Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What Runners Want

I told Scott Brown that I had a great idea for this post. Woke up in the middle of the night with the first paragraph fully formed in my head. It was well written. I failed to write it down. There's a tip for you. If you wake up startled with a great idea in the middle of the night, resist the temptation of the pillow and write it down!

I wanted to talk about what runners want. Well, what I as a runner wants. I'd like my running to be at that exciting stage where I can see potential for improvement. Faster times. Exciting races. M50 Personal Bests. For the majority of 2010 I haven't been in that place. My races have been struggle-fests. Killing myself at the Gold Coast to break 50 minutes for 10k. Since March this year I've felt like I've been running in six inches of powdery red dust on the back road to Uluru.

On the 15th of December I bumped off that dirt road onto a narrow ribbon of bitumen. Coarse bitumen. I saw a number on my heart-rate monitor that indicated I was, at last, improving. My heart-beats per kilometre (the RS scale) for that 10k run with my mates, were 745. Since March this number has been north of 760 — often closer to 800. The day before my one good 5000 (21:50.7) back in January, I ran at 718 heart-beats per km. As 2010 draws to a close I'm excited that improvement once again seems possible. The 20-minute 5k can happen.

What do you want as a runner? Maybe it's nothing more than feeling the breeze cool your sweat during a warm evening run in late December. If so, enjoy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In Slow Motion

I'm writing this just before heading out for my last run for the week. It's a lovely afternoon — sunny but not too warm or humid. 15k will see 85 for the week — not too bad considering this crazy time of the year. Dubs asked in a comment on my last post about how I felt the Hadd/Lydiard base-building was going. It's going well thus far!

This week I ran in three 'training races' — a leg of an 8 x 1 mile relay on Tuesday (roped into it, and took it pretty easy, running 7:14). On Thursday night at Vets I ran a 3000, followed an hour and a half later by a 10,000. Felt pretty tired for the last half of the 10k. 14:55 and 51:49.

I've made a short video of the aforementioned relay race. I slowed the runners down to get an idea of how they ran. The times for their mile legs are sub-titled below the runners. I'd like to get hold of a Casio High Speed camera (which uses high frame rates) to do more of this slow motion photography. The music is by My Little Trotsky. As Molly would say, do yourself a favour and check them out!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Good to Go!

I had an appointment with the thyroid specialist on Friday. He told me my hormone levels are back in the normal range and I'm to continue with a daily dose of 50 micrograms of Thyroxine. This is great news! It means that (all things being equal), I should no longer suffer from fatigue, low energy, muscle soreness, and numerous other symptoms which interfere with good running. He has ordered another blood test to check my Vitamin-D levels. If those are low I'll be on 2-3000 IU per day for 2 to 3 months.

So, I'm good to go! The only thing holding me back over the next 3 weeks is an excessively busy schedule at work. Last week I slaved through three consecutive 12-hour days. It's an effort to squeeze in even a 45-minute jog on such days. I'm wary of pushing myself over the edge in terms of stress. It's like a jungle sometimes — I often wonder how well Jaouad Gharib or Tirunesh Dibaba would run if they had to fit training around 12-hour work days? I guess they'd be a little slower, and not win so many races!

Last week I ran 55 kilometres — about 40 below par for my Hadd/Lydiard base-building plan. On Monday I had an inkling that my heart-beats per kilometre were falling slightly — a sign that my aerobic fitness might be improving. Yesterday I ran 20 kilometres with my mates on bike-paths near a swollen, muddy and debris-filled Lake Burley Griffin. Amazingly, this was my longest run since March! I need to become more familiar with this sort of distance for a long run. I hope all of you have been training well and are good to go. Race well!

Go!! EwenMy shirt says it's time to go!