"It's a treat being a runner, out in the world by yourself with not a soul to make you bad-tempered or tell you what to do." - Allan Sillitoe

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time for an update!

I haven't posted an update for a while - over a week in fact so as one of the main reasons for this blog is to provide an ongoing log of my running, it's time to get it up to date.

I think one of the reasons why I have been posting less is that I enter my runs and workouts onto Strands.com every day so this blog has become less of a record than a means of keeping in touch with people and a bit of a diary.

There's a bit to tell so here goes ...

Tuesday 16 Feb - 5.6km warm up in 24.30 was probably a bit quick given the workout I was planning 10 × 50-55sec hill repeats with a jog recovery.

I’ve measured this hill on the street out the front of my house on Map My Run and the section I use for my reps is 260m.

49 and 50 secs for the first two but dropped to 52 for the third. At this stage, I was thinking that I was going to stuggle with 10 reps so decided to do 2 sets of 4. After the 4th rep, I walked across the road to home and had a swig of Gatorade. 52,52,53,49 for the last 4 reps.

I was considering do the other two reps after another drink but my legs went lactic with about 30-40 metres to go on the last rep so I didn’t think I would get any quality out of the last two.

Did a longer cooldown than last week.

I'm still pretty pleased with this workout. Last time my reps were between 52-57 secs this time 49-53 secs (3.08 -3.20/km pace) so a marked improvement.

I'm estimating a total of 12km for this workout.

Wednesday 17 Feb - very easy recovery run 8.6km in 49 mins with a average HR of 128.

Thursday 18 Feb - Clown had to go East for work so I was on my own for this tempo run.  I was planning to change it up and do 4 x 2km with 2 min jog recoveries instead of 8km tempo but received a training program from Matt Downin from Strands for the weeks leading up to the Bridges.  Matt's program had me sticking with the 8km tempo so I followed his advice. 

Warm Up (4.1 km, 00:19:00, 4:38 min/km)

Tempo Run (2.0 km, 00:07:44, 3:52 min/km)

Tempo Run (2.0 km, 00:08:11, 4:05 min/km)

Tempo Run (2.0 km, 00:08:16, 4:08 min/km)

Tempo Run (2.0 km, 00:07:59, 3:59 min/km)

Cool Down (4.1 km, 00:22:00, 5:21 min/km)

This workout continued the progressive improvement on this as my time has come down from 34.05 on 7 January to 32.11 today. Today’s 32.11 for a tempo effort is actually 19 seconds faster than I raced the identical course on 31 December.  Good conditions this morning with no wind, not too warm but a little humid.

Friday 19 Feb - Easy recovery run.  8.6km in 43.59.  Since coming back from my injury I have been running these recovery runs really slowly ie around 5.45/km pace. My average HR has been under 130 every time.

I have been re-reading a bit about recovery runs and think that (even though they say there is no such thing as running too slowly) I have got a bit of room to move here without compromising my recovery at all.

So I have decided to keep my HR under 140 rather than 130 for these runs but still keep to the grass. Today was the first day I have done this – pace improved to 5.06/km – average HR 139 – total time about 5 mins quicker. Actually felt better afterwards – it was more of a shakeout than I have been used to.

Saturday 20 Feb - Bridges loop.  12.8km in 56 mins (4.22/km) – moderate effort. Ben had his scholarship exam this morning so I was up at 5.50am to squeeze this on before we headed off to school.  No time for a long run but it suited Sandgroper to shift to Sunday as well.

Sunday - Saturday weekly mileage was 83km

Sunday 21 Feb - Made the usual early start on this one as flagged in my previous post.  Ran with Sandgroper, another Simon and Carle (although Carle had a pit stop and then lost us). Pace was bit all over the place. Carle went out fairly quick and then we picked up Simon at Burswood.  Starting and finishing there gave him 18km. We hammered along for a bit.  I reckon we were getting along at around 4.05/km pace for a fair while on the way back and as a result I felt it a bit over the last 4km. I'm pretty happy with the overall pace and effort, it's certainly the quickest long run I have done for a while. We got in a couple of decent hills through the back of Ascot Waters/Rivervale.  All up 26km in 1:53 (4.20/km pace).

