Sunday, April 11, 2010

Running and Watching

I've decided not to run the Christchurch Marathon. Rinus said I could run a marathon "for fun", and that's true enough, but I'd like to attempt a respectable time for my next marathon. If I do run one, it'll be later in the year. Until then I'll keep trying to improve my times from 3k to the half marathon.

I thought I'd show you one of the places where I run. It's the track at Calwell. If I had a dollar for every kilometre I've run down there I'd be rich enough to shout the bar many times over at Scott's Bar & Grill. Late on Thursday afternoon I ran 3000 metres at tempo pace and felt the best I have since Six Foot.

On Saturday morning I ran 16.7k down by the lake with my mates — felt fine for that one too — then this morning marshalled near a bridge and had the pleasure of watching 1000 or so women and girls participating in a 5k fun run. It was a good weekend!


Blogger strewth said...

Having that track all to yourself must be awesome - it looks a good surface too! Thanks for helping out the WAG fun run today. You guys did a great job and I'm sure it had its benefits! :)

4:50 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

It's a great place to train on the grass, out in lane 5 for me, the surface is good now, they keep it a bit longer in winter for soccer. Excellent in summer for bare foot. Well done with the video Ewen.

9:19 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Thanks for searing your video :]
Glad to here your feeling better.
Your grass track and surounding countryside looks surprizingly like the track we train on in the summer near the Royal Birkdale Golf course!
Have you tried Steve Magness's running method yet, I increased my stride length staight away and running felt much easyier 'AWESOME'

10:29 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

10:31 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

I like the Quentin Tarantino run.
And I agree with your decision not to run the marathon. Marathons should be serious efforts!

11:00 pm  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

You have right about the marathon and better later this year!.
Nice video and good to see where you are running.
And running on the grass is special!.

11:17 pm  
Blogger Andrew said...

Great video!

11:20 pm  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Cool track! I've never seen an all-grass one. Good decision on the marathon, why mess with it if you're after a good time and not really prepped for it. Will be looking for your decision for the Fall though, as the next few months unwind.

12:05 am  
Blogger jen said...

Great video, I've never seen a grass track before. Cool!

Good call on the marathon. Running it "for fun" is a terrible idea, in my opinion. Marathons are never fun. :)

1:37 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

I don't know Ewen. I reckon if you had a dollar for every kilometre you've run at Calwell you'd simply have fuller pockets!

8:58 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

A heart rate of 148 for that time and distance seems good to me, you're not in bad shape Ewen.

Still, having the track to yourself may be more due to your bad jokes than to the lack of local runners. Perhaps people know you run your tempos on Thursday nights and avoid the area completely ;)

9:08 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Ewen at the end of the day you might have full pockets but I'm sure you would always get a full track of suporters because you have such a big heart :]

10:59 am  
Blogger Superflake said...

Well I guess we will meet again at SMH Half if you come up for it. Christchurch is on for me.

11:15 am  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

When someone says run a marathon for "fun" I say think about 37km-42km. That bit is never "fun". You've made the right decision re: Christchurch Ewen. You have to want to smash it for all 42km. You have some other great running goals and that's all that it is about - ie, your own running goals - they don't have to be marathon goals. And that's coming from a serial marathon runner!

9:49 pm  
Anonymous Joe Garland said...

I agree about not doing Christchurch, for the reasons you give.

As to your where-I-run tape, that is so cool. I particularly enjoyed the we-don't-need-no-stinking-Mondo sentiment. I'll get a post on this, but I am jealous. If I had to choose, I'd go with Mondo, but I would love to have one of these babies as well.

I run with a Brit who's mentioned how, at least when he was a lad (he's a Brit so that's what he would have been and that's how he talks), virtually every track around was grass, at least in the northern part of England.

In the US, back in the 70s, you either had all-weather or cinder (at least where I was). No such things as grass tracks. But it's a perfect surface to give all of those little foot and calf muscles a workout.

1:48 am  
Anonymous Joe Garland said...

Some comments on the Magness video and article.

It's hard to extrapolate from a high school track runner doing strides at who knows what pace. But I thought the main point made was not to think about the recovery portion of the stride, i.e., just let it happen. If your mechanics are good, it'll take care of itself.

So he pointed to the forward lean of the runner and pointed out how the overall stride improved when he got more upright. Strangely, though, it appeared for all of Magness's talk of not heel-striking, the kid seemed to strike with his right heel, but not his left.

