Saturday, April 04, 2009

Hosaka is my new Hippie Steve

I decided not to race on Thursday night. I was tempted by the final 3000 metre event of the season, but lethargy got the better of me and I stayed down south and ran on the sumptuous grass at Calwell. There will be plenty of opportunities to race on the track during winter in the "High Noon" meetings. I've commenced base training, running 118 kilometres last week and what looks like being 115 this week if I manage to do the 16k run planned for Sunday.

My favourite running heroes are what I like to call "blue-collar runners". They work in ordinary jobs, fit in their running when they can, and often do amazing things with modest talent. In the 1980s I admired Hippie Steve, who ran with our group in Sydney's Lane Cove River Park [number 8 in the photo on this page]. Steve was a great enthusiast and I was forever impressed by the way he could run 35 to 36 minutes for 10k at Lane Cove without even thinking about it, and also be happy enough to jog the bush track on Fridays with snails like myself.

Now I have a new hero, although I'll never get to run with him, and his talent may be slightly superior to Hippie Steve's. Thanks to Bob, I've become fascinated by Yoshihisa Hosaka — the 60-year-old Japanese runner who in February ran 2:36:30 for the marathon. Yes, Hosaka is even quicker than my other hero — that connoisseur of black fish and huge exotic marathon PBs — Scott Brown. Apparently Hosaka tries to average 30 kilometres per day when training for marathons — 10k in the morning before work and 20k in the evening.

I've tried to emulate Hosaka by running 6k in the morning and 12k in the evening on eight days in the past fortnight. Now before all you brilliant mathematicians jump in and say that only adds up to 18k, I'll quickly add that I'm a much slower runner than Hosaka, and my kilometres take longer to run. A hard 6k for me takes around 33 minutes to complete, whereas a hard 10k for Hosaka would have him on the road for perhaps only 35 minutes. My 6k course follows a 2k loop through and around the suburb where I live. About half the course is on a lovely dirt track and it climbs about 50 metres in the first kilometre of each lap.

One interesting thing I've noticed on these "double" runs is that my resting heart-rate prior to the afternoon run isn't as low as it would be if I'd had a normal break of 23 hours between outings. It's been about 4 beats higher and consequently has remained high during the second run, even when my legs are telling me I'm running easily. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Is it a good training effect, or am I overdoing things?

Anyway, good luck to all who are racing this weekend. Run like Hosaka!

View from space of my 2k loop near home

It's not exactly flat!


Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

interesting stuff about the amazing Japanese guy! maybe there is still time for us old guys to improve!

5:27 pm  
Blogger Love2Run said...

There is more than hope involved when you start doing twice daily runs. We're addicted aren't we? Too bad work keeps getting in the way.

9:58 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Love the photo - such sexy shorts!Sounds like running twice a day is working well but we missed you on Thursday.

10:10 pm  
Anonymous Julie said...

This anecdotal, but I usually find that second run of the day (which is typically around 8-10 hours after the first) more tiring than the AM run.

My training plan puts the longer run at day's end, but I've found I feel better reversing them, as I'm fresher in the morning. Of course, the danger there is running a recovery run too hard, but I've been good about reining myself in.

11:04 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Does that photo say KOM 1988? Schoalhaven?

11:34 pm  
Blogger Mike said...

Thanks for the link Ewen - great story!

On the days I've doubled, I've always found the morning run to be sluggish and much more difficult - but then again I am NOT a morning person. The late afternoon run is always much quicker w/ less effort. I guess it depends on the individual.

12:44 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

I read about Hosaka recently - amazing performance - I'm already looking forward to setting some M60 PB's (and a few more in between hopefully).

Running twice daily is the way to go if you have the time. That's no easy 2k loop - then again hilly runs are great for general aerobic conditioning.

1:46 am  
Blogger Thomas said...

Your mathematical theory about shorter distances for slower runners has one major flaw: when a faster runner runs a marathon, he has to run 42k. The slower runner still has to run the full 42k.

4:59 am  
Blogger jen said...

I've never really gotten into running doubles, but considering you are such a running fiend ;) I think it seems like a great idea. Great job with the mileage lately! Keep up the good work.

10:33 am  
Blogger jojo said...

hey ewen
yep beers on you after my win
next years comp-just the 15 sounds good, and yes you can use any of you times from april onwards :)

1:45 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Well with Easter coming thats 4 days of no work, so 4 days I can try and get into a double session pattern, and then try and keep it going after that, although I'd have to coordinate it with my doubles sessions of work (i.e. the day job and the night job)...yeah Hosaki etc sounds great! as does the River Runners...all the best with your current master plan...

5:50 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Yes Flake - the King of the Mountain 20 miles. Pretty much the same course they use now. I ran 2:30:44 in my 'sexy shorts' - well behind Hippie Steve's 2:16.

Mike, I'm an afternoon person too. If I'm up for an hour or so before the AM run I'm not too stiff.

Thomas, that's another reason why I don't run marathons - if I can't run sub 3:30, they take too long!

Jo, sounds good - we're very close in the 15. Watch out! ;)

7:28 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

This winter I will run three times a day just to stay ahead of you.

As far as marathons are concerned, you are invited to run with me (and Pam) in Canberra in two weeks time if you like. Late entries are being taken on the day. We will be running 3:29.59 because we don't want to take too long either. You will have to go faster than us though, if you want to keep up with CJ.

8:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the story of Hosaka; it confirms that consistent training produces great results – it restores my hope to hear that a 60 year old frame can build up the capacity to cope with 30Km per day. Your base-building has got off to a good start. Do you measure resting heart rate before the morning run? It would be interesting to know if that has also gone up a bit.

4:41 am  
Blogger Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Those double runs will definitely impact your recovery and your heart rate will stay elevated throughout the day. It's probably not something you want to do for a long period of time, but it can certainly jumpstart your training a bit.

4:52 am  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

I find only running once a day to be best. Or maybe not at all a day? Hmm? Just kidding. You keep writing stuff when I'm not looking, haven't we discussed this before?

10:36 am  
Blogger martine said...

e on i gonna put a 2times dayrun in my programm. Otherwise i cant make the km`s with work and all.
It is gonna be the preparation for the 98 km ultratrail chamonix.
thanks for the link. see if i can wirte a nice stiry about him.

7:54 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

That's interesting about higher HR for your second session. Normally as glycogen stores are depleted (by high mileage, doubles), HR will decrease. To early to say that you are over-doing it. Perhaps it takes a while for the body to adjust to doubles.

4:25 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Hey Ewen

Came across this article that talks about running twice a day. It's very good, take a look if you have time between your runs.

6:15 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

We have the same sort of sandhills he use to train his boys on here in Southport uk, so I think of him as I try and sprint up the steepest of them!

6:16 pm  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

Honestly Ewen, where do you find these guys? I have to admit that it is very humbling to look at my times and see what these older (truly talented and devoted) guys are accomplishing. Along these same lines, I was approached by a blogger (Mark from Boston) who wanted to add me to his list of "fast" masters running Boston. I thought "wow, that was nice of him to include me." and of course said yes. When I went to his blog, I was astonished to see that all the other guys except one 3 hour plus guy, were low 2:40 to mid 2:50 marathoners. Wow!

So, I guess I have something to shoot for.

Best of luck with those doubles. If it wasn't for this darn work thing, I would do so much more running.

11:06 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

twice a day! oh my, i wish i could. i'm excited about coming your way this weekend .... there's so much to look forward to .... HEY! you have bet against me twice .... once with Eddie and another time Scott plus 15 ... you better be ready to pay up

8:49 pm  

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