Hey all, thanks for joining me again for another week! As I write the 13th entry of this journey, there is just 15 days till I jump on the plane for Berlin! So it keeps getting a bit more real!
Before I start, for those interested here are a few more pics of the Devil bend half marathon I did last Sunday.
So, I got through another week! My biggest mileage week and another really good ‘brick in the wall’ as I steel myself for Berlin!
I promised a warts and all recount of my lead up to Berlin and like all runners that are ‘pushing the envelope’ to better themselves this week wasn’t without its ‘moments’. Everyone, has them it is part of the journey!
I struggled this week a little with a pretty familiar Achilles tightness, something I very much have got used to over the past 5 years. It’s a pain that I have got confident at independently managing however I’d be lying if I was to say- I didn’t think about it, jiggle it, stretch or move it 50 odd times a day, that’s what us crazy runners are like! I feel it was obviously attributable to the last month of stepping up my marathon-training load. My half marathon on the dirt and slippery muddy trails of devil bend may have pushed it too.
I got a similar episode just after Gold Coast half infact. So, I went into management mode; I got two massages, went to the spa once, did my heavy strength exercises at the gym twice, did two sessions of self ultrasound and ran in new heel raises and hokkas all week. Fortunately, as I type my Achilles has settled. It wasn’t a bad flare up as I was able to complete my training week as planned.
Albeit, I am now tackling the next challenge of this marathon block! As I type I am sucking on a eucalyptus lozenge, as my sinus’ feel a little blocked. I get this regularly too. What I have to ensure is I get on top of it asap so it doesn’t progress into asthma and a chest infection. For me I need to ease back a few days and continue to eat well, sleep well and drink lots. I am doing everything I can and am confident it is just minor/I’m being paranoid/extra cautious and I’ll be feeling clear come the weekend! I’d say the fact that last week was my biggest mileage week of my prep/life may have lay me slightly weak/fatigued and susceptible. Not to mention Sunday’s overdistance run was completed in two 10 minute hail storms up at Ferny Creek (one of those runs where you could’t feel your hands 10 minutes in!)
I got exactly the same symptoms a week before my Rotterdam marathon in 20017. I was still able to run 2:27 there. All I can say is I am glad it is now and I have time to be fully healthy by race day.
Ahh the joys of the last few weeks of a marathon prep! The anxieties, the paranoia, everyone gets them! Ah well I believe you control your own luck and I’ll continue to leave no stone unturned to ensure I am in top nick come race day.
Below is my week that was:
It started with three recovery jog days, after the Devil Bend half marathon on the Sunday.
Monday: pm easy 70 mins for 14.6kms at 4:49/km at Frankston reservoir late in the dark as walked Remi when got home. Last 10 minutes really couldn’t see the trail too well, had to shuffle, to avoid tripping!
Tuesday: am easy 60 mins for 12.8kms at 4:52/km at Langwarren Flora and Fauna reserve, followed by 40 minutes of heavy strength work in the gym.
pm easy 35 minutes for 7kms at 5:11/km at Patterson river after work at 9pm.
Wednesday: am easy 2hrs for 26.6kms at 4:37/km on the rolling dirt hills at Devil Bend.
Thursday: am easy 35 minutes for 7kms at 5:09/km at Frankston Reservoir. After this I hit the gym for 40 minutes and did my usual strength exercises.
pm In the afternoon I did my first session for the week, after 3 days of jogging. My Achilles was a little stiff going into this one so I adjusted my expectation. I know this sounds ridiculous but my Achilles often responds well to 1km/2km reps on the road. It also loves the ride it gets in the Nike 4%ers. There is something about the intensity and firm surface that gives it a really good strength workout.
This certainly hasn’t always been the case- when my pain was more acute in nature. However, I have found since it’s been a chronic grumbling tendon- it loves faster sessions on the road and generally it seemingly helps settle it down. I suppose this isn’t too dissimilar with the research out there on heavy isometric strength exercises with tendinopathy having an analgesic like effect.
This session included a 20 minute warm up in Bangholm on Fernside drive next to Peninsula Link and the Thomson Road exit. This is where I did 4 by 2km reps last time several weeks before the gold coast Half with Papa on the bike. Today I did; 5 by 2k reps. I wanted to hit half marathon pace or faster, as I wanted to get some leg turn over as I really have focussed on strength marathon sessions over the past month. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have it for this session. Whether it was the, 30kms and gym session I had completed in the 24hrs previously? the half on Sunday? or the stiff Achilles? I just didn’t have the zip in the legs and could only manage 3:18-3:12/km pace for the reps, off 2 mins recovery.
