Ohtawara Marathon 2016 Base Training Week 3

Week 3 and I got back to 5 runs which is always my weekly target. There has been almost no change in my weight at all so drastic action must be looming. I keep threatening myself. I also did not manage to do any strength training. For the first 3 days of the week chest was still hurting from the 27kg bench presses that I had did on the previous Saturday so that really is the state I am in(Queue The Band). However, I did enjoy the week’s running and getting up to 76km. If I can run 31km in the next 2 days it will be a 300km month which is always a good achievement.

Week Total

  • Number of runs: 5
  • Distance: 76.6km
  • Time: 7 hours 40 minutes

Bob is not too impressed with my 5km split in the TELL 10km

Monday 23rd May

  • RHR : 47
  • HRV: 76
  • Weight: 85kg
  • Run: MAF
  • Distance: 14.4km
  • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 136
  • Average Cadence: 162

ithlete is telling me to go for it

I managed to get out of work at a reasonable time on Monday and with no real life commitments I was home and out the door again in 15 minutes. I was a little disappointed with the lack of MAF runs that I managed in Week 2 and I was determined to improve on it this week. I headed down the Tamagawa river as always but instead of turning around at Marukobashi and coming back, I kept going for another 1km to extend the run to 90 mins. I have decided that as well as keeping my heart rate within MAF on these runs, I need to work on my cadence as well which has always been terrible. It is very hard (for me anyway) to have a high cadence and a low heart rate but I think that it is important to work on this during this base training time and I will be boring you with lots of talk about this over the next 8 weeks.

Tuesday 24th May

  • RHR : 44
  • HRV: 71
  • Weight: 84.3kg

Bob Dlyan’s Latest Album “Fallen Angels”

When I woke up and saw my reduced Rest Heart Rate and Weight I thought that MAF had started to work and I was looking forward to my run that day. Unfortunately, Tuesday was Bob Dylan’s 75th birthday and I had planned to go out and celebrate with some friends. Well, I was going to celebrate. I am not sure about them. I have been a fan (and I use that word unashamedly) of Bob Dylan since my brother convinced me to go halves with him for Bringing It All Back Home during a scout trip to Edinburgh in July 1984. After that we went out and borrowed and bought every Dylan album there was and memorised every word. It is hard to believe that Dylan was still only 43 in July 1984. We looked on him as the grand old man of rock but he was 5 years younger than I am today. Since 1989, the year that I came to Japan, he has had a complete new career that has involved tours of up to a hundred shows a year. I was fortunate to see him in Dublin in the summer before I left and then again in Japan in 1994, 1997, 2001,2014 and 2016. The concert this year in Bunkamura in Shibuya on 4th April was outstanding and, as you can see below, I had a great seat overlooking the stage.


Overlooking the stage in Bunkamura for Bob Dylan 


Wednesday 25th May

  • RHR : 56
  • HRV: 58
  • Weight: 85kg
  • Run: MAF
  • Distance: 14.4km
  • Time: 1 hour 31 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 138
  • Average Cadence: 169

On Wednesday I would have liked to have gone to the Namban Workout and run the 5km but as I had to work a little late, I knew that I would not have made it in time. Also, as you can see from my RHR and HRV I may have celebrated Bob’s birthday a little too much. So after work, I went home and ran another MAF run while trying to concentrate on my cadence. This time I changed the Second Screen of my Garmin to show Cadence.  It was much harder than expected but I finally got into a rhythm of running 168 steps per minute and keeping my heart rate under 138. I ran the same course as Monday and for the most part kept the cadence and heart rate where they should be. However, in the last quarter of the run it got much harder and I really had to concentrate which tired me out a lot.

Thursday 26th May

  • RHR : 48
  • HRV: 67
  • Weight: 84.7kg
  • Run: Aerobic
  • Distance: 10.6km
  • Time: 57 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 155
  • Average Cadence: 164

Thursday night Rainbow Bridge Crew

Thursday night is the night for our Rainbow Bridge run. Each week we continue to have new people join us and rarely the same people join 2 weeks in a row except for Bob, Hemant and myself. Although this far from a MAF Run, I enjoy it immensely as it starts so close to work and the view from and of the Rainbow Bridge is amazing each time. I am still considering to run this regularly over the summer but I need to come up with a better solution for after the run. Generally we go for dinner but that means that I end up getting home around midnight and not getting my beauty sleep and I see an impact on my performance the following day.

Friday 27th May

  • RHR : 54
  • HRV: 61
  • Weight: 84.5kg

ithlete is telling me to take a break

Again my RHR and HRV took a beating as I got home late on Thursday. Anyway, I would not have been able to run as I had a real life event after work.

Saturday 28th May

  • RHR : 50
  • HRV: 70
  • Weight: 85.1kg
  • Run: Race
  • Distance: 10.km
  • Time: 44:58
  • Average Heart Rate: 172
  • Average Cadence: 176

TELL 10km at Furuichiba on the Tamagawa

My RHR and HRV had recovered a little but I was still tired on Saturday morning as I had gotten back late the night before. Saturday was the day of the Tokyo English Life Line (TELL) charity run. TELL is a great organisation who provide English language support for people needing help in Tokyo. I was very surprised to learn that half of the people who call TELL are Japanese which clearly indicates a lack of such a service in Japan.

The day was hot and humid but not sunny. Even still I covered myself in sunscreen before we got started. Last year I had managed to run this race, over the same course, in 41:53 and come in 6th. A result that I am very proud of. However, this year I am not in such good form and I did not expect to have a great race. My main goal was to get around in an even time and not drop out. In this regard I was successful. I completed the race in 44:58 and although this was 3 minutes slower than last year, I felt good that I had a little kick at the end and was able to pass out a man with 500m to go. I could not however, catch the lady who was in front of him and  she came in 20 or 30 seconds ahead of me. The rest of the Namban crew did very well and picked up lost of prizes in the men’s and women’s races.

Sunday 29th May

  • RHR : 51
  • HRV: 73
  • Weight: 84.7kg
  • Run: MAF
  • Distance: 25.7km
  • Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 141
  • Average Cadence:  167

Weir at Funabashi on the Tamagawa

Today I made it out for my long run and managed to increase the distance by 2km over last week. I am still trying to run at MAF and increase my cadence. I had hoped to get out early before it got hot but I had a real life event to deal with and it was 9:50 before I hit the street. It was already 25 degrees and fairly muggy. It was very hard to keep my heart rate low and my cadence high in the heat. Eventually, I let my heart rate drift a few beats over MAF but it was still hard to get my cadence over 170 and in the second half it was hard to get it over 165. This is what I hope my heart rate and cadence will look like for a MAF run in the future, but now I can only manage it running down hill.


Target Heart Rate and Cadence 









2 thoughts on “Ohtawara Marathon 2016 Base Training Week 3

  1. My 2 cents on cadence: work on it on a treadmill if you can because the regularity of your speed will help you to only focus on your cadence. It took me almost 3 moths to increase my cadence few years ago, and I then improved considerably my stroke to eliminate my knee problem.

    And do your push-ups, it’s the BEST strengthening, no gym, no membership, no gears, no excuses!

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