Monday 22 Feb - Easy run to Mends Street and return. I was surprised how low my HR was compared to effort and after a hard run yesterday.  I was probably due for a rest today but didn't have time for a ride so went for a short easy 6.6km run instead - and maintained my 100% training record for the year.  I have run or ridden every day so far this year (53 days).

Tuesday 23 Feb - Following the Matt Downin plan - this workout was 20 minute warm up then 10 × 1 min hard; 3 mins easy. The 3 mins easy was enough time (more than enough time it seemed for the first 3-4 reps) to get pretty much a full recovery and hit the 1 mins really hard. The pace of my recovery jogs got progressively slower. Legs never went lactic but got into some oxygen debt towards the end of the last couple. After the 10th, I had to stop and walk for a minute before starting running again.

I feel like I hit each 1 min at 100% effort which meant they were fast which was the aim of the session.

Some sessions you feel like they are just maintenance sessions, others you feel like you are making progress. This felt like a progress session to me.  All up 14.8km in 1:08 (4.35/km).

Wednesday 24 Feb - 8.6km in 46:24.  Average HR 136.  It was pretty humid this morning which possibly accounts for the slightly slower pace.  It was also possibly an effect the previous day's speed workout.

Thursday 25 Feb (today) - The Matt Downin program had me bumped up the usual 8km (5 mile) tempo effort up to 6 miles/9.6 km.

Clown was struggling a bit with pace and a sore foot at 4km so slowed to an easy pace as I continued on. Was able to negative split including 7:50 for the last 2 km. Overall pace was 4 min/km so slightly quicker than last week even though this week was a mile longer. My time for the usual 8km that we run was 32.13 + 6.20 mile in the middle.

Pleased with the progression and the effort/pace. Again, this was another workout where I felt like I'm getting ahead of where I was a couple of weeks ago.  I'm not finishing workouts thinking "I'm so unfit" anymore!!

Warm Up (4.1 km, 00:20:00, 4:52 min/km)

Tempo Run (2.0 km, 00:08:06, 4:03 min/km)

Tempo Run (2.0 km, 00:08:15, 4:07 min/km)

Tempo Run (1.0 mi, 00:06:20, 6:20 min/mi)

Tempo Run (2.0 km, 00:07:59, 3:59 min/km)

Tempo Run (2.0 km, 00:07:50, 3:55 min/km)

Cool Down (4.1 km, 00:20:00, 4:52 min/km)


Another hot few days on the horizon.  Sandgroper and I are in the process of sorting our Saturday long run.  Looks like it may involve both an early start and the beach.  73kms so far this week so looks like I will crack the ton by the end of Saturday's run.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sunday's long run

Sunday's long run is a 6am start at my house in Kensington.  We will be going past Burswood (WAMC clubrooms) between 6.15-6.20am if that suits anyone better.

The run is out to Garrett Road via Maylands and back through Ascot Waters/Rivervale to pick up the rolling hills.  Guesstimate is 26.5-27km - will be relying on Sandgroper's Garmin for the exact.

Flick me a comment or an email for more details or my address.

Monday, February 15, 2010

5km race at Point Walter

Yesterday I ran the WAMC 5km Point Walter race (see below)

Wednesday - usual recovery run.  Average HR 128.  Sleepwalking these at the moment.

Thursday - did 16.2km out and back to Maylands.  Ran about 10km of this with Clown.  We did our usual meet at Burswood and ran the 8km out to Maylands that we do as our tempo ran but just did it easy.  It was Running Central out there that morning.  I'd already seen Kim on my way down to Burswood and then Clown and I saw both Simon and Sandgroper at different points along the Maylands route.  It was a very humid morning and although I didn't really notice it while we were out running, when I got home, my shirt and shoes were soaked.  My shoes were like I had run through a puddle.

Friday - recovery run.  Average HR 127 - getting lower.

Saturday - skipped the long run in favour of a short run out to the Causeway and back.  I interspersed 5 strides of varying lengths 20-50 seconds each at 5km race pace.  I was glad the race wasn't that morning as I felt strangely flat.

66.6km for the Sunday to Saturday week.  There will be no rest day this coming week though.

