Tempo among the rice patties

Last week Mom came to visit (technically she’s in Japan for work but took some time to visit me!). More details of two Wild Bazilchuks on the town are coming up in the next post! For now, here’s the recap of my training week.

Thumb DSC 0353 1024

A beautiful morning in Kinosakionsen.

Looking at the workouts I did last week, I definitely sense a certain lack of focus in my training. I am motivated to run a lot, but I’m not training for any one thing in particular. Although I’m going to race on October 23, I don’t have any goals other than retaining a reasonable level of fitness so that I can race the 25K trail course hard. Since the area close to my apartment is really flat, and flat is boring, I have been doing more interval/fast type runs than I do in hilly Norway. This is probably good for my development as a runner, but I might try to follow a more structured plan in the coming weeks. I would like to push the volume aspect a little bit since I have the chance to focus on pure running right now, which would mean sacrificing some of the hard running I’ve been doing. 

Monday: Rest day, 30 min of easy yoga.

Tuesday: Morning yoga + strength, then 9.7K easy run. It rained the entire time I was out and I got absolutely drenched.

Thumb DSC 0262 1024

Soaking wet at the Imperial Palace

Wednesday: Hard tempo workout from Katsura river to Kamo river, total 21.2K. Since mom was arriving on Wednesday afternoon and we were going away for the weekend, I decided to do a semi-long run in the morning. Given the torrential rain of the day before, I thought it wise to avoid the trails and planned a flat route. Then I decided to throw in some harder running, specifically 2x30min at marathon pace, just to see how that felt. I woke up feeling not so great, but chalked it up to morning sleepiness and got myself out the door. If I felt like crap after the warm-up, I promised myself, I would go home. I perked up after the 4K it took to get to the Katsura river, and decided I was good to go. I hadn’t totally decided what pace I was shooting for. I thought 5 min/km seem realistic for 2x30min, but according to Jack Daniels the Omniscient my marathon pace is 4:40 min/km, which seems crazy fast at this point. So I decided to start out ‘comfortably hard’ and see where that got me. I ended up at 4:50 min/km, the happy medium between my own expectations and Jack Daniels’ prediction. This pace is comfortable for about 10 minutes, but grows increasingly awkward and uncomfortable the longer I had to hold it. I was totally shattered after the run, thank god I wasn’t going to work that day. I lay in bed and watched Netflix for two hours afterwards because I felt sick. I was not sick. It was just a hard workout!

Thursday: Recovery run around Nijo Castle with mom to help her shake off the jetlag. 4.8K

Thumb DSC 0265 1024

Mother-daugther selfie at Nijo Castle

Friday: Morning yoga + strength, then another easy run with mom, showing her the running paths on the Kamo river. 7.5K

Thumb DSC 0292 1024

Mom on the Kamo river

Saturday: Before we went to Kinosakionsen, I decided to rack up a little vert for the week. I ran a loop over Mt Kiyomizu on the Kyoto Trail which I have done before, but in the opposite direction, for 11.9K. These are the closest trails to my apartment, unfortunately at least 3K of pavement pounding is required before my sneakers hit dirt. I went moderately hard on the uphills and snagged a couple of QOMs (best times on Strava), always a good feeling.

Thumb DSC 0312 1024

A shrine of some sort in the forest behind Kiyomizudera

Sunday: Morning run in Kinosakionsen, 11.1K. I had my sights set on a QOM on what appeared to be the only segment in town. I ran a full warm-up with drills and strides, which I haven’t done since I was training at Bislett track this spring. Then I ran two laps of the 2K segment, increasing pace from the first to the second lap (4:50 /km on the first, 4:11 /km on the second). I really put the hammer down at the end and was pleased at my effort. Then it turned out no other women had run the segment - the best time I was trying to beat was actually the men’s KOM

Thumb DSC 0355 1024

Pleased with myself after a hard run on a segment that encircled the rice patties behind me in beautiful Kinosakionsen.

Later in the day we rented old lady bicycles and went exploring along the coast for an hour or so. I miss my fast bikes at home!

Thumb DSC 0364 1024

The Sea of Japan.


Running: 66.3K, 6h44min, 423 vertical

Cycling: 12.6K, 1h, 186 vertical

Other: 3 yoga sessions and 2 strength sessions (pats self on back)

- The Wild Bazilchuk


  1. 2x30min at marathon pace sounds terrible, especially if that's your first one. Whew. I usually begin mine at four or five miles at once and then work up and it's not quite as torturous.

    1. I did some workouts like that last year before Nordmarka Skogsmarathon, and they were all awful. Still not sure what possessed me to do that, but once I had decided to do it there was no backing out!


Post a Comment