Blog 55: Build to Goldy!
By Dane Verwey
Hi all, it’s Dane here and I’m keen to get back into sharing my weekly training with you all, over the next two months as I lead into the Gold Coast marathon!
In two weeks I’m also doing the 2019 Adelaide Marathon as a bit of a tune up, so I thought doing a blog again would make for an interesting ride/read!
So, welcome to the creatively named; ‘Build to Goldy’!
Personally, I have been a bit quiet ever since the Berlin blog, September last year but it was for very good reason!
The end of 2018/start of 2019 period, was an incredible time in my life, I got married to my amazing wife; Jess! On December the 8th , what an absolute incredible day! Then we went on our 2 week honeymoon a month later in lovely, Vanuatu! I have never been so relaxed, we were treated like absolute royalty!
Yes, of course, like any obsessed runner, I was still running over this time and in fact December went pretty well, given how jam packed it was. Until, I got a sore foot.
In fact, looking back on it I really should have eased the running back but it was my outlet, I was still riding the Berlin wave of success and I had this little voice in the back of my mind reminding me that either Tokyo or the 6 foot track marathon, was creeping up. The beauty of retrospective thought!
I was initially fearful that I had a 2nd metatarsal stress reaction, so I stopped running completely for 2 weeks. This coincided with Vanuatu so I kind of saw it as a message from above, fate if you like (honeymoons only happen once, so soak it up!) So, Jess and I, relaxed like sloths, soaked up the sun, mingled with the locals and clocked Vanuatu!
Fortunately, when we got back my foot cleared up, so I worked out it must have been a small case of intermetatarsal bursitis from stupidly debuting a brand new pair of nike flyknit vapourflys (with a super tight upper) in a 30 km run at 90% mara pace (3:40/km).
After the two weeks of no running my old nemesis, my Achilles tendons unfortunately raised their ugly heads! I have battled Achilles pain on and off over the past 6 yrs. As soon as I have any down time they seem to get out of control again! They hate rest, they just need to keep moving!
Over January/ February and March I was able to join in and feel apart of Dion Finocchiaro and Craig Appleby’s build to the Tokyo marathon (didn’t those boys do well and wasn’t Craig’s blog a brilliant insight into what it takes to achieve what you want to achieve!) Over this period, my Achilles would only allow me to do a lot of jogging and marathon paced/strength workouts. They were too sore to really get up on my toes for any intense running. I was in the gym three times a week and staying consistent with my easy running. I knew if I stayed consistent things would turn. They eventually did.
At the end of March, I had the privilege to be the physiotherapist for the Australian team at the world cross country championships in Arhuis Denmark! See blog 52 for more details of my experience here!
Over the last 6 weeks, my Achilles have finally been back in that nice controlled place where I like them to be! I consequently changed this years goals from Tokyo, to race well at Adelaide and use this as a build to the Gold Coast marathon!
The Gold Coast marathon is the Oceania marathon championships this year, so a huge point scorer for any Aussie marathon hopefuls for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics! I certainly don’t see myself in it for this reason but I see it as a great opportunity to race the best in Austraila.
Rather than labelling this; ‘the breaking 2:22 project’, I do respect how well I ran at Berlin last year and how smooth my lead up was. I also respect how conducive the course was in Berlin to fast running. For Gold Coast, I am definitely first and foremost ‘racing’ the other runners in the field, it’s a championship race, I’m keen to see how I can go against a super deep Australian field over the marathon. I want to have a good ‘race’ where I place as high as I possibly can and if this gets me a sub 2:22 ripper but the time isn’t the aim. Gold Coast gets super warm from 30kms so I feel racing the race rather than going for a time is a smarter ploy. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll talk about my race mindset as we get closer to race day.
Ok, so how’s my training looked of late? Well today I’ll keep it brief and just quickly go through the highlights and low lights of my last month or so of training. For the gory detail of every single run add me on strava; where I have been consistently logging all my training under the guise; Dane Verwey!
