Sunday, May 27, 2012

The HM-eve 5k

This race was held last Saturday afternoon — a delightfully warm (for late May) and sunny day. Since then we've endured a couple of distinctly wintery cold, wet and windy days. I'm in two minds about this particular HM-eve 5k. I've run the event quite a few times over the years, so it's good one to compare how my 5k race-fitness is going. In that regard, I'll rate it a success, as I ran 22:21 at a satisfyingly low average heart-rate (147) — quite a bit lower than the 151 I averaged when running 22:14 for the ACT 5000m track championships in late March.

Of course it's yet to be done, but I think my current race-fitness is good enough to improve on my M50 5000m PB of 21:29.58. That race in 2008 was run at 662 heart-beats per km while the HM-eve 5k was at 657. A track 5000 is going to be faster as the 'course' is dead-flat, surface is perfect and there are no sharp corners (there were two last Saturday which needed momentary slowing to negotiate). I'm further encouraged by the times that rivals ran last Saturday. Robert ran 21:27 on Saturday and 20:22 in the track 5000. David ran 21:47 and 21:14 on the track. So I think I'm looking at running somewhere between 30 seconds and a minute faster on the track. The only problem being, there are no track 5000s until October!

So, as a fitness test the HM-eve 5k was satisfying. On the other hand, as a race, it was disappointing. I love the close competitive race experience — running with a 'bunch' of runners (half a dozen or so) and figuring out during the race what tactics to employ in order to win this race within a race. Last Saturday the first kilometre was 'fun', but thereafter I was running alone with the next runner about 40m ahead and try as a might, not making any impression on that gap. During the first k I was running with Robert (4:17 for that k), then he edged ahead. Near the 2k mark (4:22 split), David overtook, running strongly. The rest of the race was a bit of a grind (as races sometimes are), especially after the turn when we ran into a light westerly breeze back to the finish at Lennox Gardens.

This past week my training has been sort of okay, but I've succumbed to a cold over the past two days. I ran 78 kilometres including a couple of good 10k runs and a 5k tempo effort at yesterday's Parkrun — 24:32 at AHR 140, finishing 14th. The winner was Marty Dent, former steeplechaser, who'll be running the marathon for Australia at the London Olympics. Go Marty!

The HM-eve 5k course has a couple of sharp turns. Start is near the bridge; from there you run west. Finish is in the park at Lennox Gardens.

 HM-eve 5k races 
YearTimeAve HRH-beats/km


Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Congratulations! Good progression there on all 3 indicators. Nice aerial picture of the course too. too. I ran a 21.58 in a Masters 5000m track race the other week, since MastersWA has 5k track races every month or so. Hope you smash the M50 PB soon. Looks like you are ready to beat the 2008 effort!

8:34 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Looks like a very pleasant course along the water.
Maybe you could organize your own 5,000m time trial. All you need are a track and a bunch of friends. And a timer, to make it "official."

9:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on a solid race!! I'm with you on how tough it can be to stay focused when the person ahead of you is too far away to lock in on. Nevertheless, sounds like an encouraging effort -- I'll bet you can keep chipping closer to that M50 PB on the road. Why feel like you have to wait 'til October!

12:35 am  
Blogger Thomas said...

Ah come on and be satisfied! It was not a bad race by any stretch of the imagination and you should be happier.

4:41 am  
Blogger Janene said...

Good work ET! It will be awesome to see you kick that PB. A couple of possible upcoming events include the Runners Shop 5K or the Canberra Times Fun Run 5K (flat and fast IF the wind isn't blowing). Plenty of options to aim for :-).

12:04 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Jonathon. I've got my eye on your recent track times... watch out!

Bob, good idea, but we only have one all-weather track and when it's open for training I doubt if a bunch of distance runners could get exclusive use of lane 1 for half an hour.

Thanks SK! Yes, I plan to do that. If I can get the road 5k time into the 21s that'd be a good confidence booster for the next track season.

Thomas, yeah it wasn't too bad. I just can't force myself to be as happy as you were when you finally broke 3 hours for the marathon ;-) But when I break 20 for 5k, watch out!

Thanks J! I've pencilled in both those races. I'm hoping your form is good enough to drag me through to a fast time.

4:09 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Hi Ewen,
Looking good with your 22 min 5K.
I think you can expect to see your max heart rate drop as you get older, so not sure if comparing average pulse rates over the years is of much use?
Even so 21 mins looks on under good conditions and on a springy track :0]

6:06 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Rick, that's right about the HR dropping as we age. I know I used to race with a HR in the low 170s when I was in my early 30s. I'm mainly comparing the 147 AHR of Saturday with the 151 of March. I'm sure I can still average 151 for a 5k if I rest up for the race, so that'd be faster running than Saturday.

8:43 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Good race Ewen! Sorry you have "succumbed" to a cold and also to a spelling error - yay, I can correct you at last! Get well soon and keep up that streak. It's working for you and you're winning!!

