camp achieved that purpose for him - to make it the centre of distance running excellence in the state. (Much was spoken about the deficiencies of the WAMC in catering to certain runners which was also very interesting). Mona mentined that in some ways it's sad we have one big running club rather than several small ones who could compete in various events more often, as is done in the Eastern States.

Physio/Dietician Sessions
I dont think a description by me would do justice to the nutrition talk - but it certainly had us all talking about it for the entire weekend - which must be good! I now know that Mexican food is ridiculous and Thai food is a joke!
The physio session was refreshing in that the focus was on running as the best thing to do to help strengthen running muscles, and that a small number of strenghtening exercises, taking a small amount of time, is all you need to do if not currently injured.

Great group of people all talking about the same stuff, nearly all 'mid-pack' runners, of varying ability

On to the running -
Monday 6.1k@4:58 - pretty stiff and sore post HM
Tuesday 20.1k@4:36. Still felt stiff and sore but it was such a glorious night I kept on plodding
Wed 12k@4:21 with 3k at 4:00 and later 1.5k@4:00 - knee felt pretty sore after this, so I took Thursday off
Friday am 10.25k@4:37 - easy
Friday pm 8.7k@5:17 - easy group run at camp on gravel road, rolling hills.
Sat am Mona fartlek with Mona - how cool is that! Partly on gravel and partly on grass - did 5.35k in the 20min all up - worked pretty hard. 4k w/up, 3.7k c/down
Sat pm 10.58k@4:53 - Rob and took a wrong turn on this recovery run after we split from the group, but it was a lovely evening to run and we got to use the breadcrumb function on our garmins

Sun am 20.6k@450s or so (accidentally stopped my Garmin for a bit) This was hilly and more intense than a usual long run, hence the shortness. My knee struggled on the steep downhills on the trail.

So 101km for the week and 319km for the month so far, with two more weeks of full on training. Mona suggested in the next two weeks I try to fit in an extra long run midweek one week to make up for my lack of distance - my speed seems more than adequate from the HM and the Fartlek session.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010



Sunday, March 14, 2010

This one's for Memphis and Mav

Darlington HM this week - my only hitout prior to the Marathon, so I felt psychologically it was an important race to do.

Mon Mar 8, 2010 10.02 48:03 4:47
Tue Mar 9, 2010 10.00 46:11 4:37
Tue Mar 9, 2010 11.00 48:00 4:21
Wed Mar 10, 2010 13.50 59:30 4:24
Fri Mar 12, 2010 14.04 1:02:01 4:25
Sat Mar 13, 2010 10.09 47:18 4:41

Sun Mar 14, 2010 21.26 1:25:56 4:02
Total 89.90kmTotal 6:36:59Avg. 4:24

Monday and Tuesday am I was pretty stiff and sore - took an antiinflammatory on Tuesday after the am run

Tuesday pm did a treadmill interval effort, a bit like a Yasso. Continuous 5x1k at 3:38 with 500m at 5:15 recoveries at 1% gradient. The 7km session was just over 28 min (although treadmill easier than road)

Wed pm ran too fast in too hot conditions, hit the red zone and felt hot and nauseous all night. Lucky to escape without catching a virus as I usually do after a session like this.

Thurs off to ensure recovery from Wed

Friday am still hot - 29 degree minimum, but hit a really good rhythm thanks to my first rest day in a couple of weeks. Felt smooth for once

Sat am held back nice and easy

Today - first mistake was to have curry the night before a race. Didn't bother me before or during, but had a pretty uncomfortable time for a few hours after the run - spent some quality time with the doulton.

2 k warm up then assembled to start. Wanted an effort based hitout to see where I was. Took off fairly conservatively for me, and hit a comfortable rhythm quickly. Shocked by the route change with a steep down then steep up at 4-5k which stunned the legs a bit, but I soon got into the swing of the slow uphill on which I seem to thrive. I was sitting 50m behind BigKev and his minions for most of the race, picking off a couple of stragglers but not making ground on them.

Hit halfway going at 4:10s or so and was a bit tentative initially going downhill, was rapidly overtaken by a couple of longstriders, despite me doing 3:50s. Colin Francis passed me like I was standing still.

Struggled a bit with the quads and took a 20m walk at the 17k drink station although this only slowed the split to 4:00. Hung tough down the final 3k dirt and managed to pass Peter Sullivan with a couple of hundred metres to go - he said something to me that I wasn't sure if it was encouraging or disparaging about me trying to gain a couple of seconds in the final couple of hundred metres - either way that guy is always intense!

