Sunday, November 23, 2008


I've had a fairly quiet week of training — four easy runs of 10 to 12 kilometres, one rest day, one struggle of an upper-aerobic run, and one track session. As is my habit, I ran the track session on the sumptuous grass at Calwell, using my lane — the one with the gentle curves — lane six.

The grass track at CalwellThe grass track at Calwell is my second home

I modelled the session on a few from Sky's blog. It was a mix of distances (200 metres, 500 metres, 1000 metres), and therefore speeds — from 800m race-pace to 10k race-pace. I ran three "sets" of 200, 500, 1000; taking a 2 minute walking recovery between repeats and 4 1/2 minutes' recovery between sets. It was raining lightly and comfortably mild, so pretty good conditions. My times for set one: 44.3, 2:02, 4:27. Set two: 42.7, 2:05, 4:26. Set three: 40.8, 2:05, 4:31. I found this a good session, as it combined some fast and moderate running speeds.

I want to keep doing some 800m race-pace training, as well as begin some all-out sprinting and short hill work. I think this might help reverse my tendency to run low to the ground. I'm too grounded! I'd like some spring and power in my stride, like that shown by Adriana Pirtea on the cover of November's Running Times.

I need to run like a girlI need to get off the ground like Adriana


Blogger Two Fruits said...

Well done Ewen on the image of " our" track, you only own lane 6. Lane 5 is mine. The snow was fabulous, cold, but nice.

3:08 pm  
Blogger Mike said...

Love the track - looks like a fantastic place to train!

Mixing the interval length/pace sounds interesting. Might have to try that at some point.

5:00 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Nice set of mixed intervals - can't help but notice that the 200s got faster and the 1000s slower.

Running on a grass track must feel great - although I would expect the times to be a bit slower.

Adriana looks like she's getting too far off the ground - is vertical movement not wasted energy that could be used for forward propulsion?

8:11 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

oooh grass track-must make you HEAPS faster on a real track!!!!lucky im still in the building stage for our race(cos im sooooooo sh1t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and yes there ARE over 20 exclamation marks..did you expect any less frm miss jo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:00 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Surprised you didn't notice the crop circles in the upper right of the photograph. Must give you all your magic power. I thought lane 2 was the best to run in, never worn out and close to the inside?

9:19 pm  
Anonymous Julie said...

I wish we had grass tracks here in the States. You're fortunate to not live in a totally backward country.

10:56 pm  
Blogger Love2Run said...

Impressive looking track. Now, why wouldn't you like to have a stride like Adriana? I want to see a comparison photo ;-)

9:35 am  
Blogger Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Wow, a grass track! I've never seen one of those before.

That is a great picture in the November issue.

11:41 am  
OpenID canute1 said...

The track looks great and your program of mixed intervals sounds sensible.
However you should aspire to remain more grounded than Adrianna. Her upper body is wonderfully composed, in comparison with Paula Radcliffe’s former wayward head and neck, but I suspect that one reason Paula might run the marathon about 13 minutes faster than Adrianna is that she doesn’t waste so much energy lifting her centre of gravity on each stride. The degree of planar flexion of Adrianna’s trailing ankle suggests she is putting too much push into the lift off.

12:10 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jo, I'll only use one exclamation mark when I beat you in the 1500.

Flake, I leave the inside lanes for the kids and fast 'older' people - besides, I like lane 6.

Canute, that's a good observation, but I like to think that Adriana's height off the ground indicates a powerful 'push off' rather than wasted vertical movement - although she was probably running 'for the camera' rather than at marathon pace. There are a couple of similar looking photos of Paula Radcliffe, here and here.

8:47 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Ah, its all done with mirrors ;)

Actually every time I see Pat run I feel the same way as you, he has such a spring and bounce in his step, sometimes it seems like he isn't even hitting the ground.

9:15 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Maybe some springy shoes would help? The Toasts couldn't stop talking about you last night - pics are on my blog.

1:27 am  
OpenID canute1 said...

Thanks for the pointer to the pictures of Paula R. I presume that the second one shows her on the way to victory over Grete Wami in the NY marathon. So maybe we should both aspire to getting a bit more airborne, though I am still inclined to think that both Paula and Adrianna are wasting energy. However, they certainly look good.

7:19 am  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

That grass track looks absolutely amazing! I would love to have something like that to run on and it must feel really great under foot.

Adriana certainly has a beautiful stride and one we would do well to emulate... if only....

Best of luck with your training.

12:26 am  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Sounds like a good session. Previuosly I thought that mixed pace intervals are only good for fast runners since they need to be comfortable with the change of pace and surges during tactical races (esp. track).

However, after reading Brad Hudson's book, I realize the mixed pace running is also good for everyone because it varies the stride length and frequency during the race.

2:17 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Singapore spells "realise" with a "z"? Though I'm not so sure about "previuosly".
Seriuozly, the ability to vary pace in a race is crushiual.

5:26 pm  

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