Monday, 22 December 2014

2015 Family Running Work = Priorities

As promised I have thrown together a bit of race list for next year. More importantly though I feel a real sense of balance to my life, probably the first time in a long time.

In having both boys at school, and Bel doing regular days at work - our weekly routine is pretty solid. Which has allowed me to settle into a solid training pattern since the Melbourne Marathon. I currently have 2 days rest, so plenty of scope to ramp up, and zero impact on the family thus far.

The new training plan and volume, and probably more importantly quality sleep is allowing me to build up to a steady 70km+ per week. Which isnt spectacular, but running over 565km in the past 8 weeks injury free is really pleasing. Once the weather cools down and the marathon training starts, I really feel capable of running 100km a week given the current free time I have at the moment. But thats up to my new coach to plan out.

In planning out some races, I really wanted to run flat cool and fast. If the races don't fit that, then more than likely I will skip them.

A Races - Gold Coast Marathon & Melbourne Marathon
Both races are begging for me to set new marathon PB's, Gold Coast will also be a family holiday - which will be awesome. 

B Races - Noosa Half Marathon (May)
Lead into Gold Coast and chance for me to see where I am at 6 weeks out from GC. Will most likely set a Marathon goal time from this race. Super flat and fast course.

C Races - Twilight 5km and 10km
Going to run the Twilight 5km in March, which will be hot and isnt exactly fast, but it will just be a chance to test the lungs over a shorter distance, and you cant really screw up a 5km, so even a bad race is over in under 21 minutes.
Also looking for a 10km to race that is flat cool and fast, allowing me to have a crack at breaking my 10km PB...possibly in April sometime.

I have purposely not filled a race between GC and Melbourne, depending on what happens at GC it might be tricky to squeeze a race in, with taper etc.

As I head off on holidays from work, I am really looking forward to spending the 3 weeks playing with the boys, hitting the beach and generally just unwinding. I plan to ramp up a little volume so I can get close to race weight by January 31 - before my Marathon training kicks off.

Be safe over the Christmas break, especially if you are driving.


Monday, 15 December 2014

Racing Weight - An interesting 3 months

This isnt a blog to help you lose weight, or provide advice about weight loss. Just a post about what I have been doing.

Forgive me if this ends up sounding like an infomercial where I am trying to sell you 5 minute abs. This is not meant to be a blog about weight loss, but a running blog with some family stuff thrown in.

However one of the big changes I have made since Melbourne Marathon was to get to my racing weight.

So the background on my weight really is a long story. I wont go on about it too much, but I initially started running to lose weight. In January 2009 I commenced running to lose the weight I had gained after Joel was born. I was hovering around 82-83kg.

Once Jason and I started running, and training for our first marathon, the weight fell off and I ran Gold Coast (some 6 months later) at 77kg. I liked that weight, running was balancing out the food I was eating. After I tore my OP in September of 2009 and had 12 weeks off, my weight was back up to 81kg, I then worked hard, ran my 1/2 PB at 76.5kg in 2010 and my marathon time was 4.17 at Melbourne 2010.

I had a break over xmas, and in April 2011 ran Canberra Marathon injured, 4.39. I was 79kg. I then ramped up and had a good solid 18 months, and in 2012 ran a year of Personal Bests. 3.45 marathon, 43.55 10km, 19.48 5km. I raced my Marathon PB at 73kg. Again the weight snuck back on, and in 2013 I spent a lot of the time in the gym building power and putting on muscle for the 200m/400m. At the start of 2014 I was back at 78kg.

I raced all year at 77-78kg and as I sat on the plan coming home from Melbourne I knew I needed to lean up to really have a big dig at some personal bests in 2015.

Having read  Matt Fitzgeralds "Racing Weight" in 2012, I re-read it and made a commitment to find my racing weight, my ideal weight where I am seeing the full benefits of the training volume and effort.

So here I am about 12 weeks in. I have been watching with interest Brenden's weight loss by following a High Fat Low Carb diet, but I didnt go that way. Essentially I wanted to find a structure to my life/meals that would allow me to slowly lose the weight and re-build healthier eating habits. Habits that didnt impact negatively on our family meal time etc.

So what have I been doing?  I have been using the website and application called MyFitnessPal to track my calories, it is linked to my Garmin Connect. I have stopped drinking my calories, namely Iced Coffee drinks and have increased my lean protein to keep myself feeling full. Have dropped the chocolate/ice cream for dessert (swapped with a Greek yogurt) and stopped eating the kids chips in the cupboard.

Other than that I havent been too drastic. I have slowly increased my running to the point where I have run 70km+ for 7 weeks in a row, that all contributes to the numbers on the scales. Probably the hardest times are when I travel for work. Eating out is always an issue, had a couple of rough weeks whilst away.

So starting weight was 77.3kg on the 14th of October. I have slowly got myself to 71.7kg last week. Goal race weight at this stage is 69kg. I am basing that off a couple of different calculators. The first one from the Racing Weight website. The second one is off my known lean body mass estimate from using a Tanita scale to calculate muscle mass and body fat. The third one, is I can still grab a handful of fat on my love handles & I dont look like Jarrod Leto from Dallas Buyers Club!

I also am not sure how much improvement it will make to my marathon time next year. Trying to calculate that will be difficult as I will be lighter and have significantly more running volume under my belt. What I know for sure is that I expect big things of myself in 2015, and by laying down sensible base miles now, staying injury free by working in the gym and leaning up to racing weight I am giving myself every opportunity to do that.

