Thursday, February 24, 2011


With the Marathon running world all starting to look to April (Paris, Rotterdam, London, Boston, 2Oceans) it is time to start looking at your marathon plans...

So where does one start, and how much time is needed?
  • So we start with the race and work backwards
  • We need a week to taper / rest, now if you are training big miles (150+km/week) you might need a longer taper / rest.
  • Now to earn that rest we need a couple of hard weeks OK make that 3, 4 or 5 depending on your time available.
  • Just how hard are those weeks going to be? Well that depends on the weeks before.
  • Just how fast are we going to train? Well that also depends on the weeks before.
  • OK so now we are at the spot where your training starts: 3, 4 or 5 weeks (depending on your time available) of building up to your marathon training.
  • At the end of these weeks we would like a TT of some sorts, anything between 5km-21.1km, I like a 5km TT so we know what pace to train at!!! Yes I like doing things like 2km/1mile/1.5km/1km / 800m reps at 5km pace.
So with all this info how is our program going to look?

I hope we have all been running up till now, so as we hit week 1 we've got something to work with... The 1st 4 or so weeks we want to build our weekly mileage and get a couple of longs runs and sessions in. By the last week before our well earned rest I'm looking at having 3 sessions (maybe 8 x 1000m 60sec rest, 15 x 60sec hills & a tempo run of 20km), 2 long runs (18km and 30km), & 5 easy 8-10km runs. Does that scare you? Maybe you would settle for 1 session, 1 long run (put in 5-15km tempo in the long run) and 3 / 4 easy runs.

Love rest weeks, but aim at a TT of maybe 5km (it is a good idea to be running sessions at 5km pace).

Now that we are rested and we are ready to tackle the last leg of training, another 3-5 weeks or hard running. Because we are rested we can put in 2-3 really good weeks of training, with a couple of long runs and hard sessions before we cut back a bit.

Then it is taper/rest week before our race.

I'll leave it there for now, another day I'll tell you about what type of session I like...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Last night was our club prize giving, so I wasn't allowed to be late home from the track as both my wife and I had to be there. Lucky for me I had planned a short session of 3-4 x 1000m with a long rest (not an easy sesion. If the session was something easy like 8 x 1000m 60 sec rest I would have been running late.

After a short 20min warmup I had the boys at the 1000m start line and was explaining to them that we had an easy session today, just 3-4 x 1000m! Is that all, and we have a long rest, so how fast are we running? Well my answer came back FAST.

It was fun, it burnt, I was hurting, and that was all in the 1st one. I went out hard and tried to hold on, but slowed over the last 200m. My 2nd one I started a little slower and was able to fight to the end finishing a few seconds faster. I could only hold on for a 3rd... The track looked like a battlefield with bodies lying all over the place. I do love been the COACH... I ran the 4th as a warmdown with one of the slower guys and then it was time to head home.

I've been a member of VOB since 1991 and I always try to get to the prize giving. YES I win a couple of prizes, but then anyone can. I got a prize for running 7 of the 8 Cross Country's, I also was in the Top Ten (we get club points for every race you run, and I run a lot of races).
Now I was running well in the first half of the year, and ran a club colours time for a 15km race and got a mention for that, only the one last year, let us hope 2011 is a better year. Now the big prize for me was the Best Vet trophy which I took by a whisker from Michael.
There is my trophy in the middle, Dawn also won a trophy...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

27 for FREEDOM RACE 2011

Back on the 11th of February 1990 Nelson Mandela was released from Prison, so today to remember the 27 years he served in prison, and his long walk to Freedom, Correctional Services put on a number of events to remind us, one of them a 27km race.

27km seemed like a nice distance and the Franchhoek / Paarl Valley is one of the most beautiful in our land, so I was there. OK the prise money was good and I though I would have a chance of a 40+ pace. A top 4 wasn't going to be easy, because right at the start of the race 2 guys (40+) sped off. I found myself running a lot faster than I had hoped to be, and I was only hanging in a group of 4, 40+ guys. By 5 km 2 of them had pulled ahead and I was feeling the pace (19:02). I know that's early in the race, but I was ready to settle for 6th old man...

Then at about 10km (37:49) we left the tar and hit the gravel I was now in my element and didn't slow... So without trying I was in 5th. Looking ahead I could see 3 of the other 40+'s ahead and I was now closing the gap on one of the guys, while the other 2 had stopped pulling ahead. I past 15km (57:23) feeling great and even as we returned to the tar I was running smoothly.

