Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mt Stromlo Forest Park

It was the last event in the Summer series on Tuesday evening, with perfect running conditions. As is the usual, the 5K event is 2 laps of the course. Oddly the YCRC reports the distance as 4.92K for this event, which started and finished in the usual location. I'm a bit confused about this downgrade in distance. My Polar recorded 5K exactly. I ran the event like I did the previous one on this course, 6min hard, 1 min easy recovery to the finish. Previous time 23:35, this time 23:21. I was happy to see a slight improvement in time for the same course. However, now I don't know how to interpret the result with the distance modification. If anyone else recorded the distance, let me know as it seems we did start where we always start and finish.
The beautiful grass running track at Mt Stromlo
There were some good performances for the final of the series. My friend and work colleague, Louise Sharp ran a PB of 19:09 and Katie Forestier was very pleased to break 20 min, finishing in 19:52. Interestingly Ewen was again just ahead of me, although by a bigger margin than last time!

Today I continued the brain/pace retraining when I headed out for my lunch time run. I pushed a bit harder and managed to take 4 minutes off my previous best time on this particular course, also going under 6 min/K pace (5:51) for a hilly course. HRav was 144bpm over the 11.7K course. Of interest is that I believe I have two 'types' of RPE. The main one that holds me back is muscular/brain related. The more standard one and the one I experienced mostly today is cardiorespiratory. Today I knew I was working up the hills based on breathing while also glancing at HR. This kind of exertion makes more sense than the other niggly one that has been holding me back. During the Stromlo run, it started out as mostly muscular/brain RPE and felt hard, but then I'd say it was 50/50 brain/muscular and cardiorespiratory. I will need to do an easy run tomorrow and it will be interesting to see what RPE dominates!

Latest Training:
Tuesday - 2K warm up; 5K XC run 6 min hard, 1 min easy intervals (23:21 total time), 2K cool down with speedy Lou.
Wednesday - 11.7K Black Mountain loop, 5:51 pace, HRav 144bpm.


  1. It's the same course as always, the 2km & 1km loop are perfect, stuff up on the link on the 2.5km addition. It is true 2 laps of the 2.5 is short, finishing on the left edge is a fudge, however straight line between 100m to go and 100m into is even shorter but slower. A course is a course. 2 laps, simple.
    Further, a break between long efforts (like 6min) medium term will help you progress and not stagnate. Long intervals rock, same old same old does not rock...the truth is out there skully

  2. The SFP 5k is a fraction short - if you look up on the 500m loop you will see that two of the 100m posts are only about 30m or so apart. Also, if the distances around the course were exact, each loop would have to close (i.e. finish where they start) and they don't. Nevertheless I have always regarded the outer loop close enough 2.5k simply because of the hill factor.
    Cross country courses don't have to be exact, I prefer them just the same year after year for comparison. I remember being unhappy at times when historic courses were extended or reduced just to make them an exact distance.

  3. Yes, they made a mistake laying out the first loop of the 2.5k course (Dave H told me) - it's 40m short (so 80m over 5k). On the map at Stromlo you can see where the extra bit is that they need to put in make it exact. I'm not that keen that they do modify it, as like Geoff said, I like to compare course to course over the years. The 1k and 2k loops are exact. As it's a hilly course, I reckon a Stromlo 5k is equiv to a flat 5k.

    I was further ahead this time because my legs were 'good' and I ran harder (HR 150 this time and 146 last time) - also spotted you were just behind on the first lap which had the desired effect ;-)

  4. My Garmin last Sunday measured the long loop full course at Stromlo at 2.57 kms running the middle of the running track & cutting the apex of corners as you would in a race. I will recheck with the measuring wheel on Sunday where my 1 km & 2 kms markers should be. The problem with a GPS measure is the Garmin doesn't like tight corner changes even with a 1 second recording which is about 4 metres in distance at ave pace running. Straightline measure is fine, corners are a problem. The wheel might have the final say although the grass surface might be of significance. Interesting stuff up of an expensive facility.

  5. Thanks y'all for the explanation re the distance of the Stromlo course. I wonder why they decided to record the 'real' distance for this event, but not for others that have been exactly the same?! C'est la vie.
    Thanks for pointing to the truth Mulder. I have been doing those long intervals since early Jan but progress is slow. It will probably start to speed up as the mileage increases and the temperature drops ;-).

    1. You'll have to ask the powers that be at the YCRC. A couple of years back I heard there were plans to eventually extend that loop so perhaps the correct distances are in anticipation of that being about to happen? When they had the Aus Champs there they didn't use the '5k' loop because they're pedantic about correct distances - they ran 6 x 2k for the 12k race. 2 x 2.5k + 2k would be a preferable option.

      P.S. Proving I'm not a robot is a pain in the ass ;-)