Friday, November 30, 2007

Hadd Actually

Thanks all for your supportive comments about my nothing 10,000 metres. I've decided to target the January 10,000 as I can't see myself being as fresh as a daisy next week. December, work-wise, is a very busy and tiring month. I still plan to race next week, but my confidence level is somewhat less than spectacular. I feel as glum about it as John Howard packing boxes for his move from Kirribilli.

A few people have asked me when I'm going to stop the Hadd experiment and "do some real training". If I were a marathoner, I'd probably do Hadd-training forever. I believe it's possible to run a good marathon (even a PB), just off Hadd, and nothing else.

Hadd-training is a method of developing 'base' by using heart-rate to guide effort during a particular training run. Base was made famous by Arthur Lydiard, who had all his runners, from 800m specialists to marathoners, running 100 mile weeks during the base phase. The Lydiard method of training is often thought to mean lots of slow running. It's actually base training (aerobic running), followed by 4 weeks of hill training, 4 weeks of anaerobic (intervals) training, then speedwork (sprinting), tapering and racing.

I'm putting off doing any "real training" because I want to race a couple of 3000 metre events just off Hadd-training. I'm curious to see what simple aerobic conditioning will produce in the way of a 3000 metre time. After that, I may do some anaerobic running and speedwork. Or I may not. I'm actually enjoying the less frenetic and more contemplative aspects of aerobic running. I've also been able to run a lot, without becoming injured. I like running.

I don't recommend drinking Coke and eating sausage sandwiches as a way to win medals!
The correct diet (and big enough handicap) could result in winning a medal!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


The M50 10,000 metre PB will have to wait. I'd received a text message from Strewth before leaving home saying "are you still going to run in this?" It had been raining fairly steadily all afternoon. I replied that I was going to race and hoped to see her out there.

On the 40-minute drive to the track the rain was easing. The temperature was pleasantly cool – about 14°C (57°F), a relief from the 32°C (90°F) days we've been having lately. I was looking forward to the 25-lap race and had worked out a pacing plan of 1:47 per lap.

As I turned into the AIS carpark my heart sunk. Apart from one car, it was empty. The meeting had obviously been cancelled. I walked up to take a look at the track but the gate was locked. Roger and Maureen arrived. We had a chat for a while before going home. I was disappointed, but at least (touch wood) there's another race on 10 January.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hoping for a good 10,000

In Canberra there aren't many opportunities to race 10k on the track. This season there's a race on November 22, and another on January 10. Ever since I started running I've wanted to run a good 10,000 metres. People always ask "What do you do for 10k?" Secretly, I was more desperate to run a good 3,000 metres. Sub-10 minutes was the goal, and it happened after many attempts. Practise makes perfect.

My first 10,000 was at the old Bruce Stadium track on 17 November 1984. I had a goal of 38 minutes. I was a little behind schedule at 5000 (19:07), and during the second half of the race, my lap-scorer became confused. Was it because I was being lapped umpteen times, or because she was mesmerised by my impeccable form? She gave me 'the bell' after 25 laps, so I ended up running an all-time PB of 39:54 for 10,400 metres.

So here we are, 23 years later, hoping for good 10,000 at the newly resurfaced AIS warm-up track. I haven't been travelling that well in training since the Melbourne Half. I've run 83k per week, but managed to catch a cold that's had the persistence of a swarm of bush flies. Only now am I feeling somewhat healthy. This recent fragility is why I haven't been racing 3000 and 5000 metres on the track. I'll have one more week of training followed by a 3-day taper.

Defining 'good' is best left to the experts. My old mate McMillan says that 45:18 for 10k is equivalent to my Melbourne half marathon time. Fair enough Greg, but I want to run quicker than the 44:53 I managed in January 2005. If it doesn't happen in 11 days' time I'll have another crack in January 2008.