My first 120km week

Yes, that’s 120 kilometers (75miles) of running, not in one go of course but a full week with no rest days. This is the first time I have ever attempted to run this much and it went really well and my body surprisingly held up well. I was feeling a bit sluggish towards the end of day 6 but still managed to complete my goal. Here is how the week went.

2014 Jan 120km Week

2014 Jan 120km Week

Monday – 25kms

Monday was a fantastic sunny day, and it was such a contrast from Sunday where I managed a very wet 18km run. So I took advantage of the great sunny weather and headed out thinking I’ll do about 16kms but ended up doing an even paced 25km in 2hrs.

Monday Run Along the Bays

Monday Run Along the Bays with a dip in the sea at the end

Tuesday – Easy 10km

I was a little bit stiff on Tuesday so I did a very slow paced 60min run and completed 10kms followed by some easy stretching. Felt really good by the afternoon so I knew I was recovered well.

Wednesday – Moderate 12km plus Stairs and Speed = 22.5km

Managed to do a nice and easy but steady 12km run with a another 1km to cool down early morning. In the evening I was scheduled to go and run with the training group I am hosting as part of Wellington Running Meetup. I have been helping a group with their half marathon preparations for a few weeks and we all meet every Wednesday at 6:15. We did 3 x 360 stairs on one of the steepest paths in Wellington (on Maida Vale Road). After that we all did 2 x 1.5km laps at tempo speed. So a total of 22kms for Wednesday.

Wednesday Running Meetup Group

Wednesday Running Meetup Group

Thursday – 11km trails

I was surprised at how well my body was holding up given all the running till now. I decided to head to one of my favorite trails near where I live and did an easy 11km loop. This is Korokoro trail near Petone, its a gentle trail that runs along the stream and is one of the best trails near where I live.

Korokoro Stream Trail

Korokoro Stream Trail

Friday – 10kms

An easy run to loosen up and some stretching. I was felling a bit sluggish but managed to get in 10kms relatively easily.

Saturday 18km – Mt Climie (Long Hill)

This was a pretty hard one – Mt Climie is North East of Upper Hutt – with a total elevation gain of 850m from start to finish it is one of the best ‘hill’ runs of the area. The views from the top is pretty spectacular (on a good day). And as it was Saturday was a fantastic day with no wind and blue skies.

 

This run is also on Page 62 of Runners Guide to Wellington. I organised this run with the Running Meetup Group and there were 12 of us who went up Climie.

Mt Climie (aka Climbie)

Mt Climie (aka Climbie)

 Sunday – 23kms

My legs were a bit stiff after Saturday’s run but I still wanted to get in an even paced 2hr run. So I headed into town and went past the bays and did a nice circuit loop past Miramar for 23kms and bringing my week to a finish with 121kilometers!

120km done in 7days

120km done in 7days

A few things to note.. I didn’t randomly decide to run 120kms, I was building up gradually and over the last 3months I have done 90+ Km weeks and a few 100km weeks. This was the peak at week 8 of of a 16 week training cycle. This week I will keep my mileage at around 85km + range the gradually taper off to about 60km closer to the end of the cycle. I have mentioned previously about how I have built up distance over a period of time. The next 6-8 weeks my training will include some key speed sessions to get ready for my next half marathon on 23rd February.

What’s the most you have run in a week?

2013 running review

Since it’s end of the year I thought I will do a recap of my running adventures for 2013. I started my running blog in January 2013. If you didn’t read my first post have a read of “Just keep running“.

2013 was a good year for me in terms of my running. I managed to overcome some obstacles and achieve some of my running goals. So here is how my running numbers looked like for year 2013.

This year I have run a total of 3723km for the year averaging 310km per month. I have climbed 36105 meters during these runs. This is a steady increase compared to last two years of 2011 and 2012. It was 2011 when I started running so overall I have doubled my mileage over the years. The increase in mileage helped with some good personal best times over distances of 10km and half marathon (21.1k).

