Ohtawara Marathon 2016 Base Training Week 4

Week 4 turned out quite well. Although I did not get in any high mileage, I did run 6 times in 5 days and my weight showed signs that it is ready to drop. I also started to eat better and that can only be a good thing. I ended up doing a lot more intensity that I really should be doing in a base building phase but it was all good and I should be back to long runs next week. Other good signs are that my HRV has started to increase while my Resting Heart Rate is gradually coming down.

Week Total

  • Number of runs: 6
  • Distance: 68 km
  • Time:  6 hours 26 minutes

Monday 30th May

  • RHR: 48
  • HRV: 79
  • Weight: 84kg

I had planned to go for a MAF run this evening, but when I got home I was just too tired after the weekend and I hit the hay early with hopes a morning run in my dreams.

Tuesday 31st May

  • RHR : 43
  • HRV: 72
  • Weight: 84.5kg

① Morning Run

  • Run: MAF
  • Distance: 8.9km
  • Time: 55 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: NA
  • Average Cadence: 175

Tuesday morning was the first morning this year I managed to get up and run. I had done it a few times last year but was finding it very difficult this year. Many times I had set my alarm for 5:30 only to wake up and reset it for 6:25. This time I woke before the alarm, which is really nice, and although I tried to get back to sleep, I had to accept the fact that I was awake and I might as well make use of the time. I managed to start running at 6am. The original plan was to do a couple of laps of my neighbourhood, but as it was a beautiful morning I decided that it would  be a waste not to see the river and I headed over to the Tamagawa river and I enjoyed the morning with all the early birds.

② Evening Run

  • Run: MAF
  • Distance: 14.9km
  • Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 135
  • Average Cadence: 174

I still had some time available to me when I got home and went out for my first double in a long time. I felt good concentrating on my cadence and my heart rate and for the most part I managed to keep both within the target range. I got down to Marukobashi faster than before and extended the run by another 5 minutes so I almost made it to 15km by the time I got back home. Not a bad day’s work at all.

Wednesday 1st June

  • RHR : 47
  • HRV: 67
  • Weight: 83.2kg
  • Run: Intervals
  • Distance: 6 x 1000m
  • Time: 3:50/ 3:53/ 3:52/ 3:57/ 4:01/ 4:06
  • Average Heart Rate: 176
  • Average Cadence: 189

On Wednesday I got out to the Namban Interval training for the first time in 2 months. It was hell. As I mentioned before, we are running in Yoyogi Park as Oda Field is closed. I have always enjoyed the interval training but when you are away for a while, it becomes very difficult to return. I managed to stay with the A Team but I was further and further off the back as the intervals progressed. My target should be to run all 1000m intervals under 3:50 and maybe one or two under 3:40. This time they were all over 3:50 and two were over 4:00. Still, it was good to be back and it gives me something to aim for during the summer.

Thursday 2nd June

  • RHR : 51
  • HRV: 75
  • Weight: 84.2kg

Thursday was a rest day. It was was not always going to be one, but when I got home from work I knew that I needed to rest and took it easy.

Friday 1st June


  • RHR : 51
  • HRV: 71
  • Weight: 85.2kg
  • Run: Aerobic
  • Distance: 8.6km
  • Time: 47 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 176
  • Average Cadence: 165


Friday night was Rainbow Bridge night. This was the 6th Rainbow Bridge run of this year and again we got 9 people out for it. We took it easy running over to the bridge and then belted it over to Odaiba and then took it easy again. Later Garmin told me that I had run 1km in 3:11 but I decided not to take it as a record as I was going down hill with the wind behind me. As we took it easy when not on the bridge we cut the run a little short and belted back over to Shibaura. I am really enjoying this run. Bob J is a regular member but every week we have different people. This time we were back in Devil Craft in Hamatsucho for our post run refreshments. Their veggie pizza is the best.


