Tuesday - 10km Easy

You'd think I enjoy torturing myself by running in hot weather so much. Quite the opposite actually. I did not enjoy running today.

I could not help but think of all the countless things I'd rather be doing instead of running in the middle of the day when the temperature is over 32ºC. I didn't really have a choice though.

Hopefully all this training in the heat will be for the better if any of my marathons this year fall on a hot day. I definitely don't want that to happen but at least I'll be prepared.

The positives of today's run though: no pain in my leg, and my tight hamstring has loosened up since Sunday.

Thursday - 3km Shakeout

You might notice the lack of tempo run today. That's because I impulsively signed up for a 10km race tomorrow, which will replace my tempo run from today. Today was a short, easy, shakeout run just to loosen up my legs and save energy for tomorrow.

I'm not aiming for any PBs tomorrow, although I am treating it as a race and planning to put 80-90% effort in. I signed up more for the benefit of extra race day experience than anything else.

An aspect of my running that I will be trying to focus on during this marathon build is my fuelling strategy before and during races/long runs. 10km is relatively short compared to the long runs I'll be doing for training and of course the marathon itself, but it's still a good opportunity to practice different pre-run fuelling (I don't plan on fuelling during tomorrow's run, except water).

Tomorrow my plan is looking something like this:

  • 2.5 hours pre race: Maurten Solid Bar + Sodii Electrolyte mix in 500ml water.
  • 10 minutes pre race: Maurten Gel 100.
  • Friday - 10km Race Day

    "Why did I sign up for this?"

    That was the first thing I said to myself after waking up at 5:30am.

    I quickly answered my own question with, "Because I fucking love running."

    No other comment was necessary. I love the race day feeling and all the prep involved. Today was no exception.

    My pre-race fuelling went the way I had planned last night, so no need to go over that again. I find it helpful to have some sort of strategy planned out at least the night before so that I'm not wasting mental energy trying to decide how to fuel myself the morning of the race. Even if whatever you're trying is completely new, it's still worth having something planned and written down for race day, although I would not recommend trying anything for the first time on race day. The benefit of writing down your plan is that you can reflect on it after the race and see how it worked for you. It does not have to be perfect. Just have something to improve on.

    Anyway, let's get on with the details of the race:

    I had come into this race aiming for around a 4:00/km pace, which is my target marathon pace and my previous half marathon pace. This was a very loose goal as I had only found out about this run yesterday, and so my prep did not match that of a 10km race. I would have been happy with anything around that pace as long as I did not pull up sore afterwards. So far, I am not sore, at least not to the point of anything concerning.

    I started at the front of my starting wave (40-50 minute finishing times), and went out slightly too fast, briefly hitting 3:15/km (oops). Thankfully I quickly realised this was way too fast for me and backed off a little bit significantly.

    The first 2.5km felt quite good. My pace was ranging from about 3:47 to 4:15/km. This feeling lasted until just before the 4km mark, where I suddenly felt slow and tired. I'm not sure why. There are so many factors that could have contributed that it's hard to pinpoint any one as the cause. As usual, it was probably a combination of many factors.

    My pace during this period of about 2 mintues slowed to roughly 4:20. Thankfully this was only short-lived and I sped back up, finishing the 5th kilometre in 4:04.

    The second half of the run was much quicker, averaging 3:55 for the last 5 kilometres.

    I finished with a time of 40:18, and placed 40th overall out of about 550 people.

    I try not to get too caught up in my ranking because I'm not racing to beat everyone else. I'm only racing to make myself a better runner.

    Either way, I'm happy with my time and ranking considering I had not done specific preparation for this run. I think the rainy conditions may have also worked in my favour because I can't imagine many other people enjoy running in pouring rain as much as I do.

    Sunday - 16km Long (Progressive)

    I had still planned to do today's 16km long run at a reasonable intensity even though I raced a 10km only two days ago.

    Instead of doing the whole run at a high intensity, I decided I'd make it a progressive long run, meaning I would start of slower, and then make each passing kilometre slightly faster than the previous one. My aim with this was mostly to ensure I had recovered from Friday's run before going into more fast-paced running, and gradually increasing my pace meant I could find a sweet spot if I was feeling sore in any way. Rather than running too slow or too fast, I could easily adjust back to the last pace I felt comfortably challenged at.

    I did not find this run physically challenging––I was not running at any paces I hadn't ran longer distances in before––but it was challenging in the sense that I had to try maintain a steady pace for one kilometre at a time, and then slightly increase the pace for the next kilometre. I was often tempted to run much faster than I should have.

    I also think progressive long runs are good when you need to do a long run but could also benefit from reduced intensity, like me today. I will be keeping this in mind.

    For those curious, here's what my pace graph looked like for this run:

    Pace graph from 16km Progressive Long Run.

    I did give myself roughly 500m to cool down in the last kilometre, but until that point I was sticking around 4:05/km.

    Overall I'm very happy with how I felt this weekend. I was prepared to feel sore after Friday and even after today, but thankfully my rate of recovery seems to be increasing.

    This week wasn't much of an increase in terms of distance compared to last week, but I definitely increased my intensity a lot more. I guess that's still a win.

    That almost closes this month of running. One more run scheduled for Tuesday. And then February is here––my biggest month of running (so far).

    I'm ready.

    Weekly Summary:

    Total Distance: 39km

    23 Weeks Out.