This past weekend I continued with my two-a-day run on Saturday and long run on Sunday. I was a bit more sluggish on my run Saturday morning, I ran the same 16 km (10 mi.) loop as Wednesday and Thursday, but was 10 minutes slower than Wednesday and 20 minutes slower than Thursday. I attribute my decline in performance to my renovation efforts at the beginning of the week, this wreaked havoc on my recovery from last weekend’s running. My late Saturday afternoon 9k/5.5mi run was better, I ran an easy pace with RB at our running club meet.
On Sunday my legs were stiff but I made it through my planned 30 km (18.6 mi.) long run. My average pace was 15 seconds/km slower than the week before, but remained constant and I did not need to pause, except to pee. The 7:05 min/km average pace is much slower than I would like, I am definitely going to work on bettering this before I try to run a normal marathon. I finished the week with 87 km, around 52 miles, I believe my highest mileage week since 2011.
I have one more long run on this coming weekend before my 6-hour event on March 17, I hope to complete 32 km (20 mi). The weather is looking more favorable, we should finally get a couple days above freezing temperatures.
Last week I had to mix in some home improvement in with my marathon training, which made it more difficult to keep up with my training plan. My Saturday early morning 10 mile run was especially hard, most of Friday night was spent running up and down a ladder as I installed ceiling panels in our new storage room. Most of the day Saturday was spent painting the walls in the storage room, but somehow I managed to complete the 9 km loop with RB and our running club at 4 p.m. RB also joined me for an hour of my 28 km run on Sunday. Surprisingly I felt better on this run than I did the previous morning, but still had to fight my way through the last few miles.
On Monday and Tuesday we had a plumber and floor-tiler finishing off our new guest bathroom, so I had to take a couple vacation days off. I spent the days building some storage shelves and other tasks, so took a break from running. Last night I went for a faster 10 mile (16 km) run, surprisingly I averaged 5:35 min/km (9:00 min/mile), one of my faster runs lately. I hope this is a result of my intensified training of late, I guess I will know next week when I try it again. Tonight I am repeating the same loop, but at a more relaxed pace. For the next two weekends I will try to repeat my two-a-day runs on Saturday and my long run on Sunday, hoping adding a mile or two on to the long run each weekend.
On March 17 is my first marathon or more, a 6-hour benefit run for Downs-syndrome. This will be a good test of my current conditioning and will provide some feedback as to how I need to tweak my training for the 80 km (50-mile) run in June.
Over the weekend I continued training according to my new training plan, Saturday morning around 8 a.m. I headed out for a 16 km (10 mi.) run, averaging 6:13 min/km, at 4 p.m. I ran a 9 km loop at our running club with RB, averaging 7:22 min/km. Yesterday I ran a 28 km long run at an average pace of 6:51 min/km. I think my body is slowly getting adjusted to the training; I was a few seconds faster on my long run than last weekend. That said, I was still pretty wiped out after the run, I still have a long ways to go before the long runs become “easy”.
I have been looking over my old training plans from years past and none of them fit to where I currently am with my conditioning and where I want to go with my training. Typically this time of year I have several months of core and muscle training behind me and am ready to really start building up the endurance, unfortunately after almost a year of home renovation it is an entirely different scenario.
Before I list my current outlook on training let me talk about my racing goal(s) for this year. My first goal is to complete the 80K (50-Mile) Fidelitas Night Run on June 22 in under 10 hours. I took a break from this run last year, so need to build up to this distance again. I was considering a 100K race 3 weeks before this run, but considering my current condition, I think it is too much too soon. From May to July I plan on completing at least four 50K races, most of them trail races. I hope my training and racing will leave me in shape to run a marathon under 4:15: (my best marathon last year was 4:49) at the end of August or September. These are fairly vague goals, but at almost 54 years old, I have to be careful about setting overzealous goals.
For the next two months I want to try the following training plan:
Monday: Cross training
Tuesday (or Wednesday): 16 km (10 mi) run, marathon pace or faster
Wednesday (or Tuesday): Cross training
Thursday: 16 km run, 1 minute slower than Tuesday
Friday: Rest or light cross training
Saturday (morning): 16-20 km, 1 minute faster than long run pace
Saturday (evening): 8-11 km, recovery pace
Sunday: 25-34 km, long run
To test this training I am running a 6-hour benefit race in March, last year I ran 46 hard kilometers, this year I am looking for an easier 50. I will reevaluate my training after this race, as my focus will turn to training for the 50-miler, which has a lot of hills.
