2024 The Waltons: Racing & Training Thread (Read 166 times)



    James, M61, Columbus, Georgia, USA.  Married 26 years, with a 20-year-old son away at university.  I ran xc & track for two years in high school until injuring a knee and for about a year at age 24 before reinjuring it.  Ran once a week most years from 2003 until I retired in 2013 and had more time.  Because I’m injury-prone, I’ve built up very gradually from very low mileage to moderately low mileage.  For the last few years, I’ve been around 35-45 mpw for normal training weeks, on the high end if I’m just doing easy/steady miles and on the low end if I’m doing tempo runs or other faster running or tapering for/recovering from races.  The year-to-year variations are mainly due to injuries, illness, and the number of races.


    2019: 1,692 

    2020: 1,900 (out 6 weeks injured)

    2021: 2,171

    2022: 1,732  

    2023: 1,901 


    I usually run three days out of every four, with the first day being longer or faster.  My recovery runs - the second of the three days - are very slow on the treadmill with short walk breaks.  I used to swim on the fourth day but last month started doing low-intensity pool running, which I had only previously done when injured.  On and off hamstring issues since 2018 have kept me from doing hills or much speedwork, mainly just a few tempos before races.  I had fewer problems last year and so hope to do a bit more faster training this year.  


    I had planned to run the same four races in 2023 as in 2022, but one had a new course, two made their usual courses shorter or longer, and my half was cancelled (I found a different one and had a good race despite being slowed by waterlogged shoes), so I couldn’t exactly compare my times.  I think I’m getting slightly slower with age, maybe just a couple of seconds per mile, and my age-graded times in goal races seem to be improving after adjusting for course changes.  


    As for goals, I want to stay healthy and consistent, and if I do that I think at least my age-graded times should improve.  I hope to try a half in the late winter or spring and will aim for my usual goal 5K in October and a goal half in November.  

    Post-1987 PRs:  Half 1:30:14 (2019); 10K 39:35 (2019); 5K 19:12 (2017); Mile 5:37.3 (2020)

    '24 Goals: consistency, age-graded PRs, half < 1:32



      This week went pretty well.  I ran or pool-ran at least 74 minutes every day, which may be a first.  The leg-squeezing machine (cut-price Normatec) still seems to be helping.  Feeling a little run down, but I think it’s because of lack of sleep and because I’ve been busy organizing our church’s effort to resettle two refugee families in towns 45 minutes away.


      Sun - 11.7 miles in park PM @ 8:35 to reach my 2nd highest yearly mileage total

      Mon - 7.5 miles very slow treadmill (90:25 PM) + 0:40 walk breaks/6 mins

      Tues - 8.6 miles in park PM @ 8:40

      Weds - 80 minutes pool running

      Thurs - 7.5 miles very slow TM (60:25 AM/30 PM) + 0:40 walk breaks/6 mins

      Fri - 7.5 miles very slow TM (90:25 PM) + 0:40 walk breaks/6 mins

      Sat - 10.1 miles in park PM @ 8:45


      Total - 52.9 miles

      Post-1987 PRs:  Half 1:30:14 (2019); 10K 39:35 (2019); 5K 19:12 (2017); Mile 5:37.3 (2020)

      '24 Goals: consistency, age-graded PRs, half < 1:32

        James good to see you back. You are throwing down some fast times for a 61 year old !

        Your mileage looks very sensible for someone of our maturity 

        55+ PBs 5k 18:36 June 3rd TT

        " If you don't use it you lose it,  but if you use it, it wears out.

