Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Good legs at the Sydney Harbour 10k

The July 9 Sydney Harbour 10k was a new race for me — one I'd been looking forward to, in part because the event organisers promised a fast and scenic course. My last 10k race had been The Melbourne Marathon 10k back in October (52:27) and the last time I'd been under 50 minutes was in 2015 at Melbourne (47:39). My goal for Sydney was to break 50 minutes but a head-cold in the last 2 weeks changed my expectations to 'having a good run and enjoying the scenery.'

Sunday dawned a spectacular Sydney day — sunny, mild (for winter) with just a light breeze. I ran a short warm-up with Norma (aka Luckylegs) who would win the 80-89 category in 79 minutes. My starting position was good, not too far back from the front of the 'B Group' corral for runners expecting a time of 48 to 55 minutes. The start was smooth and as we wound our way down through the Rocks I felt like I was running at about 5-minute per km pace.

After settling in to my race effort I began to experience an amazing feeling — my legs were fresh and springy! Wow! It was like one of those track 3000s from twenty years ago when I'd have to shorten my stride to avoid tripping over the runners in front. I felt like I was running on the spot. Seductive! I want this feeling of fresh and springy legs again. The race continued, along the narrow paths of Darling Harbour and at one of the U-turns I saw that I was ahead of the 50-minute pacer. My legs were still feeling good but I slowed a little on the one hill of the course (a bridge back to the city at 6k). It wasn't long before I was back running beside the harbour, under the famous bridge, onto the boardwalk and raising a modest sprint through the finish chute — 48:58 for the 10k. Happy with that.

Since the race I've been wondering why my legs felt so good on that particular day. Was it because of the rest day on the Saturday? Or because my regular 80k per week mileage had been down to around 60 in the 3 weeks prior to race day? Or because I'd started running short intervals on the treadmill and the grass track at Calwell? Whatever it was, I want to have legs like that again. If I can have them for a 5k race I'm sure I'd be in a good position to get under 23 minutes.

Ready to start in the Sydney Harbour 10k


Blogger Thomas said...

That's a spectacular improvement compared to the Melbourne race! However, the 5k equivalent is about 23:30, so there's still work to be done

7:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent running. Probably all four factors: lower volume in recent weeks, the rest day, short faster running and the training on grass all helped. Now the big question is whether it would be best to return to a regular high volume with a planned taper before important races, or alternatively to persist with regular lower volume with the short faster intervals. Maybe for the remainder of winter it is best to ramp up the volume again to consolidate your base, but then in summer to cut back and re-introduce the short faster running

8:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ewen, Great report and analysis of your run. It is a real buzz when you are running well. Without doubt the past 12 months of higher volume running has helped your aerobic base. I would ask 'what is your next goal?' - if it is the 5km, then set your goal and tailor your training to suit. Canute is always astute in his observations. Nifty Nev

9:38 am  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

I agree with Canute, and think the taper and rest day were the main factors. I always rest for two days before a race.

10:58 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Thomas. The 23:30 equivalent for 5k is right but I don't think I gave everything to the last 2k knowing I would be under 50 minutes.

Thanks Canute. That's good advice and I'll do that. It will be a couple of months before the temperature is warm enough for 8am Parkrun 5ks. Still well below zero in the mornings now.

Thanks Nev. Yes, it is the 5k - 22:45 by the end of the year.

Bob, that's interesting. I'm sure I need two rest days too. I'll try that in a month or so and let you know how it goes.

4:22 pm  
Blogger allrounder said...

Good effort - I'm sure you'll be back on my tail at parkrun!

11:13 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hope so AR - you're running consistently around 23 or just under. Borrow the rabbit ears off Jodie so I've got a clear target ;-)

6:02 pm  

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