Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My first two weeks as a professional runner

Had a fantastic sleep last night — 10 hours, solid. The lifestyle of a professional runner is tiring! My body is telling me something: "Listen here stupid! Waking up to an alarm at 5 A.M. every morning is not healthy. You need more rest!"

As Canute mentioned in a comment on my last post, 'increased time for recovery will probably be at least as valuable as the increased time for training'. So true. Nevertheless, I have modestly increased the volume of training over the past two weeks. Running is up to 40k per week from a recent average of 25k per week and cycling is up to 266k per week (from 197k).

On Sunday I ran my 31st Sydney City to Surf and had a surprisingly good result. Surprising because I'd decided to 'train through' the race, not wanting to do a one-week taper as I've only just started increasing my training. My 'taper' was a rest day on the Saturday. I knew I wasn't going to break 70 minutes (5-minute km pace) as I'd raced a hard 5k on Friday for 24:11 (4:50 pace) on a fairly flat course. The City to Surf is anything but flat. Sunday dawned cool, sunny and breezy — great conditions for racing. I was very relaxed about the whole show, starting near the back of the 'Red' group and settling into a steady pace down William Street. I only saw a couple of runners I knew during the run: Bridget from the YMCA Running Club, Elle and Kathy Sims (who finished 4th in the W60 age-group). I ran by feel, trying to keep stress levels low on the hills. At 10k I took a quick look at the Garmin, saw 51:16 and thought I might finish close to 70 minutes after all. After that I ran faster, confident that I'd make the daunting 14k distance and actually sprinted the final 300 metres. 70:17! Very happy with that. I placed 7,900th out of 65,477 official finishers and 480th in the rather tough 50-59 age-group. Simon Claringbold from Canberra, probably our fastest M55 runner, placed 7th in 52:31.

Well, it's finally stopped snowing, so I should get out for my run — or ride, or indoor row, or gym session, or treadmill run. So many difficult decisions for the professional runner.

Crossing the City to Surf finish line on a sunny Sydney day 

Happy Speedy goose stops Garmin after a Sunday long run

15 Comments:

Blogger Janene said...

So disappointed to not see any shirtless men in your finish photo ;-). It sounds like your body is really appreciating some well earned rest. We forget that a sleep deficit can take time to be replenished. I'm betting yours needs more time! Well done on getting so close to 70mins in C2S, imagine the result of some targeted training! I lok forward to hearing more about this 'professional' lifestyle :-).

9:19 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Ha ha, yes - too cool for any sane man to be shirtless. Bron was just lucky. Maybe I need a few more weeks of 9+ hours a night? Next year I should do some long hilly trail runs for C2S training :)

8:41 am  
Blogger allrounder said...

I didn't even notice him until you pointed him out and now he is all that I can see!

9:39 am  
Blogger Black Knight said...

I couldn't get up every morning at 05.00 a.m. I need to sleep not less than 8 hours per night.
I see you are entering many races. Congrats!

11:34 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

It's so cool to be following a pro runner's blog!

1:19 am  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

A very nice finish to that post. It cuts deep and yet fills one with a sense of 'if only that were me'. Your blog will be keenly followed from here on and you no doubt feel that expectation. We want results from the professional runner you hear!

8:55 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Ha ha Bron. I made sure there were no outstanding runners in my photos ;-)

Thanks Stefano. I've been doing 5 AM alarms for far too long. I'm not a morning person!

Ha ha Bob. You can be sure there won't be any blog posts about selection controversies.

Mark, I'm beginning to understand why professional runners have managers to organise their schedules ;-)

6:10 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

Your C2S result still puts you in the top 12.1% of the finishers. That's a great result in any race, especially on a hilly course that includes a " Heartbreak Hill".
Well done on surviving 2 weeks of being professional athlete. keep you receipts as you may be able to claim a tax deduction for the financial year.

4:21 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks 2Fs. It's always good to make it up Heartbreak without hearing ambulance sirens behind you. That's a great idea regarding receipts... I'll be able to keep more prize money that way.

6:25 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

Wow! Nice race. Congratulations on a great finish.

5:46 pm  
Blogger Karla Bruning said...

Congrats on a great race! That one is on my lifetime bucket list. Very curious to see how your "life as a pro runner" experiment goes. What a wonderful opportunity to have. I hope you enjoy it! (And get lots of sleep :)

5:44 am  
OpenID canute1 said...

That is a great C2S, and augurs well for the future. Your Garmin-stopping action is a bit more cool and professional than that of some of those around you.

12:33 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Lize!

Karla, you'll love it when you finally get a chance to run. They have a special 'back of the pack' section for costumed runners which you'd enjoy.

Thanks Canute. Ha, yes, I'm pretty casual stopping the Garmin - it's only the official result that counts, not what's on the Garmin ;-)

10:51 am  
Anonymous Raina said...

The life of a pro! I am coveting the 10 hour sleeps. ZZZZZZ ..I should be able to get them during the summer, except for the minions and the cats. Taking notes on the rest. Well done on your race!

3:55 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Raina. Early days, but I think extra sleep is making the biggest difference. Only 9 hours last night - I feel short-changed ;-)

8:26 am  

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