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Blog 46: Tokyo Bound- Entry 5. By Craig Appleby.


Hey guys, Dane Verwey here! Here we are, back again with entry 5 of our coverage of Craig’s 2019 Tokyo marathon build up!

I will hand over to Craig in a jiffy but I just wanted to quickly put in my usual ‘2 bobs’ worth before I do.

Today I asked Craig if he was happy to publicly share his honest goal for Tokyo?

I feel that by doing this Craig is even further invested in the process. This will give the next 3 weeks of mara specific workouts some clarity/motivation and drive and Craig will be better placed to picture/visualise running his goal race at Tokyo during these workouts, had he not.

So mate, despite there still being a lot of water to go under the bridge, at this present moment what would you consider a dream come true at Tokyo? And what would you see as a pass result?

Yeah totally fine to share mate. I feel 2:18 to 2:20 is a goal I’m in shape for, if all goes well.

Maybe even quicker!? As long as I can run strong in the end.

Sessions have been geared towards around 2:18 pace.


Thanks mate, super brave to put it out there but it’s an activity that gave my sub 2:24 Berlin attempt so much accountability, purpose, clarity and resolve. Not only does it make you more invested come race day as your bib sails across every 5k timing mat but this attitude also trancsends into training.

It will now be not just you and you alone who is worried about your result but there will now be hundreds of Craig Appleby supporters completely dialed in and invested in your race at Tokyo marathon too!

As the saying goes, pressure creates diamonds.

Whether you achieve the goal or not it shows everyone that that’s how sport goes, sometimes fairytale scripts happen sometimes they don’t.

Ok over to you mate, let’s hear about the past fortnight.

Here we are with less than 6 weeks to go until the big dance – I’m getting excited! On another timeline note, I’m a week away from starting school for 2019 (formally). This means I’ll need to be extremely disciplined over the remaining 5 weeks to not only stay healthy, but maximise the training adaptations by monitoring stress, my diet and the quality of sleep… harder than the actual training for sure!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the start to 2019 and are allocating time towards achieving your goals thus far. For me, I had grand plans of ticking off a few of the unfinished renovations on our house, and to spend some time on my car… not to be. Instead we made the most of the break (I must admit it is easier when Bianca and I are both teachers – planned holidays together) and took mini holidays with family and friends across the state – a far better decision for sure!

The past 11 days have been consistent and valuable, nothing spectacular but some solid work. With our mini holidays, I’ve enjoyed exploring new territory. Although at times, I did have to drag myself out the door when the conditions, my body, and the locations where less than desirable. My routine was disjointed this past fortnight as many of my runs were dotted around holiday activities, traveling and some of those rather warm days. Nevertheless, the constant change in routine made for an enjoyable challenge in seeking out new running locations and aligning training with family time – I’ll have to ask Bianca, however I feel it was a success:)

So without further ado, let’s pick up from where I left you in Tokyo Bound #4.

Thursday 10th Jan – PM – The morning after our travel day was spent, unpacking, cleaning and paying LEGO and other games with the boys. I woke up feeling a little groggy so I delayed heading out for training. I lost track of time and delayed getting out, to the point where I couldn’t complete a double run day. So I decided to complete my session with a longer warm up and cool down.

The session – 20 x 1min on, 30 sec float. I had plans to head to Birdsland for this session but I had a day where I was unmotivated and couldn’t see the value in driving to and from training (and not be around for the boys dinner and bath). So… I decided to do the session along the only somewhat long and flat stretch of road in Cockatoo (Worri Yallock rd near Avon rd roundabout, for the locals). However, half way through my warm up I changed my mind again and decided to start the session on the grass track, near this longish and flattish stretch of road, and get out onto the road for a part of the session. *Author’s note: This stretch of road, as with most roads in the area, doesn’t have a safe and usable verge, forcing you to run on the edge of the bitumen road, with the traffic… hence why I chose the heavy grass track!

Where was I… yes the session. I started in lane 1, then each lap or so I moved out a lane. The idea for this was to curb my boredom and keep 22-23 laps of the track somewhat enjoyable… sort of worked, haha.

Because I was running to time and not distance, It was difficult to judge pace so I focussed on a strong but controlled effort. After 23 laps in 30mins (Garmin clocked 9.53km @ 3:08’s – which balances out to be around 300m out… I think, I lost track of the laps! The Garmin satellites don’t like laps) my watch beeped to end the session and I was surprisingly pleased with the information. It was hard work but I felt I was going a lot slower than the times and pace indicated (adjusted of course.)

I jogged home feeling motivated for the remainder of the week. Another example of how much better you can feel for just getting out and beginning your run (insert sport or activity here).

14km warm up/cool down. 9.2km fartlek in 30mins.

Friday 11th Jan – Lunch – Went in to work for a half day, more organising and cleaning. 65min run, 15km, avg 4:18’s around home. Feeling pretty good.

PM – easy 7km in 32mins

PM#2 – easy 15km ride (as transport there and back) with a few red wines and game time with mates. A great day and I had to make the most of the glorious weather.

Saturday 12th Jan – AM – easy 62mins, 14km @ 4:24 avg. getting in the longer of the two runs for today before we made to trip to Traralgon where we were “glamping” for three nights with my brother and his family.

PM – easy 7km, 32 mins around flat, boring bitumen roads….

Sunday 13th Jan – AM – The ‘Dos Santos’ session = 24km easy into 5km @ mara pace into 6 x 400’s at 5-10km pace.

I struggled to be inspired for this run. Not due to the session but because of where we were. I couldn’t plan an enjoyable loop that ticked all of my requirements. So I headed from our caravan park and ran on the roads into town, then filled in time searching for all the nicest locations in Traralgon before making the journey back to camp, beginning the 5km section at mara pace. I knew from early on that today was going to tough. From the first few km’s I never felt like I was rolling… weather, fatigue, camping… I’m not sure. Dwelling on the factors wasn’t going to help and made sure that I focused on being smooth and in 4th gear.

