Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cross country and track racing

My running (and cycling) is going well. I'm comfortably managing to do around 40 kilometres per week of running and 220 of cycling. I reckon the cycling is keeping my aerobic condition at the level it would be if I were running twice that much and doing no cycling. I'm enjoying the cycling — it's fun and less sweaty than running. In the past two weeks I've had a couple of races that excite me to the possibility of running really fast. For me in 2015, 'really fast' is 22 minutes for 5k. A time that once was so easy!

The first race was a cross country 'Summer Series' event at Barrenjoey Drive — 3 laps for 5k around a dirt road and bumpy, sandy track course near Lake Burley Griffin. I felt good during the race, running evenly, catching and passing people during the second and third laps. Maria said afterwards "You're running well!" My time was 23:29 at an average heart rate of 143, only marginally slower than the 23:17 I ran in February 2012 (AHR 148). Four weeks after the 2012 Barrenjoey I raced a 5000 on the track in 22:14.

The second race was the 'Pennington' 3000 metre event on Thursday afternoon. It was an 'age handicap' with start groups based on WAVA A/G % tables. I took off with Roger as Sue was about to complete her first lap. Rog bolted, so I settled into my 'run-by-feel' race pace with Sue breathing down my neck after her first lap. I gradually cut into Roger's 30 metre lead over the next 2k. Sue went past when she had 1 lap to go (2 for myself and Rog). I got to within 3 metres of Rog but he sprinted hard over the last half-lap, beating me to the line by 2 seconds — 13:22 to 13:24. Not a brilliant time, but it was a warm afternoon and I'd felt good during the race. Really good! Cross country and track racing are the two types of running I enjoy the most. I'm looking forward to further solid training before the ACT Vets' 5k Championship in a month's time.

 Cycling back along the Tuggeranong Parkrun course after volunteer duties


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Glad to hear you're feeling good.

10:32 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

That 22 minute 5k is looking damn close Ewen. The cycling certainly appears to be helping without the impact of running. The next months training is key.

1:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is great that you are racing well, and interesting to hear how the cycling is helping. Clearly a substantial amount of running is essential for a distance runner, but cross-training can make a major contribution to building and sustaining aerobic capacity. I look forward to reading about your run in the Vets 5K Championship

5:57 am  
Blogger Janene said...

Glad to see the running is going well. The cycling should help keep you injury free. Looking forward to seeing you post that sub 22 5k . All the best for 5k championships!

6:38 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Bob.

Grellan, yes, if I can do more of the same for 3 weeks then have a one week taper I should be right for the 5000.

Canute, I think less running is needed if one's race distance is 5k. I wouldn't have the running legs to race a good half marathon, that's for sure!

Thanks Janene. I don't want to do so much cycling that I start getting cycling-specific injuries - having different bikes to ride is helping in that regard :)

1:32 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Glad to see that the running goes well. I loved to bike but my wife disagrees, she is scared of the incidents.
Now for me fast means 4:59/km in the past it was my training pace.... the time flies....

7:26 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Stefano, we're lucky in Canberra - plenty of bike paths, so no incidents with cars (only dogs, walkers and kangaroos). 4:59/km is quick for me too!

8:53 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Good going Ewen. Obviously the cycling is helping and keeping you injury free. Wish I could run 5km at that pace!

2:57 pm  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

One handed I notice Ewen. Now that's confidence. If I were a betting man I'd place a lazy 10 on you running a sub 22 at the ACT Vets. That's provided you don't get boxed in at the start. Something you're prone to do of late. By the way good luck with the cricket on Saturday. Should be a cracker.

6:35 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Strewth - keep speeding around those Speedygeese hill circuits and your 5k time will improve out of sight :)

Wow Mark, my confidence has skyrocketed if you're willing to risk $10NZ. Thanks! I'll practise my block starts so there'll be no getting boxed ;)

7:38 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

I'm glad to see you doing well!

2:03 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Lize. The perfect weather we've been enjoying lately is helping a lot - great to be outside!

9:12 pm  

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