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Old 05-15-2014, 12:34 PM   #51
FrogMan
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Pintendre, Qc, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan T View Post
I find that I have the opposite problem with my rest period.. where I get antsy to want to start up again too soon and have to convince myself to take the full rest so I don't blow up from running it too soon.

I only tend to do that on longer intervals, say 800m or mile repeats, but on shorter ones like the 400m at mile pace like I did yesterday, the rest period seemed awfully short...

FM
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:39 PM   #52
FrogMan
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I got a trail race coming up on Monday, and because of it I'd moved a 60 minutes progression that was planned for Tuesday to today but scratched that when I went out the door in order to enter a tiny taper period. Went and did 7 km at a fairly easy pace. It was pretty nice out there. None of the rain that had been forecasted for a few days and temperatures almost around 50 but felt cooler than that.

Got some odd pain in my right knee though. Not too sure what it is, probably some fatigue more than anything else. Will another 5 at easy pace tomorrow and maybe another 3-5 on Saturday and rest on Sunday.

FM
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:41 PM   #53
FrogMan
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Back in October last year, after that 18K and furthermore after my first run of more than 21.1 km, the idea firmly planted itself in my head that I was ready to tackle a half marathon in a race setting. Sure, I knew it wouldn't happen before Spring of 2014 but I also knew that it would give me time to get ready so I started shopping around.

We have a nice circuit of races in Quebec called "Courir à Québec" (loosely translates to "Running in Quebec City") which includes a few events from May to August. I was looking at their separate races and came upon a tiny section on their website titled "Season Ticket". Season ticket buyers are guaranteed a bib for one distance in every one of their events, finisher medal and a shirt (although one gives a knit hat) as well as some other perks and even the possiblity of changing a distance at a later date as long as there were still bibs available. I found their list of events pretty interesting and the idea of a season ticket to be a nice idea for pushing myself a bit. I don't know how many of those season tickets they sell but they claim that they limit them to a max of 500 tickets per season.

I bought mine in early December with the following (original) list of events:

May 4th, Lévis Half Marathon
- That's the that ended up in a DNF...
May 19th, 8K trail race in Duchesnay, Qc
- This one is next Monday. Monday, May 19th is a holiday in Quebec thus why they are doing the race on that day. Duchesnay is a nice park/reserve kind of place that I've often heard about but have never really visited. I'm not a trail/cross country runner so this will be an interesting experience. I'm not going in with any goals, simply to enjoy the experience. Because of my lack of experience running trail, I opted for the 8K distance but they also have an 18K dustance...
June 1st, 10K Descente Royale (Royal Descent)
- This one will be fun. The course is a steady downhill, thus its name, starting from Beauport and ending near Quebec City but not really in the Old Quebec City. This was supposed to simply be part of my training for a marathon on August but I now see it more as a 10K goal race. I'm hoping to do a very fast time in that race.
June 15th, Quebec Staircase Challenge
- They have two distances for this event, 13.5K and 19K. I originally had signed up for the 19K race but have since changed it to a 13.5K after the DNF in my half marathon. As it implies, it'll be run part on streets but also part on the many staircases that are all around the old part of Quebec City. Almost impossible to set a goal for a race like this but I expect that it'll be VERY tough. After not finishing the half, it was kinda of the wise move to reassure my wife to drop the distance on this one from 19 to 13.5K.
August 24th, Quebec Marathon
- In a perfect world, I was to finish my May 4th half in a time around 1:35, maybe as fast as 1:32 and was to keep on training for 16 more weeks, ending my Summer with the full 42.2 km marathon on August 24th. That kinda got derailed when I dropped to me knees and ended my half marathon on a stretcher and in the ER. I'm still certain I can do a half marathon but until I've successfully done one, I have decided that I will not enter a full marathon. Life's not a sprint and I will take the time to do things the right way. Because of this, and again to reassure my wife that I will not be stupid enough to die in one of those races, I have asked to change event and will be running a half marathon on that day. Because of that change, my 16 weeks training plan I had planned to follow is not necessary and I will go back to the 12 weeks plan I used for my first half marathon. That is why the Royal Descent 10K can become sort of a goal race for which I'll try to train over 4 weeks...

To this racing schedule, I will add a 5K on July 4th and quite certainly will do the 18K again but that's only in October...

This at least gives you an idea of what I'm training for this Summer. More on training plans later on...

FM
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:01 PM   #54
FrogMan
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forgot to mention but the trail race is the one for which they are giving a knit hat. A bit hot for this season but cool temperatures will be back and I'll be happy I have it next Fall and Winter...

See attached pic for the hat and the finisher medal... I'm picking up my bib on Saturday afternoon.

FM
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:19 PM   #55
Alan T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrogMan View Post
June 1st, 10K Descente Royale (Royal Descent)
- This one will be fun. The course is a steady downhill, thus its name, starting from Beauport and ending near Quebec City but not really in the Old Quebec City. This was supposed to simply be part of my training for a marathon on August but I now see it more as a 10K goal race. I'm hoping to do a very fast time in that race.


I just saw your route for that on Strava.. Man that looks like a fun course! Should make for a real good time in that race. I learned the hard way though on the fast downhills that what Jonathan Savage says is absolutely correct.. we all train for the uphills, but we never train enough for the downhills. On my recent 5 mile race, it was the downhills that I couldn't handle fast enough.

Hope you have a good time with this one though (and hopefully the weather stays cool enough for you still into June).
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:25 PM   #56
FrogMan
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Quote:
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I just saw your route for that on Strava.. Man that looks like a fun course! Should make for a real good time in that race. I learned the hard way though on the fast downhills that what Jonathan Savage says is absolutely correct.. we all train for the uphills, but we never train enough for the downhills. On my recent 5 mile race, it was the downhills that I couldn't handle fast enough.

Hope you have a good time with this one though (and hopefully the weather stays cool enough for you still into June).

yeah, had saved a screenshot of it and was gonna share it in due time but here it is. Even comparing it to the long downhill portion of my half marathon this one seems to have an even greater elevation loss over the 10 km, and I had a 10K stretch done in 41:38 during that HM. I'm thinking I could push toward 41:00 and maybe even faster, especially considering I will be gunning it to leave about nothing in the tank after 10 km...

I also like the fact that the downhill doesn't start until maybe 1.5 km into the 10K. This means I'll be pushing hard to start, then will lower the HR as we start going down.

You are right about the fact that we, usually, train very little our downhill running ability. When I first shared the course of my HM to my running friends on Lose It, many recommended me to training running downhill. If you remember, my treadmill is capable of going at -3% decline and I did many little runs at that setting, then did a long run right on the HM course, at about race pace over the downhill portion. I won't go run on that 10K course but I'm confident that I'll be able to run downhill with power.

FM
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:10 PM   #57
FrogMan
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I'll be back with some race report later but here's a quick update on my trail race that was this morning.

8K distance in 42:16
10th overall out of 481 finishers!
10th in men out of 167
3rd in M40-49 out of 67!!!

On any other race of that distance, that pace would have been a disappointment to me but that was a rough course, lots of tree roots, rocks to hop, muddy spots with steep uphills and crazy technical downhills in which we couldn't really let go and fly or else you would fly off course. Sooooooooo very out of my comfort zone but very happy I got it done.

FM
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:50 PM   #58
FrogMan
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Race Report
La Trail du Coureur des Bois, Duchesnay, Québec
8K trail race
May 19th, 2014


Weekend the race
I knew going into the weekend it would be a crazy weekend. Bib pickup on Saturday afternoon in downtown Quebec City, on our way to our youngest son's first soccer game in his preseason tournament that was held about 40 minutes from home. He then 3 more games on Sunday but I'd miss the last one because my wife was in a hip hop competition around dinner time. Her dance troop did so well, they ended up winning their category and in the process were picked as one of the 8 judge's choice to show their routine in the big showcase in the evening. That show was going to be fro 8:30 to 10:30 but they ran quite a bit late so we only got home around 11:30 and I could only get to bed at about midnight on Sunday. I usually go to bed pretty late on most days but wanted to try and get some better sleep before the race but oh well, life happens. And I was so proud of my wife, and my son who ended up scoring a goal during his tournament, something that doesn't happen often for him, a defender...