The next split I took was at 19.5km as we turned onto a dusty gravel road only about 60sec ahead, and closing. Now why have I called this a dusty gravel road, well a couple of cars were taking this road as a short cut and been a hot (30)dry day, the dust was bad. So bad I could hardly see Mike ahead of me but as i saw him "fight" with the cars at a turn I took another split. I reach the turn 30 sec later (I had him beat) and squeezed through the turn. Yes squeezed though, why, well a bus had tried to make the turn and had gotten stuck. About 250m-300m down that road I was told by a prison guard that the race took the other entrains to get back in the grounds... I had to run back losing 2min40 (+_600m) and my 5th place. I now had no chance of catching 4th. I did push till 26km trying to catch 5th, but I didn't have it in me. I think I was 11th overall and 6th 40+. I don't normally take a medal, but I thought this was a good one to have.

Time Distance Split time Split distance Split pace Elev. chg. Start time
0:04:06 1.00 4:06 1.00 4:06 +9 06:33 AM
0:07:51 2.00 3:45 1.00 3:45 +5 06:38 AM
0:11:42 3.00 3:50 1.00 3:51 +6 06:41 AM
0:15:22 4.00 3:39 1.00 3:40 -4 06:45 AM
0:19:02 5.00 3:40 1.00 3:41 -4 06:49 AM
0:22:42 6.00 3:40 1.00 3:40 -4 06:52 AM
0:26:34 7.00 3:51 1.00 3:52 -3 06:56 AM
0:30:11 8.00 3:36 1.00 3:37 0 07:00 AM
0:33:56 9.00 3:44 1.00 3:44 -3 07:04 AM
0:37:49 10.00 3:53 1.00 3:54 -1 07:07 AM
0:41:47 11.00 3:57 1.00 3:58 -4 07:11 AM
0:45:45 12.00 3:58 1.00 3:58 -5 07:15 AM
0:49:36 13.00 3:50 1.00 3:51 -9 07:19 AM
0:53:27 14.00 3:51 1.00 3:51 -11 07:23 AM
0:57:23 15.00 3:56 1.00 3:56 +9 07:27 AM
1:01:21 16.00 3:57 1.00 3:58 +14 07:31 AM
1:05:19 17.00 3:57 1.00 3:58 +1 07:35 AM
1:09:07 18.00 3:47 1.00 3:48 -4 07:39 AM
1:12:50 19.00 3:43 1.00 3:43 -8 07:43 AM
1:16:34 20.00 3:43 1.00 3:44 -3 07:46 AM
1:20:38 21.00 4:04 1.00 4:04 +1 07:50 AM
1:24:24 22.00 3:45 1.00 3:46 -4 07:54 AM
1:28:17 23.00 3:53 1.00 3:53 -10 07:58 AM
1:32:04 24.00 3:46 1.00 3:47 +6 08:02 AM
1:35:56 25.00 3:52 1.00 3:52 +6 08:05 AM
1:39:44 26.00 3:47 1.00 3:48 -6 08:09 AM
1:43:54 27.00 4:09 1.00 4:10 +6 08:13 AM
1:46:20 27.55 2:25 0.55 4:24 +10 08:17 AM

After the race Dawn took my picture...

Monday, February 7, 2011


I can't believe I found myself lining up for another race on Saturday... Now unlike other days I was the one watching Dawn and the other guys go off for the half. I just though it would be to hard work running hard (not fast) for 21.1km so I would start 30min later in the 10km race. 15+ year ago when i was a would be fast runner I would go out hard and be hurting by 3km. If I wasn't hurting i wasn't going hard enough, now I'm scared. I never go out hard anymore, I do however try and run people down...

That said, without a warmup I was running flat out and feeling the pace, Oloff, who was running with me, look comfortable as we past the first km in 3:36. I was working hard and watching the field. Jonny was 1st 40+ and Owen 2nd, while a group of us made up 3rd-6th. We made a turn and I could shout at Owen, so I did!!! "I'm coming to get you" and that was my plan. by 5km I was alone in 3rd and closing on Owen. I past another senior and now it was just Owen and the last 2km. I caught him on a hill and was running hard, he come with me, but gave up. If he had just hung in a little longer I would have been toast. Today I would have the better of him but if I want to stay ahead I had better get fit.

