Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Barrenjoey Drive 5k

I enjoyed another good race last Tuesday evening at the YCRC 'Summer Series' event down by Lake Burley Griffin. It was a 3-lap course with about half of each lap on a smooth gravel road and the remainder on a narrow winding trail. No hills to speak of. In the comments on my last post Canute talked about racing 'in the moment' and Lize of leaving the watch behind for races. Well, I didn't leave the Garmin behind, but with the discipline of a Trappist Monk, managed not to look at it once, so ended up with an 'in the moment' race experience.

The afternoon was warm and balmy — about 26 Celsius (the BOM said the 'apparent' temperature was 22), so I was happy to jog a one-lap warm-up with Maria and Tori. I lined up one row back on the left side of the road and ran off at what I guessed was the correct level of effort for a 5k race. After a couple of hundred metres I settled in near Charlie and Ken. Susie and Lucy were just ahead with a fair gap to Hannah, Maria, Kym, Jim and Craig. We turned left onto the narrow trail and it was Lucy's blue shirt that I followed. The second lap saw us overtake Hannah while gaining ground on Maria and Jim. Onto the narrow trail for the last time I managed to slip by Jim before putting in a major effort to pass Lucy, doing so just before the trail turned right onto the (thankfully) shortest finish straight in history. My time was 22:22, so 26 seconds quicker than for the Boathouse 5k. Lucy and Susie were one second behind and Maria (who had been out of sight on the winding section) 3 seconds ahead.

Two days later I ran in the ACT Veterans' 1 hour track race. I guess I'm a sucker for punishment! Wasn't quite on my game for this one and ran 12,568 metres, 243 short of what I ran in last year's event. Pace works out at 4:46 per km (7:41 per mile), which for me is quite quick considering I wasn't feeling fully recovered from Tuesday's race.

I really think 'recovery' is the one aspect of training that I'm not managing well while on this weekly racing gig. Not sure exactly how to schedule my weeks in order to elevate recovery to its rightful place in the training pyramid. Perhaps follow each 5k race with three days of aerobic running, a workout day, then two days of aerobic running prior to the next race?

Where my Garmin ran while I didn't look at it!
We ran 3 laps of this course for the Barrenjoey 5k. After the fact, my Garmin said my km splits were: 4:18, 4:28, 4:32, 4:40 and 4:24.


Blogger Janene said...

Great run in the YCRC 5K Ewen. You are starting to run really well. Your lap scorer said you were ahead of your intended goal for the hour run for all of you laps. You looked relaxed and like you were doing it easy. When will we see you hammering some middle distance events? :o)

4:32 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

No one told me that a Garmin was to be looked at during a run! But anyone who was anyone should wear one!

5:32 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Janene. Yes, told Jim I was aiming for under 2 minutes per lap (12k) but couldn't resist trying to stay with Roger & Graeme early. I wasn't doing it easy! If I race Thursday it'll be the 1500, so might try and stick with you in that one ;)

Geoff, sub-3 marathoner Thomas told me he looks at his at least every half mile. I used to look at it when it beeped (every k). Think I'll turn that feature off and enjoy my racing!

8:38 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

You are racing well Ewen. Good job! However, as you race more and more on a weekly, I agree that rest and recovery will need to come up your training priority list. To help decide when and how much rest you need may depend on how you view your weekly races - ie, are you training to race (and hence each weekly race is a focus) or are you racing to train (ie, each weekly race is essentially a speed or tempo session)? Figure that out and the place and priority for rest may become more obvious.

9:01 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Glad to see you had a good race Ewen.
I'm starting to think the garmin is a limiting factor in a race, your right just run by feel, maybe in longer races mile splits are useful but looking at the data field on the gps constantly will do your head in for sure!

12:55 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

Great consistency Ewen. For a 22:22 5k Daniels would give you a LT Pace of 7:38 - the pace you could maintain in a race lasting about 1 hour and then you churn out 7:41 pace for an hours work - how close is that!!! You'd have nailed 7:38 or faster if you were fully recovered from the 5k.

The splits speak for themselves showing that you raced tactically for position rather than trying to maintain a certain pace. Had you checked the Garmin I doubt if you would have churned out that final km in 4:24 - great finish! Maybe in future you should lead the Garmin rather than let the Garmin lead you. Just like walking the dog - show them who's Boss.

12:56 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

The more you race the less you need to train hard.
If you race 2 days a week [sometimes] then the days between need only be easy aerobic runs.

1:00 am  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Indeed you ran 2 very good races: the first under the 4:30 and the second equally fast despite the previous effort. You are racing very well.
I could not run 2 races in a row, my leg (or my age???) doesn't permit, I have to recover.

