As this was Silver Week in Japan, and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were National Holidays, I had a chance to catch up with my mileage. I am happy that I was able to take full advantage of it and ran my furthest in one week since I started this training programme at the end of June. On top of the distance, I also managed 2 good quality runs. A Tempo Run for 40 minutes on Wednesday and a Long Run on Saturday with 16km at marathon pace. I feel my training is coming right just about now. The only question is, is it too late to make a difference?
15km MAF Run
I was a little surprised to see my HRV reach 80 the morning after my long run. I saw a similar result 2 weeks previous and I am taking it that I can recover faster from a Long Run that Intervals which, if I do them right, will nearly always result in a dip in HRV. I had hoped to get up early and out the door before the sun was high in the sky, but again it was not to be. I finally managed to get up some time after 7am and I was running by 8:30am when it was already 22 degrees. I ran down to meet the Tamagawa at KitaMikata mainly in the shade but when I got up on the embankment I was in the full glare of the Sun. Today, was mainly about getting through the workout without too much effort and be able to run again on Tuesday when I had 24km planned. I ran up to Futakobashi and then cut down to the trail and doubled back down to Marukobashi before heading back up to KitaMitakata. It was a nice MAF run with my average Heart Rate at 135 and my max only went to 146. The pace was a steady 5:50 /km. I did not feel too bad despite having run 34km on the Sunday.
24km Easy Run
Again I could not get out of bed in time to run before it got hot so I found myself walking out the door just before 9am when it was already 22 degrees C. My route was similar to Monday but when I got to Marukobashi I continued down the river for another 5km until I reached Dai 2 Keihin and then I turned around and ran back along the embankment. I was not trying to run MAF but I wanted to keep my heart rate around 145. This was not too difficult to do but I found the going hard enough. I don’t know if it was the conditions or the fact that I was running my 4th consecutive day, but it was a challenge. My average heart rate worked out at 141 with a max of 150 at an average pace of 5:29. Not a bad return for a Tuesday morning.
15km Tempo Run with 40 mins at 4:17/km average pace
Today saw me get another red mark on ithlete Pro. I had been up late the night before and had not slept well so my heart rate was out of range. I somehow managed to wake before my 6am alarm and decided to give the Tempo Run that Coach Stan had recommended a try as I might not get the chance again for a while. It felt cool when I left the house at 7am in my race gear but in actual fact it was already 21 degrees. I jogged down to the Tamagawa counting my steps to try and gain some concentration. I was feeling heavy but wanted to at least try to get up to Tempo pace. McMillan has recommended for me to run tempo at 4:06 ~ 4:16. Normally I start at 4:00 and drop down to 4:16 and try to hang on until the end. Today, I started at 4:16 and fairly soon dropped down to 4:18 and then 4:21. The Tamagawa was full of people out walking, running and cycling and I found the going tough in the early morning sun. Eventually I found my pace and when I turned around at 20 mins, I was gradually able to increase it to 4:19 and then finish at 4:17. I was very pleased to me able to run the full 40 minutes, even if the average time was a little below what I had wanted.
I had always planned to take a rest on Thursday but my HRV reading made it very clear that I needed to. I don’t usually get 2 red points in a row and this was a wake up call. I put it down to over-reaching during Silver Week and that a rest would see me right. Over reaching is not necessarily a bad thing but when you notice the dial pointing down for 2 days in a row it is time to take a rest and concentrate on recovery.
It was with much relief that I woke up to find that my HRV had rebounded to 78 and I was in the green again. As I had a birthday party that night I did not go running but I looked forward to Saturday and my Long Run.
34km Long Run with 16km at Marathon Pace
Maybe I had too much cake on Friday night but my HRV had dropped a little on Saturday morning. It was however in the green so I was still on for my long run. Normally I do my Long Run on Sunday mornings, but this week I had to go look at schools on both Saturday morning and Sunday morning with the boy, so I had to start my Long Run at 4pm on Saturday afternoon. It worked out well as I was able to take a 2 hour nap beforehand and the temperature had started to drop by the time I got out the door. Coach Stan’s plan was to warm up for 8km and do the next 16km at marathon pace of between 4:25 and 4:35 min/km. This week I was able to sustain the pace for the full 16km unlike the previous week when I had started in the morning. However, I did have to stop for drinks on 2 occasions during the 16km stretch. I don’t feel too bad about that as there will be 11 places to take on fluids during the Dublin Marathon and if I plan them well, I should not have any bother. I was very pleased to complete this run as a week ago I thought that it was well beyond me and that my goal was totally unrealistic. I now think that it might be within reach and if I prepare correctly, I just might do it. I also completed the course 3 and a half minutes faster than the previous week although I am still 8 minutes off my record for it. I now have one more week to get this totally right.
6km Recovery Run
I was short on time today so I only managed a 6km recovery run. However, I think that even if I had more time I might not have run much further. My legs were heavy and I was just happy to go through the motions and complete my 5th run of the week. I call this a recovery run because my heart rate stayed below MAF averaging at 124 bpm and only peaking at 130. Now I have 4 weeks left before the Dublin Marathon and 3 weeks before I fly out. Next weekend will be my 5th consecutive and final Long Run. After that I will concentrate on tapering, or peaking as some people like to call it.