Sunday, 23 January 2011

Third week of Hanson

Up to fifty-four miles this week, which is not exactly enormous but does leave me nice and fresh and I feel I recover well from any quality sessions. Two quality sessions again this week beginning with the 5X1000m at 10K pace. For the first time ever I completed each of these intervals in under 06:00min/mi pace. What was especially pleasing about this was that I felt I could have pushed out another couple at the same pace.
Thursday's marathon paced run miles within eleven miles were 6:42, 6:45, 6:30, 6:39, 6:42, 6:37, 6:34; these were nice statistics but running at 06:30 rather than the previous week's run in the evening was definitely tougher, especially the first two miles and the average HR was consistently north of 162, still sustainable but not as good as the previous week's 159.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Second week of Hanson

This week was the second week of the Hanson training schedule and included fifty-two miles. The marathon paced run on Thursday had seven miles scheduled at projected marathon pace and I bookended them with two miles warm up and two miles warm downs. This workout went really well and I dipped down into the 06:30s for what felt like a marathon paced run. That the average heart rate for these seven miles was 159 supported this. This weekly run will be the primary indicator of progress or otherwise and this week was the first time I have even run 06:3X mile splits and feel I was running at marathon pace.
The 1,000 metre intervals on the Tuesday were tough but I did manage to maintain 10K or faster pace for each of them and the heart rate never exceeded a 166 average for each of these, indicating that perhaps I could have pushed a little harder. All in all a good start to the new training cycle. The lunaglides are due to pass 600 miles early next week and perhaps I need to replace them. They continue to feel responsive but the not insignificant DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscular Soreness) I experienced on Friday, especially in the adductors, indicate that they might be okay for slower runs but not for quality sessions.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

2010 review and look forward to 2011

The year just elapsed was a good one. I achieved my primary goal of a sub three hour marathon, although it looked touch and go for a while, especially after the tough day at the Cologne marathon. Also satisfying was the knowledge that I could complete two relatively fast marathons within five weeks of one another. However, the Cologne experience was humbling and made clear that I do not perform in any degree of heat, even as comparatively low as 21-23 degrees Celsius/72-76 degrees Fahrenheit.
The year also saw personal bests at all other distances raced. After breaking three hours at Dublin the other highlight of the year was running the Boston marathon. The whole experience was excellent and I would like the opportunity to do Boston again. It is not only a great race in itself but the course difficulty and the history make it extra special. However the debacle surrounding this year's entry might make this a challenge in itself beyond achieving the necessary qualifying time.
This year I used the Pfitzinger and Douglas up to seventy miles per week schedule for Boston, which I can certainly recommend. However, I found that the dearth of marathon paced miles and the emphasis on very short intervals to be something of a shortcoming. For Cologne/Dublin I effectively made my schedule up as I went along but significantly increased the number of marathon paced runs and lengthened speed intervals to at least 1000m repeats at 10K pace rather than the 3k-5k pace I was hitherto doing. I also ensured that every week contained a long slow run/long marathon paced run and a tempo/interval session, with the odd midweek progressive run up to sixteen miles in duration. Shorter recovery runs buttressed these quality sessions.
So for 2011 the primary goals are to better my marathon time and complete an ultra-marathon. However, my uncertain employment prospects and exact residency make it hard to commit to either, certainly in the first half of 2011. Consequently, my two goals might well have to wait until the second half of 2011. In the meantime I will need to hunt down some local shorter races; wherever local will be.