Category Archives: Distance

Lidingöloppet recon.

I’m many things today after the reconnaissance of the last 22km of the course. Worried, humbled, tired yet glad I did it.

The goal of a silver medal time has now been relegated to dream status – I just don’t see how I can do it with my current fitness. I pulled the table below from the web; it shows the splits of a person who went sub 2:15. With my lack of distance training, I’d want to be even faster for the first half – probably around 1:04:00 (4:16/km). As I said earlier, just a dream.

5 km – 00:24:00
10 km – 00:43:30
15 km – 1:05:00
20 km – 1:28:00
25 km – 1:51:00

I have to make a decision over the next two weeks and then decide what to do. If I go out at sub 2:15 pace and am not ready for it I’ll probably be adding 2-3 minutes to my eventual finishing time…

There is a slight glimmer of hope remaining. I was -and still am- carrying a slight cold and I did a long run only two days previously, so maybe that was slowing me down a little. I really want to get out to Lidingö one more time before race day so I can be a little more familiar with the course…

Change of plan

It is no secret to say that this year has not gone well at all. Three injuries and a couple of bouts of sickness have put me in the worst June shape of my athletic life. As a result I have decided that I will not be on the start line for Stockholm Aquathlon.  Instead, I have decided to enter Xterra Sweden on the same day. One might ask why race a different and longer race if I am not fit? Well, the expectations from the Aquathlon would have been at least a podium place and racing for ‘the fun’ is nothing I am interested in. In Xterra Sweden I’m 100% certain that I am going to get my ass handed to me – so with that knowledge, I can simply race it for fun and see what happens.

Make sense?

It does to me.


It’s been a bumpy rode this off-season. Badly broken rib, Influenza, two week chest cough, sprained toe to name the major contributors to my current lack of fitness. Up to a point I considered this a blessing in disguise since I usually peak way too early in the season. It’s now April and top level fitness seems to lie somewhere in the distant future.

I have 37 days to my first race of the year: Kungsholmen Half Marathon. I over-did the distance on the long run on Tuesday and have been feeling a little tender in the right knee ever since. When I trained for Dublin Marathon in 2012 in just 8 weeks this feeling was the norm after pretty much every long run. I fully understand that it is not something that is sustainable in the long term but I’ll battle through it one more time and try to make sure it doesn’t become something I accept in the long term; I’ve only got two knees after all and don’t want to have to replace them any time soon.

Back to the details. After Saturday’s bike ride I took two days off training. I’m not used to cycling and don’t recover very well at the moment. Next session was a long run on Tuesday. I had an idea that I wanted to run long but not exactly how long – 18km was in the back of my mind during the day. Work was mental so I had to wait until 20:30 before I got the chance to run. Stress from work was probably what caused me to make a poor decision; after running for just five minutes I decided that the run would be 90 minutes long. It was pretty easy except for the fact that my right knee gave me mild pain occasionally. I couldn’t work out the trigger. Sometimes downhill, sometimes on the flat; I was sure at one stage that it was only when I ran into the wind (it was -1 C). Either way it doesn’t matter – it was and is sore.

I swam yesterday and rowed today. If I am pain free tomorrow I’ll do a 10km mod-hard run, rest Saturday and do the Ursvik Extrem on Sunday. I’m hoping the forest trails will be kind to my knees.

Fitness wise, I’m not where I want to be, but -unlike during Tuesday’s run- I have to accept where I am and train accordingly.

Onward and upwards.


Not Quite…

I didn’t get everything I planned done last week but I probably got enough.

Run – Turbo Set – Swim – Long Run.
Only missed out on the bike ride and the M-Paced run.
The long run was pretty easy yesterday:

Duration: 02:35:07, HR Avg: 143, HR Max: 161, Calories: 1671 kcal, Distance: 32.43 km, Pace Avg: 04:48 min/km, Training Load: 306

HR Nice and low, Pace acceptable, RPE very acceptable.
I’m on track.
Bike fitness is suffering but that is baked into the cost of running a marathon.


Today I got a double day on the back of a long run and long week:
3km non-stop swim in work pool.
Suicide intervals in Ursvik 2,5km trail
4×2,5km – Each 2,5km lap 30 seconds faster than the previous.

A Lot…

A lot of training to detail here. I’ve been away from home and hadn’t any time to update the site.
After the swim in my last entry I did my first outdoor ride of the year. After all the work I had done on the trainer I was really afraid of how my form would show on the road. It turned out to be not too bad:
84,2km / 1573kJ / 31,4km/h / Average HR 138
There were 5 hard efforts during the ride. The interesting thing was that my indoor power was not transferable to the road; I couldn’t hold FTP for any significant amount of time. I hope that this turns out to be and adaptability issue and is resolved with a few more outings on the bike… time will tell.
After that I boarded a plane and had a training block planned.
What transpired was a lot of rest followed by a solid running block with two easy swims thrown in for good measure.

The runs were:
Wednesday: 9,1km @ 4:10/km
Friday: 30km @ 4:55/km
Sunday: 9,1km @ 4:12/km
Monday: 14x400m on 2:00. Average 400m time 1:21 (12km including run to/from the track)
Total: 60,2km in 6 days.

That’s my best running block in years. Now to see if I can recover from it and build on it. Only four weeks to the marathon leaves little time for any real improvement but adding some top-end speed to my long base might be the way to go for now.

