Sunday, March 17, 2013

An ordinary 5000 metre race

I raced in the ACT Veterans' 5000m Championships last Thursday evening. Must say that it was exciting to line up for a 5k track race which had 22 starters. Usually 5000s are combined with a 3000 and most runners 'bail out' after seven and a half laps. My race was pretty ordinary — finished 19th in 23:07.27 — quite a bit slower than the 22:17 I ran last November. Back then I was hoping to be in 21:45 form by March, but it hasn't happened. I'm not exactly sure why. I suspect it's down to two things: My training needs to improve and my recovery needs to improve.

I'm not hugely disappointed with the race because on the previous evening's 7k jog my legs had felt 'sore all over' — I seriously considered a DNS listing for the 5000. The race ended up being a bit of a solo time-trial. Kathy sprinted off to a 10 metre lead in the first lap (she would run 22:09) — my legs just weren't feeling good enough to go with her. She'd dropped from a faster group who were running about 21-minute pace. Weather conditions weren't ideal for solo running — it was cool enough, but there was a fresh southerly breeze to push into up the home straight. I tired pretty badly in the fourth kilometre and was caught by Pete with one k to go. He just went straight past! He ran 22:53. My splits were 4:26, 4:39, 4:43, 4:45 and 4:34.

On Saturday morning I jogged in the Ginninderra 5k Parkrun. If I can ever get used to racing hard early in the morning, this event (or the Tuggeranong version) could be worth lining up for a fast 5k attempt. After the race we walked around to the local retirement village's cafe and enjoyed a coffee, cake and chat. The perfect morning!

Great prices at the retirement village cafe!


Blogger Thomas said...

I hate it when a race turns into a solo time trial. Especially for a short race like a 5k, it removes the main incentive to push yourself hard. Maybe trying to hang on to Pete might have helped. Even if you didn't stay with him, it might still have pulled you to a faster time.

8:56 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

We should go to that cafe again. The food was very well priced for us "old" people! Sorry I missed your 5000m at the track. I hadn't realised you were competing:(

10:16 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

It's not that early in the morning ET! That said, I wonder if we'd be quicker if the event was held in the afternoon for us PM runners? ;-)
Interesting 5000m run. Oddly my 5000m PB was run in those conditions. Strong head wind on the back straight, no one to run with, just a long time trial. With every head wind on the track there is a tail wind. Just focus on that :-). Here's hoping you get back on target and get your recovery sorted soon. So many 5km's so little time ;-)

10:21 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Cake! There's your problem....

10:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the adage that an uphill hurts your pace more than an equivalent downhill helps your pace... then you probably "lost" more energy fighting against the resistance of the headwind than you "gained" with the tailwind on the opposite stretch. (Thoughts on that?)

It's a bummer that it turned into somewhat of a solo effort, but I suppose that's always good for mental conditioning.

Also, I wanted to say I love that your pictures/recaps feature so many masters ladies in your running group. By chance, I've run with groups in the past that have NO masters women and it bums me out to wonder if there's something biological that keeps women from being able to run into their 50s and 60s+ if they want to. It's reassuring to read here and see some masters women kicking butt.

4:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, that should have read, "If the adage that an uphill hurts your pace more than an equivalent downhill helps your pace IS TRUE..."

4:37 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thomas, yes, wish I'd made more of an effort to stay with him. Would have preferred a sub-23.

Strewth, I'm looking forward to it. Next time we'll ask for a discount on your Seniors' card ;-)

Janene, if not quicker, I'm less likely to pull a hammy in the afternoon. I'm hoping I can get back on track before you move up to Mr B's level.

Bob, that's it! Should have gone with your diet of the 100% fat fry-up breakky. If it wasn't for my sweet tooth I would have been an elite runner ;-)

Cathleen, I'd say having a headwind for half of each lap is pretty similar to racing on a rolling hills course. Perhaps not quite as much of an effect (on performance), but it's never going to be as fast as racing in calm conditions.

2:49 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Same as Strewth said about us "old" people! I like sweatykid's "Masters Ladies"!

11:01 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Almost forgot to thank you for the 'jog' at Lake Ginninderra Park Run. While I could see you ahead I knew I was on the right track. Next time I should be able to go it alone! This "oldie" says, 'Thank You!"

10:07 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Good race. Solid. Keep being inspirational. Hope you chase down that 90 seconds another time soon. keep at it...

12:45 am  
Blogger Raina said...

I would seriously love a chance to run a fast track 5k in a real race! How fun!!
Doing another one just a few days later would find me running very slowly. Sounds like the second course was a good one too :) Maybe next year?.

9:40 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Luckylegs, I like jogging. You won't get lost as long as you don't follow runners who aren't in the race ;-)

Jonathon, thanks. I'm sure I can get back there. Congrats on your 2nd 6' finish - heard it was a tough day and track this year.

Raina, we're lucky to have weekly Masters track racing over Summer - also every 3 weeks or so in Winter. Track starts up again in October, so before next year!

4:57 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

That is the best post race: relax and chats with good friends.
In my opinion your finishing time is very good.
I love the Parkruns but in Italy don't exist. Here if the runners don't get a "loot" don't participate. When I go abroad I always look for the Parkruns.

6:16 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Stefano, that's a shame there aren't Parkruns in Italy. Give me an accurate course, friends and good coffee over loot any day!

5:25 pm  

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