Blog 3: Goldy Build
By Dane Verwey
Hi guys Dane Verwey here, back for blog 3 of ‘The Goldy Build!’
Now, it’s been two weeks since I ran the Adelaide marathon and I have been so ‘rapt’ with how I have ‘pulled up’!
Whether this is an indication that the run was as comfortable as it felt and there is, ‘a bit more out there.’ I suppose every runner likes to think that hey! Or potentially, I just had a great day, as you can in running and I have pulled up well because it was my 9th marathon and my body is just a little more robust and better equipped for the rigours of it all.
Either way, I of course ended up taking a very easy week. I wanted to not only ensure I absorbed the effort and was stronger for it but obviously that I allowed my body some down time to recover and not get injured.
So, it was an easy week full of jogging and two ‘very easy, half sessions’. I jogged till the Thursday. Normally, I have to walk till about Thursday after a Sunday marathon, as I’m too sore to run! However, on Monday I managed to do 50 minutes at 5 min/km at Mt Eliza Coolstores with the squad I am ‘player/coach’ for.
Actually, on that, I am absolutely loving coaching this squad of 6-8 ‘late teenage/early 20 something boys’. They are so motivated, keen, dedicated, enthusiastic, have huge ambitions, have heaps of energy and are just fun to be around! We train together 2-4 times a week, I’ve got them all coming to my gym that I’ve set up in my garage twice a week for strength training, focusing on individual weaknesses in a bid to prevent injury and aid performance. Their programs are currently heavily focused on building aerobic strength, more than they ever have been before. I’ve got big ambitions for the group! I want to help them become not just great now but in the years to come! The Run Culture elite group name is to be unveiled in the weeks to come, we are all currently in the brainstorming phase. Suggestions are welcome! Get excited! I’ll introduce the promising members of the squad to you all as the year goes on and it all continues to develop.
I jogged a couple of times on Tuesday for 90 minutes, I did another 60 minutes easy on Wednesday. On Thursday, I was able to do a 10 minute tempo with the squad at 3:38/km into 6 by 400 in 72-4 seconds off 1 minute static break. I jogged Friday for an easy 60 minutes and did another 35 minutes easy Saturday morning before work. After work, I went to Braeside park and did half a ‘mona’ fartlek (so, 2 by 90 sec on/off , 4 by 60 sec on/off) in an average of 3:30/km.
On Sunday, I met Klay hopwood, Gemma Maini, Matt ‘Mattress’ Davy and Jess Dunsmore for a 2hr easy long run on the rolling hilly dirt roads of Devil Bend. I comfortably averaged 4:22/km for this run, 7 days after Adelaide and 5 weeks till Goldy!
Monday was another easy 70 mins at Coolstores with the gang but the weather was atrocious and the early darkness of June was kicking in! So, we changed route and stuck to the ‘predictable’ tar of peninsula link.
Tuesday, I got an easy run done in the morning and got back into the gym work.
Tuesdays and Thursdays involve me working from home nowdays, so it is easier for me to ‘take charge and plan my day to make things happen/get stuff done’. ‘I’ now set my daily timetable, which is the ‘fresh change’ that I needed.
In the afternoon the squad then met up for a ‘full’ mona fartlek this time (so, 2 by 90 sec on/off , 4 by 60 sec on/off, 4 by 30 sec on/off, 4 by 15 sec on/off). We all did the same session, all 10 of us, it was super fun! Up until now, we had all been separating into groups due to individual differences in goals and where we were all at fitness wise.
Given this was the second week after Adelaide marathon, I wanted to do a couple of shorter sessions this week, 1.) to further gauge how I was recovering and 2.) all these sessions were bang for buck short sessions my body was quite used to. I almost consider them; ‘marathon speed work sessions’.
