Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Looking forward to fast times in 2018

When I set myself the goal of racing 5k in 22:45 or faster at the beginning of 2017 I thought I'd be closing the year by writing about the successful achievement of this goal. Unfortunately not! My fastest 5k remains the 23:32 achieved at the Tuggeranong Parkrun in March. Recent racing and form has me feeling optimistic about running a 22:45 5k in 2018. Conditions will need to be good though — cool and calm. Recently it's been very warm in the mornings and as a big sweater, I don't do well in warm conditions. For the CJs' 5k lunch runs in spring it was inevitably blowing a gale.

Last weekend I had a good 'double' of races — Tuggeranong Parkrun 5k on Saturday in 24:06 (very warm at 22C) and on Sunday, the 'Tour de Ridges' 10.6k trail race in 57:09 which equalled my PB from 2014. The other run that gives me confidence was an interval session the previous Tuesday — 3 x 1k in 4:33, 4:22 and 4:33 with 1k jog recoveries. That's my 5k race goal pace, run on a warm (26C) day. Bring on some cool mornings!

One thing I've struggled to get right on a 'traditional' training plan (as opposed to Verheul training), is the correct effort/pace for easy days. I've always tended to run too fast. I've never had enough separation of effort between hard days and easy days. Former Australian 10,000m record holder Shaun Creighton talked about this in a recent podcast. You can listen to the interview here, starting at 63 minutes. Shaun has recently broken the Australian M50 5000m record, running 15:34.71. He said that he's always run the easy days very easy, the reason being that in order to improve, the body is stressed on hard days and allowed to recover (and supercompensate) on easy days. This is something I want to improve on in 2018 — run very easily and relaxed on easy days.

Celebrating after the Tour de Ridges on Sunday


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your 2017 running year Ewen. Thank you for posting the link to the podcast. It is good to reflect on our achievements and disappointments; and learn from them. I saw this quote from Pat Carroll "I always used to be running tired as I wanted to be tough. In hindsight when I was tired I should have eased off and dropped the mileage a bit." I am also reminded of the 'hard day, easy day' principle. Recovery and rest is a hard lesson to learn. Says he who has a chronic achilles!! I hope to see you in some races in 2018. Nifty Nev.

10:16 am  
Blogger Janene said...

You now have a fantastic base to work from ET. That should help with running times in 2018. Do you think you didn't achieve your goal pace in 2017 because you didn't run easy enough on your easy runs or some other reason? You do some nice low HR training, so maybe something else? Ah well, you'll have fun figuring it all out and when you least expect it you'll knock out a great time.

2:59 pm  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

Mate, I'm only now starting to understand the true benefits of the ridiculously slow long-run. I often run too quick out there just to get the darn thing out of the way. I reckon if we have it in our mind that these runs are defined by length of time rather than distance, our body would naturally economise and become more efficient. Perhaps yet another benefit?

Your numbers are looking fantastic Ewen. You must be really champing at the bit to achieve some of your short term goals eh. Anyway, that's about it from me. Just wanted to be the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas on this blog I still follow after all these years.

Take care.


2:18 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Nev, that's a good one from Pat. He was a great mover, but maybe could have achieved more? I think it could be easy day, easy day, hard day for some runners. Or perhaps even 3 easy days between hard days!

Thanks Janene. I think not running easy enough on easy days was a big part of it. The easy days are when you adapt and improve from the training you've done on the hard days (according to Pete Magill). Most of my easy days were in fact 'moderate' days, which you can get away with to some extent when you're young. The other reason was losing aerobic condition when I was doing the Verheul method. I got the execution of that type of training slightly wrong.

Thanks Mark. Merry Christmas to you and the family too! Yeah, running for time and without instantaneous pace/average pace feedback would be better. Or maybe use the pace feedback to make sure you're running easy enough. Shaun Creighton just ran 32:19 for 10k (3:14 k pace) and runs 5 minute pace or slower on long runs, so quite a differential.

4:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is great that you are fairly regularly posting times that equal to or better than times recorded a few years ago. The ‘adapted Verheul’ training schedule appears to have suited you well. Best wishes for 2018. 22:45 seems a reasonable target, but as you imply, not an easy target.

8:23 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Canute. Best wishes to you too. I've reintroduced some Verheul training on general runs, thinking more about the feeling and reactivity, not running as fast, and with shorter recovery walks. I'll talk about that in the new year.

4:19 pm  
Blogger Carolyne said...

You'll smash it Ewen, you are running so well.

Of course, if you REALLY want to run easy on your easy days, Run with me!!

8:34 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Carolyne! I will do that tomorrow at BBQ - need light and easy running after today. See you then :-)

5:33 pm  
Blogger S L said...

I have always been poor at the easy hard distinction and they all seem to eventually turn out to be solid training sessions. I do find it refreshing to go out and just turn the legs over and have actually started enjoying a brisk walk keeping the HR in the aerobic zone. I found that this maintained a proportion of my fitness when I was forced to do this for a few weeks under medical advice.

That is ridiculously fast by Shaun, he has been a great runner for a long time. His father was the school principal at my primary school a long time ago and he gave me a signed postcard of Shaun when I was pretty young and very keen for track and field.

Anyway I hope you get to your goal in 2018, it seems very achievable, but not a walk over so good luck. Shane.

5:17 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks for your comment Shane. My training days used to blend together like that in the late '90s. Definitely didn't have enough easy running in the mix. Interesting to hear that link with Shaun - he's now broken the M50 Aus 10,000m record!

8:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ewen, I thought you may find this article on Recovery Run interesting - similar to easy run?
Or google recovery run.
Cheers, Nifty Nev

11:09 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Nev, that was interesting. Especially about getting a neuromuscular/economy benefit when running easily in a fatigued state. The idea of 'developing a skill through repetition' also pertains to Verheul intervals I think, if done correctly.

4:29 pm  

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