Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Racing my fastest 5k of 2016

I decided to race as fast as I could at the Tuggeranong Parkrun 5k on Saturday if my legs were feeling up to a hard effort. In the midst of LSD training I never quite know how my legs will feel, even after warming up. For this run I felt about average (somewhere in the middle of the range from dead awful to skin-jumpingly brilliant). I jogged for 2k, some with Dave (an 18:39 5k runner), then lined up in the start chute a little more towards the front than is my habit.

On "go!" from Nick it took me about 2 seconds to cross the start line. Great start! But still many runners ahead, sprinting through the park. I settled into my race pace, my progress a little zigzaggy for the first kilometre. One pleasant surprise — passing Jim after just 500 metres. As I was concerned about time, I glanced at my Garmin at 1k and was a little disappointed to see 4:55. Oh, well... just keep running by effort. I passed Peter after the footbridge, then Judy flew by effortlessly — I thought she'd run around 23 minutes (23:17 as it happened) but I couldn't quite stick with her pace. I glanced again at the Garmin at the turn and saw '12:01' — is that all?!

Returning on the out/back course I was racing runners I was unfamiliar with — Liz was there, some other veteran men and a teenage boy (who would surge every now and then). I added '5' to my time at the 4k mark (19:09) and was happy that I'd run a sub-24 unless the wheels fell off. Scott overtook me coming back into the park but I think my finish was fairly strong (if not an all-out sprint). 23:46 for 50th place! Yes!

If you'd asked me at the beginning of the year would I be excited about such a time, the answer would have been in the negative. My goal back then was 22:00 for 5k but the first 6 months of the year was written off with illness and injury. So to come from 27:26 on 16 July down to 23:46 in December is pretty exciting. Interestingly, both those times were at the same average heart rate of 143, so pretty good evidence that LSD training is working. I'm fitter, enjoying my training AND running faster.
Running out of the park, shortly after the start
A disinterested spectator, 600 metres from the finish
LSD trail run around Mt Stromlo with the Speedygeese

9 Comments:

Blogger allrounder said...

good work, I thought you were running faster than normal when I saw you close to the turn...!

5:04 pm  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

You can't blame that young man for checking out the 'talent' in the distance. Besides, you'd have gone past him in the blink of an eye which is all credit to you mate. A pat on the back from me. After what's been a rather frustrating stop start year, the 'professional runner' is finally making good. Heart rate comparison ... interesting. LSD you say? Bring on 2017!

8:39 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Well done. Nice way to end the year.

8:40 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Bron, that's the great thing about the Tuggers out/back course - you can judge how you're going by when you see faster runners coming back. Hope I can get even closer to you at the turn next year!

Thanks Mark. At least the 'sponsors' of my professional running career won't desert me due to poor form ;-)

Thanks Bob. Sure was!

9:36 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

Nice job!! Congrats on a great race.

1:29 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Lize!

11:22 am  
Blogger Thomas said...

Well, looks like there's some life left in the old dog after all! :) Well done!

10:55 pm  
OpenID canute1 said...

Well done. That's good steady progress with LSD augmented with some racing.

7:03 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

LOL Thomas. An old dog behaving like an unruly puppy ;-)

Thanks Canute. Once I've fine-tuned the mileage I may bring in some of those very short steep uphill sprints earlier in the week.

4:46 pm  

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