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  • Writer's pictureBrad Martens

Ran my legs off and felt every bit of it

In May this year I ran my first 100km week. In doing so it not only wrecked my legs but I gained a heap of confidence in my running and fitness. So the plan was my bike would take a back seat this week and I would up my swimming (mainly to aid recovery) and run my legs off. I also made the commitment to myself that I would run my long runs at race pace or close to. For years I have always wanted to run a sub 4hr marathon in an Ironman and while I have gone close I actually haven't achieved it yet. In my mind part of this is that a lot of my long runs were slower than the race pace I wanted and I didn't believe I could do it.

I have decided after some research to follow Joe Friels methodology to keep heart rate low but if you have 4-5 years of Ironman experience and maintained a solid base your runs should be at the pace you want to achieve on race day. The thought pattern behind this is to condition the body and mind to be comfortable at this pace. No many coaches would not agree with this and I know many coaches that advocate (I do to) that all long runs should be very slow and track work fast. I have to have belief in my own practices and how I wish to train and coach people. My way of coaching myself may not work for my athletes which is why a good coach can tailor a program to the individual and not employ a one size fits all approach.


Easy day to start with after last weeks efforts. I started my day with swim squad and covering 3000m and then backed it up with 5km at 5:25 pace. My legs will thank me for taking it easy today


I head out on my run and I get 1km down the road and realise that I have forgotten my heart rate monitor so back home I head to grab that. The plan today is to run 3hrs at race pace (5:40). I managed to run 32km at an average pace of 5:39, I literally covered the whole of the inner west and let me tell you it is not flat around here. I am really happy at the pace I could maintain over an undulating course. By the end of the run though I was simply running on fumes and really wondered how I would even get the last 4-5km done.


Easy day today. All I have planned is an easy swim of 3000m at Leichhardt pool and 25min easy run (4.5km), I knew it was important to save some energy for the back end of the week.


Back on the bike today and back on the trainer as the weather wasn't ideal for outdoor riding. The bike consisted of some short efforts and a short run off the bike. I finished my my day off with a treadmill set of 13x400 on a 200m float, this set was inspired by a coach I know that does a heap of treadmill running whilst juggling his coaching business, family and still being a top age group athlete.


If there is a training set I loathe it has to be sweet spot training on the trainer. It simply hurts but it is so important to do if you want to build up the bike watts. So a quick 30mins of SST and a short 15min run off the bike. The next two days are going to be full on with 50km of running to do.


I start my usual CanToo running day off by marking the course and running 12km. the team are running 8km today which is their biggest run distance to date. For me it will mean 20km of running achieved. I finish my morning off with 4km swim set at SOP and then rest for the arvo as the striders run on Sunday will be a tough one.


This weeks run is known as the Sydney Marathon Sneak Peak. I knew being a flatter course the pace would be quicker than the usual 6min pace and they didn't let me down. The problem I had was my legs were feeling heavy. I decided to run at the back of the pack and run with the guys who were running 28km (the minimum I needed to reach 100km). We ran to Centennial Park and made our turn for home as we approached Circular Quay I noticed that we were well under 28km distance, we would be luck to do 24km so I went looking for extra kms by running around the Opera House and once over the bridge running down some street around Crows Nest. The last 6-7km was pure torture and I struggled to hold any resemblance of form or pace but I achieved my goal and racked up 101km for the week.

I am tired but the training doesn't stop but next week will be a bit easier as I will be trying my hardest to ride well at Calga.

The weeks stats:

  • Swim: 10,050m

  • Bike: 47.8 km

  • Run: 101 km

  • Training Time: 14.57 hours

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