Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baby Strokes

Made it to the pools yesterday for what was only my third swim of the year. The Mt Eden 25m one on Bellevue road. Only $4 for a casual admission which is nice and cheap.

I had a whole lane to myself! It was great.

I did 54 non-consecutive lengths of freestyle and around 13 lengths of breaststroke. The plan for every 4 lengths of freestyle to mix it up a bit with one of breaststroke. I ended up doing lengths in ones and twos with rest periods of around 10 seconds. It was hard work! Have stuff all swim endurance at present and struggle to do more than 50m in one go.

Just plodded along although at the end did one "sprint" length for 23:30.

In terms of cross-training it is good. I could get a workout and rest my legs. Lets see if I can make it a regular thing - the trick will be fitting it in at a time when the pools are quiet. My arms are a little sore now but thats all good - means I'm using them!

Back to Nature

Yesterday I went for a midday longish run of 16.4km leaving from home, through some of the nice leafy streets of Epsom, through Cornwall Park, up One Tree Hill, and then back home. Cornwall park is lovely to run in lots of trees and open space - really gets back to nature as opposed to pounding the streets in suburbia.

I intentionally kept an easy pace and while my legs felt a tired and a bit tight at the end came it was a good run. Recovering well considering I had done a 10km the day before.

It wasn't all peaches and cream though - the climb up One Tree Hill really kicked my butt. I'm out of sorts on the hill running. Old(ish) man shuffle running sort of stuff. Some stretching at the top and having a nice look at the view - out towards the city with Mt Eden to the left. Bit of a second wind on the descent and on the way home though.

16.43km / 1:24:29 / 5:07 min/km.

I have a couple of hours free now before I pick up my son from kindy (he's there on a half day) so time to hit the pools for some lane swimming. See how we go.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tempus Fugit

It really is flying. Next 10km this Sunday and the year almost half gone. Scary.

10.4km along the waterfront and back again this morning.

Was a bit of a weird run, felt a bit flat and slow in places and at other times felt pretty good. The main thing is no injuries!

Conditions not too cold today, just a bit overcast. All good.

10.4km / 49:26 / 4:45min/km

On leave the rest of the week. Will try for a swim or two in the Mt Eden pools.

New Zealand music month in May. I usually have some kiwi music on my running playlist. Here is a good track from Evermore that came up in the second half.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dress Up

This video from 2008 made me laugh. People playing dress up in a marathon...

The bloke skipping the whole thing was pretty impressive.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


It's been a bit cold recently in Auckland. Winter is definitely here.

Thursday morning I set off from work on the 10km along Tamaki Drive.

10.4km / 47:40 / 4:35min/km

Quite a few other runners out wearing tights, mittens, hats and all sorts. It wasn't that cold. Mind you I got a few odd looks just wearing a pair of shorts and a running shirt. Great running along the waterfront (once you get past the red fence!) as the sun is coming up.

Yesterday went for a longer run at a slower pace.

13.68km / 1:05:44 / 4:47min/km.

Quite a good run - along the length of Mt Eden Road and back along Dominion.

The aim in the coming weeks is to start pushing that long run distance up gradually.

Andrew in answer to your question no haven't started marathon training in earnest or picked a plan. What I'm working on now is getting up to 40km a week baseline running without injury and getting my general fitness up. Picking up the swimming as well for cross-training.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Positive Signs

Not much blogging recently - work has been pretty flat tack.

Sunday saw a 5.5km run at moderate speed and my calf was well behaved. Positive signs and I was well pleased. 5.51km / 25:40 / 4:39min/km.

I plan to get up early tomorrow and go for maybe a 7ish km at a Hopefully it won't rain but even if it does I'll be out. Can't slouch when training for a marathon ;)

My efforts on the pushup and situp challenge has hit a plateau - am stuck on Week 4/Day 1 on the pushups and Week 2/Day 1 on the situps. Will keep plugging away.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Run Auckland 3

After threatening to hail down the race morning was suprisingly nice and sunny. The rest of the weekend was quite awful so this was a good start.

The view from my car :)

Caught up with Andrew and his wife Sally before the race. Good to chat about the race and his first marathon coming up soon in Christchurch. Exciting stuff.

After the race I also caught up with an old friend Angie from hapkido days. She is now in training for Ironman which is pretty cool.

