Monday, September 03, 2018

A 5k with Deek!

I've been racing regularly since The Runners Shop 5k on 21 July. I agree with Greg Meyer ('83 Boston marathon winner in 2:09:00) when he said on a podcast that today's runners don't race enough. He said there's a feeling and training effect one gets from hard racing that's impossible to replicate in training. My race results over the past 5 weeks have been: 4 August, Dunrossil Drive 4.1k XC in 19:50; 12 August, City to Surf 14k in 74:47; 18 August, Wagga Parkrun 5k in 24:31; 24 August, Customs Joggers' 5k in 23:26; 1 September, Tuggeranong Parkrun 5k in 23:37. That's quite a bit of racing. In addition there have been races run as tempo runs or interval sessions.

The most recent races (CJs' 5k and Tuggeranong Parkrun 5k) gave me a good feeling about my chances of breaking 23 minutes for 5k (my main race goal for this year). My mileage has averaged 106 kilometres for the past 7 weeks and I'm feeling strong in races off that mileage. I haven't been feeling fresh and rested for the races, so there's some 'free' time to be had there — I don't know how much, perhaps 10 or 15 seconds? Then there's the time saved with good weather conditions (calm, not too cold, not too hot).

For the Tuggeranong Parkrun on Saturday the weather was cool and we were running into a gentle breeze towards the turn and during the last kilometre. Parkrun is officially a "timed run, not a race" but in spite of that, there's always some friendly racing happening throughout the field. We were welcomed to the run by Rob de Castella (director of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation) as this was the 'Warrior Parkrun' event day. Deek has run at Tuggeranong before and has a PB of 23:27 when he ran with his daughter. He obviously wasn't running flat out on Saturday, but the results do show me finishing ahead of the great man — 47th for me in 23:37 and 71st for Deek in 25:47.

I've had the pleasure of racing Deek when he was a force in marathon racing in the '80s — I raced him on the track, on the roads and in cross country. The only time we were in close company was before the start or when he was lapping me! It was usually twice in a 5000m track race — it was breathtaking when the leading pack (usually Deek was pulling them along) flew past with the draft of wind seeming to rustle my singlet. Along with many thousands of fun runners I 'raced' Deek in The Canberra Times 10k in 1990, the year he set the still standing course record of 29:01. That day I remember being particularly pleased with myself as I'd just started training with Geoff Moore and finished in 101st place with 36:55. Running is one of those rare sports where we can compete against the best. If you can sprint you can even be briefly ahead of the elite runners during the rush at the start! That doesn't happen in tennis or golf.

Just after the start with 260 other Parkrunners!
Racing Will, approaching 4k in the Tuggeranong Parkrun

7 Comments:

Blogger Mark Watson said...


Hi mate. A good read as usual. Love the pictures at the end there too. You look fit as. I'm not surprised at all coming off the back of those plus 100K weeks. 7 of them no less. Where do you find the time? Are you doing doubles? I note you've run faster than that 36.55. It's the best sport ever isn't it? Don't know where I'd be without it. Yeah ... for an Aussie, Deeks is a bloody good bloke. Wasn't half bad as a runner either.

1:19 am  
Blogger Mark Watson said...


Sorry mate. Just read your running diary. Doubles all explained. Apart from your obvious OCD trait displayed by the fastidious attention to detail ... hehehe ... your weight is incredibly constant also. Nice discipline. BTW, what software do you use to capture your runs?

1:38 am  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

100k + weeks. Damn - very impressive! Yes, you must be in pretty good shape.

7:25 pm  
Blogger Nev said...

I always enjoy reading your posts Ewen. You are in good form and recovered well from injury - patience and now consistency. Your insightful post reminds me of when we used to race XC weekly in the winter season. And then race track in the summer season. I loved the challenge to race as best I could. Recreational running is not so defined now with so much choice to run different events - ultras, marathons, fun runs, trail runs, etc. Or is it simply the stage/ age we are running at? Good luck with your racing goals.

8:29 am  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

It looks like you are racing well lately! I'm glad you're fit and healthy.

8:34 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hi Mark, hope you're surviving the nasty weather up there. Yes, a few doubles and the mileage/time is much easier now I'm retired. It is good fun, I enjoy both the training and the racing. Have always been OCD with the diary - it's interesting to look back and see what training preceded a good race. I just use Garmin Connect and Strava then manually transfer that data into the diary template.

Thanks Bob.

Nev, the difference between the 'old days' and now is interesting. There were fewer distractions back then and racing was 'simple' - winter and summer season club racing, no ultras, trail races, triathlons etc. There are more social and 'fun' runners now (a good thing) and the 'serious' racers are spread over a lot of different events.

Thanks Lize, good to hear from you!

10:49 am  
Blogger canute1 said...

Ewen, you are continuing to race well and the 23 min target is within sight; favourable weather will certainly help. Do you intend to identify one or more specific target events for which you will taper?
I think that there is little doubt that the competitive atmosphere of running in the days when only a small minority of dedicated (young) runners competed did promote higher standards. But the modern era is better in so many ways. In particular it is great that running is now accessible to a much wider range of people. However the increased opportunities for social running can distract from a sharp focus on peaking for a specific target event.

8:44 am  

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