Speaking of goals - all I want from 2015 is to PB at those 4 key race distances. 5,10, 21 and Marathon. I am choosing only to race at races that are flat cool and fast, so will be avoiding racing courses, and locations that I know dont suit me. What this means is probably also squeezing in all of my racing between April and October. Gives me a shot - on my calender at 2 marathons, 2 half marathons, 2 10kms and a few 5km.

If I get time next week I'll throw up my race plans for 2015, I have pretty much locked them in. I dont race a 10km until April - so its all about that base at the moment!

Stay Safe on the Run

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Melbourne Marathon Race Report - 2015

Well somehow I didnt blog about my 11th Marathon. Generally I like to construct what I would like to post in my head over a few runs, then I find it best to sit and knock the whole thing out in one go.

Melbourne was different, it was so emotional for 2 reasons - and its taken me a while to process the feeling and renewed motivation for running.

Without revisiting old ground, I have spent the year forcing myself to run marathons. Looking for my old motivation. I didnt race at any other distance, didnt run a half or a hard 10k. I went from 7 to 11 marathons without being race fit. I just logged enough miles not to die. Always hoping that on one run it would "click" and all of a sudden I would have my mojo back. It never came when I wanted it to.

Looking back over my Garmin data I didnt log too many miles through September, and having the 3 weeks between marathons really didnt give me a chance to recover or get any fitter.

Marathon week arrived and I was looking forward to just a mini holiday, after the stress of the Capricorn Coast Running Festival it was a relief to have the weekend to havea  few beers and unwind.

Then I recieved a call. BOOM. Ben calls from NZ saying he is coming over to run. At first I was hesitant because it was a lot of cash to be spending, but he says he wants to come. SO in an instant our Marathon party grew! I was so excited, it had been over 12 months since Ben returned to Wellington and I missed really missed his friendship, running with him, and hanging out. Maybe part of my running mojo was with Ben, as soon as he announced they were heading back to NZ it sort of just vanished. We had spent all of 2012 running together, training for my first ultras, under Ben's coaching I PB'ed across all distances. It was my biggest running year.

When we touched down in Melbourne it was clear Ben was either pregnant or really serious about hitting the gym, he looked huge like a white kiwi Hulk. I had talked him into running the marathon and not just spectating. He said he hadn't run for months, and it was obvious he was telling the truth.

On the way down in the plane - I said to Brenden he has to have a crack at a 3.30 marathon. He had never been fitter, the weather was perfect and he had to just enjoy this moment as he might not get another chance like it. He was not quite sure as he was training heavily for Noosa triathlon, and wasnt certain he would recover. We hatched a plan, that if he felt a tweek to any pain in his glute (where he had problems) that he would just back the pace off and finish the marathon as a training run.

My original plan was to shave the 9 minutes off my time from Sydney and finish the year with a 4.00 marathon. Ben said he was going to run 5.40s for as long as possible then I could leave him behind. Yeah right. Like I would be leaving him behind! My plan was just to enjoy the day out with my brother.

So we met Greg (who was injured) and met his mate Matt who was running his first marathon, Matt joined Ben and I and we set off to try and run a even split 4.00 marathon. Everything was on track, we held back really early - then eased into 5.25-5.30 pace. We caught the 4.00 pace balloons around 12 or 13km and then got seperated with Matt. We spotted Brenden a couple of times, as he was on the other side of the road. He looked really comfortable, running his own pace.

We ran on, and by 25km I started to get tight. My legs just felt like lead, and my stride length just got shorter and shorter.  It was sort of a relief to get to that point having run solidly knowing could take it easy with some walk breaks and still finish under 4.30, and this is exactly what we did. For the next 17km Ben and I just enjoyed being out, talking, running. Ben even called his wife Mel in the middle of the race! Definately not your typical marathon!

As we neared the end, the moment and emotion started to bubble up within me. I missed Ben. I missed being fit. I wanted more out of myself. I realised finally that I can achieve more with running, I am not done yet, I wanted to get back to feeling like I had in 2012. As we rounded the last corner, there were runners everywhere - 5km, half marathoners, marathoners. The finish line was super crowded, but Ben and I savoured the moment. Crossing together, arms raised.
We run for those who cant.

Within moments we found Brenden and he had run 3.30. I was so pumped for him. A marathon PB in the middle of his triathlon training. Officially he finished with a 3.30.01 - 2 seconds and he would of been sub 3.30! He had run a perfect negative split marathon.

As we had a few beers and watched Bathurst it really started to kick in, the feeling that it was time to dig in and really have a crack at a 3.30 marathon. If Brenden can do it, there is no reason why I couldnt. I had run all year with him, and know that if I got my endurance back there is no reason I can't smash it.

Ben made his way to the bus station and we said our final goodbyes, promising it wouldnt be too long between our next visits.

As I had a few ciders with Brenden in the airport I felt different, I had been here before, I knew the feeling, MOJO. All of a sudden I wanted to run. I was ready to reapply myself and rip in.

2015 goals start today.

Before I even think about races, I needed 2 things, to get to my racing weight and to build a decent base.

So starting stats 14th October 77.3kg ave weekly kms 50km/week.
On Sunday I weighed in at 72kg and have averaged 70km/week for the last 6 weeks. Feels good to ramp things up, drop the puppy fat and start to feel comfortable running again.

The goal is to get to racing weight, not sure but somewhere around 69-68kg by the end of February then ramp things up for a big crack at Gold Coast and Melbourne Marathons.

I'll start posting weekly updates of training etc just to keep myself accountable.

Run smart