Friday, November 13, 2009

Counting down the laps

There are certain things I don't like hearing when racing 10,000 metres on the track. Things like, "Eighteen laps to go!" It's a long time from that point until the sweet sound of the clanging bell when there's one lap to go.

I ran the 10,000 last night mainly as a test of my fitness. I knew from the previous few days' training that my heart-rate wasn't where I'd like it to be for a race of this length. After my fight with the chicken last week my legs felt sprightly during the Speedygeese hill session on Monday, but while running I was wheezing like an old man walking up a steep flight of stairs. Good legs, not so good heart and lungs.

At the start of the race I slipped into 4:30 per kilometre pace — just in case the running gods were benevolent enough to allow me to run under my 50-plus PB of 44:54.57. I settled in behind Burkie and Roger for a couple of laps, then started to drop back — just as Speedygeoff cruised past. For the remainder of the race I was running alone — keeping alert by trying to guess the identity of lapping runners from the sound of their feet. The 5k split came up in 22:44. It was about this time that an unusually slow starting Pete Cullen overtook me and steadily drew ahead. He'd go on to run 44:54.42! I plodded a bit in kilometres 7, 8 and 9 before managing some semblance of a kick-down over the last two laps. Final time was 46:38.11 — not too bad under the circumstances, but it leaves me wanting more. Don't competitive runners always want more?

My plans for the rest of the summer are to "get into good shape" and race 1500, 3000 and 5000 metres on the track. Perhaps some 800s too — an M50 PB for that extended lung-burning sprint has to be doable!

Splits: 4:27, 4:29, 4:32, 4:35, 4:41 (22:44), 4:44, 4:50, 4:53, 4:49, 4:38 (23:54).


Blogger strewth said...

Well done Ewen - you looked good out there and it was fun cheering you on. I would be very happy with your time and so should you be, especially after your recent little incident! :)

6:37 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

I thought you had it with the 22:44 start. Next time. 800's no good for chicken lungs or legs for that matter.

10:00 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

I've never raced on the track but imagine the head games involved in counting down the laps in a 10K.

BTW do you have to keep count of your own laps - it'd just that I'm not good at counting on the run. I can do math but I leave the counting to the Garmin.

12:54 am  
Blogger Thomas said...

Like Grellan, I think I'd have an issue with the correct number of laps. Maybe we're just not very good at counting.

However, my biggest issue is the fact that you guys are heading for summer. One look out of my window tells me that the outside conditions are very, very different for the two of us.

1:06 am  
Blogger Chad said...

Of course we are always competitive - that's the fun part! Nice job with the race and good luck with the rest of your track season.

2:03 am  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

I had to laugh too, at your "rest of the summer" comment. Great job, and for racing on the track, super duper great job! That would drive me batty.

4:43 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

10k on the track is an awful long way to go, round and round like a trapped hamster on a spinning wheel!
I only did one once and it felt like a marathon and some!
hows your stride rate- length doing?

5:48 am  
Blogger Ali said...

Nice times. I am going to try and run 1000m at your pace. Then rest. For a while.

There is a marathon somewhere in the states on a track.

6:04 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Well done on getting out there despite the chicken incident. I can relate to that counting down the laps did that myself last weekend... Reckon you should have gone after a 4.20 or quicker in the first 1k...22.44 is a pretty good 5k split. better than any of mine so far this year. very even splits...with the very slight slip into 4.40's in the second half. Maybe you should have latched onto speedygeoff or Cullen when they came past, but its always easier to say that in hindsight, tough to recognise those moments during the race. Nice to see the last 1k back into the 4.30's, so well done on that. Another solid 10k! Congratulations on your running this year. All the best with going after the shorter speedwork type races, and sharpening up for next year...

Wanting more! on on on...thats the spirit. Could 2010 be the year of a massive swag of M50 PB's? I think so if you can maintain momentum and build on the good training and racing this year.

9:54 am  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

I was wondering what your next goals would be. I am sure you can do well and continue to build on the fitness you have developed already.

12:33 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Strewth - glad the little incident happened last week!
Flake, there's another chance on Feb 11. Good luck in your state 3000 tonight.

Grellan, we have lap counters (like Strewth). My mate Jim counted mine. I also take splits every km (2 1/2 laps). "Kms to go" seem better than "laps to go" - there's not as many!
Thomas, I wouldn't want to swap - especially doing long runs in cold rain. It looks like ours will be a long hot summer too!

