The Duckinator

Latest posts by The Duckinator

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The Middle Ground

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 20:51

Marrow, yep that's me  my compression socks fell down, either that or I look like I should feature in Where's Wally?

TR, that sounds like an excellent graft of a race. Good stuff.

DT, the focus will be that 10k or a bunch of 10ks? A change in direction combined with marathon fitness/recovery will get you places. 

The club is very good with younger athletes... and I'm also just not quite fast enough! FWIW the winners in Div II (which we are in) are frequently running 1:55-1:57 which I'm a good 10s behind at this stage.

And honestly.... being in London kind of gave me an itch for mileage and road racing 

Anyway I am still track training because it's good for the soul. Did what everyone cool does after work in Friday and went down the track for my favorite session - 15*200 w/200 jog rec. The paces I run for this session around this time of year are usually what I end up running for the full mile later in the year.

200s came out as 37.6, 37.3, 36.2, 34.8, 34.4, 35.2, 34.7, 34.7, 34.6, 34.2, 34.4, 34.5, 34.8, 34.4, 32.6 which is an average of 35.0 (4:41/m). Jog recoveries averaged around 53 which is ~7:10/m. 

For comparison, in 2012 when I was running this I was averaging 37.2 for the 200s and 60-61s for the recoveries. Pretty happy with that 

The Middle Ground

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 21:07

Evening all 

Firstly, what a weekend! Great to see so many of you on Sunday and finally meet Dan, DT and prf. Had an absolutely fantastic time spectating & has certainly given me the impetus to get out the door this week. Quote of the day has to be Dan's "I haven't had a drink for 103 days... so guess what I'm going to do!"

Same time next year?

DT, as I said to you at the time I think for a first marathon you can be very satisfied with your performance. I think your take-home messages of needing more endurance & still being relatively inexperienced are good ones. 

I bet once you have recovered and introduce some quicker stuff you'll get a bunch of pbs!

Wardi - nightmare! I'd have had some very choice words.... shame it didn't pan out as you had hoped. 

Dan, very frank postmortem, and what sounds like a good take home message. Abingdon may have been more your day too? 

TR - some good training recently and congrats on the new job. 

As for me, as some of you may have seen I ran 16:52 at Fulham Palace parkrun Saturday. Afraid to say I made the classic mistake of thinking the guys in front knew what they were doing and as such lopped a good bit off the second corner on each of the 3 laps and only ran 2.99M (Garmin reckoning). FWIW pace was about 17:30 and was isolated for a large portion of the run (finished 6th) so overall not unhappy with how I ran.

And some bad news I'm afraid. It's track season now so of course got my entry off to the club for races. Looks like I have not been picked this year  this is basically going to halve the number of available meets from 8 to 4 which seems hardly worth it.

Still considering my options. What I may do is just shift emphasis a bit and just have a speed-based 1500m - 5k summer with plenty of 1500m work, and a few sessions of flat-out 600s July time (similar to you Simon I reckon). Then bump up mileage for next year and focus on the 5k for the foreseeable future. 

The Middle Ground

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 15:37

Quick post - if anyone wants to join me, CS, Curly and Magpie at Fulhampalace parkrun tomorrow you are welcome. I shall be wearing my Fife vest.

simon, will aim to head over and say hello. I have your number in case.

dt, stay safe and don't get tripped up! After a race the day before that long run was a little tough towards the end.

wjh, great report. Even setting off a little fast you still dug in and really took some good scalps. 

Sounds like you have taken something good away, time nonwithstanding. I think you can be very happy with the day.


The Middle Ground

Posted: 09/04/2014 at 07:27

Applogies for the AWOL-ness, looks like it comes in phases...

Simon, you are not having a good time with your own running right now! Sorry to hear of your continued issues. If you train like a 3k/5k runner you'll be able to get in some glycolytic stuff in later on the summer to at least give the system a boost? Indoor sounds like a plan. Well done to your athletes over the weekend.

Looks like Busy won't be happening for us on Saturday for a few reasons I'm afraid *if you were still up for it). Hunting for a fast course closer to Westminster now. Any suggestions from anyone? 

