Saturday, December 29, 2018

Break on through to the other side

Obviously this is my last post for 2018 so I'd like to say 'thanks' to readers and wish you all the best for achieving your running goals in 2019. For myself, I didn't quite get there in 2018 — my goal was to run faster than 23 minutes for 5k and my best time was 23:10 at The Runners Shop 5k in July. I had been targeting a 5000m track race in December but the meeting was cancelled due to storms. I haven't had a full race effort since the Wagga Parkrun — I've been waiting in vain for a cool night or morning.

I still remain excited about the possibility of running a 'good' 5k so that will be one of my main goals for 2019. Time-wise, I'd still like to break that pesky 23-minute barrier. There are a few reasons for my excitement and I'll talk briefly about two of them in this post.

1. I've started reading the book by Alex Hutchinson — 'Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.' In chapter 1, Alex talks about his own running breakthrough, having had the goal of breaking 4 minutes for 1500 metres since the age of 15. He eventually did so, unexpectedly, at an obscure indoor meeting when the split times were read incorrectly and he ended up running 3:52. Having broken the mental 4-minute 'barrier' he continued to improve and ran 3:44 to qualify for the Canadian Olympic Trials. Prior to the breakthrough, Alex tried to replicate training that preceded good races, something I've always done, having kept detailed running diaries since the early 1980s. Running well is organic and mental rather than mathematical.

2. A podcast by Steve Magness and Jon Marcus where they also talk about the unpredictability of breakthroughs and the importance of trusting the process (of training) and 'racing the race.' I tend to get hung up on running even splits (especially in track races) when I'd give myself the chance of running faster if I raced the race.

The lush track at Dickson, venue for the 2018 ACT Beer Mile


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Always a pleasure reading your blog. Best wishes for 2019.

10:07 pm  
Blogger Nev said...

Ewen, wishing you no injuries, health and happiness in 2019. Love your Strava and Blog. I believe you will break 23min - you don't have to "catch the cat". Thought you might like this quote:-“The surest way to become Tense, Awkward, and Confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard - one that thinks too much.” ― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh.

11:56 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Bob, same to you for 2019.

Thanks for reading Nev. That's a good quote! All the best for your health and running goals in 2019.

6:56 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Good luck on your 5 km goal. We have the same goal, I will try to run under the 25:00 in London on march 9th (I will be there for the rugby match England - Italy).

6:33 pm  
Anonymous Canute said...

Best wishes for 2019 and in particular for that elusive sub-23 min 5K.

I agree that a breakthrough often occurs in an unpredictable manner, but unpredictable breakthroughs are rare unless you have already attended to the things that predict a break-through.

You are attending to the predictable things. Now, relax and see what happens

1:29 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Stefano. That's a great goal and I'm sure you'll achieve it, and good luck to Italy in the rugby!

Thanks Canute. The recent run of very hot weather (46C yesterday in Wagga) has put me on the back foot. I'm taking an 'end of season' break of 3 or 4 weeks before building up for an attempt on the 5k goal. Best wishes for your running in 2019.

10:55 pm  

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