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Blog 22-Breaking 2:24- Entry 8. By Dane Verwey


Hi all, back again and glad to say I’ve ticked off another week of training en route to the Berlin marathon. Welcome to blog 8 of my 16 week journal documenting my training, journey and everything in between to September the 16th.

This week marked 10 weeks to go till race day. From a training perspective, the plan was to stick to my sleep dead line (10:30pm sharp), tick off a pretty standard structured running week (one that my body has gotten pretty used to); get 10 runs done, 3 mediocre sessions, 2 gym workouts, a massage and get a 1.5hr and 2.5hr long run in there. From next week (I will be two weeks off the Gold Coast half marathon) so it’ll be safer to start incorporating some bigger marathon specific work. Mentally and physically I thrive off ‘marathon specific’ work and am definitely a tougher and more confident marathoner as a result.

Adhering to the age old adage; ‘train hard, win easy’; I made sure I rolled Saturday’s 40 minute marathon paced tempo and Sunday’s 34km long run over; ‘hilly trails’. There is nothing like some arduous hills and trails to harden the legs and soul; all in the process of becoming marathon ready.

Otherwise, I was pretty conscious that I just wanted to tick this week off, as another boringly consistent ‘brick in the wall’ kinda week. Nothing special or spectacular, it was all just routine this week.

I have two Podcast’s of note that I listened to on my runs this week, the first being; ‘Magness & Marcus On Coaching; You Can’t force Improvement’ which was particularly timely. This podcast is well worth a mention at this point in my blog.

It’s easy to get so bogged down with the times, splits and markers that we are chasing that we try to force these ‘paces’ in training. I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of many when I say this. With my bid to break 2:24, you almost get lured in to doing this but there certainly is a ‘time’ and ‘place’. After listening to this one, I put the watch away this week and ran according to ‘feel’ and ‘effort’. There certainly is something invigorating about this process, you feel a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. However, more importantly you are giving your body the desired training effect it feels like at the time, not too little, not too much, you are working ‘with’ your body.

A perfect example of where I enforced this was Thursday afternoon after work this week. I finished work tired from a rather taxing day of physio. My right achilles had been a bit stiff all week, although this isn’t particularly unusual, the well being of that achilles certainly effects my affect:) With these factors in mind and acknowledging that I’m training for a marathon and was just 10 days off the half; I decided to do progressive 1km reps off 1minute recovery- starting out at marathon pace and getting fractionally quicker each rep. I went by feel.

In the past I have looked at 1km reps and thought alright lets hit these as hard as I can, if I did that this week, it would of been a clear case of ‘trying to force improvement’. Instead, I ticked off a session that doubled as a ‘marathon speed session’, my achilles had no qualms (infact it is now fine) and I continued to recover well off Gold Goast half. Tick, Tick, Tick. On Thursday, I could of trained harder but I trained with ‘tomorrow’ and ‘Berlin’ in mind.

The other podcast that I recommend readers check out is one called; Runnersconnect- Run to the Top. There are so many great listens here but this week I particularly enjoyed; ‘Why you should train movement, not muscle- with Jay Dicharry author of running re-wired’.

Below is the diary of my week:

10 weeks to go: (8 days post GC 1/2 marathon at the beginning of the week.)

9th Monday-

pm: 70 mins 16kms 4:27/km along Kananook trail from Eel race road.

Followed by a gym session

Felt great!

10th Tuesday-

am: 20 min warm up/down

Seaford Wetlands 10 by 2min on/1min off fartlek- 3:18/km ave. for 30mins and 9.1kms

Altering  between marathon and half marathon pace.

Felt great!

pm: 35 min 7.5km Patterson river easy jog after work 4:42/km

11th Wednesday-

am: Devil Bend 90 mins 20kms 4:32/km with Mattress in the morning

12th Thursday-

am: Edithvale Bike trail 36 min 7km 5:15/km

pm: Mentone Athletics Track

20min warm up/down

8 by progressive 1kms off 1 min static break

Starting out at marathon pace and getting 3 seconds faster each repetition

(3:23, 3:20, 3:16, 3:12, 3:08, 3:05, 3:03, 2:59)

Followed by a gym session

13th Friday-

60mins easy jog Frankston Reservoir 12.2km 5:03/km

14th Saturday-

am Edithvale bike trail 35 mins 7.08km 4:59/km

pm Devil Bend 20 min warm up/down

Marathon pace on the hilly dirt roads of Devil Bend.

