Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hosaka for Ewen Average

Earlier this week my eyes lit up when I read Sling's latest blog post. It described the finer details of Yoshihisa Hosaka's unique and somewhat repetitive training, as told in the June edition of Running Times magazine...
"His training is as follows: AM: 2.5k warm-up, 5 x 1 km from 4:00/km to 3:20/km pace, 2.5k warm-down (10k total). PM: 12k (6:00 - 5:00/km pace), 5 x 1 km downhill from 3:40/km to 3:20/km pace, jogging uphill for recovery (22k total). Essentially, Hosaka does these two workouts every day, all year around, aka 32k per day in doubles (no long runs). He said intervals are the way to go for old runners since long runs are very taxing on the body. When asked about the lack of variety, he said that the marathon is all about running at constant effort, therefore a runner needs to train to manage that constant."

What does this mean for your humble blogger, an admitted fan of Hosaka? I'd like to report that I'm cruising down the highway logging just the hours that Hosaka runs (46 minutes for the first session, 1 hour 45 minutes for the second), but I'm not. I'm running about 34 minutes for my first run then a couple of hours later 1 hour 15 minutes for my second. I haven't even thought about attempting his twice-daily sessions of speedwork.

The times that Hosaka runs for the 5 x 1 km repeats are fairly moderate for a man who, as a 60-year-old, has run 2:36:30 for the marathon. His marathon race-pace is 3:42 per km, so for the morning repeats he starts at M-pace plus 8% and finishes with M-pace minus 10%. If I were to attempt such a session, and presuming as a 50-54 Master I could run 3:30 for the marathon, my interval goal times for the kilometres would be something like 5:23 down to 4:29, which seems feasible. What doesn't seem feasible is doing a similar thing for my second run and then repeating it day after day, week after week, month after month. Instead, I plan to keep running around 125 kilometres per week of Hosaka-Hadd, perhaps less for the third week, and eventually bring in a session of Hosaka-style speedwork to go with a weekly Cross Country Club race or High Noon track race. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 18, 2009

One quarter of a good Half in Sydney

I enjoyed my weekend in Sydney — all of it but for the last 30 minutes of the SMH Half Marathon on Sunday. The morning dawned with stunning perfection. I managed to squeeze sufficiently close to the front of the 8,400-plus field prior to the start — it only took 22 seconds to cross the timing mats. Soon enough I was able to find space to run at the speed I wanted. It was exciting to be running through the city amongst thousands of like-minded people, all following 2000 Olympic steeplechase gold medallist Reuben Kosgei.

We turned left into Hunter Street, then sped downhill towards Circular Quay and The Rocks. I must have been channelling Scott Brown's positivity as I ran at M50 PB pace. 23:13 at 5k. If I could keep that going I'd run 98 minutes! Unfortunately it was not to be — I felt sort of okay through the next 5k (24:58) but just as JD and Tesso blew past I felt suddenly tired. The rest of my race was spent trying to preserve the pace I happened to be running at the time. The 5k to 15k took 24:57 but the next 5k was a very pear-shaped 26:50. I knew I was slowing by the hundreds of runners that went past. I was extremely happy to finally see the finish line in beautiful Hyde Park. My chip time was 1:45:36 (2,339th place).

So, it was a pretty ordinary race. I think I'll run the half marathon at the Gold Coast. I want to run faster!

5k splits and average heart-rates: 23:13 (150), 24:58 (150), 24:57 (147), 26:50 (145), 5:38 (151).

view of st mary's and hyde parkHotel room view of Hyde Park and St Mary's Cathederal where the race started

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ghosts of Races Past

I run what seems like a million kilometres per week and I'm still here. It's amazing what the body will put up with! Three weeks of the Hosaka-Hadd Training Plan are in the diary — 126k, 124k, and this past week, 123k. I have a half marathon race in Sydney next Sunday but I'm over it already. I've read there are 10,000 runners entered for the race on a course which is too narrow in places for the former limit of 5,000.

Last Sunday I had a surprisingly good race in the Nail Can Hill Run — an 11.3k trail race in sunny Albury which attracted almost 1400 runners. I ran a recent PB of 55:51, placing 176th. More importantly, I beat my friend and long-time rival Jim! Now, I know he had a bad race, but who cares? I beat the bastard! I caught him 1k into the race and ran scared for the next 10.3k, thinking he might catch up at any moment.

Here are my kilometre splits for the race, which clearly shows "the hill": 4:28, 4:37, 7:38, 6:26, 4:36, 4:37, 4:29, 4:42, 3:45, 4:53, 4:28, 1:12 (300m). Here are the ghosts of races past: 1981 - 50:40, 2006 - 60:56, 2007 - 59:17, 2008 - 56:53. Photos from last year's race.

Old folk from CanberraJim - back row, 5th from left.
Kathy (adidas top) placed 4th female and 1st W50.