I tried to eat well over the last few days before the race but it wasn't easy, especially on that crazy Sunday. I think I did a better job this time around than before my half marathon so that's already one tiny win. I made sure not to fight to stay under budget for the last 4-5 days before the race, in fact going 2500 calories over budget (and that is after accounting for exercise) during those last 5 days. Ate decently only to have to eat a Subway roast beef on Sunday evening but heh, life happens. Then got up on Monday and I had dropped two lbs to the exact same weight I had the morning of my half marathon, that kinda made me nervous...

Speaking of Sunday, you might ask, why do a race on a Monday morning? Well, the third Monday of May is a holiday in Canada. For most of Canada, it's known as Victoria Day (I think) and in Quebec, it's called Patriots Day, or something like that. All I know is that it's not a mandatory holiday and my workplace doesn't have it, so I took some time from my own bank of free time to race. Wife was off work and both kids were off school. My mother-in-law also came to cheer me on. My oldest son had my nice Canon camera and my youngest had our older Kodak.

Prerace routine and goals
Race site is maybe 40 minutes away from home too. It's a nice resort/preserve type place. Here's a pic of the cabins they have on site that my youngest son took:


I'd heard the name Duchesnay very often since my youth but had never been there myself. Both my sons had been on visits with their school groups. Three events were offered: 18K, 8K, and 1.5K for kids.

Since I have never even trained on trail, I felt that 8K would be plenty for me. I'm very glad I made that decision. Because of all the unknown, not the least of which was that I had no idea about elevation gains and such, I didn't set any goals for myself in that race. I was there to enjoy a new experience, give it my all but especially, cross that finish line for the first time this season and put behind the DNF of two weeks ago.

The start of the 8K was set for 9 am but before that, the 18K was set for an 8:30 start and I watched them go by waves of 6 every 10-12 seconds. Was glad I watched at least part of it as it gave me an idea of how it would go for me. I then set out to warmup, running about a mile in the long parking lot with some strides to get the leg going. I'd heard them announce that the start of the 8K would be in 20 minutes so after a quick bathroom stop I made my way toward the line. Thing is, many people had already lined up in no particular order. Newbie that I am, I didn't want to impose myself and get to the front. I mean, I didn't even know where I'd fit in there. I just knew I'd probably be passing many people as I was about 2/3 of the way back in line. :O

Race start and loop around
They started the first waves at exactly 9 and we slowly started inching forward. My watch indicates an activity start time at 9:11. With a wave of 6 going every 12 seconds (or 5 waves per minute), that means 55 waves or almost 330 runners ahead of me. Yikes, I knew there were a lot of people ahead, just hadn't realized until now it was that many...

And there we go!


The course started with a sort of loop around the cabins, at first going downhill through the parking lot. We soon got to a path and the fun began. I was going at my usual 7:15/mile pace or probably faster and was passing people every 20 feet. In that portion people were good and stayed in a one line, not doubling up too much. Once on the back of the cabins, we head back up with a first steep uphill and one goal surfaced in my mind. There would probably be many other steep uphill like that, right? I made a deal with myself that I'd try not to walk any of those hills.

Here's what my watch recorded over the course of the race. You can see the loop around and when we disappeared in the woods..


And here's the elevation profile according to Strava:


Entering the woods
Right before entering the woods, we got some crazy downhill and then the fun bega, or continued with a long legbreaker typ of uphill that lasted almost one km. I wasn't really sprinting forward but I wasn't walking either. I kept passing people but here and there, it got a bit more difficult to pass some at times. I had to announce my coming to a couple of girls (young ladies ) who had slowed down to a walk and were talking together on their way up. I tried to not be too rude and between two breathes I kinda whispered something along the lines of "please, one line" and they allowed me through. That was the only time i had to actually say something. Further into the woods, the crowd had thinned out enough that there was rarely more than one runner to pass at a time.

Following that first uphill was an ok downhill path on some pack sand in which I sorta was able to increase my pace but that would be the last time. We then went through many twists and turns with a bit of a uphil around midrace and then a long downhill that I remember leaving me almost more tired than if it had been a uphill. That bit was crazy. Roots, rocks, mud, it had it all, going downhill no less. At first I was trying not to jump into the mud pits and I even rock skipped a few times, slowing the heck down, even though I was going downhill. And through this all, I kept passing slower runners, sidestepping at times. At one point, I got behind a group of four that was going a decent pace but they slowed down and a girl and I went forward until a moment later she stepped aside and I went into the lead, only to realize I had no real path ahead of me! I remembered that our course was marked with pink ribbons but I wasn't seeing any! Of course, I was watching the ground in order to avoid twisting an ankle. I slowed a bit down, moved my eyes up a bit and saw a pink ribbon with a clearer opening in the trees and there I went.

It was more of the same until we crossed a road. As you can see from the satellite picture, ou course some sort of road four times. At every crossing, there was a volunteer making sure no car was coming and at that last crossing, I heard the volunteer announce we only had 1.6 km (or about a mile) to go. That kinda confused me because my watch had only 6.1 km on it, not 6.4. Didn't give it much thought and started to go down the side road ditch in order to go back up and cross the road when my left foot stepped wrong and I stumbled, sending me down on my knees adn elbows. First reflect, and when I knew I really was one of those crazy runners? I checked my Garmin to make sure it was still going. Heard the volunteer ask me if I was all right but I was already up, with some sand rubbing between my watch and my wrist. I yelled over my shoulder that I was ok and I ran on.

I almost fell down at least two times in the next 100 meters or so, thanks for tree roots that I failed to clear with my left foot. I made a mental note to be more aware and not let myself be caught again and from then on, not sure if I slowed down much, but I was able to get out of the wooden area to face the last crazy uphill. You see that two prong peaks around km 7. That last climb sure was a b*tch. But I never walked, NEVER WALKED! I was joging as slow as almost staying in place, but I.NEVER. WALKED. Very proud of that.

Crazy downhill finish
Then out the woods we came to some crazy downhill. The start of the downhill was on some wooden path made in some sort of long step staircase where you had to be carefull but I came out of there next to an older gentleman. He seemd willing to push me so it was off to the races. Dang that last push was amazing, exhilarating is the word! From the Strava graph, for the last 100m or so, I had a pace around 2:50 or 3:00/km (4:34-4:50/mile).

Here I am in front of that gentleman:


The stop area wasn't very long and I had to stop quickly. I remember pumping my fist in the air and I looked for one of my sons with the camera.

Found my youngest and struck a dominance pose, I had beaten that course!


Then found my oldest and flashed him the thumbs up!


My wife came around and told me they didn't expect me so soon after seeing me start behind so many people. She added they were kinda caught off guard when they saw me get out of the wood at that time. She told me she thought I had at least a top 20 finish and I told her she was crazy. There was something very nice about hearing the announcer say my name out loud as I came close to the finish line.

Got that first finisher medal of the season and I had to take a bite out of it


After race fun
Got my after race lunch, a nice warm omelette inside a croissant with a bunch of good things like the usual banana, gatorade, juice box, greek yogurt, cheese and such.

I had left my iPhone in the car but wanted to see where I ranked. I had installed the sportstats.ca app on my phone but it wasn't on my wife's phone. I installed it but couldn't find my race on it so tried to go to there website but was too hungry then so I left her phone to my wife. Took her like 15 seconds to tell me "hey, you came in 9th!" I just couldn't believe it, still can't. I was later pushed back to 10th by a late finisher but still, amazingly happy.