Tomorrow is swimming and cycling. I’ll try to swim during work and then hit the trainer at night.
I’m not sure what I should prioritise just now; my A-Triathlon-Race has not really been picked yet. That should be the next decision to make this week.

Anyway, I’m back.
Training continues.

One of Six

According to the plan made last night, I have six long runs remaining.
Not any more. One down, five to go.

Duration: 02:15:55, HR Avg: 147, HR Max: 160, Calories:1519 kcal, Distance: 27.38 km, Pace Avg: 04:57 min/km,Training Load: 292

After the disastrous long run last week I was not looking forward to ever doing a long run again. Today was good. The Monday tempo run was still weighing on my legs -and mind- but it didn’t seem to effect me. Admittedly I did feel a bit awkward on my feet for the first few kilometres but it soon passed. The next bad patch I went through was at about km number 17… I started to get thirsty. I thought I could push through it and do the remaining 10km dry but with 6 to go I passed a café and the draw was too much.
I wend in, bought a coke, drank half of it and was running better after it.
I always knew this fact, but I suppose I should ensure I drink during the long runs…
Anyway, I’m pleased.

Not able for back-to-back

Because I didn’t manage to get my long run done today I decided to attempt a second turbo set in two days… not exactly grand tour ridiculousness but it appeared to be outside my ability. In my 28 weeks of training, I have not done it once.
I suppose yesterday’s set was quite difficult and today’s was not exactly a piece of cake:
5:00 @ 220w
8:00 under-over (1:00 @ 228w/1:00 @ 253w)
2:00 Easy
5 x 0:40/0:20 310w+ / 100w
2:00 Easy
8:00 under-over (1:00 @ 228w/1:00 @ 253w)
2:00 Easy
5 x 0:40/0:20 310w+ / 100w
3:00 Easy
10:00 @ 210w @ 60 RPM
2:00 Easy
Then fail… I tried to do another 8:00 under-over but quit after three attempts.
All it was a good set.
Did’t make the hour and didn’t finish the set.
Run tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 22.08.41

No Run…

The plan didn’t work out.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Swim
Wednesday: Turbo Set
Thursday: Run + Swim
Friday: Turbo Set + Run
Saturday: Swim?
Sunday: Long Run

Total Training Time: 3:39

No running at all this week; that is probably not a very bad thing but it needs to be addressed.
This week will have three runs, two Turbo sessions and at lest two swims.
Over 8 hours is the goal.
Long run planned today: 27km

Let’s see.


Started in sunshine and finished in snow.
Ended up off-road on Ice for about 500m – I think this slowed the average somewhat.
It was very easy up to 20-22km; then it got a progressively difficult.
28,46km , 2:20:36, 147 av. HR, 4:58/km

A good start to the week.

Checking against the marathon plan:
The plan:

The Training:
(10th/Feb)18,(18th/Feb)21,87,(27th/Feb)25,5,(7th/March)15-[M-Pace],(10th/March)27[Lap 2 of Mara Course](18th/March)28.5,(24th/March)30,(31st/March)30,(7th/April)32,(14th/April)30,(21st/April)32

I was thinking during my long run; what else is there to do?
I have never been running these distances so far out from a marathon… this leaves me room to try something new. Not revolutionary new to the field of marathon training or the study of human physiology, new to me. Different to what ‘works’.
I used ‘works’ because maybe there is something better. Maybe it doesn’t work!

So, the thoughts that floated around were two different ideas.
1/ Go LONG. I usually cap the training at 32km – never going longer. Why not do a 35km run? In a marathon I usually start to fall apart at km 28-30. If I ran longer distances in training would this change? Or – is it the pace? which brings me to idea #2.

2/ Run Significantly more at M-Pace. Perhaps take a full week running 10-15km per day at planned M-Pace. Is this just looking for a injury or is it looking for an edge?

Perhaps there is something in 1 & 2, perhaps it’s obvious. Perhaps it’s just a different way of saying TRAIN MORE. Perhaps it’s the madness that is music free running; too much time to think.

Long Run today, Kona Tonight

Breakfast eaten, time for this weeks long run. Feeling good now – let’s see how two and a half hours of running effects that.

Duration: 02:31:37, HR Avg: 146, HR Max: 188, Calories: 1688 kcal, Distance: 32.44 km, Pace Avg: 04:41 min/km, Training Load: 317

Nice run. Sunny day. Feeling a little stiff now. I’ll write more later.


It’s now later. I’m tired but I feel that I am well able to manage a 32km run now. Only 5 weeks training and my distance has gone from 12km to 32… Impressive. The down side -there always is one- is that while I may be able for 32, or even 42km, my speed has evaporated into thin air. I was feeling pretty comfortable throughout the entire run today and with 8km to go I thought I’d up the pace and see what happened. The result: my heart rate went up 10 bpm, my speed increased by 2 seconds/km! This is not what I was hoping for.

Next week should be all about addressing this lack of speed. I’ll call it Speed week.
It’ll inclue a set of Yasso 800s, the M-Paced run (16+ km) and the treadmill hill session.

Second and Sixth

Second long run of the week.
Sixth long run of this express marathon training program.
Felt pretty good tonight until the last 4km (of 27km)… I think I was running low on fuel. I didn’t eat or drink anything for the 2h14min of my run; the last few kilometres I was daydreaming about drinking and eating. That combined with the sudden onset of tiredness (on an otherwise easy run) would suggest that the problem was nutrition and not fitness related.

The left knee held up well today. I think I’ll risk one more week of double-longs and then put the focus on threshold after that.
Recovery first though.