Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Coach and I

I'm racing 10,000 metres on the track this Thursday. Canute expressed confidence when commenting on my last post that a time "comfortably under 45 minutes" was likely. If the Seiko at the finish reads less than 44:54 I'll have an M50 PB — how I want one of those! My tactic will be to run the very even schedule that worked for the one hour race. First lap in 1:48, first kilo in 4:30, and so on.

Scott wondered if my absence from blogging was due to stumbling through the back verandah's glass sliding door in a lamb chop and wine induced stupor! Thanks mate! Actually, I've been looking over my training diary from 1991 — trying to figure out what led to seven lifetime PBs. I think the simple answer is that I was desperate to run well, and sought out a good coach. That coach was Geoff Moore, who these days leads the highly popular Speedygeese running sessions. Geoff is a great motivator and in '91 gave me the confidence I needed to achieve breakthroughs.

The group was small compared to the multitudes that run with Geoff these days. There were less than a dozen serious runners, and we trained on a lovely grass track that's since been taken over by the Canberra Raiders football club. Geoff introduced me to long warm-up runs. We'd run 5 or 6 kilometres around the hilly Eucalypt Trail before doing our 1000 metre repeats on the grass track, then finish with a 3 or 4k warm-down run. In the depths of icy wind-blown Canberra winters we'd sprint hill repeats on Regatta Point. In the dry heat of Canberra summers we'd race on the AIS track. Wherever we were there'd always be friendly encouragement from all in the group. Happily, not much has changed.

Geese sprint. I take phone photos!Geoff (dark blue), supervises hill sprints at Parliament House, February 2010


Robert said...

Good luck on Thursday.

Seeing the 1991 training log comment struck me. It would be so cool to be able to look back that far in training logs. I'm looking forward to it. Earlier today, I mentioned in conversation how cool it was to finally have real year-ago stats to go back and compare with. I can't even imagine 19 years... That's cool.


imagine your Earl Fee storming round the track, be strong, be couragous, have faith in your own being, be generous in effort, enjoy, you can do it Ewen 44.48 :]

Samurai Running said...

Good to see you're unscathed Ewen.

No pressure but if you don't do a M50 PB on Thursday I'm going to send anthrax to Speedygeoff thru the mail!

All the best with it, mate!

And thanks a lot for putting my logo on your side of your blog. It certainly adds a air of credibility to .......

"Samurai Running."

You thought I was going to say it adds credibility to your blog, didn't you ;)

Thomas said...

A coach might be the one thing I need to get me to the next level - finding one here at the back of beyond is impossible though, and I don't want a virtual one.

Anyway, good luck on Thursday. Smoke that M50 PB.

Girl In Motion said...

Wow, I really enjoyed reading your diary (and peeking through the other years), tells me a lot more about you.

Must be fun to do speedwork with a large group like the photo shows.

Best of luck this Thursday, you racing machine! Seriously, you are the most prolific racer I know on the net, so impressive.

Joe Garland said...

Good luck on Thursday. Keeping a steady rhythm sounds like a plan.

I'd love to have logs from the early 80s, if only to count the number of laps I did each year around Central Park.

What's the club-scene situation where you are? Here in the NYC-area there are dozens of clubs, although back in the early 80s there were maybe 6 serious ones. For mine, we always worked out, Tuesdays and Thursdays, in Central Park, using the Great Lawn (actually the paved path around it) as our track; it was just over 880 yards, and had markings every 220. There weren't the crowds as there are today, and it was interesting whizzing by the folks waiting on line for Shakespeare in the Park, which was held at the south east corner of the Lawn. Then we'd hear the plays as we ran, bellowing through the Delacorte Theatre's speakers.

That and many a repeat up Cat Hill. Ah, the memories. Because there isn't a track in Central Park (except for 300 +/- cinder circle), the clubs that train there tend to improvise, usually making good use of the hills so on a Tuesday night you'll see all sorts of different groups doing all sorts of different stuff.

Ours was a very good group of serious runners, albeit at very different speeds and I think it enabled me to reach a level I would not otherwise have gotten to.

Grellan said...

Ewen, if you follow the un-Prefontaine like tactic of last months 5k you'll ace the 10k on Thursday. All the best.

Anonymous said...

wannabecoach said:

Saw the heading, got very excited, read on and was very disappointed to realise you still refuse to accept my longstanding offer to be your coach.