I had pushed far to hard and (by my standards) not run a very good time...

This was 10km number 185 and my time of 36:27 was 116th fastest and slower than my average time...

So would it of been easier to have lined up for the half and run with a couple of the 'boys'?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

This was the start of Wednesday's trail race, there I am in the middle with the calf 'warmers' and the peak cap on. I had only decided to run this less than a week ago, and my training hadn't been adapted till the last minute... On the program for Tuesday was 8 x 1000m at 5km pace with 60 sec rest. I only did half the session and left the boys to run on...

So what about the trail race, well with a profile like this:
I had to see if any one was up for a little hill climbing... Well one other guy came with me as we climbed the first hill, but 500m from the top I got ahead and opened a small lead. It wasn't big enough as he caught and past me on the start of the down hill, but that lead didn't last long. As the down hill get 'steep' very steep I went past and left him. With the twists and bends of the cause I couldn't see what lead I had as we reach the 2nd hill.
This hill was even steeper and to be honest with you I didn't feel up to running the whole way up, so I walk, power walked. I know I should have run, but I was week after a couple of heavy weeks and I was really only after a vets win. That said I was in front and I do have a competitive edge to me, so I wanted a win win. I took a split at one point before the last pull to the top and caught a peak at 2nd place, he was 90 sec back. Down the hill and back to the finish I just kept moving. I though if I was running at sub 4min/km I couldn't get caught. And I wasn't, in fact I had won by almost 2 min.

I do love running trail races, I just didn't like having to race, racing is hard!!!
This is me coming in. Yes my peak is off, with the temp still up in the high 20's (it was about 30 when we started) I was trying to cool down...

The beer I had while waiting for prise giving went down well. This race was run on a wine farm, and I know I should have been drinking wine.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I've been injured and have been on the come back trail, so I've been taking it easy; Right, Wrong. My January has been full of races, 6 in total, and I have another 2 this week...

  • Bay to Bay 30km very easy, but then things started getting out of hand.
  • 15/01/2011 Hohenhort 15km I race 58:53 on a very hilly course.
  • 19/01/2011 Trail Series 1 Slivermine East 12.4km I pushed because I found myself doing well.
  • 22/01/2011 Red Hill 36km I didn't race, but 36km is a long way.
  • 26/01/2011 Trail Series 3 Slivermine West 11.3km
    again I had to run hard to do well.
That was going to be my month, but than Dawn bumped into a friend who told her I just had to run the trail series race on the weekend as it was fantastic out there. I know I should have cut back on the sessions this week, but if I'm pushing the squad I feel I must be running, so my week went like this:
Monday; Hilly mountain run
Tuesday; 4 x 2km reps (faster than last week and with only 75sec rest)
Wednesday; Trail race
Thursday; 2 x 5.2km hard (THE EVIL COACH)
Friday; Rest
Saturday; Now this is were I really should have stayed in bed, but I love my mountain!!!

You see be this stage I know about Sundays race and normal people like to rest before a race, so what did I go and do, I went for a long mountain run.And for views like this on a clear wind free morning, I had to join the boys. My run didn't start off well with me turning my head to look at some hikers on another path above us and falling flat on my chest and right elbow.I Just had to get up and keep running it wasn't till me got to the tap at the top that I could wash myself off. The mountian is dry and none of the little streams were running.
I wasn't running well in the almost 30 degrees and the boys left me on the single track up to MacClears.If you look carefully you can see Robben Island in the background, while Ake and Jayde waiting for me. After 2h25 of running/walking we had covered 20km with over 1000m of climb and I was pleased to see my car waiting for me.
I quick swim and some Chocolate Milk and I was ready to take on the world. I had to be as there would be no time to rest and we were also going out that evening!!!

The Alarm went off early on Sunday morning as Paul Cluver would host the next Trail Series race. Again I wasn't lining up to race, but just for a hard run, but the route was fantastic so after a couple of km I was near the front with 4km of climb to come... My legs were tried from Saturdays run, but I still had enough in me to show the youngsters a thing or 2 about hill running. By the top I had a 30sec lead on Eddie, but running on tired legs meant I had to take the rocky single track slowly and lost my lead. Rupert also caught me, but there was still life in the old man and I fought back taking him on the last hill to finish 2nd and first vet.
I now need a rest week...