Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Finally, signs of running well again

I raced the Melbourne 10k back on 16 October, enjoying the weekend and catching up with Jo and Stu on race day. My finish time of 52:27 wasn't what I was hoping for when I entered the race in early August. I thought I'd break 50 minutes. Last year I ran 47:39. I was happy with how I raced, feeling strong (if not fast) until the bridge two kilometres out from the MCG finish.

I've been steadily building my mileage and Melbourne was in the midst of that so I may have been a little tired. For myself, I think having a good base of running mileage is important if I want to race well. I've backed off the cycling mileage to 'enjoyment' level — raced the E-Grade Vets' Stromlo Criterium last Tuesday and was dropped from the group early in the 25-minute race. My cycling muscles aren't what they were last year! My running mileage has been 70 kilometres per week for the past month and I can see that rising to 80 or so before holding that level for a while.

I had a very happy Parkrun last Saturday, finally breaking 25 minutes for 5k. 24:38 to be exact — Woohoo! Ran even splits on a calm, cool morning — 5:00, 4:52, 4:55, 4:56, 4:55. Finished 11 seconds behind my rival Jim (who is running well again). This was my fastest 5k race since 23 January when I ran 24:36 for the Bowral Parkrun, which is a harder course than Tuggers. On 9 January I ran 24:01 at Tuggeranong, interestingly at exactly the same 143 average heart rate as Saturday. I'm not quite as fit as I was before the illness and injury problems that have dogged the middle months of the year, but I'm close. Bring on the summer months of racing!

Caught up with Jo and Stu (taking the photo) before the start


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Hi Ewen. 80km a week should definitely increase your fitness level. Look for some good racing in the months ahead.

12:02 pm  
Blogger allrounder said...

Good work! I seem to hover around the 50-60k a week mark.

3:48 pm  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

The life of a 'professional runner' should as a bare minimum involve 70km/week. I have a coach you know who demands far more than that and guarantees results. I can hook you up if you like ;-) All kidding aside Ewen, proud of you. I've been thoroughly impressed with the way you've managed your comeback. A mature and considered approach. You deserve the success ahead this summer.

9:36 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Bob. Looking forward to it - especially combined with warmer, hopefully drier weather.

Thanks AR. So I noticed re your mileage. You're racing well too. Reckon your quick bike commutes are helping your fitness as well as the consistent mileage.

Mark, I'm scared of your mean coach! Although your results are testament to his method and madness ;-) And I agree that 10km/1 hour a day is quite doable for us professionals.

9:54 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Yeah! One up for us old guys! :) Well done, and the improvements will keep coming.

10:23 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Good to see the training volume picking up, saw that 10 hour week... The cycling is good to have as a recovery option, but the running is the mainstay. Well done on putting a solid MM 10k on the board. Hopefully 2017 a much better year...

9:18 am  
Anonymous Raina said...

Nice to see your running volume up again, Ewen! I think it's almost as high as mine... and I am not cycling. Well done on the race time and training.

2:48 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

Finally! Signs of ET blogging again :). Good to see you making good progress. I dream of 80km weeks! I hope it all keeps heading in the right direction for you.

8:22 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Thomas - appreciate your enthusiasm.

Yes TB, 2017 has to be a better year. For you also with the 6' and Melbourne PB goals.

Thanks Raina. You've been running and racing well this year. Hope I can do the same in 2017.

Haha Janene. I like to have positive things to blog about! Keeping the mileage very easy has made the increase possible. Doubles help too. Keep dreaming :)

9:25 pm  
Blogger Carolyne said...

You are running well again Ewen! Just make sure you look after the rest of you with recovery, diet, hydration, not overtraining!!!!

12:06 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Carolyne. I'm being very careful - not doing much on the bike while I'm increasing the running. Easy low HR, low stress running is building me up! I'm a long way from overtraining.

3:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is great news.

The question of why cycling has only limited value as cross training for running is puzzling. In both, a large proportion of the propulsive power comes from extension of hip and knee. The range of motion differs. In cycling the extension starts from about 90 degrees of flexion at both hip and knee and ends near neutral, whereas in running the major part of the hip drive starts from neural and extends back around 25 degrees, while the knee drive starts from 10-15 degrees of flexion and ends at neutral. The extension is eccentric when running. I suspect the eccentric v concentric difference is the most important factor. It raises the question of whether cycling would be more effective as cross training if combined with sprinting (running) and/or some plyometrics to condition the muscles for eccentric contraction. Ankle plantar flexion also plays a greater part in running, and the calf muscles need to be kept well conditioned to minimise risk of injury.

6:21 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks for your input Canute. It would make an interesting PhD subject! Cycling is useful for aerobic development (as would be swimming) but as you say, the way muscles are used is so different to running. Triathletes get good cross-training benefits but at the elite level, the best runners (who only do run training) are faster at running than the best triathletes. For example, Alistair Brownlee at 28:32 for a track 10k and Gwen Jorgensen, 2:41 in the New York Marathon.

12:32 pm  

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