Sunday, June 28, 2015

More work in the hills

Keeping the runs in hilly terrain is helping keep the muscles happy and that means it is keeping me running! After an analysis, the evidence points to tight hip flexors and very weak glutes and core. Not at all surprising for someone with a desk job. The task now is to consistently perform a series of dynamic exercises that target those weaknesses. Each week will be reviewed and the exercises adjusted depending on progress. The good news is after only a couple of sessions, at least my balance is improving. Dynamic exercises are proprioceptively demanding!

Today was the monthly ACT veterans handicap held on the hilly Mount Ainslie course.  A good course to test the legs, despite it being cold and foggy. The start was chilly, but eventually I found some rhythm even if the heart rhythm was a bit dodgy between 2-4km. This odd heart rhythm thing keeps cropping up and I'm not sure what to make of it! However, such arrhythmias are not uncommon in older endurance athletes, so nothing to get too excited about at this point. 

I ran a tempo pace as best I could remembering there is a tough hill not far from the finish. This worked well and I gradually passed people that had started in groups ahead. As I neared the top of the climb I had passed at least 30 people and had not as yet been passed myself. However, I could easily hear Speedy Geoff coming up the hill and knew I needed to accelerate if I was to hold him off. This was also a timely reminder that I need to try some hill intervals to stop that backwards running feeling! It was a good thing it is a downhill finish and I fanged it as quickly as my legs would allow me. Indeed it was the lack of neuromuscular coordination that was the limiting factor running down that hill. However, it was good enough to hold off a fast finishing SG! I came across the line in 6th place, good enough for a silver medal on the day and SG was 8th good enough for the bronze! There was a bit of a mix up with the results, so we were incorrectly initially award gold and silver and thought we both had completed our medal sets. Alas it was not to be and we will have to hope for continued good form for future events.

Some results from the handicap (Thomas 9.3 km)

Position Name Time Age group Age grade%
6 Janene Kingston  47:40    W50    75
8 Geoff Moore  44:37    M65    81.5
15 Nadine Morrison  46:41   W45    70.3
16 David Clarke  41:40   M55    79.2
25 Steve Appleby  46:10   M60    74.5
42 Maria O'Rielly  48:01   W60    82
43 Helen Larmour  45:31   W55    82.2
55 Louise Sharp  41:34   W30    72.8
64 Roger Pilkington  51:41   M55    63
66 Stuart Doyle  35:58   M45    85.7
68 Ruth Baussmann  64:24   W65    65.2

Speedygeese Ainslie collage

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Back to the hills

Oh the irony, as a 'flat lander' hills have always been a huge weakness, I feel like I'm going backwards most of the time when I run up hill. However, it seems hills are what have kept me running these last 6 months, not just the HRT. Going back to doing more runs on the flat has really aggravated my hamstrings. They get super sore and tight and are certainly not interested in racing parkruns. However, when I go back to running on short, steep rocky hills, the hamstrings stop complaining. Case in hand, I ran a hilly 21.3 km last weekend and it went pretty well all things considered. It was further than planned, but I didn't suffer any serious consequences from the run (except for a couple of unhappy toenails from the downhills!).  It is unclear why I am overloading the hamstrings on the flat, it could be to do with muscle weaknesses elsewhere such as the glutes and core. So I am currently consulting with someone on how to correct these imbalances and see if I can banish tired and tight hamstrings. Only time will tell. Watch this space.