Sunday, September 6, 2009

How to Have Fun on Father's Day!

In the olden days the marathon programs I followed all built up steadily over a long period of time reaching a crescendo exactly three weeks out from race day with the almighty thirty-two kilometre run. This time round I decided to get on board with the blokes at Furman and their FIRST Marathon Program.  It is based on a different view of the world: Run less. Run harder. Run long (more often).

With this 16-week program I have run 32k in weeks 6, 9 and 11 (today). Week 4 should also have been 32k but I shortened it due to sickness (to 25k) and I have one more to come in week 13. That's a 32k run once every three weeks on average. Either they are on to a piece of training wizadry that no-one else has considered or they've run out of ideas for other distances to run!

In any case, it certainly means lots of long training days like today. It certainly means that I am not worried about the first 32k of the marathon. These long runs are starting to feel a bit easier now and I am gradually getting a bit quicker each time. More importantly, whereas the last 6k was originally a big struggle, I now find that it is hard, but I can run at a strong, controlled pace. This is very motivating.

Conditions today were fairly typical with a northerly wind blowing (not as strong as some weeks but still there) and overcast with temp in mid-teens. Pretty perfect for running I guess. The only thing different today was my nutrition. Normally I'd take a couple of gels on these runs but I had run out so I had a PowerBar instead which I nibbled along the way. I prefer the gel whilst running as they are easier to ingest, but the bar gave me a small boost often.

I also took my heart rate monitor out today to gauge my effort levels. This was good news too. It was typically in the range 146-150 with the final 6k surge up South Rd to home at around 154. Overall average was 150bpm which compares to something in the mid-160's which I expect to see come race day.

Finished the run in 2:27.45hrs (4.56min/km) which was 39-sec ahead of target time. Excellent! I am also getting quite adept at running slightly faster early on to get a minute or so "in the bank" for the harder bit at the back end. I plan to utilise the same strategy on race day so it is good to practice it.

1-6km 28.35min (4.47/9.34/14.18/18.58/23.48/28.35)
7-12km 29.41min (33.35/38.30/43.27/48.30/53.26/58.16)
13-16km 19.44min (63.17/68.08/73.02/78.00)
17-20km 19.36min (82.57/87.51/92.35/97.36)
21-26km 29.34min (102.32/107.24/112.24/117.29/122.19/127.10)
27-32km 30.35min (132.21/137.22/142.28/147.24/152.20/157.45)

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