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Gul -either a longish hill where you are already have a high heart rate when you reach the bottom and just increase the effort steadily as you go up but I don't think you have any hills near you so a track and over 800m run the first lap at 90 -95 % effort then for the last 400m get the hammer down everything you have it may take a couple of goes as its hard to go all out without a few practices You don't need a track either a nice straight piece of quiet smooth road and get a couple of marks down so you know where to really go for it... stop if you puke ! and take adequate warmup to start and if you have a niggly injury don't even think about it problem is if its too early you may simply be too tired get a true result .
just ran the progression run as it was the only way to get 6 in before work in the time available. No plans here yet !
CSMLFC-another good mara completed
Birch- I think 12 and 18 week plan are much the same with key sessions just a shorter buildup means more chance of making the startline uninjured.
Gul - sounds like a sensible plan for the autumn. How far are you thinking of for your commuting runs? I've been pleased with both my Innov-8 backpacks and I've heard good things about Raidlight as well. Most important thing is to make sure it fits nice and tightly on your back and doesn't swing around.
Great stuff CSMLFC - presumably Chester is a decent option for you in the autumn.
Sneaky HM there Poacher - I hope the rain held off during the run.
Birch - I'm going to give the 12 week schedule a go for my autumn marathon - I some times find I run out of steam after a concerted 4 months training so will try a shorter version.
5 miles with younger LorenzIto this morning, followed by about five and a half hours of walking in the foothills of the Tatras, get get up to about 1700m. Plenty of beetroot in this neck of the woods, but resisted the temptation and stuck to pork, sauerkraut and beer this evening.
Well played Bike It. You really toughed it out, with plenty of mind over matter. I realize you probably hoped for more, before your knee injury, but all that mileage you put in helped you over come that on the day. Good luck with your interview on Wednesday. Every employer needs people with your sort of grit and determination.
Much respect, Bike It - to complete the event (one which many (myself among them), could not contemplate), after your travails, is an achievement to reflect on with pride . . . .
Birch - sorry, no, never tried the 12 week P&D plan.Leslie - thanks. I did 800m and 400m - the peak came in the 800m bit though. Maybe as you say it's a bit early in the day for max heart rates!Lorenzo - at the moment, just planning a very slow run either to where I get a lift or to the last bus stop on the way out of town. Going to try out the rucksack with work shoes/clothes etc too, but I think it will be okay. Sounds like a great holiday.Bike It - missed your news about an interview. All the best. How is your leg? Hope there's no damage done.Another 10 slow miles earlier this morning. Avg HR 142.
Gul, that's great news, you can sign up for the Shakespeare Raceway again...
Madbark - a rich vein of form, and you have got to 30+ maras seemingly in no time at all.
CSM - good run on a not-all-that-fast course. Chester would also be quite local to you and maybe the place to go a bit faster.
Birch - commiserations. shelf should have a team at the top table, if only to annoy Leeds. But the Hull project will unravel.
Bike It - good luck with the interview. Avoid motorbikes. How are the legs recovering?
Luxembourg HM: MrsP and I were off to Lux to stay with an old friend, and coincidentally to cheer him on in the Night Marathon, which starts at the odd time of 1900 Saturday evening. I toyed with entering, but was glad I hadn't after the last few weeks. Joining the crowds in the city centre, beer in hand, would have been a change from racing and a lovely way to spend the evening. However I was presented with a place in the simultaneous HM, courtesy of an injured local. I thought this was a legitimate transfer, but something had gone wrong with the admin and for the first time I ended up breaking the rules and running as someone else.
The race was a few miles downhill, round the very attractive and crowded city centre, then back uphill to the finish. I decided to run fairly hard even though the legs are shot; it was a bit of a slog from 9m onwards but a decent effort took me to 1.33.02 and an indoor finish line, very atmospheric. An unremarkable time but I'm now mortified to find out that my alter ego is over 60 and I accidentally got him 2nd on the OG60 podium, along with a PB. This is most embarrassing. I would have been 13th/304 in my real age group and pretty happy with 244/6420 overall. Just hoping now that there isn't a medal or anything for age group podiums.
