Week 14 was another good week. I ran 5 times, got over 90km and did 3 quality workouts. As I said last week, I feel that my times are coming together. I just wish that I had a bit more time before Dublin.
8km Zone 2
I was still feeling fresh after work on Monday and went out for a 8km run in Zone 2. What is the difference between Zone 2 and MAF I hear you ask. MAF is 180 – your age in beats per minute. That would be 133 for me but I add on an extra 5 beats because I have been running fairly regularly without any serious injury for a number of years (touch wood). Zone 2, and other zones are determined based on % of Heart Rate Reserve (Max HR – Resting Heart Rate) and for me would be between 135 and 151 (60% ~ 70%). However I try to run at about 144 as it generally feels right if I am not too stressed.
15km MAF Run
Tuesday I managed to get out for a 90 minute MAF run along the Tamagawa. It had been a long time since I had run so much on a school night and it felt good. My average pace was 5:33/km which is pretty good for me as my heart rate remained around 135.
Namban Rengo Track 5km Time Trial
Wednesday night, being the last Wednesday of the month, was the 5km Time Trial at Oda Field. It was also the last run for Philippe who has now left Japan for greener shores. Whether it was because it was Philippe’s last night, Paddy’s long awaited return to the track or the fact that the evening weather was again bearable is unclear, but there was a massive turn out at the track. Namban brought 82 people and we were only one of the many clubs there that night. We had so many people that Bob, our leader, split us into 3 groups to avoid trouble. Unfortunately his plan did not work and Bob no. 2 fell as the first group started. We found out the next day that he had broken his collarbone. We all wish him a speedy recovery as he has made a lot of progress this year and has been knocking out PDs on a weekly basis.
I am not sure if it was the shock of seeing somebody fall that put me off but suddenly my legs felt heavy and I could not stay with the pace. I told Jenene who was planning on running a 20 minute 5km with me to go ahead as I did not think that I was going to make it. It seemed to have been a self-fullfiling prophesy as I went through the first 2 kms in 4:03 each. I started to feel better in the third km and completed it in 4:01 before catching back up with Philippe who was literally taking it easy and enjoying his last run at Oda Field. I ran the fourth km in 3:57 before I caught Jenene and then pushed on to run the last one in 3:54 for a 19:59 5km. I felt that it was a good effort and was happy with it.
It is not often that I take my first Rest Day of the week on Thursday, but that was the case this week. It was good that I did as ithlete Pro was telling me that my system was stressed and that I was to rest. I have noticed of late that I am far more stressed the day after a track work out of 20 ~ 35 minutes than I am after a 3 hour long run. I am taking this to mean that I am far more suited to long endurance runs than short intensive stuff. I hope that Greg McMillan is proud of me.
20km Tempo Run with 14.2km at 4:21/km average pace
With my HRV back in the eighties this was probably the best run of this training program. I had hoped to run at 4:16 pace but I was too tired after work and I was very happy that I was able to maintain the 4:21/km pace all the way up from KitaMiKata to Noborito and back. It took just over an hour and it my longest tempo run to date. All the way up the river I had the wind at my back and I was worried that when I turned around that I would see a serious drop off in pace. This was not to be the case and I managed to keep the pace in the same range. Afterwards I began to feel that I might have a chance at running 4:30/km in Dublin.
Another good HRV score after a tough workout and I was planning to do a 15km MAF run to try and bring my weekly distance over 100km. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed. I went out to see a school for my son in the morning and when I go back took a two hour nap. When I woke up I could feel my legs drained and decided that the best thing to do was to rest and give it my best shot on Sunday.
Coach Stan had commented on Strava that I should do a 35km easy run on Sunday and I replied, half jokingly, “What? No fast finish?”. He said that if I could maintain 5 min pace for 2 hours I could then try to then increase the pace up to 4:30. I took it as challenge.
35.5km Fast Finish Long Run ( WU / 2 hrs @ 4:52 avg pace / 3km @ 4:29 avg pace / CD)
I reset my alarm 2 times before I finally got out of bed at 6:30am. I knew that the temperature was going to get hot from 9am but I had not slept well worrying about England being knocked out of the Rugby World Cup (the first host country to go home during the Pool Stages – so to speak), so I was trying to catch up as much sleep as I could. I got out the door at 7:15am for my 5th consecutive weekend Long Run while it was still cool but there was hardly a could in the sky and this was surely a sign of things to come.
I ran down to the Tamagawa gently as I have done a thousand times before and once I got there I pressed my Lap Button and upped the pace to 5:00/km and wished for the best. As I was trying for consistency I decided to do the out and back course to Chofu and not cross the Tamagawa at Inagi as I had done the previous 4 weekends. The Inagi route is very interesting but there is a fair bit of rough ground where it is hard to maintain the even pace that I wanted and every time I run it I think of the time when I took Harrisson there last year and he cursed me from start to finish.
Although my legs were tired and a little drained, I quickly fell into a rhythm counting my steps and running without too much stress. I seemed to have no pain in shoulder for the first time in weeks. There were lots of people out on the Tamagawa, including football teams going for their morning runs, several local races it and hundreds of cyclists weaving in and out of the runners and walkers. I made it up to the 17.5km turn around point without stopping and only broke for my first drink at 19km. I was them running into the sun and I could feel the heat all over me. After stopping I quickly got back on pace and made it all the way down to the next drinks machine at 25.5km where I needed to buy 2 drinks I was so hot. One I consumed on the spot and the other I brought with me. When I got to 27.5km the clock had just rolled over 2 hours since I had pressed my Lap Button at KitaMiKata and I pressed it again and upped the pace to 4:30km. It was tough. I ran as hard as I could but I could not get the pace much faster than 4:30km. The initial plan was to run back to KitaMiKata at this pace, which would have been about 5km, but it was just too much and I stopped at Futako to fill my water bottle and then ran home at an even pace of 5:17.
The overall pace of the run was 4:58 which is very good for me for a Long Run. I am now confident that I can run under 5:30 in Dublin, which would be 5:00 pace, but I need to challenge myself to run under 3:20 and maybe even get close to 3:10.