Sunday, February 03, 2013

Still learning

Well, that was an interesting week of training. Learned a couple of things — yes, after more than 30 years of running, I'm still learning. Had a 5k race on Tuesday, which I ended up running at 'tempo' effort. That day followed a big Monday — a tempo effort 10k 'mountain' race in the morning and 8.4k of jogging at Speedygeese training in the afternoon. The day prior to that I'd run an interval session at Stromlo, which followed a 5k 'tempo' Parkrun on the Saturday. Four hard days in a row. Am I crazy, or what?!

I rested Wednesday, 'enjoyed' an ordinary run Thursday on the grass track, a great easy run Friday (it was cool), struggled on Saturday's long (13k) run and was looking forward to the Speedygeese interval session at Stromlo this morning (another cool day). During the warm-up I plodded around at 6:25 per km pace, legs as tight as piano wires (the thick ones). Man, I was not looking forward to this! Even contemplated continuing to jog around rather than attempt something which resembled fast running. We (two girls, three boys) lined up at the top of the hill for our session of 3 x 1000 metres (700m jog back the short way recoveries). I thought "I'll start easy and see how I go."

For the first one I finished a few steps ahead of Miranda in 4:38. The rolling downhill (with some flats and ups) on the lovely spongy grass seemed to coax some life back into the legs. I ran the next kilometres in 4:15 and 4:10, followed by an unscheduled 'bonus' one in 4:29. As I jogged a slow warm-down with Geoff, Andy, Miranda and Kylie I was thinking to myself "that turned out amazingly well!" I'd completed the session more or less as planned in spite of tight legs. It was a 'gift run', as was my easy run on Friday — a day which I'd almost taken as another rest day. This week I've learned two things: interval sessions can turn out well even if the warm-up is shite, and don't do four hard training days in a row.

Kylie leads the way on the Stromlo warm-up

Keen spectators ready to observe the first 'down' of our 1k intervals


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

4 hard days in a should have learned that already! that Kylie Breeze who used to live in Japan?

10:04 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

By the way, check out Brett's Japan Running News for a report on Collis Birmingham winning a Half in Japan.

10:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tight as piano wires - what a fun metaphor. I've had so many good workouts/races followed by warmups that feel awful and uninspired... not sure why that is.

Those are some envy-inducing photos - Stromlo always looks so lovely!

2:22 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

All my interval warmups are terrible and the intervals generally turn out all right. 30 years? - great to know I have years of learning in front of me. Grass track looks great!!!

9:08 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Bob, I've never tried it before! Might drop back to your 2 hard days, 1 rest day pattern. Not sure about Kylie - will ask her. If the one in Japan was a beautifully balanced runner with good form, then maybe. Thanks for that link. Collis did well - very cool to hang back from the early pace.

SK, yes it's strange. Me too, but that warm-up was particularly awful. Stromlo feels as good as it looks - my favourite running venue.

Grellan, learning new things is half the fun of running. It'd be boring if we 'knew it all' ;-)

3:09 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

A 'gift' run, does that mean you are setting up for Stawell at Easter? ;-)
Where do you start the 1km reps, at the top of the Hill circuit?
Like others, I've had many a good run after a crappola warm up. I wonder if it has something to do with the brain's perception? The session proper distracts the brain from the awful warm up and feels better than it might usually?

3:43 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Yes - hoping for a rematch against Patrick Johnson in the Vets' 120m. About where you can just see the grass in that bottom photo - there are two green posts closer than usual together. Start at the easterly one, then run down onto the 2k loop and stop at the drain just after the left curve at the low point.

3:50 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

I really must get to the "downhill" training session one day. The grass is so spongy and nice at Stromlo right now:)

9:57 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Yes, you must! It's fun to run fast and the Stromlo grass is perfect for it. Plus, no damage should one do a CJ.

10:12 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

I'd love that downhill one would catch me!

10:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its hard to imagine a more delightful terrain for downhill running.

11:10 am  
Blogger Black Knight said...

What a beautiful place to run. I have learned many lessons and I have a lot to learn too but .... the first one was:" don't do 2 (yes only 2)hard training days in a row.
You are a lot tougher than I was: 4!!!!

8:10 pm  
Blogger Raina said...

Four hard days in a row is too many! But on grass...maybe it feels better :) ?

I would love to run on that lovely lawn there! Nice work on the repeats. Even the kangaroo seems inspired!

8:27 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

I'm probably not the best guy telling you not to do too many hard days in too short a time, and certainly not 4 hard day in a row, but you knew that yourself in advance anyway, so what's the point in saying anything?

By the way, I agree with Grellan, that grass track looks superb!

1:09 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Luckylegs, yes! I remember your downhill expertise from the SMH Half Marathon 5 or so years ago.

Canute, we're very lucky to have such a venue - it's perfect for legs of all ages!

Stefano, don't know about tougher - crazier maybe.

Raina, trouble is, only two of the days were on that lovely lawn. It seduced me into thinking I hadn't run hard.

Thomas, I'll drop back to your two hard days in a row ;-) Only problem with the grass cross country course is that it's only a 2.5k loop - you'd have to do 40 laps to get in 100k.

2:55 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Yes great that you're still learning but if you're like me you can probably attribute that mostly cause you are coming from such a low base! ;)

BTW my wife seems quite happy 'knowing it all'!

11:57 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Beautiful location! its weird how warmup can feel like rubbish but body can get straight into gear when asked....but I often experience similiar. Keep those hard and easy sessions coming. Good pic of the Kangas too! small chance I might be heading over to the eastern blue mountains in 3 weeks time...One of the Perth regulars just got 2nd Lady in the Stromlo 100km today. Hope the progression builds...

3:49 pm  
Blogger missmia said...

No way I could do 4 hard days in a row - that's just asking for an injury or a CJ (for me). I have noticed though that the day after a long run I can sometimes run well even though I feel like shite. Go figure.

6:02 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hi Jonathon, hope you can make 6'. Unfortunately I'm no longer qualified to run. Saw that WA lady Saturday night - she was running strongly.

Missmia, me too re running OK the day after a long run - provided the long run is easy and relaxed. I think the trick is staying well away from lactate threshold.

9:14 pm  

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