Training Log for Week 49 of 2018

After losing out on training for the better part of last week, the focus for this week was all about carefully getting back into the swing of things. I wanted to get back to planned mileage quickly, but without straining the body too much as I was still recovering. Through 8 hours and 41 minutes of running, I managed to get in 103 kilometres (64 miles) with 1092 metres (3583 feet) of elevation gain.

On Monday, I started the week with an easy 10k / 6k double in the AM and PM. I still wasn’t feeling too hot, and rain and wind didn’t exactly make it better, so I kept it really easy. On Tuesday I was back to feeling pretty under the weather, and, having learned from my previous mistakes, I quickly instated an unplanned rest day.

That proved to be a smart move, because on Wednesday I did 15k, and finally felt alright running again for the first time in almost two weeks. Progress! Careful not to get too carried away, I continued on doing only easy runs on Friday and Saturday.

Beautiful winter scenery with clouds, sun and frost smoke
This Sunday was a perfect winter day for running with scenic conditions 

Sunday afternoon, I started out feeling absolutely terrible for the first few kilometres of my long run. It was an absolutely beautiful winter day for running, however, and around 30 minutes into the run I found a bit of flow to match the conditions. At this point, I decided it was OK to work a bit again, so I decided to push the pace a bit for the rest of the run. Average pace for the run is not exactly impressive, but as I freak out about my paces slowing across the board, I try to remind myself that running on snow and ice isn’t really comparable to clear roads.

The plan for the coming week is simply to keep putting in the work. I am looking to increase mileage ever so slightly, and if I am feeling decent I want to put in a proper workout. It has been about a month of mostly base building at this point, and it is time to start adding back some quality. My plans for 2019 will be detailed in a future post, but I am currently 17 weeks out from my next marathon!

European XC Champs and Inaugural Abu Dhabi Marathon

Ingebrigtsens Lead The Way for Norway at the Euro XC Championships

It was another proud day for Norwegian running, and once more it was the Ingebrigtsen brothers that lead the way. First out, younger brother Jakob won the individual gold in the U20 competition. This was the third consecutive win for Jakob, who had originally wanted to compete in the open class, but the 18-year-old was denied because of the 20 years minimum age limit. As if that was not enough, the results from compatriots Simen Halle Haugen and Håkon Stavik who placed 5th and 22nd respectively, were enough to secure Norwegian gold in the team competition as well.

Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal claimed her fourth consecutive bronze medal in the women’s open race. Her late charge for the win was not enough to upset Fabienne Schlumpf in second and Yasemin Can of Turkey, who took her third consecutive gold in the competition.

In the men’s open class, it was all about Filip Ingebrigtsen, who claimed an unexpected win ahead of Belgian Isaac Kimeli and Turkey’s Aras Kaya after edging out the competition in a sprint finish. Speaking to the domestic press after his win, Filip Ingebrigtsen spoke about how he had tried to work on his weaknesses over the past couple of years, and the last twelve months in particular. Having previously been the brother with the least pedigree in both cross country and longer distances, he told the press that he had worked on his base endurance, and felt fitter than ever. Seeing how much he had improved motivated him to make more of an effort in the long distances on the track in the future.

For full coverage of all the races at the Euro XC champs, head on over to the official European Athletics website.

Fast Times and Controversy at the Inaugural Abu Dhabi Marathon

Newly crowned half marathon world record holder, Abraham Kiptum, was the big favourite at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Marathon. The Kenyan had to settle for second, however, after finishing 2:04:16, which was twelve seconds behind his fellow countryman Marius Kipserem.

That said, the good folks over at Letsrun are not convinced that the course was accurately measured, and they have provided convincing arguments to back up their stance. It will be interesting to see if the fast finishing times are ratified and included in the IAAF yearly best lists.

Kipchoge Named World Athlete of The Year by IAAF

All-time marathon great Eliud Kipchoge was named the male athlete of the year by the IAAF earlier this week, after running 2:01:39 and obliterating the old marathon world record in Berlin a couple of months back.

