Sunday, April 14, 2013
I'm not long home from cheering on runners in the Canberra Marathon / Half / 50k races. Yesterday I raced in the feature event of the weekend — the Adidas 5k Fun Run. I had a good race! Ran strongly all the way, enjoyed some one-on-one racing with various people (mainly youngsters), caught a fast-starting Janene inside the last kilometre and recorded a respectable time — 22:46. One memorable duel was with an 8-year-old girl in pink. Caught her with about 500m to run, settled for a bit then threw in a strong surge. Thought she'd been despatched but then she came flying past with an impressive kick over the last 100 metres. All good fun!
My sister gave me a Kindle for Christmas and I've downloaded a few books, the latest being 'The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing' by Dr. Philip Maffetone. I was impressed by Mark Cucuzzella's enthusiastic review on Amazon, summing up the book as 'The best holistic approach to endurance for life.' Mark follows Maffetone's training methods and has an impressive list of running achievements, including winning the Air Force Marathon in 2:38 at the age of 44.
I've only read 7% of the book (according to Kindle) but I'm enjoying it and think it'll serve as a good reference to guide my training. Phil Maffetone is well known for using heart-rate monitors to coach athletes. What I didn't know about is the emphasis he places on the 'holistic approach' to training. Running needs to fit into one's life in a balanced way. Stressful work and home time plus stressful training (hard interval sessions and high mileage for example) doesn't produce successful racing. The Maffetone heart-rate 'zone' is the 'fat-burning' zone and running in it is usually relaxing and not stressful. My MAF (maximum aerobic function) heart rate is calculated to be 130 (180 - my age of 55 + 5 for running history) and by feel I can tell that 130 is a good number for me. Phil Maffetone recommends that as much running as possible be done in a 10 heart-beat range up to MAF heart-rate, so my range is 120 to 130. This quite suits my 'run by feel' philosophy — 130 on flat ground equates to a pace (at the moment) of about 5:30 per kilometre. As my aerobic condition improves, my pace at HR 130 will get faster. I can run well by feel on a day to day basis too — if I've had a stressful day at work I'll do a shorter run, closer to 120 HR; if I feel good and fresh, I can run longer and/or faster and/or over a hillier course. I have a 12k 'rolling hills' trail course which seems to be ideal for building leg strength. Anyway, I'll expand on my thoughts once I've finished the book and with a few months of training in the diary.
My palindromic number for the Adidas 5k