Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ten thousands aren't easy

One day I'll add up how many 10,000 metre track races I've run. In this town we have two opportunities per year to race this distance and I like the challenge, so I guess it's somewhere between 15 and 50. A lot of laps of a 400 metre track!

On Thursday evening I ran in the ACT Championship race. Finished 26th in 49:26.0. Not great, but not woeful. Last year I ran the same event in 45:57.54 (at a similar average heart-rate — 153 to 152 this year), so I still have work to do on the aerobic endurance side of things. I'm not one to whine, but I guess the mitigating factors this year were the remains of a head-cold and some longer than usual hours at work.

The race itself was interesting enough. I got out ahead of coffee groupie, Ironman and 3:26 marathoner CJ (she was having a bad night!) and amused myself by guessing how long it'd be before she went past. The inevitable happened around the 4000 metre mark, after which I tried to keep the elastic from stretching to breaking point. CJ increased her lead to 100 metres or so before suffering a dead patch between 7 and 9 k. I slowly clawed back the metres until she was half a straight ahead. With 1000 to go she must have wanted the suffering to be over and done with, so took off, finishing in 49:01.

Splits: 4:45, 4:46, 4:53, 4:57, 5:01 (24:22), 5:01, 4:59, 5:01, 5:04, 5:00 (25:04).


Blogger Andrew(ajh) said...

Well done mate, I think you would have gotten home before me at the moment. Nice even splits too.

8:45 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Good run - I dream of finishing in under 50mins. CJ only just scraped in ahead of you!

9:15 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

"I'm not one to whine, but I guess the mitigating factors were"

You've often given me a break when it comes to "mitigating factor" so I'll do the same for you this time ;)

Well done! This running business isn't easy!

1:00 am  
Blogger Thomas said...

After reading this I once more feel vindicated in staying on the road. If God had wanted us to run in small circles he would have turned us into hamsters.

1:22 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

They sure are a mentally and physically taxing race, with the 25 laps requiring a strong iron mental focus throughout. So well done on executing that yet again for the umpteenth time.
Sub 50 is always good. Based on recent weeks, thats a good effort, and a well judged even race pace wise. Looks like you were holding 47.30 pace for the first 5k, then settled into 5min per K default mode. The way I'm going at the moment I'd struggle to beat that. I do think a kick for home might be worth working on though. Not sure about this running at 153 bpm plan. For sure that is way too low for a 36 year old like me in a race, but then again for you maybe that works. All the best with getting back to that 44-45 min zone or better again. It can be done. Look at John Gilmour. I'd be recommending some long intervals (not for speed drills but for fitness work to bring your time down to 4.30 per K or better) All the best with keeping the curve heading in the right direction again in the coming months...

1:23 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Its good to have someone like CJ to battle against...

1:26 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mere act of staying focused through that many laps is what impresses me. How on earth do you do it? Nice job with the race - closer to 49 than to 50!

3:08 am  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Under 50' is a fast 10k. Good job.
I think you know I had the pleasure to meet CJ, Strewth (in alphabetical order) and their husbands here, in Italy.

6:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10,000 m on the track is my favourite race, though I have run far fewer than you. The pace at a little above LT is more exhilarating than HM or marathon pace, and in many instances there is the opportunity for the type of tactical racing that makes the longer races interesting. However the 10,000m does not usually require the sustained lung-bursting effort of the shorter distance races. If there is a duel in the final lap, the excitement usually obliterates any pain. However to enjoy a pace at or above LT it is necessary to be in good aerobic condition , so I think your mitigating circumstances provide an adequate explanation for why your pace was a bit slower than last year. In the circumstances, it was a great effort. Good luck with your continuing program to recover (and exceed) your level of fitness in the early months of last year.

10:35 am  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Great job, Ewen, can't imagine that type of race, sounds hellish, I think my head would explode. Hope you get to back off of work soon, you need to have some good rest and get rid of that cold now! Hugs and congrats.

3:58 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

It sounds like you had a good battle, which is half the fun :]
Only ever ran one 10K on the track, I did a 35 min something yet still got lapped twice by the winner.
found the whole 25 lap thing felt more like a marathon, guess thats why I never ran a second one!

7:28 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Andrew, thanks. I think we'd have had a good race.

Strewth, you're not far off 50 minutes! We need to be nice to CJ or she'll never run a 10,000 again ;)

Thanks Scott. I'll allow you 10 minutes of mitigating factors when you run 2:39 after a 75 minute first half.

Good one Thomas. If God had wanted us to run marathons he'd have made them 20 miles long ;)

Jonathon, yes, 5 min ks did feel like default mode. I'll be doing some long intervals at some stage down the track (once this patience phase is complete). It wasn't a plan to run at 153 HR. That's about my racing HR for a 10k (93% of max). Maybe 156 on a good day. If your max HR was 185 it'd be like averaging 172.

SK, not sure. I think it helps to count off distance by kilometres (remembering 1k is every 2 1/2 laps). 4k to go doesn't seem as bad as 10 laps to go.

Canute, those are good points in favour of a 10,000. I too like the fact that the intensity is higher than for a HM, and there are chances to bring tactics into play. I wish we had a mid-winter 10,000 so heat and/or humidity would be less of a factor.

Flo, thanks. Try one if you get a chance. I guarantee your head won't explode ;)

Rick, getting lapped multiple times makes one realise how fast the leaders are going! Have another go if you get a chance - you might run a PB.

8:22 pm  
Blogger Bill Carter said...

Hi Ewen

I know all about those darn "mitigating" factors. My whole 2010 was full of them. Anyway, it seems like it was a solid 10k and a solid time. A sign of better things to come?

BTW, I have only "raced one 1/2 marathon in my life and it was late last year. Many mitigating factors and only 3 weeks before a scheduled marathon lead to an
86:19 and 6:36 per mile pace?

Thanks as always for stopping by my blog and I would love any advice or wisdom you could provide.

10:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice. How many heats did you have? Mentally, the track 10,000 is up there in terms of difficulty.

The largest track 10k I did had maybe...12 people and keeping track of laps made me dizzy. ;p And I don't want to do the math on a lifetime of those races! ha.

-AR (open ID doesn't like me today!)

10:08 am  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Heats? That's why we've all slown down, we don't want to have to run again in the final.

1:09 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Bill, you had a tough 2010 then. Good luck with improving the 86:19 in the upcoming half. Pretty sure you can go around the 84 mark. Not sure I have much wisdom concerning marathons - like women, they remain a mystery to me.

AR, Speedygeoff is joking of course. There was only one race, covering the winner Nick (from the slow motion video) in 32+ minutes to a 75-year-old lady in 67 or so. The faster runners would have been in lane 2 all the way. In the old days they ran two races, split at 35 minutes or so.

4:24 pm  
Anonymous Robert James Reese said...

Sounds like a fun race. The cold & long hours at work combo can definitely take its toll on you, though.

10:39 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Robert, yes, definitely. It was a worse cold than I thought at the time. Still struggling a bit with long work hours and short sleep hours. Need to get that see-saw back in balance.

4:16 pm  

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