Monday, February 28, 2011

The long and the short of it

I'm at that stage, about 19 weeks out from the Gold Coast marathon that I need to start thinking about structuring my runs a little more.

I had a chat about the marathon training to a friend on Saturday night who asked me what speed work I was doing. I looked at him rather sheepishly and said none. Running's hard, running fast is even harder! He urged me to do some. I know full well when I come back from two months overseas that the running club I'll be joining will have one session of speed work a week. Probably makes sense to start now rather than in 8 weeks time. Same goes for the long slow runs.

So I sucked it up.

Run: 1:26 | 13km | 6m 37s/km. Have been a little worried that I may have over-done the Vibram running in the last week. My feet have been tender. So I did this run in my Asics, which I just don't love anymore. I feel so sluggish. Oh wait, I was. Mentally I wasn't really up for this and physically I was tired and dehydrated. It didn't help that the water fountain I found wasn't working. The whole way back saw me constructing a letter to the Council about the matter!

Sun; run: 21:30 | 3.76km | 5m43s/km. I put my long slow run off for a day and took the Vibrams out for a speed session on the local cricket oval. What a dream it was to run on. The session involved 1min efforts with 45s-1min standing rest.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Midweek update

Finally some pics from the Omara tri. As flattering as black generally is, this pink top seemed to be a beacon for the photographers! Bonus, because I really get to see my less than perfect running technique. Check out the heel striking. And don't forget the thumbs up.

The Vibrams are really helping with rectifying my heel strike issue. I just have to be patient with my calves. They're getting stronger, slowly, slowly.

I set two goals for myself this week. 3x 10km runs. Two down, one to go. I'm thinking Saturday morning at this stage.

The other was water. Three water bottles was ambitious. I'm just getting through two. So I'll keep it at two bottle per day for the rest of the week and see if I can up it at a later stage.

Run: 1:07 | 10.4km | 06m 26s/km. Headed out from home and instead of doing the river run, I headed towards Williamstown. It's quite industrial, but made for a change of scenery. The added bonus being that there were water taps along the way. Something that is sorely missing from the river path. I felt pretty good out, but struggled home. My calves were tired and I was running out of energy. A glass of juice prior to my run would have really helped.

BRW Corporate Triathlon

Massive transition compound. Image from Supersprint website

Pre-race routine: Checked my bike in on Saturday. Found out at that stage it would be a duathlon. This tri/du involves teams of three each completing the three legs as a relay. I was to be run/ride/running second.

Stayed at my parents on Saturday night, they live a suburb away and in the early morning I scootered to Elwood so I didn't have to worry about the disaster that is parking. My team mate had kindly pumped up my tires so I had little to do in transition other than attached my shoes. I opted to go barefoot for the sand run.

Event warmup: Eh? I'm not much of a warm up person. Some hip swings and then a lot of standing on tippy toes in team transition to make sure I saw Ian run in so I could grab the timing band off him.

Run: 6:10 | 800m | 07m 43s/km. Opted for no shoes beach run. It was better than last week as there was opportunity to run by the waters edge where it was relatively solid ground. While the beach run was 400m, there was another 400m or so getting there and back to transition!

T1: Pretty smooth transition this one. Just had to grab my bike.

Bike: 26:36| 10km | 22.56 km/hr. The aim was to go hard. I think I was passed by two females and a dozen blokes, but for the most part I was doing the passing. My computer had a total bike time of 23.38 with an average of 27.5 km/hr which included the run in and out of transition. The official bike time includes T2 time.

T2: I wasted a minute or three looking for the bike rack. Terrible oversight. I swear I ran down the correct row. Apparently not.

Run: 21:44 | 4 km | 05m 26s min/km. I'm not sure the course was really 4km... However, my main goal this week was to run better than last. And to focus on midfoot striking in my runners. I used the first km to warm up and get my heel striking out of the way then I tried to pick up the pace for the last two km where we had a tail wind.

Warm down: Got to cheer on several members of the business I was racing for and talk triathlon. I haven't done that in ages ;).
Awesome event, pretty stoked to get the call up and have the opportunity to make amends for last week.

Total time: 54:30

Monday, February 21, 2011

Goals for the week

This week sees me studying for an assessment on Friday. In order to keep the balance I've set myself two goals. The first is to drink three bottles of water daily; my hydration levels leave a lot to be desired. The second goal is to run 3x 10kms. One down, two to go!

Race report from yesterday to come. I had a ball!