Joe Garland said...

Good stuff here: Coach Ken Green Talks About Jeffrey Hunt's Race-Making Beppu-Oita Debut

Ewen said...

Thanks Robert. The old diaries are useful for seeing what sort of training worked, and what didn't. However the body won't put up with (and recover from) similar training 19 years later!

Rick, I'll try and channel Earl's style and relaxation.

Scott, thanks for the warning. I'll tell Speedygeoff to return all mail from Japan to sender. And yes, I did think you were going to say that logo added credibility to my blog!

Thomas, you'll just have to do the best you can self-coaching - which is pretty good thus far. Agree that a non-virtual coach is best.

Flo, I think the old diaries just tell you I've been obsessed about running for a looooong time! Speedwork IS fun with the group. As for racing prolifically, that's just what we did - raced every week.

Joe, the club-scene in Canberra was very strong in the '80s. There were about six athletics clubs battling it out for premierships in the winter and summer seasons. Members ranged from Olympians such as Deek and Susan Hobson ('90s) to 6 minute/km weekend warriors. Every runner scored points for their club. It's not so strong now, as triathlon took off in the '90s. The club scene is still very strong in Melbourne and Sydney. Thanks for your reminisces about Central Park in the old days. You should blog more about that.

Thanks Grellan, that's the plan.

Wannabe, I would have accepted your offer but your fees are way too high. That and the second-rate job you've done with Jana and Tamsyn ;)

Joe, thanks. That article was a good read. Jeff is a loyal club runner, and supporter of grass-roots athletics.

Em said...

Hoping you have a great run on Thursday :-)

Sling Runner said...

Ewen - nice log. Interesting to see the number of races you ran during that year !! (either as races or training runs). All the best for the 10k.

jojo said...

sub 45, sub 45, its in the brain, itll happen :)
im planning a sub 45 road race in may...cant see me pb-ing though!

rinusrunning said...

Thanks for your respons on my video blog and good dutch write!.
Nice pic and heavy to run.
Greet Rinus.

jen said...

Good luck in the 10k Ewen! I'm doing one in a few weeks but I would be happy with sub 47:00. You have it in you though, I know it!

Can't wait to see the results. :)

Janene said...

Good luck in the 10000m tonight Ewen! I had hoped to be following your coat tails, but have rushed home to be with mum. A harsh reminder for us all to embrace life as best we can. Runners are never guilty of not doing that!

Ewen said...

Thanks Em.

Sling, thanks. I probably ran a few too many races that year. Some that the coach didn't tell me to run ;)

Jojo, it was in the brain, but not in the legs.

Rinus, I enjoyed that video. It should be up for an Oscar.

Jen, thanks. You'll go sub-47 for sure!

Janene, you would have been way ahead tonight. Sorry about your mum - my thoughts are with you.

Well, I ended up with 45:57. 19th place, 2nd M50 (only 2 of us!). I think I ran a good race. Unfortunately it was warm, 28C, and humid - not a snowflake in sight. As the Wednesday runners will tell you, I sweat a lot - so don't enjoy humid races. Thanks again for all your wishes. Bring on the next one!

speedygeoff said...

Yes, second out of two, know the feeling. If anyone else could have beaten us they would have been there.

Samurai Running said...

What is that a minute off what you wanted?

OK given the humidity I'll hold off on sending the anthrax to Speedygeoff but next race if it's below 65% humidity and the wind is at your back and you still don't get your M50 PB then I won't be responsible for my actions!!!

Well done Ewen.

Love2Run said...

What no snow? Not even some brown dust? You put in a valiant showing I'm sure and will get your heart's desire in due course. Good work!

Toasty said...

You're in the ballpark so the goals are realistic, should be good to know.

strewth said...

Congratulations on your silver medal - I was very proud to be your lap scorer. It was really humid out there - well done!

Janene said...

I'm with Scott on this one. Considering the conditions, that is a very good time. Remember Ewen, you are tall and bigger than the 'typical' runner, not well designed for efficient thermoregulation! Awesome effort and I bet you'll easily knock off more than the required time to beat the M50 PB in cooler conditions!

trailblazer777 said...

Good move on looking over old training logs. I do that too sometimes. Can learn heaps from seeing what worked well in the past. really like that hill sprints photo cool! Hurray for people like Geoff who inspire, encourage, and guide.