Training Log for Week 48 of 2018

Last week’s training log ended with me running while not feeling good on Sunday, and asking the question how bad the punishment for doing so would be. Well, the numbers for this week more or less tell the full story. I only ran 30 kilometres (18 miles) with 493 meters (1617 feet) of climbing over 2 hours and 33 minutes.

I found myself clogged up and in pretty bad shape on Monday morning, and running was out of the question at this point. After pushing myself to work and getting through the first two days of the week, I just got worse and had to spend both Wednesday and Thursday in bed and under the covers. In a way, that is more preferable to hobbling through your normal routine, because you’re not even thinking about running when you’re in that bad of a shape.

On Thursday evening I started feeling a bit better, and I could probably have gone out for a short run, but after getting burned previously, I opted for the safe option and rested another day. The first run of the week came in the form of a very cautious 7k easy run on Saturday, while I followed up with an easy double on Sunday, in an attempt to get my legs going a bit again.

All in all not a good week of training, in what should have been the lead up to the first week of my 18-week training plan ahead of Holmestrand Maraton on April 6th, 2019. Instead, I will have to use the next week or two to get going again before I start marathon training in earnest. There is still time, however, so I am not panicking just yet, but there is not much wiggle room left if I want to have a chance of realising my goals.

Marathons, Marathons and More Marathons This Weekend

First Male Japanese Winner in Over a Decade at Fukuoka Marathon

Yuma Hattori became the first Japanese man to claim first place in the Fukuoka Marathon since 2004, as he won the race this morning in 2:07:27, a two-minute improvement of his old personal best. Ethiopian Yemane Tsegay (2:08:54) and Eritrea’s Amanuel Mesel (2:09:45) claimed the two other spots on the podium.

New Records in Valencia Marathon

In Spain, it was Ethiopian Ashete Dido who won the female race with a new course record finishing time of 2:21:14, after catching up to and passing runner-up Cheromei from Kenya just after the 37-kilometre mark. Weldegebril from Ethiopia took the last spot on the podium in the women’s race.

Ethiopia claimed top honours in the men’s race as well, with Leule Gebrselassie set a new record on Spanish soil with the time 2:04:30. Both second and third place came in under 2:05, with El Hassan El Abbassi of Bahrain with a setting a new Asian record finishing second with 2:04:43, and Matthew Kisorio of Kenya coming third with 2:04:53.

US Marathon Championships at CIM

For the better part of the race, Matt Llano was in total control of the California International Marathon, which doubled as the US Marathon Championships this year, and he looked capable of beating his 2:12:28 personal best. Towards the end, however, Llano started to struggle. Brogan Austin put down a magnificent end to the race, and surpassed Llano and claimed the US Championship Title with the finishing time 2:12:38, ahead of Llano (2:12:59) and John Izewski (2:13:14).

In the women’s race, there were no such upsets. Emma Bates took charge of the race from the start, and convincingly claimed the win with a time of 2:28:18. Steph Bruce claimed second place with a 15-second personal best, with an impressive finish time of 2:29:20 quite quickly after competing in the New York Marathon. Sam Roecker rounded out the podium with third place in 2:30:23.

Running Highlights From Strava’s 2018 Year in Sport

Strava’s annual “Year in Sports” report is out. The 37-page summary of what Strava’s members were up to throughout the year contains a number of interesting tidbits about how the diverse community of athletes structure their training. Here is a short summary of the most interesting running-related stats and facts from the report.

Runners love Strava!

Around 8 million runners registered their runs on Strava in 2018, and all told they uploaded more than 240 million activities.

Distance, Elevation and Pace

Run Distance Totals from Strava's 2018 Year in Sports report

The average run distance was 8.2 kilometres (5.1 miles) with 82 meters (271 feet) of elevation gain. Men and women in the age group 40 to 49 years had the longest average runs and the most average elevation gain per run. The average pace for all runs registered on Strava was 6:05 min/km (9:48 min/mile).

Workout Days

Many runners swear by Tuesdays and Thursdays as their day for doing workouts, and the data from Strava seems to indicate that this goes for a majority of runners. The average run pace increases notably on these two days, with Wednesdays coming in as the third fastest day. Runners obviously like to keep their Sunday long runs controlled, and take it easy on their Monday recovery runs, because these are the two slowest days.

