Showing posts from January, 2010

Against The Backbone

My training template appears to be working. Race versus Training weeks seems to be the right approach. In fact, the priority system for training sessions I am using fits in well with the other demands of life. The stress of missing sessions isn't there. So far, no key runs have been missed. Recovery is being achieved. If I require a further easy day, then I just take it. If I'm struggling then I can drop one of the harder sessions. Also, there plan provides a few constant that allow me to compare performance over time. It all seems to be working.

On the other hand, life sometimes involves things that call for a different approach. In the upcoming week we're moving house. Combined with work and other necessities, that means training time will be substantially reduced. Something about priorities.

Naturally I still struggle with the idea of substantially reducing my training over a week. With a bit of thought, it's now clear that doesn't have to mean a reduced training …

24 kJ

Energy is required for muscle to perform work. This energy is released from the combustion of carbohydrate, lipids, protein and is stored as chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Subsequently the degradation of ATP provides free energy that can be converted to mechanical energy. Muscle can perform 24kJ of work for every mole of ATP degraded.

Exactly how we get to creating ATP, degrading ATP and utilising everything is highly complex and not fully understood. All the different systems that lead to this including the tricarboxylic acid cycle, electron transport chain, oxidative phosphorylation, purine nucleotide pool, different substrate sources, enzymes and training status means there are too many factors to fully control. While so much is known, there is so much that isn't known.

Why am I taking this line?

The trend in so-called advice for the best way to train is getting annoying. The number of experts seems to be increasing while the knowledge or wisdom doesn…


Nothing beats seeing definite fitness improvement in a short time frame. In only one week, my ability to recover post race has improved. With a greater distance and more downhill running I was expecting to take at least the same amount of recovery time. Last week I definitely need three easy days (including a day off), but this week, two comfortable days of running was enough. This meant I was able to get into my long run a day earlier than hoped.
At the moment I seem to be trying to avoid the regular run courses for my long runs. I also tend to vary my driving routes just to elevate boredom too. This time I really took a path that was mostly untrodden by my own feet. A quick look in the Melways I found the inspiration I was looking for. If I started at Gresswell park and just headed out on the many, many trail options I had plenty of twists and turns to keep me amused. Keeping in mind that I generally wanted to head south-west to ensure there was always some trail close by.Without mu…

Coburg Fun Run 12km - Race Report

After blasting out some of the carbon last week, I decided hit the racing circuit again this week. The Coburg Harriers were having one of their monthly fun runs. Today is cwas their usual 6 and 12km event. Choosing the 12km I decided to pace things better than last week. I was hoping to make the most of what fitness I do have. I did wonder how close I would get to last August's 46:28 over the same course.

OutIn the expect low-key style of Coburg club the race was under way. Fighting the urge to jump in with the lead few runners I managed to hold back a bit. Later it was revealed to be a very good idea. Most of those shooting off at the start were in the 6km. Another bonus was it only took a couple of kilometres for the fast start to takes its toll on the others. Into the 3km turnaround I knew I was now at least in the top 6. Maybe better placed.TrackingThe first was completed with a shot around the athletics track. Those ahead in the 6km were enjoying the finish. In 12km we had mor…

Mullum Mullum

It took three good days of very easy running to get my legs back. Not racing for a while certainly shows. Finally having the concrete boots removed I was ready for a long run. This time I was over my usual trails, so I headed out into lesser chartered territory. Starting in Eltham the first section I have covered way more time than I could imagine. So to mix things up a bit I took all the alternative paths I could find. Making for more a cross country start than usual. The numbers on the trail were more than usual. Perfect weather tends to bring out the masses. Falling into the zone almost straight away I knew I was in for a good day. The first few kilometres flew by and before I knew it, I was heading out of my usual stomping ground. Out past the orchards and through the gateway into the Mullum Mullum. Beautiful scenery is the mark along almost the whole run. There is just one exception, which strongly identifies the border from my common area to further out. Unfortunately it a series …

Sri Chinmoy Princes Park 10km - Race Report

The first thoughts post race...

A good warm up. Some nice warm weather. I really don't think it was hot. About mid-twenties for the race. Every third person kept commenting that it was too hot. Maybe it was the obligatory disclaimer in case their race didn't go to plan.I lined up at the front. Not knowing what to expect, I decided I would at least put myself out there. At least I'd have an early idea how the race was going to unfold. Unfortunately I just got caught up in the mad rush that is so often the start of fun runs.Trying to stick with the front runners I really over extended myself in the first couple of kilometres. Checking my splits, I headed out at 3:35/km. This wasn't fast enough to stick with the top three, but had me well and truly in the top ten. Heading past the 3rd kilometre I was suffering. There was no way I was ready to sustain this type of pace.The caught a bit of respite on the mild downhills over the 4th kilometre. Then it was just an effort to ma…


The first training cycle is completed. For the most part it formed the template of what I hope to be a typical training week. Of course, I want to see progression in the key sessions. I stuck to the plan and got in a good quality long run and VO2 session. The speed and threshold runs came later and went as expected. I'm feeling good. Running is feeling better each day. The only deviation from the plan, is have delayed today's strength training by a day. Deciding to race a 10km event tomorrow was a last a minute decision. To give myself a chance of a good performance, without an increased injury risk, I thought racing while recovering from a recent weights wouldn't be the best plan. So I'll simply move it to after the race.

As for how I expect to perform tomorrow... I really don't have anything to gauge what I am capable of. The VO2 and threshold sessions haven't been run over any measured course. The 100m intervals for the speed sessions were timed at the track,…

Limited Focus

Thinking less about running is leading to more enjoyment and better training. The key to this is I think about running just before I head out the door, forget about it when I return home and only consider it again when deliberately sitting down to make plans. Having freed myself to just worrying about the main elements of the training and not be concerned with the little details has been a release. In reality the little details tend to take care of themselves anyway when you get the main stuff right.

Wide to Narrow

My original plan was to increase everything by a tiny bit every training cycle or second cycle. Hoping to develop all aspects of performance evenly then make adjustments as needed. Unfortunately everything felt flat, and I had nothing to really hold my focus each week. This is the area of training I have changed.


The plan is now split into a non-racing week and a racing week. Each week I have only two key elements to focus on. Remember my week can be 7-9 days. The rest i…

Running On A New High

With some obligatory drinking and good food over the new year I removed any thinking about training for a couple of days. By the 2nd I was refreshed and keen to get out and run. Nothing like hitting some sand and dirt along the coastline to find that runner's high again. An afternoon watching the Bay classic cycling, a chance catch up with some triathletes and the fire has been reignited.

Back home and reality hasn't taken any lustre off. A familiar trail, a snake and some kangaroos to keep me company, an old training friend over last few kilometres and things are falling into place. So much depends on attitude. Beyond attitude is actually making a plan that works and can be kept up. I now have that.