Pretty pleased to scrape in under 1:26 - a fair way behind last years time albeit on a slightly harder course and more difficult conditions

3:55/4:16/4:10/4:08/4:03 20:32 (up 70m)
4:03/4:15/4:13/4:14/4:11 20:56 (up 90m)
4:02/4:03/4:02/4:00/3:51 19:58 (down 17m)
3:53/3:51/4:00/4:01/3:50 19:35 (down 110m)
3:51 (down 30m)

It has been suggested to me that I might be back on the sub3:00 trail for Boston, and to be honest if my prep continues well I'll defintely put myself in the position at 32k to do it if I have the legs, but lets knuckle down to a couple more training weeks first (a bit of Mona magic should help too)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Longer, Stronger

True to my word, I focussed on endurance and strength this week

126km @ 4:40
Mon Mar 1, 2010 28.11 2:14:12 4:46
Tue Mar 2, 2010 16.08 1:13:54 4:35
Wed Mar 3, 2010 14.11 1:04:02 4:32
Thu Mar 4, 2010 10.05 49:01 4:52
Fri Mar 5, 2010 2.97 14:19 4:49
Fri Mar 5, 2010 10.00 42:05 4:12
Fri Mar 5, 2010 1.69 07:45 4:35
Sat Mar 6, 2010 11.05 52:43 4:46
Sun Mar 7, 2010 32.01 2:30:55 4:42

Trialling Cut&Paste from Strands

Monday long run see last weeks post
Tuesday pm medium 16k run along the river. First 10k easy then sped up a little to keep up with someone who passed me, although splits dnt really reflect this
Wed pm medium 14k run. Was an easier effort than Tues but faster
Thurs am First true recovery run for a while - nice in a way to have really aching legs
Friday am. Intended longer tempo. After 3k warmup set out at 4:00s and lasted 1.5k sore shins and knee so I pulled back to a jog. After a few more km I felt good again and did 5k@4:00
Sat am recovery
Sun am. Long run with Clown. Wet back to the old hillier route Kings Park-Bold Park loop - North to Scaborough - back to Hale Rd and up over the tw stage hill then back to Kings Park. We took it fairly steady and did quite well. Even managed 4:10s for the last 1.5km.

The body has coped OK with the mileage. Left (bad) knee sore on downhills only. Right quads quite sore right in the middle just above the kneecap (quads tendon) - a different type of quad pain than I've had before.

My week has probably been influenced by my rereading of Lydiard's book, and I intend to push on wih 100km plus weeks with only one tempo/faster session and no intervals foer the next 3 weeks. I'll not taper for Darlington in mileage but will keep the pace easier this week.

I'm starting to get used to Strands despite it being ridiculously slow and the interface being a bit clunky. Despite this I intend to keep up my weekly post - a nice way to look back at how I was feeling beyond reading the numbers. My only other concern is the rise of miles as the running unit for Clown and Biscuitman, for example Clown ran to finish 20 miles today rather than to finish 32km and did a 5 mile tempo rather than 8k - what country are we living in - pull your head in Clown :)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Grist for the mill

The treadmill, that is.

Had a couple of treadmill workouts this week to beat the heat, although with only an evaporative A/C at the gym, it took 35 and dry to 25 and humid - not sure which was worse. On one of the sessions I sweated so much my feet were slipping on the treadmill surface!

70km@ 4:36

Monday rest after the long Sunday run - felt OK
Tues am 9.85k@ 4:43 - easy
Tues pm 11.5k treadmill - warmup then 5k@4:00, 2k@4:00, 3k@4:00. Most was on no incline so easier than running that pace on the roads. It was hot. Damn hot. Hot and wet - good when you're with a woman, not good when you're on a treadmill ( to paraphrase Robyn Williams)

Wed pm 10k treadmill 4:30s overall but did 2 progression inclines - each one minute increased gradient 1% until 6%/6min, at 4:00s

Thurs - rest.
Friday 13.8k@4:43 flat
Saturday 14k@4:45 including Kings Park loop
Sunday 10k@4:48 treadmill - didn't run morning as was watching Mum do the short course womens triathlon up at Hilary's - was one of the few 60+ and for a lifetime non-athlete she did impressively well.

Monday am 28.1k with Rob. Included 2x9k Kings Park loops and 10k flat along the river. Was OK until after the 19k stop when Clown decided to pick up from our 4:45-4:50 pace to 4:20-4:25s for 5k - I fell behind a little but gradually wound up some speed. This knackered us for the last section back up to the top of King's Park so after a little walk/jog section, we walked back to the car.

Tues-Mon almost 100k (if I include about 3k run along the side of the bike leg on Sunday) first of this volume for some time.

The knee is holding up OK, body is coping OK. I feel a little flabby although have only gained 1kg on the scales - not sure how that happened with the higher mileage but will go off alcohol for March to rein that in.

My aim is a 400km+ March focussing on endurance and strength. Long runs, longer tempo and Kings Park runs will be the foci. I know it's too little too late for a sub3, but a solidly finished sub 3:10 would be nice.

Question for Biscuitman and Sugar - How were the drink stations at Boston? Very congested? Better to go for early tables or the late? Did you find the Gatorade 'Endurance Formula" noticably more salty than normal electrolyte drinks?

...and finally, I was struck by the efforts of TB,Nate,Dave & Co at the track ultra. Not sure if awestruck or dumbstruck is the right word, but struck either way. 6 or 12hrs in that heat is crazy - made this morning's effort seem pedestrian. Kudos to you all