Sunday, June 19, 2016

I finished 289th in a 5k

It was with much relief that I finished the inaugural Burley Griffin Parkun on Saturday morning. I ran the 5k with my left calf entirely happy — feeling no different to my right calf. It was my longest pain-free run since March 17 when I ran 5000 metres on the track in 25:13.07 and damaged the left soleus with 2 laps to go. So it was quite a relief when I crossed the finish line on Saturday, albeit in the slow time of 31:26.

My tactic for the run was to move smoothly and easily, using no power on the gentle uphill sections of the course. I employed the ultramarathoner's 'Cliffy shuffle' running style, gliding over the ground with minimal push-off from the toes. My plan is to gradually build some running muscle strength by increasing the distance of my regular runs over time.

One thing I found interesting about Saturday's run is how aerobically unfit I am for running! My average heart rate was 141, exactly the same as for the 5k track race back in March, yet I was over 6 minutes slower. Apparently 250 to 300 kilometres of cycling per week doesn't make you a fit runner! How long it takes to get back to 25 minutes for 5k, let alone my 22-minute goal time will be found out in due course. I remember tearing my right soleus in the 2006 City to Surf but that injury only took me 4 weeks to overcome. Eight weeks later I could run 4:43 km pace for 3k. I think it'll take a tad longer this time. I'm a tad older after all!
Running on a damp path in the 1st Burley Griffin Parkrun
A 'Cliffy shuffle' got me to the finish line in one piece!


Blogger Thomas said...

Welcome back, mate!

7:06 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s great that you are back, but frustrating that despite the cycling, your aerobic fitness for running has slipped. Unfortunately this is not unusual. Your cardiac output is unlikely to have deteriorated. I suspect loss of optimal coordination of recruitment of leg muscle fibres has resulted in diminished efficiency of conversion of metabolic to mechanical energy in the muscles. The Cliffy shuffle is probably not efficient for running a 5K, but in the near future avoiding recurrence of the injury is actually much more important than efficient recruitment of muscle fibres.

8:55 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Thomas!

Good to hear that explanation Canute. I was thinking it must be something like that, and yes, avoiding a recurrence is the most important thing for the time being.

5:44 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Interesting about the cycling basically doing nothing for running.
As for the rest of my comment: what Canute said. :)

11:39 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Bob, not sure it does nothing at all. I think because I've done no running for so long (and so much cycling) that my muscles have turned into cycling muscles. I think cycling is worthwhile cross-training while you're running. Top triathletes are good examples of this. The interesting thing will be how fast my running muscles return.

9:15 pm  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

That's a relief.

For a moment there I thought you might have to head back to work! So the life of a professional runner resumes. Hilarity comes to mind when you consider our blog network has recently been consumed with calf, lower back, ankle and glute injuries. Not exactly pin up boys for ‘Runners World’ are we?

Nice to have you back mate ...

2:39 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Ha ha re work! Don't give me nightmares Mark. Yeah we're a bunch of old crocs - not a good example for new runners at all! BTW I lashed out and bought some Arnica Cream - $6.99 for 100g. Ouch! Hope it helps :)

9:52 am  
Blogger Raina R. said...

Hmmm .. I think this totally contradicts that post that you made earlier about how cycling will keep you fit enough to win a marathon! Didn't some guy cycle every day but the long run, then went on to win a marathon and you posted about it? Was that you?
Anyways, you're cut out to do whatever you enjoy the most. That's my philosophy at the moment! I think you did damn well!

3:03 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Raina, don't think I said that! That bloke did a lot of cycling and 16k per week (I think) of running and ran a 2:48 marathon - so a long way from winning.
You need to do 'some' running while cycling - if so, I reckon cycling is good cross-training. An example of this are elite triathletes who do half the running of elite runners yet run 30 minute or 34 minute (women) 10ks.

8:44 pm  

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