Thursday, April 24, 2014

The second age of high motivation

I enjoyed a good run this afternoon — a run which showed I've finally improved from a plateau of fitness on which I've been stuck for the past six weeks. Nine kilometres out and back beside the 'Tuggeranong Creek' at MAF heart-rate (129) and an average pace of 5:25 per kilometre. So, 699 heart-beats per k — a number I haven't seen since before the hamstring injury in October last year. Exciting!

I'm extremely motivated to run well. I turn 57 this week, which is really "pushin' sixty" as Ken White would say. I don't feel that old! Early forties maybe. The last time I felt this motivated was in my early thirties. I'd been running since 23 and desperately wanted to run some lifetime PBs before I hit forty. I turned to Geoff Moore for coaching and trained with his small group a couple of times a week.

Below is a page from my 1990 training diary. The numbers seem incredible now, but they were pretty average for the group. I wasn't the fastest runner — that honour belonged to Geoff, who would push out 1k repeats in well under 3 minutes. I didn't run the most mileage — sub-3 hour marathoners such as Mary Silver would have been running 140 kilometres per week or more. My training was consistent and did result in lifetime PBs for all distances from 1500 metres to the half marathon. In 2014 my focus is on 'racing well' from 3k to 10k. Especially the 5k! I'd love to run 'a good' 5k and hope to do so this year!

In the days before computers (and Garmins!) we used a paper diary to record our running.


Blogger Mark Watson said...

I used an A6 notebook as a record keeper back in the day. With my favourite clutch pencil I dutifully recorded distance, measured using the car speedo and time care of a rather ungainly looking casio digital watch complete with calculator. Remember those? Super gains Ewen - Keep it up.

9:03 pm  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

I nearly forgot ... have a very Happy Birthday.

9:16 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Mark. I had a clutch pencil! Back in the day. Still have (and use) a Casio 30-lap digital watch. Ah, the simplicity!

9:38 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Hey, you were pretty quick!
I love that - 29°, slow, tired, 4:34 pace!

9:52 pm  
Blogger Chad ontheNorthCoast said...

Great job, Ewen! Your training is spot-on.

11:21 pm  
Blogger Friar said...

Have a happy birthday amongst all of your reflections on improved performance.

3:53 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Bob. Everyone was quick in the old days, so I didn't feel quick ;) That TFT course is an undulating trail - did a lot of running on dirt, which kept the injuries at bay.

Thanks Chad. Good to hear from you again.

Thanks Doug. The BBQ Stakes course seemed easy back then. It's not!

6:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less than 700 b/Km is impressive, and the surging motivation is great. Maybe a sub 23 park-run soon, and then a sharp 5000m when the track season arrives. Happy birthday.

4:49 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Stopwatch and exercise book for me from 1988 until now. I still maintain the exercise book as a backup although I must admit my analysis is being done via strava and garmin a lot these days, maybe need to get back to the exervise book a bit more. Measured distance with a piece of string and a street directory for a few decades...Then moved up to things like mapmyrun, followed by the garmin since last year... Good to hear you are hitting a purple patch again, ride the wave of training and racing momentum for everything its got while you can.

12:26 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

I think I ran better by feel (instead of often slightly inaccurate garmin splits), and probably analysed my training better with the exercise book, with less money needed. These days its getting more complicated inaccurate and wasteful, have to make sure the watch is charged, have to get signal with the satellites before the race, and if its an ultra I need to carry two watches (not enough battery life on the 10's)...Find myself, changing my run route to hit strava segments instead of focusing on the speed, or enjoying the scenery...segment surging, shallow kudosing and low quality comments... More interesting discussion on the old fashioned blogger and cool running a lot of the time, although the interactional options and ability to share info with large numbers of people at once and fast on facebook and strava are fantastic,...

12:34 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Plenty of trails and track in that diary... some 3.12 per 1k reps!! 4.34-4.42 per K is slow...good old days then... Start and stop the casio scribble the vital stats and thoughts each time, a whole lot less complicated, and a far higher level of performance... The best systems and people last for many decades, and always have a seasons best lined up to target.

12:41 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

It's great to see you are back on track ET. I hope it all comes together for you in 2014 and you run some great 5k times.

7:07 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Canute. Also for your good wishes. Yes, a sub-23 is the first step - I feel it's not too far away.

Jonathon, that's right! Pen, paper and Casio is all you need. I used to measure courses with the axle mounted odometer on the Speedwell - probably just as accurate as the Garmin (and no need for a battery)!

Thanks J. Hope our 5k comebacks intersect at some stage. I'd rather race you than Jim White (especially when he's in fancy dress).

7:41 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Great to see the form coming back Ewen. I never had the pleasure of running much in the pre-digital age. Still, neither a clutch pencil or a keyboard would get you very far without a pair of legs.

8:02 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Good to hear from you Grellan. Wish I still had the pre-digital era legs (and heart and lungs!).

12:09 pm  
Blogger Raina R. said...

Those are some really nice 1ks on the paper page :) I never kept paper.. I did export one digital log to another though. If it had been on paper, I'd have lost it long ago!

Very nice to see that you are feeling closer to 40 at 57. I hope I can say that I feel closer to 30 when I hit 47! ha! Have fun out there chasing Geoff down

9:53 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Raina. I'd be hard pressed to run 800s that fast now. I used to think a diary would come in handy to repeat training that worked. Now that I'm much older, it's IMPOSSIBLE to repeat any of that training! Geoff's times are amazing - I'd be overjoyed to match the 21:33 he ran recently.

7:21 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Late happy birthday.
How many beautiful memories in my old paper log-book!
Like you my PB are all in 1990-1991-1992 (I was born in oct 1956).

10:41 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Stefano. Yes, paper logbooks are cool - but I don't think my out of practise handwriting would be up to it now. The late 80s, early 90s were great years for running!

6:59 pm  

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