Showing posts from March, 2009

Police Games: Half Marathon

Off to Ballarat for three and a bit laps around Lake Wendoree. Obviously we have had a drought for a long time. Anything that has the grass mown, has caught fire and you can drive cars across no longer counts as a lake. I still like the signs that state Swimming Is Not Advised.

Being Ballarat, it was a typical cold start to the day, but once the sun finally took hold, things heated up throughout the race. My legs felt a bit heavy, but wrapped in some thermals I went through a very gradual warm up until eventually I was feeling race ready. Yes, my legs were feeling good. The weather was good. A great course and a decent turn out all meant things were shaping up for a good race.

No miscounted laps, and the 24m, short of 6km per lap was accounted for in the initial out-and-back segment at the start before we finished with three laps. An accurate course. We were given our starting orders and the field was off. A face I didn't recognise sped out in front. I hoped he was being very stupid…

Police Games: 5000m

... let's not be too exact.

Unfortunately today's track race was a bit dissapointing. I did achieve my goal, in terms of finishing first and bagging a gold medal, but the event just didn't give the sense of achievement I was hoping for.

The turnout was small, but that's okay. Lining up at the start I was very confident I was likely to be in contention. My plan was to take some of the advice I received recently and not blow it in the first few laps. No 75 second stupidity today. So I went in thinking I would limit my intial speed to no faster than 90 seconds for the first few laps. Within that guideline I would just sit with whoever was up front and let them do the pacemaking. Then I would see how things unfolded.

1:42 per 400m was the resultant starting pace. This felt way too slow. So I kicked up to 1:36/400m and this saw me steadily move ahead, while still feeling comfortable. Today wasn't going to provide a close competition.

Somewhere around the 3000m mark I think,…

No Hard Slog

Being in the middle of my key races, there is no hard training. Two days of very easy to easy running, an ice bath, and some mobility work has seen me pull up very well from Sunday's cross country. This morning I hit the track to remind my legs about the type of speeds I was expecting from them this weekend. The session was short. The main set was 800m at half-marathon pace, then 4x400m at 5000m pace all with a 400m float recovery in between. The running felt easy and natural. At the end I felt like I was warmed up and ready to race.

Two more days of very easy running and then it's a weekend of racing. My plans are still the same. Race to win the 5000m, and then see what I have left for the half marathon the next day. I have a good fitness base so recovery between the two races is likely to be mainly a matter of hydration and glycogen replenishment. Hopefully the little quirk in human physiology of enhancement of neuromuscular facilitation the day or two after a high intensity…

Police Games: Cross Country

One down two to go.

A late venue change saw the course a little north to Norton's Park. As a result the event wasn't exactly a classic cross country, but it was still a very good route. Two 5km laps provided a mix of flats, mild downhills, moderate to steep hill, bitumen, concrete, gravel, grass and dirt tracks. A great variety, that allowed some areas for a rhythm, with other locations for attacks or simply a challenge.

The weather was a bit strange. Overnight the temperature hung around 26 degrees Celsius, but during the race varied from a mild, wind-cooled 23 up to a humid 30 degrees as the sun broke out

For me, the race went well. I lined up at the front and headed out at what felt like a very doable pace. My aim at this stage was to see how the field formed a pack or spread out. Immediately I found myself in the top six. Within 200m we spread out further and I upped the pace to keep with the two guys up front. Soon enough I was in equal second, but after a quick conversation…

The Schedule

With only a few days left, I guess I better start thinking about the schedule of events at the Police and Emergency Services Games. I've entered three events which are:
Cross Country 10km5000m trackHalf MarathonWhile the games go for about two weeks overall, my races are over two weekends. The first race is this coming Sunday, which will be the Cross Country, held at Jells Park. I get to go into this event, hopefully fresh and with plenty of time to recover for the following weekend. The second weekend will be the big test on recovery and endurance. The 5000m will be held on Saturday afternoon at the Police Academy track and then Sunday morning will see me travel all the way up to Ballarat for the Half Marathon. Just for good measure I decided to add the Run For The Kids race (14.1km) for the weekend after, before I take some down time.My approach is to aim for the gold medal in each event. What makes this particularly difficult is I have no idea who I am competing against. Therefo…

No Test

In order to fit in my key runs of the last couple of weeks I've had to drop the MAF test and 400m time trials from my training. Which isn't really a problem. I really only wanted the results for future comparison. I am still getting all the information I need from all the race pace runs themselves.

An interesting feature of Peak training is the change in my body composition. In just over two weeks I have stripped off 3kg and am looking like a runner who is race ready. I haven't paid any extra attention to diet, if anything I feel like I'm eating some more. Also the overall mileage is less than my Base and Specific training. I guess running at or above threshold every two or three days should have a visible effect.

Longer and Faster

Last week my half-marathon-pace run was 8.4km, this week I hit 12.4km. These two runs have provided a good indicator to how my Peak training is going. For the 8.4km I struggled at a bit below my intended pace. The run felt okay, I just couldn't knock off those last 5 seconds per kilometre that I wanted to. This week was so much better. I hit the exact paces I was aiming at. I had to concentrate on not travelling too quick. Naturally I was stuffed at the end of the run, but I now have no doubts I can now reach a certain level at the Games.

Run One, Jog One

Anaerobic capacity training. For me it is involving a session where I gradually challenge my body's ability to buffer and utilise the anaerobic byproducts of running. Last night that meant a session at the track. Following about 3km worth of warm up and drills I complete 10 x 400m @ about 1500m race pace, with 400m jog recoveries. Simple, not too hard for the most part, but reasonably painful towards the end.

The repeats became a bit easier after the first two as my body realised what was required of it. Then following Peter Coe's comments in regard this type of session I put in a significantly faster 8th repetition, before dropping back to the sessions average pace for 9 and 10. Coe has suggested that a good indicator of an appropriately pace managed anaerobic capacity session is the ability to put in one or two faster reps towards the end without undue fatigue. That was the case last night.

This phase of training feels a bit strange overall. The faster running is definitely fe…

End Of Summer

A couple of days into Autumn and the rain has started. Not that we haven't needed it sooner. Drought, fires, water supplies could have used some days of falling water a while ago. I'm sure people will soon be complaining about the rain.

Lucky for me I had a relatively easy night shift so felt close to awake after a coffee at the end of the shift. I celebrated by heading down to the athletics track and punched out 4800m broken up into 400s and 800s at 5000m race pace. The best part is it was all run in the rain. It was a feeling I had forgotten. Nice to finally be reminded.


Three cycles/weeks, designed to fine tune racing skills, develop any last minute weakness and above ensure I am fresh and recovered to perform over the two weekends of the Police games.

All days not listed will be very easy runs of 30-60 minutes at less than 70%HRmax, with mobility work and further recovery aides including ice baths, self-massage etc.

Cycle 1:
8.4km @ half marathon paceTrack work fine tuning 5000m race pace, 400s, 800s.Anaerobic capacity training, repeated 400s400m time trialCycle 2:12.4km @ half marathon pace10,000 pace workAnaerobic capacity training, repeated 800sMAF testCycles 3:20min @ threshold60min, very easy with some strides