Races and Marathons

Not everybody likes to race, and the data backs this up. Only 11.8% of male runners and 10.5% of female runners marked an activity as a race this year. That said, Strava runners clearly love marathons, and completed almost 886 thousand marathons all told!

Running as Transportation

Run Commute Totals from Strava's 2018 Year in Sports report

Yours truly was not the only runner on Strava who used running as a mode of transportation, getting to or from work. There were twenty-two million run commutes in 2018, with the average commute distance being 6.6 kilometres (4.1 miles). Runners from UK and Ireland were the most prolific commuters, logging an average of 3.29 commutes per week. Germans and Japanese runners came in second and third with 2.88 and 2.84 run commutes per week on average.

Win a Polar Vantage M!

Polar Vantage M watch for runners

In keeping with the season, I am feeling generous and want to give the awesome Run161 readers a chance to win an extra Christmas gift this year. Up for grabs is the Polar Vantage M, a brand new sports watch from Polar. This watch is full of awesome features and should satisfy the needs of even the most advanced runner.

All you have to do to become eligible to win is sign up for the Run161 weekly newsletter, The Sprint Edition. Yeah, it’s that easy! No strings attached. Just fill out the form below, confirm your subscription, and your name will be in the hat when I draw a lucky winner on Christmas Eve.

Run161 Newsletter: The Sprint Edition

PS! To double or even triple your chances of winning, be sure to pay extra attention to the newsletter this coming Monday. You will find all the details on how you can gain an extra slot in the draw by getting your friends to sign up as well.

Training Log for Week 47 of 2018

After finishing this week, I would only be one week away from starting the 18-week marathon training plan to get me ready for my next marathon. It was therefore quite important for me to get in another decent week, and I was happy to accomplish just that. All told, I ran 9 hours and 24 minutes, which resulted in 113 kilometres (70 miles) covered and 1263 meters (4144 feet) climbed.

As has become customary, I started the week with a recovery run home from work on Monday. The plan for the week was to frontload the mileage a bit. This was because I wanted to emulate the number of weekly runs I will be doing during peak marathon training, but keep the long runs a little shorter than I will during the peak period.

This meant doubling on Tuesday, and a 15k GA run in the morning followed by an easy 11k in the afternoon amounted to 26k that day. Wednesday morning I went out again for 12k easy, and my legs were really feeling it at this point. That tiredness persisted when I set out for my midweek medium long run on Thursday morning. I felt a little better as that run progressed, but I was still very happy to just get through it.

Cold winter day in Frognerparken, Oslo
Conditions have been cold, but dry lately, which is absolutely perfect for running!

Friday was another double day, and consisted of an 8k recovery run in the morning, before 12k easy in the afternoon. I was feeling surprisingly good at this point, which to me is a good sign that my body is able to handle the mileage increase and recover even with the added stress.

Of course, a good feeling should always be swiftly succeeded by aches and worries, and my week was no exception to that. I woke up early Saturday morning, my rest day this week, with what was unmistakenly an unfriendly cold. My sinuses were sore, and my throat was starting to itch. I braved through it without succumbing to my male instincts of immediately declaring defcon five, simply because I had no intention of skipping my Sunday long run.

Stupid as I am, I got out there for 22 kilometres on Sunday, despite not feeling well. The run went well enough, and I took it slow, hoping to not agitate the cold. As soon as I got in, however, I knew I’d made a huge mistake. All I could do was shower and jump into bed, and I had to spend the rest of my day there. Next week’s entry in the training log will reveal the full ramifications of my stupidity. But kids, learn from silliness and do not run when you know, deep inside, that you should be resting.

Turkey Trots and National Records Grab the Headlines

King Ches is Back and Breaking Records

Ed Cheserek, the Kenyan currently residing in Flagstaff, Arizona, US, broke both Paul Chelimo and the Course Record when he ran the Manchester Road Race earlier this week. The new course record for the 7.65 kilometres (4.75 miles) long course is 21:16, and Letsrun reports that the winning margin of 28 seconds is the biggest in the 82-year history of the race. Another Kenyan, 19-year old Celliphine Chespol, won the women’s race in 24:33.

