Showing posts from May, 2015

I Wouldn't Call It Training

Over the last couple of months my running is back to a good level. While not at my fastest, I'm not too far from my better times. Importantly I am running injury free, and the running itself just feels better. Towards the end of last year I was getting fairly frustrated with not being able to ramp up my training and having to focus on some less than exciting corrective work. Now it looks like that has paid off. With some good racing in the bag I am ready to take a break before I target a major race.

Right now I am not following any targeted training. Just exercising how I want. That still means a good amount of running, but it is for fun. Fun may still include hill repeats. Separate to just allowing some reprieve for the body and mind, the main factor in this break is a family holiday. It isn't a running holiday, but I will definitely get in some exercise. I relax better when I throw in some form of exercise.

As far as formalised training goes I won't be touching that unti…

Why I Don't Use A Heart Rate Monitor

Back in the 1999 I had my copy of Triathlon Into The Nineties, motivation to get fast and a heart rate monitor. I jumped right into the sports science of the time and hammered out a few Conconi Tests before I realised it didn't work for me. This fuelled the search to learn more, which also took me through a degree in Human Movement. For years I used a heart rate monitor to guide my training. The methods evolved over time and I certainly got a lot out of it. Over the last three years I've stopped using a heart rate monitor.

A recent tweet from @paulrunslong asking prompted me to look at why I no longer use a heart rate monitor (HRM):
Do you use a HRM regularly?  How does it benefit your training? prompted me to look at why I no longer use a heart rate monitor (HRM).

After my Polar HRM finally succumbed to over a decade of hard use a few years ago I moved onto the newer generation of gadgets. GPS became a handy tool that I have incorporated. However, the newer generation has pu…

There's Running and Then There Is Running

For the most part running is simple. Kids do it naturally. Unfortunately, as we get older we find ways to stuff it up. As adults we get pretty good at making running unnatural. My best runs have tended to be those runs that just feel natural.

It is easy to focus on the metrics of time, distance, heart rate, cadence and whatever else you can put a number on. It is possible to force technique, perform drills and run hard or easy without it hitting that natural sweet spot. For the last couple of years that sweet spot has been pretty elusive to me. It also seems hand-in-hand with reduced training tolerance, poorer overall results and more injury problems. This isn't a chicken or the egg situation either. The combination of all is so entwined you cannot effect one aspect without having effect on the others.

Without this natural feel to my running it is like I am missing the most important ingredient. Therefore, this is where my training leads me. When my running comes naturally, I can …

Great Train Race 2015

Back for my seventh run against Puffing Billy since 2000. There's been relatively few changes in this race over those 15 years. The amount of runners have doubled in that time. A seeded start system has been added to cater for more people on the course. The last section has changed a little due to heavy rains washing away some of the track, moving the distance up from 13.2 to 13.5km. The fundamentals have stayed the same. Hit the hills with a mix of sealed and unsealed roads and trail amongst some spectacular scenery while pitting yourself against a steam train. It's an iconic race and I love it.

Typically wet and cold features in the weather, but this year we had a break. Sunshine and pleasantly cool made for perfect running conditions. Dry train tracks apparently also means the train can travel faster. Knowing this race well I didn't really think about it until I turned up. Being aware of where my fitness is based on recent races I knew I was not at my best, but would ho…