Week 5 Training Ohtawara Marathon 2016

This week was a tough week of training. I had several real life events that required my time and several hard workouts to do. At the end of it I am a little tired and glad that tomorrow is a rest day. I am also pleased that I completed the main workouts even if I could not make all the assigned paces all the time. Tokyo got hot and humid again and it was hard to run and each time I came back soaked. Especially on Saturday morning when a light rain turned into an all out thunder and lightening storm. I have been off coffee now for over a week. I am finding that I get a lot of reflux during the hard workouts and I am trying to try something to help me over come it. So far I have not had much trouble and it seems to have had some affect. At the very least I am getting better sleep.

Week Total

  • Number of runs: 5
  • Distance: 71km
  • Time: 7 hours 26 mins
Week 5

Week 5

Monday 15th August

  • RHR: 54
  • HRV: 70
  • Weight: 84.1

Monday was a rest day so I just came home and did my strength exercises. I was feeling tired after the long run on Sunday evening and my RHR and HRV were affected.

Tuesday 16th August

  • RHR: 45
  • HRV: 80
  • Weight: 85.4
  • Run: Easy
  • Distance: 8.3km
  • Time: 48 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 140
  • Average Cadence: 172


The rest did me well and when I work on Tuesday morning my RHR and HRV were back in the game. That evening I had a real life event so I got out early in the morning and did my 8km easy run. The Tamagawa was absolutely beautiful in the morning and as it was the middle of Obon, it was not too crowded.

Wednesday 17th August

  • RHR: 51
  • HRV: 75
  • Weight: 84.8


On Wednesday I had another real life event. I thought about getting up early and doing my Hard Intervals at 5am but I was not confident I would be able to muster up the required energy at that time of the day. I decided to postpone the hard work until Thursday evening and went back to sleep.

Thursday 18th August

  • RHR: 51
  • HRV: 74
  • Weight: 84.3
  • Run: Hard Intervals
  • Distance: 13.2km
  • Time: 1 hour 22 minutes

Thursday was the day to get serious this week. I don’t like to get to Thursday with only one run in bag but sometimes that is just the way the cards fall. This week’s workout  was quite intense and a little complicated:

800m @ 3:52 pace or faster (3:05 total time), jog back 400m in 3:00, then do another 800m in 3:05, jog back to the start with a rest time of 3:00 as well. Then on do another 800m in 3:05, rest for 30s and run 400m in 1:30 to 1:33 (3:45 ~ 3:52 pace). Do this twice.
I programmed it all into my watch the night before as I knew that I could never remember all of that. As I had done the previous 2 weeks, I changed in the sports club in Shibuya and jogged over to Gaien to do the interval. It is 3.5km each way and I am beginning to wonder if I should find somewhere closer to change as the jog back after a hard workout is quite tough.
The workout itself was very hard. The night was very humid even though the temperature was only 26 degrees. We have become used to running in hot weather over the summer but you never get used to the humidity. By the time I got to the second set I was really hurting and my pace had dropped a good bit as you can see here:
3:05/ 3:06/  3:07/ 1:32/ 3:17/ 3:11/ 3:18/ 1:35

I was totally soaked jogging back to the sports club and I was surprised that they let me in I was dripping so much. I had brought my swimming gear with me but I was too wrecked to swim and I just wanted to soak in the bath and head home.

Friday 19th August

  • RHR: 54
  • HRV: 66
  • Weight: 83.9
  • Run: Easy
  • Distance: 8.4km
  • Time: 51 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 136
  • Average Cadence: 168

Friday was an easy day in advance of the hard hill repeats on Saturday morning so after work we just headed off to the Minato Ku Sports Centre and ran 8km over the Rainbow bridge. It was a nice gentle run on a summer’s evening and I felt fine after it.

