The Breaking 2:24 Project Blog
I’m back with entry 3 of my ‘Breaking 2:24 Project’ blog! Rapt to be reporting in to go through the week that was. If you are new to the blog, please find my previous two entries on my homepage.
This week the plan was to just tick off another aerobic base training week.
The week started with a slow 60 minute recovery jog at 4:42/k Monday afternoon along the Seaford foreshore trail. This is a lovely tan bark trail, I took this run very easy as the 34km effort from Sunday’s long run was evidently still in the legs. After this run it was straight to the dentist; where I had to get a much needed filling. The dental visit went smoothly and from here it was straight to the gym to continue consolidating my leg and core strength that will carry me through my prep and steel me for race day. When I got home, I was pretty fortunate as Jess had whipped up my favourite dinner; salmon, sweet spuds and brocollini!
Tuesday was another recovery day, including 70 minutes at 9am in the morning along the Coolstores/ Mount Eliza Regional park rail trail. I flopped about at 4:50/km and listened to The Fizzle podcast (a business podcast that I’m enjoying on my drives to work and my easy runs). I love this trail as it’s quite rocky in parts, also not many people know about it, so I find it quite relaxing and revitalizing. I just ‘turn off’ and really enjoy the technical parts of the run! At 9pm after work I rolled another 35 mins at 5:08/km along Patterson River under the moonlight, I enjoy this run each week also but at the same time I’m pretty keen/conscious of getting home to see Jess. I used to do this double run early Monday morning, however I found I benefited from the extra 30 odd minute sleep after my Sunday long run.
Wednesday morning I ‘tee’d up a sesh’ with Papa at 8:30am Wednesday morning at Seaford Wetlands. 30 minute of fartlek was on the menu. The plan was to alternate between either; just faster than marathon pace (1 minute at 3:10-15) or just slower than marathon pace (30 seconds at 3:20-30). I was feeling recovered, the weather was ideal and Seaford wetlands is a flat and fast asphalt surface. Below is a link to my run from Garmin connect. I felt great, I held back and felt like I could have kept going for another 15-20 minutes.
For me to say this is ‘huge’, this is coming from a guy who used to be ‘done’ with a 20 minute ‘mona’ fartlek averaging the same pace or slower. I remember a bit over a year ago when I first did this 30 minute fartlek, mentally I found this session so hard, I am certainly a different runner at the moment, I’m turning myself into a marathoner. I say this as I feel this really illustrates how we all can adapt and change as runners, no matter how old we are. I still look at the famous Josh Harris’ versions of this session that go for an hour (his ‘hour of power’) as far too much for me but the plan is increase this session to 40-45 minutes over a hilly circuit in the coming 6-8 weeks. I feel this will be a really good way to keep building my strength mentally and physically.
Thursday was my morning shift at work, so I shuffled very tiredly for 7k at 5:48am at 5:29/km listening to the latest episode of the, ‘Inside running podcast’ (an interesting episode talking all things marathon nutrition with Monash University’s Alan McCubbin). I do this run just along a nice flat bike path in Edithvale and then continue on to work, where I quickly have a shower, slam down a coffee and a bowl of plain greek yoghurt, honey, muesli and a banana.
It must be said I ate, slept and drank a lot better this week. This weekly blog definitely is making me more accountable in regards to ticking the boxes. I slept on average 7.5 hours each night last week, which still needs to be improved but is much better than the week before where I was at 6.5 hrs per night. I took a 1 litre drink bottle to work and prepared lunches most days. I’ll be honest I wasn’t perfect but I feel I’m getting into a routine. They are becoming the key non-negotiables of my prep. I feel these are boxes that I’ve always fallen down on, so I feel if I can keep on top of them ‘breaking 2:24’ is more likely to be a success! So, no more; lunches consisting of solely; pies and doughnuts etc or days forgetting to drink any water at all.