WJH - fantastic marathon result and a huge pb! You can be delighted with that. Well done.

DT - hear you on MP being neither easy nor hard. Your pre-taper and taper sessions have been sensible. I think the taper will be what you need - a chance to refresh and gear up. This is when those HM's you ground out come into play.

Mr V - Portugal sounds great - a really good training camp. Pace will come back over time and you'll be surprised how quickly it does. Keep plugging away, even if you start with short 400 intervals and work up from there.

TR, nice progressive long run there. Edinburgh isn't far off but your fitness appears to be coming back well! I think progressive long runs are really good for marathon training as simulation for the day itself.  

bob - some great training recently, you really are running well right now. Well done on the sub-40, you really deserve it. 

I see prf has snuck back in after his awesome result at Manchester too 

prf/Dan - will aim to get to Red Lion at some point in the afternoon myself. I'm going to be around 16M then try and get on embankment as well (Simon will try & meet up with you if you want). 

For me it's been reasonably since Garioch. Took 1 week of very easy training where I did less than 20M. Went back into it last week and had a canned session Tuesday where I had nothing whatsoever in the legs which was frustrating. 

Then had my opening 1500m race of the season last Saturday - splits of 72/72/73/54 for 4:31.73 which isn't a bad opener. Not race fit yet by a long shot but it is a pb.

Interestingly it predicts a slower 800m and also a slower HM than my pb's currently are. 1500/mile has always been a tricky distance for me.

Ran a hard 12M on Sunday morning with a few local runners - wasn't in the plan but I sure as hell wasn't going to be dropped by them. Averaged 6:57m for the whole run but last 3M were under 6:30/m. Not a run I could do every week but exactly the sort of thing that will pull my long-distance times in line with the track. 

Last night was 6*0.4M w/half time recovery (i.e. 2:10 rep = 1:05 recovery). Averaged 5:09/m with last 3 under 5:00/m pace. Got caught behind a family on the last one so had to cut it at 400m. 

The Middle Ground

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 18:08

Bob- yes the wind played a big part yesterday. Shall elaborate below. Nice pb yesterday, pacing looks good. I think you're about borderline if you have sufficient strength.

Mr V - come on, cough up, we need Portugal training details! 

Dan, 73M is very impressive. Good stuff. Hope you don't catch anything.

parkrun yesterday didn't go quite to plan - training indicated I was probably in pb shape but come 9:30am the calmer conditions has picked up and there was a healthy headwind for the first half of the course. Ended up running in 2nd for most of the race feeling quite tired and lacking in energy with 3rd drafting the whole way. Stuck a (wind assisted) 5:20 third mile in to try and shake him but couldn't, and ended up getting outkicked for third. Bit disappointed with how I ran (usually I'm the one sitting behind and drafting), and how I overall felt - just plain tired. Which, to be fair, is probably fair enough given the last few weeks.

Then today I ran the Garioch 10k. I was meant to be working there as an event sponsor, and what better way to show work-related interest than by than by running it yourself? So got a place at 8am, 4 hours before the start. Conditions were quite blustery and in the few hours before the start I think we had had all 4 seasons.

Warmup actually didn't feel to bad so was quietly hopeful of a solid grind type of race. First mile was very fast and despite holding back ran 5:40 but was still way back in the field. Next 2M were uphill into a very strong headwind, and split 5k in 18:48, but knew we still had to come back downhill and we would have the wind at our backs.

Had Nicola Gauld (34:50 10k, 4:11 1500m) in my sights (about 120m in front)  and she's one of my targets for this year, so by 7k when we came back past the finish line I was actually feeling pretty satisfied with my performance - legs were very tired which was to be expected but I was hanging in there and having a good grind. Last navigation of the cul-de-sacs and we passed 9k with no problems.

Then we ran into a problem.

Nicola at this point was about 40s ahead and I had 2nd place lady about 30s behind me. In front was a roundabout with what I thought was a marshal signalling us to go straight ahead. Not knowing where I was especially I saw Nicola go ahead so I followed (so did 2nd lady). About 300m further down the line I was Nicola stop and run back the way.... uh oh. After a brief conference (at 6:00/m pace) we determined we'd been sent the wrong way.

