With the Fitzroy Falls Marathon less than a week away my training is now going to focus on getting some speed in the legs. Since returning from Europe last month i've been slowly ramping up my training. September was by no means a big month with just 245km of running. However this was 245km's more than I did in August due to my ITB issue. This now seems to be behind me (fingers crossed). September was all about learning to run again and this hasnt been easy. My heart rate has been elevated and ive been finding it hard to add any speed into my workouts. However, on saturday I went caught a train up to Brooklyn and ran/hiked through the bush for 6 hours. I wanted to spend some decent time on my feet without smashing up my legs (after all i am racing on Saturday). I wore my NB Minimus Trail which are awesome. I bought these at the same time as the Hoka Combos and I have to say I way my Minimus way more. I find them extremely comfortable and I seem to run much faster in them than the Hokas. Lots of hype surrounding the Hokas but for me they're going to be a 'recovery' shoe. Certainly fun when running down a hill but thats it. Definitely not a performance shoe. Having said that there will probably be a point in the GNW100 when i'll slip them on just due to the cushioning they provide. Anyway, im sidetracking...
I only ran 45km on Saturday but my legs felt good and it gave me some much need confidence that i'll be able to complete the GNW100 as long as i pace properly. The next day was just a short recovery run and then today i started thinking about the Fitzroy Falls Marathon. If im to have any chance of breaking my 3.09 time from last year i need to start working on some speed - better late than never. So i slipped on my NB Mt101's and went out for a 16km progressive road run - the aim being to start of slow and ease into my run then pick up the pace at the half way mark. I felt pretty ordinary for the first couple of km's then things started to click - finally!! The last 6 of the 8 km's were all sub 4 with the final km being a 3.37. My heart rate was where it should have been (below 180 bpm) and i finished up feeling like i could i have run 5 more kms at that pace.
Last years race was my first ever marathon and as such i didnt know what to expect in terms of how my body would cope running a certain pace or with a certain heart rate. As you can see my pacing was not very even (taking into account its not a flat race) but i was able to maintain a heart rate of 170 which is good. I also think that during my marathon last July my heart rate would have been around the 175bpm mark. I wasnt wearing a monitor so this was my perceived effort. Since I now know how to pace a marathon and since ive ran the course before i know what to expect and im confident of doing better and most importantly finishing stronger. My pacing really fell off towards the end last year and this is what i plan on improving the most.
So my training plan this week will be short efforts at pace. Simple as that. After Saturday all thoughts will be on GNW100. Im by no means as prepared as i should be for this one having only been on the course once but if i push the km's too much in training there is a chance id be a no show and thats the last thing i want. Id rather turn up fresh and under prepared than blown out. Besides im actually excited about running on a course ive never been on before. Target time for me is under 30hrs. If i can somehow hit that i'll be chuffed to bits.
My AYUP light set arrived a few weeks ago. I ordered this especially for the race as im bound to be in the bush all night by myself (i wont be having a pacer). Wow, what a light! Its like having a set of car lights on your head!! Pricey but well worth it!