Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bay Run 2010 Race Report

Nature put a spectacular day for the 2010 Bay Run this morning, a fast flat 7km race with men and women racing separately and with a special race for dogs and their owners. I was abit nervous given the fact that I got lost on my run yesterday with a friend in the Northern Beaches (a 7km run turned into 15).............after a quick toilet break behind a tree we set off, maybe a thousand aim was to run pretty hard the whole way, not at panting level but close and this worked a the 3km mark I was running under 5 mins/km and held this steady at the 4,5 and 6 markers.....the last km was a struggle, with the familiar "why the hell am I doing this" feeling which i think I ignored reasonably successfully...finished at 33.59 mins, a pace of 4.85mins/km, 70 out of 190 in my age (40-49) and gender category......this is my fastest time ever....either in training or in a i was totally stoked.....bring on the City2Surf............

oh yeah..........I'd like to formally thank Darude for his inspiration...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Caramello Koals and Gin ?
An exilarating but knackering training session tonite in the freezing rain: 2 times 2.5 km fast runs, first at 90% second at 100% with the aim of beating our times on the first...only problem...the return trip was slightly uphill!

Panting all the way like dogs and running at an approximately 4-8min/km pace....11.3 mins out and 12 mins return....this is the pace ill need over 7kms at Sundays Bay Run.....

When I got home i had chips, a Large Caramello Koala and a glass of gin on ice with way too many shots in it..feeling nice and warm and relaxed now !

Monday, July 26, 2010

Note to Self: Run the Long Race

I'm getting worried ? Why ? Talked to three people yesterday and today who are all injured and questioning their ability to run in the coming series of races in August/ at kids soccer who has been out for 10 months, someone at work who has been out for three months with hamstring problems, another one who has hurt his back.......listening to these stories makes me remind myself that i need to focus on sustainable running, listen to my body at all times and make sure that i give myself enough rest........everything points to the need to pace over the long term and take time out to cross train, build muscles, stretch.........

Theres a long bow between this post and this song but its pure brilliance anyway....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Im Ready

Feeling good about the City2Surf in 2 weeks after todays 14km training run. I tried to practice everything I have been planning: negative splits, better breathing, watch my posture, building in surges, running 'comfortably hard', running my own race, kicking it at the all culminated in a 71.54 time, my best ever (5.1min/km)........very happy with this....

Musically I listened to old skool hip hop all the way: Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest even the awesome Big Daddy song around ten times on this run, paradoxically called "Dont Sweat the Technique".....the bass makes it a phenomenal running song

Friday, July 23, 2010

How Do You Increase Lung Capacity

As an ex-smoker ive seen how radical a difference running can make to lung capacity.....this really dawned on me fully while doing my regular friday swim today....I realised I could turn for a breath every other lap without too much difficulty; this would have been completely impossible 12 months ago..

My big challenge, though, is to use my lungs properly when i run....I notice that when Im pushing it I forget to breath deeply and pant really fast instead......all my reading seems to say i need to breath all the way in, then all the way out, holding my arms a little further out to open up my chest, keep my body upright, be relaxed..not constrict my lungs.....i need to apply my swimming style to my running...

Looking around the web the main ideas for increasing capacity after breathing properly seem to be altitude training (not possible), give up smoking (done) and lap swimming......Ehow has a good list....anybody got any other advice ?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

9 Days Until The Bay Run

Stairway to Hell

Nine days until the first race in a long while, The Bay Run 7kms, a flat fast run around Iron Cove, following the water all the way. After this there is City2Surf (14kms), Pub2Pub (13Kms) then Blackmore's Half Marathon in September.... all in a row so its a nice lead in.....tried to do a harder runthis morning than i have been doing lately, a 6.5km route that is flat alot of the way but ends with some terrible hills...5.43mins/kms....Ill need to speed it up abit on race day but there will be no hills....aiming for a 35 minute time...........hopefully if I really go for it it will serve as a good confidence booster for the longer races to come....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Putting My Body in Charge Not My Ego ?
Recently Ive been thinking about how to keep enjoying running in the long term without succumbing to malaise, injury, boredom, etc and i came across a great site on something called Chi Running
It's a method developed by Danny Dreyer, Ultra-runner, based on tai-chi and Yoga principles.

I was particularly struck by the concept on Non-Identification, (see excerpt below).... it fits right in with alot of things i have been thinking about lately...

Non-identification – A Balanced Approach to Running
In ChiRunning we utilize the principle of non-identification to help you in achieving your running goals, whether to get started on a running program, improve your technique, or PR your 10K.

