ACT Masters XC Handicap 8km 28:59 ; Steve Ketchup ; Keith Long run plus 5 x 100m strides

This morning at O'Çonnor Ridge for the ACT Masters XC handicap 8km (incorporating final King/Queen of the mountain race). Weather very windy, warm on one of our toughest courses, relentless hills.

I turned myself inside out this morning trying to keep my chances alive in the King of the Mountain series done on handicap point score. Result was 28:59 ast 96.4%, equal to the course record I set as an M45 year old in 2009. Splits: 3:22,3:33,3:23,3:41,3:51,3:45,3:45,3:35=28:58. All the splits included hills and on fire trail,first and last 300m on bike path. Minnie, KT and Ken all won King/Queen on mountain series long or short course, I was 2nd.

Steve this week 4 x 3 minute efforts. An additional effort on previous week, average 3:33/km, 4 seconds quicker than previous week. Second set 3 x 6 minute efforts. An additional effort on previous week, average 3:54/km, slightly slower than previous week on a different location, as quick as 2 weeks before. Another step forward for Steve, sh…

Keith @ Bega Fun Run 5km ; Recovery Runs

Keith today at Bega Fun Run 5km was pace setter for 25 minute group, still finished 4th outright by pacing 3rd place to 24:30. Keith holds the course record of 19 minutes set a few years ago.

Steady recovery runs for me last two days, only 10km each day as I load up for a flat out effort tomorrow over 8km hilly XC handicap with ACT Masters Athletics Club. I've still got 110km in the legs last 7 days and feeling great.

Brunch today was out in the spring weather at a homestead a short drive from home. A lovely day out.

Australian Institute of Sport Track 4 x 100m 2 x 200m ; Keith 3000m XC/Road 10:50

This afternoon 17km including a trip to the track. AIS set: 4 x 100m (17,15,15.14.5) 2 x 200m (31.5,30.9). Only small gains in a few days, now means I'm comfortable at 14 seconds 100m and 30 seconds 200m. Last time I get to use this track as repairs to the infield will take a month. ACT Masters track begins at Woden track in a couple of weeks.

Keith in Bega ran 3000m in 10:50 on all surfaces with some hills. He is still looking good for a great track season.

A couple of days easy running for me until Sunday and the ACT Masters XC handicap. Really looking forward to an all-out effort there.

BBQ Steaks Maximum Threshold Run 6km 21:39

Today at BBQ Steaks a maximum threshold hilly XC run of 6km in 21:39, my fastest time since April...I'm getting back into track form again. Helen also her fastest in some time with 29:56. There was some wind out there but it was a delightful day. Helen did as 3 minute efforts, 30 seconds float. I did as 3 x 6 minute efforts with 30 seconds float, the final effort wasn't very far but is was quick.

I might do some strides on track tomorrow or Friday, otherwise I'm saving some energy for an 8km XC handicap on a very hilly course on Sunday.

Stromlo XC 2 x 1250m Hill efforts ; Keith 7 x 600m

This afternoon at Stromlo 2 x 1200m hill efforts. With the magpie swooping I cut the normal loop in two, ran it in both directions taking the magpie out of play. The reverse direction takes in both hills on their steepest sides. It was very windy again.

The set: 2500m warm up, 6 x 100m strides, 2 x 1250m hill efforts (4:15,4:40), 2500m warm down. Only 9km today taking volume last 7 days down from 135km to 128km.

Keith in Bega ran 7 x 600m efforts. It was also windy down there. Splits: 2:10,2:10,2:10,2:13,2:07,2:00,2:09. Wind and hills were in play. Sections run were not identical.

Stromlo XC 5 x 600m, 400m jog recovery ; AIS Track 4 x 100m, 4 x 200m

This morning at Stromlo XC circuit 5 x 600m efforts with 400m jog recovery. Weather cold, frozen puddles, light winds, sunny.

The set: 2000m warm up, 5 x 100m strides, 5 x 600m efforts (1:55,1:50,1:50,1:48,1:45) with 400m jog recovery, warm down. All up 9km. Another small set this afternoon on track 4 x 100m strides (17,15.3,14.7,14.6) and 4 x 200m efforts (32.8,31.4,31.1,31.4). Again better than last week. 11km in this set including warm up.

The 600m set increased to 5 efforts from 4 last week. Peak effort was 2 seconds quicker than last week. Future sets will be same volume while reducing splits to all in the 1:40s and peak effort around 1:42-1:41.

Next Sunday is ACT Masters Athletics XC handicap 8km, the final race in King/Queen of the Mountain series. The course is very tough with a final 2.5km mostly up hill. It suits me. I'll need to finish highly placed to win the series. I'll have a couple of easier days on Friday and Saturday to be up for it.

Memory Run 6.4km 1st ; Keith 21km including 5 x 100m strides

This morning minus 6 degrees and still. It did warm up by run start but not much. No prize money this year, as a result both Helen and I were first male and female outright (both over 55 yo). Jack was 4th outright. I had to back off the pace at various points due to dogs and small children. Other than that I was right on my maximum threshold.

While we waited for the presentation tea and coffee was had at the Hyatt. Ita Buttrose presented the medals.

Easy 11km recovery for me this afternoon, 24km for the day, 131km last 7 days.

Keith this morning 21km including 5 x 100m strides. Keith had some wind on his run but otherwise a nice day.