The 5km effort was hard and the wind made sure that I had to earn the rest between the 400’s.

I was pretty cooked by the end of this session, the 400’s can really drain you. I was glad to have finished and more importantly, glad to have persevered with the session.

33.6km in 2:17. 24km in 4:12 avg; 5km in 3:24ish avg; 6 x 400’s @ 3:02-3:05 pace (I did them on a straight stretch of road, not 100% on distance).

PM – the day was heating up and I made sure to enjoy some pool time (and food!) with family before heading out for the arvo run. For this run I split the running with a gym session. I was surprised by how good I felt (better than I did in the morning…) and rolled 4km, then 20mins in the gym and finished with 3km with my brother, Ryan. He nailed it, especially considering he hasn’t been doing much exercise due to a knee injury – it was great to hit the road with him.

Total Mileage – 170.6km A solid and rewarding week.

Monday 14th Jan – AM – a pencilled in single day. Feeling good after yesterday, I ran 14.5km in 65mins @ 4:27’s – multiple podcasts (my staple: Inside Running as well as The Physical Performance Show with Brad Beer and The Rob Watson Show) helped contain the boredom of running around the paddocks of dry grass. Very hot, the pool was much loved!

Tuesday 15th Jan – AM – another easy day. Two runs to help flush the effort from Sunday out. 12km, 52 mins @ 4:18’s with 4x 20 odd second hill strides.

PM – an easy 8km in 38mins.

Wednesday 16th Jan – PM – I woke today feeling a little flat (possibly tired from the heat) and chose to wait until I was ready to head out for the session of 6km straights and bends on the track. I had plans to head to Berwick and run on the Edwin Flack track, however I never felt good enough to get out. Since breakfast I had a “full”, queasy stomach feel. Almost at the point of canning the day, I decided to just get out of the door and attempt the session at the grass track in Cockatoo. Our main focus for today was controlled form so I wasn’t too concerned about pace.

After 5km’s of running and vomiting (not like the ‘I’ve drunk too much’ vomit, but that regurgitation style… still not lovely), I finally felt good enough to give the session a go. 15 laps of hard, controlled straights and floating the bends I was done and feeling better – 6km in 19:21 @ 3:13 avg. by the time I was home I was back to feeling pretty good again. Not exactly sure what is was… most likely food related… but so glad that I got out the door and completed this one. 17km for the day.

Thursday 17th Jan – AM – 22.8km, 101 mins @ 4:26’s. A lovely morning out to Gembrook and back – my usual mid-week long run routime-felt pretty good. Much better in the stomach region!

PM – 5.4km in 24mins into a gym session at home. Since getting back into my little gym session, I have felt stronger overall. Hopefully it pays off in Tokyo.

Friday 18th Jan – AM – planned for about 70mins easy with a few hill efforts. I ended up running 79mins, 16.7km @ 4:41’s with 5 hill bounds (Steep hill efforts). I felt great getting out for an easy run and the km’s just ticked off.

PM – easy 33mins for 7km

Saturday 19th Jan – AM – A busy socialising day ahead of us. I logged and easy 12.4km in 57mins @ 4:37’s feeling a little heavy, possibly from yesterday’s longer run.

PM – while visiting friends in Mount Waverley, I found a beautiful location to run (Damper Creek Reserve) that had nice gravel tracks throughout. I enjoyed 6.5km in 30mins feeling fresh.

Sunday 20th Jan – AM – Big mara session at Braeside Park with the newly formed, Run Culture crew/squad (I let Dane decide on the title :)) = 10km easy into 10 x 1km @3:20’s, 1km @ 3:40’s with 3-5km jog to finish. The average pace would be around 95% Marathon pace .This session looked a little easier on paper as the pace efforts were at marathon pace or slightly slower; however, it is the accumulative effect that makes this session hard – exactly what we are after, working harder on tired legs.

The group split in two, those who were out for a standard long run and those doing the marathon session (Dion, JD and I). we rolled along nicely for 10km where I began my session (Dion and JD were planning to join in for the last 5 reps as Dion just won the Hobart marathon 7 days prior, and JD is returning from a serious injury) and hit the first km quicker than I planned – 3:13. From here I focused on being in control, staying relaxed and remembering I still had 19km of hard running to complete… well the float went by in 3:35 and I was back into the hard effort. 3:18 for the 2nd, 3:16 for the 3rd rep (floats in 3:38 avg) and I was a little concerned I went out too hard as I was feeling heavy in the legs. From here I relaxed, focused of form and just monitoring the effort. I knew I had a few more reps until I would have company so I used that as my carrot… the remainder of the session went fantastically – made better by having JD and Dion’s company (the power of the group training effect is fabulous). The on Km splits – 3:13 3:18, 3:16, 3:11, 3:17, 3:12, 3:12, 3:14, 3:14, 3:11 and the float were between 3:35 – 3:41. Dion and I turned back to meet JD and completed our cool down together. I am extremely happy with how this session went, knowing how I felt and to do it in the Brooks Ravenna 9’s (a mid-to-heavy trainer).

PM – after a day of eating, resting and socialising I got out for an easy 7km run into a gym session. By the end of the gym session I was feeling pretty good.

Total mileage – 165.6km

The last three weeks have been great. Little stress, plenty of fun and family time, as well as some solid training. I happy with where my weekly mileage is at and really pleased with my training adaptations and how I feel during these sessions.

Not long know! Two and half weeks of quality work before we begin the taper… exciting times!

Happy running,


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