My time of 42:16.0 was also good enough for 3rd in my category (M40-49), only 16 seconds from second place (42:00.2), and about a minute from first place (41:06.6)!

I like to see my placements in percentage so here goes:
Overall: 10th out of 438 finishers or top 2.28%
Men: 10th out of 167 or top 5.99%
Category: 3rd out of 61 or 4.91%

That fall did leave a mark though, and some good mud painting


Bloody knee too...


Nothing too bad, just a bit tender to the touch. And well, it burned like crazy in the shower.

Feet and ankles are feeling it this morning. Knees too but not too bad. This morning went out for a 2 miler recovery run in which I tried to keep my heart rate at 110 or less and succeeded, averaging 109 BPM over the run. Had to slow down my pace to an average of about 10:53/mile to get it done.

Well, that's it. That was an amazing experience and I would like to do it again next year. In fact, when we were at our son's soccer tournament, they left pamphlet under our car wipers advertising a trail race for June 7th. I just got too crazy of a schedule to even think about it but it tempted me for a moment...

I also opted not to run with music in this race since I expected to either be passed of have to pass people and I wanted to be aware of my surrounding. I think this'll be my way to go for all future races. Music will be with me in training but not in races. You just lose too much of the crowd feeling when the music is on.

Next up is a 10K descent that should be a lot of fun in two weeks. I had a 12x 400m workout planned for tomorrow that I will probably push back a day or two...

FM
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:56 PM   #59
Alan T
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Great race write up! Looks like an excellent time and you did great! How are your quads feeling after the downhill finish?
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:14 PM   #60
FrogMan
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Thanks, it was a good time, and again, I was very glad I had my loved ones there to live it with me. I foresee some scheduling conflicts for the next couple of races that I will probably have to go to without my usual group of cheerleaders... Looking forward to racing, not to sitting alone after the race.

re quads: quite honestly, they're not too bad. I don't really feel much strain when I contract them. I think my quads are probably my strongest point in my legs. I have done a good bit of negative incline running on the treadmill so I guess I had a start there but I also think that all that horse stance I've done in karate over the last 11 years might have helped make them stronger.

Really, what's hurting the most today is really the ankles, then the knees and my left shoulder (!) probably when I braced myself for the fall into the ditch. Maybe the quads are weak, but they're not really hurting per se.

FM
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:18 PM   #61
FrogMan
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oh, and hips (as I'm reminded after getting up from my chair). My hips are definitely my weaker spot. They are so much better than just last Fall, but after a hard run like this, I feel them more tender...

FM
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:43 PM   #62
Kodos
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Great writeup, and a great run. You certainly remember lots of details from your races.
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Old 05-20-2014, 04:30 PM   #63
FrogMan
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Location: Pintendre, Qc, Canada
thanks. I started writing down notes of what I remembered in a text file yesterday and put it back together by looking at the GPX file, the elevation profile and all. Some stuff I didn't remember at first came back to me as I was looking at the profile. For example, I wasn't sure if we had crossed three or four roads. Looking at the GPX file, I now see it was four, and I fell on that last crossing.

Tree roots, rocks, mud, you just can't forget these things

FM
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:26 PM   #64
FrogMan
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This week has been a challenging one with my training following the trail race.

I didn't feel too bad the day after the race but knew I had to take it easy so I ran what I'd call a real recovery run. Slowed the heck down my pace in order to keep my heart rate under 110 BPM.

Then yesterday was supposed to be speedwork day, that meant 12x 400m @ mile pace but that's the day the hurting started to show in the legs, specifically feet, ankles and knees. Hurting feet was a new one for me, most certainly due to all the uneven footing encountered during the trail race. I decided to push back the speedwork session to today and I did 9.35 km at what will probably be my new easy pace, around 9:20 per mile. At that pace, I'm just about able to keep my heart rate under 120 BPM.

Then I went out this morning and did the intervals. Quite honestly, I thought I was going slower than last week's 11x400m but I hit most of them faster!

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/504591065

Last week's 400's:
1:24.8
1:29.5
1:26.4
1:26.7
1:31.9
1:27.8
1:33.2
1:34.0
1:35.8
1:34.5
1:28.8

This week's 400's:
1:24.1
1:24.5
1:26.6
1:27.5
1:26.3
1:29.9
1:29.3
1:32.6
1:28.4
1:28.6
1:29.0
1:28.3

Average 400m last week: 1:30.3
Average 400m this week: 1:27.9

Dang...

I also did work on a bit of fueling. Not that it was necessary since it the run only lasted some 55 minutes, but I thought it could be a good idea to try to absorb a gel after the 5th hard interval, so I did. It went quite well. I bought a few different brands of gel last weekend and today's was a honey stinger gel. Went in ok with water and didn't feel anything too bad during any of the following 7 intervals where I was pushing pretty hard. I have some GU gels and some Powerbar gels to try in the next few weeks...

FM
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:40 AM   #65
HerRealName
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Great job on the race and nice write-up. I really like the idea of trail running but I have to remind myself that my knee is prett much held together with spare parts and duct tape and trails are likely a terrible idea for me.

When you are running your 400 intervals, are you going as fast as you can or do you try to hold back and hit a pace? I need to start running intervals again but I've never really tried to hit target times before.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:21 PM   #66
FrogMan
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Great job on the race and nice write-up. I really like the idea of trail running but I have to remind myself that my knee is prett much held together with spare parts and duct tape and trails are likely a terrible idea for me.

Thanks and yeah, while I enjoyed the experience, I'm note ready to switch to training full time in trails just yet. I too have one kinda gimpy knee that I have learned to deal with and that, surprisingly, has given me very little trouble since I've taken on running, quite possibly because I'm very aware of it and pay good attention to form and keeping my body straight. That's one of the reasons why I don't trust running in the snow too much and why I relied so much on the treadmill during the Winter months...

I do look forward to doing the exact same race a year from now though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by HerRealName View Post
When you are running your 400 intervals, are you going as fast as you can or do you try to hold back and hit a pace? I need to start running intervals again but I've never really tried to hit target times before.

I'm kinda holding back. Hal Higdon asks to do them at "mile pace", i.e. the pace I should be able to hold for a one mile race. Obviously, if I tried to go as fast as I could over only 400m, I would be able to go much faster than constant pace held over 1609m. I figured this "mile pace" based on my best recent VDOT performance which was a 15K stretch during my recent HM DNF. I used the 1:03:42 for 15K and plugged it into Jack Daniels' calculator and it spits me out a mile pace of 5:51/mile. That's 3:38/km so when an interval starts, I try to start at least at 3:30/km based on the current pace of my watch (since it's set in metric) and if I see myself slow down to 3:40 or 3:45, I try to push harder. I usually am able to push harder so this tells me I'm quite certainly not pushing the hardest I could, but then again, I do 12 reps. Wouldn't be able to do 12 good reps if I gave it all in the first.

I found it interesting that the Jack Daniels' calculator gave a "Repetition" training pace at 5:55/mile or 1:28 for 400m which compares quite well to Hal Higdon's mile pace equivalent over 400m of 1:27.


My learnings about these intervals came in part from Hal Higdon and Jack Daniels.

From Higdon's 10K advanced training plan:
Quote:
Speedwork: If you want to race at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week. Interval training, where you alternate fast running with jogging or walking, is a very effective form of speedwork. The training schedule begins in Week 1 with a workout of 6 x 400 meters and peaks in Week 7 with 12 x 400 meters. Run the 400s at about the pace you would run in a mile or 1500 race. Walk or jog between each repeat. Although the best venue for speedwork of this sort is on a 400-meter track, these workouts can be done on the road or on trails, either by using measured courses or by running hard approximately the length of time you would run a 400 on the track. For instance, if you normally run 400s in 90 seconds, do fast reps at that length of time and don't worry about distance.