Quite a lot of people and the course itself was congested.

The run itself was OK for the first 7km or so and then my calf started to complain a bit. Not enough to stop but I had to slow up a lot for the last loop.

The first two laps I had intentionally run quite slow and easy - certainly aerobic running. Was quite suprised to clear the 5km mark in 22:02, mind you its a very flat course.

Finished up with 46:08 gun time. On the slow side but given I had gone into this managing an injury not too bad. Injury free I think could have threatened 42 or better - maybe next year?

To the guy in the green shirt that turned to wave to the crowd and collected an orange road cone in the crotch at the 4km mark: I didn't mean to comment "nice catch" on the way past. Good that it wasn't a serious accident but it *was* really funny.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A mixed bag

My left calf is still not quite right and in hindsight the waterfront 10km I did last Thursday was too fast too soon. Weird thing was it felt quite good at the time. Maybe I aggrevated it elsewhere? Maybe I'm getting old?

I didn't run this week - rest and a number of walks - but I did go for a short "confidence" run today (in the rain and hail no less!).

3.64km / 17:05 / 4:41min/km and got through it with no pain although I can tell its not 100%. Running pain free was the acid test about running tomorrow.

Run Auckland 3 tomorrow morning on a dead flat course. I don't intend to break any land speed records or my PB here - my aim is to get through without aggrevating things. If it looks like it is starting to play up I'll fall back to slow jogging or walking.

The weather is supposed to be wet and miserable so that'll make it interesting. Will be telling myself "not to run fast" which is a bit ironic.

Pretty frustrating to be honest.

On the plus side I've started back on a core excercise program at home with a number of "challenges". Last year I started the one-hundred-pushup online program got part of the way through - I think my best was 52 - but frankly got discouraged when it got tough. Come marathon time that sort of attitude isn't going to help much so it is also an excerise in perseverance.

This time I'm going to give it another shot with its cousins two hundred situps and two hundred squats programs. Having a strong core should help with posture and stability.

Pushups: Completed Week 3/Day 3.
Situps: Completed Week 1/Day 2 (my situp ability is sorely lacking)
Squats: Haven't started this yet but will be doing Week 1/Day 1 from Monday.

For those that don't live in New Zealand you got to feel for Steven O'Callaghan who stumbled at the finish of the recent Rotorua marathon. The elite althletes certainly look lean and mean.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Book Review : Marathoning for Mortals

I've just finished "Marathoring for Mortals" by John "The Penguin" Bingham and Jenny Hadfield. Lots of good stuff in this book with a fairly self deprecating sense of humour throughout.

What I liked was getting to the end thinking "right I can do this".

The sections around the structure of the training program were good and so were the sections on injury prevention. Each chapter has a summary of useful tips.
Rest days were particularly interesting. Training adaptation apparently happens when you rest and injuries can crop up when we push too hard and rest too little. The authors recommend cross-training as well to have active rest days - the idea is to give the running muscles a break.

Marathoning for Mortals also includes a number of training plans for the half and full marathons.

Overall I thought it was a good read. Very accessible. Probably best suited for someone just embarking on their midlife crises and who hasn't run a half or full before.

In answer to comments - yes I'm definitely watching the calf muscles. Stretching and not pushing the pace excessively which I think was what happened in Run Auckland 2 a couple of weeks ago. I think what I need to is some slower runs in my program and keep up the stretching program. I'm taking the "active rest days" message to heart though - makes sense. Haven't thought about compression socks. Haven't seen these - how do they work? By restricting lactic acid?

Morning Waterfront Run - Oddly Familiar

Something a bit different yesterday morning. Got into the office early with the idea of fitting in a 10km run.

Headed east along the waterfront for 5km and then headed back again. This was strangely familiar as it is the majority of the course of the Auckland Quarter.

Quite a few runners along here even at 7:30 in the morning. I can see why - it is very scenic.

10.4km / 46:55 / 4:31min/km

Pretty much dead flat aside from a small hill to/from the office @ the ANZ tower building to the waterfront.

This little there and back also forms part of the second half of the Auckland Marathon so it was a useful re-con as well.

Calves a little tight so some stretching before work. A great start to the day.

This weekend I plan to do a slower run just to mix things up. Friday is a rest day.