The evening is actually quite a good time to race, especially through a well lit and busy city with cobbled streets and tight turns. I was done by 2030 but there were people finishing the HM well after 2200 and marathoners still out there until after 0100. A bit late really, and pretty tough to run in the dark like that after most of the supporters have gone home. To cap it all there was a DJ at the finish playing the greatest hits of Kiss at ear-bleeding volume - a good incentive to get away quickly.
No more races for a while - hooray!
Bike It - well toughed out...I can't even imagine being out there for 10 hours, and given how much pain you were in it's just amazing to get through that.
BB - another sub-3....never in doubt!
CSMLFC - that's a great result so soon after Manchester
Poacher - not bad for a V60
Made the most of the decent weather over the weekend - and actually did some intervals on Saturday. Only 6 x 3 minutes but it felt good to get some speed. Although not that fast (pace was around 6.30), but not too bad. Then 15 miles on Sunday and a steady 5 miles yesterday.
Poacher - well done on getting on the podium ,I hope he shares the prize after your hard work
Gul nice easy 10, just try and really nail the finish in a race and that should get near max heart rate
Freemers- nice training and 6:30 milling seems well fast to me at the minute
15m with the last 6 at 7:30
Lunchtime handicap, just over 5k in the pouring rain chasing people who had somehow managed to sneak a couple of minutes handicap advantage over me even though a few months ago we were head to head. Quite pleased with splits of 6:27, 6:29 and 6:26 with the "dash to the line" at the end at 6:14 pace.
May all done now, 179.14 miles at an average pace of 7:36 so the miles down from the 200+ a month when marathon training but the speed up from 7.5x and 8.0x minutes a mile. I have now done 1046 miles so far in 2016 and my best May total was 1050 in 2014 so will see if I can stay in that mould and hit 2,300 again.
Ah, month end ! 15.8 today, inc 5 x 350 metres "stride-outs" at halfway, (with NO reaction from calf) - brings up 152 for the month; happy with that after first week off with calf strain.820 year to date, so 1,000 would be nice by end of June to keep me on track for 2,000 for the year . . . . .
Just dropping in to say well done Bike it for completing another Comrades. Sorry it wasn't to be in terms of what your training deserved, but kudos for getting it done, very admirable and shows a great deal of strength of character. Recover well and good luck for tomorrow.
Poacher - good report. Well done on the accidental podium finish I quite like the sound of an evening race. I will have to visit my French friends and race the Angouleme 10k one of these years.Freemers - nice weekend of training. Are you managing to get any more in during the week?Leslie - tasty MLR!PMJ - good pacing for your lunchtime handicap. When is your mile race?SJ - another couple of good sessions in the bag.5 easy miles this morning with a rucksack packed with work stuff (just for test purposes though, I am on holiday). Avg HR a good 10bpm or more up from easy runs without a rucksack (152 this morning). Might leave my shoes at work as they must be quite a high percentage of the weight!
Gul - I leave a pair of shoes and my suit and work, so just have to stick a clean shirt, underwear and a few work bits and pieces in my backpack. I think it ends up weighing about 2 or 3 kg thanks to the Microsoft Surface (good size but surprisingly heavy) and various books and papers.
Poacher - cunning way to finish on the podium!!
Managed another long day's walking yesterday - about 6 hours in total including steep uphill and even steeper downhill sections but well worth it for some spectacular scenery. My legs just about felt up to another 5 mile run with younger Lorenzito this morning. On Poacher's recommendation we visited the salt mine just outside Kraków today - a genuinely fascinating experience. Thanks Mr P!!!
Gul Darr wrote (see)
PMJ - good pacing for your lunchtime handicap. When is your mile race?!
PMJ - good pacing for your lunchtime handicap. When is your mile race?!
Mile is mid June. This weekend of to the US and 4 mile race in Central Park, NY. Going to treat it like a 5k and hang on at the end.
SJ - thanks for the bike advice. Biz #1 is overseas so claiming to commute by bike would stretch credibility. Biz #2 has MrsP as co-director so she would immediately find out how much was being spent... ...which could end in disaster. I had a dekko at some bikes today - liked the look of the Cannondale Synapse but needs more research
Lorenzo - it must be a hard sell for the local tourist board, but the salt mine really is extraordinary isn't it. Sounds like an excellent holiday.