9:55 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

A very good 5 km, congrats. You are working well.
I love the Parkrun and I would like that also in Italy someone can organize this kind of runs.
I ran a Parkrun in Edinburgh with my son and it was a wonderful experience. This year I skipped that 5 km in Cardiff because I was injured but I hope to sign up for the London one in occasion of the rugby match England-Italy (6 Nations).

7:10 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Ruth! I've succumbed to the lack of a spell-checker on Blogger. Smarty pants! I'll have to edit that now. When Speedygeoff succumbs to a cold I'll be winning ;)

Stefano, thanks. Yes, the Parkruns are friendly low-key races. I hope you enjoy the London Parkrun and an Italian victory!

7:52 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

I have decided to keep the pressure on you by running every day through my man-cold.

When are you going to implement threaded comments?

10:57 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

No pressure Speedygeoff - even with a girly cold I look forward to my daily runs. I'll see if it's some simple html that turns on threaded comments - hopefully Blogger has fixed the time-stamp bug.

5:27 am  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

Awesome job! I can't believe how low your HR is. Mine is higher than that on an easy tempo run! I guess it goes to show how different people are.

I hope you have conquered the cold, no matter what the gender. :D

11:09 am  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Well run, Ewen! If you can keep up this standard of improvement, you're going to break all records when you get to 80+!

Be careful your cold doesn't become worse and lead to something far more having to break the streak and let's not even consider anything as harmless as bronchitis!

8:51 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Lize, that's right. Bit of a generalisation, but small women usually have higher max HRs than large men. I'm on the large size for a distance runner. The cold is still there - girly colds are persistent but they're not as evil as the man-flu ;-)

LLs, if I can get anywhere near your record times in the 80-84 A/G I'll be one very happy runner!

3:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are running consistently well. Beats/Km is a good indication of fitness within an individual. However Rick makes a good point. Even to achieve the same 5K pace with each passing year, you need to lower the b/Km a little to allow for decrease in HR max. The mechanism is not known for certain. My own theory is that with increasing age, adrenaline production decreases, so you need a slightly greater eccentric stretch of the heart muscle at the end of diastole to achieve the same cardiac output. Stroke volume increases while HR falls a little. However, many people fail to achieve the increase in stroke volume as adrenaline production falls off, so both their peak cardiac output and performance also decrease. Your improving b/Km suggests that you are at least preserving your peak cardiac output and possible even increasing it. So I think an M50 PB after you have entered the M55 age group is a realistic target.

2:13 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Canute, thanks for that comment. I've often wondered why maximum HR decreases with age. I should re-test mine but I'm not keen on resting up my training just to run a max HR test. I think I'll just take a guess at a new max HR - the 160 I recorded in the January 3000 is probably closer to reality than the 164 I've been using. I think I'll call it 161 for the next 12 months.

I'd like to improve my peak cardiac output a little more, as well as improve muscular efficiency at race pace.

6:44 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Sounds good Ewen. A bit of East/West rivalry could be good motivation. I think max HR decreases with age partly for physiological reasons, but general slackness in many as the years go on may be a big factor too. The Karv. form. seems to not apply in a lot of cases too, and my max HR doesnt seem to have changed much in the last 20 years...I suspect without any good evidence other than anecdotal and general gut feeling that the whole idea of max HR's is badly flawed...If you can find one of those cheap airfares (JetStar, Tiger) that are going at the moment, we have 5k TRACK races @ 6pmish here in the west on the following days; 14th June, 19th June, 5th July, 10th July, 19th JUly, 24th JUly, 23rd August, 6th September, 11th September, 20th September, 25th September. Let me know if you are planning to be there, and I will try and target it too, and game on for a race, and some PBs for us both.

10:06 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Even better get a group of 3 or more runners together from the east and all come over on a day that works and I'll contact my friends here in the west, and we can promote it as a classic East V West interstate clash a bit like a state of origin game or an AFL rivalry game...Ive got Perth Marathon, and probably Melbourne Marathon as main goal races, and I am coing over for some fun to explore the GC on 1st July this year, but trying to work my 5k time a bit in the hope that it will help my marathon time to come down...

10:12 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jonathon, I think you might find that your max HR has declined a tad once you hit up 50 or more runs. Interesting idea re the East V West 5000m clash. It'd be good to see the Canberra Giants take down the Weagles ;) I'll keep an eye on the airfares - you never know - would like to run up beside you 3k into a 5000, both of us heading for sub-21 :)

4:15 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Ewen, I'm guessing my max HR might decline a bit, maybe even a lot, but I still think the Karv formula is inaccurate at best, rubbish at worst when it comes to runners and sporting population.

Have to say the GWS Giants had a good 2nd quarter against Wet Toast the other month. Doesn't bother me as I am a FREO man, although my wife supports that blue and yellow mob. A sub 21 sounds good, and the more competition I can get in that sub 21 realm the better!

4:13 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jonathon, yes agree with you re HR formulas. I haven't tested my max in a while but I know it's declined over the years. I sprinted at the end of a 3000 earlier this year and got 160 at the finish so I'm guessing my current max is maybe 161.

Glad you're a FREO man - backed 'em in our work tipping comp to beat the Tigers this weekend. Thanks Freo!

5:06 pm  

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