It wasn’t my best race. It was hot and humid in the end. And I am far from well trained. I shall have to far faster than this in 12 weeks. Having said that, I still won the age group and placed 23rd of all men. Not bad for an old man. I am happy.
The race started out well. I held a pace of just around 4:10-4:15 min/km for 6 kms (4:02, 4:09, 4:09, 4:16, 4:14, 4:09). Then the uphill started for 2km (4:36, 4:34). The last kilometer was somewhat uphill to start with and finished with a 500m downhill where I went fast getting the split down to 4:20. The Garmin reads 140m above 10k, so the last bit downhill to the finish I pressed it at 3:50 pace.
I had a quite high HR throughout at 168 bpm on average, and 173 on the last km. Pressing it to the finish the HR went up to 175. I often get convulsions at the finish of the race went going up a gear, and this happened also this time. Crossing the finish line, I throw up. All my morning coffee and last night’s salad came up. Interesting that it was not better digested. Something to think of for future races. It was not a pretty sight, me puking this black gue. People came up to me as I was bent over asking if I was OK, as it looked like I had puked up my intestines. “No worries. Just a bit exhausted!”, I answered.
From the photo above, I can see that I need to work on my form. I have a hunched style. I think it has to do with rather week core and tight hips. Strength and flexibility exercise is what I shall do.
This week I ran about 45k in total, which is not a whole lot. I had a decent 4x1200m interval with 400m easy jog in between on Thursday. I had aimed for 3:45 min/km but I am not quite there yet.
4:44 pace 3.57 min/km
4:46 pace 3.59 min/km
4:57 pace 4.07 min/km
4:52 pace 4.03 min/km
Monday, Oct 30, 2017 thru Sunday, Nov 05, 2017
My running has not been great lately. I had a poor cycle before Chicago Marathon.
A month prior to the marathon I ran Stockholm half marathon on a hilly course in 1:37 and Chicago full marathon was in 3h39 minutes. My legs and my pace for a 3:15 finish collapsed pretty much at km 26.2. They had not understood that it was 26.2 miles I was supposed to run. I put on my headphones and with some of my own Guran Guran music and a selection of songs by David Bowie, Clash, Iggy Pop, Molotov and Cake (Going the Distance) I kept moving my legs in a slow run without stopping until the finish. Prior to the marathon I had not done a single long run of close to 30K since May – and that was the disastrous 4:23:24 Lima Marathon.
Having said that, there are a few take aways. My Marathon in Chicago was 44 minutes faster than in May. My 5K, 10K and Half Marathon times for all these races have been:
Lima May 21: — (5K) 46:43 (10K) 1:42:24 (HM) Stockholm Sep 9: 21:05 (5K) 44:31 (10K) 1:37:00 (HM) Chicago Oct 8: 23:10 (5K) 45:39 (10K) 1:36:51 (HM)
This means I was running a sub 3h Marathon pace for 5k during Stockholm half marathon (and actually maintained this until km 8), and ran my fastest half marathon in Chicago beating my Stockholm time with 9 seconds maintaining a 3:15 marathon pace. So I have been improving somewhat. I am a long way from my dream of running a sub 3h marathon though. I am 57 now, and I can’t withstand too much high intensity training and at the same time adding to milage. I have come to the conclusion that milage alone will not take me there. I need more speed!
During the past weeks training I started following Hanson’s advance marathon plan which focuses a lot on quality and less on extreme long runs. On Tuesdays one does speed sessions and on Thursdays one does marathon pace runs. Last week I realized that I could not keep up the marathon pace run at 4:15 min/km (6:50 min/mile) because my legs were too exhausted from the Tuesday speed session. I need to adapt the program for my means.
This is what I shall do in short:
Keep the Tuesday speed session according to Hanson.
Do a HIIT session on Thursdays. 5 to10x30 seconds with 2 min easy jog in between.
Do Marathon Pace within the long runs every other Saturday.
Every other Saturday do 10 x 10-20 seconds hills. HIIT.
Keep on doing a daily Seven (7 minute HIIT workout) for strength.
Do running form drills and minimalist transition exercises from Runners Connect’s Improve Running Form 6 week course.