From Daniels' calculator:
Quote:
Rep Pace
Variety: Pace reps and strides.

Intensity: Reps are fast, but not necessarily "hard," because work bouts are relatively short and are followed by relatively long recovery bouts. Recoveries are to be long enough that each run feels no more difficult than the previous run, because the purpose of Reps is to improve speed and economy and you can not get faster (nor more economical) if you are not running relaxed. If it takes 3 minutes recovery between Rep 400s, then that is what is needed. Reducing rest time between individual work bouts does not make for a better workout, in fact it probably makes for a worse workout because the short rests could increase the stress and lead to poor economy. Think of Reps as similar to current 1500 or mile race pace.

Purpose: To improve your speed and economy.

I just now saw why Daniels and Higdon time are similar when reading the last sentence of Daniels' explanation. I had never read his explanation all the way to that last period.

Until this training cycle, I had never really walked in between interval reps but seeing the 11 and 12 reps the plan called for, I felt it probably would be a better idea to push hard during the interval, then fully rest in between. Doing 150m of walking then 150m of easy jog usually gives me between 2:15 and 2:25 of rest which I think is quite reasonable compared to intervals that take me between 1:24 and 1:33...

I also realize that this week's interval session might have only seemed slower because I was probably more relaxed, as Daniels describe it.

FM
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:23 PM   #67
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Here's something cool from last Monday's trail race. As with many other races I'm sure, they take pictures of the race and you can buy a picture or a package or pictures. They tagged 5 pictures with my bib number and I'm still debating if I'm going to buy the package or not as I know there will be more pictures than that on the end of season half marathon.

Anyway, here's a little collage I put together. Remember when i talked about that gentleman that tried to race me as we got out of the woods? Well, here's little "story in pictures" as it happened. From left to right, first I'm well behind on the last trail portion of the race then in the middle picture you see me coming down that same path a moment later and finally I'm ahead with maybe 100 meters to go.



That path section was of the very clean variety but you also had to be pretty careful with the wooden steps as they are not always even spaced...

FM
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:55 PM   #68
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:58 PM   #69
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Nothing feels better than passing people down the stretch...

well, for that, that race felt pretty good since I passed a lot of people, but not one passing felt as good as that last one, that's for sure.

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Old 05-26-2014, 12:21 PM   #70
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Well, last week was a good week of training. Overall, 8 runs over 6 days for 36.03 miles in 5:23:31 for an average pace of 8:59/mile. I have really slowed down my easy pace and it's showing.

Starting with that trail race on Monday, I finished it strong with a couple of good runs on Saturday and Sunday. Both runs included some work at 10K pace or faster.

Saturday's run was a 9.5 km run in which I went 3 easy (HR<120), then 3 @ 4:10/km and finished it 3.5 easy (HR<130).

The three fast km in that run were done in 4:08, 4:06 and 4:07. I tried to fit that 3 km in a section with a tiny bit of elevation loss but it's pretty flat around my neighborhood. 16 meters over 3000 is only 0.53%. Sunday's 10K course is supposed to have about 120 m over 10K or 1.2%. Should help me go faster

I then had to run a bit more as when I got to the house, I realized that my wife had locked me out of the house as she left with our youngest son for his swimming training. 17yo sleeping deep, with closed door in his room, and a fan next to him, I didn't even try to wake him up. sigh... Ran back and forth the 1.5 km to my mother-in-law's to pick up our backup key... sigh again...

Sunday's run was a bit more of the same, 15 km split this way: 5 km easy (HR<120), 4 @4:10 and 6 easy (HR<130). Went out the door around noon and while it wasn't extremely hot, some 66F under the sun, it still was the warmest I've run in since last Fall. Yeah, I know, sucks huh? That was about perfect weather.

The four fast km were done in 4:07, 4:11, 4:09 and 4:06 with about the same elevation loss as the day before. I'll take that. Looking at the HR data for both runs, I do see that it stayed a couple ticks lower on Sunday than it was on Saturday, despite it having one more km at the faster pace. It did feel tougher on Sunday's though, possibly because of some leg fatigue lingering from the previous day's run.

This week started with a 5 km recovery run this morning in which I was able to keep the heart rate under 110. Slowed the pace the heck down though, but it felt good.

Here's what's on tap for the rest of the week:
TUE: 6 km @ easy pace (scratched the 30 minutes progression in order to rest the legs a bit)
WED: 6x400m @ mile pace
THU: 5 km recovery run
FRI: 3 km @ easy pace with some strides
SAT: rest
SUN: RACE DAY! 10K Royal Descent

Oh, and I think I found a gel I can manage. Peanut butter flavored GU gel. Doesn't taste exactly like PB but it's also not as sweet and sticky as the others I've tried so far. It went down ok with some water. I took it right at the end of my fourth kilometer on Sunday's run and ran 6 more km afterward without any GI problems. Probably should have tried it right in the middle of the hard running, but for a new try, I didn't want to push too much...
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:47 PM   #71
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Oh, and I think I found a gel I can manage. Peanut butter flavored GU gel. Doesn't taste exactly like PB but it's also not as sweet and sticky as the others I've tried so far. It went down ok with some water. I took it right at the end of my fourth kilometer on Sunday's run and ran 6 more km afterward without any GI problems. Probably should have tried it right in the middle of the hard running, but for a new try, I didn't want to push too much...


I tried the peanut butter gu for a while, but what I found was that the first one or two were ok.. after that my mouth just was a gummy mess no matter how much water I drunk and I had serious issues with it.

I also had to slow down more to take it. Normally with Gus, I don't have to slow, but I had a harder time breathing with the peanut butter gu. It being thicker made it not dissolve in my mouth like the other gus do, so I had to focus more on it.

Maybe if you only need 1 or 2 gu, it wouldnt be so bad, but if you get beyond that, I suddenly had issues with it before. it definitely is a far different texture than the other Gus
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:52 PM   #72
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I just now saw why Daniels and Higdon time are similar when reading the last sentence of Daniels' explanation. I had never read his explanation all the way to that last period.

Until this training cycle, I had never really walked in between interval reps but seeing the 11 and 12 reps the plan called for, I felt it probably would be a better idea to push hard during the interval, then fully rest in between. Doing 150m of walking then 150m of easy jog usually gives me between 2:15 and 2:25 of rest which I think is quite reasonable compared to intervals that take me between 1:24 and 1:33...

I also realize that this week's interval session might have only seemed slower because I was probably more relaxed, as Daniels describe it.

FM


I may have missed it, or you may already be aware of it, but it took me a while before I finally figured out the difference between the different measures for Daniels calculators. Repetition pace really is meant for training for shorter/faster racing. It is not meant to be what marathoners or long distance runners use for their intervals. We really want to stick to the interval pace time for our intervals.

The 100% goal of intervals is to stress the V02max capabilities of our system. Daniels' opinion is the best way to do that is to stress that system. So the interval pace is designed to be the right pace that your body needs to be able to put your heart rate into v02max territory for anywhere from 2-5 minutes. He says it is very ineffective to push it in that territory longer than 5 minutes which is why the walk breaks are recommended. The walk break needs to be long enough to drop your HR but not too long to the point where you can't get your HR back up to V02max in the next interval.

His comments are that running harder than interval pace does not improve your v02max any more or any faster, and will likely just tire you or increase chance of injury though.

I know that I had for a while ran my intervals too quickly without understanding that.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:05 AM   #73
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I tried the peanut butter gu for a while, but what I found was that the first one or two were ok.. after that my mouth just was a gummy mess no matter how much water I drunk and I had serious issues with it.

I also had to slow down more to take it. Normally with Gus, I don't have to slow, but I had a harder time breathing with the peanut butter gu. It being thicker made it not dissolve in my mouth like the other gus do, so I had to focus more on it.