Bottom line, non-identification requires that you get a grip on your ego. Ego is such a loaded word. Really, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a good healthy part of your psyche. However, when the ego runs the show, things can go out of whack. Non-identification doesn’t ask you to drop your ego, just keep it in balance with other aspects of your self and especially with what your body has to say.

When the ego makes the choices without being balanced with the input of your body and being, your workouts and goals are probably out of balance as well. The ego is a two-sided coin…it can either inflate or deflate your sense of self. When inflated, it may demand that you run a 10K in 50 minutes when your body is really ready for a 56 minute run. This is a good recipe for injury. When deflated, your ego might give in to the nagging ache in your knee rather than trying just a little bit more to learn to lean and therefore not strike with your heels. When your ego is deflated, you give up too easily.

Non-identification is the art of making healthy decisions and of seeing yourself from a balanced place without judging yourself. If you are defining your self worth by how well a run goes, either negatively or with an inflated sense of pride, then you are identifying with how you run. When you are non-identified, you evaluate your run, but not your self worth. You notice what you did well, what you need to improve upon and enjoy the process of learning and improving your running technique.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blue Mountains Getaway !

Just back from a week away in the beautiful Blue Mountains with my family, a week where the whole family caught up with each other and had many laughs......

.....all supported by the luxury of Lilianfels, the best hotel in the universe...

It was also a week I needed badly as far as running goes, to break the routine and the malaise I was afraid was setting incredible to run thru the bush next to our version of the Grand Canyon, to get back in touch with running solo after a year of running in a group and to refresh my love of running........

Three runs in the week starting at Echo Point...

Along prince Henry Cliff Walk....

To Leura Cascades....

.....and back...a total of 8kms of pure heaven.....

I ran with the group again on Sunday...16kms....feeling refreshed, less concerned with times and more focussed on a steady run "comfortably hard" rather than pushing myself stupid.......just what the Doctor ordered....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How Fast Should A Half Marathon Be Run ?

It's still 8 weeks until the Blackmore's Sydney Half Marathon but I've been reading about how fast I should run during long training runs and the race......the consensus seems to be just below the lactate or anaerobic other words

1. Just 2-3% slower than before you lose the ability to talk
2. It feels 'comfortably hard'
3. Breathing is more laboured but your not out of breath
4. 5% slower than the 10km speed

In addition the advice seems to be to stick to negative splits which would mean starting out at a little slower than this and finishing the last 2kms a little faster......

Is this what others think ?

Steady As She Goes

Todays 14km run slow and steady with some short steep heroics, no sprints up hill, no jossling for position, just a pleasant pace which i thoroughly enjoyed....Ive been abit stressed lately worrying about how I can keep up the fast speeds and the toll its taken on my body (groin injury) and on my i ran 80.5 minutes which really isnt up to scratch, I ran the same course a month ago in 73.5 but Im learning to listen to my body and do as Im told...........when i was running i was thinking about the metaphor of how its like marriage....sometimes its great, sometimes it's hard but the key is just deciding to keep at it....just to get up and do it no matter what the feelings or the times........Im surprised sometimes by all the emotions it does stir up but I think today I realise that being obsessed with always improving really isnt what it's all about.....finding the picture of 'fat me' helped me get some perspective.........

Friday, July 9, 2010

Long Songs for the Long Run

Lately Ive been getting bored with my usual techno, metal or hip-hop running playlists so Im trying something new for tomorrows long run (18kms)..........

1. Afro Blue- John Coltrane
2. Piya Re Piya Re-Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
3. Southern Man- CSNY
4. Machine Gun' Hendrix
5. Dark Star- Grateful Dead
6. The Creator Has a Master Plan- Pharoah Sanders
7. Free Bird- Lynyrd Skynyrd

They are all massively long songs and 1,2,5 and 7 all have a driving meditative quality that help with the can kind of dissapear into a trance-like state for a while....Ive run to Fateh Ali Khan once before and felt pretty amazing........Ive got plenty more than I need so will experiment...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What to Do When You Feel Sluggish

Felt decidedly sluggish the last few runs, slower than normal, not feeling the power or mental drive when it's needed.......did a bit of research to see what others say about this...About.Running says the following:

You could possibly be overtraining, meaning you're running too many miles or running too hard. Try cutting back on your mileage or your intensity (or both). Even if a reduction in mileage or intensity goes against your training schedule, you need to listen to your body and give it the rest that it needs.