All this should probably lead to more strength, better form and faster pace.The HIIT sessions helped me a lot to run the 3:04 in North Carolina in October last year, so I think this will be crucial to getting me closer to my goal. But I also need to get endurance, so I shall plan for 3x32k long runs in the remaining 12 weeks to Miami Marathon on Jan 28, but I won’t sweat it to run a lot miles apart from this. I am doing a lot of my daily work on the computer as I walk on a treadmill, and this shall give some general fitness too with very low impact.
Leading up to this race there are very few tune-up races I can fit in. Tomorrow, I have a 10K race for which I merely hope I can hold the sub 3H marathon pace of 4:15 min/km and an end time of below 42:30. Anything better than this is an improvement.
In a month there is another 10K race in Lima with a week of traveling to South Korea and the Asian Bird Fair in between. Hopefully, this 10K will keep me motivated to get my runs and strength training done even when traveling.
I shall post some progress here, and also give tips on training and nutrition along the way. Looking forward to your comments.
Today is Wednesday, and the third day of 42 days before Lima Marathon, and my second key workout. HIIT. Fast hill repeats bring a lot of bang for the buck. It is in many ways a shorter version of the fast all out intervals of 30 seconds each I did on Monday, but the since it is uphill you cannot go as fast and this is good because it decreases the risk of injuries. So you gain speed without actually running that fast. Secondly you build strength and get a better kick. That is you have to move up lifting your knees, forward leaning, and put force into the ground and for this you need strong muscles. They will gain strength for each workout – believe me. The effect is fast. In a month or so you will already see results.
Added strength also helps become more resilient. You legs and tendons learn to deal with impact and the natural shock absorber in your legs will become stronger.
You also gain form, as you learn to focus on keeping head up, forward lean, synchronized arm movement and you have to run on your toes.
When I first did this workout some years ago it was even shorter intervals than today. Only 8 seconds. I had had a short break because of some smaller injury and my online coach told me that these hill repeats was a good way to gain speed without actually running very fast I remember I was thinking. Eight seconds? That surely must be too little running for a marathon.
But much to my surprise I really enjoyed the workout. It feels great to give all you got once in a while and if one can do so without getting injured so much better. Last year I started hill repeats with 10 seconds and by the end I was doing 30s intervals. Therefor it felt quite OK to do 10 hill sprint intervals of 10 seconds each today.
I am fortunate to have a great hill only 3k away from my house. The 3km to get there serves as warmup and warm down. This is access road to Circuito de Playa that runs along the beach and takes you towards El Callao and the airport. The ramp is called Bajada Armendariz. From top to bottom it is almost exactly 1 km.
I realized as I started to run what was supposed to be the warmup, that my quads were still quite tight. Also my left Achilles tendon was a bit sore.
Darn! I broke a rule, that I made last year, to always begin the workouts with a stretching routine which is quite different to the routines that you see most recreational runners do. I don’t stretch by standing leaned to the wall to stretch the calfs. Stretching the muscles to extreme, before running is not good, when you want them to explode. Also, cold muscles stretching this way can get you injured. It is better do foam rolling and a dynamic warm-up exercise such a lunges, leg swings and heel drops. These also include short stretches but are within the natural movements when running so they are a very natural type of stretching that also warms you up. Those have been in my arsenal of pre-run warm-up last year and also before races.
I particularly like the lunge-matrix. It is incredible how it stretches, thighs, quads, calfs, abductors, calfs and achilles tendon. If I have felt kinks prior to the run, these simple exercise opens up and get immediate relief.
The other thing that I really need to do prior to the workouts if I am to continue to run with minimalist shoes is to do heel drops.
Although this exercise is recommended for healing Achilles tendonitis it is also a great exercise for prevention. Apart doing them with a straight leg as here it also a good to do a set with the bent knee as this also stretched the Good for Achilles tendon and the calves. Check this example.
So after 1.8 km in to the warm up I thought I’d better stop. The left Achilles tendon did not feel right. So I did the lunge matrix and 15 reps of both types of heel drops on both legs. It immediately felt better and I could follow through to the workout without problems.
I did 10x15s repeats and about one minute between of easy jog between.
Overall the workout went very well.