Sunday - 5km at Point Walter.  There was a 16km race as well but my thinking is that I am not in shape to do anything I would feel good about and running 16km hard would most likely stuff my training for this week and with the Bridges being a key race for me, I can't afford a bad week 6 weeks out.

Forecast was for a hot day but luckily we started at 7am so it wsn't too bad.  I did an approx 2km warm up with a couple of strides and then a few drills.

Caught up with Clown and Sandgroper at the start.  We were all looking to run a similar time so it made for an interesting race.

A crowded start onto the footpath slowed things down a bit and it was almost 1km before things opened up properly.  I saw Simon just ahead of me (he was running the 16km) and ran alongside him for a bit but then we hit a slight headwind.  Knowing that Simon paces himself fairly well, I tucked in behind him and switched off for a bit.

We hit the 2.5km turnaround which followed a drink station and was then around a cone.  Slowed things down slightly but not drastically.  Sandgroper was probably 20m ahead of me at this point and I had a similar lead over Clown.

I think I may have passed one person in the second half but Sandgroper pulled away from me.  Although I slowed slightly, I'm reasonably pleased with my splits and hit my B goal of sub 18:30 but missed my (what was probably overly ambitious) A goal of sub 18:00.

Splits were 3:37; 3:37; 3:44; 3:43; 3:38 so a reasonably even effort to finish 8th in 18:21.

Sandgroper finished 6th in 17:57 while I just pipped Clown who came 9th in 18:26. The winner did 16:13.

First time I have raced a 5km so I’ll take the PR which also gives me some room to improve although I’m not sure when the next one will be. A good solid run.

Clown, Sandgroper and I then did a warmdown back out on the course and encouraged a few runners as we went along.  Clown and I did 5km, Sangroper turned back a bit earlier.

All up a fun race and a good morning.  Sugar and Kim were the race directors and did a great job.  Epi was helping out doing the timekeeping and they had plenty of other assistance.

Using the McMillan running calculator, I'm still a bit off where I need to be to run a PB at the Bridges but not so far off that it isn't achievable with some sensible, hard training between now and 28 March and then a good run on the day.

Monday - 12.8km bridges loop in 57 minutes.  Felt a bit harder than that pace should have, so I must have had a bit of residual fatigue from the day before.

Hill repeat workout tomorrow morning.  Plan is to run them hard x 10.

Long run this week will actually be next week as it will be on Sunday.  Ben has his scholarship exam on Saturday morning so a long run that day just won't work.  From discussions at Point Walter though, we could have any or all of Sandgroper, Clown, Epi and myself on the run.  We will have to start circulating some route suggestions and start times to see what suits.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Friday - regular recovery run.  Wore my HRM as have been feeling so good I wanted to make sure I’m not overcooking things. No problems though – average HR was 129.

Saturday - Ran with Sandgroper. We added 2.5km onto what we did last week and ran a bit quicker. pretty even pace/effort thoughout although we pushed on for the last 2km which were our fastest – 4.24/4.23.  Overall pace was 4.32/km for 24.7km.  It was pretty humid and we had a couple of drink breaks.  Sandgroper hid a couple of cold Powerades in East Perth for us which was good planning and came at just the right time.

The last 2km came about because of an effort to not drop our pace which we pushed on with harder than we intended.  Great way to finish a hard run.

Sunday - Ben had the Weetbix Tryathlon in the morning.  Got pretty warm when the sun came out from behind the clouds.  Ben did really well.  I think he was pretty conservative and surprised himself with how easily he did it, especially the 1km run at the end.  Got some good photos so will get a couple of them up in the next few days.

Managed to organise a ride with Neil later in the afternoon and got in 41.8km.  We went out around the Ascot, Garrett Road, Maylands loop then around the river and out to UWA before we went our separate ways.  Our pace fluctuated due to my poor selection of route but we were able to pick it up from Burswood on and I hammered it along Mounts Bay Road on the way back at 40-42km/hr which was fun (and got the blood pumping).

Monday -  Ran my regular Bridges loop at a moderate effort and averaged 4.19/km.  This is a bit of an in-between pace.  I think I could just hold a conversation at this pace/effort so hopefully its not too quick to be getting full aerobic benefit from this run ie energy being provided from the breakdown of glycogen and fat stored in our muscles by utilising oxygen.

