Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In need of some hill work

As predicted the Black Mountain Peninsula XC run was a toughie. Just enough inclines to knock the wind out of my sails. Not be be unexpected as most jogging/running has been on relatively flat ground. The time was 40 seconds slower than when I last ran this course in 2010 (with the first indications of training fatigue/intolerance). However, we are talking about minimal jogging/running and no hard training since July this year. It felt like pure and simple lack of fitness/training, lots of cardiorespiratory effort.

The next XC course is a fast one, but I'll be away and won't be able to compete. We are then back at Stromlo, which in theory is an opportunity to look for improvement. However, weather conditions and time away travelling will probably confound those results. With the Spring Series winding up for Xmas with relays on Dec 11, I may have to turn my attention to the Ginninderra Park Run until the YCRC Summer Series starts.

Hills maketh the runner
 Once again it was good to see lots of familiar faces and smiles and the conditions were lovely.

Familiar face results:
Stuart Doyle - 17:38
Dave Osmond - 19:27
Elizabeth Humphries - 20:01
Richard Faulks - 20:59
Louise Sharp - 22:51
Geoff Moore - 23:02
Ewen Thompson - 23:15
David Baussmann - 23:29
Tori Hennig - 26:40 (started the run late)
Jim White - 52:27 (walking in his ankle brace)

Latest actvities:
Sunday - MTB ride 30km; gym session (legs and bench press)
Monday  - gym session (back, shoulders and abs) 
Tuesday - 1.2km jog warm up; 5K XC in 25:55 (4:46; 5:04; 5:21; 5:26; 5:18) HRav 160 bpm
Wednesday - gym session (arms, chest and abs)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

4 days a week

This is the first week in a very long time that I have run 4 times. Nothing too strenuous. The extra run was an easy 5 km lunch time amble. At present all the runs feel hard and I look forward to the day when one feels easy. Warmer conditions and lack of fitness are the cause of the lack of ease while running. The 4:1 approach does seem to be helping in that it helps me get through the runs. At present all runs over 30 mins are 4:1. That will get boosted to 45 mins once the last work trip is out of the way. It is nice to be able to run at a comfortable pace biomechanically, which the 4:1 approach is helping with.

There was another XC run during the week where I scraped in just under 25 mins. It's a bit of a challenging course. Conditions on the day were good as the cool change came through at the time of the run. I've gone slower on the course when fitter, but that was on a particularly hot day. The next event is my least favourite course and 25 mins will probably be beyond me at this stage. The goal will be a steady tempo without overdoing it. Last time I ran on this course it became apparent that something wasn't right with the body - the start of the training fatigue. It will be an interesting comparison this time around.
The picturesque but challenging Black Mountain Peninsula
Latest Activities:
Monday - gym session - back, shoulders and abs
Tuesday - 1.5km jog warm up; XC run 5km splits 4:51; 5:03; 5:06; 5:07; 4:44 - 24:51(HRav 161bpm)
Wednesday - gym session - arms, chest and abs
Thursday - 7km 10min jog warm up then 4:1 run/walk
Friday - 5km jog
Saturday - 13 km long trail run - 4:1. Lots of wildlife on display including some growling male kangaroos. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Biomechanically sound

I had a quick running form assessment with Jim on Saturday. It seems Lex has taught me well and most of those lessons have stuck. My right arm was the main focus and relatively easily tweaked with one cue provided by Jim. Alas, that means nothing can be done to stop the annoying muscle aches around the hips that I get post run at present. It seems that is common to those of us with 2 X chromosomes over the age of 40. We did decide to move me back into regular training shoes, rather than the innov8s for most of my runs. That makes the calves a lot happier. Speaking of which, the right calf is looking and feeling pretty good these days and seems to have healed well.

The Sunday MTB adventure

Maybe I can add in another run each week to get to 4 per week and see how the body handles it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained :-).

Latest activity:
Friday - day off
Saturday - 12 km run using the 4 min run/1 min walk approach @ 6:15 min/K average. Finding it hard once I get to 8 km.
Sunday - Mountain bike ride 28.4 km.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A bit of cross country

It's been ages since I took part in any sort of running event. Injury and travelling have kept me away. The YCRC Spring Series started on Tuesday out at Stromlo Forest Park a perfect opportunity to catch up with some running acquaintances. There were lots of familiar faces and a good turn out for the first event of the Spring Series. I had intended to jog the 5 km, but it's tough trying to ignore the numbers, so the compromise was more of a tempo run to go sub 25 mins for the 5km. I'll be honest and say it wasn't an easy run. However, the conditions were good and the grass was inviting. A nice way to spend a Tuesday evening. Here's hoping the weather is kind for the other Spring series events.

Stromlo Cross Country Circuit
Performances by some familiar faces:
Stuart Doyle - 17:23
Vince Craig - 17:36
Craig Davis - 20:25
Katie Forestier - 20:47
Elizabeth Humphries - 22:13
Trevor Jacobs - 22:14
Louise Sharp - 22:21
Bob Harlow - 22:36
Ewen Thompson - 22:43
Geoff Moore - 22:53
Mick Horan - 24:08
Brian Wenn - 24:36
Tori Hennig - 24:40
Ken White - 26:02
Leah Wells - 27:49

Latest training activities
Sunday - 33km road bike ride
Monday - Gym session (back, shoulders, abs)
Tuesday - YCRC 5km 4:57, 4:59, 5:09, 4:34, 4:56 - 24:33
Wednesday - Gym session (arms, chest, abs)
Thursday - 7km (10 min jog warm up then 1:4 walk/run).

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Starting from scratch .......

At present it feels like I am someone that has just taken up running with no previous running history. All those years of training have slipped away. And so, with that in mind, it's back to the very basics for the next few months. Long runs will be in a run:walk 4:1 mins ratio. This will allow me to run at a pace that isn't painfully slow, but provide enough recovery to limit the damage. Running too slowly leads to poor biomechanics and I get hip and calf (soleus) pain as a result of the inefficient gait. Running too quickly sets off the fatigue. It will be a matter of striking the right balance with a goal of building distance and trying to build a brand new base. Work has more overseas travel set for later this month, which will see me in hot/humid Indonesia. So there is no point trying to stick to a plan until that trip is done. I doubt I'll get much opportunity to run in Indonesia as my trip to the US only saw me make it onto the treadmill 3 times. I will have less spare time in Indonesia.
A little cutie I spent some time with while in the US
The injury seems to be healed okay. There will remain niggly nerve compression issues due to the massive wad of scar tissue that is my medial gastrocnemius muscle. This means ongoing nerve stretch exercises as well as ensuring the right calf continues to build its strength through targeted calf exercises. I'm also going to do some sessions with Jim to try and improve my running biomechanics. The first session is November 10th.

Otherwise, the short term plan is to continue with a mixed training bag that will include sessions at the gym, a bit of cycling and a few jogs each week, with the aim to build up the long run each weekend. At present, even 10 km is challenging. With the time off running due to the injury, my cardiovascular fitness has markedly declined (despite the bike time) as evidenced by a much higher heart rate when jogging. I'd like to think that this is rock bottom and the only way now is up.

Recent training endeavours:
Monday - gym session - weights (legs, bench press, abs)
Tuesday - jog 6 km ~ 6min/K
Wednesday - forgot workout gear, missed gym. Home late, missed bike ride. Day off
Thursday - jog 7.5 km (a mixture of jog/walk) ~ 6min/K
Friday - gym session - weights (catch up session - shoulders, back, arms, abs)
Saturday - 10 km 4:1 jog ~ 6min/K; gym session (legs and bench press).