Training log now included at the bottom. Summary - just short of 90 miles. Good track workout. Few hills. Poor parkrun. Quite decent 20 mile offroad race on Sunday.
Kawauchi - Japanese Style
For those of us interested in marathoning and in particular the top non-Africans (because let's face it - it's a different world!) a lot of the focus goes on the Japanese. Unlike the Africans and even the Americans they rarely have the really fast 5k/10k times but tend to knock out fast if not spectacular half-marathons (or equivalent Ekiden legs) and correspondingly better marathons. They have a knack for picking up the minor medals at world championships.
So it was fascinating to see Kawauchi - with decidedly average in the world of sub 2:10 marathoners shorter PBs of run a huge PB of 2:08 at the Tokyo Marathon. Brett Larner's excellent JRN has more details here. Kawauchi left the Japanese university system and corporate system at a young age. Runs considerably less miles (it looks like something in the mid 90s per week) and works a full-time job (admittedly with time in the morning to get a lot of training in). For those of us working full-time and without the quick shorter times it gives hope when a guy like this can make the huge jump to world class with a great PB.
The guy apparently runs every marathon like he might die during it, needing the medical tent on multiple occasions. For the final 6 odd k of the race watch the below...
Brockwell Park Run
Okay so I've had a Parkrun going for 10 weeks now, I thought it was 2 miles away but it's actually 1.7 odd. I've unfortunately been either training on a Saturday morning or been away. Just generally talking to some runners there is a temptation I know for fairly decent runners to want to just go and do a park run on a Saturday rather than perhaps try and put a harder session in. Great for 5k/10k runners and not so great for marathoners. Non-specific work potentially compromising the long run. That said if you did a parkrun at the end of a long run...
Anyways - so I got down to Brockwell Parkrun. I've got a 20 mile race with a 4 mile warm up tomorrow so was never planning to blast it. Looking at the previous 9 results aside from Tobias winning the first one in 16:54 all the rest were over 17 minutes. I figured I could do a fairly easy "mini-tempo" sitting on the next runner and kick for the win.
So what do I see as I jog down but a bloke wearing a SoE vest. Damn. It's my mate Carlisle and I know he's in reasonable shape. That's the win gone. There's another guy in a T-shirt looking loose - James Trapmore. Anyways - race sets off, I stick in behind the two of them for the first 800, realise I'm going way too fast and ease off. They rapidly disappear into the distance and I poodle around for a 17:01. Given the plan was at the very worst (best?) to run at 17 minute pace and kick like mad I'm fairly pleased with the effort on the whole as there's no way it was near flat-out. In all honesty it felt like I was just trying to run a bit faster than usual on a steady run. Lead two were well clear - sub 15:30 for sure.
So anyways - just a couple of thoughts - firstly the course. I actually think it's a really good course - fast with a bit of a hill in twice but not really all that bad and a long sweeping downhill. Potentially you could run a very fast time on this course (and so I'm very pleased it's in my backyard). The one thing which would slightly improve the course time-wise would be to start the run at the top of the hill and take advantage of a big net downhill!
The second is more on parkrun itself as a concept. I've run 4 now and I think the fastest is 16:54 on Wimbledon Common. In each of them I've been in fairly good nick. The 3 I did last year were all just before the 31:38/69:51/2:31:16 series. This year I think I'm in good shape. So why are they all so slow? It's partly the course - but the courses ain't that bad. I want to say that it's early in the morning but this started at 9 and I'm usually putting in a hard tempo by 9:30. The main thing to me is that it's "sort" of a race. I really struggle to motivate myself to push the way I do in a race or even a hard training session. It's just sort of a "bleurgh - can't be bothered" feeling (not that far off what I felt at the Southern). Next week I may do it again and this time try and run it more seriously. Hopefully I'll get something a bit more reasonable!
On the whole - great event, thanks to the volunteers and you'll see me again soon. Hopefully soon!
|PM||14 miles with a real variety of paces. Set off at a steadyish 7mm intending to try and link with Chasers- ended up racing an oldish guy with a 5:27 mile along embankment then back to 7s. Felt really bad when finally caught chasers - faint + ready to throw up, so jog/walked mile home.|
|Tue||AM||4.8 easy miles at lunch- standard Canal run|
|PM||warm up to Battersea,2 x 3k off a 2:30 lap jog, then 3 x k off a 90 sec / 200 jog. 9:52,9:40,3:07,3:12,3:07 - Hendrick there for 1st and 3rd ks of 3ks. Progress - ks hard work though - not much speed.|
|PM||Rest day - Burger King for breakfast, lunch and a Curry for dinner - all allusions to being an elite athlete disappear.|
|PM||11 miles - first 5 or so with James easy at low 7s, few more easy then 10 x ~32 second hills hitting them hard - tough work but worthwhile, easy jog home.|
|PM||84 minutes fairly easy - did the same hils as the previous night but just jogging them and checking out the route to get to Brockwell Parkrun the next morning|
|Sat||AM||Warm up to Brockwell, 5k Parkrun, 3rd 17:01, warm down - felt really flat here even though wasn't trying to go fast but not great.|
|PM||5 miles easy around Common - quite surpised to see I was running 7:22 pace for this. Managed to sneak it in between 800s and 3000 final - go Mo!|
|Sun||AM||4 miles warm up, Thames 20 - was hoping to jog 15 miles and push last 5. 2:28 man Mike Helman turned up and made it hard work. First mile had to be 7 minutes. After that we still clocked 57:42 first half. I went clear on second half and ended up with|
|PM||58:52 for a 1:57:44 total. All offroad . V. pleased - splits of 6:38, 5:57, 5:44, 5:25, 5:34, 5:32, 5:35, 5:40, 5:53, 5:44, 5:53, 5:35, 5:48, 5:51, 5:54, 6:01, 5:59, 5:58, 5:53, 6:00|
|Summary||Another solid week - pace was definitely faster than usual on a lot of my runs this week hence I've included Garmin mileage to give a better reading. Tuesday track I was very pleased with the 3k reps but felt it on the ks. Thursday it was good to get some hills in. Saturday was a bit disappointing but I knew I was holding back (but still felt like tough work). Sunday was a bit of a stormer - I didn't know I could run 5:30 miles and it feel so easy offroad! Also nice to come out on top in a good race. 20 miles offroad at 2:34 pace shows I'm in pretty decent nick right now over the longer stuff - just need to get my body used to some faster stuff right now!|