Sunday, December 09, 2012

You'll find me at Stromlo

I joined the Speedygeese this morning for an interval session on the smooth grass of the Stromlo cross country course. That's six weeks in a row of doing this particular training session. It's become a habit. Philosopher and runner Jeff Edmonds wrote a blog post on running and habit. He notes that runners are creatures of habit (which makes the training process easy), but habit can also be the runner's worst enemy. There's a danger of repeating the same old running routine if conscious thought isn't given to what we might need to do in order to improve. If you're a competitive runner that is! There's nothing wrong with getting out the door for an easy 30-minute run each day. One may even enjoy racing off such habitual easy running.

This morning I ran with Geoff and Andrew — 4 x 1km 'hard' efforts with easy 1km jog recoveries. It was a warm (24C) and calm morning. My times were about six seconds slower than for the same session on 18 November. Today I ran 4:23, 4:23, 4:20 and 4:18. Maximum heart-rate only reached 154 (previously 157), so perhaps I wasn't chasing Geoff as hard as when I was following Kym and Lucia. On the other hand, I wasn't feeling all that fresh — in spite of reducing yesterday's long run with Susan and Andy to 70 minutes.

I'm sure the habit of running 1k intervals at Stromlo is a good one for the summer. My legs need the speed and 4:18 kilometres are close to my 5k race pace. That speed isn't feeling easy though! I should do as Canute suggested and fit in some faster/sharper running — 100 to 200 metre repeats. Having a reserve of speed that's faster than 5k pace should make it feel easier. We'll see.

This morning's run — the 1k loop is around the dam.


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

That's a good session. 4:20 is a good pace. However, in my opinion, 1km jog recovery is too much. About 6 minutes? Normally, a recovery should be 50 to 100% of the run time, usually about 80%.

8:38 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

I think the shorter faster reps help with your speed. Especially the 5000m track. Helps knowing you can out kick someone at the finish anyhow.

9:21 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Bob, more than 6 minutes as we walk the last 50m. Not sure why the long recoveries. I'm sure I could do the same times with a 400m jog. A longer rest wouldn't make me faster though!

Paul, yes. It's been a long time since I've won 'a race' with a kick though. Fun if you can do it!

9:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt if 1K intervals ever become a bad habit during preparation for a 5K. Your post implies at least two reasons why the pace was a little slower than the previous week. But if you get bogged down in slower paces for several sessions, it might be helpful to get the legs turning over quickly in a few ‘wind sprints’ during the warm up.

With regard to 1K intervals at 5K pace being demanding I was interested to note that 2 days before my recent M65 5K PB, I found 1K intervals very demanding at a nominal ‘5K pace’ which was actually slower than my subsequent PB. But nonetheless, I certainly believe that some sessions of shorter intervals at faster than race pace are beneficial during 5K preparation.

12:35 am  
Blogger Janene said...

Being a creature of habit, why is it you didn't blog your running streak? That's no mean feat and should be recognised! Even our Olympian marathoner was impressed by your performance!

Gentle down hill 1K reps are also good for speed. I remember doing those with speedy Geoff in the summer of 2009/2010. Alas the course is now a building estate :-/.

6:36 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Canute, that's a good tip re the wind sprints before the intervals. Yes, I recall your good 5k race following the modest 1k intervals. I think I could race a 3k at or better than Stromlo 1k intervals - if I was 'fresh' for the race (a problem in recent races).

J, I'm not sure whether the streak was a good habit! I may write about it when I make the calendar year. I was talking about your 1k reps with Geoff this arvo - he said it was the perfect alternative Stromlo course. Shame about that new suburb!

7:54 pm  
Blogger Jaymee said...

For what it's worth, any time I do repeats @ 5k race pace, they always feel ridiculously hard making me doubt I would ever be able to string them together. I usually surprise myself when I actually go out and race a 5k and end up close to that pace. This is probably the same as what others have suggested, but I've found doing 10x100m strides 2x per week to be particularly helpful at maintaining turnover. I like to do these as increasing effort strides with the first at around 5k effort and the last close to 800m effort. I do a moderate-paced 1 minute recovery in between them. What surprises me about those is that I'll end up taking about 2 miles to do the strides + recovery and my pace for those 2 miles is typically equal to my goal marathon pace. Not a bad mini workout within an easy run!

11:06 am  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

What Jaymee said works for me too. I must get rid of these niggles though before I can do "straights" at any speed.

11:39 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Jaymee! I ran my first set of 8x100m strides yesterday and I was pretty creaky. The regularity that you suggest would help I'm sure. I like the idea of the mini-workout too, although I have no need for goal marathon pace ;-)

Speedygeoff, you'll get there. The soft grass of Stromlo is good for smoothing out niggles.

9:20 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Loved your training log comment from yesterday re: shopping causing running fatigue :) YES! shopping can be that hard/tiring. That, and the humidity, are what I'm blaming for the slowness in my running legs at the moment.

11:16 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Anyone who does regular hard shopping workouts has my total sympathy! Yes, also very humid running on the grass this morning. Need a cool/dry change for every hard session ;-)

8:08 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and family.

6:06 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Stefano! A happy and injury-free 2013 to you!

4:50 pm  

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