Medium Long Run Garmin Problems

The DOMS are well and truly here now. My legs don’t feel terrible, but they don’t feel great either – something that I can’t easily describe. The ache enough, to tell me they ache, but not enough to stop me continuing my day. They’ll be on their way out tomorrow, in time for the workout I’ve been most dreading.

Today was a Medium Long Run of 15km. I have recently been gifted the Garmin Fenix 3 and although I’ll spare you the gushing adulation I have bestowed upon it, I really need to tell you just how good a fucking watch it is. In terms of 0-fucking watch, it is pretty fucking watch. That’s how good it is.

Only this morning it gave me a little gip some 2km into the run. It was harmless enough but it ended up segmenting the run so the largest total was only 13km. I hate segmenting runs. It just looks like you had to stop half way and I hate that. I’m not that unfit. Interestingly enough, that brings me to another point related to the Garmin Fenix 3 and perhaps I’ll address that later on. Essentially this is to do with race predictions and these almost confirm what I had originally feared, in that – I’m just not running fast enough. I’ll come back to this shortly.

Screenshot 2016-02-02 14.03.41.png

A good 3km of this involved the solid climb extending from Riverside Park, through Swaythling and into Bassett Green, also known as Mansbridge Road and Bassett Green Road respectively. Interestingly, even though it extends a good kilometre beyond the Langhorn Road climb, it seemed to be much more pleasant. I don’t think I particularly struggled on it and although I periodically wanted the climbing to be over with, it didn’t seem to bother me as much as Langhorn Road. Part of the problem with Langhorn Road is the feeling that the surrounding traffic and pedestrian dodging turn climbing a long hill into climbing a long hill with a donkey on your back and a fat old lady who won’t get out of your way. I think I will use it more in the future, it’s certainly one to keep an eye on. The elevation profile is shown below – I don’t think it extends too far beyond 4% throughout. This graph is from veloviewer, a website I’ve not entirely figured out just yet.

Screenshot 2016-02-02 14.18.07

More stats now for you. These are also from veloviewer.

Screenshot 2016-02-02 14.13.39.png

I’m not really sure of how to annotate that data for you. I was disappointed that my cadence had fallen well below 180 to 175spm and that is not a parameter that sits well with me. Good athletes keep a frequency of 180 I’m told and that’s what I’ve been trying to stick to.

All in all I finished with a total of 15km, at around a 5:08min/km which felt comfortable throughout. I didn’t feel laboured at any point and although my LSR pace is probably still around 5:30, I’m beginning to wonder if I can start safely moving my parameters once again. 5x3km tomorrow. FFS.

MLR: 14km

Today was a straightforward run. I decided on a tour of Southampton, something of a canter around it’s central perimeter. The course, as far as my questionable cardio-respiratory physiology allows, is a reasonably taxing one and effectively involves going up a big hill and then down a big hill. Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 19.13.05Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 19.12.50

The run was taxing in terms of its ascent. I am sure veteran runners would snort in derision at its elevation but for me, the climb up Burgess Road (the northern aspect of the main quadrilateral) is as stimulating as it gets. From it’s origin in Swaythling and termination in Bassett at The North-West spine of The Avenue, the 2km is a relentless 2% climb.

Furthermore, from start to finish it provides no element of inspiration or encouragement. It is a miserable passage of crawling traffic and kebab shops. Bus stop passengers who refuse to move out of your way and narrow paths at the origin of the Common. Old ladies with iceberg like movements. In short, it is a route I avoid with an honest and unchanging passion.

Having completed this the middle 3-4km were really nothing to comment on. More or less downhill throughout their entirety, they passed without issue. Towards the end, I began to feel sick and developed some strangulating and persistent abdominal cramps. I could feel my stomach churning in a familiar and insidious manner, in solemn anticipation of events to come. In short, I wanted to shit myself.

I was thinking about expanding upon this comment but I’m going to stop. Partly because I don’t want to relive the feeling, partly because this is a family blog and no one wants to read about a grown man soiling his shorts like a fucking dickhead.

Anyway, all in all I completed the 14km at a 5:05min/km pace which was, as it happens the exact pace I had aimed for. The goal pace for this years Half marathons is 4:45 and +20s off goal pace is allowable for a intended paced run. I will try and keep the 10kms at 4:45 from hereon in which will hopefully give me a feel of what I can and can’t do. We’ll see. Tomorrow, the MONA fartlek.

