Showing posts from February, 2016

Eltham Fun Run 10km 2016

The plan to get some more racing in this year has been going pretty good so far. I've averaged a race every fortnight for the last two months. Today was my local, the Eltham Fun Run. It's a good hit out, run from the local YMCA over a somewhat hilly bike path. I was looking forward seeing what I could do over 10km since back into some consistent training.

Weather conditions were mild and pleasant, almost perfect for running. My warm up felt flat. It took quite a while to shake off the higher than normal stiffness through my legs. That is to be expected as the training starts mounting up. I wasn't tapered, but I was ready to race.
On the start line I was relaxed, but keen to get going. The 10km runners had their own wave, so I knew who I was racing when the horn sounded. The opening kilometre is mainly downhill. I let gravity do it's thing and fell into a relaxed but quick opener. That put me in 7th position, but all in front were in view.
I took stock of the opposition…

Introductory Long Runs

During these introductory weeks I have taken a tempered approach to the long run. Mentally this is a lot harder than it should be. Thoughts based on past glories try to convince me I can belt out some tremendous kilometres on my long days. Then there is the fear of not being ready for any big races coming up making me feel I need to do more. It's a combination that is somewhat unhelpful.

Keeping in mind the introductory phase is designed to ensure my body can handle the harder, future training. There are more considerations to this than just getting in lots of running. Most importantly, I need to come through this phase without an injury. A year or so of issues, combined with being older requires more planning and consideration than it used to. The long run can be difficult to get right. I know I can exceed my overall fitness levels on a single run. That could be great for my ego at the time, it won't help with consistency in training. Pushing the distance really has a big rec…

VRR Yara Bend 12km

While this training thing is fun, you just can't go past a good race. After busting out my first Park Run a couple of weeks ago I realised I have missed racing. This year I will be making an effort to get out and race more often. I do like getting out to the smaller, lower key races, that focus on just doing the basics really well. The Victorian Road Runners specialise in exactly that, and I have been going back to their races since I first started fun runs. This last Sunday they dished out their Yarra Bend 12km (also a 6km option).

This is a course I quite enjoy. Two 6km laps on a mixture of bitumen, concrete and gravel over a variety of moderate hills and some flat sections. It's definitely not the type of coarse for a PB, but if you are race fit it can help you along. On the other hand it has the ability to show where your preparation is lacking.

The weather was about perfect. My warm up started with a few aches and pains that eventually evaporated as the race start came ne…

Introductory Hills

During this introductory phase the hill work will be approach from two different angles. It is important to remember this phase of training is get my body ready to handle the next phase and isn't necessarily about having me race ready in a few weeks.

Short hill sprints is my intensity session. This consists of a thorough warm up, followed by some up hill drill work that focuses on establishing a full range of motion (high knee lift, full toe off extension), plus some mild plyometrics. Then its a handful of short sprints lasting 7-10 seconds each up a very steep hill (12-20%). Recovery is an easy walk back down and maybe some extra time. The point of these sprints isn't to absolutely hammer myself. Instead, I should feel ready to do the next repeat, aiming develop power and speed up hill. This cannot be achieved if I am grinding through the session. The next section a few down hill repeats. These will take roughly 15 seconds each, are down steep uneven terrain with the goal of …

Easy Runs

These are the bread and butter runs during the introductory phase. Out of all the different type of sessions, these will be the most common. Starting out at 60 minutes, I'll add time each week to some of the runs and progress out to 90 minutes. There are no specific pace goals in this run, but I'm not out there just for a filler.

Using the title easy helps to set the tone, but it's not just about keeping the intensity down. Slow doesn't always equal easy. The guiding principles are to run at a somewhat comfortable effort. Not too slow, but never forcing the pace. More importantly is striving for a light and powerful stride. I focus on ensuring a full stride with strong toe-off, a good snap back of the leg and high knee lift. In the early stages this focus artificially increases the intensity, but in the longer term leads to better basic technique.

One of the problems with focusing on ultra distance events is that the body is inherently lazy and will always try to get a…