So on Tuesday afternoon with the squad incredibly, I rolled a career mona pb, without meaning too. Granted the 700m loop course always seems to scrub up pretty nicely on a gps watch! About half of the group hit times that they were rapt with, to me this suggests a fast course haha. Nonetheless, I was only 8-9 days off a marathon, so even to be considering this debate, was rather rad. Jess and Ethan were great to run with, perhaps it was the benefit of having running partners after 12 or so months of largely going at it solo for just so many of my workouts?! I hit 6.5km in 3:04/km, my old best ‘Mona’ was some 200ms or so shorter than this at like 3:11-13/km. Anyway, I warmed down with the group, there was a lot of ‘excited chatter’ of course, these sessions create ‘energy’.
I‘m a big believer that a session is just that, ‘one brick in the wall’. Ever since I have used this analogy, I haven’t focused on any one brick alone but the bricks collectively together, the wall they make! However, I do like to think that, some bricks are ‘slightly’ more important than others, it may be their size, shape, or their position in the wall etc. Take ‘uno stacko’ for instance, if you pull a few meagre peripheral bricks out, the tower is still as strong as ever. On the other hand if you pull out a few ‘foundation keystones’, it comes crashing down.
So, yes there is no such thing as a ‘magic session’ but some bricks are slightly more important than others. Key workouts! Keystones! Don’t get me wrong you couldn’t build a full building without most of the bricks, you need the majority to form a ‘sturdy structure’. However, some bricks seem to carry more weight. My logic is that ‘Adelaide’ and the big sessions I have done around it before and after are my ‘keystones’. Keystones or keyworkouts, can noticeably shift your fitness to another level be it physiologically and/or psychologically, that single bricks just can’t.
At the same time, how often have you gone to a young excuberrant hairdresser and they have been unable to stop as they try to finesse your hair into a slick du? How often have they gone a snip or two too short? I am weary that Adelaide was me going ‘close to the fire’. Keystones are heavy and dangerous to carry!….. How close to the fire? We’ll like any optimistic runner I’d like to think there’s room to budge at Gold Coast but I suppose ‘the proof will be in the pudding’. Anway, that’s a bloody ‘nough about keystones and fires! I am also aware that there is only so much training that I can absorb and subject my body too over the next fortnight. There’s a lot that can happen in 4 weeks to derail a campaign, so I have just got to ensure I get to that line healthy and keep ticking boxes (1%ers)!
I have spent a lot of time over the past month or so deliberating the best way to tackle the 6 weeks between Adelaide and Gold Coast marathons. Normally, I jog for a whole month after a marathon; lose a bit of fitness but stay injury free! This process is the whole ‘only 1 step back for what inevitably becomes 2 steps forward’ approach, come the next marathon build. After 9 marathons I actually feel adapted, robust and recovered enough to not only realistically try the above approach, if I am sensible, safe and smart with what I choose to do in between but I also have become hopeful of running a really good race! Weather and health permitting I’ll be shooting for a PB at Goldy.
Wednesday was a slow 90 minute jog, 2 laps around the 10km block at the beautifully peaceful Devil bend reservoir. Unruly or not I brought Remi (mine and Jess’ little 1 yr old Kelpie) for this run, he loves it! There was no one about and he is so accustomed to running with me now, he actually ran for 20 minutes with me ‘off the lead’ (my arms breathed a sigh of relief, ‘no more pulling!’). I also enjoyed going ‘unplugged and podcast less’, my brain suddenly was filled with my own thoughts and the calming sounds of my surrounds! As good as podcasts are, there just is something meditative about being ‘present’ and ‘mindful’ while you run. I rolled 4:47/km, which for me anywhere from here to 5min/km is a typical easy recovery day paced run.
Thursday included an easy morning double around the local Frankston reserve, a gym session, work from home and then 6 by 1km reps in 3:02-3:04 off 90 seconds with the gang down at Narambi Reserve in Mornington. It went well and was great fun again, as we all took it inturns ‘pacing a rep’ and working out who was the most dialled in (and the least haha) at pace judgement.