Tuesday (this morning) - did an interval workout. 10 min warm up, 4 × 20 secs strides then 5 sets of 1 min hard; 2 mins jog recovery; 2mins hard; 2mins jog recovery. 18 mins cool down. Hard going on the last reps but glad I got through it. Last hard workout for the week with 5km race on Sunday. 

I'll take it easy for the rest of the week with a recovery run tomorrow, 16km easy with Clown on Thursday, recovery run Friday and then 6 or so km with some strides on Saturday.

I'll race the 5km at Point Walter on Sunday and may do a long cooldown to get my kms up a bit for the week as I'll be down a bit without a long run this week.

I may have some exciting news in the near future in the lead up to the Bridges so stay tuned ...

Today's video - I can't embed this one but if you follow the link, you will find an entertaining video (after a bit of a slow start) and incredible workout:


Thursday, February 4, 2010

More mojo

Tuesday I did 5.6km warm up then 8 x hill repeats (52-57 secs) up the hill on our street with a jog recovery back down. Last time I did this workout I did 10 repeats in 52 secs so this workout should be another good marker for improvement. 2-2.5km warm down.

Wednesday did the standard recovery run. Was feeling so good that I considered doing a 12.8km bridges loop instead but erred on the side of caution and also didn't want to detract from what has become a regular tempo workout with Clown on Thursday mornings.

This morning I had a great tempo run with Clown. I think we both really noticed the improvementover last week. 8km in 32.34 (compared with last week 33.24).

2km Splits as follows 8.06; 8.21 (4.09/4.12); 8.08; 7.57. Last week we did the last 2km in 8.08, this week 7.57 into a bit of a wind too. Negative split again but both halves were much quicker than last week.

All up 16.2km for me. This tempo workout was only 4 seconds slower than I raced the 8km on New Years Eve but with a really controlled effort including some chat on the first 4kms

I've signed up for the Moneghetti training camp in March too and there is a really good group heading down so it should be great company as well as fantastic training. I'm pretty excited about this opportunity. As Trailblazer said in the comments, there will be plenty more Freeway Bike Hikes ...

Recovery run tomorrow and then a long run with Sandgroper on Saturday. Not sure of the course yet, but I think we are both keen to add a couple of km on what we did last week.

Sunday - Ben has the Weetbix Tryathlon so if I get out for ride it will have to be later in the day.

I have added a badge to the sidebar of this blog. It's also a link to my page on the Strands.com site. Strands is a bit like Facebook for athletes. I find it a really good and quick and easy way to monitor and record my training. It has some great features and you can use as many or as few of them as you want. You can import your workouts from Garmin,Polar Nike+ and Map My Run as well.

Another aspect of it that I really like is that members of Team Strands will sign on as followers of you and are really generous with advice and encouragement. Team Strands is a sponsored team of elite athletes and I think it's really helpful to be able to be able to follow their training and see that they go through many of the same struggles that us lesser mortals go through.

I'd recommend it - especially if you don't have an electronic record or log of your training.

Here is a great video - hope you enjoy it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Getting my mojo back

Finally feel like I am starting to get somewhere and my enthusiasm is on the same upward slope.  I have been perservering rather than enjoying a lot of my running since my knee has started coming good.  I think this was due partly to still feeling a bit low after a disappointing race which wasn't the the result I was looking for after a few months of pretty hard work and some equally high expectations (even after the knee) - I guess a positive attitude isn't always enough.

Another contributing factor has been that I have been finding running really hard work a lot of the time until this past week.  I did put on 3-4 kilos which didn't help but I think they are gone now (although I haven't jumped on the scales but you sort of know ... ).

This week has been a totally different story.  I think running on Sunday helped - starting the week on Monday with 12km already in the bank (10km race + 2km warm up) helped build a positive attitude and even though Tuesday's intervals were only solid (as per my last post), a really good tempo session with Clown on Thursday set up a good second half of the week.  Even though I ran only slightly slower than last week, I felt it was an easier and far more even effort than the previous week.  We had a bit of a chat along the way and cranked it up a bit on the last km.  I was taking 2km splits from WAMC markers off my wathc while Clown took 1km splits on his Garmin.

