Tokyo Bound- Entry 7;
By Craig Appleby
Hello readers. It has been a little longer than planned. This was our (Bianca and I) first fortnight back into teaching, as well as adjusting to being a Prep parent… crazy, exciting and busy!
The past two weeks have been successful in many ways and have consolidated our thoughts on where my fitness level is at. Saying that though, training is a different beast to racing, and one that you should use as a guide only. Everything is still on track for Tokyo, training and recovering well, and I have made it through the ‘back to school’ exhaustion (and potential illnesses).
Brad Croker (Inside Running Podcast) spoke of “… stress is stress…” when referring to an athlete’s work/life/training/running balance. We applied this to my training schedule knowing that I’ll be prone to illness or injury during this stressful, sleep-reduced period. Therefore you’ll note a reduction in session frequency. However, these sessions were of a larger duration, to balance it all out. I can safely say we dodged an illness bullet this fortnight…
Before I begin my recap, I’d like to make special mention to my wonderful family who support me in my endeavours. Big thanks go to my Mum and Dad and sister in law, Sarah for being willing and available to look after our boys, especially so I can get out for a run. Most importantly, Bianca whom sees it all, the highs and lows, and is always there for us, especially during the morning and afternoon runs – thank you! I know you have had to put your running career on hold while I complete mine… haha
Let’s get into it!
Monday 28th Jan – PM: Easy 15km in 68mins @ 4:31’s after work. Students return on Wednesday. Today was another day in the set up and ‘beautification’ of our classroom – it’s taking shape.
Tuesday 29th Jan – AM: 17km in 78mins @4:35’s. First dawn run back for the year… wake up Craig.
PM: easy 7km in 32mins
Wednesday 30th Jan – AM: 11.8km easy in 54mins @ 4:37’s. struggled to get up this early… first day of teaching! Added some 25 second hill efforts to get the leg turn over activated (refresh their memory!)
PM: easy 8.4km in 38mins @ 4:31’s. Four days of easy running. One, to recover from Saturday’s effort and two, to prepare for tomorrow’s big session.
Thursday 31st Jan – PM: session – 40km @ 90% goal marathon pace. Dane planned this one to be challenging both physically and mentally… it was! Dane, Matt Davy and I met at Seaford Wetlands and completed 4 x 10km (5km out, 5km back) loops over changing bike path surfaces. Mentally draining for sure! Matt was on the bike (great to see him and have his support!). Dane ran with me for the first 20km and then hopped on the bike as Matt had to head off (So grateful to have his guidance and mateship during a session like this!).
This session was to be the last session without fuelling and reducing carb intake for the day. I had some carbs in the morning and ate veggies and nuts during the day. We began at 5:00pm. I was feeling fresh and ready to go, even after work and the drive down. It’s easy to get motivated when you enter the ‘unknown’ in training.
We rolled along nicely for the first 20km in great company. Dane, coming back from injury, ran well for the first 20km then took up the support role on the bike. The pace was easily achievable, the real challenge was ticking off 40kms at that steady pace. I had issues with blisters in my shoes (they kept me focused) and began to feel tightness/fatigue in and around my chest/upper back. This was new to me. Dane suggest it may be from tight traps, referring pain to those spots. First week back to school… plenty of laptop time… it makes sense.
I ran strong throughout, feeling really good in my legs – huge positive – and being able to make small talk with Dane for most of the session. Towards the end I began to feel the effects of dehydration and focused on how to work with it. Hopefully this won’t even be a case in the marathon because of correct fueling.
Glad to have finished and finally grab a drink. 40km in 2:25 @ 3:37’s. HR was steady, rising towards the end due the dehydration. Avg 147bpm – max at 163bpm in the final 5km. We took a lot from this session and have worked on areas, like my posterior chain, to further improve my performance potential. After getting ourselves sorted, we drove straight to the servo, grabbed some liquid refreshments and headed to the pool/spa for some recovery – so nice!
Friday 1st Feb: Chose to sleep as much as possible after getting home late. PM: easy 13.4km in 63mins @ 4:40’s. Needless to say, I was a little tired during this run, not sore, just tired.
Saturday 2nd Feb: A busy day for us, lots to do so could only get one run in – PM: 14km in 64mins @ 4:32’s. still heavy and tired in the thighs – as expected.
Sunday 3rd Feb: AM: 17km in 78mins @ 4:35’s. feeling a little better, however, the heat surely makes it hard going!
PM: Cool change came in… glorious! Late run, 7km in 33mins @ 4:46’s. felt so much better rolling along tonight.
Total Mileage: 151km – easy week with one big session.
Monday 4th Feb: PM: Day off from school. Spent it working at my brother’s house, playing in the dirt.
