Showing posts from January, 2009

Lane 3

The first track session is done. Because of the gate on the inside two lanes, I take lane 3 to do my intervals. Having calculated the length of the lane from various sources, plus taken a measuring wheel around it a few years ago, I am happy that the lane is 415m. So my times and paces are all adjusted for the 15m difference each lap.

Melbourne is in the middle of a heatwave. Even getting to the track early had the warm up starting at 33 degrees. With the sun appearing a little angry today, it raised that to 36 soon enough. On paper I had 2x3000m to cover, but having missed my speed work due to 43 degree heat yesterday and the current temperature I modified things a little.

I settled on 1x 2905m @ 3:54/km, 5min recovery/icing/cooling then 1 x 2490m @ 3:50/km, then after some more cooling I covered 4x100m sprints with walk back recovery.

Everything felt good during the intervals. Right on what is likely to be my 10km-or-slightly-faster pace. Exactly what I was aiming at. More importantly …

Prologue of the 4x40

Woke extra early this morning. I planned on getting up at 05:00, so I could fit in my long run before the day heated up. The cats had me awoke for most of the night instead. I was definitely awoke from over an hour early. Today was predicted to hit about 38 degrees. Which is fine, when you consider it is simply a warm up for the next four days, all tipped to be cracking the 40 degree mark.
I made my way out to the trails just as the sun was trying to get up. I was happy for the cloud cover which kept things at a comfortable 17-21 degrees, even if the air felt heavy. Today I decided to cover one of my favourite courses. It not one I do too often due to the terrain being extra rough, but the views awarded do make up for it. The course is a mixture of running trails, horse trails and dirt roads over some very steep hills, including areas marked as too steep for anything except a 4WD.

The Early Bird...
... catches the snake. Not a worm. I was surprised to see a snake next to the trail so ear…


Time flies. No longer training to train. It is now time to crank the pace up and do the race specific training. The aerobic and structural base has been rebuilt. The structure around threshold paces has been developed. Now it's time to further enhance the threshold speed, increase speed and tolerance paces up towards the maximal oxygen uptake, and develop the ability to actually race.

Back at the start of base training I had reasonably good idea how the Specific period would go. Now having a few months training under the belt, things haven't changed much. There are some changes. As discussed in "Back In" I have altered my HR zones. I will be sticking with these. The rest of the training will go as follows:

Four 7-9 day cycles of dedicated specific training, followed by a three cycle peaking program. Each of the four specific cycles will have the following key sessions:
Long run of 2 hours 132-149bpmThreshold run of 60 min @ 150-160+Threshold intervals 2x20min with 5, 4,…

No Car

Dropping off the car to get a road worthy certificate provided an opportunity for a bit of variety in my long run today. Starting at a different place I headed out over a bit of combination of parts of familiar runs. There was no real planning done beforehand, and instead of being out for 2 hours I had obviously miscalculated the distance. Thirty extra minutes later I reached home. Surprisingly the didn't feel like I gone any further. A quick estimate over seemed to give me an extra 5km than I had first worked out. It is good not having to rely on cars to always get around.


Broken air conditioning. Poor sleep following night shift. Maybe an easy run, followed by a cold shower would wake me up so I can be useful for the rest of the day. Stepping outside into a furnace made me rethink that idea. 40.5 degrees celcius is just too hot for that. I'll wait for it cool down later in the evening to get the most out of my limited energy levels today.

Back In

I've gotten closer towards adequate sleep. It's looking like I'm at the best I can get to for a while, so back into training. Ewen is right, the best thing is just to get back into the program at pretty where I left off. While my head wants to cram in the missed training, I know from previous attempts that it just doesn't work. I really have to keep my ego under tabs.

The time off training, lying there attempting to sleep and the twilight in between gave me a little bit of broken thinking time. Just enough to reassess my training and look over what I am really doing. The conclusion is I am happy with the overall program and will stick with the sessions almost as planned. Only one slight alteration is required. My heart rate zones are a little off the mark. This makes sense, since they were originally chosen in a rather arbitrary fashion and confirmed when my aerobic base required serious rebuilding. Now with a few months of consistent training under my belt, my physiolo…


There is a high chance that I have never missed breakfast. With recent night shifts in hot, hot weather, and attempted, but reasonably unsuccessful sleep during the hot days, I found myself waking up at odd times. Whether it be before dawn, noon or sometime in the evening, if I am waking up after a few hours of attempted sleep, then I want breakfast. My body doesn't seem to care that everyone else may be eating dinner. For me, it is breakfast, muesli, fruit, yoghurt, milk, coffee. Must be the most important meal of the day.

Unfortunately my training has gone poorly over the last few days. The lack of adequate sleep has left me way too stuffed to put in any decent training. Just a couple of short, very slow runs have been all I have managed. This has caused a few key sessions to be missed. Now I have to figure out whether I should catch up, with some changes over the next two weeks, or simply cut my losses and jump back in like nothing has happened.

I Ain't Superstitious But...

Why is it the full moon affects people so much? There is reason why there are so many legends related to the moon. Two night shifts around the latest full moon reinforced this. Combine that with a warm Saturday night on the weekend before many go back to work, and I have good reason to require all the sleep I can get before heading back in for another 14 hours of night shift. So unfortunately I didn't get in a run, which I had been hoping to, but sleep gave me back some level of functioning. The moon looked angry, and it was angry.


Run, work, eat, sleep and the rest of life. That's been the last week. The running has been consistent. My legs have been a bit sore or stiff at the start of most runs, but this soon dissipates part way into the warm ups. Naturally with the increase amount of faster running this is to be expected. The good thing is the fast stuff, around the threshold level is feeling easier.

It now feels more natural to run at these speeds. For example my last medium run was 90 minutes (plus warm up and cool down) averaging a HR of 81% with a pace of 4:37/km. At no point did I have the urge to stop, just required a bit more concentration towards the end to ensure I was maintaining the correct effort level.

Two more cycles, plus a test week left of the Threshold phase should have me ready to handle the Specific training. So far the plan is going to plan.


Two cats, resulted in three mice brought into the house today. The cat flap got locked for awhile so I could head out for my run. Today was my second steady threshold run, which meant intervals of 20 and 15 minutes at 85-90% HRmax. Physically and mentally the run actually felt quite easy. Being a Sunday afternoon with warm and sunny weather meant the trail was full. The distraction of people watching, combined with a rambling conversation inside my own skull resulted the run being over before I knew it. That's 75min minutes of mental relaxation while building my physiology.


Another year has ticked over. I will have to say 2008 is up there on my short list of favourites. What does the new year bring? It doesn't bring any new year's resolutions. I have never seriously made any in my life. Instead I believe it simply provides an opportunity to take another look at my current goals.

In short I will stick to running this year. It takes much less time for me to perform at a level I'm happy with than it does if I pursue triathlon. The time freed up lets me enjoy being a parent.

My running goals are simple:
Go for gold medals at the 2009 Victorian Police and Emergency Services in 10km cross-country, 5000m track race and half marathon.Run a personal best marathon time in the Melbourne Marathon.There is pleasure in performing things you are good at.