Maybe if you only need 1 or 2 gu, it wouldnt be so bad, but if you get beyond that, I suddenly had issues with it before. it definitely is a far different texture than the other Gus


Ok, good to know. Still lots of testing to do, obviously, and I'm still VERY early in the process.

For now, I'm not too sure I'd need more than maybe 2 during a half marathon with maybe one about 15 minutes before the start of the race. That first one could be just about any flavor and could even be replace by chews during my warmup. Then one after 25 minutes or so, then another at the 50-55 minutes mark with an estimated finish time around 1:35...

Of course, all that planning wouldn't work in the case of a marathon, but I got about another year to plan for that.

FM
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:06 AM   #74
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I may have missed it, or you may already be aware of it, but it took me a while before I finally figured out the difference between the different measures for Daniels calculators. Repetition pace really is meant for training for shorter/faster racing. It is not meant to be what marathoners or long distance runners use for their intervals. We really want to stick to the interval pace time for our intervals.

The 100% goal of intervals is to stress the V02max capabilities of our system. Daniels' opinion is the best way to do that is to stress that system. So the interval pace is designed to be the right pace that your body needs to be able to put your heart rate into v02max territory for anywhere from 2-5 minutes. He says it is very ineffective to push it in that territory longer than 5 minutes which is why the walk breaks are recommended. The walk break needs to be long enough to drop your HR but not too long to the point where you can't get your HR back up to V02max in the next interval.

His comments are that running harder than interval pace does not improve your v02max any more or any faster, and will likely just tire you or increase chance of injury though.

I know that I had for a while ran my intervals too quickly without understanding that.

Oh, no, I was not aware of that and it's good to know.

I'm honestly more familiar with Higdon's way of planning his intervals and, as you know with his half marathon plan, he calls for 400's to be done at 5K pace. The last couple weeks were part of a 10K plan in which he is asking for the 400's to be done at mile pace, presumably since it's a shorter distance than the half or the full marathon.

I had realized how much faster they had to be done, since I'd gone through a training cycle for a half marathon with one of his plan. It was also the reason why I felt I needed to walk in between, but I'm not sure I would have held back enough once I'd gone back to half marathon training and his required pace would have gone back to 5K pace. I'm guessing I would have been tempted to push it at mile pace with no real gain.

Now, I'll make sure to keep the paces in the right spot, i.e. around 4:00/km for the [email protected] pace, around 4:10/km for the [email protected] pace and around 4:25/km for the mile repeats at race pace.

Thanks for that input, highly appreciated!

FM
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:07 AM   #75
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as for today's training run, I went out for a 6.5 km at an easy pace. Was a nice day yesterday afternoon then we got all sorts of weather watches/alerts for strong showers or storms with very rough winds and possible hail coming over the evening. Temperature dropped from 75F to about 54F between 4 and 6 yesterday afternoon. We never got any rain but going to bed, I wasn't feeling like going out in crazy winds for a 5:30 am run.

The old me would have said "the heck with it, I'm taking my run to the basement and the belt" but the new me wanted to feel the wind pushing me around so out there I went. The wind had died down a bit from what it was yesterday evening but I still encountered a couple of pretty strong wind walls. You know, the kind of push that makes you feel like you are running in place and not moving forward at all. Still it was a good feeling, you need to experience that every once in a while...

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/508069768

6.54 km in 36:14, avg pace: 5:32/km (8:54/mile) avg HR: 123 BPM

FM
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:25 PM   #76
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plan called for 6x 400M at mile pace but after that enlightening post from Alan, I decided to pull back on speed a bit and did them at 5K pace, or close to what I think my 5K pace could be on the perfectest day, which is about 4:00/km. I also opted not to walk during the rest periods.

A 4:00/km pace makes for a split time of 1:36, some 9 seconds slower than the prescribed 1:27 time when doing the intervals at mile pace.

My actual 400 times this morning:
1:35.0
1:35.1
1:32.6
1:31.2
1:34.0
1:31.8

I'd like to say that doing them kinda slower made it easier but nah, still was hard work. Average heart rate stayed a little lower than last week's 12x400 (144.7 vs 146.3 last week) but the rest HR was higher (139.8 vs 132.8 last week), so I was getting less rested in between pushes, so overall, the intervals were indeed easier, they just didn't feel like it.

There still were some gusts of wind this morning so parts of these were done facing some good headwinds so it might have played into how it felt.

This was my last hard session before Sunday's 10K and I'm getting to the point of writing down goals...

A goal) probably unattainable but it remains my top goal, that is to someday break the 40 minutes mark on a 10K. I'm probably not there yet but if there's a place where it could happen, that downhill course could eventually be the place so that's my top goal. I do have some mental barrier with seeing a number in the 3:xx for current pace on my watch though, as though I'm about to spontaneously combust or something...
B goal) my best 10K stretch during my half marathon was done in 41:38, that's a 4:10/km pace. That stretch had about 100m of elevation loss, kinda similar to what will be in Sunday's race but I wasn't pushing with the set goal in mind to run 10 km and then stop for a banana. For this reason, I'm thinking a 4:05 to 4:07 pace should be achievable. That'd be a finish time between 40:50 and 41:10 so breaking the 41 minutes mark makes for a reasonable B goal.
C goal) my last road 10K pace test goes back to last November and I did it in 43:10 for the 2nd Any Way 10K on Strava. I don't think it reflects in any way where I'm at right now. My latest 10K pace test was done back in April but on the treadmill in 42:20 for a 4:14/km pace. Not too sure how it being on the treadmill translates to the road but I'm thinking I would be somewhat disappointed with anything slower than that so that'll be my lowest of goals, to at least beat 42:20...

Bib pickup is Friday evening or Saturday in downtown Quebec City. Waiting for them to show a picture of the shirt on their FB page but I just checked the running store where they hand the bibs (Running Room) that has also become my running store of choice and I see that they have received some Brooks Ghost 7 shoes. I'm currently running with some Ghost 6 and they have only discounted them 10 bucks. I'm now up to a little over 330 miles on them so I'd like to introduce a pair to alternate between the two and will probably pick up a pair when I go get my bib...

FM
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:34 PM   #77
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Ran a 5 km recovery run yesterday and closed out my week with an easy 2 miler this morning. I'll rest the legs tomorrow and will go pick up my bib in the afternoon.

I'll be without my usual crowd of cheerleaders for this race, a first for me. My youngest son has a soccer activity Sunday morning and my wife will go with him and my oldest has to work (teach) at the dojo. Since it's a point to point course, I'll park my car at the finish line and will take the shuttle to the start line. Usually, my wife and family would come to the start line, watch the start and meet me at the finish line. I'll feel a bit alone on Sunday.

In other news, I signed up for my first 5K ever, to be run on July 4th. It's an evening race on a Friday evening, start time around 6 pm.

I'm also contemplating a couple 10K to add to my race schedule, one before my August half marathon and one in September. The one in September is held in the town where I work and all profits go to a local organisation called LEUCAN that provides services to kids with cancer. They'll have distances of 2, 5 and 10K. While I am planning to do the 10K, I've issued a sort of challenge to my older son to run the 2K with me and his younger brother (who doesn't know about it yet). Start time for the 10K is at 10 and the 2K starts at 11:15. My 10K should take me at worst 45 minutes so I could do an easy couple kilometers with them for a good cause like this. My oldest son has had his head shaven the last couple years raising funds for LEUCAN. He's not doing it this year since he's graduating high school and wanted his pictures to look nice which I can understand...

Add to the fact that the course for this race will be a 5K stretch out and back that starts with about 1.5 km of downhill, thus ending with 1.5 km of uphill and by mid-September, I'll be preparing for a possible return to that Lac Beauport 18K I did last year that was VERY hilly. If only for that reason, this 10K would be a perfect practice...