        Somewhere in between is about right "      



          My Week


          Date Name mi km Duration Avg/mi Avg/km Elevation Gain
          in ft
          01/01 Treadmill 7.00 11.27 00:58:16 08:19 05:10 0
          01/02 Afternoon Run 8.07 12.98 01:02:56 07:48 04:51 709
          01/03 Treadmill. Threw in some hills. 8.00 12.87 01:08:27 08:33 05:19 472
          01/03 Afternoon Row 1.55 2.50 00:10:43 06:55 04:17 0
          01/04 Afternoon Run 9.56 15.39 01:21:40 08:33 05:18 1385
          01/05 Afternoon Run 7.00 11.27 00:57:22 08:12 05:05 0
          01/05 Afternoon Row 1.86 3.00 00:12:50 06:54 04:17 0
          01/06 Treadmill after some rock climbing 7.00 11.27 00:59:30 08:30 05:17 568
          01/07 Rust Buster Speed Sesh: 3 Sets of 200,200,400 9.04 14.55 01:09:44 07:43 04:48 531

          Totals: Time: 08:01:28 - 🦅Imperial: 59.10 mi - Metric: 95.09 km


          First week of this marathon cycle. Next A race is a 10 miler on February 25th. I haven't done a speed session in a while, but I expected better than that one. I'm normally less winded from that workout and usually have faster splits. 


          Mother of Cats

            18 miles running and 5 hours of pool-running
            M: 3 miles very easy (9:52), 1 hour pool-running, and upper body weights/core.
            T: 5.5 miles, including some gentle fartleking. Followed with leg strengthwork. Sports massage in evening.
            W: Streaming yoga, 4 miles very easy (9:50), and 30 minutes pool-running
            Th: 6 miles, including a 3323m tempo (8 laps in lane 3) in 15:28 (7:30 pace). Streaming pilates in evening.
            F: 1 hour pool-running and upper body weights/core.
            Sa: 70 minutes pool-running and streaming pilates.
            Su: 80 minutes pool-running and weights.


            I decided to DNS Houston and take my running break this weekend - I'm sad, but it's the right decision.

            Essentially, I've been dealing with some sciatica that is the result of an inflamed muscle in my butt (quadratus femoris/obturator externus) pressing on my sciatic nerve. Why is that muscle inflamed? Because it's really weak, and so I've been doing PT to strengthen it, and I think the strengthening plus running plus frigid weather was just a bit too much for it.

            Everything's calmed down now and nothing's seriously damaged, but I'm still not quite 100%. I don't see myself running the time I wanted to run at Houston, and running Houston would almost certainly force me to take a few weeks off afterwards to heal up and rehab.


            Since I've got a lot I'd like to accomplish this spring, I decided this week that the smarter choice was to take my break now (hence the switch to pool-running) and use what would have been taper/recovery time to really prioritize the rehab and the strengthening so I can run well this spring.

            Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


            And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


            Mother of Cats

              James - do you have an Air-Relax?  That's what I have.


              Piwi - what is a beer credit?

              Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


              And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

                Merkle solid start to marathon training.


                DW a beer credit is just a way of justifying myself a couple of beers late afternoon without guilt 

                Basically calories out earns me some calories in.

                55+ PBs 5k 18:36 June 3rd TT

                " If you don't use it you lose it,  but if you use it, it wears out.

                Somewhere in between is about right "      



                Part of TLC

                  DW - Obviously the right decision. I hope you heal fast and come back stronger in a few weeks. RE: Inspiration porn - I'll try to avoid it. But thanks for mentioning that topic. I hadn't heard the term before and learned something. English speaking people really do have a knack for coining phrases that are hard to forget.




                  Monday          2:05 easy to moderate

                  Wednesday    0:47 easy

                  Thursday        0:42 incl. 2x2000 est. LT, 800 easy

                  Saturday        2:05 easy to moderate


                  After the first long run I felt good enough to run again on Wednesday. On Thursday I had an uneventful cardiac stress test which I celebrated by meeting our T&F-team for the first time since my covid infection last February. Then I really celebrated by running a kind of tempo workout (2x2000 estimated LT with 800 easy in the middle) for the first time in ages. It felt sooo good. Until it didn't. The last 600 were kind of difficult so I guess true LT is a little bit slower than I thought. Great to be on the track again, though. A second LR in a week will remain an exception. Forecast says it's gonna be cold and windy for the next few days, conditions I don't like to run long in. This time I had less problems in the shoulder/neck area and succeeded better in trying to keep my HR below 140.


                  LR was followed by track meet of DS1 in the afternoon, today was race day for the rest of the family, me being the driver (and race walking pacer for DS3). DS1 rebounded from a disappointing 800m yesterday by winning the 4K outright.

