Sunday, May 08, 2011

A sucky race, and feeling good

Last Sunday I raced in the Nail Can Hill Run for the 6th time, managing to record a PW of 63:07 on a spectacular autumn day. I was spectacularly slower than '08 when I ran with a camera, stopping to take photographs while still managing 56:53. I'm nowhere near being in the shape needed for a hilly 11.3k race. However, I'm not unhappy. I enjoyed the day out with my running mates and my legs felt good — for 3k!

On Thursday I ran my 10k MAF test course at 736 heart-beats per kilometre, which is only marginally inferior to the 732 I recorded on 3 March. On the face of it, I'm not too far away from the 710 to 720 beats per km I was recording in '07 around the time of my M50 10,000m PB and 20:54 5k at Stromlo. But, I'm not sure... my mileage since the surgery has been about 60k per week (including quite a few rest days), so is the apparent aerobic improvement just due to having (relatively) fresh and springy legs?

My quest for springy legs is in its early stages. The only change to my training thus far (besides the reduced mileage) is to do as many of my runs at close to 5:30 per kilometre pace. This is about 82% of my 10k race-pace (if I could run 45 for 10k, which I'm not sure that I can!) — for a runner capable of 36-flat for 10k it'd be like doing regular runs at 4:23 per km (7:04 per mile). Not all that fast, but a pace that requires some springiness.

Well timed photo from John Kennedy, but both feet aren't in the air!My mate John finished so far ahead he had time to grab his camera and take this photo. Thanks John!


Blogger Girl In Motion said...

What a great photo! You look wonderful.

Very glad to hear you're HR is close to when your PBs were set, that's very hopeful. Here's to springy legs ahead!

2:14 pm  
Blogger Andrew(ajh) said...

Really, that's what this running lark is all about isn't it, enjoying it, that is!

2:20 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

The day was good, you have a new beautiful photo for your album and you can reach the 45' goal.
Moreover a PW is not a tragedy because the next year you do better and you will be happy!
Have a good sunday.

7:40 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Great photo and now I know why you're running so far ahead of me on our long runs!! I had better pick up my game!

7:50 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Flo. All credit to John (the photographer) for making me look wonderful. Obviously I need to try harder so I can "run myself ugly."

Yes Andrew, that's right. For me it's usually fun when a race starts and when it stops. It's the bit in the middle I have to work on ;)

Stefano, thanks. It was a good Sunday with perfect Italian-style weather. The 45' goal seems possible now.

Strewth, that's right! If you don't lift your game you'll be stuck running with Andy, Jen and Speedygeoff ;)

9:03 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Time to accept we're all getting old?

10:48 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

As always i don't agree with Thomas!
i think your still relatively yopung and should still be able to run close to your best over 10K.
i quite like the training methods of Renato Canova, you will note even his elite runners only have two hard days a week [plus one stride session]the rest of the training is at an easy-steady pace.
This method was used by Roberto to good effect.
I think long term overtraining might be your main problem [over many years].
a combination of over working and illness may also have added to your slow down, but just like Ryan Hall found out it is possible to bounce back.

4:26 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Opps typo error 'yopung' sounds good but i meant to say 'young' :0]

4:28 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

Is springy legs the nirvana of running Ewen. I noted with interest your last post, but could give no advice. Surely you can achieve springy legs during the taper for a race or do they need to be springy all the time, so that you're race ready.

"run yourself ugly" now that's a challenge for a good looking guy like you ;)

7:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought about you lot and Nail Can last week Ewen. See you on 2012 if the planets align. Gronk

11:53 am  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

No amount of training will help us get yopung.

12:03 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Rick, I was hoping you'd say something like that. Thomas might be measuring himself up for a Zimmer frame but I'm certainly not! ;-) Yes, I've been reading Roberto's blog re Canova. Also the piece in Running Times about Hall and Daniels, and Hall taking a rest day every week in the build-up to Boston. Although I think I'll go to the pub rather than church on my rest day.

Grellan, I'm a little undecided. I don't want be running with 'dead legs' and feeling tired all the time. The rest days and less strict adherence to a mileage schedule worked for Ryan Hall. It might work for an old ugly bloke too.

Great to hear from you again Gronk. Will definitely be back down there next year for a serious attempt at age-busting now that I'm old enough.

Speedygeoff, if I run with the Metro runners I might get yopung. I like running with sprightly folk - that makes me feel much younger ;-)

3:52 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

good idea to go to the pub on your recovery day, not sure drinking beer with give you springy legs Ewen,more like wobbly ones :0]

4:16 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Just curious Ewen, how did u work out the 82% of 10k pace formula?