FM
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:29 PM   #78
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Oh, and I can't believe I posted about this about everywhere but not in here... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALAN!!!

Seriously, exactly one year ago today, on May 30th 2013, I went out the door to take a little walk. I had just tested for my 3rd dan in karate a few days before and having worked hard to regain fitness, I was determined to not let that fitness go to waste. I'd always hated running but I wanted to at least get walking. That evening, that walking went to some running from time to time. 38 minutes that changed my life. I had discovered something magical, something liberating.Since that Thursday evening, I have run/walked a little over 2000 km (1245 miles) and have lost another 8 pounds on top of the 35 pounds I had lost before that day. No, all those miles were not easy. Some rain, some snow, some pains left and right, wake up calls early in the morning, some days when I really didn't want to get out of bed, but always with one goal in mind, to push back my limits. I'm competing with myself here, I want to know how far I can go and I'm amazed with every little victory, may it be a new long distance, or a new PR (personal record) for a set distance. And you know what? I'm fully convinced there's still plenty of PR in that body of mine!

I feel better than ever, in the best shape I've been in a long time, ready to face all the challenges life is willing to throw at me...

FM
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:25 PM   #79
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Oh, and I can't believe I posted about this about everywhere but not in here... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALAN!!!



Thanks Steve!

You've done an awesome job in just your first year. And to think, they say people don't really hit full speed for many years of dedicated running. I think you have quite alot ahead of you if you keep up with such determination!

Good luck this weekend in your race, I am sure you will do great!
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:34 PM   #80
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Thanks Steve!

You've done an awesome job in just your first year. And to think, they say people don't really hit full speed for many years of dedicated running. I think you have quite alot ahead of you if you keep up with such determination!

Good luck this weekend in your race, I am sure you will do great!

thanks, as I said, I'm still amazed at some of the things my body can do. I mean, genes must have something to do about it but I so hated running when I was younger and I so always thought that endurance running, or endurance anything was just not for me, that, again, sometimes I freak myself a bit.

There's one thing I am proud of and it's how meticulate I have been about building my endurance base and I got you to thank for. You've been a great source of info, tidbits here and there that allowed me to view running the long term thing it really is. I'm happy I didn't go gung ho into racing last Summer since this Summer is proving to me how difficult it can be to juggle training and racing.

Hopefully you are right and there's still plenty left in this 43 year old tank if I can keep it healthy. For that, I will keep on building up slowly. If there's one thing I'm learning this Summer, it's about the aforementioned juggle between training and racing. Racing is fun, but it takes a toll on the body.

I do think I can get faster and I want to eventually, first correct that DNF anomaly that was that first HM experience and eventually, second, go on to bigger, longer things (read a full marathon) one way and faster things in other ways.

FM
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:19 PM   #81
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Today was a rest day but I had a nice visit to my favorite Running Room store this afternoon to pickup my bib for tomorrow's 10K race called the Royal Descent. And look what I brought back! A brand new pair of Brooks Ghost 7 that were just received this past week in store and nice Nike Run shirt, bright yellow just the wayI like them!

Start time is 8 am tomorrow but I'll have to get there for about 6:30 since it's a point to point race and I need to take a shuttle from the finishing area to the start line and the last shuttle departs at 7. Don't want to be stuck in that last one...

That finishing area is about 35 minutes from home so will be on the road around 5:50 tomorrow, woah...

FM
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:11 PM   #82
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I'll be back with some sort of race report but for now, I'll say that I k-i-l-l-e-d it!

Chip time: 39:33 for a 10K!!! Oh yeah!!!

It really was a nice, very fast course.

19:49 on the first 5K, 19:45 on the second one, I even negative splitted that second 5K!

I have not even looked at the race data, so I know I'll have more to say later.

50th overall out of 1247 (top 4%)
14th in my category (M40-49) out of 174 (top 8%)

There were some fast rabbits in my category, who probably have all been running for much longer than 12 months

Very happy with that results, now on to relax a bit.

FM
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:29 PM   #83
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Race Report
La Descente Royale, 10K
Sunday, June 1st, 2014
Boischatel to Beauport, Québec

Pre-race morning
It really was a gorgeous day for a race. Bright sun out but almost chilly. It was only 43F when I got in my car to head out to the race site at about 5:55am on Sunday morning. Race course is a point to point so we had to park at the finishing area then take a shuttle to the starting site. It was my first time doing that, the shuttle thing I mean. Lots of first for me this season. It was also my first race without my contingent of cheerleaders since my wife had to be at a soccer activity with our youngest son and my oldest son was teaching karate. This'll explain the utter lack of pictures from this report, at least until some show up on the race race website.

I felt kinda lonely boarding the shuttle bus but it was a pretty cool experience. I'm not the chatty type, at least not with people I don't know and also not when I'm getting in a zone, sorta, so I put on my headphones on the bus and looked out the window. That was an interesting ride as I could feel us going up and up and up then oops, down? That wasn't good news. If the bus was going "down" on the way up, that meant we'd have to run up on a downhill course?!? (makes sense or are you getting a headache? )

I had a windowside seat and could see down toward the St Lawrence river. I expected the view to be great and it was. I made a mental not as we crossed the Montmorency river that leds to the Montmorency falls to enjoy the view when we'd get to that point during the race...

Start area and race start
Sun was still shining bright when we got to the start area but most of the area was shaded by lots of big trees. That start area was in a pretty rural part of town, a place I'm sure never sees 1200-1300 people at once on their streets. I did my warmup mile on a sort of backyard sand road, not even gravel type, actually in sand. That was kind of a bummer because it was uneven so I couldn't really do any strides but I decided to roll with it. They'd gathered people maybe a hundred meters from the starting gate and when we got the call to get closer to the starting gate I walked with a good pace and had already walked by quite a few people, kinda determined not to get stuck behind too many slower runners. I thought I was well positioned but again got kinda stuck behind a few slower fellas, in particular two older guys who decided to get into a conversation as the starter began is 10 seconds countdown to start. It annoyed me a bit, I mean, this is not a marathon and I want to get into my stride from the start, or fairly close to it, not 400 or 500 meters into it. I eventually passed many people and settled into a good pace.

For reference, here's the course with elevation:


As you can see, the first couple km were with only a tiny, but steady downhill. Not much, and with the crowd at the start, I wasn't sure what kind of pace I'd have over the first kilometer or so. My watch is set to give me splits every 500m and I was sort of relieved when I saw an average pace at 4:02 for the first 500m. I felt good then, and even with the crowd, to be able to stay this close to a 40 minutes pace, I thought it was an excellent start.

First downhill
Close to the end of the second kilometer, we hit some serious downhill and I really let 'er rip, I mean almost full out, but the heart rate was steady at around 157-159. I remember seeing my current pace showing on the watch as low as 3:15 or 3:20 per km. I saw this as putting time in the bank. This downhill was followed by a slight up which slowed me some but not too long and I got a good mental boost seeing a split average pace at something like 3:58 despite that little up.

Right around the 4.5 km mark, we came to that bridge over the river that becomes the Montmorency Falls and I did something I had never done in a race yet. Without slowing down my pace, I lifted my eyes and took in the scenery. We were up so high and looking over the falls, I could see the tip of the Ile d'orleans (Orleans Island) and the south shore of the St Lawrence river, were we live.

Here's the satellite pic from that portion, right were we took a 90 degree turn to our right:


Mid-race
Just a couple hundred meters later, we hit the 5K mark. I remember seeing the timing mat on the ground and shuffled through to total time on my watch, from the heart rate reading, and it showed 19:55 or so, again MAJOR mental boost right there. I'd just done the first 5K under 20!!! Something I'd never done before! I was very happy and knew I could get something nice done overall but even though I usually have a good kick at the end, I often start fast and am not always a good negative splitter. At that point, I wasn't sure I could trust myself to have as fast a second 5K as I'd had in the first...

