Showing posts from April, 2011

R4TK Review

My race report for the Run For The Kids was based on perceptions during the event itself. In the stupid hours of the following night shift I wondered if these perceptions were accurate. Did my perceived effort match my pacing? Was I really going fast for me? Was this supported by my heart rate? Did the finish time reflect where I should be based on recent racing and training? Are there some lessons to learn to help me train and race better? Night shift being night shift, I wasn't able to answer any of these questions at the time.

Let's attempt to find some answers. There were two key strategies that guided me for the 14.38km race:

go out fast, build and hang on

go fast, when the course is slow

I'll start with reference to the heart rate (HR) profile recorded and displayed below (click the image to link to a clearer one).

The first 35 seconds from the gun time, was occupied by moving very slowly towards the start line. The the first split marked is when I crossed the starting …

Run For The Kids 14.38km: Race Report

Preamble Training for the last two weeks, since the Emergency Services Games has by necessity been about recovery. No injury, just that I managed to absolutely hammer my body. So with really, only three days to loosen up the legs and remind them they are expected to race, and race well I was feeling a bit apprehensive. Typically I like smaller, low key running races, where I can get a good look at my opponents. I enjoy racing people, not just going for a best time over a course. The Run For The Kids (R4TK) is different. It has over 30,000 people across a couple of distances. With those numbers, you do pretty much get lost in the field, even when in the top few percent. So my goal for the race was to go hard from the start and see where that put me. I've proven to myself over the last few years that I typically have a solid perception of pace and dosing out my effort level. This time, when the field is overly big and I won't be in a position to make the podium, why not see just…

Structuring No Structure

I expected to require a fair bit of recovery after the Emergency Games. I didn't expect my legs to be as fried as they were. At least it is a good indicator I put in and got the most out of my body for the races. Originally I expected to take about three days for recovery, then get back into my base routine, at slightly reduced intensity and maybe substituting some of the running for an extra swim or bike. It hasn't quite worked that way. What happened instead, was that my legs still felt hammered seven days after racing. Absolutely no strength, very quick to fatigue, and a deep underlying discomfort that was reminiscent of my first couple of Ironman triathlons. No use to trying to shock a return to form for my legs. Recovery, very easy exercise, mild stretching, hot/cold therapies and massage is the only way to get them back on track. So this is what I have done. I put my plan in writing. That plan provided the guidelines for non-structure training. The parameters were:


Training Review: Emergency Games

My campaign for the Emergency Games was pretty successful. So while legs still feel like a couple of raw chicken thighs that have been tenderised and maybe left out on the bench too long, it seems like a good time to review the preparation for the races.


To understand any training program, you need to know the context in which it fits. For me, it was a relatively light year in 2010 for racing and training. A few key things overtook the importance of training, namely the birth of my son and moving house. Towards the end of the year my mind switched to thinking about triathlons and I dropped the volume of running and added more work in the water and on two wheels. A number of factors led to not racing any triathlons over the summer, before the Games, I only got a single 10km race down in February. Overall my longer term goal is to race a fast half ironman triathlon next season, hoping to set a personal best.


This year I am attempting to work from a reasonably consistent 8-day-c…

Emergency Services Games: Half Marathon

Lake Wendouree, Ballarat. A track, now named after and made famous by Steve Moneghetti. A 6km circuit around the lake, which now has water in it, unlike some years past. I knew each lap for the half marathon would take me considerably more time than Moneghetti's record of 16:10 for one lap set in 1992. It is a flat run. For the Emergency Services Games, we would begin with a short out-and-back to cover the first 3.1km, before finishing with three full circuits to complete the 21.1km event. I've run here a few times over the years, and have enjoyed every event. I having been looking forward to today's race for a while. There were a few competitors I knew were going to be here, including the winner of last Sunday's 10km cross country. Over the week I recovered well from the cross country. With some thought, a test run I believe I had a pretty good understanding of my strength and weaknesses going in. There was nothing complex about my race plan. The Plan Time trial for t…