I inputed my 10k time, and the pace works out to be much faster than normal easy pace. Don't think I can run at that pace everyday.

7:56 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hi Sling. It's 82% of 13.33 kph (4:30 ks), which is 10.93 kph, or 5:29 ks. For a 30-minute 10k runner (20kph), 82% would be 16.4 kph or 3:39 ks. Bear in mind that my daily runs are around 10 to 12k. I'm not running that pace for long runs (yet). When I was running 38 for 10k I was running quicker than 82% generally - too quick I think in retrospect (for the hard sessions to be done well).

9:15 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Sling, I should add that I'm not doing the interval sessions that you are. I'm just running, so day-to-day recovery is pretty good. It's also bone dry and cool here now - unlike Singapore!

9:31 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

"for a runner capable of 36-flat for 10k it'd be like doing regular runs at 4:23 per km (7:04 per mile). Not all that fast, but a pace that requires some springiness"

I have been doing most of my runs @ 4:15 pace at the the slowest for the past 4 weeks and not been able to handle it. I'm as beat up as a redheaded step-child....

So it's back to Marius B for me! It might work for you though, it really is hard to know until you try it!

Really Ewen do you got/have any T-shirts that aren't Six Foot ones?

11:10 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

I don't know about the comment by "Girl in Motion"

"What a great photo! You look wonderful."

I had to look extra hard at the tape in the background as I thought it read:

"Crime scene: Do Not Enter!"

11:15 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

"run yourself ugly" now that's a challenge for a good looking guy like you ;)

Grellan Ewen's "Run yourself ugly" pace is something he can achieve at 10% of half marathon pace or when strolling to his mail box to pick up the milk!

11:24 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

And for maybe the 3rd time, I don't agree with Thomas either!

11:25 pm  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

Sorry to hear that the race wasn't what you hoped it would be. Seems crazy to think of it being autumn down there -- I know it is, but I have a lot of trouble conceptualizing it for some reason.

11:41 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Scott your pace may be taking a dive but your jokes are definitely getting better, if it's any consolation.

2:59 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks for the comments Scott. You're almost as prolific here as you are on Twitter ;) Marius's marathon plan is a good one. I'm in a transition phase at the moment, so the 82% of 10k race-pace isn't that hard for 30 or 40 of my 60k per week. Yeah, does look like a crime scene - for ugly red-headed runners, and I'm the only one there!

And go easy on Thomas - he's a naive young runner. Eagle's 2:58 lifetime marathon PB at 58 is an example for all us young bucks.

RJR, our autumn is lovely for distance running at the moment - most days are 8 to 10C, sunny and calm. Enjoy your approaching summer.

Grellan, Scott's cheating with the stand-up. He's been practising on an unsuspecting Twitter audience!

7:30 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

I think you should start measuring the number of running plans and theories you try. You would certainly be up in the elite category there.

Alas I am such a simple soul and have had the same plan for the last thirty years. Although I must admit to trying the 4 in 2 out breathing routine for the last couple of months.

10:51 pm  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

Not bad and you run with fun...thats the way to run..
Nice race pic.

8:18 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Robert Song, great to hear from you again. As you know, I like trying different running plans so youngsters like Scott and Flo can learn from my mistakes. By the way Scott, I do have other T-shirts but they don't soak up sweat like the 6' ones ;)

RS, you're doing well off the same plan for the last 30 years. However, there are examples of runners who've stayed ahead of the theoretical A/G decline by changing their plan (or adapting it) as they age. Steve Moneghetti for example... running 100% A/G (at 10k) after more than 30 years' continuous training by halving his mileage from when he was one of the world's leading marathoners.

P.S. Rinus, sorry your comment disappeared. It wasn't me!

6:07 pm  
Blogger Eagle said...

Just enjoy the running. No matter the time it is better than no running or not being able to run. I am a bit like Robert Song - I do the same thing without much vaiiation except in commitment and intesity. Thats enough to keep it intersting and allows for a large variation in results.

Best wished with the current theory and training based on it.

1:16 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Ray. I'm enjoying it at the moment. Would like to be working a little less and running a little more though! Your Lydiard based training has produced great marathon results before, should do again. You're running well.

8:45 pm  
Blogger Eagle said...

Ewan, thanks for looking at my Blogg and your comments. You are right the training has come along very well since Canberra and the timing seems about as best as I could expect. Some good solid base and then some speed to top it off.

This 6 week preparation has been one of the best in the last few years. I feel confident if all go well on the day and I run to my fitness I should have a 2/3 year PB but that is soft at about 3.25.

5:06 pm  

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