Yearly Stats 2013

Running numbers from 2011, 2012 and 2013. Distances in Kilometers.

With this steady increase I have been cautious about getting injured, to avoid this I have used the hard easy principal of training and incorporated a lot of strength and flexibility work in my schedules. I have also tried to run off road and vary the terrain that I do my running in. Here is a breakdown of each month – apart from a dip in June (First marathon) most months were 300kms plus.

2013 Monthly Totals

2013 Monthly Totals – distances in Kilometers.

At start of 2013 I had one goal for the year and that was to complete a marathon. I achieved this goal in June by running the Wellington Marathon. This was a significant milestone for me. Other highlights was running a personal best half marathon time in September. This was a positive sign that my training was paying off.

In October I finally managed to break the 20minute mark in my 5km time and achieve a PB time of 19:39. Since then I have run 5km races in: 19:41, 19:53, 19:59 so I am confident that in 2014 I can get this down to 19:20 or so, which will put me in good contention of chasing a faster half marathon time and possibly a fast marathon time.

I will update what my goals are for 2014 in my next post. Thanks for reading my blog. Happy new year and best of luck for achieving your own goals whatever they may be in the new year.

Abel Tasman – the run that didnt go to plan

I’ve been a bit quite for a while after the Abel Tasman Coastal Classic 40km trail run that was held on 28th September. Usually I am quick to update the blog after an event with how it all went. It was also supposed to be one of the key events for me this year. Anyways I was a bit disappointed with myself after this event however now that I’ve had some time to reflect on it I am glad that I was able to be part of the event.

After the Wellington Marathon this was the next big event for me and all the training I put in after July was targeted towards completing Abel Tasman coastal classic. In my mind I wanted to finish this in about 4hrs or 4hr30 mark, based on my training that I’d put in I knew that this was a realistic target. However things didn’t go according to plan and my net time was a rather slow/painful 5hrs 06minutes for the 40km course.

The event is one of the best in New Zealand’s trail running calendar and is run along the Abel Tasman Coastal Track – it’s a stunning track along the sea and bays. The event start is (in this year’s 20th Anniversary event) was from Totaranui ending in Marahau. Event day was fresh and sunny, all participants were transferred via boats to the race start. After everyone arrived at the start compulsory gear checks were done. It was a stunning day with no sign of rain but everyone had to carry water, wind jacket, polyprop and survival blanket as part of the race gear. After the race briefing we were off!

The first 5-8km was pretty good and I got into a good rhythm with a few others. At around 6kms is the first ‘obstacle’ where you have to cross the Awaroa estuary. Basically you get about waist deep in sea to cross the Awaroa inlet to get to the other side. There is no avoiding this so you get a nice soak in pretty cold sea water. Then you carry along the trail. I was doing pretty good and was on good pace upto around 15km when my left knee started bothering me and got considerably worse by each passing Km. From this point onwards it was pretty much a slow run/jog/walk which slowed me down considerably. I contemplated pulling out at the halfway point but decided that I wanted to finish it. Eventually I got used to the pain but due to the awkward style of stepping my ITB was hurting so it was pretty hard going in the last 10km or so. Despite all this I am glad I was part of this great event and finished the 40km run. Here are some photos from the day. There were a few of my friends from Wellington Running Meetup.

highres_290273842highres_290274942highres_290275332600_290278572highres_288921052600_290277732Next year’s event is 27th of September 2014 – go check out the event web site – http://www.nelsonevents.co.nz/content/abel-tasman-coastal-classic

September update and a Half marathon PB

Haven’t been able to update on what’s been happening so here is a bit of a recap on August and September. August was about maintaining a steady base with some good runs. Through a three week period I was able to maintain 3 weeks of 85+Kms per week. This was a pretty good period with some good hill runs and some speed work done at the local track with some of my buddies. This resulted in a personal best half marathon time of 1:32:06 on the 15th of September at the Pelorus Trust Half Marathon. Previous half marathon PB was 1:33:56 which I ran in February this year.