5m tonight. Please can it stop raining sometime.
Lorenzo - Enjoy keeping up with Lorenzito I won't be taking Lore of Running to work, that's for sure! PMJ - racing in Central Park should be a great experience.Poacher - not too much rain here so far today.Another crack at max HR today. 3 miles warm-up, then a few hill sprints (1 mile) which gave a max reading of 192, followed by 3 miles tempo ending with a 400m sprint which maxed out at 202. 1 mile warm-down to finish, which gave a bizarre reading of 222 max HR (and I had a two-minute break to let my HR recover from the sprint first)! I think I'll go with 202. So 8 miles in total.
Gul- 202 sounds like a good number ,now you have something to work with ,are you working your training zones of heart rate now ?
Poacher-rain with you , its been over 20c with the sun splitting the sky all week here which is very unusual and welcome ,well unless you are running the local mara on sunday
Track this morn was planning on 6 x 800m but felt good so added one extra but forgot where I started and it ended up 1000m
first reps 6:30m/m then got quicker and quicker and the final 1000m was 6:01
cold here - long sleeves and gloves this morn ! 7 miles with 5 x 800m in park & 2 x 400m hills. Calf still no reaction, so cautiously thinking legs best they have been for a while - they just need to get quicker . . . .
Up at 1:30; ready in 20 minutes then wait another 40 minutes until the taxi to the bus departure zone at 2:30. No queues and in the bus at 2:50 – try to snooze but reminded of the hills by the struggling bus engine.
Into the start zone at 4:00. Breakfast, suncream, contact lenses, fuel. PMB town hall clock says 4:25 so I wait a bit before getting off the last layers and putting my bag in baggage lorry and toilet. PMB town hall clock still says 4:25 – check phone and it is 5:00 so into pen B.
At 5:10 the pen partitions come up and we surge forward so I’m 25m from the start. The usual and atmospheric sequence of National Anthem, Shozoloza, Chariots of Fire, Max Trimborn’s cockerel crow, then the artillery cannon fires for the off.
I’m running within a minute. The theme for the first 20.5km to the High Point was to take it super easy as it is mostly uphill with 2 downhills. I do well on this as I am full conversational and running with one the Comrades thread member. There are scores of runners from C, D and even E overtaking me – this means my pace is right and I will see them before halfway. It was about 10C at the start and the sun rises as we cruise down Polly Shortts, which forms a formidable barrier to PMB on the up-run, but at this stage of the game is an easy descent to the Tumble Inn and the Ashburton Crossing. Next over Little Pollys and the first time check at the Lion Park turn – I’m bang on schedule for an 8:30 finish. Another 6km of climbing to the High Point. I reach it in 1:57 and still on schedule for an 8:30 finish.
Next I’ve got to run the 19km to the foot of Inchanga. I know I can speed up a bit here, so immediately run a 5m00s for one kilometre. I then slow down a bit to average around 5:20 per km. My threadster has dropped back so I’m running on my own. Incredible crowd support in Camperdown and Cato Ridge – they are 4 deep in places and are close on the road – the noise of support is incredible. Into Harrison Flats (of course it is uphill) and the support has thinned. Past the Ethembeni School and high-five as many of the disabled and albino kids as possible – I am reminded of how privileged I am to run. A mountain is looming in the distance and the road leads straight to it. All time checks are good: 3:01 for 32km - still on track for an 8:30 finish.
Inchanga next. It is long protracted climb with multiple bends and so never seems to end. I manage it well and I know when I’m at the top as I call it Intimidation Point, as I can see down to Drummond below and then see that I must climb to the same height again. 42.2km in 4:00. The upside of Inchanga is relatively gentle in comparison to the down. I launch myself down it at 5:15 per km – it in three sections some steeper, but all jarring.
I come into halfway at Drummond in 4:18 – again I am bang on pace. I check my levels of fatigue here as in my first down run I was already in bad shape here. 4 years later and I am feeling good, sure I am getting fatigued, but it is a very low level.
Next the wicked 7km climb out of Drummond to Botha’s Hill. It’s in 3 ups and 2 down. Stop to pay respects to Arthur Newton on the right and glance at the Wall of Honour on the left and note they are running out of space. I’m smart and walk the steep bits and run the rest easy. I finally get to Botha’s Hill Village. I check my fatigue again and it is very moderate – I know I can run all the way to the finish. I check my time at the railway bridge (how they got the railway up there I’ll never know) and all is bang on track.