I started planning for the Gold Coast marathon 20 weeks out. Despite my Achilles trouble, I haven’t missed a day of running since early January. I really haven’t change much of my original plan, other than having about a half dozen sessions where for various reasons be it Achilles stiffness or work tiredness I just wasn’t anywhere near my planned pace goals for the sessions. In these circumstances, my confidence didn’t waiver as they were often scattered in among some really positive showings as well. I also assured myself that although they were pretty ugly on paper (one of them I named ‘picnic’ on strava; after the chocolate bar that is just as aesthetically challenged.) the appropriate effort was there!
The Denmark trip, was an incredible experience as a fan of the sport, as a physio and as a passionate Aussie! My Achilles for some reason or another was super sore while I was away physio’ing in Denmark at world cross. I had just completed a consistent 6 weeks of mara foundation training prior to this trip, so I was due an easy/down week. So, I pre-scheduled a recovery week, as the trip was always going to be more about me focusing on doing a good job as a physio. I just jogged 30 minutes each morning and night, to keep the body moving, to relax, de-stress and to checkout Arhuis!
As a result of having a stiff and sore Achilles for much of this year, for much of my build in this marathon prep I have focused on longer marathon paced fartleks, longer marathon paced tempos and running in a fatigued state. I have avoided a lot of really fast workouts where I am right up on my toes. The build has been super strength orientated! Which as I will detail below has been both good and bad.
My Achilles handles marathon pace workouts, really well. I have done a couple of 30km 90% MP long runs, several hilly long runs with Sean Helmot in his Boston Build, 40,50 and 60 minute fartleks, a half marathon the day after a 30km long run, a weekend where I did 42kms at or faster than 3:30/km, a 3hr time on the feet long run and several marathon paced fartleks/speedplay deep into long runs.
As a consequence I feel incredibly strong perhaps the strongest I have ever been? Which is great as I see my best chance to get my highest possible finish at the gold coast marathon, is if it I’m full of running late. However, the focus on strength has come at a cost to my speed. I was definitely under done from a speed side of things at the recent Jells Park AV relays, where I couldn’t really get out of, ‘what felt more like a 10km-half marathon pace’ kind of gear. Since then I have done 2 weeks of speed work as fortunately my Achilles is now feeling great again and tolerating this kind of work. Which leads me to another exciting development in my life that has occurred since I last blogged.
I have done much of this recent speed work with the subelite group I now coach.
In December last year highly respected Frankston junior aths coach; Bron Louizio called me in for a chat. After 8 years of building an amazingly successful junior distance running squad down on the Mornington Peninsula she was ready to resign. She thought I’d be a good fit to take over the reigns for the junior going onto senior boys.
So, after the recent Stawell gift I have excitedly taken on this challenge. Boy, it has been fun! It was the breath of fresh air and challenge/change I needed. I am now coaching about 10 athletes and forming the little runculture elite team that I envisioned for a while now. How good is it running in a group of runners with similar challenges, goals, desires, motivations and aspiring atitudes?! It’s like your suddenly part of a ‘footy team’ or some dual purpose, something bigger than you! I hope to keep striving and chipping a way to build this team, who knows what we can achieve, that’s the beauty of it!:)
Ok, so that’s me done, that’s where I am currently at and what I have been up to over the last 6 months! Blog number 54 and entry number 1 of the; ‘Goldy Build’!
I really do hope you all are enjoying chasing your goals and loving the process as much as I still am!
Oh and before I go…..
I also wanted add before I wrap up that for any of you that are interested, over the past couple of months I started up a facebook group called; ‘The running training and injury support group’. At the time of writing we are now at 333 members! As a passionate, running physiotherapist who wants to make a difference, starting this group was a proactive move to get out of the clinic and try to provide a free, helpful and engaged running community to hopefully prevent a lot of the injuries I see in the clinic. So, many running injuries are preventable! This group is a passion project, it makes me feel like I am making a bigger difference, it allows me to treat proactively rather than reactively and I also feel like I am reaching far more runners than the 10 I see daily in my brick and mortar clinic! So be it injury trouble or running training advice, please don’t hesitate to reach out and join the group. Like I mentioned before, having a team of people you belong to, a community that helps each other out is just so fulfilling!
Until next week chat soon!