Sunday, August 24, 2008

Evaluation Runs

The table below shows the results from the four evaluation runs I've completed since 17 June. I do these runs on the track at Calwell using the same method each time:
Firstly, a 2.5k warm-up followed by some strides. Then 2 laps of the track (in lane 6) to raise the heart-rate to 138 (84% of my maximum). I then run a further 5 'miles' (1,748 metres) of the track at HR138, recording the split time and average heart-rate for each 'mile'.

Something new is the 'Diff 1 and Ave' result. This is the difference in seconds between the first 'mile' and the average of the last 4 'miles'. Mystery Coach tells me the evaluation runs show how a runner is doing in either the distance or speed phases of training. A small 'Diff 1 and Ave' number is usual in the distance phase, while in the speed phase this number is larger.

After looking at the figures, I'm not sure whether I'm going well! I know my speed training is improving. I've been running 300 metre repeats — most recently 7 x 300m in 65.4 seconds with a 1 min 25 sec recovery. More about this in a future post.

I hope everyone has recovered from the Beijing Olympic Games. So many great moments! Both the marathons were incredible, as was Kenenisa Bekele, winning gold in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres. What a runner!

5 x 1748 metres @ AHR 138 (8.74km)
17 Jun
24 Jun
8 Jul
19 Aug
Ave last 49:01.8 9:27.5 9:31 9:25 
Diff 1 and Ave10.8 sec 8.5 sec 12 sec 14 sec 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

25 City to Surfs

On Sunday I joined 70,000 friends for the annual dash of the lemmings from Sydney to Bondi. It's the biggest "fun run" in Australia, and I must like it because I keep coming back — 25 times and counting.

It was a good day! I joined the A1 starting group 15 minutes before Jana Rawlinson fired the gun, chatting to speedygoose Adam as sporadic second-hand clothing flew over our heads. This year the City to Surf had timing chips, so there was no need to panic about the 40 seconds it took to reach the start.

I found some running room on the left footpath and stayed there until the tunnel. The rest of my race went pretty smoothly — I caught "The Legend", Keith Mayhew running up the Edgecliffe hill. Keith has run all 37 City to Surfs, for the first twenty years they were all faster than 50 minutes! I ran past O'Sullivan Road (5k) in 22:52 and knew I was on for a quicker time than last year's 69:16. The climb up heartbreak hill went well. 47:56 at 10k, then shortly after, the brilliant rush down to the white sands and blue ocean of Bondi Beach. 64:54 on the finish clock gave me 2,484th place.

Thinking back on the race, I'm most pleased about how I felt. The mild day no doubt played a part — 7 to 16°C, but I think the switch to 'phase 2' of Lydiard training made a big difference. I felt an unusual reserve of speed in the legs. I wasn't at my limit the whole way — I hope that's a feeling I can retain for the track season.

Eagle's view of Bondi BeachBondi Beach looks great from the air!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Caption Writer

Strewth is one of my many training partners. She claims not to be one of the odd ones — unless you think running through freezing puddles when there is a perfectly dry path around them a sign of oddness. Strewth is handy with the digital camera, and she timed the shutter release on the photo below to perfection.

It shows me "racing" the young girl in the 3000 metres that I wrote about in my last post. I'm making one of my many fruitless attempts to overtake. On the infield is another of my training partners, Kathy. Well, when talking about Kathy, the term "training partner" is not totally accurate. I'm barely quick enough to keep up with her on warm-up runs. She holds the Australian Record in the 3000 metres for females aged 50-54, with 10:42.87.

My analytical eye has spotted one obvious weakness in my running technique — my stride, after months of distance running, is very short and weak. I'm open to caption suggestions for this photo. One friend has already offered "The whole crowd is on their feet"! The winning suggestion will receive the following exclusive prizes: 1. The honour of having your caption used for the photo with a link to your blog; 2. A virtual six-pack of Steve's award-winning Nenmatsu Tripel beer!

Ewen races the girl, 3000mLily du Maurier-Passante, Daughter of France's Secretary of Crepes, is well protected by her bodyguard Laurent Yves St Claire-Monfrere.
[caption by - KK Cookies & Cream]