Friday was a cruisy 60 minutes around at Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve at 4:48/km. Remi really pulled me along for this run, gee he’s getting strong for a one year old pup, pretty keen to get him full time ‘off the lead!’. I was glad today was slow, as I had a solid weekend planned. Jess was off to Moggs Creek for a girls weekend , so I was at home and I was pretty keen to tick off a few jobs at home and get a few strong sessions done!
Saturday, was off to hilly dirt roads of my favourite Devil Bend in the morning at 8am. Half of the group had hills prepping for this Saturday’s Bundoora cross country . The rest of us had 20-30 minutes of fartlek running (1min on:30 seconds off). Dylan Burrows is frustratingly injured at the moment, so after he was done post warm up, he jumped in the car and took some footage of our fartlek (see below). Ethan Anthony jumped back in the car after 20 minutes of the session as planned(as he slowly works back into good shape). Jess and I got 30 minutes done at 3:19/km, it was a good strength session.
Sunday was then my first real hard long marathon workout since Adelaide (2 weeks ago). I plan to do just 1 more of these longer marathon specific workouts prior to ‘Goldy’- next weekend the day after the Bundoora State Cross Country Championships! (mile alternations at and 50 second above mara pace for 20 miles). Then it’s more less about maintaining my fitness, staying healthy and doing a good taper (I always respond well off a good taper).
Sunday went well, I ran 10 kms at 4min/km (80% goal Mara effort), 20kms at 3:40/km (90% goal Mara effort) and the last 5kms at 3:26/km (100% goal marathon effort). If you are interested in how I worked this pacing out….
3:20/km = 100%desired marathon pace= 200 seconds
10% of 200= 20 seconds
90% MP= 3:40/KM
80% MP= 4:00/KM
I did it all solo after a nice sleep in at 10 am in the morning. Conditions were near on ideal other than some strong wind. I ended doing my 10km Seaford Wetlands loop 3.5 times amassing 35kms at 3:44/km in 2hrs and 10mins. It was great to get back to something so marathon targeted again and just ensure I touch base with that specific leg conditioning/mental callusing you need! This felt like the perfect strength maintenance session. Just polishing the strength I have already garnered. The fact that I would have gawked at this workout 2 yrs ago shows how far I have come. It wasn’t easy but when is running 35kms at 3:40/km easy. I found the last 5kms a little hard, I wasn’t able to hit the 3:19-20/km pace I had originally set out to hit. I did this session off the back of a heavy training week and it was only 2 weeks post Adelaide. Instead of striving to hit 3:19/km here I locked into what felt like a marathon groove. I was once again super encouraged with where I am at! I now have an easier week; to one, further absorb the week I just did and two; to freshen up for a hitout at Bundoora cross country next week (I came 50th last year, I’m hoping to improve on this. Being as strong a race as it is, this may not happen! Ultimately it’ll be a great hitout for Goldy eitherway)
The fields have come out for the Goldy mara! I am seeded 29th overall and 9th in the Oceania field, as it is a gold label race and the Oceania marathon championships! There is a host of class Kenyans, heaps of elite Japanese including the incredible Yuki Kawauchi, then there is also the unaging Bernard Lagat, one of the Kiwi twins that live in Kenya/Ethiopia; Zane Robertson, Australian 10,000m record holder; Ben St Lawrence and Australian Olympic marathoner from Rio; Liam Adams.
So, keen to pit myself up against such a stacked field- over my favourite distance. Who knows what’s going to happen?! All I know is I’’ll be giving it my absolute all out there and absolutely relishing the challenge!
I have currently got the below new singlet that I am going to race in at Goldy being made as we speak, a big delivery of this singlet in mens/womens and all sizes will be coming this month. So if you like it and are interested in supporting the importance of ‘run culture’ in todays sedentary world, let me know and send in an order. Wear this vest proudly, it’s promoting a sport that more people on this globe should know about, appreciate and cherish! I have also got a batch of the below socks in US 7-9s coming in too, so message me if you want some socks too? Email me on; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyway all until next week, keep enjoying the process!