Showing posts from March, 2011

Emergency Services Games: 10km Cross Country

A slight course alteration made for a better layout in my opinion. Overall the loop was the same, just that start and finish line was moved around a bit. This meant the grassed section was the start of each lap, and the finish was just after the steep hill. Potential for some exciting finishes. It also made thing little more spectator friendly.

Conditions were perfect. Cool, no rain, but the ground was a little wet underfoot. The grass had gone a bit nuts, and was a little below knee height, making for some slower going. I was feeling ready. The warm up went as it should. I was relaxed and keen to get under way. There was a good turn up, with a few familiar faces. At least a couple I knew would make things hard for me.

A quick race briefing at the start line, and we were sent off.


Up through the grass. It was heavy going, but it didn't stop plenty from hammering the first hill. I was caught between keeping things under control and remaining in a position where I could…

Race Execution

Only a few days out from the first event for the Emergency Services Games. My program is two races. The 10km cross country this Sunday, and the half marathon on the following Sunday. The hard training has been done. The rest of my performance will be mainly a result of how I execute my races. So I should do a bit of thinking about how to approach the cross country.
My goal is to win the event. Whether or not I achieve this is dependent on quite a number of factors. A very important one will be who turns up to race. The information I have is there are 54 people entered, with a few more possible on the day. Who my competitors are, and what sort of shape they are in, I have no idea. If someone is capable of a sub 32 minute 10km, then I don't stand a chance. My plan will need to account for these unknowns. I need to race in a way that will give me the best chance to get into a winning position. It can be suggested that aiming to run the fastest over the course will achieve this, but …

All Good Things

For the first time in four weeks my alarm went off. I was definitely out of practice, as I fumbled around for a while trying to turn it off. Eventually I had my backpack and running gear on. It was surprisingly warm at 05:30 in Melbourne. 5km covered and it was time to return to work.

For the previous three days I've been back home testing the legs over some familiar terrain. My legs are certainly feeling all the extra running over the last couple weeks. There is that unmistakable deep discomfort that almost feels good when training hard. It does mean it takes longer to warm up to shake the stiffness for some descent paced running. The good news is that the main portion of my running is faster.

At the start of my focus period I ran a 7.5km course at a steady-state effort. A couple of days ago I ran the same course twice for 15km at a significantly faster speed, that felt much easier and this was also reflected in a lower heart rate. I also repeated my 6x800m hill repeats, which were…

The Run Focus

In preparation for the Emergency Services Games, I decided to test an approach I can use for other events. The gist of this approach is to stick to my standard weekly mix as the base. This standard I have explained over numerous posts over the last couple of months. Working from that consistent base I then add in a specific focus.

The idea is that I maintain a balanced and consistent overall improvement across all disciplines from maintaining my standard week. Then having only a short focus period I hope not to lose much in the swim and bike, but make a substantial jump in my running.

An added bonus is mentally I don't spend an extended amount of time concentrating on one event. Being fresh and inspired going into a race may pay big dividends. Also I am more likely to physically to be on the uphill curve towards a performance peak. The peak may not be quite as high as a more traditional build, but I am less likely to be overtrained or miss the peak and be on the steep performance de…

Only Way Is West

For some reason I enjoy getting to landmarks or other points of interest when out running. Often that includes the top of hills where you are rewarded with a view for the hard effort on the way up. Byron Bay offers two such points. The most eastern point of mainland Australia, and the lighthouse. Both are preceded by some substantial climbs and with spectacular views.

These landmarks are becoming a regular feature as I my main run incorporates two laps of the lighthouse circuit. Each lap is 3.7km involving plenty of steep climbs with stairs. Some flat running in the warm up and cool down along the beach paths brings me up to an hour worth on my feet. It's times like this I really reconsider why I don't live right on the coast.

Fake Summer

Since Melbourne's summer wasn't much to brag about, we decided to go and find some better weather. Already in autumn meant we had to head a fair distance north. This has brought us to Byron Bay. With a bit over a week of warm sun, beach, relaxation and no work, it should be the perfect opportunity to get in a good run focus.

Some people find a holiday should be mainly be about doing nothing. I don't quite work that way. I can definitely spend a good amount of time in the water or on the sand relaxing, but I definitely require a good dose of exercise thrown in. Without running or similar I don't feel right. Running is an essential ingredient in my relaxation.

With plenty of what is good for me, and a little bit of what isn't mixed together, I have the framework for a good recharge. The training plan is simple when up here. Run everyday, most runs will incorporate steep climbs, add a couple of faster interval sets, a long run and the rest is a mixture of strength, flex…

Deeper Troughs

Hoping it's not anything to do with getting older, but that it is purely to do with how I am training. The impact from last Sunday's race was bigger than anticipated. There was a distinct lack of the usual soreness often associated with the days after a hard 10km. Instead I found for the first three days there was absolutely no strength or power in my legs. This was a lot more than just being tired. They really struggled to move.

So I took it easy on the bike and hit the water. This week definitely had to be a recovery week. On Thursday I attempted what was going to be a slow but longish run. The result wasn't what I wanted. Remembering back to the race I had some problems with my right calf in the second half. As each step of the day's run increased the stiffness and pain around my right, lateral ankle I soon decided to call it quits. It appears to be the peroneal tendon that is causing the most grief. An area I've had a bit of trouble with in the past.

The fix is u…