Final kick
We then hit a couple rolling hills down and up and from the 6th to close to the 8th kilometer, I was kinda cruising and I remember just wanting to stop and walk, just a little. Heart rate was creeping up a bit and even though I tried telling myself there were only 2 km to go, they were getting tough. Legs, knees and ankles were feeling quite ok despite the downhill pounding though. Crazy enough, I didn't feel any pain all of yesterday but today, it's a bit rough. Back to the race, at that 8K point, we hit some major downhill, and I mean something fierce. After seeing some momentary 4:22 or so current pace around the 8K point, I started picking up pace on the downhill and from the 8.5 to the 9.5 km mark, or just were the course goes straight south, it was just a blur, very crazy fast. I thought to myself I had to let it out all there and would cruise easy in the last 500m but I didn't! I get going as the downhill subsided and finished it just as strong. Garmin says my last three 500m splits were done in at paces of 3:44, 3:48 and 3:45 min/km (6:00, 6:07 and 6:02 min/mile).

There was about 400m to go from that last right turn west and I couldn't make up the time on the finish line clock in the distance. As I got to about 150m or so, I saw something like 39:05 and I knew it was in the bank but never allowd the legs to slow down. I crossed the line sprinting while pumping my fist in the air. Heart rate spiked to 168-169, no wonder I felt a bit dizzy there, had to steady myself on one of the fences at the back.

I got my medal, nobody from my family cheering me on but so many people shouting encouragements at the same time. I heard the PA announce my name at end of my sprint, as I came close to the finish line, that's a cool touch. I also heard him say there would be a big crowd coming around the 50 minutes mark and while he was congratulating the crowd of finishers, he wasn't naming them one by one. I guess finishing around top 50 give you that.

I'm very, VERY happy with that time but I remain realistic. I'm pretty sure you'd put me on a flat course and I would never be able to go that fast. Not gonna it was like cheating but well, a world record wouldn't stand on a course like that. I will take it for now but I'll be working very hard to repeat that kind of time on a flat course and if I ever do that, I think you'll hear me scream from my race course to your house, wherever you are.

Strava have something they call GAP for "Grade Adjusted Pace". I'm unsure how they calculate it but they have to sort of compensate for when you are either going up or down. While my average straight pace for my Strava activity if 3:56/km, their calculated GAP is 4:08 which is about what I'd expect to be able to do for a 10K.

I know it's not always the best to compare yourself to others, since so many things can be factored in, but these I'm very proud of:
50th overall out of 1247 (top 4%)
14th in my category (M40-49) out of 174 (top 8%)

In my very first 10K last August, in a much smaller race, I had the following:
69th overall out of 247 (top 27.9%)
11th in my category (M40-49) out of 38 (top 28.9%)

Have I worked hard or what? And I will keep on working hard, while having fun and listening to my body.

Finally, I scored a couple nice cheapies from their previous year article sale including a nice jacket for 20 bucks.

Started a 12 weeks training cycle today that hopefully will get me to finish my second try at a half marathon at the end of August. I'll be back with some post about it later one this week.

Before that HM, the next thing on my plate is a kinda crazy 13.5km staircase challenge in two weeks, then a 5K (my first) three weeks after that.

Thanks for reading, any and all comments welcome.

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:44 AM   #84
Alan T
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Great job once again Steve!

One question, did you wear those new shoes in the race, or are they new shoes that you are going to start using now?
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:10 AM   #85
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Great job once again Steve!

One question, did you wear those new shoes in the race, or are they new shoes that you are going to start using now?

Thanks Alan

Following the tried and true saying of "don't try anything new on race day" I stayed with my current pair of shoes for the race although I could have gone with the new one since I'm currently running with some Brooks Ghost 6 (I've attached a pic). Tried the 7 on yesterday's recovery run and I'm honestly not too sure I can tell a difference between the two which is a good thing in a way. Maybe I'll feel different the more I put miles on them but for now they felt just the same and since I really love my Ghost 6, it's a good thing.

I plan on alternating between the 6 and the 7 until I've put a bit more mileage on the 6. Right now, they stand at about 350 miles. Don't really know how many more miles I can add on them. Will be going mostly on feeling. The outside of the heels are a bit roughed up but otherwise they don't look bad. The cushioning isn't really stamped and the guy at the store thought they still looked quite decent. As I said, I'll go by feeling and if I get any kind of hurting following a run on them, I'll retire them to household/walkaround shoes...

My previous pair were some Asics Nimbus 13 and they're just about retired, now with 572 miles on them. I used them for that trail race since I expected some mud, and there was indeed some.

I love the Brooks much, much better. They're slightly lighter, not racers by any means, but they're cushy and feel dang good.

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:33 AM   #86
Alan T
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I think that was the wise choice. I was just curious based on your other post if you had worn the new shoes. Even though the 10k is not a long distance, it is long enough that some oddness with the shoe could have wrecked your race.

I haven't had too many shoe problems, but I definitely did encounter one pair of shoes that has a weird rub on my outer toe that if I had worn it for a long race, could have caused a nasty blister for me.

Even the same model, two different shoes I notice differences at times in how they feel.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:20 AM   #87
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Great race, Steve. You and Alan in particular have been very inspirational for me as I try to get myself into racing shape. You guys just plug away steadily, which is what I'm trying to emulate.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #88
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I think that was the wise choice. I was just curious based on your other post if you had worn the new shoes. Even though the 10k is not a long distance, it is long enough that some oddness with the shoe could have wrecked your race.

I haven't had too many shoe problems, but I definitely did encounter one pair of shoes that has a weird rub on my outer toe that if I had worn it for a long race, could have caused a nasty blister for me.

Even the same model, two different shoes I notice differences at times in how they feel.

Yeah, I was ecstatic about getting that new pair of Ghost 7 but I thought it was definitely better to be cautious and not force anything. Especially since I'd bought the shoes the day before the race and had not run even once with them before the race. I also had read one review of the Ghost 7 where the reviewer thought they felt slightly larger in the toe box than the 6. I really didn't want to be bothered by anything new during the race. Sure, had my 6 been really battered and need to be replaced, I could have taken a chance and used the 7, but it wasn't necessary.

As I said, I haven't had many pairs of shoes, period, so not many problems. I now know that my Asics Nimbus 13, which I hadn't been fitted for but picked correctly by myself (according to the guy at Running Room) were a good size too small. I can now feel it when I wear them compared to my Ghost. Tells you how much a generalist sports store knows about running. I picked a 9.5 for the Asics, the guy looked at them, said he thougth they looked fine, I had no clue. Got to Running Room in early March when I decided to get properly fitted. The guy there had my try some Nimbus 14 and the Ghost 6 I ended up with and immediately tells me I need to wear some 10.5, not 9.5.

Time will tell how the 7 feel and if I need to go half a size down as that reviewer seemed to say or if I'm just ok the way they are...

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:27 PM   #89
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Great race, Steve. You and Alan in particular have been very inspirational for me as I try to get myself into racing shape. You guys just plug away steadily, which is what I'm trying to emulate.

Thanks a lot my friend, I'm touched. I'm now a firm believer that consistency has been the main factor in my getting better and faster this season. Not necessarily pushing super hard all the time, but being on the road or the belt almost every day, keeping the legs moving. It's not always easy, we're all busy what with work, family life, kids activities, outside activities but I committed myself to my running, on top of the dojo, and now it's beginning to pay off. I don't try to find time, I make time. 5 am wake up call isn't always easy and I don't mind my off day on Friday but it's been absolutely great to see the improvements. I often feel like Forrest Gump when a coworker asks my how I can get up so early and run. My simple answer is just that, well, I do. That's all. In that sense, running is a great metaphor for life. You get out of it what you put into it. Even more, with running, you can't cheat. Sure lots of thing can happen to derail or help you on a given race day, but if you don't put in the work, you won't get the results...

