First Long Run

Did it!
I’ve eventually got around to doing a ‘long’ run.
Eight weeks and two days out from M-Day and I’ve bagged a 16,9km run.
I started out at an easy pace and then for the last 7,5km I upped the pace to (what I hope to be) race pace of 4:30/km.
The run was pretty easy; I need to see how I feel tomorrow and plan accordingly. Perhaps I’ll risk a 20km run next week. That could make my weekly long run progression look like: 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 31, 32, 30, 10 Day Taper -> M-Day
Last 7-10km of these runs will be at M-Pace. I can then pad that with whatever I am able to.

What could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday Wednesday

Two days,
two runs.

Tuesday was a nice 12km run from work, around Edsviken and back through Ursvik. 4:32 average pace.
Wednesday was with the boys. What should have been an easy 10km did not feel that easy.
22km in two days and I’m feeling the fatigue already.
I’m hoping that the triathlon on Sunday is par of the reason for the perceived difficulty.

Next run (perhaps on Friday) will be 16 or 17km. That will give my 39km for the week. A possible but unlikely 11km on Sunday would put me at 50km.

The Marathon Week

I’m late.
Late for a marathon.
Not late for the start.
Late for the start of the training.

Last weekends triathlon showed me the power of a solid base. But a marathon requires durability on top of a base, so I’m in a tight spot in that regard.

My way forward is something I conceived after my 12km run today while drinking a beer. I call it the marathon week.
I did 12km today. If I do a 14km and a 16km run this week I’ll have done… A marathon.
Where is this going one may ask.
Assuming I survive week one, on week two I do… A marathon.
But instead of 12, 14 & 16km, I do 12, 12 & 18km.
Then I keep increasing the last run and decreasing the others.
When I’m comfortable with the weekly distance I’ll then increase the quality on the shorter runs.

So 7 weeks might be:
12 14 16
12 12 18
10 10 22
10 08 24
10 08 26 – I know, it’s not a marathon week from here on.
08 08 30
08 08 30

Risky, but I don’t see an alternative other than to skip the marathon.
Time will and time is precious and lacking.

Five Years and One Day…

…That’s how long it has been since my last triathlon.

Two children, one house move and one year as ‘just a runner’ with two years off the bike in between.

I had great aspirations entering the season, some would say it was borderline arrogance!
After getting some good training in between October and February, I thought I’d be able to ramp up the volume to eight hour weeks and attain a level of fitness I had not seen in years, if ever. The sad truth was that -because of work and family commitments- I never did break the four hour week; I believe my average for the year was 4:23 per week.

The decision to even enter the race was tough and it was only after reading last years end of season review that I decided to race. “Give yourself a chance to fail.” was my reasoning for entering. All things relative, I don’t think I did fail. After racing with the lead group in the swim for the first 200m, sense prevailed and I eased off and cruised the rest of the swim in 23 minutes and some change. I knew my fitness was not deep and racing at this late stage would have been suicide. On the bike I kept the same approach – easy does it to get a 1:07 split. I then decided to leave it all on the run course. Unfortunately, it all, was not that much. The course was very short and a 35:20 run split does not tell the tale. I’d say I was possibly running 4 minute kilometers, which given my fitness, was more than acceptable to me.

I’ll derive lessons from the year at a later date and make a plan for next year based on that. Until then I must now ‘prepare’ for Dublin Marathon. I’m actually afraid to check how soon that is.

What’s done is done…

I ran at lunch today and now consider my training for Stockholm Triathlon done.
The likelyhood is that today was one session too many, but I was more thinking about Dublin Marathon as the motivator. That said, it could possibly do some damage to what time I get on Sunday.
As for what that time will be? I have absolutely no idea.
I haven’t had the tri bike off the trainer for over a year.
I haven’t swam in open water for over a year.
I haven’t done a triathlon in six years.
I have never done an Olympic triathlon.
See my dilemma?

I’ll know everything on Sunday at 11:00.

Last Big Day

Bike:

A little different than planned. I didn’t feel good on the bike so I tested some efforts and took one minute rests between them. Finally, I decided to go for 1×20 minutes at a pace I didn’t actually believe I could hold; A plan conceived on the trainer and I must say I have no idea why I chose such a plan!
I’m glad though since I managed to hold the effort for 20 minutes.
Now, for those who say that there will be no fitness gains from this on Sunday: I know that. But there will be a psychological benefit and that’ll do for the moment.

As I type I’m trying to decide if I’ll run or swim tonight… Can’t decide for the life of me.

Harder but shorter

My swim today was more intense than all last week’s seims but the parts where I was swimming hard were much harder.
10×100 on 1:35
Some Easy swimming
5×100 on 1:35
There is a BIG difference between starting on 1:35 and 1:40
I don’t have a reason why I did it today other than to see if I could.
I could.
Done.
The plan is no longer being used!

Skipped trainer session.

Plan the work …

…and work the plan. That’s what we say in the project management business.

My plan is not being worked as such but more treated as a discovery process. By any standards it was an extensively intense plan; two quality sessions every day, no rest and a race dropped in the middle. This was conceived out of fear and modified out of confidence. After midnattsloppet I discovered that I was not as unfit as I suspected. While by no mans a stellar time it was not at all bad. So, combining the blisters on my heels with my new confidence in my running I decided to back off on the running in the plan alltogether. The decision now is to run once between now and Sunday – Thursday would be best but let’s see how the feet heel up.

Midnattsloppet

Second year on a row running this race; it must be the best city run in the world. The participants, the course and the crowd are all just out of this world – an amazing event.
My part in it was none too stellar. However, the fact that I have averaged only one run per week for the past two months makes it a partial success; combined with the fact that I have been training pretty hard this week.

Result was 39:35 for a pretty hilly 10km.
While I’m not too proud of the result, I’m very proud of the effort. I went all out and lost concentration for only a few seconds where I see my HR dropped below 170.

Going well

The plan is going pretty well up to now. Two minor amendments and one failure. To be honest, I believe skipping the run will only help me on Saturday but will cause a minor setback in my Dublin City Marathon preparation. It’s effectly putting me a week behind in my already very tight schedule.
Doing a ‘crash block’ like this may have very small benefit from a physiological perspective, from a psychological perspective -AKA HTFU- it does deliver.
Today was my third quality swim in three days and I had to go pretty hard to pull it off. While there have obviously been no fitness gains in the past three days I am getting better at holding a steady pace throughout the set. In swimming practice gives speed as well as fitness. The race is in 9 days time, so I’ll also get some physiological benefit too.
Tonight will be a big challenge: get on the trainer on a Friday night. The day after I just got a new job. A new job I have not celebrated getting.
So the choice is:
Have a glass of wine with the lady at home.
Do 2×20 minutes on the trainer in the pain cave.

Not as easy a choice as it seems!

Whatever decision I make, I’ll then carry all that fatigue into Midnattsloppet.

Fun times indeed.