Thankfully we had enough of our wits about us to keep going, knowing we'd run into the sports centre to get back to the finish. We ended up having to navigate a narrow street and up the side of football pitches to get back on track, with just 200m to go. I finished in 40:43 having run 6.72M - 800m further than I should have done.

FWIW I probably would have run low 37:xx had I actually run the route (averaged 6:04/m). Turned out the marshal at that point had fallen ill so it was a policeman who was directing runners. The first 50 or so were directed wrongly but a few remembered the course from the year before and despite being told they were going the wrong way, ended up running the correct course. Unfortunately I've never run this race before so didn't have that advantage.

However overall I'm actually pretty pleased with how I ran given the leadup. I wasn't too far away from my main year target and the last few weeks have shown an excellent level of robustness and recovery I haven't had before.

Plan is to take next week very easy and only run a few days - I certainly need it now.  

The Middle Ground

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 07:57

Morning everyone, been very busy recently so not much time to talk. 

bob, that 4M session @ 5:45 is very, very good. You are really hiting some form now!

DT, heavy legs for faster stuff in marathon training sounds very normal to me. If you're not too used to the quick stuff it can feel very hard for a while.

Simon, Bushy's the aim right now (have spoken to Curly/Magpie and they're keen as well). We're staying central but it's easy enough to get underground/train combo there as far as I can see?

Dan,41:xx is 41:xx regardless of which way you run it! Well done.

TR, really sorry to hear all that has happened. Hope Mrs TR gets better soon & you are able to move forward on the job front. The upside is that right now you have more time to train 

Busy last week for me.... running-wise am back into training now after just running easy for a week and a bit after Inverness which I really needed. In was in Edinburgh Tuesday/Wednesday with work & did a fartlek/interval session around Meadows Wednesday @ 6am - 4/3/2/1 mins w/half rep time jog recovery, 60s static recovery then 4*40s hard w/40s recovery:

0.72m - 4:00(5:35/m) 152/165bpm 59cal
0.26m - 2:00(7:46/m) 155/165bpm 
0.55m - 3:00(5:29/m) 167/174bpm 
0.27m - 2:01(7:26/m) 157/173bpm 
0.39m - 2:00(5:06/m) 169/176bpm 
0.12m - 1:01(8:10/m) 169/176bpm 
0.21m - 1:00(4:48/m) 174/179bpm 
0.15m - 43(4:45/m) 160/173bpm
0.16m - 42(4:25/m) 169/176bpm
0.16m - 42(4:22/m) 169/177bpm
0.16m - 42(4:20/m) 171/177bpm

End result was just over 4k's worth @ mid 16:xx 5kp... not bad for something so early.

parkrun this morning, conditions look about as good as you're going to get them here so am going to shoot for a pb (17:28 currently). May have a place in a local 10k tomorrow as well but won't find out until I am there (supposed to be working the event instead...).

The Middle Ground

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 08:25

Morning all, finally some time for a readback - back to work Monday after a week off!

Dt, would agree with Dan in that it looks like you may have run the first section a bit too hard. Just 5-10s/m can make a big difference. Hills too can really throw a spanner in the works, they can really shoot the HR up and get the lactic flowing from which it is difficult to recover. I would have a look at the last few weeks as a whole rather than one result in isolation - I do think if you are sensible in the last few weeks & not try to 'cram fitness' you can get a good time @ VLM.

It's difficult to keep track of one person's sessions (especially on here!), if you wanted you could post sessions from the last few weeks?

FWIW the last 2 weeks have been run feeling steady/comfortable to 8M/13kish then picking the effort up - I found if I do that I am either on pace or just about on pace at that point. Then it's just a 5M hard tempo to the finish.

Dan - MP sesh looks excellent. What has mara HR been in the past? 80% seems a little low, is it in line with past MP efforts?

alehouse, no more HM's until Amsterdam in October now! Have to say I enjoyed Paris & Inverness for different reasons. I would recommend both tbh. 

TR, yep still MD for me. Speed feels like it's still there so will probably still run 800m.

bob, yep elevation is pretty accurate - first 6M is pretty uphill! 

