Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Base, Racing, and Training

Our winter continues to be mild — I run in the afternoons, enjoying distance runner friendly temperatures in the low teens Celsius (around 54°F). I continue to plug away with the Lydiard base phase, guided by Hadd heart-rates. I've just finished my 9th week of 96-ish kilometres (that's 60 miles for my metric-challenged readers). Hardly huge miles, but I'm not a fast runner — if I were, I'd be covering 125 clicks (78 miles) in the same time.

In Hadd for Ancients, my plan was to switch to the next phase of training after six to eight weeks of base. Now I'm not so sure. I feel there's still some improvement to come from running slowly. I've been fairly good at sticking with my plan of including upper aerobic runs and occasional short sprints during the base phase in order to keep the fast-twitch muscle fibres "awake".

Some of these upper aerobic runs have been races. Now; this has been interesting! I wasn't expecting age-PBs in these events, so it's been surprising to have more good races than bad:

17 May - 5k road in 21:46. Good, although well behind my rival Jim.
25 May - 1500m track in 5:38.49. Good, an M50 PB.
7 June - Stromlo 5k cc in 21:04. Good, very close to Jim.
15 June - 3000m track in 12:24.39. Bad, a parabola of slowing laps.
21 June - Stromlo 12k cross country in 54:14. Good, ahead of Jim!
6 July - Gold Coast 10k. See you there!

I've also completed my first 'Evaluation Run' — made famous by Mystery Coach. I'll do these in lieu of the Hadd 2400m test due to the simplicity. My method for the Evaluation Run is to run a 2.5k warm-up, followed by some light drills and strides. Then I run 2 laps in lane 6 at Calwell (a 400m grass track) to gradually raise the heart-rate up to 83% of maximum (138 for me). I then hold a steady HR of 138 for a further 20 laps of lane 6, recording splits for each 4 laps. If my aerobic condition improves over the next few weeks, I should run faster at the same heart-rate. Results for 17 June:

Times for 5 x 1748 metres @ AHR 138
17 June

Time (pace/km)AHR
18:51 (5:04)137
28:59 (5:08)138
39:05 (5:12)137
49:02 (5:10)138
59:01 (5:09)138
TOTAL44:58 (5:09)138

4k on the way to Rose Cottage
4 kilometres from home on my Rose Cottage Inn course


Blogger Hamburglar said...

Ewwn, you are traiing really well. 96k weeks are nothing to sneeze at. 5 min pace is pretty good too. I just don't envy you doing slower type running in the cold. I hope you are rugging up.

6:13 pm  
Blogger Shane said...

I agree 96k a week is big in my books, probably something I should have achieved over the last few months.

You are posting some good times there aswell considering the training that you are doing, maybe your 10k PB will be lowered in 12 days time

6:35 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

You sneaky blighter! You slip into your list of achievements a 12K Stromlo Cros Country in 54:14. How good is that. You have to be happy with that result Ewen. GC 10 is looking good.

6:38 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

I can't remember when I did a 96k week. Must have been March maybe? Good going Ewen. Good luck at Gold Coast.

6:45 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

See you at the coast .... keep an eye out for an overly ambitious person dragging his sorry butt through the last few K's which is even worse for the metrically challenge cause those miles re so big at the end of a marathon. What is the Coast 10k goal?

7:25 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Some jolly great results there. No doubt you'll be running an M50 PB at the GC to add to the list. If not you may incur a two belly punch penalty.

8:25 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Wow - fantastic times especially that 12km at Stromlo where you beat Jim - awesome! Better wear a beanie tomorrow for our run! We'll be running slow, tapering for GC!!

8:54 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Thanks old son, I will use that run/preparation you described in my build up.

I'm sure Gold Coast will be good for you. Have you done the 10K there before and what was your time?

11:20 pm  
Blogger Dusty said...

Ahhh, nice weather!! I'm still on my break, but hearing my running buddies talk about how they are melting out here.

Looks like great training to me and it sure is paying off (don't take advice from Jim now that he is behind you! HAHA!). I like the mileage, you are packign it in, I wouldn't mind bumping mine up when I get back. I often add 4-6 strides at the end of easy runs just to keep those fast twitch fibers in gear.

1:14 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

Your winters are nearly as warm as our summers.

Those evaluation runs certainly look less complicated than Hadds. I may try those myself when I get back to the track. Looks like your heading into a season of PB's - keep it up.

6:37 am  
Blogger Dusty said...

Just love the pic - I would LOVE to go for a run there! Especially with your temps! :)

I posted that poem in my comments. That was kind of fun to fill out! :)

11:09 pm  
Blogger Sky said...

Yeah, I was thinking that 12K was pretty solid, too! And at least for me, I'm glad you had that bad 3000 so I could read "a parabola of slowing laps" - I'll have to remember that one to confuse people out of understanding I had a bad race.

9:29 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Scott, you legend... no, I've done the half-mary many times (83:31 the best), so it'll be a 10k course PB coming up :)

Thanks Dusty, I'll take a look.

Sky and Rob, yes, the 12k was pleasing - thanks. I hope I can run that well in a 10,000 next summer. Sky, I hope you don't need to use that one - those are the sort of races you just want to forget!

3:48 pm  
OpenID IHateToast said...

mild? that's arctic tundra weather!

and i've hadd it with you ancients, too. you're all in scooter chairs.

3:58 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

excellent 12k! some good 5k races too.

9:33 am  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

I hadd an accident once . . . it wasn't pretty, but I'm guessing it's better than hadd for ancients.

54 sounds delightful right now . . . 100s here for the weekend. ick.

1:54 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

nice.gotta love getting pbs :) well done

9:22 pm  
Blogger Mike said...

Ewen, I'm late in getting back to you, but your post gives me another opportunity. I say if you still feel like there's room for improvement, if you keep running faster at the same heart rates, and if you're not feeling any niggles or injuries from the miles, why change to speed-work and lower volume now? I think you'll know when you hit a plateau, so why jump ahead if you're still on the upward slope?

I'm a big believer in accumulating a big endurance base, and I've often wondered what it would be like in a Lydiard framework to just stay in the conditioning phase until a plateau emerged, rather than arbitrarily setting a date to shift things up. With a long time to go until you want to peak, you have that sort of opportunity.

5:15 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Mike - your advice and assurance is very helpful.

I'll continue with the base phase until I feel that a plateau of training performance has been reached. I'm encouraged by Arthur saying (paraphrasing here), that base training is the part that can continue 'safely', whereas gains from the other parts are the icing on the cake.

6:42 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Will be interested to see the results of your next test. Anyways, 96k is huge. Wish I can have Canberra weather over here.

1:53 am  

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