Im pretty sure this is rest for six days... it matches what my trainer told me.

Friday: 2km swim/25km bike
Saturday: Weights
Sunday: 18.6kms run, 5kms family walk
Monday: Gym workout plus 10kms bike
Tuesday: 7km run (but aerobic)
Wednesday: 10kms run

This schedule is pretty normal except for the 18.6km run which was very tough with half of it uphill and the bike riding......

Plus I think Im running to hard when Im at it with to large an anaerobic percentage

The plan for coming week then will be:

Thursday: rest
Friday: Gym class no normal run
Saturday: Weights
Sunday: 18km run

Plus to remember:

* Run for enjoyment
* Have fun or theres no point
* Run your own race

I then have a week away in the Blue Mountains which is perfectly timed.,..I plan 2 nice easy runs while Im away and some trail riding with the step back for sustainable running.....

Hey Joe !,%20Jr.,%202.jpg

If you run in a group you'll know that one of the great benefits is the combination of competition and encourament that it provides, a mixture that keeps each person moving forward and improving their times and endurance as the months go by.......

I promised one of the Westleigh Warriors, Joe, that I'd write about him tonite, a very impressive runner who murders sprints (our fastest bar one) and who has managed to go from a 7km max to 18kms in a matter of months (hello !!!!) and whose times have also improved by up to 30 secs/km in such a short time....he only did his first 12km four weeks ago !!!

......he flatly refused to send me a photo so i was forced to use the ones above from Google, (they share his exact full name).......

Where the hell did you come from ? I took the time out to make him this video !

Monday, July 5, 2010

How To Race the City2Surf ?

Elevation Profile

The City2Surf is only 4 and a bit weeks away, the biggest funrun in the world with nearly 80,000 entrants over 14kms from the centre of Sydney to Bondi.....Im thinking about strategy given it will really be the first formal race Ive ever run with more than just finishing as best i can in you can see from above the mid-way point is marked by 'heartbreak hill', a 1 km/ 80 meter ascent.....this makes the idea of negative splits challenging given it would involve stepping up just as you reach the top.......its clear a downhill sprint is called for at the end!

Anyway here is my 5.5kms/min all the way to Serpentine (HeartbreakHill), this is slower than my normal run but will account for crowds, run up the hill slow and steady.....then pull out the negative split and run the next 3 at 5.2kms/min, then sprint the last 3 downhill .........this should give me a time of around 75 or 76 which would be 15 minutes faster than last year (I was just starting running) average time per km would be 5.40'ish accross the race.........just abit slower than my normal practice average...not sure if planning it out like this is the right thing to do but im concerned that going on feel has left me with worse times in the past

I'll need this to help....

Distance Neareast Cross St Actual Road
2km Moana St New South Head Rd
3km Manning St New South Head Rd
4km Wolseley Rd New South Head Rd
5km O'Sullivan Rd New South Head Rd
6km Dover Rd New South Head Rd
7km Clairvaux Rd New South Head Rd
8km Serpentine Ave New South Head Rd
9km Clarendon St Old South Head Rd
10km Lancaster Rd Military Rd
11km Raleigh St Military Rd
12km O'Donnell St Military Rd
13km Ramsgate Ave Campbell Pde

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Do I Really Have to Learn to Run Alone ?

Been thinking about the Half Marathon coming up in a few months and my dissapointment with not breaking the 2hour mark on my first in May. There are lots of possible reasons for it:

1. I planned to just make it and so I did
2. We didnt train enough times at race distance ?
3. I went out too fast
4. The crowds slowed me down abit

I think they may all be abit true but I think the main reason was that I did all of my training in a group. We hit 5.5mins/km on a reasonably hilly route on most big runs (16,18,21kms) so there's quite a discrepancy to account for. Im thinking that the main reason is that when i ran the half i ran most of it on my own and tend to slow down sluggishly and forget to push. When Im in a group the competition between runners always pushes me along.

So what to do ? Im thinking I should run 18kms this weekend solo just to get used to pushing myself a little over such a long distance ?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Intervals: Long May You Run !

Today we did 1km intervals for the first time the past we did a regular 400/100/50/50 hill/plank workout which caused me some injury.....1km intervals feel so much better for my older body as they dont have the hard kick off starts of 100's and 50's although they certainly drain you of energy......we did a slow 2km jog then 4 intervals with short breaks and jogged home......times ? 4.09, 4.04, 4.20, 4.23..Im pretty happy with that and it's nice to know we have these times in us if we want to make a surge or a fast finish....