Sessions look good to me - working the endurance rather than speed side. Might be tempted to throw a longer (30-40mins) tempo in too around HMP/MP, just once, to tie it all together and make sure the stamina is still there.

WJH, nice pb, good stuff. Conditions sounded tough, and after 20 Friday too!!

Legs amazingly are not feeling too bad... bit sore last night (30 mins easy) but I'm not feeling exhausted by any means. 

The Middle Ground

Posted: 09/03/2014 at 21:22

4M in and I passed the lead Metro (who went on to run 88:00 so must have dropped off the pace a lot in the latter stages). This was the big climb of the day but davie was gradually being reeled in, and HR was still stable just under 170bpm (averaged 169 last week).

Caught davie at 5M and we ran together through 10k. At this point I began to drop him a bit and catch the HBT runner ahead. Around miles 7 - 9 I really struggled to maintain pace around the twisty parts of the course - legs were really starting to throb now with accumulated fatigue.

At this point I had a bit of an internal asessment of how I was doing. Lungs - fine. Legs - not so fine. But I felt like I was having a good grind, so at this stage would have been happy to run low 6:00/m to the finish and dip under 1:19.

Into mile 10 which was the big downhill of the course. davie came storming down the hill and looked set to pass me which I was having none of at this stage. So opened up a bit and found that, actually, running faster was easier. Ran again with davie for a while but he got a bit caught up in the water station and dropped back 10-15m. I had 2 guys about 100m in front who I was catching pretty rapidly now so focused on them.

10M marker in 59:40 (that was one I was very careful to look at) and I was feeling pretty good. Lungs were fine and legs didn't feel to bad either - now I was really into my stride. If I had really gone for it I think I would have been found out, but I was happy to catch those in front steadily.

Caught them just before mile 11 and went by soon after. One stayed with me for a while but I dropped him just before 12M. Last mile and a bit was tough with next runner a good 200m in front so I knew I wasn't going to catch him. The course finished on the track so dropped a casual 33s last 200m in to finish in 1:17'51.

Overall, despite the last 5k feeling better than the rest of the race combined I was limited by legs today. Sitting here now I am actually more satisfied with today's result than I was this time 7 days ago. 2 half marathons run within 19sec of each other 7 days apart.... the metronome continues.

Garmin trace for those interested.

The Middle Ground

Posted: 09/03/2014 at 21:21

Alrighty, quick report before I head to bed - my legs are utterly trashed right now.

Given Paris last week I was happy to have a bit more of a play around today and try some alternative strategies - with a good time in the bag I had absolutely no pressure today and went into what is almost a local event for me looking to enjoy it.

So the day began with an easy 15 minute jog at 6am which left me feeling like my legs were in decent shape. A 2.5 hour drive to Inverness got us there with almost 2 hours to kill, with the weather looking a bit cold and breezy in places but ultimetely not too bad.

Warming up I ran into daviec from Fetch (we had discussed a possible assault on sub-77 beforehand) so finished warming up with him. Given this is basically a local half for me I knew most people on the startline, including a few folk who I have been close to recently, so knew I shouldn't have issues with being isolated in the race.

I was second row on the startso at the gun I was up into pace reasonably quickly and settled into a rhythm very soon. Difficult to tell as early on as this but I suspected there wasn't the 'pop' in the legs as normally happens in a good race, but clicked the first 2 miles off in 5:59 & 6:04 without any problems.

We were basically doing the River Ness 10k course in reverse (as I quickly discovered) so after 5k the couse started to wind up into the hills so pace started to drop. I had been with a group of 3 or 4 after 2M but I left them behind, and lockd onto daviec who was about 60-70m ahead at this point. Split 5k in roughly 18:35 (Garmin reckoning) but already could feel the legs grumbling a bit.

The Middle Ground

Posted: 09/03/2014 at 18:19

Quick one from me - race report later & readback.

Legs felt tired for long periods today & had a bad patch between miles 7 & 9 - clearly not recovered totally from last week so with 4M to go would have been content to record a solid mid to high 1:18'xx.

Ended up having a rally in the last 5k to finish in 1:17'50 which I am really, really happy with, especially how the whole race felt like a bit of a grind. Ended up 17th overall 

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