Alan knows about this article, but I think it sums it up pretty well:
Run Your Fastest Race EVER with this One Weird Old Trick

One thing though, please try not to emulate the faceplanting by the curbside, all right?

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:36 PM   #90
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Ok let's talk training plan. As I've stated before, I'm big fan of Hal Higdon's training plans, all available for free on his website. It's probably because they fell right in my mileage level that I liked them from the beginning.

Could they be more complicated? Sure, but they fit the bill for my level of running right now. They have some speedwork sessions, many easy runs and one long run a week. Sure some of his plans call for 6 runs a week but I don't mind that since many are kinda shorter easy runs that I can do before going to work.

I've shared bits and pieces of some Hal Higdon plans but here's the plan I used to get ready for my half marathon back in May:


That plan is basically Higdon's advanced half marathon training plan with very minor variations. His original plan called for a long run of 2 hours on the Sunday of week 11, one week before race day. I thought I wanted a better taper than to go out and run for longer than what I thought my half marathon would take, at a pace that would mean nothing a week later. I at first had modified it for 14K at race pace and eventually ended up with a 2+2+2+2+2 run which was twice 2 km at race pace splitted with three 2 km at an easy pace.

That was a pretty big leap of fait for me as it meant 6 days of running every week but I really enjoyed how the plan was built. Starting with short intervals, some hills at first and working toward more work at HM pace, I liked that. Since I started that training cycle in mid February, and with the kind of winter we've had this year, I did about 75% of my runs in the first 10 weeks on the treadmill and only one on the treadmill in the last two weeks. Other than the whole crashing down thing, that plan worked quite well.

There were no local races for me to test my pacing so I did some self paced test on the Sundays were a race was to be run. Not exctly teh same but it worked out all right there too.

I had a whole 16 weeks of marathon training planned for a marathon on August 24th. This all went down the drain when I crash in my HM so back to the drawing board I went. I liked that HM plan so much, I decided to use it again but had to modify it somewhat, first to accomodate for races I'd already signed up for, then to up the mileage a bit. Here's what I'll be going with, starting from this Monday:


The first two races I'm signed up for. The 13.5K staircase challenge is something I will go into with absolutely no exectation but to do my very best. I mean, just like that trail race of two weeks ago, it's so out of the normality of things, there's no way for me to plan a pace. We'll be doing some running in between flights of stairs in the Old Quebec. Will be pretty amazing but no way of knowing how I might place or how fast I'll go overall. As for the 5K, it'll be my first organized 5K race since I started running. It's a pretty local race, about 10 minutes from our home and it's held on a Friday evening.

That 10K, I've yet to pull the trigger on. It's very tempting and I will quite probably register for it in the coming week or so. You can see I have upped the Monday/Wednesday easy runs from 5 km to 7 km (basically added about a mile) and Monday's will now be recovery runs in which I'll try to keep my heart rate below 110 BPM and my easy runs around 120-125 BPM. I've also added some reps to some of the speedwork session and for the moment have scratched the hills session that was planned on the Tuesday following the staircase challenge as I fully expect to be sore after that one. Things might change if I'm not feeling too bad.

That's about how the rest of my Summer will be happening. Was back on the treadmill this morning. Almost a shame too, as the weather was very nice outside but had that hills workout planned and since it's mostly flat around the neighborhood and I didn't feel like driving 15 minutes at 5:30 for the nearest hill, I decided to do the training on the belt. 7x 300m @ 15% incline followed by 7x 300m @ -3% (decline) got me pretty sweaty. Still feeling the effect of the weekend's downhill race...

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:44 PM   #91
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oh, and I've also brought the duration of some long runs up a bit. Took some planning to fit them around the couple races there...

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:48 PM   #92
Alan T
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How do you feel about the training load from the previous time through the HH half plan? It maxes out at about what? 30-40 mpw or so right? You do it in km, so I guess that would be around 60km a week I think?

You mentioned that you were uping your miles from his plan some. Looks mostly to be an additional 2-3 miles mid-week on your easy runs, a few more reps on speed work and you pushed your long runs about 15 minutes longer too right?

What does that end up putting you at for miles per week?

You are pretty fast, I would love to see what you could accomplish by being able to increase your workload even more per week and further up your aerobic fitness. It is always a fine line between overtraining and optimal training though as you look for increases.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:57 PM   #93
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How do you feel about the training load from the previous time through the HH half plan? It maxes out at about what? 30-40 mpw or so right? You do it in km, so I guess that would be around 60km a week I think?

You mentioned that you were uping your miles from his plan some. Looks mostly to be an additional 2-3 miles mid-week on your easy runs, a few more reps on speed work and you pushed your long runs about 15 minutes longer too right?

What does that end up putting you at for miles per week?

You are pretty fast, I would love to see what you could accomplish by being able to increase your workload even more per week and further up your aerobic fitness. It is always a fine line between overtraining and optimal training though as you look for increases.

I was okay with the load the first time around but I'm being careful not to go up by too much, especially since I'm training for a half marathon anyway. I was careful last Summer and I want to do it that way again this time around.

The increase is not straight, with the races and shuffling of some long runs, but overall, I totaled 362.3 miles planned for the first time and it's 399.5 miles for this cycle, so 37 miles more, over 12 weeks, about 3 more miles per week.

It peaked at 40 miles last time around and will again peak at about the same mileage but I will have three consecutive weeks at that mileage now, instead of having only one peak then go back down.

Attached is a week by week mileage comparison, new plan is on the left...

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:01 PM   #94
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way I saw it when I thought about upping the mileage is that 3 miles a week on my average of 30 miles per week was a 10% percent increase on the whole. I thought it was a safe increase...

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:02 PM   #95
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Ahh cool. Having those back off weeks in there with less miles timed with other races that you are running is a good idea. Helps keep off over-training and gives you a fitness level set.

Plus races are fun!!

Looks like you have a good summer planned out
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:03 PM   #96
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Ahh cool. Having those back off weeks in there with less miles timed with other races that you are running is a good idea. Helps keep off over-training and gives you a fitness level set.

Plus races are fun!!

Looks like you have a good summer planned out

yeah, I really liked that from his original plan, the lower mileage weeks but with a race. Of course, them races in March and April were all done by myself, so not as fun

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:06 PM   #97
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A good read. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:01 PM   #98
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I was curious so I went back to check how my actual mileage stacked up compared to planned mileage for the first 12 weeks training cycle. I ended up logging 367.8 actual miles compared to the 362.3 miles I had planned to run.

Oh and I passed the 1000 km mark on the year during my hill workout this morning. Current yearly total is standing at 1006 km.

FM
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:19 PM   #99
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Oh and I passed the 1000 km mark on the year during my hill workout this morning. Current yearly total is standing at 1006 km.



Woo!!

I had to go check to see where I was for the year, you're slightly ahead of me! According to sporttracks, I am at 965 km so far this year. According to Strava, I am at 966km. (Not sure where the discrepency on distance comes from)

Edit: This is before my run today which adds about 7km or so to that total though.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:36 PM   #100
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Woo!!

I had to go check to see where I was for the year, you're slightly ahead of me! According to sporttracks, I am at 965 km so far this year. According to Strava, I am at 966km. (Not sure where the discrepency on distance comes from)

Edit: This is before my run today which adds about 7km or so to that total though.

I think sporttracks uses its own GPS engine or a different set of maps because I never get the same mileage between Garmin Connect and Sporttracks. I always write down my Garmin mileage in a spreadsheet so that's the one I use for reports...

I'm probably ahead of you only because you slacked off so much after your marathon

I only ran 6.35 km today so I had to be at just about 999 this morning before my run

FM
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