3:51 am  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Excellent job, Ewen! 26sec better is huge. Also, your reports always make me chuckle because it seems like you know everyone within sight so your friends are always your carrots. Makes the races seem especially sweet and friendly.

3:02 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jog, I guess at the moment the races are 'flat out' training sessions. I want to do well and don't want to race too tired, but I see the key races were I want to do really well as the ones in Jan/Feb of next year.

Rick, I think a watch/Garmin is handy for setting up the early pace in a long race (marathon etc), but it's more fun racing and not looking at the bloody thing! Thanks for the tip re easy aerobic runs if I race twice a week.

Grellan, interesting re the Daniels tables. That is close. I'm intimidated a bit by races longer than 5k with the lack of long runs in my training. Yes, the fast last k was due to racing Lucy, not the Garmin!

Thanks Stefano. I don't think I can race two races in a row! I've been stuffed since last Thursday!

Flo, that's the great thing about small races (75 finishers in that one) and a race series where the same people turn up week after week.

8:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done. You are building up well. You are right to focus on recovering well at this stage. Maybe early in the new year it will be time to cut back the intensity of racing and introduce some sharp (but not exhausting) interval sessions to bring you to a peak in Feb.

I enjoyed the Google Earth picture of the Barrenjoey course. It is many decades since I was last in Canberra and it appears drier than I remember – though I suppose the Google Earth pictures were taken at the end of the drought.

11:32 am  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Aaaah ..... so they are warm up races in prep for more serious weekly racing in Jan/Feb? In that case, they are in between hard training sessions and races. Hmmm .... some fine lines in there. On balance, I think rest/recovery is alreay a priority and having 2-3 easy days pre racing will be key to getting the most out of your weekly warm up races and then your serious New Year racing.

6:54 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Canute, I think I'll do that. With the races thus far I can feel I'm missing the relaxation at speed that some interval sessions should provide. Yes, all the Google Earth pics of Canberra are from the drought years. Now it's totally different - very lush and green - even as we approach December the grass hasn't dried off. The grass track at Calwell is in the best condition I can remember.

Jog, I'm racing them as "races" (i.e. 100% effort), so they're harder than hard intervals for example... but I don't want to sacrifice my weekly volume (meagre as it is) of 60 - 70k a week for "full" recovery at this stage. But I'm a little unsure about what minimum volume I need to run in order to maintain aerobic condition through the 'serious' racing season after Christmas.

9:20 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

Ewen, what are the distances of the goal races you have in mind? Surely that would determine what amount of distance you need to be covering to maintain a suitable aerobic base. Clearly a marathon runner needs to do a hell of a lot more mileage than a 5K runner to get the right aerobic base. You are a seasoned runner, so you should have a good feel for what you need. Don't under rate the value of your races and interval sessions. Just because you haven't covered a certain 'distance' it doesn't mean you aren't getting plenty of aerobic value from them! Further as a masters runner, your previous years of training continue to serve you well. You don't need the same mileage now that you did way back when.
At track on Thurs I'm going to do the 3000m first up, if I still feel okay, I'll chuck in the 1500m as another 'race interval'. Hope to see you out there!

5:51 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Janene, my goal race distance is 5k (although I'll race below and above that distance for training). Yes, good point about a marathoner needing to do much more. For a 5k runner, maybe 2/3 the volume is sufficient? I agree there's aerobic value with interval sessions - perhaps more than the distance run as the HR stays elevated during rests. I'm just nervous about dropping mileage below X-amount and running too much in the way of anaerobic intervals as when I did that in the past (ancient past), my 800 and 1500 times improved but my 3/5k times slowed.

8:55 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

Congratulations on a great race! You are on a roll. In high school, I remember my coach used to tell me one day of rest/easy for every mile raced. However, we used to race 5k Saturday and go hard again on Monday or Tuesday. Now none of that applies anyway, because I have to go more by when my legs randomly unlock and don't feel the need to shuffle.

1:35 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Lize! I feel like it's a wobbly sort of roll at times. Geoff also recommends that 'mile for each mile of the race' recovery rule... so I should have 3 days off after a hard 5k, maybe more as I'm age-challenged now. Hope there's more random unlocking of your legs in the future.

11:09 am  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

Wow, from the map, that looks like a great route. Nice and close to the water and such.

Good luck mapping out the recovery days. I imagine that is tricky with racing every week...

12:24 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Robert, yes, it was a fun course - although the race at Black Mountain Peninsula (on the other side of the lake is better for water views).

The YCRC races (Spring and Summer Series) are all 5k and I find recovery from a 5k race is pretty quick - two or three days of easy running after the race (distance of these runs can be long) seems to work for me.

5:19 am  

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