Next the wicked descent of Bothas Hill. I speed up to 5:15 per km and enjoy the ride down. Next the wicked little hill at Hillcrest and I take a walk break and run off the top of it. Nicely paced again through the gentle downhill of Hillcrest/Kloof. I pass the timing mat at Winston Park at 59km in 5:39 – timewise on-track.
4km more and it is Field Hill – 3km long and 170m of descent. I know my quads will be hammered.
Since I started running my left leg has progressively got worse. The mild injuries that I started with have caused the top of my hamstring to have pain on the ups and my left quad to have pain on the downhill and generally I’m getting pain all over my left hip. Before 50km it has been of a level I can ignore it, but after Botha’s it has started to impact my running.
As soon I as start the steeper descent of Field Hill my left leg buckles under me. I walk hoping it would be temporary. I resume running again but very painful and a serious limp. I stop and massage it deep in the hip – the same pain and limping. I repeat this procedure several more times down Field Hill and I’m walking down clutching my left leg in pain. I know it is over and still want to try and finish thinking of a Green Number one day.
Field Hill ends in Pinetown with 21km to go – I’m still timewise able to get the Bill Rowen medal if I can run on the flatter section. I try but no good – it’s a painful limp. I stop my vanity and accept I’m going to have to walk to the finish. I’ve known it was a possibility for 2 weeks before so I can accept it readily now.
The crowd are very kind – I must have heard my name called thousands of time. A few of them say ‘just think of the green number Martin’ – that is the only though that keeps me going forward. Sometimes I stop to press deep into my hip to try and relive it. At other places I get ‘spray’ and ice – which offers a little relief too.
I meet a lot of other runners walking too – one who went through halfway in 3:30 (suicide pace), another I get up from the side of the road, another nauseous, another injured too. Chatting with them make our collective failure seem less bad. This is the Spirit of Comrades. We walk on knowing we can get a finish still.
It’s a long, long time walking with a limp, clutching my left hip in pain – probably around 4 hours before I get to the stadium. Then it is finally here – the grass of the stadium. The crowd is constantly cheering – the best finish in sport. Finished in 10:24.
I get my medal for my 4th finish. One down and 6 more to go. I’m happy as I gave it my best shot. I know I was in good shape and now I understand I probably trained a little bit too much.
Can’t wait for next year already
I'm badly limping. I'm only surviving on Norflex Co and Naproxyn. Thankfully I live in a single storey house and there is an elevator at work. It will be some time before I can run again, but it was worth it. I knew it was a possibility and wouldn't change a thing in how I managed the problem.
I learnt though that I probably overtrained by taking a high volume approach, or by adding speed work towards the end of the high volume. I suspect the later. Also I think strength training would have been a benefit and possibly have avoided the issue completely - I'll add that to next years effort.
For now I probably need to take a month or so off to rehabilitate my left leg. Then I'll probably try the Soweto marathon in November although it is tricky course.
One more thing.
I was sitting next to a bin at the finish - the type that is basically a cardboard box with a bin liner in. I'm sitting there eating and a runner uses the bin to vomit in and I just carry on eating. This is now completely normal Comrades experience - any other day of the year and it would be highly unpleasant
Wonderful report of a wonderful effort in a wonderful race, Bike It - as I have stated previously, something I could never accomplish. But we all can (should) use your credo - "I’m happy as I gave it my best shot" in all our endeavours.Enjoy your month rehab/downtime, and once more, many,many congratulations - As VTr might say - you are one tough dude . . .
What a fantastic report, BikeIt. Even though I knew how it ended I was still willing you on and waiting for that miracle! You've captured the spirit and atmosphere so brilliantly, and it's moved Comrades a little further up my wish list (apart from the bit about the guy puking into the bin next to you). Hope that you continue to recover well.
I have to agree Bike It- the report brings the event alive and I start to see the appeal. Although like Birch I could never imagine running that far. The margins between success and below your expectations are so slender, once the injury kicked in the decline was rapid. But very brave and determined to finish the course- chapeau