At the moment my training is dragging a bit, at least compared to previous years. I think the main problem is that am trying to train like I did when I was better conditioned and am trying to do too much in a short time. I am also a couple years older, so need to make adjustments for this as well. My next planned race is a 6-hour benefits run in March, which means I have around 7 weeks to train. I think the next couple weeks I am going to try concentrate on core training, than gradually increase the mileage up to the race. My goal for the 6-hour race is 50 km, but anything over the marathon distance is acceptable.
Yesterday the temperature slowly crawled above the freezing point and much of the remaining snow has melted, so I decided to try a run on the local forest trails. The roads and asphalt bike paths leading to the forest were pretty much free of ice and snow, except for a couple shady places. The forest paths still had snow and ice in the middle, but on each side of the path the snow was gone where hunters and forest workers had driven through. For the most part I was able to cruise through my run without hesitation, but as it got dark I did slow a bit because I couldn’t see if there was ice or not. I ended up with a 16 km (10 mi) run at an average pace of 6:06 min/km (9:49 min/mi).
Tonight I want to run again, RB may run part of the run with me if the weather stays nice. On Saturday I want to run with my running club, and on Sunday I want to try to get in 20 miles.
My cold is slowly getting better, so I went for a run last night, 13 km at a 6:18 min/km (10:08 min/mi.) pace. There was a little bit of powder snow on the trails, but it was fresh and not too slippery. I pushed the pace a little harder after warming up, but noticed my breathing still isn’t back to normal due to my cold, so settled back to a comfortable pace. Over the next few days we are supposed to get more snow, and colder temperatures, the trails could start getting ugly by the weekend.
This past week started out very optimistic, but by Monday night the scratchy throat provided the first warning of what was to follow, I ran an easy run with RB on Tuesday after work, hoping it would not get worse, but by Wednesday I was broadsided with a full blown cold. The rest of the week I didn’t run, most evenings electing to go to bed early as I had no real energy or desire to run. On Saturday I finally ventured out to run with the running club, doing an 8 km run with RB and a couple others, the slower pace still proved to be challenging. On Sunday I had a 20-miler scheduled, but elected to run just half of it, I felt much better, but with my first marathon coming up in 2 weeks thought it would be better to quit early and rest. This morning I feel better, my voice is almost normal and my runny nose has slowed to a trickle, I hope this is a sign that I have finally licked my cold and on the road to recovery.
After work yesterday I ran by RB’s house and we ran 8 km (5 mi.) together before dark. After dropping her off and chatting a couple minutes, I headed over the asphalted paths between the fields separating our town and the neighboring town of Spoeck. By this time it was quite dark out, but the paths are about 1 ½ car width wide and very smooth, perfect for a faster paced run in the dark. My legs were still tired from my long run on Sunday, but I decided to try to run a few kilometers at roughly a 5:30 min/km (8:51 min/mi.), which is my current “speed training” pace. As it was dark I didn’t worry about trying to look at my watch, but after the run I checked my times and noticed I was a bit slower than I thought, around 5:38/km for 5K…I guess it was too soon after my long run after all.
I was thinking about running again this evening, but last night I started feeling the first signs of a cold coming on, that uncomfortable dry, scratchy throat, and this morning is no better …just what I don’t need as I finally getting back into the training routine…but a possible explanation of why I thought I was running faster than I actually was last night.
Yesterday I took a night off from training and did some finishing work in our guest bathroom upstairs in the house. This is one of the four rooms that we remodeled in the shed that is attached to our house. Most of the remodeling is done, but there are dozens of little projects left to do, but these jobs can be spread out over the year, so I should be able to spend more time on my training.
From June to October I ran an average of 3 times a week, in November I increased this to four times a week, and started running my long runs again (i.e. over 12 miles). As my conditioning has been improving I have slowly added some faster mileage, using mixed in with my midweek run(s). I have to be very careful with speed workouts, I’ve noticed my pinched nerve in the back is easy aggravated when I do too much too soon. I have been slack on doing any core and upper body training, so want to slowly mix in some Crossfit/weight training and swimming.
For now I am going to try to continue to run about 50 miles a week for a while, slowly building up my training speed and endurance. On January 26 is my first race, a 50K race in Rodgau, Germany near Frankfurt. I finished the race last year in about 5 ½ hours, but was in slightly better condition, so this year it will be a good test of my fortitude.