                  Don't hurry - next AG will start 2026


                    Darkwave - good call re Houston.  A real risk of making things worse, so good call.


                    Mark - I'd count the ParkRun, so congrats on your biggest week ever.


                    My week was  good.  One strength session, plus below.


                    Weekly for period: From: 01/01/2024 To 07/01/2024

                    <caption>Weekly Grid</caption>
                    Date Name mi km Duration Avg/mi Avg/km Elevation Gain
                    in m
                    01/01 Morning Run - 2 * (12:00 @ 30k Pace & 1:00 Walk) 6.47 10.41 00:55:01 08:30 05:17 33
                    02/01 Afternoon Run 4.42 7.11 00:40:45 09:13 05:44 9
                    03/01 Morning Run - 2 * (12:00 @ 30k Pace & 1:00 Walk) 6.53 10.51 00:55:01 08:26 05:14 31
                    04/01 Afternoon Run 4.33 6.97 00:40:15 09:18 05:46 19
                    05/01 Afternoon Run - 2 * (12:00 @30k Pace & 1:00 Walk) 6.58 10.59 00:55:02 08:22 05:12 31
                    06/01 Morning Run 12.98 20.89 02:00:01 09:15 05:45 52
                    07/01 Morning Ride 10.34 16.64 01:12:11 06:59 04:20 45
                    07/01 Afternoon Run 3.25 5.23 00:30:01 09:14 05:44 7

                    Totals: Time: 07:48:17 - 🦅Imperial: 44.57 mi - Metric: 71.71 km

                    PRs: 5km 18:43 (Dec 2015), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:26:16 (Sep 2016), full 3:09:28 (Jun 2015)


                    40+ PRs: 5km 19:31 (Oct 2020), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018), full 3:13:55 (Sep 2022)


                    2023 PRs (hope to beat in 2024): 5km 20:34, 10km 41:37, half 1:32:32, full 3:21:05


                    2024 PRs: 5km 20:25

                    Half Crazy K 2.0

                      My week:

                      Monday am 6.5 with 5 x 4 min 5k-ish, pm  strength training

                      Tuesday rest

                      Wednesday am 6 easy pm stregnth training

                      Thursday rest
                      Friday 5 with strides

                      Saturday 2.5 followed by upper body strength

                      Sunday 8 followed by lower body strength training


                      I really need to get a new treadmill. This running in 20 (F) in the morning absolutely sucks.


                      Mark, nice job on the big week!


                      Darkwave, seems like a good call. I'd imagine the process of getting to Houston would be tough with any sort of back issue.



                        James - do you have an Air-Relax?  That's what I have.


                        No, it's a ReAthlete brand, air-C-Heat model.  Under $200, and seems ok so far.  DW heard about it from a PT friend who said she uses one on her clients.  I don't know what better features the Air-Relaxes or the Normatecs have.  Some of the higher settings on ours squeeze too tightly for me, so even if the more expensive models have more pressure, I wouldn't use it.

                        Post-1987 PRs:  Half 1:30:14 (2019); 10K 39:35 (2019); 5K 19:12 (2017); Mile 5:37.3 (2020)

                        '24 Goals: consistency, age-graded PRs, half < 1:32


                        Hot Weather Complainer

                          Half Crazy - Ekk, 20F sounds pretty miserable especially when it's windy and/or wet.


                          watson - Some nice workouts in your week.  Are the 30km pace workouts just to get used to a pace slightly faster than marathon pace?


                          Josh - Some very promising signs there.  I wouldn't be worried about the crash at the end of a tempo, I'd expect that after all your down time.


                          darkwave - Sounds like the right call to be ready for the big events in Spring.


                          Mike - Nice starting point.  I'm a bit similar when a workout isn't quite as easy as it previous cycles but you're so early in your cycle.  I'd forget about it and move on.


                          James - That's a really big week all told.


                          piwi - Great to see you'll be back on a regular basis.  It's sickening how quickly you go from unmotivated low mileage to blitzing races.