My frequently-articulated view is that far too much is made of foot strike.

Anyway, his reference made me think of an earthquake reference from Bill Bowerman from a Sports Illustrated article "The Secrets of Speed." I recall reading when it came out in 1971, with Pre as one of the models. (The pictures are not here, but they were of Pre in shorts from the side with a black background.) He too notes the importance of an upright posture and of the foot not striking ahead of the center-of-gravity, although Bowerman is m ore accommodating of heel-strikers.

The best way to work on form are fast 200s and 400s in which you think about keeping a good posture and keeping relaxed. Fast running concentrates the mind and leads to good form that translates into efficient running even when fatigue sets in. Add drills to supplement running, bounds and such.

5:50 am  
Anonymous Julie said...

Good call on the marathon. I still can't get excited about the idea of running a marathon "for fun" either. I would be too tempted to race the thing.

With that grass track you should be running like a Kenyan in no time!

6:22 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks all for your comments.

Flo, ah, that would be in "the Spring". We're already in "the Fall" ;)

Scott, if I'd stop betting on you to beat Rick's half PB my pockets would be full enough to go on one of your running tours of Japan!

Flake, I won't be at SMH. City to Surf and Blackmores are in the diary for sure.

Joe, I wouldn't mind a slightly smelly Mondo track as well as our lovely soothing grass one - for those times when there's a need for speed!

Joe, thanks for your input on the Magness article (and also the link to the SI one). I haven't tried Magness's method (yet Rick). Having the right cues is half the battle when teaching movement. One doesn't want to be thinking about too many things at once! I agree about letting the recovery phase take care of itself. I also agree with fast/relaxed sprinting with good posture as a method for improving form at the slower race paces.

On the foot-strike argument, I have a theory that runners with naturally fast turnover can heel-strike and run well. My theory is that forefoot or mid-foot striking can help those with naturally slow turnover improve that aspect of their running, partly because time- on-stance is shorter.

9:07 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...


10:20 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

enjoyed seeing the track and the surrounding countryside. looks like a wonderful spot to run !
Probably your times would be a fair bit quicker on Mondo, but might be better for the body to avoid running on Mondo or similiar all the time...148 HR is good for sub 5min a K tempoish 3k...
Thanks for the vid! All the best with making the most of that wonderful spot and finding some good target races to attack!

10:14 pm  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen.

Sorry to hear your not doing Christchurch. But on the other hand, I wish I had your restraint. I probably should not do my scheduled marathon in a short 9 days, but can't find a way to get myself to cancel. Thanks for the kind thoughts on my blog btw.

What a beautiful track! We honestly don't have anything like that where I run and what I would give to have that soft grass.

Take care Ewen and as always best of luck with your running.

11:59 pm  
Anonymous Joe Garland said...

Apropos of nothing, you might enjoy John Oliver's cameo on this Daily Show piece. What's a kilo?

12:19 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Scott, I know you can take it. Just trying to fire you up to run 1:15 for your next half.

Thanks Jonathon. Yes, it's about 2 secs a lap slower than the track at the AIS, maybe slower if the grass is long or soft. Still, it begs to be run on :)

Bill, I'm much more sensible than you are ;) Good luck at Kentucky!

Enjoyed that video Joe. 150 kgs is A LOT. It's two of me! And now I'm going to view with suspicion anything I see on that kamikaze Fox channel.

6:55 pm  
Blogger joe positive said...

late to the party, sorry...but that track looks lovely. You're lucky to have that to run on, and good friends to run with.

9:53 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

Another nice vid (of the track) and there's never anything wrong with a morning spent marshalling at a women's race! Good stuff.

8:57 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

No worries joe positive. It's been a great party - especially now that Scott Brown is buying the beers. Hope you get yours started again soon.

Thanks Paul. We were at good spots too - 1k and 4k. So we got to admire their speedy running both fresh and sweaty ;)

9:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree it is a good decision to postpone the marathon. Targeting the Gold Coast half-marathon looks like a good plan.

3:49 am  
Blogger Rob said...

Yeah see you at the GC Ewen.

3:43 pm  
Blogger plu said...

Have had this bookmarked to watch for a while - glad I got back to it . Might film my X country course.


9:25 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home