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Saturday, 16 June 2012 04:02

Saturday 16th June 2012

Two weeks into my new training program.  I have actually paid for a program this time, from a trainer based on the Gold Coast, as my goal now is a time.  The program I have followed for the last two marathons has been good - I am a big fan of them, and have shared the knowledge I have gained from them, and encouraged other beginners to follow them.  When I have a longer break between marathons again, I will use them again.  But I need to do something different this time.  I am confident I can run for a long time, but I have gotten very slow.  Most of my training sessions in my last block I did not push myself, so I am hoping that by actually paying for a program, I will put more effort into it.  I still did all my sessions last time, but I justified slower runs and less reaching of targets as ok, because I was training for a very long and slow marathon, and I was going to be doing it with Beck, rather than at my own pace.

This program has way more speed work.  It is tough.  Not long, but tough.

First week, having done a 1500m time trial to set a maximal aerobic speed, I have to running sessions that were 8x200m, 16 x 100m.  Goal of 49 secs for the 200's, 25 secs for the 100's.  1:1 work / rest ratio.  Good start - nailed that.  Second run, I had to improve the times to 44 secs / 22 secs.  Hmmm. Didn't so much nail it that time.  Maybe it waas the new weights program?  Maybe not.

A quick email to Joseph - he advised me to repeat that session this week, rather than going another 10% faster.  So I did.  I still didn't nail all of them - need to tell him that.  Then todays run brought a whole new level.  5x 5 minute pieces.  A familiar session.  But this one had actual HR targets on it.  My 5 minutes didn't start until my HR was at 167.  So I had to run, hard, and get that HR up.  Despite going to bed last night with a congested head and sleeping poorly and waking up no less congested.  In between pieces, I had to get my HR down to 112.  That is a very slow walk.  Then run to get HR up, then start the 5 minute effort. I had to do squat jumps to get my HR up high enough, and then running would keep it there.  Ideally, I'd just be able to run fast enough, but experience has taught me that I often don't get to HR until the last minute or two of a piece.  

Cool thing was, my Garmin could be programmed like that.  I will fine tune it for next time, and I still have some issues with my watch - it was giving my very dodgy HR data to start with, but seemed to be consistent later on in the session. (warm up, target until HR 167, run 5 minutes no target, repeat steps 2 -5 x5, cool down).  

In between (last Sunday), I was meant to do my first distance run.  Plan was 15 km at PMP - 5:00 per km.  Every long run I do will be at PMP.  Think of it as Kenyan style training.  They go out at race pace and stay there, the guy who can do it the longest wins.  So each week, another 3km is added on, and I build my ability to run at that pace for longer.  Should I mention here that my pieces today had me averaging that very pace?  For just 5x5 minutes with walking bits in between?  So can't wait.

But, the Sea to Summit event was on.  Starting on the sand at Kingston Park (the southern most beach of the Adelaide Metro strip), we were able to run mainly on trails, some back streets all the way to the top of Mt Lofty (the highest of the Adelaide Hills).  The weather was amazing - max of 14 degrees, clear, still, sunny, the sky as blue as blue can be (y'know - Adelaide sky).  200 people in beanies and jackets, ready for the start, but most of us had pulled them off for the actual gun.  Camelbacks as far as the eye could see, but the run was well supported with drink stops (water or cordial, with coke at the 30 km mark), and lollies along the way.  Supplies are much better when you are in the pointier end of the group, rather than bringing up the rear, as I did at the Cleland trail event a couple of months ago.

It was a good run.  I was pretty tired through the middle section - first hour was good, last hour was good, but most of the two hours in between I felt heavy legged. The photos do show me to be heavy legged also, but that I think is not my point.  It was the first time I have run two hard runs on consecutive days, and it was only my second sprint session the day before I attempted this, and only the first week of a weights program (not just a new weights program, first weights session in months).  There are some of my excuses (I'm good at those).  Anyway, I spent most of the first half of run in the top 5/6 females, dropped back a little in the middle, fell out of the top ten, then redeemed myself back in - I finished 10th girl over the line!!  The last hour, I don't think anyone passed me - I did the passing then.  My head must have figured something out.  (refer to this article I put up on facebook last month).  Legs were definitely weary after that!  But I was still back at the gym next morning.

In the background of the goal for a time in Adelaide, I am also doing my first ultra marathon - the Yurrebilla ultra 56km only 5 weeks later.  The timing of it should be fine, but I will need to give up some of my Kenyan running sessions to do trail running, so I need to balance that out.  I have entered a flat event in July - a parkland loop, 5x 5km laps of the old racecourse - boring but it will give me a very good hit out and distraction as I do 25 km all at race pace with other people around.  Hills to Henley is in August, so that will be another chance for a long one in a group, at pace.






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Health News

This weeks links

The Cancer Council came out this week and announced that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, and that alcohol should be considered to be as carcinogenic as smoking and asbestos are.  As well as being highly associated with throat and mouth cancers, it is now found to correlate highly with breast and bowel cancers.  Perhaps it should not be so surprising that a substance that can so alter mood and ability, even at very mild levels should turn out to be in fact, not good for us.

This story, an editorial from the British Journal of Sports Medicine earlier this year has some amazing targets - it ties in with our look at sitting and health, and is about developing healthcare systems that support exercise - recognise it as being as vital a measure of our health as is blood sugar levels or blood pressure.  It recommends 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults as a minimum.  30 mins on 5 days.  For children, it is 420 mins / week - 60 minutes every day.  How close are you?

This is another article on inactivity / obesity and health from Sports Medicine Australia, highlighting the link between an inactive childhood and a lifetime of battling depression.  It is food for thought (!) these days where there seems to be much paranoia about safety of children away from their parents watchful eyes, and therefore a tendency to want to keep them closely under watch instead of encouraging more activity and indeed risk taking behaviours.  The ability to judge situations for risk and to be able to take appropriate risks builds self esteem and resilience.  Not much to do with bowel cancer awareness, but close to my heart as well.

Another article on sitting

This one is in really simple terms - if you walk 30 mins (as recommended) and sleep 8 hours, most of us still have 15.5 hours per day not moving.  You cannot sit all day behind a screen, then drive your car and sit and watch tv with out it being bad for you.  A good read.