Week 8 sees me exactly half way through my training plan. It was a good week where I managed to compete all of my runs and run the best part of 85km. I had been worried about not have done a serious long run but I got that out of the way on Sunday.
The week got off well with a 1100m swim on Monday night. I have been enjoying swimming over the past three weeks and each time I manage to add a little bit more to the distance. At some point I might be able to make it up to 2km.
Tuesday was a National Holiday in Japan so I took advantage of it to go and do my Fartlek workout in the morning. It was a lovely day with the sun shinning but not too warm. I was a little bit cautious of doing all 15 intervals as I tend to tire after 6 or 7. However, this time I managed to keep on going and there was not a great different in distance ran over the 1 min interval between the second and the last. The first one was a bit faster but that is to be expected when you are a little bit fresher. As the lactate acid starts to build up, it is harder and harder to turn the legs over.
Wednesday was track night and this week, as it was the last Wednesday of the month, was to be a 5000m Time Trial. I had been secretly looking forward to it as I had been getting better at the weekly intervals and truth be told, I was expecting a good time. Unfortunately it was not to be. Beforehand I synced up with Michael and we decided to try and pace each other at each 1km with me going first. The plan was to run at 3:50 km/min pace which if we stuck to it would leave us with a 19:10 5km. Michael kept to the pace very well finishing with 19:22 but I was in trouble from the second kilometre. I dispatched the first kilometre in 3:48 and then Michael went past me to lead for the second kilometre and that was the last I saw of him. I finished the second kilometre in 3:56 and shortly after that Bob came by me with an impatient look on his face. He had been right behind me and told me later that he was worried the the second kilometer was so slow. From then on it was a War of Attrition as I tried not to loose too much time, but once you go over 4 min/km the head tends to drop and it is hard to pick it up again. Anyway, I finished in 20:08 which was not terrible but also a good reminder to me that I still have a long way to go. I don’t know if it was the Progression Run on Sunday, the Fartlek on Tuesday or the few bottles of Craft Beer but I just did not have it in my legs. I met Bob afterwards and he admitted with a smile that he rested a bit on Tuesday. I had been taunting him the previous week that I beat him in every interval and he was now having his revenge. However, he who laughs last ….
It was the birthday of my younger daughter on Thursday so instead of running there was a birthday party with ice cream cake. On Friday my elder daughter was coming back to Japan from her 10 week home stay in New Zealand so I took the day of work to pick her up from Narita airport. That meant that I had time to do my Tempo Interval from Thursday in the morning before I left. The morning was hot which is never good for me and I was feeling thirsty from the start. I had gone back over the McMillan Training Paces with my time from the 5km on Wednesday night. Originally I had put in the times from the 1600m interval the previous week and it told me I should run the Tempo Intervals at 4:17 to 4:25 which I though was very doable. Now with the new information, McMillan was telling me to run them at 4:07 to 4:15, which would take me a considerably more effort. The plan was to jog to the river, run 3 intervals down and 2 intervals back and then jog the rest. I don’t know if it was the sunny weather, the ice cream birthday cake or the bottle of Chilean red wine, but I was toast after the second interval and decided to reduce the number to 4. I put on my best game face and made it back up the river to complete numbers 3 and 4 in slightly less time that I had run down. I then spotted a water tap and headed over to it to drink close to a gallon before getting up and doing interval number 5. I was pleased to complete all 5 intervals but, as you can see from the table above, I could not hold it within the expected timeframe.
Saturday saw us back down in Yokohama for my son’s soccer and my trail running. The plan called for 60 to 75 mins of running and I duly obliged by running along the trail for 37.5 mins and then running back to make it an even 14km. I felt good and made it up to the top of the first hill in 14:34 where it had taken me 15:15 last week. Of course the weather is getting better each week and I am carrying less stuff with me. This time I left my iPhone behind.
An interesting fact about my HRV was that it was 83 when I work up on Saturday morning. This was such an unusually high number for me (never seen before), I took a photo of it. It was green, as expected, so I was ready to run. I was still surprised at the number, so I looked at it again later and saw that while the number had not changed, the colour had gone from Green to Amber. I could not understand this so I put a question on the ithlete forum. They are very good at getting back to people so I will let you know when I get answer.
Sunday is Long Run day. My son had soccer again down in Yokohama but I did not want to do my long run on the trails as the pace would vary a lot. I also did not want to break it up into two segments as that, while some times necessary, kind of defeats the purpose of time on your feet. Therefore I waited until I got home and started off at just before noon when it was already 25 degrees Celsius. Fortunately, that is not the temperature that I will be running my marathon in in November but sometimes it is good to practice in a bit of heat. While I can write that now, I did not feel that way when I headed out the door and started plodding along in the mid-day sun. However, gradually I started to feel a little better but never great. There are many Schools of Thought as to at what pace you should run your Long Run. Philippe tells me that Daniels recommends your Marathon Pace + 10%. For me that would be 4:57 as I hope to run the marathon at 4:30 pace. On a cooler day I might have attempted that but I stuck to the tried and test Marathon Pace + 45 seconds that I read in the book Mastering The Marathon by Don Fink. McMillan is not that precise. He says to run at a pace slow enough to carry on a conversation. Since I was running by myself, that is pretty hard to judge. Anyway, although it was tough, the run itself was good and non-eventful. I had my first drink of water at 5km and again at 17km, 22km, 27km and 30km. In all I drank about three litres of water but I did not take any gels or sports drinks. This is good for me as they do tend to upset my stomach. I am not sure what I will do in the race itself. I had planned to juice some apples and mix them with honey but I had better try it out before the race.
Week 9 will be another tough week with a longer mid-week run, Yasso 800s and a 35km Long Run. I am not sure how I will fit all this in.