Devil Craft Hamamatsucho

Saturday 4th June


The road less travelled

  • RHR : 53
  • HRV: 68
  • Weight: 85kg
  • Run: MAF
  • Distance: 16.6km
  • Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 135
  • Average Cadence: 175


I know a 10 mile run might not be the best thing to do the day before a 10km race, but I decided that the goal was the Ohtawara marathon. I went out and ran 16km in the morning sun and did not take any fluids until the 14km mark. I felt good and I kept my heart rate and cadence where I wanted them.When I got home, instead of going out to have lunch, I made myself a large smoothie with beets, orange, grapefruit and a banana. It was great and I felt all healthy. Then for dinner I went out and bought all the ingredient to make my own tomato pasta sauce. I was feeling very righteous indeed, apart from the bag of chips I ate and the 4 beers I drank.


Sunday 5th June

  • RHR : 43
  • HRV: 81
  • Weight: 84.6kg
  • Run: Race
  • Distance: 10km
  • Time:  44:38
  • Average Heart Rate: 169
  • Average Cadence: 183


Sunday was the Munatsuki 10km race. My friend from the UK, Jon Morrell, was over and we planned to run this race together with some of the Namban Rengo crew. I was very pleased to wake up in the morning to find that the rain had started and it was fairly cool. 2 years ago it was 30 degrees and sunny when we ran this race and I had to drop out the marathon after 10km. This time it promised to be a lot more civilised. The rain did stop and the sun came out a little before the start of the race but the temperature never rose above 21 degrees. At the Munatsuki event there are 3 races: a full marathon that starts at 9:30, a half marathon that starts at 9:45 and the 10km that starts at 10am. By the time the half marathon had started, there were not a lot of people left at the start and we realised that there field for the 10km would be quite small. In actual fact, there were just 71 men.

We started running in the direction that the full and half had started and quickly turned around after less than 500m and started running up the Arakawa river. Derek from Namban Rengo took off like a shot and I only recognized him by the colour of his compression socks for the rest of the race, when he was not passing me. I had thought that I would stay with Jon but it was soon clear  that he was rested and took off like a gazelle. I was left to battle on my own as several other runners passed me. I soon realised that my time was not dropping and I was keeping a steady pace. I gradually started to reel in some of the people who had passed me. When I got to the turn-around I saw Jon coming towards me in the opposite direction. He yelled 45 seconds at me. I was not sure if it was a threat or a challenge. Either way, I was not up to it. I turned around the Large Cone in the middle of the road and immediately saw Rieko. I was shocked. I had started beside her but had no idea that she was so close to me. I had spoken to her  husband Mike before the race and he told me that she had a great kick and that I would never beat her in a 50m sprint. I was worried.

Jon was still well off in the distance and Derek was a distance memory. At each water table I could see Jon stop and fill himself up with water and then move on. I thought that there was a chance to catch him if he was suffering but he was not getting any closer. I saw Bob and Chiba san as we passed each other every time but the real battle was between Reiko and myself. I could gradually hear her approach. I tried to hold her off and make her go on the outside. For a while it worked but at 7.5km she seemed to find an extra gear and came past me. I knew I could not keep up with her. I let her go. As Reiko gradually put distance in between us I concentrated on  keeping my pace even and drinking as much as I could. And then I noticed that I was getting close to her again. There was less than 2km left in the race and I was definitely getting nearer. With 1km to go I had caught up to her. I thought that I would sit in tight and make my move with 500m to go but Reiko’s pace had dropped and I thought that I had a chance to go past.

I passed her on the right and kicked as hard as I could so that she could not draft and stay on my tail. It was very tough. Every few seconds I looked behind to see how close she was. Too close for comfort was the reply. I focused on a new landmark every 200 meters or so and tried to get to it as soon as I could. Finally the end point came into view and I crossed the line in 44:38, 20 seconds faster than I ran last week and over 4 minutes off my PB. Jon was waiting at the finish for me to finish with relieve all over his face. Afterwards, Jon had arranged a sento with food where we were able to relax and talk about times gone by. It was a great day and one worth remembering.


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