Sunday, January 13, 2013

Assessing strengths and weaknesses

When I buy Running Times from the Erindale Newsagency I'll turn straight to the 'Masters Running' section. The website also has a good range of articles for older runners — recently I found a 'Web Exclusive' called 'Five Minutes with Malcolm Campbell'. The interview backgrounds Campbell's running history and finds out about his preparation to win the USATF National Club Cross Country title (10k in 32:47). One interesting thing about the preparation for that performance was that Campbell increased his yearly mileage to 4,000 (average of 124k per week) from the 2,500 to 3000 miles he had been running. He said that the higher level of mileage enabled him to recover faster from training and racing.

Another thing from the interview that really caught my eye was the way Campbell assesses his readiness for racing. He said "I work on improving four different systems to function as close to 100 percent as possible. These systems are endurance, recovery, speed endurance and finally speed — change of pace acceleration." I think that's a great basis for a self-assessment system for all distance runners. I'd probably add 'consistency' — the regularity of our training over weeks, months and years. I've assessed my current preparation as follows: Endurance 85%, recovery 70%, speed-endurance 75%, speed 50% and consistency 90%. How are you going? Probably better than myself in some, worse in others.

In JKK-style, my latest training:

Monday - 10.5k Speedygeese session (recovery run for me).
Tuesday - 8k, some on the grass track (easy day).
Wednesday - 10k, 3k 'easy tempo' on the grass track at 5:20/k.
Thursday - 10k long tempo run in 53:48 (warm and smoky).
Friday - 5k very easy, 3 on the grass track (recovery run).
Saturday - 15k long run progressing from 6:20 to mid 5:30 ks.
Sunday - 10.5k Speedygeeese Stromlo intervals - 4 x 1k.

 Chatting about the weather prior to Stromlo intervals

18 Comments:

OpenID canute1 said...

It is interesting that Malcolm Campbell appears to be following the path established by Ed Whitlock – after years with the focus on high intensity training he is moving toward high volume as he grows older. However it will be a few decades before he might challenge Whitlock’s records. When Campbell refers to increased volume facilitating greater recovery, I presume that at least in part this is because a substantial fraction of the 4000 miles/year is at low intensity. However, his 2 mile progressive run ending in an all-out sprint confirms that he is not entirely neglecting speed.

12:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you deserve at least 100 per cent, if not more(!), for consistency Ewan! [Miranda]

2:08 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Canute, yes, I'd presume that too re Campbell's mileage. Marty Dent (28th London Olympic marathon) tweeted that he ran 6,756k in 2012 (28 rest days), averaging 4:16/k, which is a fairly modest average pace compared to his race pace - so a big percentage of aerobic running in that.

Thanks Miranda... if I'd been a school teacher I would have been a very mean marker ;-)

3:26 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

A REST day scheduled for Wednesday. Is the streak coming to an end?

8:51 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

2Fs, yes! I feel like I need a streak of rest days ;-) Last one was in 2011. Day 404 today - that's enough.

9:49 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

I hope you had the rest day today - yes????

8:51 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jog, yes! My streak OCD is cured ;-) Didn't run last night but almost forgot to have a shower before going to bed. Legs felt amazingly sprightly this morning.

3:40 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

After your 365+ running streak I'm impressed to see you took 2 days off this week and with VERY good reason.

5:52 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Liz... and I didn't feel guilty AT ALL! ;-) Just slightly guilty that I haven't commenced my weighted backpack mountain climbing cross-training, or scooting, or Elliptigo, or kayaking...

9:45 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

I'm impressed you ran every day last year!
I seem to enjoy my running more when I have at least one day off running per week.

12:47 am  
Blogger Raina said...

Sounds like a great article I missed!! Will have to go read it. The thing about higher mileage is that you can do a short recovery run that way, so you are getting in a higher percentage of low intensity. I am in favor of it- even if it is in a pool (wish I had a pool TM) !

10:03 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Rick I'm impressed you're still running over those sandhills in the snow!

Raina, yes, worth a read - he knows a bit about running. The pool sounds good (in these temps!) - I'd like to run a bit more on my running days so I can have the day off (or cross train) and still run x mileage per week.

10:12 pm  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

That's really interesting. I'd put my endurance and recovery about the same as yours, but my last three would be lower, especially consistency. But, I'm trying to work on that this year (every week so far has been 96-97 km).

12:23 am  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

I'm doing the Brindie 100 km on Sat 2nd Feb. On that basis, Theodore fire trail is dead flat. Remember your Six Foot Track workouts, not so long ago.

8:37 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

RJR, yes, it's a great way of finding weaknesses. Keep that mileage rolling and you'll definitely break into the 2:40s this year.

2Fs, ha! Yeah, dead flat compared to the climb to the Pluviometer. What I call dead flat is the grass track at Calwell with its one gentle hill each lap.

9:36 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

My hopes to get Mr. Campbell as a coach have been put on hold. While I respect his achievements I can't pay what he wants for guidance and he won't, I understand, offer me a deal.

That's the trouble with people of my level, too proud to accept I'm like everyone else but not good enough for others to see it.

Anyway, how about you and or speedy Geoff taking me on for a nominal fee and a few pair of running shoes? Thinking about a 10K in April and if that is successful on to a marathon?

Seriously, what do you reckon?

9:16 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

I get tired looking at your training in JKK style! Very consistent.
Also it is good to know you are embracing some rest days here and there.
I don't buy into the more volume better recovery theory.

11:51 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Scott, I'm flattered that you think I could coach you to a 2:30 marathon, but don't think you'd agree to my demands that you quit your job and train like a monk ;-) Did you touch base with Troopy? If not, Kim Jones could be a good fit - http://www.anaerobic.net/associatecoaches.aspx

J, I like JKK style - could be a new hit! I think more volume/better recovery works if job hours aren't too long (part time work?), if sleep is increased, and if the runner is robust enough to handle the volume.

7:46 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home