Run: 1:03 | 10km | 6m18s/km. River run from home. I felt really good the whole way. I wore the Vibrams with Injinji socks. My first Vibrams run without blisters! I contribute it to two things, mainly the fact that I adjusted my technique, I think I was running on my toes rather than midfoot striking. I also think the socks helped and my feet were significantly warmer which is going to be important coming into the cooler weather.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Late inclusion

I got the call up yesterday to see if I wanted to participate in Sunday's corporate triathlon (or duathlon given the appalling water quality of late) for a friend's partner who was down a team mate. Hell, yes I did! I want a chance to make amends on last weeks horrible run. With a few more training sessions under my belt this week I'm a little more confidant I can hit a faster run pace. Though the weather could be significantly worse than last week...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New experience

I have the Man home with me today. He was admitted to hospital on Valentines day for emergency surgery on his appendix. After a successful operation he's resting. But it's not really his forte. He had to pop into work today to make sure the guys were on track and I needed to pick up a few things from the city, so I trialled the Melbourne bike share.

Knowing full well I intended to ride I bought along my own helmet. The bike seats are easy to adjust and super easy to ride. There's a little basket at the front where you can secure a small bag. One thing though, you really have to lift the bikes out of their dock. I totally failed at that, it took me about 7 attempts before I could finally release a bike from its dock. Lesson learned!

Run: 32m 57s | 5.18km | 06m 22s/km. I wouldn't usually run two days in a row, but after the quick jaunt into the city I had time to kill so I ran to Albert Park lake. It was hot, the cloud cover had burnt off and it got warm quickly. My calves hadn't quite recovered from yesterday's run so it was painful. I haven't quite adjusted to the vibrams yet to warrant two days in a row and I really think I need to revisit my technique. I think I'm pushing from my toes too much.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Reliable stats

I borrowed the Man's garmin for this morning's run. The whole footpod thing doesn't really work with the Vibrams. Plus as a Virgo I usually map out the run I do with the footpod anyway to see how far from calibration it is. But today I don't have to do anything, my stats are there in all their glory. No additional measuring required. With the Australian dollar almost at parity to the US dollar, I'm wondering if I should pick a forerunner up when I'm in the States next month. Might have to do some research! If you have any suggestions, chime in!

Run: 35:15 | 5.26km | 06m 42s/km. Two words: fitness lost.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Omara Cycles Tri-it Women's Triathlon 2011

Pre-race: I had everything packed the night before, so I just had to dress and make breakfast (toast and honey) to eat on the long drive there.

As I'd anticipated the swim was canceled due to high e.coli levels and it was converted to a duathlon, with a 1km barefoot beach run to replace the swim. My preference would have been to swim!

Run: 8:14 | 01 kms | 08m 14s min/km. Ugh. Sand running. The beach was pretty chopped up by the time we got to it. I tried to run as close to the inside as possible where the divets weren't quite as big. All in all, hard and slow. I had a couple of sections where I thought I was in a good rhythm but it didn't last long.

T1: 39s. Transition went smoothly, just had to grab the bike. Hands down transition was the best part of my race.

Bike: 32:14 | 16 kms | 29.78 km/hr. I had a lot of time to make up on the bike and I tried. I don't think I could have ridden any harder. I was hoping for an average of 30km/hr and I was almost there.

T2: 52s. Running into transition totally fine, racking bike all good. Putting shoes on I seemed to fumble a bit. One of the shoe tongues got caught.

Run: 25:44 | 04 kms | 06m 26s min/km. Meh. Let's face it I probably went too hard on the bike. This is a pretty slow run for me. I was passed by a whole lot of people. I think I passed two, one was walking!

Total time: 1:07

Event comments: I was there to have fun and maintain a good attitude throughout. I really enjoyed myself, even if I am a little disappointed at my performance at current fitness levels.

If you're looking to try a triathlon in a friendly environment this is it. It's not a massive race but there's plenty of support from fellow competitors and the event staff. Plus there was the added bonus of a great fitting 2XU technical t-shirt and there were plenty of goodies to try.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Two weeks ago I lost my training mojo big time. Weather probably had a huge amount to do with it. It happens from time to time and I tend to just lay low knowing full well my motivation will come back. Then it came around to Monday and I had a million and one things on. I got a run in at the very start of the week and then nothing. I was short of time with longer hours at work, followed by a course in the evening. And then Friday I worked my last day and am now on leave until August!

Tomorrow I make a sort of racing comeback (on the tail of a massive taper!) I'm two parts excited and one part nervous. It's a ladies only event that if the water quality holds up will consist of a 400m swim/ 16km bike/ 4km run. Otherwise it might just be my second duathlon!

Mon; run: 25m 38s| 4km | 06m 25s/km. Vibram run. I think it was further than 4km, regardless shoes felt awesome again. The body glide under my toes really helped. Though I can see how I'm going to need some five toed socks come winter, it was a bit chilly.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Monthly totals: January 2011

Cycling: 10h 40m | 212 km
Running: 8h 14m 17s | 77 KM
Swim: 36m | 1500m
Walking: 1h 45m
Horse riding: 1h
Massage: 1h
Strength: 10m

Comments: An improvement from December's efforts, to be expected really. Still not running quite enough. You'll see just a hint of strength making it's way in. To be honest I don't love strength, but it's something that needs to be added to my weekly routine.