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Blog 43- Tokyo Bound- Entry 3-By Craig Appleby.


Tokyo Bound- Entry 3


“Recovery Week”

By Craig Appleby

Happy New Year to all, and to all, a good running year!

The week post Steigen was scheduled as a recovery week, both from the training schedule and, most importantly, from the busy school term.

Heading into this week, the goal was to enjoy getting in some mileage while holding out on a session until the weekend. I needed this recovery week to refresh and reset my headspace and to absorb the work I’ve been doing.

For some, feeling fresh and rejuvenated in your recovery week is a true and honest account. Whereas for me, and many others, the recovery week “feels” are that of lethargy and the ‘never-enough-sleep’ feeling. I must make mention that a change in routine, the weather, and many Christmas parties may also play a larger factor in the “feels” than we/I give them credit for (yes, that’s me!).

So, this past week has been a rollercoaster of energy feels, from fresh to heavy and lethargic; however, it ticked all the right boxes. It also marked the transition into the marathon phase of our build up to Tokyo 2019.

You will see in our build up, a clear switch to marathon specific workouts, usually two sessions a week and plenty of recovery runs to absorb the larger workouts – all the while maintaining a higher weekly mileage. Our aim is to be averaging between 150 – 175km for the next 7 weeks.

Here goes…

Monday 24th – woke up feeling much better than the previous night. Rolled out 30km around Cockatoo and Emerald in 2:09 @ 4:15’s – felt really good. We chose to move the long run back a day to get over the Steigen 10, and lack of sleep… it worked! Then we enjoyed a Christmas party with lifelong friends J

Tuesday 25th – Merry Christmas! A lovely, relaxing family Christmas morning, then we (maybe just me…) slept most of the mid-morning. The plan was for a double day, but soaked up rest and family time and headed out for 11km in 49mins before a lovely family dinner at my parents’ house.

Wednesday 26th – First home day for many weeks/months and we made the most of the couch, haha. Well, the lawns were mowed at least. Rolled a late afternoon 92mins for 20km feeling pretty good.

Thursday 27th – Double day – AM: 7.5km in 34mins. PM: 10.6km in 48mins. A little nervy/tightness in my left glute – foam roller, spikey ball and massage relieved the tension.

Friday 28th – First session for the week – early morning to drop the boys off at childcare by 7:30am, then down to Birdsland Reserve (a fabulous spot to train, loops out to, and around, a lovely lake {perfect, almost 1km loop of the lake}. Flat and nice gravel under foot. This reserve joins up with Lysterfield Park and can be linked up with Sherbrooke Forest – brilliant!) for a Mona Fartlek session. Arrived at the carpark feeling tired, rested my eyes and ended up having an hours nap in the car… this wasn’t a promising sign, haha. Anyway, it was warming up pretty quickly, humidity very high, and there was no way I was going to postpone the session to later in the day. So I got to it, starting just after 9am. The warm up was slow and took some time to work into – 5km. Changed into flats for the Mona Fartlek and set my watch (I had uploaded the Mona Fartlek to my watch so I didn’t have to look at the watch for the whole session). 20 minutes later, 6km (avg 3:20’s) of just getting it done – not feeling fast or fresh, but another layer added. Ended with a chance run-in with Melissa Duncan – great to have a chat and run together – for 6km cool down.

PM: After the morning’s sesh I was a little concerned. Nonetheless, the evening run of 7.3km in 33mins was fresh and enjoyable.

Saturday 29th – HOUSE CLEANING! After a busy Term 4 and festive season, our house was a pig-sty. Today we spent the day playing games and cleaning the house – reducing the stress of clutter and mess… it worked! Because of this I settled for one run – 16km in 71mins @ 4:27’s. Felt good.

Sunday 30th – The beginning of the marathon phase – bigger sessions. Dane pencilled in the following session and I was glad to have Dion Finocchiaro, fellow Tokyo Bound runner, join me for this one. The plan = 2h 10mins around Lysterfield with 2 up and down hill efforts at 60 and 90mins; then at 2hrs, 10 mins at mara pace on the road. For most of my long runs I run fasted first thing in the morning or if driving somewhere, a small piece of toast and weak tea. For today I went fasted.

We got rolling at 8am and from the first step I was feeling slow and heavy… not ideal. Dion was terrific and pulled me through on this day – thanks mate! I ended up feeling a little better and we rolled around between 3:55’s- 4:05’s until the first hill at 60mins – go hard for 1.5km, jog 30 odd seconds at the top, then run hard back down – where we pushed hard (avg 3:50 pace) up and flew down at 3:00min pace (Dion wisely elected to hold back on the downs to keep the body healthy). 20mins later of sub 4min km’s saw us back at the bottom of the hill again, round 2. Same averages were hit, felt flatter on the up-hill however, Dion eased away from me on this rep and I couldn’t keep up.

Another 20mins of sub 4’s and we arrived at the main gate 30km into the session. Throughout this last 20mins I was contemplating pulling the pin early as I was sore in my hip flexors and still felt flat. We were still rolling at sub 4mins… I told Dion, you just go for it and I’ll start the effort and see what happens. We hit the lap split and took off. Injecting this tempo pace felt really good and I ran strong with Dion. We ran 3km in 9:53. Tick! Surprised by how good I felt after feeling so rubbish for the previous 2hrs. We jogged back to the car – 34km in 2:12 @ 3:53 avg pace.

Total weekly mileage – 154km

Sessions like these remind me that every time you’re feeling flat or tired during a warm up or run, before doing a harder session/phase, you are often best to begin the session and see how you go for the first 5mins rather than just pulling out before ever giving it a go. Quite often your mind is trying to take over… sometimes it’s best to not listen! I am glad that I persevered with this session as I finished feeling great and satisfied and it gives me confidence that I can handle the harder/longer marathon specific workouts. It was also a nice way to close the recovery week.

Lastly, these types of long-run sessions will be incorporated throughout the next 7 weeks as we continue to build endurance, strength and resistance to muscular fatigue. I feel stronger in my quads already, most notably during downhill sections, and am confident that our approach will put me in the best position to run well in Tokyo.

Happy running in 2019! Cheerios,


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