Showing posts from March, 2012

Up and Down

Recently I've had a re-education on training and racing on hills. For the most part I've always considered myself pretty good with vertical changes, especially on the down. This view has changed. My descending is definitely a strength up to a point. For road running and even events like the Great Train Race it definitely is one of my advantages. Make things extra steep and things tend to fall apart. Going is not a strength. While I might be efficient over distances of half to full marathons, it hasn't been a point I can attack. My recent 10km highlighted precisely that.


So I have been working on trying to improve my hill running over the last few weeks. Prior to this my hill training really has be considered mediocre at best. Despite living in the hilly northeast of Melbourne, none of training was directed to getting fast in the hills.

Initially this took the form of a weekly run of hill repeats. Each lasting between about 90-150 seconds with a quick, but easy run back d…

Week 4: Emergency Services Games Training

Make it count.

That's been my motto this week. I will also take it into the next training week. Together these two weeks are my last chance to add any fitness before the Emergency Services Games (ESG's).

As usual my week started with a very easy run. I squeezed in 40min before my 0630 start at work.

Next day I was due for my technical/aerobic conditioning run. This I decided make into an extended run into work. Back pack on and I headed onto a 12km route into branch. The run is a mix of flat, hills of various gradients and length plus a combination of sealed bike path, gravel tracks and some reasonable single track. I have run this plenty of times and usually take about 75min to complete at this intensity. This time was a different story. While I had plenty of sore spots from the hill repeats two days ago, I didn't have the general fatigue that comes after a recent long run. The result was a 15min faster run. I was almost at branch within the hour, so decided to add some e…

Week 3: ESG Training

Definitely not my standard week. Due incorporating a race and some work roster changes, I extended the week out from 8 days to 11. Not sure if I can really call that a week.

I had plans to extend the time between my key runs and take them a bit harder. Things started that way. My technical was fast and will plenty of sharp up and down. Then my threshold run I moved away from the two repeats and just hammered an out-and-back trail for 60min of running at half marathon effort. Out had an average elevation drop, so the challenge was to hold the same pace on the return up. I didn't quite make it, but it was an awesome run. Next I hit the hill repeats, because of the upcoming race I shortened the repeats to about 60sec and jogged easy back down. This was hard for me keep in any pace in the latter intervals. A true nausea set.

Then the SunFest 10km. Raced in 38:15. I wanted faster, but it should set me up okay for the Games. Afterwards my legs felt better than usual. The problem was wor…

SunFest - Race Report

My 3rd week of training for the Emergency Services Games is slightly different. Due to some work roster changes and the desire to get a race in, this week is now stretched out to 11 days. Not sure if I can really call that a week now. I'm still including the key sessions of a technical/aerobic conditioning run, a threshold run and hill repeats, a long run and the race will replace the track session. The main difference is the timing will be stretched out a bit between these key runs, allowing a bit recovery and hopefully the ability to get a bit more out of the each of the harder runs. I'll cover the details of the week's training later. This post is to cover the Sunfest 10km Fun Run.

This is only the 2nd running of the race in Sunbury, and too be honest I hadn't heard of it before. I chose this event simply based on the fact I wanted to get in a 10km race before the ESG's at about this time and this is all that was available that fitted within my roster. With it s…

Second Week - ESG Training

Contrasts. The start of my first training week was off 5 days of recovery. My legs were stiff, but otherwise very fresh. This week started the day after my long run. There was a big difference.

Day 1 was split into two runs by also serving as my commute to and from work. Backpack on, it was 5.6km each way. The morning run was painfully slow, but the return home in the afternoon was just slow. Followed by an evening chaser in the weights room.

The second day was my technical run. Two days after a long run I was expecting some fatigue and pain, but to be honest I really struggled. While I ran at a reasonable pace and forced some speed into corners, over rocks and up and down stairs, this run wasn't enjoyable. The pains through my legs and an overwhelming urge to stop made it an hour long battle that I was very happy to see the end of.

Then due to an already accumulating sleep debt and a daughter who made a few trips out of bed over night, not feeling very well, it was going to be de…

How To Race the Maroondah Dam 50k

The main purpose here is to provide myself a reference for future attempts at the Maroondah Dam 50km (MD50) race. My recommendations definitely won't suit everyone, and it is quite possible they won't turn out to be ideal for me either. However, it should provide some good ideas and maybe a different view for others attempting this race in the future.
By racing I mean covering the course as quickly as possible (this will vary depending on an individuals ability), and also racing to improve placings (may be important if looking for a podium or top 10). This post won't be about aiming to finish in good shape, comfortable and just for the sake of finishing. These are significant achievements in themselves, due to the course being ridiculously tough. That said, I hope that anyone planning on running MD50 can take something away from this read.
As far as my background goes, I am not an expert trail ultramarathoner. This is written after my first attempt at an ultra trail run. …

First Week - ESG Training

After five days of no running and just recovery work, I was champing to get back into training. The first day started with a very easy 60 minutes Nothing spectacular about this run. Get out, keep the intensity low and allow the legs to transition gently back into running. It reminded me of a Junior Mint... very refreshing.

On the second day, the run was delayed until the evening. Originally planned to be in the morning, but out for dinner and a ghost tour made for a late night. As a result the sleep took precedence. So after the sun went down I got out for another hour. The intensity was up a little bit more as I tried to pick the most complicated footing possible. The run took me through a mixture of short and rough off road with plenty of slippery surfaces due to the rain. Through the more industrial and suburban sections I found myself jumping fences, up and down stairs and through the various levels of car parks and town square. This run highlighted just how stiff I have become ar…