The first week of a streak

When I committed to a run streak last Tuesday I made a goal to run all my runs outside and not let the treadmill in my garage allow me to avoid any inclement weather. Running in the rain is a part of running and usually not bad once you get started, especially in October in Australia where the weather is starting to warm up before summer.

During the first seven runs of my run streak I have run 63km over the seven days. All of them at an aerobic pace and all of them forgetting pace on the watch. Longest run has been 11.7km and shortest was this morning at 6km in heavy rain. The first four days of my running were in Sydney where I was having a short holiday and used these runs to explore the northern suburbs of Chatswood, Artarmon and Willoughby as this is where we were staying. Running in different surrounds allowed me to find some new trails around this area and was a nice change of scenery. There is some great running terrain around these areas which I wasn’t aware of before.

My challenge of not avoiding rain may have jinxed me to some degree as three of the first seven runs have been held in relatively heavy rain. My last run in Sydney was wet, my Saturday run including my local parkrun was wet and this morning was particularly wet. For this mornings run I had just gotten out of bed and started getting ready to run when the rain started making a jinx even more believable. Good to get the job done in the rain though, on a normal week I may have skipped some or all of these runs and stayed in bed.

I am back to Sydney this week for work on Wednesday which may cause a challenge fitting my run in. With an early 6:30am flight I’ll either be up very early to run or running later in the evening after dinner. I’m leaning towards a late evening run backed up by an early morning run on Thursday. Otherwise the normal challenges of work and life are present but I’m confident they won’t get in the way of my continuing the streak.

How to run a 1 second parkrun PB

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U a recovery week following my recent marathon I decided this week g get my running routine back to some normality and decided this weeks training end to test myself at parkrun on Saturday (today) and back to a longer run Sunday. I also decided to visit my neighbouring town  about 20 minutes drive away, Wauchope for their park run as I have only been there once and enjoy the course. The course is a nice two lap course, with one lap shorter than the other along the river which is relatively flat apart from one hill which you run once on each lap.

My previous effort there was a 17:37, which at the time I was surprised and happy to be able to run on this course. My goal for this visit was to run hard and test my fitness, run consistent from start to finish and see what happens. All my fastest parkrun times have come when my splits are consistent. I am a firm believer in this strategy for races of every distance.

Whenever I race, I break my race into thirds. Beginning, middle and end. In the beginning I try to be patient, in the middle I try to be disciplined and in the end I try to give my best effort. I use this strategy to keep my running consistent, however even though you want the splits to be the same the effort levels will change through the race.

Today, I was able to beat my previous time on this course by one second and run 17:36. My kilometre splits  were 3:31, 3:35, 3:31, 3:40 & 3:28 for an average pace of 3:33 min/km for the 5km.Happy to keep my pacing relatively consistent today. The fourth kilometre is a tough one on this course with two hairpin turns and the hill to contend with I lost a little bit of time here. Running felt good today though, I was patient enough to be able to control my running in the first kilometre, use some disciplined pacing in the middle of the race and gave my best effort and pushed hard near the end.

Overall a good  way to start my running this weekend. Looking forward to getting back out to this parkrun again soon. It’s been an enjoyable run both times I’ve run here.

 

Marathon training week 5

Running went almost to plan this week with my planned runs all getting completed until this morning. Woke up this morning for my long run feeling sick, had a bad headache and zero energy. So I missed my long run which is disappointing but overall it won’t have a major effect on my program. Otherwise things went to plan with my Hills session Tuesday and my intervals on Friday the other key sessions.

I ran a parkrun on Saturday just for fun and ran a great race. I wasn’t planning on having a peak effort but I rolled through the first km in 3:40 and felt great, after which I passed a couple of runners and decided to put the foot down for a while. Soon found myself leading and decided to push to the finish which I got to in a new PB of 17:21. Pretty happy with that result, I like to use parkrun as a fitness gauge occassionly and just test where I am in my running

Week 5 has a similar theme as recent weeks however I plane to make up a little from my missed long run tomorrow with a race pace hour run instead of a recovery run.

Monday –  Marathon race pace hour

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Hill repeats

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Long run 2:40

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Intervals (8 x 4 min 90 sec rest)

Again my focus is my three key sessions to build strength, speed and endurance. Plenty of rest placed throughout the program to keep me fresh and simplify my running.

Happy running this week.

