Sunday, March 31, 2013

Longer, faster,higher

I decided not to run Bunbury, and since that decision have enjoyed my training more - a weight off my shoulders so to speak.

As to the title:

Longer - ran 44k this morning as a solo run. Thought I'd take advantage of my short term bachelorhood with a longer run. I did the 3 bridges - from Dalkeith down through Mosman Park to Fremantle and across the bridge, then along the south of river through Applecross to Canning Bridge and North along the freeway to the narrows then back down to Dalkeith. Went through the marathon distance in 3hr12min, stopped only to fill water bottle at 30k and 36k.

This was my longest training run ever, and capped a 138k week and 550k March.

Faster - Tuesday evening I got home from work and there was a pretty fresh southwester blowing, so I jogged down to Tawarri and did a 5k timetrial all wind assisted - north to Stirling Hwy and then east towards the narrows. Ran the 5k in 17:12 - clearly I wouldn't be running this on an out & back course (that would put me up in Clown's realms) but it was nice to move that quickly in any circumstance

Higher - a couple of weeks ago i enrolled in a research project looking at iron metabolism in the acute phase of altitude training. The last 2 fridays I've done a VO2max test at UWAs altitude chamber, the first at sealevel, the second at 3000m.

The session involves running on a treadmill with a tube in your mouth - a bit like the end of a snorkel, and a noseclip to prevent breathing through the nose. I then ran 4 minute intervals at a prescribed pace, increasing stepwise with a 1min standing recovery. The first one I started at 12km/h, then 14, 15,16,17 and lasted 2 mins into 18km/h before stopping.

The altitude session was interesting. The 12, 13 and 14 sessions were relatively easy, but at 15km/h things got very hard very fast, and I only lasted 2min into the 16km/h. I guess I fell off the steep part of the oxygen dissociation curve


Next comes some interval sessions at both sea level and 3000m with blood tests.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Perth 32k 2013

It's been a busy time in my non running life in the 8 weeks since last posting.
In this time we've put our home on the market, sold it, bought a new block, designed the new home, and moved back in with the inlaws. Add to this a couple of significant work changes and running has suffered a bit.

Training has been consistent but not reaching the mileage peaks of last year. I only missed one day in Feb and my first non running day in March was yesterday. peak mileage has only been 125k vs the 150s I hit last year. Missing mainly I think have been really long long runs and days with double runs.

Injury wise I've had a nagging right groin pain since new year which I fear is a 'sports hernia' developing. I've been managing it conservatively with stretching, but there are days where it's really quite uncomfortable, especially if I'm trying to push the pace.

Shoe wise I'm remaining a Saucony man. My long run mainstay has continued to be the Kinvara, although I preferred the 2 over the 3 - issues with rubbing on the heel collar and quicker wear on the sole. last week my first pain of Virrata arrived - the much awaited cushioned but zero heel-toe drop shoes from Saucony. I've only run about 25k in them and interestingly my achilles did notice the 4mm difference in drop cf Kinvara. I'll hold my judgement for now.

I ran today in the type A5, which i was concerned might be too little a shoe for this distance, but had no problems. These shoes are fantastic, and looking at their stats, are really comparable to 'barefoot' options like the New Balance minimus.

For interest:

Kinvara  Heel 23mm, Toe 19mm, weight 7.9oz
Virrata   Heel 18mm, Toe 18mm, weight 6.5oz
A5         Heel 16mm, Toe 12mm, weight 5.8oz
Hattori    Heel 15mm, toe 15mm, weight 4.4oz

asics gt2000 27mm, 17mm, 12.5oz
Asics ds trainer 28mm, 18mm, 10.4oz
asics ds racer 24mm, 14mm, 7.9oz
New balance minimus 18mm,14mm, 6.2oz

The asics shoes were my previous favoured range, but i couldnt imagine going back to shoes twise the weight and with a full cm heel-toe drop now.

Anyway, back to today
I moved house yesterday and subsequently went out for a celebratory dinner, leaving me with a bit of a hangover and fitful sleep. The weather was a little warmer than I'd hoped - starting at 20 and ending about 25, with 70-80% humidity.

My aim was to go out at 4min/k - and I settled in fairly early amongst a group including Gerry Hill (who i think was pacing a friend - although he zoomed and forth a couple of times), Liam (who started conservatively then pushed on) and Ray Lampard and i presume some other triathletes. The pace was fine and we hit 10k in 39.24 (by Garmin). Little changed in the next 10k to hit 20k (Garmin) in 79.20.

Just after 20k I developed a severe, acute onset stitch/stomach cramp which I couldnt run through - so i stopped for about a minute and tried to hyperventilate it away. This is the third time only in my 10 years of running this has happened in a race. I lost a full minute and at 22k was 20sec behind my 4min/k pace.

our pack had well and truly split by this time and with my stop, 3 guys had passed me. At least this gave me some targets for the last 10k of the race, which was getting tough with increasing heat. I didnt take any calories and just had water at the stations, about 5k apart.

21-27k I averaged 4:05s and gradually reeled a couple of runners back in, as well as passing Gerry who had stopped to wait for his friend. The next 4k slipped to 4:10s before dipping back under 4 for the last km. I caught 2 people in the last 2k including martin Feichtinger, who I imagine could be alot faster if he lost about 10kg of upper body muscle.

So I finished in just over 2:10, running time about 2:09.

This probably hasn't really helped in my decision making about entering the Bunbury marathon in 4 weeks time. I'm probably not quite there to run 2:48 as i hoped (although cooler weather, a taper and some calories during the run will make some difference) so i'm not sure i could be bothered heading down to run a 2:51 again. Perth Marathon may be a better option - now I'm settled back at the inlaws I probably have more chance of winding up the mileage.

We'll see...