For the 2km reps I hit; 6:36(3:18/km), 6:30(3:15/km), 6:25(3:12/km), 6:28(3:14/km) and 6:24(3:12/km). With the 2 minute shuffle walk between reps I covered 11kms in 40 minutes at 3:40/km average.
When you are having a session like this it is important to give it perspective. I have only learnt to do this well over time. For this session I felt incredible aerobically, I truly believe I am the fittest I have ever felt. So, the speed just wasn’t there because I was leg tired and stiff. Why am I tired an stiff, I have been doing a ridiculous amount of training! What am I training for? A marathon. What is happening from 30kms onwards? You try to keep going fast on tired and stiff legs! It was perfect marathon training. And because I felt so darn good aerobically, I knew I wasn’t over-training or reaching.
In saying all this, you can see what a fine line you tread, when you are reaching for career best shape and injury or sickness! It is a constant conversation between my ‘coaching/physio brain’ and my ‘passionate runners brain’ to keep the balance.
I also listened to two very good podcasts by Magnus and Marcus on coaching this week #73 “Keep showing up”- Lessons from the Boston marathon and #74 Alex Hutchinson “The goal isn’t to go faster…the goal is to feel better”. I got so many key takeaways from these episodes and I am sure you guys will too, that’s if you haven’t listened to them already!
Was just an easy 60 minute jog along Patterson River for 12.7kms at 4:51/km pace at 9am. I then caught up with Tom Chisholm a mate harking back from Haileybury school days to help plan out his marathon prep for his first ever marathon at the Melbourne marathon. As Tom mentions, he let himself go a little over the past couple of years but is keen to get back into shape! Shape that he only too often reminds me, got hime across the line ahead of me at our yr 12 house aths 800m day! I really enjoyed catching up with chiz! He is running the Marathon to raise funds for Rye a 7 year old boy diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and his family. All proceeds will help with the ongoing medical treatment and equipment needed to raise a child with a disability. Please follow this link to help Rye out!
Included a quick 35 minute shuffle before work along the Edithvale bike path. I covered 7km at 5:10/km at 6:50 am.
pm Then after work it was in for a quick massage and then to Seaford wetlands for my second session of the week. By this stage the wind and rain had set in. I rolled 24kms in 90 minutes at 3:46/km in total for the run. It included a cruisey first 46 minutes at 4:18/km, to bring my days running up to 80 minutes for the day, I then took 2 minutes to quickly change into my old 4%ers and hit 44 minutes of fartlek with 1min on at 3:15/km pace and 1minute off at 3:25/km pace. The aim of this session was to help build strength an to cope help get the legs used to snaps in rhythme (aka falls, drink stations, u-turns, hills, wind). So it was practically marathon pace with 22 little 1minute surges into the red zone. A brilliant marathon simulation workout. Such a confidence building workout. You just feel like a tough nut once you have finished, this mental frame of mind can only be good for the back end.
Was an early rise to meet Craig Appleby up at Ferny by 7:30 am. We rolled around for 2hours an 45 minutes. I went very slow as yesterday had been a big day- I covered 32.6kms! I practiced my drinks, in fact I carried my two 150ml hammer bottles the whole way, to get used to running with them. For those that remember the great triathlete; Peter Robertson who used to stop at the start of his run leg to find a pair of sticks that he’d clasp in his hands to find his running rhythm. Well, it felt like I was carrying a pair of his rhythm sticks; they cave your arm some weight and direction and rhythm!
As usual it was fun talking shop with the ever chirpy apples, he peeled off at 1hr 45 as he continues his steady build back up from injury. Two days after this run, Apples, Dion Finocchario and I all got some great news that we have been pulled out of the ballot to run in the sub elite group for the 2019 Tokyo marathon! After battling through the two 10 minute hail storms, numb hands, many hills, practicing my drinks and feeling heavy legged for the final 40 minutes; I was pleased to get to the end of this run! I covered 33kms in 2hrs 45 minutes at 5:03/km. The photo for this blog, shows how cold this one was! It really was a case of; run-rain, hail or shine, on Sunday!
It was then off to Chadstone to meet my brothers and good mate Mattress for a much needed feed and to try to get the groomsmens wedding suits organised for my wedding in December. We were pretty successful thanks to the lovely ladies in Myer. Gee it’s coming up quickly. Then it was down to St Andrews brewery in Rye with Jess to catch up with Papa, Mattress, Gemma, Zacca and Sham for a relaxing Sunday arvo.
And…. That was the week, week 12 of my prep for berlin! A career high weekly mileage of; 164.2kms! That will be the highest I go and after next week, my last big marathon week I’ll start a gradual taper; with some shorter sessions that are easier to recover from.
Once again guys, please feel free to reach out to me on; firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always I hope you are all enjoying your running as much as I am!
Lets all continue to;