Thursday, October 8, 2015

15 of 16: Hang On

Melbourne Marathon 2015 - Week 15 of 16

After a reasonably disastrous last ten days I am just trying to get everything together before race day. I was back at the physio on Tuesday and am on a regime of exercises and light running only. My assessment is that running long or hard causes pain and break down, so I'll keep it to 5-10k runs only at an easy 5m/k+ pace. I just need to hang on and hope that i can give it one incredible effort during the race. I'm not sure that hanging on is the same thing as 'peaking' but this campaign has been reduced to this. Que sera, sera.

Wednesday 7 October

With easy running only on the plan I gave Tuesday's session a complete miss and so started off with Nike Run Club as my first outing this week. I asked to go into a shorter and slower group so was pacing a 5k team at 5.30 pace with one of our new leaders, a young Canadian guy, Jeff. With daylight savings upon us it was fantastic as we could see our whole way around and were able to stop wherever we wanted for our team photo!

Onto more important matters, with an easy pace my hamstring had no concerns. To be honest, this was as good as it has felt on a run since the injury. That said, this was the slowest pace I've run at since then too. But I was hanging on. And it felt ok, so that's encouraging!

Friday 9 October

Another cracking day in Melbourne and a perfect afternoon for running. Today, as with all my runs at the moment, I am not following my original plan and am instead running pretty easy, just trying to keep the legs ticking over without causing undue stress on my hamstring. I did a 7k run which took in just over 5k of the marathon course - the bit around the Tan deep into the race where it starts to get really tough.

The first kilometre was uncomfortable as my body sorted itself out. The little niggles took a bit to settle down, but I was into a rhythm after a mile or so. After this I turned left onto Alexandra Avenue and onto the marathon course.

I felt ok - not bad, not brilliant. The hamstring was noticeable, but not very bad. Of course, I wasn't stretching it out at all so I expected good-ness! I made the decision to test it out just a little on the run down Domain Road and for a kilometre I upped the pace from 5.10's to 4.40. Thankfully everything felt good, but after less than five minutes I reverted to my slower pace to see out the run back around onto Flinders Street.

So a good run done, with a little mini-test, and I passed. Of course, this is a long way from running 42 km's at a pace faster than this little test but it's a start!

Sunday 11 October

Today was my last chance to get in a decent long run prior to the marathon next weekend. It's a distance and pace (16k @4.30) that I have run many times during this preparation, but obviously with my hamstring still misbehaving, today I had quite different aspirations. All I hoped for was a run relatively free of pain, at a sub-5 min pace with hopefully a few kilometres in there at close to race pace.

I set off in the afternoon from Elwood at the bottom end of the marathon course. It was sunny and a south-west wind greeted me, meaning mostly tailwind. The first four km's were quite fast (relatively) with 4.36, 37, 40 & 40. The fifth km along Fitzroy St up the small incline was only slightly slower (4.44), so I went through 5k with an average pace of just under 4.40. This is not fast by any stretch but it is better than I have run in the last couple of weeks and I was pretty pleased.

After a pair of 4.41's a combination of not wanting to push it too much as well as some general hamstring tiredness caused me to slow up and I completed the back 8k of this run at only 4.59 pace. This included the harder section around the Shrine and some slower parts through Southbank and to Port Melbourne with a headwind. I finished the 15.6k at a 4.50 average pace which is my fastest in some weeks.

That I am writing about split times at all says that this was a good run. I was conscious that after about 1h15m my hamstring has become quite fatigued the last couple of weeks so I wanted to keep to no longer than this time. I got to test out a little pace and it wasn't too bad. This is not the run I would have expected a month ago, but it is a run that I am now happy with.

I am keeping optimistic that with another week of rehab and easy running, on race day it will be even better!

Training Program:

Full session details for my whole training plan here.

Strava links for the week:
Wednesday - Nike Run Club 4.9k @5.29; easy run
Friday - Mara-Easy 7k @5.10; easy run with one faster km
Sunday - Last Chance Saloon 15.6k @4.50; ok run over part of marathon course

Week 15 of 16 (this week): 3 runs, 27.5 km, 2:18 hrs
Week 14 of 16: 2 runs, 31.6 km, 2:47 hrs
Week 13 of 16: 5 runs, 58.9 km, 4:55 hrs
Week 12 of 16: 5 runs, 65.1 km, 5:19 hrs
Week 11 of 16: 6 runs, 76.1 km, 6:58 hrs
Week 10 of 16: 4 runs, 48.8 km, 3:57 hrs
Week 9 of 16: 5 runs, 65.2 km, 5:30 hrs
Week 8 of 16: 4 runs, 59.0 km, 4:57 hrs
Week 7 of 16: 5 runs, 55.9 km, 4:35 hrs
Week 6 of 16: 4 runs, 44.1 km, 3:31 hrs
Week 5 of 16: 4 runs, 53.3 km, 4:21 hrs
Week 4 of 16: 5 runs, 65.8 km, 5:38 hrs
Week 3 of 16: 4 runs, 58.3 km, 4:46 hrs
Week 2 of 16: 4 runs, 52.4 km, 4:30 hrs
Week 1 of 16: 4 runs, 50.1 km, 4:11 hrs
Total: 64 runs, 811.8 km, 68:19 hrs


  1. Not long to go now Paul! Hope the hamstring issue is sorting itself out during the taper. Hope Melbourne puts on that perfect weather we've become used to :)

  2. Thanks Ewen. The weather is shaping up as perfect. Hopefully my hammy will come to the party, but if it doesn't, oh well. :-)


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