Chad, thanks - totally with you on competing being fun. I love racing.
Flo, try track racing if you get a chance - it's fun. Almost as much fun as racing a marathon in snowy Philly.

Rick, I wish my legs moved as fast as a hamster's. The drills and hill sprints are going well - stride is feeling better - just no results as yet.
Ali, don't race a marathon on the track!

Jonathon, with a 3:44 first k your 10,000 would have hurt more than mine! The chicken incident dented my confidence a bit, so wasn't game to go out quicker - next time. Building the momentum and keeping it going into 2010 is part of the plan.
Speedygeoff, not sure exactly. Track races. I'd like an M50 PB! Maybe I should target the 1500 and that might help the 3000 as well? Some 1000m repeats at Stromlo?

1:08 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

I quite fancy the idea of running a 12 hour event on the track, just to see how far I could get!

6:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ewen, that was a great run, especially in light of being in hospital for an operation a week ago. It suggests that some M50 PB’s are within reach.

9:54 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Maybe you are starting to see the results of your stride length work?

1:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wannabe said:

Regarding Grellan's question re lapscorers, many runners with Ewen's experience and computer like mind know how many laps to go by the elapsed time.

There is not many worse feelings than when your official lapscorer tells you have more laps to go than you "really know".

6:48 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Rick, 12 hours on the track?! You're almost as crazy as Two Fruits.
Thanks Canute - I hope so!

Scott, the stride is feeling better. A runner still needs the 'aerobic engine' to support the stride. In other words, running 25k per week plus a ton of drills and hill sprints won't produce a 10k PB. Might give you a half decent 800 though ;)

You're right Wannabe. One of my early track 10ks resulted in a PB for 10,400m. I've never totally trusted my lapscorer since!

8:45 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Crazy YES! But I think the challenge of a 12 hour when I hit 50 is a 'good en'
may even organize my own event.
you up for the challenge in 2011 Ewen

5:33 am  
Blogger rinus said...

Thats a good running time Ewen and your running plan looks good to do...
I now that some runners run the 100km and run than 250 rounds!!!!.

8:23 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

I did a 5k on the track ONCE and thought that was a lot of laps that would never end. Good thing someone was there to keep track!

10:59 am  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Hi Ewen. I haven't been following the blocks, but just caught up on yours at least. Sorry to hear about the chicken incident. It would be easy to crack jokes about, but must have have been very scary at the time. So I will not crack any jokes. Well, maybe just one little one: Did it leave you in a fowl mood?

Well done on the 10,000. The drills sound like a good idea.

6:55 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

do the 8, do the 8, do the 8! OMG 10km on a track, i just about went spare doing 5km. i was heard to remark to stu, if i ever say again i want to do 10k on track, slap me please

8:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wannabecoach said:

To attain a longer stride you may need to strengthen the legs to take the strain off the joints. Step-ups are ideal for this. Use the bus shelter across the road from your house. Anyone waiting for a bus can help you count. You will not notice the pain in your legs as your head will ache more from banging it on the top of the shelter with each step-up. If the pain in your head becomes too great jump on the No. 111 bus. It will take you to Canberra Hospital.

PS. Don't chicken can do it.

11:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wannabecoach said:

PPS. Nurse to Ewen: "Not another chicken in your throat"

Ewen to Nurse: "No, I have an egg on my head"

1:42 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Rick, I'm up for the challenge... if YOU pay my return airfare. Bet I can run the same time as you ;)
Rinus, I can only count up to 25, so there's no way I'll be running 100km on the track!

Mike, 5ks are a "piece of piss" (as one of my mates is fond of saying).
Hard to believe Steve, but I did chuckle at that one. No more yolks please!

Jojo, I hear what you're saying. The 8 is much better - I only have to count up to 2. And I will slap you if I ever hear you've done a 10k on the track!
Another of your good ideas Wannabecoach. Or I could take the #111 bus to Canberra Hospital first and do the step-ups there - my head can be stitched up immediately (by those dedicated nurses).

4:35 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

Yes, we always want more! While doing a cooldown today with a mate after our 1500 we heard the bell ring and I remarked to her what a beautiful sound it was.

Well done on the 10,000, I am not brave enough to try that yet!

7:19 pm  

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