Saturday, January 24, 2015

ACT Masters XC Handicap : Frylink 3km

First cross country handicap for the year. Since I won my last race, transported back to group 49 giving KT (the closest) 10 groups head start. I didn't catch her nor 14 others although I tried hard. Due to the recent rain creating rivers in the trails a re-jigged 'rough as' the organisers could do. My splits: 3:41 (up), 3:43 (rough grass), 3:28 (down)=10:53. My best on the old course which was much more runnable 10:30 way back in 2011.

3km warm up on course, 1km warm down, another 6km warm down with Bella at home...I had to give her a water fight to enable her to cope with the heat and distance. Her reward was a picnic by the lake. The menu: Licking the coffee lid, ratatouille from the garden, fromage and mango.

That leaves me with another easy 55 minutes this afternoon when the sun loses it's sting. Until then it's the Tour Down Under on the box. Can Cadel make the podium or will Tom Dumoulin get some bonus seconds out on course? BMC will have to defend many attacks.

I miss the Tour Down Under. Not only the racing but the great memories surrounding the race. Having been to many of the iconic European races every year since 2008 it still ranks up there with many of those events. Maybe equal to something like Tour de Romandie.

Some images from when I was last there in 2011, consecutive years from 2002-2011.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Stromlo XC Intervals ; Parkrun St Peters

No wind, warm, very high humidity at 6:30am. Just me early.

Set 1: 1500m warm up, 4 x 100m, 2000m 6:37,1500m 4:58,1200m 3:55, 800m 2:32,400m 70, 2500m warm down.

Set 2 (8am Kathy, Roget, Alison, Myself): 2000m warm up, 4 x 100m, 600m, 500m, 400m, 300m 200m, 100m long recovery walk. 2000m warm down. Usually I pace this set almost as a warm down. Today with the shorter set the slowest I ran was 3:20/km and then much quicker with 200m 35sec and 100m 16sec to finish off. The reason? Alison (daughter of Kathy) has been doing strength work and changed running technique is super quick. That's what you get with good genetics and a bit of hard work.

Meanwhile in Sydney Beach Elf ran 20:50 for first female, Steve ran strongly for 18:23. Keith in Bemboka is looking after his puffy knee so won't race 10000m next Thursday.

Of me: Another great set, as good as a fortnight ago, not as good as last week. I was fatigued from three consecutive high mileage weeks this morning. I really had to fight for the speed and wearing training shoes not quite done up didn't help.

Looks like the new hill loop extension may be used for the World XC trials in a couple of weeks. Some views before anyone got there.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Direct Preparatory Period 2

Despite a couple of setbacks I'm still on track for what I set out to do this season and beyond. That's largely due to the in-built recharge training block we all do from mid-December to late January. I've had five big training weeks of seven averaging well over 120km/week. It's approaching the consistent training I had mid-year leading up to my good races (Gold Coast Half Marathon, Canberra Times Fun Run, Goulburn Fun Run, City2Sea). My recent training sets at Stromlo are as good as I've ever done. I still need 3-4 weeks of consistent training 120km+, largely to get down to racing weight and add some strength endurance. Working back from Australian Masters Athletics Championships in April our club have four out of five weeks where a 3000m/5000m is scheduled for 7:50pm, two of those combined with Athletics ACT. That's what we will all be working towards, keeping the volume high, doing all the sessions, staying niggle free and one final taper around 10-14 days before the AMA Championships.

Biggest changes to what we have been doing is the re-introduction of short lactate sessions and some very special paced long intervals sets we do on track.

Direct Preparatory Period 2
February 1 - February 28
Aims to develop: Aerobic endurance, race pace, specific speed, power, rest for minor races

Training Goal: Aim to fit in no more than 3-4 of the sessions below each week according to body fatigue

LT Runs: steady runs comfortably hard of 20-50 mins at lower threshold, effort =3/10, weekly once

Race Pace Lactate intervals: short (or step down) intervals at race pace, effort=9/10, weekly once-twice

Long intervals, long recovery: 1000-2000m with long recovery at race pace, effort= 9/10, weekly once

Race Conditioning: Track races, effort =9/10, weekly

Power: 150m hills on slight to moderate incline, jog back recovery, high hips, effort=7/10, weekly once

All sessions begin and conclude with stretching and 4 x 100m strides

Plyometrics, strength training, core stability, yoga optional
Training Overview - Competition Period 2
Competition Period 2
March 1 - April (end of track)
Aims to develop: Competition organisation, peaking for ACT and National Championships

Training Goal: Sessions with high intensity, recovery runs and targeted sessions in between races to reach season race goals

