"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, October 28, 2010

PB at Rottnest 5k but a disappointing performance.

I thought my previous 5k PB of 18.21 was a bit soft.  Although it was a good run on that day (WAMC Point Walter) it was only a couple of months after I had started training again after my knee injury.

Given the training I have been doing lately and the paces that I was able to hit in some pretty specific workouts (ie 3 x 1600m with 2min jog recovery and 5 x 1k with 1 min jog recovery), I felt like I was in shape to not only run a PB but go under 18 mins and maybe get close to 17.30 even though I knew that Rottnest is a hard course.

Warm up 3.1k in 12:30 with sugar42 - felt Ok not fantastic but certainly no worse than I feel before a hard interval or tempo session.

Sugar Cane and Simon Coates were looking to run 35 mins for the 10k ie 3.30/km pace so I went out with them.

First km in 3.21 and second in 3.32 by which time we had hit a headwind before going over the causeway and up the long hill. Unfortunately there were no more km markers for the 5km as we then turned and headed back. It’s not a true out and back course as there is an extra approx 1km loop at the start. So no splits for last 3km.

What is disappointing though is that I felt like I maintained my effort and worked hard all the way. very different from City to Surf where I knew I was running crap but couldn’t do anything about it – this time I felt like I was running to my capacity so was very surprised when I glanced at my watch with about 150m to go to see that it had already ticked over 18mins. I averaged 3.50/km pace for the last 3km but felt like I was running 3.30-3.35.

Not sure where to go from here. Seriously thinking about getting a coach who knows what they are doing because clearly my current coach (me) doesn’t. One of my previous bosses used to like to say that the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing but expecting to get a different result. I have a couple of little tweaks in mind but nothing drastic when drastic is perhaps what I need to kick start my racing.

I stopped my watch at 18.21 which is an equal PB but the official result is 18:19 so a PB by 2 secs  (I’ll take what I can get).

Finished 7th – pack of 4 young guys ran together until the last km when they got down to business with even gaps then back through 5th, 6th and then me. Finished about 40m behind 6th. (Check of the results indicates that I was spotting at least 8-24 years to the guys in front of me which is some small consolation).

Photo below courtesy of Sugar and Kim - I was going more than 8km an hour but it seems not by much ...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Long time - no blog

Despite my best intentions, I have not posted a blog update for a while. 

My blister problem is now well and truly behind me although I am now taking extra precautions by taping before speed workouts and long runs.  I don't get blisters everytime I don't tape so in some ways it is a bit of a waste but the prevention is far better than the problem/cure for those occasions when it does happen.

My last four weeks of training have been 100km; 102km; 107km and 89km.  I made a conscious effort to get my mileage up over 100km a week and have been running 7 days a week, up from 6 days.  I now run a very easy recovery run on Sunday and have moved my first speed workout of the week to Monday (from Tuesday).  I have been running some doubles on Tuesday and Friday when I am feeling the desire.

So I think I have built a good aerobic base having got the mileage up and done some good long runs.  I have also done a few good speed workouts building towards a couple last week when I tested my fitness based on some stuff I read in Brad Hudson's Run Faster book.

My key workout last week (Thursday) was  5x 1km with 60 sec recoveries.  This followed from a bit of a progression where over the past month or so I have done 5 x 1k with 2 min recoveries, 3 x 1600m with 2 min recoveries, 5 x 1km with 90 sec recoveries and now this workout.  All have been at around 5km race pace.  Unlike the previous week when for the last three recoveries when I walked for 30 secs and then jogged for 60 secs, for this workout I made myself jog for the full 60 secs – no walking.

I’m really happy with this session. Although the times were going in the wrong direction ie I was getting slower, it was only slight and this is the hardest interval session I have done. I managed to run at my goal 5km race pace which was the aim of the workout. although I was hanging on for the last minute or so of the last 2 reps – it was hard work!!

Reps were: 3.23; 3.26; 3.29; 3.33; 3.32.

This was backing up from an 8km tempo run on the Monday where I ran 29.48  which is 3.43/km pace and only 4 secs off my best for this run when I ran a much harder effort.

Other highlights of the last month have been a weekend we spent down at Albany where it was very relaxing, I got in some good running and Ben caught his first fish and the weekend just gone when Sammie got off of her trainer wheels on her bike and rode all the way back from Mends Street.

Last Friday morning I went to a fantastic breakfast function where Craig Mottram was the guest.  This sold out function was put on by The Running Centre. Craig Mottram was excellent, entertaining as well as passing on some real gems for training and racing.

Went to say goodbye at the end and had a bit of a one on one chat. He gave me a very meaningful analogy about training for racing. It’s like baking bread – you know what all the ingredients are, you put them together in the bowl and put them in the oven. But if you keep opening the oven to take a peak, the end result won’t be as good as it could have been. In other words, don’t keep testing your race fitness in workouts – it will detract from your race performance.  Craig said that he rarely goes over 80% effort in training which I found surprising. 

The other really useful thing I took away was that you should reconsider any workout that is going to impact on the next workout you are going to do.  I try to do this anyway but this was good positive reinforcement.

It was good catching up with heaps of other runners at the breakfast and meeting a few people as well.  I had a great chat with Raf's brother Ryan (You can check out his blog here http://beanbaugh.blogspot.com/), and hopefully I can keep in sight next time we race.

While I haven't had a chance to race recently, I have had a chance to watch lots of good racing.  The Commonwealth Games provided some great races, especially the 5000m, 10,000m and marathon but the best race over the last month was undoubtedly the Chicago Marathon.  If you know how it turned out then you don't need me to tell you but if you don't you should definitely watch the video below:

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Rottnest 5km is this weekend. Obviously I'm hoping to have a good one and run a PB but most importantly I want to race well. I'm definitely treating this as a race and not a time trial. At a minimum it would be nice to race better than I train which has been a bit of a problem for me recently.

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