September Mileage - 3 weeks of 85+ Kms

September Mileage – 3 weeks of 85+ Kms

The Pelorus race course was not an easy course as it ran along some streets and over a railway bridge and on a side of the Hutt river trail out and  back. The back leg was exposed to a southerly head wind which slowed some of the runners including me. My run was pretty good with an average pace of about 4:20min per Kms. This is a pretty good indication that I can push for a sub 1:30 in the coming months and aim to run 4:15min splits.

Coming weekend (Saturday 28th September) is the 40km Abel Tasman coastal classic trail run which is a tough run with some undulating off road terrain in the Abel Tasman national park. My aim is to finish and take it easy through this run. There are a number of people from Wellington Running Meetup who is heading down for this so it will be a fun event. After the Abel Tasman my longer term aim is the 50th Rotorua Marathon in May 2014. I’ll post my training plan for the Rotorua marathon (my second) in the coming months. Since this is my second marathon my aim would be to run a personal best time. Based on my last (first marathon) effort I’m confident that I can aim for a reasonable time. Between now and then I will aim to do some half marathons to keep myself motivated.

In November this year (2013) I am planning to run the Tongariro Northern circuit with a local trail runner Julian Bee who is raising funds for CureKids by running all of the great walks of NZ. The Tongariro Circuit is about 43kms.

 

My favourite runs in Wellington

I’ve mentioned before that Wellington has so many options for running on and off road. Also if you haven’t got a copy of “Runners Guide to Wellington” you should! It’s got the best of the best running routes for Wellington. I’m going to share three of my favourite routes that are easily accessible from Wellington CBD.

Karori Trails

This one is not directly in the CBD but a short drive to Karori and you have access to some sweet trails that is part of the Makara peak mountain bike park.

1.KaroriTrails

The start of this run can be from anywhere in Karori. I usually start from near the Karori supermarket or the Post shop. Run towards Makara and turn left into Burrows Avenue to head into Wright’s hill reserve and follow the trails up to Wright’s hill this is your first climb. Then you pop out into Hazelwood Avenue and connect to the main Makara mountain bike park. Follow the trails all the way up to Makara peak and start dropping down towards Makara hill road connecting to the start of Skyline track. Then down to Karori park and back to start along Karori road. All about 18kms with some decent climbs and sweet trails.

1.ElevationProfile

Tinakori > Wadestown > Aro Loop

This one’s easily done from CBD and I usually start from under the sails in Queens wharf or from Ferg’s when meeting with others for the run. A mix of road and trails with a hill.

2.TinakoriPolhillLoop

Head towards Thorndon from the CBD taking Hill Street past the Beehive and onto Tinakori road. Tinakori hill is pretty easy to spot and it’s a mean climb to the top. Once you get to the top follow the Northern walkway towards Wadestown and start climbing down via Weld Street. Follow Wadestown road to Blackbridge road and connect to Otari Wilton’s lower car park. You can either stick to the road or take the lower trails of Wilton’s bush and connect back to Curtis Street via Old Karori road and take Chaytor street to Zealandia. Follow the Zealandia fenceline (on the outside) towards George Denton Park and head down via Polhill (Aro) back to town. Roughly about 18kms.

2.EP

Thorndon > Wadestown > Northland > Kelburn > Aro Easy Loop

This one’s all road and is a great option when it’s howling a northerly or southerly on the waterfront and you want to get in a decent run. Again starting from the CBD head towards Wadestown via Mulgrave street onto Aitken, Hill street and then right onto Tinakori road and connect to Grant, Barnard which turn to Lennel and onto Wadestown and follow the road all the way to Wilton road, past Wilton’s Bush connecting to Curtis street. Take Upland road to Kelburn and here you can choose to cut back down to CBD or continue on to Aro valley via Plunket street, Raroa road and onto Aro street. Back to CBD from any route you choose. An easy 14kms all up. You can do this loop the other way as well.

3.WadestownKelburnAro

There are so many more options in Wellington and I always try and change my routes to keep it interesting, what are some of your favourite runs?