Revisiting Goals for the Year

When I started this blog in January (start of this year), I had a few running related goals in mind. These were:

With the exception of running a sub 20 – 5km race (which I have come close to) I have pretty much achieved the other two goals. Above all one of the most important goals that I set myself this year was to build a consistent high mileage base and avoiding getting injured. With my somewhat high mileage training leading up to the June marathon I was able to get to about 80kms per week on average with couple of weeks of 100kms of running. As I indicated previously after (re)starting my running back in 2011, I have been able to steadily build up my base. This has not been easy, however the perseverance has paid off as now it’s showing the benefits of me being able to do good consistent workouts weekly. The best indication of this is my recovery times from hard workouts such as Tempo runs and Intervals are much faster than before. Since I gather data from my runs I can use this to compare same types of runs from a few years and months ago to now and see the relative improvements. Looking at this information is one of the best motivators that I use to focus on my next goal(s).

On Sunday 4th August I am going to run a half marathon in Taupo. This is not a key race but rather a trial race to see if I have had any improvements, hopefully be able to beat my time 1:37 of the same course from last year.

Over the last 5 weeks my plan has been to build up core/leg strength and also up my mileage again so I can get to an average week of 100kms and a peak of 120kms in the next 6 weeks before the Abel Tasman trail race. I haven’t picked any other events for this year after September. The next main goal is Rotorua Full Marathon in May 2014. I will probably do a few half marathons leading up to Rotorua as well.

Jan 2013 to July2013

Jan 2013 to July2013

This is what my current training log looks like. The dips in Feb and June indicate events. Now I’m on a build up phase again. Do you log your running? What does your log look like? How much do you run weekly?

 

Making adjustments and staying positive

It’s exactly another 8 sleeps to my first Marathon on 23rd of June (in case you didn’t know that already since most of my previous posts have been on that subject). It had been a good stint of solid training runs up until Saturday 8th June when I pulled a thigh muscle in the first lap of a club cross country race. Yes, I do occasionally (read very rarely decide to show up) participate in races with Wellington Scottish Athletics club. Anyways it happened about 2kms in to a 8km cross country race. I had to stop with a rather painful strain on my left thigh. Incidentally the same leg had a bit of discomfort just under my left knee after one of my longer runs the week before. I wasn’t too concerned about that since I get all sorts of pain after long runs. So whatever this new strain was it was rather painful and bit of a shock to the system that I may not be able to start my first Marathon. I was pretty gutted and it was hurting even to jog so I expected the worse. However after coming home and a self massage with the foam roller and some ice the pain went away. I decided not to run the final Xterra trail run on Sunday 9th and give it time to settle. As it turns out the last Xterra race was made tough with lots of mud and some tough hills. I was sorry I missed the fun of Xterra it but I knew that I had to be sensible and be focused on my goal and stay on track to completing my first Marathon goal.

One of the best pieces of advise I’ve had about injuries and running is that if you are injured STOP RUNNING! I am the worst person to take advice that I give. This time however I didn’t run on Sunday even though the pain had gone away and just rested and massaged my legs with the foam roller like a mad man.

The next day (Monday 10th) I decided to go for an easy run, I started slowly and there was no discomfort so I gradually increased my pace until I was running steady and ran 8k without any hint of pain. Yeai I’m all good – I thought and was in good spirits again. Did more foam rolling.

Next day Tuesday 11th I wanted to see if I could add a bit of pace and went for a steady 10km run and added a bit of pace at the end of the run which got me to the pace about where I wanted to run my Marathon in. I could feel a slight twinge building after I had finished the run. Hmm not so good, that was just a 10k. So more foam rolling and massaging.I took Wednesday 12th off and did no running. Made sure I kept off my feet and more foam rolling ensued. There was no pain as such and I was back in good spirits.

Thursday 13th I decided I will push it a bit to see if it will start hurting. It was also my regular morning group run which is usually a 14-15km run around the bays. Since I was running with the group I kept up steady pace and around the 11km mark my leg thigh strain started again! Yup it was back and it was back with more pain. I stopped immediately and I was about 3km from where I usually stop so had to slowly jog/walk back. The pain eventually went away after walking. So guess what? more foam rolling!

Anyways that was Thursday 13th and today is Sunday the 16th and I have not run for the last 3 days. I went for a walk on Saturday morning and rest of the time I’ve either being resting or foam rolling! Not running is the hardest thing to do when you are getting ready for an event. I resisted even going for an easy jog. I am going to attempt an easy run tomorrow (Monday 17th) (Last week of training before Marathon).

In any case I have nothing to really be concerned about (yet) although it can be demoralizing to know that you may be not 100% to start the marathon (or may not be able to start) after 15 weeks of training I am pretty much into my taper phase of 2 weeks, so maybe it was my body’s way of stopping me from going too far. I had done all my long runs that I had scheduled that were over 30kms (3 runs in total) in the previous weeks in training. My regular 10milers (16km) tempos were getting faster. Looking back at my training log I know that I’ve got a good endurance base come next Sunday to finish the Marathon. I have nothing to gain in this final week so I’m going to stay positive and take it easy, eat well, rest and be ready to tackle 42.2kms come Sunday 23rd!

With that – if you are still not entered go and enter my Marathon giveaway! Look forward to updating you all on how it all went post Marathon!

“Life requires us to make adjustments, less is still something”

Wellington Marathon Training Update

Been a while since I last made an update of my Marathon training progress which was in April after finishing the 34km Makara loop. Since then I’ve done two more 30k + runs and the most recent was a 36km run along part of the Marathon course in Wellington which also was my last ‘long’ run before the Marathon on 23rd June (In 21 Days).