Race Pace Lactate intervals: short (or step down) intervals at race pace, effort=9/10, weekly once-twice

Long intervals, long recovery: 400-2000m with long recovery at race pace, effort= 9/10, weekly once

Race Conditioning: Track races, effort =10/10, weekly

All sessions begin and conclude with stretching and 4 x 100m strides

Plyometrics, strength training, core stability, yoga optional

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Steve and Beach Elf Still in Centennial Park ; Me Still in Stromlo

Up early this morning Steve 18:07 for 5km in Centennial Park with 3 minutes hard and 30 seconds float. Beach Elf 6,5,4,3,2,1 minutes hard with 30 seconds float. 5.6km covered and 4:09/km average during the efforts.

I wish I was up early but had to look after my foot this morning. It was fine by the afternoon but very hot and sunny. My set at Stromlo 6,5,4,2 minutes hard with 30 seconds float recovery. The hill addition is now functional on the 2.5km circuit. I did the warm up and two hard laps on it for 8km total at Stromlo, another 10km when it cooled down around 730pm. I ran very hard first 2.5km loop, the heat got the better of me in the final kilometre.

Yesterday I got caught in torrential rain and thunderstorms on Black Mountain. 30mm was dumped in just over 30 minutes and most of it hit my head. Everything was river-like, not surprising my foot was slightly sore as I never knew where the ground actually was...all good now.

Next session early at Stromlo on Saturday, the usual set.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Steve and Beach Elf in Centennial Park

Our roving ambassadors Steve and Beach Elf back in Sydney, this time south of the Coathanger. The weather not so good for beaching. Both did sessions with short 30 second intervals as Keith and I did yesterday. Steve on top, Elf on bottom of image...see if that makes sense!!

Great places to run in Sydney?

Monday, January 19, 2015

ACT Masters Track : 3000m

Conditions: Cool for summer, wind -35kph in home straight. Keith and I both on the same plan for 3000m, Four and a bit laps hard, 100m float recovery in 30 seconds, three laps hard. Keith started very quick, was on my butt until 1200m then dropped away slightly. As planned I took 100m float in 30 seconds at 1700m, 1200m to finish. I looked at Keith with two laps remaining, wished he might run in the 10:20s although he miscounted the laps and took two breaks, lost 20 seconds to my 10 seconds. Kathy just back from the coast an hour before, ran 13 mins+.

Of me: 130km+ last 7 days, plan to run 10000m as punishment next Thursday just before the Cadel Farewell in Geelong if the sciatica and weather is OK. 10:09 today, a cruise in training flats, net 9:59. I felt ordinary but worked as hard as I needed to. I need a few more weeks of punishment, plan not to rest up until March although I need to run a decent 800m in a few weeks...will see how that pans out.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Races to Run : Puffing Billy Great Train Race, Belgrave, Melboune

I ran three events of the Puffing Billy Great Train Race in the 1990s. 1990, 1991, 1999 which basically encapsulated my Melbourne decade of living. That means I haven't run the event in this decade or last...very scary. The course approx 13.5km, very hilly, some dirt?, basically down in the last kilometres.

I talked to Mick last evening (a Geelong supporter by religion). Like me he lives in Canberra and fond memories of Melbourne and running. He and Kelley did the event last year and in the recent past. I asked him of what has changed since 1999?...

Back in the 90s there were two trains, male and female. Idea was race the trains and at the end some prize. Sometimes the train drivers got carried away and went too fast too early. Somewhere in the distance there was the sound of steam and chuffing echoing through the ferns. As in Paris-Roubaix the cycling, trains have right-of-way over athletes. In 1990 we had to wait briefly. Anyone who has done would want to do again.

My results: 1990 44:10 ? ; 1991 41:14 6th ; 1999 1999 45:40 17th. In 1990 I had run a 25km race in 85 mins on Anzac Day, 4 days before. I completed the day watching Footscray (Western Bulldogs) defeat Carlton at Princes Park, thus becoming a WB fan forever. In 1999 I was a little fatter and older, with no form to speak of but could still do a set of 3 x 1km intervals in 3:03. So let's talk about 1991.

In 1991 I was training with Ringwood Athletics Club. We did some brutal sessions. I was racing Corporate Cup around the Tan regularly, raced some fun runs, orienteering events at an international level and was still aged <30...More importantly I was running 150km+ in training leading up to the event mixed with the speed sessions. Three or four of our club would have placed in the top 10.

Images Diary 1991, 1991, 1999, 1990, 1990. Entries for 2015 open soon...I may be there!! ta Cecilia for the prompt.