Marathon training week 3

Sometimes when training for a race things don’t go to plan, this week was one of those weeks. I had laid out plans to succeed and life got in the way and I altered course.

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I had planned a short family trip planned to the Hunter Valley on Monday and Tuesday and managed to get in a run whilst there, albeit in very cold conditions and only short 6km aerobic effort.  I woke up on Wednesday pre 5am after a long travel evening the night before to torrential rain and decided against running. I got through Wednesdays planned hill session on Thursday instead albeit cutting the run slightly short when torrential rain bucketed on me. An 8km aerobic run on Friday and then Saturday I went to my local park run with the intention of a mid paced effort and after 500m decided I wanted to race. I moved through the field from 10th to finish 2nd in 18:20 and enjoyed the run. In the afternoon on Saturday I had some spare time to kill so i decided to go for a run and add to my park run and warm up and have a long run day over two runs. I ran 14km over an undulating terrain which was good but too close to lunch.

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Running in the Hunter Valley – 2C was a cold start.

Overall I didn’t do my planned interval session and not properly completed my long run. We move on, sometimes things don’t go to plan and you accept it and move on.

Week 3 plan

Monday – Aerobic run

Tuesday – Hills

Wednesday – Strength session

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Long Run (2 hour 20 min)

Saturday – Aerobic recovery run

Sunday – Intervals 8 x 800m

Hoping to get through each work out and will attempt to fit in the extra interval run over the next couple of weeks. Very mindful not to push too hard and ensure that I am more than adequately rested. Over the course of a 14 week marathon preparation one interval session missed won’t make a shred of difference, so I am certainly not worried about my lack of progression this week.

One of the great things that happened this week was my new sandals arrived. These are the Gladsoles trails with a new denser sole than the previous model that I have. I have ran 22km in these sandals so far and they are a slightly different feeling to the previous model. The denser sole is slightly less flexible than previous however gives a bit better ground protection with still fantastic ground feel. The custom make from the tracings I sent is perfect and couldn’t fit my foot better. One thing with sandals is it takes a few runs to get the lacing perfect, my first run I had them too tight, my second run which was my 18:20 5km park run I had them slightly too loose and thought the heel strap was going to slide off on one of my feet in the last kilometre. It didn’t fall off but I need to make them a little tighter for my next run. These are the sandals that I’ll be running my next marathon in, by September they will be ready to roll though and have 300-400 training kilometres in them.

 

Looking forward to getting back on track in week 3. Most important thing is to commit to the process however make sure running is enjoyable.

 

 

Parkrun PB

17884240_1942471315997992_2468653834719907775_nToday was good day for me at my local parkrun, where I ran a PB for the course of 17:27. If you don’t know about parkrun it’s a free, timed 5km event across a few hundred locations in Australia, many more than that in the UK and a number of other countries around the world. Best thing is it’s inclusive and a great community event.

Over the past year and a half I’ve run 18 parkruns, all at my local home event in Port Macquarie and today I lowered my PB from 17:39 which I set just over a year ago to 17:27. Very happy with that because I didn’t expect to run quite that quick. I haven’t done any interval work since my marathon five weeks ago and didn’t expect to still have the pace in me.

One thing I’ve learnt from parkrun and running 5km events is pacing matters for all distances. When I first starting running parkruns I’d go out too hard and struggle over the last 1-2km. today I got my pacing as right as I ever have in a race. The 5km splits were 3:28, 3:33, 3:33, 3:33 and 3:32. Last kilometre I had slowed a little but when i new a PB was on offer I sprinted the last 200m which helped that split. Every time i’ve run a quick 5km has been when me pacing has been consistent. Pacing is possibly more important in shorter distances then longer because there is nowhere to hide if you get it wrong.

Another reason I was happy with todays race is because it was in Gladsoles sandals. It confirms what I already knew in that I can run just as fast in sandals as I can in shoes, maybe faster.

This year I have only managed to get along to three parkruns as I’ve preferred to train longer on the weekends. Earlier in the year I did incorporate a parkrun into a long run and two weeks ago I ran with my daughter and helped her achieve a PB. Today I ran to test myself and see how my fitness has held up after recovering from a marathon and was pleasantly surprised with where I’m at.

If you have a parkrun near you I’d recommend you get along and have a go. It won’t answer all your running questions but it will let you test your fitness and have fun start to the weekend.