Brooklyn Bays Loop 36km

Brooklyn then Bays Loop 36km – 2nd June 2013

Before I go any further if you haven’t already entered my giveaway please head over to the post and get in the draw.

So after 13 weeks I think I’ve done the most that I can do to prepare for the Marathon. It has not been easy the last few weeks with colder weather and getting dark early my routine hasn’t really been up to what I’d hope it would be. Nonetheless I’ve been able to keep my core mileage consistent with my plan. I had to adjust some of the workouts to suit my work/life balance. Overall I have definitely improved my endurance and also gained a few seconds on speed. Last Saturday I ran a 5km PB at Lower Hutt Park run in 20:19. Which was a net 9 seconds faster than my previous time. Still a few seconds short of going into 19min range. I have a feeling that I’ll be able to hit that in the next few months.

With just another 3 weeks to go I’m officially into the ‘taper’ phase from next week onwards.

So that’s it for the time being, next weekend is Xterra Race 4 which I’m looking forward to.

Again if you haven’t entered my giveaway head over and have a random guess – it will help me keep motivated whilst running the Marathon 🙂

Happy running!

What I learned from the Rotorua Half Marathon

At the Rotorua half marathon on Saturday May 04th I had a goal of running close to 1:35 which I figured was a good target given my previous half marathon times. I wanted to see if I’ve improved based on the training I’ve been doing. Now the fact is my training in the previous 8 weeks was purely focused on my upcoming marathon on 23rd of June. So I was 8 weeks into a 16 weeks marathon program and just the previous week I had just finished a massive week with a 34km run on the weekend.

So the lessons learned in no particular order:

  • Don’t run a 35km (20miler) as your long run before a half marathon if you want to run a PB – in fact a few people told me this when they heard I was running Rotorua half the week after (yeah listening to others is a good thing, sometimes)
  • If your legs are tired and half dead they are tired – no amount of Gels, Sugar, Carbs, Electrolytes aint gonna help!
  • It will hurt bad after 12kms when you think you can sustain a faster km split when your legs are tired and you will want to just stop and lie down and quit
  • Following a Marathon Training plan does not help you prepare for a fast half marathon time – in fact there were no half marathon pace speed sessions apart from a couple of tempos and an interval session in the previous 3 week build up – in contrast when I was training for the round the bays half I had plenty of ‘fast’ runs in my schedule at my HM goal pace
  • Trust your gut when you feel ‘off’ don’t try and run negative splits, just relax and enjoy the run and forget about trying to run fast

Despite all that I enjoyed the Rotorua event. And my final finish time was 1:37:47 which in the grand scheme of things was just around the 4:30-35 per KM pace mark and I am happy with that. (Well just maybe..). The encouragement I got after the event was very helpful and some of the more experienced runners quite rightly pointed out that I am doing well in my Marathon training and should not be disappointed of this result.

Overall the 49th Rotorua Marathon Event was well organised with the event starting and finishing in the Government Gardens next to the Energy Events Centre. Inside the Events Centre was an expo with various vendors advertising and selling running related products. After registration you could wander through the hall and have a look around. What drew most people’s attention was an area where a series of posters highlighted the 49 years of the event with past winners and records. There were some names that I recognized from Wellington Scottish Athletics who have been part of Rotorua for many years. After the event there was a prize giving ceremony in the same hall. Here are some photos.

Registration - Rotorua Half Marathon

Registration – Rotorua Half Marathon

Prize Giving - Rotorua Half Marathon

Prize Giving – Rotorua Half Marathon

49 Years of the Event - Rotorua Marathon

49 Years of the Event – Rotorua Marathon

Rotorua Marathon - Start and Finish

Rotorua Marathon – Start and Finish

I have another 6 weeks to go in my training for the Wellington Marathon and I’ll focus purely on that. Also I’m running a small competition so go check it out here and enter to win an awesome prize!

happy running!

Guess my Marathon finish time – Giveaway

This is my first attempt at running a Marathon and I thought it would be fun to run a little competition. The rules are relatively very simple.

  1. All you have to do is guess what my Marathon finish time will be and leave a comment on this post. The said Marathon is on June 23rd 2013 and I’ve been training for it since beginning of March 2013.
  2. Anyone can enter but only one entry per person is allowed. Yes it does not matter whether you run or not and live in Timbuktu. I will post the prize to wherever you are.
  3. The person who guesses my closest finish time (in HH:MM format ex: 04:30) will win the ultimate prize.
  4. If multiple entries of the same time is posted then I will randomly select a winner on the 24th June after the Marathon.
  5. Oh and you must enter before the 21st of June 2013 to be eligible for the prize.

So what can you win? I am giving away a copy of Mal Law’s – One Step Beyond to the lucky winner (and it’s a signed copy by Mal too!). What’s that book about you ask? Well I think you should head over to this great review by the super awesome super generic girl about Mal’s book. If you want the details direct from the source go and have a nosey on RunningWild NZ.

Ultra Running Man Mr Karnazes has this to say about the book!

Review by Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon runner and best-selling author

“Mal dealt with loss and adversity, yet he overcame them in an extraordinary way. In taking One Step Beyond he proves that while the human body may have its limitations, the human spirit is truly boundless.”

So get on down to the comments area and have at it! Guess what time I’ll finish my first Marathon in or not… 🙂

Happy guessing!