40mins 11.63km 3:26/km, felt great!

15th Sunday-

Lysterfield Park Long Run 2hrs 30 34km 4:29/km

Weekly mileage: 156km

As you can see it was a pretty typical week for me, with my usual double runs and my usual Monday, Wednesday and Friday routine.

I was rapt particularly with my sleep, I got to bed before 10:00 three nights this week, this is unheard of for me! I certainly felt the increase in energy this gives you, so it has only acted as further motivation to keep this routine going!

Mileage wise it was the biggest week I’ve recorded since I started the blog, so the highest of my preparation so far, which has been; 145km, 132km, 130km, 131km, 90km, 134km and 156km. Most marathon preps the majority of my weeks hover between the 140-160km mark. In my whole career my biggest ever mileage week has been 164kms for the week. It seems like a lot of running but compared to the vast majority of the guys I run against it is on the lower side. For Berlin I will have a couple of weeks in the 170s for the first time. Given my working hours, if I try to do much more than this I will be compromising my recovery, risking injury and not having a very unbalanced life.

I was very happy with how I felt during Tuesday’s workout. I warmed up at 8:30am with one of my best mate’s Matt Davy better known as ‘Mattress’ (who was just back from school holidays in Palm Cove, as he’s a teacher). We met up at Seaford wetlands off Eel Race Rd in Seaford. The circuit we run on here is this fast flat 5km stretch of tarmac that would be absolutely perfect for a ‘Parkrun’ one day! Infact, I’m dead certain one will start up there eventually!

Mattress just did the warm up as he is just getting back into it; he’s had an unlucky 2018 full of injury and illness. I put my 4%’ers on for the 4th time ever (the ones I will wear in Berlin) and did 10 lots of 2 minute on/ 1 minute float. This is quite a common fartlek, the kenyans often do it but they go for up to an hour! I did it for 30 minutes and just felt really in control. I tried to run half marathon effort for the 2 minute segments and marathon effort for the 1 minutes. I went by feel and my work wasn’t governed by the watch. I finished strong and full of running, I averaged 3:18/km for the session.

Saturday’s 40 minute tempo out at my favorite ‘Devil Bend Reservoir’ on the dirt hilly roads was after work with Jess. I ran the whole run with ‘Sia; Elastic Heart’ on Audiostep blearing in my ears. I just aimed for a marathon tempo kind of effort knowing that the dirt road and hills would add to the difficulty of the run. I finished full of running; whether it was Sia, the beautiful sunset on Hodgins rd or the divine trail around Bittern Reservoir I just found this run effortless and it went really quickly. In the coming month or so I will aim to do a couple of similar workouts around here but longer.

I must also add here that my good mate; Josh Papa has got a full time job now so he has less flexibility/availability to join/pace me for a few of these session. Shattered! Na, obviously rapt for the great man. Perhaps this is an omen, forcing me to get good at running these distances strongly by myself, the marathon is often a lonely road on race day.

Sunday was my Grandma’s 90th birthday in Geelong. So, this meant I changed plans from running Ferny to Lysterfield Lake as it saved about 30minutes in travel time. So I tried to find as many hills as I thought I needed to toughen the run up. I just ran at a comfortable speed like last week and just wanted to tick off another time on the feet 2hr 30minute long run. I got it done and covered 34kms with 450m of climbing at 4:29/km. I once again did it solo, with the company of a few roos, Mario Frioli’s ‘the morning shakeout podcast’ with Deena Kastor, a few mountain bikers and other trail runners/walkers. I certainly made the most of Grandma’s afternoon tea after this one!

And that’s a wrap for another week. 156ks in the bank. Remi learnt to sit on his bed (but continues to be the naughtiest dog at puppy school), Grandma was inspirational on Sunday, Stewy McSweyn continues to amaze overseas, I made progress with my other blog/video ideas for Run Culture, accomadation and flights are just about locked in for Berlin and I’m still hunting for a wedding suit.

Oh and before I forget, over the past week I have sent apparel out to; Ballarat, throughout NSWs, various locations in Victoria and as far away as Darwin! I am so rapt that readers are supporting the ethos of Run Culture. Run Culture is about enjoying the pure essence of getting outside and running, enjoying the journey and cherishing the positive effect running can have on all facets of our life. It’s always fun to run in something that you are excited about. So another unabashed plug,  if you are keen to support this blog and want to purchase a run culture singlet or long sleeve go to ‘shop’ on the home page at and follow the instructions.

Have a great week everyone!!


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