                          me - A well timed down week after a big month to finish 2023 - actually turned out to be my biggest month of the year with more than double the climbing of the next highest - not surprising given the hill focus of this base phase.


                          I had another hill run this week and with fresher legs, cooler temperatures and light winds it was very comfortable even on the bigger climbs.


                          Weekly for period: From: 01/01/2024 To 07/01/2024

                          <caption>Weekly Grid</caption>
                          Date Name mi km Duration Avg/mi Avg/km Elevation Gain
                          in m
                          01/01 Recovery 6.75 10.85 01:01:14 09:04 05:39 22
                          03/01 Warm up 0.34 0.54 00:03:13 09:28 05:57 0
                          03/01 Easy med long 8.99 14.47 01:16:47 08:32 05:18 27
                          04/01 Warm up 0.33 0.54 00:03:09 09:33 05:50 0
                          04/01 Easy hour 7.51 12.08 01:03:43 08:29 05:16 24
                          05/01 Warm up 0.34 0.54 00:03:02 08:55 05:37 0
                          05/01 Friday Strides - 6 x 15 seconds 6.52 10.49 00:54:44 08:24 05:13 22
                          06/01 Warm up 0.34 0.55 00:03:16 09:36 05:56 8
                          06/01 Summit Road 12.81 20.61 01:46:27 08:19 05:10 436
                          07/01 Warm up 0.34 0.55 00:03:03 08:58 05:33 0
                          07/01 Easy hour 7.51 12.08 01:02:55 08:23 05:13 24

                          Totals: Time: 07:21:33 - 🦅Imperial: 51.77 mi - Metric: 83.30 km

                          5km: 18:34 11/23 â”‚ 10km: 39:10 8/23 â”‚ HM: 1:26:48 9/23 â”‚ M: 3:34:49 6/23


                          2024 Races:

                          Motorway Half Marathon February 25, 2024 1:29:55

                          Christchurch Half-Marathon April 21, 2024 1:27:34

                          Selwyn Marathon June 2, 2024 DNF

                          Dunedin Half Marathon September 15, 2024

                            Steve thanks. You are the poster boy of immaculate training right now. Look at your results last year, amazing.

                            Are you coming to the Mount this summer?


                            Half Crazy 20f sucks in the morning and so does 20c with high humidity which is what we have right now 

                            55+ PBs 5k 18:36 June 3rd TT

                            " If you don't use it you lose it,  but if you use it, it wears out.

                            Somewhere in between is about right "      


                              James- great week. What kind of Job can you retire from at the young age of 50??? Not asking for a friend but for myself.


                              Darkwave - bummer on Houston but that makes sense! Hope you will get better soon.


                              Merkle - you still have pretty decent weather. Why do you go on the treadmill?


                              Josh - great comeback - yours and your sons! How old is the oldest?


                              Half - I hear you. I am keeping an eye on my budget and on TM deals. Yesterday I had some sort of an ice storm but had to complete 50 minutes for the running game. It.really.sucked. Forecasts look pretty bad ....


                              Steve - great week, as always.


                              My week was uneventful - 4 runs, 40km. All easy.


                              Re beer credit - my system is very simple. Each 5k is one beer. 10k one pizza and some chocolate for me. I have mastered it to the point I don't lose any weight at all, regardless of mileage. And I am overweight according to my BMI.....Smile I am ok with that.

                              HM: 1:47 (9/20) I FM: 3:53:11 (9/23)


                              2024 Goals: run a FM & HM + stay healthy!

                              Half Crazy K 2.0

                                Steve, no way will I go out in wet & 20, well, then it becomes ice and that's a no go for me. I did run a little in some sleet on Saturday and it was really slow because I pretty muchh walked every driveway where the sleet didn't melt. Liuckily we don't have that many really cold & windy days here. I took some inspriration from you with the hills and ended my long run on some hills back to the house.


                                Piwi, wee get the 20c and humid all summer.


                                MJ, government jobs allow that, especially if you have a pension. Public schools are another. I know some people my age  (48) in public schools who have 4 or 5 years until they can retire. One was planning out a second career 10+ years ago.