Although I only ran three times this week, I feel it was my best week so far in my training schedule. I hit all the targets that I set myself and while I started the week feeling very sluggish I bounced back by the end of it and feel much better.
While I was happy to see my HRV at 83 when I woke up, I was rather shocked to see that my resting heart rate was in the sixties, about 20 beats higher than what I would want to see. ithlete Pro was telling me that my system was unusually activated and while I agreed, I could not think why. I did ask the wife to change her alarm sound to something more gentle so it is not shocking me in my sleep. From the weekend, two typhoons were headed for Japan and I feel the accompanying low pressure was making me feel more lethargic than usual and I added a couple of rest days to help me recovery. Anyway, Monday was a planned rest day so I though nothing more about it.
While it is not unusual to see your HRV drop after a rest day as it can be affected my many different things such as stress and sleep, I have to say I was a little disappointed. I had not planned to make Tuesday a rest day but when I got home from work I was not feeling up to running so I decided to rest instead.
Ok, the photo on the right is not anywhere near me, but it is not a million miles away either. It was taken in Ibaraki ken which is about 150km to the east. The typhoon that hit on Wednesday was one of the harder ones and the Tamagawa river, which I run along several times each week, was well flooded. I did not see it, however. I was still feeling a bit sluggish so I decided to rest again even before I saw the rain and the wind beating down outside my window at work. I guess I could have run if I really felt like it. Namibian Rengo met per usual at Oda Field and got a fair turn out considering the weather, but I felt it was too much of a risk. It is too easy to be blown into the middle of the road or slip down the river bank, so another rest day was in order.
Tempo Intervals 5 x 2,000m @ 4:11/4:10/4:12/4:11/4:11
Although I had been enjoying my rest days and my HRV was continuing its downward trend, I knew that I had to get out and do something before I stopped altogether. So when I got home from work I forced myself down to the Tamagawa river to do the tempo intervals, which is probably the hardest training event for me. I generally have to play tricks on my mind in order to get through all the intervals because they are so hard. I normally tell myself that I will just do one or two or that the next is the last one and I will call it a day. Eventually I get through them.
I try to run the intervals between 4:06 and 4:12 per km as recommended by Greg McMillan for my marathon target time, and while I can start each interval OK, I am generally hanging on at the end. The last time I tried this was 3 weeks ago in Yoyogi Park. It was a hot and humid night and I only managed one interval in the target range and the last interval was run at a 4:28/km pace. This time I benefitted from the extra rest and the cooler weather and managed to run all the intervals as planned. Although it was a late start to the week, it certainly was a good one.
Friday I had an appointment after work and took my 4th rest day of the week and hopefully I will not have to take that many again until December.
Tempo Run 19km with 28:30 at 4:14/km average pace
Saturday we woke with a jolt, quite literally, as there was an earthquake in Tokyo at 5:49am. It occurred in Tokyo Bay so although the seismic intensity was just 4, it felt like it was close. Fortunately we were all safe and nothing was damaged so after waiting for a couple of hours to check for aftershocks, I headed out for my run. This is the Tempo Run that I am trying to gradually build but to 40 minutes at 4:06 to 4:16 /km pace. The first time I tried it on a hot day in mid August, I could only maintain the pace for 20 mins. When I tried again last week I could manage 25 mins so I was trying to increase on that again.
The weather had gotten a little cooler and I think that I benefitted from a light breeze at my back as I headed up the Tamagawa towards Noborito. It was tough again but I managed to make it all the way up within the target pace in a time of 28:30. The plan for next week is to push on further up the river and get to Fuda which will bring me close to 40 mins.
34.4km Fast Finish Long Run w/ 32:12 (7km) @avg 4:36 pace
This really is the key workout for me to get to marathon fitness. My plan is to run it on five consecutive Sundays before I start to taper on the fifth of October and increase the time at marathon pace each week. Today was the second session. I had been chatting with Steve from Namban and he suggested that my MAF heart rate of 138 was probably too low to prepare for running a marathon. He suggested to increase it to 144 and I might get more out of my Long Runs. So last week I logged into Garmin Connect and changed my Zone 2 from 128~138 to 134~144. However, for some reason, I forgot to hit Send To Device and I ended up doing last week’s run at my MAF heart rate. Fortunately yesterday I remembered this and went back into Garmin Connect and hit send, so I was more than a little disappointed when I hit the lap button after the warm up and I was in Zone 2 within seconds. The settings had not changed again.
This time I realised that there was nothing to do but to run the next 23km with my Garmin beeping every 20 seconds to remind me that I was outside the “Desired Zone”. Actually it was not that bad and I quickly got used to it. The day started very sunny but as I crossed the Tamagawa at Futako the clouds rolled over and I started not to worry about how much fluid I would need to take on. I had a quick stop at a water fountain at 5km and did not need to drink again until 18km when I stopped at a vending machine to but my first bottle of water. I felt good running up the Tamagawa on the Tokyo side at about a 5:40 pace, which was about 30 seconds faster than I had run the previous week. I saw the ladies from Namban again, flying past me the opposite the direction. They really are a source of inspiration and each week I see them I want to push on faster.
When I got to the 24km mark near Noborito I finished my second bottle of water and hit the lap button again and started the fast finish portion of the run. Immediately I felt much better than last week when I was struggling to get the time below the upper limit of 4:40. This time I quickly passed the lower limit of 4:25 and had to adjust my pace to bring it back in again. Eventually I settled on a pace between 4:30 and 4:36. My plan was to make it all the way down to Kitamikata, about 7km, without stopping but I couldn’t keep it going without a drink so I stopped at the water fountain at Futakoshinchi for a quick drink before continuing on at 4:36 pace. Even with the water stop I was happy with the run and I have something to improve upon again next week,