Easy 15km in 70mins @ 4:40’s Patty and Lachie were keeping my Mum and Dad entertained while I got out for a run.
Tuesday 5th Feb: AM: After Lachie’s morning school drop off, I left Patty with his Aunty Sarah and met Dane at Casey Fields for 4 x 5km (3mins recovery jog).
I wasn’t in the best headspace today. The build-up of school jobs I wanted to get done and the travel time to and from training taking time from family had me feeling frustrated and guilty. I knew a warm-up would sort this out.
5km easy, change into the 4%’s and out on the track. We had 4 x 125ml bottles of Maurten positioned on a bench seat ready to practice with.
Dane joined me for the first two reps and then took up photography and filming duties.
I felt fast and strong from the get go – great! – and made sure to keep things in check early so as not to blow out the back end of the session.
1st : 16:31 HR – 145-150
2nd : 15:58 HR – 150-155
3rd : 15:52 HR – 155-160
4th : 15:48 HR – 163-170
Easy 5km cool down
Gradual pick up in HR and pace. My pace was a little jumpy to really analyse cruising pace, but really happy with the results and more importantly, how I felt during this session. Only in the last 3km did I have to focus on effort. Shoes were great, however, trying to find a happy place with the tightness of the laces will be interesting…
33km in about 2 hrs
PM: easy 7km in 32mins, a little low on energy by the end of this one.
Wednesday 6th Feb – AM: easy 6.2km in 31mins @ 5:02’s. Need more sleep, I’m sure of it, haha. The heat is making hard work of sleep time in our house.
Lunch run: easy 6.8km in 31mins. Had to get a run in during lunchtime as I was on parenting duties all night (Bianca at Prep Information Night).
Thursday 7th Feb – Struggled to get out of bed and to school… (turned out we had a bug go through Bianca, Lachie and myself). Today was a day I just had to get through. I was exhausted just walking from my classroom to our staffroom. I knew something wasn’t right and messaged Dane. We discussed, and I chose to take the day off – no point in draining myself any further.
Friday: 8th Feb – PM: Feeling much better today ( must’ve been a 24hr bug for me, not so for Bianca). Was able to roll out 12.5km in 59mins @ 4:43’s, not 100% but feeling better and made sure to focus on being relaxed. We had planned to do a medium session today, however, it was not worth the risk.
Saturday 9th Feb – AM: 11.2km in 53mins @ 4:42’s. Improvements today, felt really good by the end. I also added some strides to refresh my leg turnover.
PM: 8.1km in 36mins @ 4:28’s. Pretty sure I’m back to normal… I hope!
Sunday 10th Feb – AM: My last big marathon session: 10km @85%; 10km @ 90%; 10km @ 95% and 4km @ 100%.
I met Dion and JD (and plenty of cyclists) at Casey Fields ready to roll at 7:15am. We forgot to check to see if there we any track users and realised very quickly it was not feasible to share the track.
We set our drinks on my car and got into it. With the track not accessible, we set out on a mission to find suitable loops around the estates in which we could run. We linking up a few roads Dion and I had done previously and were very happy with the challenge.
We ended up returning to our cars after 15km and found the track empty (a changeover in groups) so we jumped on and completed as many laps as we could before the group begun their race (extremely grateful to the Southern Masters Cycling Club for allowing us to use the edge of the track while they warmed up).
10km later and it was 25km into the session. We were rolling along really well, keeping each other in check when on the front, making sure we weren’t over doing it. Our pace was on or just below expected pace and I was really enjoying the session (I felt great and glad the illness was gone).
From 25 – 30km we ran out into the estates. This change forced us to really focus on our pace as we had many obstacles to tackle (cars, drinks, bikes, roundabouts etc.). we arrived at the athletics track for the final 4km and took it up another gear. I closed the final 4km with Dion in 3:13 average. Faster than marathon pace, but comfortable and in control. I finished this one content, I felt like I could’ve kept going – a great position to be in. I feel the rest, company and the Maurten fuelling played a huge part in how I felt today.
Dion and JD were really strong today. It sure makes for an easier day when you have good company! Dion nailed it only being back in the country less than 24hrs, and JD, returning from injury, is getting fitter every time we meet. Hoping big things for both of them this year!
34.2km in 2:03 @ 3:37’s.
PM: easy 7km in 33mins @ 4:36’s followed by a gym session. I struggle the first km, but finished feeling great. A Big day and great to have logged it.
Total Mileage: 141km (happy with that considering the day off and short Friday. Key sessions were completed which is the main priority).
A big two weeks for me and my family. I’m pumped for what is to come in the next 3 weeks, and acutely aware of how easy it is to lose focus… 1%ers here I come, haha.
Less than 3 weeks until Tokyo!!!