Showing posts from January, 2012

The Ultra Zone

My race plans for the year are far from set in concrete. A number of competing interests and opportunities that may or may not come around means the racing schedule is at best only written in pencil. Already there have been a few revisions. At the moment I will focussing my efforts into the Emergency Services Games (10km Cross Country and Half Marathon) in April. Beyond that I might be heading towards an early marathon, but that is just at the maybe stage. Later in the year I want to try my hand at a trail 100km race. So all training throughout will keep that in mind.
One race which I have changed my mind about a lot is the Maroondah Dam Trail Run 50km. At the end of 2011, it was a definite. Into 2012 I had other plans (a potential holiday) or just that I didn't trust I my conditioning leading in. After a few changes I finally decided to run it.

Today I entered. So on 19th February I will trying my hand (or feet) at my first trail ultramarathon. Given my other goals, and where my…

Easy Being Green

Moving out of orthotics and highly supportive/restrictive shoes has injected a bit of extra colour into my footwear. I don't plan on doing a shoe review. There are plenty out there of variable levels of use. I think for the most part, shoes are too individual. You need to find what works for you. In the current stage of the search I am ditching the Brooks Adrenaline GTS, that had worked so well for years. Over the last couple of years my running form has changed a bit, plus I believe the Adrenalines have become too rigid. Whatever the case, they don't suit me anymore. They just feel wrong. Too rigid and restrictive.
This morning I pulled on a pair of new ASICS DS Trainer 17's. Promoted as a lightweight trainer with some structured support and cushioning. They felt good in the shop. A few other models didn't. Of course a run would be the real test. So up early at 0430 to fit in some kilometers before work. It was a ridiculous struggle getting out of bed, and my legs we…

Anytime of Day

Consistency, consistency, consistency. Long term, that is the most important element of training. Last week's 12km race showed I can get some good results of mainly low intensity training if there is a good degree of consistency. It is fine writing out a plan to cover the weeks of training leading into races, but it s harder to actually perform the plan. Adding in the commitments of life, work and family, including the fact I won't miss out on time with the kids, there is a lot competing against training time. Last year I was fairly content with missing a few training sessions to meet the other commitments. This year, my thinking has changed slightly.

The change doesn't mean I am doing anything less with the family. It is a rethink about how I can get the training in. If the morning and evening was taken up around work, then I would accept that was a missed day of training, rearrange the rest of the key training days and move on. The result was that I usually got in all th…

Coburg 12km 2012 - Race Report

First race of the year. First race without orthotics. First race since trying to re-establish a training base. So back to another Coburg Harriers Run.

I needed to approach this race with a good dose of realism. Training recently has been looking quite a bit better. I've been getting in some level of consistency. The long and moderate runs have been covered. While everything seems to be going to plan, the plan at this stage involves mainly slow running. With the exception of a handful of strides and a weekly hill session that dabbles around the anaerobic threshold, every run has been slower than 6:00/km. That might be a problem when wanting to run sub 4:00/km.

My racing style would have to take the above into account. This meant heading out relatively conservatively and limiting any spikes in effort. My lactate tolerance and race pace conditioning would be low, so I would need to be as economical as I could. The plan was to avoid the common initial overspeed and subsequent slow dow…

Better Feet

The first week of training in 2012 has been completed. Essentially it was nothing overly exciting. Nothing was overly hard. In fact it felt a bit too easy. What I am happy with is I got in every planned run and strength session. None of the extras like swimming or cycling found their way in. Comfortable consistency is exactly where I should be at this stage. I just need to keep that going.

Beyond just getting the running kilometers covered I've been back for some podiatry assessment. It's been overdue for a while, plus I have been aware that my running biomechanics have been changing to the point I didn't think my current orthotics and shoe selection have been working well for.

My suspicions were heading in the right direction. An advantage of having your sister as a podiatrist is there were no time constraints. After some very thorough assessment and discussion I am pretty excited about the outcome. It looks like I can ditch the orthotics and move away from the stability …


The change over into a new year is always a good opportunity to take some time to look at where you have come from and where you are heading. 2011 started with a lot of promise with some very good race results and placings. It was clear I could reach higher levels of performance than previously without a huge volume of training.

However, it didn't last. I made some training mistakes. The most significant was probably too much running around my anaerobic threshold without any genuine recovery between these hard sessions. The result was some significant overtraining and resultant drop in training volume, intensity and consistency. This led me away from a marathon PR and some injury problems afterwards.

On the positive side the year provided a lot of information about how I can and can't train. Comparing this information against the back drop of my previous years of racing and training I should be able to get train much more effectively.

So what does the new year bring?

I'm l…