I’m now finally understanding; sleep/eating and drinking; is what recharges the battery between sessions and gives the body the energy, minerals and nutrients to adapt and get stronger. I have always under valued these factors but I feel they are an integral part of the training program for me as they are my shortcomings.
On the theme of 1%ers, I also got a 30 minute loosener/massage after work, this is something I try to do weekly/fortnightly as a preventative measure. I just get all my tight and sore spots loosened up, so they live to fight another day!
Thursday afternoon after work was another restorative 60 minutes at 4:58/km and another 40 minutes at the gym. I might add, Papa and I are planning to do a gym session together this coming week, so he can continue to work on his ‘guns’ and I can illustrate on Run Culture’s Instagram account to those that are interested, what I do.
I have had opportunity to be in the gym with many elite distance runners and their support staff including; Philo Saunders, Mo Farah, the Robertson twins, Taofik Makloufi, and several of Aussies from the Melbourne Track Club. Last year, I completed the second year of my graduate certificate in Sports Physiotherapy. One of the assessments in this postgraduate study was to conduct a mini critical appraisal of the evidence in a chosen field. I looked into the efficacy of strength training in distance runners with regard to performance. As I mentioned last week, the general consensus is that it certainly helps beginner runners and it may help all distance runners. Anecdotally, I certainly feel like it can help all runners if done right and catered for the individual.
Friday included a very slow hour shuffle along the same relaxing rail trail as Monday, from Coolstores. I jogged around in 4:55/km, knowing that Saturday morning was going to be my strongest session of the week. I got through the long work day and was relieved to have a full three days of no commitments going into the long weekend!
On Saturday morning I caught up with Papa literally in the middle of nowhere. We parked in front of a couple of abandoned looking houses and some fields of cows. It was a beautiful morning and actually quite a peaceful place. I had ear marked this location (Fernside drive just off Thompson’s Rd on Eastlink) several months ago on my way back from Ferny Creek, as an ideal spot for 2k reps as it looked ‘flat n fast’ and there was minimal traffic. We quickly nicknamed the course ‘the runway’ as it looked just like that. Josh was like clockwork on the bike and paced the session just as I wanted; solid first two reps and stronger last two. We hit 6:15/12/06 and 5:59 off 2 minutes recovery.
I rolled my third easy 35 minute double for the week that arvo at 5:03/k for 7kms and filled the afternoon with some ‘sanding’. Jess and I are currently, renovating our kitchen and are planning to paint it ‘white’. We finished sanding all the cupboard doors. Then I had a great catch up, few wines and Parma with one of my best mates and training partners (he’s still currently getting back from injury) Matt ‘Mattress’ Davy and his partner Gemma Maini.
Sunday consisted of a very slow hilly ‘time on the feet’ long run up at Ferny Creek at 5:06/km for 2:25 covering 28.4kms. I really enjoyed this run. Caught up with good mate Ben Toomey who was down for the weekend from Newcastle watching his beloved saints get demolished the night before and to see his folks. Good mate Zacca Newman was also there. All three of us are now buddying keen marathoners. We did the traditional loop which has 6 strong climbs in it and some good down hill sections too. We amassed 750m of ascending and descending in the run.
And that was week 2 of my 16 week Berlin prep! I logged 132kms for the week, 16kms of which was hard running. Most importantly I improved my nightly sleep average, daily hydration levels, got a maintenance massage, ticked off two more strength sessions, got a hilly long run in and enjoyed the process!
Next week, I’ve got some 3km reps and I’ll have a hit out at the Vic Open 10km undulating State cross country at Bundoora Park. I’ll have one more strong training week after this before I ease back for a good go at Gold Coast half marathon. Then I’ll give myself 10 days give or take to recover and I’ll get into the crux of my Berlin build.
Hope you all are all having as much fun striving for your goals as I am for mine! Enjoy the journey! Please if you have any question or feedback on how I can continue to make this blog more valuable don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here at www.runculture.org . Thanks for all the great feedback over the last couple of months!
I hope it’s another week where you all continue to; ‘run, live and or grow!’