Friday, July 4, 2014


Gold Coast Marathon - Race Week

This week is the calm before the storm that is race day. All that can be done has been done. There is no getting fitter or faster. There are no 'last minute sessions' to tune up. It is all about making absolutely sure that you stand on the start line ready to wring every last piece of value you can from what you have done over the last few months. It is time to focus.

Tuesday 1 Jul

Today was the last of the 'harder' runs though, to be honest, it was not very hard at all. More like a steady-easy run with six 90-sec (400m) 'lifts of pace' spread throughout. It felt, as you would hope, pretty comfortable. The weather, thankfully, whilst overcast was quite pleasant for running. Not cold or overly windy; and it was good to get out. On the niggle side, everything seemed to be good to go today and once I had warmed up for a kilometre there were no problems. I have been wearing my racing shoes this last few runs and they are all good; along with some heel-wedges to offset any achilles problems I might have.

As has generally been the case this prep, the six intervals today were not run on a track and so were a little more organic in actual distance, ranging from 410-430m, depending on when I noticed my watch. Consequently, splits ranged from around 1.27-34. On average, probably all less than 1.30 so right on pace, no issues there.

I took my phone with me today (I don't normally do so) and took a few photos as I ran along the river. This was a bit of fun, especially when I got to my third fast rep and was promptly stopped by a barrier across the path so the Parks Victoria barge could 'escape' from its mooring. This was no big deal for me today as I just turned around and started to rep again heading in the other direction ... but on many of my other training runs this might just have done my head in!

This afternoon also saw a last-minute visit to my physio Rob O'Donnell. A cancellation meant that I could be squeezed in this afternoon and - bizarrely - when they rang to let me know I was just starting my run and had my phone on me! Rob has been a great help - not just with physio treatment but with running advice and help with race day strategies and general mental prep. Thanks Rob!

Only Nike Run Club tomorrow and an easy 5k at marathon pace on Friday to go now!

Wednesday 2 Jul

After my visit to the physio yesterday I must say "things" are a bit tender. The rigorous massage to my calves really woke them up and today they are letting me know what they thought of it. All will be good in a couple of days, but today!!!!!! And, being race week, it is time for every other part of my body to get in on the 'niggle act.' Today it is my groin. Just a twinge here or there - and it did not bother me running - but a reminder in any case.

As for my run, tonight was the last session of this 12-week season of Nike Run Club and I was leading a 5k group at 5.30m/k pace. In practice, we ran a bit slower than this as the faster folks went off the front early on and the slower folks wanted to run closer to 5.45. Which was all ok by me and I ended up running with Danielle and Marvin from Telstra for the last few km's. All easy, all good.

As a side note. Today I stepped on the scale and it was 77.7kg which is just fantastic. This is about as low as I have weighed in a very long time and is 4kg lighter than when I raced my PB at Melbourne Marathon back in 2009. I am excited about this as less weight = faster time! It's the small things which add up!

Friday 4 Jul

It is done! Every session is complete. When I started on this journey I created a training plan. It had 58 sessions (including the race) and over 750km in 98 days (14 weeks). I have not missed a session. I have not been sick. I've had only minor injuries - though in 'hypochondriac week' (aka race week) these seem to have multiplied a little! Everything that I set out to do in preparation has been done. I have felt strong in my long runs and I have gotten progressively faster for all my efforts. I have even been so brave as to increase my target pace by 10 sec/km.

Today was a very easy 5k run at marathon pace which I did without issue at lunch time along the Yarra River. I felt good, no niggles, and my heart rate was low even in the strong wind. Pace was right on target. Just what I wanted it to be.

Tomorrow I fly to the Gold Coast and on Sunday at 7.20am the race starts. I plan to run 3h 17m (4.40 min/km) or better. All that remains to be seen is how I execute my plan. I just want it to start now!

Training Program:

Full session details for my whole training plan are here.

Strava links for the week:
Tuesday - Last Sprints 7.4k @4.31; 6x 400m with 400m recovery
Wednesday - Nike Run Club 5.7k @5.47; easy lap of Tan
Friday - Marathon 5 5.1k @4.37; easy 5k at marathon pace

Weekly Summary:
Week 14 (this week): 3 runs, 18.2 km, 1 hrs 29 mins
Week 13: 4 runs, 43.7km, 3 hrs 37 mins
Week 12: 4 runs, 46.0 km, 3 hrs 45 mins
Week 11: 4 runs, 61.2 km, 4 hrs 59 mins
Week 10: 4 runs, 55.8 km, 4 hrs 28 mins
Week 9: 4 runs, 66.4 km, 5 hrs 39 mins
Week 8: 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: 57 runs, 728.3 km, 61 hrs 09 mins

1 comment:

  1. Nice last week Paul. Great to be at your best racing weight. I've taken to carrying my old phone with me as it's much smaller and takes pretty good pics. BTW, I was expecting you to hurdle that barrier and finish the rep!


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