Friday, May 16, 2014

A good 5k and racing Jim

Last Saturday I raced the Tuggeranong Parkrun 5k in a time which confirmed my improving form: 23:12 — 30 seconds faster than my best this year. Not far off the 22:46 I ran last April prior to the DVT 'injury'. I'm happy! The race was one in which I was catching people all the way — Jim unusually early at about 200 metres (he was taking it easy due to a second race that afternoon), others before the turn, Karen as she was approaching 3k and a few more after the bridge. My splits were very even: 4:38, 4:38, 4:37, 4:39 and 4:40. Not an express last kilo, but I was getting tired! With some interval training (or more endurance?) the idea of holding 4:30 ks seems entirely possible.

I also raced Jim the previous week down in Albury at the Nail Can Hill Run. One tough mother of a fun run! Caught up to Jim before 2k (he'd started at a suicidal pace) and ran away, 'winning' in 61:01 to his 62:12. My splits show the rather steep hill in the first half of this 11.3k trail race: 4:58, 5:20, 8:09, 7:06, 5:27, 4:48, 4:47, 5:20, 4:41, 5:18, 4:40 + 0:28s. Jim was happy as he'd run his 7th 'age buster' race — three more and he'll be awarded the coveted 'Age Master' racing singlet.

I like racing Jim because he always puts in an honest performance, racing hard all the way (unless there are extenuating circumstances, like recovering from having his ankle in plaster last year). At the moment we're closely matched but 20 years ago I could win by using the secret weapon of... youth! We're different in many ways but our racing times are similar. Jim's 64, I'm 57. He weighs 60kg, I'm around 74. My training is 6 or 7 days a week of MAF effort running and a weekly race for a total of 60 to 70 kilometres. Jim rarely trains — he just races. A typical week might be two races on the weekend and one on Tuesday or Thursday. Very occasionally he'll do a steady training run, but not often. So it surprises me somewhat that we're close rivals. Racing Jim is good fun!

Myself and Jim after driving 350k to Albury on the morning of the Nail Can Hill Run. Yes, Jim's 'driving endurance' equals his running endurance!


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Nice even splits!
350km - Damn, that's a long drive for a race!
(Maybe easier in Oz than in Japan.)

11:46 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Bob. Yes, especially on the way home! Jim's choice to do it in the day - we left at 4AM.

6:57 am  
Blogger Black Knight said...

350 km driving! I am lucky, every week end in Roma I can choose among many races.
A very good finishing time at a regular pace, it means that you can easily run longer distances.

8:09 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Just goes to show how long distance running is such an imprecise "science" - ie, you and Jim are so different in terms of your genetic make up (height, weight etc) and your training strategies and yet you take it up to each other in races. It's hard to know if that's an argument for "anything goes" or "capitalise on your advantages". Which do you think??

8:31 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Yes Stefano - a LOT of driving. We have many races in Canberra too, but this one is special - an annual event.

Liz, when it comes doen to it, we're both doing what we enjoy. Jim loves racing, doesn't like running. I like getting out most days for a run and love racing short distances. I guess I'm capitalising (racing well) on the training I like doing. There's nothing scientific about Jim's 'training'!

6:18 am  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

Mate, that's a nice days work. You should be well pleased with those splits. There's something magical about maintaining 4.30s comfortably and it looks like they'll come effortlessly for you in no time. Then you can give that Jim a little ribbing for skiving off on the training. Naturally gifted athletes!

3:47 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Mark. Yes, racing naturally gifted runners (like Scott Brown) is a pain. It'll be worth the look on Jim's face when I do eventually 'win' with ease.

9:06 pm  
Blogger Raina R. said...

That's a great 5k, Ewen! And it's hard to believe it's been about a year since the DVT.
Any friend who will travel that far for a race is a real keeper! :)

1:33 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Raina. Yes, it's heading in the right direction. Jim's "a good bloke" as we say down here.

6:39 pm  
Anonymous Karla @ Run, Karla, Run! said...

Congrats! Sounds like you're well on your way to being back in top shape. I've been wondering how things have been going for you since March. I love that you have a regular group of folks to race. I've got a team I train with, but we're rarely all at the same races together. Love having folks you know to work with and off of!

10:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your steady improvement is great. And Jim’s running is pretty impressive. It is interesting to note that a small number of hard sessions per week and nothing else does seem to work pretty well for some over 60’s.

8:35 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Karla. Yes, knowing my competitors well and having the chance to race them regularly makes the races fun and less of a 'time trial' which is often the case for mid-pack runners.

Canute, yes I've heard of other runners who train a little like Jim - low mileage, high intensity, frequent races. Jim is different in that he never does typical high intensity sessions such as intervals and hill repeats.

3:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great race report & isn't it fun to be able to do the same race annually - a good tradition! Travelling to races makes it even more exciting. I'm impressed that you were on the road at 4am ;) I've got the 12km Bay2Bay soon - it's from Woy Woy to Gosford so it will be an early start for me.

8:43 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

I've heard of that one Fiona - I'm sure you'll run a big PB - you're in great form.
Yes, great to run races year after year, especially if they're on the same course (like C2S and Dunrossil Drive for me). Some of my favourites have changed courses so it's hard to compare times.

8:19 am  

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