I think I could have run faster than I did last time with a harder effort over the first 6km but what we did felt good and was also very enjoyable. Total 33:24 – 2km splits as follows – 8:20/8:30/8:25/8:08 so a negative split as well which is good going.  Clown got the 1km splits as 4:06, 4:18, 4:09, 4:11, 4:08, 4:14, 4:12, 3:56.  Map My Run has this total run for me as 16.2km so it is serving a dual purpose as medium long run as well as a tempo run.

Clown is doing the Steve Moneghetti training camp in Dwellingup in March.  It lools fantastic - Moneghetti is one of my all time running heroes and I'm really tempted although it is a weekend away (probably home early Sunday afternoon) and I had tentatively planned to do the 60km Freeway Bike Hike on the Sunday morning.  The camp is limited to 60 people so I will need to make a fairly quick decision (and seek a leave pass if going the camp).

Recovery run Friday followed by long run Saturday.  Ran with Sandgroper and we set out from my place at 6am.  1 hour 47 mins was total time which included a few drink stops at water fountains and one pit stop for me. . Longest run for a while would have been a real slog by myself but was very enjoyable with company.  I'd estimated the run at 22.4km whereas Sangroper got it at 22.2km. so approx 4km further than the long run I have been doing.  Lots of chatting kept us at a very comfortable and pretty much perfect long run pace. Not sure what the actual running time was but I'll be looking to bump this out by around 10 mins a week over the next few weeks (may be every second week) and I think that this will suit Sandgroper too.  He is doing a few track workouts as well, which are logisitically a bit difficult for me without a car which is pity although I'm a bit nervous about going hard on the track as it was after my hard Yasso 800 session that my knee injury first appeared.

Just over 90km for the week Sunday - Saturday which is probably more than I will average over the next few weeks so it was pleasing to get through without feeling overly fatigued.

Another early start on Sunday when I set out from my house at 6.15am to ride to Neil's for a 7am meet.  We then rode through Floreat, Claremont, Dalkeith and then down into Nedlands.  The ride through Dalkeith was sensational, heaps of other cyclists out and it seems to be a very popular route.  We then rode back past the Brewery (thought I might have spotted Epi as we rode past - not sure) and around the Bridges before heading back towards Leederville where we stopped for a coffee.  Went our separate ways from there and by the time I was home I had clocked up 61km which was a good steady bit of cross training for a non running day.  Unfortunately, when I got home, Rox reminded me that I had promised the kids a bike ride so it was onto the mountain bike with Sammies bike hooked up on to mine on the TrailGator so 61km + a heavy bike + towing Sammie + 12km made for hard going.  Luckily the rest of the day was very easy going as I went to the cricket with my Dad.  Turned out to be a great day and a very close finish.  Only low point was the pitch invader who tackled one of the Pakistanis.  Hopeless security - the guy was going so slow and I think he only laid the tackle because he didn't know what else to do having expected to be tackled himself way before then.  Chubby Checker and the other security guards were obviously distracted by confiscating beach balls and stopping beer cup snakes.  Hope the coppers gave him a couple to go on with.

So the most enjoyable runs/ride I did this week were when I was running/riding with someone else.   They also seemed much easier than they would have if I had done them on my own.  The following video is interesting in that context:

This morning I went out for my 12.8km bridges loop and ran at a moderate effort/pace. 56 mins so around 4.22km. Felt good and another sign that I am on the improve. Saw Simon out there - going along at a good pace. I'm still a bit off that pace but hopefully I'll be back close to hitting similar paces.

Interval session tomorrow. I'm going to do something different tomorrow but am still tossing up between doing a 1 and 2 minute interval workout (with equivalent jog recoveries) or a hill repeat workout.

I'm looking towards doing the 5km at Point Walter on 14 Feb. Sandgroper and Clown have both said that they will probably be doing it so that will make things interesting. My WAMC number arrived the other day - I am now the proud owner of WAMC #9102.

So I definitely feel like I have turned the corner - a few more hard and solid weeks with decent mileage and I'll start to feel like I might be able to go close to PB by the time the Bridges comes around at the end of March.