Ohtawara Marathon 2016 Base Training Week 6

Week 6 did not turn out to be as good as week 5. I quickly started to suffer the effects of Saturday’s trail run and could not run properly until Wednesday. Even at that, I was not able to go to the Namban intervals due to the pain in my quads and I just did another MAF run down the Tamagawa. I was not in great shape on Thursday and Friday and missed the morning runs that I had planned, but by Saturday I was starting to get things back together. Sunday would have been much better had Ireland beaten Belgium in Euro 2016 but some things are beyond my control and I have to be happy with a fairly acceptable week. The best part is that my weight was down 1kg on last Sunday and if I keep going like this I will complete over 300km this month.

Week Total

  • Number of runs: 4
  • Distance:  61km
  • Time:  6 hours 4 minutes

Monday 13th June

  • RHR : 46
  • HRV: 79
  • Weight: 84.3 kg

I got home from work and my quads felt like they were in shreds. I had no idea how I managed to run on Sunday morning but I knew that I would not be able to run on Monday. Still, I did some simple strength exercises. Nothing too strenuous but enough to make me feel that I was doing something.

Tuesday 14th June

  • RHR : 41
  • HRV:  77
  • Weight: 84.8 kg
  • Run: Recovery
  • Distance: 5.3km
  • Time: 32 mins
  • Average Heart Rate:  126
  • Average Cadence: 171

Tuesday I did not feel much better than Monday. My legs were in a terrible state. Even taking the stairs at work was an ordeal. However, I did want to go some active recovery so I went out for 5km easy recovery run when I got home from work. I was glad that I went and I was glad when it was over.

Wednesday 15th June

  • RHR : 45
  • HRV: 75
  • Weight: 84.1 kg
  • Run: MAF w/ 5 x 15 sec strides
  • Distance: 16.2km
  • Time:  1 hr  38 mins
  • Average Heart Rate:
  • Average Cadence:


My quads were still killing me on Wednesday morning and I knew that I would not be able to make the Namban Intervals that night. Instead I decided to head home and run my 90 min MAF route along the Tamagawa with some strides at the end. Unfortunately, I did not realise that Jon Morrell would have been at Namban in Yoyogi and I missed his last run in Japan for this summer. The highlight of my MAF run was nearly stepping on a snake. I have run along the Tamagawa hundreds of times over the last 7 years but never once seen a snake. However, on Wednesday night I noticed something that I initially though was some rubbish and I ran on. After a couple of seconds I thought, hang on that looks unusual, and turned around to have another look and take a photo. And as you can see, it was a snake and my runs along the Tamagawa will never be the same again.

Thursday 16th June

  • RHR : 42
  • HRV: 73
  • Weight: 83.4 kg


On Thursday I had plans to get up early and run as I had a real life event planned for that evening. Unfortunately I just was not feeling up to it. In the evening I went to a vegan restaurant in Jiyugaoka, “T’s Restaurant”, and had a wonderful feast. If only life could be like this everyday.

Friday 17th June

  • RHR : 54
  • HRV:  63
  • Weight: 83.1 kg


On Friday I had the day off work to go to Jeremy and Yukiko’s wedding. There was a wonderful ceremony in Osaki followed by a delightful reception in Shirogane Takanawa. They really made a lovely couple and I was very honoured to have been invited. Now that they live close to the Tamagawa, I hope that I can get Jeremy out for a few more runs. As if the day could not have gotten better, they had prepared a vegan menu for me which was simply delicious.


Saturday 18th June

  • RHR : 44
  • HRV: 82
  • Weight: 83.1 kg
  • Run: Aerobic with Paddy and Oscar
  • Distance: 22.5km
  • Time:  2 hrs  14 mins
  • Average Heart Rate: 140
  • Average Cadence: 169





I was surprised and delighted to see that my HRV had topped 8o and was at its highest in 2 months. It must have been the lovely wedding ceremony and good vegan food that I had the day before that but my mind at rest and allowed me to recover properly.


Not long after I got up I got a text from Paddy asking if I was on for a trot along the Tamagawa as himself and his 18 month old son Oscar were planning to head out soon. He knows me so well. Unfortunately, I do not know him so well. I think that we would meet somewhere on route, run a few km together and then go our separate ways. However, when we met under Marukobashi, Paddy nonchalantly told me that this was as far as he goes up the Tamagawa and he would be heading down to Tamagawa Ohashi. He said that that it should be no problem for someone planning to run the Ohtawara marathon so there was not a lot I could say.

The sun was high in the sky as the mercury headed for 30 degrees. We thought that we would give Jeremy a call but as it was his first day of his new life we decided to wait a week or so. Stopping frequently at water fountains along the way, we headed down on the Tokyo side to Tamagawa Ohashi talking about the good old days back in Dublin and the more recent days here in Japan. Oscar, in the baby car, was oblivious to it all and only got animated when we stopped for water. I said good bye to Paddy at Gasubashi as he headed for home with the parting words ringing in my ears “Jasus, I wouldn’t fancy running all the way up there”. I had little choice as I did not bring enough cab fare and headed it for home. I had a long siesta planned before heading out to see Ireland do battle with Belgium.

Sunday 19th June

  • RHR : 56
  • HRV: 69
  • Weight: 83.7 kg
  • Run: MAF w/ 5 x 15 sec strides
  • Distance: 16.9km
  • Time:  1 hr  40 mins
  • Average Heart Rate: 135
  • Average Cadence: 173


I had a bunch of real life events on Sunday morning (and a minor hangover after Ireland’s loss to Belgium in Euro 2016) so I did not get out and run. My HRV was down and my RHR was up. I think that both were directly related to how badly Ireland played. Getting over run in midfield is a common football expression but it is rare that you see a team as badly outplayed in international football as Ireland were by Belgium on Saturday night. After we beat Germany a few months ago, we thought that we had a chance to make a good show of this competition but all of our flaws were quickly exposed by a country that is not much bigger than ourselves.

As the day was overcast and not too hot, I headed out with Michael for a cycle around 3pm. There was a nice breeze blowing up the Tamagawa as we headed back down towards Gasubashi. It is interesting seeing the Tamagawa from a different perspective. I am always being passed by cyclist but I never stop to think of the world that they are seeing as they weave in and out of runners and pedestrians. Actually it is quite scary. You have to time your moves just right and not take any chances. More than once I was telling Michael to wait for the cyclist to pass.

When I got back home I had a quick turn around. Just enough time to sync my Garmin, change my gear and do the dishes. Then I was out the door to do my run. The temperature had dropped considerably and it was a nice summer’s evening as I headed up the Tamagawa in the other direction towards Noborito. This had not been a great week for running but I wanted to get over 60km and finished with a good run. As usual my focus was to keep my heart rate within MAF and try to keep my cadence at 175. As the weather was agreeable and there were not too many people about, I managed both objectives and even completed some strides towards the end.

Now to get things back on track for next week.


4 thoughts on “Ohtawara Marathon 2016 Base Training Week 6

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