Saturday 20th August

  • RHR: 57
  • HRV: 65
  • Weight: 84.4
  • Run: Hill & Flat Repetitions
  • Distance: 13.1km
  • Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

At 8:45 on Saturday morning I found myself back at the sports club in Shibuya and then running back over to the Akasaka Palace in a light drizzle for hill repeats with a twist:

Isometric squat for 90s, all out effort for 60s up the hill, rest for 30s, and run for 60s @ 3:30 pace, jog back down, take all the time you need, it’s a full recovery -> that is 1 of 4 sets
Then jog to the gaien loop and do 2 x 400 in 1:25 or faster (3:30 pace), take full recovery
between the two reps.

It was very tough again. I started the first squat and then turned and sprinted up the hill. As I got near the top I noticed that there was somebody standing in my way holding an umbrella. He was just where I would finish if I really pushed myself at the end. I cursed him for blocking the path but as I reached him I realised that it was Harrisson. Out for the second week in a row, this time in ever increasing rain, to help me get the exercise right. His first words to me were “which rep is this?” I guess it was too wet for small talk. When I had caught my breath, I told him that I had just started and rushed off to do the 60 seconds on the flat.

I don’t think that I ever made 60 seconds at 3:30 pace after I ran the hill but I got closer and closer to the end of the road each time. I still had trouble keeping the isometric squat for 90 seconds and Harrisson advised to do them for 5 seconds at a time until I was able to get them right. It still was not easy and it was difficult to maintain pace on the hill and flat repetitions.

I had a little more success with the 400m at the Gaien loop completing the first one in 1:31 and the second one in 1:25. While we were at the Gaien loop the rain really came bucketing down and there was thunder and lightning. I really appreciate Harrisson coming out in it for the whole time and pushing me on.

When I got home I realised that I would soon need to order my new running shoes for Ohtawara. I messaged my Personal Adidas Advisor Marie, and asked for a recommendation and if she knew where I could get a discount. She recommended several models and we settled on the Adizero Takumi Sen which was on sale on the Adidas website.  I ordered the final size 29cm and they should arrive Wednesday. The trick now will be to break them in enough, but not too much, before the race. Merci, Marie!

Adizero Takumi Sen

Adizero Takumi Sen

Sunday 21st August

  • RHR: 52
  • HRV: 68
  • Weight: 84.5
  • Run: Long Run
  • Distance: 28.1km
  • Time: 2 hours 44 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 145
  • Average Cadence: 172


Sunday turned out to be a bright and beautiful day after the torrential downpour of Saturday. It was already 29 degrees when I started running at 8am and it just got hotter and hotter. Well at least that is the way it felt to me. I was running between Fireworks display sites. On Saturday night there was the Tamagawa Fireworks battle between Tokyo’s Setagaya Ku and Kawasaki’s Takatsu ku. As I reached the river, I could see that the cleanup was in full progress and I spent 2km dodging workman and volunteers with plastic bags cleaning up the rubbish. I have to say that I admire these people immensely.

When I got up to Chofu I came across the other Fireworks display area. Chofu Fireworks were due to take place on Sunday night and part of my normal route was closed. I was diverted down a nice leafy green street with plenty of shade and I made a note to come this way again if the heat becomes too much. I managed to complete the run at an easy pace but I could not keep myself in MAF. It was just too hot so I gave up trying and just ran easy.

That afternoon I went out for a 90 min cycle to Gasubashi with the boy. As luck would have it, we ran into Paddy with his son, also out for a cycle. We stopped to discuss the latest IOC scandal that the Irish had given the world before heading on our separate ways. It was a great finish to a great weekend.







6 thoughts on “Week 5 Training Ohtawara Marathon 2016

  1. Love it that Irishmen young and old wear Guinness shirts. (I assume that’s what the lad’s shirt is.) Oscar probably had one on, too.

  2. Are you sure that the Takumi sen are not too lightweight for you for a full marathon? I love my Takumi but only for short distances. Enough support for 84kg over 42km?

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