Showing posts from February, 2012

Video: Maroondah Dam 50km 2012

A collection of video and images covering my training and racing of the Maroondah Dam 50km trail ultra.

Training Plan: Emergency Services Games

I now consider the base training to be completed. The last 3 months of training was aimed at reestablishing a reasonable fitness base, become structurally & biomechanical sound, develop efficient fuel (fat/carbohydrate) metabolism and generally set myself for the harder training to follow. The mainstay of training was low intensity runs 60-70%HRmax, with the harder sessions really just being longer runs with the intensity creeping up to 75%. Only a very small amount of faster running was scattered throughout amongst this. Early on I didn't hit the level of consistency I wanted. A few too many of the shorter easy runs were missed. As a result this limited the speed and distance of my long runs. Despite this, I would still consider this phase of training successful, as proven by my above expectations performance at the Maroondah Dam 50km.

An ultramarathon, 50km over the hardest terrain I've ever raced on will definitely highlight weaknesses. Yes, there are quite a few gaps i…

Maroondah Dam Trail 50km


It's been a long time since I have genuinely felt this nervous leading into a race. More than the usual doubts that go with any race and how fast I can cover the course. This time it was based on the fear of whether or not I could actually make the distance. Quite simply, I never got close to the level of long runs that I thought I needed. Still, in a strange way I was enjoying the feeling.


Since the terrain was going to dictate my time it was best not to worry about time. Instead I just wanted to stay relatively comfortable for most of the day, but always keep moving forward. This required a different mindset than I am used to. No clock watching, no thinking too far ahead. Just making sure I was making progress, no matter how slow. Walking was more acceptable especially when things get steep.

The Day

Up at 04:30. A breakfast of cornflakes, honey and low fat milk giving about 1400kJ (333Cal). Enough to restock my liver and be digested before the 08:00 without any G…

22km Pacing Run

Keeping my head in the frame of "training run and not a race" for the Maroondah Dam 50km, I am avoiding a genuine taper. Just not doing anything ridiculous in the lead in week plus an extra easier day. Other than the 50km itself the hardest run is a 22km effort.

The main purpose of this run was to help fine tune my pacing for the 50km. The course itself is almost an out and back, just with a loop at the far end. The terrain is far from the steepness to be encountered at Maroondah. It does have a couple of hills, with the rest undulating and a short flat section. Half is rocky trail and rest paved bike path. An honest course that won't leave my legs too battered but should serve its purpose.

The plan.

Wear the same clothes and gear as race day. Take the same nutrition. Then run at what feels like the maximal pace/effort that I can maintain for the upcoming race. There was no plan to stick within any heart rate zone. Just record my heart rate and analyse everything afterwa…

Short For Long?

A sizable gap between posts. Doesn't mean there's been a gap in the training. Over the last week there really hasn't been anything outstanding in my running. It's just been a matter of getting the base training done. The very easy runs have been covered comfortably. The hill session feels a little bit easier. The moderate long and the actual long run can be ticked, but they didn't feel as comfortable as I would like. Which is a little bit of a worry since I will be running the Maroondah Dam 50km in just over a week. The tendons & muscle around my right medial ankle are intermittently still giving me a bit of grief.
So where does that leave me as I head to the end of my base building?
Well, I do have a half descent bank of kilometers in my legs. Due to a few missed runs around the start of January, the level of my long runs didn't progress as quickly as I hoped for. That is likely to mean a significant amount of risk by really pushing the pace and/or distanc…


As an example of why my plans aren't set in stone. No 3.5 hour run due one sick kid and one teething kid. So instead of plenty of kilometers being put into the legs, the day involved no running. Without enough hours blocked together to really get that long run in, I have to make the best of what I have. That meant getting up at 4:30am to fit in 1.5 hours before the wife is off to work, and I look after the kids on my day off work. Obligated to be back inside by 6:30, I really wanted to make up for the lost long run and ensure I am actually prepared for the 50km coming up.

The plan, was an anaerobic threshold run plus some hill repeats. A flat 7.6km out & and back loop, that used to be a mainstay in my marathon lead ups took care of the threshold section. Then a handful of 400m repeats up a 7% steady climb. Not exactly a long run, topping out at 15km all up, but a stimulus non-the-less.

I had a couple of concerns leading into this run. Firstly I have been getting a bit of pain …