Saturday, March 31, 2012

A good 5000

It wasn't an M50 PB, or even under 22 minutes, but I'm pretty happy with how I ran in the ACT Veterans' 5000m Championship race this past Thursday evening. I finished 22nd (out of 26) in 22:14. No 1/100ths of seconds to be seen in the results so the photo-finish timing equipment must have chucked a wobbly.

I only had time for a 1k warm-up jog but ran quite a few 80 metre strides (with the legs feeling good) so started in a positive frame of mind. Unusually for this track season, the weather was favourable — calm and about 16 Celsius. I positioned myself towards the outside of the curved line and after the gun, fell in behind Amanda. There was a good pack just ahead being led by Roger and Dale, with Rob, Helen and Kathy in close company. The clock at the finish line read 49 seconds as I ran past. That's a tad quick!

On the next lap Amanda slowed slightly so I had the choice of staying back or moving ahead (which I did) to trail Kathy. My legs felt good, but I could tell the pace was a bit on the ambitious side. Passed 1000 metres in 4:08. Too fast! That was the fastest kilometre I'd run since a 1500m race back in November (must have split about 4:09 then). I hadn't run the 1k intervals that Canute suggested (due to a niggly hamstring). The elastic between myself and Kathy snapped before 2k (8:33) so I ran the rest of the race in no-man's-land, hoping to limit the damage from the quick start and stay ahead of Amanda. My 3k split was 13:06. I drifted more after that, running 4:38 for the 4th kilometre before speeding up slightly in the last lap trying to get as close to 22 minutes as I could.

I'm excited about this race because I know there are areas where I can improve. 45 seconds isn't that far away from my M50 PB — interval training must surely be worth 30 seconds off a 5k time? Even so, for the time being I plan to continue with good paced and 'springy' aerobic running (along with regular short races during the cross country season). This morning I enjoyed such a run — 15k around the West Basin of Lake Burley Griffin. It was a perfect day. Rowing sculls were gliding over the calm water; cyclists were zipping along; walkers and runners were enjoying the missing precipitation. 15k in just under 81 minutes — a good run.

An old and sweaty photoRunning in the 2010 ACT 10k Championships - I can't believe I'm still wearing these old grey Frees! [D Appleby photo]


Blogger strewth said...

Good to see you wrote this before Earth Hour commenced! Congratulations on a fantastic 5000m. You will definitely break your M50 PB next track season if not before as feeling good during the race is half the battle! Yes, it was a perfect Autumn day in Canberra today - ideal running weather.

9:50 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

You have run a very good 5 km not far from the sub 22. I think that you could do it saturday if you had planned the race: I mean that there is a big difference between 4:08 and 4:38. Of course it easier to say then to do.
However 22:14 is a wonderful finishing time, congrats. And another good finishing time is that 81 minutes in 15 km.

1:20 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Great to hear Ewen.
Being excited about your racing shows you are running well!
Nice one mate :0]

10:07 am  
Blogger Jaymee said...

Fantastic race, Ewen! It does sound like quite the perfect day!

10:48 am  
Blogger Janene said...

Great run Ewen. A shame you didn't have a dragon to chase to get you under 22 ;-). Ah well, there's always next time :o). Also perfect conditions for lap counting.

12:04 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Very encouraging result Ewen. Just think of what you could have done if you had started out a bit more conservatively. Then again it's better to get someone else to pull you along. Some of those 1k repeats Canute recommended should surely help.

3:02 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Very encouraging result Ewen. Just think of what you could have done if you had started out a bit more conservatively. Then again it's better to get someone else to pull you along. Some of those 1k repeats Canute recommended should surely help.

3:02 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Strewth, no, I wrote it during Earth Hour. I typed it on my Smith-Corona by the light of a candle.

Stefano, yes, I think an overly fast start is more detrimental to a final time if one hasn't been doing speedwork. The 15k was fun, but I wasn't talking much!

Thanks Rick!

Thanks Jaymee - it was close to the perfect day. Very much appreciated after our cooler than usual and wet summer.

Yes, it's all your fault Janene. A dragon in the field would have subdued my central governor ;-)

Grellan I think they would have helped - especially if I'd got in 4 or 5 sessions. Something I'll do for next season.

8:35 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

I gave everyone a chance to break 20 minutes before I do by not turning up on Thursday. Man, you have to take every chance you can get. At this rate I will have to recruit Abi and Lucia to run a track 5k but I don't think I can wait that long. Yes, I predict I will be next. I have thrown down the gauntlet, or would have if I only knew what a gauntlet was.

9:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations. That was great. As you say, you can almost certainly improve substantially on that time, so improving your M50 PB is definitely a realistic goal.

10:03 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Yup, interval workouts is what you need.

10:29 pm  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Great photo! And yes, I agree that intervals will gap that 30 second bridge, for sure.

3:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh nice run!!! Maybe a few targeted workouts will give you the confidence to go out risky-fast again if you feel like it, and the endurance to iron out the extra seconds from that 4:38. Auspicious race -- hope you can get the hamstring niggles under control.

7:30 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Speedygeoff, Abi and Lucia won't be the first to sub-20... not if they're in the same race - they'd be talkikng the whole way! I've got my money on you to crack 20 in one of the 5k races over winter.

Canute, thanks. I'm feeling confident.

Bob, I know. Need the hammy niggles to ease up first.

Flo, thanks. If I can get to 21:45 or so just on aerobic and tempo running I'll be stoked. Then bring in the interval training.

Thanks SK. My legs have been good this week so not attempting intervals when they were sore appears to have paid off.

8:58 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Starting on the inside lane would have to knock off a few secs too Ewen. Get some red frees they go faster!

10:53 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

That's funny Paul. I bought some red Free 3.0s at the Nike shop in Caesars Palace. I'm saving them up for when I really want to go fast ;-)

8:59 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

This is awesome news to read, Ewen! Fantastic job on the race. Yay. :)

1:48 am  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

Sounds like a good race. I think you're right that the added interval training will result in a significant improvement.

11:43 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Lize - always good to finish the season on a high note.

RJR, yes, just need to build the quantity/quality of the intervals gradually.

7:00 pm  

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