Sunday, May 25, 2014


Gold Coast Marathon - 7 Weeks to Go

In simple terms I have not been getting enough shut-eye at night during this campaign and a recent facebook post highlighted this fact to me. So the theme for this week is 'Sleep' with a view to making sure I get more of it. Sunday night was not so great but last night was much better. I need to make sure I get more, more, more!!

Tuesday 20 May

My legs today were still a bit sore/heavy from Sunday's long run which seems to be the case each week. Ideally I would have another day of no running prior to my speed work but the schedule does not allow for it hence I go in to these sessions a little off. Surprisingly I have been making good times each week and feel good that I am able to run effectively on tired legs.

Today I did another 'Street Speed' session, comprising 3 sets of 2x1200m with 2min between reps and 4min between sets. I laid out a 1200m course on the bike path beside the Yarra River, more or less between Punt Rd and Swan St. Easy! Of course, as is the case with Street Speed, conditions are not identical in both directions and today there was a reasonable wind blowing from the north-west so a headwind out and a tailwind back. Notional target was 4.47 for each rep.

I took the first (out) lap conservatively to try to judge pace and, even with the headwind, was pleased to make it in 4.46. The first return lap was way quick in 4.34. After a long break the next two were more even in 4.39/37; and the final two in 4.40/38 so slowing down a fraction. Average time was 4.39 and my HR was nice and high (170+) for much of each rep. Overall a very satisfying day out!

Friday 23 May

Wednesday night was, as always, Nike Run Club night and I had another really fun time leading the 5k @6min/k group with Sapna. Before we headed out I said to her that we should try to get the biggest group of the night. Well, you should be careful what you wish for, cause we must have had 60+ people in our group as we set off from Fed Square. Gulp! Not much you can do with a group that big except hope everyone stays safe, finds their way home and has fun!

Once we got to the Tan Track and I described the simple "full lap then return home the same way we came course" I lost about two-thirds of the group - off the front! No big deal. I ran a very even pace, returning home with a group of about five (!!!) in exactly 6 minute k's. At least we had fun! I also had a request from Marie to lead her group next week as it will be her last Run Club before returning home to Germany. How cool - now I'm getting requests too!

On Thursday came the Big Decision. After reviewing my training so far and how I am responding to it I have decided to up the ante and reset my time goal for the race. Whereas it was a 3:24 target time, with training paces to match; it is now a 3:17 target with associated training pace changes. I am running all my intervals faster than last time (2009) and am feeling good on the long runs - even if the pace has been slower than previous. So target marathon pace is now 4.40 m/k and I am sure I can make this happen. I'm not ready to start getting slower with age and think with a sensible approach I can still run faster. I will monitor my training, especially the long runs, and see how I go. But for now, I am feeling good and optimistic about the chances of running a 'PB' on the Gold Coast.

Which brings me to today's run, the first with the new/faster training pace. And what a doozy to begin with. Today was the first marathon pace session and a ten miler (16k) at that. I ran this from home in the evening with two laps of my 8k course to North Rd and back to South Rd. I have done this many times and so had a good set of comparison times. My plan was to start easy and gradually pick up the pace; not trying to run too fast and turn it into a tempo run.

Which is a bit easier said than done as this pace was, up until yesterday, my long tempo run pace! And, to be honest, it kinda felt a bit that way. Not super-hard by any stretch, but no walk in the park; and certainly not something I'd want to keep up for 42k (at least not today)!

I ran the first 8k in 37.18 min @4.39 pace (HRAvg 146) and felt good. The second 8k a bit harder and faster in 36.48 min @4.36 pace (HRAvg 154). Overall was 16.2k @ 4.38m/k and I felt ok. Again, not easy, but not hard. Interestingly, for my last build up in 2009 my equivalent session was slightly slower and, more importantly, I had the same feelings then about how the pace felt. So I think this augurs well for the road ahead.

Sunday 25 May

After last week's very long run of 33.7k today was much shorter at 'only' 24k in length. Truth be known, I found it difficult to get out the door this afternoon. Not that I was lacking motivation, just felt a bit "bleh" and so running for two hours was not at the top of the list of fun things to do. After a ride with Brooke this morning to the cafe I did not run until later in the afternoon, leaving about 3.30pm which would mean I would get back home just after sunset.

The target pace was Mara Pace +12 sec (4.52m/k) so a reasonable step up in speed to my previous long runs too, but I knew I could run this ok, the thing would be how hard would I have to go to do so. I ran an old favourite course, down South Rd to the beach then along the foreshore to Point Ormond and return. There was a moderate north-west wind which meant a headwind from 6-12k.

When I had previously run long on this course I'd always try to ensure I had a minute or so "in the bank" for the inevitably slower return up South Rd. Today I tried the "Weeks-method" of running an even pace and just pushing a bit harder when needed to maintain target pace.

The first 6k is mostly downhill and I went through this in 28.51 min (4.48 avg pace) largely just trying to find the right tempo. All good so far as you'd expect. Along the beach and into the wind which was noticeable but not super-bad and the next 6k went by in 29.04 min (4.50 cumulative avg pace). Making the turn at Point Ormond I was happy to pick up the tailwind and it was a bit easier. The next 6k was an almost identical pace of 29.07 min and I was still averaging 4.50 m/k for the journey. At this stage I was really happy: pace was right on target, I had been running really even splits and doing so without any gel.

I figured with 36 sec to play with (18k x 2sec/km) I could still run 4.58's up South Rd and finish on target. The 19th km took 5.05 and so I was immediately down on that plan and facing a blowout. Not that I felt bad or anything, I'd just slowed coming up the incline. Time to refocus, which I did and the next km was back on 4.52 with HR still operating in the 143-146 range that it had been for almost the whole run. Time to pick it up ... which I did with the next two k's both in 4.43 (HR up to 150). From the Nepean Highway I ran steady to home; covering the final 6k in 29.17 and the whole 24+km in 1:56.31 @4.51 pace.

Compared to my equivalent run from 2009 this was the same pace, but much more even splits and a faster last 6k. Just perfect!! A great end to the week.

Training Program:
Full session details for my whole training plan are here.

Strava links for the week:
Tuesday - Street Speed 4 11.8k @4.25; Yarra River 6x1200's
Wednesday - Nike Run Club - 5.7k @6.00; comfortable lap of Tan
Friday - Marathon Tempo 16.2k @4.38; night run at home
Sunday - Point Ormond 24 24.1k @4.50; long run along beach

Weekly Summary:
Week 8 (this week): 4 runs, 57.7 km, 4 hrs 37 mins
Week 7: 4 runs, 60 km, 5 hrs 10 mins
Week 6: 4 runs, 54 km, 4 hrs 36 mins
Week 5: 4 runs, 46.3 km, 3 hrs 57 mins
Week 4: 5 runs, 71.7 km, 6 hrs 24 mins   (biggest week ever!)
Week 3: 4 runs, 57.7 km, 5 hrs 9 mins
Week 2: 5 runs, 48.6 km, 3 hrs 51 mins
Week 1: 4 runs, 41 km, 3 hrs 28 mins
Total: 34 runs, 437.0 km, 37 hrs 12 mins


  1. Good to hear you're not willing to get slower. 3:17 would be a great time - looks like you're on target. I often dream of getting more sleep!

  2. Re-setting the target is bold but justified by the evidence provided by your running. The various minor illnesses you experienced last time you did Furman indcated that you were near to over-training then, possibly because you had done almost back-to-back Furman HM and M programs. Nonetheless, you pulled it off well last time so there is good reason to expect it to be even better this time


  © Blogger template 'Morning Drink' by 2008

Back to TOP