Mo Farah to run the 2019 London Marathon

The least surprising news of the week came when it was confirmed that Mo Farah will be returning to run the London marathon in 2019. Farah came third in this year’s edition back in April, before he took his first World Majors’ Marathon win at Chicago this fall. He isn’t looking for a free run at the win in his hometown, however, and wants reigning champion and all-time marathon great Eliud Kipchoge to return to London in 2019 as well.

New National Record in Florence Marathon

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter won the women’s race in Florence this afternoon, with the time 2:24:17, which was a new Israeli national record with a cool 11 minutes. The Kenyan born runner now holds the Israeli records in every mainstream distance on the track and roads, from 1500 meters to the marathon. In the men’s race, Ali Abdu Gelelchi of Bahrain took the win in what was his marathon debut, with a finishing time of 2:11:32.

History of the Turkey Trot

It seems like everyone and their dog in the US has been running a race this weekend. If you’re a foreigner, like me, and find yourself wondering about the story behind the “Turkey Trot” Runner’s World has an interesting article detailing how Thanksgiving weekend became the most popular weekend for running road races in the US.

Training Log for Week 46 of 2018

Finally, a week that went more or less according to plan. With 110 kilometres (69 miles) and 1055 meters (3461 feet) of elevation gain across 8 hours and 56 minutes of running for the week, I actually managed to get in a few more miles than planned.

I started the week with just 10k easy on Monday, which was followed by a decent general aerobic session just shy of 15k after work on Tuesday. Wednesday marked the return of the midweek medium long run, where I was able to log 22 kilometres at a decent clip. These are staple runs of marathon training, in my (and Pete Pfitzinger’s) opinion. But, they are also the most challenging runs of the week for me, mentally, so I was happy about feeling good throughout the run this week.

My Thursday recovery run was a bit of a disaster. On account of some changed up plans, I had to do it about an hour after dinner (pancakes!) and I suffered for it. The pace was just a step above walking, but it was still, without doubt, one of the most painful runs I’ve had this year. I was nauseous from the first to the last step, and I even had to stop a couple of times because I thought I needed to puke. Cutting it short was not an option, however, because this was the week I at least got in the planned mileage.

Paved sidewalk perfect for running in Ski, Akershus, Norway.
Perfect conditions for an early morning Sunday long run!

Friday I was back to feeling decent again, and I got in an easy 14k commute run in the morning, before adding in an 8k recovery double after work. Saturday I spent doing other things than running, as usual, before I went out on a proper long run with a friend from my local running group on Sunday morning. Coming in at 31k, this was actually my longest run since I ran a marathon back in June. All in all, I felt pretty good throughout, even if I had to work a bit through the final few kilometres. Overall, it feels good to be back to marathon training mileage, and I’m excited and motivated about the work to be done in the coming weeks and months.

Joshua Cheptegei Breaks 15k World Best and More Road Racing News

Cheptegei Sets New 15km World Best

22-year-old Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda set a new world best time in the 15 km (not an “official world record distance”) this morning when he ran 41:05 in Nijmegen in Holland. The Ugandan, who represents The NN Running Team, dropped his pacers in the first 5k and closed the race with kilometre splits of 2:35, 2:34 and 2:37. Phew!

Ethiopians Take Center Stage in Shanghai

Yebrgual Melese Arage of Ethiopia won the women’s race of Shanghai Marathon and set a new course record with her 2:20:37 finish. In the men’s race, it was Seifu Tura Abdiwak who claimed the first spot as he finished the race in 2:09:20. Other notable finishers included former World Record holder Denis Kimetto, who came in 10th with the time 2:14:55. That’s a cool 12 minutes slower than his old 2:02:57 WR, which was bested by Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:39) in Berlin a couple of months back.

New Course Record in “World’s Greatest Half Marathon”

It was an epic race in what has been claimed to be the “world’s greatest half marathon” which saw Vincent Lamoi break the Ageo City Half Marathon course record and set a new PR in 1:01:19. The race included notable runners such as Japan’s new national record holder in the marathon, Yuta Shitara, and reigning champion of the Boston Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi. Read the full recap from the race over at Japan Running News.