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 I made a significant change in my sprints.

Recently I have been wondering if I am staying too high up on my toes during faster speed work. To the point that only the ball of my foot and toes end up touching the ground, which has many problems associated with. These include full impact going through the foot itself instead of being spread properly over the gait, reduced range of motion and leverage to generate force off each stride. I believe I have headed down this way over the last year and a bit due to trying to focus on reducing ground contact time and plyometric work.

Today I focused on full foot contact like I achieve during the rest of my running. I wasn't concerned about time, I just wanted to get the feel right and have the feeling of relaxed speed. Too my surprise I ran all 100m's at a little under 16 sec which is something I haven't been capable of for quite a few years, no matter how hard I thought I was trying. Add to that it felt natural, I had less pain in my legs and I haven't developed the typical lateral calf stiffness and discomfort I usually get.

There's always room for improvement.


  1. Interesting about the 100s Jason - good improvement. Shows the value of trying different techniques.

    Looks like the specific training is going well. Very difficult in this heat-wave we've been having to run quality intervals.

    Keep an eye out for those snakes!

  2. My non-expert guess is that if your primary goal were to be a 100m pb, your would be better to keep ground contract time to the minimum possible, and stay up on the balls of your feet. However this requires strength. If your primary goal is to increase your speed over 5K or 10K, then allowing your heel to drop to the ground mid-stance is probably best. It may be that your time improved when you lowered your heels because you have not done as much strength development as a top level sprinter might do. But for your purposes, you are probably better advised not to focus too much on strength development.


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