Showing posts from April, 2012


It feels good when a plan and hard work all comes together for the result you want. That's exactly what I got in the Emergency Services Games.

Running for me is definitely not just about finishing times. It is about the different experiences and moments. Of course chasing those times can provide those moments, such as achieving my first sub-3 hour marathon. Likewise I also enjoy that close competition where you are battling for a win with others. The ESG's provide the right level for me to be up at or near the front.

At the moment I'm taking some time off. Chasing some sun, sand, warmth and fun with the family. There won't be any training. Just whatever exercise I feel like doing at the time. Not much running is likely to be the mix.

After a couple of weeks I'll have a hard hit out at the Great Train Race, just for fun. Following the required recovery (the hills always smash the quads), it will be time to work towards the next goal.

Half Marathon: Emergency Services Games

A more relaxed morning this year, having stayed the night in Ballarat instead of driving up in the early hours. An option that's much friendlier on the wife and kids. My liquid pre-race mix, a coffee and a bit of extra water down the hatch and I had plenty of time to spare with the kids. Eventually the clock wound down and we got ourselves to the race start. The conditions were pleasant, no where near as cold as last year. A simple warm up and I felt ready.

The Plan

Wanting to continue the trend from last week's cross country, I was again looking for the outright win. Still it is 21.1km, plenty of time for plans to go right, wrong and change. My approach this year was to have a base plan coupled with a few options that I could choose from depending on how the race unfolded.

Taking from last year's mainly successful effort, I started with a pure time trial approach.  The thinking being, that for the most part, the fastest time wins, and usually the way to the fastest time is…

Between Races

One week between the 10km cross country and the half marathon. To get the peak right, this is where experience and the art of training really comes into play. There just isn't enough science to give definitive guidelines here. That leaves me working from a subjective base.

This is not a typical training week. I have built all the fitness I can. Instead, the training and resting is only about being able to get the most out of myself for a top half marathon on Sunday. Rest hard, recover and spike the system to prevent a loss of form and grease the groove to feel natural on race day. Sounds almost like a near meaningless mission statement. Time for what really happened.

The 10km cross country, was run within my abilities. Even with a fast surge for a bit over 1km, I didn't overly extend myself. That combined with a mixture of gravel and grass for half the course, meant my legs weren't too beaten up. I pulled up with just some moderate tightness and no injury concerns. So on t…

10km Cross Country: Emergency Services Games

Now that it's here, it feels like I haven't spent much time training. That might be because my body seems so rested after the taper. Haven't felt like that for a while. Awake a little earlier than planned thanks to an enthusiastic 3 year old. A relatively warm morning suggests the race will be great conditions.

My wife is also racing the 5km version too. First time we've competed in something at the same time. Should be fun.

The 10km is a two lap course. A significant hill on each lap but about 3/4'ers being mainly flat. Despite having worked hard to improve my hill running, I'm under no illusion that it is my strength. That is still the down hill and false flats. That said, hopefully the uphill won't be an area I lose position or time.

My plan for the race was to go for the overall win. I haven't achieved that yet, but have always been at least in the top 5. To achieve this the aim of the first lap was to just keep myself right up at the pointy end. De…

Week 6: Taper ESG

The final week before the Emergency Services Games. No more killer sessions. The hard work in training has been done. No hard runs will add to my fitness now. Instead this week is about ensuring I am recovered enough from the previous weeks of training and making sure I am primed to run fast on race day. The taper is a mixture of art and science. This is what mine looks like.

My taper is seven days. Sunday to Saturday inclusive, with my first race, the 10km cross country being the following day. The half marathon will be exactly one week later.

Getting out of bed on the first day was painful. The accumulated stress of the 5 weeks of training had come to a head. The 10 hill repeats up the 245 the previous day certainly added to that. My usual tibialis posterior difficulties were showing up. Adding to this my left leg and foot had some new flare ups. The tibialis anterior was fairly tender, but my worry was the pain across the top of my foot. The extensor tendons were sore, there was so…

Week 5: Emergency Services Games Training

The last week to make it count.

These eight days turned out to be quite different than my more typical weeks. A slightly different timetable for my life had a small hand in this. However, an unexpected breakthrough run combined with some soft tissue management forced a different approach.

A typical first day with 40 minutes of easy running. This was definitely a very slow ramble. Clearly my legs are near their limit. Plenty of stretching, icing and tissue work will be required to be able to handle another hard week.

The second day brought the end of daylight savings. With the clocks pushed back an hour there is now a little more light in the morning. Last night was a late one watching some amazing shred at the G3 concert so even with the extra hour, my sleep was limited. No morning run before work. Instead I saved the aerobic conditioning run until after work. I avoided anything overly technical as the upcoming races are simple courses. I just made sure I got the most speed I could wi…