Medium Long Run: 14km

FullSizeRender.jpg

This is the view at the top of Cleveland Park in Ealing looking back across North and West London. In the hidden distance the A40 hurries to the City and away to Oxford. The houses are large and proud. The park represents a sincere incline away from the River Brent, a polluted and opaque affair, a sorry tributary to the pumping vein of the Thames. By this point I had completed some 13km of my run and paused to capture the scene. On my way up the hill a man slipped and fell and was picked up by some concerned dog walkers. Embarrassed, he picked himself up and continued. I watched him run out of the park and having caught my own breath, pulled out my phone and took the picture.

I was in no mood to run in the morning. The was no real sense in recovery from the previous days hiatus and it was everything I could do to get myself to the point of beginning the run. My legs felt weighted and I felt aware of them more than I have done in recent times. The ground was wet but the skies were clear. Two cars countered each other belligerently in the narrow recesses of the road, each refusing to move. I began.

Irritatingly, there is still no data to show you given the very notable absence of my ANT + stick and so you will have to take my word for this excursion. I completed 14.3km at a 4:55min/km pace and felt every footstep. There were countless times I wanted the run to be over and in many circumstances found myself willing my psyche to the end of the road, the next tree or the top of the hill. One more kilometre. One more kilometre. My average HR was 151bpm with an average cadence of 92spm. The kilometre splits (min/km), I have hand written below, so you better fucking read them

  1. 5:00
  2. 4:55
  3. 4:55
  4. 4:47
  5. 4:53
  6. 5:04 (big hill man, you had to be there)
  7. 4:44
  8. 4:49
  9. 4:52
  10. 4:55
  11. 4:56
  12. 4:56
  13. 5:13 (big hill man, you had to be there)
  14. 4:55
  15. Only 260m (in 1:15) Screenshot 2015-12-29 17.56.30.png

So given how tired I was, not a bad pace for me overall. I obviously joke about the hills but they clearly continue to hit me hard. On lap 13, I genuinely cannot convey how difficult it was to put foot in front of successive foot. I didn’t fall but I would have happily ended the run at the park’s summit, such was my exhaustion. To date, there are many many runs that I have not wanted to do. There are many many runs I would have happily ended prematurely and walked the remainder of the distance. There are many runs, like today, where every step almost required a conscious battle to progress from A to B. As it happens and despite all of this, there are no runs I have regretted on completion and as I sit here now, I am conscious that every run only makes me stronger now matter how weak I feel whilst in it’s oblivion.

*Addendum. The Garmin is now connected. Rejoice in the data that is the Strava application.

Screenshot 2015-12-29 17.52.59.png

MLR with the elder brother.

I think I am more or less on course with the running now. I am about a third of the way into my training for the Brighton Half Marathon (which is on 28th February 2016) and I am feeling pretty good. I don’t think feeling good is particularly synonymous with objective improvement but I’m not injured, I’m running, things are going well.

Today I ran 14km in West London with my older brother as part of my MLR (medium long run). I’ve added the link to my Strava so you can see it. He ran the first 1okm (to a PB I should add) with me and I finished off the final 4km on my own. I do love running through London. I am by some considerable measure, an urban runner. Nothing quite inspires or invites me to run as the turning of road upon road. It’s an amalgamation of the history of the city, the buildings in ascension, the feeling of something significant happening; yesterday today and forever more. The space is bombarded by the blitz of relentless human endeavour. I’ve enjoyed many runs through fields and countryside but they never get me quite like urban running does. There’s only so many things you can do with a horizon.

I’ve added the pace chart from said run below.

Screenshot 2015-12-22 14.14.23

We kept a nicely gentle and comfortable pace of about 5:30min/km in the entirety of the joint run. The suggested pause just after 9km isn’t at all, merely a venture over a bridge and British Rail. I think he had begun to turn by this point as the pace had begun to drop off towards 6min/km. I continued onwards with the goal of keeping the pace of 5min/km for the final 4km. This more or less was achieved.

I’m getting to the point now where 5min/km is a fairly comfortable pace for me at distance. I’m probably teetering on the edge of my aerobic capacity. A venture toward 4:50 begins a tugging of breath and by 4:40 I am fully aware that I’m running.

4:40 is the intended goal pace for the Brighton Half. The goal time is 1″40. The current PB is a somewhat embarrassing 1″43. I feel I can do much better than that and hopefully now I should do, given that never before have I trained for a half marathon. There is something thoroughly depressing about watching 40 year olds cruise to 1″30 (I am 30 years old myself) whilst steam pours out of my ears. Happily, 4:45 should get me my goal time, but I am keen to arrive comfortably into the next time zone. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.

2 mile intervals tomorrow in Lammas Park which I am looking forward to. I know, I’m a little strange.