Sunday, February 01, 2009

Dog Day Afternoons

This heat is starting to get to me. Canberra summers are supposed to be mild. If I wanted heat I'd move to Queensland! For the last few weeks, maximum temperatures have hovered in the mid-30s Celsius (95°F). Attempting to do quality training in those temperatures is no fun at all. As for racing any distance longer than 400 metres — forget it!

I must be going mad, as I find myself pining for a location-swap with up-over runners like Julie and Mike, who in a bleak northern winter are battling through snowy blizzards and slipping on icy footpaths.

The 11:39 plan is stumbling along, although my intervals at Stromlo are yet to produce the desired 3k race-pace speed. As the mercury rises, my times are becoming hysterically slower. On January 10 — 3 x 1000 metres in 3:53, 3:54 and 3:58. On January 17 — 3:58, 3:59, 4:05. On January 24 — 4:04, 4:00, 4:03. Yesterday — Speedygeoff decided to do something different — 1000, 2000 and 1000 metres. My times were 4:10, 9:23 and 4:13.

Thanks all for your thoughts about my training plan. Bob from Tokyo suggested taking scheduled rest days (one per week) as a way to ward off injury. Now Bob's a very fast runner (1:23 for the half marathon at 60), who's also training for a sub-3 hour marathon. In the 80s I used to always take the Friday off before the weekly Saturday cross country club race. However when I started running 7 days per week, my times improved. Now as a 51-year-old runner, I try to listen to my body, and do take a day off if I feel I need it. I am inclined though to perhaps schedule Friday for very easy running of 4 to 6 kilometres, instead of the 12 to 14 I've been doing.

I hope everyone has a great week. Stay cool!

46 in the shadeIn Death Valley it's 46 Celsius in the shade. In Canberra it's 10 degrees cooler!


Blogger Scott Brown said...

Now that really is a good definition of hell.

Death Valley with politicians!

May I suggest laying low in the cool of the bushes until heat wave is over.

7:48 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Running at speed in this heat is very very difficult. And in spite of what you told twofruits you will sweat big-time! Hope you enjoyed a nice COLD drink after Sun's run. It was lovely running at the beach!

8:49 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

Poor Ewen! Suffering from the heat. I really feel for you Ewen. As Tigger tells me, it is good for character building.

8:50 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Don't forget your water on those training runs and remember to have a few cold ones in the fridge for afterwards.

Looks like you boys are still in with a big chance, I wouldn't put it past NZ to lose it from here (three down for not many that is).

9:17 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

I'll give you some of our rain if you don't stop whining. See if you like that.

11:26 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Long intervals in the heat is always tough! At least, you still have a Canberra winter to look forward to :p

2:24 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

Once the temperature comes down so will your times. I wouldn't worry about it. Getting consistent 1000's under the 4.00 mark is quite good. Soon enough they'll slip below 3:50 and then all youn have to do is join them together.

5:47 am  
Anonymous Julie said...

As much as I moan about the cold, it's still better than running in extreme heat. Which I'll get to do in a few months.

Try not to let the heat (and slower times) do a mental number on you. You're doing good work and it will show under more favorable conditions.

6:53 am  
Blogger Chad in the AZ Desert said...

That's the amazing part of the internet - you are in the middle of summer while we are in the middle of winter and we can talk about it like we lived next door to each other.

Actually, the unfortunate reality is I talk to bloggers much more than I talk to my neighbors.

7:47 am  
Anonymous Simlin said...

I good 20k long run yesterday on our 6th consecutive day over 40°C and in good time too...bring on a HM PB to smash Rachel.
Hopefully we will break that run with the forecasted 39°C today.

9:27 am  
Blogger Superflake said...

One reason I could never move to the suburbs. I love the Sydney afternoon seabreeze in summer. The 11:39 will come like a Canberra winter. Early!!

4:22 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

as the temp goes down the times will come down. Its been funny hearing that Melbourne was hotter than Perth on the weekend, not every week that happens...
Now you know what we live, train and race with most of summer. I had a lovely time meter reading for 7hrs+ in 27-39 degrees today actually... like most days...think of it as heat aclimitisation, now you just need a race in Death Valley, or Perth,Adelaide,Darwin,Alice Springs, North Queensland to race in..., or think of it as making you train harder, so next time the weather is good, a sub 3.50 might be possible.

8:39 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

"I must be going mad" .... too late!

9:22 pm  
Blogger jen said...

Yuck, I hate the heat and I despise running in the heat. Wish I could send you a touch of our cool air. I'm about to go run a few miles in 32 degrees F.

I can't believe you regularly run every day. I am a 4x a week runner, maybe 5 if I"m training for a marathon.

5:37 am  
Blogger IHateToast said...

politicians and heat... that must be a lot of manboob sweat. no wonder you stay there. that's some fine action you have going for you.

qld summers make me miserable. i feel your pain. okay, i don't. but i sympathise with you.

12:25 pm  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

If you are being totally honest with yourself, you have to admit that heat will slow you down. And not just a little, I think it makes much more of a difference than just about any variable. On the other hand, you have put a lot of pressure on yourself to get that 11:39. I don't pretend to have half the knowledge that you have, but I still think you have to put those "fun" runs in there just to let your body know it is OK to just enjoy running. What is that quote? "All work and no play makes...".

Best of luck and as always thanks for making such nice comments on my blog. I really appreciate your advice and know I can learn a lot from your experience.

3:18 am  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Ewen, that is 114.8F. Which is insane. You should move to Texas with Katy. It's never hot here. Never, ever. That being said, if it were hot here, I'd feel your pain. Heat is a life-sucker for sure.

6:31 pm  
Blogger Love2Run said...

Sorry about the heat. Just imagine, you only need to go to the opposite end of the dial to get my current temperatures at -20C. Pick your spots!

12:50 pm  
Blogger rinus said...

Thats hot and i hope you cat the cold from this side of the world!.

3:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ewen, when are you coming back to Calwell? I did a 40 min run on Tugg Ridge Thursday with Jack (37 degrees & sunny). WE both looked and felt barely alive when we got back. Keep cool.

3:08 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hi Kathy,
I'll be back when the temperature drops below 30C - hopefully this Tuesday! Short intervals for me - a break in the shade and a cool drink between them. See you there.

10:42 pm  

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