Saturday 21 September 2013

Training Week in Review 21st September 2013

Spring is well and truely in the air now in Melbourne. We're in the penultimate round of the AFL finals series, the spring racing carnival is about to begin and the Melbourne Marathon is only a few weeks away. By now most runners would be beginning or about to begin their taper but I'm still increasing my long distance runs due to my injury interrupted lead up.

My week didn't start all that well with my long run last Sunday. I left home at about 10am by which time the Sun was bearing down on me strongly in the warm spring air. My target was 26km along the Merri Creek trail but by 16km I was already starting to struggle. I was on a two gel strategy and was carrying 600mL of Dektro sports drink so I was covered in terms of nutrition. However my body was not used to the warmth with the temperature reaching the low 20's and I was struggling to stay cool and to keep my heart rate down.

I ended up having to stop a number of times just to cool down. In the end it took me just under 2.5 hours to complete 25km, a very lethargic performance by my standards! On the bright side, I at least completed the distance injury free and without too much soreness.

Another problem I encountered on the Sunday was the brightness of the sunlight as it reflected off the pavement and houses. I use a Nike running visor to keep the Sun and sweat off my face but it doesn't protect my eyes from indirect sunlight. I think my next purchase is going to be some sunnies!

Monday was a well earned rest day and then Tuesday I headed to the park during my lunch hour at work to do some core and leg strengthening exercises. I also performed some training drills like butt kicks, knee high sprints and carioca to help continue my form change from an over striding heal striker to a mid foot striker.

Wednesday was another rest day and then Thursday it was time for round 3 of the Corporate Challenge Cup which meant a time trial of the Tan with some workmates. After a solid few weeks back in training and a mild overcast day, I was confident that I could pull out a PB. The start line is always at the digital timing clock by the pillars of wisdom on the Alexandre Avenue end of the track from where we run the track clockwise for a full lap of about 3.8km.

Coburg Harriers Half Marathon 2013 Run Map
My Tan time trial as tracked by Runtastic Pro.

We warm up with a 1.5km run from our office to the start line. Normally my strategy on the run is to not go out too hard and then turn on the speed from about the half way point as I run downhill past the Shrine of Remembrance. On Thursday I decided to go out hard and then try to keep my pace as high as possible for the duration of the lap. My time splits below show just how hard I went out and obviously I couldn't keep it up for too long. It was the first time I have ever managed a sub 4 minute time split!

Coburg Harriers Half Marathon 2013 Run Map
My Tan time trial splits as tracked by Runtastic Pro.

By halfway my body was screaming for me to stop but I somehow managed to shut those thoughts out and pushed on for a new PB of 15:41, a good 15 seconds faster than my previous best. It seemed it was a great day for PB's with most of my running mates also setting a new PB mark, putting us in a good position to win the most improved team competition.

With four more rounds left, I'm aiming to go sub 15:30 at some point during the season. With all the marathon training and my continual form improvement, that should definitely be possible.

I finished off the week with another strength training session today focusing on my core and upper body. Tomorrow I'm aiming to run out 30km. Fingers crossed my legs can take the strain!

Happy running!

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